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Friday, May 7, 2021

Governor opens more stuff up

McKee sacrifices Rhode Islanders to protect his small businesses

By Will Collette

Like most sane people, I am happy to see our COVID numbers come down, but I also recognize that (a) COVID is not gone and (b) all it takes is one nasty variant, that could well come out of India's horrific coronavirus surge to put us back where we were a year ago.

So accidental Governor Dan McKee's announcement of yet more business openings, combined with his decision to reinstate the requirement that anyone receiving unemployment insurance must show they are looking for work are, in my opinion, two dangerous mistakes.

McKee seems to relate to issues only in a monomaniacal fashion - he either doesn't care or he is 150% committed. Charter schools used to be McKee's cause.

But now it's those generic "small businesses," such as restaurant chains, who are driving much of the re-opening. 

McKee is tuned in to their complaints that they couldn't get workers to risk their lives in now largely maskless restaurants for sub-minimum wage (i.e. tip-based earnings).

Rather than raise wages - the classic "free market" approach to dealing with a labor shortage - they've gone to Uncle Dan who has obligingly agreed to push workers to take shit jobs with no benefits - at the risk of losing their unemployment benefits.

In case you didn't know, Rhode Island's minimum wage for tipped workers is $3.89 an hour.

The pandemic ends when enough people have immunity to stop community spread. That's also the point where people will feel safe enough to come out and really give the economy the boost it needs.

Charts showing a rapid racketing re-opening crafted by political hacks like our DINO governor do not reflect conditions on the ground. At least not yet. We started the vaccine campaign like gangbusters and saw some great numbers.

But those numbers have now fallen off as we are now running into the vaccine "hesitant" who just don't think they need the shots. Some are motivated by anti-vax propaganda, Fox News, evangelical preachers and Trumplican politicians like local Rep. Flip Filippi and Justin Price. 

I don't like masks any more than any one of these resistors. They fog my glasses. But even with my two full doses of Pfizer, there's still a one in ten chance I could catch COVID from some idiot who does whatever Tucker Carson tells him to do. 

There is so much stupid misinformation around that the RI Health Department posted this useful chart:

Come on, neighbors, we're almost there. Get vaccinated. Wear your masks and let's stop the spread.

Cancel culture

By Joel PettLexington Herald Leader


At the Mystic Aquarium



Out Of The Blue Mystic Aquarium's Monthly E-Newsletter


Fur Sea Lion Calling


Barks, Chirps, Laughs: A Noisy May!

With sea lion and seal barks, Mystic Aquarium residents can be a noisy bunch! Even at March Trek, bullfrogs are bellowing to attract mates. For this edition of Out of the Blue, we are going to make some noise surrounding recent news, upcoming events, and new additions on campus.



Seal Release

A Harp Seal Embarks on New Adventure

 A recent visitor to Mystic Aquarium concluded his rehabilitation and returned to the ocean! A harp seal was found stranded a year ago in the New England area. He was underweight and appeared to be blind, so he was taken in to improve his health. During this process, the seal underwent eye surgery, and his right eye was removed to prevent further medical issues. Luckily, he passed his live fish trials which determined he is capable of hunting on his own. In April, the harp seal came to our Animal Rescue Clinic, and he had a smooth transition into the ocean!





Guest with Sea Lion

Amplify Mystic Aquarium!

USA Today already gave us a shout-out by nominating Mystic Aquarium as one of the top 20 aquariums in the United States! Our stellar exhibits, conservation efforts, and extensive research make Mystic Aquarium a leader in the aquarium industry. Help us amplify further by voting for us for USA Today's 10Best Readers’ Choice 2021: Best Aquarium!

You can vote for Mystic Aquarium EVERY DAY until Monday, May 24 at noon ET. Each vote is important because it allows us to get one step closer to inspiring people to care for and protect our ocean planet through conservation, education, and research on the national level!



Sea Lion Painting

Paint with a Sea Lion!

Sea lions have a talent for roaring, but did you know they can also paint? Previously a virtual Animal Encounter, Paint with a Sea Lion is now available on-site! You select the colors of non-toxic paint, and the sea lion does the rest. As the sea lion paints, we'll chat about sea lion enrichment and training along with species biology, the world-class animal care received at Mystic Aquarium, and more. You even get to take home the painting with you!





Summer Camp

Make the Aquarium Even Nosier!

Summer Camp is Back! We are preparing weeks of laughter and fun for kids. Mystic Aquarium offers the perfect environment to enjoy and explore animals while having outdoor adventures in nature. In addition, each camp will have its own dedicated classroom within the Milne Ocean Science and Conservation Center to continue learning and exploration. Kids will be talking about Summer Campe for weeks, so don't miss out! 



This Month's Events


Ocean Ambassadors Logo

Ocean Ambassador Coastal Clean Up

Our May cleanup at Barn Island on May 8. Our goal is to remove 1000 pounds of marine debris, including ocean plastics, from local shorelines, and we need your help! Volunteers can choose a time slot, and we will break into smaller groups of no more than 15 people. Join us to clean up the ocean!


Horseshoe crabs in the ocean

Horseshoe Crab Walk

Head to the beach and witness these “living fossils” gather during our nighttime Horseshoe Crab Walk. Help Aquarium staff count the animals and learn about the role they play in our local ecosystem. Be prepared to get wet feet and hike a distance. Learn more!





Cocktails (or Mocktails) with Conservationists

Join our Director of Education & Conservation for cocktails (or mocktails) and conversations with members of the Aquarium team as we explore the conservation efforts that support the Aquarium’s mission. Grab your favorite drink of choice for this week, as we celebrate both Endangered Species Day and dive into conversations about our work protecting endangered species around the world. Learn more or register.




ocean ambassadors logo

Special Days at Mystic Aquarium

Endangered Species Day (5/21): From vaquitas to African penguins, we’ll be celebrating the conservation efforts that are in place to help save some of our most threatened. Learn more.

Long Island Sound Day (5/28): Celebrate our local estuary in style! You and your family will help can enjoy hands-on activities as together, we learn more about our precious Long Island Sound. 



Giving icon


We’re making waves for the future of our ocean planet – won’t you join us?



Amazon Smile logo

#DYK that the Mystic Aquarium community has unlocked hundreds of dollars in donations from AmazonSmile! When you shop using on your computer or enable AmazonSmile on your Amazon app, a donation is made at no cost to you.



You’ve always known our mission: To inspire others to care for and protect our ocean planet. During these unprecedented times, we are keenly focused on protecting our community as well.

Click here to learn about current measures in place to ensure your safety.