“Ron & Jen’s Great Escape” 7-28-2021 – Ron St. Pierre & Jen Brien

by Ron St. Pierre & Jen Brien

Mask Mandate Mayhem

To mask or not to mask is the daunting question Rhode Island’s school’s supers find themselves juggling and some want the state to step in. A state mandate requiring non-vaccinated students to wear masks would certainly allow supers to say to parents “here are the rules” but it’s not that simple. The budget passed by state lawmakers put limits on Governor Dan McKee’s emergency powers and that blocks him from issuing any new COVID emergency orders. This means each school district can set its own policy on masking. Can districts work together to find a policy consistent across the state? Stay tuned.

No Wings for You!

There are many things you can call Jeff Bezos (most we can’t print here) but astronaut isn’t one of them. That’s because to the likely delight of REAL astronauts out there, the FAA just tightened its rules. Commercial launch crew members must be employed by an FAA certified company performing the launch. They must reach an altitude higher than 50 miles above the surface of the Earth during flight, and here’s the biggie, they must have demonstrated activities during the mission that were “essential to public safety or contributed to human space flight safety.” Apparently tossing Skittles around in zero gravity doesn’t quite qualify. Under the new rules, space tourists who pony up big bucks for a joyride aren’t eligible to receive astronaut wings. Sorry, Jeff Bezos and Richard Branson but apparently there still ARE some things money CAN’T buy.

82-year-old Wally Funk who “flew” on Branson’s Virgin Galactic mission DOES get hers because she completed NASA training back in the 1960’s.

Gold Medal for Apathy

The ratings for NBC’s broadcast of the Summer Olympics in Tokyo last Friday night was a 33-year low, with 16.7 million viewers. That’s down a whopping 37% from the opening ceremony of the 2016 Rio Olympics and 59% from the 2012 London Olympics opener. So, what’s the reason for such apathy? The pandemic, for one – as no fans are allowed at any Olympic events, so fewer than 1,000 attendees were in the stands, mostly dignitaries and other officials creating an eerie atmosphere. Add to that the fact the host city’s residents are showing a total distain for the games, themselves, plus the infinite wisdom of the Olympic Committee to air and promote political protests by athletes prior to the start of competition. CLICK!

Cleveland Caves

Count Cleveland’s storied MLB baseball franchise as the latest to cave to cancel culture. After a year-long study, and considering over 1,200 potential team nicknames, the A-L Central team has dropped the name “Indians” in favor of “Guardians”. The name derives from the city’s so called “Guardians of Traffic and Transportation”, eight statues that stand on four pylons on either side of Cleveland’s Hope Memorial Bridge connecting the eastern and western parts of the city and can be seen from their home ballpark Progressive Field. While there’s a connection to the city, the name is awkward at best and means nothing to fans outside of Cleveland. Did the former Indians crackerjack marketing team contact RI’s Commerce Corp? You know the folks who brought us COOLER AND WARMER? 

BTW, The Cleveland franchise’s nickname history has a Rhode Island connection. They were called THE NAPS, short for NAPOLEONS from 1903 until 1914 after the team’s star player future Hall of Famer and Woonsocket’s favorite son, Napoleon Larry Lajoie (pronounced LAH-JOO-EH).

School Lunch Menus Looking Thin

Thanks to supply chain and worker shortages caused by the pandemic, kids will have less variety in their school lunches. When kids head back to the classroom, they’ll be seeing menus that may not include juice boxes, beef patties or chicken nuggets. Schools are also having a hard time finding cooks.


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.