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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2021-05

In the Arena - Larry Connell, VA Healthcare

connell
 

In the Arena – Larry Connell, VA Healthcare

 
May 30, 2021/RINewsToday
 

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

 

This week his guest is Larry Connell, Director, Providence VA Healthcare System

 

They discuss the programs and services of the VA Hospital and Healthcare System. Hear the new changes and why it’s important for veterans to be part of the healthcare system.

 

Here is “In The Arena” – remotely – for May 30, 2021:

 

 

 
 
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1 Comment

  1.  CHERYLE a IHRIG on May 30, 2021 at 7:36 pm

    Rhode Island is last in assisting Homeless Veterans with housing. The RI Landlord/Tenant laws , manage vacant apartments on a daily schedule. The Veterans Administration, under FEDERAL HOUSING/HUD and with RI Housing, are capable of producing $1,000. per month per Homeless veteran, for a rent controlled Voucher. Landlords have determined, in violation of Federal and State laws, to demand 1month, last month and security deposit. $4,ooo is required to move a Homeless Veteran into his apartment. Rent Control, as appropriate: terms of lease – 60 months based on the 1 bedroom, $1,000 per month for 60 months. You cannot help a Homeless Veteran until you give them a Home.

Friday Fishing Tips

jeff-1 2
 

Friday Fishing Tips – May 28, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
May 28, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

Well, it took a few weeks, but this writer is on a roll with the trout. Great success has occurred in the last two weeks that makes up for a lean spring. The fish were there, they just did not like my presentation. 

 

Some members of the Federated Rhode Island Sportsmen’s Club feel that the RIDEM should post the location, trout numbers, date, times etc. when they stock the fish. This request occurred during the RIDEM regulation hearing on May 6th. The phrase “combat fishing” comes to mind!

 

 

 

 

I totally disagree with FRISC’s assessment that RIDEM should provide location, dates, times, etc. of where they are stocking the fish. That is unsportsmanlike to require that information. Why not just go to the local pet shop and fish in the fish tanks, as that is what it equates to. If DEM were to provide all details of the stocking locations, then there would be hordes of people going to those locations, too, so from a COVID point of view, that isn’t a good idea neither.

 

The first few weeks in April and early May this writer only caught 2 Brookies. My friend and his wife and many others were doing extremely well. Well, it is fishing, so I needed to assess what I could do better and implemented that two weeks ago. Like the Patriots do at halftime, adjustments were made, and I came out catching a lot of fish. Success has occurred ever since. Now my friend and his wife got skunked this past Sunday. That is why it is called fishing. And a sport. To have all the stocking information and details takes the challenge out of the sport. 

 

 

Friday’s Fishing Tips:

 

Tip #1 – Take time to assess the situation: If the fish aren’t biting, then look at the details. Are they jumping on the surface? No? Then they are on the bottom. Are they slowly rolling on the surface? They are probably after flies. Keep a variety of offerings in your tackle box. I watched a guy using a clear bobber towing a dry fly and he was hammering the trout last Friday. That was working that night for him. Me? It was a gold spoon, slow retrieve right on the surface.

 

 

Tip# 2 – Check the feet of line near your bait or lure often. This writer hooked the lower 18″ rainbow and the line snapped when the fish was on the embankment. The lure went flying into the Poison Ivy and the Rainbow trout rolled down the backside of the embankment into more poison ivy. Took 15 minutes to retrieve trout and lure as this scribe is highly allergic to poison ivy. Checking the other gear in the truck showed 2 other rods had abrasions around the lures.

 

_____

 

 

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

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island woman's trial for a racist rant will continue next week.  Another college in the Ocean State is mandating COVID vaccinations for students.  A bill has been signed by the governor creating minimum staffing standards at Rhode Island nursing homes.

>>Trial Of RI Woman Accused Of Racist Verbal Violence Continues

(Wakefield, RI)  --  A hate crime trial for a Rhode Island woman will continue into a second week next week.  Christine Longo of South Kingstown allegedly told a black man from East Providence to, quote, "go back to his country" at a restaurant in Narragansett last summer and is also accused of verbally-assaulting his family.  Longo faces a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct, but the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office has added a hate crime sentencing enhancement if she is convicted.  Longo's attorney argued at the trial in Wakefield District Court this week that her remarks, though offensive, are protected by free-speech rights.

>>Massachusetts Man Killed In Tiverton Crash

(Tiverton, RI)  --  A Fall River, Massachusetts man died in a crash in Tiverton on Wednesday night.  The single-vehicle wreck happened at the intersection of Bulgarmarsh Road and Margaret Street.  Police identified the victim as Jonathan Gosselin.

>>No New COVID Deaths, 111 Cases Reported Thursday In Rhode Island

(Providence, RI)  --  There were zero new coronavirus deaths reported in Rhode Island on Thursday.  The number of new virus cases reported was one-hundred-eleven.  The total number of cases in the Ocean State during the pandemic increased to 151-thousand-691.

>>Providence College Requiring Students To Get COVID Shots

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence College is the latest Rhode Island school to mandate COVID-19 vaccinations for returning students next fall.  PC said on Thursday its top priority is protecting the health and safety of its community.  As has been the case elsewhere, the college says it will consider religious and medical exemption requests.

>>Bill Signed By Governor Creates Minimum Staffing Levels At Nursing Homes

(Providence, RI)  --  Legislation which sets minimum staffing levels for Rhode Island nursing homes was signed by Governor Dan McKee on Thursday.  The minimum number is three-point-five-eight hours of resident care per day by the beginning of next year and three-point-eight-one hours beginning in 2023.  The legislation also provides funding to raise wages for direct-care staff to aid workforce recruitment and retention.

>>Wind Farm Vote Not Yet Taken

(Providence, RI)  --  A vote in Rhode Island on a new wind energy farm is being pushed back.  The Providence Journal reports the Coastal Resources Management Council was set to decide this week whether to certify the South Fork Wind Farm, but the meeting was continued to next Tuesday.  South Fork, located in the Rhode Island Sound, would feed electricity to Long Island, New York.  Developers Orsted and Eversource have agreed to reduce the number of turbines that are associated with the project to address concerns about impacts to the environment and the fishing industry. 

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

05-28-2021 00:17:06

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – May 27, 2021

 
May 27, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Gov. McKee has now set a goal of vaccinating 90% of the eligible population by July 4th.

 

Reopening of the Rhode Island State House, beginning with a limited reopening on Tuesday, June 1. The State House will be open to the public between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., Monday through Friday. As the State will not be requiring proof of vaccination for State House visitors and employees, individuals entering the building will be required to wear a mask in all common spaces as an additional precaution. All visitors will sign into a visitors’ log and receive a temperature check. Common areas will generally be open to the public. Specific wings will be roped off for health, safety and security purposes. This will also ensure appropriate capacity and proper enforcement of public health and safety from Capitol Police. Wedding or wedding photo appointments will resume on June 1. State House tours and other scheduled in-person activities operated by each office may resume at their discretion. Any choice to enable remote work, bring employees back in person, or any combination of the two will also be left to the discretion of each office. 

 

RI House of Representatives will return to the State House – Senate has opted for more time

 

The Lippitt House on the East Side of Providence will open in June – advanced registration for limited tours on Fridays and select Saturdays.

 

Honeywell will no longer make N95 respirator masks – with 450 people set to lose their jobs – some can be absorbed into Honeywell’s other production lines.

 

MA Governor Charlie Baker’s office said Tuesday that he’ll file legislation to extend some pandemic emergency orders currently set to expire June 15. Baker is seeking extensions for orders allowing remote public meetings, special permits for expanded outside restaurant dining, and billing protections for COVID-19 patients, his office said in a statement.

 

In Delaware, residents 12 and older who are vaccinated between now and June 29 will be entered to win $5,000 cash and other prizes in twice-weekly lottery drawings.

 

Maryland held its first of 40 $40,000 lottery drawings Tuesday for people vaccinated against COVID-19.

 

West Virginia would pay unemployed people a $500 sign-up bonus for returning to work under a plan expected to be finalized soon.

 

In Connecticut, a judge has upheld the state’s requirement that children wear masks in schools, rejecting a challenge by some parents who said that mask-wearing can be harmful and that education officials exceeded their authority.

 

In Massachusetts, the 154th Marshfield Fair is set for Aug. 20-29

 

Newport is experiencing a lifeguard shortage.

 

In New Hampshire, even without a mandate, respondents said they are wearing masks at only slightly lower rates than in December.

 

JetBlue has returned to the Worcester Airport.

 

Arizona will begin giving $20 scratch-off lottery tickets and gift certificates for hunting and fishing licenses to people who get COVID-19 vaccines,

 

VA’s National Cemetery Administration has lifted all restrictions on gathering sizes at committal and memorial services in VA national cemeteries starting on Wednesday, May 26th.

 

Scialo Bros. Bakery reopened on Federal Hill 

 

Fireworks will be held over Newport Harbor this year

 

Massachusetts will reinstate work search requirements tied to unemployment benefits

 

Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea announced that Department of State offices outside of the State House will fully reopen to the public on Tuesday, June 1. Previously, an appointment was required to access in-person services. This reopening includes the Business Services Division and the Elections Division at 148 West River Street in Providence, and the Rhode Island State Archives at 33 Broad Street in Providence. 

 

From Ted Nesi, Nesi’s Notes (WPRI): Readers spotted the smiling face of Governor McKee on a full-color R.I. Department of Health mailer about vaccinations. “An urgent message from Governor Dan McKee” said the headline next to his photo, in English on one side and Spanish on the other. The state has sent a number of mailers during the pandemic, but this was the first time a picture of the governor was on one of them — giving McKee a potential publicity boost ahead of next year’s gubernatorial race. The Health Department confirmed the governor’s office was involved in the decision to put McKee’s picture on the mailer, while noting that a different mailer features a picture of Dr. Philip Chan. The McKee mailer was sent to 446,365 Rhode Island households, at a cost of $213,687, all paid for with federal coronavirus funds. I asked the governor’s communications team whether anyone on McKee’s staff advocated for putting his face on the mailer, and if so who. Their response took nearly 30 hours to arrive, and press secretary Alana O’Hare’s reply was a single sentence: “The governor did not make this request — the decision was made by an interagency team to increase vaccination rates and reduce hesitancy.” But according to the Health Department, that interagency team was made up of just two organizations: the Health Department itself, and the governor’s office. Pressed for more details, O’Hare refused to name names about who put McKee on the mailer, but she did acknowledge the governor’s communications office was involved in the “collaborative” decision. So, I asked, does that confirm the governor’s office did indeed advocate for McKee’s face to go on the mailer? “To reiterate, it was a collaborative decision and the governor’s office was part of it,” O’Hare replied. Once again, no names were offered.

 

Coastal Medical patients who are 18 years of age and older are invited to receive their first COVID-19 vaccine dose at our at one of our participating Coastal locations. You must register for these appointments because space is limited. – https://coastalmedical.com/vaccineclinics

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Antibodies are shown to be detectable up to 10 months – leading a booster shot possibility after that.

 

The CDC and US government warn Americans not to travel to Japan. The New England Journal of Medicine (https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp2108567?query=main_nav_lg) said the safest thing may be to cancel the games, due to the outbreak in Japan, and international travel.

 

The worst hotspot in North America is Manitoba, Canada – where people are being advised not to drive because if there were an accident the hospitals are not able to treat them.

 

New York, Maryland and Ohio are giving a scratch lottery ticket to all those over 18 who get vaccinated now.

 

US will keep Canada border closed for one more month.

 

Asking for proof of vaccination status does not violate HIPAA regulations.

 

National employers are beginning to announce vaccination requirements for all workers – Delta, Benefits Health Systems, Cast of Hamilton, RW Barnabas Health, Univ. of Pennsylvania Health System, and Velo.

 

The Biden administration is teaming up with dating apps to showcase the benefits of getting a shot. Apps like Hinge, Tinder, Match and Bumble are offering special incentives to people who roll up their sleeves, including badges showing vaccination status and free access to premium content. BLK and Chispa will boost profiles of those who are vaccinated, to make them more visible to potential matches. And OKCupid will even let users filter out potential partners based on whether they’ve gotten a vaccine.

 

Product shortages, from lumber to autos for sale, continue.

 

With 58 days until the summer Olympics’ opening ceremony, scientists warn that “canceling the games may be the safest option,” according to Axios’ report of a medical paper in the New England Journal of Medicine.

 

At least 25 states — plus Washington, D.C. — have now fully vaccinated at least half of their adults

 

Dr. Anthony Fauci took top honors at this year’s Webby Awards. The physician and immunologist was named Person of the Year for using digital and social media to provide credible and factual COVID-19 information during the pandemic.

 

U.S. home construction slowed by a surprisingly sharp 9.5% in April as builders delayed projects because of a surge in lumber prices and other supply constraints.

 

At Drexel, proof of vaccination against COVID-19 will be mandatory for students in the upcoming academic year with a full return to campus

 

Stephen Colbert will return to doing CBS’ Late Show in front of full vaccinated audiences starting June 14.

 

NBC’s The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon is also planning to have a full, vaccinated audience in 30 Rock early next month. It comes three months after the series brought back a limited audience on March 22.

 

Moderna vaccine now proven effective for 12-17 year olds – this makes two vaccines – Moderna and Pfizer.

 

Covid-19 infections rises 17% in South Africa in a week

 

Vietnam widened lockdown measures in its industrialized north to combat its biggest COVID-19 outbreak so far.

 

William Shakespeare, first man in the U.K. to receive COVID-19 vaccine, has died of a stroke at 81 – his family has said the best way to pay tribute to him is to get vaccinated.

 

Royal Caribbean’s newest ship, Odyssey of the Seas, disembarked several crew members who have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus in Spain as the ship makes its way to the United States after canceling cruises in Israel amid unrest this month. The ship is carrying 1,400 crew members.

 
 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island manufacturing facility hired hundreds to produce N-95 masks early during the pandemic, but now it is announcing layoffs.  The governor is nominating a new head of the agency that oversees the state hospital.  It could be a few more months before we find out who will be granted licenses for a half-dozen new medical cannabis dispensaries.

>>Fatal Shooting In North Attleboro

(North Attleboro, MA)  --  Police are investigating a fatal shooting in North Attleboro, Massachusetts.  The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says officers responded to a shooting incident at an apartment on High Street at around 4 p.m. Wednesday.  A 38-year-old North Attleboro man was found wounded was pronounced dead after being taken to Sturdy Memorial Hospital.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,708

(Providence, RI)  --  One new coronavirus death was reported in Rhode Island on Wednesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-708.  Rhode Island reported seventy-eight new virus cases yesterday to increase the pandemic total to 151-thousand-580.

>>Honeywell Announces Layoffs

(Smithfield, RI)  --  Honeywell International is laying off nearly five-hundred people at its facility in Smithfield.  Honeywell brought on that number of workers at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic to manufacture N-95 masks.  President Trump announced the workforce buildup and praised Honeywell's efforts at a time when there was concern about frontline workers not having access.  But the company now says there has been a dramatic reduction in demand for N-95s in the U.S.

>>Director Nominated For RI Agency That Oversees State Hospital

(Providence, RI)  --  A former hospital head is being picked to become the new director of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals.  Governor Dan McKee has nominated Richard Charest, the former president and CEO of Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket.  The pick must be confirmed by the state Senate.  The change in leadership comes as the department which runs the state hospital has been caught up in controversy over a proposed downsizing plan for the facility.  The state is currently reviewing the quality of patient care at Eleanor Slater Hospital.

>>Medical Marijuana Dispensary Lottery Delayed

(Providence, RI)  --  A lottery to determine who gets licenses to operate six new medical marijuana dispensaries in Rhode Island is being delayed.  State officials had hoped to hold the lottery this spring, but they say it might not happen until August now because one of the companies not picked for the lottery is appealing.  WPRI-TV reports that company is Atlas Enterprises, which is proposing a dispensary in Newport.  The Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation included twenty-four companies in the lottery and determined that four applicants did not qualify.

>>Newport Offering Financial Incentives To Hire Lifeguards

(Newport, RI)  --  The city of Newport is offering incentives to potential lifeguards this summer.  Anyone who works at least two-hundred lifeguard hours at Easton's Beach from June 19th to August 28th will be eligible for at least a partial reimbursement of costs for getting professionally certified.  Newport is also offering a higher hourly rate: up to twenty dollars an hour.  You can apply at CityOfNewport.com/Jobs.

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

05-27-2021 01:02:10

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island man accused of attacking his mother with a hammer made a court appearance on Tuesday.  Legislation to permanently provide free tuition for eligible Rhode Islanders at the state community college is being sent to the governor's desk.  Quahog-harvesting can take place for the first time in a long time on the lower portion of the Providence River.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Examination Ordered For Man Who Allegedly Attacked Mother With Hammer

(Providence, RI)  --  A judge in Providence District Court ordered a mental health evaluation on Tuesday for a man who is accused of attacking his mother with a hammer.  Kevin Mendes of Warren is being held without bail at the ACI on a charge of domestic assault with a deadly weapon with intent to commit murder.  The victim remains in the hospital after suffering multiple fractures to her face and head on Monday.  The Warren Police Department says Mendes allegedly attempted to assault an officer with a machete earlier this year.

>>Fatal House Fire In Bristol

(Bristol, RI)  --  One person died in a house fire in Bristol on Tuesday night.  Crews arrived to find heavy smoke and flames coming from the home on Prospect Street at around 6:00.  A second individual was taken to Rhode Island Hospital in unknown condition.  The fire is under investigation.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,707

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Health Department reported two new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The death toll from the pandemic in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-707.  Rhode Island saw sixty-two new virus cases yesterday.  Nearly half of the state's population, based on updated census information, has been fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

>>Celtics In 2-0 Series Hole To Nets

(Brooklyn, NY)  --  The Boston Celtics are down two games to none in their first-round NBA playoff series against the Brooklyn Nets.  The final score from Brooklyn in Game 2 of the best-of-seven on Tuesday night was 130-to-108.  Game 3 is in Boston on Friday night.

>>Permanent Free RI Community College Tuition Bill Sent To Governor

(Warwick, RI)  --  The state General Assembly is approving a bill to make a free tuition program at Community College of Rhode Island permanent.  Rhode Island Promise provides up to two years of free tuition for eligible Ocean State residents.  The program, which was proposed in 2017, was set to expire in September.  The bill now goes to Governor Dan McKee, who has expressed support.

>>RI House Of Representatives Moving Back To Base

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House of Representatives is moving back to the State House on June 1st.  The House has been meeting at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Providence for social-distancing reasons over the last five months.  The state legislative session concludes on June 30th.  According to a report from The Providence Journal, the Rhode Island Senate is going to stay put at its temporary new home at Rhode Island College for the remainder of the session.

[[ note dating language ]]

>>Shellfishing Activity In Lower Providence River Considered A Game-Changer

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the lower portion of the Providence River is being open to quahog-harvesting for the first time since records have been kept.  The bottom two miles of the seven-mile-long river were opened to the activity at sunrise this morning.  The DEM says this is a result of continued water quality improvements in Narragansett Bay and predicts the opening will result in a significant expansion of Rhode Island's quahog fishery.

>>Former Providence Mill Turning Into Housing

(Providence, RI)  --  Ground was broken last week for a project that will convert a vacant mill into housing in Providence.  More than one-hundred units will be available next summer at the Paragon Mill in Olneyville, which ceased operations in the 1960s.  The project is supported by the Providence Affordable Housing Trust fund and is expected to create about three-hundred jobs.

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

05-26-2021 00:11:28

One Year Later - Two Surveys Examine Impact COVID-19

One Year Later – Two Surveys Examine Impact of COVID-19 – Herb Weiss

 
May 25, 2021/Herb Weiss

 

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues

 

Over the year the raging pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental health of Americans. With daily COVID case counts now the lowest since last year and hospitals seeing less coronavirus hospitalizations, most states, including Rhode Island, are now opening up.

 

According to the American Psychological Association’s (APA) latest Stress in AmericaTM poll (findings released on March 11, 2021), the nation’s health crisis is far from over. Just one year after the World Health Organization declared COVID-19 a global pandemic, many adults report increased negative behaviors, such as undesired changes to their weight and increased drinking, that may be related to their inability to cope with prolonged stress.

 

APA’s survey of U.S. adults, conducted in late February 2021 by The Harris Poll, shows that a majority of adults (61 percent) experienced undesired weight changes—weight gain or loss—since the pandemic started, with 42 percent reporting they gained more weight than they intended. Of these individuals, they gained an average of 29 pounds (the median amount gained was 15 pounds) and 10 percent stated they gained more than 50 pounds, noted the poll’s findings.

 

Gaining Weight Bad for Your Health

 

Weight changes come with significant health risks, including higher vulnerability to serious illness from COVID-19.  According to the National Institute of Health, people who gain more than 11 pounds are at higher risk of developing Type II diabetes mellitus and coronary heart disease, and people who gain more than 24 pounds are at higher risk of developing ischemic stroke. 

 

For the 18 percent of Americans who said they lost more weight than they wanted to, the average amount of weight lost was 26 pounds (median amount lost was 12 pounds). Adult respondents also reported unwanted changes in sleep patterns and increased alcohol consumption. Two in 3 (67 percent) said they have been sleeping more or less than desired since the pandemic started. Nearly 1 in 4 adults (or 23 percent) reported drinking more alcohol to cope with their stress.

 

“We’ve been concerned throughout this pandemic about the level of prolonged stress, exacerbated by the grief, trauma and isolation that Americans are experiencing. This survey reveals a secondary crisis that is likely to have persistent, serious mental and physical health consequences for years to come,” said Arthur C. Evans Jr, PhD, APA’s chief executive officer, in a March 21st statement announcing the results of the study’s findings. 

 

Evans calls on health and policy leaders to come together quickly to provide additional behavioral health supports as part of any national recovery plan.

 

The researchers found that the pandemic took a particularly heavy toll on parents of children under 18-years old. While slightly more than 3 in 10 adults (31 percent) reported their mental health has worsened compared with before the pandemic, nearly half of mothers who still have children home for remote learning (47 percent) say that their mental health has worsened; 30 percent of the fathers who still have children home said the same. 

 

APA’s study also found that parents were more likely than those without children to have received treatment from a mental health professional (32 percent vs. 12 percent) and to have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder since the coronavirus pandemic began (24 percent vs. 9 percent). More than half of fathers (55 percent) reported gaining weight, and nearly half (48 percent) said they are drinking more alcohol to cope with stress.

 

As to essential workers, (either persons working in health care or law enforcement), the majority said that they relied on a lot of unhealthy habits to get through the year-long pandemic. Nearly 3 in 10 (29 percent said their mental health has worsened, while 3 in 4 (75 percent) said they could have used more emotional support than they received since the pandemic began. Essential workers were more than twice as likely as adults who were not essential workers to have received treatment from a mental health professional (34 percent vs. 12 percent) and to have been diagnosed with a mental health disorder since the coronavirus pandemic started (25 percent vs. 9 percent).

 

Furthermore, people of color noted that unintended physical changes occurred during the pandemic. Hispanic adults were most likely to report undesired changes to sleep (78 percent Hispanic vs. 76 percent Black, 63 percent white and 61 percent Asian), physical activity levels (87 percent Hispanic vs. 84 percent Black, 81 percent Asian and 79 percent white) and weight (71 percent Hispanic vs. 64 percent Black, 58 percent white and 54 percent Asian) since the beginning of the pandemic.

 

Black Americans were most likely to report feelings of concern about the future, say the researchers, noting that more than half said they do not feel comfortable going back to living life like they used to before the pandemic (54 percent Black vs. 48 percent Hispanic, 45 percent Asian and 44 percent white).  They also feel uneasy about adjusting to in-person interaction once the pandemic ends (57 percent Black vs. 51 percent Asian, 50 percent Hispanic and 47 percent white).

 

“It’s clear that the pandemic is continuing to have a disproportionate effect on certain groups,” said APA President Jennifer Kelly, PhD. “We must do more to support communities of color, essential workers and parents as they continue to cope with the demands of the pandemic and start to show the physical consequences of prolonged stress,” says Kelly.

 

COVID-19’s Impact on Seniors

 

A newly released AARP study, released on May 10, 2021, has found that more than a year into the coronavirus pandemic, most adults age 50 and older say that it has had a negative impact on their mental health. Researchers found that seven in 10 older adults reported an increase in sadness or depression due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and nearly 8 in 10 said they had increased concern about the future, worry or anxiety. Half of adults 50 and older reported feelings of anxiety in the last two weeks, and 56% noted difficulties falling asleep or staying asleep, say the study’s findings.

 

“If you are feeling stressed and anxious after the last year, you are far from alone!” said Alison Bryant, Senior Vice President of Research at AARP in a statement announcing the survey results. “As our survey highlights, most older adults’ mental health and wellbeing was affected by the pandemic—and some of the ways we coped might not have been great for our health, either. With many communities returning to normal, we hope older adults will consider taking steps to reclaim their health this spring and summer,” she said.

 

Coping with the COVID-19 pandemic

 

According to the AARP study findings, seniors are responding to the increased stress in a variety of ways. About one in four of the respondents reported they are eating comfort foods or “unhealthy foods” like chips and candy more often than before the pandemic. And 27 percent of people 50 and over have increased the time they spend praying or meditating. One in 10 survey respondents reported seeking mental health care in the last year, a third of whom did so specifically because of the pandemic. Overall, 15 percent of older adults said that experiencing the pandemic made them more likely to seek help from a mental health provider if they had concerns.

 

AARP’s survey also highlighted how the pandemic increased loneliness and isolation among those age 50 and over.  Among older adults, 58 percent reported feeling increased loneliness, and 62 percent were less likely to socialize with friends and family compared to before the pandemic.

 

Herb Weiss, LRI’12, is a Pawtucket writer covering aging, health care and medical issues and a former OSMA Trustee. 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.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island's COVID stats are continuing to flatline.  The developer of a proposed wind farm in Rhode Island Sound is agreeing to reduce the number of turbines.  Two people riding a bus in Providence were injured on Monday when the bus was hit by a loose tire.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,705

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Health reported one new coronavirus death over this past weekend.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State as of Monday was two-thousand-705.  Rhode Island reported one-hundred-82 new virus cases over the weekend to increase the pandemic total to 151-thousand-440.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Thunderstorms Possible Wednesday, Temps Swing After 90-Degree Hit

(Providence, RI)  --  The National Weather Service is keeping an eye on possible thunderstorms in Southern New England on Wednesday which could disturb what has been a quiet weather pattern.  Small hail and gusty winds are possible.  Temperatures are fluctuating to finish the month of May, as Providence hit the 90-degree mark for the first time this year on Sunday, but the capital city could be back down into the 40s on Memorial Day weekend.

>>Developers Of South Fork Wind Farm Agree To Turbine Reduction

(Undated)  --  A proposed wind farm offshore from Rhode Island that would carry electricity to Long Island, New York is agreeing to reduce the number of turbines needed for the project.  The Providence Journal reports Orsted and Eversource, the two partner developers of the South Fork Wind Farm, will officially agree to reduce the turbine total from fifteen to twelve at a Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council meeting on Tuesday.  The C-R-M-C is reviewing the project on behalf of the federal government and has warned it would make a negative recommendation if that action wasn't taken.  Concerns from the council about the wind farm, which would be constructed in the Rhode Island Sound, include its specific location in a bio-diverse area as well as the potential economic impact on the fishing industry.

>>Two RIPTA Bus Passengers Hurt By Loose Tire Hitting Windows

(Providence, RI)  --  Two passengers on a RIPTA bus in Providence were injured and hospitalized by a flying tire that smashed into the bus windows on Monday morning.  The bus was reportedly in transit on North Main Street at around 10:45 a.m. when it was hit by a tire that was believed to have fallen off a pickup truck.  Providence police are investigating.

>>Man Facing Charges For Allegedly Attacking Mother With Hammer

(Warren, RI)  --  A Rhode Island man is being accused of attempted murder of his mother.  EastBayRI.com reports 34-year-old Kevin Mendes of Warren, who lived with the 53-year-old mother, allegedly struck her in the head with a hammer on Monday morning.  The victim was reportedly found with serious, life-threatening injuries and was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.  Mendes is being held without bail pending a district court arraignment on Tuesday.

>>More Fans Being Welcomed Into T.D. Garden

(Boston, MA)  --  T.D. Garden in Boston is being given the OK to return to near-full capacity starting on Saturday.  May 29th is the date that the state of Massachusetts is lifting its pandemic-related business restrictions.  The first-round NBA playoff series between the Celtics and the Brooklyn Nets moves to the Garden on Friday and Sunday.  The announcement will also impact the Bruins as they are guaranteed to host at least two more playoff games, just as soon as they learn who their opponent will be in the second round of the NHL playoffs.

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

05-25-2021 00:05:05

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The superintendent of Providence Public Schools has quit.  More arrests are made after the largest mass shooting in Providence history.  The governor has signed legislation that will allow Rhode Islanders who are on unemployment to go back to work and keep receiving benefits.

>>Providence Schools Superintendent Resigns

(Providence, RI)  --  Two summers ago, the state of Rhode Island took over Providence Public Schools in reaction to a scathing report on the district.  Now, the superintendent that was chosen to lead the turnaround effort has been let go.  Harrison Peters resigned last week after admitting he hired a school administrator despite knowing about his history of quote-unquote "toe-popping" students as a form of corporal punishment in Florida years ago.  Olayinka Alege [[ ole-AE-INK-uh uh-LEG-ae ]] is now facing charges for allegedly giving an underage boy an unwanted foot massage at a fitness center in Warwick.  Rhode Island political leaders are dismayed that not only was Peters not fired, but he also was given a sizable severance payment.  State Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]] says she remains committed to the Providence turnaround effort and says a lot of progress has been made.

>>Three More Arrested For Providence Mass Shooting

(Providence, RI)  --  More arrests have been made in connection to a mass shooting in Providence earlier this month.  Two people, Daniel Carides and a 17-year-old juvenile, were picked up on Saturday for felony assault with a firearm and other charges.  A third individual, David Carides, was charged with possession of a prohibited firearm.  Four people who allegedly jumped out of a vehicle on Carolina Avenue and began firing at a group that was assembled on a porch on May 13th were charged last Monday.  Police said at least two people on the porch fired back.  The shooting caused nine injuries, but no deaths.

>>Bruins Dispatch Capitals In NHL Playoffs First Round

(Washington, DC)  --  The Boston Bruins are advancing to the second round of the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs after a 4-to-1 series win over the Washington Capitals.  Boston beat the Caps 3-to-1 in Game 5 on Sunday night in Washington.  The B's will play the winner of the series between the New York Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins, which is tied at two heading into Game 5 in Pittsburgh Monday night.

>>Bill Signed To Incentivize Unemployed RI'ers To Return To Work

(Providence, RI)  --  A number of Republican-led U.S. states are ending the three-hundred-dollar unemployment supplement from the American Rescue Plan which was intended to last until September.  In Democratic Rhode Island, a different approach is being taken to address the same problem those red states say they have: a labor shortage caused by too unemployment recipients staying on the sidelines as businesses re-open out of the pandemic.  Governor Dan McKee signed a bill Friday which will allow workers to earn up to 150-percent of their unemployment amount and continue earning state benefits, which will in turn allow them to continue receiving the federal boost.  McKee said Rhode Island is taking an innovative approach to the workforce challenge.

>>Rhode Island Secretary Of State Nellie Gorbea Running For Governor

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea [[ gore-BAY-uh ]] is running for governor.  Gorbea, a Democrat, is entering a race in the 2022 election that is expected to be highly competitive, featuring incumbent Dan McKee among others.  Gorbea made the announcement on Sunday night, just a couple of days after she publicly pressured McKee to re-open the State House to the public after a year of being closed due to the pandemic.  The governor's administration then said that will happen on June 1st.

>>Arrests Made At Narragansett Beach

(Narragansett, RI)  --  Eight people were arrested after a reported disturbance at Narragansett Town Beach on Sunday.  The Narragansett Police Department responded at around 2 p.m. and had to call in help from the Rhode Island State Police to disperse a crowd.  WJAR-TV reports the eight arrestees face charges including disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.

###
Jim McCabe/jb          RI) FL) 


Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-24-2021 00:14:10

Boots on the Ground - Volunteers Needed

Boots on the Ground – volunteers needed

 
May 22, 2021/RINewsToday

 

In 2016, Operation Stand Down RI launched the Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial which presented almost 7,000 combat boots adorned with flags and placards. Each boot represents the life of a U.S. service member killed in action post 9-11 in the Global War on Terror.

 

The placard attached to each boot displays the name and photo of the fallen along with biographical information, military branch, rank and circumstances of death. The Memorial is updated yearly to incorporate additional U.S. service members killed in the ongoing Global War on Terror.

 

_____

 

To be prepared for this event, Operation Stand Down Rhode Island is looking for volunteers on the following days: Wednesday, May 26th between 9 AM – 4 PM Tuesday, June 1st: 9 AM – 12 PM – If you are interested in volunteering, you must sign up online by clicking the below link:

 

https://osdri.charityproud.org/VolunteerRegistration/Calendar/2510

 

 

What you need to know:

 

Operation Stand Down Rhode Island is requesting volunteers to help for the 2021 Boots on the Ground for Heroes Memorial.  Volunteers are needed for set up, weekend of help, and breakdown.

 

The whole event starts on Tuesday, May 25, 2021 at 9:00 AM at Fort Adams, Newport, RI

 

Set up days are as followed:

 

Tuesday, May 25th 9 AM – 4 PM

 

Wednesday May 26th 9 AM – 4 PM – VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!

 

Thursday May 27th 9 AM – 12 Noon

 

Friday May 28th 9 AM – 12 Noon

 

Our number one priority on these days, is to get the memorial up with success and in the safest and most efficient way. Please be advised that the need for volunteers and volunteering duties may be subject to change at any given moment. We will be sending any updates about the volunteering needs to the email that was registered with the volunteer online registration.

 

If you are a corporate office or company who is interested in volunteering- EACH person volunteering needs to sign up through the OSDRI online registration. If your company sends out an internal volunteering portal, you will still need to sign up with OSDRI at our online portal as well.  This helps us correctly account for how many people are attending to help.

 

Set up will be at FORT ADAMS in Newport. Set up duties consist of getting out boots, cleaning up / shining boots, lacing boots, lining up boots on a predesigned grid, cleaning the boots off, attaching name placards, stuffing boots, and placing out American flags. Volunteers should be physically able to bend down/walk.

 

We will also need volunteers for the actual event itself. Volunteers to assist with parking in the main lot, assisting at both the entrance and at the exit of the fort, and other miscellaneous duties. We are looking for 4 people to fill each volunteer shift. The following shifts are available:

 

Saturday May 29th

8-12, 12-4, 4-8

 

Sunday May 30th

8-12, 12-4, 4-8

Monday May 31st

8-12, 12-3, 3-6

 

Break down will be on Tuesday June 1st at 9 AM. VOLUNTEERS NEEDED!!

 

Break down duties consist of picking up boots, storing boots, picking up tag chains, picking up American Flags, and other miscellaneous duties. This is also a labor intensive activity which needs volunteer assistance.  Please consider signing up for this activity as well as it is just as important as set up.

 

Please be advised that due to COVID restrictions, the number of volunteers present may be subject to restrictions, therefore, it is imperative to use the online registration. COVID guidelines must be followed.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact Jessica Miller at JMiller@osdri.org or 401.383.4730.

 

Sponsors:

 
Posted in 

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronvavirus Update – May 21, 2021

 
May 21, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: Aliza Chan (13 years old), daughter of RIDOH’s Dr. Philip A. Chan, MD, RIDOOH Twitter feed

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

URI requiring students to be vaccinated

 

Businesses are free to make their own mask regulations

 

The Charlestown Seafood Festival will be held August 6-8, this year.

 

Fitch Ratings assigned a negative outlook to the R.I. Airport Corp.’s “BBB+” bond rating, due to impact of COVID-19.

 

Southern Airways is now flying out of PVD to Nantucket.

 

2 Jewish Kosher Meal Sites for seniors are back open in Rhode Island.

 

Brown University has moved up vaccination requirements – students, staff and faculty should be vaccinated by 7/1

 

New Hampshire is getting nearly $10.7 million in federal grants through the federal pandemic relief package signed into law this March to support efforts to combat substance use disorder and increase access to mental health services,

 

New Hampshire will cut off all pandemic-related federal unemployment programs in June but offer “summer stipends” totaling $10 million to encourage people to find jobs

 

Trinity Rep’s season will kick off with A Christmas Carol in November, an annual holiday tradition. Four additional plays will be performed in 2022: Tiny Beautiful Things, August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, Sueño and Fairview.

 

The Vets Auditorium will begin with full, in-person performances in November

 

400 people were hired Market Basket

 

Connecticut is offering a $1,000 signing bonus, Starting May 24, up to 10,000 people considered unemployed on a “long-term” basis will be able to sign up.

 

RISCA: Randall Rosenbaum, Executive Director of the RI Council on the Arts (RISCA), released the following statement on today’s announcement by Governor Dan McKee to lift  most COVID-19 restrictions tomorrow for those who have been fully vaccinated (5/21):  “After the most challenging year for the arts and culture community, today’s announcement means artists and cultural workers, who lost their livelihoods during the pandemic, can now return to playing their important role of enriching the lives of Rhode islanders. On behalf of the arts and culture community, we applaud and thank Governor McKee. We look forward to getting arts and culture organizations moving toward full capacity. “During the pandemic, our world class arts sector saw theaters, concert halls, museums, performances, fairs and festivals grind to a halt. The shuttering of venues, concert halls and performance spaces had an overwhelming impact on our community. According to the latest data from the RI Department of Labor and Training, the arts, entertainment, and recreation sector lost 4,800 jobs between February 2020 and April 2020. From April 2020 through April 2021, 1,800 jobs have been recovered, but the sector is still down 3,000 jobs from February 2020.” Rosenbaum added: “The U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis (BEA) reports that arts and cultural production accounts for $2.06 billion and 3.3 percent of the Rhode Island economy, contributing 18,215 jobs. *Arts and cultural ‘value added’ in Rhode Island ranks fourth behind, retail, construction and education services sectors.”

 

Governor McKee will host a bill-signing ceremony for legislation (H-6249AS-0858aa) that changes unemployment regulations to help get Rhode Islanders back to work while still allowing them to benefit from federal support today at 2pm at Angelo’s Pizza in Cumberland.

 

Gov. McKee press conference:

 

RI will go out to vaccinate for small groups – Newport Gulls, mosques, Dunkin’ Donuts, church groups, etc. RI is flexible – call us.

 

Mass vaccination centers – just walk up – no appointment necessary.

 

Health Director:

 

So much talk has been about what you can’t do – now we are talking all about what  you can do – IF – you are fully vaccinated.

 

Key for RI is what our RI data has shown us. What we have been doing has been working. Testing, treatment and now, vaccination.

 

Vaccines are proving to be so effective that even if you are crowded, indoors, you have the protection you need to be safe. This is a game changer. More than 90% effective in hospitalizations and even mild disease. Break through cases are less than 1%.

 

Vaccines are also proving to be effective against the variants – variants are now the primary type of coronavirus here in RI.

 

Now know that you are less likely to spread the virus to others if you are fully vaccinated.

 

Messages are shifting to personal responsibility.

 

If you are not fully vaccinated, now is the time. Variants are looking for susceptible people. If you are fully vaccinated, go out, enjoy the summer.

 

If NOT vaccinated, you need to wear your mask indoors and outdoors if you can’t keep at least 3 feet from others.

 

In RI, there are still places we must wear masks:

 

Healthcare settings – schools, childcare settings – nursing homes – home health workers in someone else’s home – public transportation – airports – homeless shelters and programs – prisons – correctional facilities – cities/states outside RI where required – businesses in RI that are requiring it. We want to help and support our businesses.

 

Don’t just ditch your mask. Keep it nearby. You don’t know when one will be required or you will feel more comfortable wearing one. If you get asked to put on a mask, be patient, be tolerant, or be respectful – know that a business may have a reason to ask you. Try to support each other. This is a time of adjustment.

 

If you aren’t comfortable at work or in a supermarket, that’s fine – wear the mask – everyone else should be respectful of each other’s decisions.

 

Tom McCarthy:

 

74,000 doses given out last week. Good rate of return for 2nd shot.

 

Vaccination records: best proof you have if the card you received – make a copy of it – take a photo for your phone, laminate it…

 

Portal.ri.gov/vaccinerecord – look up your record and print it out – problems, call 222-8022

 

Phase 3 of vaccination campaign – less reliant on large mass vaccination centers – some will be shutting down – move out into the community.

 

At ReopeningRI:

 

 

Governor’s Press Release: “The number of Rhode Islanders fully vaccinated and those with at least one dose – more than 400,000 Rhode Islanders – puts the Ocean State in a strong position to reopen safely on May 21, a week earlier than originally planned,” Governor McKee said. “We have a once-in-a-lifetime chance to reset Rhode Island and I trust that our business community and neighbors will respond respectfully and courteously as we navigate this next phase.”

 

The provided guidance is safer to adopt for fully vaccinated individuals. Establishments may (but are not required to) supplement these rules with their own rules regarding mask wearing, proof of vaccination, testing, and other mitigations. Signage guiding expectations around the following topics is recommended at establishments. As of Friday, May 21, the following adaptations, by sector, will be effective:

 

  • No physical distancing is required
  • Indoor Dining: No restrictions
  • Bar Areas: No restrictions. Indoor standing service allowed; no plexiglass required
  • Catered Events: No restrictions: 100% capacity with no cap; indoor and outdoor standing/bar service/cocktail hours; open dance floors
  • Houses of Worship: No restrictions
  • Retail: No restrictions
  • Gyms, Sports, Recreation: No restrictions
  • Personal Services: No restrictions
  • Venues of Assembly: No restrictions 
  • Funeral Homes: No restrictions
  • Offices: No restrictions
  • Social Gatherings: No restrictions
  • Pools: No restrictions
  • Casinos: No restrictions
  • Sports: Mask requirements remain in place for all youth sports, indoor and outdoor. The CDC has recommended this through the end of the school year because young people are not fully vaccinated yet. This policy will be reassessed on July 1st. Adult sports will have no restrictions and will follow CDC guidance.

 

In the following sectors that are considered “higher-risk,” CDC masking guidance for vaccinated individuals is especially important.

 

  • Live Vocal Performances: Status quo. Can move to no restrictions if vaccination proof is required. 
  • Nightclubs: Remain at 50% capacity. Can move to no restrictions if vaccination proof is required. 
  • Indoor Hookah: Status quo (not permitted). Permitted and can move to no capacity restrictions if vaccination proof is required.

 

There are three key sectors that are remaining status quo:

 

  • Healthcare settings
  • Congregate care settings
  • Youth and school-based events

 

Reiteration of Masking Recommendations
Who still has to wear a mask and practice social distancing?

 

  • People who are not fully vaccinated. This includes children from 2 to 12 years of age. Children younger than 12 cannot be vaccinated. 
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in healthcare settings. Examples of healthcare settings include doctors’ offices, home nursing facilities, hospitals, and nursing homes.
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people traveling on public transportation. No capacity restrictions. Other applicable state and federal rules remain in effect. 
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people in facilities that serve people experiencing homelessness, including residents and employees. 
  • In prisons and correctional facilities. 
  • Teachers, students, school administrators, and staff should continue to wear masks while in school and in school-based settings, even if they are fully vaccinated.
  • Both vaccinated and unvaccinated employees and customers of businesses that require masks.
  • In other states, cities, towns that have different masking rules that differ from Rhode Island’s rules.
  • Masking required for student catered events/strongly recommended for other catered events.

 

You can make an appointment at www.vaccinateRI.org or by calling 844-930-1779. Making an appointment is the way to guarantee that you will get a shot. You do not need appointments to get vaccinated at the sites at Sockanosset Cross Road (100 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston) and the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (1 La Salle Square, Providence). Vaccines are also available at pharmacies throughout Rhode Island.
 

For more information about the COVID-19 vaccine, visit: covid.ri.gov/vaccination. Businesses looking for more information regarding reopening can visit, reopeningri.com. Print signage resources, reopening guideline charts, and masking guidance are available on this site.
Business owners with specific questions can visit, dbr.ri.gov or call and leave a message on the COVID-19 Hotline at 401-889-5550. A staff member will get back to you as soon as possible.

 

Q&A:

 

Q: Vaccine passports?

A: Open issue because nightclubs are asking for them. But state is not requiring passports – multiple ways to show – the vaccine card, image of card, etc.

 

Q: Some RI businesses want to hire illegals – but companies can’t hire them – what’s the advice?

A: Some undocumented do pay into the system. We have to stay legal. If they don’t have social security # then they should follow the law. Call DBR.

 

Q: Graduations – should children be wearing masks for events?

A:  Inside vs. outside – they can set their own rules

 

Q:  Outdoor sports – why have kids continue to wear masks, especially when MA is not.

A:  Many children are not yet fully vaccinated. CDC guidelines are for fully vaccinated.

 

Q: Public housing buildings – can they prohibit visitors?

A: We’ll get more information about this.

 

Q: Executive orders have been extended?

A: For the moment, we will keep them in place.

 

Q: State House reopening? Municipal government?

A: Announcement about limited state house opening coming. Municipalities are doing it on their own schedule.

 

Q: Small business help – ?

A: Millions going out – more to come from federal government. Continue to work on this as a priority.

 

Q: Difficulty getting workers…

A: The economy is growing, getting workers back is developing, unemployment changes, etc. RI is leading in this effort for now.

 

Q: How are we vaccinating the homeless?

A: Partnering with organizations that serve this group.

 

Q: RI Latino Radio – will Lt. Gov. go on to speak to the Spanish speaking community

A: Yes, we will do that, if invited.

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

CDC principal deputy director Anne Schuchat is stepping down from her role to retire this summer, Politico first reported. Schuchat’s departure marks the second high-profile exit of a CDC official in recent weeks: Nancy Messonnier, who had led the agency’s Covid-19 pandemic response, also recently announced she was leaving. 

 

In Maryland, outdoor stages, family entertainment, local art, diverse food and beverages will return to downtown Sept. 10-12 for the 80th National Folk Festival

 

Employment data shows that women lost or left more than 1.5 million net health care jobs in April 2020 alone. That represented 12 percent of all jobs held by women in health care. About 6 percent, or 196,000, of the jobs held by men were lost that month. Even as jobs have begun to rebound, the recovery has been slower for women: They were still short 480,000 jobs as of this March, the most recent month for which data is available, compared with pre-pandemic levels. Men were short 28,000. 

 

But for workers organizing, the adjustments fail to meet the bigger ask: That jobs pay them enough to make rent and feed their kids, so that one job is enough. According to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, the living wage — how much individuals need to earn to meet minimum standards of living — in the United States is $16.54 per hour for a family of four composed of two working adults and two children.  Source: One Fair Wage: https://19thnews.org/2021/05/women-leading-restaurant-strikes-labor-shortage/

 

The MIAA on Tuesday morning announced it was dropping the mask requirement for outdoor spring sports

 

FDA allows Pfizer vaccines to be stored for up to one month at standard refrigeration temperatures. 

 

Texas moves to ban mask wearing, including in schools.

 

At Walmart, sales of teeth whitener are popping as customers take their masks off.

 

DISTRICT OF COLUMBIAWashington: The district will reopen its pools and splash parks May 29

 

Few senior retirement communities in Southwest Florida are requiring employees to get COVID-19 vaccines, citing concern that a mandate could lead to employee turnover

 

Macy’s says that special occasion dressing like prom dresses are on the upswing as well as luggage, men’s tailored clothing, and dressy sandals.

 

Nashville has lifted its mask mandate – its bars and restaurants are packed and they are predicting a huge summer busisness.

 

The first Americans to get COVID vaccinations could require a booster shot — for many, a third shot — as soon as September, the CEOs of Pfizer and Moderna.

 

Lipstick sales increase 80%

 

Jet Blue is flying out of New York again.

 

Southwest will be at 85% capacity next month.

 

The EU will begin allowing travel in 27 countries – being fully vaccinated will be required.

 

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) is launching a Behavioral Health Coordinating Council to address the mental health and substance use disorders that have increased during the pandemic.

 

New research is showing an over-counting of hospitalized children with COVID and they nay have had COVID but their primary cause of hospitalization was something other than the virus.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Providence City Council is officially calling for the superintendent of Providence Public Schools to resign.  Unemployment numbers decreased in Rhode Island last month.  Market Basket is opening its first grocery store in the Ocean State today.

>>Prov City Council Passes Resolution Calling For School Superintendent Resignation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence City Council passed a resolution on Thursday asking public school superintendent Harrison Peters to step down.  It's the latest resignation request for Peters following the revelation that he knew about accusations against a school administrator from a previous job before hiring him.  That administrator who has resigned, Olayinka Alege [[ OLE-ay-INK-uh uh-LEG-ay ]], is facing a charge of simple assault and battery for allegedly giving a boy an unwanted foot massage in a fitness center in Warwick.

>>Delivery Driver Reportedly Stabbed

(Providence, RI)  --  Authorities are investigating the stabbing of a pizza delivery driver in Providence.  WLNE-TV reports the incident happened at the Charlesgate North Apartments on Main Street at around 7:30 p.m. Thursday.  The delivery driver was reportedly hospitalized.

>>Unemployment Drops Further

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island says its unemployment rate decreased to six-point-three percent in April.  The rate in March was seven percent.  The rate in April of 2020 saw a historic increase due to the pandemic and was reported at seventeen-point-four percent.

>>Cranston Man Sentenced For Ghost Gun Possession

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island man is being sentenced to four years in state prison for possessing a ghost gun.  The state Attorney General's Office says the gun was one of several illegal items seized at the Cranston home of twenty-year-old Romeo Chet in February.  The arrest was part of an investigation of ghost-gun trafficking in the Providence area.  Chet was sentenced after pleading no contest to the possession charge earlier this month.

>>Opening Day For First Market Basket In RI

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Massachusetts-based grocery store chain well-familiar to Rhode Islanders is opening its first Ocean State location.  Friday is the first day for the Market Basket store on Bald Hill Road in Warwick.  A second M-B location in Rhode Island is not far-behind as a store on Hartford Avenue in Johnston is under construction.

>>Woonsocket Housing Authority Avoiding Large Federal Fund Repayment

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  The Woonsocket Housing Authority is learning that it does not have to re-pay millions of dollars in federal funding.  The Valley Breeze reports the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has made that determination a couple of years after a federal audit found the money was spent on ineligible or unsupported costs.  Instead of over three-and-a-half-million dollars, the Woonsocket agency will have to pay back a smaller amount of about twenty-one-thousand.  Its executive director tells the newspaper there was no misappropriation of funds, but blamed the issue on poor paperwork and failure to follow federal bidding guidelines.

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

05-21-2021 00:58:09

Independent South County Health (Hospital) System is expanding

so co
 

Independent South County Health (hospital) system expanding

 
May 20, 2021/RINewsToday

 

South County Health focused on future with facility, service line expansion

 

RI-based independent healthcare system has unveiled a series of projects as part of its Strategic Plan to make innovative technology and exceptional patient care more accessible.

 

A series of capital improvement projects are underway at South County Health, each designed to meet the diverse needs of a changing community and utilize the most advanced medical technology to provide exceptional patient care.

 

To provide the public with an opportunity to see the exciting new developments and their progress, an online construction timeline upgrades.southcountyhealth.org has been developed. 13 key projects are highlighted with photos and descriptions.

 

They include:

 

  1. Renovations of Operating Room 7 (completed)
  2. Endoscopy Suite (competed)
  3. Emergency Department
  4. Pre-Admission Testing
  5. Primary Care – in Narragansett (144 Woodruff Ave – in AAA & So. Co. Surgi Center shopping center)
  6. Cardiac Rehab and Wound Care
  7. Medical and Wellness Center – in Warwick (120 Centreville Rd, currently site of former Ortho Rhode Island)
  8. Center for Advanced Heart & Vascular Care
  9. West Entrance (Hospital) Renovation
  10. Center for Advanced Orthopedic Surgery
  11. Medical Office Building/Hospital Connector
  12. Hospital Main Entrance
  13. Extended Parking, Playground, Nature Trail and Respite Areas

 

The new playground will be built adding safe recreation for the community.

 

A new 5-mile nature trail will be built around the hospital and overlooking the Saugatucket River for community members and hospital employees to enjoy Respite areas and picnic tables will allow hospital staff, visitors, and community residents to enjoy the natural environment of the community.

 

 

The projects, scheduled through 2022, will result in strategic renovations and upgrades to South County Hospital and the adjacent Medical Office Building, as well as expansion of its medical practices and ancillary services into Narragansett and Warwick to facilitate patient access.

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The embattled Providence School District superintendent has lost the support of the school board.  Police are identifying the victims of a couple of fatal shootings in Southern New England.  The Boston Bruins have taken a lead in their first-round playoff series.

>>Providence School Board Votes No Confidence In Superintendent

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence School Board took a vote of no confidence against its superintendent on Wednesday.  Harrison Peters, who was hired after the state of Rhode Island took control of the school district in 2019, has faced criticism for hiring an administrator with a questionable history who now faces criminal charges.  Numerous officials are calling for Peters to resign, including Rhode Island Education Commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]].

>>Fatal Shooting Victims In Pawtucket, Fall River ID'd

(Undated)  --  Authorities are identifying the victims of fatal shootings in Pawtucket and Fall River.  Nineteen-year-old Tatyana Francois of Cranston was killed in the shooting that happened in Pawtucket on Sunday night.  The shooting in Fall River on Tuesday reportedly killed 14-year-old Miguel Sanjurjo and an adult, 29-year-old Jovaughn Antonio Mills.  They were both from Fall River.  Both shootings remain under investigation.

>>President Biden Gives Coast Guard Academy Commencement Speech

(New London, CT)  --  President Biden gave the commencement address at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut on Wednesday after Air Force One landed in Rhode Island.  Biden said the Coast Guard Class of 2021 is ready for whatever missions may come as the U.S. remains ready to deal with rapid changes that are happening in the world.  He noted growing and diverse threats, including climate change and more severe weather events, and said the Coast Guard's role is becoming more expansive and vital.

>>Child Marriage Ban Legislation Passes RI House Of Representatives

(Providence, RI)  --  A bill that would ban child marriages in Rhode Island has advanced in the General Assembly.  State Representative Julie Casimiro's bill, which sets the legal marrying age at 18, was passed by the House on Wednesday night.  Casimiro says Rhode Island would become the fifth state in the U.S. to issue such a ban.  She says there are a bunch of reasons why child marriages should be outlawed, including that they are sometimes used for sex-trafficking purposes.  The bill now heads to the Senate, which passed companion legislation earlier this month.

>>Bruins-Caps Go To OT Again, Boston Takes Series Lead

(Boston, MA)  --  The Boston Bruins and Washington Capitals have gone to overtime in each game so far in their first-round NHL playoff series.  The Bruins came out on top again Wednesday night, winning 3-to-2 in the second overtime of Game 3 of the series at T.D. Garden.  The B's lead the best-of-seven series two games to one.  Game 4 is tomorrow night.

>>South Kingstown Town Manager Stepping Down

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  The town manager of South Kingstown is planning to resign.  Robert Zarnetske [[ zar-NET-skee ]] says the last year has been an extremely-challenging one for the community and that, quote, "my efforts to serve as a unifying force have not been as successful as I had hoped".  Zarnetske pointed to the defeat of an 85-million-dollar school bond referendum in South Kingstown earlier this month and said it is emblematic of the challenges the town now faces.

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

05-20-2021 00:13:27

High School Fall Sports II wrap-up. An "interesting" season; crowning State Champion

High School Fall Sports II wrap-up. An “interesting” season; crowning State Champions – John Cardullo

 
May 19, 2021/John Cardullo

 

By John Cardullo, sportswriter

 

The Covid-19 Pandemic of 2020-21 took and shook all that we knew and forced us to relook and reinvent. It became quite evident in the Fall of 2020 when the virus was making a comeback. As the summer season witnessed a decline in cases of the virus, as warned by all the experts the fall and winter was going to be quite different and the alarms that were sounded were one of a second and third wave.

 

But in the world of sports, more specifically, the world of high school sports, the question was how are we going to deal with traditional high contact sports such as football and competitive cheerleading. Cheerleading as a contact sport? Yes, Cheerleading. Have you ever tried to socially distance while doing dance routines? Or building a human tower? Or lifting and throwing and catching a person in the air? Ask any cheerleader if their competitive sport is a high contact sport.

 

The Rhode Island Interscholastic League, which is the governing body of all school sports for the State of Rhode Island, was tasked to figure out when and if these sports were going to be allowed to compete this season. Their solution was to shift those sports to later in the school season, when the virus may be on the decline as the vaccines were going to be in full injection mode and the nicer weather was going to begin.

 

Tracking the virus last year, it was found that cases slowed down quite a bit as the weather turned warmer. The RIIL was going to proceed cautiously and making sure that a fall season could be played with the safety of the players, coaches, facility and staff as the number one priority. The RIIL put protocols in place for any situation that may arise. More importantly the chosen sport for the players were going be played and the student athletes were not going to miss a season.

 

The three sports that were going to play within a 5–6-week season from early April to mid-May were Football, Sideline Cheerleading and Volleyball. The season was determined to be shortened and was going to be strictly monitored because of the close contact each athlete would have with each other. Protocols included masks always being worn, with frequent hand sanitization. The shortened season would assure two things – the first that a competitive season would be played for these athletes with a champion being crowned and that the season being slightly altered would impede the spring sports season which was in place to being immediately after the champions were crowned. To say for those athletes who play sports in both seasons that it was going to be creative and interesting is to say the least.

 

Football completed their season with little problems with Covid, though a few programs had to be put on pause, but for the most part, the season went along without a hitch. The 5 Super Bowl Champions were crowned, the Bishop Hendricken Hawks beat the LaSalle Rams in the State Championship division, while the Knights of Central edged out a tough East Greenwich Avenger team 13-12 in a thriller.

 

In Division 2, Barrington topped St. Raphael’s for the title. The Division 3 crown fell to the Coventry Oakers who outlasted the Johnston Panthers, and in Division 4 Narragansett downed Ponaganset. Not only did these teams make it to the Super Bowls, but they also did it without any Covid issues, which is a testament to the players, coaches and staff involved with the teams.

 

In Girls Volleyball, the North Kingstown Skippers claimed the Division One crown by pushing back the Rebels of South Kingstown. In Division two the Wizards of West Warwick spiked Classical’s hopes in their run for the title. St. Raphael’s held off Rogers to take the Division 3 championship and Woonsocket took the Division four state championship from Providence County Day.

 

To wrap up the Fall II season the teams in competitive Sideline Cheerleading wrapped up their seasons as well. The Coventry Oakers took the title with the East Providence Townies placing in the runners up spot. In Division II the Eagles of Barrington held off the Patriots from Pilgrim. In Division III the West Warwick Wizards defended their state championship by topping Mount Hope and in division IV it was St. Raphael’s edging out Lincoln High School.

 

The school spring sports season is just about to begin, completing the difficult and creative scheduling that the 2020-21 school year brought us. The credit to become creative and patient of all involved goes to the determination of the RIIL, the athletic departments of all the participating schools and to all the coaches and event staff that made sure this season if anything but “normal” was going to be as “normal” as it could possibly be. It truly took a village to get high school sports to this point and all should be commended. Next up will be the spring sport season wrap-up as high school sports now race to the finish line.

 

_____

 
John Cardullo

 

John Cardullo, sportswriter

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A sex assault convict is facing new charges in Providence.  The president will be in Rhode Island this morning.  A minimum wage increase in the Ocean State awaits the governor's signature.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Convicted Rapist Released From Prison Arrested For Alleged Reoffending

(Providence, RI)  --  A man who spent two decades in prison for rape was released last year and is now facing new charges for the same offense in Providence.  Authorities allege Juan Carlos Martinez targeted undocumented women and put out ads for cleaning services to lure his victims.  Martinez, who was arrested on Monday, might be responsible for a half-dozen sexual assaults in the capital city, according to a Providence Police Department news conference on Tuesday.  He was arraigned in district court on three sexual assault counts and sent back to the Adult Correctional Institutions in Cranston.

>>Two Dead In Fall River Shooting

(Fall River, MA)  --  Gun violence is continuing to impact Southern New England this month.  Two people, including a 14-year-old boy, were killed in a shooting in Fall River, Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon.  No arrests have been made, but Fall River police have been actively investigating the shooting near a park which also injured a third victim.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>President Flying To RI Today To Speak At Coast Guard Commencement

(Undated)  --  President Biden is scheduled to land in Rhode Island today for a trip to the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in New London, Connecticut.  Biden is giving the commencement speech at the academy this afternoon.  Initial reports indicated the president was flying to T.F. Green Airport, but the info has since changed to Quonset Point Air National Guard Station in North Kingstown.

>>Strip Club Closed After Stabbing

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence strip club is closed after a stabbing.  The victim suffered the injury during a fight at the Cadillac Lounge on Monday night.  WJAR-TV reports the club on Charles Street was ordered closed for seventy-two hours and that the Providence Board of Licenses is meeting to discuss the matter today.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,703

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported two new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-703.  The state reported eighty-nine new virus cases yesterday to increase the pandemic total to 150-thousand-737.

>>URI, New England Tech Announce COVID Vaccine Requirements

(Undated)  --  More college students in Rhode Island are being told to get vaccinated for COVID-19 before the start of the upcoming fall semester.  The University of Rhode Island and the New England Institute of Technology are the latest to issue the requirements.  The schools say there will be religious and medical exemptions.

>>Minimum Wage Increase Going To Rhode Island Governor's Desk

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island General Assembly is approving a minimum wage increase.  The Ocean State's current minimum wage is eleven dollars and fifty cents.  Pending approval from Governor Dan McKee, it will increase to fifteen dollars an hour by 2025 with incremental bumps annually between now and then.  McKee signaled that he will sign the bill at a press briefing on Tuesday.

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

05-19-2021 00:43:07

Your Coronavirus Update

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Your Coronavirus Update – Today, May 18, 2021

 
May 18, 2021/RINewsToday

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Mask-on/Mask-off – Note: Mask regulations and recommendations are changing and inconsistent from venue to venue and state to state.

 

From Gov. McKee – We will align RI’s guidance with CDC’s effective today Tuesday, May 18th. This is an opportunity to get fully vaccinated NOW.

 

Massachusetts will lift all pandemic-related restrictions on May 29, moving up the full reopening date by two months 

 

There will be a vaccination clinic at Tolman High School today from 12 to 4:30pm for students.

 

Gov. McKee announced that this Thursday’s presser will be the last one held at The Vets and there will be no presser on May 27. They will be held at the State House starting June 3 and be held every other week.

 

Anyone going to the VA for services must wear a mask until further notice.

 

Two Kent Hospital doctors seek donations for India’s COVID-19 battle.

 

Dr. Jha and Dr. Ranney both say they will wear their masks longer, until a higher percentage of people have been vaccinated.

 

School students, staff should continue to wear masks until end of academic year.

 

Rhode Island reset to 100% capacity in offices, gyms, restaurants, businesses, etc. Memorial Day weekend lifting of business restrictions now will be lifted on Friday, May 21st. This includes all restrictions on businesses, sports, events, etc.

 

Gillette Stadium will be able to return to FULL CAPACITY as of August 1st

 

Fenway open at full capacity May 29th.

 

RI Nightclubs that require full vaccination of patrons can open to full occupancy on May 28,

 

Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have been allocated over $178 million in federal stimulus funds

 

Professional hockey – P-Bruins – will return to Rhode Island in October. 

 

The Crowne Plaza announced its $35M renovations and said that their employees have all returned to employment and they are now fully open.

 

Massachusetts communities organize weekend COVID-19 vaccination clinics for children ages 12 to 15 years old.

 

Data – May 17, 2021

Deaths: 1

Tests – 3,025 – Positives – 57 – Percent positive – 1.9%

Hospitalized – 78 – In ICU – 18 – Ventilated – 15

New Admissions – 2 – New Discharges – 5

Vaccinated – 612,140- Both shots – 510,133

—–

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

A day after she announced sweeping changes to federal mask guidance, Walensky cautioned that the pandemic may not be fully over for vaccinated Americans. ‘We’d be naive to think we’re completely out of this,’ she told McClatchy. ‘We need to remain vigilant. I’m hopeful that we’re completely out of it, but what we need to do is see where we are in the fall with our vaccination rates, with our case rates.’

 

Americans are expected to hit the road in force over the Memorial Day holiday weekend as more people are vaccinated and consumer confidence grows

 

COVID-19 rapid antibody testing now available near you at CVS Pharmacy.

 

The families of more than 65 million children in US will start receiving enhanced child tax credit monthly payments of up to $300 on July 15, the Biden administration announced Monday. The temporary benefit, which will be sent to 39 million households and covers 88% of children in the U.S., stems from the Democrats’ $1.9 trillion coronavirus rescue package. The vast majority of families will receive the funds via direct deposit, while the rest will get checks or debit cards in the mail. The Internal Revenue Service will send the payments on the 15th of the month, unless it falls on a holiday or weekend, through December. Eligible parents will receive $300 a month for each child under age 6 and $250 for each one ages 6 to 17.

 

Around-the-clock subway service is set to return Monday in the Big Apple, one of several major reopening steps for New York and the rest of the tri-state this week.

 

Delta Airlines will require all new hires to be vaccinated.

 

Yale has extended vaccination requirements beyond students to all faculty and staff.

 

Walmart, Costco to Stop Requiring Masks for Vaccinated Workers and Shoppers

 

Trader Joe’s, Disney World dropping mask requirements.

 

Ride-share, Uber and Lyft still require masks.

 

Defense Department lifts mask mandate for fully vaccinated personnel

 

British tourists can return to Portugal now, ending days of uncertainty over whether thousands of U.K. vacation bookings for Portuguese destinations would be allowed.

 

Greece launched its tourism season Friday amid a competitive scramble across the Mediterranean to lure vacationers emerging from lockdowns.

 

Anthony Fauci told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer that children who haven’t been vaccinated for COVID will need to wear masks in schools this fall “when they’re out there playing with their friends and … particularly in an indoor situation.”

 

In-N-Out is accused of failing to follow pandemic safety protocols.

 

Some of the biggest U.S. employers of entry-level workers are adding tens of thousands of new positions as the economy roars back from the coronavirus pandemic. Many are raising wages or adding perks to entice workers from other jobs or off the sidelines of the labor market.

 

New York City officials say they will soon begin internment plans for hundreds of bodies of people who died during the Covid-19 pandemic and have been stored for months—and in some cases a year—in freezer units in a temporary mortuary.

 

Govt wants to issue $5.4 billion in housing vouchers for low-income people at risk of homelessness because of the pandemic. That would cover 200K people.

 

The National Nurses United is a Washington, D.C.- based labor union representing nurses that is known for its far-left-of-center stances on various issues. NNU was founded in 2009 unifying three of the most active, progressive organizations in the U.S. The organization was founded in 2009 when several nurses’ unions merged. It is a member union of the AFL-CIO. “This newest CDC guidance is not based on science, does not protect public health, and threatens the lives of patients, nurses, and other frontline workers across the country,” said NNU Executive Director Bonnie Castillo, RN. “Now is not the time to relax protective measures, and we are outraged that the CDC has done just that while we are still in the midst of the deadliest pandemic in a century.” https://www.nationalnursesunited.org/press/nurses-condemns-cdc-rollback-of-covid-protection-guidance

 

An estimated 40% of evangelicals say they are hesitant to get vaccinated. Franklin Graham, of Samaritan’s Purse, said he’d be happy to work with President Biden to encourage evangelicals to get COVID vaccines. “I would work with the Biden administration. I would work with the CDC. I would work with all of ’em to try to help save life,” he said.

 

Dr. Fauci said, Unvaccinated kids must wear masks in school this fall

 

Nancy Pelosi says masks will still be required on House floor, despite CDC guidance. Pelosi’s spokesperson cited the lack of clarity about which House members and their staffs are fully vaccinated

 

Dr. Ashish Jha:

 

Wise to hold off on listing mask mandates until June 15th. You can go ahead and not wear masks if you are fully vaccinated. Outdoor mask mandates make sense – vaccinated or not. Much, much safer if vaccinated. It’s really about indoor settings – for the next few weeks. “I’m fully vaccinated – I still wear a mask when I go to the grocery store. I think it’s a good thing to do for a few more weeks. I certainly don’t wear one inside. Non-vaccinated can come over and we can sit in the backyard – but not inside.” Not a good idea for unvaccinated to mix with vaccinated. Testing has a value and some sort of testing regimine is important.

 

 

DR. Ranney on masks:

 
 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Wearing a mask will no-longer be required in most situations starting today for Rhode Islanders who are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19.  Officials met on Monday to discuss the gun violence that's impacting Greater Providence.  The U.S. Supreme Court rules on a Fourth Amendment case involving a man from Cranston.

>>Masks Not Needed In Most Circumstances For Fully-Vaccinated RI'ers

(Providence, RI)  --  Wearing a mask in Rhode Island is becoming more of an optional thing as of today.  The state is following guidance from the CDC which says getting fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 is your ticket to mask freedom.  Businesses can still require faces to be covered.  Rhode Island also says the following groups need to keep wearing masks: the unvaccinated, including children ages 2-to-12 who are not eligible to get the shot, all people in healthcare settings, public transportation, homeless shelters, and teachers and school staff.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,701

(Providence, RI)  --  One new coronavirus death was reported in Rhode Island from this past weekend.  The updated pandemic death toll from the state on Monday was two-thousand-701.  Rhode Island saw two-hundred-63 new virus cases over the weekend to increase the pandemic total to 150-thousand-648.

>>Officials Meet After Shootings In Providence And Pawtucket

(Providence, RI)  --  Stricter gun control is being called for by Rhode Island's congressional delegation following a rash of shootings in Providence and Pawtucket.  Senator Jack Reed proposed universal background checks and a crackdown on gun-trafficking at a meeting in Providence on Monday.  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza said the city is directing American Rescue Plan money to programs addressing gun violence including de-escalation training and summer jobs for teenagers.  There have been at least five shootings in the two cities since last Thursday, including three that were fatal.

>>Providence Superintendent Says He Was "Wrong" To Hired Troubled Administrator

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Public Schools Superintendent Harrison Peters testified in front of the Rhode Island Senate Oversight Committee on Monday about the hiring of a school administrator who is now facing charges.  Peters said he was wrong to have hired Olayinka Alege [[ OLE-ay-INK-uh uh-LEG-ay ]], who is accused of giving an underage boy an unwanted foot massage at a fitness center in Warwick.  Before this case, Alege was accused of performing corporal punishment known as "toe-popping" on several students in Florida.  Peters says he did talk to Alege about the behavior, which did not result in charges being filed, and decided to proceed with his hiring.  State Senator Jessica de la Cruz called on Peters to resign, but WPRI-TV reports a spokesperson said he has no intention of doing so.

>>Bruins Beat Capitals In Game 2

(Washington, DC)  --  The Boston Bruins have evened up their Stanley Cup Playoff series with the Washington Capitals.  Both games have gone to overtime.  The final in Game 2 at Capital One Arena on Monday night was 4-to-3.  The series shifts to Boston on Tuesday.

>>DEM Announces Fish Seizure

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management reported a fish-poaching case in South Kingstown on Monday.  The DEM acted on an anonymous tip of poachers keeping undersized tautog and counted 14 of them.  The seized fish were donated to the Amos House in Providence.

>>Supreme Court Rules In Cranston Man's Case

(Undated)  --  The ACLU of Rhode Island is celebrating a Fourth Amendment decision from the U.S. Supreme Court.  Edward Caniglia of Cranston had his lawfully-owned firearms seized without a warrant after police performed a wellbeing check in 2015.  Caniglia then had to fight to get them back.  The SCOTUS ruled on Monday that the quote-unquote "community caretaking" exception of the Fourth Amendment requirement to get a warrant was improperly applied in this case.  The ACLU says the decision was an important victory for privacy rights.

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

05-18-2021 00:20:03

When Resistance Overcomes Change

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When Resistance Overcomes Change – Mary T. O’Sullivan

 
May 17, 2021/Mary OSullivan

 

By Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL

 

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence; it is to act with yesterday’s logic” – Peter Drucker

 

We’ve all heard the old adage, “You can’t change anyone else; you can only change yourself.” So, we ask others to change, but have we, ourselves, internalized the change that we’re asking for?

 

This paradox harries the minds of counselors, coaches, government leaders and corporate executives. How to make change happen and embrace the change ourselves? When we force change on others, without integrating it ourselves, we act like hypocrites, and hypocrisy is the fast lane to resistance.

 

According to multiple studies and research programs, when leaders are viewed as credible examples of change, one way to move toward acceptance breaks down “old think” and removes the “blame” of resistance. Let’s take the COVID-19 vaccine, for instance.

 

The government wants everyone to receive the vaccine, so many government officials, celebrities, and other leaders publicly rolled up their sleeves and took their shots. Spike Lee has a commercial out right now aimed at his community, urging them to get vaccinated. With icons like these acting publicly for the welfare of the people, resistance to the vaccine has declined in many hesitant populations. In addition, more vaccine spots are becoming available, including mobile units.

 

For the sake of the public, leaders model the desired change behavior and vaccine resistance is dissipating. How exciting for us all in our quest to return to something resembling life in 2019!

 

And doesn’t it all lead right back to the idea of ditching “Command and Control” versions of authority, where we are told what to do, without explanation or understanding? We now know that resistance to change can be overcome when people have role models and buy in to the process of change. What more proof is there than the words of an anti-vaxxer after losing a loved one to COVID-19? These people are now truly vaccine reformers. When understanding toward the need for change comes from a reliable authority, like a victim’s loved one, resistance becomes a faint memory.

 

Resistance serves a purpose for people, it gives them a sense of power and authority, as if the resistor knows better than everyone else, based on whatever information (or misinformation) has been picked up from a number of different sources. It boils down to whom they choose to believe. Getting behind this need for “expertise” challenges scientists, medical people, and leaders at all levels. We can’t let a faulty mindset cause runaway havoc because we dismiss these people as “crazies” or “lunatics”. Again, it risks public safety and welfare. Disbelievers harm us all when they fail to heed proven science and act accordingly.

 

Here are some tips I’ve uncovered about how to deal with resistors in any area.

 

  1. A dose of reality: With modeling and repetition of the truth, resistant people can come to the conclusion that resistance is not to their advantage. Maybe they feel oppressed, rejected or have to deal with unreasonable personal demands. These are typical reasons for people to resist. What’s behind that need for power and authority is the question to be answered. (Wubbolding, 2012)
  2. A Two-Way Street: Maybe people are “stuck” because they don’t know how to act any other way. It goes back to a lack of trust in the system, dug in defensiveness and not feeling safe unless they exercise resistance. They want control. So, ask if they care about the well-being of others, and emphasize the power of positive impact on society as a whole. Allow them to think about those old values of taking care of your neighbor, as well as yourself. Help them know when they are safe, they are helping others be safe too. Ask them if they agree that conquering the virus is a goal everyone wants. The best approach creates empathy and helps realize what’s best for his friend next door with an elderly parent or how to keep a friend’s disabled child healthy. (Mitchell, 2012)
  3. Quick Tips for Dealing with Resistors: (Mitchell and Wubbolding, 2012)
  4. Don’t argue< >Don’t you be a “know it all”Take baby stepsEmpathize, but don’t sympathizeDon’t buy into their “victimhood”Appeal to emotion, not logic

 

In the words of the great Buddha, “Change is never painful, only the resistance to change is painful”.

 

Connect with Mary:

Mary T. O’Sullivan, MSOL

401-742-1965

mary@encoreexecutivecoaching.com

www.encoreexecutivecoaching.com

Get my book on Amazon

_____

 

 

 

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.

TO WORK: Ortho Rhode Island Career Fair

ortho ri
 

TO WORK: Ortho Rhode Island Career Fair – Great careers. Great care.

 
May 17, 2021/RINewsToday

 

An unusual Career Fair will be held on Wednesday of this week as Ortho Rhode Island tries to fill open positions at its brand new facility next to the Crowne Plaza in Warwick, and other locations.

 

The “Great Careers. Great Care” Career Fair will be held this Wednesday, May 19th from 9am to 5pm at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 801 Greenwich Avenue in Warwick – within sight of their new facility.

 

Their announcement:

 

“Ortho Rhode Island is looking for individuals to join our compassionate and innovative culture, who thrive in an energetic, fast-paced setting. A variety of skills and qualifications are applicable to the positions available.

 

We are hiring for more than 20 positions in our Warwick, Providence, Wakefield, and Westerly locations.

 

We are filling roles in our clinical staff, physical therapy team, imaging staff, durable medical equipment staff, patient support office, front office, and IT department.

 

Those interested can schedule interviews and submit applications in advance, and walk-ins are also welcome! The Career Fair will feature on-the-spot interviews and potential same-day offers. To learn more, schedule a Career Fair interview visit www.orthopedicsri.com/careerfair 

 

Ortho Rhode Island strives to be an employer of choice both in orthopedics and across Rhode Island. Our compassionate, innovative community offers growth opportunities and competitive wages in an energetic, fast-paced environment.”

 

Here are some of the positions Ortho Rhode Island will be looking to fill:

 

 

About Ortho Rhode Island

 

Ortho Rhode Island is an independent orthopedic practice with offices serving communities throughout Rhode Island. Our world-class doctors provide an unconditional commitment to patient satisfaction, evidence-based quality, cost-effective services, education, and innovative technology to support patients’ needs. We also offer outpatient procedures at the Ortho RI Surgery Center, immediate orthopedic injury care through our Ortho RI Express service, leading-edge treatments like Ortho RI Biologics, onsite physical and occupational therapy, and state-of-the-art MRI, ultrasound, and digital x-ray imaging.

 

Ortho Rhode Island strives to be an employer of choice both in orthopedics and across Rhode Island. Our compassionate, innovative community offers growth opportunities and competitive wages in an energetic, fast-paced environment.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is lifting mask-wearing restrictions based on federal guidance.  Two people are dead after weekend shootings in Providence and Pawtucket.  The Bruins and the Celtics are starting their playoff runs.

>>Masks Can Come Off For Fully-Vaccinated People In RI

(Providence, RI)  --  People who are fully-vaccinated against COVID-19 no-longer have to wear masks in Rhode Island starting Tuesday.  The Ocean State is going along with the advice that was released by the Biden administration last week.  You are considered fully-vaccinated two weeks after receiving a final dose.  The Providence Journal reports Governor Dan McKee's office has clarified that the mask order will remain in effect for schools after he initially said otherwise on Friday.

>>Report: Biden Flying Into Rhode Island For Speech In CT

(Warwick, RI)  --  President Biden is set to fly to Rhode Island this week en route to speaking at the commencement ceremony at the U.S. Coast Guard Academy in Connecticut.  WPRI-TV reports Air Force One is set to land at T.F. Green Airport on Wednesday and that the president is not expected to hold any events in Rhode Island.  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris visited the Ocean State a couple of weeks ago.

>>Two Dead In Providence And Pawtucket Shootings

(Undated)  --  Two more fatal shootings over the weekend in the cities of Providence and Pawtucket.  A 25-year-old man was reportedly found shot to death inside a vehicle parked in the capital city's Olneyville neighborhood on Friday night.  Providence police do not believe there is a connection to the mass shooting that injured nine on Thursday.  The victim of the Pawtucket shooting on Saturday afternoon was identified as 20-year-old Leonardo Tavares.  Authorities believe Tavares was targeted in a drive-by.

>>Arrest Made After Crash Causes Tanker Fire On I-95

(Providence, RI)  --  A gasoline tanker truck which was fortunately empty was still engulfed in a massive fire on Interstate 95 in Providence overnight Sunday.  This happened after the tanker was involved in a crash with a car.  There were no injuries.  WJAR-TV reports the driver of the car, Avery King of Pawtucket, was arrested by state police for DUI and driving without a license.

>>Average Gas Price In RI Remains Under Three Bucks

(Undated)  --  Gas prices have risen about twenty cents in Rhode Island in the last month, according to RIGasPrices.com.  The current average is two dollars, ninety-three cents per gallon.  The national average has risen above three dollars.  The recent surge in gas prices is linked to a cyberattack on the Colonial Pipeline, the largest pipeline in the U.S.

>>Bruins, Celtics In Playoffs

(Boston, MA)  --  Boston's NHL and NBA teams are both starting their playoff runs against Washington, DC teams.  The Bruins lost Game 1 of their first-round series to the Capitals on Saturday in DC, 3-to-2 in overtime.  Game 2 is tonight in Washington at 7:30.  The Celtics finished their regular season this weekend and host the Wizards on Tuesday night in the play-in round.

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

05-17-2021 00:11:28

Friday Fishing Tips

20210513_104056
 

Friday Fishing Tips – May 14, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
May 14, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

Well, Mother Nature is producing some decent springtime weather, finally, and the fish are responding in kind. 

 

Trout are active in a lot of places; only you need to work for them. However, it is worth the time. Years ago, trout of 10-11″ were average with a 14″ trout very rare and exceptional.  Hats off to the RIDEM Fish and Wildlife folks as they are doing a phenomenal job with their freshwater fisheries program, as in my opinion, Rhode Island fish dwarf the trout stocked by Massachusetts and Connecticut. As the last 4 have shown, the average size is 13″ to14″ with a 17″ to 18″ now the standard bar. Trophy-size trout are now commonplace, as well as the one my shipmate landed – this 19″ brownie on a bass rapala on Thursday. The limit of trout on the stringer pictured held nothing shorter than one 13″; everything else was 14-15″. Again, we have the RIDEM to thank for this great fishery.

  •  
 

 

Tip #1 – You will need to work for them but gold spoons/spinners are working very well for trout as of late. The upcoming sunny weekend mornings and early afternoons will help the flash of these lures. Also, don’t be focused on just trout lures. I had a pair of gentlemen from “A BETTER 401 FISHING” mention they caught trout on bass lures. I agree with that statement. Don’t at all hesitate to use a 4″ Rapala, or 3″ Yo Zuri or 3″ Cotten Cordell crank baits as well for trout. You will catch bass at the same time.

 

This writer has caught brook trout in Maine on Yo Zuri Green 3″ crank baits. Try some odd bass lures to coax the trout. Thinking outside the box brings great success! FYI, the 17″ Rainbow trout my shipment caught had a 6″ pumpkin rubber worm in its stomach. 

 

Tip #2 – As this article was written on Thursday, the CDC eliminated the mask mandate indoors and outdoors for vaccinated people. All of us have been through hell the last year. Take some time to really enjoy the outdoors this weekend as Saturday and Sunday mornings into early afternoon are going to be great weather. Chance of showers late afternoon both days.

 

Here is to tight lines and the fish biting so well you need to bait your hook behind a tree.

 

_____

 

 

 

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, May 14, 2021

 
May 14, 2021/RINewsToday

 

We’ll be decreasing our frequent “Your Coronavirus Updates” to once a week, the day after the Governor’s press conference.

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

No official response to the CDC recommendation to eliminate mask wearing among all those fully vaccinated, indoors and outdoors. Several local businesses are being cautious and maintaining mask wearing for now.

 

RI marked its 1 millionth vaccine and the 100,000 vaccine given at the Dunk this week.

 

Rhythm & Roots Festival will be held this Labor Day weekend.

 

In Connecticut, no masks after May 19th. Business restrictions will also end.

 

Trinity Repertory Company’s stage in November. The theater group announced Wednesday that five performances, including two new shows this fall.

 

Hartford nursing home workers continue to struggle with severe staffing shortages, a lack of protective equipment and low pay amid the pandemic – the Gov. of CT has said he would call out the National Guard if necessary.

 

Maine is offering free fishing licenses, baseball tickets and L.L. Bean gift cards to encourage more residents to get vaccinated before the end of May.

 

71% of adult Connecticut residents have received at least one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine.

 

The Red Sox, Celtics and Bruins can now welcome more fans. Indoor and outdoor stadiums, arenas and ballparks, which had been limited to 12% capacity, are allowed to increase capacity to 25%.

 

The restaurant at the Venus de Milo will reopen on Memorial Day weekend, and the banquet facilities will reopen later this year.

 

Fresco On The Hill returns to Providence’s Federal Hill beginning Friday, May 14.

 

A recent COVID-19 outbreak at the Sullivan County, New Hampshire nursing home has led some officials to consider compensation changes and mandatory vaccinations for staff. The outbreak, which started last month, has affected staff and residents, including some who were fully vaccinated.

 

A new vaccination hub of data has been created by the RIDOH. The CDC has made data available to states on the doses administered to their residents elsewhere, meaning that Rhode Island has received data about doses of COVID-19 vaccine administered to Rhode Islanders in other states. The federal government has also provided us with data on doses administered at federal facilities in Rhode Island, such as the VA. 33,000 doses to people who either work in Rhode Island or go to school in Rhode Island, but reside in another state. Access detailed data, here: https://ri-department-of-health-covid-19-vaccine-data-rihealth.hub.arcgis.com/

 

RI has identified its first case of the Indian coronavirus variant B.1.61 in the state.

 

Johnson and Wales University will require students to get a COVID-19 vaccine to return to campus in the fall.

 

RI Comic Con is set for Nov. 5-7 at Dunkin’ Donuts Center & RI Convention Center

 

In New Hampshire, state officials expect spending on summer tourism to rebound to near 2019 levels after visitation dropped 15% last summer amid the pandemic.

 

Vernon, Vermont is planning to hold its annual town meeting outdoors. In addition to masking and social distancing, participants will answer health-related questions upon checking in May 23.

 

The Newport Folk Festival will take place this year across two main stages at Fort Adams and will be configured as two, three-day events set for July 23-25 and July 26-28. This is being done because there will be a 50% reduction in capacity due to health safety concerns caused by the COVID pandemic. 

 

Mayor Grebien announced that City Hall will be opening to the public Monday through Thursday without the need to schedule an appointment for any department starting on May 17th. 

 

Calamari Festival is on – September 11th, 2021

 

Fall River has finally emerged from the COVID red zone.

 

Almost all Senior Centers are expected to open in the next 2 weeks for congregant meals. More details on what will be required to resume in-person participation coming, most likely that you will be required to show proof of receiving your COVID-19 shots and may be required to wear a mask.

 

The Providence Center’s Anchor Recovery Community Center held a vaccination clinic.  Organizers are hoping that the event will draw people who are in recovery from substance or alcohol abuse

 

All seven mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in the state of Massachusetts are now offering walk-in vaccinations

 

The annual RI Chinese Dragon Boat Races & Taiwan Day Festival in Pawtucket is being postponed for the second year because of COVID concerns, the organizers have announced.

 

Women and minorities can apply for the first 3 weeks of the Restaurant Relief Fund – before non-minority/male applicants can submit, if funds are available.

 

PPAC has announced that every employee – full time and part time – will be fully vaccinated when they open in the fall.

 

Masks are no longer mandatory at the New Hampshire State House, which remains closed to everyone but lawmakers and staff,

 

In Portland, Maine, the number of COVID-19 patients in hospital intensive care units has reached alarming levels despite progress vaccinating residents.

 

Data: Thursday, May 13th (past data for the week will reside on our Facebook page daily)

 

Governor’s Update – May 13, 2021:

 

RI administered its 1 millionth COVID vaccine dose.

 

Visits made to Scituate HS, we’ll be at the Dunk for the 100,000th shot recognition, teaming up for a Dunkin’ Donuts promotion later in May.

 

Hospitalizations are down. 12-15 year olds now eligible and appointments being made. Parental consent required for this age group. VaccinateRI.org

 

Out of state sports tournaments – safely reopening starting Monday

 

No long residency requirement to get vaccinated in RI. Those vactioning or visiting here can be vaccinated as of Monday.

 

MA and CT residents can get vaccinated here.

 

RI DEM looking for lifeguards and seasonal employees – great summer jobs. HS & college students – RIParks.com/employment

 

Beach passes – we expect to be at 100% parking capacity – RIParks.com/beach-pass

 

Governor’s Press Conference – 5-13-2021

 

Unemployment issue – We are not going to remove the $300 extra benefit. $20Million/week coming into Rhode Island. We will have a state plan to encourage people to go back to work – our plan will maximize family income – the $300 a week is being spent on bills, expenses in Rhode Island. Imagine 50,000 people out of work with no extra benefits – all to put 10,000 back to work – that would be irresponsible. Need to make sure our small biz are fully staffed. To stay on unemployment you have to show you are looking for work.

 

Nightclub owners – they can make vaccination a criteria to attend. 100% open. If not, 50% open.

 

RI 2030 community conversation tonight at 7pm on Facebook – Housing – what does RI look like by 2030 in regards to housing?

 

2nd to last COVID19 press conference at VETS – going back to the state house. No event next week – one more and then back.

 

Dr. Alexander-Scott:

 

Weekly positive 1.5% – very stable place – not by accident – based on vaccinations and testing and treatment

 

Summer Camps – Owners need to register their summer programs at: reopeningRI.com.

 

Matthew Weldon – RIDLT

 

Requirement to seek work while unemployed was suspended. Now, it’s safe to go back. On May 23rd, we will need to look for work again. Claimants will have to apply for 3 jobs each week or look for new training, attend virtual career fairs, and most importantly keep a record of what they are doing. Do not provide that info to DLT – you will have to provide it if we audit claims to make sure people are looking for work. Federal programs may end Sept. 4th – if you don’t have jobs by then you won’t have benefits.  Same for gig economy workers. If you own your own businesses, they should apply at worksearch as if it’s work development – customer base, etc. If you can’t provide documentation you must prove what you are doing.   You can now earn up to 150% and can keep 50% of benefit rate.

 

Operations:

 

We are calling those 75+ and have already vaccinated 95 Rhode Islanders.

 

Schools – we’re working with all districts to make sure vaccination events occur. 59 clinics for those 16+ were held – now we have more clinics planned. Still doing no appt times at Dunk, Sockanosset or other sites. National Guard shout-out for working so hard and with such grace to people.

 

Other sites – employee groups, recovery programs, airport, etc.

 

Dr. Holland:

 

12-15 year olds: Reviewed how study was done and why she is recommending it to others. She discussed long term complications of the virus and the mental health concerns of children in isolation.

 

Dr. Ohnmact – pediatrician:

 

One of the most important things I do is vaccinate. We now have vaccines available and it’s a lifesaving thing. Most young pediatricians won’t see children die like he did at the beginning of his career. Dr. O was an original Moderna vaccine volunteer – he has “sky-high” antibodies. Side-effects of vaccines in adolescents are very minimal – swollen arm, pain in arm, that’s about it. Very safe vaccines. Hopefully we can vaccinate younger children soon.

 

Q/A:

 

Q: CDC will ease restrictions on indoor masks for vaccinated – also eliminate it outdoors.

 

A: Just coming across our notifications.

 

Q:  Nightclub – will people have to show a vaccination card?

 

A:  Still determining this.

 

Q: Commitment classrooms be fully open in Sept?

 

A: Yes, our kids are highest priority.

 

Q:  Lots of independent contractors, etc. – how should they report job hunting?

 

A:  Gig workers – should be engaging with platforms they did before. Ride-sharing should re-engage. They should be engaging in traditional job growth activities. Applying for grants, etc.

 

Q:  Are 12-15 year old parents eager to get their kids vaccinated?

 

A:  They do like reassurance that this is a good idea.

 

Q:  Experience rating for low utilization of unemployment fund by employers – and tax increase rate – should they be hit with increases?

 

A:   75% is funded by federal government – we have not borrowed. Not charged to employers yet. Up about $70 per employee for every employer. Looking into it.

 

Q:  How many inspectors with RIDLT employ to look into this?

 

A:  Adjudicators – staffing was doubled and then doubled again – we will shift resources.

 

Q:  Will state house be open to the public in 2 weeks?

 

A:  Decision has not been made yet.

 

Q:  Ohio governor is offering 1 million lottery prizes for vaccination – what about RI?

 

A:  We don’t have a million dollars. We’re having success with what we’re doing now. Thank people now for stepping up. We have food and use our creativity as best we can.

 

Q:  Is RI asking for less vaccine yet?

 

A:  Not at that point yet. Supply has met demand. We have additional flexibility now. We can do small clinics now.

 

Q:  Is more vaccine supply sitting on the shelves now?

 

A:  Yes, it’s stored properly – good for months – no expiration concerns

 

Today’s Data – May 13, 2021

Deaths: 2 – Tests – 11,896 – Positives – 149 – Percent positive – 1.3%

Hospitalized – 96 – In ICU – 22 – Ventilated – 15

New Admissions – 11 – New Discharges – 16 – Vaccinated – 599,609 – Both shots – 478,884

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

CDC is easing mask wearing – anyone vaccinated no longer need to wear their mask in or outdoors and no need for social distancing.

 

Dr. Jha said: “This is real,” Jha tweeted. “And its correct[.] And its good[.] The science on this is pretty clear. Vaccinated people rarely get sick and don’t do much transmitting.” Dr. Jha tweeted: “Since we don’t know who is vaccinated and who isn’t, reasonable to keep indoor mask mandates for a few more weeks,” Jha tweeted. “Allows people to finish getting vaccinated[.] And infection numbers to drop further[.] Agree that vaccinated folks are safe. Policy response should follow in weeks ahead.”

 

Dr. Eleanor J. Murray, Boston Univ: “Feel like I have whiplash from how quickly certain people switched from pushing hard for official recognition of airborne covid to pushing hard for removal of mask mandates…Like, can we please take a breath & make sure our indoor workplace safety regulations are up to standard in light of covid? Because they are not.”

 

99% of hospital admissions for Covid-19 were among people who were not fully vaccinated, preliminary data from Cleveland Clinic shows.

 

Demand is falling as the country is at about 58% vaccinated. We need to move to 78% to avoid any more surges.

 

Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas, Iowa, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, North Dakota and South Carolina will pull out of the national unemployment program.

 

More than 300,000 people have signed a petition calling for the Tokyo Olympics, set to begin in late July, to be canceled. Among concerns: Only 1% of the country’s 126 million people have been fully vaccinated. Officials blame a lack of supplies imported from Europe, but staff shortages have been a problem. About 7.6 million doses, or more than half of the doses delivered, remain unused in freezers.

 

The New Mexico Republican Party is moving its three-day convention this weekend to Amarillo, Texas, citing concerns over New Mexico’s restrictions.

 

Pfizer is moving forward with full approval which will allow it to market direct to physicians.

 

People who have not received a COVID-19 vaccine will be seated separately from those who have in two major baseball stadiums in New York, officials announced this week. The segregation will be enforced at Fans at Citi Field and Yankee Stadium, home to Major League Baseball’s New York Mets and New York Yankees.

 

Raimondo said her team was “monitoring” whether the extra unemployment relief was negatively affecting the job market, but at this point, “there’s nothing in the data which would suggest that that’s the reason people are out of work.”

 

Vaccine hesitancy: Recently, a national poll found that nearly half of men who identified as Republican were hesitant to get COVID vaccines. This may be even more pronounced in rural areas.   And in polls of Black communities, 45 percent of Black men have expressed that they want to “wait and see” before they get the vaccine.   Meanwhile, recent data suggest that vaccine hesitancy in the military, which is predominantly male, is quite high, with as much as 40 percent refusing vaccination in some military branches. (https://www.kevinmd.com/blog/2021/05/the-disparity-no-one-talks-about-covid-vaccines-and-men.html)

 

Chipolte increases pay to average $15 an hour to attract workers.

 

Uber and Lyft will provide free rides to vaccination sites from May 24 until July 4.

 

COVID-19 vaccine appointments now available for adolescents ages 12 to 15 at select CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide 

 

Canadians fly south for shot as U.S. demand falls

 

Moderna lifts COVID-19 vaccine sales forecast to $19.2 billion

 

First 50 freezers for COVID-19 vaccines arrive in Venezuela

 

The Atlanta Braves gave COVID-19 vaccinations at their stadium this weekend – they are also at nearly 100%  capacity at their games.

 

Transplant patients who take immune-suppressant medications to prohibit organ rejection showed a less than optimal antibody reaction from the first vaccine, with nearly ½ not showing the desired reaction after the second vaccine. Doctors are recommending vaccination anyway, while researchers work on a better solution for transplant patients taking rejection medications.

 

COVID-19 vaccines in primary care could reduce hesitancy

 

COVID has reached Everest base camp.

 

71 bodies have been recovered that were floating on the Ganges River in India

 

Schools open for 1 day in San Francisco so they can qualify for $12M of state funding

 

The Secret Service has confiscated and returned to states about $2 billion in stolen Covid unemployment relief funds.

 

Offering vaccines going forward at primary care practices could help to reduce hesitancy.

 

A study of more than 78,000 hospitalized COVID patients in Great Britain found that use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) such as ibuprofen was not associated with higher mortality or increased disease severity.

 

Flu: A year full of social distancing, mask wearing, hand washing and staying at home to prevent coronavirus spread rendered the 2020-2021 influenza season practically nonexistent.

 

Dr. Susannah Hills speaking on CBSN on kids getting vaccinated: “I think this is a fantastic idea. I don’t want to have to put another surgical breathing tube in another child with this disease … This is a really important, meaningful step forward in getting everybody back … to normal life”.

 

Demand for vacation home purchases and rentals soar, even as people plan to return to offices and work.

 

A COVID-19 vaccination center has been set up on the periphery of Romania’s Bran Castle, which is purported to be the inspiration behind Dracula’s home in Bram Stoker’s 19th-century gothic novel “Dracula.”.

 

Only 1 in 10 new truck driver jobs are being filled.

 

State University of New York and the City University of New York will require Covid-19 vaccinations for students returning this fall.

 

Anyone who gets a shot at one of six NY subway stations from Wednesday through Sunday will receive a free seven-day MetroCard,

 

The Long Island Railroad and Metro-North are also offering vaccines at stations in Ossining and Hempstead, in exchange for two free one-way trips.

 

The number of variant cases of the coronavirus is rising in Southwest Florida, heightening concern among some medical officials about a summer spike.

 

America’s commercial casinos matched their best quarter ever in the first three months of this year, as customers continued returning amid the COVID-19 pandemic and internet and sports betting money helped boost revenue numbers.

 

A webinar will be held to address FAQs about COVID-19 Vaccines for people with disabilities.  It will be held on Wed, May 26th, 3-4pm – more info, here: Registration Link [eventbrite.com]

 
 

 

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A mass shooting in Providence left nine people injured last night.  Rhode Island is considering how to handle the new recommendation on face coverings from the federal government.  Unemployment recipients in the Ocean State will have to start showing that they are looking for work again starting later this month.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Nine Victims In Providence Mass Shooting

(Providence, RI)  --  The chief of police in Providence says a mass shooting in the capital city on Thursday night may have been the largest in its history.  Police say there was a drive-by gunfight in the Washington Park section at around 7 p.m. which injured nine people, including several who were seriously injured.  Police chief Hugh Clements said the shooting was not random and it involved two feuding groups.  No arrests have been made.  The Providence PD plans to release more details on Friday.

>>Rhode Island Officials Pondering New CDC Mask Guidance

(Providence, RI)  --  The CDC now says people who are fully-vaccinated from COVID-19 do not need to wear masks indoors or outdoors in most situations.  State officials in Rhode Island are expected to make recommendations to Governor Dan McKee, according to a report from WPRI-TV.  Nearly half-a-million people are fully vaccinated in the Ocean State.

>>Job Search Requirement Being Reinstated For RI Unemployment Recipients

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training says unemployment recipients must start searching for work again as of May 23rd.  The work search requirement was temporarily waived at the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic when economic sectors were ordered to shut down.  The White House issued new guidance encouraging states to reinstate the requirement this week.

>>New Charter Schools Approved In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Three new charter schools in Providence were approved this week by the Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education.  They are Excel Academy, Nuestro Mundo Public Charter School and Providence Preparatory Charter School.  Nuestro Mundo and Providence Prep plan to open next school year, while Excel will open in the 2022-23 school year.  Each program was granted a five-year operating term.

>>Cranston Native Fired From New York Rangers Head Coaching Job

(New York, NY)  --  A Cranston native has been fired from his head-coaching job in the National Hockey League.  David Quinn was let go this week by the New York Rangers after three seasons and just one playoff appearance.  Quinn was the head coach of the Boston University men's hockey team for five years before going to the NHL.  His B-U team lost to Providence in the NCAA championship game in 2015.

>>Maria's Portuguese Table To Air Nationally On PBS

(Providence, RI)  --  A local public television program is being picked up for national distribution on PBS.  Maria's Portuguese Table will be made available on every PBS station starting next month.  The culinary and cultural show is presented by WSBE-TV in Providence.

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

05-14-2021 00:22:09

A story of the times...2021, real estate market pandomonium

A story of the times… 2021, real estate market pandemonium – Emilio DiSpirito

 
May 13, 2021/Emilio DiSpirito

 

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

 

It’s easy to get caught up in the latest trends of music, clothing, cars and pop culture in general. America, for decades now has largely been influenced by mass media that pushes the appeal of “what everyone else is doing” or, “keeping up the with Jones’”, now dubbed “keeping up with the Kardashian’s” approach to living life… We always want more. In ways it’s a gift because it keeps us on our toes, keeps us working hard and producing, while in other ways, it’s a “peace-taker” or “anxiety-causing” curse!

 

So, what does this have to do with real estate in 2021? Read on, to understand why I believe we need to memorialize this moment in time for the home buyers, sellers and general public.

 

According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there are approximately 119.7 million occupied housing units in the United States. On any given year there are about 5 million homes sold. Lawrence Yun, Chief economist of NAR explained in late April, “sales should rise to 6.2 million homes sold” for 2021. “With mortgage rates still very close to record lows and a solid job recovery underway, demand will likely remain high.”

 

Yun goes on to say, “low inventory has been a constant problem, but more inventory will show up as new home construction intensifies in the coming months, as well as from a steady wind-down of the mortgage forbearance program.” America should see a median price increase of approximately 9% across the board this year and will fall short of roughly 4 million homes for the demand of current buyers.

 

Rhode Island is not much different from the rest of the country, with roughly 640 single family homes on the market now available, nearly 2,000 pending home sales, fewer than 1 month’s supply of inventory and prices skyrocketing in many markets, 15%+, year over year!! Typically, we can see between 4,000 to 5,000 single family homes on the market and a modest appreciation of 3.5% per year, here in Rhode Island.

 

Given the lack of supply, high demand due to affordability with low, fixed mortgage rates, Millennials and Baby Boomers making massive moves, the supply shortage does not look like it will stop anytime soon. Buyers here in Rhode Island and across the country are in position as prices range from $200,000 to $5 million, where they are going against multiple bidders, having to offer unusually aggressive terms such as waiving home inspection and appraisal contingencies! Waiving such contingencies, while almost a necessity in most cases, leaves buyers holding all the risk currently and further down the road. This may cause financial hardship and problems for homeowners with unexpected maintenance issues.

 

My concern for homeowners is that unexpected problems may arise in a home due to increase in buyers waiving home inspections. This will intensify the risk for insurance companies with a larger number of claim payouts, which will overall cause a surge in pricing across the board for insurance premiums, for us homeowners. When you mix the potential escalating cost of insurance with the high cost of property taxes, you have borrowers who purchased at their max, overleveraging what they can actually afford in the future. Keep in mind that with taxes, the assessed values that cities and towns place on homes, lag the market and continue to creep up over the coming years. Even if prices take a decline down the road. Now, how about inflation, the cost of heating fuel and many other variables and expenses homeowners will be hit with?

 

Years from now, homeowners who have overleveraged themselves may be in trouble. While we do not anticipate a housing crash in the coming future, we do anticipate an increase of foreclosures which will overall slowdown or stall the appreciation of pricing.

 

We are encouraging buyers to stay within their means, or to even drop down a price range, look at more modest housing, where they can be more competitive with much less risk.

 

 

_____

 

 

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

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Providence school administrator facing charges for an incident at a fitness center has reportedly resigned.  One-million COVID-19 vaccines have been administered in the Ocean State.  The Patriots' 2021 schedule is out.

>>Charged Providence School Official Resigns

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence School District administrator who is facing criminal charges has resigned, according to multiple media reports.  Olayinka Alege [[ OLE-ay-INK-uh uh-LEG-ay ]] is accused of giving an unwanted foot massage to an underage male at a gym in Warwick last month.  Alege was previously accused of "toe-popping" students as a form of punishment at a school job he held in Florida.  Alege is due for court arraignment on a misdemeanor charge of simple assault and battery in Warwick District Court today.

>>Arrest Made Following Times Square Shooting Which Injured Rhode Islander

(Undated)  --  An arrest has been made in connection to the weekend shooting in Times Square New York which injured several, including a Rhode Island woman.  Farrakhan Muhammad was picked up in Florida.  Authorities believe Muhammad was trying to shoot his brother after an argument, but instead shot innocent bystanders.  One of the victims was a North Scituate resident, Wendy Magrinat [[ MAG-rin-NAT ]], who was visiting New York with her family and was shot in the leg.

>>RI Reaches A Million Vaccines, CVS Ready To Vaccinate Juveniles

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island reached a COVID-19 vaccination milestone on Tuesday when the one-millionth dose was administered.  Children as young as twelve in the Ocean State are now starting to get their shots.  Rhode Island-based CVS plans to start administering the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine to younger teens as soon as today.

>>Patriots 2021 Schedule Released

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots 2021 regular season schedule has been released.  The Pats open the season at home against the Miami Dolphins on the afternoon of September 12th.  Tom Brady will play his first game at Gillette Stadium since leaving the team when the Tampa Bay Buccaneers visit Sunday October 3rd.  That will be a primetime game.

>>Cranston Man Pleads Guilty To Leading Interstate Theft Scheme

(Providence, RI)  --  A Rhode Island man is pleading guilty to federal charges stemming from an interstate theft scheme.  The Justice Department says Jose Montes of Cranston was the leader of a conspiracy to steal heavy construction equipment, sport boats, ATVs and other items valued at seven-hundred-thousand dollars in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire.  Montes is scheduled to be sentenced in August.

>>RI House Passes Bill Letting People Work And Collect Unemployment

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House of Representatives is passing a bill that would allow people to continue earning unemployment when they go back to work.  Representative Carol Hagan McEntee says she introduced the bill because she has been told that restaurants, hospitality and other small businesses cannot find enough workers who are willing to get off of unemployment.  The bill now goes to the Senate, which has already passed companion legislation.

>>Commuter Rail Station Expected To Be Ready In 2022

(Central Falls, RI)  --  The Pawtucket-Central Falls MBTA commuter rail station is expected to open next year.  Governor Dan McKee said that publicly on Tuesday as he joined other officials at the site to recognize national United for Infrastructure Week.  An additional funding boost of nearly one-million dollars for the project was announced by the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank.

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Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 
05-13-2021 00:14:38

OopSox chill at Polar Park

OopSox chill at Polar Park

 
May 12, 2021/David Brussat

 

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

 

Photo: Retro stadium proposed for PawSox in Providence shortly after team was sold. (bostonglobe.com)

 

By the time this has posted, the WooSox, as the former PawSox Triple-A Boston Red Sox franchise is called, will have played their home opener at the new Polar Park, in Worcester, Mass. Rhode Island baseball fans are of two minds about the team’s absquatulation from Pawtucket: 1) they hate it, or 2) they really hate it. Most non-fans don’t much care. I had some pleasant outings at McCoy after I learned how to find it. Still, in this whole sad train of events, it was the lost opportunity for Providence that irks me the most.

 

(Absquatulation is a comical Latinate synonym for departure, with a hint of leaving with its tail between its legs.)

 

To recapitulate events that might have fled the memory of some readers, longtime team owner Ben Mondor died in 2010. His widow sold the team in 2015. Its new owners soon announced the team would move into a retro stadium to be built on the new Providence waterfront. Alas, the deal fell through. The new owners, disinclined to remain in Pawtucket, then played “let’s make a deal” with several Massachusetts cities. To counter this auction tactic, Pawtucket proposed, along with the state of Rhode Island, a new riverfront stadium next to its downtown. In 2017, the General Assembly approved a deal that shifted more of the financial burden from the state to the team. The team rejected that deal. At last, in 2018, Worcester pitched the best woo, with an assist from Massachusetts. Polar Park was built and the WooSox held their home opener today against the Syracuse Mets. (The WooSox won 8-5 in a game with six home runs.)

 

Rhode Island will survive the loss of professional baseball. Pawtucket is the big loser, but Providence could have won big-time if the stadium had been built on the vacated Route 195 land where the west end of its new pedestrian bridge terminates in one of the many public parks along the city’s new riverfront.

 

It seems to me that the long knives were unsheathed for this proposal from the start. The owners’ initial proposal was treated not as an opening gambit to be negotiated toward parity but as a non-negotiable deal killer by owners intending, for some obscure reason, to fail. When the proposal was twisted by the media as wealthy team owners eager to turn a public park into private profit, the city and Brown University withdrew their support, never mind that the waterfront was festooned with parks. This led to the swift demise of what could have been a bonanza for the city, the state, and their citizens.

 

My own personal stake in this deal was the hope that the classic beauty of an old-fashioned ballfield might cause the recently created innovation district to shift its architectural strategy from one of stark, raving modernism to a more people-friendly set of traditional styles – similar to the classical trend in Capital Center that was aborted by the GTECH building. That was my excuse for supporting the sin of a publicly funded sports venue. Whether it would have worked I have no idea; as things stand now, it didn’t take long for modernism to stifle all hope of a humanistic innovation district on the edge of downtown.

 

Polar Park, named for a soft-drink manufacturer in Worcester, is a great name for the new stadium, but not because the naming rights belong to Polar Beverages Inc. Yes, Worcester is cold in winter, but baseball is a summer game. No, Polar Park is apropos because it evokes the ballpark’s ice-cold architecture. Look at it. Warm it ain’t. A chill for WooSox fans is, however, cold comfort for baseball fans in Rhode Island, 49 miles’ drive from McCoy in the Bucket.

 
 
New Polar Park stadium for WooSox in Worcester, Mass. (William Morgan)

 

Brrr! … But wait! Below is an early rendering of the ballpark in Worcester back in 2019, all cozy and traditional. What happened? That’s certainly not what they built. Maybe it was the old bait-and-switch. Maybe the cozy traditional stadium initially proposed for downtown Providence would have been the same bait-and-switch. If so, this will be the last word on the subject from a rube who swallowed it hook, line and sinker.

 
 
Early rendering of proposed ballpark for Worcester Red Sox. (masslive.com)

 

Read William Morgan’s assessment of Worcester’s new WooSox stadium at GoLocalProv.com. It’s excellent, except for when he seems to be sorry the team did not build an even more execrable stadium.

 

Read more from Architecture Here and There: https://architecturehereandthere.com/2021/05/11/oopsox-chill-at-polar-park/

 

_____

 
David Brussat

 

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

 

RI opens appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations to 12-15

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RI opens appointments for COVID-19 vaccinations ages 12 to 15

 
May 12, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH) are announcing that parents and guardians can now register children 12 to 15 years of age to get vaccinated against COVID-19. This follows the announcement from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)yesterday granting an Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer’s COVID-19 vaccine for children in this age group.

 

“COVID-19 vaccine is safe and effective,” said Governor Dan McKee. “I’m urging all parents to get their 12- to 15-year-olds vaccinated. This vaccine will help keep kids, families, and our community safe.”

 

“The Pfizer vaccine was rigorously studied before it was made available to children 12 to 15 years of age, and we are doing on-going monitoring after administering more than 100 million doses to adults in the U.S. over the last five months,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH. “Getting the child in your life vaccinated against COVID-19 is one of the most important things you can do to make sure their summer is healthy and safe.”  

 

Parents and guardians can give consent and make appointments for Pfizer vaccine for children on vaccinateRI.org. (Johnson & Johnson and Moderna vaccine are still only available to be people 18 years of age and older.) It is recommended that children be accompanied by an adult for appointments at the State’s mass vaccination sites. Walk-up vaccination opportunities are also available at the sites at Sockanosset Cross Road (100 Sockanosset Cross Road, Cranston), the Dunkin’ Donuts Center (1 La Salle Square, Providence), and in Middletown (1400 West Main Road, Middletown).

 

RIDOH will also be working with cities, towns, and school departments to offer clinics in schools. (Schools have already been offering vaccine to students 16 and older.) Additionally, it is anticipated that the large pharmacy chains will start offering vaccine to children in this age group later this week.

 

Largely because children cannot be vaccinated, and because more contagious variants of COVID-19 are now circulating in Rhode Island, an increased proportion of Rhode Island’s COVID-19 cases are now among children. In clinical trials, the Pfizer vaccine was extremely effective at preventing COVID-19 in children 12 to 15 years of age. The vaccine was 100% effective at preventing COVID-19 infection with symptoms and led to a strong antibody response.

 

Additional information about COVID-19 vaccine in Rhode Island is available online.

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Fire hits the law office of the Rhode Island House of Representatives Speaker.  A fatal sailboat accident is under investigation.  The Worcester Red Sox have played their first home game since leaving Pawtucket.

>>Fire At RI House Speaker's Law Office

(Warwick, RI)  --  The law office of Rhode Island House Speaker K. Joseph Shekarchi [[ shuh-CAR-chee ]] was damaged by a fire on Tuesday night.  The office is located just off Route 2 in Warwick.  No one was inside at the time of the fire, which was at around 10 p.m.  Shekarchi has represented Warwick in the state legislature for nearly a decade and became the House Speaker in January.

>>House Passes Gaming Contract Extension

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House of Representatives is passing legislation that establishes a partnership between state lottery runner IGT and casino operator Bally's.  The agreement dates back to 2019, when former governor Gina Raimondo proposed a twenty-year, no-bid contract extension for IGT as a way of keeping a thousand-plus jobs at the international company's Providence offices.  House Republican Leader Blake Filippi yesterday criticized the gaming contract as an insider deal.

>>Two Dead After Sailboat Accident

(Warwick, RI)  --  Two people were killed in a sailboat accident in Rhode Island on Tuesday afternoon.  The state Department of Environmental Management says the boat took on water and sank in Greenwich Bay.  The two victims, whose names were not released, were pulled unresponsive out of the water near Warwick.  The incident is under investigation.

>>Worcester Red Sox Win Home Opener

(Worcester, MA)  --  The Worcester Red Sox won their debut home game on Tuesday.  The WooSox beat the Syracuse Mets 8-to-5 in the first game ever played at Polar Park.  The Pawtucket Red Sox announced plans in 2018 to relocate to Worcester and the team hit its target date, although construction work on the ballpark has not been fully completed.  This was the first home game played for the triple-A minor league Boston Red Sox affiliate since September 2nd, 2019.  The coronavirus pandemic wiped out last year's anticipated final PawSox season at McCoy Stadium.

>>J&W Mandating COVID-19 Vaccinations

(Providence, RI)  --  Johnson and Wales University is requiring all students to be vaccinated for COVID-19 next fall.  J-and-W joins Brown and Roger Williams Universities as Rhode Island institutions that have issued that mandate.  The president of the Johnson and Wales Providence campus says the requirement will allow for an accelerated return to a more-traditional college experience.

>>Senators Suggest Internal Promotion For New Rhode Island U.S. Attorney

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse are recommending a new U.S. Attorney for the state to President Biden.  That is Zachary Cunha, currently an assistant U.S. Attorney who joined the Rhode Island District in 2014.  Former U.S. Attorney for the Ocean State Aaron Weisman announced his resignation in February after the Biden administration requested the resignations of all top federal prosecutors nominated by Donald Trump.

>>Smithfield Man Given Settlement After School District's No-Trespass Order

(Smithfield, RI)  --  A Smithfield man received a 25-thousand-dollar settlement from the town last week after a no-trespassing order had been taken out against him.  Alfred Constantino sued Smithfield and its school district after being hit with the no-trespass order that was issued for a disagreement he was involved in on school grounds.  He said that prevented him from being able to vote at the school.  The Providence Journal reports Constantino donated the settlement money to the Rhode Island Special Olympics and that the town issued an apology.

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Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) 
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05-12-2021 00:49:06

AARP Rhode Island names Catherine Taylor new State Director

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AARP Rhode Island names Catherine Taylor New State Director

 
 May 11, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Kathleen Connell steps down after serving since 1999

 

Catherine Taylor will join AARP Rhode Island on Monday, May 17, 2021 as AARP Rhode Island State Director. She succeeds Kathleen Connell, AARP Rhode Island’s first and only State Director since 1999. After a transition week, Connell will retire May 21. 

 

Taylor most recently served as executive director of Age-Friendly RI, an initiative of Rhode Island College. There, she led a broad-based statewide coalition of state and community agencies, social service and health care providers, businesses, academic institutions, advocacy and faith-based organizations and individuals of all ages committed to healthy aging. To support isolated older adults during the pandemic and beyond, she spearheaded development of a statewide Virtual Community Center and BeKindRI.org, an online platform to match volunteers with people in need of food delivery.

 

As an aging and dementia policy expert, advocate for older adults and people with disabilities and seasoned administrator, Taylor has spent her entire career in service to the people of Rhode Island.

 

“I am thrilled to join AARP and look forward to being a forceful voice on behalf of all Rhode Islanders 50 and older,” said Taylor. “This is the opportunity of a lifetime to advance the quality of life of older people in our state and cultivate appreciation of the important contributions that we make to our community. I’m looking forward to leading AARP’s vital work to build livable, age-friendly communities, foster social connection and inclusion, call out ageism and age discrimination, and promoting AARP’s robust policy agenda to ensure the health, safety and economic security of us all as we grow older.”

 

 

Taylor previously worked as Senior Advisor for Policy, Partnerships and Community Engagement at the George & Anne Ryan Institute for Neuroscience, and at the Rhode Island Geriatric Education Center (RIGEC) at the University of Rhode Island as project advisor to the Geriatrics Workforce Enhancement Program.

 

She is the former director of the Rhode Island Division of Elderly Affairs, a two-time candidate for statewide office, former owner of a strategic consulting firm, LangTaylor, and for 20 years a legislative assistant and speechwriter for Sen. John Chafee and later Sen. Lincoln Chafee. Taylor is a commissioner of the Rhode Island Governor’s Commission on Disabilities, and a recent member of the board of directors of the National Association for Geriatric Education.

 

“Catherine’s impressive background and experience matches AARP’s mission and our work perfectly at the local, state and national levels,” said AARP East and Caribbean Regional Vice-President Kelly A. Clark. “We are excited to welcome her as leader of our talented and dedicated Rhode Island state staff and the scores of volunteers who make our work possible.”

 

“I am very pleased with the selection and I know Catherine will do an outstanding job,” said Connell. “As leader of Age Friendly RI, she has been a strong AARP partner in work that both organizations recognize as critical to the health, well-being and future of 50+ Rhode Islanders.”

 

“The work Catherine has accomplished with Age Friendly RI, its partners and many volunteers is a sure sign AARP Rhode Island is in good hands,” added AARP State President Phil Zarlengo. “I’m confident that she will continue Kathleen’s legacy of distinguished leadership.”

 

An active community volunteer, Taylor is board president of the performing arts nonprofit FirstWorks, trustee of the Church of Saint Sebastian and member of the Providence Public Library Corporation. 

 

She is a graduate of Yale University. She and her husband, attorney Robert Taylor, are the parents of four children and live in Providence.

 

Rhode Island News Today

24/7 News Source 05/11/2021 00:01:30
Rhode Island Summary AM

>>The Latest

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The relocated Pawtucket Red Sox are playing their first game at their new home stadium in Worcester, Massachusetts today.  State lawmakers are announcing the continuation of a program for blind students.  A Rhode Islander is facing felony charges for alleged illegal shellfishing activity.

>>Worcester Red Sox Home Opener Today

(Worcester, MA)  --  The day some baseball fans in Pawtucket have been anticipating for a couple of years is today: the home opener of the relocated triple-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, who now play in Worcester, Massachusetts.  Polar Park is set to host the WooSox and the Syracuse Mets this afternoon.  The Pawtucket Red Sox had a 50-year run at McCoy Stadium and left after a failure to move on a public financing deal for a new stadium in Pawtucket.  The team has encouraged PawSox fans to make the trip up the Blackstone Valley to see the team at the new stadium.

>>Celtics Lose Jaylen Brown For Season

(Boston, MA)  --  A big blow is being dealt to the Boston Celtics as they gear up for a playoff run.  The C's have lost all-star Jaylen Brown for the rest of the season after he suffered a torn ligament in his non-shooting wrist.  Surgery will be required.  Brown was averaging a career-high total of nearly 25 points per game this season.

>>Extension Of Blind Student Services Program Announced

(Providence, RI)  --  Blind and visually-impaired children will be able to continue to attend programming at the Paul Sherlock Center at Rhode Island College in Providence.  According to a State House press release, there was outcry from students and families when it was announced that the Rhode Island Department of Education would solicit other bids when the contract of the RI Vision Education Services Program expires this summer.  According to an announcement Monday from state legislative leaders, the program at the Sherlock Center has been extended for two years and that there will be no interruption of services for students.

>>East Providence Council Votes Against Eminent Domain For Golf Course

(East Providence, RI)  --  EastBayRI.com reports the East Providence City Council voted last month against further pursuing eminent domain powers to seize the Metacomet [[ MET-uh-COM-it ]] Golf Course.  A developer has been planning a mixed use for the golf course after it recently closed.  But residents have expressed the wish to have the land preserved as open space.

>>Man Charged With Felony Shellfishing Offenses

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Rhode Island shellfisher is facing felony charges for alleged improper clam-digging.  The Providence Journal reports Christopher Lavine of Warwick was arraigned in District Court last week on felony counts of taking shellfish at night and taking or selling shellfish from a polluted area.  Lavine faces possible prison time if convicted.  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management warns that shellfish taken from polluted waters pose a serious public health risk because of the bacteria they contain.

>>HGTV Dream Home In Portsmouth For Sale

(Portsmouth, RI)  --  The Home and Garden TV Network's Dream Home in Portsmouth is for sale.  HGTV announced last month that the winner of the annual prize home was Jeff Yanes of Kyle, Texas.  But apparently Yanes had second thoughts, and the Dream Home on the waterfront on Vanderbilt Lane is now on the market for about two-and-a-half-million dollars.

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Jim McCabe/djc           RI) TX)

Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-11-2021 00:02:08

Rules of decorum for virtual public meeting settings

Rules of decorum for virtual public meeting settings – Allan W. Fung

 
May 10, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Printed with permission of PLDO

 

Prior to the introduction of a virtual world caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, if you witnessed a city councilor popping open a beer, drinking it and then eating dinner while the council meeting was in session, your reaction likely would be bewilderment and outrage, and lead you to believe that the council member simply did not care enough to pay attention to you, or even worse, was impaired while doing official business. Moreover, if there were children in the council chambers, that councilor would be sending a troubling message regarding alcohol and most importantly, respectful decorum.

 

Since COVID-19 has taken us by storm, technology has been a great tool to allow public officials to hold vital meetings remotely through virtual platforms like Zoom or WebEx so that important work can be performed. As officials and employees turn on their video cameras from their living room couches, home offices, and kitchen tables, we’ve seen the atmosphere get more casual and relaxed. Numerous incidents have arisen across the country where council or board members, public employees and even attendees have not only subbed their business wear for jeans, sweaters, or even t-shirts but also taken more extreme liberties and been caught drinking alcohol or eating while the meeting is occurring.

 

In Brighton, Colorado, a councilman showed up for a remote meeting drunk and was later censured by his colleagues. In Flint, Michigan, a councilman was removed from a virtual meeting by other members who believed he was drunk. In California, a school board President was seen drinking a beer during a zoom meeting and was reprimanded for violating the district’s alcohol and drug free workplace policy. In Rhode Island, a school committee member in one community fell asleep in his recliner. In another municipality, the city clerk was seen drinking what appeared to be a beer and eating during a council meeting.

 

Public officials and city employees may be under the misconception that workplace rules on conduct don’t apply when they are in their own home. For all intents and purposes, the person should be considered at work when it is during work hours or when it is at a public meeting. Unfortunately, when expectations are not clearly delineated as to what is appropriate or what constitutes a clear violation of workplace rules, there can be confusion when it comes to disciplinary action.

 

That is why setting clear remote work guidelines is essential.

 

First, government chief executives know all too well that disciplining public sector employees for workplace behavior is difficult. This can be covered by not just the laws established by ordinances and rules as well as the employee handbook, but more importantly, the respective collective bargaining agreements. These officials should ensure that there are proper protocols addressing the virtual workplace embedded in these documents.

 

Next, legislative bodies and boards and commissions should undertake a review of their adopted rules to see if actions in these virtual settings can lead to some form of discipline if they are breached. Generally, these rules contain catch-all clauses dealing with decorum during the meeting, but it’s better to be more specific to include the online setting as well.

 

While it remains to be seen whether this new virtual meeting world stays on in the public sector as the pandemic subsides, a commonsense approach in the meantime would be to ask yourself whether this behavior during a virtual meeting is acceptable during an in-person one. In the absence of that, it is critical that government employers and public officials update their policies to set clear guidelines so that people know what is expected in the virtual world when they are participating from home in public meetings.

 

If you would like further information about virtual meetings policies and guidelines, please contact PLDO Partner Allan W. Fung at 401-824-5100 or afung@pldolaw.com.

 

About Allan W. Fung

 

Allan W. Fung is a Partner with Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC. His distinguished career as a leading Rhode Island executive and former Mayor of the City of Cranston spans over 12 years, from 2009 to 2021, overseeing budgets in excess of $300 million and a workforce of more than 660 employees.

 

Mr. Fung is widely recognized as a leading voice and frequent speaker at national and international forums on a wide range of issues including economic development, pensions, fiscal management, and diplomacy and international trade, as well public private partnerships (P3s) and other policy and legislative matters.

 

Prior to becoming Mayor, he worked as Government Relations Counsel and Legal Counsel for MetLife for eight years, managing the company’s national affairs on legislative and regulatory matters for its Auto & Home division, and providing counsel and risk assessments to corporate executives and clients in various states across the country in the areas of product development and contracts and compliance, among other legal issues.

 

Earlier, Mr. Fung worked as a Special Assistant Attorney General in the Rhode Island Department of Attorney General in the Narcotics & Organized Crime Unit, and as a Litigation Associate with Mandell, Schwartz & Boisclair.

 

He earned his J.D., cum laude, from Suffolk University Law School in Boston, MA, and a B.A., cum laude, in Political Science from Rhode Island College. He is a graduate of Leadership RI and a Rhode Island Bar Foundation Fellow. He is admitted to practice in state and federal courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island woman is injured in a shooting in Times Square New York.  An investigation is being conducted after a man died shortly after Providence police officers came into contact with him.  A longtime local donut shop is told it has to change its name after another business with a similar title filed a copyright claim.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Rhode Island Woman Visiting NYC Wounded In Shooting

(New York, NY)  --  A Rhode Island woman was injured in a shooting in New York City's Times Square on Saturday evening.  Wendy Magrinat [[ MAG-rin-NAT ]], a North Scituate resident who was visiting the city with her family, was one of three innocent bystanders who was reportedly hit by gunfire that came out of an argument taking place nearby.  No arrests have been made.  Magrinat was shot in the leg and doctors decided not to remove the slug, but she'll live.

>>Man's Death Following Providence Police Response Under Investigation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Providence Police Department is investigating a fatal use-of-force incident along with the Rhode Island State Police and Attorney General's Office.  Officers responded to a call about a man possibly under the influence and found Joseph Ventre in a park in the city's Hope section overnight Friday.  Assistance from the fire department was requested, and the Providence Police Department says due to Ventre's erratic behavior, attempts were made to place him in handcuffs.  He was later pronounced dead at Rhode Island Hospital.

>>Big Brush Fire In Tiverton

(Tiverton, RI)  --  Approximately twenty fire departments from Rhode Island and Massachusetts responded to a large brush fire in Tiverton on Sunday.  The fire started at around 4 p.m. in an area between Routes 24 and 177.  About fifty acres were burned.  WPRI-TV reports one firefighter was treated on-scene for heat exhaustion.

>>Traffic Cameras Going Up In East Providence

(East Providence, RI)  --  The city of East Providence is starting a traffic camera program.  Drivers will face fines for running red lights at several Pawtucket Avenue intersections and other high-traffic areas.  Cameras are also going up in school zones where penalties will be assessed for speeding.  EastBayRI.com reports the anticipated start date is later this month or in June, according to an official from the East Providence mayor's office.

>>Rhode Island High School Football Championships Held

(Cranston, RI)  --  Rhode Island's high school football season has concluded after it was postponed from the fall to the spring.  Bishop Hendricken beat La Salle Academy 43-to-22 in the state championship game on Saturday.  The winners of the lower-division Super Bowls this weekend were Central, Barrington, Coventry and Narragansett.

>>Rhode Island Donut Shop Takes Heat For Copyrighting Business Name

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island is a state known for donuts, and also as of recently, donut controversies.  One donut shop in the Ocean State received loud feedback during last year's social unrest in the U.S. when it announced it was no-longer offering free donuts to police officers.  This time, it's a naming rights dispute.  Ma's Donuts of New Bedford, Massachusetts decided to re-open after a five-year hiatus, but said last Thursday it has to change its name because a shop based out of Middletown trademarked it while it was closed.  That shop, called Ma's Donuts and More, has since taken on heavy criticism on its Facebook page.  Some have posted reminders that Ma's Middletown opened about 40 years after Ma's New Bedford.

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

05-10-2021 00:24:07

Friday Fishing Tips

Friday Fishing Tips – May 7, 2021 – Jeff Gross

 
May 7, 2021/Jeff Gross

 

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

 

The temperatures are finally rising and FINALLY the furnace was shut down until next October.  With the temperature increase the fish are really stepping up the bite. A slew of largemouth bass are being caught statewide. The lure manufacturers must be having a field day.  Trout are biting equally well. 

 

Across Little Rhody pictures are popping up everywhere including on “A Better 401 Fishing” social media page of people with multiple trout on their stinger. Of all times for my truck to need some repairs. 

 

 

In any case the Tip of the Week goes hand in hand with the very active bite. Time to take your significant other fishing! With the fish really cooperating your partner will really have some fun!

 

 

For over a year we all endured the over-the-top restrictions across the state. The outside mask mandate was mostly lifted by the CDC. It is time to take date night or date day outdoors. Lifelong friends of mine get out on the water at least once a month and you can see in the photos, they have a great time – and success. Another couple fish together as much as four times a week if weather permits (the wind is becoming a problem). One can do the same with their spouse, fiancé, girlfriend or boyfriend. Instead of parking in front of the TV, pack up a picnic basket, cooler, fishing rods, bait, and head to the local fishing hole. 

 

 

In the mornings one can pack breakfast & coffee, or what is becoming popular is sunset fishing. Dinner can also be take-out as well. A sandwich or pizza from Socrates Pizza in Scituate (intersection of Rts. 102 and 101) is always easy plus the food is always fantastic!

 

Last time I was at Shippee Saw Mill a couple arrived with a hot pizza. Silver Spring Lake, Breakheart Pond, Carolina Trout Pond, Shippee Saw Mill Pond, and Carbuncle Pond all provide a nice sunset back drop for fishing. Don’t forget to fish from the east bank to get the best sunset view. Also, the RI DEM has done a great job with “bathroom facilities” at many of the busy fishing areas, so privacy is assured. 

 

Generally, it is the guy’s idea to go fishing. This writer believes in equal rights, therefore ladies, you have the ability to set up a fishing date night as well. In fact, for you single ladies, asking a guy to go fishing may be a great way to break the ice. Don’t be afraid to ask that guy you have your eye on to fish. I doubt very much you ladies will endure the rejection ratios that us men endure. You seem to have a distinct advantage in that respect. 

 

So, pack up the food and gear and head on out as we have a year’s worth of lost time to make up for.  Who knows you might get “lucky” and you may “catch a keeper”. 

_____

 

 

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

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The state is working to get COVID-19 vaccines to the remaining elderly who have not gotten the shot.  A Cranston police officer is convicted in an excessive force case.  The mayor of Providence says he supports the repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.

>>State Working To Vaccinate Older RI'ers At Home

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island health officials said on Thursday they are reaching out to residents 75 and older who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 and bringing it to their homes.  The state estimates over thirteen-thousand Ocean Staters in that age category are not vaccinated.  Rhode Island has already been vaccinating the homebound.

>>Cranston Policeman Convicted In Excessive Force Case, Avoiding Jail

(Providence, RI)  --  A Cranston police officer has been found guilty of simple assault.  Andrew Leonard was charged for the incident in March of 2020 at the Cranston Police Department during which he was said to have used excessive force against a man in custody who was being processed.  Leonard was given a one-year suspended sentence with probation by a district court judge on Thursday, despite the state's recommendation of one year in the ACI.  Leonard has given notice of intent to appeal.

>>House Moves Lottery Contract, Minimum Wage, Free Community College Legislation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee advanced a re-worked no-bid lottery contract on Thursday.  The twenty-year deal is with IGT, which currently runs the RI Lot, and Bally's, which operates the state casinos.  Other highlights from the House yesterday included the passage of a minimum wage increase bill and legislation to make the RI Promise free community college tuition program permanent.

>>Providence Mayor Supports Repealing Law Enforcement Officer Bill Of Rights

(Providence, RI)  --  Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza publicly stated on Thursday that he supports the full repeal of the Law Enforcement Officers' Bill of Rights.  Legislation to do just that was introduced in the Rhode Island General Assembly last month.  Elorza said the L-E-O-B-O-R places unnecessary hurdles on the ability of police chiefs to discipline officers.  The Providence police union called Elorza's statement disappointing.

>>State Arts Council Seeking Painters Of Official Governor Raimondo Portrait

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Council of the Arts is searching for an artist to paint an official portrait of former governor Gina Raimondo.  The winning candidate is being offered fifty-thousand dollars.  That's a big increase from what the painters were paid for the portraits of former governors Lincoln Chafee, Donald Carcieri and Lincoln Almond: as a story from The Providence Journal notes, they got fifteen-grand.  The deadline for applications for the Raimondo portrait is June 30th.

>>State Warns Emerald Ash Borer Is Spreading

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management says the Emerald Ash Borer is continuing to spread across the state.  The E-A-B is an invasive species which was first detected in RI in 2018.  It has been reported in fifteen communities and the DEM says ash tree mortality is being reported.  Officials say improper transportation of firewood has fueled the spread of the bug.

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

05-07-2021 01:06:12

Wickford Art presents Re-Composed Classic exhibits

Wickford Art presents Re-Composed Classics exhibit

 
May 6, 2021/RINewsToday

 

NOT a forgeries show…instead Wickford Art presents Re-COMPOSED CLASSICS

 

This June, the Wickford Art Association (WAA) will introduce a NEW exhibit through Re-Composed Classics where member and non-member artists exhibit works based on classic pieces but re-invent them through modifications to media, subject, and more.  By encouraging artists to deconstruct known works by others in order to re-compose through their own personal hand, style, and creativity, the sky is the limit!  The exhibit opens on Friday- June 11, 2021 at our North Kingstown beach-front gallery, just outside historic Wickford Village.

 

All submitted works will be reviewed and juried for entry and prizes by first-time jurist Deb Hickey (https://www.debhickey.com), who works across mediums herself and Wickford Art Association is thrilled to welcome her to our creative community. 

 

Re-Composed Classics will occur in-gallery and through an online virtual gallery June 11 through July 11, 2021.  More information is available at https://wickfordart.org/exhibits-2021/re-composed-classics/.

 

For more information on individual exhibits or programs, please contact us, or visit wickfordart.org.  All programming is subject to change; all juried and judged exhibits will be featured through online virtual galleries as well as in-gallery hours (Wednesday through Saturday: noon to 4pm, Sunday: noon-3pm) at WAA’s beach-front North Kingstown home.

 

 

About the Wickford Art Association

 

The Wickford Art Association is a non-profit organization with approximately 475 members from Rhode Island and across New England. The association hosts art exhibits, classes, lectures, and workshops in its North Kingstown gallery and has produced the summertime Wickford Art Festival since 1962.  Wickford Art Association is dedicated to educating, encouraging and inspiring artists and art lovers throughout the community. For more information, (401) 294-6840 or visit wickfordart.org

 

RI Veterans: Did You Know?

RI Veterans: Did You Know? – 6 May 21 – by John A. Cianci

 
May 6, 2021/John Cianci

 

by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer, Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)

 

“Free Nursing Home Care for Eligible Veterans”

 

Eligible disabled veterans could be entitled to free long-term care at a community nursing home or state-run veterans home, an estimated $8000-$13, 000 a month, regardless of any income or assets.  

 

Eligibility for a community nursing home is based on clinical need and setting availability. The VA will only pay for Community Nursing Home or State Veterans Home Care if you meet eligibility criteria involving your service-connected status and level of service-connected disability.

 

Eligible veterans are those receiving 70% or more combined disability (including VA TDIU disability) or requires nursing home care due to a service-connected disability. The Veteran is eligible for 100% community nursing home and or Rhode Island Veterans Home*, regardless of income.

 

Here is the list of contracted community nursing homes to include the Rhode Island Veterans Home currently contracted with VA:  

 

Rhode Island Nursing Homes

 

Riverside

 

Orchard View Manor                          
135 Tripps Ln
Riverside, RI
401-438-2250

 

Bristol

 

Silver Creek Manor
7 Creek Lane
Bristol, RI
401-253-3000

 

Rhode Island Veterans Home
480 Metacom Ave.
Bristol, RI
401-253-8000

 

Coventry

 

Respiratory and Rehabilitation Center of RI
10 Woodland Drive
Coventry, RI
401-826-2000

 

Johnston

 

Morgan Health Center
80 Morgan Ave.
Johnston, RI
401-944-7800

 

Pascoag

 

Crystal Lake Rehabilitation and Care Center
999 South Main St.
Pascoag, RI
401-568-3091

 

Smithfield

 

Hebert Health & Rehabilitation
180 Log Road
Smithfield, RI
401-231-7016

 

MA Nursing Homes

 

Bourne

 

Bourne Manor
146 MacArthur Blvd.
Bourne, MA
508-759-8880

 

Fairhaven

 

Our Lady’s Haven
71 Center St.
Fairhaven, MA
508-295-1040

 

Wareham

 

The Tremont
605 Main St.
Wareham, MA
508-295-1040

 

To be eligible for 100% free community nursing home care program you must be enrolled and using the Veteran Health Care system and one of these must be true for the Veteran:

 

  • The Veteran must have a VA disability rating (individual or combined) of 70% or more, to include 100% VA TDIU, or
  • Requires nursing home care because of his service-connected disability.
  • Is in need of such care.

 

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 (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 know if the veteran has a service-connected disability?

In most cases, he will receive a monthly VA disability deposit or check. Exceptions to the rules, he could be ZERO percent service connected, however, the veteran will not receive a month. For example, many Veterans are rated 0 % for service connected for hearing. The veteran is still considered a disabled veteran however he receives zero financial compensation.

 

Q2. What is Service-Connected Disability

A “service-connected disability” is a disability that is related to your active military service. Your disability is assigned a rating (0% to 100%) based on how severely it impacts your daily life. The greater your disability, the higher you’re rating.

 

Example, you are receiving disability for a heart condition, VA rated 30%, and your disability requires you to be in nursing home, YOU WOULD BE eligible for long term nursing home care provided by the VA pr with a contracted facility.

 

Q3. 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 you ebenefits.va account.

 

Q4. Where can I get more information on Community Nursing Home Care?

Best bet, go directly to VA website to find out more by visiting the Paying for Long Term Care section at www.va.gov/Geriatrics.

 

The Veterans Service Officer (VSO) from the Italian American War Veterans is available to assist, itamri4vets@gmail.com or by phone, (401) 677-9VET.

 

*Q5. How do I find out more about the State Veterans Home in Bristol Rhode Island?

The Rhode Island Veterans Home (RIVH) is a 110-acre complex on Mount Hope Bay in Bristol managed and tun by the State of Rhode Island. The RIVH, by federal law, signs a State Home Care Agreement or contract with the Providence VA Medical Center, which conducts an annual survey to ensure the facility is in compliance with all statues to be a contracted facility for veterans care.

 

The home provides quality nursing and residential care to Rhode Island war veterans. Some of the services provided include social, medical, nursing and rehabilitative services.

 

Services

 
  • Approximately 208 beds.
  • Long Term Care Facility.
  • X-ray, dental, and pharmacy services, physical therapy and occupational therapy, social work services, transportation to PVAMC.

 

Eligibility

 
  • Honorable discharge.
  • Veterans with 90-days (active) service during wartime.
  • RI resident for 2 consecutive years prior to date of application OR joined the service from RI.
  • The Rhode Island Veterans Home will accept any Veteran we are licensed to accept, however, the Medical Director has the authority to approve or disapprove any Veteran’s diagnosis for admission to the Home. Admission to the Rhode Island Veterans Home is voluntary.

 

 

_____

 

 

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.

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris toured Providence on Wednesday along with former governor Gina Raimondo.  A local Native American tribe wants a Rhode Island school's athletics nickname changed.  A blind girl is accusing a Providence restaurant of denying her access because she had a service dog.

>>Vice President Harris Tours Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris visited the state of Rhode Island on Wednesday along with former governor Gina Raimondo, now the U.S. Secretary of Commerce.  The vice president made a series of stops throughout Providence, including a round-table discussion with women business owners at the Providence Innovation Center during which she promoted President Biden's infrastructure and family plans.  Harris and Raimondo were also together at an unscheduled stop at Books on the Square on the Providence East Side.  The current governor of Rhode Island, Dan McKee, was also involved in Harris' tour of Providence, as well as the state's congressional delegation.

>>Controversy Over Ponaganset High School Sports Nickname

(North Scituate, RI)  --  The Foster-Glocester School Committee is asking for voters to decide if the Ponaganset High School athletics mascot should change.  The current mascot is a profile of a Native American in a headdress and the team nickname is Chieftains.  WJAR-TV reports the committee passed a resolution Wednesday asking the town councils to direct the question to the ballots next year.  The Nipmuc Tribe of northern Rhode Island petitioned the state Commission on Prejudice and Bias last year to change the name.  The Providence Journal reports the commission and the tribe were set to meet Wednesday, but the meeting was postponed.

>>Blind Girl Claims Restaurant Denied Access Because Of Service Dog

(Providence, RI)  --  A blind teenager is suing a Providence restaurant over denial of access with a service dog, according to a report from The Providence Journal.  Seventeen-year-old Haylee Mota alleges this happened last September at Jacky's Waterplace and Sushi Bar.  A complaint was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court.  The restaurant owner has denied the allegations.

>>State Senate Passes Plastic Reduction Bills

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Senate has passed a pair of items aimed at curbing plastic pollution.  The Plastic Waste Reduction Act, introduced by Senate President Dominick Ruggerio, would prohibit retailers from making single-use plastic checkout bags available.  The Senate has also passed a bill from Majority Leader Michael McCaffrey to prohibit plastic straws at restaurants.  Both bills move to the House.

>>Cranston Officer On Trial Takes Stand

(Warwick, RI)  --  A Cranston police officer on trial for alleged excessive force took the stand on Wednesday.  Andrew Leonard is accused of punching a suspect who was in custody last year.  The trial in Warwick District Court took a recess yesterday afternoon as cross-examination from the state had just gotten underway.

>>Gas Prices Up Slightly

(Undated)  --  Rhode Island gas prices have gone up six cents in the last month, according to RIGasPrices.com.  The current average is two dollars eighty-four cents per gallon.  The current national average reported by Gas Buddy is two-ninety-five.

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

05-06-2021 00:38:10

Free heart health screenings at all CVS Minuteclinics.

Free heart health screenings at all CVS MinuteClinics in US, May 9-15

 
May 5, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Offering free heart health screenings during National Women’s Health Week at MinuteClinic locations nationwide to help make preventative care more accessible

 

CVS Health, with corporate offices based in Woonsocket, today announced new initiatives to support women’s health and wellness in May, including offering no-cost heart health screenings from May 9 through May 15 at MinuteClinic to help women understand their risk for heart disease the number one killer of women. These efforts are part of CVS Health’s overall commitment to making women’s health care more accessible, affordable, simpler and more personalized to meet the unique health and wellness needs during each stage of a woman’s life.

 

“Women have taken on even more during the pandemic and have had less time to prioritize preventative care,” said Eileen Howard Boone, Senior Vice President, Corporate Social Responsibility & Philanthropy and Chief Sustainability Officer for CVS Health. “As we celebrate moms and all the women in our lives this month, we want to make it easier for women to care for themselves and meet their health and wellness needs. Advancing women’s health is a key driver of CVS Health’s longtime support of the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women Movement, which we are proud to again support this May.”

 

To help make preventative care more convenient and accessible, patients can visit one of CVS Health’s approximately 1,100 MinuteClinic locations from May 9 through May 15 to receive a no-cost “Know Your Numbers” heart health screening. Patients will learn five key personal health numbers that can help them determine their risk for heart disease, including cholesterol, HDL (good) cholesterol, blood pressure, blood sugar and body mass index.

 

“We know that nearly 80 percent of cardiac events can be prevented, yet many women don’t have the awareness about this disease to understand and prevent their risk,” said Angela Patterson, Chief Nurse Practitioner Officer, MinuteClinic. “That’s why offering these free heart health screenings is so important, especially this year when so many people have put off care.”

 

In addition to the free heart health screenings, CVS Pharmacy will provide accessible solutions and special offers to support women’s physical and mental wellbeing. From now through May 22, ExtraCare Rewards program members will receive deals on women’s wellness items in-store, including weekly promotions for products in a variety of categories such as vitamins, skin care as well as feminine care and beauty products to help women feel their best.

 

As part of CVS Health’s ongoing support of the American Heart Association, CVS Pharmacy locations nationwide will raise funds to support the Go Red for Women movement. From May 2 through May 29, CVS Pharmacy customers can support Go Red For Women by making a $1, $3 or larger donation at stores nationwide or online at www.cvshealth.com/GoRed

 

Since teaming up with the AHA in 2017, CVS Health has raised nearly $20 million to help fight cardiovascular disease. Visit www.cvshealth.com/GoRed for more information about the free heart health screenings and to donate to American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women movement.

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island visit is planned today from Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and the former governor of the state.  National Grid needs more time to re-bury part of a power cable connected to the Block Island Wind Farm.  The former Pawtucket Red Sox play their first game under a new identity.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Vice President Harris, Commerce Secretary Raimondo Visiting RI Today

(Undated)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, formerly the Rhode Island governor, are set to visit the state today.  Raimondo toured the Electric Boat facility in Groton, Connecticut on Tuesday.  WPRI-TV reports Harris and Raimondo will participate in a women-led small business roundtable as part of today's visit.  It's also expected that the two will promote President Biden's two major economic proposals.

>>General Assembly Taking Up New Long-Term State Lottery Contract

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island House Finance Committee is reviewing a twenty-year state lottery contract proposal today.  The agreement, which has been revised since it was originally proposed by the Governor Raimondo administration, is with current Rhode Island Lottery runner IGT and the state's casino operator Bally's Corporation, formerly known as Twin River.  It includes IGT adding one-hundred new jobs, while Bally's will expand its casino in Lincoln.  Both will be required to maintain headquarters in Providence until 2043.

>>Restaurants Urged To Act Quickly On Available Federal Relief

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's Congressional delegation was at a Providence restaurant on Tuesday to encourage eateries that have been hard-hit by the pandemic to apply for a new round of federal grants.  Nearly 29-billion dollars in the Restaurant Revitalization Fund, which was part of the stimulus packaged signed by President Biden, became available this week.  Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse, speaking from The District pizzeria, says restaurants should apply ASAP through the U.S. Small Business Administration.

>>Woonsocket Man Sentenced To Federal Prison For Trafficking Crack

(Providence, RI)  --  A Woonsocket man is being sentenced to nearly three-and-a-half years in prison for trafficking cocaine.  The Justice Department says Sean Breton was nailed making over a half-dozen crack sales in 2019.  While awaiting federal sentencing, the DOJ says Breton was arrested by Woonsocket police in 2020 for additional possession of the narcotic.

>>National Grid Puts BI Wind Farm Cable Project On Hold

(New Shoreham, RI)  --  National Grid is suspending work to re-bury a portion of a high-voltage electricity cable for the Block Island Wind Farm.  The utility company says it needs to further-assess the cause of obstructions in a newly-installed pipe at Crescent Beach.  With summer tourism season approaching, the decision was made to put the project on hold until the fall.  The Providence Journal reports Orsted, the owner of the wind farm, experienced no issues for its portion of the cable replacement and said it will be finished before summer.

>>Worcester Red Sox Play First Game

(Trenton, NJ)  --  The triple-A minor league affiliate team of the Boston Red Sox, which played for fifty years as the Pawtucket Red Sox, competed in their first game since moving to Worcester, Massachusetts on Tuesday.  The Worcester Red Sox, also known as the WooSox, lost to the Buffalo Bisons on the road 6-to-1.  The team's home opener at a newly-constructed ballpark is scheduled for May 11th.  The Pawtucket Red Sox played their final game at McCoy Stadium on September 2nd, 2019.

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

As the health care industry turns.

life
 

As the health care industry turns… – Richard Asinof

 
May 4, 2021/Richard Asinof

 

by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI.com, contributing writer

 

A wealth extraction system run amok?

 

Has the health care industry in Rhode Island become a commodities market, immersed in a soap opera of private equity acquisition and consolidation? When happens when the patients say “Ouch?”

 

Under the proposed merger of Lifespan, Care New England, and Brown, the Warren Alpert Medical School and Brown Physician’s Inc. will become a major hub in the academic medical enterprise being created. In addition, Coastal Medical has been acquired by Lifespan, providing a missing component of primary care to that health system.

 

What a tumultuous week it was for health care delivery systems in Rhode Island, filled with the kind of choreographed plot twists and turns that might cause even the director of a reality TV game show to blush.

 

• With fanfare, on Monday, April 26, Care New England, Brown University and Lifespan officially filed their applications with the R.I. Department of Health and the R.I. Attorney General’s office under the Hospital Conversion Act to create a new academic medical empire. “The uniting of Lifespan and Care New England in partnership with Brown University will be the catalyst for care transformation in the state,” promised Dr. Tim Babineau, president and CEO of Lifespan, in the news release that framed the corporate narrative around the merger.

 

• That very same day, in what appeared to be an integral part of a coordinated public relations effort, the Rhode Island Foundation announced that it would seek to serve as an “independent” arbiter of community input about the merger, despite its ongoing advocacy for such a merger to occur.

 

“Our goal is to gather feedback and ideas from Rhode Islanders,” explained Neil Steinberg, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Foundation, in a news release. “We’ve worked with Lifespan and Care New England and have been supportive of the idea of a locally-controlled integrated academic health system for many years,” Steinberg said. “We’re pleased to see the formal merger process moving forward.” He added: “The community’s voice must remain an integral part of both the planning around and implementation of the merged entity.”

 

An impertinent question to ask, in the best tradition of Studs Terkel, is: Is it an appropriate role of the Rhode Island Foundation to play as the self-appointed coordinator of community input, even before the R.I. Department of Health and the R.I. Attorney General have begun their legally mandated analysis of the proposed merger under the Hospital Conversion Act?

 

Another impertinent question to ask: How can the Rhode Island Foundation be viewed as an “honest broker” in the process, given its advocacy of the merger? Or, should it be seen as an attempt to put its thumb on the scales to influence and control the narrative about the merger?

 

A further impertinent question: What conversations were held between the Rhode Island Foundation and the principals involved in the merger around the creation of such a coordinated effort around community input?

 

No question, the Rhode Island Foundation is currently playing an outsized role in helping to shape the future of health and education investments in the state. Indeed, the Foundation recently announced an effort to come up with a few good ideas about how the state should spend some $1 billion in federal funds from the American Rescue Plan.

 

Still, it is hard to fathom how the Rhode Island Foundation would ever put forth a narrative, based upon strong pushback from consumers, which would find the proposed merger fatally flawed, a consolidated enterprise based on an unsustainable business model that would inevitably lead to higher costs, poorer health options, and dramatically reduced options for patient care. To borrow a business cliché, it’s not in their DNA.

 

The next shoe drops
Some 24 hours later, the next shoe dropped in what appeared to be a sophisticated, coordinated public relations campaign:

 

• On Tuesday, April 27, Lifespan announced that it had acquired Coastal Medical, in essence buying a big part of what had been missing from its health care delivery system – a comprehensive primary care component. The news release announcing the move said as much: “Coastal is a national model for coordinated primary care, while Lifespan offers complementary strengths in specialty services, research, and education. Combining Lifespan’s vast specialty care capabilities with Coastal’s primary care expertise will benefit patients across the state, offering enhanced value through a continuum of coordinated, high-quality patient care.”

 

The messaging from Dr. Alan Kurose, the president and CEO of Coastal Medical, claimed that the acquisition of his physician’s group by Lifespan would be “good for Rhode Island, the people who live here, and the quality and cost of health care,” according to the news release. The consolidation, Kurose continued, would help “our practices and providers …reach more patients, with a positive impact on health care.”

 

Gears in the machine
Many patients served by Coastal Medical reported receiving emails announcing the acquisition, sparking a different narrative about the mergers and acquisitions in conversations on Twitter. Witness the blunt exchange between Matthew Billings, the project manager of the Children Youth Cabinet in Providence, and Peter Asen, the director of Strategy and Development at the Providence Housing Authority, which captured how some consumers were reacting to the new, consolidated world.

 

“We’re acknowledging the healthcare in RI is transitioning from a limited competition model to a full fucking monopoly, yes?” Billings tweeted, in response to the changes announced this past week involving the state’s health care delivery system.

 

Asen replied: “I started going years ago to a small practice of doctors called Hillside Family Medicine. A few years ago we found out that it was getting subsumed into Coastal Medical. Yesterday we got a message that Coastal is joining Lifespan. Next…”

 

Billings replied to Asen: I’m at Hillside, too, you referred them to me years ago, got the same email yesterday, like it was something to be excited about.”

 

Jordan Frank joined the Twitter conversation, suggesting: “Doctor friends indicate there’s a much better opportunity to improve quality and continuity of care, and to build specialty that competes with Boston hospitals. And don’t think this will impact costs to the worse. Bigger gears at play in that machine.”

 

Billings answered Frank: “I’m going to let the users of the monopoly have the final say on things like “quality,” rather than the monopoly telling us what to look forward to. Doctors execute the practice determined by the board & administrators to be the most profitable, they’re all gears in the machine.”

 

Disruptions in the force
Before detailing the next disruptions in the force that occurred last week around the health care delivery system in Rhode Island, it is important to provide readers with some historical context. The proposed merger between Care New England, Lifespan, and Brown University, combined with Lifespan’s acquisition of Coastal Medical, marked the latest episode in the saga of how the landscape of health care delivery system has been redrawn in Rhode Island during the last decade, marked by financial insolvency by community hospitals, hospital purchases by private equity firms, and corporate consolidation.

 

The disliked fact is that Rhode Island’s health care delivery system has already been carved up, colonized and consolidated. In the south, Yale New Haven now owns Westerly Hospital; in the north, now Prime Healthcare acquired Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket. Both acquisitions occurred after the hospitals became insolvent and were overseen by court receivership proceedings.

 

Further, Memorial Hospital in Pawtucket, which had been purchased by Care New England in 2013, was forced to close its doors five years later in 2018, following huge annual operating losses in the tens of millions of dollars, which became an impediment to completing the then-planned merger between Care New England and Partners Healthcare in Boston [now Mass General Brigham].

 

A pre-emptive PR campaign
The next big news splash about the health care delivery system in Rhode Island occurred on Thursday, April 29, in a pre-emptive public relations strike orchestrated by the for-profit, private equity owners of CharterCare, owners of Roger Williams Medical Center and Fatima Hospital, claiming that the hospitals would be forced to close if R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha imposed financial conditions on the pending sale of CharterCARE, which were due to be announced on Friday, April 30.

 

The PR campaign had the desired effect; much of the Rhode Island news media took the bait and run sensational headlines about the threat to close the two hospitals. Then, as if right on cue, CharterCARE announced early Friday morning that it was withdrawing its application for the proposed sale, attempting to make the conditions imposed by R.I. Attorney General moot. The entire matter is now under discussion before R.I. Superior Court Judge Brian Stern.

 

Here is a précis about what happened: in 2014, CharterCARE was sold to Prospect Medical Holdings, a for-profit firm in California, one of 17 health systems purchased by Prospect. Now, seven years later, the controlling private equity firm in Prospect Medical, Leonard Green & Partners, was seeking to sell its roughly 60 percent ownership stake back to Prospect’s CEO, Sam Lee, and his partner, having awarded itself tens of millions of dollars in dividend payments in that time. The R.I. Attorney General, having conducted an independent financial analysis of the transaction, as part of due diligence under the Hospital Conversion Act, questioned the financial stability of the health system as a result of the transaction, and was seeking that approval of the sale would be conditioned on the creation of escrow accounts to preserve the future financial viability of the state’s third largest health system.

 

On Friday, following the calculated moves by CharterCARE to capture the headlines, R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha issued a statement defending his actions, one worth quoting at length, in part because that part of the story had been lacking in much of the other coverage by the news media:

 

“As a regulator with the immense responsibility of reviewing business transactions involving hospitals in our state, this office must contemplate outcomes that safeguard the delivery of quality, accessible, and affordable healthcare for all Rhode Islanders. I take that responsibility – and potential impacts on healthcare delivery in our state – seriously.

 

Assurances from those entrusted with elements of our health care system, upon which Rhode Islanders so critically rely, cannot be taken on faith alone. The ability and commitment to stand behind those assurances must be verified by this office. To do otherwise would be to abandon our mission, and correspondingly the people of this state.

 

Our robust review of the proposed transaction revealed a national company whose principals and investors extracted hundreds of millions of dollars from the hospitals and services they own. As a result, the company now faces risks to its financial viability which is required to respond to challenges that may arise in a volatile healthcare market, potentially putting every hospital in its system – including our Rhode Island hospitals – at risk of a reduction in services, sale or closure.

 

The people of Rhode Island deserve the truth. It is a hard truth: that those who claimed to care about health care here in Rhode Island and around the country cared much more – orders of magnitude more – about lining their own pockets than about the people they purported to serve.

 

Now much is at risk. And the 60 percent majority owner of the hospitals, private equity firm Leonard Green & Partners, L.P., wanted to walk away with $12 million more in its pockets and absolved of billions of dollars in debt. This office, and Rhode Islanders generally, were being asked to rely on the assurances of the current minority owners and would-be new owners that all is well, and all will be well. I am not willing to take the risk that acceptance of such assurances, without more, requires.

 

The owners have always had a simple choice. They could move forward with the proposed change in ownership with these conditions, which are absolutely necessary to ensure the continued operation of these hospitals. Or they could maintain their current ownership structure. Let us be clear: there is nothing about this latter alternative that puts the hospitals in a worse financial condition. That is simply the status quo.

 

Ultimately it comes down to this. Under the proposed transaction, majority owner Leonard Green, having made its money at the expense of the financial health of the hospitals, now wants out. So be it. But that choice comes at a price: remedy the malady you have created.

 

You chose to get into health care. Act like you believe in it.

 

The battle over the proposed sale of CharterCARE puts on full frontal display the dark side of private equity financing of hospitals, which may prove to be not so much different than private equity financing of other institutions such as newspapers and nursing homes. The private equity firms, it appears, loot the liquidity of the purchased company and then depart, behaving much like a loan shark, leaving the corporate shell at great financial risk, unable to pay the vig, in ConvergenceRI’s opinion.

 

It also shows the renewed importance of the role that the R.I Attorney General plays in reviewing hospital mergers – and the lengths to which CharterCARE attempted to undercut and sabotage that role.

 

Editor’s Note: Part TWO examines the latest data on rising health care costs in Rhode Island.

 

To read full article: http://newsletter.convergenceri.com/stories/a-wealth-extraction-system-run-amok,6515

 

_____

 
Richard Asinof

 

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

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – May 4, 2021

 
May 4, 2021/RINewsToday

 

Photo: VP Kamala Harris and Sect of Commerce, Gina Raimondo will come to Rhode Island on Wednesday – specific plans not yet announced

 

RHODE ISLAND & VICINITY

 

Pawtucket will be holding vaccination clinics at their two public high schools to vaccinate the students over 16 years old. Clinics are scheduled at Shea High School on May 13th and Tolman High School on May 18th. Students will be given a voucher for an item from the food trucks parked outside set up as a “block party” to encourage their participation in the clinic. The Mayor thanked the Pawtucket Fire Department, EMS and EMA, along with the Pawtucket City Council, School Committee, and other partners helping to spread the importance of getting vaccinated.” 

 

Vaccine Clinics at Providence Schools for Students 16+:

 

Pfizer vaccine first doses will be administered Friday, May 7 (A day) and Wednesday, May 12 (B day) from 11AM-5PM at the following locations. Sign-up information will be available https://www.providenceschools.org/CovidVaccines. No photo ID is required and appointments for the second dose of the vaccine will be made on-site. Clinics will be held at the same locations for second doses.

 

  • Mount Pleasant High School
  • Hope High School
  • Alvarez High School
  • JSEC
    • Will serve students from: 360 High School
  • PCTA
    • Will serve students from: Central High School, Classical High School
  • E-Cubed Academy

 

A member of Gov. McKee’s staff has tested positive – and another member is in quarantine.

 

Fall River continued on a positive trajectory this week with its COVID statistics, with new cases declining for the sixth week in a row.

 

All RI state beaches will operate at full capacity this summer

 

In Connecticut, as of Saturday, bars that don’t serve food can open on an outdoor-only basis, and an eight-person limit per table for outdoor seating has been lifted.

 

Patients in the ER at any Lifespan hospital can be vaccinated upon discharge from the hospital.

 

RI will no longer allow a religious exemption from childhood immunization requirements for schools, colleges and day care facilities, becoming the sixth state to end that policy.

 

Maine now says outdoor graduation ceremonies can be safely held this year, guided by common sense.

 

Worcester Public Schools K-8 students returned to in-person learning for the first time this week.

 

Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is getting more than $750,000 in federal coronavirus relief funding to help arts-related small businesses, artists, and arts and culture organizations recover from the pandemic.

 

Fenway Park hosts graduations for Bentley, Emerson classes of 2020, 2021

 

Billy Joel Boston MA Fenway Park concert is the 19th top selling ticket event since events have opened up.

 

The RI Philharmonic has announced it will resume a full season, at full capacity, beginning in September. Until then select performances will take place with socially distanced, smaller audiences.

 

RI Treasurer Magaziner is quarantining after exposure to someone with COVID19 – he has no symptoms.

 

The Newport Music Festival announced its schedule from July 4-20. Tickets on sale now. There will be limited capacity, social distancing, and mask wearing at all times. Performances will not have intermission. newportmusic.org -849-0700.

 

 The Audrain Newport Concourse & Motor Week was canceled in the fall because of COVID, but it is set to return from Sept. 30 to Oct. 3.

 

LL Bean opens 24 hours again in Maine

 

The Restaurant Revitalization Fund through the SBA is now accepting applications by local restaurants – contact your SBA for applications procedures. If qualified, funds equal to pandemic-related revenue loss up to $10 million per business; $5 million per physical location.

 

New England leads the rest of the US in vaccination rates.

 

Massachusetts will wind down mass vaccination centers by next month and switch to reaching people in their doctor’s offices. The state will close four of seven mass COVID-19 vaccination sites in June and will provide regional collaboratives with more doses to run their programs, double the vaccine allocation for 20 hardest-hit communities, and expand mobile vaccination clinics.

 

Data – May 3, 2021

Deaths: 3 (7 total since Thurs)

Tests – 3.000 – Positives – 91 – Percent positive – 3%

Hospitalized – 124 – In ICU – 22 – Ventilated – 19

Deaths in hospital – 3 – New Admissions – 10 – New Discharges – 11

Vaccinated – 553,101- Both shots – 395,714

 

 

NATIONAL & INTERNATIONAL

 

Over 156,000 doses of Remdesivir donated by Gilead Sciences being shipped to India

 

Pfizer may now be eligible for 12+ year olds – a decision may come by the FDA this week.

 

The TSA said they will extend the mask requirement on flying/airports through September

 

Cruises can begin in July as long s 98% of crew and 94% of travelers are vaccinated, according to the CDC

 

In NYC, Businesses “won’t need to abide by the six-foot rule if they require that all individuals present proof of full vaccination or a negative coronavirus test result – restaurants can put tables closer than 6 feet if they put plexiglass between them.

 

San Francisco is 70% open due to high vaccination compliance.

 

 

Moderna will supply 34 million doses of its COVID-19 vaccine this year and Sweden has donated 1 million AstraZeneca shots to the global COVAX programme.

 

“There is no major religion that prohibits vaccinations,‘ said Peter Hotez, dean of the National School of Tropical Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. ‘The argument has really very little to do with religion and everything to do with the anti-vaccine, vaccine choice movement.’

 

Florida’s Gov. DeSantis has eliminated all mandatory protocols including mask mandates, limitations on business operations and the shuttering of schools. Some mayors have said they disagree.

 

In New York, the subway will begin rolling all night again, and capacity restrictions for most businesses will end statewide in mid-May,

 

Russia has produced the world’s first batch – 17,000 doses – of COVID-19 vaccines for animals

 

India reports less than 2% of its population has received one vaccine.

 

Some cities with many open office buildings are turning them into housing.

 

16 people in the security section of the Olympic Torch run have tested positive – they were all wearing masks.

 

Disneyland reopened today after 13 months of COVID closure

 

Walgreen’s is bringing vaccinations to the neighborhoods in Chicago, high density, high risk areas.

 

US will restrict travel from India starting May 4 due to the COVID-19 surge there.

 

Los Angeles reports 0 COVID19 deaths for 2nd day in a row.

 

Mt. Rushmore July 4th fireworks have been canceled – Governor is suing to open it.

 

Boris Johnson says there is a ‘good chance’ social distancing can be scrapped next month

 
Posted in 

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Governor Dan McKee says the mass COVID-19 vaccination site in Providence is closing soon.  It was apparently a case of wrong place, wrong time for the man who was stabbed at a convenience store in North Providence.  The Boston Bruins are going to compete for the Stanley Cup again this year.

>>McKee Says Vaccination Site At Dunk To Close Soon

(Smithfield, RI)  --  Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee said on Monday that the closure of the Dunkin' Donuts Center in Providence as a mass COVID-19 vaccination site is, quote, "imminent".  McKee said the state is shifting to bringing the vaccines to people in local communities.  The Dunk is one of five state-run vaccination sites in Rhode Island.  The others are in Woonsocket, South Kingstown, Middletown and Cranston.

>>Police Identify Pawtucket Victim Of Route 95 Crash

(Attleboro, MA)  --  The Massachusetts State Police is identifying the Pawtucket, Rhode Island man who was killed in a crash on I-95 last week.  The name of the 19-year-old who died was Hernane Ribeiro.  The crash that happened in Attleboro, Mass last Thursday remains under investigation.

>>New Details On Murder At Cumberland Farms Store

(Warwick, RI)  --  Authorities are saying this weekend's fatal stabbing at a Cumberland Farms store in North Providence was apparently carried out at random.  Christopher Carbajal was arraigned Monday for the murder of Brian Cervini, both of North Providence, two days after the alleged attack.  The two had never met and Cervini was reportedly in the store to get coffee.  Carbajal is said to have a violent history.

>>Providence McDonald's Employee Accused Of Slashing Customer

(Providence, RI)  --  A McDonald's employee in Providence is being charged with felony assault for an alleged slashing attack.  The customer who suffered the attack Friday night reportedly told police he had gotten into an argument about the food with staff at the restaurant on Branch Avenue.  The victim and the employee, who was identified as Shaheed Miller, then went outside to fight and Miller allegedly slashed the customer in the face.

>>Man Charged With Attempting To Hire Hitman

(Providence, RI)  --  A Providence man is facing federal charges for an alleged murder-for-hire plot.  The Justice Department says Agustin Vinas attempted to hire someone to kill two men.  One was a contractor he claimed owed him money and who threatened to harm his family if he did not stop asking him for payment, and the other was an employee of the contractor.  The FBI reportedly surveilled Vinas talking about the proposal with an acquaintance.  The feds say he then discussed it with an undercover law enforcement officer who acted as the hired hitman.

>>Bruins Clinch Playoff Spot

(Newark, NJ)  --  The Boston Bruins are going back to the NHL playoffs.  The B's defeated the New Jersey Devils on the road Monday night, three-to-nothing.  This is the fifth consecutive trip to the Stanley Cup Playoffs for Boston, which has five regular season games remaining, starting with another game against the Devils in Newark tonight.

###
Jim McCabe/djc           RI) MA)
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TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-04-2021 00:46:08

Young People - step right up - and vaccinate

Young people – step right up – and vaccinate

 
May 3, 2021/RINewsToday

 

At the High Schools

 

Cranston youth will be stepping it up at Cranston East and Cranston West High Schools today as Cranston became the first announced city to engage in an all-out effort to vaccinate its high schoolers. Today the first clinic is at Cranston East High School from 9am to 3pm in the gym, and Wednesday at Cranston West High School, from 9am to 3pm. Vaccinations will be assisted by members of the Cranston Fire Department. Shots given will be the Pfizer shot with 2nd appointments being set up.

 

Pre-registration was required, though walk-ins may be accommodated. So far, 200 of the city’s 1,000 students have signed up.

 

https://www.vaccinateri.org//reg/9256001699 Cranston EAST Monday, May 3, 2021 9:00-3:00p

 

https://www.vaccinateri.org//reg/6095129950 Cranston WEST Wednesday, May 5, 2021, 9:00-3:00p

 

All Rhode Island cities and towns are expected to hold high school clinics soon. No parental consent is required. Students just need to sign up when directed to do so and bring identification with them.

 

Cranston’s effort to protect its young people, and their families also has the added benefit of allowing freer attendance at proms and graduations, if vaccinations are complete by June 15th.

 

 

All Rhode Islanders 16 years of age and older can register for a vaccine at vaccinateri.org. If you need assistance signing up call, 844-930-1779.

 

At Colleges

 

The state is working with colleges and universities throughout Rhode Island to make COVID-19 vaccines as accessible as possible for all students, faculty, and staff before the spring semester ends. “Now that vaccine eligibility is open to all people 16 and older who live, work, or go to school in Rhode Island, it’s important that we get our young people who live in congregate settings vaccinated,” said Governor McKee. “We’re working with our colleges and universities to get as many shots in arms as possible before students recess for the summer.”

 

Nine of Rhode Island’s colleges and universities have collaborated with RIDOH to develop vaccination plans. “Our goal is to get at least one dose of vaccine into the arm of every college student in Rhode Island before the end of semester, and to ensure that all of these students get their second doses in the weeks that follow. We are also working to make COVID-19 vaccines as accessible as possible to all faculty and staff,” said Director of Health Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH.

 

Announced so far are these vaccination programs at or coordinated by these RI colleges/universities.

 

Bryant University is participating in a designated day at Sockanosset Cross Road in Cranston. Bryant will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

Brown University is participating at a designated day at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. Brown will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

Community College of Rhode Island held onsite clinics at CCRI campuses in Lincoln, Warwick, Providence, and Newport and promoted existing mass vaccination sites around the state to its student body.

 

New England Institute of Technology is participating in designated days at Sockanosett Cross Road in Cranston. NEIT is also sharing links to various current clinics.

 

Providence College is encouraging community members to get vaccinated at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. PC also held an on-campus clinic.

 

Roger Williams University is partnering with the town of Bristol to host an on-campus clinic. RWU will additionally connect community members to the existing Middletown POD.

 

Rhode Island College is hosting an on-site vaccination clinic. Additionally, RIC will connect community members to existing regional clinics.

 

Rhode Island School of Design will be promoting a “RISD Day” at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center. RISD will provide shuttle service to the clinic.

 

University of Rhode Island will hold “URI Days” at existing mass vaccination clinics. URI will provide transportation to designated sites and will provide ice cream bars for participants.

 

There is no cost to get vaccinated, and participants do not need health insurance. Individuals can get vaccinated regardless of their immigration status. If college or university faculty, staff or students received their first dose in another state, they can get their second dose in Rhode Island. If they received their first dose in Rhode Island but will not be in Rhode Island for their second dose, they should ensure they can register for their second dose elsewhere before registering for their first dose in Rhode Island.


“I congratulate Governor McKee and Director Alexander-Scott for beating the deadline in making vaccinations available to young adults,” said Shannon W. Gilkey, Ed.D., R.I. commissioner of postsecondary education. “The tremendous effort to transport students to existing clinics or stand-up new ones on campuses adds to the convenience and ease of getting vaccinated. My office strongly encourages all college students to grasp this opportunity to protect themselves, their loved ones, and all people they interact with in the pursuit of their degrees.”

 

All Rhode Islanders 16 years of age and older can register for a vaccine at vaccinateri.org. If you need assistance signing up call, 844-930-1779.

Rhode Island News Today

Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A North Providence man is charged with murder after a deadly stabbing at a convenience store.  U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo, former Rhode Island governor, is visiting her home state this week along with the vice president.  The RI Attorney General provides an update about the ownership situation at two local hospitals.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Arrest Made After Fatal Stabbing At North Providence Store

(North Providence, RI)  --  A person died following a stabbing at a Cumberland Farms store in North Providence on Saturday afternoon.  The victim of the stabbing reported at the store on Smith Street was identified as Bruce Cervini of North Providence.  Authorities reportedly arrested another resident of the town, Christopher Carbajal, for the stabbing and credited several witnesses who followed him from the store.  Carbajal is expected to appear in Warwick District Court on charges including murder today.

>>Fatal Motorcycle Crash In Coventry

(Coventry, RI)  --  Police are investigating a fatal motorcycle accident in Coventry.  The single-vehicle wreck happened at around 6 a.m. Sunday on Route 117.  It was in the same area where a deadly two-vehicle accident occurred last month.  The victim's name has not been released.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Teens Accused In Sex Assault Case Released On Bail

(Wakefield, RI)  --  Three Rhode Island teens accused of sexually assaulting another who was incapacitated and recording it on video have been released on bail.  A weeks-long hearing took place in South County Superior Court for 18-year-olds Trent Scuncio and Jah-Qwin Sekator, as well as 19-year-old Montrell Wilson.  They had been at the ACI since their arrests in March for the alleged incident in South Kingstown.  The judge who made the ruling to free the teens on Friday cited insufficient evidence.  The case has developed racial undertones as the Providence Journal reports supporters of the trio waved a Black Lives Matter Flag and a sign saying "Protect Indigenous Youth" outside the courthouse.

>>Kamala Harris, Gina Raimondo Visiting RI This Week

(Undated)  --  Vice President Kamala [[ COMMA-luh ]] Harris and former Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo, now U.S. Secretary of Commerce, are paying a visit to the Ocean State.  The White House says this is set to happen Wednesday.  Raimondo tweeted the visit will include promotion of President Biden's proposed two-trillion-dollar infrastructure investment plan.

>>Public Swearing-In Ceremony Held For Lieutenant Governor Matos

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor Sabina Matos [[ suh-bEE-nuh MATT-ohs ]] was formally sworn in to the position on Sunday.  The public ceremony at the State House followed a private swearing-in last month.  The former president of the Providence City Council became the first person of color to serve as lieutenant governor and the second woman to hold the position.

>>Attorney General Releases Statement About Roger Williams/Fatima Hospital Situation

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says a request for approval of an ownership change at Roger Williams and Fatima Hospitals in Greater Providence is being withdrawn.  Prospect Medical Holdings cried foul last week after announcing that the A.G.'s office was requiring a 150-million-dollar escrow if the sale went through.  Attorney General Peter Neronha [[ nair-OH-nuh ]] says the ownership group has requested more time to try to convince his office they are prepared to provide financial security guarantees, notwithstanding what he called an "irresponsible" threat to close the hospitals in response to the conditions being imposed.

###
Jim McCabe/djc          RI)

Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

05-03-2021 00:12:43

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