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Editor’s Note: Today begins a new weekly feature with RINewsToday – “Ron & Jen’s Great Escape”
Featuring of RI radio fame, Ron St. Pierre & Jen Brien, their column will provide commentary on the passing Rhode Island scene.
GET A BROADER BRUSH
Before wrapping up this session’s business, the General Assembly made civics education and the teaching of Black history required learning for public school students. Under the measure, students would have to take one course between 8th and 12th grade, and the class would take a hands-on project approach. If you’re teaching AMERICAN CIVICS, shouldn’t you be diving deeper into the melting pot? How can this be considered an inclusive course without the history of ALL the groups that have made Rhode Island and this country what it is today? We applaud ramping up the teaching of history and civics but if you’re going to teach history, teach ALL of it, not just a piece that sings a certain narrative. The bill takes effect with the graduating class of 2025. That’s plenty of time to tweak things and paint with a broader brush.
PROPS TO URI
The University of Rhode Island will preserve two 1950’s murals in the school’s Memorial Union that were covered up last year and add language explaining how the paintings exhibit a past era when enrollment at URI was predominantly male and white. New artwork will be commissioned and installed alongside the 1950’s murals depicting what life on campus looks like today. The murals were painted by Arthur Sherman who graduated from the school in 1950. Sherman came to school on the GI Bill after serving as a combat medic in WW2. Sherman went on to coach and teach at the school for many years. THIS is how things SHOULD be done. Rather than tear down statues and remove artwork, find a physical location and context in which to display them. This is who we were, this is how far we’ve come, and this is where we’re going. Learn from our past, don’t erase it.
THIS BUGS US
Even bugs aren’t safe from Cancel Culture. The Entomological Society of America is seeking a new name for the destructive gypsy moth. The society releasing the statement “It’s an ethnic slur to begin with that’s been rejected by the Romani people a long time ago. Second, nobody wants to be associated with a harmful invasive pest.”
The US intelligence community released that long-awaited report on Unidentified Flying Objects… and their findings? “UFOs are REAL things and can’t be explained.” I bet we can beat THAT community in a game of CLUE. If we do get strange visitors from another planet, let’s hope they’re the ET and THE DAY THE EARTH STOOD STILL types and not the INDEPENDENCE DAY variety. Meantime, take no chances and repeat after us KLAATU, VERATA, NIKTO!
As many plan to start traveling again, they’re finding out their plans might not happen on time. Apparently, it’s taking even longer to get new passports this year. The State Department says it could now take up to EIGHTEEN WEEKS thanks to slower mail times and lots more people traveling. So, if you need a passport or need a renewal be warned. Check the expiration date… but at all costs try to avoid looking at that terrible photo.
Ron St. Pierre is a veteran broadcaster whose career has spanned over four decades. Ron has programmed, performed on and managed WHJJ, WPRO, WWRX, 790 The Score in Providence, as well as WBZT and WKGR in West Palm Beach and WABC in New York City. Ron also anchored sports on WPRI Ch 12 in Providence. He is a member of both the Rhode Island Radio and Television and the City of Pawtucket Halls of Fame. He was born and raised in Pawtucket.
Jen Brien has over 20 years of radio broadcast experience having hosted shows on WPRO and WHJJ with Ron as well as her own shows on WRKO and WBZ in Boston, WXTK on Cape Cod and WHAM in Rochester, New York. Jen was born and raised in Woonsocket and served six years in the Army MP Canine Unit.
Hazel, Ron’s dog, makes regular appearances.
“Ron and Jen’s Great Escape” podcast, a more lighthearted reaction to the events happening around us, can be found on YouTube and wherever you get your podcasts, with new episodes premiering Mondays and Wednesdays.