2016-08-25 / Opinion


Incubators Offer Positive Economic Impact

To the Editor:

Our state is in need of bold new initiatives to reignite our economic vitality. In the world of business, success is often the result of capitalizing on trends sometimes before they’ve been broadly recognized.

The American workforce is currently undergoing a radical transformation. The time when college grads were destined for a 40-year career with a pension to look forward to are long gone. Employee loyalty in the workplace has become a thing of the past, replaced by the mantra of “what’s best for the shareholders.”

Today there are about 53 million Americans in the workforce who are “independent workers.” By 2020, it is estimated that 50 percent of our workforce will fall under this category. An independent worker is anyone that is in business for themselves without any additional employees. Many of these freelancers are “techies” who contract themselves to one or multiple companies. They usually work from home and have the ability to work from anywhere in the country.

The trends toward a freelance-rich economy is not without its drawbacks. This new economy has stripped away the sense of community that many people enjoyed in the past when working at a physical location.

Around the nation, business incubators have had an economic impact totaling in the billions and have created millions of new jobs. Our state needs to invest more in incubators that attract these freelancers. High-tech freelancers, like web developers, are typically well-paid individuals. Enticing out-of-state folks with affordable shared work/live environments in places like Providence and Newport would essentially infuse our state with highly paid workers. A recruitment program can be created to attract these folks to the incubators.

Incubators will not only provide these individuals with a sense of community, but will also help foster entrepreneurship and provide valuable resources that will allow them to thrive.

Our state has valuable assets: beaches, world class restaurants, art, night life and culture. There’s no doubt that many of these new freelancers who have the ability to work from anywhere in the country will fall in love with our magnificent state. Their newfound sense of community will give them a sense of belonging and will entice them to stay here for the long haul. The economic implications for our state in the long run will be positive. It will help redefine Rhode Island as an innovative state with avant-garde ideas and initiatives.

John Florez
Newport City Councilor

Adding Order to Chaos

To the Editor:

The corner of America’s Cup and lower Thames can be a dangerous place in the summer. This year the city did not install the rubber demarcations between the lanes before the turn onto lower Thames and the right hand turns from the left hand lanes have been an adventure. Only twice this summer has there been any order in this Newport spot.

The order was the result of one Newport policeman on the weekends of the Folk and Jazz festivals. This well-organized public servant brought his own demarcation cones to ensure such dangerous tactics are not tried. When someone decides to pull this tactic, he has no mercy. He sends them up Memorial Boulevard without hesitation. He also ensures those trying to cross Thames in front of the Mill complex, which can be a cross for life situation, are able to do so. I do not know his name, but high fives all around for this dedicated public servant and I have told him so.

Bill Falcone

Outreach Program Motivates Kids

To the Editor:

It’s wonderful to hear that the Newport Police Department’s community police officers have organized a Youth Outreach Program to get kids motivated to have fun and laugh outside in the fresh air. They are showing them a nice and good way to enjoy life by going on educational field trips.

Recently, they had a field trip to Miantonomi Park for geocaching (an outdoor treasure hunt.) Besides getting an education, they surely got a lot of exercise walking 1½ miles around the park without complaining.

Another field trip was a fishing excursion for children to Carolina Trout Hatchery in Richmond. They were given fishing poles and bait, as well as a lesson on how to fish. While fishing, they learned about other animals that exist and survive in the water. How interesting! Another field trip is planned in the near future, a surfing event for children. This will be exciting.

Hopefully there will be more fun and educational field trips. But in order to continue the good work, the community police officers Outreach Program needs your help. At the present time, they rely on partnering with other local organizations to help fund activities for the children who would never have an opportunity to do so. They partner with the Department of Environmental Management’s Aquatic Resource Educational Program, Summer Meals Program and the Newport Housing Authority, which provides bus transportation.

Community police officers in the Outreach Program deserve to be publicly thanked for taking the time to show these children how to have fun with other children without violence. It is not a dream. Anything is possible. These officers are Anson Smith, Robert Spellman, Joshua Wildes and Sgt. Greg Belcher. I wish them many blessings for reaching out to the kids.

Children need love, attention, guidance, trust and protection. Maybe they will be our future law enforcers.

For more information about the Youth Outreach Program, visit the the Newport Police Department’s Facebook page.

Elizabeth Watts

Rotary Foundation Grants

To the Editor:

In 1990 the Newport Rotary Club established a 501(c)(3) organization titled the Newport Rotary Charitable Foundation. The purpose of the foundation is to provide funding primarily for deserving Newport charities. For 26 years, the board of the organization has responded to community requests for grants.

The foundation is not a large one but in the last several years has been donating a total of at least $10,000 a year to various nonprofits.

This year the foundation is pleased to announce a total of $10,450 in grants.

Recipients are: • 3 $1,000 scholarships to graduating Rogers High School seniors • $1,800 to the Pell School book program, matching the equal amount donated by the parent Newport Rotary Club • $1,200 to the Boys and Girls Club of Newport County • $1,500 in campership funding for the local YMCA • $1,600 to the Salvation Army summer camp and backpack program • $1,300 to the Friends of the Waterfront dinghy program • $250 to Rebuild Together

On behalf of our dedicated board of directors, I want to say we are pleased to give support to these various groups.

Kenneth Brockway, President
Newport Rotary Charitable

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