Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 02-13-2019

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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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | FEBRUARY 13-19, 2019 LETTERS / PAWTUCKET 9 For fairness, all must register with census For the first time since 1950, the Census Bureau wants to ask every- one living in the U.S. whether they are citizens when it conducts the next census in 2020. This "citizen- ship question" is part of ongoing efforts by the Trump administra- tion to vilify immigrants and make non-citizens afraid to fill out the census at all. But we must stand up and be counted – all of us. The census matters a great deal. Census numbers determine how $800 billion in federal money gets divided among states: in funds for transportation, housing and healthcare, and a great deal more. The census is the only official head count for the country to decide how to allocate our money. A federal judge blocked the administration's first efforts to add a citizenship question in late 2018, saying it was unconstitutional. Judge Jesse M. Furman's ruling described a "veritable smorgas- bord" of legal violations by the Commerce Secretary in the craft- ing and advocacy of the question. But the decision will likely be appealed, and whether or not the 2020 census includes a citizenship question is apt to be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court. As representatives of Pawtucket, we are deeply concerned about this process and its implications. Asking questions about citizen- ship de-incentivizes participation, which has very negative effects for Rhode Island and communities like Pawtucket. But even if the cen- sus question is reinstated, we have a request to our constituencies: Please fill out the census anyways. We need to know how many of us there are so we can know how many schools to build. An accurate count will help us figure out how many buses we need. If we don't know how many Rhode Islanders there are, we can't plan accurately for our community's long-term health. An artificially low census number will enfeeble the services that we already do have, including services for our immigrant com- munities. We must work together – between community organizations, neighbors, congregations, legisla- tors, and community members – to collect the most comprehensive census data possible, whether or not the citizenship question is on it. If we don't, the cost of failure will be borne by our communities. MEGHAN KALLMAN Pawtucket District 5 Councilor SANDRA CANO Senate District 8 Pawtucket Library announces vacation week programs PAWTUCKET – The Pawtucket Public Library, 13 Summer St., announces the following February vacation week programs, Tuesday- Friday, Feb. 19-22. On Tuesday, at 10:30 a.m., the library will host "Building with Straws: A STEM Program." Kids and their families are invited to build and create shapes and structures using plastic straws and connectors. Best for children 4 and up, and will take place in the Campbell Auditorium. Also on Tuesday at 1 p.m., the library will welcome award-winning storyteller Diane Edgecomb who will present her Folktale Superheroes show. On Wednesday, at 10:30 a.m., the library will host Music and Movement Fun, an interactive pro- gram with music, movement and instruments. Best for children 2-5. On Thursday at 10:30 a.m., bring babies to Infant Story Class. This ongoing class includes stories, songs, rhymes and social playtime and takes place in the Campbell Auditorium. Celebrate Chinese New Year on Thursday, from 2:30 to 4 p.m., in the Caiden Room. Best for children 5 and up, but younger children are wel- come with caregiver help. All materi- als will be provided. A sensory friendly movie will be shown on Friday at 10 a.m. Families with children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder or developmental delays are invited to a free movie featuring an "incredible family." The lights will be dim and the sound will be turned down. Children of all abilities are welcome. Also on Friday, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., the Lego Club, a free drop-in program, will be open to ages 7-12; younger children are welcome with caregiver help. The Lego Club will also be offered on Saturday, from 2:30 to 4 p.m. All programs are free and no registration is required. For more information, email childrens@paw- or call 401-725-3714, ext. 208. LETTER TO THE EDITOR The Empowerment Factory recognized for excellence in environmental education PAWTUCKET – The Rhode Island Environmental Education Association has named The Empowerment Factory as a recipi- ent of its annual Environmental Award. The award recognizes excel- lence in environmental education in the state of Rhode Island. TEF, a Pawtucket-based nonprofit organization since 2014, was found- ed by Gail Ahlers, an award-win- ning designer, artist and educator. TEF is dedicated to giving school- age children the skills they need to lead happier, healthier lives through project-based learning. TEF was awarded the RIEEA honor for its work in the Woodlawn community of Pawtucket, which has the city's greatest concentra- tion of poverty. Working with the city of Pawtucket, the Central Falls-Pawtucket Health Equity Zone, Local Initiatives Support Corporation and other organiza- tions, TEF has initiated a series of collaborative youth-focused efforts that incorporate environmental edu- cation and health equity. With support from the city and the American Heart Association, TEF spearheaded the creation of the two-mile Baldwin Loop walk- ing path that connects Elizabeth Baldwin Elementary with the Hope Artiste Village (Urban Smart Growth Project), the Blackstone Valley Community Center & Food Pantry, and the multicultural Jeanne Jugan Residence for impoverished elderly. The Loop also includes Payne Park, an outdoor recreation area, which is currently undergo- ing a renovation that will include the addition of over 25 trees and a small water park, enhancing the environment of this urban neighbor- hood. The Loop sets the stage for the safe facilitation of walking field trips to explore this urban environ- ment. This past September TEF installed a Pollinator Garden at the Baldwin School, a cooperative effort with the city of Pawtucket, Landscape Elements, Unilock and Yardworks. St. Teresa Senior Group announces events PAWTUCKET – St. Teresa Senior Group will hold a St. Patrick's Day luncheon at Davenports on Thursday, March 21, at 1 p.m. Members may make reservations at the Feb. 21 or March 7 meetings. Due to religious celebrations scheduled on April 4 at St. Teresa Church, the meeting on April 4 has been rescheduled to April 3, at 1 p.m. All persons 55 years and older are welcome to join at any meeting at St. Teresa Church, 358 Newport Ave. Dues are $12. Industrial Revolution Quilt Guild meeting Feb. 13 PAWTUCKET – The Industrial Revolution Quilt Guild will meet on Wednesday, Feb. 13, at the Smithfield Avenue Congregational Church, 514 Smithfield Ave. The meeting will begin at 6:45 p.m. and is open to the public. New members are always welcome. IN BRIEF do you know? You're holding 1 newspaper, but we fi ll 5 every week! They're all at Elise Vetri Keller Williams Leading Edge Cell: 401-651-1138 Each unit features 2 BR, Master Bedroom Suites, 2+ Baths, Granite Countertops, Central Air, 2 Car Garage, and Deck. One level Units feature a ZERO stair entry. Being offered at a tremendous value with prices starting at $ 309,000 Taking reservations on One Level Units! 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