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Monday, September 15, 2014

Introducing… Breakfast PharmaCereals - The great new way to take your meds!




For more cartoons by Gemma Correll, click here.

Gov. Chafee signs Cool Rumsey bill to improve RI background checks

Ceremony highlights Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force’s legislation
The Governor is flanked by the bill's main co-sponsors - House sponsor
Rep. Deb Ruggiero to the left and Senator Cathie Cool Rumsey to the
right. Don't know who the guy photo-bombing the shot is,

STATE HOUSE – With a ceremonial signing by the governor yesterday, a new law will take effect Jan. 1 requiring Rhode Island to submit more data to the national database used to screen gun purchases, as recommended by the task force that studied the nexus of mental health laws and gun rights following the 2012 Newtown, Conn., school shooting.

The legislation, which passed unanimously in both chambers of the General Assembly this year, was sponsored by Rep. Deborah Ruggiero (D-Dist. 74, Jamestown, Middletown) and Sen. Catherine Cool Rumsey (D-Dist. 34, Exeter, Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond, West Greenwich), who were co-chairwomen of the 20-member Joint Behavioral Health and Firearms Safety Task Force.

The legislation (2014-H 7939A, 2014-H 2774A ) enacts the task force’s major recommendation: that Rhode Island begin submitting limited additional information to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) about people who are involuntarily committed in court for mental health treatment and pose a threat of violence to themselves or others. 

Rhode Island already submits relevant criminal records to NICS, and requires all gun purchasers to submit to a NICS check to ensure they are not disqualified from owning a gun.

Krypto found at doorstep of Superman building in Providence

By DAVID SMITH/ecoRI News contributor
Krypto, a peregrine falcon, was released back into the wild last month, but his stay was short-lived. Soon after, he was found at the entrance of the Superman building. (Peter Green/Providence Raptors photos)
Krypto the peregrine falcon has an uncertain future. He was so-named because he was a resident of the Superman building, 111 Westminster St. in Providence, and Krypto was the name of the DC Comics dog that landed on Earth from Superman’s home world with superpowers.

The young falcon currently is a resident at the Born to Be Wild Nature Center in Westerly, awaiting a decision that could affect his ability to be released back into the wilds of an urban environment and survive. His rehabilitators hope he has the same resiliency as his namesake.

If you are into birding, you might know Krypto as one of the falcons that literally grew up in front of a Rhode Island Audubon Society nest camera that broadcast online.


RI Community Food Bank asks your help during Hunger Action Month

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BCBS Food Drive
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September is Hunger Action Month. What Can You Do?
Hunger Action Month
During the month of September, the RI Community Food Bank and hunger relief agencies across the country are bringing attention to the issue of hunger and encouraging the public to respond in a personal way. We hope you’ll recognize Hunger Action Month by doing something to help your neighbors in need. Our website offers some great ways you can get started.

What Can One Company Do to Help?
One Company Can
In honor of Hunger Action Month, we encourage you to get your workplace involved in helping Rhode Islanders in need. One Company Can is a booklet of best practices for businesses and organizations that want to run a food or fund drive to benefit the Food Bank. It features the ideas we’ve learned from many local companies that have successfully supported the Food Bank while building teamwork and strengthening their reputation as good corporate citizens.

Community Farms Featured on NBC10
McCoy Farm
NBC10’s Plant Pro series recently featured our Community Farms program, seven volunteer-operated farms that grow food for the Food Bank and its member agencies. Watch as Plant Pro Sejal Lanterman talks with Daine Stacy and Chris Clegg at McCoy Community Farm about the need for volunteers and how they help the farm grow food for Rhode Islanders in need.


RI Food Bank
Rhode Island Community Food Bank
200 Niantic Avenue, Providence, RI 02907
(401) 942-MEAL • contactus@rifoodbank.org
www.rifoodbank.org
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Here’s a dog who REALLY deserves a break

Please step up for April
From the Animal Rescue League of Southern RI

April defines the meaning of bravery. After less than 48 hours at the shelter, she jumped the fence in the play yard and embarked on a journey of all journeys.

Having been a recent mom, it was believed that she was en route to find her babies. She braved the world alone during the bulk of the summer and managed to keep herself safe, fed and sheltered from bad weather.

The kindness and determination of the community helped April find her way back to the ARL. After undergoing a few weeks of confidence building, she is ready to place her love and trust in a family of her own.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

The “militarization” of the Charlestown Police?

Not happening here
By Will Collette
The Charlestown Tank/Duck, now gone to Johnston

This is one of those times when I went looking for a story and didn’t find what I had expected. 

One of the first stories I ever wrote in Progressive Charlestown (August, 2011 – click here) was about getting to ride in an armored assault vehicle the Charlestown Police Department (CPD) had gotten for free under the military hardware program that has come under heavy scrutiny after the horrible scenes in Ferguson, MO.

I have to admit that it was kind of exhilarating to ride around in an intense piece of equipment like what then Chief Jack Shippee called “the Tank.” I had some mixed feelings, knowing that sometimes, our police officers are up against crazies loaded up on heavy-duty firepower. On the other hand, how much firepower do our police need?

So I asked CPD Chief Jeff Allen for an update on the Tank (which he calls the “Duck”) and the other hardware Charlestown had obtained, including a couple of ex-military Humvees. I asked him if we had any plans to get more such hardware in the future. I asked if Charlestown has a SWAT.

Because his reputation has long been as a firm believer in “community policing,” I also asked him for his thoughts about this whole issue of police militarization.

Here’s Chief Allen’s reply:

Also useful for bucket challenges

Keep Germs At Bay

Better to give than to receive

Personality affects knowledge exchange
Personality plays an important role in knowledge exchange. Researchers at the Knowledge Media Research Center (KMRC) in Tübingen and the University of Tübingen validate Adam Grant's interaction styles in the context of knowledge transfer.

Givers share more important knowledge than takers, according to a recent study conducted by researchers at the Knowledge Media Research Center (KMRC) in Tübingen and the University of Tübingen. In a large online study, working professionals were classified as givers, matchers and takers based on a personality measure developed by Adam Grant (The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania). 

The researchers examined how these three interaction styles affected resource and information sharing. The main finding: Givers not only share more resources and more information, but they also share mainly the important information. Takers keep everything for themselves.

Local health organization delivers national award to Rep. Jim Langevin

Wood River Health Services presents Rep. Langevin with national health advocacy award
From David Henley  
Wood River Health Services President & CEO Michael A.
Lichtenstein (2nd from left) and Board members (l-r) Robin Devin,
Daniel Makin and Beverly Kenney present the National Association
of Community Health Centers 2014 Distinguished Community
Health Defender Award

HOPE VALLEY, RI  – In appreciation for his consistent efforts and strong advocacy of quality healthcare and the Community Health Centers, U.S. Representative James Langevin was awarded the National Association of Community Health Centers 2014 Distinguished Community Health Defender Award.

The award was presented by Wood River Health Services President and CEO Michael Lichtenstein on Aug. 28 at a ceremony at the Hope Valley health center, noting the Congressman’s involvement and achievements in supporting healthcare in recent years in areas as diverse as his support of the Affordable Care Act securing funding for children’s hospitals to fighting for additional Medicare payments and funding for medical research.

You Can’t Make This Stuff Up

Leaders of the $70 billion cosmetics industry won't stop putting formaldehyde in their products, decades after cancer risks first surfaced.

Just in the United States, the cosmetics industry pulls in some $70 billion a year in sales of what’s commonly called “makeup.” But lipstick, mascara, eye shadow, and the like aren’t the only kind of makeup the cosmetic giants are peddling.

For years, their lobbyists, lawyers, and PR agents have been making up facts, stories, half-truths, and whole lies to keep lawmakers and regulators from banning various cancer-causing, hormone-disrupting ingredients that their products contain.

One especially nasty example of this is the continuing campaign by L’Oreal, Revlon, and the industry’s Personal Care Products Council to keep putting formaldehyde in everything from baby wipes to hair straighteners.

Palin the Puncher, keeping it classy


The Palin clan, including Mama Palin herself, was allegedly involved in a huge verbal and physical fight over the weekend when they got drunk at a friend’s party. Punches were thrown, lips were bloodied, and Sarah Palin reportedly scream, “Do you know who I am?” at people telling her to calm down.

According to Alaskan political blog, The Immoral Minority, the Palins were at a party when – allegedly fueled by alcohol – Track Palin (that would be Sarah and Todd’s oldest son) confronted a man who had formerly dated one of his sisters. 

Words are exchanged, then Bristol (that would be Sarah and Todd’s oldest daughter) started punching people. Eventually the entire family is yelling and fighting. One source claims Todd was calling people the C-word and acting belligerent. Somewhere a reality tv executive is crying at the lost potential.

Blogger Amanda Coyne did some investigating and found multiple sources that paint roughly the same picture The Immoral Authority first heard about.

Spoiler alert: It’s incredible:


Saturday, September 13, 2014

Testing, testing, 1, 2, 3,….


Education policymakers in the U.S. seem to think that more tests will produce higher achievement, but there is no evidence for this assumption. As this article from the Center on International Education Benchmarking shows, the U.S. tests more frequently than any of the world’s high-performing nations.

Jackie Kraemer writes:

“Unlike the top-performing countries on the 2012 PISA, the United States stands out for the amount of external testing it requires for all students. As the chart below shows, the United States is the only country among this set to require annual testing in primary and middle schools in reading and mathematics. 

How's the weather?



Sunday is International Rock Flipping Day

This weekend you have an excuse to go outside and explore like a kid; perhaps with your kids.  What might you find?

How do you Participate in IRFD?

  • On or about September 14th, 2014, find a rock or rocks and flip it/them over.
  • Record what you find:  “Any and all forms of documentation are welcome: still photos, video, sketches, prose, or poetry.”
  • Replace the rock as you found it; it’s someone’s home.
  • Post what you find online; load your photos to the Flickr group. If you’re on Twitter, the hashtag is #rockflip.
  • Have Fun.
Read more here on Wired.com.

Help clean up the beach on September 20

By ecoRI News staff

Some 2,000 volunteers from across Rhode Island will participate Sept. 20 in a global cleanup to collect trash and data at more than 80 beaches as part of the annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC).

Save The Bay is the Rhode Island coordinator, and volunteers can sign up on-line to help clean the state’s coastline. Volunteers typically remove about 20,000 pounds of trash and debris in Rhode Island alone, according to July Lewis, Save The Bay’s volunteer manager.

ICC volunteers remove shoreline debris and document what they find at clean-up sites worldwide. The data is compiled and published in an annual report by the Ocean Conservancy, a Washington, D.C.-based advocate for marine issues.

Instead of cod or shrimp, satisfy your taste buds with razor clams or a conch

By FRANK CARINI/ecoRI News staff
In New England’s open ocean, bays and estuaries nearly everything that swims, crawls or borrows can be served on a plate and eaten. But the seafood options at many restaurants and on display at most supermarkets represents just a thin slice of New England’s fare — and that’s not a good thing for the health of the region’s marine ecosystems.

This absence of seafood diversity is not only a loss of culinary opportunity, but also a potential source of ecological imbalance, according to Sarah Schumann, president of Rhode Island-based Eating with the Ecosystem. The Warren resident has been delivering this message across the region since she founded the organization two years ago.

Since the type of seafood listed on menus or available at grocery store counters doesn’t always match what’s truly available in the ocean, Schumann says this hidden discrepancy stresses local fisheries — the fishermen, targeted species and ecosystems.

Even in Charlestown, apparently

By TIM FAULKNER/ecoRI News staff

PROVIDENCE — Solar power in Rhode Island is expanding, the cost to subsidize it is going down and new initiatives are planned to keep it growing.

Shortly before the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation (Commerce RI) announced its new community-focused marketing plan to increase residential solar panel projects, the business development board approved $314,210 for new solar installations, one of its largest payouts for its small-scale solar program.

In all, nine installers building 44 solar projects received funds:

Friday, September 12, 2014

"Two of the richest men in the entire world are plotting to dominate our elections...from congressional races to school board seats"

Lisa Graves was one of the creators of the website ALECExposed. She has followed the money, and she here describes a dangerous threat to American democracy by the billionaire Koch brothers, ALEC, and others who seek control by the super-rich. 

They want to bust unions and privatize schools. Graves says that progressives must stand together. I agree. 

That’s why I grow frustrated when union members attack their unions. Of course, they should fight to win democratic control of their unions. 

But when they begin hurling insults and invective at their allies, they do the work of their common foe.

Graves writes:

Why cats purr


As you do that last cook-out or two of the season...


Watch our Town Council take the Ice Bucket Challenge (Video)


Look for Northern Lights tonight

click to enlarge
Accuweather.com is forecasting one of the best chances to see Northern Lights for tonight as a solar flare reaches Earth.

See more information here.

DEM holds pesticide take-back day in Charlestown on September 18

Farmers and businesses – dispose of your pesticides for free

PROVIDENCE - The Department of Environmental Management's Division of Agriculture will be hosting three obsolete pesticide collection events in September. 

The program, called the Obsolete Pesticide Collection Program (OPCP), provides farmers and other commercial entities with a no cost alternative to dispose of obsolete pesticides. 

Among the products eligible for the take-back are those that are no longer able to be used for their intended purposes because they may have become caked, frozen or dried out, along with unregistered and banned pesticides.

The goal of the initiative, which is funded by the US Environmental Protection Agency, is to collect obsolete, unusable pesticides and properly dispose of them in order to avoid any potential contamination that could result from these hazardous materials. 

Orange Alert!

Reprint: Dress Like a Pumpkin, Hunting Season in Progress
This is NOT Bob Yarnell
by Bob Yarnall

Hunting season starts on September 13 so we are re-printing Bob Yarnall's cautionary article from last year to try to perhaps prevent accidental carnage in our woodlands.

Just a reminder that as the hunting season continues, the Rhode Island DEM Division of  Fish and Wildlife requires that users of State Management areas (Burlingame, Arcadia, etc.) wear fluorescent orange clothing items. And by way of disclaimer, consider this an all-purpose public service announcement, as the level of micromanagement present in DEM regulatory policy makes our town government look like a fast food restaurant.

Every species of mammal and/or reptile, every land and water form, every category of ancient and modern weaponry, every descriptor of ballistics, projectiles, barbs, slings, and arrows in the state of Rho Dyland is subject to its own set of qualifying or disqualifying criteria. But if you don’t want to get your butt shot off over the next 9 months, here’s the all-purpose keep-it-simple paragraph you need to commit to what’s left of your memory, as excerpted from the RI DEM Fish & Wildlife 2013-14 Hunting Regulations:

Lots of Charlestown activities in store

Tennis, golf, basketball, pumpkins and treat-or-treat
From Vicky Hilton, Charlestown Parks and Recreation Department
The only thing missing is something for
Talk Like a Pirate Day, September 19
(collage by Lin Collette)

The Charlestown Parks and Recreation Department will hold its Youth Tennis program on Saturday mornings at the Ninigret Park Tennis Courts. The program will run from 9-11am for ages 6-16. The program runs for eight weeks and the cost is $120. Our department is holding an Adult Golf program for those 18 and older at the Ninigret Park Tennis Courts from 11-noon for eight weeks on Saturday mornings.

Our department is holding an Adult Golf program for those 18 and older to be held at the Pinecrest Clubhouse.  This program will be held on Fridays from 9:30-10:30am. Players will be contacted with tee times. It will be held from September 19th – November 7th. The fee is $17 for nine holes, cart rental (not required), additional at a cost of $6. Fees should be paid at the Pinehurst Country Club- 26 Pinehurst Drive, Carolina. Please call 364-1222 for further information.

Adult Basketball for those 18 and over will be held at the Charlestown Elementary School Gym from 7:00-900pm on Thursday and Sunday evenings. This program is free and registration is at the Charlestown Elementary School Gym.
  
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