Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze & Observer 11-14-2019

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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10 OPINION NOVEMBER 14-20, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE & OBSERVER | SMITHFIELD SCITUATE FOSTER GLOCESTER Last week two events rein- forced the perception that the state has returned to the "bad ole' days" when politi- cians acted like they owned a fiefdom. Here are the new members of the Rhode Island Hall of Shame: • "Employee X" and Frank Floor, Division chief. In his most recent Hummel Report, Jim Hummel targeted two employees of the Department of Environmental Management (DEM). The employee, who was not named, asked a DEM vendor, North-Eastern Tree Service Inc., (who has received $1.5 million for past work and who is under contract at present), to fund a cookout for 42 employees of the department. North- Eastern did. The DEM Parks and Recreation staff were told to thank the company workers for the cookout if they saw them in their respective areas. Mr. Floor approved this arrangement. What universe do these people live in? Do you have to be a Rhodes Scholar to know that you do not ask a vendor to pick up a tab for a party? These two employ- ees should be handed their respective walking papers. It doesn't matter that Director Floor offered to pay one-half of the tab after the com- mencement of the Hummel investigation. His tin ear isn't mitigated by the belated offer to pick up some of the tab or the "ethics training" now ordered for the depart- ment. (Disclosure: I am Chair of the Board of the Hummel Report) • Gov. Gina Raimondo and her chief of staff, Bret Smiley: Twin River executive vice president Marc Crisafulli told lawmakers that he had received threats from Smiley because of Twin River's opposition to the IGT no-bid, 20-year, $1 bil- lion contract. He reported that initially Smiley told him that the state would be helpful because the debt ratio Twin River was sup- posed to maintain might hurt future growth. When Twin River later that day opposed the IGT deal orchestrated by the governor, it subse- quently was fined $180,000 for violating that debt ratio. Crisafulli maintains that Twin River did pay this amount as a settlement without acknowledging any wrongdo- ing but the governor's office leaked the fine to the media and attacked the company. Crisafulli also stated that he was told by Smiley that the gambling giant would suffer further regulatory con- sequences if they opposed Raimondo's no-bid deal. First of all, no "settle- ment" should be shrouded. Nonetheless, Boss Tweed would blush if this tactic was employed as retaliation and/ or arm twisting. Fortunately, The state Republican Party has augmented its ethics complaint by adding this element. The Ethics Board should put Smiley and Crisafulli under oath. The governor has been particu- larly vocal in her day-after- day criticism of Twin River. The reality is that this specter of retaliation further clouds the state's future regulatory function since it could be perceived as payback rather than merit. While this above behavior dominated the news at least one state politician, Attorney General Peter Neronha, initi- ated a worthwhile program by holding office hours in locations throughout the state as well as hosting community meetings. He is correct that residents – particularly in economically depressed com- munities – don't know how to access assistance. Kudos to him for holding office hours in Providence and work- ing with other community resources. That's what public servants are supposed to do, not sponge on or threaten businesses. Violet is an attorney and former state attorney general. In R.I., ethics remains hard to find What's up with feminists? If their goals are fairness, respect and justice for women, why do they – again and again – ignore the misdeeds of lousy men who serve the Democratic Party, either in office or with their checkbooks? Why are some feminists so easily "triggered" by Republican men while turning a blind eye to Democrats? Is it so important – above all else – to keep the abor- tion factories open that otherwise strong women lie utterly subservient while men continue their abuse of them or their sisters? Finally, how do women expect to earn the respect of millions of men who see this false virtue week in and week out? Two weeks ago, I wrote about the abuse of young girls in athletics by politi- cal progressives who foist "transitioning" young men into girls tracks, fields and pools. This is insane, and girls are being cheated across America. Will no feminist speak? Are they so afraid of tyrannical left- wing orthodoxy? Then there is the matter of the late Jeffrey Epstein, an American financier and pedophile. He was widely known to not only have an eye for underage girls, but to bring them to his private Virgin Islands camp or Manhattan home for romps with the rich and famous. He was a Democratic Party donor and fundraiser, and friend of President Bill Clinton. (Note: It is also true that now-President Donald Trump and Epstein were pals. Their friendship ended in 2004 after Trump topped Epstein in a bidding war for a Palm Beach man- sion). Fast forward to last week, when ABC-TV's Amy Robach was caught on a "hot mic" relating that she had the story for the past three years on Epstein and his horrible behavior. "I've had this story for three years … (ABC) would not put it on the air" said Good Morning America Breaking News Anchor Robach. "It was unbeliev- able … we had – Clinton, we had everything …" ABC ... Always Backing Clinton. ABC News immediately got to work – not in tell- ing the truth, but in trying to destroy the career of the source of the leak. The men settled on ex-producer Ashley Bianco, a young woman who just got a new job at CBS, and has now been fired from there after four days. Last weekend Bianco tearfully denied on Megyn Kelly's new You Tube show that she had nothing to do with the leak. Still, she lost her job. (Get a lawyer, Ms. Bianco!) Last winter, Virginia Lt. Gov. Justin Fairfax was accused by two women of sexual assault in his past. One claimed rape. The only follow-up to the story is that Fairfax had a lie detector test done – his test, and not one done by police – and claims it went well. He passed. So I guess that's that, right? Nothing to see here? As for the two accusers, they must be wondering where the Me Too crowd of activists is. You know, the ones who declare all women must be believed in cases like this? Wasn't that the claim we all had to live through when Christine Blasey Ford accused Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh of sexual misdeeds, without evidence or corroborating witnesses? We must believe women, right? But not here. Fairfax is a Democrat and African American. Nobody's going to take him down. Feminists like a good quote, and so I'll close with one from Rosa Parks, a woman and American hero. She said, "You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right." Be fearless, young women! Monsters and jackasses come from both political parties. Own it. End it! Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze Feminism's blind spot From the Publisher TOM WARD Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET Founded in 1956 by The Burgess Family Volume LXIV, Number 37 November 14, 2019 @ Observer THE VALLEY BREEZE & ABOUT US The Valley Breeze Newspapers are a locally operated group of free weekly newspapers serving the people of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence, Pawtucket, R.I., and Blackstone, Mass. Each Thursday, 58,500+ copies are distributed to retailers, banks, offices, and restaurants and other busy spots. Circulation is audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Mo. and has earned its "Gold Standard Award." OUR MISSION It is the Mission of The Valley Breeze to facilitate a positive sense of community among the res- idents of Northern Rhode Island by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and to provide information of local events and neighbors. It is our further Mission to provide the highest quality advertising at the lowest possible cost to retailers, professionals, tradespersons, and other service providers in order to enhance the economic well-being of our community. Thomas V. Ward, Publisher James Quinn, Deputy Publisher Jack Birolini, Director of Sales Ethan Shorey, Managing Editor Barbara Phinney, Controller

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