2018-03-01 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Protecting Our Children

To the Editor:

Another slaughter of innocent school children has once again galvanized our country into a demand for meaningful action. There is no justification for obfuscating this epidemic of violence with rhetoric about Second Amendment rights when the very future of our country is at stake. We are talking about wiping away the hopes and aspirations of the next generation if we do not take decisive steps right now in assuring their safety and demonstrating that we care about them.

The clarion call from the students of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has resounded all over the United States and beyond. Do something! Show us you care! Don’t tell us to wait! So, how can we, as a civil society, ignore this plea? Conversely, it can be said that if we do nothing of consequence, we have lost our civility and any sense of decency.

As a first step this year in Rhode Island, the Newport Democratic City Committee supports the initiatives in the General Assembly that would ban the sale, use, and ownership of military-style assault weapons. Other remedies to gun violence include enhanced background checks, prohibiting the sale of high-level ammunition magazines, eliminating loopholes in registration at gun shows, and requirements for safe storage and adequate gun locks.

For sure, some may want to resist by arguing the semantics of what defines a “military-style assault weapon.” But, there should be no argument that our children and grandchildren deserve to be protected from senseless and preventable violence. Sometimes people have to make tough choices. In this case, it is Second Amendment rights versus child safety.

Some might hold that this choice makes it too simplistic, too either or. But, most people in this country recognize that we must do more to protect our children and support definitive action now that will help them live in a community that cherishes them and their future as much as possible. Our legacy to them must be: We care. We love you.

J. Clement Cicilline
Chair Newport Democratic
City Committee

Crowley Worked for the Greatest Good

To the Editor:

Next month, the Jane Pickens will do one of their live streaming features from London, Shakespeare's Julius Ceasar. Like many, I read that play in high school way back in the middle of the last century. Filled with numerous quotable moments, Shakespeare, who knew it all, always provided many an opportunity for us to connect through the centuries as he spoke to the ages. For example, Marc Antony praises Caesar with these lines,"…only he acted from honesty and for the greatest good. His life was gentle, and the elements mixed so well in him that Nature might stand up and say to all the world. This was a man."

I thought of that quote last week when Newport buried one of its finest, one who lived and worked honestly, educating our children gently as he worked for the greatest good. He blessed us all with his loving efforts and we can be truly grateful that he passed our way. Most assuredly, the elements were mixed so well in him that Nature can stand up and say to all the world, "This was a man"…Jaime Crowley.

Dave Wixted
Newport

What's Happening?

To the Editor:

As neighbors of the former Sheffield School, we are curious to know what is currently going on at the site as we have seen no news stories about current developments.

A week or so ago all the trees and large shrubs on the site were cut down and removed.

For weeks now there have been propane powered generators operating 24 hours a day.

An enormous dumpster was hauled down our narrow residential street taking down some small tree branches along the way.

Today’s discoveries are: the entire site is now fenced off, no longer allowing parking for Jesus Savior on the Sheffield site. There is a large excavation from the sidewalk along Broadway to the building where the entry to the school used to be.

We are curious to know if we missed public information from the City or if the plans were never made public. Are there publicly available plans? Is this to be the new technology hub? What plans are there for the landscaping of the site? The upper Broadway neighborhood had too few trees as it was, now it is looking even more barren.

As with any large-scale construction project, it is now interfering with the quality of life for the neighborhood. It would also be useful to know how long this construction is expected to go on.

Any information Newport This Week has or can uncover would be good to know.

Sue Pashko
Newport

Armory Questions Remain

To the Editor:

I attended the Alliance for a Livable Newport Forum tonight. The word "transparency" was used a lot, but in the context of something akin to "you'll be informed of everything when it's done."

In regards to the Armory, we have no additional information about how and why this deal was undertaken, or why the public had no real-time knowledge that the City was operating as a very motivated seller to a pre-selected buyer/tenant.

We do however, have lots of after-the-fact justification, but that is not the same as a transparent process.

As for public access, the Antiques Market is open year round; the Maritime Center is seasonal.

Thanks to all who participated.

Judith A. Byrnes
Newport

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