What’s in…What’s out…7-28-17 ..Waterfire..Budget Blues, Rocky Point.. All the President’s men..

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What’s in…

Water fire 🔥….water fire continues to be the main attraction in Providence…creator Barnaby Evans of Providence probably never envisioned his creation of fire on the water to be a major production in Providence.  In the early days of water fire , we were treated to calm music with a peaceful serene setting.  I attended water fire last week and realized the changes that have taken place.  The city was a maze of street closings, food trucks , outdoor tables, and flashing lights. There were many boats in the water, something that was new to me, and the hustle and bustle of the waterway was not serene.  It was a big difference from the original setting that water fire was famous for.  I have always loved waterfire and thought of it as a classic example of the renaissance of Providence.  Please let’s not make it a carnival of lights and distractions for the thousands of people who attend.  Let’s not lose the ambiance that made it so popular.

Rocky Point Memorial Park…Who doesn’t remember our nostalgic Rocky Point park? Much money is being spent on the memorializing of  “what has been” instead of what could be at Rocky Point.  I’d like to see a family oriented Park emerge where families can gather to enjoy restaurants, outdoor activities and the beautiful scenery it was once know for.  I want to envision what could be, not remember what once was and can never be again.  So, leaders in this state should make a plan to preserve the memories but create new ones.

What’s out….

Budget Standoff…In what appears to be a political standoff of who has more power..The standoff continues. What’s even more unbelievable is that no one is speaking out against the standoff.  All politicos in office are quiet.  These are times when one has to rethink of who they supported for their State Representative or Senator and if they are representing us or themselves.  Time for all of us to rethink and remember in November.  I am.

Washington brass….The ongoing healthcare debacle in Washington… let’s get it together Congress… you can’t work together for the people! Shameful behavior by all regarding this health care issue.  Americans need this to be resolved and a bipartisan compromise needs to be passed to help Americans and keep them in a healthcare system.

All the Presidents men…It seems the staff of the President and crew are not getting along.  Well, who are we to talk? We have it going on here in little Rhody.  Power plays by men and women who feel they are untouchable in their positions.  This country has seen the worse behavior ever of their national elected officials and local as well.  When will it end? It will end when the people remember in November!

Amusement Park And county fair rides…scary to think that you go on a thrill ride and it ends up being a horror trip! The latest casualties were in Ohio on a thrill ride that sent occupants flying through the air.  How many people have to get hurt before stricter laws are passed about these carnival rides? Let’s protect our children from harm and start being more careful about amusement park safety.

 

 

 

 

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What’s in…What’s out..7-21-17

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What’s in…What’s out…

What’s in…

An end to the RI Budget standoff…in what seems reminiscent of a standoff between the House of Representatives and the Senate Chamber, is a glimmer of hope. The Senate President is poised to consider going back to pass the State Budget and the House Speaker is happy he’s considering passage without the car tax amendment. The Senate could be back as early as next week, pending getting a quorum together. After all, it is vacation time and many have made plans. Usually a 48 hour notice of convening a quorum is required. So what will happen if the Senate returns to pass the budget? Budget passage will ensure that the House of Representatives will return at a later date to pass bills which were left on the desk. Also in play, could be overrides of bills that Governor Raimondo vetoed. Will the much debated contract bill that was supported by the powerful teacher unions but opposed by the local mayors and leaders resurface for an override? Stay tuned.. it may get even hotter at the State House and there is no air conditioning in the Chambers!

 

Stages of Freedom..Ray Rickman’s Stages of Freedom opened last night at 10 Westminster street in a new location. Ray has worked hard to bring this project to fruition to educate others about Black history and culture. One of the closest projects to his heart is teaching black children how to swim. Kudos to Ray for keeping it real! Stop by the new location and please support our kids in this very important effort to keep them safe!

 

OJ Simpson paroled…In what was a televised parole hearing short of being called reality TV, OJ Simpson was paroled Thursday after serving nine years in prison for robbery charges of his own memorabilia. Simpson plans to move to Florida and looks forward to reuniting with family and friends. It’s time for OJ to move on and keep a low profile. This may be hard to do but it will be he only way for him to stay a free man. Regardless of what you may believe about the Simpson murder trail, you have to remember that Simpson was in jail for robbery and found not guilty on those murder charges. Lawyers have stated that nine years in jail for robbery was a steep sentence that he served in Nevada. Who knows what’s in store for OJ but one thing is for sure, we have not heard the end of him.

 

What’s out….

Cancer…In 1974 Richard Nixon declared war on cancer! Alas, here we are in 2017 and Cancer is rampant. The latest public victim of Cancer is Senator John McCain, who has been diagnosed with brain Cancer. We can all agree that McCain has served this country well with class and tremendous courage. I wish him well and pray for his recovery. And now is time for Congress to put more funding and efforts into Cancer cures and preventative testing.
What’s it going to take for Congress to wake up and smell the Cancer in this country?

Traffic Cameras…At least 20 new traffic camera locations will be added in Providence bringing the total to 45 traffic light cameras. The proposed new locations will be in some of the poorest neighborhoods of Providence mostly Broad and Westminster street locations. This may be a revenue making ordinance but how much money is the city really making? In the last two years the city has brought in $1.8 million and $1.3 million. The city is hoping to increase this amount with the new additional cameras.

Parking Meters…on a recent visit to a popular Federal Hill Bakery, I was greeted by parking meters on Spruce street. What a shame that our “renaissance city” has decided that we need to greet retailers with parking meters, especially during the summertime when tourists and visitors are frequenting our city. This certainly deters business retail and development and drives shoppers to other areas with free parking.

 

 

 

What’s in..What’s out…7-15-17 .. Governor’s conference, water fires, Budget Blues, Healthcare Woes…

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The National Governor’s conference….is showcasing Rhode Island this week. On stage is Providence and Newport premiering the best of both cities to approximately 30 Governors and over 2,000 guests.  It’s a who’s who extravaganza of guest speakers on Friday including Vice President Mike Pence and Canadanian Prime Minister Trudeau. Conference guests will enjoy receptions at the State House, Providence Performing Arts Center, Waterplace Park and a clambake in Newport. Water fires 🔥 will be lit to entertain all the dignitaries and their guests.  Every politico in the state has been invited and security is tight. It will be interesting to see the Providence Journal’s breakdown of expenses and where the money is coming from! Governor a Gina Raimondo premieres  as Rhode Island’s first Woman Governor! Let the celebrations begin!

Local TV stations, WPRI (10), WJAR(10) WLNE (6)…have started live Facebook news promos and weather.  You can now see news headlines and weather live on Facebook! The technology and sound is clear and professional, making it easy to watch! Kudos to these local stations for being even more accessible to news viewers.

What’s out…

The ever changing world of Healthcare… It’s scary to think that we place our lives in the hands of others so many times when we need a Hospital or medical care.  The ever changing status of Healthcare has made us frustrated and worried over what’s to come.  Increased prices in medicines, lack of home care for our most vulnerable and overcrowded hospitals  have become the status quo.  Nursing homes are overcrowded and hard to get in to unless you are lucky to get a room.  Our loved ones who need rehabilitation on a 24 hour care , are stuck with a system that favors the wealthy and the connected.  It’s expensive to get 24 hour care and pocket breaking if you need a nursing home.  Will it ever change? While all or dignities and elite are enjoying lobster, drinks and water fire, our most vulnerable are sick and suffering and wondering if they will be taken care of tomorrow. So instead of fighting in Washington over who met who in the last election campaign, please get moving and do something for all the people who need it. ” The “Let them eat cake attitude is getting a lot overdone in this country”.  It’s time for changes across the board! It starts with you! Vote early and make sure you know who you are voting for and if they are representing your interests, not theirs.

 

The General Assembly Budget Standoff…while people may think it is good for the Budget not to be passed, it is indeed costing cities and towns money.  Losing state aid for our cities and towns, will only cause repercussions in the times ahead.  It’s amazing to me that not one of our State Representatives Or Senators (not in leadership) has voiced an opinion publicly on this stalemate! Where does your local Rep or Senator stand? Meanwhile, I can say this to you all! In 1998, when I co-sponsored the original Car Tax Phase out plan, there was no such ammendment tacked on it and the General Assembly had no problem stopping the elimination of the car tax phase out repeatedly by freezing it and by stopping it completely. It seems like a lifetime ago, but things were better than, Egos were there but not like today where they are displayed as a badge of courage.  I have to say, I have never seen anything like this and people should be contacting their state Representatives and Senators.  Remember election year is right around the corner!

What’s in…What’s out this week…7-7-17

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What’s in…What’s out…

What’s in…
 
Hand held cell phone ban bill has passed both the House and Senate chambers…This one has been around for years… and hopefully will be signed by the Governor and enacted into law. How often do we see someone driving with cell phone in hand and they are trying to make a turn but almost hit your car? This will make a big difference in our roads if it becomes law.  They will be safer and better for all of us.

Governor’s free tuition plan… Regardless of the budget being at a standstill, the Governor vows to get the money to fulfill her tuition promise to RI students. She had some strong words to say about the General Assembly, “People shouldn’t have to suffer, because politicians can’t do their job”.

RI Partnership for Home Care…Shout out to Nicholas Oliver this week for working hard to protect some of most our vulnerable people in Rhode Island. He “ gets it” and knows how important these services are to our sick and seniors.

What’s out…

Standoff at RI State House…The standoff continues as the RI House and Senate hold their ground their “He said, He said” stand. Last Friday night Speaker Nick Mattiello banged the gavel and shut down The House of Representatives after a last minute amendment to the car tax was tacked on the budget. Anyone who has served in the General Assembly knows, the budget process takes months to do with many hours of debate and hearings by the House Finance committee. A great deal of work is done by Finance members who deserve some courtesy in this process.

There was a full week in between passage of the budget in the House and Senate. Plenty of time passed to put in an amendment with the House Finance Committee that could have been debated in an open forum. So why did the Senate put on a last minute amendment? Senator Ruggerio claims it resulted over concerns of the car tax issue being an unfunded mandate that could possibly dip into the rainy day fund.  So why was it approved in the Senate Finance committee and changed last minute on the Senate floor? State House insiders say it happened because of an amendment to the much debated paid sick leave bill which passed the Senate. It’s scary to even think that one bill could have so much power to shut down a session and cause a standstill in the budget and bill process.

Did someone stamp their feet and cry foul?
Even though the state can operate on last year’s fiscal budget for awhile, there is no doubt that this is not good for the people of Rhode Island. So many good initiatives remain in limbo such as increased age for foster care from 18 years to 21 and free bus passes for seniors.  This is hardball at it’s worse. Can one person call the shots at the state house? Are there some that are so powerful that they put their needs over so many others? I hope not.

The Governor has weighed in after several days of silence and ultimately has asked both the House and Senate to go back to work.  Senate has said they will return in Fall to take up PawSox legislation while Speaker Mattiello has told WPRO’s Gene Valicenti, he has no plans to return anytime soon unless his form of the House budget is passed by Senate.

Well, something’s got to give.  It doesn’t matter who’s right or wrong anymore, everyone. You are elected to lead and that’s what you need to do! Sometimes you have to swallow really hard at the State House with an amendment to a bill you don’t like or a budget article that isn’t perfect. It’s called compromise for the good of all.  No any one person is better than the institution our forefathers created. So in the words of N.E. Patriot coach Bill Belichick, “ Do your job”.