Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Pawtucket 07-01-2020

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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As a Blackstone Valley Prep parent and Pawtucket taxpayer I have been frustrated and confused by the back- lash against my children's school for accepting federal payroll protection funding. I am particularly disappointed in the reaction from local elected offi- cials calling on the school to return the funding. With Rhode Island's 17 percent unemployment rate for May, I would think any federal funding that comes to our state to protect Rhode Island jobs is a good thing. How on earth does returning the money benefit Cumberland, Pawtucket or any other sending district? I have been a voice for school choice for over a decade and I'm tired of the division sewn throughout our community by those in elected office who continue to pit my sons' school against the district schools. During these uncertain times I would have thought we would be looking for ways to come together, not tear each other down. Congress is currently debating anoth- er round of federal support that will include a stimulus package for states. Once approved, our state will secure additional dollars to support education in communities throughout Rhode Island. When that happens I will not be calling for those federal dollars to be returned. I will be grateful that my neighbor's children, and children across the state, will benefit from another form of federal support while protect- ing vital Rhode Island jobs. One should run for office to cre- ate and support the community, and everyone who lives in it. They should look to build each other up, protect the weak, promote the strong, and celebrate success together! If you need to sow the seeds of division during a pandemic you might want to think about why you ran for public office in the first place. LORI BARDEN Pawtucket 6 PAWTUCKET / LETTERS JULY 1-7, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | PAWTUCKET EDITION It's Her Time announces formation, slate of candidates PAWTUCKET – A political action committee has been formed called It's Her Time to support a slate of six candidates for Pawtucket City Council. The PAC is chaired by Stephanie Olarte, a prominent Pawtucket disability rights activist; Vice Chairwoman Shirley Moore is a pastor, entrepreneur, and advocate; Secretary Moriah Garcia Nelson is an advocate and project manager; and Treasurer Gabrielle "Abby" Godino is an experienced political organizer and fundraiser. The PAC will support Agi Gai- Kah, Melissa DaRosa and Tarshire Battle for citywide at-large seats, and Crisolita Figueiredo (District 1), Alexis Schuette, (District 4), and Janie Seguí Rodríguez (District 5) for district seats. The PAC issued the following joint statement on behalf of the candi- dates: "We, like many people in Pawtucket, understand the funda- mental problems that plague us as a community can no longer be ignored. The COVID-19 global pan- Five of six candidates running under the new It's Her Time PAC for City Council seats. demic and its associated economic devastation have put our city's lead- ers and their policies to the test, and found them ill prepared to serve. In this moment of increased atten- tion on racial inequality, violence, and economic uncertainty, we rise together in leadership for a govern- ment that represents all its citizens and provides real solutions." Pawtucket is one of the state's most diverse cities and yet council leader- ship in no way reflects the people and range of experiences that make up the community, they said. Pawtucket working families should have confidence that their children can get a quality public education and have a better life than their par- ents, they added. "Our Black and Brown neighbors shouldn't have to live in fear that their teenagers may be the next vic- tim of unwarranted police brutality," they said. "And every Pawtucket res- ident should have affordable, quality housing. Our current leadership in City Council has shown no urgency in fixing these systemic problems." They said they're running as a slate of women to represent the whole city and to give all people in the city a voice in government. Thousands of masks distributed last Saturday PAWTUCKET – The city of Pawtucket and Pawtucket Police Department announced that roughly 20,000 free masks were distributed this past Saturday at the parking lot across from Pawtucket City Hall. The event served hundreds of individuals in a three-hour span. "Health experts have determined that masks are critical as we minimize the spread of the coronavirus, and it is important that residents have access to these masks. The larger than antici- pated distribution shows that residents understand the importance of mini- mizing the coronavirus spread," said Mayor Donald Grebien. "I thank the Taipei Economic & Cultural Office in Boston, the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council, the Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone, and our hardworking officers for helping to get the 20,000 masks in the hands of our residents." TECO Boston donated more than 10,000 masks through the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council and the Pawtucket Central Falls Health Equity Zone donated 4,000 masks. The rest of the masks were purchased by the city. Officers will continue to hand out free masks to residents not wearing them. BIRTHDAY CLUB JULY 2 Fenda Konte, Happy Birthday! From neighbor and admirer, love, Pat. JULY 5 Bert Finan, Happy Birthday! From Heather and Shawn with love. Barden: What is the benefit of returning Blackstone Valley Prep funding? Summer Breeze Mother of Hope Camp 1589 Putnam Pike Chepachet, RI 02814 401-568-3580 June 29 - August 14 •Traditonal Camp Activities •Ages 5-12 •Weekly & Daily Options •Affordable Pricing •Special Discounts •Friendly Professional Staff •Secure Online Registration Call us for more information! Registration is now open! Come enjoy our 136 acres of woodlands Live - Learn - Grow

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