Steve Conti
Steve Conti
11:00am - 6:00pm

1540 Updates Archives for 2020-09

Flu Shots for all - but what if you are over 65?

Flu Shots for all – but what if you’re over 65?

September 30, 2020/RINewsToday


As Rhode Island kicked off its annual Flu Vaccination Campaign, there was a deeper and more serious tone to it due to the coronavirus pandemic.


Many symptoms of the flu mirror symptoms of COVID-19. Both viruses can cause fever, cough, shortness of breath, nasal congestion, muscle aches, and fatigue. Flu vaccine will lessen the chances that someone will have to deal with the serious health consequences of the flu, and it will lessen the chances that Rhode Island’s healthcare system will be overburdened with both flu and COVID-19 patients in the coming months. 


The goal of the RI Department of Health is to see 90% of Rhode Island vaccinated against the flu. Rhode Island usually has one of the highest compliance rates in the country.


During the 2018-2019 flu season, 60% of Rhode Islanders were vaccinated against the flu: 78% of children and 56% of adults. The flu resulted in 1,032 hospitalizations and there were 39 flu-associated deaths.


During the 2019-2020 flu season, when strict community mitigation measures were in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19 and when patterns of healthcare utilization were atypical, Rhode Island saw 950 hospitalizations and 20 flu-associated deaths. Vaccination records for this time period are not yet available.


“While a flu vaccination rate of 90% is an ambitious goal, flu vaccination will be more important than ever this year. The simple choice to get a flu shot and make sure that your loved ones get their flu shots is a powerful step to help keep all of Rhode Island healthy and safe,” said RI Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. 


Rhode Island has brought 150,000 more doses of flu vaccine into the state than during years past and is prepared to purchase additional vaccine. This year’s vaccine protects against two influenza A strains (including the H1N1 strain) and two influenza B strains, based on what strains experts expect to be circulating in the community. Two enhanced flu vaccines will be available for seniors, both of which help create a higher immune response.


While flu shots are important for everyone older than six months of age, they are especially important for certain people, including older adults, younger children, healthcare workers, pregnant women, and people with chronic medical conditions. Examples of chronic medical conditions include diabetes, cancer, heart disease, and asthma.


After getting a flu shot, some people experience a slight ache or a low-grade fever. This means that the body is developing an immune response to the flu virus. These mild side effects are much less significant than the actual flu, which causes most people to stay in bed for a week. You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. 


Flu shots will become available at hundreds of community clinics, schools, COVID-19 testing sites (for asymptomatic people), pharmacies, nursing homes, doctors’ offices, and other sites throughout the state. Be prepared to wear a face mask when going to get your flu shot, and observe other COVID-related precautions, like getting a temperature check and waiting 6 feet away from other patients.


RI resources: 

  • List of vaccination clinics and general information about the flu: (Evening school clinics are open to the entire community.) 
  • Information about the flu in Spanish:
  • People with additional questions can call RIDOH’s Health Information Line at 401-222-5960 / RI Relay 711.


Which flu shot is right for you?


In 2017, more than 170,000 people, or 16% of the Rhode Island population, were over 65.


According to the AARP, adults 65 and older should ask their health care provider for either the high-dose or adjuvanted flu vaccine, both of which produce a stronger immune response (and therefore more protection against the flu) in older adults.


This year, the high-dose vaccine is quadrivalent instead of trivalent — meaning it protects against four strains of flu instead of three — and a quadrivalent version of the adjuvanted vaccine will also be available.


There are two vaccines that are specifically for people 65 and older this year (Flu Zone High Dose and Flu Ad). They are enhanced vaccines, meaning that they generate a stronger immune response. This year they are quadrivalent, meaning that they protect against 4 strains. (In past years they only protected against 3.) 


While supplies are expected to be adequate, you may want to call your pharmacy if you are going to need a higher-dose flu shot.


Where can I get the high-dose, over 65, flu shot?


Pharmacies (including national chains like CVS and Walgreens), doctors’ offices, health department clinics are offering these vaccines, typically free with insurance. (Find a location near you with the CDC’s VaccineFinder tool.)


How the Flu Shot Is Made


Flu season begins for the public each fall. For flu experts in the United States, however, it begins in February. That’s when scientists and researchers from around the world gather for a meeting hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), where they spend days reviewing which strains of the flu virus have been making people sick and decide which strains the next season’s vaccine should cover.


But when experts touched down in Beijing this year, their goal — to recommend a vaccine formula for the Northern Hemisphere’s 2019-2020 flu season — hit a roadblock.


A new variety of the flu virus known as H3N2 had begun to spread rapidly in several countries. In the United States, it caused a second wave of illnesses late in a flu season that had already seen the rise and fall of another strain entirely.


“That was something that we were concerned about and wanted to incorporate into the Northern Hemisphere vaccine … so we delayed the H3N2 decision by a month,” says virologist and physician Kanta Subbarao, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza in Melbourne, Australia, one of six WHO centers that help track flu worldwide.


The extra month gave experts more time to analyze the newly circulating virus. By March, they had updated their recommendation to include a suitable H3N2 strain for this season’s flu shot, which is now available.


More importantly, the delay proved an old truth about an ancient virus: The flu is a moving target, and for the network of laboratories, agencies and manufacturers who help make the flu vaccine each year, tracking it is only the start.


A needle in a haystack


The challenge starts with the virus itself.


An expert shape-shifter, the flu is constantly changing — mutating as it replicates itself — in ways that allow its strains to get past our body’s immune defenses even if we’ve had the flu before, or if we roll up our sleeves for the shot each fall.


The result? “It’s a bit of a war between us and the virus,” says David Wentworth, director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Influenza in the U.S., which is run out of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Atlanta.


This battle plays out not only within the bodies of people who come down with the flu’s signature fever, chills and muscle aches, but also in laboratories around the world, where researchers must work quickly to analyze how the flu virus is changing in order to predict what it might do next.


The worldwide system of surveillance starts when specimens from sick patients are sent to the lab for testing. Of those, about 7,000 end up at the laboratory run by microbiologist John Barnes, who leads the CDC’s influenza genomics team.


“We’re always busy, and we’re always getting new viruses to work on,” Barnes says. He and his team perform year-round genetic sequencing to determine how flu viruses are behaving, both in terms of which strains are infecting people and other characteristics, like whether a specimen shows signs of resistance to the antiviral drugs that can treat the flu.


From there, about one-third of the CDC specimens will undergo further assessment as part of a labor-intensive process known as antigenic testing.


“Almost every season’s a little different, and the viruses that circulate have nuance,” Wentworth says. “We’re looking for a needle in a haystack.”


The Pneumonia Shot & Older Adults


Older adults should also make sure they are up-to-date on pneumococcal vaccination. (These are one-time, not yearly). Pneumococcal vaccination helps reduce the risk of certain types of bacterial pneumonia and other potential complications of influenza. The pneumococcal vaccine recommended for all adults aged 65+ is the pneumococcal polysaccharide vaccine (“PPSV23”), brand name Pneumovax. It can be administered at the same time as the annual influenza vaccination, but it can also be administered separately.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news:  High winds overnight caused power outages in RI.  An East Providence legislator wants the city to but a golf course.  COVID-19 prompts a Pawtucket school to move to remote learning.
>>High Winds Cause Power Outages In RI
(Undated)  --  High winds overnight caused thousands of power outages in Rhode Island.   National Grid says at one point nearly 27-thousand customers were without service.  As of ten a.m., that number was down to around 18-thousand.  Several schools in the state canceled classes for the day because of the service outages.
>>State Rep Wants EP To Purchase Golf Course
(East Providence, RI)  --  East Providence state Representative Gregg Amore wants the city to purchase the Metacomet [[ met-AH-comet ]] Country Club through eminent domain.  He says it would be funded through a municipal bond, federal aid and state grants.  There's community opposition to development plans for the 105 acre site.  Amore says residents want the property to stay a green space for recreational use.  
>>Pawtucket Elementary School Moves To Remote Learning
(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Students at the Varieur Elementary School in Pawtucket are remote learning, temporarily.  It because of confirmed cases of COVID-19.  School officials say contact tracing is being conducted and the building is being deep cleaned. 
>>Temporary Closure Of Airport Connector Lanes/Ramps
(Warwick, RI)  --  Weather permitting, there will be brief lane and ramp closures on part of the Airport Connector starting tonight at eight p.m.  Its for repaving.  RIDOT says the work will be completed by six a.m. tomorrow. 
[[  watch for update  ]]
>>Police Looking For Missing Providence Teen
(Providence, RI)  --  Providence police are looking for a missing 14-year-old girl.  Janelle Mosley was last since last night leaving an address on Manton Avenue.  She's four-feet-seven-inches tall with light brown hair. 
John Carpilio/dlt             RI)
 Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-30-2020 07:45:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Sept 29, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 29, 2020

September 29, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: ADM Giroir demonstrating the new test by Abbott – see below for video.




A game changing day as rapid, 15 minute, self-administered tests in large quantities are now available – next to a vaccine, most helpful results. 150 million rapid point of use tests debuted at Presidential press conference Monday – called “State of the Art in Testing”. Combination of Abbott Labs and Puritan (for swabs). Designed for schools, nursing homes, assisted living centers, congregate locations, historic black colleges, churches, etc. Governors to receive shipments of 100 million this week for use at their discretion – with federal government hoping it will be for schools, to open them fully. (see video, below).


The Cleveland Clinic will test all individuals anywhere near the debate center for Tuesday night’s debate.


All California State University, Long Beach students who live on campus have been placed in quarantine, and all in-person instruction will be halted for two weeks because five students tested positive


Greek Cruise ship has 12 positive crew members on board, with 1,500 passengers.


Amazon Prime Day(s) will be Oct. 13 & 14, early, to assist with massive shipping demand this holiday season.


A USA TODAY analysis shows Florida’s positive case count among kids ages 5 to 17 declined through late September after a peak in July. Among the counties seeing surges in overall cases, it’s college-age adults – not schoolchildren – driving the trend, the analysis found. The early results in Florida show the success of rigorous mask wearing, social distancing, isolating contacts and quick contact tracing


Eight percent of those who have had coronavirus have been in nursing homes – but 40% of them have died.


Luxury and regular home building and renovation projects are plentiful and growing as people adapt their homes for more living and working.


60 military officials, including four generals, help lead Operation Warp Speed, STAT exclusively reports. Many have never worked in health care or vaccine development. Those behind the initiative are flying in equipment and raw materials from all over the world — and have systems in place to guard the vaccine carefully from “state actors who don’t want us to be successful in this”. 


Three-quarters of parents of toddlers plan to get their kids the flu shot, but that figure is 65% for parents of teens. Of those who don’t plan to vaccinate against the flu this year, 1 in 7 say it’s because they don’t want to risk exposing their kids to Covid-19 at a health site. Around 40% are concerned about side effects, while a third are worried the vaccine isn’t effective. 


A high-end steakhouse, Nusr-et Steakhousem on Arlington Ave, that opened in Boston last weekend has been shut down by the city due to several violations, including at least one that is COVID-related.




The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) will kick off Rhode Island’s annual flu vaccination campaign today at an outdoor media event at which State leaders will discuss the importance of vaccination. They say “Flu vaccination will be critical this year. The flu is a serious virus that can result in significant health complications. Vaccination will decrease the chances that individual people will get seriously ill, and it will decrease the chances that Rhode Island’s healthcare system will be overburdened in the coming months as Rhode Island continues to respond to COVID-19.”


PC & URI basketball teams will not play each other this year due to a scheduling conflict, according to PC.


2020 Citizens Pell Bridge Run canceled.


Providence city buildings will change the one day of closure for cleaning from Wednesdays to Fridays. City buildings will offer in-person city services Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:30AM to 4:30PM, with the exception of the Department of Public Works providing counter service from 8:30 AM to 12:00 PM on operational days. On operational days, each department will be staffed at half capacity to comply with social distancing guidelines.


RI will remove 2 of the 3 temporary hospitals that are state facilities (convention center and CommerceRI owned building in NK), keeping the one rented from the Carpionato Corp in Cranston for approx.. $330,000/month – and extending that lease until June of 2021.


A Providence Business News survey of RI businesses showed 63% feel that their business will return to pre-COVID numbers a year from now.


Gemelli Bistro in Charlestown, which Manfredo and her mother Marilyn Iozzi own and operate, has been recognized by the national website, Love Food, as one of America’s best drive-thru restaurants. 


Both Garden City Center & Warwick Mall say business is good. Providence Place Mall says business is picking up since they reopened in June.


Pawtucket’s Varieur Elementary School will go to virtual after a few students tested positive – the building will be cleaned and contact tracing, testing to be done.


Proposal to extend 300 bed Cranston surge hospital until June of 2021 will be voted on today. The Convention Center and another location in NK will both close. State will continue to pay Carpionato Corp $300,000 a month for the location.


Revel Lounge & Bistro, on the waterfront, in Providence will shut down for not following COVID19 rules, and having a very large party/gathering this weekend.


RI Data:


Deaths: 2
New cases: 26

Hospitalized: 94
Percent positivity: 1.3%




Posted in 

Steady wins the race? EpiVax's vaccine hopeful

Steady wins the race? EpiVax’s vaccine hopeful

September 29, 2020/Richard Asinof


Photo: File photo by Scott Kingsley – Dr. Annie De Groot, CEO and CSO of EpiVax, one of Rhode Island’s pioneering biotech firms, who is pursuing the development of a COVID-19 vaccine


By Richard Asinof,


A vaccine being developed by EpiVax may not be the first to reach the market, but because of its smarter design, it may prove to be safer, more effective, and offer better long-term protection from the virus.


It was a hectic Friday morning on Sept. 25 in the virtual world of Zoom meetings and gatherings we currently co-exist in. GrowSmart RI held a virtual plenary session of its postponed Power of Place Summit, which had originally been scheduled for March 27, focused on adapting new place-based strategies to address the urgencies caused by COVID-19 pandemic.


Also competing for attention on Zoom on Friday was a virtual session entitled “Words matter,” focused on stigma, co-sponsored by RICARES and the City of Providence. The conversation was an attempt to engage with the news media to urge them to follow Associated Press guidelines when reporting on the overdose epidemic.

But perhaps the most far-reaching, informative session on Zoom on Friday morning was a webinar offered by EpiVax, providing an update on its COVID-19 vaccine development efforts. The company, one of Rhode Island’s pioneer biotech firms launched 22 years ago, has now pivoted many of its resources to work on manufacturing a T-cell, epitope-driven vaccine, with the goal of initially targeting the vaccine to protect front-line health care workers as the first priority.


The webinar featured: Dr. Annie De Groot, the co-founder of EpiVax, its CSO and CEO; Lauren Meyers, Ph.D.; and Michael Princiotta, vice president of research at Epivax Oncology, a spinoff company launched by EpiVax a few years ago.


The work being undertaken by EpiVax to develop a vaccine to arrest the spread of the coronavirus is, in many ways, the culmination of 22 years of research and development of the firm’s immuno-informatic tools. “Our experience has been developing and designing vaccines for more than 20 years,” De Groot said, when introducing the webinar.


To push forward with that initiative, EpiVax plans to raise $3 million to move the vaccine into human clinical trials, with goal of closing on the fund-raising effort by the end of October, according to De Groot.


As part of the webinar, EpiVax announced that it has entered into the manufacturing phase of the new vaccine, based upon processes already approved by the FDA.


The final vaccine product will involve mixing the peptide combination with an adjuvant at the time of administration, which is pretty much a standard operating procedure widely established in the clinic, according to Princiotta.

Under the radar screen
There have been oodles of news stories focused on the rush to develop a vaccine for COVID-19, which has attracted most of the top biotech and big pharma companies to push the limits of science and safety, with political prodding from President Donald Trump to have such a vaccine ready by Election Day on Nov. 3.


Whether the companies can meet such a deadline – and whether the vaccine can meet the strenuous safety guidelines for vaccines – are still unanswered questions, despite the willingness of the U.S. government to invest hundreds of millions of dollars to finance the efforts known as “Operation Warp Speed.”


Beyond the safety and efficacy questions about the vaccine – as well as logistical questions about how to roll out a vaccine across the U.S. and around the world, particularly if the vaccine needs to be kept in storage at very low temperatures, there are also substantial questions about the approach being taken by many of the companies involved that are leading the charge.


Much of the focus has been on developing vaccines to create antibodies to respond to the virus. But, given the novel nature of the virus, scientists do not know how effective such a vaccine will be in the long-term, and how many doses will be required over what period of time. The normal trial-and-error process in vaccine development has been shortened, spurred on by political pressure being put on the FDA.


De Groot and her team at EpiVax have been taking a different approach. Their vaccine may not be the first to reach the marketplace, but it may turn out to be the safest, most effective vaccine in preventing the spread of COVID-19.

EpiVax’s approach has been to pursue a different path, creating a vaccine, focused on peptides, in order to build up “an army of T-cells” ready to respond to COVID-19, ready to educate one’s body to respond when exposed to the infection, as De Groot explained the concept during the webinar.


The peptides that are the focus of EpiVax’s vaccine development have been identified through the firm’s proprietary immuno-informatic technology, based on the protein structure of the virus. Stay tuned.


Link to full story:,6064



Richard Asinof

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

List of RI Schools with POsitive Covid-19 cases as of 9/19/20

List of RI Schools with Positive COVID19 Cases (as of 9/19/20)

September 29, 2020/RINewsToday


Since school started, both virtually, in-person, and a hybrid of styles, Rhode Island has been keeping track of the data on testing and positives/negatives for school children as well as faculty and staff.


A new dashboard was created and is on the RIDE site.  Here is the data updated on September 23rd – and reflective of cases through September 19th. This should be updated every week and we will include that update weekly as well.


While the data is strictly numbers, we hope to hear more about how the “cases” are doing – remember that a “case” does not necessarily mean an illness, as asymptomatic positive people are included.


K-12 Testing Requests can be made here:

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Providence club is closed after allegedly violating capacity limits and breaking other COVID rules.  The city of East Providence is being pressured to purchase a golf course to preserve it for open space.  Stop and Shop will give its unionized workers additional pandemic hazard wages.

>>Providence Club Closed After Alleged Capacity Violation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department took action to shut down a club over the weekend for allegedly exceeding capacity.  The number of people at the Revel Lounge and Bistro on O'Connell Street off Allens Avenue just past midnight Sunday was nearly four-hundred and there were other violations of COVID regulations observed, according to police.  The club is denying the over-capacity allegations.  City officials say this is the second time action has been taken against the establishment this month.  The club has been shut down pending a Providence Board of Licenses hearing tomorrow.

>>Pawtucket School Moved To Remote Learning After Virus Cases

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket School Department is ordering remote learning for students at one school after three COVID-19 cases were confirmed.  This is at Varieur [[ VARY-ur ]] Elementary School, according to a report from WJAR-TV.  The school district superintendent says the building will be deep-cleaned, and that there is extensive contact-tracing and additional testing happening.

>>State Elections Board To Address ADA Issues

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections is agreeing to address access issues for people with disabilities at its headquarters.  The U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island announced the agreement yesterday regarding the newly-leased facility on Plainfield Pike in Cranston.  The feds investigated after a citizen filed a complaint.

>>East Providence Being Urged To Purchase Golf Course

(East Providence, RI)  --  Resolutions are going to be introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly calling for the city of East Providence to preserve the Metacomet [[ MET-uh-COM-it ]] Golf Course for open space.  Representative Gregg Amore [[ uh-MORE-ay]] and Senator Valarie Lawson, whose districts both include the golf course, are behind the planned matching resolutions calling for the city to purchase Metacomet through eminent domain.  Developer Marshall Properties has said the golf course will cease to exist and is no-longer pursing a zoning change from the city, but claims it doesn't need one to construct certain types of new facilities on the property.

>>Stop & Shop Retroactively Awards Workers COVID-19 Hazard Pay

(Undated)  --  Stop and Shop is agreeing to give its workers more coronavirus pandemic hazard wages.  The United Food and Commercial Workers Union says the agreement will provide retroactive premium pay in the form of lump-sum payments equal to ten percent of all hours worked between July 5th and August 22nd.  A total of 56-thousand workers will receive the wages.

>>District In Tiverton Issues Outdoor Water Use Ban

(Tiverton, RI)  --  The Stone Bridge Water District in Tiverton has issued a complete ban on outdoor water use.  This is in effect until further notice due to drought conditions.  The town says the water levels in the Stafford Pond, the drinking water supply, are about two feet below normal.

>>Two New Tick Species Discovered On Block Island

(New Shoreham, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says two species of exotic ticks have been newly discovered by researchers on Block Island.  The DEM says the species were not previously found in the Ocean State.  They are called the Asian longhorned tick and the red sheep tick.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-29-2020 00:28:11

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's DC representatives react to the president's latest Supreme Court choice.  The University of Rhode Island won't have a spring break next year.  The Celtics fall short of the NBA Finals.

>>Rhode Island Representatives React To Newest Trump Supreme Court Pick

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's Democratic congressional delegation is reacting to President Trump's nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court.  Senator Jack Reed said he opposed what he called an unprecedented process to drag the Court down an extremist, polarized path.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said dark money and special interests are behind the pick.  Demonstrators once again called for the senators to halt the confirmation outside their offices in Providence on Sunday.  Rhode Island's two U.S. representatives, David Cicilline and Jim Langevin, said there should not be a confirmation of a new SCOTUS justice until after the presidential election.

>>URI Spring Break Canceled Due To COVID-19

(Kingston, RI)  --  The University of Rhode Island is canceling its 2021 spring break.  URI cites uncertainty created by COVID-19 outbreaks across the United States, and on college campuses in particular.  Spring semester classes will end one week earlier, accordingly.

>>Man Arrested For Alleged Machete Attack In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A man is facing an assault charge for an alleged machete attack in Providence.  The victim reportedly told police he was driving on Atwells Avenue Saturday night when he saw someone he only knew by his street name, "Batman", assaulting a female, and that he himself was assaulted when he tried to intervene.  The suspect, whose real name was Andrew Moten, was found in the area of the incident sitting on the steps of a home next to the weapon, according to police.

>>Celtics Eliminated, Patriots Win Second Game, Red Sox Manager Out

(Undated)  --  Boston sports: the Celtics season is over after a 125-to-113 loss to the Miami Heat in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals on Sunday.  The Heat won the series four games to two and will face the LA Lakers in the NBA Finals.  The Patriots improved to two-and-one on the 2020 NFL season with a 36-to-20 win over the Las Vegas Raiders yesterday at empty Gillette Stadium.  The Red Sox won their final game of the Major League Baseball season and announced manager Ron Roenicke [[ REN-ick-ee ]] will not return next year.

>>No Charges For Former Professor Accused Of Improper Filming

(Newport, RI)  --  No charges will be filed against a former Salve Regina University theatre professor who was under investigation.  Thomas Gleadow was accused of lying to get students to be videotaped in risqué situations, but Newport police determined there was no criminal action, according to a report from WPRI-TV.  Gleadow was fired from the university.

>>Scialo Bakery In Providence Closing

(Providence, RI)  --  A century-old bakery in Providence is closing.  Scialo [[ shallow ]] Brothers closed in mid-March because of the coronavirus emergency and never re-opened.  The owner, Carol Gaeta, lost her sister and co-owner to cancer last month.  She tells The Providence Journal she hopes the Federal Hill bakery will be sold to a baker who will continue to operate it.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-28-2020 00:30:13

Stages of Freedom presents...Frederick Douglass

Stages of Freedom presents… Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom

September 26, 2020/RINewsToday


Stages of Freedom presents the Pulitzer Prize winning author, Dr. David Blight speaking on Frederick Douglass’ long and persistent relationship with Rhode Island.


The virtual lecture is Friday, October 9th, 6pm.


Register at:


The event includes a spiritual sung by the Schiller Chorus and is sponsored by the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, Providence Tourism and the Providence Athenaeum.


Join us for a free virtual talk with Pulitzer Prize winner Dr. David Blight, whose book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, is being made into a major motion picture, as he explores Douglass’ long & little-known relationship with Rhode Island. The event concludes with a spiritual sung by the Schiller Chorus.


About this Event


EX LIBRIS is a series of virtual programs produced by the Providence Athenæum. Featuring an array of humanities scholars, authors, historians, and thought leaders, these short conversations illuminate fascinating topics and inspire the intellectually curious. Attendees will have the opportunity to submit questions to the speaker after the presentation.


You will need access to a computer or other internet-connected device to join the program on Zoom.


David W. Blight, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom and director of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition at Yale, will discuss Douglass’ connections to Rhode Island, his vision for freedom, and his relationships with fellow Rhode Island abolitionists. The talk will be accompanied by African American spirituals by the Schiller Boston Community Chorus.


The book, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom by David Blight is available for purchase through the Brown Bookstore.


About Stages of Freedom


Stages of Freedom, the award-winning Providence-based non-profit, builds bridges of understanding by celebrating Rhode Island African American history through exhibits, lectures, walking tours and conferences, and uses these events to raise awareness of and funds for Swim Empowerment, which teaches Black youth how to swim.


About David W. Blight

David W. Blight is a teacher, scholar and public historian. At Yale University, he is Sterling Professor of History, joining that faculty in January, 2003. As of June, 2004, he is Director, succeeding David Brion Davis, of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance, and Abolition. In his capacity as director of the Gilder Lehrman Center at Yale, Blight organizes conferences, working groups, lectures, the administering of the annual Frederick Douglass Book Prize, and many public outreach programs regarding the history of slavery and its abolition. He previously taught at Amherst College for thirteen years. In 2013-14 he was the William Pitt Professor of American History at Cambridge University, UK, and in 2010-11, Blight was the Rogers Distinguished Fellow in 19th-Century American History at the Huntington Library, San Marino, CA. During the 2006-07 academic year he was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, New York Public Library. In October of 2018, Simon and Schuster published his new biography of Frederick Douglass, entitled, Frederick Douglass: Prophet of Freedom, which garnered nine book awards, including the Pulitzer Prize, the Francis Parkman Prize, the Bancroft Prize, and the Gilder Lehrman Lincoln Prize. The Douglass book has been optioned by Higher Ground Productions and Netflix for a projected feature film.

Blight works in many capacities in the world of public history, including on boards of museums and historical societies, and as a member of a small team of advisors to the 9/11 Memorial and Museum team of curators. For that institution he wrote the recently published essay, “Will It Rise: September 11 in American Memory.” In 2012, Blight was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and delivered an induction address, “The Pleasure and Pain of History.” In 2018, Blight was appointed by the Georgia Historical Society as a Vincent J. Dooley Distinguished Teaching Fellow, which recognizes national leaders in the field of history as both writers and educators whose research has enhanced or changed the way the public understands the past.

Posted in 

Skin care and face masks - Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Frankel

Skin Care and Face Masks – Dermatologist Dr. Ellen Frankel

September 26, 2020/RINewsToday


by Dr. Ellen Frankel, RI Skin Docs/Rejuvaderm MediSpa


Skin Care Recommendations for Face Mask Wearers


Facial skin can become irritated when wearing a mask for long hours, no matter if it is a medical grade mask or just a mask crafted out of a bandana or scarf. Any of these protective coverings can leave skin irritated and dry.


There is even a new word for skin breakouts caused by long wearing of masks in this time of coronavirus – MASKNE.



A non-aggressive, hydrating, and soothing skincare regimen can help.


Here are the recommendations we give at our office:




            Step One: Cleanse


            The face mask should be worn on clean skin


            Use a gentle product that will not disrupt the skin barrier such as:


                        White Dove


                        CeraVe Hydrating Facial Cleanser


                        Neutrogena Ultra-Gentle Daily Cleanser


                        Do NOT use any medicated, deodorant, or perfumed soaps


            Step Two: Moisturize and Protect


            Use a moisturizer to help restore and maintain the skin barrier like:


                        Moisturel lotion


                        DML facial lotion


                        Neutrogena Moisture (for the face)


                        Elta Gold




                        Cerave Moisturizing cream


PLUS – apply sunscreen to the areas NOT covered by the mask




            Step One: Cleanse


You need to remove all the dirt, sweat and oil accumulated throughout the day. Use gentle products (see above)


            Step Two: Moisturize and soothe


Skin should be moisturized with a topical noncomedogenic (Won’t cause acne) emollient to help comfort, soothe, and to temporarily protect and relieve chapped skin (see above).


About RI Skin Doc


Our staff of trained and experienced dermatologists and other health care professionals has served the Rhode Island community for more than three decades. Why choose us? Because when you’re looking for an accurate diagnosis and an effective treatment plan, experience counts.


We focus on prevention and treatment of skin diseases as well as skin conditions that are unsightly and annoying. Choose us as your skin care center for the whole family. We treat pediatric patients with childhood skin care needs, teens who need acne treatment, and adults with cancerous skin conditions or simply with the skin care problems that many of us face as we age.


Even if you’ve been told in the past that your skin condition cannot be effectively treated, consult with us today. New treatments constantly become available, and we know and use the latest, most effective treatment for your specific problem.


We’re ready to ease your mind and heal your skin.


For more info:



About Rejuvaderm MediSpa:


We help you keep your skin healthy.


We can help you with your skin care by preventing serious skin problems, teaching you how to keep your skin healthy, and treating your existing skin conditions. Our skilled dermatologists serve both our dermatology practice and our Rejuvaderm MediSpa, one of only a few day spas in New England. The skin care treatments we provide include eczema treatment, wrinkle treatment and acne treatment, and we treat more serious problems such as pre-cancerous or cancerous skin conditions.


We also do restorative procedures such as tattoo removal, acne scar removal, and stretch mark removal, and we provide treatment with BOTOX® Cosmetic, to name a few. Browse our product selections, including facial skin care products, wrinkle cream, and anti-aging products.


For more info:

Posted in 

Boo! This year the trick is on all of us!

BOO! This year the Trick is on all of us

September 26, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Mary Stewart’s suggestion for Halloween candy-giving.


Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters. The CDC also has put out suggested low risk activities, and some at moderate risk, and those to avoid.


Over 172 million Americans are (were) expected to take part in Halloween activities. However, with the pandemic very much in full swing, we can expect that number to be reduced by 25%, at least.  53 percent plan to decorate their homes, 46 percent plan to carve a pumpkin and 18 percent will dress up their pet.


“Retailers are prepared to meet the increased demand for seasonal décor, costumes and other items that allow families the opportunity to observe Halloween safely,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay.


This Wednesday


Many traditional Halloween activities can be high-risk for spreading viruses. There are several safer, alternative ways to participate in Halloween. If you may have COVID-19 or you may have been exposed to someone with COVID-19, you should not participate in in-person Halloween festivities and should not give out candy to trick-or-treaters. The CDC also has put out suggested low risk activities, and some at moderate risk, and those to avoid.


Giving out candy?


SARS-CoV-2 particles can last up to 72 hours on plastic surfaces, but this landmark discovery was made in a laboratory setting, and most Halloween candy holds less surface area to harbor germs. Disinfecting each candy wrapper may be a bit over the top, Dr. Kesh explains, especially since you can naturally allow any potentially infectious surface germs to die off with time. “Something that you can also do is to put most of the candy away for the first three days that it’s in your home, and then the rest of the candy is safe to eat after the time has passed,” she advises.


We like Martha Stewart’s suggestion implied by the photo, above. But really, there is no safe way to do it. You could try the old-fashioned made up paper bags, lined up for kids to take – but that can get a little expensive. We, at RINewsToday, suggest skipping the house to house activity – giver or receiver. Before your little one(s) get too disappointed, put some effort into a special celebration at home, complete with costumes (of course!), contests, games, and that wonderful Halloween movie. Take a ride to the Spooktacular at Roger Williams Park (warning, it’s pretty expensive – $50 or so per car). As with everything, this will be a different kind of holiday,


Lower risk activities


These lower risk activities can be safe alternatives:

  • Carving or decorating pumpkins with members of your household and displaying them
  • Carving or decorating pumpkins outside, at a safe distance, with neighbors or friends
  • Decorating your house, apartment, or living space
  • Doing a Halloween scavenger hunt where children are given lists of Halloween-themed things to look for while they walk outdoors from house to house admiring Halloween decorations at a distance
  • Having a virtual Halloween costume contest
  • Having a Halloween movie night with people you live with
  • Having a scavenger hunt-style trick-or-treat search with your household members in or around your home rather than going house to house


Moderate risk activities

  • Participating in one-way trick-or-treating where individually wrapped goodie bags are lined up for families to grab and go while continuing to social distance (such as at the end of a driveway or at the edge of a yard)
    • If you are preparing goodie bags, wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 second before and after preparing the bags.
  • Having a small group, outdoor, open-air costume parade where people are distanced more than 6 feet apart
  • Attending a costume party held outdoors where protective masks are used and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • A costume mask (such as for Halloween) is not a substitute for a cloth mask. A costume mask should not be used unless it is made of two or more layers of breathable fabric that covers the mouth and nose and doesn’t leave gaps around the face.
    • Do not wear a costume mask over a protective cloth mask because it can be dangerous if the costume mask makes it hard to breathe. Instead, consider using a Halloween-themed cloth mask.
  • Going to an open-air, one-way, walk-through haunted forest where appropriate mask use is enforced, and people can remain more than 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
  • Visiting pumpkin patches or orchards where people use hand sanitizer before touching pumpkins or picking apples, wearing masks is encouraged or enforced, and people are able to maintain social distancing
  • Having an outdoor Halloween movie night with local family friends with people spaced at least 6 feet apart
    • If screaming will likely occur, greater distancing is advised. The greater the distance, the lower the risk of spreading a respiratory virus.
    • Lower your risk by following CDC’s recommendations on hosting gatherings or cook-outs.


Higher risk activities


Avoid these higher risk activities to help prevent the spread of the virus that causes COVID-19:

  • Participating in traditional trick-or-treating where treats are handed to children who go door to door
  • Having trunk-or-treat where treats are handed out from trunks of cars lined up in large parking lots
  • Attending crowded costume parties held indoors
  • Going to an indoor haunted house where people may be crowded together and screaming
  • Going on hayrides or tractor rides with people who are not in your household
  • Using alcohol or drugs, which can cloud judgement and increase risky behaviors
  • Traveling to a rural fall festival that is not in your community if you live in an area with community spread of COVID-19


Beyond the CDC!


Some other creative suggestions from a variety of sources:

  • Leave candy out on the porch or front steps – in clear plastic bags, distanced aways apart from each other
  • put up a clothesline in the yard with candy attached
  • make a haunted house — but designed as a drive-thru so it could be pulled off with social distancing.
  • Newport Recreation will host a special drive-thru Halloween Event on Saturday, October 31st at Easton’s Beach. Families will have the opportunity to drive thru the parking lot and trick or treat with the various vendors onsite.
  • Haunted Labyrinth in Cranston – on Dyer Ave – is open.
  • Check out Netflix – they have a whole array of movies for you and your family – from silly and fun – some for the little ones – and those scary ones, too.


Whatever you do put your “all” into helping your children have a good time – and you will enjoy it, too.


Happy Halloween – BOO!

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 25, 2020

Your Coronvirus Update Today – Sept. 25, 2020

September 25, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: The Philippine government is now requiring all persons with COVID-19 to spend isolation in a government-approved facility, not their own homes.




45,000 people a day are getting coronavirus and 7 million Americans now have been infected


Dry ice from a company in Massachusetts is being ordered from all around the country. Hospitals are building storage units. UPS is building warehouses. Vaccines may need to be kept below 80 degrees Celsius.


CDC has asked states to have vaccination plans ready by November. Healthcare workers and high risk groups will be the first groups – some vaccines may be 1 or 2 injections – Scheduling patients, drive-throughs locations, such as fire stations, etc. are being looked at.


New Year’s Eve events in Times Square canceled – The New Year’s Eve celebration in Times Square will be largely virtual.


Target is hiring 130,000 holiday workers.


Children are not included in the ongoing trials for a COVID-19 vaccine, so it’s likely to be well into next year or beyond before they’ll be able to get a vaccine. A vaccine for children may not be developed until the fall of 2021.


Catholic, Jewish and Muslim day schools throughout the metro area say they’ve been inundated with calls from families who have had it with remote learning and are willing to pay hefty tuitions.


Schools in Vermont are poised to move to the next stage of reopening Saturday, including allowing greater use of facilities, more mixing of students and the start of interscholastic sports


An employee at Maplecrest nursing home in Maine where a coronavirus outbreak has killed seven residents worked while she had COVID-19 symptoms documenting her experience in a log which the home did not know about.


Up to 70 percent of KN95 masks imported from China don’t meet U.S. health standards and could endanger health care workers and patients, an independent medical product evaluation found.


The economic impact of Covid-19 and preserving health insurance for those with preexisting conditions are the most pressing health issues for voters in battleground U.S. states,


Copper’s antimicrobial properties have been known for a while, and in the early days of the pandemic, some researchers showed that while SARS-CoV-2 sticks around on stainless steel for several days, the virus can’t survive past a few hours on copper. Some hospitals and healthcare facilities are considering resurfacing their stainless steel surfaces with copper.


The Philippine government is now requiring all persons with COVID-19 to spend isolation in a government-approved facility, except if they are considered vulnerable – banning all home quarantine.


Israel going into a strict two-week lockdown to control the uptick in cases.


Canada sounded the alarm and told people to wear their masks and limit social interactions to control what might look worse in the fall than it did in the summer.


Britain could become the world’s first country to intentionally infect healthy volunteers with the virus for a “human challenge” trial to expedite a determination on which vaccines work.


Spring break may not be included on the spring academic calendar for Florida colleges – Florida A& M University told trustees Thursday.


United Airlines partnered with Dignity Health-GoHealth Urgent Care and genomics company Color to offer COVID-19 tests to customers flying from San Francisco International Airport to airports in Hawaii.


Russia is offering the United Nations staff free vaccines (that they have developed).


Amgen and Eli Lilly announced a global antibody manufacturing collaboration that would increase supply capacity available for Lilly’s potential COVID-19 therapies, should any of them prove successful in clinical testing and receive regulatory approval. Lilly said that it is studying several potential neutralizing antibodies for the prevention and/or treatment of COVID-19 as either monotherapy or in combination.


Merrimack College in New Hampshire has over 50 cases.


Research is showing that US parents are delaying kindergarten and pre-school enrollment for their children.


College enrollment may be done about 2.5% this year – far less than anticipated – as some choose to take a gap year.




Providence College numbers have risen to 205 positive cases – 1,598 students were tested, with 36 positive cases and a positivity rate of 2.5%.


Uber and Lyft will now both be at curbside at TF Green.


The Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care Political Action Committee announced their endorsement of State Representative Nicholas Mattiello for re-election to the RI House of Representatives and to continue as Speaker because of his support for healthcare services in the home and pandemic financial assistance to home care and hospice providers during the COVID-19 public health emergency.


Providence will experience Mi Gente Siempre Responde, a public art project that celebrates the contribution of the Latino community during the COVID-19 public health crisis. The large-scale banners will be installed today, Sept. 25th from 8am to 4pm at 7 locations.


Raise the Bar RI held a demonstration at the RIDOH to talk about the lack of nurses, staffing, payment, etc. 4.1 hours of care as a national standard, which does not exist in RI.


In-person visitation resumes at Massachusetts prisons.


A cluster of cases is happening at Boston’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital, with five patients and five staff members, who had been in contact with two inpatient units.


$7 million loan to the Mystic Aquarium, a nonprofit that’s been hit hard financially after being forced to close for almost four months because of the pandemic.


The Boston MFA is reopening to the public this weekend with new COVID-19 safety measures in place


Governor Baker is urging low-risk areas of Massachusetts to start in-person education of students.


The Rhode Island Philharmonic will begin its 2020-21 season with an online performance Saturday at Veterans Memorial Auditorium, available to subscribers only, and plans to begin welcoming audiences back to the Vets in October.


The Greater Providence Chamber is offering free PPR to RI Small businesses of less than 50 employees. 5 cloth masks/5 per employee, 1-2 gallons of disinfectant, 2 2-oz bottles hand sanitizers. All while supplies last. Contact them.


Festival Ballet Providence gets students safely back to the barre for children’s, teen/adult, adaptive, and core ballet programs.


The Governor said she will be delivering Halloween protocols at her next address on Wednesday, Oct. 1st.


RI Data:



Deaths: 3


8 more people hospitalized than yesterday


1.4% positivity rate


Data by city/town:



An updated list of data for RI nursing homes and assisted living centers will be published tomorrow…


Bronx performance by a small orchestra for the children…

Posted in 

Flea markets; The things you can find...

Flea markets. The things you can find…

September 25, 2020/Jeff Gross


by Jeff Gross, feature writer


In this time of “going green” and recycling, flea markets are a great place to sell your unwanted items and wares. The Voluntown, Connecticut Flea Market and the Plainfield Pike, Johnston, Rhode Island Flea Market are both prime examples of low cost/high traffic markets. 


Each market charges $20 to set up, with no limit on space size. Other markets have limited space size and charge excessive fees. Both of these markets are in high traffic areas and almost always have a high turnout. People are often setting up there as the markets draw more traffic than yard sales. The purchasers are looking for a variety of items such as household decorations, paintings, tools, toys, model trains, and fishing equipment, just to name a few. Beverages and snacks are available at each location. Parking is free and ample. 


Mother Nature has been very cooperative in the weeks as of late, though a little rain mid-week would be very helpful to green up the grass and pack down the dust. Regardless of the dust, dealers are doing very well, often times leaving with half the amount they arrived with. A new friend of mine noted that she came with a very full pickup truck and left with about half. She had some really gorgeous household decor like wrought iron wine racks, and wrought iron tables. These items sold rather quickly.


A little haggling ensues but that is part of the fun of it. Gentlemen often come looking for tools, which this writer has an abundance of. These tools are bought as backups to those which they already have. Hmm I wonder if they were in the military? That is what a veteran would do. 


Well behaved pets are welcome, also, as many pups can be seen on leashes. I was told there is a beautiful Golden Retriever greeting everyone she possibly can. 

Everyone there is always looking for unique finds and bargains, which can be had with a little New England haggling.


One hears of the rare million-dollar paintings being found in an obscure setting like this. The rare gold coin in the bottom of a box. A rare Lionel train from the early 1920s.  Maybe, just maybe, like in a fairy tale, you’ll find a diamond in the rough. I did. I wasn’t looking, but her sparkle caught my eye immediately. All it took was a little kindness to bring out her radiance. Her smile was brighter than the sun in the sky above where we stood.


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.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here's the latest news:  Providence Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that happened Thursday afternoon along Swiss Street.  The Coventry School Committee is bringing back fall sports after a unanimous vote at Thursday night's meeting.  After a peaceful protest in Providence earlier this week, Rhode Island State Police and the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island chapter say they are working together toward change.                                            
>>Police Yet To Make An Arrest In City's 12th Homicide This Year   
(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Police are investigating a fatal stabbing that happened Thursday afternoon along Swiss Street.  The victim was brought to the fire station right around the corner from where the incident occurred, according to reports, and later died at the hospital.  No arrests have been made yet.  This is the 12th homicide in the city so far this year.              
>>Coventry Schools Bringing Back Fall Sports, Adding Fourth Sports Season
(Coventry, RI)  --  The Coventry School Committee is bringing back fall sports after a unanimous vote at Thursday night's meeting.  The clock was ticking on a decision that the committee says was due by noon today.  Now, boys and girls soccer, boys and girls cross country, and girls tennis can resume, but football and girls volleyball will be pushed back.  Those sports will reportedly be starting between the traditional winter and spring sports seasons.  
>>State Police, BLM Working To Promote Positive Change In The Community
(Providence, RI)  --  After a peaceful protest in Providence earlier this week, Rhode Island State Police and the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island chapter say they are working together toward change.  The organized protest spilled on to an I-95 ramp Wednesday, blocking traffic for a short time.  Still, there were no arrests and no injuries reported during the demonstration.  Word is the group has been working with state police throughout the summer to not only find ways to more peacefully demonstrate, but to establish community outreach programs between law enforcement and minority communities.  
>>More Than 800 Residents Of Rhode Island Assisted Living, Nursing Homes Have Died Of COVID-19
(Providence, RI)  --  A grim new milestone reached in the state, as now health officials are reporting more than 800 coronavirus-related deaths at Rhode Island nursing homes.  This makes up roughly 80-percent of all fatal COVID-19 cases in the state.  on Thursday, the Raise the Bar on Resident Care coalition held a memorial service honoring those lives lost.
>>Providence Mayor To Focus On Prevention With Review Of Public Safety Spending
(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza is pushing to spend more money on "prevention-first investments" and less on police.  Without using the term "defunding," Elorza announced a public safety spending review Thursday.  He says more focus should be put on housing, education, mental health services, social services, and job training.  The idea, Elorza says, is that more preventative measures will result in less need for police intervention.                                                
Ryan Lang/djc
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-25-2020 00:02:05

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 24, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 24, 2020

September 24, 2020/RINewsToday




The NFL has levied $700,000 in fines after Jon Gruden and Sean Payton failed to wear masks properly during Monday’s game between the Las Vegas Raiders and New Orleans Saints, NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero reports.


Ralph Lauren is trimming its workforce in a move to more permanent online sales.


UBS is moving to requiring 70% of their workforce to go back to in-person employment.


LA Fitness is weighing options including a capital raise to help it get through Covid-19 related gym shutdowns


Finland is using dogs at their airport who can sniff out the virus.


Johnson & Johnson on Wednesday kicked off a final 60,000-person trial of a single-shot COVID-19 vaccine that potentially would simplify distribution of millions of doses compared with leading rivals using two doses.


90% of Americans are still susceptible to the virus.


36 vaccines are in human trials – with 4 in final stages.


136 in trials all around the world


Coronavirus is now the 3rd leading cause of death.


More than ½ US states are reporting upticks.


NYC is warning about rising cases in Hasidic neighborhoods – perhaps because of the High Holy Days being celebrated.




Free COVID-19 testing has been extended through Oct. 31 in 18 Massachusetts communities


Massachusetts restaurants will be allowed to put up to 10 people at their bar areas to serve food.


Mayor Walsh warns Boston ‘very close’ to red category on COVID-19 map


BYO Blanket – RI restaurants are encouraging patrons to “bring your own blanket” – the Hot Club is selling blankets too saying “a lot of countries do this” and Hospitality Assoc says “this is a way to keep our favorite restaurants open.


Effective Thursday, people traveling north to Maine from Massachusetts no longer need to quarantine for 14 days or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test


Positive COVID-19 tests are starting to be reported in students and faculty at South Shore, MA schools.


Providence School Dept. is moving up the date for high school seniors to go back to their buildings – they will begin on Sept. 29th.


Providence College cases are now at 173 with 281 in quarantine. 2 staff/faculty test positive, with 1 more in quarantine.


Bristol police recently broke up an off-campus house party filled with maskless Roger Williams University seniors, the vast majority of whom were from out of state.


The Pawtucket plan to build a new soccer stadium – Tidewater Landings – has been completely revised – to exclude the Apex property – build taller, more densely located buildings.


RI Data

Deaths: 3; 121 new cases; percent positivity less than 2%, given high # of tests.


86 in hospital – 9 are in ICU – 5 are ventilators.


Deaths – 1 in 70s, 1 in 80s, 1 in 90s.


New cases are up – primarily because of URI and PC outbreaks Between those 2 schools, we saw approx…190 new positive cases; 150 from PC and 40 from PC. Without those cases, overall cases were stable, and even declining.


A new chart for going forward which will be updated each Tuesday was displayed:


Providence College: Most are living off campus on Eaton Street. Triple deckers rented to college students. Lots of congregating among students. There was NO big party. This was normal congregating in close quarters, not good mask wearing or social distancing. Not only keeping groups small, but limiting social networking to the same 15-20 people.  RIDOH immediately started testing. Stay at home order issued on and off order. 120 students have been relocated locally. Mandatory testing program put in place. Still an active outbreak. PC is handling it well, aggressively. Asking PC students to obey stay at home order. “This isn’t right what is happening”. Impacting the entire state. PC says there will be consequences. Repeating full student body testing this week.


URI: 3 Greek houses with cases. Lots of testing going on – 40 cases last week. Not traced back to single big party – to small groups, not wearing masks, etc. Their cases are more isolated. Do not need stay at home order. URI has been excellent and aggressive. If they test positive, isolated housing, entire group is tested and quarantined. Urging these students NOT to go home. This would only spread the virus. Housing, massive testing, food delivery, care – “We are able to handle this”.


These cases can be a reminder to all of us about not following the rules and what can happen. And how we were back on the “travel restriction list” with travel to/from other states. Our own rate for restricting travel is above 5% – 28 states. “To all the people at PC who played a hand in this, this is a real consequence – if you think it’s fun to ‘have those parties’ that led to this outbreak and if there is more the administration could do…we’re hurting people because of our selfishness”.


Schools: Tested 250 people per day through separate K-12 testing system. We can do 1,000 a day if needed. 844-857-1814 if you need testing connected to schools. As of Monday, all tests showed 33 positive cases among students/staff who had been in school buildings. Another 44 who had not been in school buildings. Total of 77 cases. Majority didn’t happen in school bldg. – they were virtual learners. We are monitoring closely – we are not seeing spread in schools. 15% of RI is associated in some way with schools. Key is to contain the cases going forward. Looks like systems are working, but it’s only been one week. 


Of the 33 cases, 19 were students – rest were teachers/staff (25 schools)


Of the 44 cases, 40 were students – rest were teachers/staff.


Schools w/multiple cases – identified common exposure outside of school (siblings, friends)


Carpooling: Please limit carpooling


Airflow: More than one way to address this – filters, open windows, etc. The expert group said the key metric is air changes per hour – how the air is circulating in and out of the room. Science indicates 4 air changes per hour or more – opening a single window a few inches – provides 5 air changes – add a box fan, increases to over 12 per hour. Some school committees say they don’t have money for new HVAC systems or special filters – she urges them to look at the science for the simple solution. There is a tool on the website – you put in the size of the classroom, and approach and it will tell you more – go to: health.ri.govairflow. Questions: Call the Education Operation Center – only one in America – command center.


Businesses: Inspections: Highest compliances we’ve seen in the 90th percentiles.  Screenings were just below 90% – need to do better with that.


Restaurants – hope RestoreRI is helping – RI is ranked #2 in country for states in economic recovery.


Data Dashboard online for schools – students & staff and virtual learning – data will be posted every Wednesday


Case investigations: 9/8-9/14 Social gatherings continue to be an issue. Not only size, but also same groups. 24 people had attended, as opposed to just 3 the week before. Mask wearing also clearly an issue. Certain industries more effected: 26 cases in manufacturing; another 20 in retail. You can get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms. to schedule. 




What is modeling showing you?


Our numbers are well-below any capacity concerns.


Short of vaccine, don’t see significant decline in cases/deaths?


Our goal IS to see declines


Why on the bad list for travel?


Bump up in cases is what did it.


Other factors for RI that had us above our neighbors beyond level of testing?


We are testing the most; densely populated state; no additional difference beyond college/universities.


Should we have acted proactively before kids came back to school? Pre-emptively?


Hindsight is 20/20. “Would have liked it if PC had done more – we knew this was going to be a problem”. We’re going to work with them. You must hold students accountable for their off-campus behavior. We chose not to do other things – like start school in October, etc. – but all the presidents said they could handle it – they all did but it wasn’t enough.


Are any of these kids sick?


No associated hospitalizations with colleges or K-12.


Do you think they should go all virtual – PC – for the rest of the year?


I’m not there yet. Not at this time.


K-12 – buses, windows open – kids are cold, etc. Update guidance?


We’ll deal with it when we get there. “We’ll probably keep them open though”.


Exeter kids have 45 mins travel – kids freezing – ??


Encourage members of the press to go to “airflow” tool to figure out how many windows should be open. We’re living in highly imperfect world. Kids will get cold, but it’s better than getting COVID. Hopeful by winter we may be in a better situation – vaccine treatments.


Anyone ridden on a school bus from RIDE or RIDOH?


Angelica Infante-Green – we have ridden on a bus – we’ve been in touch with other states, too, who have different bus procedures – Indiana is one.


Silent lunches/snacks – seems Draconian?


RI Health: It’s a lot – we tell people to put together the measures to increase compliance. Structured time to take mask off – if those breaks are built in the risks are decreased.


Adults who go to a restaurant can talk to each other – doesn’t make any sense.


Variety of schools approaches. It’s acceptable to get compliances.



$1 Million for outside equipment for restaurants – how is response?


Good – a lot of restaurants are interested – heat lamps, etc. More than 80. We’re open to doing more than $1 Million


If none of the college kids are sick, on respirators, etc. is there any reason the kids should not be in school in person?


I don’t see any reason – Warwick almost did the right thing – Pawtucket should be in school. Call the command center for help.


People under 30 – diagnosed positive, including children and college students – any increased risk because they don’t know they are sick? Has RIDOH measured that?


We track very closely asymptomatic vs. symptoms. More of the cases do not have symptoms. Further evidence why we need to be vigilant. You may not know you are a carrier.


Hospitals/Nursing Homes – still some without separate wing – some mix on the same floor – didn’t think that was going on – ?? – Any idea of using field hospitals?  Mixing of staff in nursing homes…


PPE fulfills approach to separate patients on a floor. Isolation precautions for each individual patient. PPE in nursing homes co-hoarding are brought together into a particularly wing. Infection control practices are in place. Hospitals are ok with capacity.


Halloween – ?? – How much should state vs. cities/towns weigh in?


No answers yet. I want the kids to do some trick or treating. Have to figure out how to do it safely. Saw the CDC came out – let’s get creative. See what might be possible. RIDOH is working on detailed guidance. There is a need to support some activities in a different way. 


New Restaurant Campaign in RI – bring a blanket…

Posted in 

2 Day Pass to the Newport Mansion free visits for hospitality workers/residents

2-Day Newport Mansion free visits for Newport County hospitality employees/residents

September 24, 2020/RINewsToday


The Preservation Society of Newport County is thanking hospitality employees and residents of Newport County for their continued support by offering FREE admission on September 26-28 to The Breakers, The Elms and Green Animals Topiary Garden, as well as the “Becoming Vanderbilt” exhibition at Rosecliff.*


If you’re a hospitality employee, or if you are stationed at Naval Station Newport, or a resident of Newport, Jamestown, Middletown, Portsmouth, Tiverton or Little Compton, simply bring proof of residency or employment. View schedule, here…




All visitors are required to wear masks while on the grounds of the Newport Mansions.  We recognize there are medical conditions which make it impossible for some people to wear masks.  Unfortunately, due to the pandemic, the safety of our guests and employees makes it imperative that all visitors wear masks at this time.  If you are unable to wear a mask while visiting, we invite you to return when masks are no longer an essential part of preventing the spread of COVID-19. 


Please note: We are onlyaccepting credit or debit cards for ticket or store purchases. Thank you for your understanding.




The Preservation Society of Newport County continues to monitor all CDC and public health advisories and will comply with all state and local guidance about public gatherings. You are urged to maintain appropriate social distance for your own protection and to protect the lives of your family and others.  Our social media and YouTube channel will provide daily offerings from our collections and videos. For more, visit our Newport Mansions Instagram page and Facebook pages of the Preservation Society of Newport County.


*Note: The exhibition will not be open on Monday, September 28.

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Protests in Providence after the decision in the Breonna Taylor case.  Governor Gina Raimondo is faulting college students for a rise in coronavirus cases in the Ocean State.  Changes have been made to the planned Pawtucket soccer stadium project.

>>Breonna Taylor-Related Protests In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence saw a protest on Wednesday night related to the decision in the Breonna Taylor case.  Protesters reportedly marched on the I-95 on-ramp near the Providence Place Mall attempting to block traffic before being blocked by state police from advancing on 95 north.  An earlier protest organized by Black Lives Matter Rhode Island took place in front of the Providence Public Safety Complex.

>>College COVID-19 Cases Causing RI Rate To Rise

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday put the blame on colleges in Rhode Island for a rise in coronavirus cases.  The new spike has caused the Ocean State to be re-added to the travel restriction lists of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, plus, Rhode Island remains stuck on the "bad state" list for Massachusetts.  Providence College's outbreak is up to almost two-hundred, and the University of Rhode Island is dealing with a smaller outbreak.  Raimondo said yesterday state investigators did not find any single large party at the colleges as being responsible for the virus cases, but students were apparently going from one gathering to another without taking COVID precautions.  She said this type of behavior is endangering other people's lives.

>>Celtics On Playoff Brink After Wednesday Night Loss

(Orlando, FL)  --  The Boston Celtics are down three games to one in their NBA Eastern Conference Finals playoff series.  The C's lost to the Miami Heat on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the best-of-seven series, 112-to-109.  Boston faces elimination in the Bubble in Disney World on Friday.  Game 5 tipoff will be 8:30 p.m.

>>Police Report Filed Over Missing Fenton-Fung Campaign Signs

(Cranston, RI)  --  The mystery of missing campaign signs for the candidacy of Cranston Mayor Allan Fung's wife has been solved.  Barbara Ann Fenton-Fung is running for state representative as a Republican against Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello.  According to multiple media outlets, after Allan Fung filed a police report about the missing signs on behalf of his wife, it was determined that the property owner, the Carpionato Group, had removed a bunch of signs after an executive said they became an "eyesore".  Mattiello's campaign is accusing Fung of filing a false police report.

>>Providence Public Schools To Return Seniors Earlier

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Public Schools is updating the return time for in-person learning for high school seniors.  The school district says the seniors are now set to return next week; that's two weeks earlier than originally planned.  The district is delaying the return of sophomores accordingly.  According to a report from WJAR-TV, officials say the move is being made to help seniors navigate college planning.

>>Pawtucket Soccer Stadium Plans Changed

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Plans for a soccer stadium in Pawtucket are being adjusted.  Fortuitous Partners, the developer of the Tidewater Landing, updated the Pawtucket City Council on Wednesday.  The project no-longer involves use of the Apex building.  The amount of office space is also being reduced; officials say demand has been reduced by the virus pandemic.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) CT) NY) NJ) BN)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-24-2020 00:04:07

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 23, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 23, 2020

September 23, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: RI’s Education Resource Center, the group that responds to request for assistance from RI schools as they reopen.


Governor Raimondo’s Update TODAY at 1pm




White House coronavirus task force member Adm. Brett Giroir said “even in a few million doses, the vaccine will be a godsend in terms of outcomes, hospitalizations, morbidities and deaths”. Vaccinating nursing home workers, teachers, people with pre-existing conditions and the people surrounding them will be crucial to stemming the COVID-19 tide.


MassLandlords is seeing a building problem with “mom and pop” landlords who are not eligible for most programs and have tenants who cannot pay rent and avoid eviction.


A total of 156 countries — representing 64% of the world’s population — are now a part of the global collaborative aimed at ensuring accelerated access to Covid-19 vaccines. 


The organization that runs a major college-admission test — the ACT — closed more than 500 testing centers this past weekend because of the virus or the recent wildfires. The closures left many students unable to take the test.


The NFL is imposing fines of $100,000 per coach and $250,000 per club for violations of the league’s mask policy, AP reports.

  • The first three to get fined: Denver’s Vic Fangio, San Francisco’s Kyle Shanahan and Seattle’s Pete Carroll.
  • Among other offenders: Patriots coach Bill Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels, Chiefs defensive coordinator Steve Spagnuolo, Colts coach Frank Reich, and Rams coach Sean McVay.


A group of Black physicians has creating their own expert task force to independently vet regulators’ decisions about Covid-19 drugs and vaccines as well as government recommendations for curbing the pandemic; organized by the National Medical Association


PM Boris Johnson has put restrictions on England’s bars and restaurants and asked all citizens to work from home, if they can for the next 6 months.


“Halloween is traditionally an outdoor holiday and the one time of the year when kids want to wear a mask,” Ostroff said. “This is fully consistent with the CDC safety guidelines, and with the appropriate physical distancing, trick-or-treating can safely happen.” The CDC went on to talk about restricting gatherings in groups for Halloween as well as holiday season after that. More info here:


Oct. 13 & 14 is Amazon Prime Day – expected to be record-selling as people move to online purchasing.


The hotel industry says that nearly three-quarters of hotels will have to lay off more employees during the coronavirus pandemic if they don’t receive additional government funding


Spring break at Connecticut’s four state universities has been canceled


Coronavirus survivors may need follow-up care to screen their hearts for possible damage.


Hollywood’s union have reached an agreement on pandemic protocols with major studios that will allow the broad resumption of production of films and television after six months of stagnant sets and unemployment.




RI Data


Deaths: 2
3 Day Average hospitalization rate: 81
Positivity Rate: 1.7%
Governor’s presentation – tomorrow, Wed, 1pm


Rep. Mattiello is introducing a bill to extend take-out alcohol through the end of 2020 at restaurants.


CCRI laying off 45 staff.


Federal Court in Providence will begin jury trials again.


Worcester Art Museum will open in October


Owner of Providence Place Mall cutting staff by 25%


Rhode Island is now back on the no travel from list for New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut


URI is using electrostatic handheld cleaning units to deep clean buildings.


Cases at Providence College number of positive cases is over 160 now; a “small minority” are actually sick, and none are hospitalized. Some quarantine orders will expire in a few days.


Local Elmhurst area, Providence legislators and leaders have asked PC to go to all-virtual for the year, concerned about the density of the campus within their residential community (Sam Bell – Marcia Ranglin Vassell – David Morales)


A convicted bank robber from Rhode Island is facing federal charges after applying for $4.7 million worth of COVID-19 stimulus loans for businesses in Massachusetts that did not exist


Smithfield school department is short of substitute teachers – Exeter/West Greenwich, North Providence, all experiencing shortages. Cranston raised its pay for substitutes from $80 a day to $100; Providence raised it to $150  – all together there are over 700 vacancies for subs in RI.



Britain’s Prime Minister, Boris Johnson details new restrictions as COVID19 cases increase

Posted in 

2A Community behind President's SCOTUS appointment

2A Community behind President’s SCOTUS appointment

September 23, 2020/Jeff Gross


by Jeff Gross, contributing writer


OK Folks here is what we are looking at: Back in June the US Supreme Court, (SCOTUS), dismissed 10 gun cases. These same gun cases would have clarified many aspects of the gun control debate. The reason this did not happen is Chief Justice Roberts could not be counted on to vote in favor of the second amendment. There are varying theories on why that is. Also, Roberts is the head of SCOTUS and has the discretion of what cases even get contemplated.


With Ginsburg’s death, President Trump has the golden opportunity to tilt the balance to the conservative benefit. The new Justice will be “2A” respectful at the very least. Expect the Left to lose their ever-loving minds. Protests are occurring at Sen. Lindsey Graham (Chair, Senate Judiciary Committee)’s home, and at Sen. Mitch McConnell (Senate Majority Leader)’s home as a result. You might want to call the Washington offices of both Senators and thank them for standing up to these urban terrorists.


My bet is President Trump will nominate Amy Coney Barrett. She is a strong conservative. It will be interesting to see what conservative political commentator Tomi Lahren has to say about Amy’s view on abortion. As for the 2nd Amendment community, we cannot get a better nominee. She views the 2A the very same way Justice Scalia did. If nominated, don’t be surprise d if she takes a lead on 2A cases. She is that strong.


What this nomination does for the 

2A cause, is now there will be 5 concrete pro 2A Justices. Roberts can waffle all he wants. Five of a kind beats an ace every day. Roberts will have no choice but to hear 2A cases, as the five will decide that fact, as it takes four Justices to set up a hearing on a 2A case, but with five Justices a win in the 2A favor is all but assured. I have made the analogy of the 2A battle compared to the WWII Battle of Midway. This may be indeed the first wave.


Procrastination has its benefits. I woke up at 2 am today to my cell phone going off: as Lindsey Graham announced that they have enough floor votes to confirm the President’s nominee.


The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s).


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.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Providence College has reported more coronavirus cases.  Layoffs have been announced by Community College of Rhode Island.  An Ocean State resident is charged with attempting to obtain federal coronavirus business stimulus loans.

>>More Virus Cases At Providence College, In RI Schools

(Undated)  --  Here are the latest headlines about COVID-19 in Rhode Island's education system.  The outbreak at Providence College has increased to one-hundred-66 as of late Monday afternoon, according to a Providence Journal report.  The newest positive cases in the Providence School District come from a student at Veazie Street Elementary and a staffer at E-Cubed Academy.  Elsewhere in the state, officials say a student at Barrington High School has tested positive.

>>Community College Of Rhode Island Announces Layoffs

(Warwick, RI)  --  Community College of Rhode Island is announcing the layoffs of 45 full-time staff members.  No faculty members are included.  CCRI president Meghan Hughes says the coronavirus pandemic and resulting economic crisis have created significant financial challenges for the college.

>>Providence Police Release Video Of Suspect In Fatal Shooting

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department is asking the public to help identify a homicide suspect.  The incident, a shooting, happened in a parking lot on Tobey Street on August 20th.  The victim was Kadeem Moore of Providence.  The Providence PD has released a video showing a man they are seeking information on; authorities say Moore may have been involved in a skirmish with the shooter in the neighborhood beforehand.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>One South Kingstown Crash Victim ID'd

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  The driver of one of two fatal crashes in South Kingstown on Monday has been identified as 18-year-old Joshua Martin of Narragansett.  The crash happened in the late evening hours on Middlebridge Road.  Police have not released the name of the driver involved in the other crash on Route 138.

>>Feds Charge RI Man With Fraudulent PPP Loan Requests

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island man is being charged with seeking over four-and-a-half-million dollars in coronavirus stimulus loans.  The U.S. Justice Department says Michael Moller of Middletown filed for the loans through the Paycheck Protection Program to pay employees for a Fall River, Massachusetts-based business for which investigators could find no records.  Moller, who was previously sentenced for robbing four banks, allegedly was able to collect over a half-million in PPP loans and spent some of the money on a trip to Las Vegas, according to the DOJ.  He was arraigned on Tuesday.

>>Injunction In Truck Toll Legal Challenge Denied

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's tractor-trailer tolling system is being allowed to stay in place.  The Providence Journal reports a federal judge released a decision earlier this month denying a request by the American Trucking Association for an injunction halting the collections.  The group is challenging the constitutionality of the targeted tolls.

>>Red Sox Beat Orioles As Season Winds Down

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox are down to the last five games of their shortened 2020 season.  They've now won two straight after an 8-to-3 decision against the Baltimore Orioles on Tuesday night.  The Red Sox, who are now at 21 wins and 34 losses, have two more home games left, both versus Baltimore, tonight and tomorrow night.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) NV)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-23-2020 00:23:11

Reopening Schools: Conflicting narratives

Reopening of schools: Conflicting narratives

September 22, 2020/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof,


It can be confusing to attempt to decipher the conflicting narratives at play about what is happening with the reopening of public schools and colleges and universities in Rhode Island in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.


There are the voices of reassurance:


• Gov. Gina Raimondo, at her weekly news conference on Wednesday, Sept. 19, attempted to put forth a message of confidence that Rhode Island had taken the right approach in pushing to reopen schools, admitting that “we are far from perfect,” three days into an unprecedented system to meet an unprecedented crisis. The Governor reported that there had been 19 cases of coronavirus identified in students and staff in the first few days of classes reopening.


• R.I. Commissioner of Education Angélica Infante-Green, in her weekly memorandum, also sought to find higher ground. “The state has worked tirelessly to do all we can to ensure that we have layers of safety in place,” she wrote. “Our students and teachers are ready. Our families and communities are ready. As a new Rhode Islander, I have been awed by the way that Rhode Islanders have come together to support one another. The Ocean State is awash in flexibility, patience and kindness that make it like no other place. I am confident to draw upon these special attributes to support our school communities as they embark on a new year of learning.”


Yet, that sense of “patience and kindness,” it seemed, did not last long when problems emerged related to what appeared to be a lack of coordination and planning related to the Virtual Learning Academy, as numerous parents and teachers voiced frustration about what appeared to be a lack of preparation and planning, all of which were dutifully reported by the news media, including an excellent report by WPRI’s Steph Machado.


In response, Laura Hart, the RIDE communications director, put out a news release that attempted to blame the problems with the Virtual Learning Academy on the teachers for “not communicating.” In response to the news release, Maribeth K. Calabro, president of the Providence Teacher’s Union, urged RIDE to “Stop lying!” Further, Calabro described the strategy being pursued by the Governor and her team as “toxic positivity.”


Meanwhile, on the campuses
On the front lines of college openings, Providence College moved to shut down its campus and keep students in place after some 120 students tested positive for COVID-19, making the front page of The Providence Journal on Sept. 19, although no students were reported hospitalized. [The total number of positive tests is up to 154 now.]


Up on College Hill, Brown University, reported on Friday, Sept. 18, that the seven-day COVID-19 positivity rate was at zero percent, according to a campus-wide email from administrators, according to Daily Herald reporter Olivia George. Johnson & Wales University also reported a number of students had tested positive for coronavirus. [URI is reported to have had 55 positive tests; Roger Williams University has had a reported 16 positive tests.]

Measuring school climate
On Monday, Sept. 21, Rhode Island Kids Count will release a new report examining school climate, looking at policies and practices supporting student-centered learning in Rhode Island through an “equity lens,” including student and mental and behavioral health.


“The traumatic experiences of students including those related to the COVID-19 pandemic and the long-standing impacts of systemic racism must be acknowledged and addressed by schools,” said Paige Clausius-Parks, Rhode Island Kids Count Senior Policy Analyst, in the news release accompanying the report. “Now is the time when students need the most from their schools, including a positive school climate that nurtures healthy student-teacher relationships, provides mental and behavioral health supports, and refrains from harsh disciplinary practices.”


Translated, so much of the balance in achieving equity depends on what can be achieved in our schools, often without the resources to accomplish simple tasks, such as maintaining proper class sizes and ensuring that buildings are properly maintained, and with not enough substitute teachers in place to cover a teaching workforce whose numbers are declining.

And, in Central Falls
Few reporters have practiced what used to be called “shoe-leather” reporting, venturing into Rhode Island’s smallest city, to report about what is happening on the ground.


Sources tell ConvergenceRI that in terms of positive test results, there are, on average, two or three kids per day in Central Falls and Pawtucket testing positive, with the dire warning: “Give it two weeks.”


Further, a report from school orientation in Central Falls described it as pure pandemonium, with kids running around everywhere and irregular mask use, as well as social un-distancing all about.


When asked what question they would like to see asked of Gov. Raimondo at her weekly news conference, the response was: “How many abuelas [grandmothers] and teachers will die before schools are closed?”


Another source reported that out of 26 tests conducted on Wednesday, Sept. 16, there were three new positive cases, one kid from Pawtucket and two adults from Central Falls. And, that all recent positive tests for kids were for patients who were symptom-free. Further, there were three other positive tests, but the patients were known positives from previous tests.


Translated, the testing results in Central Falls still indicate a high level of community transmission.

Richard Asinof

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

Posted in 

ACLU - RI: Zooming in on Students - RI gets an "F" for Privacy

ACLU-RI: Zooming in on Students – RI gets an “F” for Privacy

September 22, 2020/RINewsToday


ACLU of RI Report shows school-loaned computers have alarming lack of security




The ACLU of Rhode Island released a report today which highlights the alarming lack of privacy protections given to students who use school-loaned laptop computers. Though all schools in Rhode Island rapidly transitioned to virtual learning in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic, a survey by the ACLU of RI has found that a majority of school districts give officials the power to access the contents, microphone and camera of the student’s computer at any time. The survey also revealed that most school district policies explicitly advise students that they have no expectation of privacy on these devices, even if they are available for both academic and personal use.   


The ACLU’s report notes that out of 36 public school districts in Rhode Island:

  • 23 districts explicitly advise students and parents that they have no expectation of privacy when in possession of the device.  
  • 23 districts give school officials the authority to access the contents of a school-loaned device for any reason and with no notice. 
  • 24 districts allow officials to access the microphone or camera on a school-loaned device at any time.  


The report issued today also raises concerns that school districts are using third-party software platforms for remote learning without ensuring that the programs comply with a state law that prohibits the commercial use of student data.  


Recognizing that virtual education will play a large role in the lives of students for years to come, the report urges all school committees to take action to pass privacy-protective policiesand calls on the General Assembly to adopt uniform standards of privacy for all students in Rhode Island. Legislation to establish privacy standards for use of school-loaned computers was introduced in the House and Senate, but no action was taken during the pandemic-shortened session. “On top of the many uncertainties of this time, students shouldn’t have to fear that their schools may be inappropriately spying on them,” said Hannah Stern, policy associate at the ACLU of RI. “School districts and the state government both have a responsibility to ensure student privacy on these devices.”  


The ACLU first conducted a statewide survey of privacy policies for school-loaned computer programs, or 1:1 programs, in 2017. At the time, 22 districts were utilizing such programs, and a report issued by the ACLU that year documented the lack of privacy protections for students. 


In March 2020, with the onset of the pandemic, school-loaned computers became ubiquitous and imperative. In response, the ACLU of Rhode Island contacted each school district in April, urging them to adopt stronger privacy protections for their students when use of the devices and remote learning were mandatory. Only one school district, Tiverton, had responded positively and indicated it would be amending their policies to thoroughly protect student privacy.  


A copy of the report is available online


For More Information:


Hannah Stern, Policy Associate: or (661) 857-0346 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 22, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Sept. 22, 2020

September 22, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Outdoor learning at The Gordon School in East Providence




National Museum of African American History and Culture in DC is open.


An additional 65,000 businesses in the US have closed temporarily, according to Yelp.


Cases top 200,000 in US


More than 32,000 restaurants reported themselves to Yelp as closed, with nearly19,600 indicating that the closures were permanent.


The CDC has made some changes, saying that the virus CAN be spread by those who are asymptomatic, not MAY be spread. They have also said that the virus can be spread by particles through the air. At the end of the day on Monday, the CDC website withdrew the recommendation about spreading via the air and 6 feet not being long enough safe distance.


The UK Labour Party wants to prioritize testing for children the same as key workers so test results can come back in 24 hours – protecting their teachers, family, and community.


Boston Red Sox legend David “Big Papi” Ortiz says he is recovering from COVID-19


A Maine paper mill has an outbreak of 18.


Europe is having a steady increase in virus cases – prompting Israel to go into a modified shut down and England is struggling with control efforts. England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland raised the nation’s COVID-19 alert Monday from three to four, the second-highest level. More than 4,300 new infections were reported on Monday, a level not seen since early May.


Ohio State University cancels spring break.


Oslo banned gatherings of more than 10 people in private homes.


Madrid, Spain, and surrounding towns stopped people going in and out of neighborhoods in partial lock down. An estimated 860,000 residents can travel between neighborhoods only for work, study or medical reasons or face fines. Parks are closed and shops and restaurants are limited to 50% occupancy.


All virus restrictions are lifted across much of New Zealand with the exception of Auckland. Health authorities reported no new infections.


Munich, Germany will allow only up to five people or members of two households to meet, and will restrict private indoor gatherings such as birthday parties, weddings or funerals to no more than 25 people.


PM Boris Johnson is expected to announce new restrictions for Britain today, as cases are doubling every seven days.


The S&P was down 1.2% in reaction to reports of new outbreaks in Europe and the US


New York commercial tenants are protected from evictions and foreclosures through Oct. 20 under an executive order


India recorded nearly 87,000 new coronavirus infections in the past 24 hours. The nation of 1.3 billion people now has over 5.4 million reported cases, and within weeks is expected to surpass the U.S., which has 6.8 million reported cases.


Major cruise lines say they will test all passengers and crew for COVID-19 prior to boarding as part of their plan for resuming sailing in the Americas.


The University of Connecticut on Saturday placed a second dormitory under quarantine after several students tested positive


$14 Billion is coming for domestic farmers. The USDA will make direct payments for crops that meet a specified threshold of price decline. They include corn, soybeans, wheat and some cotton, as well as chicken, eggs, milk, beef cattle, pigs, lambs, tobacco, wool, alfalfa, oats, peanuts, rice and hemp.Farmers can begin signing up for the money on Monday at:


Some hospitals in England to be kept Covid-free in second wave because NHS England wants to ensure continuation of treatment of cancer and other conditions


Hall of Fame baseball pitcher Tom Seaver recently died at the age of 75 because of complications of Lewy body dementia (LBD) and COVID-19.


8th death announced from wedding in Maine – and 300 cases.


Connecticut Congresswoman Jahana Hayes has tested positive for COVID-19


Many cities are looking to shut down hotels that are being used to house the homeless.


Computers, printers and other technology are in short supply as students from kindergarten to college are in need.


Celebrities Giuliana Rancic and Vivica A. Fox Test Positive for COVID just prior to the Emmys and are pulled out of the red carpet hosting ceremonies


Motorcycle rally at Lake of the Ozarks – over 100,000 bikers with not a lot of masks and distancing


With Medicaid enrollment snowballing and tax revenue falling off a cliff, states are cutting provider rates to reduce their Medicaid spending and balance their budgets.

After a 10-year decline in life insurance applications following the 2008 recession, demand is increasing industry-wide, especially with younger applicants looking to establish policies.




Hanover, MA school system tested all students, staff and faculty – twice – prior to start of school. Cost was $50-60,000, to be paid for by federal funds.


20 free flu shots for children with an appt in Rehoboth – children will need flu shots to go to school


1,100-1,200 North Providence students opted not to return to in-person, leaving 2/3 of children in-school – Mayor says things seem to be going well.


Salvation Army closes 3 stores – predicts serious cutbacks as stores/retail locations hesitate to have the holiday red bucket collections outside their stores


Restore RI is offering grants for small businesses, now including sole proprietors – apply at CommerceRI:


The amount of positive cases has increased to over 165 at Providence College. The college is now retesting the almost 5,000 student body.


Citizens Bank says it is not going to have full return to work until 2021


Two sororities and a fraternity at URI are quanrantining after 5 positive cases in the sororities and 1 in the fraternity. URI has tested 1m624 with 62 positive cases and a 4% positivity rate.


RI Data – Sept. 21, 2020


New cases 52;  New deaths 3; Deaths since Friday; 9


Twin River will resume 24 hour play


RI Blood Center is calling for more blood donations as supplies run low – must make an appt.- donating individuals receive a Newport Creamery Awful Awful certificate.


The RI ACLU released a report today giving security for computer ZOOM users for school students the “F” grade. Access the full report, here:


Nearby Southwick Zoo is offering a drive-through Zoofari…



Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The coronavirus numbers keep going up at Providence College.  A small plane crashed in Richmond on Monday.  A bill has been introduced to allow takeout alcohol sales in Rhode Island to continue.
>>More PC Students Test Positive; Third URI Greek House Quarantined
(Providence, RI)  --  The number of Providence College students who have tested positive for COVID-19 has increased to one-hundred-fifty.  The college has not determined how the outbreak started, and will be making a decision this week on returning to in-person learning after pivoting to remote instruction because of the virus cases, according to a report from The Providence Journal.  In another developing story about COVID on college campuses in the Ocean State, the University of Rhode Island has placed a third Greek house on quarantine after finding positive cases, a sorority.
>>High Surf Advisory For Coastal Rhode Island From Hurricane Teddy
(Undated)  --  A High Surf Advisory remains in effect for coastal Rhode Island because of Hurricane Teddy passing through the Atlantic.  The National Weather Service has the advisory posted until 6 a.m. Wednesday.  The weather service says there will be dangerous swimming and surfing conditions and localized beach erosion.
>>One Person Dead After Motor Vehicle Crash In South Kingstown
(South Kingstown, RI)  --  A driver died in a fiery motor vehicle crash in South Kingstown on Monday afternoon.  The local police department says the unidentified person hit a utility pole and the vehicle caught fire as power lines came down on Route 138.  Authorities say the driver was the only person inside.  National Grid reported outages in connection to the crash, some of which lasted into Monday evening.
>>Minor Injuries Only For Pilot Involved In Richmond Plane Crash
(Richmond, RI)  --  A small plane crash in South County Monday afternoon is under investigation.  Authorities say local pilot Bruce Sheets lost power after taking off from Richmond Airport, and was forced to make an emergency landing at a farm.  Sheets reportedly suffered minor injuries.  The crash caused damage to a solar power array.
>>Rhode Island Man Sentenced For Massachusetts Bank Robbery
(Boston, MA)  --  A Providence man is being sentenced to seventeen years in prison for an armed bank robbery in Massachusetts.  The U.S. Justice Department says Daniel Rosado was sentenced yesterday in federal court in Boston for the robbery at a local bank in Somerville in 2019.  Prosecutors say as the robbery was happening, a passing police officer entered the bank and exchanged gunfire with Rosado.
>>Takeout Alcohol Sales Could Be Extended
(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is introducing legislation that will allow restaurants to sell takeout alcohol through the end of 2021.  Governor Raimondo signed an executive order in March allowing takeout booze as a way to help restaurants struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.  The House Finance Committee is scheduled to hear testimony on the bill tomorrow.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-22-2020 00:06:02

It's National Small Business Week


It’s National Small Business Week

September 21, 2020/RINewsToday


As part of National Small Business Week, the U.S. Small Business Administration and cosponsors will host all virtual events September 22-24, 2020.


This year’s national National Small Business Week activities will include numerous educational panels providing retooling and innovative practices for entrepreneurs as our nation’s small businesses look to pivot and recover, contributing to a stronger economy.


The event will recognize the national award winners, including the naming of the National Small Business Person of the Year.


The National Small Business Week event schedule includes three days recognizing America’s outstanding entrepreneurs, shining a spotlight on the nation’s 30 million small businesses across the country.


Tuesday, September 22, 1 p.m. EST – “Pride in America’s Small Businesses”


Day’s events include:


National Small Business Week Welcome – SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza


Keynote Address: National Small Business Week Awards Presentations


Wednesday, September 23, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation”


Day’s events include: Panel Discussion 


Series – America’s Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate


Mid-day Sessions – SBA’s Veteran Resources and Veteran Success Story Videos


Thursday, September 24, 9 a.m. EST – “Preparing for a stronger tomorrow: Recovery, Adaptation, and Innovation”


Day’s events include:


Panel Discussion Series – Strength, Learning to Pivot and Innovate


Mid-day Sessions – The Business Landscape of today and Federal and Local Resources to Empower Small Businesses


To sign up:;F:QS!10100&ShowKey=110126


More details at:

Posted in 

The Impact of Globalization on Organizations

The Impact of Globalization on Organizations

September 21, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. O’Sullivan


Like it or not, the world of Globalization is here to stay. How else would we enjoy fruits and vegetables in the winter? Where would the price of electronics and software products be if it weren’t for globalization? What about national defense? What is the impact of a global world where our nation’s safety is at stake?


The overall impact of globalization on one organization has brought change in every aspect of the way it conducts its business. Due to the nature of much of the business, export of certain technologies is banned by the US Government. However, due to the US Government’s need to ally with strategic international defense partners as well as internal offset requirements, leveraging multi-national alliances has become far more commonplace. Companies now do business with Thales, BAE, and partners in Australia, Canada, as well as Japan, Taiwan, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates (among others) in order to fulfill those requirements.


Technology, Trade/Investment (such as customers and suppliers)


In this case, the relationships the company establishes are not necessarily based on cheaper labor or cheaper parts; these relationships are driven by the need of the US Government for leverage in strategic countries for the purpose of national defense.


As mentioned earlier, technology exports are closely controlled if permitted at all. As far as manufacturing our products overseas, some international customers want products that are made in US factories by US workers. They want that visit to the US to tour the manufacturing facilities. This is often a symbol of status to them.


However, securing a contract with an international customer usually dictates a need for alliances with companies in that country, often involving an acceptable technology transfer. Generally speaking, only non-critical hardware and software are available for technology transfer. Delicate negotiations and cultural sensitivities are essential in dealing with this situation. Another interesting issue a major US company can face is the importance of relationships. We have not come to grips fully with the concept of dealing with overseas partners’ relatives, friends, and other external relationships. This practice takes great finesse, and if mishandled, can lead to irreparable harm to the business deal.


Additionally, sometimes the company comes late to the party. They often approach international suppliers well after competitors have already locked them up. They may find themselves continually surprised by this phenomenon.


People (movement, composition of workforce), multi-nationals (mergers and acquisitions), culture (spread of common ideas and practices).


A major issue faced by some companies is the inexperience of its senior managers in international dealings. Many have unrealistic expectations and impose unrealistic deadlines and changes to the employees on the ground. This approach does nothing to speed up negotiations or improve milestone payments. Most international companies value relationships far more than artificial deadlines. Even with the acquisition of small international companies and hiring of experienced international businesspeople, many senior executives remain woefully unskilled in global protocols. (Like the importance of honoring verbal agreements.)


Also, while they have hired from many diverse cultures, much of the work in the company can be governed by the US Government, requiring natural born US citizens only. Employees of diverse backgrounds who were not born in the United States work in areas like HR, Communications, etc.


How the company mission, type of business, operations, ownership, management practices or other characteristics as a result of these global developments.


The organization has made some progress recently. They have appointed a UK director to lead a major international capture effort. The have also leveraged a small German subsidiary to assist in European and West Asian efforts. There is also an endeavor ongoing to establish landed companies in strategic countries like Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and Kuwait. Moreover, a senior executive for one major international business area is Indian, as is the senior in-country executive for that same business.


The mission of some companies is national defense, and that mission has not been changed by doing business internationally. The mission is dictated by the US Government, and inclusiveness is a corollary to that mission.


The international efforts are in support of expanding the role of strategic partners engaged in a similar business type overseas. The business model has not changed. They do not deal in palm oil, rice, carpets or other commodities.  Business operations have been limited to obtaining and establishing landed companies, not expanding our US concern abroad. Many businesses are not transferable.


Opportunities or potential difficulties these changes have presented.


With national protection as a core mission, opportunities as well as challenges present themselves to a large concern. Opportunities for international sales are apparent as the US Government seeks to export products to further its own interests in strategic countries. The burden for completing those deals successfully is with the contractors, as they navigate the whirlpools, eddies and currents while establishing viable business partners overseas. Savvy leaders are needed to build and maintain those business relationships and to bring profit into the company, while protecting US interests as well.







Connect with Mary

Phone: 401-742-1965



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

Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society.

Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.

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

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Vigils held Friday and Saturday in Providence after the death of Ruth Bader Ginsburg, followed by a call to action on Sunday.  The state health department is classifying it as a coronavirus outbreak at Providence College.  Rhode Island is installing drop-boxes for mail ballots and officials are figuring out how to keep them secure.
>>Vigils, Calls For RI Senators To Act After Ginsburg's Death
(Providence, RI)  --  Vigils took place this weekend in Providence following the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.  The first vigil was held at the State House Friday night, soon after the death was announced, then another happened Saturday at the Rhode Island Supreme Court.  It turned from a vigil to a protest on Sunday, when people rallied at the Providence offices of Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, demanding they take action in the Senate to prevent a confirmation of a nominee from President Trump.
>>Coronavirus Outbreak At Providence College; Two URI Greek Houses Quarantined
(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is now calling the coronavirus situation at Providence College an outbreak.  The health department said on Friday the updated number of cases was one-hundred-twenty, and that it is responding to the outbreak.  Meanwhile, at the University of Rhode Island, students were told on Friday that two Greek houses were placed into quarantine after three students tested positive.
>>Celtics Get First Win In Conference Finals; Patriots Lose
(Undated)  --  Boston sports: the Celtics won Game 3 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals over the Miami Heat on Saturday, 117-to-106.  Game 4 from the Bubble in Orlando, with the Heat now leading the best-of-seven series two games to one, is set for Wednesday night.  The Patriots lost in Seattle versus the Seahawks Sunday night, 35-to-30.
>>Man Struck And Killed On I-95 In Pawtucket
(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A man believed to be homeless was struck and killed by a vehicle on Interstate 95 in Pawtucket Saturday night.  Authorities identified the victim as 57-year-old Ricardo Masariegos.  Police say Masariegos was in the fast lane when he was hit, but that speed was not a factor in the accident.
>>Unemployment Rate In Rhode Island Now Second-Highest In U.S.
(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's unemployment rate has jumped to the second-highest in the U.S.  The Bureau of Labor Statistics said Friday the rate increased to twelve-point-eight percent, up from eleven-point-two percent in July.  The Ocean State had been the twelfth-highest.
>>Rhode Island Elections Board Pondering Mail Ballot Drop-Box Security
(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections is set to continue discussing the issue of security at mail-ballot drop box sites in Rhode Island.  Those drop-boxes are going to be installed in anticipation of a high number of mail ballots for the November election.  The board last week considered having security cameras installed to monitor the ballot repositories, but municipal officials expressed concerns about how that expense would be covered.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
 Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-21-2020 00:06:03

In the Area with Citizens CEO Bruce Van Saun

In the Arena with Citizens CEO Bruce Van Saun

September 20, 2020/RINewsToday


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


Today, Paolino talks with Bruce Van Saun, Chairman and CEO of Citizens Bank, based in Johnston, Rhode Island.


Van Saun and Paolino talk about the pandemic, its impact and opportunity on business, and the future in Rhode Island, and what businesses need to succeed in Rhode Island.


Citizens has 5,300 employees in RI at this time.


Here is “In The Arena” – remotely – for September 20, 2020:





Posted in 

Federal Nursing Home Visitation / Regs Effective Immediately

Federal Nursing Home Visitation/Regs Effective Immediately

September 20, 2020/RINewsToday


Changes in visitation, rules and regulations for nursing homes may have a dramatic effect on services provided in nursing homes. These changes, done yesterday by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services include:


  • communal activities and dining
  • entry of healthcare workers and other specialists
  • access to a resident by representatives of protection and advocacy systems
  • access to Long Term Care Ombudsman
  • required visitation compliance by nursing homes
  • compassionate care visits
  • visitor testing
  • indoor visitation
  • outdoor visitation
  • core principles of infection prevention


September 17th, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) issued revised guidance providing detailed recommendations on ways nursing homes can safely facilitate visitation during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. After several months of visitor restrictions designed to slow the spread of COVID-19, CMS recognizes that physical separation from family and other loved ones has taken a significant toll on nursing home residents. In light of this, and in combination with increasingly available data to guide policy development, CMS is issuing revised guidance to help nursing homes facilitate visitation in both indoor and outdoor settings and in compassionate care situations.  The guidance also outlines certain core principles and best practices to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission to adhere to during visitations.


“While we must remain steadfast in our fight to shield nursing home residents from this virus, it is becoming clear that prolonged isolation and separation from family is also taking a deadly toll on our aging loved ones,” said CMS Administrator Seema Verma. “With the Trump administration’s unprecedented efforts to bolster testing resources and deploy infection control support, we believe nursing homes should be able to resume visitations reuniting residents with their families within the recommendations outlined in our guidance.”


In the revised guidance issued today, CMS is encouraging nursing homes to facilitate outdoor visitation because it can be conducted in a manner that reduces the risk of transmission.  Outdoor visits pose a lower risk of transmission due to increased space and airflow. The guidance released today also allows for indoor visitation if there has been no new onset of COVID-19 cases in the past 14 days and the facility is not conducting outbreak testing per CMS guidelines.  Indoor visitation is subject to other requirements as well as indicated in the guidance.


The guidance also clarifies additional examples of compassionate care situations.  While end-of-life situations have been used as one example, there are other examples including: 


  • When a resident who was living with their family before recently being admitted to a nursing home is struggling with the change in environment and lack of physical family support.
  • When a resident who is grieving after friend or family member recently passed away.
  • When a resident needs help and encouragement with eating or drinking, previously provided by family, is experiencing weight loss or dehydration.
  • When a resident who used to talk to others, is experiencing emotional distress, seldom speaking, and crying frequently (when he/she had rarely cried in the past).


For additional details on the revised nursing home visitation guidance released today, visit here:


QSO-20-39-NH (PDF)


Brown University reinstates two women's sports teams to comply with Title IX

Brown University reinstates 2 women’s sports teams to comply with Title IX

September 18, 2020/RINewsToday


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.” 


A copy of a joint statement by the parties and the terms of the settlement agreement, along with background information on the case, Cohen v. Brown University, can be found here.

Extra safety in rural Rhode Island

Extra safety in rural Rhode Island

September 18, 2020/Jeff Gross


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.

Rhode Island News Today

(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.  

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) CA) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-18-2020 00:13:04

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 17, 2020

RI Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 17, 2020

September 17, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: From the front cover of the Vaccine Distribution Plan




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 Halloween Costume Association has published a county map of the US with risk levels noted, in conjunction with Harvard, so parents can gauge their comfort level with trick of treating. The interactive map is here:  – much more about Halloween options, here:


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 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.


Distribution plans here:


“From the Factory to the Frontlines”


Other documents:





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


RI Data:


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


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.


Dr. Scott:

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.




Pat Ford:

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.


Posted in 

RI Luxury Real Estate Market Snapshot

RI Luxury Real Estate Market Snapshot

September 17, 2020/Emilio DiSpirito


By Emilio DiSpirito – Realtor/Team Leader of The DiSpirito Team with HomeSmart Professionals


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.

Emilio DiSpirito

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!



Rhode Island News Today

(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.
[[ note nature ]]
>>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. first reported that the union representing workers on the site made the contaminated soil allegations.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
 Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-17-2020 00:02:09

More pause, please, Newport

More pause, please, Newport

September 16, 2020/David Brussat


by David Brussat, Architecture Here and There


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.


For full story:


More pause please, Newport

David Brussat

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,, or call (401) 351-0457

Telehealth is redefining the office visit and patient relationships

Telehealth is redefining the office visit and patient relationships

September 16, 2020/Richard Asinof


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.


Read full story, here:,6016

Richard Asinof

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

The Pivot to Peace in the MIddle East

The Pivot to Peace in the Middle East

September 16, 2020/RINewsToday


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.


Last night in Jerusalem…

Rhode Island News Today

(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.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-16-2020 00:17:14

Your Coronvirus Update - Today, Sept 15, 2020

Your Coronvirus Update – Today, Sept. 15, 2020

September 15, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: RI Governor Gina Raimondo greeting children in Providence on the first day of school (Governor’s Twitter post)




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




RI Data:


Cases: Friday: 81 – Saturday: 99 – Sunday – 32 Deaths: 9/12 – 3; 9/14 – 1


Percent positivity – 1.4%


Governor’s address: Wednesday, Sept. 16th



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.


Seekonk Back to School Message…


Wickford Art Student Art Exhibit "From the time of quarantine:

Wickford Art Student Art Exhibit “From the time of quarantine”

September 15, 2020/RINewsToday


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.




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 (


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

RI Nursing Home/Group Home Coronavirus Data - September 15, 2020

RI Nursing Home/Group Home Coronavirus Data – Sept. 15, 2020

September 15, 2020/RINewsToday


Period ending September 15th:


Increases in one week


Cases: approx. 3,093 (40 more)


New cases in the past 7 days: 53 more


Cumulative resident fatalities: 833 (approx. 5 in 1 week)



While total fatalities are down, new cases are trending in these facilities:


Golden Crest Nursing Home reporting 5 new cases that are not on this list


Bannister House – from fewer than five – to – 5 to 9 more


Highlands on the East Side – from 5 to 9 more – to – 5 to 9 more / deaths from fewer than 5 to 5 to 9 more


Pawtucket Skilled Nursing – from 15 to 19 – to – 10 to 14 more


Riverview – from 20 to 24 – to – 5 to 9 more


Village at Waterman Lake – from 0 to 5 to 9 more



Rhode Island News Today

(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. 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.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-15-2020 00:32:06

Leading in a Cross Generational Workforce

Leading in a Cross Generational Workforce

September 14, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. Sullivan, MSOL


“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.


Connect with Mary:

Mary T. O’Sullivan

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

Prepare for Disasters - Week 3

Week 3 – Prepare for Disasters

September 14, 2020/RINewsToday


Disasters and Emergencies


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

  • Stay alert.
  • Seek safety.
  • Cover and hide.
  • Defend yourself.
  • 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.


Learn Lifesaving Skills


Take trainings such as You Are the Help Until Help Arrives and first aid to assist the wounded before help arrives.


How to Stay Safe When a Mass Attack Threatens


Prepare NOW


Be alert to your surroundings. If You See Something, Say Something®


Observe warning signs:

  • Unusual or threatening communications.
  • Expressed grievances related to a workplace, personal or other issues.
  • Ideologies promoting violence.
  • Suspicious behavior such as excessive questioning or attention to security details.
  • Unusual items or packages.


Know Exits and Areas to Cover and Hide

  • When visiting new places, take time to identify at least two nearby exits.
  • Identify areas you could hide under cover in case of attack in familiar places such as work, school and outdoor events.


Be Ready to Help

  • Learn and practice skills such as casualty care, CPR and first aid. Teach others.
  • Organize and participate in safety drills in places where people gather including home, school and work.


Survive DURING


Stay Alert

  • Pay attention to what is happening around you so that you can react quickly to attacks.


Run to Safety

  • If there is an accessible escape path, attempt to evacuate the building or area regardless of whether others agree to follow.


Cover and Hide

  • If evacuation is not possible find a place to hide out of view of the attacker and if possible, put a solid barrier between yourself and the threat.
  • Keep silent.


Defend, Disrupt, Fight

  • As a last resort, when you can’t run or cover, attempt to disrupt the attack or disable the attacker.
  • Be aggressive and commit to your actions.


Help the Wounded

  • Take care of yourself first and then, if you are able, help the wounded get to safety and provide immediate care.




Call 9-1-1

  • When you are safe, call 9-1-1 and be prepared to provide information to the operator including location of the incident, number of injured and details about the attacker(s).


Continue Lifesaving Assistance

  • If you are able, continue to provide care until first responders arrive.


When Law Enforcement Arrives

  • Remain calm and follow instructions.
  • Keep hands visible and empty.
  • Report to designated areas to provide information and get help.


Monitor Communications

  • Listen to law enforcement’s messages for information about the situation. Share updates with family and friends.


Consider Seeking Professional Help

  • Be mindful of your health. If needed, seek help for you and your family to cope with the trauma.

?  Disasters and Emergencies

Rhode Island News Today

(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  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.
Jim McCabe/djc          RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-14-2020 00:06:06

Remembering 911

Remembering 9-11 – 19 years later

September 11, 2020/RINewsToday


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.


Jennifer Robinson

Executive Director

Rhode Island 9-11 Wall of Hope Monument

Phone: 207-423-0871

FREE Comic Book Day at Wild Time Comics - Saturday 9/12

FREE Comic Book Day at Wild Time Comics – Saturday, 9/12

September 11, 2020/RINewsToday



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!

Wild Time Comics

703 Washington Street South Attleboro MA


Store Hours – Saturday, 10am to 6pm

3 RI Watchdog groups call foul on Governor's extension of powers

3 RI Watchdog groups call foul on Governor’s extension of powers

September 11, 2020/RINewsToday


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…

Rhode Island News as of 09/11/20 of 5:40am

(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.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) OK) AR) KS) NE) SD) MO) FL)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-11-2020 00:33:14

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 10, 2020

RI Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 10, 2020

September 10, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: New Crush Covid App showing good symptom checklist results – can be shown at school, restaurants, etc. when asked for symptom check.




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.




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:


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.


RI Data



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.


Governor’s address:


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.



Help for the small investor in rental properties

Help for the small investor in rental properties

September 10, 2020/RINewsToday


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.
  • Home Safe: 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 or call 211.


This information was provided by Christine Hunsinger, Assistant Deputy Director External Affairs.

Pet Preparedness

Pet Preparedness

September 10, 2020/Jeff Gross


by Jeff Gross, contributing writer


Photos: Our author’s Jada


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.

Wire crates are not recommended unless you have no choice. Wire crates often act as a trap. Have at least 7 days’ worth of food for your animal. I remember when the “Chinese virus” hit all too quickly, I found it difficult to find my Golden Retriever’s dry dog food at the store. Expect shipping problems that impact all kinds of products and essentials. 


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.


Rhode Island News as of 09/10/20 of 5:25am

(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.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) NY) MA) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-10-2020 00:31:07

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 8,2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 9, 2020

September 9, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: St. Rocco’s instructor/nun is conducting a media campaign to increase enrollment




Early reports about vaccines show they are very complicated both in storage, temperature requirements, some in multiple “shots”, etc. The CDC is set to coordinate this. More:


Times Square Hilton Hotel will close due to lack of business.


A Maryland nursing home has new infections, involving half its residents, 32 people, and 17 staff


Up to 60,000 UK residents are said to have “long COVID”, requiring a longer rehabilitation time to full recovery.


Arizona Republic Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport added seven UV-C light sterilizers to some pre-security escalators to maximize the safety of travelers amid the coronavirus pandemic.


Billy Joe Driver, 84, Mayor of Clanton, Alabama for 36 years, died of COVID19


Hot dogs were in short supply for Labor Day weekend as many meat-packing plants had work stoppages with coronavirus outbreaks.


11 freshman from Northeastern University have been dismissed – their tuition will not be returned – for violating COVID19 safety protocols.


President Trump said his administration may use $300 billion to pay a new round of individual stimulus payment, from an account that hasn’t been used, if Congress approves.


Tyson Foods to open medical clinics at several of its U.S. meat plants


The Batman movie filming has been suspended as one crew member tests positive.


Pope Francis will make his first trip since the start of the pandemic – to Assisi – to sign an “encyclical” document.


Maine wedding that was a super-spreader claims its 3rd life – a person in their 80s. 72 cases are now at a local prison, 20 at a rehab center, and 10 at the church where the wedding was. 147 cases.


France closed some schools as COVID-19 infections rise – the United Kingdom and Spain are also seeing a spike in cases


100,000+ contact tracers working nationwide in the US


The Air Force Academy sent 400 cadets to hotels to free up space on its Colorado base for quarantines.


Health officials such as White House coronavirus task force member Dr. Deborah Birx have been urging colleges to keep students on campus to avoid them infecting members of their family and community.


Past French PM Berlusconi is in good condition with a mild lung infection from COVID19


Berlin will invest over $4.7M into 375 local health offices – which should generate more than 5,000 new jobs


Michigan gyms to reopen this week.


43% of Americans in last week’s Axios-Ipsos coronavirus survey reported that they were concerned about their job security. 44% said they were worried about their ability to pay their bills.


Canada has seen cases increase 25% in the last month


100 Sydney, Australia hospital workers isolated


Sales of medical self-exam kits and diagnostic software are surging among people opting to monitor their vital signs at home during the pandemic.


Encore Boston will lay off 385 workers


McConnell calls for vote on a narrow COVID-19 bill, without provider funding.


Quincy has opened a puppy park for use by masked owners keeping social distancing rules


CMS clarifies COVID-19 relief funds won’t penalize future Medicare pay (


Walmart teams up with primary care network Oak Street Health (


Hong Kong delayed their election one year because of coronavirus demonstrations and concerns about a fair election.


Mass. school district forced to hold lottery after more families seek in-person instruction for their students than the district says it can accommodate


New Jersey now allows 25% indoor dining.


Gyms in California that are in government buildings can be open while private gyms and fitness centers cannot.


The Easthampton City Council has joined with other municipalities in the state urging the legislature and Gov. Charlie Baker to commit resources to build a new Soldiers’ Home in Holyoke.


30% of Massachusetts school districts will begin school remotely.


Williamsville, NY school district has 90 teachers take a leave of absence and 110 resign, leaving schools unable to open.


GradGuard is offering “tuition insurance providing a refund for housing, activity fees, deposits and tuition that are lost when a student has to withdraw from school,” said John Fees, chief executive officer of the Boston-based company.


Colleges and universities have found at least 51,000 coronavirus cases already, according to the NY Times


Each of these colleges/universities exceeds 1,000 cases: Illinois State University, the University of South Carolina, Auburn University, the University of Alabama and UNC Chapel Hill.


With the NBA, NHL, WNBA and MLS bubbles having all worked, the NCAA is considering bubbles for the college basketball season.


Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont said there have been preliminary talks for bubble basketball at the Mohegan Sun resort.


Boston-based Orig3n has been ordered to stop its COVID-19 testing after reporting hundreds of false positives.


At least 383 Massachusetts samples which were reprocessed by a different lab were found to be “erroneously positive,” officials said.


Sales of used cars have taken off during the pandemic, as many people try to avoid public transit.


9 research companies have signed onto a pledge not to rush the vaccine, out of concern for people being cautioned that the vaccines are being rushed, or may not be safe.


The CDC says those with serious heart conditions are at higher risk for severe illness from COVID-19 and influenza, and advise flu shots this year.




Massachusetts lab with “erroneously positive” results impacting some RI nursing home testing results


Dr. Ashish Jha, head of Brown University School of Public Health says: “There’s no sugarcoating, this is not going to be an easy fall and winter. But if everybody gets their flu shot, I think it’ll make this season a bit better.” So, too, will continuing to wear masks and social-distance, Jha said. See full interview at Providence Journal site:


Mark Patinkin writes he is waiting for his rapid test results – three weeks later.


Staff member at Holyoke, MA Soldiers’ Home tests positive and visitation is again suspended for all veterans.


Virtual running of 2020 Boston Marathon underway and will continue through rest of this week


Bristol/Warren School Dept. staff member tests positive


Providence Teachers Union (PTU) held a news conference at the state house steps showing what a classroom would have to look like, with demonstrators sitting in classroom set-up chairs.


Rhode Island colleges reporting numbers so far this year:


URI, with 2,800 screened – 4 positive


PC – 8


RWU – 9


RISD – 1


Salve – 1



Home Care Providers Disappointed at Gov. Raimondo's handling of COVID-19 at 7=month mark.


Home Care Providers Disappointed at Gov. Raimondo’s Handling of COVID-19 at Six-Month Mark

September 9, 2020/RINewsToday


Home Care Providers Disappointed at Gov. Raimondo’s Handling of COVID-19 at Six-Month Mark


Nicholas Oliver, Executive Director for the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care (“The Partnership”), issues the following statement expressing disappointment in the handling of the COVID-19 public health emergency by Governor Gina Raimondo (D-RI) as Rhode Island approaches the six-month mark tomorrow, Wednesday, September 9, 2020:


“Rhode Island’s home care and hospice providers have received very little support from Governor Raimondo’s administration over these past six months. These providers for over 20,000 patients have received an unsustainable amount of personal protective equipment for its over 7,800 frontline workers. None of the $1.25 billion federal CARES Act state aid funding have directly reached home care and hospice providers, unlike other long-term care providers within the state. We have frontline workers at high-risk for contracting and spreading the virus by the nature of their work visiting homes and entering into elder high-rises, assisted living facilities and nursing homes. We generated emergency operating guidelines when our Department of Health was silent and offered no guidance. We have up to 70 medically fragile children across the state using home care that do not know if they can participate in school next week because decisions have not been made as to how their nursing care will be provided during school hours. Governor Raimondo, Health Director Alexander-Scott, Labor Director Jensen, Commerce Secretary Pryor and Education Commissioner Infante-Green have not engaged with home care and hospice providers directly at any point during these past six months.


What we have seen over the past six months is the use of CARES Act funding like a lottery windfall to support allies and donors of the Governor, including consulting firms with nondescript services rendered to the state and promoting inadequately screened workers to vulnerable homebound Rhode Islanders. Now, the Governor is attempting to pacify her top union supporters by devaluing the nurse assistant licensure and promoting workforce entry into a program that has failed to launch over the past couple of years. Her administration is luring nurse assistants with a $1,500 CARES Act state aid bonus that has nothing to do with our COVID-19 response and allowing them to operate with less supervision and oversight and under a similar scope of practice.


We need stronger leadership from the Governor and her administration to protect vulnerable homebound Rhode Islanders and value frontline workers that have been operating without the Governor’s financial support or meaningful appreciation during this public health emergency.”


About Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care: Established in 1990, the Rhode Island Partnership for Home Care (“The Partnership”) represents home care, home nursing care and hospice agencies licensed by the Rhode Island Department of Health to serve patients and clients in every Rhode Island community. As the only association in our state to promote access to quality home healthcare, The Partnership is committed to promoting quality home healthcare service delivery, ethical healthcare business practices and positive patient and client outcomes to ensure that access to home care and hospice remains an integral component of our post-acute and long-term healthcare system. For more information about The Partnership, please contact (401) 351-1010 or

Rhode Island Election Night - and day - and night until it's over.

RI Election Night – and day – and night – until it’s over

September 9, 2020/RINewsToday


This will be continuously updated until final results are known.


Sept. 9th, 4am:

An election expected to change all election strategies going forward in RI, if not the nation. It’s about the mail ballots! Failure to pay attention to mail ballot voting trends could upset seats as never before. Also – the days of media projects on the night of an election and knowing who won before you go to bed – might be over – as more and more of us choose to vote by mail.


Note to November: Unless the results are “trouncing” in nature (see Hopkins, Farina race in Cranston) results will not be determined for several days, if not a week or more.


The RI Board of Elections noted that turnout is very low compared to previous primaries, with approximately 32,000 mail ballots accounted for. In contrast, as of 1pm, 16,749 votes were cast in-person. Noteworthy, approximately 11,000 ballots requested that were mailed out were not returned, though people had until 8pm to turn them in at their local city/town halls. They expect mail ballot results to be completed no later than Thursday, with many races not fully determined for what might be days.


Some notes: RI Political Cooperative – group of progressives running seem to have some successful outcomes in RI. A move to watch.


Cranston Mayoral clear victor of Ken Hopkins over Mike Farina – and Maria Bucci over career city councilman Steve Stycos. Bucci/Stycos will go to mail ballot count.


For final, official tallies refer to:


Some highlights of races of interest as we start the day on Wed, September 9th – without mail-in ballots:




Representative in Congress, District 2 – Rep. James Langevin over Dylan Conley


Representative in Congress, District 2 – Robert Lancia over Dylan Conley


Central Falls


Mayor of Central Falls – L. Maria Rivera over Joseph P. Moran, III and Tia Ristaino-Siegel



Rep. District 16 – Brandon Potter leading over Christopher Millea

Mayor – Maria Bucci leading over Steve Stycos and Adam Carbone

Mayor – Kenneth Hopkins over Michael Farina (Hopkins claimed victory)

City Council – City Wide – (3) Jessica Marino, Paul Archetto, Larry Warner (leading)


East Providence

Senator, District 18, Cynthia Mendez over William Conley (Finance Comm. chair) (Conley says mail votes will change this)



Representative, District 43, Deborah Fellela over Melinda Lopez



Mayor – Don Grebien over David Norton

Sen. District 15 – Meghan Kallman over Herb Weiss and Robert Morris



Senator, District 5 – Sam Bell over Jo-Ann Ryan

Senator, District 6 – Tiara Mack leading over Harold Metts

Representative, District 3 – Nathan Biah over Moira Walsh (Walsh conceded)

Representative, District 7 – David Morales leading over Dan McKiernan and Angel Subervi

Senator, District 4 – Domenic Ruggerio leading over Leonardo Cioe

Representative, District 13 – Ramon Perez, leading over Mario F. Mendez and Janice Falconer

Representative, District 19 – Joseph McNamara leading over Stuart Wilson



Senator, District 22 – Stephen Archambault over Melanie Dupont



Senator, District 31 – Kendra Anderson leading over Brian Dunckley, Steve Merolla, Michael Mita


Rhode Island News as of 09/09/20 of 5:14am

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Some big names in the Rhode Island General Assembly are either trailing their primary races or are in close contests.  An eighth suspect in a brutal sexual assault case in Providence has been arrested.  The Providence Teachers Union is concerned about returning to in-person learning.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Some Primary Races Final, Votes Still Being Counted In Others

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections says complete results for Tuesday's primary elections will be posted over a period of several days due to a huge number of mail ballots.  Here are some highlights of state legislative races that have not been decided: Senate President Dominick Ruggerio [[ roo-ZHEER-ee-oh ]] was leading in a close race, while Senate Finance Committee Chair William Conley and Senator Harold Metts, who was recently appointed to lead a panel to study the state's police officer bill of rights, were trailing.  State Representative Moira Walsh has conceded to her challenger.  In the race for Cranston mayor, Republican candidate Kenneth Hopkins has claimed victory.

>>Congress: Jim Langevin Versus Bob Lancia In General Election

(Undated)  --  Democratic Congressman Jim Langevin [[ LAN-juh-vin ]] will face Republican Bob Lancia [[ LAN-see-uh ]] in the November general election after both won their primaries on Tuesday.  Langevin, the first quadriplegic to serve in Congress, has occupied the 2nd Congressional District seat since 2001.  Rhode Island's other congressman, David Cicilline [[ SISS-uh-LEE-nee ]], ran unopposed in the Democratic primary and does not have any Republican challengers in November, but there are two independent candidates running against him.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Eighth Man Accused Of Gang Rape In Providence Arrested

(Providence, RI)  --  The eighth suspect in a sexual assault case in Providence has been arrested.  Carlos Vasquez, a resident of the city, reportedly turned himself in on Tuesday.  Authorities allege Vasquez and seven others who were previously arrested sexually assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a house party; a video of the incident was reportedly posted on Facebook.

>>Cranston Homicide Victim Identified

(Cranston, RI)  --  Police have identified the victim of a Cranston homicide as Jamal Vasquez of Providence.  The shooting on Harris Avenue happened early morning Tuesday.  Cranston police are continuing to actively investigate the killing.

>>Providence Teachers Union Protests Return To In-Person Learning

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Teachers Union staged a protest outside the State House yesterday over coronavirus-related concerns about returning to school.  Educators sat in a mock classroom to demonstrate overcrowding.  A Providence Public Schools spokesperson said the district is working to achieve the goal of student and teacher safety through stable groups, among other things, and that most classrooms will have fewer than twenty students.

>>Warning Flags At State Beaches After Two Swimmers Stung

(Undated)  --  Purple flags warning swimmers of dangerous marine life are going up at Rhode Island state beaches after two swimmers apparently were stung by a Portuguese Man o' War.  This happened at Scarborough Beach in Narragansett on Monday.  The jellyfish-like creatures pack painful stings with tentacles that normally measure thirty feet in length.  Officials on Martha's Vineyard recently reported hundreds of Men o' War washing ashore as an apparent swarm was moving through the area.

>>Contractor Accused Of Using Contaminated Soil At 6-10 Project Site

(Providence, RI)  --  Allegations are being made of a contractor for the 6-10 Connector highway project using contaminated soil. and WPRI-TV both have stories about the state looking into the allegations; GoLocal is reporting that state police have opened up a criminal investigation.  A union official representing workers on the site reportedly made the claim against Massachusetts-based Barletta Construction.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-09-2020 00:19:19

Prepare for Disasters - Week 2r

Week 2 – Build Your Kit

September 7, 2020/RINewsToday


Continuing our series for National Preparedness Month – this week we build that emergency kid you can grab and take with you on a moment’s notice. Now’s the time to think about what you will need right away.


Build A Kit


After an emergency, you may need to survive on your own for several days. Being prepared means having your own foodwater and other supplies to last for several days. A disaster supplies kit is a collection of basic items your household may need in the event of an emergency.


Make sure your emergency kit is stocked with the items on the checklist below. Most of the items are inexpensive and easy to find and any one of them could save your life. Headed to the store? Download a printable version to take with you. Once you take a look at the basic items consider what unique needs your family might have, such as supplies for pets or seniors.


Basic Disaster Supplies Kit


To assemble your kit store items in airtight plastic bags and put your entire disaster supplies kit in one or two easy-to-carry containers such as plastic bins or a duffel bag.


A basic emergency supply kit could include the following recommended items:

  • Water (one gallon per person per day for at least three days, for drinking and sanitation)
  • Food (at least a three-day supply of non-perishable food)
  • Battery-powered or hand crank radio and a NOAA Weather Radio with tone alert
  • Flashlight
  • First aid kit
  • Extra batteries
  • Whistle (to signal for help)
  • Dust mask (to help filter contaminated air)
  • Plastic sheeting and duct tape (to shelter in place)
  • Moist towelettes, garbage bags and plastic ties (for personal sanitation)
  • Wrench or pliers (to turn off utilities)
  • Manual can opener (for food)
  • Local maps
  • Cell phone with chargers and a backup battery
  • Download the Recommended Supplies List (PDF)


Additional Emergency Supplies


Since Spring of 2020, the CDC has recommended people include additional items in their kits to help prevent the spread of coronavirus or other viruses and the flu.


Consider adding the following items to your emergency supply kit based on your individual needs:

  • Cloth face coverings (for everyone ages 2 and above), soap, hand sanitizer, disinfecting wipes to disinfect surfaces
  • Prescription medications
  • Non-prescription medications such as pain relievers, anti-diarrhea medication, antacids or laxatives
  • Prescription eyeglasses and contact lens solution
  • Infant formula, bottles, diapers, wipes and diaper rash cream
  • Pet food and extra water for your pet
  • Cash or traveler’s checks
  • Important family documents such as copies of insurance policies, identification and bank account records saved electronically or in a waterproof, portable container
  • Sleeping bag or warm blanket for each person
  • Complete change of clothing appropriate for your climate and sturdy shoes
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Matches in a waterproof container
  • Feminine supplies and personal hygiene items
  • Mess kits, paper cups, plates, paper towels and plastic utensils
  • Paper and pencil
  • Books, games, puzzles or other activities for children


Maintaining Your Kit


After assembling your kit remember to maintain it so it’s ready when needed:

  • Keep canned food in a cool, dry place.
  • Store boxed food in tightly closed plastic or metal containers.
  • Replace expired items as needed.
  • Re-think your needs every year and update your kit as your family’s needs change.


Kit Storage Locations


Since you do not know where you will be when an emergency occurs, prepare supplies for home, work and cars.

  • Home: Keep this kit in a designated place and have it ready in case you have to leave your home quickly. Make sure all family members know where the kit is kept.
  • Work: Be prepared to shelter at work for at least 24 hours. Your work kit should include food, water and other necessities like medicines, as well as comfortable walking shoes, stored in a “grab and go” case.
  • Car: In case you are stranded, keep a kit of emergency supplies in your car.


Keep up with our 4-week series – You can find Week #1 here:

Secretary of State Gorbea, "Let's Go VOTE!"

Sect. of State Gorbea, “Let’s go VOTE!”

September 6, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: RI Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea’s post on Twitter – taking motorcycle riding lessons


UPDATED: Sept. 8th:

  1. If you have your absentee ballot and have NOT mailed it, drop it off at your City Hall – do NOT mail it at this point, it won’t be received in time to be counted.
  2. ANY questions – call 2-1-1 in Rhode Island
  3. Masks must be worn to the polls.
  4. Hand sanitizer will be available at all locations.


What you need to know


If  you have already requested a mail ballot and submitted your ballot, there is nothing more you need to do. If you have voted in-person by early voting at your local city/town hall, there is nothing more you need to do.


If you will be voting in person on TUESDAY, Primary Day – September 8th, here is what you need to know:


MANY polling locations have moved due to COVID-19 safety concerns.  Check to see if your polling location has moved.


REVIEW your ballot:


You may want to look at the ballot and review all the candidates running for office, take some time, do your research – some cities/towns have quite a few people running.  Go here to do that:


WHERE to vote:


Go here to check your polling location (quite a few have changed):


HOURS to vote:


All polls are open 7am to 8pm


Note: There is NO Primary in Barrington, Lincoln, and Tiverton




Bring A Valid Photo ID


Poll workers will ask you to show a current and valid photo ID when you vote at your polling place. If you do not bring an acceptable photo ID to the polls, you may cast a provisional ballot. This means that your vote may be counted by your local board of canvassers after they verify your eligibility.


For a complete list of acceptable photo IDs and to learn about provisional ballots, refer to the FAQ section below or or download the informational flyer.


Check In


Check in with poll workers by giving your name, address and photo ID. They will locate your name in the electronic poll book and ask you to sign on the electronic poll pad. The poll workers will initial your signature and provide you with the appropriate ballot and a secrecy folder. The secrecy folder helps to ensure the privacy of your election choice(s).


Go to the voting booth


Once in the voting booth, be sure to check both sides of the ballot before you start marking it. Some elected offices or questions may appear on the back of the ballot.


Mark your ballot


Completely fill the oval next to your choice(s) using the black pen provided. To vote for a candidate whose name is not on the ballot, you can fill in the oval to the left of “Write-in” and print the name clearly in the box. If you make a mistake while marking your ballot, a poll worker will be able to assist you in obtaining a replacement ballot.


Go to the voting machine to submit your ballot


To protect your privacy, place the ballot in the secrecy folder given to you and proceed to the voting machine. Remove your ballot from the secrecy folder and insert your ballot into the voting machine. The machine will scan your vote and indicate that your vote is counted. If you made an error while voting, the machine will indicate that you made an error and ask if you would like to correct your error or continue casting your ballot. You can ask a poll worker for help if this happens. Place the empty secrecy folder on the table next to the voting machine and proudly wear your “I voted” sticker.



Can I vote in ANY primary?


If you are affiliated with a specific political party, you may only vote in that party’s primary. Unaffiliated, also known as independent, voters can vote in any party primary but, by casting a vote in a party primary, you automatically become affiliated with that party. If you vote at the polls and want to return to an unaffiliated status, you may request a “disaffiliation form” from poll workers right after you vote, and fill it out before leaving the polling place. You will officially return to your unaffiliated status in 30 days.


Can I bring my children with me to the poll if I have to?


Anyone under the age of 18, can go with an adult into the voting booth, provided that the child(ren) are under the voter’s care and supervision.


Check that you  are registered to vote – and check your party affiliation, here:


Track the status of your ballot if sent in by mail:




Providence College students: "What Happens Next Is up to Us"

Providence College students: “What Happens Next Is up to Us”

September 8, 2020/RINewsToday


by The Cowl Editorial Board, 2020-2021


Friars hold doors is a refrain commonly heard on the Providence College campus. Obviously, and as so many of us know from experience, it refers to the way that members of the PC community always seem so eager to hold the door for one another, even if it means standing there for an awkward amount of time while the person behind runs up to grab the door.


As cliché as it sometimes sounds, in a more serious sense, Friars hold doors speaks to the way that members of this community are always ready to lend a helping hand in a time of need. It speaks to the doors that this institution opens for its students and the doors that students are always opening for one another. At its core, Friars hold doors speaks to the spirit of community here at PC—to the love we have for one another and the obligation we feel towards each other as members of the Friar Family.


Now more than ever, we students must recommit ourselves to this community and this family.


For the past six months, teams of administrators, professors, staff members, and a number of students have worked tirelessly to put together a reopening plan for the College. On Aug. 31, after months of deliberation on if, when, and how we could operate in-person, PC reopened mid-pandemic and officially began a school year unlike any other in the College’s 103-year history. 


With this opening, the baton has been passed. Now, the fate of the school year rests almost entirely in students’ hands. The actions that we as a student body take—or choose not to take—in the coming weeks will determine what lies ahead not just for this academic year, but also for the College as a whole and for the Providence community at large, perhaps even for years to come.


With this extraordinary responsibility placed in our hands, we now must all work together in pursuit of one common goal: keep Providence College open. We have the ability to rise to the occasion, meet this challenge, and accomplish this goal. But it is going to take all of us, and it is going to take sacrifice. 


The enormity of this task is hard to grasp, especially because it is such an emotionally-charged one. Each person in our community is experiencing some kind of anxiety or grief right now, whether it be over the loss of a senior year, the isolation of being quarantined as a freshman in a new place, the loss of a job or family home, or, worst of all, the loss of a friend or family member. Regardless of individual circumstance, each of us in the student body is missing out on the college experience we expected and hoped to have this semester. It is not easy to come to terms with that disappointment or with the accompanying uncertainty.


While we need to come together first and foremost to ensure the physical health of everyone in our community, it is equally important that we unite to support one another in a mental health and emotional wellbeing capacity, as well. We must continue to show up for one another.


But if we were to separate ourselves for just one moment from the emotional complexity of these times, our charge comes down to this: we have a series of decisions to make in the coming weeks about what actions and activities we will engage in. And with every decision to be made, there is an accompanying list of pros and cons.


In the end, it is abundantly clear that what we stand to gain by following guidelines is so much greater than what we could gain from two weekends of partying. Even more so, what we stand to lose if we do not follow guidelines is far, far greater than what we lose by choosing not to go to that Eaton Street party.  


The negative consequences are clear: there have already been 17 suspensions of students, and there is a looming threat not just of individual punishments, but of the entire campus potentially having to revert once again to completely remote learning. But far and away, the most devastating and dangerous negative consequence that could result from our failure as students would be to our collective physical health. Here, the consequences  reach far beyond just the student body.


We must think not just of all the students living in close quarters who are likely to get sick. We must also keep in mind the staff and faculty members on our campus who go home to their families at the end of the day—people who might be bringing the virus home to young children, elderly parents, or immunocompromised family members. We must be mindful of our surrounding community: our local Providence neighbors, the people we live next to, who shop at the same grocery stores or ride the same buses as us.


The most dangerous outcome—an outbreak—would have far-reaching and devastating effects. We must remember that as a campus, we are part of a wider community, and we need to act accordingly.


But fear of the negative consequences should not be the only driving force behind our actions. We should also be motivated by the positive outcomes if we work together and follow the rules: the health and safety of our community, the chance to stay on campus this semester, the potential of a more ‘normal’-looking spring, a slow but steady reopening that enables us to get back to the College we know and love. If we can just stick it out, if we can make short-term sacrifices for long-term success, the potential for these positive outcomes could become a reality.


The questions we must ask ourselves, then, are not just the practical ones, like what is next for us, or what actions we need to take in the coming weeks. As PC students, we have been trained to ask the tough questions, too. We must ask ourselves: what do we owe our fellow students? What do we owe our teachers, our administrators? What do we owe the members of our community off-campus?


Now, we are called not just to ask these questions, but to answer them through our actions and choices in the coming weeks. 


Rising to meet this challenge—one unlike any the College has ever seen—is not just our responsibility as students. It is an opportunity for us to prove to those around us now and those who will look back on our generation in the years to come that in the face of uncertainty and fear, our commitment to each other as members of the Friar Family is what kept us safe, saw us through, and gave us hope.


Reprinted from The Cowl, September 7, 2020


(As of this printing, 7 PC students, and 1 staff member have tested positive)

Lung Assoc takes on vaping in Rhode Island

Lung Assoc takes on vaping in Rhode Island

September 8, 2020/RINewsToday



“Too many of my peers are using e-cigarettes – and schools need more tools to keep students off these dangerous products. Educating kids about e-cigarettes, giving them more access to quit programs, and strong policies that keep all tobacco products off school grounds will go a long way to improving the health of my entire generation,” said Sean Palumbo, a recent graduate of Mt. Hope High School, is a student advocate for tobacco-free school policies. He was successful in having his regional high school, which serves students from both Bristol and Warren Rhode Island, add e-cigarettes to their policy, as well as adopt enforcement procedures.



In Rhode Island, 30.1% of high school students used e-cigarettes in 2019, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s 2019 Youth Risk Behavior Survey. Vaping harms developing lungs and overall health and may place people at an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. Now, when protecting lung health is more important than ever, the American Lung Association today announced a broad plan to end youth vaping.



“As kids prepare to head back to school, more students may experience social pressure to vape, while others may begin to vape in response to stress, including stress related to COVID-19,” said American Lung Association director of advocacy in Rhode Island Jen Wall. “We’re already facing what the Surgeon General refers to as a ‘youth vaping epidemic.’ Our communities need support, and as the nation’s trusted champion of lung health, the American Lung Association is proud to offer Rhode Island schools, parents and students proven approaches to end youth vaping in our communities and state.”



The American Lung Association’s comprehensive plan to end youth vaping encompasses education, advocacy and research, and has four components:

  • “Get Your Head Out of the Cloud” public awareness campaign with the Ad Council equips parents with the facts about e-cigarettes and support conversations before kids start to vape. The campaign includes free educational resources and guides, conversation starters and facts about vaping at
  • Vape-Free Schools Initiative to help school administrators and educators address the surge of youth vaping through guidance in implementing a comprehensive tobacco use policy, an alternative to suspension program for students found non-compliant with existing tobacco use policies, as well as offering a voluntary youth-centered tobacco cessation, including vaping cessation assistance, for youth wanting to quit tobacco use for good. Participating schools will be recognized as part of the American Lung Association Vape-Free Schools Initiative in their communities and with parents and staff.
  • Targeted advocacy plan to advance proven e-cigarette policies at local, state and federal levels.  In Connecticut, key priorities include restoring state funding for tobacco prevention to which it currently contributes $0, removing flavored tobacco products from shelves and addressing loopholes in the clean indoor air laws.
  • $2 million research investment to understand the effects of vaping on developing lungs. The organization is also partnering with Northwestern Medicine in a $25 million National Institutes of Health (NIH)-funded grant to study the longitudinal lung health of millennials, including the long-term impact of vaping.



For more information about the American Lung Association’s work to end youth vaping, visit Journalists seeking to schedule a media interview with lung health and tobacco experts may contact Jennifer Solomon at 516-680-8927 or




About the American Lung Association



The American Lung Association is the leading organization working to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung disease through education, advocacy and research. The work of the American Lung Association is focused on four strategic imperatives: to defeat lung cancer; to champion clean air for all; to improve the quality of life for those with lung disease and their families; and to create a tobacco-free future. For more information about the American Lung Association, a holder of the coveted 4-star rating from Charity Navigator and a Gold-Level GuideStar Member, or to support the work it does, call 1-800-LUNGUSA (1-800-586-4872) or visit:

Rhode Island News as of 09/08/20 of 5:3`am

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Today is primary day in Rhode Island.  Two people stung and a Portuguese Man O' War was removed from a South County beach.  The Celtics are one win away from knocking out the defending NBA champs in the playoffs.

>>Primary Day Includes Several Races For Mayor

(Undated)  --  Today is primary day 2020 in Rhode Island.  There are races for mayor in Central Falls, Cranston, Pawtucket and Warwick.  There are also several-dozen primaries for seats in the state legislature.  At the Congressional level, U.S. Representative Jim Langevin is facing a Democratic primary challenger.

>>Portuguese Man O' War Removed From Beach After Two Stung

(Narragansett, RI)  --  Two people were stung by marine life at Scarborough Beach on Monday, according to a report from WJAR-TV.  Staff at the Narragansett beach reportedly retrieved a Portuguese Man o' War from the water.  The jellyfish-like creatures pack a powerful sting and have recently been seen in swarms washing up on the beaches of Martha's Vineyard; officials over the weekend in Westport, Massachusetts also issued a warning to be on the lookout.

>>Bristol-Warren School Employee Tests Positive For Coronavirus

(Bristol, RI)  --  A Bristol-Warren school employee has tested positive for COVID-19, according to the Bristol-Warren teachers union.  The head of the union predicts it's a sign of things to come with Rhode Island schools opening for in-person learning.  All but two districts were given the go-ahead by the state to open for full in-person learning last week.

>>Celtics Win Game 5 Over Raptors

(Orlando, FL)  --  The Celtics won pivotal Game 5 of their playoff series against the defending NBA champion Toronto Raptors on Monday.  The final score from Disney World was 111-to-89.  Boston leads the best-of-seven Eastern Conference semifinal series three games to two.  Game 6 is tomorrow night.

>>Dunkin' Testing Contactless Checkout

(Canton, MA)  --  Dunkin' is testing contact-free checkout.  The Canton, Massachusetts-based Dunkin' will try it out at a location in California.  Customers will be able to get coffee and donuts themselves without ordering or waiting in line.  The coronavirus pandemic has increased demand for contact-free shopping.

>>Suit Against Turtleboy Blog Dismissed

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island woman's defamation suit against a Massachusetts blogger has been dismissed.  The Providence Journal reports a federal judge took that action against Kathryn Narcisi of Hopkinton last week regarding her lawsuit against the blogger Turtleboy, after it was determined the federal court in RI didn't have jurisdiction.  The ACLU provided legal defense for the blogger, stating that the case raised First Amendment issues.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) CA) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-08-2020 01:10:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 4, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, September 4, 2020

September 4, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Edibly Rhody – Pt. Judith docks




Macy’s posting a $400M loss


Moo Inc. produced the first recyclable, 1-time use face covering.


A COVID-19 vaccine could be available earlier than expected if ongoing clinical trials produce overwhelmingly positive results, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease official


Amnesty International says more than 7,000 healthcare workers have died from coronavirus throughout the world.


Mount Sinai has identified drugs that could prevent COVID-19 replication. This effort focused on inhibiting viral uptake of SARS-CoV-2 in the first place, rather than inhibiting infection.


The federal government plans to ship rapid coronavirus tests to assisted-living facilities, moving to fill a testing gap for older adults who don’t need the constant attention of a nursing home.


Partners Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline started a first clinical trial for their Covid-19 vaccine candidate, trailing a handful of rivals but bringing decades of experience to the process.


France is investing $118 billion in creating jobs, saving struggling businesses and addressing the worst economic slump since World War II. The massive plan seeks to bring back manufacturing of medical supplies to French factories, develop hydrogen energy, help museums and the cinema industry, train young people for 21st century jobs and and hire more staff at unemployment offices.


The chairman and CEO of Pfizer said Thursday the company may have an effective coronavirus vaccine by the end of October.


The Maine wedding that led to an outbreak and two deaths now has 144 traced positive cases.


Disney officials have said they’re ready to reopen the Florida and California’s theme parks, including Universal Studios Hollywood, Six Flags Magic Mountain, Legoland California and Knott’s Berry Farm.


The South Dakota motorcycle rally of 400,000 has resulted in one death and 50 traced positive cases so far, statistically 0.0125% infection rate.


Empty hotels are a large asset to Boston universities in need of quarantine housing.


Dr. Theresa Tam, Canada’s chief public health officer suggested Canadians take to avoid their risk: Wearing a mask if they do have sex and avoiding kissing.


More than 1,000 students at the University of South Carolina have tested positive for Covad-19, according to the university’s dashboard. But President Robert Caslen on Wednesday said he has no plans of shutting down the school.


The US will have $62M to redirect to other COVID19 causes – this is from the money that would have been paid to the WHO.




Dr. Ashish Jha, a leading expert in the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, is the new dean of the Brown School of Public Health.


While the best estimates project that about 14% of the United States population has been infected (and a bit higher proportion of people in Rhode Island, 16.2%), this is far from the 50-70% of population infected to reach herd immunity. Most Americans are still vulnerable to this disease and reaching herd immunity is highly unlikely. Further, it is also clear that many Americans will forgo getting vaccinated. And, it will take many months after a vaccine has been found to be safe and effective for it to be widely available. We should not expect widespread deployment of a safe and effective vaccine until the second quarter of 2021, maybe later.


U.S. jobless claims fall to 881,000, though layoffs remain elevated nearly 6 months after virus struck hard.


Jeopardy will return this fall – with a newly designed set due to coronavirus.


Cumberland decides to go with all virtual learning with the exception of special ed, kindergarten, and special needs.


Providence City Council will consider several changes in its school programming.


Rep. Blake Filippi announced new legislation to assist parents with education options in RI, including ESAs, and public school choice.


Higher Ground Food Pantry in Providence has grown to 4 city blocks, from 1200 cars a day every other Thursday to more than 1500 in the past 3 weeks. The food pantry only runs for 3 more weeks. Donations can be made through a link on NBC10’s website.


Nearly 150 arts and cultural organizations are sharing in $815,000 worth of grants from Boston’s Arts and Culture COVID-19 Fund.


The CVS Health Charity Classic plans to hold virtual events in 2020 to help raise support nonprofits in Southern New England. The virtual events will include a silent auction, donation opportunities, and a Crave RI event for the culinary community, according to a release. The Crave RI event will take place for seven days, organizers say.


More businesses out of compliance:


TVLRI Vaporizer Store, Providence 


Sophie’s Salon, Providence   


A to Z Liquors, Providence   


Debbie’s Breakfast Place, Woonsocket


Restaurante Montecristo, Central Falls


Portside Tavern, Bristol


Omar’s Barbershop, Cranston


The Remnant Shop, Hope Valley


Smokehouse Gas Station, Tiverton


Metro PCS, East Providence 


Merrill Lounge, East Providence


RI Data:


4 Deaths; banner day for tests with over 8,000; percent positive less than 1%



By community:




A day back at school


Wake up. How do we feel. Use your downloaded Crush Covid app. It will give you a push message every day to check your symptoms. Symptom free, go ahead to school.


Transportation will have buses very reduced. Hand sanitizer and assigned seats will be available. Windows will be open. Bus stop will look different. Smithfield: walk zones for those close to schools. Health screening before getting on the bus. In CF: temperature check. Drop off and pick up will look different – consult individual school. Chariho: buses have different drop off locations to prevent crowding. Most schools will have different systems than last year. Must prevent overcrowding.


Health checks: temperature checks, screenings, etc. Extra masks available.


Cranston: grab and go breakfasts.


Classroom: assigned seat, with open windows, fans, etc. Jamestown: signage on furniture and decals on floor. Classes, lunch, etc. may be outside. Little Compton: multiple designated outdoor learning spaces, including tents.


Lunch: most will eat in classroom with stable group. 30 people. Scituate: lunches will be delivered. Foster/Glocester & Barrington – will eat outdoors.


Recess: There will be recess. Woonsocket: wash hands before and after recess. May have their own play equipment for their specific group. Bristol/Warren plans for all sanitizing of equipment. Scheduled use of parts of schoolyard.


Pickup procedures: Staggered, separate entrances.


Sept. 14 – 1st day of school, except for Prov/CF. Schools will ramp up gradually until Oct. 13th. Not all kids can be in school at once on Sept. 14th.


Next Thursday’s Facebook Live will answer kids questions


Unemployment: $900 will be sent out next week


Dr. McDonald:


Kids will have a hard time seeing friends after a long time. They also won’t know what 6 feet looks like – start to illustrate what that distance looks like. Pack kids an extra mask – and leave one in school. Send kids with hand sanitizer. Teach them when they touch something someone else touched, use the hand sanitizer. Let kids talk about how they feel. Ask them how the day went when they come home. Clean surfaces often – doorknobs, TV controls, etc. Role model for your children. Wash hands “with purpose”. Open windows as much as possible. Throw the mask away and switch it out if it is disposable – wash those that need to be washed.


Dr. McDonald shows pencils, erasers and crayons and encourages us to have fun – we must learn to live differently during this pandemic. Teach children how to live differently and to have fun with life.




Q: How much of these preparations are for short term or for long term?


A: We are thinking about flu season. We are thinking about outdoor use and windows as much as possible – while we still can. Some schools are placing orders now for air filtration systems for when winter comes. Renting trailers/trucks for when you can’t use outside. CARES Act applications.


Q: As you highlight cities that are doing well, do you think that this is contentious to point out cities that aren’t doing well?


A: I don’t have authority to overrule schools and committees. We are enabling schools to reopen and reinforcing good behavior of some schools by role modeling. Parents do have certain rights, esp those who have IEPs and they will be fighting for their rights.


Q: 15 gathering limit but now teachers and kids will be in much larger gatherings.


A: RIDOH studied this. It’s a consistent group, they establish rules, there is direction (teacher), we can keep track of them. Different than social gatherings where we may not know each other well, and they may not enforce the rules.


Q: Positivity rate is based on total test count – less than 1% is based on huge group tested.


A: It is confusing. But the absolute percentages and numbers are indicative of good results.


Q: Massachusetts travel number changed? Is RI still “hot”?


A: Test we are failing is the # of cases per week – we’re finding more because we are testing more. Good strategy is not to test less. We have not yet prevailed upon MA to change their rules.


Q: For parents who do distance learning, is there a way for a teacher to meet their students?


A: Dr. Green – this is why transition grades are so important. We’ve talked with schools about that. Should teachers be communicating with students/parents beforehand? Absolutely.


Q: The girl who was attacked in Providence was assisted by a teacher in reporting. It seems cruel that students will be denied that now.


A:  Acknowledges this.


Q: When will we see antibody test as a blood test? When will it be routinely part of a physical?


A: Dr. McDonald: More antigen testing should be coming out – nasal swab. As well as more rapid testing – Some day it will be like a rapid strep test. Blood work, IGG immunoglobulin testing is happening now, but does it predict long term immunity. We will see more serology testing in the future. “Herd immunity” is way ahead of itself.


Q: Case #s are astonishingly low – why not ease up on some of the orders?


A: Gov: If we relax things, we will be in trouble again. Everything we do is a judgement call, striking a balance.


Q: Do you think in the next 2 years we will have a vaccine and can fully open?


A:  Yes, by this time next year.


Governor’s announcements today at 1pm

Rhode Island News as of 09/04/20 of 5:40am

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Some Rhode Islanders are about to get an extra shot of federal unemployment money.  RI Republican legislators are proposing school choice if school districts elect not to offer in-person learning.  The Celtics lose to Toronto in Game 3 of their NBA playoff series.

>>Details Provided On New Federal Unemployment Booster

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island plans to distribute a new round of supplemental federal unemployment benefits on September 12th.  The Lost Wages Assistance Program was funded by FEMA after an executive order from President Trump to replace a previous federal coronavirus unemployment helper.  The Department of Labor and Training says Rhode Islanders on any amount of unemployment for the last week of July and the first two weeks of August will receive a nine-hundred-dollar payment.  The state says FEMA has provided it with enough funds to cover just those three weeks at this point.

>>Rhode Island GOP Lawmakers Propose School Choice, Education Savings Accounts

(Providence, RI)  --  Republicans in the Rhode Island legislature on Thursday stepped into the hot water of the state's school system re-starting during the coronavirus pandemic.  They proposed providing public school choice for children attending any school that fails to provide in-person learning despite the state saying it is safe to go.  Also, legislation was proposed to establish an Education Savings Account partially-funded by federal coronavirus relief money to provide additional help for students who are in such districts.

>>Man Charged With COVID Stimulus Fraud Allegedly Faked Death

(Providence, RI)  --  The U.S. Attorney's Office in Rhode Island says a Massachusetts man allegedly faked his own death after being charged in a federal coronavirus stimulus fraud investigation.  David Adler Stavely, also known as Kurt David Sanborn or David Sanborn, from Andover, has been indicted on multiple charges including bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.  Federal authorities had accused Stavely/Sanborn of conspiring to file bank loan applications fraudulently seeking over a half-million dollars in forgivable small business loans.

>>Black Lives Matter Rally In Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A Black Lives Matter rally took place in Pawtucket on Thursday morning.  The demonstration started at Pawtucket City Hall and went to McCoy Stadium.  Black Lives Matter Rhode Island is claiming that McCoy Stadium officials have been actively against efforts for a "Unity Fest" to be hosted there.

>>Celtics Lose To Raptors, Lead Playoff Series 2-1

(Orlando, FL)  --  The Toronto Raptors defeated the Boston Celtics in NBA playoff action Thursday night, 104-to-103 on a buzzer beater.  The Celtics now lead the defending NBA champion Raptors two games to one in the Eastern Conference semifinal series.  Game 4 from the bubble in Disney World is tomorrow night.

>>RIDOT Offering Free Use Of Electric Vehicle Chargers

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation says free access to electric vehicle chargers is being offered for the rest of the year at two Park and Ride commuter lots.  RIDOT says this is part of an effort to encourage and support the use of EVs.  The lots are both located immediately off I-95: the Park and Ride on Route 117 at Exit 10 in Warwick, and on Route 3 at Exit 1 in Hopkinton.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) BN) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-04-2020 00:11:43

Take out what you take in

Take out what you take in

September 3, 2020/Jeff Gross


by Jeff Gross, contributing writer


One would think by now that after 50 years of anti-litter ads we would be litter free in our waterways at least.  Apparently with so many not working, activity at our beaches and fishing areas have increased and as a result the areas are becoming trashed more than usual.


Some of the photos here show the litter and how significant of a problem it has become. Face masks and gloves are becoming a noticeable problem. The RIDEM has put out signs stating a message of “take out what you take in” for people. But many people just don’t get it. They are done with food or drink and toss the leftovers right there. Worm containers are tossed aside, too. Apparently we have failed to get these people to see the light. As my friend, Mike Umbrell, a USN officer says, “no matter how much you show people, they just don’t get it”.  Boy if that isn’t the truth.


The litter problem is expanding as I am now seeing litter on the waterways in Maine more, as people flee southern New England due to the Chinese Virus. Maine was once pristine, and had been, until the last year or so. Even Maine’s highways are showing the result of uncaring drivers. Whenever I go fishing I always take home more stuff than I brought in, including other people’s litter. It takes 5 minutes to police the boat ramp, water’s edge, or parking lot in most of these fishing areas. I guess as adults we will always be picking up after “the children”.


In one of the photos, here, you’ll notice the guy with 2 totes of cigarette butts. That is not a staged photo. Butts on the beach are a real problem. Many Massachusetts beaches prohibit smoking. As much as I don’t like Massachusetts totalitarian government, there is a benefit. One would think Bloomberg and the other tree huggers would ban cigarettes. Nope, but “lets ban straws” they say.  Well this writer has walked the beaches of Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard, Horseneck beach, Goosewing Beach, East Matunuck, Charlestown Breachway, and Quonnie beach.  In all that hiking I found one straw, literally! I actually found more cash blowing around than I did straws. And yes, there were butts on all the beaches. There were/are butts on all the named beaches.


What also prompted me to write this article is the growing problem of fishing line and hooks. That problem lies solely with the fishermen. When fishing there is no excuse to throw the line into the water or if one becomes snagged to bring in as much line off the snag as possible. Two years ago, on Salmon Lake, there was a Loon, severely ensnared in fishing line. Ensnared so badly that I contacted the Maine Fish and Wildlife to assist. Judging by the amount of line, the owner just cut the line at the reel rather than retrieving as much as possible. 


Hooks are an even worse problem; they are showing up in feet, paws and legs. My neighbor, Victoria, was walking her Black Lab at a small fishing area on Breakneck Road in Lincoln. As you can see, the hook embedded in Mabel’s leg is fairly new and had some line attached. The fisherman was completely negligent for leaving that at the water’s edge. Mabel required surgery to remove the hook from her vastus muscle as the barb was embedded too deep. The hook was a #2 rubber worm hook for bass fishing. Recently homeowners in Maine have taken to throwing rocks at boat fishermen near their land as they feel the fishermen are leaving hooks in the water. There may be a thread of truth to that fear.


When done fishing for the day the area is always policed, and the debris is taken home and thrown in the trash. This started 40 years ago as a child. I was out on Narragansett Bay looking for Stripers on my Dad’s boat and at 30 knots my Dad tossed a beer can over the side. At 9 years old I told my dad to swing the boat around and go get it. He thought I was joking. I wasn’t. My Dad said, “you’re serious”.  I said that water is not our trash can. Took him two passes but he retrieved the can. My Dad “got it” and never littered again. He also religiously started to police any area he fished. Some people do indeed “get it” – but for now, we need to follow after and clean up after those who “don’t get it”. Like a mother following a toddler.


What's in a name? A lot if you are Brown University

What’s in a name? A lot if you are Brown University

September 3, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Brown University gates


“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose, By any other name would smell as sweet.” – Shakespeare


Brown University has announced a name change, reflective of racial sensitivity. Calling it a “clerical adjustment to address a state government affiliation historically appended to the University’s name”, Brown University will be known simply as – Brown University now.


Not many people were aware that Brown’s full, legal name is:


Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations


From Brown University:


“The official name of Brown since 1804 has been “Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations” in reference to the state’s official name. The University’s official name is rarely used, but it appears in certain legal transactions. The word “plantation” did not carry connotations of slavery in 1636, when the colony of Providence Plantations was established by Roger Williams.


Over time, however, the word has come to conjure painful reminders of one of the ugliest times in our nation’s history. This November, Rhode Island voters will be asked to consider officially changing the state’s name by ballot initiative. In the meantime, Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo and other elected officials have stopped using the full name.


Similarly, in recognition of the painful past associated with the word “plantation,” the Brown University Corporation voted unanimously to change the University’s official name to be simply “Brown University,” which is how we refer to it now in nearly all uses.”


Going further…


Brown is pursuing in its ongoing efforts to confront “anti-Black racism”, the university also announced that they will form a Task Force on Anti-Black Racism; funding to advance understanding and Brown’s influence in meaningfully confronting issues facing Black communities; campus programming to engage the entire community in discussing issues of race in America; work in admission to address issues of representation in undergraduate enrollment; progress on efforts to support the Providence public schools; engaging campus in the Department of Public Safety Review; and the clerical adjustment to address a state government affiliation historically appended to the University’s name.


Response from Ray Rickman, Stages of Freedom:

Brown University tries harder than anyone. But it can and must do better. College Hill is the most successful gentrified effort in America – all black families are gone with the exception of one or two out of 4 or 500. When you look at Brown, and what they have done – but could do – it’s insulting. Nothing worse than an archaic institution pretending to do something for the Brown community by removing an archaic name that only historians knew about anyway. They need to do more, and I know they are looking at programs and initiatives. I could tell them about 25 black institutions in need of $10,000 a year for the next 100 years. Institutions that need stable income for their endowments, to assure them of sustainability and strength. And there are big companies in RI who can join them in adopting Black institutions working to make a difference. There’s CVS and Raytheon and IGT and others. They could buy every triple decker where people of color can stay in the area of Mt. Hope, a community where gentrification is under way. But, mostly, I say to Brown – thank you for this – but I challenge you to come back in one year from today and tell us not what you have studied, but what you have done.


Response from Jim Vincent, NAACP-Providence:

Jim Vincent

Vincent seemed to echo Rickman’s sentiments to see action overtake words in his response, ” I applaud the Brown University Corporation for dropping the painful reference of “Plantations ” from Brown’s name! I look forward to Brown making more positive, “tangible” changes in the future.”




More from Brown:


The university also announced plans for forming a Task Force on Anti-Black Racism; funding to advance understanding and Brown’s influence in meaningfully confronting issues facing Black communities; campus programming to engage the entire community in discussing issues of race in America; work in admission to address issues of representation in undergraduate enrollment; progress on efforts to support the Providence public schools; engaging campus in the Department of Public Safety Review; as well as the “clerical adjustment to address a state government affiliation historically appended to the University’s name”.

Rhode Island News as of 009/03/20 of 4:40am

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Over a half-dozen men, mostly from Providence, are charged with sexually assaulting a girl at a party in the capital city late last year.  Governor Gina Raimondo holds another back-to-school coronavirus press briefing.  Former University of Rhode Island tennis coach Gordie Ernst is implicated again in the national college admissions scandal.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Group Charged For Sexual Assault Of Teen In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Seven men have been arrested and charged for the rape of a teenage girl in Providence and one more individual is being sought by police.  Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements said yesterday the men lured a 16-year-old girl to a party at a house on Glenham Street last December, provided her alcohol and marijuana, and sexually assaulted her.  Clements said a video of the incident was later uploaded to Facebook.  The arrested men are mostly from Providence: Keith Erving Colon, Jose Vargas, Carlos Chacon, Malcolm Baptista, Luis Cabrera, and Luis Luna, as well as Richard Tarell Chester of Seekonk, Massachusetts.  Clements said they could all face up to twenty years in prison.

>>Raimondo Holds Another Back-To-School COVID Briefing

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo continued her daily updates on the topic of going back to school during the coronavirus pandemic on Wednesday.  The governor focused on the state's contact-tracing efforts for both public and private schools.  Raimondo also responded after Rhode Island's largest teacher's union publicly criticized COVID-19 safety checks of schools, saying they were inadequate.  She said she thinks Rhode Island is doing more than any other state to help districts be ready.

>>Providence Announces Staggered Return Plans

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Public Schools announced on Wednesday that elementary students will return to school on a staggered schedule.  In-person learning will begin for pre-K, kindergarten and first grade on September 14th, while students in second and third grade will return on September 17th, and grades four and five will return on September 21st.  The Cranston and Westerly school districts also announced staggered start plans yesterday.

>>URI Mural Reportedly Being Taken Down Over Diversity Complaints

(Kingston, RI)  --  A mural is being taken down at the University of Rhode Island because of students apparently complaining about a lack of diversity, according to a report from WJAR-TV.  The murals at the student union, put up nearly 70 years ago, depict World War Two servicemen returning to Kingston, a class reunion and other student scenes.  Vice President of Student Affairs Kathy Collins tells NBC 10 the school has received complaints about the artwork portraying a very homogeneous population of mostly-white people.  Collins said the artwork depicts a snapshot in time of the university's history, and that the decision to remove it was a very difficult one.

>>Man Indicted In College Admissions Scandal; Former Georgetown Coach Implicated

(Boston, MA)  --  A new indictment in the national college admissions scandal.  The U.S. Justice Department says a Cape Cod man, Amin Khoury of Mashpee and Palm Beach, Florida, was indicted yesterday on fraud and bribery charges for allegedly trying to get his daughter improperly designated as a tennis recruit for Georgetown University.  This is yet another case that names former Rhode Island sports standout and eventual University of RI tennis coach Gordon Ernst for his time at Georgetown.

>>Fire Marshal Says Tiverton Fire Victim Started Blaze

(Tiverton, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Fire Marshal's Office has an update about a fatal fire in Tiverton last week.  The fire marshal says the victim, Mark Bassaly, was determined to be responsible for the blaze.  This happened last Friday.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) FL) BN)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
09-03-2020 00:28:04

Your Coronavirus Update - Today - September 2, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 2, 2020

September 2, 2020/RINewsToday




NIH is disappointed that only 18% of patients who have volunteered for vaccine trials are minorities. One of the first minority women to participate is going on the speaking circuit to recruit others, saying, “I was scared at first, for my health [and] for exposing myself to something that hasn’t been tested in humans before,” she said. “I was technically patient No. 10.” As her hometown of Atlanta was being hit hard by the virus, Upshaw decided to participate in Moderna’s first vaccination trial at Emory University on March 16. As a Ph.D. student of biomedical engineering there, she was excited to be a part of scientific history. This vaccine is the first one ever made with mRNA, or messenger RNA, and it’s the first time it’s been put in humans ever, in the history of the world,” she said. “I was geeking out about it.”


Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak moved to delay the end of the state’s eviction moratorium by 45 days.


Some lawmakers upset over Gov. Lamont’s extension of emergency powers as Connecticut into February of 2021.


Israel, seen as a model in responding to terrorism has now called in their Army to plan and fight the coronavirus spread happening.


Florida will allow some nursing home visitations again.


Iowa seems to be the hotspot right now and closing bars and restaurants may be their next step.


Boat sales nationally have increased – seen as a safe way to vacation and recreate.


Videos and photos of Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi have surfaced on social media of her getting her hair and makeup done at a salon in California, where indoor services are not allowed.


The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Monday that it was reversing course and would extend at least through the autumn the flexible free school meals program helping to keep millions of kids fed


Saks is $2M in arrears on rent in Miami and may fact eviction.


Judge allows Men’s Wearhouse parent company to exist 100 leases.


Encore Casino lays off 385 of their furloughed workers


Russia’s virus exceeds 1 million case


New Jersey has announced a return to dining in restaurants – NYC has still not returned.


NYC is delaying the start of school until Sept. 21. Delay of about 10 days. Teachers will go back next week for prep time.


The surge in telehealth use at the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic has begun to drop, and health care providers are now being forced to recalibrate their offerings. Telemedicine visits accounted for nearly 70% of health encounters back in April, but only 21% of health visits in the middle of July as people are increasingly returning to in-person meetings with their providers.




About a dozen hotel representatives from Rhode Island, along with thousands nationwide, recently signed a letter asking federal lawmakers to pass relief packages that would help hotel owners who are in danger of defaulting on loans and facing foreclosures because business has dried up during the coronavirus pandemic. Over 8,000 people in RI are unemployed from the hotel business.


The RI Foundation has added $1M to its Covid19 Relief Fund


Rally4Recovery RI will hold their annual event on Sept. 19 outside the Warwick Mall.


Newport is “phasing in and going cautiously.” That means most likely students in kindergarten and grades 1, 5 and 9 will be the first ones back inside buildings. 


The city of Woonsocket will launch a new grant and loan program within days that will provide up to $20,000 for small businesses trying to reopen successfully under COVID-19 restrictions. The “Jump Start” program, announced Monday by Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt, will provide up to $5,000 in grants and up to $15,000 in loans for working capital.


Over 1,200 evictions were filed this month in RI, however, that number is down from the average for this time last year.


Plans are being made by local orchards for distanced apple picking.


RI Governor’s address


Every day this week the Governor will have 15 minute addresses, most specifically on schools.  Today was billed as “testing”.


Every state is struggling. No one has been here before. RI continues to lead the way.


6 months ago today we reported our first case in RI.




Good news story – 3,500+ tests; Percent positive: 1.5%. 53 new cases. 81 hospitalized, 8 ICUs, 5 on ventilators, 2 deaths (1 in 60s, 1 in 70s).


Recap yesterday’s announcements:


Every district, except Prov & CF can return to full, in-person school, all students. “We expect districts will provide in-person, in-school, high quality education for every student.” – we expect there will be a gradual ramp-up until Oct. 13th. By Oct. 13th, every child will be in school every day.


Prov & CF – partial in-person start – reassess in one month




RI has run more test per capita than any other state in US – we’ve run 530,000 tests – more than ½ population. Average turnaround time is about 2 days.


Creating a separate testing structure for K-12 and staff of all public/private schools. Daily capacity to run 4,000 PCR tests with results in 48 hours. 1,200 rapid tests w/results within minutes.


If student/staff feels sick you cannot go to school; stay home and schedule COVID test for that day – call dedicated hotline – also call own physician for “best care” You’ll be scheduled for an appt at one of 12 dedicated sites. Prov, Lincoln, Cranston, Pawt, Westerly, Newport, Richmond, Smithfield, Warwick, Woonsocket, West Warwick, East Providence, North Kingstown, with more to come. 2 types of tests – PCR & Rapid Test. PCR takes 2 days. Rapid Test is immediate. While waiting for results you have to stay home. If test if negative, you can return to school as long as you are fever free for 24 hours. If positive, follow CDC guidelines – improving symptoms, 10 days after first symptom, fever free.


Tomorrow: Contact Tracing, quarantining if there is a positive case. Preventing outbreaks.


Sickness at school – student or teacher. Normally you would tough it out and get through the day – this year, different. Let teacher know – will be sent home. Dedicated isolation room. Wait there, until they can get home – then schedule test.


Asymptomatic populations – teachers and students who have had close contacts to positive case. Required to do distance learning, and testing required. If no symptoms, just PCR test.


Dr. Scott: Symptom review – cases can be considered probable with:


One of these symptoms: cough, shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, loss of taste/smell


Two of these symptoms: diarrhea, fever, chills, muscle aches, headache, sore throat, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, running nose, etc.


The ideal is that schools can do their own testing through their school nurses. But we have this system set up now.




Problem will be panic in a classroom with someone sick, or hearing of someone sick. Parents may want to pull kids out of classroom, or insist on testing because they were in close contact to sick child/teacher. Dr. Scott: the whole country will be facing this.


Critical message: Get your flu vaccine this year.


NEA: Schools not prepared for that many more students coming back, now that parents may feel more confident.


Gov: well, let’s get ready for that. Call us we will help you.


Warwick schools just sent out an email that they are not going back – what do you think?


Gov: “I think it’s terrible” – I would not be surprised if parents sue them. They may risk losing federal money. They just threw in the towel on those children. Advice to Warwick parents: “My heart goes out to the parents – and it really goes out to the kids – missing out on a year could have permanent consequences to these kids.” Parents, call us, we’ll help you figure out your legal recourse.”


School nurses don’t want to be overwhelmed – don’t want to overly burden them by having them responsible for testing. We may, however, get there.


Coronavirus spurs entrepreneurialism…

Who will be first in line for COVID19 Vaccine

Who will be first in line for COVID19 Vaccine

September 2, 2020/RINewsToday


National Academies Release Draft Framework for Equitable Allocation of a COVID-19 Vaccine, Seek Public Comment


Editor’s Note: While no decisions have yet been made, this is the way science is going towards an eventual decision time about vaccine distribution.


The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine today released for public comment a discussion draft of a preliminary framework to assist policymakers in planning for equitable allocation of a vaccine against COVID-19.  The committee that developed the draft framework was formed in July in response to a request to the National Academy of Medicine from the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The discussion draft includes a summary of lessons learned from past allocation frameworks for mass vaccination campaigns, including for H1N1 influenza in 2009 and during the Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2013-2016, as well as from recent guidance during the COVID-19 pandemic for the allocation of scarce resources, such as medical resources and supplies.  Drawing from these lessons learned, the committee then defined the foundational principles, primary goal, and criteria for determining an equitable allocation framework.  The criteria include:

  • Risk of acquiring infection: Higher priority given to individuals who have a greater probability of being in settings where COVID-19 is circulating and exposure to a sufficient dose of the virus.
  • Risk of severe morbidity and mortality: Higher priority given to individuals who have a greater probability of severe disease or death if they acquire infection.
  • Risk of negative societal impact: Higher priority given to individuals with societal function and upon whom other people’s lives and livelihood depend directly and would be imperiled if they fell ill.  It does not consider their wealth or income, or how readily an individual could be replaced in a work setting, given labor market conditions.
  • Risk of transmitting disease to others: Higher priority given to individuals who have a higher probability of transmitting the disease to others.


For the initial period when vaccine demand exceeds supply, the committee recommends a four-phased approach guided by evidence to achieve the primary goal of maximizing societal benefit by reducing morbidity and mortality caused by the transmission of novel coronavirus.  As the supply of vaccine increases, it will be incrementally phased in, so that some people or groups of people will receive it earlier than others.  The discussion draft outlines the phases and rationale for prioritizing each group included in each phase.


“While major efforts are being made to have a significant supply of COVID-19 vaccine as soon as possible, the committee has been tasked with considering the tough choices that will need to be made for allocating the tightly constrained initial supplies,” said committee co-chair Helene Gayle, president and CEO of the Chicago Community Trust.  “We look forward to receiving and reviewing public feedback on our draft four-phased approach for allocation, to inform the committee’s work moving forward,” added committee co-chair William H. Foege, emeritus distinguished professor of international health at Emory University and former CDC director. 


People of color — specifically Black, Hispanic or Latinx, and American Indian and Alaska Native — have been disproportionately impacted by COVID-19 with higher rates of transmission, morbidity, and mortality. Currently there is little evidence that this is biologically mediated, but rather reflects the impact of systemic racism leading to higher rates of co-morbidities that increase the severity of COVID-19 infection and the socioeconomic factors that increase likelihood of acquiring the infection, such as having front line jobs, crowded living conditions, lack of access to personal protective equipment, and inability to work from home.  Therefore, the committee’s draft framework focuses on these underlying causes instead of discrete racial and ethnic categories.  The committee used the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which captures many recognized social determinants of health, to prioritize within the phases in the draft framework. 


As of Aug. 1, nearly 80 percent of all COVID-19 deaths in the U.S. have occurred in people over the age of 65, and a significant proportion of these deaths were individuals living in long-term care facilities.  It is clear that directly protecting older adults — particularly those living in congregate or overcrowded settings — will have substantial impact on COVID-19-related severe outcomes, the draft framework says, and it gives higher priority to these groups.


There are many uncertainties affecting COVID-19 vaccine allocation, such as number and timing of available vaccine doses, number of available vaccine types, vaccine efficacy and safety, vaccine uptake, and vaccine distribution and administration.  The discussion draft also includes a summary of the application of the framework in various scenarios, such as if a vaccine requires two doses rather than one or if some health insurers do not cover full vaccine administration costs.


“We are pleased to help inform the government’s decision-making process and provide our expert advice for priority-setting for the equitable allocation of potential COVID-19 vaccines,” said National Academy of Medicine President Victor J. Dzau.  “Input from the public on this draft framework, especially from communities disproportionately affected by COVID-19, is essential to produce a final report that is objective, balanced, and inclusive.”


The public comment period will be open from noon EDT Tuesday, Sept. 1, until 11:59 p.m. EDT Friday, Sept. 4.  Commenters will be able to download and review the discussion draft before submitting a comment through a form at


In addition, the study committee will host a public listening session on Sept. 2, which will include a brief presentation on the draft framework and an opportunity for members of the public to address the committee directly (as individuals or representatives of organizations).  Reporters who wish to attend should register in advance.


The committee’s final report, expected early this fall, will include a final recommended allocation framework informed by public comments, along with additional chapters addressing issues such as vaccination program administration, evaluation, and assessment (to ensure effectiveness and equity); vaccine hesitancy, demand, and promotion; risk communication and strategies for community engagement; and global considerations.


The study — undertaken by the Committee on Equitable Allocation of Vaccine for the Novel Coronavirus — is sponsored the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health. The National Academies are private, nonprofit institutions that provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions related to science, technology, and medicine. They operate under an 1863 congressional charter to the National Academy of Sciences, signed by President Lincoln. For more information, visit

Rhode Island News as of 09/02/20 of 5:40am

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo wants Rhode Islanders to take it outside to fight COVID.  Brown University votes to remove "Plantations" from its official name.  An update on the Christopher Columbus statue that was nearly vandalized recently in Westerly.

>>Free Wi-Fi At State Parks Offered To Get RI'ers Outside

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo on Monday announced details of an initiative to get more Rhode Islanders outdoors as part of the fight against the coronavirus "while the weather is decent" for the next few months.  She promoted the website Take-It-Outside-RI-dot-com, which lets you reserve state property for use.  Some properties mentioned by Raimondo included state parks Fort Adams, Fort Wetherill, Lincoln Woods, and parts of Providence.  She said Wi-Fi will be made available for free.

>>Pawtucket Man Arrested For Late-August Shooting

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A Pawtucket man is being charged with attempted murder for a shooting in the city late last month.  Devonte Teixera was identified as a suspect and was arrested on an unrelated warrant, according to authorities.  The shooting was last Tuesday on Talcott Avenue.  The victim, who had reportedly been in an altercation with Teixera, was hospitalized with non-life-threatening injuries.

>>Woman Sentenced For Hit-And-Run Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  A Cumberland woman is being sentenced to two years in the ACI for a hit-and-run crash in northern Rhode Island.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office reports the sentence for Emily Lowe, who pleaded no contest to one count of leaving the scene of an accident resulting in serious bodily injury.  Lowe allegedly struck a tow truck operator on Diamond Hill Road in Woonsocket in 2019.

>>Brown University Removes "Plantations" From Official Name

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island voters will be asked in November if they want to remove "Plantations" from the state name, but ahead of that, Brown University is deciding to remove the word from its title.  The official name of Ivy League school since 1804 has been "Brown University in Providence in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations" and, while rarely used, it does appear in certain legal transactions, according to an update from senior school administrators on racial justice action being taken.  The official school name is now simply "Brown University".

>>Westerly Leaders Vote To Keep Columbus Statue In Park

(Westerly, RI)  --  The Westerly Sun reports the Town Council unanimously approved a resolution on Monday to keep the town's Christopher Columbus statue in place.  Two women, one from Providence and another from Boston, were arrested for alleged attempted vandalism to the statue in Wilcox Park last month.  A liaison to the group that manages the privately-owned park said it also supported keeping the statue in place.  The town council also approved a resolution to spell out that the official ownership of the statue is the Westerly Library and Wilcox Park.

>>Celtics Up 2-0 On Raptors

(Orlando, FL)  --  The Boston Celtics are up two-games-to-none in their NBA conference semifinal.  The C's squeezed the defending champion Toronto Raptors in Disney World on Tuesday, 102-to-99.  Game 3 is tomorrow night at 6:30.

>>T.F. Green Gets About Six-Million In Federal Grant Money 

(Warwick, RI)  --  T.F. Green Airport is receiving a piece of over a billion dollars in federal airport safety and infrastructure grants being sent out to hundreds of airports across the U.S.  The Warwick airport is getting just under six-million dollars.  The money will be used to rehab the airport's terminal building. 

Jim McCabe/jb        RI) MA) BN) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-02-2020 00:28:08

Disasters Don't Wait. Make Your Plan Today - Week 1

Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today -Week 1

August 31, 2020/RINewsToday


The national theme for a four week plan to make sure YOU have a plan for disasters that may come your way is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today”. Some would say, “no one is coming for you” might be a better theme. At least they aren’t coming immediately. Emergency response can be days in coming. Power lines being down can cause other response to be days – or even weeks – delayed. Sometimes that can trap you right where you are. And you have to have the resources – the plan – to survive for that time. This program will get you to that state of readiness. Step by step over the next four weeks we’ll outline what you need to know and need to do. Join us. Take control over your own safety – until others can help you with all the bigger things to get your life back in shape.


September is National Preparedness Month, recognized each September to promote family and community disaster planning now and throughout the year. As we continue to respond to COVID-19, there is no better time to be involved in preparing for disasters – of any kind – than now.  Disasters can occur from fire, storms, floods, home malfunction such as burst pipes, etc.


Each week for the month we will address a different way you can work throughout the week ahead to prepare for disasters – large – and small.


The theme for 2020 is “Disasters Don’t Wait. Make Your Plan Today.“


What can you work on this week?


Week 1 September 1-5: Make A Plan


Talk to your friends and family about how you will communicate before, during, and after a disaster. Make sure to update your plan based on the Centers for Disease Control recommendations due to the coronavirus, too..


Make a plan today. Your family may not be together if a disaster strikes, so it is important to know which types of disasters could affect your area. Know how you’ll contact one another and reconnect if separated. Establish a family meeting place that’s familiar and easy to find.


Step 1: Put a plan together by discussing the questions below with your family, friends or household to start your emergency plan.

  1. How will I receive emergency alerts and warnings?
  2. What is my shelter plan?
  3. What is my evacuation route?
  4. What is my family/household communication plan?
  5. Do I need to update my emergency preparedness kit?
  6. Check with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and update emergency plans due to Coronavirus.
    • Get cloth face coverings (for everyone over 2 years old), disinfectants, and check my sheltering plan.


Step 2:  Consider specific needs in your household.

As you prepare your plan tailor your plans and supplies to your specific daily living needs and responsibilities. Discuss your needs and responsibilities and how people in the network can assist each other with communication, care of children, business, pets or specific needs like operating medical equipment. Create your own personal network for specific areas where you need assistance. Keep in mind some these factors when developing your plan:

  • Different ages of members within your household
  • Responsibilities for assisting others
  • Locations frequented
  • Dietary needs
  • Medical needs including prescriptions and equipment
  • Disabilities or access and functional needs including devices and equipment
  • Languages spoken
  • Cultural and religious considerations
  • Pets or service animals
  • Households with school-aged children


Step 3: Fill out a Family Emergency Plan

Download and fill out this family emergency plan or use it as a guide to create your own.


Step 4: Practice your plan with your family/household

Next week:  Building your Disaster Preparedness Kit!



Louisiana’s recovery – the latest disaster the country is recovering from – keep in mind that you must be prepared to fend for yourself for up to 3, 4, 5 days – water, food, shelter, more…




Your Coronavirus Update - Today September 1, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Sept. 1, 2020

September 1, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Opening day, yesterday, Aug. 31, at Bishop Hendricken in Warwick




US reported the percentage of coronavirus decreased from 6.2% during week #33 to 5.7% during week #34, as of August 28, 2020.


Just 6% of fatalities from coronavirus are only to that disease source.


The U.S. government is advising U.S. travelers to defer all cruise travel.


Pharmacies are having difficulty keeping their shelves stocked with hydroxychloroquine


More than 225 GAP & Banana Republic stores to close


Northern Ireland is back to school – masks must be worn in high school level.


Poland is back to school – no masks are required.


Germany is back to school – cases have happened, but schools have not closed.


Tourist arrivals to Hawaii dropped by about 98 percent in July.


Popular TD Garden sports bar The Fours says it is closing its doors after 44 years in business


AllTrails, a hiking trails and maps database, reported that people are hitting the trails at three times the rate of previous years. The app saw 150% growth in daily active users in May.


The FDA has authorized emergency use of first antigen test for COVID-19


UConn has 57 positive testing students, in isolation.


Colleges & universities throughout US are seeing widespread outbreaks; colleges moving to 2-week closures, quarantines, etc. Most are getting sick with mild symptoms – and advice is now to stay on campus and not return home.


Temple University opens and then suspends for 2-weeks.


6 states set new single-day COVID highs last week: Kentucky, Indiana, Kansas, Iowa, Missouri and Virginia.


More permanent, plastic barriers are being installed at 37 US airports.


Universal Studios to cut close to 1,000 jobs.


Bedford, NH School is continuing as scheduled in the local school district after a student tested positive for COVID-19, triggering a contact tracing effort and cleaning at the school. Administrators believe protocols such as masks, distancing and small class sizes curbed further transmission.


The mandate to reopen schools across Florida will remain in effect after an appeals court ruled on Monday in favor of state education officials, as multiple lawsuits challenging the order’s constitutionality move forward.


There is a report that CVS did not inform people who may have picked up a prescription that was filled by an employee pharmacist or pharmacy tech who later tested positive.


Fast food industry jobs are aplenty as teenagers and the elderly stay away from taking these jobs.


One of the State University of New York’s campuses will shut down for two weeks after more than 100 people in the college community tested positive, representing about 3% of the students and faculty on campus.


Tourists could safely take commercial flights to visit Florida.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration late Friday allowed the drug remdesivir to be used on all patients hospitalized with COVID-19


Tourists are beginning to return to Las Vegas, but opting to drive in and not fly.


Cub Scouts build desk shields for schools in New Hampshire.


Maine has an outbreak of COVID-19 among individuals affiliated with the Calvary Baptist Church in Sanford.


Astra-Zeneca has been approved for use of a vaccine while it is still in phase 3 testing.


Vermont is considering becoming the 2nd state to mandate flu shots


Over 1,000 students have tested positive for COVID-19 at University of Alabama since classes resumed


The Broad Institute at MIT and Harvard is a major testing facility, particularly for colleges, and has now surpassed their 1 millionth test.


Guests can wear Halloween costumes during the day at Disney in Florida from Sept. 1st through October – evening Halloween events were canceled.


The global tourism industry has a $320 billion loss in exports in the first five months of the year and more than 120 million jobs at risk.


India has more cases developing than other countries at this time.


First documented coronavirus reinfection reported in Hong Kong


Baylor University in Texas has 54 students in isolation


University of Kansas has 9 fraternities on quarantine with over 474 cases


Arizona State Univ has 452 cases, with 200 in isolation on campus


A large off-campus party earlier this month at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester has spawned a cluster of COVID-19 cases, according to city officials. As of Saturday, 21 cases of COVID-19 had been linked to the party.


The NYT estimates 54 million Americans are suffering food insecurity


There is a suburban home sales boom as people move out of N.Y.C.


A Quincy, MA venue fined $300 for moving outdoor wedding indoors during stormy weather


2 Steamship Authority employees in MA have tested positive for COVID-19


A consensus is building among public health experts that it’s better to keep university students on campus after a COVID-19 outbreak rather than send them home


Second stimulus remains at a standstill, White House Chief of Staff says. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that negotiations on the coronavirus relief package will go no further until Republicans get “serious about the process”.


Two-thirds of Americans think that self-isolation and quarantine has made them a better person, according to a new study. The survey of 2,000 Americans over the age of 21 looked at the positives changes to come from the coronavirus pandemic — and the ways in which respondents are re-prioritizing what they value.


Bed, Bath & Beyond plans to reduce workforce by 5%, reducing by 3,000 employees.


2 out of 5 healthcare workers were on the fence or unlikely to get the vaccine, according to a recent survey.




Andover, MA teachers refuse to enter school buildings today as start of school begins


Protestors marched on Cambridge’s Moderna to demand that vaccines be affordable by all.


North Kingstown votes to hold on a decision for distance learning until Gov. Raimondo’s decision.


URI did testing over the weekend, 2 were positive – the school has contracted for hotel rooms, if necessary and will provide students with all they need while they are in quarantine.


Blackie’s Restaurant in Smithfield has shut down, saying it is the pandemic that is making it impossible to stay open.


One employee tested positive at Horseneck Beach, and according to the Fall River Herald Times, “the beach is unguarded and being cleaned”.


There are 5 key metrics for school opening: statewide virus data, municipal trends, testing capability, a district’s ability to acquire necessary cleaning supplies and personal protection equipment, and the operational readiness of each school (think transportation plans).


Sunday, students protested and marched over having to get a flu shot in Ma.


MA will have more child care options for children engaged in remote learning when school resumes this fall. The order allows the Department of Early Education and Care to authorize currently licensed after-school and out-of-school programs to operate during the school day.


Three more businesses were on the RI DBR list for non-compliance:


The Remnant Shop, Hope Valley


Smokehouse Gas Station, Tiverton


Metro PCS, East Providence


School Superintendents in RI are concerned about number of teachers who will not return and that they won’t know until just before school “opens”.


School teacher unions have expressed concern about building safety and classroom size. Asking for teacher/parent participation in school building walk-throughs.


Providence says school buses can now carry only 1/2 of their normal load.


RI Governor’s Address


Data: Yesterday: 46 new cases, 2 deaths. Sat: 75 new cases. Noteworthy, % positive rate among the lowest we’ve seen – 1.2%. Now testing more than ever. 9, 500 people in a few days. More tests, more cases. Focus on test positive rate. More testing than ever this week – over 45,000 tests in 7 days. Some days, percent positives below 1%. In RI, we are doing about as well as anywhere in the US.



Per capita, RI is testing twice as many tests. 50% more than CT. Testing strategically – urban, college, etc.  We will continue to rise – as we test more and more, the numbers will go up.


By and large, RI is a good news story – we are learning how to live with the virus.


Inspections: 1,200 done. Mask wearing: 96%; 14% of bars had insufficient bar and customer separation; 15% of bars with crowding. Watch the indoor crowding. If you find yourself indoors, crowded with others, remove yourself. Screening needs to be done more – 20% not doing enough.


Labor Day Weekend: Have a good time, be careful not to crowd, have big social gatherings. We know that 2-4 weeks after gatherings, we get a big spike, as it did in RI on the 4th of July.


Outdoors: Take it Outside Campaign


Encourage us to eat, work, etc. outside wherever possible. Starting today you can go on – reserve space for free at RI state properties. You can have a meeting there – free wifi at places – have an exercise class there – we will make land available for you. TY to mayors, town managers for assistance with this – closing sidewalks, streets, opening parking lots, etc.


Prov, EG, WG, CF, Jamestown, Warren – will be expanding – even holding municipal government council meetings outside. Citizens, AAA have agreed to participate in using outdoor space.


State Beaches and state parks will remain open after Labor Day – they will be free, but no lifeguards. Restrooms will stay open. Parking free. Updates will be posted on that website.




Five metrics to clear to open schools. Today announcing every school system in RI meets these and has a green light – EXCEPT Providence and Central Falls. It is “my expectation, and our expectation, and RIDE’s expectation” that this is exactly what you will do.  Starting September 14th, begin the process of in-school learning.”


Governor reviewed metrics – statewide data, bed capacity, hospitalizations, rate of spread, total hospitalizations. We clearly and comfortably check these boxes.


Testing readiness – RI has met that goal – of testing turnaround.  Dozen sites all around the state and immediate testing for kids, teachers who have symptoms. Sept. 14th, you should be confident that this will be set up.


Supply shortages – state will help.


Does every school district have a plan vetted by RIDE and RIDOH? Yes – all plans have “been vetted” – “been approved as operationally ready”. All plans are approved. Contact person in place for each school.


School inspections: RI is inspecting every school – Dept. of health, national guard, etc. is going through every public school building. This will continue throughout the year.  If a school is NOT up to snuff, we will not allow school to open, children can go to another building or distance learning until building can be brought up to code.


Private/Independent/Parochial schools – you are free to open for full, in-person learning immediately. You are not bound by municipal metric.


Final Metric: Municipal readiness metric: Prov & CF don’t meet this criteria. RIDOH said we needed to see fewer than 100 cases per 100,000 cases in community – CF is at 114; Providence is at 100; Pawtucket is now at 56.


Prov & CF parents: Last week was our biggest testing week ever. We are over-testing, which is why the numbers are over 100, but don’t be nervous about that data. We are being extremely cautious. RIDOH recommends these 2 cities open partially and not fully in-person. Start with fewer students in classroom. Focus on younger students. Focus on transitional years (6th and 9th) and special needs. This will probably last for about a month in 2 cities.  (Oct. 13th).


Some districts will go slower – open as much as you can – staggered approach is ok. Phasing in is ok – staggered starts. Should take about a month until everyone is back in school all in RI. Take the full month to ease kids back into school. RI’s expectation is that by Oct. 13th, all RI children (except for Prov/CF) are in school for full in person learning – except for parents who choose otherwise.


Teachers: Gov. says “we need you” – you know that life has been brutal for the kids and


Dr. Scott: RI is working with Arden Engineering on difficult air circulation issues. Encouraging schools to phase in. “COVID19 is a preventable disease. We can live with this disease”.


Dr. Infante-Green: Reminds people that her title is “Education” and we have to talk about education. We keep hearing about school reopening and safety but we kept our foot on the pedal for the education side. Quality education is important.




Cities/towns who have already announced full distance learning: Dr. Green – if I am a parent I have to question what’s going on. Does RIDE have the legal right? Many of parents are getting together. Gov. Raimondo: it’s not clear the state has the authority to “force” a district to go back. Hoping the cities/towns will reverse their decision. Parents may demand in-person learning. Would they learn their federal funding, etc. State will also look into legal remedies.


What about going to another community? Example: So. Kingstown family wants to go to No. Kingstown school.  Also, what about Providence location – where schools are located or where the live?  Dr. Green says still looking at other districts and whether there is room.


Inspections: Will they be made public? What are their qualifications? Not inspections – called walk-throughs – inter-disciplinary team that has been trained. Brought on a variety of technical experts. Do not expect to publish results publicly, even though Dr. Scott says she wants parents to be involved. Parents can’t make decision without knowing the walk-through data – asking the state to release that data. Asking them to have confidence in the process.


FEMA Unemployment Funds: lot of software recoding – hope to be done by Sunday so it could be next week or week after before funds are released.


Asymptomatic teacher testing before school starts?  Substitutes?  Focus on rapid testing is on symptomatics. Nothing by the state – go to a respiratory clinic or call your doctor or go to a clinic. Teachers can qualify as high contact – they can go to


Tomorrow’s 1pm press conference is on testing – short 15 mins – deep dive on testing and schools.


Delay of 2 weeks to today.. 4 more weeks to “merge in” to full person. Loss of 6 weeks.


Older HVAC systems will be a problem – especially in the cities.


RI will start to focus more on percent positive. You test more, you find more.


Providence and Central Falls will be looked at for full openings in one month. Raimondo noted that as Providence and Central Falls do not currently meet the state criteria of having fewer than 100 new cases per 100,000 residents per week, they are not eligible for full in-person learning


Providence Return to School


Providence Public Schools will reopen partially on Sept. 14, with PK-5 attending in person daily and grades 6-12 alternating between in person and distance learning. Read more here.


No word yet on Central Falls


Sick Leave: West Warwick has 100 requests. Scituate has 50.


Union reps expressed concern about large class sizes and buildings without proper air quality – knowing that schools are just beginning to be inspected.


Three school departments – Pawtucket, Cumberland, and West Warwick have already opted for full distance learning.





Santa School in London – though it will be different…the magic never dies…


RI Writer Encourages the Power of Imagination to Confront Fear

RI writer encourages the power of imagination to confront fear


September 1, 2020/RINewsToday


Jade Braves the Dark


Valdene Mark is a Rhode Island based Vincentian writer, and the founder of Sugar Apple Books. Her first book, Jade Braves the Dark, follows main character, Jade, as she learns to use her imagination to conquer her nighttime fears.



Valdene’s stories, inspired by her childhood in the Caribbean, encourage children to use the power of imagination to navigate their feelings. Valdene now lives in Providence, Rhode Island, with her husband and two children.


Sugar Apple Books creates diverse children’s books aimed at early readers. Valdene Mark writes her rhyming stories with a focus on promoting imagination, encouraging resilience, and teaching children how to navigate feelings and emotions. Valdene hopes to spread joy and share a love of quality books with young readers all around the world.  Sugar Apple Books creates diverse books for early readers.


Bedtime is here, but Jade is much too scared to fall asleep–who knows what could be hiding in the dark? Luckily, Jade is very brave. Join Jade as she learns how to overcome her biggest fear and discovers that the dark isn’t so frightening after all.

















Address: P.O. Box 100124 Cranston RI 02910


Improving care for mothers and infants in Rhode Island

Improving care for mothers and infants in Rhode Island

September 1, 2020/Richard Asinof


By Richard Asinof,


Rhode Island joins effort to improve maternal health outcomes – Hospital Association of Rhode Island is spearheading the initiative


In an effort to combat what is deemed a national crisis in maternal morbidity and mortality, Rhode Island recently became the 33rd state to join the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health.

As part of this effort, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, or HARI, and the National Perinatal Information Center are collaborating to lead the efforts to reduce maternal morbidity and mortality here in Rhode Island, by supporting hospitals, local agencies and community organizations.

The need to improve maternal health was identified in the Community Health Assessment conducted in 2019 as a statewide imperative. Data from the R.I. Department of Health from 2013-2016 showed that Black women in Rhode Island experienced severe maternal morbidity at nearly twice the rate of white women.

Under the new initiative, the AIM program in Rhode Island will provide resources for four of the five birthing facilities in operation in the state. The goal is to implement a series of action steps called “bundles” to improve care for mothers and infants.

In response to the announcement of the new initiative, ConvergenceRI reached out to HARI to ask a series of follow-up questions.


ConvergenceRI: What kinds of specific resources will you be investing in at these hospitals?


HARI: Obstetric teams will receive resources and a platform to share and learn best practices to increase the bundle’s compliance. In addition, patient engagement resources will be provided to increase awareness amongst pregnant women to learn the early signs and symptoms of postpartum hemorrhage These resources will be provided in multiple languages to the community.


ConvergenceRI: Recently, Women & Infants Hospital held a “Black Moms Matter” rally to highlight the health disparities. How is HARI planning to follow up with such efforts? [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “Black moms matter.”]


HARI: The Rhode Island AIM Collaborative is part of a national patient safety effort to eliminate preventable maternal harm and improve birth outcomes implementing several evidence-based maternal bundles and establishing broad community partnerships that support the bundle.


Rhode Island practitioners selected the Postpartum Hemorrhage bundle where opportunities for improvement exists. Postpartum hemorrhage [PPH] is an obstetric emergency and several studies have shown that Blacks and Hispanics have significantly higher risks of PPH than non-Hispanic whites.

The goal of this effort is to standardize birthing hospital’s approach implementing several actions as the right thing to do for every patient experiencing a PPH.


Hospitals currently submit patient data to multiple siloed reporting agencies. The Rhode Island AIM Collaborative will streamline the collection of data from participating birthing hospitals, using the metrics prescribed by the selected Safety Bundle to improve health outcomes within the targeted at-risk population.


ConvergenceRI: What is the relationship between poor health outcomes and housing insecurity, in HARI’s opinion? Would HARI be interested in supporting the development of affordable housing built on hospital campuses, similar to the work being done in Oakland, Calif., for instance?


HARI: While social determinants have a significant impact on health outcomes, this project focuses on data collection, community partnerships and clinical practices to improve health outcomes.


ConvergenceRI: What kinds of planning is being done in anticipation of a potential baby boom that will follow the COVID-19 shutdown that began in March, with the goal of improving maternal health outcomes?


HARI: Regardless of a baby boom, the birthing hospitals in Rhode Island are always focused on improvement of maternal health outcomes as demonstrated by the formation of the Rhode Island AIM Collaborative.


ConvergenceRI: Is there active coordination between HARI and the existing Health Equity Zones in Rhode Island related to maternal health outcomes?


HARI: Currently, hospitals and health systems are partners in and contribute financially to their local Health Equity Zones.



Full story here:,5992

Richard Asinof

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

Rhode Island News as of 09/01/20 of 5:20am

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo expects public school districts that are capable of re-opening to do so in a month.  The man arrested at a racial justice in Providence over the weekend is identified.  The Boston Bruins' season is over.

>>Full-Person Learning Expected From Capable School Districts; Providence Releases Plan

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo said yesterday any school district which meets re-opening criteria must have full in-person learning in place by October 13th.  A number of districts in the state have announced they will start remotely; when asked what will happen if they don't make the switch as ordered, Raimondo said the state is trying to figure out its authority on the matter and that districts could be exposing themselves to legal action from parents.  But the governor said school districts that have met the metrics for re-opening are "encouraged" to have a staggered start.  Meanwhile, Providence Public Schools, which is one of the two districts that cannot fully re-open on September 14th, released a plan yesterday to bring all elementary school students back, and a combination of in-person and remote learning for older students.

>>Other Notes From Education Portion Of Monday's COVID-19 Briefing

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Raimondo's message on Monday was that school will look a lot different this year.  She said parents absolutely cannot send their kids to school if they're sick, something that was a different kind of decision-making process before COVID.  Raimondo asked everyone to bear with each other and be kind.  She also said a dozen testing sites are being set up in the state for teachers and students exclusively, and there will be rapid-testing available.  Raimondo plans on having mini-press briefings every day this week to continue focusing on re-opening schools during the pandemic.

>>Man Arrested At Providence Protest Sunday ID'd

(Providence, RI)  --  Police have identified the man arrested at a racial justice protest in Providence on Sunday night and have announced the charges against him.  Matthew McCarthy of Providence was picked up for disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.  Authorities say he was observed crossing the line from protestors onto the side where police were standing in riot gear in front of the city police station.  He also allegedly attempted to agitate protestors, according to a report from WPRI-TV.

>>Rhode Island Foundation Announces One-Million In COVID Grants

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Foundation is announcing one-million dollars in coronavirus aid for non-profit groups.  The money from the COVID-19 Response Fund is going to organizations that will help Rhode Islanders with food, rent, utilities and other expenses.  The RI Foundation says the response fund has now distributed over seven-million dollars in grants.

>>Boston Bruins Eliminated By Tampa Bay Lightning In NHL Playoffs

(Toronto)  --  The Boston Bruins' 2020 season ended on the last day of August.  The B's were bounced from the bubble in Toronto by the Tampa Bay Lightning on Monday night, 3-to-2 in double-overtime.  The Lightning won the series, four games to one.  The Bruins were eliminated in the second round of the NHL playoffs one year after making it to the Stanley Cup Final.

>>Plane Carrying Yacht Race Contender Departs From Rhode Island

(Warwick, RI)  --  A challenger yacht in the America's Cup race was loaded onto a cargo jet on Monday at T.F. Green Airport in Warwick.  This was for the contending Team American Magic from the New York Yacht Club.  The yacht was put on an Antonov A-N-124, said to be the largest commercial cargo plane in the world.  It is headed for New Zealand, where the race is being held next year, with stops in Chicago and Hawaii.

>>TV Show "NOS4A2", Filmed In Rhode Island, Canceled

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island-filmed TV series "NOS4A2" [[ nahs-for-AH-too ]] is being canceled.  AMC will not air a third season of the horror drama starring Zachary Quinto.  The show was being filmed at the Cranston Street Armory in Providence in late 2019 when a pipe burst, damaging a stockpile of expired N-95 masks prior to the coronavirus pandemic, according to a report from The Providence Journal.

Jim McCabe/jb         RI) IL) HI) NY) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

09-01-2020 00:40:13


2023-02 | 2023-01 | 2022-12 | 2022-11 | 2022-10 | 2022-09 | 2022-08 | 2022-07 | 2022-06 | 2022-05 | 2022-04 | 2022-03 | 2022-02 | 2022-01 | 2021-12 | 2021-11 | 2021-10 | 2021-09 | 2021-08 | 2021-07 | 2021-06 | 2021-05 | 2021-04 | 2021-03 | 2021-02 | 2021-01 | 2020-12 | 2020-11 | 2020-10 | 2020-09 | 2020-08 | 2020-07 | 2020-06 | 2020-03 | 2020-02 | 2020-01 | 2019-12 | 2019-11 | 2019-10 | 2019-09 | 2019-08 | 2019-07 | 2019-06 | 2019-04 | 2019-03 | 2019-02 | 2018-08 | 2018-07 | 2018-06 | 2018-05 | 2018-04 | 2018-03 | 2018-02 | 2018-01 | 2017-12 | 2017-11 | 2017-10 | 2017-07 | 2017-06 | 2017-05 | 2017-03 | 2017-02 | 2017-01 | 2016-12 | 2016-11 | 2016-10 | 2016-09 | 2016-08 | 2016-07 | 2016-06 | 2016-05 | 2016-04 | 2016-03 | 2016-02 | 2016-01 | 2015-12 | 2015-11 | 2015-10 | 2015-09 | 2015-08 | 2015-07 | 2015-06 | 2015-05 | 2015-04 | 2015-03 | 2015-02 | 2015-01 | 2014-12 | 2014-11 | 2014-10 | 2014-09 | 2014-08 | 2014-07 | 2014-06 | 2014-05 | 2014-04 | 2014-03 | 2014-02 | 2014-01 | 2013-12 | 2013-11 | 2013-10 | 2013-09 | 2013-08 | 2013-07 | 2013-06 | 0020-07



Closings & Delays



image of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)

Rhode Island Features

On Facebook