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1540 WADK.com Updates Archives for 2021-11

Your Coronavirus Update

Your Coronavirus Update – Nov. 30, 2021

November 30, 2021/RINewsToday




State-run PCR tests in RI are taking 3-4 days due to some delay with equipment and processing – this is not the case at pharmacies and other locations.


The Rhode Island Foundation and the Governor announced the Rhode Island Pandemic Recovery Office have jointly established the Rhode Island Nonprofit Support Fund II. The purpose of the program is to support local nonprofits with direct service programs that respond to the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on individuals and/or communities.  More application info, here: https://rifoundation.org/grant/rhode-island-nonprofit-support-fund-ii


Dr. Skoly and his staff, in Cranston, have been informed that they cannot collect unemployment. Skoly is the oral surgeon who refuses to be vaccinated due to his medical condition and his having had COVID – and has been told he cannot practice because of that.


Providence reports less than 5% of its federal small business money for city companies has been spent.


Providence Police report 76% of their force are vaccinated.


Gov. McKee orders masks be worn by all in state buildings.


Rep. Charlene Lima is submitting a bill to prevent the $3K bonus for state workers getting vaccinated.


8 residents of a Connecticut nursing home died before their booster shot program could begin. This spurred CT to set up rapid booster programs to reach all nursing homes.


East Providence has given out used Chromebooks from the School Department as incentives to get vaccinated


Massachusetts Governor is asking hospitals to postponing of non-urgent medical procedures due to overcrowding due to emergency medical procedures postponed during the pandemic.


Massachusetts is concerned about low vaccination rates – about 50% – in teens in minority communities.


Maine will cancel elective procedures due to overcrowding with an uptick of cases.

There have been 12 deaths since before the holiday
last chart was Wed, 11/24




The Omicron update:


It will be 2 weeks before research shows solid facts about the new variant.


Moderna’s CEO and monoclonal treatment maker Regeneron are saying out loud what scientists fear: Our existing COVID arsenal looks to be far less effective against the super-mutant.


We have seen of 2,000 variants to date, and none of them have evaded the effectiveness of the vaccine or natural immunity.


There is evidence that this mutation particularly targets younger people. Hospitalizations in young people who are vaccinated is very rare.


Markets tumbled around the world and countries rushed to impose travel restrictions in response to a new COVID variant in South Africa on Friday.


Some who have contracted the variant have already had original COVID. Or, have been vaccinated.


NY has declared a state of emergency and stopped elective surgeries in preparation for an increase of new cases


UK reinstalls mandatory mask wearing on public transportation and in shops. Travelers need to take PCR tests and isolate until negative test results.


2 cases identified in Ottawa, Canada


Israel, Japan, the U.K., France, Germany, Italy and Singapore restricting entry of people from So. Africa. U.K. goes beyond to restrict travel of those from Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe.


Portugal, which has one of the world’s highest rates of vaccination against COVID-19, announced it would reimpose restrictions to stop a surge in cases, ordering all passengers flying into the country to show a negative test certificate on arrival.


Morocco and Japan have halted incoming travel completely for 2 weeks


Dr. Fauci said it is quite likely the new variant is already here in the US.


President Biden said his medical advisors told him he could wait until Monday to put the ban on South Africa travel.


Israel has banned non-citizen international travelers for two weeks, approves Shin Bet tracking for confirmed virus carriers The US Ambassador to Israel landed in Israel on Monday and went straight to a house to quarantine


The doctor in South Africa who first reported patients with the Omicron variant said “It presents {with}mild disease with symptoms being sore muscles and tiredness; for a day or two not feeling well,” …”those infected do not suffer the loss of taste or smell. They might have a slight cough. There are no prominent symptoms. Of those infected some are currently being treated at home.”


62% of voters in Switzerland supported the government’s strict controls for only vaccinated people to attend public events, etc.


Two military medical teams will arrive in Minnesota to help out at hospitals.


Pennsylvania will cancel elective procedures with case uptick.




A federal judge has halted enforcing mandatory vaccines for healthcare workers in the 10 states who sued about it (not RI).


Disney World is pausing its vaccine mandate for employees due to legal challenges and recognizing that over 90% of staff are vaccinated. Mask wearing is still required.


US Marines have the lowest vaccination rate among military – but – 94% are vaccinated.


After saying 2 shots will no longer count as “fully vaccinated”, Dr. Fauci now says that may  change and fully vaccinated may now be all 3 shots.


The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) on Monday advised against travel to Germany and Denmark because of a rising number of COVID-19 cases in those countries.


No criminal charges will be brought in the Soldiers Home, MA nursing home death case.


New Zealand is opening up with workplaces resuming business – they are asking tourists and visitors to stay away to keep their status as it is now.


New York no longer acknowledges religious reasons for healthcare employees to opt out of getting the vaccine.


4,000 new cases a week are reported in nursing homes in the US – making booster shots more important to deploy rapidly.


The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid will be posting booster data for every state’s nursing homes in the next 2 weeks.


Pfizer Inc. said Tuesday that it was investigating a longtime employee who it believes downloaded thousands of documents containing confidential information, some of which is related to the pharmaceutical giant’s COVID-19 vaccine.


The Netherlands started transporting COVID-19 patients across the border to Germany on Tuesday to ease pressure on Dutch hospitals


The Czech Republic may make COVID-19 vaccines mandatory for people over the age of 60 as well as for some professions including health and social care workers – their president had COVID and was treated in-hospital with monoclonal antibodies.


Studies show that inhaled steroids are not proving effective against COVID.


WHO recommends masks, distancing for vaccinated amid virus surge in Europe


The US will require essential, nonresident travelers crossing U.S. land borders, such as truck drivers, government and emergency response officials, to be fully vaccinated beginning on Jan. 22.


The Packers’ Aaron Rodgers said he was recovering from COVID Toe, a rare side effect of testing positive for COVID, where symptoms are mild because the body produces copious quantities of interferon, to fight the infection. This overproduction can cause painful lesions and purple toes, which eventually will subside. It can be extremely painful and be made worse by wearing shoes, and being subjected to cold weather. The condition is treated by a dermatologist. – However, it’s found he has a broken toe.


In Austria, starting in February, if you are not vaccinated you will be fined over $4K – if no booster, $2K – they also have a 10 day shut down of non-essential businesses, all schools, etc.


Germany having its highest cases yet – their health minister says by the end of the year, most Germans will either be “vaccinated, cured, or dead”.


Military medical teams to help overwhelmed Michigan hospitals treat COVID patients


Ozzy Osbourne has again delayed his concert schedule – this time into 2023 – saying science is showing that it’s still inadvisable to gather in large groups.


Bryan Adams has tested positive twice in the last few months for COVID-19 though he is fully vaccinated. He is in Italy.


Federal employees are at 92% vaccination rate


President Biden stresses message for Americans to get vaccinated, and get boosted, observe mask-wearing and distancing when indoors – and a message for the international community – we need to have global vaccines and he calls on other countries to match America’s speed and generosity to other countries.


US is calling on the World Trade Organization to meet the U.S. challenge to waive intellectual property protections for COVID vaccines, so these vaccines can be manufactured globally.  


Dr. Megan Ranney of Brown University reacted to travel closures on Twitter: “This is pretty pointless. Better actions could include but are not limited to: * Require vaccination & negative tests for all air travel. * Speed up access to & logistics for vaccinations around the world. * Further enhance our tracking of new variants here at home.”


Merck’s treatment medication has proven 30% effective, not 50% effective as the company thought.

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A dozen new COVID deaths reported in Rhode Island over the holiday weekend as a new virus variant comes into focus.  Authorities have released the name of the man killed in a shootout with police in Seekonk, Massachusetts.  The North Kingstown Town Council hires a retired judge to review the investigation of a former basketball coach. 

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,927

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported a dozen new coronavirus deaths over the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.  The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State has increased to two-thousand-927.  Over 24-hundred new virus cases were reported.  A spokesperson for the RI Department of Health told The Boston Globe that as of Monday morning, the state had not identified any cases linked to the new omicron variant, which has prompted the CDC to recommend that all vaccinated adults get booster shots.

>>Man Killed In Shootout With Police In Seekonk ID'd

(Seekonk, MA)  --  The name of the suspect who allegedly shot at police officers in Seekonk, Massachusetts with an AK-47 over the weekend has been identified.  The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says it was 47-year-old Jeffrey Groulx [[ groll ]] of New Hampshire.  Groulx reportedly escaped from prison in that state two years ago.  Police shot back during the incident in Seekonk on Route 6 Sunday morning, which started as a response to a break-in at a business.  The D.A.'s office says Groulx was mortally wounded.  The matter remains under investigation.

>>I-495 Crash Victim Name Released 

(Undated)  --  The Rhode Island man who died in a crash on Route 495 in Mansfield, Massachusetts on Thanksgiving has been identified.  The Mass State Police says the victim was Valdemeiro Teixeira of East Providence.  Teixeira was the only person involved in the single-vehicle wreck.

>>Newport Teen Indicted For Murder 

(Newport, RI)  --  A Newport teenager has been indicted by a statewide grand jury in a murder case.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office announced the indictment Monday against 19-year-old Tyrese Poulsen.  He's accused of stabbing 22-year-old Maximus Julian of Little Compton during a fight at a rental property in Newport on Memorial Day weekend.  The Newport Daily News reports Poulsen has been held without bail since turning himself in to police days after the incident.

[[ note nature ]] 

>>Another Set Of Eyes On Ex-North Kingstown Basketball Coach Investigation 

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  The North Kingstown Town Council voted on Monday night to hire a retired Superior Court judge to review the ongoing investigations into former high school basketball coach Aaron Thomas.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is looking into allegations that Thomas had players strip naked for quote-unquote "fat tests".  The vote to bring on former justice Susan McGuirl was 3-to-2.  Dissenting council members said someone should be brought in from out-of-state. 

>>Company Fined For Work Impacting Hope Street In Providence Saturday

(Providence, RI)  --  A construction company has been fined by the city of Providence for working without a permit which temporarily closed a street lined with small businesses on Small Business Saturday.  WPRI-TV reports the five-hundred-dollar fine was levied against S. Francisco Construction for the work that was done on Hope Street.  Channel 12 reports a number of businesses on Hope Street voiced frustrations on social media about the unexpected work which kept detours in place until the afternoon.

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

11-30-2021 02:03:09

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots take back the division lead with a win versus Tennessee on Sunday.  A suspect is dead after reportedly shooting at police in Seekonk, Massachusetts with an assault rifle.  A principal at a Warwick school dealing with a COVID outbreak has died.

>>Patriots Beat Titans To Pull Back Into First Place 

(Foxboro, MA)  --  It's a half-dozen wins in a row for the New England Patriots.  The Pats dispatched the Tennessee Titans at Gillette Stadium on Sunday 36-to-13.  The Patriots are a half-game ahead of Buffalo for the division lead with five games to go, and next up for New England is a Monday night matchup versus the Bills.

>>Suspect Dead After Exchanging Gunfire With Police In Seekonk

(Seekonk, MA)  --  The Bristol County, Massachusetts District Attorney's Office says an individual armed with an AK-47 rifle shot at police officers in Seekonk on Sunday.  Officers had responded to a reported break-in at a business on Route Six near the intersection with School Street at around 6:30 a.m.  The suspect reportedly fled in a vehicle before crashing and firing their weapon.  The D.A.'s office says police returned fire and the suspect, whose name has not been released, and he was found dead.

>>Several Arrests Following Large Mall Fight In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  Three juveniles were arrested after a large fight at the Providence Place Mall over the weekend.  GoLocalProv reports over one-hundred people were involved in the melee on Saturday night.  The disturbance drew a large Providence police response, and the crowd reportedly attempted to block the officers from performing their duties.

>>Pilgrim High School Principal Gerald Habershaw Dies 

(Warwick, RI)  --  A longtime Warwick principal whose school has been dealing with a coronavirus outbreak has died.  Pilgrim High School principal Gerald Habershaw [[ HABB-er-shaw ]] passed away on Saturday.  Habershaw's brother told The Providence Journal he died of complications from COVID-19.  Nearly fifty virus cases have been linked to a homecoming dance at which Habershaw and numerous students were seen not wearing masks inside as is mandated by the state of Rhode Island, according to the Journal report.  The Warwick School District has not said whether Habershaw was placed on leave, but a new acting principal was named prior to his death.

>>New Names For RI Casinos

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island's casinos are going by new names.  New signage was put up this month reflecting the change to Bally's Twin River for the casino and hotel properties in Lincoln and Tiverton.  Bally's Corporation, which is headquartered in Providence, was previously known as Twin River Worldwide holdings. 

>>Lane Changes On Broadway In Providence 

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is announcing a travel lane shift on Broadway in Providence that will take effect Monday night.  This is part of the rehabilitation project for the downtown Broadway Bridge over I-95.  RIDOT says a newly-built sidewalk on the bridge is being opened to pedestrians, which will eliminate a lengthy detour that has been in place since June.

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

11-29-2021 02:04:03

Stay in the Kitchen - for a safe Thanksgiving

Stay in the kitchen – for a safe Thanksgiving

November 24, 2021/RINewsToday


Photo: NFPA


For most, the kitchen is the heart of the home, especially during the holidays. From testing family recipes to decorating cakes and cookies, everyone enjoys being part of the preparations.


So keeping fire safety top of mind in the kitchen during this joyous but hectic time is important, especially when there’s a lot of activity and people at home. As you start preparing your holiday schedule and organizing that large family feast, remember, by following a few simple safety tips you can enjoy time with your loved ones and keep yourself and your family safer from fire.



Some safety tips from the National Fire Protection Association:

Top 10 safety tips
  • Stay in the kitchen when you are cooking on the stove top so you can keep an eye on the food.
  • Stay in the home when cooking your turkey, and check on it frequently.
  • Keep children away from the stove. The stove will be hot and kids should stay three feet away.
  • Make sure kids stay away from hot food and liquids. The steam or splash from vegetables, gravy or coffee could cause serious burns.
  • Keep knives out of the reach of children.
  • Be sure electric cords from an electric knife, coffee maker, plate warmer or mixer are not dangling off the counter within easy reach of a child.
  • Keep matches and utility lighters out of the reach of children — up high in a locked cabinet.
  • Never leave children alone in room with a lit candle.
  • Keep the floor clear so you don’t trip over kids, toys, pocketbooks or bags.
  • Make sure your smoke alarms are working. Test them by pushing the test button.
Thanksgiving fire facts
  • Thanksgiving is the peak day for home cooking fires with more than three times the daily average for such incidents. Christmas Day and Christmas Eve ranked second and third, with both having nearly twice the daily average. 
  • In 2019, U.S. fire departments responded to an estimated 1,400 home cooking fires on Thanksgiving, the peak day for such fires.
  • Unattended cooking was by far the leading contributing factor in cooking fires and fire deaths.
  • Cooking caused half (49 percent) of all reported home fires and more than two of every five (42 percent) home fire injuries, and it is the second leading cause of home fire deaths (20 percent) in 2015-2019.

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The state of Rhode Island wants to establish a standalone psychiatric unit at Eleanor Slater Hospital.  CVS and other pharmacy chains are being held responsible for the nation's opioid crisis.  Former Rhode Island House Speaker Nick Mattiello is now a lobbyist for Lifespan.

>>Approval Sought For Relicensing RI State Hospital Facility 

(Providence, RI)  --  A change is being planned at the Rhode Island state hospital.  The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals wants to re-license the Roosevelt Benton building in Cranston as a standalone psychiatric hospital.  The Benton facility treats those who have been remanded by the court system, known as "forensic patients".  Governor Dan McKee's administration says it will continue to serve as a secure facility for patients in the criminal justice system, while Eleanor Slater will continue to serve patients with long-term medical and psychiatric conditions.  The move is being made in part to address an issue with the state's Medicaid eligibility.

>>Jury Finds Major Pharmacy Chains Helped Fuel The Opioid Epidemic

(Cleveland, OH)  --  A federal jury in Ohio is finding CVS Health, Walmart and Walgreens responsible for accelerating the opioid epidemic that has ravaged communities across the nation.  The decision marks the first time that a jury has delivered a verdict in a case against the national pharmacy chains. A trial judge will now decide how much the pharmacies must pay in damages.  The companies said they disagreed with the jury's decision and plan to file an appeal. 

>>No New COVID Deaths In RI Tuesday

(Providence, RI)  --  There were zero new coronavirus deaths reported in Rhode Island on Tuesday.  There were over five-hundred new virus cases reported yesterday to push the pandemic total in the Ocean State to over 188-thousand.  The state says 77-percent of Rhode Island's population is at least partially-vaccinated against COVID-19.

>>Former RI House Speaker Takes Lobbying Position For Lifespan 

(Providence, RI)  --  Former Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello is now working as a lobbyist for Lifespan.  The Democrat Mattiello was defeated in a re-election bid last year.  He registered with Westminster Consulting last week.  Lifespan is seeking a merger with Care New England to combine the state's two largest healthcare systems.  However, a spokesperson for Lifespan told The Boston Globe that Mattiello would not be lobbying on behalf of the merger.

>>Democrat Running Against Bristol County MA Sheriff 

(Dartmouth, MA)  --  A Democrat is running against longtime Republican Bristol County, Massachusetts Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.  WPRI-TV reports Nick Bernier, a lawyer from Fall River and a former Bristol County assistant district attorney, has filed paperwork with the state.  Hodgson tells Channel 12 he plans to run for another term and expects to make a more-formal announcement after the holidays. 

>>PC Loses To Virginia, Rhody Falls To FGCU

(Undated)  --  Men's college basketball: Providence College lost to Virginia 58-to-40 in the championship round of the Roman Legends Classic in Newark, New Jersey Tuesday night.  The Friars host Saint Peter's University at the Dunkin' Donuts Center on Saturday.  The University of Rhode Island lost 67-to-66 at Florida Gulf Coast University last night.  They return home Saturday to play Georgia State.  '

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

11-24-2021 03:02:15

Merger Fever

Merger fever – Richard Asinof

November 23, 2021/Richard Asinof


by Richard Asinof, ConvergenceRI, contributing writer


The RI Foundation weighs in with its assessment of the proposed merger of Care New England, Brown and Lifespan — but what is missing?


It was big week for news around mergers of health systems in Rhode Island. R.I. Attorney General Peter Neronha announced that application under the Hospital Conversions Act for the proposed merger of Care New England, Lifespan, and Brown was complete, setting the time clock ticking away for a decision to be made by mid-March.


At the same time, the Rhode Island Foundation released its community-driven assessment by stakeholders establishing parameters around quality, cost, equity, and access for the proposed merger, providing briefings to elected officials, the leadership of the two health systems and Brown University, the Attorney General — and the news media.


Not having been invited to the media briefing in advance of the release of “Ensuring the Integrated Academic Health System Benefits All Rhode Islanders,” the Rhode Island Foundation-led report analyzing the proposed merger of Care New England, Lifespan, and Brown University, ConvergenceRI spent some time this week poring over the full 70-page document, looking for evidence.

• Were there any specifics to connect the well-written words to a plan of action? ConvergenceRI read the report on four different occasions, but came away puzzled by the apparent lack of specifics.


All the words and phrases and emphases on the principles around equity, access, oversight, quality and cost hit all the right notes, for sure.


Take, for instance, the recommendation: “The merged system will agree to support meaningful payment reform, and should commit to continued participation in cost containment processes, such as the Rhode Island Health Care Cost Trends project.”


Sounds good. The problem is not with the intent, but rather, what the data have already told us: The number-one driver of increased health care costs in Rhode Island is prescription drug costs, as identified by the cost trends analyses. [See link to ConvergenceRI story below, “Prescription drug costs, not utilization, are driving high health costs in RI.”]

And, that data analysis came directly from the Health Care Cost Trends Collaborative Project, which said, as ConvergenceRI had reported earlier this year:

• The per capita total health care expenditures in Rhode Island rose from $7.001 billion in 2017 to $7.309 billion in 2018, a 4.4 percent increase, 28 percent higher than the goal of 3.2 percent.

ConvergenceRI reviewed the written document again, but nowhere in the carefully manicured report did there appear to be any substantive discussion of how the merger would/could/should address, tackle or solve the ever-escalating prescription drug costs in Rhode Island.

Translated, if you cannot contain prescription drug costs, you cannot contain health care costs in Rhode Island, merger or no merger.


Meaningful payment reform?
In that same bullet-point, under the “Cost” principles, the report emphasized that “the merged system will agree to support meaningful payment reform.”

The intent, of course, was commendable – to move away from the fee-for-service payment model that seemingly rewards quantity of care over quality of care.

Easier said than done. The question that needs to be asked about “meaningful payment reform” is: For whom?


Almost all the current work on payment reform in Rhode Island has been done under the guise of reinventing Medicaid, through the creation of accountable entities as a cost control function of the private, managed care organizations “managing” the care of Medicaid members.

Translated, the social engineering of “payment reform” has been practiced upon the “have not” population of Rhode Island residents, roughly one-third of the state’s population, with meager outcomes and results achieved to date.


In contrast, the specialty practices owned, affiliated or controlled by Brown Physicians, Inc., have been under no such regulatory oversight when it comes to transitioning from fee-for-service to value-based alternative payment models.

Once again, ConvergenceRI went back to re-read the “Ensuring the Integrated Academic Health System Benefits All Rhode Islanders” report, looking for evidence regarding how Medicaid fits into merger plans, with no luck.

Returned from re-grooving?
The reality is that the Accountable Entity “pilot” program is now entering its fifth and final year, and there is no sustainable funding source yet identified to support its continued operations.

Further, one of the largest segments of Medicaid spending, “long-term services and supports,” has yet to fully implement an accountable entity program. A large portion of “long-term services and supports” funding now goes to pay nursing homes for care of their residents, but the proposed accountable entity program being developed under the R.I. Medicaid Office plans to invest in the creation of additional supports for home-base care.

To be perfectly clear, in terms of controlling cost of care, approximately one-third of all Rhode Island residents receive health care coverage through Medicaid, mostly delivered by federally qualified community health centers. And, as many budget hawks in the Rhode Island news media corps will remind you, Medicaid, including both state and federal funds, accounts for roughly one-third of the state’s annual budget.


When reality intervenes
It can be argued, perhaps, that any discussion of a merged Integrated Academic Health System in Rhode Island does not need to focus on what happens with Medicaid, but rather Medicare, when it comes to payment reform. But three separate news items from last week would seem to argue otherwise.


• The first was a news conference, held on Wednesday, Nov. 17, by Dr. Nicole Alexander-Scott, director of the R.I. Department of Health, and Ana Novais, R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services Assistant Secretary, at which they urged Rhode Islanders to only go to emergency departments for health issues that require emergency care, because hospital emergency departments in Rhode Island are continuing to experience significant crowding and prolonged wait times.


Translated, the underlying problem, which was exposed during the coronavirus pandemic, was that patients tend to vote with their feet – and lacking access to primary care providers and proper health insurance coverage, many folks – including many from the more vulnerable populations, seek care through the ED.

The question to ask is: How many folks who are going to the hospital ED for health care are Medicaid members or have health insurance plans with high co-pays?


• A second important news item was the joint news release put out by the R.I. Health Care Association and LeadingAge Rhode Island, representing the state’s 77 nursing homes, announcing the results of a recent survey on staffing, saying that Rhode Island’s nursing homes are in crisis, as staffing shortages are crippling the industry, with more than 1,900 open positions, including 983 openings for CNAs and 447 openings for RNs and LPNs.

Translated, the difficulty in paying employees a livable wage, exacerbated in large part by the state’s failure to increase Medicaid reimbursements for nursing homes, has precipitated a staffing crisis. The question to ask is: What are the financial projections of losses for nursing homes in the coming years, compared with the rate of reimbursements from the state for Medicaid?


• A third important news item was the fact that the current R.I. Medicaid Office director, Ben Shaffer, resigned from his job last week. It is unclear why he decided to leave, after having survived the fallout from UHIP and the crush of COVID-19.

The question to ask is this: Did it have something to do with the new strategic direction that Gov. Dan McKee’s administration appears to have decided to take in regard to Medicaid?


The McKee administration is seeking to broaden the number of potential bidders to become managed care organizations, expanding from the current three MCOs – UnitedHelathcare, Neighborhood Health Plan of RI, and Tufts Health Plan. Among the new potential insurers expressing interest, responding to a RFI, were Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI and Molina Healthcare, a California-based company.


Further, the McKee administration has announced its intention to try and reduce the Medicaid population by increasing the amount of money that Rhode Islanders are earning in wages, in an interview with Gov. McKee with ConvergenceRI – as if that would create an equitable situation where folks would no longer be eligible for Medicaid because they were making too much money, but they would be eligible to buy commercial health insurance coverage, either through their jobs or through the health insurance exchange. What is wrong with this picture? And, how would the proposed merger address any of this?

Ain’t misbehaving
Under the principle of “Access,” the report recommends that:


• The merged system must commit to increasing physical points of access to primary car and behavioral health care, ensuring that at least 90 percent of patients served can access appropriate care in a reasonable amount of time within five years of the merger.


Once again, great intent, great wordsmithing, but evidence of the details about how to accomplish this as an outcome appear to be missing in the document, as best as ConvergenceRI can discover.


Because the underlying problem about accessing mental health and behavioral health care in Rhode Island is the fundamental problem of a lack of reimbursement paid to providers, mostly from community agencies, who are the ones on the front lines.

Community agency executives, such a Benedict Lessing, the president and CEO of the Community Care Alliance, and Cortney Nicolato, president and CEO of United Way of Rhode Island, have written forcefully in recent weeks about the failure to invest in community agencies and their staff. Word reached ConvergenceRI on deadline that Early Intervention services in Rhode Island have stopped taking on new patients, which one leading doctor called “a disaster for communities of color.”

What does all this have to do with the proposed merger between Care New England, Lifespan, and Brown University?


If there was any doubt about how the opioid epidemic has changed Rhode Island, perhaps the members of the select stakeholder committee who worked on this document should have taken the time to view one of the recent episodes of “Dopesick,” based on the writings of Beth Macy.


Not to address the opioid epidemic, front and center, as an integral part of any propoed merger, seems disingenuous at best. As Dr. Jill Maron, director of Pediatrics at Women & Infants Hospital said in an interview with ConvergenceRI this week, “Babies are not algorithms.”


Where do we go from here?
Many of the participants in the stakeholder group that worked to prepare this report are some of the best practitioners of health care in Rhode Island, for sure. The problem, in ConvergenceRI’s view, is that the document needs to be seen as a starting point, not an end point, needing to be revised and challenged, in a public process – hopefully in a way that the Rhode Island Foundation does not take umbrage at having its work being challenged. The question is: How does that happen?


Three parting observations and questions:


• Why would Lifespan want to hire former R.I. House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello as a lobbyist to work on the proposed merger? Can you spell empathic break?

• What is the current status of the Senate Commission looking at R.I. EOHHS? It would seem many of the issues discussed around the delivery of social, health and human services in Rhode Island could serve to inform issue related to the proposed merger. [See link below to ConvergenceRI story, “To have and have not.”]

• How will the importance of creating a stable, sustainable financial base for Women & Infants Hospital, including making investments in new treatments and technologies around the care of newborns, be seen as a priority?


Read the complete story, here: http://newsletter.convergenceri.com/stories/merger-fever,6919




Read all stories by Asinof for RINewsToday, here:


Richard Asinof

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

Posted in 

Rhode Island News Summary

24/7 News Source 11/23/2021 03:14:17
Rhode Island Summary AM

>>The Latest

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Coronavirus numbers are going up in Rhode Island.  A high school in Warwick has a new acting principal after a COVID outbreak connected to a school dance.  A man is dead after an officer-involved shooting in Fall River Mass.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,913

(Providence, RI)  --  The state of Rhode Island reported seven new COVID-19 deaths over the weekend in its report on Monday.  The coronavirus death toll in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-913.  Over 11-hundred new virus cases were added.  There have been approximately 187-thousand total cases diagnosed in Rhode Island since the pandemic began.

>>Acting Principal At Pilgrim High School Following COVID Outbreak 

(Warwick, RI)  --  Pilgrim High School in Warwick has a new acting principal after a coronavirus outbreak.  Officials say the cases are linked to a November 6th homecoming dance.  The Providence Journal reports Pilgrim principal Gerald Habershaw and a large percentage of students were seen on video attending the dance without masks.  Students and staff in Rhode Island public school buildings are currently required to wear masks.  Media inquiries about Habershaw's status have not been answered.  The acting principal is Pamela Bernardi, a longtime Warwick School District employee. 

>>Police-Involved Fatal Shooting In Fall River 

(Fall River, MA)  --  A man was reportedly killed in a police-involved shooting in Fall River on Monday.  The Bristol County District Attorney's Office says officers responded to Lowell Street at around 6 p.m. for a report of a past domestic incident. Officers spoke with Anthony Harden, and officials say there was gunfire after an altercation.  Harden reportedly died at St. Anne's Hospital.  The incident is under investigation. 

[[ note nature ]]

>>Swansea Man Sentenced For Filming Girls Behind Two-Way Mirror

(New Bedford, MA)  --  A Southeast Massachusetts man is being sentenced on a child pornography possession charge.  The Bristol County D.A.'s Office says 66-year-old Gerald Caron of Swansea received the maximum sentence of two-and-a-half years in jail.  Prosecutors say Caron invited two teenage girls he had known to live with him and used a two-way mirror between their bathroom and his bedroom to record them with a video camera.  Police last year also reportedly found a two-way mirror in the girls' bedroom.

>>Oil Leak In Well Cleaned Up In Burrillville 

(Burrillville, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management is inspecting the local ecosystem after an oil leak into a water well in Burrillville.  Two-hundred-fifty gallons reportedly seeped into a private well on Waterfront Circle over the weekend.  The DEM says this was caused by the home's oil filter failure, according to a report from WLNE-TV.  A hazmat crew was brought in to pump out the well.

>>Friars Beat Northwestern, Rhody At FGCU

(Undated)  --  Men's college basketball: Providence College beat Northwestern on Monday 77-to-72 in the Legends Classic at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.  PC takes on Virginia in the championship game of the tournament Tuesday night with a 7:30 tipoff.  URI is at Florida Gulf Coast tonight at 7:00.

Jim McCabe/jb          MA) RI)  
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11-23-2021 03:15:13

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is the final state to exit a transportation climate initiative in Southern New England.  A former prisoner has been named to the RI parole board for the first time.  A Rhode Island high school football powerhouse has won it all, once again. 

>>Regional Transportation Initiative Falls Apart 

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island is backing out of a climate initiative in Southern New England.  The governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut previously exited following concerns that the regional partnership amounted to a gasoline tax.  WPRI-TV reports the acting director of the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management said on Friday that the initiative depends on the involvement of at least three jurisdictions to go forward, and that the Ocean State will have to explore other options for clean transportation.

>>Former Prisoner Named To Rhode Island Parole Board 

(Providence, RI)  --  Someone who was in jail has been named to the Rhode Island Parole Board for the first time.  The Providence Journal reports Governor Dan McKee has appointed 66-year-old Peter Slom, who served two years of a six-year sentence for dealing drugs when he was paroled in 1992.  McKee says Slom has extensive experience in rehabilitation and social work.  McKee added he is confident Slom will help further the board's mission by promoting safe and productive re-entry of incarcerated people, and supporting the public safety of all Rhode Islanders.

>>COVID Cases Cause Continued Remote Learning At Warwick School 

(Warwick, RI)  --  Remote learning is continuing at Pilgrim High School in Warwick until after the Thanksgiving break.  The decision was made on Friday as a result of a coronavirus outbreak at the school.  Students were in virtual learning mode last week.  Pilgrim High School officials are waiting on a batch of test results to determine the scope of the outbreak, which may be linked to a recent homecoming dance.

>>Shooting At Attleboro Stop & Shop 

(Attleboro, MA)  --  Police are investigating a shooting at the Attleboro, Massachusetts Stop and Shop.  Reports indicate a man was shot as he got into a car in the parking lot of the grocery store on Washington Street Friday night.  Authorities do not think the shooting was random.  The male victim was taken to Rhode Island Hospital.  WPRI-TV reports he is in stable condition.

>>Former Newport Mayor David Gordon Dies 

(Newport, RI)  --  Former Newport mayor David Gordon has died.  Gordon passed away last Thursday at the age of 83.  Newport has a unique mayor system which draws from the city council.  Gordon served on the council from 1994 to 2000 and was the mayor from 1996 going forward.

>>Bishop Hendricken Repeats As Football Champions 

(Warwick, RI)  --  Bishop Hendricken High School has won four straight football championships.  The latest came against archrival La Salle Academy this weekend.  The final score at Cranston Stadium was 49-to-40.

>>Men's BB: Rhody Beat BC Again 

(Daytona Beach, FL)  --  The University of Rhode Island men's basketball team defeated Boston College on Sunday, 71-to-65 at the Sunshine Slam in Florida.  It was the second win over BC in less than a week.  Rhody basketball is now 4-and-1.  They play at Florida Gulf Coast on Tuesday.

Jim McCabe/jb          MA) CT) RI)  
Copyright © 2021
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11-22-2021 03:00:16

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Rhode Island is receiving a large federal grant to establish a new science center.  T.F. Green Airport adds a nonstop route to New York City.  The Patriots are taking on the Falcons in a Super Bowl rematch tonight.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,902

(Providence, RI)  --  One new coronavirus death was reported in Rhode Island on Wednesday.  The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-902.  There were four-hundred-19 new virus cases in Rhode Island added yesterday.

>>Federal Grant To Establish New RI Science Center 

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor Dan McKee's administration is announcing that Rhode Island has received an 82-million-dollar grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.  The money is for the construction of a center for excellence for laboratory sciences.  McKee on Tuesday thanked the Biden administration for what he called a transformative grant and said the new state-of-the-art labs will accelerate the state's innovative health initiatives.

>>New Nonstop Flight Between Providence And New York 

(Warwick, RI)  --  Delta Airlines is offering nonstop service between T.F. Green Airport in Rhode Island and LaGuardia Airport in New York City.  The daily flights will start on January 5th.  The Rhode Island Airport Corporation says it now has 26 nonstop routes.

>>Lottery Scammers Sentenced 

(Providence, RI)  --  The U.S. Justice Department says two Jamaicans who participated in lottery scams that defrauded senior citizens in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and other states are going to federal prison.  Prosecutors say Jason Wedderburn and Kayan Kitson controlled bank accounts that received money from victims who were told they had won large sums in a lottery which they could collect after paying taxes or fees.  The DOJ estimates the scam netted over seven-hundred-thousand dollars.

>>East Providence City Clerk Resigns 

(East Providence, RI)  --  The city clerk of East Providence has resigned.  Samantha Burnett claims she was discriminated against and made other accusations against the city.  She requested, but did not receive, a separation agreement which would continue to pay her until 2023 in exchange for Burnett refraining from disparaging the city.  She began the position in 2019.

>>Patriots At Falcons Thursday Night Football

(Atlanta, GA)  --  The New England Patriots are playing the Atlanta Falcons tonight for the second time since the 2017 Super Bowl.  The kickoff from Mercedes-Benz Stadium is at 8:20.  The Pats overcame a 28-to-3 deficit in the 2017 championship game and beat the Falcons in overtime, making it the only Super Bowl to have ever been decided in OT.

>>Men's Basketball: Rhode Island Stays Unbeaten 

(Kingston, RI)  --  The University of Rhode Island men's basketball team is 3-and-0 to start the season.  The Rams beat Boston College at the Ryan Center Wednesday, 57-to-49.  Rhody takes on Tulsa next up Saturday night in Daytona Beach, Florida.
Jim McCabe/jb          RI) MA) NYC)  
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11-18-2021 03:02:04

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A student has been arrested in connection to a lockdown that took place at a Rhode Island high school this week.  A former pro hockey coach is accused of a sexual assault in Providence.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office has an update about a proposed merger between the state's two largest healthcare systems.

>>Student Arrested In Connection To Coventry High School Lockdown 

(Coventry, RI)  --  A student has been charged in connection to the lockdown at Coventry High School on Monday.  The Coventry Police Department says no weapons were located, and that the student does not have access to any firearms.  The police department says the student was charged with disorderly conduct, and the case will be referred to Family Court.  Authorities searched everyone and everything in the school during the four-hour lockdown on Monday after multiple people reported hearing a threat about an armed individual.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Former Hockey Coach Charged With Sex Assault 

(Providence, RI)  --  A former American Hockey League coach is being indicted on sexual assault charges by the Rhode Island Attorney General's Office.  Clark Donatelli, who coached the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins, is accused of the assault in the city of Providence in November 2018.  The Pittsburgh Penguins, the NHL affiliate of Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, settled a lawsuit earlier this month from a former assistant coach and his wife who claimed she was victimized by Donatelli after a Penguins game versus the Providence Bruins.  The South Kingstown native briefly played in the NHL in the early 90s, including ten games with Boston. 

>>Driver Faces Charges For Crash That Killed College Student 

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  A driver has been charged in connection to a fatal South County crash.  The North Kingstown Police Department says Stephanie Briggs of Wakefield is charged with felony driving to endanger resulting in death.  The head-on crash on Route 2 in North Kingstown in August killed University of Rhode Island student Leah Ribner-Martin.  The Providence Journal reports Briggs has been released on bail and is due back in court on January 4th.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,901

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported five new coronavirus deaths on Tuesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-901.  The number of new virus cases reported in Rhode Island yesterday was five-hundred-16.

>>Lifespan-CNE Merger Application Deemed Complete, Up For Review 

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office on Tuesday announced that the merger application between the state's two biggest healthcare groups has been completed and is now in the review process.  The A.G.'s office says it will have four months, along with the Rhode Island Department of Health, to determine whether to approve or deny the application from Lifespan and Care New England.  Jane Hayward, the head of the Rhode Island Health Care Association and co-chair of a committee organized to provide feedback on the merger, says it has the potential to transform the state's healthcare system. 

>>Woonsocket Plans For Spending ARPA Money Criticized 

(Woonsocket, RI)  --  People spoke out at a Woonsocket City Council meeting on Monday about how the city is proposing to spend its share of the American Rescue Plan Act.  City councilors gave initial approval to a plan that would include 250-thousand dollars for a synthetic ice-skating rink and about fifty-grand for ergonomic chairs in the City Council chambers.  Critics said Woonsocket should spend the ARPA money on affordable housing and homeless services.  Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt said the skating rink was suggested as a new activity source for the city's young people.

Jim McCabe/jb        MA) RI) PA)  
Copyright © 2021
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11-17-2021 02:37:14

Rhode Island's News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Three tornadoes were counted in Southern New England over the weekend.  The Patriots have won four in a row.  Rhode Island's school mask mandate is being extended into December.

>>Trio Of Tornadoes Impact CT, RI

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service says three tornadoes struck Rhode Island on Saturday night.  A line of storms that moved quickly through Southern New England spawned the twisters.  An EF-one tornado that went from Stonington, Connecticut to Westerly reportedly lifted trampolines out of backyards into power lines in both towns.  The weather service said there were also two EF-zero tornadoes, one with a path from North Kingstown to Wickford and the other from Plainfield, Connecticut to Foster.  No deaths or injuries were reported.

>>Patriots Beat Browns

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots bounced the Cleveland Browns out of Gillette Stadium 45-to-7 on Sunday.  Mac Jones had three touchdown passes and Rhamondre Stevenson had two rushing TD's for New England.  The Patriots have won four straight to improve to 6-and-4.  The Pats play at the Atlanta Falcons next on Thursday night. 

>>School Mask Mandate Extended As Legal Challenge Is Rejected 

(Providence, RI)  --  Opponents of Rhode Island's mask-wearing mandate in schools are unable to put an end to the requirement.  A Superior Court judge quashed a challenge to the mandate on Friday brought on by a group of parents.  Governor Dan McKee on Friday extended the mask-wearing mandate to December 11th as coronavirus cases persist in the Ocean State. 

>>Warwick School Going Remote On Monday 

(Warwick, RI)  --  One Rhode Island school is switching to remote learning on Monday because of an increase in coronavirus cases.  It's happening at Pilgrim High School in Warwick.  A COVID testing site is being set up at the high school by the Rhode Island Department of Health on Tuesday.

>>Fatal Crash On I-95 In South County 

(Exeter, RI)  --  A twenty-year-old Rhode Island man was killed in a crash on I-95 overnight Saturday.  The Rhode Island State Police says Christian Hull of Coventry was parked in the breakdown lane on 95 north in Exeter and was standing outside his car when a pickup truck hit the stopped vehicle, which then collided with Hull.  There were no signs of impairment, and police said there was heavy fog.

>>Update On Ivy League Bomb Threats 

(Providence, RI)  --  A teenager in Virginia is being pegged by law enforcement as the suspect in a string of bomb threats to universities.  Brown and several other Ivy League institutions were targeted.  Brown students were alerted via text message on November 7th that multiple buildings were being investigated, but the university later determined the threats were not legitimate.

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) CT)  
Copyright © 2021
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11-15-2021 02:17:09

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A man was arrested after an armed standoff in Providence on Thursday.  A former Rhode Island high school basketball coach is being investigated by the state attorney general.  The Patriots host the Browns on Sunday.

[[ watch for updates ]]

>>Rain And Wind In Forecast For Rhode Island Friday 

(Undated)  --  The National Weather Service says a strong frontal system will bring a period of heavy rain, gusty winds and a few embedded thunderstorms to Southern New England on Friday.  Southern Rhode Island could see gusts as high as 50 miles per hour.  The timing from the weather service for the rain to hit the Ocean State is early afternoon.

>>Arrest Made Following Armed Standoff In Providence

(Providence, RI)  --  A man was arrested without incident after an armed standoff with police in Providence on Thursday.  Timothy Desjardins was allegedly spotted carrying a gun by patrol officers and ran into a barbershop he owned on Atwells Avenue at around 2 p.m.  Neighboring buildings were evacuated, and Desjardins surrendered after about two hours.  He was out on bail for a shooting that happened nearby on Atwells in September. 

>>Prov Man Accused Of Firing Taser At MA Cops 

(West Bridgewater, MA)  --  A Rhode Island man is accused of leading police on a pursuit that ended with the suspect grabbing an officer's Taser in West Bridgewater, Massachusetts.  Jesse Marinaro of Providence was allegedly driving a stolen car when police tried to stop him on Thursday.  Marinaro allegedly sped up and drove the wrong way into traffic in an effort to elude police, but crashed minutes later.  Police say Marinaro grabbed an officer's Taser and used it on a K-9 before his arrest, with the dog, suspect and two officers all left injured. 

>>Worker Severely Injured In Fire At Manufacturing Facility In Attleboro

(Attleboro, MA)  --  An employee at a manufacturing facility in Attleboro was reportedly hospitalized with life-threatening burns after a fire on Thursday.  This happened at the Composite Modules building on Union Street at around 3 p.m.  Attleboro Mayor Paul Heroux tells WJAR-TV the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is investigating. 

[[ note nature ]] 

>>Former North Kingstown Basketball Coach Under Investigation 

(North Kingstown, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office is investigating former North Kingstown High School boys' basketball coach Aaron Thomas.  The Boston Globe reports the investigation comes after former student-athletes complained about quote-unquote "fat tests" performed on them while naked and alone with him in his office.  Thomas resigned in June.  He took a new teaching job at Monsignor Clarke School in South Kingstown, but was fired after the allegations came to light.

>>Patriots Versus Browns Sunday 

(Foxboro, MA)  --  The New England Patriots take on the Cleveland Browns at Gillette Stadium on Sunday afternoon.  Kickoff is at 1 p.m.  The Pats did not add free agent wide receiver Odell Beckham to the team, as Beckham instead went to the Los Angeles Rams after parting ways with the Browns this past Monday. 

Jim McCabe/Ted Lorson/jb         MA) RI)
Copyright © 2021
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11-12-2021 02:42:09

RI Veterans: Did you know?

Screen Shot 2021-11-11 at 4.43.32 AM

RI Veterans: Did you know? 11 November 21 – John A. Cianci

November 11, 2021/John Cianci


by John A Cianci, Department Veterans Service Officer,

                             Italian American War Veterans (ITAM)


Photo: John Cianci, @RINewsToday


Q.  How do I apply for the new tax exemption extended to Veterans of the Cold War, and how much will this bill save me every year? Dan E Warwick RI

A.   In your case in Warwick RI, you will be receiving an estimated $140 dollars off your annual tax bill as a Veteran. This credit can be used on the property tax of your home, or car property tax.

Additionally, if your spouse is also a Veteran and eligible, one could take credit for home, and the other for automobile property tax. Simply put, just you, alone, you’d saved an estimated $140 a year. If for both husband and wife, an estimated $280 a year savings.


VETTIP: This is not an automatic credit for veterans, you must apply through your city or town by providing a copy of your DD214. Moreover, each city and town has set a deadline to apply to receive in your tax bill for the fiscal year. For example, Warwick’s deadline is March 15, 2022, for the Veterans exemption.


Check out your local town and city deadline, click below:



Q. How do I get a copy of my DD214?

A. You can request a copy of the Veteran’s military records in any of these ways:

  1. Mail or fax a Request Pertaining to Military Records (Standard Form SF 180) to the National Personnel Records Center (NPRC).


National Personnel Records Center
1 Archives Drive
St. Louis, Missouri 63138

  • Here is the link to request online:



VETTIP – Due to COVID, expect your request not to be processed for 6-12 months after requesting a copy of your DD214. Best bet, find a copy that was given to you upon discharge so you can meet the city or town’s deadline to apply.


Thousands Of Veterans Now Eligible for Tax Exemption in 

Rhode Island Towns and Cities

Governor Dan McKee, Nov. 10, 2021


Thousands of Rhode Island Veterans are now eligible for the $1000 tax exemption in his or her Rhode Island town or city with the signing of a bill by Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee yesterday, Nov. 10th. The bill makes all Veterans eligible for a tax credit on either their home or automobile.



“This bill is long overdue as an entire generation of servicemen and women from the end of World War II through the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991 will now earn the same benefits that Veterans before them and after them received,” said McKee signing the bill into law at Holliman Elementary School in Warwick, RI on Wednesday.


The bill (2021-H 57852021-S 0982) will extend property tax exemptions to Veterans who served in uniform during the Cold War, between 1947 through 1991, even if they did not serve in a declared war or conflict.


“A lifetime thank-you to all Veterans who served from 1947 – 1991, like myself, who served over 20 years, however, was not eligible for property tax exemption prior to the signing of the bill, “ said Marine Veteran Jim.


Jim served from 1984 to 1990. He is a disabled Veteran and lives on a monthly Social Security and Veterans administration disability.


‘I can use the extra money,” said Jim.


“Rhode Island takes the bull by the horn, and we take care of it here. I sincerely hope that other states will follow the lead of Governor McKee and make sure their Veterans are well served since their Veterans served then well,” said Representative Camille Vella-Wilkinson.


The State of Rhode Island is the first state to recognize Cold War Era Veterans equally for state or local tax exemptions. 


The bill, 2021-H5785 and 2021-S0982, which will extend property tax exemptions to Veterans who served in uniform during the Cold War, between 1947 through 1991, even if they did not serve in a declared war or conference. The Cold War was an ongoing political rivalry between the United States and the Soviet Union and their respective allies that developed after World War II. It was waged mainly on political, economic, and propaganda fronts and lasted until 1991.


The legislation defines the Cold War as a period of geopolitical tension that began following World War II and ended with the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991.


Veterans of the Cold War Era from Rhode Island should be thankful to Army Veterans, Lisa Berry Barbosa, Narragansett for this new law.

 Cold War Rep. Camille Vella-Wilkinson, Lisa Barbosa, and  Sen. James A Seveney


Barbosa’s efforts started after she was denied the Veterans’ exemption by the town of  Narragansett, RI.  


“I was told I was not a Veteran, “ said Lisa Barbosa.


Barbosa served in the U.S Marines from 1986-1994, and applied for the tax exemption in Narragansett , and was not eligible despite serving 8 years and during Operation Desert Shield/ Storm in 1990-1991.


Shortly thereafter, Rep. Vella-Wilkinson led a bi-partisan effort to correct an injustice that has existed for over 70 years, although the towns and cities in Rhode Island have been granting tax exemptions to veterans since the Spanish American War.


“ (This) corrects the injustice to women who were not allowed to serve in combat after the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act was signed by President Truman almost 70 years ago,” said Rep. Vella-Wilkinson.


In 1948 President Truman signed the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act legally permitted women to serve in the U.S. Armed Forces in a number of official capacities. Although the act promised more opportunities for women, it excluded women from serving in combat.


“The law was institutional discrimination not allowing women to serve in combat, although at the time the nation felt it was best for women, not seeing women coming home in body bags,” said Rep. Vella Wilkinson.


The bill signing took place prior to a school-sponsored event commemorating Veterans Day at Holliman Elementary School in Warwick.


“The sweetest sounds were of the school children’s voices while doing the Pledge of Allegiance and singing the National Anthem,” said Rep. Vella-Wilkinson.


She had to gather her emotions during her remarks at the event; emotions which included her voice pausing and eyes getting misty. One could sense most of the attendees of the bill signing had similar emotions.


VETTIP – Covering this Veteran’s event, brought memories back to when I attended Holliman Elementary School as a child, and like Rep. Vella Wilkinson, my eyes became misty listening and watching the school children also, and thinking of so many childhood memories at Holliman I have.


“Our Veterans have served the nation with valor and dignity. We must always be sure to appreciate them and show them a debt of gratitude, because it is their heroism that keeps us free,” said Governor McKee. “That goes for all Veterans. Our Veterans who served in uniform during the Cold War were gallant in protecting our American ideals. They kept our nation safe; they were our nation’s backbone during a decades-long crisis.”


“We owe Veterans a debt that can never be repaid,” said Sen. Seveney (D-Dist. 11, Bristol, Portsmouth, Tiverton). “Anyone who joins the armed forces makes a commitment to their country that they back with their lives, regardless of where the flow of history may take them. To honor that commitment, it’s only proper that we extend this exemption to other Veterans as well.”


Veterans sacrificed not just in what they did during their time in the military, but in what they didn’t do or have?—?the typical entry-level positions or a 9–5 job that provides career advances, a competitive salary, holidays, and time to enjoy quality time with their family and friends.


“One person can make a difference,”  said Rep. Vella Wilkinson. “Lisa Bellow Barbosa please stand.”


Barbosa stood and the attendees acknowledged her with a round of applause.


Because of Barbosa’s efforts ¾thousands of Cold War Era Veterans’ quality of life has been impacted for the rest of their lives with entitlement to a benefit Barbosa believed she was entitled to, and “no” was not an acceptable answer.


KUDOs to our sister-in-arms, Lisa Barbosa.






Applebee’s Restaurants offer Veterans and active-duty military receive a free meal when dining in from a special menu on November 11. And when dining in on November 11, military guests will receive a $5 bounce back card to redeem for dine-in, To Go or delivery within three weeks.


For 14 years and counting, Applebee’s restaurants across the country have served 10.3 million free meals in honor of our nation’s heroes, and this year is no different. With seven entrees to choose from, veterans and active service members can select a free meal from an exclusive menu of mouth-watering entrées, including: 6 oz. Top Sirloin, Double Crunch Shrimp. Fiesta Lime Chicken, Chicken Tenders Platter, Classic Bacon Cheeseburger, Oriental Chicken Salad, Three-Cheese Chicken Penne


“We’re honored to be able to give thanks to those who have served our country through our annual free meal offer at Applebee’s restaurants on Veterans Day,” said John Cywinski, Applebee’s President. “We have celebrated Veterans and active service members with free meals on Veterans Day since 2008 and are pleased to add an extra gift with $5 toward their next meal.”


Complimentary meals from the Veterans Day menu will be available for dine-in at more than 1,500 Applebee’s locations nationwide. For more information, please visit applebees dot com / vetsday. Hours vary by location, and guests are encouraged to call their local Applebee’s restaurant in advance to inquire about specific location hours.


*Available on November 11, 2021, at participating Applebee’s® only. Dine-in only. Not valid with other coupons or discounts. Beverage and gratuity not included. U.S. Veterans and Active-Duty Military simply show proof of military service. Proof of service includes U.S. Uniformed Services ID Card, U.S. Uniformed Services Retired ID Card, current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES), veterans’ organization card (i.e., American Legion, VFW), photograph of yourself in uniform, wearing uniform, DD214 and citation or commendation. Limit 1 meal per U.S. veteran or active duty military.


Atrium on Main, on Veterans Day offering a free appetizer from 12-8pm to all active duty, retirees, and Veterans. ID required for verification of discount.


Chili’s FREE Veterans Day Meal


Join us on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 to enjoy a meal on us. Thank you for your service. Today and every day, we thank you, our Veterans and active military members who define selfless service. We look forward to once again showing our gratitude with a FREE Veterans Day meal as a small way to honor your service and the sacrifices you’ve made for our country. Thank-you will never be enough. Choose an entrée for your Veterans Day free meal; Chicken Crispers®, Margarita Grilled Chicken, Bowl of Chili or Soup & Salad, Chicken Bacon Ranch Quesadillas, Just Bacon Burger, Oldtimer with Cheese, Cajun Chicken Pasta


The Coast Guard House , Narragansett, offers 20% off food for Veterans and active military every day, not just Veterans Day.


Coffee & Cream’s Breakfast Restaurant


900 Victory Highway, Smithfield, offers a free Norm Muffin sandwich (egg, cheese and choice of bacon, sausage, or ham), plus home fries and a free cup of coffee. The Norm was named after the owner’s father, who founded the restaurant.


Costantino’s Venda Bar & Ristorante, Providence, offers 10% off all food and beverage for lunch or dinner.


Denny’s. Veterans and active military personnel get a free Build Your Own Grand Slam on November 11, from 5 a.m. to noon. Dine-in only.


Dunkin’(Dunkin Donuts). Veterans and military members can take a break on Nov. 11 at Dunkin’. Vets enjoy a FREE donut of their choice.


Golden Corral Golden Corral and DAV are proud to relaunch the annual Military Appreciation Night on Thursday, Nov.11, 2021, between 5 and 9 p.m. Participating Golden Corral restaurants nationwide will welcome our nation’s Veterans and active-duty military men and women to a free buffet dinner and drink and tons of camaraderie. We’re proud to have honored our active and former military members for 20 years through Military Appreciation Night and are excited to be able to return to a Dine in celebration this year! Military Appreciation Night will be held on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 from 5pm – close. We will once again be honoring our military heroes with a free “thank you” meal.


Grey Sail Brewing, Westerly, RI on November 11, offers a FREE beer to active and retired members of the military from 12-8pm during their anniversary party. The party will feature food trucks, live music, and giveaways. Proceeds from the Veterans’ Day event will support Work Vessels for Veterans while active and retired members of the military will receive a free beer and discount.  


IHOP offers Veterans and active-duty military – get free Red, White & Blueberry Pancakes at participating locations on November 11. Dine-in only.


Iggy’s Broadwalk Restaurant and Bishop Hendricken High School will honor those who served with a FREE Veteran’s Day Breakfast 8:30-9:30am. All veterans are invited to attend and should RSVP to Peter Thomas ’86 at 401.889.5424 or pthomas@hendricken.com by Monday, November 8, 2021.


Starbucks on Nov. 11, Starbucks is honoring those who have served with a free, tall, hot brewed coffee and, for every cup of hot brewed coffee sold that day, Starbucks is donating 25 cents to be divided evenly between Headstrong and Team Red, White & Blue to support the mental health of military communities.


Texas Roadhouse, Cranston will hand out dinner vouchers at the stores’ parking lots on November 11, from 11am to 2pm. Veterans and active-duty military can redeem their dinner vouchers when the restaurant opens for dinner, through May 30, 2022. To our nation’s Veterans, thank you. Throughout the year, we support our nation’s veterans and service members at both the local and national level. Every day, veterans and active military men and women will find reserved parking at our restaurants. And every Veteran’s Day, we’re honored to offer free meals to veterans and active military men and women. Many sites also claim Texas Roadhouse offers up to a 20% off your bill for active-duty military with proper military ID. Please be sure to check with your local Texas Roadhouse and wait staff prior to ordering!


Bacco Vino & Contorni , Providence offers complimentary appetizers for U.S. service members on November 11 with lunch or dinner.


Wickford on the Water, North Kingstown will offer 50% off selected food only (no alcohol) for one meal per person.


Wendy’s Salutes Veterans and Active Military with FREE Breakfast. In honor of Veterans Day, Wendy’s® is thanking those who have served or are currently serving in the U.S. Military with a FREE breakfast combo offer* with valid military ID or a Veterans Advantage card.Whether you’re a fan of the Maple Bacon Chicken CroissantHoney Butter Chicken Biscuit or crowd favorite Breakfast Baconator® combo, the offer is a small gesture of gratitude for the men and women who work tirelessly to protect our country.Those who have served or are currently serving are invited to visit their participating Wendy’s location on Veterans Day, Thursday, November 11 from 6:30 – 10:30 a.m. Please check your local Wendy’s as breakfast hours may vary by location.


Denny’s, Hartford Ave, Johnston Offers 10% discount for Veterans and active duty. Denny’s is a table service diner-style restaurant chain.  Last verified 07/31/2028 (PS I had breakfast there on Saturday).


Outback Steakhouse 10% Discount to active and veterans. Last verified 07/28/2021


99 Restaurant & Pub: The 99 Restaurant & Pub offers a 10% military discount to members of Veterans Advantage. Available at select locations only. Bring valid military ID. Our specials for military families and show your Common Access Card, Uniformed Services ID Card, or Dependent ID Card, to be eligible for any of our special military discount food offers.


Qualified Applicants
– Active duty service members and their dependents


– National Guard and Reservists and their dependents


– Retired service members





Sunday, Nov. 7, Salute to Veterans, Assembly Theatre, Harrisville, doors open 430pm, show starts at 6pm. ComedyFactory RI John Perrotta’s, will be joined by comedians Prince of Mystery and Mike Murray for a fun fill night. Beer, wine, Rhode Island Saugy dogs, popcorn, and other refreshments will be sold at the event.


Tickets are free for all Veterans and one guest. ComedyFactory RI


All patrons attending are asked to bring a can or two of canned goods, which will be donated to the local food pantry. Tickets can be ordered from Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/organizations/events and or on Assembly Theatre ‘s website, https://www.assemblytheatre.org/events


Thursday, Nov. 11th, parade begins 10AM, ceremony 11AM, “South Kingstown Veteran’s Day Parade”, starting on Holly Street behind Old Mountain Lanes, 756 Kingstown Road, Wakefield, with the formal ceremony at Saugatuck Park near Wakefield School celebrating women Veterans.  For more information call VFW Post 916 at 401.789.0150, or email vfwpost916@gmail.com.    


Thursday, Nov.11th, 830AM, “Annual Veterans’ Day Ceremony”, conducted by Chapter 48, Special Forces Association, at the Special Forces Monument, Veterans’ Memorial Cemetery, 301 South County Trail, Exeter.  Breakfast will follow at the Homestead Restaurant, 750 South County Trail, Exeter.  Point of contact is Tom Duffney at 401.301.8582, or via email at tmduffney@gmail.com.  


Thursday, Nov.11th, 1045AM, “Infantry Lodge Associates Annual Armistice Day Celebration”, The Squantum Association, 947 Veterans’ Memorial Parkway, Riverside, East Providence.  Additional information to follow as finalized.  Point of Contact is Retired Colonel David H. Russell at david.h.russell@gmail.com.


Friday, Nov.12th, 705PM, “Providence Bruins Military Appreciation Weekend”, The Providence Bruins host Lehigh Valley on the first night of Military Appreciation


Weekend at the Dunkin’ Donuts Center! Be there as we honor our military service members and see the players take the ice in special military themed jerseys! Plus, save big with the Fan 4-Pack Special Offer for this game!




Nov. 12 Registration is open until Friday, November 12th for Operation Jeepers Christmas for children 0-17 years old of all active military, National Guard & Veterans.  Registration is open until Friday, November 12th. Operation Jeepers Christmas offers an adopt-a-family program. Military & Veteran families submit their wish lists to #PNHINC and our Sponsors adopt the families by purchasing items from their wish lists, wrap and in most cases include a Gift card for a local Supermarket for Christmas. Register here: www.projectnewhopema.org/veterans-support-programs/operation-jeepers-christmas/


Nov. 13 Sunday , Vets Rock Returns to Mohegan Sun November 13th 7th annual event benefiting Veterans and active duty military to take place in the Uncas Ballroom. Vets Rock, a free event where Mohegan Sun and the community come together to celebrate active duty military and Veterans with a day of valuable programs and resources, returns Saturday, November 13th. Special services featured in the Uncas Ballroom include a career fair presented by Mohegan Sun, dependents at more than 40 shops and dining locations across property.


Saturday, Nov.20th, Doors Open 430PM, Dinner 530PM, Show Starts 615PM, “Salute to Veterans – Comedy Night & Dinner”, Officer’s Club, Naval Station Newport, 95 Perry Road, Newport.  Point of contact is John Cianci at 401.677.9VET, or via email at itamri4vets@gmail.comhttps://www.eventbrite.com/e/salute-to-veterans-officer-club-newport-naval-base-tickets-193526491947


Saturday Nov 20th , Comedy/Dinner show at the Officers Club, Newport RI. ComedyfactoryRI comedians will perform at the Veteran Fundraiser. Tickets are $50 per person, dinner at 5:00. Show starts at 6:00PM. Event is sponsored by the Italian American War Veterans and all Veterans residing at the Veterans Home the event will be free, to include a ticket for their guest. Sponsorships for a Veteran attending from the Veterans Home, are encouraged for those who can’t attend, $50 (which covers the Veteran and a guest).Tickets available on Eventbrite, https://www.eventbrite.com/e/salute-to-veterans-officer-club-newport-naval-base-tickets-193526491947


Monday, Nov. 22nd, 11AM, “Dedication Ceremony Honoring All Rhode Island Women Veterans”, Rhode Island State House, 82 Smith Street, Providence.  Point of contact is Ginny Hanson at fghanson@aol.com.






Advance Auto Parts 10% for Active Duty, Veterans, and families. Last verified 07/28/2021


Bass Pro Shops: Bass Pro Shops offers a 5% discount to active-duty military, reservists, and National Guard. Sign up and verify your status online or bring your military ID when you shop at your nearest Bass Pro store.


BJs Wholesale Reduced membership fee. J’s offers all military personnel over 25% off their Membership. Last verified 07/28/2021


Hooters Hooters supports our troops all year long. Service members get 10% off their meal every day and 20% off on Tuesdays. Valid Tuesday only on the 20% off and 10% off Wednesday-Monday to these, as well as alcohol and merchandise excluded from discount.


Lowes. Enroll in the Lowe’s Military Discount Program to Activate Your 10% Discount

Our way of saying “Thank You” to our active duty, retired and military Veterans and their spouses with a 10% discount on eligible items.

Verification of your military status is fast and easy through our partner, ID.me.

ID.me is our trusted technology partner in helping to keep your personal information safe.


GameStop is offering a 10% in-store military discount on all pre-owned products, collectibles, and select new products. Available to current and former military members who bring any valid proof of service or when they verify through ID.me 


Home Depot Home Depot offers a 10% OFF military discount on regularly priced merchandise for in-store purchases for active duty, retired military, and reservists at participating locations. Customers are required to show a valid government-issued military ID card to redeem this offer.


Kohls 15% Kohl’s offers active military, Veterans, retirees, and their immediate family members a 15% discount on purchases made on Mondays, in store only. To receive the military discount, eligible customers must present proper identification along with any tender type.



We didn’t want to wait for Veteran’s Day to express our appreciation and gratitude for your service. That’s why every Team Car Care owned and operated Jiffy Lube® service center is offering our BEST discount of 15% OFF as a “Thank You” to the men and women of our Armed Forces for their service to our country. *Disclaimer*- I.D. required. No coupon is required. Excludes batteries and brakes, alignment, and diagnostic services. Available only at select locations listed below:

Tioque Ave, Coventry RI – Bald Hill Road, Warwick RI – Park Ave, Cranston RI


Michaels. Michaels Stores offers a 15% OFF military discount on the entire in-store purchase including sale items for active duty, retired military, guard, reservists, Veterans, and family members. How to get:

  1. Create an Account. Log in or create a Michaels Rewards account.
  2. Get Verified. Provide your military information to get verified instantly.
  3. Go Shopping! To use your discount online and in store, just sign into your account or provide your Michaels Rewards phone number at checkout.


Ocean State Job Lot Thursday Nov 4 – Thursday Nov 11

A special deal for military personnel, veterans, and their families

During our Military & Veteran Deal Days – Thursday, November 4 through Wednesday, November 10, 2021 – all active-duty, National Guard, and reserve military service members; all military Veterans; and their immediate family members and dependents are eligible to receive a Crazy Deal Gift Card equal to 40% of their purchase when they spend $20 or more at Ocean State Job Lot.*A valid photo ID is required. 


O’Reilly Auto Parts 10% discount on in store items for Active Duty, Veterans, and families. Last verified 3/4/21.




If you are a retailer and or a veteran aware of a business not listed above, please forward, itamri4vets@gmail.com:  the business’s name, location, and military and veteran discount offered




If you have an event, meeting, other pertinent veteran information, or email questions or help needed, contact the Italian American War Veteran Service Officer, John A Cianci, itamri4vets@gmail.com, ITAM Office 1-(401)677-9VET(9838)




To read all columns in this series go to: https://rinewstoday.com/john-a-cianci/





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 Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: Two people have died following a crash on Route 495 in southeast Massachusetts earlier this week.  The Rhode Island education commissioner's contract is being extended.  A popular Rhode Island restaurant is making a controversial request for state approval of an oyster farm. 

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,887

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported three new coronavirus deaths on Wednesday.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-887.  There were nearly three-hundred new virus cases in yesterday's daily state update.

>>Fatal Crash On Route 495 Kills Two 

(Raynham, MA)  --  A fatal crash on Interstate 495 in Raynham, Massachusetts on Tuesday morning has killed two people.  The Mass State Police identified the victims as Lauren Dyer of Braintree and Christopher Sheppard of East Bridgewater.  Reports indicate Sheppard was retrieving a dislodged truck axle and wheels from the highway, and Dyer was one of the drivers who stopped to allow him to do so.  State police say a tractor-trailer slammed into the stopped traffic.  They are investigating to see if criminal charges are warranted.

>>Fatal Vehicle-Versus-Pedestrian In Cranston 

(Cranston, RI)  --  A pedestrian who was hit by a vehicle in Cranston last week has died.  Jill Mansolillo of Cranston was hit while crossing Oaklawn Avenue last Friday night, according to police.  Mansolillo died at Rhode Island Hospital on Wednesday.  The Cranston Police Department says no charges are being filed against the driver, a 29-year-old Johnston man.  They don't suspect impairment or speeding as factors, but said the driver was cited for having tinted windows. 

>>Woman Arrested In Pawtucket In Connection To Missing Child Case 

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A woman arrested in Pawtucket is facing extradition back to her home state for harboring a missing child.  Jessica Van Daam of Stuart, Florida is charged with interfering with custody and abduction by a non-custodial parent.  A staffer at the Pawtucket Public Library called the city police department with concerns about a mother and daughter on the premises.  Authorities say the seven-year-old girl was reported missing out of Virginia in 2019.  The child is in the custody of the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families.

>>RI Education Commissioner Contract Extended 

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Board of Education has voted to extend the contract of state education commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]].  The contract has been extended for three years.  Governor Dan McKee said in a letter to the board that Infante-Green has shown a deep commitment to Rhode Island students, teachers and families.  She began the job in 2019 as the state took control of the Providence School District following a scathing review from Johns Hopkins.  The Providence Teachers' Union accuses Infante-Green of creating a toxic environment at the RI Department of Education and in the capital city school district.

>>State Council Rejects Restaurant's Oyster Farm Request 

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  A subcommittee of the Rhode Island Coastal Resources Management Council voted on Tuesday against an oyster and scallop farm proposed by the popular Matunuck Oyster Bar in South Kingstown.  The owner of the restaurant, who has an existing seven-acre farm, wants to add three acres on Segar Cove in Potter Pond.  The full Coastal Resources Management Council must still vote on the request.  Opponents are concerned about the farm's potential impact on recreational activities in the area.

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

11-11-2021 03:13:03

ART! RI photo Center Exhibit and Call for Photographers

Screen Shot 2021-11-09 at 5.29.48 PM

ART! RI Photo Center Exhibit and call to artists

November 10, 2021/RINewsToday


All Together Now: a look at community


Juried Exhibition: Jan Howard, Juror


Cover photo: Timothy Durant  from Venice, CA –  timothydurant.com


During this pandemic and time of greater reckoning with the inequalities in our society we have never been physically further apart and have had such a great need to come together to face our challenges. Has this time impacted how we think about community and has that impacted current work or the ways in which you see your earlier work? I am interested in the broadest possible thinking about how community might be reflected in your photographic work.



We looked forward to a world renewed as 2021 rolled out in front of us and to build on our general theme of moving forward, the Rhode Island Center for Photographic Arts accepted entries to address the theme of community, for an exhibition opening on October 21st. This Call for photography was open to all styles and photographic processes and juried by Jan Howard, Houghton P. Metcalf Jr. Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the RISD Museum. The resulting exhibition brings together 47 images from across the United States and Canada presenting a peek into a diverse cross section communities in 2021. 


All Together Now includes work from: Ken Allison, Annabel Attridge, Vincent Benavidez, Sharon Bibeault, Beatta Bosworth, Adele Brown, Tod Bryant, Chris Bunney, Rachel Clark, Daniel Cosentino, Laurence Cuelenaere, Linda DeRosa, Jean Duffy, Timothy Durant, Sherman Fleming, George Gonzalez, Lindsey Morrison Grant, Xandra Ibarra, Kimberly Keller, Beth Kerschen, Mark Liebowitz, Randy Matusow, Paul Murray, Jonathan Pitts-Wiley, Robin Radin, Linda-Marlena Ross, Peter Tilgner & Yvonne D. Williams.



About the Juror: Jan Howard


Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the RISD Museum


Jan Howard is the Houghton P. Metcalf Jr. Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at the RISD Museum where she previously also served as Chief Curator. Prior to coming to RISD in 2000, she spent fourteen years as a curator in the Department of Prints, Drawings and Photographs at The Baltimore Museum of Art.


She holds an M.A. in Art History from KU. Her exhibitions and publications have primarily focused on modern and contemporary art, including Drawing Ambience: Alvin Boyarsky and the Architectural Association 2014; America in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now, 2012; Pat Steir: Drawing Out of Line, 2010; Joe Deal: New Work, 2009; Interior Drama: Aaron Siskind’s Photographs of the 1940s, 2003; Laurie Simmons: The Music of Regret, 1997; Roni Horn: Inner Geography, 1994.


Exhibition began in late October and ends this Friday, November 12th.


The RI Photo Center is located at: 118 North Main Street, 2nd floor, Providence.


There are several Call for Entries ongoing at this time.


For more information go to: https://www.riphotocenter.org/all-together-now-jan-howard-juror/

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A Rhode Island hospital faces fines and a ban on new patients if it does not comply with the state's COVID vaccine mandate.  Rhode Island is working to help refugees from Afghanistan who are coming to live here.  The Providence College and URI men's basketball seasons start tonight. 

>>Vaccine Mandate Impacts RI Hospitals 

(Providence, RI)  --  Hospitals in Rhode Island are dealing with the enforcement of the coronavirus vaccine mandate for healthcare workers.  Eleanor Slater hospital is one of two that received a notice of violation of the mandate from the RI health department for continuing to employee unvaccinated workers.  However, Governor Dan McKee has said most unvaccinated workers at the state hospital will be allowed to continue working to avoid unsafe care.  Landmark Medical Center in Woonsocket has also received a vaccine mandate violation notice.  Landmark must assure the state that all of their unvaccinated employees have been barred from entry, or they will be fined and prohibited from admitting new elective or non-emergency patients. 

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,882

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported one new coronavirus death over the weekend.  The pandemic death toll in the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-882.  Rhode Island reported about seven-hundred new virus cases over the three-day period.

>>Providence House Fire Victim ID'd

(Providence, RI)  --  The victim of a house fire in Providence last week is being identified.  The blaze was at a home on Young Avenue in Smith Hill on Friday.  The man who died was Ernest Cartwright, 66 years old.  Authorities believe hoarding conditions were a contributing fire factor.

>>New Effort Organized To Help Afghan Refugees 

(Providence, RI)  --  Governor McKee is announcing a new effort to help Afghanistan refugees who are relocating to the Ocean State.  The website AfghanReliefRI.org connects Rhode Islanders who are interested in helping the resettlement efforts and donating services to support the evacuees.  Afghan Relief RI is a partnership between the state, the Dorcas International Institute, the Providence Catholic Diocese, and the Rhode Island Foundation.  McKee also says about one-and-a-half-million dollars has been raised to fund basic needs for the Afghan children and adults arriving in the Ocean State. 

>>Wife Of Fall River Mayor Out Of Hospital After Crash 

(Fall River, MA)  --  The wife of Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan has been released from the hospital after a vehicle-versus-bike crash.  Judi St. Hilaire was discharged from St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford on Monday.  The crash in Mattapoisett last month landed St. Hilaire, a former Olympic runner, in the ICU with severe injuries.  Police are continuing to investigate the incident.

>>PC, Rhody Basketball Seasons Beginning 

(Undated)  --  College basketball season gets underway on Tuesday.  Providence College returns to the Dunkin' Donuts Center.  The Friars host Fairfield at 7:00.  The University of Rhode Island men's team welcomes in Boston University at the Ryan Center in Kingston, same tip-off time. 

Jim McCabe/jb          RI)  

Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-09-2021 03:02:00

Rhode Island News Today

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: The Patriots beat the Panthers on Sunday.  Brown University and other Ivy League schools are impacted by bomb threats.  President Biden's pick for Rhode Island's top federal prosecutor advances pasts a U.S. Senate committee.

>>Patriots Beat Panthers 

(Charlotte, NC)  --  The New England Patriots defeated the Carolina Panthers on the road Sunday, 24-to-6.  J.C. Jackson had two interceptions, including one returned for a touchdown at Bank of America Stadium.  Mac Jones threw for one touchdown and one interception.  The Patriots improved to 5-and-4 and are a half-game behind Buffalo for first place in the AFC East Division.  New England hosts Cleveland next weekend.

>>Brown Buildings Evacuated For Bomb Threat 

(Providence, RI)  --  Several buildings at Brown University were evacuated on Sunday afternoon because of a bomb threat.  Campus and Providence police investigated after the threat was made through a phone call.  No evidence of a bomb was found.  Similar threats were also reportedly received by several other Ivy League schools over the weekend, including Columbia, Cornell and Yale.

>>U.S. Attorney For RI Nomination Advances 

(Providence, RI)  --  President Biden's pick for U.S. Attorney in Rhode Island has been approved by the Senate Committee on the Judiciary.  Zachary Cunha [[ CUNE-yuh ]] joined the office in 2014 and has served as the civil division chief.  The nomination now heads to the full Senate.

>>One Dead In Providence House Fire 

(Providence, RI)  --  One person is dead after a house fire in Providence on Friday afternoon.  The Providence Fire Department responded to the blaze on Young Avenue in Smith Hill.  Hoarding conditions reportedly hindered crews fighting the two-alarm fire, but none were injured.

>>Former WJAR Anchor Dick Wood Has Died 

(Cranston, RI)  --  Former Channel 10 anchor Dick Wood has died.  Wood was 91 years old. He was the evening anchor for a decade at WJAR-TV before he joined WTEN in Albany, New York and worked there for nearly twenty years. 

>>Rhode Island Diner Put On National Register Of Historic Places 

(Pawtucket, RI)  --  A Pawtucket diner is being added to the National Register of Historic Places.  The Rhode Island Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission says the National Park Service has added the Miss Loraine Diner on Mineral Spring Avenue.  The diner is a restored "semi-streamliner" model which influenced the design of fast-food restaurants in the U.S.  It was manufactured by the Worcester Lunch Car and Carriage Manufacturing Company in 1941 and was originally in Connecticut.  The current owner purchased it in 2011 and moved it to Pawtucket. 

Jim McCabe/jb          RI) NY) NYC) CT) MA)
Copyright © 2021
TTWN Media Networks Inc. 

11-08-2021 02:42:07

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A new state senator was elected on Tuesday in Providence.  A man was arraigned yesterday for allegedly threatening churchgoers with a gun in the capital city.  A new contract is being recommended for the Rhode Island education commissioner. 

>>Election Recap: Providence State Senator Elected, MA Mayors Keep Office

(Undated)  --  Here are the highlights from Election Day in Rhode Island and southeastern Massachusetts.  A state Senate seat up for grabs on the East Side of Providence went to Democrat Sam Zurier [[ ZUR-ee-ur ]].  Portsmouth voters approved 21-million dollars to pay for public school renovations.  The incumbent mayors of Attleboro and Fall River, Mass won re-election. 

[[ note nature ]] 

>>Armed Man Allegedly Threatens Churchgoers In Providence 

(Providence, RI)  --  New details on the arrest of a man who allegedly displayed a gun during a confrontation at a Catholic church in Providence on Monday night.  The Journal reports 28-year-old William Nesbitt, of Providence, approached a group gathered after mass at St. Mary's on Broadway, including the priest, and yelled at them to leave, accusing them of supporting child molesters.  This was the church whose pastor, James Jackson, was arrested for child pornography crimes.  Nesbitt was arraigned on charges of illegal firearm possession and disorderly conduct on Tuesday and pleaded not guilty.

>>Man Recovering From RI Brain Surgery Allegedly Assaults Flight Attendant 

(Undated)  --  A man who said he was recovering from brain surgery in Rhode Island is accused of assaulting a flight attendant.  Twenty-year-old Brian Hsu [[ shoe ]] allegedly attacked the American Airlines attendant on a flight from New York to California last week, forcing an emergency landing in Denver.  The flight attendant reportedly suffered a concussion.  Hsu's lawyer says he became agitated because of the condition he was in.  American Airlines has said he will not be allowed to travel with them in the future. 

>>New Contract Recommended For State Education Commissioner 

(Providence, RI)  --  The Rhode Island Council on Elementary and Secondary Education voted to reappoint state education commissioner Angélica Infante-Green [[ ahn-HELL-ick-uh in-FAHN-tay ]] on Tuesday night.  The vote on granting a new three-year contract was 5-to-1.  The full state board of education must also approve the reappointment.  Infante-Green began the job in 2019.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,881

(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-881.  The number of new virus cases reported in RI yesterday was two-hundred-five. 

>>Shellfishing Restart At South County Pond 

(South Kingstown, RI)  --  Rhode Island officials say shellfishing activity is now OK at Potter Pond in South Kingstown.  The pond had been closed due to bacterial contamination that was detected and caused eight people to get sick last September.  State agencies and shellfish growers in Potter Pond worked to mitigate the presence of birds which were linked to the contamination.

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

11-03-2021 02:14:01

Rhode Island News Summary

(Undated)  --  Here is the latest news: A man is under arrest for allegedly threatening a priest and parishioners at a church in Providence on Monday night.  A half-dozen indictments are issued by the state for a mass shooting in Providence from earlier this year.  A state Senate race in the capital city headlines Tuesday's Election Day slate.

[[ note nature ]]

>>Man Arrested For Alleged Gun Threat At Providence Church 

(Providence, RI)  --  A man is under arrest for allegedly threatening a priest and parishioners at a church in Providence on Monday night.  This was at St. Mary's Church on Broadway, the Catholic church whose pastor, James Jackson, was just arrested for alleged child pornography crimes.  Multiple media reports indicate last night's incident was connected to the arrest of Father Jackson, who has been banned from the ministry.  Police are still actively investigating.

>>Six Indicted For Providence Mass Shooting 

(Providence, RI)  --  Six people are facing charges in connection to a shooting in Providence earlier this year that officials believe was the worst mass shooting in the city's history.  The Rhode Island Attorney General's Office says there was a shootout between two gangs at a home on Carolina Avenue in May.  No one was killed.  Attorney General Peter Neronha says the half-dozen charged individuals turned a peaceful Providence neighborhood into their own personal shooting range.

>>Election Day: Providence State Senate Race, Portsmouth School Spending Request 

(Undated)  --  There is scattered Election Day activity happening in Rhode Island on Tuesday.  The East Side of Providence is electing a new state senator to replace Gayle Goldin, who stepped down for a post in the Biden administration.  Democrat Sam Zurier [[ ZUR-ee-ur ]], a former Providence city councilman, faces Republican Alex Cannon.  Meanwhile, Portsmouth voters are being asked to approve 21-million dollars to pay for renovations at several buildings in the school district.

>>Fall River Mayor's Wife Recovering After Vehicle-Versus-Bike Crash 

(Fall River, MA)  --  Fall River Mayor Paul Coogan says his wife is recovering after she was reportedly hit by a car during a bike ride on the Massachusetts South Coast over the weekend.  Judi St. Hilaire is still in the ICU at St. Luke's Hospital in New Bedford, but she is in stable condition, according to Coogan.  Police are investigating the incident in Mattapoisett.  Coogan is up for re-election on Tuesday.

>>Elderly Woman Killed In Hopkinton Crash ID'd

(Hopkinton, RI)  --  Authorities have released the name of a Westerly woman killed in a South County crash.  Eighty-eight-year-old Elisabeth Thayer was a passenger in a two-vehicle collision on State Route 138 in Hopkinton on Sunday.  Hopkinton police are investigating the crash and are asking for anyone who witnessed it to give them a call.

>>Coronavirus Death Toll In Rhode Island: 2,879

(Providence, RI)  --  Rhode Island reported one new coronavirus death over the Halloween weekend.  The pandemic death toll for the Ocean State increased to two-thousand-879.  Rhode Island reported 41 virus deaths in the month of October.  Over five-hundred new virus cases were reported in RI this past weekend.

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

11-02-2021 02:11:16

RI gains if the Recovering America's Wildlife Act (RAWA) passes

Rhode Island gains if the Recovering America’s Wildlife Act (RAWA) passes – Jeff Gross

October 30, 2021/Jeff Gross

by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

Photo: Block Island Ferry website

Currently in the U.S. Congress is a bill, H.R. 2773.  This bill is called the Recovering Americas Wildlife Act (RAWA).  This bill looks to provide monies in addition to the Pittman-Robertson act to improve wildlife conditions of greatest need.

Since RAWA is a supplemental fund it will not reduce the monies at all from the Pittman-Robertson fund.  The RAWA funds will come directly from the US Treasury’s general fund. Since the money is coming from the General Fund no Federal Government programs will be adversely affected. 

These funds are great news for the RI DEM as there are programs for the Atlantic Salmon fishery and the Partridge (Grouse) program that will benefit from these monies, locally.

 At the time of this writing, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is in the Southern East Bay area of reviewing the Woodcock status in Rhode Island. Woodcock are a small migratory bird that is hunted by Rhode Islanders. The Woodcock will also benefit from RAWA, as well. One of the RAWA requirements is to accelerate and expand recovery efforts for species of greatest need.  Expanding the habitat for Partridge will also improve conditions for Woodcock.  In fact, it is a win-win for almost all species as they are all intertwined in “the circle of life”.

It will be great to see Partridge running around in Rhode Island woods again. This author has not seen a Partridge since the mid 1990’s. The benefit of sea run Atlantic Salmon ended before he was born. Sea run Atlantic Salmon fishing did occur as a youngster on the Kennebec River in Maine, but even that salmon fishery has now ceased. The Great state of Maine should benefit from this legislation as well as they can restore the same wildlife species and habitat that Rhode Island will.

For you Birdwatchers and Hikers, fear not.  Species like the American Bluebird will prosper under this legislation. Occasionally this writer sees Bluebirds while winter hunting.  It would be great to see that particular species become abundant as it is a pleasure to see the fluorescent blue in the woods that are often just dark and gray at this time of year.

This bill is a bipartisan effort and it is highly recommended that all Rhode Islanders contact their Washington delegation to fully support this bill.  Rhode Island will be a better place if this bill is passed.

Note: Photos and article input credit goes to the outstanding and hardworking folks at the RI DEM and US Fish and Wildlife Service.


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

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