Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Yard Debris and Christmas Trees

The City yard debris collection for the year ended December 13 and will not begin again until April.

The City will begin free, curbside pick up of Christmas trees on Monday, January 6, continuing until Friday, January 17.

For more information

Public Hearings - RI State Rail Plan

The Rhode Island State Planning Council will conduct two public hearings to accept comments on the draft Rhode Island State Rail Plan.

The Rhode Island State Rail Plan draft is under consideration by the Rhode Island State Planning Council. The Rhode Island State Rail Plan contains goals, objectives, policies, implementation actions, and potential projects for the State’s passenger and freight rail transportation system over the next twenty years.

Comments on the Rhode Island State Rail Plan will be accepted at the following two public hearings:

Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.
Department of Administration
William E. Powers Building
Conference Room A, 2nd Floor

One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI
Thursday, January 23, 2014 at 6:30 p.m.
Department of Administration
William E. Powers Building
Conference Room A, 2nd Floor
One Capitol Hill, Providence, RI

The Rhode Island State Rail Plan draft
Public Hearing notice

2014 Rhode Island Compost Conference

Monday March 10, 2014 beginning at 9:00 AM at Salve Regina University, Newport, RI.

Each year the conference and trade show bring together nearly everyone in Rhode Island seeking to develop the compost industry and spur ever greater home composting.

For more information and registration

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

More on Snow

A new email from Councilman Zurier reports that "the Department of Public Works will be accepting snow plowing requests through its main telephone number, (401) 467-7950.  If nobody picks up, you will have the option of pressing "2" when the message starts for an 'emergency.'"

This is not the "Snow Hotline" (401) 680-8080 of the previous post which is only on during storms.

And, it is not the Office of Neighborhood Services 401-421-7768 that the City website suggests calling about snow plowing between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm

Surely one of these options will get your street plowed.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013


Here's what the City says you need to know when it snows.


A Great Civics Website

iCivics is a non-profit organization dedicated to reinvigorating civic learning through interactive and engaging learning resources. Our educational resources empower teachers and prepare the next generation of students to become knowledgeable and engaged citizens.
Founded and led by Justice Sandra Day O’Connor,


Saturday, December 7, 2013

RI Funding Formula

2011 article about the RI formula compared to the CT one.  It is very interesting about what costs of education should be supported by the formula but says nothing about the part of the formula that determines the state's share of the formula cost for each city & town.
OP-ED | Funding Education Adequacy: RI vs. CT

HealthSource RI Events

Making the healthcare connection.

As part of the Affordable Care Act, HealthSource RI will improve the health of all Rhode Islanders by connecting you to quality, affordable healthcare.
Through a set of easy-to-use, powerful tools, we’ll transform healthcare in the Ocean State. As the plans we offer compete for your business, we’ll be able to drive the cost of care down. And by negotiating for the options that best suit your needs, we’ll ensure you get the benefits and support you deserve so we can all live the healthiest lives we possibly can.


Friday, November 22, 2013

"Open Meetings Portal"

The City of Providence today launched its Open Meetings Portal - a single, public access point for public meeting information.

The site, http://openmeetings.providenceri.com, fulfills a recommendation of a special commission established to find ways the City can use technology to engage residents, and is the result of several months of collaboration between the City Clerk, City Council, and the administration of Mayor Angel Taveras.


Committee :  Derry Riding, Advocacy Chair 401-209-5091
    Susan Escherich 401-433-4896
    Joanne Devoe 401-247-3004
    Rosemary Forbes-Woodside 401-423-6440
    Jane Koster, LWVRI President 401-339-2351-3004

1. monitor bills on line as they are introduced that are related to LWV positions
2. alert the advocacy committee which will  work with them to decide if/when we need to testify, write letters, etc. 
3. monitor committee hearings (wearing League Buttons) and report back to Advocacy Committee 
4. meet with their legislators to present League positions and discuss issues

We hope to have two or more people to work together on each subcommittee to share the work.  If you are interested, please contact Susan Escherich at 401-433-4896.

LWVRI Legislative Priorities for 2014

• Restoring the jurisdiction of the Ethics Committee over the legislature (partners: Common Cause, ACCESS RI)
• Improving voting procedures and policies (early voting, improved voting machines, eliminating master lever, voter id., etc. ) partner: Common Cause
• Supporting women’s health and reproductive rights.  Partner: RI Coalition for Reproductive Justice
• Promoting  gun safety
• Passing merit selection for magistrates so they are chosen like judges.  Partner: Common Cause
• Counting addresses of prisoners as where they lived when arrested to prevent skewing of populations in redistricting.  Partner: Common Cause
• Reforming redistricting commission makeup.   Partner: Common Cause
• Promoting public education funding that provides equality of opportunity through a system of taxation that is sufficient, equitable, flexible, equitable and coordinated among the different levels of government.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

School Board nominating forum postponed

Event postponed to Thursday November 21.

For more information:
Phone 272-0422

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Tax Policy

Reflections, from Sam Zurier, Ward 2 Councilman, at November 13 “Providence Conversation” of Providence League of Women Voters

In the more prosperous past, Providence had one tax rate. Only when economic straits tightened and the city needed more revenue, did it split rates: first, commercial from residential; next, within residential, rental from owner-occupied units. Today Providence has one of the highest tax rates for apartments in the state, possibly the country; for a time, the motor vehicle tax in Providence was the highest in the state.     More

Monday, November 18, 2013


Public Meeting #2
Wednesday, December 11, 2013
5:30 – 7:30 PM
Friedman Auditorium - Brown University Metcalf Research Complex (190 Thayer Street)

Public Forum on the R. I. Constitutional Convention

R. I. Constitutional Convention
Public Forum
Presented by
Operation Clean Government

When: Thursday, November 21, 2013, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
Where: Old State House, 150 Benefit Street, Providence, R.I.

For more information: Operation Clean Government (OCG)

Thursday, November 14, 2013

2014 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships

The Rhode Island Foundation has announced it is accepting applications for the 2014 Rhode Island Innovation Fellowships, an annual program to stimulate solutions to the state’s challenges.
The deadline to apply is Friday, December 13. Learn more and access the application.

Superintendent Forums

Learn more about “Opening Doors to our Children’s Futures,”
our exciting plan for the direction of Providence Public Schools.
Find out what it will mean for students, parents and schools.

Wednesday, November 20 | 4:30 p.m.
William D’Abate Elementary School
60 Kossuth Street, Providence

Thursday, November 21 | 6:00 p.m.
Nathan Bishop Middle School
101 Sessions Street, Providence

For information, call (401) 456-0686
or visit www.providenceschools.org

Needed: Help with School Board Nominating Commission Public Hearing

By November 18, the School Board Nominating Commission will have applications in hand for school committee. On Wednesday, November 20th from 6 pm to 8 pm in the auditorium of the Providence Career & Technical Academy (PCTA), the public is invited to a forum to hear the nominees respond to questions.
The Providence League of Women Voters once again has been asked to help with this forum.
We need people to distribute index cards for questions, to time-keep, to greet the nominees, to ask questions.
Please let me know if you can help.
Phone 272-0422

Monday, November 11, 2013

Not Always Easy: Building the New Urban Experience

Adrian Benepe at the Iconic and Historic Industrial Trust Building
November 14, 2013 | 5:30 – 8:00 pm | 111 Westminster Street, Providence RI | FREE

Adrian Benepe Kicking off the Providence Preservation Society’s yearlong series on downtown Providence and the making of great cities is Adrian Benepe, former New York City Parks Commissioner and now Senior Vice President and Director of City Park Development at the Trust for Public Land. He will lead us in discussing the benefit and potential for open space and public land.

For more details: http://www.ppsri.org//


Excerpts from City Councilman Sam Zurier's 11/10/13 Ward Letter:

On Thursday, November 14 at 6:00 p.m. at City Hall (third floor), the City Council's Commission on Property Tax Revaluation will meet to discuss internal procedures related to the tax revaluation process.

The City Council's Ways and Means Committee will be reviewing the status of the City's current inventory of tax stabilization agreements, consider ways to ensure better performance from pending agreements and policies to enhance future agreements.

Saturday, November 9, 2013


Monday, November 11 - 11 am

Providence League of Women Voters board/conveners/members organizational meeting.
All are welcome.

For more information, contact Liz Head, emhead603@hotmail.com

Wednesday, November 13 -  7 pm to 9 pm

“Providence Conversation”. Councilman Sam Zurier will talk about tax policy in Providence: who decides who will pay what? who gets special breaks? who doesn't?

For more information: contact joan.retsinas@gmail.com 

Members to select Advocacy priorities for 2014

The League of Women Voters of RI's annual Advocacy Committee meeting to organize our efforts for 2014 will be held November 11, 10:00 am – 12:00 Noon at Susan Escherich’s house, 133 Terrace Avenue, Riverside, RI.

Subcommittees track legislation introduced in their areas of interest, and work with the Advocacy committee to determine which hearings need to be monitored and which bills need response from us. The LWVRI is partnering with organizations such as Common Cause, ACCESS RI, the Coalition for Reproductive Justice, and ACLU to act on bills of mutual interest to our organizations.

The meeting is open to members only.

To join or see League positions, go to our web site at www.lwvri.org.

If interested contact Derry Riding at 209-5091 or Susan Escherich  433-4896 or sescherich@verizon.net.

Current Advocacy Subcommittees
1. Accountable Government, open records, ethics
2. Women’s Issues/Reproductive Justice
3. School Funding Issues
4. Election Procedures – voter id, early voting, removal of master lever
5. Environmental Issues
6. Gun Control
7. Civil Liberties

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Friday, November 1, 2013

Applications Being Accepted for Providence School Board

Application deadline: November 13, 4 pm.

The Providence School Board Nominating Commission is accepting applications for three positions with terms expiring on December 31, 2013. Candidates with strong finance and/or policy experience are strongly encouraged to apply.

Members are appointed to three-year terms,  staggered to have three positions up for renewal every year. School Board members whose terms are expiring have the possibility of reappointment .

The School Board Nominating Commission will conduct an informational session on Wednesday, November 6, from 6 to 7:15 pm  at the Providence Public School Department at 797 Westminster Street, in School Board Room C.

The School Board job description and online application are available at: http://www.providenceri.com/schools/nominating-commission-application/

LWVRI Fund-raiser at 2nd Story Theater 11/21

The fall theater party fund-raiser has become a LWVRI tradition. This year we return to:
2nd Story Theater for Stephen Karam’s “Sons of the Prophet,”
DownStage Theater, 28 Market St., Warren, on Thursday, November 21 at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $35 each and reservations are due November 7. Use the form attached or order your tickets on line at www.lwvri.org. This play will prove popular and only a few tickets have been reserved for the League. Reserve today!

For those of you who would like to gather for dinner together beforehand, make reservations with Joanne for Crossroads Restaurant, 133 Market St. at 6 PM., only 3 blocks walk from the theater.

For more information, contact Joanne DeVoe, 247-3004 or joanned@qis.net.

RI Lt. Gov. Elizabeth Roberts, Rhode Island's Health Care Exchange

About this video
"On March 27, 2013, Rhode Island Lieutenant Governor, Elizabeth Roberts, spoke at League Day at the State House about the Rhode Island Health Care Exchange."

Ken Block, The Master Lever Story

About this video
"Ken Block spoke at the League of Women Voters Rhode Island 2013 Annual Convention about his campaign to get rid of the Master Lever on the Rhode Island ballot."

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Affordable Care Act Seminar

Join us (Jewish Alliance of Greater Rhode Island) for this presentation and discussion on the impact of  the Affordable Care Act (ACA)

Wednesday, October 30 | 7:00pm

Free and open to the community
Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts will provide insight into the Affordable Care Act and HealthSource RI. She’ll show how individuals, families, and small employers can easily enroll in a health care plan that will meet their needs.
HealthSource RI, also known as Obamacare, launched their open enrollment period which runs from October 1, through December 15. Coverage begins January 1, 2014.
For more details, contact Marty Cooper at 401.421.4111.ext. 171 or mcooper@jewishallianceri.org.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

What is the scope of the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance update?

What is the scope of the City of Providence Zoning Ordinance update?

LWVRI Education Subcommittee

Thanks to you who have agreed to help with our survey of the local school district officials about the funding formula.  Our first interview in Pawtucket is scheduled for this Friday, 10/25 with Joanne & Wendy; another is in Barrington on 10/31 with Joanne & Hollie; Janet is arranging one in East Providence; Barbara one in Providence; and Patty in Middletown.
The League plans to publish the survey report on its website and as needed. 
Some League and RIDE materials which can help to explain how the formula works.  There are tables that show the data used and the funds distributed by the formula in FY 2014.
Further information is on the RIDE website; see link below.
Here we go!  If you have questions or problems, let me know, 247-3004
Regards,  Joanne DeVoe

Friday, October 11, 2013

Re-Zoning Providence
Presentation: Bob Azar, Providence Planning Department
Monday, November 18, 7pm
Summit Commons, 99 Hillside Ave, Providence

The presentation will summarize the Technical Review and Approaches Report for Re:Zoning Providence. (Report http://rezoningprovidence.com/presentations-reports/). Re:Zoning Providence will be a comprehensive overhaul of the City Zoning Ordinance. The staff is writing the first draft of that ordinance.

 From 2005 to 2012, an interim comprehensive plan was created and neighborhood charrettes and neighborhood plans were completed for each of Providence’s twentyfive neighborhoods. In 2012, the comprehensive plan was updated to reflect those goals. The City’s comprehensive plan, Providence Tomorrow, http://www.providenceri.com/planning/planning-projects/comprehensive-planning and the neighborhood plans http://www.providenceri.com/planning/planning-projects/neighborhood-planning are now completed. The city seeks public input.
For more information, see www.rezoningprovidence.com.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

“Providence Conversation”. Councilman Sam Zurier - November 13

Wednesday, November 13 -  7 pm to 9 pm

“Providence Conversation”. Councilman Sam Zurier will talk about tax policy in Providence: who decides who will pay what? who gets special breaks? who doesn't?  (more infomration to follow)

For more information: contact joan.retsinas@gmail.com

Providence League of Women Voters board - November 11

Monday, November 11 - 11 am, 

Providence League of Women Voters board/conveners/members organizational meeting.

All are welcome.

For more information, contact Liz Head, emhead603@hotmail.com

NAACP, Providence Branch, Celebration of 100th Anniversary - November 1

Friday, November 1, 5:30 pm,
Providence Marriott

NAACP, Providence Branch, Celebration of 100th Anniversary

Keynote Speaker: Congressman John Lewis (D-Georgia), the only living person who marched with Dr. Martin Luther King at the March on Washington in 1963.

For more information, contact Jim Vincent, 401.261.0174, Jvincent577@gmail.com

State League of Women Voters present: League Connect 2013 - October 29

Tuesday, October 29 - 10 to noon
Cranston Central Library
140 Sockonosett Rd

A conversation with the LWVRI Board, state and local League leaders, local members, and members at large

 Topics—Discussion followed by Q&A

*   Agriculture Study.  Update on the study and consensus process.
*   Election 2014
·     VOTE411. What it is;  how you can participate.
·      Candidates’ Forums and Voter Registration.
·      Election Ready Schools—A project to prepare young people to vote. Learn how to participate and the timeline for implementation.
·         Building  new coalitions and strengthening existing one; How you can you strengthen our voice at the State House

Questions or to RSVP: Susan Wells, swells229@yahoo.com or State President Jane Koster, janewkoster@gmail.com

Monday, September 30, 2013

Community Meeting With The Mayor

Tuesday, October 15 
6:30 p.m.
Nathan Bishop Middle School

111 Sessions St. 

Councilman Sam Zurier has organized a meeting with Mayor Taveras to discuss City Issues. The meeting will take place on Tuesday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. at Nathan Bishop Middle School.  The Mayor will attend the meeting starting at 7:00.  

Re: Zoning Providence

The Technical Review and Approaches Report for Re:Zoning Providence is now available online at http://rezoningprovidence.com/presentations-reports/.  This report summarizes the findings of a technical review of the existing Providence Zoning Ordinance performed by the City’s consultants, Camiros, from May to July 2013. The purpose of this review is three-fold: first, the review allows for a more in-depth understanding of the current development regulations; second, it allows for the identification of additional issues not identified during meetings and interviews with City staff and stakeholders; third, it introduces concepts and regulatory approaches that set direction for substantive revisions to be included in the new Zoning Ordinance. The objectives and issues outlined within the report were identified through discussions with staff and stakeholders, and a review of the Ordinance against zoning best practices. It provides a broad assessment of current difficulties within the regulations and preliminary approaches to resolving them.

Conversation - Providence Board of Canvassers

Thursday, September 26, 2013
7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

Renay Brooks Omisore, Commissioner
Kathy Placencia, Administrator of Elections