Valley Breeze

The North Providence Breeze 12-26-2019

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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NORTH PROVIDENCE – If someone had taken a before shot of the entire town at the start of 2019, it would have looked a whole lot differ- ent from a late December shot from the same angle, as the town saw new schools, new businesses, and a new public safety complex all take shape. It was another mostly friction-free year on the town side of govern- ment, as the good times kept rolling, though there were spats between Mayor Charles Lombardi and both the School Department and local fire- fighters over various matters. The new Town Council largely seemed to agree on most of the mayor's efforts, with little of the infighting and public brawling seen in past years. The board, now made up mostly of businessmen and attor- neys, focused particularly on quality of life issues such as developing park spaces, addressing traffic concerns, fixing neighborhood blight, and tack- ling rodent problems, among others. Town leaders kept their focus this year on setting the town up for long- term success instead of focusing on short-term gain, moving to acquire and improve open recreation spaces, vacating buildings that can now be sold for a substantial financial gain, and completing a new public safety complex and renewing discussions about a new animal shelter. The town again led the way on such initiatives as the lead pipe replacement program and a solar aggregation agreement. As is the case every year, there were numerous feel-good moments in North Providence, including two workers at Whelan Elementary School being honored in May for saving the life of a custodian with CPR, local favorite Chucky Tramonti winning accolades for his tireless work at summer camp, the "Be a little Ian" campaign in honor of the late Ian Novacek, charity events run by the town's fire and police officers to help those in need, student-run charitable efforts such as a dress drive, and the North Providence Mayor's Youth Commission bring- ing back the town's Easter egg hunt, among other efforts. As has become a trend in recent years, the town lost some institutions in 2019, including the St. Joseph's School of Nursing, Christiansen's Dairy, and David's Furniture. It may have been the year of the man in town government, but local women were changemakers in 2019, from resident Rosanne Siravo tak- ing matters into her own hands to secure traffic upgrades at Route 146 and Mineral Spring Avenue, to North Providence resident Elizabeth Catucci being named president and CEO of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce at 37 years old. The Breeze again reported stories on frustration with government, includ- ing ongoing issues with the state transportation provider over failing to get patients to their appointments on time and the fight to maintain services for special needs children transitioning to adulthood. There were signs of some storm clouds ahead related to the actions of local boards and commissions after multiple town officials took issue with the way a home was approved on a tiny lot, drawing comparisons to town government of the 1980s. Expect much more on that issue in the coming weeks. Here are our top 10 North Providence stories for 2019: • Safety complex completed Few initiatives presented greater opportunity for disaster than con- struction of the town's largest build- ing, but the build-out of the new North Providence Public Safety Complex came in on time and easily By ETHAN SHOREY and NICOLE DOTZENROD Valley Breeze Staff Writers See YEAR IN REVIEW, Page 5 BREEZE PHOTO BY ROBERT EMERSON PEGGY CONNORS chats with Ray Lyons during last Friday's annual Christmas party at the Mancini Senior Center in North Providence. More than 250 people joined the festivities. The growth of the Senior Center was one of the top stories of 2019. THE NORTH PROVIDENCE ©2019 THE VALLEY BREEZE A Valley Breeze Newspaper THE NORTH PROVIDENCE Breeze FREE DECEMBER 26, 2019-JANUARY 2, 2020 Your One Stop Source for: 375 Putnam Pike, Village Plaza Smithfield, RI | 757-6872 HOURS: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-7 p.m. • Sun. 11 a.m.-4 p.m. •CBD Lotions •Healing Balms •Tinctures •CBD Pet Products MENTION THIS AD AND RECEIVE 10% OFF YOUR PURCHASE NOW THROUGH JANUARY 31, 2020 FREE SAMPLES A Natural Way to Help Achieve Wellness Koi • Hemplucid • Original Hemp 566 Putnam Pike , Greenville, RI 02828 401-349-3927 Mon.-Wed. 5 p.m.-10 pm.; Thurs. 11:30 a.m.-2 p.m./5-10 p.m. Fri. & Sat. 11:30-2 p.m./5-11 p.m.; Sun. 10:30 a.m.-2 p.m.; Closed Tues. Start the New Year Off Right! New Year's Day Brunch 11 a.m. - 3 p.m. Reservations Recommended (401)944-2450 FOR A PERSONAL TOUR Our uplifting environment and special approach to Alzheimer's and dementia care have created a quality of life you simply can't get any place else. Business booms, NP sets itself up for future The Year in Review 2019

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