Archive - 2011 - News Article
By JIM BARON
PROVIDENCE â€“ If General Treasurer Gina Raimondoâ€™s pension reform proposal does not pass, Woonsocket Mayor Leo Fontaine told a joint House and Senate Finance Committee hearing Thursday, his already hard-hit city would face a 12 percent tax increase just to fund the cityâ€™s pension plans.
WOONSOCKET â€“ A former textile manufacturing complex that helped put the city on the map is entering its final days before a demolition crew erases it from the Hamlet Avenue and Davison Street landscape.
City Economic Development Director Matthew Wojcik reported this week that plans are moving forward for the razing of the former French Worsted mill complex at 153 Hamlet Ave., the last buildings of a textile manufacturing operation that once filled both sides of Hamlet Avenue.
LINCOLN â€” Holding his finger and thumb less than an inch apart, Gov. Lincoln Chafee told the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce Thursday that the state is â€śthis closeâ€ť to intervening in the financial affairs of East Providence, at least in part due to pension obligations.
â€śNobody wants to hear the word Central Falls, but â€” trust me, itâ€™s not just in Rhode Island, all across the country â€” municipalities are really under stress. And here in Rhode Island, this is our time to help these municipalities.
WOONSOCKET â€“ Mayor Leo T. Fontaine may not have an opponent on next monthâ€™s election ballot but he does have a cause.
Fontaine says heâ€™s doing everything he can to persuade voters to reject the proposed synchronization of municipal, state and federal elections. Itâ€™s one of four referendum questions that will appear on the ballot of the citywide election Nov. 8.
â€śIâ€™m speaking out against it every chance I get,â€ť says the mayor.
WOONSOCKET â€” Maple cabinets, granite island, plush, multi-hued carpets with that brand-new smell.
Thereâ€™s a feast for the senses in Paul and Lorraine Jacobâ€™s new house on Hillsdale Street. But the most important component of the only new house built in the city this year is something you canâ€™t see or touch.
Call it generosity: When the Jacobsâ€™ 46-year-old cape was destroyed by fire last winter, a citywide network of supporters launched a prolonged and persistent fundraising campaign to help the couple rebuild bigger and better than ever.
PROVIDENCE â€” Like any other commodity, sex would not be sold if there was no one to buy it.
Thatâ€™s why the RI Coalition Against Human Trafficking (RICAHT) is pointing an accusatory finger at men who patronize prostitutes as the real source of suffering and degradation.
U.S. Marine Spc. Kristopher Gates, 21, spoke to Mount St. Charles Academy students last Wednesday about his experiences as a member of the 1st Recon Battalion serving in Afghanistan. Gates and his father, Ken Gates (in the background wearing a cap) came to the school to thank students and teachers, including Ruth Lepre and Barbara Ferrer, for sending letters and care packages to servicemen and women as part of the school's "Soldier Drive" program.
WOONSOCKET â€” Rhode Islandâ€™s First Lady Stephanie Chafee will be visiting Woonsocket Thursday at a public forum at the Woonsocket Harris Public Library entitled â€śWomen, Health Disparities and HIV/STI Prevention: Building Healthy Communities and Families in Rhode Island.â€ť
The forum will be held from 9 a.m. to noon at the library, 303 Linton Ave.
My favorite working moment of 2011 came back in late May when The Military Page asked area veterans to show up for photo shoots in Pawtucket and Woonsocket.
I had my doubts about how many vets would attend, figuring they had many other things to do on a sunny Saturday in May, but those doubts vanished when the vets came walking up to the assigned meeting place, many of them with their wives or children, sometimes even grandchildren, mingling with other veterans and clearly enjoying the chance to have their picture taken with fellow veterans.
BURRILLVILLE â€” The fate of Charles Hopkinsâ€™ headstone is a perfect example of how far things had gone at Pascoagâ€™s Historical Cemetery No. 12.
Carlo Mencucci and his wife, Betty, knew Hopkins was supposed to be buried next to his father, Augustus Hopkins, a 19th century mill boss whose grave was marked by a prominent monument. But there was nothing beside the gravestone of the family patriarch save for a mossy depression in the ground.