Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 04-22-2020

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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14 PAWTUCKET APRIL 22-28, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION Wildenhain: 'We can do anything together, but divided we will accomplish nothing' I know we are going stir crazy and are full of opinions on how we would do a better job if we were in charge. I would like to take a moment to caution everyone when it comes to listening to people, that are fuller of themselves, rather than the facts and how the real world works. We are all struggling to figure out how we can make contributions without putting our friends and family in jeopardy and it is a daily challenge. I read articles that give the mayor and the council direction and claim they have the interest of citizens of Pawtucket. Nothing could be farther from the truth; these people are looking for ways to bring relevance to their platforms and beliefs. If their opinions were mirrored in facts, they would have told you that Mayor Grebien and Mayor Diossa have been advocating for reopen- ing Memorial Hospital or some type of emergency room services to the Blackstone Valley since the Hospital closed. These people are just oppor- tunists and are using any issue to fur- ther themselves and I would caution their followers. We have all been left frustrated by a life that resembles nothing of what it looked the like a few months ago and while today is a challenge, tomorrow will be filled with more. How we rise to these challenges will define us for years to come and I hope we follow the advice of the people that can give us the facts and get us results. We can do anything together, but divided we will accom- plish nothing. Stay safe and take the time to check on a neighbor. MARK J. WILDENHAIN Pawtucket councilman Civics education must be supported The coronavirus pandemic is necessarily occupying the function of our government, especially the General Assembly. Nevertheless, there will come a time, hopefully soon, that our legislators will meet to address the overall needs and con- cerns of the citizenry. It is important that we not neglect these important issues that have been overshadowed by the pandemic's impacts. One such issue is the status of civics education in Rhode Island. Democracy does not pause. As we watch daily briefings, sort through government releases, and worry about the state of voting across the country, it is important to remember that civics education is not currently being taught in many Rhode Island schools. Generation Citizen, a nonprofit organization I work with, is working to change this. With our support, a bipartisan group of legislators intro- duced H.7577, aka the Civic Literacy Act, http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/ BillText/BillText20/HouseText20/ H7577.pdf> , which will eliminate ambiguity caused by Rhode Island standards, and ensure that all stu- dents in Rhode Island receive a civ- ics education that will engage them in their communities and strengthen our democracy. Specifically, the bill will: • Require all Rhode Island students complete at least one full-year course in civics and government between 8th and 12th grade; • Ensure that students apply their knowledge by requiring that these courses include a project-based learn- ing assessment; • Establish a "Civics Project Trust Fund" to provide district-level and teacher support; • Support the diversification of Rhode Island's teacher workforce, one that reflects the student popula- tion of Rhode Island's classrooms. We believe the Civic Literacy Act will set a national example within the civic education movement of how to prioritize an inclusive and diverse teacher workforce, showcase innova- tive civics instruction, and target sup- port to districts and students furthest from experiential learning opportuni- ties. The pandemic's relentless impacts have demonstrated the importance of effective government and leader- ship, as well as civic and community engagement. Requiring our students to have an action civics component to their education makes us better prepared as a society for our dis- parate needs both in times of crisis and normalcy. Ask your legislator to support the Civic Literacy Act as a common-sense step in the right direc- tion for imbuing civic-minded values in our students and shaping tomor- row's civic leaders. ADAM ROBITAILLE Pawtucket LETTERS reported Sunday that a pedestrian had been struck and killed on I-95 in Pawtucket early in the afternoon. The man's identity was not immediately released pending notification of fam- ily. At approximately noon, troopers from the Lincoln Woods Barracks responded to reports of a man walk- ing in the northbound travel lanes near exit 27. Troopers were helped by members of the Pawtucket Police and Fire Departments and prelimi- nary investigation revealed that the pedestrian was struck by oncoming traffic. He was pronounced dead at the scene. Traffic was completely shut down in that direction. The crash remained under investi- gation. Workers protest for better pay, protection Nursing home workers and direct support professionals caring for adults with developmental disabilities held an emergency caravan in front of two local nursing homes and a group home on April 15 and 16, calling for more hazard pay, personal protective equipment, and safe staffing. Since the outbreak of the corona- virus pandemic, frontline caregivers said they have been working with inadequate personal protective equip- ment, lack of testing and hazard pay. They say owners of both facilities have refused to increase workers' pay despite an increase in federal and state dollars to better compensate caregivers. Protests were held at the Arc of Blackstone Valley and the Genesis Nursing Home in Pawtucket and Greenville Genesis Nursing Home in Smithfield. On April 7, Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services implemented a 10 percent rate increase to increase pay to frontline caregivers retroactive to April 1 during this crisis. Many nurs- ing homes and at least one group home agency have still not imple- mented increases, stated a release. DHS closes Pawtucket office In consultation with the Rhode Island Department of Health, the Department of Human Services last week temporarily closed its Pawtucket office at 249 Roosevelt Ave. The office has been closed off to the pub- lic since March 17. "Based on initial discussions with RIDOH, we have reason to believe that a sizable number of staff at this site may need to quarantine due to potential exposure to COVID-19," stated a release. "We have sent staff home today until further notice, and will be conducting a deep clean of the office per Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. DHS says it will continue to work with RIDOH to take any further action necessary to help prevent the spread of this virus and protect staff. WEEK From Page 12 COLLEGE NEWS Mackenzie DeFaria, of Pawtucket, has been named to sec- ond honors on the Clark University fall semester dean's list. Andrea Ramos, of Pawtucket, has been named to the fall semseter dean's list at LIM College. Ana Margarida Brasil, Rhys Gilkenson, and Samantha Ortiz Muriel, all of Pawtucket, have been named to the fall semes- ter dean's list at Tufts University. Darnell Bartee and Jacob Callaway, both of Pawtucket, have been named to the fall semester dean's list at Curry College. Alejandra Murillo, of Pawtucket, has been named to the fall semester dean's list at Western New England University. Glenn Filipe, Gianna Medeiros, and Veronica Todd, all of Pawtucket, have been named to the fall semester dean's list at Emmanuel College. Chamber offers free virtual seminar LINCOLN – The Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce will hold the free virtual seminar Helping Small Businesses Navigate COVID- 19 on Fridays, April 24, and May 1, 12:30-1:30 p.m. A free weekly series will answer questions about the latest legal updates and resources available to area employers. Register at https:// tinyurl.com/trx5l57 . IN BRIEF Making a Difference in the Lives of Others 610 Smithfield Road North Providence, RI 02904 (401) 353-6300 Sub-Acute Rehabilitation, Long-term Care, Secure Dementia Care and Hospice Services Physical, Occupational & Speech Therapy Private and Semi-Private Rehab Rooms Admissions 24 Hours ~ 7 Days per week We accept: Medicare, Blue Cross/Blue Shield, United Health, Neighborhood & Medicaid Hopkins Manor Donate Plasma. Save Lives. Earn up to $ 400 this month! Rhode Island Centers Conveniently Located in: East Providence, Johnston, Warwick For more information, visit CSLPlasma.com East Providence 214-0587 Warwick 250-8034 Johnston 214-0051

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