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Friday, May 27, 2016

VIDEO: Filippi turns Charlestown Memorial Day Parade into a self-serving political sideshow

Charlestown Citizens Alliance backs their boy’s play
By Will Collette

This is what Memorial Day is supposed to be about. View this video on YouTube:

State Representative Blake “Flip” Filippi (District 36) is a master at turning concocted controversy into self-aggrandizing media opportunities. He’s so good at it that he has actually given classes to other political candidates, probably those as shallow and self-serving as himself, on his techniques.

We’ll go into some examples of that later, but let’s look at Flip’s latest stunt which is to claim that he has been “blacklisted” from speaking at the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade. This has put him directly at odds with the Parade Committee’s long-time chair, Jim Mageau.

Filippi is being aided in his fight by none other than Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA Party) leader Tom Gentz, boss of the Charlestown Town Council, who demanded that Filippi be given a speaking slot on the agenda.

Boss Gentz also has demanded that the independent, non-profit Charlestown Memorial Day Parade Committee oust Mageau for not giving Flip what he wants.

I rarely ever agree with Jim Mageau on anything – as even a cursory glance through Progressive Charlestown articles on Mageau will show (154 articles: CLICK HERE) – but on this matter, Mageau is right. And Flip and Boss Gentz are totally out of line.

Let’s start with a consistent principle Mageau has applied to the Charlestown Memorial Day Parade. Mageau does not allow this annual ceremony honoring America’s veterans to be sullied by partisan politics.

Tom Gentz, for all his feigned “shock” at this controversy, knows this all too well, because Gentz has not been allowed to use the Parade as a political platform either.

In the Channel 10 news coverage of this flap, Flip attempts to portray Mageau’s decision as a “pay-to-play deal,” that Mageau expected Filippi to come up with a legislative grant for the Parade and, because Flip doesn’t believe in legislative grants on principle, Mageau “black-listed: Filippi.

As the CCA Party describes it in their official web blog “State Representative Punished for not Providing Legislative Grant to Charlestown Memorial Day Parade and that Speakers are evidently required to pay before they approach the podium.

Complete, total bovine excrement.

Nice to get to see the details

Under President Trump, all Muslims would be blocked from entering the United States. Or so he says. The question is, how will border guards know who is and isn't Muslim? As the Crusaders who slaughtered Armenian Christians learned, there's more to a religion than clothing.For more cartoons from Ted Rall, CLICK HERE

Wingnuts of the week

Pic of the Moment

Getting rid of “hard-to-dispose-of” wastes could get a little easier

Senate passes Sosnowski’s Household Hazardous Waste Management Act

The Rhode Island Senate passed legislation sponsored by Sen. V. Susan Sosnowski (D-Dist. 37, New Shoreham, South Kingstown) that would create a system for disposal of hazardous household materials.

The bill (2016-S 2526A) would establish programs to aid in the monitoring, tracking, reuse, recycling, and proper disposal of hard-to- dispose materials.

“Rhode Islanders are increasingly using hard-to-dispose hazardous materials,” said Senator Sosnowski, chairwoman of the Senate Environment and Agriculture Committee. 

“The proliferation and accumulation of these materials is a public health hazard and seriously impedes our efforts to maintain a healthy and clean environment. This legislation will bring about the effective control, recovery, and recycling of hard-to-dispose material.”

EDITOR'S NOTE: this legislation, while meritorious, does NOT address the growing problem of electronic waste. Charlestown, like many other municipalities, no longer provides a drop off for e-waste, much of which is loaded with potentially hazardous materials.

Can legumes solve environmental issues?


support beanstalk

It's a win-win situation for the environment and the economy when it comes to introducing legumes into agricultural systems, says new research published in Frontiers in Plant Science, carried out by an international team of scientists as part of the European Union project, Legume Futures.

Currently Europe's crop production is highly specialized in only a small number of plant species, to the detriment of the environment. Cereal crops dominate, meaning Europe imports over 70% of its protein feed stocks to support the meat industry.

"The introduction of legumes such as clovers, lupins, lucerne and faba beans can increase the sustainability of agriculture and the supply of protein in Europe," stated Moritz Reckling of the Leibniz Centre for Agriculture Research (ZALF) in Germany and lead author of this study. 

Legumes are protein-rich and would provide relief for the deficit; they also increase the amount of nitrogen available to plants through biological nitrogen fixation, reducing the need for fertilisers.

VIDEO: International Space Station will make a 6-minute pass over Charlestown tonight

You should be able to see it at 10:14 PM
By Will Collette

See this directly on YouTube at

The International Space Station is back to making night time passes over Charlestown with a nice, long 6-minute pass that starts exactly at 10:14 PM. Six minutes is just about the maximum length of an ISS pass.

This patch of summer-like weather is expected to give us a "partly cloudy" forecast for tonight after a mostly sunny day today. It's a good chance for those of you who are Space Station regular watchers (or newbies hoping for your first look).

The International Space Station will make a six-minute pass over us tonight starting at 10:14 PM about 10 degrees above the horizon in the west southwest.

It will run to 67 degrees over the horizon (about 2/3's up the sky) and run for four minutes toward the northeast where it will seem to vanish at around 10:20 giving you plenty of time to see the ISS.

The National Weather Service says it will be "partly cloudy" tonight with a low temperature of 61 (click here).

Tobin “zombie youth” theory challenged

By Alexander Sharp in Rhode Island’s Future

Rev. Alexander Sharp, of Clergy for a New Drug Policy, wrote this open letter to Bishop Thomas Tobin, the head of the Catholic Church in Rhode Island who recently asked state legislators in a blog post not to make marijuana legal.

Dear Bishop Tobin,

On May 10, you asserted in a public commentary that all drug use is sinful and immoral. You urged state legislators to reject the legalization of marijuana. As a member of the Protestant clergy, I reach a very different conclusion.

We read the same Bible, worship the same God, and seek to follow the teachings of Jesus. What, then, explains where we differ, and why? You acknowledge that a case, which you do not refute, can be made for the recreational use of alcohol. Marijuana is far less dangerous than alcohol, yet you do not attempt to justify this double standard.

You then quote the Catechism of the Catholic Church: “The use of drugs inflicts very grave damage on human health and life.” You cite the words of Pope Francis two years ago: “Drug addiction is an evil, and with evil there can be no yielding or compromise.”

The reality is that we live in a drug-using society. Most of us consume some kind of drug on a regular basis: alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, prescription drugs, or marijuana. The question that challenges us both, then, is how to respond to the possibility that drug use can become addictive.

Sadly, your understanding of addiction is incomplete and outdated.

Thursday, May 26, 2016


Ignore the stupid rumor
By Will Collette

Photo by Will Collette
There is a stupid and malicious rumor going around that somehow I have “flipped” and no longer support the citizen referendum for Charlestown to purchase the General Stanton Inn.

That rumor is false.

Totally false. 

As if the display ads (top left and right) saying “Vote Yes!” on the front page of Progressive Charlestown weren’t enough, we have a VOTE YES yard sign on our Route One frontage. Cathy and I have also donated to the Friends of the General Stanton Inn.

I was in favor of the town’s purchase of the General Stanton Inn before the petition even started to put the question on the ballot.

Mixed emotions

The progressive web comic about conservative hypocrisy

More trout in local ponds

DEM adds 6,000 for Memorial Day weekend

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is stocking 20 ponds and rivers across Rhode Island with some 6,000 trout in advance of Memorial Day weekend - a popular time for recreational fishing.

As part of a larger network of recreational opportunities in the state, fishing plays an important role in connecting people with nature, promoting health, attracting tourism, and supporting a treasured tradition for Rhode Island families.

According to the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, there are approximately 175,000 recreational anglers (age 16+) in Rhode Island. And recreational fishing contributes more than $130 million to the economy each year.

Water conditions and temperatures will determine which locations are stocked. For a list of stocked waters, contact DEM's Division of Fish and Wildlife at 789-7481.

Charlestown Historical Society opens this weekend

New Logo
Cross' Mills


Fridays:  1:00 - 3:00 PM
Saturdays:  11:00 AM - 1:00 PM

The 2016 Season is about to begin at the CHS 1838 Schoolhouse & Archive. This year we have new hours for Saturday visitors from 11:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Friday hours will remain the same - 1:00 - 3:00 PM.

Parking is available in the lower lot of the Cross' Mills Public Library or next door at the Cross' Mills Baptist Church, if needed.

Looking forward to visiting with you, your families and guests this summer!


Sunday, May 29th, 1:00 - 2:00 PM

We wish you a Happy Memorial Day.

The Charlestown Memorial Day Parade will take place this Sunday, May 29th, from 1:00 - 2:00 PM, along the Old Post Road in Cross' Mills.

Immediately following the parade will be ceremonies, concert and refreshments at Ninigret Park.


Saturday, June 4th & Sunday, June 5th
10:00 AM - 3:00 PM

Sunday, June 5th
11:00 AM - 3:00 PM
Performance by the Cape Cod Blue Jackets Fife & Drum Corps

Learn about the history of the General Stanton Inn and its possible future usage at the Open House sponsored by the Friends of the General Stanton Inn.
About Us

Charlestown Historical Society
P.O. Box 100
Charlestown, RI  02813

The Charlestown Historical Society is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization registered in the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. 
Charlestown Historical Society, P.O. Box 100, Charlestown, RI 02813

Calamari for everyone!

Squids on the rise as oceans change

group squid

Unlike the declining populations of many fish species, the number of cephalopods (octopus, cuttlefish and squid) has increased in the world’s oceans over the past 60 years, a University of Adelaide study has found.

The international team, led by researchers from the University’s Environment Institute, compiled a global database of cephalopod catch rates to investigate long-term trends in abundance, published in Cell Press journal Current Biology.

“Our analyses showed that cephalopod abundance has increased since the 1950s, a result that was remarkably consistent across three distinct groups,” says lead author Dr Zoë Doubleday, Research Fellow in the Environment Institute and School of Biological Sciences.

AIR QUALITY ALERT, first of the season, EXTENDED

AIR QUALITY ALERT EXTENDED, worse than yesterday 
Charlestown continues to be in the "Red Zone" for high tree pollen

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is predicting that air quality will reach unhealthy levels statewide during the afternoon and late into the evening hours on Thursday, May 26

Continued warm weather and favorable meteorological conditions will result in unhealthy air quality, which could last possibly into Friday. The poor air quality will be due to elevated ground level ozone concentrations. 

Additionally, fine particles are expected to reach moderate levels. Ozone is a major component of smog and is formed by the photochemical reaction of pollutants emitted by motor vehicles, industry and other sources in the presence of elevated temperatures and sunlight.

Rhode Island residents can help reduce air pollutant emissions. Limit car travel and the use of small engines, lawn motors and charcoal lighter fuels. Travel by bus or carpool whenever possible, particularly during high ozone periods.

Trump’s mortgage bankster business

How Trump betrayed America

Donald Trump’s mortgage company was part of the carnival of greed that preyed on the American people by providing subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers, a practice which led to the financial collapse in 2008 and the Great Recession that followed.

Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign is making a major push to bring up Trump and his role in the business that led to billions in bailout costs for the American taxpayer.

Trump wasn’t just on the outside of the scheme. His company was right in the middle of it.

Clinton’s allies highlight that Trump Mortgage approved subprime mortgages to unqualified borrowers. The mortgages were one of the key financial instruments linked to the crash.

Trump even handed out advice on how to profit from a crash like the one that would eventually occur and consume millions of jobs in America and around the world. In his book, How to Build a Fortune, Trump said, “If there is a bubble burst, as they call it, you know you can make a lot of money.”

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