Dave Richards for August 8th…………
--The Summer of Seventeen rolls along with more outdoor activities than you can easily shake a stick at. Fresh off last week’s National Night Out, Food Truck Event, and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish Festival comes CumberlandFest this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Cumberland’s beautiful Diamond Hill Park. Starting with Rock the Park at 6pm on Friday night to the spectacular aerial fireworks display at 9pm on Sunday, there’s something which will appeal to everyone.
I can only list a few of the highlights here. The local live entertainment on TWO stages, Sunday Car Show, Food Court, Carnival Rides, and local businesses and organizations in booths all along the circular path will make this year’s CumberlandFest a time to remember for everyone. And you know you’ll be helping the young people of Cumberland in the bargain. I hope to see you there!
--The news now is the Rhode Island Senate may take up the question of supporting the discussion of the deal to help the Pawsox build a new home in Pawtucket this fall. I am delighted it will be discussed, because it should be. RI Senator Marc Cote (D-Dist. 24, N.S/Woonsocket) visited us on the radio yesterday morning and he says the way he’s hearing it the House of Representatives is not as enthusiastic as the Senate is to discuss the matter, but they may still do it.
I have heard a lot of emotionally-charged comments about this deal, mainly from the opposition. That’s not the way to go about it, you know. Or, you should know. When making decisions about money, the logical mind must not be subdued by emotional arguments. So let’s just put all this mularchy about the lesson of the “38 Studios Deal” aside. This is not the same deal that was and anyone who thinks so has not done their homework. I am not saying we need to rubber-stamp the proposed deal. No, rubber stamping is for trivial matters, this is a serious matter and all partners are putting huge sums of money into the pot, if it goes through. This matter needs the benefit of a lively discussion so all parties have the chance to give and take ideas and points of view and also, maybe compromise a bit while keeping the overall idea moving forward.
All that said, I think that the one thing we should all be able to agree upon is to get this matter on the table as soon as possible and come to some conclusion, either agreement to proceed or agreement to disagree and not proceed. To do less than this before this year ends would not be doing our best.
--Okay, I understand. The American public are better in a sprint than in a marathon when it comes to staying focused on issues of public importance. The leadership of the General Assembly knows this, too. So they drone on and on and postpone things and partially pass bills until the public’s attention has turned to something else and then both houses can do just what they want to do, quickly in one day, with few people even noticing. They’re about to do it again.
As you know, neither the House of Representatives nor the Rhode Island Senate have finished their work for the year. This mean nobody in our state is safe from having self-serving or special-interest bills rammed through and sent to the governor with little or no debate, or……..if you want my opinion……with little or no concern for who gets hurt.
You may think that since any act of the General Assembly needs to be signed by the Governor that we’d have some protection, but not in Rhode Island. Gubernatorial vetoes in our state have little effect because of the way our state constitution is written and the fact that we have a virtual one-party system in the legislative branch.
No, we’ve got to get back to watching the Senate and House and make sure our respective representatives in each body hear about our wishes on the various issues, which are basically all the other issues except for the budget which have not been passed yet.
So it’s back to the phones to make sure that our Reps and Senators have someone else’s voice in their ear besides the party leadership so they can hopefully make a choice which isn’t a simple rubber stamping of whatever the leadership wants or, has made a deal to deliver.
I am lucky that as a member of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce I have an additional opportunity to make my feelings known through them, but you may have a trade group or other association you can use as well. Regardless, nothing beats the effectiveness of phone calls to your Senator or Representatives’ homes to tell them what you think. I know from speaking to many legislators that they really do appreciate the calls from constituents.
Remember the quote, “The cost of Freedom is eternal vigilance”. It may be tired, but it is true. We may be tired, too, but we need to communicate our desires to our lawmakers as diligently now as we do in the first part of the year………maybe, in some cases, more diligently!
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading!