2017-06-29 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

New Ideas Needed

To the Editor:

Last week the Democrats running in the Democrat primary for the Senate District 13 seat vacated by Senate President Paiva-Weed, held their forum. The two-hour session offered nothing new from the four candidates. They continue to advocate for the same old tired tax and spend agenda that has led our state to the bottom of most economic indicators, and forced families and 70 percent of college students to leave our community and our state to find better jobs, and more affordable living.

Likewise, the Democrat candidates failed to address the growing exodus of Newport and Jamestown’s year-round population, which has dropped 50 percent in the last 40 years, and is expected to continue to plummet.

Nowhere was there a discussion as to why our schools, despite increased funding, are near bottom in ranking.

Nowhere was there a discussion as to why Rhode Island is ranked the 50th worst state in which to operate a business. Sadly, they also failed to offer ideas on what they would do to increase the number and quality of jobs.

Instead of dealing with over taxation and wasteful spending, they instead called to put more "lipstick on the pig" by proudly advocating for more crushing taxes, unproven programs, and job-killing regulations.

These Democrat candidates are clearly out of touch with the plight of average Newport and Jamestown residents.

It is time to set a new course where public officials are held accountable for the waste and misuse of taxpayer’s dollars. It is time for a new leaf, as we, the voters, ask for public servants. We need elected officials who place our best interests above theirs and who, instead of pushing pet projects of their chosen donors, work to improve financial security and brighter futures for all hardworking Rhode Islanders. The residents of Newport and Jamestown are tired of the status quo which has forced so many, tired of a stagnant economy, to leave their lifelong homes.

We need a year-round economy, and a focus on restoring individual prosperity and small business vitality.

Rhode Island's Democrat leaders have given Rhode Island a weak and struggling economy and tepid job creation. It has delivered a crushing tax burden to hardworking Rhode Islanders. It has failed our children and our schools who need the good schools for brighter futures.

My opponents want to double down on the policies that have failed average families. I have better ideas and a clear vision for reforms to return our state to prosperity for all. I welcome your help and support for a better, brighter future for Rhode Island.

Michael “Mike” Smith
Candidate Senate District 13

Consider Adopting a Rescue Dog

To the Editor:

I recently read a nice article on the late Eric Shaw, who was a professor at the Naval War College and died in March at age 58. The article mentioned Eric’s love for his golden retriever, Squall, which reminded me of a similar true love story between another professor and a dog in Japan, called Hachi. The dog was a stray that the professor took in after finding him roaming around a train station. Every day, Hachi would wait at the station for the professor to return from work. And even after the professor died, the dog continued to go to the station at the proscribed time for nine years, waiting for the professor to return.

This was truly a dog’s undying loyalty. After Hachi’s death, a well-known Japanese artist sculptured a bronze statue of the dog and the professor. He placed one at the Shibuya Train Station in Japan, where the dog waited, and another at the University of Tokyo.

The monument is a reminder of Hachi’s loyalty and faithfulness to his master. In 2009, Entertainment Films produced a film starring Richard Gere, telling Hachi’s story. The movie is available at the Newport Public Library and can also be streamed on Netflix or ordered online at Amazon.com.

I hope this true, heartwarming story will inspire someone to adopt a rescue dog at Potter League.

Elizabeth Watts
Newport

An Advocate for Seniors

To the Editor:

Many of my friends are technically “senior citizens,” although almost every one of them would balk at the term. In fact, one friend remarked to me a few weeks ago that she finds it funny that she’s reached the only time in a person’s life where it’s not a good thing to be a “senior.” I value these friendships, the mentorship and wisdom that they share with me. I know what a great asset our older citizens are and will work hard to make sure they can age in their community with dignity and confidence.

Creating policies to keep our senior citizens active and engaged is the right thing to do, and it’s a smart economic choice. Seniors contribute to our economy in many ways, through working, volunteering, serving as family caregivers, and more. Additionally, active and engaged seniors stay healthy longer, reducing healthcare costs. We must do more to make aging in one’s home a viable option. We can address our cracked and crumbling sidewalks and make crosswalks safer. This ties in with smart development principles I have been talking about throughout this election.

A major issue right now is public transportation. I support the advocacy efforts to restore the free bus pass for seniors. Additionally, we need to make sure the transportation is professional, courteous and reliable so that folks can get where they need to go in a safe and timely manner.

We must do more to support our senior centers. Local senior centers are a lifeline for folks who rely on them for communication about services and programs, their community and social support. Increased support to senior centers can be doubled with efforts to provide volunteers for other critical services and projects, such as mentoring our youth to provide intergenerational connections.

I am committed to working on behalf of our seniors and will be your advocate in the Senate.

Dawn Euer, Esq.
Democratic Candidate for Senate
District 13 – Jamestown & Newport

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