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Friday, September 30, 2022

Christian Nationalist extremist group endorses Justin Price, Elaine and two Chariho candidates

With ties to hate groups, #ParentsUnitedRI offers slate of conservative extremists for local office

By Uprise RI

#ParentsUnitedRI is a grievance-based hate group that stands against the transgender community, opposes the teaching of racism history, and fought hard against COVID-19 precautions and medical advice throughout the pandemic. 

The group is running a slate of candidates across Rhode Island, with ties to overt white supremacist hate groups like CORR (Citizens Organized to Restore Rights) and Super Happy Fun America (SHFA).

#ParentsUnitedRI was formed with the intent of infiltrating local school boards and town councils to degrade public schools and promote charter schools under the guise of parental rights.

CORR has been described as a “Christofascist/Christian nationalist organization committed to organizing various unaffiliated groups to support extremist candidates for local seats of government.” 

CORR founder David Steinhof teamed up with Samson Racioppi‘s Super Happy Fun America, a Massachusetts based hate group that in previous iterations (under the name Resist Marxism) twice brought white nationalist rallies to the Rhode Island State House. (See here and here.)

CORR’s association with SHFA puts them squarely into the nexus of pro-fascism hate groups such as the Proud Boys, Patriot Front and NSC-131. (See here and here). 

“We need to infiltrate the school committees,” said CORR board member Katie Ferreira-Aubin at a CORR meeting. Ferreira-Aubin is a mental health counsellor in Cranston and a controversial Dighton-Rehobeth School Committee member who compared mask mandates to the policies of Nazi Germany on her social media. 

“We need to infiltrate the school boards. We’ve got to take them over from within… We get back to basics. We let the parents parent. We get the mandates out of the schools, we get CRT out of schools. We infiltrate.”

East Providence School Committee candidate Carissa Moglia spoke at a CORR meeting about once being apolitical and “just raising her kids” until the issues of mask mandates came up. Moglia was one of the three dozen or so plaintiffs who sued the state over the voluntary mask mandate policy. Moglia is a member of #ParentsUnitedRI and signed this pledge:

I hereby pledge to fully support complete transparency and parental rights when it comes to the health and education of children. I pledge to oppose all efforts to teach our K-12 students any divisive race-based or gender-based theory and any inappropriate and explicit sexual content. I also pledge to publicly support RI Parents Bill of Rights legislation.

The Rhode Island Parents Bill of Rights legislation was submitted by Representative Patricia Morgan in 2022 legislative session.

Uprise RI spoke to Carissa Moglia by phone but the connection was poor and after the call dropped she did not reply to our text inquiries.

EDITOR'S NOTE: Below is a screenshot of the group's "slate" of candidates. In addition to Trump-nut Rep. Justin Price, there are two on the slate running for the CHARIHO School Committee: Charlestown Republican James Sullivan and Richmond Republican Kathryn Colasante. The list incorrectly lists Lori Wycall as a Chariho candidate. She's not, being from Westerly. Note that Elaine Morgan, who represents the northern half of Charlestown, is shown as living in Cranston, not Hopkinton. This so-called education group doesn't do its research very well.

He hears your whining


Safe temp for food


Lyin' laptops

Lies are more common on laptops than on phones

Terri R. KurtzbergRutgers University - Newark Charles NaquinDePaul University, and Mason AmeriRutgers University - Newark

The Research Brief is a short take about interesting academic work.

A deceptive device? d3sign/Moment via Getty Images
The big idea

People appear to be more willing to lie for personal gain when they use a laptop versus a smartphone, our new peer-reviewed research shows. Given that the two devices have nearly identical technical capabilities – they’re both boxes with electronic brains – this surprised us and highlights the psychological impact of technology.

Our first in a planned series of studies was a version of what economists call the ultimatum game. In the take-it-or-leave-it exercise, one player is told they’ll receive a certain sum of money, some of which they must split with a partner. But they can tell their partner whatever they choose about the total sum and how much of it they’re willing to offer – allowing them to lie and keep more of the kitty for themselves. However, the partner must agree to the offered sum for either of them to get any money.

In our version, we told 137 graduate students to imagine they’d share US$125 with a fellow student, if their randomly assigned partner agreed to the deal. Half of them used a laptop; the rest participated with their smartphone.

While the vast majority of participants fibbed at least a little, laptop users were much more likely to lie – and by a lot more. Eighty-two percent of laptop participants were deceptive, compared with 62% of phone users, and on average claimed the pot was $20 less.

Coffee drinking is associated with increased longevity

And we're talking European-style coffee

European Society of Cardiology

Drinking two to three cups of coffee a day is linked with a longer lifespan and lower risk of cardiovascular disease compared with avoiding coffee, according to research published today in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, a journal of the ESC.1 The findings applied to ground, instant and decaffeinated varieties.

"In this large, observational study, ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee were associated with equivalent reductions in the incidence of cardiovascular disease and death from cardiovascular disease or any cause," said study author Professor Peter Kistler of the Baker Heart and Diabetes Research Institute, Melbourne, Australia. 

"The results suggest that mild to moderate intake of ground, instant and decaffeinated coffee should be considered part of a healthy lifestyle."

What to know about monkeypox now

Brown scholars offer key facts and insights on the persisting public health emergency.

Brown University

Even before the U.S. had emerged from the COVID-19 pandemic, the country’s first case of the monkeypox virus was reported in May 2022. In late July, the World Health Organization declared the ongoing monkeypox outbreak a public health emergency, and in early August, the U.S. government followed suit.

Over the past few months, the monkeypox outbreak has both offered opportunities to apply lessons learned from COVID and presented its own unique challenges. Although the U.S. is currently seeing a decline in cases, the outbreak continues to affect patients both domestically and abroad.

Scholars from Brown’s School of Public Health and Warren Alpert Medical School offered some key facts and insights on this complicated public health issue.

Thursday, September 29, 2022

He's got the magic!

For more cartoons by Tom Tomorrow, CLICK HERE.


Elect Allen Fung and this is what you get


More fish being stocked for holiday

DEM Stocking 24 Waterways with Brook and Rainbow Trout for the Columbus Day Indigenous Peoples' Holiday Weekend

The Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (DEM) is conducting fall trout stocking in advance of the Columbus Day holiday weekend in selected areas in Rhode Island. As Rhode Island still is experiencing a severe drought that is particularly affecting the levels of rivers and streams, some areas will not be stocked at this time. Cyanobacteria alerts also will prevent stocking in some ponds and lakes.

The following areas will be stocked with rainbow and brook trout starting Thursday, Sept. 29, and extending through Friday, Oct. 7:

·         Barber Pond, South Kingstown

·         Barberville to Wyoming Pond, Richmond, Hopkinton

·         Bradford Fishing Area, Westerly

·         Breakheart Pond, Exeter

·         Browning Mill Pond, Exeter

·         Carbuncle Pond, Coventry

·         Carolina Trout Pond, Richmond

·         Cronan Landing, Richmond

·         Eight Rod Farm Pond, Tiverton

·         Grantville to Route 95, Hopkinton

·         Hope Valley Fishing Area, Hopkinton

·         Kings Factory Bridge, Charlestown

·         Lower Shannock, Charlestown

·         Meadow Brook Pond, Richmond

·         Olney Pond, Lincoln State Park, Lincoln

·         Route 165 to Barberville, Exeter, Hopkinton

·         Round Top Ponds, Burrillville

·         Shippee Sawmill Pond, Foster

·         Silver Spring Lake, North Kingstown

·         Spring Grove Pond, Glocester

·         Stafford Pond, Tiverton

·         Upper Pawtuxet, (Hope), Scituate

·         Willet Pond, East Providence

·         Woodville, Richmond, Hopkinton           

There's your "Rural Character"

Surging sales of large gasoline pickups and SUVs are undermining carbon reductions from electric cars

John DeCiccoUniversity of Michigan

Pickup trucks for sale at a Michigan dealership. John DeCiccoCC BY-ND
Replacing petroleum fuels with electricity is crucial for curbing climate change because it cuts carbon dioxide emissions from transportation – the largest source of U.S. global warming emissions and a growing source worldwide. 

Even including the impacts of generating electricity to run them, electric vehicles provide clear environmental benefits.

Plug-in vehicles are making great progress, with their share of U.S. car and light truck sales jumping from 2% to 4% in 2020-2021 and projected to exceed 6% by the end of 2022. But sales of gas-guzzling pickups and SUVs are also surging. This other face of the market subverts electric cars’ carbon-cutting progress.

As a researcher who studies transportation and climate change, it’s clear to me that EVs provide large carbon reductions that will grow as the electric grid shifts to carbon-free energy. But fleetwide emissions, including vehicles of all types and ages, are what ultimately matters for the climate.

While the latest policy advances will speed the transition to EVs, actual emission reductions could be hastened by tightening greenhouse gas emissions standards, especially for the larger gasoline-powered personal trucks that dominate transportation’s carbon footprint. Because it takes 20 years to largely replace the on-road automobile fleet, gas vehicles bought today will still be driving and emitting carbon dioxide in 2040 and beyond.

Long COVID-19 can cause lasting lung damage

Three ways long COVID patients’ respiration can suffer

Jeffrey M. SturekUniversity of Virginia and Alexandra KadlUniversity of Virginia

Lung disease can manifest in a number of ways. 
Mr. Suphachai Praserdumrongchai/iStock via Getty Images Plus
“I just can’t do what I used to anymore.”

As pulmonologists and critical care doctors treating patients with lung disease, we have heard many of our patients recovering from COVID-19 tell us this even months after their initial diagnosis. 

Though they may have survived the most life-threatening phase of their illness, they have yet to return to their pre-COVID-19 baseline, struggling with activities ranging from strenuous exercise to doing laundry.

These lingering effects, called long COVID, have affected as many as 1 in 5 American adults diagnosed with COVID-19. Long COVID includes a wide range of symptoms such as brain fog, fatigue, cough and shortness of breath. These symptoms can result from damage to or malfunctioning of multiple organ systems, and understanding the causes of long COVID is a special research focus of the Biden-Harris administration.

Not all breathing problems are related to the lungs, but in many cases the lungs are affected. Looking at the lungs’ basic functions and how they can be affected by disease may help clarify what is on the horizon for some patients after a COVID-19 infection.

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 editionof Rhode Island Monthly

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.

Hooray Science!


Wrong for Rhode Island


Which wetlands should receive federal protection?

The Supreme Court revisits a question it has struggled in the past to answer

Albert C. LinUniversity of California, Davis

Wetlands like this one in California’s Morro Bay Estuary shelter fish,
animals and plants and help control flooding. 
Citizen of the Planet/UCG/Universal Images Group via Getty Images
The U.S. Supreme Court opens its new session on Oct. 3, 2022, with a high-profile case that could fundamentally alter the federal government’s ability to address water pollution. 

Sackett v. EPA turns on a question that courts and regulators have struggled to answer for several decades: Which wetlands and bodies of water can the federal government regulate under the 1972 Clean Water Act?

Under this keystone environmental law, federal agencies take the lead in regulating water pollution, while state and local governments regulate land use. Wetlands are areas where land is wet for all or part of the year, so they straddle this division of authority.

Swamps, bogs, marshes and other wetlands provide valuable ecological services, such as filtering pollutants and soaking up floodwaters. Landowners must obtain permits to discharge dredged or fill material, such as dirt, sand or rock, in a protected wetland. This can be time-consuming and expensive, which is why the case is of keen interest to developers, farmers and ranchers, along with conservationists and the agencies that administer the Clean Water Act – the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.

The Supreme Court has already shown a willingness to curb federal regulatory power on environmental issues. From my work as an environmental law scholar, I expect the court’s decision in this case to cut back on the types of wetlands that qualify for federal protection.

Why do we laugh?

New study considers possible evolutionary reasons behind this very human behaviour

Carlo Valerio BellieniUniversità di Siena

Tetra Images LLC/ Alamy
A woman in labour is having a terrible time and suddenly shouts out: “Shouldn’t! Wouldn’t! Couldn’t! Didn’t! Can’t!”

“Don’t worry,” says the doctor. “These are just contractions.”

Until now, several theories have sought to explain what makes something funny enough to make us laugh. These include transgression (something forbidden), puncturing a sense of arrogance or superiority (mockery), and incongruity – the presence of two incompatible meanings in the same situation.

I decided to review all the available literature on laughter and humour published in English over the last ten years to find out if any other conclusions could be drawn. After looking through more than one hundred papers, my study produced one new possible explanation: laughter is a tool nature may have provided us with to help us survive.

I looked at research papers on theories of humour that provided significant information on three areas: the physical features of laughter, the brain centres related to producing laughter, and the health benefits of laughter. This amounted to more than 150 papers that provided evidence for important features of the conditions that make humans laugh.

By organising all the theories into specific areas, I was able to condense the process of laughter into three main steps: bewilderment, resolution and a potential all-clear signal, as I will explain.

This raises the possibility that laughter may have been preserved by natural selection throughout the past millennia to help humans survive. It could also explain why we are drawn to people who make us laugh.

Here come the vultures, coming for your eyes

Private Equity Sees the Billions in Eye Care as Firms Target High-Profit Procedures


From Review of Ophthalmology

Christina Green hoped cataract surgery would clear up her cloudy vision, which had worsened after she took a drug to fight her breast cancer.

But the former English professor said her 2019 surgery with Ophthalmology Consultants didn’t get her to 20/20 vision or fix her astigmatism — despite a $3,000 out-of-pocket charge for the astigmatism surgical upgrade. Green, 69, said she ended up feeling more like a dollar sign to the practice than a patient.

“You’re a cow among a herd as you just move from this station to this station to this station,” she said.

Ophthalmology Consultants is part of EyeCare Partners, one of the largest private equity-backed U.S. eye care groups. It is headquartered in St. Louis and counts some 300 ophthalmologists and 700 optometrists in its networks across 19 states. The group declined to comment.

Switzerland-based Partners Group bought EyeCare Partners in 2019 for $2.2 billion. Another eye care giant, Texas-based Retina Consultants of America, was formed in 2020 with a $350 million investment from Massachusetts-based Webster Equity Partners, a private equity firm, and now it says on its website it has 190 physicians across 18 states. Other private equity groups are building regional footprints with practices such as Midwest Vision Partners and EyeSouth Partners. Acquisitions have escalated so much that private equity firms now are routinely selling practices to one another.

In the past decade, private equity groups have gone from taking over a handful of practices to working with as many as 8% of the nation’s ophthalmologists, said Dr. Robert E. Wiggins Jr., president of the American Academy of Ophthalmology.

They are scooping up eye care physician practices nationwide as money-making opportunities grow in medical eye care with the aging of the U.S. population. Private equity groups, backed by wealthy investors, buy up these practices — or unify them under franchise-like agreements — with the hopes of raising profit margins by cutting administrative costs or changing business strategies. They often then resell the practices at a higher price to the next bidder.

Tuesday, September 27, 2022

White nationalism is a political ideology that mainstreams racist conspiracy theories

We have been down this road before

Sara KamaliUniversity of California San Diego

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a prime-time speech on Sept. 1, 2022,
 in Philadelphia. Alex Wong/Getty Images
In September 2022, President Joe Biden convened a summit called United We Stand to denounce the “venom and violence” of white nationalism ahead of the midterm elections.

His remarks repeated the theme of his prime-time speech in Philadelphia on Sept. 1, 2022, during which he warned that America’s democratic values are at stake.

“We must be honest with each other and with ourselves,” Biden said. “Too much of what’s happening in our country today is not normal. Donald Trump and the MAGA Republicans represent extremism that threatens the very foundations of our republic.”

A white man dressed in navy blue suit with a white shirt and red tie hugs a smiling woman on stage.
Former President Donald Trump embraces Kari Lake, the Arizona
GOP candidate for governor, at a rally on July 22, 2022.
Mario Tama/Getty Images
While that message may resonate among many Democratic voters, it’s unclear whether it will have any impact on any Republicans whom Biden described as “dominated and intimidated” by former President Donald Trump, or on independent voters who have played decisive roles in elections, and will continue to do so, particularly as their numbers increase.

It’s also unclear whether Trump-endorsed candidates can win in general elections, in which they will face opposition not only from members of their own party but also from a broad swath of Democrats and independent voters.

What is clear is that this midterm election cycle has revealed the potency of conspiracy theories that prop up narratives of victimhood and messages of hate across the complex American landscape of white nationalism.

It's pointless to argue

For more cartoons by Jen Sorenson, CLICK HERE


KILL on sight


Why do woodpeckers peck?

New discovery about bird brains sheds light on intriguing question

Brown University

From Fake Science, not Brown
While a woodpecker’s bill-hammering is a familiar sound — and sometimes too familiar, for those who’ve had a woodpecker take up residence in their yard — the mechanisms and motivations driving the birds to engage in this behavior haven’t been well understood.

Until now.

A team of researchers led by a Brown University biologist has discovered new insights into how the woodpecker’s brain works. The discovery suggests their drums may have evolved through vocal learning, which is the same way that songbirds learn to make their own more melodious sounds.

In a study published in PLOS Biology, the researchers describe how they found evidence of specialized gene expression in the forebrains of woodpeckers that was anatomically similar to that of birds who communicate by singing. 

The researchers hypothesize that the same brain mechanisms that helped birds develop the motor control involved in creating and voicing songs is also what helped woodpeckers develop their drumming system of communication.

This discovery expands what is known not just about woodpeckers, but about the evolution of birds in general, said study author Matthew Fuxjager, an associate professor of ecology, evolution and organismal biology with the Division of Biology and Medicine at Brown University.

Study finds high levels of PFAS in school uniforms

What are they thinking? 

University of Notre Dame

In yet another example of the prevalence of the hazardous chemicals known as PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) in consumer products, industrial products and textiles, researchers have found notably high levels in school uniforms sold in North America.

In a study published in Environmental Science and Technology Letters, scientists at the University of Notre Dame, Indiana University, the University of Toronto and the Green Science Policy Institute analyzed a variety of children's textiles. Fluorine was detected in 65 percent of samples tested.

But concentrations were highest in school uniforms -- and higher in those uniforms labeled as 100 percent cotton as opposed to synthetics.

Is the pandemic over?

Up to 400 Americans DIE of COVID every day, so the answer is NO

William HaukUniversity of South CarolinaLisa MillerUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, and Wayne AuUniversity of Washington, Bothell

Life is more normal now than it has been in years, as 
people do away with  masks and social distancing.
 Stefan Tomic/E+ via Getty Images

President Joe Biden’s declaration that “the pandemic is over” raised eyebrows and the hackles of some experts who think such messaging could be premature and counterproductive.

But to many Americans who have long since returned to pre-COVID 19 activities and are now being forced back into the office, the remark may ring true.

The problem is that what “back to normal” feels like may differ from person to person, depending on the individual’s circumstances and by what criteria they are judging the pandemic to be over. The Conversation asked three scholars of different parts of U.S. society affected by the pandemic – public health, education and the economy – to evaluate just how “over” the pandemic is in their worlds. This is what they said:

Monday, September 26, 2022

Let’s Be Honest

During a campaign, some people will say anything

By Deborah Carney, Charlestown Town Council President and candidate for re-election

This op-ed originally ran as a Letter to the Editor of the Westerly Sun. It is reprinted here with the permission of the author. 

Election season is upon us. It’s time for the spin.

A recent letter to the Editor regarding the Conservation Development Ordinance attacked candidates endorsed by Charlestown Residents United (CRU) as being against protecting the environment, which could not be further from the truth. 

That letter failed to include one of the fundamental differences between the candidates endorsed by CRU and the group the writer supports, the CCA.  The difference is, CRU endorsed candidates actually listen and consider the concerns of our fellow residents. 

The CRU-endorsed candidates support conservation, not confiscation of land. 

During the public hearing on the ordinance, the Council listened to testimony from both those in favor of the ordinance and those opposed. Clearly, all those who spoke care deeply about Charlestown and being environmentally responsible.  Where opinions diverged was in the language of the proposed ordinance. 

During the public hearings, many property owners, not “moneyed developers,” expressed their concerns with the new ordinance.  These are our neighbors that have been good stewards of their land and are now being vilified because they opposed this ordinance. 

The author of that letter erroneously stated that Councilor Grace Klinger and I put “at risk Charlestown’s environmental protections and benefiting outside speculators over Charlestown’s residents.”   

This couldn’t be further from the truth.

For over 30 years, Charlestown had a Residential Cluster Subdivision Ordinance which protected the environment by providing for “permanent preservation of open space, particularly large contiguous areas within the site proposed for development, or linked to offsite protected areas; and to locate development on sites best suited for development, while avoiding land which is ecologically, agriculturally or historically important.” 

Councilor Grace Klinger and I voted in favor of an amendment that would have addressed the concerns of those opposed to the Conservation Development Ordinance; the CCA-backed councilors voted against it.  

It would have kept the existing Cluster Subdivision language and added the Conservation Development option for the property owner, not “moneyed developers” to decide which option worked best for them.   

To be clear, the vote in favor of this ordinance was not a vote to protect the environment versus not protecting the environment.  The environment was already being protected 

There is a difference between the candidates endorsed by CRU and those endorsed by the CCA.  CRU candidates will listen to the residents, consider concerns, and incorporate solutions.  We support the conservation of land, not the confiscation of land 

Please don't be fooled by one-sided reporting. CRU candidates will continue to listen to all of Charlestown’s residents, continue to protect our environment, and continue to protect the rights of property owners.  

I respectfully ask for your vote and ask you to please consider voting for Grace Klinger, Lorna Persson, Rippy Serra, and Stephen Stokes for Town Council; Patricia Stamps and Gabrielle Godino for Planning Commission; and Charlie Beck for Town Moderator.

The most trusted news source of the stupid


When canvassing, this is one household you may want to skip


Welcome to the new abnormal

Looking back at America’s summer of heat, floods and climate change

Shuang-Ye WuUniversity of Dayton

Much of the South and Southern Plains faced a dangerous heat
wave in July 2022, with highs well over 100 degrees for several days.
 Brandon Bell/Getty Images
The summer of 2022 started with a historic flood in Montana, brought on by heavy rain and melting snow, that tore up roads and caused large areas of Yellowstone National Park to be evacuated.

It ended with a record-breaking heat wave in California and much of the West that pushed the power grid to the breaking point, causing blackouts, followed by a tropical storm that set rainfall records in southern California. A typhoon flooded coastal Alaska, and a hurricane hit Puerto Rico with more than 30 inches of rain.

In between, wildfires raged through California, Arizona and New Mexico on the background of a megadrought in Southwestern U.S. that has been more severe than anything the region has experienced in at least 1,200 years. Near Albuquerque, New Mexico, a five-mile stretch of the Rio Grande ran dry for the first time in 40 years. Persistent heat waves lingered over many parts of the country, setting temperature records.

At the same time, during a period of five weeks between July and August, five 1,000-year rainfall events occurred in St. Louis, eastern Kentucky, southern Illinois, California’s Death Valley and in Dallas, causing devastating and sometimes deadly flash floods. Extreme rainfall also led to severe flooding in Mississippi, Virginia and West Virginia.