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Sunday, January 17, 2021

'Thoughts and Prayers for the NRA'

Gun Lobby Group Files for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy

By Jon Queally, staff writer for Common Dreams

By Mike LuckovichAtlanta Journal-Constitution
"Thoughts and prayers."

That is what many opponents of the National Rifle Association wryly stated in response to news that the pro-gun lobby group had officially filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Friday in the United States.

In a statement on its website, the NRA—which promotes the interests of the gun industry and gun owners unbothered by the unparalleled level of gun violence seen in the country—said it was leaving New York state, where it is currently registered, to restructure in Texas as part of a "new strategic plan" it is implementing.

"Thoughts and prayers to the NRA fanatical fiends who bear the blood of tens of thousands on their paws," said Rep. Bill Pascrell (D-N.J.) in response. "The world will be a better place when the NRA is finally destroyed. Looks like that day is closer."

BOLO. Seriously


VIDEO: Without accountability, the next coup will succeed


Will 2021 Be the Year Offshore Wind Power Finally Takes Off?

A presidential administration ready to tackle climate change may help — but it’s the years of planning that could really pay off.

By Tara Lohan

Five lonely wind turbines spin in the state waters off the coast of Rhode Island. They’re the entirety of the Block Island Wind Farm, the United States’ only commercial-scale offshore wind facility currently in service, with an installed capacity of just 30 megawatts.

By contrast, on-land renewables are growing. We’ve installed more than 100 gigawatts of onshore wind capacity and 89 gigawatts of solar.

The Block Island project, completed in 2016, remains a monument to possibility, though. And it’s one that’s about to be realized.

Admittedly, no new commercial-scale offshore wind energy projects will break water this year in the United States. Despite that, the industry is poised for a big year. And we desperately need it, experts say.

How to turn plastic waste in your recycle bin into profit

Self-interest could drive plastic recycling 

Joshua M. PearceMichigan Technological University

Saved from the trash heap and ready for transformation. 
Nathan Shaiyen/Michigan TechCC BY
People will recycle if they can make money doing so. In places where cash is offered for cans and bottles, metal and glass recycling has been a great success. 

Sadly, the incentives have been weaker for recycling plastic. As of 2015, only 9% of plastic waste is recycled. The rest pollutes landfills or the environment.

But now, several technologies have matured that allow people to recycle waste plastic directly by 3D-printing it into valuable products, at a fraction of their normal cost. 

People are using their own recycled plastic to make decorations and gifts, home and garden products, accessories and shoes, toys and games, sporting goods and gadgets from millions of free designs. This approach is called distributed recycling and additive manufacturing, or DRAM for short.

As a professor of materials engineering at the forefront of this technology, I can explain – and offer some ideas for what you can do to take advantage of this trend.

Charlestown man sentenced to serve 12 years in state prison for first-degree sexual assault

Attorney General hopes this sends a message to other potential offenders

Attorney General Peter F. Neronha announced that a Charlestown man was sentenced on January 7, 2021 in Washington County Superior Court to serve 12 years at the Adult Correctional Institutions (ACI) after being found guilty of first-degree sexual assault stemming from a 2015 incident involving an 18-year-old female victim.

Angelo Fraley (age 28) was found guilty on October 30, 2020 of one count of first-degree sexual assault, following a jury-waived trial presided over by Superior Court Justice Melanie Wilk Thunberg.

At Thursday's hearing before Judge Thunberg, the court sentenced Fraley to 25 years at the ACI with 12 years to serve and the balance of the sentence suspended with probation. The court further issued a no contact order between Fraley and the victim. Additionally, Fraley is required to comply with all statutory requirements relating to sex offender registration and attend counseling.

Saturday, January 16, 2021

The Workers First Agenda

National labor organization proposes agenda for worker rights 


Download the PDF

We urge the Biden administration and Congress to seize this opportunity to transform the lives of working people through bold, structural change, starting with the following five priorities:

5 Priorities for 2021


Because stronger unions are essential to addressing the multiple crises facing America, we will urge the new administration to have a plan ready on Day One to enact the PRO Act and the Public Service Freedom to Negotiate Act; create an interagency task force on collective bargaining; and rescind executive orders undermining collective bargaining.


The most immediate focus of 2021 will be bringing the COVID-19 pandemic under control, starting by guaranteeing access for all workers to free vaccines and rapid testing; issuing emergency COVID-19 standards from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration and Mine Safety and Health Administration; signing an executive order under the Defense Production Act to ensure adequate supply of personal protective equipment; and ensuring paid sick days, paid family leave and child care for all workers.


The first order of legislative business in 2021 will be the next COVID-19 bill, which must include $1 trillion in flexible grants for state and local governments. But we must begin now to focus on “building back better,” starting with a multitrillion-dollar infrastructure package and federal labor standards and domestic sourcing requirements for clean energy projects. 

Other priorities for promoting good jobs include rescinding the Trump Labor Department’s anti-worker regulations; raising labor standards for all jobs supported by federal funding; eradicating workplace discrimination; reforming Wall Street; making the global economy work for working people; building a more just immigration system; increasing public investment; and making the wealthy and big corporations pay their fair share in taxes.


The racial justice crisis is intimately connected to the ongoing public health and economic crises. We will urge the administration to appoint a “racial equity czar” to lead an interagency task force to survey and address the structural racial equity issues in jobs, health care, criminal justice and policing that have become more apparent during the ongoing COVID-19 crises. The Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol also underscored the pressing need for racial justice and democracy reform.


We will urge Congress and the new administration to address America’s continuing economic security crisis by providing pension funding relief; increasing Social Security benefits across the board; reducing prescription drug prices; lowering the Medicare eligibility age to 50; creating a public option; strengthening the Affordable Care Act; rebuilding the unemployment insurance system; and establishing postal banking.

Download the PDF

Next, take his Sharpies away

By Steve BreenSan Diego Union Tribune


January 21: Food Bank hosts virtual town hall on Covid and the cost of living in RI




Register for our Virtual Town Hall

The 2020 Rhode Island Standard of Need Report
From The Economic Progress Institute


A discussion of the impact of COVID-19 on the cost of living in Rhode Island. 

Join us for a Virtual Town Hall as Food Bank CEO Andrew Schiff and Rachel Flum, Executive Director of The Economic Progress Institute (EPI), discuss the impact of COVID-19 on the cost of living in our state. EPI's 2020 Rhode Island Standard of Need highlights the economic challenges faced by low-income Rhode Islanders, particularly during this difficult time as households struggle with expenses like housing, child care and food. Join us for an in-depth discussion and find out what actions you can take to help. 



*Spanish translation will be available. Habrá traducción al español. 



For More Information 

Click here to view the Economic Progress Institute's 2020 Standard of Need

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January 20 AHC Panel Discussion: COVID Vaccine History, Ethics, Epidemiology

While the vaccine is in sight, the pandemic isn’t over yet. Learn what comes next in a fascinating discussion

Patrick Luce

With the arrival of the COVID vaccine in December, people across the country and around the world could finally begin to see a light at the end of the tunnel. But the end is not here yet. 

Between the approval of various vaccines and the possible eradication of the disease itself, there is much to do.

What does history tell us about previous mass vaccination efforts? Who gets the vaccine and when? Once vaccinated, do those vaccinated have different rights and freedoms from other people? Why is close to half the population hesitant to get vaccinated? When will herd immunity be achieved?

The University of Rhode Island Academic Health Collaborative has assembled an interprofessional team of experts who can provide insight from different perspectives to answer these questions and more. The virtual panel discussion about the impact of the COVID-19 vaccine is scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 20, 2021 at 6 p.m. via Zoom. 

Participation is free and open to the public, but registration is required. Log onto for more information and to register.

Fifth Annual Rhode Island Food System Summit to be held Jan. 20

URI to host 2021 food summit with focus on food access during a global pandemic

Dawn Bergantino

With a depressed economy, rising unemployment and multiple logistical challenges posed by a global pandemic, food insecurity in the state of Rhode Island and beyond has risen to levels not seen in decades. 

On Wed., Jan. 20, at 9 a.m., the University of Rhode Island will host its fifth annual Rhode Island Food System Summit, “Taking the Lead: Improving Food Access in a Global Pandemic,” to discuss how the pandemic has affected our state and our nation’s food security and what steps can be taken to address this crisis. The three-hour event will be live-streamed. Registration is required.

The event will feature a keynote address from Viraj Puri, chief executive officer of Gotham Greens, on how his company promotes economic growth and opportunity in urban, low-income communities. 

URI Associate Professor of Nutrition and Food Sciences Alison Tovar and graduate student Fatima Tobar Santamaria will present their work on understanding the experience of food access stakeholders during the pandemic. 

Panels will include discussions on the role of higher education and state government response in addressing the growing crisis of food insecurity in Rhode Island. 

Speakers from across the regional food and health ecosystem will address a range of topics, including successes and lessons learned during the pandemic and how we can take what we’ve learned to support those in need around the world.

Pay attention, Justin Price

The far-right rioters at the Capitol were not antifa – but violent groups often blame rivals for unpopular attacks

Protesters who claimed to be members of the far-right Proud Boys
gather with other Trump supporters outside the U.S. Capitol
on Jan. 6, 2021. Alex Edelman/AFP via Getty Images
Some Republican congressional leaders, including U.S. Reps. Matt Gaetz, Mo Brooks and Paul Gosar, along with Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, joined President Trump in trying to pin the violent siege of the U.S. Capitol building on antifa, a loose movement of left-wing, anti-racist and anti-fascist activists.

The FBI negated the baseless claims, and people have recognized the conspiracy theory as a false flag – an act designed to disguise the actual source or responsible party and implicate another.

In contrast, members of extreme right-wing groups like the boogaloo movement and the Proud Boys did in fact infiltrate the George Floyd protests this summer, trying to spark violence between Black Lives Matter protesters and police.

And at the Capitol, it appears Proud Boys members hid their affiliation to better blend in with the crowd.

As an expert on terrorist tactics and propaganda, I am well acquainted with the idea that far-right militants sometimes try to hide their own identities.

Terrorist deception is an age-old tactic. Deception helps terrorist groups innovate by allowing them to learn, master and experiment with new tactics while protecting their identities and reputation.

Friday, January 15, 2021

Accountability for Trump’s Corporate Enablers

It wasn't just the Trumplican base that propped Trump up - Corporate America owns much of the blame

By Phil Mattera for the Dirt Diggers Digest

Republican members of Congress who abetted the plot to overturn the election will go down in infamy along with the disgraced 45th President himself. That applies both to the dead enders who still repeat the lies and those Senators and Representatives who abandoned the shameful crusade only after a mob whipped up by Trump invaded the Capitol.

There is another group of enablers who should be called to account: Corporate America. Sure, big business is now frantically trying to distance itself from Trump, with the National Association of Manufacturers going so far as to urge that Vice President Pence and the Cabinet invoke the 25th Amendment. 

Amid the chaos on Wednesday, the Business Roundtable called on Trump to put an end to the violence. In late November, a group of more than 160 chief executives urged the Trump Administration to accept Biden’s victory and cooperate in the transition process.

Yet, as with Congressional Republicans, these gestures came after four years of enabling Trump’s anti-democratic practices. While Trump moved steadily along the path to authoritarianism, large companies allowed themselves to be bought off with tax giveaways and regulatory rollbacks. 

Portrait of a patriot


Next week's list of who can get vaccinated in RI


URI College of Pharmacy trains pharmacists, technicians to deliver COVID-19 vaccine

Preparing more troops for the vaccination frontlines

Patrick Luce

With the production of the COVID-19 vaccine, the end of the pandemic is on the horizon. While there’s still a long way to go, University of Rhode Island College of Pharmacy faculty and staff members continue their efforts to hasten the end of the deadly pandemic, training pharmacists and pharmacy technicians to administer the vaccine.

Under new COVID health regulations, pharmacy technicians are allowed to administer the vaccine, necessitating training for those who hadn’t previously vaccinated. They join pharmacists, who were granted the right to vaccinate in Rhode Island about 10 years ago. 

Mary-Jane Kanaczet, director of the College’s Office of Continuing Professional Development for the Health Professions, received a license from the American Pharmacists Association to provide the training, and taught 33 pharmacy techs and 29 pharmacists recently, including Paul Larrat, dean of the College of Pharmacy.

Protecting lungs from ventilator-induced injury

Boosting a natural cellular process could reduce damage, study suggests

Ohio State University

An unfortunate truth about the use of mechanical ventilation to save the lives of patients in respiratory distress is that the pressure used to inflate the lungs is likely to cause further lung damage.

In a new study, scientists identified a molecule that is produced by immune cells during mechanical ventilation to try to decrease inflammation, but isn't able to completely prevent ventilator-induced injury to the lungs.

The team is working on exploiting that natural process in pursuit of a therapy that could lower the chances for lung damage in patients on ventilators. Delivering high levels of the helpful molecule with a nanoparticle was effective at fending off ventilator-related lung damage in mice on mechanical ventilation.

Secretary Gorbea Outlines March 2 Statewide Special Election

Bond referenda voting will be set up to accommodate mail-in and early voting

Secretary of State Nellie M. Gorbea is outlining key information and dates for Rhode Island's special referenda election on March 2, 2021. 

The seven referenda questions on the ballot involve authorizing the state to borrow money through bonds and temporary notes to make capital investments in several different areas. A complete list of the bond questions and the costs associated can be found below.

"Your vote is your voice in how Rhode Island allocates funding on issues important to you - things like education, roads and bridges, housing, and childcare," said Secretary Gorbea. "Your vote matters and is critical to our state's success. I encourage all eligible Rhode Islanders to make a difference and be a voter."

As in last November's general election, voters will have three options to cast their ballot in the March 2 special election. Voters may choose to cast their ballot by mail, early in-person up to 20 days before the election, or at the polls on Election Day.

To ensure that all voters have the option of voting safely and securely from home, Secretary Gorbea will once again send all active registered voters a mail ballot application. 

Thursday, January 14, 2021

Trump Should Be Hospitalized

 Mental Health Experts Say It’s Time for an ‘Involuntary Psychiatric Hold’

By Drs. Bandy X. Lee and Madeline Taylor

Before the nation could recover from Donald Trump’s violent insurrection at the Capitol, a QAnon propaganda video calling for a “great reawakening” in the U.S. ahead of the coming Jan. 20 inauguration was posted—seemingly inciting more violence before it was taken down.  A string of social media platforms have banned Donald Trump and his hateful followers.

But will this be sufficient to stop him from being a danger?

No. The assault on an entire branch of government, both physically and metaphorically, now no longer allows us to dismiss Trump’s pathology as mere idiosyncrasies, just “Trump being Trump,” or his being little more than a “jerk”

He is exhibiting serious symptoms that pose a profound danger to society. Seeing him as “merely” a brutish and bad politician may seem to work for a while, but does not explain the intense emotional responses Donald Trump arouses from his followers.

The assault on an entire branch of government now no longer allows us to dismiss Trump’s pathology as mere idiosyncrasies.

By what mechanism do they abandon all reason in such strong attachment to him, that they would unquestioningly adopt his false beliefscommit crimes, physically attack police officers, threaten the lives of members of Congress, and ransack the People’s House in response to him?  

That for a man who, after telling his followers, “I’ll be there with you,” got into a bullet-proof limousine and returned to the White House, where he held a watch party of the violent insurrection on television.

Mental pathology defies the imagination and does not make rational sense to most persons who are untrained in it and do not deal with it on a daily basis.  When people wonder how Donald Trump controls the emotions of his followers, “unconscious” mechanisms are dominant.  

What is not commonly known is that, according to brain scientists, over 95% of mental activity is unconscious.  When the conscious, highest-functioning part of the mind is impaired, “the primitive brain” takes over greater control, operating on a relentless, often violent, survival mode.

What we're good at

For more cartoons by Ted Rall, CLICK HERE.


The Worm Ladies of Charlestown Need Worms





The Worm Ladies Need Worms






 This summer has been an unusual summer.  There has been more interest in vermicomposting than in past years, which has been very exciting, but challenging!  Our worm populations were exhausted very quickly.  Some of our customers have sold us their surplus worms, which we went through very quickly.  We need your surplus worms if you are willing to sell them to us (We pay between $10--$15 per pound depending on how much sorting needs to be done.)








The Worm Ladies Are Planning To Begin An Incubator Program To Offer You Help With Starting Your Own Worm Farm Or To Expand The One You Have






This program will follow Covid regulations at the North Kingstown location.

Our equipment including worm bins, harvesters, brewers etc. will be available to participants for a set amount of time (your choice.) There will be fees associated with the amount of space and the length of time you will be at the "Farm."  Workshops are included--you may attend them or you may be interested in teaching the workshops.


Anyone interested in setting up this incubator program is welcome to participate.


This incubator program will include any of the following:






Worm farm setup with a choice of the worm farms at the FARM...

Use of the harvester by appointment...2 sizes, 1/8 inch and 1/4 inch...

Use of the brewers (small and large or one of your own making)...

Farmers Markets...

Educational Workshops, Schools, Offices, Garden Clubs, Organizational Events...

Use of The Worm Ladies website...

Use of Quickbook account...

Use of equipment such as a projector, screen, and microscope...

Power Point presentations...

Videos made by members for use at Workshops...

Use of display stands...

"Worms, Castings, Brews" Library...

Sharing on Social Media...

Press Releases featuring events and products...

Assistance with setting up a business...

Assisance with taxes...

Ordering products wholesale...

Inclusion in The Worm Ladies Newsletter...

and more as we think about our needs...






The Worm Ladies of Charlestown, Inc. is an S Corporation with available stock.  The trademarks have just been renewed.  Nancy Warner, one of the creators of The Worm Ladies, would like to retire but remain a stockholder.












The Worm Ladies location at 251 Exeter Road is behind the front buildings in the hoop house 4W (Left hand side.)






email address:

phone numbers:  Cell:  401-742-5915;  Home:  401-322-7675

251 Exeter Road, North Kingstown, 02852




The Worm Ladies of Charlestown · 161 East Beach Road · Charlestown · Rhode Island · 02813

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