Recently, I showed a house on the water in the Riverside neighborhood of East Providence. It was an improved but disrespected Victorian beach house converted to a 3-family, probably directly across Narragansett Bay from the photo above. The time had changed and 5:00pm was sunset so the sky and the view provided an infinite sense of space and made the unremarkable home on for $278,000 remarkable. I realized that it had been a long time since I’d left the city.
The other day, I opened the paper to read that Governor Carcieri vetoed a bill passed by the house and senate with only one “nay,” allowing domestic partners to claim each other as next of kin and to make funeral arrangements for the deceased spouse. The Governor vetoed the bill saying that it jeopardizes the institution of marriage. My local representative in the house, David Segal, noted that this bill has nothing to do with marriage, and a more recent article quoted Lt. Governor Elizabeth Roberts saying that the bill must be passed for “simple human decency.” On the same front page as the Governor’s veto, a headline announced Rhode Island’s deficit for 2009 at $200-million. Currently about 70,000 Rhode Islanders are out of work, almost 14% of the population, and this number is expected to rise. In addition, median home sale prices are expected to drop to about $181,000 from almost $250,000.
I wrote a letter to the Governor, saying that his actions promote bigotry and create a hostile environment in the only state in New England where gay marriage isn’t recognized. I am shocked that our educated Governor would focus on this act of segrigation with such global issues at stake. What is his plan for our economy and recovery, and what can we do to help?
Gaspee is for lovers. I’ve felt the need to remember why I love Rhode Island, so I’ve taken time out of my schedule to explore. This week took me to George Salter Park, on Narragansett Parkway in the Gaspee Section of Warwick. I’ve driven past it on the suburban throughfare for 25 years, but on Sunday I stopped, with the dog. We walked through an autumnal field and onto a sandbar near where the HMS Gaspee was burned by John Brown’s gang in 1774 in the fight for our collective freedom. Take the sandbar to a footbridge and then you’ll reach the break wall, where I encountered the lovers and Narragansett Bay.
Its exhilarating to live in a state with such potential, and the gubernatorial election is coming up in a year. In the mean time, where else can you live on the water for $278,000? We’ve got the chance to save this special place, and I intend to do my part for our collective future.