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Showing posts from March, 2018

With High I.T. Costs, Are Residents Getting Results?

The cost of the city's Information Technology (I.T.) department is $25.58 per city resident, $8.62 more than an average of Cranston, Warwick and Pawtucket. All three communities have significantly higher population counts than East Providence and yet Pawtucket spends considerably less on IT both per resident and total while Cranston spends about the same amount and Warwick slighly more than East Providence in total dollars. Warwick:                         Total IT Spend - $1,402,011     Population - 82,672 Cranston:                         Total IT Spend - $1,287,854     Population - 80,387 East Providence:              Total IT Spend -$1,212,803      Population - 47,408 Pawtucket:                       Total IT Spend - $  816,458      Population - 71,148 So, with this, the highest I.T. spending per capita, are East Providence residents getting their bank for their buck? It seems not if you follow the City Council and School Committee meetings via the city's live

PARTIAL RETRACTION - Wrestling With the Demons

In the March 30 Commentary piece (“Wrestling With the Demons") June Coan shared her experience while on the East Providence High School wrestling team. We aim to convey the facts with accuracy and have removed portions related to current events that could not be corroborated at this time.

High School Safety A Priority Before and After Bomb Scare

On Thursday, March 29th at approximately 9:30 AM, East Providence High School received an anonymous bomb threat by phone. One hour later students were instructed to evacuate the school and walk to a nearby building. The students and staff did an excellent job by all accounts, however it is clearly obvious that our high school is much too vulnerable with these current methods. There was however, no shortage of heated parental complaints following the hectic few hours of confusion, distress, and turmoil that resulted. As well as it went, the event showed the need to improve our strategies to ensure that everyone can exit the vicinity in as little time as possible, including a more concrete plan in the event that an active threat is already inside the building as well. The issue of school safety is one of peculiar yet unique substance. It is one of the few issues that we can steadfastly admit that too little progress has been made, and at the expense of far too many. More than just

Chapman Suspended, Council Wants More Moore

The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism. John C. Calhoun Read more at: The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism. John C. Calhoun Read more at: "The interval between the decay of the old and the formation and establishment of the new constitutes a period of transition which must always necessarily be one of uncertainty, confusion, error, and wild and fierce fanaticism."   ~John C. Calhoun In a move that was little surprise to most who follow city politics, the City Council voted Wednesday, March 28th to

Writing & Publishing Symposium - Riverside Branch Library - Three Saturdays in April, 1-2pm

EDITORIAL: Wrestling With the Demons

Editor’s Note: In the March 30 Commentary piece (“Wrestling With the Demons") June Coan shared her experience while on the East Providence High School wrestling team. We aim to convey the facts with accuracy and have removed portions related to current events that could not be corroborated.   As the news broke on Channel 10 that the East Providence High School wrestling team had been implicated in an incident involving drugs, alcohol and an obscene sexual prank, I felt angry, angry that it took this long for the veil to be lifted. For the truth to be uncovered. And now, I have my voice and I will use it. This was not the only incident. It may, however, have been the only incident that has ever gone public. Until now. I was on the wrestling from 2001 to 2003, my junior and senior years. I was a victim of a similar act, along with other forms of abuse while on the team. And I wasn’t alone. But nobody did anything. The 2001-2002 season was my first year of wrestling. It als

EPHS Evacuated After "Vague Threat"

East Providence High School was evacuated on Thursday, March 29th after reports of a "vague threat" being phoned in. This is a developing story.

VIDEO: Council Votes to Fire City Manager

The East Providence City Council will move to fire City Manager Tim Chapman , who will then be replaced by City Finance Director Malcolm Moore if the resolution is passed. VIEW OUR ARCHIVED LIVESTREAM HERE

Council Seeks City Manager Termination

Editor's note, 3/28/18 7:43PM: The City Council of East Providence has fired City Manager Tim Chapman. Finance Director Malcolm Moore will now be the Acting City Manager. If the City Council votes Wednesday night (March 28th), to suspend City Manager Timothy Chapman, he may very well formally lose his job full year after the May 2nd, 2017 resolution that made him full City Manager. The resolution sponsored by Councilwoman Anna Sousa, would suspend Mr. Chapman pending termination. It is unlikely such a resolution and special meeting would occur without the three votes required to pass the resolution. Mr. Chapman's relationship with this City Council has been rocky from the start. Appointed by the previous City Council on a 3-2 vote back in August of 2016, Chapman replaced terminated City Manager Richard Kirby and served concurrently as City Solicitor. Councilor Robert Britto and then Councilor Helder Cunha dissented both from Kirby's termination and Chapman's i

Council to Fire City Manager Tim Chapman; Appoint Malcolm Moore

The East Providence City Council has announced that it will meet in a Special Meeting on Wednesday, March 28th. The docket indicates that the Council will move to fire City Manager Tim Chapman , who will then be replaced by City Finance Director Malcolm Moore if the resolution is passed. This is a developing story.

EP Historical Society - Rumford Baking Powder Company's Museum Artifacts - March 26th at 6:30pm

The EP Historical Society's main theme for 2018 is the return of the Rumford Baking Powder Company's early museum artifacts to Rumford. On March 26th at 7pm, there will be an event put on by the historical society to show pieces from the former Rumford Baking Powder Company.  The artifacts and pieces given by the company in Indiana are now housed in the Rumford Center in new building #11.  There will be a feature from the 2008 PBS documentary "New England Portraits: Rumford Baking Powder Company" with archival footage and stories from former workers, many who were well known in the area.  Tours of the first floor and refreshments will begin at 6:30pm. Location of Event Rumford Center 200 Newman Avenue, #11  Rumford, RI 02916

RENT School Edition - No Day But Today April 5-7th

The EPHS Spring Musical Production of RENT: School Edition will take place the first weekend of April. The show will open on Thursday April 5th and have two more shows on Friday April 6th and Saturday April 7th,  All shows are at 7PM. They have a phenomenal cast and crew and this will be an amazing show so don’t miss out! Advanced tickets can be purchased from any cast member for $8 for students and $16 for adults. ALL TICKETS ARE $20 AT THE DOOR!  Rent is a rock musical with music, lyrics, and book by Jonathan Larson, loosely based on Giacomo Puccini's opera La Bohème. It tells the story of a group of impoverished young artists struggling to survive and create a life in New York City's East Village in the thriving days of Bohemian Alphabet City, under the shadow of HIV/AIDS.

EP Mohawks Summer Youth Basketball League Signups

Sign-ups are going on now for EP Mohawks Summer Blacktop Basketball League.  Sign-up day is April 11th at 6pm at Riverside Middle School No Residency Requirement Boys and Girls Divisions Those interested can also register online at

Free Community Paper-Shredding Event at the Weaver Library - Saturday April 14th

Flamingo a Friend Fundraiser is Back!

For $10, you may order a flock to land on the lawn of a friend or family member.  This event is sponsored by the East Providence High School PTSA and supports funding programs and events for our high school students.  Deliveries are being scheduled now and will be done on a first come, first serve basis starting April 1st. Orders will be taken until the end of April or until there are open dates.  The PTSA reserves the right to return orders if there are no more available dates so reserve ASAP.  Please visit the PTSA's website at for more details and to order your flock.  Order forms may also be obtained at the school's main office.  Contact email is: if you have any further questions.

OPINION: Time for Council Challengers to Make a Choice

It may not sit well with those who wished to seek office this year, but barring a court action, there will be no 2018 City Council election. Voters will go to the polls to choose who will lead the city's executive branch, the first "strong" Mayor. But the legislative branch will continue and bring needed consistency and institutional knowledge as we transition our form of government. The City Council will play a different but still vital and powerful role in our city. Those that think the Mayor will be an elected dictator and completely run government, sans the City Council passing a budget, are mistaken. Our City Council will be a co-equal branch of government, similar to the Governor and General Assembly and the President and Congress. The Council will simply no longer choose and oversee the chief administrator, we the voters will do that instead. I have been vocal in my support for the current City Council putting in place the four year terms that were approved

EDITORIAL CARTOON: Difficult Choices

By Kevin K. Hall

East Providence Recreation Department Summer Camp Sign Ups

Comedy Connection Meat and Lobstah Raffle! Last dates - Mar 24th and Mar 31st

    Comedy Connection Meat and Lobster Raffle Hosted by the Riverside Little League   Mar 24th and Mar 31st at 12pm   Location Comedy Connection 39 Warren Avenue East Providence, RI 02914     

Rep. Amore Takes on Waterfront Commission Reform

Buoyed by a resolution of the East Providence City Council and resident feedback. Representative Gregg Amore (D-65) has introduced House Bill 7876. The bill would amend the general laws under the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation, which the East Providence Waterfront District Commission is a de jure subsidiary, this would supersede the special enabling act which formed the commission passed back in 2003 which was sponsored by then Senator Damiani. Currently, the City Council appoints four members to the body and the Governor appoints another four members. The chairperson is appointed by both the Mayor and the Governor. However in practice, there hasn't been a formal chairperson appointed in six years. Vice-chairman Bill Fazioli, former East Providence City Manager and Director at PFM Financial Advisors, LLC, has served as Acting Chairman for the duration of the vacancy. Amore's bill would change the city appointments to allow the elected Mayor to appoint two members and

Organic Gardening Techniques for Everyone - Weaver Library March 26th 6:30pm

Bingo - Thursday, April 5th 6:30pm

East Providence Central Little League 2018 Season

OPENING DAY WILL BE SATURDAY, APRIL 14TH 2018   ONLINE REGISTRATION IS STILL OPEN!   Press on link below to register. Interested in volunteering? Email Coach Jones at DARRONJONES.EPCLL@GMAIL.COM  with inquiries. If you have any other questions, please email  

The City of East Providence Celebrates Women's History Month - March 20th 11-1pm

Chrissy Rossi Campaign Kick-off Event - March 28th at 7pm

NOTE: The Independent Townie will publish any campaign events submitted as part of our events calendar. The publishing of campaign events does not represent the views of The Independent Townie, the editors or author. 

LETTER: Dr. Alan D’Aiello: Current Council Has Two Year Mandate

One of the greatest privileges and responsibilities we have in a representative democracy is the right to vote for those who represent us.  Great pains are taken to make sure that the electoral ballot is fair and that voters have the right to determine their representatives, as well as determine the length of time they are to be in office.    However, there is now a proposal afoot in the East Providence City Council which, if allowed to transpire, would turn this last principle on its head in the name of “procedural error.”  In its fervor to right a previous ballot controversy around the validity of a 2012 City Charter Amendment initiative to change the Council’s term in office from 2 to 4 years, the current Council is prepared to create a far graver crisis: that of democratic illegitimacy.    In order to get to the bottom of the issue, we must start in 2012 when the East Providence electorate voted to alter the City Charter to have both the City Council and School Committee sit fo

Former Councilman, Others Question City Vehicle Take Home Costs

As with so much of our public discourse these days, the topic started on social media. Former City Councilor and State Representative Brian Coogan took to Facebook to ask the question "Should city workers take-home vehicles, especially when they live out of state on taxpayers dime?" A "loaded question" some comments read, others asked for more specifics or stated "it depends on the position" citing some employees are always on-call. Many others were emphatic in answering no. Mr. Coogan later alleged that the practice of taking city vehicles home costs the city $800,000. We decided to research further and see if we could corroborate that number as well as gather more information on who was taking a vehicle home and why. Firstly, who is it that are taking home the vehicles. Records obtained from the city indicate that 21 police officers take home vehicles, this includes the Chief of Police, the Deputy Chief of Police, three captains, three lieute

Welcome East Providence Police Officer Chiko!

Along with 13 other Police Officers being sworn in at the April 3rd council meeting, there will be a 14th Police Officer being sworn in and his name is Chiko.  Chiko's human partner was one of the latest officers to be recruited through the police lateral transfer program which recruits officers from other municipalities rather than hire a new recruit and Chiko now joins him working for the East Providence Police Department both human and K9 partners come with training and experience ready to serve.   Chiko is a Belgian Malinois breed which is a medium-size Belgian Shepard dog that resembles a German Shepard.  These types of breeds are often trained for police duty due to their great work ethic, speed and agility.  Their size with being able to squeeze into smaller spaces is beneficial to what they need to accomplish on the job as well.  At the city council meeting on March 6th, Police Chief Christopher Parella introduced Chiko saying that he will be sworn in and respecte

EDITORIAL CARTOON: The Lost Charter Amendment

By Kevin K. Hall

4th Annual Spring Meat Raffle - March 23rd 7pm

East Providence Road Work and Sidewalk Meeting

East Providence Community Road Work and Sidewalk Meeting - March 21st 6pm There will be a Community Meeting held at City Hall, Council Chambers on March 21 st 6:00pm.    All residents are invited to come to discuss the Road Work and Sidewalk Replacement Project this summer.

Historic Grounds Walking Tour

Historic Grounds Walking Tour Sunday, April 8th at 1:30 - 2:30 PM East Providence Historical Society 65 Hunts Mills Road, Rumford, RI 02916

St. Martha's Fish & Chips Fridays

St. Martha's Fish & Chips Fridays - Two Fridays Left! St. Martha's Church annual Lenten Fish and Chip dinners from 4:30pm to 7:30pm on Fridays from February 16th through March 23rd. One price/One size Cost: $9.00 The menu will consist of fish, coleslaw, french fries, fresh bread and desserts. Meals will be available for eat-in or take out. Address: 2595 Pawtucket Ave., East Providence, RI 02914

City Manager Proposes No-Bid Waste Collection Contract Extension

It's one of the basic city services most resident's rely on, trash and recycling collection. It's not something we think about very much. In fact, it's been five years since we last discussed our trash collection services in East Providence. At the March 6th City Council meeting, City Manager Chapman proposed a five year extension of the current contract with Seekonk based Mega Transportation Group / MTG Disposal. Chapman and Public Works Director Steve Coutu ran through why they thought the contract should be extended without a bid process. Stating that the contract would be more than $720,000 in savings over the five years. Mainly from a substantial reduction of 5% in the first year of the contract. Still, the lack of information and no bid process did not sit well with Ward 3 Councilman Joe Botelho. “I really don’t know if this is a good deal or not... There’s nothing to compare it against in terms of what other firms are offering.” Botelho continued “The cou

Four Year Terms Followup - Should They Stay or Should They Go?

To paraphrase the popular 80's band The Clash, If they go there may be trouble and if they stay it may be double. While the four year terms come closer to being finalized six years after being passed by the voters, the latest furor has been how the likely codification of the four year terms would apply to the current city council. Would the current council stay an additional two years or would the four year terms take effect for the 2018 election? This is of particular interest to those who have announced intentions to seek council seats this year, including Bob Rodericks and Nate Cahoon. Rodericks released a statement to us stating "I appreciate mayoral candidate Chrissy Rossi again bringing up the issue of City Councils ignoring voter results. But I disagree with saying that the solution is to revert the calendar back to seek a remedy. Mistakes were made by prior governmental officials, at the City or State or with both. The answer isn't to say that Bob