4th OF JULY EVENTS Pgs. 14-15 THURSDAY, June 27, 2013 Vol. 41, No. 26 BORN FREE Council Adopts Budget What’s Inside By Tom Shevlin NATURE Pg. 25 Table of Contents ARTS CALENDAR FAITH COMMUNITY COMMUNITY BRIEFS CROSSWORD PUZZLE DINING OUT MAP DINNER & A MOVIE EDITORIAL FIRE/POLICE LOG GARDEN NATURE NAVY COMMUNITY REALTY TRANSACTIONS REEL REPORT RECENT DEATHS SUDOKU 12 13 21 4- 5 23 17 19 6 5 10 24 8 27 24 21 23 www.Newport-Now.com Twitter.com/newportnow Facebook.com/newportnow School’s Out Forever Students exiting Cranston-Calvert Elementary School for the last time on Wednesday were greeted by globs of Silly String as a group of parents coordinated a celebratory ambush. The school bell marked not only the end of the school year and the beginning of summer, but the end of the era of neighborhood schools in Newport. Beginning in September, all students, teachers, and administrators in the city will report to the new Claiborne deB. Pell Elementary School on Dexter Street. For more photos of the last school day see page 2. (Photo by Meg O’Neil) Sailors to Visit 49 Bay Islands for a Cause By Tom Shevlin The State of Rhode Island includes 49 islands, most of them little more than dots on a chart. Over the next 30 days, two Aquidneck Island residents have made it their goal to set foot on each of them. This week, Dave Gracer and Trip Wolfskehl are gearing up for what they say will be the adventure of a lifetime: Exploring the hidden glories of Narragansett Bay and inspiring activism for Rhode Island’s most precious natural resource. Setting off from their Third Beach mooring on the "small but mighty" Dawn Treader – a singlemast day sailer named after the ship in C.S. Lewis' fictional world of Narnia – Gracer and Wolfskehl are planning to visit each of the state's charted islands, picking up trash as they go and posting their exploits online. What started out as simply a novel goal has turned into a noble cause. Dubbing their efforts "Operation Landfall," the two are hoping to use their adventure as a fundraiser for Save the Bay's educational programs. "These activities get thousands of area kids, from Central Falls to Barrington, out on the bay, learning the bay and loving the time they spend there," said Wolfskehl. "Without these opportunities, many kids would have no access to Rhode Island's most precious natural resource. Learning the bay is the first step to preserving it. Besides the very important aspect, we know that direct interaction with nature has transformative and restorative powers for children and adults alike." They've set a fundraising goal of $10,000, and are asking the public to donate on a "per island basis." "Can you do $1 per island? Forty bucks. How about $2 per island? Eighty bucks. This goes towards an incredibly worthwhile cause - getting more kids out on Narragansett Bay," the two urge on their Facebook page. Those interested in following along with Trip and Dave as they sail the bay can do so via Facebook.com/OperationLandfall, which includes a link to their fundraising campaign. Kristin Parker White, right, helps Trip Wolfskehl (left) and Dave Gracer (top) prepare for their island-hopping tour. www.Newport-Now.com Free Local News Matters With just days remaining in this fiscal year, City Councilors were due to vote on a final version of their 2013-14 budget on Wednesday, June 26. With details still being worked out in the hours leading up to the meeting, the process appeared to be living up to its assessment as being one of the most difficult budget debates in years. At the heart of the discord was the proposal to increase the city's overall tax levy by 3.07 percent. That number, which was reduced from an earlier proposal of 3.87 percent, would necessitate increases in the city's residential and commercial property tax rates. Earlier this month, councilors adopted on first reading a 3.07 percent across-the-board property tax increase. However, in an effort to reduce the tax burden on home- See BUDGET on page 9 City to Crack Down on Noise, Trash Complaints By Tom Shevlin Party houses be warned: zoning officials are planning on stepping up enforcement related to noise and trash complaints this summer. According to Zoning Officer Guy Weston, his deputy zoning officers will be out in force as early as this weekend, armed with decibel readers and citations. Their charge: to clean up the streets and turn down the volume from nuisance houses. Recently, said Weston, deputies were given permission to issue tickets to tenants over documented noise violations, and soon they'll add trash violations. According to Weston, the minimum housing officer could also be empowered to issue citations soon, and he also added that he'll be responding to possible violations as well. The effort is all part of the City Council's goal of becoming the most "welcoming and livable city" in New England. The city has in recent years sought to crack down on noise and trash problems, but zoning officials were hampered by having to rely on police to issue the actual citations. See COMPLAINTS on page 7 Newport-Now Right Now: Scan the QR (Quick Response) Code with your mobile phone’s barcode app to get instant access to our website, with updated local news.