The Uprising, October 26, 2018

“I will put my environmental record against this Governor’s any day.”
-Cranston Mayor Allan Fung

Welcome to the Uprising!

1a. Fung in Burrillville

Republican gubernatorial candidate Allan Fung went to Burrillville Wednesday evening to meet with residents about his bid to unseat Democratic Governor Gina Raimondo. Invenergy’s proposed $1 billion fracked gas and diesel oil burning power plant, which Governor Raimondo supports, was a key point of discussion.

“I am opposed to that power plant,” said Fung. “You deserve better. I will stand with you as Governor in this fight.”

Shortly after the piece about Fung’s visit was posted I received an email from Emily Samsel, communications director for the Rhode Island Democratic Party, that read, in part, “Saw your piece on Fung in Burrillville. I think it’s only fair that your readers also know what Fung has said about the environment and climate change in the past.”

The email included some information about Fung’s past actions and statements on the environment, energy and climate change, and touted Raimondo’s leadership in these areas.

I thought seriously about running some of what Samsel sent me, but then decided not to. I wrote back saying,

“Thank you for this, Emily. This is just the kind of information Donna Woods was asking the Governor to deliver to the residents of Burrillville at an event similar to the one Fung attended. Unfortunately, the Governor declined the invitation. It doesn’t seem fair to give the Governor the last word without her doing the actual work of engaging with voters in Burrillville on these issues.”

Donna Woods, who organized the Fung event corrected me after the fact, saying that the Raimondo campaign, “didn’t out right decline” her invitation but, “ignored the requests.” Woods brought a series of state wide candidates from across the political spectrum to Burrillville in recent months.

1b. Raimondo on RIPTA

Governor Gina Raimondo was on the maiden voyage of one of the three Rhode Island Public Transportation Authority (RIPTA) electric buses on Tuesday. Raimondo was joined by all four members of Rhode Island’s Congressional Delegation, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and many other elected political leaders and appointees.

The three buses, says a press release, “mark the beginning steps of an air quality improvement plan for Rhode Island that the Governor, RIPTA, the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) and other partner state agencies have committed to by funding the initiative with approximately $14.4 million in Volkswagen settlement funds. First announced by Raimondo in May, the plan includes the leasing and purchase of electric buses and the installation of a charging infrastructure in the state for private electric vehicles.”

The bus toured South Providence, and will ultimately see service there, in an effort to reduce emissions that contribute to asthma rates and climate change.

2a. United Way Gubernatorial Forum

The United Way of Rhode Island held a gubernatorial forum Monday morning featuring four of the six candidates for Governor of Rhode Island. Incumbent Governor Gina Raimondo (Democrat), Cranston Mayor Allan Fung (Republican), Dr Luis-Daniel Muñoz (Independent) and Anne Armstrong (Compassion Party) participated. Candidates William Gilbert (Moderate Party) and Joseph Trillo (Independent) declined to participate.

Muñoz is a candidate who is not getting enough credit or exposure. He spoke about being excluded from televised debates in his opening statement, saying he’s “one of the candidates that hasn’t been on the debate stage in recent weeks.” The only other gubernatorial candidate excluded from all the recent televised debates is the Compassion Party’s Anne Armstrong.

Given that Armstrong has been recently arrested for possession of a large quantity of marijuana canabis and performed at the Providence Resist Marxism rally where fascist Proud Boys started a fight with counterprotesters, it is unfair to lump Muñoz with her. He may be underfunded, but Muñoz is as serious a candidate as the Moderate Party’s Gilbert and a sight more serious than Joe Trillo.

2b. Nicholas Mattiello

2c. State Senate District 21 and House District 41

Candidates for Rhode Island State Senate District 21 and House District 41 attended a debate at the Scituate Middle School on Tuesday. Both Republican candidates were no shows. Around 45 people attended.

One question concerned the Scituate Reservoir and Interstate 84.

“I’m hearing tidbits that there is potential for Interstate 84 to make its way through our town in the near future using land primarily owned by the Providence Water Supply Board,” said moderator Ken Abrams. “Is this something that you are aware of and if so, please expound. Do you support it or not?

“Over the last four years there have been purchases, building rights, easements, land use agreements between Providence Water and residents of the Town of Johnston, the purchase of the Route 6 bypass in Scituate,” said Safford. “If it’s not happening, it’s set up to look like it’s happening. You have the potential for larger businesses to come in, and you get a response like when Citizens moved and Raimondo gave them an exit on taxpayer dollars. The response from the state to commercial offers like that is huge. Route 84, in that area, would cut down commute times by 20 minutes to all points south and west. From the state’s perspective, it’s a win-win.

“From our perspective, in town, it’s not… When all signs point in one direction, you have to consider it. We have Xaykham Khamsyvoravong, the chairperson of Providence Water. He was previously the chairperson for Connecticut Water and Connecticut has a couple of highways that go right through reservoirs while he was on that board and negotiating.”

[Edit, Monday, October 29: Chris Hunter, who says, “We help Providence Water with communications” contacted me to say that “Xaykham Khamsyvoravong has never served in any capacity with Connecticut Water.”]

2d. Cranston City Council

Cranston’s nine member City Council is weighted 5-4 Republican. The Republican majority is seeking to hold onto that advantage, and the democrats are hoping to take that away. Last week, the six city-wide candidates for Cranston City Council were at the Cranston Public Library on Thursday for a forum sponsored by the Cranston Herald and moderated by reporter Pam Schiff. This week the rest of the candidates, representing Ward’s 1 through 6, answered questions.

When the Democratic candidates were asked who they would support for Council President if the Democrats were to retake the Council, all four declined to name anyone, saying it was still too early to make that decision.

2e. Cranston School Board

All the candidates for Cranston School Board were present, but the action centered on Ward’s 1 and 3, since these were the only contested races.

2f. Climate Action Rhode Island

Climate Action Rhode Island (CARI), the Rhode Island affiliate of 350.org, has made their endorsements for the November 6 elections.

3a. Speak Out Speak Up

The Speak Out Speak Up event, held at the First Unitarian Church of Providence on Sunday afternoon, was organized by The Woman Project and based on a similar event held decades ago by the former executive director of Planned Parenthood Rhode Island, Mary Ann Sorrentino. Sorrentino spoke at the event.

Women from both sides of the Atlantic shared powerful, personal stories about why they support the Reproductive Health Care Act (RHCA), which would ensure the rights guaranteed under Roe v Wade on a state level should the United States Supreme Court overturn the decision.

The keynote address was delivered by Laura Harmon, who led the mobilization team for the successful Together for Yes campaign to repeal the Eighth Amendment in Ireland in earlier this year. Also from Ireland was Rita Harrold, an organizer with the ROSA-Socialist Feminist Movement.

3b. The Woman Project

The Woman Project Interviews: Joy Liu, Certified Trainer with Financial Gym

“As it relates to the issue of reproductive rights, our financial health plays a huge role in our decisions relating to family planning. Women have been able to progress in their careers and earning potential through the power of being able to manage when (or if we ever) choose to have children. On average, the addition of a child to the family will increase your monthly expenses by $1,000. Double income households are struggling to make ends meet with childcare costs let alone the additional financial challenge it brings to a single income or single parent household. Lack of access to reproductive health care will hurt women’s ability to get financially healthy because it just adds to all of the issues I already talked about above.”

4. Hope Point Tower

History repeated itself at the Providence City Council Ordinance Committee meeting where the Fane Organization gave a long presentation on the Hope Point Tower, their proposed 600 foot tall addition to the Providence skyline (or at least, somewhere near the skyline). Like before, Building Trades leaders and members supported the project while neighborhood groups were opposed.

Ann Norton is a professor emerita at Providence College who has taught architectural history since 1965.

“I love good design architecture. I love Providence… I know we are not discussing the style of the Fane Tower at the moment but I see it as a Zaha Hadid wannabe,” said Norton. “It’s a terrible design that is not really worth it.”

According to Wikipedia, Zaha Hadid was an Iraqi-British architect. She was the first woman to receive the Pritzker Architecture Prize, in 2004. She received the United Kingdom‘s most prestigious architectural award, the Stirling Prize, in 2010 and 2011. In 2012, she was made a Dame by Elizabeth II for services to architecture, and in 2015 she became the first and only woman to be awarded the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. was described by The Guardian of London as the “Queen of the curve”, who “liberated architectural geometry, giving it a whole new expressive identity”

High speed train station, Afragola, Naples, Italy

5. Opeds!

UpriseRI is proud to publish a diverse set of opinions form throughout Rhode Island:

6a. Residential picketing

The City of Providence cannot pick and choose when to apply an ordinance against residential picketing says Steven Brown, executive director of the ACLU of Rhode Island. If the City is going to allow protesters to picket outside the home of convicted child rapist Richard Gardner, they will have to allow similar protests outside the homes of, for example, a public official or a slum landlord.

6b. North Smithfield

The ACLU of Rhode Island on Monday filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a North Smithfield resident, challenging the police department’s refusal to remove from its files a note falsely claiming that he is “dangerous,” “psychologically unstable,” and has numerous weapons at his house. Police officials have acknowledged that they have no basis for the claims contained in the note, which was uncovered while the ACLU was litigating another pending lawsuit on behalf of the resident, Jason Richer.

The suit alleges that, because of the note, “increased and reasonable fear of contact with the police has constrained him from contacting the police when he otherwise would have done so,” and that he is “more reluctant to leave his house and to go outside where he might encounter the police.”

7. We Will Not Be Erased!

Rally For Transgender Rights

Saturday, November 3, 2018 at 11 AM – 1 PM

8. Pensions

FRONTLINE “investigates the role of state governments and Wall Street in driving America’s public pensions into a multi-trillion-dollar hole.”

9. The Bartholomewtown Podcast

Bill Bartholomew interviews:

10. Wendy Jane’s Soul Shake

What Whiteness Does, And Doesn’t Do, Or, Some Things I Learned During The North Smithfield, RI Proposed Nike Ban Resolution

“Julia decided toward the end of the Open Forum to get up and speak. She began by talking about how as someone who studies political science, that words and rhetoric are something she pays attention to, and that with the proposed resolution, ‘there is power in the words we use, and so we have to be careful about the messages our words imply, and pay attention to who is included in those messages, and who is not.’ No sooner did Julia mention words referencing inclusion, when an older white woman sitting on the Town Council, Claire O’Hara, got up, and yelled out that she ‘in all her years as a resident of North Smithfield, a teacher, and a town council member, has never not welcomed anyone.’”

11a. Freeloaders

Why Society’s Biggest Freeloaders Are at the Top

11b. Invisible Hand

The Death of the Invisible Hand: Why the Narrow Pursuit of Self Interest Always Fails

12. RI Future

Feds mount last-ditch effort to stop children’s constitutional case

“On Thursday, October 18, 2018, for the second time in three months, the Department of Justice asked the United States Supreme Court to circumvent the ordinary procedures of federal litigation and stop the constitutional case ​Juliana v. United States, ​involving the substantive due process and equal protection rights of children, from going to trial. Claiming harm from the costs of litigation, the federal government filed a second writ of mandamus petition and application for stay with the Supreme Court.”

13. Picture of the Week:


UpriseRI is entirely supported by donations and advertising. Every little bit helps:

Become a Patron!


 

mm
About Steve Ahlquist 627 Articles
Steve Ahlquist is a frontline reporter in Rhode Island. He has covered human rights, social justice, progressive politics and environmental news for half a decade. Uprise RI is his new project, and he's doing all he can to make it essential reading. atomicsteve@gmail.com

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.