Monday, April 29, 2013
Bristol esident Peter Hewett weighs in on the fight against tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge.
To the Editor: I continue to be strongly opposed to establishing tolls of any amount on the Sakonnet Bridge. Tolling is neither necessary nor reasonable. It is less than a courageous reach for a quick and easy supplemental revenue source by our governor and General Assembly and a shirking of their responsibilities to ensure that the Department of Transportation is adequately funded to maintain our state's infrastructure. Nor is there, in my opinion, any compelling reason why the existing tolls on the Pell Bridge need to be increased. In fact, if our elected representatives had the courage to do their jobs honorably, without always seemingly focused myopically on re-election, those tolls could be reduced, which would benefit everyone …
Rhode Island legislators approved same-sex marriage and heard bills on stopping Sakonnet Bridge tolls last week.
For more information on any of these reports, visit http://www.rilin.state.ri.us/News/ Senate approves same-sex marriage bill In a 26-12 vote, the Senate approved legislation allowing same-sex couples to marry in Rhode Island, effective Aug. 1. The bills (2013-S 0038A, 2013-H 5015B), sponsored by Sen. Donna M. Nesselbush (D-Dist. 15, Pawtucket, North Providence) and Rep. Arthur Handy (D-Dist. 18, Cranston), still have to clear an additional House vote before they can be sent to the governor. That vote is tentatively expected Thursday, following a Judiciary Committee vote on Tuesday. Both Republican Senators representing Bristol voted in favor of the measure, while Democratic Sen. Walter Felag voted "no." Click here to see news release. …
Wednesday, April 24, 2013
Here's everything you need to know about tomorrow's scheduled House Finance Committee meeting. An anti-toll rally is scheduled for noon.
Are you headed to the State House for tomorrow's hearings on bridge tolls? Here's everything you need to know before you leave the door. The Basics Two bills dealing with bridge tolls are scheduled today for a hearing: 2013-H 5137 and 2013-H 5644. Both would repeal the transfer of authority for the Sakonnet River Bridge and the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge from the Department of Transportation to the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority. Residents are being urged to attend a rally at noon today, before the bills are heard in committee. The House Finance Committee is scheduled to take up the bills at 1 pm. An identical Senate bill, 2013-S 0020, has been introduced by Sen. Walter S. Felag Jr. (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton…
Tuesday, April 23, 2013
The Portsmouth Town Council will file a lawsuit against several defendants, including the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority.
The Portsmouth Town Council announced it will file a lawsuit against several defendants, including the state's Department of Transportation director and the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, in response to proposed bridge tolls on the new Sakonnet River Bridge. The council voted unanimously Monday night to file a complaint in U.S. District Court in an effort to stop tolls, reports The Sakonnet Times. The complaint to be filed is attached in its entirety at right as a pdf. The complaint accuses the RITBA and Michael Lewis, director of the DOT, of violating the Federal-Aid Highway Act and the National Environmental Policy Act. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted to establish toll rates last Wednesday despite …
Wednesday, April 17, 2013
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority voted to establish tolling rates today the Sakonnet River Bridge.
Tolls are expected to be in place on the Sakonnet River Bridge by July, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority chairman said following the board's meeting held this morning to establish toll rates. Drivers with a Rhode Island E-Z Pass transponder will pay 75 cents to cross the Sakonnet River. Drivers with out-of-state transponders will pay $3.75 per trip and travelers without an E-Z Pass transponder will be billed $5.25 per trip. "For the first time we will be offering a discount for people driving back and forth more than once a day," said David Darlington, RITBA chairman in an interview after the RITBA meeting in Jamestown on Wednesday. For local drivers, regardless of the number of trips over the Sakonnet River Bridge in a …
Monday, April 8, 2013
What were your thoughts on the bridge toll workshops held Saturday in Portsmouth?
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority hel two bridge toll workshops on Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center. Many local residents attended the hearing to voice their opinions on a plan to transfer ownership of the Sakonnet River Bridge and add bridge tolls to the bridge, which spans Portsmouth and Tiverton. Did you attend the toll workshop? What were your thoughts? Should there be more workshops? Tell us your thoughts in the comment section below!
Thursday, April 4, 2013
Rep. Gallison says the Turnpike and Bridge Authority should give the public more chances to oppose bridge tolls.
Rep. Raymond Gallison (D-Dist. 69, Bristol and Portsmouth) says the fight against bridge tolls is "certainly not over" and more workshops should be held. The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two bridge toll workshops this Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center. The first workshop is scheduled from 9 am to noon. The second workshop will be held from 1 to 3 pm. Gallison released the following statement on Wednesday in response to the workshops being scheduled. Chairman Dalington can say that Saturday's workshops may be the only opportunity for East Bay, Aquidneck Island and Southcoast residents to comment on the toll rates but he doesn't set the policies and laws for the State of Rhode Island …
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two toll workshops this Saturday in Portsmouth.
The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority will hold two bridge toll workshops this Saturday at the Roger Williams University Conference Center, reports The Sakonnet Times. The first workshop will be held from 9 a.m. to noon. The second workshop will be held from 1 to 3 p.m. All residents are encouraged to attend these meetings.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Tiverton Roger A. Bennis writes that new tolls would be 'robbing Peter to pay Paul' — placing a burden on Sakonnet Bridge travelers to benefit users of three other local bridges.
Wednesday, March 27
To the Editor: I have followed the news articles on the hardships that the Sakonnet Bridge Tolls would have upon businesses and people traveling to and from Aquidneck Island, and found them to be both an interesting foray into normally unexplored regions of investigative reporting, and a lack of understanding of the total impact of the proposed toll. While it is interesting to investigate the hardships that the toll would impose, it should also be recognized that tolls in general are a tax burden that, like all tax burdens, will be a hardship upon many people. All taxes should be investigated to determine if benefits justify the hardships; or more accurately if benefits and the spread of benefits to recipients - justify hardships and …
Thursday, February 14, 2013
Two East Bay legislators proposed halting Gov. Chafee's plan to create a $10 million fund to help cities and towns with their pension costs — a move Chafee opposes.
Two East Bay legislators on Wednesday announced a way to make up part of an estimated $17 million shortfall in bridge upkeep costs that will occur once the Sakonnet and Jamestown Bridges are turned over to the Rhode Island Bridge and Turnpike Authority. Sen. Walter Felag (D-Dist. 10, Warren, Bristol, Tiverton) and Rep. John Edwards (D-Dist. 70, Portsmouth, Tiverton) proposed halting Gov. Lincoln Chafee's plan to create a Municipal Incentive Aid program with $10 million in state funds in the fiscal 2014 budget year. Even with the proposal, RIBTA would still fall $7 million short of its estimated maintenance costs; Sen. Louis DiPalma (D–Dist. 12, Middletown, Little Compton, Newport, Tiverton) recently estimated that the four East Bay …