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The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
To everything there is a season
The turning of the Seasons are dramatic New England. We mark our lives in four quarters; four sets of clothes; four sets of indoor/outdoor activities; four groups of holidays. This week, autumn/fall crept in quietly, except for a tornado in Portsmouth, and it’s here to stay now. Leaves should catch up soon. The pumpkin-flavored-everything is on the shelves and at all the take-outs. Apple picking, and pumpkin activities abound. Oktoberfests! The New England Patriots and football watching parties. The summer wreaths are off the door, and the fall ones are up. Sweaters are coming out. And car heaters – and delightful seat warmers – may have gotten their first test run. It’s fall, and it’s delightful. Another new beginning.
Coffee With A Cop
Not much was made about it in the media, but it is a national program and the cities that participated are all the better for it. Hats off to Johnston, and Cranston, who had the most in their PR machines to let us all know. Let’s continue to make it more than once a year. We need the dialogue, the familiarity, and it’s needed on both sides of the coffee shop tables.
Spending in Providence
With so much difficulty in Providence education it boggles the mind that not a month after over $185,000 was spent on one book, with alleged religious overtones, for Providence schools, but now over $125,000 will be spent on creating a maze of bike lanes/travel lanes on narrow Eaton Street in Providence, near Providence College, and then removing it all and returning it to its original state. While it’s often said that bad decisions come from the top, one does wonder what the construction crews were thinking as they implemented a design where there was obvious problems. Not only was it unfeasible, but it was dangerous. Did the crews stop and call someone, saying something just wasn’t right? Did they continue on the job with a humorous tone?
Then there was the book buy – did only one person make this purchase? Who approved the purchase order? Who signed the check? Did purchasing try to negotiate a bulk buy rate – available just for the asking? What are the checks and balances – and why did no one say this might not be right – let me make sure this is what we really want to do. Empowering staff to “say something” is about strong leadership. We need some in Providence.
Violence in Providence
Crickets. A few had gotten into a building recently that we were in, and they made more noise than the Mayor of Providence has about violence in our capital city. Each incident goes well beyond any “knucklehead” description, which should never be uttered again to describe what is happening in Providence. Neither do we want to hear that statistics show less violence. A few days ago we heard that two young women were shot, one was killed, by being on a Providence sidewalk at around 2am. They were going to their cars, when bullets flew that were meant for two men standing near them. The woman who died was celebrating her 19th birthday.
Just days later we hear about a multiple stabbing of a man who was sitting with another man at a counter bar at a popular establishment right in the center of Atwells Avenue. They had a fight, resulting in a stabbing that left the victim staggering outside – to die. It was only midnight.
And just yesterday, the Providence Board of Licenses dismissed all violation charges against Rooftop at the Providence G, site of a stabbing in their garage, Flow, where a shooting happened; Noah Lounge, where three men were stabbed outside of their facility.
We can look to less fatal circumstances – at the new opening of a store at the Providence Place Mall with gangs of young teens, male and female, in an outright brawl. Only luck prevented serious injuries.
We could fill this page with fearful comments we’ve heard from colleagues about going downtown for business or pleasure, and particularly after dark. When will outrage and change happen? When will something dramatic happen to take back Providence? Crickets.