On Aug. 30 an article appeared in the Boston Globe about the unusual state of politics here in Johnston (“In a small Rhode Island town, a big issue about the First Amendment: Legal ads bring a lot of revenue to little local newspapers. What happens when local politicians pull them?” by Amanda Milkovits). I did not realize what kind of underbelly existed until my unsuccessful foray into politics last year.
I was hopeful that things might change for the better in town after the election. Things most certainly have changed, but not necessarily for the better. It is difficult to attend some of the meetings as they are posted the day or two before on the town website. I actually subscribed to the Providence Journal because that is where the public notices are now printed. Mostly I find tax sale advertisements.
A lot of folks relied on the Sun Rise to find out what was actually happening in Johnston. Seems that does not suit the current administration.
Yesterday, Dan York interviewed John Howell, publisher of the Beacon, to ask some pretty interesting questions. It had to do with why our current Mayor thought it a good idea to change the legal advertising from the Sun Rise, our local free paper which most folks get, to the very expensive Providence Journal.
Seems there was some discontent in the way Rory Schuler accurately reported different matters. Rumor had it that the administration thought they were portrayed in a less than stellar manner.
I had the pleasure of making Mr. Schuler's acquaintance last July, and found him to be nothing but totally professional. He reported facts, not his opinion. I was very happy to hear the interview as Mr. Howell did not succumb to the pressure of the possibility of removing Mr. Schuler. He stood by his reporter/editor and that was the right thing to do. Keep up the good work gentlemen. And thank you.
Karen Cappelli Chadwick, of Johnston
Editor’s Note: Although the Town of Johnston stopped running legal ads in the Johnston Sun Rise following Johnston Mayor Joseph M. Polisena Jr.’s inauguration in January, several legal ads appear in this week’s edition. At the time of publication, it was unclear whether this week’s legal advertising was a return to normalcy or a one-time exception.