Bahjat Shariff was born in war torn Lebanon. He left his country and family behind when he was 18, and with 300 in his pocket arrived in Los Angeles, where he would enroll in Citrus College. Bahjat, who continues our “Bridge to the Future” series, has been recognized by the New England Patriot for his charitable work, raised a family, and currently is the operating partner and Senior Vice President of Operations for Howley Bread Group, a franchised chain of more than 20 Panera Bread Restaurants. Our series, “Bridge to the Future,” is meant to highlight the tremendous contributions of first-generation immigrants to the United States. Bahjat joins Frank on this edition of, The Open Forum.
Blink your eyes and what you saw before is bound to change – at least when it comes to politics in Rhode Island. Candidates in what is a crowded gubernatorial field continue to jockey for position. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown, who was initially considering a run for governor as an independent, has indicated now that he’ll run as a Democrat, joining Gov. Gina Raimondo, and progressives Paul Roselli and former state Representative Spencer Dickinson. Brown is also a progressive. Dickinson joins Frank on this edition.
Blues great and Newport resident James Montgomery will be inducted into the RI music hall of fame. He is Frank's guest on this edition and talks about his 50-year career in music, the blues, his commitment to raising funds to help veterans and fight the opiod crisis.
HOME AND GARDEN FAIR
GUESTS THIS HOUR:
Mosquito Squad/ Green Systems Byron & Steve
Money Pit Tom Kreutler Heard on WADK Saturday Afternoons at 3
Planet Aid Keith Gregory- Earth Day event on 4/21 at their One Mile Corner center
A& B Appliance Jim Buchanan
Leadership At All Levels with Gail Alofsin. Guests on this show are: Laura Clark - Master Soul Coaching Practioner and instructor, Kim Fuller - Profesional Photographer, Author, Tedx Speaker and mindfulness coach, and Katie McDonald - Founder of BNourished
Len Lardaro, the University of Rhode Island economist who produces a monthly Current Conditions Index, is encouraged by the sustained growth of the state’s economy. Lardaro, who has been following the Rhode Island economy for years and has often been critical of its performance, now believes it is showing some real strength. Lardaro joins Frank on this edition of, The Open Forum
Nearly 700,000 children are abused in the United States every year, and nearly 2,000 die. And those are the cases that are reported. CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children) is an organization that advocates for abused children, providing legal and volunteer support for all children referred to the Family Court because of the filing of an abuse or neglect petition. Rhode Island’s program was established in 1978, the second program in the country. Cheryl Martone is the director of Rhode Island’s CASA Volunteer Program. She joins Frank on this edition of The Open Forum.
Was the first female lighthouse keeper in American from Newport? Was Newport the site of the first international polo match? Was the first murder trial of a clergyman in the United States held here? Brian Stinson’s Newport Firsts, a hundred claims to fame was just published this week. Brian joins Frank on this edition of The Open Forum.
What can Red Sox fans expect when visiting Fenway Park this year? Ron Bumgarner, senior vp/ticketing for Fenway Events and Concerts talks about the Sam Deck, a new bar at Fenway, special seating areas, and ticket opportunities for kids, on this edition of The Open Forum.
Dr. Luis-Daniel Munoz is among what appears to be a growing number of Rhode Islanders running for governor. An independent, he is focusing his campaign on education, jobs, access to health care, and fighting corruption. He joins Frank on this edition.
A million veterans suffer from 'invisible wounds,' leading to 22 veterans committing suicide each day, to divorce, to unemployment, homelessness. Jack Hammond, retired Army Brigadier General is executive director of Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital program that is doing incredible work to support veterans, service members and military families coping with such disorders as PTSD and traumatic brain injury. General Hammond joins the conversation on this edition of, The Open Forum
Rhode Island is making progress but still faces numerous obstacles in its effort to develop sustainable and equitable economic growth. Scott Wolf, executive director of Grow Smart RI discusses the importance of restoring historic district tax credits, improving transportation systems, and revitalizing Rhode Island's downtowns. He also talks about the proposed Green Economy bond, and the need to change direction in the development of solar farms.
Electric Boat in Quonset is looking for hundreds of new employees, many as a result of new work, and many to replace employees leaving for retirement or other reasons. Brian Howard, EB's human resource manager at Quonset, is this episodes guest. He talks about the opportunities, training, types of jobs EB needs to fill, and working conditions.
Leadership at All Levels led by Gail Alofsin. Gail's guests for this edition are: Beth Shissler - president of Sea Bags, Erika Olivier - Co-Owner of Matt's Local Pharmacy, and Sharon Weber - Founder of SHW Global
John Marion, executive director of Common Cause in Rhode Island, discusses important voting and ethics issues before the general assembly, and issues of transparency at the local level. Specifically, he talks about bills that would allow for early voting, requ9re independent redistricting, and reforming the way Rhode Island chooses its magistrates. Also talked about - transparency in local government, focusing on the Newport Councils closed-door interviews of candidates to fill a vacant council seat and a series of open meetings violations in East Greenwich.
Providence state Rep., Aaron Regunberg, a Democratic candidate for Lieutenant Governor, who is in a tough primary election with Lt. Gov. Dan McKee, talks about several legislative initiatives he's sponsoring. His bills, if successful, would make it easier for people to testify at the state house, control pharmaceutical costs, limit high capacity magazines, and create a universal health care system in Rhode Island.
Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea joins Frank on this edition. The focus is on cybersecurity, early voting and other important issues with which her office is involved.
Gorbea was elected Rhode Island’s Secretary of State in 2015, becoming the first Hispanic elected to statewide office in New England. Born in Puerto Rico, Gorbea is a graduate of Princeton’s Woodrow Wilson School for Public and International Affairs and holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
After its conception some 45 years ago, the Providence Newspaper Guild Follies is scheduled to close Friday night. It will end a journey that began in the aftermath of a short, but bitter strike that took some 500 Guild members onto Fountain Street in Providence in the shadow of a newspaper that was revered by the community it served. In the years since its founding it has poked fun at the state’s leading politicians, entertained a variety of mystery guests that included sitting Senators and Governors, and gave birth to some of the area’s most recognized tunes, including Pave the Bay. It was at a back table at Alexander’s Restaurant in downtown Providence, where an education writer and five nightside city staffers gathered for dinner, and where the Follies was born. Carol Young, the education writer who later became the Journal’s deputy executive editor, and who for years was instrumental in the Follies’ success, joins Frank on this edition.
Keith Stokes is the guest as Frank continues to focus on African Heritage Month, exploring the importance of understanding the contributions of all people through the history of our nation, state, and community.
Marvel’s “Black Panther” movie, a film featuring an almost all-black cast, black director, about a black superhero, is “something black people have never seen before … in an age when black people are seeing wrongs done against them in ways that extend beyond film every day, a moment to see blackness as a strength,” said Noel Ransome of Vice Magazine. There has been a nationwide fundraising challenge to raise money to bring thousands of young people to see the film. In Newport, Niko Merritt and the Sankofa Community Connection have embraced that effort, and successfully raised enough funds to enable scores of Newport youth to see the film. Niko joins Frank on this edition of The Open Forum
Ryan Belmore of What's Up Newp joins the conversation about a complaint he filed objecting to the Newport City Council's going into executive session to interview candidates for a vacant city council position. Frank and Ryan also talk about the importance of transparency in government.
Preservation Society of Newport County with special guest Keith Stokes, Vice President of the 1696 Heritage Group, talking about Black History Month and the African American Heritage Experience in early Newport.
Guest: Marty Sinnott, president & CEO of Child & Family, discusses the agency’s 151-year history and provides an overview of its social service programs for at-risk families and other individuals in need, across the life span, in Newport County and RI state-wide.
The need for additional foster families a particular focus of the conversation.
Leadership at All Levels with Gail Alofsin. Guests: Larry Gulko, Brand Strategist and Cohost of the podcast - Name Brands. Brenda Brock, founder, formulator, and CEO of Farmesthetics. Mark Hellendrung, President of Narragansett Beer.
There is one more man you’ll have to watch
He’s always very near
He’s the pitcher for this team
I’m told his name is fear
This game will not be easy
There’ll be struggles and there’ll be strife
To make the winning runs
It’s played on the field of life
– from a poem, “Life”, by Jim “Mudcat” Grant
The spring training camps are about to open. It’s where young men chase their dreams. Willie Rios, 22, a left-handed pitcher whose fastball hits 99 is among them. Willie, entering his second full season in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system joins Frank on this edition of The Open Forum
With President Trump’s first State of the Union address tomorrow (Wedneday), we turn to Darrell West, vice president and director of Governance Studies and holder of the Douglas Dillon Chair at the Brookings Institution, to give us some insight into President Trump’s first year in office, and what to expect as he addresses Congress and the nation. This interview was recorded before the government shutdown and agreement to a budget extension, predicted quite accurately by Darrell.
Former RI supreme court justice, Robert Flanders, is challenging U.S. senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, in what promises to be a spirited campaign. Flanders, a Republican, sees himself as a centrist who can work across party lines. Bob Flanders joins Frank on this edition.