October 2, 2007

Justin Katz: Introducing Our Newest Contributor: You

Engaged Citizen

After a few years of blogging, during which the ebbs and flows of our writing have taken us each in several directions, on several levels of analysis, with multiple genres of writing, we've come to the conclusion that we can only cover so much ground. Would that we could develop in depth analysis — scatterplots, even — for every local, state, national, and global issue. Would that we could hound every town council and school committee in Rhode Island! Clearly, we need more eyes to see and fingers to type.

On the other hand, we've been surprised at and encouraged by the personality that Anchor Rising has developed, with the aggregate influence of our individual voices. Although our door is ever open for new contributors, we've stood shoulder to shoulder in the opening, wary of inadvertent changes to the Web site's character.

Engaged Citizen is our solution to these and other needs, desires, and problems. Our newest contributor is you. Rather, it could be you if you take the initiative. If you engage.

As with everything we do, we're aware that the feature will develop of its own accord, so our rules for submissions will be very limited, at first. Each regular Anchor Rising contributor (with tenure of at least three months) has the capability of posting under the Engaged Citizen byline. When in doubt, email me. All entries must be published under your actual name, and your identity must be reasonably verifiable. All publication (and unpublication) is at our discretion, but all rights remain with you.

Other than that, when it comes to thrust, length, detail, topic, and so on, the space is yours to define (under our watchful eyes, of course). Inasmuch as we're able to provide it, the opportunity is yours to help move this state out of the acrid waters in which it currently floats and to further the causes of reasonable discussion and the gradual acquisition of truth.

To submit an Engaged Citizen post to Anchor Rising click "Email" next to my picture at left.

Comments, although monitored, are not necessarily representative of the views Anchor Rising's contributors or approved by them. We reserve the right to delete or modify comments for any reason.

It's about time. I'm sick of having to wait for you guys to say something before I can chime in. So what if it's your site? I finally get my bully pulpit! Thanks, I'll be back.

Posted by: michael at October 2, 2007 9:09 AM

Wait a second, bub. We're not here just to promote someone's book ... even if it is getting rave reviews ...


Posted by: Monique at October 2, 2007 12:33 PM

... and is available at Paladin Press for just $22. No sirree.


Posted by: Monique at October 2, 2007 12:39 PM

Jeez, I'm totally misunderstood. I would never dream of using this forum as a means to promote my book, even though it will be available at Borders in Garden City and Providence as well as The Brown University Bookstore and Books on the Square. Never!

Posted by: michael at October 2, 2007 12:59 PM

Great idea. Maybe now we can hear from real conservatives instead of you neo-conned dittoheads.

Posted by: PDM at October 2, 2007 1:51 PM

I'd like some of you who criticize the Providence Firefighter's Union to read this account of a night in my life (not a completely unusual night). I'm posting this from work at the station - my 3rd night in a row (the first was the night of this fire), and in my 25th hour of a 38 hour shift. I'm dead tired and hoping for an easy night...we'll see.

Bergen Street House Fire / 19Feb08

The bell hit at 2104 hours, alerting us of a reported building fire at 23 Bergen Street. The three of us on Engine 15 that night knew that we had better be quick in getting out the door on this one or the 14’s (Engine 14) would beat us in to our fire. Bergen Street is right on the border of our respective first-in districts. We stepped into the boots and bunker pants that were neatly placed on the apparatus floor beside the truck just waiting to be put to use. As we pulled the suspenders over our shoulders we stepped into the truck and began donning our fire coats.

Brian pushed the ignition button, which brought the diesel engine to life, switched on the emergency lights, and headed out into the cold dark night. Nothing had to be spoken between us. We all knew just what to do, and we each began our own mental preparations for the job ahead. Brian whipped the truck to a hard left onto Mt. Pleasant Ave. as I jotted down the address on the small notepad mounted on the dash in front of me and then turned on the siren.

Kenny was in the back jump seat. As the ‘rear-step man’ of a first-in three-man engine company, it would be his job to immediately grab the 200 foot, pre-connected hoseline from the rear of the truck and stretch it into position to enter the fire building. With absolutely no time to waste upon arrival at a working fire, he needed to make sure he ‘dressed’ completely on the way – fire coat buttoned, gloves and helmet on, and air pack strapped to his shoulders so that it would release from the frame in the jump seat as he dismounted the truck.

I switched the radio to the fireground channel and reported to Fire alarm (our dispatch center), “Engine 15 on the way”. When Brian guided the truck down the hill on Chalkstone Ave. I could see a column of heavy dark smoke in the direction of Bergen Street even against the dark sky. I picked up the microphone once again, “Engine 15 to fire Alarm, heavy smoke in the area”. I now knew that we had a working fire and had related this information to the other companies responding to the call. The adrenaline level instantly rose in all of us.

Firefighters have different levels of excitement than the general public. Extreme excitement, and the adrenaline rush that accompanies it, can be put to good use on the fireground. It allows us to enter places and do things that we might not ordinarily be capable of doing in a more relaxed state. The long term physical effects of a constant (or pretty consistent) high level of excitement would take a tremendous toll on a person’s nervous system. Therefore we quickly learn not to allow ourselves to reach that high level of excitement for the mere ‘report’ of an emergency. Too many times what appeared to be a true emergency to the caller screaming through the phone lines at our dispatchers turns out to be a false alarm or a minor emergency when we arrive at the scene. A report of heavy smoke from a responding company confirms that we are indeed going to face a real job so we allow the adrenaline to flow freely.

As I stated earlier, we all know our jobs and we are preparing ourselves to spring into action immediately upon arrival. Peoples lives and property depend on us to do just that. Things can change in an instant, however, and we need to be able to adjust to an ever changing set of dynamics without missing a beat. On a call to an area where two different companies are capable of arriving first, you prepare for the most likely situation but keep a different set of tasks in the back of your mind – just in case.

When we turned onto Bergen Street I immediately saw that Engine 14 was not on the street yet (they would be entering from a different direction) and that we would, indeed, be first-in. I also saw that there was large amount of heavy smoke drifting across the entire area, but no visible flame. There were a number of neighborhood residents gathered in the middle of the street frantically waving at us as we approached, but no one was pointing to the fire. It was (and I know that this seems strange to many people) very difficult to determine which house was on fire. As we began to slow down near the heaviest smoke, a Providence Police Officer waved to us and pointed toward the back of the house on our right. Before I stepped out of the truck I transmitted a message over the truck radio, “Engine 15 on the scene, heavy smoke from the rear of the building, apparent Code Red, keep you advised.”

Again this might sound strange to some – “apparent” Code Red. The fact is, however, that at this early stage (especially without the presence of obvious flames from the building) the heavy smoke could be the result of an auto fire in the rear of the building. When the first-in officer reports “Code Red” he sets in motion a number of events that are not necessary for an auto fire or a non-structure fire. Fire Alarm dispatches additional companies to the scene that are needed at a working structure fire. The second-in Engine company connects hoses (two hoses, each three inches in diameter) to the nearest hydrant and stretches the lines to the first-in company’s pump. In Providence the distance from the hydrant to the pumper could be in excess of 500 feet – that means there could be over 1,000 feet of hose unnecessarily dumped onto the street only to be picked up without being needed or used.

I stepped from the cab, grabbed my air pac and swung it over my shoulder as I walked to the narrow driveway on the side of the house toward the officer. He told me that the building that was on fire was actually a house directly behind the one that abutted the street. He also stated that everyone was out of the building and accounted for. When I reached the end of the driveway another building came into view through the smoke. It was a two-story building set back about twenty feet from the front dwelling and there was heavy fire showing from the front doorway, which was on the far left side of the front wall. As I approached the doorway to determine our best options for knocking this down as quickly as possible I transmitted a message via my portable radio, “Code Red, 2-story, wood-frame, occupied, heavy fire showing first floor, all occupants reported out of the building. Be advised, the fire building is located in the rear of the street building.” As I walked closer and awaited Kenny’s arrival with our hoseline, I could see that fire was venting from the windows on the left side of the building and beginning to melt the vinyl siding of a three-story building located about fifteen feet to the left of the fire building. “Engine 15 to Fire Alarm, heavy fire venting and threatening an exposure on Side 2, give me 2 more engines and a ladder”.

By this time (in actuality it had probably been about 30 seconds since I stepped out of the cab of Engine 15) Kenny had arrived with the hoseline and began to flake it out on the ground (to prevent kinks in the line from blocking the flow of the water), position himself, and don his mask. Again there was no need for us to talk, we both just did what we knew had to be done. I checked the hose again for kinks or knots, checked that Kenny was in position and ready, and radioed, “15 – charge our line”! I donned my mask as we waited for the arrival of the water through the 200 feet of hose.

This is always one of the most surreal moments. The quiet of the night seems strange in the midst of such apparent chaos. The sounds are all muted - but distinct. The arriving sirens seem far off, as if they’re running away from you as opposed to getting closer. There’s a slight presence of radio chatter from the fireground radio that seems barely audible over the sucking sounds emanating from the ebb and flow of air through the regulators of our face masks. The hiss of air flowing through the nozzle of the hoseline as it’s being forced out by the flowing water begins to get a little louder as the water nears. Muffled words that can only be likened to that of Darth Vader are exchanged between Kenny and I through our masks as we position ourselves and get ready to attack the fire. Through it all, however, the loudest sound of all – which seems to grow louder and more ominous as the seconds go by – is that of the fire itself. The crackling and popping of the fire as it burns through the wood and releases the pockets of air and moisture long trapped in the timbers seems to take on a life of its own. Glass shattering from the heat and falling to the ground cuts through the trance-like sound of a campfire to add another layer of sound that reminds me of the danger we are facing.

Finally the water rushes through the nozzle with a heavy jerk and begins to cool the fire and darken it down. The effect is almost immediate – where it had just been like daylight in the area we were working, it is now dark and foggy. Visibility reduces to about six inches in about six seconds as the flames begin to die and the smoke gets thicker. I pat Kenny on the shoulder and we enter the front hallway toward the kitchen. He has knocked down the bulk of the fire in the doorway, but I can still make out a bright glow through the haze indicating heavy fire in front of us. As we near the top of the three stairs to the kitchen doorway I catch a glimpse of heavy flames still venting from the left side of the building through a small window just to my left. “Go slow, stay low,” I say to Kenny as he inches forward fighting the heat. I keep right on his tail as we crawl together toward the glow, keeping contact at all times to assure him that I’m right behind him. As he makes his way just over the threshold of the kitchen and begins to attack the flames with his hoseline, the ceiling collapses and forces a rush of super-heated air and fire right into his face. He falls backward, right into my chest. I immediately grab him and try to push our way back a couple of feet. By this time a couple of ladder men are behind me and when they see what’s going on they pull me toward them.

We’ve only been pushed back about a foot or two, but the immediate danger has passed – we regroup. I ask Kenny if he’s okay and we begin to push forward once again. In what seems like only a minute or two after we fight our way into the kitchen once again, we both run out of air and are forced to retreat. The men from Ladder 3, who have not used as much air to this point, take over our handline as we quickly return to the truck to change air bottles so that we can reclaim our line. An engine man hates to relinquish his line to anyone! When we return and take the line back we continue to fight our way deeper into the building and believe we’re making good progress in knocking the fire down. What we were not aware of, however, was that the fire had taken hold of the second floor and was burning its way through the roof.

Conditions began to worsen very quickly, just as the Chief was transmitting an order to evacuate the building. The airhorns of the trucks on the scene began to blare in unizon to signal an evacuation. It always seems to be easier to enter the building than to make a hasty exit. Tonight was no exception. As companies reluctantly began to pull out of the building the smoke seemed to grow hotter and more dense, the debris on the floor seemed to get thicker, and the exits seemed to disappear. As things deteriorated some men were forced to exit via windows to avoid thermal burns. When at last we were all out of the building a roll call of all the companies on the scene was initiated by Fire Alarm. This is standard procedure after an evacuation of an emergency area. After an initial scare that one of our members was still in the building which proved false, the roll call was successfully completed and we began a defensive attack on the remainder of the fire – attacking the fire with large amounts of water applied from the outside of the building.

We eventually returned to an interior attack to fully extinguish the remainder of the fire, but by that time we were drenched and tired, and anxious to get back to a warm fire station. Unfortunately for us, even after the last hoseline is shut down and the fire is declared out, there is still an additional thirty to forty-five minutes of work left to break down the hoses and repack them in the hosebeds of the engine companies. This is made tougher in the winter by the cold. After being drenched from sweat from the inside and water from the hoses on the outside it’s impossible to dry off without changing to fresh clothes, and this just leaves you more susceptible to the cold.

I’m happy to report that there were no injuries to the family of six who were living there at the time, or to any firefighters. The fire was confined to the fire building and not allowed to spread to either of the other two building that were threatened – a couple of sheets of vinyl siding were the only victims outside of the original building. To me, this was a success.

Posted by: Tom Kenney at February 21, 2008 6:43 PM

Tom - nice essay, very well written. While I understand your assertion that this night wasn't completely unusual, I think we can all agree that the job of firefighter is thankfully more routine, with the lions share being preparation and readiness for the intervals of (hopefully) controlled chaos. Why did you preface your account with a pointed call-out of those who would criticize the union? What does union policy have to do with your personal professionalism and dedication? I just want say that I have retired firefighters in my extended family, and greatly appreciate their service. However, policies that affect good order and discipline, or further our economic crisis, are almost as detrimental to the community as having a less than optimal force. I personally am still several years from my own retirement, and have already started actively scouting retirement locations away from the mounting lunacy that is lil' Rhody.

Posted by: rhodeymark at May 18, 2008 9:42 AM

Cicilline: Unfinished Business!

Jeopardizing our Public Safety

Let me begin by stating that I am neither a democrat nor a republican. I am not a union member nor have I ever been affiliated with one. I am an independent voter, property owner and seriously concerned citizen. The Mayor's proposed staffing cuts at our Fire Department will jeopardize the public safety of everyone who lives, works or plays in this City (Providence).

Mayor David Cicilline has done some great things for our City. I, for one, am happy with my shiny new garbage can and the recycling bins (especially the recycling bins). Also, the lead water pipes on my street have been replaced.

However, Handling the contract negotiations with the Firefighters Union (Local 799) is not one of his crowning achievements.

Now we understand the Mayor has been able to cut down the number of employees on the City Payroll. But making those same cuts in the Fire Dept is not something we're interested in supporting because it endangers the public safety. In reality, he should actually be boosting the number of firefighters.


The cuts will most likely effect the number of firefighters responding to an emergency. Currently nearly 1/2 of our Engines are staffed below the minimum standard set by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). The NFPA is widely recognized as the authoratative source on public safety. The NFPA standard is 4. Half of our Engines are at 3. Additionally, the 4th man reduces the number of firefighter injuries.

The Mayor has not released the the basis for his intended cuts. I understand there is a report out there. We paid for it. We want to see it. NOW.

There is a lot of new construction out there that has been completed or is in the process of being completed (Providence Place Mall, Luxury Condos, Hotels). We want 4 firefighters on those trucks (all of them!) when they arrive should any of this be threatened.

Our property taxes are high and they are going up this year. Shouldn't we expect a fully staffed Fire Dept to respond if any of our lives or property are threatened?

Campaign Promises and Wasted Tax Dollars

In closing, when he was running for office, David Cicilline made a campaign promise to the members of this union (Local 799) to end this contract dispute within 30 days of taking office in exchange for their support. In my opinion, this is a little bit like having a contractor come over to your house, do an estimate, take a deposit, and then never return to start the work. Wouldn't you be angry? We are.

Further, the Mayor has spent 1 million dollars fighting this arbritration ruling. Just because he has a political beef with the Union, doesn't mean he should be spending our tax dollars in this way. This is poor financial management.

Join our group by sending an email to provpublicsafety@gmail.com

Joe Ouellette

Citizens for Providence Public Safety

Posted by: Joe Ouellette at May 18, 2008 12:49 PM


First of all, while I agree that this night was not a normal night, I believe that you'd be surprised at how often these types of fires occur in Providence. Many don't make the news at all, and many others only get a paragraph or so in ProJo a couple of days later.

I began the post with a call-out of people who criticize my union because many of them (not all) publicly state that firefighting in Providence is a "racket", and that we sit around all day and sleep at night. I want everyone who thinks they can criticize us to understand what we do for a living. This fire (and hundreds more per year) are what WE do to earn our money.

As for our "union policy", I'd like to know what union policy hurts the state or the city. Does it cost the taxpayers money to have the protection of a professional fire department? Of course it does. But what policy (that you are sure of) is detrimental to the community?

Posted by: Tom Kenney at May 26, 2008 2:25 PM

I attended my first GOP meeting last night and wanted to share my thoughts on the candidates and the overall picture.

The candidates for the Chairmainship of the party:

Rob Manning is the incumbent, with a good track record for the first 2 years of his tenure. He was refreshingly honest in his assertion that there is no $ from National, and that a coalition of states sharing a small % of the National budget can generate some $ for RI. His comment about face recognition on the Beltway is also true, but he has been rather low-profile for the last couple of years and I'm hoping that a re-election will re-energize his efforts to bring not only $ to the Party, but cohesion and common purpose as well. He looked great, comfortable in a lightwieght suit that projected success. Great shoes.

Carol Mumford made a good speech and has some good credentials for the position. Her background lends iteself to the $ management responsibilities of the job, but I was left wondering what kind of leader she would be - especially in a position that needs gravitas and strength to forge a cohesive and engaging Republican party. She wore an unremarkable ensemble, comfy shoes and had an air of competence about her.

I don't know Joe Trillo personally, but his meat'n'potatos approach leaves me ambivalent at best. He is a fixture in RI politics and has alot of relevant experience, but his demeanor and stage/crowd presence is not engaging. In fact, I found him to be somewhat intimidating - not a good attribute. His dress-pant, rumpled shirt and questionable belt (out of style in 1989) was not a good choice. Also, expensive shoes left unkempt is not a good message.

Pat Morgan made a good speech, but it was completely devoid of real commitment, substance or credibility given her record during her tenure. On several occasions, she has outright lied about her contributions to the party, backstabbed candidates and routinely speaks ill of those she fawns over in public. She is whats worst about politics: Disingenuous and a nitwit. Plus, her voice is like Sally Struthers and she had a rather large stain on her dress. Dreadful shoes.

Speaking of dress, the National Candidates were very entertaining:

I immediately felt sorry for Joe Zuccalo as he struggled through a speech he tried to read off of hand-written, sweat stained paper. There were He looked and sounded uncomfortable, read the audience semi-unremarkable pablum and for a guy who owns a clothing store; a rumpled suit just doesn't work. There was no sense of leadership or substance. Hopefully, he will fade away as quickly as the obvious hair dye does in this hot weather.

John Scott made an excellent speech outlining his run against Patrick Kennedy, and made a great point about the revolution that's needed to wrest control from the Fed and bring it back to the people. He was engaging, passionate, convincing and made sense which I guess is what doesn't work in politics. I can't help but wonder what a well-financed campaign could do for the message he has. It's too bad that there are so many star-struck voters who would vote for Patty 'O' xycontin even if he killed someone in another vehicular malfunction. I liked the rolled-up sleeve, kinda rumply look John has. It's not an affectation or a studied look of a regular guy - it's who he is.

Marc Zaccaria was eloquent and engaging. His background and experience may be his best assets, as a race against Wheels Langevin will be a tough one. Fortunately, Langevin's record is easily assailable and the pity vote can be negated by the lack of good representation. Marc's suit was the best of the evening. Good shoes.

There were a couple of local candidates who got my attention:

Renay Omisore struck me a a woman of intelligence, grace and accomplishment: an excellent counterpoint to the barely literate, racist, commu-socialist entity that is Grace(les) Diaz. Renay will have a tough race, but if she can educate and energize her potential voters, she will make an excellent Rep for her district. Her suit was understated and tailored very well for a tall woman. Great accessories!

There was a child from JWU running for local representation who was almost embarrassing in his lack of preparation, speaking ability and sartorial choices. Trying to act cool beyond one's years and experience is annoying enough, but when one fails to read a speech coherently and does so with their hand in pocket and a shoe untied comes across as both arrogant and inept. Maybe he should team up with Pat Morgan.

No offense to Dave Tallin, but brown pants, pink tie and an unknown-to-nature colored jacket detracts fom his obvious intelligence and experience. But, it works for him!

Posted by: Ron Reagan III at June 10, 2008 3:26 PM

To George Elbow:
I refuse to continue this debate on a post that was written by a father who lost his son. You shouldn’t be able to lash out your hateful lies without having to be held to facts you can back up!
“"""Of course the BLS statistics on Dangerous jobs include FFs. I know it eats at you that you didn't make the Top 10, but saying over and over again that the data didn't include FFs doesn't make it so."""”
Look it up and you’ll find that you’re wrong. Of course you think it should be taken the way you’d like it to be and let everyone else look it up to prove you wrong.
“"""With respect to anonymity, I suspect if I was praising you and your Entitlement minded Union actions, you'd have no problem ...just like you have no problem with the likes of people that sign off as EMT, Phil, Dave, etc."""”
I think that NO ONE should be allowed to personally attack someone anonymously. That is common courtesy and a right that every American citizen holds. The right to confront one’s accuser. Apparently these kind of rights are one-sided. You want them, but don’t want to extend them to your adversaries. What a brave man you are. A typical internet bullie.
“"""By the way, how do we really know that "Tom Kenney" is really Tom "Giving Selflessly" Kenney for the PFD??"""”
E-mail: tekpfd@yahoo.com . Lieutenant on Engine 15, “A” Group, 136 Mt. Pleasant Ave.
“"""Lasly, once again, please explain the mistatements in my above posts (where I apparently "insulted" you with the truth)."""”
I continue to show you and you continue to claim that I’m the one lying. Tell me how you know what you think you know.
You don’t know a single thing about me. You don’t know a single thing about the Providence Fire Department. You don’t know a single thing about my job as a firefighter. Yet you spout out your uninformed and hatred-biased opinions as if they were facts. You are truly the definition of a cowardly loser. Someone in a union (and apparently a firefighter union) must have screwed you over big time. All this venom couldn’t possibly be coming from the small amount of taxes that the unions have cost you over the years.
“"""…who accuse others of making personal attacks when it is they that make personal attacks with references like "Herzoner" when referring to people like the Mayor."""”
I’m the one accusing you of attacking people. Now show me where I used “Herzoner” when referring to that piece of crap Cicilline. He’s a piece of crap for the way he treats people and lies to people – not for his sexual preference. Tell your friend, the mayor, that Tom Kenney thinks he’s a piece of crap!
“"""Just as Tom "Giving Selflessly" Kenney knows nothing about what other Unions are doing, he "knows nothing" about the WW Fire Inspector or what he did or didn't do."""”
I really do know nothing about the WW’s Fire Inspector and what he did or didn’t do correctly other than what I’ve seen on the news reports or in the papers – and I never know whether those reports are accurate or not.
It is not my intention to defend him or cast accusations at him from my knowledge of the facts. I have none. I’ve heard the same stories most of you have but not the info available to the Grand Jury. How can you accuse me of knowing what went on during or leading up to that tragedy?
“"""Yet Tommy-boy can tell you chapter and verse what a WW FF earns in comparison to a PFD FF."""”
Wrong again, you asswipe! You sure do like to make assumptions and accusations about me, even though you know NOTHING about me other than my name, rank and job.
“"""…when Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty was negatively impacting public safety by NOT showing up to the public safety job he was being paid to do."""”
Again you state your uninformed and hate-biased opinion as fact. Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! And I’ve already told you this, but you refuse to stop lying.
Paul Doughty’s absence from his original spot on “Special Hazards” was NEVER left vacant for even a single shift – THEREFORE>>>>>> there was NO NEGATIVE IMPACT on public safety.
His absence merely cost the city overtime pay to fill the spot!!!
You continue to spout attacks on my job, on my union, on my union president, and on me personally. Yet you don’t even have the balls to stand behind your words. If EMT or any other anonymous poster engaged in unwarranted personal attacks I would call on him to name himself also.
There is no one who can hold you accountable for any of your verbal assaults. That’s the only way you seem to be able to hold your own in a debate.

Posted by: Tom Kenney at June 18, 2008 7:31 PM


You state 4 "FACTS" that you say are not debatable. I agree, BUT I agree because you continue to mis-state (dare I say lie about?) the facts.

1. As far as I've seen EMT made a single "personal" attack on the mayor. Anonymity (in my opinion) is a problem when personal attacks are a regular part of your posts. Like yours.

You can't make a single post without a personal attack. You have continually attacked me personally, yet I can't attack you because I have no idea who you are or what type of work (if any) you do. I don't know whether you're a man, woman, boy or girl. Are you David (lie through your teeth) Cicilline?

2. You claim that I'm contradicting myself by personally attacking people on this forum. Well, as far as I know I've only attacked you, the mayor and my chief "personally". All people who deserve to be attacked...AND (now here is the part you don't seem to understand) every one of you know who is attacking you and are free to throw my past or present actions and statements in my face to discredit me. How can I fight a fair fight with a ghost?

3. You refuse to acknowledge the difference between costing the city money & putting the public's safety in jeopardy with regards to union officials being detached from their positions to perform union bisiness.

Whether you or I think the time off (or the amount of time off) was justified or not is not the issue. The point is that time off (at full pay) for union officials is a common practice that continues to this day despite your ramblings. The practice was stopped in the case of our union president, however, by our chief.

The fact that public safety was NEVER jeopardized by these actions IS NOT DEBATABLE!! Just because you want it to be so doesn't make it so. Complain about wasted tax money on this issue - but not public safety.

4. Again, look up the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs" survey. Look it up with all the explanations and notes - not just the list of the 10.

ALSO, would someone else besides myself tell this guy(?) that he's the one making an ass of himself by posting insult after insult after attack. AND by continuing this on a post that a greiving father started regarding his son!

Posted by: Tom Kenney at June 20, 2008 10:34 AM

Tom Kenney,

As Ronald Reagan used to say ..."there you go again".

EMT made anonymous "personal attacks" and you didn't call him on it, as you said you would. But when that gets pointed out to you, you decide to change the rules, make excuses and rationalize. Give it Tom, you lose on this one.

Furthermore, I'm not sure I agree with you that I am making personal attacks. I am merely commenting on and responding to the WORDS of someone posting under the name "Tom Kenney", or EMT and others for that matter.

In fact, I don't know a personal thing about "Tom Kenney" or anyone else on this blog (nor do I care to), other than what they write, which is what I respond to. So quit your whining.

With respect to your ludicrous support of Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty's not showing up for 3+ years to do the FF job that the Taxpayers paid him to do, it is good to know that tax dollars spent or "wasted" has NO correlation to Public Safety.

We'll keep this little nugget in mind next time we do the Budget. We'll spend less, since the two are not related. Right? And you can no longer whine that spending (reduced or otherwise) impacts Public Safety. On behalf of taxpayers everywhere, I thank for this little jewel.

With respect to Union hacks using Taxpayer funds to do Union business, you justify it as "being common practice". That's brilliant Tom. It was also once common practice to not to let women vote, but did that make it right? Do you think anyone in the Private sector would still have a job if they pulled what Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty pulled?

But more importanly Tom, I will defer to the following words of Joe Ouellette of Citizens for Providence Public Safety who posted above on May 18:

"Now we understand the Mayor has been able to cut down the number of employees on the City Payroll. But making those same cuts in the Fire Dept is not something we're interested in supporting because it endangers the public safety. In reality, he should actually be boosting the number of firefighters.

The cuts will most likely effect the number of firefighters responding to an emergency. The Mayor has not released the the basis for his intended cuts. I understand there is a report out there. We paid for it. We want to see it. NOW.

There is a lot of new construction out there that has been completed or is in the process of being completed (Providence Place Mall, Luxury Condos, Hotels). We want 4 firefighters on those trucks (all of them!) when they arrive should any of this be threatened.

Our property taxes are high and they are going up this year. Shouldn't we expect a fully staffed Fire Dept to respond if any of our lives or property are threatened?"

Indeed, Tom, our taxes are high. Shouldn't we expect a fully staffed FD, as opposed to paying taxes so one of our FF's (i.e. Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty) can sit home on his lazy ass?

With respect to Mr. Dave Kane and your comment that "continuing this on a post that a greiving father started regarding his son": One, Mr. Kane is a BIG boy, with a sharp tounge and can handle the "debate", and TWO, his letter wasn't about his son. Rather it was about NOT holding a Fire Inspector accountable for his actions, similar to you NOT holding Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty accountable for his actions in which he porked the hard-working Taxpayers and put the Public Safety at risk by squandering our LIMITED resources (Dollars and Man-hours).

Lastly, with respect to the Dept of Labors' "Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs", I repeat: It is NOT called the "Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs EXCLUDING Firefighters". Why don't you copy-paste the "details" in which it explains that FF are NOT included.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 20, 2008 7:43 PM

Tom Kenney,

Would you at least agree that we can ELIMINATE Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty's position since his 3+ year absence from the job he was paid to do did NOT jeopradize nor negatively impact Public Safety?

Since there is no Public Safety impact by having him not show up to the job (as you have clearly stated), let's just eliminate the position and save the money for more important items like equipment.

What do you say Tom, are you with me on this? You've already made the case that Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty not showing up to do the job he was paid to do has no impact on public safety.

I see an opportunity here for you and I to work together and agree on something. I'll be happy because we'll eliminate waste and you'll be happy 'cuz we'll free up resources that are currently having no impact on public safety and reapply them to something that will impact public safety (new equipment). Maybe we can get you those air-conditioners you've been complaining about.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 20, 2008 9:32 PM

Tom Kenney,

I was Googling trying to help you prove your unproven point that the Dept. of Labor's Top 10 Most Dangerous Jobs purposely excludes FFs from the rankings.

I couln't find any evidence of that, but I did find this site which I think you'll find most interesting. It is very descriptive of you. You should definitely read it. EMT should as well.

The site is: http://littlejohn.blogs.com/beirut/2007/10/firefighters-as.html

Posted by: George Elbow at June 22, 2008 7:46 PM

Tom Kenney,

Loved your letter-to-the-editor in today's Projo (June 23) regarding the exorbident overtime paid to PFD Union members.

Once again, when confronted with hard facts, you launch into whiny excuses & rationalizations.

I noticed that, when listing your excuses / rationalizations for the exorbident overtime, you conveniently forgot to mention that one of the reasons overtime was so high was due to your buddy Lazy-Ass Pauly "No Show" Doughty NOT showing up to the job the Taxpayers were paying him to do, resulting in the need to another FF to cover his slot via Overtime, thus Costing the Taxpayers extra money, not to mention that it put the Public Safety at risk.

Tom, you lose all credibility when you leave that little detail out of your whine sessions.

Actually, to say you "lose" credibility would imply that you had some to begin with. And we know that's not the case.

Posted by: George Elbow at June 23, 2008 7:14 AM

In an opinion authored by Justice Scalia, the U.S. Supreme Court held, on June 26, 2008, that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual right, unconnected with militia service, to possess a firearm for traditionally lawful purposes, including self-defense in one's home.

The ruling struck down the District of Columbia's general prohibition on the possession of handguns, as well as its requirement that all lawful firearms be kept "unloaded and dissembled or bound by a trigger lock or similar device."

The decision by the Supreme Court upholds the ruling of the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia that "the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess firearms and that the city's total ban on handguns, as well as its requirement that firearms in the home be kept nonfunctional even when necessary for self-defense, violated that right."

In the majority opinion, the Court examined the relationship between the Amendment's prefatory clause ("A well-regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State") and its operative clause ("the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed"), holding that, rather than a limitation, the prefatory clause "announces a purpose."

Analyzing the term "Right of the People," the Court points out that in the other three instances where the term is used in the Constitution -- the Assembly and Petition Clause of the First Amendment, the Search and Seizure Clause of the Fourth Amendment, and the Ninth Amendment -- the term "unambiguously refer[s] to individual rights, not 'collective' rights, or rights that may be exercised only through participation in some corporate body."

Therefore, the Court states that its analysis starts "with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans."

In addition, the Court examines the term "keep Arms" and finds that "the most natural reading" in the Amendment is to "have weapons." Similarly, the court examines the meaning and purpose of the term "bear Arms," and concludes that the term "is not limited to military use."

As the Court goes on to state, "Putting all of these textual elements together, we find that they guarantee the individual right to possess and carry weapons in case of confrontation."

While the Court finds that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep and bear arms, the Court is careful to add that, "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." Thus, the Court explains, "nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill, or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms."

In a dissenting opinion written by Justice Stevens, joined by Justices Souter, Ginsburg and Breyer, it is argued that "the Amendment should not be interpreted as limiting the authority of Congress to regulate the use or possession of firearms for purely civilian purposes." The dissent argues that the preamble limits the term "keep and bear arms" to military uses of firearms, which, the dissent concludes, the Founders "viewed in the context of service in state militias."

There is no doubt that yesterday's 5-4 decision is an historic one that will inspire plenty of commentary in the days and weeks to come.

From my perspective the Court got it right, but I'm sure that the debate will go on.

Posted by: Brian Mekdsy at June 27, 2008 7:55 AM

Sorry, Michael (whose comments I've deleted), we're not interested in having this become a forum for offensive conspiracy theories. Peddle them elsewhere.

I'll take the opportunity, though, to do something that I'd been considering already and close the comments section of this post. Too many people are misconstruing the procedure and intent of Engaged Citizen.

Email me with submissions.

Posted by: Justin Katz at July 10, 2008 8:48 PM