Month: May 2013

Cluck! Gets it’s variance!

I may or may not have written about the urban farm supply store called Cluck! in the past.

This evening I attended a Zoning Board of Review hearing to see if Cluck! would get the required variance.

It’s an interesting process that I’m glad I witnessed. I can see myself having to get variances for properties that I’ll purchase in the future. So it’s good to know the process.

The hearing was interesting as the support for Cluck! was overwhelming. People testified that since Cluck! moved in they’ve seen a decrease in the vandalism of the facility, as well as enjoying the improvements made to the property.

Only one real point of opposition was registered by a gentleman who owns 272 Broadway. Now 272 Broadway is some FOUR blocks away from Cluck! The average block spans about 100 feet so that would be 400 feet away. The abutting rule says 200 feet. Sorry, they lose by 200 feet.

Anyhow the gentleman stated that having chickens around would attract mice and rats. I chuckled at that part because the reality is that chickens mostly attract foxes. And foxes love to eat mice, rats and chickens.

Not to mention that the neighborhood now has a fairly hefty population of chickens since it’s now completely legal to own chickens in the city of Providence.

There were some conditions for the variance  that included:1) Only three chickens, no roosters on the property. I can see this one getting challenged on the part of Cluck! because as the birds age, and they are social creatures, you introduce another to the  brood.

2) That all live chicks will be pre-ordered and then picked up. None kept overnight.

3) That on Sundays the shop opens at 12:00PM.

Congratulations Minnesota!

Now the Senate has approved equality and it’s on to the Governor’s desk for signing into law. Marriage equality that is. The State of Minnesota becomes the 12th state in the nation, behind Rhode Island and Delaware in granting full equality to all it’s citizens in matters concerning marriage.

It’s a fascinating time. For example, I never thought we’d see equality come to Rhode Island but it did. And then Delaware and now Minnesota! Three states in ten days. How’s that for something that will leave the bigots smarting. And as well they should all have a major case of the sadz! I want to see Brian Brown with tears in his eyes because his bigoted view of the world is rapidly become archaic.


I Attended TEDx Providence 2013

I have watched a ton of TED videos online. So when I heard that a TEDx (The x means it’s independently organized) presentation was going on in Providence and I had a discount code for it, I signed up the other day.


I must say – the program was broken into three main areas, Social Enterprise, Food, and Art & Craftsmanship. In all there were some thought provoking ideas brought forward.

Having a bit of a hard time saying which presentation really caught my attention since all of them did.

I must say though – the presentation had 3 videos that are pulled directly off the TED site above. Okay, they needed to fill time. The speakers were, for the most part, very local.

For example we heard a talk by Umberto Crenca – one of the founding member of AS220, RI’s art leader. His story started with an amusing take on his early career in the art scene and included one critics rough assessment of Mr. Crenca’s work.

Then of course there was the talk done by Rick Benjamin, RI’s Official Poet to speak. Very thought provoking speech on poetry. Gives one a greater appreciation of the art and it’s ability to stimulate the mind, the heart and the soul.

Then we heard from Davide Dukcevich, 3rd generation at Daniele, Inc.

The history of Daniele  is very interesting, the family fled Yugoslavia into Italy and there began doing some Italian favorites. Then in 1976 they brought the whole thing to the U.S. and it’s made here in RI.

And then Barnaby Evans, the creator of WaterFire gave his speech. It was an amusing speech as he traced his childhood of building little green spaces with sticks and stones in essence, and creating little rivers by diverting downspouts. Then he explained the fascination with fire, the symbolism of death and rebirth inherent. I must say, I’m still captured by the WaterFire spirit, it’s very ethereal. I like it the later it gets when the crowd thins out.

In the Social Enterprise side we had a talk by Angela Jackson on teaching kids foreign languages like Arabic and Chinese and how it broadens their horizons. I know my high school Spanish opened my eyes to quite a bit. Three years of it I can’t really speak or understand it because I don’t use it. But I can read it. Weird.

Like I said, lots of interesting talks. Makes me want to see the whole weekend long one in California now.

Congratulations Delaware

I see you now have marriage equality too. Isn’t it grand! The bigots tried to derail it and failed miserably.

So now you join #10 Rhode Island. Isn’t it fantastic being #11? Only 39 to go now.


Details on my recent correspondence with Rev. John Codega

So I sent this:

Hey John, I’m sure you know that marriage equality is now law in RI. About time too! I’m dismayed by the Bishop’s recent screed though. You all fought an interesting if redundant fight that exposed the root of anti-gay animus.

To which he responded:

“antti-gay animus”? You know Tony, I don’t get it.  I have never heard Bishop Tobin or anyone one who truly represents the Church (there are fanatics on both sides of the debate) say anything negative or derogatory about  the gay community.  Yet, including your own comments, some have have been extremely offensive, insulting, berating, hateful and accusatorial to the faith community. To me this exposes out of touch with reality and lack of truth put forward in the same-sex marriage debate proposed by the advocates. Give credit where credit is due – it worked!
Emotions trumped logic and threats and lies overshadowed truth.

Speaker Fox summed it up when he said, finally the State of Rode Island says his relationship to his partner is worth something.  How sad.  I sincerely hope a piece of paper issued by the government brings peace to couples seeking peace, though I doubt their personal struggles can be legislated to be whole again.

As always, I wish you well

Rev John Codega

And I shot back with:

Well John, It isn’t so much that he comes right out and says it, but rather says things like how attending same sex weddings could put their faith in jeopardy, etc. I’m paraphrasing but coming from a Catholic background I know how to read between the lines. And yes, I’ve made some comments that won’t sit well with those who espouse a paradigm that is essentially bigotry. But it had to be said.

It is however water under the bridge at this time because civil law trumps religious doctrine.


No response after my reply but if any I’ll update this post.

More on the Rev. Codega correspondence

So I sent the Rev. Codega and email that I was happy that marriage equality finally passed and how I guessed the anti-gay animus of the Catholic church didn’t hold.

He of course counters that there’s any animus including in what Bishop of Asshatedness Tobin had to say recently when he warned his flock of sheep that attending gay nuptials could endanger their faith.

Despite what Codega maintains – it’s animus.

2013 Is Turning Out to be Very Remarkable

Over the past year or so we’ve seen all sorts of progress. From the elections in 2012 where anti-gay discrimination was beat back in three states, and a horrid anti-gay law was walked back in one of the states.

Then of course we saw President Obama and even Vice President Biden come out swinging in support of marriage equality. It’s funny – in June of last year I attended the NetRoots Nation gathering here in Providence. I’ll probably hit the gatherings on election years since it’s a more charged atmosphere. At one of the LGBT meetings they handed out a proclamation from President Obama’s team acknowledging the LGBT community. That was interesting.

Then here in RI the stars aligned and yesterday Governor Lincoln Chafee signed marriage equality into law.

And I see that the bleating has already begun on how we’ll be persecuting the believers etc.

But the Rhode Island victory is notable for the fact that we were able to beat back the Catholic Church and the bigots that surround it. That proves to me that the Catholic hierarchy is VERY disconnected from it’s congregants.

And we’ve certainly heard from Asshat Tobin and now even Christopher Plante that  in the former case is telling congregants to avoid gay weddings because it could put their faith in danger, and Plante has a major case of the sadz too. Aww too bad. And you can’t do a mother fucking thing about it. It’s law and will stay that way for some time.

And the bigot cavalcade starts up again in RI

Now that equality is the law in Rhode Island I note certain bigots just can’t let it sit. Oh no – the day before the historic vote and signing of the marriage equality bill, Asshat Thomas Tobin, bishop of the Diocese of Providence told Catholics they shouldn’t go to gay weddings, or support or recognize them.

I note that MassRestance’s top two articles are titled

Rhode Island Legislature votes for “gay marriage” after two “pro-family” Senators cave during Judiciary Committee vote.


Analysis: What really happened — how the marriage battle in Rhode Island was lost

Then I hear talk radio is seething with bigotry today. I don’t even have to listen in to know that talk radio has now become a cesspool of hate. Be it for President Obama, The Health Care Reform Act, or the Marriage Equality Act here in RI, they’ll spew hate like it’s a virtue.

It’s all par for the course but I think we’re going to see the rhetoric coarsen. It’ll lay bare the anti-gay animus that motivates every one of these hate groups, SPLC hate group tagged or not. I suspect the folks at the SPLC are going to be increasingly busier in the coming months and years as the root is exposed in all these groups.

Just goes to show that the bigots won’t stop. They can’t, because the basis of their animus is a thing called emotivism or what I colloquially call the ‘ick’ factor. They get grossed out, terrified and angry when thinking what two men or two women can get up to sexually. It’s pretty easy to spot. Look at Porno Petey LaBarbera, or Bryan Fischer, Peter Sprigg, Pastor Ted Haggard, Tony Perkins; the whole lot of them. All of them likely have a spot of sugar in the tank.

And I note that here in RI NOM has pretty much given up. I know their director Christopher Plante suffered a health issue but the thing is, an effective organization doesn’t dry up when their leader drops out of the picture. Good leadership dictates you train your people to take up the reigns at any moment. Interestingly NOM both locally and nationally lacks that ability.

Little RI is going to be used as the latest template by the bigots in what went wrong in NOM’s and the Churches little anti-gay campaign. But the thing is, the bigots will completely miss the message. The stars finally aligned in Rhode Island. And there’s no way they’re going to be able to repeal it here.