Dave's Column

Dave Richards for August 14th.............

Dave Richards for August 14th…………

 

--Okay, now President Trump has sent out another obviously inappropriate “Tweet” on the social media platform agreeing with a heckler who called CNN anchor Chris Cuomo a “Fredo”.  I guess today it’s considered as bad as the “N”-word to Italians.  Cuomo got steamed and participated in a heated and profane exchange with the heckler.  CNN says it supports Cuomo.  O-f-f-f-f Co-u-r-s-e they do, anything resembling a dog fight, street brawl, or train wreck that will bring ratings is A-OK with CNN brass.  After all, they’ve lost any pretense of respectability years ago in my professional opinion.

  If the guy worked for me, and used profanity on the air, it would not be condoned and he’d have been on the carpet in my office pronto for a review of his future employment with the company, if you get my meaning.  Of course, the penalties for profanity are different for an FCC licensed over-the-air operation than for a pay-cable channel, but you’d think the standards for a national organization like CNN would be at least as high as for a local radio or TV station, wouldn’t you?

  And speaking of local TV, I saw a clip the other day of a young lady reporter for Channel 10 TV who, while she was doing a live report on the air, had her microphone nearly ripped from her hand when a by-stander jumped on camera and yelled something into her mic to be broadcast.  The reporter showed her professionalism by pulling the mic back from the trouble-maker and finishing her report as if it hadn’t even happened.  That reporter could work for me any day!  Wish I had caught her name, but congratulations to her and let’s hope more people in radio and TV follow her example and keep cool under pressure.   

 

--When I was young, the worst thing you could call someone was a Communist, or its vernacularal equivalent, a “Commie”.  It was meant that you were un-American, a person unfit to live among us.  Most people who got tagged with that label actually weren’t members of the Communist Party, of course.  It was just a slur someone who didn’t like you hung on you to cause you trouble. 

  There were Communists living in our country, of course.  Some of them did spy on the rest of us and make reports to Communist officials.  But you didn’t see them.  The really dangerous people stayed in the shadows, by choice, so they could be more effective at their work of disrupting American society. 

  Most people understood this and most of us know that the people who were called Communists weren’t.  The real ones were hidden from us.

  Fast forward the old time machine to today.  Being a Communist is no big deal anymore.  If you called someone a “Commie”, most people would say, “so what?  Who cares?”  I think this is why you never hear anyone being called a Communist today.  Today “Racist” is the new Communist! 

  We’ve come a long way from calling playground foes “Booger-Heads” and “Super-Creeps”, haven’t we?  Whatever we can call someone we don’t like that will hurt their feelings or cause others to not like them is what we’ll call them even though we know it isn’t true.  It’s so simple, every time you don’t like someone, today all you need to do is call them a racist.  But, just like in the school yard and back in the days of the Cold War, the ones who get the new label of today are not what they are called.

  Here’s the problem.  There really are racists out there.  And, just like the communists of decades ago, they stay out of sight.  They agitate from the background.  They plant the seeds of hate and doubt and then stand back for others to finish their dirty work. 

  What’s really dangerous, in my view, is that we will eventually call so many people ‘racists’ who aren’t, that real racists will be empowered to ply their divisive trade un-impeded because the public is de-sensitized to the term.

  What can be done?  Well, the first thing we could do is not believe it when someone is called a ‘racist’ in anger by another.  Or, we could go back to calling people ‘Super-Creeps’ and ‘Booger-Heads’. 

  Or maybe we could stop acting like children and try to argue matters of public disagreement intellectually instead of emotionally.      

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.  Thanks for reading.

 

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Dave Richards for August 7th.................

Dave Richards for August 7th…………

 

--I’d love to make a comment or two on yesterday’s special election for Woonsocket City Council, but I am limited to not knowing who won due to the timing of my deadline for this column.

   I will say that I thought yesterday’s election had the potential to be one of most American we’ve seen in a long time.  I say that because we had two candidates who waged a spirited campaign and there was a clear difference between their approaches to the job.  It was then left, as it should be, to the voters to make their choice.

   By the time you read this the turnout numbers will be known, but I observed personally that about twice as many voters appeared to have voted as the July election based upon the number of people who had voted when the Fabulous Denise and I presented ourselves at the Holy Trinity Church Hall.

   Regardless who has prevailed, I applaud both candidates for running a spirited and uncommonly positive campaign.  And I wish a positive campaign were not so uncommon.

 

--We don’t travel as much these days as we used to.  But I do remember my first experience with Resort Fees.  I was booked by my favorite travel agent into what was then my favorite hotel on the Las Vegas strip, The Riviera.  We had had a lot of good memories at “The Riv” and I was kinda sad to see it torn down.  But one not-so-good memory was the last time we stayed there. 

  When we checked in, a $50 per-night “Resort Fee” was added to the bill.  I was taken by surprise and not happy at all.  I phoned my travel agent who told me they have no control over it, that some hotels, in response to a “room rate war” were lowering their room rates, but using these surprise resort fees to make up the money they use to get from the room rate.

  I was told they use that resort fee money to pay for “free” use of the pool, “free” water in your room, “free” access to the exercise room and things like that.  I told them I don’t want to use the pool, or any of those other amenities.  Why should I be forced to pay for them?  Well, there was no option to avoid paying for what I didn’t use.   I was stricken by the similarity of the hotel resort fees to a pay-cable TV bill.  You are forced to pay for things (channels) you won’t use (watch) and have no recourse other than to not do business with the pay-cable company.

  Certainly not fair.  But wait.  I read now that these resort fees have become so prevalent that the Attorneys General of the State of Nebraska and the District of Columbia have filed suit against hotels, charging them with Deceptive Pricing. 

  You see, those resort fees are hidden from you in all advertising.  If you go online, all you will see is the artificially low room rate, that it.  You aren’t even told how much the resort fees are until you’ve booked your room, or, as in my case, when you check in after a long and tiring trip.  A heck of a time to tell you, I say.  You’ve been traveling for about 6 hours altogether and you’re standing there with your luggage just hoping to get into a room to clean up and rest. 

  I have visited Las Vegas more than a dozen times over the years for business and pleasure.  That time at The Riviera was my last. 

  Now I read that MGM Resorts has increased their resort fees at all their Vegas properties.  In a statement from management, they are completely justified.  Maybe so, but I think they are not fair and not the way I would ever treat a guest in my house.

  I do hope these lawsuits gain some traction and that the Attorneys General of other states, like Rhode Island, get the same idea as Nebraska and D.C. got. 

  Now that I think of it, Rhode Island has some pretty good consumer protection laws.  I noted a while back that I saw a particular item at a store in Massachusetts which bore a price lower than that of the same item in a Rhode Island branch of the same store chain.  Upon further examination, the Massachusetts price tag had deducted the value of a rebate coupon which you had to mail in to the manufacturer.  That’s another case of making a decision to buy and when you get to the register to pay you are forced to pay more money than was on the price given. 

  I don’t know about you, but I have been stiffed by a manufacturer in the past on a promised rebate, and I was out that money with no recourse except to never buy that manufacturer’s product again.  Of course by that time it was too late for me.

  But in Rhode Island, the law says that if a rebate is offered, it cannot be used to make the product appear less expensive unless you can walk out of the store with the product for that price.  It’s the “Instant Rebate” at the register.  I call that a fair way to do business and I think it’s a consumer protection law that Rhode Island can be proud of and Massachusetts should aspire to pass.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Dave Richards for July 31st................

Dave Richards for July 31st…………

 

--Tonight is big memory night.  Tonight starts four nights and one day of reliving old memories and making new ones at the Holy Trinity Carnival at Park Square in Woonsocket.  Although the church legally changed the name of the parish from Our Lady Queen of Martyrs to Holy Trinity a little more than a year ago, this is the first year that change will be applied to the carnival.  In fact, the display ad in The Call calls it the “1st Annual” Holy Trinity Carnival, even though it’s been known under its previous name for more than 60 years. 

  When a change like this occurs, it affects different people in different ways.  Some people want a clean break with the past.  Others will accept the name change but cherish the memories of the past.  I’m with the latter group.  The promotional announcements have been running on the radio for weeks now, and every time I mention it to people they know just what I’m talking about, regardless of the name.  And they all have great memories of the summer church carnival at Park Square. 

  Some remember courting their eventual spouses there.  I’m in that group, too.  I used to take Denise there back when I was the only one who called her “Fabulous”.  It helped that the carnival was usually right around her birthday.  Others mention when they used to raffle off a new car there, back in the days before a new car cost more than $10,000.  Today, the car is gone, but the $10,000 raffle remains.  No problem, I like money better than cars anyway.

  Everyone has a fond memory of this carnival.  So now it’s time to come out to that same stretch of grass at Park Square and relive your memories and make some new ones with people you care about.  The Holy Trinity Church Carnival at Park Square, even if tonight is the “1st Annual”, was more than 20 years old when Autumnfest started.  Think about it.  See you there.

 

--I remember a private conversation I had with a police officer friend of mine one time in which the subject came around to how they felt about their work.  They kidded about it at first, saying how it seemed to be a ‘growth industry’, but then they turned serious for a moment and told me, “It’s like shoveling against the tide.  Keep it up and you question sometimes if you’ll ever beat it.  Give up for just a day and you know you’ll be overwhelmed and you’ll drown”.  He said, “we keep catching the bad guys and putting them away, but they keep making new bad guys.  It’ll get to you if you let it.”  I asked how he finds the courage to keep going.  He told me, “sometimes there’s a moment when I get tired or disgusted or a little bit of both.  It happens, even to us.  But then I think for just another moment of what this world would be like to live in if good people gave up and let the bad guys win.  That thought is so terrible that it gives me just the little kick I need to ‘shake off the fatigue’ and get back into the fight.”

  I left the conversation there, not wanting to dwell on a topic which clearly affected my friend so much.  I never asked them about the creeps who troll the streets with video cameras making up stories or trying to goad police officers into anything which might be caught on camera and used on social media.  But if I had asked him, I suppose he’d have said, “so long as they aren’t breaking the law, let ‘em have their fun.”

  What’s my point in bringing this up?  I read a news story recently about the ACLU of Rhode Island joining the fight of a group called The Accountability Project which is trying to get internal records of employee discipline from the Pawtucket and Woonsocket police departments.  I surely hope these requests are for a high purpose and not for targeting individual officers who will be victimized by people with selfish motives.  I am reminded that history is full of examples of self-righteous individuals who caused, perhaps unintended, trouble.  But trouble nonetheless.

 I think everyone needs to remember here that we are hiring human beings to do a job for us (police work) so we don’t need to do it ourselves.  It takes an exceptional individual to be a police officer.  But even though we ask them to do what is sometimes inhuman work, they are human.  As such, they may err.  Following their good character, they will improve themselves.  Everyone deserves to have the latitude in their jobs to do that.

  Today we rightly honor those in the military for their service.  I think we should honor equally those who put on the badge and serve us in our police departments every day.  What would happen to our world if good people stopped choosing police work as a career?  It can happen. 

  Years of societal abuse of public school teachers is already causing teacher shortages in key disciplines.  Some states are so short of public school teachers they are offering to pay for the complete education of anyone who will come to that state and teach there for five years after graduation.  Think about that. 

  It’s so easy to criticize.  Too easy, sometimes.  Give respect, get respect. 

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.  Thanks for reading.

 

 

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Dave Richards for July 24th...............

Dave Richards for July 24th…………

 

--A story I read from the Boston news wire got me thinking.  The story read that lawmakers on Beacon Hill were angry because two officials with the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles simply didn’t show up to a committee meeting to be grilled by a legislative sub-committee.  They just didn’t show up.  No explanation.

  We know that an audit is being conducted as part of the investigation into the out-of-state-infractions scandal, but that’s not due to be completed until September.  It appears from this story that a certain sub-committee couldn’t wait for the audit and wanted to grill these two registry officials right now.  I thought about it for a minute.  I couldn’t come up with one logical reason why they should do that, other than to conduct a circus for their own amusement or political profit. 

  What would they ask these two people which would make any sense?  Would they ask “Why were the notices from other states ignored?”  Well that’s a silly question to ask, really.  Nobody is going to say they even knew they were being ignored if they have half a brain in their head.  It’s already been established that in the day to day workings of the registry, when the notices came in from other states they were placed in the Inbox but nobody checked the Inbox.  At least that was the initial comments I heard.  It’s plausible.  And the investigation will find the truth of the matter.

  So what should a good citizen do when they are called upon to “testify” by a group of legislators whose only interest is to ask leading questions and to make you look bad so they can look good doing it? 

  The way I was raised, you respond respectfully to the request to appear.  But when you do appear, if they start in with the “so when did you stop beating your wife?” kind of questions, you just remind them you are there because you respect the high office the questioner holds and you wish they would respect themselves and their high office as much as you do.

  Don’t be evasive.  Don’t work hard to offer answers you know will be unhelpful.  Just ask them politely to ask their questions in a way you can answer them honestly and completely.  Without emotion.  Without hidden agenda.  And so long as they refrain from acting like a pulpit pounding preacher or a bad rendition of Perry Mason, you’ll all get along just fine and you’ll do what you can to help them do the business of the people. 

  And there’s the key.  When the legislative members are doing the business of the people everything works.  It stops working when they are doing the business of getting re-elected or qualifying for a TV interview or a desired committee assignment. 

  Does anyone here think for a moment that someone at the Mass. RMV looked at the infraction notices from other states and said to themselves, “let’s just ignore these.” ?  Of course you don’t.  Nobody thinks that. 

  So tell me, what questions would you ask someone at the RMV if they appeared before you which wouldn’t make you (not them) look stupid?  Think about that.  Then think better of doing it at all.

  We can expand upon this idea to the endless congressional committee hearings in Washington, D.C.  Personally, I’d feel better letting the FBI conduct investigations and have them report their findings to congress.  I pick the FBI because it’s the closest thing I think we have to a federal police force.  Law enforcement professionals should investigate.  Law makers should make laws. 

  But that’s not the way it is in reality.  Congress will conduct their own investigations, because that ‘Genie has been out of the bottle for a long time’, as the old saying goes.  But I think if congress wants the respect of the American people they should act respectfully to those who testify.  Because each time they don’t, the next people called upon to testify will become more defensive and evasive and, in short, less respectful of people who don’t appear to be respecting themselves……..or the high public office to which they’ve been elected.

  The late, great George Nasuti said it best, “Give Respect, Get Respect.”   

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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Dave Richards for July 17th.....................

Dave Richards for July 17th…………

 

--Well, here we are, folks, our first full-fledged heat wave of the summer and it seems to me that a lot of people have adopted my attitude on the matter.  Just grin and bear it.  The two extremes of temperature are both “enjoyed” here in Rhode Island.  But between the two I’ll take the summer heat any day.  (Especially in January.)  I’m not any more comfortable than anyone else sweating, but there’s always a fan or air conditioning available and I have decided that I’ll complain about the cold and keep my lip zipped about the heat. 

 Be careful out there….

 

 --Speaking of being careful, I’m reading a report from the federal Center for Disease Control that over the last 20 years there has been an increase in deaths from “unintentional injuries”.  This made me think.  What is an “unintentional injury”?  According to the study, the three leading causes of death in this category are traffic accidents, drug overdoses, and falls. 

 It still doesn’t make good sense to me.  Traffic accidents have been happening for over a hundred years, but if you believe the car commercials today’s automobiles are safer than automobiles have ever been, automatically hitting the brakes for you if you are distracted or don’t see a hazard. 

 Next, drug overdoses.  Today they have this miracle drug called Narcan.  It’s supposed to save you if you overdose on opioids.  We never had this back in the 60s and 70s.  When you overdosed back then, that was the end of you. 

 Then there’s falls.  With the proliferation of mobility aids like scooters, electronic stair-lift chairs, and wireless buttons you wear to call for assistance, some of which automatically call for help when it detects a fall even if you don’t.  You’d think deaths from falls would be on the decline. 

 Add all this up and I just can’t figure how accidents today cause a more than 40% increase in deaths.  Is it possible that people aren’t trying hard enough to be safe?

 As I said, be careful out there.

 

 --Speaking of illegal drugs, police in Loretto, Tennessee have issued a press release asking the public to refrain from flushing them down the toilet.  Of course, I don’t know much about illegal drugs but the one thing I thought I understood was that people who use them only flush them when in imminent danger of being caught with them by law enforcement officers.  At that point they don’t care.  Nonetheless, the cops in Loretto are telling folks to call them to dispose of their illegal drugs safely.  Hmmmmm.  Seems to me that’s about the last thing those folks would want to do, especially since the cops don’t promise not to arrest you if you give them your stash to dispose of safely.

 My understanding is the reason the police have issued this request is because they’ve been pestered by some wildlife which has recently been ‘exposed’ to some meth amphetamine which made them act crazy aggressive.  The animals include a squirrel and an alligator.  Okay…..

 

 --Dr. Maria Carrillo is a neuroscientist with the national Alzheimer’s Association.  She’s making news in Los Angeles at a convention of nearly six-thousand Alzheimer’s researchers with her message of living a healthy lifestyle to avoid the dreaded disease.

 Yes, it’s a hard sell.  For centuries members of the medical profession have been trying to “guilt” people into healthy living, and sometimes they resort to scare tactics.  At first this seemed to be more of the same.  But upon further study, Dr. Carrillo backs her statements up with data which indicates that people who don’t get enough sleep or use chemicals to assist them in sleeping have a higher likelihood of getting Alzheimer’s in later life than those who get the recommended number of “Z’s” most of the time.

 

 --Lastly, the Trump Administration has a new twist on an old idea.  Many have been frustrated with the number of people coming over the U.S. border with Mexico into our country from other countries all over the world seeking asylum.  Some have called this “Immigrant Laundering”.  In other words, they don’t come to America directly from their home country, they come to America but first stop in Mexico because they’re told it’s real easy to into the U.S. from Mexico.  Then they request asylum saying they would be in danger if they go back to their homelands.

 Well, the clever idea, I think, is that Mr. Trump has issued an executive order which states that if an immigrant goes to Mexico or a similar country, they must first seek and gain asylum there before they’ll be allowed to seek asylum in the U.S.  In other words, “if you are fleeing for your life and you don’t come directly to the U.S., seek asylum where you land.  If granted there, we may extend you the same courtesy if you come here”. 

 I think this is one time I can agree with the president.  This order allows people to use the asylum request legitimately, but not take unfair advantage of it.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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Dave Richards for July 10th...........

Dave Richards for July 10th…………

 

--Is it just me longing for a simpler time or did H. Ross Perot really have some interesting ideas back in the 90’s?  I remember the pie charts.  They were simple but illustrative.  People used to kid him about them.  And back then, a lot of people wouldn’t trust him as a politician because he had a lot of money.  A LOT of money.  Wow, has America changed!  Fast forward 22 years and they elected a very rich man who probably never used a pie chart for anything.

  Well, we never got the chance to learn if Mr. Perot’s ideas on how to run the federal government would have worked. 

  When a person passes away, it is customary to minimize talk of the negative or controversial things they may have done.  Not so with Ross Perot.  In the same statement announcing his death, news services just had to add in that some hold him responsible for attracting voters away from George H.W. Bush and causing Bush’s defeat.  I say, “Oh, c’mon, get over it for Pete’s sake!”  Perot had every right to run for president if he wanted to.  It could also be said that if Mr. Bush had not run that Mr. Perot might have won.

  Sure, it’s something to consider, but for other reasons than that.  In last week’s Special Preliminary Election in Woonsocket for instance, I remember that candidate Anita McGuire-Forcier held off on the first day of filing when there were two candidates already signed up.  Anita didn’t want to be the one to cost the city more money by causing a preliminary election.  But after Michael Disney pulled papers, the second special election was mandated and she joined the group.  That’s a good and sensitive reason to consider not running.  But concerns that you might ‘split the vote’ is not.

  Anyway, that’s my opinion on it.  And I do miss the pie charts.

 

--This Friday is the big day for our Levitt AMP Free Concerts in the Park Series.  Two of the most popular acts from last year’s concert series are returning to River Island Art Park at 6pm.  O.B. Howard from Providence and the rockin’ horns and showmanship of Steve Smith and the Naked Truth will entertain.  Another reason we’re so excited this week is this is the week we will be visited by the folks from the Levitt Foundation so they can see what we’ve done with their $25,000 seed money and the progress we’ve made since last year.  We certainly want to make a good impression, so I hope we’ll fill the park.  Bring your friends, family, and the kids, too – yes there is a whole area of the park designated for the kids to play and games are set up for their amusement.

  There’s a large parking lot, but also plenty of parking at the municipal lot at Market Square and in the neighborhood, easy walking distance.  Please remember to bring your chairs or a blanket.  Food trucks and adult and soft drinks will also be available for purchase if you wish, or you can bring your own cooler.

  You’ll have a great time and will be supporting the arts in Woonsocket.

 

--Here’s a real horror story for you. 

  I have two friends who are married to each other and have been working hard to establish and raise a family.  For their first child they needed medical help.  It went well.  Further happy news is that they are about to add to that family with twins.  I couldn’t be happier for them.  In fact, they’re such good parents they make me feel a bit guilty sometimes.  I worked a lot when I was raising my family and, while I thought I was balancing things well, I couldn’t hold a candle to my friends. 

  So you can imagine my thoughts when I read this story on our news wire.  A California couple recently got in-vitro assistance and had twins.  But to their shock, DNA tests have revealed that neither baby is related to either parent, nor to each other.  To make matters worse, the babies have gone to their biological matches and this couple can’t get anyone to tell them what happened to their embryos.  A law suit is being pressed.  (Duh!)  But a law suit will not make up for what has happened.

  You’d think people working in the medical industry would be a bit more careful in their work.  

 

 --That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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Dave Richards for June 26th..............

Dave Richards for June 26th…………

 

--Wow, have you ever seen so much construction in the city?  I know some are aggravated by the delays, but I remember a time when it was rare to see our city’s infrastructure undergoing improvement at this pace.  Where I live in the Park Avenue area, small projects are popping up with regularity.  They’ve just about completed Mendon Road at Diamond Hill Road.  Then there’s the huge Winter Street project.  And now, Mayor Lisa Baldelli-Hunt as announced that Cumberland Hill Road starts it’s much needed re-do this Sunday. 

  It’s true, road work has all the appeal of having your teeth cleaned, but it’s just as important.  And I must comment that in a time where workmanship seems to be declining, our city paving crews are doing a really fine and careful job laying down the new asphalt.  Smooth like glass.   

 

--I had lunch this week with former Woonsocket Mayor Charley Baldelli.  Charley is doing better than great and having a blast in his continuing and now-lengthy retirement.  He boasts good health and the same figure he had when he was in office decades ago. 

  One of the reasons Charley is so happy today, he says, is that he’s no longer in politics.  He told me he has no favorite candidate he’s supporting in the upcoming special election and, even though he is still sometimes asked by someone to speak to his niece when he’s here in Woonsocket, he doesn’t get involved in the present mayor’s issues or problems.  The answer to those who ask is always, “You know where the Mayor’s office is.  YOU ask her.”  In fact, down in Florida where Charley and his wife Jeannette spend the cold weather months, “they don’t even know I was in politics.  It’s great!”

  I suppose it’s like military service.  You do your duty.  You’re proud of doing your best.  You don’t want to do it again.  Time to do something else.

 

--I was disappointed to hear that the Republican City Committee lost control of their planned debate among the four city council candidates this week.  I couldn’t attend, but the way I heard it, what is usually expected to be a calm and well organized exchange of ideas started off as an ‘ambush’ of certain candidates by one or more supporters of another candidate.  I don’t need to name names to make my point, so I won’t. 

  While this kind of behavior is considered by some to be “entertainment”, electing members of our community to serve in our government is sober and serious work and is not supposed to be “entertaining”.  I certainly hope the remainder of the campaign proceeds more productively.  Supporters of all candidates are reminded that misbehavior by supporters could actually serve to work against the candidate you support.

  That said, the election “nobody wanted” to have two days before the 4th of July is coming up this Tuesday.  All polling places will be open.  Yes, it’s more expensive that way, but it avoids the confusion of not knowing where you will vote if your regular polling place is closed.  It also avoids a very expensive mailing campaign to inform voters where they will vote.  The people at the Board of Canvassers are doing their best with a bad situation.  Nobody expects to need to replace a city councilor just a few months into their term, but you need to do what you need to do.

  I have to say that among the four candidates we have to choose from there are clear and easily understood differences between them all.  Voters are reminded that of the four, only two will survive next Tuesday’s preliminary, and those two will vie for the council seat in August.

  This leads me into my usual comments encouraging voters to do their duty and take the time and inconvenience to cast their vote.  Look at it as an unpleasant task if you must, but take a deep breath and ‘get it done”.

  Consider this.  The lines won’t be long.  You may break your own record of how little time it takes for you to vote and be on your way.  Probably faster than getting a coffee at the drive-through.  But what you’ll get from voting this Tuesday is the satisfaction that the one candidate you want to vote for in August will be one of the two on the ballot in August.  But ONLY if they get your vote this coming Tuesday. 

  Do it.  Vote, Woonsocket.  You’ll be proud of yourself the next morning.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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Dave Richards for June 12th..........

Dave Richards for June 12th…………

 

--I just finished recording the radio announcements promoting this Friday night’s Levitt AMP Free Concert in River Island Art Park and I am all charged up.  Part of making these recordings is to play snippets of the recordings of the performer who will appear on stage and I am just so impressed with the caliber of performer we will have on our stage I am at a loss for words. 

  The problem with being a radio and TV guy is that even when you are at a loss for words, your natural tendency is to keep talking anyway.  It’s what we do.

  The opening act of the night, and of the series, is a guy who goes by the name of P. Lowe.  He plays a contemporary style which is a blend of Portuguese, Latin, and African music called “Kizomba”.  But if you ask me it sounds like contemporary love songs.  It sounds great on the recording and I can’t wait to see him in person this Friday night.

  The featured act this week is a Rhode Island native called Chachi Carvalho.  He calls his music East Coast Hip Hop, but it’s not like any kind of hip hop I’ve ever heard before.  It’s great dancing music, very smooth. 

  Yes, it’s a shame I can’t play samples here in the newspaper as I can on the radio.  The sound is so professional.  I mean that, you know I grew up in the 1960s and 70s and there were a lot of local bands around then.  Heck, I was in one of them.   We were local and we sounded like a local band.  Not bad, but not national quality, if you know what I mean.  But these bands are world quality music, from the performance to the production, it’s all top quality.  And it’s FREE.  Just show up at River Island Art Park in back of the Museum of Work and Culture.  Bring a chair.  There will be food for sale, but you can bring your own if you want to.  You’ll have a great time.  But if you can’t come, we’ll have it on the radio live and streaming around the world on Internet TV so everyone can share in Woonsocket’s celebration!

 

--I am reminded of how the years seem to soften memories and attitudes.  It seems to me that every person who has been President of the United States has had a rough time of it while they were in office. 

  I remember hearing a report that on the morning of the day he was shot and killed, President John F. Kennedy was in Forth Worth, Texas reading the Dallas newspaper.  He noticed an ad someone had placed in that paper which addressed him and was quite impolite in listing the reasons he had a low opinion of Kennedy.  The report said that Mr. Kennedy looked up from the paper and commented to his wife Jackie, “We’re going into crazy country.”  When Jackie asked why he said that the president simply said, “There are some people there who don’t like what we’re doing.”

  You’ll find very few people today who will criticize Mr. Kennedy’s work the way they did back then. 

  So it makes me wonder about Mr. Trump.  If ever a president was criticized and ridiculed by the press, the public, and well, it seems sometimes like everybody……..it’s Mr. Trump.  But what do you think they’ll say about him 20 years from now?

  Will they say, “he kept us out of war by using the financial power of trade agreements.”  Or will they say something else?

  I’m not a fan of using tariffs as tools of international policy.  I know that the real losers when tariffs are raised on imported goods are the buyers of imported goods.  Namely, us.  But the way it has worked out with Mexico makes me wonder if this method of encouraging other countries to do what we want them to do has merit.  At least this time it seems to have.

  Time will tell.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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Dave Richards for June 5th

 

Dave Richards for June 5th…………

 

 

--I just want to say that I have been appalled by the officiating by NHL Refs and Linesmen.  Sure, those of us watching TV have a certain advantage so it is possible we’d see, say a St. Louis player holding the arm of a Bruins player behind him so he can’t manipulate the puck.  And since we can see instant replays and they can’t, I do understand how they could miss where two St. Louis players team up to ‘sandwich’ a Bruins player between themselves and the boards with such great force that the Bruins player in question collapsed to the ice unable to skate.

  Why do I blame the officiating?  Simple.  I cannot believe the officials don’t know what is going on.  They can’t ‘miss’ that much illegal activity.  Which leaves me with the only logical conclusions.  They are either crooked or are copping an attitude that they’ll decide when to call something and when to let it go.  I would prefer to believe the attitude.  But I submit even just the attitude is wrong.  The sole purpose of the officials on the ice is to insure that all players play by the written and established rules.  So, if they’re going to refuse to call infractions, why have them?

  Thanks for letting me vent a little.  But there are more important things to ponder, I think.    

 

--The anniversary of D-Day is tomorrow.  When I was a small boy growing up in Pascoag, our next door neighbor, Mr. White, was a veteran of The Great War.  And even though this was some twenty years after the second world war, he still called it The Great War. 

  In the early years of the 20th Century, an ‘eternal flame’ was lit at New York’s Madison Square Garden.  Its purpose was so that “no one will ever forget those who died” in The Great War.  I know they meant it at the time, but now, more than 100 years later……….well, it’s very hard to remember what you never knew to begin with. 

  It may be impossible to remember those you never knew, but I think we can remember the lessons war has taught us.  And I think the lesson we need to remember is that even though one side in armed conflict may prevail, both sides lose in any war.  And what they lose is parts of their future. 

  For all the social strife, civil disobedience, protests and polarization we saw in the 1960s, the kids of that day did get it right.  They couldn’t make it stick, but they got it right.  Peace is the answer.  Avoid war at all costs.

  I know a few veterans who agree with that.

 

--You’ve heard me say on a number of occasions that I prefer things which unify society and dislike when laws or causes seek to divide people into groups.  I mean, do you remember the international touring group “Up With People”?  Their one and only message resonated with me.  There should be no “Up with this group” or “Down with the other group”.  It should be “Up with Everybody”, people helping each other to rise to the highest level they can attain rejecting any attempts to put people into groups based upon similarities with others. 

  You may remember me mentioning that my dear old mom was a very progressive and liberal politically.  She was also a feminist.  But nothing infuriated my mom more than someone saying “the first woman to do this”.  She’d lower her glance at me and remind me in the most stern of vocal tones, “if you want real equality, stop noticing if someone is male or female.  It’s all about whether they can do the job!”  That was my momma.  And I did get her point.  That’s why I shake my head in wonder when people place themselves in groups and demand the world recognize and support them because they are different.  This month it’s the LGBTQ group.  Oh, I know they keep adding letters on to that designation, but I noticed that none of the new letters are E for Everybody, so I’ll stop with 5 letters.

  I think I’ve made my point, so I’ll stop there.  Don’t look for the differences, look for the similarities.  That’s the best way to live together.  In peace.

 

--Before I go, just a word to our graduating students.  Tag.  You’re it.  Do a better job of running the world than your parents did.  We’re all counting on you.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

--30--

 

Dave Richards for May 15th...........

Dave Richards for May 15th…………

 

--Yesterday morning I was posting my trivia quiz question on Facebook and Twitter and was disturbed by what I read.  Now, I’m not a fan of social media in general, but I do agree it has its place.   I had the staff at the radio station “fix” my Facebook account so I wouldn’t see any posts except the ones I make.  While I’m on the air in the morning I just don’t have time for that distraction.  But they weren’t able to do the same with the Twitter account and I made the mistake of seeing the posts just below mine yesterday morning.  I was very disturbed.

  There was some poster who claimed to be a woman who stated in no uncertain terms or language that the Rhode Island General Assembly had better pass the bills due for a vote yesterday which would codify in State Law the protections of the U.S. Supreme Court decision of years ago regarding abortion rights, commonly called Roe v. Wade.  She went on to post in a most threatening way that males had better learn their place in the new world where there are more women than men and that if men don’t, they will be destroyed.  “Good morning?   Who got up on the wrong side of the bed today?”, I asked myself.  And then the insults came in from male posters, or those who said they were males.  I figure you can never really know on social media if someone really is who they say they are.

  Threatening to eradicate “useless, redundant males”, as was expressed, is just plain hate speech, in my view.  And it seemed to be accepted by other females, which is even more disturbing, as nobody posted a word in disagreement.  I cannot accept this.  Sexist bigotry is no more acceptable when expressed by females than racist comments are when expressed by people of color.  Two ‘wrongs’ do not make a ‘right’, and those who have been ‘wronged’ in the past ought to know better.

  I think ‘wronging’ people with hatred and intent to do mental of physical harm is the way wars start.  Just pick up a history book.  They’ll all tell you the same story.  The one thing which humanity has (so far) failed to get right down through the ages, and which has led to the most death and suffering is the failure of people to “subdue their passions”.  Agree to disagree.  Make your feelings known at the ballot box.  And then for Heaven’s sake, abide peacefully by the decisions of election day.  The alternative is never ending feuding.  Just ask the folks in the Middle East. 

  It all starts with you, dear reader.  When you control your anger and refuse to seek hateful revenge against people who displease you, you have done your part to move the world forward toward peace.  Here’s another example……..

 

--I think Alex Cora, Mookie Betts, and the other Red Sox players who chose to not accept President Trump’s invitation to visit The White House last Thursday made a mistake.  I agree it is a personal choice, and I don’t deny them that.  Everyone who has strong opinions should express them.  I just think it is a mistake to miss an opportunity to express your opinions as effectively as possible.  I’ll explain.

  If you or I agree or disagree with a policy or action of our president, we should tell them so, politely and firmly.  It’s not only good citizenship, it’s common courtesy.  I mean, how will they learn to please us if we don’t tell them what we want?  And what better opportunity to tell them than when you see them in person?

  If you don’t go when the president invites you, as a protest, you can say that millions will know you are unhappy.  But those millions can’t do anything to improve your disapproval of the president’s decisions.  The one person who has the most to say about what he will do next is the man himself. 

  I think if you disagree, and you meet the man and ask him to help you, then you are doing what you should be doing.  If, after that, he continues along the same lines, well, then you have something to protest about.  But to not even take a given opportunity for a word with him is not only unfair to him and yourself, but it’s a sure road to further disagreement and a missed chance for understanding.

  We all have the right to protest and express our displeasure with our elected leaders.  But they are people, too, and I think we owe them a civil word now and again.

  There’s too much conflict in the world today.  Some of it could be avoided with a little effort on both sides.  BOTH sides.

 

--That's what I think. What do you think? Comments to: dave@onworldwide.com or postal mail to Dave Richards, WOON Radio, 985 Park Avenue, Woonsocket, RI 02895-6332.

Thanks for reading.

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