What’s in, What’s out this week….. read it here…

IMG_3595What’s in…What’s out…

What’s in….”

Operation Stop the flow” broke up a major drug ring in Providence that was operating throughout Massachusetts. Thirty individuals were arrested for distributing fentanyl and heroin. Kudos to the Providence Police Intelligence Unit and Organized Crime Unit for cleaning up a major drug ring operating in Providence after a ten month investigation.

Pope Francis…gave an audience to President Donald Trump and his family this week at the Vatican. Pictures were posted of the first family looking very pious all dressed in black and the women wearing veils. It turns out the Vatican advised the first family of dress protocols before their audience.
Pope Francis continues to be the “People’s Pope” by reaching out to all.

Councilwoman Sabina Matos...takes over the helm as the Acting Council President of the City of Providence after the Council President resignation of Luis Aponte. Will there be an election soon to permanently name a Council President? Some members of the City Council rumored to run are Councilwoman Matos, Councilman David Salvatore, Councilman Nick Narducci and Councilman Terence Hassett. Stay tuned this list is growing!

What’s out….

Paw Sox legislation….As I predicted last week, the Paw Sox legislation is on the back burner for this legislative session. The Senate Leadership has stated that there is not enough of time to give it a proper look after Governor Gina Raimondo gave a cool reception to the proposal. But let’s be fair a bill was never submitted in its proper form for the Governor or Legislature to look at. One has to ask this question, ” What was Mayor Grebien and the Paw Sox waiting for? It should have been submitted at the beginning of the legislative session, not the end.
My guess is that the votes for this legislation just aren’t there!


Terrorism at the Ariana Grande Concert….22 people died and 59 were injured at a Ariana Grande concert in Great Britian this week leaving us all stunned and angry. How can this terror continue and when will it stop? These senseless tragedies are killing the quality of life worldwide leaving us all to fear what will happen next.

The Governor’s free college tuition plan seems to be in jeopardy. With a $134 million shortfall in the budget, its prospects look dim. The cutting of social programs is never a priority of the legislature and will draw sharp criticism from those in need and advocates. It will be interesting to see if this tuition proposal will proceed.v

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What’s in…Whats out…

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What’s in… What’s out….

What’s in…

The Ireland West International Centre Open House…Looking for something interesting to do this week? There will be an open house and reception on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 from 5:30 PM to 7:00 PM at the Ireland West International Trade Centre at 77 North Main Street, Providence, RI.
The Centre provides both real and virtual space for Irish companies looking to enter or expand in the United States market. The centre serves as an international base for them to promote events, and also provides a meeting space, email address, mail address and phone number. The companies range from software companies, furniture manufacturers, worksite training programs, a craft beer company and also a travel agency that offers culture and heritage tours of Ireland and so much more. This open house precedes the starting of direct flights between Rhode Island and Ireland starting the first week in June. Stop by to get promotional brochures and or email info@IrelandWestTradeCentre.com for information.

The Quonset Air Show… The RI National Guard Air Show in North Kingstown kicks off this weekend on Saturday and Sunday from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM. This is always a great family event and they will be providing free parking for and train service to Quonset Point. For more info on train service, visit http://www.ridot.com/trainstoplanes.

The PawSox Stadium… It’s Back! The new proposal is in and it promises jobs, job, jobs! But what kind of jobs? Will Rhode Islanders be given the first choice for these jobs or will former Boston Red Sox employees come to Rhode Island and be given the first chance? I’d like to see several safeguards in legislation. One is a guarantee of Rhode Island jobs, not just the minimum wage employees, but living wage employees, also. How about some Rhode Islanders who live in Rhode Island being given the first opportunity? It means nothing to say we will have jobs if they do not go to Rhode Islanders. Maybe it’s just me, but if I were pitching a proposal for a new ballpark, I would be looking for other ways to make up the $38 million needed in state and city funding. Seeing the PawSox are the farm team for the Boston Red Sox, one of the most profitable ball clubs in the US, shouldn’t they pitch in toward this stadium. After all it will host their farm team. The people of RI have made it abundantly clear that they do not want any state money used. As for Pawtucket, they will have to go to the state in other ways to raise their $15 million such as increased state aid, increased payment in lieu of taxes, increased school aid and increased revenue sharing. Either way, this proposal may be put on hold. Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is right when he says there are so many other irons in the fire and this cannot be rushed. Looks like this one will be put on the back burner until many changes are made.
What’s out…

Human Trafficking Happens in All RI Communities… A recent report by RI’s Kim Kalunian reports that Human Trafficking is in every RI community. That’s no surprise to me since I introduced the first Human Trafficking bill in 2007. The facts are that in RI most of the victims are between 14 and 15 years old. The US Department of Homeland security reports hundreds of people being trafficked throughput RI every year. he original bill I introduced to make Human Trafficking illegal passed in 2007 in the RI House of Representatives and died in the Senate. It then passed both chambers in 2008 and became law. It was them amended and passed with an indoor prostitution bill I introduced in 2009 which became law. Steep penalties were placed for traffickers and pimps that were never included. I wish I could say that it was easy for me. But it was not and one of the most trying times in my legislative career. I guess you could say, “All good things come to those who wait”.
Pot holes, pot holes, and more pot holes… It’s no secret that we have always had pot holes but this year they look like ditches. Let’s hope that the expected monies from the tolls can fix our roads. It really isn’t safe driving and then hitting a pot hole that is really a ditch. And while we are speaking about roads, please open the Pleasant Valley Parkway bridge!
Long overdue!

What’s in…What’s out… 5-12-17 $100 million shortfall, caught in Providence rocks…

What’s in….What’s out….

What’s in…

Attorney General’s Office Breaks Ground On New Building in Cranston….Several divisions of the Attorney General’s office are moving to Cranston in a new building being built at the John O. Pastore Complex at the intersection of Pontiac Avenue and Howard Avenue. It will be a customer service center, costing between $12 and $14 million. The new location is also expected to house office space, employee offices, conference rooms and a public and a employee parking lot for 124 vehicles.
Work has begun at the site including the covering of soil piles which were found to contain low levels of arsenic and semi-volatile organic compounds. This was confirmed by the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management on NBC 10. This sounds a little scary to me and makes one wonder if it’s environmentally safe.

Pawtucket Red Sox Study… A new study released states the Apex site
in Pawtucket is the best location for the proposed $76 million ballpark. The Brailsford& Dunlavey consultant team projects that a new ballpark and additional development in the Apex site would bring the state $129.8 million in state and city taxes. This clearly is a case of “If we build it, will they come”?

Caught in Providence….is in! I must say I really like watching this show on ABC 6 as it honestly and clearly portrays a day in the Providence Municipal court. Chief Judge Frank Caprio displays fairness, humor and a good heart. Kudos also to producer Joseph Caprio who has long been an unrecognized hero in producing video shows as a public service to all Rhode Islanders.

What’s out….
A proposed $100 million shortfall in Rhode Island revenue estimates was revealed yesterday by the auditors of the May revenue estimating conference. Politicians can lay the blame on whoever they want. But let’s be clear, the UHIP crisis, fallen revenue, department overspending, Administrative new hirings by both the Governor and General Assembly do not help. What elected official will have the guts to get an accurate list of new hires and pay grades within the last year? Is there anyone with the knowledge or fortitude to let the public know how much is really being spent in the state budget? This includes new hires, office renovations, raises, trips, food and liquor expenses and proposed new equipment as well. This is a call out to all who say they are for open government. Let’s see how the money is being spent.
FBI Director James Comey…is out! I don’t understand the hoopla over this firing. It was just last week that Hillary Clinton blamed him as one of the reasons she lost ground in her election. It was not too long ago that several members of Congress were outraged by his behavior, including Chuck Shumer! The bottom line is that the President gets to choose his staff and that he has made the decision. If Congress doesn’t like it, then maybe they should try to change it. But keep in mind Bill Clinton chose his FBI director and rightfully so. The public needs to have faith in its head of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and some of Comey’s behavior has at the very least instilled doubt in many.

What’s in…What’s out…

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(My mom and I on her last Mother’s Day in 1998)
A Heavy Heart on Mother’s Day
It’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean Spring or Easter time or daylight savings time. It’s time for Mother’s Day. I was reading an article posted from a blog about ” Being Motherless on Mother’s Day” and it really hit home for me.

For those of us who have lost their mom or never knew their mom, it can be a bittersweet day on Mother’s day without her. Yes, we all can take comfort in the memories of our mother’s embrace, her laugh, her cooking or that special look she gave you when you did something extraordinary or something wrong. The traditions our mother’s taught us are embedded in our memories for a lifetime but will never feel the same.

At Christmas time, we celebrate our memories by making mom’s special recipes. Decorations and the fine China she used make their annual appearance in my home and my sisters’ homes. The younger children in our family know only what we tell them about their grandmother and great grandmother. It is sad that they will never experience the joy and knowledge we received from my mother.

We celebrate Holidays at the family table saying things like “Remember when Mom cooked the 30lb. turkey?” Or we would reminisce about the way our mother set the table or decorated the Christmas tree. The heavy heart I feel this time of year starts on May 1st and follows me throughout the month to Mother’s Day. The pit of my stomach feels a sadness I just can’t explain.

It may feel different to some who have accepted that life goes on and we have to face the fact that we are all going to die. But for many of us, the loss of our mother, is something that makes our hearts ache. And for those of us, who do not have children, Mother’s Day is a ghostly reminder of what could have been. So many of us who are childless, enjoy being aunties and caretakers to other children but that reminder is there that we are not mommies. Please don’t get me wrong, we live in a world today where adoption and foster parenting is so much needed and available. All of those opportunities are available to us and we appreciate it.

We glance back at our childhoods and thank God for the precious gift of having a mother and celebrate Mother’s Day in the best way we can with a heavy heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

Mother’s Day ….with a heavy heart….

 

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(My mom and I on her last Mother’s Day in 1998)

 

A Heavy Heart on Mother’s Day
It’s that time of year again. No, I don’t mean Spring or Easter time or daylight savings time. It’s time for Mother’s Day. I was reading an article posted from a blog about ” Being Motherless on Mother’s Day” and it really hit home for me.

For those of us who have lost their mom or never knew their mom, it can be a bittersweet day on Mother’s day without her. Yes, we all can take comfort in the memories of our mother’s embrace, her laugh, her cooking or that special look she gave you when you did something extraordinary or something wrong. The traditions our mother’s taught us are embedded in our memories for a lifetime but will never feel the same.

At Christmas time, we celebrate our memories by making mom’s special recipes. Decorations and the fine China she used make their annual appearance in my home and my sisters’ homes. The younger children in our family know only what we tell them about their grandmother and great grandmother. It is sad that they will never experience the joy and knowledge we received from my mother.

We celebrate Holidays at the family table saying things like “Remember when Mom cooked the 30lb. turkey?” Or we would reminisce about the way our mother set the table or decorated the Christmas tree. The heavy heart I feel this time of year starts on May 1st and follows me throughout the month to Mother’s Day. The pit of my stomach feels a sadness I just can’t explain.

It may feel different to some who have accepted that life goes on and we have to face the fact that we are all going to die. But for many of us, the loss of our mother, is something that makes our hearts ache. And for those of us, who do not have children, Mother’s Day is a ghostly reminder of what could have been. So many of us who are childless, enjoy being aunties and caretakers to other children but that reminder is there that we are not mommies. Please don’t get me wrong, we live in a world today where adoption and foster parenting is so much needed and available. All of those opportunities are available to us and we appreciate it.

We glance back at our childhoods and thank God for the precious gift of having a mother and celebrate Mother’s Day in the best way we can with a heavy heart.

Happy Mother’s Day to all!

A shopping trip ….in Providence Place

IMG_3380 So today, I decide to go shopping at Providence Place Mall.

My hometown shopping mall. right? I proceed to drive around to go to mall which is only about 5 minutes,but it turned out to be twenty eight minutes due to the closing of the Parkway bridge. Yes, traffic and driving all around to the top of Dean street and taking a right to get there. Obstacle 1.
The Providence place parking lot is redone. One ways, and exits and signs, totally different. People driving in and out of one ways. Wow!
How could it be worse! It seems half of parking lot is blocked off for some reason. I don’t know, but I was very nervous driving in it. Finally, went to Macys new backstage store which is on third floor. The backstage store is on a portion of third floor. It seems very organized and neat but there was no one working in it. I found one sandal and couldn’t find the other. I sAid to a salesman walking by, “Excuse me, is there a way I could get the mate to this sandal”. He said to me “mam this is an outlet store, if you can’t find it, it’s not meant to be, get it?” I said, ” I get it.” Can you believe it! Welcome to the new world of shopping folks!
Them I saw him unloading heavy boxes, ringing the cash register. He was a one man show. One person in whole outlet working! Whatever happened to salesgirl and sales clerks?
They re gone!
I proceed to Nordstrom and as soon as I walk into Door, I see a big change in store.. Not as much stock as there use to be. Very neat but sparse. Plenty of salespeople in shoe department but nowhere Else. One salesman taking care of handbags and all the accessories. I find a beautiful scarf , but it had a pull in it, so I ask the salesman, if there are more and he says no. ” so I say, Well , this scarf has a pull in it, can I get a percentage off, it’s damaged.” ” No, he says, we don’t do that.” And walked away. That’s it!
Listen, I worked my way through School working in retail,
Peerless co, the Outlet and Shepherds and I NEVER talked like that to a customer! Geez! Amazon here I come!IMG_3380

What’s in….What’s out….

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What’s in…What’s out….

What’s in…

Former Governor Chafee…He’s making the rounds and he’s not backing down! Former Governor Chafee goes on the offense in what appears to be a pre-campaign mode for the next election. He’s pointing out things that he thinks Governor Gina Raimondo is doing wrong and policies he does not agree with. But he will have to stand in line. Mayor Alan Fung is likely to be a Republican opponent in the Governors race as well. Other Republicans considering running are Giovanni Feroce and former Rep. Joseph Trillo. Governor Raimondo has quite a war chest built (approx.2.2 million dollars) and an east side support system in Providence. Potential Democratic challengers besides Chafee could include Clay Pell, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and Brendan Doherty. This could all change if Chafee decides to run as an Independent candidate. That would make the Governor’s race a three way race (at least) and could change the outcome of the election. It’s still early yet, but not too early to start raising money and throwing jabs.

 

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Mayor Jorge Elorza….has raised approximately a half million  in his war chest. He has a strong Democratic progressive support system in Providence unless another Progressive candidate challenges him. Potential Democratic challengers could include former Council President Michael Solomon, Rep. Lombardi, former School Superintendent Dr. Robert DeRobbio and Councilman John Igliozzi. What no women willing to step up? You never know!

An estimated 13,000 women expected to run for office…. This year we saw 500,000 people march at the women’s march in Washington. We also saw over 3 million march across the country in rallies. More women are taking an active role in our government and more women are poised to run in the next election. I say yes to this because women add a different dimension to government, especially state government. They add their life experiences to a male dominated field. And that is something we need. We will see more women running for state legislative positions and statewide office. The old days of women shying away from running are over. Stand up women and be counted and run for that local seat in your district!
Whats out…

Former Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton…. did an interview this week and said she believes she would have been President if not for the actions of FBI director Comley several days before the election and Wikileaks. She says it put doubts into people’s minds. The thing is that most people have made their minds up weeks before the election. In fact isn’t that why we can have early voting? Basically is Clinton saying people don’t know who they will vote for till the end? She just might have made a great argument against early voting. Anyway, the election is over and it is time to move on instead of throwing blame and wallowing in mistakes of what could have been. Enough already!

Marijuana legalization, Providence Water Board Sale…. Looks like these two bills will be considered for further study or put permanently on hold by forming study commissions.

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FreeTuition and Car Tax Phase out..

Marijuana legalization and the sale of the Providence Water Board will take a back seat to the free tuition plan by Governor Raimondo and the car tax plan by the General Assembly. As one of the original sponsors of the 1998 car tax phase out plan, I can tell you that state revenues will have to be there to reimburse the cities and towns for the phase out. The May revenue estimating conference will give an accurate picture of the state’s revenue sources. Is the money there?
In 1998, the intention was to phase out the car tax in seven years and that was considered aggressive. But at that time, the state had a surplus and it was perceived as a safe venture. It was then extended to an eight year phase out pending on state revenue. It is very hard to predict what state revenues will be in upcoming years. In fact, that is why the General Assembly froze the car tax plan within three years after its implementation and in 2010 it was put out to pasture completely.

A promise is a promise. This promise was made to the people of Rhode Island in 1998 by the General Assembly to phase out the car tax and it was not fulfilled. Let’s hope they keep their promise this time!