Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Cumberland Lincoln 12-06-2018

The Valley Breeze Newspapers serving the Northern Rhode Island towns of Cumberland, Lincoln, Woonsocket, Smithfield, North Smithfield, Pawtucket, North Providence, Scituate, Foster, and Glocester

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CUMBERLAND LINCOLN EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | DECEMBER 6-12, 2018 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR / BUSINESS 19 Increased social spending may be helpful, necessary Responding to Tom Ward's edi- torial, "Our Growing Addiction" (Nov. 29), one comment is true: "Rhode Island has more people in need than ever. . . ." Mr. Ward complains about the new hires the state has made and the concomi- tant costs of their employment. The Providence Journal recently reported that many of the employees are in the Department of Children, Youth and Families and the Department of Motor Vehicles, two agencies most reasonable people would agree need increased staffing. I mean, the tragedies involving children were partly due to DCYF staffers having overwhelming case- loads. And who among us who've had to queue up at the DMV would not approve greater staffing there? Ward mentions the fact that, despite better economic times, the number of people receiving food assistance has grown by two-thirds since the Great Recession started. I suppose he's implying that the growth is due to the state's expand- ing the roles to those who don't really need help, when in fact it's because in Rhode Island being employed does not mean earning a living wage, one that insures secu- rity for food, housing and health. Ward often cites high taxes and fees as the reason why citizens leave and take up residence in lower-tax states like Florida. He described one such family in his column. But Ward never acknowl- edges that there may well be other reasons why northerners take up residence in southern states, like the weather. And Florida is no free ride. Check out Florida TaxWatch's "2018 How Florida Compares: Taxes." Whereas Florida ranks near the bottom for state-origi- nated taxes, it ranks much higher for local taxes. In fact the per- centage of local revenue vis-à-vis total state and local revenue is 53 percent, second highest in the nation. Florida relies heavily on sales and property taxes. In short, Rhode Island's "ex-patriates" may be enjoying both tax breaks and sunshine in Florida, but if they count everything they pay state and local governments, they may be surprised. Finally, you have to ask, If Rhode Island provides for its neediest citizens better than other states, is it not something we should be proud of rather than critical of? Ward neglected to acknowl- edge the recent Rhode Island tax exemptions for pensions, the lower taxes on business energy-expen- ditures, the necessary, increased spending on infrastructure and schools. Even he has to admit that our "socialist state" is doing some things right. Ward's editorial then decries our increasing reliance on revenues from gambling and marijuana sales. I'm conflicted about this also. But we're in a new world. We've spent billions trying to restrict the supply of illegal drugs, for example. Meanwhile, Portugal has had success reducing demand (and overdoses) by making even non-pharmaceutical drugs legal, with restrictions. Contra-intuitive, but worth a try? Today, there are so many societal excesses and deficiencies that all of us want addressed. It doesn't help to have journalists at both national and local levels skew the facts because of blind loyalty to some ideology. TONY FASCITELLI Cumberland Publisher's Note: I would have pre- ferred to not reply, but the insult at the end demands it. My "blind loyalty" is only to common sense. First, there is the accusation is that I believe we are providing more food stamps to those who don't need help. I wrote – and believe – no such thing. Second, my friends did not move to Florida for sunshine. They measured the $36,000 in property taxes for a condo in Providence and said "forget it." The warmth is a bonus. The new approach to marijuana use is worthwhile. I support medical marijuana. My question is merely: Does anyone care about the impact of inhaled, more powerful marijuana on young adults – on their both physical and mental health? Or will their lives be sacrificed on the altar of increas- ing state revenue? People honest with themselves know the answer. JAMES JONES PHOTOGRAPHY From left, Northeast Community president SISTER MAUREEN MITCHELL, WJAR– TV anchor/reporter MARIO HILARIO; special gifts officer SISTER IRENE NERNEY; community volunteer RENA DIMUCCIO and Amica CEO BOB DIMUCCIO. The DiMuccios received the Heart of Mercy Award. Sisters of Mercy honor DiMuccios PROVIDENCE – Cumberland residents Robert and Rena DiMuccio were honored by the Sisters of Mercy – Northeast Community at the annu- al Celebration of Mercy fundraiser last month in Providence, receiving the Heart of Mercy Award. The couple received the award on behalf of Amica, where Robert DiMuccio serves as CEO, on Oct. 19. The award is given to prominent Rhode Island citizens and organiza- tions that embody the sisters' mission of working for a just world, and have had an enormous impact on the qual- ity of life in the state and beyond. Festivities took place at the Veterans Auditorium, 1 Avenue of the Arts, and included cocktails and hors d'oeuvres in the Skywalk Gallery, a special performance of "Rhapsody in Blue" by the Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and the awards presentations. DaSilva named CFO of League School WALPOLE, MASS. – League School of Greater Boston, 300 Boston Providence Highway, announces the hiring of Ismael DaSilva, Cumberland resi- dent, as the school's new Chief Financial Officer. There will be a 'Meet the CFO' Breakfast gathering at the Fairfield Inn, in Walpole, Mass., on Thursday, Dec. 13, from 8 to 10 a.m. to intro- duce DaSilva. Anyone is welcome to attend. DaSilva brings over 20 years of experience in financial consulting in school and nonprofit settings to his new position. Prior to joining the staff at League School, he had worked in financial services organizations in New York City and Rhode Island. He possesses a BA and an MBA in International Business from Johnson & Wales University and lives in Cumberland. He said that he sees the CFO posi- tion at League as his chance to utilize his financial expertise to optimize the use of the school's monetary resources. To reserve a spot at the break- fast, contact Michelle Melanson at mmelanson@leagueschool.org . DASILVA Place your classified ad online at valleybreeze.adperfect.com Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor are welcome from readers. Please: • Limit to 500 words. Longer letters may appear online only. • Letters on local or state topics and issues will take precedence over those on national issues. • No more than one letter per person every 8 weeks, please. • All letters must be signed and include a hometown. Send by e-mail to: news@valleybreeze.com, or mail to The Valley Breeze, 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite 204, Lincoln, RI 02865. Your Full Service Repair Station AUTOMOTIVE SERVICES & TECHNOLOGY Monday-Friday 7:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Two Certified Emission Repair Technicians R.I. Emissions & Safety Inspection Station #831 Since 1983 Gary Puget 726-9753 1208 Smithfield Ave., Lincoln, RI Trusted Service & Repair Since 1953 Paul • Alternators/Starters/Interstate Batteries • Brakes • Oil Change • Exhaust • Struts & Shocks • Tires • A.C. 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