Metro

Spotlight on the Statehouse: Nov. 5, 2015

By
Metro Editor
Thursday, November 5, 2015

Murals celebrate color, cleanliness

On Kinsley Street in Providence, students of the MET — a network of six small public high schools in Providence and Newport — are painting storm drains to raise awareness of the importance of maintaining the cleanliness of the Woonasquatucket River into which the drains empty, ABC News reported.

“If you dump stuff, oil, litter or leaves into the storm drains, it ends up right in the river … so we are trying to call attention to that,” said Brent Bachelder, an art teacher whose students are helping to paint the drain murals, ABC News reported.

The hand-painted designs feature animals such as toads that live near and in the river, with the physical drain serving as the amphibian’s mouth.

Similar efforts to help the environment while beautifying the city and raising awareness are underway in other municipalities, such as Baltimore, Maryland, according to Blue Water Baltimore’s website.

Memories of cold inspire winter preparation

Students who were on campus last semester — or who are residents of southern New England — probably remember the snowy weather and freezing temperatures of January and February. For many residents of the Ocean State, similar memories are inspiring them to prepare for the upcoming winter, WPRI reported.

“They’re coming in because of last year’s bad experience,” George Tamer, president and CEO of Center Ace Hardware in Barrington, told WPRI. Supplies characteristic of winter such as shovels, snow blowers and salt bags, are selling even though the weather has been unseasonably warm this fall, he added.

“You never know what Mother Nature’s going to deliver, but I feel very good that we are far better prepared than we were last year,” Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker said in September, WBUR reported.

Last winter’s storms proved especially challenging for the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority, which has added nearly 50 new pieces of equipment to help handle snowfall, Boston.com reported.

Elorza unveils local food grant program

Mayor Jorge Elorza announced Wednesday the launch of a Healthy Food Access Grant program to provide funding for ideas aimed at improving access to healthy local foods, according to a press release from the Mayor’s Office.

““Providence is poised to take advantage of the changing way we eat, buy and distribute food in the region and beyond,” Elorza said in the press release, adding that people and businesses with ideas to help improve the production and consumption of local foods should apply to the program for funding.

A proposal must request at least $25,000 in funding, and a total of $125,000 is available, according to the press release. Project applications are due Nov. 30.

The “Food on the Move” mobile produce market program is in the process of expanding the number of markets. A U.S. Department of Agriculture grant is allowing Rhode Islanders participating in the government’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program to have their food stamps matched one-for-one at the mobile markets.