Latest Posts

Ward 3 Candidate Written Q&A

Providence City Council Chambers in Providence City Hall interior.

Following last week’s Ward 3 2017 Special Election Candidate “Un-Debate,” a wide-ranging community discussion where candidates listened to citizen concerns, themes from the evening were distilled into a set of written candidate questions by members of the Summit and Mount Hope Neighborhood Associations.

The four candidates who participated in the Un-Debate were invited to answer the written questions. Their responses are posted below by alphabetical order of last name. Christopher Reynolds (I) did not respond to Un-Debate invitations. The candidate responses have not been edited. For those without internet access, hard copies will also be available at the Rochambeau Library and the Mount Hope Learning Center.

All community members are invited to our second candidate event, a more traditional candidate forum, on June 27th at 6:30pm at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School at 35 Camp Street (additional detail here).

Daniel Chaika (D)

Nirva Rebecca LaFortune (D)

David Lallier, Jr. (R)

Mark Santow (D)

 

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

People banned from Lippitt fountain because of danger, parks chief says

Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson explains the danger of the Henry Bowen Anthony fountain while crews chief Joseph Wojtanowski, right, SNA President Ethan Gyles, left, and residents listen.

Parks Superintendent Wendy Nilsson explains the danger of the Henry Bowen Anthony fountain while crew chief Joseph Wojtanowski, right, SNA President Ethan Gyles, left, and residents listen.

City Parks Department Superintendent Wendy Nilsson says she strongly reminded residents that the fountain in Lippitt Park is strictly off limits because of the danger of playing in it.

“Parents were putting their kids into the water” and ignoring warnings by workers that they had just “shocked” the fountain with a toxic chemical – chlorine – to clean it, she said. In addition, the structure is made of granite, which is extremely slippery when wet, she added.

Nilsson spoke to about a dozen residents June 13 at a public forum at Summit Commons sponsored by SNA. The meeting was called because of a storm of discussion on social media sparked by Nilsson’s request that SNA disseminate her warning about people being banned from getting into the fountain. Comments ranged from preserving the integrity of the historic Henry Bowen Anthony fountain at all costs to tearing it out and replacing it with a splash feature.

The parks superintendent and her crew chief, Joseph Wojtanowski, explained that fountains in parks city wide accumulated all kinds of natural and human waste – including soiled diapers – and had to be cleaned every few days. He said the Lippitt fountain was monitored by park personnel but asked for park users to alert his department if they noticed anything wrong. The chemicals used dissipate in a few hours, Wojtanowski said, but the fountain is not designed for people and is still not safe to climb into.

Nilsson said the cost of installing a splash feature in the park would be about $250,000 and there is no budget for that, especially since there are water facilities in the Billy Taylor park just a few minutes away. She said residents near other parks had been innovative in using inflatable kiddie pools to “get kids wet” during hot days.

She said her department is developing an online tool that describes the features of all the city’s parks and is working on redesigning them using more natural materials while maintaining safety. The resource is available at https://pvdgis.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Shortlist/index.html… and a parks locator is available at http://demo4.geotg.net/providenceparks/ParkLocator/.

One resident at the meeting asked Nilsson for a redesign of the signs explaining why the Lippitt fountain is dangerous and she responded that she would work on that and asked for citizen input. She stressed that the Parks Department welcomes interaction with the neighborhood because “we want to do parks that are meaningful to the community, not for the ease of the Parks Department.”

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

‘Undebate’ brings forth questions for Ward Three City Council candidates

Candidates, from left, Mark Santow, Daniel Chaika, David Lallier and Nerva LaFortune listen to questions from a resident assisted by co-moderator Mike Ritz.

Candidates, from left, Mark Santow, Daniel Chaika, David Lallier and Nirva LaFortune listen to questions from a resident assisted by co-moderator Mike Ritz.

Voters in Providence’s Ward Three had a public conversation Thursday night about the issues confronting their neighborhood and a panel of City Council hopefuls sat and listened.

About 150 East Side residents gathering at Martin Luther King Elementary School to pose questions to four of the people running to replace recalled Councilman Kevin Jackson. It was the first session of a two-part event cosponsored by the Summit, Mount Hope and Observatory Neighborhood Associations.

In this initial “undebate” stage, neighbors brought their concerns, their questions and their aspirations out into the open and the candidates were instructed to listen only. In the second stage, they will get their chance to state how they intend to address the issues. That will be at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, June 27, also at King School. In between, the questions raised at the first meeting will be collated, given to the candidates and made public on electronic media. As at the first stage, there will be light refreshments as well as child care.

“You’re in charge, you the voters. You’re affecting the next debate,” said Mike Ritz, who with Angie Ankoma, both of Leadership RI, co-moderated the event.

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

First of two sessions

Undebate poster

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: This event is a *COMMUNITY CONVERSATION* and while the candidates will introduce themselves, they will NOT be speaking extensively or answering questions. This is a listening opportunity for them, and will be driven entirely by (moderated) comments and discussion among YOU, the community members. It’s a chance for your concerns to be brought forward, and your voice to be heard. The SECOND event, on 6/27, will be a more traditional candidate forum with direct answers from candidates.
Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

Other gardeners need our help

Garden volunteers

A new community garden (built about the same time as ours) run by the African Alliance of Rhode Island was substantially damaged earlier this week when a truck ran over their fence and into the garden.  They are looking for volunteers to help with the re-building this Saturday from 9:00 AM to noon at 621 Prairie Ave/Elma St. in Providence

Cordless drills, saws and shovels are needed. They also need use of a truck early (8.30am) to remove the damaged wood.  If you have a truck and can help, their phone number is:  331-5535.

If you have some time to help out on Saturday, that would be wonderful.  As members of a sister organization (with skills!), I’m sure our help and solidarity will be appreciated.

Thanks so much and take care –

Nancy Buron

Summit Neighborhood Community Garden

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

Join the discussion of the plans for the future of the tot lot and the fountain

The tot lot playground in the Summit Avenue Park.

The tot lot playground in the Summit Avenue Park.

The Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain in Lippitt Park.

The Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain in Lippitt Park.

The SNA is sponsoring separate public forums on the future of two iconic features of the neighborhood – the tot lot in the Summit Avenue Park and the fountain in Lippitt Park.

The discussion of the playground will be at 5:30 p.m. Monday, June 12, in the park.

The discussion of the fountain will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, June 13, in the Summit Commons café area at 99 Hillside Ave.

In the tot lot, the city Parks Department will present its plans for the next phase in the park’s renovation, the first phase of which implemented the community gardens. This next phase focuses on playground updates, new play features, new safety features, new seating and plantings.

There are more details on Facebook at https://tinyurl.com/y8v65j2o.

In Summit Commons, Parks Department Director Wendy Nilsson will share data, costs and other information to foster discussion and help answer questions (and perhaps even come up with some solutions) prompted by the recent reminders that the Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain is unsafe and off-limits for people, whether to play in the water or be on the structure itself.

The Facebook event here is www.facebook.com/events/282409535498160/.

Please join other members of your neighborhood in either or both of these opportunities to make your views heard.

 

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

Ward 3 City Council Community Un-Debate & Candidate Forum

Providence City Council Chambers in Providence City Hall interior.

Please join the neighborhood associations of Ward 3 for a two-part series designed around community conversation and getting to know the candidates for city council.

Mount Hope Neighborhood Association, Summit Neighborhood Association and Observatory Neighborhood Association are proud to work together to co-host this opportunity for our unique and diverse community to come together and consider the future of our representation at City Hall. The series will include two evening engagements at Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary on Camp Street.

Evening #1 – Thursday, June 15 at 6:30pm: In the “Un-Debate” format, Ward 3 residents will have the opportunity to speak and voice their concerns to the candidates. Other than a brief introduction, the candidates’ job will be to listen rather than talk. In a conversation moderated by Mike Ritz of Leadership RI and Angie Ankoma, we hope to share our differences and highlight our similarities across the place we all call home. Questions and comments will be distilled by the neighborhood associations into a list that candidates will be given the opportunity to respond to in writing. Written answers will be posted online prior to the second event.

UPDATE/CLARIFICATION: This first event is a *COMMUNITY CONVERSATION* and while the candidates will introduce themselves, they will NOT be speaking extensively or answering questions. This is a listening opportunity for them, and will be driven entirely by (moderated) comments and discussion among YOU, the community members. It’s a chance for your concerns to be brought forward, and your voice to be heard. The SECOND event, on 6/27, will be a more traditional candidate forum with direct answers from candidates.

Evening #2 – Tuesday, June 27 at 6:30pm: In the more traditional candidate forum format, moderator Ted Nesi of WPRI will pose questions on a variety of issues to the candidates and allow them to respond and explain their positions. The questions will be developed from the questions and concerns raised during the Un-Debate on the first evening.
Facebook event: www.facebook.com/events/454639951538424

All Ward 3 City Council candidates who qualify for the ballot are invited to participate in both events, regardless of party affiliation. Our neighborhood associations are run as non-partisan organizations, and this candidate series will reflect that.

Light refreshments will be served during each event. Child care will be available.

We hope that you will join us and help us make this conversation great!

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

Lippitt Park Fountain Meeting

SNA-Lippitt-fountain

The recent reminders by the Providence Parks Department that the Henry Bowen Anthony Fountain in Lippitt Park is unsafe and off-limits for people (whether to stand or play in the water or be on the structure itself) prompted a lot of conversation on SNA’s e-mail listserv (sign up for it here!).

To continue that conversation in a productive way, SNA has asked Parks Department Director Wendy Nilsson to meet with community members to share data, costs, and other information to foster discussion and help answer questions (and perhaps even come up with some solutions).

 

Tuesday, June 13th
6:00-7:00pm
Summit Commons (1st Floor Dining Area)
99 Hillside Avenue
Facebook event here: www.facebook.com/events/282409535498160/


All community members are invited to attend this one-hour discussion. Please come with questions and ideas. SNA will provide light refreshments. An RSVP to SNAProv@gmail.com would be helpful to determine an approximate head count.
Posted in City Government, Parks, SNA Events | Leave a comment

New bus service for veterans

riptalogo

The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) and the Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs (RIOVA) announced a new pilot bus pass program today for local veterans. Funded by a grant from Rhode Island Office of Veterans Affairs, the project will enable RIPTA to learn more about the transportation needs of veterans while also offering fare products to some veterans.

This pilot project will provide up to 200 qualified U.S. military veterans with free, unlimited rides on RIPTA’s fixed-route buses through the end of 2017. Passes will be available beginning June 1, 2017 through June 29 on a first come, first served basis while supplies last. Under this pilot project, RIPTA will also offer free service on Memorial Day, Monday, May 29, 2017, to all Rhode Island veterans with proof of eligibility.

In order to apply for this pilot project, qualified veterans must present a completed application and proof of eligibility to RIPTA’s Photo ID Office starting Thursday, June 1, 2017. Participating veterans will also be required to participate in a survey aimed at gauging veterans’ transportation use and needs. Veterans can present one of the following forms of identification as proof of eligibility for this pilot program: Active Duty Military ID, Retiree Military ID, RI Driver’s License with Veterans Designation, VA Medical Card. Approved applicants will receive a “Veterans Pass” smart card with their name on it. Veterans do not need a special pass to travel for free on Memorial Day and can show RIPTA bus drivers any of the above forms of military identification.

RIPTA’s Photo Identification Office at One Kennedy Plaza in Downtown Providence is open Monday and Wednesday from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm. The Photo Identification Office at RIPTA’s headquarters, 705 Elmwood Avenue in Providence, is open on Tuesday and Thursday from 9am to 12pm and 1pm to 4pm.

For information on RIPTA’s services, call 781-9400 or visit ripta.com.

For more information, on RIOVA’s programs, visit http://www.vets.ri.gov/

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment

SNA board members meet and greet at Hope Street merchants’ spring festival

Emily Spitzman brought her son Ezra for an early shift at the information table Saturday, May 20.

Emily Spitzman brought her son Ezra for an early shift at the information table Saturday, May 20.

Later, from left, Sandra Lee, Anneliese Greenier and John Pettinelli rounded out the afternoon, telling passersby about SNA's activities and recruiting new members.

Later, from left, Sandra Lee, Anneliese Greenier and John Pettinelli rounded out the afternoon, telling passersby about SNA’s activities and recruiting new members.

Posted in SNA | Leave a comment