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Rhode Island Foundation offers "big ideas" for RIs 1.1 Billion

Rhode Island Foundation offers “big ideas” for RI’s $1.1 billion

October 20, 2021/RINewsToday

The RI Foundation announcement caps a six-month-long, rigorous research and public input process to identify “big ideas” with long-term benefits, especially for those impacted the most by the pandemic, to guide decision-making by state leaders

The Rhode Island Foundation today released recommendations for spending $1.1 billion in broad stimulus funding the state is receiving from the federal American Rescue Plan Act. The announcement comes as the Foundation and its partners wrap up six months of research and public input into Make It Happen: Investing for Rhode Island’s Future, which studied and analyzed options for spending the federal COVID-19 recovery funding over the next three years.

“This huge infusion of federal funding offers leaders a once-in-a-lifetime chance to positively change the direction of the state and to focus on tackling pre-existing challenges exacerbated by COVID-19. The recommendations we’ve outlined via Make It Happen: Investing for Rhode Island’s Future have the potential to equitably address decades-long challenges, produce benefit for all Rhode Islanders and specifically assist those hardest hit by COVID-19.”- Neil D. Steinberg, Foundation president and CEO

The recommendations were developed with the support of the Economic Progress Institute (EPI), the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), robust public input and a diverse 15-member steering committee following a set of guiding principles that focused on equity, sustainability, impact and process.

The findings will be shared with Gov. Dan McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly to inform their decisions.

“I thank the Rhode Island Foundation and its partners for contributing these recommendations to the public dialogue,” said Governor Dan McKee. “As Rhode Island emerges from a once-in-a-century public health crisis, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to build a more resilient, prosperous, and equitable state for all. We will closely review the recommendations put forward by the Foundation and evaluate them in the context of the 2030 policy framework that our Administration recently released.”

“We thank Neil Steinberg and the Rhode Island Foundation for their leadership efforts and their collaboration with so many talented professionals to develop insightful suggestions on how to best invest these federal funds. The House and Senate Finance Committees will carefully review all of the proposals in a very public and transparent manner as we ensure our state makes the proper investments for a brighter future.”- Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi and Senate President Dominick J. Ruggerio

The report recommends investing in six key areas: housing, behavioral health, workforce development, small business, neighborhood trusts and immediate relief.

The recommendations were developed in alignment with four guiding principles:

  1. Equity
    Recommended investments will address the root causes and conditions of systemic inequalities based on race, gender, disability, economic status, and other historically marginalized or oppressed communities which predated and were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.
  2. Sustainability
    Recommended investments will deliver enduring change and solutions that enhance the resilience of impacted communities.
  3. Impact
    Recommended investments will transform economic opportunities and quality of life, and build community assets for impacted communities for the short and long term.
  4. Process
    Recommended investments will reflect both broad input from impacted communities and public stakeholders, as well as solid data and research.

“The focused use of these funds over the allowed time frame has the potential to be life-changing for many Rhode Islanders. And, allocation of the funding is only the first step. Planning and implementation, capacity and oversight are critical to success,” said Steinberg.

The public input included approximately 400 ideas submitted by the public via email, stakeholder conversations with more than 140 people, five focus groups with Rhode Islanders from communities hardest hit by COVID and 11 nonprofit-led, community visioning sessions throughout the state.

“The work this widely diverse steering committee did together, respecting each other’s opinions and ideas, and coming to consensus was both impressive and important,” said Steinberg. “In addition, while there were some debates along the way, they really listened to each other and learned from each other, closely examining values and priorities and considering the needs/ideas of all our communities.”

Both EPI and RIPEC contributed policy analysis, and significant research and data collection efforts to Make it Happen, after contracting with the Foundation last spring to assist in this effort. RIPEC is a public policy research organization focused fiscally responsible government and competitive tax policies. EPI is a nonprofit research and policy organization that focuses on the impact of economic policies on low- and modest-income Rhode Islanders.

“RIPEC deeply appreciates the opportunity to work with the Economic Progress Institute and the Rhode Island Foundation, and with a distinguished and diverse group of steering committee members, in formulating recommendations for these once-in-a-generation federal funds,” said Michael DiBiase, RIPEC’s president and CEO. “The recommendations recognize the one-time nature of these funds in making bold, comprehensive investments in critical areas of need that will substantially improve the quality of life in our state.”

“This has been an invigorating process. We appreciated working with the Foundation and RIPEC and especially with the steering committee comprised of people with diverse backgrounds and passions,” said Linda Katz, EPI’s co-founder and policy director. “We are pleased that equity was centered in the committee’s work and recommendations. We hope this process sets an example for how we can work together to plan for and implement the investments and policies needed to ensure economic prosperity for all Rhode Islanders.”

The Make It Happen report does not examine or make recommendations for uses of other buckets of earmarked ARPA funding, such as the $542 million for local cities and towns, the $400 million for K-12 education, the $168 million for higher education and the $112 million capital project fund.

“There must be collaboration and coordination in use of the funds between cities and the state to achieve the best outcomes for their residents. Similarly, while each recommendation-area addresses an individual component of need, the areas are interrelated,” said Steinberg. “There should undoubtedly be opportunities to maximize and leverage these additional interrelated investments in coordination with our recommendations.”

The recommendations in the report are briefly outlined here:

HOUSING $405 million

The goals and recommendations address the decades-long acute shortage of housing in Rhode Island, especially for people with low-to-moderate incomes.

GOALS: Provide at least 5,150 units of affordable housing to Rhode Islanders by investing in affordable rental housing, permanent supportive housing, and homeownership opportunities; remediate lead paint for at least 2,850 units; and renovate and/or repair code violations for at least 4,000 homes.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Invest $200 million for affordable rental housing production and preservation.

RECOMMENDATION 2: Invest $50 million to build 500 units of permanent supportive housing and provide temporary housing for targeted populations.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Invest $50 million to expand first-time home buyer programs to increase home ownership opportunities for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) populations and/or in areas disproportionately impacted by COVID-19.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Invest $100 million for healthy homes repairs, including the remediation of lead paint and assistance to low-income homeowners and qualifying landlords for renovations to substandard units for code compliance.

RECOMMENDATION 5: Invest $5 million to develop a strategic plan and to improve capacity and expedite processing of housing projects that are accessing ARPA funds.


The goals and recommendations address the well-documented, ongoing, epidemic among those battling mental health and substance abuse challenges.

GOALS: Decrease statewide emergency department visits by children and adults for acute behavioral health crises by 20 percent each; decrease the number of unintentional opioid overdoses and suicides by 15 percent each; increase the number of RI licensed outpatient mental health counselors, social workers, psychologists, and psychiatrists to reach New England’s behavioral healthcare occupational median.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Invest $170 million to build new facilities and renovate and upgrade existing facilities to expand and improve services and treatments across the behavioral health continuum of care.

RECOMMENDATION 2: Invest $50 million in technology infrastructure, including electronic medical records and other non-facility infrastructure, including one-time investments in mobile response and stabilization services, and technology that could increase the availability and access to telemedicine.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Invest $30 million to increase provider capacity through a loan forgiveness program, as well as stipends/bonuses, to recruit and retain behavioral health professionals. The program should target BIPOC populations to build a culturally and linguistically diverse behavioral health workforce.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Invest $5 million to complete a strategic plan for a behavioral health system of care for adults and children.


The goals and recommendations that follow aim to address the fact that businesses of all sizes in Rhode Island are facing worker shortages, while many residents remain unemployed or underemployed and encountering barriers to employment, such as lack of affordable childcare.

GOALS: Provide 15,000 Rhode Islanders with high-quality jobs through robust training, adult education, workforce skills services and the elimination of barriers to employment.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Invest $150 million in high-quality “earn and learn” job training programs that lead to a promotion, certificate, academic credential and/or higher salary.

RECOMMENDATION 2: Invest $30 million in high-quality and accessible adult education/foundational workforce skills including English language, literacy and digital skills.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Invest $15 million for one year to continue and expand the RI Reconnect initiative that provides assistance to individuals to mitigate barriers to participation in a job training or employment opportunity.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Invest $10 million in IT data structure improvements to the state’s longitudinal data system and support a plan for long-term sustainability of that system.


The goals and recommendations recognize that, as the backbone of Rhode Island’s economy, small businesses require significant additional support to sustain and grow their businesses.

GOALS: Provide significant financial assistance to at least 2,250 small businesses, targeted to minority-owned businesses, through forgivable loans, low-interest loans and grants.

RECOMMENDATION 1: Invest $50 million in Rhode Island small businesses and cooperatives through forgivable loans.

RECOMMENDATION 2: Invest $35 million to provide technical assistance to small businesses by awarding one-time grants for business services through a newly established business resource network.

RECOMMENDATION 3: Invest $10 million to create a new Community Development Financial Institution (CDFI) or expand capacity of one or more existing CDFIs to provide financing for projects in distressed and underserved neighborhoods in Rhode Island.

RECOMMENDATION 4: Invest $5 million to establish a loan program for certified Minority Business Enterprises (MBEs).


This recommendation suggests that investments, directed by residents in places whose populations and communities have been impacted most by the pandemic may prove to make a significant, innovative impact for those living in a Qualified Census Tract.

RECOMMENDATION: Invest $50 million for the creation of Neighborhood Trusts in Qualified Census Tracts.


The recommendation recognizes that there is a continued short-term need to support those most impacted by COVID-19.

RECOMMENDATION: Invest $50 million in Rhode Island nonprofit organizations to provide immediate relief to residents suffering from behavioral health disorders; economic, food and housing insecurity; lack of affordable childcare and domestic violence, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.


RECOMMENDATION: We recommend that an office be established within the Governor’s Office and reporting directly to the Governor with the authority to oversee the recommended spending of ARPA funds pursuant to clear goals, performance metrics, and transparency. The critical responsibilities of this office would include ensuring that funds are expeditiously used and oversight of expenditures. This office would need additional staffing for the expenditure period and would coordinate with legislative input and oversight.



Rhode Island's Local News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Red Sox lose to the Astros in Game 4 of the American League Championship Series.  Texas Congressman Ted Cruz is proposing to relocate illegal immigrants to new ports of entry in Rhode Island and other Democratic-led states.  RI reported six new COVID deaths on Tuesday.

>>Red Sox Lose To Astros, ACLS Knotted Up

(Boston, MA)  --  The American League Championship Series is tied at two.  The Houston Astros beat the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park Tuesday night, 9-to-2 to even the series up.  Jose Altuve hit a game-tying home run in the eighth inning and Michael Brantley broke the game open with a bases-clearing double for Houston in the ninth.  Game 5 is at Fenway Park Wednesday with a first pitch scheduled at 5:08 p.m.

>>Ted Cruz Proposes New Ports Of Entry In Blue States

(Washington, DC)  --  Senator Ted Cruz has proposed legislation to send immigrants who illegally cross the border in Texas to new ports of entry in Southern New England and other Democratic strongholds.  Speaking on FOX News Tuesday, Cruz said the "Stop the Surge Act" would establish 13 ports total in places where Democrats, quote, "host their elite cocktail parties".  The proposal includes Newport, Block Island, Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket.  Rhode Island Congressman Jim Langevin called Cruz's legislation a bad-faith proposal that does nothing to fix America's broken immigration system.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,867

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported six new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-867.  Nearly two-hundred new virus cases were reported yesterday.

[[ note nature ]]

>>RI Man Accused Of Illegal Recording In Wrentham Outlets Bathroom

(Wrentham, MA)  --  A Woonsocket man accused of violating an "upskirt" law in Massachusetts is facing charges.  The Wrentham Police Department says 23-year-old Jacob Guerrero went into the women's bathroom at the Wrentham Outlets on August 24th, dressed as a woman himself, and appeared to use a camera attached to a shoe he was wearing to record people in adjacent stalls.  The Wrentham PD says Guerrero is being charged with possession of child pornography after evidence was obtained including a dozen videos of unsuspecting minors.  Reports indicate Guerrero was a delivery driver for Amazon, but the company told WFXT Boston he is no-longer employed.

>>Police Release Image Of Suspect In Fall River Shooting

(Fall River, MA)  --  Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a convenience store owner in Fall River.  The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says a customer walked into the Stop N Save store on Rock Street at around 10:30 Monday night and found Lal Kishor Mahaseth with a gunshot wound.  The Fall River Police Department has released an image of the suspect and is asking for the public to help identify him.

>>Wage Theft Charges Filed For Work Done On Barrington School

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is charging two owners of a Massachusetts-based asbestos remediation company with wage theft.  The charges stem from work performed during the construction of Barrington Middle School in 2019.  The A.G.'s office alleges Thomas McCoog and Amy Franklin, owners of Franklin Analytical Services in Marion, failed to pay prevailing overtime wages totaling at least twelve-thousand dollars to five former employees.

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

10-20-2021 00:41:08

Rhode Island Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Another grand slam propels the Red Sox over the Astros in the ALCS.  The University of Rhode Island is investigating an alleged racist social media post from a student sent to an NFL player.  A Rhode Islander has been sentenced in a federal fentanyl-trafficking case.

>>Red Sox Beat Astros To Take ALCS Lead

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox have taken a two-games-to-one lead in the American League Championship Series over the Houston Astros following a 12-to-3 win at Fenway Park on Monday night.  Kyle Schwarber hit a grand slam home run for the Red Sox, making them the first MLB team to hit three grand slams in a single playoff series.  Game 4 is at Fenway tonight with a first pitch at 8:08 p.m.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,861

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported one new coronavirus death over the weekend.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-861.  More than six-hundred new virus cases were reported.

>>NFL Player Shares Alleged Hateful Post From URI Student, School Investigating

(Kingston, RI)  --  A student from the University of Rhode Island allegedly sent a racist social media post to an NFL player after a game this past weekend.  Miami Dolphins defensive lineman Emmanuel Ogbah posted a screenshot of the message on his Twitter account before eventually deleting it.  The university president says the matter has been referred to the student conduct process for review.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Subway Worker Fired After Videos Show Food Stunts

(Providence, RI)  --  A worker at Subway restaurant in Providence has been fired after a viral social media stunt.  According to WJAR-TV, Jumanne Clary worked at the Subway on Waterman Street.  He was seen in videos stepping on food in containers and arranging deli meats on a toilet seat.  Clary told the news station he accepts the consequences of his actions.  He said he was the store's closer and that none of the food was served to customers.  Channel 10 said the store owners notified the Providence Police Department, but it's unclear if authorities have taken any action.

>>Pawtucket Man Sentenced In Fentanyl-Trafficking case

(Fargo, ND)  --  A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to over three decades in federal prison for his role in a fentanyl-trafficking operation.  The Justice Department in North Dakota announced the sentence last week against 40-year-old Steven Pinto of Pawtucket after a jury conviction.  Federal prosecutors said Pinto was part of a Rhode Island organization that was receiving the drugs from Canada and China.

>>Fall River Police Notify Public About Missing Teen

(Fall River, MA)  --  The Fall River Police Department is looking for a missing teen girl.  Jazzlyn Champagne, age 15, did not return home from school on Friday and did not return to class on Monday, according to the police department.  She was reportedly last seen wearing an Argosy Collegiate Charter School shirt, jeans and sneakers.  Anyone who knows where Champagne is should call police.  

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) FL) 

Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

10-19-2021 01:03:13

Colin Powell dies at 84

Screen Shot 2021-10-18 at 8.24.21 AM

Updated: Colin Powell dies at 84 of COVID-19. His “13 Rules” to live by

October 18, 2021/RINewsToday

Word came early Monday that an icon among charismtic military, political officials, former Secretary of State Colin Powell died at the age of 84 of COVID-19 complications. He was at Walter Reed Hospital. His family said he was fully vaccinated.

UPDATE: Powell was suffering from a blood cancer, multiple myeloma and Parkinson’s Disease. It was also disclosed that Powell had had his two vaccinations, but not yet the third, booster.

Powell had had prostate cancer at 66 and opted for a radical prostatectomy, wanting to “take care of it all at once”, even though other surgical and treatment options were available. His approach to knowing that a prostate cancer diagnosis was most likely in his future expressed in this quote how he approached what he thought was his fate – “Read as much as you can, study the nature of the disease, share it with your family, put your faith in your doctor and have a positive attitude. Then you can set your sights on defeating the cancer.”

He was a 4-star General, born in New York, from Jamaican descent, and the first Black Secretary of State. Prior to become SOS, he was Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His detailed bio can be found here:


In Powell’s memoir, It Worked For Me: In Life and Leadership , a collection of lessons learned and anecdotes drawn from his life, he wrote about life and relationships as being what truly matters in this life.

In the book, Powell wrote “13 Rules” and why he hung on to them over the years. Here they are with some of his thoughts on each:

  1. It ain’t as bad as you think. It will look better in the morning. This rule reflects an attitude and not a prediction. I have always tried to keep my confidence and optimism up, no matter how difficult the situation. Things will get better. You will make them better.
  2. Get mad, then get over it. I’ve worked hard over the years to make sure that when I get mad, I get over it quickly and never lose control of myself.
  3. Avoid having your ego so close to your position that when your position falls, your ego goes with it. Accept that your position was faulty, not your ego. Loyalty is disagreeing strongly, and loyalty is executing faithfully.
  4. It can be done! Don’t surround yourself with instant skeptics. At the same time, don’t shut out skeptics and colleagues who give you solid counterviews.
  5. Be careful what you choose. You may get it. Don’t rush into things.
  6. Don’t let adverse facts stand in the way of a good decision. Superior leadership is often a matter of superb instinct. Often, the factual analysis alone will indicate the right choice. More often, your judgment will be needed to select from the best courses of action.
  7. You can’t make someone else’s choices. You shouldn’t let someone else make yours. Since ultimate responsibility is yours, make sure the choice is yours and you are not responding to the pressure and desire of others.
  8. Check small things. Success ultimately rests on small things, lots of small things. Leaders have to have a feel for small things—a feel for what is going on in the depths of an organization where small things reside. The followers, the troops, live in a world of small things. Leaders must find ways, formal and informal, to get visibility into that world.
  9. Share credit. People need recognition and a sense of worth as much as they need food and water. Share the credit, take the blame, and quietly find out and fix things that went wrong. Whenever you place the cause of one of your actions outside yourself, it’s an excuse and not a reason.
  10. Remain calm. Be kind. In the “heat of the battle”—whether military or corporate—kindness, like calmness, reassures followers and holds their confidence. Kindness connects you with other human beings in a bond of mutual respect. If you care for your followers and show them kindness, they will recognize and care for you.
  11. Have a vision. Be demanding. Purpose is the destination of a vision. It energizes that vision, gives it force and drive. It should be positive and powerful and serve the better angels of an organization.
  12. Don’t take counsel of your fears or naysayers. Fear is a normal human emotion. It is not in itself a killer. We can learn to be aware when fear grips us and can train to operate through and in spite of our fear. If, on the other hand, we don’t understand that fear is normal and has to be controlled and overcome, it will paralyze us and stop us in our tracks. We will no longer think clearly or analyze rationally. We prepare for it and control it; we never let it control us. If it does, we cannot lead.
  13. Perpetual optimism is a force multiplier. Perpetual optimism, believing in yourself, believing in your purpose, believing you will prevail, and demonstrating passion and confidence is a force multiplier. If you believe and have prepared your followers, the followers will believe.


In 2019, on his way to Water Reed, Gen. Powell had a flat tire and a veteran stopped to help him change it – here is his post on that day, 3 years ago…

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots lose to the Cowboys in overtime, while the Red Sox look to take the lead in the American League Championship Series.  Another shooting has happened at one nightclub in Providence.  Rhode Islanders are being asked to weigh in on a guiding document for the state over the next decade.

>>Patriots Lose To Cowboys At Home In OT

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots lost to the Dallas Cowboys at Gillette Stadium on Sunday, 35-to-29 in overtime.  Mac Jones was 15-of-21 passing for 229 yards, two touchdowns, and one interception which was returned for a score.  The loss puts New England at a record of 2-and-4.  They welcome in the New York Jets to Foxboro next Sunday afternoon.

>>ALCS Shifts To Boston For Game 3

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox host the Houston Astros in Game 3 of the American League Championship Series Monday night.  The Red Sox and Astros are tied at one in the best-of-seven series.  The Sox won Game 2 in Houston Saturday night by a 9-to-5 score and became the first team in Major League Baseball history to hit two grand slams in one postseason match.  The first pitch from Fenway Park tonight is at 8:08.

>>Shooting At Providence Club

(Providence, RI)  --  Three people were injured at a shooting in a nightclub in Providence early Sunday morning.  This is the second shooting that has happened this year at the Revel Lounge and Bistro on O'Connell Street.  There was a fatal one on August 28th.  WPRI-TV reports the Providence Board of Licenses has voted to temporarily shut down the lounge again following the latest shooting.  Police say the three victims are in stable hospital condition.

>>Taunton Boy Hurt After Being Hit By Vehicle

(Taunton, MA)  --  A twelve-year-old boy was seriously injured after being struck by a vehicle in Taunton, Massachusetts on Friday night.  Reports indicate the boy was taken to Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence.  According to an initial investigation by the Taunton Police Department, the boy was crossing Plain Street with a family member when he slipped and fell backward into the path of an oncoming vehicle.  No charges have been filed against the driver.

>>City Of Providence Workers Let Go For Vax Mandate Noncompliance

(Providence, RI)  --  A dozen part-time workers for the city of Providence were let go for non-compliance with a mandate to either get vaccinated against COVID or submit to regular testing.  That's according to a report from the Providence Business News, citing a spokesperson for Mayor Jorge Elorza's office.  The number of people let go represents less than one-percent of the city's workforce.  Elorza announced in August that workers would have until early October to comply with the requirement.

>>Public Input Sought For 'RI 2030' Plan

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee is seeking public input for a guiding document for the state over the next decade.  McKee says the goal of RI 2030 is to address issues caused by the coronavirus pandemic, and also issues that existed before.  McKee's administration has contributed its initial thoughts on goals and objectives, which can be viewed online at

>>RI Foundation Purchasing Narcan Kits For Organizations

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Foundation is purchasing thousands of Narcan opioid overdose prevention kits for community-based recovery and harm reduction organizations in the state.  Right now, the RI Foundation says naloxone supplies are seriously depleted and more people than ever are at risk for an opioid overdose.  The Rhode Island Department of Health says a record number of overdose deaths, 384, were counted last year.  

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

10-18-2021 00:34:07

In the Arena - with Mark Haywood

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In the Arena – with Mark Hayward, SBA

October 17, 2021/RINewsToday

Each week Joe Paolino, Jr. interviews people of interest on his program, “In The Arena”.  The show airs at 7am on Sundays on ABC6.

This week his guest is Mark Hayward of the Small Business Administration.

They talk about the help in Rhode Island for small businesses, the programs of the past, present and what may come in the future.

Here is “In The Arena” – remotely – for Oct. 17, 2021:

Flu Shots twice as important this year

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Flu shots twice as important this year – fast, easy, free

October 15, 2021/RINewsToday

Rhode Island Kicks Off Flu Vaccination Campaign

All Eligible Rhode Islanders Urged to Get Flu Shots

Governor Dan McKee kicked off Rhode Island’s annual flu vaccination campaign today by urging all eligible Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated to keep themselves and their loves ones as healthy and safe as possible this flu season.

Lieutenant Governor Matos was vaccinated at the event, which was held at Anthony’s Pharmacy in Providence. Governor McKee and Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, were vaccinated earlier in the flu season. 

“I got my flu shot a few weeks back. It was quick, painless, and I didn’t have any side effects,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I encourage all Rhode Islanders to get their flu shot and their COVID-19 vaccine. Both shots are important to building a healthy, resilient Rhode Island.” 

People can get flu shots and COVID-19 shots during the same visit to a pharmacy or other site where both vaccines are available. 

“Getting your flu shot is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick during flu season,” said Lieutenant Governor Matos. “I get mine every year. With school-aged children and working in a public building, it’s important to me that I do everything I can to keep myself, my family, and my coworkers as healthy as can be. Flu season is approaching, so I hope you will get yours today – like me.”

Everyone six months of age and older should get a flu shot every year. Vaccination is especially important for certain people, including:

  • Pregnant women
  • People 65 and older
  • Younger children
  • People with chronic medical conditions, such as diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and asthma
  • Healthcare workers, and
  • People who live with or care for those at high risk of flu-related complications

There are hundreds of places throughout Rhode Island to get vaccinated, including pharmacies and the offices of many primary care providers. Additionally, school-located flu vaccination clinics are running throughout Rhode Island. These clinics are open to students and staff, and many of them function as community clinics as well. (For more information

“Flu shots are fast, easy, and free. You don’t need health insurance to get your flu shot, and they are available in every community in Rhode Island,” said Dr. Alexander-Scott. “The best way to protect yourself and your loved ones this flu season is to get your flu shot.” 

The flu results in hospitalizations and fatalities every year in Rhode Island. During the 2019-2020 flu season in Rhode Island, there were 950 hospitalizations due to the flu and 20 flu-associated deaths. (The 2020-2021 flu season was atypical in Rhode Island, given the community mitigation measures in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19.)

Rhode Island has some of the highest flu vaccination rates in the nation. In the 2019-2020 flu season, 57% of Rhode Islanders age 18 or older got the flu shot, and 61% of Rhode Islanders six months or older got the flu shot.

This year’s flu vaccine protects against two influenza A strains (including the H1N1 strain) and two influenza B strains, based on what experts believe will be circulating. 

For adults age 65 or older, enhanced flu vaccines are available that help older adults get a higher immune response from their body and gives them better protection from the flu and flu-related illnesses.  

After getting a flu shot, a person might feel achy or have a low-grade fever. This is a sign that the person’s body is building an immune response to the flu virus. This response is much milder than the average case of the flu.

Other ways to stay healthy this flu season 

  • Cough or sneeze into your elbow. Flu virus is spread to other people when you cough or sneeze into your hands and then touch other things. 
  • Clean and sanitize places that are touched regularly, such as tables, doorknobs, light switches, countertops, handles, desks, phones, keyboards, toilets, faucets, and sinks. 
  • Wash your hands frequently with warm water and soap. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, or mouth. Germs spread this way. 
  • Get plenty of sleep, exercise, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat healthy food. 

Additional resources: 

(Evening school clinics are open to the entire community. Registration for school clinics is strongly encouraged but walk-ins are welcome.) 

  • Information about the flu in Spanish:
  • People with additional questions can call RIDOH’s Health Information Line at 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711. 

Many pharmacies are offering coupons when you get your flu shot, or some promotional item. No appointment is necessary at most pharmacies.

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Red Sox are set to play the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.  Rhode Island will roll out the coronavirus vaccine for children when the federal government gives the green light to do so.  A company must stop its asphalt operation in Providence after a decision this week from the city zoning board.

>>Red Sox Versus Astros ALCS Preview

(Houston, TX)  --  The Boston Red Sox open up the American League Championship Series tonight at the Houston Astros.  First pitch from Minute Maid Park is at 8:07 p.m. Eastern time.  The Red Sox have reached the World Series four times in the 21st century, and have won the championship each time.  The Astros moved from the National League in 2013 and won their first-and-only title in 2017.  Major League Baseball sanctioned Houston for stealing in-game strategy signs that year and in 2018.  Current Red Sox manager Alex Cora was previously with the Astros and was suspended for a full season for his alleged role in the cheating scandal.

>>Patriots Taking On Cowboys

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots host the Dallas Cowboys this Sunday.  Kickoff from Gillette Stadium is at 4:25 p.m.  The 2-and-3 Pats are looking to get back to a 500 record.  The Cowboys are 4-and-1.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,860

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported three new coronavirus deaths on Thursday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-860.  The state reported about three-hundred new virus cases yesterday.

>>RI To Follow Federal Lead On Vaccinating Children Against COVID

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is prepared to roll out the COVID-19 vaccine for children ages 5-to-11 upon federal approval which is expected next month.  That was the indication from officials during a briefing on Thursday.  There are about 80-thousand Rhode Islanders within that age category.  Governor Dan McKee added at yesterday's briefing that the field hospital on Sockanossett Cross Road in Cranston is being decommissioned due to declining hospitalizations and high COVID vaccination rates.

>>School Buses Running In Warwick Today

(Warwick, RI)  --  The union representing school bus drivers in Warwick says students will get picked up and dropped off on Friday.  Parents were warned by the school district earlier this week that a failure to reach a new contract between transportation provider First Student and ATU Local 618 had created the possibility of a work stoppage.  However, a strike could be looming as union members have voted to authorize the action.

>>RI Man Found Dead In North Carolina

(Undated)  --  A Rhode Island man was reportedly found dead in North Carolina earlier this month.  The National Park Service says 33-year-old Josue Calderon, address unknown, was found dead on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the western part of the state last weekend.  The death is being investigated as a homicide by federal and North Carolina authorities.

>>Providence Zoning Board Denies Variance For Waterfront Asphalt Op

(Providence, RI)  --  The city of Providence zoning board has denied a zoning variance which would allow for continued use of the city waterfront for an asphalt operation.  The decision at a meeting on Wednesday went against Narragansett Improvement Company, which has been storing and processing asphalt on a waterfront parcel on Allens Avenue for several years.  The company's main site is down the street and its president argued they needed the secondary site to keep costs down.  But the zoning board said the area is designated for water-dependent industrial use or maritime activities only.

Jim McCabe/jb      RI) NC) 
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10-15-2021 00:34:11

Rhode Island News

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Police identify the victim of an armed robbery in Providence.  Several murals depicting children at a Providence school that was previously an all-white school have been removed.  The remains of a Rhode Island soldier who went MIA in the Korean War have returned to the U.S.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,857

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported one new coronavirus death on Wednesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-857.  The number of new virus cases reported in Rhode Island yesterday was two-hundred-61.

>>Police ID Providence Laundromat Robbery Victim

(Providence, RI)  --  Police have identified the victim of a fatal armed robbery at a laundry facility in Providence.  Authorities say someone walked into the Laundromax at Broad and Fisk streets Tuesday night and demanded jewelry being worn by 38-year-old Melvin Reyes.  The suspect reportedly fired gunshots when Reyes fought back.  The incident remains under investigation.

>>Murals Removed Over Racial Concerns At Providence School

(Providence, RI)  --  Several murals at a Providence elementary school were removed over concerns about racist portrayals of children.  The Providence Journal reports the murals were painted over at Robert F. Kennedy Elementary School before classes resumed this fall.  Providence City Councilor David Salvatore told the newspaper he consulted with the city's art, culture and tourism department after hearing complaints from residents about the murals.  The building was previously known as Nelson Street School, an all-white school.  It's not clear when the murals were painted.

>>Remains Of Soldier Who Went MIA In Korean War Returned

(Johnston, RI)  --  A Johnston soldier who went missing in action in the Korean War has returned home.  WPRI-TV reports the remains of Army Lieutenant Anthony Mazzulla arrived on Tuesday, with funeral services planned for this upcoming weekend.  Mazzulla went missing in 1950.  He was positively identified after North Korea agreed to return the remains of numerous soldiers in 2018 following the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un.

>>Work Stoppage Ordered For Large Greenhouse Project In Exeter

(Exeter, RI)  --  A cease-and-desist order has been issued for a massive greenhouse project in Exeter.  The Providence Journal reports the town's zoning inspector issued the order against Tim Schartner, who is building the one-million-square foot greenhouse on his family's farm off Route 2.  The apparent issue is that Schartner missed a deadline to make a presentation to the town on why he was exempt from a zoning review.  The plan is for the greenhouse to produce 42-thousand pounds of tomatoes daily.

>>Bald Eagle Rescued In Smithfield Has Been Put Down

(Saunderstown, RI)  --  A bald eagle that was rescued in Smithfield earlier this month has been euthanized.  The Wildlife Clinic of Rhode Island says the adult eagle had severe head trauma and was completely blind.  Officials said they didn't get the outcome they hoped for, but that they would not have been able to release the bird or give it any quality of life in captivity.    

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) BN) 
Copyright © 2021
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10-14-2021 02:06:14

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The CEO of Hasbro has died.  The Red Sox learn their opponent in the next playoff round.  A new hotel has opened in downtown Providence.

>>Hasbro Announces Death Of CEO Brian Goldner

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Hasbro CEO Brian Goldner has died.  Goldner was 58 years old.  The company had just announced he was taking a medical leave of absence for prostate cancer treatment.  Goldner was the CEO of Hasbro dating back to 2008.  Interim CEO Rich Stoddart said Goldner was the heart and soul of the Pawtucket-based toymaking company.

>>Fatal Shooting At Providence Laundromat Started As Apparent Attempted Robbery

(Providence, RI)  --  A man was shot and killed in Providence on Tuesday night.  The Providence Police Department says the shooting at the Laundromax on Broad Street at around 8 p.m. was apparently a robbery gone wrong.  The suspect reportedly drew a gun on the victim, who was a man in his 30s, demanded jewelry he was wearing, and the two struggled before the gun fired.  This is homicide number 21 in the capital city this year.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,856

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported two new coronavirus deaths over the extended holiday weekend.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-856.  Nearly one-thousand new virus cases were reported.

>>Red Sox Will Face Astros In American League Championship Series

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox are playing the Houston Astros in the American League Championship Series.  The Astros punched their ticket to the 2021 ALCS after dispatching the Chicago White Sox, 3 games to 1 in the division Series.  The Red Sox and Astros won the World Series in 2017 and 2018, respectively.  They faced each other in the playoffs both of those years.

>>Opening Of New Downtown Providence Hotel Celebrated

(Providence, RI)  --  A new boutique hotel has opened in downtown Providence.  The Beatrice Hotel is located in the 1887 Exchange Building on Westminster Street.  It features 47 rooms and a New England branch of the popular Italian restaurant Bellini.  Former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino Jr., whose property management company developed the hotel, says the opening of the Beatrice marks a new chapter for the city's hospitality scene.

>>Portsmouth Councilor Ousted In Last Year's Election Has Returned

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The Portsmouth Town Council is filling a vacant council seat with an ex-member. reports the council voted 3-to-2 on Tuesday night to appoint Leonard Katzman to fill the unexpired term of Michael Buddemeyer, who resigned because he was moving out of the area.  Katzman was narrowly defeated in last year's election.

>>Gas Prices On The Rise In RI

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island gas prices have jumped up nearly a dime in the last week. reports the average price in the Ocean State is three-eighteen.  The national average is three-29.  Oil industry analysts are blaming increasing gas prices on the surging price of crude oil, which is now above 80-dollars a barrel. 

Jim McCabe/Source Staff/jb         RI) 
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10-13-2021 01:05:12

Friday Fishing Tips - Jeff Gross

IMG_0288 resized header

Friday Fishing Tips – Jeff Gross

October 8, 2021/Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

As Fall is here, starting next week, we will be generating a weekly Hunting article in the same format as the Friday fishing tips. I encourage all of you to write to us at about what questions you have and what topics you would like to see covered.

That said, the sun is setting on the fishing season. Many are securing their boats and gear for the season.  It is imperative to winterize one’s outboard motor.  With ethanol in the gasoline, it takes very little to gum up a carburetor or full injectors and cause the motor to run poorly next year. This writer has encountered that. 

One should start the motor with a water supply attached to the intake and run the motor while disconnecting the gas tank. Once the motor runs out of gas make sure the gas lines are empty and then drain any residual gas from the carburetor (newer carburetors have drain screws) and also empty the gas filter inside the motor.  Some boaters use fuel stabilizers in the fuel for over the winter, but this writer has not had good luck with that method.  Don’t forget to change the lower unit oil, as any water in the lower unit will cause the unit to crack.  It is also a good idea to do an oil change as well.

Another task to secure is eliminating any weeds or debris off your trailer or boat and associated gear.  This gear can be nets, anchors, ropes, or even trailers.  Milfoil seeds will survive the outdoors over the winter and can be spread the following spring.  Power washing the gear in your yard is an effective way to remove the noxious weeds if you haven’t already done so.

The RI DEM made a diligent effort to de-weed Carolina and breakheart ponds this year.  But like so many in America that are not interested in working, the de-weeding contractors failed to submit bids to do the job.  RI law requires a minimum of 3 bids to perform contract work for the state.  I can understand the frustration at the DEM as a contractor failed to get back to this author regarding an emergency job in the last 48 hours.  Even a phone call stating they were unable to assist would have been helpful. But alas, that is a chronic problem in the business world these days.

If we are fortunate to get rock solid ice this winter, you’ll see a few ice fishing reports here as well. It has been a pleasure writing for all of you and a learning experience as well. See you next spring.

Stay tuned…


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:

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Red Sox lose their division series opener to Tampa Bay.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says work will not stop on the road upgrade project on South Water Street.  Providence College is announcing new safety measures after several recent incidents.

>>Red Sox Lose To Rays In ALDS Game 1

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  The Boston Red Sox lost 5-to-0 to the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series opener on Thursday night.  The series continues at Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg Friday night.  First pitch is at 7:02 p.m.

>>Patriots At Texans

(Houston, TX)  --  The New England Patriots are at the Houston Texans this Sunday.  Kickoff from NRG Stadium is at 1 p.m. Eastern time.  Both teams are 1-and-3 on the season.

>>Human Case Of West Nile Reported In Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health has reported its first human case of West Nile virus in 2021.  The state says the patient was a Providence County resident in their 50s who reported regular trips between RI and Massachusetts.  The last human case of West Nile in Rhode Island was in 2018.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,852

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported four new coronavirus deaths on Thursday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-852.  The state reported over 200 new virus cases yesterday.

>>Man Sentenced For Fraudulent Request For Pandemic Loan Money

(Providence, RI)  --  A Massachusetts man who was the first person in the country to be charged with fraudulent solicitation of federal pandemic relief small business loans has been sentenced to four-and-a-half years in prison.  The Justice Department says David Adler Stavely of Andover admitted to conspiring with another man to get the loans for businesses they did not own, seeking over a half-million dollars.  The DOJ says Stavely faked his suicide death after his arrest and traveled to various states using false identities and stolen license plates before he was picked back up by the U.S. Marshals in July 2020.

>>Elorza Reacts To RIDOT Request Regarding South Water Street Project

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is dismissing a directive from the Rhode Island Department of Transportation to stop a road upgrade project in a busy part of town.  RIDOT asked for the pause on the work on South Water Street over concerns whether it was compliant with an agreement on using federal reconstruction funds from 1999.  RIDOT made the request after local business owners directed their concerns to the state about the project, which has narrowed motor vehicle traffic to one lane while expanding a bicycle lane.  Elorza called the transportation department's cease-and-desist request, quote, "dubious at best."

[[ note nature ]]

>>Providence College Announces Additional Safety Measures

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence College is making safety changes after several recent incidents.  Two students were reportedly ambushed while walking back from a bar.  WJAR-TV reported late last month there was a peeping tom incident at an all-girls' dorm at PC.  Among the changes the college is making is the addition of a public safety officer patrol to residence halls.  A late-night shuttle service is also being made available for students who travel to the surrounding Providence neighborhood.

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

10-08-2021 02:56:07

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Red Sox battle the Rays in the playoffs.  Three new COVID deaths reported in Rhode Island on Wednesday.  The state department of transportation is asking the city of Providence to pause a road construction project so it can be reviewed for compliance.

>>Red Sox Open Division Series At Rays

(St. Petersburg, FL)  --  The Boston Red Sox begin the American League Division Series against the Tampa Bay Rays on Thursday night.  The first pitch from Tropicana Field in St. Petersburg is at 8:07 p.m.  The Red Sox earned a spot in the ALDS by beating the Yankees in the Wild Card Game on Tuesday night.  Boston is bidding for its first World Series title since 2018.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,848

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported three new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-848.  Rhode Island reported about three-hundred new virus cases yesterday.

>>Two Victims In I-95 Crash In West Warwick ID'd

(West Warwick, RI)  --  We've learned the names of two of the three victims of a fiery car accident on I-95 in West Warwick.  One of them was 22-year-old Gianni Guerrieri of West Greenwich. Guerrieri made headlines in 2016 when he pulled a woman from a burning car that had crashed near his home.  WJAR-TV reports another victim was 21-year-old Alex Banner of Exeter.  Banner was a senior at the University of Rhode Island.  These ID's have come from family members, not police.

>>Rhode Island Gas Prices Tick Up Several Cents

(Undated)  --  The average Rhode Island gas price has increased.  GasBuddy reports the current average in the Ocean State is three dollars and nine cents.  That is up three cents from one week ago.  The national average is three-23.

>>RITBA Assigns Incoming State Troopers To Bridge Detail

(Jamestown, RI)  --  Motorists going over the four bridges operated by the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will start seeing more radar guns next summer.  The Newport Daily News reports the RITBA board of directors voted on Wednesday to permanently assign two state troopers to the bridges next July, after they graduate from the police academy.  A recent study conducted by RITBA indicated drivers rarely go the speed limit on the Pell and Verrazzano Bridges.

>>State Reviewing South Water Street Project In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is directing the city of Providence to pause a construction project so it can be reviewed.  RIDOT says it was not notified about significant changes being made to South Water Street that are inconsistent with a maintenance agreement with the Federal Highway Administration from 1999.  The project includes reducing traffic from two lanes to one, and adding a bike lane.  Local business owners expressed concerns in a letter to the state transportation department last week, including that South Water Street is the only access road to I-195 from the city's Jewelry District and the East Side.

>>Little Caesars Wants To Open More Stores In Providence, Boston

(Undated)  --  Pizza chain Little Caesars is planning a major expansion in Southern New England.  The Detroit-based company is setting a goal of awarding over fifty franchises across Boston and Providence by 2026.  The number of stores currently listed in the area is 17.

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

10-07-2021 02:18:09

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Red Sox beat the Yankees in the 2021 American League Wild Card Game.  A winner comes out of a Democratic primary race for a state Senate seat in Providence.  Lane closures are being announced on the Pell-Newport Bridge as part of the transition to all-electronic tolling.

>>Red Sox Beat Yankees In American League Wild Card Game

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox defeated the New York Yankees in Major League Baseball's Wild Card Game Tuesday night.  The final from Fenway Park was 6-to-2.  Xander Bogaerts and Kyle Schwarber hit home runs for the Sox, who will face the Tampa Bay Rays in the American League Division Series.  Game 1 at Tampa Bay is Thursday night.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,845

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported two new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-845.  The number of new virus cases reported in RI yesterday was 238.

>>Three People Killed In Fiery Crash On I-95

(West Warwick, RI)  --  Three people are dead after a violent one-car crash on I-95 in West Warwick overnight Tuesday.  The Rhode Island State Police says a car going over 100 miles per hour on a wet roadway crashed into a tree and caught fire on 95 south at around 2 a.m.  There were three occupants who were all in their 20s.  Their identifies are still being determined.

>>Sam Zurier Wins Democratic Primary For State Senate Seat

(Providence, RI)  --  A special election was held Tuesday in Providence for a vacant Rhode Island Senate seat.  Sam Zurier [[ ZIR-ee-ur ]] won over a field of four other Democrats in the race for the District 3 seat.  That district covers the East Side and Fox Point.  Zurier will face Republican candidate Alex Cannon in the November general election.  They are running to replace Gayle Goldin, who stepped down over the summer to take a post in the Biden administration.

>>Report: Promenade Apartments Sold

(Providence, RI)  --  The Promenade Apartments at the Foundry complex in Providence is being sold, according to a report from the Providence Business News.  The expected final price tag is 105-million dollars.  The buyer's mailing address was The DSF Group, a real-estate developer headquartered in Waltham, Massachusetts.  The two converted mill buildings across I-95 from Providence Place feature over 400 luxury apartments.

>>RIBTA Announces Closure Of Open-Road Tolling Lanes On Pell Bridge

(Jamestown, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority is announcing that the open-road tolling lanes on the Pell Bridge will mostly be closed from October 14th to the 28th.  This is being done to allow the agency to transition the bridge to all-electronic tolling.  The outer lanes in each direction will be open during rush hours: 7 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 6 p.m.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2021
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10-06-2021 02:26:08

Getting the Lead Out of RI Drinking Water

Getting the lead out of drinking water in RI – Richard Asinof

October 5, 2021/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer


Photo by Richard Asinof – State Rep. Rebecca Kislak addresses the rally at the State House urging the state to invest $500 million to replace all the lead water pipes in Rhode Island.


Community advocates urge the state to invest $500 million in eliminating all lead service lines in RI


The facts are not in dispute. There is no safe level of lead. Anything above zero in blood level levels is dangerous. Lead poisoning in children can cause permanent brain damage. Research studies of Providence school children have documented the long-term impacts in lowered testing scores, increased school suspensions, increased need for special education classes, and a marked tendency toward increased violence and incarceration as adults.


Lead service lines are a major source of lead contamination in drinking water in Rhode Island. For 14 of the last 15 years, the Providence Water’s service area has exceeded the Environmental Protection Agency’s action level for lead in water.

There are approximately 100,000 lead service lines remaining in Rhode Island, with an estimated 27,000 in Providence Water’s service area alone.

In 2020, 631 children, or 3.2 percent of all children tested statewide, had elevated blood lead levels, according to the R.I. Department of Health. The city of Providence was recently ranked second on a national priority watch list for lead in water


On Thursday, Sept. 30, a coalition of advocates, known as Lead-Free Water RI, organized by the Childhood Lead Action Project, staged a demonstration on the State House steps, calling on state leaders to invest some $500 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds as well as other federal stimulus funds to replace all the remaining lead service lines in Rhode Island, at no cost to homeowners, landlords, or renters.

The coalition said that it had received support from 40 state and local organizations, 25 political leaders and state legislators, and from more than 150 individuals for the coalition’s request to state leaders to invest in full, free lead service line replacement for all Rhode Islanders.


“It is outrageous that we’re still here in 2021 talking about lead in drinking water,” said Devra Levy, a community organizer with the Childhood Lead Action Project, the state’s leading advocacy group founded in 1992 that is dedicated to eliminating lead poisoning of children in Rhode Island.


Other speakers at the event included state Reps. David Morales and Rebecca Kislak. Morales called the initiative “a cost-efficient, one time investment” that would create a permanent solution, addressing decades of lead exposure. Kislak, in turn, said that it was time “to make sure that all of us in Rhode Island have access to safe and healthy water.”

Following the rally, ConvergenceRI spoke with Devra Levy, who said that the investment should be appealing to elected officials because it represented a one-time solution.


“We still want to see lead paint and lead in soil get addressed and we are advocating for that as well. But replacing lead pipes and lead service lines is even more straightforward. Lead service lines are by far the main contributors to lead contamination in water,” she said.


Among the long-term impacts that will be achieved by removing lead service lines are lowering the costs of special education, helping kids do better in school, and keeping more folks out of the criminal justice system, according to Levy.

Levy also raised the fact that lead is an environmental justice issue, with the burden falling disproportionately on people of color, on low-income people, and on renters. She pointed out that the U.S. Treasury has recommended that the federal ARPA funds be spent on replacing lead pipes as a priority.


“With children continuing to be harmed by lead exposure, it is critical that we reduce all possible exposures to protect our children,” said Dr. Patrick Vivier, a pediatrics specialist whose research work has focused on lead poisoning in children.


To read this article in its entirety, go 




To read more articles from ConvergenceRI, printed in RINewsToday, go to:



Richard Asinof

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

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The archrival Red Sox and Yankees meet again in October.  Police release the name of a victim in a Providence shooting from over the weekend, and say an arrest has been made in connection to a fatal shooting from February.  A Rhode Islander who served as the music director for the TV show Sesame Street has died.

>>Red Sox And Yankees Face Off In Playoff Game

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox and New York Yankees, a historic baseball rivalry, will be a part of the Major League Baseball postseason for a fifth time Tuesday night.  The Red Sox host the Yankees at Fenway Park for the one-game American League Wild Card Playoff.  This is the fourth time the Yankees have played in the game since MLB expanded the playoff format to include two wild card teams, while Boston is in it for the first time.  First pitch from Fenway is set for 8:08 p.m.

>>Bucs-Pats Draws High Sunday Night Football Ratings

(Providence, RI)  --  Sunday night's game between the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the New England Patriots drew more viewers than any other Sunday night NFL game in nearly a decade.  NBC Sports says the Tom Brady homecoming game averaged about 28-and-a-half-million viewers on all of its platforms, making it the most watched Sunday Night Football game since 2012.  Providence, Boston, Hartford and Tampa were the top-four markets.  NBC said it was the highest viewing for a Sunday night game ever in Providence.

>>Victim, Suspect ID'd In Providence Shootings

(Providence, RI)  --  A man who was reportedly shot while sitting in a vehicle in Providence over the weekend has died.  The victim was 21-year-old Niberto Diaz of Providence.  The shooting that happened early Sunday morning on Glasgow Street is now the capital city's 20th homicide of the year.  In a separate case, a 17-year-old from Providence has been arrested in connection to a fatal shooting in February.  This one also involved a victim sitting in a car, 19-year-old Johnjairo Brito at his residence on Academy Avenue.  Authorities are seeking to charge the juvenile as an adult.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,843

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported five new coronavirus deaths over the weekend.  The updated pandemic death toll for the Ocean State on Monday was two-thousand-843.  Over 600 new virus cases were reported statewide.

>>Michael Renzi Of RI, Sesame Street Music Director, Has Died

(Newport, RI)  --  Rhode Islander Michael Renzi, who was the music director on Sesame Street for nearly a decade, has died.  Renzi, who was born in Providence, passed away on September 28th at Newport Hospital after a brief illness.  He was 80.  Renzi received 16 Emmy nominations and won seven awards for his work on the children's TV show and also the soap opera "All My Children."

>>Drying Out After Rains In Southern New England

(Undated)  --  Monday was a rainy day in Rhode Island.  The National Weather Service reported only Providence County got over the inch mark, with about one-and-a-quarter inches measured in Cumberland and Woonsocket.  More rain was falling overnight Tuesday, but forecasters expect dry weather in the Ocean State for the rest of the week.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
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10-05-2021 02:18:02


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