opinion Newport Rhode Island

I am thankful that we have someone of Lou DiPalma’s character and leadership abilities serving our state

November 6th provides an opportunity for many in our community to cast votes.  At a time, where public service is more important than ever, we have an opportunity to support a candidate worthy of our consideration.  Lou DiPalma is that candidate.

I’ve known Lou for years and one thing is still true today.  Lou does not take his votes lightly. He studies the issues, does his best to base his decisions on data and facts and he actively seeks out alternate opinions.  

Public service is still a worthy calling.  We are blessed to have Lou in our community willing to serve.  Senator Lou DiPalma provides voters with an opportunity to vote for a candidate with courage and integrity.  

Lou serves on the Finance and Education committees and has consistently worked to bring jobs into our economy.  Lou also is a steady supporter of improvements for education.

However, the biggest strength Lou brings is his hard work and commitment to making our community and our state better for all of our residents and businesses.  Lou is always available to discuss an important issue or piece of legislation. Even, when there might be slight disagreement, he reaches out to hear and share information.  He listens first and is dedicated to putting in the hours to make a difference. I am thankful that we have someone of Lou’s character and leadership abilities serving our state.  Please take the time to vote on November 6th and return Lou to the Senate.  


Joseph Pratt

Interaction with First Ward City Councilor Marco Camacho

This week I was reminded of my interactions with then First Ward City Councilor Marco Camacho regarding regulation of high capacity, rapid fire weapons after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.  When I questioned his position he lectured me on the difference between weapons used by the military and weapons available to the public, stating that “ . . . assault weapons in the hands of law abiding citizens are safe.”  This has obviously not been true for the victims of Las Vegas, Parkland, and all too many other occasions, now including the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh.  But more to the point is that I expect my elected representatives to listen and engage respectfully with their constituents.  Marco Camacho failed this test.

I am writing this letter to share my experience with the hope it can help the citizens of Newport make an informed decision about who they want or don’t want representing them in local government.

Maura Lindsay, Newport

Senator Lou DiPalma has focused on fighting for the issue I care most about, our children, and especially those with disabilities
Despite the rhetoric and negativity that has characterized the elections at the National level, we have a candidate in Middletown that is the definition of what I expect from our elected officials, Senator Lou DiPalma. He is a person of integrity with an incredible work ethic.  As a parent, I see him at every event I attend due to his devotion to our community.  As someone who often has an opinion, he always listens and immediately responds to my calls or emails.
Senator Lou DiPalma has focused on fighting for the issue I care most about, our children, and especially those with disabilities.  His positive energy and tenacious commitment to our town has earned my support and my vote on November 6th.
Kristin Brennan, Middletown

The Newport County Chamber of Commerce supports ballot question #2

On November 6, we have an opportunity to make a strategic investment in higher education in our state and in our local economy by voting to approve ballot Question 2.

Approval of ballot Question 2 would authorize $70 million to build new facilities and renovate existing facilities at the University of Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay Campus, home to URI’s Graduate School of Oceanography (GSO) and at Rhode Island College’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development. The Newport County Chamber of Commerce sees these investments as an incremental step toward continuing the progress our economy has made, and important for the future of our local economy and talent development.

URI’s GSO is one of the premiere oceanographic institutions in the country and indeed the world. GSO’s research and prestige has significantly bolstered industry clusters that are important to our local economy such as the maritime defense industry and the beckoning blue economy sector that has so much potential in Newport and Bristol Counties.  Question 2 would authorize $45 million to enhance the Bay Campus by constructing a new ocean technology center, which will create space for public-private partnerships in the blue economy and marine industries to intersect with GSO’s cutting-edge research and ocean engineering disciplines. In addition, it will construct a new pier that will berth a research vessel awarded to GSO by the National Science Foundation valued at over $125 million.

URI’s Narragansett Bay Campus with GSO, the Department of Ocean Engineering, and facilities for the College of the Environment and Life Sciences has generated nearly $350M of research funding in the last ten years, and it is anticipated that it will generate over $1 billion more in the next 30 years. These are dollars that go directly into jobs and our local economy. Question 2 will help align Rhode Island perfectly to take maximum advantage of these funding opportunities.

In addition, it is difficult to envision Rhode Island’s economy moving forward without making an overdue and appropriate investment in educating our children. Rhode Island College’s Feinstein School of Education and Human Development is the leading producer of teacher certificates in the state, yet Horace Mann Hall, the main building that our future teachers learn in, hasn’t seen significant upgrades in nearly a half century. Obviously, much has changed in the classroom in fifty years, and to better teach our students in a modern day classroom, we need to prepare our future teachers in modern day facilities. With many baby boomer teachers scheduled to retire over the course of the next decade, we have the tremendous task of developing the next generation of educators who must be ready to educate our students in an ever evolving technologically advanced environment.  Approval of Question 2 would authorize $25 million to completely renovate RIC’s Horace Mann Hall, providing state-of-the-art facilities and technology that will prepare our children’s teachers to enter today’s classroom, leading to better educational outcomes for Rhode Island students.

While the case for support of both of these initiatives can certainly be made, Rhode Islanders should ensure that these large investments provide some information on ROI upon completion.

Rhode Islanders should agree to support these types of infrastructure investments if indeed it leverages more investment through an influx of research dollars and private sector interest, improves educational and teacher performance, increases career opportunities for the graduates of these programs and expands jobs in the local economy.  With more years of funding required to support these infrastructure projects at our state institutions of higher education, it is more important than ever to articulate how these bond referendums are impacting the state for the long-term, specifically, how infrastructure investment results in attraction and retention of businesses and talent in our area.

On November 6, we hope that voters will join us in supporting this important ballot question. A vote in support of Question 2 is an important vote in support of our future workforce and a thriving economy.

Op-ed by Erin Donovan Boyle Executive Director, Newport County Chamber of Commerce

A vote for Senator DiPalma is a Vote for us 

I am not going to list all of Senator Lou DiPalmas’ accomplishments for District 12. His Office of Constituent Services, is always available for your questions and need for assistance, which is available on the Website or calling his Office.

What I am going to do, is tell you what a dedicated and loyal public servant Senator DiPalma is to our District 12.  He is a tireless advocate, “He is for us”. Beyond a doubt, he is the most qualified person seeking re-election as our Senator.

He exemplifies Honesty, Fairness, Thoughtfulness and Dedication. He will put in long hours for our needs.  I have found him totally trustworthy, accountable, incorruptible and deserving of our commitment to him.
A vote for Senator DiPalma is a Vote for us.  He has my respect and my vote. Please join me in re-electing Senator Louis Di Palma on November 6.   Thank you.

Trudy Duval, Middletown

I am writing this letter in support of Senator “Lou” DiPalma who is seeking reelection

Senator DiPalma, as an engineer looks at old problems with a new perspective.  He does not accept the status quo, acts with integrity and openness, and listens to the concerns of his constituents. He has demonstrated leadership and understands the needs of both large and small businesses.  He is a husband, father and grandfather and understands the importance of an excellent education system and the needs of all in the community. He understands the importance of support for the military by Rhode Island and town of Middletown, and as a longtime resident, over 35 years, he recognizes the beauty of Rhode Island and Middletown and the importance of its preservation.

Senator DiPalma especially gets it and understands the needs of the Disabled in the State of Rhode Island and the need to improve the system. Senator DiPalma also understands the need to develop and enhance, STEAM, Science Technology Engineering Arts and Math, Education programs in our education platform and drill these important lessons down into the middle school and earlier grade levels.

I have the utmost respect for Lou, and I ask that you vote for him on Election Day.

Chris Semonelli, Director- Newport County Parents advocacy Group, Associate Member – Rhode Island Disability Council and Vice Chair- RI Force

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