EG Athletic Hall of Fame Takes Place May 5

Among this year’s honorees are Bob Corr, Chris Della Grotta, Stephanie Gloria and Kristen Manson.

By Elizabeth F. McNamara

The East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame will honor its 2018 slate of inductees as well as present special awards and the two Ucci Award scholarship recipients at its annual banquet Saturday, May 5, at the Quonset “O” Club.

In this year’s class are Bob Corr, Class of 1976; Allen Pritchard, Class of 1978; Chris Della Grotta, 1983; Stephanie (Balkcom) Gloria, 1989; Mike Kamin, 1991; Steve DiIuro, 1992; and Kristen Manson, 1995.

Michael Kamin, Class of 1991: A four-year varsity track and three-year basketball star, Kamin was a three-time All State shot put champion and javelin thrower. He holds school records in both events.

In basketball he was All State leading team to a State title and was a Street & Smith Honorable Mention All America. He helped EG to 1991 Class B State hoop title and was a Providence Journal Honor Roll Nominee.

At the University of Illinois he was a two-time letter winner in javelin and is one of the Illini’s top ten throwers of All-Time. In 1992 he was Top Male Student-Athlete and was All Academic Big Ten three times, also winning U of I’s prestigious George Huff Award.

Stephanie Balkcom Gloria, Class of 1989: Played four sports at EGHS. Cross Country, Basketball, Soccer and Track. She established five school records in three sports – track, basketball and soccer. Steph earned first team All Division honors 9 times and All State Honorable Mention 4x.

In college Balcom played club basketball one year and club soccer one year but made her mark running varsity cross country and track for the Fordham Rams. She was named All Patriot League in 1992 and placed in the PL’s top 15 Indoor track times for the Mile and the 3000. Her running sparked Fordham’s Patriot League title in 1990 and Metropolitan crown in 1992.

Stephanie Balkcom Gloria continues her running to this day and took a first place in the Don Davis Memorial 5K. She has also been a high finisher in several other Road Races in the Ocean State.

Robert J. Corr, Class of 1976: A first team All Class B selection in football at EGHS. Also a member of the track team. Next, at Governor Dummer Academy he played football and lacrosse and was named 2nd team Boston Globe Independent Prep Team as running back.

At Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, Bob was a four-year starter in Lacrosse and a three-year starter in football. He came to EGHS as a Freshman football coach and also did JV and assistant varsity before taking over the reins in 2002. As Head Varsity Coach he turned out an undefeated regular season team in 2004, which lost in playoff semi-finals. In 2005 EG lost in semis again, but in 2006 Bob piloted the Division iii Super Bowl champions. 2007 saw them rush into the semi-finals again before losing.

Corr founded the East Greenwich Alumni Football Association, which started the now traditional Annual Thanksgiving Eve Pasta Dinner.

Chris Della Grotta, Class of 1983: A four-year hockey standout for the Ice Avengers, he graduated in the top 10 of his class. Made the Phi Beta Kaplan Society and was first team All Division. Selected to RI All Star team, which won the 1983 New England Yankee Conference Tournament. He played in 127 games at EG and had 80 goals and 138 assists, giving him the All Time scoring record at 218 points. He was named MVP twice and his teams won Met B crowns three times.

At Bentley College he played four years of hockey getting two hat tricks as a freshman, with seven overall there and garnering six game-winning goals. He ended up as Bentley’s 9th All Time scorer by the time he graduated cum laude with a degree in accounting.

Allen Pritchard, Class of 1978: A four-year starter in both football and baseball and a three-year starter in wrestling, Pritchard was All Conference as an Outfielder (JR) and as a pitcher (SR) and was co-MVP. In wrestling he came in fourth in state at 185 as a senior.

He was one of two people ever outside of Warwick to be asked to play for Warwick’s American Legion Shields Post #43. At Elon College he was best pitcher in ’80 and ’81 and was #2 in the NAIA in ERA. He also won NAIA All District and All Conference honors and had school honors in victories and ERA marks.

He was elected to the Elon College Sports Hall of Fame and chosen to throw out the first pitch when Elon celebrated 100 years of baseball in a game versus Brown. He was invited to the St. Louis Cardinals for a tryout and played for the Johnson City Cardinals minor league team.

Stephen DiIuro, Class of 1992: Wrestling, football and baseball at EGHS, while playing soccer for EGSA travel teams during that period. DiIuro was a Wrestling All Stater and the 145-pound champion, also making All League. He was the Class B Sectional Champion. The team’s captain he was chosen as a Providence Journal Bulletin Winter All Star.

In football he was second team All State, first team All League, the Thanksgiving Day MVP and his team’s MVP. Steve was also named the Dr. Uno Uustal Award winner and EGHS Most Outstanding Male Athlete Award winner. He also served as student council president for two years. He graduated from URI with a B.S. in Management Science and Information Systems.

Kristen Manson, Class of 1995: A field hockey, basketball and softball star at East G., Manson went on to star in field hockey at James Madison University and coach at Central Michigan and then back at JMU. In field hockey she was All Division twice and All State twice while leading her team to state titles. She made All Tournament  and was the defensive MVP in the state All Star game. She also served as the Avenger captain.

In basketball she made All Division twice and was also Honorable Mention All State.

At James Madison, Kristen grabbed All Conference honors and was a NCAA Regional All American second teamer. She was the Lady Dukes team captain, team MVP and played in the North-South Senior All Star Game. In her time at JMU they were CAA Champs, an NCAA Final Four team, and were ranked in the top ten.

As an Assistant Coach at Central Michigan, she helped the Lady Chips take the 2002 MAC Field Hockey Championship.

The EGAHOF will also be honoring three local residents with special awards – Kerri Withrow Valentine, who will receive the Special Recognition Award; and Fred “BeBe” MacDonald and Bruce Roberts, will be presented with Golden Avenger Awards.

The Special Recognition Award goes to an Individual who has given of themselves selflessly in supports of athletics in the Town of East Greenwich and whose efforts are integral in perpetuating the town’s athletic tradition.

The Golden Avenger Awards are given to individual, who grew up in the town, had success

in athletics and have given back to the EG community throughout their lives, and, whose efforts have laid the groundwork for the town’s athletic tradition.

Kerri Withrow Valentine was a four-year field hockey standout at EGHS and captained the team her senior year. She returned the next year as an Assistant Coach and was part of the program, which won four state and seven division titles.

In 2004 she became EGYFH president, a program that has grown and grown under her direction. The EGYFH runs spring clinics, leagues and summer camps. It sponsors a high school summer league and a fall program.

In 2017, Valentine was nominated for the NFHCA Junior Hockey Award.

Fred “BeBe” MacDonald graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1950. As an Avenger he played four years of baseball, four years of football, four years of baseball, managed the basketball team and also was on the wrestling club team.

He served in the Korean War and, while in the service, also played baseball for his base team.

A lifelong quahaugger, MacDonald is still bullraking at the age of 86. He managed the Shell Fishermen’s Co-Op, Eastern Seafood, started Independent Fishermen’s Co-Op and built 10 condos on his property off Forge Road. To give back to his community, “BeBe” started a scholarship program for the children of quahauggers.

Bruce Roberts played for East Greenwich High School in the 1960s. He jokes that he had an intimate relationship with future Rhode Island Governor Don Carcieri, as Roberts was the center and Carcieri the quarterback. Bruce also played for the excellent EG Townie teams of the early to mid ‘60s. Those teams won both the Rhode Island Semi-Pro Championship with an unbeaten season, and the next year took the Southeastern Massachusetts title with a 9-1 record.

After serving in the U.S. Marine Corps, Bruce coached lacrosse at schools out of state before moving back to East Greenwich and joining the LAX staff at East Greenwich High School, where he has been a valuable contributor to the success that Avenger teams have had on the lacrosse pitch.

Ucci Award Winners

Andrew Blessing, a three-sport athlete in football, basketball, baseball, plus a few others, and Jennifer Imbriglio, a four-sport athlete, have been chosen as the 2018 Ucci Award winners. They are both from East Greenwich High School.

Blessing was on the football team for three years and was the quarterback and captain. He also played basketball for three years and baseball for two. In between he played golf and was on the track and cross country teams.

Very active in the school, he was on the student council, Prom Committee and the Future Business Leaders of America. He helps out in the community by working with the EG Youth Basketball Association and is a camp counselor for Safety Town of East Greenwich, and is a standard bearer for the CVS Charity Golf Classic. He also served as a counselor for the East Greenwich Parks and Recreation and ran a pet-sitting business.

Andrew is a National Honor Society Member, a Rhode Island Scholar-Athlete Award winner, was second team All Division in football and made the All Academic team.

Blessing was a National Leadership Conference Qualifier for FBLA and helped EGHS to the freshman state title in cross country as a freshman. He was also named a Rhode Island Scholar Athlete in football.

Andrew is deciding between Bentley (for football), Holy Cross and Fordham (where he might walk on) and Boston College (for school only).

Imbriglio is equally accomplished. She played field hockey for four years, ran outdoor track for four and ice hockey for three with one year in indoor track.

She was on student council for four years, and the same with International Club, EG AfterProm, Airband and The Crimson Yearbook. To a lesser degree she was also involved with Avengers for Animals, Prom Committee, and the marching band.

In the community, Jennifer has participated in the R.I. National Guard Military Family Program, the Women & Infants Hospital Teen Volunteer Program, Our Lady of Mercy’s Vacation Bible Camp, OLM Bread Lines Volunteer and Junior Legion of Mary. She also coaches first to third graders in EG Youth Field Hockey, gives out toys, hats and gloves to children in West Bay Community Action, coordinates birthday parties at Aim High Academy, works at Wild Harvest Bakery and serves as an EGHS Tour Guide, was an original organizing member of Roomz Without Walls.

Imbriglio has also been nominated for the coveted annual SLTP Student Leader of the Year Award 2016-17, is a national Honor Society member, earned an Honorable Mention for the Premio de Plata (National Spanish Exam), was an AP Scholar, won the George Eastman Young Leaders Award and the Rhode Island Scholar Athlete Award.

Jennifer will attend Quinnipiac University in the fall and will play either club field hockey or varsity ice hockey.

The banquet – at the Quonset “O” Club, 200 Lt. James Brown Road, North Kingstown – begins at 2 p.m. Tickets are $25. For tickets and more information, contact Jeff Santos at 884-3515 or jsantoseg@verizon.net, or Guy Asadorian at 884-4143 or guyasa821@gmail.com.

A note: The format for the Anthony “Tar Tar” Ucci Awards will change slightly for next year. A new application has been formulated and it will be distributed and announced at East Greenwich High School in early January. There will be a two-month period to apply and the applications will be submitted to Anthony Ucci, who will head a committee of Vincent and Joseph Ucci, David Ucci Sr. and Bruce Mastracchio, all nephews of East Greenwich’s true athletic legend. Winners receive a dinner, a plaque and a monetary scholarship award.

Letter to the Editor: I’ll Get You My Pretty … and Your 6 Lateral Transfers Too

It sure feels like Ms. Corrigan is trying to get rid of the six lateral transfers hired by the fire department in 2016, one way or another.

Ms. Corrigan is now using a 3-platoon, 56-hour work-week system as a way to get rid of the six firefighters.

Let’s look at the history of her actions:

It just so happens that she is trying to remove the same six firefighters that she complained about while testifying in the James Perry case.

Ms. Corrigan said she felt a lateral hiring process was “discriminatory” because “generally the number of firefighters that are currently employed are predominately white males” and that the CBA, charter language, the active hiring list were all “thrown away” in the lateral hiring process used. Ms. Corrigan testified that she “took it very seriously and spent a lot of time and energy trying to understand what had happened, how the laterals had come in, how the whole CBA had been — it was almost like a tip of the iceberg is this firing” and why she thought “relying on solely lateral hires is a bad idea” and “not a best practice in employment.”

When questioned further and asked about being discriminatory and if that bothered her, Ms. Corrigan replied, “It’s a fact, it’s a discriminatory practice. As you know, with employment law, there’s a lot, EEOC [Equal Employment Opportunity Commission], the Town has an affirmative action program, all of these things when you are hiring laterals, it’s a fact that you are not — you are reducing the subset. It’s a fact. It doesn’t bother me. It’s a fact you are reducing the people that can apply.”

Perhaps the tip of the iceberg stopped with Jim Perry because Justice McGuirl ruled, “This Court finds without question based on the credible evidence before it that Corrigan did not engage in ‘careful and factual consideration,’ as required by §45-1 of the CBA before terminating FF Perry for ‘just cause.'”

And, “There was no valid basis to terminate FF Perry.”

Gall-lee said Gomer Pyke, I’m sure glad Ms. Corrigan didn’t reduce the subset and followed employment law, the EEOC and the Town’s affirmative action program when hiring Ms. Dykeman and Ms. Antunes.

Also noted in the decision of that case is where the judge wrote, “Corrigan stated that her analysis revealed a structural deficit and, in her professional opinion, the lateral transfer procedures were a major contributing factor.” The only other familiar statement from Ms. Corrigan that appears to be missing was about that being “unsustainable” as well.

OK. That didn’t work, let’s try this . . . .

Ms. Corrigan now comes along with a plan to have the firefighters work more hours per week on average (56 rather than 42), while saying it is being done “due to the recognized fiscal and, more importantly, health, safety and wellness concerns from such extensive overtime hours.” So I guess if a firefighter has a bad night and works the 24-hour shift continuously and then has to work overtime, that is now somehow safer than a firefighter who works a 10 or 14 hour shift and has to work overtime.

Ms. Corrigan recognizes the changes as structural changes that will take legal opinions and potentially additional complaints for summary judgement, i.e. a softer way of saying additional lawsuits. Apparently, we haven’t spent enough yet on legal fees.

Ms. Corrigan said she will supply the council with her progress reports at the meeting on June 11. So much for the town manager search, maybe Santa will bring us a new one.

– William Higgins

William Higgins, retired EG police officer and former EMA director for the town, lives in East Greenwich.

Asadorian, McDonald, Plain Among EGHS Wall of Honor Recipients

The wall of honor at EGHS can be found in the hallway between the auditorium and the cafeteria.

The 2018 East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor ceremony takes place Wednesday, April 11, and will honor five alumni of the school: John Chandler, Class of 1966; Diane McDonald, Class of 1969; Dr. Bernice Pescosolido, Class of 1970; Guy Asadorian, Class of 1982, and, Matt Plain, Class of 1994.

The ceremony starts at 6 p.m. and is held in the East Greenwich High School auditorium, with a reception immediately following in the cafeteria. Friends and family of the honorees are invited to attend, as well as current high school students and anyone with a love of East Greenwich. Former recipients – plaques for all those who have been named to the Wall of Honor line the hallway at the high school between the auditorium and the cafeteria – are encouraged to attend.

About the 2018 inductees:

Guy Asadorian moved to East Greenwich when he was two. He has been here ever since.

Along the way he attended three of the four elementary schools in town and graduated from East Greenwich Junior High and then East Greenwich High School in 1982.

He played in the local Little League and continued on to Senior League and then American Legion ball.

In the winter he played EG Rec league basketball, and at 12 he discovered football. In high school he played four years of football culminating in a selection as an All Division end as a senior.

He also played three years of baseball and one year of golf, and in the summer participated in Junior Golf and the RIGA Tournament.

After graduation from EG he matriculated at Western New England College in Springfield, Mass. There he played played four years of baseball for the Golden Bears, and two years of football.

He graduated in 1986 with a degree in finance and economics.

Mr. Asadorian used his college training to start a career in financial services, starting out as a stockbroker for Janney Montgomery Scott. After two years he moved to Smith Barney, where he spent 12 years and was elevated to the position of first vice president.

In 2001 he left Smith Barney to form Tameracq Partners, which is a middle market mergers and acquisitions firm that advises buyers and sellers up and down the East Coast and beyond.

In 2013 Guy left Tamaracq and joined BNY Mellon Wealth Management as a Wealth Director in charge of new business.

A man who loves his community, he has always tried to give back with volunteer work.

He has coached Little League softball, served on the Town Planning Board, and currently sits on the board of the Quonset Development Corporation, representing the Town of East Greenwich.

Along with Jeff Santos, Mr. Asadorian is a prime mover on the committee that has revived the East Greenwich Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2015 that body inducted four nominees for the first time in 18 years.

Not stopping there, Guy has volunteered with the business community as well. He was formerly a committee member of the City of Cranston Police and Fire Pension Fund, President of the RI Association of Investment firms and a Board Member of the Pawtucket Country Club.

Currently he is a member of the Screening Committee for Cherrystone Angel Investment Group and Chairman of the Investment Committee for the Armenian Historical Association of Rhode Island.

For his commitment to his school, his town and his state Mr. Asadorian will be one of five people to be inducted into the East Greenwich High School Wall of Honor next April in the annual ceremony at the East Greenwich High School.

John Chandler was the second son of Jim and Marie Chandler. He was born in Corpus Christi, Texas, Dec. 2, 1948. The son of a U.S. navy pilot he lived mostly in California while growing up.

But in September 1961 his father was assigned to Quonset Point Naval Air Station. At first John was disappointed, moving from sunny California to what he envisioned as the “frozen north.”

“Little did I know,” he said recently, “that living in East Greenwich would become one of the great experiences of my life, and one for which I have been forever grateful.”

John finished 8th grade at Eldredge and then attended East Greenwich High, graduating in 1966.

At EGHS John served as class president for two years and also vice president of the student council. Though standing only 5 foot 6 inches, he was awarded seven varsity letters, earning three in football and two each in basketball and baseball. He co-captained the Avenger hoopsters and was awarded the school’s Athletic Award Sweater.

Upon graduation, John enrolled at Providence College. He graduated in June 1970, with a B.A. in mathematics and minors in computer science, philosophy and theology.

While at PC he played three years for the college’s club football team, a member of the National  Club Football Association. He started two years at defensive back and was chosen second team club All-American. He finished second in the nation for the NCFA in punting averaging 43.2 yards per kick.

John then joined the working world as an information technology software developer, systems architect, project manager and consulting professional. He worked for a number of corporations, including, Price Waterhouse, Home Depot, Lockheed, AIG, NCR and Scripto.

He also took some time from his busy work schedule to attend Woodrow Wilson College of Law in Atlanta, where, in 1978, he graduated magna cum laude with a Juris Doctorate degree.

John eventually co-founded his own company, a consulting business, CompBasics Inc., where he served as CEO and president for 17 years. His list of clients there included: IBM, Bellsouth, Southern Company, Baxter Healthcare and Sun Trust Bank. Chandler had many notable achievements while dealing with these companies and handling thousands of stores and, in some cases, billions of dollars in store sales.

“I have often told people throughout my life that the most magical, impactful and significant period of time, was the time I spent in East Greenwich, and attending EGHS,” Chandler said. “I was very fortunate to be part of this very beautiful, warm and compassionate community that was blessed with the finest teaching staff anyone could hope for.

“I recall, in particular, how proud my classmates were to call themselves Avengers, as we participated in local charity and athletic events.

“I was recently blessed to attend our 50th class reunion, and I can assure all of you, that the love for, and spirit of, East Greenwich High School, endures to this day.”

Diane McDonald is a 1969 graduate of East Greenwich High School. But, way before that she started her lifelong involvement with horses. She started riding them 10 years before, at age 8, at Peter Pots Pottery in Kingston, R.I.

At age 10 she was competing in local shows, and, at age 12, for her Christmas present, she got her first pony, Dapper Dan. The next year she moved up to bigger shows at the Providence Auditorium, major shows around New England, and even at Madison Square Garden.

Along the way she received year end awards from the R.I. and New England Horsemen’s associations’ in Pony Hunter and Junior Hunter.

In 1966 the family moved to a small farm on Howland Road and Diane started teaching neighborhood children about horses and riding. Dapper Dan died in 1967 and Diane named her farm after him.

In 1972, Diane graduated from URI with a B.S. in mathematics. That same year she received the RI ASPCA Award. In 1973 she graduated from the Potomac Horse Center with a

British Horsemaster’s Degree. Along with teaching and coaching (cheerleaders) at EG Junior High, she started Dapper Dan Farm as a full operation.

She also won the Rhode Island and New England championships aboard, L’Hirondelle, in the Working Hunter Division. She was to ride him him to championships again, most notably at the Tampa (Fla.) Invitational Horse Show.

In 1974 Diane was named Young Professional Business Woman of the Year  by the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce and was runner-up for the Rhode Island Award. However, she was voted to the board of the R.I. Horseman Association Directors. Later she was voted to the New England Welsh Association’s Board of Directors.

In 1975, Diane moved Dapper Dan Farms to Ives Road, its present location, where it continues to prosper and turn out top horses and riders.

She has gone on to be named President of the Rhode Island Horseman’s Association and many other boards and councils both in Rhode Island and New England. She has also coached riders, including her sister, Bethany, to championships in riding and showing.

More than all her accomplishments in the World of Horses, is the pride she felt when her own daughter, Ashley, won the Rhode Island Horseman’s Association Mini Medals Finals title, and then, was named to the Rhode Island team at the New England Equitation Championships, which took the four top RI riders, to compete in the Challenge of the States.

Bernice Pescosolido graduated from East Greenwich High School in 1970. She was one of two valedictorians for her class, and, was the top female graduate. She received a B.A. from the University of Rhode Island in 1974 and a Ph.D. from Yale University in 1982.

Currently she is a Distinguished Professor of Sociology at Indiana University. She is also the director of the Indiana Consortium for Mental Health Services Research, and Co-Director of the Indiana University Network Science Institute. Throughout her career she has focused on social issues in health, illness and healing.

Bernice’s research agenda addresses how social networks connect individuals to their communities and to institutional structures. This agenda encompasses three basic areas of health care services, stigma and suicide research. In the early 1990s, she developed the Network Episode Model, designed to help people recognize and respond to health problems and to use health services. She initiated the first major national study of the stigma of mental illness in the United States in over 40 years.

In 2005 she was presented with the American Sociological Association’s Leo G. Reeder Award for a career of distinguished scholarship in medical sociology. In 2009 her research into gene x environment interaction earned her the Eric Freidson Outstanding Publication Award from the American Sociological Association Section on Medical Sociology. In 2011 she won the Leonard I. Pearlin Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Sociological Study of Mental Health.

In 2013, Bernice was asked by actress Glenn Close to chair the Scientific Advisory Council for her nonprofit organization, Bring Change 2 Mind, which Close founded to address stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness. one of their goals is to bring Change 2 Mind to college campuses.

Matt Plain attended East Greenwich schools from Grades K to 12, graduating from East Greenwich High in 1994.

Along the way he garnered many honors in both athletics and academics. He was quarterback on the football team, named captain in 1993. That same year he was All-Academic and All Division. A Kent County Player of the Year finalist, he topped that off by being named to the National Football Foundation’s Golden Dozen Award.

He played on the basketball team for four years. In baseball he was All Division and on the All Class B All Star team.

He was President of the National Junior Honor Society and then was named to the National Honor Society his senior year. He also served as a volunteer tutor at Eldredge School, was editor of the Crimson Yearbook one year and sports editor the next.

He belonged to the DECA program and was a State Champion in 1993.

Matt was EGHS’s representative for the Providence Journal Honor Roll Award in 1994, and was chosen Best All-Around Male Athlete that year, also winning the Uno Uustal Award for Most Valuable Athlete-Class of 1994.

He attended the University of North Carolina, where he was a Dean’s List student. He received his bachelor’s degree there while also working 30 hours a week. At Chapel Hill he served as a volunteer tutor, a youth basketball and baseball coach, and, a volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Upon graduation he taught math, science, social studies and english at a junior high school. He also coached football, wrestling and baseball. At nights he worked on and achieved a master of education degree.

Moving back to Rhode Island, he entered law school at Roger Williams University, where he  was a member of the RWU Law Review, was an Honors Program participant, was a seven-time Cali Award winner for excellence in legal research and writing, received a Feinstein Grant, served as a legal intern at the R.I. governor’s office, was a member of the Association of Public Interest Law and a research assistant for a legal writing professor and a constitutional law professor.

Matt graduated from Roger Williams School of Law, fifth in his class and passed the bar exams in Rhode Island, Connecticut and Massachusetts.

After serving a judicial clerkship he joined the law offices of Barton Gilman LLP and was elevated to partner in just six years.

Matt is a member of the East Greenwich School Committee. He also serves on the Advisory Board to the Roger Williams University School of Education and sits on 14 other boards and councils.

Among his professional honors, Matt is a five-time Rising Star honoree from “Super Lawyer” magazine, the Mortar Board Award from the Segue Institute of Learning and a recipient of the Providence Business News 40 Under Forty Award.


The EGHS Wall of Honor is sponsored by EGHS alumnus Allen Gammons of Berkshire Hathaway Gammons Realty.

If you have any questions concerning the event, please call committee co-chairs Bob Houghtaling at 230-2246 or Chris Cobain at 398-1562.

King Street Fire Displaces 7

Firefighters at 66 King St.

A gas heater was responsible for a fire at an apartment house at 66 King Street Saturday morning that displaced 7 residents. No one was injured.

According to Capt. Tom Mears, the call came in at 8:05 a.m. and firefighters were on the scene within two minutes. That was fortunate, he said, noting that the building had balloon frame construction, common in older buildings. Balloon frame structures do not have built in fire stops.

“It was an aggressive fire,” Mears said. “It was only a matter of time until we lost the building.”

Eight firefighters put out the fire, with Capt. Mears taking charge.

Several residents evacuated the building. After the fire was under control, firefighters and one resident returned inside to look for a cat, which was found upstairs inside a couch. Firefighters also rescued a parakeet.

The residents have been displaced until utility services to the building are restored.

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Praise for Public Works Department

Dear Editor,

When things go wrong, I, most likely, will be one of the first to complain. On the flip side, however, when things go right I feel it is equally important to make sure that the people doing the right thing be recognized.

Just recently I had occasion to call the Town of East Greenwich Department of Public Works for help with a problem. In a short time, they responded and did a great job to ensure that the predicted heavy rain would have a path to go on come this Thursday and Friday.

I want to thank Bill Pagliarini for the excellent job he did and for Audrey and Mary at DPW Headquarters for their help.

It was a page out of old town EG here in 2017. Great job all!

Sincerely,
Bruce R. Mastracchio

 

EGHS Sophomore Dreams Of China

What is your dream? What is the one thing that you have been wishing you could do, for as long as you could remember? For me, it’s to visit another country, not only to experience the culture and language, but more importantly help those who live there.

With luck, my dream will take me to China. For so long now, I have been enthralled in the vast, inclusive culture of the region and have been doing as much as I can to learn about it. I have spent my free time learning some of the language, and have wholeheartedly tried to find out as much as I can about the history of country. I can only do so much from the comfort of my home, and this is why I have taken this time to write – I need your help.

A few short weeks ago, I discovered a way to make my dream come true. Through an organization called GLA, I will be able to fulfil my dream and finally visit China. During my time there, I will commit over 80 hours of community service, participating in the communities I visit by doing things such as restoring cultural sites such as temples and teaching english to the students who live there. I will also be participating in many local programs such as campaigns to develop sustainable agriculture. Along with this, I will have multiple opportunities to learn the language in authentic setting. Lastly, I will also get to see national landmarks such as the Great Wall of China, the Stone Forest, and the Forbidden City. However, all of this does not come without its costs.

By Dec. 31, I need to raise $7,000. These funds will go toward tuition to the program, as well as flight costs of my trip. Through a partnership with Delivering Hope, a local nonprofit organization, I have set up an account to which you can easily donate, enabling you to share a small piece of my dream. You can send in funds, either by a check to Delivering Hope, or electronically through the link below. Since Delivering Hope is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, your donations are tax deductible.

Lastly, I wanted to end my message to you by thanking you. By donating, you are enabling me to take part in this once in a lifetime opportunity… you are enabling me to participate in my dream, and I don’t think that I can sincerely express on paper what that means to me. With that being said, I don’t think it would be fair for you to lose out on what I am doing. I plan on starting a blog to keep everyone up to date on what is going on, including donation goals and what I am doing before, during, and even after my trip.

Oscar Clement is a sophomore at East Greenwich High School. You can donate through Delivering Hope at http://deliveringhopenow.org/?page_id=255.)

Letter to the Editor: Fire Service Is Earliest, Cheapest Insurance

My name is Tom Bailey and I proudly serve your community. I am a lieutenant on the rescue located at Station 1 on Main Street. I have worked here in East Greenwich for 15 years. I am writing today for several reasons but it should be clear I am speaking on my own behalf. I do not speak for the union that represents me and I am not speaking on behalf of my family at the station ( my fellow firefighters). The following are my independent thoughts.

I would like to address a few concerns that seem to be on going here in town. Mainly as it pertains to me as a firefighter and the costs associated. To keep things simple I’m not going to try and twist this into a political mudslinging rant. I’m also not going to give you some sob story as to why I matter or how what I do matters. It’s in the eye of the beholder on these points so there is no point in trying to argue.

What I will do is try to simplify the conversation to its most basic premise. I will attempt to do this with a few caveats. The first to be noted is I am not a math guru nor am I an accountant. Second is the equation I am about to present is purely for reference and I understand that it is not the actual formula for exact accounting.

So here is what we know: There are 13,146 residents (2010 census). The slated fire department budget for 2018 is $4.1 million (2018 EGFD budget which is just over 6 percent of the entire town budget). With these two numbers we know the cost per resident for fire and EMS services to be $311.88 per year ($4.1 million/13,146), or broken down to $0.85 per day per resident ($311.88/365 days). The above stated figures are just the fire department’s total operational budget and do not include retirement or health care costs. The town separates these costs into employee benefits as a line item. The retirement cost is $787,813 (2018 budget) and the cost for health care is an estimated $702,000. The number was derived by assuming every FD member has the family plan at the highest cost of $18,000 per plan, or 39 firefighters x $18,000 = $702,000). Adding these two figures into the equation brings the total budget to $5.6 million ($4.1 million + $1.5 million). This accounts for 9 percent of the entire town’s budget. Cost per resident per year $425.98 ($5.6 mill/13,146) or $1.16 per day per resident. These figures include the overtime as they budgeted for 2018 ($550,000).

Since some town officials have referred to overtime possibly reaching $1 million, I will go one step further and add an additional $1 million to the fire budget total bringing it to $6.6 million. This number is inflated, since it would cover $1.55 million in overtime costs, but I include it as an absolute worst-case scenario. That total of $6.6 million would bring the total annual cost per resident to  $502 ($6.6 mill/13,146) or $1.37 per day per resident ($502/365 days). This would account for 10.6 percent of the town’s total budget.

None of the above figures account for the $700,000 of revenue  (rescue billing 2018 budget) the fire department brings to the town. That $700,000 is positive cash flow. It does not go into the fire department budget however; it goes directly into the town’s general fund. So with all things being equal the new total for the 2018 actual budget  would be $5.9 million ($6.6 million minus $700,000), $448.80 per person per year or $1.23 per person per day. Accounting for 7 percent of the town’s total budget. Using the Town Council’s $6.6 million dollar amount the new total after deducting the $700,000 revenue the new total becomes $5.9 million. That’s $448.46 annually per person ($5.9 mill/13,146) or $1.22 per person per day. Accounting for 9.5 percent of the town’s total budget.  (Note: I understand each house has its own value for property and each property has a varying amount of people residing. The formula was simply used to put into perspective cost per person not actual accounting of what was paid per household.)

My hope here is to bring perspective to the conversation. I believe perspective can be found in other services that are similar in nature to the fire department. The fire department is an insurance policy in its simplest form. In fact, historically it’s the oldest insurance in the United States. Today the fire department is a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week immediate response for your home, property and life. We may not replace your property and we don’t cover the cost of your ailments. However we do stop further (in many cases prevent) damage to property (cars, boats, houses, sheds, businesses, etc.) and we provide advanced life support services to treat life threatening medical ailments. We provide a litany of other services and yes we will even get the occasional cat out of the tree.

With this in mind, let’s compare other insurance costs. The average cost of homeowners insurance in Rhode Island is $1,162 annually ($3.18 per day). With this insurance you may have coverage to replace what was lost after a deductible is met. This coverage may help you rebuild should disaster strike (Note: some things are not replaceable and the value is only truly known to the person affected). The average cost of health insurance is a tough number to pin down but for the sake of this discussion I will use the national average, which is $18,142 for a family plan with the worker’s cost average of this being $5,277 annually ($14.45 per day). Both home and health insurances cover expenses incurred after damage. Your fire service, which costs comparatively less, is the one insurance that responds immediately to help you as it is happening. Of all three insurances I have discussed, the fire department is the only one willing to put our own lives at risk to help you no matter what the situation or the time of day as it is happening.

So you may ask, what is my point? Well, there are several. First, each service in this community has a place. From parks and rec, to the schools, to the fire department, so on and so forth. Every service in this community has its own value to each resident. Every service makes up the overall value of this town and cumulatively these services give the community its allure and ultimately drive the demand of people wanting to move here, which in turn directly affects property values. Lately the town manager and some of the council have isolated some of these services as unsustainable. They have thrown around wild accusations and alarming numbers. They appear to want to pit the public and town departments against one another. I will not stoop to this level and accuse them as to what their intent is. So regardless if you agree with what they suggest or not, I want you to know that my one goal when I go to work each day is simply to do my best in helping you any way I can at all cost. Regardless of how you feel about the current political atmosphere, regardless of your view of my career, you need to know your fire department is always there with your safety at heart.

In conclusion, the fire department could make up as much as 10 percent of the overall town budget. I am not delusional in thinking that everyone is OK with this figure. I also realize that everyone wants the best bargain for their dollar. I’m also quite aware not many people move to a particular community for their fire department services. What I do know is when you have something of great value it is important to invest in its protection and insure its overall value. I don’t know the dollar value of every property in East Greenwich but I feel it’s fair to guess all property in total to be in the billions. I can however tell you every citizen’s life is priceless. To cut your fire service will have potential effects on the protection of both life and property. It would be the equivalent of buying a priceless art piece but not doing anything to keep it safe or insured. Rest assured no matter what they decide to cut I will guarantee each of your firefighters will continue to do the best they can with what they have to accomplish the mission. I do ask is when town leaders propose options, that you take me and my family (fire family as well as my beautiful wife and three children) into consideration. In order to do this, simply evaluate what they propose and ask, if my workplace asked me or my spouse to do this, how would it affect our family and our lives? Thank you for your time.

Sincerely Honored,
Lt. Thomas Bailey

Added Prospective:

Average full coverage auto insurance cost for RI $1,688 annually or $4.62 per day: https://www.carinsurance.com/state/Rhode-Island-car-insurance.aspx

Average Homeowners insurance cost for RI $1,162.00 annually or $3.18 per day: https://www.valuepenguin.com/best-cheap-homeowners-insurance-rhode-island

Average national cost for health insurance $5,277 annually or $14.45 per day: http://www.ncsl.org/research/health/health-insurance-premiums.aspx

Average cost of a Dunkin Donuts coffee $2.09 large: https://www.fastfoodmenuprices.com/dunkin-donuts-prices/

Cost for your Fire and Emergency Medical Service in East Greenwich $1.37 per day (utilizing the highest figures).

Letter to the Editor: Council Actions Brave

Town Councilor Sean Todd talks with residents after the council’s vote to return Corrigan as town manager Monday, 11/20/17.

The Town Council meeting last night was filled with opposition. Most attending seemed less disturbed by the revelations underpinning the Town’s runaway spending than by the unseemly disruption to the Town’s facade of comity. Case in point: Councilman Schwager took umbrage at Council President Cienki’s prerogative to post very specific financial facts on the Town’s website, suggesting these findings were the Councilwoman’s opinion. Dr. Schwager did not, however, offer any facts to refute Mrs. Cienki, but instead he opined on the need step back and take time to smooth things over.

 As reasonable as this sounds, the instinct to make everyone feel warm and fuzzy seems like part of the problem. “You can’t please all of the people all of the time,” and “the time to strike is when the iron is hot.” Old bromides, for sure, but lose the initiative, and these problems – building up over time – are as likely as not to slip back into obscurity, and it won’t be until more people start moving out of town than into town that these facts hit home again. By then it could be too late. Many people who have lived here for decades can no longer afford the rapidly escalating tax levy. For them, living in East Greenwich is not just about property values; these people have deep roots, and to be forced out by taxes, cutting those ties, is a very unhappy thing.
EG is top heavy. The nature of top-heavy vessels is they tend to flip suddenly. What the Town Council is doing is one of the bravest things tackled by local politicians in many years. They have reasserted a bold but necessary agenda. It behooves dissenters to wear the Town Council’s shoes and pursue realistic and timely compromise. In my prayers this Thanksgiving will be the entreaty, “Lord, help East Greenwich act wisely.”
                                                                                                                          – Dean Fachon

Letter to the Editor: Thank You, President Cienki … Not

I am writing in response to the letter by Town Council President Cienki to the residents regarding, “Incorrect cost calculations. Misleading reporting. Cronyism and nepotism. Unapproved agreements. Improper loans. Discriminatory hiring practices.”

Thank you Council President Cienki for your thorough and careful review of what had been taking place in our cozy little town.

I am pleased to know that you and your fellow councilors addressed the issue of cronyism and nepotism. I’m certainly glad to know that Ms. Corrigan was hired after a careful and thorough review of her qualifications and abilities as required by the town charter and the council didn’t rush to appoint her because she was initially recommended from some future politician. I’m also pleased to know this was not guised by the council’s claim of a dire need for an emergency management director. I am also happy to see where this was done in an open and transparent manner and not hidden through an executive session.

It is also reassuring to know that Ms. Corrigan refused to follow in the footsteps of those who allowed their personal connections and relatives to be hired. It was nice to see that Ms. Corrigan didn’t sign a term sheet (contract) with Linda Dykeman on July 11, 2017, and the contents thereof because that was never presented to, nor approved by the Town Council. The same would apply to Ms. Antunes, the chief of staff, where Ms. Corrigan again didn’t sign a term sheet on July 6, 2017, because that too wasn’t presented to, nor approved by the Town Council. Knowing that Ms. Corrigan is a business consultant with Ms. Dykeman and connected with Ms. Antunes through the Hope Club, I feel there was surely safeguards in place to make sure cronyism didn’t exist. I’m sure safeguards were in place to remove any appearance of impropriety. The town surely would have followed their personnel policy by way of advertising, reviewing applicants and making these appointments in an open, transparent and non-discriminatory manner, as I’m sure no males applied for those positions.

Thank goodness, the misleading reporting has vanished since the arrival of Ms. Corrigan. No longer can we expect darkness plague our information. No longer can we expect consultants to be hired behind the taxpayers back. No longer will we see where an acting town manager will tell a Providence Journal reporter that her assistant will receive the same pay as the previous administrative assistant only to find out within two weeks she was given a $20,000 increase from what the administrative assistant had been paid.

President Cienki’s letter says, “We are moving forward to get the Town back on the right path.” If this is going forward, please considers going backwards for a while until we catch up.

Maybe I should have started my letter with Open Meeting Act violations, APRA Violations, Town Charter violations, contracts signed without council approval, misleading unfunded liability statements, discriminatory hiring practices, etc., etc., etc. I guess only the names have changed.

– William Higgins

DII Semifinals: North Kingstown 56, East Greenwich 7

Text and Photos By Mary MacIntosh

EG was no match for dominant NK skippers in the DII semifinals to Friday night. North Kingstown Skippers will play the Moses Brown Quakers (who inched out the Westerly Bulldogs 17-13 in their semifinal game Friday) in the Division II Superbowl on Dec. 3.

NK celebrates semifinal win.

This isn’t the end of play for the Avengers, however. The traditional non-league Thanksgiving Day game will be played Thursday at 10 a.m. against Exeter-West Greenwich on EGHS Carcieri Field.