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1540 Updates Archives for 2020-12

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over – RI State Police Chiefs & MADD Team Up

December 31, 2020/RINewsToday


The Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association (RIPCA) announced that it will be participating in the Mothers Against Drunk Driving-Rhode Island’s annual “Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” campaign, which is taking place over the next month.


The goal of the campaign is to honor victims who have lost their lives, or who were tragically injured, due to impaired driving crashes.


The campaign began Friday, Dec. 18 and ends on Friday, Jan. 21. During this time MADD-RI will pair victim families with police officers who will conduct targeted DUI enforcement patrols in honor of a family’s lost loved one. Officers will have a zero-tolerance policy for anyone driving under the influence.


In 2018, 34% of fatal roadway crashes in Rhode Island involved an impaired driver. Additionally, this year alone, 73 people in Rhode Island have lost their lives as a result of roadway crashes.


Over 30 patrols will take place with the help of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation’s Office on Highway Safety and the following police departments:


Barrington Police; Bristol Police; Burrillville Police; Central Falls Police; Coventry Police; Cranston Police; Hopkinton Police; Narragansett Police; Newport Police; North Smithfield Police; Portsmouth Police; Providence Police; Rhode Island State Police; Tiverton Police; Warren Police; Warwick Police; Westerly Police; and Woonsocket Police.

“The national average for fatal crashes involving an impaired driver is 29% and unfortunately Rhode Island is well above this average,” said RIPCA Executive Director Sidney Wordell. “These crashes are 100% preventable and there is no excuse for getting behind the wheel while under the influence. By increasing these patrols, we hope to raise awareness on how impaired driving can affect families forever and encourage residents to only drive when sober. We thank MADD-RI for sponsoring this very meaningful campaign and are grateful to be a participant in it.”


To ensure safety on roadways this holiday season, RIPCA recommends the following tips: 

  • Never drive if you have been drinking or are under the influence of drugs.
  • Have a plan to get home safely. Assign yourself a designated driver, call a friend, or utilize a cab or rideshare service.
  • Hosting a holiday celebration? Watch out for your family and friends, and if one of them is impaired and planning to drive, take their keys and help them make other arrangements to get home safely.
  • Include “mocktails” on your menu for designated drivers and those who do not drink alcoholic beverages.
  • Only time can sober up an alcohol-impaired person. An impaired guest might need to stay in a guest room or utilize a sofa if unable to get home safely.
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Public vaccine clinics are being held in Central Falls, which has been hard-hit by the coronavirus.  A two-year-old girl rescued from a Providence house fire last week has died.  Another winter weather update for New Year's Day.

>>Vaccine Clinics Being Held In Central Falls

(Central Falls, RI)  --  The first public COVID-19 vaccine campaign in Rhode Island is underway.  Residents got the shot at a couple of public housing buildings in Central Falls on Wednesday.  A clinic this upcoming Saturday is aimed at Section 8 housing residents, but it could be open to the general public if not enough people sign up, according to the Central Falls Housing Authority.  The agency says it will post registration info on its social media pages.  Officials say Central Falls was picked for the first public vaccine campaign in Rhode Island because of the high rate of the virus in the city.

>>Second Child Rescued From Providence House Fire Has Died

(Providence, RI)  --  A sad update on a fatal house fire in Providence last week.  Both children who were rescued from the residence on Lucy Street have died.  Seven-year-old Ashley Sandoval died on the day of the fire, December 22nd.  Her two-year-old sister Allison Sandoval died on Saturday the 26th, according to the Providence Police Department.  The fire remains under investigation.

>>Man's Death In Portsmouth Being Investigated

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  A man was found dead outside of his home in Portsmouth on Wednesday.  The discovery was reportedly made at around 8:30 a.m. at a residence on Mare Terrace.  The Portsmouth Police Department told The Newport Daily News the cause of death of the 65-year-old was not immediately apparent, and that local detectives are investigating with the state police and attorney general's office.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Wintry Mix Predicted For Some Of SNE Friday Night

(Undated)  --  A wintry mix is expected to impact some of Southern New England on Friday night.  As of overnight Thursday, the National Weather Service in Boston said the mix is expected northwest of the I-95 corridor.  The weather service says the rest of the region will mainly see rain.

>>Pawtucket Council Approves Resolution To Rehab Transfer Station, Keep It Operating

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  Pawtucket is moving to keep its existing transfer station.  The Valley Breeze reports the City Council last week approved a resolution to authorize an agreement with Waste Connections of Rhode Island to rehab the transfer station on Grotto Avenue and run it for ten years.  Residents of the city's Fairlawn section have previously called for the transfer station to be closed due to quality-of-life issues.  They also opposed a new facility elsewhere in the neighborhood.

>>Providence Beats Butler

(Providence, RI)  --  Ten games into the college basketball season, the Providence Friars are 7-and-3.  The Providence men's team beat Butler at home on Wednesday, 77-to-51.  PC is playing all of its home games this season on-campus at Alumni Hall instead of the Dunkin' Donuts Center.  Next up is another home game versus Creighton on Saturday.

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

12-31-2020 01:24:09

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 30, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 30, 2020

December 30, 2020/RINewsToday




Central Falls vaccination of the general public will be held today. Knights of Columbus Hall is one site. Residents of Central Falls Housing Authority high rises may be the first group to receive the vaccine. Residents over 18 only. This is the first group of general public to be vaccinated.


Next groups of RI’s general public will be Pawtucket and Providence.


The Boston Globe reports that COVID19 has plummeted in Central Falls, falling by more than half, with possible herd immunity having been met. Vaccines will be delivered this week to the Central Falls Housing Authority to deliver to Forand Manor and Wilfrid Manor. CF now has the 8th highest rate in RI. “Rhode Island will be vaccinating people based on their risk level, and we will continue to maintain a focus on equity,” Department of Health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said last week. We will move on to other ZIP codes and communities that are hardest hit, as well.” “We want to get the whole city vaccinated as quickly as we can,” Fine said. “They are the people in the state who are most at risk.”


Boston Archdiocese To Ring Bells Wednesday For Lives Lost To COVID-19


Boston’s New Year’s Eve fireworks have been canceled.


Troop, a Providence restaurant has closed during the week and will only be open on the weekend, charging difficulties in getting state aid, saying, in the Providence Journal, ‘We applied for every grant possible since the start of the pandemic. The process has been exhausting. The turn around time has not been acceptable. The grants have been confusing, ever changing, and poorly orchestrated to say the least. We currently have 5 pending grant applications and $0 to show for them.


North Kingstown’s Oak Hill Tavern has closed with plans to reopen in March.


Birch and The Eddy Bar and Gracies in Providence have closed.


Giusto in Newport will close Jan. 1 and will reopen “when safe”.


County Cork Irish Pub in Warwick announced its closing for the months of January and February.


NBC10 reporter Katie Davis reported that hospitals can be reimbursed 20% more for Medicare patients with COVID19, including ventilating patient. Patients who die and are coded COVID19 must have a recorded positive test. There are violations for “over-coding”, David uncovered in her interview with the head of Care New England.


The Rhode Island Supreme Court has rejected a proposal to “alleviate serious health risks” in the state’s prisons, asserting that the system has already taken appropriate steps to keep nonviolent offenders out of jail during the pandemic.

Holyoke Veterans Home prioritized by Massachusetts


In Massachusetts veterans homes are being vaccinated with Air Force veteran, Robert Aucoin, becoming the first resident of the Holyoke Soldiers’ Home in Massachusetts to get vaccinated against the coronavirus. The state has made it a priority to get the residents of both the Holyoke facility and the Chelsea Soldier’s Home vaccinated.


CCRI union votes no confidence in President


When asked about a RI compliance promotional campaign, the Health Dept. responded, “We will be launching a wide ranging campaign to educate people of all different demographics about the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine. That will start when vaccine becomes more widely available.”


Lawmakers in New Hampshire have probably the most creative solutions to coming together for session – they will park in front of a large screen at the University of New Hampshire in Durham and will remain in their cars for the duration of the Jan. 6 session.


Rhode Island Treasurer Magaziner is part of a national effort to prevent price gouging of COVID19 treatment medication, remdesivir, by Gilead. Over 61 others are part of this effort.


Boston Cardinal Sean O’Malley, 76, received his Moderna vaccine, and encouraged Catholics and seniors to get theirs when their time presents itself.


Eastern Bank Charitable Foundation has donated $3Million more for Boston homeless causes.


Vaccination update w/Dr. Scott and Health Dept. team


30,700 doses of vaccines rec’d into RI – doesn’t include nursing home partnership doses.


Administered as of 9am – 12,869 doses


Hopeful RI will be getting higher levels of doses – working on approx.. 15,000 doses/week – shipments come in on Tuesday.


Exciting launch for the week – PODS for EMS and home health and hospice – fire, police at municipal level. Balancing # of slots and # of vaccines available.


1,185 at 5 regional pods given out.


763 staff/residents in nursing homes done.


First 9 days – 100% used.


Phase 1 – front line healthcare workers, older adults, people who live in hardest hit communities.


Focus on equity – realizing certain communities have been hit harder than others. We need to use “equity lens” said Dr. Scott.


All decisions about vaccine prioritization are being made with an expert subcommittee. There will be overlap between phases. One group doesn’t need to be completed before we move to other. It’s more about supplies and logistics. Some weeks the amount delivered will vary.



Phase 2 – will include other age groups, and many others – detailed breakdown will come in the future




Q: From Motif: Some groups were advocating certain geographies were prioritized and supercede Phase 1 – i.e., vaccinate everyone in CF, etc. Response was non-committal. Public confusion. Could you confirm? What are criteria – are you doing the whole city?


A: Dr. Scott – have included communities hardest hit as its own entity in Phase 1. Starting with CF as an entity. Would incorporate people outside of high risk demographics. We are prioritizing and working by zip code.


Q: East Greenwich News. Mid-state clinic held in EG yesterday. Getting questions about At-Med Clinic, and teachers – how/when are people chosen to participate? Is it all healthcare workers, or just some healthcare workers?


A: Majority of clinical community engaging with patients who are at risk are included in Phase 1. Started with hospitals, respiratory clinics, health centers, clinics, primary care, dentists, etc.


Q: Because there was room in vaccination clinics, you broadened it to include school nurse teachers?


A: Teachers not in Phase 1 – but considered critical for Phase 2.


Q: What about people with serious respiratory issues? What phase if they are not old?


A: They would be in Phase 2.


Q: NBC10 – What about older adults not in nursing homes? Are they in Phase 1? How does that work?


A: If over age 75, yes. We are working through logistics now.


Q: Ed Fitzpatrick, Boston Globe: How many vaccines in CF? What cities next?


A: Hardest hit communities approach. Phase 1 – CF; only go zip code by zip code beyond that. Next would be Providence and Pawtucket. Not sure if that will be in Phase 1 or Phase 2.


Q: WPRI: Have you rec’d less than you thought you would? How is that impacting?


A: We have not been significantly hindered, we’ve made some adjustments. Each week slightly different but on average it does align with what we thought it would be. Would be helpful if it was consistent.


Q: Public Radio: How is compliance so far?


A: In hospital setting very high.


Q: Prisons – who has been vaccinated?


A: Coordinating closely with them – we are prioritizing older, immune-compromised, and staff to protect residents


Q: Vaccinating inmates before nursing homes – speak to this?


A: First “tier” is to assure those at highest risks for negative outcomes are incorporated in Phase 1. Nursing home residents and staff. 2. Starting on subsequent groups as they become available.


Q: How long will we be in Phase 1 –


A: 12/14 – through Jan &  Feb. CVS and Walgreens is working on their tier. EMS is also underway. CF will begin this week (phase 1.3) Wednesday starts in CF.


Q: When will Governor get vaccine?


A: Phase 2 most likely


Q: How many people in Phase 1?


A: About 150,000


Q: Covid vs non-COVID on death certificates – explain?


A: Association with COVID and a death is distinct. May be a scenario where COVID was identified but not a public health report.


Q: Everyone to be vaccinated by June – too early to tell?


A: Definitely too early to tell. We have strong plans in place.


RI Data – Today’s Data – Dec. 29, 2020


Deaths: 18


Total tests: 11,617 – Positive tests: 1,095 – Percent positives: 9.4%


Hospitalized: 423 – In ICU: 55 – Ventilated: 46


Deaths in-hospital: 8 – New hospitalizations: 32 – New Discharges: 21


Vaccinated, 1st shot: 12,869 (934+ since yesterday)





The federal stimulus bill that has been passed and signed includes: addition to unemployment was increased by $300 and continued until mid-March. Extends unemployment for gig workers and state programs up to 50 weeks. Revives PPP program. $30Billion for vaccine funding. $82Billion for schools and universities. Rental assistance program. Increase in SNAP benefits by 15% for 6 mos, and funds for food banks and farmers and ranchers. $10Billion for child care. $10 billion for the USPS. There is also $7 Billion to expand access to high speed internet service, including providing $50/month to low-income families and $300 million for infrastructure in underserved areas. Biden says he has authority over federal workers, interstate travel on trains, buses, and planes, etc.


$600 should be in the mail or direct deposited by this weekend. If another bill passes a second amount to total $2000 will be sent.


More than 11 million doses of vaccines have been delivered, 2 million people have been vaccinated – the national goal was 20 million to be vaccinated. It’s acknowledged that more shots may have been given, due to a reporting time.


In Florida, drive through vaccinations are being held for all residents over the age of 65.


Moderna employees will vaccinate their employees, voluntarily.


Sen. Marc Rubio has taken on conflicting messages of medical experts, in particular Dr. Fauci: “Dr. Fauci lied about masks in March,” Rubio tweeted. “Dr. Fauci has been distorting the level of vaccination needed for herd immunity. It isn’t just him. Many in elite bubbles believe the American public doesn’t know ‘what’s good for them’ so they need to be tricked into ‘doing the right thing.’” – Dr. Fauci responded: “We have to realize that we have to be humble and realize what we don’t know,” explaining that his numbers were “guestimates” based on extrapolations from what we know concretely about measles.


Television sales has increased by 40% since the pandemic.


AstraZeneca & Oxford Univ. vaccine has been approved in UK


Moderna vaccine is being given in South Korea.


LA County has seen 7,000 hospitalizations in one day – it is the epicenter for all the US.


The first known U.S. case of the highly transmissible variant of Covid-19 discovered in the U.K. has been reported in Colorado.


Luke Letlow, 41 years old, congressman about to take office in Louisiana died of COVID19


Digital vaccine proof will become required – concern over privacy has risen. Vaccination proof will be required for admission to events, etc. – digital passports will not be in the cloud.


Australia’s New Year’s Eve celebration – residents are being told to watch from home and it has been reduced to 7 minutes


UK hospitals have paused nonurgent hospital procedures


Dr. Fauci endorsed the requirement that travelers from Britain be required to have a negative coronavirus test before entering the U.S.


NovaVax has started its Phase 3 trial. AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson are already in Phase 3 trials.


More than a dozen anti-vaxxer and COVID-19denial physicians have been disciplined in Rome, local officials say. All had taken to TV or social media to spread their beliefs.


Vermont’s airport had an 80% decline in travel in and out.


A national organization of gym owners, Community Gyms Coalition, are petitioning the federal government for targeted assistance.


The president of Mexico said: “We are not opposed to commercializing the vaccine, to companies importing it and selling it to those who can pay,”


In California, 1 out of every 95 has had COVID19 with 1 person dying every 10 minutes – 0% availability of ICUs – creating makeshift ICUs – ambulance circling hospitals – oxygen and medication running low – staffing levels below what is needed – fears of switching to a rationing of care are building.


Indonesia bans international visitors for 2 weeks over new virus strain


South Korean officials are vowing to speed up efforts to launch a public coronavirus vaccination programme as the country on Monday announced it had detected its first cases of the virus variant 


India’s Serum Institute expects approval for AstraZeneca


Golf legend Greg Norman is recovering after being hospitalized for COVID19


In Minnesota, 800 out of 2,800 recorded COVID19 deaths were from other causes. The state is calling for an audit.


Pres-elect Biden:



Worse will come before things get better. Thousands will die. Nowhere near vaccine goal. Wants people to get 100 million shots in 100 days – wear masks for 100 days – Trump should encourage people to take the shot and to wear a mask. Ramp up private industry for production. Equitable distribution of vaccines. Free. Down payment of stimulus plan – billions more will be needed. Also said no overall improvement until March. He took no questions.


Russia has put out this promotional video on the Sputnik V Vaccine:


Russia, Belarus and Argentina launched mass coronavirus vaccinations with the Russian-developed Sputnik V shot after a full promotional campaign to alleviate citizens’ concern about getting the shot –


Rhode Island News Today

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The director of the state health department comments on where things stand with the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island.  A man is charged with murdering his girlfriend's son in Cranston.  Slick travel conditions are possible on New Year's Day.

>>Rhode Island Coronavirus Vaccine Rollout Continuing

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health provided an update on the state's COVID-19 vaccine distribution effort on Tuesday.  Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said she was very pleased with where the vaccination campaign stands.  Alexander-Scott said even though Rhode Island has not gotten all of the expected doses, the state has not been significantly hampered in its ability to get the shots into the arms of the people who need them the most.  She said the first phase of the Rhode Island rollout, covering about 150-thousand people, will continue through February.

>>Man Charged With Murder For Shooting Girlfriend's Son In Cranston

(Cranston, RI)  --  A fatal shooting after an apparent heated argument at a Cranston residence is leading to a first-degree murder charge.  Charles Gangi [[ GAN-jee]] is accused of the fatal shooting of Paul Zoice on Tuesday afternoon.  Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist says Gangi is the boyfriend of Zoice's mother.  Gangi is expected to be arraigned in court on Wednesday.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Icy Roads Possible New Year's Day

(Undated)  --  Travel in Rhode Island might be hazardous on New Year's Day.  The National Weather Service is tracking a period of possible freezing rain and/or sleet across portions of interior Southern New England later Friday into Friday night before a changeover to rain, which could lead to icing.  The weather service says unseasonably mild weather is in store for the first weekend of 2021.

>>Coast Guard Suspends Search In Newport Harbor

(Newport, RI)  --  The U.S. Coast Guard suspended a search in Newport Harbor Tuesday afternoon, pending further information.  The Coast Guard had dispatched crews on Monday for a possible person in the water.  The Coast Guard said the cutter Steelhead searched through the night and was joined by a chopper from Air Station Cape Cod for another round on Tuesday morning.

>>State Education Department Rules Against Suspension Over Family COVID Cases

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  The state education commissioner says a South County school district cannot suspend two students from in-person learning because their parents let them go to school while the father awaited a COVID test.  The North Kingstown District suspended the students after the father tested positive, and then the children tested positive as well, forcing quarantines for a number of other students at the middle school and high school.  The action from school officials initially covered the rest of the school year and was then reduced to early February on appeal.  The American Civil Liberties Union petitioned the Rhode Island Department of Education to overturn the ban last week.

>>Newport Sending Out Car Tax Bills

(Newport, RI)  --  The city of Newport announced it was sending out car tax bills on Monday.  The city delayed preparation of the bills until after the state adopted a Fiscal Year 2021 budget, which was delayed until December because of the coronavirus pandemic.  The state is phasing out the car tax bills and replacing the local revenue with state aid.

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

12-30-2020 01:12:26

Stories for a New Year: A Virtual Performance



Stories for a New Year: A Virtual Performance

December 29, 2020/RINewsToday


For forty years, master storyteller, Robb Dimmick, has entranced New England audiences with his dramatic readings of holiday classics. His vocal athleticism has brought Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” and its quirky characters alive in all their glory as Scrooge claws his way towards spiritual redemption.



Dimmick’s favorite holiday offering is his pairing of Dylan Thomas’ “A Child’s Christmas in Wales” and Truman Capote’s “A Christmas Memory.” In it Dimmick plumbs Thomas’ Welsh humor and beautiful phrases with a thick and welcoming dialect as four hale and hardy boys explore the natural wonders of Christmas and family. And in Capote’s seldom read-aloud memory piece, Dimmick touches the heart with southern charm as young Buddy and his timid aunt navigate the makings of Christmas in the rural south.


Joyce May of Weaver Library calls Dimmick’s readings “mesmerizing,” and Rhode Island folklorist Michael Bell calls them, “stunning; they draw you into Christmas.”


Dimmick will share these two unforgettable tales virtually on New Year’s Day, Friday, January 1st, at 2pm as a fundraiser for Stages of Freedom’s Swim Empowerment, which he co-founded.



Dim the lights, curl up with a blanket, a cup of cocoa, and be transported by these unforgettable stories while helping fund swimming lessons for Rhode Island Black youth.


Join him and Cathy Clasper-Torch, the accomplished fiddler, as they bring to life these stories for a new year. Register for $5 at: 


Upon Registering You Will Receive a Zoom Link


RISCA awards grants to RI arts community


RISCA awards grants to RI arts 


December 29, 2020/RINewsToday


RISCA awarded $1 million in Covid Relief Funds (CRF) to artists, professional arts education associations, and arts and culture organizations. These grants announced a few days before Christmas provided badly needed assistance to organizations, artists and arts educators who continue to experience economic hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
For artists, the assistance was distributed through the Rhode Island Artist Relief Fund, a charitable fund set up by RISCA to help artists who have lost income due to the pandemic. 


For arts and culture organizations, and arts education associations, the funds were dispersed directly through RISCA.


In addition to artists, and arts and culture organizations, grant recipients included 11 organizations associated with the RI Expansion Arts Program and seven culturally specific nonprofits. RIEAP is a partnership among RISCA, RI Council for the Humanities (RICH) and Rhode Island Foundation to support community-based, culturally diverse arts and cultural organizations.

Organization Name Organization City Grants
Arts Alive! Barrington $6,000
Chamber Orchestra of Barrington at St. John’s Barrington $4,394
Bristol Art Museum Bristol $6,000
Friends of Linden Place Bristol $6,000
Herreshoff Marine Museum Bristol $6,000
Epic Theatre Company Cranston $6,000
Artists’ Exchange Cranston $27,500
Korean American Association of Rhode Island Cranston $9,000
Notable Works Publication and Distribution Co. Cranston $1,134
Ocean State Pops Orchestra Cranston $6,000
Dance Alliance of Rhode Island/Chance to Dance East Greenwich $6,000
Greenwich Odeum East Greenwich $6,000
Music on the Hill East Greenwich $6,000
Narragansett Bay Symphony Community Orchestra East Providence $6,000
RI Music Education Association East Providence $6,000
RI Philharmonic Orchestra & Music School East Providence $27,500
East Providence Historical Society East Providence $6,000
Swamp Meadow Community Theatre Foster $2,102
Rhode Island Chamber Music Concerts Hope $6,000
Langworthy Public Library Hope Valley $911
Johnston Dance and Performing Arts Johnston $6,000
South County Art Association Kingston $6,000
DeBlois Gallery Corporation Middletown $6,000
Flickers Newport $9,500
Island Moving Company Newport $15,550
Newport Art House Newport $6,000
Newport String Project Newport $447
newportFILM Newport $12,500
Sankofa Community Connection Newport $9,000
The Choir School of Newport County Newport $6,000
RISE on Broadway Pascoag $6,000
Arts Equity/VSA Pawtucket $6,000
Mixed Magic Theatre and Cultural Events Pawtucket $9,000
Outsider Collective Pawtucket $821
Common Fence Music Portsmouth $6,000
Common Fence Point Portsmouth $6,000
Academy Players Providence $6,000
Alliance of Artists Communities Providence $6,000
Art League of Rhode Island Providence $189
AS220 Providence $27,500
Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading Providence $2,500
Burbage Theatre Company Providence $6,000
Cambodian Society of Rhode Island Providence $9,000
Centro Cultural Andino Providence $1,965
Dirt Palace Public Projects Providence $6,000
DownCity Design Providence $6,000
EcoArtsUSA Providence $7,000
Festival Ballet Providence Providence $15,550
FirstWorks Providence $15,550
RIOT! Rhode Island Providence $7,000
India Association of Rhode Island Providence $6,444
Rhode Island School of Design Museum Providence $15,550
Narragansett Bay Chorus Providence $6,000
Oasis International Providence $9,000
RI Cape Verdean Heritage Committee Providence $9,000
Providence Art Club Providence $6,000
Providence Children’s Museum Providence $6,000
Providence Improv Guild Providence $6,000
Providence Latin American Film Festival Providence $5,419
QUISQUEYA IN ACTION Providence $9,000
Rhode Island Kung Fu & Lion Dance Club Providence $2,500
RPM Voices of Rhode Island Providence $9,000
Spectrum Theatre Ensemble Providence $6,000
Stages of Freedom Providence $10,500
Trade Pop-up Providence $6,000
Trinity Repertory Company Providence $27,500
Southside Cultural Center Providence $10,500
WaterFire Providence Providence $6,000
Wilbury Theatre Group Providence $7,000
The Steel Yard Providence $15,550
JDP Theatre Co Rumford $6,000
Rhode Island Youth Theatre Saunderstown $6,000
The CORE Organization Tiverton $6,000
Contemporary Theater Company Wakefield $1,032
The Collaborative Warren $2,660
Imago Foundation for the Arts Warren $6,000
Puerto Rican Institute for Arts & Advocacy Warwick $9,000
Rhode Island Alliance for Arts in Education Warwick $6,000
Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre Warwick $15,550
Warwick Center for the Arts Warwick $6,000
Chorus of Westerly Westerly $15,550
Wickford Art Association Wickford $6,000
Eastern Medicine Singers Woonsocket $9,000
Stadium Theatre Foundation

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Coronavirus vaccines are being distributed to nursing homes in the Ocean State.  Another ACI inmate who had the virus has died.  The Patriots host the Buffalo Bills on Monday Night Football.

>>Coronavirus Vaccines To Be Distributed At Rhode Island Nursing Homes

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island nursing homes are set to begin receiving coronavirus vaccines on Monday.  The effort is being coordinated through the state health department, CVS and Walgreens and will begin in Central Falls, Pawtucket and Providence.  The Rhode Island Health Care Association, which represents nursing homes, says there are about seven-thousand residents in the state.  According to a Providence Journal report, nearly twelve-hundred COVID deaths in RI have been people living in nursing homes or assisted-living centers, making up 70-percent of the state's death toll.

>>Another ACI Inmate Who Had COVID Has Died

(Cranston, RI)  --  A second death of an Adult Correctional Institutions inmate who contracted COVID-19 is being reported this month.  The state says the 79-year-old man, whose name was not released, died on Christmas.  He was in the medium-security unit serving a life sentence for murder.  The Rhode Island Department of Corrections says the inmate had other serious complicating health conditions which contributed to his death.  A DOC spokesperson tells WJAR-TV prison inmates are now getting COVID vaccinations.

>>Christmas Day Rainfall Record Set In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The National Weather Service says Providence broke a daily rainfall record this Christmas.  The Rhode Island capital city received two-point-nine-five inches of rain on Friday, breaking the record set in 1978 when one-point-six-eight inches was measured.  Included in the storm reports from Friday's wind-and-rain event, the weather service said I-95 in Warwick and Wampanoag Trail in East Providence both flooded at around noon.

>>Patriots Host Buffalo Bills Tonight

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots are down to their last two games of the 2020 NFL season.  The 6-and-8 Pats host the Buffalo Bills tonight, with kickoff scheduled for 8:15.  Buffalo, at 11-and-3, has clinched the AFC East Division title for the first time since 1995, while New England will miss the playoffs for only the second time this century.  The Patriots are expected to start Cam Newton at quarterback tonight, according to multiple media reports.

>>Fire Damages Important Masonic Lodge In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Fire struck an important building for the black community of Providence and beyond on Christmas morning.  Major damage was caused to the Prince Hall Masonic Temple on Eddy Street.  The cause of the fire is still under investigation.  The lodge has ties to the first black mason lodge in North America founded in the late 18th century.

>>Car Tax Bills To Go Out In Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The city of Pawtucket is sending out car tax bills that were delayed because of the previous uncertainty with the state budget, according to a report from the Valley Breeze.  Mayor Donald Grebien [[ GRAY-be-in ]] says the city will send out bills by the end of January.  The mayor also says interest penalties are being waived through the end of the fiscal year.  The city treasurer says grace periods are being extended for the two most recent annual car tax payment due dates, as well as the first couple of due dates of 2021. 

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

12-28-2020 01:11:39

Families helping families. RI's leaders need to focus

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Families helping families… RI’s leaders need to focus – by Jeff Gross

December 27, 2020/Jeff Gross


y Jeffrey Gross, contributing writer, opinion editorial


Since a previous article about the Faith Fellowship Church in West Greenwich Rhode Island, and how lengthy the line was for assistance, the situation for those in need is becoming ever more dire. The distribution was changed at the Church from Wednesday nights to both Tuesday and Thursday nights, and the lines are still lengthy. An ambassador of Good Will from the Rhode Island Fish and Game Protective Association decided to help out and took action. 


Donations of cases of Hawaiian rolls were made on two separate days, including Christmas Eve. With a substantial monetary donation from Barbara G. and help from Kevin Perno, Manager of Market Basket in Fall River and his staff, the task went very smoothly. Pastor Steve Shippee and his wife, Evelina, were thrilled with the items. The church food distribution program provided hams for Christmas, and the rolls went hand in hand with the hams.


Many have a feeling that 2020 is just a dress rehearsal for the s—show that will become 2021. The Democrats played games with the China virus financial relief in Washington, while hundreds of companies failed. The $600 relief check will not even pay half a month’s rent for a single waitstaff or other food worker. In Rhode Island, millions upon millions of dollars were held back while people suffered. The Governor never gave a valid explanation, yet, as to why! The food assistance programs would have flourished if they were provided with just a 1,000th of that money. 


Time for RI leadership to focus


Instead of working on the immediate problem of people starving and vaccine distribution, announcements are that the Rhode Island Senate President has decided it is more important to resurrect archaic legislation of banning people with concealed carry firearms and permits on school grounds. Apparently Senate President Ruggerio did not notice that the most important issue about schools right now is that most of them aren’t open, or are struggling with severely altered safe working models.


If you are doing well in these desperate times you are an anomaly and count your blessings. Friends and family alike took a financial hit. The magnitude of the problems show in all the closed restaurants and shops in many a strip mall.


In our food distribution systems, we are in need of restocking. RIFGPA has a number of people helping to keep the support coming – thank you Spike Webber, Mike Lombari, Kyle McCarthy, Cara Woloohojian, Bob Butler, Tom Bucci, Bob Messier, Donna DiGennaro, and Faith Fellowship’s Steve and Evelina Shippee – all doing the lion’s share of assisting in the West Greenwich area. 


There are others out there that need your help – right in your own communities. We look at programs like Operation Stand Down in Johnston (for Veterans in need), and the Jonnycake Centers in South Kingston and Westerly, and all the rest that are running critically low as the situation becomes worse. 


It is up to you and me to assist these organizations with their crusade even moreso now, as Rhode Island legislators turn their interests more towards idiotic legislation like legalizing recreational marijuana, to name another. In reality, we need to look out for family here in Rhode Island more than anything else. It needs to be our laser focus.


As a child it was instilled in me that charity started at home. My dad, on more than one occasion, went without so I would have enough to eat. Years later in some very dark divorce times, the same instilled act of giving was done for my son and daughter. 


Turns out Faith Fellowship Church and RIFGPA are abutting neighbors. Moreso, there is a family connection between the two organizations going back nearly 100 years. So what initially was an act of kindness and giving turns out to be Family Helping Family, and in turn, spreading that out to other families in West Greenwich.


At some point in the future this writer may relocate back to the West Bay if a prayer finally is heard. West Greenwich may be the setting as we all have Family there.


Photos courtesy of Evelina Shippee





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

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

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

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


1 Comment

  1.  Bob Butler on December 28, 2020 at 1:52 am

    Thanks for focusing on those in need and bringing your considerable talents to bear and assist at this time of unprecedented want. Steve and Evelina are doing the work needed to assist the hidden needy in our community, and your support is critical to their mission..WG will be proud to have you as neighbor.
    Warmest regards,

Discover Beautiful Rhode Island - with Jason Michalski


Discover Beautiful Rhode Island – Jason Michalski

December 25, 2020/Jason Michalski


Photo: Taken, first snow, Newport, RI


by Jason Michalski, photographer


Let there be Peace on Earth


Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me
Let There Be Peace on Earth
The peace that was meant to be


With God as our Father
Brothers all are we
Let me walk with my brother
In perfect harmony.


Let peace begin with me
Let this be the moment now.


With ev’ry step I take
Let this be my solemn vow
To take each moment and live
Each moment in peace eternally


Let there be peace on earth
And let it begin with me.



Merry Christmas! Let there be peace.


the Marketing Secrets of S. Claus

The Marketing Secrets of S. Claus – by Bob Salvas

December 24, 2020/RINewsToday


A lot of marketing people over the years have talked about the marketing success that is Santa Claus. I suppose it is because it can be a fun way to remind us to practice good marketing principles.


With that in mind, here are five marketing lessons from the man in the red suit as we approach Christmas Day.

  1. DIFFERENTIATE – The best path to success is to differentiate your business. This helps you stand out in whatever your industry is. In Santa’s case, other people may deliver Christmas presents but how many do it in a bright red suit in a sleigh pulled by flying reindeer? Yes, only one…
  2. TARGET MARKET – Alongside differentiation is identifying your one specific audience and then speaking to them with greater depth than you could to a mass audience. Interestingly, if you are good at what you do, that one specific audience expands your reach by telling others what you do (word of mouth). Santa’s target market and message is directed to children. But the appeal goes way beyond that, to the ‘child’ in each of us.
  3. CUSTOMER KNOWLEDGE – Long term business success is largely built on repeat business and adapting to change.You cannot sell a customer something if you don’t know what they want. So, it becomes important to ASK THEM! Even Santa, who supposedly knows when you are sleeping and when you are awake, makes doubly sure he knows what his customers want by ASKING children specifically what they want for Christmas in malls and department stores weeks prior to the‘big day’.
  4. BRAND IDENTITY – The way you conduct business, why you are in business, your business name and any visual component all tell the story of who you are and what you do. Santa Claus is well-branded. The legend comes from Saint Nicholas, the patron saint of children. ‘Claus’ is actually a Germanic shortened form of the word ‘Nicholas’. As to the visual image, it is interesting to note that the modern image of Santa Claus was developed in the 1930’s by Coca Cola. At the time, Coke was only seen as a warm-weather drink and the company wanted to grow by promoting year-round consumption. So, another business lesson here is co-branding your company with another well-known brand which apparently worked quite well for Coca Cola!
  5. GIVING – A successful business also makes a habit of giving. They give good service and good value of course, but the most successful companies give more to their clients, prospects,and the community than they must. Giving helps to build trust and trust is THE key to building and maintaining business relationships. The biggest business networking organization in the world is BNI (Business Network International) and their core philosophy is in the line they use: GIVERS GAIN. Giving first promotes gaining later. Sowing comes before reaping. And Santa? Well,the name ‘Santa’ is practically synonymous with the word GIVING.


In many ways, The Marketing Secrets of S. Claus embodies some of the best business building advice out there. Perhaps some of these lessons can help your business grow in the coming year. Oh, and since it is that time of year:


“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good-night!” – S. Claus



Bob Salvas –

The Christmas Songs...a short story

The Christmas Songs…a short story – by Michael Morse

December 24, 2020/Michael Morse


by Michael Morse, contributing writer


They called it home, and it was, for now anyway. Cheap cedar shingles covering rotted 3/8 plywood, that nailed to 2 x 3’s, then a thin plaster job covering the studs. It was old, and decaying, and built in a different time, when even the destitute could afford a permanent place.


But at least they had shelter.


They huddled together in the great room, the only room, a 12’—14′ space with a couch in the center, taken from a trash heap, all coils and springs until John covered it with his blanket. The old folks, all three sat on it, the rest of them sat on the floor. There was no Christmas tree; they needed the wood that burned in the cast iron stove that took up a quarter of the room.


Christmas dinner came in a pot, the same pot that most of their meals came in, only on this day there were scraps of meat and a few carrots, some garlic for flavor and sweet potatoes; the weevils carefully cut out, and the ones that weren’t didn’t taste much different from the meat.


The feast was lively, and gratitude filled the air.


After dinner they sang the songs. Rare old mountain tunes, passed down for generations. The eldest began, his voice barely audible, the words difficult to understand;


O holy night,


Our feet are bare and frozen


But we dream, oh we dream


And pray for the time to come


When Christ returns


To take us home . . .


His mouth barely moved as he sang, his baritone voice a shell of what it was before the war. They inched closer, and listened, their bodies close, sharing what little warmth could be generated.


The ladies had their turn, and Margaret, who huddled close to Fred and shared the thickest, yet far too thin blanket they had, sang, her voice filling the space, enveloping her family with the softness of her voice;


Silent Night,


Holy Night


Our lives are hard


But still there’s light


Bring our virgin mother to us


Bearing the savior


Whose words we must


Live by and find peace,


Live and love and peace . . .


The beauty of the song filled the room, and when she stopped the silence lingered, but in was a serene, comfortable quiet, and it covered them in warmth, their misery forgotten for the moment, as hope for salvation filled their hearts.


“Why do we sing these songs,” the youngest asked.


“So we won’t forget,” said Ellen, the little girl’s sister. “So we never forget.”


“Forget what?” asked little Mary.


Bill answered in song;


May I hold him, pa rum pa pum pum . . .¦


He is to be the King, pa rum pa pum pum . . .


To lead us from our sins, pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum . . .


He was a poor boy too, pa rum pa pum pum . . .


He had no food to eat, pa rum pa pum pum . . .


But he smiled at me, pa rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum, rum pa pum pum . . .


He will come.


Song filled the little house as the family huddled together, and fed their little fire scraps of wood they had gathered throughout the weeks leading to this day. Blasts in the distance seemed farther away than usual, less frightening, less likely to land on them and bring an end to their Christmas celebration.


The little ones basked in the melodies that filled their world, cherishing the fleeting moments, knowing that on the morrow, the struggle for survival would begin again. They listened to the words from the songs sang that glorious day, and remembered them the best they could, for God willing, it would some day be their turn to share the gifts of Christmas.


The songs went on into the night, when darkness descended, and the candle wax melted, and they slept, huddled together, and Christmas came and went.


My little family survives Christmas Day, their gifts far different from what we know. But a gift is only as good as the happiness it brings to the giver, and the recipient. I think of the people in this story often; of how the spirit of the living can overcome all hardship, and beauty can be found in the simple sharing of space with the people we love.


I think our primary purpose in life is to help others by making our collective journey as kind, gracious and productive as possible, even when the best we can do is to sing a carol whose words have been long forgotten but carries forward the message of hope, love and salvation.



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.

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

Updated: COVID-19 in RI Nursing Homes, LTC facilites. We remember 1,100 lives lost.

December 24, 2020/RINewsToday


In the last month and a half, the coronavirus has once more hit our nursing homes hard. We can expect that to continue, with only the hope of the vaccination program to stop it.


As Christmas approaches we remember the approximately 1,193 lives lost and the approx. 5,518 who have fought the battle of coronavirus.


It’s a population that’s not shopping, dining out, going to work, or socializing at homes in small groups. It’s where the priority isn’t mentioned often enough.


This week there are 523 new cases and 60 more deaths.


This tracks the week, new cases recorded since last date, and additional fatalities:


Week of – New Cases – Additional Fatalities


Oct. 21 – 25 – 20


Oct. 28 – 25 – 15


Nov. 4 – 85 – 10


Nov. 11 – 175 – 15


Nov. 18 – 353 – 15


Nov. 25 – 215 – 30


Dec. 9 – 603 – 85


Dec. 16 – 553 – 50


Dec. 23 – 523 – 60




PERIOD ENDING Dec. 23, 2020

Cases: 5,518 (523 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,193 (60 more)


Period Ending Dec. 17, 2020

Cases: 5,178 (553 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,133 (50 more)


Period Ending Dec. 9, 2020

Cases: 4,823 (603 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,083 (85 more)


Period Ending Nov. 25, 2020

Cases: 4,103 (215 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 998 (30 more)


Period ending Nov. 18, 2020

Cases: 3,888 (353 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 968 (15 more)

Total facilities with new cases: 25 (up from 17)


Period ending Nov. 11, 2020 w/increases through 11/11/2020

Cases: 3,688 (175 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 953 (15 more)


Period ending November 4, 2020 w/increases since 10/28/2020

Cases: approx. 3,513 (85 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 938 (10 more)


Period ending October 28, 2020 w/increases since 10/21/2020

Cases: approx. 3,428 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 928 (15 more)


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

Cases: approx. 3,403 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 913 (20 more)

603+ Cases, 85+ Fatalities (12/9/20)

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A High Wind Warning in effect for Rhode Island on Christmas.  The coronavirus death toll in Rhode Island has increased by over two-dozen.  Companies are hoping to be awarded one of six new medical marijuana dispensaries in the Ocean State.

>>State Under High Wind Warning For Christmas

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island is under a High Wind Warning from the National Weather Service.  The warning is in effect from midnight Thursday night to 4 p.m. Friday.  South winds 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour are expected.  The Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is suggesting people bring inside any outdoor holiday decorations they have or tie them down securely.

>>Girl Killed In Providence House Fire Identified

(Providence, RI)  --  Authorities are identifying the young victim of a house fire in Providence on Tuesday.  The seven-year-old girl who died was Ashley Sandoval.  The fire was at a home on Lucy Street in the city's Mount Pleasant neighborhood.  Ashley's sister remains in critical condition at Hasbro Children's Hospital.  The cause of the fire remains under investigation.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 1,704

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported twenty-six new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday.  The death toll from the pandemic in the Ocean State has reached one-thousand-704.  The number of new cases reported by the state was eight-hundred-79, increasing the pandemic total to over 82-thousand.

>>Protesters Arrested At Raimondo's Home

(Providence, RI)  --  Several protesters were arrested outside Governor Gina Raimondo's home in Providence Wednesday night.  The governor lives on the city's East Side.  Multiple media reports indicated the protest was over living conditions at the Adult Correctional Institutions following the death of an inmate and a correctional officer.

>>Companies Enter Lottery For New Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

(Providence, RI)  --  A total of 45 companies have entered into a lottery to win a new medical marijuana dispensary license in Rhode Island, according to the state's Department of Business Regulation.  The state approved six new centers to be added throughout Rhode Island last year.  There are currently three existing stores.  A date for the lottery has not yet been set.

>>Celtics Win Season Opener In Boston

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Celtics 2020-2021 season is underway.  The C's beat the Milwaukee Bucks 122-to-121 on Wednesday with no fans in attendance at T.D. Garden in Boston.  The Celtics played a video tribute to Tommy Heinsohn [[ HINE-sin ]], the former C's player, coach and broadcaster who died earlier this year, and the players are wearing "Tommy" patches on their jerseys in his honor.  Next up for Boston is a Christmas Day matchup against Brooklyn.

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

12-24-2020 01:36:15

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 23, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, gestures after receiving his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine at the National Institutes of Health, Tuesday, Dec. 22, 2020, in Bethesda, Md. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky, Pool)

Your Coronavirus Update Today Dec. 23, 2020

December 23, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Dr. Anthony Fauci, after getting the first of his two vaccinations. He will turn 80 on Christmas Eve.




The COVID19 relief package did not provide new funding for state and local governments, which is likely to lead to more job cuts and higher taxes in parts of the country. Some states have said that among the likely areas for the cuts that state and local government will have to make: public transportation, police and fire departments, schools and health care programs.


,400 more Rhode Islanders file for unemployment


New Massachusetts restrictions for 2 weeks will include cutting gatherings to 10 indoors, 25 outdoors; businesses 25% occupancym etc. They start the day after Christmas.


A Portsmouth Abbey boarding school student has tested positive

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is partnering with local businesses to offer free grocery delivery for some of its Medicare Advantage members. More than 1,800 members with health conditions that put them at high risk of becoming seriously ill from COVID-19 are receiving weekly contactless grocery deliveries during December and January.


Brown University’s School of Public Health recently received a supplemental grant of $273,000 from the National Institute of Aging to design and administer a monitoring system to identify side effects after the most frail receive a COVID-19 vaccine.


RI Data: Dec. 22, 2020


Deaths: 8


Tests: 12,445 – Positives: 880 – Percent Positive: 7.1%


Hospitalized: 440 – ICU: 54 – On ventilators: 38


Deaths in-hospital: 8 – New admissions: 54 – New discharges: 39


1st Vaccinations: 6,400



Governor’s address:


No address next week – next one is Thurs, Jan. 7th, 1pm


TY to members of the press for attending…


Reviewed Data.


New data is vaccinations administered. 6,400 Rhode Islanders have received their first dose. Long way to go and of course these people also need their 2nd shot in a few weeks.  Hearing that manufacturers are cranking up their production, so RI is in good shape.   


Percent positive rate is going in the right direction – we want to be at 5% or below – but we have turned the corner. That’s because of the pause, doing more testing, and better contact tracing, with no big backlog.


Name of the game: Protect your household. Stay with the people you live with. Do things with those you live with.


Asking everyone to get tested twice before the end of the year.


CaresAct funds: How we spent it. RI received 1.2billion. We’ve allocated all of that. We’ve spent it in6  areas of support: COVID Health Response, Business & Economic Support, Rhode Island Support, Education Support, Municipal Support, and State Government Response.


130 million to direct COVID health response – field hospitals, contact tracing, PPE, testing, community mitigation.


Half a million to business and economic development – hospitals, and local businesses. More than 10% of CARES Act money to struggling small businesses. We spent more than 5X much as CT and 15X as MA.


$125 M to small business


$45M for Back to Work initiative – job training and placement


$117M for schools


By end of next week, more than 5,000 out of work Rhode Islanders will have been trained, supported, and matched up with a job.


Thank you to all public employees who have stepped up and helped other Rhode Islanders move along. Governor thanked nearly all state departments and individuals who helped get Rhode Island through.


Wishes for a happy holiday – different kind of holiday – feels lonely – not what we would want but it’s about loving, finding the light in the darkness, finding hope. We did it. We made it to the end of the year.


Dr. Scott: Great to be back and thank you to all who left good wishes. Never symptomatic, was able to protect household.


Three main topics: Vaccinations – Testing – Treatment


Vaccinations: will start in nursing homes just after Christmas. Numbers will rise quickly.. We will vaccinate early on in Central Falls and move on to other zip codes that are hardest hit. Equity will be the guiding principle. There are warnings about scams issued in other countries. No paying for vaccines. No lists to get on.


Pop up testing sites are about meeting people where they are – not getting people to come to the site to get tested.


Not inclined to close down state to travel coming from outside US.


Brett Smiley: Don’t know exactly how much is coming from federal government for RI in latest package – rental assistance is exciting. Eviction moratorium extended. Will be a week or two before we know.




Zillow predicts the biggest jump in home sales next year in US


36 people in Antartica have tested positive – elminating their zero positivity record


South Carolina Governor Henry McCaster tested positive for Covid-19 Monday evening and is experiencing “mild symptoms,”


A holiday celebration at a church in a small town in North Carolina has led to 97 Covid-19 cases as of Tuesday morning, and this number is expected to grow in the coming days,


Currier Museum of Art in New Hampshire has closed until at least mid-January


Dr. Birx said that she will be “helpful in any role that people think I can be helpful in, and then I will retire.” Though she didn’t name the AP report directly, Birx highlighted “what was done in the last week to my family.” She said that she intends to “be helpful through a period of time,” but added that “this experience has been a bit overwhelming, it’s been very difficult on my family.”


Vermont‘s Governor has eased restrictions to ok 2 households getting together for Christmas


Dr. Fauci, and other top health leaders received their vaccine shots today.


In a USA TODAY/Suffolk University Poll Wednesday through Sunday, 46% say they will take the vaccine as soon as they can.


President Trump took to a taped video message to insist that Congress amend the COVID Relief legislation that only provides $600 per person – advocating $2,000 per person. He also wants unrelated projects removed from the package. Speaker Pelosi supported the $2,000 edit – as well as Rep. Cicilline in RI. This is a developing story.



Posted in 

RI Developmental Disabilities to get $10 million emergency aid from Care Acts Fund.

RI Developmental Disabilities providers to get $10 Million emergency aid from Cares Act funds

December 23, 2020/RINewsToday


By Gina Macris, Developmental Disability News


The state of Rhode Island has agreed to set aside $10 million from the federally-funded CARES Act as a short-term safety net for private providers of developmental disability services, who are in “financial distress” as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.


The state negotiated the sum with the providers, working under an order from Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr. of the U.S. District Court to ensure the private agencies don’t close their doors before the end of the fiscal year June 30. McConnell must still formally approve the plan, submitted to him Dec. 21, but there do not appear to be any remaining hurdles.


The agreement between the state and the providers establishes an “I/DD (Intellectual and Developmental Disability) Provider Support Program” of grants to cover pandemic-related losses of some three dozen private agencies, which have been forced to drastically reduce daytime services at the same time they have been saddled with sharply higher costs for safety measures necessary to protect residents of group homes.


The application process for funds and the distribution of the grants will run on an accelerated timeline, with initial information flowing to providers Dec. 21 and documented grant requests due back Dec. 28, according to the filing with the U.S. District Court. Funding is to be available Jan. 8. Agencies must document how they are using the funds by Jan. 30.


The program aims to expand daytime services for adults with developmental disabilities, who in large part received center-based care until the pandemic hit and forced providers to close these facilities. Some daytime services, including employment supports, have continued, but the grants are intended to enable providers to go into clients homes as well as build on existing individualized programs.


“Home-based service alternatives require a large and flexible workforce,” according to a summary of the grant program submitted to McConnell. Providers have had difficulty finding workers, having to pay up to $30 an hour to staff some group homes.


The program is intended to enable group home staff to better protect and care for residents, some of whom have pre-existing medical conditions and are particularly susceptible to being hospitalized with the virus when they otherwise might receive care in a less restrictive setting. Ensuring hospital beds are reserved for only the sickest patients is a public health priority, the summary said.


Agencies receiving grants must agree to comply with all COVID-related public health recommendations and several other conditions that further the goals of preserving and increasing services and supporting frontline workers who provide direct care.


The specific requirements detail a commitment to essential services, outreach to those in a variety of living situations, and making “reasonable attempts” not to lay off more than 50 percent of employees.


The summary said that it will require “broad cooperation” to overcome the problems COVID-19 has caused for the developmental disability system, which will continue to face challenges as the situation evolves.


“This partnership represents an opportunity to extend that cooperation to build strong resilience for the current crisis and improve health outcomes for all Rhode Islanders in need of I/DD services and supports. The State of Rhode Island looks forward to working with critically important I/DD providers, consumers, and other stakeholders to establish and carry out this partnership,” the summary concluded.


The court-ordered negotiations grew out of a Nov. 24 hearing before Judge McConnell. The testimony laid out the ways the COVID-19 pandemic has undermined providers’ ability to serve their clients and threatened the entirety of their operations. (See related article.) The continuity of the system is essential to the state’s ability to comply with a 2014 civil rights agreement requiring the integration of adults with developmental disabilities in their communities by 2024.


In a request that McConnell approve the agreement, the state’s lawyers said the negotiations were a “collaborative effort” facilitated by the independent court monitor in the case, A. Anthony Antosh.


The state participants included representatives of the governor’s office, the Department of Administration, the Office of Management and Budget, the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, the Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals, and members of the General Assembly.


The providers were represented by the Community Provider Network of Rhode Island, a non-profit trade association with about two dozen members, about two thirds of the three dozen agencies providing services to adults with developmental disabilities in Rhode Island. Other providers also participated, according to the state’s private lawyers, Marc DeSisto and Kathleen Hilton.


Lawyers for the U.S. Department of Justice engaged in the talks but took “no position” on the agreement, according to a separate statement they submitted to the court.


Read the documents filed by the state here.





Gina Macris is a career journalist with 43 years’ experience as a reporter for the Providence Journal in Providence, RI. She retired in 2012. During her time at the newspaper, she wrote two series about her first-born son, Michael M. Smith. Both series won prizes from the New England Associated Press News Executives Association.  Michael, now in his 30s, appears on the cover page, in front of the Rhode Island State House. 


CVS vaccinations this week in long term care facilities in 12 states; RI next week

Margaret Dubois, 87, a resident at The Reservoir nursing facility, was given the second COVID-19 vaccination in a Ct. nursing home Friday, Dec. 18, 2020, in West Hartford, Conn. Administering the vaccine is Bob Atighechi, a CVS pharmacist from Rocky Hill. At right is Mary Lou Galushko, a CVS pharmacist form North Haven. (AP Photo/Stephen Dunn,POOL)

CVS vaccinations this week in long term care facilities in 12 states – RI next week

December 23, 2020/RINewsToday


CVS Health will administer COVID-19 vaccinations starting this week in these states: Connecticut, Florida, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Vermont. Vaccinations will begin in 36 more states, including Rhode Island, as well as the District of Columbia, on December 28. Puerto Rico will activate on January 4.


A majority of facilities nationwide have selected CVS Pharmacy as vaccination provider.


CVS Health has formally launched its COVID-19 vaccination program for long-term care facilities, whose residents have been disproportionality impacted by the pandemic. CVS Pharmacy teams will administer the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine in facilities across 12 states this week, and the company expects to vaccinate up to four million residents and staff at over 40,000 long-term care facilities through the program.


“Today’s rollout is the culmination of months of internal planning and demonstrates how the private sector can use its expertise to help solve some of our most critical challenges,” said Larry J. Merlo, President and Chief Executive Officer, CVS Health. “I’m grateful for the herculean efforts of everyone involved, including our health care professionals who will be deployed throughout the country to bring peace of mind to long-term care facility residents, staff, and their loved ones.”


CVS Pharmacy teams will make three visits to each long-term care facility to ensure residents and staff receive their initial shot and critical booster. The majority of residents and staff will be fully vaccinated three to four weeks after the first visit, depending on which vaccine they receive. CVS Health expects to complete its long-term care facility vaccination effort in approximately 12 weeks.


The long-term care facility vaccination effort is a precursor to the eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines at all CVS Pharmacy locations throughout the country subject to product availability and prioritization of populations, which will be determined by states. Vaccines in a retail setting will be offered on an appointment-only basis via or through the CVS Pharmacy app, and there will be a dedicated 800 number for people without online access. CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots per month.


“Vaccinating one of our most vulnerable populations is the latest milestone in our multifaceted pandemic response, which includes testing more than 10 million people for the virus since March,” stated Karen S. Lynch, currently Executive Vice President, CVS Health and President, Aetna, who will become the company’s next President and CEO on February 1. “The eventual availability of COVID-19 vaccines in communities across the country will bring us one step closer to overcoming the most significant health challenge of our lifetime.”


When CVS rolls out its vaccines for the general public it will by appointment only, at most, if not all neighborhood pharmacies. CVS Pharmacy will have the capacity to administer 20 to 25 million shots per month.”


About CVS Health


CVS Health is a different kind of health care company. We are a diversified health services company with nearly 300,000 employees united around a common purpose of helping people on their path to better health. In an increasingly connected and digital world, we are meeting people wherever they are and changing health care to meet their needs. Built on a foundation of unmatched community presence, our diversified model engages one in three Americans each year. From our innovative new services at HealthHUB locations, to transformative programs that help manage chronic conditions, we are making health care more accessible, more affordable and simply better. Learn more about how we’re transforming health at


Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A child died following a house fire in Providence Tuesday.  Rhode Island's congressional delegation responds to those who say they should not be getting the coronavirus vaccine.  It's looking like a windy Christmas this year in the Ocean State.

>>Child Dies In Providence House Fire

(Providence, RI)  --  A Christmas week tragedy in Providence as a seven-year-old child died after a house fire on Tuesday.  Firefighters reportedly rescued two young girls from a burning home on Lucy Street at around 1:30 p.m. but the seven-year-old died at Hasbro Children's Hospital.  Authorities say her two-year-old sister is in critical condition.  The three-alarm blaze reportedly spread to adjacent homes, displacing more than a dozen people.  The fire is under investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms.

>>RI Congressional Delegation Responds To Vaccine Criticism

(Washington, DC)  --  Members of Rhode Island's congressional delegation are responding to criticism about them receiving coronavirus vaccines.  Three of the four Democrats representing the Ocean State have gotten inoculated and the fourth, Representative Jim Langevin, plans on doing so.  Some Republicans have claimed congressmen are cutting the line by getting vaccinated ahead of several high-priority groups.  Rhode Island's representatives said it was doctor-recommended that they get the shot, and they added that receiving it would help with public perception that the vaccine is safe.

>>Raimondo Credits Pause With Helping COVID Numbers, Sends Holiday Message

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo held her final coronavirus press briefing of 2020 on Tuesday.  Raimondo said the three-week "pause" ordered by her administration helped improve Rhode Island's coronavirus picture.  The governor urged people to get tested and asked everyone to stick with their own households for the holidays.

>>High Wind Watch For Rhode Island, Eastern Massachusetts

(Undated)  --  Wind is now the focus of a Christmas Eve/Christmas storm arriving in Rhode Island.  A High Wind Watch is in effect from the National Weather Service for RI and eastern Massachusetts from Thursday evening through Friday afternoon.  The weather service says south winds of 25 to 35 miles per hour with gusts up to 65 miles per hour are possible, leading to potential tree and power line damage and widespread power outages.

>>Man Killed In Hit-And-Run In Warwick

(Warwick, RI)  --  Police say the hit-and-run crash in Warwick early Tuesday morning was fatal.  A West Warwick man identified as Donald Boss was the victim in the incident on Airport Road.  Authorities believe Boss and the suspect knew each other.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Portsmouth Police Reopen Investigation Into Alleged School Sex Assault

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The Portsmouth Police Department is re-opening an investigation into alleged sexual abuse of a Portsmouth Abbey School student.  The Newport Daily News first reported a federal lawsuit was filed by the former student against the school and teacher Michael Bowen Smith earlier this month.  The Portsmouth PD told the newspaper the case was re-opened based on recently-published information.

>>Lincoln Town Clerk Accused Of Taking Money

(Lincoln, RI)  --  The Rhode Island State Police is charging the Lincoln town clerk with unlawful appropriation of more than one-thousand dollars.  Police say Monique Clauson allegedly diverted nearly seventy-thousand dollars of municipal court funds for her own personal use.  This is alleged to have taken place for about a decade.

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

12-23-2020 01:11:42

Wedding / Event Professionals Rally ask for accounting of RI CARES



Wedding/Event Professionals Rally – ask for accounting of RI CARES 


December 22, 2020/RINewsToday


The RI Coalition of Wedding and Event Professionals and Small Business will rally before the Governor’s Press Conference, today, Tuesday, December 22nd, from 11am to 1pm. It will be held on Francis Street along the sidewalk facing the Vets & Renaissance Hotel.


They are inviting “all small businesses who have been affected by the Pause, shutdowns, restrictions, funding, and lack of communication” to join them.


They issued the following information:

  • We are small businesses that have not received the pause money – over three later
  • We are small businesses that request the transparency portal be updated on Cares Act money
  • We are small businesses that have been delayed and denied CARES Act money
  • We are small businesses that have restrictions in our Industries.
  • We are small businesses that are not being represented .
  • We are small businesses that want to see the numbers that show we are spreaders of the virus

  • We have asked for data from DOH and as they mentioned to us, they are not regularly tracking weddings & events, yet we have the most restrictions. We demand the Governor release any leftover CARES ACT money to small businesses. The Lt Governor Dan McKee lays this out in
    his press release. Pay up if we are restricted in our industries and reconsider her regulations where data is insufficient to that
  • Our confirmed speakers:
    ? Lt Governor Dan McKee
    ? Chris Parisi RI Small Business Coalition & Pres. Trailblaze Marketing
    ? David Dadekian President Eat Drink RI
    ? Faith Dugan: RICWEP Task Force & Faith Dugan Photography
    ? Ali Butler Ali Lomazzo Beauty
    ? Mark Garofalo Fireworks Catering
    ? Rick Simone Federal Hill Commerce Association
    ? Edward Brady Ward 4 Council Person at Cranston City Hall & Co-Owner Thirsty Beaver & Huck’s Filling Station
    ? Judah Boulet Northern RI Strength and Conditioning
    ? Joe Reverdes A&D Fitness Johnston
    ? Tony Ormonde Ormonde Productions
    ? Mark S Deion Lt Governor’s Small Business Advocacy Council, RI Small Business Coalition & Deion Associates and Strategies Inc

  • All small businesses and their supporters are invited to attend and keep socially distant or drive by the rally site with business vehicles
    or decorated personal vehicles to show support. We are all asking for transparency in the transparency portal as it only shows funds
    that were spent through November 30th. The distribution was flawed and there are still people waiting for funds. Many were also
    denied funding or did not qualify. We want transparency with these funds and want to know how they will be recycled back to small
    businesses, which is who they were intended for.
  • Small businesses are suffering from limited capacity, early closing times, and a number of other restrictions. However, we are seeing
    full shopping malls, and now testing sites are being introduced there attracting even larger crowds


They have produced a presentation which you can view at:


Full safety measures will be taken at the rally, and include, but are not limited to: mandatory mask-wearing with a supply of PPE available. The event will be streamed.


About the Rhode Island Coalition of Wedding and Event Professionals


We are a group of wedding & event professionals who have
been affected by Covid-19, working together to safely host weddings and events in Rhode Island. Our goal is to have our restrictions
lifted by opening up capacity and showing how we can create a safer, structured event through safety procedures.


Further Information: |
Media Contact: Luke Renchan 401-323-1997

Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 22, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 22, 2020

December 22, 2020/RINewsToday




Gov. Raimondo will hold her press conference/update TODAY at 1pm


Providence Representative Anastasia Williams says she will not take the vaccine because it is a marketing campaign.


Raimondo says all of $1.2B in federal funding has been spent, and there is none left or none left that is not committed.


The Mansion nursing home in RI reports 100% positive tests in their residents yet none were symptomatic.


Newport Polar Plungers event have been canceled, some beaches have been “closed”.


Knightsville Manor in Knightsville area of Cranston have had 3 cases in the past month.  There are approximately 100 units in the high-rise.


Providence VA Medical Center also began their vaccine distribution.


Attention Small Businesses in Cranston! The Department of Community Development and Economic Development announce funding availability for income eligible small businesses in Cranston to help pay for PPE. This GRANT program will provide up to $1,000 in reimbursement for PPE purchased. Business owners can apply here under Small Business PPE Grant Program or by calling Marcia Lopresti at 401-780-3168 in the City Economic Development Office.


RI Data – Dec. 21, 2020


Deaths: 45 (23 on Sunday; 22 cumulative Fri/Sat) – Percent positive: 5.8%


(Most data points published without updates since Fri)


1st Vaccinations: 4,827





President-elect Biden and Mrs. Biden received their vaccines on Monday.


New Moderna vaccine is already being distributed to front line workers. Group 1A people are beginning to be vaccinated – nursing home residents, front line workers. Group 1B will follow next. Moderna is easier because of the lack of need for deep freeze storage.


Biden recognized the Trump administration and Operation Warp Speed for development of a vaccine in less than a year.


Dr. Fauci will get his vaccination today. He will turn 80 on Christmas Eve.


Medical experts are warning people to be cautious on Christmas. With ICUs near or over capacity, a surge on top of a surge would be disastrous. Rationing of care involves treating those with the best odds of survival.


Georgia megachurch pastor Jentezen Franklin tests positive for COVID-19


California Gov. Newsom and his family are in a 10-day quarantine, for the second time, after a staff member tested positive.


At-home COVID19 tests are becoming available for delivery, with several Massachusetts communities getting PurLab kits delivered by delivery company, GoPuff.


Amazon closes New Jersey delivery facility due to COVID19 cases.


HUD moratorium on evictions and foreclosures extended through February.


A study in Spain shows that 80% of those hospitalized with COVID were Vitamin D deficient.


France and the UK are working on a plan to reopen their borders so supplies could flow.


In China, with depression and anxiety rising during the pandemic, Chinese officials are scrambling to offset the country’s lack of therapists by creating hotlines, online seminars and counseling centers. Mental health issues have long carried a stigma in China.


China has begun work on a facility to manufacture its first COVID-19 vaccine candidate that uses messenger RNA (mRNA) technology.


The US investigative team that is going to China to trace the origins of the virus must quarantine for 2 weeks when they first arrive before beginning any work.


South Korea’s capital, Seoul, and surrounding areas banned gatherings of more than four people over the Christmas and New Year holidays


National Update on Vaccines
Trial beginning with Moderna on adolescent population – and lower dose effectiveness.


Pfizer – another 100 Million doses in 2nd half of 2021


Johnson & Johnson – trial underway  – 43,000 people participating –


Emergent – working with them for maximum dosages in February


Astra-Zeneca – phase 3 recruiting 30,000 – running in US – other trials in UK and Brazil


UK situation with variance of virus: There is no hard evidence that it is more transmissible, as is being said – but it is being found more in the population – we might be seeing it more as we weren’t looking for it at the time. What’s clear is it is not more virulent and it does seem to respond to the vaccine. There is also thought that the virus “mutation” may be less virulent than the original, as the mission of viruses is to replicate and infect, and it is limited in doing that if it kills those it infects.


Travelers to New York from England (Delta, British Airwave) need to test negative before flying. Italy closes its air travel borders to UK.


NIH will be studying Moderna and Pfizer vaccine in the “highly allergic” to improve capacity to predict and manage.


Gen. Perna gave an update on vaccine delivery– 2.1M Pfizer – 7.9M combined Pfizer and Moderna – 5.9 million Moderna and 2.1 Pfizer – over 4,000 locations in the first 2 days of this week. Repetitive orders will be done Wed and Thurs – if needed and required, we will deliver on Christmas.  Cadence of shipments on repetitive basis will begin. TY to industry for Herculean efforts. Pfizer, Moderna, McKesson, FedEx and UPS. 20Million doses allocated to states by end of year. States will order on their own after that with sufficient supplies. We continue to learn every day. Coordination, scheduling, address specification, receipt preparedness, all important. Big lesson learned is we want to make sure the states have microplans all set for receipt of vaccines.


The CDC has set up a new web area with resources on COVID-19 Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities. Learn how conditions in the places where people live, learn, work, play, and worship affect who’s more likely to get COVID-19. Use interactive data and peer-reviewed literature to explore how COVID-19 shows up among racial and ethnic minority groups:


The federal package to help Americans is $900 billion, 6,000 pages – includes a $300 boost to the federal unemployment insurance benefit, extending eviction moratoriums for renters by a month, and a $600 direct payment to most Americans; $25 billion in emergency rental assistance and provide an extension of eviction moratoriums by one month through Jan. 31; an extension of the small business Paycheck Protection Program, which expanded eligibility to local newspapers, broadcasters and nonprofits. It will direct another $20 billion to small business grants and $15 billion to live event venues. The measure increased funding for vaccine distribution and coronavirus testing. It also provided $13 billion in increased benefits for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Moderna vaccine is approved for distribution in Rhode Island.  A potential wet and windy Christmas Eve and Christmas morning for Southern New England.  A settlement has been reached for the eight acrobats injured in a fall during a performance at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in 2014.

>>Moderna Vaccine Approved For Rhode Island Distribution

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Department's COVID-19 vaccine subcommittee is approving the usage of the Moderna vaccine.  WPRI-TV reports Women and Infants, Butler, Miriam and Newport hospitals received their first shipments Monday afternoon.  The Veterans Affairs Providence Healthcare System also said their healthcare personnel would start receiving the Moderna shot yesterday, according to the Channel 12 report.  The state is expected to receive 19-thousand doses of the Moderna vaccine for an initial shipment.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Damaging Winds, Flooding Possible Christmas Eve-Christmas

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is putting parts of Southern New England on notice for a potential rainy Christmas.  The outlook updated by the weather service on Monday night for the holiday storm is for northern Connecticut, all of Massachusetts east of the Berkshires, and Rhode Island.  Forecasters say strong-to-damaging winds and minor flooding are possible Christmas Eve night into Christmas morning.

>>Three States, D.C. Announce Climate Initiative

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and the District of Columbia are announcing a regional partnership to cut transportation pollution.  The Transportation Climate Initiative will place limits on carbon emission from gas and diesel, and require fuel suppliers to purchase "allowances" for the resulting pollution. The revenue will be used to fund more mass transit and other alternate transportation options.  Each state will need to adopt their own policies to get the program started.

>>Governor Signs Rhode Island Budget

(Providence, RI)  --  A state budget covering the fiscal year that begin in July has been signed by Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo.  A dramatic turnaround took place after officials estimated the Ocean State could have a deficit of nearly a billion dollars, fueled by the coronavirus pandemic.  The twelve-and-a-half-billion-dollar spending plan that was sent to the governor's desk, described as a scaled-down budget, used coronavirus relief money to cover the actual deficit which was much lower.  The budget signed by the governor does include 400-million-dollars' worth of bond referendums, including for higher education, affordable housing, environmental and recreational projects, and transportation and infrastructure.

>>Settlement Reached With Acrobats Injured In Fall At Dunk

(Providence, RI)  --  Eight acrobats who were injured in a fall during a performance at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence are reaching a settlement.  The agreement of over fifty-million dollars was reached with the Rhode Island Convention Center Authority and SMG, which manages the arena.  Federal safety inspectors determined the rigging that the acrobats were hanging from was improperly set up during the 2014 show put on by Feld Entertainment, the parent company of Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey Circus.  The attorney for the aerialists says many of them suffered catastrophic injuries from the more-than-twenty-foot fall.

>>Patriots Will Miss Playoffs As TB12 Rolls In Tampa Bay

(Foxboro, MA)  --  New England Patriots fans are in unfamiliar territory: the team is knocked out of the playoff picture with two games left in the regular season.  Six-time Super Bowl-winning quarterback Tom Brady went to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers as a free agent and is poised to make a playoff run with that team.  Brady was asked about his reaction to the Pats not making the playoffs and he said, quote, "they have their own thing going" and that he was just focused on his current role.  New England is guaranteed to finish with its worst record since 2000, the year before the Brady-led Patriots won their first title.

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

12-22-2020 01:11:31

Who is next for the vaccine? CDC announces priorities


Who is next for the vaccine? 

CDC announces priorities

December 21, 2020/RINewsToday


Next in line for the vaccines? Those over 75 and frontline essential workers. This comes as the Moderna vaccine rolled out of its Mississippi.


Those groups follow frontline health care workers and nursing home residents, who have already begun receiving the limited supplies of vaccines available.


The CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices voted Sunday to determine the order of high-risk priority groups. Phase 1 is split into A, B, and C.


Phase 1A are hospital front health care workers and people living in long-term care facilities.


Phase 1B are those 75 and older, and first responders, such as firefighters police officers, teachers, day care staff, other educators, corrections officers, U.S. postal workers, public transit workers and those whose jobs are essential for the food supply.


Phase 1C would be those age 65 -74, 16 and older with underlying health problems such as diabetes, chronic kidney disease and certain heart conditions. The committee said people with chronic illnesses should speak with their doctor about their eligibility.


Phase 2 should begin in the spring and should be at the point where anyone who wants one can get it.


Access the full report, here:

Moderna vaccines being packed and shipped on Sunday


From FedEx


FedEx Express is the world’s largest express transportation company, is in motion to transport Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccines for McKesson Corp. throughout the United States.


Following the Food and Drug Administration’s approval of Emergency Use Authorization for the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine, FedEx Express will begin transport of the vaccine and kits of supplies for administration of the vaccine, using its FedEx Priority Overnight® service supported by FedEx Priority Alert® advanced monitoring. After months of preparation and close planning with McKesson, Operation Warp Speed and state and local officials, the COVID-19 vaccines will begin moving to dosing centers throughout the United States. FedEx continues to work closely with its healthcare customers on plans for additional vaccine shipments and the transportation of critical vaccine-related supplies.


The FedEx network began actively delivering Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine shipments across the U.S. last week. The company is set to begin vaccine shipments throughout Canada as early as next week and is also preparing to begin delivering vaccines to other countries. FedEx is well-positioned to handle COVID-19 vaccine shipments around the world with temperature-control solutions, near real-time monitoring capabilities, and a dedicated healthcare team to support the express transportation of vaccines and bioscience shipments.


“The shipment of vaccines to help end the COVID-19 pandemic is among the most important work in the history of FedEx, and our team is focused on the safe and efficient delivery of these critical shipments,” said Raj Subramaniam, president and chief operating officer, FedEx Corp. “As we have said since the onset of the pandemic and our relief efforts, this is who we are and what we do.”


Transportation of COVID-19 vaccines is the next phase of ongoing FedEx efforts to support pandemic relief around the world. FedEx has a long history of supporting relief efforts when disasters strike, using its network and expertise to deliver for good.


“The FedEx team and network are uniquely positioned to deliver on this mission in the U.S. and around the world,” said Don Colleran, president and chief executive officer, FedEx Express. “The transportation of vaccines continues our ongoing work since the beginning of the pandemic to keep critical supply chains operating, meet the increased demands for residential delivery and deliver more than 9,600 humanitarian aid shipments around the globe.”


To help reach underserved communities with the COVID-19 vaccine, FedEx has committed $4 million in cash and in-kind transportation support to several nonprofits serving communities in the U.S. and around the world. These include Direct Relief, International Medical Corps, and Heart to Heart International.


“FedEx Express has deep relationships and decades of experience delivering for our healthcare customers,” said Richard W. Smith, regional president of the Americas and executive vice president of global support, FedEx Express. “Our service and network were built for this moment. Coupled with our investments in advanced technology, we are ready to support McKesson and Moderna in this historic effort to help end the pandemic.”

Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 21, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 21, 2020


Photo: Good idea gone very wrong. Pop-Up sites seemed like a good idea, but resulted in traffic jams, sites late in opening and closing early – and this very disturbing scene at the Warwick Mall – where hundreds of people lined up indoors for tests, walking around the mall for 15 minutes, then returning for results. This created the exact opposite of the social distancing that’s wanted – and also created a social media outrage.




RI Pop-Up Testing Sites active now – this list is continuously updated – Saturday there were at least 46 of the 600+ tested were positive. The Sunday roll-out was botched with parking lots full, traffic backed up – with some 2 hour delays. Same issues at a variety of sites. State of RI saying these sites were not intended for this type of testing, it was only if you were already there.


The other testing sites can be found here: (we would advise double checking as sites may change after the problems on Sunday.

  • The Chapel View Shopping Center at Soackanasset Cross Road in Cranston, opening on Monday.
  • The Stop & Shop on Cottage Street in Pawtucket, opened on Saturday.
  • The Stop & Shop at 333 W. River Street in Providence, opening on Monday.
  • The Downtown Providence Storefront at 79 Dorrance Street, opening on Tuesday.


From the RI Dept. of Health: The goal of pop-up testing sites is to offer convenient rapid screening for people WITHOUT SYMPTOMS. These testing locations are intended for the customers of these locations who are already shopping there; not for people who are only seeking testing. Written results are not available at these locations. Pop-up testing sites are not intended to have the same function as the traditional general public testing sites, such as the RI Convention Center and the Dunkin Donuts Center. Rapid tests for those without symptoms and with written results available, may be made by appointment only at the Dunkin Donuts Center at Those with symptoms should make an appointment for testing at or by calling your primary care provider or a respiratory clinic.


An inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions has died of COVID-19. He was 66 and maximum-security since 1988, serving a life without parole sentence for the sexual assault and resulting death of a 73-year-old woman. DOC says he had “other complicating comorbidities that likely contributed to his death.


Rhode Island National Guard will be offered vaccines from the Dept. of Defense.


RIDOH to RI employers: Employers: At minimum, the State of Rhode Island requires all businesses to screen employees for self-reported symptoms consistent with COVID-19 upon entering the building. Limit entrances and exits to control site traffic and make screening easier.


Rhode Island was third in the US for new cases of coronavirus per capita among the 50 states in the last 7 days.


All State-operated COVID-19 test sites will be closed on Friday, December 25. There will be limited availability for appointments at some locations on Thursday, December 24. Testing will resume on Saturday, December 26.  


From Governor Raimondo:


“After a couple months of our numbers ticking up week after week, we’re ?finally seeing our COVID-19 numbers turn around and start ?heading in the right direction. This isn’t a fluke – it’s a trend ?that’s been going on for more than a week now, and we know exactly why.


… after two months of exponential growth, the numbers leveled off around December 2 and have been steadily declining since. And now that we’re more than a week into sustained decreases in percent positive, we’re also starting to see a leveling-off of hospitalizations. A month ago, I stressed that we were at risk of completely overwhelming our hospital system – which is to say, having more COVID-19 patients than our health care staff is able to care for – near the end of the year.


Because of all of you – because you took the pause seriously over the past few weeks – we have, for now, averted that outcome. However, we still need to be cautious. I want to share with you what our projections are showing.


Above is a slide showing the trajectory of hospitalizations, as well as three projections of where they could go from here.   In the red is what our model shows would have happened without the effect of the pause. As you can see, the line continues upward, reaching 800 hospitalizations around the beginning of the year. That level of hospitalizations is beyond what our ?health care staff can handle and would have required us to cancel non-emergency operations and implement crisis standards of care.   ?The blue shows ?what the effect of the three-week pause would be if, on Monday, we immediately went right back to where we were before the pause. As you can see, that path does delay the strain on our hospitals for several months, but by early spring it starts growing exponentially again.   Finally, in purple, ?you’ll see the path we announced last week – a three-week pause, followed by a slow dial-up of our economy beginning on Monday. That path has the best outcome – leveling off our hospitalizations in a way that prevents overwhelming our hospital system at any point.   ?Our pause will end this Sunday as planned, and the new guidance we announced last week will take effect on Monday, December 21.   This will only work if we all take the dial-up just as seriously as we took the pause, and that means stay?ing with your household. That’s the key – it’s all about protecting your household over the next few weeks. If we all think about what we can do in our own lives to protect those we live with this holiday season, we’ll stay on that purple path and keep our loved ones safe.   We’re all in this together.



The CDC released its next phase of vaccine distribution with priority groups identified – frontline essential workers and persons aged 75 and over – you can access the full document, here:





President-elect Joe Biden and Jill Biden will receive their vaccines today, at a public event


The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said employees could be barred from the workplace if they refused the vaccine.


Alphabet Inc’s Google said on Friday it is offering free and weekly at-home nasal swab and lab analysis COVID-19 testing for all its U.S. employees (90,000) and plans to expand the benefit globally during the next year.


The Rose Bowl will move this year from California to Texas, due to COVID19 restrictions.


Johnson & Johnson said on Thursday it has enrolled about 45,000 participants for the first late-stage trial of its COVID-19 single-dose vaccine candidate and that it expects interim data by late January


Thailand plans to test more than 10,000 people after a record daily surge in coronavirus cases to over 500, most of which were among migrant workers linked to a shrimp market


Canada regulator expects to complete Moderna COVID-19 vaccine approval in coming weeks


Dr. Fauci is telling children that he, personally, vaccinated Santa Claus.


California hospitals overrun even as vaccine is rolled out – patients being treated in make-shift parking lot EDs.


Walgreens and CVS have begun administering Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine to residents and staff at some U.S. long-term care facilities. Walgreens said it plans to administer the vaccine to about 3 million residents and staff in 35,000 long-term care facilities, with about 800 long term care facilities in 12 states this week. CVS said it has begun delivering vaccines at a “handful” of long-term care facilities in Connecticut and Ohio. Its national rollout begins next week in 12 states. 


Apple has shut down all California locations due to the virus emergency.


Less than 1% of the U.S. population lives in long-term care facilities, but they account for nearly 40% of all Covid-19 deaths as of Dec. 10th.


Walgreens and CVS Health officials said they expect to have vaccines for the general public at their stores in the early spring.


Israeli PM Netanyahu received his vaccine on Saturday, saying it was a “small injection for a man and a giant step for the health of us all”, urging residents to get vaccinated and assuring them that there was sufficient vaccine. The country also wants to avert new elections – “Under absolutely no circumstances should elections be held at this time. We’re dealing with the coronavirus, morbidity is rising, further restrictions are on the way and there’s an urgent need to continue to look after the economy.”


UK PM Boris Johnson has instituted a strict lockdown, in recognition of a new strain of coronavirus that is 70% more contagious than the original. Some London train stations and trains were crowded on Saturday night as people left the city for northern England. The government had announced earlier that day that the city and other parts of south east England would be under new Tier 4 restrictions come midnight. Tier 4 means people in London won’t be able to leave the city after midnight or mix for Christmas celebrations. Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and parts of England, including London, all announced new COVID-19 restriction measures on Saturday. People must stay at home and not travel outside of these areas. Non-essential retail, personal care services, gyms must close. Work from home if possible. Individuals can only meet with one person outdoors in a public space.


This new variant of the virus was actually identified in September.


France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Belgium, Austria, Ireland and Bulgaria all announced restrictions on U.K. travel, hours after British Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced that Christmas shopping and gatherings in southern England must be canceled because of rapidly spreading infections blamed on the new coronavirus variant. Anyone outside of the UK cannot come back home at this time.


Thousands of trucks at the UK, France line are lined up – could mean shortages in grocery stores and elsewhere.


Vaccines need to come in from Belgium; it is expected military transport will escort the vaccine into the UK


Canada has halted all flights from UK starting today.


The former chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, Jesse Taken Alive, died of COVID after being taken ill in October. His wife, Cheryl, died in November. They were in their mid-60s.


The AP is reporting that Dr. Birx, on the day after Thanksgiving, “traveled to one of her vacation properties on Fenwick Island in Delaware. She was accompanied by three generations of her family from two households. Birx, her husband Paige Reffe, a daughter, son-in-law and two young grandchildren were present. She also owns a home in nearby Potomac, Maryland, where her elderly parents, and her daughter and family live, and where Birx visits intermittently. In addition, the children’s other grandmother, who is 77, also regularly travels to the Potomac house and returns to her 92-year-old husband near Baltimore.” Birx has issued a statement saying she followed all rules.


Death toll in France is above 60,000


A mutated version of the original coronavirus has been found in the UK also found in at least 1 case in the Netherlands and in South Africa – this version does not seem to be worse, just much more contagious. Scientists have said that while it may become more contagious, it will not become immune to the vaccine – at least not for many years, if at all.


Canada: Prime Minister Trudeau says there is every chance that the country will be able to vaccinate every Canadian way before the announced deadline of September 2021.


Washington, DC shuts down indoor dining.


General Gustave Perna gave a strong address Saturday, saying he was responsible, personally, for a mis-communication in the quantity of shipments of the Pfizer vaccine for week two.


Gen. Perna the logistics head of Operation Warp Speed claims responsibility for a miscommunication on vaccine delivery for this week.

Ellen DeGeneres on the mend – notes her unusual symptoms

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots will miss the playoffs.  The "pause" is ending in Rhode Island today.  The General Assembly approves the current fiscal year budget and several judicial nominees.

>>Patriots Lose To Miami, Will Miss Playoffs

(Miami Gardens, FL)  --  The New England Patriots are officially eliminated from the NFL playoffs for the first time since 2008.  The Pats took a 22-to-12 loss at Miami on Sunday to fall to 6-and-8.  New England has two home games remaining on the schedule, versus Buffalo next Monday and the New York Jets on January 3rd.

>>Statewide 'Pause' Ending Today

(Providence, RI)  --  The "pause" is ending in Rhode Island today.  Gyms and other businesses that were ordered to close for three weeks will be able to open, and restaurants will be able to increase capacity.  Governor Gina Raimondo on Friday pointed to lower-trending COVID numbers and said the pause helped.  But the governor asked people to continue to limit social gatherings to their own households, including through Christmas.

>>Long Lines, People Seeking Virus Testing Turned Away

(Providence, RI)  --  Some problems were reported with pop-up coronavirus testing sites in Rhode Island this weekend.  WPRI-TV reported several sites closed early Sunday because of unexpected high volumes of people.  The testing site at the Stop and Shop on West River Street in Providence reportedly saw a big line of cars with people waiting for hours, but dozens of vehicles were apparently turned away.  The Rhode Island Department of Health says test times are available at the Dunkin' Donuts Center, and those who want to schedule a same-day test should visit

>>FY21 Budget Sent To Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island General Assembly has passed a budget for the 2021 fiscal year.  The budget, which goes to Governor Raimondo's desk, memorializes the planned use of one-point-two-five-billion dollars in federal coronavirus relief funds which are coming up on a December 30th deadline to use, according to a State House press release.  It includes over a half-dozen bond referendums that will be put before voters in a special election, totaling four-hundred-million dollars.

>>Judicial Picks Approved

(Providence, RI)  --  The diversity of Rhode Island's roster of judges is increasing.  The state Senate approved several appointments last week including the first person of color to the Supreme Court, the first Asian-American to the Superior Court and the first Latina to the Family Court.  The two judges named to the state Supreme Court were Melissa Long, currently a Superior Court judge, and former state senator Erin Lynch Prata.

>>Officials Report Death Of ACI Inmate With COVID-19

(Cranston, RI)  --  An ACI inmate who recently was diagnosed with COVID-19 died last week.  The Department of Corrections said it was a 66-year-old man in the max security wing who was serving life without parole for a sex assault case.  The DOC said he had underlying conditions which likely contributed to his death.  Director Patricia Coyne-Fague said in a statement it is clear efforts must continue to mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the ACI, where hundreds of prisoners have gotten it.

>>Man Charged With Crashing Into State Police Vehicle

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Rhode Island man is being charged with drunk-driving after reportedly colliding with a state police cruiser on I-95.  Police say Alfredo Falcon-Benitez of Central Falls hit the cruiser on Route 95 in Warwick Saturday night, while the trooper was conducting a traffic stop.  There were no injuries reported.

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

12-21-2020 01:34:14

Holiday Fire Safety Tips from Union Fire District of South Kingstown

Holiday Fire Safety Tips from Union Fire District of South Kingstown

December 18, 2020/RINewsToday


As residents prepare for the holiday season, Chief Steven Pinch and the Union Fire District of South Kingstown wish to remind the community of important fire prevention tips.


According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), 44% of holiday home fires start when decorations are placed too close to a heat source, like a candle.


“The holidays are a time to celebrate, but it is important to remember the following safety tips when decorating your home and using potentially hazardous materials such as electrical wires and burning candles,” Chief Pinch said. “As always, the Union Fire District wishes all of our residents a safe and happy holiday season.”


The Union Fire District wishes to share the following holiday fire safety tips from the NFPA:


Christmas Tree Safety


Choose a tree with fresh, green needles. The needles should not fall off when touched.


Cut two inches off of the bottom of the trunk.


Place the tree a minimum of three feet away from any heat source, including fireplaces, radiators, candles, heat vents and lights.


Do not place the tree in an area where it may be blocking an exit.


Add water to the tree stand daily.


Check whether your string lights are intended for indoor use and use lights that have the label of a recognized testing laboratory.


Check your holiday lights to make sure they are not worn and do not have broken cords or loose bulb connections. Review the manufacturer’s instructions for the number of light strands to connect.


Never decorate a tree with lit candles.


Always turn off the lights on your tree before going to bed or leaving home.


Dispose of your tree after Christmas or when it becomes dry. Dried out trees are a fire hazard. Do not keep a tree that has become dried out in your home or garage or lean it up outside against your home.


Candle Safety


Keep children and pets away from lit candles.


Consider using battery operated candles around children.


Place candles in a sturdy candle holder and on a surface that is also sturdy and uncluttered.


Place candles a minimum of one foot away from anything flammable.


When lighting a candle, take care to keep your hair and loose clothing away from the flame.


Do not burn a candle all the way down. Before it gets too close to the holder or container, put it out.


Never use candles if a member of your household uses oxygen.


Matches and lighters should be stored in a locked cabinet.


An adult should supervise any time candles are being used.


Do not pass handheld candles from one person to another.


Do not place lit candles in windows where a curtain or blind could catch fire.


Blow out candles before you leave a room or go to sleep.


Avoid using candles in areas where people may fall asleep, such as bedrooms.


Residents are reminded to test their smoke alarms monthly.


General Holiday Decoration Safety Tips


Seek out holiday decorations that are flame resistant.


Be careful about the placement of decorations and be sure to keep them away from lit candles and other heat sources.


When using string lights outside, make sure they are designed to be used outdoors. Some string lights are designed for indoor use only.


Hang lights using clips, not nails, so that the cords do not get damaged.


Do not place decorations in the way of windows and doors.


Before going to sleep or leaving your home, turn off all light strings and decorations.


For any other questions on holiday fire safety please visit or contact the Union Fire District at 401-789-8354.

Over 1000 dead form Rhode Island Nursing Homes, LTC facilities.


Over 1,000 dead from Rhode Island Nursing Homes, LTC facilites. Over 5,000 cases.

December 18, 2020/RINewsToday


In the last month and a half, the coronavirus has once more hit our nursing homes hard. We can expect that to continue, with only the hope of a vaccine to stop it.


It’s a population that’s not shopping, dining out, going to work, or socializing at homes in small groups. It’s where the priority isn’t mentioned often enough.


This week there are 553 new cases and 50 more deaths.


72% of deaths of individuals who live in congregate housing take place in their facilities – 28% occur in a hospital.


This tracks the week, new cases recorded since last date, and additional fatalities:


Week of – New Cases – Additional Fatalities


Oct. 21 – 25 – 20


Oct. 28 – 25 – 15


Nov. 4 – 85 – 10


Nov. 11 – 175 – 15


Nov. 18 – 353 – 15


Nov. 25 – 215 – 30


Dec. 9 – 603 – 85


Dec. 16 – 553 – 50




Facilities to watch:

Alpine – Coventry

Apple Rehab – Coventry

Apple Rehab – West Warwick

Avalon – Woonsocket

Bethany Home – Providence

Briarcliff – Johnston

Cedar Crest – Cranston

Elmhurst – Providence

Friendly – Woonsocket

Greenwood – Warwick

Hebert – Smithfield

Heritage – Smithfield

Holiday – Manville

Morgan – Johnston

Mt. St. Rita – Cumberland

Oak Hill Health – Pawtucket

Overlook – Pascoag

RI Veterans Home – Bristol

Riverview – Coventry

St. Antoine – North Providence

Tavares Pediatric Center – Providence

Tockwotten – East Providence

Trinity Health – Woonsocket

Woodpecker – Greene

Atria – Lincoln

Brightview – Wakefield

Chapel Hill – Cumberland

Darlington – North Providence

Smithfield Woods – Smithfield

Spring Villa – West Warwick




Cases: 5,178 (553 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,133 (50 more)


Period Ending Dec. 9, 2020

Cases: 4,823 (603 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 1,083 (85 more)



Period Ending Nov. 25, 2020

Cases: 4,103 (215 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 998 (30 more)



Period ending Nov. 18, 2020

Cases: 3,888 (353 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 968 (15 more)

Total facilities with new cases: 25 (up from 17)



Period ending Nov. 11, 2020 w/increases through 11/11/2020

Cases: 3,688 (175 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 953 (15 more)



Period ending November 4, 2020 w/increases since 10/28/2020

Cases: approx. 3,513 (85 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 938 (10 more)



Period ending October 28, 2020 w/increases since 10/21/2020

Cases: approx. 3,428 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 928 (15 more)



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

Cases: approx. 3,403 (25 more)

Cumulative resident fatalities: 913 (20 more)

603+ Cases, 85+ Fatalities (12/9/20)




Rhode Island News Today

24/7 News Source 12/18/2020 00:55:54
Rhode Island Summary AM

>>The Latest

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Raimondo is urging the White House to make sure Rhode Island gets the expected amount of COVID vaccines next week.  Many places in north and central Rhode Island got around a foot of snow this week.  The Patriots are in the Sunshine State for the last road game of the regular season.

>>RI Not Getting As Many Vaccines Next Week As Initially Thought 

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Gina Raimondo announced Thursday that fewer COVID-19 vaccines are arriving to Rhode Island next week than originally planned.  The state was supposed to be getting over ten-and-a-half-thousand Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines, but the number has been reduced to about seven-thousand, according to Governor Raimondo.  She says other states have reported similar reductions and that they are calling on the Trump administration to honor its commitments and provide a full distribution of the shots through Operation Warp Speed.

>>Snow Totals From Midweek Winter Storm

(Undated)  --  The Chepachet village of Glocester received the top snow total in Rhode Island for the Wednesday-Thursday snowstorm with 14 inches.  The National Weather Service said a lot of places in north and central Rhode Island reported measurements just under a foot, including West Warwick coming within one tenth of an inch.  But the municipalities that received at least one full foot of snow were Burrillville, Coventry, Cranston and North Providence, according to the weather service totals.

>>Health Department Issues Advisory On Water Gotten From Kiosks

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health is advising people to throw out or boil water obtained from kiosks in several cities and towns.  The affected Rocky Mountain Spring Water kiosks are at Armistice Boulevard and Mineral Spring Avenue in Pawtucket, also on Mineral Spring Avenue in North Providence, and on Front Street in Lincoln.  The reason for the notice is the reported discovery of E. coli bacteria in the supply.  Anyone who purchased water as far back as last Friday should take action.

>>Patriots At Dolphins Sunday

(Miami Gardens, FL)  --  It's do-or-die for the Patriots this weekend as their playoff hopes lie in the balance.  The Pats face the Miami Dolphins, who themselves are in a rare race to win the AFC East division because the Patriots are not going to finish first place for the first time since 2008.  New England can still make this year's playoffs by winning their last three and getting help.  Kickoff from Miami is 1 p.m. Sunday.

>>Man Pleads Guilty To Defrauding People Applying For Citizenship

(Providence, RI)  --  A Dominican national living in Rhode Island is pleading guilty to charges he defrauded people who had recently immigrated from that country.  The DOJ says Bienvenido Peralta Martinez was asked to help with citizenship applications.  He was paid for his services, but in addition, he allegedly demanded payment for fees he said were due with the applications.  Prosecutors say Martinez, of Central Falls, knew the fees were waived, and that he pocketed the money.  He is scheduled to be sentenced in March.

>>Plans For Costco In Cranston Nixed

(Cranston, RI)  --  A developer is withdrawing plans to build a Costco store in Cranston.  The plan was to redevelop the Mulligan's Island mini-golf site off New London Avenue.  But residents and some public officials spoke out against the site.  WJAR-TV reports Cranston Mayor-elect Ken Hopkins said the site was not appropriate for such a development, but that he welcomes Costco to look for other potential spots in the city.

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

12-18-2020 01:12:43

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 17, 2020


Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Thurs, Dec. 17, 2020

December 17, 2020/RINewsToday




All RI state run Testing Sites are closed today, Thurs, 12/17, due to weather. State-run testing sites are the sites that people schedule at through, as well as all K-12 testing sites. Both indoor and outdoor sites are closing tomorrow.  When testing sites open again, people who had appointments for Thursday will not need to make new appointments. They can go to the site where their appointment was scheduled at any time with a print or screenshot of their confirmation notice, and they will be tested.


n an interview with Patrick Anderson of the Providence Journal, Gov. Raimondo commented on photos of her and her husband out at a local restaurant that had appeared on social media, just prior to her having to go into quarantine because of exposure to Dr. Scott, who tested positive for COVID19 – “What I was doing was trying to help the local economy,” she said. “My husband and I did a little shopping on Westminster Street…. So instead of going on Amazon, we bought a bunch of books at some local bookstores, we bought a bunch of things at a craft shop and popped into a local restaurant.” She added: “I think if everyone did that and followed the rules carefully and spent some money in the local economy then it would be fine.”


Dr. Scott is asymptomatic and working from home, after testing positive 14 days after Thanksgiving – she says she spent the holiday home with those she lives with.


The Friars had their third game of the conference season postponed late Monday when an upcoming matchup with DePaul was scuttled. The Blue Demons have entered another pause after a positive COVID-19 test within their program.


Treatment for COVID-19 is available and can be very effective if you get it early enough when you’re sick. If you’re having trouble breathing, ongoing pain or pressure in the chest, new confusion, an inability to wake or stay awake, or bluish lips or face, call 911 or go to the nearest hospital right away. Tell them you have COVID-19. Call your medical provider for any other symptoms that are severe or concerning to you.


Dr. Megan Ranney, of Brown University, and a national spokesperson said on CNN: “I have really zero reservations…We’ve heard a lot of claims of magical cures…“Well, the vaccine is the real deal.”


MA Governor Charlie Baker and his health and human services chief on Tuesday beseeched Massachusetts residents to celebrate the coming holidays in-person with their households only


Women and Infants & Newport Hospitals gave out their first vaccines today.




There will be a webinar on Friday, Helping Businesses Navigate COVID-19 – The Vaccine – December 18 @ 12:30 pm – 1:30 pm EST brought to you by EANE. EANE is reviving their 60-minute BYOL (Bring Your Own Laptop) webinar format to help employers navigate the issues listed below. In the Dec 18 Webinar Mark Adams (EANE) and Tim Murphy (Skoler, Abbott & Presser, P.C.) Will Cover Questions Such As:

  • Can I require my employees to get the vaccine when it becomes available?
  • Can I require them to get it before they return to the workplace?
  • Can I require proof that they received it?
  • We used to hold flu shot clinics, if there is enough vaccine, could we offer vaccine clinics on-site? Any risks?
  • What else do we need to consider with the vaccine coming out?


The link to register is right here, if you are interested you can register for free by emailing me separately at aecapasso@uri.edu




17 Massachusetts hospitals received vaccines on Tuesday


RI is drafting an emergency regulation on minimum staff-to-patient ratios in nursing homes, which are again seeing a surge of COVID-19 cases. 3.8 staff hours per resident per day” for nurses, CNAs and other direct care workers.


Southcoast Hospitals receive their vaccine Wednesday


U. of Massachusetts Projects $335-Million Shortfall


CCRI faculty takes a vote of no confidence in its president and vice president after layoffs because of COVID19 happened.


Vaccination press conference held by RIDOH:


Dispelling myths:

  • vaccine contains microchip – it does not
  • it can alter your DNA – there is no way to enter the DNA
  • vaccine can give you covid – not true – if you get a test and you test positive, then you are experiencing an active infection not caused by the vaccine
  • our own immune system is better than the vaccine. For instance, someone who is asymptomatic has a weak response and could not fight off the virus on their own in the future
  • flu vaccine can protect you – no, it can’t – vaccines are very specific


CVS/Walgreen are handling all vaccinations at nursing homes – details, logistics, consent forms, etc. Also handling group homes and senior housing. 295 sites in RI of people in congregate sites.


Dec. 28th and 3 weeks that follow, 100% of nursing homes will have had their first dose completed. Who is eligible? All those who live there, and all those who work there. Natural immune reaction might cause some to not feel well, so they will stagger how staff are vaccinated.


In Connecticut, 5 nursing homes could begin vaccinating staff and residents sooner than the state’s planned Dec. 21 rollout for long-term care facilities, under a joint state-federal initiative involving Connecticut and three other states.


Vaccinations will begin soon at the state’s nursing homes. Health Commissioner Dr. Mark Levine said Tuesday that by the end of December, 34,000 doses of the vaccine are expected to arrive in Vermont.



Today’s Data: Dec. 15, 2020


Deaths: 15


Tests: 12,229 – Positives: 1,084 – Percent Positive: 8.9%


Hospitalized: 455 – ICU: 53 – On ventilators: 29


Deaths in-hospital: 12 – New admissions: 64 – New discharges: 38



Today’s Data: Dec. 16, 2020


Deaths: 20


Tests: 15,048 – Positives: 953 – Percent Positive: 6.3%


Hospitalized: 469 – ICU: 62 – On ventilators: 30


Deaths in-hospital: 9 – New admissions: 70 – New discharges: 61



Cases in RI communities



Top 5 in last 7 days: Providence – Cranston – Warwick – Pawtucket – East Providence. Others:





Vice President Pence, Mrs. Pence, and Surgeon General Jerome Adams will get the COVID19 vaccine on Friday at a public event at The White House to encourage Americans to not fear the safety of the shot.


Dr. Fauci is urging people not to travel to see their families at Christmas – and to cancel any plans they have.


One doctor from IHME has told people who have been vaccinated that they must still wear their masks and take all precautions until at least June or July.


There has been one reported case of a serious reaction to the vaccine. A case of anaphylactic shock was reported. A woman with no known allergic reactions developed a rash and was given treatment for this type of serious shock. She began to recover almost immediately, spent the night in the hospital, and was discharged the following day. Medical experts are advising anyone who has had serious allergic reactions to discuss the efficacy of taking the vaccine, weighing it against risk of the virus, and if they choose to take it, to do so where emergency measures could be taken, if a reaction occurs.


The first home test for COVID-19 that doesn’t require a prescription will soon be on U.S. store shelves. U.S. officials Tuesday authorized the rapid coronavirus test, which can be done entirely at home.  Ellume is a company from Australia. Results will be in minutes and accessible on a phone app or the device itself. – It is expected to cost about $30 – for one test.


The Legoland theme park in Florida is planning an expansion next year including new rides


An associate professor of architecture at the University of Florida for 27 years has died of Covid-19 – 800 employees at the university have tested positive.


Monmouth College’s swim coach has died of complications from Covid-19. He was 62.


George Washington University has laid off 339 employees


30% drop in travel this holiday, per AAA


Major League Baseball executives and owners, wanting players to be vaccinated before arriving to spring training, would like the 2021 season to be delayed until May, even if it means shortening the season to 140 or fewer games.


There have been at least 6,629 cases of Covid-19 in the programs that make up the top tier of college athletics


Getting dressed up seems superfluous now, and people have ditched business formal — and even business casual — for loungewear.


Federal law lets both public and private organizations require vaccinations, and schools, hospitals and a host of other institutions have long done so.


California State University announced on Wednesday that it “anticipates” returning to primarily in-person classes in the fall of 2021


Times Square New Year’s Eve celebrations will have no public audience for the first time in the ball drop’s 113-year history, organizers announced. The ball drop will go ahead, and Gloria Gaynor will perform her 1970s disco hit, “I Will Survive.” Like the rest of this year, it’ll be livestreamed.


The Trump administration and Pfizer are negotiating a deal that would help the drugmaker produce tens of millions of additional vaccine doses in the first half of 2021.


BBC explores a new genetic variant of COVID found in the United Kingdom. Experts are still unsure whether this mutation has caused the virus to become more infectious or dangerous, but some believe that it may be associated with an exponential rise in cases in the Southern part of the country. So far, at least 60 local authorities have recorded infections with the new variant. 


A study finds that the presence and activity of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are regulated by androgens, the sex hormones that control “male” characteristics. (This result may explain why biological males are more likely to experience severe COVID). ACE2 and TMPRSS2 are both proteins located on the surface of human cells and are essential for the novel coronavirus to invade these cells. The study finds that medications that disrupt the regulation of ACE2 and TMPRSS2 by androgens can be used to treat COVID. Read the study.


The federal government is spending $29,000 in taxpayer funds to mist a disinfectant all over the White House before President-elect Biden moves in. However, spraying chemicals would be ineffective and harmful to people working there as well as to the people operating the fumigation machinery. And misting without proper preparation would put priceless works of art at risk. “The conservators at the National Archives are probably freaking out,” says J. David Krause, an environmental and occupational health consultant. “You really only need to be treating the surfaces that people have been exposed to or can be exposed to.” 


If you’ve had coronavirus, you should still get the vaccine, but you won’t be in the first group of priority people.


America may reach herd immunity sooner than anticipated – one reason is 20 million Americans have had the virus, with natural early immunity – looking at late Spring.


FDA finds Moderna vaccine 95% effective


On Thursday, Moderna will come before a group of FDA experts convened in a public hearing to advise the agency on whether to grant the vaccine emergency authorization use.


Moderna’s vaccine doesn’t need to be kept as cold as the Pfizer vaccine, making it far easier to distribute in smaller quantities.


100 million Americans to be fully immunized from COVID-19 by April


Dr. Fauci is calling on President-elect Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris to get vaccinated as soon as possible.


Over 500 Electric Boat employees have become infected with COVID-19 in the past month and a half.  Nearly five percent of the workforce has been affected during the pandemic. 


For average individuals who are 65 or older — an age group especially hard-hit by Covid — getting a vaccine could happen in the first few months of 2021, depending on how quickly supply ramps up.


Google wants to return to their corporate offices by September 2021 with a hybrid work from home plan before that.


India’s migrant trains to get people home at the beginning of the pandemic is now seen as having spread the virus throughout the country.


NYC has to close its outdoor restaurants by 2pm today – the city hopes to be able to plow around the outdoor areas with the impending snowstorm, so restaurants don’t have to move their fixtures.


Chairman and chief executive of Berkshire Hathaway Inc. said a renewal of the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, was necessary to protect small businesses and their employees, who had become “collateral damage” in the effort to contain the COVID-19 pandemic.


5000 body bags and 60 refrigerator trucks have been sent to southern California


Top 3 cities where people are leaving – Hartford, San Francisco, and NYC.


Operation Winter Weather Warning and Shoveling Tips

Operation Winter Weather Warning & shoveling tips…

December 17, 2020/Nancy Thomas


by Nancy Thomas, editor


For over 20 years, I would roll out one of my favorite public service and educational programs – Operation Winter Weather Warning. In addition to giving out messages about maintaining a healthy heart during this time, it would be a good educable moment about when – and how – to shovel snow.


Matt Espeut, owner of Providence Fit Body Boot Camp in Providence, taped a short, precise video on how to shovel snow – we like the very first tip he has for us – “get someone else to do it”. If you’re like us we no longer see the teens walking up and down the neighborhood looking for quick snow shoveling jobs to make some extra money. So – turn to your landscaping companies – or put that request out on social media for someone who can recommend a resource to you.


But! If you are in good shape, used to physical exercise, and want to take it slow and use snow shoveling as a workout – it isn’t all that bad. We worry about big things like attacks to our hearts or brains, but we also want to avoid straining our back or other orthopedic and muscular injuries. In pandemic times, this is not the time to have to go to rehab!


So – here’s some tips from “Coach Matt” – to you.



Operation Winter Weather Warning:


Deaths from heart attacks appear to be seasonal, peaking after Thanksgiving and extending through the holidays and winter season. Especially when the snow comes our way.


While there may be a variety of factors that play into the rise in deaths, but we know they are always in the coldest months, with sudden peaks when people are out clearing snow.


Higher risk individuals are people who have existing heart disease or who have had a stroke, high blood pressure, are overweight, smoke, have high cholesterol, lead a very sedentary lifestyle, or have a strong family history.


Several factors may influence the trend toward more deaths at this time of year —including an increase in respiratory infections in the winter, increased workload on the heart from activities such as shoveling of heavy, wet snow; environmental factors such as the use of fireplaces, which can deplete oxygen in the blood and place stress on the heart, and changes in atmospheric pressure, have been identified. Dietary influences are also implicated, as we increase our food, alcohol and salt consumption. For these individuals the physical stresses of the season may pose extra concern and medical experts urge individuals to take a few simple precautions to avoid becoming a victim of sudden cardiac death:


Avoid sudden exertion, such as lifting a heavy shovel of snow — even walking through heavy wet snow or snow drifts can strain the heart.


If the snow must be shoveled, try to identify a young person in the neighborhood who is physically fit to help out – before the snow falls. You can also go to the handy neighborhood app – Next Door – and ask for help from neighbors you know who may share their resource.


It’s not safer for a woman to shovel, particularly after menopause when risks for women are comparable to those of men. Some women will take over for spouses or parents who may have high blood pressure or heart disease. These warnings are for you, too, ladies – particularly later in life.


For those at high risk, ask your physician how much physical exertion is acceptable for you. Regular exercise can – and often is – a good thing. But rushing out the door to suddenly clear all that snow – without being conditioned for activities like that – can be a danger.


Avoid hypothermia at very cold times, typified by a drop in body temperature to a subnormal level. Signs are lack of coordination, mental confusion, slowed reactions, shivering and sleepiness.


Don’t drink alcoholic beverages before going outside. This will draw heat away from the body’s vital organs. But do stay hydrated with plenty of water.


Wear layers of clothing to trap the air as protective insulation — and don’t forget to wear a hat or head scarf, gloves and warm socks, to maintain body heat.


Know the warning signs of heart attack:


Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes.


Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms.


Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath.


Know the warning signs of stroke


Sudden weakness or numbness of the face, arm or leg on one side of the body.


Sudden dimness or loss of vision, particularly in one eye.


Sudden loss of speech, or trouble talking or understanding speech.


Sudden severe headaches with no known or apparent cause.


Sudden, unexplained dizziness, unsteadiness or sudden falls, especially along with any of the previous symptoms.


In addition, we recommend learning CPR – it’s easier than ever to learn. Check in with your local hospital or the RI Department of Health or American Red Cross. Learn CPR-Learn It for Someone You Love.


As Jimmy Fallon said last night – this is a good time to stay home and hunker down – and heck, we’re already home – and we’re already hunkered down!

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Snow is falling in Rhode Island.  Classes are being held for Ocean State students despite the snow day.  The state House of Representatives passed two Supreme Court picks and a budget on Wednesday.

>>Snowstorm Arrives In Rhode Island

(Undated)  --  About a week before Christmas, Rhode Island is transforming into a winter wonderland with the arrival of a major snowstorm.  Heavy snow was hitting the Providence area late Wednesday night into overnight Thursday.  At 11 p.m. last night, the National Weather Service in Boston was predicting eight to fifteen inches total for Providence and Kent counties, and six to eleven inches for Bristol, Washington and Newport counties.  The winter storm is expected to wrap up by Thursday afternoon.

>>No Tractor Trailers On Highways; Storm Closing COVID-Testing Sites

(Undated)  --  The state of Rhode Island is notifying the public on a couple of matters related to the ongoing winter storm.  One is traffic-related: tractor-trailer trucks are prohibited from state highways through 9 a.m. Thursday.  The state says this will help RIDOT keep highways passable and safe for emergency vehicles.  Also, all state-run coronavirus-testing sites are closed today because of the storm.

>>Snow Day Today, But Students Still Learning

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island school districts for the first time are experiencing the reality of a snowstorm in the COVID world.  In the past, today would be a sure-bet for a day off for students, but with virtual learning now a normal part of life, districts in the Ocean State have the choice between a snow day and a school day.  Providence is among the school districts which are planning to hold classes today.

>>RI House Passes Supreme Court Picks, Budget

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House of Representatives confirmed Supreme Court nominees and a budget on Wednesday.  The votes were 58-to-5 for former state senator Erin Lynch Prata and unanimous for current Superior Court Judge Melissa Long.  The nominees now go to the Senate.  The House also sent to the Senate a scaled-down budget for the 2021 fiscal year coming in at just over twelve-and-a-half-billion dollars.  The budget includes over four-hundred-million dollars in voter bond referendums.

>>Triple-Decker Fire In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A half-dozen people were displaced due to a triple-decker fire in Providence on Wednesday.  Firefighters responded to the blaze at the residence on Douglas Avenue at around 5 p.m.  Providence fire officials told WJAR-TV there were no injuries.

>>Edelman Returns From Injury To Practice With Pats

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Super Bowl 53 MVP Julian Edelman returned to Patriots practice for the first time Wednesday since going down with a knee injury nearly two months ago.  It's not clear if Edelman will come off the injured list for this Sunday's matchup in Miami against the Dolphins.  The Pats are still mathematically alive to contend for a playoff spot.

Jim McCabe/djc          RI)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

12-17-2020 01:12:18

Moderna vaccine one step closer. At FDA. May ship this weekend.

Moderna vaccine one step closer. At FDA. May ship this weekend. US reserves 100 million more doses.

December 16, 2020/RINewsToday


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration released a 54-page document outlining Moderna’s (MRNA) request for an emergency use authorization (EUA) Tuesday, bringing the biotech one step closer to the finish line.


Though it is widely anticipated that an EUA is issued by the weekend, based on the precedent set by Pfizer (PFE) and BioNTech (BNTX) last week, the exact timeline still remains unclear. The FDA’s vaccine advisory committee is slated to meet December 17 to vote on recommending authorization of the vaccine in adults 18 and older.


The Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday that the Covid-19 vaccine developed by Moderna Inc. was “highly effective,” setting the stage for an emergency authorization later this week that would add a second vaccine to the arsenal against the pandemic.


The agency posted online documents, prepared by its staff and by Moderna, analyzing the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine in a large clinical study. The findings will go before an independent advisory panel that will vote Thursday on whether to recommend FDA authorization.


Barring complications, the FDA is aiming to authorize emergency use of the Moderna vaccine Friday, following the same timetable as last week with the first Covid-19 vaccine from Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE.


The FDA Finds Moderna Covid-19 Vaccine Highly Effective


Doses of Moderna’s vaccine could be shipped this weekend, with vaccinations starting early next week. Which vaccine people get will be decided by factors including availability, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Trump administration’s Operation Warp Speed overseeing distribution. Federal officials have said the Moderna vaccine will be more suitable for smaller hospitals in rural areas because it is shipped in smaller quantities than Pfizer’s.


FDA analysts found that the Moderna vaccine was effective “across age groups, genders, racial and ethnic groups, and participants with medical co-morbidities [underlying conditions] associated with high risk of severe Covid-19.”


Similarly encouraging, FDA scientists also found that the research “suggested benefit of the vaccine in preventing severe Covid-19.” The issue of effectiveness against severe disease has been raised about the studies of Covid-19 vaccines. The study found 30 cases of severe disease in the placebo group, versus zero in the vaccine group.


The FDA analysis found the Moderna vaccine appeared somewhat more effective in younger people than in seniors. Vaccine efficacy was 95.6% among people 18 to 64, and 86.4% among those 65 and older.


Moderna studied its vaccine in people 18 and older, and is seeking authorization for use in that population. The FDA cleared Pfizer’s vaccine in people 16 and older because the study included that age group.


The FDA’s Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee will discuss the Moderna data Thursday. The same panel reviewed the Pfizer data at an all-day meeting last week, after which it voted 17-4, with one abstention, in favor of granting emergency-use authorization.


The FDA did so one day later and is expected to move quickly to approve the Moderna vaccine if there is a favorable recommendation.



U.S. Government Exercises 1st Option for Additional 100 Million Doses of Moderna’s COVID-19 Vaccine Candidate


Total of 200 million doses ordered by the U.S government to date. Additional doses ordered today will be delivered in Q2 2021. U.S. government retains option to purchase up to an additional 300 million doses


Moderna announced that the U.S. government has exercised its option to purchase an additional 100 million doses of mRNA-1273, Moderna’s COVID-19 vaccine candidate, bringing its confirmed order commitment to 200 million doses.


Of the first 100 million doses purchased by the U.S. government, approximately 20 million doses will be delivered by the end of December 2020 and the balance will be delivered in the first quarter of 2021. Today’s new order of 100 million doses will be delivered in the second quarter of 2021. These deliveries are subject, in each case, to receipt of an Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the vaccine.


Under the terms of the agreement, Moderna will continue to leverage the Company’s U.S.-based manufacturing infrastructure to supply mRNA-1273 to the U.S. government. As part of Operation Warp Speed, the U.S. government has the option to purchase up to an additional 300 million doses of mRNA-1273 from Moderna. The Company expects the U.S. government will provide the vaccine to Americans at no cost as previously announced.


“We appreciate the confidence that the U.S. government continues to have in mRNA-1273, our COVID-19 vaccine candidate, demonstrated by this increased supply agreement,” said Stéphane Bancel, Chief Executive Officer of Moderna. “We continue to scale up our manufacturing capability in the U.S. and outside of the U.S. In parallel, we have filed for an Emergency Use Authorization with the U.S. FDA and a Conditional Marketing Authorization with the European Medicines Agency, and we will continue to work with regulatory agencies around the globe to continue the rolling review process. We remain committed to helping address this global pandemic with our vaccine.”


“Securing another 100 million doses from Moderna by June 2021 further expands our supply of doses across the Operation Warp Speed portfolio of vaccines,” said HHS Secretary Alex Azar. “This new federal purchase can give Americans even greater confidence we will have enough supply to vaccinate all Americans who want it by the second quarter of 2021.”

Where Days matter. Waiting for the vaccine at Rhode Island Nursing Homes, long-care facilities

Where days matter. Waiting for the vaccine at RI nursing homes, long term care

December 16, 2020/RINewsToday



Photo: Alice, in her nursing home lobby, during the week when residents were allowed out of their rooms. Since the coronavirus began in March residents have been primarily confined to their rooms.


What is the process for nursing homes?


One woman in a nursing home has been watching the news. She’s picked out the outfit she’ll wear for the big day. For the day “Gina says we can get the shot”. That’s how one 94 year old described her excitement. She watches the news. She has seen the UPS and FedEx trucks on television delivering the vaccines. She watched the doctor at Rhode Island Hospital get the first one in Rhode Island. “That’s right. They need it before we do,” she says.


This is a generation that is used to being patient, to waiting, to live graciously with disappointments, and to not always have things go as they think they will. But you can’t deny the hope in her eyes. Since March, this 94 year old has been confined to her room, sitting on her bed, sometimes on her chair, watching television, eating her meals alone in her room. Waiting. “Yeah, it would be nice to get my hair done again. My nails. To just walk around…” The sparkle isn’t as bright as it was in the precious time she has lost from a fuller life, such as it was. To clap with the live music down in the main dining room. To nod a simple hello to fellow residents. To sit in the lobby and watch her world go by.

Almost one year ago, together with her fellow residents enjoying food and music.



No vaccine for nursing homes – yet.


There was surprise and concern when nursing home and long term care residents were not included in this week’s celebratory vaccine arrivals. Especially after seeing the UK give their first to a nursing home resident. With hospital workers getting their vaccines this week, rumors were that nursing home residents would not get theirs until after Christmas and hopefully before the first of 2021.


t’s all about consent


The process still seems unclear, but it looks like one step not going smoothly is consent forms that have to be completed prior to vaccines being given. A variety of methods of obtaining consent have been mentioned by different sources we’ve contacted. Some say because this is a US emergency order, verbal permission is all that is needed. Others say a lengthy written consent form that has to be read (or read to) the resident and signed is required. Residents who are unable to give consent must have consent given by family members. Some sources have said that consent could be given by family via email.


Many nursing homes were still trying to get residents’ preapproval to be immunized, said Kathleen Heren, the Rhode Island’s long-term care ombudsman. Heren said, “We’re still working on how we’re going to get people vaccinated who do not have someone to sign for them, or for those with dementia.”


A drive-through consent signing for families


One Rhode Island nursing home has sent out text messages to family members – it reads:


“Attention all family members – this message applies to only the responsible party to those that have residents residing at (  ) that are NOT able to sign consent forms. COVID 19 vaccine intake and consent forms are now available and need to be completed as soon as possible. The first drive through consent signing will be tomorrow between 9:30am and 11:30am. You will be greeted by an associate at the main entrance to receive the form then may park and complete them. Please bring your own pens and wear a mask. A date for vaccinations is not available at this time. As we receive information we will relay it you. Thanks you for your prompt attention in this matter.


The consent form for CVS


While we have not had response from our request to CVS locally, but this consent form is being used in Washington, DC for CVS. There may be different forms used in different states. That is unclear.

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Cheryl Phillips, MD, AGSF, President and CEO of SNP Allliance in Washington, DC, who provided the form being used in the DC area, said that “actual consent is not required under the Emergency Use Authorization, which makes the dense ‘consent form’ even more puzzling and problematic… I am still puzzled about all the diseases and conditions to check off – and whether or not they preclude vaccination”.


All they want for Christmas…


Shipments have been said to begin next week and are being made directly from Pfizer to CVS, and CVS takes over from there to the nursing homes who have contracted with them. We don’t know if that is every facility in the state, or how those not contracted will get the vaccine.


The logistical perfection of Pfizer to hospitals seems to have been flawless. Not so in the nursing home and long term care system, where there are still more questions than answers. But if it was to become complex at some point, this is where the flawless system will be challenged.


Alice says, “my outfit is right there… it’s ok.. it’ll get here when it gets here”.


Hopefully the system of providing the vaccine to the general public, through the pharmacy network, will return to a flawless logistical process.

First person in UK to receive vaccine – nursing home resident
Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Dec 15, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 15, 2020

December 15, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Dr. Christian Arbelaez, 1st person to receive the vaccine, at Rhode Island Hospital – Dr. Arbelaez is an emergency room physician. RIHospital, Twitter




Mayors in some of Massachusetts’ biggest cities — including Boston, Somerville, and Newton — have agreed to implement restrictions and will close indoor gyms, museums, and movie theaters, among other measures.


Scituate and Newport schools will go virtual


Southcoast Hospitals group set to receive almost 2,000 vaccine doses – what their process is:


With Pawtucket schools closed, speed cameras will not be in effect until schools are back in session, and law enforcement is reminding people to drive safely.  


Boston Medical Center received 1,950 doses of Pfizer’s COVID19 vaccine


The Connecticut National Guard delivered 102,280 COVID-19 antigen tests to 212 locations throughout the state this week. The deliveries added to an ongoing effort to maximize testing availability and efficiency for people living in congregate settings. “Due to the increased surge in cases in nursing homes across the state, the Department of Public Health wanted to get the antigen tests out to these locations to provide a second source of testing.


MBTA trains in and out of Rhode Island will cut their runs in half due to MBTA staff absences. Check schedules..


Seven Ponaganset students and two staff members in middle and high school tested positive for COVID-19, Superintendent Michael Barnes said in an email to Foster-Glocester families on Saturday. Both Ponaganset Middle and Sr. High School will go to distance learning 12/21-22; then virtual from 1/4-8.


Connecticut’s rate of COVID19 is 67.3 new cases per 100,000 residents; RI’s is 115 and they are issuing cautious to residents who travel to RI.


State Sen. Gordon Rogers, R-Foster, is recovering from COVID-19


Boston Children’s Museum will close until Jan. 7th


WPRO is reporting that $225,000/yr is salary for full time field hospital nurses. $4,600 a week – plus agency fee is being paid.


R.I. Hospitals authorized to begin vaccinating frontline workers. Initial shipments from vaccine manufacturers directly to hospitals will be arriving on Monday and Tuesday. Vaccine is first going to five hospitals: Kent Hospital, Newport Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital (and Hasbro Children’s Hospital), Women & Infants Hospital, and The Miriam Hospital. Approximately 1,000 first doses are going to each facility. Tuesday will be Lifespan’s Miriam Hospital and Care New England’s Kent and Women & Infants Hospitals. The remainder of RI hospitals will receive the vaccine by the end of this week.


Rhode Island hospitals have been given authorization to vaccinate frontline workers who are 16 years of age and older who do not have a history of anaphylactic reaction to any of the components of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.


Medical recommendations on the virus for pregnant and breastfeeding women in high-risk groups: “should be offered the vaccine and may choose to be vaccinated. A discussion with her health care provider can help her make an informed decision”. 


5,000 doses of vaccine arrive at Women & Infants this morning – distribution to other hospitals will take place today.


The Rhode Island COVID-19 Vaccine Subcommittee will continue to work to solidify Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccination schedule. People in higher-risk settings and professions, such as nursing home workers and residents and first responders, will be prioritized.


Two doses will be needed for someone to be fully immunized. Second doses will start arriving in Rhode Island in roughly three weeks.


Rhode Island expects to receive approximately 10,000 doses of Pfizer vaccine.


Approximately 19,000 doses of Moderna vaccine the first week it is available – which could be as early as next week.


There are reports yesterday that Nursing Homes & Long Term Care Facilities would not be getting the vaccine until after Christmas, a delay not expected by nursing homes. Reason given was consent forms that have to be completed for CVS, Walgreens and other medical groups to give the shots. Some homes may receive the vaccine starting Monday. (developing story)


CVS will be delivering vaccines at 93 RI facilities, with 45 of them being skilled nursing homes, hopefully starting next week when shipments are received.


RIDE has announced that RI’s public schools will reopen on a staggered schedule from January 7th through 15th. School districts can move to distance learning Dec. 21st through 23rd if needed.


Nursing Home visitation has ended in New Bedford, for the time being, due to COVID, as well as group activities and communal dining.


Lt. Russell Freeman,  a veteran correctional officer at the Adult Correctional Institutions facility for women has died from COVID-19. Freeman leaves behind his wife, Lisa Favino-Freeman, also a correctional officer, and three children.


Lt. Governor asks that all CARES funding be completed by December 30th: With the December 30, 2020 CARES Act deadline looming, Lt. Governor Dan McKee today proposed a plan to ensure all CARES Act dollars budgeted for small business relief are transparently and equitably distributed into the small business community before the funds expire. In a letter to the Governor’s senior staff, the Lt. Governor recommended that the state be prepared to transfer any available small business funds (i.e. Restore RI, RI on Pause, Back to Work RI Job Training, Take it Outside, Rhode Island Hotel, Arts & Tourism Grants, Business Adaptation Grants) on the date of expiration back into the Restore RI grant program. He added that remaining dollars should be automatically distributed to small businesses in the Restore RI program for an additional round of funding without the need for another application. The Lt. Governor also requested that the state briefly reopen the Restore RI application period to allow more struggling small businesses access these critical funds. 


“As Chair of Rhode Island’s Small Business Advocacy Council, I want to ensure that all CARES Act funds allocated to help small businesses are spent before the deadline for their intended purpose: To help small businesses. Having to forfeit the funds would be unacceptable at a time of such great need,” said Lt. Governor Dan McKee. “By redistributing all remaining small business relief funds proportionally through Restore RI to small businesses that have already qualified, we could dispense the funds quickly and equitably and allow them to be spent in the most impactful way for Rhode Island families.” 


To identify the exact amount of remaining funds, the Lt. Governor requested an updated accounting of how much of the state’s CARES Act money has not been distributed as of December 14, 2020. As part of this request, the Lt. Governor noted that the data provided through the state’s Transparency Portal only shows certain actual expenditures up to October 30, 2020 and Office of Management and Budget reports to the General Assembly show anticipated expenditures at a high level rather than real-time actual spend figures. 


The Lt. Governor also reiterated his request to allow restaurants, bars, caterers and food trucks to recalculate their RI on Pause Grants based on gross receipts which is currently permitted for all other eligible businesses included in this program.


Today’s Data: Dec. 14, 2020


Deaths: 20 (46 since Friday)


Tests: 7,648 – Positives: 552 – Percent Positive: 7.2% – Positives since Friday 3,252


Hospitalized: 433 – ICU: 47 – On ventilators: 31 – Deaths in-hospital: 9


New admissions: 48 – New discharges: 46





Over 16 million people are now infected with COVID19 in the US – over 300,000 have died. A national average of 37% of the nation’s known deaths from the virus have been in nursing homes. Some states are double that.


1100 nursing homes in US can expect to be receiving vaccinations starting next week.


Reports are that CVS & Walgreens will not begin in RI until after Christmas – the RI Association of Nursing Homes said “they are ready to go” now.




145 sites will be receiving vaccine on Monday – 425 on Tuesday – 66  on Wednesday


40 million doses will be delivered by the end of December.


Shipping competitors are working together with UPS will cover the East Coast; FedEx covering the West Coast


Real-time tracking follows every shipment, complete with temperature reads and location via a Bluetooth device.


CDC recommends 2nd shot would be approx. 21 days after the first.


Nearly 14% of office space in Midtown Manhattan is vacant


Some reports are that as high as 39% of people say they will not get the vaccine.


Australia has lifted all restrictions, declaring itself COVID-free


Carol Sutton, of New Orleans, 76, known for her role in Steel Magnolias, has died of COVID19.


Canada began vaccinations on Monday, with the first person being a worker at a longterm care home. Front-line workers are first to receive the vaccine. Ontario received 6,000 doses of Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine. In Quebec, residents of two long-term care homes will be the first. Canada’s has an initial 30,000 doses of the vaccine.


California is pleading with its residents as hospitals approach no occupancy at ICUs, county after county.


Some of Florida’s top hospitals, including those expected to get the first shipments of vaccines to prevent COVID-19, won’t require medical and support staff to get the shots even though they require inoculations against the far-less-deadly flu virus.


Bristol County, MA hospitals receive their doses today – starting with Charlton Memorial Hospital, and out to other Southcoast hospitals.


75 infected with COVID-19 after Santa visits nursing home in Belgium


Many millennials are moving to Naples, Florida from other states if they are able to work remotely. Naples has no state tax, and other taxes are lower.


Companies that have moved to Texas from California and other states due to coronavirus issues are Oracle, HP Tesla, Schwab and Toyota


British scientists have found that Gilead’s antiviral drug remdesivir could be highly effective against COVID-19, raising questions about previous studies that found it had no impact on death rates from the disease.?


CDC has recommended Florida take tighter restrictions now to control the virus spread. Gov. DeSantis has refused any further business cutbacks or a mandatory mask order.


Thursday, Moderna will come up for approval.


London Mayor taped a message to Londoners that if the UK goes to Tier 3 of lockdown, the “state” needs to reimburse businesses and people or the city may not be able to recover.


CDC is now considering recommending Pfizer vaccine for ages 16 and up


Charlie Pride has died at 86 of COVID19.


A fitness regimen will help to stave off stress and chronic disease flares while people are more sedentary at home, with gyms closed or winter weather keeping people inside.


The iconic Cliff House in San Francisco will close on 12/31.


Glaxo Smith Kline and Sanofi said their vaccines won’t be ready until late in 2021, as they need more development for their use in older people.


US National Guard celebrating its 384th year noted that 20,000 guard have been deployed across US – in 26 states and territories they will be helping with distribution, warehousing and in some cases, giving the vaccine.


Germany to go back into lockdown over Christmas


New Zealand lifts all Covid restrictions, declaring the nation virus-free


To make a beautiful thing happen, even in quarantine

To make a beautiful thing happen, even in quarantine – Richard Asinof

December 15, 2020/Richard Asinof


A new dance film, “Through Her Eyes,” re-imagines “The Nutcracker,” performed on site in Newport by the Island Moving Company, will debut this week on RI PBS


by Richard Asinof, – contributing writer on health


This year, Island Moving Company created a new dance film to re-invent its traditional holiday ballet version of “The Nutcracker,” shot on location in many of the historic mansions in the City by the Sea. The film will have its broadcast debut on Rhode Island PBS on Friday, Dec. 18, at 8 p.m.


The film, “Through Her Eyes,” directed by Marta Renzi, was an artistic response to the challenge and disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic, where performances before live audiences were no longer possible.


For Island Moving Company, a dance troupe founded in 1982 known for its live performances, innovative choreography, and intimate interactions with the audience, the challenge was how to re-imagine the traditional holiday classic in such a way that the audience still saw themselves as participants in the journey.


Here is the ConvergenceRI interview with Miki Ohlsen, Artistic Director of Island Moving Company, and Marta Renzi, the director, of “Through Her Eyes: A Newport Nutcracker Reimagined,” talking about the details behind the film and the choreography – and the collaboration and convergence that made it possible to create a new holiday tradition.


ConvergenceRI: In capturing the movement of the Nutcracker on film, during a time when “live” audiences are not possible because of the pandemic, how did you want to create a sense of participation for the audience?
OHLSEN: Island Moving Company prides itself in creating a sense of participation in every performance that we present. Our live performances are very intimate and up close, providing the audience with an experience of “living” the performance, being involved in and part of the performance.


The film was another amazing vehicle to achieve this goal as well. Instead of being a presentational video of “The Nutcracker,” this film provides an intimate view into each character while never diminishing the exquisite dancing that takes place. There is a feeling of knowing these characters and living their journey, especially the journey of Clara, whom we call Tess.


ConvergenceRI: What role did the settings and stages of the historic mansions in Newport play in telling of the story?
OHLSEN: Island Moving Company’s original live “Nutcracker” was envisioned for Rosecliff mansion. The history of who lived there, how they might have lived, and celebrated of their wonderful Christmas Eve, was what the original was created around.


It was not a far leap to the film version when we were allowed to envision each scene in a location that completely supported the scene. Why not create an entire Candy Cane House out of a children’s playhouse? Why not put our version of Tea in the glorious Chinese Tea House at Marble House? Where else would one put the stately Trepak Russian Dance than in the Gold Ballroom at Marble House, or Spanish in front of the ornate railing at the front drive of the same mansion?


Each site dictated the dance and each dance told us which site to use. How lucky were we?


ConvergenceRI: In terms of film productions, what kind of innovation in dance movement was allowed, and how much was scripted?
OHLSEN: Island Moving Company always innovates with movement. However, this is a classical ballet, created in the classical tradition; the classical sensibility and tradition exists throughout. That was our goal.


If by scripted you mean choreography from other iconic Nutcrackers, I would say all the choreography was created by Island Moving Company choreographers. It is a unique Island Moving Company tale of “The Nutcracker.”


RENZI: Early in pre-production, I recommended to Miki [Ohlsen] and Danielle [Genest Konicheva, Associate Artistic Director] that they edit the music in advance, letting that be my shooting and editing guide.


That meant that our “storyboard” was very carefully scripted in the sense that the movement was choreographed down to the last note of the music. [I’m sure Miki would tell you this was one of the most challenging aspects of pre-production.]


In post-production, in editing, it was another kind of challenge: there was very little wiggle room in terms of time or music.


So, the choreography to Tchaikovsky’s music – itself a kind of script – was completely pre-planned, with no room for improvisation.


How exactly our protagonist, Tess, would carry us from scene to scene was more open. Her mood, perspective, and action –“her eyes” – were the engine that would move us from place to place and, ideally, from emotion to emotion.


We were lucky to have a talented actor/dancer, whose performance on the spot – whether dreaming in bed or falling in love with the toy nutcracker – could deliver that aspect of the story.


ConvergenceRI: [This question is for Marta Renzi]. How much of your work as a film director of dance was influenced by your studies at Hampshire College, which has produced any number of influential film directors and actors?
RENZI: Richard, full disclosure, you went to Hampshire too, right? Non satis scire [the motto of the college, which translates as, “To know is not enough”], and all that. And, do you know that influential Ken Burns was my floor-mate in Merrill House [one of the college’s dorms]?


In-jokes aside, as a director, I often feel somewhat of an impostor, having never studied film. Hampshire, however, prepared me to ask my own questions, to be my own teacher, and to dare to swim in the deep end [of the pool]. It may also be true that a Hampshire education, which emphasized the overlap [convergence] in areas of study, prepared me to be comfortable with hyphenated pursuits – dance and film.


ConvergenceRI: What were the most challenging parts of the production?
OHLSEN: The most challenging part of this production was editing the essence of “The Nutcracker” story down to 28 minutes. Then after doing that, to decide which pieces of music would be conducive to the editing, so we could create a whole ballet of this two-hour plus original.


ConvergenceRI: Are there further opportunities for collaboration for Island Moving Company and Marta Renzi to capture new performances of other dance works?
OHLSEN: I certainly hope so. We made another film with Marta this summer, “Out of Ruin,” that has met with particular success in the dance film genre. This has been one of my favorite collaborations of all time.


Marta is a genius and to have her at our side as Island Moving Company took the plunge into dance film was the perfect choice. Even all of our dancers are asking: “Will we make another Marta Renzi film?”


ConvergenceRI: Given that these are disruptive, fearful time, particularly in terms of public health, was there any specific messaging and direction that sought to be reassuring in a time of darkness?
OHLSEN: Island Moving Company set out to create a holiday ballet full of all the magic and joy that we all know can exist in this world. This coming-of-age tale, through a young girl’s journey in her dream, conveys a message of hope and promise for what is still to come.


RENZI: I’ll let Miki speak to the specific message of the completed work that is “Through Her Eyes.” For me, in many ways, it’s still “The Nutcracker,” with the bourgeois aspirations and sweetened worldview that comes with that, perhaps giving balm for that very reason.


But I can attest that for everyone involved – child, dancer, crew member, choreographer – to have the chance to do what they do well, to be able to re-imagine what they’ve presented year after year, to experience delight in a time when so much is dangerous, is a message of healing in itself.


I have no doubt that the subtext of “Through Her Eyes” expresses a kind of holiday miracle: together, we made a beautiful thing happen, even in quarantine.


ConvergenceRI: What haven’t I asked, should I have asked, that you would like to talk about?
RENZI: We often hear that film is a collaborative enterprise, and it was no less true in this instance. Miki [and Danielle] brought years of experience with “The Nutcracker” and with Newport as the grounding for the project, not to mention years of developing costumes and sets – the look.


The dancers brought their knowledge of the roles, and the particular willingness to make things come alive in unusual sites that’s a hallmark of Island Moving Company. I’d also like to highlight the contribution of the cinematographer, Jon Gourlay [who happens to be a Rhode Island native]. This is the third project where I’ve relied on his eye and expertise to help create magic, both cinematic and emotional.


For full story:,6227


Richard Asinof


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

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: History made in Rhode Island on Monday as the first coronavirus vaccine was administered.  An update on a midweek snowstorm set to impact Southern New England.  Governor Raimondo's nominees for state Supreme Court have been confirmed by a state legislative committee.

>>First Coronavirus Vaccine Given In Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  The first coronavirus vaccine was administered in Rhode Island on Monday.  Dr. Christian Arbelaez [[ ARE-buh-lez]], a Lifespan emergency room doctor, received the shot while news cameras marked the historic moment at Rhode Island Hospital.  The state Department of Health had received a recommendation from a COVID-19 vaccine subcommittee to begin vaccinating frontline hospital workers earlier yesterday as initial vaccine shipments began arriving directly to hospitals in the Ocean State.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Rhode Island In Winter Storm Watch

(Undated)  --  All of Rhode Island is under a Winter Storm Watch from the National Weather Service for a storm that's scheduled to impact the area Wednesday evening through Thursday afternoon.  The weather service says six-plus inches of snow is possible.  Connecticut and southeast Massachusetts are expected to get hit with similar totals.

>>State Supreme Court Nominees Confirmed

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Judiciary Committee has approved Governor Gina Raimondo's two nominations to the state Supreme Court.  The appointments of Superior Court Judge Melissa Long and former state senator Erin Lynch Prata [[ PRAH-tah ]] now go to the full House for consideration on Wednesday.  The subcommittee votes were unanimous for Long and near-unanimous for Prata on Monday.

>>Providence Homicide Victim ID'd

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department is identifying the victim of a homicide from last Friday.  Jean Carlos Mercedes was sitting in a car on Lenox Avenue when someone walked up to the vehicle and fired shots, according to the police department.  A suspect was reportedly seen fleeing the area.  Police are investigating what is the eighteenth homicide of 2020 in the capital city.

>>Boy With Terminal Brain Cancer Who Signed NFL Contract Dies

(Tiverton, RI)  --  A Rhode Island boy who had terminal brain cancer and was signed to an honorary contract with the Philadelphia Eagles football team earlier this year has died.  The family of ten-year-old Shawny Smith, of Tiverton, shared the sad news on Monday night.  On his bucket list was meeting his favorite player, Eagles defensive end Fletcher Cox.  Smith did meet Cox, became a member of the Eagles and got a tour of the team's locker room in January.

>>Layaway Accounts Paid Off At Local Walmart

(Warwick, RI)  --  An anonymous individual reportedly paid off some layaway accounts at the Walmart in Warwick over the weekend.  According to a report from WJAR-TV, Walmart said two-thousand dollars' worth of layaways were taken care of.  One shopper who benefited told the news station the act of kindness during the coronavirus pandemic restores faith in humanity.

Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA) CT) PHL) PA)
Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
12-15-2020 01:04:02

The Vaccine is here....this day in history

The Vaccine is here…this day in history

December 14, 2020/RINewsToday


Every day a milestone. Every day a little ray of hope.


From preliminary application of the first vaccine to the FDA, to the rewarding of the emergency approval late on a Friday night.


Saturday spent in the packing process with dry ice, deep freezers, and bar coding packages. And lot of anticipation.


Then came Sunday morning. The packing process gave way to the shipping process. UPS and FedEx rolled in and out to the Pfizer plant, in their shiniest semis and it was off to the airport.


On the East Coast, it was Louisville, Kentucky’s UPS facility, the largest shipping facility in the world – with 155 miles of conveyor belts – to get it to all the airplanes and trucks revving their engines. Pilots being interviewed about the honor of flying the vaccine – comparing it to a “Life Flight”.


Being guarded all along the process by US Marshals and National Guard, the packages were sorted and headed out throughout the country Sunday night and early today. Some flying out, some being driven (the Kentucky facility is 15 hours from Providence).


UPS is handling the East Coast – Fed Ex the West Coast. Exact locations where vaccines will be stored and delivered is being kept confidential out of an abundance of caution. Because in these times, security is a realistic concern. Each box contains over 900 individual doses.


Today, in parts of the US, the first shots will be given. We’re not sure as we publish this morning what the details of that Rhode Island momentous event will be – but it probably will be today. We don’t know where and when, but we’re pretty certain that it will be for either a front line medical worker or a nursing home resident.


Put your own mask on first


Media reports are that senior leadership in the US will be among the first to receive their vaccinations. Like the advice you hear on an airline, put your own mask on first. We’re experiencing a potential problem when front line leadership can be all impacted at once, when our top health official – Dr. Alexander-Scott tested positive (asymptomatic by all reports) and our Governor and many of the top leadership team are in quarantine. So, senior leadership, congress, critical leaders, step right up.


Hope and USA, USA


All the excitement is something positive. We should embrace it. Because since March there have not been many moments of light. For now, for this day, the photos, the applause of people by the side of the road, the pilots’ pride, the roar of the planes and rush of the trucks – the whole logistical ballet is rooted in our penchant and dependence as a people on – hope. Throw in a huge dose of patriotism, too – with that rare, but familiar extra excitement something like a moon launch. Millennials and those younger may not have experienced that in this country – not in quite this way.



Capitol Carbonic produces dry ice, a necessary component to distribute pharmaceutical giant Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine – they are a family owned company based in Baltimore, Maryland. In Cambridge, MA, it’s Acme Ice, whose owner calls the dry ice they are shipping all over the world, “white gold”. Just two of the small companies working 24/7 to fill all the orders for the dry ice needed for safe delivery.


FedEx and UPS will team up to deliver the vaccine by plane and delivery vehicle from coast to coast. FedEx will handle the west coast. UPS will handle the East Coast.



Today we wait for the next step of the journey, recognizing that the vaccine is a few months away from access to any one of us – as we step aside for all of us – who need it most. And this is no time to let our guard down.


145 sites will be receiving vaccines on Monday – 425 on Tuesday – 66 on Wednesday – 40 million doses will be delivered by the end of December. CDC recommends the 2nd shot be given 21 days after the first.


They say summertime will see the beginning of the end of these dark times. Enjoy the small moments of hope – because there has been so many large moments of despair. And they’re not over – not yet.



While America has been put through its trials more in the last year than in our recent lifetimes – it is moments like this that allow us to collectively agree that we are the greatest country on Earth. Operation Warp Speed produced a vaccine in a nano-second of its usual time. As we recognize and mourn over 300,000 deaths – know that hope is on the way – the first vaccine is here. And that’s not all…


This week we expect Cambridge, Massachusetts’ Moderna to apply for their approval – entering the market as another bright ray of hope. Behind it is Astra-Zeneca. Behind that are others. And – for those who have survived – our lives await. Forever changed.

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Tracking a possible snowstorm for New England this week.  Coronavirus vaccines are making their way to the Ocean State.  The RI public health director has tested positive for COVID.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Snowstorm Could Hit New England Midweek

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service is tracking a potential winter storm which could impact parts of New England this week.  Forecasters say the storm could hit late Wednesday into Thursday, bringing heavy snow to Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Connecticut.  This comes after the weather service in Boston said record high temperatures for Sunday were tied in Providence and broken in Hartford.

[[ watch dating ]]

>>Coronavirus Vaccines Coming To Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  Coronavirus vaccines will begin arriving at Rhode Island hospitals Monday and Tuesday.  That's according to the Rhode Island Department of Health.  Specifically, this is the Pfizer-BioNTech [[ FIE-zer BYE-on-tech ]] vaccine.  A committee is meeting this morning to advise the state health department on whether frontline workers should be vaccinated when the shot is available.

>>Dr. Alexander-Scott Tests Positive; Governor Raimondo In Quarantine

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo went into quarantine over the weekend after the state's public health director tested positive for COVID-19.  Officials say Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott got the result through routine testing, and is asymptomatic.  Dr. Alexander-Scott and Governor Raimondo, who herself reported another negative test on Sunday, were together during a COVID press briefing last Thursday.  Raimondo's next briefing has been moved from this upcoming Thursday to Friday.

>>Update On Status Of Jhamal Gonsalves

(Providence, RI)  --  The attorney for Jhamal Gonsalves says he is, quote, "considered to be emerging from his coma."  Gonsalves was injured after the moped he was driving crashed in Providence in October.  The crash sparked protests in the capital city because there was a police cruiser behind Gonsalves and another in front of him.  Whether the cruisers directly contributed to the crash remains under investigation.

>>Teen Killed In Newport Crash

(Newport, RI)  --  A 19-year-old woman was killed in a crash in Newport over the weekend.  The single-vehicle crash happened near William Rogers High School on Saturday morning.  The victim was not identified.  There were several other vehicle occupants, but authorities did not immediately report their status.  The crash remains under investigation.

>>Judge Denies Early Prison Release For Theft Scheme Convict

(Providence, RI)  --  An imprisoned Rhode Island woman's request to be released early from her sentence for a multi-million-dollar real estate scheme has been denied.  A federal judge on Friday rejected the request from Monique Brady of East Greenwich, who is serving an eight-year sentence.  Brady conned nearly two-dozen people, including friends and family members, out of about five-million dollars by telling them to invest in non-existent property rehabilitation projects.  Brady cited health concerns and the difficulties her ex-husband is having taking care of their children, but the judge said she hasn't expressed any remorse for her actions.

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

12-14-2020 01:59:09

RI Health Director Dr. Alexander-Scott positive for COVID-19

RI Health Director Dr. Alexander-Scott positive for COVID-19. Governor Raimondo in quarantine

December 13, 2020/Nancy Thomas


In a Saturday night flurry of tweets and text messages, Rhode Islanders learned that Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, Director of the Rhode Island Department of Health has tested positive for coronavirus. She is asymptomatic at this time.


RI’s Governor, Gina Raimondo, tested negative yesterday, and will be quarantining, as well as several members of her leadership staff, including her Communications Director, Josh Block.


The last public appearance for Dr. Scott and Gov. Raimondo, and the last time they say they were together was at the Thursday press briefer at the Veterans Auditorium.


Attending that event and on the stage with Scott and Raimondo was Dr. Philip Chan, who is a Consultant Medical Director with RIDOH’s Division of Preparedness, Response, Infectious Disease, and Emergency Medical Services, who has said he is quarantining. Also, Stefan Pryor, head of RI Commerce (who announced he, too, would be quarantining, but had a negative test result from yesterday’s test). Earlier in the week it was announced that the Director of Administration, Brett Smiley, had tested positive and was at home, with no contact with the State House in the week prior.


A group of Rhode Island’s media members also attended, and were seated in the audience, more than 6 feet away from the Governor (distanced by seating signs put in place prior to their arrival). Some members of the media who were at that briefing were talking on Facebook Live last night and more than one said they would schedule a test and quarantine until the time of those results coming back negative. In response to Bill Bartholomew, of the Bartholomew Podcast, the RIDOH said: “Everyone who should quarantine has already been contacted.”


Last week, the RIDOH edited their website to include this directive to people who had been exposed:



That policy would mean that those who were in close proximity to Dr. Scott would need to quarantine immediately and start their 10 days from their last exposure (next Sunday). If they get a test “taken at least 5 days after exposure – which would be Tuesday – and if that test is negative – the quarantine can be shortened to 7 days – or Thursday, and monitor themselves for the next 3 days for any symptoms.


Weekly COVID Press Conference


The Governor’s office announced that their regularly scheduled press conference for Thursday would now be held one day later – Friday. Governor Cuomo in New York, has announced that his press events will now move to virtual, out of an abundance of caution.


Governor’s Contact Tracing Notebook



A photo on social media was circulating but not having been picked up by the media. It showed the Governor dining indoors at Barnaby’s in Providence on Friday night, which was advertised as having a Wine & Paint night. When asked about this by Bartholomew, the Governor’s spokesperson, Block, noted that she was following the guidelines for indoor dining, and was seen wearing a mask when not eating or drinking, and was seated with her husband at the table. Some have noted that she seems to be much closer than 6 feet from the female seated in the photo and that without wearing a mask to eat/drink, social distancing is an even more important protection.


The Governor has been consistently vocal about her diligence in maintaining her Contact Tracing Notebook.


Coincidentally, indoor dining in New York City is shut down, starting Monday.


An historic week for Rhode Island

Pfizer truck in Kalamazoo, Saturday


The first shipments of the Pfizer vaccine are expected as early as Monday in Rhode Island, with first vaccinations set to be given next week. Some high-contact front line medical workers have already been given appointments for shots as early as Thursday.



Running the State of Rhode Island


Many months ago the Governor was first asked, and has repeatedly been asked why she has not brought in her Lt. Governor, Dan McKee, as part of her team, so he could be ready to go if needed due to the Governor potential to be taken ill with coronavirus. The Governor has responded that she could manage the state’s affairs from her home, and that she was confident in her leadership team to carry out what needed to be done. Questions did not continue what would be “Plan B” if the “leadership team” were all to be sick at the same time.


Official Statement from Josh Block, Communications Director for the Governor:


Kennedy Plaza is still at risk

Kennedy Plaza is still at risk

December 12, 2020/David Brussat


by David Brussat, Architecture Here and There, contributing writer, architecture


Efforts by the city and state governments to make Kennedy Plaza ugly have not yet succeeded in making it fail. But the attempt to ruin the central public square of Providence is ongoing. The plaza’s beauty has diminished greatly since its Art Nouveau waiting kiosks were replaced by sterile modernist ones, but the plaza remains an effective main hub for public transit.



Not for long, though, if city and state transportation officials have their way.


They have already added new waiting kiosks in the Jewelry District that look like equipment from a torture chamber (or, less harshly, an ironing board). Now, in addition to ramming through a new multi-hub plan opposed by the bus-riding public, they are planning to “re-envision” aspects of Waterplace Park, the river walks, the pedestrian tunnels under Memorial Boulevard and Exchange Terrace, and other downtown amenities.


According to a news report by SmartCitiesWorld, the engineering firm Arup, hired to design this “single cohesive vision,” said its “placemaking modifications” include: a cohesive artistic lighting plan; shade structures and two temporary liner buildings at the Providence Rink; a utility plan for Waterplace Park, the tunnels, and Riverwalk between Francis and Steeple streets; a programming plan for the central plaza area at Kennedy Plaza; and a series of modifications to make Waterplace Park and the Riverwalk more accessible and pedestrian friendly. Overall climate resilience in Waterplace Park and along the Riverwalk will also be addressed.


Much of that sounds benign. No doubt these areas can be improved. The river-relocation project of 1990-1996, which daylighted the downtown rivers and created Waterplace, the river walks and a dozen elegant bridges, is almost a quarter of a century old, and is showing its age. For example, there is much spawling on too many of the bridges. Fine. Yet maybe that’s not what this is all about. Curious motives seem to emerge in boilerplate language from Arup: There has never been a more important time for us to set a new benchmark for inclusivity, equity, respect and ownership of these shared spaces, ensuring that accessibility means access for all, not just for some.


They probably say that to all the cities!


And yet, at a time of exceptionally constrained city and state budgets, what does it really mean?


What is this “new benchmark”? Where in the public spaces now targeted for “improvement” have such values as inclusivity, equity, respect, ownership and accessibility been slighted? Are these parks, bridges and river walks not open to all? Is there some sort of stroll tax levied to enter the grounds?


It is obvious that there are no such constraints on the use or enjoyment of these relatively new urban features, paid for almost exclusively by taxpayers outside of Providence and Rhode Island. If there are constraints in the offing, they are the burdensome bus transfers and walking distances to be required of users by the proposed multi-hub system, especially the most needy users. (My post “Still attacking Kennedy Plaza,” from August, focuses on the multiple hubs.)


More than anything else, the “single cohesive vision” sounds like a perfect opportunity to waste taxpayer money on things that aren’t needed.


Because of the masterful work decades ago by the late Bill Warner, who led the effort to redesign the waterfront, the city of Providence and the state of Rhode Island transformed rivers covered up little by little over a century into an urban paradise. This work successfully revived the city’s fortunes. Warner recognized that historic beauty was the capital city’s saving grace, and designed the new waterfront to reflect the legacy of its past. Warner’s accomplishments belong to all citizens, and they must be protected from those whose vision of the future cannot abide its glorious past.



David Brussat



My freelance writing and editing on architecture and others addresses issues of design and culture locally and globally. I am a member of the board of the New England chapter of the Institute of Classical Architecture & Art, which bestowed an Arthur Ross Award on me in 2002. I work from Providence, R.I., where I live with my wife Victoria, my son Billy and our cat Gato. If you would like to employ my writing and editing to improve your work, please email me at my consultancy,, or call (401) 351-0457

Your Coronavirus Update - Today Dec 11, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 11, 2020

December 11, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: The Marvel Comic, “VITALS”, honoring nurses, will be out on Dec. 30th. It is “Dedicated to the 4000 AHN nurses and their leaders who proved superheros are anything but fiction”. You can read it online, here:





At its most critical time of death and cases, the RI Dept. of Health continues to pause its data on Saturday and Sunday – and maintains only a once a week update by the Governor.  No data for the public reflecting Friday through Sunday – 3 days – until noon on Monday. Only a one hour update on Thursdays.


Virtual Learning: These school departments are now switching to virtual: Coventry Cumberland, Cranston, Warwick, Johnston, Smithfield, Cranston, Burrillville, East Providence, West Warwick, East Greenwich, Woonsocket, Pawtucket, and Newport.


Lifespan and Care New England have made their staff recruitment completely flexible – choose your hours, days of the week, part time, full time, etc. 


RI contact tracers must work full time, must work some weekends, and must work at the RI Dept. of Health office space.


RI for Freedom and Prosperity is circulating a Petition for COVID Transparency, asking for COVID19 tests to collect and publish critical “cycle threshold” data … a key metric by which the severity of positive tests can be judged.


RIs infection rate is more than 30% higher than Massachusetts and Connecticut.


Maxx Fitness has subpoenaed Gov. Raimondo and Dr. Nicole Alexander-Smith to court on Monday. The AG’s office has stepped in and threw out the subpoenaes. There will be a hearing today,


Brett Smiley, RI Director of Administration tested positive – he has not been at the state house for a week.


RI Data – Dec. 10, 2020


Deaths: 14 (Deaths in-hospital: 5)


Total tests: 13,598 – Total positives: 948 – Percent positive: 7%


Hospitalized: 466 (New admissions: 52; discharges: 57)


ICU: 48 – Ventilated: 25



Governor’s Press Conference:


We are in a bad position and trending in the wrong direction. More being admitted to the hospital than we’ve ever seen. RI is #1 in America for cases per 100,000. Lot of reasons – highest rate of testing, dense population, older population, multi-generational housing, lot of nursing homes – but no excuse for this. People continue to not follow the rules. More people getting sick, dying and losing their jobs.


YOU have the power to protect your household. It’s pretty simple. It’s all in your hands. Should we extend the pause? Mobility data (how we are moving about) is indicative of case increases. Shows slide about mobility – data starting to trend in right direction.


Extending pause for one more week, ending on Sunday, Dec. 20th.


Extending the business relief application period for one more week in the pause – 1,800 applications rec’d – checks going out tomorrow.  Extending deadline until Monday at midnight. Online webinar at to explain the application.


Unemployment supplement of $200 will go one more week as well.


Restrictions that will continue from Dec. 21st until end of year: Changes: some lower capacity limits in big box stores. Go to to shop. Houses of worship will stay the same through end of year. Bar areas will remain closed – drinks only served to those seated at tables, eating.


Dec. 21st on: restaurants can slightly increase capacity, but only seat people from same household. Gyms, venues, etc. can open 12/21 w/new restrictions. Many details can be found at


Thurs, Jan. 7th – this press conference will address how the new year will begin. Theme now is “Protect Your Household”


Schools: Seeing very low positivity rate in K-12 schools.


Gov. Raimondo: “To those who are throwing in the towel on our children, I ask you to reconsider. There’s no reason for it. I’m doing everything I know how to do to keep kids in school. I think it’s a shame – you are letting the children down and I don’t see any reason for it and I ask you to rethink it. To the superintendents, who decided to go virtual – I want you to look at yourself in the mirror because I think you can do better.”


Statistics on suicide ideation in children is through the roof, mental health services are overrun, children are falling behind and scared.


Dr Philip Chan reviewed the vaccine – he believes they will begin in RI as early as next week.





Q: Dept. of Corrections – risk – what are you doing about this population? Has anyone died of COVID? More yard time to reduce risk? Gov: what would you say about modifying the population?


A: We’re aware of it and doing what we can going forward. No, no one died. TY for the outside suggestion – we’re applying all suggestions. Gov: I do not have authority to modify the population. It’s important to realize that we’re dealing with maximum security. Early release of lower level offenders is being done.


Q: What evidence do you have that people are not following the rules?


A: The mobility increased and that is evidence of that. We know when mobility goes down, cases go down. Contact tracing tells us that specifically.


Q: Percent positive has gone down – do you think it’s because of the pause.


A: Yes.


Q: Unions are very vocal about schools – now you say “it’s shameful”??


A: I feel for teachers – in no way do I want to minimalize it – but the harm that is being done to our children is massive – kids will face lifelong challenges because of this.


Q: School districts have said the staffing is short due to illness.


A: They have to find a way to be creative to solve their problems. Gov says “we have substitutes – hundreds and hundreds of teachers”. Any public health expert in the world will tell you yes, it is safe to have the kids in school. Work, creativity – more support, more filters, subs, etc.


Q: Dr. Ranney laid out scenarios but could not pinpoint why RI is #1- is it possible that it’s just a mystery to medical science as to why it’s spreading so rapidly.


A: Test positivity #s are middle of the pack. Average. Some items are out of our control. Dense population, multi-generational homes, nursing homes, old-olds, etc. “Maybe I was wrong in saying it was rule following”. But I know we cannot stay at this pace. Can’t have 70 people going to the hospital every day.


Q: MA has stopped elective surgery – what about RI?


A:  No, not at this time. We’re going to let them manage it.


Q: What significant changes are you making – it doesn’t seem like anything big is different today?


A: Continuing the pause. Tripling testing. Deep inside high density communities. Testing in community. First 3 isolations units in 3 nursing homes.


Q: As you extend pause are you prepared to handle violators?


A:  It’s really hard for them to obey – so we’re sending money out the door to help them.


Q: State has stopped some things that CDC says is ok – indoor swimming, for instance.


A: All of our decisions are balanced. We have our own local data. 


Q:  Business conditions are so bad – when does state accept responsibility and ask who is going to pay for all the things in the “skinny” budget?


A:  No tax increases is very important. Some cuts in the budget. Bonds support housing crisis. Investments in childcare and pre-K. I agree in fiscal responsibility, but right now is not the time for austerity. Danger now is not investing and passing an austerity budget. If feds don’t come through with stimulus, furloughs are on the table.


Q: Plan is to partially lift pause – what if data doesn’t support that?


A:  I always reserve the right to make changes.


Christmas is still 15 days away – the rule is stick with your household Christmas. Should not be traveling.


Vaccine question – why isn’t the state of RI going to administer the vaccine. We’re going to work with our existing infrastructure.


Q: I’m set for vaccination in May or June but murderers are set for February – is that a typo?


A: No. They live in congregate housing.


Q: Side effects?


A: People do tend to feel poor for a bit after the 2nd vaccine.


Watch the full press conference, here:


Governor’s edited comments – on teachers and schools (Anita Baffoni, WPRI-12):





A U.S. government advisory panel of the FDA has endorsed Pfizer’s coronavirus vaccine last night. The Food and Drug Administration is expected to follow the recommendation. The advisory group, in 17-4 vote with one abstention, concluded that the shot appears safe and effective against the coronavirus in people 16 and older. A final FDA decision is expected within days – or sooner.


St. Luke’s Hospital in Texas, closed in 2019, will reopen in 7 days to offer 235-300 beds – though staffing will remain an issue.


Boston College football has given up its chance to play in a post-season bowl game, so students can spend time with their families for the holidays.


The original Biogen conference that led to the first large spread of coronavirus in Massachusetts, can now be traced to 300,000 people impacted.


New Mexico has institute “crisis care” plans – rationing of care.


U.S. production of N95 masks will reach 180 million per month in January, up from 20 million a year ago, federal officials said Thursday. About 150 million of the U.S.-made masks are being produced now.


Delta Air Lines is now asking more employees to take unpaid leaves of absence, a sign of the deepening slump in air travel.


Johnson & Johnson is developing a single-dose vaccine. They are expected to file for authorization by February or sooner.


None of the vaccines in development in the U.S. use the “live” virus that causes COVID-19. Most of the vaccines under development introduce the “spike” protein found on the surface of the virus. They train the immune system to recognize this protein and attack in case of infection.


People who have had COVID-19 “may be advised” to get the vaccine, “due to the severe health risks associated with COVID-19 and the fact that re-infection with COVID-19 is possible,” according to the CDC.


Clorox suggests asking local stores for their new delivery dates if you can’t find their products. They don’t expect normal availability until 2022.


1 in 5 Americans spent Thanksgiving in other than their own homes.


Legislators say they will move to make grants non-taxable – at the present time they are taxable income to individuals and businesses.


Moderna testing on 12-18 year olds with plans to vaccinate young people next spring.


New Hampshire House Speaker Dick Hinch died from COVID-19, a medical examiner ruled Thursday following his unexpected death.


The CDC in its review of the Pfizer vaccine said that more needs to be done to study the vaccine on pregnant women, teens, and other subsets of people to assure safety.


Vaccine Distribution in Rhode Island:


6 Feet Closer: The Winter Action Project

6 Feet Closer: The Winter Action Project

December 11, 2020/RINewsToday


Helping the homeless of Providence during these trying times


Performance Adjusting, a public insurance adjusting company in North Providence, Rhode Island, has started 6 Feet Closer: The Winter Action Project which brings the community together while physically staying 6 feet apart. They have raised $2,025 out of their goal of $2,500 to buy food, water, winter clothing, and personal hygiene products for the homeless in Providence.


  • There are two drop off locations, one at their office at 1135 Charles Street, North Providence, RI and the other at Sarji Properties – Keller Williams at 14 Breakneck Hill Road, Lincoln, RI where people can drop off the following items:

Gloves, Hats, Scarves, Coats, Shoes, Socks, Blankets, Face masks, Hand sanitizer, Tampons/Pads, Toothbrushes, Toothpaste, Tissues, Chapstick, Handwarmers, Deodorant, Food, Water, Gift Cards, and whatever else they find helpful to the homeless during these cold months ahead.

  • Their goal is to give out 400 bags to the homeless on Friday, December 18, 2020 with a deadline to donate money to the GoFundMe or to drop off items on Friday, December 11, 2020. If extra bags, donated items, or money is leftover after the deadline, which is anticipated, they will be doing a second drop off in early January (date to be announced).
  • The idea came from Alexis Pollack, Performance Adjusting’s director of social media and marketing, and her girlfriend, Amber Lovejoy, both of Warwick, Rhode Island after seeing the growing homeless population in Providence (and around the state) and their desire to help during these trying times.
  • Artwork provided by a local artist, Madison Taliercio of North Providence, Rhode Island.


Link to GoFundMe for more information or to donate:


About Performance Adjusting: They are a public adjusting company that specializes in getting homeowners the most money for their property damage insurance claims while taking the stress of the claims process off of their shoulders. They are licensed in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut, North Carolina, South Carolina, Pennsylvania, and Florida.


For more information, please contact Alexis Pollack at 914-844-2004 or


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island "pause" has been extended.  The Patriots split their two games in L.A.  The Newport harbormaster has died.

>>Rhode Island "Pause" Extended

(Providence, RI)  --  The "pause" ordered by Governor Gina Raimondo to fight the spread of the coronavirus is being extended by one week.  Raimondo said Thursday the state's COVID numbers are moving in the right direction, but not as quickly as she had hoped.  Fitness centers and recreational venues must remain closed, while reduced capacity limits remain in place for restaurants and houses of worship.  To offset this, Raimondo said about thirty-million dollars in additional relief payments are being provided from federal CARES Act money to affected businesses and unemployed individuals.

>>Head Of Administration Department COVID-Positive

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Department of Administration Director Brett Smiley has tested positive for COVID-19, according to a spokesperson for the department.  Smiley was previously Governor Raimondo's chief of staff.  Smiley has reportedly been working from home and is symptom-free.

>>Patriots Fall To Rams

(Inglewood, CA)  --  The New England Patriots' playoff chances are now on life support following a 24-to-3 loss to the Los Angeles Rams on Thursday night.  The Pats are now 6-and-7 with three games left to play.  The team is off until December 20th, when it will play its last road game of the 2020 NFL regular season versus the Dolphins.

>>New Civil Rights Team Announced By RI Attorney General

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha has established a new civil rights team.  Neronha says the team of criminal and civil attorneys will focus on investigating and prosecuting hate crimes and police misconduct.  The A.G. says his office wants to hear from members of the public if they have civil rights allegations, and that it will take whatever action is necessary.

>>Newport's Harbormaster Has Died

(Newport, RI)  --  The harbormaster of Newport has died.  Tim Mills was 58 years old; he died suddenly on Thursday.  Mills began working for the city as a seasonal harbormaster's assistant in 1995 and was appointed full-time harbormaster in 2001.  The city noted his role in developing the Newport Maritime Center, among other recognitions.

>>Company With Passenger Rail Plans Leaves Woonsocket Train Station

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  A passenger train line stop might not be coming to downtown Woonsocket in the near future.  The Valley Breeze reports the Boston Surface Railroad Company, which had been using the Woonsocket Depot as its headquarters, will move out after a legal battle with the Rhode Island Department of Transportation over its use of the state-owned station.  RIDOT alleged a failure to pay rent.  The company is still moving forward with plans for a route between Providence and Worcester, Massachusetts, and says it may put a stop somewhere else in the northern Rhode Island area, possibly in Lincoln.

>>School Committee Member Snoozes During Online Meeting

(Coventry, RI)  --  An elected Rhode Island official has apologized for sleeping during a virtual meeting.  According to a WJAR-TV report, Coventry School Committee vice-chair Dave Florio was seen sleeping in a recliner and missed a roll call to adjourn during a Zoom meeting last week.  Florio explained to the news station that he came out of retirement to substitute-teach outside of the district, and his schedule left him feeling more tired than usual.  He says for future meetings, he will sit at the kitchen table instead.

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

12-11-2020 01:49:03

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 20, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 10, 2020

December 10, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: COVID19 Test kits in a vending machine at a Hong Kong airport – probably in our future.




Governor’s COVID19 update is today at 1pm


RI has yet to publish its priority vaccination plan.


Massachusetts has published its vaccination priority plan:


Rhode Island has the highest case rate per capita of any city, state, or even country.


One MD said that all of the guests at the Thanksgiving dinner have tested positive.


Warwick – Woonsocket – Pawtucket – Cranston – Burrillville – Johnston – West Warwick – Burrillville – Newport – East Providence have opted for 100% virtual education.


RI officials met with CVS officials about coordinating vaccine distribution. CVS said all stores will offer the shot by appointment.


RI expects 10K doses of Pfizer vaccine and 19K of Moderna with shots being given to priority groups expected next week. Both are a 2-dose regimen with #2 a few weeks later.


The RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity has launched a statewide petition campaign to demand Covid data transparency from our state government to support its call on the RI Department of Health (DOH) to collect and report critical Ct testing data.


The RI Coalition of Wedding and Event Professionals is asking for help from the Governor – they have met with state dept. leaders twice, and have been told there isn’t money to reimburse them 16% of gross revenues that are lost – but are hopeful the Governor will address their requests.


The RI Dept. of Health is asking people to complete a short survey about the vaccine –


New Round of COVID-19 Relief Funds – Now Available to Arts and Culture Organizations – For artists, the funds will be distributed through the Artist Relief Fund. Click here to learn more and to apply. 


For arts and culture organizations, the funds will be distributed through three programs. Click on the link to each program to learn more: 


A new poll finds that an overwhelming majority of Massachusetts residents are willing to take a COVID-19 vaccine, though when they might feel comfortable doing so varies across racial and socioeconomic demographics, raising further concerns about unequal immunization. The MassINC survey of over 1,100 residents found that just 7% of participants said they will never take a COVID-19 vaccine.”


“Tucked inside the $46 billion state budget sitting on Gov. Charlie Baker’s desk is a provision funneling $2.2 million to the Massachusetts Alliance of Boys & Girls Clubs to help the facilities continue to serve as a home away from home for students doing remote learning.


Connecticut is expecting to begin vaccinations next week.


There is increasing concern about shoppers gathering in malls in RI and elsewhere.


New Hampshire is positive about their ski season, but notes that “your car will be your base camp” this year, as opposed to a lodge.


“Leaders of ‘forgotten’ communities in Cape Cod and Western Massachusetts are taking coronavirus testing into their own hands and standing up their own local sites, saying Gov. Charlie Baker’s announcement expanding access doesn’t go far enough to satisfy increasing demand in areas plagued by a dearth of options.”


“Members of the Tewksbury, MA Teachers Association overwhelmingly voted no confidence in the town’s superintendent and assistant superintendent


RI AG Neronha has tested negative yesterday but will continue to quarantine.


CNN broadcast live on Wednesday morning from Providence, RI, due to our high numbers of coronavirus cases


The RI AG’s office said there is no need to redo bail guidelines and that the coronavirus spread in prisons is already in consideration.


Massachuestts teachers created their own database to report COVID19 cases in schools:


Massachusetts will not re-institute eviction bans, saying the state has enough resources to help those in trouble without resorting to that step.


RI Interscholastic League does not have a date for winter sports to start yet. It hopes to hear something at Governor’s press event.


The Rustic Drive-in is expected to close, as part of RI’s Pause


Massachusetts vaccine distribution to be done in 3 phases:


Phase One. 12/20 – 2/21 – Est. Doses: About 300,000 – Clinical and non-clinical health care workers doing direct and COVID-facing care. Long-term care facilities, rest homes, and assisted living facilities; police, fire, and emergency medical services. Home-based health care workers. Health care workers doing non-COVID facing care.


Phase Two. 2/21 – 4/21 – Est. Doses: 1,900,000+ – Individuals 2+ comorbidities (high risk for COVID-19 complications). Early education, K-12, transit, grocery, food and agriculture, sanitation, public works, and public health workers. Adults 65+. Individuals with one comorbidity


Phase Three. 4/21 – General Public


Rhode Island’s plan is not yet finalized with this notation on its website: Please note: Final decisions have not yet been made about who can get vaccinated in each phase of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 vaccination program. It is expected the plan will be released today.


RI Data: Dec. 9, 2020


Today’s Data: Dec. 9, 2020


Deaths: 14 (Deaths in-hospital: 6)


Total tests: 16,185 – Total positives: 1,232 – Percent positive: 7.6%


Hospitalized: 461 (New admissions: 65; discharges: 53)


ICU: 42 – Ventilated: 24



Rhode Island cases by community (ProJo chart)





The FDA is expected to authorize the Pfizer vaccine either today – or Friday.


US Dept. of Defense has identified 16 sites to pilot distribution of vaccines for troops – 44,000 doses will be given at first initiative. Critical defense staff will go first. There will be some media coverage of senior leaders getting shots so staff are more confident in doing so.


Canada has approved Pfizer’s vaccine.


Israel says they will begin vaccinations 12/27

Dr. Fauci said widely used COVID test picks up much harmless virus, giving false positives. He stresses that virus cycles of 35 or higher means the changes of the test being accurate are “miniscule”.


Gov. Cuomo has ended his in-person press conferences and will move to an online, call-in line for local media.


Berkshire Bank to close 16 regional branches

Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf (D) tests positive for COVID-19


Singapore started cruises again – first cruise ship out had to return when at least one passenger tested positive and exposed others on the ship.


The Russian space agency said on Wednesday it planned to offer the Sputnik coronavirus vaccine to cosmonauts but insisted that the vaccination would be done on a voluntary basis. Last week Russia launched its mass vaccination program using Sputnik V, which has been named after a Soviet-era satellite.


Developers say it is 95 percent effective based on interim trial results. Vaccination centers opened their doors in Moscow, initially offering the vaccine to people in risk groups, including medics and teachers.


Russia is telling people that they need to abstain from alcohol for 2 months, though the vaccine developer recommends 6 days – after receiving the vaccine so the body can be as healthy as possible.


Not everything that happens in Congress is awful these days…

Posted in 

Lucy's Hearth, Reach Out and Read RI receive grants for Work on

Lucy’s Hearth, Reach Out & Read RI Receive Grants for Work on Aquidneck Island

December 10, 2020/RINewsToday


Funds will support pediatric literacy efforts and programs that aid homeless families with children.


Two local nonprofits have received a total of $6,000 in grants from Bank Rhode Island (BankRI) to support their work on Aquidneck Island. Lucy’s Hearth and Reach Out & Read RI each received $3,000 in funding. The grants are part of $35,750 recently awarded by the bank to organizations statewide.


“It’s our priority to give back to the communities where we live and work, and especially during the challenging times we’re all living through right now,” said Mark J. Meiklejohn, President and CEO of BankRI. “Our nonprofit partners are doing exceptional work with fewer resources and in the face of rising need. We know these funds will help them continue to make a difference for local families.”


Serving a record number of homeless families with what it describes as ‘high acuity needs’ magnified by the pandemic, Lucy’s Hearth will use its grant to fund services vital to helping families gain permanent housing. Focused on supporting clients’ ability to become self-sufficient and escape poverty, the organization’s comprehensive program provides case management, life skills coaching, financial literacy workshops, referrals to GED and other educational programs, job search assistance, and more. Although Lucy’s Hearth is serving more families than ever before, 90 percent of those they work with achieve a positive outcome.


“Our work to help families get back on their feet has perhaps never been more important – or at times more challenging – than it is right now during the pandemic,” said Kelly A. Lee, Executive Director of Lucy’s Hearth. “Children and families need permanent, safe housing to thrive. BankRI not only shares that vision with us, but is a true partner in our mission to keep families together.”


With partnerships with three healthcare sites on Aquidneck Island, Reach Out & Read RI is committed to giving children a foundation for literacy success by incorporating books into pediatric care and encouraging families to read together. Its efforts begin at a child’s newborn checkup and continues through age 5, with children receiving a brand-new, developmentally appropriate book to keep following each well visit. Upon ‘graduating’ from the program, children will have received 14 books to build their home library. This year, and in response to concerns brought about by the coronavirus and civil unrest, Reach Out & Read RI has expanded its offerings to feature more social-emotional titles and books about diversity and inclusion. During the past year, the organization has provided more than 4,000 books to area children.


“This year has been a defining moment, and helping us navigate a complicated landscape has been our ability to depend on community leadership,” said Autumn Payne, Executive Director of RORRI. “We are both grateful and proud to be able to count on BankRI to be there for children across Aquidneck Island.”



About Bank Rhode Island


Bank Rhode Island, a wholly owned subsidiary of Brookline Bancorp, Inc. (NASDAQ:BRKL), is a full-service, FDIC-insured financial institution headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island.  The bank operates 20 branches and more than 40 ATMs throughout Providence, Kent, Newport and Washington Counties. For more information, visit You can also find BankRI on Facebook.

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: An update on the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island.  A scaled-down budget is proposed in the RI House.  The Patriots are set to play in L.A. -- again -- tonight.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>COVID-19 Vaccine Shots Could Be Available In RI Next Week

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is preparing for the first doses of the coronavirus vaccine.  The FDA is set to review Pfizer's COVID-19 vaccines for emergency use today.  RI Health Department officials said Wednesday the vaccine could be ready for distribution by next week.  They said hospital workers will be the first to receive the shot in the Ocean State.

>>Scaled-Down Budget Unveiled In Rhode Island House

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee approved what it referred to as a pared-down state budget for the 2021 fiscal year on Wednesday.  According to a State House press release, the budget restores cuts that had been proposed by Governor Raimondo, and in some cases temporarily instituted, to municipal aid, including car tax reimbursements.  A 275-million-dollar budget gap was plugged with federal coronavirus relief, but without additional federal COVID-19 help, House leaders expect to face "extremely difficult" challenges in next year's budget.  The proposal includes asking voters to approve 400-million dollars in bonds in a special election next March.  The budget is set to be considered by the full House next Wednesday, which would then pass it on to the Rhode Island Senate.

>>Patriots Versus Rams Tonight

(Inglewood, CA)  --  The New England Patriots are getting set for a Super Bowl rematch tonight.  The Pats are in Los Angeles playing the Rams, with kickoff at 8:20 Eastern time.  New England won the 2019 Super Bowl against the L.A. Rams, plus the 2002 Super Bowl when the Rams were based out of St. Louis.  The Patriots are fighting to get into the playoff field with four games remaining in the 2020 NFL regular season.

>>Warwick, Smithfield Schools Latest To Announce Remote Learning Switch

(Undated)  --  Two more Rhode Island school districts are announcing returns to distance learning.  The Warwick school district says hundreds of students and staff have either gotten sick or have had to quarantine because of the coronavirus, so it is switching back from December 14th to the 23rd.  Smithfield is also transitioning its schools back to distance learning over the next few weeks, with no end date announced.

>>Ethics Commission Investigating Complaint Against Outgoing Warwick City Council President

(Warwick, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Ethics Commission is investigating a complaint against Warwick City Council president Steven Merolla.  It alleges that an executive for an accounting firm brought on by the city council was Merolla's campaign treasurer, and that the connection wasn't disclosed.  The firm was given a contract of nearly a quarter-million dollars to look into financial issues concerning the Warwick Fire Department.  Merolla did not run for another term on the city council, and he lost a primary bid for a state senate seat.  His attorney calls the complaint unfounded.

>>U.S. District Court In RI Moving Civil Trials Online

(Providence, RI)  --  The United States District Court in Rhode Island says civil trials are moving to Zoom until further notice.  A statement from the court indicates the move is being made in the interests of efficient and effective administration of justice in civil actions.  The court also says this is part of reasonable public health measures taken to fight the spread of COVID-19.  

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

12-10-2020 01:37:10

"Relive Patriots History"

“Relive Patriots History”

December 9, 2020/RINewsToday


Author Robert Hyldburg, Jr., recounts some of the most interesting moments of New England’s pro football team in his new book.


Growing up in the Northeast, football fans have plenty to say about its local professional football team. Some years have been glorious and amazing while others have been comical and even pitiful. Over the last 25 years, one man has spent more than 20,000 hours of his time researching and compiling these memories so that all of every one of these fans can laugh, cry and share them with their friends and family.


Bob Hyldburg worked for 13 years as a photographer for the NFL for every home game of the New England Patriots and has written two books on the Patriots. He is known in the press room and on Twitter as @BobtheStatMan. 


“Hyldburg is the master of the odd moment and a historian without peer, if there is an arcane statistic or an esoteric incident in Patriots History, Bob not only has the story he has the story behind the story,” said Ron Borges, Pro Football Hall of Fame contributor and sportswriter. 


Hyldburg’s new book, “Relive Patriots History” recounts hundreds of iconic moments and fun facts of the 1,268 men who have played for the Patriots, even if their entire career was in just one game.  “Hyldburg probably knows the history of the Patriots better than anyone has ever known the history of any sports franchise” Sean Glennon, football historian and author of five books of the Patriots.


“Relive Patriots History” is Hyldburg’s second book. His first, “Total Patriots,” recounts the first 49 years of the history and would have been published sooner if they had gone undefeated in 2007. In that 802-page tome, Hyldburg provides a wealth of knowledge and facts that probably should have been broken into four books instead of just one. It continues to be sold around the globe, and in fact, has traveled by our great service men and women to many countries.  One serviceman was shared that he could only pack 50 pounds of gear while being transferred to Korea and he chose to take this five-pound book with him. We thank him and everyone else in the military for their service, Bob said.


Total Patriots” is prominently displayed at the Patriots Hall of Fame at Patriot Place and much of the information in his new “Relive Patriots History” book can be found in the newly installed Patriots All Time Roster interactive display on the 3rd Floor. 


“It is totally worth the time to travel to Foxboro to visit this award-winning Hall of Fame. You will be there for hours,” he said.


Besides researching writing books, Hyldburg also works as a transformational behavior coach and public speaker. Bob provides one on one coaching sessions that produce an invincible mindset so that people can fulfill their unlimited potential and have a happy and successful life.


Bob shares stories and anecdotes about being committed to be the best you can be and among his favorite players is Troy Brown.  Troy was selected by the Patriots in the 8th round in the NFL Draft in 1993. (In 1994 the NFL eliminated the 8th round). Troy was cut from the team several times until he finally stuck on as a special team player. Brown eventually broke into the lineup as a wide receiver and was even used as a defense back, where he recorded three interceptions and had a very critical forced fumble in a playoff game against the San Diego Chargers. He is referred to as ‘Mr. Patriot’ for his can-do, positive attitude and execution. That drive and playmaking ability earned Brown a place in the New England Patriots Hall of Fame.


Bob said he is very passionate about sharing his experiences and journey with people and groups of all types.  His interactive style of Public Speaking is totally engaging and entertaining.  Bob’s coaching sessions and extensive group workshops are powerful, and the lessons learned are priceless. 


“Let’s impact the lives of others” – Bob Hyldburg



For more details about his books and/or his public speaking schedule, please call him today at 858-602-9003 or via email at

Both of his books are available on Amazon.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Might the Rhode Island pause last longer than two weeks?  Governor Raimondo says "maybe".  A large crowd at a Rhode Island mall this past weekend, but the manager says the mall was following the rules.  A former Portsmouth Abbey School student alleges sexual abuse in a federal lawsuit.

>>Governor Suggests Pause Could Be Extended

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's "pause" instituted by Governor Gina Raimondo to battle COVID-19 might go on longer than originally announced.  Gyms, recreational venues and other businesses were ordered to close for two weeks starting last week, and restaurants were directed to further reduce their dining capacities.  Raimondo hinted in an interview with WPRI-TV Tuesday that the pause may be extended as virus numbers continue to surge in the Ocean State.  The governor is expected to announce a decision during her press briefing on Thursday.

>>East Providence, Burrillville Schools Moving To Remote Classes

(Undated)  --  Here are the latest coronavirus-related school closures in Rhode Island.  The superintendent of East Providence Schools said Tuesday the district is going virtual from December 14th to January 4th.  Burrillville school officials also decided Tuesday to go virtual, beginning today and lasting until January 4th.  The state teachers' union is calling on Governor Raimondo to order all schools to move to distance learning by the end of this week.

>>Large Crowd Depicted At Mall; Manager Says Capacity Limits Observed

(Warwick, RI)  --  Photos taken at the Warwick Mall over the weekend have some people concerned about how much social distancing was observed.  The pictures appear to show the concourse is packed, while people are wearing masks.  The Warwick Mall manager, however, says the mall was following capacity guidelines and that while the photo shows just one spot, overall people were spread out.

>>Building Project In Providence Jewelry District Gets OK

(Providence, RI)  --  A controversial apartment/retail building project in Providence is moving forward.  The Providence Journal reports representatives for the proposed structure on Chestnut Street in the Jewelry District received city approval to build on Monday.  The Providence Downtown Design Review Committee initially allowed for the building to exceed the maximum height allowed by zoning, but neighbors objected and a judge ruled the extra height was not allowed.  So, it will now be nine stories tall instead of twelve.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Former Portsmouth Abbey School Student Alleges Sexual Abuse In Lawsuit

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  A woman has filed a federal lawsuit against a former Portsmouth Abbey School teacher and the school itself, claiming sexual abuse while she was a student.  The Newport Daily News reports the student, listed as Jane Doe, alleges former humanities teacher Michael Bowen Smith abused her between 2012 and 2014.  The lawsuit alleges leaders at the Catholic school were informed of the incidents, but instead of conducting an investigation, Smith was allowed to resign.  Furthermore, the school allegedly steered the woman in the direction of a law firm that represents the Catholic Church, without her being told about the conflict of interest.

>>Brownfield Grant List Includes Pawtucket Soccer Stadium Site

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The state Department of Environmental Management is announcing a new round of brownfield grants.  The DEM says thirteen projects across seven cities and towns will receive three-and-a-quarter-million dollars in matching grants to address the polluted industrial sites.  One of the properties is the former Tidewater Landing area in Pawtucket, which is part of a planned riverfront soccer stadium complex set to draw in a future minor league team.

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

12-09-2020 01:24:15

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 8, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 8, 2020

December 8, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: First person to receive Pfizer vaccine in UK, today, 4am. See video, below…




Rhode Island has added Massachusetts to its COVID travel advisory list. The move means that people coming from Massachusetts into Rhode Island for non-work related purposes will have to quarantine for 14 days after they arrive in Rhode Island, or test negative for the coronavirus in the 72 hours before they get here, unless they meet an exemption.


Governor Charlie Baker said, effective Friday, all hospitals will temporarily cease in-patient elective surgeries that can safely be put off. Three new free express testing locations in Framingham, New Bedford and Lynn will open as well as increased capacities at others.


Gracie’s restaurant on Washington Street and the adjacent café Ellie’s Bakery, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection.


Massachusetts positivity rate is 5.5% – RI is 10.7% – CT is 6.6%


Rhode Island Commerce announced $1.4M of awards through the state’s Hotel, Arts & Tourism relief program to small businesses and nonprofits – Congratulations to these Round 1


arts and culture grantees! The Arctic Playhouse, AS220, Chorus of Westerly, Contemporary Theater Company, Everett, Flickers, Gallery Events LLC, Gamm Theater, The Pawtucket Foundation, Preservation Society of Newport County, Newport Music Festival, Rhode Island Museum of Science & Art, Rhode Island Zoological Society, The Talent Factory, TEN31 Productions, Trinity Repertory Company and The Steel Yard.


Cranston Schools all go virtual until at least January 4th (parents received this letter today):


“We hope that this message finds you and your families in good health. Today’s message is to let you know that  beginning on Thursday, December 10 we will be closing all school buildings from now through at least January 4, 2021. All students will be learning virtually until further notice starting on Thursday, December 10, 2020. In accordance with our district calendar, all classes and virtual learning will continue until December 23, 2020. 


As you know, our school district has been working very hard to keep our schools open for those students who have needed or wanted to have in-person learning opportunities. We have also been working very hard to maintain all of the required health and safety measures for our staff and our students. We are grateful to our staff and administrators for the unbelievable amount of time and effort that they have been putting in over these past few months managing in-person learning simultaneously with distance learning, along with managing a global pandemic. We also appreciate your patience and your flexibility as we have navigated through these past months. This has not been an easy time for anyone, and this decision was a difficult one, but one that did not leave us with many choices. 


We are seeing a surge in cases in our community and across the state that is unprecedented, and we are unable to staff our buildings safely any longer. We are seeing more students and staff who are positive and more families who are affected by this pandemic. With the inability to consistently and predictably manage our staffing due to positive cases, quarantining, testing time requirements, and just general absenteeism, it is not fair to parents and staff to not know from one day to the next if we can open our schools. 


Before we are due to reopen in January we will assess our situation as a district and take note of any directives being given from the governor and the RI Department of Health. We will determine before we reopen in January whether or not we will be reopening in person or whether we will need to continue virtually. We will communicate this information to our families at that time. I am hopeful that everyone does their best to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, so we are able to reopen after the holidays. […] We wish good health to all of you in the days and weeks ahead and we thank you for your continued support.


The  Employer Crush COVID  Challenge will be debuted by the RI Business Group on Health with a webinar on Wednesday, 12/9, at 9am. Employers will be given access to an online toolkit containing links to information and materials that will help facilitate participation in the challenge.  The RIBGH Crush COVID Employer Challenge Committee will review the applications and select the winners based on a combination of the greatest number of compulsory points earned, most creative employee engagement strategies, and creative safe workplace executions. To learn more:


A Lending Library is available for RI businesses offering chairs, tables, heaters, etc. for loan. Available for 2 weeks at a time. Go to Providence and Warwick Convention Bureau. Priority to Providence, Cranston, and Warwick.


RI’s budget, beginning fiscal year July, 2020 – will be released Wednesday night. It’s seen as a bare bones budget, with no new initiatives.


Vaccine deployment in RI will begin with frontline health-care workers including nurses, doctors and others who treat COVID patients which will require two doses a few weeks apart.


Both large hospital groups are looking for staff – part time, temporary, full time, permanent, and medical volunteers. Links for more info: Lifespan: – Care New England:


Dr. Justin Berk has been named interim Medical Director at the ACI, to replace the director who has stepped down.


Vermont anticipates receiving 6,000 units of vaccine when it is distributed.


Connecticut is creating an Office of Pandemic Preparedness to manage the crisis from PPE to staffing, vaccinations, etc.


RI Data: Dec. 7, 2020


Deaths: 17 (1 day – 35 total since Fri) (Deaths in-hospital: 11)


Total tests: 7,856 (1 day) – Total positives: 977 (1 day) – Percent positive: 10.7% (1 day)


Hospitalized: 422 (New admissions: 55; discharges: 39) – ICU: 45 – Ventilated: 30





UK woman, 90 years old, was the first to receive the Pfizer vaccine this morning. See video, below.


Rome will set up a drone/helicopter surveillance system for people breaking quarantine.


40% of all NYFD firefighters say they will not take the vaccine.


Student loan freeze that was to expire in Dec. has been extended to end of January.


Tuesday the White House Summit on Vaccine Distribution will meet – however, Pfizer and Moderna CEOs will not attend because they are before the FDA for their vaccine approvals.


Goya has named Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez as honorary Employee of the Month as her request for a boycott ended up increasing sales 1000%.


Pfizer said that their shipment of vaccine to the US will not be added to after it is complete until at least June, due to their commitments to other countries with pre-orders.


US govt says tonight that once American needs have been met, vaccine can be shipped out – a Presidential EO will be signed tomorrow.


FDA authorized the first combination COVID-19 and flu combination test, developed by Quest, to allow for at-home collection of respiratory samples. It will be available by prescription only for patients with symptoms of respiratory viral infection.


Admiral Giroir said there is no science that would require restaurants and bars to close that were outdoors.


Russia and China are already vaccinating with their own vaccine.


UK begins vaccinating today.


HHS plans to distribute $523 million to more than 9,000 nursing homes for reducing COVID-19 deaths and infections from September to October.


CVS is recruiting thousands of medical tech workers for vaccine distribution.


Vaccine confirmation apps are propping up – may be used in the future to go into stadiums, or large venues. LA Soccer said that app confirmation of vaccination will be mandatory to opening up.


Australian government said they may require proof of vaccination for entrance into the country.


A person who works in New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu’s office was diagnosed with COVID-19


Cambridge, MA Public Schools will be making a shift to full remote learning because of a jump in COVID-19 cases in the city.


Medical school applications have surged 18% this year – it’s called the Fauci effect.


First person to receive Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine – in 

UK, 4am this morning.


Margaret later said, “Go for it! It’s free, and it’s the best thing that’s ever happened to us. If I can do it you can do it, too”.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Massachusetts is now on Rhode Island's coronavirus travel advisory list.  An attorney for a Providence police sergeant charged with assaulting an arrested man says the case should be tossed because of a premature evidence release.  No interest expressed from Care New England in an unsolicited bid for it to be purchased.

>>Massachusetts Added To RI COVID Travel Advisory List

(Undated)  --  The state of Massachusetts has been added to Rhode Island's coronavirus travel advisory list.  That means if you are coming to RI from Mass, you must first quarantine for two weeks or provide proof of a negative COVID-19 test taken from within 72 hours prior to arrival.  Massachusetts added Rhode Island to its own COVID travel list in August.

>>Attorney For Charged Police Sergeant Argues Client Can't Get Fair Trial

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office doesn't think charges should be dismissed against a Providence police officer accused of assaulting an arrestee.  Sergeant Joseph Hanley was charged with assault after he allegedly punched, kicked and kneeled on the head of Rishod Gore in April.  The head of the Providence External Review Authority, the city's police oversight board, decided on his own to release videos of the incident last month.  Hanley's attorney argued in Providence District Court on Friday that the publicity around the case due to the video release made it impossible for him to get a fair trial.  A hearing date to consider the motion is set for later this month.

>>Company's Offer To Purchase Care New England Turned Down

(Providence, RI)  --  An unsolicited bid is made to buy the Care New England healthcare system.  Pennsylvania-based StoneBridge Healthcare offered to purchase CNE for 250-million dollars and make another 300-million in capital improvements.  Care New England responded "no thanks" and said it is still pursuing a merger with fellow Ocean State healthcare system Lifespan.  A nurses' union released a statement expressing opposition to what it called unchecked expansion of for-profit medicine in Rhode Island, citing experience with Prospect CharterCARE, which owns Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital.

>>New Department Of Corrections Acting Medical Director Named

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Corrections is announcing a new acting medical director.  Dr. Justin Berk has provided medical services at the DOC through a contract with Brown University.  Berk, who is currently an assistant professor at Brown's medical school, replaces Dr. Jennifer Clarke, who left the department last week.

>>Providence Shooting Victim ID'd

(Providence, RI)  --  Police have identified a man who was fatally shot in Providence on Friday morning.  The victim was city resident Devin Delacruz, who was in a car on Putnam Street when he was shot.  Delacruz's death equals the 17th homicide in Providence in 2020.  Police are investigating.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Water Main Break In Woonsocket

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  The city of Woonsocket reported a major water main break Monday night.  The break on Davison Street was reported by the Woonsocket Water Division at around 8:30 p.m.  Customers throughout the city were advised of possible discolored water and service interruptions.  The water division said updates would be shared Tuesday morning.

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

12-08-2020 01:38:13

Why Women Don't Help Each Other

Why Women Don’t Help Each Other – by Mary T. O’Sullivan

December 7, 2020/Mary OSullivan


By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL


Winning has always meant much to me, but winning friends has meant the most.” – Babe Didrikson Zaharias (winner of 10 LPGA major tournaments and member of the World Golf Hall of Fame)


What binds us women together? Motherhood? Anatomy? Society? I’ve been thinking a lot about women lately, mostly because the pandemic has isolated so many of us. In all these months, I began to reflect, that only two “friends” have reached out by phone to chat for a few minutes. I belong to a number of organizations comprised of women, and I thought I might make a few connections there, especially now. But I was wrong. Women are capable of establishing close female relationships, but recently, I haven’t noticed any. How could we be so mistaken?


Thinking about this phenomenon, I contemplated my husband, who is kind of a loner, and yet has a steady stream of men friends that call or invite him to various (weather permitting) activities. He golfs three times a week, and 50 years later, his college friends still gather via Zoom or phone to catch up. I have to admit, I’m a little jealous. I hear him chortling and giggling with his cohorts on the phone, and he gleefully grabs his coat and heads out to golf. I wonder what I am missing.


I remember a few years back, attending the Massachusetts Conference for Women, and admiring the many displays, most of which were mobbed, with one notable exception. A small display for golf lessons went almost totally unnoticed and ignored, while the glamour headshot booths were backed up and jammed. The golf lesson display had panels up with quotes from women who learned to play golf. “I started playing golf and I was promoted two years early”, “I developed more confidence as a result of learning to play golf”, “I learned to trust my judgment by playing golf”. With all these impressive testimonials, you may think women were signing up in droves, but they weren’t.


Then it dawned on me that playing golf involved a lot of socializing, with different people, (maybe some you don’t know), and that when the men planned a golf outing, they usually went in pairs or fours together. In other words, the men didn’t worry about meeting strangers, and they purposely planned to play together as a team. When I reflect on raising boys, I recall how important being on a team was to both of them. They both played high school football, wrestling and lacrosse, all sports where winning relies working as a team. Teams help each other win. They function differently. Each team member relies on the others and supports the guy that runs fastest, catches the best, hits the hardest and throws the quickest.


Ironically, even when women play on teams, later in life that idea of the team dynamic seems to fade. We are content to look after children, whip up a fabulous dinner, or work in the garden, flying solo. No wonder women have never really grasped the universal concept of teamwork. Guys get together and have fun, and even quench their thirst at the 19th hole. What do we do after a workout class or yoga? Mainly, grab our stuff and head home for something more important than gathering for coffee and socializing for an hour. Maybe that’s the hour of “me” time we all are craving but missing out on.


Socializing during or after an activity builds bonds and brings people together. It says, “I want to spend time with you. I like you.” And maybe even builds those all-important ties that help us in every stage of our lives, like promotions, new clients, new careers. Rubbing elbows with new acquaintances and friends can help to get us a good deal on a car or be the first to know about a new home listing, or an opening at a company you’re interested in, or even help you find a new partner in love.


Women tend to join professional or charitable organizations, but once their official work is done, how often do they stay in touch? Are these women available to you if you’re sick, need a ride, a prescription, or just lonely and missing some company? Or when you call, do they act suspicious about what you might want, or too busy to talk, or occupied in some other way. Or maybe they don’t even pick up your call. According to researchers, your “power balance” may have changed, and your status at work or in the community maybe has shifted up, in a more prestigious position than the other women around you.


Research has shown that women who move up the career or social ladder tend to have more “male” traits such as “assertiveness” and are more able to display the quality of “toughness”. Other women tend not to appreciate these traits. But thinking back to sports, aren’t these the very qualities needed to be a winner? When your son has the football, do you want him to “share” or get that ball down the field all by himself? Why can’t we support women who strive to get ahead? Why do we isolate ourselves into “cliques” and leave the “new” girl out if she’s not like us?


Women need teams throughout their lives to have fun with, to share interests with, to chat with. We need a team of other women to bolster our spirits, to get new ideas from, to walk with, to play with. The ladies need their own group of friends that coalesce around something interesting and fun, like the volunteer firefighters do. They’re at the firehouse even when there are no fires! They hang around cleaning and waxing the trucks, getting ready for competitions, and practicing. Then they have a beer.


Way back when I was teaching school, two friends and I had regular dates to the theater every month. It was a sacrosanct day. Nothing got in our way of having fun with the other two. We worked together, and along with other teachers, we played together. And we supported each other.


I’m certain that if we hadn’t felt like a “team”, that relationship would not have blossomed. Now, all these years later one is dead, another moved far away, and I’m not a teacher anymore. Where are the women who want to be on a team? Are you on a team of women who are friends, help each other and have fun together? I’m still looking.


“It’s my women friends that keep starch in my spine and without them, I don’t know where I would be. We have to just hang together and help each other.” — Jane Fonda




Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL, PCC, SHRM-SCP

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


Lights! – by Michael Morse

December 7, 2020/Michael Morse


Photo: The Picozzi family home, Warwick, RI. Frank Picozzi is the new mayor of Warwick


by Michael Morse, contributing writer


We are stuck in our homes this Christmas Season, no hustle, no bustle, no big parties, no department store Santas, not much of a Christmas Spirit in the air.


But while we are inside looking out there is a world of people outside, who wish they were inside, looking out for those of us who are stuck inside wishing we were out.


So, light up your windows with a candle’s soft glow, illuminate your doorways; there may not be crowds of guests coming through this year, but that does not mean a welcoming light is any less important.


Police still patrol, firefighters still fight fires, medics still make house calls, deliveries are being made and people are still leaving their homes to get to their essential jobs.


Those Christmas lights we sometimes take for granted mean a whole lot more to the people who have left their homes and the people they love behind.


I wrote this one December morning following a particularly brutal overnight shift. The ride home was surreal, light snow had begun to fall, and the homes that still had their lights on as darkness gave way to dawn created just enough magic inside of me to get me through.


I love Christmas lights.


I love the way they look.


I love the way they make me feel when I look at them.


I love leaving my house at four in the afternoon and turning them on, knowing full well I won’t be home till long after the timer turns them off.


I used to only turn them on when I was home to enjoy them.


Then I realized the lights aren’t about me, or even for me.


The lights are for everybody, just like everybody else’s lights are for me.


I’m glad I realized that, it makes me like the lights even more.




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.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Two gyms that were staying open in defiance of the state pause were ordered by a judge to close on Friday.  Dozens of crashes responded to by state police on Saturday as a winter storm moved through the area.  The Patriots are off to a good start on their L.A. road trip.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 1,413

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Department on Friday reported thirteen new coronavirus deaths to raise the state's death toll to one-thousand-413.  The state reported about 14-hundred new cases to raise the pandemic total for the Ocean State to over 62-thousand.  COVID-Act-Now-dot-org, which is affiliated with Georgetown, Stanford and Harvard Universities, is now putting Rhode Island at number one in the U.S. for daily new COVID cases per one-hundred-thousand.

>>Restraining Order Granted To Force Gym Closures

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island Superior Court judge on Friday issued a restraining order against two gyms which were defying the state's "pause" order to close.  In a hearing, the owners of Maxx Fitness in Lincoln and Warren challenged the state's legal authority to mandate gym closures, but an attorney for the state established the coronavirus public health emergency as the backbone for the pause.  Public health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott pointed to research that indicates gym patrons engage in vigorous exercise, which generates increased levels of respiratory droplets indoors.

>>Dozens Of Crashes During Saturday Storm; Under Half-Foot Of Snow

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island State Police said they responded to 40 motor vehicle crashes during the nor'easter that went through New England on Saturday, according to WJAR-TV.  The lone damage report from the National Weather Service from Saturday's storm was a large tree branch crashing into a house in Cumberland.  The highest snow total for Rhode Island was four-point-one inches in Foster, according to the weather service.  The same storm delivered over a foot of snow to parts of Massachusetts.

>>Changes Recommended To Central Falls Use Of Force Policy

(Central Falls, RI)  --  A commission in Central Falls is recommending changes to the city police department's use of force policy.  The commission was appointed by Mayor James Diossa [[ dee-OH-sah ]] following the death of George Floyd.  The recommendations include prohibiting all chokeholds unless lethal force is authorized and placing a duty to intervene on officers observing a colleague using excessive force.  It's not clear if or when the city may adopt the changes.

>>Patriots Shut Out L.A. Chargers

(Inglewood, CA)  --  The New England Patriots have pulled to 6-and-6 this year after a 45-to-0 thumping of the Los Angeles Chargers on Sunday.  New England remains on the outside of the playoff bubble with two teams ahead of them.  The Pats are staying in L.A. to play the Rams on Thursday night.  Sad news from the organization came this weekend when it was announced that longtime cheerleading director Tracy Sormanti died.  Sormanti was 58 and had been battling multiple myeloma cancer, according to the team.

>>RISPCA Warns About Parvovirus-Infected Puppies

(Riverside, RI)  --  The Rhode Island SPCA is putting out a warning to dog owners.  The organization says several puppies recently advertised on Craiglist were diagnosed with canine parvovirus, a highly-contagious and potentially fatal animal disease.  The SPCA says if you purchased a pup through the website, you should contact your veterinarian and get any other dogs in your home vaccinated.

>>Providence Tree-Lighting Ceremony Postponed To Tuesday

(Providence, RI)  --  A virtual tree-lighting ceremony hosted by the city of Providence was postponed Saturday due to the weather.  It has been re-scheduled for Tuesday at 5 p.m.  The event will be live-streamed on Mayor Jorge Elorza's Facebook page.

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

12-07-2020 01:23:10

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 4, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – today – Dec. 4, 2020

December 4, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Presidents Obama, Bush, and Clinton said they will take the COVID-19 vaccine shot when it is their time and do it publicly as a way to encourage the public to take it and that it is safe.


Rhode Island and Vicinity


The Boston Globe reports that Mayor Grebien of Pawtucket said that “123 people were tested at one of Pawtucket’s testing sites on Tuesday, and a whopping 26 percent of them tested positive”.  Grebien is now back to work, having recovered from his coronavirus infection. His wife is recovering as well.


According to the Newport Daily News, “Newport Hospital is not experiencing the crisis capacity issues other hospitals are facing. I think people in this area are being careful, are listening to precautions and following the rules. When patients are sick, they are able to stay at home. The number of patients in our ICU and in critical care has been very small.” The hospital has had, on average, 10 COVID patients on a daily basis in recent weeks, so a third of COVID capacity or about 10% of overall hospital capacity.” Their Surge I plan calls for use of other hospital areas, to accommodate 20 to 30 more at COVID capacity. Higher surge capacity could be accommodated by using other areas of the hospital without using field hospitals.


The Rhode Community Food Bank saw its demand for food increase by 26%.


Christmas Tree retailers are all reporting a massive boom in business as people are decorating earlier and spending more on holiday decorations.


Commerce Corporation announced 45 new grants worth $3 million to RI arts and hospitality-related businesses and organizations to help them deal with COVID19 losses.


3 ACI prisoners are in the hospital


RI DBR Compliance Orders – Maxx Fitness Clubzz – Lincoln & Warren facilities


Care New England is looking for donations of new or used books, puzzle books, ipads, tablets, Christmas cards, etc. for patients at the field hospital.


Only $3.012 million of the $13.5 million in federal rental assistance has been used. $9 million remains but must be used by Dec. 31 deadline to spend CARES Act funds.


Edge Fitness on Cranston/Warwick line has moved his equipment into his parking lot where they are now offering outdoor training.


Narragansett Cafe in Jamestown is closed and up for sale.


Gallery Z has closed its retail location and moves to online and other venue ideas


25% of the East Greenwich Fire Department firefighters who had tested positive were actually negative.


RI Data:


Today’s Data: Dec. 3, 2020

Deaths: 9 (Deaths in-hospital: 3)

Total tests: 16,557

Total positives: 1,330

Percent positive: 8%

Hospitalized: 409 (New admissions: 44; discharges: 53)

ICU: 45

Ventilated: 31

9 Deaths = 1 in 50s, 1 in 60s, 2 in 70s, 4 in 80s, 1 in 90s



Governor’s Address:


Data is not good – we should take action, not panic. Solution is within our control – we have the power. If we do all the preventive measures, the data will turn around.


Some good news that people are following the rules – enforcement unit had no calls about large gatherings.


700 business inspections – 99% were observing rules. 96% good social distancing. Nearly 100% complying with capacity limits.


Tracking mobility data – traffic data – shows significant and steady decline since last Wed. Traffic in RI 10% less. Decrease has continued even more.


Don’t know if we can lift pause at end of 2 weeks. Would like to but data will tell us if we can.


Biggest concern is overwhelming our hospital system.  Both field hospitals are open. 7 in Cranston and 20 in Providence site – by the end of the week, probably 40-50. TY to Lifespan and Care New England. Quality of field hospitals is as good as it gets. Capacity is 900 beds. But we do not have the staff to staff them. Hard to get more staff in because every state is looking to recruit staff. Calling on everyone who can help out who is a healthcare professional, to help out. Retirees, students…we can issue temporary licenses.  “Asking you to suit up and help us out.” Go to: or go to or websites. In the past when we issued a call within a day or two we’ve had hundreds of volunteers. Volunteers who are not medical people can go to


Testing – changes we made will make testing quicker and more accessible. On Monday, we opened a BinaxNow easy testing center. 500 a day capacity. By Monday we will be up to 2500 a day. McCoy is up 1/3 capacity. More sites for those who are symptomatic. We are going to exceed our goal of testing.  


Central Falls pilot project going well – bringing the testing TO the community.


Vaccines – a lot of good news. Two companies – Pfizer and Moderna – on their way to approval of vaccine that is 95% effective. Miraculously effective. 3 clinical trials, 70,000 tested, FDA approval – then will come here and to other states. We have a plan to get the vaccine out to people. Both vaccines require 2 doses to be effective – 3-4 weeks apart. By mid-December we will have some vaccine in RI – very limited – ramping up over a period of weeks/months. What I think we can expect to get 10K Pfizer vaccine in next few weeks – 19K of Moderna the week after that. Prioritizing where they will be going – healthcare workers, first responders, etc. Publicly available info on this at: Hope is on the way. Vaccine is highly effective and highly safe. But it will start with a trickle.


By the time we get to summer, we should have a fantastic one to look forward to. Feel confident that we’re going to be back on track.


(Spoke to rumor about her potential to go to DC – “I am not going to be Pres. Biden’s nominee”)


Dr. Scott


Watching geographic areas of outbreak. We are now seeing case increases throughout the entire state, not just in dense areas. It no longer matters where you live in RI. Early on we were focused on nursing homes, now we are seeing deaths of people not in congregate settings.


Testing – please take advantage of asymptomatic testing. Dr. Scott demonstrated a BiNex self-swab test, showing the steps and pieces of the test.


Monoclonal antibody therapeutic coming soon to RI. It is an infusion for those who are sick (see CVS story today in RINewsToday).




Q: Contact tracing –

A: Widespread community transmission. Congregate settings can be the result of community spread – not originating there.


Q: How do we stand next to our neighboring states on contact tracing?

A: We’ve reduced the backlog, better technology, encouraging patients to tell their contacts, etc. – shared responsibility is helpful.


Q: Is state going to fine gyms and restaurants?

A: (Stefan Pryor) – We have a system to progressively leaning in to companies that are either unknowingly or intentionally violating protocols. Most commonly businesses didn’t know what they should be doing. After repeated non-compliance, there are legal remedies.


Q: Ex-parte hearing with Maxx Fitness right now? How far is the state willing to go?

A: We have a set of rules, then are sensible, we compensate for revenue lost.


Q: If leader of free world asks you to step up, don’t you feel some obligation to step up?

A: I feel a massive obligation to people of RI – I have nothing more to say about this.


Q: Funerals? What about outdoor funerals? The response is laughable to restrict this.

A: These stories are truly heartbreaking, and my inbox is full of cases like this. There are some exceptions that can be made.


Q: 720 members of wedding groups and others are demonstrating- will you get together with them?

A:  Yes, I hve a program to help them.


Q: Sigificant outbreak at ACI and Medical Director has resigned.

A: Yes, 600 cases at maximum. Serious situation. We’re doing everything we know how to do. That facility was not built with good public health situations in mind. Difficult environment to control outbreak. We are “all over it” – every inmate is testing, full medical evaluation if you get sick, 2 or 3 in the hospital. Dr. Clark resigned. She’s fantastic – sad to see her go. Early release: I don’t have power to do that. For a few dozen people we did that early on. For non-violent criminals – this situation is in maximum security – they are not appropriate for release of any kind.


Q: Plan for ACI vaccines?

A:  Dr. Scott – they are considered a high risk population, so they will get it in order.


Q:  What is being done differently to help nursing homes as we begin to uptick?

A:  Fatality rate is significantly less. We are aggressive with cyclical testing.
Reinitiating weekly regular cyclical testing a well. Staff is more familiar, better treatments.


Q: Concerns about mental health issues in this lockdown?

A: Always has been a priority. We are leveraging our HHS agencies; and other agencies to continue to build a response to this problem.


Cases in RI, by community


National and International


Presidents Obama, Clinton and Bush have all agreed to publicly take the vaccine, to put the public’s concern at ease.


Dr. Fauci says he will be staying on at NIH after talking with Biden “landing team”.


Saying, “If we saw an end in sight to the pandemic, we might have a different strategy. But we don’t see that at this moment.” Warner Bros. executives announced all new films will be streamed on HBO at the same time they are released to theaters. HBO will run them for 30 days.


The Mayor of Austin, Texas recorded a video encouraging people to stay at home – until it was revealed that the video was shot in Cabo San Lucas, in Mexico, after his daughter’s wedding. This incident can be added to 4 or 5 others from Governors/Mayors who have done mixed messages like this.


Walmart says for the fourth time during the pandemic it will be giving its 1.5 million U.S. part-time and full-time employees additional cash bonuses.


The San Francisco 49ers have relocated to Arizona for three weeks after strict new COVID-19 protocols in their home county prohibited contact sports and practices


The UN Chief said it is foolish to think that a vaccine can undue the economic devastation of the pandemic.


IBM is reporting cyberattacks on vaccine delivery processes.


Italy has told its residents to plan on celebrating Christmas in their own homes.


Carnival Cruises are canceled through at least February.


Fairhaven, MA Town Hall closed for deep cleaning after a staff member tested positive.


Homeland Security warns hackers not to disrupt the vaccine chain – there have been attempts noted all along the chain, including in the storage and shipment lines.


CVS has been chosen by HHS to administer therapeutic infusions in patient’s home and in long term care facilities.


Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Gina Raimondo says she will not be Joe Biden's Health and Human Services Secretary.  Rhode Island is seeking to force the closure of a gym that is staying open despite the state-ordered "pause".  The Patriots are in L.A.

>>Raimondo Addresses Biden Cabinet Report

(Providence, RI)  --  One day after a report said Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo was in the running for President-elect Biden's Health and Human Services Secretary, Raimondo said she won't take that job.  At a coronavirus press briefing on Thursday, Raimondo said rumors are rampant and that there was a lot of speculation about her being considered for the position.  The governor said she is focused on Rhode Island.  She declined comment when asked if she would consider another position in the Biden cabinet.  Raimondo was reportedly interviewed about being Biden's running mate earlier this year.

>>Rhode Island Seeking Restraining Order Against Gyms Staying Open

(Lincoln, RI)  --  The Providence Journal reports the state of Rhode Island is seeking a restraining order to close a local gym that is defying the "pause" instituted by Governor Raimondo to fight COVID.  Maxx Fitness operates facilities in Lincoln and Warren, but the focus was on the Lincoln facility in Superior Court documents submitted by the state on Thursday, according to the Journal report.  Rhode Island public health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said in an affidavit that gym patrons engaging in vigorous exercise generates increased levels of respiratory droplets indoors.

>>Fatal Crash On Route 195 In Somerset, Massachusetts

(Somerset, MA)  --  The Massachusetts State Police is investigating a fatal crash on Interstate 195 in Somerset on Thursday afternoon.  Troopers responded to reports of a vehicle going off the road into a wooded area on Route 195 eastbound at around 2:30.  The driver's name was not released, but state police said it was a 67-year-old Fall River man.  He was pronounced dead at the scene.

>>RIDOT Previews Traffic Pattern Changes For 6-10 Connector

(Providence, RI)  --  The RI Department of Transportation is announcing several traffic pattern changes on the 6-10 Connector in Providence starting next Wednesday as part of the ongoing project for the highway interchange.  RIDOT says drivers will have to make a decision about a quarter-mile sooner between 6-10 north towards downtown Prov and Route 10 south towards Cranston.  The split is now just before the Hartford Avenue on-ramp.  Drivers will only be able to use the Plainfield Street on-ramp to access Route 10 south.  And traffic on Route 6 east will shift onto a newly-built section of the bridge to continue towards downtown.

>>Patriots Versus Chargers Sunday

(Inglewood, CA)  --  The Patriots are playing two straight games in Los Angeles.  First up is a match against the Chargers on Sunday at 4:25 p.m. Eastern time.  Then the Pats will play the L.A. Rams next Thursday.  New England finds itself in unfamiliar territory this century: scrapping for a playoff spot in December, currently outside the bubble with a record of 5-and-6.

>>Tree-Lighting Ceremony Saturday In Providence, Big Blue Bug Lit

(Providence, RI)  --  The coronavirus isn't stopping Providence from lighting up its holiday tree, but it is making it a virtual experience this year.  The event at 5 p.m. Saturday will be live-streamed on Mayor Jorge Elorza's Facebook page.  Elsewhere in Providence, a virtual ceremony was held earlier this week for the Big Blue Bug light adornment on I-95.  This is the 28th year that the pest control company has lit up the bug mascot.

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

12-04-2020 01:48:02

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 3, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today – Dec. 3, 2020

December 3, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: A rally is planned today at the Veterans Auditorium during the Governor’s press conference TODAY at 1pm – Rally is from 11:45 to 3pm. Details below from the RI Coalition of Wedding and Event Professionals.



2,000 signatures have been gathered on a petition by the group on looser restrictions.




Head of Medical Services for RI Dept. of Corrections will leave at the end of the week – with over 900 ACI prisoners testing positive. The Public Defender’s filed an emergency petition with the Supreme Court requesting that it exercise its power during the public health crisis to modify bail guidelines to temporarily require that judges set personal recognizance bail, except in extraordinary circumstances that are stated for the record.  The DOC facilities have a total of over 900 positive cases.



Rhode Island ranked among the top 10 nationally in new per capita coronavirus cases, according to The New York Times, with no other New England state or New York in the top half of states. RI’s older population, those living in nursing homes, and our density contribute – as the 9th “oldest state” in the US.


Dr. Fine said we may have 60,000 doses for Rhode Island. 40% of people may have small side effects – tiredness, fever, headache, similar to reaction to regular flu shots, though perhaps a little more. 2 days out of work after the shot would be recommended. We will have to phase in for healthcare workers.


An outbreak at an assisted living facility in Lincoln – Atria – has 16 out of 21 residents and 6 staff positive.


89% of ACI inmates at maximum security have tested positive – 316 of 354 inmates – per RI Dept. of Corrections.


Lifespan is reporting a $21Million profit, and credits CARES dollars. Last year they had a $35M loss. This year they received $45M in federal assistance and $25M from the local RI Partnership of hospitals.


Crossroads has opened a new temporary shelter for 30 homeless individuals on Pine Street in Providence.


Pawtucket Library is closed to the public during the state’s pause.


Two gyms in RI have remained open, challenging the state’s shutdown order.  Maxx Fitness in Lincoln and Warren. They have 50 employees and say they could not exist if they suffered another closedown. Both gyms were fined and told to close immediately. The owner said they will not comply.


The Scandinavian Home in Providence was fined over $47K from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has fined 218 nursing homes more than $17.6 million for the most serious infection control violations that put residents in “immediate jeopardy,” conditions CMS believes are likely to seriously injure or kill them. Notably, the Scandinavian Home is among the lowest for COVID19 cases and deaths.


“As {RI} hospitals fill up, the bar for admission is rising. A patient who might have been admitted 4 weeks ago may get sent home now.” – according to Dr. Jha of Brown University


The Providence City Council sent a letter to the Governor from its members voicing their strong disapproval of the administration’s aid-cutting actions so far, including a 50% cut to the city’s anticipated $5,155,694 in ‘distressed’ communities aid. They asked the governor to reverse course. This action follows the lawsuit followed by Mayor Fung on behalf of Cranston’s not having received their PILOT funds.


India Restaurant in Providence is offering 100 free meals each day in December to those struggling this holiday season – between 2-5pm, chicken/vegan.


Ambulance companies have said they cannot continue without funds.


Monday is the last day for the program that has allowed restaurants in Boston to use sidewalks and public streets for outdoor dining.


Axios is reporting that Rhode Island reached its hospital capacity on Monday


Gurney’s Ice Skating Rink in Newport will not open this year.


Governor Raimondo – announcement on nine major changes to our testing system:


Last week, we launched a new texting system to let people know that their test results are available at Going forward, if you provide your cell phone number when you sign up to get tested, you’ll receive a text message as soon as your results are available on the portal. 

  1. Over the next week, we are dramatically scaling up our daily testing volume, with the goal of doubling the number of state-run tests by the end of our two-week pause.
  2. To ensure people with symptoms can get tested quickly, we’re going to be reserving 3,000 daily tests for people with symptoms on the portal at
  3. Starting December 2, all asymptomatic Rhode Islanders can get tested through the portal – you no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. 
  4. We’re deploying our new BinaxNOW tests across the state, which doesn’t require much equipment and can process results in as little as 15 minutes. 
  5. We’re also adding more testing sites. This week, we’re opening a new, asymptomatic-only testing site at the Dunkin Donuts center. And we’re scaling up that site over the next few weeks until it has the capacity to run 5,000 daily BinaxNOW tests. 
  6. We’re using these new tests to do targeted testing in high-density communities. Last week, we launched a pilot program in Central Falls and will soon have the capacity to run 1,000 daily tests for anyone in the city community, regardless of symptoms. 
  7. Starting next week, we’re going to run cyclical tests with BinaxNOW for health care workers, teachers and students at select schools, and first responders. 
  8. Over the next month, we’ll be partnering with the Broad Institute and CIC Health to enable businesses to easily order and conduct tests for their employees.


RI Data – Nov. 30, 2020





Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, an outside group of medical experts that advises the CDC, met to vote on which groups are expected to receive the first doses of one of the vaccines. Governors would have leeway within these groups. They said, “When a COVID-19 vaccine is authorized by FDA and recommended by ACIP, health care personnel and residents of long term care facilities should be offered vaccinations in the initial phase of the COVID-19 vaccination program.”  This would be people who work in:




Long-term care facilities




Home healthcare workers


Public health officials


800,000 vaccines will be delivered by Pfizer to England next week for immediate use


New quarantine recommendations for those who have had contact with someone who is positive (not if you are sick) – is 7-10 days.


The FDA has issued guidance on health fraud scams and bogus vaccine claims:


76 nuns test positive in a monastery in Germany



Packed stadiums and a more normal fan experience could return by late 2021, Anthony Fauci told Sports Illustrated. Fauci was referencing April, May, June.


CDC has issued new warning to those over 65 – they should not enter anywhere indoors without people wearing masks and get their medications and food delivered.


Presidents Bush and Obama are going to get their vaccines live, on-camera, to try to help people see them as safe.


UK will begin the Pfizer vaccine next week, with those over 80, elderly in homes, then go out in batches by age group – military will insist – stadiums, etc. will act as sites. By January drug stores will serve as sites to innoculate the public. Shots are two, 21 days apart. “This is the beginning of the end of the pandemic,” said UK health officer.


Before February we could lose 450,000 people in the US


Moderna will now begin testing its vaccine on children ages 12 to 18


New Hampshire State lawmakers bundled up and spread out on an athletic field Wednesday to start their next two-year session.


The owner of Mac’s restaurant in Statan Island was arrested after failing to close his business – resulting in demonstrations over over 1,000 people in the streets.


Russia has already vaccinated 100,000 with their Sputnik V vaccine and will begin broader vaccinations next week.


Brazil is the first country to prioritize a special population – Indigenous populations – in the first group to be vaccinated, including elderly, healthcare workers, etc.


The CDC is urging Americans to avoid all travel to Mexico as that country grapples with rising deaths.


UPS is telling drivers to stop picking up at Walmart, Macy’s, LL Bean, and other big box stores – placing management on surges. Dec. 15th ground deadline for UPS/Fed Ex and the 18th for express. 800 Million packages will be delivered.


A New Orleans “Swingers” Convention has had 41 people test positive.


Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff called the $28 billion move a bet that pandemic-driven changes to work aren’t a temporary blip, but a more permanent shift will be to remote work, with Slack supplanting email as a favored means of business communication


Gov. Mills of Maine is now in quarantine – 20 deaths have happened in Maine


Association of ambulance companies have told the federal government that the industry is in serious financial straits.


NYC public schools will begin to open on Dec. 7.


To see the Rockefeller Christmas Tree in NYC, you have to sign up ahead of time, be in a pod, and stay for 5 minutes, only.


99 prisoners test positive in Hampden jail system.


Some research has shown that the virus could have been in the US, and New England, as early as Nov of 2019.


Cambridge-based Moderna is planning to study its COVID-19 vaccine in children between the ages of 12 and 18.


Waltham ended a pedestrian area that was created over the summer to support local businesses and restaurants during the COVID-19 pandemic.


Dr. Fauci said that if he had one thing to recommend to keep safe over this outbreak is to keep our gatherings to those we live with only – the very antithesis, he says, of the holiday season.


Dr. Fauci said it’s “not too late” for people traveling back home after Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of the virus by wearing masks, staying distant from others and avoiding large groups of people.


Free coffee for 1st responders and front line workers all month at Starbucks.


Infection is being driven now by those who are positive, with no symptoms.


Other research – Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London estimated that their work has already been delayed by an average of six months.


Kantaro Biosciences has received Emergency Use Authorization from FDA for COVID-SeroKlir, its semi-quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test kit. Unlike other antibody tests, COVID-SeroKlir determines the presence and precise level of IgG antibodies and has a broad range of applications in the fight against COVID-19. Through a commercial partnership with Bio-Techne Corporation the test kits are being manufactured at scale with a capacity of up to 10 million tests per month and the ability to scale up.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources. “If a hospital gets overwhelmed, there will be a state investigation. And if the result of that investigation is they did not distribute the patients, that will be malpractice on their part,” Cuomo said, noting that the state’s mandate would be effective immediately. Elective surgeries must be halted in Erie County as of Friday. Other parts of the state will be required to cancel elective surgeries if cases continue to get worse.


Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks. Hospitals in Utah say they are already informally rationing care, although no one has been ejected from ICUs yet.


Overall, patients who are hospitalized with COVID are reportedly surviving at higher rates than in the spring and summer, per STAT News. Many patients are younger, and effective treatments are being used more frequently.


The CDC says that four national forecasts, including Johns Hopkins’ applied physics lab, predict a likely increase in new hospitalizations per day over the next four weeks.


Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population. The latter is the same root of “democracy,” Sokolowski noted. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said. That was after the plagues of the Middle Ages.


Moderna submitted their vaccine to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.


Pfizer is shipping their vaccines now all over the world.


Gov. Baker of Massachusetts said the state is not planning any additional shutdowns or restrictions at this time. “Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker said Tuesday that despite rumors to the contrary, the state has no plans to further curtail the activity of residents to limit the spread of COVID as winter approaches. ‘There’s … been a lot of misinformation going around about things that are going to get shut down here, there, everywhere, at a moment’s notice,’ Baker said. ‘People have enough stress in their lives without having to deal with the rumor mongering.’”


Vaccine – A new poll of Massachusetts residents found that more than one-third of respondents are reluctant to take the injections.


The CDC is reducing quarantine recommendations. For those who were exposed and tested negative, from 14 to 7 days. For those who were exposed, not tested, recommendation is 10 days.


The CDC is strongly urging people not to travel for the holidays. If you must, they recommend testing 1-3 days before and 3-5 days after travel.


Governor Raimondo is a keynote speaker at Dreamforce to you 2020 – a meeting of Salesforce – Success to You:

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

AARP Fights Consumer Fraud – by Herb Weiss

December 3, 2020/Herb Weiss


AARP Continues its Fight Against Consumer Fraud  


By Herb Weiss 


Every year, fraudsters continue to operate government imposter scams falsely claim to be from federal agencies, including the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, to get people to turn over money or personal information. Every year, hundreds of thousands of Americans continue to fall victim to these scams.


FTC Compiles Fraud Complaints


Last January, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) released its annual report detailing data from the Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2019, continuing to put a spotlight on the impact of imposter scams and identify fraud on consumers across the nation. Expect the FTC to release its 2020 data book early next year.


The data book, initially released in 2008, includes national statistics, as well as a state-by-state listing of top report categories in each states, and a listing of metropolitan areas that generated the most complaints per 100,000 population.


According to the FTC, its 2019 database network receives reports directly from consumers, as well as from federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies and a number of private partners. Last year, the network received 3.2 million reports, including nearly 1.7 million fraud reports as well as identity theft and other reports.


The researchers found that younger people reported losing money to fraud more often than older people. But, when people age 70 and over had losses, the median loss was much higher, they say.  


Imposter scams, a subset of Fraud reports, followed closely behind with 657,472 reports from consumers of 2019. The most common type of fraud reported to the FTC last year was identified theft scams, with imposter scams following closely behind.    


Specifically, last year there were over 647,000 imposter scams reported to FTC’s database. Thirteen percent of those calling reported a dollar loss, totaling nearly $667 million lost to imposter scammers. These scams include, for example, romance scams, people falsely claiming to be the government, a relative in distress, a well-known business, or a technical support expert, to get a consumer’s money.


Of the 1.7 million fraud reports, 23 percent indicated money was lost. In 2019, people reported losing more than $1.9 billion to fraud – an increase of $293 million over what was reported in 2018.


Protecting Yourself Against Scammers


With the release of a new report, AARP continues its efforts to combat identify theft and imposter scams. The Washington, DC-based nonprofits continues to report on the latest scams, exploring its impact on U.S. adults age 55 and over and how technology may play a role in their ability to protect themselves from financial harm. The 16-page report, “Identity Fraud in Three Acts,” developed by Javelin Strategy & Research and sponsored by AARP, reveals that 26 percent of seniors have been victims of identity fraud. But researchers say that more are taking additional safeguards to prevent losses of personal information. Following an identity theft incident, 29 percent have placed credit freezes on their credit bureau information, and more than half have enrolled in identity protection or credit monitoring services.


“Older Americans are leading more digitally infused lives, with two-thirds using online banking weekly, so it’s encouraging to see that many are taking proactive steps to protect their identity following a data breach,” said Kathy Stokes, Director of AARP Fraud Prevention Programs in a statement announcing the release of the report. “Passwords still represent a security threat, however; using repeated passwords across multiple online accounts makes it easy for criminals to crack one of them so that all of your accounts – including financial accounts – become accessible,” says Stokes.


According to the AARP report, age 55 and over consumers call for banks to use stronger security authentication. About 90 percent support the use of more fingerprint scanning, and 80 percent view facial recognition capabilities as a reliable form of technology for financial transactions and private business matters. The report’s findings indicate that identity fraud victims age 65 and over do not necessarily change how they shop, bank or pay following a fraudulent event, with 70 percent exhibiting reluctance to change familiar habits.


“Criminals are regularly targeting age 55 and over Americans through a combination of sophisticated scams via computer malware and also through more traditional low-tech channels via telephone and U.S. mail,” says the AARP report’s author, John Buzzard, Lead Analyst, Fraud and Security at Javelin. “The combination of high-tech and low-tech strategies unfortunately gives the upper hand to the criminal — not the consumer,” he adds.


The AARP report provides these tips to older consumers to protect their pocketbooks. Just hang up on strangers. Independently verify everything.  Always adopt security practices that go beyond a single password.  Consider using a password manager tool or app to create and safely store complex passwords.  Always write down important numbers of companies you do business with rather than rely on a web search for a customer service number, as criminals post fake numbers online.  


The report also recommends securing your devices – mobile phones, laptops and tablets- with a complex password, preferably with screen locks that use a fingerprint or facial recognition and secure personal payments with digital wallets.


Be vigilant.  Don’t become a sucker for scams.  


To report a compliant, call the Consumer Sentinel HelpLine at 1.877.701.9595.


For a copy of Consumer Sentinel Network Data Book 2019, go to:


For a copy of “Identity Fraud in Three Acts,” go to:


To learn more about AARP’s fraud prevention programs, visit  




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


(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Gina Raimondo is reportedly being considered for the position of Health and Human Services Secretary in Joe Biden's administration.  Rhode Island is ordering a couple of gyms that are staying open despite the "pause" to close.  There's a traffic pattern change to watch out for on I-95 in Providence.

>>Report: Raimondo Being Considered For Health And Human Services Secretary

(Undated)  --  An NBC News report on Wednesday indicated Governor Gina Raimondo is a leading contender for President-elect Joe Biden's Health and Human Services Secretary.  Citing sources, the NBC News report said former Surgeon General Vivek Murthy [[ viv-ECK MORE-thee ]] is the other candidate for the position.  There was no comment from Governor Raimondo yesterday.  She reportedly impressed interviewers trying to determine a running mate for Biden this past summer.

>>Rhode Island Orders Gyms Defying 'Pause' To Close

(Undated)  --  The state of Rhode Island has responded to a couple of gyms defying an order to close as part of a COVID-fighting "pause" period.  Maxx Fitness in Warren and Lincoln have been ordered to stop operating by the state and have received five-hundred-dollar citations each.  However, the gyms remained open on Wednesday.

>>RIDOT Removing I-95 Lane Split In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is removing a lane split on I-95 in Providence today.  This is on 95 north over Eddy Street as part of an ongoing rehab of that bridge.  RIDOT says all lanes will be shifted to the right, which will last through the winter, in addition to a lane shift on the southbound side of the bridge.

>>Restaurant Software Company Upserve Sold

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence company has been purchased for nearly a half-billion dollars.  Upserve, a restaurant software management company, has been acquired by Montreal-based point-of-sale and e-commerce software provider Lightspeed.  Upserve, which was founded in 2009 as Swipely, said Lightspeed has no current plans to move the office from Providence, according to a report from The Providence Journal.

>>New Town Clock Installed In North Providence

(North Providence, RI)  --  A new town clock in North Providence will give people going to Town Hall something to look at.  The Valley Breeze reports the elaborately-designed blue-and-yellow clock built by Electric Time Company of Medfield, Massachusetts was installed in the nearby roundabout on Smith Street.  Mayor Charles Lombardi said it's a sign of the redevelopment of the town's Centredale section.

>>Celtics To Host Bucks In Season Opener

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Celtics will be at home to start the 2020-21 season.  They will tip off the campaign Wednesday, December 23rd at home against the Milwaukee Bucks.  The C's will then host the Brooklyn Nets on Christmas.

Jim McCabe/Rick Maklebust/djc           RI) MA)

Copyright © 2020
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

12-03-2020 01:46:01

Multi-Cultural innovation Center helps Women and Minority-owned Businesses

Multi-Cultural Innovation Center helps Women & Minority-Owned Small Businesses

December 2, 2020/RINewsToday


The impact of Small Business Saturday last weekend is yet to be determined. For Rhode Island women and minority owned small businesses, the financial impact of COVID-19 goes beyond a one-day fix, and the Multicultural Innovation Center (MIC) is a resource that minority and women owned businesses are able to turn to for assistance. 


The Multicultural Innovation Center (MIC), located in Providence, is a consulting firm providing administrative support for business, consultation on business to customer relations, and technical assistance through workshops and online training. MIC advises on a variety.


One example of their success was a recent project with JaPattyRI Bakery, in Pawtucket. Despite the loss of major catering events, the company had managed to sustain itself. Established in 2018, JaPattyRI is known for their freshly baked Jamaican patties and Caribbean food. With the assistance of MIC and CommerceRI, they were awarded a RestoreRI grant. Because of this grant, the company increased its online marketing and sales process to include an expansion to wholesale. 


Going forward, JaPattyRI currently has a request in for the Adaptation Grant of $50,000 grant that the MIC team also helped them to prepare. The Adaptation Grant is part of a series of funding secured from Commerce RI. They have been receiving funds from Commerce RI over the last couple of months. “Without the help of MIC and Commerce RI, we would have been in an even tougher place,” says co-operator Conroy Outar.


MIC is a membership based providing support in the development of Rhode Island start-ups through administrative support services The MIC team advises by providing them with advisory and administrative support services.  MIC works with start-ups to ensure they are stable and financially viable. MIC offers Business Administration, Project Management, Accounting and Technical support.


Once you become a MIC member, you unlock the door to membership benefits includes a comprehensive consult to help identify gaps and opportunities, a comprehensive report that includes a project plan with timelines and milestones, a cost analysis, and a schedule. We also offer a suite of quality products that will help you get there quickly and smoothly.


For questions you can’t solve on your own…


The MIC’s experienced small business experts understand the challenges women and minority owned businesses face. In addition to helping them define the beginning and ending points they also find the right path for the company. Having MIC by your side will help you establish a clear vision, with long term goals, and a road map to accomplish them.


A great business consultant helps you improve your business quality and performance, analyze new opportunities, and develop and execute better strategies. A business always needs a proper strategy, and our experts can help to update your business plan when it feels like something’s missing. With MIC, before long, companies will focus on getting the right people, processes, systems and policies in place, so they can run their business more efficiently, accelerate business growth, and reduce dependence just on the owner and other key employees.


MIC will help you identify opportunities and risks before they become emergencies. With their assistance, you can pivot from making rushed, last minute decisions to executing a carefully planned strategy that helps you achieve your business goals backed with expert financial management. The time and money saved using their specialized advice to develop a strategic plan will help assure the success of the future of your business.


MIC works as a membership group. Today you get sample a free 1-hour in-depth consultation to help spark your creativity and obtain new objectives to help you get back on track. Whatever it is you may need assistance with, they are more than willing to help to the best of their abilities.


If you have a question on the following topics below, start an MIC business membership now to have someone to turn to when you don’t have all the answers. They work with individuals who are knowledgeable in small business advice, guidance, tax services and support on an ongoing, regular basis.



Business Administration

– Accounting

– Human resources

– Operations

– Project Management

– Technical Support


Business and Management Consultants

– Marketing

– Public relations

– Finance

– Insurance

– Business Development

– Product Development

– Manufacturing Process Development


For additional information on the Multi-Cultural Innovation Center call 401-757-0055 or go to:



About JAPattyRI


Support JAPattyRI by placing an order for Beef Patties or other bakery items – just contact JAPattyRI by calling 401-302-3185 or emailing


JaPatty is located at 560 Mineral Spring Avenue, Suite 2-136 in Pawtucket.

Who gets the first COVID-19 vaccinations

Who gets the first COVID-19 Vaccinations

December 2, 2020/RINewsToday


Before one or more COVID-19 vaccines are authorized for use by FDA, a committee of medical and public health experts that advises CDC met on Tuesday to provide interim guidance on who should get the initial doses of vaccine.


The committee recommended healthcare personnel and people who live in long-term care facilities should receive COVID-19 vaccination first while supplies are limited.


The CDC Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) is a federal advisory committee made up of medical and public health experts who develop recommendations on the use of all vaccines in the U.S. public.


The vote was nearly unanimous with one exception. There has been some discussion that the White House may have preferred to see “those adults over 65” vaccinated first.


These recommendations are just that – recommendations – and go to the Governors in each state for their decision on use as well. It would be expected that Governors would agree with the CDC recommendations.


The committee intends to meet again following FDA authorization for vaccine-specific recommendations. Learn more about COVID-19 vaccines:

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Police identify the man whose body was found near Route 295 last week.  The medical director of the state Department of Corrections is leaving as COVID cases spike at the prison.  A Newport board votes against a potential ban on marijuana sales.

>>Body Of Man Discovered Near Route 295 ID'd

(Cumberland, RI)  --  Police have identified the individual who was found dead near Interstate 295 in Cumberland on Friday.  The Providence Police Department says it was a resident of the capital city, Jose Segura.  The discovery of the body is being investigated as a homicide.  Segura was reported missing earlier this month, according to police.

>>Department Of Corrections Medical Director Leaving

(Cranston, RI)  --  The medical director of the Rhode Island Department of Corrections is stepping down as coronavirus cases at the ACI spiked by the hundreds last month.  The DOC says Dr. Jennifer Clarke has given notice that she will leave at the end of this week.  A spokesperson said it's a loss for the department and that Clarke put in "countless hours of hard work" during the virus pandemic.

>>Cumberland Neighborhood Flooded

(Cumberland, RI)  --  A Cumberland neighborhood is dealing with the aftermath of major flooding from Monday's storm.  WPRI-TV reports basements were being pumped Tuesday in the area of Linwood Avenue after several inches of rain fell in the area.  The news channel reports public works, fire and transportation officials were on-site yesterday to investigate what caused that specific area to get flooded so badly.  One immediate action will be the replacement of a nearby town-owned drain pipe.

>>Shellfishing Restrictions Announced After Heavy Rain

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is announcing a number of shellfishing restrictions after the heavy rain that hit the state.  The DEM says Upper Bay Area "A" and "D" of Narragansett Bay will be re-opened noon December 11th.  Upper Bay Area "B" and the West and East Middle Bays of Narragansett will be closed through noon December 8th.  Shellfishing also faces a weeklong closure in Greenwich Bay and the Point Judith Pond areas.

>>Newport Planning Board Votes Against Proposed Marijuana Sale Ban

(Newport, RI)  --  There continues to be a possible path to future marijuana sales in Newport.  The Daily News reports the city's planning board voted unanimously on Monday not to recommend a proposed zoning ordinance that would ban the sale of medical or recreational marijuana.  The recommendation goes to the City Council, which previously voted to impose a moratorium on pot sales that is set to expire in January.  There is currently one medical cannabis dispensary on Aquidneck Island, in Portsmouth.  Recreational marijuana sales are not currently legal in Rhode Island.

>>Gym With Two RI Locations Staying Open Despite 'Pause'

(Undated)  --  Just like earlier this year when gyms were closed because of the coronavirus pandemic, some are defiantly staying open.  Multiple media reports indicate Maxx Fitness in Lincoln and Warwick is continuing to operate despite the state initiating a two-week "pause", which mandates the closures of gyms and athletic centers.  State officials have not commented on Maxx Fitness being open, and it's not clear if any action from the state has been taken.

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

12-02-2020 01:57:07

Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 1, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 1, 2020

December 1, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Family walking on Sachuset – we look towards spring, a vaccine, and getting our lives back.




Crossroads has opened a new temporary shelter for 30 homeless individuals on Pine Street in Providence.


NBC10 reporting that nursing homes are experiencing staffing shortages – with 34% reporting problems. Many have left the profession after the beginning of the epidemic, or retired, according to the nursing home professional group.


Rhode Island will begin a pilot testing program for asymptomatic students and staff today at the Ella Risk Elementary school in Central Falls. Providence and Lincoln will start next week, for a total of 2,800 screenings.


Dr. Laura Forman gave a statement from the first field hospital in Cranston with its first patients – “we need everyone to stay home and stay safe”.


Julian Edelman of Patriots is on COVID list – meaning exposure to COVID


In Worcester, the police department has 26 officers out of work after testing positive, and another 13 who are out while they await test results; 8 firefighters are out and 6 more awaiting test results.


The Scandinavian Home in Providence was fined over $47K from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has fined 218 nursing homes more than $17.6 million for the most serious infection control violations that put residents in “immediate jeopardy,” conditions CMS believes are likely to seriously injure or kill them. Notably, the Scandinavian Home is among the lowest for COVID19 cases and deaths.


89% or more of ACI inmates at maximum security have tested positive – 316 of 354 inmates – per RI Dept. of Corrections – a total of 600+ now positive in the corrections system.


Travel during the holiday week, according to surveillance data on publicly available monitoring groups was lower than last year. Less than 1% of people screened at the airport were positive.


20/20 Hookah Lounge in Pawtucket has been fined over $4,000 multiple times. The owner said, “We’re not paying any of it” and said she will go to court.


Connecticut is giving $9M to local arts groups


Monday is the last day for the program that has allowed restaurants in Boston to use sidewalks and public streets for outdoor dining.


Axios is reporting that Rhode Island reached its hospital capacity on Monday


RI Companies in Violation:



Family Dollar, Valley St., Providence


Sunset Tint & Sign, Coventry


Choi’s Restaurant, Cranston St., Providence


Gurney’s Ice Skating Rink in Newport will not open this year.


Lt. Gov. Small Business Facebook Live – TODAY  –  NOON – here: []




1. Lt. Governor McKee: Opening Remarks


2. LG introduces Joe Rodio, Legal Counsel to Lt. Governor McKee


3. LG introduces SBA Director Mark Hayward: Federal Update


4. LG introduces DLT Assistant Director Matt Weldon: UI Update


5. LG introduces the RI Small Business Coalition ( ) featuring:


a. Justin Gontarek of Simplicity Print Studio


b. Chris Parisi of Trailblaze Marketing


c. Lori Giuttari of Visual Thrive ( )


6. LG introduces Small Business Panel featuring: (LG & Chris Parisi to lead panel)


a. Restaurants:


i. Cranston Councilman Ed Brady of The Thirsty Beaver, Huck’s Filling


Station & Milk Money (recently closed)


ii. Michael Strout, Team GottaQ & GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ


iii. David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI


b. Fitness:


i. Judah Boulet of No Risk Crossfit


ii. Robert Foster of RBF Fitness & Nutrition


iii. Paul Dexter of Dexter Training Concepts


c. Arts:


i. Hugo Adames of The Talent Factory


 Governor Raimondo – announcement on nine major changes to our testing system:

  1. Last week, we launched a new texting system to let people know that their test results are available at Going forward, if you provide your cell phone number when you sign up to get tested, you’ll receive a text message as soon as your results are available on the portal. 
  2. Over the next week, we are dramatically scaling up our daily testing volume, with the goal of doubling the number of state-run tests by the end of our two-week pause.
  3. To ensure people with symptoms can get tested quickly, we’re going to be reserving 3,000 daily tests for people with symptoms on the portal at
  4. Starting December 2, all asymptomatic Rhode Islanders can get tested through the portal – you no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. 
  5. We’re deploying our new BinaxNOW tests across the state, which doesn’t require much equipment and can process results in as little as 15 minutes. 
  6. We’re also adding more testing sites. This week, we’re opening a new, asymptomatic-only testing site at the Dunkin Donuts center. And we’re scaling up that site over the next few weeks until it has the capacity to run 5,000 daily BinaxNOW tests. 
  7. We’re using these new tests to do targeted testing in high-density communities. Last week, we launched a pilot program in Central Falls and will soon have the capacity to run 1,000 daily tests for anyone in the city community, regardless of symptoms. 
  8. Starting next week, we’re going to run cyclical tests with BinaxNOW for health care workers, teachers and students at select schools, and first responders. 
  9. Over the next month, we’ll be partnering with the Broad Institute and CIC Health to enable businesses to easily order and conduct tests for their employees.


Gina Raimondo,




RI Data – Nov. 30, 2020


(3 days data; last report Fri)


Deaths: 27 (0 deaths in-hospital)


Total tests: 7,114


Total positives: 2,769


Percent positive: 9.2%


Hospitalized: 365 (New: 52; discharges: 36)


ICU: 40


Ventilated: 19 (down 4)





The CDC task force will meet today to decide who will get the vaccine first – widely believed to be healthcare workers, nursing home residents, those over 65 with high risk, etc. But – there may be other groups such as essential workers moving for inclusion in this early round.


The WHO is marking the first weekly decline in COVID worldwide since September.


1.2 million people were screened at US airports over the Thanksgiving holiday.


Hong Kong is limiting public gatherings to 2 – and putting other severe shutdowns into place, including using hotels as quarantine centers.


Cases are surging among US military stationed in Japan.


NYC public schools will begin to open on Dec. 7.


New York is asking some hospitals to limit elective procedures and to begin surging to 50% more capacity.


The White House holiday decorations were debuted yesterday, including the Red Room display dedicated to pandemic First responders and frontline workers


Dr. Fauci said that if he had one thing to recommend to keep safe over this outbreak is to keep our gatherings to those we live with only – the very antithesis, he says, of the holiday season.


Dr. Fauci said it’s “not too late” for people traveling back home after Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of the virus by wearing masks, staying distant from others and avoiding large groups of people.


Infection is being driven now by those who are positive, with no symptoms.


Other research – Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London estimated that their work has already been delayed by an average of six months.


Kantaro Biosciences has received Emergency Use Authorization from FDA for COVID-SeroKlir, its semi-quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test kit. Unlike other antibody tests, COVID-SeroKlir determines the presence and precise level of IgG antibodies and has a broad range of applications in the fight against COVID-19. Through a commercial partnership with Bio-Techne Corporation the test kits are being manufactured at scale with a capacity of up to 10 million tests per month and the ability to scale up.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources. “If a hospital gets overwhelmed, there will be a state investigation. And if the result of that investigation is they did not distribute the patients, that will be malpractice on their part,” Cuomo said, noting that the state’s mandate would be effective immediately. Elective surgeries must be halted in Erie County as of Friday. Other parts of the state will be required to cancel elective surgeries if cases continue to get worse.


“Supermarkets are rushing to secure freezers, thermometers and other medical gear for administering shots. They are also training staff and establishing online services for scheduling appointments.”


Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks. Hospitals in Utah say they are already informally rationing care, although no one has been ejected from ICUs yet.


Overall, patients who are hospitalized with COVID are reportedly surviving at higher rates than in the spring and summer, per STAT News. Many patients are younger, and effective treatments are being used more frequently.


The CDC says that four national forecasts, including Johns Hopkins’ applied physics lab, predict a likely increase in new hospitalizations per day over the next four weeks.


Max Primorac, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Agency for International Development, recently tested positive for the coronavirus


Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina believes his $5 billion plan for universal, rapid, at-home testing is the answer to pulling the country out of the pandemic


Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population. The latter is the same root of “democracy,” Sokolowski noted. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said. That was after the plagues of the Middle Ages.


Moderna submitted their vaccine to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.


Pfizer is shipping their vaccines now all over the world.


Virtual hospital programs have the potential to provide health systems with additional inpatient capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. More, here:


Dr. Scott Atlas, special advisor to the President, resigned with this letter:


Your Coronavirus Update - Today December 1, 2020

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, Dec. 1, 2020

December 1, 2020/RINewsToday


Photo: Family walking on Sachuset – we look towards spring, a vaccine, and getting our lives back.




Crossroads has opened a new temporary shelter for 30 homeless individuals on Pine Street in Providence.


NBC10 reporting that nursing homes are experiencing staffing shortages – with 34% reporting problems. Many have left the profession after the beginning of the epidemic, or retired, according to the nursing home professional group.


Rhode Island will begin a pilot testing program for asymptomatic students and staff today at the Ella Risk Elementary school in Central Falls. Providence and Lincoln will start next week, for a total of 2,800 screenings.


Dr. Laura Forman gave a statement from the first field hospital in Cranston with its first patients – “we need everyone to stay home and stay safe”.


Julian Edelman of Patriots is on COVID list – meaning exposure to COVID


In Worcester, the police department has 26 officers out of work after testing positive, and another 13 who are out while they await test results; 8 firefighters are out and 6 more awaiting test results.


The Scandinavian Home in Providence was fined over $47K from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), which has fined 218 nursing homes more than $17.6 million for the most serious infection control violations that put residents in “immediate jeopardy,” conditions CMS believes are likely to seriously injure or kill them. Notably, the Scandinavian Home is among the lowest for COVID19 cases and deaths.


89% or more of ACI inmates at maximum security have tested positive – 316 of 354 inmates – per RI Dept. of Corrections – a total of 600+ now positive in the corrections system.


Travel during the holiday week, according to surveillance data on publicly available monitoring groups was lower than last year. Less than 1% of people screened at the airport were positive.


20/20 Hookah Lounge in Pawtucket has been fined over $4,000 multiple times. The owner said, “We’re not paying any of it” and said she will go to court.


Connecticut is giving $9M to local arts groups


Monday is the last day for the program that has allowed restaurants in Boston to use sidewalks and public streets for outdoor dining.


Axios is reporting that Rhode Island reached its hospital capacity on Monday


RI Companies in Violation:



Family Dollar, Valley St., Providence


Sunset Tint & Sign, Coventry


Choi’s Restaurant, Cranston St., Providence


Gurney’s Ice Skating Rink in Newport will not open this year.


Lt. Gov. Small Business Facebook Live – TODAY  –  NOON – here: []




1. Lt. Governor McKee: Opening Remarks


2. LG introduces Joe Rodio, Legal Counsel to Lt. Governor McKee


3. LG introduces SBA Director Mark Hayward: Federal Update


4. LG introduces DLT Assistant Director Matt Weldon: UI Update


5. LG introduces the RI Small Business Coalition ( ) featuring:


a. Justin Gontarek of Simplicity Print Studio


b. Chris Parisi of Trailblaze Marketing


c. Lori Giuttari of Visual Thrive ( )


6. LG introduces Small Business Panel featuring: (LG & Chris Parisi to lead panel)


a. Restaurants:


i. Cranston Councilman Ed Brady of The Thirsty Beaver, Huck’s Filling


Station & Milk Money (recently closed)


ii. Michael Strout, Team GottaQ & GottaQ Smokehouse BBQ


iii. David Dadekian of Eat Drink RI


b. Fitness:


i. Judah Boulet of No Risk Crossfit


ii. Robert Foster of RBF Fitness & Nutrition


iii. Paul Dexter of Dexter Training Concepts


c. Arts:


i. Hugo Adames of The Talent Factory


 Governor Raimondo – announcement on nine major changes to our testing system:

  1. Last week, we launched a new texting system to let people know that their test results are available at Going forward, if you provide your cell phone number when you sign up to get tested, you’ll receive a text message as soon as your results are available on the portal. 
  2. Over the next week, we are dramatically scaling up our daily testing volume, with the goal of doubling the number of state-run tests by the end of our two-week pause.
  3. To ensure people with symptoms can get tested quickly, we’re going to be reserving 3,000 daily tests for people with symptoms on the portal at
  4. Starting December 2, all asymptomatic Rhode Islanders can get tested through the portal – you no longer need to belong to a certain age group or industry to qualify. 
  5. We’re deploying our new BinaxNOW tests across the state, which doesn’t require much equipment and can process results in as little as 15 minutes. 
  6. We’re also adding more testing sites. This week, we’re opening a new, asymptomatic-only testing site at the Dunkin Donuts center. And we’re scaling up that site over the next few weeks until it has the capacity to run 5,000 daily BinaxNOW tests. 
  7. We’re using these new tests to do targeted testing in high-density communities. Last week, we launched a pilot program in Central Falls and will soon have the capacity to run 1,000 daily tests for anyone in the city community, regardless of symptoms. 
  8. Starting next week, we’re going to run cyclical tests with BinaxNOW for health care workers, teachers and students at select schools, and first responders. 
  9. Over the next month, we’ll be partnering with the Broad Institute and CIC Health to enable businesses to easily order and conduct tests for their employees.


Gina Raimondo,




RI Data – Nov. 30, 2020


(3 days data; last report Fri)


Deaths: 27 (0 deaths in-hospital)


Total tests: 7,114


Total positives: 2,769


Percent positive: 9.2%


Hospitalized: 365 (New: 52; discharges: 36)


ICU: 40


Ventilated: 19 (down 4)





The CDC task force will meet today to decide who will get the vaccine first – widely believed to be healthcare workers, nursing home residents, those over 65 with high risk, etc. But – there may be other groups such as essential workers moving for inclusion in this early round.


The WHO is marking the first weekly decline in COVID worldwide since September.


1.2 million people were screened at US airports over the Thanksgiving holiday.


Hong Kong is limiting public gatherings to 2 – and putting other severe shutdowns into place, including using hotels as quarantine centers.


Cases are surging among US military stationed in Japan.


NYC public schools will begin to open on Dec. 7.


New York is asking some hospitals to limit elective procedures and to begin surging to 50% more capacity.


The White House holiday decorations were debuted yesterday, including the Red Room display dedicated to pandemic First responders and frontline workers


Dr. Fauci said that if he had one thing to recommend to keep safe over this outbreak is to keep our gatherings to those we live with only – the very antithesis, he says, of the holiday season.


Dr. Fauci said it’s “not too late” for people traveling back home after Thanksgiving to help stop the spread of the virus by wearing masks, staying distant from others and avoiding large groups of people.


Infection is being driven now by those who are positive, with no symptoms.


Other research – Scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research in London estimated that their work has already been delayed by an average of six months.


Kantaro Biosciences has received Emergency Use Authorization from FDA for COVID-SeroKlir, its semi-quantitative SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibody test kit. Unlike other antibody tests, COVID-SeroKlir determines the presence and precise level of IgG antibodies and has a broad range of applications in the fight against COVID-19. Through a commercial partnership with Bio-Techne Corporation the test kits are being manufactured at scale with a capacity of up to 10 million tests per month and the ability to scale up.


New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Monday that struggling state hospital systems must transfer patients to sites that are not nearing capacity, as rising coronavirus cases and hospitalizations strain medical resources. “If a hospital gets overwhelmed, there will be a state investigation. And if the result of that investigation is they did not distribute the patients, that will be malpractice on their part,” Cuomo said, noting that the state’s mandate would be effective immediately. Elective surgeries must be halted in Erie County as of Friday. Other parts of the state will be required to cancel elective surgeries if cases continue to get worse.


“Supermarkets are rushing to secure freezers, thermometers and other medical gear for administering shots. They are also training staff and establishing online services for scheduling appointments.”


Governors in states like North Dakota and Illinois have been warning about overburdened hospitals and limited beds for weeks. Hospitals in Utah say they are already informally rationing care, although no one has been ejected from ICUs yet.


Overall, patients who are hospitalized with COVID are reportedly surviving at higher rates than in the spring and summer, per STAT News. Many patients are younger, and effective treatments are being used more frequently.


The CDC says that four national forecasts, including Johns Hopkins’ applied physics lab, predict a likely increase in new hospitalizations per day over the next four weeks.


Max Primorac, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Agency for International Development, recently tested positive for the coronavirus


Harvard epidemiologist Michael Mina believes his $5 billion plan for universal, rapid, at-home testing is the answer to pulling the country out of the pandemic


Merriam-Webster on Monday announced “pandemic” as its 2020 word of the year. Pandemic, with roots in Latin and Greek, is a combination of “pan,” for all, and “demos,” for people or population. The latter is the same root of “democracy,” Sokolowski noted. The word pandemic dates to the mid-1600s, used broadly for “universal” and more specifically to disease in a medical text in the 1660s, he said. That was after the plagues of the Middle Ages.


Moderna submitted their vaccine to the FDA for Emergency Use Authorization.


Pfizer is shipping their vaccines now all over the world.


Virtual hospital programs have the potential to provide health systems with additional inpatient capacity during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond. More, here:


Dr. Scott Atlas, special advisor to the President, resigned with this letter:


Are you OK?

Are you OK? – by Richard Asinof

December 1, 2020/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI – contributing writer, health


Photo: Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, who wrote about her miscarriage in a recent op-ed in The New York Times.


Are you OK?


A simple question of empathy opens up a conversation about miscarriage and loss and shows us a path toward healing


When Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex, opened up about her recent miscarriage in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Wednesday, Nov. 25, it was a moment that stood far apart from the political rancor and partisanship that has divided the nation in the wake of the Presidential election.


Talking about having a miscarriage, a common experience for most women and for many couples, is still a taboo topic for conversation.


The same is true for other kinds of personal choices and trauma – those women who have chosen to have an abortion, and those men and women who are survivors of sexual assault. And, for those of us who are struggling with debilitating illnesses that limit one’s physical capabilities.


What Markle came to understand, lying in a hospital bed following her miscarriage, was a profound truth about our lives. “I realized that the only way to begin to heal is to first ask, “Are you OK?”


She continued: “This year has brought so many of us to our braking points. Loss and pain have plagued every one of us in 2020, in moments both fraught and debilitating.”


Her wisdom and her ability to openly express her emotions in a public fashion serves as a lesson for all of us, one that is heartfelt for me.


Asking the right question
If our own personal stories are the most valuable possession we have, sharing them, even when they involve great emotional loss, is what makes us human – the ability to find common ground in our personal struggles to survive.


As a journalist, I have learned that the ability to ask a question, with empathy, with kindness, is often what it takes to engage in a meaningful, respectful, revealing conversation.


It is often far, far removed from the incessant political queries about who gets what, when, and how much.


Indeed, it was a journalist’s question, asking Markle, “Are you OK?” which prompted her to give an honest answer – and provide her a pathway to share her loss and her grief about having a miscarriage.


How we experience great loss during a time of pandemic is perhaps the biggest dividing line between President-elect Joe Biden and outgoing President Donald Trump: Biden embraces empathy; Trump cannot deal with loss, denying the reality.


It is not just our health care delivery system but the health care workers on the front lines in emergency rooms and nursing homes across the nation that are at the breaking point, emotionally and physically.


We take for granted that there will always be someone to take care of us when we are sick. There are those who see it as a sign of weakness to ask for help, as if there is something wrong with admitting to human frailty and emotional needs.


I write this as someone who has been grappling with medical issues that make each step I take a painful reminder of how difficult it can be to persevere. As observant readers of ConvergenceRI may know, I have been diagnosed with auto-immune encephalitis, and have been steadily losing my ability to walk, dependent upon trekking poles to keep my balance.


I have recently begun a series of infusion treatments that appear to have improved my stability. The first infusion treatment had an unwanted side effect, an allergic reaction, which caused my skin to break out. A different infusion treatment is now being planned, pending authorization from my health insurer.


And, yes, I am often dependent on the kindness of strangers in moving through the demands of everyday life.


A path toward healing
Once again, Markle’s wisdom came shining through in her op-ed, when she wrote about the dangers of “siloed living – where moments sad, scary or sacrosanct are all lived out alone. There is no one stopping to ask, ‘Are you OK?’”


Markle wrote: “Losing a child means carrying an almost unbearable grief, experienced by many but talked about by few. In the pain of our loss, my husband and I discovered that in a room of 100 women, 10 to 20 of them will have suffered from miscarriage. Yet despite the staggering commonality of this pain, the conversation remains taboo, riddled with [unwarranted] shame, and perpetuating a cycle of solitary mourning.”


Imagine having lived through not one but five miscarriages – and having to carry that pain in silence.


Markle continued: “ Some have bravely shared their stories; they have opened the door, knowing that when one person speaks truth, it gives license for all of us to do the same. We have learned that when people ask how any of us are doing, and when they really listen to the answer, with an open heart and mind, the load of grief often becomes lighter — for all of us. In being invited to share our pain, together we take the first steps toward healing.”


It has been a difficult year for me personally, trying to navigate the convoluted pathways of the health care delivery system during a time of pandemic, having to take extra precautions to stay safe while at the same time learning how to become a ferocious advocate for my own health care needs.


Perhaps that is why I found Markle’s op-ed so meaningful, so moving. Perhaps sharing what is happening to me is too personal, too much information for readers at a time when objectivity is, for me, the disliked norm for journalists.


We will always be participants and observers, and our voices need to reflect that synergy.


In her concluding paragraphs, Markle wrote: “As much as we may disagree, as physically distanced as we may be, the truth is that we are more connected than ever because of all we have individually and collectively endured this year.”


She continued: “We are adjusting to a new normal where faces are concealed by masks, but it’s forcing us to look into one another’s eyes – sometimes filled with warmth, other times with tears. For the first time, in a long time, as human beings, we are really seeing one another.”


Markle concludes by asking, “Are we OK?” and answering, “We will be.”


Me, I hope so, but I recognize that I have a long road ahead of me in forging a recovery. When people ask me if I’m OK, I tell them, honestly, that I still have my mental acuity, and I hope a semblance of a sense of humor, although I admit to being more irritable these days.


And, I find great sustenance in producing ConvergenceRI, and engaging in conversations and convergences that seek to create a more engaged community around us.


To read the entire story, go here:,6203


It's Giving Tuesday

It’s Giving Tuesday…

December 1, 2020/RINewsToday


GivingTuesday is a growing global generosity movement that drives giving and collective action in communities around the world.

  • GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, this idea has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate, and celebrate generosity.
  • GivingTuesday inspires generosity worldwide. There are official GivingTuesday national movements in 75 countries, led by a global network of passionate, entrepreneurial leaders. At a grassroots level, people and organizations participate in GivingTuesday in every single country in the world.
  • GivingTuesday creates global impact driven by local action. In the U.S., more than 230 community campaigns will join thousands of nonprofits, foundations, grassroots organizations, small businesses, and generous individuals to give back.
  • GivingTuesday is driving a net increase in giving.The movement continues to grow in year-over-year donation volume, reach and impact – driving increased donations and behavior change. In 2019, at least $1.97 Billion were donated in twenty-four hours in the U.S. alone, with 13% of the adult population participating in some way – a record-setting day. Around the world, the majority of people aware of GivingTuesday say that it has inspired them to be more generous.
  • GivingTuesday inspires collective action and generosity all year round–and in times of crisis. $503M in online donations were contributed in the U.S. alone on May 5, during #GivingTuesdayNow a global day of giving and unity created as an emergency response to COVID-19.
  • People can show their generosity in a variety of ways during GivingTuesday. Whether it’s helping a neighbor, advocating for an issue, sharing a skill, or finding virtual volunteer opportunities with their favorite causes—everyone has something to give and every act of generosity counts.

About GivingTuesday


GivingTuesday is a global generosity movement unleashing the power of
people and organizations to transform their communities and the world.

GivingTuesday was created in 2012 as a simple idea: a day that encourages people to do good. Over the past eight years, it has grown into a global movement that inspires hundreds of millions of people to give, collaborate,
and celebrate generosity.


Whether it’s making someone smile, helping a neighbor or stranger out,
showing up for an issue or people we care about, or giving some of what we have to those who need our help, every act of generosity counts and
everyone has something to give. GivingTuesday strives to build a world in
which the catalytic power of generosity is at the heart of the society we build together, unlocking dignity, opportunity, and equity around the globe.

To learn more about GivingTuesday participants and activities and join the
celebration of generosity, please visit:




Who should you give to?


Start closest to you – who has helped your family, or loved one? These questions might jar your memories – and help open your wallet…


Did your parents or grandparents benefit from Meals on Wheels –


Was it the Providence Animal Rescue League where you got your fine feline? –


Did you college give you a scholarship or financial aid – just when you needed it – and the direction of your life totally changed?


Did a disease take a loved one too soon? Or are you suffering from one now and your gift might make the biggest difference in research?


Did you ever visit a Food Bank or Soup Kitchen? –


Is your favorite performing arts group dark because of COVID? Think Trinity, Festival Ballet; many art galleries are non-profit; community theatre, etc.


And…if you can’t think of any agency or group, how about sending a gift to the family you know who could use it at this time of year? Charity doesn’t need to be an IRS certified organization – most of us don’t give at the level where charitable deductions are the reason why we’re giving – so think of the individual – someone for whom your gift will make a world of difference.


A good general source for Rhode Island?


United Way –


The Rhode Island Foundation –



Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Monday's storm knocked out power for tens of thousands of Rhode Islanders.  Coronavirus-era field hospitals are handling an overflow of hospital patients in the Ocean State.  Police have named the victim in a fatal shooting in Providence overnight Monday.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Power Outages From Monday's Storm Diminishing 

(Undated)  --  A wind and rain storm that battered Rhode Island on Monday is clearing out overnight.  A High Wind Warning from the National Weather Service has been canceled, but forecasters say watch out for south winds of 20 to 30 miles per hour with gusts up to 50 for most of the Ocean State until 7 a.m.  Yesterday's storm blew down a Burger King sign on Metacom Avenue in Warren and sent a tree into a house in Lincoln, with no injuries reported.  WJAR-TV reports weather may have been a factor in a garbage truck crash which took down power lines in East Greenwich.  National Grid had reported 29-thousand power outages statewide as of 8:00 last night.  The updated number as of 2:00 this morning was about twelve-thousand.

>>Field Hospital Operations Beginning

(Undated)  --  Hospitals are at capacity in Rhode Island because of the coronavirus pandemic, and one of the field hospitals set up to handle an overflow of patients has admitted its first.  Care New England says they admitted their first patients to the field hospital in Cranston on Monday afternoon, according to a report from WPRI-TV.  Lifespan has also announced plans to transport patients to the Rhode Island Convention Center on Tuesday.

>>Rhode Island Elections Board Certifies Biden Win

(Cranston, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Elections is certifying President-elect Joe Biden's election victory in the state.  About 307-thousand votes went to Biden in RI, compared to just under two-hundred-thousand counted for Donald Trump.  Biden's victories in the two flipped states of Wisconsin and Arizona were also made official on Monday.

>>Shooting Victim In Providence Identified

(Providence, RI)  --  The victim of a deadly shooting in Providence overnight Monday has been identified as Carl Bryant.  Bryant was believed to have lived in Providence, but also had addresses in Brockton, Massachusetts and Pennsylvania.  Authorities say he was found dead at Roger Williams Green and that the shooting also led to a woman being hit by a stray bullet which went through her home as she was sleeping.  The incident remains under investigation.

>>Warwick Church Hit By Fire Rebuilt

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Warwick church that was severely damaged by a fire a couple of years ago has been restored.  According to a Channel 10 report, Woodbury Union Presbyterian Church was rebuilt with community support and donations totaling one-and-a-half-million dollars.  Despite being ready for services, the church's pastor says they'll continue to be held online for now because of the virus pandemic.

>>East Prov City Council Still Deliberating On Metacomet Golf Course

(East Providence, RI)  --  The East Providence City Council is continuing to look into possibly purchasing the Metacomet Golf Club through eminent domain, according to a report from  An announcement of development plans from the owner of the course was met with resistance from those who want Metacomet preserved as open space.  State Representative Gregg Amore [[ uh-MORE-ay ]] said last month he has been involved in talks to preserve the property as a public golf course.

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

12-01-2020 01:35:11


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