2018-10-04 / Opinion

60 Things to Ponder


While an incredulous nation sits in stunned awe
At the lunacy hearings of Judge Kavanaugh,

Let us lift up our glass, now that summer is fleeing,
And consider this ode based on WHAT ARE WE SEEING?

Elections so critical in Newport, Middletown, R.I., and nation,
Their results may make teetotalers reach for libation.

Just when you thought it couldn’t get worse.
We present this editorial poem in couplet and verse.

Who is in, who is out, who is desperate, who, in doubt,
The myriad issues facing us all on this island,
Like, ‘Not in my backyard,’ and ‘Hey, hotel, get off-a my land!’

The rest of Rhode Island? Who wins? Who gets stung?
Among Gina Raimondo, Joe Trillo, and Allan Fung?

From Kavanaugh’s boozing on a Newport yacht (untrue).
To Middletown’s Michael Flynn hiding all that he knew.

From Street Fairs a-poppin’, to Opera House rebuild a-stoppin’.

From planning to schools to council decisions (a mystery),
Here is the skinny, the dope, the buzz, in our recent 90-day history.

July started off with some Newport fireworks as a rule.
Laurie Sullivan was named principal of Thompson Middle School.

Middletown, not to be outdone, or collecting dust on the shelf,
Appointed new school principals in Beth Hayes and Donna Chelf.

Jane Pickens Theater was a very cartoonish “animated” scene,
Visited by Ron Campbell, animator of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.”

Alliance Francais announced a truly statuesque King Park combo.
$250,000 to fix the pyramid and seawall around the statue of Rochambeau.

On these editorial pages, Mayor Harry Winthrop, that mustachioed guy,
Bid his constituents and colleagues in Newport a very heartfelt good-bye.

Winthrop (not seeking re-election), and mates look like building champs,
$40 million construction is ready to rebuild the Pell Bridge on-ramps.

Most everyone is for it, except for some canine owners who bark,
That the ramps may wipe out their adjacent Pell Bridge dog park.

Good faith negotiations continue within the Armory on Thayer,
The International Sailing Hall of Fame will be the city’s next major player.

Three new hotels are going up, long-term, with all the amenities and incidentals.
But the Council still awaits a four-month report on the future of short-term rentals.

The Committee was more stunned than the Avengers by the evil usurper Thanos
With the sudden resignation of their popular Chairman, David Hanos.

Middletown school officials and teachers suffered their own kind of attacks,
But then the union and the Committee happily ratified new three-year contracts.

In August, Middletown was how proud? Very, very, very!
They celebrated their Founder’s Day and 275th Anniversary.

One anniversary sadly noted, nor duly planned,
Was the unfortunate closing of Newport Grand.

Gamblers shrug. “Win some. Lose some. Hey, what do we know?”
“Tiverton is opening a brand new casino!”

Angry parents railed against the Newport School Committee once or twice,
Complaining about RHS mold, mildew, leaks, rats and mice.

“We agree with you and want to take care of it!” was the informal retort.
(“But, kids, unfortunately, the schools are about $1 million short.”)

The ultimate solution? Construct a new Rogers High! Now! Soon! When?
Well, probably when that Pell pre-schooler turns at least nine or ten.

Neighbors of Cranston-Calvert School had many of their fears allayed,
When developer Connor Melville explained the improvement
plans made.

Was it built in 1020? 1300? 1500? 1580? Or ought nil?
Newport is going to carefully analyze the (Viking Tower?) Old Stone Mill.

There was talk of local judiciary expansion.
It happened when Judge Judy bought a spiffy Newport mansion.

Hey, Smith Hill, how does it feel?
You couldn’t make a decent, intelligent, worthy Pawsox deal?

And would you legislators please buy me a comfortable pillow?
I’ll need it to endure debates among Fung, Raimondo, and Trillo.

The appropriately-named Sheldon Whitehouse made national news.
He said he was told that Brett Kavanaugh got wild in Newport on a cruise.

The report, like so many others on both sides, proved to be jive.
But Sheldon made the big time! Senate prober, parodied on ‘Saturday Night Live!’

Next time we meet, there will be more than one stunning election surprise.
God willing, fingers working, and the creek don’t rise.

James Merolla

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