Valley Breeze

The Valley Breeze Woonsocket North Smithfield 06-07-2018

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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16 OPINION JUNE 7-13, 2018 | VALLEY BREEZE | NORTH SMITHFIELD BLACKSTONE WOONSOCKET EDITION One of the great benefits of writing a column is that you get to meet interesting people. It is even more rewarding when you listen to somebody who is young and who has altruistic plans that can actu- ally work. One such person is Dr. Luis Daniel Munoz, an Independent candidate for governor. Previously, I wrote a column about his candidacy which focused on his innova- tive plans for economic devel- opment which would spur the creation of medical devices and the nanotechnology of the future. On May 30, he held a press conference to elaborate on his idea of a new type of community health initiatives as well as education of a new work force. Here are some of his ideas: MEND-i (Mend and Innovate Community Health) represents a new type of community health centers which improves access to quality and timely health care. Participating community health systems would adopt the latest telemedicine and home monitoring technolo- gies in order to provide acces- sible, affordable and higher quality care for all Rhode Island families. Through Skype and other conferencing mechanisms addiction ser- vices, mental health services, care coordination for seniors and veterans would be avail- able online. Being able to "dial-up" professionals online not only would improve care delivery but also would reduce hospital costs by sav- ing lives through better pre- ventive measures. DINO (Dynamic Intelligence for National Opportunity) – Munoz believes that investing in people by creating a nation- ally recognized tech-force that will power great indus- tries has to be a laser focus of the state's educational efforts. Starting in middle school chil- dren have to be exposed to "idea creation" through after- school initiatives on creative and vocational training. By leveraging private and public technical universities and col- leges by the time a student is in high school, these after school programs will produce a highly skilled and civically engaged talent force. Credits would be transferable to the universities and the older students would interact as mentors for younger students through programs at the YMCA, YWCA, and other community centers. Given the expected rapid changes in technology, Munoz wants course offerings to be vet- ted by business metrics and real time work at businesses. Juniors and seniors would have the opportunity to be part of a work force as interns and, parenthetically, earn money for college. Real life experience would count as credits toward gradua- tion and also cut down on course redundancy. RINO (Redefining Intelligence for National Opportunity) – Munoz sees the need to have frequent retraining programs for adults. This initiative would embody necessary language learning services, certifica- tion credits and business course work (e.g. business ethics, professional rheto- ric, and finance). In effect, RINO is the adult version of DINO and would be open to adult learners and non-traditional students. The education would try to anticipate the growth, for example, in database pro- fessions from medical cod- ing to robotics with learning how to code and react to alert sensors, etc. This pro- gram would focus on inter- mediary and high demand technical and managerial jobs in healthcare, manu- facturing, sensor diagnostics and database management. Nobody would ever accuse Munoz of being a small thinker. His bottom line is undoubtedly correct: Educational excellence is about building people, not buildings. He is an asset in the debate over Rhode Island's future. Violet is an attorney and for- mer state attorney general. Munoz offers 'outside-the-box' solutions Poli-Ticks ARLENE VIOLET Well, there goes another $24 million out the window! In the past week, we learned that the state and feds lost those funds – over a three- year period – in a case where a state attorney who had been stripped of his right to practice law, Gregory Hazian, missed an appeal deadline in a Medicaid payment dispute brought by nursing homes. This is just one of the tentacles of the ongoing (it will never end, by the way) calamity involving the flawed UHIP computer system that was supposed to consolidate welfare, health care, and food payments to those in need, as well as to those outsiders who have figured out how to game the system. Gov. Gina Raimondo, just five months from her re- election bid, has another big smelly mess on her hands, with $5 million to spend on the advertising disinfectant she hopes will kill the stench of it. You know what strikes me? If you put those lost dollars in the PawSox pot, our baseball problem might have gone away. The entire battle, still ongoing, with PawSox own- ers to pay for a new stadium might have all disappeared a year ago if we said, "Yeah, we have millions to throw in." Instead, we lost it when a state employee/attorney of question- able ability (read Tuesday's Providence Journal story) didn't do his job. Time to "scoop" 911 money again, I guess. What will it cost? Is the answer to all our energy problems "blowin' in the wind?" One hopes so. My question: How much will we be forced to pay for it? Before being pushed out of the news cycle by the $24 million mess during the weekend, Raimondo and Deepwater Wind announced Revolution Wind, a 400-megawatt wind farm in Rhode Island Sound, with hundreds of jobs. To the east, Massachusetts will build another 800-megawatt farm. Combined, the massive wind farms would produce more energy than the proposed 900- to 1,000-megawatt natural gas power plant proposed in Burrillville. My take on this: I'm OK with wind turbines miles offshore. But when the May 31 Journal story ran out of political high-fives and got to the end, it came to our daily reality. Wrote Alex Kuffner, "The price of power from the Revolution project is still uncertain." Its cousin, the Block Island Wind Farm, "will ultimately cost ratepayers (that's us!) hundreds of millions of dollars in above-market costs." One day later, an opinion column also appeared in the Journal, by Meredith Angwin, of Vermont, a physical chemis- try researcher and pro-nuclear power advocate. The headline: "We'll lose power in the win- ters ahead." In it, she detailed the now well-known facts sur- rounding the coming closing of many of New England's tradi- tional electric plants. Part of the problem is that natural-gas-fired plants can't get enough fuel from pipelines in the winter, when gas goes to where it is needed most: home heating. More gas pipelines are needed, but they are fought tooth and nail by environmen- tal extremists hoping to keep "fracked gas" in the ground below Pennsylvania and Ohio forever. The consequences, according to Angwin, are dire. "Rolling blackouts are probably coming to New England sooner than expected," she begins. And her opinion is based on an ISO - New England study that looks at various scenarios around our power delivery in the future. Sustainable energy is com- ing, but it's costly and less pre- dictable. Putting the specifics of Burrillville aside, fossil fuels are part of our future, too, because the energy from them is far more concentrated, powerful, and predictable. What I know with 100 per- cent certainly is this: If in eight years rolling blackouts come to New England during the winter, families who live here will have been put in danger by radical environmentalism and the politicians who prac- tice that religion. Short-sighted decisions from a decade earlier will come home to roost as energy costs explode, children shiver, schools close, and busi- nesses grind to a halt. Those who caused the problem will be long gone. Reasoned peo- ple need to demand predict- able power today. Ward is publisher of The Valley Breeze From the Publisher TOM WARD Could our lost millions have secured PawSox? ABOUT US The Valley Breeze Newspapers are a locally owned and operated group of free weekly newspa- pers serving the people of Cumberland, Lincoln, North Smithfield, Woonsocket, Smithfield, Scituate, Foster, Glocester, North Providence, Pawtucket, R.I., and Blackstone, Mass. Each Thursday, 60,000+ copies are distributed to retailers, banks, offices, and restaurants and other busy spots. Circulation is audited by the Circulation Verification Council of St. Louis, Mo. and has earned its "Gold Standard Award." OUR MISSION It is the Mission of The Valley Breeze to facilitate a positive sense of community among the res- idents of Northern Rhode Island by providing a forum for the free exchange of ideas, and to provide information of local events and neighbors. It is our further Mission to provide the highest quality advertising at the lowest possible cost to retailers, professionals, tradespersons, and other service providers in order to enhance the economic well-being of our community. Thomas V. Ward, Publisher James Quinn, Deputy Publisher Ethan Shorey, Managing Editor Doug Fabian, General Sales Manager Barbara Phinney, Controller Volume XIX, Number 41 June 7, 2018 @ Breeze THE VALLEY

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