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


During a media event on December 15th, 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. When pressed for details, we were told an FAQ would be coming out later in the week and had not been finalized.

I had to cancel several indoor ticketed January events because I have a medical issue with wearing a mask that had caused headaches and/or faintness during the ‘two weeks to slow the spread’ period in the early days of COVID. The exact nature of my medical maladies will remain between me and my physician.

The mandate became an issue with the following events: Providence Bruins, our local apartment complex gym, Westerly town hall, Cinemaworld Theaters, church service and finally, the Stadium Theater in Woonsocket. I want to STRESS that none of these venues are responsible for the governor’s executive order.

I contacted Senior VP of Operations for Cinemaworld Theaters on December 16th looking for the same mask exemption as I had received last year during the Raimondo administration’s indoor mask mandate.

To my surprise, the Senior VP sent me a clipped screenshot of the exemption that would pertain to me in a recently released FAQ for the executive order.

According to the RI state website, a medical exemption would still apply.

With this knowledge and the willingness to push the issue, I was able to attain written permission for events that I’d not be required to wear a mask; Providence Bruins tickets (I’m a season ticket holder), apartment complex gym with an agreed to concession that I’d be the only person, church service, permission of the Westerly town manager to enter town hall, entrance to Cinemaworld, and concert dates at the Stadium Theater.

It is important to note that our freedoms are being slowly eroded by government’s insistence they know better for us than we do for ourselves. We should all do our part to let them know the only power government has is the power we allow them to use.

Ronald Reagan was correct when he said we’re only a generation away from losing our freedoms.

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Of the following two issues related to Rhode Island’s public schools, which one is a greater concern?

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