2017-08-17 / Opinion


Endorsement for Mike Smith


To the Editor:

The taxpayers of Newport and Jamestown have a clear choice for the best candidate to fill the vacant Senate District 13 seat on Aug. 22.

Rhode Island has had a state budget for 227–plus years, but since 2001, under the Democratic controlled House and Senate, the budget has nearly doubled. It has increased from $4.6 billion to $9.2 billion in the past 17 years. Pause and reflect on that for a moment. The residents of Newport and Jamestown should consider their own income status and their answers to a series of questions. Has your income doubled in 17 years? Are you better off economically now?

This year the state budget increased 3.3 percent. How much did your income increase this year, if at all? In the last 10 years the state budget has outpaced the rate of inflation by almost $2 billion dollars. Did you receive a salary increase commensurate to or above the rate of inflation during this period of economic downturn?

Rhode Island's economy has historically trailed the nation, and its economic growth has virtually flat-lined for the last 17 years. If the organic revenues are down, then the only methods the state can use to achieve a balanced budget are to reduce spending or increase taxes. Even when Democratic policies appear to provide tax relief, it doesn't. In the 2018 budget there is a car tax relief of $21 million, but the budget sill increased by $300 million.

These state budget figures do not take into consideration increases in local property taxes or increased costs for the necessities of life, food and shelter for the taxpayer. The recent budget impasse reinforces the Democratic controlled general assembly has overriding authority over the budget and the state’s economy, not the governor. Have the Democratic controlled policies made you or the state economically better off now than 17 years ago?

As a husband, a father and a small-business owner, Mike Smith understands these stark numbers and he is committed to help turn this state's economy upward for all Rhode Island's benefit. It takes one election at a time to begin that process, and for the taxpayers of Newport and Jamestown, that begins on August 22. Please vote for Mike Smith.

Representative Ken Mendonça
District 72
Portsmouth and Middletown

Smith Understands R.I. Challenges

To the Editor:

The RI Federation of Republican Women stands with candidate Mike Smith as he campaigns for the Senate District 13 seat representing Jamestown and Newport. As a business owner, Mike has firsthand knowledge of how high taxes, excessive regulations, and the power of special interests impede the growth of our state's economy. As a husband and parent, he understands the challenges Rhode Islanders face when trying to secure quality education for their children and safe, prosperous communities for their families. Most importantly, Mike knows that allowing Rhode Islanders to keep more of the money they have earned is the roadmap to success for our state.

The only special interest group Mike is beholden to is the R.I. taxpayer. Mike has a clear list of priorities that he will address to improve the lives and economy of residents of Jamestown and Newport. The ideas, values, and skills Mike will bring to the General Assembly will result in much-needed change in R.I., beginning with balance and integrity in our legislative body.

The RI Federation of Republican Women shows our support with this endorsement. Please show your support with your vote for Mike Smith on Aug. 22.

Lee Ann Sennick
Republican National
Committeewoman for RI
President, RI Federation of
Republican Women

Euer Will Listen

To the Editor:

I met Dawn Euer a couple of weeks ago. By the way, her last name rhymes with “lawyer,” which is a good thing as she is one.

I was impressed with her credentials and her history of wading into community issues, many of them controversial. Here is what impressed me the most, however. She was describing the sometimes vociferous exchanges between people with opposing views and she said she understood why people here are unrelenting in their battle to have their opinions heard. She said they do so because people in this beautiful place "really care" about it. I love the fact that she is respectful of citizens who show up and express their thoughts and opinions even if they do not agree with hers.

I hope that you will join me in voting for her on Aug. 22 for District 13 of the Rhode Island State Senate for Newport and Jamestown because you really care about this beautiful place. You will be listened to.

Ann McMahon

Global Warming is Indeed Reality

To the Editor:

As do most global warming deniers, Mr. Falcone (Letter to the Editor, Newport This Week, Aug. 3) takes his facts out of context or uses "alternative facts." While the Canadian weather research ship/ ice breaker Amundsen did cancel an expedition, he takes the "too much ice" out of context. According to Newsweek.com, the trip was scratched because "due to warming temperatures, Arctic sea ice is unexpectedly in motion, making the trip too dangerous." Moreover, the trip was cancelled because the ship was sent on an emergency search and rescue mission in the Strait of Belle between Labrador and Newfoundland. While in the straits, the scientists noted ice chunks "not of the thin, one-year ice that is usually seen in the Strait that time of year. Instead, it was multi-year ice, between 6-8 metres thick, of the kind that usually stays locked up in between the northern islands of the Canadian Arctic Archipelago, and in the waters of the Arctic Ocean…Seeing this multi-year ice as far south as the Strait is a sign that the warming Arctic waters are breaking up this thicker ice." (theweathernetwork.com). In other words, the extra ice was due to global warming, not colder temperatures, as Mr. Falcone insinuates from taking facts out of context.

Moreover, I don't think that the Vikings found farms in Greenland! The original inhabitants there, the Inuit, were hunter-gatherers. The name "Greenland" was the original real estate scam. The Norsemen did find arable land in Newfoundland farther south, and moderated by the Gulf Stream.

The overwhelming majority of scientists who study climate change using hard data have concluded that there is indeed global warming. While there are natural swings in global temperature, human activity is accelerating the trend towards warmer temperatures. But like the "anti-vaccers," the deniers stick to their beliefs as if they were holy writ, and cannot be convinced by the truth. The "stick-your- head-in-the-sand" attitude puts us all in peril.

Margo Vale

Thank You to Our Firefighters

To the Editor:

My wife and I want to extend our thanks and congratulations to the Newport firefighters who so successfully fought and contained the fire on Second Street on Aug. 8. It damaged two homes, but the professionalism of the city’s firefighters prevented the blaze from reaching any of the other 200 and 300-year-old wooden homes in the Point neighborhood. Their skill prevented a massive blaze had it spread to other tinderbox homes in the neighborhood.

Our hearts go out to the two families who did suffer damage.

Don Dery

The Highlight of 2017

To the Editor:

I would like to thank James Merolla for the great story he wrote about me in the photo with the Kennedys which appeared in the Aug. 10 issue of Newport This Week. The story was the highlight of 2017.

Joe Tremblay

Smith Has a Vision


To the Editor:

I am a lifelong Newport resident and an independent voter. I am voting for Michael Smith for Senate on Tuesday, Aug. 22.

Growing up here, the neighborhoods were once filled with children. You could see us walking to school in packs. In the summer, dozens of us would gather outside and play games throughout the neighborhood for hours. On Halloween the streets would be flooded with families.

Now we are grown and many have moved away, out of the district, or out of state. People I grew up with are starting families of their own, outside of Newport. The streets do not teem the way they once did. Over the years, I have watched as our year-round population is disappearing.

Neighborhoods across Newport, such as the Point and the Fifth Ward, were homes to families. Now it seems most of them are second homes, rental properties, or used for Airbnb vacationers. I understand the need my neighbors have to rent out their properties, they cannot afford them on their own. Homes and rental prices have been skyrocketing out of control over the past few years, forcing people to leave. I have family members who love this town, and who do not want to leave, but who cannot find affordable housing.

While candidate Euer is courting special Interests from Providence, and out of state, Mike is the only candidate discussing the economy and the years of corrupt politics that have forced so many of my friends and family to have to leave this area, and the state. He is also the only candidate talking about our over-dependence on seasonal tourism, and a need to bring year-round jobs, that would result in more families returning. He owns a small business here in town, he also has kids in our public school system. He relates to the average citizen.

Myself, and so many people I grew up with, want to stay here and raise a family. The only candidate that shares that vision is Michael Smith.

Natalie Coletti

Mayor Urges Newporters to Vote

To the Editor:

Rarely do I venture into partisan politics, but I am compelled to do so in the District 13 Senate race.

I am supporting the business-oriented, jobs-focused candidate, moderate Mike Smith.

Progress in this state can only be achieved when moderates in both parties come together in the middle for reasonable solutions. The extreme progressive agenda that is being supported by his opponent does not even attempt to come back to the center.

If enacted, the progressive agenda will cost RI taxpayers billions of dollars in additional spending.

I urge all Newporters to vote on Aug. 22 and to support the moderate candidate, Mike Smith.

Harry Winthrop

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