School closing a 'bitter pill' no matter what you do

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There was nothing bittersweet about the party Friday afternoon and evening at John Wickes School. It was all bitter.

That’s not to say kids didn’t have fun doing interpretative dancing to the booming music in the all-purpose room, getting their faces painted or mugging for their photos with plenty of props at the photo booth. And there was nothing bitter to the fond memories shared by many who had attended the elementary school. Some, in fact, were students when the school opened in 1955. Darius Goff was mayor then, and Warwick was on the verge of its rapid growth as the population moved to the suburbs was a city of 53,000 residents. Today, it has more than 82,000.

But there was no escaping that closing a neighborhood school is difficult – it’s bitter. There’s no way of sugarcoating it. If it’s any consolation, Wickes is not alone. When schools close on June 20, Wickes, Randall Holden and John Brown Francis Schools won’t be reopening in September. Wickes and Holden will be shuttered. JBF will be re-purposed as the Early Childhood Center that is presently located at Drum Rock that is part of the Robert Shapiro Toll Gate Complex. Drum Rock will be re-purposed by the Warwick Area Career and Technical Center, which is also part of the complex, for its programs.

Roy Costa, principal at Wickes since 1999, was not good at hiding the loss he feels, although he put on a happy face to greet students, families and visitors during the four-hour event. He welled up as he headed down an empty corridor to his office, words to describe his feelings impossible to find. Costa has been offered the principal’s job at Greenwood, where some of the Wickes students will go. In all, Wickes students will be divided between six schools.

All elementary schools will go through a transition in the coming academic year, as they become K through 5th grade schools. Sixth graders will be housed in what are now the city’s two junior high schools – Vets and Winman – that will transform into middle schools housing grades 6, 7 and 8.

Friday evening’s open house was a reunion for some and an occasion to reminisce. Roberta Herchen related how she was a first grader at the school when it opened; she was joined by Glena Topp and Diane Perreault, who likewise attended Wickes in the early days. They traded names of teachers – they all could remember them – and talked about walking to school through the woods from Buttonwoods. They also walked home for lunch.

Ironically, in one way or another, they all ended up working in education. Topp became a teachers’ assistant; before retiring, Herchen was a teacher in Johnston and Perreault spent 14 years as the secretary to the principal at Wickes.

Herchen said Wickes hasn’t changed that much in all the years. The only addition was the all-purpose room that required a portion of the auditorium to create a corridor to the room. It’s still a solid building in spite of its age. But that’s not determining the school’s future.

With declining student enrollment across the city, consolidation is hardly new. This time it is Wickes, Randall Holden and JBF and there’s no escaping the loss being felt, although it was the adults, more than the students, who were talking about it Friday.

Costa summed up the end of an era for Wickes in a letter to parents, faculty and students.

“This is not the end but the beginning of a new, scary and exciting chapter in all our lives,” Costa wrote.

Then quoting Walt Disney, Costa, renowned for his love of Mickey Mouse, added, “Goodbye may seem forever. Farewell is like the end, but in my heart is the memory, and there you will always be.”

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richardcorrente

Closing more schools is a tragedy. Our population is decreasing every day. Cranston is now the second most populated city while Warwick has fallen to third for the first time ever. Warwick NEEDS to increase our number of taxpayers. The Corrente Plan offers many suggestions. If any reader has one or more to offer please make it known in these comments.

Thank you.

Happy Summer everyone

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Tuesday, June 5
Scal1024

Translation to the above comment...

"Yes please give me your ideas...after 4 years and literally burning $40,000 in campaign money I need all the help I can get.

Thank you

Happy summer everyone

The tax delinquent fake mayor

Tuesday, June 5
Justanidiot

Scal1024, you mean the mayer needs more ideas than lower taxes and increase services?

That might put a strain on his campaign.

Wednesday, June 6
CrickeeRaven

Justanidiot:

Well, he certainly isn't sparing any effort to keep writing false statements, like this one: " Warwick has fallen to third for the first time ever."

This is false. A recent Beacon article on the changes in Warwick's and Cranston's population -- which, of course, the make-believe mayor tried to dispute with fake numbers -- explained that Cranston had a higher population in 1950, and here I'll quote that article: "when Cranston had an estimated population of 55,060 and Warwick had 43,028. Warwick surpassed Cranston as of the 1960 census with 68,504 residents to Cranston’s 66,766."

So no, this is not the "first time ever" that Warwick has been listed behind Cranston in the state's population list.

Given how much effort he puts into being wrong, the make-believe mayor clearly has no capacity left to offer anything approaching legitimate ideas -- which is why, as Scal correctly points out, he is reduced to begging other people for theirs. And as Scal rightly pointed out in another comment, the make-believe mayor is the candidate, so -- despite what he seems to believe -- the burden is on him to justify and defend his plans, not on other people to simply accept them.

Wednesday, June 6
Scal1024

I stand corrected JustanIdiot. The fake mayors platform of cut taxes, cut spending, increase services is probably all it takes. The fake mayor always raves about his showing last election. As usual its never supported by any facts. Now I will admit in 2004 Michael Woods spent a ridiculous $99,000 for just over 10,000 votes. However, he also didn't run for over 2 years (as Corrente has with illegal signs everywhere. Here is the fair comparison:

(Source: Warwick Post 11/8/16

Headline: Avedisian dispatches another opponent, Defeats Corrente by 2-1 margin)

2016

Rick Corrente= nearly $42,000 in loans on his campaign

Avedisian total votes 24,300

Corrente total votes= 13,278

Avedisian WINS OVER CORRENTE

Keep in mind this was an outsiders year in the General Election and Corrente still got thumped.

2002

Raleigh Jenkins spent $2,095

Avedisians total votes= 24,992

Jenkins total votes= 6,521

Pretty good value from Mr. Jenkins who ran a fiscally disciplined campaign. Thats not a typo he spent nothing compared to Corrente, with much less time campaigning and took home half the votes for MUCH LESS than half the $$$.

2006

Donald Torres spent about $20,000

Avedisian total votes= 24,595

Torres total votes= 11,676

Donald Torres spent half the $ Rick Corrente did, he didn't run his campaign for over 2 years and he was under a 2,000 voter difference with the tax delinquent Corrente.

When the lying, tax delinquent, fake mayor Corrente claims this overwhelming support he's had for almost 4 years now HE'S LYING!!! Looking at past elections shows us he's right in line, if not worse, than other candidates of the past. The biggest difference is HE SPENT 20X as much as Raleigh Jenkins ($2,095), DOUBLE what Donald Torres spent (around $20,000) and Correntes been running TWICE AS LONG. How can Donald Torres spend $20,000 for 11,500 votes, and yet it took Corrente almost $42,000 and 2 years for 13,200 votes. If a candidate can spend so much money, with such little results...what do you think his departments spending habits would be? Where did the $ go if his campaign office isn't being charged rent? $42,000 is alot of $ to have ZERO to show for it. Looking at Correntes tax delinquency, foreclosure and campaign spending it is enough to DISQUALIFY HIM AS A CANDIDATE. This failing campaign will continue to burn money, and cash bounced donor checks, and lie to voters. Will the fake mayor have a response? Or will he begin commenting on other stories and avoid his tax delinquency, foreclosure and campaign spending some more?

Wednesday, June 6
CrickeeRaven

Scal, allow me to offer a little more information that puts the make-believe mayor's loss in 2016 into even more context:

Here is the link to the Board of Elections voter registration totals for 2016: http://www.elections.ri.gov/publications/Election_Publications/Voter_Registration/10-09-16_RI_VR_TOTALS.pdf

Warwick is on page 8. There, you'll see that there were 20,124 registered Democratic voters, 7,705 Republicans, and 30,703 unaffiliated, so about 58,500. Of those, 40,501 voted in the mayor's race, as shown at this link from the Board of Elections: https://www.ri.gov/election/results/2016/general_election/warwick/

Mayor Avedisian took 26,281 votes, or 64.89% of those voters, while the make-believe mayor received 14,086, or 34.78%. More to the point, his vote total represents 24% of all major party and unaffiliated voters in Warwick.

And yet, as you correctly point out, the make-believe mayor has repeatedly claimed some type of victory -- and, more egregiously, claimed that he represents "80,000 taxpayers" -- after getting barely more than 1 out of 3 votes cast and fewer than 1 in 4 of major party and unaffiliated voters.

For all of his self-described campaigning -- which is a vague term that he has never specifically defined; he could be counting his numerous comments on this site as "campaigning" -- and all the money he spent, this result was, by any objective measure, a complete and utter failure.

Wednesday, June 6
richardcorrente

Dear Scal and Justanidiot,

The part of your comments that said you felt that I need "all the help I can get" is accurate. If you have an idea that will help Warwick "Cut Taxes - Cut Spending" I truly want to hear it. I always will. Any good Mayor needs "all the help he/she can get".

If, as in the case of Scal, all you want to do is complain, condemn and criticize, without offering any alternative plans you should just go away. I challenged Scal and others on many occasions to come up with "a better plan" than the many ideas I have offered in "the Corrente Plan", but so far he hasn't been able to offer anything, better, worse or equal. I welcome constructive criticism. Scal only gives destructive criticism. He is totally counter-productive and since he can't think of anything better, I guess he will have to admit that my ideas are best.

Happy Summer everyone.

Rick Corrente

The Taxpayers Mayor

Wednesday, June 6
CrickeeRaven

Well, look at that, Scal: More complaining, condemning, and criticizing from the make-believe mayor -- the exact same thing he accuses others of doing. He just can not restrain himself from acting like a fool and a hypocrite, can he?

And when he complains about "challenging" others to propose "better plans," he is clearly ignoring the best plan that we and thousands of honest, taxpaying taxpayers are all working toward: Rejecting his candidacy again this year. None of his vague proposals will change that inevitable and welcome result.

Wednesday, June 6
Scal1024

I would direct readers on this site to search an article from: May 17th 2018,

Headline: "Beach fees on hold this summer"

KEEP IN MIND I'M NOT RUNNING FOR MAYOR...

Readers will see in the comments I recommended freezing COLAS (cost of living adjustments) for ALL city employees.

Discussed capping pensions at 150% of the median household income until pensions are solvent. The $ gained from freezing COLAS will go back toward funding OPED and properly funding pensions

I said I'd ask all city workers (wfd exempt due to health risks) to contribute more toward health insurance. If a plan is $30,000 and a worker is paying 10-20% of their health insurance who is covering the rest? Taxpayers.

I would look at wellness programs with WFD as ways to reduce health insurance costs.

Recommended every city department submit budgets with 5 and 10% savings in order to see what IS NEEDED AND WHAT IS NOT. Savings derived from department savings can begin to fund OPED (keep in mind it is 0% funded today) any amount to begin to fund the program would be worth it.

I am not running for mayor. Rick Corrente is. Why is it he can't tell taxpayers how he'll pay for things? Or where the $ comes from? Its because he doesn't know. This man has had 4 years to come up with the answers and he has NOTHING. He won't cut your taxes and he won't cut spending because if he knew how HE WOULD'VE TOLD YOU ALREADY. New taxpayers aren't moving here day 1. You need $ upfront.

Rick claimed I've never shared better ideas. I've shared plenty of better ideas, he's just afraid to engage in debate because he knows he would get embarassed. As he does weekly by the MANY commenters who oppose his failing campaign. Where is the support Rick? If your message is resonating why hasn't 1 person spoke in your favor? It's because they know better than voting for an ill informed, lying, tax delinquent, fraud candidate.

Where does the money come from Rick? You don't know so I'm sure you'll continue to attack me. Attacking me doesn't change your tax delinquency, just like attacking Wells Fargo doesn't change your foreclosure. Myself and THOUSANDS of Warwick voters will continue to take a pass on this FRAUD.

Wednesday, June 6
CrickeeRaven

Scal, maybe you remember this quote from the make-believe mayor:

"I’d rather die than have anyone successfully attack my character.”

It's from this article about the campaign finance complaint against him: http://warwickonline.com/stories/city-gop-files-complaint-on-corrente-candidate-argues-no-wrong-doing,132451?#comments

Even this comment -- characteristically pathetic as it is -- is also a lie. His own behavior on this website proves that he would rather repeat false statements, bully other commenters, and whine about the use of screen names on a website he is using for free political advertising when people point out the complete absence of fact on his statement.

And that's aside from the level of desperation in that comment, which is blatantly obvious.

I can not wait until we and our honest, taxpaying neighbors get to reject his candidacy again.

Wednesday, June 6
Scal1024

I'll find the exact reference date Crickee but he was also quoted talking about how he learned to campaign on how he'd govern not attack others. Meanwhile, he claimed he knew more about schools than Scott Avedisian because he had a family and went to soccer games. Not to mention his pathetic attempts to attack acting Mayor Solomon, especially when he was Council President Solomon Corrente praised him and the Council as the best Warwick has ever had. Clearly there is no end to this mans hypocrisy, or end to how low he'll try and go to gain votes. Luckily voters see through this lying, tax delinquent fraud, who can't answer simple questions about his empty platform.

Wednesday, June 6
CrickeeRaven

I think these are the articles you're referencing, Scal:

- First, here's the Dec. 5, 2017 article where he said "he follows the advice given him by Ward 8 Councilman Joseph Gallucci not to run against someone, but rather to base one’s campaign on what you would do if elected."

http://warwickonline.com/stories/corrente-in-race-for-mayor-again,129946?#comments

The Beacon also reported that "a gathering of 15" attended his announcement.

- And here's the May 17, 2016 article where he said "The mayor doesn’t know what it’s like to have a wife,” and, according to the Beacon, added "that he would bring a 'family lifestyle' to City Hall."

http://warwickonline.com/stories/corrente-vows-to-cut-taxes-criticizes-avedisian-at-headquarters-opening,112694?#comments

[Two years later, we have a very clear picture of what the make-believe mayor meant by "family lifestyle:" blatant lies, complaints over how other people use this website, calling names and making false accusations against elected officials, shady campaign finance activities, tax delinquencies, no concept of how to pay for his vague "plans," insistence that people believe him because of a delusional image he has of himself, and repetition of false statements long after they've been thoroughly disproven. I don't know about you, but I think that's not the "family lifestyle" that we need at City Hall.]

It was also in the earlier article that the Beacon reported "about 25 people were in attendance" at the make-believe mayor's first campaign kickoff whereas the Beacon also reported in 2017 that "a gathering of 15" attended his announcement.

This means he had even fewer people at his announcement for the 2018 campaign than the earlier one -- and proves that what little support he ever had is actually dwindling instead of [as he falsely claims] growing.

Like you, I have every expectation that our honest, taxpaying neighbors see through his lies and fully understand that he is not fit to hold any office because of his continued efforts to mislead them.

I should also say, given your very detailed platform, that I would cast a write-in vote for you over the make-believe mayor. In fact, since Joe Solomon will easily win election, I would say that you should start a write-in campaign in the make-believe mayor's voting ward [Council Ward 5] to see how many more votes you could redirect away from the make-believe mayor.

Write In Scal1025 for Mayor 2018!

Thursday, June 7
CrickeeRaven

Haha, oops.... Scal1024.

Thursday, June 7
Scal1024

Crickee, thank you very much for the kind comments. Like you I can clearly see what "family lifestyle" the fake mayor would bring to city hall. A lifesyle that includes not paying taxes on time, losing a home to foreclosure as well as cashing bounced campaign donor checks. I applaud the work you do as well and would certainly write your name in over the fake mayor any day. I can't wait until Corrente suffers ANOTHER EMBARRASING LOSS after running for almost 4 years. Taxpayers, voters and ANYONE ELSE who seeks REAL SOLUTIONS to Warwicks problems will choose a serious candidate.

Again thanks for the kind words and keep up all of your great work, its clearly having an effect on the lying, ill informed, tax delinquent fake mayor.

Thursday, June 7
Scal1024

Crickee, thank you very much for the kind comments. Like you I can clearly see what "family lifestyle" the fake mayor would bring to city hall. A lifesyle that includes not paying taxes on time, losing a home to foreclosure as well as cashing bounced campaign donor checks. I applaud the work you do as well and would certainly write your name in over the fake mayor any day. I can't wait until Corrente suffers ANOTHER EMBARRASING LOSS after running for almost 4 years. Taxpayers, voters and ANYONE ELSE who seeks REAL SOLUTIONS to Warwicks problems will choose a serious candidate.

Again thanks for the kind words and keep up all of your great work, its clearly having an effect on the lying, ill informed, tax delinquent fake mayor.

Thursday, June 7
CrickeeRaven

Thank you, Scal. If our comments do nothing else, we have shown the make-believe mayor that voters in Warwick are not as stupid and gullible as he thinks they are, that facts are no less credible because they are provided by online commenters, and that he is solely responsible for the overwhelming rejection that he is about to receive again from Warwick voters.

Of course, he has also shown an unlimited ability to deny, deflect, dissemble, and delude himself [he's not the only one who knows alliteration], so it remains highly unlikely that he will change his opinions or beliefs.

And thanks for offering the write-in vote; I defer, however, so as not to set up a Beacon Commenter Primary, LOL.

Thursday, June 7