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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2021-04

Friday Fishing Tips

Fish1A
 

Friday Fishing Tips – April 30, 2021 – Jeff Gross

April 30, 2021/Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

The weather continues to play havoc on the catch. The fish are a day by day, hit or miss situation. As one can see in the pictures some folks are doing quite well while others like this writer are currently in a drought. 

Some folks are even having luck with smallmouth bass. This is a great thing to see smallies making a comeback after being on the decline for quite a while.

A large number of youth are doing well catching a variety of fish. This will keep the sport active for generations. 

However, for some of us, as the spring continues to accelerate in passing, some of us need to put in the time to fish as we only have one chance to get this right the 1st time!.  Life’s interferences seem to be getting in the way of doing the things we love.  Good luck to those regularly enjoying the outdoors, many of us are envious.

Tip of the week:  For those out on the waterways if you need to listen to music as you sail, fish or the like please use headphones or earbuds to keep the music to yourself.  if you are tied up with a number of boats on a lake or large waterway it is one thing to crank the music.  When on a small pond or river it is another.  An encounter occurred when 2 twenty something girls launched their kayaks on Carbuncle pond and blasted a boom box on their entire trek. Boom boxes still exist???  If they were playing country music it may have been tolerated however the city noise in play wasn’t. The other 14 fishermen and women including myself did not enjoy the noise.  Literally they were at the north end and they were heard at the south end with ease. The ” whomp, whomp, whomp”  hide all the sounds of nature. The super majority were there to enjoy the serenity and solitude of the remote pond.  Often Cardinals, Baltimore Oriels, Chickadees and Titmice are heard with their calls seeking a mate. Again, the noise drowned out most of Nature.

These little ear buds are a great thing.  They are easy to use and do not interfere with the operation of a kayak, canoe or boat.  They are often wireless and will not interfere with casting a fishing pole so their footprint in the kayak will be minimal.  Those also enjoying nature while fishing will appreciate the tranquility as a result.

 And a Shout out to Ray Almstrom for stepping up and cleaning up after the slobs!  Great job Ray!

Photos: Courtesy A Better 401 Fishing Facebook page

_____

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

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

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

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

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

Fish1A
 

Friday Fishing Tips – April 30, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
April 30, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

The weather continues to play havoc on the catch. The fish are a day by day, hit or miss situation. As one can see in the pictures some folks are doing quite well while others like this writer are currently in a drought. 

 

Some folks are even having luck with smallmouth bass. This is a great thing to see smallies making a comeback after being on the decline for quite a while.

 

A large number of youth are doing well catching a variety of fish. This will keep the sport active for generations. 

  •  

 

However, for some of us, as the spring continues to accelerate in passing, some of us need to put in the time to fish as we only have one chance to get this right the 1st time!.  Life’s interferences seem to be getting in the way of doing the things we love.  Good luck to those regularly enjoying the outdoors, many of us are envious.

 

Tip of the week:  For those out on the waterways if you need to listen to music as you sail, fish or the like please use headphones or earbuds to keep the music to yourself.  if you are tied up with a number of boats on a lake or large waterway it is one thing to crank the music.  When on a small pond or river it is another.  An encounter occurred when 2 twenty something girls launched their kayaks on Carbuncle pond and blasted a boom box on their entire trek. Boom boxes still exist???  If they were playing country music it may have been tolerated however the city noise in play wasn’t. The other 14 fishermen and women including myself did not enjoy the noise.  Literally they were at the north end and they were heard at the south end with ease. The ” whomp, whomp, whomp”  hide all the sounds of nature. The super majority were there to enjoy the serenity and solitude of the remote pond.  Often Cardinals, Baltimore Oriels, Chickadees and Titmice are heard with their calls seeking a mate. Again, the noise drowned out most of Nature.

 

These little ear buds are a great thing.  They are easy to use and do not interfere with the operation of a kayak, canoe or boat.  They are often wireless and will not interfere with casting a fishing pole so their footprint in the kayak will be minimal.  Those also enjoying nature while fishing will appreciate the tranquility as a result.

 

 And a Shout out to Ray Almstrom for stepping up and cleaning up after the slobs!  Great job Ray!

 

Photos: Courtesy A Better 401 Fishing Facebook page

 

_____

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

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

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

Rhode Island News Today

(Updated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots took a quarterback in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft and another team picked a Rhode Islander.  A chemical spill incident in Pawtucket is under investigation.  The owner of Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals is threatening to close them based on conditions that have been imposed by the state for a requested change in ownership.

>>NFL Draft: Patriots Get QB, Rhode Islander Picked In First Round

(Cleveland, OH)  --  The New England Patriots selected a quarterback in the first round of the NFL Draft on Thursday.  With the fifteenth pick, the Pats went with Alabama signal caller Mac Jones, who won this year's college football national championship.  Also of significance to Rhode Islanders, former Bishop Hendricken High School player Kwity Paye was drafted by the Indianapolis Colts.  Paye, a defensive end who played for Michigan, is the first player from the Ocean State to get drafted in the first round in the Super Bowl era.

>>Sickened Workers Hospitalized In Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A chemical spill incident at a Pawtucket business sent twenty people to the hospital, none with life-threatening injuries, on Thursday evening.  This happened at the Zoll medical equipment manufacturing facility on Narragansett Park Drive.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is investigating.

>>Pawtucket Man Killed In Massachusetts Crash

(Attleboro, MA)  --  A 19-year-old Pawtucket man was killed in a crash on I-95 in Attleboro, Massachusetts early Thursday morning.  State police reports indicate the crash involved a car and a tractor trailer on Route 95 southbound.  The Pawtucket victim, whose name was not released, was the driver of the car.  A 19-year-old female passenger from Brockton, Mass reportedly suffered minor injuries.  The crash remains under investigation.

>>Closure Of Roger Williams, Fatima Hospitals Threatened

(Providence, RI)  --  The owner of Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals in Greater Providence is threatening to close them.  Prospect Medical Holdings is waiting for approval from the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office of a proposed ownership change; the deadline is today.  In a statement on Thursday which included the hospital closure threat, Prospect said a requirement by A.G. Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] of an escrow of up to 150-million dollars for the ownership change was unreasonable.  But Neronha says closing a hospital requires approval from the Department of Health and that his office would challenge.

>>Bill Signed Requiring Full Coverage Of Colorectal Cancer Screening

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee has signed a bill requiring insurance companies to fully cover the cost of colorectal cancer screening.  A bill-signing ceremony took place Thursday at Miriam Hospital, where bill sponsor Senator Maryellen Goodwin is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer.  McKee said the expanded access to the screenings will save lives.

>>Walk-In COVID Vaccinations At RI-Run Sites

(Providence, RI)  --  State officials announced Thursday that walk-in COVID-19 vaccinations are now available in Rhode Island. You can go to the state-run sites at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence, as well as the centers in Cranston and Middletown.  Walk-ins are also being accepted at CVS and other retailers.  The state is phasing out its pre-registration system for COVID vaccines next week.

###
Jim McCabe/doc           RI) IN)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-30-2021 01:00:06

RI Veterans: Did You Know?

RI Veterans: Did You Know? – 29 APR 21 – by John A. Cianci

April 29, 2021/John Cianci

 

by John A Cianci, Department Veteran Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans

 

Question from previous special feature on Veterans Long Term Care Planning Options

 

3 of 5 Veterans Option – Remain Home

 

Veteran-Directed Care Allows Veteran To Remain Living at Home

 

Does the VA offer any assistance to a Veteran who is not eligible for Caregiver Program and wants to live at home; I’m a Desert Storm Veteran, however, served between May 28, 1975 and September 2001”.

 

  • Mike B (question from North Smithfield, RI)

 

Mike, the Veteran Administration has a few programs you are currently eligible for. One is the Veteran-Directed Care program, which can provide similar benefits like the VA caregiver program. This program the VA provides you a budget to manage your personal care needs to remain living at home.

 

Did you know?

 

In Mike’s case, he is currently not eligible for Veterans Administration Caregiver program until expansion of the program in October 2022.

 

However, Mike needs personal assistance to remain living at home like shopping, getting him to and from appointments, checking on him daily to ensure he is taking his medication, and other services needed to allow him to live independently at home and in his community.

 

With the Veteran-Directed Care program, Mike can hire his own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor). This aide could assist Mike in shopping and other services he needs.

 

To be eligible, the Veteran must be enrolled and using the VA Healthcare system. The Veteran Direct Care and IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available.

 

The Veteran does not have to be disabled and or collecting VA disability, however, he must be enrolled and using the VA Healthcare.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

What is Veteran-Directed Care?

 

Veteran Directed Care gives Veterans of all ages the opportunity to receive the Home and Community Based Services they need in a consumer-directed way.

 

This program is for Veterans who need personal care services and help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, or fixing meals. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver is experiencing burden.

 

Veterans in this program are given a budget for services that is managed by the Veteran or the Veteran’s representative. With the help of a counselor, Veterans hire their own workers to meet their daily needs to help them live at home or in their community.

 

Am I eligible for Veteran-Directed Care?

 

Since Veteran-Directed Care is part of the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible IF they meet the clinical need for the service and it is available.

 

NOTE: This VA program is only available in certain locations.

 

A copay for Veteran-Directed Care services may be charged based on your VA service-connected disability status.

 

What services can I get?

 

As part of this program, Veterans and their caregiver have more access, choice and control over their home care services or long-term care services. For example, Veterans can:

 

·  Decide what mix of services will best meet their needs

 

·  Hire their own personal care aides (which might include their own family member or neighbor)

 

·  Buy items and services that will help them live independently in the community

 

How do I decide if it is right for me?

 

You can use a Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long-term care services may best meet your needs now or in the future.

 

There’s also a Caregiver Self- Assessment. It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach short-term and long-term care decisions.

 

Ask your social worker for these resources or download copies from the Making Decisions and Advance Care Planning section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

 

If Veteran-Directed Care seems right for you, talk with your VA social worker and find out if it is available in your location.

 

How to apply for VA health care?

 

Option 1: Apply by phone

 

Call the VA toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET to get help with your application.

 

Option 2: Apply by mail

 

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ), download VA Form 10-10EZ from https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-10EZ-fillable.pdf

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

Send your completed application here:

 

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

 

Option 3: Apply in person

 

Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

If you’re using a power of attorney, you’ll need to submit a copy of the Power of Attorney form along with your application.

 

If you sign with an “X,” 2 people you know must witness your signature. They’ll also need to sign and print their names on the form.

 

Go to your nearest VA medical center or clinic. Bring a signed Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) with you.

 

Option 4: Apply with the help of a trained professional

 

You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for health care benefits.
 

For free assistance filing for VA healthcare, Italian American War Veterans, (401)677-9VET, email itamri4vets@gmail.com .

 

How do I prepare before I start my application?

 

Gather the information listed below that you’ll need to fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ)

 

You’ll need this information:

 

Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents

 

Your military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

 

How long does it take VA to make a decision?

 

Less than 1 week

 

If more than a week has passed since you gave us your application and you haven’t heard back, please don’t apply again. Call the VA toll-free hotline at, 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

 

I’m an eligible Veteran, however, happy with my current healthcare provider and don’t want to use the VA healthcare system?

 

First, you will not be eligible for the program without be enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Even if you do want to use the VA healthcare system, I recommend you enroll, it helps all Veterans. Moreover, enrolling would make future needs of the VA more accessible for you—-when you might change your mind.

 

OK, I want to enroll and keep my current healthcare provider, so want do I need to do to be eligible for the program?

 

Follow the steps above to enroll.

 

At a minimum, schedule and report for an annual physical in the VA healthcare system. Yes, in my opinion, continue with your existing program, maybe schedule your annual physicals 6 months apart. Like getting a second opinion.

Additionally, you will be issued a Veterans Administration ID card, which will give your access to the military bases for shopping at the PX and commissary. And other benefits, like discounts at businesses like Apples and Denny’s by showing you are a Veteran.

 

More important, signing up helps ALL veterans; funding for local VA services is based on number of veterans utilizing your local VA. Don’t believe the “myth” I don’t want to take away from veterans who need it. Signing up is a way of assisting those Veterans who need it more than you do because your local VA will be receiving more funding because you are enrolled.

 

VETERAN EVENTS – MEETINGS – REUNIONS

 

May12, 2021

 

Women Veterans Forum, 6pm

 

The Women Veterans Programs of Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Connecticut invite all New England area women Veterans to participate in a Virtual town hall meeting.

 

Join us to discover what VA has to offer.

 

Share your feedback so we may better understand your needs and ensure timely, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive services in a safe and sensitive environment.

 

Registration is required to participate. 

 

To register, go to:

 

https://veteransaffairs.webex.com/veteransaffairs/k2/j.php?MTID=t468202430619fa5fa8742264168eb8a5

 

Attendees may register up until and after meeting start time.

 

May 3, 2021

 

Federal Hill Veteran Coffee House, sponsored by the Italian American war Veterans of Rhode Island. Join us at ROMA, 310 Atwells Ave, Providence, RI from 900am to 1100am, as Veterans connect by coffee, and Italian pastries. All Veterans and their guest are invited.

 

May 28-30, 2021

 

Friday – Sunday, May 28th – 30th, 8AM – 8PM, and Monday, May 31st, 8AM – 6PM

 

“The Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial”, Fort Adams State Park, Harrison Avenue, Newport.  Free admission for all.  Masks are required.  To become a sponsor of the memorial please visit https://osdri.charityproud.org/EventRegistration/index/5296.

 

REUNIONS

 

August 6, 2021

 

Rhode Island Army National Guard Summer Reunion, Quonset Officers Club, 200 LT James Brown Rd. N, Kingston, RI

 

It’s time to reunite with our RING Summer Reunion.  As of now the Quonset “O Club” must follow state guidelines regarding Covid-19 Pandemic. As a result, mask’s will be required by all and seating will be limited to eight per table.  With more people being vaccinated against Covid-19, I’m sure that the retirees will feel safe.  

 

Payment can be sent now. Cut-off date is Aug 3, 2021. Early responses would be greatly appreciated.  

 

A final headcount must be called in to the Officer’s Club four days prior, so “PLEASE” make payments early.

 

As always, spouses, friends, guest and significant others are always welcome. It’s an opportunity to reunite with friends whom we served with over the years.   

 

More information contact Bob Antonelli; bob02909@cox.net/401-996-3764

 

Have a question, upcoming event, or service being provided to veterans and their families, John can be contacted at (401) 677-4VET or email, itamri4vets@gmail.com . Events or meeting notices will be listed at the end of each column.

 

_____

 

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

 

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 
 

100 days. President Biden's address to congress

100 days. President Biden’s address to Congress – Response by Sen. Tim Scott

 
April 29, 2021/RINewsToday

 

 

 

Full text of President Biden’s Speech (followed by Tim Scott’s full speech):

 

Madame Speaker.  

 

Madame Vice President. 

 

No president has ever said those words from this podium, and it’s about time. 

 

The First Lady. 

 

The Second Gentleman. 

 

Mr. Chief Justice. 

 

Members of the United States Congress and the Cabinet – and distinguished guests. 

 

My fellow Americans. 

 

While the setting tonight is familiar, this gathering is very different – a reminder of the extraordinary times we are in.  

 

Throughout our history, Presidents have come to this chamber to speak to the Congress, to the nation, and to the world. 

 

To declare war. To celebrate peace. To announce new plans and possibilities. 

 

Tonight, I come to talk about crisis — and opportunity.  

 

About rebuilding our nation — and revitalizing our democracy. 

 

And winning the future for America. 

 

As I stand here tonight — just one day shy of the 100th day of my administration. 

 

100 days since I took the oath of office, lifted my hand off our family Bible, and inherited a nation in crisis. 

 

The worst pandemic in a century. 

 

The worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. 

 

The worst attack on our democracy since the Civil War. 

 

Now, after just 100 days, I can report to the nation: America is on the move again.  

 

Turning peril into possibility. Crisis into opportunity. Setback into strength. 

 

Life can knock us down. 

 

But in America, we never stay down. 

In America, we always get up. 

 

And today, that’s what we’re doing: America is rising anew. 

 

Choosing hope over fear. Truth over lies. Light over darkness. 

 

After 100 Days of rescue and renewal, America is ready for takeoff. 

 

We are working again. Dreaming again. Discovering again. Leading the world again. 

 

We have shown each other and the world: There is no quit in America. 

 

100 days ago, America’s house was on fire.  

 

We had to act.  

 

And thanks to the extraordinary leadership of Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Schumer – and with the overwhelming support of the American people – Democrats, Independents, and Republicans – we did act.  

 

Together — we passed the American Rescue Plan.  

 

One of the most consequential rescue packages in American history. 

 

We’re already seeing the results. 

 

After I promised 100 million COVID-19 vaccine shots in 100 days – we will have provided over 220 million COVID shots in 100 days.  

 

We’re marshalling every federal resource. We’ve gotten the vaccine to nearly 40,000 pharmacies and over 700 community health centers. 

 

We’re setting up community vaccination sites, and are deploying mobile units into hard-to-reach areas. 

 

Today, 90% of Americans now live within 5 miles of a vaccination site. 

 

Everyone over the age of 16, everyone – is now eligible and can get vaccinated right away. 

 

So get vaccinated now. 

 

When I was sworn in, less than 1% of seniors were fully vaccinated against COVID-19. 

 

100 days later, nearly 70% of seniors are fully protected.  

 

Senior deaths from COVID-19 are down 80% since January. Down 80%.  

 

And, more than half of all adults in America have gotten at least one shot. 

 

At a mass vaccination center in Glendale, Arizona, I asked a nurse what it’s like. 

 

She looked and said every shot feels like a dose of hope. 

 

A dose of hope for the educator in Florida who has a child who suffers from an auto-immune disease.  

 

She wrote to me that she was worried about bringing the virus home.  

 

When she got vaccinated, she sat in her car and just cried. 

 

Cried out of joy, cried out of relief. 

 

Parents are seeing smiles on their kids’ faces as they go back to school because teachers and school bus drivers, cafeteria workers have been vaccinated. 

 

Grandparents hugging their children and grandchildren instead of pressing their hands against a window to say goodbye  

 

It means everything to both of them. 

 

There’s still more work to do to beat this virus. We can’t let our guard down now.  

 

But tonight, I can say because of you — the American people – our progress these past 100 days against one of the worst pandemics in history is one of the greatest logistical achievements our country has ever seen. 

 

What else have we done these first 100 days? 

 

We kept our commitment and we are sending $1,400 rescue checks to 85% of all American households. 

 

We’ve already sent more than 160 million checks out the door. 

 

It’s making a difference.  

 

For many people, it’s making all the difference in the world. 

 

A single mom in Texas wrote to me. 

 

She said when she couldn’t work, this relief check put food on the table  and saved her and her son from eviction. 

 

A grandmother in Virginia told me she immediately took her granddaughter to the eye doctor — something she put off for months because she didn’t have the money.  

 

One of the defining images of this crisis has been cars lined up for miles waiting for a box of food to be put in the trunk. 

 

Did you ever think you’d see that in America? 

 

That’s why the American Rescue Plan is delivering food and nutrition assistance to millions of Americans facing hunger – and hunger is down sharply already.  

 

We’re also providing: 

 

Rental assistance to keep people from being evicted from their homes. Providing loans to keep small businesses open and their employees on the job. 

 

During these 100 days, an additional 800,000 Americans enrolled in the Affordable Care Act because I established a special sign up period to do that.  

 

We’re making one of the largest one-time investments ever in improving health care for veterans. 

 

Critical investments to address the opioid crisis. 

 

And, maybe most importantly, thanks to the American Rescue Plan, we are on track to cut child poverty in America in half this year.  

 

In the process, the economy created more than 1.3 million new jobs in 100 days.  

 

More new jobs in the first 100 days than any president on record. 

 

The International Monetary Fund is now estimating our economy will grow at a rate of more than 6% this year. 

 

That will be the fastest pace of economic growth in this country in nearly four decades. 

 

America is moving. Moving forward. And we can’t stop now. 

 

We’re in a competition with China and other countries to win the 21st Century. 

 

We have to do more than just build back. We have to build back better. 

 

Throughout our history, public investments and infrastructure have transformed America.  

 

The transcontinental railroad and interstate highways united two oceans and brought us into a totally new age of progress. 

 

Universal public school and college aid opened wide the doors of opportunity. 

 

Scientific breakthroughs took us to the Moon and now to Mars, discovered vaccines, and gave us the Internet and so much more. 

 

These are the investments we make together, as one country, and that only government can make.  

 

Time and again, they propel us into the future.  

 

That’s why I proposed The American Jobs Plan — a once-in-a-generation investment in America itself. 

 

The largest jobs plan since World War II. 

 

It creates jobs to upgrade our transportation infrastructure. Jobs modernizing roads, bridges and highways. Jobs building ports and airports, rail corridors and transit lines. It’s clean water.  

 

Today, up to 10 million homes and more than 400,000 schools and child care centers have pipes with lead in them, including for drinking water. 

 

 A clear and present danger to our children’s health. 

 

The American Jobs Plan creates jobs replacing 100% of the nation’s lead pipes and service lines so every American, so every child – can turn on the faucet and be certain to drink clean water. 

 

It creates jobs connecting every American with high-speed internet, including 35% of rural Americans who still don’t have it.  

 

This will help our kids and businesses succeed in a 21st Century economy. 

 

And I am asking the Vice President to help lead this effort. 

 

It creates jobs by building a modern power grid. 

 

Our grids are vulnerable to storms, hacks, and catastrophic failures – with tragic results as we saw in Texas and elsewhere during winter storms. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will create jobs to lay thousands of miles of transmission lines needed to build a resilient and fully clean grid. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will help millions of people get back to their jobs and their careers.  

 

2 million women have dropped out of the workforce during this pandemic, too often because they couldn’t get the care they need for their family, their children.  

 

800,000 families are on a Medicaid waiting list right now to get homecare for their aging parent or loved one with a disability. 

 

This plan will help these families and create jobs for our caregivers with better wages and better benefits. 

 

For too long, we have failed to use the most important word when it comes to meeting the climate crisis. 

 

Jobs. Jobs. 

 

For me, when I think about climate change, I think jobs. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will put engineers and construction workers to work building more energy efficient buildings and homes. 

 

Electrical workers installing 500,000 charging stations along our highways. 

 

Farmers planting cover crops, so they can reduce carbon dioxide in the air and get paid for doing it. 

 

There’s no reason the blades for wind turbines can’t be built in Pittsburgh instead of Beijing.  

 

No reason why American workers can’t lead the world in the production of electric vehicles and batteries. 

 

The American Jobs Plan will create millions of good paying jobs – jobs Americans can raise their families on. 

 

And all the investments in the American Jobs Plan will be guided by one principle: “Buy American.” 

 

American tax dollars are going to be used to buy American products made in America that create American jobs. 

 

The way it should be. 

 

Now – I know some of you at home are wondering whether these jobs are for you. 

 

You feel left behind and forgotten in an economy that’s rapidly changing. 

 

Let me speak directly to you. 

 

Independent experts estimate the American Jobs Plan will add millions of jobs and trillions of dollars in economic growth for years to come. 

 

These are good-paying jobs that can’t be outsourced. 

 

Nearly 90% of the infrastructure jobs created in the American Jobs Plan do not require a college degree. 

 

75% do not require an associate’s degree. 

 

The American Jobs Plan is a blue-collar blueprint to build America. 

 

And, it recognizes something I’ve always said. 

 

Wall Street didn’t build this country. The middle class built this country. And unions build the middle class. 

 

And that’s why I’m calling on Congress to pass the Protecting the Right to Organize Act – the PRO Act — and send it to my desk to support the right to unionize. 

 

By the way – let’s also pass the $15 minimum wage. 

 

No one should work 40 hours a week and still live below the poverty line. 

 

And we need to ensure greater equity and opportunity for women. 

 

Let’s get the Paycheck Fairness Act to my desk for equal pay. 

 

It’s long past time. 

 

Finally, the American Jobs Plan will be the biggest increase in non-defense research and development on record.  

 

We will see more technological change in the next 10 years – than we saw in the last 50 years. 

 

And we’re falling behind in that competition. 

 

Decades ago we used to invest 2% of our GDP on research and development.  

 

Today, we spend less than 1%. 

 

China and other countries are closing in fast. 

 

We have to develop and dominate the products and technologies of the future: advanced batteries, biotechnology, computer chips, and clean energy. 

 

The Defense Department has an agency called DARPA – the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency – that’s there to develop breakthroughs to enhance our national security – which led to the internet and GPS and so much more. 

 

The National Institutes of Health, the NIH – should create a similar Advanced Research Projects Agency for health.  

 

To develop breakthroughs – to prevent, detect, and treat diseases like Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and cancer. 

 

This is personal to so many of us. 

 

I can think of no more worthy investment. And I know of nothing that is more bipartisan. 

 

Let’s end cancer as we know it. It’s within our power 

 

Investments in jobs and infrastructure like the ones we’re talking about have often had bipartisan support.  

 

Vice President Harris and I meet regularly in the Oval Office with Democrats and Republicans to discuss the American Jobs Plan.  

 

And I applaud a group of Republican Senators who just put forward their proposal. 

 

So, let’s get to work. 
 
 

We welcome ideas. 

 

But, the rest of the world isn’t waiting for us. Doing nothing is not an option. 

 

We can’t be so busy competing with each other that we forget the competition is with the rest of the world to win the 21st Century. 

 

To win that competition for the future, we also need to make a once-in-a-generation investment in our families – in our children. 

 

That’s why I’m introducing the American Families Plan tonight, which addresses four of the biggest challenges facing American families today. 

 

First, access to a good education. 

 

When this nation made 12 years of public education universal in the last century, it made us the best-educated and best-prepared nation in the world. 

 

But the world is catching up. They are not waiting. 

 

12 years is no longer enough today to compete in the 21st Century.  

 

That’s why the American Families Plan guarantees four additional years of public education for every person in America – starting as early as we can. 

 

We add two years of universal high-quality pre-school for every 3- and 4- year-old in America.  

 

The research shows that when a young child goes to school—not day care—they are far more likely to graduate from high school and go on to college.  

 

And then we add two years of free community college. 

 

And we will increase Pell Grants and investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal colleges, and minority-serving institutions. 

 

Jill is a community college professor who teaches today as First Lady. 

 

She has long said any country that out-educates us is going to outcompete us – and she’ll be leading this effort. 

 

Second, the American Families plan will provide access to quality, affordable child care. 

 

We guarantee that low- to middle-income families will pay no more than 7% of their income for high-quality care for children up to the age of 5. 

 

The most hard-pressed working families won’t have to spend a dime. 

 

Third, the American Families Plan will finally provide up to 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave. 

 

No one should have to choose between a job and paycheck or taking care of themselves and a loved one – a parent, spouse, or child. 

 

And fourth, the American Families Plan puts money directly into the pockets of millions of families. 

 

In March we expanded a tax credit for every child in a family. 

 

Up to a $3,000 Child Tax Credit for children over 6 — and $3,600 for children under 6.  

 

With two parents, two kids, that’s up to $7,200 in your pocket to help take care of your family. 

 

This will help more than 65 million children and help cut child poverty in half this year. 

 

Together, let’s extend the Child Tax Credit at least through the end of 2025. 

 

The American Rescue Plan lowered health care premiums for 9 million Americans who buy their coverage under the Affordable Care Act.  

 

Let’s make that provision permanent so their premiums don’t go back up. 

 

In addition to my Families Plan, I will work with Congress to address –  
this year – other critical priorities for America’s families. 

 

The Affordable Care Act has been a lifeline for millions of Americans –protecting people with pre-existing conditions, protecting women’s health.  
 

 
And the pandemic has demonstrated how badly it is needed. 

 

Let’s lower deductibles for working families on the Affordable Care Act, and let’s lower prescription drug costs. 

 

We all know how outrageously expensive they are.  

 

In fact, we pay the highest prescription drug prices in the world right here in America – nearly three times as much as other countries. 

 

We can change that.  

 

Let’s do what we’ve always talked about. 

 

Let’s give Medicare the power to save hundreds of billions of dollars by negotiating lower prices for prescription drugs.  

 

That won’t just help people on Medicare – it will lower prescription drug costs for everyone.  

 

The money we save can go to strengthen the Affordable Care Act – expand Medicare coverage and benefits – without costing taxpayers one additional penny. 

 

We’ve talked about it long enough – Democrats and Republicans.  

 

Let’s get it done this year. 

 

This is all about a simple premise: Health care should be a right, not a privilege in America. 

 

So how do we pay for my Jobs and Family Plans?  

 

I’ve made clear that we can do it without increasing deficits. 
 

 
Let’s start with what I will not do. 

 

I will not impose any tax increases on people making less than $400,000 a year.  

 

It’s time for corporate America and the wealthiest 1% of Americans to pay their fair share. 

 

Just pay their fair share. 

 

A recent study shows that 55 of the nation’s biggest corporations paid zero in federal income tax last year. 

 

No federal taxes on more than $40 billion in profits. 

 

A lot of companies evade taxes through tax havens from Switzerland to Bermuda to the Cayman Islands. 

 

And they benefit from tax loopholes and deductions that allow for offshoring jobs and shifting profits overseas. 

 

That’s not right. 

 

We’re going to reform corporate taxes so they pay their fair share – and help pay for the public investments their businesses will benefit from. 

 

And, we’re going to reward work, not wealth.  

 

We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans –  
those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%. 

 

We take the top tax bracket for the wealthiest 1% of Americans – those making $400,000 or more – back up to 39.6%. 

 

That’s where it was when George W. Bush became president.  

 

We’re going to get rid of the loopholes that allow Americans who make more than $1 million a year pay a lower rate on their capital gains than working Americans pay on their work.  

 

This will only affect three tenths of 1% of all Americans. 

 

And the IRS will crack down on millionaires and billionaires who cheat on their taxes.  

 

That’s estimated to be billions of dollars. 

 

Look, I’m not out to punish anyone.  

 

But I will not add to the tax burden of the middle class of this country.  

 

They’re already paying enough. 

 

What I’ve proposed is fair. It’s fiscally responsible.  

 

It raises the revenue to pay for the plans I’ve proposed that will create millions of jobs and grow the economy. 

 

When you hear someone say that they don’t want to raise taxes on the wealthiest 1% and on corporate America – ask them: whose taxes are you going to raise instead, and whose are you going to cut? 

 

Look at the big tax cut in 2017. 

 

It was supposed to pay for itself and generate vast economic growth.  

 

Instead it added $2 trillion to the deficit. 

It was a huge windfall for corporate America and those

at the very top. 

 

Instead of using the tax savings to raise wages and invest in research and development – it poured billions of dollars into the pockets of CEOs.  

 

In fact, the pay gap between CEOs and their workers is now among the largest in history. 

 

According to one study, CEOs make 320 times what their average workers make. 

 

The pandemic has only made things worse. 

 

20 million Americans lost their jobs in the pandemic – working- and middle-class Americans. 

 

At the same time, the roughly 650 Billionaires in America saw their net worth increase by more than $1 Trillion.  

 

Let me say that again. 

 

Just 650 people increased their wealth by more than $1 Trillion during this pandemic. 

 

They are now worth more than $4 Trillion. 

 

My fellow Americans, trickle-down economics has  
never worked. 

 

It’s time to grow the economy from the bottom up and middle-out. 

 

A broad consensus of economists – left, right, center – agree that what I’m proposing will help create millions of jobs and generate historic economic growth. 

 

These are among the highest value investments we can make as a nation.  

 

I’ve often said that our greatest strength is the power of our example – not just the example of our power.  

 

And in my conversations with world leaders – many I’ve known for a long time – the comment I hear most often is: we see that America is back – but for how long? 

 

My fellow Americans, we have to show not just that we are back, but that we are here to stay. 

 

And that we aren’t going it alone – we’re going to be leading with our allies. 

 

No one nation can deal with all the crises of our time alone – from terrorism to nuclear proliferation to mass migration, cybersecurity, climate change – and as we’re experiencing now, pandemics. 

 

There’s no wall high enough to keep any virus away.  

As our own vaccine supply grows to meet our needs – and we are meeting them – we will become an arsenal of vaccines for other countries – just as America was the arsenal of democracy in World War 2. 

 

The climate crisis is not our fight alone, either. 

 

It’s a global fight. 

 

The United States accounts for less than 15% of carbon emissions.  

 

The rest of the world accounts for 85%.  

 

That’s why – I kept my commitment to rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement on my first day in office.  

 

And I kept my commitment to convene a climate summit right here in America, with all of the major economies of the world – from China and Russia to India and the European Union in my first 100 days. 

 

I wanted the world to see that there is consensus that we are at an inflection point in history. 

 

And the consensus is if we act, we can save the planet – and we can create millions of jobs and economic growth and opportunity to raise the standard of living for everyone in the world. 

 

The investments I’ve proposed tonight also advance a foreign policy that benefits the middle class. 

 

That means making sure every nation plays by the same rules in the global economy, including China. 

 

In my discussion with President Xi, I told him that we welcome the competition – and that we are not looking for conflict.  

 

But I made absolutely clear that I will defend American interests across the board. 

 

America will stand up to unfair trade practices that undercut American workers and industries, like subsidies for state-owned enterprises and the theft of American technologies and intellectual property. 

 

I also told President Xi that we will maintain a strong military presence in the Indo—Pacific just as we do with NATO in Europe – not to start conflict – but to prevent conflict.  

 

And, I told him what I’ve said to many world leaders – that America won’t back away from our commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms. 

 

No responsible American president can remain silent when basic human rights are violated. A president has to represent the essence of our country.  

 

America is an idea – unique in the world. 

 

We are all created equal. It’s who we are. We cannot walk away from that principle. 

 

With regard to Russia, I made very clear to President Putin that while we don’t seek escalation, their actions have consequences. 

 

I responded in a direct and proportionate way to Russia’s interference in our elections and cyber—attacks on our government and businesses – and they did both of those things and I did respond. 

 

But we can also cooperate when it’s in our mutual interests. 

 

As we did when we extended the New START Treaty on nuclear arms – and as we’re working to do on the climate crisis. 

 

On Iran and North Korea’s nuclear programs that present a serious threat to America’s security and world security – we will be working closely with our allies to address the threats posed by both of these countries through diplomacy and stern deterrence. 

 

And American leadership means ending the forever war in Afghanistan. 

 

We have the greatest fighting force in the history of the world.  

 

And I’m the first President in 40 years who knows what it means to have had a child serving in a warzone.  

 

Today we have service members serving in the same war as their parents once did.  

 

We have service members in Afghanistan who were not yet born on 9/11.  

 

War in Afghanistan was never meant to be a multi—generational undertaking of nation—building.  

 

We went to Afghanistan to get the terrorists who attacked us on 9/11.  

 

We delivered justice to Osama Bin Laden and we degraded the terrorist threat of al Qaeda in Afghanistan. 

 

After 20 years of American valor and sacrifice, it’s time to bring our troops home. 

 

Even as we do, we will maintain an over—the—horizon capability to suppress future threats to the homeland. 

 

But make no mistake – the terrorist threat has evolved beyond Afghanistan since 2001 and we will remain vigilant against threats to the United States, wherever they come from.  

 

Al Qaeda and ISIS are in Yemen, Syria, Somalia, and other places in Africa and the Middle East and beyond. 

 

And, we won’t ignore what our own intelligence agencies have determined – the most lethal terrorist threat to the homeland today is from white supremacist terrorism. 

 

And my fellow Americans, we must come together to heal the soul of this nation. 

 

It was nearly a year ago before her father’s funeral, when I spoke with Gianna Floyd, George Floyd’s young daughter. 

 

As I knelt down to talk to her so we could talk eye—to—eye, she said to me, “Daddy changed the world.” 

 

After the conviction of George Floyd’s murderer, we can see how right she was – if we have the courage to act. 

 

We have all seen the knee of injustice on the neck of Black America.  

 

Now is our opportunity to make real progress. 

 

Most men and women in uniform wear their badge and serve their communities honorably. 

 

I know them. I know they want to help meet this moment as well. 

 

My fellow Americans, we have to come together. 

To rebuild trust between law enforcement and the people they serve.  

 

To root out systemic racism in our criminal justice system. 

 

And to enact police reform in George Floyd’s name that passed the House already. 

 

I know the Republicans have their own ideas and are engaged in productive discussions with Democrats.  

We need to work together to find a consensus. 

 

Let’s get it done next month, by the first anniversary of George Floyd’s death. 

 

The country supports this reform.  

 

Congress should act. 

 

We have a giant opportunity to bend to the arc of the moral universe toward justice.  

 

Real justice. 

 

And with the plans I outlined tonight, we have a real chance to root out systemic racism that plagues American life in many other ways.  

 

A chance to deliver real equity. 

 

Good jobs and good schools. Affordable housing. Clean air and clean water.  

 

Being able to generate wealth and pass it down through generations. 

 

Real opportunities in the lives of more Americans – Black, white, Latino, Asian American, Native American.  

 

I also want to thank the Senate for voting 94—1 to pass the COVID—19 Hate Crimes Act to protect Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders from the vicious hate crimes we’ve seen this past year – and for too long. 

 

I urge the House to do the same and send that legislation to my desk as soon as possible.  

 

I also hope Congress can get to my desk the Equality Act to protect the rights of LGBTQ Americans.  

 

To all the transgender Americans watching at home – especially the young people who are so brave – I want you to know that your president has your back. 

 

And another thing. 

 

Let’s reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act, which has been law in this country for 27 years since I first wrote it. 

 

It will close the so—called “boyfriend” loophole to keep guns out of the hands of abusers. 

 

It’s estimated that more than 50 women are shot and killed by an intimate partner – every month in America. 

 

Pass it and save lives. 

 

And I need not tell anyone this, but gun violence is an

epidemic in America. 

 

Our flag at the White House was still flying at half—staff for the 8 victims of the mass shooting in Georgia, when 10 more lives were taken in a mass shooting in Colorado.  

 

In the week between those mass shootings, more than 250 other Americans were shot dead.  

 

250 shot dead. 

 

I know how hard it is to make progress on this issue.  

In the 1990s, we passed universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines that hold 100 rounds that can be fired in seconds. 

 

We beat the NRA. Mass shootings and gun violence declined. 

 

But in the early 2000’s, that law expired and we’ve seen the daily bloodshed since. 

 

More than two weeks ago in the Rose Garden, surrounded by some of the bravest people I know – the survivors and families who lost loved ones to gun violence – I laid out several steps the Department of Justice is taking to end this epidemic. 

 

One of them is banning so—called “ghost guns.” 

They are homemade guns built from a kit that includes the directions on how to finish the firearm.  

 

The parts have no serial numbers, so when they show up at a crime scene, they can’t be traced. 

 

The buyers of ghost gun kits aren’t required to pass a background check. 

 

Anyone from a criminal to a terrorist could buy this kit and, in as little as 30 minutes, put together a lethal weapon. 

 

But not anymore. 

 

I will do everything in my power to protect the American people from this epidemic of gun violence. 

But it’s time for Congress to act as well. 

 

We need more Senate Republicans to join with the overwhelming majority of their Democratic colleagues, and close loopholes and require background checks to purchase a gun. 

 

And we need a ban on assault weapons and high—capacity magazines again. 

 

Don’t tell me it can’t be done. We’ve done it before … and it worked. 

 

Talk to most responsible gun owners, most hunters – they’ll tell you there’s no possible justification for having 100 rounds – 100 bullets – in a weapon. 

 

They will tell you that there are too many people today who are able to buy a gun, but who shouldn’t be able to. 

 

These kinds of reasonable reforms have the overwhelming support of the American people – including many gun owners. 

 

The country supports reform, and the Congress should act. 

 

This shouldn’t be a Red vs. Blue issue. It’s an

American issue. 

 

And here’s what else we can do. 

 

Immigration has always been essential to America. 

 

Let’s end our exhausting war over immigration. 

 

For more than 30 years, politicians have talked about immigration reform and done nothing about it. 

 

It’s time to fix it. 

 

On day one of my Presidency, I kept my commitment and I sent a comprehensive immigration bill to Congress.  

 

If you believe we need a secure border – pass it. 

 

If you believe in a pathway to citizenship – pass it. 

 

If you actually want to solve the problem – I have sent you a bill, now pass it. 

 

We also have to get at the root of the problem of why people are fleeing to our southern border from Guatemala, Honduras, El Salvador.  

 

The violence. The corruption. The gangs. The political instability. Hunger. Hurricanes. Earthquakes. 

 

When I was Vice President, I focused on providing the help needed to address these root causes of migration.  

 

It helped keep people in their own countries instead of being forced to leave. 

 

Our plan worked. 

 

But the last administration shut it down.  

 

I’m restoring the program and asked Vice President Harris to lead our diplomatic efforts.  

 

I have absolute confidence she will get the job done. 

Now, if Congress won’t pass my plan – let’s at least pass what we agree on. 

 

Congress needs to pass legislation this year to finally secure protection for the Dreamers – the young people who have only known America as their home. 

 

And, permanent protections for immigrants on temporary protected status who come from countries beset by man—made and natural made violence and disaster. 

 

As well as a pathway to citizenship for farmworkers who put food on our tables. 

 

Immigrants have done so much for America during the pandemic – as they have throughout our history. 

 

The country supports immigration reform.  

 

Congress should act. 

 

And if we are to truly restore the soul of America – we need to protect the sacred right to vote. 

 

More people voted in the last presidential election than ever before  in our history – in the middle of one of the worst pandemics ever.  

 

That should be celebrated. Instead it’s being attacked. 

 

Congress should pass H.R. 1 and the John Lewis Voting Rights Act and send them to my desk right away. 

 

The country supports it. 

 

Congress should act. 

 

As we gather here tonight, the images of a violent mob assaulting this Capitol—desecrating our democracy—remain vivid in our minds. 

 

Lives were put at risk. Lives were lost. Extraordinary courage was summoned. 

 

The insurrection was an existential crisis—a test of whether our democracy could survive.  

 

It did. 

 

But the struggle is far from over. The question of whether our democracy  will long endure is both ancient and urgent. 

 

As old as our Republic. Still vital today.  

 

Can our democracy deliver on its promise that all of us – created equal in the image of God – have a chance to lead lives of dignity, respect, and possibility?  

 

Can our democracy deliver on the most pressing needs of our people? 

 

Can our democracy overcome the lies, anger, hate and fears that have pulled us apart? 

 

America’s adversaries – the autocrats of the world – are betting it can’t. 

 

They believe we are too full of anger and division and rage. 

 

They look at the images of the mob that assaulted this Capitol as proof that the sun is setting on American democracy. 

 

They are wrong. And we have to prove them wrong. 

We have to prove democracy still works. 

 

That our government still works – and can deliver for the people.  

 

In our first 100 Days together, we have acted to restore the people’s faith in our democracy to deliver. 

 

We’re vaccinating the nation. We’re creating hundreds of thousands of jobs. We’re delivering real results people can see and feel in their own lives.  

 

Opening the doors of opportunity. Guaranteeing fairness and justice. 

 

That’s the essence of America. 

 

That’s democracy in action. 

 

Our Constitution opens with the words, “We the People”. 

 

It’s time we remembered that We the People are the government. You and I.  

 

Not some force in a distant capital. Not some powerful force we have no control over. 

 

It’s us. It’s “We the people.”  

 

In another era when our democracy was tested, Franklin Roosevelt reminded us—In America: we do our part.  

 

That’s all I’m asking. That we all do our part.  

 

And if we do, then we will meet the central challenge of the age by proving that democracy is durable and strong. 

 

The autocrats will not win the future. 

 

America will. 

 

The future will belong to America. 

 

I stand here tonight before you in a new and vital hour in the life of our democracy and our nation. 

 

And I can say with absolute confidence: I have never been more confident or more optimistic about America. 

 

We have stared into an abyss of insurrection and autocracy — of pandemic and pain — and “We the People” did not flinch. 

 

At the very moment our adversaries were certain we would pull apart and fail. 

 

We came together. 

 

United.  

 

With light and hope, we summoned new strength and new resolve. 

 

To position us to win the competition for the 21st Century. 

 

On our way forward to a Union more perfect. More prosperous. More just. 

 

As one people. One nation. One America. 

 

It’s never been a good bet to bet against America. 

And it still isn’t. 

 

We are the United States of America. 

 

There is nothing – nothing – beyond our capacity – nothing we can’t do – if we do it together. 

 

May God bless you all. 

 

May God protect our troops. 

 

_____

 

 

Full text of Sen. Tim Scott’s rebuttal:

 

Good evening. I’m Senator Tim Scott from the great state of South Carolina.

 

We just heard President Biden’s first address to Congress. Our President seems like a good man. His speech was full of good words. But President Biden promised you a specific kind of leadership. He promised to unite a nation. To lower the temperature. To govern for all Americans, no matter how we voted. That was the pitch. You just heard it again.

 

But our nation is starving for more than empty platitudes. We need policies and progress that bring us closer together. But three months in, the actions of the President and his party are pulling us further apart.

 

I won’t waste your time tonight with finger-pointing or partisan bickering. You can get that on T.V. any time you want. I want to have an honest conversation.

 

About common sense and common ground. About this feeling that our nation is sliding off its shared foundation, and how we move forward together.

 

Growing up, I never dreamed I’d be standing here tonight. When I was a kid, my parents divorced. My mother, my brother, and I moved in with my grandparents. Three of us, sharing one bedroom. I was disillusioned and angry, and I nearly failed out of school. But I was blessed.

 

First, with a praying momma. Then with a mentor, a Chick-Fil-A operator named John Moniz. Finally, with a string of opportunities that are only possible here in America.

 

This past year, I’ve watched COVID attack every rung of the ladder that helped me up. So many families have lost parents and grandparents too early. So many small businesses have gone under. Becoming a Christian transformed my life — but for months, too many churches were shut down.

 

Most of all, I am saddened that millions of kids have lost a year of learning when they could not afford to lose a day. Locking vulnerable kids out of the classroom is locking adults out of their future.

Our public schools should have reopened months ago.

 

Other countries’ did. Private and religious schools did. Science has shown for months that schools are safe.

 

But too often, powerful grown-ups set science aside.

 

And kids like me were left behind. The clearest case for school choice in our lifetimes.

 

Last year, under Republican leadership, we passed five bipartisan COVID packages. Congress supported our hospitals, saved our economy, and funded

Operation Warp Speed, delivering vaccines in record time. All five bills got 90 or more votes in the Senate.

 

Common sense found common ground.

 

In February, Republicans told President Biden we wanted to keep working together to win this fight. But Democrats wanted to go it alone. They spent almost $2 trillion on a partisan bill that the White House bragged was the most liberal bill in American history!

 

Only 1% went to vaccinations. No requirement to re-open schools promptly. COVID brought Congress together five times. This Administration pushed us apart.

 

Another issue that should unite us is infrastructure. Republicans support everything you think of when you think of ‘infrastructure.’ Roads, bridges, ports, airports, waterways, high-speed broadband — we’re all in! But again, Democrats want a partisan wish list. They won’t even build bridges… to build bridges!

 

Less than 6% of the President’s plan goes to roads and bridges. It’s a liberal wish-list of Big Government waste… plus the biggest job-killing tax hikes in a generation. Experts say, when all is said and done, it would lower Americans’ wages and shrink our

economy.

 

Tonight we also heard about a so-called “Family Plan.” Even more taxing, even more spending, to put Washington even more in the middle of your life — from the cradle, to college. The beauty of the American

 

Dream is that families get to define it for themselves. We should be expanding options and opportunities for all families — not throwing money at certain issues because Democrats think they know best.

 

“Infrastructure” spending that shrinks our economy is not common sense. Weakening our southern border and creating a crisis is not compassionate.

 

The President is abandoning principles he held for decades. Now, he says your tax dollars should fund abortions. He’s laying groundwork to pack the Supreme Court. This is not common ground.

 

Nowhere do we need common ground more desperately than in our discussions of race. I have experienced the pain of discrimination. I know what it feels like to be pulled over for no reason. To be followed around a store while I’m shopping. I remember, every morning, at the kitchen table, my grandfather would have the newspaper in his hands.

 

Later, I realized he had never learned to read it. He just wanted to set the right example.

 

I’ve also experienced a different kind of intolerance. I get called “Uncle Tom” and the N-word — by ‘progressives’! By liberals! Just last week, a national newspaper suggested my family’s poverty was actually privilege because a relative owned land generations before my time. Believe me, I know our healing is not finished.

 

In 2015, after the shooting of Walter Scott, I wrote a bill to fund body cameras. Last year, after the deaths of Breonna Taylor and George Floyd, I built an even bigger police reform proposal. But my Democratic colleagues blocked it. I extended an olive branch. I offered them amendments. But Democrats used the filibuster to block the debate from even happening. My friends across the aisle seemed to want the issue more than they wanted a solution. But I’m still working. I’m still hopeful.

 

When America comes together, we’ve made tremendous progress. But powerful forces want to pull us apart. A hundred years ago, kids in classrooms were taught the color of their skin was their most important characteristic — and if they looked a certain way, they were inferior. Today, kids again are being taught that the color of their skin defines them — and if they look a certain way, they’re an oppressor.

 

From colleges to corporations to our culture, people are making money and gaining power by pretending we haven’t made any progress. By doubling down on the divisions we’ve worked so hard to heal.

 

You know this stuff is wrong. Hear me clearly: America is not a racist country. It’s backwards to fight discrimination with different discrimination. And it’s wrong to try to use our painful past to dishonestly shut down debates in the present.

 

I’m an African-American who has voted in the South all my life. I take voting rights personally. Republicans support making it easier to vote and harder to cheat. And so do voters! Big majorities of Americans support early voting, and big majorities support Voter I.D. — including African-Americans and Hispanics. Common sense makes common ground.

 

But today, this conversation has collapsed. The state of Georgia passed a law that expands early voting; preserves no-excuse mail-in voting; and, despite what the President claimed, did not reduce Election Day hours. If you actually read this law, it’s mainstream. It will be easier to vote early in Georgia than in Democrat-run New York. But the left doesn’t want you to know that. They want people to virtue-signal by yelling about a law they haven’t even read.

 

Fact-checkers have called out the White House for misstatements. The President absurdly claims this is worse than Jim Crow. What is going on here? I’ll tell you. A Washington power grab.

 

This misplaced outrage is supposed to justify Democrats’ sweeping bill that would take over elections for all 50 states; send public funds to political campaigns you disagree with; and make the bipartisan Federal Elections Commission… partisan! This is not about civil rights or our racial past. It’s about rigging elections in the future.

 

And, no — the same filibuster that President Obama and President Biden praised when they were Senators, that Democrats used just last year, has not suddenly become a racist relic just because the shoe is on the other foot.

 

Race is not a political weapon to settle every issue the way one side wants. It’s too important.

 

This should be a joyful springtime for our nation. This Administration inherited a tide that had already turned. The coronavirus is on the run! Thanks to Operation Warp Speed and the Trump Administration, our country is flooded with safe and effective vaccines. Thanks to our bipartisan work last year, job openings are rebounding.

 

So why do we feel so divided and anxious? A nation with so much cause for hope should not feel so heavy-laden. A President who promised to bring us together should not push agendas that tear us apart. The American family deserves better. And we know what better looks like!

 

Just before COVID, we had the most inclusive economy in my lifetime. The lowest unemployment ever recorded for African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. The lowest for women in nearly 70 years. Wages were growing faster for the bottom 25% than the top 25%. That happened because Republicans focused on expanding opportunity for all Americans.

 

We passed Opportunity Zones, criminal justice reform, and permanent funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities for the first time ever. We fought the drug epidemic, rebuilt our military, and cut taxes for working families and single moms like mine.

 

Our best future won’t come from Washington schemes or socialist dreams. It will come from you — the American people. Black, Hispanic, white and Asian.

 

Republican and Democrat. Brave police officers and Black neighborhoods. We are not adversaries. We are family! We are all in this together.

 

And we get to live in the greatest country on Earth. The country where my grandfather, in his 94 years, saw his family go from cotton to Congress in one lifetime.

 

So I am more than hopeful — I am confident — that our finest hour is yet to come. Original sin is never the end of the story. Not in our souls, and not for our nation. The real story is always redemption.

 

I am standing here because my mom has prayed me through some very tough times. I believe our nation has succeeded the same way. Because generations of Americans, in their own ways, have asked for grace — and God has supplied it.

 

So I will close with a word from a worship song that helped me through this past year. The music is new, but the words draw from Scripture.

 

(May) the Lord bless you and keep you,

Make His face shine upon you

And be gracious to you…

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Providence man is arrested for kidnapping.  Legislation has been proposed to make it free to ride Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses.  There's a unique house-buying opportunity on Portsmouth's Patience Island.

>>Man Arrested For Alleged Child Abduction Attempt

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is being accused of an attempted abduction.  Fifty-year-old Glenn Chamberland appeared in District Court on Wednesday on charges including kidnapping and was ordered held without bail pending a hearing next week.  An eleven-year-old girl at a home on Admiral Street reportedly told police a man grabbed her and dragged her a short distance before she fought him off and ran inside on Tuesday night.  License plate information provided to authorities led to Chamberland's arrest.

>>Deadline Approaching To Run In Special City/Town Council Elections

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Secretary of State's Office is letting people know that Friday is the last day to declare candidacy for two available seats on the Providence City Council and West Warwick Town Council.  A special primary will be held on June 8th and the final election will be on July 6th.  The Providence City Council seat available is Ward 15, previously held by Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]], who is now the lieutenant governor.

>>Bill Proposed To Make RIPTA Bus Rides No-Cost

(Providence, RI)  --  Legislation is being proposed to make public transit free in Rhode Island.  It would be funded with gas tax revenue and a pollution "allowance" paid by fuel suppliers.  State Senators Meghan Kallman and Leonela Felix say free rides on Rhode Island Public Transit Authority buses is not only a matter of fighting climate change, but a social justice issue as well.

>>Judge Weighs In On Airport Runway Case

(Westerly, RI)  --  Several Rhode Island airports are dealing with the problem of stubborn runway obstructions from neighboring properties.  One of the facilities, Westerly State Airport, is getting good news about this issue.  The Westerly Sun reports a Superior Court judge has ruled that the state Department of Transportation was OK to claim property near the airport through eminent domain in order to clear trees.  Because they have not been cleared, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has been forced to shorten Westerly's runways.  The RIAC says it has had to take similar action in Newport because efforts to secure an easement from a homeowner failed.

>>East Providence Council To Discuss Future Of Closed Golf Course

(East Providence, RI)  --  Eminent domain is also possibly on the table for a golf course in East Providence.  The city is being pushed to take the action to preserve the Metacomet course, which closed last September.  The East Prov City Council is meeting at 7:00 tonight to discuss the matter and possibly take a vote.

>>Only House On Small RI Island For Sale

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The only house on Patience Island, part of the town of Portsmouth, is up for sale.  RI Real Estate Services says the six-hundred-square-foot house is powered by a single solar panel.  The asking price is just under 400-thousand dollars and it's cash-only.

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

04-29-2021 00:09:02

New Freedoms for the fully vaccinated

New freedoms for the fully vaccinated

 
April 28, 2021/RINewsToday

 

President Biden held a news conference and noted the progress that has been made, cases and deaths down. More than 80% of seniors have at least one shot. 80% drop in deaths and 70% drop in hospitalizations among seniors. Equity of 50-50 between vaccinations of seniors who are white and of-color. 16+ all eligible in getting their vaccines. 90% of American people live within 5 miles of vaccination site. He also announced new guidelines from the CDC for those fully vaccinated, and said there will be more to come on Independence Day.

 

In Rhode Island, new guidelines are expected at the Thursday update – tomorrow.

 

In response to President Biden’s announcement, Gov. McKee sent out his own announcement:

 

The CDC’s updated guidance is that fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a mask outdoors, except in crowded settings and venues. The outdoor masking policy will be effective in Rhode Island as of Friday, April 30.  “I hope today’s updated guidance from the CDC will encourage even more Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated,” said Governor Dan McKee. “Vaccinated people have more flexibility when it comes to when and where they are recommended to wear masks. There are vaccination appointments available today. Don’t miss your shot.” 
Someone is considered fully vaccinated 14 days after their final recommended dose. A crowded setting is defined as one where someone cannot consistently maintain three feet of distance. People still need to wear masks when indoors in public settings. Additionally, people should keep their groups consistent and avoid crowds whenever possible. 

 

Here are more details on the CDC new rules:

 

Have You Been Fully Vaccinated?

 

In general, people are considered fully vaccinated:

 

  • 2 weeks after their second dose in a 2-dose series, such as the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, or
  • 2 weeks after a single-dose vaccine, such as Johnson & Johnson’s Janssen vaccine

 

If you don’t meet these requirements, you are NOT fully vaccinated. Keep taking all precautions until you are fully vaccinated.

 

If you have a condition or are taking medications that weaken your immune system, you may NOT be fully protected even if you are fully vaccinated. Talk to your healthcare provider. Even after vaccination, you may need to continue taking all precautions.

 

What You Can Start to Do

 

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

 

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask or staying 6 feet apart.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people of any age from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks or staying 6 feet apart, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • You can gather or conduct activities outdoors without wearing a mask except in certain crowded settings and venues.
  • If you travel in the United States, you do not need to get tested before or after travel or self-quarantine after travel.
  • You need to pay close attention to the situation at your international destination before traveling outside the United States.
  • You do NOT need to get tested before leaving the United States unless your destination requires it.
    • You still need to show a negative test result or documentation of recovery from COVID-19 before boarding an international flight to the United States.
    • You should still get tested 3-5 days after international travel.
    • You do NOT need to self-quarantine after arriving in the United States.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.

 

What You Should Keep Doing

 

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

 

  • You should still protect yourself and others in many situations by wearing a mask that fits snugly. Take this precaution whenever you are:
    • In indoor public settings
    • Gathering indoors with unvaccinated people (including children) from more than one other household
    • Visiting indoors with an unvaccinated person who is at increased risk of severe illness or death from COVID-19 or who lives with a person at increased risk
  • You should still avoid indoor large gatherings.
  • If you travel, you should still take steps to protect yourself and others. You will still be required to wear a mask on planes, buses, trains, and other forms of public transportation traveling into, within, or out of the United States, and in U.S. transportation hubs such as airports and stations. Fully vaccinated international travelers arriving in the United States are still required?to get tested within 3 days of their flight (or show documentation of recovery from COVID-19 in the past 3 months) and should still get tested 3-5 days after their trip.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
  • People who have a condition or are taking medications that weaken the immune system, should talk to their healthcare provider to discuss their activities. They may need to keep taking all precautions to prevent COVID-19.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Islanders who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 no-longer have to wear masks while out and about.  Police share the name of the driver involved in a fatal crash on Route 95 in Warwick.  A change to public safety operations is included in the newly-proposed city of Providence budget.

>>Mask Rules Changing For Vaccinated Rhode Islanders

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is acting on the CDC's advice to lift mask-wearing rules for people outdoors who are fully-vaccinated for COVID-19.  The exception to the new rule, effective Friday, is for a crowded setting in which one cannot maintain three feet of distance.  Governor Dan McKee hopes the updated guidance will encourage more Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated, as he said yesterday that status provides more flexibility when it comes to mask-wearing recommendations.  A person is not considered fully vaccinated until two weeks after their final or singular shot.

>>Man Killed After Car Crashes Off Route 95 Into River

(Warwick, RI)  --  Authorities have identified the victim of a car crash on I-95 in Warwick Tuesday.  The person behind the wheel was Myto Edouard of Warwick.  The Rhode Island State Police says Edouard was driving southbound at around 5:30 a.m. when his vehicle left the highway and crashed into the Pawtuxet River.  The crash is under investigation.  WPRI-TV reports the vehicle was pulled out of the river.

>>Providence Budget Includes Funding For Emergency Call Diversion Program

(Providence, RI)  --  The city of Providence has unveiled its Fiscal Year 2022 budget.  The 540-million-dollar plan represents a five-percent increase over the previous year's total.  The budget will be partially supported by American Rescue Plan funding.  It does not heed recent calls to defund the police, but it does include money for a new effort to divert some emergency calls to behavioral health and social service programs.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said on Tuesday that the city needs to move away from a model of the public safety department serving as the center hub of community safety.

>>Patriots Have Quarterback Choices To Consider As Draft Draws Near

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The NFL Draft is one day away and it seems like a sure bet that the Patriots are doing something quarterback-related to kick things off.  An article on Patriots.com posted Monday ranked North Dakota State QB Trey Lance as the number-one draft fit for the team.  Another mock draft choice is Ohio State quarterback Justin Fields.  The rumor mill has also churned about the Pats reacquiring Jimmy Garoppolo [[ guh-ROPP-uh-low ]] to play the position through a trade with the San Francisco 49ers.

>>Rhode Island Student Accepted Into Four Ivy League Schools

(Newport, RI)  --  A Newport teen recently got accepted to four Ivy League schools.  The Daily News reports Michael Garman, a senior at the Prout School in South Kingstown, was accepted to Penn, Yale, Harvard, and Brown.  Garman said he picked Yale, which is the university his parents attended, and says he wants to study political science and economics.

>>Airport Name Change Bill Passes State Senate

(Warwick, RI)  --  A bill to add "International" to the title of T.F. Green Airport is through one chamber of the Rhode Island General Assembly.  The state Senate passed it on to the House of Representatives on Tuesday.  The Warwick airport was originally established as Hillsgrove State Airport in 1931 before being re-named later that decade in honor of the former governor of the state and U.S. Senator Theodore Francis Green.
 
###
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) CT)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-28-2021 00:11:43

Your Coronavirus Update

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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 27, 2021

 
April 27, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

New cases in Rhode Island K-12 schools (in-person) in the last 7 days ending 4/17 are approx. 359 in students and 34 in staff. Details, here: https://bit.ly/32V3bje

 

6% to 10% of Massachusetts residents admit that they are reluctant to receive a COVID-19 vaccine, a low number when compared to other states.

 

MA schools required to open fully by Wed.

 

Touro Synagogue Foundation announced its reopening in Newport.

 

CVS will begin booking appointments again for the J&J vaccine.

 

Portuguese Feast of the Blessed Sacrament in New Bedford is canceled for 2021

 

RI can open schools with 3 feet of space – buses can have increased capacity to 75%  – more cafeterias can open – day cares are open full capacity

 

Celebrating its 90th year this summer, the Gilbert Stuart Museum opened for the season this weekend following a year of remaining closed through the pandemic. 

 

LaSalette Shrine in Seekonk will run a clinic next Monday.

 

Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center has launched a specialized program to treat COVID-19 long-haulers.

 

Comcast has made 30 Massachusetts community locations free WI-FI connections, mainly Boys & Girls Clubs with dozens of others in consideration.

 

If you have made multiple vaccination appointments, please cancel the ones you will not be using so they don’t go to waste. Simply click on the “cancel” option in your confirmation email.

 

Boston College will require vaccinations to return to school.

 

Connecticut diners who have been vaccinated will be offered a free drink during the latter part of May at participating establishments.

 

Santa’s Village is promising college students free housing and utilities to attract workers for the summer.

 

In Danbury, CT – Nearly 40% of the inmates inside the federal prison complex in the city have refused to receive a COVID-19 vaccine

 

UMass Amherst says it will require all undergraduate/graduate students to be fully vaccinated prior to the beginning of the fall semester.

 

Northeastern, Boston University, and Emerson College are among the Massachusetts schools already requiring students to get vaccinated.

 

Hearthside House in Cumberland has re-opened its doors 

 

The Vermont Brewers Festival will not be held in 2021

 

The Veterans Home in Exeter has still not had its too narrow doors repaired; they identify COVID as the reason construction could not be done

 

Newport Gulls mandate vaccines for all players, coaches, and staff

 

Appointments for Johnson & Johnson vaccine will again be available in RI on www.vaccinateRI.org this week, as well as through other channels. (People can also make appointments by calling 211.) Johnson & Johnson vaccine is a single dose COVID-19 vaccine available to people who are 18 years of age and older.  Rhode Island healthcare providers have been provided with information and guidance about CVST and appropriate medical treatment. Updated clinician guidance will continue to be provided. Healthcare providers should ensure patients understand the risk of any vaccine and have all of their questions answered prior to any vaccine administration. Patients do have a choice of which COVID-19 vaccine they receive. State vaccine sites will do their best to have as many vaccine options as possible. Although the side effects of concern are extremely rare, the FDA and CDC recommend that people who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain or shortness of breath within three weeks of receiving the Johnson & Johnson vaccine should immediately contact their health care provider.

 

Today’s Data – April 26, 2021

Deaths: 3

Tests – 5,082 – Positives – 100 – Percent positive – 2%

Hospitalized – 134 – In ICU – 28 – Ventilated – 26

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 111 – New Discharges – 18

Vaccinated – 521,615- Both shots – 257,313

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

The President is expected to make an announcement today about mask-wearing outdoors dependent on vaccination status.

 

A federal summer school meal program will provide funds from a relief package for 34 million schoolchildren during the summer months, continuing through the summer a payments program where families of eligible children would receive $6.82 per child for each weekday, approx. $375 per child.

 

Temple University made no promise to provide in-person learning to students who launched a proposed class action in May seeking tuition refunds after the school moved its classes online due to the coronavirus pandemic, a Pennsylvania federal judge ruled.

 

Restauranteurs will be able to apply for to apply for a $28.6 billion federal restaurant relief program within a few weeks.

 

Hotel, restaurant and retail store owners warn that staffing shortages will force them to limit occupancy, curtail hours and services or shut down entirely. Reasons are the lessening of the seasonal foreign workers because of the pandemic, and the struggle to attract workers who are now on unemployment.

 

VP Harris told a UN group that we must begin to prepare for how the world we handle the next pandemic.

 

The U.S. provider of tickets to the 2021 Olympics has been sued for allegedly refusing to issue full refunds. 

 

Over 166,000 Portuguese teachers received their vaccine last week in Portugal.

 

The FDA says N95 masks are now plentiful, should no longer be reused.

 

Sanofi announced this morning that it had signed a “fill and finish” agreement to help produce up to 200 million doses of Moderna’s Covid-19 vaccine.

 

Madeira expects complete opening in October.

 

At least 82 people in a Baghdad hospital’s ICU COVID unit lost their lives when oxygen exploded and a fire erupted

 

The Japanese government is planning to open large vaccination centers in Tokyo and Osaka in the coming weeks to administer shots in a bid to speed up its inoculation drive

 

Those arriving in Puerto Rico must take and present a negative COVID-19 test within 72 hours — or face a $300 fine.

 

There’s a 1 in 50 chance a person will answer the phone when you call the IRS as most workers are still working from home.

 

The EU has said that vaccinated Americans can once again travel, with proof of vaccination.

 

U.S. women who received either the Moderna or Pfizer shots while pregnant saw similar rates of miscarriage, premature births and other complications to those observed in published reports on pregnant women before the pandemic. Research is assuring pregnant women that the COVID-19 vaccination is safe.

 

COVID-19 vaccine responses to be studied in people with immune deficits

 

Next big group to take the vaccine should be over-40 and overweight, according to some researchers.

 

NYC – Appointments are no longer mandatory at any of the vaccination sites run by the city

 

Germany is under an emergency brake law restricting dining, curfews, school closures, etc.

 

Germany is rushing aid to India – as well as the US.

 

Astra-Zeneca vaccine in European countries that was paused due to similar blood clot concerns – EU regulators say that benefits of not getting COVID far outweigh concern of the vaccine. The UK is offering an alternative vaccine to those under 30.

 

India is still setting records daily, with bodies being burned in parking lots as crematoriums are full. Graveyards are reaching capacity. Half the cases are the more contagious and younger victims. Vaccine shortage

 

The Smithsonian announced Friday that it will be reopening seven of its museums and the National Zoo on a rolling basis throughout May

 

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is encouraging but not requiring missionaries across the globe to be vaccinated against COVID-19

 

Maryland’s public higher education system will require students, faculty and staff returning to campuses in the fall to be vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

Moderna applies for emergency COVID-19 vaccine use in the Philippines

 

The CDC says vaccinated people do not need to quarantine or get tested if they’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, as long as you don’t develop any symptoms. The only exception: people who live in a group setting such as a nursing home.

 

Norwegian climber first to test positive for COVID on Mount Everest

 

Maggie Williams, an 800-meter runner, collapsed three meters shy of the finish line this week. She fell across the line and set a school record, passing out because of lack of air as she was mandated to wear a mask – her coach will not let her run again and is calling on a national change for runners.

 

Indian government asks Twitter to take down criticism of its COVID-19 response

 

US is now planning to send all its stockpile of Astra-Zeneca vaccine to countries in need.

 

Honduras has only 59K doses of vaccine, and 10 million people

 

Michigan now requires masks for children over the age of 2.

 

Houston hospital threatens to fire workers who refuse COVID-19 vaccine

 

The CDC has released guidelines are opening summer camps: https://bit.ly/2S91UDh. The guidelines include all mask-wearing over the age of 2, activities in pods 3 feet apart – 6 feet if pods/adults are mixed. Upon arrival at camp, campers should be assigned to cohorts that will remain together for the entire camp session without mixing with other campers and staff in close contact circumstances.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is planning to resume administration of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine.  The United States Census says Rhode Island's population increased over the last decade, which is allowing the Ocean State to keep its two U.S. representatives.  The Providence Police Department has one person in custody and is seeking another in separate homicide cases.

>>Johnson & Johnson Shot Distribution Resuming In RI

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is announcing plans to resume usage of the Johnson and Johnson COVID-19 vaccine this week.  The RI Department of Health says the decision was made following the recommendation last week by the FDA and the CDC to lift the temporary pause of the vaccine's distribution after several blood-clotting cases were reported.  The federal agencies say they are confident in the safety and effectiveness of the vaccine preventing COVID-19.

>>Lawmaker Has Amputation Due To Blood Clots, Vaccine Doubted As Culprit

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island state legislator says she had to have a leg amputated.  State Senator Jeanine Calkin said the life-saving procedure at Rhode Island Hospital was performed on Friday due to blood-clotting caused by an infection.  Calkin said there is no reason to believe the blood-clotting was related to receiving the coronavirus vaccine.  A spokesperson for the senator told WPRI-TV Calkin did not receive the Johnson and Johnson shot.

>>Census Indicates Rhode Island Population Increase, State Keeping Two Congressmen

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island is unexpectedly keeping its two Congressional seats after the release of the U.S. Census on Monday.  It was believed the Ocean State would lose a seat because of a population that was projected to be in decline.  However, the data released yesterday indicated Rhode Island's population actually grew four-point-three-percent over the past decade.  The Census reported Rhode Island's population as one-million-97-thousand-three-hundred-79.  That means Democratic Congressmen David Cicilline and Jim Langevin will not have to face each other in a primary.

>>Police Searching For Woonsocket Carjacking Suspect

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  Police are searching for a suspect who stole a running SUV with a young child inside in Woonsocket on Monday afternoon.  Reports indicate a woman went into a store on Elm Street to make a purchase when her three-year-old girl was caught up in the carjacking.  Authorities say the child was unharmed and was found in the vehicle abandoned a short distance away.

>>Providence Homicide Updates

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department has made an arrest in one homicide case and is putting out an arrest warrant in another.  Johnny Xaykosy of Providence was arrested on Monday for the fatal shooting of Nickolas DiPanni of Smithfield on April 22nd.  The Providence PD says a search is on for a man named Phillip Manners Rojas in connection to an April 16th killing at an auto repair shop in the capital city.  The victim of that shooting was identified as Joshua Costa of Lincoln.

>>Fatal Crash In Middletown

(Middletown, RI)  --  A fatal rollover crash happened in Middletown on Monday morning.  The victim of the wreck involving a Jeep on Route 214 was the driver, Peter Connerton of Middletown.  A 34-year-old Newport man who was a passenger reportedly suffered non-life-threatening injuries.  The crash is under investigation.

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

04-27-2021 00:11:31

Peace for Pay

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Peace for Pay – Mary T. O’Sullivan

 
April 26, 2021/RINewsToday

 

By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL

 

“The rate of change is not going to slow down any time soon.” – John Kotter

 

The W.L. Gore Company’s (of Gortex fame) uses a “lattice” or no hierarchy model of business. It’s attractive for all the right reasons, but most large organizations operate quite differently. There is usually a structured hierarchy, a “command-and-control” model, and some effort made to instill organizational values and thus influence employee behavior at all levels. Does this desire to influence value-based behavior actually work?

 

There’s much talk today about establishing organizational values and ensuring all employees follow them. However, often, what the organization says it values, and what it actually values (validated through accepted behavior), are two very different things.

 

The organization may state values such as: People, Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, and Community. There may be awards given several times a year for each of these values. However, in a series of interviews conducted for a 2009 research paper I wrote for my master’s degree, only one respondent out 10 knew what the specific company values were, even though everyone had a “values” card worn along with their badges.

 

Many stated that they didn’t feel they needed the values card, as these same values were intrinsic to them. They said they lived by their own values system and didn’t need the organization to tell them how to behave. Interestingly, a VP I interviewed pointed out that the reason the company instituted the values card was because, “We can’t teach values, but we can teach behavior.”

 

After extensively peeling back the onion on the company’s implementation of values, I concluded that people often believed the stated values were shallow in actual practice. Of all the values, “excellence,” widely interpreted as “performance” or “the bottom line” was the most important value of all. And while the other values were not tied specifically to compensation, overt and embarrassing violation of those values were shown to lead to a heavy penalty.

 

To demonstrate, let me share – each local staff meeting at every level always started off with one slide on the company values.  The slide was shown for only a few seconds and then it disappeared so fast, if you blinked, you missed it. This obligatory slide vanished quickly to allow the manager to get on with “real work.” Rather than embarrass the boss by asking for a review of the values at the moment the slide is shown, employees would wait until the meeting was over and then privately discuss an issue that had come up during the week and question how the company values were impacted by that event.

 

When I interviewed these employees, they always presented the disconnect between values and expected actions. Employees were asked to pay suppliers for work not yet completed so the sale could go into a certain quarter. This seemed contrary to the company values and wrong to them. They presented this issue to the boss in terms of “What company value does this action represent?”

 

As can be imagined, there was no explicit answer from the boss to this answer, just an awkward, and embarrassed smile. The perception given to people on the front lines is that gentle pressure at the right levels can begin to engender a sense of urgency, but until leaders demonstrate they understand and embrace company values and are willing to act on them, fear, anger and complacency continued to persist, because people were not sure about exactly what they are supposed to do, acting contrary to the values could have negative consequences, but so could recording an order late.

 

It appeared to me that true cynicism took hold: employees had come to realize they could “go through the motions” and not “rock the boat” and as long as bookings, sales, profit, and cash targets were met, none of the other values would have any real impact on their daily work.

 

To answer the question at the personal level, “What do people in the organization value?” we need to look beyond the employee values card. Based on my interview sample as well as multiple examples of anecdotal evidence, it seems many people trend toward placing value on survival. “Peace for Pay” and “Active Exit” strategies are apparent in daily discussions as well as in the samples taken for the October 2009 research.

 

There seemed to be a high level of frustration and a perception of meaninglessness without employee connection to real values, People, Integrity, Commitment, Excellence, and Community.  Widespread superficiality and “going through the motions” as well as operating in a daily depressing fog seemed to pervade cube stations across the organization.

 

Daily examples supported this theory. For instance, the values card for the “People” value stated: “You are important to us. Earn respect and treat others fairly every day. Commit to developing yourself and others. Seek Life Balance.”

 

However, this “value” seems to fail when put in practice. For example, a new director decided to bring his own admin with him to his new job, displacing the current admin. The current admin was then told she had to reapply for her job, and she received no backing from her management. She then had to lodge an HR and legal complaint on her own, feeling she had nothing to lose, since she would probably be out of a job either way. Believe it or not, in this actual, real life case, the admin actually won! But what did she win? Following her triumph, she had to work for a manager who tried to get rid of her and she was aware that the admin who was brought along with the new director would now be out of a job. If the director had left well enough alone, none of this would have happened. But he wasn’t putting people first, only his own selfishness.

 

I am certain neither of those admins feels truth in the “People” value statement: “You are important to us”.

 

As a result of this type of behavior, many people place value on ensuring their 401Ks stay intact and they and their spouses stay healthy enough to enjoy a long retirement. Peace for pay.

 

I personally learned to escape this kind of “quiet desperation” by leveraging the many benefits the company offered in its quest to fulfill its “People” value. The company paid 100% tuition for degrees – up to $10K per year- and offered much in the way of recreation (company gym, wooded walking trails, free semi-annual parties) and multiple other company benefits.

 

What issues can we recognize today as causing fear, anger, and complacency? Issues leaving the “People” less than enthused about their job or their company? What about those employees who finally get real and trade ‘peace for pay’?

 

I maintain the shallowness of implementing the stated values is the main cause of fear, anger, and complacency. Since most people acknowledge the hypocrisy and double standards, they then feel they may risk their jobs if they try to right a wrong. In fact, without strong internal advocates, righting wrongs may be considered a contact sport. 

 

Here’s how that works, an employee at the same company experienced cognitive dissonance in supplier ratings.  He discovered a program which was clearly failing to meet any cost, schedule, or program milestones, had been rated at a higher level than it deserved. It was discovered that this system was regularly put in place to cover the company’s weakness in managing the supplier. When the employee inherited the supplier, he immediately rated its performance below par, and consequently took much criticism and pressure from management given its previous acceptable rating.

 

To his credit, his response was that if the suppler was not living up to the Statement of Work (SOW) – (an extremely detailed document that captures and defines all aspects of a project, as well as the schedule for project completion) and if it failed to meet schedule, he would not change the rating back. There was no argument or fuzzy logic involved. Previously, others with less experience had feared such challenges as career limiting and under pressure had left the rating in the acceptable range to appease management.

 

This demonstrates how having to challenge management to live up to the “Integrity” value (“Be honest, always do the right thing”) on a regular basis can engender frustration, anger and a sense of complacency and as in any management challenge could become a ‘contact sport’.

 

Corporate Values, as presented by an organization’s management, might masquerade as support and guidance for employees with the expectation that the values are followed. But when company executives anywhere arecompensated and rewarded the same way Wall Streeters are, by sales and quarterly numbers, you have to expect Wall-Street behavior. You know it, the kind of behavior we saw with Gordon Gekko in Wall Street (1987). Gordon Gekko famously says “Greed, for lack of a better word, is good.” And “The most valuable commodity I know of is information.” And “Money never sleeps, pal.” Is this the value of “Excellence” my survey subjects referred to as “Performance”? Or is it just another way to say, get those sales, regardless of what happens later, this quarter, we all increased our annual bonuses.

 

Measuring success in this case may not be about values, but more about greed, but what happens when success and failure have a cause-and-effect relationship? Which comes first, the chicken or the egg?

 

Taken from Mary’s new book, The Leader You Don’t Want to Be, on sale now at Amazon.com

 
 

 

Connect with Mary: mary@encoreexecutivecoaching.comwww.encoreexecutivecoaching.comLinkedInFacebook

 

Call me: 401-742-1965

 

_____

 

 

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

Member, Beta Gamma Sigma, the International Honor Society. Advanced Studies in Education from Montclair University, SUNY Oswego and Syracuse University.

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

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island has not-yet decided whether to resume the administration of a COVID-19 vaccine that was paused over medical concerns.  Gun violence is beleaguering both the cities of Providence and Pawtucket.  A house close to this year's Home and Garden TV channel "Dream Home" was destroyed in Portsmouth yesterday.

>>RI Expecting To Decide On Janssen Shot Status This Week

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is not yet committing to resuming administration of the Johnson and Johnson coronavirus vaccine, unlike other New England states.  The RI Department of Health says to expect an announcement this week.  The states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Maine have already given the green light to resume the Janssen shot, while New Hampshire and Vermont are tentatively planning to do so this week.  The vaccine was halted because of rare blood clots reported in some women.

>>Two More Fatal Shooting Victims In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence homicide death toll in 2021 has increased to seven.  The Providence Police Department on Friday identified the victim of a shooting from the previous day as Nickolas DePanni of Smithfield.  Police believe the shooting on Indiana Avenue was over an argument from a drug transaction.  The Providence PD also said Brandin McKinney of Providence, who was shot in a car on Salina Street in the capital city on April 15th, died from his injuries last Wednesday.

>>Pawtucket Club Shut Down After Shooting Incident

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The Pawtucket chief of police has declared a downtown-area club a public nuisance.  The city's Major Crime Unit is investigating after a man was reportedly shot five times at Vibe Lounge overnight Friday and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.  The crowd at the club was allegedly hostile to police officers as they tried to reach the victim.  The Pawtucket City Council voted on Saturday to order the temporary closure of Vibe, pending a hearing.

>>Motorcycle Driver Killed In Crash In Westerly

(Westerly, RI)  --  A deadly motorcycle crash happened in Westerly on Saturday.  Police say Angelo Pascuzzi of Westerly and New Britain, Connecticut was pronounced dead at Westerly Hospital after the two-vehicle wreck at the intersection of Shore and Langworthy roads.  Pascuzzi's passenger was listed in critical hospital condition.  A pickup truck driver also involved in the crash was reportedly uninjured.  The accident remains under investigation.

>>Coast Guard Medevacs Fisherman Off Block Island

(New Shoreham, RI)  --  The Coast Guard responded to a medical emergency near Block Island over the weekend.  A crew from Air Station Cape Cod was dispatched to an area southwest of the Island on Saturday.  The Coast Guard says a 50-year-old fisherman was flown back to the mainland.

>>Fire Consumes Portsmouth Home

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  A multi-million-dollar home was destroyed in a fire in Portsmouth on Sunday.  Two occupants, a husband and wife, reportedly got out safely when the fire struck at around 4:30 a.m.  Several firefighters suffered injuries that were apparently not too serious.  The home was located on Vanderbilt Lane, very close to the annual Dream Home project by the Home and Garden Television network.  The cause of the fire is under investigation.

###
Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) CT) ME) NH) VT) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-26-2021 00:16:08

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 23, 2021

 
April 23, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Rhode Island Vaccinations: All adults – Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9am-6pm) and Sockanosset (7am-9pm) – walk in without appointments for vaccines. Free RIPTA transportation.

 

Facebook users in RI will see an alert in their newsfeed that they are eligible to be vaccinated and connect people to RI’s COVID vaccine site to book an appointment. This new alert is part of Facebook’s commitment to get 50 million people vaccinated.

 

TF Green has seen 667% increase in daily travelers since April 2020

 

Rhode Island DLT may bring back the need to document unemployed are looking for work.

 

Theatre by the Sea will not open for in-person performances this year.

 

URI graduation in-person commencement ceremonies that start Friday, May 21, and end Sunday, May 23, at Meade Stadium.

 

Connecticut will offer free summer camp for about 24,000 children using $11M in federal COVID-19 relief funds

 

Massachusetts plans to set aside 20,000 vaccine appointments at the Hynes Convention Center next week specifically for nonwhites, as reported in NewBostonPost.com

 

Green Animals Topiary Garden in Newport is now open

 

RI Calamari Festival being planned for 9-11 in Narragansett

 

RISE UP RI is starting a petition to state and district officials to end mandatory experimental testing on student athletes. 

 

Plymouth, MA parade and fireworks canceled for this year.

 

The Rustic Drive-In movie theater reopens tonight.

 

The website to apply for Shuttered PerformanceVenues grants in RI is not functioning for the past week.

 

The University of Rhode Island late Wednesday said it will allow its entire campus community to obtain a COVID-19 vaccine at a nearby state-run clinic, after contagious variants of the coronavirus were identified on campus over the past month.

 

Armando Bisceglia, owner of the Federal Hill Restaurant, Bacco Vino & Contorni, is off the ventilator at a Boston hospital and is being taken out of the ICU, on the road to recovery.

 

Another 1,406 people vaccinated on Saturday at the mass vaccination site for the BIPOC community – bringing a total of 4,068 – well done!

 

Bishop Tobin of the Diocese of Providence has now been vaccinated and encourages others to do so.

 

Boston’s Old North Church has reopened.

 

The Rhode Island Department of Health has been awarded $1,481,992 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to expand COVID-19 genomic sequencing.

 

The USGA, having canceled the Senior Open in RI because of COVID-19 announced that the Newport Country Club will hold the 2024 U.S. Senior Open, June 27-30.

 

15 community colleges in Massachusetts will require vaccinations to return to school in the fall.

 

Fenway is listing rescheduled new concert series, starting in July – all tentative for now.

 

Emerson College, Northeastern, and Boston University will require vaccinations to return in fall.

 

New Bedford, Fall River vaccination rates among lowest in Massachusetts

 

In Massachusetts, Barnstable saw more than four times the number of new residents in 2020 compared to 2019, putting the Cape Cod town at number four on the Times’ list of places that saw the largest influx of residents. In Western Massachusetts, Pittsfield came in at number six.

 

RIPTA  no-cost trips will enable everyone who wants to get to a vaccine clinic to get there easily. State vaccination sites and many pharmacy vaccination sites are located on existing RIPTA routes. Go to: www.ripta.com and enter travel information in the easy-to-use trip planner on the homepage. It will tell them which routes will take them from their starting point to their destination, and what walking distances may be involved. The website also has detailed maps and timetables for every RIPTA route.

 

Providence has a new COVID-19 Response partnership with Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island registering Providence residents who are members of their health plan for open vaccine appointments at city-organized vaccine clinics. Call 1-800-459-6019 Monday through Friday, between the hours of 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.

 

Dr. Jha has said that it is “pretty safe to be out and about without a mask” – he expects states to be lifting outdoor mask regulations – unless it is large groups for long periods of time. Indoor events will remain for some time with a mask recommendation.

 

Pop-Up COVID-19 Vaccination Clinic was held April 21st for Newport Hospitality Workers set for April 21st from 10am-8pm in downtown Newport.

 

Today’s Data – April 22, 2021

 

Deaths: 2

Tests – 19,275 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 1.6%

Hospitalized – 140 – In ICU – 23 – Ventilated – 20

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 29

Vaccinated – 500,595- Both shots – 340,575

 

 

Today’s Data – April 21, 2021

 

Deaths: 4

Tests – 17,961 – Positives – 296 – Percent positive – 1.6%

Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 26 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 0  – New Admissions – 25  – New Discharges – 27

Vaccinated – 490,765 – Both shots – 336,913

 

 

Today’s Data – April 20, 2021

 

Deaths: 3

Tests – 12,649 – Positives – 318 – Percent positive – 2.5%

Hospitalized – 153 – In ICU – 30 – Ventilated – 23

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 16 – New Discharges – 13

Vaccinated – 482,233 – Both shots – 333,476

 

 

Today’s Data – April 19, 2021

 

Deaths: 0 (4 over weekend)

Tests – 5,267 – Positives – 188 – Percent positive – 3..6%

Hospitalized – 136  – In ICU – 27 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 4 – New Admissions – 15 – New Discharges – 28

Vaccinated – 477,041 – Both shots – 330,237

 

 

Governor’s Update – 4/22/2021

 

Good news to share – schools doing much better opening up – vaccinations plentiful for all – stay the course. Restrictions will be lifted today.

 

More than ½ million in RI have rec’d one dose. 1/3 of state is fully vaccinated. More than 80% of 75+

 

More vaccines received than RI anticipated – appointments available now.

 

May 7th and May 28th key dates:

 

On May 7th – With 3-foot distance, masks not needed outdoors – still needed indoors.

 

Gyms, restaurants, houses of worship – 80% capacity, 3 feet spacing in and out.

 

Catered events – 200+ indoors; 500+ outdoors – removing testing requirements except for proms.

 

May 28th: lift all capacity limits – require 3 feet spacing – masks required indoors. This is for all businesses.

 

Restaurants are almost doubling capacity and that includes tips for servers.

 

Weddings – regular dancing this summer at their weddings. No need to change your wedding to another state.

 

Sports – April 26th – opening higher risk – karate, wrestling – including high schools are back. Spectators are also back. Bldg capacities and mask wearing inside. May 28th – out of state tournament restrictions lifted. Book these events all summer.

 

Dr. Scott:

 

All the new opportunities are meant for those who are fully vaccinated. Then we need to remain vigilant.

 

5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?

 

Sect. Pryor:

 

Business updates – all good news w/conditions and rules:

 

Reopening May 7th: 80% occupancy with 3-foot spacing indoors and out. More tables in restaurants. More patrons. More people in gyms. This is meant for those fully vaccinated. If not, be extremely cautious in protecting your health and your household’s health.

 

Restaurants – no capacity outdoors (with 3-feet spacing). No longer a cap for seating. Still no standing bar service. Bars outdoors CAN have standing service.

 

Testing no longer required for catered events. Bars/cocktail hours – still must have testing indoors.

 

Venues of assembly – 80% up to 500 indoors, no cap outdoors, 3 ft. spacing

 

May 28th – 100% capacity, all industries, 3-foot spacing indoors. Bars can take down plexiglass. Open dance floors with masks indoors and outdoors. TY to industry advocates.

 

Some churches, synagogues, etc. may want to partner with DBR or state to make facilities “healthier” with ventilation, etc. We are there to help.

 

Tom McCarthy:

 

All adults now eligible. 75% of new appts going to those 16-39. 5 state run sites, 3 regional sites, dozens of pharmacies, etc. for a total of 150 sites.

 

Partnered with RIPTA for free transportation.

 

Piloting walk up vaccination clinics. Fri/Sat at The Dunk (9-6) and Sockanosset (7-9) – walk in without appointments for vaccines.

 

Booster shots: thinking about integration into normal methods of healthcare.

 

By May 28th, we intend to have a good proportion of the state vaccinated.

 

Next step is to focus on large businesses – college campuses – high schools (16-18 y.o.)

 

More vaccine than we’ve ever had.

 

Q/A:

 

Q: Employment crisis – what are we doing to get people back to work, etc.

 

A: We are working on a RI solution. We are talking to restaurants and businesses. Janitorial services, day cares, etc. Washington has a responsibility on this, too.

 

Q: Increase of virus in younger people – how young, etc.

A: Combination. 10-24 people increasing. <16 not yet eligible for vaccine, so those around them should be vaccinated. People are more active, sports, better weather, etc. More transmission from households than anything. Because of the variant, and more contagious the vaccine is. We are not at the end yet. 5.8% of of positive cases had only school related exposures reported.?? 4.0% of cases?had both K12 and non-K12 exposure reported.?? 90.1% of cases had no reported school related exposure.?

 

Q: Vaccine hesitancy among younger – messaging?

A:  Ratchet up – go where the people are – not concerned yet – we’re going out to where the people are, Similar to BIPOC, teachers, etc. We are putting together a plan for a month.

Q: More marketing for youth?

A: Gov says not necessarily – need to go where the people are.

Q: BCBS will pay as long as there is a state of emergency – is that why you won’t call it off?

A: No – it’s the safety issue.

Q: Door to door in RI in hard hit communities?

A: We may do that in the future – first companies, colleges, etc.  We’ve seen strong demand from our 20-30 year olds. Would  like to see rate increase in 40-49.

Q: Unemployment insurance to require people to look for jobs –

A: Executive order is a possibility – legislation – etc – no state that’s figured this out yet. $300 supplemental we can use as an advantage.

Many new regulations beginning May 7th – and again on May 28th:

Look for detailed changes on Saturday

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Millennials and Gen Z hesitate to get vaccinated – as demands for vaccines wane and supplies grow.

80% of Americans over 65 will have received at least one shot.

 

President Biden asks for employers to give time off for people to get a vaccine, pay them for that time, and allow paid sick time for those who have reactions – companies will be offered a tax credit equal to that cost.

 

Pres. Biden implies July 4th plans may need to be canceled if the country doesn’t do better.

 

CDC says wearing masks outside is still a recommendation as numbers are too high in the US.

Many museums are opening with free or reduced admission.

 

Two “fully vaccinated sections” at the Dodgers-Padres game on Saturday will be available for Fans 16 and older who show proof that two weeks have passed since a final vaccination dose.

 

UK: No masks in secondary school classrooms from next month under rule changes expected on May 17…BUT they will still be required in corridors, other areas

Restaurant work — especially customer-facing roles like server and host — is still seen as hazardous. “Some people are still concerned about getting the virus at an in-person job,” says Jed Kolko, chief economist at the jobs site Indeed

 

Many Americans who worked in hospitality have simply left the industry amid the pandemic. Anecdotally, there are servers and bartenders joining training programs to get new jobs in tech or finance.

 

Some employers say they can’t compete with unemployment insurance checks and that workers would rather collect benefits than go back to work. But a Yale group of economists found that unemployment benefits don’t create a disincentive for job seekers.

Service employees have long been treated as disposable workers. Now, with restaurants desperate to hire, the power is finally in the hands of workers, says Alice Cheng, founder of Culinary Agents, a hospitality job search site.

 

Facebook is removing millions of pieces of COVID misinformation – 16 million pieces to date – to help build trust in critical vaccines at this important time.

Stockpiling, government subsidies, pent up elective procedure demand and bolstered infection prevention protocols are expected to boost medical suppliers’ balance sheets.

 

Johnson & Johnson vaccine is back in use in Europe, with precautionary guidance for physicians – it is expected to be re-introduced in the US with similar precautions, as it is felt the benefits outweigh the rare complications.

 

The federal Restaurant Revitalization Fund has not yet been launched, but will spend its first 21 days limiting applications to businesses owned by women, veterans or minorities. What remains will eventually be open to restaurants around the country.

 

The Georgia Aquarium says some of its Asian small-clawed otters have tested positive for the coronavirus.

In Reno, Burning Man hasn’t committed to whether an event will happen, but, if it does, organizers say vaccines will be required.

 

USDA announced it’llextend universal free lunch through the 2021-2022 school year “to reach more of the estimated 12 million youths experiencing food insecurity,”

 

Arizona’s governor lifts mask mandates for Arizona schools, allowing districts to decide

 

Spain to donate 5%-10% of its share of COVID-19 shots to Latin America

 

India is in full disaster mode as the coronavirus is overrunning the country.

 

An estimated that 129 billion face masks and 65 billion gloves are being used monthly. Unfortunately, while PPE is a necessary tool, its increased use is having detrimental effects on the environment, especially our oceans.

 

Ted Nugent tests positive for COVID-19 after refusing vaccine, falsely claiming “nobody knows what’s in it”

CVS has made 3 tests available over the counter:

Ellume COVID-19 Home Test Kit $38.99: The first rapid, fully at-home test to receive Emergency Use Authorization by the FDA for at-home use without a prescription. The test delivers results in 15 minutes through a free app downloaded to a smartphone, without the need for a second test. CVS Pharmacy is the first retailer to carry the Ellume Home Test Kit. It will be in select locations in RI and MA the week of April 19, with increasing availability on CVS.com and in most CVS Pharmacy locations by the end of May.

Abbott BinaxNOW COVID-19 Antigen Self-Test $23.99: Reliable fully at-home test for surveillance and frequent use delivers results in 15 minutes. The box contains two tests which should be administered twice over three days with at least 36 hours between tests.

 

Pixel by Labcorp Home Collection Kit: This PCR (polymerase chain reaction) test is the same test used by physicians across the U.S. Results typically are available within 1-2 days and can be accessed via the Pixel by Labcorp website. The test is available now at CVS.com and in select stores in AL, MA, RI and CT.

Half of all adults have had at least one shot – 1/3 have received both shots.

 

Researchers at Johnson & Johnson say they have yet “to establish a causal relationship” between a handful of unusual blood clot cases and the company’s COVID-19 vaccine.

 

Brazil is in chaos with an explosion of chaos.

India is running out of oxygen as their hospitals fill up with cases.

 

Regarding booster shots, Dr. Fauci said: “I believe by the time we get to the end of the summer and the beginning of the fall, we’ll have a pretty good idea whether we definitely or not need to get people boosts and when we need to give it to them,” he added.

In New York, the Johnson & Johnson vaccinations forced the rescheduling of at least 4,000 appointments last week and has slowed the city’s ability to vaccinate groups like homeless people, people with disabilities or older people who cannot leave their homes. City officials have said the ease of the one-shot vaccine made it preferable to other vaccines.

Fauci: ‘I Doubt Very Seriously’ U.S. Will Cancel J&J Vaccine

 

The global death rate from COVID-19 has now passed

3 million.

 

West Virginia is offering remote workers cash and other enticements to relocate. Out-of-state participants who move to West Virginia will receive $12,000 along with passes for a year’s worth of whitewater rafting, golf, rock climbing, horseback riding, skiing, ziplining and other activities. The full relocation package is valued at more than $20,000.

 

Tennessee, like much of the nation, is finding that rural, white residents need a little more coaxing to roll up their sleeves for the shot.

 

Long Covid sufferers are seeking disability benefits. 

Rome to Milan COVID-free trains will begin service

Beaumont Health in Michigan is turning to tents to handle the flow of people seeking emergency care as it deals with a crush of COVID-19 patients in suburban Detroit Economists coined the term “she-cession” to describe the pandemic-fueled economic downturn’s effect on the unemployment rate among women. While past recessions took a larger toll on men, the global job loss rate for women last year was 1.8 times higher than it was for men,

 

The Red Bee Group, a consulting firm for corporations and law firms is working on a study about the pandemic’s impact on women’s legal careers and say an exodus could be on the horizon. “People may not have left physically, but they are leaving mentally,” Liebenberg says. “Women are looking for legal employers that have more predictability for schedules and more flexibility. I think because of the pandemic, people are reevaluating what they want out of work.”

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Capacity restrictions that have been in place for over a year will soon be lifted in Rhode Island.  A special election date has been set to fill the seat of the former Providence City Council president who became the state's second-in-command.  The ACLU says a federal judge has struck down an anti-panhandling ordinance in Cranston.

>>RI Weeks Away From Full Lift Of Capacity Restrictions

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee says the state is going to one-hundred-percent lift capacity restrictions on businesses by May 28th.  The restrictions have been in place since the start of the pandemic.  Three-foot social-distancing and mask-wearing will still be required indoors.  Leading up to that date, McKee urged Rhode Islanders to stay disciplined and follow the rules that are in place.  And state officials at a COVID update on Thursday urged everyone to get vaccinated.

>>Special Election To Fill Sabina Matos City Council Seat

(Providence, RI)  --  A special election date is being set to replace Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] on the Providence City Council.  The former council president Matos is now the lieutenant governor of Rhode Island.  A primary for the seat in the city's 15th Ward will be held on June 8th, and a general election will be held on July 6th.  Those who are interested in running must declare their candidacy by the end of this month.

>>FBI Issues Scam Warning

(Boston, MA)  --  The FBI in Boston is warning the public about an increase in scams featuring impersonators of a government agency representative.  This warning is going out to residents of Rhode Island, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Maine.  In the Ocean State, about fifty victims were reportedly scammed out of nearly half-a-million dollars in 2020.  The FBI says federal agencies do not call or email individuals threatening arrest or demanding money.

>>ACLU Announces Court Decision On Cranston Panhandling Ordinance

(Cranston, RI)  --  A federal judge is signing an order which rules that an ordinance prohibiting panhandling in the city of Cranston is unconstitutional.  That's according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which filed suit after the ordinance barring someone from entering the roadway for the purpose of distributing or receiving anything from a vehicle occupant was enacted in 2017.  Cranston Mayor Ken Hopkins said he supported the 2017 vote from the council, but that he believes it is in the best interest of the city's taxpayers to end the litigation against the ACLU.  The organization often opposes such anti-panhandling efforts from other municipalities in the courtroom.

>>Bill Granting Statehood For District Of Columbia Passes House

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island could lose its status as the smallest state in the union.  A bill granting statehood to Washington, DC has been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives.  It faces uncertainty in the U.S. Senate.  Rhode Island is over a thousand square miles, while DC is less than a hundred.

>>WooSox Owner Takes Apparent Shot At Ex-RI Lawmaker

(Worcester, MA)  --  The final touches are being put on the new home of the relocated Pawtucket Red Sox in Worcester, Massachusetts ahead of a May 11th home opener.  There have been plenty of news articles covering the preparation of the stadium that will host the minor league team.  Rhode Islanders might be particularly interested in one story from The Boston Globe last week.  Reporter Dan McGowan, who previously worked for WPRI-TV, was told by WooSox owner Larry Lucchino [[ luke-EE-no ]] to, quote, "Make sure you hand-deliver it to Mattiello", referring to the former Rhode Island House speaker.  Some have blamed departure of the PawSox on the RI General Assembly's hesitancy to commit to public funding for a new stadium.

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

04-23-2021 00:56:06

RI Veterans: Did you know?

“RI Veterans: Did you know?” – by John Cianci

 
April 22, 2021/John Cianci

 

By John A Cianci, Department Veteran Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans 

 

VA Caretaker Program provides monthly non-taxable stipend to spouse or family/friends

 

The Veterans Administration (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (PCAFC) pays a monthly, non-taxable stipend up to an estimated $2,000 a month for a spouse or family member or friend to provide personal care services to an eligible Veteran so she/he can remain living at home. The care or assistance can be needed to support the Veteran’s

 

  • Health and well-being
  • Everyday personal needs (feeding, bathing, and dressing, for example)
  • Safety, protection, or instruction in their daily living environment

 

Additionally, Eligible Primary Family Caregivers may also receive access to health care benefits through the Civilian Health and Medical Program of the Department of Veterans Affairs (CHAMPVA)—if you don’t already qualify for care or services under another health care plan.

 

For example, I had a friend who was unemployed, no health insurance, and required to provide court ordered health insurance to his children. He was qualified as a caregiver as an extended family member for a veteran. The VA allocated 20 hours per week of caregiver services, which allows him access to ChampVA healthcare not only for himself, but also children while he was a caretaker for the veteran.

 

With the passage of the Mission Act in 2019, the caregiver program expanded the eligibility for the program on October 1, 2020 – eligibility extended to Veterans who served on or before May 7, 1975. Already eligible for the caretakers’ programs were veterans who served on or after September 11, 2011. On October 1, 2022 the VA will expand the caretaker program to include eligible Veterans from all eras.

 

To be eligible for the caretaker program all of these must be true for the Veteran cared for:

 

  • The Veteran must have a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or higher. The Veteran’s service-connected disabilities must have been caused or made worse by their active-duty service during one of these periods of time:
  • On or after September 11, 2001, or
  • On or before May 7, 1975
  • And the Veteran must:
  • Have been discharged from the U.S. military or have a date of medical discharge, and
  • Need at least 6 mos. of continuous, in-person personal care services eligibility

 

A Veteran/Service member who wishes to participate in the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (or the Veteran/Servicemember’s Representative or Power of Attorney, as applicable) must meet applicable criteria and requirements, including:

 

  • Fully complete, sign, date and submit the Application for Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers Program, VA Form 10-10CG.
  • Agree to receive ongoing care from a primary care team selected by VA. The Veteran/Servicemember is responsible for:
  • Following your local VA medical facility’s policies for Release of Information and Privacy, which allows you to authorize VA to share your health information with the Primary Family Caregiver.

 

To clarify eligibility, the injury or disability did not have to incur in a combat zone. To be eligible, a veteran must have a VA service-connected combined disability of 70% or more. Eligibility does not mean entitlement, as the Veteran/service member circumstances must meet applicable criteria and requirements.

 

The Italian American War Veterans of Rhode Island (ITAM-RI) provides FREE veteran benefit reviews for ALL veterans, membership is not required. If you would like to set up a free “benefit check-up”, contact ITAM-RI, email itamri4vets@gmail.com, or call (401) 677-9VET.

 

_____

 

VETTIP: VA rules are complicated and always changing. From senior and experienced veteran service officer’s guidance to me, always have the veteran apply in writing to the VA for any benefit the veteran believes he or she is entitled. Moreover, if previously denied, review the reason(s) why you were denied, and if the veteran believes the decision was erroneous, contact a Veteran Service Officer in your area, who will assist you free of any charges.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

Q1 – How do I apply for the caregiver program?

 

By mail:

 

Fill out a joint Application for the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers (VA Form 10-10CG).
Download VA Form 10-10CG (PDF)
Mail the form and any supporting documents to:

 

Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers
Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Road NE, Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329-1647

 

In person/over the phone:

 

Bring your completed VA Form 10-10CG to your local VA medical center’s Caregiver Support Coordinator. To find the name of your local coordinator, you can:

 

 

If you need help with filling out the form, call 855-488-8440, option 3. Or you can contact your local Caregiver Support Coordinator.

 

Q2 – How does a veteran know if he or she is receiving VA disability combined 70% or more service connected?

 

The first question I will ask the veteran, how much is your monthly payment from the VA? The veteran can check his or her account where the VA service-connected disability is deposited. Is the deposit $1400 or more, if yes, more than likely, you are receiving payment for 70% or more combined service connected. Another method to verify, is to check your ebenefits.va account.

 

Q3 – Is the process of applying and receiving approval of the VA caregiver program difficult?

 

Best answered by a spouse who applied and was approved by the VA; here is her story from the VA official blog:

 

“My husband served through two tours in Iraq as an infantryman in the Army. During his second deployment, his vehicle hit IEDs multiple times. His injuries never seemed to be severe, concussions and bruises, yet when he came home he was a different man–so different that it feels like the man I married died over there, but yet I couldn’t even grieve because his body, alive and breathing, was right in front of me. Every day I saw my husband’s face, but yet he was nowhere to be found. Eventually he was diagnosed with traumatic brain injury (TBI), severe PTSD and depression. He also had spinal surgery a year ago to take out the discs that were ruined from the blasts and the excessive wear. Unfortunately, the outcome was poor. These days I have to watch for booby trapped doors at night because he is paranoid. He can’t go to our daughter’s school functions or even the grocery store. Crowds overwhelm him and open spaces have him scanning constantly for snipers. He stays in bed for days, and when he isn’t in bed, my daughter and I find ourselves walking on eggshells because we never know what will set him off. I have to handle all of our finances as well as appointments because he is no longer capable. I also have to make sure I go to all of his appointments with him because he finds it hard to process information and put his thoughts into words. Every now and then I get some glimpses of the “old guy” I knew, but it never lasts long before I have to say “goodbye” to him, yet again, and the “new guy” comes back.

 

When I heard through Family of a Vet, which is an online PTSD and TBI advocacy group, about the Caregiver program I almost didn’t apply. I’ve been so used to not being taken seriously by people, friends and family included, about my husband’s condition. Despite all of the issues I mentioned above, if you were to meet him you would never guess what we go through behind closed doors. Nearly all of his injuries are invisible- but invisible injuries leave scars. . .unfortunately you can only feel the scars, not see them. I figured that it would be easy to be eligible for the Caregiver program if he were an amputee or wheelchair bound, but I thought they would surely take one look at my husband and wonder why in the world we were applying. At worst, I figured they would tell us to take a hike, and at best, I figured I was going to have to fight for it.

 

I cannot tell you how wrong I was. This was the most painless process I have ever gone through that has been associated with my husband’s military career or medical care. I applied through a state appointed veterans’ counselor. Once the application was in I steadied myself for a long wait, after all we are in month 18 of waiting for the VA Comp and Pen board to review his case so I figured it would be a similar wait. Again, I was wrong. Three days later I received a phone call from a social worker at the Stratton VA Medical Center. She asked me questions about my husband, what I have to do for him, what the challenges are, etc. At first, it was questions about physical things, and I thought “oh boy…here we go,” but from there it moved on to issues of TBI and PTSD. The most challenging question was when I was asked what I really do to assist my husband. It was challenging because I have been doing this for so long that I don’t know anymore- I just do what needs to be done to get through the day. I was honest and told her that, and she was wonderful and helped me break down exactly what I did for my husband by asking me other questions. The phone interview was actually enjoyable because I felt understood. She was empathetic and actually thanked me for standing by my husband-that recognition was amazing! There are some days when I don’t think I can hang on for one more second and to have someone recognize this made me feel very good.

 

A couple of days later, I received another phone call from the Caregiver Support Coordinator, Marianne Hunter, to clarify a couple of things on the application. Again, this was another great phone call. Marianne is absolutely amazing- she made me feel very comfortable, supported and through her I have someone on my side, someone to turn to.

 

About a week after that phone call, I got my Caregiver Training Book and DVD in the mail. I have a feeling I would have gotten it faster, but it wasn’t even finished being made yet! That night I sat down while my husband was in bed and spent three hours reading every single word of that book, cover to cover, and then I took the test that came with it. The next morning, I emailed my test into Easter Seals. Two days after that I got a confirmation email that they had received it, and I believe just a few days after that, I got a call from the home nurse to schedule my home visit. I was very nervous about the home visit. I was so nervous that they would come and take one look at my husband and determine that there was nothing wrong with him. I was afraid that they might judge me or my home or scold me for the way I was handling things.

 

When the nurses came the first thing they did was to tell me that this visit was not to assess my husband’s condition, that had already been done. Their job was to listen to us and try to help us, help us to keep my husband safe and to make my job a little bit easier. They sat in the living room with me and my husband and one even cuddled our little kitten. Immediately they felt like allies. They asked a lot of the same questions that were asked in the first phone call of the application process and my husband was able to chime in too which was nice. Afterward the nurses walked around my home with me and as I showed them areas of difficulty for my husband such as the stairs (he falls a lot) they took notes with suggestions of things that could be ordered to help him. The visit took thirty minutes at the most and again was enjoyable. I had more support and I felt so validated, finally, people believe me, they saw our struggles, they didn’t try to downplay anything, I didn’t have to fight for help, I didn’t have to plead my case, I didn’t have to defend my husband’s condition or actions. Finally, I wasn’t alone anymore, finally I have a support system. As I type this I am tearing up, it has been so long, so very long that I’ve been dealing with it on my own and to have people on your side, especially people on your side that can do more than just listen, but actually help you with your situation-that is a beautiful thing.

 

Being a part of this first-time program is a huge blessing to me, the stipend will allow us a much better quality of life. We are now able to afford payments on a much more reliable car, previously we would frequently miss my husband’s doctor’s appointments because our car would break down and we had no other transportation. It allows us to send our daughter to summer camp or activities with other children, which gives her a great and much needed break from her stressful home environment. All in all, having the stipend allows us to build a savings, pay off debts and just feel a little more at ease in our situation. Having one less thing to worry about definitely eases my burden.

 

I want to say thank you so much to everyone who helped in my process and a huge special thanks to Marianne Hunter who wasn’t just a passing figure in helping me through this process but is now a part of my life. When I am having a hard day, I can send her an email, when I have questions she is right there, and she also comes to me with questions because she recognizes that I live this every single day and that means a lot to me.

 

Thank you to everyone who has a part in the Caregiver Program at the Albany VA Medical Center. This has been an absolutely painless experience- from the day I applied to the day I was done; the process was only three weeks. Thank you for recognizing what I and other spouses are going through.”

 

Jennifer Conlon is the wife and caregiver of an Iraq Veteran.

 

_____

 

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 

An Earth Day Imagine: Plant 5,000 trees, in 5 years, in 02905

An Earth Day Imagine: Plant 5,000 trees, in 5 years, in 02905 – 

Richard Asinof

 
April 22, 2021/Richard Asinof

 

by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer

 

Photo: Pine trees planted as a buffer to prevent dust from the piles of scrap metal from being blown from a Sims Metal location on Allens Avenue are all dying, apparently.

 

The view of the downtown Providence skyline from the vantage of Allens Avenue is not one to be captured or portrayed in brochures marketing Rhode Island as a “cooler and warmer” tourist destination.

 

It resembles, in miniature, the view of the New York City skyline from the highways traversing the industrial swamps of the Meadowlands in New Jersey, from which the Big Apple seems to appear as an Oz-like, mythical destination of progress and prosperity looming on the horizon.


From most travelers, north and south on Interstate 95, Allens Avenue is encountered as a sharp curve in the highway, with a visual landscape dominated by a blur of holding tanks, large billboards, and the iconic Big Blue Bug.


 

But, for those living in the neighborhoods adjacent to Allens Avenue, no one needs to be reminded about how the money is being made; the sources of the gritty transactions are all visible, in plain sight.

 

 

They include:



• Ever-increasing piles of scrap metal destined for export.

• Large holding tanks of asphalt products, natural gas and petroleum facilities, often the source of noxious releases.

• The constant hum of truck traffic traversing the elevated, arching invertebrate of Route 95, and beneath it, on Allens Avenue.

• Layers of toxic dust that coat the sidewalks, homes and parked cars.

• Heat islands of parking lots that dominate Eddy Street, which runs parallel to Allens Avenue, serving the Lifespan and Care New England health system campuses.

• The numerous, infamous strip clubs.

 

As retired pediatrician Dr. Peter Simon described the Allens Avenue landscape at a community meeting opposing a proposed waste transfer facility in early 2020, it is the home of Rhode Island’s two largest exports – scrap metal, and sexually transmitted infections such as syphilis.

 

Investing in canopy
A new, more hopeful vision of what Allens Avenue might become is emerging, articulated by Linda Perri, a community leader of the Washington Park Association. She has launched a new initiative, “5,000 trees in five years in 02905,” to transform her neighborhood.


 

“Wouldn’t it be great,” Perri said, envisioning a billboard promoting the campaign along I-95. “Plant 5,000 trees in five years – we could get national attention, you know.”

 

As Perri explained, there are three new wind turbines that are going to be erected in South Providence, which will join the three existing wind turbines. “We want to focus on that and focus on clean industry. We want to bring clean industry onto Allens Avenue. Maybe one good clean industry comes in and maybe one dirty one moves out.”

 

Perri continued: “You have to start somewhere. The Jewelry District has been transformed into the Innovation District. We could create an Innovation Waterfront District here, with maybe some marine technologies or fish hatcheries, and perhaps create mixed use opportunities west of Allens Avenue and up into Eddy Street.”

 

The connections between increasing tree canopy and reducing intimate partner violence is at the center of a major effort by the Newport Health Equity Zone, working with the R.I. Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the Women’s Resource Center.

 

As Cynthia Roberts, the empowerment evaluator for all programs at the R.I. Coalition against Domestic Violence, explained at the February 2020 meeting of stakeholders convened by the Rhode Island Foundation to discuss its long-term health plan, “Open space had been a big priority identified [in the community needs assessment] but there was no funding. When the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention came out with a new funding [proposal] and said that we’re moving upstream, it created an opportunity for the work involved with preventing intimate partner violence by greening urban spaces.” [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “Greening urban spaces as a prevention strategy for intimate partner violence.”]

 

The Pawtucket-Central Falls Health Equity Zone was recently awarded a $100,000 grant to expand tree cover in neighborhoods that don’t have enough trees, according to a story in ecoRI News. Groundwork Rhode Island will be working with the municipalities, residents, and other stakeholders to plant 140 trees in neighborhoods with the hottest temperatures, least number of trees, and other vulnerabilities that could be addressed with more trees.

 

In terms of scale, the South Providence initiative seeks to plant 5,000 trees, compared to the 140 plantings planned for Central Falls and Pawtucket – nearly 40 times as many trees.


“As we get more people living in our urban corridor, we need to focus more on housing.” Perri continued. “We could put in some parks, create waterfront access, and all of a sudden, South Providence isn’t the pits that it’s been for 30 years. It becomes [a neighborhood] that is normal. We deserve better than what we have. Everybody knows it.”

 

Providence City Councilman Pedro Espinal endorsed the idea of planting 5,000 trees in five years in the ward he represents. “It is a great plan, one that has support,” he told ConverenceRI. “It’s going to take people coming together. It has to be a combined effort, between government and community groups. But the key role is played by citizens, the people who live in this community; they are the driving force.”

 

Here is the ConvergenceRI interview with Linda Perri, talking about the effort to plant 5,000 trees in five years in 02905, perhaps one of those “big ideas” that the Rhode Island Foundation will recommend investing in with the $1 billion from the American Rescue Plan.

 

ConvergenceRI: Have you announced the new initiative publicly?
PERRI: I mentioned it at the Port of Providence meeting on April 14. [Providence City Planner] David Everett thought it was a good idea.

 

My mission is to engage nonprofits and businesses in and around the Port area, not discriminating, including all of them. Johnson & Wales University, Lifespan, the Narragansett Improvement Company, Sprague, even the strip clubs.


My goal is to get them to agree to plant trees and maintain them, as part of a long-term plan to correct the impact of the “heat island” that is happening here.


I want to include the neighborhood residents and the youth groups and the schools. It’s going to be a big deal, but I think it is achievable.

 

In addition, my goal is to create a few urban parks in the industrial areas along Allens Avenue.

 

I want to join forces with the EPA, with the R.I. Department of Environmental Management, and the R.I. Department of Transportation, to build a road infrastructure for trees.

 

Washington Park, unfortunately, has a lack of curbing, so we need to come up with some kind of creative solution to that, without having to spend thousands and thousands of dollars on granite curbs.

 

Because lower South Providence, where we are in Washington Park, has the least amount of canopy [tree cover] in the whole city of Providence. We have heat islands, the scourge of Allens Avenue. We have a lot to counter, so we need the most trees.


If you talk with the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program [PNPP, a street tree planting partnership between the Mary Elizabeth Sharpe Providence Neighborhood Planting Program Fund, the City of Providence, and residents of Providence], if you talk with Douglas Still [the Providence City Forester], they are aware of the need for trees here.

 

The initiative will be a collaboration working across departments, working with the DEM and my city council person, Pedro Espinal.

 

ConvergenceRI: I have heard that waterfront access is also an issue that you want to address.
PERRI: Yes, the lack of waterfront access on Public Street is going to be reviewed pretty soon by the Coastal Resources Management Council. South Providence has no waterfront access. We are striving to create access on Public Street.

 

Unfortunately, we now have a big salt pile on Public Street at [its intersection] with Allens Avenue, where Champion Salt is at the corner. We’d like them to go into the Port [of Providence], but because of the Sims Metal sprawl, they have expanded their footprint along Allens Avenue.

 

Sims Metal has a mandated buffer of pine trees, which they allowed to die. Most of those trees are dead. People think it’s cosmetic, but tit’s not. The buffer is there for the reasons that we are breathing the dust from the scrap metal piles all the time.

 

ConvergenceRI: What kinds of outreach do you plan to find supporters for your initiative?
PERRI: I will be approaching the Rhode Island Foundation; I will also be approaching GrowSmart RI, and I will be approaching Meeting Street School, among others. The Washington Park Association is not a nonprofit, but we plan to collaborate with another nonprofit to get funding for the initiative.

 

To read the story in full: http://newsletter.convergenceri.com/stories/imagine-plant-5000-trees-in-5-years-in-02905,6487

_____

 
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: COVID-19 vaccine availability no-longer appears to be an issue in Rhode Island.  Members of the Providence Police Department are receiving training viewed as necessary in the fight for racial justice.  The owners of a Pawtucket property that the city has tried to acquire are filing a lawsuit.

>>Rhode Island Coronavirus Vaccination Campaign Update

(Providence, RI)  --  The supply-and-demand dynamic of the COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island is changing.  At the beginning of the rollout in the Ocean State, officials worked diligently to make sure the highest-priority residents had access.  Now demand is slowing down as attention turns to younger generations who may not be as eager to get the shot.  The Providence Journal reported many of the nine-thousand vaccine appointments released by the state on Tuesday were still available on Wednesday.  Governor Dan McKee said Tuesday, quote, "we are in that mode where we need to do the reach-outs in every way we can".

>>Providence Police To Receive Training

(Providence, RI)  --  All four-hundred-plus members of the Providence Police Department are receiving de-escalation and bias awareness training.  The city made the announcement on Tuesday, the same day Derek Chauvin [[ SHO-vin ]] was convicted of the murder of George Floyd.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza says advancing racial and social justice requires such biases to be eliminated in order to provide the best service for the community.  The cost of the training is being covered by the Rhode Island Foundation.

>>North Providence Police Chief Retiring

(North Providence, RI)  --  The police chief of North Providence is retiring.  Arthur Martins became the chief at the beginning of 2020.  He told the Valley Breeze he is stepping down for personal reasons.  North Providence Deputy Police Chief Alfredo Ruggiero will be promoted.

>>Chickens Killed In Fire

(Johnston, RI)  --  About three-thousand chickens died in a fire at a Johnston farm on Wednesday morning.  According to Anita Baffoni, who is a reporter for WPRI-TV, the fire was at her family's farm on Greenville Avenue.  No human injuries were reported.  It has been a bad month for birds in Rhode Island.  About a hundred exotic birds died at a wildlife sanctuary in Hopkinton on April 1st.

>>Apex Property Owners Suing Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The owners of a Pawtucket property that has long been sought by the city are suing in federal court.  The owners of the downtown Apex property are accusing the city of illegally using eminent domain as an attempted acquisition tool.  The suit was filed earlier this month.  The city had previously focused plans to build a new baseball stadium on the Apex site, but with the departure of the Red Sox minor league affiliate, the new plan is to use the Apex site as part of a new soccer stadium development.

>>Lawmaker Wants Education Department Move Scrutinized

(Providence, RI)  --  A state representative is calling for the Rhode Island House Oversight Committee to look into a decision made by the state Department of Education.  Representative William O'Brien wants the committee to examine RIDE's move to require the Paul V. Sherlock Center on Disabilities at Rhode Island College to bid for a contract to provide services to blind and visually-impaired students.  According to a State House press release, the decision resulted in the Sherlock Center laying off many teachers.

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

04-22-2021 00:59:06

Record breaking year for RI single family home sales

emilio-new-photo
 

Record breaking year for RI single family home sales – Emilio DiSpirito

 
April 21, 2021/Emilio DiSpirito

 

By Emilio DiSpirito, Realtor and License Partner of Engel & Völkers Rhode Island

 

Rhode Island single family home prices, according to Statewide MLS, have surpassed the highest median sales price in history, now at $350,000. Current prices are approximately 70% higher than they were in 2014, hovering around $206,000. The median home is about 1400 sq ft and contains 3 beds and 2 baths.

 

As demand has skyrocketed with housing supply at a record low of around 650 homes for sale throughout the great state of Rhode Island, days on market have plummeted to under 20! It’s not uncommon for homes to get between 10 to 20 offers in the more desirable areas and in almost all price ranges from starter to the luxury home market.

 

“We had 143 guests in only two hours with 23 offers and prices reaching over 23% above asking on our newest listing” explains Pamela Hogan, Broker Associate of Hogan Simpson Group at Engel & Völkers East Greenwich. “The most amazing part is that buyers paying top dollar are offering to waive inspections, appraisal, and mortgage contingencies while offering large deposits. It’s pure pandemonium and there is no end in sight with the lack of inventory, low mortgage prices and ease of financing”, says Hogan.

 

According to Freddie Mac, the United States housing market has a shortage of over 4 million homes for the number of buyers ready and able to currently buy. Many homeowners feel that they are unable to find suitable housing and are hesitant to sell, further feeding the demand for new construction. With the prices of wood and raw materials surging, home prices are only going to continue to increase through the Ocean State.

 

_____

 

 

If you would have asked me what I wanted to be growing up, little Emilio would have told you “an archeologist” or “an architect” despite the fact that at age 8 I had my first lemonade stand, landscaping business and was recording my first “news show” on my boombox!  Well, I never was much good at trigonometry and did could not see myself traveling for months and possibly years at a time, so becoming an architect or archaeologist clearly did not happen!

Fast forward 26 years later and I’m running a team of the finest residential real estate professionals, own a media company and host my very own radio news show about real estate!

In September of 2017, I married my best friend, Jaclynn, and we have two wonderful children, Destinee and Emilio, V.  We have 3 dogs, one of which is a rescue and live in lovely Rhode Island. Jaclynn owns a high-end hair salon in addition to an on-location hair and makeup business!

For 7 years straight it seemed that I had put in more hours than the day had to give on my real estate business. 7 days a week, 14 to 16 hour days, without a break! Why? My friends and family did not understand the sheer magnitude of moving parts and services we offer to our clients during a transaction! One slip up or one missed call could mean make or break for someone’s dream home or even a lost deposit!

Running a team of like-minded, highly qualified and capable professionals has allowed me to offer a very streamlined, simplified and efficient approach to the sales process for our clients and allowed me to earn personal time again with my family while not missing a beat for my clients!

When I’m not working, I’m with my family, riding my mountain bike, eating at a number of local restaurants, enjoying live entertainment, hiking, skiing or reading!

Contact:  emiliodiv@gmail.com

George Floyd

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George Floyd

 
April 21, 2021/RINewsToday

 

The world has been saying his name. George Floyd.

 

A jury of Floyd’s peers found Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin guilty on all three charges in the death of George Floyd – second and third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter. The jury returned a verdict in less than a day, approximately 10 hours, without asking any questions of the judge. Chauvin, who had been out on bail was immediately taken into custody by a court sheriff. By approximately 5pm, Chauvin was transferred to the Minnesota Correctional Facility-Oak Park Heights, 25 miles east of downtown Minneapolis. Sentencing should take place in 6-10 weeks. An appeal is expected.

 

Crowds locally went from near-silence in the moments before the verdict to tears and shouts of “Say his name – George Floyd” as the verdict spread through thousands gathered outside the court and at the vigil where Floyd died. Thousands of police and National Guard were standing by in the city. The Guard carried unloaded rifles. Minneapolis is under a “peace” order and schools are closed for the rest of the week.

 

Peaceful marches and demonstrations occurred throughout the community and the country. In New York, groups chanted, “Whose streets? Our streets.”

 

Floyd’s father, who watched the verdict on television spontaneously said, “I just miss him so much, but right now I am so happy”.

 

The Sentencing

 

He could face decades – over 40 years – in prison at his sentencing there is precedent for a minimum sentence as a first offender. If so, his sentence could be as short as 12.5 years. Each count will have a sentence, but the sentences would be served concurrently, not consecutively. His lawyers are also likely to appeal the verdict. Other officers involved face a trial at the end of the summer.

 

Local Reaction:

 

Gov. McKee & Lt. Gov. Matos: “While today’s verdict will never bring back George Floyd, whose life was tragically taken, it reaffirms a fundamental tenant of our country — that no one is above the law. Our thoughts are with the Floyd family and the people of Minnesota. Justice was served today, but we have a lot of work to do to put a stop to police brutality, root out systemic racism, and build a more equitable state and nation.”

 

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza: “The jury has confirmed what millions had witnessed — the cold-blooded murder of George Floyd by a police officer who was sworn to protect him,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “While I hope this verdict gives the Floyd family some peace, justice will not bring George back. We cannot rest until we address the centuries of racial injustices and social inequities that brought us to this moment. Tonight, we will again mourn the loss of George Floyd and so many others and tomorrow we will recommit to this work so that we do not lose another person to racial violence.”

 

Rhode Island Police Chiefs’ Association: “Justice was served this afternoon in a Minneapolis courtroom when a jury rightly convicted Derek Chauvin for murdering George Floyd nearly a year ago. “Our thoughts are with the Floyd family. The verdict is a sign that there is accountability for those who take the life of another, and an affirmation that Black Lives Matter. “On behalf of every police chief in Rhode Island, we wish to reiterate that we stand with Black Americans today and every day. Every decent man and woman who wears a badge is committed to doing the essential work of ensuring equity in policing and confronting systemic racism that has plagued our nation for too long.” Note: With RI Foundation funding, all police members will undergo implicit bias and de-escalation training by the end of 2020.

 

Jim Vincent, NAACP – Providence: “There’s no celebration. There’s no victory. Because we cannot bring George back. However, at least it seems like justice in this case was done,” said Jim Vincent with NAACP Providence. “I don’t think this itself sets a precedent. I think it’s a step in the right direction.” – “America was on trial,” he said. “Either we are a multicultural democracy or we’re not. If we’re not, let’s just admit that we’re not. I think as you see more police officers being held accountable for crimes that they commit as opposed to of getting off, over time you might see some officers behaving differently. But I don’t think it’s going to be changed overnight.”

 

Brother Gary Dantzler – Black Lives Matter, RI: “I am relieved and happy that the justice system held Derek Chauvin accountable today. But this is not justice. Police have been brutalizing African Americans and people of color for hundreds of years. Today was a reflection of their negligence. While I am optimistic that this is the beginning of real change, I have personally experienced police brutality as a Black man in America. My heart is hurting. Economically, spiritually, and emotionally, we are all hurting. We must come together to honor George Floyd and all the others that have lost their life at the hands of police by working together to support the community.”

 

Harrison Tuttle, Black Lives Matter, RI PAC: – “No verdict will ease the pain of the Floyd family, but a guilty verdict is a step in the right direction. We have a long way to go before the U.S. justice system comes close to something we can call ‘justice’. We won’t rest and we won’t be silent until justice is finally, actually, served.”

 

President Biden & Vice President Harris held a brief news conference. From the official White House statement: “It’s a trauma on top of the fear so many people of color live with every day when they go to sleep at night and pray for the safety of themselves and their loved ones. Again — as we saw in this trial, from the fellow police officers who testified — most men and women who wear the badge serve their communities honorably. But those few who fail to meet that standard must be held accountable. And they were today; one was. No one should be above the law. And today’s verdict sends that message. (cont: https://bit.ly/3n7qMa3 ) – Both Biden and Harris seek passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act.

 
 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: There was reaction on Tuesday from the Ocean State to the murder conviction of Derek Chauvin, but no word of any demonstrations.  A worker was killed yesterday in an apparent accident at the Electric Boat facility.  A judge has approved a settlement in a freedom of speech case which pitted a homeowner against the town of Portsmouth.

>>Rhode Island Reaction To Derek Chauvin Conviction

(Providence, RI)  --  The Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee released a statement after the murder conviction of former police officer Derek Chauvin [[ SHOW-vin ]] on Tuesday.  The group said nothing will ease the pain of the family of George Floyd, but it called the verdict a step in the right direction.  However, it added that there is still progress that must be made in the U.S. justice system.  In a separate statement, Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee and Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos said that work includes stopping police brutality and rooting out systemic racism.

>>No Known Protests Related To Chauvin Verdict In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department said Tuesday night they did not know of any organized protests related to the conviction of Derek Chauvin for the killing of George Floyd.  That's according to a report from WPRI-TV.  Rhode Island State Police were parked in front of the State House last night, according to Channel 12.

>>Electric Boat Worker Reportedly Killed In Accident

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  Electric Boat says an employee died in a workplace accident at the Quonset facility on Tuesday.  The North Kingstown Police Department says the worker was welding a submarine hull when he became pinned between the hull and a mechanical lift.  The unnamed man in his 50s was reportedly pronounced dead at a local hospital.  The incident is under investigation.

>>ACLU Says Settlement Approved Following Portsmouth Sign Dispute

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The American Civil Liberties Union says a federal judge has approved a settlement which stops a Rhode Island town from enforcing an ordinance banning political signs on residential property.  A Portsmouth resident, Michael DiPaola, had been in a feud with the town about zoning issues and placed a number of signs on his property that were critical of the town earlier this year.  The suit was filed after DiPaola said he was threatened with daily fines if he did not take down the signs.  The ACLU says this was an important victory for free speech.

>>Lane Shifts Announced For Providence Viaduct Project

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is announcing new lane shifts for the Northbound Providence Viaduct construction project.  One of the shifts is on I-95 south between Exits 23 and 22.  The other is on Route 146 north at the I-95 north Exit 23 ramp.  RIDOT does not anticipate travel delays, but says lanes will be narrow.  This is scheduled to begin on Friday night.

>>Golf Senior Open Returning To Newport

(Newport, RI)  --  The United States Golf Association is announcing the Newport Country Club will host the U.S. Senior Open Championship in 2024.  The venue was supposed to host the championship in 2020, but it was canceled because of the pandemic.  This will be the fifth USGA championship held at the Newport Country Club.

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

04-21-2021 00:51:05

Out of Many, One - George W. Bush book out today

Out of Many, One – George W. Bush book out today

 
April 20, 2021/RINewsToday

 

In this powerful new collection of oil paintings and stories, President George W. Bush spotlights the inspiring journeys of America’s immigrants and the contributions they make to the life and prosperity of our nation.
 
 

The issue of immigration stirs intense emotions today, as it has throughout much of American history. But what gets lost in the debates about policy are the stories of immigrants themselves, the people who are drawn to America by its promise of economic opportunity and political and religious freedom—and who strengthen our nation in countless ways.

 

Prior to the book coming out, Pres. Bush’s statement to the media: “Former President George W. Bush is calling for bipartisan action on immigration and a restoration of “the people’s confidence in an immigration system that serves both our values and our interests.”

 

 

In the tradition of Portraits of Courage, President Bush’s #1 New York Times bestseller, Out of Many, One brings together forty-three full-color portraits of men and women who have immigrated to the United States, alongside stirring stories of the unique ways all of them are pursuing the American Dream. Featuring men and women from thirty-five countries and nearly every region of the world, Out of Many, One shows how hard work, strong values, dreams, and determination know no borders or boundaries and how immigrants embody values that are often viewed as distinctly American: optimism and gratitude, a willingness to strive and to risk, a deep sense of patriotism, and a spirit of self-reliance that runs deep in our immigrant heritage. In these pages, we meet a North Korean refugee fighting for human rights, a Dallas-based CEO who crossed the Rio Grande from Mexico at age seventeen, and a NASA engineer who as a girl in Nigeria dreamed of coming to America, along with notable figures from business, the military, sports, and entertainment. President Bush captures their faces and stories in striking detail, bringing depth to our understanding of who immigrants are, the challenges they face on their paths to citizenship, and the lessons they can teach us about our country’s character.
 

 
As the stories unfold in this vibrant book, readers will gain a better appreciation for the humanity behind one of our most pressing policy issues and the countless ways in which America, through its tradition of welcoming newcomers, has been strengthened by those who have come here in search of a better life.

 

About the Author

 

 

George W. Bush is the 43rd President of the United States, serving from 2001 to 2009. He previously served as Governor of Texas. He and his wife, Laura, now live in Dallas, where they founded the George W. Bush Presidential Center at Southern Methodist University. President Bush is also the author of three #1 bestsellers: Decision Points, his presidential memoir; 41, a biography of his father, President George H. W. Bush; and Portraits of Courage, a collection of oil paintings and stories honoring the sacrifice and courage of America’s military veterans.

_____

 

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Four Rhode Islander deaths were included in Monday's coronavirus update from the state.  The RI Department of Transportation previewed the upcoming construction season yesterday.  A truck driver is charged after police at Naval Station Newport discover a missing teen.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,651

(Providence, RI)  --  The state reported four additional coronavirus deaths for Rhode Island on Monday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-651.  There were more than eight-hundred virus cases reported from over the weekend to increase the pandemic total to nearly 145-thousand.

>>RIDOT 2021 Construction Season Preview

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation on Monday previewed the big construction projects it plans on undertaking this year.  Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said the overhaul of the northbound Providence Viaduct will be the centerpiece of RIDOT's 2021 construction season, paid for with the help of a federal grant totaling over sixty-million dollars.  RIDOT is also entering its third full year of construction on the 6-10 Connector upgrade, plus it is advancing projects involving the two Providence bridges crossing the Seekonk River.

>>Female ACI Inmate Dies

(Cranston, RI)  --  An inmate found at the Women's Facility of the Adult Correctional Institutions died on Monday.  The inmate, who isn't being named, was reportedly found unresponsive and was pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.  No foul play is suspected; the incident is under investigation.  WJAR-TV reports in a separate incident at the women's facility on Monday, a correctional officer was assaulted by an inmate.

>>North Carolina Homicide Suspects Arrested In Middletown

(Middletown, RI)  --  Police in Middletown arrested two people on Sunday who were wanted in connection to an out-of-state homicide.  Tommy Jackson and Jesse Richardson, both of North Carolina, were reportedly arrested without incident after they were located at the Rodeway Inn hotel on West Main Road.  The two are set to be extradited to their home state.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Truck Driver Charged With Transporting Missing Teen For Sex

(Providence, RI)  --  A truck driver from Virginia is facing a federal charge of transporting a minor with intent to engage in sexual activity.  The Department of Justice says 50-year-old David Romero Reyes was detained by Naval Station Newport Police earlier this month after a missing 15-year-old girl, also from that state, was discovered in the sleeping compartment of his tractor-trailer.  The teen, who entered the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor last year, had been living with a relative of Reyes in Virginia before a family member reported an alleged sexual relationship between the two.  She was reported missing last summer.  Reyes was arraigned in federal court in Providence on Monday.

>>Activists Protest Police Shooting

(Providence, RI)  --  Activists in Providence Monday evening protested the killing of a 13-year-old boy by a Chicago police officer.  Adam Toledo was shot on March 29th and the police body camera footage that caught it was recently released.  The demonstration at the Rhode Island State House was the second in less than week.  Last Wednesday, a gathering was held over the shooting of Daunte Wright in Minnesota.

###
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) NC) VA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-20-2021 00:28:02

Understanding Cultural Differences in Business

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Understanding Cultural Differences in Business – Mary T. O’Sullivan

 
April 19, 2021/Mary OSullivan

 

By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL

 

“Take off your shoes and ask for slippers.” – Anne Tsui [2]

 

Who among us has not heard the phrase, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”? Yet have we Americans really grasped what that truly means? The phrase, once noted in 1777 by Pope Clement XIV, “cum Romanus eris”, means, don’t be alarmed by local customs. If everyone in Rome takes an afternoon nap, you do the same. (Ginger, “When in Rome, do as the Romans Do”, November 2020”). When visiting people in the middle east who sit on the floor and eat with their hands, it’s polite for you to join them. And in the United Kingdom, follow the rules for afternoon tea which include refraining from blowing on tea when it’s hot. Blowing is considered rude behavior. To Americans. These customs may seem strange and unconventional, however, when visiting any country outside the United States, it’s important to blend in with the natives, especially if you are there representing your company and to get work done.

 

Years ago, while my husband was working in Australia, we visited the home of a Japanese couple. We were in Canberra, the county’s capital city, full of people connected to embassies from all over the world. Before entering the couple’s house, every guest was asked to remove their shoes. The couple offered each guest a pair of paper slippers to wear while visiting. Many of us were a little put off. Removing shoes was unexpected. But we all cooperated and had a lovely evening knowing we were honoring their culture.

 

It’s critical for business leaders to gain international experience. And it’s important not to be viewed as an “ugly American” while there. When we travel on business to other countries we are obligated to remember, while we represent our company, we also represent our country. Before embarking on an overseas trip, whether for a few days or for a whole year, take the time to learn the culture of the country where you will be working. Committing cultural gaffes is not career ending, but it’s far from career enhancing, either.

 

You may be sent packing quickly if you give two thumbs up or a “peace” sign in Greece. These hand gestures are considered highly insulting and rude in that country.

 

Cultural sensitivity is a critical topic to consider, because in many organizations, a quick path to the top is includes a tour of duty overseas. In fact, international experience is more likely to help propel your career forward and may be a significant part of your leadership rotation. People in leadership positions, in any large organization, sooner or later, will have to work internationally. So, it’s best to get educated on the customs, mores, and social preferences of your host country, even if it’s the culture of a country similar to ours, such as Canada, Australia or the UK. Each has specific cultural aspects that should not be overlooked.

 

There are multiple resources for businesspeople to refer to when planning an overseas trip. A quick search includes some of what I’ve provided here, however, I recommend a detailed examination, even connecting with the country’s local consulate or the US State Department before embarking on your stay. You want to avoid any appearances of impropriety.

 

In W.P. Carey’s 2006 article published by the University of Arizona, “Take Off Your Shoes and Ask for Slippers”,[3] he describes the work of two scholars, Anne Tsu and Xiao-Ping Chen, who explore the dichotomy faced by Western businesses that desire to establish operations in culturally different societies and yet maintain their own corporate values.

 

Similarly, in the article “Culture Shock: Integrating Indian immigrants in the IT Workplace,” (Enterprise Software, June 2020) Suman Bolar points out that “IT workers from India have been enormously successful, but many Indian workers…new to the US still experience culture shock”.[4]  

 

Additionally, the web site WorldBusinessCulture.com offers detailed advice covering 39 countries sharing insight into the impact of cultural differences in global commerce dealings. [5]

 

All three publications highlight the question facing multi-national organizations: How do we understand cultural differences in order to integrate workers into a successful cross-cultural business model?

 

Major corporations, expanding, their production and services outside their homelands, need to assist their overseas employees to become more acculturated to the new country and make a smooth transition from their home cultures into a new set of values and mores. Employers worldwide face this question, but even more so since the world economy has become so interdependent. This challenging dilemma established the need for an undertaking such as the GLOBE study, as well as several scholarly investigations, to support successful multicultural business operations across the globe.

 

The GLOBE cultural dimension rankings demonstrate numerous areas for cultural misunderstanding and misinterpretation. The sources cited above reveal some interesting case studies and creative solutions some companies used to overcome cultural barriers in successful global operations.

 

From a purely personal perspective, living in Australia for a year was quite an object lesson in cultural differences. Australians are great partiers, and living next to a hotel with a bar, we learned that the Aussies like to party all night. In fact, food trucks would pull up outside our apartment building between 2:00 and 3:00AM to serve the people who brought their party into the street. After several nights of this, we called the police, who told us they couldn’t do anything about it. Apparently, there are no limits to the time of day drinking and partying can take place in the capital city of Australia.

 

Also, our hard charging employees would dutifully arrive at work at 7:00AM, only to find the offices completely empty. Aussies don’t start their day until 9:00AM, so the only people the US employees could connect to were their compatriots back home. It was 4:00PM in the Eastern US, and there were still plenty of people at work. In fact, traffic in the capital city of Canberra at 7:00AM was non-existent, except for milk trucks and newspaper deliveries. The American expats began to believe that the Aussies had a “manana” work ethic.

 

The Carey article cites the example of Starbuck’s conundrum when attempting to integrate their core values of teamwork, equal participation, and diversity into the moderate to high power distance[6] culture of South Korea. Imagine the shock of the Starbucks executives when their egalitarian ideals were bluntly rejected by South Koreans. Mangers were refusing to clean toilets, and wholesale rejected the concept of using first names. However, these typical American values are not rooted in the culture of South Korea.

 

To preserve its core values, Starbucks came up with a creative solution: all the Korean employees would choose an English first name. Everyone working at Starbucks was referred to by that English first name only, eliminating the Korean’s need for a title and last name, showing position and status in a work setting. This solution preserved their cultural deference to hierarchy and authority (labeled ‘uncertainty avoidance’ in the GLOBE taxonomy) and was considered a win-win solution.[7]

 

Starbucks was also faced with conflicts regarding their corporate value of teamwork and equality, meaning; all employees share all tasks, including washing dishes and cleaning toilets. This meant that male employees would have to engage in these tasks typically performed only by women. To overcome this cultural barrier, Starbucks capitalized on the Korean affinity for “role-modeling and imitating behaviors of top leaders.”[8] According to Carey’s sources, role modeling is effective in changing behaviors in high power distance cultures.

 

“Starbucks had the international director for the company’s headquarters do all these activities and even hung a picture of himself cleaning the toilet.”[9] This helped the male employees overcome this cultural ‘psychological barrier’ and at the same time, preserved Starbucks core business values.”

 

Similarly, the Swedish company, IKEA needed to find a solution to the high turnover rate faced with its US employees. Since Americans have very strong feelings of individual over group, they were unimpressed with IKEA’s value of equality. Without job titles or clear job descriptions, the gap between IKEA and the typical cultural work expectations of US employees caused much dissatisfaction among them. Although not specifically called out in the study, considering the degree of cultural differences, it’s easy to predict plenty of conflict, as Sweden ranks low in hard charging, materialistic, assertive behavior, and it’s no surprise that the US culture in general ranks on the high side.

 

The qualities of assertiveness and materialism caused cultural conflict in a more laid-back business setting. For instance, in the Swedish work culture, men and women may perform the same tasks with less emphasis on gender. In most Scandinavian work cultures, it is not out of the ordinary for workers to leave their jobs promptly at 4:30PM. When a CEO in Denmark stands up to leave a negotiation with Americans at 4:15PM, the Americans might be utterly baffled. Denmark being a more balanced culture than the US, the country values quality of life, nurturance, and relationships over work. Maybe we could learn from the

 

The characteristic of “low aggressiveness” among employees seems to conflict with the American work value of getting ahead and high job mobility. Additionally, in the US, the value of individualism is highly appreciated and employees’ relationship to the organization is “independence.” Achievement and individual initiative will conflict with IKEA’s value statements: “Simplicity, humility, thrift and responsibility” and “Togetherness, Cost-Consciousness, Respect.”

 

For many Americans, this low assertiveness philosophy presents the exact opposite of their expectations of a large multi-national corporation. A quote from GlassDoor.com sums up how Americans can feel working for IKEA: “I feel that it can be difficult to work here unless you want to put yourself in any random position in the store. For example, if you spend five years as a kitchen designer, and that’s your specialty, to move up you may have to stock plants or sell bed sheets if a management position opens in one of those areas…The IKEA view of moving people ahead doesn’t seem to make sense to many Americans. Of course, in reality, there are American companies that randomly move people around, even after spending thousands of dollars training them.  But considering how Americans plan out career paths, IKEA’s beliefs in “equality” for all, apparently doesn’t align with their US employees’ understanding of advancing their careers.

 

Since the US has a very diverse population with large variability in individual values, IKEA’s solution was to sort through job applicants not for the best candidates, but for those candidates who best suited IKEA’s core values. Job previews were provided as well, which led to candidates self-selecting out. According to Carey, the result was low turnover rates and successful business operations in the US.

 

However, another quote from GlassDoor.com seems to contradict Carey’s report. “A bit like elementary school….no one leaves at the end of the night until EVERYONE leaves…. you often have to stay for several hours AFTER the store is closed. Clean and Restock…Clean and Restock…Clean and Restock….that is what you do when working at IKEA….regardless of your “title”.[10]

 

After reading those Glass Door reviews, and with the common knowledge that IKEA has many successful US stores, one has to wonder how they continue successful business operations in the US.

 

Culture shock also presents itself with the introduction of Indian software designers into the US IT workforce. According to the GLOBE presentation, India has high “In-group collectivism,” contrasting with the US values of individual initiative and achievement.[11] In an article published by Suman Bolar, “Culture Shock: Integrating Indian immigrants in the IT Workplace” Tech Republic June 20, 2000, a discussion of the cultural conflicts which arise when introducing people from a culture which values group decisions, saving face, and fear of humiliation into American IT society, mostly male dominated.  In a typical American IT world, members often work alone, are independent thinkers, may resist cooperation, and often have a “tech bro” attitude. (Inc. Magazine, 5 Reasons the Tech Industry Has Got to Stop Being so ‘Bro’,” October 2020).

 

This cultural adaptation would be a challenge for anyone breaking into the US IT world. Many of these people have to be trained in basic communication skills, like courtesy, manners, and even hygiene.  Since many IT people work into the night, their personal sleep, hygienic, and diet habits lend themselves to cultural stereotypes. After working with all kinds of engineers over the years, I can attest to the challenges a new, fresh face from an inherently polite culture would encounter.  The many Google memes about engineers portray the ongoing narrative..

As could be expected in this “Bro” culture, newly immigrated Indian employees have great difficulty in the simple act of interaction with fellow American employees. Unable to respond to a greeting due to language barriers or shyness, for instance, cause some American co-workers to regard a new Indian immigrant as “rude and standoffish” when their aloof response was a simple miscommunication.

 

Additionally, Bolar notes, “Historically, Indians have lived with thousands and thousands of years of subservience. Obedience is a deeply ingrained trait. Many Indian professionals will carry out orders to perfection but will rarely take the bull by the horns and make an independent decision. As a people, we are not used to the aggressive ‘just do it’ attitude that today’s IT industry requires. Initiative is something that has to be [learned].”[12]

 

Bolar’s sources indicate that if an Indian employee is to be placed in any manner of authority, the extent of that authority has to be clearly delineated. The role must be explicitly defined, or the Indian worker will believe that the authority has not been given…

 

[13] This scenario supports the GLOBE finding that Indians rank as moderate in valuing group cohesion more than individualism, while Americans rank low, clearly suggestive of conflict when placing an Indian in a position with decision-making power. In the United States’ more competitive culture, true group cohesiveness may only exist in our military, because American culture places higher value on individualism, not groups.

 

Additionally, the existence of WorldBusinessCulture.com underlines the need for broader cultural understanding in global business dealings. I recommend it for anyone preparing to do business in a different culture than their own. For a novice in international commerce, the website offers numerous solutions to preventing some obvious cultural mistakes. Each country listed is examined for a number of traits: Business Structure, Management Style, Meetings, Teams, Communication Styles, Women in Business, Dress, and Successful Entertaining. 

 

For instance, in Nigerian Business Structures, we learn that “All native Nigerian companies will display massive hierarchical tendencies.” For example, CEOs tend to be authoritarian in their management style. It’s not unusual for a Nigerian CEO to blame a junior employee for a decision gone wrong. An interesting post from Medium (“The Culture of Work in Nigeria”, by Oluwa nnjmnnTobi Banjoko, August 2018) tells the story: :

 

A CEO heard their competitor’s radio jingle (in his car?) on his way to work. When the CEO arrives to his office, he asks a junior employee about airing their company jingle on that specific station by the end of the week, the junior employee explains to the CEO the demographic of that radio station is totally opposite of their company’s youthful market (14–30). Furthermore, the cost to run the jingle on the station is five times the cost of the station that their youthful audience typically listens to, but the CEO insists. Ultimately, the junior person is overruled, and the radio ads are placed anyway. The ads do not generate the expected sales conversions. The CEO instead of admitting he didn’t quite get it right, blames the junior employee for not creating the right messaging, even though the CEO himself had approved the content that was aired.

While the hierarchical system works in Nigeria, a striking contrast on the same continent exists at its very southernmost tip. Because of its racially charged history, in South Africa, “Ethnic and racial divisions can make it difficult to build teams which cross these boundaries.”  Even though Apartheid has been illegal for over 30 years in South Africa, remnants of it still exist. You may be surprised to know, the population in South Africa still live separately (what people?), and neighborhoods are still segregated. The strong influence of generations of living in a racist society has left the scourge of intolerance in its wake. It’s ingrained into the culture. The social structure in South Africa is much the same as it has always been, consisting of many ethnicities and races, with the majority of people employed at large, global enterprises.

 

The South African typical work structure is quite 20th century, top down. So, if you need a decision made quickly, and you didn’t deal with the boss initially, don’t expect a quick answer. In my research, I learned that globalization trends have started influencing the hierarchical structure of South Africa flattening that hierarchy. However, even though Apartheid was banned over 30 years ago, people find it hard to break old habits. It seems South Africans are more comfortable when working within their own ethnic group..

 

Not surprisingly, most businesses are still divided along racial lines, and that includes pay inequity. Thanks to a new world of globalization, this outdated practice has been gradually phasing out. Another left-over Apartheid practice is overtly identifying race; it is not considered rude when people refer to themselves as Black or white. So, don’t take offense if you’re doing business in South Africa and you hear comments that sound racist to you.

 

Innovation and talent from South Africa have made a huge impact on the world. Elon Musk, and Charlize Theron are among many South African natives who have become household names everywhere. And let us not forget Trevor Noah. The bi-racial South African comedian and host of the Daily Show grew up in South Africa during the Apartheid era. He soared over the strict ethnic and racial divisions by pointing out how ludicrous they were. He turned to comedy to identify society’s unjust systems and practices. Thanks to leveraging his greatest talent, his sense of humor, he’s now a successful stand-up comedian and TV host, still making jokes about the foolishness of politics and current events. (Harvard Business Review, October 2018)Trevor’s book, Born a Crime: Stories From an African Childhood (2016), details the “crime” his parents committed by marrying. Their bi-racial union violated South Africa’s 1927 Immorality Act, now since overturned. Trevor’s story is not unusual in the lives of many South Africans. Thankfully, South Africa is

making strides to overcome its terrible history.

 

More research on the World Business Culture website revealed something about the Finns that I never knew. The Finns seem to have a very lateral working culture. Supervisors do not check on employees, and it’s important that employees’ voices are included in all decision making. Agreement is critical to the Finns. Once a decision is agreed upon by the group, it’s adhered to. In Finnish culture, it’s unthinkable to violate any agreement. Flexible hours are also part of the Finnish work culture. People are free to take time off to take care of personal and family matters, and once the flex schedule is agreed upon, it is left to the employee to observe the agreement. Obviously, honesty is held in high esteem and is an intrinsic part of the culture. Finns also are not shy about speaking out. And unlike some other cultures, it’s not considered impolite to do so. Finns say what they mean, there’s no obfuscation in their conversations.

 

It’s easy to see that Finns value fairness and equality as well. Men and women are treated equally in all aspects of life. And contrary to many other cultures, both men and women are considered responsible for raising children.

 

Furthermore, Finland’s high level of autonomy and low level of bureaucracy add to the smoothness of communication among employees and top management. Time is not wasted waiting for approvals, and, in contrast to some old guard American organizations, ideas from all levels are seriously considered. As I read this research, it almost sounded too good to be true. But here it was in black and white. My thought was, “Countries around the world could benefit from adopting Finland’s values. The world would be a better place.”

 

Just these three stories alone could save a novice businessperson from wrong assumptions and gaffes in dealing in global cultures. I found the site fascinating and spent a bit too much time browsing the various countries’ cultural traditions and customs. However, I’m convinced, it was time well spent.

 

Carelessness and ignorance of cultural finer points can create insulting language and make the any company look foolish in the eyes of the global consumer. Inc. Magazine (October 2020) published an intriguing list of twenty egregious mistakes companies make because they didn’t bother to consider cultural details when presenting their brands globally. Some of the more interesting faux pas include: “Colgate launched toothpaste in France named ‘Cue’ without realizing that it’s also the name of a French pornographic magazine. Coors translated its slogan, ‘Turn It Loose,’ into Spanish, where it is a colloquial term for having diarrhea; Coca-Cola’s brand name, when first marketed in China, was sometimes translated as ‘Bite The Wax Tadpole.’”

 

The executives in charge of these projects didn’t check first to determine whether or not their catchy American tag lines translated well into the language of their targeted market. These errors are often career ending. A slight overlook led to a marketing disaster, costing their companies millions.

 

Whether we like it or not, the world of business is a flat landscape, but even so, we still know for sure the sun doesn’t rotate around the earth. Our instantaneous communication, web meetings, and improved transportation make the entire earth accessible to doing business globally. There are no more excuses to avoid learning the culture of our clients and suppliers. The concept of social harmony, prosperity for all, collectivism, loyalty and respect towards authority are among the values we need to learn, and their value to other cultures.

 

As you think of growing your career, consider an international assignment as part of your leadership development plan. Once you have the assignment, go out of your way to ensure you and your family members embrace the customs, traditions and work culture of the country that may be your home for a long time.

 

When my husband and I and one of our four children lived in Australia for a year, we were delighted to be introduced to so many different cultures, from Indian, Mexican, Japanese, Chinese, and anywhere else you can imagine. Even as Americanized as Australia seemed to be at first blush, there were distinctly Australian customs. Stores closed at 3:00PM on Sundays. The work culture was far more flexible. They started later and left work early. On Fridays, everyone worked only a half a day. Lunch was at 1:00PM, not 11:30 or 12:00 as customary in the US. Socialized medicine is in place, so doctor’s visits were much cheaper. The cities had nearly zero homeless. Australians liked to party into the night, and the parties would end at 2:00AM or go all night long.

 

Studying global cultures and living and traveling to other countries has taught me to appreciate what’s different and new. I’ve learned to take off my shoes in a Japanese household, to figure out a way to drown out the noise of partying Australians, to draw out the personalities of shy Indian IT workers and accept gifts from Malaysian consultants. Culture shock is a real thing, and we need to be patient and tolerant of newcomers to this country. Just think how loud, rude and like workaholics we can appear.

 

We American employees and families had to acculturate ourselves because we were the foreigners. We went to Australia knowing almost nothing about the country, assuming it was pretty much like home. After a few weeks of living there, we embraced that fact that we were experiencing a whole new world. As a result of his oversea experience, my husband was promoted to Director of Global Satellites at his company. And after that amazing year abroad, it’s still surprising to our fellow Americans that we traveled so far for so long and returned with so much more knowledge and understanding of other cultures.

 

Prepare yourself for your overseas work. Embrace the culture and learn from it. Do your research. And that incredible, successful career move could be yours, too.

Globalization is forcing companies to do things in new ways – Bill Gates.

 

This essay is taken from Mary’s new book The Leader You Don’t Want to Be – On sale now at Amazon.com.

Connect with Mary: mary@encoreexecutivecoaching.com – https://encoreexecutivecoaching.com – 401-742-1976

_____


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.

 

Today begins Vaccinate Rhode Island for all - 16 years or older

 

Today begins Vaccinate Rhode Island for all – 16 years and up

 
April 19, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Today is the day! From coast to coast, vaccinations are available for anyone over the age of 16 – while it may take some time to get your appointment, there are more ways than ever before to do so – remember, in almost every location, an appointment is necessary.

 

Public transportation via RIPTA bus is free is you are going to an appointment – see the link to that info, below.

 

Your key to information is the RI Department of Health website – https://covid.ri.gov/vaccination

 

Your key to booking an appointment is https://vaccinateRI.org – the system may get overloaded or you may get a message saying no appointments available – thousands of new times and days are added every day – check back – check early – check often!

 

If you need help scheduling an appointment, call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779.

 

Here’s where you can go!

 

State Run Vaccination Sites

 

 

Eligible Rhode Islanders can schedule an appointment online at www.vaccinateRI.org. If you need help scheduling an appointment, call the automated phone line at 844-930-1779.

 

Pharmacy Sites and Local and Regional Sites

 

CVS, Walgreens, Walmart, Stop & Shop and Independent pharmacies – here for all the info:

 

Learn more about local pharmacy vaccination sites.

 

Learn more about local and regional vaccination sites.

 

Local and Regional Vaccine Sites

 
  • Johnston Recreation Center, 1741 Atwood Ave., Johnston, RI 02919
  • Westerly Senior Citizens Center, 39 State St., Westerly RI, 02891
  • East Providence Senior Center, 610 Waterman Ave., East Providence, RI 02914

 

These regional clinics operate on different days and at different times. Appointments are required at all vaccination sites. To view hours and days for these sites, or to view more vaccine sites, see the Vaccine Locator Map.

Hospital Outreach

 
 

 

Vaccines often cause our immune systems to respond, and that shows us the vaccine is working. This is healthy, normal, and expected. You may experience a sore arm, headache, fever, or body aches, but they should go away within a few days. If you have any symptoms of COVID-19 following vaccination, stay home, call your or healthcare provider, and get tested.

 

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island health director says coronavirus hospitalizations and deaths are decreasing.  The governor is pausing plans to restructure Eleanor Slater Hospital.  The state is investigating a mob associate's involvement with a marijuana business.

>>Health Director Touts Vax Rate, Says Virus Deaths/Hospitalizations Decreasing

(Providence, RI)  --  Only zero-point-one percent of fully-vaccinated people in the Ocean State have gone on to test positive for COVID-19.  Rhode Island Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said during a COVID-19 briefing last week that is great proof of the effectiveness of the vaccine.  Dr. Alexander-Scott also said the state is seeing a trend of more virus cases with younger people, which she said is driving down hospitalization and death numbers in RI while cases are plateauing.  The doctor said right now, the primary driver of virus spread is household transmission.

>>Pause Announced For State Hospital Restructuring Plan

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee is pausing plans to downsize the state hospital.  The plan has been criticized, especially for the perceived negative effect it is having on patients.  The governor said with the pause, the state will have a quote, "real and thoughtful dialogue and engagement with the community, stakeholders and the General Assembly on what the best solutions are to provide high-quality care that meets the needs of Rhode Islanders seeking these vital services".  The state hospital has campuses in Cranston and Burrillville.

>>Legislation Filed To Consider Reorganizing Coastal Resources Management Council

(Providence, RI)  --  Legislation is being filed to explore the possibility of reorganizing the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council.  This comes after two high-profile development situations including the Jamestown Boatyard and the Block Island marina which have both gotten the thumbs-up from the CRMC.  State Representative Deborah Ruggiero claims the council which makes important environmental decisions is a citizen zoning board that's made up of political appointees without any requirements for having technical expertise.

>>Convicted Providence Police Sergeant Appealing Case

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence police sergeant Joseph Hanley, who has been convicted of assaulting an arrestee in 2020, is appealing the verdict.  The Providence Journal reports Hanley appealed the case the same day he was sentenced to probation in district court last month, and that his attorney provided an update on Friday that Hanley would be seeking a jury trial in Rhode Island Superior Court.  A pre-trial conference is set for April 23rd.

>>State Looking At Crime Associate Involvement With Pot Business

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A Rhode Island mob associate is being accused of unlawfully acting as a "silent partner" in a state-licensed marijuana operation.  WPRI-TV reports Raymond Jenkins of Johnston was arrested last week by state police on charges including felony perjury.  Jenkins is an associate of the New England La Cosa Nostra who was a defendant in a 2011 organized crime bust.  State police say he ran day-to-day operations at Organic Bees, a Pawtucket-based marijuana cultivator, contrary to what his felony record allows.  The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation tells Channel 12 it is aware of the situation and has moved to revoke Organic Bees' cultivator license.

>>Former Brown University President Has Died

(Undated)  --  Former Brown University president Vartan Gregorian has died.  Gregorian led the Providence-based Ivy League school from 1989 to 1997.  His resume also included president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York and the New York Public Library.  Gregorian died last Thursday at the age of 87.

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

04-19-2021 00:43:15

Time to resolve RI's ongoing Nursing Home staffing crisis

Time to resolve RI’s ongoing Nursing Home staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

 
April 18, 2021/Herb Weiss

 

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues

 

The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows that both cases and deaths in nursing homes declined in the four weeks ending March 21. Although these rates are improving, chronic staffing problems in nursing homes—revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic—continue. In Rhode Island, 30% of nursing homes reported a shortage of nurses or aides, which is only fractionally better than the previous reporting period. 

 

AARP has come out swinging to fight for enhancing the quality of care in Rhode Island’s 104 nursing homes.

 

AARP Rhode Island, representing 131 members, calls for the General Assembly to ensure the quality of care for the state’s nursing home through minimum staffing standards, oversight, and access to in-person formal advocates, called long-term care Ombudsmen. The state’s the largest aging advocacy group has urged lawmakers to create a state task force on nursing home quality and safety and has pushed for rejecting immunity and holding facilities accountable when they fail to provide adequate care to residents.  It’s also crucial that Rhode Island ensures that increases in nursing homes’ reimbursement rates are spent on staff pay and to improve protections for residents, says AARP Rhode Island. 

 

Last December, AARP Rhode Island called on Governor Gina Raimondo to scrap Executive Order 20-21 and its subsequent reauthorizations to grant civil immunity related to COVID-19 for nursing homes and other long-term care facilities. The aging advocacy group warned that these facilities should be held responsible for providing the level of quality care that is required of them for which they are being compensated.

 

Rhode Island Lawmakers Attack Nursing Home Staffing Crisis

 

During the legislative session, the state’s nursing home staffing crisis caught the eye of Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin is a policy issue that needs to be addressed. They knew that Rhode Island ranked 41st in the nation in the number of the average hours of care nursing home residents receive, according to data from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.  The state also has the lowest average resident-care hours per day of any New England state.

 

On Feb. 2, the Rode Island Senate approved S 0002, “Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act” sponsored by Goodwin and nine Democratic cosponsors to address an ongoing crisis in staffing nursing homes that has been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic.  The bill had passed unanimously in the Health and Human Services Committee, and ultimately, the full Senate gave its thumbs up to the legislative proposal by a vote of 34 to 4.  Only one Republican senator crossed the aisle and voted with the Democratic senators.

 

“There is a resident care crisis in our state. Staffing shortages and low wages lead to seniors and people with disabilities not receiving the care they desperately need. The pandemic, of course, has exponentially increased the demands of the job and exacerbated patients’ needs. We must confront this problem head-on before our nursing home system collapses,” said Sponsor Senator Goodwin (D-Dist. 1, Providence).

 

The legislation would establish a minimum standard of 4.1 hours of resident care per day, the federal recommendation for quality care long endorsed by health care experts including the American Nurses Association, the Coalition of Geriatric Nursing Organizations, and the National Consumer Voice for Quality Long-Term Care. The bill, which the Senate also approved last year, has been backed by Raise the Bar on Resident Care, a coalition of advocates for patient care, and the Rhode Island’s Department of Health (RIDOH).

 

The bill would also secure funding to raise wages for caregivers to recruit and retain a stable and qualified workforce. Short staffing drives high turnover in nursing homes. Not only does high turnover create undue stress and burnout for remaining staff, but it also diverts valuable resources to recruit, orient, and train new employees and increases reliance on overtime and agency staff.  Low wages are a significant driver of the staffing crisis. The median wage for a CNA in Rhode Island is less than $15, and $1/hour lower than the median wage in both Massachusetts and Connecticut.


The legislation would also invest in needed training and skills enhancement for caregivers to provide care for patients with increasing acuity and complex health care needs.

 

At press time, the companion bill (2021-H-5012), sponsored by Reps. Scott A. Slater (D-Dist.10, Providence) and William W. O’Brien (D-Dist. 54) was considered by House Finance Committee and recommended for further study.

 

RIDOH’s Director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH says the state agency “supports the thoughtfulness of the provisions included in the legislation and welcomes dialogue with its sponsors, advocates, and the nursing home facility industry regarding methods to sustain the necessary conditions associated with the intent of the bill.”

 

Alexander-Scott states that “RIDOH takes its charge seriously to keep nursing home residents and is supportive of efforts to update standards of care to better serve Rhode Islanders in nursing facilities, as well as increase resident and staff satisfaction within nursing facilities.”

 

Scott Fraser, President and CEO of the Rhode Island Health Care Association (RIHCA), a nonprofit group representing 80 percent of Rhode Island’s nursing homes, says that “staffing shortages are directly traceable to the chronic lack of Medicaid funding from past governors. Period.” 

 

According to Fraser, state law requires Medicaid to be funded at a national inflation index, usually averaging around 3%. “Up until this year, previous governors have slashed this amount resulting in millions of dollars in losses to our homes.  Thankfully, Governor McKee is proposing to fully fund the Medicaid Inflation Index this year,” he says.

 

RIHCA opposes the mandatory minimum staffing the legislation now being considered by the Rhode Island General Assembly, says Fraser, warning that its passage would result in facilities closing throughout the state. “No other state has adopted such a high standard,” he says, noting that the Washington, DC-based American Health Care Association estimates that this legislation would cost Rhode Island facilities at least $75 million to meet this standard and the need to hire more than 800 employees. 

 

Fraser calls for the “Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act” to be defeated, noting that the legislation does not contain any provisions for funding.  “Medically, there is no proof that mandating a certain number of hours of direct care results in any better health outcomes.  This is an unfunded legislative mandate. If homes are forced to close, not only would residents be forced to find a new place for their care, but hundreds of workers would also be forced out of work,” he says.

 

Goodwin does not believe that mandating minimum staffing requirements in nursing homes will force nursing homes to close. She noted that the legislation is aimed at ensuring nursing home residents receive adequate care and that Rhode Island is the only state in the northeast without such a standard.

 

“There is an un-level playing field in nursing home staffing in Rhode Island,” charges Goodwin, noting that many facilities staff 4.1 hours per day, or close to it, while others only provide two hours of care per day. “In either case, the overwhelming majority of well-staffed and poorly-staffed nursing homes remain highly profitable,” she says. 

 

According to Goodwin, the lack of staffing and certified nursing assistants (CNAs) is due to unreasonable workloads and low pay. “RIDOH’s CAN registry makes it clear that retention of these workers is a big issue. This is in part because they can make as much money – or more – in a minimum wage profession with much less stress,” she adds, stressing that “The Nursing Home Staffing and Quality Care Act” directly addresses these staffing challenges.

 

One quick policy fix is to provide nursing home operators with adequate Medicaid reimbursement to pay for increased staffing.  Lawmakers must keep McKee’s proposed increase of nursing home rates pursuant to statute, requiring a market-based increase on Oct. 2021, in the state’s FY 2020 budget. The cost is estimated to be $9.6 million.

 

With the House panel recommending that Slater’s companion measure ((2021-H-5012) to be held for further study, Goodwin’s chances of seeing her legislation becoming law dwindles as the Rhode Island Assembly’s summer adjournment begins to loom ever closer. There’s probably no reason to insist that a bill be passed in order to have a study commission, so this could be appointed right away if there is serious intent to solve this problem.

 

Slater’s legislation may well be resurrected in the final days of the Rhode Island General Assembly, behind the closed doors when “horse-trading” takes place between House and Senate leadership.  If this doesn’t occur, either the House or Senate might consider creating a Task Force, bringing together nursing home operators, health care professionals and staff officials, to resolve the state’s nursing home staffing crisis. 

 

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

 

_____

 

 

Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 41 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 780 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed Him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and will now run in RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Newport Restaurant Group creatively recruiting 400+ positions

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Newport Restaurant Group creatively recruiting 400+ seasonal, part/full time staff

 
April 17, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: Executive Chef Greg Coccio, Avvio Restaurant, Cranston

 

More than 50 Cook Positions Available with Weekly Bonuses in Addition to Pay

 

Newport Restaurant Group (NRG), an award-winning collection of unique restaurants and hospitality venues located throughout Rhode Island and Massachusetts, is currently hiring for up to 400 seasonal, part-time and full-time positions for 11 of its restaurants in Newport, Tiverton, Providence, Cranston, Warwick, and Narragansett. NRG is Rhode Island’s only employee-owned hospitality company and offers full-coverage benefits, generous time off and opportunities for career advancement.

 

More than 50 cooks are needed throughout the restaurant kitchens at 11 of NRG’s properties and those hired in Newport, Tiverton and Narragansett will also receive a 90-day bonus of $125 per-week from date of hire.

 

Additional positions include digital marketing manager, restaurant manager, server, bartender, food runner, and dishwasher to name a few. Candidates who are interested in applying are welcome to stop into any NRG location to pick up an application or can also apply online by visiting: https://www.newportrestaurantgroup.com/careers.

 

 

Positions are available at the following NRG properties:

 

Newport:

  • 22 Bowen’s
  • The Mooring
  • Smoke House
  • Bar ‘Cino
  • La Vecina

 

Tiverton:

  • The Boat House

 

Providence:

  • Hemenway’s
  • Waterman Grille

 

Cranston:

  • Avvio

 

Warwick:

  • Iron Works

 

Narragansett:

  • Trio

 

About Newport Restaurant Group

 

Newport Restaurant Group’s award-winning portfolio of restaurants are located across Rhode Island and include Castle Hill Inn, The Mooring Seafood Kitchen & Bar, 22 Bowen’s Wine Bar & Grille, Bar ‘Cino, and Smoke House all located in Newport; Trio of Narragansett; the Boat House in Tiverton; Waterman Grille and Hemenway’s, both located in Providence; Avvio Ristorante located at Garden City Center in Cranston; Iron Works in Warwick; Papa Razzi with two locations in the greater Boston area; and Bar ‘Cino in Brookline, MA. Newport Restaurant Group’s mission is to provide the highest quality culinary experience in unique, service-oriented atmospheres and to create each menu with a creative, thoughtful, and responsible approach. Newport Restaurant Group is proudly 100% employee-owned. For more information please visit www.newportrestaurantgroup.com.   

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island officials provided a COVID-19 vaccine update on Thursday.  A man is being accused of shooting his father to death in Woonsocket.  The state attorney general is calling for the brakes to be pumped on a proposed medical waste energy conversion center in West Warwick.

>>Coronavirus Vaccine In RI: 16K Shots Available, Free Transportation To Appointments

(Providence, RI)  --  More coronavirus vaccine appointments are becoming available in Rhode Island today.  Governor Dan McKee announced yesterday the total would be sixteen-thousand and said that the Johnson and Johnson suspension is not taking the state off-track from its vaccination goals.  All Rhode Islanders 16 and older will become eligible to get vaccinated on Monday.  Also Monday, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority will begin offering free rides for people going to appointments.  RIPTA says the state's vaccination sites are located on existing bus routes.

>>Rhode Island Governor Signs Bill Aimed At Preventing Housing Discrimination

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor McKee on Thursday signed the Fair Housing Practices Act.  The bill prohibits landlords from determining if they will rent to someone based on source of income.  The sponsors of the legislation in the Rhode Island General Assembly, Senator Meghan Kallman and Representative Anastasia Williams, said yesterday it will stop prospective renters from being denied a place to live because they receive a government housing voucher.  They said that practice is discriminatory.

>>Man Charged With Fatally Shooting Father In Woonsocket

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  A fatal shooting in Woonsocket overnight Thursday is a domestic homicide case.  The Woonsocket Police Department says 22-year-old Alex Cote shot and killed 43-year-old Adam Castonguay [[ CASS-tun-GAY ]] at the father's apartment after an apparent argument between the two.  Cote was reportedly arrested in Pawtucket without incident Thursday afternoon on the homicide charge and weapons offenses.  The shooting happened at the same apartment complex where a 17-year-old girl, Nyasia Williams-Thomas, was fatally shot in a parked car in 2019.

>>A.G. Wants Closer Look At Proposed Medical Waste Energy Facility

(West Warwick, RI)  --  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is calling for strict regulatory adherence regarding a planned facility in West Warwick which would burn medical waste to generate electricity.  Neronha says the proposal from MedRecycler-RI, a subsidiary of New Jersey-based Sun Pacific Holding Corporation, uses untested technology.  The attorney general sent a letter to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management on Thursday requesting a pause in the ongoing approval process until proper analysis and certifications are completed.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Racist Stickers Covered Up In Warren

(Warren, RI)  --  There's outcry in Warren over racist stickers that were recently discovered across town.  The stickers portrayed the KKK, Nazis and white supremacy in a positive manner.  But residents have worked to cover up those stickers with new ones that say, quote, "Hate Has No Place Here".  The East Bay Diversity Group has organized a peaceful rally at the Warren Town Hall on Sunday afternoon.

>>Rhode Island Gas Prices Update

(Undated)  --  Gas prices have frozen in Rhode Island.  According to RIGasPrices.com, the current average is two dollars, seventy-six cents per gallon.  That is one cent lower than the price from one month ago.  But a year ago, the average price in the Ocean State was one-ninety-nine.

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

04-16-2021 00:08:08

Rhode Island Hotel Week - a staycation for you

Rhode Island Hotel Week – a staycation for you

 
April 15, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND HOTEL WEEK, APRIL 17-30, 2021

 

Start your spring off with a much-needed getaway or staycation in some of Rhode Island’s top accommodations. Or treat the whole family to a change of scenery this school vacation week.

 

Rhode Island is about to celebrate Rhode Island’s 2nd Annual Hotel Week. This April 17-30, approximately 50 multiple high-end, boutique and family-friendly Rhode Island hotels, historic inns and cozy B&Bs are offering special, promotional rates starting as low as $100.

 

During this two-week promotion, participating properties offer special packages with flat rates of $100, $200, $300, and $400 per night with significant savings off their regular rates.

 

This year, more than any other, travelers need to feel safe when they choose to stay away from home. That’s why each of the Hotel Week facilities have included detailed information about what their properties are doing to maintain the cleanliness of their facilities and the safety of guests and staff. Check out the “Covid Details” section of each hotel listing for more information.

 

With participating properties all around the state, you’ve got your pick of locations in Blackstone Valley, Block Island, Newport County, Providence, South County and Warwick, then you can map out your dining options and nearby attractions. Just pick a price point, pick a property, pack and go.

 

A very complete website is set up for you to review – hotels are grouped by price point. 

 

While we aren’t all flying to locations near and far, we can do our own little Rhody vacation – go and visit a new city, or shut the door and hibernate for a few days. You know you need it – and you’ll be helping the economy, too.

 

Go here to make your plans: https://www.visitrhodeisland.com/rhode-island-hotel-week/

 

 
Posted in 

RI Veterans: Did you now?

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RI Veterans: Did you know? – by John A. Cianci

 
April 15, 2021/John Cianci

 

By John A Cianci, Department Veteran Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans 

 

This week: Special Feature on Veterans Long Term Care Planning Options 

 

Veterans Option – Remaining Home 

 

All Veterans Enrolled in the VA Health Care System Are Eligible for Homemaker and Health Aide Care Program

Does the VA offer any assistance to a Veteran who needs helps to remain living at home?  I have an honorable discharge, but never served in a war.” – Normand’s question from Woonsocket RI

 

Yes Normand, if you are eligible for VA health care benefits and enrolled in VA healthcare system, the VA has several programs. One program for all enrolled veterans all is the Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care. Here is more information on the program retrieved from the VA website, VA.gov:

 

What is Homemaker Home Health Aide Care?

 

A Homemaker or Home Health Aide is a trained person who can come to a Veteran’s home and help the Veteran take care of themselves and their daily activities. Homemakers and Home Health Aides are not nurses, but they are supervised by a registered nurse who will help assess the Veteran’s daily living needs.

 

This program is for Veterans who need skilled services, case management and help with activities of daily living. Examples include help with bathing, dressing, or fixing meals. This program is also for Veterans who are isolated, or their caregiver is experiencing burden.

 

Homemaker and Home Health Aide services can be used in combination with other Home and Community Services, which may vary by location.

 

Homemaker Home Health Aides work for an organization that has a contract with VA. A Homemaker or Home Health Aide can be used as a part of an alternative to nursing home care, and to get Respite Care at home for Veterans and their family caregiver. The services of a Homemaker or Home Health Aide can help Veterans remain living in their own home and can serve Veterans of any age.

 

Am I eligible for Homemaker Home Health Aide Care?

 

Since Homemaker Home Health Aide services are part of a service within the VHA Standard Medical Benefits Package, all enrolled Veterans are eligible if they meet the clinical need for the service.

 

A copay for Homemaker and Home Health Aide services may be charged based on your VA service-connected disability status.

 

What services can I get?

 

Services are based on your assessed needs. Talk with a VA social worker to find out what specific help you may be able to receive -Providence VA Medical, Chief of Social Workers, social worker contact information is (401)273-7100 ext. 16101.

 

For example, an aide may be able to come to your house several times a week or just once in a while.

 

Homemaker and Home Health Aide Care

 

Examples of daily activities you may be able to receive help with include:

 

·  Eating
·  Getting dressed
·  Personal grooming
·  Bathing
·  Using the bathroom
·  Moving from one place to another
·  Getting to appointments

 

You can continue to receive an aide’s services for as long as you need extra help with your daily activities.

 

How do I decide if it is right for me?

 

You can use a Veteran Decision Aid for Care at Home or in the Community to help you figure out what home care services or long-term care services may best meet your needs now or in the future.

 

There’s also a Caregiver Self- Assessment. It can help your caregiver identify their own needs and decide how much support they can offer to you. Having this information from your caregiver, along with the involvement of your care team and social worker, will help you reach short-term and long-term care decisions.

 

Ask a social worker for these resources or download copies from the Making Decisions and Advance Care Planning section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

 

If Homemaker or Home Health Aide services are right for you, your VA social worker can help you make arrangements for those.

 

Frequently Asked Questions: 

 

How to apply for VA health care?

 

Option 1: Apply by phone – Call the VA toll-free hotline at 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET to get help with your application.

 

Option 2: Apply by mail – Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ), download VA Form 10-10EZ from https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-10EZ-fillable.pdf

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

Send your completed application here:

 

Health Eligibility Center
2957 Clairmont Rd., Suite 200
Atlanta, GA 30329

 

Option 3: Apply in person – Fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).

 

You or someone acting as your power of attorney must sign and date the form. And:

 

If you’re using a power of attorney, you’ll need to submit a copy of the Power of Attorney form along with your application.

 

If you sign with an “X,” 2 people you know must witness your signature. They’ll also need to sign and print their names on the form.

 

Go to your nearest VA medical center or clinic. Bring a signed Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ) with you.

 

Option 4: Apply with the help of a trained professional – You can work with a trained professional called an accredited representative to get help applying for health care benefits.
 

For free assistance filing for VA healthcare, Italian American War Veterans, (401)677-9VET, email itamri4vets@gmail.com .

 

How do I prepare before I start my application?

 

Gather the information, listed below, that you’ll need to fill out an Application for Health Benefits (VA Form 10-10EZ).

 

You’ll need this information:

 

Social Security numbers for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents.

 

Your military discharge papers (DD214 or other separation documents)

 

How long does it take the VA to make a decision?

 

Less than 1 week

 

If more than a week has passed since you gave us your application and you haven’t heard back, please don’t apply again. Call the VA toll-free hotline at, 877-222-8387 Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.

 

I’m an eligible Veteran, however I’m happy with my current healthcare provider and don’t want to use the VA healthcare system? 

 

First, you will not be eligible for the program without be enrolled in the VA healthcare system. Even if you do want to use the VA healthcare system, I recommend you enroll, it helps all Veterans. Moreover, enrolling would make future needs of the VA more accessible for you—-when you might change your mind. 

 

OK, I want to enroll and keep my current healthcare provider, so want do I need to do to be eligible for the program?

 

Follow the steps above to enroll.

 

At a minimum, schedule and report for an annual physical in the VA healthcare system. Yes, in my opinion, continue with your existing program, maybe schedule your annual physicals 6 months apart. Like getting a second opinion.

 

Additionally, you will be issued a Veterans Administration ID card, which will give your access to the military bases for shopping at the PX and commissary, and other benefits, like discounts at businesses like Apple and Denny’s, by showing you are a Veteran. 

 

More important, signing up helps ALL veterans; funding for local VA services is based on the number of veterans utilizing your local VA. Don’t believe the “myth” I don’t want to take away from veterans who need it. Signing up is a way of assisting those Veterans who need it more than you do because your local VA will be receiving more funding because you are enrolled. 

 

Have a question, upcoming event, or service being provided to veterans and their families, John can be contacted at (401) 677-4VET or email, itamri4vets@gmail.com. Events or meeting notices will be listed at the end of this column. 

 

_____

 

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Thousands more COVID vaccine appointments are becoming available in Rhode Island today despite the Johnson and Johnson hiccup.  A former Catholic priest in California is arrested in Newport.  A wind turbine platform manufacturing facility is coming to the Port of Providence.

>>3K Vaccine Appointments Available In RI Today

(Cranston, RI)  --  About three-thousand new COVID-19 vaccine appointments are being made available in Rhode Island today.  They are at the state-run site at Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston.  The Rhode Island Department of Health says the appointments for the Pfizer and Moderna shots were originally scheduled for release on Tuesday, but were held back because of the suspension of Johnson and Johnson doses.

>>Man With Loaded Gun Arrested At State House Rally

(Providence, RI)  --  A man was arrested for carrying an unlicensed gun during a rally at the Rhode Island State House Wednesday, which was held in connection to the shooting of a black man by a police officer in Minnesota this week.  Dennis Torres of Riverside was carrying a loaded handgun, according to the Providence Police Department.  No other issues were reported at the rally at the Capitol, which was organized by the Black Lives Matter Rhode Island Political Action Committee.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Former California Priest Arrested In Newport

(Newport, RI)  --  A former Catholic priest who has been working as a psychologist in Rhode Island is accused of sexually abusing children in California.  Christopher Cunningham was arrested Wednesday by the Rhode Island Violent Fugitive Task Force at a house in Newport.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office says Cunningham faces a dozen felony counts.  He has already been arraigned in local court, and authorities say arrangements are being made for a return to California.

>>Wind Turbine Platform Fabrication Facility Announced For ProvPort

(Providence, RI)  --  A 24-million-dollar offshore wind energy project is coming to the Port of Providence.  The Providence Journal reports Orsted, the operator of the Block Island Wind Farm, announced Wednesday that ProvPort will host an assembly facility for manufacturing wind turbine platforms for future projects.  Governor Dan McKee said Denmark-based Orsted and its U.S. partner Eversource are keeping a commitment to making significant investments in Rhode Island to create new, good-paying union jobs.  McKee said they are positioning the state's port facilities to become central hubs in the growing industry.

>>Pawtucket Enhancing Police Presence In Area Of Recent Shootings

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  The city of Pawtucket is increasing police presence in an area where there have been multiple shootings.  The two most-recent incidents were reported on March 27th on Newport Avenue near the Massachusetts border.  The Valley Breeze reports the late-night detail will be in place through Memorial Day weekend.

>>Providence Overnight Parking Applications Now Available Online

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence is now letting drivers acquire overnight parking permits online.  Mayor Jorge Elorza says this is another step being taken to streamline city services.  The application is on ProvidenceRI.gov.

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

04-15-2021 00:53:08

6 cases out of 6 million causes a pause for Johnson and Johnson

6 cases out of 6 million causes a pause for J&J vaccine

 
April 14, 2021/RINewsToday

 

6 women out of 7 million people who have received the Johnson & Johnson 1-shot vaccine have developed serious blood clots that need to be treated in a special way. One woman has passed away, and one is in serious condition in a hospital in Nebraska. All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clot condition is a rare CVST – cerebral venous sinus thrombosis. The CDC said that “the treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given”.

 

Rhode Island and Massachusetts have followed suit in “pausing” the vaccine, as most states also did. RI has administered 37,000 J&J vaccines, so far, with no adverse side effects reported.

 

Out of an abundance of caution, the CDC and FDA have “paused” the use of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. In most cases, these vaccines were used as part of the federal vendor program, which is primarily the national pharmacy chains. A quick look yesterday at the national CVS registration site, for one, showed “no availability” for any appointments in any state. This morning, appointments are available with this notice: “Per CDC/FDA guidance, we are pausing the use of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) vaccine until further notice. We will provide information as we learn more. CVS Health will continue to offer the Moderna and Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines.”

 

The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was thought of as a “game-changer” in that it would be good for those who were resistant to the vaccine, fearful of needles, or unlikely to return for their second vaccine, as is required with the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines. Colleges were particularly interested in the convenience of a one shot vaccine, without a refrigeration issue. Approximately 300 individuals scheduled for a J&J shot in Rhode Island will be immediately either rescheduled by local pharmacies, or have their vaccine switched out when they get to their location, and a second date set up.

 

In Europe a few weeks ago, some countries “paused” the use of the Oxford University-AstraZeneca vaccine after a very small number of people suffered CVST blood clots. The AstraZeneca vaccine uses the same type of technology as the Johnson & Johnson shot. The blood clots were thought to be extremely rare. Moderna and Pfizer use a different technology. Dr. Fauci said yesterday that there have been no complications reported with either of those vaccines.

 

Statement of Johnson & Johnson:

 

Johnson & Johnson is known as the Jansson vaccine. Johnson & Johnson said it “was aware that blood clots had been reported with some Covid-19 vaccines, but that ‘no clear causal relationship has been established between these rare events’ and its shot. We continue to work closely with experts and regulators to assess the data and support the open communication of this information to healthcare professionals and the public. We have made the decision to proactively delay the rollout of our vaccine in Europe and pause vaccinations in all Janssen COVID-19 vaccine clinical trials while we update guidance for investigators and participants.”

 

Statement from the CDC and FDA on Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 Vaccine:

 

The following statement is from Dr. Anne Schuchat, Principal Deputy Director of the CDC and Dr. Peter Marks, director of the FDA’s Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research

 

“As of April 12, more than 6.8 million doses of the Johnson & Johnson (Janssen ) vaccine have been administered in the U.S. CDC and FDA are reviewing data involving six reported U.S. cases of a rare and severe type of blood clot in individuals after receiving the J&J vaccine. In these cases, a type of blood clot called cerebral venous sinus thrombosis (CVST) was seen in combination with low levels of blood platelets (thrombocytopenia). All six cases occurred among women between the ages of 18 and 48, and symptoms occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. Treatment of this specific type of blood clot is different from the treatment that might typically be administered. Usually, an anticoagulant drug called heparin is used to treat blood clots. In this setting, administration of heparin may be dangerous, and alternative treatments need to be given.

 

CDC will convene a meeting of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) TODAY to further review these cases and assess their potential significance. FDA will review that analysis as it also investigates these cases. Until that process is complete, we are recommending a pause in the use of this vaccine out of an abundance of caution. This is important, in part, to ensure that the health care provider community is aware of the potential for these adverse events and can plan for proper recognition and management due to the unique treatment required with this type of blood clot.

 

Right now, these adverse events appear to be extremely rare. COVID-19 vaccine safety is a top priority for the federal government, and we take all reports of health problems following COVID-19 vaccination very seriously. People who have received the J&J vaccine who develop severe headache, abdominal pain, leg pain, or shortness of breath within three weeks after vaccination should contact their health care provider. Health care providers are asked to report adverse events to the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System at https://vaers.hhs.gov/reportevent.htmlexternal icon.

 

Officials stress that if people have received the vaccine more than 2 weeks ago, their reason for concern is very, very low – within the last two weeks, they should be aware of headaches, lightheadedness, abdominal or leg pain, etc., and contact their physician with any concerns.

 

In a press conference yesterday officials said that the length of the pause will depend on what is learned, and could go from a matter of days to permanent withdrawal, which was thought to be unlikely. The vaccine may be “contraindicated” for some groups such as young women or women under the age of 50. A causal relationship with women taking birth control pills was also discussed. Notably the risk of women getting serious blood clots on oral contraceptives is thought to be 1 in 1,000, much higher than the 6 in almost 7 million with the J&J vaccine.

 

Probable cause may be an immune response that occurs very rarely – the response leads to activation of platelets and parts of coagulation system. The type of clotting problem is not only CVSTs, but two clotting problems occurring together.

 

Dr. Ashish Jha has said that the “pause” demonstrates that “the system is working”.

 

When questioned as to why a nationwide “pause” was warranted with such a small complication number, several experts have said it was done primarily as a way to immediately get the attention of the medical community about identification of this particular type of blood clotting problem and that it needs to be treated in a very different way than it might normally be treated. The normal heparin treatment for blood clots could create more clots and make matters worse in this type of dual clotting condition.

 

More than 6.8 million doses of the J& J vaccine have been given in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

 

In Rhode Island, this pause of the one vaccine is not expected to impact availability of the vaccine for any Rhode Islander wanting to be vaccinated.

 

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island health officials addressed the public on Tuesday after the state suspended use of one of the coronavirus vaccines.  The next lieutenant governor of the Ocean State is set to take office today.  The Rhode Island legislature has passed a bill requiring insurance companies to cover colorectal cancer screening.

>>Officials Provide Vaccine Update After Johnson & Johnson Shot Suspension

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health says almost everyone who is signed up this week to get the Johnson and Johnson vaccine will still be able to get a COVID-19 shot.  Usage of the J-and-J vaccine is being temporarily suspended in RI because of a rare but severe blood clot issue.  About two-thousand Rhode Islanders who were signed up to get it can instead receive a shot from Moderna or Pfizer.  Over thirty-thousand Rhode Islanders have already received the Janssen shot.  If it has been at least a couple of weeks since your inoculation, state health director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said yesterday the risk of side effects is very low.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,640

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported three new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-640.  The state reported four-hundred-54 new virus cases yesterday to increase the pandemic total to 142-thousand-774.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Sabina Matos Confirmed As RI Lieutenant Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's next lieutenant governor is going to be sworn in this morning.  The state senate confirmed Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] unanimously on Tuesday.  Matos will be the first person of color to hold the position and the second woman.  She resigned as Providence City Council president last night, but remained on the council.  WPRI-TV reports Matos is expected to completely resign from the council after she is sworn in as L.G.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Rec Center Director Fired After Child Molestation Arrest

(Providence, RI)  --  A man is facing charges for alleged child molestation in Providence.  Manuel Nunez of Cranston is accused of sexually assaulting a 13-year-old girl at a privately-owned gym on Smith Street, according to the Providence Police Department.  Authorities said the victim was participating in a youth basketball league run by Nunez.  The city of Providence says Nunez has been fired as the new director of the John Rollins Recreation Center.

[[ note nature ]]

>>ACI Guard Charged With Sending Pornography To Decoy Minor

(Cranston, RI)  --  A Rhode Island prison guard is facing charges of sending indecent material to a minor.  Thomas Nolan of Warwick, who has been employed with the Department of Corrections for thirty years, was arrested on Tuesday.  According to the Rhode Island State Police, Nolan engaged in a sexually-explicit conversation with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old boy, then sent pornographic images to the decoy.

>>Legislature Passes Bill Mandating Insurance Coverage Of Colorectal Cancer Screening

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island General Assembly is sending a bill to the governor's desk that would require full insurance coverage of colorectal cancer screenings.  The bill would mandate the coverage if the services are performed within the insurer's network, including for a follow-up colonoscopy if one is necessary.  State Senator Maryellen Goodwin, who is currently undergoing treatment for colon cancer, says making patients pay for the cost discourages them from getting necessary care.

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

04-14-2021 00:21:12

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – April 13, 2021

 
April 13, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Photo: Veterans Coalition for Vaccination promotional campaign

 

The RIDOH website is down, and updated statistics are not available – check our Facebook page for data when it comes out.

 

7,600 additional COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be posted on www.vaccinateRI.org on Tuesday at 9 a.m. These appointments will be for the Dunkin’ Donuts Center, the State-run mass vaccination sites in Woonsocket, South County, and at Sockanosset Cross Road, and at the regional clinics in Johnston, Westerly, and East Providence. People who are 40 to 49 years of age are now eligible to register. Additionally, eligibility has been expanded to everyone 16 years of age and older in several harder hit ZIP codes. Those ZIP codes are 02895 (Woonsocket), 02893 (West Warwick), 02906 (Providence), 02910 and 02920 (Cranston), 02911 (North Providence), 02914 (East Providence), and 02919 (Johnston). These ZIP codes are in addition to the ZIP codes in Providence, Cranston, North Providence, Pawtucket, and Central Falls where eligibility has already been expanded (02860, 02861, 02863, 02904, 02905, 02907, 02908, and 02909).

 

Reminder: there is no charge for the vaccine or for a test, regardless of insurance status, to anyone.

 

A new RI grant program to assist small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program will use $20 million in CARES Act funds to give qualifying businesses $5,000 grants. The first round of applications will be accepted on a first-come, first-served basis beginning, Thursday, April 15, 2021 through Friday, April 30, 2021 at 5:00 p.m. Future rounds and expansions of this program are possible depending upon demand and availability of funds. More information can be found at commerceri.com/reliefgrant.

 

The Equity group that held vaccination clinics this weekend released these numbers:

 

  • 4/10 at the Dunk –3,031 doses (the most done on any day at the Dunk)
  • 4/10 at Woonsocket – 1,138 doses 
  • 4/11 at Woonsocket – 1,173 doses

 

RI will receive about 2,000 less J&J shots this week than expected.

 

Rhode Island is #3 in most cases of coronavirus per capita among the 50 states over the last seven days, while being #1 for the most testing per capita. RI also has the fourth-most deaths per capita among the 50 states since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

PPAC director Singleton has said that the Broadway shows can’t come back unless it’s 100% seating. New York shows will require, by contract, for any state, including Rhode Island, is to assure the company that anyone they come into contact with will be fully vaccinated. Negative testing for attendees may also be required for attendees.

 

The City of Pawtucket has partnered with the Rhode Island Department of Health and the local branch of AccuReference Medical Lab, the provider who has spearheaded testing at McCoy Stadium since November of 2020, to host a mobile COVID-19 testing for the residents of Pawtucket this weekend.  The test site will be held this Saturday, April 10th from 10am to 2pm at the Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary Sc

hool, 50 Whitman Street in Pawtucket. www.PawtucketRI.com/Covid19

 

Barring any more positive COVID tests, the Portsmouth High football team will finally get back on the field Sunday, when its hosts Cranston East at 2 p.m.

 

Connecticut is planning to provide full access this summer to its outdoor recreation areas including state parks, campgrounds, shoreline beaches, boat launches and inland swimming spots.

 

A pop-up COVID-19 test clinic was in Providence on Friday, located right by the Van Leesten Pedestrian Bridge on South Water Street.

 

Al Fresco on the Hill – outdoor dining on Federal Hill – will begin with street closings on May 14th.

 

Plastic igloos for outdoor dining are coming under scrutiny for fire code issues. In particular, igloos made by Alvantor, do not comply with fire code guidelines. The RI Fire Marshall notes that fire codes are not being loosened in pandemic times.

 

Gov. McKee went to the Equity Vaccination Clinic in Providence on Saturday.

 

Block Island is now about 50% vaccinated – clinics are held once a week, as drugstores are not on the island. Residents credit the encouragement of medical workers on the Island that has resulted in their compliance.

 

Gov. Chris Sununu and top state health officials received their COVID-19 vaccine at New Hampshire Motor Speedway on Saturday.

 

The College of the Holy Cross in Worcester is suspending all in-person activities — including in-person classes and athletics, closing 

the library, and banning others from campus — until at least Wednesday, April 14 due to a rise in COVID-19 cases.

 

Governor Dan McKee will announce a new small business relief grant program for small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic on Monday at 11am at Executive Cuts, downtown Providence.

 

Boston University to require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 before fall semester

 

On Monday, any Rhode Islander 40 to 49 years of age will be eligible to register to get vaccinated. Additionally, on Monday, residents of 02893 (West Warwick), 02906 (Providence), 02910 and 02920 (Cranston), 02911 (North Providence), 02914 (East Providence), and 02919 (Johnston), age 16 and older will be eligible.

 

Eligibility is now open to Woonsocket residents, moved up from Monday, because that community has been harder hit. For the week of March 28th to April 3rd, Woonsocket had 128 new cases of COVID-19, an increase of 21% from the previous week. In addition, Woonsocket has the lowest vaccination coverage rate of any community where age eligibility has not yet been expanded. 

 

Roughly 20,000 slots will open today at 5 p.m. on www.vaccinateRI.org for people who are currently eligible to register. (Roughly 1,000 of those appointments will be at the Woonsocket site.) People who cannot register online for an appointment at a State-run vaccination site can get help by calling 844-930-1779 or 2-1-1. In addition to appointments at State-run sites, people can get vaccinated at retail pharmacies and at local/regional vaccination sites.

 

People who are not eligible yet to get vaccinated against COVID-19 can pre-register by signing up for the Vaccine Interest Notification List at www.portal.ri.gov. People will be notified by email, text, or phone call when they are eligible and there is an available appointment.

 

Warming Blankets are still available at DiscoverNewport for any restaurant or outdoor venue to provide to your customers. Contact Julie Grant at JGrant@DiscoverNewport.org with the amount needed and they will be dropped off to your establishment.

 

Pop-Up Visitor Information Center at 21 Long Wharf Mall in Newport will open on Saturday, May 1. The 725 square-foot center will offer visitors and residents an array of destination information including lodging options, maps, and guides alongside brochures for local attractions, restaurants, transportation, shopping, and special events. The center will be open on weekends in May from 10am-5pm and will gradually extend to seven days per week in July, August and September. It will be open seasonally for the remainder of the year to promote tourism in Newport.

 

K-12 in New Bedford is back to in-person learning, 5 days a week. ½ the staff have been vaccinated. About 2,000 students opted to stay remote.

 

Participants in this year’s Boston Marathon, slated for Oct. 11, may be required to show proof of up to two negative coronavirus tests even if they’ve been vaccinated.

 

Nearly 40% of U.S. Marines who have been offered the COVID-19 vaccine have declined it,

 

Armando Bisceglia, the owner of Federal Hill restaurant BACCO and relentless advocate for the hospitality industry in Providence and beyond, is currently in the ICU after he was diagnosed with COVID-19. https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-armando-beat-covid.

 

Vaccination Clinic – Tues, 4/13 – 2-7pm. Central Falls Housing Authority, 30 Washington Street, Central Falls. For RI residents 16+ old from zip codes: 02860-02861-02863-02904-02905-02907-02908-02909. Pre-registration and ID (students: school letter showing DOB, or birth certificate). NOTE: zip codes 02903 and 02906 are NOT eligible in this clinic. Register: https://www.vaccinateri.org/reg/1215917064. Questions: fssfoundation@cfhousing.org.

 

Masks are helpful to those who suffer from seasonal allergies – eye protection, too – while RI expects a tough allergy season, symptoms may be better because of these measures in place. This came from a report out of Israel, reported by NBC10.

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

In the South, vaccine demand is slowing down – national experts say that if this happens around the country, and we don’t convince resistant groups to be vaccinated, we could spend years living through new variants — some of which might be more deadly, and some of which might be more resistant to vaccines.

 

Broadway actors are being vaccinated with a special clinic in NYC.

 

Michigan is surging with cases and turning to the federal govt for help in terms of more vaccine and tests, some calling for a test for every citizen to be mailed to them. Youth sports paused. No indoor dining for 2 weeks. 160 govt. personnel are coming, but federal govt is saying no more vaccine except by age priority. Many officials are saying we will have to respond to outbreaks like this wherever they occur.

 

South African variant has broken through Pfizer vaccine in people who had their first shot.

 

The CDC advised that there was very little chance of contracting Covid from surfaces, putting to rest an early misconception. “This is a virus you get by breathing”.

 

Mayor Bill de Blasio announced a new policy: Starting next week, schools can remain open unless there are four or more confirmed cases in separate classrooms within a seven-day period.

 

The Supreme Court has shot down, 5-4, a California regulation limiting religious worship at home, the latest in a series of rulings in which the justices have found that coronavirus pandemic regulations violate the First Amendment’s protections of religion.

 

Alliance Healthcare, a national pharmacy chain in Portugal will stock COVID-19 tests at all their pharmacies.

 

The U.S. Naval Academy will hold its graduation and commissioning ceremony in person May 28 at the Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium

 

Coney Island opened this weekend in New York

 

This week, in Portugal, cafe and restaurant terraces, museums, non-food markets and fairs, small shops, middle schools and gyms were allowed to open their doors. Portugal has suffered 823,355 cases and 16,879 deaths, but infection rates have slowed. If the situation continues to improve, cinemas, shopping malls, restaurants’ indoor spaces and other non-essential businesses will reopen in two weeks’ time.

 

Pfizer now says young people over 12 can be vaccinated using their vaccine. Officials are considering this. The pharmaceutical company said in a statement it will seek similar rulings by other authorities around the world in the coming days. Acting FDA commissioner: Pfizer’s request to allow vaccine for adolescents will be reviewed ‘as quickly as possible’ »

 

There has been a decline in preterm births across the US during the pandemic. Early data may provide some insight into lifestyle changes such as working from home and remote access to healthcare. A number of changes during lockdown may have been associated with drops in the preterm birth rate. When most cars were off the roads, there may have been a decline in the number of preterm births associated with air pollution. Additionally, as pregnant people shifted to remote work and found themselves at home and off their feet, with a decline in physical stress.      

 

Death certificates are still coming in and the count could rise, but officials expect a substantial decline will endure, despite worries that COVID-19 could lead to more suicides.

 

The Boston-based company’s “#ShotForSam” campaign starts April 12 and will be open to the first 10,000 participants. “Sam Adams hopes drinkers will get back to supporting the bars and restaurants they love. So, if you get vaccinated against COVID-19, we’ll buy your first beer back!”  The company said it’ll send $7 through the Cash App to anyone who posts a photo of their vaccination sticker or bandage on Twitter or Instagram. Posts have to include #ShotForSam and tag the @SamuelAdamsBeer account.

 

Some Polish doctors and nurses are just taking naps between shifts as they fight a third wave of the coronavirus, the health minister said on Friday, amid reports of medical staff taking oxygen

 

Theme parks lost 41% of their 

staff, on the average, nationwide. They are expected to recover most of them in 2021.

 

Dr. Fauci says he hosts gatherings at home but still won’t go to crowded indoor places where people are maskless. And although the CDC now says vaccinated Americans can travel, Fauci is not planning any trips.

 

As millions of Americans are vaccinated each day, the beauty industry is poised for an unprecedented summer boom. People are already filling up the appointment books at salons and spas

 

In a comment about the Chinese coronavirus vaccines, the country’s top disease control official says their effectiveness is low and the government is considering mixing them to get a boost.

 

Dentists, beauty appointments, summer camps, wedding venues, just about every vendor is overwhelmed with requests – coupled with low staff.

 

Regeneron is asking for approval to give to people exposed to the virus, who are not yet sick, and not yet vaccinated. This would give it preventive treatment, in addition to treatment for those who are sick with COVID-19.

 

The federal government is planning to deliver fewer than 800,000 Johnson & Johnson doses this week, down from 5 million that had been planned.

 

Back-to School Video from Joseph Case High School in MA:

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island State Police is investigating the cancelation of COVID vaccine appointments at a clinic for minorities.  The RI Attorney General's Office is expressing concerns about another marina expansion project, as well as patient care at the state hospital.  Authorities have identified the victim of a shooting in Providence and are also investigating a second shooting at the same spot.

>>State Police Investigating Cancelation Of BIPOC Vaccine Appointments

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island State Police is investigating after more than one-thousand coronavirus vaccine appointments were erroneously canceled at a clinic on Saturday.  This was at a clinic specifically for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color at the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence.  Multiple media reports indicate despite the confusion, most people who were signed up for an appointment still went to the Dunk.

>>Attorney General Again At Odds With Coastal Resources Management Council

(Jamestown, RI)  --  Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha is once again questioning a decision made by the state Coastal Resources Management Council.  Neronha is expressing concerns about the OK given for an expansion of the Jamestown Boatyard and wants the council to address them.  They are similar to the concerns aired about a proposed marina expansion on Block Island: that the approval process may not have been transparent and that the expansion may lead to irreparable harm of the state's natural resources.  The Providence Journal reports the council has on its agenda for a meeting on Tuesday additional ratification of the Jamestown Boat Yard decision.

>>A.G. Looking At Current State Hospital Situation

(Undated)  --  The RI Attorney General's Office is also taking a look at what's happening right now with the state hospital.  Last month, Governor Dan McKee proposed a new 65-million-dollar facility at the Burrillville campus of Eleanor Slater Hospital, which would replace the existing building, and the state's restructuring plan also includes closing buildings in Cranston.  The A.G.'s office says it is concerned about patient care and may also be investigating potential Medicaid fraud.

>>Fatal Providence Shooting Victim ID'd; Second Shooting At Same Location

(Providence, RI)  --  Police have identified the victim of a fatal shooting in Providence overnight Monday.  Authorities say 21-year-old Isaias Bulus was shot dead in a car parked on Atlantic Avenue in the city's Elmwood section.  A second shooting was reported at the same location Monday night.  The injuries to the victim in the most-recent shooting were reportedly non-life-threatening.

>>University Of Rhode Island Selects New President

(Kingston, RI)  --  The University of Rhode Island is selecting its new president.  The job is going to Providence native Dr. Marc Palange, who will be leaving his position as provost and senior vice president of Monash University in Australia.  The U-R-I board of trustees wound up having an easy decision to make on Monday as the other finalist for the position, George Washington University provost Brian Blake, withdrew from consideration over the weekend.

>>Patriots Star Julian Edelman Is Retiring

(Foxboro, MA)  --  Former Super Bowl MVP for the New England Patriots Julian Edelman is retiring.  The team ended the wide receiver's contract after a failed physical.  The 34-year-old played all 11 of his NFL seasons for the Pats and his 620 receptions are second in franchise history. 

###
Jim McCabe/Source Staff/jb         RI) BN) WDC) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-13-2021 00:19:06

Gov. McKee committed to vaccinating Black and Brown Rhode Islanders

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Gov. McKee committed to vaccinating Black and Brown Rhode Islanders – Ann Clanton

 
April 12, 2021/Ann Clanton

 

Photo, top: from Dr. Munoz Twitter feed, celebrating the end of the clinic and success of numbers vaccinated.

 

By Ann-Allison Clantoncontributing writer, “Speak-Up”

 

Twenty-one-year-old Dante Machado came to the Dunkin Donuts Center to receive his vaccine shot. “I feel pretty good,” he reported. “I am already signed up for May 8th to receive (the second) shot,” says Machado. The millennial Rumford resident says he will “encourage my family and my cousins to get the shot”.

 

Positive responses like Machado’s is what Governor Dan McKee and Reverend Howard Jenkins were hoping for when decisions were made to hold a special clinic to vaccinate BIPOC communities, particularly from Providence, Pawtucket, Central Falls and Woonsocket.

 

 

Saturday’s clinic to help erase inequities in vaccine accessibility became a reality following the Bethel AME Pastor and NAACP Providence Branch President Jim Vincent’s meeting with Governor McKee. According to the leaders, they asked the Governor and his staff aide to give the greenlight and assistance in securing the space and manpower for the clinic.

 

Governor McKee came through with space at the Dunkin Donuts Center, the Rhode Island National Guard and the Rhode Island Department of Health to aid the Reverend Jenkins and the partnering organizations he recruited to sign up adults 18 year or older from BIPOC communities. “We exceeded our expectations and had a good number of people vaccinated, says Reverend Jenkins. There are more who want to take it, than those that do not.” said the Reverend.

 

Individuals who received their shot today received appointments to get their second shot in May.

 

 

Clearly the success of Saturday’s clinic are the messengers and their message. At the Dunk on Saturday there was plenty of evidence that the message was received. Dr. Munoz and individuals leading the partnering organizations stood on the steps to greet people; discussion turned to keeping the coalition together for other projects. “We have a very good platform here for us to impact our BIPOC community,” says Vincent.

 

The Governor toured the site and felt pleased about the feedback from families and individuals he received. “Our best Ambassadors are the people who received the vaccination,” said Governor McKee. Governor McKee’s presence at The Dunk on Saturday showed his commitment to addressing how the pandemic is affecting communities of color.

 

Does the success of Saturday’s targeted clinic indicate that attitudes toward the vaccine among black and brown communities have taken a turn around? If this is the case, time will tell.

 

We need to keep pace with the population they represent in giving the vaccine, says Governor McKee. If Black people are 8% of Rhode Island’s population, they need to be getting at least 4% of the shots.

 

What Saturday does prove is that Governor McKee is committed to finding ways to encourage Blacks, Hispanics and Asians to receive the shot. Granted, Governor Dan McKee has made some gains in addressing health inequity when it comes to COVID-19 among people of color. Many hope that the Governor and the Coalition can replicate these successful efforts on issues of education and affordable housing.

 

Organizations partnering for the Equity Council’s program include: Direct Action for Rights and Equality (DARE), Bethel AME Church, Mount Hope Community Center, Black Lives Matter Political Action Committee, Progresso Latino, We Cambodian Society, Iglesia Evangelica, NAACP Providence Branch, Steam box, Arise, AMOR, HEZ Pawtucket and Central Falls, HEZ Woonsocket, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc – Providence Alumnae Chapter, Stages of Freedom, Congdon Street Baptist Church, and the RI African American Clergywomen.

 

Partnering individuals include: Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz, Kiah Bryant, Pastor Howard Jenkins, Corinne Collier, Harrison Tuttle, Senator Tiara Mack, Rep. Leonela Felix, Eugene Monteiro, Helen Dukes, Roberto Gonzalez, Rosa Sierra, Jim Vincent, James Diossa, Councilwoman Valerie Gonzalez, Secretary Womazetta Jones, Julian Drix-Rodriguez, Ineida Rocha, and Stanley Bios.

 

Plans are for the next Equity Vaccination Clinic to take place in Woonsocket, and next weekend, once again, in the Providence area.

 

Editor’s Note: 2,660 people were vaccinated with remainder of vaccines going to the National Guard-run walk-in clinic at the same location.

 

_____

 

 

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

 

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

 

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

 
 
Posted in 

We are the Change that We Seek

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We Are the Change That We Seek – Mary T. O’Sullivan

 
April 12, 2021/Mary OSullivan

 

By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL, business leadership

 

Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day”
 – Frances Hesselbein

 

Frances Hesselbein, former CEO of the Girl Scouts, USA, became one of the most renown leaders of recent times. She believed that above all, people craved respect. And to show proper respect, a leader had to live her/his values.

 

One important element Frances learned throughout her career as a leader was to ask the right questions to clarify people’s thoughts and actions to ensure they were headed in the right direction. When she assumed leadership of the Girl Scouts USA, she relied heavily on the principles of Peter Drucker, a well-known management guru, called the Five Fundamental Questions:

 

  • What is our mission?
  • Who is our customer?
  • What does the customer value?
  • What are our results?
  • What is your plan?

 

As a result, the Girl Scouts grew to 2.25 million people with a workforce of over 780,000. Frances accomplished this at a time when the organization struggled to attract volunteers and membership was on a steep decline.

 

But how do we develop leaders who understand basic skills well enough to “coach” people into making change? How do we ask the right questions?

 

For instance, these three “how do we” questions are often used in coaching situations: How can we move from where we are today to where we want to be? How might we use our strengths peering into in the future to create positive outcomes? How do we teach leaders to support others?

 

Through the years, I’ve established a coaching framework that transforms weak, ineffective leaders into change management agents. This technique is known as the Coaches framework. The framework is a coaching modality aimed at leaders facing multiple challenges, crisis management, developing soft skills, and clarify decision making, to name a few, to help them guide their organizations through the process of change – changing organizations, changing attitudes and changing themselves.

 

The framework is based on the work of Dr. Robert Hicks, the Director, Organizational Behavior and Executive Coaching, at the University of Texas at Dallas. Dr. Hicks is the author of Coaching as a Leadership Style (Routledge, 2014)and The Process of Highly Effective Coaching (Routledge, 2017).These two books dig deep into his Four-Square Framework philosophy, providing readers with a roadmap to the right questions to both support and challenge thoughts and actions. In fact, many of these powerful questions are commonly used in after action reviews. In the ones I’ve led, common questions are:

 

1. What do we want to keep doing?

2. What do we want to stop doing?  

3. What are we not doing now that that we need to start doing?

 

Dr. Hicks mentions similar questions in his first book, Coaching as a Leadership Style. He calls them the “Three Magic Questions” because when people are asked these questions, they think of the many facets of solutions that can be tried or in undertaken order to make the change they want happen. The questions are a path forward, with all eyes on the future, not the past. And this approach is the critical difference between psychotherapy and professional coaching; while therapy focuses on the client’s past, coaching is future focused, like the difference between studying history and planning for space travel.

 

Dr. Hicks’ Four-Square Framework, which incorporates the work of many well-known psychologists and leadership theorists, in addition to Dr. Hicks’ approach, promotes methods of self-inquiry, self-actualization and self-awareness. These concepts are easily adapted by today’s leadership development experts. Using simple, but powerful questions, changing organizational culture becomes less of a struggle and more of an organizational revolution; a leader transforms his/her behaving from acting like an oligarch to modeling an organization’s values; an individual gains the confidence and clarity needed to change careers or seek that ever-elusive promotion.

 

The idea is to develop people’s confidence in the leader and get them to take action in the direction you need the organization to go. For instance, public health. If leaders are modeling behavior, they wish people to follow, it brings more confidence to the change that is needed. If we want people to stop smoking, role models such as athletes, TV personalities and other celebrities are shown not smoking. In fact, for many years, cigarette smoking was not shown on TV or in the movies. By banning smoking from being portrayed as acceptable behavior on TV and in the movies, the entertainment industry demonstrated their commitment to public health and alignment with science. The moguls understood their millions of audience members were the prime targets that health officials needed to reach. Using on-screen stars from every demographic, the industry helped alter smoking behavior among great masses of people, by the millions. Cigarette advertising was and still is banned from TV commercials.

 

Seat belts are another good example. If we want people to wear seat belts, we gain credibility by role models who take the reins and exhibit the desired behavior. Wearing seat belts is another area where the entertainment industry has supported public health and safety. Even the bad guys are buckling up on TV and in the movies. Additionally, if we want kids to use seatbelts, parents, babysitters, Grandma and Grandpa need to buckle up as well. 

 

Both of these instances clearly demonstrate how by building confidence among the public, radical change is possible.

 

The Four-Square framework has two major principles:

 

Support and Challenge. These address the two ways people are most likely to embrace change: Thought and Action. Leaders support, in many ways, the action they want others to take: effective communication, modeling, reinforcement and reward. For instance – you’ll get ticketed driving without a seat belt and will be banned from public places with a lit tobacco product. Leaders drive the change by helping people figure out the change being promoted is good and is necessary.

 

The tricky part is the challenge. For people to be challenged, their basic mindset must be put in question.

In the 2020 pandemic crisis, mixed messages coming from the very top leaders seem counterproductive. If we want to slow down a virus, a behavioral change (such as wearing a mask) is needed, but some leaders appear in public without a mask. We wonder how it’s possible to change that erroneous mindset.

 

We might ask ourselves, “Where is the support for the idea or thought of making this needed change?”

 

What we are left with is a very confused public, some making the changes, some not. Those people that feel supported by their state and local leaders will change their behavior and wear a mask.

 

But how do we deal with the challenge? What of those who defy the advice to take recommended safety precautions?  What happens when we challenge the mindset of their right to emulate those in charge and not take the advice of medical and scientific experts?

 

Maybe these folks need a bigger incentive or reinforcement. Like cigarette smoking and seat belt wearing, there are consequences for not wearing a mask during a pandemic – people will get sick and die. Somehow that message failed to resonate with a large part of the population during the 2020 pandemic. The reason is there has been no challenge for thought. The mindset has not been questioned. And the idea or thought of the need for masks was not supported in the usual ways.

 

What we saw, instead, was the people in charge not effectively promulgating widespread positive communication, modeling, reinforcement, and reward. Questions need to be asked in order for the public’s behavior to change, from dangerous to safe. Journalists, concerned citizens, and influential legislators all have a responsibility to question unsafe behavior, regardless of the source, when it affects the public good, safety and health.

 

Without this framework of inquiry, change in the public’s mindset and behavior is unlikely. Leaders in organizations dealing with similar issues around change and management deal with the same problems. The status quo is no longer working. We can’t be comfortable doing things the same way we’ve done them for years. Change happens whether we want it or not.

 

Think of the invention of the automobile. The transition from the horse and carriage impacted entire industries, including horse breeders, blacksmiths, and buggy whip makers. Now, buggy whips are not mass produced because there is not a high demand for them, and only “the horsey set” need blacksmiths, horse breeders and crops. Think of what stalls organizational change – inertia. If a change is introduced, like a “learning culture,” and no infrastructure is provided, how does the “learning culture” materialize? How do employees embrace learning without access to courses, mentors, tuition reimbursement, and in-house training?  

 

People don’t like change, especially if they can’t see any sense to it. It’s incumbent upon our leaders to explain why we need to change and how we all benefit.

 

So, governors, mayors, principals, and other leaders, roll up your sleeves, get vaccinated and show that you support the public good. We can only hope everyone else will follow you.

 

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” Barack Obama

 

_____

 

 

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

www.encoreexecutivecoaching.com/

 

URI Presidential search. Finalist withdraws. Trustees expect to make appointment today.

URI Presidential search. Finalist withdraws. Trustees expected to make appointment today.

 
April 12, 2021/RINewsToday

 

One of two final candidates for President of the University of Rhode Island has withdrawn his name from consideration – Brian Blake, of George Washington University.

 

The Board of Trustees of URI has set a Special Meeting for TODAY at 6pm, with the action item, “Appointment of the new President of the University of Rhode Island” on its agenda. The virtual meeting is open to the public on Facebook live at: https://www.facebook.com/URIBoardofTrustees/. The agenda also includes “Authorization of the Board Chair to negotiate an employment contract with the new President of URI”. The regular URI Board meeting will be held on April 22.

 

Four finalists had been announced from over 200 applicants for the position of President of the University of Rhode Island a few weeks back. The position is to replace that of President David Dooley, who announced his retirement.

 

The four finalists were then whittled down to two – Provost Brian Blake of George Washington University, and Provost Marc Parlange of Monash University in Australia, with ties to Rhode Island.

 

 

Blake had spoken at a forum for the URI community, where he identified supporting diversity and inclusion as two priorities. However, “Blake said a search firm had “aggressively recruited” him, and he did not seek out the role on his own,” according to The Hatchet, an online news site of GWU. The search firm of Isaacson, Miller conducted the search for URI.

 

The Hatchet story noted that even though Blake was down to the last cut, he hadn’t “fully weighed” the thought of leaving GW: “Blake said he had not fully weighed whether he would desire the role when he was revealed as a finalist last week. – This public announcement came before I had a full opportunity to weigh the professional and personal aspects of leaving GW at this time,” Blake said in the email to senior staff. “I have now had that opportunity for discussions with my family and with my colleagues. As a result of these often heartfelt conversations, I concluded that there is much important work yet to be done at GW, especially as we emerge from the pandemic.”

 

 

Marc Parlange, said about URI – “I like that you’re strongly society-facing and entrepreneurial. I’ve known URI for a long time for the work you do in oceanography.” [URI can] “make a difference in the lives of so many people…”. Parlange grew up in Providence, and went to Griffith University in Australia.

 

The regularly scheduled URI Trustees meeting on April 22nd will be preceded by a Special Trustee meeting just set for today, where Parlange’s appointment may be made.

 

 

About URI President candidate Parlange (from Monash Univ):

 

Professor Marc Parlange is the Provost and Senior Vice-President of Monash University and is Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering. Prior to his appointment at Monash in 2017, Professor Parlange was Dean of the Faculty of Applied Science at the University of British Columbia (Canada). He served as Dean of the School of Architecture, Civil and Environmental Engineering (2008 – 2013) and Director of the Institute of Environmental Engineering (2004 – 2007) at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Switzerland. He has also been a professor and department chair at Johns Hopkins University as well as Assistant and Associate Professor at the University of California at Davis. He has a Master of Science and PhD from Cornell University and a Bachelor of Science degree from Griffith University.

 

A highly regarded research scientist, Professor Parlange is recognized internationally for his expertise in environmental fluid mechanics. His contributions in this broad area primarily relate to the measurement and simulation of air and water flows over complex terrain, with a focus on how air turbulence and atmospheric dynamics (atmospheric boundary layer flow) influence urban, agricultural and alpine environments. Professor Parlange is active in addressing water resources challenges and environmental change in remote communities, particularly West Africa, through his research on hydrology and climate change.

 

Professor Parlange has received prestigious awards for his academic achievements, including the Macelwane Medal and the Hydrologic Sciences Award of the American Geophysical Union, and the Dalton Medal of the European Geosciences Union. He is a Fellow of the Canadian Academy of Engineering, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Geophysical Union.

 

Professor Parlange is also a highly regarded graduate advisor and his numerous PhD students and post-doctoral associates have had much international success in universities and industry. In 2010 he was named a recipient of the Agepoly Excellence in Teaching Award from EPFL. He has served as Editor in Chief of Water Resources Research and Editor for Advances in Water Resources. In 2017 he became a member of the US National Academy of Engineering.

 

RINewsToday reached out to URI for comment late on Sunday. This is a developing story.

 

 

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Legislation was signed over the weekend in Rhode Island to eliminate greenhouse gases in three decades.  The head of the embattled agency in charge of the state hospital is getting a new director.  Coronavirus vaccine eligibility is being expanded in Woonsocket.

>>Rhode Island Governor Signs Climate Change Bill

(Newport, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee signed a climate change bill on Saturday which sets a legally-enforced goal of reducing carbon emissions to net-zero by 2050.  McKee signed the bill at Bowen's Wharf in Newport.  He said with four-hundred miles of coastline, Rhode Island is on the front lines of the climate change crisis.  The governor said the legislation is a moral imperative as well as an opportunity to enhance the state's economy.

>>Interim Director Appointed For State Agency Which Oversees State Hospital

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor McKee is asking Rhode Island Health and Human Services Secretary Womazetta Jones to also run the state Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals on an interim  basis.  The BHDDH has gotten caught up in a criticized plan to downsize the state hospital.  A state legislative committee held a four-hour hearing on the issue last week.  Jones is being asked to conduct a thorough review of the department and make recommendations to the governor on issues including quality standards for patient care.

>>Cities Declare Victory In Fight Against Trump Era Immigration Directives

(Undated)  --  A legal battle between two Rhode Island cities and the Department of Justice that began during the Trump administration is over.  The cities of Providence and Central Falls filed a lawsuit in 2018 to prevent the DOJ from requiring adherence to immigration enforcement policies in order to receive a federal justice grant.  Under a new president, the Justice Department has dropped its appeal of previous court victories notched by the cities.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza described as "unconstitutional overreach" the Trump-era directives, which would have required local law enforcement to assist the Department of Homeland Security when illegal immigrants are arrested.

>>All Adults Can Get Vaccinated In Woonsocket

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  Rhode Island has expanded coronavirus vaccine eligibility in the city of Woonsocket to everyone 16 and over.  This is part of the state's effort to get shots out to communities that have been hit the hardest by the virus.  The RI Department of Health says Woonsocket has the lowest vaccination coverage rate in the Ocean State.

>>New Hampshire Driver Killed In I-95 Crash

(West Greenwich, RI)  --  One person died in a crash on Interstate 95 in West Greenwich over the weekend.  The Rhode Island State Police identified the driver of the single-vehicle wreck overnight Saturday as Jason Reid of Concord, New Hampshire.  The crash is under investigation.

>>Prince Philip Visited Newport In 1976

(Newport, RI)  --  The death of Prince Philip has some recalling his trip to Newport.  Philip and Queen Elizabeth the Second visited in July of 1976 for the U.S. Bicentennial celebration.  According to the Newport Historical Society, the couple dined with President Gerald Ford and his wife aboard the royal yacht before Elizabeth dedicated Queen Anne Square and attended services at the historic Trinity Church.  They sailed to Boston the next day.

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

04-12-2021 00:03:09

Friday Fishing Tips - Jeff Gross

Screen Shot 2021-04-08 at 6.30.44 PM
 

Friday Fishing Tips – Jeff Gross

 
April 9, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

April 7th was opening day of Trout season in Little Rhody. From the pictures shown on the internet and “A Better 401 Fishing”, the people who were fortunate to get out and fish did fairly well. We’ll see how the results are this weekend.

 

 

The day was a success there were no known boating accidents like in other years. kayakers appear to be very diligent in wearing their Personal Flotation Devices “PFDs” 

 

Tip #1 – It is critical for kayakers and canoeists to wear PFDs at this time of year as the water temp is -40 degrees and hypothermia sets in within 5 minutes. Any pond or lake that you are will be at least 5 minutes from shore, via swimming. If you capsize and are not wearing a PFD you are in grave danger as muscle control/dexterity is rapidly reduced and one becomes a victim very quickly.

 

The RI Department of Environmental Management (RIDEM) included Lake Tiogue, Wallum Lake, and Spring Grove Pond on their Trout stocking agenda this year. As one can see in the pictures, numerous people had a successful day with many fish caught – and even a few trophies that may find their way to the taxidermist. While not a violation it is recommended to keep each person’s catch separate. 

  •  

 

Tip #2 – If one is standing there with a friend and all are keeping their catch in a bucket or stringer and one person goes for a nature call then the individual standing there is in possession of all the fish. If it is more than 5 Trout it is a violation. So, bring 2 buckets or 2 stringers to avoid any unwanted problems as your buddy can take his or hers with them if they go for a Dunkin’ run.

 

 

This writer was fortunate to catch a 30-pounder on an ultra light rod with 6 lb test. The line and rod did not give up the fight nor did the hooks on the orange Mepps spinner as well. The log did put up a fight as it took a few minutes to bring in and the rod was completely bent over in half. Thank the design engineers for the strength of a 5′ Shakespeare Ugly stik! Hopefully this type of catch does not continue this season.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

_____

 

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

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

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

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

He can be reached at: trainsbythe144@aol.com

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 9, 2021

 
April 9, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: San Francisco prom

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

20,000 more appointments will be made available tonight at 5pm.

 

Gov. McKee continues with daily visits to vaccination centers.

 

Gov. Dan McKee said RI is not going to be “mandating” vaccinations.

 

RIDOH had a snag in the vaccination program for people of color planned for Saturday when the system sent out appointment cancellations – if you received a cancellation, ignore it – the program is still on.

 

Lincoln HS is planning their prom for the end of May at the Atlantic Beach Hotel in Newport.

 

The Levitt AMP summer concert series is set to return to River Island Art Park this summer in Woonsocket.

 

Newport Jazz Festival announces it will run a 3-day festival July 30-Aug. 1

 

Gov. McKee will visit a Jamestown vaccination site at 4:30pm

 

RI Outdoor dining on Atwells Avenue will begin on May 14th – with streets closing on the weekend. Today, Mayor Elorza will have a press conference to announce expanded resources to support safe outdoor activation of public space to accelerate cultural and economic recovery. 

 

Brown University is reporting a massive spike in interest in Brown’s master of public health program — a surge driven largely by applicants from historically underrepresented groups.

 

A RI group wants to create a remote-worker attraction promotion for the state, Rhode Island Roots, similar to other states, promoting the benefits of our talented workforce, and the beauty of RI.

 

15 Rhode Islanders charged with organized pandemic unemployment fraud, done around the country, using Twin River Casino to cash out DLT cards with large cash balances on them. These were not individual claimants.

 

The North Providence Library has kicked off National Library Week, “Welcome to Your Library,” with outdoor reading bubbles. Reading bubbles will be available Mondays through Thursdays for the month of April.

 

Walgreens reminds staff that ID isn’t required for vaccine in Massachusetts, after some residents were turned away.

 

Starting on April 19, New Hampshire will begin allowing anyone over age 16 to make appointments for COVID-19 vaccines, regardless of residency.

 

Most spread of COVID-19 in MA is said to be happening within homes.

 

In New Hampshire, more than 20 school districts have asked the state if they can delay returning to full-time, in-person instruction that’s mandated to start April 19.

 

The Vermont Health Department is asking people to submit their stories – including videos, photos or written thoughts – about getting vaccinated against COVID-19 which will be used for a vaccination promo video.

 

Maine will relax attendance restrictions for private events such as weddings and private parties May 24 to 75% of permitted occupancy or 50 people, whichever is greater. The restrictions on outdoor events will rise from 75% to 100% of permitted occupancy on that date.

 

USS Constitution Museum reopens.

 

Some Walmart pharmacies in Massachusetts will soon offer COVID-19 vaccines – Abington, Avon, Bellingham, Danvers, Gardner, Halifax, Hudson, Lunenburg, Lynn, Northborough, North Oxford, Plymouth, Quincy, Seekonk, Tewksbury, Walpole and West Boylston store pharmacies.

 

FEMA will begin taking applications for reimbursement of partial funeral costs of those who lost someone to COVID – on MONDAY, call 9 to 9 – 844-684-6333. Reimbursement is available, up to a maximum of $9K for transportation, caskets, urns, gravestones, funeral arrangements and death certificates.

 

The Pawtucket Jacqueline Walsh School for the Performing Arts provided students returning with “survival kits” – gift bags filled with pens and pencils, pads of paper, hand sanitizer, water bottles, granola bars, and more.

 

40% of Newport, RI residents are vaccinated

 

AIS is making 25K masks available to Providence residents and local nonprofits on a 1st come basis – limit of 200 per organization and 2 per individual. Call 311 to set up a pick up time at Providence City Hall.  

 

ACI will allow visitors for the first time since March of 2020

 

Nearly half of new COVID cases in Massachusetts tied to U.K. variant

 

COVID-19 issues have forced UNH to cancel the rest of its football season.

 

Some parents with students who have been at home for the past school year, are now wanting to opt out of scheduled standardized testing. Education officials say it is important to do to know how much needs to be recouped in education over the last year. Rhode Island has no “optout” provision, families can apply for a medical exemption from their doctor. Schools can also provide special accommodations for students.

 

The lockdown at Bates College is continuing through Sunday.

 

Spring football for URI Rams is canceled due to multiple positive players.

 

In Connecticut, several school districts across the state have been forced to close or stop in-person learning for a day because educators called in sick with side effects from their COVID-19 shots after clinics.

 

In New Hampshire, those who attended events at Magdalen College of the Liberal Arts around Easter are being asked to get tested for the coronavirus after an outbreak infected at least 16 people.

 

Gov. Phil Scott of Vermont, on Monday condemned the “racist response” to his administration’s decision to make members of ethnic minorities eligible for COVID19 vaccines before residents of other races.

 

Maine will work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency to get vaccines to rural and underserved communities – using a mobile vaccination unit, the 2nd in operation in New England.

 

GOV. MCKEE UPDATE – APRIL 8, 2021

 

RI is doing well – ranking towards the top in vaccinations in US.

 

Community of color registration went well. We want to vaccinate everyone and get their vaccinate card.

 

Regular press conferences to take non-COVID topics starting the week after next.

 

Dr. Scott:

 

Reviewed data. Still seeing a lot of cases in RI – over 300 or 400 new ones every day. Partly due to the amt of testing we are doing. Seeing cases throughout the state – no localized. 19 out of 39 cities and towns had a significant increase in last 5 weeks. Bristol, Middletown and West Warwick even more. Younger people are presenting as well. Slight increase in hospitalizations, also in those in their 20s and 30s. We are “holding steady” but there are more contagious variants spreading in RI. Best protection against this is the vaccine. We aren’t at the younger age ranges yet.

 

Critical to continue to wear masks and get tested.

 

2 dates – May 15 & June 5 are dates to watch. By May 15th, 70% of Rhode Islanders over 16 have had at least one shot and 2 weeks after. By June 5th, 70% of all Rhode Islanders, plus 2 weeks – including young people. 70% mark is the same critical marker we can center on. Ages 16 and over for vaccinations.

 

Events: Without food:

 

3 phases. Between now and May 15 – 250 indoors/500 people outdoors.

 

After May 15 – 500 indoors/1,000 outdoors

 

May 15 – June 5 – 500 indoors/2,000 outdoors

 

Masks are required and distancing. Testing is required 48 hours before for indoor events.

 

With exception of graduations, plans for events with 500+ people are required to be submitted. Any requests of more than 500 – DBR needs request 30 days before.

 

Catered events: more info on reopeningri.com – Friday

 

Tom McCarthy:

 

Good week last week and this. 18,000 shots already this week – 86,500 by week end. Appointment notifications are going out now.

 

Commissioner Infante-Green:

 

In-person learning one of the most important things we can do for our children.

 

Working closely on proms and graduations.

 

RIDE has put out an RFP for summer programs. Children who attended increased scores significantly. Learning Equity Acceleration Pathways created to work together. EnrollRI on May 3rd to what is available for your children.

 

Q/A:

 

Q: Businesses struggling to get workers to go to work

 

A: Pryor – should be some level of procedure to allow extra benefit to travel with employee to incentivize them to return to work. Most people who are looking for work are minimum wage workers.

 

Q: Do you support Bill in Senate to help small businesses?

 

A: Been in contact about this and benefit should follow employee.

 

Q: Graduation plans – theory may not meet reality – is social distancing 3 feet or more?

 

A: Still requiring 6 feet, but involvement with state team, DBR, RIDE, RIDOH, etc., we would work with a school to help them make that happen.

 

Q: CDC is saying 3 feet in schools – why not for events?

 

A: That is for structured venues and younger children’s classrooms.

 

Q: Canvassing going door to door to reach people will continue – and do the pre-registration site, too

 

A: We are working on all of those things – including clinics.

 

Q: Colleges/universities – do you support mandatory vaccinations?

 

A: 62,000 young people – yes, they should be vaccinated.

 

Q: Do undocumented people need to fill out all the personal info?

 

A: Not asking for ID or insurance card at mass vaccination site – piloting mobile clinics –

 

Q: Hundreds of untaken appointments on line – what are we doing?

 

A: We are working on overcoming barriers, etc.

 

Q: Dancing at proms?

 

A: Pod dancing. You can dance at your table – more guidance online. Not after June?

 

Above 50 outdoors, testing required; above 15 indoors, testing required.

 

Q: Should people who have been fully vaccinated still need to get tested?

 

A: Yes, during this timeframe – probably until June.

 

Synopsis from ProJo:

 

 

Today’s Data – April 8, 2021

Deaths: 1

Tests – 17,219 – Positives – 360 – Percent positive – 2.1%

Hospitalized – 154 – In ICU – 28 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 0 – New Admissions – 22 – New Discharges – 22

Vaccinated – 374,952 Both shots – 275,464

 

 

Today’s Data – April 7, 2021

Deaths: 3

Tests – 19,213 – Positives – 449 – Percent positive – 2.3%

Hospitalized – 154 – In ICU – 25 – Ventilated – 21

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 28 – New Discharges – 24

Vaccinated – 355,819; Both shots – 267,992

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

A new study provides evidence that children may evade severe disease because a natural part of their immune response stops the virus early in its tracks, researchers at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Montefiore Health System and Yale University say. “What our data would suggest overall is that when children see the virus they have a very robust innate immune response,” said study co-author Dr. Kevan Herold, professor of immunology and internal medicine at Yale University.

 

Researchers identify five new cases of ‘double mutant’ Covid variant in California

 

In Chicago, an indoor event at a bar in rural Illinois triggered 46 cases of the coronavirus, the hospitalization of a resident of a long-term care facility and a school shutdown

 

The ferry service that carries passengers to the Outer Banks in North Carolina, is facing a shortage of deck hands, seamen and captains.

 

In Florida, fewer state residents are getting tested for the coronavirus, making it harder to detect and counter a potential fourth wave

 

UK to ease lockdown restrictions starting April 12

 

Outdoor flea markets are opening again

 

Oklahoma will drop its residency requirement for COVID-19 vaccinations

 

The SmartBuy program, offered by the Illinois Housing Development Authority, will pay off up to $40,000 in student loans, or a loan amount equal to 15% of the home purchase price, whichever is lower. It will also provide a $5,000 loan toward a down payment or closing costs.

 

Covid deaths reach 4,000 a day in Brazil, hospitals at breaking point

 

Elite Airways LLC today announced the introduction of nonstop jet service between White Plains in Westchester County NY, and the islands of Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard MA off the coast of Cape Cod. The new service begins May 27 and 28 at the start of Memorial Day weekend, and will operate seven days a week. Tickets are available for sale at 877-393-2510 and EliteAirways.com. With fares starting as low as $129 each way, daily nonstop jet service (Mon-Sun).

 

Front-line workers continue to suffer from mental health challenges, after a year of pandemic. A majority feel additional support is needed from employers.

 

In rare instances, AstraZeneca’s Covid-19 vaccine linked to blood clots

 

The University of Notre Dame said it will require students to be fully vaccinated for the fall

 

President Joe Biden has been dealt a setback with his goal to reopen more schools for in-person learning, as new data shows that a majority of students are still not returning to the classroom full time even when given the chance. According to a new survey released by the Biden administration, nearly 46 percent of public schools offered five days a week of in-person learning to all students in February, but just 34 percent of students were learning full time in the classroom.

 

At least one case of a variant that contains two worrisome mutations has been documented in California. It’s called a “double mutant” because the spike protein of the virus contains two mutations – one that is found in a variant tied to California and another that is commonly found in variants tied to South Africa and Brazil.

 

The cast and executive support of The Today Show received their vaccine as a group on the plaza outside their studios.

 

The number of Americans applying for unemployment benefits rose last week to 744,000, signaling that many employers are still cutting jobs even as more people are vaccinated against COVID-19

 

As pressure builds on the travel industry to restart, Qatar Airways has flown the world’s first fully vaccinated “flight to nowhere”.  Flight QR6421 departed Doha’s Hamad International Airport at 11am on 6 April, and landed back at the same airport three hours later.

 

Moderna’s COVID Vax Produces Antibody Responses 6 Months Later

 

New York will offer one-time payments of up to $15,600 to undocumented immigrants who lost work due to COVID-19

 

The UK is advising using the Astra-Zeneca vaccine only in those over 30

 

About 90% of infected meatpacking plant workers were people of color – meatpackers are still at high risk.

 

A Los Angeles mass vaccination site will allow any adult to stand in line for a vaccine through Sunday after appointments went unfilled in recent days

 

1 in 3 COVID- 19 survivors were diagnosed with a neurological or psychiatric condition within 6 months of infection.

 

34% of students were learning full time in the classroom. The gap was most pronounced among older K-12 students, with just 29% of eighth-graders getting five days a week of learning at school.

 

New Zealand suspends travel from India, a COVID-19 hotspot.

 

Anyone who served in the military, their spouse and caregivers are eligible for COVID vaccines through the Veterans Administration, the VA New England Healthcare System announced

 

Cruise Lines are diverting some $56 Billion from the U.S. Economy

 

Walmart is going to be administering vaccines in more than 3,800 stores and clubs across 48 states, Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C.

 

The willingness of Caribbean countries to negotiate with cruise lines is forcing the hand of the CDC—and the point of vaccines for all. 

 

Emerson University in Boston is on quarantine and lockdown, including sports. 26 positive cases and 38 exposed.

 

Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and Fort Lewis College in Colorado

 

New York, Michigan, Florida, Pennsylvania and New Jersey together reported 44% of the nation’s new COVID- 19 infections, or nearly 197,500 new cases

 

CT officials are looking into the possibility of eventually having to administer booster shots of COVID-19 vaccines in nursing homes, while also vaccinating new residents and staff

 

The “network effect” — knowing others who have received the vaccine and that it was “safe” and “efficacious” — can also be a strong factor in vaccine uptake for those resistance to getting the vaccination. “place-based approaches” to reduce vaccine hesitancy, such as working with churches and other community partners. For instance, the church is a “powerful influencer” in the Black community, although many of the “movable middle” aren’t influenced by churches. It is important to have “trusted messengers” to promote vaccination, and the message needs to be uniform, and without “political undertones”

 

New PSA by Ford for vaccine resistant audiences:

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island officials are continuing to urge everyone to get vaccinated against COVID, and there are plenty of new appointments about to become available.  The nominee for lieutenant governor was approved by a legislative committee on Thursday.  Charges have been filed against a group of Ocean State residents for alleged federal stimulus fraud.

>>More Vaccine Appointments To Be Released

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee and Health Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said Thursday the state is in a race against the coronavirus variants.  At a weekly COVID-19 press briefing, they repeated the call for all Rhode Islanders to get vaccinated.  McKee said twenty-thousand more vaccine appointments would be made available today.  The governor said eligibility for the shot is continuing to expand in Rhode Island's hardest-hit zip codes.

>>Sabina Matos Closer To Becoming Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island lieutenant governor nominee Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] was cleared by the state Senate Judiciary Committee on Thursday.  The approval of Matos, who currently serves as the president of the Providence City Council, was unanimous.  The full Senate must vote on the nomination before she can officially become the state executive branch's next second-in-command.  That vote could happen as soon as next Tuesday.

>>Charges Announced Against Group For Alleged CARES Act Fraud

(Providence, RI)  --  Fifteen Rhode Islanders are facing federal charges after authorities say they fraudulently applied for aid from programs funded by the CARES Act.  The Justice Department says the defendants filed multiple claims for unemployment compensation in Rhode Island and in other states, fraudulently gaining more than a half-million dollars.  Charges out of the United States District Court in Rhode Island for CARES Act fraud had previously been brought against eight other individuals.

>>Two Fatal Crashes In Pawtucket

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  There were two fatal crashes in the city of Pawtucket on Thursday.  One was an early-morning crash on Route 95.  The victim of that crash was identified as 19-year-old Osman Eduardo Lopez-Enriquez of Attleboro, Massachusetts.  The second fatal crash happened on East Avenue south of the I-95 interchange at around 7:30 p.m.  The victim's name has not been released.

>>Report: Ex-City Councilor Sought Restraining Order Against Former Colleague

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  An attorney says a former Woonsocket City Council member and a current councilor are working to reach a resolution after personal drama between the two recently reached the courtroom.  The Valley Breeze reports a request by Alexander Kithes for a temporary restraining order against James Cournoyer was denied in Rhode Island Superior Court in February.  Kithes alleged he received harassing communications from Cournoyer while both men were on the board and after Kithes lost last year's election.

>>City Of Providence Reopening Rec Centers

(Providence, RI)  --  The city of Providence is planning to reopen its recreational centers which have been closed for a year.  The city says the rec centers will offer free socially-distanced programming for Providence youths ages 7-to-15.  The centers are set to open back up next Monday.

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

04-09-2021 00:21:04

RI Veterans: Did you now?

“RI Veterans: Did you know?” – by John Cianci

 
April 8, 2021/John Cianci

 

RI Veterans: Did You Know?

 

by John A. Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

 

Look for this column every Thursday…                  

 

“COVID VACCINATION UPDATE – PROVIDENCE VA MEDICAL CENTER”

 

All veterans, spouses, caregivers, and eligible beneficences are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine. Currently, the Providence VA Medical offering vaccines to all age groups of Veterans, spouses, caregivers, and eligible beneficences covered under CHAMPVA.

 

Last month President Joe Biden signed into law the Save Lives Act. The law allows the Veterans Administration (VA) to provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, their spouses, caregivers, and even eligible beneficiaries of Veterans (if your eligible for CHAMPVA, you can get the vaccine from the VA).

 

Kudos to the Providence VA Medical Center for immediately, after the law and VA set up their policies and programs, for becoming one of the first VA facilities to implement a program to enact the law – offering vaccine to all age Veteran age groups, spouses, caregivers, and some beneficiaries.

 

From my own personal experience receiving the Pfizer first and second shot from the Providence VA Medical Center, the process was smooth and efficient. Five-star rating! Another Veteran and I had been told last month about the VA walk-in policy to receive the vaccine. Simply walk-in at the Providence VA and ask for the vaccine; if the VA had extra doses, they would vaccinate you.

 

We arrived at the main entrance at 7:45 am and were screened to enter the facility. We were directed to the 2nd floor for the shot, waited less than 5 minutes before we got that “shot” in our arms. We then waited the mandatory 20 minutes, and soon exited the VA a few minutes before 8:30 am—with first Pfizer shot in arm. During the process, we were scheduled for our second vaccine which would be on a Sunday, and a “drive-up”.

 

For the second shot scheduled 15 days later, on a Sunday, we arrived about 10 minutes early for our 9:00 am appointment and once again it was a well-organized and smooth operation. Maybe 5 minutes later, the second shot, the Pfizer vaccine, was in the arm. Within minutes, we were exiting the Providence VA Medical Center parking lot and heading to ROMA in Federal Hill for a zeppole and cappuccino. Later, we would be joined by other Veterans who could not say more good things about their experiences getting their second shot.  

 

As a Veteran myself, the consensus in the Veteran community is that the Providence VA Medical Center has excelled, not only in administrating the vaccine, but providing 5-star experiences. In addition, the process to sign-up and receive the vaccine was user-friendly for the Veterans; and included registering those Veterans who were not enrolled in the VA healthcare system.

 

VETTIP. I strongly recommend if you do not have a VA ID card and have not been at the VA for years, bring a copy of your DD214, don’t take a chance on the VA database to be able to retrieve your information.

 

Be sure to thank the staff and volunteers at the Providence VA Medical Center; they have been on the front lines for our Veterans throughout this pandemic. I personally THANK THEM for the great experience I had in receiving the vaccine.

 

Frequently Asked Questions:

 

How do I schedule an appointment?

 

For Veterans, spouses, and caretakers who have not been vaccinated, try the following: send the word Vaccine to 53079 to get scheduled for a COVI-19 Vaccine, or call. Call for an appointment, (401) 273-7100, extension 16226.

 

Additionally, you can set-up an appointment by signing up online, https://www.va.gov/health-care/covid-19-vaccine/signup

 

Where can I get the vaccine from the VA?

 

At the Providence VA Medical Center, 830 Chalkstone Ave, Providence, RI, 0800-0200PM. Bring your VA ID card or other ID if you are registered. If you are not registered you MUST BRING YOUR DD214, photo ID, and you will be required to fill out a VA 1010EZ.

 

Spouses and caregivers – bring an ID. Beneficiaries have an ID and CHAMPVA card/information with you.

 

For Veterans, spouses, and caretakers who have not been vaccinated try the following: send the word Vaccine to 53079 to get scheduled for a COVI-19 Vaccine, or call to schedule an appointment, (401) 273-7100 extension 16226.

 

VETTIP: Providence VA Medical continues to allow walk-ins, however, if you call, they will encourage you to make an appointment and might tell you differently). If you are not registered, go to VA.gov and print up VA form 10-10EZ. Take 5-10 minutes, complete and bring it with you when you go for the vaccine.

 

COVID-19 UPCOMING VA CLINICS –

 

—Saturday, April 10, 2021 9:00am until 1:00pm, Cape Cod Community College, 2240 Iyannough Rd., West Barnstable. MA.

 

—Monday, April 12th, 2021 9:00am until 11:00am, 1400 W. Main Rd, Middletown RI.  Janssen single dose will be available for Veterans and their spouses.

 

No appointment required at these clinics; first come first serve basis. If you are not registered you MUST BRING YOUR DD214, photo ID, and you will be required to fill out a 1010EZ

 

VETTIP: I recommend if you are not enrolled or not sure you are enrolled, print the VA 1010EZ off the VA website, https://www.va.gov/vaforms/medical/pdf/10-10EZ-fillable.pdf and have it completed before you arrive for the vaccine: although the VA will assist you filling out the form at the clinic, having the form completed priot to arrival, will expedite the process if receiving the vaccine.

 

To contact John, itamri4vets@gmail or telephone (401) 677-9VET. ITAM organization is a congressional charter veteran organization, offering FREE advocacy and services to Veterans and their families trying to understand and apply for federal and state benefits are entitled to.

 

Here is the VA News Release on the Save Live Law:

 

SAVE LIVES Act allows VA to soon provide COVID-19 vaccinations to all Veterans, spouses and caregivers

 

WASHINGTON — President Joe Biden signed the SAVE LIVES Act into law today, expanding VA’s legal authority to provide COVID-19 vaccines to all Veterans, regardless of their VA health care enrollment status, as well as Veteran spouses, caregivers and some beneficiaries. 

 

The SAVE LIVES Act removed some of the legal limits on the medical care VA can provide to Veterans, based on health care eligibility and priority groups

 

The expanded authority depends on readily available COVID-19 vaccine supply and requires VA to continue to prioritize vaccinations and healthcare delivery for our nation’s Veterans enrolled in VA care. 

 

“The SAVE LIVES Act increases the number of individuals who are eligible to get lifesaving COVID-19 vaccines from VA from 9.5 million to more than 33 million,” said VA Secretary Denis McDonough. “Meeting the task of vaccinating this expanded population will be a tremendous undertaking for the VA and will require a significant increase in our allocation of vaccine supply, but I am confident that VA’s workforce is up to the task.” 

 

VA is providing COVID-19 vaccinations to Veterans and employees per its COVID-19 Vaccination Plan. As of March 24, VA has fully vaccinated 1,594,812 individuals, including Veterans, VA employees and federal partners.

 

The next steps in VA’s prioritized expansion efforts are to offer the vaccine to all enrolled Veterans – approximately 9.5 million – followed by those outlined in the bill, as vaccine supply permits:

 

  • Non-enrolled Veterans as defined in the new legislation, including those without service-connected disabilities and who have incomes above VA’s threshold.
  • Overseas Veterans who rely on the Foreign Medical Program.
  • Veteran caregivers who are enrolled in either the Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers or the Program of General Caregiver Support Services.
  • Veteran caregivers enrolled in certain Geriatrics and Extended Care Programs, such as Veteran Directed Care, Bowel and Bladder, Home Based Primary Care and VA’s Medical Foster Home Program.
  • Civilian Health and Medical Programs of the Department of Veterans Affairs recipients.
  • Veteran spouses.

 

In March and April 2021, VA will conduct pilots of COVID-19 vaccination for individuals specified in HR1276 at select VA medical centers. These pilots will work through critical steps in the process including communications, operations including space and staffing, systems for registration, enrollment, and scheduling, documentation, and data transmission. 

 

VA currently receives approximately 200,000 first, or single doses, of COVID-19 vaccine each week. VA estimates that it will need a minimum of 300,000 first or single doses of COVID-19 vaccine weekly to offer COVID-19 vaccination to an additional three million Veterans who are enrolled but not currently using VA health care. VA estimates that it will need approximately 600,000 first, or single doses, of COVID-19 vaccine each week to further expand vaccination to all individuals outlined in HR1276. First or single dose supply is the best indicator of VA’s capacity to offer expanded COVID-19 vaccination. 

 

Interested Veterans, their caregivers and Veteran spouses who qualify under the legislation can click here to get more information about COVID-19 vaccines at VA. Updates will be provided regarding the availability of vaccine supply and other resources. 

 

_____

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran 

Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

 

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

 

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

 

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee visits several newly-opened COVID vaccine centers.  Visitation is being allowed at the state prison for the first time in over a year.  Workers have unionized at a Rhode Island medical marijuana dispensary.

>>Governor McKee Tours Regional Vaccination Centers

(Undated)  --  Governor Dan McKee visited regional coronavirus vaccination sites that opened in East Providence and Westerly on Wednesday.  McKee said the state is trying to make a vaccine accessible within a fifteen-minute drive for any Rhode Islander.  The regional pods will administer about one-thousand doses per week, which could increase depending on how much supply is received by the state.  The governor said Rhode Island is currently distributing weekly 160-thousand shots.

>>RI House GOP Leader Won't Comment On Personal Vaccination Status

(Providence, RI)  --  Democratic leaders in the U.S. are making sure they get the COVID-19 vaccine publicly as a way of promoting it, but Republicans have not been so eager.  Regarding his vaccination status, Rhode Island House Republican Leader Blake Filippi has stated in multiple media reports that he won't answer questions about, quote, "private medical decisions".  Only three of the fifteen Republicans in the RI General Assembly responded to a recent inquiry from The Providence Journal by indicating they had been vaccinated or planned to get the shot.

>>Secretary Of Commerce Raimondo Discusses American Jobs Plan

(Washington, DC)  --  Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo, the former Rhode Island governor, took part in her first White House media briefing on Wednesday.  Raimondo went to bat for President Biden's two-trillion-dollar American Jobs Plan, claiming the U.S. has neglected key investments in infrastructure for too long.  Raimondo said she does not agree with warnings from some business leaders that raising the corporate tax rate, as Biden has proposed to help pay for the plan, will in fact kill jobs.  She said the administration is open to compromise on the corporate tax rate and other parts of the proposal.

>>Visitation Allowed Again Starting Next Week At ACI

(Cranston, RI)  --  In-person visitation is being allowed at the Adult Correctional Institutions for the first time since before the pandemic.  The Rhode Island Department of Corrections says visitation can resume next Wednesday.  Officials say the decision is being made based on declining COVID numbers and a high vaccination rate among staff and inmates.  Visitors will have to produce a timely negative COVID-19 test and wear a mask.

>>Former State Senator Fined For Campaign-Spending Violations

(Central Falls, RI)  --  A former state senator who lost a race last year is being fined by the Rhode Island Board of Elections after an audit allegedly discovered a number of campaign-spending violations.  WPRI-TV reports the review and the six-thousand-dollar fine were against Elizabeth Crowley, a Democrat from Central Falls who was a twelve-year senator.  Crowley blamed the issue on sloppy bookkeeping when reached by Channel 12.  She added that she frequently gave campaign cash to homeless people near the State House or in her district.

>>Workers Unionize At Rhode Island Medical Marijuana Dispensary

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  Workers are unionizing at a Rhode Island medical marijuana dispensary for the first time.  The employees at Greenleaf Compassionate Care Center in Portsmouth voted to join the United Food and Commercial Workers on Monday.  The union also represents workers at a marijuana cultivation facility in Warwick.  The state is set to expand the number of medical cannabis dispensaries this year and lawmakers are also considering proposals to legalize pot for all Rhode Island adults.

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

04-08-2021 00:21:11

Have I had COVID-19? New CVS MinuteClinic quick test

Screen Shot 2021-04-05 at 10.35.08 AM
 

Have I had COVID-19? New CVS MinuteClinic rapid antibody test could tell you.

 
April 7, 2021/RINewsToday

 

 

CVS Health announces availability of COVID-19 antibody testing at MinuteClinic locations across the countryTest cost is $38.

 

CVS Health today announced the availability of COVID-19 antibody testing at MinuteClinic locations across the country. The point-of-care test can help identify if a patient has previously been infected with COVID-19 and the results are available within 15 minutes. A COVID-19 antibody test is not intended to diagnose a current infection. MinuteClinic is the retail medical clinic of CVS Health, with approximately 1,100 locations inside select CVS Pharmacy stores in 33 states and Washington, D.C.

 

“After successfully piloting the antibody test offering at more than 100 MinuteClinic locations earlier this year, and recently launching the service at all of our clinic locations in Massachusetts and Texas, we have seen steady interest in affordable COVID-19 antibody testing,” said Sharon Vitti, president of MinuteClinic. “Being able to provide patients with easy access to a rapid antibody test at MinuteClinic locations to help determine previous infection is a natural extension of our ongoing commitment to supporting Americans during the COVID-19 pandemic.”

 

During the visit, a member of the MinuteClinic care team performs the antibody test, which includes the collection of a finger stick blood sample, and reviews results with the patient. The COVID-19 antibody test looks for the presence of antibodies generated by a previous infection with the virus.

 

“These tests can help patients determine if they may have been infected with COVID-19 in the past,” said Angela Patterson, chief nurse practitioner officer, MinuteClinic, vice president, CVS Health. “While these tests have been found to be very accurate, patients need to keep in mind that it can take the body up to two weeks to generate enough antibodies to be detected by a test, so testing too soon after a suspected infection may not yield an accurate result.”

 

COVID-19 antibody testing costs $38 and payment is due at the time of service. Payment can be made using cash or credit, debit, HSA or FSA cards. If a patient has Medicaid, MinuteClinic may bill this insurance based on Medicaid requirements. COVID-19 antibody testing is not yet available in MinuteClinic locations in the state of Nevada, but is coming soon.

 

COVID-19 antibody testing at MinuteClinic is an extension of CVS Health’s overall commitment to providing convenient access to COVID-19 testing and will also be offered in select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide in the coming weeks. CVS Health also currently offers COVID-19 diagnostic testing using molecular- or antigen-based tests to identify an active infection at more than 4,800 CVS Pharmacy locations, nearly 1,000 of which provide rapid-result testing. To date, the company has administered more than 15 million COVID-19 diagnostic tests.

 

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 www.cvshealth.com

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee plans to sign a climate change bill passed by the state legislature.  A body found in East Providence on Tuesday has been identified.  Brown University is mandating students get vaccinated for COVID-19.

>>RI General Assembly Passes Climate Change Bill

(Providence, RI)  --  A bill that makes a binding commitment to reduce carbon emissions in Rhode Island is headed to the governor's desk, and he says he plans on signing it.  The Act on Climate passed by the state legislature on Tuesday would require development of a plan to reduce emissions to net-zero by 2050.  Governor Dan McKee had expressed concerns about the part of the legislation that would allow enforcement lawsuits to be filed against the state.  But McKee says his concerns have been addressed by the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.

>>Legislators Want Medical Services Chief At State Hospital Dismissed

(Burrillville, RI)  --  Two Rhode Island lawmakers are calling for the immediate dismissal of the state hospital's chief of medical services over an ongoing crisis of care.  Republican state Representative David Place says Dr. Andrew Stone undermined the director of the state agency that runs the hospital, who herself resigned this week, by ordering the removal of patients from the Eleanor Slater Hospital location in Burrillville.  Senate Minority Whip Jessica de la Cruz says the situation at the Zambarano unit has deteriorated to the point where the action is needed, citing poor patient treatment and a toxic culture.  The legislators have been working to prevent the closure of the hospital, which they say provides desperately-needed care that is not available elsewhere in the state.

>>Body Found In East Providence ID'd

(East Providence, RI)  --  The name of the individual whose dead body was found on the riverfront in East Providence on Tuesday morning has been released.  Dennis Lonardo Sr. had been missing since March.  Authorities say Lonardo lived alone on a boat at the East Providence Yacht Club and had fallen into the water.  His body was reportedly found on the shoreline along the East Bay Bike Path.

>>Brown To Require Student Vaccinations

(Providence, RI)  --  Brown University is requiring that students get COVID-19 vaccinations to return to campus next fall.  The Ivy League school will allow for medical and religious exemptions.  This is the second institution of higher learning in the Ocean State to announce such a policy; Roger Williams University shared the news last week.

>>Popular Neighborhood Restaurant Demolished In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A popular restaurant building in Providence was demolished over the weekend.  The Duck and Bunny on Wickenden Street in Fox Point had been closed since 2019, and apparently there were plans to rehab the building that were scrapped because of its poor condition.  The old colonial was built in 1900 but was not on a historic registry.  Multiple media reports indicate the demolition left people who were fans not only of the restaurant, but the building itself surprised and saddened.

>>DEM Issues Boat Safety Advisory At Start Of Trout Season

(Providence, RI)  --  Trout fishing season begins in Rhode Island today.  The state Department of Environmental Management is reminding anglers, especially those fishing from a boat, to exercise personal safety precautions including the wearing of a life jacket.  The DEM warns that water temperatures at this time of year can linger in the low-to-mid-50s, greatly increasing the likelihood of death in a boating accident.

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

04-07-2021 00:38:16

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 6, 2021

 
April 6, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: Johnston Mayor Joseph Polisena welcomes Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov. nominee Sabina Matos to the Johnston vaccination center which opens today at the Johnston Recreation Center on Atwood Avenue. Johnston Sunrise photo

 

RHODE ISLAND &  VICINITY

 

7,300 more appointments opened up Tuesday for Rhode Islanders over 50 – as well as special communities – check vaccineri.org for the most current information. Over 40 will begin next Monday – all ages a week after that.

 

Today in RI, Coventry Democrat Thomas Noret’s bill will be heard in committee that would make vaccination status a protected class that defends people from discrimination based on their race, gender or sexual orientation. This would block the governor from making vaccination mandatory and financial institutions from refusing loans based on vaccination status.

 

Gov. McKee will tour Newport small businesses today.

 

RI is getting about $40 million in federal relief funding to address the hunger crisis exacerbated by the pandemic, with Food Bank demand up 25%.

 

In MA, only 1/2 of DCF visits to children are in person.

 

Informal results of Sunday vaccine appointment setting for the Black, Asian, Indigenous, Hispanic communities: 544 people registered across 5 sites in RI at these 7 sites on Sunday. Total registrants per RIDOH is approx. 900.

 

Downtown Providence empty office space is estimated to be 14.5%

 

Organizers hope that as many as 6,000 people of color in Rhode Island will receive vaccines on the weekend of April 10-11 at locations in Providence and Woonsocket.

 

Hasbro Children’s first clinic for at-risk youth, more than 100 people age 16 to 25 received the first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine

 

97,000 shots were administered in Fall River on Saturday

 

In MA, 62% of restaurant employees who are out on unemployment are making more than they did when they were working their jobs.

 

Aging in Place home modification and improvement program aimed at seniors who prefer to remain in their own homes rather than moving to an assisted living or nursing facility. The program serves Blue Cross members who are enrolled in both Medicare and Medicaid. About 125 home modifications are expected to be completed within in the next two years

 

As more older Mainers are vaccinated, a surge of infections is being driven by people younger than 30.

 

The University of New Hampshire will host two COVID-19 vaccination clinics for in-state students, staff and faculty this week.

 

Rhode Island’s football game against New Hampshire was postponed because of COVID-19.

 

University of Connecticut officials have placed five dormitories under quarantine because of a spike in coronavirus cases that may be related to large, off-campus parties.

 

On Saturday, Massachusetts set a vaccination record, with more than 97,000 doses administered. So far, 1.45 million people in the state are fully vaccinated.

 

In Massachusetts, the full list of vaccination qualifying compromising conditions now includes: Cancer, chronic kidney disease, chronic lung diseases, dementia or other neurological conditions, diabetes (type 1 or type 2), down syndrome, heart conditions, HIV infection, immunocompromised state, liver disease, overweight and obesity, pregnancy, sickle cell disease or thalassemia, smoking, solid organ or blood stem cell transplant, stroke or cerebrovascular disease, and substance use disorders. You now only have to have one of these conditions.

 

“Given the disruptions to traditional learning that Massachusetts students have faced in the past year, Gov. Baker implored education leaders Thursday to organize a ‘robust summer school’ program for students to help combat learning loss from the pandemic.”

 

Boston Mayor announces $50 million for city’s Rental Relief Fund

 

Connecticut has launched a homebound COVID-19 vaccination program that has drawn nearly 2,000 people so far,

 

The RI Superior Court Rules were amended today, permitting the Court to continue using remote hearings post-COVID

 

Tortilla Flats Restaurant in Providence will reopen soon, after closing due to the pandemic.

 

Island Cinemas 10 in Middletown reopened for business Friday

 

Gov. Chris Sununu’s mandate that all New Hampshire K-12 schools return to full-time, in-person learning by April 19 caught administrators, school boards and teachers off guard, though many schools were already on track to meet that deadline.

 

The number of new coronavirus cases across Vermont continues to increase – losing its point of pride as one of the safest states in the country during the pandemic.

 

Restaurants in Boston’s North End neighborhood are now able to offer outdoor dining, 10 days after restaurants throughout the rest of the city were able to do so.

 

RI Data – April 5, 2021

Deaths: 2 (2 for weekend)

Tests – 3,222/day – Positives – 79 – Percent positive – 2.5%

Hospitalized – 144 – In ICU – 23 – Ventilated – 15

Deaths in hospital – 1 – New Admissions – 19 – New Discharges – 18

Vaccinated – 374,696; Both shots – 256,834

RI Data – April 2, 2021

Deaths: 6

Tests – 16,462­ – Positives – 314 – Percent positive – 1.9%

Hospitalized – 136 – In ICU – 13 – Ventilated – 9

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 29 – New Discharges – 21

Vaccinated – 354,736; Both shots – 237,843

 

RI Dept. of Business Regulation Violators

Spritzers 63 Grove St.,
Pascoag
Combination Compliance Order and Immediate Compliance Order 3/30/2021
The Ave Bar and Grill 1428 Hartford Ave.,
Johnston
Combination Compliance Order and Immediate Compliance Order 3/30/2021
Home 2 Suites by Hilton 944 Douglas Pike,
Smithfield
Compliance Order 3/29/2021
The Duke Kitchen and Spirits 1839 Smith St.,
North Providence
Partial Immediate Compliance Order 3/16/2021
XTremo Restaurant and Bar 897 Eddy St.,
Providence
Compliance Order 3/16/2021
McT’s Tavern 940 Mendon Rd.,
Cumberland
Citation
Compliance Order
3/15/2021

3/16/2021
Body Rock Fitness and Nutrition 3751 Mendon Rd.,
Cumberland
Compliance Order 3/9/2021
Still Under Ink 475 Atwood Ave.,
Cranston
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order
3/20/2021

3/9/2021
Nova Churrasqueira Restaurant 434 Broadway,
Pawtucket
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order
3/19/2021

3/5/2021
Sky’s the Limit Barber Shop 6865 Post Rd.,
North Kingstown
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order
3/19/2021

3/1/2021
Chuck’s Barber Shop 1075 Chalkstone Ave.,
Providence
Notice of Compliance with CO
Compliance Order
3/20/2021

3/1/2021

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

The CDC has posted a report of side effects from the vaccine:

 

https://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/acip/meetings/downloads/slides-2021-01/06-COVID-Shimabukuro.pdf?campaign_id=18&emc=edit_hh_20210402&instance_id=28754&nl=well&regi_id=60874095&segment_id=54721&te=1&user_id=27ad7a356e9443ab2f28af54e7a0bd98

 

People fully vaccinated against COVID-19 can travel safely within the US, CDC says.

 

New Mexico is leading the way to herd immunity, with more than ¼ of population fully vaccinated.

 

COVID-19 is spreading faster than people can be vaccinated, and cases and hospitalizations are climbing throughout King County, Seattle, Washington

 

Cornell University will require students to be vaccinated against COVID-19 this fall as it makes plans for in-person instruction.

 

In the tiny, oil-rich sheikhdom of Kuwait, the foreigners who power the country’s economy, serve its society and make up 70% of its population are struggling to get coronavirus vaccines, as citizens are vaccinated first.

 

Delta Airlines has had to cancel over 100 flights due to staff shortages.

 

With variants under way, researchers are beginning to think we may need booster shots and even another completely different, adjusted vaccine, to ward off new forms of the coronavirus.

 

Colorado will no longer require masks to be worn in most settings in the 31 counties that are on the lowest level of the state’s COVID-19 dial system

 

Florida Gov. DeSantis signs EO prohibiting use of vaccine passports.

 

If you have lost someone from COVID-19 and incurred funeral costs, you may be able to recoup partial costs from FEMA, the US government – go to: https://www.fema.gov/disasters/coronavirus/economic/funeral-assistance?fbclid=IwAR1wWUgH_yb4fiTRB89tPv-qY4ARsBfMZMExsxUnjfRXvCCzshP9z5CRccg – This opportunity will end on April 12th. The Maximum amount given is $9,000.

 

Hiring accelerated in March as employers added 916,000 jobs, the biggest gain since August. The unemployment rate fell to 6.0%. 

 

Some COVID0-19 long-haulers say vaccines are reliving their symptoms.

 

Octogenarians in Tuscany watched in disbelief and indignation as lawyers, magistrates, professors and other younger professionals got vaccinated against COVID-19 before them, despite government pledges of prioritizing Italy’s oldest citizens. Even some of their adult children jumped ahead of them. By one estimate, the failure to give shots to the over-80s and those in fragile health has cost thousands of lives in a country with Europe’s oldest population and its second-highest loss of life in the pandemic.

 

There are renewed calls to delay second vaccine doses and blanket more of the U.S. population with an initial shot. 

 

40,000 fans were in the Texas Rangers stadium for the game, with no restrictions in attendance.

 

The Internal Revenue Service said late Thursday that its third batch of payments includes what it calls the first of many “plus-up” stimulus payments. The “plus-up” payments will continue on a weekly basis going forward, the IRS said, as the IRS continues processing tax returns from 2020 and 2019. Yes, some 2019 returns need to be processed, too.

 

CDC says schools no longer need to do daily disinfections of classrooms, etc.

 

Many high schoolers have not taken pre-college courses due to wi-fi problems.

 

Cruise ships must be equipped with medical labs to be able to process testing  

 

Children are now getting the virus at the same rate as adults. The variants are also deadlier as well as faster spreader.

The CDC is saying that the spread among children is not happening in the classroom, it’s happening outside of the classroom, in after school programs, etc.

A Polish pastor threw out the police who tried to shut down his church in Calgary

Britain’s government is planning to test a coronavirus status certification plan over the coming months to allow the safe return of mass gatherings at places like sports grounds and nightclubs. The trial events will include soccer’s FA Cup semifinal and final, the World Snooker Championships, and a comedy show.

China reports biggest daily COVID-19 case jump in over two months

Johnson & Johnson has filed its application for emergency use authorization of its COVID-19 vaccine in the Philippines

Mariah Carey joins celebrities in encouraging people to get the COVID-19 vaccine.

 

 

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Thousands of additional COVID-19 vaccine appointments are being made available in Rhode Island today.  A confirmation hearing has been set for the nominee to serve as the state's next lieutenant governor.  An update on the saga of a steer that escaped its fate at a local slaughterhouse and avoided capture for nearly two months.

>>More Vaccine Appointments Being Released Today

(Providence, RI)  --  Approximately seven-thousand COVID-19 vaccine appointments at vaccination sites in Rhode Island will be made available on Tuesday.  The doses are for the mass vaccination sites in Providence and Cranston and the regional sites in Westerly, Johnston and East Providence.  The state says starting this week, Rhode Islanders can pre-register for a vaccine by visiting portal.RI.gov or by calling 844-930-1779.

>>Confirmation Hearing For Lieutenant Governor Nominee Scheduled

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Senate Judiciary Committee is scheduling a meeting Thursday for the confirmation of Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] as the next lieutenant governor of the state.  Governor Dan McKee officially submitted a letter of appointment on Monday for Matos, who is the president of the Providence City Council.  If confirmed, Matos will be the first person of color and the second woman to serve as lieutenant governor.  McKee held the position until he became governor last month.

>>Former U.S. Attorney In Rhode Island Joins Law Firm

(Johnston, RI)  --  Former United States Attorney in the Rhode Island district Aaron Weisman [[ WISE-minn ]] is staying in the state to begin a new job.  Pannone, Lopes, Devereaux and O'Gara, based in Johnston, made the announcement that Weisman was joining their firm last week.  Weisman worked for the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office before leading the federal prosecutor's office in Providence from January 2019 to February of this year.

>>A Beloved Pawtucket City Councilor Has Died

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A Pawtucket City Council member has died.  City leaders said Monday they were deeply saddened to learn of the passing of Ama Amponsah [[ AH-muh am-PON-sah ]].  "Mama Ama", as she was known, owned a convenience store and represented the city's Fifth District.

>>Trio Charged With Selling Cars Featuring Tampered Odometers

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island State Police is accusing several people of tampering with odometers on cars for sale.  The RISP says Pablo Beato [[ bee-AH-toe ]] and Bersania and Eddy Bencosme [[ ben-CAUSE-may ]], all from Providence, advertised more than fifty vehicles for sale online, which were registered in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.  Authorities say the odometers were rolled back and featured fraudulent paperwork.  Anyone with information regarding a vehicle connected to the investigation is being asked to call detectives at 401-462-5744.

>>Animal Sanctuary's Bid To Take On Recaptured Steer Unsuccessful

(Undated)  --  Someone offered to purchase the steer that was on the loose in Rhode Island earlier this year and the owner apparently accepted.  That's according to New Jersey-based Skylands Animal Sanctuary and Rescue, which had been interested in taking in the steer.  It had escaped en route to a slaughterhouse in Johnston in early February and roamed the town until its capture in late March.  Skylands Animal Sanctuary says it is unsure about the steer's future.

###
Jim McCabe/jb          RI) NJ) MA) CT) 
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

04-06-2021 00:12:35

9 more tanks. 390,000+ gallons of used oil. A pond to Narragansett Bay. One of the most densely populated cities in America. What could go wrong?

9 more tanks. 390,000+ gallons of used oil. A pond to Narragansett Bay. One of the most densely populated cities in America. What could go wrong?

 
April 5, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Central Falls, Rhode Island. The 27th most densely populated city in America. Approximately 20,000 people living in little more than 1 square mile.

 

Recently, we’ve all learned more about Central Falls as it became a hotspot for COVID-19 transmission. Dense housing, with streets of 3-tenement houses and multi-generational family living, made the transmission of a new, opportunistic virus especially concerting. Families with elderly loved ones living together with children and working age adults.

 

As the state of Rhode Island identified this area of immediate concern, testing and, now, vaccinations, have risen to an emergency level with an all out effort to get the spread of COVID-19 in this community under control. Knowing that many people who work in our nursing homes and front line workers also come from this area and the surrounding Blackstone Valley neighborhoods of Pawtucket and Cumberland, the urgency put Central Falls on a statewide, if not a national focus, in this battle.

 

In 2020, the Western Oil Company, a company that recovers used oil, which has 4 large, tall white storage tanks located in the heart of Central Falls, on the Lincoln line, began their plans to expand by 9 more tanks. Each tank holds 30,000 gallons. The four tanks now present hold 120,000 gallons of used oil. That would grow by 270,000 gallons to as much as 390,000 gallons, total – with expansion plans unstopped. Efforts to get zoning approval have failed and now the company is set to go to court to sue the zoning group.

 

In 2020 the city said ‘no’ to the proposal, after conducting a site tour and reviewing documents. They heard testimony about odors in the community when used oil is burned off. They heard testimony about neighbors literally in the backyard of the existing tanks. Western Oil returned in 2021 for an appeal – and is now pursuing their legal action against the city.

 

A map shows the location of the property and its close relationship to two bodies of water. One, Scott Pond. The other, Valley Pond. It is Valley Pond that has direct access to Narragansett Bay, where the pond empties after a route that also takes it by Heritage Park and River island Park. The zoning board decision mentions Narragansett Bay as a primary concern.

 

 

Other concerns are from neighbors. They involve what happens in the tanks with the used oil. Toxins, water, and unknown odious gases leave the tanks when the oil is burned off, emitting them into the air and the neighborhood. Fried food smells are common. There is spillage danger, they say. And, fire danger.

 

Neighbors and former employees have said there have already been spills. Spills that were covered up – instead of dug up – and removed – or treated. Leaked oil caused by the height and weight of the tanks, aided by the pull of gravity are concerns for spillage into the waterways. Other concerns are around noxious fires that could happen – fires that could take considerable time to put out, with toxic smoke being spewed into the dense neighborhoods. They also site the noise of trucks through the streets, and the fact that current ordinances limit 30 feet to the height of structures, and the company is seeking a height variance. The community is also seeking an analysis of the soil surrounding the existing tanks.

 

Western Oil’s office is located on the Central Falls/Lincoln line off Lonsdale Avenue, near Walker Street, on Duchess Ave. Owners say they use contaminant barriers and inspect their tanks daily. The tanks four tanks have been onsite since 2008. Spokespeople have said this needed expansion might also need further expansion in the future.

 

About Western Oil

 

Western has been a leading provider of environmental and hazardous waste management services in New England since 1975, supplying our customers with a variety of environmental services and petroleum recycling systems. Western’s Used Oil and Oil Products Recycling Services provide turnkey services to pickup, transport and recycle used oil, oil filters and antifreeze. Western is the only used oil re-refiner facility located in Rhode Island. Western provides automotive and fleet support services to service centers, dealerships, quick lubes and garages.

 

Western specializes in the recycling of:

 

  • Used oil: Recycled for use as boiler fuel and is burned in approved industrial furnaces.
  • Used antifreeze: Western collects used antifreeze in drum and bulk which is then re-manufactured for reuse.
  • Used oil filters: Residual oil is used as boiler fuel and is burned in approved industrial furnaces; the scrap metal is recycled.
  • Oil water mixtures: Processed to reclaim the oil.
  • Used absorbents: Used as supplemental fuel at approved energy recovery sites.

 

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: An update on last week's fire that killed a number of birds at a Rhode Island wildlife sanctuary.  The state Department of Environmental Management says be aware: black bears are coming out of hibernation.  The Rhode Island legislature is considering naming an official state coral.

>>Last Week's Fatal Bird Sanctuary Fire Determined To Be Accident

(Hopkinton, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Fire Marshal's office is ruling that the fire that killed dozens of exotic birds at a wildlife sanctuary in South County last week was accidental.  The four-alarm fire which hit the Foster Parrots building in Hopkinton on Thursday was apparently caused by an electrical malfunction.  Foster Parrots, which describes itself as the largest avian rescue organization in the Northeastern U.S., says it plans to rebuild and is asking for fundraising help.

>>Employee Charged With Embezzling From Auto Shop

(Providence, RI)  --  A Pawtucket woman is being charged with embezzling about a half-million dollars.  The Justice Department alleges that Idalee Johnston defrauded her place of employment, Ideal Auto Body in Cranston, by taking checks provided to customers by insurance companies as part of repairs for their motor vehicles.  Johnston was arrested by FBI agents and arraigned in federal court in Providence last week.

>>Rhode Island DEM Says Black Bears Emerging From Hibernation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is reminding Ocean State residents to remove backyard food sources that attract black bears as they emerge from hibernation.  The DEM says until their natural food sources become more available in the spring, black bears may visit bird feeders, beehives, chicken coops, rabbit hutches and compost piles.  Electric fencing is advised.  If a black bear is spotted on private property, people are being told to report the sighting to the DEM by calling 401-222-3070.

>>Gas Prices Avoiding Further Increases Right Now

(Undated)  --  Gas prices are holding steady in the Ocean State.  RIGasPrices.com reports the current average in Rhode Island is two dollars, seventy-seven cents per gallon.  That's the same price as one week ago and about a dime higher from one month ago.  The current national average is two-eighty-seven.

>>RI Legislature Considers Naming Official State Coral

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island General Assembly is considering naming an official state coral.  Specifically, the northern star coral, which is found in Narragansett Bay and other local waters.  Scientists say the coral is unique in its ability to live in various environments and climates.  Its resilience is being touted as a potential research tool in a time when tropical coral reefs are being impacted by climate change.

>>URI Cager Fatts Russell Transfers To Maryland

(Kingston, RI)  --  Standout University of Rhode Island men's basketball player Fatts Russell is transferring to the University of Maryland.  The twenty-two-year-old point guard will be playing his final college season.  Russell averaged just over 13 points per game in 119 games total played for the Rams.  He became Rhody's all-time leader in steals in February.

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

04-05-2021 00:14:18

Sabra Issues Limited Recall of Certain Classic Hummus Products

Sabra Issues Limited Recall of Certain Classic Hummus Products

 

The Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) is advising consumers that Sabra Dipping Company is voluntarily recalling approximately 2,100 cases of 10 oz. Classic Hummus because they were potentially contaminated with Salmonella. The recall is limited to products produced on Friday, February 10, 2021 with a “Best Before” date of April 26th. This product has a UPC of 300067.

 

This product was distributed to 16 states, including Rhode Island. No illnesses or consumer complaints have been reported to date in connection with this recall. This issue was discovered by a routine screen of a single tub by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

 

Consumers can contact Sabra Consumer Relations at 1-866-265-6761 for additional information Monday – Friday from 8 AM to 8 PM Eastern Standard Time. Additionally, consumers who have purchased the specific recalled product are urged to return it to the place of purchase or visit www.sabrahummusrecall.com for product reimbursement.

 

Consumption of food contaminated with Salmonella can cause salmonellosis. The most common symptoms of salmonellosis are diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and fever within 12 to 72 hours after eating a contaminated product. Most people recover without treatment. In rare circumstances, infection can produce more severe illness and require hospitalization. Older adults, infants, and persons with weakened immune systems are more likely to develop a severe illness. Individuals concerned about an illness should contact their health care provider.

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Today, April 2, 2021

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

R.I. on track to vaccinate 70% of eligible residents by mid-May

 

Roger Williams University first local university to require vaccinations for attending in fall. For those with serious concerns, the university will try to help them with virtual options. Exemptions for medical/religious reasons are included.

 

Taunton City Council returned to in-person meetings.

 

A report, How the Ocean State Should Spend Its Federal Covid Relief Funds, is published by the RI Center for Freedom and Prosperity. It breaks down its spending recommendations for RI’s federal COVID Relief Funds, into multiple categories: Educational Uses, Small Business & Economic Uses, Infrastructure Uses, General Budget and Public Uses, Senior Citizen Uses, and Civic Uses. You can access the report, here: http://rifreedom.org/wp-content/uploads/RICFP-COVIDrelief.pdf

 

RentReliefRI will offer eligible state residents who are having trouble covering their rent or housing-based utilities. More info at www.RentReliefRI.com

 

Vermont expects to expand vaccine eligibility to out-of-state college students and second homeowners April 30

 

Maine and North Carolina are opening up eligibility a week early for COVID-19 vaccines to all residents 16 and older next Wednesday.

 

Weather for outdoor activities on Easter in RI will be chilly, with the afternoon the best.

 

Father Batista, of Bristol’s St. Elizabeth’s Church has died in Brazil, where he had been hospitalized with COVID. He was an advocate in the Portuguese community and had traveled to see his parents, who were sick with COVID.

 

Cranston will not open the Budlong Pool this year, but may put in a splash feature there and at other locations around the city.

 

Brown University is planning for an expansion into the public health arena, with a building expansion on North Main Street in Providence

 

Mobile COVID vaccine clinics coming to Fall River, New Bedford next week

 

MA Governor Charlie Baker toured the mass vaccination site at the Hynes Convention Center on Tuesday with CDC Director Dr. Rochelle P. Walensky and other officials, one day after Walensky, a physician-administrator with deep Boston ties, warned of a feeling of “impending doom” over rising numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths nationwide. In Massachusetts, Walensky said, “3.5 million people have received one dose, and one in five people, 20 percent, are fully vaccinated. And that is because of partnerships like the one we’re standing in today.” Walensky says, “there is reason for hope”.

02910 and 02920 in Cranston are in the second tier of Rhode Island’s harder hit communities, along with places like East Providence, Johnston, West Warwick, and Woonsocket. We are going to be implementing strategies next to ensure that our immunization rates are as high as possible in these communities. This is absolutely a focus for the McKee administration and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

 

RI Press Conference with Gov. McKee

 

Lt. Gov. Matos in front row – so she can be updated. She will be a crucial partner in getting shots done, and opening economy.

 

Friday – 12K vaccine appts will be released at 9am. 25K doses for next week will be available for next week.

 

Fewer tests being done than previous months, because of vaccinations being done but people should continue to get tested – especially after traveling and coming back from spring break.

 

Will be expanding vaccinations to 50-59 – registering Monday, 4/5.

 

Vaccine coming into RI continue to increase – 10-16% will be set aside for High-Risk population – communities of color as well.

 

Vaccine interest notification system is operating portal.ri.gov to sign up. This is a preregistration site.

 

Most vulnerable – homelessness, homebound – progress being made vaccinating.

 

230K fully vaccinated in RI – ½ million doses administered.

 

How safe it is to move ahead with opening and variances is a concern – 40% or more of current cases are due to this variant. Continue to take close look at this, hospitalization rates, and changes. It is a serious matter – stay disciplined as we ease into reopening, Easter, etc.

 

Increases in 10-14 year olds. Most occurring outside of structured school settings, but we are watching this and take a close look at it.

 

School updates: More than 89% of school staff/teachers are vaccinated. Strict protocols, filters, air circulation etc. April 26th students can be 3 feet, rather than 6 feet apart in all schools. Capacity increased to 75%, etc. Commission Green will be addressing this next week.

 

Childcare centers – April 26th – all can be fully open. Still grants from $3K to $50K available – kids.ri.gov.

 

Large scale events – event planners should submit plans – dbr.ri.gov – for approval.

 

Next week info on 4th of July events and regs will be given.

 

Race to vaccinate – don’t put off your vaccine – so we can have a good summer. Passover and Easter cautions, please.

 

Dr. Scott:

 

Reviewed data. 5 new deaths.

 

Case #s have plateaued, with slight uptick as well as many other states. Last week we went up and percent positivity went up. 24 cities and towns have had increases in RI. Some w/particular are Middletown, Smithfield, Warwick, Cranston, Providence, Bristol, and West Warwick.

 

Hospitalizations are flat. But this # and death #s tend to lag 2 weeks from case identification. The newer variant is the dominant strain and may be so in April.

 

80% of those 75 and over have been vaccinated.

 

We are a national leader in testing and in vaccinating.

 

Equity council: continue to focus on narrowing gaps – we are working with Pawt/CF to get appts for people with communities with highest # of cases.

 

This weekend, with Easter and Passover – we are in a very different place this time than we were last year. Remember when we were advising not even to go to windows of the nursing homes! We are going in the right direction.

 

Treatment – we are now able to treat. Vaccines – now able to expand. But post-holiday time have always been problematic for case upticks.

 

Seeing extended family – celebrate outdoors; indoors, be far apart. Mask wearing important. Masks work. If you are with people outside of our household, consider that a social gathering – limited to two households indoors and 3 households outdoors. Keep groups stable and small.

 

Houses of worship. Virtual still happening. At church/synagogue keep distancing and mask wearing.

 

Same day testing available throughout RI. Get tested before the holidays if you will be seeing people.

 

Doing a texting campaign for information, too.

 

Be an ambassador – help spread the word about testing and vaccination – and treatment.

 

Treatment – talk to doctor about treatment, esp. if high risk or older than 64. With or without a doctor.

 

Tom McCarthy:

 

67,059 doses delivered last week. 90% administration rate this month – need to hold a small buffer in storage, to assure Monday/Tuesday delivery. 79% older than 75 have at least one dose.

 

Mass vaccination sites will Westerly, M-W, 9-3:15; East Prov, W-F, 9-3:15; Johnston, Tues-Wed, 2-7pm – may change and expand. Each will have 1,200 – vaccinateri.org for appts.

 

Developmental/disabled communities have received 6,000 doses through targeted outreach.

 

Homebound – 1,000+ doses delivered.  Go to covid.ri.gov/vaccination or call 2-1-1 or 462-4444.

 

Homeless – 600 people.

 

Pre-registering site we have portal.ri.gov or call 844-930-1779. Notices will go out every Wednesday by email, text, or phone call w/a one time appt. time about 2 weeks ahead of time. Link will be valid for 24 hours – if you don’t respond they will be returned for someone else to use.

 

Q&A:

 

Q: Who over-estimated the # of people in the model of hospitalization? This gives out fear, panic and people stop listening.

A: Purpose was to overreach with the worst-case scenario so we can see how much we need to take the steps we need to make sure we don’t reach those measures.

 

Q: ACI conditions seem to be of great concern, mixing of positive/negative people, gross filth – how often does DOH inspect the ACI for basic safety?

A: Concern separate from COVID. Will look into and evaluate. Corrections will want to evaluate and make sure changes are put in place.

 

Q: Why not call variances by country of origin instead of numbers? Why are countries listed on website?

A: We want to use the scientific numbers. But we will use country of origin if we need to to make people aware.

 

Q: J&J stock – any effect?
A: Not for this coming week, but it could in the future.

 

Q: Increasing frustration about prom/graduation guidelines?

A: Updates coming next week on those.

 

Q: Nursing home visitation

A: Most families can take their family member out for visits. Need to maintain vigilance.

 

Q: Will Lt. Gov. position be transformed to be the point person in certain matters?

A: Gov. McKee – great opportunity to show why we should run as a team – we will insist that it happens.

 

Q: Climate bill change? Why did Gov. change his overall support?

A: We should run with this as much as possible – but there are lawsuits that could be filed, attorney fees would be covered with very low threshold – we are suggesting GA appoint the AG to represent the state.

 

Q: In some measures RI is doing well. By other measures we aren’t doing very well (new infections per thousand, etc.) Why is this?

A: We are leading the nation in testing; also, one of the highest in the rate of positivity. This takes into account the density in our state. We continue to analyze by population, sector, demographics, etc. to see if what more we can do.

 

Q: Will appts continue for Tues/Fridays?

A: Yes, for mass vaccination sites. Pharmacies all the time.

 

Q: DCYF monitoring – what is RI doing so we don’t have disaster as happened in MA.

A: We are actively monitoring.

 

Q: Community connection program at White House to address hesitancy of certain communities?

A: We are continuing and expanding that. And we’ll take all resources available from D.C. Yesterday the diversity committee visited The Dunk – they will outreach to the communities.

 

Q: Any thought to tampering down militarized look or just have people show up?

A: We will try to educate people to feel safe. It’s a communication issue. Education. We should be extending our reach as well.

 

Q: Gov: do you plan on attending mass virtual or in person?

A: We will be attending in person this year. Virtual is the recommendation. Have to talk to my wife.

 

Q: How was yesterday with going to Johnston, etc., with Sabina Matos?

A: Very positive. Well received. Will continue that way.

 

Q: Do you attribute seasonality to an uptick?

A: Mixture – some improvements help people go outside more. Others mean they get together more.

 

Governor McKee, RIDOH Announce 12,000 Additional COVID-19 Vaccination Appointments to be Posted Tomorrow – Approximately 12,000 additional COVID-19 vaccination appointments will be posted on www.vaccinateRI.org on Friday at 5 p.m.  “Tomorrow, we’ll be releasing the largest batch of vaccine appointments in Rhode Island to date,” said Governor Dan McKee. “This is great news for our efforts to get as many shots in arms as quickly as possible. I encourage Rhode Islanders to make a plan to get vaccinated when they become eligible.” Vaccine is currently available statewide for people who are 60 to 64, people who are 16 to 64 with certain underlying health conditions, and people who were previously eligible in Phase 1. On Monday, people 50 to 59 years of age will be eligibility to register to get vaccinated at vaccination sites in Rhode Island. More information about eligibility is available online.

 

Data – April 1, 2021

Deaths: 5

Tests – 18,109 – Positives – 383 – Percent positive – 2.1%

Hospitalized – 131 – In ICU – 15 – Ventilated – 9

Deaths in hospital – 2 – New Admissions – 23 – New Discharges – 21

Vaccinated – 347,282; Both shots – 229,468

Data – March 31, 2021

Deaths: 2

Tests – 20,081 – Positives – 500 – Percent positive – 2.5%

Hospitalized – 125 – In ICU – 14 – Ventilated – 9

Deaths in hospital – 2 – New Admissions – 18 – New Discharges – 15

Vaccinated – 339,248; Both shots – 221,230

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Major League Baseball players can now travel with their families, eat and drink in restaurants and bars, play cards and move around on planes and buses. They can use whirlpools and saunas in the clubhouse. And they no longer are required to wear a mask on the bench or in the bullpen if they have 85% of their tier 1 players and staff fully vaccinated, with a two-week delay after the final vaccination.

 

Moderna said it has shipped the 100-millionth dose of its vaccine to the federal government. More than 67-million of its doses have been administered in the U.S.

 

Texas and five other states have begun providing vaccines to everyone 16 or older, regardless of health conditions. New York will expand eligibility to all adults next week.

 

New Yorkers over the age of 30 can sign up for a vaccine appointment starting at 8 a.m.

 

All three COVID-19 vaccines – fromPfizer-BioNTech, Moderna and Johnson & Johnson – are being distributed under emergency use authorizations rather than full FDA biologics licenses because they did not have long-term safety and effectiveness data. Testing, so far, indicate boosters may be needed after a 6 mos. period for full protection.

 

The US govt will partner with The Ad Council on a campaign to reach vaccine resistant groups identified as “Republicans”, or “conservatives” and those who are “religious”, primarily groups of color. The new campaigns will work with community leaders, faith groups and trusted medical experts to persuade Americans to get a vaccine shot.

 

Sarah Palin says she tested positive for the coronavirus and is urging people to take steps to guard against its spread, such as wearing masks.

 

In Colorado, DOC workers are being paid $500 to take the vaccine.

 

In Washington, DC, officials are watching the crowds at the annual Cherry Blossom Festival for social distancing issues.

 

Thousands of farm workers in Florida are being vaccinated, having been left out of public clinic opportunities.

 

82% of Americans have had their retirement savings impacted by COVID-19

 

A coronavirus outbreak tied to a church on Maui has resulted in at least 55 cases.

 

“Now is not the time to pull back on mitigation efforts.” – Dr. Fauci

 

While millions of Americans are receiving vaccinations, progress toward herd immunity has not kept pace with the new spike. Cases are rising in about half the states, led by big spikes in New York and especially New York City, Michigan, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania. 

 

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine was 100% effective in clinical trial on children between 12 and 15 – they now in a trial on children between 5 and 12.

 

Some Jewish organizations are comparing the idea of “vaccine passports” to Nazi Germany, with many invoking the yellow Stars of David that Nazis forced Jews to wear during the Holocaust. Other opponents of public health restrictions have suggested or implied that the idea of opening recreational spaces only to those who aren’t at risk of COVID is similar to the Nazis’ persecution of Europe’s Jews, which culminated in genocide. 

 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in collaboration with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), has launched an innovative community health initiative called “Say Yes! COVID Test” starting in Pitt County, North Carolina, and coming soon to Chattanooga/Hamilton County, Tennessee

 

France to enter a third national lockdown for four weeks amid COVID-19 surge.

 

Yemen received its first COVID-19 vaccines on Wednesday, a week after the internationally recognized government declared a health emergency in areas under its control.

 

Hospitals in Ecuador’s capital overwhelmed by COVID-19 infections, doctors say

 

In Texas, some city and town firefighters and ambulance crews are bringing vaccines directly to the homes of the city’s most vulnerable.

 

Ireland considering adding U.S., France, Germany to hotel quarantine list

 

Spain will use AstraZeneca vaccine for essential workers over 65

 

Venezuela receives doses of Russian EpiVacCorona vaccine for trials

 

Russia is developing a vaccine for animals.

 

Ongoing trial of Pfizer/BioNTech’s Covid-19 vaccine confirms its protection lasts at least six months after the second dose, the companies say

 

Delta joins other US airlines in ending empty middle seats in May.

 

CDC advice for Easter:

 

Fully vaccinated grandparents can visit with their unvaccinated daughter and her children indoors without a mask or socially distancing. But if the neighbors decide to show up, everyone should put on a mask and stay at least 6 feet from one another. The gathering should be taken outdoors or to a well-ventilated area.

 

Fully vaccinated grandparents can visit with their unvaccinated daughter and her children indoors without a mask or socially distancing. But if the neighbors decide to show up, everyone should put on a mask and stay at least 6 feet from one another. The gathering should be taken outdoors or to a well-ventilated area.

 

Parks are a great way to relieve stress from the pandemic with family and present a relatively low risk of infection compared with other activities, Malley said.

 

If there are other families at the park enjoying the lovely weather, Beers suggested bringing a mask and finding an area that’s not as crowded. Parents can be creative by exploring new places and “finding things that are off the beaten path

 

Wisconsin Supreme Court on Wednesday blocked Democratic Gov. Tony Evers from issuing public health emergency orders to mandate face masks without the approval of the state Legislature,

 

All 50 states have announced when they plan to open up vaccinations to all adults by May 1.

 

More than 3.3 million Americans died in 2020, the most ever in one year in large part because of the pandemic, federal health officials reported. The death toll was 16% above 2019. The coronavirus caused about 375,000 of the deaths, the third-leading cause after heart disease and cancer, the CDC reported.

 

Hong Kong to resume use of BioNTech COVID-19 vaccines on April 5

 

Moderna is now allowing one more dose taken out of its vials than before.

 

Pakistan is allowing private purchasing of vaccine by individuals.

 

Japan to get first batches of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine from U.S.

 

Vaccinations for people who have had COVID does not need a waiting period, as long as symptoms are no longer being experienced. If you have received treatment with monoclonal antibodies, however, you should wait 3 months.

 

UVeya, a Swiss start-up, is conducting the trials of the robots with Dubai-based airport services company Dnata inside Embraer jets from Helvetic Airways, a charter airline owned by Swiss billionaire Martin Ebner. Aircraft makers still must certify the devices and are studying the impact their UV light may have on interior upholstery. The company is hopeful that the robot cleaners could reduce people’s fear of flying, even as COVID-19 circulates. “This is a proven technology, it’s been used for over 50 years in hospitals and laboratories, it’s very efficient,” Elmiger said on Wednesday. “It doesn’t leave any trace or residue.”

 

Fron the CDC: When You’ve Been Fully Vaccinated

 

COVID-19 vaccines are effective at protecting you from getting sick. Based on what we know about COVID-19 vaccines, people who have been fully vaccinated can start to do some things that they had stopped doing because of the pandemic.

 

We’re still learning how vaccines will affect the spread of COVID-19. After you’ve been fully vaccinated against COVID-19, you should keep taking precautions in public places like wearing a mask, staying 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces until we know more.

 

What’s Changed

 

If you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You can gather indoors with fully vaccinated people without wearing a mask.
  • You can gather indoors with unvaccinated people from one other household (for example, visiting with relatives who all live together) without masks, unless any of those people or anyone they live with has an increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.
  • If you’ve been around someone who has COVID-19, you do not need to stay away from others or get tested unless you have symptoms.
    • However, if you live in a group setting (like a correctional or detention facility or group home) and are around someone who has COVID-19, you should still stay away from others for 14 days and get tested, even if you don’t have symptoms.
    •  

 

What Hasn’t Changed

For now, if you’ve been fully vaccinated:

  • You should still take steps to protect yourself and others in many situations, like wearing a mask, staying at least 6 feet apart from others, and avoiding crowds and poorly ventilated spaces. Take these precautions whenever you are:
  • You should still avoid medium or large-sized gatherings.
  • You should still delay domestic and international travel. If you do travel, you’ll still need to follow CDC requirements and recommendations.
  • You should still watch out for symptoms of COVID-19, especially if you’ve been around someone who is sick. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you should get tested and stay home and away from others.
  • You will still need to follow guidance at your workplace.
illustration of people enjoying a party inside

 

What We Know and What We’re Still Learning

  • We know that COVID-19 vaccines are effective at preventing COVID-19 disease, especially severe illness and death.
    • We’re still learning how effective the vaccines are against variants of the virus that causes COVID-19. Early data show the vaccines may work against some variants but could be less effective against others.
  • We know that other prevention steps help stop the spread of COVID-19, and that these steps are still important, even as vaccines are being distributed.
    • We’re still learning how well COVID-19 vaccines keep people from spreading the disease.
    • Early data show that the vaccines may help keep people from spreading COVID-19, but we are learning more as more people get vaccinated.
  • We’re still learning how long COVID-19 vaccines can protect people.
  • As we know more, CDC will continue to update our recommendations for both vaccinated and unvaccinated people.

 

Until we know more about those questions, everyone — even people who’ve had their vaccines — should continue taking basic prevention steps when recommended.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Thousands of new coronavirus vaccine appointments are being made available in Rhode Island today.  Up to a hundred exotic birds were killed in a South County fire yesterday.  A bill has been introduced in the state legislature to ban so-called "divisive teaching concepts" on race.

>>Thousands Of New Vaccine Appointments Becoming Available

(Providence, RI)  --  There are twelve-thousand additional COVID-19 vaccine appointments getting posted today on VaccinateRI.org.  Governor Dan McKee says the release, scheduled for 5 p.m., is the largest batch in Rhode Island to date.  Everyone 50 years old and up will be eligible for the shot in the Ocean State on Monday.

>>Health Director Urges Responsible Holy Holiday Celebrations

(Providence, RI)  --  Last year, Rhode Islanders who celebrate Easter or Passover were being urged to avoid social gatherings, and there was no worship service attendance allowed as the pandemic was in the early stages.  One year later, the situation has changed.  RI Health Department Director Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott said on Thursday that holiday-related gatherings are fine as long as you take COVID-related precautions.

>>Dozens Of Exotic Birds Killed In Fire

(Hopkinton, RI)  --  An estimated total of up to one-hundred birds died in a fire at the New England Exotic Wildlife Sanctuary in Hopkinton on Thursday.  The four-alarm fire hit the Foster Parrots building early yesterday morning.  The Boston Globe reports the fire was caused by an electrical malfunction, according to the Rhode Island deputy fire marshal.

>>ACI Inmate Federally Charged With Running Drug Operation

(Providence, RI)  --  An inmate at the Adult Correctional Institutions is alleged to have continued operating a drug-trafficking business while behind bars.  The Department of Justice says Ronald Kramer of Providence instructed his girlfriend on how to sell his supply of amphetamine drugs and a gun while he was being detained at the ACI in February on charges of drunk driving, obstructing police and resisting arrest.  Federal charges have been filed against the two, in addition to the alleged supplier of the drugs.  Kramer's record includes a state conviction for robbery and assault.

>>Roger Williams University Requiring Student Vaccinations

(Bristol, RI)  --  Roger Williams University is announcing a requirement that students must get the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to campus this fall.  Some medical and religious exemptions will be offered.  Faculty and staff are being urged to get vaccinated as well.

>>Proposed Bill Would Ban So-Called Divisive Teaching Concepts On Race

(Providence, RI)  --  A proposed bill in the Rhode Island legislature would ban "divisive teaching concepts" on race.  The bill is proposed by Republican state Representative Patricia Morgan, the former House Minority Leader.  It would prevent schools from teaching that the state is fundamentally racist and that people are responsible for the past actions of those who are of the same race.  The bill is similar to others that have popped up in the U.S. after President Trump issued an executive order banning anti-bias training from being taught in federal agencies which relied on "critical race theory"; Trump called it toxic propaganda.  The Providence Journal reported over one-hundred-fifty people testified mostly against the bill at a House Education Committee hearing this week.

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

04-02-2021 00:49:03

RI Veterans: Did you know?

NEW weekly feature – “RI Veterans: Did you know?” – by John Cianci

 April 1, 2021/RINewsToday

 by John Cianci, Department Service Officer, ITAM

 

Introducing a new weekly feature – Look for this column every Thursday.

 

Veterans Benefits …..Did You Know? A spouse of a deceased veteran could be entitled to monthly compensation of that veteran, approximately $1400 a month with medical benefits.

 

Many Veterans at the Rhode Island Veterans Home have asked me: Why put in a VA claim, the State Veterans Home takes most of it and it doesn’t change what I get … about $150 a month. Why you should change your mind? One, if you die and you don’t have a claim filed, your spouse will NOT be eligible for VA compensation for your service connected disability. Failure to file a claim, because of this feeling, could deny your spouse and or children of thousand of dollars. The ITAM organization assisted a widow of a veteran whose husband died at the State Veterans Home last year. She was unaware of the benefits she was entitled to. She received over $10,000 in retroactive monies, and now receives a monthly pension of almost $1,400 a month. Tell me her late husband doesn’t Rest In Peace knowing his service is helping her maintain a quality of life?

 

Here’s an example. A veteran at the home has a heart condition and receives VA service connected disability. He passes, and the cause of death is heart failure. By VA rules, the spouse will be eligible for “serving spouse benefits”. Here is a copy and information from the VA webpage on DIC benefits:

 

About VA DIC for spouses, dependents, and parents. If you’re the surviving spouse, child, or parent of a service member who died in the line of duty, or the survivor of a Veteran who died from a service-related injury or illness, you may be able to get a tax-free monetary benefit called VA Dependency and Indemnity Compensation (VA DIC). Find out if you can get VA benefits or compensation. You may be eligible for VA benefits or compensation for surviving spouses if you meet the requirements listed below. You’ll also need to provide evidence with your claim showing that one of the descriptions below is true for the Veteran or service member. Evidence may include documents like military service records, doctor’s reports, and medical test results:

 

One of these must be true. You: Married the Veteran or service member before January 1, 1957, or Married the Veteran or service member within 15 years of their discharge from the period of military service during which the qualifying illness or injury started or got worse, or Were married to the Veteran or service member for at least 1 year, or Had a child with the Veteran or service member, aren’t currently remarried, and either lived with the Veteran or service member without a break until their death or, if separated, weren’t at fault for the separation. Note: If you remarried on or after December 16, 2003, and you were 57 years of age or older at the time you remarried, you can still continue to receive compensation.

 

You’ll also need to provide evidence showing that one of these descriptions is true for the Veteran or service member: The service member died while on active duty, active duty for training, or inactive-duty training, or The Veteran died from a service-connected illness or injury, or The Veteran didn’t die from a service-connected illness or injury, but was eligible to receive VA compensation for a service-connected disability rated as totally disabling for a certain period of time If the Veteran’s eligibility was due to a rating of totally disabling, they must have had this rating: For at least 10 years before their death, or, Since their release from active duty and for at least 5 years immediately before their death, or, For at least 1 year before their death if they were a former prisoner of war who died after September 30, 1999. Note: “Totally disabling” means the Veteran’s injuries made it impossible for them to work.

 

As a surviving child – As a surviving parent. What kind of benefits can I get? If you qualify, you can get tax-free monetary benefits. The amount you receive depends on the type of survivor you are. DIC benefit rates for surviving spouses and children DIC benefits for surviving parents: How do I apply for compensation? First you’ll need to fill out an application for benefits. The application you fill out will depend on your survivor status. If you’re the surviving spouse or child of a service member who died while on active duty, your military casualty assistance officer will help you to complete an Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits by a Surviving Spouse or Child (VA Form 21P-534a). The officer will help you mail the form to the correct VA regional office. Download VA Form 21P-534a (PDF) If you’re the surviving spouse or child of a Veteran, fill out an Application for DIC, Death Pension, and/or Accrued Benefits (VA Form 21P-534EZ). Download VA Form 21P-534EZ (PDF)

 

FREE assistance is provided by Italian American war veterans Department Service Officer, John A. Cianci, itamri4vets@gmail.com, or 860-931-4711

 

_____

 

 

RI Veterans…Did you Know? is a new feature of RINewsToday, written by John A. Cianci, Department Service Officer of ITAM – Italian American War Veterans.

 

John A. Cianci is a Veteran Service Officer. Retired, U.S. Army MSgt., Persian Gulf War and Iraq War combat theater.

 

Cianci, a combat disabled Veteran, served in Desert Shield/Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. His awards include Bronze Star, Combat Action Badge, Good Conduct, and others.

 

Cianci belongs to numerous veterans organizations – Italian American War Veterans, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign War, United Veterans Council of Rhode Island, and many more organizations. He is an active volunteer assisting veterans to navigate federal and state benefits they have earned. He is Department of Rhode Island Department Commander Italian American War Veterans and Veteran Service Officer.

 

He is a graduate of Roger Williams University (BS Finance), UCONN business school* (Entrepreneur Bootcamp For Veterans), Solar Energy International Residential, Commercial and Battery Based Photovoltaic Systems certificate programs, numerous certificates from the Department of Defense renewable energy programs, including graduate of the Solar Ready Vets Program.

 

 

To contact John, itamri4vets@gmail or telephone (401) 677-9VET.

 

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Rhode Island lieutenant governor's office vacancy could soon be filled pending approval from the state legislature, after Governor Dan McKee announced his pick yesterday.  A South County treehouse which was being used for Airbnb rentals must be taken down.  The Boston Red Sox are starting the 2021 regular season today.

>>New Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Nominee Announced

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee wants Providence City Council president Sabina Matos [[ suh-BEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] to become his lieutenant governor.  The L.G.'s office became vacant earlier this year when McKee was tapped to take over the governor's office for Gina Raimondo, who departed to become the U.S. Commerce Secretary.  McKee said on Wednesday that Matos is prepared to work closely with his administration and shares his commitment to supporting municipalities and small businesses.  The nomination is subject to the advice and consent of the Rhode Island Senate.

>>State Health Department Sounds Alarm About Fentanyl-Involved Overdoses

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health says fentanyl-contaminated drugs are continuing to accelerate the state's overdose crisis.  On Tuesday, the state reported an increase in the percentage of fentanyl involvement in overdose deaths last year.  Officials also said there were more accidental fatal ODs in 2020 than any previous year on record, which could have been fueled by COVID-related social isolation.

>>Central Falls PD Says Missing Person Found

(Central Falls, RI)  --  An elderly man reported missing by the Central Falls Police Department has been found.  Marcel Girard was reportedly located in the city of Cranston on Wednesday.  The Central Falls PD thanked the public for its assistance.

>>Former Rhode Island Law Firm Worker Sentenced For Embezzlement

(Providence, RI)  --  A former bookkeeper and office manager who admitted to embezzling from a Rhode Island law firm where she worked is being sent to prison for five years.  The Justice Department says through the use of forged checks, Sarah Gaulin of Warwick stole nearly three-quarter million dollars from the firm of Hamel, Waxler, Allen and Collins, which has locations in Providence and North Kingstown.  The feds said Gaulin also rigged a mortgage application for a bank and fraudulently claimed disability insurance payments.

>>Brown University Dealing With Cyber Threat

(Providence, RI)  --  The Brown University community was alerted to a cybersecurity threat on Tuesday.  The school's chief digital officer said IT staff took immediate steps to address the threat, which resulted in a number of commonly-used resources being temporarily shut down.  More information about the issue is available at the website IT.brown.edu.

>>Popular Airbnb Treehouse For Sale With A Catch: Removal Required

(Richmond, RI)  --  A treehouse operated by a couple in Richmond which was a popular Airbnb destination must be removed.  The Providence Journal reports the town has told Jeffrey Morse, who spent two years building the house, that it has to come down by April 16th.  Morse said he and his wife were unaware the treehouse had been partially built on open space.  The house is for sale, but the buyer will have to relocate it.

>>Red Sox Open 2021 Season Today

(Boston, MA)  --  Opening Day is here for the Boston Red Sox.  They will host the Baltimore Orioles this afternoon with a first pitch scheduled for 2:10 p.m.  There will be fan attendance at Fenway Park for the first time since 2019.  The Red Sox went 24-and-36 in a pandemic-shortened season last year.

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

04-01-2021 00:19:07

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