Senator Reed hosted a special medal ceremony honoring Mr. Alfred Bettencourt, 89, of Cranston, at the Morgan Health Center today in Johnston. Before a crowd of well-wishers that included Mr. Bettencourt’s family, neighbors, and friends, as well as Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, fire and police officials, and other local dignitaries, Senator Reed presented Mr. Bettencourt with the military honors he earned in combat but never received.
Private First Class Alfred Bettencourt was just 18 years old when he was wounded in combat on December 12, 1944 in France during World War II.
Senator Reed presented Mr. Bettencourt with the Bronze Star Medal, the Purple Heart, the World War II Victory Medal, the European-African-Middle Eastern Campaign Medal with 1 Bronze Service Star, the Combat Infantryman Badge 1st Award, and the Honorable Service Lapel Button WWII.
Chairman John McCain (R-AZ) and Ranking Member Jack Reed (D-RI) held the first Senate Armed Services Committee hearing of the 114th Congress on January 21. The committee’s opening hearing focused on national security threats around the globe and featured a pair of former national security advisers, Dr. Zbigniew Brzezinski and Lieutenant General (ret.) Brent Scowcroft.
Dr. Brzezinski served as national security adviser under President Jimmy Carter and is counselor and trustee at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS). General Scowcroft, a West Point graduate who served as national security adviser under Presidents Gerald Ford and George H.W. Bush, is currently the president of the Scowcroft Group.
Senator Reed is urging Rhode Islanders to “shop local” as they complete their holiday shopping. During a tour of Main Street businesses, shops, and boutiques in East Greenwich, Reed encouraged fellow Rhode Islanders to support independent retailers across the state and discussed legislative efforts to help local businesses thrive.
The tour kicked off at the Greenwich Odeum Theatre, where Senator Reed was joined by community and business leaders, including Jennifer Cervenka, President of the East Greenwich Chamber of Commerce; Steve Lombardi, Executive Director of the Chamber; East Greenwich Town Manager Tom Coyle; East Greenwich Town Council President Michael Isaacs; and local business owners.
Together the group visited more than a dozen shops on Main Street including: International Motor Group; Bags by Iris; Hair Plus/Colonial Shoe; Lina Piccolina; Main Street Coffee; Jigger’s; Rasa; Norman’s; Zuzu’s; Time for Design; David-Max; Twigs Florist; Scribe; Shimmer’s; and Hill and Harbor Veterinary.
Senator Reed joined other members of the Congressional Delegation, state officials, Warwick Mayor Scott Avedisian, and nostolgic supporters of the project on October 24 at the site of the old Rocky Point amusement park to celebrate its preservation as a public recreation area.
The roughly 80 acres, which the state acquired with 2010 open space bond money, was added to the 40 coastal acres of former park property previously purchased by the city — giving the public a total of 120 acres of parkland with panoramic ocean views.
“The rides are gone, but the history and natural beauty remain,” said Senator Reed, who helped Warwick secure federal grant money that was part of the financing that enabled the city to purchase the shoreline portion of the park land in 2008.
The Enviornmental Protection Agency joined Senator Reed and other state and local dignitaries in formally launching the Southeast New England Coastal Watershed Restoration Program on October 14.
The new program will serve as a framework to promote a broad ecosystem approach to protecting and restoring the coastal watersheds of southeast New England. The program, consisting of government and non-government organizations, is currently working collaboratively and innovatively to maintain and improve water quality and habitat conditions within these coastal watersheds.
In collaboration with a diverse array of stakeholders, the program will focus on developing and promoting innovations in restoration and protection practices, development of new, more efficient technologies, and application of new policies to these new approaches. A critical element of this program will be to prepare for climate change impacts and highlight the need to build resilience into all decision-making. Partners include key federal and state resource agencies, local organizations, and the two local National Estuary Programs in Narragansett Bay R.I. and Buzzards Bay Mass.
Senator Reed is the Chairman of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Interior & Environment, who spearheaded the effort to make $2 million in federal funding available for this program.
HUD Chief Joins Reed, Chafee, Diossa for Economic Development & Family Self-Sufficiency Tour of Central Falls
Senator Reed brought U.S. Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Julián Castro to Rhode Island on October 10.
Secretary Castro began the day by joining Senator Reed, Governor Lincoln D. Chafee, Mayor James Diossa, and Congressman David Cicilline for a neighborhood tour of Central Falls. HUD is one of the key federal agencies assisting city officials to jumpstart a revival of economic development in the city.
During the tour, the officials saw how federal investments are being put to work creating jobs and opportunities for more Rhode Islanders, as well as improving neighborhoods and helping low-income families become more self-sufficient.
The group also visited La Casona Restaurant, which has received a federal micro-enterprise zone grant for small businesses through HUD’s Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) program.
The tour concluded at Forand Manor, where the Central Falls Housing Authority is located. The officials met with graduates from HUD’s Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Program. Senator Reed announced that housing agencies in eleven Rhode Island cities and towns – including Central Falls – will receive a total of $944,261 in federal FSS funding to assist communities in developing local strategies to help public and assisted housing residents find work, access job training resources, and achieve economic independence.
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