Dave's Column

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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



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.



Dave Richards for May 1st............

Dave Richards for May 1st…………


--I have an announcement to make.  Some of you have noticed and commented to me that for the first time in our 16 years of writing for The Call I’ve missed a few weeks in succession for no apparent reason.  There is a reason, and simply put I’ve just missed my publication deadlines.  Changes at the newspaper combined with changes in my work schedule have conspired to produce this.  A change was agreed upon to remedy the situation and our column will now be published on Wednesdays starting today.  I thank the folks at The Call for this accommodation.


--What I want to talk to you about next requires a little care in how I word it.  I have had a personal experience with the cost of a prescription medicine locally which left me with the impression I was being cheated by the pharmacy I’d been doing business with for some time.  There may be a better explanation for it than I was given, so in order to keep the lawyers out of this and any subsequent discussions, I’ll leave the names of the pharmacies out of it.  The entire reason for me bringing it up can be served by focusing on this one point:  Shop around for your prescription medications every few months.  Based upon what I experienced, I think some people may do much better if they just put the effort into periodically shopping for the best price.  I know I will.


  What happened to me is I received a telephone message to call the pharmacy I was purchasing a certain prescription medication from.  When I returned the call to the number on my pill bottle, a nice pharmacist politely told me something went wrong with my insurance, and my prescription should not have cost $12, as it had for years, but rather $53.  I explained that we do not use insurance for that prescription because it was more costly with insurance than to pay cash.  (crazy, eh?, but true)  She had no explanation for this, but regardless, the cost was now $53 and she didn’t want me to be surprised at the counter when I came in for a refill.  I thanked her and hung up the phone, with the distinct feeling that something very wrong was being hidden from me.  I decided to take action.


  A quick few phone calls to other pharmacies in the area found that all charged less for the same prescription.  In fact, one would sell me the same prescription for $8 per refill.  Needless to say, I switched and all has gone well since.  Happy endings for me, but I became concerned that some of you out there may just accept such a price increase needlessly.    


  Again, what I took away from this is that maybe there was exploitation going on and maybe there wasn’t, but I protected myself by shopping around for the best price and I’ve resolved to do this twice a year, in the spring and fall from now on.  I think you should, too.  Then we should tell our representatives and senators to get on the stick and come up with consumer protection legislation to prevent any possibility of abuses.




--I was initially happy to hear that Woonsocket City Councilor Julia Brown was resigning her council seat, effective today.  I wasn’t happy to see her go, nor was I happy that the city would need to endure the expense of electing her replacement.  No, the first thought that went through my mind is that long-time former councilor Roger Jalette might get the chance to win the seat.  This is not for political reasons, Roger and I have our differences regarding policy and such, no, this is on a strictly human level.  Roger stood next to me last November on Election Night as the returns came in from the voters at the end of the day.  He went to bed that night thinking he had won, and Julia had gone to bed thinking she’d come in 8th out of seven.  However, when the sun rose on Wednesday morning, they both learned that the opposite was true.  Good news for Julia.  Tough news for Roger.  I felt badly for his disappointing twist of fate.  Now, it appears he has a second chance, and Julia improves her life as well.  I just love it when there’s a chance for both sides to win.




--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.



Dave Richards for March 26th.............

Dave Richards for March 26th…………


--I must admit to a small degree of discomfort in bringing up this next subject.  Friends of mine, and of our overall Northern Rhode Island Community are having a fundraiser, a very nice one, and I hope you will buy a ticket and come.  It’s this Thursday, March 28th, at River Falls Tavern on the Market Square end of South Main Street next to the Museum. 

  The event includes food and music, which will start right at 6pm (doors open at 5:30) with a short speaking program afterward.  It will be a very nice night.

  Community Care Alliance, Woonsocket’s Premiere Community Action Organization, is honoring some wonderful people with their “Community Champions” award.  Among them, Lorna Cohen, who is Program Manager of the vitally important Agape Woonsocket HIV Support Services for her work helping people stricken with AIDS.  Emidio Rosa, who is the Supervisor of the CCA Family Support Center, who helps bring assistance and hope to families in crisis, and Tanja Kubas-Meyer, the Executive Director of The RI Coalition for Children & Families, who supports our local organizations that assist children and families from the state-wide perspective.  I will also be honored for my work with The Milk Fund and will accept the award on behalf of the many people who gathered with me to raise more than $57-thousand this past year to buy milk for those who need it.

  If you come you will enjoy a memorable night out with good food, music, and some very nice people.  I hope you do.  Tickets are $20 each and include the buffet dinner and music.  Call Wendy at 235-7245 or email me at the radio station and I’ll send you a web-link you can use to get your tickets online.  You’ll be helping some of the most devoted and committed people I know to help those in our community who need help most.  And you’ll have a great time, too!  See you Thursday!


--People who don’t like President Trump have been for months salivating over the prospect of the Mueller Report bringing them a shipment of free ammunition they could use to remove Mr. Trump from office or at least to so tie him up with defending himself that he has little ability to do anything else. 

  On the other side of this battle, those in favor of Mr. Trump, like the president himself, are breathing a sigh of relief and pointing out the difference between “obstruction of justice” and “criminal obstruction of justice”. 

  As the summary of conclusions contained in the Mueller Report came to light over the last few days, they were grasped by people who hate Mr. Trump as if they were the Holy Sword of Justice.  Unsatisfied with the lack of a damning indictment, they want more ‘dirt’ to be released quickly so they can use it against the president.  What a shame it is that people in such high elected offices can only hate.  I have no room in my life for this kind of hate from either side of the spectrum. 

  Let me make my position clear.  I am a supporter of the office of the presidency, not necessarily its present occupant, except to say that I believe this man should be treated with the same fairness and consideration which any other citizen of our country would expect.

  Putting extremist hate aside in the discussion for a moment, what I think people on both sides seem to be overlooking is that the “facts”, as written in the report of the investigation, might not actually be the truth.

  Has everyone forgotten that the entire investigation was politically motivated to begin with?  With that kind of pressure on the investigators, it would seem to me that the opportunities for skullduggery have been numerous.  We can only hope politics have not distorted the truth in this investigation.  But in common terms, it would be a ‘miracle’ if this report represented the truth and nothing but the truth.  It would be a miracle I would welcome.

  Consider this.  The fact that the Mueller Report pleases nobody completely does speak well for the possibility of it being accurate and truthful.  The truth, as they say, lies somewhere in the middle.

  There is one proposition I on which I think we should all be able to agree.  Anyone who organizes an effort to remove a duly elected president from office without an election is not the kind of American I was taught to be.   People who do that are un-American and wrong, regardless of how lofty they think their goals are, or how much of a jerk the leader is.

--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.



Dave Richards for March 19th.............

Dave Richards for March 19th…………


--Do I dare?  Will I be sorry if I tell you that I think the winter of 2018-2019 is practically over?  Well, the astronomical change of the seasons is tomorrow, but as we all know, there is a “lag” usually between what the calendar says and what Mother Nature brings.  Still, we have daytime temperatures all in the 40s and above this week, so it’s really tempting to take a deep breath and ‘go for it’, don’t you think?


--Here’s a question to ponder.  “Is it really better to know ‘the truth’ about past events, or are we generally better off simply moving forward into the future tending to matters we can do something about?”

  I’ll tell you why I ask that question.  Just recently the big news in the forensic and crime world is the revelation that somebody thinks they know who the man was who was responsible for the so-called ‘Jack the Ripper’ murders in London in the late 1800s.  They think it was a then 23 year-old Polish immigrant who was trained to be a barber.  He was a suspect at the time, but the forensic science at the time couldn’t link him to any of the evidence.  Now, with DNA and other tests at humanity’s disposal, they think they have their man. 

  I say, “who cares”, it will help no one.  The man they claim did the killings was himself dead by the age of 54.  He died in an asylum.  Not a nice way to go.  But why bring it up now?  Probably because they can.

 I think that all this 21st century science would be better used to help the people living today.  In some cases it is.  We read with some regularity of a person living in prison who claimed their innocence and now today’s technology proves they were. 

 Another good use for this technology is to solve more recent murders, if they can.  The Doreen Picard murder comes to mind.  The problem with that is the same problem they have with the London example.  So much of the evidence available for re-examination cannot be held to the high standards of purity today’s legal system requires.  So, even when you do use modern technology to uncover new facts, the new information seems to stir up more controversy and ask more questions than they answer.

 So, to my point.  Even if you could find ‘the truth’, could you prove it to everyone’s satisfaction?  Not likely.  Who will benefit from renewed controversy and more questions?  I would not dare to imagine what family members of actual murder victims feel about this subject.  I do wonder, though.  And I wonder if they just want to move on to make use of their time to look forward rather than look back.

 Like all of us, I have a few of those family controversies which are not as serious as a murder in the family, thank God, but nonetheless occupy the minds of certain family members.  Some in my family, join me in keeping these matters private and “behind us” so as not to distract us from making progress with the rest of our lives.  Others just dwell on them.  Deaths in the family, wrongs which should have been righted but weren’t, just how much Native American blood do you have in you.  You know, all the things no one can do nothing about any more.  Who cares?  I don’t have time for it. 

 I also wonder what we can do to inspire people to move and think in a forward-looking fashion.  Looking back and keeping score is a breeding ground for mental illness and hate.  I suppose all we can do is to set a good example and concern ourselves with the truly important things. 


 Happy Spring!     


--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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