Twin River will share Monday their plans to move Newport Grand to Tiverton. I feel like we need to just pause right there. Yes, they are serious or at least purport to be. They want to build a casino in a small town that is adamantly opposed to having a shopping mall. At Monday’s meeting, the public is invited but they are not permitted to ask any questions. Well, good thing because something tells me Twin River might be in for an earful.
The casino is pushing the financial benefits of the new facility but the truth of the matter is it could be the most lucrative industry in the world and it still won’t be enough to crush the “Not In My Backyard Mentality.” The good news is that Twin River is not pulling a PawSox and trying to demand any tax breaks or special deals. They just want permission to have a casino there in order to compete with Massachusetts.
I guess they have taken the hint that Newport is just not interested and they are moving along to the next possibility. By the way, most people in Newport could care less if the slot parlor goes, now that sailing is back the economy doesn’t really need the slot parlor and most of the locals aren’t really big fans of it anyway.
The cost of quitting
There is a battle waging in Narragansett as the sister of U.S. Rep. David Cicilline, Susan Buonanno is running in a special election for House District 33 after the resignation of Donald Lally. Lally, elected in 1989, resigned in March saying he wanted to spend more time with his family and law practice. So, just a few months after being re-elected this man decides, no, forget it I’m not going to stick and out -- and by the way, you can now foot the bill for the special election to replace me. Where is the outrage about that? It is literally ridiculous. Why on earth did you run for re-election?
Either way, the special election is now set for June 9,(lets see how many voters turn out for that one.) Buonanno could be the beginning of the next political family dynasty in Rhode Island -- but she has to get elected first. Right now, she is taking a little heat after an ethics complaint was filed against her for using her work email to send campaign emails and listing her work phone number as her contact number on her campaign finance reports. Buonanno is a principal at Gladstone Elementary School in Cranston. For her part she said it was an honest mistake, which in her defense, it could be. Who hasn’t sent a personal email from their work account without thinking about it? But either was she is in a three way democratic primary on May 5 against Jason Colonies and Carol Hagen McEntee. Something tells me, considering who her brother is, she will get through that primary no problem.
Then she will face off against Republican Robert Trager and independents Elizabeth Candas and James L. McKinight Jr. Unfortunately for the GOP who has been working the district pretty heavily the presence of the two independents on the ballot may be enough to solidify a Democratic victory. Although, with the voter turnout expected to be abysmal, if the GOP can turn out their people to the polls they could stand a shot. Although, Buonanno has significant resources at her fingertips and she has the democratic machine behind her which will probably propel her to the top.
The DLT Travel Agency
So, there is good news if you are from Rhode Island and you are on welfare and you want to take a vacation, you can access your benefits and cash in any state in the country including sunny Hawaii and Florida. In fact an I-Team investigation revealed that Rhode Island welfare recipients have withdrawn cash from the EBT cards in every state but Wyoming. $68,536 were withdrawn in Florida alone and about $15,000 of that was withdrawn just miles from Walt Disney World. This raises two major red flags: first off do all these people receiving welfare benefits actually live in Rhode Island and secondly, how can people in need of temporary financial assistance afford to go to Disney World? At least Rhode Islanders can be happy to know that their tax dollars are going to helping to pay the salary of a true American icon, Mickey Mouse.
The best things in life are fee
While you can go to Disney World, stay out of Providence. Mayor Jorge Elorza has held the line on taxes in the capital city, but he did propose an increase in fees. So, what does that mean? If you want to work or do business in Providence it is probably going to cost you. The plan increases business license fees and building permit fees. But it doesn’t stop there. It also calls for adding more parking meters in Providence. The good news about that is there will be more action on “Caught in Providence” the bad news is parking is already a nightmare in Providence and this is going to make it worse.
A few (more) good men (and women)
The mayor’s budget also calls for new fire and police academies in the city ,which is at least a step toward curbing violence. He plans to add 32 new police officer and 52 firefighters by June of 2016 and plans to restore community policing and foot patrols to the city. Elorza also is planning ahead for winter by increasing the snow budget by 13% so the DPW can purchase more equipment. For the sake of every Rhode Islander, let’s hope he is wrong about this one.
Nibbles Woodaway has yet to comment
By the way, in Westerly some third graders want RI to have an official state insect. The mosquito is in the running. It's perfect, I can see a new state logo in the making: "come to Rhode Island, we will suck you dry, your blood and your wallet."
That’s all for this week! I’ll see you next week and remember to support WBOB’s fundraiser to support Operation Stand Down Rhode Island. Remember there is no better way to honor our nations heroes then providing a helping hands to their brothers and sisters in uniform.