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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Charlestown Chunks #10

Money, Ticks and magic mushrooms

By Will Collette

Charlestown to share in $200K federal grant for shoreline improvements

More funding has come in from Joe Biden’s Infrastructure bill to help improve shoreline access and coastal resilience at the Quonochontaug Pond Breachway. The money will also be used in Portsmouth for similar work at Gull Cove.

The funding will be channeled through the National Coastal Resilience Fund that Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse spear-headed

DEM will partner with Save The Bay and The Nature Conservancy to complete designs and permitting for nature-based improvements such as increasing native shoreline vegetation and restoring wetlands, as well as removing damaged infrastructure and reconfiguring vehicle access points. 

No word yet from the Charlestown Citizens Alliance (CCA) whether they will allow Charlestown to accept the money or the help. The CCA has NOT taken a position on shoreline access to avoid offending some of the CCA’s major donors especially in Quonnie.

Further, if the feds spend the money on shoreline access at Quonnie, what does that do to the fake Central Quonnie Fire District’s claim that only its members may use the beach? This phony, property-tax dodging “fire district” (no fire trucks or firefighters) is at the heart of the CCA’s core support.

In 2014, the CCA Council majority adopted the “Slattery Doctrine” under which no federal or state agency can do anything in Charlestown without the CCA’s (meaning their Council majority) permission. I am not making this up.

Since Charlestown is conspicuously missing from the list of “partners” AND since the CCA has a vested interested in keeping its Quonnie campaign donors happy, maybe this will be the first formal invocation of the “Slattery Doctrine.”

Another CCA regular bails out on Charlestown

Before long, the town’s CCA problem may resolve itself as yet another CCA regular has sold out and left. Julie Carroccia who served two terms (2016-20) as a CCA Town Council member sold her Lakeside Drive house for $588,000 on August 6. She bought the house in January 2015 for $238,000 so she more than doubled her money.

Here's irony for you: there's a letter to the editor running in today's Westerly Sun entitled "CCA candidates 'committed to Charlestown.'" Yeah, right. Until they're not.

My compliments go to all those CCA people who have displayed their love for Charlestown by moving out.

Cliff Vanover is RI Monthly’s Tickmate of the Month

The article is entitled “Bugged Out” in the October edition of Rhode Island Monthly (no link available so you’ll have to buy the mag whereever magazines are sold - I have no idea where). 

It begins “Cliff Vanover is a veritable tick magnet” and goes on to describe how Cliff, the husband of Charlestown Planning Commissar Ruth Platner, gets bitten by ticks all the time during his incessant hiking. 

“I used to get 50, 60 bites a year,” he said, as well as Lyme Disease five times and an allergy to red meat caused by a lonestar tick bite.

He described a near death experience when he ate a hamburger and got an anaphylactic response. Ruthie saved him with “some heavy-duty antihistamines.” “I really should have gone to the hospital, but I didn’t – tough guy,” he claimed. Personally, I would have used a different description that begins with "a" and ends with "e."

At the end of the article, Cliff says he now stays out of the woods in summer and hikes on the beach instead. But nonetheless says “this year, I‘ve had about 30 bites, and I had Lyme Disease this spring.”

If you’re not a “tough guy” like Cliffie, you should check yourself over carefully for ticks when you come in from the outdoors and remove them before they settle in for a bite. Use repellent. And if you do get bit, take a preventative dose of doxycycline within 24 hours of the bite to prevent Lyme Disease. Otherwise, do what Cliffie does and get a Benadryl® from Ruth.

Flip is flipping out

Now that Charlestown state Rep. Blake “Flip” turned himself into just another spoiled rich guy by “retiring” from office, he seems to be losing his mind to boredom.

I still follow his Twitter feed and can report the following: After tying into an anti-transgender thread, Flip made this announcement:


My only question for Flip is “why stop at airports”

Then there was Flip’s fervent plea to Sen. Jack Reed and the rest of our Congressional delegation to legalize psilocybin to use on veterans. Psilocybin is the hallucinogen in “magic mushrooms.” Not sure why Flip is so obsessed with this drug. Could it be that Flip did his own psilocybin research while getting his B.A. at the University ofArizona.

Here are his Tweets:

That's quite a string! Flip's obviously pretty worked up over this issue!

So, first off, I’m not a huge fan of drug prohibition since it really doesn’t work. 

And yes, there is a Johns Hopkins study that does say they had some promising results. 

But one study is just not enough to make the huge jump from a research study to widespread use of an extremely powerful, if not dangerous, psycho-active drug.

As the Johns Hopkins researchers themselves caution:

“The researchers emphasize that further research is needed to explore the possibility that the efficacy of psilocybin treatment may be substantially longer than 12 months.”

Plus there are myriad federal agencies that would need to sign off, not the least of them the FDA which has to rule on safety and efficacy and the DEA who currently classify psilocybin as a Class I drug.

Oh Flip. Get a job why doncha!

Shakin’ all over

Southern New England had its fifth earthquake in the past four months. On Saturday, September 27, a 1.8 magnitude quake in eastern Massachusetts was felt (barely) in Fall River. All of the quakes have been small – the biggest was a 2.5 magnitude in Narragansett on May 14.