EDITORIAL: Providence’s Grisly Decline
Monday, October 16, 2017
ATVs race around neighborhoods, as the police are told not to chase by the Elorza Administration. Another little decay in the quality of life.
The Mile-and-a-Quarter restaurant, which used to be the type of place you took your grandmother to on her birthday, now houses an adult club. It is the kind of club that should be on Allens Avenue. Another little decay in the quality of life.
The ever-present panhandling on what seems like nearly every city corner and busy intersection. More people forced to plead for money and more people feeling intimidated to give. Another little decay in everyone’s quality of life.
Fights in Kennedy Plaza in the middle of the day. A feeling of being less safe and a little decay in everyone’s quality of life.
Graffiti blanketing Benefit Street — one of the most historic streets in America. Another little decay in the quality of life.
Houses broken into, cars vandalized, beatings and robberies.
Shop owners being crippled by the loss of business tied to the city’s expansion of parking meters. More businesses closing. Another little decay in the quality of life.
In Providence, so much for life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We are trading it for Mayor Jorge Elorza's laissez-faire approach to crime, decay, and the loss of the sense of safety.
Related Slideshow: Providence Clubs and Reports of Crime and Violence - 2016
Van Gogh Nightclub
The Providence Board of Licenses voted on Saturday at an emergency hearing to shutter the Harris Avenue establishment for 72 hours, after a man was taken to the hospital with stab wounds following a fight in the vicinity of the club in the early hours of Saturday morning.
"When folks started calling me, I thought they were reaching out about Tel Aviv -- I had no idea yet another incident had occurred," said Providence Board of Licenses member Johanna Harris, of hearing from people on what she thought was the separate incident that occurred at another Providence club just the night before (see next slide).
The South Water Street establishment was raided by Providence Police on Friday night, following a weeks-long narcotics investigation.
WPRI.com reported that two men were arrested - Theo Spyridis, 39, the bar’s manager, and Antonio Reverdes, 47, a customer -- and according to police, with a "good amount of cocaine and significant amount of cash."
Tel Aviv will now go before the city’s Board of Licenses at an upcoming meeting.
Providence’s Board of Licenses ordered Aqua Hookah Lounge to temporarily close following a violent incident earlier in August - marking the second instance of an issue violence at the establishment.
Providence police told WPRI.com a passing officer heard a gunshot and saw people running from the establishment on Broad Street.
Police said a bullet grazed a man in his arm, but the wound was not serious. The Board decided to close the club for 72 hours -- and revisit the issue.
The police report for the August 8 incident at FLOW nightclub at Cranston Street and Potters Avenue -- that included four stabbing victims -- described victims as saying they were leaving the club at the time the altercation took place.
The club was closed for three days, and at the August 16 Board of Licenses' continuation of the show-cause hearing, the club entered into a deal with the City that would include police detail during a 45 day review period -- but that the stabbings would not go on Flow's record.
"The biggest travesty is they took a witness who'd been subpoenaed -- and appeared -- and they released him," said Jewelry District Association President Sharon Steele, who attends nearly all Board of License hearings. "Then the city and the club came together on a "recommendation" out in the hall. No witness, no detective testimony, and [the city] allowed them to say it was purely a disturbance of the public but it wasn't a stabbing at the club."
The Providence Board of Licenses voted on July 21 to close The Vault nightclub on Federal Hill for an additional five days following a shooting outside the club - after a bouncer admitted to lying to police about the shooter having been inside, saying he was told by club management to lie.
The embroiled Providence hotspot, which is in a building formerly co-owned by Congressman David Cicilline and now solely owned by his brother John, was slated to have a ruling made ten days following a July 15 meeting, but the city unexpectedly moved it up earlier.
On Thursday, the Board of Licenses voted to shut Vault for five days, from July 27 to 31, reduce the weekend closing time from 2 a.m. to 1 a.m. for 60 days -- and required the club to increase security, and pay up $2000 fine.
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