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Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Progressive Charlestown predictions for 2014

Some of this stuff could really happen. Seriously.
New director of the Charlestown's Department of Mulch and
Shrubbery Enforcement. Read on to find out who it is.
By Ann Nonimus

It’s time once again for Progressive Charlestown’s annual forecast of things to come. Though we try our best to come up with accurate predictions, an objective review of the record shows that we haven’t done all that well.

For example, of our 31 predictions for 2013, only a few actually happened. Like, for instance, the town did hire as new Town Administrator a Furby programed to say “Yes, Tom, whatever you want.” 

Peter Herstein (CCA Party) did get appointed to the Planning Commission, but no, a bald eagle did not carry him off before he could be sworn in.

CCA Town Councilor George Tremblay did not get the Nobel Prize for Economics. No, Councilor Lisa DiBello did not settle her lawsuit and is still suing Charlestown in the hope of a $1.5 million settlement. First term Planning Commissioner Connie Baker did not get the Planning Commission to shorten meetings or extend breaks to accommodate her sleep schedule.

Charlestown’s Comprehensive Plan is still not done so our prediction that they would get it done but then not let anyone else see it hasn’t happened. Yet. Charlestown did not secede from the rest of Rhode Island. Charlestown voting rights are still not apportioned according to the value of the property you own (yet).

So our 2013 predictions really sucked, although we did way better than Rev. Harold Camping. That doesn’t mean that we’re going to quit trying. With a spirit of optimism, we predict that in 2014….

The CCA Party matures. 

Age and attrition will reduce the CCA Steering Committee to Tom Gentz, Cliff Vanover and Faith LaBossiere, with able counsel provided by Ruth Platner and Dan Slattery. The CCA Party, which controls Charlestown government, will declare all other political parties in Charlestown to be illegal as their way of achieving the goal of abolishing the “master lever.”
Tremblay: they can stay
if they just buy some vowels

Zoning Board shake-up. 

Upon the appointment of Cliff Vanover (CCA Party) to fill the latest vacancy on the Zoning Board of Review, Town Councilor George Tremblay (CCA) will ask that his moratorium on appointing new, permanent ZBR members will be lifted. His motion also calls for Vanover to immediately take over as chair of the ZBR, and that Mike Chambers (CCA) be promoted from Alternate #3 to vice-chair. Asked by the Westerly Sun why he decided to push for the ouster of incumbent ZBR chair Mike Rzewuski and vice-chair Ray Dreczko, Tremblay says, “I couldn’t pronounce those guys’ names.”

No more selective enforcement. 

Town zoning officer Joe Warner will be directed to begin strictly enforcing all town ordinances on town businesses (but not residences because, you know, … voters), with the exception of the Copar Quarries and gun shops. By December 31, 2014, the only businesses left in Charlestown will be the Copar Quarries and two dozen gun shops.

War drums. 

The Charlestown Town Council majority, hoping to drum up patriotic fervor for their re-election in the 2014 Election, will declare war on the Narragansett Indian Tribe, appointing town Indian Affairs lawyer Joe Larisa as General-in-chief of the Charlestown Militia. That militia will include armed sharpshooters who will strafe the tribe from helicopters.
centgallio1.jpg (79382 bytes)
By your command. 

CCA Town Council Boss Tom Gentz, while wearing a toga signifying his status as Imperator Charlestinium, will direct Town Administrator Mark Stankiewicz to wear centurion’s armor at all times while on Charlestown municipal business.

Can’t have too much open space. 

Planning Commissar Ruth Platner, using maps sold to the town by her hubby and new Zoning Board chair Cliff Vanover, will begin dividing Charlestown into parcels on which conservation easements will be granted to the Charlestown Land Trust, Nature Conservancy and Arnolda Improvement Corporation.


Finally, after years of delay, Charlestown’s new red light cameras will get installed at the town’s Route One stoplights. In a gesture toward residents who feel the cameras are an invasion of privacy, Charlestown will require the contractor use only Polaroid cameras at each aite. 

Mulch to give thanks for. 

BRING ME A SHRUBBERY!Faith LaBossiere will be appointed the director of the town’s new Department of Mulch and Shrubbery (see photo, top of the page). She and Town Council Boss Tom Gentz will spend a lot of the time at the General Assembly pushing for a bill to designate mulch as Rhode Island’s official vegetable.

Problem solved. 

The nearby Millstone Nuclear Power Plant will sign a contract with Copar Quarries to store its canisters containing 3.6 million pounds of spent nuclear fuel at Copar’s quarry sites in Charlestown, Bradford and Richmond.

New tax credit. 

The CCA Party-dominated Town Council will not enact a property tax rate increase in 2014, breaking its six-year string of tax hikes in spite of budget surpluses. However, the Council majority will authorize a $10,000 “Thank You for Being Here” tax credit to every non-resident property owner. 


While hiking in the woods, wearing his favorite orange vest, CCA Party Town Councilor Dan Slattery gets bit by a rabid fox. The fox dies. Yeah, I know it’s an old joke, but WTF.

Long overdue. 

After years of fussing at each other, the three Chariho towns of Charlestown, Richmond and Hopkinton will decide they really can’t stand each other and will bust up the Chariho School District. Instead of setting up its own schools, Charlestown will close Charlestown Elementary and contract out the education of the town's school children to the new Ethical and Moral Charter School opened by 2013 CCA Party Chariho School Committee appointees Ron Areglado and Donna Chambers.

Good choice. 

In light of the new demands on his time, Ron Areglado will announce that he is stepping down as President of the internationally acclaimed Center for Ethical and Moral Leadership which seems to exist only in his bloated resume. [Resume tip: just because you've been a "member" of the National Geographic Society doesn't mean you can claim to be an intrepid explorer. AAA membership doesn't mean you can claim you compete on the NASCAR circuit]. He will announce 2012 GOP candidate for state representative Tina Jackson as his successor.

You can read the ads for free
Far out. 

The Journal-Record of Meriden, CT, owners of the Westerly Sun, will cut the declining revenue and continuing losses at the Sun by ceasing publication of the print edition. Instead, the daily edition of the Sun will run as a billboard-sized 3-D hologram at the junction of Routes One and 78. So how will this make money? You’ll have to buy special 3-D glasses from the Sun at $1,000 a pop.

What time is it? 

CCA Planning Commission members Jan Knost and Connie Baker wake up in early July just in time to sign their nomination papers to run for re-election. After which, they promptly fall back to sleep.

But at least it’s not a wind turbine. 

Ron Areglado wins approval from the town to use the newly acquired “Charlestown Moraine Preserve” (a.k.a. Whalerock) as the site of an ashram to operate in conjunction with his charter school. Unfortunately, during construction of the ashram, rich deposits of coal are found. The Peabody Coal Company, owner of the mineral rights, will strip-mine the moraine until it's level with Route One.

Come to the ribbon-cutting

Charlestown will finally create its first new affordable housing. It will be three house trailers behind Town Hall to provide homes for all the town staff who can’t otherwise afford to live in Charlestown and can’t afford the gas to commute. George Tremblay will cut the ribbon.


Citing the enactment of a new ordinance sponsored by Town Councilor Dan Slattery setting new noise limits in Ninigret Park to no louder than a chipmunk, all activities at Ninigret Park will be cancelled.

Hold your breath. 

While reading a vintage copy of a Superman Bizzaro World comics, Mike Chambers will laugh himself into a state of apoplexy. Ron Areglado will save him through mouth-to-mouth resuscitation.

Political upset of the year. 

This act of heroism will propel Areglado into a run for US Senate on the Civility Party ticket against incumbent Jack Reed (D). Areglado will squeak out a win with a 1,200 vote margin though there are widespread charges of ballot box stuffing in Charlestown's 3rd precinct. That’s one way to bring civility to the US Congress. And also get Areglado out of Charlestown.


A cure will be found for humorous dyscognition.