1540 WADK.com Updates

Friday Fishing Tips

Friday Fishing Tips – May 7, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
May 7, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

The temperatures are finally rising and FINALLY the furnace was shut down until next October.  With the temperature increase the fish are really stepping up the bite. A slew of largemouth bass are being caught statewide. The lure manufacturers must be having a field day.  Trout are biting equally well. 

 

Across Little Rhody pictures are popping up everywhere including on “A Better 401 Fishing” social media page of people with multiple trout on their stinger. Of all times for my truck to need some repairs. 

 

 

In any case the Tip of the Week goes hand in hand with the very active bite. Time to take your significant other fishing! With the fish really cooperating your partner will really have some fun!

 

 

For over a year we all endured the over-the-top restrictions across the state. The outside mask mandate was mostly lifted by the CDC. It is time to take date night or date day outdoors. Lifelong friends of mine get out on the water at least once a month and you can see in the photos, they have a great time – and success. Another couple fish together as much as four times a week if weather permits (the wind is becoming a problem). One can do the same with their spouse, fiancé, girlfriend or boyfriend. Instead of parking in front of the TV, pack up a picnic basket, cooler, fishing rods, bait, and head to the local fishing hole. 

 

 

In the mornings one can pack breakfast & coffee, or what is becoming popular is sunset fishing. Dinner can also be take-out as well. A sandwich or pizza from Socrates Pizza in Scituate (intersection of Rts. 102 and 101) is always easy plus the food is always fantastic!

 

Last time I was at Shippee Saw Mill a couple arrived with a hot pizza. Silver Spring Lake, Breakheart Pond, Carolina Trout Pond, Shippee Saw Mill Pond, and Carbuncle Pond all provide a nice sunset back drop for fishing. Don’t forget to fish from the east bank to get the best sunset view. Also, the RI DEM has done a great job with “bathroom facilities” at many of the busy fishing areas, so privacy is assured. 

 

Generally, it is the guy’s idea to go fishing. This writer believes in equal rights, therefore ladies, you have the ability to set up a fishing date night as well. In fact, for you single ladies, asking a guy to go fishing may be a great way to break the ice. Don’t be afraid to ask that guy you have your eye on to fish. I doubt very much you ladies will endure the rejection ratios that us men endure. You seem to have a distinct advantage in that respect. 

 

So, pack up the food and gear and head on out as we have a year’s worth of lost time to make up for.  Who knows you might get “lucky” and you may “catch a keeper”. 

_____

 

 

Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. 

Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The state is working to get COVID-19 vaccines to the remaining elderly who have not gotten the shot.  A Cranston police officer is convicted in an excessive force case.  The mayor of Providence says he supports the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.

>>State Working To Vaccinate Older RI'ers At Home

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island health officials said on Thursday they are reaching out to residents 75 and older who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and bringing it to their homes.  The state estimates over thirteen-thousand Ocean Staters in that age category are not vaccinated.  Rhode Island has already been vaccinating the homebound.

>>Cranston Policeman Convicted In Excessive Force Case, Avoiding Jail

(Providence, RI)  --  A Cranston police officer has been found guilty of simple assault.  Andrew Leonard was charged for the incident in March of 2020 at the Cranston Police Department during which he was said to have used excessive force against a man in custody who was being processed.  Leonard was given a one-year suspended sentence with probation by a district court judge on Thursday, despite the state's recommendation of one year in the ACI.  Leonard has given notice of intent to appeal.

>>House Moves Lottery Contract, Minimum Wage, Free Community College Legislation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee advanced a re-worked no-bid lottery contract on Thursday.  The twenty-year deal is with IGT, which currently runs the RI Lot, and Bally's, which operates the state casinos.  Other highlights from the House yesterday included the passage of a minimum wage increase bill and legislation to make the RI Promise free community college tuition program permanent.

>>Providence Mayor Supports Repealing Law Enforcement Officer Bill Of Rights

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza publicly stated on Thursday that he supports the full repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.  Legislation to do just that was introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly last month.  Elorza said the L-E-O-B-O-R places unnecessary hurdles on the ability of police chiefs to discipline officers.  The Providence police union called Elorza's statement disappointing.

>>State Arts Council Seeking Painters Of Official Governor Raimondo Portrait

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Council of the Arts is searching for an artist to paint an official portrait of former governor Gina Raimondo.  The winning candidate is being offered fifty-thousand dollars.  That's a big increase from what the painters were paid for the portraits of former governors Lincoln Chafee, Donald Carcieri and Lincoln Almond: as a story from The Providence Journal notes, they got fifteen-grand.  The deadline for applications for the Raimondo portrait is June 30th.

>>State Warns Emerald Ash Borer Is Spreading

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the Emerald Ash Borer is continuing to spread across the state.  The E-A-B is an invasive species which was first detected in RI in 2018.  It has been reported in fifteen communities and the DEM says ash tree mortality is being reported.  Officials say improper transportation of firewood has fueled the spread of the bug.

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-07-2021 01:06:12

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Wickford Art presents Re-Composed Classic exhibits

Wickford Art presents Re-Composed Classics exhibit

 
May 6, 2021/RINewsToday

 

NOT a forgeries show…instead Wickford Art presents Re-COMPOSED CLASSICS

 

This June, the Wickford Art Association (WAA) will introduce a NEW exhibit through Re-Composed Classics where member and non-member artists exhibit works based on classic pieces but re-invent them through modifications to media, subject, and more.  By encouraging artists to deconstruct known works by others in order to re-compose through their own personal hand, style, and creativity, the sky is the limit!  The exhibit opens on Friday- June 11, 2021 at our North Kingstown beach-front gallery, just outside historic Wickford Village.

 

All submitted works will be reviewed and juried for entry and prizes by first-time jurist Deb Hickey (https://www.debhickey.com), who works across mediums herself and Wickford Art Association is thrilled to welcome her to our creative community. 

 

Re-Composed Classics will occur in-gallery and through an online virtual gallery June 11 through July 11, 2021.  More information is available at https://wickfordart.org/exhibits-2021/re-composed-classics/.

 

For more information on individual exhibits or programs, please contact us, or visit wickfordart.org.  All programming is subject to change; all juried and judged exhibits will be featured through online virtual galleries as well as in-gallery hours (Wednesday through Saturday: noon to 4pm, Sunday: noon-3pm) at WAA’s beach-front North Kingstown home.

 

 

About the Wickford Art Association

 

The Wickford Art Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 475 members from Rhode Island and across New England. The association hosts art exhibits, classes, lectures, and workshops in its North Kingstown gallery and has produced the summertime Wickford Art Festival since 1962.  Wickford Art Association is dedicated to educating, encouraging and inspiring artists and art lovers throughout the community. For more information, (401) 294-6840 or visit wickfordart.org

 

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RI Veterans: Did You Know?

RI Veterans: Did You Know? – 6 May 21 – by John A. Cianci

 
May 6, 2021/John Cianci

 

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

 

“Free Nursing Home Care for Eligible Veterans”

 

Eligible disabled veterans could be entitled to free long-term care at a community nursing home or state-run veterans home, an estimated $8000-$13, 000 a month, regardless of any income or assets.  

 

Eligibility for a community nursing home is based on clinical need and setting availability. The VA will only pay for Community Nursing Home or State Veterans Home Care if you meet eligibility criteria involving your service-connected status and level of service-connected disability.

 

Eligible veterans are those receiving 70% or more combined disability (including VA TDIU disability) or requires nursing home care due to a service-connected disability. The Veteran is eligible for 100% community nursing home and or Rhode Island Veterans Home*, regardless of income.

 

Here is the list of contracted community nursing homes to include the Rhode Island Veterans Home currently contracted with VA:  

 

Rhode Island Nursing Homes

 

Riverside

 

Orchard View Manor                          
135 Tripps Ln
Riverside, RI
401-438-2250

 

Bristol

 

Silver Creek Manor
7 Creek Lane
Bristol, RI
401-253-3000

 

Rhode Island Veterans Home
480 Metacom Ave.
Bristol, RI
401-253-8000

 

Coventry

 

Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of RI
10 Woodland Drive
Coventry, RI
401-826-2000

 

Johnston

 

Morgan Health Center
80 Morgan Ave.
Johnston, RI
401-944-7800

 

Pascoag

 

Crystal Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center
999 South Main St.
Pascoag, RI
401-568-3091

 

Smithfield

 

Hebert Health & Rehabilitation
180 Log Road
Smithfield, RI
401-231-7016

 

MA Nursing Homes

 

Bourne

 

Bourne Manor
146 MacArthur Blvd.
Bourne, MA
508-759-8880

 

Fairhaven

 

Our Lady’s Haven
71 Center St.
Fairhaven, MA
508-295-1040

 

Wareham

 

The Tremont
605 Main St.
Wareham, MA
508-295-1040

 

To be eligible for 100% free community nursing home care program you must be enrolled and using the Veteran Health Care system and one of these must be true for the Veteran:

 

  • The Veteran must have a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or more, to include 100% VA TDIU, or
  • Requires nursing home care because of his service-connected disability.
  • Is in need of such care.

 

The Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island (ITAM-RI) provides FREE veteran benefit reviews for ALL veterans; membership is not required. If you would like to set up a free “benefit check-up”, contact ITAM-RI; email itamri4vets@gmail.com or (401) 677-9VET.

 

VETTIP: VA rules are complicated and always changing. From senior and experienced veteran service officer’s guidance to me, always have the veteran apply in writing to the VA for any benefit the veteran believes he or she is entitled. Moreover, if previously denied, review the reason(s) why you were denied, and if the veteran believes the decision was erroneous, contact a Veteran Service Officer in your area, who will assist you free of any charges.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q1. How do I know if the veteran has a service-connected disability?

In most cases, he will receive a monthly VA disability deposit or check. Exceptions to the rules, he could be ZERO percent service connected, however, the veteran will not receive a month. For example, many Veterans are rated 0 % for service connected for hearing. The veteran is still considered a disabled veteran however he receives zero financial compensation.

 

Q2. What is Service-Connected Disability

A “service-connected disability” is a disability that is related to your active military service. Your disability is assigned a rating (0% to 100%) based on how severely it impacts your daily life. The greater your disability, the higher you’re rating.

 

Example, you are receiving disability for a heart condition, VA rated 30%, and your disability requires you to be in nursing home, YOU WOULD BE eligible for long term nursing home care provided by the VA pr with a contracted facility.

 

Q3. How does a veteran know if he or she is receiving VA disability combined 70% or more service connected?

 

The first question I will ask the veteran, how much is your monthly payment from the VA? The veteran can check his or her account where the VA service-connected disability is deposited. Is the deposit $1400 or more, if yes, more than likely, you are receiving payment for 70% or more combined service connected. Another method to verify, is to check you ebenefits.va account.

 

Q4. Where can I get more information on Community Nursing Home Care?

Best bet, go directly to VA website to find out more by visiting the Paying for Long Term Care section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

 

The Veterans Service Officer (VSO) from the Italian American War Veterans is available to assist, itamri4vets@gmail.com or by phone, (401) 677-9VET.

 

*Q5. How do I find out more about the State Veterans Home in Bristol Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Veterans Home (RIVH) is a 110-acre complex on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol managed and tun by the State of Rhode Island. The RIVH, by federal law, signs a State Home Care Agreement or contract with the Providence VA Medical Center, which conducts an annual survey to ensure the facility is in compliance with all statues to be a contracted facility for veterans care.

 

The home provides quality nursing and residential care to Rhode Island war veterans. Some of the services provided include social, medical, nursing and rehabilitative services.

 

Services

 
  • Approximately 208 beds.
  • Long Term Care Facility.
  • X-ray, dental, and pharmacy services, physical therapy and occupational therapy, social work services, transportation to PVAMC.

 

Eligibility

 
  • Honorable discharge.
  • Veterans with 90-days (active) service during wartime.
  • RI resident for 2 consecutive years prior to date of application OR joined the service from RI.
  • The Rhode Island Veterans Home will accept any Veteran we are licensed to accept, however, the Medical Director has the authority to approve or disapprove any Veteran’s diagnosis for admission to the Home. Admission to the Rhode Island Veterans Home is voluntary.

 

 

_____

 

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 
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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris toured Providence on Wednesday along with former governor Gina Raimondo.  A local Native American tribe wants a Rhode Island school's athletics nickname changed.  A blind girl is accusing a Providence restaurant of denying her access because she had a service dog.

>>Vice President Harris Tours Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris visited the state of Rhode Island on Wednesday along with former governor Gina Raimondo, now the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  The vice president made a series of stops throughout Providence, including a round-table discussion with women business owners at the Providence Innovation Center during which she promoted President Biden's infrastructure and family plans.  Harris and Raimondo were also together at an unscheduled stop at Books on the Square on the Providence East Side.  The current governor of Rhode Island, Dan McKee, was also involved in Harris' tour of Providence, as well as the state's congressional delegation.

>>Controversy Over Ponaganset High School Sports Nickname

(North Scituate, RI)  --  The Foster-Glocester School Committee is asking for voters to decide if the Ponaganset High School athletics mascot should change.  The current mascot is a profile of a Native American in a headdress and the team nickname is Chieftains.  WJAR-TV reports the committee passed a resolution Wednesday asking the town councils to direct the question to the ballots next year.  The Nipmuc Tribe of northern Rhode Island petitioned the state Commission on Prejudice and Bias last year to change the name.  The Providence Journal reports the commission and the tribe were set to meet Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed.

>>Blind Girl Claims Restaurant Denied Access Because Of Service Dog

(Providence, RI)  --  A blind teenager is suing a Providence restaurant over denial of access with a service dog, according to a report from The Providence Journal.  Seventeen-year-old Haylee Mota alleges this happened last September at Jacky's Waterplace and Sushi Bar.  A complaint was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court.  The restaurant owner has denied the allegations.

>>State Senate Passes Plastic Reduction Bills

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Senate has passed a pair of items aimed at curbing plastic pollution.  The Plastic Waste Reduction Act, introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, would prohibit retailers from making single-use plastic checkout bags available.  The Senate has also passed a bill from Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey to prohibit plastic straws at restaurants.  Both bills move to the House.

>>Cranston Officer On Trial Takes Stand

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Cranston police officer on trial for alleged excessive force took the stand on Wednesday.  Andrew Leonard is accused of punching a suspect who was in custody last year.  The trial in Warwick District Court took a recess yesterday afternoon as cross-examination from the state had just gotten underway.

>>Gas Prices Up Slightly

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island gas prices have gone up six cents in the last month, according to RIGasPrices.com.  The current average is two dollars eighty-four cents per gallon.  The current national average reported by Gas Buddy is two-ninety-five.

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-06-2021 00:38:10

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Free heart health screenings at all CVS Minuteclinics.

Free heart health screenings at all CVS MinuteClinics in US, May 9-15

 
May 5, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Offering free heart health screenings during National Women’s Health Week at MinuteClinic locations nationwide to help make preventative care more accessible

 

CVS Health, with corporate offices based in Woonsocket, today announced new initiatives to support women’s health and wellness in May, including offering no-cost heart health screenings from May 9 through May 15 at MinuteClinic to help women understand their risk for heart disease the number one killer of women. These efforts are part of CVS Health’s overall commitment to making women’s health care more accessible, affordable, simpler and more personalized to meet the unique health and wellness needs during each stage of a woman’s life.

 

“Women have taken on even more during the pandemic and have had less time to prioritize preventative care,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer for CVS Health. “As we celebrate moms and all the women in our lives this month, we want to make it easier for women to care for themselves and meet their health and wellness needs. Advancing women’s health is a key driver of CVS Health’s longtime support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement, which we are proud to again support this May.”

 

To help make preventative care more convenient and accessible, patients can visit one of CVS Health’s approximately 1,100 MinuteClinic locations from May 9 through May 15 to receive a no-cost “Know Your Numbers” heart health screening. Patients will learn five key personal health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease, including cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.

 

“We know that nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet many women don’t have the awareness about this disease to understand and prevent their risk,” said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic. “That’s why offering these free heart health screenings is so important, especially this year when so many people have put off care.”

 

In addition to the free heart health screenings, CVS Pharmacy will provide accessible solutions and special offers to support women’s physical and mental wellbeing. From now through May 22, ExtraCare Rewards program members will receive deals on women’s wellness items in-store, including weekly promotions for products in a variety of categories such as vitamins, skin care as well as feminine care and beauty products to help women feel their best.

 

As part of CVS Health’s ongoing support of the American Heart Association, CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide will raise funds to support the Go Red for Women movement. From May 2 through May 29, CVS Pharmacy customers can support Go Red For Women by making a $1, $3 or larger donation at stores nationwide or online at www.cvshealth.com/GoRed

 

Since teaming up with the AHA in 2017, CVS Health has raised nearly $20 million to help fight cardiovascular disease. Visit www.cvshealth.com/GoRed for more information about the free heart health screenings and to donate to American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island visit is planned today from Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and the former governor of the state.  National Grid needs more time to re-bury part of a power cable connected to the Block Island Wind Farm.  The former Pawtucket Red Sox play their first game under a new identity.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Vice President Harris, Commerce Secretary Raimondo Visiting RI Today

(Undated)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, formerly the Rhode Island governor, are set to visit the state today.  Raimondo toured the Electric Boat facility in Groton, Connecticut on Tuesday.  WPRI-TV reports Harris and Raimondo will participate in a women-led small business roundtable as part of today's visit.  It's also expected that the two will promote President Biden's two major economic proposals.

>>General Assembly Taking Up New Long-Term State Lottery Contract

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee is reviewing a twenty-year state lottery contract proposal today.  The agreement, which has been revised since it was originally proposed by the Governor Raimondo administration, is with current Rhode Island Lottery runner IGT and the state's casino operator Bally's Corporation, formerly known as Twin River.  It includes IGT adding one-hundred new jobs, while Bally's will expand its casino in Lincoln.  Both will be required to maintain headquarters in Providence until 2043.

>>Restaurants Urged To Act Quickly On Available Federal Relief

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's Congressional delegation was at a Providence restaurant on Tuesday to encourage eateries that have been hard-hit by the pandemic to apply for a new round of federal grants.  Nearly 29-billion dollars in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was part of the stimulus packaged signed by President Biden, became available this week.  Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, speaking from The District pizzeria, says restaurants should apply ASAP through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

>>Woonsocket Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Trafficking Crack

(Providence, RI)  --  A Woonsocket man is being sentenced to nearly three-and-a-half years in prison for trafficking cocaine.  The Justice Department says Sean Breton was nailed making over a half-dozen crack sales in 2019.  While awaiting federal sentencing, the DOJ says Breton was arrested by Woonsocket police in 2020 for additional possession of the narcotic.

>>National Grid Puts BI Wind Farm Cable Project On Hold

(New Shoreham, RI)  --  National Grid is suspending work to re-bury a portion of a high-voltage electricity cable for the Block Island Wind Farm.  The utility company says it needs to further-assess the cause of obstructions in a newly-installed pipe at Crescent Beach.  With summer tourism season approaching, the decision was made to put the project on hold until the fall.  The Providence Journal reports Orsted, the owner of the wind farm, experienced no issues for its portion of the cable replacement and said it will be finished before summer.

>>Worcester Red Sox Play First Game

(Trenton, NJ)  --  The triple-A minor league affiliate team of the Boston Red Sox, which played for fifty years as the Pawtucket Red Sox, competed in their first game since moving to Worcester, Massachusetts on Tuesday.  The Worcester Red Sox, also known as the WooSox, lost to the Buffalo Bisons on the road 6-to-1.  The team's home opener at a newly-constructed ballpark is scheduled for May 11th.  The Pawtucket Red Sox played their final game at McCoy Stadium on September 2nd, 2019.

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

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As the health care industry turns.

life
 

As the health care industry turns… – Richard Asinof

 
May 4, 2021/Richard Asinof

 

by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI.com, contributing writer

 

A wealth extraction system run amok?

 

Has the health care industry in Rhode Island become a commodities market, immersed in a soap opera of private equity acquisition and consolidation? When happens when the patients say “Ouch?”

 

Under the proposed merger of Lifespan, Care New England, and Brown, the Warren Alpert Medical School and Brown Physician’s Inc. will become a major hub in the academic medical enterprise being created. In addition, Coastal Medical has been acquired by Lifespan, providing a missing component of primary care to that health system.

 

What a tumultuous week it was for health care delivery systems in Rhode Island, filled with the kind of choreographed plot twists and turns that might cause even the director of a reality TV game show to blush.

 

• With fanfare, on Monday, April 26, Care New England, Brown University and Lifespan officially filed their applications with the R.I. Department of Health and the R.I. Attorney General’s office under the Hospital Conversion Act to create a new academic medical empire. “The uniting of Lifespan and Care New England in partnership with Brown University will be the catalyst for care transformation in the state,” promised Dr. Tim Babineau, president and CEO of Lifespan, in the news release that framed the corporate narrative around the merger.

 

• That very same day, in what appeared to be an integral part of a coordinated public relations effort, the Rhode Island Foundation announced that it would seek to serve as an “independent” arbiter of community input about the merger, despite its ongoing advocacy for such a merger to occur.

 

“Our goal is to gather feedback and ideas from Rhode Islanders,” explained Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, in a news release. “We’ve worked with Lifespan and Care New England and have been supportive of the idea of a locally-controlled integrated academic health system for many years,” Steinberg said. “We’re pleased to see the formal merger process moving forward.” He added: “The community’s voice must remain an integral part of both the planning around and implementation of the merged entity.”

 

An impertinent question to ask, in the best tradition of Studs Terkel, is: Is it an appropriate role of the Rhode Island Foundation to play as the self-appointed coordinator of community input, even before the R.I. Department of Health and the R.I. Attorney General have begun their legally mandated analysis of the proposed merger under the Hospital Conversion Act?

 

Another impertinent question to ask: How can the Rhode Island Foundation be viewed as an “honest broker” in the process, given its advocacy of the merger? Or, should it be seen as an attempt to put its thumb on the scales to influence and control the narrative about the merger?

 

A further impertinent question: What conversations were held between the Rhode Island Foundation and the principals involved in the merger around the creation of such a coordinated effort around community input?

 

No question, the Rhode Island Foundation is currently playing an outsized role in helping to shape the future of health and education investments in the state. Indeed, the Foundation recently announced an effort to come up with a few good ideas about how the state should spend some $1 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

 

Still, it is hard to fathom how the Rhode Island Foundation would ever put forth a narrative, based upon strong pushback from consumers, which would find the proposed merger fatally flawed, a consolidated enterprise based on an unsustainable business model that would inevitably lead to higher costs, poorer health options, and dramatically reduced options for patient care. To borrow a business cliché, it’s not in their DNA.

 

The next shoe drops
Some 24 hours later, the next shoe dropped in what appeared to be a sophisticated, coordinated public relations campaign:

 

• On Tuesday, April 27, Lifespan announced that it had acquired Coastal Medical, in essence buying a big part of what had been missing from its health care delivery system – a comprehensive primary care component. The news release announcing the move said as much: “Coastal is a national model for coordinated primary care, while Lifespan offers complementary strengths in specialty services, research, and education. Combining Lifespan’s vast specialty care capabilities with Coastal’s primary care expertise will benefit patients across the state, offering enhanced value through a continuum of coordinated, high-quality patient care.”

 

The messaging from Dr. Alan Kurose, the president and CEO of Coastal Medical, claimed that the acquisition of his physician’s group by Lifespan would be “good for Rhode Island, the people who live here, and the quality and cost of health care,” according to the news release. The consolidation, Kurose continued, would help “our practices and providers …reach more patients, with a positive impact on health care.”

 

Gears in the machine
Many patients served by Coastal Medical reported receiving emails announcing the acquisition, sparking a different narrative about the mergers and acquisitions in conversations on Twitter. Witness the blunt exchange between Matthew Billings, the project manager of the Children Youth Cabinet in Providence, and Peter Asen, the director of Strategy and Development at the Providence Housing Authority, which captured how some consumers were reacting to the new, consolidated world.

 

“We’re acknowledging the healthcare in RI is transitioning from a limited competition model to a full fucking monopoly, yes?” Billings tweeted, in response to the changes announced this past week involving the state’s health care delivery system.

 

Asen replied: “I started going years ago to a small practice of doctors called Hillside Family Medicine. A few years ago we found out that it was getting subsumed into Coastal Medical. Yesterday we got a message that Coastal is joining Lifespan. Next…”

 

Billings replied to Asen: I’m at Hillside, too, you referred them to me years ago, got the same email yesterday, like it was something to be excited about.”

 

Jordan Frank joined the Twitter conversation, suggesting: “Doctor friends indicate there’s a much better opportunity to improve quality and continuity of care, and to build specialty that competes with Boston hospitals. And don’t think this will impact costs to the worse. Bigger gears at play in that machine.”

 

Billings answered Frank: “I’m going to let the users of the monopoly have the final say on things like “quality,” rather than the monopoly telling us what to look forward to. Doctors execute the practice determined by the board & administrators to be the most profitable, they’re all gears in the machine.”

 

Disruptions in the force
Before detailing the next disruptions in the force that occurred last week around the health care delivery system in Rhode Island, it is important to provide readers with some historical context. The proposed merger between Care New England, Lifespan, and Brown University, combined with Lifespan’s acquisition of Coastal Medical, marked the latest episode in the saga of how the landscape of health care delivery system has been redrawn in Rhode Island during the last decade, marked by financial insolvency by community hospitals, hospital purchases by private equity firms, and corporate consolidation.

 

The disliked fact is that Rhode Island’s health care delivery system has already been carved up, colonized and consolidated. In the south, Yale New Haven now owns Westerly Hospital; in the north, now Prime Healthcare acquired Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. Both acquisitions occurred after the hospitals became insolvent and were overseen by court receivership proceedings.

 

Further, Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, which had been purchased by Care New England in 2013, was forced to close its doors five years later in 2018, following huge annual operating losses in the tens of millions of dollars, which became an impediment to completing the then-planned merger between Care New England and Partners Healthcare in Boston [now Mass General Brigham].

 

A pre-emptive PR campaign
The next big news splash about the health care delivery system in Rhode Island occurred on Thursday, April 29, in a pre-emptive public relations strike orchestrated by the for-profit, private equity owners of CharterCare, owners of Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital, claiming that the hospitals would be forced to close if R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha imposed financial conditions on the pending sale of CharterCARE, which were due to be announced on Friday, April 30.

 

The PR campaign had the desired effect; much of the Rhode Island news media took the bait and run sensational headlines about the threat to close the two hospitals. Then, as if right on cue, CharterCARE announced early Friday morning that it was withdrawing its application for the proposed sale, attempting to make the conditions imposed by R.I. Attorney General moot. The entire matter is now under discussion before R.I. Superior Court Judge Brian Stern.

 

Here is a précis about what happened: in 2014, CharterCARE was sold to Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit firm in California, one of 17 health systems purchased by Prospect. Now, seven years later, the controlling private equity firm in Prospect Medical, Leonard Green & Partners, was seeking to sell its roughly 60 percent ownership stake back to Prospect’s CEO, Sam Lee, and his partner, having awarded itself tens of millions of dollars in dividend payments in that time. The R.I. Attorney General, having conducted an independent financial analysis of the transaction, as part of due diligence under the Hospital Conversion Act, questioned the financial stability of the health system as a result of the transaction, and was seeking that approval of the sale would be conditioned on the creation of escrow accounts to preserve the future financial viability of the state’s third largest health system.

 

On Friday, following the calculated moves by CharterCARE to capture the headlines, R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha issued a statement defending his actions, one worth quoting at length, in part because that part of the story had been lacking in much of the other coverage by the news media:

 

“As a regulator with the immense responsibility of reviewing business transactions involving hospitals in our state, this office must contemplate outcomes that safeguard the delivery of quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare for all Rhode Islanders. I take that responsibility – and potential impacts on healthcare delivery in our state – seriously.

 

Assurances from those entrusted with elements of our health care system, upon which Rhode Islanders so critically rely, cannot be taken on faith alone. The ability and commitment to stand behind those assurances must be verified by this office. To do otherwise would be to abandon our mission, and correspondingly the people of this state.

 

Our robust review of the proposed transaction revealed a national company whose principals and investors extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the hospitals and services they own. As a result, the company now faces risks to its financial viability which is required to respond to challenges that may arise in a volatile healthcare market, potentially putting every hospital in its system – including our Rhode Island hospitals – at risk of a reduction in services, sale or closure.

 

The people of Rhode Island deserve the truth. It is a hard truth: that those who claimed to care about health care here in Rhode Island and around the country cared much more – orders of magnitude more – about lining their own pockets than about the people they purported to serve.

 

Now much is at risk. And the 60 percent majority owner of the hospitals, private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., wanted to walk away with $12 million more in its pockets and absolved of billions of dollars in debt. This office, and Rhode Islanders generally, were being asked to rely on the assurances of the current minority owners and would-be new owners that all is well, and all will be well. I am not willing to take the risk that acceptance of such assurances, without more, requires.

 

The owners have always had a simple choice. They could move forward with the proposed change in ownership with these conditions, which are absolutely necessary to ensure the continued operation of these hospitals. Or they could maintain their current ownership structure. Let us be clear: there is nothing about this latter alternative that puts the hospitals in a worse financial condition. That is simply the status quo.

 

Ultimately it comes down to this. Under the proposed transaction, majority owner Leonard Green, having made its money at the expense of the financial health of the hospitals, now wants out. So be it. But that choice comes at a price: remedy the malady you have created.

 

You chose to get into health care. Act like you believe in it.

 

The battle over the proposed sale of CharterCARE puts on full frontal display the dark side of private equity financing of hospitals, which may prove to be not so much different than private equity financing of other institutions such as newspapers and nursing homes. The private equity firms, it appears, loot the liquidity of the purchased company and then depart, behaving much like a loan shark, leaving the corporate shell at great financial risk, unable to pay the vig, in ConvergenceRI’s opinion.

 

It also shows the renewed importance of the role that the R.I Attorney General plays in reviewing hospital mergers – and the lengths to which CharterCARE attempted to undercut and sabotage that role.

 

Editor’s Note: Part TWO examines the latest data on rising health care costs in Rhode Island.

 

To read full article: http://newsletter.convergenceri.com/stories/a-wealth-extraction-system-run-amok,6515

 

_____

 
Richard Asinof

 

Richard Asinof is the founder and editor of ConvergenceRI, an online subscription newsletter offering news and analysis at the convergence of healtOKh, science, technology and innovation in Rhode Island.

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Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – May 4, 2021

 
May 4, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: VP Kamala Harris and Sect of Commerce, Gina Raimondo will come to Rhode Island on Wednesday – specific plans not yet announced

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Pawtucket will be holding vaccination clinics at their two public high schools to vaccinate the students over 16 years old. Clinics are scheduled at Shea High School on May 13th and Tolman High School on May 18th. Students will be given a voucher for an item from the food trucks parked outside set up as a “block party” to encourage their participation in the clinic. The Mayor thanked the Pawtucket Fire Department, EMS and EMA, along with the Pawtucket City Council, School Committee, and other partners helping to spread the importance of getting vaccinated.” 

 

Vaccine Clinics at Providence Schools for Students 16+:

 

Pfizer vaccine first doses will be administered Friday, May 7 (A day) and Wednesday, May 12 (B day) from 11AM-5PM at the following locations. Sign-up information will be available https://www.providenceschools.org/CovidVaccines. No photo ID is required and appointments for the second dose of the vaccine will be made on-site. Clinics will be held at the same locations for second doses.

 

  • Mount Pleasant High School
  • Hope High School
  • Alvarez High School
  • JSEC
    • Will serve students from: 360 High School
  • PCTA
    • Will serve students from: Central High School, Classical High School
  • E-Cubed Academy

 

A member of Gov. McKee’s staff has tested positive – and another member is in quarantine.

 

Fall River continued on a positive trajectory this week with its COVID statistics, with new cases declining for the sixth week in a row.

 

All RI state beaches will operate at full capacity this summer

 

In Connecticut, as of Saturday, bars that don’t serve food can open on an outdoor-only basis, and an eight-person limit per table for outdoor seating has been lifted.

 

Patients in the ER at any Lifespan hospital can be vaccinated upon discharge from the hospital.

 

RI will no longer allow a religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges and day care facilities, becoming the sixth state to end that policy.

 

Maine now says outdoor graduation ceremonies can be safely held this year, guided by common sense.

 

Worcester Public Schools K-8 students returned to in-person learning for the first time this week.

 

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is getting more than $750,000 in federal coronavirus relief funding to help arts-related small businesses, artists, and arts and culture organizations recover from the pandemic.

 

Fenway Park hosts graduations for Bentley, Emerson classes of 2020, 2021

 

Billy Joel Boston MA Fenway Park concert is the 19th top selling ticket event since events have opened up.

 

The RI Philharmonic has announced it will resume a full season, at full capacity, beginning in September. Until then select performances will take place with socially distanced, smaller audiences.

 

RI Treasurer Magaziner is quarantining after exposure to someone with COVID19 – he has no symptoms.

 

The Newport Music Festival announced its schedule from July 4-20. Tickets on sale now. There will be limited capacity, social distancing, and mask wearing at all times. Performances will not have intermission. newportmusic.org -849-0700.

 

 The Audrain Newport Concourse & Motor Week was canceled in the fall because of COVID, but it is set to return from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

 

LL Bean opens 24 hours again in Maine

 

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the SBA is now accepting applications by local restaurants – contact your SBA for applications procedures. If qualified, funds equal to pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business; $5 million per physical location.

 

New England leads the rest of the US in vaccination rates.

 

Massachusetts will wind down mass vaccination centers by next month and switch to reaching people in their doctor’s offices. The state will close four of seven mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in June and will provide regional collaboratives with more doses to run their programs, double the vaccine allocation for 20 hardest-hit communities, and expand mobile vaccination clinics.

 

Data – May 3, 2021

Deaths: 3 (7 total since Thurs)

Tests – 3.000 – Positives – 91 – Percent positive – 3%

Hospitalized – 124 – In ICU – 22 – Ventilated – 19

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 10 – New Discharges – 11

Vaccinated – 553,101- Both shots – 395,714

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Over 156,000 doses of Remdesivir donated by Gilead Sciences being shipped to India

 

Pfizer may now be eligible for 12+ year olds – a decision may come by the FDA this week.

 

The TSA said they will extend the mask requirement on flying/airports through September

 

Cruises can begin in July as long s 98% of crew and 94% of travelers are vaccinated, according to the CDC

 

In NYC, Businesses “won’t need to abide by the six-foot rule if they require that all individuals present proof of full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result – restaurants can put tables closer than 6 feet if they put plexiglass between them.

 

San Francisco is 70% open due to high vaccination compliance.

 

 

Moderna will supply 34 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year and Sweden has donated 1 million AstraZeneca shots to the global COVAX programme.

 

“There is no major religion that prohibits vaccinations,‘ said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. ‘The argument has really very little to do with religion and everything to do with the anti-vaccine, vaccine choice movement.’

 

Florida’s Gov. DeSantis has eliminated all mandatory protocols including mask mandates, limitations on business operations and the shuttering of schools. Some mayors have said they disagree.

 

In New York, the subway will begin rolling all night again, and capacity restrictions for most businesses will end statewide in mid-May,

 

Russia has produced the world’s first batch – 17,000 doses – of COVID-19 vaccines for animals

 

India reports less than 2% of its population has received one vaccine.

 

Some cities with many open office buildings are turning them into housing.

 

16 people in the security section of the Olympic Torch run have tested positive – they were all wearing masks.

 

Disneyland reopened today after 13 months of COVID closure

 

Walgreen’s is bringing vaccinations to the neighborhoods in Chicago, high density, high risk areas.

 

US will restrict travel from India starting May 4 due to the COVID-19 surge there.

 

Los Angeles reports 0 COVID19 deaths for 2nd day in a row.

 

Mt. Rushmore July 4th fireworks have been canceled – Governor is suing to open it.

 

Boris Johnson says there is a ‘good chance’ social distancing can be scrapped next month

 
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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Dan McKee says the mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Providence is closing soon.  It was apparently a case of wrong place, wrong time for the man who was stabbed at a convenience store in North Providence.  The Boston Bruins are going to compete for the Stanley Cup again this year.

>>McKee Says Vaccination Site At Dunk To Close Soon

(Smithfield, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee said on Monday that the closure of the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site is, quote, "imminent".  McKee said the state is shifting to bringing the vaccines to people in local communities.  The Dunk is one of five state-run vaccination sites in Rhode Island.  The others are in Woonsocket, South Kingstown, Middletown and Cranston.

>>Police Identify Pawtucket Victim Of Route 95 Crash

(Attleboro, MA)  --  The Massachusetts State Police is identifying the Pawtucket, Rhode Island man who was killed in a crash on I-95 last week.  The name of the 19-year-old who died was Hernane Ribeiro.  The crash that happened in Attleboro, Mass last Thursday remains under investigation.

>>New Details On Murder At Cumberland Farms Store

(Warwick, RI)  --  Authorities are saying this weekend's fatal stabbing at a Cumberland Farms store in North Providence was apparently carried out at random.  Christopher Carbajal was arraigned Monday for the murder of Brian Cervini, both of North Providence, two days after the alleged attack.  The two had never met and Cervini was reportedly in the store to get coffee.  Carbajal is said to have a violent history.

>>Providence McDonald's Employee Accused Of Slashing Customer

(Providence, RI)  --  A McDonald's employee in Providence is being charged with felony assault for an alleged slashing attack.  The customer who suffered the attack Friday night reportedly told police he had gotten into an argument about the food with staff at the restaurant on Branch Avenue.  The victim and the employee, who was identified as Shaheed Miller, then went outside to fight and Miller allegedly slashed the customer in the face.

>>Man Charged With Attempting To Hire Hitman

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is facing federal charges for an alleged murder-for-hire plot.  The Justice Department says Agustin Vinas attempted to hire someone to kill two men.  One was a contractor he claimed owed him money and who threatened to harm his family if he did not stop asking him for payment, and the other was an employee of the contractor.  The FBI reportedly surveilled Vinas talking about the proposal with an acquaintance.  The feds say he then discussed it with an undercover law enforcement officer who acted as the hired hitman.

>>Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot

(Newark, NJ)  --  The Boston Bruins are going back to the NHL playoffs.  The B's defeated the New Jersey Devils on the road Monday night, three-to-nothing.  This is the fifth consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Boston, which has five regular season games remaining, starting with another game against the Devils in Newark tonight.

###
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-04-2021 00:46:08

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Young People - step right up - and vaccinate

Young people – step right up – and vaccinate

 
May 3, 2021/RINewsToday

 

At the High Schools

 

Cranston youth will be stepping it up at Cranston East and Cranston West High Schools today as Cranston became the first announced city to engage in an all-out effort to vaccinate its high schoolers. Today the first clinic is at Cranston East High School from 9am to 3pm in the gym, and Wednesday at Cranston West High School, from 9am to 3pm. Vaccinations will be assisted by members of the Cranston Fire Department. Shots given will be the Pfizer shot with 2nd appointments being set up.

 

Pre-registration was required, though walk-ins may be accommodated. So far, 200 of the city’s 1,000 students have signed up.

 

https://www.vaccinateri.org//reg/9256001699 Cranston EAST Monday, May 3, 2021 9:00-3:00p

 

https://www.vaccinateri.org//reg/6095129950 Cranston WEST Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 9:00-3:00p

 

All Rhode Island cities and towns are expected to hold high school clinics soon. No parental consent is required. Students just need to sign up when directed to do so and bring identification with them.

 

Cranston’s effort to protect its young people, and their families also has the added benefit of allowing freer attendance at proms and graduations, if vaccinations are complete by June 15th.

 

 

All Rhode Islanders 16 years of age and older can register for a vaccine at vaccinateri.org. If you need assistance signing up call, 844-930-1779.

 

At Colleges

 

The state is working with colleges and universities throughout Rhode Island to make COVID-19 vaccines as accessible as possible for all students, faculty, and staff before the spring semester ends. “Now that vaccine eligibility is open to all people 16 and older who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island, it’s important that we get our young people who live in congregate settings vaccinated,” said Governor McKee. “We’re working with our colleges and universities to get as many shots in arms as possible before students recess for the summer.”

 

Nine of Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have collaborated with RIDOH to develop vaccination plans. “Our goal is to get at least one dose of vaccine into the arm of every college student in Rhode Island before the end of semester, and to ensure that all of these students get their second doses in the weeks that follow. We are also working to make COVID-19 vaccines as accessible as possible to all faculty and staff,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.

 

Announced so far are these vaccination programs at or coordinated by these RI colleges/universities.

 

Bryant University is participating in a designated day at Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. Bryant will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

Brown University is participating at a designated day at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Brown will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

Community College of Rhode Island held onsite clinics at CCRI campuses in Lincoln, Warwick, Providence, and Newport and promoted existing mass vaccination sites around the state to its student body.

 

New England Institute of Technology is participating in designated days at Sockanosett Cross Road in Cranston. NEIT is also sharing links to various current clinics.

 

Providence College is encouraging community members to get vaccinated at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. PC also held an on-campus clinic.

 

Roger Williams University is partnering with the town of Bristol to host an on-campus clinic. RWU will additionally connect community members to the existing Middletown POD.

 

Rhode Island College is hosting an on-site vaccination clinic. Additionally, RIC will connect community members to existing regional clinics.

 

Rhode Island School of Design will be promoting a “RISD Day” at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. RISD will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

University of Rhode Island will hold “URI Days” at existing mass vaccination clinics. URI will provide transportation to designated sites and will provide ice cream bars for participants.

 

There is no cost to get vaccinated, and participants do not need health insurance. Individuals can get vaccinated regardless of their immigration status. If college or university faculty, staff or students received their first dose in another state, they can get their second dose in Rhode Island. If they received their first dose in Rhode Island but will not be in Rhode Island for their second dose, they should ensure they can register for their second dose elsewhere before registering for their first dose in Rhode Island.


“I congratulate Governor McKee and Director Alexander-Scott for beating the deadline in making vaccinations available to young adults,” said Shannon W. Gilkey, Ed.D., R.I. commissioner of postsecondary education. “The tremendous effort to transport students to existing clinics or stand-up new ones on campuses adds to the convenience and ease of getting vaccinated. My office strongly encourages all college students to grasp this opportunity to protect themselves, their loved ones, and all people they interact with in the pursuit of their degrees.”

 

All Rhode Islanders 16 years of age and older can register for a vaccine at vaccinateri.org. If you need assistance signing up call, 844-930-1779.

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Rhode Island News Today

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A North Providence man is charged with murder after a deadly stabbing at a convenience store.  U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, former Rhode Island governor, is visiting her home state this week along with the vice president.  The RI Attorney General provides an update about the ownership situation at two local hospitals.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Arrest Made After Fatal Stabbing At North Providence Store

(North Providence, RI)  --  A person died following a stabbing at a Cumberland Farms store in North Providence on Saturday afternoon.  The victim of the stabbing reported at the store on Smith Street was identified as Bruce Cervini of North Providence.  Authorities reportedly arrested another resident of the town, Christopher Carbajal, for the stabbing and credited several witnesses who followed him from the store.  Carbajal is expected to appear in Warwick District Court on charges including murder today.

>>Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Coventry

(Coventry, RI)  --  Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident in Coventry.  The single-vehicle wreck happened at around 6 a.m. Sunday on Route 117.  It was in the same area where a deadly two-vehicle accident occurred last month.  The victim's name has not been released.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Teens Accused In Sex Assault Case Released On Bail

(Wakefield, RI)  --  Three Rhode Island teens accused of sexually assaulting another who was incapacitated and recording it on video have been released on bail.  A weeks-long hearing took place in South County Superior Court for 18-year-olds Trent Scuncio and Jah-Qwin Sekator, as well as 19-year-old Montrell Wilson.  They had been at the ACI since their arrests in March for the alleged incident in South Kingstown.  The judge who made the ruling to free the teens on Friday cited insufficient evidence.  The case has developed racial undertones as the Providence Journal reports supporters of the trio waved a Black Lives Matter Flag and a sign saying "Protect Indigenous Youth" outside the courthouse.

>>Kamala Harris, Gina Raimondo Visiting RI This Week

(Undated)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, now U.S. Secretary of Commerce, are paying a visit to the Ocean State.  The White House says this is set to happen Wednesday.  Raimondo tweeted the visit will include promotion of President Biden's proposed two-trillion-dollar infrastructure investment plan.

>>Public Swearing-In Ceremony Held For Lieutenant Governor Matos

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos [[ suh-bEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] was formally sworn in to the position on Sunday.  The public ceremony at the State House followed a private swearing-in last month.  The former president of the Providence City Council became the first person of color to serve as lieutenant governor and the second woman to hold the position.

>>Attorney General Releases Statement About Roger Williams/Fatima Hospital Situation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says a request for approval of an ownership change at Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals in Greater Providence is being withdrawn.  Prospect Medical Holdings cried foul last week after announcing that the A.G.'s office was requiring a 150-million-dollar escrow if the sale went through.  Attorney General Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] says the ownership group has requested more time to try to convince his office they are prepared to provide financial security guarantees, notwithstanding what he called an "irresponsible" threat to close the hospitals in response to the conditions being imposed.

###
Jim McCabe/djc          RI)

Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-03-2021 00:12:43

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Friday Fishing Tips

Fish1A
 

Friday Fishing Tips – April 30, 2021 – Jeff Gross

April 30, 2021/Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

The weather continues to play havoc on the catch. The fish are a day by day, hit or miss situation. As one can see in the pictures some folks are doing quite well while others like this writer are currently in a drought. 

Some folks are even having luck with smallmouth bass. This is a great thing to see smallies making a comeback after being on the decline for quite a while.

A large number of youth are doing well catching a variety of fish. This will keep the sport active for generations. 

However, for some of us, as the spring continues to accelerate in passing, some of us need to put in the time to fish as we only have one chance to get this right the 1st time!.  Life’s interferences seem to be getting in the way of doing the things we love.  Good luck to those regularly enjoying the outdoors, many of us are envious.

Tip of the week:  For those out on the waterways if you need to listen to music as you sail, fish or the like please use headphones or earbuds to keep the music to yourself.  if you are tied up with a number of boats on a lake or large waterway it is one thing to crank the music.  When on a small pond or river it is another.  An encounter occurred when 2 twenty something girls launched their kayaks on Carbuncle pond and blasted a boom box on their entire trek. Boom boxes still exist???  If they were playing country music it may have been tolerated however the city noise in play wasn’t. The other 14 fishermen and women including myself did not enjoy the noise.  Literally they were at the north end and they were heard at the south end with ease. The ” whomp, whomp, whomp”  hide all the sounds of nature. The super majority were there to enjoy the serenity and solitude of the remote pond.  Often Cardinals, Baltimore Oriels, Chickadees and Titmice are heard with their calls seeking a mate. Again, the noise drowned out most of Nature.

These little ear buds are a great thing.  They are easy to use and do not interfere with the operation of a kayak, canoe or boat.  They are often wireless and will not interfere with casting a fishing pole so their footprint in the kayak will be minimal.  Those also enjoying nature while fishing will appreciate the tranquility as a result.

 And a Shout out to Ray Almstrom for stepping up and cleaning up after the slobs!  Great job Ray!

Photos: Courtesy A Better 401 Fishing Facebook page

_____

Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. 

Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

Fish1A
 

Friday Fishing Tips – April 30, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
April 30, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

The weather continues to play havoc on the catch. The fish are a day by day, hit or miss situation. As one can see in the pictures some folks are doing quite well while others like this writer are currently in a drought. 

 

Some folks are even having luck with smallmouth bass. This is a great thing to see smallies making a comeback after being on the decline for quite a while.

 

A large number of youth are doing well catching a variety of fish. This will keep the sport active for generations. 

  •  

 

However, for some of us, as the spring continues to accelerate in passing, some of us need to put in the time to fish as we only have one chance to get this right the 1st time!.  Life’s interferences seem to be getting in the way of doing the things we love.  Good luck to those regularly enjoying the outdoors, many of us are envious.

 

Tip of the week:  For those out on the waterways if you need to listen to music as you sail, fish or the like please use headphones or earbuds to keep the music to yourself.  if you are tied up with a number of boats on a lake or large waterway it is one thing to crank the music.  When on a small pond or river it is another.  An encounter occurred when 2 twenty something girls launched their kayaks on Carbuncle pond and blasted a boom box on their entire trek. Boom boxes still exist???  If they were playing country music it may have been tolerated however the city noise in play wasn’t. The other 14 fishermen and women including myself did not enjoy the noise.  Literally they were at the north end and they were heard at the south end with ease. The ” whomp, whomp, whomp”  hide all the sounds of nature. The super majority were there to enjoy the serenity and solitude of the remote pond.  Often Cardinals, Baltimore Oriels, Chickadees and Titmice are heard with their calls seeking a mate. Again, the noise drowned out most of Nature.

 

These little ear buds are a great thing.  They are easy to use and do not interfere with the operation of a kayak, canoe or boat.  They are often wireless and will not interfere with casting a fishing pole so their footprint in the kayak will be minimal.  Those also enjoying nature while fishing will appreciate the tranquility as a result.

 

 And a Shout out to Ray Almstrom for stepping up and cleaning up after the slobs!  Great job Ray!

 

Photos: Courtesy A Better 401 Fishing Facebook page

 

_____

 

 

Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

 

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”. 

 

Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

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Rhode Island News Today

(Updated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots took a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and another team picked a Rhode Islander.  A chemical spill incident in Pawtucket is under investigation.  The owner of Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals is threatening to close them based on conditions that have been imposed by the state for a requested change in ownership.

>>NFL Draft: Patriots Get QB, Rhode Islander Picked In First Round

(Cleveland, OH)  --  The New England Patriots selected a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday.  With the fifteenth pick, the Pats went with Alabama signal caller Mac Jones, who won this year's college football national championship.  Also of significance to Rhode Islanders, former Bishop Hendricken High School player Kwity Paye was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.  Paye, a defensive end who played for Michigan, is the first player from the Ocean State to get drafted in the first round in the Super Bowl era.

>>Sickened Workers Hospitalized In Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A chemical spill incident at a Pawtucket business sent twenty people to the hospital, none with life-threatening injuries, on Thursday evening.  This happened at the Zoll medical equipment manufacturing facility on Narragansett Park Drive.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is investigating.

>>Pawtucket Man Killed In Massachusetts Crash

(Attleboro, MA)  --  A 19-year-old Pawtucket man was killed in a crash on I-95 in Attleboro, Massachusetts early Thursday morning.  State police reports indicate the crash involved a car and a tractor trailer on Route 95 southbound.  The Pawtucket victim, whose name was not released, was the driver of the car.  A 19-year-old female passenger from Brockton, Mass reportedly suffered minor injuries.  The crash remains under investigation.

>>Closure Of Roger Williams, Fatima Hospitals Threatened

(Providence, RI)  --  The owner of Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals in Greater Providence is threatening to close them.  Prospect Medical Holdings is waiting for approval from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office of a proposed ownership change; the deadline is today.  In a statement on Thursday which included the hospital closure threat, Prospect said a requirement by A.G. Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] of an escrow of up to 150-million dollars for the ownership change was unreasonable.  But Neronha says closing a hospital requires approval from the Department of Health and that his office would challenge.

>>Bill Signed Requiring Full Coverage Of Colorectal Cancer Screening

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee has signed a bill requiring insurance companies to fully cover the cost of colorectal cancer screening.  A bill-signing ceremony took place Thursday at Miriam Hospital, where bill sponsor Senator Maryellen Goodwin is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer.  McKee said the expanded access to the screenings will save lives.

>>Walk-In COVID Vaccinations At RI-Run Sites

(Providence, RI)  --  State officials announced Thursday that walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations are now available in Rhode Island. You can go to the state-run sites at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, as well as the centers in Cranston and Middletown.  Walk-ins are also being accepted at CVS and other retailers.  The state is phasing out its pre-registration system for COVID vaccines next week.

###
Jim McCabe/doc           RI) IN)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-30-2021 01:00:06

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RI Veterans: Did You Know?

RI Veterans: Did You Know? – 29 APR 21 – by John A. Cianci

April 29, 2021/John Cianci

 

by John A Cianci, Department Veteran Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans

 

Question from previous special feature on Veterans Long Term Care Planning Options

 

3 of 5 Veterans Option – Remain Home

 

Veteran-Directed Care Allows Veteran To Remain Living at Home

 

Does the VA offer any assistance to a Veteran who is not eligible for Caregiver Program and wants to live at home; I’m a Desert Storm Veteran, however, served between May 28, 1975 and September 2001”.

 

  • Mike B (question from North Smithfield, RI)

 

Mike, the Veteran Administration has a few programs you are currently eligible for. One is the Veteran-Directed Care program, which can provide similar benefits like the VA caregiver program. This program the VA provides you a budget to manage your personal care needs to remain living at home.

 

Did you know?

 

In Mike’s case, he is currently not eligible for Veterans Administration Caregiver program until expansion of the program in October 2022.

 

However, Mike needs personal assistance to remain living at home like shopping, getting him to and from appointments, checking on him daily to ensure he is taking his medication, and other services needed to allow him to live independently at home and in his community.

 

With the Veteran-Directed Care program, Mike can hire his own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor). This aide could assist Mike in shopping and other services he needs.

 

To be eligible, the Veteran must be enrolled and using the VA Healthcare system. The Veteran Direct Care and IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available.

 

The Veteran does not have to be disabled and or collecting VA disability, however, he must be enrolled and using the VA Healthcare.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

What is Veteran-Directed Care?

 

Veteran Directed Care gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community Based Services they need in a consumer-directed way.

 

This program is for Veterans who need personal care services and help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, or fixing meals. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver is experiencing burden.

 

Veterans in this program are given a budget for services that is managed by the Veteran or the Veteran’s representative. With the help of a counselor, Veterans hire their own workers to meet their daily needs to help them live at home or in their community.

 

Am I eligible for Veteran-Directed Care?

 

Since Veteran-Directed Care is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available.

 

NOTE: This VA program is only available in certain locations.

 

A copay for Veteran-Directed Care services may be charged based on your VA service-connected disability status.

 

What services can I get?

 

As part of this program, Veterans and their caregiver have more access, choice and control over their home care services or long-term care services. For example, Veterans can:

 

·  Decide what mix of services will best meet their needs

 

·  Hire their own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor)

 

·  Buy items and services that will help them live independently in the community

 

How do I decide if it is right for me?

 

You can use a Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long-term care services may best meet your needs now or in the future.

 

There’s also a Caregiver Self- Assessment. It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach short-term and long-term care decisions.

 

Ask your social worker for these resources or download copies from the Making Decisions and Advance Care Planning section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

 

If Veteran-Directed Care seems right for you, talk with your VA social worker and find out if it is available in your location.

 

How to apply for VA health care?

 

Option 1: Apply by phone

 

Call the VA toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET to get help with your application.

 

Option 2: Apply by mail

 

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ), download VA Form 10-10EZ from https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-10EZ-fillable.pdf

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

Send your completed application here:

 

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

 

Option 3: Apply in person

 

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

If you’re using a power of attorney, you’ll need to submit a copy of the Power of Attorney form along with your application.

 

If you sign with an “X,” 2 people you know must witness your signature. They’ll also need to sign and print their names on the form.

 

Go to your nearest VA medical center or clinic. Bring a signed Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) with you.

 

Option 4: Apply with the help of a trained professional

 

You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for health care benefits.
 

For free assistance filing for VA healthcare, Italian American War Veterans, (401)677-9VET, email itamri4vets@gmail.com .

 

How do I prepare before I start my application?

 

Gather the information listed below that you’ll need to fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ)

 

You’ll need this information:

 

Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents

 

Your military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

 

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

 

Less than 1 week

 

If more than a week has passed since you gave us your application and you haven’t heard back, please don’t apply again. Call the VA toll-free hotline at, 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

 

I’m an eligible Veteran, however, happy with my current healthcare provider and don’t want to use the VA healthcare system?

 

First, you will not be eligible for the program without be enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Even if you do want to use the VA healthcare system, I recommend you enroll, it helps all Veterans. Moreover, enrolling would make future needs of the VA more accessible for you—-when you might change your mind.

 

OK, I want to enroll and keep my current healthcare provider, so want do I need to do to be eligible for the program?

 

Follow the steps above to enroll.

 

At a minimum, schedule and report for an annual physical in the VA healthcare system. Yes, in my opinion, continue with your existing program, maybe schedule your annual physicals 6 months apart. Like getting a second opinion.

Additionally, you will be issued a Veterans Administration ID card, which will give your access to the military bases for shopping at the PX and commissary. And other benefits, like discounts at businesses like Apples and Denny’s by showing you are a Veteran.

 

More important, signing up helps ALL veterans; funding for local VA services is based on number of veterans utilizing your local VA. Don’t believe the “myth” I don’t want to take away from veterans who need it. Signing up is a way of assisting those Veterans who need it more than you do because your local VA will be receiving more funding because you are enrolled.

 

VETERAN EVENTS – MEETINGS – REUNIONS

 

May12, 2021

 

Women Veterans Forum, 6pm

 

The Women Veterans Programs of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut invite all New England area women Veterans to participate in a Virtual town hall meeting.

 

Join us to discover what VA has to offer.

 

Share your feedback so we may better understand your needs and ensure timely, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive services in a safe and sensitive environment.

 

Registration is required to participate. 

 

To register, go to:

 

https://veteransaffairs.webex.com/veteransaffairs/k2/j.php?MTID=t468202430619fa5fa8742264168eb8a5

 

Attendees may register up until and after meeting start time.

 

May 3, 2021

 

Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House, sponsored by the Italian American war Veterans of Rhode Island. Join us at ROMA, 310 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI from 900am to 1100am, as Veterans connect by coffee, and Italian pastries. All Veterans and their guest are invited.

 

May 28-30, 2021

 

Friday – Sunday, May 28th – 30th, 8AM – 8PM, and Monday, May 31st, 8AM – 6PM

 

“The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial”, Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Avenue, Newport.  Free admission for all.  Masks are required.  To become a sponsor of the memorial please visit https://osdri.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/index/5296.

 

REUNIONS

 

August 6, 2021

 

Rhode Island Army National Guard Summer Reunion, Quonset Officers Club, 200 LT James Brown Rd. N, Kingston, RI

 

It’s time to reunite with our RING Summer Reunion.  As of now the Quonset “O Club” must follow state guidelines regarding Covid-19 Pandemic. As a result, mask’s will be required by all and seating will be limited to eight per table.  With more people being vaccinated against Covid-19, I’m sure that the retirees will feel safe.  

 

Payment can be sent now. Cut-off date is Aug 3, 2021. Early responses would be greatly appreciated.  

 

A final headcount must be called in to the Officer’s Club four days prior, so “PLEASE” make payments early.

 

As always, spouses, friends, guest and significant others are always welcome. It’s an opportunity to reunite with friends whom we served with over the years.   

 

More information contact Bob Antonelli; bob02909@cox.net/401-996-3764

 

Have a question, upcoming event, or service being provided to veterans and their families, John can be contacted at (401) 677-4VET or email, itamri4vets@gmail.com . Events or meeting notices will be listed at the end of each column.

 

_____

 

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

 

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 
 

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100 days. President Biden's address to congress

100 days. President Biden’s address to Congress – Response by Sen. Tim Scott

 
April 29, 2021/RINewsToday

 

 

 

Full text of President Biden’s Speech (followed by Tim Scott’s full speech):

 

Madame Speaker.  

 

Madame Vice President. 

 

No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time. 

 

The First Lady. 

 

The Second Gentleman. 

 

Mr. Chief Justice. 

 

Members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet – and distinguished guests. 

 

My fellow Americans. 

 

While the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is very different – a reminder of the extraordinary times we are in.  

 

Throughout our history, Presidents have come to this chamber to speak to the Congress, to the nation, and to the world. 

 

To declare war. To celebrate peace. To announce new plans and possibilities. 

 

Tonight, I come to talk about crisis — and opportunity.  

 

About rebuilding our nation — and revitalizing our democracy. 

 

And winning the future for America. 

 

As I stand here tonight — just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration. 

 

100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis. 

 

The worst pandemic in a century. 

 

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 

 

The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War. 

 

Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again.  

 

Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength. 

 

Life can knock us down. 

 

But in America, we never stay down. 

In America, we always get up. 

 

And today, that’s what we’re doing: America is rising anew. 

 

Choosing hope over fear. Truth over lies. Light over darkness. 

 

After 100 Days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff. 

 

We are working again. Dreaming again. Discovering again. Leading the world again. 

 

We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America. 

 

100 days ago, America’s house was on fire.  

 

We had to act.  

 

And thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer – and with the overwhelming support of the American people – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – we did act.  

 

Together — we passed the American Rescue Plan.  

 

One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. 

 

We’re already seeing the results. 

 

After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days – we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days.  

 

We’re marshalling every federal resource. We’ve gotten the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers. 

 

We’re setting up community vaccination sites, and are deploying mobile units into hard-to-reach areas. 

 

Today, 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site. 

 

Everyone over the age of 16, everyone – is now eligible and can get vaccinated right away. 

 

So get vaccinated now. 

 

When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

100 days later, nearly 70% of seniors are fully protected.  

 

Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80% since January. Down 80%.  

 

And, more than half of all adults in America have gotten at least one shot. 

 

At a mass vaccination center in Glendale, Arizona, I asked a nurse what it’s like. 

 

She looked and said every shot feels like a dose of hope. 

 

A dose of hope for the educator in Florida who has a child who suffers from an auto-immune disease.  

 

She wrote to me that she was worried about bringing the virus home.  

 

When she got vaccinated, she sat in her car and just cried. 

 

Cried out of joy, cried out of relief. 

 

Parents are seeing smiles on their kids’ faces as they go back to school because teachers and school bus drivers, cafeteria workers have been vaccinated. 

 

Grandparents hugging their children and grandchildren instead of pressing their hands against a window to say goodbye  

 

It means everything to both of them. 

 

There’s still more work to do to beat this virus. We can’t let our guard down now.  

 

But tonight, I can say because of you — the American people – our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen. 

 

What else have we done these first 100 days? 

 

We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households. 

 

We’ve already sent more than 160 million checks out the door. 

 

It’s making a difference.  

 

For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world. 

 

A single mom in Texas wrote to me. 

 

She said when she couldn’t work, this relief check put food on the table  and saved her and her son from eviction. 

 

A grandmother in Virginia told me she immediately took her granddaughter to the eye doctor — something she put off for months because she didn’t have the money.  

 

One of the defining images of this crisis has been cars lined up for miles waiting for a box of food to be put in the trunk. 

 

Did you ever think you’d see that in America? 

 

That’s why the American Rescue Plan is delivering food and nutrition assistance to millions of Americans facing hunger – and hunger is down sharply already.  

 

We’re also providing: 

 

Rental assistance to keep people from being evicted from their homes. Providing loans to keep small businesses open and their employees on the job. 

 

During these 100 days, an additional 800,000 Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act because I established a special sign up period to do that.  

 

We’re making one of the largest one-time investments ever in improving health care for veterans. 

 

Critical investments to address the opioid crisis. 

 

And, maybe most importantly, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year.  

 

In the process, the economy created more than 1.3 million new jobs in 100 days.  

 

More new jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record. 

 

The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year. 

 

That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades. 

 

America is moving. Moving forward. And we can’t stop now. 

 

We’re in a competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century. 

 

We have to do more than just build back. We have to build back better. 

 

Throughout our history, public investments and infrastructure have transformed America.  

 

The transcontinental railroad and interstate highways united two oceans and brought us into a totally new age of progress. 

 

Universal public school and college aid opened wide the doors of opportunity. 

 

Scientific breakthroughs took us to the Moon and now to Mars, discovered vaccines, and gave us the Internet and so much more. 

 

These are the investments we make together, as one country, and that only government can make.  

 

Time and again, they propel us into the future.  

 

That’s why I proposed The American Jobs Plan — a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself. 

 

The largest jobs plan since World War II. 

 

It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing roads, bridges and highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors and transit lines. It’s clean water.  

 

Today, up to 10 million homes and more than 400,000 schools and child care centers have pipes with lead in them, including for drinking water. 

 

 A clear and present danger to our children’s health. 

 

The American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines so every American, so every child – can turn on the faucet and be certain to drink clean water. 

 

It creates jobs connecting every American with high-speed internet, including 35% of rural Americans who still don’t have it.  

 

This will help our kids and businesses succeed in a 21st Century economy. 

 

And I am asking the Vice President to help lead this effort. 

 

It creates jobs by building a modern power grid. 

 

Our grids are vulnerable to storms, hacks, and catastrophic failures – with tragic results as we saw in Texas and elsewhere during winter storms. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will create jobs to lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will help millions of people get back to their jobs and their careers.  

 

2 million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn’t get the care they need for their family, their children.  

 

800,000 families are on a Medicaid waiting list right now to get homecare for their aging parent or loved one with a disability. 

 

This plan will help these families and create jobs for our caregivers with better wages and better benefits. 

 

For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis. 

 

Jobs. Jobs. 

 

For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy efficient buildings and homes. 

 

Electrical workers installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways. 

 

Farmers planting cover crops, so they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it. 

 

There’s no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.  

 

No reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on. 

 

And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: “Buy American.” 

 

American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs. 

 

The way it should be. 

 

Now – I know some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you. 

 

You feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s rapidly changing. 

 

Let me speak directly to you. 

 

Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come. 

 

These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced. 

 

Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree. 

 

75% do not require an associate’s degree. 

 

The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. 

 

And, it recognizes something I’ve always said. 

 

Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class. 

 

And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act – the PRO Act — and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize. 

 

By the way – let’s also pass the $15 minimum wage. 

 

No one should work 40 hours a week and still live below the poverty line. 

 

And we need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women. 

 

Let’s get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk for equal pay. 

 

It’s long past time. 

 

Finally, the American Jobs Plan will be the biggest increase in non-defense research and development on record.  

 

We will see more technological change in the next 10 years – than we saw in the last 50 years. 

 

And we’re falling behind in that competition. 

 

Decades ago we used to invest 2% of our GDP on research and development.  

 

Today, we spend less than 1%. 

 

China and other countries are closing in fast. 

 

We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future: advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy. 

 

The Defense Department has an agency called DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – that’s there to develop breakthroughs to enhance our national security – which led to the internet and GPS and so much more. 

 

The National Institutes of Health, the NIH – should create a similar Advanced Research Projects Agency for health.  

 

To develop breakthroughs – to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. 

 

This is personal to so many of us. 

 

I can think of no more worthy investment. And I know of nothing that is more bipartisan. 

 

Let’s end cancer as we know it. It’s within our power 

 

Investments in jobs and infrastructure like the ones we’re talking about have often had bipartisan support.  

 

Vice President Harris and I meet regularly in the Oval Office with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the American Jobs Plan.  

 

And I applaud a group of Republican Senators who just put forward their proposal. 

 

So, let’s get to work. 
 
 

We welcome ideas. 

 

But, the rest of the world isn’t waiting for us. Doing nothing is not an option. 

 

We can’t be so busy competing with each other that we forget the competition is with the rest of the world to win the 21st Century. 

 

To win that competition for the future, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families – in our children. 

 

That’s why I’m introducing the American Families Plan tonight, which addresses four of the biggest challenges facing American families today. 

 

First, access to a good education. 

 

When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world. 

 

But the world is catching up. They are not waiting. 

 

12 years is no longer enough today to compete in the 21st Century.  

 

That’s why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – starting as early as we can. 

 

We add two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4- year-old in America.  

 

The research shows that when a young child goes to school—not day care—they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.  

 

And then we add two years of free community college. 

 

And we will increase Pell Grants and investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal colleges, and minority-serving institutions. 

 

Jill is a community college professor who teaches today as First Lady. 

 

She has long said any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us – and she’ll be leading this effort. 

 

Second, the American Families plan will provide access to quality, affordable child care. 

 

We guarantee that low- to middle-income families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5. 

 

The most hard-pressed working families won’t have to spend a dime. 

 

Third, the American Families Plan will finally provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

 

No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and a loved one – a parent, spouse, or child. 

 

And fourth, the American Families Plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of families. 

 

In March we expanded a tax credit for every child in a family. 

 

Up to a $3,000 Child Tax Credit for children over 6 — and $3,600 for children under 6.  

 

With two parents, two kids, that’s up to $7,200 in your pocket to help take care of your family. 

 

This will help more than 65 million children and help cut child poverty in half this year. 

 

Together, let’s extend the Child Tax Credit at least through the end of 2025. 

 

The American Rescue Plan lowered health care premiums for 9 million Americans who buy their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  

 

Let’s make that provision permanent so their premiums don’t go back up. 

 

In addition to my Families Plan, I will work with Congress to address –  
this year – other critical priorities for America’s families. 

 

The Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans –protecting people with pre-existing conditions, protecting women’s health.  
 

 
And the pandemic has demonstrated how badly it is needed. 

 

Let’s lower deductibles for working families on the Affordable Care Act, and let’s lower prescription drug costs. 

 

We all know how outrageously expensive they are.  

 

In fact, we pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world right here in America – nearly three times as much as other countries. 

 

We can change that.  

 

Let’s do what we’ve always talked about. 

 

Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs.  

 

That won’t just help people on Medicare – it will lower prescription drug costs for everyone.  

 

The money we save can go to strengthen the Affordable Care Act – expand Medicare coverage and benefits – without costing taxpayers one additional penny. 

 

We’ve talked about it long enough – Democrats and Republicans.  

 

Let’s get it done this year. 

 

This is all about a simple premise: Health care should be a right, not a privilege in America. 

 

So how do we pay for my Jobs and Family Plans?  

 

I’ve made clear that we can do it without increasing deficits. 
 

 
Let’s start with what I will not do. 

 

I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year.  

 

It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share. 

 

Just pay their fair share. 

 

A recent study shows that 55 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid zero in federal income tax last year. 

 

No federal taxes on more than $40 billion in profits. 

 

A lot of companies evade taxes through tax havens from Switzerland to Bermuda to the Cayman Islands. 

 

And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions that allow for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas. 

 

That’s not right. 

 

We’re going to reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share – and help pay for the public investments their businesses will benefit from. 

 

And, we’re going to reward work, not wealth.  

 

We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans –  
those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%. 

 

We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans – those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%. 

 

That’s where it was when George W. Bush became president.  

 

We’re going to get rid of the loopholes that allow Americans who make more than $1 million a year pay a lower rate on their capital gains than working Americans pay on their work.  

 

This will only affect three tenths of 1% of all Americans. 

 

And the IRS will crack down on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes.  

 

That’s estimated to be billions of dollars. 

 

Look, I’m not out to punish anyone.  

 

But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country.  

 

They’re already paying enough. 

 

What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible.  

 

It raises the revenue to pay for the plans I’ve proposed that will create millions of jobs and grow the economy. 

 

When you hear someone say that they don’t want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% and on corporate America – ask them: whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut? 

 

Look at the big tax cut in 2017. 

 

It was supposed to pay for itself and generate vast economic growth.  

 

Instead it added $2 trillion to the deficit. 

It was a huge windfall for corporate America and those

at the very top. 

 

Instead of using the tax savings to raise wages and invest in research and development – it poured billions of dollars into the pockets of CEOs.  

 

In fact, the pay gap between CEOs and their workers is now among the largest in history. 

 

According to one study, CEOs make 320 times what their average workers make. 

 

The pandemic has only made things worse. 

 

20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans. 

 

At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion.  

 

Let me say that again. 

 

Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic. 

 

They are now worth more than $4 Trillion. 

 

My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has  
never worked. 

 

It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out. 

 

A broad consensus of economists – left, right, center – agree that what I’m proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth. 

 

These are among the highest value investments we can make as a nation.  

 

I’ve often said that our greatest strength is the power of our example – not just the example of our power.  

 

And in my conversations with world leaders – many I’ve known for a long time – the comment I hear most often is: we see that America is back – but for how long? 

 

My fellow Americans, we have to show not just that we are back, but that we are here to stay. 

 

And that we aren’t going it alone – we’re going to be leading with our allies. 

 

No one nation can deal with all the crises of our time alone – from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change – and as we’re experiencing now, pandemics. 

 

There’s no wall high enough to keep any virus away.  

As our own vaccine supply grows to meet our needs – and we are meeting them – we will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries – just as America was the arsenal of democracy in World War 2. 

 

The climate crisis is not our fight alone, either. 

 

It’s a global fight. 

 

The United States accounts for less than 15% of carbon emissions.  

 

The rest of the world accounts for 85%.  

 

That’s why – I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on my first day in office.  

 

And I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America, with all of the major economies of the world – from China and Russia to India and the European Union in my first 100 days. 

 

I wanted the world to see that there is consensus that we are at an inflection point in history. 

 

And the consensus is if we act, we can save the planet – and we can create millions of jobs and economic growth and opportunity to raise the standard of living for everyone in the world. 

 

The investments I’ve proposed tonight also advance a foreign policy that benefits the middle class. 

 

That means making sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including China. 

 

In my discussion with President Xi, I told him that we welcome the competition – and that we are not looking for conflict.  

 

But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board. 

 

America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property. 

 

I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo—Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start conflict – but to prevent conflict.  

 

And, I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders – that America won’t back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

 

No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated. A president has to represent the essence of our country.  

 

America is an idea – unique in the world. 

 

We are all created equal. It’s who we are. We cannot walk away from that principle. 

 

With regard to Russia, I made very clear to President Putin that while we don’t seek escalation, their actions have consequences. 

 

I responded in a direct and proportionate way to Russia’s interference in our elections and cyber—attacks on our government and businesses – and they did both of those things and I did respond. 

 

But we can also cooperate when it’s in our mutual interests. 

 

As we did when we extended the New START Treaty on nuclear arms – and as we’re working to do on the climate crisis. 

 

On Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs that present a serious threat to America’s security and world security – we will be working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy and stern deterrence. 

 

And American leadership means ending the forever war in Afghanistan. 

 

We have the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.  

 

And I’m the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have had a child serving in a warzone.  

 

Today we have service members serving in the same war as their parents once did.  

 

We have service members in Afghanistan who were not yet born on 9/11.  

 

War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi—generational undertaking of nation—building.  

 

We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.  

 

We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. 

 

After 20 years of American valor and sacrifice, it’s time to bring our troops home. 

 

Even as we do, we will maintain an over—the—horizon capability to suppress future threats to the homeland. 

 

But make no mistake – the terrorist threat has evolved beyond Afghanistan since 2001 and we will remain vigilant against threats to the United States, wherever they come from.  

 

Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and other places in Africa and the Middle East and beyond. 

 

And, we won’t ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism. 

 

And my fellow Americans, we must come together to heal the soul of this nation. 

 

It was nearly a year ago before her father’s funeral, when I spoke with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s young daughter. 

 

As I knelt down to talk to her so we could talk eye—to—eye, she said to me, “Daddy changed the world.” 

 

After the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer, we can see how right she was – if we have the courage to act. 

 

We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America.  

 

Now is our opportunity to make real progress. 

 

Most men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably. 

 

I know them. I know they want to help meet this moment as well. 

 

My fellow Americans, we have to come together. 

To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.  

 

To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system. 

 

And to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already. 

 

I know the Republicans have their own ideas and are engaged in productive discussions with Democrats.  

We need to work together to find a consensus. 

 

Let’s get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death. 

 

The country supports this reform.  

 

Congress should act. 

 

We have a giant opportunity to bend to the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  

 

Real justice. 

 

And with the plans I outlined tonight, we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues American life in many other ways.  

 

A chance to deliver real equity. 

 

Good jobs and good schools. Affordable housing. Clean air and clean water.  

 

Being able to generate wealth and pass it down through generations. 

 

Real opportunities in the lives of more Americans – Black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American.  

 

I also want to thank the Senate for voting 94—1 to pass the COVID—19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from the vicious hate crimes we’ve seen this past year – and for too long. 

 

I urge the House to do the same and send that legislation to my desk as soon as possible.  

 

I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans.  

 

To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back. 

 

And another thing. 

 

Let’s reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has been law in this country for 27 years since I first wrote it. 

 

It will close the so—called “boyfriend” loophole to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. 

 

It’s estimated that more than 50 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner – every month in America. 

 

Pass it and save lives. 

 

And I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is an

epidemic in America. 

 

Our flag at the White House was still flying at half—staff for the 8 victims of the mass shooting in Georgia, when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.  

 

In the week between those mass shootings, more than 250 other Americans were shot dead.  

 

250 shot dead. 

 

I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue.  

In the 1990s, we passed universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired in seconds. 

 

We beat the NRA. Mass shootings and gun violence declined. 

 

But in the early 2000’s, that law expired and we’ve seen the daily bloodshed since. 

 

More than two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, surrounded by some of the bravest people I know – the survivors and families who lost loved ones to gun violence – I laid out several steps the Department of Justice is taking to end this epidemic. 

 

One of them is banning so—called “ghost guns.” 

They are homemade guns built from a kit that includes the directions on how to finish the firearm.  

 

The parts have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can’t be traced. 

 

The buyers of ghost gun kits aren’t required to pass a background check. 

 

Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist could buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a lethal weapon. 

 

But not anymore. 

 

I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence. 

But it’s time for Congress to act as well. 

 

We need more Senate Republicans to join with the overwhelming majority of their Democratic colleagues, and close loopholes and require background checks to purchase a gun. 

 

And we need a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines again. 

 

Don’t tell me it can’t be done. We’ve done it before … and it worked. 

 

Talk to most responsible gun owners, most hunters – they’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds – 100 bullets – in a weapon. 

 

They will tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun, but who shouldn’t be able to. 

 

These kinds of reasonable reforms have the overwhelming support of the American people – including many gun owners. 

 

The country supports reform, and the Congress should act. 

 

This shouldn’t be a Red vs. Blue issue. It’s an

American issue. 

 

And here’s what else we can do. 

 

Immigration has always been essential to America. 

 

Let’s end our exhausting war over immigration. 

 

For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform and done nothing about it. 

 

It’s time to fix it. 

 

On day one of my Presidency, I kept my commitment and I sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress.  

 

If you believe we need a secure border – pass it. 

 

If you believe in a pathway to citizenship – pass it. 

 

If you actually want to solve the problem – I have sent you a bill, now pass it. 

 

We also have to get at the root of the problem of why people are fleeing to our southern border from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador.  

 

The violence. The corruption. The gangs. The political instability. Hunger. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. 

 

When I was Vice President, I focused on providing the help needed to address these root causes of migration.  

 

It helped keep people in their own countries instead of being forced to leave. 

 

Our plan worked. 

 

But the last administration shut it down.  

 

I’m restoring the program and asked Vice President Harris to lead our diplomatic efforts.  

 

I have absolute confidence she will get the job done. 

Now, if Congress won’t pass my plan – let’s at least pass what we agree on. 

 

Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for the Dreamers – the young people who have only known America as their home. 

 

And, permanent protections for immigrants on temporary protected status who come from countries beset by man—made and natural made violence and disaster. 

 

As well as a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers who put food on our tables. 

 

Immigrants have done so much for America during the pandemic – as they have throughout our history. 

 

The country supports immigration reform.  

 

Congress should act. 

 

And if we are to truly restore the soul of America – we need to protect the sacred right to vote. 

 

More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before  in our history – in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever.  

 

That should be celebrated. Instead it’s being attacked. 

 

Congress should pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and send them to my desk right away. 

 

The country supports it. 

 

Congress should act. 

 

As we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol—desecrating our democracy—remain vivid in our minds. 

 

Lives were put at risk. Lives were lost. Extraordinary courage was summoned. 

 

The insurrection was an existential crisis—a test of whether our democracy could survive.  

 

It did. 

 

But the struggle is far from over. The question of whether our democracy  will long endure is both ancient and urgent. 

 

As old as our Republic. Still vital today.  

 

Can our democracy deliver on its promise that all of us – created equal in the image of God – have a chance to lead lives of dignity, respect, and possibility?  

 

Can our democracy deliver on the most pressing needs of our people? 

 

Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears that have pulled us apart? 

 

America’s adversaries – the autocrats of the world – are betting it can’t. 

 

They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. 

 

They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. 

 

They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong. 

We have to prove democracy still works. 

 

That our government still works – and can deliver for the people.  

 

In our first 100 Days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver. 

 

We’re vaccinating the nation. We’re creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. We’re delivering real results people can see and feel in their own lives.  

 

Opening the doors of opportunity. Guaranteeing fairness and justice. 

 

That’s the essence of America. 

 

That’s democracy in action. 

 

Our Constitution opens with the words, “We the People”. 

 

It’s time we remembered that We the People are the government. You and I.  

 

Not some force in a distant capital. Not some powerful force we have no control over. 

 

It’s us. It’s “We the people.”  

 

In another era when our democracy was tested, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us—In America: we do our part.  

 

That’s all I’m asking. That we all do our part.  

 

And if we do, then we will meet the central challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong. 

 

The autocrats will not win the future. 

 

America will. 

 

The future will belong to America. 

 

I stand here tonight before you in a new and vital hour in the life of our democracy and our nation. 

 

And I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or more optimistic about America. 

 

We have stared into an abyss of insurrection and autocracy — of pandemic and pain — and “We the People” did not flinch. 

 

At the very moment our adversaries were certain we would pull apart and fail. 

 

We came together. 

 

United.  

 

With light and hope, we summoned new strength and new resolve. 

 

To position us to win the competition for the 21st Century. 

 

On our way forward to a Union more perfect. More prosperous. More just. 

 

As one people. One nation. One America. 

 

It’s never been a good bet to bet against America. 

And it still isn’t. 

 

We are the United States of America. 

 

There is nothing – nothing – beyond our capacity – nothing we can’t do – if we do it together. 

 

May God bless you all. 

 

May God protect our troops. 

 

_____

 

 

Full text of Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal:

 

Good evening. I’m Senator Tim Scott from the great state of South Carolina.

 

We just heard President Biden’s first address to Congress. Our President seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted. That was the pitch. You just heard it again.

 

But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes. We need policies and progress that bring us closer together. But three months in, the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further apart.

 

I won’t waste your time tonight with finger-pointing or partisan bickering. You can get that on T.V. any time you want. I want to have an honest conversation.

 

About common sense and common ground. About this feeling that our nation is sliding off its shared foundation, and how we move forward together.

 

Growing up, I never dreamed I’d be standing here tonight. When I was a kid, my parents divorced. My mother, my brother, and I moved in with my grandparents. Three of us, sharing one bedroom. I was disillusioned and angry, and I nearly failed out of school. But I was blessed.

 

First, with a praying momma. Then with a mentor, a Chick-Fil-A operator named John Moniz. Finally, with a string of opportunities that are only possible here in America.

 

This past year, I’ve watched COVID attack every rung of the ladder that helped me up. So many families have lost parents and grandparents too early. So many small businesses have gone under. Becoming a Christian transformed my life — but for months, too many churches were shut down.

 

Most of all, I am saddened that millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a day. Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future.

Our public schools should have reopened months ago.

 

Other countries’ did. Private and religious schools did. Science has shown for months that schools are safe.

 

But too often, powerful grown-ups set science aside.

 

And kids like me were left behind. The clearest case for school choice in our lifetimes.

 

Last year, under Republican leadership, we passed five bipartisan COVID packages. Congress supported our hospitals, saved our economy, and funded

Operation Warp Speed, delivering vaccines in record time. All five bills got 90 or more votes in the Senate.

 

Common sense found common ground.

 

In February, Republicans told President Biden we wanted to keep working together to win this fight. But Democrats wanted to go it alone. They spent almost $2 trillion on a partisan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history!

 

Only 1% went to vaccinations. No requirement to re-open schools promptly. COVID brought Congress together five times. This Administration pushed us apart.

 

Another issue that should unite us is infrastructure. Republicans support everything you think of when you think of ‘infrastructure.’ Roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, high-speed broadband — we’re all in! But again, Democrats want a partisan wish list. They won’t even build bridges… to build bridges!

 

Less than 6% of the President’s plan goes to roads and bridges. It’s a liberal wish-list of Big Government waste… plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation. Experts say, when all is said and done, it would lower Americans’ wages and shrink our

economy.

 

Tonight we also heard about a so-called “Family Plan.” Even more taxing, even more spending, to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle, to college. The beauty of the American

 

Dream is that families get to define it for themselves. We should be expanding options and opportunities for all families — not throwing money at certain issues because Democrats think they know best.

 

“Infrastructure” spending that shrinks our economy is not common sense. Weakening our southern border and creating a crisis is not compassionate.

 

The President is abandoning principles he held for decades. Now, he says your tax dollars should fund abortions. He’s laying groundwork to pack the Supreme Court. This is not common ground.

 

Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately than in our discussions of race. I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I’m shopping. I remember, every morning, at the kitchen table, my grandfather would have the newspaper in his hands.

 

Later, I realized he had never learned to read it. He just wanted to set the right example.

 

I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance. I get called “Uncle Tom” and the N-word — by ‘progressives’! By liberals! Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actually privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time. Believe me, I know our healing is not finished.

 

In 2015, after the shooting of Walter Scott, I wrote a bill to fund body cameras. Last year, after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I built an even bigger police reform proposal. But my Democratic colleagues blocked it. I extended an olive branch. I offered them amendments. But Democrats used the filibuster to block the debate from even happening. My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution. But I’m still working. I’m still hopeful.

 

When America comes together, we’ve made tremendous progress. But powerful forces want to pull us apart. A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic — and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior. Today, kids again are being taught that the color of their skin defines them — and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor.

 

From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress. By doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.

 

You know this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.

 

I’m an African-American who has voted in the South all my life. I take voting rights personally. Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. And so do voters! Big majorities of Americans support early voting, and big majorities support Voter I.D. — including African-Americans and Hispanics. Common sense makes common ground.

 

But today, this conversation has collapsed. The state of Georgia passed a law that expands early voting; preserves no-excuse mail-in voting; and, despite what the President claimed, did not reduce Election Day hours. If you actually read this law, it’s mainstream. It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat-run New York. But the left doesn’t want you to know that. They want people to virtue-signal by yelling about a law they haven’t even read.

 

Fact-checkers have called out the White House for misstatements. The President absurdly claims this is worse than Jim Crow. What is going on here? I’ll tell you. A Washington power grab.

 

This misplaced outrage is supposed to justify Democrats’ sweeping bill that would take over elections for all 50 states; send public funds to political campaigns you disagree with; and make the bipartisan Federal Elections Commission… partisan! This is not about civil rights or our racial past. It’s about rigging elections in the future.

 

And, no — the same filibuster that President Obama and President Biden praised when they were Senators, that Democrats used just last year, has not suddenly become a racist relic just because the shoe is on the other foot.

 

Race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants. It’s too important.

 

This should be a joyful springtime for our nation. This Administration inherited a tide that had already turned. The coronavirus is on the run! Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump Administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines. Thanks to our bipartisan work last year, job openings are rebounding.

 

So why do we feel so divided and anxious? A nation with so much cause for hope should not feel so heavy-laden. A President who promised to bring us together should not push agendas that tear us apart. The American family deserves better. And we know what better looks like!

 

Just before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment ever recorded for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. The lowest for women in nearly 70 years. Wages were growing faster for the bottom 25% than the top 25%. That happened because Republicans focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans.

 

We passed Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform, and permanent funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the first time ever. We fought the drug epidemic, rebuilt our military, and cut taxes for working families and single moms like mine.

 

Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams. It will come from you — the American people. Black, Hispanic, white and Asian.

 

Republican and Democrat. Brave police officers and Black neighborhoods. We are not adversaries. We are family! We are all in this together.

 

And we get to live in the greatest country on Earth. The country where my grandfather, in his 94 years, saw his family go from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.

 

So I am more than hopeful — I am confident — that our finest hour is yet to come. Original sin is never the end of the story. Not in our souls, and not for our nation. The real story is always redemption.

 

I am standing here because my mom has prayed me through some very tough times. I believe our nation has succeeded the same way. Because generations of Americans, in their own ways, have asked for grace — and God has supplied it.

 

So I will close with a word from a worship song that helped me through this past year. The music is new, but the words draw from Scripture.

 

(May) the Lord bless you and keep you,

Make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you…

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(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Secretary of State's Office is letting people know that Friday is the last day to declare candidacy for two available seats on the Providence City Council and West Warwick Town Council.  A special primary will be held on June 8th and the final election will be on July 6th.  The Providence City Council seat available is Ward 15, previously held by Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]], who is now the lieutenant governor.

>>Bill Proposed To Make RIPTA Bus Rides No-Cost

(Providence, RI)  --  Legislation is being proposed to make public transit free in Rhode Island.  It would be funded with gas tax revenue and a pollution "allowance" paid by fuel suppliers.  State Senators Meghan Kallman and Leonela Felix say free rides on Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses is not only a matter of fighting climate change, but a social justice issue as well.

>>Judge Weighs In On Airport Runway Case

(Westerly, RI)  --  Several Rhode Island airports are dealing with the problem of stubborn runway obstructions from neighboring properties.  One of the facilities, Westerly State Airport, is getting good news about this issue.  The Westerly Sun reports a Superior Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Transportation was OK to claim property near the airport through eminent domain in order to clear trees.  Because they have not been cleared, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has been forced to shorten Westerly's runways.  The RIAC says it has had to take similar action in Newport because efforts to secure an easement from a homeowner failed.

>>East Providence Council To Discuss Future Of Closed Golf Course

(East Providence, RI)  --  Eminent domain is also possibly on the table for a golf course in East Providence.  The city is being pushed to take the action to preserve the Metacomet course, which closed last September.  The East Prov City Council is meeting at 7:00 tonight to discuss the matter and possibly take a vote.

>>Only House On Small RI Island For Sale

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The only house on Patience Island, part of the town of Portsmouth, is up for sale.  RI Real Estate Services says the six-hundred-square-foot house is powered by a single solar panel.  The asking price is just under 400-thousand dollars and it's cash-only.

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-29-2021 00:09:02

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New Freedoms for the fully vaccinated

New freedoms for the fully vaccinated

 
April 28, 2021/RINewsToday

 

President Biden held a news conference and noted the progress that has been made, cases and deaths down. More than 80% of seniors have at least one shot. 80% drop in deaths and 70% drop in hospitalizations among seniors. Equity of 50-50 between vaccinations of seniors who are white and of-color. 16+ all eligible in getting their vaccines. 90% of American people live within 5 miles of vaccination site. He also announced new guidelines from the CDC for those fully vaccinated, and said there will be more to come on Independence Day.

 

In Rhode Island, new guidelines are expected at the Thursday update – tomorrow.

 

In response to President Biden’s announcement, Gov. McKee sent out his own announcement:

 

The CDC’s updated guidance is that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in crowded settings and venues. The outdoor masking policy will be effective in Rhode Island as of Friday, April 30.  “I hope today’s updated guidance from the CDC will encourage even more Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Vaccinated people have more flexibility when it comes to when and where they are recommended to wear masks. There are vaccination appointments available today. Don’t miss your shot.” 
Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final recommended dose. A crowded setting is defined as one where someone cannot consistently maintain three feet of distance. People still need to wear masks when indoors in public settings. Additionally, people should keep their groups consistent and avoid crowds whenever possible. 

 

Here are more details on the CDC new rules:

 

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

 

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

 

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

 

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

 

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

 

What You Can Start to Do

 

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

 

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks or staying 6 feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

 

What You Should Keep Doing

 

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

 

  • You should still protect yourself and others in many situations by wearing a mask that fits snugly. Take this precaution whenever you are:
    • In indoor public settings
    • Gathering indoors with unvaccinated people (including children) from more than one other household
    • Visiting indoors with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk
  • You should still avoid indoor large gatherings.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required?to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Islanders who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no-longer have to wear masks while out and about.  Police share the name of the driver involved in a fatal crash on Route 95 in Warwick.  A change to public safety operations is included in the newly-proposed city of Providence budget.

>>Mask Rules Changing For Vaccinated Rhode Islanders

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is acting on the CDC's advice to lift mask-wearing rules for people outdoors who are fully-vaccinated for COVID-19.  The exception to the new rule, effective Friday, is for a crowded setting in which one cannot maintain three feet of distance.  Governor Dan McKee hopes the updated guidance will encourage more Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated, as he said yesterday that status provides more flexibility when it comes to mask-wearing recommendations.  A person is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after their final or singular shot.

>>Man Killed After Car Crashes Off Route 95 Into River

(Warwick, RI)  --  Authorities have identified the victim of a car crash on I-95 in Warwick Tuesday.  The person behind the wheel was Myto Edouard of Warwick.  The Rhode Island State Police says Edouard was driving southbound at around 5:30 a.m. when his vehicle left the highway and crashed into the Pawtuxet River.  The crash is under investigation.  WPRI-TV reports the vehicle was pulled out of the river.

>>Providence Budget Includes Funding For Emergency Call Diversion Program

(Providence, RI)  --  The city of Providence has unveiled its Fiscal Year 2022 budget.  The 540-million-dollar plan represents a five-percent increase over the previous year's total.  The budget will be partially supported by American Rescue Plan funding.  It does not heed recent calls to defund the police, but it does include money for a new effort to divert some emergency calls to behavioral health and social service programs.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said on Tuesday that the city needs to move away from a model of the public safety department serving as the center hub of community safety.

>>Patriots Have Quarterback Choices To Consider As Draft Draws Near

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The NFL Draft is one day away and it seems like a sure bet that the Patriots are doing something quarterback-related to kick things off.  An article on Patriots.com posted Monday ranked North Dakota State QB Trey Lance as the number-one draft fit for the team.  Another mock draft choice is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.  The rumor mill has also churned about the Pats reacquiring Jimmy Garoppolo [[ guh-ROPP-uh-low ]] to play the position through a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.

>>Rhode Island Student Accepted Into Four Ivy League Schools

(Newport, RI)  --  A Newport teen recently got accepted to four Ivy League schools.  The Daily News reports Michael Garman, a senior at the Prout School in South Kingstown, was accepted to Penn, Yale, Harvard, and Brown.  Garman said he picked Yale, which is the university his parents attended, and says he wants to study political science and economics.

>>Airport Name Change Bill Passes State Senate

(Warwick, RI)  --  A bill to add "International" to the title of T.F. Green Airport is through one chamber of the Rhode Island General Assembly.  The state Senate passed it on to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.  The Warwick airport was originally established as Hillsgrove State Airport in 1931 before being re-named later that decade in honor of the former governor of the state and U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green.
 
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Jim McCabe/djc           RI) CT)
Copyright © 2021
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04-28-2021 00:11:43

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Your Coronavirus Update

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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 27, 2021

 
April 27, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

New cases in Rhode Island K-12 schools (in-person) in the last 7 days ending 4/17 are approx. 359 in students and 34 in staff. Details, here: https://bit.ly/32V3bje

 

6% to 10% of Massachusetts residents admit that they are reluctant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, a low number when compared to other states.

 

MA schools required to open fully by Wed.

 

Touro Synagogue Foundation announced its reopening in Newport.

 

CVS will begin booking appointments again for the J&J vaccine.

 

Portuguese Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford is canceled for 2021

 

RI can open schools with 3 feet of space – buses can have increased capacity to 75%  – more cafeterias can open – day cares are open full capacity

 

Celebrating its 90th year this summer, the Gilbert Stuart Museum opened for the season this weekend following a year of remaining closed through the pandemic. 

 

LaSalette Shrine in Seekonk will run a clinic next Monday.

 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has launched a specialized program to treat COVID-19 long-haulers.

 

Comcast has made 30 Massachusetts community locations free WI-FI connections, mainly Boys & Girls Clubs with dozens of others in consideration.

 

If you have made multiple vaccination appointments, please cancel the ones you will not be using so they don’t go to waste. Simply click on the “cancel” option in your confirmation email.

 

Boston College will require vaccinations to return to school.

 

Connecticut diners who have been vaccinated will be offered a free drink during the latter part of May at participating establishments.

 

Santa’s Village is promising college students free housing and utilities to attract workers for the summer.

 

In Danbury, CT – Nearly 40% of the inmates inside the federal prison complex in the city have refused to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

 

UMass Amherst says it will require all undergraduate/graduate students to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

 

Northeastern, Boston University, and Emerson College are among the Massachusetts schools already requiring students to get vaccinated.

 

Hearthside House in Cumberland has re-opened its doors 

 

The Vermont Brewers Festival will not be held in 2021

 

The Veterans Home in Exeter has still not had its too narrow doors repaired; they identify COVID as the reason construction could not be done

 

Newport Gulls mandate vaccines for all players, coaches, and staff

 

Appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccine will again be available in RI on www.vaccinateRI.org this week, as well as through other channels. (People can also make appointments by calling 211.) Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose COVID-19 vaccine available to people who are 18 years of age and older.  Rhode Island healthcare providers have been provided with information and guidance about CVST and appropriate medical treatment. Updated clinician guidance will continue to be provided. Healthcare providers should ensure patients understand the risk of any vaccine and have all of their questions answered prior to any vaccine administration. Patients do have a choice of which COVID-19 vaccine they receive. State vaccine sites will do their best to have as many vaccine options as possible. Although the side effects of concern are extremely rare, the FDA and CDC recommend that people who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should immediately contact their health care provider.

 

Today’s Data – April 26, 2021

Deaths: 3

Tests – 5,082 – Positives – 100 – Percent positive – 2%

Hospitalized – 134 – In ICU – 28 – Ventilated – 26

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 111 – New Discharges – 18

Vaccinated – 521,615- Both shots – 257,313

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

The President is expected to make an announcement today about mask-wearing outdoors dependent on vaccination status.

 

A federal summer school meal program will provide funds from a relief package for 34 million schoolchildren during the summer months, continuing through the summer a payments program where families of eligible children would receive $6.82 per child for each weekday, approx. $375 per child.

 

Temple University made no promise to provide in-person learning to students who launched a proposed class action in May seeking tuition refunds after the school moved its classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled.

 

Restauranteurs will be able to apply for to apply for a $28.6 billion federal restaurant relief program within a few weeks.

 

Hotel, restaurant and retail store owners warn that staffing shortages will force them to limit occupancy, curtail hours and services or shut down entirely. Reasons are the lessening of the seasonal foreign workers because of the pandemic, and the struggle to attract workers who are now on unemployment.

 

VP Harris told a UN group that we must begin to prepare for how the world we handle the next pandemic.

 

The U.S. provider of tickets to the 2021 Olympics has been sued for allegedly refusing to issue full refunds. 

 

Over 166,000 Portuguese teachers received their vaccine last week in Portugal.

 

The FDA says N95 masks are now plentiful, should no longer be reused.

 

Sanofi announced this morning that it had signed a “fill and finish” agreement to help produce up to 200 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Madeira expects complete opening in October.

 

At least 82 people in a Baghdad hospital’s ICU COVID unit lost their lives when oxygen exploded and a fire erupted

 

The Japanese government is planning to open large vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka in the coming weeks to administer shots in a bid to speed up its inoculation drive

 

Those arriving in Puerto Rico must take and present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours — or face a $300 fine.

 

There’s a 1 in 50 chance a person will answer the phone when you call the IRS as most workers are still working from home.

 

The EU has said that vaccinated Americans can once again travel, with proof of vaccination.

 

U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant saw similar rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic. Research is assuring pregnant women that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe.

 

COVID-19 vaccine responses to be studied in people with immune deficits

 

Next big group to take the vaccine should be over-40 and overweight, according to some researchers.

 

NYC – Appointments are no longer mandatory at any of the vaccination sites run by the city

 

Germany is under an emergency brake law restricting dining, curfews, school closures, etc.

 

Germany is rushing aid to India – as well as the US.

 

Astra-Zeneca vaccine in European countries that was paused due to similar blood clot concerns – EU regulators say that benefits of not getting COVID far outweigh concern of the vaccine. The UK is offering an alternative vaccine to those under 30.

 

India is still setting records daily, with bodies being burned in parking lots as crematoriums are full. Graveyards are reaching capacity. Half the cases are the more contagious and younger victims. Vaccine shortage

 

The Smithsonian announced Friday that it will be reopening seven of its museums and the National Zoo on a rolling basis throughout May

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging but not requiring missionaries across the globe to be vaccinated against COVID-19

 

Maryland’s public higher education system will require students, faculty and staff returning to campuses in the fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Moderna applies for emergency COVID-19 vaccine use in the Philippines

 

The CDC says vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or get tested if they’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, as long as you don’t develop any symptoms. The only exception: people who live in a group setting such as a nursing home.

 

Norwegian climber first to test positive for COVID on Mount Everest

 

Maggie Williams, an 800-meter runner, collapsed three meters shy of the finish line this week. She fell across the line and set a school record, passing out because of lack of air as she was mandated to wear a mask – her coach will not let her run again and is calling on a national change for runners.

 

Indian government asks Twitter to take down criticism of its COVID-19 response

 

US is now planning to send all its stockpile of Astra-Zeneca vaccine to countries in need.

 

Honduras has only 59K doses of vaccine, and 10 million people

 

Michigan now requires masks for children over the age of 2.

 

Houston hospital threatens to fire workers who refuse COVID-19 vaccine

 

The CDC has released guidelines are opening summer camps: https://bit.ly/2S91UDh. The guidelines include all mask-wearing over the age of 2, activities in pods 3 feet apart – 6 feet if pods/adults are mixed. Upon arrival at camp, campers should be assigned to cohorts that will remain together for the entire camp session without mixing with other campers and staff in close contact circumstances.

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is planning to resume administration of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  The United States Census says Rhode Island's population increased over the last decade, which is allowing the Ocean State to keep its two U.S. representatives.  The Providence Police Department has one person in custody and is seeking another in separate homicide cases.

>>Johnson & Johnson Shot Distribution Resuming In RI

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is announcing plans to resume usage of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week.  The RI Department of Health says the decision was made following the recommendation last week by the FDA and the CDC to lift the temporary pause of the vaccine's distribution after several blood-clotting cases were reported.  The federal agencies say they are confident in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine preventing COVID-19.

>>Lawmaker Has Amputation Due To Blood Clots, Vaccine Doubted As Culprit

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island state legislator says she had to have a leg amputated.  State Senator Jeanine Calkin said the life-saving procedure at Rhode Island Hospital was performed on Friday due to blood-clotting caused by an infection.  Calkin said there is no reason to believe the blood-clotting was related to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.  A spokesperson for the senator told WPRI-TV Calkin did not receive the Johnson and Johnson shot.

>>Census Indicates Rhode Island Population Increase, State Keeping Two Congressmen

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island is unexpectedly keeping its two Congressional seats after the release of the U.S. Census on Monday.  It was believed the Ocean State would lose a seat because of a population that was projected to be in decline.  However, the data released yesterday indicated Rhode Island's population actually grew four-point-three-percent over the past decade.  The Census reported Rhode Island's population as one-million-97-thousand-three-hundred-79.  That means Democratic Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin will not have to face each other in a primary.

>>Police Searching For Woonsocket Carjacking Suspect

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  Police are searching for a suspect who stole a running SUV with a young child inside in Woonsocket on Monday afternoon.  Reports indicate a woman went into a store on Elm Street to make a purchase when her three-year-old girl was caught up in the carjacking.  Authorities say the child was unharmed and was found in the vehicle abandoned a short distance away.

>>Providence Homicide Updates

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department has made an arrest in one homicide case and is putting out an arrest warrant in another.  Johnny Xaykosy of Providence was arrested on Monday for the fatal shooting of Nickolas DiPanni of Smithfield on April 22nd.  The Providence PD says a search is on for a man named Phillip Manners Rojas in connection to an April 16th killing at an auto repair shop in the capital city.  The victim of that shooting was identified as Joshua Costa of Lincoln.

>>Fatal Crash In Middletown

(Middletown, RI)  --  A fatal rollover crash happened in Middletown on Monday morning.  The victim of the wreck involving a Jeep on Route 214 was the driver, Peter Connerton of Middletown.  A 34-year-old Newport man who was a passenger reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The crash is under investigation.

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Jim McCabe/jb          RI) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-27-2021 00:11:31

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Peace for Pay

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Peace for Pay – Mary T. O’Sullivan

 
April 26, 2021/RINewsToday

 

By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL

 

“The rate of change is not going to slow down any time soon.” – John Kotter

 

The W.L. Gore Company’s (of Gortex fame) uses a “lattice” or no hierarchy model of business. It’s attractive for all the right reasons, but most large organizations operate quite differently. There is usually a structured hierarchy, a “command-and-control” model, and some effort made to instill organizational values and thus influence employee behavior at all levels. Does this desire to influence value-based behavior actually work?

 

There’s much talk today about establishing organizational values and ensuring all employees follow them. However, often, what the organization says it values, and what it actually values (validated through accepted behavior), are two very different things.

 

The organization may state values such as: People, Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, and Community. There may be awards given several times a year for each of these values. However, in a series of interviews conducted for a 2009 research paper I wrote for my master’s degree, only one respondent out 10 knew what the specific company values were, even though everyone had a “values” card worn along with their badges.

 

Many stated that they didn’t feel they needed the values card, as these same values were intrinsic to them. They said they lived by their own values system and didn’t need the organization to tell them how to behave. Interestingly, a VP I interviewed pointed out that the reason the company instituted the values card was because, “We can’t teach values, but we can teach behavior.”

 

After extensively peeling back the onion on the company’s implementation of values, I concluded that people often believed the stated values were shallow in actual practice. Of all the values, “excellence,” widely interpreted as “performance” or “the bottom line” was the most important value of all. And while the other values were not tied specifically to compensation, overt and embarrassing violation of those values were shown to lead to a heavy penalty.

 

To demonstrate, let me share – each local staff meeting at every level always started off with one slide on the company values.  The slide was shown for only a few seconds and then it disappeared so fast, if you blinked, you missed it. This obligatory slide vanished quickly to allow the manager to get on with “real work.” Rather than embarrass the boss by asking for a review of the values at the moment the slide is shown, employees would wait until the meeting was over and then privately discuss an issue that had come up during the week and question how the company values were impacted by that event.

 

When I interviewed these employees, they always presented the disconnect between values and expected actions. Employees were asked to pay suppliers for work not yet completed so the sale could go into a certain quarter. This seemed contrary to the company values and wrong to them. They presented this issue to the boss in terms of “What company value does this action represent?”

 

As can be imagined, there was no explicit answer from the boss to this answer, just an awkward, and embarrassed smile. The perception given to people on the front lines is that gentle pressure at the right levels can begin to engender a sense of urgency, but until leaders demonstrate they understand and embrace company values and are willing to act on them, fear, anger and complacency continued to persist, because people were not sure about exactly what they are supposed to do, acting contrary to the values could have negative consequences, but so could recording an order late.

 

It appeared to me that true cynicism took hold: employees had come to realize they could “go through the motions” and not “rock the boat” and as long as bookings, sales, profit, and cash targets were met, none of the other values would have any real impact on their daily work.

 

To answer the question at the personal level, “What do people in the organization value?” we need to look beyond the employee values card. Based on my interview sample as well as multiple examples of anecdotal evidence, it seems many people trend toward placing value on survival. “Peace for Pay” and “Active Exit” strategies are apparent in daily discussions as well as in the samples taken for the October 2009 research.

 

There seemed to be a high level of frustration and a perception of meaninglessness without employee connection to real values, People, Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, and Community.  Widespread superficiality and “going through the motions” as well as operating in a daily depressing fog seemed to pervade cube stations across the organization.

 

Daily examples supported this theory. For instance, the values card for the “People” value stated: “You are important to us. Earn respect and treat others fairly every day. Commit to developing yourself and others. Seek Life Balance.”

 

However, this “value” seems to fail when put in practice. For example, a new director decided to bring his own admin with him to his new job, displacing the current admin. The current admin was then told she had to reapply for her job, and she received no backing from her management. She then had to lodge an HR and legal complaint on her own, feeling she had nothing to lose, since she would probably be out of a job either way. Believe it or not, in this actual, real life case, the admin actually won! But what did she win? Following her triumph, she had to work for a manager who tried to get rid of her and she was aware that the admin who was brought along with the new director would now be out of a job. If the director had left well enough alone, none of this would have happened. But he wasn’t putting people first, only his own selfishness.

 

I am certain neither of those admins feels truth in the “People” value statement: “You are important to us”.

 

As a result of this type of behavior, many people place value on ensuring their 401Ks stay intact and they and their spouses stay healthy enough to enjoy a long retirement. Peace for pay.

 

I personally learned to escape this kind of “quiet desperation” by leveraging the many benefits the company offered in its quest to fulfill its “People” value. The company paid 100% tuition for degrees – up to $10K per year- and offered much in the way of recreation (company gym, wooded walking trails, free semi-annual parties) and multiple other company benefits.

 

What issues can we recognize today as causing fear, anger, and complacency? Issues leaving the “People” less than enthused about their job or their company? What about those employees who finally get real and trade ‘peace for pay’?

 

I maintain the shallowness of implementing the stated values is the main cause of fear, anger, and complacency. Since most people acknowledge the hypocrisy and double standards, they then feel they may risk their jobs if they try to right a wrong. In fact, without strong internal advocates, righting wrongs may be considered a contact sport. 

 

Here’s how that works, an employee at the same company experienced cognitive dissonance in supplier ratings.  He discovered a program which was clearly failing to meet any cost, schedule, or program milestones, had been rated at a higher level than it deserved. It was discovered that this system was regularly put in place to cover the company’s weakness in managing the supplier. When the employee inherited the supplier, he immediately rated its performance below par, and consequently took much criticism and pressure from management given its previous acceptable rating.

 

To his credit, his response was that if the suppler was not living up to the Statement of Work (SOW) – (an extremely detailed document that captures and defines all aspects of a project, as well as the schedule for project completion) and if it failed to meet schedule, he would not change the rating back. There was no argument or fuzzy logic involved. Previously, others with less experience had feared such challenges as career limiting and under pressure had left the rating in the acceptable range to appease management.

 

This demonstrates how having to challenge management to live up to the “Integrity” value (“Be honest, always do the right thing”) on a regular basis can engender frustration, anger and a sense of complacency and as in any management challenge could become a ‘contact sport’.

 

Corporate Values, as presented by an organization’s management, might masquerade as support and guidance for employees with the expectation that the values are followed. But when company executives anywhere arecompensated and rewarded the same way Wall Streeters are, by sales and quarterly numbers, you have to expect Wall-Street behavior. You know it, the kind of behavior we saw with Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987). Gordon Gekko famously says “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” And “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” And “Money never sleeps, pal.” Is this the value of “Excellence” my survey subjects referred to as “Performance”? Or is it just another way to say, get those sales, regardless of what happens later, this quarter, we all increased our annual bonuses.

 

Measuring success in this case may not be about values, but more about greed, but what happens when success and failure have a cause-and-effect relationship? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

 

Taken from Mary’s new book, The Leader You Don’t Want to Be, on sale now at Amazon.com

 
 

 

Connect with Mary: mary@encoreexecutivecoaching.comwww.encoreexecutivecoaching.comLinkedInFacebook

 

Call me: 401-742-1965

 

_____

 

 

Mary T. O’Sullivan, Master of Science, Organizational Leadership, International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, Society of Human Resource Management, “Senior Certified Professional. Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Career Coaching, University of Texas at Dallas.

Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society. Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.

Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from SHRM.

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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island has not-yet decided whether to resume the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine that was paused over medical concerns.  Gun violence is beleaguering both the cities of Providence and Pawtucket.  A house close to this year's Home and Garden TV channel "Dream Home" was destroyed in Portsmouth yesterday.

>>RI Expecting To Decide On Janssen Shot Status This Week

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is not yet committing to resuming administration of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine, unlike other New England states.  The RI Department of Health says to expect an announcement this week.  The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine have already given the green light to resume the Janssen shot, while New Hampshire and Vermont are tentatively planning to do so this week.  The vaccine was halted because of rare blood clots reported in some women.

>>Two More Fatal Shooting Victims In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence homicide death toll in 2021 has increased to seven.  The Providence Police Department on Friday identified the victim of a shooting from the previous day as Nickolas DePanni of Smithfield.  Police believe the shooting on Indiana Avenue was over an argument from a drug transaction.  The Providence PD also said Brandin McKinney of Providence, who was shot in a car on Salina Street in the capital city on April 15th, died from his injuries last Wednesday.

>>Pawtucket Club Shut Down After Shooting Incident

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket chief of police has declared a downtown-area club a public nuisance.  The city's Major Crime Unit is investigating after a man was reportedly shot five times at Vibe Lounge overnight Friday and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.  The crowd at the club was allegedly hostile to police officers as they tried to reach the victim.  The Pawtucket City Council voted on Saturday to order the temporary closure of Vibe, pending a hearing.

>>Motorcycle Driver Killed In Crash In Westerly

(Westerly, RI)  --  A deadly motorcycle crash happened in Westerly on Saturday.  Police say Angelo Pascuzzi of Westerly and New Britain, Connecticut was pronounced dead at Westerly Hospital after the two-vehicle wreck at the intersection of Shore and Langworthy roads.  Pascuzzi's passenger was listed in critical hospital condition.  A pickup truck driver also involved in the crash was reportedly uninjured.  The accident remains under investigation.

>>Coast Guard Medevacs Fisherman Off Block Island

(New Shoreham, RI)  --  The Coast Guard responded to a medical emergency near Block Island over the weekend.  A crew from Air Station Cape Cod was dispatched to an area southwest of the Island on Saturday.  The Coast Guard says a 50-year-old fisherman was flown back to the mainland.

>>Fire Consumes Portsmouth Home

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  A multi-million-dollar home was destroyed in a fire in Portsmouth on Sunday.  Two occupants, a husband and wife, reportedly got out safely when the fire struck at around 4:30 a.m.  Several firefighters suffered injuries that were apparently not too serious.  The home was located on Vanderbilt Lane, very close to the annual Dream Home project by the Home and Garden Television network.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

###
Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) CT) ME) NH) VT) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-26-2021 00:16:08

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Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 23, 2021

 
April 23, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Rhode Island Vaccinations: All adults – Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9am-6pm) and Sockanosset (7am-9pm) – walk in without appointments for vaccines. Free RIPTA transportation.

 

Facebook users in RI will see an alert in their newsfeed that they are eligible to be vaccinated and connect people to RI’s COVID vaccine site to book an appointment. This new alert is part of Facebook’s commitment to get 50 million people vaccinated.

 

TF Green has seen 667% increase in daily travelers since April 2020

 

Rhode Island DLT may bring back the need to document unemployed are looking for work.

 

Theatre by the Sea will not open for in-person performances this year.

 

URI graduation in-person commencement ceremonies that start Friday, May 21, and end Sunday, May 23, at Meade Stadium.

 

Connecticut will offer free summer camp for about 24,000 children using $11M in federal COVID-19 relief funds

 

Massachusetts plans to set aside 20,000 vaccine appointments at the Hynes Convention Center next week specifically for nonwhites, as reported in NewBostonPost.com

 

Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport is now open

 

RI Calamari Festival being planned for 9-11 in Narragansett

 

RISE UP RI is starting a petition to state and district officials to end mandatory experimental testing on student athletes. 

 

Plymouth, MA parade and fireworks canceled for this year.

 

The Rustic Drive-In movie theater reopens tonight.

 

The website to apply for Shuttered PerformanceVenues grants in RI is not functioning for the past week.

 

The University of Rhode Island late Wednesday said it will allow its entire campus community to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine at a nearby state-run clinic, after contagious variants of the coronavirus were identified on campus over the past month.

 

Armando Bisceglia, owner of the Federal Hill Restaurant, Bacco Vino & Contorni, is off the ventilator at a Boston hospital and is being taken out of the ICU, on the road to recovery.

 

Another 1,406 people vaccinated on Saturday at the mass vaccination site for the BIPOC community – bringing a total of 4,068 – well done!

 

Bishop Tobin of the Diocese of Providence has now been vaccinated and encourages others to do so.

 

Boston’s Old North Church has reopened.

 

The Rhode Island Department of Health has been awarded $1,481,992 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand COVID-19 genomic sequencing.

 

The USGA, having canceled the Senior Open in RI because of COVID-19 announced that the Newport Country Club will hold the 2024 U.S. Senior Open, June 27-30.

 

15 community colleges in Massachusetts will require vaccinations to return to school in the fall.

 

Fenway is listing rescheduled new concert series, starting in July – all tentative for now.

 

Emerson College, Northeastern, and Boston University will require vaccinations to return in fall.

 

New Bedford, Fall River vaccination rates among lowest in Massachusetts

 

In Massachusetts, Barnstable saw more than four times the number of new residents in 2020 compared to 2019, putting the Cape Cod town at number four on the Times’ list of places that saw the largest influx of residents. In Western Massachusetts, Pittsfield came in at number six.

 

RIPTA  no-cost trips will enable everyone who wants to get to a vaccine clinic to get there easily. State vaccination sites and many pharmacy vaccination sites are located on existing RIPTA routes. Go to: www.ripta.com and enter travel information in the easy-to-use trip planner on the homepage. It will tell them which routes will take them from their starting point to their destination, and what walking distances may be involved. The website also has detailed maps and timetables for every RIPTA route.

 

Providence has a new COVID-19 Response partnership with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island registering Providence residents who are members of their health plan for open vaccine appointments at city-organized vaccine clinics. Call 1-800-459-6019 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

Dr. Jha has said that it is “pretty safe to be out and about without a mask” – he expects states to be lifting outdoor mask regulations – unless it is large groups for long periods of time. Indoor events will remain for some time with a mask recommendation.

 

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic was held April 21st for Newport Hospitality Workers set for April 21st from 10am-8pm in downtown Newport.

 

Today’s Data – April 22, 2021

 

Deaths: 2

Tests – 19,275 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 1.6%

Hospitalized – 140 – In ICU – 23 – Ventilated – 20

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 29

Vaccinated – 500,595- Both shots – 340,575

 

 

Today’s Data – April 21, 2021

 

Deaths: 4

Tests – 17,961 – Positives – 296 – Percent positive – 1.6%

Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 26 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 0  – New Admissions – 25  – New Discharges – 27

Vaccinated – 490,765 – Both shots – 336,913

 

 

Today’s Data – April 20, 2021

 

Deaths: 3

Tests – 12,649 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 2.5%

Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 30 – Ventilated – 23

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 13

Vaccinated – 482,233 – Both shots – 333,476

 

 

Today’s Data – April 19, 2021

 

Deaths: 0 (4 over weekend)

Tests – 5,267 – Positives – 188 – Percent positive – 3..6%

Hospitalized – 136  – In ICU – 27 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 4 – New Admissions – 15 – New Discharges – 28

Vaccinated – 477,041 – Both shots – 330,237

 

 

Governor’s Update – 4/22/2021

 

Good news to share – schools doing much better opening up – vaccinations plentiful for all – stay the course. Restrictions will be lifted today.

 

More than ½ million in RI have rec’d one dose. 1/3 of state is fully vaccinated. More than 80% of 75+

 

More vaccines received than RI anticipated – appointments available now.

 

May 7th and May 28th key dates:

 

On May 7th – With 3-foot distance, masks not needed outdoors – still needed indoors.

 

Gyms, restaurants, houses of worship – 80% capacity, 3 feet spacing in and out.

 

Catered events – 200+ indoors; 500+ outdoors – removing testing requirements except for proms.

 

May 28th: lift all capacity limits – require 3 feet spacing – masks required indoors. This is for all businesses.

 

Restaurants are almost doubling capacity and that includes tips for servers.

 

Weddings – regular dancing this summer at their weddings. No need to change your wedding to another state.

 

Sports – April 26th – opening higher risk – karate, wrestling – including high schools are back. Spectators are also back. Bldg capacities and mask wearing inside. May 28th – out of state tournament restrictions lifted. Book these events all summer.

 

Dr. Scott:

 

All the new opportunities are meant for those who are fully vaccinated. Then we need to remain vigilant.

 

5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?

 

Sect. Pryor:

 

Business updates – all good news w/conditions and rules:

 

Reopening May 7th: 80% occupancy with 3-foot spacing indoors and out. More tables in restaurants. More patrons. More people in gyms. This is meant for those fully vaccinated. If not, be extremely cautious in protecting your health and your household’s health.

 

Restaurants – no capacity outdoors (with 3-feet spacing). No longer a cap for seating. Still no standing bar service. Bars outdoors CAN have standing service.

 

Testing no longer required for catered events. Bars/cocktail hours – still must have testing indoors.

 

Venues of assembly – 80% up to 500 indoors, no cap outdoors, 3 ft. spacing

 

May 28th – 100% capacity, all industries, 3-foot spacing indoors. Bars can take down plexiglass. Open dance floors with masks indoors and outdoors. TY to industry advocates.

 

Some churches, synagogues, etc. may want to partner with DBR or state to make facilities “healthier” with ventilation, etc. We are there to help.

 

Tom McCarthy:

 

All adults now eligible. 75% of new appts going to those 16-39. 5 state run sites, 3 regional sites, dozens of pharmacies, etc. for a total of 150 sites.

 

Partnered with RIPTA for free transportation.

 

Piloting walk up vaccination clinics. Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9-6) and Sockanosset (7-9) – walk in without appointments for vaccines.

 

Booster shots: thinking about integration into normal methods of healthcare.

 

By May 28th, we intend to have a good proportion of the state vaccinated.

 

Next step is to focus on large businesses – college campuses – high schools (16-18 y.o.)

 

More vaccine than we’ve ever had.

 

Q/A:

 

Q: Employment crisis – what are we doing to get people back to work, etc.

 

A: We are working on a RI solution. We are talking to restaurants and businesses. Janitorial services, day cares, etc. Washington has a responsibility on this, too.

 

Q: Increase of virus in younger people – how young, etc.

A: Combination. 10-24 people increasing. <16 not yet eligible for vaccine, so those around them should be vaccinated. People are more active, sports, better weather, etc. More transmission from households than anything. Because of the variant, and more contagious the vaccine is. We are not at the end yet. 5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?

 

Q: Vaccine hesitancy among younger – messaging?

A:  Ratchet up – go where the people are – not concerned yet – we’re going out to where the people are, Similar to BIPOC, teachers, etc. We are putting together a plan for a month.

Q: More marketing for youth?

A: Gov says not necessarily – need to go where the people are.

Q: BCBS will pay as long as there is a state of emergency – is that why you won’t call it off?

A: No – it’s the safety issue.

Q: Door to door in RI in hard hit communities?

A: We may do that in the future – first companies, colleges, etc.  We’ve seen strong demand from our 20-30 year olds. Would  like to see rate increase in 40-49.

Q: Unemployment insurance to require people to look for jobs –

A: Executive order is a possibility – legislation – etc – no state that’s figured this out yet. $300 supplemental we can use as an advantage.

Many new regulations beginning May 7th – and again on May 28th:

Look for detailed changes on Saturday

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Millennials and Gen Z hesitate to get vaccinated – as demands for vaccines wane and supplies grow.

80% of Americans over 65 will have received at least one shot.

 

President Biden asks for employers to give time off for people to get a vaccine, pay them for that time, and allow paid sick time for those who have reactions – companies will be offered a tax credit equal to that cost.

 

Pres. Biden implies July 4th plans may need to be canceled if the country doesn’t do better.

 

CDC says wearing masks outside is still a recommendation as numbers are too high in the US.

Many museums are opening with free or reduced admission.

 

Two “fully vaccinated sections” at the Dodgers-Padres game on Saturday will be available for Fans 16 and older who show proof that two weeks have passed since a final vaccination dose.

 

UK: No masks in secondary school classrooms from next month under rule changes expected on May 17…BUT they will still be required in corridors, other areas

Restaurant work — especially customer-facing roles like server and host — is still seen as hazardous. “Some people are still concerned about getting the virus at an in-person job,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at the jobs site Indeed

 

Many Americans who worked in hospitality have simply left the industry amid the pandemic. Anecdotally, there are servers and bartenders joining training programs to get new jobs in tech or finance.

 

Some employers say they can’t compete with unemployment insurance checks and that workers would rather collect benefits than go back to work. But a Yale group of economists found that unemployment benefits don’t create a disincentive for job seekers.

Service employees have long been treated as disposable workers. Now, with restaurants desperate to hire, the power is finally in the hands of workers, says Alice Cheng, founder of Culinary Agents, a hospitality job search site.

 

Facebook is removing millions of pieces of COVID misinformation – 16 million pieces to date – to help build trust in critical vaccines at this important time.

Stockpiling, government subsidies, pent up elective procedure demand and bolstered infection prevention protocols are expected to boost medical suppliers’ balance sheets.

 

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back in use in Europe, with precautionary guidance for physicians – it is expected to be re-introduced in the US with similar precautions, as it is felt the benefits outweigh the rare complications.

 

The federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund has not yet been launched, but will spend its first 21 days limiting applications to businesses owned by women, veterans or minorities. What remains will eventually be open to restaurants around the country.

 

The Georgia Aquarium says some of its Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for the coronavirus.

In Reno, Burning Man hasn’t committed to whether an event will happen, but, if it does, organizers say vaccines will be required.

 

USDA announced it’llextend universal free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year “to reach more of the estimated 12 million youths experiencing food insecurity,”

 

Arizona’s governor lifts mask mandates for Arizona schools, allowing districts to decide

 

Spain to donate 5%-10% of its share of COVID-19 shots to Latin America

 

India is in full disaster mode as the coronavirus is overrunning the country.

 

An estimated that 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves are being used monthly. Unfortunately, while PPE is a necessary tool, its increased use is having detrimental effects on the environment, especially our oceans.

 

Ted Nugent tests positive for COVID-19 after refusing vaccine, falsely claiming “nobody knows what’s in it”

CVS has made 3 tests available over the counter:

Ellume COVID-19 Home Test Kit $38.99: The first rapid, fully at-home test to receive Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for at-home use without a prescription. The test delivers results in 15 minutes through a free app downloaded to a smartphone, without the need for a second test. CVS Pharmacy is the first retailer to carry the Ellume Home Test Kit. It will be in select locations in RI and MA the week of April 19, with increasing availability on CVS.com and in most CVS Pharmacy locations by the end of May.

Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test $23.99: Reliable fully at-home test for surveillance and frequent use delivers results in 15 minutes. The box contains two tests which should be administered twice over three days with at least 36 hours between tests.

 

Pixel by Labcorp Home Collection Kit: This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is the same test used by physicians across the U.S. Results typically are available within 1-2 days and can be accessed via the Pixel by Labcorp website. The test is available now at CVS.com and in select stores in AL, MA, RI and CT.

Half of all adults have had at least one shot – 1/3 have received both shots.

 

Researchers at Johnson & Johnson say they have yet “to establish a causal relationship” between a handful of unusual blood clot cases and the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Brazil is in chaos with an explosion of chaos.

India is running out of oxygen as their hospitals fill up with cases.

 

Regarding booster shots, Dr. Fauci said: “I believe by the time we get to the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall, we’ll have a pretty good idea whether we definitely or not need to get people boosts and when we need to give it to them,” he added.

In New York, the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations forced the rescheduling of at least 4,000 appointments last week and has slowed the city’s ability to vaccinate groups like homeless people, people with disabilities or older people who cannot leave their homes. City officials have said the ease of the one-shot vaccine made it preferable to other vaccines.

Fauci: ‘I Doubt Very Seriously’ U.S. Will Cancel J&J Vaccine

 

The global death rate from COVID-19 has now passed

3 million.

 

West Virginia is offering remote workers cash and other enticements to relocate. Out-of-state participants who move to West Virginia will receive $12,000 along with passes for a year’s worth of whitewater rafting, golf, rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, ziplining and other activities. The full relocation package is valued at more than $20,000.

 

Tennessee, like much of the nation, is finding that rural, white residents need a little more coaxing to roll up their sleeves for the shot.

 

Long Covid sufferers are seeking disability benefits. 

Rome to Milan COVID-free trains will begin service

Beaumont Health in Michigan is turning to tents to handle the flow of people seeking emergency care as it deals with a crush of COVID-19 patients in suburban Detroit Economists coined the term “she-cession” to describe the pandemic-fueled economic downturn’s effect on the unemployment rate among women. While past recessions took a larger toll on men, the global job loss rate for women last year was 1.8 times higher than it was for men,

 

The Red Bee Group, a consulting firm for corporations and law firms is working on a study about the pandemic’s impact on women’s legal careers and say an exodus could be on the horizon. “People may not have left physically, but they are leaving mentally,” Liebenberg says. “Women are looking for legal employers that have more predictability for schedules and more flexibility. I think because of the pandemic, people are reevaluating what they want out of work.”

 
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Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Capacity restrictions that have been in place for over a year will soon be lifted in Rhode Island.  A special election date has been set to fill the seat of the former Providence City Council president who became the state's second-in-command.  The ACLU says a federal judge has struck down an anti-panhandling ordinance in Cranston.

>>RI Weeks Away From Full Lift Of Capacity Restrictions

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee says the state is going to one-hundred-percent lift capacity restrictions on businesses by May 28th.  The restrictions have been in place since the start of the pandemic.  Three-foot social-distancing and mask-wearing will still be required indoors.  Leading up to that date, McKee urged Rhode Islanders to stay disciplined and follow the rules that are in place.  And state officials at a COVID update on Thursday urged everyone to get vaccinated.

>>Special Election To Fill Sabina Matos City Council Seat

(Providence, RI)  --  A special election date is being set to replace Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] on the Providence City Council.  The former council president Matos is now the lieutenant governor of Rhode Island.  A primary for the seat in the city's 15th Ward will be held on June 8th, and a general election will be held on July 6th.  Those who are interested in running must declare their candidacy by the end of this month.

>>FBI Issues Scam Warning

(Boston, MA)  --  The FBI in Boston is warning the public about an increase in scams featuring impersonators of a government agency representative.  This warning is going out to residents of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.  In the Ocean State, about fifty victims were reportedly scammed out of nearly half-a-million dollars in 2020.  The FBI says federal agencies do not call or email individuals threatening arrest or demanding money.

>>ACLU Announces Court Decision On Cranston Panhandling Ordinance

(Cranston, RI)  --  A federal judge is signing an order which rules that an ordinance prohibiting panhandling in the city of Cranston is unconstitutional.  That's according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit after the ordinance barring someone from entering the roadway for the purpose of distributing or receiving anything from a vehicle occupant was enacted in 2017.  Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins said he supported the 2017 vote from the council, but that he believes it is in the best interest of the city's taxpayers to end the litigation against the ACLU.  The organization often opposes such anti-panhandling efforts from other municipalities in the courtroom.

>>Bill Granting Statehood For District Of Columbia Passes House

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island could lose its status as the smallest state in the union.  A bill granting statehood to Washington, DC has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  It faces uncertainty in the U.S. Senate.  Rhode Island is over a thousand square miles, while DC is less than a hundred.

>>WooSox Owner Takes Apparent Shot At Ex-RI Lawmaker

(Worcester, MA)  --  The final touches are being put on the new home of the relocated Pawtucket Red Sox in Worcester, Massachusetts ahead of a May 11th home opener.  There have been plenty of news articles covering the preparation of the stadium that will host the minor league team.  Rhode Islanders might be particularly interested in one story from The Boston Globe last week.  Reporter Dan McGowan, who previously worked for WPRI-TV, was told by WooSox owner Larry Lucchino [[ luke-EE-no ]] to, quote, "Make sure you hand-deliver it to Mattiello", referring to the former Rhode Island House speaker.  Some have blamed departure of the PawSox on the RI General Assembly's hesitancy to commit to public funding for a new stadium.

###
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) WDC)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-23-2021 00:56:06

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