Domestic violence roster
So many horrific tales of domestic violence have been reported in Vo Dilun in
the past few weeks that your superior correspondents suspect that, if the
climate were more amenable to year-round golf, O.J. would have moved to the
Biggest Little years ago. First, there was the murder trial of Edwin Edwards,
found guilty of beating and then crushing his girlfriend, Jeanne Robinson, to
death under the wheels of his car. Then, Katherine Brown was killed in
Barrington. Her boyfriend, Ronald Posner, was arrested and charged. Last week,
there was the murder/suicide of Linda Supino and Charles DeRosa, and the report
that Bernard Perry, a 21-year-old legislative clerk for Senate Majority Leader
William Irons was arrested and charged in connection with an assault on his
live-in girlfriend (who, in one instance, was allegedly thrown from a car).
While this may seem to be unprecedented and unusual, the sad fact is that this
is more like par for the course. The ugly reality of domestic violence is all
too real, for far too many people, and it's happening all the time. That a
number of dramatic tragedies occurred back-to-back in Barrington, North
Providence, and Providence is mere coincidence. It's going on, right now, in
Chepachet, East Greenwich, Narragansett, and Westerly as well.
And how have people responded? Well, the police in Providence let Ronald
Posner go without charging him after it was clear that he had attacked
Katherine Brown. Some were angry at Senator Irons for not firing Perry. Others
disagree, feeling that this incident has no bearing on his effectiveness at
work. What your superior correspondents find outrageous is Senator Irons'
insinuation that this is some sort of isolated incident that can be
compartmentalized from the rest of Perry's life. Our hope is that Senator
Irons, generally an intelligent and thoughtful sort, will be able to facilitate
the serious counseling and help that young Mr. Perry appears to desperately
Speaking of politics, domestic violence and ludicrous statements, the mayor of
Miami, Florida, Joe Carollo, spent an evening in jail recently, accused of
tossing a tea canister at his wife. Carollo's lawyer denied the charges,
stating that the bump raised on Mrs. Carollo's head, "was the result of an
unfortunate accident," and "Joe Carollo did not throw anything at [Mrs.
Carollo]. He never intended to hit her."
Phillipe and Jorge wonder if Deborah DeBare has even had an opportunity to
sleep in the past month. Ms. DeBare and the other good people at the Rhode
Island Coalition Against Domestic Violence, and its member agencies, need a
hand. May we suggest that after reading this and contemplating the recent
horrors, you make out a check to: The Rhode Island Coalition Against Domestic
Violence, 422 Post Road, Suite 202, Warwick, RI 02888.
Mighty dopes from little Achorns grow
Actually, this is a very misleading and inaccurate headline, but we really
loved it and couldn't help ourselves. Although BeloJo editorialist "Slow Eddie"
Achorn is not as seriously odious as Faux Phil Terzian, as reactionary as
Francis "Statistics Boy" Mancini, or as, well, completely out of his mind as
David Brussat, he is cut from the classic Urinal conservative mold. And when
he's not busy playing the party line good boy, he even makes some sense. He's
sort of like Terzian sans the giant shoulder chip.
In his column this past Tuesday ("Newspapers are the best reform"), Eddie
makes a couple of points with which we heartily agree, particularly that if we
did a better job of teaching American history in schools and encouraged daily
newspaper readership, the republic would be strengthened immeasurably.
We did, however, discover a minor flaw in his presentation. He introduces his
topic by discussing a Princeton Review study of the vocabulary used by
presidential candidates during the debates. Achorn notes how the language used
by debaters has rapidly eroded in recent years to the point where, according to
the test results, Dubya and Two-by-Four Gore were operating at respective
sixth- and seventh-grade comprehension levels.
What Eddie fails to report is that the contemporary daily newspaper writer is
expected to write at about an eighth-grade level. You may recall that, about 10
years ago, this same test was applied to a number of local columnists, with
BeloJo stalwarts M. Charles and the Big Pink One scoring squarely in junior
high level. Naturally, your superior correspondents scored higher, guaranteeing
that we'll never be allowed in a mainstream American daily. But, then again, as
Eddie should know, it's all about marketing, and no media outlet that survives
on advertising dollars ever balks when it comes to treating their consumers
We'll drink to that
It seems like every time House Speaker Pucky Harwood steps out of the house or
opens his mouth these days he just gets into deeper and deeper doo-doo.
First, we had his magnanimous, eleventh-hour withdrawal from a conflict of
interest case in which he was representing a wetlands violator before the
Department of Environmental Management. Of course, this had nothing to do with
the fact that the Urinal planned to run a front-page story the next day that
would call his unethical muscle flexing into account. At the time, he told the
Other Paper that the DEM case was the only one he had before a state agency.
That neglected a little thing P&J like to refer to as "the truth."
One week later, Pucky was back on the Urinal's front page, being exposed for
actually having three other cases before the Department of Business Regulation
this year -- in what look to be direct contradiction of ethics regulations. But
perhaps Phillipe and Jorge should not be so critical, as the legal work was on
behalf of high-minded cases that try to raise the quality of life for our local
communities. One was a fight for the renewal of the liquor license for Big
Daddy's, the notorious India Point creep-magnet, which was opposed by the Fox
Point Civic Association. Another was a liquor license dispute involving the
Johnston strip joint Mario's Showplace, another site of family-oriented
entertainment. And finally, Pucky had also gone to bat on the liquor license
front (sense a pattern here, boys and girls?) for Providence's former
International Club, which was the location of two murders and an arson. What's
that line about birds of a feather?
Pucky's involvement with these cases began as the appeals jumped from local
jurisdiction to a state agency, over which the speaker of the House has more
than a little sway regarding their budgets. What a cowinkydink! Imagine that he
just happened to be sought at that juncture each time! Isn't life funny
sometimes? How much more of Harwood's questionable behavior will be tolerated
is moot, but since he's elected to his powerful position by members of the
House statewide, perhaps it's time to ask your rep just what he or she thinks
of the man who is looking more tainted by the day.
Even if House members remain willing to be Pucky's butt-boys and girls,
Operation Clean Government was ready to put his feet to the fire, as P&J
went to press, by filing an ethics complaint against the speaker. This also
appears to have cowed Representative William "West Warwick" Murphy; a hearing
on his bill to negate the restrictions for which Pucky is being pursued was
postponed at the last second by the House Judiciary Committee. Could it be that
Harwood and Murphy actually see some of their colleagues rearing up on their
There was a wonderful little story in the New York Times of February 12
about youth in Shanghai becoming very creative in adopting names.
The Chinese have traditionally played very fast and loose in their naming
practices, having previously picked names off approved lists in class or having
names assigned by their teachers, which resulted in such government-friendly
monikers as Jianjun (Construct the Army). But now, the Times reported,
young people are getting inventive, drawing from English words and names, and
taking them as their own. And you can't claim that the kids in Shanghai lack
imaginations. A la the Phoenix sports section's annual "Best Names in
College Basketball," try these babies on if you want to get attention: Medusa
Feng, Satan Szhou, Bison Zhang, Jekyll Hi, Redfox Cui, Echo Zhang, Feeling Chen
(careful there, Ms. Chen) and Seven Lee. They even have a few kids named
Manchester United, Fish and Power. However, our favorite name, beyond Skywalker
Wang, just has to be Magic Johnson Ye. But he states that he only uses it
during formal situations, like when signing legal documents. Forgive us sir,
but we wouldn't try passing a check in Vo Dilun signed "Magic Johnson Ye."
It's a cultural revolution!
Sleep tight, Gang of Four-Eyes, Liberace En-Lai and Mao-Tse Schwartz.
A cheap charade
You've got to hand it to the Economic Development Council -- they keep pushing
for a megaport at Quonset Point, no matter the odds and even if some of the
worst damage is self-inflicted.
On February 9, the EDC launched a transparent attempt to upstage a February 13
meeting of representatives of all of Vo Dilun's 39 towns and cities, which had
been called by Rich Kerbel, North Kingstown's town manager, to air the views of
that town's consultant on the megaport and its statewide impact. But instead of
an informational workshop, the EDC staged an ostensible press conference to
announce the Missing Linc's "10 principles" to guide development of a QP
container port. This cheap charade showed once again how little sense EDC has
in dealing with the public.
While just over 50 people turned up at the EDC dog-and-pony show, more than
150 were present at the NK session, including, as one attendee put it, "a
flotilla of EDC suits." While the red tie-and-wingtips brigade scrambled
to hand out their rebuttal to consultant John Vickerman's executive summary, it
was just the usual EDC pap, essentially, "We'll figure it our later."
Notwithstanding the EDC's track record, this effort warrants little
credibility. As Vickerman pointed out, the EDC hasn't produced enough real
evidence -- especially regarding economic impacts (hey, isn't this supposed to
be their strong suit?) -- to even think of proceeding to the permitting process
or conducting an environmental impact statement (EIS). As someone might
point out to Mr. Schumpert, the EIS, at a cost of millions of dollars to
Biggest Little taxpayers, is not meant to be a research project by your
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