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Op-Ed: RI Representative Robert Lancia

April 25th, 2015 · No Comments

‘Here’s to the Crazy Ones’

 “Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones to do so.” – Steve Jobs

 When I ran for office this past November and won, people kept asking me, “Why? Are you crazy?”

 As a former Navy chaplain, and disabled vet, who volunteered to go on active duty at 39 and a half, people asked me at that time, “Why? Are you crazy?”

 My answer to both questions has always been the same, “I did it because I wanted to make a positive change.”

In my four months at the General Assembly, as a freshman representative from Cranston, I have seen a lot. Moreover, I’ve also come to believe that I might, in fact, be a bit crazy. A misfit. A rebel. One who sees things differently.

 Early in the session, one of my fellow colleagues introduced a bill that would require non-profits to be more, in the words of the representative “transparent.” Call me crazy, but I think a bill needs to be introduced that requires the state to be more transparent as well.

 Think back over the last 20 years. It’s been crisis after crisis, mistake after mistake with the routine promise, of course, “it will never happen again.” Yet each time, taxpayers pay and pay, with little to no benefit. The Cranston Foundry, the banking crisis, the Convention Center project, 38 Studios, and most recently, the possible ballpark in downtown Providence. Transparency or obfuscation?

 Back in 1992 the General Assembly, due to the banking crisis, began to end the practice of using restricted receipt accounts. Restricted receipt accounts were created to put collected money into specified accounts for specific purposes.

 For example, user fees were implemented at state beaches; $1 for state residents and $4 for non-state residents “to be dedicated to development and renovation of recreation projects and for additional acquisition of recreation areas.” Essentially, the money was to be used for a “state beach, park, and recreation development fund.” We paid those beach fees back then, and even higher fees now, because we were told the money went to promote recreational areas. Now your beach fees can go to any program within the state budget. Did you know that?

 Here’s another limited transparency issue. Look at your next landline or cell phone bill, notice the $1 assessed on each bill for 911.

 In 2014, over $15 million was collected for 911 services. Of that amount collected, only a little over five million dollars ($5,400,000) was used for that purpose. In 2000, the General Assembly changed the law redirecting these previously restricted revenues into “the state general fund.” Did you know that?

 Just as non-transparent as the dollar assessment is the 26¢ charge on your cell phone bill for Geo-coding and Technology. The fund was originally established in 2004 to provide a revenue stream to complete and maintain the geographic information system database and to establish a temporary E-911 answering facility. However, in 2007 the General Assembly removed the sunset provision, thereby extending the tax indefinitely, for the .26¢ on wireless telephones and altered the restricted status of the receipts, converting them to general revenues. Here’s another account for which we pay a fee or tax that isn’t being used for its intended purpose. Did you know that?

 This Monday evening a group of folks will be meeting behind closed doors to discuss a new ballpark for downtown Providence. At stake, once again, are taxpayer dollars and possible long-term indebtedness, again with little to no proven economic benefit. Did you know that?

 Now that you know the lack of transparency within our state budget, you may also consider yourself one of the crazies. Fees and taxes should fund the programs that charge them, is that crazy?

 Transparency for non-profits, a good idea. Transparency in state government, an absolute great idea!

Rep. Robert B. Lancia is a Republican representative representing District 16 in Cranston.

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RIDOT: NEW WRONG-WAY DRIVING DETECTORS COME ONLINE BEGINNING THIS WEEK

April 25th, 2015 · No Comments

Advanced warning systems will be added to 24 interstate off-ramps across the state

The Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT) announced today that advanced wrong-way driving detection systems will be active, beginning this week, at 24 locations across the state.  The systems will both alert a driver who is traveling in the wrong direction as well as notify police and other motorists in the area of a potential wrong-way driver.

 “Too many Rhode Islanders have lost their lives in wrong-way driving crashes,” said Governor Gina M. Raimondo.  “As a state, we must do all we can to reduce the incidence of wrong-way driving, which puts everyone on the road at risk.   The innovative approach we are taking with the introduction of these systems statewide is a critical step forward in our ability to keep people safe in their travels around Rhode Island.”

 Nationally approximately 360 people die each year in wrong-way related crashes.  Since 2008, there have been 10 fatal wrong-way crashes in Rhode Island, resulting in 13 deaths. Although the numbers of crashes caused by wrong-way drivers are a small percentage compared with annual crash rates, they are far more likely to result in fatalities.

 “Ensuring the safety of the traveling public is our top priority,” said RIDOT Director Peter Alviti, Jr. “Doing projects such as this one is one way we demonstrate our commitment to safety, but it is not a cure-all.  We must continue to explore innovative ways to increase safety on our highways and educate motorists on risky and criminal behaviors that are all too often associated with wrong-way crashes – such as driving under the influence.  By working together, we can make our roads safer, and all get home to our families at night.”

 “The mitigation systems being put into place to assist in the prevention of wrong-way drivers are certainly welcomed and helpful in the cumulative goal of zero fatalities.  To further minimize the loss of life, the message continues to be, ‘Do not consume alcohol and operate a motor vehicle.’  It’s the simplest solution in the prevention of the majority of these wrong-way fatal  crashes,” stated Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police and Commissioner of the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety.

 The new detection systems will sense if a driver has entered a highway off-ramp and activate a series of flashing signs. It will also notify the Rhode Island State Police that someone is driving the wrong way on the road, take a picture of the vehicle, and display a message on overhead electronic message signs to warn other drivers in the immediate area.

 The detection systems are being tested this week during the overnight hours.  Once a system at a particular location is tested, it is activated and considered a ‘live’ site.  This work is part of a $1.8 million initiative to address the occurrence of wrong-way crashes in Rhode Island. In addition to the 24 detection systems, wrong-way signage and striping have been upgraded at 145 locations (more than 200 actual ramps) across the state.  Additional detection systems are being planned for under a future phase of the project.

 Rhode Island’s Wrong-Way Mitigation Project is modeled after a similar program in San Antonio, Texas.  In that state, 29 flashing signs were installed along a major highway; within a year, there was a 30 percent reduction in wrong-way driving incidents.

 For more information on the wrong-way detection systems, including a map of locations, visit

www.dot.ri.gov/wrongway.

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The GAMM: Summer Training For Young Thespians

April 25th, 2015 · No Comments

Know a young thespian looking for something fun to do this summer?

Look no further!

FOR HIGH SCHOOLERS:

GSI: GAMM SUMMER INTENSIVE

GSI is a four-week theater training program for high-school students from Rhode Island and Southern New England, focused on performing and learning Shakespeare. It is for serious young actors looking to expand their skills in a professional setting, with high goals and expectation.

 Under the direction of Education Director Susie Schutt and Education and Outreach Coordinator Kate Hanson, campers attend rigorous daily rehearsals, participate in workshops taught by working theatre professionals in various fields, and perform in two Shakespeare productions.

 AUDITIONS: MAY 2, 2015, 10:30am – 4:30pm

To schedule an audition, contact Kate Hanson at kate@gammtheatre.org or 401-723-4266 ext. 21.

 FOR MIDDLE SCHOOLERS:

GSI JR.

For the first time ever, The Gamm offers middle-school students (grades 6-8) a week-long intensive program that will introduce students to the language, craft, and magic of Shakespeare, culminating in a performance of fully realized Shakespeare scenes for the public. No audition required. Limited to 15 students.

 Click here to register or contact Kate Hanson at kate@gammtheatre.org or 401-723-4266 ext. 21.

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Rhode Island’s Historic Blackstone River Valley

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

Suggested events for the Weekend of April 25-26, 2015

A WEEKEND THAT’S POSITIVELY PAWTUCKET!

Birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution presents busy weekend of events offering sports, music, history, culture and more!

Rhode Island’s Blackstone River Valley, now our nation’s newest National Historical Park, showcases the city that is the centerpiece of the site over the April 25-26 weekend.

Pawtucket, RI, is famous for being the actual birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution, where Samuel Slater began textile manufacturing over two centuries ago, and forever shaped the United States to become the world’s economic superpower.

Today, Pawtucket is still experiencing “the making of America” in being one of Southern New England’s top creative centers, as a community noted for hosting cultural arts and entertainment.

During the weekend, don’t miss out on the many great events featuring sports, history, music that will make residents and visitors “Pawtucket Proud!”

Sunday, April 26,2015 Blackstone Valley Running Festival Downtown Pawtucket 8 am start of Half Marathon, 8:15 am start for 5k road race Contact:

www.bvhalf.com

This annual race event celebrates the beautiful cherry trees that grace the landscape of downtown Pawtucket and the Mill District of the city and nearby Central Falls.

All races start at Pawtucket City Hall, Roosevelt Avenue. Chip timing for all races happening on the USATF certified Half Marathon course through historic Blackstone River Valley.

Sunday, April 26, 2015 Rhode Island Music Hall of FameInduction Ceremonies and Concert The Met, Hope Artiste Village, 999 Main Street Contact:

www.rhodeislandmusichalloffame.com

Come and honor Rhode Island’s music legends and celebrate their achievements and talents at this very special event! 2015 inductees are: The Schemers/Raindogs; Brenda Bennett; Nelson Eddy; George Masso; George Wein; Duke Belaire; Paco Zimmer; Georgie Porgie & The Cry Babies; The Others; and The Ascots (recognizing great RI garage bands of the 1960’s) and Bob Petteruti, Marty Ballou, and Marty Richards (recognized in a new category of MPV Sidemen Award)

Sunday, April 26, 1 pm, 2 pm, 3 pm, 4 pm Blackstone Valley Explorer Riverboat Tours Along the Pawtucket River. Tours operate from Festival Pier, School Street Tickets and Contact: 401-724-2200,

www.rivertourbalckstone.com

This 40 passenger river tour boat, in operation since 1993, offers the only narrated and interpretive tours on the Blackstone American Heritage River.

This year, in addition to the popular tours in Central Falls, the riverboat starts its season along the Pawtucket waterfront, the headwaters of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island’s largest natural resource.

Learn about the history of Pawtucket and its waterfront and find out how the Pawtucket River was used as a major marine trade port and transformed to being a popular destination for public events and how the waterfront is also being revitalized to support nature and recreation.

Friday & Saturday, April 24-25 Public Events at Slater Mill Historic Site67 Roosevelt AvenueContact: 401-725-863,

www.slatermill.org

The actual birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution hosts several fun events, featuring the unusual, local history and lively music entertainment!

Friday, April 24, 7:30-9 pm Mills & Mysteries Paranormal Investigations Join paranormal expert Carl Johnson to explore the site, which is reputed to be one of the most haunted historic structures in Rhode Island.

Saturday, April 25, 11 am 1 pm Historical Walking Tour of Downtown Pawtucket This one mile walk will interpret the first Colonial settlement of today’s Pawtucket. For one hundred years prior to the arrival of Samuel Slater, Pawtucket was a thriving artisan and iron worker community, settled originally by Joseph Jenks, Jr., who left his father’s ironworks in Saugus, MA to establish a forge in Rhode Island.

The tour will explore the locations of the first iron forge in Pawtucket – established prior to the outbreak of King Philip’s War – as well as the settlements of Jenks’s four sons, and other historic sites and structures.

Saturday, April 25, 7 pm Stone Soup Coffee House ConcertsTickets and concert details at

www.soup.org

Enjoy a live concert of great local folk music from the band Mustard’s Retreat, as they perform in the ambiance of the historic Slater Mill. Stone Soup present regular concerts showcasing noted and breakthrough folk music talent, Monday,

April 27, 6-8 pm Pawtucket Preservation Society Annual Meeting, St. Paul’s Church, Park Place Contact: 401-725-9581

The Preservation Society of Pawtucket holds its 35th Annual Meeting Following a social hour with light refreshments, tours of the historic church, and our brief business meeting, Charlene Perkins Cutler Executive Director of the Blackstone Heritage Corridor will be the guest speaker, discussing the new Blackstone River Valley National Historical Park.

Saturday, April 25, 10 am-5 pm Natural Life Celebration & ExpoHope Artiste Village, 999 Main Street Contact: Discover You Events, 401-769-1325

This all day event celebrates healthy living on a healthy planet. Hope Artiste Village is the perfect place for such an event. With its big hallways, high ceilings and talented businesses already in residence, the energy couldn’t be a better fit Exhibitors include select businesses from the health and wellness, personal development and sustainability fields, among others.

Workshops, speakers and demonstrations will round out the day. Saturday, April 25, 9 am-12 noon Pawtucket & Central Falls Earth Day Celebration Contact: 401-721-6052 Come and volunteer for a citywide trash cleanup and promote the environment.

Participants are welcomed to join at parks, public spaces, schools, housing sites and in downtown Pawtucket in the cleanups. The public can also donate garden ready flowers. Plus donations of books are being taken to benefit Books On Wings, supporting youth literacy.

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VOLVO GROUP TO SPONSOR OCEAN SUMMIT

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

THE VOLVO GROUP TO SPONSOR OCEAN SUMMIT ON MARINE DEBRIS AT THE VOLVO OCEAN RACE NEWPORT STOPOVER

G Newport JPG

The Volvo Group is sponsoring the Ocean Summit on Marine Debris during the Volvo Ocean Race stopover in Newport, Rhode Island, in an effort to raise awareness about the global problem of marine debris. The summit will take place May 15, and is also sponsored by The Embassy of Sweden, the U.S. State Department, the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Sail Newport, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting and operating affordable public sailing instruction and attracting new sailors to the sport.

 “Marine debris is a significant problem that has a direct impact on oceans, aquatic life and ultimately human health,” said Henry Sténson, executive vice president of Corporate Communications and Sustainability Affairs for the Volvo Group. “One of the core values of the Volvo Group is environmental care, and we are pleased to be one of the sponsors of the Ocean Summit on Marine Debris in order to help bring attention to this important global environmental issue.”

 

Summit attendees will hear from Sténson; Bj?rn Lyrvall, Ambassador of Sweden to the U.S.; U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.); Dr. Sandra Whitehouse, senior policy advisor for Ocean Conservancy; Catherine Novelli, Undersecretary for Economic Growth, Energy and the Environment, U.S. State Department; Dr. Lisa Svensson, Sweden’s Ambassador for Oceans, Seas and Freshwater; Rhode Island Gov. Gina Raimondo; Wendy Schmidt, president of The Schmidt Family Foundation; Kersti Stranqvist, senior vice president for Sustainability, SCA, a leading global hygiene and forest products company; and Daniel Wild, head of Sustainability Investing Research and Development, RobecoSAM, an international investment company with a specific focus on sustainability investments.

 

Professor Dennis Nixon, Rhode Island Sea Grant Director for the Graduate School of Oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, will open and close the event. Knut Frostad, CEO of the Volvo Ocean Race, will introduce a brief film about marine debris, and Charlie Enright, skipper of the Volvo Ocean Race Team Alvimedica, will narrate it.

 

“Our biggest challenge in fighting the pollution of the oceans is ignorance,” Frostad said. “I am honored to be part of the Ocean Summit to help bring more attention to a growing catastrophe that is the responsibility of all of us to reverse.”

 The Volvo Ocean Race is one of the world’s most demanding team sporting events. Newport is the only North American stopover during this nine-month race, which began in Alicante, Spain, and will end in Gothenburg, Sweden.

 The Volvo Group is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses, construction equipment and marine and industrial engines. The Group also provides complete solutions for financing and service. The Volvo Group, which employs about 110,000 people, has production facilities in 18 countries and sells its products in more than 190 markets. In 2014, the Volvo Group’s sales amounted to about $38.2 billion. The Volvo Group is a publicly-held company headquartered in Gothenburg, Sweden. Volvo shares are listed on Nasdaq Stockholm and are traded OTC in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.volvogroup.com or www.volvogroup.mobi if you are using your mobile phone. 

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Governor Raimondo Signs Twin River Bills

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

Governor Raimondo Signs Twin River Bills 15-S 0649 SUB A and 15-H 5798 SUB A

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - Governor Gina M. Raimondo Thursday signed legislation to clear the path for a hotel at the Twin River Casino in Lincoln.

 “As our neighboring states look to draw revenue and economic development away from Rhode Island, we need to examine every possible way to remain competitive and create more economic opportunities here in Rhode Island,” said Raimondo.

 Visit Governor Raimondo’s Website

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WPI: Fourth Annual TouchTomorrow

April 24th, 2015 · No Comments

WPI to Transform its Campus on June 13 for the Fourth Annual TouchTomorrow, A Festival of Science, Technology & Robots

F WPI DSC5296

What

For the fourth year in a row, WPI will host TouchTomorrow, A Festival of Science, Technology & Robots, offering free, hands-on, family-friendly festival, featuring interactive activities that are focused on our scientific and technological future. Exhibits are presented by WPI, NASA, WGBH, and a variety of fun and engaging partners.

For the second year in a row, WGBH will serve as the official media partner for the festival. WGBH is a national leader in the effort to expand Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) education in the classroom and at home.

This year, WGBH will debut its “WGBH@TouchTomorrow” exhibit, which will feature multimedia activities for students and STEM enthusiasts of all ages, as well as personal appearances by popular WGBH characters.

Among other activities, attendees at TouchTomorrow may:

  • Help operate a rover at the Be-A-Bot 2.0 exhibit
  • Take a photo in a NASA spacesuit
  • Play on a model of the lunar floor
  • Take a turn with the extravehicular activity (EVA) glove box used by astronauts
  • Get “rolled over” by the Roll-Over-Rover
  • Learn about spacesuit design through vacuum chamber experiments
  • Learn about WPI research on human-robot interaction, surgical robots, inter-vehicular networking, unmanned aerial vehicles, biomechanics, intelligent tutors, and other cutting-edge fields
  • See WPI student project work in robotics, renewable energy, assistive technology, game design, architectural engineering, and other areas
  • “Kinect” with a NASA virtual robot
  • Command the NASA MARCbot
  • See a model of the Mars Rover Curiosity

The TouchTomorrow festival follows the NASA-WPI Sample Return Robot (SRR) Challenge, a Centennial Challenge competition. The competition is also in its fourth year, and it calls for teams of roboticists to build, program, and demonstrate robots that can locate and retrieve geologic samples from a wide and varied terrain—without human control. Twenty teams from across the United States and abroad are coming to WPI in hopes that their robots will maneuver a difficult course and obtain the cached samples successfully.

When

Saturday, June 13, 2015, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Where

WPI Campus, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, Mass.

COST & PARKING

TouchTomorrow is free to attend. Food and beverages will be available for purchase at various locations across campus.

TouchTomorrow visitors are welcome to park in any of the WPI parking lots or parking garages on the day of the festival. Motorists must obey traffic laws for parking on side streets.

For more information on TouchTomorrow events and activities, including schedules and maps and the Sample Return Robot Challenge, visit

www.touchtomorrow.wpi.edu

Journalists and media representatives seeking additional information should contact Kelly Bishop at 508-831-6721, kabishop@wpi.edu, or Eileen Brangan Mell, 508-831-6785, ebmell@wpi.edu.

About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 in Worcester, Mass., WPI is one of the nation’s first engineering and technology universities. Its 14 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, business, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts, leading to bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees. WPI’s talented faculty work with students on interdisciplinary research that seeks solutions to important and socially relevant problems in fields as diverse as the life sciences and bioengineering, energy, information security, materials processing, and robotics. Students also have the opportunity to make a difference to communities and organizations around the world through the university’s innovative Global Perspective Program. There are more than 40 WPI project centers throughout the Americas, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Europe.

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7th Annual Roger Williams Park Cleanup

April 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Serve Rhode Island to hold its 7th Annual Roger Williams Park Cleanup on April 25th

 WHAT: This Saturday, 150 community volunteers, including a number of AmeriCorps members, will spend their morning cleaning up debris that builds up over time around the pond system all through ought Roger Williams Park in Providence.  Serve Rhode Island will host its 7th Annual Roger Williams Park Clean-up starting at 9:00 AM this Saturday, April 25th, in collaboration with the Partnership for Providence Parks’ 3rd Annual Providence Earth Day Spring Cleaning, sponsored by Mayor Jorge Elorza. Educational events and cleanups will be held at more than 30 locations across Providence.

  In past years, an array of debris has been cleared out including tires, shopping carts, bottles, televisions and computers, and one year even a golf cart. Last year’s cleanup was rained out, which leaves two years of trash build up to collect this weekend.

“Roger Williams Park is an important green space in Providence,” says Serve Rhode Island Executive Director, Bernie Beaudreau. “It takes the work of dedicated volunteers to help maintain the park’s environment and make it a beautiful place for all to enjoy.”  Volunteers are welcome to register Saturday morning, beginning at 8:30 AM at the Botanical Center.  In the event of rain, the Roger Williams Park Cleanup will be postponed to the following Saturday, May 2nd.

 WHO: Community members; AmeriCorps members; Bernie Beaudreau, Serve Rhode Island Executive Director

WHEN: Saturday, April 25; Registration: 8:30 AM,

Cleanup: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM

 WHERE:  Roger Williams Park, 1000 Elmwood Avenue, Providence, Rhode Island

 About Serve Rhode Island

Serve Rhode Island transforms the lives of Rhode Islanders by increasing the number of people engaged in volunteer and service activities in their communities.  In 2013, 247 volunteers, led by Serve Rhode Island staff and AmeriCorps members, removed approximately 7,000 pounds of trash from the waterways of Roger Williams Park.  For more information about Serve Rhode Island or to inquire about volunteering for the 7th Annual Roger Williams Park Cleanup, please contact the office at  (401) 331-2298 or visit

 www.serverhodeisland.org

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RI ACLU Files Lawsuit

April 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

ACLU Files Lawsuit Over Unlawful Six-Year Seizure of Weapons by North Smithfield Police

 The ACLU today filed a lawsuit in federal district court on behalf of a North Smithfield resident, seeking the return of lawfully possessed weapons that were seized from him over six years ago by the local police department and which the department still refuses to return to him. The lawsuit, filed by RI ACLU volunteer attorney Thomas W. Lyons on behalf of Jason Richer, argues that the North Smithfield Police Department has violated his right to due process and his right to keep and bear arms by retaining his property without just cause. The ACLU successfully filed a similar lawsuit against the Cranston Police Department three years ago.

In September 2008, police responded to Richer’s house when his now ex-wife called to express concern that he had tried to harm himself. Although Richer explained that he was not suicidal and that his wife had misconstrued a conversation they had, police forced him to submit to a mental health evaluation at Landmark Hospital. The doctor who saw him there discharged him shortly after his arrival, and no charges were ever filed or any other action taken. In the meantime, police seized “for safe keeping” three lawfully registered guns from a locked case in Richer’s garage. Two months later, when Richer tried to retrieve the guns, police refused to return them, telling him he would need to obtain a court order.

Both his ex-wife and a psychologist provided letters to the Department in support of returning the guns to him, but the Department still refused to do so. Over the years, Richer has repeated his request for the return of the weapons, but he has been consistently rebuffed. He most recently pressed a Captain at the department for their return in January of this year. The Captain said he would talk with the town solicitor about it, but Richer never heard back from anybody. In March, the ACLU wrote a letter to the police chief on Richer’s behalf, but also received no response, prompting the filing of today’s lawsuit.

The lawsuit claims that the police department’s practice of requiring “weapons owners who are not charged with a crime to engage in formal litigation in order to recover their seized property” violates Richer’s due process and Second Amendment rights. The suit seeks a court order declaring the police department’s practice unconstitutional and requiring the return of his weapons, as well as an award of monetary damages.

ACLU attorney Lyons said today, “The North Smithfield Police Department has no legitimate reason to keep these guns. This is a clear violation of Mr. Richer’s constitutional rights.”  Jason Richer added: “I am resolved to do all I can to end the unconstitutional practices and procedures employed by the North Smithfield Police Department. From the moment my firearms were seized, I have been asked to prove that I am fit to have them returned, and all the proof I have provided has been dismissed and ignored. This flies in the face of the presumption of innocence we enjoy as Americans. This practice must be stopped.”

In 2012, the ACLU filed a virtually identical suit against the Cranston Police Department, which settled the case by returning the weapons that had been unlawfully held, agreeing to make any necessary repairs to the weapons while they had been confiscated, and paying monetary damages and attorneys’ fees.

ACLU of RI executive director Steven Brown added, “Police cannot seize a person’s property for safekeeping and then keep it indefinitely. Mr. Richer has been extraordinarily patient, yet the police have done nothing but make excuses about returning his property to him. Police departments must learn that the Constitution simply does not allow them to arbitrarily keep the property of innocent residents.”

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Walk or Run For RI MS

April 23rd, 2015 · No Comments

Walk MS coming to Bristol May 3!

Run MS 5K Rhode Race at Colt State Park May 3

WARWICK, R.I., April 22, 2015 – Hundreds of walkers will turn out in force for Walk MS, presented by Biogen, in Bristol, R.I., on May 3, 2015, raising awareness and money to help people with multiple sclerosis and for research to find a cure.

This year, Walk MS locations throughout New England will raise approximately $2,540,000 for the Greater New England Chapter of the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

“During the last 69 years, the Society has been at the core of virtually every major breakthrough in treating and understanding the disease,” said Greater New England Chapter President Lori Espino.
Walk MS is a fundraising event that fuels the movement to create a world free of multiple sclerosis. 

Everyone who raises at least $100 receives a souvenir t-shirt, and there are prizes for higher fundraising amounts.  Visit www.walkMSgne.org to register in advance, which is recommended.

In Bristol, Walk MS will take place at Mt. Hope High School. Also in Bristol on May 3 will be Run MS 5K Rhode Race. Run MS is on a certified course through beautiful Colt State Park and trophies will be awarded immediately following the race. The registration fee is $25 and runners will receive t-shirts. Start time for this flat, scenic course is 10 a.m., and check-in starts at 8:30 a.m. To register, visit www.runMSgne.org.

Walk MS registration opens at 8:30 a.m., with a mass walk start at 10 a.m. Walkers are encouraged to register early and fundraise to help New Englanders with MS and raise money to fund research to find a cure!

RHODE ISLAND:
Walk MS, presented by Biogen; with additional sponsorship from Novartis, ABC6 and Centreville Bank.

Participation in 2015 Walk MS events provides help for today and hope for tomorrow through education, support, advocacy, and research funded by the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Greater New England Chapter. And that makes a huge difference to the more than 21,000 people and their families in Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont who must live with MS every day of their lives.

Find us on Facebook! Search for National MS Society, Rhode Island and National MS Society, Greater New England Chapter and “like” us so you can see the latest news and developments!

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