4 Yawkey Way
Boston, MA 02215
Dear Mr. Lucchino,
I would like to extend my personal sympathies and deepest condolences on the passing of your friend and business partner James Skeffington. His passing is a reminder to us all how fragile and precious life is and that every day is a gift. In my limited interactions with Mr. Skeffington, he was always professional, courteous and it was obvious that he had a passion for the game of baseball.
Mr. Skeffington’s passing comes at a difficult time, as he was at the forefront of discussions with the State of Rhode Island and its elected leaders as it pertained to the future location of the team. The City of Pawtucket, the PawSox and the new owners still have a working relationship together while PawSox games are being played in the ballpark at McCoy. It is still my hope that we are able to develop that relationship over the course of that time and discover ways that we may be able to partner with each other the baseball season rolls on.
My administration had previously made several requests to meet and discuss aspects of the City of Pawtucket as it pertains to the future of the PawSox, as well as the commitment and obligations to the City and state at its current location of McCoy Stadium. In particular, I have asked for a copy of the feasibility study conducted on McCoy Stadium. I have seen through several media outlets that consultants hired by new ownership had determined the necessary renovations at McCoy Stadium to be at the $65 million dollar level. The reason for this request is not to question your figures, but rather, to serve the City and help gain a better understanding of what the true needs and costs associated with the stadium are.
In the interest of transparency and as you try to rebuild a partnership with the State of Rhode Island, I believe that making the McCoy Stadium feasibility study available is critical to the vetting process of any potential agreement. The lawmakers who would have to vote on and approve such an agreement, along with the general public, deserve access to such vital information. In a previous letter, I had suggested that consideration be given to a special session of the General Assembly to be held this summer, to allow for a more thorough period of examination for a deal that would carry such important ramifications for the State of Rhode Island, the City of Pawtucket, and the PawSox organization. Taking our time to arrive at the best decision for all parties involved, should trump any hastiness or expediency to get a deal done.
Rhode Island and the City of Pawtucket, have proudly carried the banner of Red Sox Nation for many years as the home of Boston’s AAA affiliate, the PawSox. The brand of the Red Sox is something that the people of Pawtucket and the State of Rhode Island strongly identify with. I cannot overstate the support and passion for the PawSox that is ingrained in the fabric and culture of its residents. The fan base here in Pawtucket, is second to none when it comes to supporting their team. Ben Mondor recognized and understood that. He helped foster that bond with the City and the State which is a big reason why he was so revered. I ask that you please be conscious of that sentiment as we move forward in our discussions. With that in mind, I look forward to hearing back from you on an appropriate time for us to meet and converse. Please feel free to contact me directly.
Donald R. Grebien
Mayor, City of Pawtucket
CC: Governor Gina Raimondo
Lieutenant Governor Daniel McKee
Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea
General Treasurer Seth Magaziner
Attorney General Peter Kilmartin
Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello
Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed
Representative Carlos Tobon
Representative Jean Philippe Barros
Representative Jeremiah O’Grady
Representative Mary Duffy Messier
Representative David Coughlin, Jr.
Representative Raymond Johnston, Jr.
Senator Donna Nesselbush
Senator William Conley, Jr.
Senator Elizabeth Crowley
Senator James E. Doyle II
The Pawtucket Foundation
David P. Moran, Pawtucket City Council President
Robert Goldberg, Attorney, Goldberg Law Offices
Theodore Orson, Attorney, Orson & Brusini Ltd.
Rhode Island Mayoral Academies began a re-branding with an updated look and a new tagline that captured the focus of our work: Opening Schools, Opening Minds.
We’ve had an interim website in place as we developed a full-scale site that captured that tagline. Our goals were to create more connections to our high-quality schools; create accessible ways to share “what works” while opening up a space for continued conversation; and to highlight the minds, as well as the hearts, behind our organization-staff, teachers, parents, and students. We believe we’ve accomplished that.
I’m proud to announce the launch of the Rhode Island Mayoral Academies new website:
The site is organized into two parts: Opening Schools. Opening Minds.
The Opening Schools section was designed with parents in mind. In this area, prospective families can get information on all mayoral academies in existence and in development. They can also use our new eligibility tool that will quickly tell them, based on their child’s age and residence, what school option is available to them. Our current parents have a portal specifically built for their needs. Often, we get feedback from parents that they want to help and be engaged, particularly through advocacy work, but don’t always know how. The parent portal offers easy, actionable suggestions for engagement, and gives parents a platform to share their thoughts through words, photos, and/or video.
The Opening Minds section is a place for sharing ideas, best practices, and news. In it, you will find our new blog. We have launched the blog with various content, as well as a special series that will be ongoing called RIMA Staff Stories. Often the people behind “education reform” are painted with broad strokes and labeled as against what we are most for: great teachers, equal education for all, and kids first. Our response to these misconceptions is to tell our personal stories-from the heart, instead of the head- about why we became involved in education and social justice work. The first two entries in the series are from our Chief of Policy and Expansion Elsa Dure and our Director of Next Generation Learning Partnerships Jessica Waters. They are well worth the read!
Read My Story: Jessica Waters, Not Another Statistic
Read My Story: Elsa Dure, from Lunchadora Dreams to Social Justice
We are very excited to launch our
“What Works” series
which will begin on the topic of recruiting and retaining excellent teachers. Oftentimes, great schools-district, charter, private, vocational-don’t have the time or the tools to share their best practices. Rhode Island Mayoral Academies believes these are missed opportunities for self-reflection and growth that can improve the collective efforts of all educators.
Through “What Works,” RIMA seeks to highlight mayoral academy lessons learned, and identify and report on best practices, while opening up a space for continued conversation and improvement on key education topics. We certainly don’t have all the answers. However, we believe that sharing and working on problems of practice together is a powerful way forward. Our second topic launch will be on what works for diverse-by-design schools. Make sure you keep checking back with us!
Please take some time to click around the site. I would love to hear your feedback.
And, please share the site with your friends and colleagues through social media. Our website has made many pages easily shareable. You can also pass along this e-newsletter with the “forward e-mail” link below the footer of this page. Thanks!
Michael Magee, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
Rhode Island Mayoral Academies
Consortium Members Once Again Resort to”Racist” Tactics
Center Recognizes Testimony from The Gaspee Project
Providence, RI – Once again, grassroots members of the public expressed their clear opposition to the controversial RhodeMap RI agenda at hearings in the House Finance Committee that lasted until approximately 9:30 pm.
And once again, liberal activists, who were members of the consortium that designed RhodeMap RI, resorted to underhanded tactics by slandering opponents of the plan as “racists”, this time recorded for all to see on Capitol TV (the two witness after the 94:45 minute mark of part 2 of the 5-21-15 House Finance Committee hearings). This following almost identical smears being levied at a November 2014 consortium meeting.
Virtually all of witnesses, who testified to support the bills that would de-fang certain elements of the top-down RhodeMap RI plan, were individual citizens or leaders of taxpayers groups. Virtually all witnesses opposing the bills – and supporting RhodeMap RI – were state employees, consortium members, or planners themselves.
Overall, testimony from the hearings supported the Center’s original contention that the true agenda behind the RhodeMap RI centralized plan is not economic development for Rhode Island, but, rather, to advance a radical social equity agenda out of Washington, D.C.
“This is a clear case of the government machine imposing its will against the wishes of the people,” said Mike Stenhouse, CEO for the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity. Also presented at the hearing were copies of various resolutions from over a dozen municipalities, either requesting a halt to the RhodeMap RI process or expressing their desire to opt-out of the burdensome mandates the plan would impose on them. “We will now see if legislative leaders will listen to voice of the people or choose to allow this government boondoggle to proceed unabated,” added Stenhouse.
The most compelling testimony presented, from The Gaspee Project, claimed that supporters of the plan engaged in “systematic deception” over recent years in seeing the plan adopted into the official state guide plan, including:
Manipulation of and bypassing the legislative process
False claims of the plan’s economic development agenda
Claiming RhodeMap RI is a plan for RI, when dozens of other cookie-cutter HUD designed plans exist throughout the nation
Bogus claims of public support
Utilizing dishonest technical language to hide the true intent of the plan and the involvement of the federal government
A number of bills were heard, dealing with: allowing municipalities to opt out of various mandates in the plan; providing the General Assembly with future oversight of plan revisions; and plugging loopholes to limit overly zealous eminent domain land seizures by the government. All bills were held for further study.
About the Center
The nonpartisan RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity is Rhode Island’s premiere free-enterprise think tank. The mission of the 501c3 nonprofit organization is to return government to the people by opposing special-interest politics and advancing proven free-market solutions that can transform lives by restoring economic competitiveness, increasing educational opportunities, and protecting individual freedoms.
LINDEN PLACE MUSEUM LOOKING FOR TOUR GUIDES FOR 2015 TOUR SEASON
Linden Place Mansion is looking for individuals interested in becoming tour guides in Bristol’s “great house” at 500 Hope Street, Bristol.
Prospective docents need not have experience and will be provided with historical information and guidelines designed to help in the presentation of the story of Linden Place Museum to visitors.
Tour guides will have the opportunity to learn about Bristol history, 19th century living and the history of Linden Place’s occupants, the DeWolf & Colt families. Becoming a tour guide is a gradual, at-your-own-pace process, a great way to learn about Bristol and RI history and an enjoyable way to meet new people in a relaxed, informal environment. Scheduling is flexible.
For further information please call Robin at the Linden Place office at 401-253-0390.
Representative Tobon welcomes Mayor Orlando Cogollo Torres of Arjona, Colombia on House floor
Carlos E. Tobon
STATE HOUSE – On May 21st, Rep. Carlos E. Tobon (D-Dist. 58, Pawtucket) welcomed Mayor Orlando Cogollo Torres of Arjona, Colombia on the House floor during session where a resolution sponsored by Representative Tobon was read in the Mayor’s honor. Mayor Cogollo Torres is visiting Rhode Island this week to establish a Sister City agreement with Pawtucket. Arjona is a city of 72,000 on Colombia’s coast that is roughly the same size as Pawtucket.
“It is a honor to have Mayor Cogollo Torres visiting us today,” said Tobon. “Pawtucket and Arjona share so many similarities with each other even though they are thousands of miles a part and I am extremely excited about the opportunity of our two communities sharing a special connection with each other for many years to come.”
Representative Tobon has been working with Mayor Donald Grebien and Mayor Cogollo Torres on the Sister City agreement after it was suggested to him by a constituent who used to be a city councilor in Arjona before moving into Pawtucket. The agreement would see the potential trade of goods and intellectual services between the two communities.
“This Sister City agreement will provide both cities with an amazing opportunity to learn from and trade with each other,” added Tobon. “Over 8,000 Rhode Islanders, many of those in Pawtucket and Central Falls, hail from Colombian descent and to have this union between our two cities is a special link to their heritage and an opportunity for other residents of the state to learn about a culture that I am very proud to call my own.”
Representative Tobon is a Colombian-American who was born in the United States, but, his parents are both natives of the country. He hopes after the agreement between the two municipalities is finalized to visit the city of Arjona.
Local Residents Achieve Dean’s List at Lasell College for Spring 2015
NEWTON, MA (readMedia)– Several local residents have achieved Dean’s List for the Spring 2015 semester at Lasell College in Newton, MA. To achieve the Dean’s List, each student must be full-time carrying 12 or more graded credits for the semester with a grade point average of 3.5 or above. They were among 695 students to receive the honor.
Named to the Dean’s List are:
Manuel Alves of Pawtucket, RI is a member of the class of 2015, majoring in Finance
Kathryn Machinski of Lincoln, RI is a member of the class of 2015, majoring in Criminal Justice
Ashley Pearson of Lincoln, RI is a member of the class of 2015, majoring in Criminal Justice
Samantha Smith of Cumberland, RI is a member of the class of 2015, majoring in Accounting
Stephanie Fauteux of Lincoln, RI is a member of the class of 2016, majoring in Psychology
Jaryd Dulieu of Cumberland, RI is a member of the class of 2017, majoring in Management
Emily Doucette of Lincoln, RI is a member of the class of 2018, majoring in Fashion and Retail Merchandising
An innovative educational institution for more than 160 years, Lasell is an independent coeducational college emphasizing the integration of professional and liberal arts programs leading to bachelor’s and master’s degrees. The campus is situated on a 53-acre campus eight miles from downtown Boston.
Hosted by Senator Whitehouse, Commerce RI, National Grid and OER
Providence, RI – On Monday, June 1st at the CCRI Knight Campus in Warwick, U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, Commerce RI, National Grid, and the Rhode Island Department of Energy Resources (OER) will hold a workshop to help Rhode Island businesses save on energy costs and transition to renewable sources of energy. Presenters will include a representative from the U.S. Department of Energy to discuss federal energy programs that could benefit Ocean State companies.
Rhode Island Small Business Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Workshop
Monday, June 1, 8:15 a.m. to noon
CCRI Knight Campus, Bobby Hackett Theatre, 400 East Avenue, Warwick
Many businesses are not aware that Rhode Island is home to some of the country’s leading energy efficiency and renewable energy programs. This event will consist of presentations and panel discussions designed to highlight these programs and demonstrate the financial benefits of participating.
RSVP’s are requested. To RSVP or ask for additional information, please call (401) 453-5294 or email
House passes Fellela bill to prohibit computer use in making threats against schools
STATE HOUSE – The House of Representatives today passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Deborah Fellela (D-Dist. 43, Johnston) that would make it a felony to use a computer to make threats against students at school. The measure, which passed 67 to 6, now heads to the Senate.
Concerned over threats that were made last year in the Johnston, Warwick and Cranston on school systems, Representative Fellela submitted the bill to give an extra level of safety to the students and staff at the state’s many schools, colleges and daycare centers.
“After what happened last year,” said Representative Fellela, “it’s imperative that we do all we can to stiffen the penalties for making threats against our schoolchildren.”
Last October, an anonymous letter was received that made threats of physical violence against students in Johnston, Warwick and Cranston, prompting all three communities to tighten security and increase police presence at community schools.
The bill (2015-H 5068A) would prohibit the use of a computer, phone, smartphone, tablet, fax machine, social media or any like device to make any statements or threats concerning the endangerment of students at any public or private daycare facility, preschool, school, college or university in the state.
A first conviction would be a misdemeanor punishable by imprisonment for up to a year or a fine of up to $1,000, or both. A second or subsequent conviction would be a felony, punishable by imprisonment up to five years or a fine of up to $10,000, or both. In addition, the perpetrator would be ordered to make full restitution for any emergency response expense incurred as a result of the threatening statement.
The Armory Farmers Market in the West End of Providence opens for the summer season on Thursday, May 28. The market runs every Thursday through October 29 from 3:30 to 7pm or dusk. On the opening day, two local chefs will square off in a Seafood Throwdown cooking competition from 4-6pm. The chefs, Anthony Glieco of Table Restaurant and Joshua Riazi of The Genesis Center, will each cook a dish featuring a mystery local seafood item. The event highlights the importance of locally caught seafood to Rhode Island’s local economy, community, and marine ecosystem.
About the Armory Farmers Market:
The market is located on Parade St at Hudson St, in the Armory Park/Dexter Training Ground and features fresh produce, beef, eggs, bread, cheese, coffee and prepared foods, all from 18 vendors.
Returning vendors this year include: Little City Growers Co-op, Greenleaf Farm, Hill Orchards, Barden Family Orchard (starting in July), Salisbury Farm, Rocket Fine Street Food Truck, Mijos Tacos, Noble Knots Food Truck, African Alliance Community Gardeners, The Coffee Guy, Great Harvest Bread Co., Rhode Island Roots, Crispy Greens Family Vegetables, Humble Pie Company, Tricycle Ice Cream, and Farm Fresh & Co./The Harvest Kitchen.
New vendors for 2015: Blackbird Farm, Sweet & Salty Farm, Dubb Squared Enterprises, and Crooked Paw Canine Delicacies.
In June farmers market shoppers can expect to find strawberries, sugar snap peas, kale, leeks, lettuce, salad greens, scallions, fresh flowers, vegetable seedlings, and herbs such as basil, chives, cilantro, dill, parsley, oregano, rosemary, sage, sorrel and thyme.
Fresh Bucks, Bonus Bucks, and Healthy Foods, Healthy Families
The Armory Market accepts debit, credit, and EBT cards at the Farm Fresh Welcome Table in exchange for Fresh Bucks tokens that can be used to buy food at the market. Those shopping with an EBT card receive a 40% bonus through Farm Fresh’s Bonus Bucks program. For more information visit
In addition, a free nutrition education program for families receiving government food benefits called Healthy Foods, Healthy Families will start at the market the second week of July.
Opening Day Seafood Throwdown
The Armory Market Seafood Throwdown on May 28th is a collaboration between the Northwest Atlantic Marine Alliance
Slow Fish USA (www.slowfood.com/slowfish), the African Alliance of Rhode Island
and Farm Fresh Rhode Island
The event is free and open to the public and will run from 4-6pm. Seafood Throwdowns are community events that provide an opportunity to learn about local seafood, fishing economies and coastal food systems, and to support local seafood in our markets, restaurants, and culinary institutions.
“Right now, 92% of the seafood we consume in the US is imported and travesl an average distance of 5,476 miles. This trend reflects negatively on our coastal communities as well as the health of our oceans. Seafood Throwdowns are helping to turn the tide”, says NAMA organizer Brett Tolley.
Chef Anthony Glieco of Table Restaurant and Chef Joshua Riazi from The Genesis Center will educate and entertain market goers with their culinary skills as they show how to work with whole, fresh, and very local seafood. Emcees of the Throwdown are Robin Dionne, Director of Outreach and Client Relations at the Arcade, and John Taraborelli, writer and consultant involved with the Providence International Arts Festival, Project Undercover and RI Food Fights.
How the Seafood Throwdown works –
The chefs will bring three of their favorite ingredients and have 15 minutes to shop at the farmers market for ingredients to accompany their mystery local seafood item from the Local Catch.
Chefs will have one hour to cook and present their entry for the judges’ consideration.
The judges are Peter Gobin of Mijos Tacos, past champion of the Armory Market Seafood Throwdown; Julius Kolawole, president of the African Alliance of RI, Jim Nellis, creator of RI Food Fights, and Jen McCann, Director of the Coastal and Fisheries Extension at Rhode Island Sea Grant.
The judges will choose a winner and tastings will be available for farmers market shoppers.
About Farm Fresh Rhode Island
Farm Fresh Rhode Island is growing a local food system that values environment, health, and quality of life of Rhode Island farmers and eaters. For more information about Farm Fresh Rhode Island or any RI farmers market visit
13 Summer Street
Saturday, June 6, 201511:00am – 12:00pm Children’s Caidin Room Young readers are invited to participate in the Book Club for Kids program at the Pawtucket Children’s Library.
This month’s featured book isAmelia Bedelia Means Business by Herman Parish, with pictures by Lynne Avril. This is the first story in the new chapter book series about the much-loved character Amelia Bedelia.
Young Amelia Bedelia will do almost anything for a shiny new bicycle.
Her parents say they’ll split the cost with her, and that means Amelia Bedelia needs to put the pedal to the metal and earn some dough! With Amelia Bedelia anything can happen, and it usually does!
Best for kids in grades 2-4 but younger/older readers are always welcome.
Readers can sign up for the program and receive a FREE paperback copy of the book, while supplies last. Register for the program by visiting the Children’s Library, e-mailing email@example.com,
or calling 401-725-3714 x209.
Once the reader is signed up and has the book, he or she can read it on their own or with someone else.
All the readers are invited to attend the Book Club for Kids program on Saturday, June 6th at 11:00am in the Children’s Caidin Room to laugh about favorite parts, play a trivia game, and make a craft.