Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 07-23-2020

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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22 LETTERS TO THE EDITOR JULY 23-29, 2020 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET What does working together mean? In order to resolve issues, they must first be clearly identi- fied, defined and substantiated. Communication, also described as connection, is key to proper dis- cussions; however, certain people only choose to understand the sig- nificance of this word when it suits their purpose. Plus, many people don't know how to listen. There are some people who would prefer to react graciously during certain discussions versus squarely facing the issues at hand. Sorry to say, but trying to be "nicey-nicey" does not resolve any- thing! The topics at hand usually dictate the type of rebuttals which will occur. If a conflict does arise during a particular discussion, it must be handled in a professional and civil manner. Most impor- tantly, when a person chooses to respond and express his/her views regarding certain topics, he/she should not be bullied. An opportu- nity for proper rebuttals should be in place. The above being noted, let's face it, there's a reason why elections are held. It's because people think differently and don't have the same political views. Some of our city issues are very similar to those of other cities in that they're basically related to its leadership. In our case, it's between the administra- tion and the City Council. This statement cannot be denied. Regarding our city's issues, one either "gets it" or "doesn't get it." Below are examples of past city deceitful events which have occurred: • Disobeying the rule of law (Charter) in a deliberate manner • Concealing certain activities to gain social control • Usage of Machiavellian tactics to attain personal goals • Creating all sorts of propaganda to put one's message across • Accusing adversaries of inap- propriate activities • Excluding/shutting out certain city officials from specific infor- mation, political activities and/or events Note: A simple description of being "deceitful" is also being "two- faced." Another important word which many people choose to not under- stand nor follow is the word "process," meaning "procedures." As noted above, they, instead, introduce their own calculated methods which are contrary to the proper processes in order to gain control of a situation. Often, these same individuals proceed as such because they truly don't understand the issues at hand. Enough said. Citizens, due to these critical times, it's most important that you educate yourselves regarding the politics of the day, and that you especially plan to vote. Sadly, there are certain political individuals who only choose to attack and demean their opponents. These activities only cause further difficulties where they may not realize that they will only continue to derail themselves from the facts and weaken their positions. It's being said that ... "We've become immune to the truth and accept fantasies for facts." It is so true! In order for any group to be suc- cessful, it must have a fitting leader who will assure that the proper protocols are followed and that its members are respected. Again, "communication" is the key word for successful groups. Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; work- ing together is success. Amen! PAULINE M. DEMERS Woonsocket Let's ensure voters can safely cast ballots As election officials, we are always focused on ensuring that all Rhode Island voters can cast their ballots safely and securely. This is true now more than ever during this global pandemic. The possibility of a COVID-19 surge during the rapidly approach- ing statewide primary or general election makes it imperative that we act now to protect the health and well-being of all voters, particularly those who are elderly and immuno- compromised. In recent months, we have been advocating for legislative and administrative measures that ensure all eligible Rhode Islanders can still exercise their right to vote. But for this to happen, our General Assembly must act decisively, and without delay. Rhode Islanders turned out in record numbers to vote in the Presidential Preference Primary. Federal funds helped cover election expenses due to the coronavirus, which enabled us to take steps to distribute mail ballot applications statewide. The result was our state's first-ever "predominantly mail ballot" election, which was a success, with over 100,000 votes cast by mail – 83 percent of all votes tallied. Nearly all voters over the age of 65 opted to vote from the safety and comfort of their homes. And, unlike other states that held predominantly in-person elections in recent months, Rhode Island did not experience a related coronavirus spike following our June 2 primary. It is all but certain that the Sept. 8 statewide primary and Nov. 3 general election will have record-high voter turnout. We must adopt structural changes to ensure voters can cast bal- lots in a safe and healthy manner and election officials can keep up with voter demand. Here are three ways we can accomplish this, through leg- islative action: • Remove the need for witnesses or a notary on the mail ballot envelope, just as we did for the June 2 primary. Technology allows most states to confirm voter identity using signa- ture matching, rather than relying on third-party witnesses or the availabil- ity of a notary. • Allow for the counting of bal- lots postmarked by Election Day and received by the state Board of Elections no later than three days after the election (or, if not post- marked, received the day after the election). • Implement a true 20-day early voting period where voters can cast ballots directly and securely into the same voting machines used at polling places. This will reduce the labor- intensive "emergency mail ballot" process while guaranteeing the bal- lot's chain of custody. Just as important as preventing the spread of this terrible virus is ensur- ing that we don't discourage Rhode Islanders from voting this fall. These solutions are not groundbreaking or partisan. States across the country have already taken bipartisan actions to ensure that their voters can safely cast ballots this year. Massachusetts, Vermont, Delaware, California, Illinois, Michigan, and Missouri have made changes to make it easier for voters to cast a ballot from the safety and comfort of their own home. This effort is about ensuring the health and wellness of our voters. Even with such reforms, anyone who still wants to cast a ballot in person will have that opportunity at their assigned polling place. Rhode Island has been a national model in managing the challenges brought on by this pandemic. We can be a model running a major election in a global pandemic as well. We are a tight-knit community, and we always take care of each other during difficult times. Now is the time for the General Assembly to take immediate action to pass legislation to ensure that all Rhode Island voters can safely participate in our time- honored democratic process. Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea; Nick Lima, registrar and director of elections for the city of Cranston Thank you for Arnold Mills Parade participation On behalf of the Arnold Mills Parade Association, a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization, thank you to the citizens of Cumberland for cheer- ing us on our motorcade parade on July 4. We were disappointed that our short foray into the town was all that we could do to celebrate our coun- try's birthday this year. We sincerely hope that next year's 95th annual parade will be the kind that we have grown accustomed to sponsoring each year: complete with unique and antique cars, trucks, trac- tors and a wide variety of music. A special shoutout to our great Grand Marshal Jack Thornhill, who will run in his 50th annual Arnold Mills Road Race next July 4th! A special thank you to the follow- ing donors who have not forgotten us this year: Platinum Sponsor: The Valley Breeze; John Casey, of Michael Mark Lane; Cumberland Sen. Ryan Pearson Gold Sponsor: Hanuschak Insurance Agency Silver Sponsor: Dean Bank, Pawtucket Credit Union Bronze Sponsor: Augustus Uht, M.W. Aragao Investment Advisors, Cumberland Municipal Employees Credit Union, Angelo's Palace Pizza, J.J. Duffy Funeral Home, Brian Hunter Insurance Agency JOYCE HINDLE KOUTSOGIANE Parade Association president Place your classified ad online at classifieds.valleybreeze.com Commitment to Quality Dependable Trusted Accurate Inspirational 6 Blackstone Valley Place, Suite #204, Lincoln, Rhode Island 02865 Phone 401-334-9555 Fax 401-334-9994 Website valleybreeze.com Making our communities stronger by telling their stories. Please consider supporting The Valley Breeze today – Visit valleybreeze.com/support In our 25 years of existence, we've been all of this and more. From the beginning, we've believed that a hyper-local news model is what best serves our readers. The Breeze is free to our readers, and will remain free, but our hope is that those readers with the resources to invest in journalism where they live will choose to take a more active role in this local news success story, joining advertisers in helping to bring it to the people each and every week. Thank you to all who have donated! Your monthly or one-time contributions are greatly appreciated!

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