Latest News by Herb Weiss

RINewsToday

Herb Weiss

Contributing Writer

About

Herb Weiss has enjoyed a distinguished 41 year career in journalism, earning a national reputation as an expert on aging, health care and medical issues. Over 780 articles that he has authored or coauthored have appeared in national, state and local publications. Governor Gina Raimondo appointed him to the Rhode Island Advisory Commission on aging. Senate President Domenick Ruggerio appointed him to the Advisory Council on Alzheimer's Disease, Research and Treatment. Today, Herb’s weekly newspaper column appears in the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket call, two North Rhode Island daily newspapers, and RINewsToday.com. Herb and his wife, Patty Zacks, reside in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

Campaign reminds Veteran caregivers to “Take Care of Themselves” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Since 2011, AARP and the Ad Council have launched public service announcements (PSAs) encouraging America’s caregivers to care not only for their loved ones, but also for themselves. Over the years, these PSAs s have targeted women aged 40 to 60, male caregivers aged 35 to 60…
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Tech use flourishes during pandemic, particularly among seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Over the course of 71 episodes of the widely-acclaimed Sopranos, Dr. Jennifer Melfi met with Tony Soprano in her office. The office had paneled walls, was decorated with a diploma on the wall, and next to that was a bookshelf filled with books. Melfi was counseling Mob Boss Tony Soprano…
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Some Favs… Looking Back at 2021 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss As an ‘age beat’ journalist for over 40 years, I have penned more than 813 articles covering aging, health care and medical issues. These authored and coauthored pieces have appeared in national, state, and local trade and association publications, dailies, weeklies, and in this weekly column in RINewsToday.com. Some were even republished in…
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Resolutions to getting back on track financially a catalyst for positive change – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer With the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, we will see a scaled back Times Square celebration where the ball swiftly drops as 15,000 people, in a viewing area that holds around 58,000 revelers, will loudly count down to one at the stroke of midnight. At this time, we traditionally make New Year Resolutions…
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Watching over Nursing Homes once again – time for mandated Boosters – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Colder weather is keeping people more indoors now, and Thanksgiving and pre-Christmas gatherings are drawing people together in groups, small and large. Like other states across the country, Rhode Island is seeing a growing transmission of the COVID-19 Delta, and now Omicron variants. Some national sources say…
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Social Security learns from remote experience, plans field office openings – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues On March 17, 2020, as the COVID-19 pandemic rapidly spread throughout the nation, the Social Security Administration  (SSA) issued a press release announcing that its offices would only offer phone service and online services. However, in-person appointments at SSA were scheduled for critical issues, specifically for those who were without…
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Senator Bob Dole’s legacy – putting nation over politics – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Politician, War Hero, Senator Bob Dole Dies at 98 Bob Dole a seriously wounded World War II hero, a Kansas politician who served in the House from 1961 to 1969 and the U.S. Senate from 1969 until 1996, who unsuccessfully ran as the Republican candidate against Bill Clinton for President in…
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With Thanksgiving approaching, beat the Holiday Blues – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just a year ago, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic transformed the way we celebrated the traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Normally a personal gathering day with family and close friends, the cooler weather pushed people inside where the virus more easily spreads, forcing families to meet on Zoom for turkey…
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AARP Report: Scammers targeting military community – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just two days before the nation celebrated Veterans Day, the Washington, DC-based AARP issued a report revealing that veterans, active-duty service members, and their families are nearly 40% more likely to lose money to con-artists than the civilian population. According to the new research study, detailed in…
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A Sacred Trust – moves to strengthen Social Security – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Almost two weeks ago, House Ways and Means Social Security Subcommittee Chairperson John B. Larson (D-Conn.) threw H.R. 5723, the Social Security 2100: A Sacred Trust, into the legislative hopper. During its unveiling in the historic committee room of the House Ways and Means Social Security subcommittee, the…
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Herb Weiss – aging boldly!

By Nancy Thomas A growing number of aging baby boomers and senior readers turn to newspapers, electronic media, and the internet to investigate issues and identify resources to help them age gracefully. Over the years, Herb Weiss, 67, along with thousands of journalists covering the “age beat” have reported on a myriad of aging, health…
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Use ARPA Funds to Make Rhode Island “Age Friendly” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging With the first public hearing cancelled because of Wednesday’s nor’easter on Oct. 26, Gov. Dan McKee and Lt. Gov Sabina Matos, along with Commerce Director Stefan Pryor and their staff, came to Warren’s Hope & Main to kick off the second public hearing to gather comments about the recently released…
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McKee-Matos final “Rhode Island 2030 Plan” must not forget seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, Gov. Dan McKee penned a Providence Journal op-ed calling for the General Assembly to release the $1.1 billion (at least 10%) in federal COVID-19 aid to address the state’s immediate needs, including shoring up minority and women owned small businesses and specific sectors…
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It’s now time to stamp out Antisemitism – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer The American Jewish Committee (AJC), one of the oldest nation’s Jewish advocacy groups fighting racism and antisemitism, calls on the Marriott Hotel company to apologize directly to Gil Ofarim, a popular German-Israeli singer who lives in Germany, for an anti-Semitic remark made by an employee.  He was told by the check-in…
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Older adults still worried, coping with COVID-19 Delta, poll shows – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant numbers having surged across the nation, Joe (70) and Joyce (66), residing across the Rhode Island border in Seekonk, Massachusetts, continue to keep their distance from others, only seeing vaccinated friends and spending time with their daughter and her husband and grandchildren. During…
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Safeguarding ballot access for seniors – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The clock is ticking… It’s 399 days before the upcoming midterm elections. Following the Democrats winning the White House and taking control of both the House and Senate chambers, Republican-controlled state houses across the nation moved quickly to pass legislation on the voting process. The Republican lawmakers…
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Fixing rising pharmaceutical drug costs once and for all – Herb Weiss

Fixing Rising Pharmaceutical Drug Costs Once and For All By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, WBUR.org, Boston’s NPR News Station, featuring NPR News and Programs, aired a 45.37 minute program, “Steps to Fix America’s Broken Prescription Drug System,”  clearly illustrating the need to fix America’s ailing prescription drug program.  While Americans are…
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Nursing facilities gear up for October vaccination deadline – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over a month ago, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) issued a Health Alert Network (HAN) Health Advisory to public health practitioners and clinicians about the urgent need to increase COVID-19 vaccination coverage across the United States to prevent surges…
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“Gray voting block” watching Congress – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With recess ending, budget reconciliation begins in the House and Senate as lawmakers come back to Capitol Hill to begin crafting a budget. Last month a $ 3.5 trillion budget resolution bill was passed which gave instructions in the Fiscal Year (FY) 2022 budget resolution to allow up…
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A call to Congress to strengthen, expand Social Security & Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The 2021 Annual Report of the Board of Trustees of the Federal Old-Age and Survivors Insurance (OASI)) and the Social Security Disability trust fund (SSDI), released last week, gives Congress this stark warning: the Social Security Trust fund is heading toward insolvency in 13 years while SSDI will…
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House passes Budget resolution – Seniors would benefit

By  Herb Weiss During a late-night negotiating session held Monday, Aug. 23, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi mended fences and brought centralist Democrats, led by Rep. Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), back to the fold. The next day, a united Democratic caucus adopted the Senate-passed $3.5 trillion budget resolution (S. Con. Res. 14) for fiscal year 2022, by a party…
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It’s time. Staff vaccinations required for nursing homes as 10 RI facilities see new COVID cases – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues With the COVID-19 Delta variant spiking across the country especially among the unvaccinated, last Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced at an afternoon address at the White House that the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services will require nursing homes to require all workers to be fully…
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A Call for House Dems to Bring Back House Aging Committee – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Congressman David Cicilline, along with fellow lawmakers, Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), Doris Matsui (D-CA), who serve as co-chairs of the House Democratic Caucus Task Force  on Aging and Families, introduced H. Res. 583 to amend the rules of the House to establish a House Permanent Select Committee on…
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Update: Legislation submitted to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging – Herb Weiss

Cicilline, Schakowsky & Matsui Reintroduce Legislation to Reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging  U.S. Representatives David N. Cicilline (RI-01), Jan Schakowsky (IL-09), and Doris Matsui (CA-06) reintroduced legislation to reestablish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging to examine the challenges and issues facing the growing aging population in America. This legislation has…
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AARP concerned for working caregivers. Advice from Dr. Michael Fine – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues After the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic initially shuttered the nation’s businesses over a year ago and with Delta variant cases now surging among the 50 percent of the population not fully vaccinated, AARP releases a 17-page report exploring the concerns of working caregivers about returning to pre-pandemic business…
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Your eyes, ears, and teeth are connected to your body – Medicare/Medicaid at 56 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over 56 years ago, Congress became actively involved in the health insurance business with President Lyndon Johnson signing the Social Security Amendments establishing Medicare and Medicaid. The bipartisan legislation creating a national health insurance program. It was introduced in March 1965, and was passed by large majorities…
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We can prevent “suicide by bridge” – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: top, Bryan Ganley As the General Assembly goes into recess until the fall, Rep. Joseph J. Solomon Jr. (D-Dist. 22, Warwick) sees H-5053, to require safety barriers or netting on the three bridges that connect Aquidneck and Conanicut Islands to the mainland of Rhode Island, as in hiatus. The bill…
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“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA – Herb Weiss

“There’s a New Sheriff in Town” at SSA By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Photo: Kilolo Kijakazi, Urban Institute President Joe Biden has asked two political holdovers from the President Trump’s administration, Social Security Commissioner Andrew Saul and his deputy, David Black, who had previously served as the agency’s top lawyer, to resign. Saul…
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RI Law ensures teaching of Holocaust, Genocides in public schools – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer The Rhode Island Holocaust and Genocide Education Coalition (RIHGEC) has successfully pushed state lawmakers to pass legislation that formalizes a commission to implement a 2016 law to require public schools to teach students about genocide and the Holocaust.  The 2016 law was introduced by Sen. Gayle L. Goldin (D-Dist. 3, Providence) and House Majority…
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AARP launches campaign to support Family Caregivers – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues AARP Launches New National Campaign Calling for More Support for Family Caregivers With caregiving costs skyrocketing, and with caregivers now estimated to be spending $7,242 annually out-of-pocket, AARP launches a national campaign to push for passage of the Credit for Caring Act. The Washington, DC-based aging advocacy…
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Tracking legislation of interest to seniors as RI General Assembly wraps up – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues In the waning days of the 2021 legislative session, RI House lawmakers approved a $13.1 billion state budget for the 2022 fiscal year (by a party-line vote of 64 Democrats to 10 Republicans) that boosts key supports for vulnerable Rhode Islanders — particularly affordable housing and social…
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The Slater Mill Field Trip: in the footsteps of Samuel Slater – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer In Pawtucket’s downtown, you will find historic Slater Mill, consisting of the Slater and Wilkinson Mill and the Sylvanus Brown House, sitting on five acres of land on both sides of the Blackstone River, a mill that celebrates America’s Industrial Revolution to generations of visiting students. Pawtucket resident Patricia S. Zacks…
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Seniors would benefit in President Biden’s $6 trillion budget

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer On May 28, with the release of a $6 trillion budget for fiscal year (FY) 2022, President Joe Biden outlined his values and vision as to how he proposes to revive the nation’s sputtering economic engine as it emerges from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. The 72-page budget…
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Using Savings from Drug Pricing Reform to Expand Medicare – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Ahead of President Biden’s first address to a joint session of Congress on April 28 and as the Democratic administration considers policies to slash rising drug costs, the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) released a 65-page report finding that the U.S. pays more than two to four…
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Rhode Island Senate must take a stand against hatred – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer “In recent days, we have seen that no community is immune. We must all stand together to silence these terrible and terrifying echoes of the worst chapters in world history, and pledge to give hate no safe harbor.” — Statement of President Joe Biden on the rise of antisemitic attacks,…
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One Year Later – Two Surveys Examine Impact of COVID-19 – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Over the year the raging pandemic has impacted on the physical and mental health of Americans. With daily COVID case counts now the lowest since last year and hospitals seeing less coronavirus hospitalizations, most states, including Rhode Island, are now opening up. According to the American Psychological Association’s…
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Voter reform must include accessibility for seniors and persons with disabilities – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues It’s over 540 days until the November 8, 2022 mid-term elections. The clock is ticking, say voter rights advocates, who are gearing up to push back at voting bills they see as restrictive being introduced at multiple state houses.   As of March 24, 2021, GOP State legislators,…
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Congressman Cicilline poised for legacy as next fiery advocate on aging – Herb Weiss

Picking Up the Mantle of Fiery Aging Advocate, Claude Pepper – Cicilline Moves to Re-Establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Congressman David Cicilline is poised to offer a resolution to re-establish the House Permanent Select Committee on Aging, whose work came to an end in early January…
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Ron St. Pierre back on-air. “Ron & Jen’s Great Escape” positive podcast. – Herb Weiss

Photo: Jen Brien & Ron St. Pierre By Herb Weiss, contributing writer One might say his career has come full circle from its early beginnings on a small radio station in Woonsocket, to programming and performing on air at popular Rhode Island radio stations, to serving as a sports anchor on television, as well. A…
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Time to resolve RI’s ongoing Nursing Home staffing crisis – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues The latest release of AARP’s Nursing Home COVID-19 Dashboard shows that both cases and deaths in nursing homes declined in the four weeks ending March 21. Although these rates are improving, chronic staffing problems in nursing homes—revealed during the COVID-19 pandemic—continue. In Rhode Island, 30% of nursing homes reported a…
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Seniors with student loans: AARP’s new online tool to manage debt – Herb Weiss

AARP’s New Internet Tool Helps Seniors Manage Hefty Student Loan Debt  By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Over the years, AARP Public Policy Institute (PPI) has tracked the staggering amount of student loan debt that seniors are shouldering to help their children and grandchildren finance their higher education. Many people age 50 also take on…
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“Georgia on My Mind” – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues – opinion Protecting the Voting Rights of Older Adults Rewriting election rules has ramifications for voting accessibility of older adults. According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Republicans now control 30 state houses with 18 being controlled by the Democrats, one legislature being nonpartisan. As the…
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Age Discrimination, Workplace Issues at House Hearing – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Just days ago, Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (D-VA), chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, and Rep. Rodney Davis (R-IL) introduced, H.R. 2062, the bipartisan “Protection Older Workers Against Discrimination Act” (POWADA), a bill that would strengthen federal anti-discrimination protections for older workers. The legislation was…
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RI Senate Tackles High Cost of Prescription Drugs – Herb Weiss

by Herb Weiss, contributing writer Photo: Commonwealth Fund In the shadow of the COVID-19 pandemic, as Governor Dan McKee and the Rhode Island General Assembly move to hammer out their Fiscal Year 2022 budget, Senate lawmakers push a package of eight legislative proposals to put the brakes on skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs. The Senate…
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Chronic Fraud Victimization an Escalating Problem – Herb Weiss

 By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues Everyone has heard of the ago old proverb, “Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.”  After being tricked once, hopefully a person learns from one’s mistakes and avoids being tricked in the same way again.   But for many victims of financial fraud,…
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Sen. Whitehouse Pushes to Protect Nursing Home Residents, Employees – Herb Weiss

Whitehouse Pushes for COVID-19 Senate Proposal to Protect Residents, Employees By Herb Weiss  As the one-year anniversary of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic approaches, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) joins Senators Bob Casey (D-PA), Raphael Warnock (D-GA), Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), and Cory Booker (D-NJ) in introducing a legislative proposal to save lives of nursing home residents and employees…
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Dr. Teresa Chopoorian: McKnight’s Women of Distinction Award winner – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging After reviewing hundreds of submitted entries, an independent panel, composed of two dozen judges, selected 19 women, including Dr. Teresa J. Chopoorian, to be inducted into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor as part of the program’s third annual class.  Dr. Chopoorian serves as Vice President and Administrator of…
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AARP Tips on Shopping for a Financial Advisor – Herb Weiss

By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues As a result of living in times of economic uncertainty resulting from the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic retirees are worried about how they can protect their hard-earned egg nest from the volatility of the stock market.  It is even now more important to be working with a financial…
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Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” – by Herb Weiss

Never forgetting will help us keep the promise of “never again.” By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging issues During a Pro-Trump rally, as thousands of rioters swarmed the US Capitol on Jan. 6, Robert Keith Packer, sporting an unkempt beard, came wearing a black hoodie sweatshirt emblazoned with the phrase “Camp Auschwitz,” in white…
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Vaccine Decision – Getting to ‘YES’ – by Herb Weiss

Study Takes Look at Decision Making in Getting a COVID-19 Vaccine By Herb Weiss, contributing writer on aging Last month, the first shipment of COVID-19 vaccines came to Rhode Island. With limited stockpiles, debate in the state is heating up as to who gets priority in getting vaccinated. While many Rhode Islanders are waiting for…
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