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Thursday, July 27, 2017

$4 Million to Help Communities, Local Groups Protect Open Space. Maybe even buy Copar!

Matching grants made possible by the voter-approved 2016 Green Economy Bond

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The Copar Quarry in Bradford - it'd be great if this place could be publicly owned and reclaimed ( photo)
The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) announced $4 million in matching grants is available to help communities and local organizations protect valuable green space throughout the state. 

A Request for Proposals (RFP) is now open, with a deadline of October 27, 2017

The funding is made possible by the 2016 Green Economy Bond, which was passed overwhelmingly by Rhode Island voters and invests $35 million in improving recreational facilities, cleaning up lands and waters, and preserving open space.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This could help Westerly and Charlestown achieve their stated goal to end, once and for all, the nightmare of the notorious Copar quarry on the Charlestown-Westerly line. CLICK HERE for all our Copar coverage. The property was recently appraised at $2 million.

None of erstwhile state Representative Blake “Flip” Filippi’s legal and legislative schemes have worked. The Comolli family, owners of the site, are still looking for another company to lease and re-open the quarry. The towns finally came to realize that a “Whalerock” solution may be the best and only way to end this long running issue.   

DEM might want to embrace such a proposal, since Copar was a pain in the keester to them, too. DEM simply can't do much to enforce existing law at the quarry. Buying the quarry site would link to adjacent state-owned protected space. DEM help in funding the acquisition would help to get them off the hook. – Will Collette

Chow time

Eating at 'wrong time' affects body weight, circadian rhythms

UT Southwestern Medical Center 

A new high-precision feeding system for lab mice reinforces the idea that the time of day food is eaten is more critical to weight loss than the amount of calories ingested.

Mice on a reduced calorie plan that ate only during their normal feeding/active cycle were the only ones among five groups to lose weight, despite consuming the same amount as another group fed during their rest time in daylight, according to the study at UT Southwestern Medical Center.

"Translated into human behavior, these studies suggest that dieting will only be effective if calories are consumed during the daytime when we are awake and active. They further suggest that eating at the wrong time at night will not lead to weight loss even when dieting," said Dr. Joseph S. Takahashi, Chairman of Neuroscience at UT Southwestern's Peter O'Donnell Jr. Brain Institute and Investigator with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute.

Worried Sick about Prescription Costs

But it’s just the “free market” at work

Image may contain: 1 person, textAsk about health care at a summer cookout, and you’ll likely get an earful about how drug corporations are gouging us, leaving many families to choose between buying medications or putting food on the table.

Why? Because corporations put profits before patients.

Look at a corporation like Mylan, the maker of EpiPen, which raked in $480 million in profits last year and paid its chairman $97.6 million, all while raising the price of the medication to more than $600 per dose.

Or take it from an analyst from the Sequoia mutual fund, a big investor in the drug company Valeant, who put it bluntly: “The capitalistic approach to pricing is to charge what the market will bear.”

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Trump regime seems indifferent about “Carcieri Fix”

Trump Official discusses Trump position (or lack of one) on tribal land acquisitions

Joshua Peterson, Faegre Baker Daniels

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Pre-colonial tribal boundaries in southern New England
EDITOR’S NOTE: Charlestown has a special interest in any federal action that might make it easier for Native Americans to acquire land and put it into federal trust. Current rules are based on the US Supreme Court decision in Carcieri v. Salazar, a case that originated in Charlestown. Charlestown taxpayers currently pay $25,000 a year to an outside lawyer, Joe Larisa, to watch and oppose any policy changes that might benefit the Narragansett Indian Tribe. – Will Collette.

The Subcommittee on Indian, Insular and Alaska Native Affairs held a July 13 hearing to compare 21st century trust land acquisition practices with the intent of the 73rd Congress in Section 5 of the Indian Reorganization Act (IRA), which is now codified at 25 U.S.C. § 5108. 

The hearing encompassed a number of topics regarding land-into-trust decisions, including on-reservation and off-reservation tribal land acquisition, state and local government’s role in such decisions, and the Department of Interior’s (DOI) current — but potentially evolving — interpretation of “under federal jurisdiction” as written in the IRA.

The Subcommittee invited four people to testify at the hearing, including Acting Deputy Secretary of the Interior Jim Cason. 

Cason’s role as associate deputy secretary of the DOI during the Bush administration became a topic of interest in the hearing, as Rep. Norma Torres, D-CA, said that tribes felt there was a de facto moratorium on all land-into-trust acquisitions in Cason’s previous tenure with the DOI.

In an April 6, 2017 memorandum, the DOI announced that “delegated authority for off-reservation land-into-trust decisions for gaming will lie with the Acting Deputy Secretary for the Department of Interior”—once again giving Cason the power to potentially blockade tribal land acquisitions. 

Donald Trump's Boy Scout Merit Badges

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RECIPE: How’s this for locally sourced?

Rhode Island Striped Bass Recipe

From RIDEM’s Wild Rhode Island

Image result for grilled striped sea bassRhode Island is well known for its great striped bass fishing all along the coast and even in some brackish rivers. 

Try out this delicious striped bass recipe this summer. 

Rhode Island saltwater fishing licenses are only $7.00 for residents, $10.00 for Non-residents, or just grab a 7-Day license for only $5.00 while on vacation. 

You can get saltwater licenses at, or at certain bait and tackle shops. 

For more information email or call 401-423-1923. 

Don’t forget to pick up a copy of the 2017-2018 Rhode Island Saltwater Fishing Guide, now available at locations where fishing licenses are sold, or at:

Here’s the recipe:

Making it easier to get your stuff back

Casimiro-Magaziner bill on unclaimed property signed into law

Legislation (2017-H 5743) introduced by Rep. Julie A. Casimiro (D-Dist. 31, North Kingstown, Exeter), in cooperation with General Treasurer Seth Magaziner, which will make it easier for Treasury to return unclaimed property to Rhode Islanders through more efficient communication between state agencies has been signed into law by the governor.

“More than 300,000 Rhode Islanders have unclaimed property, and most don’t even realize it,” said Representative Casimiro. “This legislation will make it as easy as possible for the state to notify Rhode Islanders that the state is holding their property.”

“My office is holding more than $300 million in cash and unclaimed property that is waiting to be claimed by its rightful owner,” said Treasurer Magaziner. 

“People are often shocked to learn that we are holding money that is rightfully theirs. This legislation will help us get money back to Rhode Islanders faster and more efficiently than ever before.”

Finally, a clear night for a Space Station overpass

ISS will make 6-minute long journey across C-Town sky tonight at 8:57
By Will Collette

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I haven't posted a notice about an overflight over Charlestown by the International Space Station (ISS) in a while because of clouds or rain.

But tonight, it looks like the sky will be clear and the ISS will treat us to a six-minute fly-over. That's about the maximum time given the ISS's speed and its ability to reflect sunshine from the sun that set shortly before.

The National Weather Service forecast says that our beautiful daytime clear skies will give way to a mostly clear and pleasant night.

The space station appears as if out of no where at 8:57 PM sharp in the west southwest at 10 degrees over the horizon. It will rise to 58 and will track to the northeast for six minutes where it will disappear just after nine o'clock 10 degrees above the horizon as it loses the sun's reflected light.

It is about as bright as a passing jetliner as it makes a quick and silent arc up to its maximum elevation. 

While this is not like watching a firework's display, it is impressive in its own right as we watch mankind's only current manned venture into space.

Navy dodges dialogue on planned war games off our coast

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

The recent public meeting showcasing Navy training, testing and military exercises planned for the East Coast, including Narragansett Bay, offered access to Navy scientists and mountains of data, but attendees were frustrated by the format of the gathering and by the ethical and environmental issues raised by next year's war games.

Many visitors anticipated an open forum, where audience members ask questions and voice opinions on the planned military drills

Instead of a town hall-like gathering, the meeting was akin to an art exhibit or open house, where visitors had one-on-one conversations with experts in sonar, undersea warfare and explosives. 

The science-fair setting is common for controversial projects and was used recently for the proposed LNG facility expansion on Allens Avenue and other natural-gas pipeline projects.

“I feel they spend a lot of time controlling the crowd,” said Rachael L. McIntosh, an East Greenwich author and radio host who is a critic of the defense industry and contractors.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017

“No Confidence” resolution lists 88 reasons why Trump is unfit

David Cicilline is one of the prime co-sponsors

From Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09), Ranking Member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution and Civil Justice

Since taking office in January, President Trump has exhibited unacceptable and often offensive behavior for a President of the United States.

He has taken the unprecedented action in the modern era of refusing to release his tax returns. 

He has refused to divest from his private business interests, creating conflicts of interest and potential violations of the Constitution’s emoluments clause. 

He fired his F.B.I. Director while the F.B.I. was investigating potential collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. 

He recklessly provided Russian officials with classified information during an oval office meeting. 

Today in Trumpland

Pic of the Moment

Fun in the wild!

Camp Suburbia
For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE.


Langevin part of Congressional Taskforce on Election Security

Can members of Congress stay focused on the challenges to our democracy?
Image result for russiagateEDITOR’S NOTE: This may turn out to be a difficult if not impossible task, given Trump’s bizarre attitude about electoral security. 

On the one hand, he is demanding that his own taskforce find evidence to support his outlandish claim that more than 3 million people voted illegally – presumably all for Hillary Clinton – in the 2016 election. 

On the other hand, Trump not only dismisses irrefutable evidence of Russian tampering in that same election, but also called for a Joint Russia-US taskforce to “solve” this problem. Even though Trump later said this joint taskforce would “never happen,” CNBC reports that, in fact, it is in the works.

Until Congressional Republicans actually accept the fact that America’s free and democrat elections are under threat from hostile foreign powers, like Russia, and from within, from autocrats like Trump, it’s hard to see any constructive work getting done.

That said, Rep. Langevin is going to give it a try.   – Will Collette

Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI), co-founder and co-chair of the Congressional Cybersecurity Caucus, was named a member of the new Congressional Task Force on Election Security. 

“As a former Secretary of State of Rhode Island, I have a deep appreciation for the centrality of election systems to our democracy,” said Langevin. “In the aftermath of the Russian election interference operation – perhaps the most successful cyber operation in history – I have worked diligently to strengthen our election system and reduce the risk of future election meddling. 

"I believe that the Task Force has an important role to play in examining the threat to elections, including to auxiliary systems such as those used for vote tallying, and examining solutions like risk limiting audits to protect their integrity. I look forward to working with Chairmen Thompson and Brady to help secure our democracy, and I thank them and Leader Pelosi for leading on this issue.”

Dog of the Week

Meet Reebok
Animal Rescue RI

Reebok is a sweet young pup who is smart and eager to learn. 

At just 6 months of age, this pup appears to be housebroken and dog friendly.

He is working really hard to impress us with his leash manners. 

Stop by and meet Reebok today!