The good, the bad and the ugly…this week in RI

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Opinion

The good, the bad and the ugly…this week in RI

 

The good

 

Hasbro

Two thumbs-up stories in two days from Pawtucket home-based Hasbro. Yesterday it was the $4 Billion purchase of Peppa Pig and preschool brands - and the day before it was their industry-changing news that they will begin to phase out the use of plastic packaging in 2020. Thinking of how much plastic (and how difficult it is to open), we look forward to environmentally friendly packaging - and we have a lot of questions about what it will look like. No doubt the competitive toy industry just sat up straighter in their chairs, and designers are rushing to match this environmental commitment.

 

The teachers/faculty at Bain Middle School

Not the very first year they’ve done this, but given the atmosphere this year, we think it is commendable that the principal of Bain Middle School and some teachers and faculty walked the community, knocking on homes of their middle school students at dinner time three days last week. If we allow the negativity, which is real and justified, about the education system throughout Rhode Island, to permeate to the children's outlook, too, then we are adding yet another layer of challenge they will have to surmount. Once those doors open - it’s all hands on deck. We can do this. We got your back.

 

Molly O’Brien - She’s b-a-c-k - on TV

What’s that we hear? Molly O’Brien, formerly at NBC-10, and for awhile at GoLocalProv, is now with WPRI-12. We’re glad to hear it and look forward to seeing her in the media-circuit once again.

 

 

The bad

 

First Day of School - Ready?  Not Ready?

Listening to the various leadership it is completely unclear if the schools Providence children will walk into 10 days from now will be clean, rodent free (maybe now, but what about that first chilly day), free of plaster falling from the ceiling, and ran pouring in from the roof, and most importantly, cleaned of mold and asbestos. Some (Infante-Green) say they are not ready and not acceptable and she wants us to know they are even worse than we’ve been told!  Some (Gallo) say they are a work in progress but clean and rodent free for that first day. The Mayor is so challenged by this that he spontaneously offered to show up with a paintbrush and paint himself, starting this morning. Some Providence department personnel are now being "encouraged to “volunteer” and rush into service, leaving much of their own jobs aside. So many questions…politics is bubbling just under the surface. Remember the children.

 

Cranston’s tree-destruction for one cell tower.

On Monday, the City of Cranston will continue to walk its plan through the necessary committees, with not a skip in their beat and Monday’s Ordinance Committee will consider plans to build a cell tower, clearing thousands of trees in an old-time forest, displacing more wildlife into the community, and ruining this natural resource - all for a payment of $36,000 a year to the city. The meeting is at 7pm on Monday, Aug. 27th at Cranston City Hall.  

 

Robo-Calls Exploding in Frequency

Why are they exploding over the last few days - because they know that several state AGs are putting their power together to eliminate the companies’ robo-call techniques.  We hope they are successful, because like a game of whack-a-mole, every regulation hurdle somehow gets overcome by those crafty companies.

 

 

The ugly

 

Terrorizing downtown Providence


In the middle of the day. In the heart of downtown. Boldly jumping on red bikes brought here as a special opportunity for the people of the city. Organizing themselves on social media as some sort of group (we won’t acknowledge them by using their brand), they took off with the sole purpose of terrorizing people working and going about their business.  Sucker punching a woman in the face. Slamming another woman's head between her car door and door jam. Rushing into a store and stealing snack foods. And the mayor has been nearly silent. One week later he reaches an agreement to round up the Jump Bikes, and take them away, at least temporarily. The only saving moment was not having to hear the mayor call these people hoodlums and thugs. They were much more than that. And we hope the Providence police is out investigating and arresting them.

 

The Central Falls demonstrations

 

What ended up to be injuries could have been death in a “peaceful” demonstration at the Wyatt federal prison. Watching the live stream video on social media, it didn’t look like demonstrators were in the legal right to block a workplace’s means of egress and access. Yet that volatile situation was allowed to happen.  Where was the Central Falls police?  What happened next was even worse. And we understand the correctional officer who resigned from his job is now under protective watch at his home in Connecticut, having suffered threats to his safety. The use of pepper spray? The AG says they will investigate that. He also says they are ONLY focused on the truck and the use of pepper spray. Several times AG Neronha was asked about the demonstrators' behavior, and the lack of participation by local police, and he replied they weren’t looking at that right now. We encourage him to do his whole job, not just the part that might be politically correct to a newly elected AG.