The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly – this week in Rhode Island

by Nancy Thomas, editor

The Good

The economy…the stock market…investments…

Making new records on the very first day of 2020, no doubt that the economy is strong, jobs are plentiful and joblessness at its lowest, including women, and minorities. Let’s see if it holds throughout the year. One thing is for sure; more of us are becoming more knowledgeable about how our money works, and we need to continue the learning curve, so we can be ready to act if – no, when – the pendulum swings.

Raising the age to 21 for tobacco purchase

For decades, health advocates have worked nationally on this goal. In Rhode Island, attempts have failed every year, until there we were – along with New Hampshire – the two holdouts in New England to keep the age at 18. The signing of this new age requirement into law took effect immediately – with little fanfare – and impacts the entire United States all at once. It was the right thing to do. The health advocates might consider saying “way to go”.

Dry January

It’s a thing!  A time for the body to restore itself to equilibrium. Consider passing on the alcohol and going “dry” for the month. There are even bars creating special “dry” cocktails to help you along.


Fire department cutbacks, blackouts, and under staffing. 

They are risking lives in the region. We saw the impact of this with lowered response times in Middletown due to what the state firefighters group has called inadequate staffing. There have been cost-saving blackouts in coverage in New Bedford. Lowered response rates in Pawtucket.  Community advocates and emergency services proponents should take a serious look at the cost to the communities they are serving – if voters want money saved, they might also want it saved in ways that don’t put their very lives at risk.

Constant war

In the early hours of today the United States ordered action taken to take out the key Iranian military leader – the man responsible for the deaths of hundreds of American and coalition service members, and the wounding of thousands more throughout that region. A terrorist. It was long overdue. As we have been left cleaning up the mess of unfinished business in the region, we fear a growing escalation that further positions a United States in a state of constant war.


Acts against the Jewish community.

The ugly acts of violence, be they caused by mental illness or anti-Semitism, are increasing in New York and other places particularly where groups of Jewish people live. The steps being taken by the mayor and governor are critiqued by the community, which has taken to arming themselves for protection.

House of worship violence

The conversation is moving from prevention and awareness to defense. Large congregations arming themselves with private security guards and trained volunteer task forces as well as allowing concealed carry holders to carry their guns in the building are steps that make practical sense. Avoiding massacres such as happened in Texas recently, is worth the distaste of knowing you might need weapons in God’s house.

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