Brown University to Reinstate Women’s Equestrian and Fencing To Comply with Title IX and Provide Equal Opportunity for Women Athletes
Brown has agreed to reinstate its women’s varsity equestrian and fencing teams. It has further agreed to maintain full support for those teams and not to reduce future support as compared to men’s teams’ support. Brown also agreed not to eliminate or reduce the status of any women’s varsity team or add any men’s team for at least the next four years, during which the University will be required to comply with the consent decree it agreed to in 1998.
The legal team representing women student-athletes at Brown University who brought suit in June following cuts to the varsity athletics program announced today that it and the University have reached a proposed settlement agreement that will preserve gender equity for women athletes at Brown. The settlement will ensure that Brown adheres to its promise, made more than two decades ago, to comply with Title IX, the federal law that guarantees equal access to athletic programs for female athletes.
The consent decree will expire on August 31, 2024, but the University must still ensure equal opportunities in its athletics programs under Title IX. The settlement was announced by attorneys Lynette Labinger, cooperating counsel from the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island, Leslie Brueckner of Public Justice and Arthur Bryant, now with the law firm of Bailey & Glasser, the attorneys who represented the plaintiffs in the Cohen v Brown suit that resulted in the school agreeing to the original consent decree and by attorneys Jill Zwagerman and Lori Bullock, of Newkirk Zwagerman in Des Moines, Iowa, who joined the legal team in 2020 to take on this challenge.
Lynette Labinger, lead counsel for the Plaintiffs stated: “We are very pleased to report that we have convinced Brown that compliance with its obligations under Title IX and the 1998 agreement will result in the restoration of two of the varsity teams for women that it had slated for elimination. This is a bittersweet outcome, because of the reality that, if Brown was determined to shrink the size of its athletic program, we could not stop it and save all five of the women’s teams. But through our efforts and the overwhelming contributions and energy of the student-athletes, we have ensured that Brown will provide meaningful participation opportunities for more women athletes and not simply push numbers around on a page. We support the settlement because we believe that it will both preserve gender equity and maximize the athletic opportunities for Brown’s women athletes now and in the future.”
Earlier this year, Brown announced it was eliminating five varsity women’s teams, a decision that violated the court-ordered requirement that “intercollegiate level participation opportunities for male and female students are provided in numbers substantially proportionate to their respective enrollments.” The cuts announced by Brown would have resulted in a disproportionate impact on women’s representation in the University’s athletics programs, running afoul of the maximum gender disparity allowed under the original consent decree. The legal team representing Brown athletes told the court that such cuts would result in “immediate and irreparable harm.”
“Brown’s internal emails disclosed that its administrators were fixated on the fact that Brown, alone among its peers, was subject to the Joint Agreement and wanted to, in its words, ‘kill this pestilential thing,’” said Arthur Bryant of Bailey & Glasser, LLP, the women’s co-counsel, now and in the original suit for Public Justice. “That showed us Brown had — and has — a fundamental misunderstanding of Title IX, which the Joint Agreement embodies. We could agree to end the agreement in four years to get Brown to provide real participation opportunities for many more women athletes than it wanted now. We are confident that, after four years, women athletes at Brown will have at least as much protection under Title IX than they had under the Joint Agreement, or we would never have agreed to let it end. Title IX requires gender equity. If Brown University violates Title IX, we’ll be back.”
“We are pleased that Brown has recognized its obligations to women athletes and its obligations under the law,” added Public Justice Senior Attorney Leslie Brueckner. “At a time when our country is striving to become more equal, and is beginning to acknowledge and address the sins of the past, Brown should be setting the standard for inclusiveness and opportunity. Today’s settlement is a welcome step in that direction.”
“We could not require Brown to restore all of the women’s teams it eliminated, but we did force Brown to comply with the consent decree and Title IX — and provide gender equity to its female student-athletes,” said Lori Bullock of Newkirk Zwagerman, co-counsel in the case along with the firm’s Jill Zwagerman. “We are proud to have made it do that. We are honored to advocate for and represent these amazing young women, who are extraordinarily accomplished in and passionate about their sports.”
Many years ago, the RI DEM (Dept. of Environmental Management) had a problem with gangs from Hartford, Connecticut coming into Rhode Island and hanging out at the Beach Pond Boat ramp. Violence often occurred, there was larceny, and worse yet, drugs were rampant. The RI DEM closed the beach and made the boat ramp available to boaters and fishermen only. Picnicking isn’t even allowed. The gangs stayed in Connecticut. Well now they are back.
There is a rash of stolen motor vehicles from Hopkinton to Burrillville and numerous B&Es (breaking and entering) into other vehicles and also some homes. This crime spree is occurring in western Rhode Island, west of Route 95. If you live in a rural area, you know that it can take time for law enforcement to respond. Here are some precautions you can take to protect your family, home, and vehicles:
1) Improve the lighting of your yard. Replace any blown spotlights or porch bulbs.
2) Trim tree branches high enough on the trunk so as to have a clear visible field of view in your yard, or preferably to the street.
3) Involve your neighbors to do the same as you are – all in the same “boat” makes a safer community.
4) With your neighbors, help develop neighborhood watches. For those “Night Owls” ask them to be vigilant and investigate any unusual sounds.
5) Get a dog. One that likes to bark when an intruder approaches.
6) Watch out for cars with Connecticut license plates. Call in those vehicles if you feel they are acting “suspicious”
7) Trim any bushes or evergreens that an intruder can hide in near your home. The trimming will also improve your field of view.
8) Keep your vehicles locked at all times, even during the day.
9) Keep your doors locked at home at all times, too – even when you are out working in the yard, and if you only rush out for a short errand. How many break-ins don’t require any breaking in at all!
10) Do not leave valuables in the car or truck. Or at least make sure the belongings are hidden from view.
11) If a vehicle will not be used for 2 or more weeks, disconnect the battery.
12) Get an alarm for your car and/or home.
13) Purchase a surveillance system for your home and property. There are many infrared systems that can see 50′ in the dark with high resolution. These also have battery operated cameras that can be placed anywhere, and even seen from your iPhone.
14) Use your Second Amendment rights for protection. Midstate Gun Company in Coventry has many different pieces of hardware for your specific needs and also has the training and safety courses to ensure you can handle these devices correctly, if you choose to. The sight of one of these items is often deterrent in itself.
While there is no complete guarantee from being a crime victim, taking the above precautions will ensure a severe reduction in the likelihood of becoming a victim. Numerous arrests occurred at the particular time with the Hartford gangs, but they never really go away, and we’re hearing more about their presence in rural communities, as they are still crossing the border to commit crimes. Apparently, Rhode Island is seen as easy pickings. Don’t you be.
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 a 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 officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison, FRISC Delegate.
His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: More information about a fatal stabbing at the Providence Place Mall. Providence College is reporting more coronavirus cases. Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says guaranteed income is coming to the Rhode Island capital city.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Four People In Custody For Fatal Providence Mall Stabbing
(Providence, RI) -- Four people were apprehended in connection to a fatal stabbing at the Providence Place Mall on Thursday morning. Police say the stabbing happened in the mall's food court after a fight. Family members identified the victim as Nazzique Hernandez, according to a report from WJAR-TV. Providence police have not officially ID'd the victim nor released the names of the suspects in custody. Authorities say this is believed to be the first homicide at the mall, which opened in 1999.
>>Directives Issued After Over 80 Virus Cases At Providence College
(Providence, RI) -- Providence College now says more than eighty students have tested positive for COVID-19. That's forcing PC to shift to fully-remote learning for one week and issue a dire warning about how now's the last chance to preserve an in-person fall semester. School president Reverend Kenneth Sicard said all students living on campus will be tested and will not be allowed to leave campus. Another directive announced by the college is that off-campus students who test positive must be relocated.
>>Latest Coronavirus-School News: Mount Saint Charles, St. George's Boarding School
(Undated) -- Here are other updates on coronavirus cases in the Rhode Island education system. One person at Mount Saint Charles Academy in Woonsocket tested positive for COVID, resulting in about a dozen students being placed in quarantine. The school president confirming that information to the Valley Breeze. A boarding student at St. George's School in Middletown tested positive, resulting in the student and classmates in the student's dormitory being quarantined, according to a report from The Newport Daily News.
>>Lifespan Recruiting Volunteers For Coronavirus Vaccine Trials
(Providence, RI) -- Lifespan is recruiting volunteers for COVID-19 vaccine trials. People interested in participating in a local trial, should one become available, can sign up at lifespan-dot-org-slash-covid-V-A-X. In other Lifespan news, WPRI-TV reported this week the chief financial officer of the health care group told bondholders its hospitals have received enough federal aid to roughly account for the entire drop in revenue experienced in the spring. That amount was 130-million dollars.
>>Elorza Says Guaranteed Income Coming To Providence
(Providence, RI) -- Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza [[ hor-HAY ee-LORE-zah ]] said Wednesday that the city is launching a pilot program providing guaranteed income. The Providence Journal reports Elorza made that known during a virtual meeting with a coalition of mayors who support the idea. Stockton, California launched such a program last year and now mayors in two-dozen U.S. cities have pledged to do the same. Elorza said it'll be introduced in the next year.
>>Celtics Lose First Two Conference Finals Matches
(Orlando, FL) -- The Boston Celtics find themselves in a two-zero hole in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. The C's lost to the Miami Heat on Thursday night, 106-to-101. Game 3 from the Bubble in Disney World is Saturday night at 8:30.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>Patriots At Seahawks On Sunday Night
(Seattle, WA) -- The New England Patriots look to go two-for-two on the young 2020 NFL season with a road game against the Seattle Seahawks Sunday night. The NFL is keeping an eye on the air quality situation being caused by the West Coast wildfires and whether it will impact the game. Kickoff is set for 8:20 p.m. Eastern Time.
>>Brown Announces Agreement Which Will Restore Some Women's Sports
(Providence, RI) -- An agreement is being announced, pending a federal judge's approval, in the case of Brown University making cuts to its sports programs. Female athletes challenged the school's move earlier this year because of an uneven number of men's and women's programs being cut. Brown is agreeing to reinstate two women's sports and also says the settlement will end a joint agreement from 1998 from the case Cohen versus Brown. The university says that decision has become a significant obstacle to offering women's and men's teams the competitive experience athletes deserve and expect.
Photo: From the front cover of the Vaccine Distribution Plan
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
Much discussion about vaccine development, distribution, and timelines – most indicators are that the vaccine will be distributed in stages, with the most at risk going first, as soon as late October – with other demographics taking more months, and as long as spring to complete.
Pfizer, one of the front-runners in the quest for a COVID-19 vaccine, said its candidate vaccine looks safe, and the company expects to have data next month on how well it protects people against the coronavirus.
People in Indonesia who refused to wear masks in public were ordered by a local official to dig graves for COVID-19 victims.
United Arab Emirates’ government authorized Emergency Use Authorization of a COVID-19 vaccine developed in China for “first line defense heroes”.
Southwest Airlines will leave middle seats empty.
California falls off the mandatory quarantine travel list of states.
In Florida, the Miami- Dade Police Department has cited hundreds of businesses and individuals for not following face mask rules, and the county has collected nearly $300,000 in fines.
In Austin, Texas, fines for not wearing a mask can be as high as $2,000 per day for individuals, although the police department rarely levies them.
Florida COVID19 cases are down 73% since May, 2020
Alabama expected a spike after Labor Day but it has not happened.
More than 100 veterans, health care workers and relatives of residents who died in a New Jersey state-run veterans home, demonstrated yesterday, demanding an investigation and the resignation of local managers.
Neal Patrick Harris, his children and husband have all recovered from COVID19
The Iowa State Fair is canceled.
Coachella and Stagecoach music festivals officially canceled.
The Maine super-spreader wedding is now responsible for 6 deaths and 176 cases. None of the deaths were people who attended the wedding – they were contacts of those people who did attend.
Univ. of Pittsburgh researchers have discovered a “tiny antibody” which may destroy the coronavirus.
LSU has had 754 positives in the last month and 50 positives from Sept. 11 – 13. Their football coach says he believes just about all of his players have had coronavirus, with 3 or 4 currently positive, and coach says he hopes players can’t catch it again.
A new antibody treatment is to be trialed on Covid-19 patients in UK hospitals. Monoclonal antibodies, which are potent, laboratory-made antibodies, will be given to about 2,000 people to see if they are effective against coronavirus.
Europe is dealing with coronavirus as an “unwelcome neighbor” and learning how to live with it – the virus is “here for the long haul” – with less talk of a vaccine – and no talk of shutdowns again.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Tuesday the House will remain in session until lawmakers deliver another round of COVID-19 relief.
Gov. Cuomo said he would not ban Halloween.
NAACP Annual Meeting/Conference will not be held this year – it will be held in 2023 in Boston
Four more Smithsonian Museums in Washington, DC will reopen on Friday.
A Wrentham, MA nursing home is associated with a cluster in the community.
Baltimore, Maryland has 4,400 jobs available at a new Amazon expansion.
Delta Airlines says it will not furlough employees after unemployment runs out.
Russia to sell COVID-19 vaccine to India’s Dr. Reddy’s Laboratories
Big Ten Football Back on – starting 10/24
PRESIDENT TRUMP PRESS CONFERENCE
President Trump said at his press conference to Pack 12 – get going – you’ve got time now, the Big Ten is in – get going.
Announced the vaccine distribution plan has been done.
Lifespan has received $130 million from the federal government, having treated 80-85% of all RI patients at one of their hospitals. Care New England’s financial position is not as green, as both hospital groups begin a merger act.
Boston restaurants are now being allowed to offer outdoor dining in public spaces well into the onset of cold weather – up to Dec. 1st.
First Student bus company said another bus company failed to pick up special-education students in Portsmouth, Middletown and East Providence
Members of the Rhode Island House Republican Caucus will submit legislation to address COVID-19 mandates that have denied access to individuals in hospitals, group homes, nursing homes, assisted living facilities and Veterans Homes.
Employee from Carnevale School in Providence has tested positive – principal and vice principal were close contacts so they will be quarantined for 2 weeks. School will continue after access to area is shut off for a deep cleaning.
Upper school teacher/staff/or student tested positive for coronavirus at the private Lincoln School, where one person has tested positive. Students 9-12 will be remote for rest of week.
Attleboro High School has one staff member test positive – today’s news says that they also had a student who went to school knowing he was positive, and parents were aware – now two dozen students/staff are in quarantine
Two student teachers have tested positive for COVID at two elementary schools in East Providence – the Whiteknact Elementary School and the Hennessey Elementary School. Some quarantines were put into place. .
Blackrock School in Coventry has 1 staff member test positive
Portsmouth Abbey residential student tested positive and had attended school one day,
The Old Grist Mill in Seekonk is up for sale.
Birch in Providence will close.
Rhode Island College to lay off 35 non-faculty employees
RIC and CCRI say they each will face a budget shortfall of at least $10Million. CCRI with $12-14M and RIC with $10-12M – lack of state funding is blamed.
Providence Virtual Learning Academy has problems such as family outreach, technical problems, class oversizes, etc.
The cost of a liquor license in Pawtucket is $1,500, which normally would have to be paid in full by December 1. Mayor Grebien has license holders to pay their annual fee in quarterly installments, with the first installment due on December 1st. Said Grebien.,“I thank the City Council and the RI Hospitality Association for their assistance on this matter. Private clubs, whose liquor renewal fee is $500, will also be allowed to pay their fee in two installments to be paid semi-annually. Like restaurants, they have seen a sharp decline in their finances due to the COVID pandemic.
The RI Interscholastic League (RIIL) has decided on sports: all athletes and spectators must wear masks and socially distance. If athletes are more than 10 feet apart they may briefly remove their masks. Sports that will play are: soccer, field hockey, tennis, and cross country. No football or volleyball. Cheerleaders cannot do stunts, pyramids, etc. and cannot share pom-poms or signs, and must wear masks.
Warwick decides to return Kindergarteners to in-person learning, all at Warwick Vets Middle School, 2 days a week. Schools will be moving supplies over with 8 children in each of 52 classrooms, with extra custodians in place. Arrangements will take a few days.
Warwick continues to work on old buildings and air filtration systems with hope to bring students back in later this year – they have $750,000 budget in place to do this.
PC upper class students will continue virtually as a student has tested positive.
PC requiring off-campus students to take online classes unless they show negative COVID-19 test
86 new cases – 84 people hospitalized – 9 in ICU – 5 on ventilators – 3 deaths (2 in 60s, 1 in 70s)
1.8% positivity rate is a very good number. A good, safe number, according to the Governor. We have to keep our guard up because it is higher than it was before.
Business Inspections: Good news, consistently excellent compliance over the past week. Last week out of 1,000 inspections, 96% customer and employee mask wearing; 99% complied with spacing regulations. Decrease in compliance with bartender / customer separation. 87% doing health screenings at the door – but it should be at 100%. Crush Covid app gives you a green smiley face that can be used for the whole day.
Schools: Big week, exciting week. Excellent return to school. It wasn’t perfect, but we’ll get better every day. Vast majority of students – over 100K – chose in-person learning. Most cities/towns stepped up to the plate. K-12 testing sites are up and running – make appointments through the site. 844 857 1814.
Testing Sites: Swabbed about 300 people; 8 positive cases. Another 11 positive cases from other sites. We will continue to see cases in schools. We have a separate system, please use that system for school screenings. Important point is school continued.
Education System: Over 100 calls taken for clarification, information exchange, etc. Deployed more than 12 assistance teams to schools.
Take it Outside Campaign – really taken off in RI, inspired by innovation. Companies “moving their businesses outside”, exercise classes outside, meetings outdoors, etc. We should be able to do this for the next few months. Additional $1Million to municipalities, chambers of commerce, businesses to fund initiatives to do business outside – wifi, tents, heating lamps, furniture, lighting, etc. Go to TakeItOutsideRI.com.
CommerceRI has another $50 million in Restore RI for grants for businesses with 50 employees and less – and beginning to include sole proprietors and businesses with no employees. Small business grant program is being significantly expanded — more businesses will be eligible and will now include businesses up to 50 employees as well as sole proprietors. Revenue loss of 30%, not 50%. $7Million so far for 800 small businesses so far. Over $100M of RI’s CARES money is designated for small businesses. Call 521-HELP. Money will go through tertiary groups – particularly Chambers of Commerce – and they will buy the items for the businesses.
Back to Work Initiative: It is brutal out there. Might need to get new skills, re-educate yourself. Initiative includes commitments from a group of companies to hire 3,000 Rhode Islanders by the end of the year. RIDLT is in charge – federal stimulus dollars will pay for it – free to you – free for transportation, childcare if needed. “This isn’t train and pray; it’s train and get a job”. NEW service – Jobcase – 3rd largest job seeking platform in country – is partnering with RI. Create a free Jobcase acct and join the group to find a job. 2 ½ months to reemploy 3,000+ people.
Supplemental $900 of unemployment – went out to many people. Additional 3 weeks is coming – another $900. Automatically deposited – first $600 by early next week. FEMA funds. Federal govt says this is going to be the end.
We have had cases in schools this week, but it was relatively low.
8 cases through testing program – another 11 from other testing modalities = 19.
Of the 11 cases, swabs took place over last few days.
Of the 19 cases, 7 were teachers/staff. 12 were among students.
9 went to school; 10 never went to school.
Cases were across 18 schools.
RIDOH unit responded to all of these right away.
Example: Carnevale School adult staff member – felt sick at school, isolated, scheduled for test, swabbed, results back, case investigation, contact tracing. By10pm, called all families involved. All who needed to be quarantined, were, and set up for testing. School is still open today.
Regular communication about school data – will be a weekly update similar to how nursing home data is shared.
Real time investigations: 434 new cases. Workplaces 147 – 86 worked while symptomatic. Businesses that do active screenings of employees do better – and those that support their employees in the need to stay home do better.
Q: Bristol/Warren says they have significant problems in their ability to open.
A: Mostly they are trying – we don’t think it is a failure – if they have a problem, then it needs to be fixed. It’s also still be phased in.
Q: The Bristol/Warren NEA is saying that don’t have nurses in certain schools and the complaints are outlined in a document, not tweets or social media posts. Parents are looking for accountability.
A: Supt. should put out the information. RIDE will intervene with them.
Q: Elementary PTO took the outside program to heart – cost prohibitive to rent or buy outdoor equipment – they raised their own money but the fire dept. would not allow them to be put up because they weren’t fire approved. Reached out to the state and have heard nothing.
A: Would consider a waiver, or see what they can do to help out. $3,000 tents sitting in a garage. Gov. said they will call her today. “If there is a way….” They will help make it work.
Q: 9 cases where people went to school. Did people go to school with symptoms?
A: Potential that some people went to school who should not have.
Q: Heard that the $50M to schools is a reimbursement – schools do not have upfront money to purchase. What are the standards – Aramark isn’t cleaning well enough.
A: Each district knows how much they are eligible for. Responsible thing is for them to manage their own budget. All metrics are on the Back2School website.
Q: Restaurants that are closing and cannot go outside, and are going out of business – any help for them?
A: By the way, it’s worse elsewhere. We have a couple of months with solid good weather. Hope heat lamps, lighting, seating can help them open. Impossible to know where we are going to be. Maybe a vaccine. Right now I would not expand indoor dining or going into Phase 4.
Q: Halloween? What will that look like in RI?
A: We haven’t gotten that far yet. Halloween has to go on…Gov. said.
We can’t argue that unexpected turns are now something to be expected in 2020! Every day as I review the data coming in through the RIMLS, I am less and less shocked by such a series of market anomalies.
The Rhode Island luxury market is seeing massive growth as our $750,000+ real estate gets huge interest from buyers making a mass exodus from cities like Chicago, Los Angeles, Portland, Minneapolis, New York City and many other crappy, overpriced markets!
So why Rhode Island?
Rhode Island is unmistakably one of the most beautiful states in the country! For such a small place, we have the widest variety of the best foods including seafood, Italian, Asian, Mexican, Indian, American, Vegan, and so on! We have a vibrant arts scene and you can go from Ocean to the city to country-living, all within 30 minutes! Our airport, highway, and rail systems are easy to use and connected to all the major cities. Without a doubt, we are centrally located between Boston and New York and offer convenience and hospitality like nowhere else. We were built on hospitality.
Back to market anomalies… when looking at Rhode Island homes priced $750,000 and higher and from July 1 to September 15, 2020, vs. last year at the same time, 93 additional homes have sold at 2% higher sales price to list price! Despite this amazing opportunity for home sellers, inventory has dissipated by 40%!
Coming into election season as violence, rioting and COVID-19 most likely ramp up, more and more buyers who have a ‘few bucks’ to spend, will be looking for a place to retreat. We currently have several buyers who cannot find what they are looking for and are seeking a variety of luxury homes to list. 2020 and 2021 are going to be the year to leverage the luxury market here in Rhode Island.
If you would have asked me what I wanted to be growing up, little Emilio would have told you “an archeologist” or “an architect” despite the fact that at age 8 I had my first lemonade stand, landscaping business and was recording my first “news show” on my boombox! Well, I never was much good at trigonometry and did could not see myself traveling for months and possibly years at a time, so becoming an architect or archaeologist clearly did not happen!
Fast forward 26 years later and I’m running a team of the finest residential real estate professionals, own a media company and host my very own radio news show about real estate!
In September of 2017, I married my best friend, Jaclynn, and we have two wonderful children, Destinee and Emilio, V. We have 3 dogs, one of which is a rescue and live in lovely Rhode Island. Jaclynn owns a high-end hair salon in addition to an on-location hair and makeup business!
For 7 years straight it seemed that I had put in more hours than the day had to give on my real estate business. 7 days a week, 14 to 16 hour days, without a break! Why? My friends and family did not understand the sheer magnitude of moving parts and services we offer to our clients during a transaction! One slip up or one missed call could mean make or break for someone’s dream home or even a lost deposit!
Running a team of like-minded, highly qualified and capable professionals has allowed me to offer a very streamlined, simplified and efficient approach to the sales process for our clients and allowed me to earn personal time again with my family while not missing a beat for my clients!
When I’m not working, I’m with my family, riding my mountain bike, eating at a number of local restaurants, enjoying live entertainment, hiking, skiing or reading!
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo was optimistic about the start of the Rhode Island school year yesterday. More businesses will be able to apply for a grant program funded by federal coronavirus stimulus money. The days appear numbered for the longtime Metacomet Golf Course in East Providence.
>>Governor: 'Excellent' School Year Start, 19 Virus Cases So Far
(Providence, RI) -- Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday declared that the Rhode Island school system is off to an "excellent return" this week. She also announced there were have been 19 total school-related coronavirus cases across the state in the first two days. Raimondo said each COVID-19 patient was immediately isolated, and close contacts were quarantined. The latest reported school-related COVID-19 cases are from Whiteknact Elementary and Hennessey Elementary in East Providence.
>>Raimondo Makes Several COVID-19-Related Economic Announcements
(Providence, RI) -- Governor Raimondo yesterday made a few announcements related to federal CARES Act money received by the state. Businesses that suffered a COVID-related loss of greater than thirty percent, instead of fifty percent, can now apply for the Restore RI grant program; that was among several revisions made in eligibility criteria. The governor also announced one-million dollars in additional funding to assist businesses and organizations interested in participating in the state's Take It Outside initiative. Also, Raimondo said a new job-training effort will guarantee work in a new field for three-thousand Rhode Islanders impacted by the pandemic.
[[ note nature ]]
>>Ninth Arrest For Alleged Gang Rape Of Teen In Providence
(Providence, RI) -- A ninth person has been arrested in connection to an alleged group sexual assault of a 16-year-old girl in Providence late last year. The individual is Antonio Leiva of Providence. The girl was reportedly given alcohol and marijuana and was then assaulted at a house party. Police say video of the incident was posted on Facebook.
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>>RI Man Indicted On Series Of Alleged Rapes In Massachusetts
(Boston, MA) -- A Cumberland man has been indicted by a grand jury on charges including rape and kidnapping in Massachusetts. Alvin Campbell, the brother of a Boston city councilor, allegedly posed as a rideshare driver and targeted women at bars in Boston. He's accused of sexually assaulting eight women between 2017 and 2019 and allegedly filmed a number of the victims while the rapes were happening. Campbell could face life in prison if convicted.
>>Pit Bull Shot, Later Euthanized After Attack In Providence
(Providence, RI) -- The Providence Police Department says a pit bull was euthanized after it was shot by police officers responding to an attacking incident. The police department says two pit bulls were going after another dog and several people in a yard outside a multi-home residence on Smith Street Wednesday morning. The officers shot one of the pit bulls after a Taser deployment did not stop the attack.
>>Developer Says Days Are Numbered For Metacomet Golf Course
(East Providence, RI) -- A developer is warning that there are no plans to continue operation of a century-old East Providence golf course. An investor group including Rhode Islander Brad Faxon, an eight-time PGA Tour winner, recently agreed to sell the Metacomet [[ met-uh-CAH-mit ]] Golf Course. Developer Marshall Properties says it has the right to convert the property for certain uses without a zoning change, but warns that will not provide for public open space; that's why the public is being asked to support an alternate plan that will require a zoning change. A public Zoom meeting is planned by Marshall for tonight at 6:00, ahead of East Providence City Council meeting to discuss the matter on September 25th.
>>New Report Indicates Investigation Of 6/10 Project Soil Contamination Case
(Providence, RI) -- State and federal investigators are now looking into how contaminated soil ended up at the 6-10 Connector highway project in Providence, according to a report from WPRI-TV. The Rhode Island Department of Transportation announced yesterday that it ordered the removal of a soil pile that featured samples containing higher-than-allowed contaminant levels. The contractor, Massachusetts-based Barletta Construction, was also directed not to bring any more soil to the site from other remediation projects. GoLocalProv.com first reported that the union representing workers on the site made the contaminated soil allegations.
Faced with a development proposal to replace the Newport Grand casino, the City by the Sea recently placed a moratorium on development in order to suck its elegant thumb about its development guidelines.
Bloomberg CityLab published a lengthy article, “History and Gentrification Clash in a Gilded Age Resort,” written by Alex Ulam, describing the conflict over how to amend development regulations. The freeze affected the North End, where the Carpionato Group proposes a major retail and innovation center outside of the city’s historic center, but the ban was lifted in July after about six months. It should be reinstated immediately and indefinitely.
I hasten to clarify for those unfamiliar with Newport that the casino in question is a huge shed marred by flat faux columns, not the famous Newport Casino on Bellevue Avenue designed by Charles Follen McKim.)
The general tenor of the debate over development in the North End illustrates a disconnect common to historic cities with sections of largely intact traditional streetscapes. In a misguided effort to be all things to all people – and hence satisfy no one – Newport seems willing to sacrifice its quality of life and its economic future to a supposed compromise between its historical character and the tainted character of modern development.
“Newport is wrestling with fundamental questions about what kind of city it wants to be,” writes Ulam, “and how to encourage development that doesn’t displace residents or fundamentally change the city’s character.” And who can quarrel with that? But Newport’s new planning director, Patricia Reynolds, was quoted by Ulam as saying:
Our history is an embarrassment of riches. … We are looking for something that respects the character of our city. It doesn’t mean historic-looking buildings — it could be modern buildings with the right proportions.
So let’s encourage new projects that water down the character of our city!
No. Newport must put a moratorium on that.
Architecture that respects the city’s character is fundamentally incompatible with “modern buildings,” with or without the right proportions. Modernist buildings, however well designed, undermine historical character. In most cities, that matters little because whatever historical character they once had is long gone. In Newport, the opportunity to reinforce historical character should not be cast aside based on a widespread misunderstanding.
That misunderstanding is that modern buildings must be, by definition, designed in modernist styles. In fact, all buildings erected today are modern buildings. That is true no matter their style. Modern architecture has stolen the word “modern.” Newly built “historic-looking” buildings are just as valid for the 21st century as modernist ones. More so in that traditional styles are what the public prefers, and that’s no small matter in a democracy. The best way to redress that wrong is to build new buildings – modern buildings – in traditional styles.
No place in America is that more appropriate than in Newport. Newport was the leading economic center of Rhode Island until its capture by the British during the Revolution. Merchants fled to Providence and established a solid industrial dominance. In the 20th century, however, both cities suffered from a failure to thrive. Growth in both places was sparse. As a result, Newport is an 18th century city preserved in amber, while Providence is a 19th century city preserved in amber. With few viable alternatives, both cities have built strong tourist economies based almost exclusively on old preserved beauty.
Newport got a long head start and has done much better. Providence has spent the last half-century eroding its historical character with modern architecture, still not truly recognizing the value of its beauty. Newport has effectively frozen modernism out of its historic districts. Except for America’s Cup Avenue, it has preserved entire neighborhoods. But both cities refuse to acknowledge that new buildings of traditional style can strengthen their historic brand, and without sacrificing “authenticity.” In fact, if Providence continues to build ugly at its current swift pace, its economy will falter and Newport could – if it discovers the concept of new traditional architecture – find itself in a position to leapfrog Providence, not just in tourism, where it already leads, but in broader economic measures.
That is why Newport should pause to rethink its development regulations, in the North End but also throughout the city. It should take the bold step of mandating that all new development embrace architecture that reinforces the city’s historical character – really reinforces it, not fake “respect” like that of planner Reynolds. Building in Newport should be held to the highest levels of quality. That will enrich Newporters at every level of income.
“We are not looking for big box stores,” Reynolds insists. But a big-box store designed to truly respect the historical character of Newport is preferable to a set of small-grained shops designed to look like refugees from the bow-wow Bauhaus School revolutionaries of 1919 Germany, when a cabal of architects decided, foolishly, that all buildings should look like the Machine Age. That delusion took over the European architecture establishment after World War I and the American architecture establishment after World War II. Most U.S. cities drank the Kool Aid. But not Newport. Unlike most U.S. cities, Newport never embraced that delusion – but it must still protect itself from forces that, in every city urge planners to continue drinking the Kool Aid.
The idea of an innovation center such as proposed by Carpionato, but housed in beautiful buildings inspired by the best traditions of the past – now there’s a truly transgressive idea that might appeal to a wide spectrum of the public.
Since Providence apparently will not, Newport should boldly go where no city has gone before by demanding that developers build what the people want, not what the befuddled design elite wants. Let this revolution begin in the North End.
My freelance writing and editing on architecture and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy, email@example.com, or call (401) 351-0457 https://architecturehereandthere.com/
How the rapid adoption of telehealth as a platform in the delivery of health care is redefining the office visit and the future relationship between patients and providers
Call it a moment of Zen, a serendipitous encounter, with profound resonance. Eight years ago, on May 22, 2012, a bevy of national experts came to Rhode Island to discuss how best to grow patient-centered medical homes, at a “think tank” gathering hosted by the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University.
In the audience that day were many of Rhode Island’s top echelon of health care policy experts and poobahs – R.I Health Insurance Commissioner Christopher F. Koller, Lt. Gov. Elizabeth H. Roberts, Rhode Island Quality Institute President and CEO Laura Adams, and Dr. Michael Fine, director of the R.I. Department of Health, all of whom have since moved on to different positions.
At the talk, the experts presented a strong challenge to the current way of doing business within the health care delivery system, detailing examples of successful patient-centered medical homes in Alaska and Vermont that had transformed the business of health care. [It was unclear how many, if any, of the Rhode Island health policy experts in the room were paying close attention.]
Dr. Douglas Eby, the vice president of Medical Service for Southcentral Foundation, Alaska Native Medical Center, talked about the importance of ‘preparing the soil” in order to grow a successful model of health care delivery.
Instead of organizing around the needs of the provider, with an emphasis on tests, diagnosis and treatment, Eby’s Alaska health care model changed the emphasis to a customer-owned model, defining health care as a longitudinal experience, with “messy human relationships in play all the time.”
The results achieved by Eby’s model of health care over the last decade included a 50 percent drop in urgent care and ER utilization, a 53 percent drop in hospital admissions, a 65 percent drop in specialist utilization as well as evidence-based generational change in reducing family violence.
The shift to delivering health in a community context, rather than “disease care,” involved changing the workflow patterns. It began with learning to listen “at least 10 different ways at all times,” an investment in mentoring for all clinicians and management, and a way to “re-humanize” the story, re-defining care for a defined population.
It proved to be a seminal moment for Dr. Patricia Flanagan, a pediatrician who sitting behind ConvergenceRI at the talk, who wondered out loud: “Why just adults? Why not create a similar model of patient-centered care for kids?” All of the recent investments, she told ConvergenceRI after the talk, have gone to identify potential cost reductions in chronic care for adult populations, with little focus on children.
That insight provided the spark, as Flanagan went on to launch PCMH-Kids, part of the all-payer Care Transformation Collaborative. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “The art of coordinated health care when it comes to children.”]
Eby’s watchword for his providers – that they needed “to learn to listen in at least 10 different ways,” in order to be able to “re-humanize the story” – also proved to be one of the critical catalysts for the launch of ConvergenceRI on Sept. 23, 2013, seeking to create a source of accurate, in-depth news reporting that attempted “to listen in 10 different ways” in covering the convergence of health, science, innovation, technology, research, education and community.
What Eby had described as a remedy for the dysfunction in the health care delivery system also offered a remedy, in ConvergenceRI’s opinion, for much of what was wrong with news reporting around health care and health equity in Rhode Island.
Evolution from dinosaurs
Fast-forward eight years. Eby has continued to push forward his efforts to change the health care delivery system to a more patient-centric, customer-focused enterprise. He was the co-author of a recent article in Medium, with the provocative headline: “COVID Has Made the Office Visit a Dinosaur.” [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “Warning: Speed bumps ahead.”]
The story was written by the Boston-based Institute for Healthcare Improvement leadership team, which included Eby, Dr. Edward McGookin, Chief Medical Officer at Coastal Medical, and Jill Duncan, RN, MS, MPH, executive director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement.
The article began: “The office visit has been central to modern medicine. Long-held truths include the necessity of meeting with patients in person, lining up patients to see them in order, and care team members efficiently doing their part to maximize the physician’s precious time and skills. COVID has shown that this choreography is often unnecessary.”
The onslaught of the coronavirus pandemic has exposed how unprepared the nation’s public health and health care delivery systems were to respond, challenging most of the underlying assumptions about in-patient care, pushing the adaptation of telehealth platforms from a novelty to a necessity. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “From a novelty to a necessity.”]
The coronavirus pandemic has also exposed the financial frailty of the unsustainable business model pursued by health systems in Rhode Island [and elsewhere], with hundreds of millions of dollars in federal funds required to pump up the two major health systems, Lifespan and Care New England, prompting them to re-consider an arranged marriage. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “In search of a sustainable business model.”]
What it has not necessarily done, however, is forced the hospitals or regulators to confront or recognize their own moment of Zen – to take the opportunity of the COVID-19 crisis and re-imagine how care is delivered, with an emphasis on patient, not provider, needs.
ConvergenceRI recently had the opportunity to speak with Jill Duncan, RN, MS, MPH, executive director at the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the co-author of the provocative Medium article, and one of the leaders of an ongoing workgroup that is exploring and promoting systemic change in health care delivery, what Duncan called “truly transforming the care delivery experience to be completely woven around the patient.”
In all of the talk about the redesign of the office visit as part of the transformation of health care delivery system change, Duncan told ConvergeneRI, “Understanding what people want and need, when, where and how much they need, it is all hinged on the assumption that we have a relationship with people.”
Here is the ConvergenceRI interview with Duncan, a deep dive into the forces driving system change in health care delivery, which provides an insightful way to launch a new year of convergence and conversation in Rhode Island.
ConvergenceRI: I thought that labeling office visits as a “dinosaur” was pretty far out there. Could you talk about how you see the evolution of health care occurring?
DUNCAN: Let me begin by offering a little bit of context. The Leadership Alliance is a network of executive leaders from 53 very progressive health care delivery systems.
They work together, year after year; this is the sixth year of the Leadership Alliance, and the community alliance members put forward key themes that they want to collaborate around.
We call them workgroups within the network; they are co-led by members. In this case, Dr. Doug Eby, in particular, put forth this idea and it has been something that Doug been pushing on for years, truthfully, within the Leadership Alliance – the notion of truly transforming the care delivery experience to be completely woven around the patient.
He has been advocating within the Alliance to make progress toward redesigning systems that are primarily driven by what works optimally [best] for the patient.
We call it “time, place, and mechanisms,” basing our work on weaving our expertise, partnering skills and abilities into [the patients’] lives, on their terms.
That is really at the ethos at the Southcentral Foundation [and the Alaska Native Medical Center], at which Doug [has served as] chief medical officer and senior leader for more than 30 years.
If you are familiar at all with Southcentral, you are perhaps aware that they are a two-time Baldrige Award winner. [The Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award is an award established by the U.S. Congress in 1987 to raise awareness of quality management and recognize U.S. companies that have implemented successful quality management systems. The award is the nation’s highest presidential honor for performance excellence.] They are the only health care delivery system to be a two-time Baldrige winner
They have built a health care delivery system around their strategic obsession with what works for patients, and learning to listen and to understand what that means, in a way that is truly unparalleled.
There is movement of consumerism in so many aspects of health care in our world today that is the threat or the disruptor to traditional health care systems. We hope in some ways to use it as a bit of an impetus to this work.
ConvergenceRI: Can you describe what that work is?
DUNCAN: That is long introduction to say, this working group was an idea within this network for many years, and last fall, we formed the group officially. A number of health care delivery systems are working and learning together toward that common aim.
[As a goal], we said that by Sept. 30, we would all make progress toward redesigning our systems in those ways. And we’ve looked at [metrics], such as clients’ report, to make sure that they get what they need, how they get information, services and support when, where and how it works well for them.
It is designed as a patient-centric, not a provider-centric system – [the concept that] patient time and effort are held in high regard and as an irreplaceable resource. And, we look at the percent of interactions [that occur] in person.
There are assumptions within this system redesign that there is an opportunity to think about when – and how – we need to touch and see patients in order to care for them.
Many of these aims aligned with telehealth services. And, of course, COVID pushed the accelerator on all of that.
ConvergenceRI: Can you delineate what you meant when you talked about the differences between patient-centric and provider-centric practices? I have heard a lot of “rhetoric” around patient-centered medical homes. But I am not sure whether they reached the point of realizing that they were still mostly organized around provider needs, not necessarily patient needs.
DUNCAN: That’s not something this group has fixed, but it’s something that this group has acknowledged and has really grappled with. We have suggested, coming out of COVID, that there are really two directions to go, if we are going to talk specifically about [scaling up] telehealth.
Telehealth scale can either be an extension of the provider-centric model that uses telehealth in that way, or it can be thinking about what are the systems that would need to change in order to allow that platform to improve patients’ ability to get what they need, how they need it, and when and where they need it.
I would love to say that we have deep examples of [transforming] the system between provider-centric and truly being patient-centric. I think we have examples in the network that are emerging. But it is the reality that we are still very much pushing [the envelope] in this workgroup. This workgroup recognizes that there is still tremendous work to be done to look at what system transformation means around the patient.
How do we know when we are making progress? We can count things like virtual visits. We can count things like patient experience. But we have struggled in this workgroup, and we are continuing to push and challenge each other, to really look at how our vision is being driven by what the patient wants – when we talk about going back to in-person visits or using virtual platforms, when we talk about patients getting what they need in real time, when we talk about the integration of person-driven systems such as AI and machine-learning, and how does that work and integrate within systems [of care].
Those are the things that we are learning together as part of this working group.
ConvergenceRI: You trained as a nurse, is that correct?
DUNCAN: Yes, I’m a nurse by background.
ConvergenceRI: Often, I feel that the current health care delivery system has been oriented around by what doctors want, and the perception that doctors drive the system. Yet most people that I talk within the health care delivery system will acknowledge, if they are being honest, is that nurses are the ones that drive the system. If women hold up more than half the sky, nurses hold up more than three-quarters of the health care delivery system.
But, nurses are often left out of the equation in decision-making. Is part of the transformation of the system of care you are talking about include a way to enable nurses to play a more active role in redesigning the system of care delivery?
DUNCAN: I do. I think there is a different role emerging for nurses. I think there’s a different role for physicians, and there is a different role for the rest of the care team, and that includes the family and community care team.
There are of couple of principles that we have talked about that are specific to theory of the office visit as a dinosaur. There are four of them that fall under the bucket of aligning, training and retaining the workforce.
The first is: resetting the physician leadership and team-based whole person care paradigm. That idea is to suggest that physicians have a very different role, it’s more like consultative, supportive team member, rather than serving as a center of excellence.
That is a different model for the design of care delivery; it’s a different model for training, for [recruiting] a workforce that is willing and interested in partnering in that type of work dynamic.
I think it is different way of working [than the way than] most traditional practices [operate] right now. We’ve also talked about [the concept of] developing family and friends as skilled service providers. Also, optimizing community-based workforces, and community health workers. Safety-net providers are probably the greatest example of that but there are others as well. And that is design element that we’ve suggested needs to be a part of this care transformation.
ConvergenceRI: Have you received pushback from health insurance companies about this effort?
DUNCAN: A number of the members of the Alliance have a payer arm. So they have, very successfully, been able to align more of their risk within their system design.
ConvergenceRI: So much of the conversation around redesign of the health care delivery system gets down to the dollars-and-cents issues: who gets paid, when, for what, and how much. Much of that is determined by how episodes in the health care delivery system are coded. Not only have doctors but insurers have gotten very comfortable with the status quo of the existing system.
By disrupting the office visit and the patterns of staffing and behavior around that, you are disrupting the way that insurers pay out claims. What kind of dialogue may need to take place with insurers to get them on your side?
DUNCAN: That’s a great question. We have two insurers that have been participating in this work. Humana is one and the other is SCAN Health Plan in California [a not-for-profit Medicare Advantage health maintenance organization in Long Beach, founded in 1977].
This is an area that we haven’t pushed as hard on within the workgroup as we need to. I think we do need to continue to come back to a deeper understanding of what at-risk contracting allows, and what does that look like for different systems. It is not a place to date that this group has focused their emphasis. But it is the reality, you are right.
ConvergenceRI: Part of the disconnect that occurs between patients and doctors in an office visit, whether in-person or virtual, is the way that the flow of information is defined and constrained by having to ask and answer ridiculous question, in my opinion, such as: What is your pain level today, on a scale o 0-10; how much pain are you in?
It seems to me, until you can change that kind of question and the way it is asked – as a perfunctory metric to fill out a box on a form, you are not going to be able to engage with the patient in a more meaningful fashion.
DUNCAN: Yes. Part of the way that we have engaged with this workgroup is to agitate on some of those same issues, to push and raise the questions. And, absolutely, to the degree that we maximize the use of patient portals and telemedicine, at all levels, to examine what questions are necessary.
There is quote that sticks with me from one of our first conversations [in the workgroup] that was from a chief information officer from a large integrated health system, saying: “As a patient, act like you know me; act like you know me when I come into your system.”
If we design around that question, if we design around that assumption, we think differently about the ways we ask questions and the questions that we ask.
It may require us to redesign our electronic medical record so that there are not the same prompts that require greeting patients [and asking questions] in order to get to the next field [as quickly as possible].
It challenges the way we use waiting rooms, it challenges the way even bring people into our clinic or office space, and what happens when we do bring them in.
These are all questions that this working group is testing right now, in different settings, in individual ambulatory settings within systems, in ways that they can push the boundaries, in order to learn and understand what [patients] come up against.
ConvergenceRI: Two years ago, the president of Epic, Carl Dvorak, spoke at the Warren Alpert Medical School. He talked about developing an AI system that used de-identified video to capture how patients and doctors interact.
Which really angered a physician, who pushed back at Dvorak, arguing that the most important feature of a patient-doctor relationship was trust.
For all the work that is being put into AI, to be able to use algorithms to predict human behavior to create better health outcomes, particularly as the popularity of wearable devices surges, what is the role of empathy in health care?
DUNCAN: One of my first thoughts is that there is a gentleman whom we listen to within this work group – Dr. Saul Weiner, at the University of Illinois in Chicago. Weiner has written quite a bit about using simulated patients, almost like “secret shoppers” within the health system, to try and better understand the quality of care and the aspects of the experience of care.
We are still in the coronavirus pandemic crisis, our workgroup has talked very specifically about the transition to telehealth; we’ve talked about how many systems were saying, patients just want to go back to in-person visits, and providers want to go back to in-person visits.
It has raised the opportunity to ask the question: what was it about the experience within the virtual experience, to make it a more desirable experience for patients and providers. It is a simple question about the continuous improvement around telehealth, but it does get at the feeling of people feeling cared for.
I feel as if I am channeling Doug Eby. He says it all comes down to the relationships that we have with people.
We are living in interesting times, with technologies that are popping up, there are chain stores with clinics in an attempt to meet consumers with the convenience they want.
Post pandemic, the relationship we have through our primary care providers is at the heart of our ability to care for the whole person.
In all of this talk about the redesign of the office visit, we have to talk about structures, understanding what people want and need, when, where and how much they need. It is all hinged on the assumption that we have a relationship with people.
ConvergenceRI: Imagine if the provider asked, instead of pain scale question: What was the best thing that happened to you today? Would that change the dynamics of someone listening to what had happened in a patient’s life, to listen to something they felt good about?
DUNCAN: I’m going to ask that on my next virtual call. So thank you for that prompt.
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.
Photo: Image of the state of Israel’s Twitter account in reaction to the signing of the Abraham Accords.
As groups often fight bitterly on US soil about politics, and polarization is causing strife from coast to coast, peace is breaking out across the world, particularly among the most unlikely of new friends, the Middle East.
Thinking back to the moving of the US Embassy to Jerusalem, with predictions of all-out war, after a short time, the heralded reaction did not come to pass. Observers expect the same eventual acceptance with this agreement and the one before.
Uniting in their determination to build a better future, leaders of countries came together to sign historic peace agreements between Israel and Arab nations, all towards establishing a fair and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians, as well as other nations.
President Donald J. Trump hosted the official signing ceremony for the historic peace agreements at the White House yesterday afternoon. Taking place outdoors, at a long conference table that had been moved outdoors, and in front of over 1,000 invited guests, the signing was not culminated with the usual shaking of hands.
The foundation of the peace agreements was between Israel and the United Arab Emirates (U.A.E.). Bahrain came to participate following their agreement with Israel last week.
The countries will now exchange embassies and ambassadors, and will begin cooperative programs in education, healthcare, trade, tourism, and security.
The US is anticipating more agreements – meaning increased security – will happen between Israel and other countries will follow, with as many as five or six other countries well in process.
Included in the agreement:
Muslims will have more access to the Al Aqsa Mosque for peaceful prayer.
Further enhancements between countries to enhance security between nations while deepening opportunities for economic ties.
Plans will move forward with nations across the Middle East and Africa to increasingly work together to build a more peaceful and prosperous future.
Normalized relations will accelerate growth and economic opportunity across the region by expanding business and financial ties.
President Trump said at the ceremony on the South Lawn of the White House, “We’re here this afternoon to change the course of history. After decades of division and conflict we mark the dawn of a new Middle East. Thanks to the great courage of the leaders of these three countries, we take a major stride toward a future in which people of all faiths and backgrounds live together in peace and prosperity.”
The agreement will be known as the “Abraham Accords”. Netanyahu called the day a “pivot of history.” President Trump said, eventually, the Palestinians will come in, too.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Covering more headlines about the coronavirus pandemic and the start of the Rhode Island school year. A man is arrested for allegedly stabbing a family member over the treatment of a pet. The Celtics lose Game 1 of the conference finals.
>>Providence Teachers Protest; Statewide Bus Problems; Warwick Facilities Still Unsafe
(Undated) -- The top story in Rhode Island this week continues to be the virus pandemic-era return to school. Providence teachers held a protest outside of the RI Department of Education yesterday and criticized the rollout of the school district's new Virtual Learning Academy, among other things. The Providence Journal reports a state education department spokesperson on Monday indicated challenges with the statewide busing system because of an increased number of routes necessary to satisfy social distancing. In Warwick, which has started the school year remotely, WPRI-TV reports the superintendent said Tuesday it is unsafe for students to return to classrooms, in response to the school committee considering a switch to hybrid learning. However, the Warwick committee did vote to move kindergartners to Veteran's Memorial Middle School to start in-person learning.
>>Report: Providence College Students Test Positive For COVID-19
(Providence, RI) -- A number of off-campus-living Providence College students have tested positive for the coronavirus. WPRI-TV reports a spokesperson says at least fifteen students have tested positive. As a result, all off-campus students are being asked to learn remotely until they produce a negative test result.
>>Man Arrested For Stabbing Family Member Because Of Cat Treatment
(Pawtucket, RI) -- A Pawtucket man is facing charges of domestic felony assault and disorderly conduct for allegedly stabbing his brother-in-law in the head. Police say Leonaldo G. Severino Martinez admitted to doing so because he did not like the way the victim was treating his cat. This reportedly happened at a residence where the two lived on Newport Avenue Tuesday morning. Authorities say the victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.
>>Popular Massachusetts Restaurant And Banquet Hall Closing
(Swansea, MA) -- Venus de Milo [[ VEE-niss duh-MY-low ]] restaurant and banquet hall on Route 6 in Swansea, Massachusetts is closing and being sold. It started as a bowling alley nearly sixty years ago and has been owned by the same family. The current owner says the closure is partially due to the coronavirus pandemic effect on businesses. If you are looking to still satisfy a food fix from the restaurant, it will continue operating as takeout business from another location. Deposits for weddings and other future events at Venus de Milo will be refunded.
>>Pizza Delivery Driver Arrested For DUI In Westerly
(Westerly, RI) -- A pizza delivery driver is being charged with drunk driving in Westerly. The Sun newspaper reports the Domino's driver, Jaskarm Kang, crashed into a pair of parked cars on Saturday night, causing significant damage, according to Westerly police. No injuries were reported. Authorities say the thirty-year-old Kang showed signs of intoxication including a strong odor of mouthwash, and also said he was an uninsured driver.
>>Campground In Burrillville Being Bought By State
(Burrillville, RI) -- The state of Rhode Island is agreeing to a conservation purchase in Burrillville. The Valley Breeze reports this is for the Echo Lake Campground in Pascoag, a property of over two-hundred acres. The Department of Environmental Management says it will be purchased by a Green Economy Bond approved by voters in 2016.
>>Celtics Lose Game 1 Of Conference Finals
(Orlando, FL) -- The Boston Celtics lost Game 1 of the NBA Playoffs Eastern Conference Finals against the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. The final score from the Bubble in Disney World was 117-to-114 in overtime. Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is tomorrow night at 7 p.m.
Photo: RI Governor Gina Raimondo greeting children in Providence on the first day of school (Governor’s Twitter post)
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
Long Island restaurants that would normally be packing up for the season are expanding with outdoor seating, outdoor heaters, and promotions.
Simon, Brookfield buys J.C. Penney out of bankruptcy
An attorney for many of the 9-11 survivors in NYC says he has lost over 100 clients from COVID-19. He says, with the lung infections/conditions they had, “they didn’t have a chance”.
25,000 tests since Aug. 1st done at Univ. of Arizona, 4.6% positivity rate. Last 10 days most of the cases occurred. Every student who came into dorms were tested at beginning and they were negative. Learned that off-campus residents also need to be tested, which they were not before. They are also doing sewer screenings from dorms – if they find COVID then they test the whole dorm – in some cases finding 1 or 2 asymptomatic people.
Astra-Zeneca and Oxford University have resumed its trial after analyzing the potential disease complication.
The 9-11 Memorial Museum in NYC is now open again to the public.
Hawaii is struggling with a virus outbreak in a veterans home.
Air pollution from the CA wildfires can make people more vulnerable to coronavirus.
Nantucket seeing “surge” of 30 new cases in last few days.
Connecticut Governor says he does not want to see schools close and move to virtual every time a student or staff member tests positive.
Maine has 10 cases tied to a funeral.
Boston Ballet planning virtual Nutcracker
Clark’s Shoes may close 25% of their stores.
Boston Sports Clubs owner company seeks protection in bankruptcy court. They own 185 gyms throughout the country, with 30 in Massachusetts. 24 Hour Fitness and New York Sports Clubs join them and other fitness chains in seeking protection, which allows them to remain open.
The Salvation Army will begin collecting donations to try to offset the expecting 50% shortfall due to closed stores and less in-person shopping.
Antarctica has no COVID – with over 1,000 scientists living on 40 sites – no tourism is allowed, no cruise ships, and restrictions on deliveries, etc.
52% of children who moved out of their parents homes recently have moved back in due to economic and socialization reasons – lack of jobs – school closings – etc.
Lumber is now becoming more expensive and in short supply – due to the pandemic, tariffs, and labor issues.
Abbott Labs in Scarborough Maine, will hire fill another 1,200 new jobs at their Maine facility as it ramps up their “pregnancy-type” COVID-19 testing.
Teachers in 3 states have died since school reopened; 604 cases of the viruses have been recorded in Mississippi alone.
In Connecticut some college students have been asked to step in to teach in public schools as resignations from regular teachers have left the system severely short-handed.
Israel goes into second lockdown as cases surge
Amazon to hire over 100K to keep up with surge for online deliveries
London Airport to cut 240 jobs.
Teacher absences throughout the US leave schools scrambling for subs – with many teachers giving late notice of sick leave/retirements waiting until the last moment for change in schools, etc.
The U.S. State Department has downgraded its travel warning for Mexico.
Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade will be held virtually this year.
Federal judge rules Pennsylvania Governor’s shutdown order & business closures were unconstitutional
Puerto Rico’s has reopened beaches, casinos, gyms and movie theaters. Face masks and social distancing, especially at the beach, remain mandatory, bars and clubs will stay closed and a10 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew will continue.
83-year old former French premier Berlusconi has left the hospital and urges French citizens to take the virus seriously. He said doctors told him he had the highest levels of virus they had seen in the tens of thousands of samples they had taken over the past six months. Notably, Berlusconi has a heart condition and a pacemaker. Two of his children, and his girlfriend, are also positive for the virus. They had all been on holiday in Sardinia, where, now, there have been numerous outbreaks. Berlusconi called upon students to take the virus precautions seriously. Doctors said if he had gotten sick back in May, he may not have survived – that much has been learned about treatment. It is not believed he was ever put on a ventilator.
UCONN at Storrs will quarantine 600 students living in off-campus housing who have tested positive
Hobby Lobby has raised its minimum wage to $17/hour to attract more staff as they expand.
Lt. Gov. of Hawaii, a central figure in fighting the virus, tested positive.
In New Jersey, almost three-fifths of people who respond to the state’s COVID-19 contact tracers are refusing to cooperate.
Peeps treats are going on hiatus for several months – another consequence of the coronavirus pandemic. Just Born Quality Confections said it won’t be producing the popular marshmallow sweets for Halloween, Christmas or Valentine’s Day as the Bethlehem based company prepares for next Easter
Some RI nursing homes are experiencing upticks – RI nursing home group expresses concern
Providence Teachers Union has requested national NIOSH – a division of CDC to do an independent review of all the Providence public schools. Gov. is open to the idea.
Field of Screams in West Greenwich will not open this year.
Worcester looking at creating a community broadband signal due to remote learning needs.
Ponaganset High School staff member tests positive.
The Blackstone Valley Prep charter schools were forced to begin school remotely on Monday after a staff member tested positive for COVID-19
Venus de Milo in Swansea, MA is for sale – one of the most iconic large event facilities in the area. Owner says his retirement was coming but the pandemic moved up the timeline. Press conference set for today. Iconic foods – soup – will be moved to another restaurant location.
The RIDOH has a Back To School promotional campaign – they have budgeted over $147,000 for all creative and content development, and direct media placement costs, funded by CARES Act money.
GAMM Theater moving to online productions and classes
12 Testing sites have been opened for K-12 in RI – It is for any student, teacher or staff member who needs to be tested. Sites are open 7 days a week from 7:30am to 9:30pm – by appointment by calling 844-857-1814. This is only for PreK-12. Services available to multiple languages.
Tiverton Middle School parents have been notified about two children with a probable case who had been at the school (one has tested negative)
A protest over the Virtual Learning Academy will be held tonight
A rally will be held in Coventry to save arts and sports.
Free meals will be provided to students even if they are virtul learning at home – the Grab & Go program will operate much like the summer program did.
Bus drivers from Durham Co. serving Cumberland public schools, BV Prep and Prov. Mayoral Academy 2 may go on strike and have given notice.
This is the last week for voluntary furloughs at the Providence Journal
Women & Infants Hospital’s annual Bright Night for Little Stars is going virtual this year. The Oct. 3 fundraiser will stream live from the Providence Performing Arts Center, where the lineup includes Broadway singer Syndee Winters, comedian Tom Cotter and Rhode Island native and singer Kelley Lennon. Hosted by Joe Wilson Jr. of the Resident Acting Company at Trinity Repertory Company, the night will also feature a specially created performance by the National Virtual Medical Orchestra. The event is free with links to donation mechanisms.
North Kingstown Middle and High School Mini Exhibit &
First ART ALL ‘ROUND Chamber Music Series with Legacy String Trio
A wonderful way to celebrate the start of a new school year through an all-media exhibit featuring work from students during spring 2020.
North Kingstown based Wickford Art Association (WAA) will host a Mini-Exhibit of artwork “from the time of quarantine” by students at Davisville Middle School – Annemarie Lambert, teacher and North Kingstown High School – Janice Strain, teacher.
WAA is pleased to launch this brief by meaningful exhibit in a continuation of our commitment to engaging and encouraging emerging artists in our community.
Open to the public Wednesday- September 16 through Sunday- September 20, 2020 with a preview for Wickford Art Association members on September 15th during the organization’s Annual Meeting.
REGULAR GALLERY HOURS
Wednesday – Saturday (noon to 4pm)
Sunday (noon to 3pm)
On Sunday- September 20, 2020 at 4pm, WAA opens our new Art All ‘Round Chamber Music Series featuring the Legacy String Trio. A series of Sunday afternoon performances by area musicians and ensembles, small audiences (maximum 50 – physically distanced & masked) may enjoy an afternoon of music from our Beach Street Gallery, surrounded by terrific fine art! Each concert will feature a different small musical ensemble.
Our inaugural concert in September 2020 features Legacy String Trio, performing Classical & Contemporary selections– voted BEST OF by The Knot, and awarded 5-Star COUPLES CHOICE through WeddingWire. Complementary wine samples by Gooseneck Vineyards for guests 21+ provided.
Admission is $25 per person for a wonderful afternoon where guests are encouraged to wander, sit, listen, and enjoy both the music and the amazing artwork on display all ’round the gallery. All guests must pre-order tickets through BROWN PAPER TICKETS (https://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/4681913)
More information on Legacy String Trio on Facebook @legacystringtrio, Instagram #legacystringtrio.
The Wickford Art Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 450 members from Rhode Island and 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 www.wickfordart.org
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Yesterday was the first day of school in Rhode Island. A change is announced to the Providence commuter rail service for the fall. CARES Act money is available for Rhode Island fisheries affected by the virus pandemic.
>>Recapping The First Day Of School In Rhode Island
(Undated) -- Here's a roundup of headlines from the first day of school in Rhode Island. The state announced its new COVID-19 testing program is up and running on Monday and that any students, teacher or staff member who has symptoms can schedule a test by calling 844-857-1814. Blackstone Valley Prep charter schools are unexpectedly starting with remote learning after a staff member tested positive for the virus and others had to quarantine. WPRI-TV reports Governor Gina Raimondo greeted returning students in North Providence yesterday, while State Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]] and the superintendent of Providence Public Schools took part in a back-to-school press conference at Spaziano Elementary. And, a North Providence middle school teacher, Matthew Moniz, was reportedly arrested on a warrant after school ended yesterday; authorities are not elaborating on the charges he faces.
>>High Surf Advisory From Hurricane Paulette
(Undated) -- A High Surf Advisory remains in effect from the National Weather Service for coastal Rhode Island until 8 p.m. tonight. The weather service says dangerous rip currents and large breaking waves from Hurricane Paulette will peak today. The advisory applies especially to southeast-facing ocean beaches on the RI and Massachusetts coastlines.
>>MBTA Announces Service Change To Providence Commuter Rail
(Providence, RI) -- The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority is announcing changes to its Providence commuter rail service. The T says with the change, service will be more evenly distributed throughout the day with consistent, all-day service and sixty-minute headways. Final commuter rail schedules for the fall will be made available on the MBTA website in the coming weeks.
>>Two Arrested After Drive-By Shooting In North Providence
(North Providence, RI) -- Two people are facing charges for an alleged drive-by shooting in North Providence. Authorities reportedly responded to Fatima Hospital shortly after midnight Sunday after two gunshot victims arrived; they told officers they had been confronted while they were in a vehicle on High Service Avenue over an ongoing argument, and shots were then fired. The two suspects arrested were Matthew Peckham of Warwick and Skylar Poznanski, last known residence in Woonsocket.
>>DEM Taking Applications From Fisheries For COVID Relief Money
(Providence, RI) -- The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says three-million dollars in federal CARES Act money is available for fisheries. The DEM began accepting applications yesterday and will continue to do so until September 28th. Commercial and for-hire fisheries in the Ocean State which incurred a revenue loss from the coronavirus pandemic are eligible. Applications can be picked up at the DEM offices in Jamestown, Narragansett and Providence.
>>Portsmouth Council Approves New Tower For Prudence Island Internet
(Portsmouth, RI) -- A contract has been approved to provide better Internet service for residents on Prudence Island. EastBayRI.com reports the Portsmouth Town Council unanimously approved a contract on Monday with American Broadband, a Bristol company which currently provides the service to some homes on the island, to erect a tower to increase its service. The tower will go up at the Portsmouth transfer station.
“That which seems the height of absurdity for one generation, often becomes the height of wisdom in another” – Adlai Stevenson
A generational crisis is facing all of industry in the next two decades, as about 60% of the workforce, Baby Boomers, are set to retire. Industry knows it has to prepare for the eventual turn-over in generations to ensure the future of its intellectual capital. In certain organizations, more and more young faces are integrated every week. We celebrate their first day at work with a large reception and a group picture, flashed across plasma screens throughout all locations. While this important recognition is admirable and makes the new hires “feel good”, many Boomers consider it just style over substance. Just another touchy-feely exercise leading to small improvement in the way to conduct business and solidify the future. The question is always, “are these young people going to add value? And how will they add value?”
While a company plans for its future, integrating generations may not always work out as the HR department or the recruiters planned. Organizations have to address the inevitable tensions arising due to conflicting levels of experiences, values, expectations, work habits, and communication styles, as well as perceived favoritism or even nepotism.[i] While the business places a great focus on the younger generation, are the needs of the older generation sufficiently considered?
As a Boomer encountering a GenXer or Y in a work setting, older workers often dread the experience. They immediately react in one of three ways: After the initial apprehension, they may think, “How bad a slacker is he/she? Who actually does his/her work?” Or, if luck prevails, he/she is the son or daughter of another employee and will perform well as a matter of family pride and tradition, so as not to embarrass the parent. (“Whose offspring is this?”)
Tensions definitely arise when relatively mildly talented younger individuals take advantage of this unique situation: lots of Boomers clearly looking to retire, lots of future empty slots. Sometimes we Boomers wonder, “Do you really think you can take our place? What have you proven you can do?”
The CCL Podcast, 10 Principals for Working Across Generations, offers solutions that speak to reconciliation of generational conflict. According to CCL, when common cross-generational values and behaviors are applied, it’s easier to look past stereotypes and labels. In their seven-year study, CCL found that these ten principals hold true across all generations. As stated in the Podcast, shared values are: Family, integrity, achievement, love, competence, happiness, self-respect, wisdom, balance and responsibility.
Moreover, when properly applied, CCL’S 10 Principles and shared values can remind a business to keep its moral compass, by providing leadership across generations to mitigate these inevitable inter-generational conflicts. However, unless leadership has clearly defined the principles and values to all generations, a pathway to discord is paved.
For example, a boomer may be currently working with a young woman who has advanced very quickly; promoted two levels in two years. She is considered a fast tracker and is being groomed and mentored for some future “significant “role. She is bright, and has domain knowledge, but her work has been incomplete, haphazard, and even untruthful. What if the boomer has documented her lack of attention to detail, with examples of placing risky milestones in sales forecasts with her full knowledge that the supplier is never going to make promised delivery dates?
By contrast, another GenXer, a male co-worker, hasn’t moved as quickly. He is diligent, honest; detail oriented, and gets the job done. He makes no attempts to “game” the system. He comes in early and stays late, even with two little kids at home. He shoots for work life balance, but also takes work home. He is not receiving any special mentoring or coaching. He has not had a promotion in several years. He is angry. He perceives a “slacker” is moving ahead of him. He wants to leave the company. But his father-in-law is a former VP and the family pride would suffer if he quits.
Although generational differences need to be considered in attracting and growing a large business’s brain trust, its failures of effective leadership and ignorance of executing values behavior may have the opposite effect, an inadvertent widening of the generation gap, risking loss of precious national intellectual assets.
Mary O’Sullivan has over 30 years of experience in the aerospace and defense industry. In each of her roles she acted as a change agent, moving teams and individuals from status quo to higher levels of performance, through offering solutions focused on changing behaviors and fostering growth.
Mary has a Master of Science in Organizational Leadership from Quinnipiac University. In addition, she is also an International Coaching Federation Professional Certified Coach, a Society of Human Resource Management Senior Certified Professional and has a Graduate Certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching, from the University of Texas at Dallas.
In her leadership and executive coaching, she focuses on improving the executive behaviors that slow down performance and lead to growth, such as soft skills, communication, micro-bias awareness, etc. She has successfully helped other professionals, such as attorneys, surgeons, pharmacists, and university professors, make career decisions to lead to success in their chosen careers. In addition, small business owners have sought Mary’s services to bring their companies into greater alignment, working on their culture, vision, mission, values and goals as well as organizational structure. Mary’s executive coaching has been mainly with large organizations among them: Toray Plastics America, Hasbro, Raytheon Company, Lockheed Martin, CVS Healthcare, Sensata Technologies, Citizen’s Bank, Ameriprise, BD Medical Devices, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, (Newport, R.I.), General Dynamics, University of Rhode Island, Community College of Rhode Island, etc.
Mary has facilitated numerous workshops on various topics in leadership such as, emotional intelligence, appreciative inquiry, effective communication, leading in adversity, etc. She has also written extensively on similar topics.
Mary is also a certified Six Sigma Specialist, Contract Specialist, IPT Leader and holds a Certificate in Essentials of Human Resource Management from the Society of Human Resources Development. Mary is also an ICF certified Appreciative Inquiry Practitioner, and a Certified Emotional Intelligence assessor and practitioner.
In addition, Mary holds a permanent teaching certificate in the State of New York for secondary education with Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, State University of New York at Oswego and Syracuse University. She is also a member Beta Gamma Sigma and the International Honor Society.
Mary dedicates herself to coaching good leaders to get even better through positive approaches to behavior change for performance improvement
Hurricanes are dangerous and can cause major damage because of storm surge, wind damage, and flooding. They can happen along any U.S. coast or in any territory in the Atlantic or Pacific oceans. Storm surge is historically the leading cause of hurricane-related deaths in the United States. Eastern Pacific hurricane season is from May 15 to November 30 and Atlantic hurricane season is from June 1 to November 30.
Know what disasters and hazards could affect your area, how to get emergency alerts, and where you would go if you and your family need to evacuate. Make sure your family has a plan and practices it often.
Listed below are links to all kinds of disasters that can become challenges for us. You can click on them and get all kinds of information.
Here we will deal with just one – and an unusual one that is becoming important for us to know more about:
Mass Attacks in Crowded & Public Spaces
While the threat of mass attacks is real, we can all take steps to prepare, protect ourselves and help others.
What are Mass Attacks?
Use weapons to attack crowds.
Target less protected indoor or outdoor spaces.
Intend to harm multiple victims.
Use the attack(s) to intimidate.
Can use makeshift or modern weapons.
Types of Mass Attacks
Active shooter: Individuals using firearms to cause mass casualties.
Intentional Vehicular Assault (IVA): Individuals using a vehicle to cause mass casualties.
Improvised Explosive Device (IED): Individuals using homemade bombs to cause mass casualties.
Other methods of mass attacks may include knives, fires, drones or other weapons.
Protect Yourself Against a Mass Attack
Cover and hide.
Help the wounded.
If You See Something, Say Something®
Report suspicious behavior, items or activities to authorities.
Observe Warning Signs
Signs might include unusual or violent communications, expressed anger or intent to cause harm and substance abuse. These warning signs may increase over time.
Be Alert to Your Surroundings
Observe what is going on around you and avoid distractions such as texting, listening to headphones or being on your cell phone.
Have an Exit Plan
Identify exits and areas to hide under cover wherever you go, including at work, school and special events.
Plan to Seek Cover for Protection
Map out places to seek cover. Place a barrier between yourself and the threat using solid objects, walls and locked doors as protection.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: The Patriots win their 2020 season opener. The Rhode Island school year is starting. A fatal hit-and-run crash in Pawtucket is being investigated.
>>Patriots Beat Dolphins In Week 1
(Foxboro, MA) -- The Patriots won their first game of the 2020 season on Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins at zero-attendance Gillette Stadium. The final score was 21-to-11. Two rushing touchdowns for quarterback Cam Newton, who was signed by New England to replace six-time Super Bowl winner Tom Brady, now with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Brady had one rushing touchdown and passed for two TD's, but also had two interceptions and his new team lost in his debut yesterday. The next game for the Pats is next Sunday in Seattle against the Seahawks.
>>Providence Public Schools Sharing Inspection Reports
(Providence, RI) -- Providence Public Schools says it has been told by the state that it meets coronavirus-related re-opening expectations. The school district has posted inspection reports of all of its schools online at ProvidenceSchools.org/walkthroughs. PPS is starting the school year today with in-person learning for pre-K to fifth graders and a combination of in-person learning and distance learning for students grades six to twelve.
>>Lawsuit To Stop Bristol-Warren Schools Reopening Rejected
(Bristol, RI) -- A Rhode Island Superior Court judge has denied a request from a teachers' union to stop Bristol-Warren schools from re-opening for in-person learning. The union argued unsuccessfully that the state law covering school safety inspections should be interpreted to include COVID-19 guidance and that the buildings are not safe. Two schools in the district, Colt Andrews Elementary and Mount Hope High School, are not starting off with full in-person learning. Colt Andrews because a staff member recently tested positive for COVID-19, and Mount Hope is dealing with a social-distancing issue.
>>Fatal Hit-And-Run In Pawtucket Under Investigation
(Pawtucket, RI) -- Police are investigating a fatal hit-and-run incident in Pawtucket. The city police department says the collision between a motorcycle and another vehicle happened at the intersection of Lonsdale Avenue and Harrison Street Friday night. The motorcycle operator who died was identified by friends and family as 27-year-old Lenon dos Reis [[ LEN-nin dose race ]], according to a report from WLNE-TV. Authorities believe the other vehicle was a dark-colored 2006-to-2008 Nissan Maxima with extensive driver-side damage.
>>Mail Ballot Applications Being Sent Out For November Election
(Providence, RI) -- Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea [[ gore-BAY-uh ]] says all active Rhode Island voters will receive mail ballot applications for the November general election. Because of coronavirus concerns about in-person voting, Gorbea's office sent out such applications for the June presidential primary. The Rhode Island House passed legislation during a special summer session to allow applications to be sent out in September and November, but the bill was not passed by the state Senate, and the applications didn't go out for last week's election. Gorbea says she does not believe she needs legislative approval or an executive order from the governor to take this action.
>>Donald Trump Jr. Tweets About University Of Rhode Island Mural Removal
(Kingston, RI) -- Donald Trump Jr. is weighing in on the controversy over the planned removal of murals from the student union building at the University of Rhode Island. The murals in question were painted by a returning World War Two veteran and depicted student life after the war; the university said it received complaints about a lack of diversity being portrayed. Trump Jr. tweeted about the story last Thursday, saying, quote, "Truly sick. Don't let the Left destroy America. God knows they're trying hard to do just that". URI says it is working to preserve the murals.
>>Woman Used Stimulus Check To Establish Stuffed Animal Zoo
(Pawtucket, RI) -- A Rhode Island woman used her federal coronavirus stimulus check from earlier this year to create a stuffed animal zoo. Eighty-six-year-old Nancy Connor of Pawtucket used the twelve-hundred-dollar check, as well as some of her own money, to purchase the life-sized stuffed animals and set up the zoo on her lawn. Connor said she wanted to lift people's spirits up. But, WJAR-TV reported last week that Connor is taking the zoo down and is giving away the stuffed animals to the public.
>>Celtics Taking On Miami Heat In Next Round Of Playoffs
(Orlando, FL) -- The Celtics are getting set for their NBA Eastern Conference Finals matchup against the Miami Heat after knocking the defending champions out of the playoffs. The C's beat the Toronto Raptors in a decisive Game 7 on Friday, 92-to-87. Tipoff for Game 1 against the Heat from the bubble in Disney World is Tuesday night at 6:30.
Photo: The Twin Towers light installation will go on, after briefly being canceled. Below, the tile installation in Providence that will be restored for year 20.
Rhode Island organization looks to restore, relocate, and reimagine the iconic Rhode Island monument
The 9-11 Wall of Hope, an extraordinary work of community art created by Rhode Islanders in the aftermath of the 9-11 tragedy, is being restored by generous donors and community partners in anticipation of a 2021 unveiling at a new, more easily accessible location. Jennifer Robinson, Executive Director of the nonprofit, Rhode Island 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument, created the organization specifically to reimagine, restore, relocate, and safeguard the iconic attraction for a new generation of Rhode Islanders. “For sixteen years, the Wall of Hope stood as a testament to the enduring strength of the American spirit,” says Robinson about the monument. “Not only does it depict our resolve as a country, but it is also a reflection of our diversity as a united people regardless of our backgrounds, race, religion, ethnicity, language, or socioeconomic status. The Wall of Hope was created by a beautiful and diverse kaleidoscope of men, women, and children who represent the very best of our American ideals.”
Robinson was one the original artists that helped bring the Wall of Hope to life and conceived the idea for the Wall of Hope memorial art installation in 2001 when she was working for the National Conference for Community & Justice (NCCJ) as their Director of Development. The Wall of Hope brought together the greater community, allowing Rhode Islanders to share and work through their grief, while also inspiring hope. Robinson worked tirelessly over the next year mobilizing communities, collaborating with amazing leaders and volunteers from every walk of life in Rhode Island, and shepherding the project from concept to its extraordinary unveiling – a city procession by torchlight from Kennedy Plaza to a commemorative Waterfire.
Junior Jabbie, one of the non-profit’s founding board members and the President & CEO of Banneker Supply Chain Solutions, also has a vested interest in seeing the 9-11 memorial return to its former glory. In 2002, Banneker played a pivotal role by donating their warehousing and logistics services to stage and assemble the tiles prior to their final installation in Providence. “The Wall of Hope is an integral part of our legacy as a Rhode Island-based company, especially considering our initial involvement during the memorial’s creation,” says Jabbie. “Twenty years later the world as we know it is as different as it is the same. Banneker is committed to Jennifer, the organization, and most importantly the memorial. Considering the challenges we face as a state and country today – social unrest, human and civil rights violations, the global pandemic, etc. – the Wall of Hope is as needed now as ever. This monument can once again serve its original purpose as a soothing salve to help repair raw wounds.”
The memorial is one of several public art installations across Downtown Providence and was located in one of the city’s world-class parks. “As the Creative Capital, our public art and memorials are representative of the vibrant communities that makes up our city,” said Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “Our Providence Parks Department has worked tirelessly alongside the Rhode Island 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument team to ensure that this piece is cared for and continues to honor the many stories of our community that it represents. I want to thank Jennifer for her passion and continued leadership.” Providence Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson added, “We are pleased to support this restoration project which will establish a permanent tribute to honor the enduring spirit of our City and State. With the revitalization of Waterplace Park well underway, we look forward to envisioning a new role for Waterplace Tunnel in the Downtown Parks network.”
Although the COVID-19 crisis has temporarily paused restoration activities, Robinson and her board are optimistic that work will resume in the near future. Once installed at its new location, the 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument will give Rhode Islanders and visitors from around the world an opportunity to reflect and remember. “Just as the original 9-11 Wall of Hope gave people the chance to join together to commemorate the power of love over hate, the new, reimagined site will bring citizens and visitors a tremendous sense of hope and optimism,” says Robinson.
About the Rhode Island 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument Organization: The Rhode Island 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument nonprofit organization was established in 2019 by Jennifer Robinson to coordinate the efforts to reimagine, restore, relocate, and safeguard the 9-11 Wall of Hope community artwork installation. The organization was founded along with the help of generous philanthropists and local business leaders.
Wild Time Comics says “Things may be a bit CRAZY, but that’s not a reason to miss out on some FUN! Safely, of course! that is. Join us and some of the other great local comic shops in celebrating FREE COMIC BOOK DAY 2020 on Sat. Sept. 12th.
Meet Spider-man, Batman, T-Rex, Batwoman, Joker, Riddler, and other Amazing friends.
Plus we’ll also be having special guests in our Tented compound including Artists: Tim Jones (hilarious Sour Grapes newspaper strip – and RINewsToday resident cartoonist! ), the incomparable art of Mike Doherty, etc
Marvel Gone Crazy!
All kinds of titles (mini and otherwise ) that were scheduled earlier in the year IE: Power Pack, Black Widow, Marvel(s), Falcon & Winter Soldier, etc. along with other paused titles like Conan, Doctor Doom, Deadpool, Ms. Marvel, Savage Avengers, Spider-woman, Aero, and more will be back plus new mini’s like Widowmakers, Juggernaut, Ultraman, Werewolf By Night, Shang-Chi, Maestro, U.S. Agent, Warhammer 4000, and new launches Iron Man and Eternals. Yikes.
Now it’s no surprise that Donny Cates will be heating up the shelves with his upcoming KING in BLACK saga this winter featuring the coming of Knull and we’ll see it building up first in the Peter David penned mini-series Symbiote Spider-man: King in Black (1-5 ).
The X-Men universe has tragically chosen to do a 22 part chapterized mega-saga spread across all the groups titles; X-Men, Marauders, Excalibur, Wolverine, X-Force, Hellions, Cable, New Mutants, plus a few one shot specials. They never should’ve trusted Apocalypse, but there’s a lot more going on here. It’s a typical super-saga from Hickman and it actually sounds exciting. If you’re interested in getting the whole story let me know so that we can get enough of the lesser selling titles to cover everyone’s needs.
Over at DC Comics 2020 has been the year of the JOKER and things are still gearing up with The 3 Jokers and Joker War blowing things up.
There’s also D’Ceased and Death Metal to roll with so despite the rumblings over at AT&T/WB/DC a whole lot of stuff is still coming our way.
About Wild Time Comics
Wild Time Comics, is a good old style comic book store where you’ll find more treasures and bargains the deeper you dig. They carry all manner of NEW comic releases and provide a FREE Pull and Hold service for your convenience. They also have many, many thousands of back-issues to fill those holes in your missing issues list. They are always unearthing all manner of other oddball items as well like old toys, prints, posters, records, movies, art books and other great stuff for your enjoyment. So stop in on Saturday or any other time!
Last week Governor Raimondo signed an Executive Order extending her emergency powers “indefinitely” and three watchdog groups, so far, have called foul – sending a letter to the RI House & Senate leadership detailing their concerns. Here is that letter…
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: Updating General Assembly and mayoral races in Rhode Island after Tuesday's election results were finalized on Thursday. More extra federal pandemic assistance is being announced for out-of-work Rhode Islanders. The Patriots are opening their 2020 season on Sunday.
>>Rhode Island General Assembly Incumbents Defeated In Primary Races
(Providence, RI) -- Ten total lawmakers in the Rhode Island General Assembly were defeated in this week's primary race after the state made results official on Thursday. They included Senate Finance Chair William Conley and Senator Harold Metts, a thirty-year veteran of the state legislature who was recently appointed to lead a panel to study the state's police officer bill of rights. Senate President Dominick Ruggerio held off his primary challenger.
>>Update On Mayoral Races In Four RI Cities
(Undated) -- Several mayoral races in Rhode Island were decided on Thursday after the Tuesday primary. Maria Bucci was the winner of the Democratic primary in Cranston by less than two-hundred votes. The incumbents of Pawtucket and Warwick were officially declared winners of their races. In Central Falls, Maria Rivera and former police chief Joseph Moran were the top vote-getters to advance to the November election.
>>South County Hospital Placed On Lockdown After Patient Threat
(Wakefield, RI) -- South County Hospital in Wakefield was put on lockdown on Thursday after a patient allegedly made a threat. Authorities say a Scituate man identified as Peter St. Angelo was charged with disorderly conduct for allegedly threatening to kill everyone at the hospital while he was being discharged. Reports indicate St. Angelo was arrested in Narragansett and did not have any guns in his possession.
>>More Extra Federal Unemployment Help Coming
(Providence, RI) -- The federal government is approving another coronavirus pandemic unemployment boost for Rhode Island. The RI Department of Labor and Training said yesterday it'll be an additional six-hundred dollars. The money is for people who qualified for the weeks ending August 22nd and the 29th.
>>Brown Welcoming Additional Students To Dorms, Citing Better COVID-19 Picture
(Providence, RI) -- Brown University is increasing on-campus operations. The Ivy League school says it is raising the number of students who can live in residence halls and is planning to resume in-person undergraduate instruction for some small classes in October. Brown is citing an improved public health situation in Rhode Island and early success with a COVID-19 testing program on campus.
>>Patriots Hosting Dolphins In Game Without Fans
(Foxboro, MA) -- The New England Patriots are opening their 2020 NFL season 1 p.m. Sunday versus the Miami Dolphins. Fans will not be allowed inside Gillette Stadium in Foxboro, Massachusetts, nor will they be allowed to tailgate. However, Patriot Place, the retail complex connected to the stadium, is open and is inviting fans to watch the game at its restaurants. The Patriots are playing their first game following the twenty-year era of quarterback Tom Brady, who signed with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in free agency this past offseason.
>>U.S. Fish And Wildlife Service Downlists Official RI State Insect
(Undated) -- The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service says Rhode Island's official state insect is making a comeback. The American burying beetle was recently downlisted by the federal agency under the Endangered Species Act, from "endangered" to "threatened". According to the Fish and Wildlife Service, when it was originally listed in 1989, the American burying beetle was known to exist only in Rhode Island and Oklahoma, but since 2005, there have been confirmed populations in six other states: Arkansas, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, Massachusetts and Missouri.
Photo: New Crush Covid App showing good symptom checklist results – can be shown at school, restaurants, etc. when asked for symptom check.
NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL
AstraZeneca said it has paused global trials, including large late-stage trials, of its experimental coronavirus vaccine due to an unexplained illness in a study participant. Dr. Fauci explains this as the system working exactly as it should when an unforseen complication may be showing itself.
Long Island student sent home and suspended because he wanted to come to school in-person, instead of virtual, as he was assigned.
Legislators from key states sent a letter to Big Ten officials to strike a plan to start football back up.
New York City restaurants will be allowed to open indoor dining at 25% capacity at the end of September.
300 Massachusetts businesses are said to have violated protocols for coronavirus safety.
College students who get ill with coronavirus are being sent home, and this has led to widespread criticism. “It’s the worst thing you could do,” said Dr. Anthony Fauci. “When you send them home, particularly when you’re dealing with a university where people come from multiple different locations, you could be seeding the different places with infection.” Susan Dynarski, a University of Michigan economist, wrote on Twitter that “unloading students onto home communities” was “deeply unethical.”
Next big tenants for shopping malls said to be Amazon delivery/pick up sites.
Goldman Sachs survey of small businesses found: 88% of small business owners say they have used all of their PPP loan funding; 32% of loan recipients have had to lay off employees or cut wages; about 95% said they had been approved for PPP funding; nearly three-quarters say they are fully open, up from just 39% in April and 53% in May; and just 2% of businesses say they are temporarily closed, compared to 19% in April.
CDC on spread of COVID-19 from food items or packaging: “because of the poor survivability of these coronaviruses on surfaces, there is likely a very low risk of spread from food products or packaging.” No cases of COVID-19 have been linked to people touching food or food packaging and then touching their faces.
The state of Vermont started offering $30 to Vermonters to spend at local businesses to help residents and businesses hurt by the pandemic. The Legislature allocated $500,000 in federal funds for the Buy Local Vermont program.
NBA “in a bubble” at Disney may be allowed to have visiting guests later this month.
The Boston Museum of Fine Arts will open its doors on Sept. 26
Marriott corporate offices lays off 600
Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine could be ready by mid-October.
Hartford schools were the victims of a cyberattack that took down busing information and schedules – Somerset/Berkeley, Coventry RI and New Bedford Schools have also had attacks. Coventry had to pay $200K to attackers. Cyberinsurance is important for school districts.
Book by Woodward detailing how the president knew more, earlier, about the coronavirus was explained as the president not wanting to panic the country as more information was gathered.
Los Angeles has banned any kind of Halloween activities that involves gatherings.
The union representing Sharon, MA teachers demanded that the district’s School Committee halt its plan to begin the year in a hybrid fashion that would bring students back inside school buildings part time, saying that the HVAC contractor evaluated the HVAC systems in each Sharon school and “found that none of the schools met minimum standards for maintaining air quality sufficient to help prevent the spread of COVID-19,”
Amid extreme economic uncertainty and few job prospects, most young adults have moved back in with mom and dad. For the first time ever, the majority of 18- to 34-year-olds now live at home with their parents, according to a recent study by the Pew Research Center.As of July, 52% of millennials were living in their parents’ home, up from 47% in February, according to the Pew analysis of Census Bureau data, surpassing the previous high hit in 1940, when 48% of young adults lived with their parents.
Visitors flooding state parks throughout US.
Disney events that typically draw large crowds are going “on hiatus” for this year, like Mickey’s Very Merry Christmas Party and Candlelight Processional at Epcot, and the Castle Dream Lights will be replaced with special projection effects.
More than 460,000 motorcycle enthusiasts converged on Sturgis, S.D., for a 10-day celebration where few wore facial coverings or practiced social distancing. A month later, researchers have found that thousands have been sickened across the nation, leading them to brand the Sturgis rally a “superspreader” event. They estimate that dealing with the fallout from the rally will involve more than $12 billion in health care costs.
Two Connecticut schools have been temporarily closed, and staff members in several others have been sent home to quarantine.
RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY
Common Cause Rhode Island, the American Civil Liberties of Rhode Island and the League of Women Voters Rhode Island sent a letter to the RI House/Senate leaders calling out Gov. Raimondo for indefinitely extending her powers of emergency and asking the legislature to now step in to provide checks and balances.
New Bedford added to high risk list in Massachusetts – two outbreaks – one in a nursing home and one in a church – 4.5% positive rate with over 100 new cases added in a week.
Gov. Raimondo defended keeping almost 1 million dollars in COVID19 federal funds, without distribution, at her weekly press conference.
Several teacher groups, parents, cities/towns are concerned that their schools are not physically ready to open next week, and that they are being pressured to open too soon.
Providence schools are seeking to expand the 6,500 virtual enrollment and they are surveying parents.
Two of Rhode Island’s 41 school districts ended their summer meal programs at the end of August, leaving a hunger gap for dozens of children.
The New England Patriots open up their season on Sunday – against the Miami Dolphins – Bill Belichick says “it’s time to start playing real games” – no tailgating; bars and restaurants will be open
Governor Raimondo’s Thursday Facebook conversation will be devoted entirely to questions submitted by students. If your child has a question, they can submit it here: forms.gle/J3CTNn9PJcaMhpuo8.
Gov. Gina Raimondo said Wednesday that if there is not another stimulus package from the federal government, RI will have huge deficits and have to layoff state workers and cut social services.
The RI Hospitality Association said it could take several years for the restaurant industry to recover.
Free outdoor Wi-Fi at the Warwick Public Library will be accessible for library patrons and community members, who can now access high-speed, secure wireless internet at any time of day or night from the library’s parking lot. In the coming months OSL and OSHEAN will be expanding the project to include outdoor Wi-Fi networks at several other OSL library locations statewide.
Schools – Walk-throughs’ update is that some schools are not completely ready – some may have to delay opening certain parts of buildings.
Gov. Raimondo calls it life and death to get a flu shot – but it will not be made mandatory in RI as MA has done. Flu shot will be readily available and free for all, without insurance or beyond ability to pay. Half of adults and ¾ of children usually get the flu shot.
Friday, 7pm, NBC10 will host Back to School television special.
The pandemic is said to have brought the leadership of Care New England and Lifespan together to the point where they are now investigating a formal merger. Represents 23,500 employees. Union says there are challenges for frontline workers and they hope to be part of the meeting. Could be a done deal by late in 2021.
54 new cases – we’ve been ranging from 20s to 80s in last few days. Need to remain vigilant.
82 in hospital – 3 new fatalities (all 3 in 80s)
Rate in CF per 100,000 cases just 31, well below where it has been, in low 100s.
Providence – 91 per 100,000 cases.
Reassessing school situation in a month in Prov & CF.
40 cases associated with social gathering – of those, 24 provided no info about that gathering.
178 cases – were employed – 94 or 53% worked with symptoms. Carpooling resulted in almost all of those contacts were positive. Keep masks on and windows down. Symptoms? Stay home.
Your employer must allow you to do so.
In general it was a good weekend. 96% employee mask wearing, 93% customer mask wearing.
RIDOH handed out 2000+ masks at beaches, etc.
Restaurants/bars are doing well – more than 94% had good compliance – huge improvement. 93% had no mingling. 99% complied with closing at 11pm – but only 85% were conducting symptom checking.
Symptom Tracking – new tool – Crush COVID app – 82,000 Rhode Islanders are using the app. It is optional, but please download it. NEW update on app does better job of not draining battery and has new features: prompts for symptom tracking and you will get back a green smiley face or a red frown face indicating if you should go out or stay home. You can simply hold your green smiley face on your phone at businesses, schools, restaurants, etc.
Contest on Crush COVID app – download app, complete symptom diary for 7 days in a row, then you can be eligible to win a night’s stay at a downtown Providence restaurant. Details Friday on social media.
Nursing Homes: Having one singular case is no longer a reason to shut down visitation. The homes need to have regular access visitation, remote, virtual and in-person. New regulations have been issued.
Flu: Life and death situation – everyone needs to make a plan to get the flu vaccine. Each year, about 55% of adults and 75% of kids get their shots in RI – #2 in America. This is good news but not nearly enough. Can’t have hundreds of thousands unvaccinated. RI is partnering with schools for kids/teachers. HEZ groups are being used. Community organizations. Nursing homes. COVID testing sites for asymptomatics. Local pharmacy/personal doctor. Health clinic. Cities/towns. Grocery stores. Without insurance or money it will be free. RI increased their order of vaccine by 150,000 and we have ability to get more. State vaccines should be available in next 2 weeks – pharmacies are available now. This is so you don’t get sick – but also so we do not overtax our hospitals and emergency rooms.
Schools: Cleared all school districts for in-person schools except for Prov and CF. Beginning Monday, schools will start. Between 9/14 and 10/13, schools can ramp up – every parent still has a choice on combination of education types. State has separate contact tracing system for K-12 – a dozen new testing sites available on Monday – backtoschoolri website will have full list on Friday. Also on Friday, RI will release K-12 COVID testing hotline. Masks will be available in school. School sports have been adjusted per last report. Thursday FB Live dedicated to answering questions from children.
Dr. Green to children: Get excited to be back, see each other, see your teachers, etc. Things will look different. Wear your mask most of the day. Jamestown put out 3 words – flexibility, grace, and commitment. Let those guide you in the year ahead.
Q: How are numbers represented in overall data being reported in charts?
A: Working now on ways to display that better publicly.
Q: $1.25 billion you are going to hold onto to fix the state’s budget – it was supposed to be used for small business immediate need – do you think there is not a need? Only $7M has been allocated. What do you say to those businesses?
A: Making decisions in a sea of uncertainty to keep people safe, while congress may or may not give us anymore money. Money has gone to testing, PPE, etc. Rental assistance, housing assistance, etc. Well over $100M was direct into the economy. Greater need? Yes. Huge uncertainty from congress. Trying to make the best decisions I can. Need a cushion in the event we don’t get more. Huge need right now.
Q: (Hummel) Every week budget deficit has grown. What specific measures have you taken to reign in the spending and deal with income loss – casinos, etc. Even if you get a pile of money, the hole will be there. This is our history – we plug our holes with new sources of money – tobacco, etc.
A: Democrats have good proposals. If they pass the bill, it will be good. We have hiring freeze, pulled back on spending, state voluntary furloughs, no new programming, immediate belt tightening, constraining what is being sent to cities/towns. Long run will be spending on healthcare – over $1B on Medicaid. Why we need to keep people out of nursing homes, keep them at home. Keep people working. We have constrained spending, but the big nut is healthcare spending and Medicaid.
Q: (Hummel) Continue to resist furloughs and layoffs. What plan do you have right now in place if congress doesn’t come through.
A: Safe to say if Congress doesn’t do something in next month, we will have to pass a new budget – cuts to social services and layoffs will be in that. How much of a cut to cities/towns, healthcare, how many layoffs.
Q: (DePetro) Update on walk-throughs?
A: Will be done today (Wed). Pleased with work they’ve done. Some schools have not yet passed, they still have a few days to get in compliance. We’re helping them to get ready.
Q: (Bartholomew) Seems to be infrastructure gaps in filtration systems, etc. buildings can’t handle requirements electrically, etc. Are you willing to put more money into schools right now to fix these problems?
A: No cities/towns have applied to $50Million. More than one way to do air filtration – open windows, fans, filters, etc. Dr. Scott: Checklist is used providing variety of options – do this, if you can’t, then do this, etc., etc. Will get checklist to reporter. RI National Guard is amazing and they are doing anything and everything that needs to be done.
Q: College suspensions (PC, URI, Northeastern) for violating non-gathering rules. Does RIDOH have concerns that this heavy hand will interfere with willingness to do the measures.
A: “What you describe is not something we are focused on” – our focus is on the environment for the schools. Schools have codes of conduct, that is now different. There are new rules.
Q: Have you provided guidance about what to do with positive college students? To send home or not?
A: Yes, we are working with them. There are consequences.
Q: Massachusetts restrictions on RI visitors?
A: Talks continue. Our numbers are now below requirement by MA. Actively engaged in changes happening.
Q: Do you agree that schools are cleaner, less germs than ever before so kids aren’t getting sick as is usual in fall back-to-school?
A: Entire state is now educated, but flu safety and general sickness applies as well.We’ll be better overall.
Q: Where is the $900 unemployment.
A: This week if they have not gotten it.
Q: Flu shots/ coronavirus shot mandatory?
A: Not for flu shots. We think we can do better without mandating it.
Q: (Pat Ford) You’ve painted a bleak picture if we can’t get kids back to school. The same dire predictions apply to businesses – bankruptcy, depression, suicide, etc.
A: I’ve tried to address both – we need as many businesses as possible to be open – and schools – for similar reasons.
RI cases by city/town:
Community — Cases Last 7 Days — Cumulative Cases
Providence — 180 — 7,710
Cranston — 47 — 1,470
Pawtucket — 46 — 2,247
North Providence — 31 — 961
Warwick — 28 — 889
Woonsocket — 15 — 841
Cumberland — 14 — 429
Lincoln — 12 — 344
East Providence — 11 — 897
Johnston — 11 — 604
Smithfield — 8 — 341
Coventry — 8 — 299
Newport — 8 — 154
Central Falls — 7 — 1,207
North Kingstown — 6 — 291
Scituate — 6 — 65
Bristol — 5 — 201
Tiverton — 5 — 116
West Warwick — 4 — 394
Warren — 4 — 97
Westerly — 4 — 90
Portsmouth — 4 — 77
North Smithfield — 2 — 149
Narragansett — 2 — 88
Middletown — 2 — 86
Barrington — 2 — 71
Burrillville — 1 — 137
Glocester — 1 — 67
Foster — 1 — 31
East Greenwich — 0 — 134
South Kingstown — 0 — 124
Exeter — 0 — 48
Charlestown — 0 — 36
Richmond — 0 — 33
West Greenwich — 0 — 30
Jamestown — 0 — 27
Hopkinton — 0 — 17
Little Compton — 0 — 16
New Shoreham — 0 — 6
Rhode Island featured by John Hope Bryant, chairman and CEO of Operation Hope, as he joins “Squawk Box” to discuss the negotiations for more coronavirus relief and how much the country needs to spend to boost the economy during the crisis.
While renters and homeowners have relief options for payments if they have been impacted by employment around the COVID-19 crisis, homeowners who rent apartments have been left holding the empty purses, in many cases. While large companies may not have the direct impact for several months, the small investor who may own one, two, or three rental houses – encouraged by many as a start towards the American dream – may be experiencing financial and credit burdens if tenants opt to not pay rents and the state and now the federal government prevents their eviction.
Homeowners can “defer” their mortgage for 3 mos and then extend that at least once, and perhaps twice, with no ill effects on fees or credit.
The small investor experiencing loss of rental income with no direct aid on the mortgages, taxes, and in some cases utilities brought us to RI Housing for a response. Key for relief will be if the mortgages are federally insured.
Here is what RI Housing advises for the small investor:
“The most important thing property owners can do if they are experiencing a loss of income due to COVID is to contact their servicer and to work directly with them to understand what options are available.
Certain federally insured mortgage holders may be eligible for mortgage forbearance under the Cares Act.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, puts in place two protections for homeowners with federally backed mortgages:
· A foreclosure moratorium until December 31, 2020
· A right to forbearance for homeowners who are experiencing a financial hardship due to the COVID-19 emergency.
If you don’t have a federally backed mortgage, you still may have relief options through your mortgage servicer. Contact your lender/mortgage servicer to discuss your options and inquire about any special programs and/or delayed payment options they may offer. Some lenders have rolled out mortgage relief programs for those who are unable to make their mortgage payments due to a decline in income.
Landlords with tenants who are having trouble paying their rent can work with them to find resources that may be available to provide rental assistance. These include:
Safe Harbor: Either landlord or tenant may apply. More information available here.
Owners of 1-4 unit properties who live in the property as their primary residence may also be eligible for mortgage assistance through the Hardest Hit Fund. More information on the program is available here.
For more information on COVID-19 related housing resources, property owners and tenants can go to RIHousing’s COVID-19 webpage at https://www.rihousing.com/covid-19/ or call 211.
This information was provided by Christine Hunsinger, Assistant Deputy Director External Affairs. firstname.lastname@example.org
In a year of growing disasters how many of you are prepared to abandon ship and take your pets with you – in the blink of an eye. Even though prepared it would take this writer about 30-60 min for a complete evacuation. That being said, now is the time to prepare.
Like firearms, if you don’t need them fine, but if you do and you don’t have them it is too late. During calamities pets often endure the most stress. Often being left behind for unknown reasons, it is really quite easy to be prepared to transport your loved ones with you in a time of crisis. I am not talking about strapping your pup in a crate on the roof of a car in Mitt Romney style. Having them inside your vehicle is a must. Having a carefully thought out, methodical checklist is in order:
A travel crate with a carry handle is a must for a cat or small dog. The handle allows one to grab the crate in a hurry if the need to run arises. There are a variety of styles. I always used a plastic kennel as they break down easy for storage and also clean easily. Mark the crate ahead of time with your contact info that has more than one emergency cell phone number. Write it directly on the crate with a Sharpie as tags/labels pull off in a crisis. This will make it easy to reunite you with your pet if you become separated.
Make sure you have at least a 14-day supply of pet medication if your loved one requires special meds. During the latest crisis, you’ll remember that Vet offices were among the first to shut down. Bones or other chewing toys are important, too. My Golden Retriever, Jada, will chew rubber bones like mad as a stress reliever. Important in a crisis.
Clean water is important. Depending on the size of your pet, 2 gallons per week may be needed. Over the next week or two, keep a record of how much water your furry friend drinks and that will indicate how much water to have on hand.
Leashes are important during a crisis. Have three on hand one may even want to tape one to the travel crate. Some hand and/or bath towels are a good idea, too. Like humans, pets can succumb to hypothermia as well, towels will allow you to dry them off quickly in the event they get somehow into the water. Speaking of water, you folks with a large dog like mine should have a life vest for your pup.
Large breeds most often travel without a crate. Cabela’s makes many nice ergonomic vests. My Jada has one that is bright orange in color with reflective stripes – makes it very easy to spot from a helicopter. It also has a heavy-duty handle to pick the puppy up like a piece of luggage. Remember in an emergency your dog is as panicked as you are, especially if they are immersed in flood waters. In that scenario, seconds count and pulling the pup right out of the water in one motion can make all the difference in life or death. I consulted with a friend of mine, CDR. Dan Taylor USCG (Ret.) and confirmed that helicopter crews will indeed airlift dogs along with their owners and have specific authority to make that decision during a crisis. They want to save all lives! Dan once saved/airlifted a large Rottweiler dog and his owner (in the dark no less) and the dog was appreciative as it was very docile in the USCG HH65 Helicopter cabin. The HH65 has a very small cabin. A Rottweiler will take up a large portion of that space. I believe and have seen evidence that animals know when a human is doing them a great deed.
After you finish reading this go ahead and make a check list of all the needed pet items. Do it now. The USCG taught me well and a checklist is always a great place to start and it is never too early to start as this is 2020!
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 a 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 officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison, FRISC Delegate.
His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, and Whimsical.
(Undated) -- Here is the latest news: State legislature and mayor races in Rhode Island remain undecided as the state finalizes election results. The Ocean State is looking to get off the Bay State's coronavirus travel quarantine list. There will be a Game 7 for the Celtics-Raptors NBA playoff series.
[[ watch for updates ]]
>>RI Primary Election Results Expected To Be Finalized Today
(Undated) -- The executive director of the Rhode Island Board of Elections told WPRI-TV on Wednesday he expects that results from Tuesday's primary election will be finalized today. A number of state legislative races hinge on the final results, which are delayed because of a huge number of mail ballots. In mayoral races, the incumbents of Pawtucket and Warwick appear to have won, but again, the mail ballots need to be counted. And Maria Rivera is leading in a race to become the new Central Falls mayor.
>>Jack Reed Defending Senate Seat In November
(Undated) -- U.S. Senator Jack Reed is set to defend his Rhode Island seat against Republican challenger Allen Waters in November after neither candidate had a primary opponent on Tuesday. Reed has served as a Rhode Island senator since 1997. Waters had originally planned to run against Senator Ed Markey in Massachusetts, but decided to move back to Rhode Island and run against Reed, according to a report from The Providence Journal. The ProJo also reported the RI Republican Party rescinded its endorsement of Waters in response to a prior arrest for an alleged domestic assault incident.
>>Rhode Island Hopes To Get Off Mass Travel List
(Undated) -- Massachusetts could soon be removing Rhode Island from its coronavirus travel restriction list. Mass Governor Charlie Baker said yesterday the data would be reviewed, as it is on a weekly basis. RI Public Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said the state's cases-per-one-hundred-thousand metric has dropped below the limit set by Massachusetts and that the two states are "actively engaged" in talks.
>>Smithfield Teen Killed In Crash In Glocester
(Glocester, RI) -- A Smithfield teenager has died in a car crash. Police say 18-year-old Kyle Joyce died in the crash on Putnam Pike in Glocester overnight Tuesday. The vehicle he was driving reportedly crossed into the opposite lane, struck a tree and caught fire. The crash is under investigation.
>>Celtics Lose Game 6 To Raptors, Game 7 Friday
(Orlando, FL) -- The Boston Celtics and Toronto Raptors are going to Game 7 of their NBA Eastern Conference semifinal series. The defending league champion Raptors edged the C's 125-to-122 in double-overtime on Wednesday night. The final game of the series from Disney World will be Friday night at 9:00.
>>Patriots Not Allowing Tailgaters For Upcoming Games
(Foxboro, MA) -- Patriots fans already know they can't attend home games this month, and now they're being told they can't tailgate outside of Gillette Stadium for the games, either. The Patriots home games in September include the season opener this Sunday against the Dolphins and on the 27th against the Raiders. Massachusetts Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito [[ puh-LEE-toe ]] has said that state would look into the possibility of allowing fan attendance for the rest of the 2020 schedule.
>>Yahtzee Nominated For Toy Hall Of Fame
(Pawtucket, RI) -- A Hasbro toy is a finalist for the National Toy Hall of Fame 2020 class. The iconic dice game Yahtzee was one of a dozen nominees. Three finalists will be picked by the Toy Hall in Rochester, New York on November 5th.