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Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Praise and support for General Stanton Inn campaign from the folks who saved the Historic Narragansett Towers

Similarities between effort to save the General Stanton Inn and their fight to save the Towers
David E. Ousterhout, President, Friends of the Historic Narragansett Towers, Inc.

I am a former member of the Narragansett Town Council and President of the Friends of the Towers. 

Twenty eight years ago I became involved with a group of Narragansett residents who came together for the purpose of developing a plan to restore, preserve and renovate the Historic Narragansett Towers for use by the public. 

At that time The Towers, as it is known today, was a deteriorating monument to Narragansett’s past history and did not provide any useful benefit to the public. 

While it was owned by the Town, there was no clear vision for it and there was a reluctance to even spend the necessary funds for simple maintenance and preservation efforts. 

Today The Towers stands as testimony to what a motivated group of citizens can accomplish when encouraged and supported by their local government.  It has become an iconic reminder of Narragansett’s history and a very busy venue for both public and private events, attracting visitors and providing a source of new business to local merchants.

Capital restoration and renovation funds were provided over the years by the Town of Narragansett, Rhode Island Historical Preservation Commission grants, fundraising activities and allocation of excess revenue from its operations. 

It has not been a financial burden to the Town and, other than modest investments in capital repairs and improvements, has always paid its own way.


Crowd-funding? Cool!

The progressive web comic about Trump and crowdfunding

Anti-abortion does not equal "pro-life"

12047090_1004970076215108_6286412291888440921_n.jpg

House OKs legislation to allow limited retail sales by breweries

Bill is designed to help small businesses, promote ‘beer tourism’ industry in Rhode Island

Legislation cosponsored by Rep. Teresa Tanzi to allow breweries, distilleries and wineries to sell limited amounts of their products to visitors for sampling and off-site consumption has passed the House of Representatives.

The bill is intended to assist microbreweries, in particular, which are banned entirely from selling their products at retail at their plants under current law, but would like to do so to be part of the growing “beer tourism” industry.

“Microbreweries are a growing sector in Rhode Island, and we should give these hardworking small businesses the opportunity they need to get their products into the hands of consumers, who have been asking us for increased access. Many don’t realize the value these small manufacturers add to our economy, and increased sales will equal more revenue and more hiring locally,” said Representative Tanzi (D-Dist. 34, South Kingstown, Narragansett).

CEOs Paid 335 Times Average Rank-and-File Worker

Outsourcing Results in Even Higher Inequality
From the AFL-CIO’s Executive PayWatch

CEO pay for major U.S. companies continues to soar as income inequality and outsourcing of good-paying American jobs increases.

Outsourcing has become a hot presidential election topic with candidates calling out corporations who say they need to save money by sending jobs overseas.

Meanwhile, according to the new AFL-CIO Executive PayWatch, the average CEO of an S&P 500 company made $12.4 million per year in 2015 – 335 times more money than the average rank-and-file worker.

The Executive PayWatch website, the most comprehensive searchable online database tracking CEO pay, showed that in 2015, the average production and nonsupervisory worker earned approximately $36,900 per year, a wage that when adjusted for inflation, has remained stagnant for 50 years.

“The income inequality that exists in this country is a disgrace. We must stop Wall Street CEOs from continuing to profit on the backs of working people,” said AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka.

Kitty of the Week

Meet Erik
Animal Rescue Rhode Island

Meow! I'm Erik, a 3 year old love bug who's looking for a home to call my own.

I LOVE to play and climb in my temporary home, and my caregivers say I give the best snuggles around.

If you like petting, purrs, and paws kneading your lap, I am the cat for you!

I would make the purrfect fit for any home, and I even like other feline friends.

I'm looking for someone who enjoys quiet naps in the sun spots, and togetherness for the rest of our days.

Might that someone be you?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Why they fought

In Meme-Moriam

nullThis past weekend, America paused to honor the thousands of men and women who fought and died to preserve ExxonMobil’s First Amendment rights, and protect it from the tyranny of justice.

Or at least that’s the way a lot of Congressional leaders and climate deniers are playing it.

The effort to cast Exxon as victim of a cabal between state Attorneys General, environmentalists, and other ne’er-do-wells followed reports by journalists from InsideClimate News, the Los Angeles Times, and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. 

They uncovered a howlingly hypocritical contrast between Exxon’s longtime internal embrace of climate science and its external support for climate denial.

Decades ago, Exxon began to ignore its own scientists’ warnings on the prospects for global disruption from climate change, opting instead to focus on climate change’s threat to the fossil fuel business model. 

Following the pattern set by tobacco, pesticide, asbestos and tetraethyl lead producers, Exxon circled the tankers and fought against progress on climate.


Memorial Day Photo Feature - the air crews of Charlestown NAAF

Charlestown does its bit
Photos from Larry Webster and Frank Glista's collection



Part 3: Memorial Day Feature - Searching for a home for the "Ninigret Bomb"

Charlestown and World War II, Part 3
No Room at the Ninigret Wildlife Refuge Headquarters
By Frank Glista

From the Charlestown Press, August 2, 2007
In August of 2007 I invited my friend, Mark Godden, to join me at the Groton-New London Airport for an adventure.  Mark, never knowing what to expect from me when I used the word "adventure", looked puzzled.  

Years earlier, I requested that he ride along with me on my third cross country motorcycle trip.  Each owning a Harley-Davidson, we left Charlestown in May of 1979 and rode to California and back in about six weeks.  So what was I up to now?  I told him that we were going to go back in time.....for about an hour.

Memorial Day photo feature - Navy pilots flying out of Charlestown

Scenes from Charlestown's Naval Auxiliary Air Field during World War II
Once a vital training base for Navy aviators, now a Park and a wild life refuge
Photos courtesy of Larry Webster
Collection assembled by Frank Glista

Brothers in arms - Naval aviators in training at Charlestown's NAAF
Training flight over Charlestown
Continue for more photos

Part 2: Memorial Day Feature - Charlestown's women do their part in the war effort

PART 2 - NAVAL AIRFIELD MEMORIAL
By Frank Glista
Photos from Larry Webster

Practicing mock carrier landings at Charlestown NAAF in the 1950s
At war's end, great reductions in Naval Aviation forced the closing of all the airfields in Rhode Island except Quonset Point and Charlestown.  By early 1950 the base was quiet and nearly closed during its caretaker status.

The Korean conflict forced the Naval Auxiliary Air Field (NAAF) to re-open and was re-designated as the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field (NALF) at Charlestown in 1951.  On January 30, 1974, NALF Charlestown was decommissioned.


Memorial Day Photo Feature - Before there was a Ninigret Park

Charlestown trained Navy fliers
Photos from Larry Webster, collected by Frank Glista

Today's Ninigret National Wildlife Refuge and Charlestown's Ninigret Park was once covered by a Navy pilot
training base built during World War II and decommissioned in 1974
Ensign Coy Stephenson, killed in action

Part 1: Memorial Day feature - Charlestown and World War II

PART 1 - Charlestown and World War II
Ninigret Navy air field during World War II. For great photos of
old Rhode Island air fields, click here.
By Frank Glista

"GERMAN ARMY ATTACKS POLAND" was the New York Times headline on September 1, 1939.  Those words set the stage for what would soon become World War II.

In our country, every city and town has its own story of heroism and sacrifice given by their citizens during that time.  Charlestown Rhode Island was among them as it played an important role in our nation's success to defeat the threat from overseas.


Sunday, May 29, 2016

Once again, in honor of Memorial Day, a series on the history of the Ninigret Naval Auxiliary Air Field

Reprint and update of popular Charlestown history series
By Will Collette

In past years, we took a break from the mundane town battles  to honor Memorial Day with a history of the Ninigret Naval Auxiliary Air Field (NAAF).

That air field not only trained thousands of Navy aviators to fight during World War II (including the senior President George Herbert Walker Bush), but has also had a profound impact on Charlestown's landscape, life and culture.

The series was written by Frank Glista who had a personal connection to the air field that you'll read about in the series. It spans six segments with several of them comprised entirely of vintage photos.


America

Canned patriotism
For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE

VIDEO: Inside the mind of Donald Trump


Striking Verizon Workers Win Big Gains

More good jobs to be added in the East
Communication Workers of America

Nearly 40,000 Verizon workers who have been on strike since April 13 are celebrating big gains after coming to an agreement in principle with the company.

After 45 days of the largest strike in recent history, striking CWA members have achieved our major goals of improving working families’ standard of living, creating good union jobs in our communities and achieving a first contract for wireless retail store workers.

How much for naming rights at the Ninigret Wildlife Refuge?

National Parks Will Start Selling Naming Rights to Corporate Sponsors

Home Depot’s Yellowstone National Park. Merrill Lynch’s Yosemite National Park. Exxon Mobil’s Grand Canyon National Park. 

You’re probably shuddering at the thought of these national treasures being linked to corporate sponsors, but thanks to new federal rule changes, this possibility is closer than you think.

Since it was established, the National Park Service has thwarted attempts to commercialize these nature preserves. 

In the past, the parks have limited commemorations of large donations to modest, easy-to-overlook plaques. 

Now, during the park service’s centennial celebration, the organization is deciding to court corporate money by offering up a lot of opportunities for naming rights.


First of the season

[Image of 5-day forecast and coastal areas under a warning or a watch]

Trump’s fraud against veterans


The military veterans group VoteVets is blasting presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump as a “fraud,” after it was revealed that his claim that he raised $6.5 million for veterans was a lie.

A Washington Post report uncovered the truth behind yet another wild Trump statement:
One night in January, Donald Trump skipped a GOP debate and instead held his own televised fundraiser for veterans. At the end of the night, Trump proclaimed it a huge success: “We just cracked $6 million, right? Six million.”
Now, Trump’s campaign says that number is incorrect.
Campaign manager Corey Lewandowski said the fundraiser actually netted about $4.5 million, or 75 percent of the total that Trump announced.
Trump used the $6 million figure as a public relations talking point for himself in the days following the fundraiser, while he campaigned for votes in the Republican primary. 

Yet when asked by the Post to account for all of the money he allegedly collected, Trump refused. 


Saturday, May 28, 2016

New memorial sign and display unveiled at Ninigret Park

Sign Dedication Ceremony Speech
By Brandon Perrone
Photo by Will Collette
This memorial is dedicated to the sixty-two men who trained at this airfield and made the ultimate sacrifice, and it is also for all members of the military to show them we appreciate what they do for our country every day.

Now, I ask that you all take a look around. Imagine runways, hangars and control towers.

Imagine Hellcats and Avenger fighter planes roaring overhead, and the bravest, most skilled airmen in all of New England training to defend freedom.

This was Charlestown Naval Auxiliary Air Station, as it was known at the time, and former President George H. W. Bush trained here before flying in the Pacific in World War II.

This area we are sitting in has some of the richest history in all of Rhode Island.

I was fortunate enough to see some of this history when Mr. Larry Webster, a local Aviation Archaeologist, invited me to his home to see some artifacts from the time period.

Mr. Webster is one of those exceptional people who does not want the memory of the airfield to fade away, so he does a great deal of work to make sure all artifacts from this area are found and preserved for future generations.

A lot has happened here in the past seventy-three years. 

VIDEO: Disappointed that Trump says no debate with Bernie Sanders? Progressive Charlestown has you covered!


Who says Trump isn't open-minded?

Pic of the Moment

Deutschland uber alles


-1x-1

Republicans have pessimistically said it can’t be done, that renewable energy can’t do for us what oil, gas, and coal have done for generations.

But Germany just put Republicans in their place and proved that clean energy can do just that if given the chance.

On May 15, Chancellor Angela Merkel had good reason to celebrate as renewable energy sources provided nearly 100 percent of the nation’s energy needs for the first time.

How do trees go to sleep?

Scientists use laser scanners to study sleeping trees 
Vienna University of Technology

wind trees natures

Most living organisms adapt their behavior to the rhythm of day and night. Plants are no exception: flowers open in the morning, some tree leaves close during the night.

Researchers have been studying the day and night cycle in plants for a long time: Linnaeus observed that flowers in a dark cellar continued to open and close, and Darwin recorded the overnight movement of plant leaves and stalks and called it "sleep".

But even to this day, such studies have only been done with small plants grown in pots, and nobody knew whether trees sleep as well. Now, a team of researchers from Austria, Finland and Hungary measured the sleep movement of fully grown trees using a time series of laser scanning point clouds consisting of millions of points each.

No longer the path to the middle class

Manufacturing McJobs at Nissan and Elsewhere
By Phil Mattera for the Dirt Diggers Digest

Getting a manufacturing job is no longer your ticket to the middle class.
Busted unions, off-shoring destroyed the American Middle Class
(photo from the Library of Congress collection)
Bring back manufacturing jobs: For years this has been put forth as the silver bullet that would reverse the decline in U.S. living standards and put the economy back on a fast track.

The only problem is that today’s production positions are not our grandparents’ factory jobs.
In fact, they are often as substandard as the much reviled McJobs of the service sector.

The latest evidence of this comes in a report by the UC Berkeley Center for Labor Research and Education, which has issued a series of studies on how the growth of poorly paid jobs in retailing and fast food have burdened government with ever-rising social safety net costs.

Now the Center shows how the same problem arises from the deterioration of job quality in manufacturing.  

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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SL695-8gVzE

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?

Frontiers

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.


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

VOTE YES!

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
THE CHARLESTOWN HISTORICAL SOCIETY
Cross' Mills

MAY/JUNE 2016
1838 SCHOOLHOUSE & ARCHIVE

OPENING ON MAY 27TH
NEW HOURS!!!
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!

MEMORIAL DAY 2016

PARADE
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.


GENERAL STANTON INN OPEN HOUSE

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
401-364-1838


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