Dave Richards for January 30th…………….
--I want to thank Bob Billington, the founder and President of the Blackstone Valley Tourism Council for volunteering to play the part of King Jace XXIV, the Mysterious Monarch of the Woonsocket Mardi Gras. Bob was unmasked last Friday right after Joyce LaPerle was crowned the Queen of the Mardi Gras and, together with Princess Kim Blais and Princess Tami Irwin, will reign over the Woonsocket Mardi Gras this coming Saturday.
Bob was a delight to work with, he’s so enthusiastic about the Mardi Gras. He has always attended and expressed to me a great admiration for the members of the committee and their work every year. To be brought in closer and be a part of the celebration itself really meant a lot to him, and he wanted me to tell everyone how happy he was. He’s also a bit relieved he doesn’t need to pick out a costume for the ball, since his has already been provided.
If you’re the kind of person who likes to cut loose and have a good time, gather your friends and go to the Mardi Gras this Saturday. Tickets are still available as I write this from Lorraine Cloutier, 401-762-9072. It’s $30 per person which includes a huge Cajun Buffet, two bands, and a costume contest. If there are any tickets left at the door, they’ll be $35, so don’t tempt disappointment, call Lorraine today.
--And now for this week’s rant. Don’t you think the cost of running our public schools is just too high? I do. Heck, I’ve heard the people who run the schools bemoan the cost themselves. But I believe it’s not as much the fault of the professional educators as much as it is the fault of our Rhode Island General Assembly. The continuously escalating costs of complying with every law and regulation our reps and senators can get passed increases every year.
Get ready to see your school costs rise again. From the State House news service, the public relations agency paid for by taxpayers to make us like our General Assembly better, comes word of a new law proposed by Rep. Joseph M. McNamara (D-Dist. 19, Warwick, Cranston) which would effectively require every school building in this state to install and maintain Carbon Monoxide detectors.
There is no indication in the press release how much this will cost taxpayers. That’s probably because this is one of those “it’s not about the money, it’s about saving children’s lives!” pieces of ‘feel-good’ bills which legislators who support it can pound the campaign podium about, showing the voters they “really care” about their kids.
I want kids to be safe. But I think I know a snow job when I see one.
Please don’t misunderstand. Carbon Monoxide detectors are marvelous instruments. They save lives. Rhode Island has already, wisely, I think, mandated them in homes. This is because homes have non-professionally vented kitchens where food is cooked, they have various types of heating systems like wood stoves, and they have no janitors watching to see that all is in good working order. Unlike schools, you sleep in your home, so it may happen that you would not notice the initial effects of Carbon Monoxide poisoning before it was too late. None of those common activities which put people at risk for Carbon Monoxide poisoning happen in schools.
In fact, even in the promotional press release which announced the bill there was only one case where one little girl had a headache and her mom said the child was diagnosed with Carbon Monoxide poisoning which the mom claims happened in the girl’s school, even though no other children seemed affected.
Consider this. When the City of Woonsocket found itself in a terrible financial bind a few years ago, the professional educators stepped up and made the sacrifice, doing their part to help. In 2018, their contract is up for renewal and they’d like to get back a portion of what they gave up last time. Understandable, but money is still tight and it will be difficult to afford doing the right thing by them. However, the cost of new forced regulations like the one proposed here will make it all the more difficult to do the right thing.
I understand you are not a “Law-maker” unless you are making laws. But for Pete’s sake, can’t we be a bit more careful about which laws we make? Let’s protect our children. But let us also set a good example of civic responsibility for them to emulate when their time comes to lead.
--That’s what I think. What do you think? Comments to: email@example.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.
Thanks for reading.