Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 06-24-2020

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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PAWTUCKET EDITION | VALLEY BREEZE | JUNE 24-30, 2020 PAWTUCKET 5 5 PAWTUCKET – Public Works Director Eric Earls says an incident involving a resident being turned away from the Blackstone Valley Regional Transfer Station on Grotto Avenue when he tried to dispose of a mattress last week was completely unacceptable. According to a post from Fairlawn resident Tommy Sabin, he called the DPW ahead of time on June 16 to learn the correct procedure for drop- ping off a mattress. But he said he was turned away after being told the facility was "all full" of mattresses. "I told the transfer station attendant that I had called the city to confirm this service was available to residents," he posted. "She replied, and I directly quote, that 'the city doesn't know what goes on here.'" Sabin said the employee then direct- ed him to a mattress recycling com- pany in West Warwick, "so we had no choice but to go there." On the way out of Grotto Avenue, he met another resident who was in the same predicament and who asked if he could follow him. The bottom line, said Sabin, is that two residents, one of whom has to live with the "mess of a business in their backyard," had to take an hour out of their day to accomplish a task that's supposed to be a convenience. Public Works Director Eric Earls said Monday that he was made aware of the issue through Facebook. "There have been challenges with mattress collections amid the corona- virus pandemic, but the Department of Public Works has reached out to the vendor," he said by email. "It has been determined that this constituent did have issues with mattress disposal. This is not acceptable and the DPW has taken responsibility for the oversight and implemented a policy that, going forward, ensures that this will not occur again." Earls added, "We apologize for the interruption in service and any incon- venience this may have caused." According to officials, the reason given to the residents for being turned away was that the dumpster that holds the mattresses was full. Mattresses can be dropped off at the transfer station on the first Saturday of the month beginning in July. July's free mattress drop off will occur on July 11 due to the Fourth of July holiday. The DPW continues to work along- side the City Council through the request for proposals process for ser- vices related to the transfer station, said Earls. One response was received by the current vendor, Waste Connections Inc. City staffers have referred the proposal to the Purchasing Board for award, pending the negotiation of the final contract with WCI, which Councilors Terry Mercer and Tim Rudd will be involved in on the nego- tiation process. "This is an important issue for the city of Pawtucket that has impacts on trash and recycling services for all residents, taxes for all taxpayers, and a number of quality of life matters for the surrounding neighborhoods," he said. Earls says resident's experience at transfer station not acceptable By ETHAN SHOREY Valley Breeze Editor PAWTUCKET – Adrienne Marchetti says she doesn't think of her role as executive director of the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen as a job, but rather as a part of her life. "This is how it is every day for these people. A lot of these folks have been disappointed," said Marchetti, of North Providence, who's been in her current position for 11 years. "If they need me, I'm here seven days a week." For the work that she does for the Pawtucket community, Marchetti will be one of six women honored by U.S. Congressman David Cicilline as a "Female Hero" at his annual Women's Luncheon. The event will be held vir- tually on Tuesday, June 30, at 1 p.m. via Zoom. "She's so deserving of (the rec- ognition)," Laureen Grebien, vice president of the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen Board of Directors and wife of Mayor Donald Grebien, told The Breeze. "She's such a giving, selfless individual." While board members beg her to take time off, she always finds a way to help out somewhere even if the kitchen is closed, said Grebien, who's worked with Marchetti for the past 11 years. Being recognized by Cicilline "speaks volumes" since he sees so many women in the state excelling, she added. In addition to Marchetti, actresses Debra Messing and Alyssa Milano are among the six women being honored. A portion of the event's proceeds will support the R.I. COVID-19 Respond Fund and the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen. Marchetti was serving lunch down- town when Cicilline called her to tell her about the honor, adding that she's still processing it. "I feel humbled and hon- ored," she said. "I couldn't believe it. … I said 'you must have made a mistake. I'm just a cook.' … It's such an honor to be among all those women doing great things." When asked if she considers herself a hero, Marchetti said, "No, not at all. I just do what I do … to make the world a little better than it was the day before." Marchetti, who used to work in construction where she said she saw a lot of folks abusing substances, began working at Amos House in Providence, a social service agency that today manages the largest soup kitchen in the state. Everything she needed to know how to do in her current role she learned at Amos House, she said. She's now been working in this indus- try for more than 30 years, "which is sinful if you think about it," she said. "I want (people) to not need a place like this." "Here we see such misery and heartache," she added. "Every day you get your heart broken. I hope before I die I get to see an improve- ment for all these folks." Every day Marchetti prepares and serves breakfast, lunch, and din- ner while filling out paperwork and handling crises in between, she said. Except for Saturdays when she starts at 3 a.m., she begins her days at 5 a.m. and works until 7 or 7:30 in the evening. After serving dinner at the soup kitchen, Marchetti delivers food to folks at the encampments along the Seekonk River. "You just do it," she said. "Just like the Nike commercial said: just do it." Since the coronavirus pandemic began in March, Marchetti said she's been even busier than normal as the need for meals has increased. "There are so many people that need food, it's incredible," she said. The number of meals served from last year to this year has gone up 33 percent, which is a lot, Marchetti said. In May of this year, they served more than 5,400 meals, and they're on track to serve more this month. Many places used to serve lunch or supper one day a week but have taken a break during the crisis, creat- ing more demand on the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen, Marchetti said. They've also picked up slack to help provide other items, such as hygiene products, because some social service agencies are closed or case workers aren't as accessible right now, she said. Aside from Marchetti, all the work at the Pawtucket Soup Kitchen is done by volunteers, who range in age from 3 to in their 90s. Before the pandemic, Marchetti said, she had 75 volunteers helping her a week but when the crisis started she scaled back to five a week. She said she'd like to thank the board of directors, volunteers, and donors who make it possible for her to do what she does. "It's a team job," she said. "We have a really good team." The soup kitchen, located in the basement of St. Joseph's Church, 195 Walcott St., can always use cash dona- tions, Marchetti said, and there is a list of items they need on their website at www.pawtucketsoupkitchen.org under the How to Help tab. Marchetti recognized as hero for work at Pawtucket Soup Kitchen By MELANIE THIBEAULT Valley Breeze Staff Writer melanie@valleybreeze.com MARCHETTI POLITICS Rudd seeks re-election in District 6 PAWTUCKET – Incumbent District 6 Councilor Timothy Rudd Jr. will seek re-election. "There is unfinished business in Fairlawn, and that is why I'm ask- ing the voters of District 6 to allow me to continue to represent them," Rudd said. Rudd said issues include continu- ing to fight to protect Fairlawn "from the city administration's trans- fer station proposal." "I was proud to stand with the residents and business owners when we defeated the Concord Street proposal. Now we must be diligent as we have to deal with the current proposal. Fairlawn is not a garbage dump," he said. Rudd, 39 and a Providence police detective, said he wants to reinstitute a day camp at Veterans Park, re-establish a Barton Street Neighborhood Association, and use his police experience to advocate for diversity within public safety person- nel. "I am honored to have the support of many of our city's community leaders that work to keep Fairlawn an enjoyable place to live, work, and play," he said. Marlena Martins Stachowiak announced last week that she will also run for the seat. Patricia DeDora-St. Germain, pres- ident of the Fairlawn Neighborhood Association, said Rudd works hard and is a strong advocate for the neighborhood. "Councilor Rudd cares about our youth. He has sponsored an annual cookout at Smithfield Avenue bas- ketball courts for the players, coach- es, and friends of the Pawtucket Summer Basketball League," said See RUDD, Page 7 X-Rays • Physicals • Drug Screens • Walk-in Services 9 a.m-9 p.m. Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Sat. & Sun. Respiratory Clinic where you can be evaluated & tested for COVID 19 Mon.-Sat. Call for hours. Telemedicine is available. We are a Respiratory Clinic and people with colds, strep throat, flu, bronchitis can be seen here. We will test for the COVID 19 Virus if needed. 209 Armistice Blvd., Pawtucket, RI 401-725-4100 www.armisticeurgentcare.com AUCcheck-in.com Hold Your Spot In Line! Our goal is to be prompt, and give great care in a pleasant environment. Go to armisticeurgentcare.com and click online check-in to sign in.

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