March 13th, 2011
CHARLESTOWN â Looking for tasty, reasonably priced meals in a quiet, mellow location? Head to the Small Axe Cafe.
SOUTH KINGSTOWN--Feelings of positivity and optimism in the relations between teachers and the school committee waned Tuesday night as teachers from across the district expressed their disappointment in the school committeeâs decision to send 144 teachers non-renewal letters.
There was much tension between the school committee and superintendent and the teachers as many teachers attended the committee meeting to express their concerns, causing the meeting to be held in the high school auditorium instead of the library to accommodate the crowd.
âWe know the economic times are tough and we know the state aid is limited and we understand the need for flexibility, but laying off 144 teachers is excessive,â Martha Spiewak, a math teacher at South Kingstown High School said. âIt is counterproductive to be so callous of the employees.â
PEACEDALEâThe Friends of Kingstown Station held their annual meeting at the Peacedale Library on Monday night, giving an update on the possibility of rail service coming to Wickford Junction.
Speaker Steve Devine, Chief of Intermodal Planning of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), presented a program update called âBeyond Wickford Junction,â which focused on the progress of a train station coming to Wickford.
âWe're not building any more highways,â Devine said. âAs the congestion worsens in the state, our big macro-goal is to find other ways of transportation.â
Exeter-West Greenwich Regional School District Superintendent Dr. Thomas Geismar has an expression he likes to refer to that prevents him from overreacting to bad news.
âI always say to myself, donât cry before youâre hurt,â Geismar said in a phone interview yesterday afternoon.
PEACE DALE--Residents of Schaeffer Street where a child killer was found living amongst them 29 years ago after murdering a five year old do not want him back.
In 1975, Michael Woodmansee brutally killed his 5-year-old neighbor, Jason Foreman. The boy was mysteriously missing for seven years until 1982, when Woodmansee was caught after attempting to strangle a second boy on his paper delivery route. Now, Woodmansee is scheduled to be released in August after serving just 28 years of a 50-year prison sentence for murder. He was initially to serve just 40 years of the sentence, but shaved off an additional 12 years for good behavior.
Woodmansee grew up in the quiet friendly neighborhood on Schaeffer Street, where children from around the block, including Harrison Street, Austin Street and Uncle Samâs Lane all played together until the streetlights came on. It was a simpler time in 1975 when parents could let their kids out to play, believing they were safe in a neighborhood where everyone knew one another. Woodmanseeâs horrific act shattered that peace of the small town community.
The Charlestown Land Trust is holding a bonfire and celebration of open spaces this Sunday, March 13 from 1 to 4 p.m.
CRANSTONâProvidenceâs Poverty Institute hosted âBudget Rhode Map,â a discussion and lecture event sponsored by local non-profits to discuss the condition of the state and nationâs budget challenges. The conference was attended by various state representatives including Sen. Spencer Dickinson and representatives Teresa Tanzi and Donna Walsh.
The first speaker, Jon Shure, Deputy Director of the Center on Budget and Policy Prioritiesâ State Fiscal Project presented a discussion titled âThe State of State Budgetsâ and said that âin a perfect worldâ state leaders would raise the income tax in a time of recession, not the sales tax. The proposed increase in the sales tax would adversely affect the poor who spend more of their income on items that would be taxed. But Shure said that he would still support it if it was the only way to raise revenue.
According to Governor Chafee, the plan would raise $89 million in new revenue that state-funded programs need in order to serve Rhode Islanders. Shure also described how, contrary to popular opinion, states that raised taxes in a recession performed economically better because they made necessary investments.
PEACE DALE--In 1982, South Kingstown thought it freed itself of the cannibalistic murderer who was sentenced to jail for killing 5-year-old Jason Foreman in 1975, but Michael Woodmansee would not remain behind bars forever.
NORTH KINGSTOWNâWithin the darkened auditorium, the only light coming from the stage, over 50 North Kingstown High School students sacrificed their Saturday for a 12-hour day of rehearsals for âWest Side Storyâ last weekend. The classic story of star-crossed lovers came to amazing life during the cue-to-cue light rehearsal, which started at 10 a.m. and lasted until well into the evening hours.
The students have been putting in seven-hour rehearsal days after school since January, according to director Norma Caiazza.
SOUTH KINGSTOWNâThe Economic Development Committee met last Thursday, March 3 to discuss the new property tax treaty drafted by the town.
The âTax Exemption and Stabilization Programâ was received by the council as a troubling example of miscommunication.