Dave's Column

Dave Richards for August 22nd.......

 

 

 

 

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for August 22nd…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Well, I sure am glad that eclipse stuff is over for another 7 years!  I can easily wait that long for the hubbub to return.  In 2024 the path of totality starts over Mexico, passes over Texas and heads toward the northeast, passing over cities like Buffalo and then out over the Canadian Maritimes.  It reminds me of the Carly Simon song “You’re So Vain”.  In that song there is a line which goes “you flew your Lear Jet up to Nova Scotia to see the total eclipse of the sun.”  People will actually be doing that in April 2024, I think.  Well, maybe not with Lear Jets.

 

 

 

  The most remarkable thing I took away from the event was that scientists can actually calculate this event with the precision of minutes.  If you study the solar system and the cosmos at all, the enormous difficulty of just predicting it hits you with a realization that although mankind has progressed to this point, it still cannot change what will happen in any way.  This simultaneous realization of our significance and insignificance can boggle the mind.

 

 

 

  So now that it’s over for a while, was it worth it?  I suppose the answer to that question depends on whether you like that kind of thing.  Are you the kind of person who goes out of doors to watch meteor showers, or the space shuttle or International Space Station pass overhead?  If so, an eclipse would be something you’d be interested in experiencing. 

 

 

 

  While millions of people watched in one way or another.  I can report to you that hundreds of millions of people didn’t bother.  I suppose that puts the whole thing in perspective.

 

 

 

--This just had to happen.  President Trump worked in his first days in office to attempt to save money for the government.  But he is costing the government more money than most chief executives have………for security. 

 

 

 

  The latest report is that the U.S. Secret Service is out of money.  The more than one thousand agents working on Presidential Security have already cost more than the federally-mandated caps for salary and overtime allocated for the entire year of 2017 and it’s still only August.  The reason given is the substantially higher costs for protecting Mr. Trump and his family compared to his predecessors. 

 

 

 

  The Secret Service says they are protecting 42 people during the Trump Administration.  By comparison, Mr. Obama’s protection list numbered only 31 individuals.  That’s nearly 30% more people.  Add to that, Mr. Obama’s young children did not travel internationally in the same way as Mr. Trump’s adult children do and the fact that Mr. Trump has 4 different residences he visits, and he goes to one of them nearly every weekend, not Camp David, which has all security in place, as other presidents have done.

 

 

 

  It is easy to understand why all the money is gone in the Secret Service budget.  Of course, there’s not much we or they can do about it.  We can’t actually tell the president not to go home on the weekend or to tell his kids to stay put.  Nor can we decide to not protect them, since they would become targets in ransom schemes to extort either money or certain actions from our president.  No.  There’s no choice about that.

 

 

 

  So let’s just pony-up the dough and hope for the best.  A thousand agents.  Talk about boggling the mind!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Before I go, I just wanted to congratulate the Autumnfest Steering Committee and their Parade Committee in their choice of the URI Marching Band as the Headliner Band in this year’s Autumnfest Parade.  “That Ram Marching Band” is not only a top band representing our own University of Rhode Island (which is observing its 125th anniversary) but sports a number of top Blackstone Valley musicians in their group!

 

 

 

  You don’t get more local than that, I can tell you.  What a great idea!  Not announced yet (but it will be soon) is the name of the person who will be Grand Marshal of the parade.  Save the date:  Monday October 9th.  The parade will start at the Woonsocket Plaza, proceed down Diamond Hill Road to Social Street, turn left and disband shortly after reaching the entrance to Autumnfest at World War Two Veteran’s Memorial Park.

 

 

 

  I love summertime.  But Autumnfest makes losing summer totally worthwhile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--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 15th..............

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for August 15th…………

 

--This week we’ll look at the news wire.  Although, maybe we shouldn’t.  I mean to say the negativity and just plain craziness in the world reflected by today’s news stories is reaching proportions we haven’t seen in decades.  Here are some examples. 

 

--U.S. Senator Marco Rubio is said to be targeted for assassination by a Venezuelan drug trafficker.  Really?  It seems so.  The Florida Republican is said to be living under beefed-up security. 

  The crazy part of this is, if I were to decide to kill someone I wouldn’t advertise it in the international press.  Such actions could be bad for my health.  Totally crazy. 

 

--Political foes now have another reason to dislike President Trump.  Even when he denounced the hatred and bigotry displayed in Charlottesville, Virginia this past weekend, he is now under fire for “not denouncing” the hatred and bigotry strongly enough.  If I were the president, I’d just give up on these people.  Even when you do what they want they criticize you for not doing it THEIR way.  Nuts.

  

--The author and theater critic Rex Reed once said that he didn’t know why Hollywood made remakes of films which bore no resemblance to the successful originals.  How dare they call them re-makes?  I was reminded of dear old Rex’ words yesterday.  Paramount Pictures is now in production for the sixth “Mission Impossible” movie.  This is where you insert those remarks.  I was a devotee of original Mission Impossible television series in the 1960’s and haven’t recognized or even completely understood any of the “sequels”.   Anyway, the publicity people at Paramount came up with a good one this time.  Actor Tom Cruise has supposedly been hurt doing one of his own stunts during filming.  It seems Cruise’s character was supposed to jump from one building to another and he instead missed his mark and hit the side of the building he was jumping to.  Kinda like the coyote in the Road Runner cartoons.  It was crazy there, too. 

 

--A new Rand survey paints a picture of the American workplace which hasn’t changed much from the 1960’s.  In it, workers report they are being pushed harder and harder to do more, increasing stress on the job.  Further, they report hostile workplace environments and unwanted sexual advances from co-workers.  The report goes on to say that workers are increasingly being forced to work during their personal time to satisfy their work demands.  After stating all that, the survey concluded by reporting that most workers thought their supervisors were considerate and supportive.  What part of that makes sense to you? 

 

--Nearly anywhere you go these days people are talking about the increasing tensions with North Korea.  Most are saying they wouldn’t worry so much except they perceive North Korea’s leader as ‘crazy’ and capable of doing anything.  I thought it strange to hear that, because I imagined that people in North Korea are saying the same thing about our leader.  

 

--This just in on the wire, British Prime Minister Theresa May and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have both denounced the violence and public display of racism and bigotry displayed this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia.  No word yet on whether Mr. Trumps political foes liked those denouncements any better than Mr. Trumps.

  

--Go Daddy, a web-service company which among other things registers domain names, says it is no longer going to provide services to the website of “The Daily Stormer” after it published an article using sexist and obscene language toward Heather Hayer, the young woman who was killed in the violence in Charlottesville this past weekend.  Some people will publish anything on the Internet these days, and if you ask me, they are proving to be as crazy as the man who announced he would kill a U.S. Senator.

  

--Finally, authorities in London have announced they will stop Big Ben, the Great Bell in the clock tower of Westminster Palace.  For 157 years Big Ben has chimed hourly and is a tradition as British as Tea and Crumpets.

  Workers will need to do routine maintenance on the workings inside the clock and stopping it will improve the safety of those workers.  When asked if the familiar chimes will be missed, the reply was, “Well, maybe the tourists will, but everybody here uses their cell phones to tell time.”

   It’s a crazy world out there………be careful.     

 

 --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!  And…..Happy Birthday, Denise!

 

 --30—                                                   

 

                                                                                                              

 

Dave Richards for August 8th, 2017

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for August 8th…………

 

--The Summer of Seventeen rolls along with more outdoor activities than you can easily shake a stick at.  Fresh off last week’s National Night Out, Food Truck Event, and Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Parish Festival comes CumberlandFest this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at Cumberland’s beautiful Diamond Hill Park.  Starting with Rock the Park at 6pm on Friday night to the spectacular aerial fireworks display at 9pm on Sunday, there’s something which will appeal to everyone.  

  I can only list a few of the highlights here.  The local live entertainment on TWO stages, Sunday Car Show, Food Court, Carnival Rides, and local businesses and organizations in booths all along the circular path will make this year’s CumberlandFest a time to remember for everyone.  And you know you’ll be helping the young people of Cumberland in the bargain.  I hope to see you there!

 

--The news now is the Rhode Island Senate may take up the question of supporting the discussion of the deal to help the Pawsox build a new home in Pawtucket this fall.  I am delighted it will be discussed, because it should be.  RI Senator Marc Cote (D-Dist. 24, N.S/Woonsocket) visited us on the radio yesterday morning and he says the way he’s hearing it the House of Representatives is not as enthusiastic as the Senate is to discuss the matter, but they may still do it.

 I have heard a lot of emotionally-charged comments about this deal, mainly from the opposition.  That’s not the way to go about it, you know.  Or, you should know.  When making decisions about money, the logical mind must not be subdued by emotional arguments.  So let’s just put all this mularchy about the lesson of the “38 Studios Deal” aside.  This is not the same deal that was and anyone who thinks so has not done their homework.  I am not saying we need to rubber-stamp the proposed deal.  No, rubber stamping is for trivial matters, this is a serious matter and all partners are putting huge sums of money into the pot, if it goes through.  This matter needs the benefit of a lively discussion so all parties have the chance to give and take ideas and points of view and also, maybe compromise a bit while keeping the overall idea moving forward.  

  All that said, I think that the one thing we should all be able to agree upon is to get this matter on the table as soon as possible and come to some conclusion, either agreement to proceed or agreement to disagree and not proceed.  To do less than this before this year ends would not be doing our best.

 

--Okay, I understand.  The American public are better in a sprint than in a marathon when it comes to staying focused on issues of public importance.  The leadership of the General Assembly knows this, too.  So they drone on and on and postpone things and partially pass bills until the public’s attention has turned to something else and then both houses can do just what they want to do, quickly in one day, with few people even noticing.  They’re about to do it again. 

   As you know, neither the House of Representatives nor the Rhode Island Senate have finished their work for the year.  This mean nobody in our state is safe from having self-serving or special-interest bills rammed through and sent to the governor with little or no debate, or……..if you want my opinion……with little or no concern for who gets hurt. 

   You may think that since any act of the General Assembly needs to be signed by the Governor that we’d have some protection, but not in Rhode Island.   Gubernatorial vetoes in our state have little effect because of the way our state constitution is written and the fact that we have a virtual one-party system in the legislative branch. 

   No, we’ve got to get back to watching the Senate and House and make sure our respective representatives in each body hear about our wishes on the various issues, which are basically all the other issues except for the budget which have not been passed yet.

   So it’s back to the phones to make sure that our Reps and Senators have someone else’s voice in their ear besides the party leadership so they can hopefully make a choice which isn’t a simple rubber stamping of whatever the leadership wants or, has made a deal to deliver.

   I am lucky that as a member of the Northern Rhode Island Chamber of Commerce I have an additional opportunity to make my feelings known through them, but you may have a trade group or other association you can use as well.  Regardless, nothing beats the effectiveness of phone calls to your Senator or Representatives’ homes to tell them what you think.  I know from speaking to many legislators that they really do appreciate the calls from constituents.

   Remember the quote, “The cost of Freedom is eternal vigilance”.  It may be tired, but it is true.  We may be tired, too, but we need to communicate our desires to our lawmakers as diligently now as we do in the first part of the year………maybe, in some cases, more diligently!

  

--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 1st, 2017

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for August 1st…………

  

--What a week this is going to be!  Starting later today the place to be is River Island Park in Woonsocket for our version of the Police National Night Out.  It’s a real community celebration including and especially featuring fun for the kids.  It starts at 4pm and goes until 6pm in Woonsocket, with similar events scheduled in local communities throughout the country. 

   Today’s event reminds me of a conversation I had some time ago with a police officer of my acquaintance.  We were talking about the ‘down side’ of being a cop and I asked him why he does it.  I expected him to say, “well, somebody’s got to do it” and just dismiss it.  But he didn’t.  He said, “because, Dave, if the bad guys don’t have organized opposition, they’ll take over.  It’s a law of nature, even if it does sometimes seem like shoveling against the tide, whether or not I personally make a difference every day I know that all the cops, together, always do.”  

  Events like todays are a great way to show people they do have a choice to take the positive path, the right path to a better society.

 

--Next, tomorrow at 6pm the four nights and one afternoon of fun begins at Park Square in Woonsocket as the Our Lady Queen of Martyrs Roman Catholic Church Parish does what they’ve been doing since the 1950s, it’s their annual Parish Festival.  Yes, you knew it as the ‘Carnival’, and it’s the same fun, food, and excitement, but with the updated name of Festival which some people think has a bit more positive connotation.  I think there’s hardly a person in the Blackstone Valley who hasn’t attended this festival at least once, so I won’t go into a long description here.  Suffice it to say if you want to relive old memories or make some new ones, Park Square is the place to visit until Saturday night when the drawing for all the prizes take place. 

 

--August also is the last month of the “My Woonsocket Life” video project.  Some people who would like to tell of their life in our city find it inconvenient to come to the Woonsocket Harris Public Library’s video studio to do so.  For them, the “My Woonsocket Life Rhode Crew” is bringing the opportunity to you by setting up at both events I mentioned above, plus the Food Truck Night Friday I hadn’t mentioned.  Look for our big white radio and TV broadcasting truck as we host the Rhode Crew at each event.  Your participation in this historic project will help all of us make a better Woonsocket.  And think of the fun you’ll have as family and friends watch your video on the Internet afterward!

 

--Some of us received the bittersweet news last week that our friend Vimala D. Phongsavanh has taken a job in Washington D.C..  And, though she promises to return to Woonsocket for visits and maintains her property here, she will be making her unique contributions on a national level now as she will become the Director of Policy and Legislative Affairs at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum, or N.A.P.A.W.F. for short.  

  Though we will all miss her, I’m sure you will join me in wishing our friend Vimala the best of luck and happiness as she follows her deep passion for improving the lives of Asian Americans across the country.

 

 --We were delighted to hear the recent announcement that the Rhode Island State Police has received a top accreditation for excellence.  I had the chance to see some of their excellent police work last week.  You’ll remember the reports of a ‘road rage incident’ on R.I. 146 northbound in which gunshots were reportedly fired by the occupant of one vehicle toward another.  This happened at about lunchtime on Tuesday.  The State Police were able to lift photos of the suspect vehicle from R.I.D.O.T. traffic cameras and publish them asking the public for any information they may have.  The following day, at about the same time of day, I happened to be driving north on 146 to Woonsocket, returning from a meeting in Providence, and I saw no less than five State Police cruisers parked at intervals on the side of the road.  Each had a ‘Statie’ carefully checking every car as it passed by them hoping that the suspect would be one who routinely drives the same places at the same time each day, as many of us do.  I didn’t hear if that process worked, but it was a great example of top police work from a top police organization.

 

--I have to be careful how I write this next thought.  There’s bound to be someone who misunderstands.  I don’t mean to hurt anyone’s feelings, you know, but I do have a point to make about how our society has changed the way it conducts wakes and funerals.  Be careful, now, here I go. 

  I attended two events this past weekend which couldn’t be more different………or more similar in my view.  The first was the wake and funeral of my good friend and fraternity brother C. Allen Buxton.  I noted how friends and family chatted with members they hadn’t seen in a while and told jokes about times they’d shared with Allen.  There were a few moments when the realization of our loss touched our hearts, but it was, on the whole, a pleasant gathering.

   The next day I attended a large backyard gathering of Denise’s family and as I watched this gathering chat and tell jokes and remember family members now passed, I couldn’t help but notice the similarities between the two gatherings.  The difference, of course, is the way we conduct wakes and funerals these days.  Seldom now do I see the wailing and crying I witnessed years ago.  It’s now replaced by a much more pleasant and positive atmosphere.  I think this is a good change, and I hope it continues.

 

 --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 25th.............

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 25th…………

 

 

--To follow up on a topic from last week, I took the opportunity to drive by the DMV Registry office on Pond Street in Woonsocket.  What I saw could be encouraging, but only to a point.  I did not see the line waiting for the triage booth coming out the front doors and down the path to the parking lot as I had in the past.  I did see what appeared to be long lines inside, though.  I hope the apparent improvement is lessening the suffering of those who try to comply with the laws of our state.

 

--I just have to say this, even though as I type I can hear certain people disagreeing with me.  I’ve had it with so-called “pitcher’s duels” in baseball this year.  I don’t get it and I’ve never got what some people see in these low-scoring affairs.  I say there is a reason there are nine players on each team.  I said NINE, not TWO.  You may well say to me, Dave, who cares what you think?  To that I reply, “I’m a spectator.  Baseball is a ‘spectator sport’.  I’m the customer.  What I think had darned better matter.” 

 

  There have always been pitcher’s duels.  I get that.  But I’m seeing duel after duel after duel this season, and I don’t like it at all.  Give me some offense, I say!.  There’s got to be a reason all those trees have died to give the other eight players something to hold in their hands, and it ain’t to swat flies.  Those trees died so players can hit baseballs with the bats, so the players should start doing it.

 

 --Congratulations are in order, I think, for State Representative Bob Phillips (D- Dist. 51, Woonsocket, Cumberland) and State Senator Roger Picard (D- Dist. 20, Woonsocket, Cumberland) who joined together and engaged the support of the members of their respective houses to see a new law signed by Governor Raimondo last week.  Without going into too much detail, Rhode Island school districts will now be able to elect to make up for school days lost to weather or building issues with approved school work sent home with students, rather than having no choice but to add the lost days to the end of the school calendar.  Each community will have the option to adopt this policy or to not.

 

  Personally, I don’t see why any school district would not elect to enable this new option.  I admire the simple logic of this measure.  After all, it’s all about imparting knowledge to our young people, isn’t it?  It seems to me a reasonable compromise to exchange time at home for time in a class room when the class room time is lost through no fault of the student.

 

 

--From our “Time Marches On” Department:  I usually drive a small car.  It’s thrifty and very easy to park, which is important to me.  This, I suppose, comes from lessons learned in the 1970s when OPEC engineered an embargo which raised the price of gas and oil dramatically. 

 

  However, the social cycle we are now in demands luxury and status in automobiles.  Luxury pickup trucks and SUVs make up the majority of U.S. auto sales.  So, it will surprise no one that General Motors is considering discontinuing six models which are neither trucks nor SUVs.

 

  The Chevy Volt Hybrid, Buick Lacrosse, Cadillac XGS, the affordable Sonic, and even the venerable Chevy Impala may soon go the way of the Oldsmobile, relegated to history.  Hey, you can’t expect them to keep making them if they’re not selling, right?

 

 

--Finally, I found it interesting that just days after my comments on what a lousy job being White House Press Secretary for President Trump must be, that the current occupant of that office resigned.  It does make some sense that an executive like Mr. Trump would feel more comfortable with a financial professional on his team even if the financial professional knows nothing of how to handle the press.  As I review what I just wrote I realize how little it makes sense until you frame the thought with the understanding that Mr. Trump knows little to nothing of how to govern a nation, as evidenced by his decision to refuse an invitation to the NAACP convention in nearby Baltimore. 

 

  I think a leader who is adept at the special skills needed to engage and govern a nation of dissimilar peoples would do what former President George W. Bush did.  Mr. Bush attended the convention.  He was gracious and polite and listened attentively to what people there told him.  Even though neither side believed for a moment that his policies would be changed by the information he gained, who is to say that his decisions weren’t ‘moderated’ in some way by an understanding of the different points of view. 

 

   Regardless, even though they didn’t agree, Mr. Bush at least showed the NAACP the respect of attendance and civility.  What more could you ask of a leader?  We are not getting even that from Mr. Trump.  I hope this doesn’t come back to bite him in the future.  Remember, Donald Trump’s success as president is the success of all of us.  Frustrating, sometimes, isn’t 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 18th

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 18th…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--Well, today is the day the Rhode Island Division of Motor Vehicles ‘takes off the training wheels’ and opens all offices for walk-in business.  They’re telling us the new computer system has performed well servicing a regulated number of customers who reserved their place in line over the Internet. 

 

 

 

  But can this new computer system make the difference when the lines are out the front door on Pond Street with people just waiting to see the lady in the triage booth?  We will see.  You’d think they’d eventually get it right, but the temptation to perpetuate gosh awful service could be great when you consider that they are in one of two businesses in America where you are practically expected to “get it wrong” most of the time and can do so with no fear of consequences.  By the way, the other business is weather forecasting.

 

 

 

--A news story of the future started brewing down in Warwick last week.  U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly came to Rhode Island at the request of U.S. Senator from Rhode Island Jack Reed.  The story we were given is that the senator has been told that Green Airport must grow in size.  You can just imagine how much support there will be within the state to borrow more money to construct a bigger terminal and maybe take a few more blocks of houses to extend the runways.  Not only do I see no support, but I predict a sizable protest against such a plan.

 

 

 

  I personally cannot find support in my own mind for making Green Airport bigger.  The way I see it, Green’s unique strength is its smallness, seriously.  I could see maybe sinking a few bucks into the North Central and Charlestown airports, but to go into debt so our airport can become even less competitive makes no good sense to me. 

 

 

 

  You may be asking yourself why the Homeland Security Secretary was asked to come see T.F. Green in person.  I know I did.  The best I could come up with is that Senator Reed knows that Homeland Security can get money to do anything it wants to if it can say it will enhance national security.  Regardless, it doesn’t hurt to have friends in high places when you want to get something big done.

 

 

 

 

 

--Congratulations go out to Woonsocket’s Community Care Alliance.  The organization formerly known as Family Resources has a history of helping the unfortunate going back to the 1800’s.  It was the original group behind Woonsocket’s beloved Milk Fund, and has grown under the capable leadership of Ben Lessing to the point where Woonsocket’s CVS Corporation is funding more good work by Community Care Alliance to the tune of a quarter million dollars so they can establish a much needed treatment center for those with opioid issues.  I’m sure you have read or heard of the recent shocking increases in opioid addictions and related deaths across the country.  Unfortunately, our area is not immune to this, but now at least we will be able to do something to keep people from dying. 

 

 

 

--Some of you may think of libraries as a rather studious, quiet but not necessarily exciting place.   While this may have been true years ago, today’s modern library has expanded its scope to sponsor events far beyond books and the odd ‘book discussion group’ here and there.  For instance, the Woonsocket Harris Public Library is involved in producing TV programs about life in the community.  Also, they’ve recently invited teens to come to learn how to prepare for the “Zombie Apocalypse”, (very entertaining for teens) and this Friday they tell me teens are invited to gain hands-on experience with robots.  Similar activities are being sponsored by other libraries in the area.  Your local library isn’t just for reading anymore.

 

 

 

--Before I go, I’d like point out this is the season for local fairs and festivals.  Many of them celebrate the rich heritage of the countries of origin of the many different peoples who make up America.  Last week we had the Southeast Asians and the Dragon Boats on the Blackstone River.  This Saturday and Sunday at the St. John The Baptist Romanian Orthodox Church in Woonsocket the Romanian and Macedonian American Festival will display their Ethnic and American Music and Dancing and foods like Shish-Kebab, Baklava, Grilled Romanian Sausage, Stuffed Cabbage Rolls and other selections too numerous to mention here.  This is what America is all about, the best of all the countries and cultures of the world banding together to make one fantastic country.  I hope you’ll take time to support these worthy volunteer efforts.  When you do, you will contribute to what makes America the greatest country of them all.

 

 

 

 

 

--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 4th, 2017

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for July 4th…………

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--I am happy to address you on this Independence Day.  It is right that we take a few minutes on the one day designated as the “birthday” of our great republic to count our collective blessings. 

 

 

 

  Blessing number one I see is the one undeniable fact that in the United States of America, even though there are many things wrong, we have a Constitution which is the envy of the civilized world.  It enables each of us to make the changes needed to keep our nation vital and growing.  It is a document which has been often assailed, occasionally amended, but it is always strong enough to be the rock our society rests upon.   

 

 

 

  Our freedoms are rarely showcased as completely as they are during a holiday parade.  And here I refer to Cumberland’s Arnold Mills July 4th Parade on Nate Whipple Highway.  A classier exhibit of Americana you will be hard-pressed to find.  It is where I have spent part of my July 4th holiday for most of the years of my adult life.  Each time I see it, my heart swells with pride that I live where I do and I’m free to do what I do.  If you’re reading these words Tuesday morning, you still have time to join me and the many thousands for this great yearly spectacle.

 

 

 

  Another blessing to count these days is the way that public opinion in our country is sometimes galvanized into one unanimous idea.  And on this Independence Day, it has to do with perhaps the most independent man in America.  Yes, virtually all the country is unanimous in the opinion that our President is a nut!  Although, we are a bit divided on what we should do about it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

--What’s all this foolishness about the foolishness coming out of The White House?

 

 

 

  Don’t people know when their leg is being pulled?  Anybody who hasn’t figured out by now that President Trump cannot be expected to act like your average ‘leader of the free world’ has no one but themselves to blame for their gullibility. 

 

 

 

  I will admit to you that when Mr. Trump was elected I expected that a lot of his shenanigans would disappear from view as he played the role of our top political leader.  But they didn’t disappear, so get used to the idea that you’ll be shaking your head a lot for the next few years. 

 

 

 

  Donald Trump is not the first such “unique individual” to occupy the highest elected office in our land.  But he is the first such person with a “Twitter” account, making it nearly impossible to ignore his, shall we say,  “idiosyncrasies”.

 

 

 

  As for the government official, I forget her name now, who sounded off with righteous indignation on a national newscast claiming that the president is inciting violence against members of the press, I have one comment.  “Aw, c’mon!”  That official’s statement demeans the intelligence of the American public.  It makes as much sense as when my dear mother, listening to what such people were saying back in the 1960s, told me she didn’t want me to watch The Three Stooges on TV anymore because it would encourage me to gouge someone’s eyes out.  (By the way, she got over that.)  99.99% of people can tell the difference between entertainment and reality.  I am happy to count myself in the majority in this regard.  Now that we know our president’s “tweets” are silly entertainment (I mean, really, professional wrestling?) we can all just take them with a grain of salt, I think.

 

 

 

  Do I approve of the behavior of President Trump when he grabs his smartphone and acts like a school boy taunting those he doesn’t like?  Of course not.  But there’s nothing in the U.S. Constitution which says that “the President shall not embarrass us or himself”.  The Founding Fathers left that out of the Supreme Document because it is merely common sense the president wouldn’t do that.  Ahem.  I would state the obvious if I said common sense is in terribly short supply in government these days, so I won’t bother. 

 

 

 

  In closing, let me just repeat my belief that stress kills more people than do guns.  Getting stressed out about Mr. Trump’s personal behavior will do you no lasting good.  Remember the words of the wise man who asked for the strength to change the things he could and the wisdom to know the difference between the things he could change and the things he could not?  It seems clear to us all now that nobody is going to change Donald Trump’s personal behavior.  Yes, I agree many of his actions show a distinct lack of self-respect, and this is regrettable, but that point is moot now.  The time for us to have done something about that was before he was elected.  It is time now to make the best of it.  Give up trying to change President Trump’s personality and direct your effort into hoping he gets the REALLY important things right.     

 

 

 

 

 

--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 27th

 

­­­­­­­­­Dave Richards for June 27th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--I was doing some writing for a trade paper this past weekend and while I was developing a point, I realized what the problem is with the world today.  Armed with this knowledge, I thought I’d share it with you.

 

 

 

  Selfishness.  That is the root of the problem.  I believe it is selfishness which is encouraged from several different directions and for selfish reasons which is slowing the progress of society as a whole and America in specific today.

 

 

 

  Look around you, my friend, and you see it every day.  MYVerizon, My Pillow, My Yahoo, My Cloud, even My UCSC (University of California at Santa Cruz).  Together with personal media devices which play everyone’s personal music preferences, it seems to me that people growing up today are actually pushed toward selfishness. 

 

 

 

  It goes further.  Playing organized sports where there is no score kept and everyone is a “winner”, and all get trophies just for showing up.  These are not the lessons which need to be taught for people to learn how to survive and conquer adversity.  These are the lessons we need to teach people to make them self-entitled coveters of anything new and shiny.  I think teaching THAT lesson is a big mistake for the future of humanity. 

 

 

 

  Everybody would like to stand out, be a leader, and be admired.  The hard truth is, unfortunately, that everybody cannot be those things.  Everybody has their own gifts and talents, and they should make the most of them through their lives, but only a few have that magnetic ‘stand-out’ personality, the ability to lead wisely, and the maturity to handle admiration without being affected by it. 

 

 

 

  And here’s where it all goes wrong, I think.  If you have a whole society trying to be leaders, unique individuals who don’t need to care what others think, then nobody is truly leading because nobody is following.  Does the term “Too Many Chiefs and Not Enough Indians” ring a bell?

 

 

 

  That is what I see happening now in our society, and I don’t think it is a healthy trend.  History has taught us what any society can do if they come together and pull in the same direction toward a common goal.  The United States during World War Two comes to mind immediately in this regard.  The people who remember the situation our country was in when that war started are mostly gone now, but history books remind us we were ill-prepared for even entering a war, let alone the idea of winning it.  However, in the face of true adversity, people, working together and bringing all their unique and incalculably valuable gifts to the same well-focused purpose made that happen. 

 

 

 

  Today, without leadership focusing us to work on any one purpose, we are free to work on any purpose which pleases us.  This is okay for a short time, but when we do this to the exclusion of helping (or even caring about) others, the fabric of society begins to weaken.  Over time it begins to tear and become useless.  I think that’s where we are today and we should do something about it.  Some are trying.  We need more people to try.

 

 

 

  The more I live, the more I see the truth in the idea that humans need adversity.  And when they don’t have it from natural causes like war, disease, or pestilence, then they must manufacture adversity.  This is why there is so much public hatred and hostility being displayed today.  A time-proven leadership technique is, if there isn’t enough adversity to galvanize the followers, invent some.  Sometimes a leader will make unpopular decisions to get the followers all united in their dislike of the leader.  But more often these days, the leader will demonize the opposition and get their followers hating the opposition to solidify their purpose.  This is what we see happening in partisan politics these days.

 

 

 

  The more I see this happening, the more I comfort myself with the knowledge that they wouldn’t be doing this if there were any true adversity in the world.  But then I reflect on the world situation and I question the validity of that idea.

 

 

 

  You see, there really is a tiny minority of militant Muslims who mean to harm the United States.  They know all they need to do is to do nothing for a while and let Americans start arguing amongst themselves again, taking the focus of most Americans away from a real danger and making themselves easy targets for the people who really do want to kill them.  I believe this is happening now, and instead of arguing amongst ourselves we should be making preparations for our defense.  Some people are trying to do this, but not enough of them. 

 

 

 

  One example of the few who are trying is President Trump and his so-called “Travel Ban”.  Look, I don’t know if it’s a good idea or not, several subordinate courts of learned people have said it is not.  But regardless of if that particular idea of addressing the situation is a good method or a bad one, SOMETHING should be done to remind Americans that there are many thousands of people in this world whose deeply-held beliefs are that Americans and our way of life must be erased from the planet.  Some way must be found to defend ourselves because those people are just waiting for their chance to act on their beliefs.    

 

 

 

  Just reading what I wrote there, I realize my words could be construed as “demonizing the opposition”.  But you know that’s not true.  You are not paranoid if they really ARE out to get you.  There should be a clear difference in the mind of any thinking person between focusing attention on members of an opposition political party who are “trying to eat your babies and kill your grandparents” and people who really are trying to kill YOU.

 

 

 

  Resist the urge to fall into the ‘Selfish Trap’, friend.  Teach your young ones that caring for others and working together are what humans are better at than any species on the planet.  Be civil in your discourse with others and tolerant in the exercise of your beliefs.  That’s not being selfish, that’s being a great person, worthy of being followed and admired.

 

 

 

--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 June 20, 2017

 

 

Dave Richards for June 20th…………

 

 

 

 

 

--This week, it's all about 'clubs', folks............

 

 

  First, a reminder about our beloved Le Club Par-X.  The members of the Par-X Club have a long tradition of using their hall and kitchen to help individuals and other organizations to raise money for worthy causes.  Organizations we all support like Autumnfest and The Milk Fund have benefitted from the untold generosity of the members of Par-X who get up early on a Sunday morning and prepare a full breakfast complete with eggs any style, meat and beans which are so much favored by the locals that people come in droves to every Par-X breakfast.

 

 

 

  Well now, the Par-X will have an event this Friday evening to raise money to keep their hall in top condition so they can continue to help others.  It’s a chowder and clam cake supper and the chef will be none other than Mickey G. operating out of his famous mobile clam shack.  Your choice of red or white chowder and those yummy clam cakes will be available to eat there at the Par-X or take home with you.  And the proceeds help a swell group of people who always help others when asked.  I hope you’ll remember to join me this Friday and be there to help these fine people help themselves.

 

 

 

 

 

--Also, this weekend is the weekend for the largest event in the U.S. for home amateur radio enthusiasts, called HAMs.  It called “Field Day”.  This weekend amateurs will set up temporary transmitting and receiving stations in fields and open areas all around the country as they invite the licensed and non-licensed alike to come out “open house style” and see what the hobby is all about. 

 

 

 

  Our local HAM club, the Blackstone Valley Amateur Radio Club, will be set up on the grounds of the former Chopmist Hill Inn on Chopmist Hill Road in Scituate, now home of the Scituate Senior Center.   If you go, you’ll see examples of the original social media, HAM radio, and if you want you’ll get the chance to ‘key-up’ and talk to others on a special radio set up for guests-only. 

 

 

 

  Amateur radio operators are an important part of our nation’s plan for safety in the event of natural or man-made disasters because, unlike the Internet, which is vulnerable to attacks and downed lines, individual amateur radio operators continue to operate in the worst of conditions. And they relay vital information in times of true need. 

 

 

 

  Check them out at the Field Day Event at the Scituate Senior Center, on Route 102, just south of the intersection with Route 6.  I think you’ll be impressed.  And what you see just might spark your own interest, or the interest of a young person you bring along.

 

 

 

 

 

--I think we all have things which bother us disproportionately.  These are the little things which don’t seem to bother others, but which “push OUR buttons”.  One of them for me is these so-called “loyalty clubs” which are all the rage right now. 

 

 

 

  I don’t like people I don’t know compiling and using my personal information and buying habits and using them to ‘market’ me.  We’ve all heard about the grandma and grandpa who are bombarded with ads for baby formula and other items for newborns simply because they once bought a box of disposable diapers for a young family member and used their ‘store club’ key chain card. 

 

 

 

  What is maddening to me is that people by and large are willing to sell this information about themselves to large corporations to use with no controls and for literally pennies, sometimes.  I take a different view.  Oh, I know that nobody lives anonymously anymore.  In the 21st Century it is not only possible but indeed likely that a stranger can know things about me that I am not aware of myself.  But to simply give corporations information they can use to ‘market’ you is completely avoidable in my mind.  At least it should be.  Unfortunately there is a financial penalty today for choosing to keep your privacy, and I think this is wrong.

 

 

 

  You see, the way I look at it is the whole concept is a dishonest manipulation of customers for profit.  If a store can afford to sell me a pound of grapes for $2.69, then they should just sell it to me and everyone for $2.69.  They should not mark-up the same pound of grapes to $2.99 a pound simply because a customer didn’t join their store club and give them permission to track their private buying habits and probably also share the data for cash with other companies for profit.   

 

 

 

  The dishonesty of this system is obvious to me.  Under disguise of being a customer’s ‘friend’ and caring so much about their ‘friend’ that they will sell items to them for less, the stores keep the prices where they want them for their ‘friends’ but then take the opportunity to jack up the prices to gouge everyone who’s not a ‘friend’.  I have a deep-seated problem with that, and I refuse to participate.  Let’s face it, no store can sell at a loss, not even to a ‘friend’.

 

 

 

  Our Rhode Island General Assembly is busy every year passing laws for special interests.  How about they pass a law to stop this method of price gouging and information mining?  I say there should be one fair price for everyone!

 

 

 

--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 13, 2017

Dave Richards for June 13th…………

 

--Well, after a spring which has had (after two days of summer-like weather) the coolest and rainiest run of weather most of us can recall, we have finally been given our first official mini heat-wave.  Three or more consecutive days over 90 degrees, and today is number three.  Tonight a weather front will pass through and starting tomorrow we are back to late spring weather again, with highs in the 70s.  Good. 

  I look at weather in the summertime the same as I do in Winter.  Mix it up, I say.  I can more easily take the brutal cold of a New England winter if it only lasts for a few days at a time and then goes above freezing for a few days before returning back to the deep-freeze.  And I suppose that’s what bothered all those people I heard complaining about the raw, rainy weather recently.  It just kept up day after day without change. 

  But now that we have more summerlike weather conditions, some of the old summertime downside has returned as well.  A few nights ago, at about 1:30 in the morning, there I was snoozing happily with the bedroom window  open, enjoying the nice fresh air in my slumber, when my rest was abruptly interrupted by the smell of skunk discharge.  Ugh!  I closed the windows as soon as I could.  Sunday evening the folks in my neighborhood decided to top off a hot day with fireworks, and lots of them, too. 

  I don’t begrudge them their fun, but it is disturbing over so many hours without stop and so many weeks before the holiday.  I remember thinking when they made some fireworks legal a few years ago that we would no longer be hearing simple ‘salute’-type fireworks, but much more of the stuff which hasn’t been made legal yet, and that’s just what I am seeing.  I thought the sky rockets which flew up above the tree tops and then exploded were still prohibited from people’s back yards.  I just hope nobody gets hurt, that’s my real concern. 

  I remember as a young boy it hadn’t been very many years since the personal purchase of fireworks had been made illegal by the Rhode Island Legislature.  There were some people I knew who still had some they’d bought before they were outlawed and, well, “waste-not, want-not”, right?  But I do remember being told of people who lost fingers and eyesight and such because they weren’t careful enough, and that fireworks needed to be respected in the same manner we respect guns.  Still, back then we were only poking a hole in the base of an empty vegetable can to stick the fuse of the firecracker out through it and then placing a slightly larger empty tin can on top of that one.  When the fuse hit the business end of the firecracker the explosion launched the top tin can way up into the air.  I’m seeing far more dangerous incendiary fun taking place today.  Let’s all be very careful out there.

 

--What a wonderful time I had at the 2017 Woonsocket High School Graduation Ceremonies last Friday!   I was especially delighted that it took place outdoors at Barry Memorial Field.  The forecast early in the week was exemplary, but by Wednesday and Thursday thunderstorms were predicted.  However, by Friday morning all references to thunderstorms were removed from the forecast and the chance of a shower reduced to only 20 percent. 

  I saw Woonsocket Superintendent of Schools Dr. Patrick McGee overseeing the setup early Friday morning at Barry Field and he was beaming as brightly as the sun at the prospect of an outdoor ceremony.  He had never counted it out in his heart, not even when the forecast looked threatening.  He was like a man whose faith was being rewarded.  But not without one more test of that faith. 

  Twenty minutes before the ceremony that afternoon the skies opened up with a passing thundershower scattering the thousands of early-arrivers to wherever they could find shelter.  A surprising number of people had brought umbrellas with them and shared the protection they afforded with those nearby.  In about five minutes, the rain was over and the skies remained dry for the rest of the day.  I considered it good, strong leadership on the part of the Superintendent.  We’re lucky to have such a wise man running our district.

 

--261 young people received their diplomas that day.  I heard several comments about the years when we had twice that many graduates in a class and questions about why the number was “so small”.  The truth, as I see it, is that far fewer babies are being born these days compared to twenty or thirty years ago.  In fact, a news release this past weekend supported my theory.  The Mormons announced that their numbers are barely holding steady this year due to the very facts I stated.  Fewer babies are being born and people are often waiting until later in life to even begin having families.  So much for the “population explosion” we heard so much about back in the 60s and 70s.

  I’ll close this week with a quote.  “No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”  I know we’re supposed to attribute quotes to their authors when we use them in print, but the author of this one is either long dead, or, if the Desiderata truly is a hoax as some claim, the author doesn’t wish to be credited.  So I’ll break protocol and decline.  Have a nice week.

--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—