Legislators Talk Bills With ALN – April 8th, 2019

April 8_2019 ALN Annual Meeting Newport This Week

The Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) held its annual meeting on April 8, with the emphasis on “livable.”

By ohtadmin | on April 11, 2019By James Merolla

Mayor Jamie Bova, City Councilors Justin McLaughlin and Angela McCalla, School Committee member Louisa Boatwright, Sen. Dawn Euer (D-District 13 Jamestown/ Newport), Rep. Lauren Carlson (D-District 75/Newport) and Rep. Marvin Abney (D-District 73) spoke of their priorities and what they might mean for the city.

Topics ranged from short-term rentals to long-term economic school solutions. Although there were few real answers, some bills are coming to the fore on Smith Hill that may make a difference locally.

Carlson said she was introducing a bill on April 9 to regulate Airbnb, the site that lists short-term rentals nationally.

“The first step in requiring registration of Airbnb municipalities is recognizing them,” she said. “Then, once they are delineated, you can regulate them, tackling issues like parking, zoning, legality, and then taxing them appropriately.”

Of the other major issues facing Newport, she mentioned bridge realignment and Rogers High.

Euer said she is working on legislation that would create regional school districts. “How do we bring Middletown to the table?” she asked.

Her bill would essentially create a county-based school district, but it needs to be fully worked out, citing difficulties that faced Chariho and Bristol-Warren.

She is revisiting the funding formula for schools and how to make sure it is equitable, “across the state.” She is also championing a student loan regulation bill, rolled out two weeks ago.

“It’s a huge financial crisis in our country,” she said. “Students are left with a bill that they have no hope in paying off. This is an effort to allow us to really regulate this at a state level.”

She is also investigating the possible remapping of state flood zones, affected by climate change.

“There’s only one bill that I would be concerned with and that’s the state budget,” Abney said. “If a bill is passed, and there’s a cost tied to it, it is my responsibility to make sure it fits into the tax breakdown of this [budget].

“Right now, we are trying to work our way out of a $150 million-plus deficit,” he said. “We can’t continue to borrow money into the future. I have to take a keen interest in what the taxpayers have to say. What do Rhode Islanders really want? What will you tolerate?”

Boatwright asked how the legislature can help raise money for school bonds with limited Newport options like property tax revenue.

Carlson said she once introduced legislation “to raise our hotel and our meal tax.”

“The City Council did this, I introduced it, but it never happened,” she said. “They don’t want to see a higher meal tax in Newport, as they do in Middletown. They want a steady meal tax. This is basically where our money is coming from. People who are paying the meals tax are probably not from Newport. We should pursue that aggressively. Let them pay $1 on a $100 meal. I don’t see a big problem with that.”

Euer said Jamestown considers its schools, “a community project, [but] in Newport not so much.” She added, “I do see our schools as a community project.”

“It’s all about leadership,” said Abney. “At the state level, all the way down to the superintendent. If you don’t have good leadership, every other year, someone new is going to change the direction of the education system. Massachusetts chose their direction years ago and stuck to it. You have to have a plan and follow it through for a number of years. You can’t turn it around in a year.”

Carlson is introducing a bill to expand training for planning and zoning boards. She said she had HDCS in the original draft of the bill, but took it out, calling it too much at this time.

“We need to standardize how Historic District Commissions operate so they can understand the consequences of their decisions,” she said.

https://www.newportthisweek.com/articles/legislators-talk-bills-with-aln/

PUBLIC FORUM – Students of Newport Public Schools Speak Out

  • DATE: Tuesday, May 1st
  • TIME: 6-7:30 PM
  • LOCATION: Claiborne Pell Elementary School | 35 Dexter Street, Newport, RI.

A Public Forum Presented by the One Newport NPS Strategic Plan Subcommittee And Alliance for Livable Newport (ALN)

Listen to our Thompson and Rogers School students talk about their future aspirations and
the roles education and the community play in making life choices. Here’s an opportunity to
understand the perspectives of Newport’s young people as they navigate technology, social
media, classroom traditions, extracurricular activities, family pressures and a rapid change in
the labor market.


You have heard from the Newport City Council and the School Committee, and about the
Newport Public Schools’ Strategic Plan. Now is the time to hear from our most important
educational constituents.

Panelists:
Students from Rogers High School and Thompson Middle School

If you could ask them a question what would it be? Now is your opportunity.

Questions may be submitted via email before the forum or in writing the night of the event.
info@newportalliance.org

You do not have to be present at the forum to have your question chosen.

The One Newport Subcommittee is a group of volunteers who are committed to helping improve the Newport Public Schools.

They believe that a superior educational system is critical not only for the children of Newport but also for the future of the City.

For over 10 years, the Alliance for a Livable Newport (ALN) has promoted and enhanced the quality
of life in its city by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.

CONTACT For Immediate Release: April 13, 2018
Isabel Griffith, Co-President
Alliance for a Livable Newport
Igriffith38@verizon.net
401.849-6444

Gateway Center Updates Forum – Nov. 28th @ 6:30pm – 23 America’s Cup Ave, Newport, RI 02840

 

Alliance for a Livable Newport to Hold Community Forum on Planned Improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center

The Alliance for Livable Newport (ALN) will host a Community Forum and Information session on the upcoming improvements to the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center (Gateway Center).  The forum will be held on Monday, November 28 at 6:30 pm, in the lobby of the Transportation and Visitors Center on America’s Cup Avenue.

Representatives of the team leading the effort will discuss the planned work, provide renderings of the upcoming project, and answer questions from the audience.  The construction and restoration work will include improvements to parts of the Transportation and Visitors Center damaged by Hurricane Sandy, as well as the installation of Green Infrastructure to assist in storm water runoff management. 

gateway-center

Lillian Picchione, Director of Capital Development of the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA), will lead the presentation.  RIPTA is the state agency working with the City of Newport on this project.   Picchione will be joined by colleagues from RIPTA who have worked with Newport City officials on the plan; representatives of the Newport City Council; and Evan Smith, President and CEO of Discover Newport and the Newport Transportation and Visitors Center.  Representatives from W.E. Marchetti Consulting, LLC (consultants on the project) and Newport’s Northeast Collaborative Architects (architects who worked on the project), will also be available to answer questions from the audience.

The purpose of the Transportation and Visitors Center Exterior Repair and Resiliency Project is to restore overhead protection for the hundreds of thousands of people who each year pass through the Newport intermodal transit and tourist facility on America’s Cup Avenue in Newport.  The project is also intended to make the structure more resilient to future storms, and to include installation of green infrastructure to improve drainage and assist with storm water runoff.  

RIPTA was awarded federal funding for the repairs and improvements to cover 90% of the roughly $6 million project.  The city of Newport is providing the 10% matching funds to complete the project.   For more information on the project, go to http://www.ripta.com/newport-gateway-center.

2016 Newport City Council Candidates Survey Responses

*An “embedded version of the survey” is shown below – however, different browsers and computers may require 2 different SCROLLING bars to view the all the results – so we recommend viewing these responses by clicking the first link above!

***Notice 2 tabs! (2 different views of the surveys >>

  1. “Question Summaries” tab allows you to view each question with ALL of the candidates responses to that question
  2. “Individual Responses” tab allows you to select a candidate and view that candidate’s responses to all of the questions.”

“ALN Announces Local Public Candidate Forums and Online Questionnaires”

NEWPORT LOCAL ELECTIONS – NOVEMBER 2016 –
NEWPORT CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES – NEWPORT SCHOOL COMMITTEE CANDIDATES TO ADDRESS KEY ISSUES IN PUBLIC FORUMS

For over 10 years, the ALLIANCE FOR A LIVABLE NEWPORT (ALN) has worked to promote and enhance the quality of life in Newport by providing an unbiased resource for information on issues facing our community.

In this year of Newport Municipal Elections ALN has developed questions designed to help voters decide about their choices for City Council and School Committee. As in the past several years the questions and answers can be viewed on the ALN website at newportalliance.org.

The two questionnaires, one for City Council candidates and one for School Committee candidates, can be examined by viewing each candidate’s responses to all the questions or by focusing on a question and seeing all the candidates’ responses to that question.

Be a confident, savvy voter! There are a number of new names on the candidate lists. We hope our questions and their answers will be an important addition to the information you need about local elections to make informed choices.

October 4, 2016
Newport First Ward City Council Candidates
6:30 at the MLK Center
Martin Luther King Community Center
20 Dr. Marcus F. Wheatland Blvd.
Newport, RI 02840

October 11, 2016
Newport At Large City Council Candidates
6:30 in the Council Chamber at City Hall
43 Broadway, Newport, RI 02840, Second Floor

October 18, 2016
Newport School Committee Candidates
6:00 at the Pell School Cafetorium
35 Dexter St, Newport, RI 02840, First Floor

ALN Issues Apology Letter for Casino Forum

Letter to the Editor for Isabel Griffith, President of the Alliance for a Livable Newport.

To the Editor,

Father Eugene McKenna
far right; Father Eugene McKenna

On September 13, Alliance For A Livable Newport, in keeping with its mission of providing unbiased information on issues of importance to Newport residents, property owners and businesses, sponsored a forum on the Casino Table Games question that will appear on the November election ballot. Our intent was to present a level playing field of information with a speaker in favor of allowing Newport Grand to add table gambling games to their present slot machine gambling, a speaker against the proposal and a third speaker to present an unbiased review of the economic issues.

Two of our three goals were met with Diane Hurley ably presenting the case in favor of expanded gambling and Father Eugene McKenna ably presenting arguments against the expansion. Unfortunately, the third speaker, URI Professor Edward Mazze, presented only the pro-gambling side of the economic picture. That was not our intent and we apologize to our audience, those in the CCRI auditorium and those viewing subsequently on Public Access TV and on ALN’s website, and especially to Father McKenna for putting him at a disadvantage on the forum panel.

On the plus side, the majority of members of the live audience demonstrated through their questions and comments during the Q&A session following the panel’s prepared remarks that they were opposed to any expansion of gambling in Newport. That restored some balance to the evening.

We want to assure ALN’s followers that we will make every effort to maintain a level playing field for critical and controversial issues at future ALN forums.

Sincerely,

Isabel Griffith

President, Alliance for a Livable Newport

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