Zoning Board Hears Appeal on 1292 Westminster – May 8, 2018

TOMORROWMay 9 at 5:30pm444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor

The Zoning Board of Review will hear an appeal tomorrow brought forward by a neighbor against the decision of the City Plan Commission (CPC) to grant Preliminary Plan Approval for a proposed development at 1292 Westminster.

The CPC’s decision made at its February meeting included the granting of waivers from submission of all required plans for state approvals as well as a reduction in required parking. There are conditions for these approvals such as allowing a lien on the property at 334 Carpenter for parking assurances for 1292 Westminster and several others (see February CPC minutes for details).

While the Zoning Board of Review is not scheduled to hear public testimony on May 9, it makes an impact to have a crowd of stakeholders present at the meeting. Neighbors are encouraged to attend and, if possible, make your opinion known silently by holding signs that reflect your concerns & opposition.

For background on this issue including related articles, documents, and design plans, click here.

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Details of Zoning Board of Review/Appeals Meeting 
What: Appeal of City Plan Commission decision granting Preliminary Plan Approval for 1292 Westminster Street
When: Wednesday, May 9, 2018, at 5:30pm
Where: 444 Westminster Street, 1st Floor Conference Room (Joseph A. Doorley, Jr. Municipal Building)

Rendering of proposed five story development at 1292 Westminster, northwest view (ZDS Architects)

SustainPVD Fair to be held May 19th — Now Seeking Exhibitors! – May 2018

Building off the success of last year’s Community Energy Fair, the Office of Sustainability is once again partnering with the Rhode Island Sierra Club, People’s Power & Light, and others to host this year’s SustainPVD Fair.

Events will include the Compost WorkshopRain Barrel Workshop, information on how to reduce waste and make your home more energy efficient, and how to go solar. There will also be a special workshop hosted by the Racial and Environmental Justice Committee to learn about Energy Democracy and the City’s goal to become carbon neutral by 2050. This community event will be family friendly and include free food and music.

We are looking for vendors to complete the event with interactive exhibits. Attendees will be guided through the event with volunteers and a worksheet to help them take in all the information and encourage them to engage with vendors. Apply via this form by April 30th. Space is limited and preference will be given to those who demonstrate creative and active displays, as well as those who can provide information in Spanish. The goal of the event is for participants to walk away with resources and information to help them take action in their home, at work, and throughout their community to help make Providence greener and healthier.

Please email any questions to SustainPVD@ProvidenceRI.gov.

Apply Here!

West Broadway Neighborhood Association Newsletter – March 29, 2018

Improvements to Dexter Training Ground 
This Tuesday, April 3, 6pm, at West Broadway Middle School

What do you most want to see improved in Dexter Training Ground? Share your ideas or just listen in at our April Neighborhood Nights event, which features a presentation by the Providence Parks Department and WBNA’s West Side Parks Committee about potential repairs and improvements coming this year to the park. Neighbor input is welcome and encouraged.

After the Parks presentation, stay and check out one of our neighbor-led committees from 7-8pm. Committee highlights include a presentation about the 46-story Fane building being proposed for the I-195 corridor at our CDC, discussion of summer/fall Armory tours at Armory Advocacy, & planning the ever-fun Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale at Programs & Events. Summaries of all April committee meetings here.

Neighborhood Nights monthly gatherings include free food, childcare, and Spanish translation. ALL ARE WELCOME.

Read More…

Want Your Street Cleaned?
WBNA’s Annual Spring Cleanup relies on the organizing power of street captains. Street captains are neighbors like you who help organize the clean up of the street they live on and work with fellow volunteers during Cleanup day. Make a difference on YOUR street and beyond while getting to know your neighbors. It’s fun, easy, and we even throw a party for you!

Cleanup, Greenup & 29 Trees!
Time for spring cleaning across the neighborhood during the 35th Annual Spring Cleanup & Greenupon Sat, April 28! Cleanup Day includes Kids Zone activities and a tree planting of 29 trees around Dexter Training Ground, as well as our annual free cookout for all volunteers! Make a great and visible impact on the neighborhood while getting to know your neighbors.

More WBNA News

Community News

Upcoming Events

Please visit the WBNA Calendar for these events and more. 

  • Apr 3WBNA Neighborhood Nights: General Meeting (Parks Dept Presentation on Improvements to Dexter/Armory Park) + All Committee Meetings
  • Apr 28: 35th Annual Neighborhood Spring Cleanup
  • May 1WBNA Neighborhood Nights: General Meeting (NeighborWorksRI presentation) + All Committee Meetings
  • May 19: Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale

Get Ready for the Census Complete Count Test at Providence Community Library!

Every ten years, the Federal Government makes a complete count of everyone in the United States.  The U.S. Census aims to count the entire population at the location where each person usually lives. The next census is due in 2020.    


Providence County Leads the Way!

Providence County is the national test site for the 2020 census.  Starting this month, Providence Community Library will assist the U.S. Census Bureau and the City of Providence to test operations and procedures for gathering information during the 2020 census. The goal of the test is to count everyone once, only once, and in the right place. Providence County will help fine tune the model that will be rolled out nationwide in 2020. All people in Providence County, including college students, who are resident on Census Test Day, April 1, will be included in the Census Complete Count Test.

How to Complete the Test

The Census Complete Count Test questionnaire is available online and you can fill it out on any computer device or smartphone. The questionnaire, which can also be answered by phone or returned by mail, includes ten basic questions about you and your household and takes less than ten minutes to complete.

Completed Returns are Confidential

Returns are protected by law (Title I3 of the U.S. code, Section 9) and are strictly confidential. It is illegal for the U.S.Census Bureau, or its employees, to share personal information with any other government agency, including law enforcement, IRS, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), FBI, Immigration, etc. Census returns are sealed and not available as public documents for 72 years.

Why is it important to get an accurate count in the Census?

Federal funds, grants and support to states, counties and communities are based on population totals and breakdowns by sex, age, race and other factors. Your community benefits the most when the census counts everyone. When you respond to the census, you help your community gets its fair share of the more than $675 billion per year in federal funds spent on schools, hospitals, roads, public works and other vital programs.

Why the Census Matters to our Libraries

Over the last five years, Providence Community Library has received a substantial amount of funding from the US Department of Housing and Urban Development through the City of Providence to support our Spanish GED program and pay for repairs and improvements to our buildings. The availability of that funding depends in part on the accuracy of the US Census. The Census is important to Providence and to PCL!

Help Providence Help You by Completing the Census Test!

When you do the math, it’s easy to see how an accurate count of residents can help the community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. Let’s make the 2018 Complete Census Count Test count for all of us in Providence County. Encourage everyone you know to go online and answer the few questions so the whole country will see the strength and commitment we have to create a better community!


Providence County households have a unique opportunity to help our community and nation get an accurate population count in the 2020 Census. We are the only test site in the U.S. in 2018, and it is exciting to know that we are helping to create the model that the whole country will follow in 2020. Let’s set the bar high for the most complete count possible! The goal is to count every person living in Providence County.

Census Day for the test is April 1, 2018 and Providence County households are able to respond online beginning on March 16. Letters were mailed to households with information about the test and how to respond. For the first time, you will be able to respond to the census online using desktop computers, laptops, smartphones or tablets. You can also respond by phone or on paper.

Your census responses are safe, secure and protected by law. Every Census Bureau employee swears a lifetime oath to protect your information, and could go to jail or be fined up to $250,000 if they violate that oath. It is illegal for the Census Bureau, or its employees, to share your personal information with any other government agency, local law enforcement, IRS, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF), FBI, Immigration, etc. Not even the President of the United States can access your individual responses. Individual records from the Census are sealed for 72 years.

Everyone Counts!
– Children count! Remember to include young children on your census form.
– College students count! College students living in Providence County on April 1 should be counted.
– Citizens and noncitizens alike count! The Constitution requires the census to count every resident in the nation— whether they are citizens or not.
Responding is easy, safe and important. The census test asks just a few questions and takes about 10 minutes to respond.

Why is it important to get an accurate count in the Census? Census data are used in many ways, affecting our daily lives. Some examples include:
– Distribution of more than $675 billion annually in federal funds back to state, local, and tribal governments.
– Redistricting of state legislative districts.
– Forecasting of future transportation needs for all segments of the population.
– Determining areas eligible for housing assistance and rehabilitation loans.
– Assisting federal, tribal, state, and local governments in planning and implementing programs and services and emergency response.
– Designing facilities for people with disabilities, the elderly, and children.

Over the last five years Providence Community Library has received a substantial amount of CDBG funding to support our Spanish GED program and to do major repairs on our libraries. That funding comes from the US Dept. of Housing and Urban Development and what is allocated to Providence in total for CDBG funds is partially dependent on census data. Having the opportunity to impact that funding through encouraging everyone to be counted is exciting to us because we can serve more people!

It is easy to see what an accurate count of residents can do for your community. Better infrastructure. More services. A brighter tomorrow for everyone. Let’s make the 2018 Census Test count for all of us in Providence County, and show our commitment to creating a better community. Encourage everyone you know to respond!


Questions about the Census:

Once you fill out the Census, do you get a confirmation page?

Yes, there is a confirmation page you can print or save as a PDF from the Internet Self Response.

How does the non-response follow up period work on college campuses? How do you reach students who don’t fill out the form?

College dorms are part of the Group Quarters Enumeration (GQE) operation. We will call all GQs during our GQ Advance Contact operation from June 18 to July 10, 2018.  GQ enumeration is planned for July 30 – Aug 24, 2018. The facilities will be able to respond without involving the students, via electronic response data transfer or paper response data collection. We will encourage colleges to assist us in counting the students using data from their records (and preferably electronically) since the data collection is taking place significantly later than reference day.

For off-campus housing in 2018, we will follow the regular non-response follow-up (NRFU) procedures. We understand that students may have left the area by the time NRFU operations begin, but we will do the best we can. (In 2020, we will do Early NRFU in the blocks identified as having off-campus housing, which will start in early April.)

How does the homeless population fill out the Census if they do not receive a home ID number?

We count people experiencing homelessness in our Targeted NonSheltered Outdoor Locations (TNSOL) operation. For 2018, enumerators will visit known outdoor locations in an overnight operation in late July to collect census information from any individuals currently staying there.

Shelters for people experiencing homelessness will be part of the GQE operation. We will call all facilities during our GQ Advance Contact operation from June 18 to July 10, 2018. We will ask questions to determine the best time to conduct the enumeration, how many enumerators and materials we need to send, and to ascertain facility rules, logistics and safety concerns.

Which languages will the Census form/Census marketing materials be available in? Both for the test and the 2020 Census? Can the Census still be filled out in languages not included (e.g. Portuguese)?

The Enumeration instrument is available in Spanish. There are currently no plans for promotional materials.

Will “Jane or John Doe” be permitted on census forms for households concerned about privacy?

Yes, we instruct the enumerators that they can enter nicknames or Person 1, Person 2 etc. if the respondent does not want to provide their real name.

Help Shape WBNA’s Future

WBNA has begun a year-long planning process that will guide our goals and work plans in the neighborhood for the next five years. But this process cannot succeed without your ideas! Through a broad outreach campaign, we hope to learn what our community as a whole cares most about.

Please take 1-2 minutes to complete our Neighbor Survey, and encourage your neighbors to take part, as well! The results of these surveys will be used as the foundation of WBNA’s new strategic plan.

To reach our many neighbors, we are also going door-to-door to hear from the 3000 households in our focus area, and need English speaking and bilingual Spanish speaking volunteers. On April 7 and May 12, two-person teams of neighbors will visit homes on the street where they live to distribute the survey and get neighbor input. Sign up here to volunteer.

WBNA is YOUR neighborhood association, and is relying on your feedback and that of all neighbors to make WBNA’s goals and plans moving forward the best they can be. Thanks for your help!

Read More…


Ayuda a Formar el Futuro de WBNA

WBNA ha comenzado un proceso de planificación de un año que guiará nuestras metas y planes de trabajo en el vecindario durante los próximos cinco años. ¡Pero este proceso no puede tener éxito sin tus ideas! A través de una campaña de promoción, esperamos aprender sobre lo que más le interesa a nuestra comunidad en general.
¡Dedique 1-2 minutos para completar nuestra Encuesta de Vecinos y anime a sus vecinos a participar también! Los resultados de estas encuestas se utilizarán como la base del nuevo plan estratégico de WBNA.

Para llegar a nuestros vecinos, también vamos a ir  de puerta en puerta para escuchar de los 3000 hogares en nuestra área de enfoque, y necesitamos voluntarios que hablen inglés y español. El 7 de Abril y el 12 de Mayo, equipos de vecinos de dos personas visitarán las casas en la calle donde viven para distribuir la encuesta y obtener comentarios del vecindario. Regístrese aquí para ser voluntario.

WBNA es SU asociación de vecinos, y confía en sus comentarios y en los de todos los vecinos para hacer que los objetivos y planes de WBNA avancen lo mejor posible. ¡Gracias por su ayuda!

Encuentro 2018

Latinos in Heritage Conservation, Rhode Island Latino Arts, and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission are proud to present Encuentro 2018. Spanning three days of programs in Providence and the Blackstone Valley, this groundbreaking event brings together the 3rd National Convening of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the 33rd Annual Statewide Rhode Island Historic Preservation Conference.

For the first time, Latinos in Heritage Conservation is bringing a national conversation about Latino historic preservation to New England. Featuring guest speakers from across the country and opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with fellow practitioners and advocates for Latino historic preservation, this is a not to be missed opportunity. Rhode Island Latino Arts, RIHPHC, and local partners have planned an engaging program of tours and special events to round out the schedule.

We hope that you will join us for this landmark gathering that will bring together preservationists, scholars, students, design professionals, and community advocates for an unprecedented discussion of the value and future of heritage conservation in New England’s Latino communities and beyond.

Registration fees:
$30 Thursday – Friday | $50 Saturday ($80 for Thursday – Saturday)
$15 Thursday – Friday | $25 Saturday for students with i.d. ($40 for Thursday – Saturday)


West Broadway Neighborhood Association – Conversation with Our Elected Officials & Other News

Monday, March 5, 6-8pm
West Broadway Middle School
29 Bainbridge Avenue, Providence

WBNA’s 5th Annual Conversation With Our Elected Officials is featured during the first hour (6-7pm) of our March Neighborhood Nights event, and will be in question-and-answer, town hall meeting style. Neighbors can submit questions in advance, or ask them during the event. This is a great opportunity to get to know your legislators, and to let them hear from you.

7-8pm  |  Take Part in Committees + Highlights

All WBNA Committee meetings take place immediately following the town hall meeting, and are open to everyone. Highlights include a DARE presentation on rent control at our C1C Committee, a project review of Bucklin Plaza at our CDC, and a discussion of park improvements with West Side Kids and West Side Parks. See below for more information on all of our committees.

All monthly WBNA Neighborhood Nights include free food, childcare, and Spanish translation. ALL ARE WELCOME and encouraged to attend!

What’s happening in WBNA Committee meetings this month

  • Armory Advocacy will discuss plans for launching a designated website for the Armory, designing informational materials, and potential summer events to help further advocacy
  • Community/Comunidad 1 (C1C) will hear a presentation by Direct Action for Rights & Equality (DARE) about its rent control ballot measure
  • Community Development Committee (CDC) features a project review of Bucklin Plaza, an adaptive reuse of an industrial/commercial complex at 332 Dexter Street, as presented by owner and developer Jerry Batista. See renderings here.
  • Green Initiatives will discuss goals for the coming spring, which include supporting a business solar program, and providing outreach and education on energy, composting, rain barrels, and recycling at the annual Spring Cleanup
  • Neighborhood Action & Crime Watch Committee will discuss general concerns about safety and quality of life in the neighborhood, the 35th Annual Spring Cleanup, and potential 2018 initiatives
  • Programs & Events Committee welcomes new members to help plan the 2018 Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale
  • West Side Kids and West Side Parks will hold a joint meeting to discuss how they would like city funds to be used for improvements to Dexter Training Ground (aka Armory Park)

Upcoming Events

Please visit the WBNA Calendar for these events and more. 

  • Mar 5WBNA Neighborhood Nights: Town Hall Meeting with Elected Officials & All Committee Meetings
  • Mar 19: City of Providence’s Bike Share System Open House at WBNA (6:30pm)
  • Apr 3WBNA Neighborhood Nights: Repair and Improvement Plans for Dexter Training Ground
  • Apr 28: 35th Annual Neighborhood Spring Cleanup
  • May 1WBNA Neighborhood Nights: General Meeting (TBA) + All Committee Meetings
  • May 19: Neighborhood-Wide Yard Sale

Seed Exchange at the South Providence Library

Seeds are now available to neighborhood gardeners!  The South Providence Library has launched the 2018 Seed Exchange program.  Anyone can come to the library to receive free seeds for a summer garden.

A few seeds were contributed by local growers last season, but a large number of seeds have been made available through a free seed program at the University of Rhode Island.  This program is made possible annually through the generous donation of seeds by Ocean State Job Lot, and through the efforts of the URI Master Gardener Program volunteers.

Benefits for the Home Gardener include:

  • Instant access to fresh produce
  • Control over the chemicals and products used during the growing process
  • The opportunity to make a positive environmental impact
  • Watching your garden go from bare ground to ripe produce offers a sense of satisfaction

At the same time, be aware that:

  • A backyard garden requires work and commitment throughout the growing season.
  • There can be initial costs that may include a tiller, shovel, rake, hoe and edging material.
  • Going away for a few weeks?  You’ll either need to ask someone to watch your garden or risk unhealthy or dying plants when you return.
  • A garden takes away a portion of your lawn or patio.
  • If you already have problems with pain or limited mobility, taking care of your garden can worsen those symptoms.

Please visit the library if a garden is in your future this summer.  Books are available to help you with your gardening adventure!

Knight Memorial Library Makes “Most Endangered Properties” List

Knight Memorial Library, located on Elmwood Avenue has been added to the list of most endangered properties in Providence.  Over a period of several years, Providence Community Library has been working to improve the property in small increments; funding has recently been secured to work on the roof and exterior of the building.  These areas must be repaired before future work can be done on the inside of the building.