February 20th, 2011
Last week was quite a news week. To skim three stories off the top for examination, we had the ridiculous, the sublime and the elucidating. There are some periods in human history in which world events can shine a light on the human condition through our behaviors. They allow us to examine our strength of spirit, our quest to know ourselves better and our tendency toward incredible pettiness.
EXETER â€“Nine years ago, voters approved a $55 million public safety bond that included $6.4 million to build a new Rhode Island State Fire Academy. The site was to be located on the old Ladd School property in Exeter and now, almost a year after the ground breaking ceremony, phase one of the construction is moving on track and the Academy is slated to be completed in the spring.
The project was designed by Providence-based firm Robinson Green Beretta and Under Iron Construction of Warwick, is overseeing the site work.
ASHAWAY â€“ As he and his students will tell you, Ashaway Elementary School Principal Steven Morrone typically isn't speechless in the morning.
But, to be fair, the morning of Monday, Feb. 14 wasn't typical in the least.
As he walked into the cafeteria of the elementary school, Morrone was flanked by members of the Chariho Regional School Committee, district administrators and teachers, his family, and the entire student body.
The second-year principal, who could see that everyone was excited and clapping, began clapping, too, as he was obviously unaware of what was going on.
WAKEFIELDâ€“South County residents now once again have a place to buy books with the opening of Wakefield Books last Saturday.
Wakefield Mall owner Jeffrey Levy opened the local bookstore after Waldenbooks closed at the same location on Jan. 22 after 31 years of service at the mall. Borders Bookstore, the owner of the Waldenbooks chain of stores did not renew the bookstoreâ€™s lease after it expired, which had left local residents temporarily without a bookstore. Levy rehired all of the same staff from the previous Waldenbooks is continuing to work at the new Wakefield Books.
NORTH KINGSTOWN â€“ When youâ€™re fed up with freezing temperatures, icy roads and blackened snow piled high, itâ€™s nice to think about warm-weather activities as a distraction.
Some people pore over seed catalogs, planning their spring gardens. Barry Gross is enmeshed in plans to refurbish the old Johnsonâ€™s Boat Yard site that heâ€™s owned since 1992. Heâ€™s already started, dredging three years ago to increase the capacity to 60 slips plus 24 moorings in Mill Cove.
Now, under the new name Northwick Boat Yard, the Narragansett-based realtor and developer is upgrading the facilities again.
NARRAGANSETTâ€”The Charter Review met Wednesday and is approaching the end of their work. The commission, whose last entity met in 1998, expects to have a final draft ready for the council for their May meeting. Discussion at this week's meeting dealt with purchasing powers and ethics.
NORTH KINGSTOWN - According to the North Kingstown Town Ordinance, the NK School Committee had to submit a budget to the Town Council by the end of Tuesdayâ€™s School Committee meeting. After lengthy discussions, the committee approved, five to two, a bottom line of $58,805,460. Committee members William Mudge and Joe Thompson cast the dissenting votes.
As some of you are well aware, it can be very trying to remain knowledgeable and, perhaps above all, aware of the many doings of the government. Many times, it can feel like a second job trying to keep up with all the happenings in your town or region, never mind the entire state or country. Trust us, we know this all too well.
The Senate Task Force on Fisheries, led by Rhode Island senator Susan V. Sosnowski, met Wednesday evening to discuss the issues concerning the creation of local seafood markets.
One might think that seafood is a significant staple of the Rhode Island economy, yet no current infrastructure exists for the marketing of local seafood products. A varied group of speakers from fishermen to local businessmen to scientists detailed their approaches and concerns about creating sustainable, local seafood markets.
NARRAGANSETTâ€“The first annual Polar Plunge organized by Project Sweet Peas will take place at Georgeâ€™s of Galilee Beach this Saturday. Although the town of Narragansett is not unfamiliar with such frigid rituals, this time the goal is more than mere novelty.