As part of an ongoing effort to combat veteran homelessness in Rhode Island, Senator Reed participated in a ceremonial ribbon cutting event at Veterans for Tomorrow (VFT) in Providence, a former mill that has been transformed into affordable rental homes for veterans who were recently homeless or at risk of homelessness.
Formerly known as the Heaton & Cowing Mill, built in 1832, it is one of the oldest surviving textile mills in Rhode Island. Prior to renovation, the building was vacant and boarded up, but now houses 20 affordable rental home apartments including an outdoor patio area, resident lounge areas, a laundry room, parking, and an employment training classroom.
Reed is the top Democrat on the Transportation, Housing, and Urban Development (THUD) Appropriations Subcommittee, which distributes money for all federal housing projects. More than $2.7 million in federal funding was used to make the VFT project a reality.
Senator Reed was on hand at Colt-Andrews Elementary School in Bristol to help administer the “oath of office” to new student government leaders and offer remarks about leadership and civic responsibility at the inauguration ceremony.
The student government plans to focus its efforts this year on educating students about recycling and developing better recycling habits at school.
At Save the Bay, U.S. Senator Jack Reed was joined by U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse and U.S. Representatives Jim Langevin and David Cicilline, along with officials from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state and community partners to announce new federal funding to benefit the Southeast New England Program (SNEP) for Coastal Watershed Restoration. The series of federal grants will contribute to the restoration, protection, and preservation of the Narragansett Bay Watershed and other surrounding watersheds in the southeast New England region.
Senator Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, led efforts to establish and fund the SNEP for Coastal Watershed Restoration by securing $2 million to launch it in fiscal year 2014 and including a total of $5 million in the fiscal year 2015 omnibus package.
“Restoration of our wetlands and freshwater rivers and streams is critical to the health of our coastal ecosystem and the resiliency of the Bay. Our waters connect and sustain us and collaboration is key to protecting our watershed. Unfortunately, pollutants and storm runoff don’t stop at the border’s edge. That is why I spearheaded this program: to bring people together – across communities and state lines – to take a strategic, scientific-based approach to protecting and improving the health of the Bay and our entire coastal watershed,” said Senator Reed.
Tick-borne diseases such as Lyme disease are a significant health concern for many Rhode Islanders, particularly workers in outdoor occupations who have frequent exposure to tick-infested habitats. And now, just when most people think that tick season should be over for the year, adult blacklegged ticks begin their annual emergence and become exceptionally abundant across the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic and upper Mid-West regions according to experts at TickEncounter.org.
U.S. Senator Jack Reed and Dr. Tom Mather, University of Rhode Island (URI) Professor of Public Health Entomology, announced a new federal grant award worth $2,039,000 over four years to study Lyme disease prevention and exposure among outdoor workers.
The federal funding is made available by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), which works to prevent workplace illnesses and injuries. The grant will provide approximately $240,000 in direct funding annually for URI over the next four years to field test the effectiveness of long lasting permethrin-impregnated (LLPI) clothing in outdoor workers. Permethrin is an active ingredient that is lethal for ticks but is recommended for certain human uses, and in the amounts found in clothing, should not harm the environment if used appropriately. Clothes treated with permethrin are commercially available at many outdoor retailers and when used regularly, could play a critical role in reducing tick bites and disease in people that spend a significant about of time in tick habitat. URI scientists are collaborating with a team of researchers at the University of North Carolina (UNC) on the study, which will use clothing made by a North Carolina company.
Senator Reed, Pawtucket Mayor Grebien Visit Varieur Elementary School to Congratulate Faculty & Staff
Senator and Mayor Grebien visited Varieur Elementary School in Pawtucket to thank and congratulate the School's Administration, Faculty and Staff on being named a U.S. Department of Education Blue Ribbon School.
Varieur was one of 3 schools in Rhode Island to be chosen as a National Blue Ribbon School -- the other two were Archie Cole Middle School in East Greenwich and Nayatt School in Barrington. Senator Reed met with Pawtucket Superintendent Patti DiCenso, School Principal Mary Murray, and other school administrators and teachers to congratulate them on the achievement.
Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed celebrated the one-year anniversary of Hope & Main, the state’s first culinary business incubator, and announced a new $85,010 federal grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to support the non-profit’s continued efforts to grow culinary businesses in Rhode Island. Hope & Main will use the USDA Farmers Market Promotion Program grant to support their "Schoolyard Market" initiative through community education and outreach, and for staffing and infrastructure improvements for the Schoolyard Market.
Senator Reed helped secure this federal grant, which will help expand the market’s reach while promoting Hope & Main’s mission of helping local food producers grow their marketplace, increase sales, and ultimately create more jobs in Rhode Island. The initiative also has a public education component designed to promote healthy eating and meet the growing consumer demand for fresh, local food.
“It is great to see progress sprouting here at Hope & Main and hopefully this grant will build upon the success of the Schoolyard Market and expand its reach. This place brings people together and helps them connect over great, fresh, local food. Hope & Main is a wonderful community resource for food entrepreneurs of all sizes and a place where they can collaborate, try new recipes, and grow their businesses. I will continue working at the federal level to support Rhode Island’s food economy and help local businesses thrive,” said Senator Reed, who supported Hope & Main’s funding application for this USDA grant.
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