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A week in review…

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…this week in Rhode Island

#Radio #Senate #Providence #tunnels #Patriots #Fires

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly…in Rhode Island…this week

The Good

WPRO Radio

For dedicating an entire day of talk radio programming to the opioid epidemic. ENOUGH. WPRO’s Opioid Awareness Day will begin with morning programming and conclude after the Gresh sports show in the evening today, Friday, September 13th. A local ad notes what appears to be sponsors, BHLInk, BuildRI, Alkermes, Blackstone Valley Prevention Coalition, and Charter Care New England.

Mary McElroy

It took four years and three nominations through two administrations, but this week RI Public Defender, Mary McElroy was confirmed to the US District Court in RI, thereby creating a full court for the state. Noteworthy is the two times that President Trump nominated McElroy – also noteworthy is the official vote happening on the Senate floor – to no objections – but who was on the Senate floor, but two senators – Senators Reed & Whitehouse.

The Bad

“The Book” debacle in Providence schools

Finding out exactly how it came to be that one book became THE BOOK that all middle and senior high school children should read in the first weeks of school, we suspect, will tell us much more about the undertone we are beginning to hear about Providence school issues. Apparently the book was ordered by interim superintendent Gallo, to the tune of over $185,000. Then a memo was issued between Supt. Gallo and teachers’ representative union, president Mary Calabro, instructing the teachers to use this book in the first weeks of school, exclusively. We ask the question: who needed to sign the purchase order for the books? Surely not just Supt. Gallo? How did this book come to Supt. Gallo’s attention – who has not said she had not read it in its entirety – echoed by Calabro. Why did the city pay full price of $11 per book when quantity pricing is always negotiable with Amazon? When religious references in the book were brought to Gallo’s attention, the instruction to read it was pulled – as were the books – but now we hear that another memo has gone out telling teachers they can use their “own best conscience” to request the book. The author is expected to keep his planned visit to Providence schools in the next few weeks.

Kennedy Plaza Tunnel & Allens Avenue “Bourbon Street”

No. Just no. Why not redirect those creative ideas to solving the problem of the empty Superman building, the safety issues in the downtown park-lets, the people who are homeless and panhandling downtown, the road conditions, the cleanliness, the safety concerns, etc. Why the tunnel? Does it qualify for some federal funds that we are chasing for jobs – not for project desirability? We can’t imagine any reason for a Bourbon Street of Providence. We’ll just leave that right there.

Patriots player

Who didn’t know that taking this player might be inviting trouble down the line, or that he needed extra mentoring and guidance? Rumor has it that he is living in Tom Brady’s home while he gets “situated” – yet – right out of the box some charges get made of rape by a past trainer, with the only response being that the relationship had been a consensual one. So, Patriots season is launched – with controversy on day one.

The Ugly

Fires

Almost every morning this week there has been a nasty fire happening in Rhode Island or nearby Massachusetts. While we’ve come to accept shootings, stabbings, and cars barreling into each other or into buildings, this week we watched a marina building burn with historic boats in a tight area, with only a prayer and some incredible fire-fighting work from land and sea, that prevented the fire spreading to take out more boats and docks in this area. At the end was a refueling station – and the fire didn’t reach that either. Later this week we saw a fire quickly go up in a Providence 3-tenement housing more than 30 people. News reports say that perhaps one floor had had the electricity turned off. We haven’t heard more about the cause, but we heard almost immediately that these 30 people had no family, and had lost everything. One report said they were illegal immigrants from Guatemala that spoke a rare dialect. Language was an immediate barrier and there were calls for more help. As we enter the fall and winter season – do a safety check in your home. Check on wiring, laptop and computer battery charging, gas line safety, and immediately go out and buy a fire extinguisher. Learn how to use it. Check those smoke alarm batteries. Let’s be safe this year.

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