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Save The Bay Launches “Litter Free Pledge” Campaign

     PROVIDENCE, R.I. – Friday, June 8 – Today, Save The Bay launches the Litter Free Pledge, a new campaign aimed at reducing litter across the Narragansett Bay watershed, a 1,754-square-mile region stretching from Worcester and Brockton in Massachusetts to Newport and Narragansett in Rhode Island. The Litter Free Pledge invites Rhode Island and Massachusetts residents alike to visit to take the Litter Free Pledge and refrain from contributing even the smallest piece of litter to the local landscape. The Litter Free Pledge campaign’s promotional efforts, coordinated with partner WPRI-TV, also include a #LitterFreePledge social media initiative and a public service announcement.

Individuals taking the #LitterFreePledge are encouraged to post the pledge, their own “I took the pledge!” videos, or one of the campaign’s many “Take Action” tips, on social media; share the information with their families, friends and coworkers; and promote the idea that every piece of litter, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, adds up. After all, in 2017, on one day of cleanups alone, volunteers collected 42,124 pieces of plastic and foam from Rhode Island beaches—not to mention the 36,575 cigarette butts and 22,435 food wrappers.

“One of the difficulties with the issue of litter is that there are so many disposable products out there,” said Save The Bay’s Volunteer and Intern Manager July Lewis. “Many people who don’t think of themselves as litterers still occasionally let a bottle cap drop or don’t bother to chase down a cup that blows out of their hand on a windy day.

“But if every person in the Narragansett Bay watershed dropped just one straw a year, that would be almost two million straws, many of which would end up in the ocean! That’s why the Litter Free Pledge is important,” she said.

Litter has a negative impact on its surroundings the moment it lands. It is a threat both to wildlife and to the health of our waterways, and it negatively impacts tourism and recreation.

“No one wants to see litter in their neighborhoods, in their parks, or on their beaches,” said Lewis. “Save The Bay volunteers have spent countless hours at hundreds of beach cleanups, only to see litter return. The ocean is where a lot of trash ends up, but litter is a problem everywhere.”

The Litter Free Pledge was born from the desire to protect all communities from the persistent presence of litter, which is why campaign organizers are inviting businesses, schools, scouts and community organizations across Rhode Island and Massachusetts to take and make it their own. Partner toolkits including editable logos, social media suggestions and printables are available for download at

Organizations interested in participating in the Litter Free Pledge campaign, or supporting the campaign as a sponsor, should contact July Lewis at

Individuals interested in getting further involved with the Litter Free Pledge can learn about volunteer opportunities at

Birds of the Bay Soar at the Save The Bay Exploration Center and Aquarium this June

NEWPORT, R.I. – June 4, 2018 – Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium soars into June by turning a spotlight on our feathered friends, the Birds of the Bay. Visitors to the aquarium in June will learn about the local birds that frequent the blue waters of Narragansett Bay through hands-on crafts, a story hour, a scavenger hunt and the chance to win aquarium-themed prizes. With Memorial Day weekend behind us, the Exploration Center and Aquarium on Easton’s Beach in Newport has resumed summer hours and is now open daily, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.

More than 200 bird species from all over the world flock annually to Rhode Island’s Narragansett Bay. Birds such as the great egret, osprey and the piping plover frequent the shoreline and feed on native fish and invertebrate species, some of which are housed in Save The Bay’s Exploration Center and Aquarium’s tanks. Guests can enjoy a reading of the children’s book, “Where Did All the Water Go?” by Carolyn Stearns, before building their very own bird out of recycled materials, embarking on an aquarium-wide search for bird posters and even winning prizes.

While visitors at the aquarium are learning about local birds, they can also meet the aquarium’s newest arrivals, including a brilliant red sea raven, an electric northern stargazer, frilled anemones and two newborn smooth dogfish sharks.

The Exploration Center and Aquarium is located in the Easton’s Beach Rotunda at 175 Memorial Blvd. in Newport, Rhode Island. The center is open daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., Memorial Day – Labor Day. General admission is $8 with discounts for military and senior citizens. Save The Bay Family Members can enjoy FREE admission for two adults and up to four children. For more information about the Exploration Center and Aquarium, visit or call 401-324-6020. The Exploration Center and Aquarium is supported, in part, by Corvias Solutions.

Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights Releases Data Brief Responding to Testimony of Office of Attorney General Kilmartin

Report of General Treasurer Showing Average forfeiture of only $1,524.00 Contradicts Rhode Island Attorney General’s Testimony

Opposing Asset Forfeiture Reform Legislation



Providence – Giovanni D. Cicione, Esq., Chairman of the Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights, a non-profit legal advocacy group, today released a data brief which has been transmitted to the House and Senate Judiciary Committees.  This brief summarizes data regarding asset forfeitures that directly contradicts recent testimony of the office of the Attorney General made in opposition to House Bill 7640 and Senate Bill 2681, An Act Relating To Criminal Procedure – Asset Forfeiture.


Rhode Island’s civil asset forfeiture law has received a grade of “D-“ from the Institute for Justice, who produces a state by state report card on the topic.  As the law works today, law enforcement can seize and keep property and cash from individuals even when they haven’t been convicted of any crime.  For property to be returned, owners must prove by a preponderance of evidence that their property is not forfeitable, which is a huge burden especially for those without means to pursue such claims. Over the years, a number of states have reformed their forfeiture laws to better protect innocent individuals, while Rhode Island has lagged behind. Legislation is before the General Assembly which aims to change that.


Joee Lindbeck, lobbyist for Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, testified at both the House and Senate Judiciary committee hearings in opposition to legislation which would require a criminal conviction before seized assets may be forfeited.  Ms. Lindbeck asserted in both hearings that the proposed reforms would serve only to protect drug cartels and drug kingpins.


The Hopkins Center reviewed data collected by the Rhode Island General Treasurer on forfeiture cases in in 2015 and 2016, which was provided to us and requested under the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act.  The Center then aggregated and analyzed that data in order to assess the realities of how the law is currently being used.  The results are clear – the majority of forfeitures were for small dollar amounts, not the type of cash or property “wealthy drug lords” have on hand.


“The data speaks for itself,” noted Chairman Cicione, “but it is worth emphasizing that the median value of all 2016 forfeitures—cash and property—was less than $1,600.  Over 85% of cash forfeitures involved $5,000 or less, and only 11 out of 241 cash forfeiture cases involved $10,000 or more, whereas 23 forfeitures were for $500 or less.”  “The smallest amount of cash forfeited was $116, and we don’t even know if this person was convicted of any crime before his or her cash was forfeited”, continued Cicione.


“We would ask Attorney General Kilmartin to reconsider his opposition to these reforms given the hard realities of the data and their previously discussed disparate impact on communities of color,” concluded Cicione.


The mission of the Stephen Hopkins Center for Civil Rights is to protect the rights that Americans recognize as fundamental.  The Hopkins Center litigates in areas of fiscal responsibility and transparency, school choice, free speech, and property rights to assist individuals the government has harmed, and ensure all Rhode islanders enjoy their constitutional rights. 


June 2, 2018 event to honor Rich Gingras,

Founder of The Parkinson’s Place in Pawtucket


EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (May 21, 2018): United Methodist Elder Care (UMEC), a nonprofit provider of long-term care, skilled nursing, rehabilitation, assisted living and independent living services for seniors with locations throughout Rhode Island, is holding its annual‘Adding Life to Years’fundraising gala on Saturday, June 2, 2018 at 5:30 p.m.


Theevent will be held at the Omni Providence Hotel (1 West Exchange Street inProvidence)to celebrate the UMEC missionof caring for their population’s healthcare andliving needs. Mr. T.J. DelSanto, meteorologist at WPRI 12, will emcee the evening’s programming.


The festivities include a cocktail reception, live and silent auctions, dinner, mission-driven program and live entertainment. Rich Gingras, founder of The Parkinson’s Placein Pawtucket,isthe 2018 UMEC honoree.


“Rich is a retired professional boxer with an entrepreneurial and charitable spirit focused on helping people with Parkinson’s,” states Richard Gamache, MS,FACHCA,chief executive officer of United Methodist Elder Care. “Through his Rock Steady gym, he empowers patients to fight back through special workouts designed to increase their balance and strength. His amazing work is an important part of our rehab for our patients and residents and we are pleased to honor him.”


Funds raised from the United Methodist Elder Care Gala will be used to support customized care, specialized medical and activity programs, and operational capital needed to serve the patient and resident population from independent living to long-term skilled nursing care.


Exciting new initiatives will be unveiled during the evening’s programming and the Board of Trustees will make a much-anticipated special announcement.To purchase tickets, please visit


Sponsorship opportunities for the ‘Adding Life to Years’ Gala are available and donations are currently being accepted for the auctions. Please contact Elise Strom at estrom@umeldercareri.orgor 401-438-4456 for more informationabout this opportunity.

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