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1540 Updates Archives for 2020-10

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 30, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 30, 2020

October 30, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: The exodus leaving Paris, France last night as lockdown restrictions were going into effect at midnight. There is also widespread demonstrating with the familiar “yellow vests” happening throughout Paris.




More than 9 million Americans have been infected with coronavirus, as of yesterday.


Success in controlling the coronavirus may have a lot to do with “obedience” culture in various countries. For instance, “there is generally a lot of deference to authority in Canada,” said a US reporter who covers Canada, noting that this type of compliance, or being unable to leave one’s home, as was the case in Italy at one time, could  not be implemented successfully here. Even a mandatory mask order proposed for the US is acknowledged as unable to enforce.


New York’s Greenwich Village Halloween Parade will not take place, but will be a virtual re-enactment of the parade, using miniature puppets made by about 30 artists. It will start at 7pm –


American Hockey League said the earliest play would start would be in early 2021


Only 35 people have died from Covid-19 in Vietnam – they have a rigorous contact tracing and compliance program.


Death rates from coronavirus have dropped significantly. In one NY hospital system those rates have fallen from 30% to 3%,


CDC says there is now a low – 0.65% death rate – virus seems to be more highly transmissible, but less lethal.


The US posted a 33.1% GDP Q3 increase that shattered all records on Thursday.


Germany and France have closed all their cinemas once again.


More than 10,000 nursing homes will share $333 million worth of incentives for a month-over-month drop in COVID-19 infections and deaths.


Lower unemployment numbers than expected this week. 


Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh on Thursday unveiled the Hub’s “Get The Test Boston” pledge, aimed at getting residents tested for the virus regardless of symptoms. Companies are encouraged to take the pledge by encouraging all employees to get tested — especially workers with symptoms, those at risk for health complications upon infection, anyone in close contact with someone infected, and anyone who’s traveled or attended a large gathering.


Somerville and Medford, MA are teaming up with Tufts University to launch a new COVID-19 testing program for the cities’ school systems.


Dr. Fauci said we will know in December about a plausible vaccine. Later that day when asked about when he expects the FDA will greenlight use of the first vaccines, he moved the administration’s stated goalpost. “Could be January, could be later. We don’t know,” he said.


There is a growing shortage in protective gloves, particularly in smaller communities. Most are made in Asia – with only one plant in New Hampshire. The owner of the company said China tried to buy his entire company. The federal govt is expected to announce a new make-it-in-US initiative for gloves.


Regeneron’s treatment, REGN-COV2, had a statistically significant effect on lowering viral load over seven days and, perhaps most important, reduced the number of required medical visits by 57% over 29 days. The effect on the virus was even more pronounced in patients with a particularly high viral load.


There are concerns that people will begin stockpiling products again – 57% say they will, but stores and manufacturers say they are well-prepared now.


Worcester has extended its outdoor dining program put in place in June to help restaurants struggling during the coronavirus pandemic.


The University of Connecticut is suspending a new free-tuition program for lowerincome students as it struggles to raise private funds amid a pandemic.




Sunday, Groundswell Café, a new cafe, which will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner, is located at the former Provender, in Tiverton.


Halloween parties in college communities could be the next super-spreader events – so colleges are monitoring this and encouraging activities among those who already live together.


40% of new cases in RI come from workplaces


RI Data



Rhode Island Commerce Corporation has announced the Rhode Island Hotel, Arts & Tourism (HArT) Grants. The State has allocated $20 million for the program, with eligible businesses and nonprofits able to receive grants of up to $1 million on a competitive basis. The purpose is to prevent closure of arts, culture, hospitality & tourism businesses and institutions while also building resilience to shifts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, supporting their workforce, and engaging with their communities.


Informal polls in RI show 75% of people do not support “lockdowns” again.


From the Governor:


The 3I’s – situations to avoid. 


1) Informal: One interesting piece of data we’ve found in our case investigations is that across the board, events are safer when there’s structure to them. For example, seated restaurants are less risky than standing bars, and a catered wedding is safer than a buffet. If you’re going to be with other people, make sure the event is structured. 


2) Indoors: The virus spreads more easily indoors, where it can easily travel through ?the air. ?Whenever you can, avoid indoor ?social gatherings. If you’re in need of outdoor space, consider making a reservation at one of our state parks through ?our Take It Outside initiative.


3) Inconsistent: The reason we’re asking you to limit the size of your social gatherings is so that if you ?do get sick, you don’t become a super-spreader. That only works if you keep your groups consistent. If you get together with 14 other people, contract the virus, and then see a different 14 people the next day, you’ve now doubled the reach of the virus–even though you haven’t ?attended a gathering of ?more than 15. To keep yourself and your loved ones safe, make a list of the people you need to see–your immediate family, maybe a few coworkers–and stick to that group as much as possible. 


All of these precautions are crucial, and we ?all need to make sure that we are doing all three all the time to stop the spread of COVID-19, no exceptions. Like you, I’m anxious to get Rhode Island to a place where we can see our friends and families the way we used to. But we can’t get there until we all start following the recommendations of our doctors and scientists. For more ?information, visit


The Governor will have a special address TODAY at 1pm – we will post a link on our Facebook page at that time. More restrictions are expected.

Posted in 

The Benjamins of Sports

The Benjamins of Sports

October 30, 2020/RINewsToday


by John Cardullo, sportswriter


Now that Major League Baseball, the NBA and NHL finished their seasons, did anyone really care? And what about those athletes that have been left in limbo?


Now that 2020 is knocking at the door of November, the professional sports such as the MLB, NBA and NHL are wrapping up their seasons (keep in mind that the NBA & NHL would be normally kicking off their 2020-2021 seasons), but in these unprecedented times, what was once up is down and what was down is on Saturn and so on. Nothing about 2020 has been what it was, and professional sports is the testament.


Let us begin where it all went off the rails, back in March when the NCAA suddenly shut down and stopped March Madness in its tracks! March Madness, not just a few games but the entire event! A historic moment for sure, but as it would turn out it was not going to be the only one, no, it was going to be the start of the fall of the dominos.


By April, every sporting event was cancelled or delayed, the world was shut down and we had no idea for how long, or even if, we would be back to doing things in our normal lives. People were scared, words like social distancing, self-quarantine, face masks and the new normal was what we were all looking at – and for who knew for how long.


Slowly the world began to dip its toe into the world of sports when the PGA and NASCAR began their seasons again. By June the MLB had a plan to start their season, and the NHL and NBA also put in a plan to finish what they started, by isolating their teams and determined to get their championships crowned (the NBA had to make sure the LA Lakers with LeBron would become the champions once again in a championship series that NO ONE watched – check the ratings.) The NHL was more exciting, but the Tampa Bay Lightning hoisted the Stanley Cup as predicted. In both cases the seasons seemed forced and shallow and fan viewership was so low that the sports barely registered. The NHL was more popular than the NBA which was as rare as a Big Foot sighting, it didn’t help the NBA that everyone knew the outcome back in March when everything was shut down, and in the case of the NBA, most fans didn’t care if it started up again at all. Being about the Benjamin’s and LeBron would do that, the bottom line is that the NBA is in big trouble and without LeBron James the question is, will anybody watch when he is gone?


The shining light broke through as the PGA and Professional Tennis started holding their normal events, with no fans in the stands but they became made for TV events (remember the Benjamins), But the bottom line was “we’re back, baby!” – sports was back! Major League baseball began an abbreviated season with no fans in the stands, crowd noise was pumped in through the PA systems, cardboard cut outs of people were placed in the seats in the cameras’ view, and the amazing thing was, you really didn’t notice a difference. In the end the Tampa Bay Rays faced off against the LA Dodgers for the World Series with the Dodgers taking the title in a story line similar to the Lakers winning with LeBron, the Dodgers had to win because the virtually bought the title (the Benjamin’s) when they acquired Mookie Betts from the Red Sox.


Inspired by the seasons the other sports had, the NFL and College football wasn’t going to be out done as they plowed through empty stadiums and outbreaks of COVID-19 to have a season the fans wanted, well more that Las Vegas, Fantasy football and all the sports books wanted (the Benjamins) with virus breakouts all over the NFL the sport seems to be oblivious to the reality of the situation and is determined to run all they way to the Super Bowl and the big pay day.


There seems no end in sight for COVID-19 and the new reality is that professional sports are going to be played and continued, as hot spots of the virus flare up, and we are all in the middle of a second and third wave of the virus, sports is going to attempt to provide us with a distraction that has been proven that no one is watching (the Benjamins). What professional sports real concern is that because of this worldwide pandemic, the fans have found other things to do, things that are much more important than to sit down and watch over paid athletes play predictable outcome games in made for TV events.


The truly sad thing is the high school athletes for the most part is restricted to play in their chosen sport. The sport that could have gotten them the scholarship to the college or university of their choice, and though most would never have stepped on a professional field or court they may not have that life changing opportunity. For those student athletes it is about the education and degree and may not have that opportunity they may have because of this pandemic. For these student athletes the stakes could not be higher, they have a lot riding on the fact that they may not even get into college via an athletic scholarship seems to not even register to anyone but themselves and their families, not even to attend the college or university of their choice, while the professional athletes protest and drag their feet to play their chosen professional sport because the piece of the pie may not be big enough.


That is the true, sad testament to where we are as a society. We are at a point where we need to look at the situation and make the adjustments to fix the situation, sure professional sports are a part of who we are as a culture but so is the student athletes because if we fail them, the whole system will eventually come crashing down!


John Cardullo
John Cardullo, sportswriter

Rhode Island News Today

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Snow For Northern Part Of Rhode Island This Morning

(Undated)  --  Northwest Providence County is under a Winter Weather Advisory until noon from the National Weather Service.  One to three inches of snow is predicted in parts of Southern New England this morning, including northern Rhode Island.  The weather service is telling drivers to plan for slippery road conditions that could impact the morning commute.

>>Man Charged For Allegedly Threatening Radio Host

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is being accused of threatening a local radio host.  Weekday WNRI host John DePetro told The Providence Journal his life was threatened at a protest in the city last week.  Jonas Pierre was arrested for disorderly conduct related to that allegation yesterday.  The Providence Police Department says Pierre is not being charged for putting up a poster in September calling for a "purge" in the city, but authorities believe he is the individual responsible for that action, also.

>>Middletown Party Deemed Possible Virus Super-Spreader

(Middletown, RI)  --  The Middletown School District is warning about a possible COVID-19 "super-spreader" event.  A high school senior reportedly tested positive on Thursday, marking the second case in the district in two days.  Superintendent Rosemarie Kraeger said some students attended a party in Middletown where neither social-distancing nor mask-wearing were happening.  Kraeger says at this time, there are no impacted classrooms, but members of sports teams that might have been at the party are being contacted.

>>State's Contact-Tracing Program Needs Help

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo acknowledged Wednesday that the state's coronavirus contact-tracing program is being stretched to its limits.  The governor said it is taking too long for some school students and staffers to be notified about potential virus exposure.  Raimondo asked for more people to sign up as contact-tracers by visiting  It might not be a job for the thin-skinned, however, as Raimondo said some contact-tracers who have made phone calls have been greeted on the line by screaming and cursing.

>>Attorney General Brings Up Illegal Evictions Again

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nah ]] is again warning landlords against performing unauthorized evictions.  The A.G.'s office, which first issued a warning on this topic about a month into the COVID-19 emergency, says it has received reports of an increasing number of the so-called "self-help convictions" in recent weeks.  Landlords may be trying to get around a recent order from the CDC that makes evictions illegal until at least the end of this year.

>>Patriots At Bills Sunday

(Orchard Park, NY)  --  The New England Patriots go to Western New York this weekend to play the Buffalo Bills.  The Bills are leading the National Football League's AFC East Division with a 5-and-2 record, while the Pats are 2-and-4 and third place in the division.  New England is expected to be without star wide receiver Julian Edelman for a few games after he reportedly underwent a knee surgery procedure.  Kickoff on Sunday is at 1 p.m.

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

10-30-2020 00:44:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 29, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 29 2020

October 29, 2020/RINewsToday




The Ellen Show is bringing back a live studio audience


Homeless people who gather in outdoor encampments were less likely to test positive for SARS-CoV-2 compared to those housed in shelters.


Illinois will ban indoor dining


CVS has 4,000 drive through test sites in 33 states and Washington, D.C., and plans to open 1,000 rapid testing sites by the end of the year.


North Carolina to get nearly 3.2million BinaxNOW virus tests.


The Boston Marathon will be rescheduled from Patriots Day to the fall of 2021.


France announced a lockdown. Signed documents will once again be needed for people to leave home and moving between regions will no longer be possible. People can only leave the house to buy essential goods, seek medical attention, or use their daily one-hour allocation of exercise. But unlike the previous lockdown, most schools are to remain open, while universities will revert to online teaching and working from home will be generalized. Visits to care homes will still be allowed, as will funerals. These steps are expected to be in place until Dec. 1st.


The coronavirus has swept through Milan’s prestigious La Scala opera house, with 18 singers and nine musicians testing positive for the disease. All the members of the chorus were in quarantine along with the wind section of the orchestra, while the theatre awaited results from tests of other staff members.


Germany: Angela Merkel and state leaders have resulted in an agreement on a partial lockdown, Bars and restaurants will close from Nov. 2-30. Shops to remain open on condition of allowing only one customer per 10 sq metres of space available. Contacts are to be reduced to a maximum of two households, and no more than ten people, and Germans are advised to avoid “unnecessary, private journeys”, including visiting relatives.


Portugal, Lithuania and Serbia are all experiencing new high numbers of positive cases.


China sees highest cases in 2 months.


In England, less than 20% of people fully self-isolate when identified and asked to do so and there is a dramatic problem with data dashboards not having accurate data such as asymptomatic testing vs. symptomatic testing, etc. England is thinking about testing as much as 10% of its total population on a weekly basis.


The WHO yesterday warned countries against abandoning their efforts to control Covid-19. “Giving up on control is dangerous.”


Starting Nov. 6, Hawaii will allow visitors from Japan to bypass the state’s 14-day quarantine requirement if they test negative within 72 hours of departing for the islands. But Japanese travelers will still have to spend two weeks in quarantine upon returning home.


33 US states have mandated cloth face masks, which the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say can slow or prevent the virus’ spread.


9 members of the Arkansas legislature have now tested positive.


UNH is now testing its sewerage for positive coronavirus indications.


Denver will enforce tighter restrictions for restaurants, retail and offices, reducing maximum capacity from 50% to 25%.


Bismarck, No. Dakota: Dr. Deborah Birx, said after visiting the city that their COVID-19 protocols to be the worst she’s seen anywhere in the country.


Atlanta: Forty-six residents living in a long-term care facility have recently tested positive.


Utah: Salt Lake City: A state tourism official said visitation numbers have recovered in some destinations after a steep decline induced by the pandemic.


UVM: Only 27 students of 100,000 tested were positive.


Massachusetts: Whereas 15% of new cases in April were among people under age 30, now 37% are in that age group, the Republican governor said at a news conference at which he urged people to stop partying.


Tupperware Corp has announced explosive new sales as people are returning to cooking at home.


Newark, NJ has new regulations: nonessential businesses must close at 8 p.m., restaurants must curtail indoor dining, and beauty salons, nail salons and barbershops can be open by appointment only. Gyms and health clubs must close for half an hour each hour for sanitizing.


Eli Lilly and Co. announced that it had reached an agreement with the U.S. government to supply 300,000 doses of its monoclonal antibody bamlanivimab for $375 million and up to 650,000 more doses next year.


All SUNY students in more than 64 state colleges and universities in New York must receive a negative test result within 10 days of leaving campus next month. Schools are required to submit a plan to test all on campus students within that window by Nov. 5. “By requiring all students to test negative before leaving, we are implementing a smart, sensible policy that protects students’ families and hometown communities and drastically reduces the chances of COVID-19 community spread,” SUNY will then switch to remote learning after the Thanksgiving break.


Top management officials are coming up with new “best practices” for a majority of their staff who are working from home – key is informal interaction – team members can connect informally, the supervisors can hold informal chats with team members submitting questions, and other ways to keep people engaged and connected to one another.


Older Americans may be among those first in line for a free COVID19 vaccine as soon as one is available. The Trump administration is expected to soon announce a regulatory change that would allow Medicare to cover vaccines approved under emergency-use authorization.


Ohio Governor said where they are seeing the spread: baby showers, weddings, football, etc. We know that masks work, and we need to wear them at all times. Rural counties are leading the way now – people are tired, and we don’t want to shut down.


Dutch hospitals “have reached their limits” and they’re sending patients to Germany.


Russia says hospital beds are at 90% of capacity in 16 of its regions.




Wrights Farm will reopen Nov. 5th


CVS Health has opened three COVID-19 rapid-testing sites at its pharmacies in Rhode Island, which provide results in 30 minutes. Here are the locations: 681 Reservoir Ave, Cranston; 151 Franklin St, Westerly; and 1054 Cass Ave, Woonsocket. The tests are available for free to people who meet Centers for Disease Control and Prevention criteria, according to CVS. They may also be available for eligible employees or students affiliated with an organization that has adopted CVS Health’s Return Ready return-to-work COVID-19 testing solution. CVS traditional drive-through test sites, also still in operation, take 2-3 days for results.


Judge Mary S. McElroy says she has “grave concerns about what’s going on” at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Facility, specifically about measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19. McElroy released Dwayne Coke, a 46-year-old native of Jamaica, to home confinement with a 14-day quarantine as he awaits deportation. Coke, of Quincy, has a lengthy record of domestic assault and disorderly behavior, and could be deported by next month.


RI School bus windows must remain open – at least 2 inches – throughout the winter.


The North Providence Pool & Fitness Center will reopen on a limited schedule in November.


The Latino Impact Plan was released by Roger Williams University – the plan addresses inequities and barriers of the Latino community in RI through the COVID-19 crisis.  A synopsis of recommendations is included in the full report – access that, here:


Cranston has received a $100,000 “Take It Outside” grant from the state and they will subcontract to local businesses who apply.


Logan Airport has will open a 7-room testing site – with results in 15 minutes – in mid-November.


Nine people have tested positive from an indoor-outdoor wedding on Martha’s Vineyard in October – people traveling from high-risk states are thought to be the problem as the wedding followed health guidelines, otherwise.


Dunkin’ and McDonalds have seen the surges in coffee sales over any other brand.


Dodgers’ player, Justin Turner, tested positive and was removed from a game in-play, but later returned for the celebration after the game.


New Updated COVID19 numbers by RI cities/towns:



Governor’s address:


425 new cases – 3.2% positive rate


4 Deaths – 1 in 70s, 1 in 80s, 2 in 90s



Gov. Gina M. Raimondo has asked the General Assembly to consider a revised package of capital improvements that takes into account a worst-case scenario that would include: deferring or eliminating millions of dollars in planned improvements to state buildings and properties over several years; another $90.7 million is transferred from the state’s rainy-day fund; spend funds only on those projects that satisfy an economic-development need, are required for health and safety or federal compliance, or that are already under contract, and legally obligated to continue, by June 30. The amended plan includes restructuring the Eleanor Slater Hospital, converting the Zambarano campus to a nursing home and closing the Adolph Meyer and Regan Hospital buildings in Cranston. Renovations to the Cranston Street Armory will be reduced from $250,000 to $37,395 to complete contracted services, with the remainder deferred to 2022.


RI has been taken off the do not travel list for Connecticut


Testing – an effective tool in our toolbox – “RI continues to lead the nation in testing”


Percent positive – 2.9% last week – percent has been doubling and still ticking up quickly


Hospitalizations – also continuing to go up


“We all need to adjust our behavior.” – vast majority are doing the best to follow “the rules”.


“All of us have let our guard down”. We are tired and fatigued and missing our friends and family.


Data shows the increase is coming from casual gatherings with family and friends in settings where our guards are down, and our masks are off. We are all spending time with too many people.


Take out a piece of paper – write down a few names of people you will see in next couple of weeks. And – that’s it. You don’t need to have 3 playdates in a weekend. Don’t need to have coffee after church, etc. –  Limit interactions for few weeks to those you NEED to see.. Try very hard to stay in that closed circle. You don’t need to watch a sports game/practice.


Researchers say we could save 100K lives if we wear our masks.


Think about 3 I’s – Informal, Indoors, Inconsistent Groups – this is how the spread is happening.


“We’re in a bad place.” A trajectory to have a problem with hospitalizations. In 4-5 weeks, we could go over our hospital capacities and have to use our field hospitals.


Special press conference FRIDAY, 1pm – more announcements on restrictions. Reducing social gathering limit, workplace restrictions, etc.


Executive Order Phase 3 is up today – very likely to change it on Friday.


Schools: Not seeing significant spread in schools. 7 weeks of data. 98,500 in-person learning, 49,000 learning virtually. Case prevalence rate last week was .13%. Schools are not super-spreaders. Kids in distance learning are not staying home. No data to suggest we all go virtual, because at-home kids are getting the virus in the same rate. At-home, however, are more likely to be struggling with abuse, mental health issues, etc. As long as data shows it’s safe, we want to keep kids in school.


Contact Tracing – overwhelmed, pushed to the limits. Today we have 300 contact tracers. 80 of 300 are with K-12 completely. 50 were added in last week alone. Looking to hire 100 case investigators. If you have customer service experience, and can work full time, nights and weekends for next 6 mos. – go to: – the pay is competitively. 


People have too many contacts and that should not be that way – it should be a short list.


Personal request: Please be kind. Level of aggression that contact tracers are receiving is not ok. “I hear the hateful messages – spewing, swearing, hanging up the phone…. very upsetting – not the RI way”.


1,000 substitute teachers have responded to help.


Employers – discourage after work congregating – if they travel together, they should be wearing a mask with windows down – let them get tested – if they can work from home, let them do that.


Halloween – no parties at all – not of any size – don’t go to bars – non-mask wearing – enforcement teams will be out, and we will fine you – or shut down the facility.


Thursday, 3:15 Gov will do Facebook Live with co-chairs of the Young Adult Task Force, here:


Case Investigations: In case data, distributed more evenly among age brackets. General increasing trend of casual, informal, unstructured settings – also 40% of cases in work settings – manufacturing, retail, food services. Increase in office settings – doubled in one week – financial services. Consider having people work remotely. Main source of transmission is when masks are off and there is socializing.



Drug Overdose Crisis: worse now than it has ever been – true for RI and for US. Peaked in 2016 and then declined every year. We are now on a path to exceed 2016 by 25%. July most overdose deaths since we’ve started tracking. Poly-substance use – more than one drug – and presence of fentanyl. BHLink open 24/7 at 414-LINK. BHLink free drop-in at 975 Waterman Ave, EP – Fire stations at Woonsocket, Providence and Newport will direct you to peer recovery. Call 911 to call for help if you are with someone overdosing. Carry NARCAN – it is available at drug stores without a prescription.




Testing: Should anyone in RI be paying for test right now?


A: Gov: If you are not sick, insurance won’t cover it – if you go to state lab, it is free. Go to – it will be accessible. We will be adding more sites for asymptomatic testing. Private guys are charging.


Q: What does it look like elsewhere for hospitalizations?


A:  We’ll be out of space in a few weeks if we continue this way. 136 in hospital right now. Just under ½ of the 300 beds we have. If they max surge we go to 600 beds. We’ll be there in 4 weeks. Then would have to open Cranston facility, with 350 more beds. Can ramp up other 2 sites if needed.


Q: Schools – more than 200 kids were in last week of data – 6 schools with more than 5.


A: No doubt that cases are up. No evidence of widescale spread.


Q: Providence feels they aren’t being treated the same because of being short-staffed.


A: Decision to close schools for one case may not be what state would recommend. No need to close if somebody tests positive.


Q: 2 schools with 30 teachers in quarantine. Soccer teams shut down – how many numbers aren’t showing up because they can’t be traced to kids.


A: RI is good at tracing – not seeing significant transmission associated with school children.


Q: Funding for contact tracers?


A: Federal funds – ¼ billion will be spent on this


Q: Looking at Massachusetts color-coding system of cities/towns


A: Yes, we are looking at this.


Governor’s FB Message:  As we’ve been saying over the past few weeks, the increase in cases is being driven by casual gatherings with family and friends where our guards are down, and our masks are off. And the truth is, we’re spending time with too many people. For the next few weeks, while we all work to turn around the trend, I’m asking you to limit your interactions only to those you need to see. The actions we take now will determine how we live for the next few months.


Gov: I know we need to do something, or we will be opening field hospitals – what is what I can do that will have less impact on commerce.

Updated: RI School List with COVID-19 cases as of 10/29/20

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 10/24/20)

October 28, 2020/RINewsToday


Note: The data chart is for cases reported by 10/24 and updated on 10/28. Looking at recent past weeks:


Summary – this update – more than 370 locations – 288 new cases – 883 cumulative cases


227+ schools – 214 new cases – 559 total


144+ virtual learning – 74 new cases – 324 total




Updated from Summary on 10/17/20 – approx. 300 locations – 168 new cases – 583 cumulative cases


176+ schools – 99 new cases – 334 total


123+ virtual learning – 69 new cases – 249 total



Updated from Summary on 10/10/20 – 228 locations – 148 new cases – 413 cumulative cases


135 schools – 84 new cases – 234 total


93 virtual learning – 64 new cases – 179 total



Updated from Summary on 10/4/20 – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total



Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total



Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo is still committed to in-person learning for schools in Rhode Island despite a rise in coronavirus cases.  RI mail-ballot voters are being provided a tool to check the status of those ballots.  Some Ocean State residents are engineering socially-distant Halloween candy distribution systems.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Rain From Zeta For RI, Snow For Northern Part Friday

(Undated)  --  The remnants of Hurricane Zeta will bring precipitation to New England today and early tomorrow.  Only rain is currently predicted for the southern part of the state up to Providence, with up to two-to-three inches possible.  The forecast also calls for the first snow of the season in northern Rhode Island on Friday; up to an inch is currently being predicted.

>>Raimondo Committed To In-Person Schooling Despite Virus Cases Rising

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo on Wednesday said she does not plan to transition the state's school system to remote learning as Rhode Island deals with a spike in coronavirus cases.  Raimondo said she does not see evidence that in-person learning is fueling the spread of the virus.  The governor said there's no data to suggest remote-learning is safer for teachers and students, because she said they are still getting COVID at similar and higher rates than they are at school.

>>Mail Ballot Tracker Launched

(Providence, RI)  --  The state Board of Elections is providing a way for Rhode Islanders who are voting in next week's election by mail to check the status of the ballots.  The mail ballot tracker is available online at  Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea [[ gore-BAY-uh ]] on Tuesday asked any voter who still has a mail ballot to return them via secure drop-boxes located in every community.  Those drop-boxes can be found at

>>State Reports Big Increase In Accidental Drug Overdose Deaths

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is reporting a sharp increase in accidental drug overdose deaths in 2020.  A report released Wednesday accounts for the first seven months.  In July, more Ocean State residents died of drug overdoses than any month since the state started tracking such data.  Stressors and isolation from the COVID-19 pandemic are believed to be factors, but the health department notes the increase began before the pandemic arrived.  An emergency meeting was held in July, and the state says action steps coming out of that meeting are being implemented or are in planning phases.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Man Convicted Of Sex Assault Near URI Narragansett Campus

(Wakefield, RI)  --  A man has been convicted for a sexual assault near the beach at the University of Rhode Island's Bay Campus in Narragansett.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says Angelo Fraley of Charlestown was found guilty in a jury-waived trial last week in Washington County Superior Court.  The state says the 2015 incident happened after Fraley and the victim had spent time together with a group of friends at the beach.  A sentencing hearing is pending.

>>Catapult, Luge Among Objects Built By RI'ers To Distribute Candy

(Undated)  --  Some Rhode Island residents are coming up with creative ways to give out Halloween candy in a socially-distant manner.  A family in Barrington has created a twelve-foot wooden catapult.  A man from Warwick, Marc Berman, was also interviewed by local news outlets this month after he built a 22-foot-long candy "luge" made of PVC piping.  The state is asking people to not make candy available in a bowl, but instead they should leave the treats in goodie bags or spread out on a baking sheet.
Jim McCabe/djc           RI)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

10-29-2020 00:57:16

RECALL: Trader Joe's Fish Recalled

>>Trader's Joe's Fish Recalled
(Cincinnati, OH)  --  If you recently purchased fish from Trader Joe's, you may want to check it against a newly announced recall.  On Tuesday, Orca Bay Foods announced that it was pulling 350 cases of product from store shelves because their packaging failed to list milk and wheat as allergens.  The specific product is Trader Joe's brand Gluten Free Battered Halibut. The fish was sold in nearly 20 states nationwide.  If you have the product in your home, visit to find out if your package is included in the recall.  
Joe Jewett/djc/acc 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
10-28-2020 01:40:01

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 28, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 28, 2020

October 28, 2020/RINewsToday




Speaker Nancy Pelosi says a Covid-19 relief deal will not coming before election day


A report from College Board suggests the strong pandemic may have paused rising college costs


The Price is Right will begin filming a new season, with no audience


Hockey and other indoor ice arena activities can resume in New Hampshire starting Oct. 30 but participants and staff will have to be tested for COVID-19


Thirteen of the Vatican’s Swiss Guards and a resident of the hotel where Pope Francis lives have recently tested positive. The Pope is beginning to wear a mask in public, which he has not done up to this point. He is 83 with only half a lung, and would be a high risk.


Remote workers’ stress break: More than 2,000 hotels in the Marriott International Inc. system will begin allowing guests to check in at 6 a.m. and stay as late as 6 p.m. the next day, a promotion aimed at remote workers looking for a change of scenery from their homes.


Jerusalem Mayor has decided that children in grades 1-4 will attend school five days a week, and not three days as was decided by the government.


500,000 new cases this week have been identified in the US.


Strolling of the Heifers, a Vermont event has suspended programs include Windham Grows that the board said, “supported many emerging agribusinesses,” a farm-totable apprenticeship, and an annual Slow Living Summit.


VP Pence’s Chief of Staff, Mark Short, tested positive. 5 members of the VP staff are thought to be positive


The Mayor of Istanbul, Turkey tested positive.


Massachusetts unemployed who were ineligible for the federal stimulus will be getting $1,800 from Massachusetts.


United Healthcare is mailing, through their Medicare Advantage program, a package of Tamiflu, a COVID19 test, and a thermometer, to 200,000 high-risk patients enrolled in their plan. The test can be taken at home and mailed back for processing.


Spain orders nationwide curfew between 11pm and 6am out of concern for collapsing of hospital system. It is expected the curfew would be in effect for 6 months.


Italy is putting into effects its curfew as well. Italian bars and restaurants have to close by 6pm. Theaters, pools, and gyms will close for at least a month, but some schools and workplaces will stay open.


AirBNB disallowing one day rentals on Halloween out of concern about large parties in COVID19 times.


Covid-19 outbreak at St. Michael’s College in Vermont rises to 26 cases; 137 in quarantine


Deaths in long term facilities—which house less than one percent of the US population—represented a shocking 43 percent of all US COVID-19 deaths. That percentage has decreased only slightly to 41 percent in the month since. Long-term care facilities remain extremely vulnerable to the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.


AstraZeneca has resumed the U.S. trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine after approval by regulators, and Johnson & Johnson is preparing to resume its trial on Monday


Some vaccines are already in mass production and storage – if they prove ok to go, the country will be ready – if not they will be discarded – but no time will be lost in ramping up and being prepared. This is the first time a business model has been used instead of a medical model with vaccine programs.


Massachusetts tracing efforts have turned up successful transmission path for only ½ of the cases investigate.


21% increase in Hasbro game sales because of pandemic – especially traditional board games such as Scrabble, puzzles, etc.


U.S. reports a new COVID-19 case every 1.26 seconds, according to a USA TODAY analysis of Johns Hopkins University data.


A police force in England says it will try to stop people from leaving Wales, which has started a 17-day lockdown. The Gloucestershire Constabulary will patrol routes and pull over drivers they believe are making long journeys. Travelers without a good excuse will be asked to turn around.


Greece officials introduced mandatory wearing of masks everywhere.


Slovenia shut down non-essential shops, kindergartens and hotels.


Wisconsin can’t keep up with contact tracing. Missouri, Indiana, Florida and Kentucky, have outsourced tracing work to private companies to lighten the load on their own public health staff. Others use apps that alert people with a text message if they’ve come into contact with a person who tested positive.


Nearly 15,000 people have left D.C. since the pandemic began


The NY Port Authority will start issuing $50 fines for not wearing face coverings at airports, bus terminals and subways.


The only public school on Lanai, Hawaii, has moved to distance learning amid an outbreak of coronavirus cases on the island.


Only 12.3% of nursing homes did not have a one-week supply of N95 masks as of mid-October, and only 8.7% lacked a one-week supply of gowns.


Ohio Wesleyan University is eliminating or phasing out majors in 18 subjects.


The number of new infections is growing so quickly that Philadelphia is losing the ability to adequately trace the contacts of everybody who is testing positive and may have to impose restrictions on activity. Contact tracers are unable to reach out to every new person testing positive. As a result, city officials may resort to managing some cases through guidance or asking people who tested positive to reach out to some of the people with whom they may have had contact while contagious.


Albany: The state is reinstating restrictions on visits to hospitals, nursing homes and prisons in its coronavirus “red zones.”


Walt Disney World will lengthen its theme park hours this Halloween weekend, and further extended hours are coming in November.


Parents in Texas seeking to homeschool their children are complaining that some public schools are trying to block them from withdrawing their children.


Nashville: People with COVID-19 or those showing symptoms should be able to vote in person with new safety measures Nov. 3 if they choose, state elections officials told counties this week.


An experimental COVID-19 vaccine being developed by the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom produces an immune response in both younger and older adults, triggering lower adverse responses among the elderly – This could potentially be seen as a game-changer in the battle against the novel coronavirus.


Maine is reporting more than 50 cases per day in the last 3 days.


Russia instituted a nationwide mask mandate.


Former President Barack Obama joked that Trump is “jealous of COVID’s media coverage.”


Kansas studied mask mandates vs. no mask mandates and found ½ less outbreaks among cities/towns with mask mandates.


Cities of Lawrence, Springfield & Worcester, MA cancels trick-or-treating due to COVID-19 concerns


Fairhaven, MA says keep your group small – just go with family.


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh is encouraging all city residents to get tested for COVID-19, regardless of whether they have had symptoms or contact with an infected person.


Regarding the extra reimbursement for COVID19 diagnosed deaths, Medicare does reimburse hospitals 20% more for a COVID19 diagnosis, $1500-2200 per patient.


The El Paso, TX civic center will be converted into a medical care site and some patients will be flown to other cities as local hospitals are being inundated with COVID-19 patients. A stay-at- home order with a daily curfew from 10 p.m. to 5 a.m. unless going to work or going to an essential service. Violation of the order is punishable by a $500 fine.


Raytheon may reduce office space by 25%.


Moderna: United Kingdom has started the rolling review process of mRNA-1273, our vaccine candidate against COVID-19.


EpiVax, a Rhode Island based company has the vaccine, EPV-CoV19, is ready for production and deployment. A Phase I Trial of EPV-CoV19 will begin in 3 months.


Hawaiian Airlines says it’s reviving the longest domestic commercial flight in the United States. The carrier announced that it’s bringing back its 5,095-mile Boston-Honolulu route in December, in time for the holidays.




Governor’s Update TODAY at 1pm – we will post a link on our Facebook page


RI Data:


October 27:


October 26:


Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin is advising families to not do house-to-house trick or treating.


Open enrollment period for HealthSource RI, the state’s official marketplace for health insurance coverage, begins November 1. Now is the time to sign up for new health coverage or renew your existing coverage. Go to: – it will be an extended enrollment period through January 23, 2021.


Dr. Ernest Finocchio has passed away from coronavirus complications. Familiar to many Rhode Islanders as the face of the RI SPCA, always advocating for kindness to animals, Finocchio served as the 10th President of the Rhode Island SPCA for 18 years, retiring in March of 2019.


Governor Raimondo says Rhode Island “is within weeks of going back to Phase 2” – this was where we were in June. This could reduce groups to less than 15; closing of bowling alleys, theaters, etc., closure of high touch services such as makeup, massage parlors, some saloons, etc., and reducing offices to 33% volume, and retail by 15%, etc.


RIDOH has serious lag in contact tracing and notification:  ProJo story reporting on how Heidi and Brian Blais got a call Sunday from the R.I. Department of Health saying their daughter, a senior at La Salle Academy, should have been quarantined since Oct. 13, because she had been in close contact with a student who tested positive for COVID. It was the first they’d heard that their daughter had been exposed.


LaSalle Academy will move to distance learning for the rest of this week after a teacher tested positive.


99 positive cases in Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls


Rigatoni’s Restaurant in Warwick has moved back to curbside only out of concern for rising coronavirus numbers.


Twin Oaks in Cranston has reopened for curbside takeout and will reopen for indoor dining on Friday.


Providence’s Army-Navy store on Thayer St. to close.


URI’s fall football season will begin.


The Museum at the International Tennis Hall of Fame will be closed until April 1.


Gov. Raimondo acknowledges state of RI is way behind in contact tracing – says, “we’re testing so much more, but we have more contact tracing as we find more positives” – hiring 100 new people right now. Says it is slow because people who test positive have “too many contacts” – they are saying they have 50 close contacts. – See video.



CAA Football announced its conference schedule for the 2021 Spring season, which includes a six-game slate for each institution using a unique divisional format. URI released the schedule, here:


RI being talked about at the national level regarding BiNex Now rapid tests – pilot program here – Rockefeller Center, Johns Hopkins, Duke Margolies Center – 120,000 being used in RI school districts to test different paradigms.


4 new RI Businesses with Violations of COVID19 Protocols:


Krystal Lounge, Hartford Ave., Providence


D’Prieto Barbershop, Prairie Ave., Providence


DiNos Lounge, Main St., Pawtucket


Red Star Mattress and Upholstery, Mendon Rd., Cumberland



Rhode Island is part of this “test” …

COVID-19 Guidelines for 12-step meetings

COVID-19 Guidelines for 12-Step/Support Group Meetings

October 28, 2020/RINewsToday


Attend a Support Group? There are COVID-19 Guidelines you should know.


The RI Dept. of Health responded to our request for guidelines for self-help, 12-Step, or other Structured support groups. This was in response to a query we had from a group facilitator who said she had received no guidance, personally, nor by the facilities that are used for groups. These are often church basements, and other facilities that are rented out to the groups on a meeting by meeting basis. There have been no PPE items such as hand sanitizer, or masks for those who don’t have them, or guidance on socially distancing of chairs, not to mention screening of attendees.


The type of groups in question are what would be considered anonymous, by design, without formal names and contact info being captured. Some examples are AA meetings, NA meetings, or any of a wide variety of anonymous self-help groups that are even more important in the time of COVID19.


The statement and guidance from the RIDOH is as follows:


October 26, 2020


12-Step groups and other structured support groups are not social gatherings; they are meetings held at venues of assembly. These groups must adhere to all Executive Orders and regulations, including limitations on the number of attendees permitted at meetings held at venues of assembly (see Executive Order 20-67, sections 9 and 10 – link, below). (Executive Orders are subject to change. Updates are posted on the Governor’s website.)


All attendees are required to wear a cloth face covering unless physical distancing of at least six feet can be maintained easily and continuously, to the extent feasible. When physical distancing is not feasible, attendees should minimize the amount of time they are exposed to other people, to the extent possible. In general, RIDOH recommends that any time you’re near people who don’t live with you, wear a mask and watch your distance.


Cloth face coverings are not required for:

• _Anyone for whom use of such face covering would damage their physical or mental health; or

• _Anyone who is developmentally unable to use a cloth face covering, including young children who may not be able to effectively wear a cloth face covering; or

• _When a face covering would directly inhibit an activity of daily living (e.g. eating); or

• _When a face covering would itself negatively impact the safety of an individual or lead to an increased risk of harm to others (e.g. near open flames); or

• _In outdoor settings when people can easily and continuously maintain at least six feet of distance from other people.


A designated member of the group must be responsible for ensuring compliance with screening all individuals who enter the venue of assembly to attend meetings. Such screening shall include, at a minimum:

• _Visual assessment, self-screening, or a written questionnaire, or a combination of any of these screening methods regarding COVID-19 symptoms and contact in the last 14 days with other individuals who are COVID-19 positive or who have COVID-19 symptoms;

• _At all entrances to the meeting venue, post a notice that all individuals entering must be screened or self-screened, and they should not enter if they are COVID-19 positive, have COVID-19 symptoms, or have had close contact in the last 14 days with an individual who, at the time of contact, had COVID-19. Samples of screening criteria for entrants can be found, in English and in Spanish, on the Reopening RI website.


If an individual is identified as exhibiting multiple symptoms of COVID-19 or as COVID-19 positive, the individual cannot attend the meeting.


In addition, RIDOH recommends that the following measures be put in place for each meeting:

• _Meetings should be held outside, as weather permits.

• _When possible, windows should be kept open to promote air circulation during meetings held indoors. Fans can also be placed in open windows to blow air from the meeting space to outdoors. If the meeting space does not have exterior windows or doors, consider using a fan to blow air into another unoccupied space.

• _Attendees should remain seated and limit movement during the meetings.

• _Attendees should avoid communal coffee urns and sharing of snacks, books, pamphlets, materials, pens/pencils, etc.

• _Hand sanitizer should be available at all times during the meeting.

• _Attendees should sit or stand at least six feet apart from one another.

Here is a link to the referenced area of the Governor’s Executive Order:


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Social media threats against Providence police officers, including one against the officer involved in the recent moped crash, are under investigation.  Governor Raimondo might take action in response to trending coronavirus numbers.  The state is looking to add to its wind energy portfolio.

>>Social Media Threats Against Police, Circulating 'Purge' Notice Being Investigated

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island State Police is investigating potential threats made on social media against officers from the Providence Police Department.  The state police says one of the officers who was the subject of posts was Kyle Endres, whose involvement in a moped crash that injured Jhamal Gonsalves earlier this month is under investigation.  The incident sparked a new round of racial justice protests in the city.  In related news, Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré [[ PARRY ]] on Monday asked anyone protesting the Gonsalves incident to do so peacefully while acknowledging a social media post that calls for a "Purge of Providence" inspired by the horror movie.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 1,118

(Providence, RI)  --  Four new coronavirus deaths and four-hundred-21 additional virus cases were reported by the state of Rhode Island on Tuesday.  The COVID death toll in Rhode Island is now one-thousand-118, and the pandemic death toll is 31-thousand-445.  In an interview with WJAR-TV on Tuesday, Governor Gina Raimondo said the state is within weeks of having to roll back to its Phase 2 re-opening status if current virus trends continue.

>>Connecticut Exempts Rhode Island From Travel List

(Hartford, CT)  --  The state of Connecticut is removing Rhode Island from its COVID-19 travel advisory list.  Governor Ned Lamont said Tuesday that Rhode Island is being exempted even though it still meets criteria to be on the list because of the interconnected nature of the region.  Connecticut has meanwhile added Massachusetts to the list of states from which travelers must quarantine for 14 days.

>>State Issuing Another Wind Energy Contract

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is seeking to procure a new load of offshore wind energy, according to an statement Tuesday from Governor Raimondo.  It's the second large wind project announced for the Ocean State.  Raimondo's office says the latest effort is in line with her goal of renewable energy resources satisfying 100-percent of the electricity load by 2030.  The combined number of megawatts between the new project and the one approved by regulators last year is one-thousand.

>>Retired RISPCA President Dies From COVID-19

(Riverside, RI)  --  Former Rhode Island Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals president Ernest Finocchio [[ fin-NO-key-oh ]] has died.  The RISPCA says the death was coronavirus-related.  Finocchio was the head of the organization for nearly twenty years before retiring in 2019.  He was described as a tireless and dedicated crusader for animal welfare.

>>Two Teens Charged For Attempted Columbus Statue Vandalism

(Westerly, RI)  --  The Christopher Columbus statue is targeted for the second time this year in Westerly.  The Sun reports two sixteen-year-old boys from Connecticut are facing charges after police caught them attempting to damage the statue by throwing rocks at it on Sunday.  Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey says the behavior doesn't appear to have been politically motivated.  Lacey said the statue did not incur any significant damage.

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

10-28-2020 00:43:11

Coyotes aren't going anywhere....URI survey needs 10 minutes of your time

Coyotes aren’t going anywhere…URI survey needs 10 minutes of your time.

October 27, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: A coyote is captured on a URI trail camera in South County. (Photo courtesy of Amy Mayer)


A University of Rhode Island graduate student is seeking to inform coyote management in Rhode Island by conducting a survey of Ocean State residents to gain insights into their knowledge, beliefs and feelings about the controversial carnivore.


Kimberly Rivera, of Westchester County, New York, is examining the relationship between what people know and believe about coyotes and their first-hand experience with the animals. She will also factor in their personal environmental beliefs and demographics.


“Coyotes aren’t going anywhere, so the better we understand where we stand with them, the better we’ll be able to coexist with them,” said Rivera.


She is seeking at least 500 Rhode Islanders from throughout the state to take the survey before the end of November. It takes about 10 minutes to complete and can be found at


According to Rivera, about half of all nuisance wildlife calls received by state wildlife officials are about coyotes, which may have more to do with people’s beliefs about coyotes than it does about the actual threat the animals pose.


Rivera plans to combine the results of her survey with data from a statewide camera trap study of coyotes to see if people’s opinions about coyotes are more or less positive in areas where the animals are most abundant.


“We’re going to take what we learn from these surveys and disseminate it to wildlife managers so they can incorporate the data into their management practices,” she said. “If there are areas with greater conflict or where people are especially antagonistic toward coyotes, then maybe we can manage them better for both the coyotes and the people.


“I’m especially interested in learning about interactions between pets and coyotes,” Rivera added. “There are lots of stories about missing pets suspected of, or witnessed, being taken by coyotes, and I’d like to learn how often it really happens and how often people think it happens.”


The survey also aims to gauge opinions about current management practices, such as trapping coyotes with foothold traps, which is illegal in the state. Results of the survey may be used to inform future management decisions related to the harvesting of coyotes.


Rivera’s coyote survey is the result of a survey she had planned to conduct with farmers in Madagascar about conflicts between carnivores and livestock. The pandemic cancelled her travel plans to the island nation off the east coast of Africa, so she sought to focus on a related issue closer to home.


“I fell in love with spotted hyenas while doing an internship in South Africa while I was an undergrad,” Rivera said. “They’re considered vermin there because they are presumed to depredate livestock. It got me thinking about how perceived interactions can change how people think about a species. Those opinions are important. If people don’t care about animals, we’re not going to be able to conserve or coexist with them.”


Nourishment for the soul of grandparents

Nourishment for the soul of grandparents – by Toby Simon/ConvergenceRI

October 27, 2020/Richard Asinof


Nourishment for the soul – in a pandemic, when grandkids connect with grandparents


Photo: Ray practicing Taekwondo on Zoom as part of her Kindergarten classes.


As Joe Biden looked out at an audience of senior citizens and asked earnestly: “How many of you haven’t been able to hug your grandchildren for the past 8 months?” I was reminded once again of our good fortune. This has not been our experience with four of our six grandkids.


The majority of my friends have been deprived of visits with their grandkids since families are so spread out these days. Yes, everyone has upped their Zoom and FaceTime skills with their grands, and most have created ways to stay in touch remotely on a daily basis. But my friends are also really, really sad to not be able to see their grandkids in person.


Nothing does more for replenishing the soul than our grandchildren. They nourish us and we crave it. They love our visits and when they’re over, we start planning the next one.


A quick Google search on the topic mainly addresses how grandparents can stay connected with their grandkids during COVID. I didn’t see much on becoming a Kindergarten teaching assistant for remote learning.


A new career twist
Our granddaughter Ray’s first two weeks of remote Kindergarten at her New York City public school took place at our home in Wellfleet. As has been the case since the pandemic began, Peter and I have been available to take on some of the childcare responsibilities for two of our three kids’ families while their parents work. With school starting, Peter and I were busy:  he played with our 2-year-old granddaughter Shirley, while I attended remote Kindergarten with Ray.


Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I do not know how families are managing to do what’s required during this pandemic without help. I know there are many families where this is impossible and the consequences will not be insignificant. It’s overwhelming and hard and frustrating and challenging.


Those parents lucky enough to still have jobs need to work plus pay attention to their young ones’ educational, emotional and social growth and development. With a toddler under foot or a baby in arms or another school-age kid, it’s even more daunting. When families can rely on grandparents or other family members driving distance away, this can be a remedy.


Zoom, zoom, zoom
My expectations for remote Kindergarten weren’t much. How can any teacher manage a bunch of squirmy five-year-olds in a Zoom classroom? What would the day look like? Would kids just sit in front of a computer for four hours each day? What techniques could be used to engage little ones?


There has been lots of negative reactions aired so far about remote learning: it requires much adult attention; kids claim it’s boring; and parents are frustrated with how the teaching is going – and parents worry whether their kids are falling behind both emotionally and educationally.

Adding to the disparities in educational opportunities in our country, families with means are able to hire teachers or tutors or college students to work daily with small pods of kids while other kids are left alone to learn remotely, often with minimal involvement from adults.


But here’s what’s been quite OK about our granddaughter’s experience so far with remote Kindergarten. The school has encouraged parents or other adults to allow the kids to work independently and, from what I observed, they are. Five weeks in, Ray is still enthusiastic.


To mute or un-mute, that is the question
By day two of school, every kid in the class knew how to mute and un-mute themselves. [Yes, this is a rather sad notion.] Before the first week was over, each 5-year-old could log on to the computer independently, find the class schedule and get in to the Zoom meeting, tapping all the right prompts, a feat many in my generation still can’t do.


There are many appropriate breaks during the day that allow for small group work with the teachers as well as independent work in the home. Some of this work can be done without the help of an adult; others require some supervision. The school day ends earlier than in-school classes. On a regular basis, the teacher asks all the kids to un-mute themselves and say in unison “I am smart! I am strong! I am unique!”


There are Zoom small meetings within the larger ones so that the kids can talk and ask each other questions, talk about their art projects, their weekend plans, their emotions and their favorite toys. There’s a star of the day where a new kid is introduced to the class. Ray’s teachers have figured out how to foster interaction among her classmates.


And, her favorite part of each day is a Taekwondo lesson taught by teacher Oli. In addition to the moves she’s learning, Oli includes a daily discussion on the philosophy of this martial art and why its “pillars” are important.


Remote Kindergarten is far from ideal. Kids need to be playing with other kids; they crave the daily interactions with their peers and the need to feel part of a school community. For a New York City denizen, Ray had the daily park experience where she played for hours with kids she didn’t know but wanted to play and interact. She laments about not playing with friends and talks constantly about her plans “when the virus is over.”


A fly on the wall
Being a fly on the wall for two weeks of remote Kindergarten gave me a glimpse into the Herculean task these teachers have and how much planning and work has gone in to the process thus far. It’s impressive. It’s also allowed me to observe the rich diversity of Ray’s class and what each little one brings to school each day. It’s also provided some good laughs.


At one of the class meetings, Oli asked the kids to tell them about a project they’re working on. Ray raised her hand, waited to be called on, un-muted herself, and held up a postcard. She explained she had put the stamps and mailing labels on the cards.


Oli looked carefully at the card and said: “Oh, are those cards to remind people to vote?”


To which Ray replied “Yes, but not for Donald Trump, of course.”


Toby Simon is a frequent contributor to ConvergenceRI.


For the complete story, go to:,6117


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.

Nourishment for the soul of grandparents

Nourishment for the soul of grandparents – by Toby Simon/ConvergenceRI

October 27, 2020/Richard Asinof


Nourishment for the soul – in a pandemic, when grandkids connect with grandparents


Photo: Ray practicing Taekwondo on Zoom as part of her Kindergarten classes.


As Joe Biden looked out at an audience of senior citizens and asked earnestly: “How many of you haven’t been able to hug your grandchildren for the past 8 months?” I was reminded once again of our good fortune. This has not been our experience with four of our six grandkids.


The majority of my friends have been deprived of visits with their grandkids since families are so spread out these days. Yes, everyone has upped their Zoom and FaceTime skills with their grands, and most have created ways to stay in touch remotely on a daily basis. But my friends are also really, really sad to not be able to see their grandkids in person.


Nothing does more for replenishing the soul than our grandchildren. They nourish us and we crave it. They love our visits and when they’re over, we start planning the next one.


A quick Google search on the topic mainly addresses how grandparents can stay connected with their grandkids during COVID. I didn’t see much on becoming a Kindergarten teaching assistant for remote learning.


A new career twist
Our granddaughter Ray’s first two weeks of remote Kindergarten at her New York City public school took place at our home in Wellfleet. As has been the case since the pandemic began, Peter and I have been available to take on some of the childcare responsibilities for two of our three kids’ families while their parents work. With school starting, Peter and I were busy:  he played with our 2-year-old granddaughter Shirley, while I attended remote Kindergarten with Ray.


Forgive me for stating the obvious, but I do not know how families are managing to do what’s required during this pandemic without help. I know there are many families where this is impossible and the consequences will not be insignificant. It’s overwhelming and hard and frustrating and challenging.


Those parents lucky enough to still have jobs need to work plus pay attention to their young ones’ educational, emotional and social growth and development. With a toddler under foot or a baby in arms or another school-age kid, it’s even more daunting. When families can rely on grandparents or other family members driving distance away, this can be a remedy.


Zoom, zoom, zoom
My expectations for remote Kindergarten weren’t much. How can any teacher manage a bunch of squirmy five-year-olds in a Zoom classroom? What would the day look like? Would kids just sit in front of a computer for four hours each day? What techniques could be used to engage little ones?


There has been lots of negative reactions aired so far about remote learning: it requires much adult attention; kids claim it’s boring; and parents are frustrated with how the teaching is going – and parents worry whether their kids are falling behind both emotionally and educationally.

Adding to the disparities in educational opportunities in our country, families with means are able to hire teachers or tutors or college students to work daily with small pods of kids while other kids are left alone to learn remotely, often with minimal involvement from adults.


But here’s what’s been quite OK about our granddaughter’s experience so far with remote Kindergarten. The school has encouraged parents or other adults to allow the kids to work independently and, from what I observed, they are. Five weeks in, Ray is still enthusiastic.


To mute or un-mute, that is the question
By day two of school, every kid in the class knew how to mute and un-mute themselves. [Yes, this is a rather sad notion.] Before the first week was over, each 5-year-old could log on to the computer independently, find the class schedule and get in to the Zoom meeting, tapping all the right prompts, a feat many in my generation still can’t do.


There are many appropriate breaks during the day that allow for small group work with the teachers as well as independent work in the home. Some of this work can be done without the help of an adult; others require some supervision. The school day ends earlier than in-school classes. On a regular basis, the teacher asks all the kids to un-mute themselves and say in unison “I am smart! I am strong! I am unique!”


There are Zoom small meetings within the larger ones so that the kids can talk and ask each other questions, talk about their art projects, their weekend plans, their emotions and their favorite toys. There’s a star of the day where a new kid is introduced to the class. Ray’s teachers have figured out how to foster interaction among her classmates.


And, her favorite part of each day is a Taekwondo lesson taught by teacher Oli. In addition to the moves she’s learning, Oli includes a daily discussion on the philosophy of this martial art and why its “pillars” are important.


Remote Kindergarten is far from ideal. Kids need to be playing with other kids; they crave the daily interactions with their peers and the need to feel part of a school community. For a New York City denizen, Ray had the daily park experience where she played for hours with kids she didn’t know but wanted to play and interact. She laments about not playing with friends and talks constantly about her plans “when the virus is over.”


A fly on the wall
Being a fly on the wall for two weeks of remote Kindergarten gave me a glimpse into the Herculean task these teachers have and how much planning and work has gone in to the process thus far. It’s impressive. It’s also allowed me to observe the rich diversity of Ray’s class and what each little one brings to school each day. It’s also provided some good laughs.


At one of the class meetings, Oli asked the kids to tell them about a project they’re working on. Ray raised her hand, waited to be called on, un-muted herself, and held up a postcard. She explained she had put the stamps and mailing labels on the cards.


Oli looked carefully at the card and said: “Oh, are those cards to remind people to vote?”


To which Ray replied “Yes, but not for Donald Trump, of course.”


Toby Simon is a frequent contributor to ConvergenceRI.


For the complete story, go to:,6117


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.

3rd Annual Greater Newport Chamber job Fair

3rd Annual Greater Newport Chamber In-Person Job Fair

October 27, 2020/RINewsToday


The 3rd Annual Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce Free Job Fair


Don’t miss the free Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce Job Fair on Thursday, October 29th from 1-5 PM at the former Newport Grand parking lot located at 150 Admiral Kalbfus Blvd, Newport.


In keeping with the Take It Outside RI campaign, the event will take place outdoors under a large tent while adhering to COVID-19 related safety protocols. Parking is free.


Employers from all industries throughout the state are welcome to participate at no charge. Employer tables are available on a first come first serve basis. To reserve, email


For more details and a continuously updated employer list visit Greater Newport Chamber of Commerce.


Confirmed to date:


Lifespan/Newport Hospital
Liberty Tax


Working Cities
RIMTA & Polaris: Manufacturing and Marine Trades jobs statewide
Connect Real Estate
Skills for RI
Child & Family Services
The Chanler at Cliff Walk
Home Depot
Lucy’s Hearth
James L Maher Center
Visiting Nurse Home & Hospice
St. Clare Nursing Home
John Clarke Retirement Center
American Labor Services
Silva, Thomas, Martland & Offenberg
JPS Construction
Embrace Home Loans
Advanced Remarketing Services


For more details:


Test Positivity a Mess in the US

Test Positivity a Mess in the US

October 27, 2020/RINewsToday


Interpreted correctly, test positivity can tell us so much that we need to know about COVID-19 outbreaks and testing in the United States. But we don’t publish test positivity calculations for US states and territories. Here’s why.


In almost every dashboard and plan for state and local reopenings—or re-closings—in the United States, the test positivity rate plays a starring role.


On the surface, the calculation for test positivity (also known as percent positive) is simple: Divide the number of positive tests by the total number of tests, in a select period of time, then multiply the result by 100. That number should give us the percentage of tests that have come back positive. 


Test positivity can help us understand whether an area is doing enough tests to find its COVID-19 infections. The metric is widely used by local, state, and federal agencies to roughly gauge how well disease mitigation efforts are going. Put simply, when test positivity is high, it’s likely that not enough tests are being done and that most tests that are done are performed on symptomatic people. Both of these factors—insufficient testing and only testing people who feel sick—make it very likely that many cases are going undetected. 


Unfortunately, there are two big problems with using test positivity as a sole or even most prominent way to measure an area’s performance and virus transmission. The first is that test positivity is not actually as easy to interpret as it looks: To understand what an area’s test positivity rate means, you need to know quite a bit more about that area’s viral prevalence (how many infections there are) and testing utilization (who is getting tested). This part is complicated enough that we wrote—and animated—a whole post about it. The very short version is that it’s impossible to interpret the metric accurately without looking at other factors, because test positivity reflects the percentage of people tested who have the virus, but not necessarily the percentage of the whole population that has the virus. But you should read the whole post; it’s great.


The second problem with relying on test positivity as a single measure of an area’s COVID-19 prevalence or response is that the underlying numbers used to calculate test positivity are counted differently in different places. In the absence of federal standards, US states and territories report their “total tests” data in several different ways. We also wrote a whole post about the many ways states report total tests and how we work with this data, if you want the deep dive.


Right now, our project compiles three ways of counting total tests: in “unique people” tested, in “test encounters” (unique people tested per day), and in “specimens tested.” Those different methods are best understood as producing three different testing metrics:

  • Unique people tested counts each person just once, no matter how many times they are tested over time, and no matter how many swabs are taken from them. 
  • Specimens tested counts every sample taken from a person (via nose swab, for example) and run through a testing machine. Every time a person is retested, this metric counts them again. In some places and at some times, multiple specimens are taken from a single person—specimens tested counts each one separately.
  • Test encounters split the difference between the other two metrics. They count unique people tested per day. If a person is retested within a day, all the tests count as one test encounter. If they’re tested across multiple days, each new day counts as a new test encounter. If multiple specimens are taken for a single test, only the first one counts. Because retesting often takes place over many days, and we don’t generally see very many tests done using multiple specimens, test encounters usually produces a number slightly smaller than specimens tested, but often quite a bit larger than unique people tested.


The difference between these metrics is especially marked for states that do extensive retesting (or “serial” testing), since specimen and test encounter testing metrics capture retests, but the unique people testing metric does not.1


But why are we talking about these arcane differences in the way jurisdictions report tests? Because test positivity can change dramatically depending on which total test metric you use as the denominator. And different states, government agencies, and non-governmental institutions and projects prefer different testing metrics in their test positivity calculations.



Different denominators can produce wildly divergent test positivity rates


Consider the case of North Dakota. The state’s public health authorities calculate its test positivity rate as cases over tests, while until a few weeks ago, the Johns Hopkins Testing Tracker calculated North Dakota’s test positivity rate as cases over unique people tested.2 Because North Dakota does a very large number of retests, the state’s specimens-based total tests number was—and is—much higher than its unique people number. On September 10, 2020, the last day when Johns Hopkins and several other trackers used unique people tested as the denominator for the state’s test positivity rate, North Dakota reported 333 new cases, 6,360 new total tests, and 1,333 new unique people tested, suggesting that North Dakota was doing a lot of retesting.


This difference in total test counts produces huge differences in test positivity calculations. On September 10, North Dakota’s test positivity rate was 5.2 percent if you calculated it using the larger (specimens) testing metric—and this is how the state calculated it for their official COVID-19 dashboard. But if you calculated it using the smaller (unique people) testing metric—as Johns Hopkins and several other third-party organizations did, using the data we compile—you would get a test positivity rate of 24.9 percent. 


Importantly, neither of those test positivity rates is actually wrong—they just measure different things. But which way is the most useful right now? We took a look at the way various government agencies or public health organizations do the calculation.


Three main ways to calculate test positivity


The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention offer a reasonably detailed discussion of the various ways to calculate test positivity, including a version of the following figure.


Importantly, each of these methods of calculating test positivity provides a different view of a given outbreak, and of an area’s response.

  • Method 1 (test over tests) uses a numerator and denominator that both include retests, which makes it helpful in understanding how many tests are being done compared to the number of infections in a given area. 
  • Method 2 (people over tests) pairs a numerator that excludes retests (people) with a denominator that includes retests (tests). In many jurisdictions, this method is the only option based on the available data. 
  • Method 3 (people over people) uses a numerator and denominator that both exclude retests, and is therefore especially helpful in validating case count growth (or declines) in a given area. 


Importantly, these methods often produce highly divergent test positivity rates. Only five US states publish all four metrics (positive tests, people with positive tests, total number of tests, and total people tested) required to calculate test positivity using all three methods. But even with a sample of only five states, we can see how widely the three methods can differ in practice.


Test positivity rates using state data compiled by CTP for the week 9/25-10/1, calculated as (week of positive tests or people)/(week of total tests or people tested):

State Method 1 (tests/tests) Method 2 (people/tests) Method 3 (people/people)
Maryland 2.81% 2.25% 5.57%
Massachusetts 0.89% 0.75% 3.33%
Missouri 10.25% 4.65% 17.18%
Rhode Island 1.15% 0.87% 3.79%
Wyoming 5.89% 6.23% 15.38%


Which way is the right way?


The CDC indicates thatit calculates test positivity as positive tests over all tests (in our terminology, we understand “all tests” to be “specimens tested”—method 1, in the CDC’s terms) with the following rationale:


Data received at the federal level are de-identified and, therefore, are not able to be linked at the person level for de-duplication. This prevents CDC use of methods 2 (people over test) and 3 (people over people) in Figure 1 above.


This explains how the CDC itself calculates test positivity, but avoids making any recommendations about how states and territories should calculate their own. As far as we can tell by reverse-engineering some of the reports they continue to choose not to publish, but which were leaked, the White House Task Force also calculates test positivity using positive tests over all (specimens) tests, or method 1.


Resolve to Save Lives, a nonpartisan public health initiative headed by Tom Frieden, a former head of the CDC, recommends using people-based testing metrics: “If possible to report on unique individuals rather than tests, then this is preferred and should be explicitly stated.


The method Resolve to Save Lives recommends—method 3—is one that the CDC and White House Task Force claim to be unable to use because they work with de-identified data, but is a method available to any states that can keep up with the ongoing work of de-duplication required to identify unique people tested.


The Johns Hopkins Testing Tracker data team has confirmed that they calculate test positivity using cases as the numerator and The COVID Tracking Project’s totalTestResults API field as the denominator. This field uses test encounters if they are available, then falls back to specimens tested if they are available, then unique people tested where no other test metric is available.3


For our part, The COVID Tracking Project does not directly calculate test positivity rates—and we will not do so until we are confident in our ability to communicate precisely about these complex issues in our annotations and visualizations. Nevertheless, our data is being used to perform the calculation, and we want to demonstrate the variety of ways in which test positivity gets calculated. 


We can’t fix the mess, but we can highlight it


After many conversations with state officials, public health groups, and members of our advisory board, we made several changes over the summer to the way we display and distribute total tests data to help bring these complexities and inconsistencies into the light. (We detailed these changes in our total tests blog post and on our total tests documentation page.) 

Several states now report total tests in test encounters, our preferred metric for the charts and visualizations we produce, and in our totalTestResults API field. This change had the knock-on result of bringing North Dakota’s test positivity rate at the Johns Hopkins Testing Trends dashboard much closer to the state’s internally calculated test positivity rate. But on the national level, the confusion remains. To consider just one example, if we drop one state down on the map from North Dakota, South Dakota has a 23.6 percent seven-day average test positivity on the Johns Hopkins Testing Trends dashboard (and COVID Exit Strategy) right now, but an 11.1 percent seven-day average test positivity rate on the state’s official dashboard. Although there are many other factors that can produce variance between a state’s internally calculated test positivity rate and those derived from public data, many can be largely or entirely explained by the use of different total test metrics. 


Until every state reports their most basic COVID-19 data in the same way, direct test positivity comparisons across states remain an intractable problem. In the meantime, acknowledging that we are all trying to make the least-worst decision available at any given time, we offer a few words of advice for our API users who calculate test positivity—and for the agencies and organizations using those calculations to make policy:

  • Before you calculate test positivity using the data we compile, we recommend a careful reading of the data definitions for each API field and our total tests documentation to see all the available options for calculating test positivity. It is important to note that not all total test units have complete time series available.
  • However you choose to calculate test positivity, we recommend including clear, prominent notes or disclaimers about the inconsistencies inherent in this dataset and the resulting variations in the calculated test positivity rates.
  • Given that some state governments set policy based on internal and third-party test positivity calculations, we recommend that our API users report test positivity as a seven-day rolling average, rather than a single-day value, to avoid the jitters and spikes produced by backlogs or other temporary data-reporting anomalies. (Note: Prolonged and truncated time series can significantly skew the percentages.)


No single measure of the US public health response to COVID-19 should be considered in isolation, and this is especially true of test positivity. Unless we can help data users understand how test positivity is calculated for each jurisdiction, it’s impossible to responsibly compare test positivity across states and territories that report in so many different ways—only some of which we’ve been able to address in this post. In our upcoming third post on test positivity, we’ll be publishing a comprehensive comparison of yet more factors that can produce substantial divergence in calculations across jurisdictions. 


In the meantime, we would encourage our data users—including those in state governments seeking to measure the outbreaks of neighboring states—to use all available data points in their evaluations of any given state or territory’s outbreaks or public health response. COVID-19 case counts, testing totals, hospitalizations, and death figures all help us understand a given jurisdiction’s experience of the pandemic, particularly when viewed alongside public data on local testing strategies. And we particularly and emphatically recommend against an over-reliance on test positivity calculations to justify changes in public health responses or policies.


Reprinted from:


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse voted against the nomination of Amy Cony Barrett for Supreme Court justice on Monday.  Body camera footage showing the police response to the moped crash of Jhamal Gonsalves in Providence is released.  The governor and state house speaker must appear for testimony in a lawsuit against the state's truck-tolling program.

>>RI Senators Vote Against Barrett Nomination

(Washington, DC)  --  Rhode Island's two Democratic senators were among the "no" votes regarding the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett for U.S. Supreme Court judge on Monday.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse during his floor speech continued to rail against the "dark money" he said influenced the selection.  Whitehouse later said this was a sad day for the Senate and the Supreme Court, and that his Republican colleagues put the rule of "because we can" over tradition and precedent.  Senator Jack Reed said all evidence indicates Barrett's ideology will deliberately make it harder for people's voices to be heard and for justice to be served.

>>Body Camera Footage Released From Jhamal Gonsalves Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department released body camera footage on Monday showing an officer response to the crash of moped driver Jhamal Gonsalves.  The crash from earlier this month has left Gonsalves in a coma and sparked protests because he was being followed by a police cruiser.  But the videos released on Monday do not answer key questions investigators have, including whether the cruiser driven by officer Kyle Endres actually hit the moped.  Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Paré [[ PARRY ]] said yesterday he expected a preliminary reconstruction report to be completed within a week.

>>Schools In Providence, Cumberland, Richmond, Woonsocket Switch To Virtual Learning

(Undated)  --  More schools in Rhode Island are making coronavirus-related learning plan adjustments.  La Salle Academy in Providence says students will learn remotely for the rest of the week after a teacher tested positive.  Elsewhere, students at Cumberland High School, Richmond Elementary School, and Governor Aram J. Pothier Elementary and Citizens Memorial Elementary School in Woonsocket are all making similar switches because of virus cases.

>>New Rhode Island Lottery Director Nominated

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo is announcing the nomination of Mark Furcolo as the new lottery director in the state.  Furcolo is leaving his position as head of the RI Department of Revenue.  As lottery director, he will succeed Gerry Aubin, who retired earlier this year.  Raimondo has also nominated Jim Thorsen to serve as the state's new revenue director.  Thorsen's most recent position was U.S. Treasury Department budget advisor; he also worked on the Rhode Island health insurance exchange and for the RI treasurer's office.

>>Raimondo, Mattiello Required To Testify In Truck Toll Lawsuit

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Raimondo and Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello will have to appear in court to explain the state's tolling system for trucks.  The Providence Journal reports a federal judge on Friday denied a motion by those two, and one other lawmaker, to quash subpoenas seeking the testimony in a lawsuit brought on by the trucking industry.  Raimondo and Mattiello had argued legislative privilege protected them from testifying.

>>State Attorney General Charges Over Half-Dozen Contractors

(Providence, RI)  --  The state attorney general's office is charging eight contractors over alleged substandard and unfinished construction work.  Four of the contractors are facing felony charges for failure to comply with a final order from the Contractor's Registration and Licensing Board.  The A.G.'s office says the contractors have allegedly failed to pay over 115-thousand dollars in restitution to homeowners.

>>Inspire Brands Eyes Dunkin' Takeover

(Sandy Springs, GA)  --  Dunkin' is on the verge of being taken over.  The New York Times says Georgia-based Inspire Brands is working on a deal to purchase Dunkin's parent company.  Inspire owns several famous brands, including Arby's and Buffalo Wild Wings.

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

10-27-2020 00:39:07

Culture Shock - A new world of business.

Culture Shock – A new world of business.

October 26, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


What is it like adapting to a new business culture? I have had this experience myself several times, and I found certain cultures easier to adapt to than others. Some places are rather rough and tumble, while others are fairly structured and process oriented. I found the companies that most reflected my personal style were easier for me to acculturate to.


If giving advice to help new members of any organization, especially when noticing that the culture is very different, and expectations are not what you expected, I would first provide the all-important laundry list of “dos and don’ts.” Without these guidelines, failure is bound to happen, and very quickly. However, there are a couple of general principles and practices which are helpful in many situations where business culture is an issue. The eHow website is surprisingly useful in supporting a new employee to an unfamiliar organizational culture. I read their suggestions wishing I had some of these helpful hints available to me when I went crashing into my new assignment.   (


  1. Be open-minded and don’t judge everything as to being wrong or negative. Hold back your judgment and try to observe and understand everything new around you.


This advice would have been helpful to me, as my first public comments about my new office space were along the lines that it was a “toilet”.  I was angry because I had not been given a tour of the area before I was hired. My previous company had recently built an amazing office area, and I was a key contributor to the design as well as the construction plans. Unfortunately, my negative observation was only one of many comments I made in the first few years of my employment. I started off on the wrong foot, and it has been an uphill battle ever since.


  1. Don’t filter a behavior or a reaction to your own understanding or to your own culture. Try to understand why a comment has been used or said, it might be their way of greeting. Try to explore and give it time, you might realize after a while why something was said or done.


I had come to my company directly from a competitor. For the longest time people referred to me by a pejorative name for that company They said I came from “The Evil Empire” or “The Dark Side”. At first, I found these remarks mildly amusing, but after a while I became very upset when hearing them. It was like being one of the New York “Yankee in Red Sox territory (and yes, I am a Yankees fan, too). I became defensive and fought back with comments like “Well, the Evil Empire is cleaning your clock.” (Which they were.)  And “if you want to know how to win a contract, maybe you’d want to know how the Dark Side does it.” I now finally realize (after 8 years) that my company has a fear of the competition, and that my former employer had eroded much of my mew company’s business, even business that was sole source. There is huge resentment that they were outsmarted and outmaneuvered by the competitor. My point has always been that my new employer just needs to get better but having a “Yankee” in their midst was just too much for a lot of people.


3.  It’s very important to get to know people from the place. The best way to overcome this culture shock is by meeting the locals. Getting to know their habits and behaviors which we might learn to live better than our own cultural ways.


After eight years in the company, I finally understand what motivates people. There are a few important things to know about the culture’s habits and behaviors. The most important cultural issue to remember is you must establish a network and make connections at the director level and above. Also, if a VP doesn’t know who you are, you could easily be eliminated when it comes time for layoffs. Since the company is so bureaucratic, access to the top is very limited, so it’s best to lay the groundwork with decision makers and influencers and network to keep those connections fresh, as your job may some day depend on it. Other habits I find interesting are the constant stoking of the rumor mill, as well as the more serious problem of theft. Power cords, CDs, and other items both personal and company are routinely stolen. I had to learn to lock my door if I had valuables in my office.


  1. It’s always important to be happy and to maintain a sense of humor. Laughing and being happy will allow you to adjust quickly and it will certainly help you make friends faster.


Finding a few good friends to share a laugh with is really vital. I scheduled regular lunches with one or two people on a routine basis, just for the sake of sanity. Also, I collected Dilbert comics that my work friends and I share. Some hit the nail right on the head. As we say, “You have to laugh, or you’d cry.”


If we are lucky, we’ll all experience a new culture at work, whether through management change or job change It’s keeps us fresh and helps us become more flexible. I’ve learned over the years to become more sensitive to other cultures, and not feel so threatened when I’m challenged or slighted. My perspective is that it’s their problem, and I’m not going to make it mine. I stay calmer and more in control, and that helps me perform better and better adapt to that new world. After all, when in Rome, do as the Romans do.




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.

(401) 742-1965

Nursing Homes on the Frontline

AARP’s new COVID-19 Dashboard for national/local Nursing Home Data

October 26, 2020/Herb Weiss


AARP Gives a Dashboard Snapshot of COVID-19’s Impact on Nursing Homes


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging


While public health experts are predicting a second spike of the COVID-19 virus, expecting it to hit the nation as early as – now – and reaching its peak in December, AARP releases its Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard created to provide four-week snapshots detailing the infiltration of the virus into the nation’s nursing homes and its impact on residents and staff.  AARP’s latest Public Policy Institute analysis is the result of the Washington, DC-based aging advocacy group’s successful efforts to push for the public reporting of nursing home COVID-19 cases and deaths.


Using data collected by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services—which is self-reported by nursing homes—the AARP Public Policy Institute, in collaboration with the Scripps Gerontology Center at Miami University in Ohio, created the AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard to provide four-week snapshots of the virus’ infiltration into nursing homes and impact on nursing home residents and staff. The first release of the dashboard on October 14 reveals that nursing homes in every state reported shortages of PPE, ranging from 8 percent of facilities in the best-performing states, to 60 percent in the lowest-performing state. The dashboard also compared state and national data on COVID-19 cases and deaths, staff cases and staffing shortages.


Key Findings of AARP’s First Dashboard


The AARP Public Policy Institute will analyze data and report on key findings as the dashboard is updated over time.  Here are some observations about AARP’s first Dashboard (using data from August 24 to September 20, in which 95 percent of the nation’s 15,366 nursing homes submitted data for this time period):


According to the database, in every state, nursing homes indicated a shortage of PPE (defined as not having a one-week supply of N95 masks, surgical masks, gowns, gloves and eye protection during the previous four weeks). Nationally, about one quarter (25.5 percent) of nursing homes had a PPE shortage during the Aug. 24 to Sept. 20 reporting period. In the highest performing state, 8 percent of nursing homes had a PPE shortage; in the lowest-performing state, 60 percent did not have a one-week supply.


The researchers note that while considerable attention has been paid to infections among nursing home residents, it is also critically important to consider direct-care staff. In the four weeks ending Sept. 20, one-quarter (24 percent) of nursing homes had at least one confirmed COVID-19 case among residents, and twice as many (50 percent) had at least one confirmed staff case. Per 100 nursing home residents, there were 2.6 COVID-19 resident cases and 2.5 staff cases, corresponding to a total of about 55,000 cases nationally.


Finally, there is considerable variation across states. COVID-19 deaths in the four weeks ending Sept. 20 averaged 0.5 per 100 residents across the nation (about 1 out of every 200 residents). At the state level, the death rate was as high as 1.2 per 100 residents (about 1 out of 80), and several states reported no resident deaths in the past month.


Looking at Rhode Island, AARP’s first dashboard detailed the following: 


·         2.2 COVID cases per 100 residents

·         0.2 COVID deaths per 100 residents

·         1.7 staff cases per 100 residents

·         19.7 percent of nursing homes without a 1-week supply of PPE

·         28.9 percent of nursing homes with staffing shortages


AARP’s dashboard will be updated every four weeks to track trends over time and will evolve to include more categories to follow other measures of interest.


As Others See It – in Rhode Island


“We have been very clear in our messaging: No state has done a good enough job to protect nursing home residents and staff,” said AARP Rhode Island State Director Kathleen Connell. “That said, it is good to see that in the first round of data postings on the AARP Nursing Home COVID Dashboard shows Rhode Island in better-than average shape compared to other states. But to our point, anyone in Rhode Island with a loved one in a nursing home expects – hopes and prays – for more than ‘better than average.”


“As we see daily reports of increased cases and deaths, safety concerns for nursing home residents and staff should be increasing as well. The pandemic is far from over and among many complicated aspects of dealing with it is transparency. The COVD Dashboard provides the public with a benchmark and tracks monthly changes; people need to pay attention and demand action at all levels to make nursing homes safer. These aren’t just numbers. These are lives,” says Connell.


On the other hand, the Rhode Island Department of Health questions the accuracy of AARP Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard as it relates to its Rhode Island findings. “The data don’t accurately reflect the Rhode Island reality in part because of how the questions are phrased,” says Joseph Wendelken, RIDOH’s Public Information Officer, specifically related to PPE data. “The question asks about PPE in the nursing homes. Nursing homes receive a weekly supply of PPE from their corporate warehouses. The question asks about one point in time. On occasion, reporting happens shortly before facilities receive their re-supply,” he says.


“RIDOH has taken several steps to protect nursing home residents, says Wendelken, noting that his department has built Congregate Setting Support Teams to conduct targeted to facilities regarding infection control, PPE, testing, and staffing. 


“We have weekly contact with facilities. We’ve worked with facilities to develop creative plans for reopening. We have implemented regular testing of staff every 10 to 14 days. We will take the lessons and experience we’ve gained from these past seven months and apply them to the increase in cases we see today,” adds Wendelken. 


According to Scott Fraser, President/CEO, of the Rhode Island Health Care Association (RIHCA), the AARP analysis shows what his organization has been saying in the last few weeks and months—that COVID-19 cases in nursing homes continue to drop. “Rhode Island is below the national average in all categories measured for this dashboard,” he says, stressing that the number of cases in nursing homes is dropping as is the number of deaths,” notes Fraser.  


The successful efforts to protect nursing home residents and staff can be directly linked to the measures the facilities have taken since the pandemic first hit, notes Fraser. “We are stocking up on PPE. We initially suspended visitation.  We are testing staff regularly and residents when necessary.  We are carefully monitoring visitors and vendors who come into our homes.  We isolate and quarantine anyone who tests positive or any new resident who moves into our facilities,” he says. 


Fraser says that RIHCA continues to advocate for regular testing of vendors who come into the state’s nursing homes, including ambulance drivers, lab technicians, and hospice workers.  RIHCA continues to call on RIDOH to renew the policy of having two negative tests before a hospital patient can be released to a nursing home and to allow those certified nursing assistants who received temporary emergency certifications to obtain their permanent licenses.


A Call to Action


More than 84,000 residents and staff of nursing homes and other long-term care facilities have died from COVID-19, representing 40 percent of all coronavirus fatalities in the U.S., according to Kaiser Family Foundation’s most recent analysis released on Oct. 8. Yet in its statement announcing the release of its Dashboard, AARP charges that federal policymakers have been slow to respond to this crisis, and no state has done a good enough job to stem the loss of life. 


According to AARP, policymakers have taken some action, such as requiring nursing homes to self-report COVID-19 cases and deaths at the federal level, ordering testing, and providing limited PPE and other resources to nursing homes. But more must be done, says the nation’s largest aging advocacy group in its statement urging elected officials “to acknowledge and take action to resolve this national tragedy — and to ensure that public funds provided to nursing homes and other long-term care facilities are used for testing, PPE, staffing, virtual visits and for the health and safety of residents.”


COVID-19 cases across the U.S. are again on the rise, and nursing homes remain a hotbed for the virus, says AARP promising to “continue to shine a light on what’s happening in nursing homes so that families have the information they need to make decisions, and lawmakers can be held accountable.”


AARP has called for the enactment of the following five-point plan to protect nursing home and long-term care facility residents — and save lives — at the federal and state levels:


·         Prioritize regular and ongoing testing and adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) for residents and staff — as well as inspectors and any visitors.


·         Improve transparency focused on daily, public reporting of cases and deaths in facilities; communication with families about discharges and transfers; and accountability for state and federal funding that goes to facilities.


·         Require access to facilitated virtual visitation, and establish timelines, milestones and accountability for facilities to provide in-person visitation.


·         Ensure quality care for residents through adequate staffing, oversight and access to in-person formal advocates, called long-term care ombudsmen.


·         Reject immunity for long-term care facilities related to COVID-19.


To see AARP Nursing Home COVID 19 Dashboard, go to:





Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Protests related to the recent officer-involved moped crash in Providence continued into the weekend.  The Patriots have lost three straight.  Class sizes are being reduced in the Providence School District's Virtual Learning Academy.

>>Protests In Providence Friday Related To Jhamal Gonsalves Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  Friday night marked the fourth straight night of protests in Providence related to a police officer-involved crash.  Jhamal Gonsalves remains in a coma after his street-legal moped crashed during a police response to a large group of illegal vehicles riding in the streets of the capital city.  Protesters at one point on Friday tried to march through the Atwells Avenue dining area in Federal Hill, but were blocked off by police.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza told WPRI-TV on Friday he does not believe the incident, which remains under investigation, was race-related.  Elorza also said there has been no definitive evidence found so far that the cruiser driven by officer Kyle Endres hit Gonsalves.

>>Man Reportedly Stole Car Parked At Cumby's With Baby Inside

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department is looking for a man who stole a car with a baby inside on Saturday afternoon.  The two-month old child was reportedly inside a running vehicle parked at the Cumberland Farms on Branch Avenue when a suspect jumped inside and drove off.  Authorities say the child was found in a nearby business parking lot unharmed.  The stolen vehicle was later found.

>>Patriots Lose To 49ers

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots are in unfamiliar territory after a 33-to-6 loss at home to the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.  The loss was the worst-ever in a home game in the era of head coach Bill Belichick.  The Pats have lost three in a row and fell to a 2-and-4 record for the first time since the 2000 season.  No fans allowed again in Gillette Stadium for this one.  New England is at Buffalo next Sunday.

>>Driver Charged In Fatal Warwick Crash

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Warwick man is being charged with driving drunk and causing a fatal car crash in the city on Sunday.  Reports indicate the single-vehicle accident at around 4 a.m. on Post Road hospitalized four people; one person died at Kent County Memorial Hospital.  WJAR-TV reports the family of the victim identified her as 19-year-old Michaela Lynch.  The driver, 19-year-old Jacob Pelliccio, and the two other passengers who survived were reportedly seriously hurt. However, Pelliccio was still set to be arraigned yesterday on the charges.

>>Providence Public Schools Downsizes Virtual Learning Academy Classes

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence School District is reducing the size of its student-to-teacher ratio.  The change from 52 to 36 will allow students to have more personalized small group work.  Teachers had complained about large class sizes, said to be double the size of regular classrooms, according to a recent article from The Providence Journal.  The school district says the change was made possible by reassigning over two-dozen literacy, math and reading coaches to serve as teachers in the VLA.

>>Utilities Issues Keeping East Providence High School Classes Remote

(East Providence, RI)  --  East Providence High School students are continuing virtual learning this week because of utility problems at the school. reports a water issue had to be fixed last week, and that led to an electrical problem that will keep students out for at least this week.  Meanwhile, Silver Spring Elementary School in East Prov has reported a positive coronavirus case from a staff member, forcing the school to go to remote learning because the superintendent says many other staffers are now in quarantine.

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

10-26-2020 00:42:06

Your Coronavirus Update - Today - October 25, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 25, 2020

October 25, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Thanksgiving traditions and plans are in discussion throughout the country. What will our tables look like this year?




Patients who are in the hospital for coronavirus — those with the most severe infections — have about a 7.6% chance of dying, according to new research. That’s a significant improvement from the early days of the pandemic.


California governor says he will conduct an independent review of any vaccine that is recommended.


The 145th Annual Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show has been moved from February in New York City to Lyndhurst, a property of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to June 2021. Mrs. Patricia Craige Trotter ofCarmel, California,will judge Best in Show


Good news in unemployment figures – New filings for jobless claims in the U.S. totaled 787,000 last week, nearly the lowest total since the early days of the coronavirus pandemic. It was their lowest total since Oct. 3 and their second-lowest mark since March 14,


Roselynn Homemade Ice Cream Breakfast and Lunch in Epping, NH has decided to close its doors rather than enforce the state’s COVID-19 guidance on masks, etc.


Bahamas Prime Minister The Most Hon. HUBERT MINNIS this morning tested positive for Covid19.


Victor Davis Hanson, of the Hoover Institute commented on guns in our lives and the impact  of the pandemic, saying, “Gun sales are at record highs. When some cities take steps to defund police and some soften bail laws, citizens quietly go to the local gun store and stock up on ammunition. Many of the people who have never before owned firearms are no longer clamoring for gun control. A ‘man’s home’ is now becoming his armed castle.”


Tennis star, Iga Swiatek said she will quarantine after meeting with Polish President Andrzej Duda, who has tested positive for the coronavirus


Health officials are advising not to have blow-out candles on birthday cakes.


Some interviews with Dr. Fauci have had him indicating that it might be time for a mandatory face mask order.


Joe Biden said if he becomes president he will begin efforts to put in place a mandatory face mask order, going down to the city council level to do so, if necessary.


Democrats want to fire Warp Speed’s Moncef Slaoui and overhaul the program, if Joe Biden wins the election.


Manhattan has a new median rent, below $3,000, the lowest in 10 years, amidst soaring inventory and discounted rents.


Governor Cuomo: “There is no practical way to quarantine New York from Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Connecticut…there are just too many interchanges, interconnections, and people who live in one place and work in the other. It would have a disastrous effect on the economy, and remember while we’re fighting this public health pandemic we’re also fighting to open up the economy.”


New Hampshire is going to require testing for ice rinks to open.


Oxford Developed Covid Vaccine, Then Scholars Clashed Over Money – Early deal with Merck was scotched for fear poor countries would be left out; now university could make over $100 million with AstraZeneca if technology succeeds


Covid-19’s wintry mix: As we move indoors, dry air will help the coronavirus spread. STAT


No Santa at Macy’s this year.


Two Colorado churches have won a lawsuit which allows them to have singing and no masks.


United Airlines will no longer block the middle seat on their flights starting on Dec. 1st. Only Delta and Alaska will continue to do so.


DC reopening plans: Middle and high school staff — including asst. principals, aides, secretaries — will staff some elementary school classrooms. They will not be teaching, but rather supervising kids doing distance learning from buildings.


The NHL has canceled two of its classic events.


All ice hockey facilities in MA are closed for 2 weeks. Mew Hampshire has done a similar shut down


Elliott Management, a $41 billion Hedge Fund is moving from NYC to Florida


JAMA Network Open recently published results of a Quest Diagnostics Health Trends™ study 1 reporting a 52% drop in the detection of breast cancer during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Consumers are aggressively stocking up on various foods. And grocers are struggling to keep up with the demand. heir main concern is meat.” He explained that customers are mainly looking to buy and freeze beef and poultry — ground beef, steaks, roasts and all varieties of chicken.


Boston University now requires digital virus-status badges on campus.


The Pope has been informed that a person he met with, face to face, has tested positive.


The Chelmsford nursing facility has a COVID-19 outbreak with 5 dead, and the Massachusetts rapid response team in place since October 9th.


A dozen Boston University students were suspended for large off campus parties.


Kids are spending just 7.2 hours per week playing sports, down from 13.6 hours before the pandemic.


School districts across Massachusetts work to upgrade their ventilation systems; Fitchburg Public Schools are adding air purifiers to all classrooms. District employees are working quickly to install 350 units throughout their 8 school buildings before students return for a hybrid learning model on Nov. 2.


People in Scotland are being told to “stay at home” for Halloween and not be “tempted” to hold Bonfire Night parties




RI Data Update – next publication by state will be 10/26 at noon


Oct. 22, 2020


Oct. 23, 2020


The Big E – Train Show event – will not be held this year.


RI Nursing homes will receive $9Million to improve care –


Receiving $1-million grants are:


• Charlesgate Nursing Center, in Providence


• Elderwood of Scallop Shell at Wakefield


• Linn Health & Rehabilitation, in East Providence


• Royal at Forest Farm AKA Royal at Middletown


• Saint Elizabeth Home, in East Greenwich


• Saint Antoine Residence, in North Smithfield


• Saint Clare Home, in Newport


• West View Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, in West Warwick.


Receiving $500,000 grants are:


 • Elmhurst Rehabilitation and Healthcare Center, in Providence


• Hopkins Manor, in North Providence.


Providence schools will reduce the elementary student-to-teacher ratio of the Providence Virtual Learning Academy from 52-to-1 to 36-to-1.


Foxwoods is bringing back indoor live entertainment, with adjustments to go to 25% capacity,


Biotechnology company EpiVax Inc. received $1.1 million in funding Wednesday from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to further research efforts in the field of informatics and immunology.


RI has done its one millionth screening


Massachusetts Gov. Baker, state officials make an economic recovery announcement related to COVID-19. Gov. Baker suggested that people stay put this year. “The one thing I would say is this might be a good year — this will be a very unpopular thing to say — this might be a good year not to travel.”


Four RI bars have been closed, received coronavirus violation orders and fines:  


  • Levels Lounge, 1137 Broad Street, Providence 
  • LoVera V.I.P, 1266 Broad Street, Providence 
  • Vibe Lounge and Hookah Bar, 25 Broad Street, Providence 
  • MamaJuana Restaurant, 905 Main Street, Pawtucket 


Rhode Island has recovered almost 60% of the jobs lost in the COVID-19 pandemic shutdowns of the spring, but the remainder will take several years to reappear, according to economist, Michael Lynch.


Massachusetts reported an additional 1,128 confirmed cases of COVID-19 on Saturday, bringing the statewide total to 146,023, the highest the state has seen since May 16 – the daily positivity rate is 5.88%.


Posted in 

Updated: List of RI Nursing Home, Long-term facilities: cases and fatalies

UPDATED: List of RI Nursing Home, Long Term Care Facilities: Cases, Fatalities (10/21/20)

October 23, 2020/RINewsToday


Period ending Oct. 21th, 2020 w/increases since 10/14/2020


Cases: approx. 3,403 (25 more)


Cumulative resident fatalities: 913 (20 more)


ALSO – staff numbers are not reported in this list. This is from the RI Dept. of Health:


*As of 10/7 we had 1739 nursing home staff cases. No UPDATE from RI Dept. of Health in response to our inquiry on 10/14 or 10/21.


Keep in mind that data could be 1-2 weeks behind.


Facilities of concern: Cherry Hill, Johnston; Crestwood, Warren; Brookdale, Coventry;

Posted in 

Updated: RI School List with COVID-19 cases as of 10/23/20

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 10/17/20)

October 23, 2020/RINewsToday


RI Dept. of Health updated cases in schools as of 10/10/20


Summary – this update – approx. 300 locations – 168 new cases – 583 cumulative cases


176+ schools – 99 new cases – 334 total


123+ virtual learning – 69 new cases – 249 total


Updated from Summary on 10/10/20 – 228 locations – 148 new cases – 413 cumulative cases


135 schools – 84 new cases – 234 total


93 virtual learning – 64 new cases – 179 total


Updated from Summary on 10/4/20 – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total


Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total

Posted in 

Two big signs of hope in a bad COVID week

Two big signs of hope in a bad Coronavirus week

October 23, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Researcher from Gilead’s website


Remdesivir approved by FDA


Johns Hopkins MD’s vision for a “near cure”


Right along with the bad news of rising numbers of positives and hospitalizations, two events happened which put us back into hope for the immediate future of dealing with the coronavirus.


Late Friday, the FDA announced their approval of Remdesivir – Gilead’s antiviral known clinically as Veklury – for treatment of appropriate patients with COVID-19. Up until now Remdesivir was only available for emergency use – and came into the spotlight when it was used as part of the treatment regimen for the president of the United States.


Here is the announcement from Gilead:


U.S. Food and Drug Administration Approves Gilead’s Antiviral Veklury® (remdesivir) for Treatment of COVID-19 – First and Only FDA-Approved Treatment for COVID-19 in the United States — Shortens Time to Recovery By Five Days in Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients


Gilead Sciences, Inc. today announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has approved the antiviral drug Veklury® (remdesivir) for the treatment of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. As an antiviral drug, Veklury works to stop replication of SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19. Previously authorized by the FDA for emergency use to treat COVID-19, Veklury is now the first and only approved COVID-19 treatment in the United States. The drug is now widely available in hospitals across the country, following early investments to rapidly expand manufacturing capacity to increase supply.


In the United States, Veklury is indicated for adults and pediatric patients (12 years of age and older and weighing at least 40 kg) for the treatment of COVID-19 requiring hospitalization. Veklury should only be administered in a hospital or in a healthcare setting capable of providing acute care comparable to inpatient hospital care. Veklury is contraindicated in patients who are allergic to Veklury or any of its components; please see below for additional Important Safety Information for Veklury.


This approval is based on three randomized controlled trials including the recently published, final results of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases’ (NIAID) double blind, placebo-controlled Phase 3 ACTT-1 trial, which showed that treatment with Veklury resulted in clinically meaningful improvements across multiple outcome assessments compared with placebo in hospitalized patients with COVID-19. Based on the strength of these data, Veklury has become a standard of care for the treatment of COVID-19 in hospitalized patients.


“The approval of Veklury marks an important milestone in efforts to help address the pandemic by offering an effective treatment that helps patients recover faster and, in turn, helps preserve scarce healthcare resources,” said Barry Zingman, MD, Professor of Medicine at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine and Montefiore Medical Center, New York. “The availability of a rigorously tested treatment that can significantly speed recovery and offers other benefits such as lower rates of progression to mechanical ventilation, provides hospitalized patients and their families important hope and offers healthcare providers a critical tool as they care for patients in need.”


“Since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, Gilead has worked relentlessly to help find solutions to this global health crisis. It is incredible to be in the position today, less than one year since the earliest case reports of the disease now known as COVID-19, of having an FDA-approved treatment in the U.S. that is available for all appropriate patients in need,” said Daniel O’Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Gilead Sciences. “The speed and rigor with which Veklury has been developed and approved in the U.S. reflect the shared commitment of Gilead, government agencies and clinical trial investigators to advance well-tolerated, effective treatment options for the fight against COVID-19. We will continue to work at speed with the aim of enhancing patient outcomes with Veklury to ensure all patients with COVID-19 have the best chance at recovery.”


The incidence of adverse events associated with Veklury was similar to placebo in the ACTT-1 trial. Rates of serious adverse events (SAEs) were numerically higher in the placebo group compared with the Veklury group. Treatment discontinuation, all-cause grade 3 and 4 adverse events (AEs) and laboratory abnormalities were similar across groups. In the SIMPLE-Severe trial, the most common adverse reactions occurring in at least 5% of subjects in either the Veklury 5-day or 10-day group, respectively, were nausea (5% vs 3%), AST increased (3% vs 6%), and ALT increased (2% vs 7%). In the SIMPLE-Moderate trial, the most common adverse reaction occurring in at least 5% of subjects in the Veklury groups was nausea (7% in the 5-day group, 4% in the 10-day group).


To read the complete announcement, go here:



Other treatments mentioned in a treatment “cocktail” that are showing success in addition to the remdesivir is dexamethasone, which is a steroid; anti-inflammatories and anti-coagulants, and regeneron, along with better ventilator management. Regeneron is still not in large enough production to handle the anticipated demand. The vitamin “cocktail” of Vitamin D and Zinc (and earlier, controversial mentions of the addition of hydroxychloroquine), are often mentioned both in a treatment protocol and a prevention plan. Other immune boosting lifestyle adjustments are getting enough sleep, eating well, getting sufficient exercise, and getting a flu shot.


Vaccines – at least 4 end-stage trials are in high gear, with good early results. Some select vaccines are already in use in other countries.


Earlier this week a physician from Johns Hopkins was interviewed on national news about vaccine production as well as treatment methods.  Here is a portion of that interview where he notes the treatment methods coming on the forefront might be close to a “cure”:




Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here's the latest news:   Protests and demonstrations continuing Thursday night near the site of the police-involved moped crash in Providence that left a 24-year-old man critically injured.   The family of Jhamal Gonsalves, who was injured while being chased by police on his moped, says they do not condone any violence in protest of their son's accident.   The FBI, Rhode Island State Police, and state elections officials are ensuring residents that the voting process is safe and secure.

>>Police Called In Again As Crowds Gather Near Site Of Providence Police Chase Crash

(Providence, RI)  --  Protests and demonstrations continuing Thursday night near the site of the police-involved moped crash in Providence that left a 24-year-old man critically injured.  Jhamal Gonsalves is still hospitalized after the crash Sunday night near the Providence-Cranston line.  Police presence remains high in the area as protests have escalated this week, including Tuesday night when nearly two dozen people were arrested.  Last night's demonstrations remained relatively peaceful, despite police having to disperse the crowd shortly after midnight.   

>>Injured Man's Family Says Protests Must Remain Peaceful As Son Fights For His Life

(Providence, RI)  --  The family of Jhamal Gonsalves, who was injured while being chased by police on his moped, says they do not condone any violence in protest of their son's accident.  The Gonsalves family met with Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha Thursday to update on the investigation into the crash.  Gonsalves remains in a coma, according to the latest update.  His family says their main focus right now is Jhamal's health.

>>State Officials Host Press Conference To Ensure Safe, Secure Voting Ahead Of Election Day

(Providence, RI)  --  The FBI, Rhode Island State Police, and state elections officials are ensuring residents that the voting process is safe and secure.  On Thursday, state officials held a press conference in Providence amid growing concern over election hacks from foreign nations, voter intimidation, and more.  Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea noted all of the "noise" surrounding this year's election, but ensured a seamless process.  She adds that about half of the state's voters will have cast a ballot before Election Day, though mail-in or absentee voting.

>>Case Of COVID-19 Closes North Cumberland Middle School

(Cumberland, RI)  --  North Cumberland Middle School is the latest to move strictly online after a student tested positive for COVID-19 this week.  Online instruction will resume today, with no students or staff allowed in the building.  Cumberland Superintendent Robert Mitchell assured parents that they are working with the Rhode Island Department of Health on contact tracing now.  Anyone who has had close contact with the patient will be notified and asked to self quarantine.  

>>Rhode Island Sees Largest Daily Increase In COVID-19 Cases Since Late April

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is reporting 471 new cases of COVID-19 as of Thursday's update from Providence.  Health officials also noted that as of yesterday they have surpassed one-million tests in the state.  Yesterday's increase was the most in a single day since late April.  Since the onset of the pandemic, eleven-hundred-73 Rhode Islanders have suffered virus-related deaths.  

>>New Bedford Woman Missing For Days As Search Continues

(New Bedford, RI)  --  Police are asking the public's help in their search for a missing New Bedford woman.  Eighteen-year-old Jalakhia Finklea was last seen leaving her home in the city a couple of days ago.  Jalakhia is a member of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe.  Anyone with information is asked to call their local police department immediately.                                                                                     
Ryan Lang/djc

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

10-23-2020 00:12:48

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 22, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 22, 2020

October 22, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Seen by a highway construction site in Rhode Island




1 in 4 workers have contemplated quitting their jobs, related to the coronavirus


The EU is linking the various COVID19 apps in the region, into one centralized app


Researchers at Cornell University found that Americans were about 16% more likely to get a COVID-19 vaccine if i twas 90% effective instead of 50%. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has said it would approve any vaccine that is at least 50% effective at preventing infection or reducing disease severity, roughly the same efficacy as the annual flu shot.


Chinese drugmaker, SinoPharm Group, is setting up production lines to supply 1 billion doses of two possible coronavirus vaccines that are being tested on 50,000 people in 10 countries.


Gov. Baker in MA suggests no one give out Halloween Fun-sized candy in baskets, but large candy bars, so kids don’t go through a large receptacle searching for what they want.


New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy said he will quarantine after coming “in close proximity” with a member of his staff who tested positive


Vegas live shows will return on Nov. 6th


The global hunt for a COVID19 vaccine for kids is only just beginning — a lagging start that has some U.S. pediatricians worried they may not know if any shots work for young children in time for the next school year.


Patriots coach Belichick has come up with a new catch-phrase about his team’s working with the coronavirus – “day by day” – expect to see it stick.


Data shows the US is taking a devastating toll in mental health – with more than ½ of teenagers even discussing suicide, especially in LGBTQ communities.


New research shows 78.2 percent of people who have died from the CCP virus were over 65.


Between May 1 and Aug. 31, the National Vital Statistics System (NVSS) recorded a total of 114,411 deaths from the CCP virus, with 64.3 percent of these deaths occurring in an inpatient facility, which includes nursing homes.


Ireland is locking down hard, for 6 weeks – no bars, restaurants – only essential businesses. Numbers are exploding. With hopes for a near-normal Christmas. Different countries in the area have had the same result – more cases.


UNICEF is stockpiling over half a billion syringes for future vaccine use.


HHS officials have stated that the U.S. alone could require 650 million to 850 million syringes and needles, and that it could take two years to manufacture them.


The official COVID-19 Vaccines Committee will meet for the first time this Thursday – seen as a crucial day and a sign that the vaccines are closer to final development.


Moderna CEO expects vaccine interim results in November


Plexiglass barriers like those set up for the debate, the subject of much wrangling between the candidates, offer little coronavirus protection, scientists say.


Cuomo says non-essential travel from New York to New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania is highly discouraged due to COVID-19 spike


France considers extending COVID state of emergency until mid-February


In New Hampshire, the state attorney general’s office has fined a restaurant where at least 18 people have tested positive for the coronavirus. Fat Katz Food and Drink restaurant has been fined $2,000 for violating emergency orders after it moved a karaoke event inside.


Restaurants and retailers will be allowed to continue operating outdoors through the holiday season in Maine’s largest city.


The pandemic has halted reproductive care for millions of women afraid to go to doctor visits and have tests done


Moderna is saying December for use of their vaccine which is in its final test phase now.


80% of people say they do not wash their mask – or use a new one after each use; 8% say they don’t change or wash their mask at all.


Cathay Pacific Airlines expected to lay off 6,000 employees.


All 62 residents of a Kansas nursing home have tested positive for coronavirus, and 10 have died


Brazil sees a slow but consistent drop in both new cases and deaths since early September


Citizens Bank has joined forces with Feeding America for the third consecutive year, donating $1 million to efforts to fight hunger, according to a news release. The donation includes $133,000 directly to Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund initiative, focused on emergency food relief and support for food banks. In 2019, Citizens Bank, through its partnership with Feeding America, helped provide 12 million meals to people in need.


The CDC is now saying that everyone should wear masks when engaging in any food of transportation such as buses, cars, trains, planes, share rides, etc.


Employees of Target will receive $200 gift cards for the holiday – and salaries have been raised to reflect a $15 minimum.


Beginning 10/31, Lowe’s will offer free deliver for Christmas trees with $45 minimum order.


In England, a challenge trial of 90 is underway – subjects are infected, usually a young healthy population, and then vaccines are used to see the effectiveness.


Vaccine distribution, when available, may take on four priorities:


First groups first – in the order of priority would be: health-care workers, emergency responders, people with underlying conditions, and older adults living in group settings. And, for the first time in history, there is a recommendation that prioritizes people who score high on the CDC’s Social Vulnerability Index, which identifies factors such as poverty, lack of access to transportation, or crowded housing that are linked to poor health outcomes.


Second group: Remaining adults older than 65, K–12 teachers, school staff, and childcare workers—as well as essential workers in industries such as meatpacking that don’t allow social distancing. Residents and staff of group homes, homeless shelters, prisons, and detention centers also fit into this category.


Third group: Children, young adults under 30, and other critical workers at increased risk.


Fourth group: Everyone else residing in the U.S.


Boston schools close to all students – going to full remote today as its positivity rate goes to 5.7%


Turkey farms are expecting a big decline in holiday ordering – and also seeing a need for smaller turkeys as family gatherings shrink in numbers.


The CDC has now redefined “close contact” with someone with COVID-19 to “spending  a solid 15 minutes within 6 feet of someone who tested positive for coronavirus. On Wednesday, the CDC changed it to a total of 15 minutes or more — so shorter but repeated contacts that add up to 15 minutes over a 24-hour period now count”.


The NFL is talking about their option to delay the Superbowl in February to March.


65 million Asian garment workers have been displaced from their jobs as their countries fight COVID19


Winthrop, MA has hired a COVID-19 Inspector with full enforcement powers.


Massachusetts is planning on $51 Million more for small businesses.


COVID-19 death rates are going down in hospitalized patients, suggesting that doctors are learning more about how to treat the virus. (NPR)


First Lady Melania Trump stayed away from the campaign trail on Tuesday, citing a lingering cough from her bout with COVID-19.




RI Data:


New cases: 284 (474 on national report)


Positivity: 2.6%


Deaths: 5


Dr. McDonald of RIDOH says our mortality rates have fallen from a high of 10% in RI to less than 2%. This is due to new knowledge in how to treat the virus – use of dexamethasone (steroid), anti-inflammatories, anti-coagulants, and ventilator management.


Reports of the high incidence in Narragansett – the highest rate in the state during the week that ended Oct. 10th – could be influenced by students returning to URI. Newport had the lowest rate in the state.


The City of Pawtucket will close one day a week, mostly Fridays, through the remainder of 2020, to save funds and avoid layoffs. This is through the Workshare Program. Otherwise, hours will remain the same and voting will continue.


Tracers Hired by RI are at 14% of need, according to national data source, noting RI has “Insufficient tracers, even if the program is run effectively”


Mass MBTA predicting cuts after big losses in travel


Protests continue about the closure of Warwick’s public pool – the McDermott Pool, even though some other pools in the state are closed, others are open. – the mayor notes how many seniors use the pool and the physical layout makes distancing and safety a greater issue.


Roger Williams University in Bristol has closed one building, as 23 new positive cases were identified, connected to the Marine and Natural Sciences building. In a twist, research being done using a virus which can mimic a coronavirus and cause a positive test, is suspected.


Providence College continues to test students weekly, including asymptomatic, and after their initial 270+ outbreak, they are now testing in the single numbers, or even zero on days.


Wyatt Detention Center has over 60 cases.


Only 9 school districts in RI are fully open.


Twin Oaks will remain closed, due to 3 staff who tested positive, and a cleaning that needs to be done while all other staff are tested.


Lt. Governor Dan McKee will be joined by Command Sergeant Major Glen DeCecco of the Rhode Island National Guard and other local partners to announce 2 seasonal initiatives to support Rhode Island service members and military families across the state. The announcement will include a plan for the Lt. Governor’s annual Operation Holiday Cheer initiative which sends care packages to troops who are away from home during the holidays. 


Dr. Alexander-Scott will receive Connecting for Children and Families’ Beacon of Hope Award


Gannett offered all its employees the option of applying for a voluntary buy-out – Gannett is the owner of the Providence Journal.

The RI DBR has listed these companies for COVID19 safety violations since our last update:


Domino’s Pizza 448 Newport Ave.,
Compliance Order 10/20/2020
Little Caesar’s Pizza 529 Broad St.,
Compliance Order 10/20/2020
Versa Barbershop 308 Broad St.,
Immediate Compliance Order 10/19/2020
Majestic Nails 50 Ann Mary St., Suite 113,
Compliance Order 10/19/2020
Exchange Street Cafe 49 Exchange St.,
Compliance Order 10/19/2020
RI Market 130 Broad St.,
Compliance Order 10/19/2020
Back in Thyme Herb Garden and Kitchen 493 Main St.,
Compliance Order 10/19/2020
Underground Culture Smoke Shop 4 Main Rd.,
Compliance Order 10/14/2020
Watch Hill Outfitters 157 Main St.,
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

Beve Lounge 345 Atwells Ave.,
Compliance Order 10/14/2020


Governor’s Address

Data is not good – we have community spread all across the state and US. We have not yet crossed the threshold into a 2nd wave. Let’s buckle down now. We have to take action.

Few additional things we can do: Last week we were at 2% positivity and now we are close to 3%. We did see slight decline in hospitalizations. Still seeing double digit new hospitalizations every day.


Testing: New Binex Now Test – RI is getting 300K tests by end of year. Results in 15 minutes. What we’ll do with the tests: by Thanksgiving, we will deploy the 300K tests in K-12, in community health centers with focus in high-density communities, and in college communities. Everyone should go and get tested even without symptoms – go to – free – need an appointment. Payments: should not be paying or asked for insurance. If they are telling you that, something is wrong. Goal of 4K last week – almost met that goal. Name of game is to identify positives as fast as possible. Goal now is to identify and get people into quarantine.


Thanksgiving:  Keep it local; stay home for Thanksgiving. Celebrate with those you live with. If you are sick elsewhere, you  may not be able to get home. Consider having virtual dinner. If you go ahead determined to do a big event, we are asking you to be very careful in the 14 days leading up to Thanksgiving – avoid non-essential travel, activities, etc. Consider getting a test before the day. See Guidelines for a Safe Thanksgiving (below) – see illustration. If you have older folks or those at higher risk, put them in another room or outside. Get creative.



Colleges – we learned when students came back – they quarantined before coming here – percent was astoundingly low.


Halloween: Safe & Spooky Halloween Contest – share how you will be celebrating this year while observing guidelines. Cash prizes for best ideas in early learning centers, elementary, middle, high schools – 3 winners from each – $50. Submit ideas to – by 10/27, 4pm.


New Resource to Job Seekers through Back 2 Work program: in partnership with Google you can access virtual job matching program. Go to Jobs posting and free training programs – all free. You can also chat with “Skipper”, new virtual assistant who can direct you to training and jobs. Site will host virtual meetings with career coach and job recruiter.


Manufacturers: Announce today that RI Mfg. Assoc and RI has created a manufacturers auditor program, where person at industry audits the company for safety protocols.


Mental Health Issues – 414-LINK for adults; for children.


Family Service RI launched Be Safe Campaign – delivered 26,000 kits of basic necessities – running out of money. If you can contribute, text BESAFE to 44321. Or go to


Enforcement: Enforcement will be stepped up in the coming weeks.


Oct. 6-12 – 1,209 new cases – younger 20-24 more represented than others. 21% of RI cases. Also seeing work-related cases, particularly with socializing times – break rooms, improper mask wearing, carpooling. Also seeing cases associated with religious gatherings – 30 cases from these. Increase in social gathering size – went to 27.6 – last week it was 22.9.  Going in the wrong direction – go smaller. Some people refuse to provide information to RIDOH callers. Also people are not answering the phones.




Talks are underway for RI travel with MA and other states.


Asymptomatic cases more prominent in younger population – more than 50%.


In people who are the most sick, what are demographics?


Coronvirus in consistent – still older people, underlying illnesses.


Teachers might think they should not have students

going back to school before Thanksgiving starts.

Have not seen any widespread spread.


COVID Exit Strategies data for RI is inaccurate – we have sufficient capacity for hospitals, ICUs, and other measures.


Off-topic about ATV demonstrators – RI is planning for every eventuality – will call out National Guard if necessary – Rhode Islanders should feel confident. Feeling that Providence is out of control – no place for violence. RI State Police will supplement Providence Police, on an ongoing basis.  Also – none of the Providence Police officers were wearing masks.

Massachusetts is running this cute video to encourage testing for symptomatic and asymptomatic people:

"We Got Your Six" Vehicle Parade at the RI Vets HOme

“We Got Your Six” Vehicle Parade at RI Veterans Home

October 22, 2020/RINewsToday


Volunteers are busy completing plans for the first No Contact Car and Truck Parade to support the Rhode Island Veterans Hone residents and staff on Saturday, October 24th. The event begins at 11am at Rhode Island Veterans Home Road.  


Parade Grand Marshals are former RI Attorney General, Arlene Violet, Linda Peck (ITAM Veteran), and Liliana


Liliana is a young girl from North Kingstown who has been collecting “birthday” gifts for veterans at the home.


What is Needed!


You can help by participating if you are or know a car club, or have a Jeep, or trucks, motorcycles, antique cars, etc. In addition, there is a role for all Rhode Islanders who support the Rhode Veterans Home residents and staff to join us for the event.


The motorcade will line up and depart the Rhode Island State House at 0945AN (gather in front on the old registry side), join up with cars and trucks at the old Benny’s at 645 Metacom Ave, in Bristol at 1030AM, to join Veterans and supporters at the Rhode Island Veterans Home.




The entire event will be socially distanced with masks up at all designated gathering spots and anywhere near the Veterans Home. Remember this is a No Contact event – please do NOT leave your car.


In the military, “We Got your Six” means “I’ve got your back.” The saying originated with World War I fighter pilots referencing a pilot’s rear as the six o’clock position. It is now a ubiquitous term in the military that highlights the loyalty and cooperation found in military culture.


As the rally will note, “We support no maintenance fee increase, increased staffing and funding to care for our veterans – and, as always – we thank you for your service,” said organizer John Cianci.


Points of Contacts:


United Veterans Council of Rhode Island


UVC President Gretchen Vierling-


Cutlip (Military Women Across the Nation CP (401)862-9636


UVC Chairman, Rhode Island Legislation Committee, John Gallo (Veterans Foreign War) (401) 573-7057


UVC Chairman, Nat’l Legislation Committee, John A. Cianci (Italian American War Veteran) (860)931-4711


More details on the Facebook page group Friends of Rhode Island Veterans Home (

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here's the latest news:  State health officials are reporting another 284 new cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday's update from Providence.  Governor Gina Raimondo is warning Rhode Islanders to stay home this holiday season as COVID-19 numbers continue to worsen across the state and around the country.  Protesters and police clashing for the second night in Providence Wednesday.       
>>Five More COVID-Related Deaths Reported In Rhode Island Wednesday  
(Providence, RI)  --  State health officials are reporting another 284 new cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday's update from Providence.  So far, since the onset of the pandemic, there have been 29-thousand-123 cases confirmed by the Rhode Island Department of Health.  Five new fatal cases were reported yesterday, as eleven-hundred-69 COVID-19-related deaths have been linked to the virus.  As of Wednesday, the state's positivity rate is two-point-six-percent.
>>Governor Urging Rhode Islanders To 'Keep It Local' This Thanksgiving Holiday
(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo is warning Rhode Islanders to stay home this holiday season as COVID-19 numbers continue to worsen across the state and around the country.  On Wednesday, the governor held her weekly briefing, saying, "The numbers aren't good."  Now barely a month until Thanksgiving, Raimondo is urging residents to cancel or adjust their traditional plans and avoid family gatherings.  She says to "keep it local" this year, and avoid traveling to visit family and friends in an effort to curb the spread of the virus.
>>Police Release Footage Of Crash That Led To Protests In Providence
(Providence, RI)  --  Questions still remain after Providence Police have released new video of the events leading up to an officer-involved moped crash in the city Sunday.  Twenty-four-year-old Jhamal Gonsalves is in critical condition after the incident that has sparked protests in the city the past two nights.  Part of the footage released Wednesday shows a police cruiser hitting a stop sign that was severed in two pieces.  It's unclear whether or not that stop sign then collapsed and hit Gonsalves or if the crash occurred while the man was trying to avoid a second police vehicle coming towards him.
>>Protests Continue As Police And Demonstrators Clash In Providence
(Providence, RI)  --  Protesters and police clash for the second night in Providence Wednesday.  Dozens of demonstrators marching down Broad Street and Elmwood Avenue met responding officers head on at the Cranston line.  The two groups came together right near where Jhamal Gonsalves was injured after crashing his moped following a police chase Sunday night.  The incident sparked protests in the city the past few nights that have resulted in several arrests and a few tense moments with police.    
>>Gift Shop Owners Giving Back To Local Schools With Specialty Masks
(Providence, RI)  --  A local gift shop is doing their part to help stop the spread of coronavirus in local schools.  On Wednesday, Frog and Toad owners Asher and Erin Schofield handed out a hundred masks to students at Dr. Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School in the city.  The under-privileged students were excited to receive the masks, cheering and clapping for the Schofields as they arrived on campus.  Asher and Erin say they plan on distributing more masks throughout their local public schools in the coming weeks.
[[ note nature ]]
>>Former Navy Helicopter Pilot And Lieutenant Commander Facing Decade In Prison On Child Pornography, Enticement Charges
(Providence, RI)  --  A former Naval officer is pleading guilty to federal child pornography and other charges.  In a plea deal announced Wednesday, 45-year-old Ronald Zenga, formerly of Middletown, agreed that he would serve time in federal prison due to the nature of the charges against him.  In addition to the child porn charges, Zenga agreed to one count of enticement of a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.  With that last charge comes the mandatory minimum sentence of at least ten years in prison.                                                                                     
Ryan Lang/djc
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
10-22-2020 00:02:14

"I don't want my son's name behind what's happening right now"

“I don’t want my son’s name behind what’s happening right now….”

October 21, 2020/RINewsToday


A protest planned by groups including Black Lives Matter RI, turned ugly in Providence last night. The protest was against the Providence Police and their potential role in the accident that put motor bike rider, Jhamal Gonsalves, in the hospital, after suffering a head injury.


As the early morning hours came, 19 arrests were made, one police officer had been injured by thrown bottles and a police K-9 dog had been hurt by launched fireworks.


The demonstration and violence at the complex was, to quote one reporter was “the worst night yet” in a half a year of Providence protests.



What began as words spoken on the steps of the Knight Library quickly turned into hundreds of demonstrators, many on ATVs doing burnouts and wheelies in the streets, taking them over, and detouring cars, then heading to the Providence Police Safety Complex, downtown. Along the way chants of “Black lives matter” and “F— the Police” took up pace. Bicyclists, people in cars, and walkers joined in, and police were all but absent, at least from visible sight.


In an early confrontation, a man living in a home brought out his own sound system to address the crowd, telling them to go away and stay off his property.


At the beginning of the event, several leaders said they would shut down violence if it happened. Gonsalves’ father spoke to the group saying the family did not want the event to become violent or destructive.


One BLM leader, a woman, addressed protesters facing the police and said that they needed to be strategic, and not just get themselves arrested – and that they should go home and plan their next action.


There seemed to be multiple groups involved in the “protest” which began peacefully, disintegrating into violence as it proceeded throughout the night. Some local business storefronts were smashed, with explosive fireworks going off, and bottles and bricks being thrown.


At one point the Gonsalves family left the event. In a statement to an ABC6 reporter, Jhamal’s father said “I don’t want my son’s name behind what’s happening right now. I wanted to plan a peaceful protest during the day so the officer could be arrested. Not this.”

  • WPRI Twitter photo


Local digital reporters Bill Bartholomew and John DePetro provided live commentary as they followed the demonstrators on foot, broadcasting live on Twitter and Facebook.


RI State Police, Providence Police, and Cranston Police were on the streets.


Cranston police were credited with preventing the group from migrating into their city – setting up roadblocks on side streets and turning away riders at the Route 10 exits. A shooting on the highway was reported.


Providence Police posted this message at around midnight:


The crash that was the focus of this protest is expected to take two weeks to several months to fully investigate, but there is a press conference this morning to show new video footage and what they have learned so far about the investigation. The crash happened in the late afternoon, following a day of two to three hundred ATVs and motor bikes that were going from city to city, taking over the streets and not following traffic signals or directional travel rules. The Providence Police said the sheer size of the crowd meant no arrests or pursuits could happen, so the policy was to follow the riders with their lights on. Many videos circulated on social media taken by by-passers showing riders doing wheelies and burnouts and taunting police by gestures, etc. directly in front of their cars.


This is a developing story. We will provide a link to the press conference set for this morning on our Facebook page.

RI-based CVS at the beginning, middle, and (hopefully) the end of the pandemic

RI-based CVS at the beginning, middle – and (hopefully) the end of the pandemic.

October 21, 2020/RINewsToday


CVS Health to hire 15,000 across the U.S. in fourth quarter


At the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic Rhode Islanders could be proud of seeing CVS step forward with early prevention information and testing – being the very first fast-testing site in the US set up in a tented area at Twin River in Lincoln. Some time back it was CVS who stepped forward offering the use of pharmacy drive-ups to distribute, educate and collect self-administered tests on a grand scale. And today – CVS (along with Walgreens) will step forward to train and administer the vaccine to the groups first in need. This is expected to be nursing home patients and staff.


CVS Health today announced that it is recruiting qualified candidates to fill 15,000 jobs.


These new and existing positions will help the company continue to respond to the needs of communities across the country during the fall and winter months when the incidences of COVID-19 and the flu are expected to increase.


More than 10,000 of the new roles are for full- and part-time licensed pharmacy technicians at CVS Pharmacy locations and will be filled as soon as possible, helping increase support for patients and fellow pharmacy professionals. Many of the positions are temporary with the possibility of becoming permanent. 


The company is also marking Pharmacy Technician Day on October 20th by advocating for an expanded scope of practice that would allow trained pharmacy technicians to administer COVID-19 vaccinations under the supervision of an immunization-certified pharmacist. As an integral part of the health care system, pharmacy technicians can help fill the urgent need to safely and quickly scale distribution of a vaccine and extend the capacity of the health care workforce to address the pandemic.


“Additional team members typically are needed every flu season,” said Lisa Bisaccia, Chief Human Resources Officer, CVS Health. “However, we’re estimating a much greater need for trained pharmacy technicians this year given the continued presence of COVID-19 in our communities. These jobs offer a rewarding career opportunity, with flexible hours, advancement potential and a supportive environment while helping people on their path to better health.” 


Working under the direct supervision of a licensed pharmacist, CVS Health pharmacy technicians continue to serve as a trusted resource for patients by processing prescriptions, dispensing medications, providing information to customers or health professionals and performing administrative tasks. They also are vital to administering COVID-19 tests at more than 4,000 drive-thru testing sites at select CVS Pharmacy locations across the country. In this role, they are critical in helping to curb the spread of the virus and expand access to care, particularly in underserved communities.


Additional on-site roles that are part of the company’s recruiting effort include pharmacists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, member benefit case professionals, and distribution center employees.


Finally, to support the CVS Caremark and CVS Specialty pharmacy businesses, the company is recruiting for several thousand work-from-home customer service representative positions across the country, with hundreds of openings in several markets, including: Indianapolis, IN; Kansas City, MO; Knoxville, TN; Mt. Prospect, IL; Orlando, FL; Pittsburgh, PA; and  San Antonio, TX. These full-time opportunities start at 30 hours per week and offer a flexible schedule for people seeking to quickly get back to work. Candidates for these opportunities can easily apply online and take an online virtual job tryout.


“By leveraging CVS Health’s innovation and technology, we can help get more Americans back to work from the convenience of their own homes, where they can contribute to the company’s ongoing efforts to help solve the country’s health care challenges,” said Jeffrey Lackey, Vice President of Talent Acquisition, CVS Health.


The additional 15,000 positions are incremental to the accelerated recruiting effort that was announced in March to hire 50,000 new colleagues in support of the company’s response to the pandemic.


Opportunities for full-time colleagues include competitive pay, paid training and a generous benefits package. Job seekers can go to to apply. 


Information on steps CVS Health has taken to address the COVID-19 pandemic, including support for health care providers and clinicians facing financial and administrative strain, can be found in the company’s COVID-19 Response Report.


CVS Health is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We do not discriminate in recruiting, hiring or promotion based on race, ethnicity, sex/gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, disability or protected veteran status or on any other basis or characteristic prohibited by applicable federal, state, or local law.



About CVS Health


CVS Health employees are united around a common goal of becoming the most consumer-centric health company. We’re evolving based on changing consumer needs and meeting people where they are, whether that’s in the community at one of our nearly 10,000 local touchpoints, in the home, or in the palm of their hand. Our newest offerings – from HealthHUB locations that are redefining what a pharmacy can be, to innovative programs that help manage chronic conditions – are designed to create a higher-quality, simpler and more affordable experience. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A protest is held in Providence after a moped rider was seriously hurt during a police response in the capital city.  Coronavirus cases are reported at Roger Williams University.  A new report examines the gap between in-person and remote learning for Rhode Island students.

>>Arrests Made Following Demonstration For Injured Moped Rider

(Providence, RI)  --  More than a dozen arrests were made in connection to a protest that took place in Providence on Tuesday night following a moped crash over the weekend.  Authorities are investigating if the moped operator, Jhamal Gonsalves, was hit by a marked police car on Elmwood Avenue as police were responding to a reported large group of illegal vehicles riding in the streets.  One officer reportedly suffered minor injuries after being hit by an object as last night's rally settled at the city's public safety complex.  Reports indicate family members of Gonsalves, who is in a coma, had called for no violence at the demonstration organized by the Party for Socialism and Liberation.

>>Riders Want Safe Space; Providence Officials Had Publicly Destroyed Seized Vehicles

(Providence, RI)  --  Besides justice for Jhamal Gonsalves, protestors had another message for the city of Providence last night.  That is, for riders of dirt bikes and other similar vehicles to have a safe place to be mobile.  Bike rider Jeremy Costa told WJAR-TV the city, quote, "basically started a war" by recently destroying confiscated ATVs and dirt bikes.  It was the third time in the last several years that action had been taken publicly by the city.  Officials have said the vehicles are a large safety and nuisance problem.

>>Coronavirus Cases At Roger Williams University

(Bristol, RI)  --  New positive coronavirus cases at Roger Williams University are apparently linked to virus research.  Twenty people who either worked or studied at the Marine and Natural Sciences building at the Bristol campus recently tested positive, but officials say many of them tested negative the second time around.  Lab testing was being conducted with materials that mimic the virus that causes COVID-19, but it has been stressed that no actual virus was used.

>>Report Focuses On Remote Versus In-Person Learning

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council is raising concerns about student learning inequity caused by remote learning.  Only nine of the state's 36 districts were offering full in-person learning by October 13th, the date set by the governor.  A new report from RIPEC indicates many urban districts that were performing poorly are relying on distance-learning, and the students who can least afford to experience learning loss expected from remote learning are the most-likely to be denied in-person education.

>>Pawtucket Woman Apparently Caught Meteor On Camera

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  An apparent meteor is caught on a Pawtucket woman's doorbell camera.  Kathleen Weaver-Saunders tells WPRI-TV she was looking at footage when she saw a strange light in the sky.  The news station reports the object could have been part of the Orionid Meteor Shower.  Overnight Wednesday marked the peak of that event.

>>Providence Boxing Champ Enters Diversion Program After Gun Arrest

(Providence, RI)  --  An update on the gun charges faced in Providence by boxing champion Demetrius Andrade.  The Providence Journal reports the Providence native Andrade was accepted into a pre-trial diversion program last week.  The middleweight boxing champ was charged in the city a couple of years ago with carrying an unlicensed firearm, but that charge will be dismissed if Andrade successfully completes the program.

>>DEM Awards Grants For Portsmouth Projects

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is awarding matching grants to support a couple of projects in Portsmouth.  The grants totaling about 38-thousand dollars are for investments in boat pump-out facilities.  The recipients are Safe Harbors Sakonnet Marina and Safe Harbors New England Boatworks on the Sakonnet River and East Middle Bay.

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

10-21-2020 00:59:09

To be Black and conservative in a Blue State

To be Black and conservative in a blue state

October 20, 2020/Ann Clanton


by Ann Clanton, Contributing Writer, “Speak Up”


If Republican financial advisor, Allen Waters, overcomes the insurmountable odds and beats U.S. Senator Jack Reed, D-RI, on November 3rd, he will make history as the first African American to run for the Senate and go to the upper chamber from Rhode Island. He is the first to seek the office from the Grand Old Party (GOP) since Massachusetts Senator Edward M. Brooks from New England.


Since announcing his run in January, the Classical High School and University of Rhode Island graduate has attacked the senior Senator’s platforms on social media and with recent ad buys, primarily over the airwaves. Running as a Republican in a state that is predominately blue, with pockets of red, is a battle that the Republican candidate welcomes. He believes that as Rhode Island’s electorate becomes more diverse in cultures and positions on issues, there is room for a conservative Republican of color.


My mere presence in the political process sends a much-needed message to POC – people of color,” says Waters. People of Color, African Americans, have an opportunity to vote for a candidate who is knowledgeable of the cost of milk and bread for a family, versus concern over the United States’ standing in the world.


While this first-time Rhode Island candidate supports President Trump and will vote for him on November 3rd, Waters is neither for or against the administration’s stance for repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act. You cannot leave people hanging with pre-existing conditions,” says Waters.


Growing up the son of a city of Providence policeman, he is unabashedly supportive of law enforcement and the “Blue Lives Matter” movement. He was critical of Senator Reed for not denouncing the protest in the city of Providence during the summer that resulted in vandalism to the downtown area of Providence and Providence Place Mall.


“I think he’s a fresh face. He’s new, and he’s got a compelling story. I don’t think it’s any more complicated than that.” says his campaign manager, Micholas Credle.



An October Real Clear Politics poll shows Senator Reed’s seat is safe. However, there is evidence of politicians — especially white, male politicians with long tenures in Congress or ties to the establishment — running into trouble in recent years. The determined Republican Senate candidate continues in his quest to carry the mantle as a black conservative for Rhode Island voters.


For information on the Allen Waters Campaign go to





Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.

Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.

Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Authorities said on Monday the crash from the previous night involving a Providence police officer and a moped driver was being investigated.  The state Supreme Court won't get involved after a lower court judge refused to recuse herself in a case involving Rhode Island Hells Angels members.  An update on the city of Pawtucket's effort to acquire the Apex site.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Crash Involving Providence Police Officer, Moped Operator Still Being Investigated

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence police officer has been placed on administrative duty following a crash that left a moped driver seriously hurt, and the incident remains under investigation.  Police Chief Hugh Clements said on Monday it was not known if the officer's vehicle hit the moped operated by Jhamal Gonsalves during the crash on Elmwood Avenue on Sunday night, which police said was initially caused by the driver hitting a curb.  Clements said the incident happened during a police response to a large number of off-road vehicles that were moving through the capital city's streets.  The head of Black Lives Matter Rhode Island says the officer, ID'd as Kyle Endres, should face charges.

>>Two RI Schools Close In-Person Classes After Virus Cases

(Undated)  --  Bishop Hendricken High School in Warwick is continuing virtual learning to start the week.  School officials switched on Monday after learning over the weekend that two students had tested positive for the coronavirus.  In-person learning has also been halted at Stadium Elementary School in Cranston after a positive COVID test in the school community.  The pause will last until November 5th.

>>Judge Denies Prison Release Request For Former Cranston Coin Dealer

(Providence, RI)  --  There will be no compassionate release for former Cranston coin shop owner and convicted money-launderer Stephen Saccoccia.  The Providence Journal reports a federal judge on Monday rejected the request, which was made on COVID-19 grounds, indicating Saccoccia had not demonstrated that he was personally at risk of severe complications from the respiratory disease.  Saccoccia was convicted in 1993 for helping a Colombian drug cartel and is serving a 660-year sentence at Coleman Penitentiary in Florida.  The ProJo report indicates that facility has reported nearly two-hundred virus cases, but no deaths.

>>State Supreme Court Won't Get Involved In Hells Angels Case

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Supreme Court is siding with a judge who is refusing to step down in a case involving apparent members of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club in Rhode Island.  Purported president of the state chapter, Joseph Lancia, is charged for an alleged shooting outside the Hells Angels clubhouse in Providence in the summer of 2019.  Lancia requested Superior Court Judge Kristin Rodgers step down because her husband is a retired lieutenant with the Rhode Island State Police, but Rodgers said there was no proven bias against him or the other charged club member.  The state Supreme Court declined to intervene last week.

>>Former DLT Employee Ordered To Repay Unemployment Money

(Providence, RI)  --  A former Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training employee has been ordered to repay the state after pleading to fraudulently obtaining unemployment money.  The state Attorney General's Office reports Sareth Chea, of Providence, was ordered to pay nearly nine-thousand dollars in restitution for collecting unemployment while working at a bank.  The A.G.'s office said Chea was familiar with reporting requirements.

>>Pawtucket Mayor: Eminent Domain On The Table For Apex Property

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The city of Pawtucket is moving towards taking a long-sought-after property through eminent domain.  Mayor Donald Grebien [[ GRAY-be-in ]] notified the City Council last week that if no agreement on a sale can be reached with the owners of the Apex property, that's the direction the city will go, but stressed that the preference from the city is that the acquisition happens via a consensual sale.  The Apex site on the Seekonk River between I-95 and Main Street was previously the proposed site for a Pawtucket Red Sox stadium.  Last month, the developer of a proposed mixed-use project including a riverfront soccer stadium removed the Apex site from its plans.

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

10-20-2020 00:52:06

Social Security '21 COLA increase Anemic

Social Security ‘21 COLA Increase Anemic

October 19, 2020/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues


With the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) announcement of next year’s Social Security and Supplemental Security Income’s (SSI) meager cost-of-living adjustment (COLA), over 70 million beneficiaries will only see an increase of 1.3 percent in their monthly checks in 2021.  Last year’s COLA increase was 2.8 percent, the largest in seven years.


According to SSA, the 1.3 percent cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) will begin with benefits payable to more than 64 million Social Security beneficiaries in January 2021. Increased payments to more than 8 million Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries start on December 31, 2020. 


SSA ties the annual COLA to the increase in the Consumer Price Index as determined by the Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics. 


The maximum amount of earnings subject to the Social Security tax (taxable maximum) will increase to $142,800 from $137,700, says SSA.

The earnings limit for workers who are younger than “full” retirement age will increase to $18,960. (SSA deducts $1 from benefits for each $2 earned over $18,960.)


The earnings limit for people reaching their “full” retirement age in 2021 will increase to $50,520. (SSA deducts $1 from benefits for each $3 earned over $50,520 until the month the worker turns “full” retirement age.)


There is no limit on earnings for workers who are “full” retirement age or older for the entire year. 


Next Year’s COLA Increase Not Enough 


Max Richtman, president and CEO of the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare (NCPSSM) calls the increase as inadequate especially for COVID-Ravaged Seniors and noted that it’s the lowest since 2017.  


“The timing could not be worse. The COVID pandemic has devastated many older Americans both physically and financially.  Seniors living on fixed incomes need a lifeboat; this COLA increase is more like an underinflated inner tube,” says Richtman.


The average Social Security beneficiary will see a paltry $20 month more in benefits in 2021, calculates Richtman. “This COLA is barely enough for one prescription co-pay or half a bag of groceries. Worse yet, seniors could lose almost half of their COLA increase to a rise in the Medicare Part B premium for 2021, the exact amount of which has not yet been announced,” he warns.  


“The current COLA formula – the CPI-W – is woefully inadequate for calculating the true impact of inflation on seniors’ pocketbooks. It especially under-represents the rising costs that retirees pay for expenses like health care, prescription drugs, food, and housing. We support the adoption of the CPI-E (Consumer Price Index for the Elderly), which properly weights the goods and services that seniors spend their money on,” says Richtman. 


Examining the Growth of SSA COLAs 


Social Security checks in 2020 are almost 20 percent lower than they otherwise would be, due to the long-term impact of extremely low annual inflation adjustments, according to a newly released analysis by The Senior Citizens League (TSCL).  The analysis comes as SSA announced that the 2021 COLA will be just 1.3 percent, making it one of the lowest ever paid. 


“People who have been receiving benefits for 12 years or longer have experienced an unprecedented series of extremely low cost-of-living adjustments (COLAs),” says TSCL’s Mary Johnson, a Social Security policy analyst for the Alexandria, Virginia nonpartisan senior advocacy group. “What’s more those inflation adjustments do not account for rapidly rising Medicare Part B premiums that are increasing several times faster than the COLA,” she says, noting that this causing those with the lower Social Security benefits to see little growth in their net Social Security income after deduction of the Part B premium.  


Johnson’s COLA analysis, released on Oct. 13, compared the growth of retiree benefits from 2009-through 2020 to determine how much more income retirees would receive if COLAs had grown by a more typical rate of 3 percent. TSCL’s analysis found that an “average” retiree benefit of $1,075 per month in 2009 has grown to $1,249 in 2020, but, if COLAs had just averaged 3 percent, that benefit would be $247 per month higher today (19.8 percent higher), and those individuals would have received $18,227.40 more in Social Security income over the 2 010 to 2020 period. 


During that period COLAs have averaged just 1.4 percent. In 2010, 2011, and 2016 there was no COLA payable at all and, in 2017, the COLA was 0.03 percent. “But COLAs have never remained so low, for such an extended period of time, in history of Social Security,” says Johnson, who has studied COLAs for more than 25 years.  Over the 20-year period covering 1990 to 2009, COLAs routinely averaged 3 percent annually, and were even higher before that period. 


According to Johnson, the suppressed growth in Social Security benefits not only creates ongoing benefit adequacy issues, but also Medicare budgetary programs when the COLA is not sufficient to cover rising Part B premiums for large number of beneficiaries. When the dollar amount of the annual Medicare Part B premium increase is greater than the dollar amount of an individual’s annual COLA, the Social Security benefits of about 70 percent of Medicare beneficiaries are protected by the hold-harmless provision in the Social Security Act.  The Medicare Part B premium of those individuals is reduced to prevent their net Social Security benefits from being lower than the year before, she says. 


However, Johnson notes that the people who are not covered by hold harmless include higher income beneficiaries, beneficiaries who have not started Social Security yet and who pay for Medicare by check and about 19 percent of beneficiaries whose incomes are so low that their state Medicaid programs pay their Medicare Part B premiums on their behalf. 


Johnson says, “that a provision of a recently enacted government spending bill restricts Part B premium increases in 2021. The bill caps the Part B premium increase for next year at the 2020 amount plus 25 percent of the differences between the 2020 amount and a preliminary amount for 2021.”


Don’t look for the “potential Part B spike” to go away, warns Johnson. “Unless Congress acts to boost Social Security benefits and finds a better way to adjust benefits for growing Medicare costs, this problem will continue occur with greater frequency in the future,” she says.


Fixing SSA’s COLA Problem Once and For All


During the COVID-19 pandemic seniors are relying more on their Social Security check but continue to face cost increases each year beyond the extra income provided by the COLA, says Social Security Subcommittee Chairman John B. Larson (D-Connecticut) in a statement following SSA’s announcement of its tiny 2021 COLA increase. “It’s time to fix that by enacting the Social Security 2100 Act.,” says the Connecticut Congressman calling for passage of his legislative proposal that would strengthen SSA benefits by basing the COLA on what seniors actually spend on items such as medical expenses, food, and housing. Under this new CPI-E index, a beneficiary would experience benefits that are 6 percent higher by the time they reach age 90. 


Meanwhile, Congressman Peter DeFazio (D-Oregon) sponsored and Larson, a co-sponsor, have proposed emergency legislation to increase next year’s COLA up to 3 percent. “Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, seniors are facing additional financial burdens in order to stay safe,” said DeFazio.  “This absolutely anemic COLA won’t even come close to helping them afford even their everyday expenses, let alone those exacerbated by COVID-19. Raising the COLA to 3 percent 2021 will provide seniors with an immediate, crucial lifeline during the ongoing coronavirus crisis,” says the Oregon Congressman. DeFazio’s legislative proposal, the Social Security Expansion Act, would also provide a permanent fix to the COLA formula, like Larson using a CPI-E index to factor in seniors’ actual, everyday expenses.


Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here's the latest news: A man is in critical condition after an officer-involved crash yesterday in Providence. Gun buyback events were held this weekend in Providence and Central Falls. Speed cameras are turning back on today in Providence.

>>Officer-Involved Moped Crash In Providence

(Providence, RI) -- A man is in critical condition after an officer-involved crash yesterday in Providence. It happened on Elmwood Avenue, where the man was thrown off of a moped after a collision with a police cruiser. Authorities say the officer was investigating reports of more than 200 off-road vehicles driving through the city when the wreck happened. An investigation is underway.

>>Gun Buyback Program Held In Providence, Central Falls

(Providence, RI) -- Gun buyback events were held this weekend in Providence and Central Falls. Authorities say a total of 382 firearms were given to officers in exchange for a Visa gift card. Those returning weapons were given a 200-dollar gift card for handguns, a 100-dollar card for rifles and shotguns, and a 500-dollar card for an assault rifle or if the gun came back as stolen. Officials say the guns will be tested to see if any were involved in serious crimes. However, officers did not take down any personal information of those dropping off the guns.

>>Speed Cameras Turn Back On Today

(Providence, RI) -- Speed cameras are turning back on today in Providence. The cameras, all of which are located in school zones, were shut down in March after the COVID-19 pandemic forced schools to move classes online. Drivers who are captured by the cameras driving more than eleven miles over 20 miles per hour will be given a fifty-dollar fine. The cameras operate from seven a.m. to six p.m. on weekdays.

>>Residents, Police Discuss Increase In Some Crimes In Providence

(Providence, RI) -- Members of the Providence Police Department spoke with a group of almost fifty concerned residents yesterday about a rise in crime in the city. The officers said the department is doing what they can and urged the crowd to report crimes to the police. Some at the meeting, including Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan, called for hiring more police officers. Mayor Jorge Elorza, who did not attend the event, said the city is looking to expand intervention strategies including the Mobile Health Unit and Gun Buyback program.

>>RIDOT Reopens The Hawkins Street Bridge In Providence

(Providence, RI) -- After three years, the Hawkins Street Bridge is open again. RIDOT announced on Friday that the bridge has been successfully replaced, but added that the project is not finished and lane closures are still possible. The bridge was closed in October 2017 after an inspection revealed it was badly deteriorated.

>>Patriots Fall To Broncos

(Foxboro, MA) -- The Patriots fell to the Denver Broncos at home yesterday. The Broncos defeated the Patriots 18-to-12 behind six field goals from kicker Brandon McManus. Up next for the Patriots is a home matchup against the San Francisco 49ers this Sunday. Kickoff is set for four twenty-five in the afternoon from Gillette Stadium.

Nick Ruiz/djc

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

10-19-2020 00:46:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 16, 2020

RI Coronavirus Update – Today – Oct. 16, 2020

October 16, 2020/RINewsToday


National & International


Hanover, MA high school hockey team has 36 positive players


Blood type more important in determining course of coronavirus infection:


Vice presidential nominee Kamala Harris will suspend in-person events until Monday after two people associated with the campaign tested positive for coronavirus. The campaign said Biden had no exposure, though he and Harris spent several hours campaigning together in Arizona on Oct. 8.


Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he’ll cut funding to Orthodox yeshivas that defy local lockdowns in coronavirus cluster zones.


Europe’s financial markets fell sharply Thursday on concerns that the new restrictions will undercut the continent’s economic recovery. Stocks were down slightly on Wall Street.


A series of recent studies found that people with healthy levels of vitamin D were less likely to contract COVID-19 and suffer severe complications from it.  healthy levels of vitamin D 


With Thanksgiving around the corner, Dr. Anthony Fauci issued a dire warning about the surging coronavirus cases around the country — saying that people “may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering,” according to a report. The 79-year-old top infectious diseases doctor told “CBS Evening News” on Wednesday that his three children will not be coming home for the holiday because his age puts him at increased risk. “You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told anchor Norah O’Donnell.


Esmeralda County in Nevada, Loving County in Texas and Skagway in Alaska, which uses the term “boroughs’’ rather than “counties” are remotely located and have fewer than 1,100 residents, undoubtedly key factors in allowing them to escape the COVID19 scourge with no cases.


Boulder County, Colorado health officials have eased restrictions on gatherings of college-aged adults after coronavirus case numbers declined. Previously, anyone 18 to 22 years old was limited to gatherings of no more than two people.


Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said his country is committed to keeping the border closed until the United States gets control of COVID-19.


A new pre-travel testing program will allow visitors who test negative for COVID19 to come to Hawaii and avoid the two weeks of mandatory quarantine.


Child Labor: The coronavirus pandemic is threatening the future of a generation of the world’s children, depriving them of schooling and sending them to work. Across the developing world, two decades of gains against child labor are eroding. With classrooms shuttered and parents losing their jobs, children in Kenya are grinding rocks in quarries. Tens of thousands of children in India have poured into farm fields and factories. Across Latin America, kids are making bricks, building furniture and clearing brush, once after-school jobs that are now full-time work. Child labor is seen has a path to survival for whole countries.


The Women’s March will return to D.C. on Saturday despite concerns about preventing the spread of COVID-19,


US tops 8 million cases. Kentucky, North and South Dakota are particularly overwhelmed. Houston and Miami are preparing for 3rd surge and Colorado says it is in its 3rd wave. Oklahoma and Kansas, Wisconsin, Illinois, also.


Paris has 1/2 of ICU beds filled with COVID19 patients. Their city is on mandatory curfew at 9pm, and 8 other regions.


Rome looking at city-wide lockdowns.


Germany says it is at the beginning of a “very big outbreak”.


London is banning people from meeting anyone outside of their household at any location.


Kamala Harris’ chief of communications and another staffer test positive for coronavirus.


Joe Biden‘s staff members test positive for coronavirus, though he was not around them.


Chris Christie, who was released after spending 7 days in an ICU with coronavirus, says he was wrong not to wear a mask at the White House event. He


Football – college and pros – 21 on Florida Gators are positive. No bubbles are planned, with the likelihood they will not play their games by year end. Falcons have positive case. Patriots all set now, with Newton returned.





Smithfield High School cross country runner tests positive


March Madness at the RI Convention Center may or may not happen, depending upon the virus. RI will also host in 2024 & 2025.


Fall River has been labeled a high-risk city.


Dozens of hotel workers in RI demonstrated yesterday for their hotels to rehire them.


About a dozen Rhode Islanders have filed suit against the Governor of RI asking for a court order ending the state of emergency would “allow normal life to return and would solve the foregoing problems,” (


RI’s unemployment rate fell 2.4 percentage points in September to 10.5%. Retailers added 700 jobs last month and the hospitality sector added 600 jobs


RIDMV has Saturday morning hours to renew licenses, etc. as extensions expire Dec. 30th.


Gov. Raimondo will get weekly tests.


In Tiverton, there are 37 students and a teacher – 30 from the high school and seven at the middle school – in quarantine at home for 14 days who came into contact with that student or another person in the community who tested positive. There is also a major busing shortage that limits the ability to have more back to school capability.


Major expansions to the Restore Rhode Island Grant Program including increasing the size of potential grant awards up to $30,000 – doubling the original grant sizes. Eligibility for the program is also being increased to allow non-profit organizations and private child care facilities that have not received other CARES Act funding opportunities. Applicants who have already received Restore grants and have expenses not covered under their original grant application will be eligible to request additional funding under a streamlined process. Rhode Island Commerce will be holding an information session on these changes on Tuesday, October 20 at 10:30 AM.” You can sign up for the information session at


Cam Newton back on Patriots’ roster, might play on Sunday


US jobless claims rise to 898,000


Dr. Anthony Fauci has issued a dire warning about the surging coronavirus cases around the country — saying that people “may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering,” according to a report. He says his three children will not be coming home for the holiday because his age puts him at increased risk. “You may have to bite the bullet and sacrifice that social gathering, unless you’re pretty certain that the people that you’re dealing with are not infected,” Fauci.



Governor’s address:


RI Data:


2 deaths – both in 90s


Good news: We are doing a lot of testing and tracing.


Problem is in small gatherings, sharing food, family events, etc. We’re putting our guard downs – cases coming from intimate, indoor gatherings. “Not as many levers I can pull.” Most of the problems are happening in your home, in your backyards. Changes we have to make are in our personal lives.


If things get worse, I’ll have no choice but to pull back.


Actions we can all take:


Holidays: Halloween – cancel your parties. Young adults, no parties. Trick or Treating is allowed. Young kids need a sense of normalcy, chance to be outside. You have to wear your mask, small groups, distancing, wash your hands. If you don’t listen to this, you can get others sick. Be home before dark.


“I’m just asking you to do the right thing.”


If you insist on having a party greater than 15 people – “we will shut you down”. If you violate this you can be fined $500 per person. RI State Police will triple its enforcement around Halloween as well as local police and DBR will be out in full force at bars and restaurants. Parents, monitor your children. Cases skyrocketing 19-24.


Thanksgiving: Keep it local this year. Consider not traveling. Next week more detail and official rules will be put out. No prohibition, just asking you.


Mask-wearing: People are doing a great job in retail, restaurants, businesses. Unfortunately we need to do a better job in small, casual, social settings. In comfortable settings we let our guard down. Renewed vigilance around mask wearing. Go to your friend’s house – sit six feet apart – eat outside.  RIDOH will have new guidance around mask wearing.


Businesses:  Also too comfortable in break rooms and offices. Small break rooms are small, no windows, etc. Effective today, new regulations to close break rooms for the next 90 days. Not saying don’t take a break – employers need to find alternative, safer ways to do this. Allow more time, outside, bigger room, keep windows open, require them to keep their masks on. Regulated employers go to for details, and ideas. NOT talking about cafeterias or big lunch rooms. Not seeing problems there.


Employers: If employees can do their jobs from home, let them stay working from home.  Help your employees not to have to carpool. Seeing spread this way. Especially in manufacturing locations. Wear a mask, keep windows down, wash hands. If employers can change hours, talk to employees, etc. do that.  Encourage employees to all get tested, even if they are asymptomatic. Go to


Teachers/Principals: Talk to the kids about why they should not have Halloween parties – why they should wear masks.


College/Universities: Help us crack down on parties, etc.


Faith leaders: Doing a good job. But you have to do better. In the church is ok, but what happens after church – coffee hour, breakfast, etc.


Bus drivers: ask people – hand out masks.


Waitstaff: Get tested as asymptomatic people.


Facebook Live tomorrow with Dr. Chan from Health Dept.


Q:  PPE N95 or up masks for front line workers…do we have sufficient supplies?


A:  Medical grade PPE is in adequate supply.


Q:  Pawtucket – why so hard on them?


A:  If other cities can do this, so can Pawtucket. Hybrid is fine. To say ‘we can’t do it’ is not right. Let us help them get the kids back to school.


Q: Drumbeat of bad news, stress on society, etc. Is there an opportunity to put up some good things to look forward to if we meet certain guidelines?


A: Yes, excellent point – once we get through this I want to start looking at that. It isn’t forever, we can release restrictions – there will be a vaccine in months, not years. Still looking at ways we can help businesses get back to business when things reopen fully. Need to relax business regulations for one.


Q: Thanksgiving. What is travel restriction? How do you have 10-12 people around a table?


A: Stay off a plane, a train. Stay as local as possible. Keep your gathering as small as possible. Not the year for a big gathering. Keep windows open. Keep grandma in another room. Don’t share utensils, family style bowls. Limit the length of gathering.


Governor’s Press Release:

We need to be wearing masks more often. Anytime you’re with people you don’t live with — wear a mask. Even if it’s just with a small group of people in the comfort of your own home. Even if you’re just going for a walk with a neighbor. We feel safe in these settings, and that’s when the virus spreads. If we take off our masks, we could be spreading the virus without even knowing we have it, and our friends will then go into work and see their families, and it doesn’t take long before it spirals. So let’s make mask-wearing our default. Ask yourself, “Is there any reason I should NOT be wearing a mask right now?” 
Let’s move on to the holidays. Halloween is two weeks away. Trick-or-treating will still be allowed, but it’s going to look different this year. We’re asking that you go in small groups, stay six feet apart, and wear cloth masks the entire time. In addition, we’re asking everyone to do your trick-or-treating in the daylight. As it gets darker, it gets more challenging – and less safe – for kids to be spread out in the way they need to be. So this year, I’m asking families to start a bit earlier and be home before sunset.
Do not, under any circumstance, have a Halloween party. Cases and hospitalizations are rising, and your decision to have a party will put more people in the hospital.
I also know people are already starting to plan for Thanksgiving. Please, keep it local this year and do not travel. We’ve talked all along about how our actions impact the case numbers we see a few weeks later. Well, three weeks after Halloween is Thanksgiving. And a month after that is Christmas. We were under a stay-at-home order for Easter, and Passover, and Ramadan. None of us wants to be back under a stay-at-home order for Thanksgiving or Christmas. But if we don’t recommit ourselves to following the rules today, then it’s not out of the question. 
Lastly, we all need to be getting tested more often. Doing asymptomatic or “sentinel” testing is key to our overall testing strategy, and it is especially important now. It allows us to better understand where our problem areas are and take a more targeted, precise approach to our response. And it helps you better protect your friends and family when you may not even know you’ve been exposed.
The picture above lists all of the different groups that are the current focus of our asymptomatic testing program. Anyone who falls into these categories, please go to and sign up for a free test. Over the next week, I want Rhode Island to run 4,000 asymptomatic tests. 
This is a crucial junction for Rhode Island. Dr. Alexander-Scott will be discussing this new guidance further in a Facebook Live event with Dr. Philip Chan tomorrow at 2:30 p.m. You can view that event even if you do not have a Facebook account on the RIDOH Facebookpage.



The Rhode Island House Republican Caucus issued the following statement regarding today’s briefing by Governor Gina Raimondo:


Today’s announcement by the Governor to further restrict the liberty interests of Rhode Islanders again raises profound concerns about the function of state government. That these decisions continue to be unilaterally made by the Governor without any lawful and necessary legislative oversight is a further abdication of responsibility by the General Assembly, which falls squarely in the laps of the Speaker of the House, the President of the Senate, and all members of the General Assembly that continue to remain silent. 


Our citizens and businesses have been without proper representation since March, and it is long past time for the General Assembly to do its job. We simply cannot continue in this manner – as the People of Rhode Island are losing patience with government by executive order and a General Assembly that refuses to perform it’s solemn duty to act as the check and balance to the Governor. 

Our country was founded on the principle of disbursement of power through various branches of government. Right now, here in Rhode Island, the Governor acts as the Executive and Legislative branches. We are not necessarily saying that the Governor’s recommendations are wrong, but they are coming from a place of unchecked power, and that is wrong.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The governor says trick-or-treating is OK in RI this Halloween, but no parties.  The Providence City Council passes a resolution about an upcoming gun buyback program.  Farewell ceremonies are being hosted by the Pawtucket Red Sox this weekend.

>>Trick-Or-Treaters Asked To Limit Halloween To Daytime

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo yesterday said trick-or-treating is allowed for Halloween this year, but she said activities should be limited to the daytime and kids should be wearing masks.  Raimondo once again asked people to cancel any Halloween parties they have planned and said state police will be stepping up enforcement.  Gatherings of more than 15 people can result in a fine of five-hundred dollars.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Lincoln Gym Owner Charged With Sex Assault

(Lincoln, RI)  --  A Lincoln gym owner is accused of sexually assaulting four clients.  Aaron Day, the owner of All Day Physique, faced thirteen counts of second-degree sex assault.  Day was arraigned in Providence District Court on Thursday.  The Rhode Island State Police is continuing to investigate.

>>City Councilors Pass Resolution Regarding Planned Gun Buyback

(Providence, RI)  --  There is pushback on a gun buyback program from the Providence City Council.  WPRI-TV reports the council passed a resolution Thursday night asking Prov Mayor Jorge Elorza and Central Falls Mayor James Diossa to strip a promise of amnesty for the planned event on Saturday, or cancel it otherwise.  Five councilors voted in favor, three were opposed and four councilors abstained from voting, while three others were absent from the meeting.  The concern is that not running ballistic tests on the weapons will lead to unsolved crimes, but city officials say without the amnesty promise, it'll be harder to get them off the streets.

>>Counterfeit N-95 Masks Received By Care New England

(Providence, RI)  --  Care New England says it received counterfeit N-95 masks from a supplier.  CNE reportedly informed staff members on Thursday.  The health care group says the majority of its workers do not use the respirators made by Makrite, and that staffers are being told to use an alternate product.

>>Big Backup On 495 Caused By Asphalt Truck Rollover

(Wrentham, MA)  --  A rollover crash on I-495 in Wrentham, Massachusetts caused a miles-long backup yesterday afternoon.  Mass State Police reports indicate a triple-axle truck that was hauling asphalt rolled over and the driver was ejected on 495 south at around 12:30 p.m.  Police say the driver was taken to Rhode Island Hospital for non-life-threatening injuries.  The crash caused asphalt to be spilled onto the roadway, which led to all lanes being closed for the cleanup.

>>PawSox Say Goodbye This Weekend

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket Red Sox are hosting farewell ceremonies at McCoy Stadium this weekend after a 50-year run.  The triple-A baseball club's final season in Rhode Island was erased by the virus pandemic and the cancelation of minor league baseball; next season the minor league Red Sox will start playing in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Included in what's happening this weekend: the PawSox have partnered with Black Lives Matter Rhode Island to host a Unity Fest on Sunday, which people can still register to attend by visiting the team's website.

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

10-16-2020 00:35:13

Red Monkey Foods, Inc. Recalls Organic Parsley and Herbes de Provence

Monkey Foods, Inc. Recalls Organic Parsley and Herbes de Provence

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that Red Monkey Foods, Inc. is recalling select organic parsley and Herbes de Provence products due to possible Salmonella contamination.  


The potentially affected products were distributed to all fifty states and to Puerto Rico with the following product names, product codes, and “best by” dates:  


Cost Plus World Market Herbes de Provence, 0.6 oz 

UPC: 25333107 

Best by 13 MAR 2023 


Cost Plus World Market Organic Parsley, 0.3 oz  

UPC: 25333251 

Best by 4 MAR 2023 


Great Value Herbes De Provence Organic, 0.6 oz  

UPC: 078742154510 

Best by 14 MAR 2023 


Great Value Organic Parsley Flakes, 0.3 oz 

UPC: 078742154602 

Best if used by 14 MAR 2023 


O Organics Herbes De Provence Organic, 0.65 oz 

UPC: 079893411316 

Best if used by 24 MAR 2023 


O Organics Parsley Organic, 0.3 oz 

UPC: 079893411095 

Best if used by 25 MAR 2023 


Full Circle Parsley Organic, 0.3 oz 

UPC: 036800328310 

Best if used by 11 MAR 2023 


To date, there have been no consumer complaints or reported cases of Salmonellosis in connection with these products.  


Salmonella is a microorganism that can cause serious and sometimes fatal infections in young children, frail or elderly people, and others with weakened immune systems. Healthy persons infected with Salmonella often experience fever, diarrhea (which may be bloody), nausea, vomiting, and abdominal pain. In rare circumstances, infection with Salmonella can result in the organism getting into the bloodstream and producing more severe illnesses such as arterial infections (i.e., infected aneurysms), endocarditis, and arthritis.? 


Consumers who have purchased the product with the listed "Best By" dates are urged not to consume the product, but to discard it or return it to the place of purchase for a full refund. Consumers or Media with questions may call Red Monkey Foods, Inc. Customer Service Center at (417) 319-7300 or by e-mail at for more information. Customer Service will be available in person from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CST Monday to Friday. 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 15, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Oct. 15, 2020

October 15, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: During a series of visits in New England – Boston, Cambridge, Rhode Island – Dr. Deborah Birx issued warnings about the growing “silent,” asymptomatic spread of COVID-19 in the northeast. – Newsbreak




Harvard expert says coronavirus surge could arrive as early as November or December, according to a Harvard epidemiologist. Stephen Kissler, research fellow in the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. said that other coronaviruses peak “pretty reliably in December or January” in the Northern Hemisphere – read story, here:


Virginia Governor Northum was also targeted for kidnapping for his shut-down regulations regarding coronavirus.


World Health Organization rules lockdowns do more harm than good.


CDC study: “Exposures and activities where mask use and social distancing are difficult to maintain, including going to places that offer on-site eating or drinking, might be important risk factors for acquiring COVID-19. As communities reopen, efforts to reduce possible exposures at locations that offer on-site eating and drinking options should be considered to protect customers, employees, and communities. (


Walmart says it will spread out its traditional one-day Black Friday deals over three weekends in November in an effort to reduce crowds in its stores during a pandemic.


Wisconsin: A judge has temporarily blocked the Gov’s attempt to restrict numbers in restaurants, bars, and social gatherings.


YouTube says it will take down videos with misinformation about the coronvirus – yet does not reveal who will be their medical reviewing team.


Nearly 9,000 residents of public housing in Los Angeles will receive free broadband internet access for the rest of the 2020-21 school year as part of a new partnership between the city, Microsoft and the start-up internet service provider Starry.


New England Journal of Medicine – An innovative COVID-19 vaccine co-developed by NIH’s Vaccine Research Center (VRC), in partnership with Moderna Inc., Cambridge, MA, is both well tolerated and effective in generating a strong immune response when given to adults of any age. (


European parents sent their children back to school a month ago after officials insisted there was scant evidence the virus would spread among children. Now schools are reporting thousands of cases in some of Europe’s biggest coronavirus hot spots.


Thomas Jefferson University to cut up to 600 jobs, and executive pay, implementing cost-cutting measures after losing nearly $300 million in the year ended June 30.


Alabama coach Nick Saban and athletic director Greg Byrne have tested positive for Covid-19, four days before the Southeastern Conference’s biggest regular-season showdown


A COVID-19 outbreak that infected 11 people across four states began with a 13-year-old Illinois girl who transmitted the virus during a three-week family vacation over the summer, according to a Centers for Disease Control report.


The NFL has no plans to move into a bubble as it takes several new steps to combat the spread of the coronavirus. The league will begin Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing for COVID-19 on game days starting this week, use of masks in walkthroughs are now mandatory and only play-callers will be permitted to wear face shields in lieu of masks or gaiters on the sideline.


England and Wales are among the highest per capita in death tolls.


Several historically Black colleges and universities will share a $15 million donation over the next three years from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support Covid-19 testing on their campuses.


French President Emmanuel Macron declared a state of health emergency and instated a curfew on some regions.


Administrators at Brigham Young University’s campus in southeastern Idaho say they are “deeply troubled” by reports that students may have intentionally tried to contract COVID-19, lured by blood donation centers that are paying a premium for plasma with COVID-19 antibodies.


Drugmaker Pfizer has plans to start testing its experimental coronavirus vaccine in children as young as 12.


Public-health experts have found evidence that small household gatherings are starting to drive the growth in U.S. COVID-19 cases—and have warned that Thanksgiving could send the number of cases spiraling. U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield held a call with the nation’s governors on Tuesday. CNN obtained audio of the chat, in which Redfield said: “What we’re seeing as the increasing threat right now is actually acquisition of infection through small household gatherings… Particularly with Thanksgiving coming up, we think it’s really important to stress the vigilance of these continued mitigation steps in the household setting.”


Dr. Fauci says that Dr. Birx reported back to him yesterday that “household transmission now is assuming a greater element of the transmissibility. … Don’t assume because you’re in your own home with your own family that you’re not going to spread infection.”


Cam Newton has been cleared to go back to practice for the Patriots.


Melania Trump has recovered, “I am happy to report that I have tested negative and hope to resume my duties as soon as I can. I was very fortunate as my diagnosis came with minimal symptoms, though they hit me all at once and it seemed to be a roller coaster of symptoms in the days after. I experienced body aches, a cough and headaches, and felt extremely tired most of the time. I chose to go a more natural route in terms of medicine, opting more for vitamins and healthy food. We had wonderful caretakers around us and we will be forever grateful”. I encourage everyone to continue to live the healthiest life they can. A balanced diet, fresh air, and vitamins really are vital to keep our bodies healthy. For your complete well-being, compassion and humility are just as important in keeping our minds strong. For me personally, the most impactful part of my recovery was the opportunity to reflect on many things—family, friendships, my work, and staying true to who you are. “


President Donald Trump’s youngest son, Barron, tested positive for coronavirus while his parents recovered from Covid-19 but never showed symptoms of the disease – “Luckily he is a strong teenager and exhibited no symptoms.”


Miami & surrounding Southern Florida areas are expected to see a permanent population boost.


According to NBC National News, 52% of Americans plan to start stockpiling food and supplies to prepare for a new round of infections.




RI was selected to hold NCAA Championship March Madness for the US at The Dunk – but the Governor may eliminate that. Providence was also selected to host in 2025.


With many people still wary of indoor dining as winter approaches, some Massachusetts restaurants are choosing to close their restaurants until the spring in hopes of saving money.


Massachusetts will see a protest at their Governor’s house tonight over eviction assistance.


East Prov High School on Tuesday was closed for cleaning after one staff member tested positive and for contact tracing to be competed.


Bishop Tobin tweeting that isolation is harmful to people – in response to Gov’s expected new restrictions.


Newport Hospital will expand its rapid testing capability.


Johnson & Wales will return to in-person learning next week.


The Pawtucket Foundation, through the Take It Outside Initiative, has Outdoor Seating and Dining Grant Program grants up to $6,000 to create or expand upon outdoor seating and dining opportunities to support outdoor seating or dining starting in fall 2020. Examples of items include: Patio heaters/heat lamps, outdoor lighting, chairs, tables, tents or umbrellas, and fencing. Other items not listed may be requested, though funding for these items is at the discretion of the Foundation. ( .


The Atlantic has written an article about safety of opening schools: “But by not opening, we are putting people at risk, too”. (


Governor Raimondo’s office reminds Rhode Islanders of the 3 Ws:


1) Wear your mask: Whenever you are in contact with people outside of your household, you should be wearing a cloth face covering. Masks prevent the spread of COVID-19 through airborne particles. Your mask should be made of at least two layers of washable, breathable fabric and should cover your nose and mouth without gaps. Remember, your mask isn’t just for your protection — it keeps you from spreading COVID-19 to those around you.


2) Wash your hands: You should wash your hands often, especially before handling food or touching your face. Use warm water and soap whenever possible, thoroughly scrubbing your whole hand and nailbed for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.


3) Watch your distance: Remain six feet away from people who are not your household contacts whenever physically possible. The more distance you can create between you and other people, the less likely it is that airborne particles from one person will be able to reach another.


With the December 30, 2020 deadline for states to allocate CARES Act funds fast approaching, Lt. Governor Dan McKee today sent a letter to Governor Gina Raimondo urging immediate revisions to the Restore RI Small Business Grant Program to ensure $40M in remaining funds will not expire. The Lt. Governor’s letter was a response to an update from Commerce Rhode Island that affirmed only $10M of the $50M designated for the Restore RI Grant Program has been awarded since the initiative was launched in July. The Lt. Governor warns that at this rate of distribution, Rhode Island is in danger of being forced to return the funds to the federal government as required under CARES Act guidelines. Based on dozens of meetings with small business owners, the Lt. Governor found that many small businesses are discouraged from applying for the grants because of the time-consuming application process paired with the small amount of funding they are eligible to receive. In his letter to the Governor, the Lt. Governor recommends several immediate revisions to the Restore RI Grant Program to ensure funds are swiftly and simply disbursed to small businesses before the deadline: 

  1. Increase the minimum grant amount to $5,000 and create a simplified application process for businesses that qualify for the minimum amount 
  2. Increase the maximum grant amount from $15,000 to $50,000 now that the employee cap is increased from 20 to 50 
  3. For any business that was already approved, automatically double the amount of their grant or award them the new minimum amount of $5,000, whichever is greater


Providence’s Pot au Feu reopened and says it wants to be the safest restaurant in America


Gov. Gina M. Raimondo and R.I. Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott will be recognized with the Beacon of Hope Award from nonprofit Connecting for Children and Families at the organization’s annual Vision of Hope Awards ceremony, scheduled to be held virtually Oct. 21. They are being recognized for their leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic.


In a rare move, Providence Country Day School announced Oct. 1 that the private preparatory school will decrease its tuition for all its grades 6-12 by 35% for the 2021-22 academic year. The school said that tuition for grades 9-12, effective next academic year, will decrease from $39,250 to $25,000 and the middle school – grades 6-8 – will drop from $34,400 to $22,000. A lot of schools across the country were all looking at each other thinking who was going to go first, and we wanted to be a leader here. Affordability is the No. 1 issue on everyone’s mind, especially with the current [COVID-19] pandemic going on.”


Car pools are good for the environment and help ease congestion, but they can be risky in the midst of a pandemic. That’s the warning the Rhode Island Department of Health is sounding after tracing a spate of new infections to car pool clusters.So far, the number of infections is tiny.“Of all the people who have tested positive, roughly 15 have reported carpooling in the 14 days before symptom onset,” Rhode Island Health Department spokesman Joseph Wendelken said Tuesday in an email to NBC News. “They work for eight different organizations.”But Rhode Island is a tiny and very congested state. The average commute for state residents traveling by car, public transportation and other means is about 24.8 minutes, according to U.S. Census and other data compiled by the IndexMundi website.And many Rhode Islanders commute to work in Boston, which has some of the worst traffic in the nation.It wasn’t immediately clear how many Rhode Islanders rely on car pools. But a Brookings Institution analysis of 2016 census data found that 76 percent of Americans drive alone to work and just nine percent use car pools.Still, far more people carpool in the United States than use public transportation, according to an analysis of more recent census data by the venerable Eno Center for Transportation.


The Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center is stretching its typically-seasonal Veggie Day program into the winter months.


Pawtucket Councilor Terry Mercer publicly backed the school board at an Oct. 7 council meeting, saying the governor’s assessment was “completely inaccurate” on several fronts, and he supports the committee entirely in its decision to have distance learning through the end of the calendar year. More:



Governor’s address


Data: 2.7% positives yesterday with testing. Way too high. Highest in 2 months. Aug. 3rd was highest. Deaths: 8 – this weekend: 9 deaths.  160 new cases. 131 hospitalized. 13 in ICU. 4 on ventilators. 8 new deaths: 4 yesterday. 2 in 60s, 1 in 70s, 3 in 80s, 2 in 90s.


Trend in wrong direction – time to course correct. Last week it was 1.6%. Expect next week to be even higher than this week. Big jump in new hospitalizations – last week, 106; previous week, 67; Past 5 weeks, doubling of hospitalizations. Still well below our capacity for rooms, ventilators and beds.  A lot of testing does raise those numbers.


Wake-up call – mask wearing, stay home if sick, social distancing.


Case Trends – this outbreak is new. This is from small social gatherings. We know this is not schools. Not congregate care. (not nursing homes). Overwhelming number of cases spiking up are from small family and friend gatherings. Not wearing masks, not social distancing. This is what is going on all across US. Dr. Birx was raising an alarm bell for New England about small gatherings upticking the numbers.


Workplaces & Extended Family – you must keep your masks on. Small barbecue, break room, car pools, after funerals, etc.


The Wisconsin case – Seeing similar what we are seeing. Same problem, small gatherings. 250% increase in hospitalizations in 3 weeks. Percent positives more than doubled. Weekly  case rate of 290 per 100K and they have to open a field hospital. This could be RI if we don’t get a handle on this. They have mandatory mask wearing.


New regs tomorrow – another press conference tomorrow – FB live on Friday.


One specific ask: anytime you are out of your home – wear your mask, keep your distance. “I don’t care if you go to visit your brother, and there’s just the two of you.” Keep distance.  STAY OUTSIDE. Particularly true of older people and those with underlying conditions.


If you planned a Halloween party – CANCEL IMMEDIATELY.


Thanksgiving – if you are planning dinner, think about not traveling – not going.


Restrictions announced tomorrow – we are not going to be moving back to Phase 2. Not going to say we need to close down restaurants and commerce. Economic crisis is brutal. Need to keep working. No evidence to suggest kids in school are a problem.  Will think targeted, data driven restrictions – small social gatherings, gatherings at work, etc.


We will enforce with more strength restrictions we put together tomorrow. Worried about Halloween and Thanksgiving.


Testing – need to increase to asymptomatic Rhode Islanders. to sign up for free asymptomatic test – teachers, restaurant workers, clergy, house party attendees, etc.


Mandatory testing of asymptomatic people.


This week is deadline for all schools to be in school. Most districts have done a great job of meeting this deadline.


Providence & Central Falls Schools – in-person going well for young kids, ESL and special needs. Keeping these 2 cities in partial opening through end of semester. Concerned with trends we’re seeing in these dense areas.


Pawtucket – a big thank you, but a huge disappointment for the School Committee: why is it you are robbing the children of Pawtucket of the opportunity to learn in school?  They are going to school everywhere else. I’m devastated for those kids and those parents. Asking Mayor and School Committee and Supt. to step up and do what you can to get as many kids in-school as is safely possible.


CommerceRI – expanded relief – Restore grants. Expansion to non-profits for grants. Take It Outside initiative big success.


NEW: US Supreme Court rules US Census will stop today.


Dr. Scott:


K-12 Data has been upgraded. Systems are working, not seeing big outbreaks of cases. Testing and tracing is working around the clock. TY to school leaders for leadership. Please consult first about going virtual if 1 or 2 children test positive – it’s usually not necessary.




Governor said she will be tested weekly now – how many times have you been tested – 3 times – weekly cadence now going forward. Wants to lead by example. Public leaders should test more often.


New system of asymptomatic MANDATORY testing coming out next week – all commuters to CCRI or RIC as an example.


Are you going to force people to get tested who don’t want to be tested?  You can’t really. You offer it. Make it free, easy, regular basis.  You don’t want to have just the worried well get tested.


Small gatherings – how are you going to enforce that?  Rules on small gatherings.  We are NOT going to enforce – we are going to ask people to do the right thing.


Are we on the Second Wave? Is this Phase Two? Is this beginning of another lockdown?  It is NOT the spring, Gov. says – we are testing and tracing…Gov says she is concerned about data, but good about the systems. If we don’t change, we will then have to go back a phase. If we look like Wisconsin, then that will happen.


Congregate Care Settings – No, things are looking pretty good in congregate care. We’re testing and isolating. Colleges are getting under control.


Money for small businesses – distributed only 20% of help so far – 1,400 businesses. Not as fast and as much as possible – – expanded to sole proprietors, child care and now nonprofits. 11 weeks to end of the year. Why not put more money out the door now?  You will lose it if you don’t distribute it now. Reasonably confident there will be an extension. Gov: We Will Not Give the Money Back.


WHO says to step away from shutdowns. When will these lockdowns end?  Gov says we do not have a lockdown – we can go out to dinner, etc. ?? We are in a reasonable targeted set of restrictions that will save people’s lives and jobs.


No evidence, world-wide that there is real spread in K-12. We are getting these kids in school. The Atlantic article shows no cause for teachers, etc. to be so concerned. Q: Why don’t you see kids testing positive a reason for concern in schools? A: It’s hard to be a teacher. We’re doing everything we can.


Who is getting hospitalized? And deaths? No significant in K-12, 2 hospitalizations in colleges (went home in 24 hrs) Community members and older people are getting sicker and staying in the hospital longer.


What’s the plan for school with cold weather?  Answer?  Bundle up.


Tomorrow Gov. will go through all the new restrictions and all the new enforcements.


Municipality List has been updated: Oct. 14, 2020



Summary of cases by city/town:


Macron, leader of France, has been extraordinary curfew measures into effect in Paris and surrounding large cities…

Posted in 

SHOCKED! How much commission a real estate agent keeps....

SHOCKED? How much commission do real estate agents keep.

October 15, 2020/Emilio DiSpirito


By Emilio DiSpirito, Realtor with DiSpirito Team at HomeSmart Professionals


Real estate agents often get the persona of salespeople who rake in the money! We all know a real estate agent or two who drive a flashy car, live in a large home and sport the latest fashion trends and priciest outfits! So, what does it take to “ball out” when selling real estate? How much commission do these agents keep? You may be shocked!


First things, first! Let’s look at the median priced home in America being at approximately $310,000 according to the National Association of Realtors (August 2020). Now let’s take an expected commission rate of 6% of $310,000 ($18,600) to give us our total to start with, for our example.


Let’s take the $18,600 commission and show you bottom line what is left for your agent:


Keep in mind, many items here will change depending on agent, approach, business model and circumstance. We are using a generalized approach here off what we see on average.


Attracting Buyers Agents:

  • 3% (many times half of total fee) or $9,300 offered to a buyer’s agent as incentive to attract other agents to bring their buyers to your home.
  • Subtotal = $9,300 to agent


Brokerage Fees:

  • -$3,255 to brokerage. The average agent from our estimations coughs up 35% to their broker on each transaction.
  • Subtotal = $6,045


Basic Marketing and Transactional Expenses:

  • Professional Photos $350
  • Professional Video $150
  • Yard Sign Install $55
  • Printed Materials $50
  • Transaction Coordination $400
  • Subtotal = $5,040


Self-Employment Taxes:

  • 15.3%
  • Subtotal = $4,608


Other Expenses:

  • Federal Income tax
  • State Income tax
  • Health insurance
  • Office rent
  • Website
  • MLS dues
  • National Association of Realtor dues
  • Local Association of Realtor dues
  • Monthly brokerage fees
  • Zillow, Trulia, Realtor, Homes, etc. subscription fees
  • CRM
  • Various syndication subscriptions
  • Errors and omissions insurance
  • Social media marketing and ads
  • Google SEO
  • Print ads
  • Directional, yard and open house signs
  • Business cards and stationery
  • Listing brochures
  • Buyer and seller information packets
  • Media advertising
  • Vehicle milage, lease, maintenance
  • Cell phone/internet
  • Computer
  • Office supplies
  • Floor plans
  • 3D Walkthrough tours
  • Postcards
  • Etc.


The list carries on and on!


At the end of the day, real estate agents profit roughly 15% to 25% overall of the original $18,600, leaving them with an estimated whopping $2,790 to $4,650.


The next time an agent offers you a “discount” on commissions, ask yourself… when there is nothing in it for them… will they perform for me?


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!


RI School List with COVID-19

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 10/10/20)

October 15, 2020/RINewsToday


RI Dept. of Health updated cases in schools as of 10/10/20


Summary – this update – 228 locations – 148 new cases – 413 cumulative cases


135 schools – 84 new cases – 234 total


93 virtual learning – 64 new cases – 179 total


Updated from Summary on 10/4/20 – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total


Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total


NOTE: Today’s press conference reiterated several times that K-12 data does not support reason to believe this is responsible for any substantial spread or uptick in RI data, which we are experiencing.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo is trying to quash an uptick in COVID cases in Rhode Island.  Providence city councilors want the mayor to address violence in the city after the latest fatal shooting.  Patriots quarterback Cam Newton is returning to practice after getting the coronavirus.

>>Raimondo Previews New Restrictions, Gives Holiday Advice, Business Grants Expanded

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said Wednesday she will be announcing new restrictions in response to an increase in coronavirus cases in the state.  The governor disclosed that she won't be moving back a phase or enacting large new restrictions on restaurants and other businesses.  Raimondo, who said the uptick is being fueled by small social gatherings, urged people planning Halloween parties to cancel them and to re-think plans to travel for Thanksgiving.  The governor also announced yesterday major expansions to the Restore RI business grant program, which is being funded through CARES Act money.

>>Raimondo Criticizes Pawtucket For Remote Learning; Superintendent Responds

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Governor Raimondo singled out the Pawtucket School District on Wednesday for continuing to operate via remote learning.  Raimondo asked why the school district is depriving kids of an in-school learning opportunity, comparing Pawtucket to Providence, where elementary schools are open.  The Pawtucket superintendent responded with a statement that said the school committee made a data-based decision.

>>Shooting Victim ID'd; Councilors Call For Mayor To Address Violence

(Providence, RI)  --  Police have identified the person who died in a shooting in Providence on Tuesday as 19-year-old Deshaun Dure.  Three people total were shot in a vehicle outside the Rhode Island School for the Deaf.  The other two remain hospitalized.  Amid calls for more police staffing, members of the Providence City Council came together on Wednesday demanding Mayor Jorge Elorza address the recent period of heightened violence.  Elorza responded by criticizing Council President Sabina Matos for previously wanting to take money away from the police budget and also now wanting to hire more officers.

>>Cam Newton Set To Return To Patriots Practice

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton is set to return to practice on Thursday.  Newton missed the team's last game after being diagnosed with COVID-19.  The Patriots have not reported any new positive cases since Sunday; the total number of players reported to have been diagnosed was four.  The Pats are preparing to host the Denver Broncos this upcoming Sunday in a game that was re-scheduled from Columbus Day weekend.

>>Arrestee In I-95 Protest Was Arrested In July Protest Also

(Providence, RI)  --  One of the seven people arrested for protesting on I-95 with a UHaul truck blocking traffic in Providence this week is a repeat offender.  A report from WPRI-TV highlights the arrest of Najeli Rodriguez of Providence, noting she was previously picked up for blocking a public roadway during a demonstration outside the Providence Public Safety Complex in July.  Rodriguez was also charged with assaulting a police officer.  The I-95 protest on Monday was reportedly related to Columbus Day/Indigenous People's Day.

>>RIDOT Road Project Completed In Wakefield

(Wakefield, RI)  --  Officials including Senator Jack Reed and both Rhode Island congressmen celebrated the completion of a road project in Wakefield on Wednesday.  The nearly-four-million-dollar project resurfaced a half-mile of badly-deteriorated roadway on Old Tower Hill Road from the Route 1 interchange to the intersection with Route 108.  RIDOT says the project also added a bike line in both directions.

>>College Basketball/Hockey Postseason Action Scheduled In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence College announced Wednesday that March Madness is coming back to the Dunkin' Donuts Center in 2025.  The Dunk previously hosted the NCAA tournament in 2010 and 2016.  Also yesterday, the NCAA said Brown University will host the NCAA Hockey East Regional at the arena in 2024.

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

10-15-2020 00:44:11

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October 14, 2020/RINewsToday


Seven Hills Rhode Island launched “Employment Matters: You Can Make It Work” a specialized, person-centered supported employment program for adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities. The announcement coincides with the release of The U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) “Increasing Access and Opportunity” theme for October’s annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).


Seven Hills Rhode Island, a Woonsocket-based, comprehensive health and human services organization supporting more than 1,000 residents throughout the state. Their holistic approach provides a range of health care, behavioral health, community supports, assisted living, day habilitation, educational, and vocational expertise to children and adults with developmental disabilities and their families.


Components of this comprehensive and uniquely targeted program include: pre-employment “Discovery,” community mapping, community and occupational accessibility, targeted training, personalized coaching identifying “Ideal Conditions of Employment” and ongoing support to ensure the best potential of sustained success. The primary target population will be those who have not previously achieved success either by attaining employment for a significant period of time or by satisfying their own personal goals related to independence community access or inclusion.


“Our discovery process begins with the person, not a skills or inventory test,” comments Mellissa Charpentier, Seven Hills’ Employment Matters program director. “We focus on understanding the whole person rather than an assessment of what the person cannot do.” An unbiased, judgment-free look at a job seeker’s daily life provides the best foundation of customized employment-meeting condition’s necessary for the individual’s success as well as the needs of the employer.


Consistent with this year’s national theme, Seven Hills plans to increase access and opportunity include working with select partners to provide services and resources, such as people, places and associations, and a personalized employment plan developed with and tailored to the participant.


“It’s not just about a job, it’s about a life,” notes Ms.Charpentier. “Our holistic approach and extraordinary one-to-one support, specifically peer-to-peer support for members and their families and caregivers/family support, are among the unique elements of this program. That, and the fact that we actually provide the adaptive equipment participants need after conducting a professional assessment.” Their specialized technology department offers assistive technology and ongoing educational resources.


Opportunities abound throughout the program and touch all facets of the participants’ lives. Integral to this program are close relationships with agencies and partners resulting in a coordinated variety of day services and employment support. Specifically, Seven Hills plans to connect participants with peer mentors, with business liaison in the appropriate fields; fostering relationships at every phase of the process reinforces and strengthens the participants efforts and commitment.


In focusing on the whole person, Seven Hills’s program prepares each individual to present their best self. That means preparing the participants for personal relationships, gainful employment, and community engagement.


Ongoing practical and personal support for this targeted community is critical. To achieve this goal, Seven Hills is providing in-person and virtual remote individual counseling, group classes, conference calls and video chats, as needed.


Partners included in the team effort include fellow developmental disabilities organization provider J. Arthur Trudeau memorial Center, Inc., with collaboration and consultation with RI developmental Disabilities Council (RIDDC), the RI Cross Disabilities Coalition, Seven Hills Assistive Technology Department, family engagement specialist Sheila Coyne, and communications specialists, Debra Morais. Funding for this project has been made available  from the state of Rhode Island: Dept. of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals (BHDDH).




Seven Hills Rhode Island is a comprehensive health and human services organization supporting more than 1,000 residents throughout the state. Seven Hills has more than 60 years of experience providing a wide range of supports for infants, children and their families, adults, and seniors with various disabilities and life challenges. Our integrated supports are individualized, person-centered, and community-based. Our holistic approach provides a range of health care, behavioral health, community supports, assisted living, day habilitation, educational, and vocational expertise.

Providence. No Haven.

Providence. No haven.

October 14, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Statue of Roger Williams overlooking his Providence – by Dodge House


In 1636, Roger Williams, a reformed Baptist theologian and religious exile from Massachusetts named the capital city of Rhode Island, Providence. It’s meaning an area “in honor of God’s merciful Providence which he believed was responsible for revealing such a haven for him and his followers.


Haven is a word not many would use to describe the capital of Rhode Island, home to most who are reading this – and Providence seems to spiral more into chaos by the day. A litany of events plays out day by day – stabbings, almost nightly shootings, gangs and gang violence, assaults, robberies, peaceful demonstrations turned into riots, destruction of property, ATVs zooming around sidewalks and streets, with no safe haven, not even inside a high-end shopper’s mall.


The impact on tourism. On business. Evening after-hours no longer being planned downtown after a stabbing occurred in a parking garage next to a high-end bar. Diners not going to the outside dining options geared to try and save the Federal Hill restaurant community, because Black Lives Matter and FTP demonstrations have included stopping at diners’ tables and shouting at them, sometimes through a megaphone, sometimes blocking sidewalks and blocking intersections so drivers and pedestrians can’t move until the protesters decide they can.


The Media


Media scrum, some new media on the scene follow them around. Documenting what is happening in Providence. Lately they have been targeted, themselves, for photographing the protesters because “we could lose our day jobs”. Then there are the videos – posted on digital sites and YouTube, and mainly on Twitter, sometimes on Facebook – for all to see.  Demonstrators and sometimes those arrested keep their Facebook profiles out in the open. We see where they work, where they go to school, etc.  Grad students, 2nd grade teachers, homeless. However, capturing what is happening in our capital city is integral to addressing the problems.


Who will forget the sight of Garden City Shopping Center in Cranston and the Warwick Mall in Warwick, fortressed by National Guard, State Police, concrete barriers, and K-9s because of threats to destroy and burn them? Without the visuals, a description would be beyond imagination.


Shootings, stabbings, and gangs, oh my…


Shootings in daylight have taken place around the Providence Courthouse and City Hall. Lately, they center around Branch Avenue and Douglas Avenue areas. Gangs. Shootings and retaliations, night after night. We wake up and check Twitter to see where the latest shooting has been and now we hear, at least twice, that it was steps from the Mayor of Providence’s house.


Racing around town…


ATVs are now crushed by a joint effort of the Providence Police and the Mayor’s office. 33 were crushed the other day as the mayor announced a zero tolerance for this activity, which has increased in the summer and harassed neighborhoods all around the city.


The India Point and surrounding Providence streets area are soon to be equipped with removable strips that are designed to slow traffic or have damage to the vehicle.


No haven in the mall


A fatal stabbing at Providence Place Mall has left a growing unease for shoppers – with the latest incident happening during late morning hours, with hardly a break in the Food Court dining hour. This stabbing has followed several stabbings and acts of violence inside the mall, for several years now.


BLM – FTP – ProvX

UPI Photo


Black Lives Matter “peaceful demonstrations” have been “hijacked”, according to one sympathizer, by violent groups – some with Antifa-like intentions. and downtown destruction is nearly a weekly occurrence. Perhaps the worst of these incidents was the major BLM protest that culminated with our Governor, unmasked during the COVID emergency in her eagerness to calm the growing crowds and literally protect the RI State House from violent acts.


Knowing that hundreds of protesters – some from nonviolent BLM protests mixed with FTP (F— The Police) groups and others – were face to face with Providence Police, RI State Police, and National Guard – and nothing good was about to happen, she later told the public that the violent group’s intent was to burn the State House, burn the Providence Place Mall, and burn the downtown.



Intentions to take that violence to Cranston and Warwick were documented.  Downtown destruction resulted in small businesses and restaurants being bordered up, some minority owned businesses as well. A few arrests were made, most notably for burning a Providence Police vehicle.


No place safe – not Governor or Mayor’s Homes


Both homes have been victimized by demonstrations outside of them by groups we hesitate to label as Black Lives Matter, but around the same time as those protests.  The Governor’s house has had at least two incidents, with banging of pots and pans and shining of lots and chanting. The Mayor’s home has been similar, but recently shootings right around the corner have also happened.


City Councilor Potty-Mouth, Kat Kirwin



A video where Kat Kirwin, Providence City Councilor, was seen confronting police who were at a downtown facility which was playing music outside of the sidewalk, illegally, was broadcast far and wide in Providence.  Her vitriolic tweets have even included one at the Bishop of Providence, Bishop Thomas Tobin, who posted a photo of Christopher Columbus – it read: “Tobin stays on brand in the worst way. Evil worships evil I guess?”.


Kirwin identifies as: a law student since August of 2020 at Roger Williams University School of Law, where she is “looking forward to thinking critically about carceral system and utilizing the law to support environmental and social justice movements”; a Providence Councilor and Director of Communications for the RI Coalition Against Gun Violence”.


Among many Twitter postings, most anti-police, here is her Twitter post following the arrests that happened after the Route 95 blockade protest (story below) – she is referencing one of those 7 who were arrested:



Dangerous Highway Antics


Twice, in the middle of the night, Route 95 North has been blocked by violent protesters. Two nights ago, it was with a U-Haul truck positioned perpendicular to 4-5 lanes of oncoming traffic. The first time it was a Black Lives Matter-named demonstration and people walked up on the highway and were quickly escorted to where they could get off the highway, over and around a fence. The other night resulted in a total blockage of the highway, but this time some arrests. The cause was said to be the protest at the RI State House to rename Columbus Day as Indigenous People’s Day. The speaking agenda at the State House had participants from Black Lives Matter but the group was very small, less than 50. The blockade of the highway happened a half hour after the official protest ended.

UpRise RI


In making arrests, the RI State Police issued this statement providing details regarding “the arrest of seven individuals who blocked Route 95 North in Providence last night.


The investigation revealed that the U-Haul box truck and two other vehicles stopped in the lane on travel on Route 95 North in the area of the Providence Place Mall and stopped all four lanes of travel. Individuals from these vehicles then placed several traffic cones in the road and stood holding signs and preventing other motorists from passing by. The roadway was closed for approximately seven minutes and caused traffic to backup for approximately ½ mile.


“This was an extremely dangerous situation, but luckily no one was hurt by the reckless conduct of these individuals,” said Colonel James M. Manni, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Director of the Department of Public Safety. “While we respect the right to peacefully protest, we have zero tolerance for those who endanger the lives of others by purposefully blocking traffic and will arrest and charge anyone who does so. The safety of everyone on the highway is our highest priority and we are thankful for the reports from the public that helped us to respond quickly.”

UpRise RI Video on YouTube


According to State Police, on Monday, October 12, 2020, at approximately 9:30 PM, Troopers received reports that several individuals were blocking all lanes of travel on Route 95 North. While responding, Troopers received information that a U-Haul box truck and two passenger vehicles had stopped northbound traffic by parking perpendicular to the travel lanes. Prior to Troopers arrival, the vehicles had left the scene and all lanes were open. Troopers observed a U-Haul box truck traveling on Orms Street and stopped the vehicle in the area of Route 95. The operator of the truck was identified as:


Kade Page, age 24 of 89 Central Street, apartment #2, East Bridgewater, Massachusetts.


NBC10 website


Troopers also arrested the following individuals who were located in the rear of the U-Haul box truck:


·      Devin A. Costa, age 24, of 136 King Phillip Road, Rumford, Rhode Island


·      Cody B. Boyce, age 24, 107 Jenckes Hill Road, Lincoln, Rhode Island


·      Evan C. Laferriere, age 23, of 45 Watson Avenue, Attleboro, MA


·      Najeli Rodriguez, age 19, 30 Grafton Street, Providence, Rhode Island


·      Julia A. Unger, age 21, of 19 Elizabeth Road, Narragansett, Rhode Island


·      A fifteen-year-old juvenile male (name/ address withheld)


All adult individuals were charged with Disorderly Conduct (RIGL § 11-45-1) and Conspiracy (RIGL § 11-1-6) and held overnight at State Police Headquarters for their arraignment in Providence District Court this morning. The juvenile male was released to a guardian and will be petitioned to Providence Family Court. One arrestee, Unger, is a graduate teaching assistant at URI.


Felony charges for blocking a highway – Senator Lou Raptakis



Sen. Lou Raptakis is renewing efforts to upgrade from a misdemeanor to a felony the blocking of a highway by demonstrators. Charges would be upgraded from a misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge to a felony, with at least 6o days behind bars, and up to 3 years. Raptakis is calling for stiffer penalties if the highway blockade is a planned event, and from 5 to 30 years in prison if someone dies as a result. “We don’t want to turn Providence into Portland and Seattle,” he said.


Paolino Properties Building


Large plate glass windows shattered in the night by a man wielding chairs and objects – intent on breaking the well-lit 100 Westminster Street, owned by Joe Paolino, Jr. The destruction made its way around social media on video. The man was arrested, known to be a homeless man who travels around the country, recently having moved here from the west coast. The next afternoon Joe Paolino, Jr. held a press conference.


Paolino statement



He called the incident an example of “our city failing its people.


“It is time for our city’s leadership to step up and work together with law enforcement and the community on ways that we can prevent crimes before they happen,” he said.


Paolino called on the Providence’s elected officials to “support the city’s police department and expand partnerships between law enforcement officials and mental health services.


“Enough is enough,” Paolino said in a press release. “With all the violent crime we’ve seen lately, we cannot simply defund our police without a plan for how to provide the community with the support that it needs.” He also noted that “a man like this shouldn’t be on the streets – we should be able to help him”, referring to the arrested individual, Wilfredo Catlin, 33, of no known address, thought to have come to the city only recently, who had run around the Westminster Street area with a machete.


City of Providence Operations Review & Budget Analysis of the Public Safety Department

ZOOM meeting – Mayor Elorza


Providence Mayor Jorge O. Elorza on September 24th announced an engagement with PFM’s Center for Justice and Safety Finance, which will be conducting an independent budget analysis and operations review of the City’s Public Safety Department. The goal of the review and analysis is to provide a breakdown of possible savings and efficiencies in public safety operations to increase capacity for prevention-first investments and approaches in sectors like housing, education, health care, mental health and social services, and workforce training, among others.


Gun Buy-Back



This weekend the city of Providence, in conjunction with the city of Central Falls will hold a gun buyback program, offering more money for stolen guns than owned guns. The gun buy-back event was announced within an hour of a press conference following the fatal stabbing at the Providence Place Mall. The event has received criticism from the law enforcement community, various media groups, and legal gun-owners who may see this as a way to “unload” older guns and make some money, too, and no more effective than any other PR event. Notably, a theft of legal guns from an owner happened a few months ago with more than 100 guns being put into circulation.


Another Providence City Councilor heard from:


Crime Spiraling Out of Control – City Council Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci, Jr.


On October 12th, Senior Deputy Majority Leader Nicholas J. Narducci, Jr. issued a press release regarding the uptick in crime in Providence. It is printed, here:


“We faced yet another violent weekend in our City, and it’s time for my City Council colleagues and I, along with Mayor Elorza, to provide the support that our police department needs to serve and protect.


More importantly, we need a mayor and a commissioner that is going to support the enforcement of laws and start making our City safe again. I have stated several times that we need to remove the handcuffs from our police and let them do their job.


Residents and city taxpayers should feel safe where they live and deserve to have a police force that serves and upholds our community’s quality of life.


Our City went from a having a low-crime status just months ago, to now having a crime rate that appears to be spiraling out of control. There have been shootings, kidnapping, and other serious crimes just in the past two weeks.


We need to ensure that our hardworking residents and taxpayers live in a safe community. They deserve nothing less.


Last night – as we go to publication – 3 shot outside the RI School for the Deaf, next to Corliss Park playground



Five people were shot outside of Corliss Park and the RI School for the Deaf – in near proximity to a playground and housing for those with disabilities. At least one is reported to have died. The victims arrived at RI Hospital in their bullet ridden car.


Providence released statistics on crime moments before the shooting of five. Aggravated assaults involving guns are up 150% for one month, compared to the same time last year.


There have been 13 homicides to date. Major David Lapatin said, “the stats are not off the charts compared to last year, it really isn’t; it’s just all happening at once and it is an uptick. We’ve had upticks before and we’ve dealt with them and we’ve brought it back down and we’ll do that again.”


Lapatin has said before that people should feel safe in Providence and go about their business – the shootings and stabbings are targeted (gang related) and not targeted to the general public.




Where do we go from here?


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A state senator wants to make it a felony when protesters block highway traffic after an incident on I-95 in Providence Monday night.  A rare "derecho" storm reached into Rhode Island last week.  A judge dismisses a suit brought on by Rhode Island students demanding a robust civics education.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>One Dead After Triple Shooting Outside RI School For Deaf

(Providence, RI)  --  One person is dead after a triple-shooting in Providence on Tuesday.  Police say an SUV was struck with gunfire outside of the Rhode Island School for the Deaf at around 4:30 p.m.  Three people inside the vehicle were reportedly injured and the one death was confirmed after they were hospitalized.  No names have been released.

>>Senator To Introduce Bill Going After Highway-Blocking Protesters

(Providence, RI)  --  State Senator Leo Raptakis [[ rap-TACK-iss ]] is planning to re-introduce a bill in the Rhode Island legislature that would make the blocking of a highway a felony after protesters allegedly did just that on Monday.  According to reports from The Providence Journal and Boston Herald, the protest on I-95 in Providence was related to changing Columbus Day to Indigenous People's Day.  Raptakis last tried to get such a bill passed following a similar incident in 2014 after the police-involved shooting of Michael Brown in St. Louis, according to a report from WJAR-TV.  He says he supports the right to protest, but that this type of activity is dangerous to drivers and first responders.

>>Update On Incident At Paolino Properties Building

(Providence, RI)  --  More details were released about an incident Monday night in downtown Providence when a man allegedly threw a chair through the window of a building.  Police say officers responding to the incident which had happened at 100 Westminster Street found Wilfredo Catlin, no listed address, in the area armed with a knife, and he was arrested at gunpoint.  Catlin had reportedly been escorted from the Paolino Properties building before the incident.  Joseph Paolino Jr. released a statement that criticized city leadership and said it cannot defund the police at a time when the city is seeing a rise in violent crime.

>>Weather Service Says Derecho Hit Southern New England Last Week

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service says last week's storm that hit Southern New England was a rare derecho event.  Reports indicate it has been 25 years since a derecho reached Rhode Island.  They are characterized as a line of thunderstorms which can hold for a long length of time and produce damaging straight-line winds.  The derecho last Wednesday which brought down trees and caused power outages was over three-hundred miles long and also impacted parts of New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts.

>>Governor's Deadline For Full In-Person Schooling Return Not Met

(Providence, RI)  --  Tuesday was Governor Gina Raimondo's previously-stated deadline for Rhode Island schools to all return to in-person learning, but that hasn't happened.  In August, Raimondo said all districts except Providence and Central Falls were cleared to return to full in-person, and that the expectation was that districts that didn't take advantage should do so a month after school started.  But superintendents reached by The Providence Journal on Tuesday said they were told by the state education department, they simply had to implement their preferred back-to-school plan by yesterday; few of those plans call for a full return to in-person learning.

>>Judge Dismisses Civics Education Lawsuit, Supports Students Who Filed It

(Providence, RI)  --  A federal judge on Tuesday dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of Rhode Island public school students who argued they are being denied a constitutional right to a good civics education.  The case is believed to be the first of its kind.  U.S. District Court Judge William Smith, however, sympathized with the plaintiffs, saying they should be commended for bringing the case forward and that it highlights a deep flaw in the priorities and policies of the national education system.  The plaintiffs are planning to appeal.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) CT) MA) NY) MO) BN)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

10-14-2020 00:42:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 13, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 13, 2020

October 13, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Providence College – one of many outdoor classrooms




New York Catholic Churches have said they will not be shuttered – reacting to attempts to shutter synagogues that are a source of coronavirus outbreak.


Bill Gates says antibody drugs could sharply reduce COVID-19 death rates and effective vaccines could bring life back to normal by end of next year.


In Hanover, MA, the Hanover Fire Dept. is testing people in their homes for COVID19 if they are interested in being tested.


Dr David Nabarro, the WHO’s Special Envoy on COVID-19: “We in the World Health Organization do not advocate lockdowns as the primary means of control of this virus. “The only time we believe a lockdown is justified is to buy you time to reorganize, regroup, rebalance your resources, protect your health workers who are exhausted, but by and large, we’d rather not do it.” One of Nabarro’s main criticisms of lockdowns was the devastating global impact lockdowns have on poverty levels.


Dubbed a “coronavirus emergency”, an overflow hospital is being opened on the grounds of the Wisconsin State Fair. Their 3-day positivity rate is over 17%.


Titans have had more players test positive.


WarnerMedia, which owns the TV channels HBO, TBS and TNT and Warner Bros. studio, is cutting thousands of jobs to compensate for the pandemic’s damage to movie ticket sales and advertising revenue.


Liverpool faces ‘tier 3’ lockdown – pubs, bars and gyms expected to close


Boris Johnson putting into place Tier 1, 2, 3 states of emergency shutdown over fears of coronavirus upticks in England.


Payouts for potential injuries from Covid-19 vaccines will be covered by a far less generous program. Covid-19 vaccine injuries will be covered under the “counter-measures injury” compensation fund, which was set up in 2010to cover harm resulting from vaccines for a flu pandemic, or drugs to treat an anthrax or Ebola outbreak.


Growing availability of Covid-19 tests in the U.S. has prompted officials at the Transportation and Homeland Security Departments and other agencies to revive efforts to establish safe international travel, especially between the US and England.


North Korea says it has not had one case of coronavirus

NY Governor Cuomo’s book will be out this week: “American Crisis: Leadership Lessons from the COVID-19 Pandemic”


Melania Trump is said to be 99% “there” – expects full recovery in 48 hours.


Tech workers leaving Silicon Valley to work remotely are facing pay cuts, some of 15% or more, depending on where an employee moves.


President Trump isn’t a transmission risk, his physician said in a memo 


A conservation group is warning that the development of an effective coronavirus vaccine on a global scale could ravage over half a million shark populations worldwide, as researchers race to produce a vaccine using an oil derived from sharks.


Novel coronavirus can last 28 days on glass, currency, Australian study finds – “It really reinforces the importance of washing hands and sanitizing where possible


In China, Qingdao’s population of nine million will be tested for Covid-19 over five days after 12 cases.


Carnival Cruise Line is canceling its remaining cruises scheduled for November out of two Florida ports, Port Miami and Port Canaveral, as well as five cruises from Australia at the beginning of next year.


Manchester, Tennessee Mayor Lonnie Norman has died of COVID-19 after being hospitalized about 2 weeks ago.


In a new restructure, Disney is positioning streaming at the center of its entertainment empire. That includes bringing distribution and commercialization under the media and entertainment distribution group, which will be headed by 14-year company veteran Kareem Daniel and will also include streaming services such as Disney+, ESPN and Hulu.


13 states – Alaska, Colorado, Indiana, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota and Wisconsin – had topped their own records for new cases in a seven-day period.


WCVB-Ch. 5 is reporting that tens of thousands of people have signed up to a campaign by a group called 1 Day Sooner to take an experimental vaccine candidate and then face coronavirus in a controlled setting.


Johnson & Johnson news on vaccine trial: “We have temporarily paused further dosing in all our COVID-19 vaccine candidate clinical trials, including the Phase 3 Ensemble trial, due to an unexplained illness in a study participant.” This is similar to the temporary pause Astra-Zeneca has about 2 months ago.


President’s doctors released test results:




New England Patriots have had at least two players test positive. Their training facility was shut down. Game with Broncos for Monday was canceled. Players have since been retested and those players tested negative.


Rhode Island Dept. of Health is issuing caution to workers who carpool to work as some clusters of cases can be traced to that environment. Mask-wearing and keeping windows open, and staying with the same consistent group are suggested.


Glocester Scarecrow Festival set for 10/17 is canceled.


Jamestown Fish will not reopen.


The Fish Co. in Providence was shut down after 8 staff were not wearing masks, or not wearing them properly, distancing was not happening, and the night spot stayed open past shut down time.


These 4 bars have been closed pending review – employees must be tested.


Fish Co. – Providence


7 Sister La Cachimba Hookah Lounge – Providence


Pregame Lounge – Cranston


Tres Letras Hookah Lounge – Providence


Also the Red Lounge in Cranston was in violation.


This is what recovery looks like?


(OK, we only post this because it gives us hope that new treatment modalities that were available to a sitting President will some day be able to treat us all. Regeneron, as an example, only has 50,000 doses available. Hopefully, the President’s bout with coronavirus will inspire mass production – because everyone deserves the treatment and care he had. And, yes, we are glad he did not do the Y – M – C – A!


Posted in 

3rd Slave History Medallion dedicated Smith Castle

3rd Slave History Medallion dedicated at Smith’s Castle

October 13, 2020/RINewsToday


By Charles Roberts, Executive Director, RI Slave History Medallions


Photo, top:  Lady Estelle Barada


About 100 mask-wearing, socially distanced citizens attended the celebration of the third Slave History Medallion in Rhode Island, including Jamestown City Manager Jamie Hainsworth, City Council Representative Susan Taylor of Newport, State Representative Lauren Carson of Newport, State Representative Julie Casimiro of North Kingstown, and Senator Bridget Valverde of East Greenwich, Narragansett, and North and South Kingstown. The dedication ceremony at Smith’s Castle was a rewarding experience for all.



The Smith’s Castle Installation Ceremony acknowledged the enslaved laborers who lived, worked and died on the property over the course of 150 years. Roger Williams built a trading post on this site in 1637 to trade with the Narragansetts after receiving the land from the tribe. Slaves were then brought to the Castle from the Caribbean by Richard Smith Jr. in the 1650’s and continued to be accrued during the plantation era, serving the Updike family until their relinquishment of the property in 1812. A large slave burial ground was found on this property. It held up to 200 graves by the close of the 18th century.



The Rhode Island Slave History Medallions ( is a non- profit organization dedicated to providing historically accurate stories and information about the economic development of the State of Rhode Island during the colonial period from 1638 to 1843 through the use of free labor provided by enslaved African and Native American people.


The Medallion plaque is an artist representation of the “Soul Effigy” angel image produced by the original enslaved stone carver Pompe Stevens who, in 1768, carved and signed one of the first pieces of African American artwork still existing in North America. When you scan the code on the medallion with your phone, historical information about that location comes up on your phone. 


The event organizers followed all the COVID-19 protocols set by the state of Rhode Island for outdoor events, and volunteers took attendees digital temperature, and gathered names, phone numbers and email addresses as a precaution for contact tracing.  


Over the next five years, we plan to place at least one medallion in each of the 25 Rhode Island cities and towns historically associated with the enslavement of people of color.


Charles Roberts, Executive Director


RI Slave History Medallions


98 Kay Street – Newport, RI 02840


https// – 401-339-3035


Lady Estelle Barada

Rhode Island News Today
















10-13-2020 00:21:09



Everybody's up to something

Everybody’s up to something – by Michael Morse

October 12, 2020/Michael Morse


by Michael Morse, contributing writer


My daughter’s first job after college was at a restaurant. It was a lively place in a trendy area, a place to see and be seen. She saw a lot there; high rollers and the sycophants who surrounded them, drugs and debauchery on parade nightly. She was convinced that the world was a crooked place by the time she left, and nothing I could say from my modest little corner of the world would change her mind.


“Everybody is up to something,” she would tell me. “And the people who are honest don’t stand a chance.”


I couldn’t help but take her views personally. I had been working eighty-hour weeks for years, drove a twenty-year-old car, looked older than I was, and owned one suit, reserved for weddings and funerals.


It was difficult to argue against her position. My own world experience showed me a similar view. Working as a firefighter on an EMS rig in the inner city was an eye opener. The culture I encountered was “take what you can get away with and leave the crumbs for the suckers.” There were winners, and there were losers, and the people good at playing the game appeared to be winning.


I had one advantage though. I saw behind the curtain. I witnessed first-hand the price paid for the illusion of success. I saw fatherless children living in crummy tenement houses, women struggling to provide, waiting for the first of the month for their government checks so they could fill their refrigerators and put a little gas in their unregistered, uninsured vehicles.


I saw the boys masquerading as men playing the game, strutting through the ghetto like kings in their fancy cars with tinted windows. I saw them on the streets in their little gangs, wheeling and dealing, in and out of jail, sometimes shot, sometimes shooting.


I had to let my daughter learn for herself that the players were being played. Theirs was a short-term strategy, one that never ends well. Theirs is a world of tricksters and illusion, fast cash and faster crashes.


The world I choose to inhabit is an honest one, one with small daily rewards, one that values integrity and avoids deception. My world is built on solid ground from which a foundation is able to strengthen with slow, steady progress of productive achievement and does not collapse when hardship finds me. And hardship finds all of us eventually, even the people all dressed up playing the look-at-me game with money on loan from a bank of dishonesty that has no mercy when things get difficult.


The world is indeed a crooked place, but ultimately those who can find the straight and narrow path through it will find peace, freedom and satisfaction at days’ end. My daughter got out of her first job with her integrity intact and is now raising her family the right way. If you must be up to something make that something honestly, because in the end, that is what matters most.




Michael Morse spent 23 years as a firefighter/EMT with the Providence Fire Department before retiring in 2013 as Captain, Rescue Co. 5. He is an author of several books, most offering fellow firefighter/EMTs and the general population alike a poignant glimpse into one person’s journey through life, work and hope for the future. He is a Warwick resident.

Over 70? Know Someone? COVID-19 studies need you.....

Over 70? Know Someone? COVID studies need you.

October 10, 2020/RINewsToday


If you are over the age of 70 and interested in volunteering for a COVID prevention program, you are wanted!


Older adults have the most hospitalizations and deaths from COVID-19 of any group in the United States. So far, not many persons older than age 70 have signed up for a registry of volunteers who might be willing to participate in a study.


If you or someone you know might be interested, here is the information you need to know to make your needs known and see if you might be a suitable participant.  The website is: – or, you call the toll-free registry at 866-CVT-1919 (866-288-1919).


Volunteering with the CoVPN Volunteer Screening Registry. You can make a difference. Even if you are not matchable with a study happening right now, new studies continue to be planned over the next year.


Active Studies Recruiting Volunteers:


The ENSEMBLE Study with Janssen’s Ad26.COV2.S Investigational Vaccine


The Ad26.COV2.S investigational vaccine is being developed to prevent or lessen the severity of COVID-19, the disease caused by Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). The Ad26.COV2.S investigational vaccine includes bits of genetic material copied from the spikes of the SARS-CoV-2 virus. The goal is for the body to be immunized against COVID-19. The investigational vaccine does not contain the actual virus and cannot cause COVID-19. The ENSEMBLE study aims to test Janssen’s investigational vaccine in many different populations across the globe.


Visit – NCT04505722 for additional details.


AstraZeneca Study of AZD1222 Begins


AZD1222 is an investigational vaccine being developed by AstraZeneca to prevent COVID-19, the disease caused by the SARS-CoV-2 virus.


The vaccine is based on a weakened version of a common cold (adenovirus) virus. The adenovirus vaccine has been changed so that it can’t replicate inside your body. It presents part of the COVID-19 spike protein to the body so that an immune response can be made to it. The purpose of the study is to test how well the investigational vaccine works at preventing COVID-19 disease and how safe it is.


Visit – NCT04516746 for additional details.


Regeneron’s 10933 and 10987 Antibodies, the REGN-COV2 Study


REGN-COV-2 is testing a combination of two antibodies called REGN10933 and REGN10987 to see whether they are able to prevent acquisition of SARS-CoV-2. This study will enroll approximately 2,000 adults in the United States who are living in the same household as a person who has recently tested positive for SARS-CoV-2. This will include about 1,700 participants who test SARS-CoV-2 negative at enrollment and about 300 participants who have a positive SARS-CoV-2 test result but do not have any COVID-19 symptoms.


The REGN10933 and REGN10987 antibodies are designed to bind to SARS-CoV-2 and prevent the virus from entering healthy cells. The antibodies were made in a lab by the pharmaceutical company Regeneron. REGN10933 and REGN10987 cannot give you SARS-CoV-2, nor will they make you sick with COVID-19.


Learn more about the study and the antibodies used:


Eli Lilly’s LY3819253 Antibody, the BLAZE-2 Study


BLAZE-2 is testing the LY3819253 antibody. It will be enrolling staff and residents in skilled nursing and assisted living facilities with a high risk of exposure to SARS-CoV-2. The study questions are:

  • Does the antibody prevent the acquisition of SARS-CoV-2?
  • Does the antibody help to prevent the development of more severe COVID-19, or does it reduce the symptoms?


The study will be conducted in the United States with up to 2,400 participants. LY3819253 is designed to bind to SARS?CoV-2 and prevent the virus from entering healthy cells. LY3819253 was developed in a lab by the pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly. LY3819253 cannot give you SARS-CoV-2, nor will it make you sick with COVID-19.


Visit or – NCT04497987 for additional details. You may also call the BLAZE-2 Call Center at 718-210-9713 from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time Monday through Friday.


Moderna’s mRNA-1273 vaccine, The COVE Study™


The mRNA-1273 vaccine is being developed to prevent COVID-19. The purpose of this study is to test Moderna’s vaccine candidate to see if it can prevent illness if people are exposed to the SARS-CoV-2 virus in their everyday lives. The mRNA-1273 vaccine is not made from the SARS-CoV-2 virus. It is made from messenger ribonucleic acid (mRNA), a genetic code that tells cells how to make protein, which helps the body’s immune system make antibodies to fight the virus. The vaccine cannot cause infection or make someone sick with COVID-19.


Visit – NCT04470427 for additional details.


What Is a Clinical Study?

Interventions that have shown promise in the laboratory and then in animal models subsequently move on to research studies in people, also known as clinical studies. The COVID-19 Prevention Network (CoVPN) will be doing studies to find safe and effective vaccines and monoclonal antibodies for the severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus type 2 (SARS-CoV-2), which is the virus that causes coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19).


These vaccines and antibodies cannot cause SARS-CoV-2 infection or COVID-19 illness. They do not contain any live or killed virus. Participants in these studies may be exposed to the virus in their everyday lives, but they will not be exposed to the virus as part of the study (known as “challenge studies.”) These are studies of preventive vaccines that we hope will keep people healthy.


What Are the Different Stages of Clinical Studies to Test Preventive Vaccines and Antibodies Against COVID-19?


Phase 1 Clinical Studies


Phase 1 studies test the safety of a product. This means seeing if there are side effects, and whether the human body can tolerate the vaccine or antibody. The experimental product is often compared to a group that receives a placebo, a substance such as sterile saltwater that has no active ingredients. These studies are conducted with a small group of people (usually less than 100) and typically last 12 to 18 months.


Phase 2 Clinical Studies


Phase 2 studies look at questions such as the maximum tolerated dose, the optimal schedule for giving the product (how many doses, and at what time intervals), and whether the immune system is having the desired responses. These responses can include the production of antibodies, the production of T cells, and other immune system markers. These studies are conducted with a medium-size population of volunteers (usually a few hundred to 1000) and the studies can last up to 2 years.


Phase 2b Clinical Studies


Phase 2b studies are a way to get an early look at whether the product is effective at preventing infection or disease. They are sometimes known as Proof of Concept or Test of Concept studies. A group of several thousand people who are at increased risk for infection or disease are enrolled, and the studies can last about 2-5 years. Based on the data from these studies, researchers can see whether the results seem favorable, supporting moving ahead to Phase 3. If the results are less favorable, it means that researchers can redirect their efforts and save the expenses of large Phase 3 studies.


Phase 3 Clinical Studies


Phase 3 studies are where researchers can ask the questions, “Does this product prevent new infections? Or if people do become infected, does the product help them control the infection so that it doesn’t become severe disease?” These studies involve many thousands of people, usually including some participants who are at increased risk for infection.


Phase 4 Clinical Studies


Phase 4 studies may take place after a product has been found to be effective in some populations, and are utilized to gather additional information about safety and effectiveness by testing the product in additional populations such as children or pregnant women. They are sometimes known as bridging studies, or post-licensure studies. These studies may be conducted in anyone seeking a prevention option from their physician.


Under 70?


What is the CoVPN Volunteer Screening Registry


The purpose of the screening registry is to create a list of potential volunteers who want to take part in current or future COVID-19 prevention clinical trials. You must be 18 years or older to participate. Participation involves completing a short online survey that includes some personal questions. Your participation is voluntary. This survey typically takes about 10 minutes to complete. Do you know someone 65 years or older who might be interested in being a volunteer but needs help to fill out the survey? If so, they can call 866-288-1919 for assistance with registration.


Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 9, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Oct. 9, 2020

October 9, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Salve Regina University – Message to students: “We have been lucky that none of our students who are quarantining due to possible exposure have tested positive. We need your help to stay that way.”  Salve has an extensive asymptomatic testing program and since mid-August, only 3 students have tested positive.




The President’s doctor says the President has antibodies in his bloodstream to coronavirus.


COVID-19 cases increased 40% in Canada Over Past Seven Days


JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Assoc) wrote an editorial against Pres. Trump’s pushing of certain treatments saying, “With no good options to combat a novel pathogen”, the president has failed in leadership. There have been many negative – and positive statements about that claim since the editorial.


Regeneron asks FDA for emergency authorization of its Covid-19 antibody therapy


Eli Lilly and Company has asked the U.S. government to allow emergency use of an experimental antibody therapy based on early results from a study that suggested the drug reduced symptoms, the amount of virus, hospitalizations and ER visits for patients with mild or moderate COVID-19. Its drug is similar to one that President Trump received from Regeneron Pharmaceuticals Inc. These medicines supply concentrated versions of specific antibodies to help the immune system clear the coronavirus that causes COVID-19. They’re given as a one-time treatment through an IV.


new survey from pharmacy giant Walgreens finds that 75% of people surveyed said they will definitely or probably get a flu shot this year. The survey, which collected responses from more than 2,000 U.S. adults at the beginning of August, also found that just over half of people said they were likelier to get a flu shot this year because of Covid-19.


ESPN is set to lay off several hundred employees at the behest of parent firm the Walt Disney Company, as many as 700 or more. SportsCenter host Keith Olbermann announced the end of his third stint with the network, where he had been since 2018.


Disneyland and other large theme parks won’t be reopening anytime soon, now says California Gov. Gavin Newsom.


The airline industry says jobs are being held hostage while House and Senate leaders bicker over the terms of a new aid package. A dozen industry trade groups and unions said they all agree that a standalone deal is necessary and urged the majority and minority leaders of both legislative bodies to reconcile their differences as soon as possible.


Yellowstone National Park officials say 16 employees tested positive for COVID-19 in September, marking a significant uptick in cases.


A British study has found 86% of people infected with the coronavirus didn’t show the main symptoms on the day they were tested.


Connecticut Phase Three opening is getting off to a tough start, with some restaurant owners saying they won’t be able to reach the new 75% capacity limit for indoor dining because they don’t have the space due to the rule that tables be at least 6 feet apart. Many theaters and concert venues have decided not to open this week as it isn’t economically feasible at half-full capacity.


Regeneron is not made with stem cells or fetal cells, as rumors have been saying – independent analyzers have said this is rumor and false. The company said, “This particular discovery program (REGN-COV2) did not involve human stem cells or ESCs,” she wrote. “The 293T cell line was originally derived from human embryonic kidney cells but is an immortalized epithelial cell – so not a stem cell.”


Cyprus is opening their beaches.


Wisconsin is opening their field hospital for the first time.


Santas at malls will be behind plexiglass screens, be seen via drive-ups, do ZOOM calls, etc. Malls and other sites are putting their creativity to use to plan these events.


Football coaches testing positive: Kansas coach Les Miles tested positive and is quarantining in his home, where he plans to fulfill his head coaching responsibilities remotely. Arizona coach Kevin Sumlin has tested positive as well as Florida State coach Mike Norvell, and Toledo’s Jason Candle. Arkansas State coach Blake Anderson also have tested positive, though each has returned to his team.


The Bills-Titans game has been moved from Sunday to Tuesday night at 7 p.m. as long as Tennessee has no more positive tests.


Fauci said his daughters refuse to visit for Thanksgiving, telling him: ‘You’re a young, vigorous guy, but you’re 79 years old’


Pres. Trump wants to pass a standalone bill for airline relief – Nancy Pelosi said a single bill can’t be done without a bigger package – but this changes by the hour, so stay tuned.


The National Cancer Institute (NCI) has launched the Serological Sciences Network for COVID-19 (SeroNet), an initiative aimed at quickly increasing the nation’s antibody testing capacity and engaging the U.S. research community to understand the immune response to COVID-19. NCI is part of the National Institutes of Health. SeroNet will engage more than 25 of the nation’s top academic, government and private sector biomedical research institutions to study the immune response to COVID-19 to speed delivery of testing, treatments and vaccine development for combat the pandemic.





RI Testing sites, including K-12 sites will be closed on Monday, Columbus Day


Dr. Birx was at URI yesterday and said that the next wave will be between friends and family – not through workplaces, etc. Dr. Birx said that there are a “whole lot of vaccine lines coming off final production now and going into storage” – waiting for the system to be ready to go as needed and with ancillary supplies and distribution mechanisms. Regarding President Trump: “I am sure he’s following the advice of his doctors,” President Dooley said, ““We’re seeing pretty low positivity rates now; no indication of spread through large social gatherings.” The university still has ample available rooms dedicated for isolation or quarantine of students should need arise. However, URI is said to be considering a curfew.


NBC10 reported that URI bought 2 trailers for testing which cannot be used, for $13K and $2500 for branding, $31K for structural work – state building commissioner has said the trailers don’t meet state codes. Similar trailers are in use at private colleges and universities in New England. RI wants a 3rd party group to certify the trailers but there are no 3rd party groups.


Indoor place spaces (trampolines, etc.) are perparing to open in Fall River and Swansea.


Field hockey and soccer are set to return this weekend in this altered high school sports season.


25 major property owners in Massachusetts have agreed not to evict those struggling financially because of the coronavirus, even after the state ban on evictions is lifted.


Boston teachers union filing injunction to stop in-person learning


Nearly 200 UMass students face discipline for COVID-19 violations


Patriots practice canceled again – 3rd player positive – games rescheduled to Monday night.


Providence College tested 293 students and none were positive – today school begins in-person.


RI Business Compliance Violations – since October 1st:

B.Good Restaurant 269 Thayer St.,
Compliance Order 10/6/2020
El Chapin Restaurant 271 Plainfield St.,
Compliance Order 10/6/2020
Fisher Auto Parts 2312 Pawtucket Ave.,
East Providence
Compliance Order 10/6/2020
High Life Smoke Shop 43 Main Rd.,
Compliance Order 10/6/2020
Barbers & Beards 8 Highland St.,
West Warwick
Notice of Compliance with ICO
Immediate Compliance Order

Downtown Liquors 202 Thames St.,
Compliance Order 10/2/2020
UMI Asian Cuisine 82 Broadway,
Compliance Order 10/2/2020
King Hookah 1459 Broad St.,
Compliance Order 10/2/2020
Gemma’s Market 458 Cranston St.,
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

Alia Market 384 Elmwood Ave.,
Compliance Order 10/2/2020
Zona Lounge 195 Niantic Ave.,
Compliance Order 10/1/2020
Centro de Nutrucion Familiar 732 Atwood Ave.,
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

Davo’s Calzones and Wraps 99 Fortin Rd.,
South Kingstown
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order

RI Data:

Deaths – 1

Coronavirus cases by city/town in Rhode Island:


Pilgrims returned to Mecca after Saudi Arabia allowed citizens and residents to start performing the umrah at 30% capacity, or 6,000 pilgrims a day.


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: For the second straight week, the Patriots game is being moved from Sunday to Monday.  A Providence man allegedly causes chaos after stealing a delivery truck.  Dr. Deborah Birx has good things to say about Rhode Island's response to the coronavirus pandemic.

>>National Grid Has Almost Everyone Back Online

(Undated)  --  National Grid only reported about three-hundred power outages for Rhode Island overnight Friday after Wednesday's storm activity.  At the peak of the outage situation, over 41-thousand Rhode Island customers were without service, according to the utility.  Service restoration is expected to reach 100 percent today.

>>Patriots-Broncos Moved To Monday

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The upcoming NFL game between the New England Patriots and Denver Broncos is being moved from Sunday to Monday evening.  The Patriots roster has been impacted by the coronavirus, which caused last week's game at Kansas City to also be delayed by one day, but it was played.  No announcement has been made this week about whether fans will be able to attend the Pats-Broncos game at Gillette Stadium; the first two Patriots home games had no fans by order of the state of Massachusetts.

>>Providence Man Allegedly Stole Delivery Truck, Caused Multiple Crashes

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is accused of stealing a delivery truck in the city and getting into more trouble after that.  According to the Rhode Island State Police, Nicholas Brown stole the Calise [[ cuh-LEASE ]] Bakery truck from their building on Niantic Avenue at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday.  Brown then reportedly got onto Route 10 and sideswiped one car, then another as he got off the Westminster Street ramp, then crashed through a fence and hit an excavator at the 6-10 construction site.  Brown was eventually arrested, but not before police say he used a fire extinguisher on a couple of workers at the site who went to see what happened.

>>Civilian Board Releases Report On Arrest By Providence Officer

(Providence, RI)  --  A civilian board which oversees the Providence Police Department has released a report on an arrest made by a white police officer against a black man earlier this year.  Sergeant Joseph Hanley faces a simple assault charge over the arrest in April, during which he allegedly forced Rishod Gore of East Providence to the ground, knelt on his neck and shoulder, punched him and kicked him, and stepped on his legs, according to the report from the Providence External Review Authority.  The report is "deeply troubling", according to a statement from the Rhode Island ACLU, because it describes assaultive behavior towards a handcuffed suspect and the failure of other officers to stop Hanley.

>>Dr. Birx Discusses RI's COVID-19 Response

(Kingston, RI)  --  White House coronavirus response coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx met with Governor Gina Raimondo and others at the University of Rhode Island on Thursday as part of a trip through the Northeast U.S.  Birx had positive things to say about how the Ocean State has handled the coronavirus pandemic, noting that it has tested more of its population than any other state.  She also credited URI for deciding to test all on-and-off-campus students, even those without symptoms.  Birx said stopping asymptomatic spread is key, especially in small gatherings.

>>Mattiello Takes Stand In Former Consultant's Trial

(Warwick, RI)  --  Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello took the stand in the political corruption trial of his former political consultant, Jeff Britt, on Thursday.  Britt is accused of coordinating a pro-Mattiello campaign mailer featuring an endorsement from a defeated Republican primary challenger during the Democrat Mattiello's 2016 re-election effort.  Mattiello said he did not know about the mailer and that he did not think it was a good idea.

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

10-09-2020 00:35:10

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Oct 8, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 8, 2020

October 8, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: New England Patriots Coach Bill Belichick, wearing double masks – a surgical mask and a gator. The Patriots have 2-3 players testing positive and practice called off yesterday and today. Other NFL teams are starting to experience outbreaks.




In an effort to avoid unnecessary interruptions of in-person learning in Ohio, Gov. Mike DeWine said the state is going to conduct a study to examine whether student quarantines are effective as expected.


Joint Chiefs of staff quarantined – chairman Gen. Mark Milley and the chiefs of the Army, Navy, Air Force, Space Force, and CyberCom commander have all tested negative for coronavirus and none has exhibited symptoms, and after a joint exposure they are all in quarantine.


Suddenly, new guidelines have been published by the FDA saying that vaccine makers should follow trial participants for at least two months to rule out safety issues before seeking emergency approval. That requirement would mean there could not be a vaccine introduction before Nov. 3, election day.


700 million packages may be delayed this holiday shopping year because of the quantity ordered – shop early is the advice.


President Trump announced negotiations with the House are over for stimulus aid as Speaker Pelosi insists on including $2.4 trillion to bail out badly run cities/states, which has nothing to do with the pandemic. President instructed end of negotiations until after the election where he promises stimulus packages will be put together. Insiders feel that this may be a negotiation tactic, and other announcements may be coming.


Contact tracing in Europe is being widely shot down as being able to get control of the coronavirus – both with people unwilling to provide details and the failure of governments to support citizens to be able to be out of work and quarantining. The US has struggled with lack of cooperation as well.


In Israel, the Israeli-Orthodox are defying lockdown regulations for their community.


Nearly 1/3 of patients at Plymouth Dept of Corrections facility test positive.


Regal movie theaters will temporarily shut over 500 theaters in US and lay off over 5,000 workers.


Showcase Theaters reopen their concession stands Monday, Oct. 5 in Massachusetts


Worcester says “no” to door-to-door trick or treating.


Stephen Miller, a senior adviser to President Trump, has tested positive and has already been self-quarantining and working for 5 days.


Chris Christie appeared on ABC’s post-debate coverage in studio along with George Stephanopoulos, Rahm Emanuel correspondent Linsey Davis and analysts Yvette Simpson and Sarah Fagen. He now tests positive and has been hospitalized due to his asthma and weight.


Joe Biden has told reporters that if President Donald Trump continues to test positive for COVID-19, there shouldn’t be a second debate.


Madrid will impose a lockdown


President Trump’s White House physician said in a memo Wednesday that the president has been free of symptoms for a full day and that his blood tests show the presence of antibodies for coronavirus.


Two White House housekeepers test positive


The White House Correspondents’ Association has worked with the White House since the spring to limit the number of reporters who are inside the White House, both working from there and attending events.


Michelle Obama records social media spot saying that electing Joe Biden will implement mandatory mask wearing


The CDC has called for buffet-less cruise ship dining – where travelers cannot graze and make their own plates. Each ship line is deciding how to implement this.


A neighborhood of Orthodox Jews erupted into violent protests about COVID-19 restrictions, burning masks in the street.


Paris will close all bars


The Dow Jones rose 530 points after news of new stimulus money.


Pres. Trump says he will accept discussions on single focus stimulus money, after ending discussions as no new movement has happened since May with the Congress.


Seems likely that relief for airlines and airline employees will happen soon.


Florida’s online voting system crashed as people were encouraged to use it over in-person voting. Meanwhile in Rhode island, far fewer people registered to vote by mail-in ballot than originally thought, leading to a big effort to find more polling stations and volunteer poll workers.


New York: Gov. Andrew Cuomo rejected the plan that Mayor DeBlasio had to close schools, restaurants, retail outlets, etc.


Wells Fargo cuts 700+ commercial line jobs.


Santander cuts hundreds of jobs across US.


Italy has imposed in/out mask mandate.


Author and China expert Gordon Chang said that the Chinese communist regime, which had not been truthful about the CCP virus during the early outbreaks, should be held accountable for its global spread and the positive diagnosis of President Donald Trump.


COVID-19, although it has taken a massive, devastating human and economic toll, it has fast-tracked a technological transformation that could have profound and positive impacts on healthcare.


Gov. Andrew Cuomo defended his decision not to wear a mask at an indoor press conference where he called for tougher enforcement of state rules requiring masks and social distancing. Cuomo said it was fine because he was over 6 feet away once he removed his mask.


Alcohol consumption is up 14% in the US since the pandemic.


Coronavirus-related crowd restrictions for events were loosened by Pennsylvania Gov. TomWolf, who called the shift “a gradual adjustment to our lives as we learn how we can do things safely” until there’s a vaccine or cure.


Doctors have said that Pres. Trump’s treatment was similar to what is available to others – the primary difference is the early and rapid deployment of the treatment methods. This could have changes for average Americans’ treatment plans.


New England Patriots Cam Newton is asymptomatic. If he stays that way for five days and tests negative twice 24 hours apart, he could be back on the field Thursday.


In Nevada, health officials in the state’s two largest counties said they have been shut out of the governor’s decisions regarding the pandemic.


Wisconsin will open a coronavirus field hospital at the state fairgrounds near Milwaukee.


The pandemic has doubled the number of people who are acutely food insecure to 270 million


Dr. Jeanne Marrazzo, director of the infectious disease division at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, said, about Presidential candidate Joe Biden: “It’s the right question to ask. Technically, if you follow the rules, he should be quarantined and he should not be around anyone, including Kamala Harris.


An office furniture manufacturer, AIS, Inc. is providing face masks to all poll workers and Election Day volunteers in Massachusetts.


Nantucket limits gatherings to 10 due to outbreaks.


Chief of Staff Mark Meadows says President Trump feels good enough to resume working from the Oval Office and they now have precautions in place to allow for that. Any staff coming in contact with him will wear gowns, gloves, mask, eye protection


Salem asks visitors without reservations to stay away from Halloween attractions


Three Hudson, MA school community members test positive for COVID-19


Football: A player on the Las Vegas Raiders has tested positive today per source. Another Titans player tests positive. Stephon Gilmore of Patriots tests positive.


California Governor issued guidelines for people to put their mask back on in between bites when dining out – people average 41 bites a meal…


Ruby Tuesday filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Hawaii is pushing forward on welcoming tourists again.


Boston Public Schools’ reopening plans were paused Wednesday after the city’s COVID-19 positive test rate climbed over 4%


Santas everywhere will have to have a different way of interacting with children as lap-sitting will be not allowed.





RI Data


Oct. 6



Oct. 7:



Don’t be alarmed by rising numbers of cases because we are doing so much more testing. Hospitalization trend is heading downward – 70 to 66. Percent positive is 1.5%


Hospitalizations in RI of COVID-19 patients totaled 107, an increase from 93 one day prior. Of those hospitalized, 10 were in intensive care units and five were on ventilators


RI is at 90% of its pre-COVID economy – this is good and we need to keep going. Based on composite measure used by Moody’s – measure such as job creation, etc.


K-12 – Testing: 4th week of testing. Of 6,000 tests, identified 109 cases. Percent positive is about 2%. 1400 staff and 4200 tests on students. 2500 of tests were done last week. This week we will do more. Since school started, 260 cases in community in total. Only 109 were identified in K-12 testing system. Rent of cases were identified through other means. If you are part of the K-12 system, please use that system so we can keep track of numbers and we guarantee same day testing and results. Phone # 844-857-1814. Of the 260 cases so far, ½ are from students/staff who have not set foot in a classroom this year. 95 schools have seen positive case – 69 of them have only had one case. Means in all of those schools the system is working. After 4 weeks, data is showing system is working.  TY to Warwick groups for deciding to go back to school, starting with K-5. Pawtucket: “Let’s see if you can do the right thing for the kids of Pawtucket – many will suffer lifelong hardship if you don’t work harder, be more creative to open the schools – especially those with special needs and especially for the littlest ones. It is the poor black and brown children of Pawtucket, who will fall the furthest behind if you don’t do your job and get them back in school.”


Correction: 150 cases in schools reopened. 110 cases from distance learning. Gov said the majority are from teachers who have not been in school – and that schools mostly have 1 case per school.


Subs: Every district in need. Calling all retired teachers to raise your hand and serve. If you are retired, if you have space in your heart and your day, please come back. Consider helping with virtual learning. If you want a new career, please consider this, too. Dept. of Educ through the Highlander Institute is putting a training program together for free training.In classroom or virtual. Complete program, your name would be put on a list. $90-$150/day. for more info. (It’s not a lot of money, it’s to help the children). Editor’s Note: Teacher unions, groups, and medical experts have criticized bringing back teachers over age 50 to a live, in-person setting.


Jobs Announcement: Infosys had committed to hiring 500 RIslanders. As of today they have 150 jobs posted – looking to fill immediately. – if you don’t have skills, apply anyway, you might be eligible for free training.


Vaccine: Don’t know when it will be ready. Lot of concern, uncertainty, and misinformation. Gov says “come here for your information” – “tune out noise, politics, social media, and news”. Distribution system is being worked on – RI has a team – it’s top of mind. We will devote tens of millions of CARES and FEMA dollars for vaccine distribution in RI. RI is excellent at doing immunizations. RI will put together a sub-committee to work just on this. RI will evaluate the vaccine(s) for safety and efficacy. Full list of members will be on DOH website. Vaccine is not a silver bullet – have to have enough – double shots most likely – sufficient quantity – people comfortable enough to take it.


RI COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee members

  • Dr. Tom Bledsoe, Rhode Island Hospital
  • Dr. Sapna Chowdhry, Thundermist Health Center
  • Dr. Kerry LaPlante, URI School of Pharmacy
  • Dr. Pablo Rodriguez, Care New England
  • Dr. Jennifer Clarke, Rhode Island Department of Corrections
  • Dr. John Fulton, Brown University School of Public Health
  • Dr. Beth Lange, Coastal Medical
  • Jonathan Brice, Bristol/Warren Regional School District
  • Dr. Wilfredo Perez, Tri-county Community Action Agency
  • Reverend Chris Abhulime, the King’s Tabernacle
  • Larry Warner, United Way
  • Dr. Karen Tashima, Lifespan Immunology Center
  • Dr. Sabina Holland, Hasbro Children’s Hospital
  • Kathy Heren, Rhode Island Long-term Care Ombudsman
  • Dr. Eugenio Fernandez, Asthenis Pharmacy
  • Joan Kwiatkowski, PACE
  • TBD: Brown University School of Public Health representative under the leadership of Dr. Ashish Jha


Company break rooms can be a problem – wear masks – and clean.


Car-pooling can be a problem.


Colleges/universities – cases associated with communal living situations. Heavily involved with leadership to help. Specifically J&W, URI, and PC


Nightclubs: should be closed.


RI needs a stimulus – if we don’t see a stimulus it will be awful. Cuts to schools, cuts and layoffs to state employees, etc. Looking for predictability. Q: If there is no stimulus money, will you release CARES funds? Gov: Maybe. CARES will need to go to business, and to not shut jobs down.


Budget: November legislature will come back.


If you are out of work and worried that your job might not come back go to back2work website and get some training.



Newport Mental Health will create a COVID-19 Emergency Suicide Prevention program with a $1 Million grant. Newport County has the highest suicide rate in RI


Twin River rehires 2/3 of its casino workforce, cutting remainder due to pandemic.


The Garland Pen Company here in RI since 1927, probably the only USA made pen company, is closing due to the pandemic – several dozen employees to lose their jobs.


North Providence High School to move to virtual learning after 2 students test positive.


The Fryeburg Fair set for Oct 4-11 will go virtual.


COVID-19 cases at the University of Massachusetts continued to climb over the weekend, with the university reporting 23 more over the weekend. That brings to 121 the number of those connected with UMass who have tested positive since Aug. 6.


Framingham announced a major spike in coronavirus cases on Monday. An additional 44 residents tested positive for COVID-19 since Oct. 2, bringing the city’s active case count to 145, the highest number of active cases in Framingham since late August. They will also not issue warnings anymore about parties over 15 – but go straight to $500 per person fines.


Dream Mall in New Jersey opens.


Fall River will allow trick or treating if no surges 5:30 to 7, wear face masks, stay with groups of family and use hand sanitizer.


Newport restaurants are working to extend the outdoor season, ordering tents and heaters.


One restaurant owner described downtown Providence as a “ghost town”.


RI DMV extensions have ended – need to certify by end of October.


RI DMV will open on Saturdays from 8:30am to 12:30pm starting Oct. 17th and going to the end of the year, with the exception of 2 Monday holidays.


Gardner’s Wharf Seafood, the popular Wickford seafood market and wholesale shellfish processing station, will be closed through Oct. 12 following staff exposure and direct contact “with a person testing positive for COVID 19,


Johnson And Wales Moves Online Following 38 Coronavirus Cases


3 Worcester firefighters test positive.


Ed Achorn, former editor of Providence Journal wrote an opinion blog about not having lives turned upside down by the coronavirus –


Brigham and Womens will begin a 10,000 study of at-home testing


Coventry School Dept. bus driver tests positive – 3 children are based told to quarantine


Sturdy Memorial Hospital has 4 positive cases in patients and 10 in staff.


College Updates:




9/28-10/4 – 2,088 tests given; 66 positives, Positive Test Rate: 3%


All time – 10,086 tests given; 184 positives, Positive Test Rate: 2%


Total in quarantine: 498 – Total students in university isolation/quarantine: 79


Effective immediately: All students must be tested.


Providence College:


Last 2 weeks – 3,082 tests given; 20, Positive Test Rate .95%


All time – 22,221 tests given; 233 positives (includes 3 faculty/staff), Positive Test Rate: 1%


Total in quarantine: 324 – Isolation: 84


Recovered: 171


Johnson & Wales:


Last week: 13 new cases identified – moving to all virtual and will do all-campus testing


Brown University: (reporting asymptomatic results)


Last 7 days: 6,464 people tested; 9 positives; Positive Test Rate: .1%


All time: 7,214 people tested; 26 positives; Positive Test Rate: .4%


President’s address last night: noting the types of medications he hopes to make available to all people, for no cost.



Posted in 

Senora Secretaria: Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Senora Secretaria: Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

October 8, 2020/Ann Clanton


by Ann Clanton – Contributing Writer, “Speak Up”


The fastest growing group in the United States are Hispanics. They are 18.1 % of the population in the United States and 14% in Rhode Island. National Hispanic Heritage Month honors those whose heritage is rooted in Latin American countries. It is celebrated from September 15th to October 15th in 2020.


In Rhode Island, the influence is evident in the number of Latino/Latina elected officials and those working in government. Perhaps the most influential and recognizable is Rhode Island is the RI Secretary of State, Nelly Gorbea.


Sworn in in January 2015, Gorbea became the first Latina elected to statewide office in New England. Secretary of State Gorbea is known for her policies to increase access to registering to vote and early voting, however, little is known about Secretary Gorbea’s interest outside of the State House.


Last month we caught a glimpse of the Secretary’s personal interests when she tweeted out a photo of herself riding a cherry red motorcycle. During my interview with the Secretary, Gorbea took special note to assure me that she obeys the speed limit and the rules of the road.


Understanding the power of the platform that she has, Secretary Gorbea is mindful of her responsibility to share lessons learned and effective ways to make government work for all the people of Rhode Island. “I feel a need to make sure I’m available to mentor anyone who wants to get into politics, because it helps if you talk to those who have done it.” In Gorbea’s role she focuses not only on voting issues, but also on the importance of everyone – including all minority groups – to complete the U.S. Census.


During her tenure as Secretary of State, voting amongst Gen Xers and Latinx has increased significantly. Kevin Fernandez, a Gen Xer and owner of a pizza franchise in Pawtucket, said, “I feel the need to be more involved in the voting process, especially since I have a business.”


Community activist and one-time candidate for Mayor of Providence, Kobi Dennis,attributes the participation of Latinx voters, many who were first time voters, to the Secretary of State’s activities and her position as a role model.


Due to COVID-19, the usual Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations will not happen this year. However, Gorbea still reflects on the contributions of Latinos, specifically Puerto Ricans to the United States.


“I’m from Puerto Rico and one thing that seems to surprise people a lot is how many Puerto Ricans have served in the United States Armed Forces”. Her grandfather, father, and brother have all served. As a public servant in Rhode Island government, Secretary of State Gorbea continues a tradition of Latinos contributing to the American story.


About National Hispanic Heritage Month



National Hispanic Heritage Month traditionally honors the cultures and contributions of both Hispanic and Latino Americans as we celebrate heritage rooted in all Latin American countries. During this month and throughout the year, we, and our partners, share history, heritage, and accomplishments of Hispanic and Latino Americans of past and present.


They offer guidance on the use of popular terms:


Hispanic refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a Spanish-speaking country.


Latino/a or Latinx refers to a person who is from, or a descendant of someone who is from, a country in Latin America.


National resources where you can learn more about the month and its history are:


To learn more about voting, and the role of the RI Secretary of State, go to:


Ann-Allison Clanton was born and raised in Providence, Rhode Island. As principle of Ann Clanton Communications, Ann has more than two decades of experience as a communications and public affairs consultant. She has written features and profiles articles for the Providence American Newspaper and Ethnic Online Magazine.


Among the notable persons interviewed include former U. S. Ambassador Andrew Young, Dr. Cornell West, former Florida Congressman Allen West (R-FL) and Ringling Brothers and Barnum Bailey Circus first African American Ringmaster, Johnathan Lee Iverson.


Ann is the founder of the Rhode Island Black Film Festival and a founding member of the Southern New England Association of Black Journalists.

Updated: RI School List with COVID-19 cases as of 10/3/20

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 10/3/20)

October 8, 2020/RINewsToday


RI Dept. of Health updated cases in schools as of 10/3/20


Summary – this update – 272 locations – 268 cumulative cases


95 schools – 74 new cases – 154 total


77 virtual learning- 44 new cases – 114 total


Updated from Summary on 9/26 – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total



K-12 Testing Requests can be made here:


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The good memory of the victim of an alleged child abduction in Providence helped authorities make an arrest.  Thousands without power in Rhode Island this morning after yesterday's storm activity.  Governor Raimondo talked about coronavirus vaccines and a substitute teacher shortage at her weekly COVID press briefing.

[[ note nature ]]

>>More Details On Providence Abduction Case

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Police Chief Hugh Clements called the kidnapping and sexual assault of a young girl in Providence a "heinous", "rare" crime on Wednesday.  Luis Martinez-Romero of Cranston was arraigned and ordered held without bail for allegedly snatching the girl who had just been let off her school bus, driving off, assaulting her elsewhere, and then later returning her to the area.  According to Providence police, the nine-year-old girl remembered a fast-food order that had been made during the incident, which led authorities to arrest Martinez-Romero, who apparently did not know the victim.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Storm Sends Trees Down On Cars; Over 13K Still Without Power

(Undated)  --  No injuries were reported when a tree crashed on an occupied car outside of Scituate Middle-High School yesterday.  This happened during afternoon and early-evening storms that went through Rhode Island.  Another report from Burrillville indicated a tree came down on two cars, causing heavy damage, but no injuries were reported in that instance, either.  Overnight, National Grid still said there over 13-thousand customers without power in the state.

>>RI Coronavirus Vaccine Advisory Board Formed

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo said yesterday a vaccine will not be distributed in the state unless it's safe.  A special advisory panel will review any vaccine that is developed and advise about the priorities of distributing it.  The governor of Massachusetts made a similar announcement about an advisory panel yesterday, as well.  Raimondo said tens of millions of dollars in federal funding will be spent to distribute the vaccine; she emphasized the importance of everyone having access.

>>Governor Addresses Substitute Teacher Shortage

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Raimondo yesterday also made a plea for retired teachers to become substitutes to address a strained school district workforce.  She said this is due to students now learning virtually in addition to the traditional way.  For those who do not have teaching experience but are interested in becoming a substitute, Raimondo announced the state education department is offering free training through a partnership with the Highlander Institute.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Patriots Practice Canceled Today, This Weekend's Game Still On

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots won't practice today as the team deals with coronavirus cases.  Defensive star Stephon Gilmore and quarterback Cam Newton have both tested positive.  The Sunday game against the Denver Broncos is still on, for now.  It's still not clear if fans will be allowed to attend the game if it does get played.

>>State Rests In Jeff Britt Trial

(Providence, RI)  --  The state has rested in the political corruption trial of Jeff Britt, the former political consultant of Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello.  Britt is charged with felony money-laundering and a misdemeanor of making a prohibited campaign contribution during Mattiello's 2016 re-election campaign.  Prosecutors allege Britt orchestrated a pro-Mattiello campaign mailer from a defeated Republican primary challenger.  The defense is expected to call witnesses Thursday after arguments to dismiss the money-laundering charge are heard by the judge on the case.

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

10-08-2020 00:14:44

Some RI legislators call Gun Buyback Reckless, Irresponsible

Some RI legislators call Gun Buyback Reckless, Irresponsible

October 7, 2020/RINewsToday


Several Legislators Condemn Providence and Central Falls Gun Buyback Program as Reckless and Irresponsible


Several Rhode Island legislators are questioning the wisdom behind the “Gun-Buyback” initiative that was announced last month by Mayor Jorge Elorza of Providence and Mayor James Diossa of Central Falls.


They (listed below) issued a press release yesterday:


“The buyback event is scheduled for October 17th and has received statewide criticism from a broad spectrum of individuals, advocacy groups and the Providence Fraternal Order of Police (FOP).  Talk radio station WPRO spent hours on this topic last week and the reaction was overwhelmingly negative. 


The buyback program offers participants $100 Visa gift cards for any rifle or shotgun that is turned in; a $200 Visa gift card for any handgun that is turned in; and most stunningly, $500 for any gun that has been reported stolen.


The joint press release from Mayors Elorza and Diossa states that “firearms will be accepted anonymously and with amnesty for possession, will not be tested for ongoing cases and will be destroyed at the end of the buyback program.”


“The very notion that we are allowing criminals – and let’s not mince words, if you are in possession of a stolen handgun, you are committing multiple felonies – to simply hand over a stolen firearm with no questions asked is ludicrous,” said Representative Sherry Roberts.


“Over the past 10 years, Providence Police have successfully removed over 1,100 firearms from the streets in their normal course of duty,” said Representative Justin Price. “The ability to run the serial number of those firearms and conduct tests for fingerprints, DNA and ballistics has led to the resolution of not just the crime of possession, but linked those firearms to multiple other crimes across the state and the nation. To destroy that evidence – with no questions asked, is an extraordinary approach to law enforcement that frankly goes against best practices in forensic science when solving crimes.”


In an interview on WPRO, Michael Imondi, President of the FOP was extremely critical of this program. Imondi stated that “these programs are largely ineffective… the last program in 2017 retrieved zero firearms…Out of the last three buybacks, only one was successful and that was in the late 90’s.” Imondi went on further to state “the fingerprints and ballistic information is the most crucial information in not just solving those crimes, but in the prosecution of criminals.”


Contempt for law enforcement


“Mayor Elorza’s ongoing displays of contempt for our law enforcement officers is further demonstrated by this program,” states Representative Michael Chippendale.  “I had a firearm stolen from my factory in Providence in 2007. Two years later, that firearm was recovered in Central Falls and the DNA evidence allowed the police to prosecute and resolve several other felonies. My property—the firearm, worth over $700, was returned to me at the end of the investigation. As if the morale of our law enforcement officers wasn’t low enough, now they have to do their job knowing that the Mayor is essentially handing out exonerations for serious felonies committed with a firearm.” 


“This is nothing more than hypocrisy.” said Senator Gordon Rogers. “Last year we passed two laws banning ‘3D guns’ and so-called ‘ghost guns’ because, as we heard from law enforcement and the anti-2nd Amendment lobby, ‘they are untraceable and crimes cannot be solved.’ Now we’re going to actually pay people money to destroy evidence in the same types of crimes? It’s not the gun that was involved in a crime that they destroy, it’s also the case against a criminal, who was just handed a free-pass, along with a Visa card for $500.”


“Imagine a street criminal –who has committed several felonies, including murder with a firearm –that is given an opportunity to anonymously turn in that same firearm, without investigation, and on top of it, receives a $500 Visa card,” said Senator Jessica de la Cruz. “That criminal just eliminated the chance of being prosecuted for those past crimes, while also receiving a Visa card worth enough money to go buy another firearm off the street and continue their crime spree.  I can’t possibly imagine who would think this is a good idea.”


“The way I interpret our statutes, and based on the Mayors’ press release,” said Representative David Place, “this entire program is a violation of our RI General Law 11-47-22 which states, in part, ‘…The officer who takes custody of the firearm shall promptly ascertain, using available record keeping systems …whether the firearm has been reported stolen and if stolen shall notify the reporting law enforcement agency of the recovery of said firearm. If the police department … has not been notified by a justice of the superior court or the attorney general that the firearm is necessary as evidence … it shall be returned to the lawful owner.’ And I would expect our public safety officials to be aware of this legal requirement. This illegal event needs to be canceled immediately.”


“Each year an onslaught of legislation seeking to destroy the 2nd Amendment is introduced,” said Senator Elaine Morgan. “Republican legislators, as well as 2nd Amendment advocates, continually point out that the overwhelming majority of firearms violations are either pled away or dropped outright during prosecution. It is argued that members of our General Assembly are more obsessed in the firearm itself, than in the criminal who uses the firearm with malicious intent.”


Representatives Chippendale, Place, Roberts and Price, along with Senators Rogers, de la Cruz and Morgan, believe that the money allocated for this ill-conceived program would be better spent by investing it in law enforcement initiatives, or firearm education initiatives in our schools, that will help youngsters understand the dangers and potential illegalities of possessing and using firearms.


Republican legislators issuing this press release represent constituents who live in the following districts throughout the Ocean State: House Minority Whip, Michael Chippendale, District 40 (Foster, Glocester, Coventry); Senator Gordon Rogers District 21 (Foster, Scituate, Coventry, West Greenwich); Representative David Place, District 47 (Burrillville, Glocester); Deputy Whip Sherry Roberts, District 29 (Coventry, West Greenwich); Senator Jessica de la Cruz, District 23 (Burrillville, Glocester, N.Smithfield); Senior Deputy Minority Leader Justin Price, District 39 (Exeter, Hopkinton, Richmond); Senator Elaine Morgan, District 34 (Charlestown, Exeter, Richmond, West Greenwich); Senator Thomas Paolino, District 17 (Lincoln, North Providence, North Smithfield)


Rotary Million Mask Challenge Tour Hits Rhode Island Today

Rotary Million Mask Challenge Tour Hits RI Today

October 7, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Rotary Club Truck unloading in Massachusetts – on the tour


Rotarians from all parts of Rhode Island will gather to welcome the arrival of a truck carrying 30,000 protective face masks for distribution to RI Rotary Clubs at the RI State House plaza today, Wednesday, Oct. 7th, at 12:30pm. The masks will then be distributed to first responders and essential workers in their communities. The event is part of the Rotary Million Mask Challenge* Tour that will reach all six New England states between Oct. 5 and 7.


A truck filled with 800,000 masks will make stops in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine before coming to Rhode Island.


An additional 200,000 masks were distributed across Connecticut in the spring, making the total one million. All were donated by Ted Rossi, an East Hampton, CT, philanthropist and Rotarian, and the Rossi Family Foundation.


“We are navigating unprecedented times through this pandemic,” said Charlene J. Jarest, governor of Rotary District 7950, which includes 65 clubs in Rhode Island and southeast Massachusetts. “And as colder days arrive with flu season, Rotarians are in action all across the district making sure that organizations and businesses have access to the most important safety measure to stave off the Covid virus. I couldn’t be prouder of the men and women of our clubs who are making a difference by selflessly giving of themselves. This is what Rotarians do.”


Non-profit and government agencies that will receive masks from Rotary clubs in Rhode Island include:


Franklin Court Assisted and Independent Living


East Bay Food Pantry


Linn Health & Rehabilitation


Winslow Gardens


O’Hara Senior Care, 


East Providence Fire Department


Lucy’s Hearth


Northern RI Food Pantry




Amos House 


Crossroads Rhode Island 


Tri-County Community Action Agency 


Trinity Baptist Church food pantry


Smithfield School Department 


Providence School Department


Family Services of Rhode Island


Wood River Health Services, 




WARM Center of Westerly


East Greenwich Food Bank 


Providence Rescue Mission


Jonnycake Center of Westerly


Representatives of recipient agencies Family Service of RI, Franklin Court Assisted Living and the Providence Public School District will discuss the value of the masks to the people they serve.


iHeart Media Communities is supporting the Rotary Million Mask Challenge Tour by providing widespread updates promoting the project throughout all of their New England radio stations.


“The challenge of the Rotary Million Mask Challenge Tour is based on the premise that Rotarians are People of Action,” said Dr. Jack Solomon, past governor of Rotary District 7980, which encompasses the southern half of Connecticut. 


“With this as our guide, we first challenge each Rotary Club engaging with this project to guarantee that each and every PPE they receive is delivered to community based first responders and essential workers.


“Secondly, as we transition into the colder months, we challenge Rotarians across the country to join our cause by leveraging their own resources to deliver protection and safety to first responders and essential workers at the vital core of our communities,


“Last, we challenge our Rotary corporate partners, NGO’s and the business community whom we connect with every day to step up to the plate and support this effort. “

3 Key Datapoints to Know About Q4 Real Estate

3 Key Datapoints To Know About Q4 Real Estate

October 7, 2020/Emilio DiSpirito


By Emilio DiSpirito, Realtor and Radio Show Host, The DiSpirito Team Real Estate Show Newsradio 920


Do you remember where you were when you first heard about the pandemic, record unemployment numbers or the massive civil unrest going on? When this all began, no one thought the housing market had a chance! Some Realtors threw in the towel, collected unemployment benefits and everyone was skeptical!


Despite, some of the greatest challenges of all time, situations, no one could have imagined, rocked the world and yet our housing market hit record high sales prices with the fewest days on market and continues to barrel through 2020 like nothing we have ever seen before!


I guess, the question on most all of our client’s minds who intend to sell their home during the remainder of 2020 are, “how will the elections affect my home sale?” and “will seasonality play a roll in the housing market this year?” These are fantastic questions and luckily for us, we do have a “Crystal ball” called History Books that we can turn to, in order to understand how previous election years and seasonality have affected the real estate market!


Let’s Crunch 3 datapoints that should tell us all we need to know!

  1. According to a study done by the National Association of Realtors, November, December, January and February, number of home sales are that of 68% in comparison to peak months of May, June, July and August.
  2. BTIG, a research company stated that off-election years see a decrease of -9.8% in homes sold in November as compared to October.
  3. Keeping Current Matters, reports that when taking the average of homes sold during an election year from 1969 to 2016, the data indicates a -15% drop in home sale activities during November.


This data may be concerning upon first look; however, we need to keep something in mind, outside of the fact that even COVID-19 did NOT STOP home buyers this year!! That something… well, those somethings are this…

  • Simply put, according to Value Penguin, at no other time in history, from 1972, have we had interest rates in the 2’s during an election year.
  • According to Forbes, we are looking at the lowest amount of inventory on the market from 2020 to 2021. This means buyers will have fewer homes to choose from.


My hypothesis of the Q4 real estate market is as follows:


The lowest interest rates in history, combined with the fewest homes on the market to choose from equal an unprecedented opportunity for homeowners who wish or need to sell real estate. We are in a perfect storm for home sellers to leverage this unique market and the window is closing. Even when there are fewer buyers out there, there are not enough properties on the market to satisfy the number of buyers who were historically shopping currently.


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: A Cranston man has been arrested for an alleged child abduction in Providence.  A DCYF worker and a parent of a Rhode Island Training School resident are accused of conspiring to smuggle drugs into the facility.  A partial return to in-person learning for elementary school students in Warwick.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Man Arrested For Alleged Child Abduction In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A suspect wanted in connection with a child abduction in Providence is in custody.  The man was not immediately identified on Tuesday, but the Providence Police Department says it's a 34-year-old from Cranston.  Surveillance video showed the nine-year-old girl abducted after getting off a school bus on Monday.  She was reportedly later dropped off in the area.

>>DCYF Worker, Parent Of Training School Resident Charged

(Cranston, RI)  --  Three people are facing charges for an alleged conspiracy to bring controlled substances into the Rhode Island Training School for residents to use.  Rhode Island State Police reports indicate Michael Warren, a juvenile program worker for the Department of Children, Youth and Families, allegedly smuggled CBD oil containing THC.  Sarai Ares, a mother of a training school resident, is accused of bribing Warren.  The third individual charged in connection to the investigation is a resident.

>>Windy In Rhode Island Today

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service has downgraded Rhode Island from a High Wind Watch for today to just a Wind Advisory.  West winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 55 miles per hour are expected for RI and southeastern Massachusetts from this afternoon until overnight Thursday.  Scattered power outages are possible.

>>Hybrid-Learning Plan Approved For Warwick Schools 

(Warwick, RI)  --  Warwick Public Schools is working towards a return to in-person learning.  The school committee approved a hybrid-learning plan at a meeting on Tuesday which will see kindergartners return one week from now.  Most grade-schoolers will return later this month.

>>North Kingstown Police Department Selling Coin With Questionable Message

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  Some people are questioning the North Kingstown Police Department for a "challenge coin" it is selling.  According to a report from The Providence Journal, the coin says "Breach, Eradicate, Arrest, Repeat", and also, "Don't Make Us Come Back".  The ProJo story linked to a police department Facebook post about the coin sales, but the post has apparently been taken down.  People are now asking the police department online to address the messages on the coin and whether they are appropriate.

>>DEM Looking For Spotted Lanternfly

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management and the University of Rhode Island are conducting a statewide survey for an invasive pest.  The DEM says the survey of local vineyards and areas with large populations of "Tree of Heaven" plants is looking out for the spotted lanternfly.  The insect is said to be currently infesting portions of the Mid-Atlantic region of the United States and could be introduced to Rhode Island in the next few years.  One way to stop the spread is to inspect firewood, vehicles, outdoor furniture and camping gear for egg masses, nymphs and adults, according to the state.

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

10-07-2020 00:45:07

16 year olds and up: Be a Poll Worker

16 year olds and up: Be a Poll Worker – Shortages Threaten Elections

October 6, 2020/Herb Weiss


By Herb Weiss, contributing writer


With spikes in COVID-19 cases occurring across the nation, causing concerns about the safety or health risk to workers staffing polling sites, AARP announces a new initiative to recruit persons of all ages for the upcoming presidential election to work the polling sites.  AARP along with the Association of Young Americans (AYA), Power the Polls (POP), and New Leaders Council (NLC) are working to ensure that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option at the polls.   


“There is an urgent need for more poll workers this election, including people 50-plus and younger voters. We need to ensure that in-person voting is still an accessible and safe option,” said Nancy LeaMond, AARP EVP and Chief Advocacy and Engagement Officer. “We will encourage all AARP members to communicate with their younger family and friends around the importance of voting and how to participate as a poll worker,” says LeaMond.


According to Pew Research Center analysis of government data, “Older People Account for Large Shares of Poll Workers and Voters in U.S. General Elections,” published on April 6, 2020, nearly six-in-ten (58%) poll workers were ages 61 and up in 2018 and 56% in 2016. Many communities faced poll worker shortages prior to the pandemic. The 2016 U.S. Election Assistance Commission found that two-thirds of jurisdictions already had a difficult time recruiting enough poll workers on Election Day.


A Call for Poll Worker 


“The poll worker shortage is an urgent issue, and we’re on the clock,” states Scott Duncombe, Power of Poll’s Co-Director. “This unprecedented shortage threatens our democracy, puts our older population at risk, and disproportionately affects low-income communities and communities of color. This is a historic moment for first-time poll workers to sign up to protect their communities, their neighbors, and their democracy. We will keep working until there are enough poll workers and volunteers to keep polling sites open, staffed, efficient, and functioning. We must do everything we can to ensure this upcoming election is safe, fair, and accessible,” he says.


Adds Ben Brown, AYA’s Founder, “Poll workers play a critical but often overlooked role in ensuring safe elections. The pandemic has hampered recruiting efforts for poll workers, who tend to be repeat workers, and fewer poll workers means longer lines, delays, and more confusion on Election Day,” said Ben Brown, Founder of Association of Young Americans. ““


Clare Bresnahan English, NLC’s President and CEO, notes “Poll workers are the essential workers of our democratic process. All voters should feel safe and welcome when they participate in the upcoming election.”  He observes that that this intergenerational collaboration with AARP and Power the Polls allows for the recruitment of young poll workers whose identities reflect the community in which they serve.”


The Power the Polls initiative is also working with local organizations and partners to help election officials provide the necessary PPE to keep poll workers and voters safe. For more information, reach out to your local officials through  


In August, AARP launched “Protect Voters 50+,” a comprehensive voter engagement campaign to support and protect Americans 50-plus as they vote in the 2020 elections. The campaign will help Americans over 50 votes safely, whether at home or in person. The “Protect Voters 50+” campaign will provide people with the information they need about this year’s elections, including video voters’ guides, issue briefings, direct mail, text messaging, social media and paid media.


In the Trenches…at the Polling Sites


Last month, over 2,000 persons voted at Pawtucket’s 26 polling sites, over 4,000 chose to vote by mail ballots, says Ken McGill, the City’s Registrar for over 17 years.  He estimates that it was almost triple the number of votes cast at a primary. 


Looking back, McGill says it was a struggle to get enough workers to man Pawtucket’s polling sites during the September primary.” Many of our veteran poll workers, especially those with health issues, opted out because of the COVID-19 pandemic,” he said. 


But with Rhode Island allowing 16-year-olds to work at the polls, McGill plans to continue reaching out to youngsters to serve as election officials at the polls. 


According to McGill, like the primary Pawtucket polling officials continue to follow social distancing guidelines at the upcoming presidential election to be held on Tuesday, November 3, 2020.  Only a certain number of voters will be allowed into the polling site at the same time. Hand sanitizer are readily available for use by both poll workers and voters. All poll workers will be required to wear masks and voters are encouraged to also wear masks to stop the spread of COVID-19.  Also, at every poll, a person will be assigned to wipe down the booths after use and to clean and disinfect the site throughout the day and to ensure that voters are social distancing from one another.  


Nick Domings, a spokesperson for Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea, says that the Secretary has made it her top priority to make voting convenient, safe and secure for the upcoming presidential election. “During the pandemic, that means providing options for casting a ballot that ensure no voter must risk their health to exercise their constitutional right to vote. Rhode Islanders can choose to either vote from home with a mail ballot, vote early in-person at their city or town hall, or vote at a polling place on Election Day,” he says.  


Secretary Gorbea has sent registered voters a mail ballot application for the November 3 general election.  But for those voters who wish to cast their ballot in-person, either early at their city/town hall or at a polling place, know that facilities will be thoroughly sanitized, single-use pens will be utilized and poll workers will be wearing personal protective equipment, notes Domings. 


Domings recommends that Rhode Island voters check the location of their polling place on, as some may have changed due to the pandemic.


Becoming a Poll Worker


“Because our older citizens are most at risk for serious complications from COVID-19, there is a definite need for poll workers this year. This is a great opportunity for young people to see how our democracy works up close. If you or someone you know wants to be a poll worker, contact your local board of canvassers or call the Board of Elections at 401-222-2345,” suggests Domings. 


Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues. To purchase Taking Charge: Collected Stories on Aging Boldly, a collection of 79 of his weekly commentaries, go to




Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 36 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 630 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run on occasion in Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Stocking RI waters with trout start today

Stocking RI Waters with Trout Begins Today

October 6, 2020/RINewsToday


The RI Department of Environmental Management will begin stocking trout in freshwaters across Rhode Island starting today for the fall fishing season – a popular time for recreational fishing.


The following waters will be stocked with trout beginning Tuesday, October 6:


• Burrillville – Round Top Ponds
• Coventry – Carbuncle Pond
• Exeter – Breakheart Pond, Browning Mill Pond
• Glocester – Spring Grove Pond
• Lincoln – Olney Pond (Lincoln Woods State Park)
• Little Compton – Eight Rod Pond
• North Kingstown – Silver Spring Lake
• Tiverton – Stafford Pond


Water levels at these locations will be reassessed at the time of stocking. Please note that due to low water conditions and Cyanobacteria algae alerts, several areas normally stocked with trout are not on this list. When conditions improve later on in the season, other areas may be considered for trout stocking.


Daily trout stocking updates will be available each afternoon on the Facebook page at @rifishwildlife or by calling 401-789-0281.


DEM reminds anglers of the following changes in the Freshwater Regulations that took effect on August 2, 2020.


• The minimum size of all trout or charr species, taken from the waters of the state, shall be (8) eight inches, measured from the tip of the snout to the tip of the tail. This regulation applies to both wild and stocked trout.


• The minimum size for domestic or land-locked stocked, Atlantic salmon shall be (11) eleven inches total length.


• The following activities are prohibited:
In accordance with RI General Laws 20-11-3, the taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by any means other than angling, utilizing a hook(s) and fishing line, except for carp, suckers, and fall fish, which may be taken by snares, spears, or bow and arrow. And, the taking of any fish in the freshwaters of the state by net, seine, trawl, or similar device; except for a dip net, for the landing of a fish caught by hook and line, and the taking of baitfish. Cast nets and gills nets shall be prohibited.


All other freshwater fishing regulations apply.


A current fishing license and a Trout Conservation Stamp are required to keep or possess a trout or salmon. The daily creel and possession limit for trout and/or salmon singly or in aggregate is five fish from Opening Day 2020 to December 1, 2020 and two fish from December 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021. The creel and possession limits for trout or charr taken in the Wood River between Route 165 and Barberville Dam at Arcadia Road shall be limited to two fish from the second Saturday in May through the last day of February, annually.


Anglers are reminded to obey all fishing and boating regulations.


Catch and release is encouraged for wild brook trout.

License Fees


License fees are $18 for Rhode Island residents and current members of the Armed Forces, $33 for a combination hunting and fishing license, $35 for non-residents, and $16 for a tourist three-consecutive-day license. Licenses are free for anglers over 65 (trout stamp not required) – as well as for those with a 100-percent disability.


State law requires that boaters always have personal flotation devices for each person, and that they do not drink and operate a boat. Boaters should also be sure their craft is seaworthy before going out on the state’s waterways.


In order to prevent the spread of aquatic invasive organisms such as Didymo algae and other harmful aquatic “hitch hikers,” Rhode Island strictly prohibits the use of external felt soled or any natural or synthetic porous material capable of absorbing water in any freshwaters in the state. This includes any waters shared with adjacent states in which Rhode Island fishing regulations apply. Regulations mandate anglers to remove all vegetation clinging to all types of boats, motors, and gear before leaving and or entering freshwaters to prevent the spread of invasive aquatic plants to other areas.


For a list of designated trout waters and information of interest to anglers visit Follow DEM on Twitter (@RhodeIslandDEM) or Facebook at Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management for timely updates.


Photos: C. Kesson, RIDEM Facebook page

Pandemic causes 38% decrease in lead screening for our Children

Pandemic causes 38% decrease in Lead Screening for our children

October 6, 2020/Richard Asinof


By Richard Asinof,, contributing writer


The dream of building a better vision of housing in Rhode Island


First, let us savor some good news. Thanks to Sen. Jack Reed’s continued advocacy, it was announced last week that the Lead Safe Providence Program would receive $5.7 million in new federal funds. The money will be targeted to reduce the hazards of lead paint in city housing, which will help to pay for interventions in some 275 homes in the city as well as fund some 300 inspections to identify lead hazards.


“Lead poisoning is a silent scourge and it is 100 percent preventable,” said Reed, in the news release accompanying the grant announcement.


Translated, childhood lead poisoning is a man-made scourge. There is no safe level of lead in children, scientists and doctors agree. Lead is an irreversible neurotoxin. Even at very low levels, lead exposure in children can cause irreversible damage, including slowed growth and development, learning disabilities, behavioral problems and neurological damages.


Rhode Island has some of the most progressive laws in the nation, mandating testing for childhood lead poisoning and requiring remediation of lead-contaminated properties. Because so much of Rhode Island’s housing stock was built before 1978, there is a preponderance of structures that contain lead paint.


The bad news
However, one of the disruptions caused by the coronavirus pandemic has been a dramatic decrease in children’s lead screenings between March and September of 2020, compared to those same months in 2019.


There has been a 38.2 percent reduction in the number of children tested, with the numbers dropping from 14,778 in 2019 to 9,131 in 2020, according to the data provided by the R.I. Department of Health.


In April of 2020, for instance, only 508 children were tested, compared to 2,415 in April of 2019, a precipitous drop of 79 percent.


While the rate of testing had improved in July of 2020, with a drop in testing of only 8.5 percent compared to July of 2019, in August of 2020 the gap worsened again to 18.1 percent.


What that means, according to Laura Brion, the executive director of the Childhood Lead Action Project, is that the problems of childhood lead poisoning have fallen off the radar screen and become invisible again.


“It becomes invisible unless kids are tested,” Brion told ConvergenceRI in a recent interview. Worse, she continued, because so many families are spending more time indoors, in homes that may already not have been safe, there is no way of alerting families to the danger without testing. “When childhood lead screenings are cut by more than a third, the extent of the problem cannot be known.”


Here is the ConvergenceRI interview with Laura Brion, the executive director of the Childhood Lead Action Project, one of Rhode Island’s oldest advocacy community groups focused on healthy housing, in a time when the coronavirus pandemic has exacerbated the safe housing crisis.


ConvergenceRI: I saw the story about the fact that some $5.7 million is coming to Rhode Island for lead prevention work. It didn’t specifically mention the Childhood Lead Action Project. So, I was wondering if any of this money will be going to you, and how it would be supportive of your ongoing work. BRION: Thank you for asking. The Lead Safe Providence Program is run by the city of Providence. It funds the repairs [to houses containing lead] with forgivable loans, given to owners of those homes. The work is prioritized for families who are living in pre-1978 housing, with a child [or children] under the age of six, [targeting] families who are at or below 80 percent of area median income.


It is really a terrific program. The financial terms are very generous. Even though it is technically a loan, that loan is fully forgiven within a few years if the homeowner meets some basic requirements, [such as] not selling the house, and not raising the rent on tenants.


We have been [collaborating] for a long time [with the program], on an ongoing basis, primarily promoting the program, because we want to see people who need help the most get connected with it. Obviously, $5 million may sound like a lot, but that’s not enough to help everyone in Providence who needs the help.


The program is federally funded, and the city applies for a grant every few years to keep the program going.


Most of the money in this grant goes to hiring contractors to do the actual lead abatement work. But they also subcontract with a few local partners on a regular basis. We are likely to receive a small amount of funds to do contractor safety training and community outreach.


ConvergenceRI: It sounds like the program functions in parallel to the work that you do. Is that correct?
BRION: It goes hand-in-hand with the work that we do to connect with people and to raise their awareness about [childhood lead poisoning] and to raise awareness about resources available – and to organize families to advocate for better programs.


And, it goes hand-in-hand with the city’s efforts to enforce lead-related housing code requirements for rental housing. It helps people afford to make the repairs under code-enforcement that are required by law. It is really important for the city to have a balanced “carrot-and-stick” approach for this effort to reduce [lead hazards]. To my knowledge, the $5.7 million award is the largest size of this grant that they have received. We’re really excited about that.

ConvergenceRI: How has COVID-19 pandemic, coupled with the resulting eviction crisis, affected your work?
BRION: When so many people [seemingly] overnight are struggling to pay their bills, including housing bills, the job of trying to help people access safe affordable housing, and to make sure that safe affordable housing is available, has gotten more difficult in an exponential way.


We are still laser-focused on helping families to access safe, healthy housing. We see housing as a human right – including the right for safe housing that doesn’t poison children or harm people.


We have shifted some of our tactics for how we get there. Right now, we have been putting a fair amount of work into helping with more general tenant organizing and education. One of our community organizers is spending a lot of time helping to organize a new group, called the “Tenant Network of Rhode Island.”


The Tenant Network provides resource referrals and helps to organize tenants. We also have been doing a lot more work to stay on top of the programs that are available to help people with rent and mortgage payments – and to connect people to those programs, as well as to advocate for programs that are going to help people to stay in their homes.


We really want to see a state-level eviction moratorium that will protect people – and a rent and mortgage forgiveness program that won’t leave people with piles of debt and at risk of becoming homeless. It is really important for the state to step up in that area.

The state has created some rental assistance programs, but unfortunately, they are not helping enough people. You may have heard about some of the coverage of that. [A story by Sofia Rudin on the Public’s Radio, “ ‘Hurry up and wait’: Rent relief programs struggle to deliver aid to low income tenants.”] It is atrocious, the degree to which they are failing to meet the community needs; it’s awful.


The story detailed how there have been millions of dollars pumped into rental assistance programs, but because of all the strings and red tape involved for people to be able to qualify, only a small fraction of those funds have been spent.


ConvergenceRI: With so much happening, with so many things in crisis, many stories are overlooked by the news media.
BRION: Tenants who have tried to get help – and housing activists – know that these programs are failing. But I have only seen one or two articles that have actually broadcast this to a larger audience.


I think that the creation of this program got a lot of press at first. So there may be people out there who are not dealing with this crisis personally, who may think that this under control. And it’s absolutely not.


It’s not getting enough press. It’s definitely like old news to me, but it should be breaking news to everyone else.


ConvergenceRI: With the coronavirus crisis, and the need to pivot to be working in a more virtual world, have you found yourself working with new collaborators?
BRION: Yes. The Tenant Network is a dedicated group of volunteers working on tenant rights broadly, and it is a new bright spot and an example of communities getting together to support each other.


ConvergenceRI: How have you been collaborating with Brenda Clement at HousingWorks RI at Roger Williams University?
BRION: HousingWorks RI has been an excellent source of information about housing and related problems. I know that in the upcoming factbook, they are going to be including more about healthy housing and problems with lead and some of the other issues that need more coverage.

For instance, when I want to document that the amount of money that has been pumped into state rental assistance programs is way less than the actual need is, I go to Brenda to get my numbers and information about what is actually needed to do our advocacy work.


ConvergenceRI: How has attempting to connect and work within a virtual world changed your approach?
BRION: I’m not going to sugar coat it. Building communities and making personal connections when you can’t meet with other people in person is really hard. There are certain parts of this work that are really suffering because of this.


We have been able to continue to have advocacy meetings and make plans with community members through Zoom and Google meetings and through other kinds of video conferencing. We tend to do a lot more of text messaging. We can often reach people by text messaging without causing [extra technology burdens]. Most people have cell phones, they already know how to do that, and it is not going to cost them extra money.


But it is not really like knocking on doors and holding community meetings.

It’s challenging. Today I started the first in a six-part series of trainings for community health workers. In the past, I tried to make my workshops really interactive, with a lot of time spent in discussion. I see myself as a learning facilitator rather than a lecturer.

It is a lot harder to do that on Zoom; we have to use Google maps to navigate a walk around the neighborhood, and to bring up on my computer screen how to find out if their house is built before 1978.

ConvergenceRI: There is a new dean at the School of Public Health at Brown University, Dr. Ashish Jha. Have you thought about reaching out to him and inviting him to take a walking tour with you? Or take him on a virtual tour?
BRION: That’s a good idea. About 20 years ago we did a tour we called the “House of Horrors” around Halloween, featuring some of the worst landlords who were ignoring their tenants, unmasking them.


ConvergenceRI: Are there key issues that need attention at the State House in terms of preventing childhood lead poisoning?
BRION: It is important the proposed Housing Bond gets a place on a ballot that will come before voters sooner rather than later, so that the state’s work to keep housing safe and develop more safe, affordable housing doesn’t grind to a halt.


For the full story:,6074


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 

Anyone surprised COVID-19 running wild in the NFL?

Anyone surprised COVID-19 running wild in the NFL?

October 6, 2020/John Cardullo


by John Cardullo, sportswriter


Photo: Cam Newton, Quarterback, New England Patriots


Well it took going into the fourth week of the NFL season before the word began getting out that the COVID-19 virus had started to make its appearance. It began slowly and quietly. When the Tennessee Titans played the Minnesota Vikings, it was discovered after the game that several of the Titans and their staff tested positive for the virus, but ironically none of the Vikings tested positive after the game. And now members of our own New England Patriots have tested positive, so what is the NFL doing? Delaying their games for a couple of days, over and over again? Business as usual; and business goes on in the NFL no matter what.


So now the NFL is looking at its worst nightmare, a looming, potential derailment to the NFL season. After watching the Major League Baseball season get cut down to an abbreviated version, and the Miami Marlins having a brush with COVID-19 itself, but somehow it was isolated and controlled and it disappeared, so crisis averted, and the season went on. As we know, the NHL and NBA went into an isolated system. The Tampa Bay Lightning took the Stanley Cup without any COVID-19 alarms ever being rung. The NBA also going into isolation and in a few days an NBA champion will be crowned, again without any COVID-19 crisis that the public has been made aware of.


How long will it take the virus to show up and run rampant through the college ranks? A season when many college football programs went full speed ahead with their seasons, and many shut down the season at the beginning, then reversed their decision because the NFL and other college teams were playing without any problems. How will they respond when players begin contracting COVID-19? Because, like the NFL, and mentioned several times before in this column, it’s all about the money when it comes to football, pro or college.


Which brings us back to the BIG DADDY of all sports, the NFL, the most profitable sport on the planet. Nothing could touch the NFL was the thinking of the brain trust, but the question that was asked by virtually everyone was, how can the NFL avoid the COVID-19 virus? Playing in empty or semi empty stadiums? Having all sideline staff and coaches wearing masks or face shields?


Who are they kidding thinking that the most contact sport ever is going to be safe from a worldwide virus that infects anyone without discrimination to who they are? Prime Ministers and even a President and Congress weren’t spared and now the mighty and most arrogant sport of them all – Professional Football – has showed they too are not spared. So now that the virus has reared its ugly head in the NFL the question is what is the NFL going to do? How bad does it have to get before they re-evaluate the decision to plow through the season? Flying two planes with potential “positives and exposed” and “safes” seems like a stretch.


We are all aware that football is big money. Just look how college football reversed the decision and jumped in as well. But does the financial benefit outweigh the health of the players, coaches and staffs? Apparently, they do, because with the season that is played where there is contact on virtually every play from scrimmage on, how do they think the virus is going to disappear? And now it has arrived, and what is the NFL and College football going to do?


If the rate of infected teams keeps rising, they will not have to worry about the play-offs; there maybe only two teams healthy enough left to finish the season. So, there may be hope for the New York Jets after all! Stay tuned for more updates because we have three quarters of the season left to go.

Cam Newton’s Instagram

Editor’s Note: Cam Newton is said to be asymptomatic – testing positive and three days later testing negative. Does the virus seem to have morphed, or mutated, into a less virulent, though more contagious form? The questions keep coming.

John Cardullo
John Cardullo, sportswriter
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots lost last night to Kansas City.  The Rhode Island election board says there is a polling place shortage for next month's general election.  The University of Rhode Island is announcing mandatory COVID testing for all students.

>>Patriots Fall To Chiefs In Rescheduled Game

(Kansas City, MO)  --  The Patriots lost to the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs on Monday night, 26-to-10.  The game in Kansas City was delayed by one day after Pats quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19.  New England, now at two wins and two losses on the season, returns to Gillette Stadium next Sunday to play the Denver Broncos.  No recent guidance has been given by the state of Massachusetts on whether that game can include fans.

>>Child Reportedly Abducted Briefly In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department is looking to identify a child abduction suspect.  A nine-year-old girl reportedly got off her school bus at around 3 p.m. Monday in the area of Grover and Merino Streets when the incident happened; police say the girl was later returned to a nearby location.  Police described the suspect as a male, possibly Hispanic, with black hair, 20 to 40 years old, who was wearing all black and was driving a silver Nissan SUV.

>>Elections Board Says There Is A Polling Place Shortage

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections is asking for public and private facilities to be offered for use as polling places on Election Day.  The board says due to COVID-19, many sensitive locations such as nursing homes, assisted living facilities and senior high-rises have declined to serve as polling centers, leading to a shortage in over a dozen communities, including Providence.  Eligible facilities must be accessible to people with disabilities and large enough to fit the number of voting booths necessary for the voting district.

>>URI Announces Mandatory COVID Testing For All Students

(Kingston, RI)  --  The University of Rhode Island is implementing a new mandatory coronavirus testing policy for all students.  URI says the mandatory testing, which is being done in collaboration with the state health department, is to assess the overall health of the student body.  The university says the tests will be self-collected from half-inch cotton swabs, not the deeper nose tests, at two locations on campus.

>>Positive Cases Prompt Remote Learning For North Providence High

(North Providence, RI)  --  North Providence High School is shifting to remote learning after two students tested positive for the virus.  About one-hundred students have been ordered to quarantine.  The school superintendent also reported as many as twenty staff absences or unfilled positions related to a virus case or quarantine situation, and not enough available substitute teachers to cover.  The remote learning will last for two weeks and will then be replaced by hybrid-learning.  The high school is closed today for deep-cleaning.

>>Furloughed Twin River Employees Returning To Jobs

(Lincoln, RI)  --  Most Twin River Casino employees are back on the workforce, according to the casino company.  Following the coronavirus-caused closures of the casinos in Lincoln and Tiverton earlier this year, many of the 25-hundred employees were furloughed.  Of that number, Twin River says less than seven-hundred are still not back, but the hope is to continue re-hiring this fall.

>>Plant City Opening "Scaled-Down" Location In Middletown

(Middletown, RI)  --  Plant City, a vegan food hall in Providence, is opening a new location in the East Bay.  One of the founders said at a Middletown zoning board hearing last month that it will be a scaled-down version of the food hall in Prov.  Plant City will move into a former pizzeria space on West Main Road.

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

10-06-2020 00:17:09

The Blame Game - How to Take Bias out of Consulting

The Blame Game – How to Take Bias Out of Consulting

October 5, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


Often, when consultants ask people how to determine a primary problem in their organization, they express a bias towards one specific cause. When the consultant asks someone from accounting, the accounting people are certain that the problem is caused by poor accounting methodology, or someone in manufacturing is sure that the problem in the business lies with poor raw materials.


It’s difficult not to pick up on bias early in the consulting process, however, I’ve found from personal experience that sometimes gathering the biases is exactly what’s needed to perceive the “conditions on the ground” and to fine tune the consultant’s situational awareness of the multitude of problems he/she will face in solving a perplexing set of business issues. Additionally, surveys are very helpful when used in conjunction with personal interviews to derive trends in a company’s bias. If biases group together along certain given lines, then those biases need to be addressed as trends in the study and should be deemed part of the overall problem the business faces. However, the important point is to remove bias from the client’s own solution, and to ensure the consultant’s work is in the client’s best interest. The consultant’s actions must represent the client’s optimal path forward.


Numerous approaches already exist to create a neutral plan which has already considered all the biases and incorporated concerns into the solution. Six Sigma offers multiple methods of discerning root cause analysis, The Five Whys, The Fish Diagram, Pareto Charts, etc. All are designed to flesh out solutions without prejudice and address Undesirable Effects (UDEs).  The “Lean” process also offers several dispassionate methods to effect a business change.  Continuous improvement and Respect for People are the driving forces to eliminate bias in making business decisions. Peer reviews of the deliverables of various sessions with the consultant are also helpful in keeping bias under control.


The savvy consultant knows that all the “guns” need to be on the table early, or he/she risks sniping, ambushes, and/or show downs later on. In a dysfunctional management system, a major “Burning Platform” is a misaligned management team. In order to stop the bleeding, the CEO needs to engage his entire leadership team as well as work towards transforming his company’s culture. Change can’t happen unless the change has a purpose, and the purpose must be tied to why the company exists, its mission. The consultant needs to ask: What are the company’s vision, mission, strategy, goals and values? These need to be established before any other actions can be taken. A CEO and his/her leadership team need to determine what kind of company they want to be and align accordingly. In addition, the CEO needs to overcome any apparent failures of leadership exhibited so far. He needs to align the entire management team in order for the company to experience a successful turnaround.  Questions for the management team are: What behaviors reflect leadership and how do we achieve those? How can we organize to best meet our stated business culture? Who are the best people to lead the organization toward achieving our desired business culture? Since the CEO and the leadership team are at odds, the CEO needs to ask them: How can we align ourselves to bring success to the company? What actions do I need to take to ensure you and I are acting in unison? And he  should document his discussions.


In the spirit of collaboration, I would ask: What does the management team consider to be the burning platforms? How do we prioritize the list in view of the established core cultural elements? If the company has not spent time analyzing and defining these, they must begin now.


Once these are established as part of cultural change and management alignment, appropriate measures to address profit and sales, infrastructure, expenses, marketing/consumer trends need to be taken. Assuming profit and sales emerges as the number one Burning Platform, the CEO needs to take action fast, and make a change in their brand strategy based on an analysis of synergies and or divestiture. The question at this stage is: Is the right leadership team in place to improve these sectors? Are we a branded house or not? Or, can is it possible to create synergy through managing more than one brand so that successful practices can be shared between them? How can we manage raw materials, energy and facilities to our best advantage? How do we leverage existing factory space? How can we introduce a “healthy eating line” with our existing infrastructure and facilities?  What business climate or social trends could impact further change and reorganization? How do we become more agile and responsive to market conditions?


Continuous root-cause analysis may be needed to ensure the culture continues to align with current business climate and trends. This may include painful reorganizations, layoffs, and plant and facility repurposing.


Dysfunctional leadership destroy business continuity, less productivity and fewer profits. Hiring an objective, third part management consultant could be the answer to saving the organization. It’s worth every penny.



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.


(401) 742-1965

The Democrats vs Progressives in Rhode Island

It’s Democrats vs Progressives in Rhode Island

October 5, 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.


Rhode Island State Sen. Samuel Bell, D-Providence, joined Joe Paolino Jr. to discuss his recent victory in the Rhode Island state primary and the upcoming legislative session — including his ongoing battles with long-tenured members of the legislature.


It’s not the elders vs the young’uns as much as it is traditional, moderate Democrats with platforms built upon history and vision vs. Progressive (Democrats) which have become almost a third party in party politics, with a platform built on close to socialist concepts – healthcare for all, free college, etc.


Often, the shouting between candidates stands in the way of identifying the differences between the widely diverging solutions to issues in healthcare, development, the economy, taxes, social assistance programs, education, etc. This interview brings out the differences and has us imagining what if debates were so civilly done?


Here is “In The Arena” for October 4, 2020:


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots will play tonight after yesterday's game was postponed due to coronavirus cases.  Providence College is returning to in-person learning after COVID caused a switch to remote instruction.  A judge makes a ruling on a vanity license plate case in Rhode Island.

>>Patriots-Chiefs Rescheduled For Tonight

(Kansas City, MO)  --  The New England Patriots game that was scheduled for Sunday was postponed and re-scheduled for tonight.  The action from the NFL was taken after players including Patriots starting quarterback Cam Newton tested positive for COVID-19.  Kickoff for tonight's game in KC is 7:05 Eastern time.

>>Providence College Transitioning Back To In-Person Learning

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence College is working to resume some in-person classes.  PC switched to remote-learning last month after the start of a coronavirus outbreak that has produced over two-hundred cases.  The college says the Rhode Island Department of Health has given it clearance to move towards a limited return to in-person as soon as this week.  A full return to in-person could happen next week.

>>Virus Cases At Rhode Island Hospital, Providence Police Department

(Providence, RI)  --  In other Providence coronavirus news, Lifespan said Friday several patients and staff members in a pair of units at Rhode Island Hospital recently tested positive.  According to a report from The Providence Journal, a Lifespan spokesperson says it's not clear when the infections started, but that some staffers are already back at work following isolation and a negative test result.  WPRI-TV reports seven Providence police officers who work on the same shift recently tested positive, according to Police Chief Hugh Clements on Friday.

>>Remote-Learning For Rest Of 2020 For Woonsocket HS Students

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  Students of Woonsocket High School and Woonsocket Area Career and Technical Center will not return to in-person learning until the new year.  The Valley Breeze reports the Woonsocket superintendent recently informed families, citing a statewide school-staffing shortage.  The school district plans to review staffing levels and decide if students can return under a hybrid model on January 2nd.  The decision affects over fifteen-hundred students.

>>Pursuit Of Stolen Water Truck Briefly Crosses State Lines

(Undated)  --  A police officer pursuit of a suspect driving a stolen City of Boston water truck on Friday afternoon went into Rhode Island briefly.  According to the Massachusetts State Police, troopers attempted to stop the truck on Route 495 in Franklin; the stolen vehicle then got onto Route 95 south and was pursued by Rhode Island troopers.  The truck then reportedly got onto Route 195 and crossed back into Massachusetts.  The chase eventually ended in Westport, Mass, and the driver was arrested.

[[ Note Language ]]

>>Court Action Taken In Rhode Island Vanity License Plate Case

(Providence, RI)  --  The ACLU of Rhode Island says a federal judge has issued a preliminary injunction in support of a lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a state law covering vanity license plates.  The court ruled that a ban on plates deemed offensive by the Division of Motor Vehicles likely violates the First Amendment for being too vague.  The suit was filed earlier this year on behalf of a Tesla owner who had a license plate that said "F-K-GAS".

>>New Worcester Red Sox Mascot Unveiled

(Worcester, MA)  --  The Boston Red Sox triple-A affiliate which is moving from Pawtucket to Worcester has a new mascot.  "Smiley Ball", which is styled after the WooSox smiley-face logo, was unveiled on Friday.  PawSox mascot "Paws" was among those to welcome Smiley Ball.  The minor league Red Sox are set to play their first season in Worcester next year after fifty years of baseball played at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.

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

10-05-2020 01:10:14

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Oct 3, 2020

Your Coronavirus Today – Oct. 3, 2020

October 3, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: America’s Got Talent pivoted to ZOOM – depending on how sick the President gets, a debate or press event may next be viewed by all of us on a familiar virtual format such as ZOOM.




Shell Corp to cut 9,000 jobs


American Airlines & United Airlines will furlough a total of 32,000 workers


Delta Airlines is holding off on furloughs.


AirBnb is blocking some rentals thought to be Halloween party possibilities.


NYC police shut down a wedding this weekend of nearly 300 with fines in place.


An Indian study shows that 8% of people with COVID-19 accounted for 60% of the new infections observed among the contacts. Meanwhile, 7 out of 10 COVID-19 patients were not linked to any new cases. Their study confirms the power of “super-spreader” events to impact large swaths of people, and that children can, and do, spread the virus.


Medicaid and CHIP enrollment grew from almost 71 million people in February to nearly 75 million in June, according to a CMS report.


Moderna chief says its vaccine won’t be ready before the U.S. election.


Boston Sports Clubs, after announcing no clubs would close has announced the gym is closing its Bradford, Canton and West Newton locations in Massachusetts.


Half of all the NYC restaurants and bars may close, with many employing thousands of immigrants who will be ineligible for unemployment.


Brigham and Women’s has 45 confirmed cases – 33 employees and 12 employees are positive – more testing is expected to identify more positives.


Titleist in MA is hiring hundreds to help in golf ball production


Hope Hicks, who traveled with President Trump on Air Force One to and from the presidential debate on Tuesday, and to his Minnesota rally yesterday, has tested positive for coronavirus.


The President & First Lady test positive; VP Pence & wife, Karen test negative. Sect. of State tests negative. Joe Biden and Jill Biden test negative.


660,000 jobs added last month in US. – 7.9% unemployment rate now, down from 15%


A study has shown that mosquitos cannot transmit coronavirus.


About 1,000 people who rely on food from the Meals on Wheels program in Connecticut won’t get new deliveries for two weeks because of precautions being taken after a warehouse worker was exposed to the coronavirus.


St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church in New Hampshire has a practice of using a single, shared chalice and spoon, against COVID19 regulations, with at least 6 members infected.




Yesterday’s Data: Oct. 2, 2020:


Data: October 1, 2020:


A “handful” of patients and “a number” of staff in two units of Rhode Island Hospital recently tested positive for the new coronavirus.


7 Providence Police officers test positive


63 Massachusetts students and 34 teachers/staff have tested positive since school started.


Dr. Ashish Jha, the new dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health and seen on national media, took to Twitter to blame the White House for failing to protect the president.


Dr. Megan Ranney, a local physician noted for her activity on national news says the president’s infection was “unnecessary and preventable.”


Boston and nine other communities are now considered to be at “high risk” for the coronavirus.


Workers at Bannister Center for Rehabilitation and Nursing began a three-day strike Friday morning after contract talks broke down over wages and staffing issues.


Sacred Heart School in Middletown reports 22 cases.


Natick, MA Public Schools to give $300 fines to parents who lie on coronavirus health forms


H&M will close 25 stores – and move to online selling.


Jet Blue will discount flights sold between 11/19 and 1/5 – $50 off and deeper


A Colchester, CT nursing home has an outbreak of over 50% of their population, with 56 new cases among residents and staff.


Providence has extended free parking downtown through January 1st.


Warwick kindergarteners were supposed to go back to school Tuesday – that has been delayed due to a delay in shipments of air purifiers.


Woonsocket High School moves to all distance learning due not to the coronavirus outbreak, but due to an extreme shortage of teachers. They may come back in January if they can find teachers. 38 teachers are out. 1 in 3 not able to come in person.


Mall Walkers are welcomed back to the Warwick Mall – 9:30am, enter from Food Court doors only. Social distancing.


Wrentham has dropped from the “red” into the “yellow” category, meaning positives have fallen.


Gamm Theatre won’t resume live, in-person shows until next fall.


Bravo Restaurant is “temporarily closed”.


The state of RI clarified figures Providence Teachers gave out – saying the true number is 28 cases among Providence Public School students, teachers, and staff doing in-person learning. These cases have been spread out among 19 different schools.


Johnson & Wales has an outbreak of over 30 students testing positive. The outbreak is among students who live off-campus. Students on campus said they feel that students and staff are taking it more seriously, according to an NBC10 report. 100 students are in quarantine. Positive students are said to have mild symptoms.


The Cranston Greek Festival will offer order to go with appointments for pick up of food on Friday, Oct. 2 through Sunday, Oct. 4. Go to:


Between September 21 and September 27, more than 200 Rhode Island businesses received perfect scores on their compliance inspections. These inspections are intended to measure compliance with industry specific COVID-19 requirements. A list of these businesses is available online


Businesses that have received immediate compliance, partial compliance, and compliance orders: 


·         Milano’s Pizza, Providence – Immediate compliance order 


·         Centro de Nutricion Familiar, Providence – Compliance order 


·         Zona Lounge, Cranston – Compliance order 


·         La Casa Restaurant, Cranston – Compliance order 


·         Kennedy Fried Chicken, Providence – Compliance order 


·         Copperfield’s Burger and Beer, Smithfield– Partial immediate compliance order 


·         Jalapeno’s Kitchen, Providence – Compliance order 


·         Davo’s Calzones and Wraps, South Kingstown – Compliance order 


·         3 Flags Bakery, Central Falls – Compliance Order 


·         Honey Dew Donuts, Providence – Compliance order 


Businesses that have since received notices of compliance: 


·         Countryside Liquors, Pawtucket – Compliance order (now in compliance) 


·         Knights of Columbus, Lincoln – Combination compliance order, Immediate compliance order (now in compliance) 


·         EP Weiners, East Providence – Immediate compliance order (now in compliance) 


·         Tres Letras Hookah Lounge, Providence – Combination compliance order, Immediate compliance order (now in compliance) 


·         Ichigo Ichie Restaurant, East Providence – Combination compliance order, Immediate compliance order (now in compliance) 


·         La Tijera De Oro Barber Shop, Providence – Compliance order (now in compliance) 

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news:  A deadly shooting suspect is now in custody.  The Gamm Theatre delays its season until next year.  The state Department of Health issues a product advisory.
>>Deadly Shooting Suspect Arrested
(Providence, RI)  --  A man wanted in connection with a deadly shooting last month on Harris Avenue in Cranston is now in custody.  The suspect, whose name was not released, was arrested yesterday in Providence.   Twenty-four-year-old Jamal Vasquez of Providence was killed in the early morning hours of September 8th. 
>>Gamm Theatre Delays Its Season
(Warwick, RI)  --  The Gamm Theatre in Warwick is delaying its season until the fall of 2021.  Management says that under coronavirus pandemic protocols, producing shows for big audiences is a practical impossibility.  Artistic Director Tony Estrella says the decision to postpone was difficult, but that the priority is the well-being of audiences, artists and staff.
>>Product Warning From RI DOH
(Providence, RI)  --   There's an advisory to consumers to avoid juices, smoothies and sea moss gel from the Health is Wealth Nutrition Center on Cranston Street in Cranston.  The state Department of Health says there's the potential for processing issues.  Inadequate processing can cause Botulism and the products should be thrown away.  No illnesses have been reported.
>>Gym In Providence Abruptly Closes
(Providence, RI)  --  The Boston Sports Club on the East Side of Providence is closed.  According to its website, member's account information will be emailed to them.   In addition to the Providence location, nearly a dozen Boston Sports Club gyms in eastern Massachusetts have abruptly closed.
>>Convenience Store Clerk Shot In Providence
(Providence, RI)  --  A store clerk in Providence is expected to recover from a gunshot wound.  The victim was shot in the leg.  Channel 10 reports it happened around eight o'clock last night at the G.I. Joe convenience store on Smith Street. 
John Carpilio/sca            RI) 
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
10-02-2020 07:57:11

Your Coronavirus Update - Today October 1, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Oct. 1, 2020

October 1, 2020/RINewsToday



Regeneron showing a cocktail of drug treatments reduces the severity of the virus.


Moderna vaccine shows promise for older adults.


Sweden will ease limits on capacity of restaurant events 10-fold to 500 people


New York will consider fines for non-mask-wearing in surge areas – particularly Brooklyn and Queens.


Trump to establish US-Africa Pandemic Research Institute to fight future outbreaks.


At least one person has been cited and multiple Salem State University students are expected to be punished after a large off-campus gathering


Police say they broke up a party with more than 1,000 attendees over the weekend at a housing complex near Florida State University’s campus.


First NFL outbreak: Tennessee Titans have 3 members, 5 team personnel test positive – they’ve closed facility for a week. Vikings have closed their facility out of precaution (they played Titans this weekend)


Contact tracing is under way on Nantucket after a rise in cases


Greek Cruise Ship with 12 announced positive crew – now tests all negative – false positives.


Royal Dutch Shell said it would cut 9,000 jobs due to lack of need for oil.


About one in five working mothers surveyed this summer for the sixth annual Women in the Workplace study by McKinsey and say they are considering dropping out of the workforce, at least temporarily—compared with 11% of fathers. An additional 15% of mothers report they may dial back their careers, either by cutting their hours or switching to a less-demanding role. Among women with young children, nearly a quarter say they may take a leave of absence or quit altogether. Among men and women with no children, 10% have said they are thinking of stepping away from their careers.


Disney Corp has laid off  28,000 people in the US. Over 67% are part-timers. The cuts will affect the Disney’s Parks, Experiences and Products unit, which employs over 100,000 in the US.


Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID), has recommended people take vitamin D and C supplements if they are deficient to protect against COVID-19,


Spice and condiment maker McCormick & Co. logged higher revenue this summer as stronger sales to consumers outpaced weakened demand from commercial customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.


New Hampshire’s hiking trails are packed, and officials are urging people to be prepared when they venture into the White Mountains


UNFI – United Natural Foods – reports a $274 million loss for the year. The company also announced that their CEO will step down, but is expected to remain executive chairman.


South Korea’s version of Thanksgiving, where 52 million crisscross the country to see their families, has gotten a pandemic complication. “Don’t visit home,” the country’s prime minister recently pleaded. The local media are reporting this has been received with “enthusiastic response”.


100 million doses may be available soon announced by HHS Assistant Secretary. Seniors are showing immune responses, which sometimes doesn’t happen, in one test.


The expected NFL Titans-Steelers game is called off for the weekend as one more Titans player tests positive.


The NFL is getting serious about coaches and players not adhering to safety protocols – with at least $1.75 million in fines not in compliance with the mask rules. Coaches are fined $100,000 each, and their teams $250,000. Going further, draft pick options will be taken away from coaches not wearing masks properly.


The Boston Ballet has begun coming back to practice at their studios.


Chicago is raising its indoor restaurant capacity from 25% to 40% today, but says restaurants still can’t seat more than 50 people in one room.


Kyte, a new car rental service in Massachusetts, delivers cars to your door.


United Healthcare and Anthem Insurance ends their free telehealth service today. CVS Health has extended this service through Dec. 2020.


Restaurant employment increased by 3.6 million people over August. There were 2.5 million fewer U.S. restaurant workers in August compared to February. September’s unemployment numbers are due out Friday.




Five cases were identified among staff members at the Zambarano unit of Slater Hospital. They are now testing all staff and patients. The positives were asymptomatic and identified through surveillance testing of staff. A RI infection control support team is deployed at the facility.


The five cases were all asymptomatic and discovered through surveillance testing of staff


Expressing frustration with parties and other large gatherings, Mayor Martin J. Walsh said Wednesday that Boston will not move forward with Step 2 of Phase III of the state’s reopening plan, which takes effect for low-risk communities Oct. 5.


Massachusetts is moving to soon allow indoor and outdoor performance venues with up to 50% capacity or 250 people, whichever limit is lower is low-risk communities. The state will allow up to 50% capacity for arcades and recreational businesses with trampolines, obstacle courses, roller rinks and laser tag, as well as gyms, museums, libraries, driving schools and flight academies. Retail stores in these communities will be allowed to reopen their fitting rooms.


Providence College staying pretty stable at around 226 cases with 3 faculty/staff – see chart:



Real ID deadline has been extended a year – to Oct. 1, 2021


CCRI will continue with primarily remote teaching and learning for Spring 2021 semester.


Johnson & Wales University says 31 students living off-campus are in isolation after testing positive for COVID-19, and about 100 others who have tested negative are in quarantine due to potential exposure to the virus. This goes back to mid-Sept. so the students may be off quarantine by now. They were allowed to go home if they could do so privately and safely.


Attleboro Fire Dept. has 9 positive firefighters – the Deputy Fire Chief is in serious condition – 60 cases in the community in the past 2 weeks.


The Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra will begin its new season this fall and is planning to have a limited live audience for shows at The Vets in November.


Excel Academy Charter Schools of MA has applied to open a mayoral academy school in RI for approx. 2,100 students from K-12, from Providence, Central Falls and North Providence.


RI has spent $1M on tests for travelers


Boston University is launching disciplinary hearings for 20 students who were caught by BU police violating school and state COVID-19 guidelines early Sunday at a campus location known to students as “the grotto.” The students could be suspended for a semester and lose their tuition and other payments for gathering in a group larger than 25, under-age alcohol drinking, and not wearing or not properly using face masks when discovered by BU police


Governor’s Presentation:


RI Data


Deaths: 1 (in 70s). Going to 103 hospitalizations from a low of 43 is concerning, but still under control. PC outbreak stabilizing 170 new cases. 8 in ICU, 5 on ventilators.


Case investigation info: 9/15-9/21 – 685 new cases. 203, 30% were 19-24 yrs. old. 81 People not always forthcoming when they are called by RIDOH. Make others aware of large parties – report any over 15 in number to: 764-5554 – anonymous.


Inspections: 1,000 businesses – great compliance. They can do better with health screening of customers and staff – 89%. Bars doing ok, compliance fell a bit. 14%. Bar owners/customers cannot crowd bar, get too close to the bartender. Seeing too much crowding outside the bars, waiting for a table, etc. Keep masks on when outside. Put tape on ground to help people distance. “I want you to go out for dinner”


People in their 20s:  This is happening all around the country. Shared info that shows cases by age group. Huge spike 2 weeks ago in cases. (But – isn’t that because we are doing large testings in colleges?) Ages 19-24. Reason: college students still socializing, not wearing masks. Concerning because they will spread it to others who aren’t young and healthy. Will be putting together a young person’s task force to help design awareness and compliance for young people – “If you live in a dorm, hang out with the person in your room, not in your dorm” ?  Too much social engagement. Poor mask compliance.


Take it outside campaign – going well, helped by good weather. “Unbelievably creative”. Received over 80 proposals. Outdoor tables, lighting, lending library of heat lamps, more equipment, wifi hotspots for libraries, etc. Adding $4M to bring this total to $5M. Tomorrow $3M in grants will be announced.


Table spacing will go from 8 ft. to 6 ft. apart. at restaurants.


Testing: K-12 System: Testing 4,000 students, teachers, staff at public and private schools. Identified 60 positive cases. Additionally, another 100 cases among school community. In that 160 cases, equal between kids learning from home and learning from school. Biggest confusion is how and when will I get results. It will take a few days – you can also check your email, also answer your phone. If you have symptoms, your results will be that day and a phone call. If not sick, wait 2-3 days – if positive, you will be called. All negatives – just an email – check your spam folders for emails. Two weeks, there will be an online portal where you can check yourself.  If you were tested because you were told you were a close contact, you will need to quarantine for 14 days. Not a close contact if you were in the same school or classroom – RIDOH will tell you if you are.  In-person learning community – 63 or 84 tested were displaying symptoms. Not seeing widespread outbreaks. Schools with more than one case, usually have common source of exposure.


Testing good news – this week RI and all states in US we will receive rapid BINEX-NOW test from Abbott. Self-administered – results in 15 mins. 300,000 tests between now and end of year. (See photo) Trying to figure out where to deploy these tests.


Halloween – get your costume, go out and get your candy. Outside is better than inside. Trick or treating ok, go in small group – wear your mask (and your mask). Be sensible, no house parties. College kids: if you party we will fine everyone $500.  Social distance for others. Limit is 15. Be smart. More densely populated communities – be careful. If you are feeling sick, no trick or treating for you, and no leaving candy out. Parents do a symptom check. Homes: don’t open door with bowl for kids to take candy – leave individually wrapped goodie bags or put wrapped candy on a baking sheet. Put out a few at a time. Wash hands regularly if you are at home. Use hand sanitizer throughout trips to houses.


Field Hospitals – Decommissioning Providence and Quonset facilities.


Questions & Answer with the Gov:


Decommissioned sites: what is going to become of supplies EMA & FEMA are working through that – cataloguing, sold, donated, stored.


Oct. 13th back to school target – what is expected?

It will be a mix – most are ready to go back full and in-person. Even Warwick is thinking, though Providence and Central Falls are not. State is working with Warwick. Education Operation Center is doing dozens of missions to schools to continue to help.  Damage being done by leaving kids at home – could be irreparable.


How did $4M come to play in taking it outdoors program? Any additional money for other businesses?

We looked at the need. Any business can take it outside – you can do nails outside, have staff meetings outside…


Budget – have you talked with Speaker or Senate President/General Assembly?

I talk to each of them on at least a weekly basis. It’s an understatement to say we are concerned about putting a budget together in November. We’re putting different scenarios together now. Legislature will come back mid-November.


What about their oversight in decisions being made now?

Not that different in what usually happens in executive branch administering the government.


After-school activities?

No, we’ll leave it as it is for now.


No Governor’s Cup at PC/URI game –

It is what it has to be.


Tear-gassing of protesters & white nationalists – can you condemn them?

Not a member of the press – beyond disturbing that the president could not condemn white nationalists – state police’s role to support Providence (I support them) – every use of force or pepper spray will be investigated. By and large, Gov says she supports them. “Their use of force procedures are appropriate and will be investigated”


Troopers not wearing masks up on Atwells Ave

All people need to wear masks.


Uptick in nursing homes – isolation areas not mandated – can you speak to this?

For the most part they are, and should be, isolating. Some covid specific homes. Protocols are they should be isolating. Wards and units for more than 1 person. Most spread is coming from community members bringing it into the homes.


Trick or Treating in MA and other states being shut down – why is it safe here?

Critical piece is wearing a mask. Small groups, not sharing candy, individually wrapped giving out of candy, etc.


Twin River has monopoly, smoking on site, lots of permissions, mobile sportsbook, 24 hour operations now – bar until 2am – when does RI stop public/private weaponizing against RI businesses? RI is the largest competition to private businesses.

Twin River was closed for months. They don’t have a monopoly. It is unique. They have been great to work with – closed for months.

Editor’s Note: At the end of the press conference, a member of the public rose to ask questions about police tear gassing of demonstrators and if the incidents would be investigated. She also asked about the Gov’s feelings about the President. The Governor responded that she fully supported the efforts of the police to keep [law and order] in the state. It is unclear if the press events are now open to the public.

RI School List with COVID-19

UPDATED: RI School List with COVID-19 Cases (as of 9/26/20)

September 30, 2020/RINewsToday


RI Dept. of Health updated cases in schools as of 9/26/20


Summary – this update – 100 locations – 158 cumulative cases


57 schools – 50-54 new cases – 80-84 total


43 virtual learning- 30-34 new cases – 70-74 total


Summary – last update – 53 locations – 74 cumulative cases


19 schools – 30-34 new cases – 30-34 total


34 virtual learning – 35-39 new cases – 35-39 total



K-12 Testing Requests can be made here:


Link to last updated list – through 9/19/20:

Ch=ch-changes coming for the 2nd Presidential Debate

Ch-ch-changes coming for the 2nd Presidential Debate

October 1, 2020/RINewsToday


There was an expectation of huge television numbers for the first of three debates between President Donald Trump and Republican candidate, former VP Joe Biden.  And yet, it was not expected that the debate would sway many voters.




According to TVLine, “Tuesday night’s first presidential debate of 2020 amassed about 29 million total viewers across ABC (which accounted for the largest broadcast crowd, with 11 mil), NBC (8 mil), CBS (5.3 mil) and Fox (4.5 mil), according to Nielsen fast nationals. Back in 2016, the four broadcast networks combined for 42.7 million total viewers when Trump debated Clinton for a first time. That face-off went on to report 84 million total viewers across broadcast and cable networks, besting the record that was set by Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan’s Oct. 28, 1980 debate (which drew 81 mil).”


While the television numbers were huge to begin with, many people bowed out of the debate after 30 minutes, with drop-jawed reaction at the decorum, or lack thereof, between the candidates and Chris Wallace, the struggling moderator.




It is estimated that only 6-10% of people remain undecided in who to vote for for President, according to an NBC poll. An exit story after the debate rendered comments indicating that there was more negative feeling about Trump, but not a positive feeling for Biden. To those who could go either way, comments like this one, from an NPR poll, show the confusion of the American voter – and hopefully not the apathy that would result in not voting: “I would be wrong to make a decision based on one performance and a couple of soundbites. I don’t think that would be very fair. But they would have to do a lot at this point to change my mind.”


But, if polls are accurately measuring, those who are called “the base” on both sides were not swayed to leave their candidate for the other and the debate did little to help the undecided to decide. Perhaps a true indicator of the final election totals, 50% declared one side the victor, 50% declared the other side. Or close to those numbers.




Candidate Biden was up early to catch his Train tour back to Delaware, doing mini-speeches at the stops along the way – often to a group of staff and supporters numbering less than 100, with loyal media in tow.


Each candidate declared victory.


President Trump, known for his early-morning tweets was silent until about 9am. He will be addressing a large rally in Minnesota tonight. In speaking to the media before he left he addressed the 100K incorrect mail ballots found in New York and his concerns about voting.


Early in the afternoon, the Commission on Presidential Debates released this statement:


The Commission on Presidential Debates sponsors televised debates for the benefit of the American electorate. Last night’s debate made clear that additional structure should be added to the format of the remaining debates to ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues.  The CPD will be carefully considering the changes that it will adopt and will announce those measures shortly.  The Commission is grateful to Chris Wallace for the professionalism and skill he brought to last night’s debate and intends to ensure that additional tools to maintain order are in place for the remaining debates.


If you missed the 90-minute debate you can watch it, here:


The next Debates scheduled are:


Oct 7th   


Vice presidential debate, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah


Oct 15th


2nd presidential debate, Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing            Performing Arts, Miami, FL


Oct 22th


3rd presidential debate, Belmont University, Nashville

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Johnson and Wales students are among the newest coronavirus cases in Rhode Island.  Governor Raimondo says restaurants can shrink distance between outdoor tables and OK's trick-or-treating.  Community College of Rhode Island will stick with mostly-virtual learning through the Spring 2021 semester.

>>COVID-19 Cases: JWU, North Smithfield, Jamestown Schools, Eleanor Slater Hospital

(Undated)  --  Here are the latest headlines about coronavirus cases in Rhode Island.  Johnson and Wales University has announced thirty-one COVID cases among off-campus students, which is forcing one-hundred additional students who have tested negative into quarantine.  The Valley Breeze reports parents at North Smithfield Elementary School were informed on Tuesday that someone in the school's pre-K class tested positive.  The Newport Daily News reports there has been a positive case connected to the Melrose School in Jamestown.  And according to a report from The Providence Journal, five virus cases were recently identified among staff members at Eleanor Slater Hospital.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Over A Thousand National Grid Customers Still Out

(Undated)  --  As of overnight, more than twelve-hundred National Grid customers were still without power in Rhode Island from the previous day's storm.  That's down from the 27-thousand customers who were without power at the peak of the outage yesterday.  Several schools in the state canceled classes yesterday because of the issue.

>>Governor Talks About Outdoor Restaurant Table Spacing, Trick-Or-Treating

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo at her weekly coronavirus briefing on Wednesday announced that restaurants could space outdoor tables a little closer.  The requirement had been eight feet apart, but it is now six; Raimondo said she hoped that would help restaurants that have been financially challenged by the pandemic.  The governor also gave the green light to trick-or-treating for Halloween this year, but said precautions must be taken, such as going in small groups.

>>CCRI Classes Mostly Online For Spring '21 Semester

(Warwick, RI)  --  Community College of Rhode Island will continue to mostly hold classes online in the spring semester.  College president Meghan Hughes made that announcement on Wednesday, citing the ongoing virus pandemic.  Hughes also said the decision was made now because academic plans need to be finalized for the spring soon.

>>Warwick Public Schools Delays Kindergarten In-Person Learning Return

(Warwick, RI)  --  Warwick Public Schools is holding off on returning to in-person learning for kindergarteners, which was set to happen next week.  The postponement is due to a delayed shipment of air purifiers, according to the school district.  A new return date has not been set.

>>DMV Extends Document Deadlines

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles is announcing revised deadlines for certain licenses, permits and registrations.  Documents originally due to expire in March, June and September have been extended to November 30th.  The DMV has granted several extensions this year because of the coronavirus pandemic.

>>State Health Department Issues Advisory About Health Is Wealth Products

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is advising consumers to avoid certain products from Health is Wealth Nutrition Center in Cranston.  The specific products are juices, smoothies and sea moss gel.  The health department says this is because of the potential for processing, storage and control issues.  No illnesses have been reported.

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

10-01-2020 00:36:02


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