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180 Days

February 2023




Snow Wed Changing to Rain Wed Night: High winds, a fraction of an inch before being washed away by heavy rain

At Providence, snow beginning Wed 3pm ­– 5pm will change to rain 5 – 8pm, but less than 1 inch is expected before being washed away by heavy rain with temperatures rising to 50F before ending Thu 6 – 8am. Wind gusts to 40MPH are likely for several hours during the peak of the storm.

A Winter Weather Advisory is in effect Wed 1pm to Thu 1am covering most of northern RI as well as central and western MA and inland CT. Travel may be difficult especially during the Wed evening commute, and the combination of heavy rain and gusty wind may take down tree limbs and power lines.

Probability of accumulation at least 0.1in is 94% and 1in is near 0%.




Connolly, Jackson named youth poetry ambassador, deputy: Celebratory reading Jan 27

Natasha Connolly has been selected as youth poetry ambassador and Sadie Jackson has been selected as deputy youth poetry ambassador for 2023 by RI Poet Laureate Tina Cane, the RI Center for the Book announced. Both are students at Classical High School in Providence.

Karuna Lohmann of Quest Montessori High School in Narragansett, Marvellous Awe of Classical High School, and Favour Akinnagbe of Blackstone Academy in Pawtucket received honorable mentions.

“This initiative is designed to bring more poetry directly to our state’s youth and to inspire young people through example. Just as the state poet laureate position symbolically affirms Rhode Island’s support of poetry, the youth poetry ambassador is meant to validate and support the creative potential of our young people,” said center director Kate Lentz in a statement.

The deputy collaborates with the ambassador and performs any duties in her stead should she be unavailable.

Connolly said her goal is “to encourage other Rhode Island youth to develop a love of poetry by sharing the work of a diverse array of poets with the community through social media and other tools, as well as encouraging youth to write their own poems.” She said she is a lifelong reader inspired by the work of poets such as Richard Siken, Sylvia Plath, and Ocean Vương, and that she has read the Heroes of Olympus fantasy novel series by Rick Riordan approximately 50 times.

Jackson said, “I hope to share my experience of the universe and discover life in the words of others. I believe that there is nothing more wonderful than that which language can offer: simple comfort and human connection.”

A launch and reading celebration will take place at the State House Library on Jan 27 at 5:30pm to which the public is invited. Connolly and Jackson will participate in poetry readings with other youths at additional library events to be announced.

Connolly will receive a $1,000 cash prize and Jackson will receive a $500 cash prize. Both will have the opportunity for their poetry to be featured on RIPTA buses as part of the “Poetry in Motion” series.

The 2023 appointments will be the fifth annual (except for a two-year term during the pandemic), following previous ambassador Moira Flath and deputy ambassador Kiani Sincere-Pope (2018), ambassador Catherine Sawoski and deputy ambassador Tyler Cordeiro (2019), ambassador Halima Ibrahim and deputy ambassador Eugenie Rose Belony (2020/2021), and ambassador Lourdes Nicolella and deputy ambassador Adi Gamache (2022).




Rain changing to snow Mon: May end by evening with 1in snow

At Providence, rain likely changing to snow Mon afternoon, but temperatures about 35F preclude any chance of substantial changeover to accumulating snow, although an inch or so is expected.

Rain has been observed to change to snow as of Mon 1:30pm, but temperatures will remain above freezing in the metropolitan area until about 8pm. Significant accumulation is likely to the north and west due to colder air and therefore an earlier changeover, from Burrillville through Worcester and Springfield, where Winter Weather Advisories have been posted.

Probability of accumulation at least 0.1in is 86%, 1in is 64%, 2in is 24%, and 4in near 0%.




Mostly Rain Ending as Snow Thu – Fri: Less than 1 inch expected

At Providence, rain Thu will end as snow Fri 7pm with minimal accumulation of at most 1 inch in the metropolitan area and less toward the coast. Higher accumulation is likely in central and western MA where a Winter Weather Advisory is in effect until 6pm.

Probability of accumulation at least 0.1in is 69%, 1in near 0%.




Snow Sun Evening – Mon Morning Possible but Not Likely: Dusting to 2 inches at most

At Providence, snow is possible but not likely Sun 5pm – Mon 6am. Chance of precipitation will not exceed 30% throughout this period, implying 70% likelihood of no precipitation at all.

Probability of accumulation at least 0.1in is 64%, 1in is 32%, 2in is 8%, 4in is near 0%. Greatest accumulations are possible to the east of the city in the area of Plymouth, MA, on Cape Cod.




Uprise RI: Mayor Smiley lays out plans for PVD at inaugural events

Providence Mayor Brett Smiley
Mayor Smiley’s inaugural city stroll

Providence Mayor Brett Smiley was officially sworn in on Monday, at 12:01am at his residence, so his ceremony at the Providence Public Library was ceremonial. But it was an event that allowed Mayor Smiley to talk about his ideas, in general terms, for the future of the city which he declared “will be the bestrun city in the United States of America” by the end of his administration.

In brand terms, Mayor Smiley spoke about schools, public safety and city services, but he also touched on housing.

“Together, we will turn around our education system, restore a sense of public safety, and bring high-quality city services to every resident and business in our 20 square miles,” said the mayor.

On education, Mayor Smiley said that he wants the city to be ready for the return of the schools to city control after the state takeover initiated during the Elorza Administration.

“That’s why my first event as mayor will be a community education listening session, happening this Saturday [past, as of press time] at the Juanita Sanchez Education Complex, where we take a closer look at how to build high-quality facilities, create better out-of-school supports, and work toward a successful turnaround of Providence Public Schools,” the mayor said.

On public safety, Mayor Smiley is doubling down on his commitment to community policing, something he spoke about a lot on the campaign trail. “I want every neighbor to know the officers protecting their neighborhoods by name, officers will be visible within the community walking the beat or on their bicycles, and we will stop at nothing to get illegal guns off of the street and prevent violent crimes,” said Mayor Smiley.

The new mayor thanked outgoing Mayor Jorge Elorza for establishing the Behavioral Health Crisis Response program, which Mayor Smiley called “a critical step toward getting residents the right care when they call 911. Let’s build on that. My administration is committed to reducing overdose deaths and supporting those struggling with substance use.”

He also talked about strengthening the youth employment program and recreational programming for youth to offer alternatives to crime. He also vowed to “stop illegal ATVs and motorcycles that make our streets less safe” and to “rehabilitate blighted properties run by absentee landlords that deteriorate the pride residents have in their neighborhoods.”

On city services, which seemed a catchall, Mayor Smiley spoke about everything from licensing to potholes to green infrastructure to the arts to affordable housing.

“I know we can fix potholes and repair our sidewalks the right way, the first time,” said Mayor Smiley. “We can clear snow quickly and efficiently. We can keep our streets clean and welcoming to visitors near and far. We can make meaningful investments in green infrastructure that prepares us for the future.

“I want to make Providence the place to open your business, with City Hall providing excellent customer support and easily-accessible resources. We can start by streamlining services so that it’s convenient to do business in Providence. We can continue to steward the arts, culture and culinary scenes that we all treasure by supporting our local small businesses.”

On housing, Mayor Smiley spoke of “increasing housing units at all price points and across every neighborhood. And by providing wrap-around services in new affordable housing – things like childcare, afterschool programs, and healthcare – more residents will be supported through a housing-first model…

“Every investment in housing helps keep generations of Providence families here, improves economic mobility, and welcomes new residents to fall in love with this incredible city.”

After the inauguration, Mayor Smiley walked from the Providence Public Library to Providence City Hall, side by side with his husband, the city’s first First Gentleman Jim DeRentis, and preceded by horse-mounted police officers, Chinese dragon dancers, the Girl Scouts of Southeastern New England, Big Nazo aliens and the Providence Drum Troupe.




ecoRI News Roundup: Emissions past, present & future

State to examine natural gas’s role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions

South County Health logo

WARWICK — State utility officials will start the new year with a special resolution: studying how the natural gas distribution system will play a part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

The Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has signed off on a three-part work plan that includes a review of current state policy on natural gas, a technical analysis of the system to be performed by Rhode Island Energy, and identifying ways state regulators can help achieve emission reduction goals.

Unlike many PUC dockets, where lawyers and experts spar over proposed policy in highly technical jargon, this one will remain uncontested. In a memorandum outlining the staff’s final recommendations, staff cautioned the docket would remain an information-gathering enterprise, and indicated members of the public expecting radical action would have to wait for a future docket.

The docket is aimed at solving a key tension in state policy: What will the role of fossil fuels play in achieving the mandates of the Act on Climate law?

The legislation, signed into law last year by Gov. Dan McKee, requires state officials to achieve netzero emissions by 2050, with plenty of benchmark goals in between. If the state fails to meet reductions laid out in the law, it could open itself to legal challenges.

But there’s an elephant in the room called natural gas. About half the homes in the state rely on natural gas for heat in the winter, and another third use home heating oil. Residential and commercial heating accounts for 26% of all greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in RI, according to the latest GHG Emissions Inventory from the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management.

Homes not relying on fossil fuels for heat still overwhelmingly rely on it for electricity generation; 87% of electricity generated for the state comes from natural gas, with renewables making up the rest, according to the federal Energy Information Administration.

South Kingston pulls plug on controversial hospital land swap

WAKEFIELD — Members of the South Kingstown Town Council passed a resolution authorizing the withdrawal of the town‘s support for a land swap with South County Health.

Town Farm Park had been proposed as the site of expanded parking for the hospital, but opposition to the plan grew after the community learned an archaeological study had determined there were Indigenous artifacts on the site, indicating the possibility that human graves might also be present.

Residents who opposed the plan formed the Friends of Town Farm Park group and started a petition. Members of the Narragansett Indian Tribe were furious that a proposal to pave over land that might contain the graves of their ancestors was even being considered.

Opponents of the land swap urged the hospital to consider parking alternatives to the park and warned that paving the site, which is close to the head of Point Judith Pond, would exacerbate the pond’s pollution problem.

At the Nov 28 Town Council meeting, council members expressed their distaste for exploring a proposal that could disturb Indigenous artifacts including graves, and asked town manager James Manni to work with the hospital to try to find an alternative site that would alleviate the hospital’s parking problem.

Report: State in danger of missing 2030 emissions mandate

PROVIDENCE — Twenty months after the Act on Climate was signed into law, RI is already in danger of missing its first big emissions reduction mandate.

The state’s Executive Climate Change Coordinating Council (EC4), the supergroup of cabinet-level agencies that lead climate policy, released a draft of its emissions reduction report, indicating that, even if the state adopted some aggressive climate policy measures, it could miss its 2030 greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions reduction mandate by as much as half a million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalents (MMTCO2e).

Under the Act on Climate, the state is required, by 2030, to reduce GHG emissions to 45% below 1990 baseline levels. A decarbonization analysis performed by the Acadia Center and Rocky Mountain Institute projects emissions in 2030 to be 7.69 MMTCO2e, compared to the 1990s’ baseline of 12.48 MMTCO2e.

Part of the law also requires the EC4 to issue a number of reports and strategies on meeting the emission reduction mandates.

The actual outcomes could be significantly worse if the state doesn’t get its act together. The final projections assume state leaders will follow many of the final recommendations included in the report.

Some of the recommendations are happening right now. The Legislature passed the Renewable Energy Standard last year, which requires an additional 9.5% of carbon offsets for every kilowatt-hour of electricity sold annually. Others seem uncertain. The report sets a target for 30% penetration of electric vehicles, or 86,000 registered EVs on the road. Rhode Island currently only has 6,275 registered EVs.

For more details on these stories, and to get more of the latest environmental news, visit www.ecoRI.org. Subscribe to ecoRI News’ free weekly e-newsletter at www.ecoRI.org/subscribe.




2023 Inaugural Spoken Awards

Motif Spoken Word Awards

Spoken words have power – to spread ideas, create new thoughts, spin up ideas, or even just amuse or entertain. They are the OG medium of communication, artistic expression and journalism.
To recognize the practitioners of art forms such as spoken word, storytelling and stand-up comedy, Motif is embarking on a new kind of awards show / community gathering.

The first ever Spoken Awards will take place at the end of Funda Fest, on Friday, Feb 3, 6:30pm. at R1 Indoor Karting (100 Higginson Ave, Lincoln – ample parking, just a few minutes ride from PVD). Voting is open now at surveymonkey.com/r/ZLNJ372. And as it’s the first time we’re doing these, write-in votes will be especially important, so please take a moment to help out!

VOTE NOW

The event will feature live spoken word performances, storytelling and improv, as well as a recognition ceremony. We hope you can join us!

FACEBOOK EVENT PAGE

Here are the nominees:

Spoken word

Free verse

Ashley Rae
Astrid Drew
Brian Shovelton
Clarise Annette Brooks
Devin Samuels
Jill Miller
Juan Wilson
Ryk McIntyre
Sarah Lopes
Shay Alexi

Social Justice

Chachi Carvalho
Christopher Johnson
Ginay Lopes
Justice Ameer
Marlon Carey
Mr. Orange Live
Rudy Rudacious
Jared Paul

Youth

Adam Fontaine
Adi Gamache
Cyprus Weaver
Eugenie Rose
Halima Ibrahim
Lourdes Nicolella

Comedians

Brian Beaudoin
Brieana Woodward
Doug Key
Dutchess SS
John Perrotta
Liz Moniz
Ray Harrington
Tyler Hittner
Karen O’Donnell
Katie Arroyo

Comedy: new voices

Cory Guglietti
Matt Pardy
Pat O’Neal
Shyam Subramanian
Steve Goyer

Favorite event / night

Flex Your Talent
Langston Hughes Community Poetry Reading
Outspoken!
Pawtucket Poetry
Providence Poetry Slam
Spoken Word Poetry Series, at New Harvest Coffee
SWAP meet
Tell Your Truth, at Troop PVD

Narrative music / Hip-Hop / Rap

Bill Harley
Chachi Cavalho
An Artist Named Flizz
Marlon Carey
Regie Gibson
Slitty
Spocka Summa

Favorite Producer

Damont Combs (Mr. Orange Live)
Fallon Masterson
JanCarlos Terrero (Slitty)
Jaybird Walker
Juan Wilson Jr.
Lori Minuto
Sarah Lopes
Windsong Hadley

Storytelling

event

Comedy Open Mic at Askew
Funda Fest
Live Bait: True Stories From Real People
Masquerade (by NiLa78)
Pecha Kucha
StoryFest
Stranger Stories
Tell Newport

Personal Story

Andi Flax
A.R. Castellano
Bill Harley
Fallon Masterson
Joan Bailey
Cultural
Clarissa Walker
Len Cabral
Raffini
Thawn Harris
Valerie Tutson

Historical

Courtney Edge-Mattos
Marlon Carey
Ray Rickman
Rochel Coleman
Ryk McIntyre

Interactive

Keith Munslow
Len Cabral
Mark Binder
Ramona Bass Kolobe
Valerie Tutson




First Snow of the Season Likely Sun Night: 1 – 2 in accumulation expected

UPDATE: Winter Weather Advisory posted Sun 12:28pm until Mon 7:00am for portions of northern CT, central MA and northern RI including the cities of Putnam, Willimantic, Milford, Worcester, Foster, Smithfield, Providence, Coventry, West Greenwich, East Greenwich, Warwick, and West Warwick where 2 – 4 inches of snow could fall.

At Providence, precipitation is likely through Mon 2am, the first snow of the season with temperatures a few degrees below freezing before rising above freezing by mid-morning. Colder suburbs outside the metropolitan area could see slightly higher amounts.

Probability of accumulation at least 0.1in is 98%, 1in is 81%, 2in is 22%, 4in is near 0%. Substantially higher amounts are expected to the north and west of Providence, as far as Worcester MA, Springfield MA, and Hartford CT, so travelers should take note.

The next chance of rain will be Thu night.