The Williams Street Neighborhood Association has had enough of the unruly Brown off-campus living situation. They feel so strongly about this issue that they have started a petition that can be signed online. The goal is to encourage Brown University to be more proactive about preparing students for living in a community surrounded by residents who are not students.
Brown, upon celebrating their 245th Commencement on May 26, will be conferring six honorary degrees. One of them, a Doctor of Fine Arts, will be going to Ben Affleck, who recently directed the film Argo. The 40-year-old has had quite the career. From the humble beginning of Good Will Hunting, we have seen this thespian blossom into the director that he is today. He will be accepting this award during commencement and we are all eagerly waiting and hoping to get a glimpse of this Hollywood star. Hopefully Mr. Affleck will enjoy our little city as much as we have enjoyed watching him grow over the years.
The other half of town, that is. The Providence Foundation is hosting its annual Downtown Living Tour on June 22. Participants will check in as AS220 before traveling via shuttle (or, if the weather is nice, by foot) to The 903, Avalon at Center Place, The Promenade, Regency Plaza, The Residences, Waterplace and Westminster Lofts. Proceeds from the tour will go to benefit the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy’s cultural programs.
The Classical High School Alumni Association will be hosting its 7th Distinguished Awards Dinner at the Providence Marriott on Monday, April 22. The organization will be recognizing the achievements of six distinguished individuals. Recipients include:
Raymond Armstrong (Class of 1942) Armstrong has made his mark in American history, being handpicked to manage The Presidential Blind Trust during Ronald Regan’s presidency.
Clark Sammartino, D.M.D. (Class of 1955) Having developed one of the largest oral surgery practices in New England Sammartino also serves as President of Bluefin Capital.
Robert E. Wittes, M.D. (Class of 1960) Gaining industry knowledge as the former Physician-in-Chief of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer, Dr. Wittes is now the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the National Cancer Institue and Onology.
Susan West Kurz (Class of 1967) This environmentalist is the founder of the Bee Conscious organization, which advocates for the restoration of the honeybee population.
Shelley Woods Whiting (Class of 1987) This alumni now resides in Georgia where she serves as the Director of Commercial Development, Marketing and Sustainability for Georgia-Pacific Chemicals.
Angel Tavares (Class of 1988) Once the judge of the Providence Housing Court, Tavares made history as the first Hispanic mayor for the City of Providence.
Louis Toro (Honorary Alumni Award) This honoree is currently the Director of Guidance at Classical High School. He has been making his mark in the Providence school system for 38 years.
Tickets for the event are $75. All proceeds will go toward improving educational programs at Classical High School.
You might have seen the pickets or read the articles in the paper. East Siders are incensed over the firing of the Rochambeau Community Library's well-loved head librarian, Tom O'Donnell. At a meeting on Monday, March 4, the library's community room was packed with residents urging that the library re-hire O'Donnell.
Author Ryder Windam, organizer of the "Friends of Tom O'Donnell" protest movement (and Facebook page), explained that Tom had been out of the building at an early morning meeting on February 15 when library officials came into his office and took his computer. When he returned to Rochambeau, he was told he had been let go. "It's probably legal," said Gil Mason, long-time Friends of Rochambeau Board Member. "But it's one hell of a way to do business at this library."
The reaction to an email and letter circulated by former Rep. Linda Kushner was greeted with dismay. Her assertion that the decision to fire O'Donnell, "was reasoned and made with the best interest of PCL and the Rochambeau library in mind. " set off alarm bells in readers. Was O'Donnell going to get a fair shake?
As the evening went on and segued into the monthly Friends meeting, one after another people spoke on Tom's behalf.
He led a reading group for teens… He programed myriad free arts and cultural events at the library… He worked closely with volunteers… He even read stories to the preschoolers.
The firing was so poorly done that, as Windham pointed out, the next day remaining librarians didn't have the combination to the safe to make change for fines. Even the reservation of the room for the protest was a mystery, because Tom had taken care of that, too.
"Tom hasn't put us up to being here at all," Windham said. "We think he's entitled to his job back."
In addition to the picketing, Friends of Tom is urging concerned residents to contact the Mayor's office's Maria Radcliffe (firstname.lastname@example.org or 421-2489). There is also an online …
Today is a somber day for many Rhode Islanders: the tenth anniversary of the Station Fire, which took the lives of 100 people. It also marks the beginning of a documentary web series that will tell some of the stories of the lives affected by the tragedy. Episodes of The Station Web Series will run weekly on the project's YoutTube channel. Various installments will include interviews with survivors, family members of the victims, first responders and medical personnel, lawmakers and fire safety professionals. The project is the work of Paul Lonardo, Gina Russo and David Bettencourt, and is based in part on From the Ashes, a book that Londardo and Russo co-authored about the fire. Russo is also the current president of the Station Memorial Foundation. Check out the first episode below:
By now you may have heard that Winter Storm Nemo is bearing down on New England and preparing to drop anywhere from 1-265 inches (give or take) of powder in the Northeast, and possibly anything from a few flurries to a catastrophic blizzard of biblical proportions around the region, including New York, New Jersey, DC, Miami, Atlanta, Albuquerque, the US Virgin Islands, Belize, Hawaii (the island of Oahu only), New South Wales, Isengard and The Shire. Here is the latest Storm Tracker XL5000 DopplerMaster Radar Luxury Edition III satellite photo of Nemo's approach:
Always concerned for the wellbeing of our readers, we've compiled a list of the following snow preparedness tips so you can be ready for The Wrath of Nemo:
-Stock up on milk and bread.
-While you're at the market, might as well pick up other food that you might need to eat an actual meal instead of subsisting off milk and bread like a Dickensian street urchin.
-Hold up the entire damn line at Stop & Shop like there's no one else waiting while you look for that expired coupon for milk and/or bread.
-Act like it has never snowed before. Ever.
-Call a parent, grandparent or older relative so they can remind you how this is nothing compared to the Blizzard of '78.
-Start live-Tweeting the storm now so that your hash tag wins. #snowedin #statingtheobvious #didImentionitssnowing? #catchinguponHomeland
-Post a Facebook update encouraging everyone to stay safe and warm. Seriously. Do it now. Do you want your friends to die a horrible, freezing, snowbound death? You've got to warn them!
-Gather the supplies you'll need if there's an extended power outage: candles, flashlights, warm blankets, non-perishable food, booze, satellite phone, animal pelts, whale blubber, a trashcan to throw through the front window of whatever store you're planning to loot.
-In the event of both a parking ban and a power outage, set your car on fire to stay warm and avoid costly parking …
In other Federal Hill news, the former gas station at the corner of Broadway and Courtland may just be reborn. cluck! (399 Broadway) will be a retail shop for urban farmers and gardeners. Whether you’re growing vegetables in a community garden plot, raising chickens or bees in your backyard, canning your own produce or making cheese, cluck! will be able to provide you with the products, materials, expertise and service you need. Owner Drake Patten promises the property will go from “an abandoned gas station to an oasis of green. Asphalt will be replaced with trees, raised beds and unusual planters growing vegetables and herbs.” There’s just one little snag: she needs a zoning variance to open the property for retail use, instead of strictly residential or office use as it is currently zoned. There has been some resistance from at least one local property owner, but Patten has been doing her due diligence, keeping the neighbors informed (as at a December 5 open house) and rallying supporters. If all goes according to plan, cluck! will be open for business on March 15.
Can't get to the polls this election year? Not to worry because Zipcar has the affordable solution for you and your fellow car-less concerned citizens. On November 6, if you are a Zipcar member and book a reservation from 5am-9pm you can enjoy a 50% discount on the hourly rate. With over 50 vehicles and 20 lots throughout the Greater Providence area, including downtown spots like Brown and RISD, there's no excuse not to get out to the polls.
Zipcar has emphasized their belief that "everyone should vote" by teaming up with Rock the Vote, an organization at the collision of pop-culture and politics that inspires young people to vote. You can join the movement by registering to vote at Zipcar's Facebook page. Visit their regional office at 65 Eddy Street in Providence, find them on the web, or call 401-234-1480 for more info.