Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 11-21-2019

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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Page 13 of 47

14 OPINION NOVEMBER 21-27, 2019 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION With the din of negativity accompanying the impeach- ment hearings, I thought it would be a good idea to herald something good that was being done right here in our community. The Alan Shawn Feinstein Foundation has launched a social media campaign on its Facebook page to encourage and feature local children's good deeds. The acts of kindness/good deeds done by a student(s) can be submitted to the web- site where the students will receive recognition and be featured with their stories. Each time a story is fea- tured, and a school notifies the foundation that it is one of their students the founda- tion will send a $200 check to the student's classroom for the teacher to use as he/ she sees fit for the benefit of the class. The mission quite simply is to spotlight the many good acts of local children, encourage more of them, and benefit the schools at the same time. For years, Feinstein has put his money where his mouth is in promoting the practice of kind acts by children. At present, more than 176 Feinstein schools exist in the public and Catholic school sys- tems. These schools have had their students pledge to practice kindness. Now that's a great education! To date, the foundation has had more than 250,000 Junior Scholars committed to making a positive differ- ence in their communities. Bravo to the teachers who encourage these practices! The foundation is always open to more schools becoming Feinstein schools and folks can find out how or follow the kindnesses children perform on a daily basis by connecting to the above site. Children who should be recognized can be nominated. With such negative press accompany- ing some children today, it is a welcome respite to remember that many youngsters are fine citizens! I have known Mr. Feinstein for many years and he is one of my heroes. His financial contribu- tions to universities such as Roger Williams University, where I am a trustee, URI etc. for preference and scholarship funds for Feinstein kids is a model of citizen involvement in and of itself. I have also worked with his wife, Dr. Patricia Feinstein, a fine psychia- trist, who would donate her services in helping me and my colleagues at the Rhode Island Protection and Advocacy System (RIPAS) to secure appropriate treat- ment and class placement for children with behavioral disorders. Philanthropy runs in this family. • In the not so good news department is the very need for 16 cities and towns to file litigation against the governor and legislative leaders who pandered again to special interests by requiring "evergreen" contracts – the automatic extension of existing con- tracts – until a new one is negotiated. This change handcuffs the bargaining power of cities and towns and virtually guarantees that local property owners will continue to outpace other states in increased property taxes. It was dis- couraging last spring to see the lapdogs on Smith Hill capitulate to unions. It will be interesting to see what the court system does with the case. My concern is that the bench is generally populated with past politicians or allies of the very leaders who are being sued. The munici- palities have raised viable legal grounds. Hopefully, the judiciary will act truly independently with a sound analysis of the legal grounds. Violet is an attorney and the former state attorney general. A positive focus on Feinstein's kids It's been a busy time in Rhode Island as we head into the holiday season. I hope you all picked up our Holiday Gift Guide in last week's Breeze and are using it already as you plan your Christmas season shopping. Please remember, as you spend online (and we know you will, and that's OK), you send your dollars to far- off places – some very far off. When you "buy local," your dollars end up with neighbors and may keep on circulating again and again, strengthening our communi- ties. I hope you'll join me in supporting our local busi- nesses where you can this shopping season. Now then: • Good for local mayors and administrators going to court to challenge last year's legislation which extended municipal and teacher union contracts indefinitely in case of an impasse. The bill, which had to be passed in a non-election year because it's so bad for taxpayers, gives too many rights to labor. Politicians expect you'll forget. It's a sweet deal for legislators. They do the unions' bidding and collect campaign donations, and mayors and councils get the bill and the anger of taxpayers. Sadly, voters get what they deserve for not paying attention and blindly backing incumbents. Thank you, participating mayors, for fighting the good fight. • I admit I'm not a fan of Gov. Gina Raimondo's new progressivism, in that I believe as long as pro- gressivism advances, the state's economy will get even worse. Can we be ranked 51st? That noted, I felt bad for what she had to go through last week at an event titled "Rhode Island Live: Charting R.I.'s Future" and hosted by the Boston Globe at the Cambridge Innovation Center. Thirty-five "activ- ists" from a "youth-led orga- nization" called the Sunrise Movement (according to the Providence Journal), kept interrupting and screaming at the governor, who was there to talk about better rail service to Boston and getting cars off the road. Those uninitiated to the tolerance of these young cli- mate scolds might wonder, "Wait ... isn't the governor deeply anti-carbon and on the same side as the pro- testers?" Silly you. Yes, but she's just not moving fast enough, apparently, here in this global pinprick called Rhode Island. Every time Raimondo spoke, the pro- testers – really just a bunch of incredibly rude and self- important young people – interrupted her. (Who raised these kids?) Maybe the Sunrise Movement should take a boat to China to pro- test the real global polluters. Let's see if they can handle getting Hong Konged. • Last week, I tuned in to a bit of the Trump impeach- ment inquiry opening. As a conservative, I have my biases, of course, but that same night I decided to watch one hour of Fox News (Hannity) and then one hour of MSNBC (Lawrence O'Donnell). I now know where all this polarization is coming from. Americans (either Trump supporters or those who "resist" his administration) might as well be on different planets. The difference is stark, and frankly, frighten- ing. You might try this your- self. Tune into the "other guy," even if only once, to better understand the problem this country faces. It's going to be a long, long election year. Lucky for me, I'll be retiring. • Finally, a Barrington home attracted the hazmat team Sunday for a small bead of mercury that broke from an oil tank. Later, DEM had to determine if the house was safe for occupancy after the lengthy cleanup. I'm grateful I came of age in the 1960s, where a bro- ken thermometer was mere- ly an enjoyable two-minute distraction for me and my seven brothers. Simpler times ... Ward is publisher of the Valley Breeze. Sorry, gov. You can't please climate activists From the Publisher TOM WARD Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET Volume XXI, Number 13 November 21, 2019 @ Breeze THE VALLEY 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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