EG Police Reports: Suspicious Man, Missing Scissor Lift

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These reports come from the East Greenwich Police Department and are public information. An arrest does not mean the individual has been convicted of a crime.

Monday, April 21

1:20 p.m. – The owner of American Aerial Equipment Co. of Providence told police a JLG Electric scissor lift was taken from the parking lot of Manic Training, 3377 South County Trail. The lift had been delivered on March 29 and when he went to pick it up the next day, it was gone. The company attempted to find the lift but finally decided to report it stolen after it did not turn up. The owner said he did not contact Manic Training about the lift. Police tried to reach the fitness company but were unsuccessful. The lift was worth about approximately $7,500, according to the owner.

5 p.m. – Police arrested an East Greenwich man, 23, because he was driving with a suspended license. He was issued a court summons and released at the scene; a friend drove the car from the scene.

Tuesday, April 22

9:58 a.m. – Police arrested a Providence man, 39, for driving with a suspended license after he was stopped after police checked the license plate on his car and it turned out to be for another car. Routine checks turned up the license suspension. The man was unable to produce registration or insurance information, but he did show police a bill of sale for the car dated 2/24/14. He was issued a court summons and citations and the car was towed from the scene.

4:10 p.m. – A Boxwood Drive man told police the spare tire was missing from his Yukon XL Truck, the wire holding the tire in place appearing to have been cut. The police report said it was unclear whether the wire was cut or had rotted away. The truck was from 2002 and the owner was unsure when the tire went missing.

Thursday, April 24

12:49 p.m. – A North Kingstown man told police a suspicious man had tried to open his car door while it was parked in the lot at Ocean State Veterinary Hospital. The NK man had left his car and was waiting in the car of a friend when he saw the unknown man – white, skinny, about 5’8” with light brown or reddish hair – walk up to his car and pull on the front door. The NK man confronted the other man, who ran across the parking lot to another car and drove away. The NK man followed the other man, who was driving at 70 mph on South County Trail according to the NK man. He turned back to OSVH when the other car turned right onto Middle Road, then called the police. He also talked to the receptionist at OSVH, who said the same man had opened the door and told her he didn’t realize the hospital was open, then left. The NK man had gotten the license plate of the other man’s car and it came back to a man with an active bench warrant. EGPD also had records of two previous arrests of the man, including a burglary arrest in 2009.

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Today In EG: EGHS Wall Of Honor, Town Council Budget Session

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Recycling is OFF this week. In addition, yard waste will be picked up every week this month. For the full 2014 pickup schedule, click here.

Wednesday, April 30

Board of Canvassers meeting: They will be meeting with state election officials to discuss the 2014 elections. The agenda is here. Town Hall, Conference Room B. 10 a.m.

EGHS Wall of Honor ceremony: Every year, a few graduates of East Greenwich High School are singled out to be added to the EGHS Wall of Honor. It’s a special evening full of stories, some history, and family and friends of the inductees. To read profiles of some of the recipients click here. EGHS auditorium. 6 p.m.

Town Council Budget Session: The council will be looking more closely at the 2015 budget proposal. The public is welcome! Here’s the agenda. Swift Community Center. 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 1

School Committee Mental Health Subcommittee meeting: Here’s the agenda. EGHS Guidance office. 10 a.m.

David-Max’s 1st Anniversary Open House: The home goods and artist boutique is celebrating one year on Main Street, with refreshments, appetizers, music and sales. Shop local! 187 Main Street. From 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 2

Goddard Park Farmers Market returns! It’s been a really LONG winter, but a sure sign of warm weather is the opening of local farmers markets. On Friday, the market at Goddard Park reopens for the season (through Halloween). Welcome back! Here’s more information about the market. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

School Committee Health & Wellness Subcommittee meeting: Here’s that agenda. Eldredge School. 3:30 p.m.

‘Wine & Wonderful’: The East Greenwich Rotary Club’s sixth annual wine tasting event – Wine and Wonderful – takes place at Swift Community Center Friday. Food will be provided by Siena, Besos, Pinelli’s, Chianti’s, Greenwich Bay Gourmet, Gregg’s, and Silver Spoon Bakery. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call the East Greenwich Rotary at 885-4650 or find them online at www.egrotary.org.

 

 

Change In Noise Ordinance Would Broaden Restrictions

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The Town Council held a public hearing Monday night on a proposal to change the noise ordinance, allowing police to take two kinds of decibel measurements, in particular, allowing police to better measure bass sounds common with amplified music.

There are two basic measurement scales today, explained Police Chief Steven Brown, A weighted and C weighted. He said C level is recommended for music while A level is recommended for industrial noise, such as HVAC systems.

As it stands now, police measure decibels on a A weighting device. Brown said adding C weighting to the ordinance would allow police to better measure pulsating bass sounds, the usual source of complaint residents who live nearby from restaurants on Water Street and, when it was open, near Rok Bar on Main Street. (At the same meeting, the Town Council heard a proposal for a new restaurant at that site, which included an application for live music.)

“These additions do not change the existing ordinance,” Brown emphasized. Violations would occur if either A and/or C weightings were in excess of the legal limit. For A, the legal limit would remain 65 decibels; for the new C measurement, it would be 75 decibels. “It gives us another tool.”

Gary Bucco, who lives nearby Our Lady of Mercy Church, said he would not want the existing ordinance to be softened after the work done by the town to get OLM, which plays recorded bell music that has been a source of complaint in the past, to comply with noise restrictions.

“This only adds another measurement, it doesn’t change anything pertaining to your situation,” said Council President Michael Isaacs.

“If A’s a violation, than it’s a violation,” said Brown.

Peirce Street resident Ron Byleckie, who was subject to loud band noises after Rok Bar opened, suggested that maybe the 65 decibel limit was too high.

Brown said 65 was “generally accepted” around the country but that he had seen the limit as low as 40 decibels.

“To be subjected to 65 decibels for 4 hours on end, that’s the problem,” said Byleckie. 

Third reading on the ordinance change is slated for May 12.

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Council Has Little Love For Cuban Eatery After Rok Bar ‘Disaster’  

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Havana is the name of the restaurant proposed for 11 Main Street. Neighbors are worried about noise from live music.

A pair of businessmen appeared before the Town Council Monday night, hoping to get food, liquor and entertainment licenses for a Cuban-style restaurant they are hoping to open at the former Rok Bar/Post Office Cafe site on Main Street.

But, with memories of Rok Bar noise complaints still ringing in their ears, council members were not in a license-granting mood, at least not for that particular property and at least not yet.

“When Rok appeared before us … they presented us with the most comprehensive description of what they intended to do that I had seen on council,” said Council President Michael Isaacs. “They described the place as akin to Hard Rock Cafe, they said it would be a family-oriented restaurant, they gave us a full menu.… And the next thing we know, it was a nightclub. It was nothing like what was presented to the council. We really got burned by the applicants.”

During its less-than-year in business, Rok Bar had several incidents with the police because of noise. Neighboring residents came to two Town Council meetings to complain about the loud music. The restaurant closed in January after financial problems.

John Davis, a real estate developer and restaurateur from Walpole, Mass., told the council he planned to buy the building and make significant improvements, including replacing the windows with double-paned glass and adding sound-absorbing curtains, as well as renovating the exterior of the building. The restaurant, Havana, would be a joint venture between Davis and Ketan Patel, another restaurateur.

“I can’t erase the past, I’ve got nothing to do with that,” said Davis, referring to Rok Bar. “It’s got nothing to do with us.I can’t be held accountable for what they did because what they did was completely unprofessional as restaurant owners.”

He stressed the restaurant would be a place to eat first.

“But we have to have entertainment,” Davis said. “After 9 o’clock, people want to unwind. They want to have a drink, they want to have a little music. We’re not a rock-n-roll place that’s playing a lot of rock-n-roll music. That’s not what we are.”

Mike Marra, whose family owns the building as well as the Grille on Main across the street, addressed the council during the public comment portion of the hearing.

“I’d like to apologize to you.… The fellas that ran it, we just leased it to them because Steve had a handshake deal with them and we wanted to honor that,” he said, referring to his son Steve Marra, who ran the Marra Restaurant Group before his untimely death in 2011. Marra said the family wanted no part in a nightclub and he was sorry about the problems caused by Rok Bar. He said they’d had several offers on the building but they were turned down because they were not appropriate.

“We’ve turned a lot of people away. We think this is a good fit. But that’s your decision,” Marra said.

Scott Sogard, an East Greenwich resident who is helping to broker the deal between the Marras and Davis, said Havana would not be anything like the “disaster” that was Rok Bar.

“That was not the right fit for that location,” he said.

A few nearby residents also addressed the council.

“I’m not opposed to giving them a chance,” said Bryan Lindley, who lives on Division Street. But he said he did not want to revisit the Rok Bar era and he wasn’t sure if the owners’ desire to stay within the legal decibel level would be enough to satisfy neighbors.

“There’s very little for me to gain with them opening an entertainment enterprise in my backyard,” said Ron Bylikie of Peirce Street. “When the bands come on at 9:30 at night, I’m in bed. What happens when the meters read it’s ok and our windows are vibrating in our house?”

Bylikie said he’d lived on Peirce Street for 14 years and it was only after Rok Bar came in with live band music that there were problems.

Sam Scott, who lives next door to the building on Division Street, responded to Davis’s comparison of Havana to 1149 restaurant on Division Street, which also features live bands.

“I don’t think there are any homes as close to 1149 as the Post Office” building is to houses here, he said.

Earlier Councilman Brad Bishop also questioned the comparison.

“You mentioned 1149. I have myself personally been to 1149 several times and when I have, I have heard bands there in the back patio,” he said. “They were so loud I could barely hear. I don’t know if that’s the standard that I would use.”

Councilman Mark Gee was clear in his opposition to Havana as proposed.

“What I’m worried about is the creeping encroachment of noise from the waterfront up into East Greenwich,” he said. Residents are “my number one concern…. I’m not willing to sacrifice the quiet enjoyment of people’s living rooms and houses and neighborhoods and terraces and outdoor porches for your business venture.”

After more than an hour of comment and discussion, the council voted 4-1 (Gee dissenting) to continue the public hearing to its May 12 meeting. Davis said in the interim he and his partner would meet with the neighbors to try to allay their concerns.

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Today In EG: Cemetery Meeting, EGAPL Fundraiser

Recycling is OFF this week. In addition, yard waste will be picked up every week this month. For the full 2014 pickup schedule, click here.

Tuesday, April 29

Historic Cemetery Commission meeting: The panel will be reviewing plans for cleanups at three area cemeteries on Saturday, May 3. The full agenda is here. Town Hall, Conference Room B. 6 p.m.

EGHS English teacher honored: Marc Brocato will be recognized at the Warwick Barnes & Noble store where he will receive a special award acknowledging his achievement, and additional recognition and praise from the community. EGHS senior Andrew Miner, who wrote the winning essay, will receive a certificate of recognition and will be honored at the Warwick store during the ceremony for the winning teacher. 6:30 p.m.

Alex & Ani EGAPL fundraiser: Buy something for you or your mom at Alex and Ani East Greenwich and you will be supporting the East Greenwich Animal Protection League. Fifteen percent of sales will go to EGAPL. At Alex & Ani, 232 Main Street. From 6 to 8 p.m.

‘Dante’s Cypher’ author visit: Author T. Stephens will be joining Symposium Book’s EG book club to discuss his new novel, Dante’s Cypher. 1000 Division Street (near Panera). From 5 to 7 p.m.

Wednesday, April 30

Board of Canvassers meeting: They will be meeting with state election officials to discuss the 2014 elections. The agenda is here. Town Hall, Conference Room B. 10 a.m.

EGHS Wall of Honor ceremony: Every year, a few graduates of East Greenwich High School are singled out to be added to the EGHS Wall of Honor. It’s a special evening full of stories, some history, and family and friends of the inductees. To read profiles of some of the recipients click here. EGHS auditorium. 6 p.m.

Town Council Budget Session: The council will be looking more closely at the 2015 budget proposal. The public is welcome! Here’s the agenda. Swift Community Center. 7 p.m.

Thursday, May 1

School Committee Mental Health Subcommittee meeting: Here’s the agenda. EGHS Guidance office. 10 a.m.

David-Max’s 1st Anniversary Open House: The home goods and artist boutique is celebrating one year on Main Street, with refreshments, appetizers, music and sales. Shop local! 187 Main Street. From 5 to 7:30 p.m.

Friday, May 2

Goddard Park Farmers Market returns! It’s been a really LONG winter, but a sure sign of warm weather is the opening of local farmers markets. On Friday, the market at Goddard Park reopens for the season (through Halloween). Welcome back! Here’s more information about the market. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

School Committee Health & Wellness Subcommittee meeting: Here’s that agenda. Eldredge School. 3:30 p.m.

‘Wine & Wonderful’:The East Greenwich Rotary Club’s sixth annual wine tasting event – Wine and Wonderful – takes place at Swift Community Center Friday. Food will be provided by Siena, Besos, Pinelli’s, Chianti’s, Greenwich Bay Gourmet, Gregg’s, and Silver Spoon Bakery. Tickets are $35 per person. For more information, call the East Greenwich Rotary at 885-4650 or find them online at www.egrotary.org.

RI Press Assoc. Hall of Fame Inducts Bill Foster: William “Bill” Foster, late owner and editor of the Rhode Island Pendulum, will be inducted into the Rhode Island Press Association’s Hall of Fame Friday evening. Here’s a tribute to Foster from 2010 by Pulitzer-prize-winning journalist Mark Thompson, who started under Foster at the Pendulum. The other inductees are Tom Heslin and James Norman. The evening will begin with cocktails at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7. The Quonset “O” Club is at 200 Lt. James Brown Road on the former Quonset Point Navy base. For information on attending, contact the Press Association treasurer, Nancy Kirsch, at NKirsch@shalomri.org.

Saturday, May 3

Historic Cemetery Cleanup: The town’s new Historic Cemetery Advisory Commission is holding cleanups at three cemeteries in town Saturday morning: EG Historical Cemeteries 23, 24, & 25 on Cedar Avenue, EG Historical Cemetery 31 on Sleepy Hollow Road, and EG Historical Cemetery 62 on Wine Street.From 9 a.m. to noon. If you are interested in helping out on May 3 or would like to restore other E.G. cemeteries, contact volunteer coordinator ML Formisano at mlformisano@cox.net.

EGLL Opening Day Parade: EG Little League season starts Saturday with the annual parade. Players gather at Academy Field and march down Church Street, across on Main Street to Cragan Field (behind Our Lady of Mercy Church). 9:30 a.m.

Arts On Main: Join the festivities for the 13th Annual East Greenwich Arts on Main Street Painting! The event will kick off at the East Greenwich Town Hall and drawing will take place on Courthouse Lane and Peirce Street. Each participant that pre-registers will receive an exclusive Arts on Main t-shirt! Prizes, including gift certificates provided by Main Street Merchants Committee, will be awarded to the winners in each category. If you are not an artist, come enjoy the day and vote for your favorite drawing in the People’s Choice Award. Find out more here.From noon to 3 p.m.

Sunday, May 4

May Fair: The Barbara Tufts Cooperative Preschool’s annual May Fair tradition continues with a “Co-op-A-Luau” to be held, rain or shine, at Academy Field and Swift Gym in East Greenwich. The whole family will enjoy lots of fun and activities for kids, a silent auction & raffle, live music and plenty of good food. 111 Peirce Street. 11 a.m to 3 p.m.

EG Animal Protection League open house: Every Sunday, the EGAPL opens its doors so people can meet the dogs and cats in need of permanent homes. You can find videos of some of the animals available for adoption here. At a NEW LOCATION: EG Animal Hospital, 4302 Post Road. 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

EGHS Wall Of Honor: Hurd, Miller, Joyce and Cauley

Every year, East Greenwich High School (and before that, the East Greenwich Academy) graduate a class of students who go out to make their way in the world. The EGHS Wall of Honor was established to recognize those graduates who contributions since high school have left a mark on the wider world – this year, as close by as Fire Station One on Main Street and as far away as a slum in Kenya.

The ceremony takes place Wednesday, April 30, in the auditorium at the high school. Here are brief profiles of a few of this year’s honorees:

Chris Hurd, who graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1977, was known in high school as an exceptional athlete, particularly in baseball. He lettered in football, basketball and baseball, and was on the basketball team when it captured the state championship. He went to Wake Forest University on a baseball scholarship and there led the team in hitting. He graduated cum laude in business.

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Back in Rhode Island, he joined the family auto sales company is sales. By 1990, he was president of Hurd Automall in Johnston, a position he still holds. During his tenure, the company has nearly tripled in size and Hurd has earned the Time Dealer of the Year Award for Rhode Island (in 2011), the Rhode Island Family Business of the Year Award from Bryant College (in 1995), and the Blue Chip Enterprise Award from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce (in 1994).

Hurd followed his father and grandfather in the business, something he’s proud of but also something that keeps him on his toes.

“It’s been a real honor to carry the ball,” he said. “My grandfather handed it down and it got handed to me and I’ve been running ever since.”

Hurd has served on the boards of a number of agencies and panels, including the Greater Providence YMCA, Rhode Island Family Shelter, Warwick Retirement Board and the state Auto Collision Repair Licensing Advisory Board. He has supported many nonprofits over the years, including Toys for Tots, food banks, junior achievement and many, many others but, perhaps reflecting his early years, the title he’s most proud of is “coach.”

“I can’t think of a more endearing title for someone than to call him “coach,” Hurd said. “I got into coaching and it was probably one of the best things I’ve done.”

Being named to the EGHS Wall of Honor is an “awesome honor,” he said. “I just think it’s really neat that someone’s gone to the effort to reach out to past students.”

About Wall of Honor organizer Bruce Mastraccio, Hurd said, “I give him a lot of credit. He bleeds crimson. He’s a real cheerleader for East Greenwich. Every town should be so lucky.

Fred Miller, EG Academy Class of 1917, is named to the Wall of Honor posthumously. If you live on Tillinghast Road, perhaps you recognize his name – a short street off of Tillinghast bears it. That’s because Miller’s another one of those people who gave their all, plus more, to their hometown.

He joined the East Greenwich Fire District as a volunteer in 1921, staying for 56 years, 41 of those as chief. Along the way, Miller served as president of the Rhode Island Association of Fire Chiefs, and was a member of both the international and New England chapters. He also developed a program for new (read: green) recruits. He did all this for the EG Fire District while working full-time at Bostitch as a toolmaker.

He played for both the Townie football and baseball teams and, legend has it, he swam the distance between Rocky Point and Warren – five miles – in 55 minutes.

Miller never had sons, but he coached baseball in EG for 20 years. Among his honors, he served on the Governor’s Youth Council, was inducted to the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame, was EG Rotary’s Man of the Year in 1971 and earned the Knights of Columbus Certificate of Merit in 1976.

Legend has it, 700 people attended his EG Fire District retirement party.

Appreciation Award winners this year are Tom Joyce and Beth Cauley. These are awards to non-East Greenwich graduates whose contribution to the town is significant.

For Joyce, that commitment started when he fell in love with an East Greenwich gal while serving with the Marines at Quonset. He abandoned his beloved Pittsburgh to make a life for himself in East Greenwich. The EGPD was waiting.

During the early years, he played quarterback for the EG Townies football team (he’d played for the Quonset Point NAS team while still in the Marines). He worked for the police for 48 years, advancing to the rank of lieutenant. Joyce made his mark as the town’s first juvenile officer. As such, he served as liaison to the town’s Juvenile Hearing Board. He also worked at Safety Town for many years, teaching kindergarten-bound youngsters about the police and about making safe choices. Joyce also served as a volunteer for the town’s Friday night Teen Center for more than 20 years.

Beth Cauley has only been school principal at Hanaford since 2011 but she’s made a big impact. A graduate of Rhode Island College, she started her teaching career in Pawtucket. While teaching at Nathanael Greene Elementary, Cauley created “Difference Makers,” an organization to help student see their own worth and give back to the community. At Hanaford, Cauley has continued those efforts. She has helped her students find creative ways to give back to the community, including the “Souper Bowl” Challenge, a Toy-Book-Can drive, Thanksgiving food drives, coat and mitten drives, and book-and-DVD drives for the VA hospital.

You can read Part One of the 2014 Wall of Honor story here.

EGAPL Takes In Kittens Rescued After Fire

EGAPL Takes In Kittens Rescued After Fire

The East Greenwich Animal Protection League has taken in three kittens rescued after a house fire in Cranston Friday. A fourth kitten and their mother were also rescued and all the felines were put on oxygen, but only the three kittens survived.

The Cranston animal control officer asked EGAPL to take the animals. EGAPL brought the kittens to Ocean State Animal Hospital on South County Trail for two days of specialized care. All three kittens are now being bottle fed in a foster home. After they are able to eat on their own, the kittens will be transferred to the EG Animal Hospital, new home of the EGAPL, to stay until they are old enough to be adopted.
The nonprofit organization has spent more than $1,500 on emergency care of the kittens. They are hoping for donations to help cover the unplanned expense. If you can help, go to the EGAPL website: http://www.egapl.org/.

Meanwhile, EGAPL head Tammy Flanagan has named the kittens Police, Fire and Rescue.

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EG Friends Of Destiny Africa Help Plan ‘Night Of Hope’

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Credit: Kampala Children’s Centre

Destiny Africa, the children’s choir out of Kampala, Uganda, has performed several times in East Greenwich in recent years and captured more than a few hearts along the way. (Check out DA in performance here.) The child performers are orphans who lost their parents to AIDS or armed conflict and now live with many other children at the Kampala Children’s Centre.

Children come to the center at any point in their young lives, from newborns to teenagers. The focus of care at the center is to provide each child with a loving family-like home. Up to 12 children live in each home, along with a house mother and an assistant. “This new loving family environment is essential to the care and development of each child that we rescue,” the KCC website reads. “Our [aim] is that each child will know their true value and reach their full potential.”

The center opened in 2005 and they now want to build a medical center. The goal is steep – $70,000 – but progress has been steady. Rhode Island supporters are looking to add a large chunk to that amount at “A Night of Hope,” a special evening at the Newport Yachting Center Thursday, May 15.

There will be music and dancing throughout the evening, an open bar, food stations and hor d’oeuvres, and silent and live auctions.

You may order tickets ($100) here, or purchase them the night of the event ($110). If you have questions, contact Leah DeCesare (leahdecesare3@gmail.com).

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EG Police Reports: Marijuana, Spitting & Slashing

These reports come from the East Greenwich Police Department and are public information. An arrest does not mean the individual has been convicted of a crime.

Thursday, April 17

12:56 a.m. – Police cited a Providence woman, 22, for possessing marijuana (1 oz. or less) after she was stopped for speeding while driving east on Division Street. When talking to the driver, police detected a strong marijuana smell coming from the car. One of her two passengers handed over a small baggie with what later tested positive for marijuana. A search of the car failed to turn up any other contraband.

9:37 p.m. – A Castle Street resident called police after an argument with his neighbor and her boyfriend escalated to the point the boyfriend allegedly spit on the resident, then sliced one of his car tires. Police interviewed all three parties but stories were inconsistent – it was clear the tire was slashed but not clear who did it – so no charges were filed. Alcohol appeared to have been a factor.

Friday, April 18

6:35 p.m. – Police arrested an East Greenwich man, 39, for driving with an expired license after he was stopped on Division Street at Duke Street because his car was missing a front license plate. The man was issued a court summons and the car was towed from the scene.