The following Letter To The Editor was written and submitted by Toni Wallace Ciany (Gibbs Ave., Newport). The views and opinions expressed within are not necessarily those of What’sUpNewp’s ownership, staff, sponsors or advertisers. Have a Letter To The Editor you would like to submit? Send it to

I read with dismay a recent letter from Mike Smith, Lauren Carson’s opponent, in which he criticized her for being an ineffective insider. Nothing could be further from the truth and I am compelled to reply to his groundless assessment.

While I first met Lauren when our sons attended school together, I didn’t get to know her until we served together on the Newport Energy and Environment Commission. I was immediately impressed by her “can do” enthusiasm, her thoroughness and attention to detail, and the way she could define, articulate and pursue solutions to a perceived problem. In our meetings with civic leaders, city counselors and community groups, she was rigorous in her preparation and follow-through. I wondered if she ever slept! She ran the recycling and composting at the Folk and Jazz festivals for several years, contributed to the Volvo Ocean Race Sustainability plan and spear-headed the NEEC campaign to require recycling at public events.

When she told me she was going to run for District #75 State Representative, it seemed the most natural fit for channeling her passion for the environment and the economic and social well-being of our Newport community. My only regret is that she is not in my district!

Indeed, in just one year Lauren’s contributions in the State House include:

-Passing state legislation creating a House study commission on sea rise and flooding and then chairing that commission.

-Passing state legislation designed to incentivize increased composting at RI institutions of higher learning.

-Co-sponsoring successful legislation to phase out the 25,000 cesspools in RI, protecting drinking water.

-Creating a DEM Task Force to examine the creation of a residential and business flood            audit program for RI to protect economic assets from flooding.

Most compelling however, is what I see as her commitment to her constituents. Lauren has hosted a variety of public meetings over the past year to discuss state house matters and other concerns, and all are welcome. I say her performance has gone above and beyond the call of duty.

Mr. Smith would do well to focus on issues instead of relentless negative smears. We’ve got enough of that going on in the presidential election.

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What's Up Newp. He was born and raised in Rhode Island and graduated from Coventry High School. He serves as Vice President of Fort Adams Trust and serves on the Board of Directors for Potter League for Animals. Ryan also is currently the Senior Editor - North America for Mountain News, publisher of OnTheSnow. Ryan is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers and North American Snowsports Journalists Association (NASJA).