2018-03-08 / Opinion


A Warm Welcome

This week you may have noticed a couple of new bylines. Newporter Andy Long has written the page one story about the discovery – shocking to many – of the escalating rates of child abuse across the state, with the highest number of cases belonging to Newport. He also covered the recent city council meeting (see page 7), and has a passion for writing about whatever helps the community better understand its surroundings. Andy has been a New York City Teaching Fellow, and also did corporate consulting. In addition to his writing for NTW, he is a board member of the La Farge Restoration Fund and one of the four leaders of the 4Faiths Tours of Newport. A warm welcome to Andy.

Jocelyn O’Neil, a lifelong Newporter and Rogers High School graduate, has Middletown Town Council meetings as one of her beats. In addition to this week’s council overview (see page 3), she has been following the developments concerning gun violence, starting last week with a story on local gun shops, and bringing us a story on the R.I. Coalition Against Gun Violence’s presentation (see page 1) this week. Watch for upcoming articles in her series on gun violence and safety. Her commitment to covering topics of interest to islanders has also led her to an update on the coyote issue, and in this week’s edition, she interviews Middletown’s Animal Control Officer. She now lives with her husband in Portsmouth, but many may have known her as Jocie Hall, when she and her siblings were growing up in the Fifth Ward. A warm welcome to Jocie.

In preparation for the Newport St. Patrick’s Day Parade next Saturday, March 17, the green stripe will soon be painted down the center of Broadway and Thames Street. Mayor Harry Winthrop and the Newport City Council will be welcoming guests from Kinsale, Ireland, one of Newport’s Sister cities, at a reception at the Gateway Center on Friday, March 16, from 5 to 6 p.m. The public is invited to join in giving our kinsmen and kinswomen a warm welcome.

It’s Newport’s chance to really rev up its welcome skills when we host the Volvo Ocean Race Stopover, May 8 to 20 (see page 1). Watch for the approach of the racers, over the next few months, as flags wave, celebrations soar, and crowds gather – as they did in 2015 – to greet the boats as they arrive in the harbor for the conclusion of the leg, in May. Last time, Newport was said to have the warmest welcome of any of the stopovers. Let’s beat our own record!

Finally, let’s all remember what a special opportunity this is, when we’re welcoming people from near and far, and be respectful parade watchers and St. Patrick’s Day revelers. After all, this is our City by the Sea. Sláinte!

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