ROLAND LAVALLEE: Knowing Your Rights Isn’t Everything, Exercising Them is the Only Thing

I had to cancel several indoor ticketed January events, because Rhode Island Governor Dan McKee announced he was going to sign an executive order in the coming days that would impose yet another indoor mask mandate. To my surprise, according to the RI state website, a medical exemption would still apply.

#ParentsUnited File APPEAL To RI Supreme Court On School Mask Mandate

Today LIVE at 4:00pm on the Ocean State Current- Click here to watch on The Ocean State Current! STEN & guests discuss: -#ParentsUnited file APPEAL to RI Supreme Court re school mask mandate -CT Gov says #NoTCItax on gas -NK “fat test” update -Hopkinton Town Council chickens out -RI Freedom Fighter targeted – Domestic Terrorist? […]

Teachers Union Official Steps Down From South Kingstown School Committee After Massive Public Outcry on Student Indoctrination

Union director Sarah Markey officially resigned from the South Kingstown School Committee on Monday after a national outcry against the unfair treatment of Nicole Solas. Solas is a mother concerned about the far-left indoctrination of students in public schools being orchestrated by CRT advocates.

Travis Rowley: This Is What Indoctrination Looks Like

A lot is being said these days regarding Critical Race Theory, an unfamiliar term for most of us. But CRT is basically what we have been tolerating for the past 30 years – throughout the culture now, but certainly concentrated inside the universities at first. Volumes of books have already been written about the subject, serving as warnings of what’s to come if the Left’s political correctness wasn’t seriously confronted.

Providence Summer Reading List Promotes Critical Race Theory, Graphic Homosexual Sex, and Abortion To Children

The school year is ending. Parents who have children in the failing Providence Public School System are turning to the official school sponsored summer reading list to supplement their child’s education during the break. For many, their hope may be to find educational materials that can make up for the time lost during the pandemic, instead they will find a list of books that promotes Critical Race Theory (CRT), graphic descriptions of both giving and receiving sodomy, and abortion of the unborn… all promoted to children fourteen and up.

Redhanded: Radical Environmentalists Want to “Break Your Will” To Pass TCI

The shocking words they admit they can’t say publicly… were just made public. They say, if YOU heat your homes or drive passenger cars, YOU are the “bad guys.”

Whether it is “you,” “the person up the street,” or “the senior on fixed income”… the radical environmentalists who support TCI say it is you who they want to “turn the screws on” and “point the finger at,” so they can “break your will” to force you to “stop emitting.”

See the alarming video of the MA Undersecretary for Climate Change talking about the abusive TCI scheme: https://youtu.be/muxVGmgykA4

Learn more by clicking here now to read about how the TCI Gas Tax is bad for Rhode Island families.

Demand Transparency on Covid-19 Cycle-Threshold Data

The full release and analysis of detailed testing data could be critical in shaping more focused and less intrusive COVID-19 restrictions for Rhode Islanders.

This data, which measures “viral load” (how much of the virus is present) and which is routinely collected by labs that conduct COVID tests, can be critically important in determining both public policy and individual regimens. Take action now to demand it.

The Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity has launched a new campaign, sending over a sixteen hundred pre-written emails (in just days) to officials petitioning the state to take action to collect and publish this vital cycle threshold data.

We have good news to share… they have taken the first steps in making a small portion of this data available. Our campaign is clearly working, but we need full transparency on this critical information.

You can take action by clicking on the link here now. Don’t wait, because your voice is powerful and it will make a difference for the people of Rhode Island!

The Governor’s Baby Step Toward Transparency

Governor Raimondo announced that she was going to give Rhode Islanders more transparency into the data that she’s using to make decisions about the extent of our freedom during the COVID-19 wave, and even the RI Center for Freedom & Prosperity commended the intention.  What Rhode Islanders actually got, however, wasn’t much transparency, but rather, an incomplete chart of a single metric without any description of the methodology.

GOV_Model_041620-showingtoday

What’s conspicuously missing from this chart is a “lower scenario.”  See, for example, the IHME model for Rhode Island, which has a worst-case scenario of 4,386 hospital beds needed on May 6, a “projection” of 942 on May 2, and a best-case scenario that has us already beginning to see a reduction.

Rhode Islanders shouldn’t hope for that outcome, but given how high the IHME’s projections have proven so far versus reality and how much higher the governor’s estimates apparently are than theirs, we should expect many fewer hospitalizations than she’s saying.  It’s difficult not to conclude that she’s painting a bleak picture so as to mislead Rhode Islanders into better compliance with her directives.  That’s especially true if you notice that the governor’s “best estimate” line appears to show nearly 1,000 people in the hospital today, when the actual number is 245.

As I’ve been saying, we are adults and deserve accurate information.  We are not children who need an elected mother to coax us with phrases like, “I need you to be brave.”

Again, rates of growth have been slowing.  Seventeen days ago, hospitalizations were increasing around 25% every day.  That’s down to about 7% now.  At the same time, the increase of total cases has been slowing, as has the percentage of all cases who are going to the hospital.

The question the governor apparently didn’t answer (and that apparently nobody asked) is why we should expect these trends to reverse such that the number of hospitalizations will be nine times higher in 17 days than it is right now.  That would be an average of 15% increase every day.  Why should we expect the rate of hospitalization to accelerate like that?

Maybe there’s some data out there that would give us reason to expect such an outcome, but we should know what it is, and the people who gave Raimondo her chart should be able to explain it to her.

Providence Schools and the Greatest Transparency

The state education board should have prepared for a larger audience to observe its meeting about Providence schools, but its failure to anticipate the need is partly the blame of Rhode Islanders, who rarely attend such meetings.

Bruce Waidler: S.K. School Committee – Serious Questions of Transparency & Conflict of Interest

On Tuesday, November 27, 2018, I attended the South Kingstown School Committee meeting. The recently elected Vice Chair, Sarah Markey, is also the Assistant Executive Director for the National Education Association of Rhode Island (NEARI). The vast majority of the employees working in the South Kingstown School Department are represented by this labor union.

Last year, Markey attempted to get appointed to a vacant school committee position.

“Raimondo” Certainly Not Synonymous with “Transparency”

Thanks to the indefatigable John Vitkevich, of Portsmouth, for pursuing information about Governor Gina Raimondo’s blue campaign signs, posted at taxpayer expense under the pretense of providing transparency as to the progress of RhodeWorks progress.  As Kathy Gregg reports in the Providence Journal, it has taken action by the attorney general’s office to make the governor be transparent about the signs:*

Of DOT’s unwillingness to identify the state account that paid for the signs, Special Assistant Attorney General Sean Lyness wrote: “We confess some unease. The DOT has consistently indicated that it maintains no documents responsive to this request… Nonetheless, there is some cost to the State of Rhode Island for these signs and it is axiomatic that this cost – assuming it is paid with State funds – must come from some budget line item(s).”

After finding DOT, in fact, had “an Excel spreadsheet of the costs″ for the signs, Lyness wrote: “Under the DOT’s interpretation, this running tally of signage costs could be withheld as a ‘draft’ indefinitely. This interpretation contravenes the definition of the term ‘draft,’ which contemplates an eventual completed document.”

The Raimondo administration’s arguments are audacious and insulting, with the insinuation that the state government could develop an entire program and pay for it without ever producing a document that the public has a right to see.  The hope, one presumes, is to make “citizen-critics” like Vitkevich just go away.  We need more people who just won’t.

 

*  Obviously, this assumes that the Raimondo administration doesn’t attempt to defy the AG’s ruling.

Raimondo Transparency: Ain’t Your Business

Rhode Island House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan (R, Coventry, Warwick, West Warwick) asked the administration of Democrat Governor Gina Raimondo for some information about a public relations firm’s activities placing stories about Rhode Island in out-of-town publications at taxpayer expense.  Here’s the response:

Our office completed a review of the requested materials. There is one document responsive to your request but is being withheld, as it is not deemed public. This document is an internal e-mail thread reflecting work product of the Governor’s staff.

The next paragraph laughably invites the person requesting the information to appeal the decision to Raimondo Chief of Staff Brett Smiley, a left-wing activist.

Given the notable, noteworthy, and much-noted appearances of our governor in out-of-state publications that were explicitly promoting her, not Rhode Island, one would think her administration would be eager to prove that it isn’t buying that coverage with taxpayer dollars.  The lack of transparency will inevitably make Rhode Islanders suspicious that this may be exactly what the governor is doing.

“Preliminary” – RIDOT’s Newest Transparency & Accountability Dodge

Representative Patricia Morgan had an op-ed in yesterday’s ProJo describing the latest development in the area of tolls and proposed toll-funded projects – the Governor’s toll plan, as it has now become clear, being the biggest bait-and-switch ever pulled on Rhode Island’s residents. (“Danger, danger, Will Robinson! The bridges are unsafe!” “… Psych! Most of the money is going to a 6/10 boondoggle!”)

Honest and straightforward answers are simply impossible to come by. It appears that Director Peter Alviti has discovered the value of labeling everything “preliminary.” By doing so, he can avoid supplying forthright answers.

A reminder: all of this – tolls (if they survive the legal challenge), federal revenue, the bridges, highways, RIDOT – involves public resources and hard earned tax dollars, which means complete openness is mandated. Governor Raimondo will put an end to “preliminary” and all such dodges if she wishes to repair her very poor reputation in the area of transparency and open government.

Little Towns, Big (Government) Guns

The events in Ferguson, MO have drawn widespread public attention to the increasing militarization of local police departments. It’s a topic that has been discussed amongst civil–rights minded folks for the last decade or so and has both national and local impact.

Courts Embrace Rhode Island’s Incremental Approach to Voter Identification Laws

If lawmakers in other states had modeled their efforts after those of Rhode Island’s, their laws may have been less susceptible to legal challenges from the ACLU and the NAACP. Sen. Harold Metts, the Providence Democrat who sponsored this state’s voter ID law, points out that voter fraud also leads to disenfranchisement.

Rhode Island Succumbs to Obama DOJ Lawsuit, But Leads on Voter ID

Rhode Island’s voter ID law provides some protection against one-sided enforcement from the Obama administration of the National Voter Registration Act.