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'Dispatch' That Equipment Warwick! And More @EG_Problems Love

What we love and loathe about living in East Greenwich this month.


RANT: OK, am I the only one who is confused re the dead deal between our fire department and Warwick?

Here is what I am not getting:

Apparently, around $162,000 was spent on equipment for both towns but the only town opening up its wallet was East Greenwich. Despite this, only $15,000 of the $162,000 was used to update our fire department’s infrastructure.

Huh?

Why did Warwick get a $147,000 free ride? This wasn’t like taking a car out for a test drive before borrowing it. This was like taking the car home, using it and not even sending a thank-you note (since apparently, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian didn’t even bother to return Fire Chief Henrickson’s follow-up calls).

And another thing – when can we have the equipment back? To hopscotch to a new analogy, this isn’t a no-fault divorce wherein each of the fire departments split up their toys. There was never even a common-law marriage, let alone a sentimental-exchange-of-vows-chuck-the-rice-throw-a-shindig kind, and the equipment is not the equivalent of a family dog that now requires custody rights worked out. We paid for it and therefore it seems reasonable that it is ours. (And that old adage possession is nine-tenths of the law only works on school playgrounds.)

While we are on the subject of fire districts, here is another thing I am not clear on (it’s that sort of a day). I saw recently that Warwick fire fighters were practicing their skills on that house next to 1149 on Division. Um, while they are in the neighborhood and apparently now have updated equipment, can they move another 800 meters or so west on Division and practice on that house that is falling down and is therefore truly a fire hazard? What is the story with that place? I get a hard time for wanting to put storm windows on my historic-only-in-that-it-is-completely-not-insulated house and that jumble of shingles, which seems deserving of an original townie plaque, is allowed to fall to pieces.

Now, you might be thinking, what happens in Warwick stays in Warwick (like our fire equipment), but a nearby property's overgrown yard, peeling paint and clutter can easily knock 5 percent to 10 percent off the sale price of a home, according to the Appraisal Institute. A true disaster - like the Division place - can devalue property by as much as 20 percent. I imagine that even if the neighbors in that neck of the woods think our town can absorb the $147,000 because of an almost-deal gone sour, they might not be so pleased to have their home devalued by someone else’s (someone else who lives in Warwick) negligence. In case you are one of those neighbors and feel the need to take action, the state Building Code Standards Committee’s website is www.ribcc.ci.gov. May the force be with you!

RAVE: to the point where I have actually got my tweet toes wet. That’s right, I was a Twitter virgin up until now. Though I doubt I will ever have my own hashtag since my motto is why say in 140 characters what I can say in 3,000?

So last week, @EG_Problems mentioned pot holes. Which I frankly love. The way I see it, they are a cheap version of a speed bump. And they cost the town nothing. A win-win – except for EG’s Mercedes. (If you don’t count the spaces, that counts as an official tweet!)

jim halsband February 03, 2013 at 09:23 PM
By allowing anonymous comments, which I continue to rail against, this practice promotes acrimony and promotes rudeness and over-the-top comments which if those people were held accountable would most likely never have the temerity to post such bs, and you can be absolutely certain that these people would never have the courage to say those things to our face! Anonymity only works with charity, the highest form of charity is in anonymous donations. Nothing charitable in any of the plethora of comments by those without the backbone to sign off, who sit at their keyboard and hide behind an initial or moniker and gun down those who have a qualified opinion. Just another sign of a society in decline where this new 'snitch culture' is taking over with their 'gotcha' snapshots and finger pointing. Joe Valachi is their patron saint!
Alan Clarke February 03, 2013 at 09:45 PM
Yas, yas, and I want to know why Lisa Sussman is measuring stuff in meters, as in "can they move another 800 meters or so west on Division"? I wanted to switch over to metric (what?) in the 60s when there was a big push to do it. But no! So since I was a printer, I used picas and points instead. Phooey! But Lisa, we are metric-challenged and it's no wonder I got the wrong house. I thought it was 800 gas meters and that would put in out in western Connecticut.
Lisa Sussman February 04, 2013 at 07:15 PM
Whew - that's the last time I go away for a computer-free weekend! I don't think I have much to input here since Alan has so ably said what I would have had I been online (thank you!). However, since being succinct has never been my forte, a few comments: 1) Alan is correct - I am not a reporter. And as a columnist, I see my role as being the "huh?" person who hopefully asks the question or makes the point that the person on the street is asking or thinking. Yes, I may sometimes sound uninformed or - as I am sure some of you would put it - stupid, but I am ok with that if what I am asking is generating discussion and, hopefully, answers. Which certainly seems to be the case here. 2) I was being provocative when I suggested a demo of the decrepit house. I hoped to get some attention paid to the fact that there is a perfectly good - and historical - house going to waste. I have to admit that I am a bit hazy on where the town border is in those parts but that doesn't lessen my irritation and frustration over what seems to be an official acceptance re the state of the house. It kills me when I see land razed for new housing while we have homes which have withstood most of the vicissitudes of time standing empty and going to waste - but that is a rant for another day. 3) Why meters? Because they make sense - so there!
jim halsband February 04, 2013 at 07:35 PM
Good goin' Lisa! Yards...meters, no worries, even old Townies know enough that they're about the same, why we didn't join the rest of the world decades ago is yet another testament to American arrogance over practicality. GM started to make a slow transition and that's why 15% of the nuts and bolts on my '86 Chevy are metric, try and figure the infinite wisdom behind that! Now that the cat is out of the bag and Lisa is free to question and rant at will over obvious illogical issues that we face as a community daily, such as why are we still plowing tonnage of plastic waste into the landfill when it can easily and cheaply be turned into home heating oil for costs in the range of 3 gallons for a dollar! No typo there, talk about illogic! The only road block to this new technology being utilized is bureaucracy, same-sex marriage is more important than jobs, environment, economy and heating oil at 3 gallons for a buck! Join my rant, I want my trash back in cash!
arsenal February 06, 2013 at 09:05 PM
the US of A should have been using meters for a while but instead everyone insists on feet and inches which make zero sense

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