Food truck night has sweet taste of community

By Kelcy Dolan
Posted 8/16/16

It may have been hot last Thursday evening, but nonetheless nearly 1,200 people attended the first ever Warwick Food Truck night at City Hall. With music, beer, wine and local cuisine, the event was a huge success and plans are underway to

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Food truck night has sweet taste of community


It may have been hot last Thursday evening, but nonetheless nearly 1,200 people attended the first ever Warwick Food Truck night at City Hall.

With music, beer, wine and local cuisine, the event was a huge success and plans are underway to host a second one on Thursday, September 8.

Although there was some initial concerns of hosting the event at City Hall with parking and traffic, Thursday night went so smoothly and was received so well by the public that the next night will most likely be held there again.

“You could see the smiles on everyone’s faces,” Mayor Scott Avedisian said. “I think everyone had a great time and this was such a fantastic community building event.”

Carol Harris, who brought her daughter, Kerri Barone, and granddaughter, Sophie Montrand, loved the idea of a food truck night and even walked there from her home.

In line for shaved ice, Harris explained that she loves the idea of bringing the community together to support local and small businesses like the food trucks.

“We believe in keeping things local, we don’t like chains. This way we get to bring people together outside and support our neighbors to keep things here in Rhode Island and give back to its people,” Harris said.

Linda and Tim Malone said the Food Truck Night was a “great way” to get together and meet your neighbors and others from the community. Between the music and so many options for food they agreed that it was a “positive and great atmosphere.”

Linda said, “If they did this again we would definitely go and we would invite more of our friends to come with us.”

Avedisian said that any time you try something new you wonder if things will go well and he is surprised at just how well it went.

About halfway through the event Avedisian stopped in to check on Championship Melt, which specializes in grilled cheese. They had already gone through six loaves of bread and their record was 10. They were expected to surpass that.

“There were actually trucks that started to run low on food,” Avedisian said, “but I think that’s a good problem to have. It meant that the event was going really well. This was really a good win all around.”

The Warwick Food Truck Nights may become a regular event and will most likely feature more and different food trucks. The next one is already slotted for Thursday, September 8 at City Hall beginning at 4:30 p.m.


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  • richardcorrente

    Dear Mayor Avedisian,

    You have lost 5,800 taxpayers and 4,666 businesses in Warwick over the last 10 years because you haven't done anything like this until now. You don't have any "Welcome to Warwick" signs. You don't have a "Welcome to Warwick" magazine. You don't allow Christmas decorations that we have is storage to be brought out and displayed. You don't even put some artificial flowers in the wrought iron flower boxes at City Hall. In short, you have done nothing to attract new taxpayers and raising taxes EVERY YEAR FOR 16 YEARS IN A ROW sure does make the remaining taxpayers want to leave.

    In my administration we will have lots of events like this one. Warwick has a tourist department that costs the Taxpayers $750,000 a year for the 3 talented people that work in that department. I will make the most of their great talent. My plan is to "cut taxes - cut spending" and promote Warwick to the rest of Rhode Island with "attractions" like this one. You said you were "surprised at just how well it went". That's because you never did anything like this before. When you lost the tax revenue of thousands of taxpayers, your solution was to "just raise taxes" on those who remained. That caused even more to leave! I will cut taxes. Taxpayers will return and that will cause "total-tax-revenue" to increase. We will have a 2 year moratorium from building permit fees in order to stimulate construction. Warwick will lose a few dollars once and gain additional tax revenue from the improved real estate every year, FOREVER! Your plan to reduce permit fees by 1% has been a year-long laughing and colossal failure. A 1% savings is not going to stimulate ANYTHING!

    When Citizens Bank relocated 1,000 employees from their Jefferson Blvd. offices you did absolutely NOTHING to stop them (and their money) from leaving.

    In a way Scott, I don't blame you. You have never run a business, worked as an employee, or had to balance a budget with hard work. Whenever money got tight, you said "That's OK. We'll just raise taxes." You don't know what it is to struggle to "PAY" taxes. You have always been the person that "RECEIVES" taxes. Not a "working-man". More like a "tax-prince". Warwick is a City of working-people. Not an aristocracy. We can't just print more money. We have to get it the old fashioned way. We have to go out and earn it. You haven't earned the right to stay as our Mayor. 16 years of raising taxes EVERY YEAR is enough. It's time for a change Scott. I won't buy votes with political kick-back jobs (4 chiefs-of-staff in 14 months is extreme, even by your standards). I also won't buy votes by reducing real estate taxes on my home and the homes of my family and "insiders". Honestly, Scott. Did you NOT think anyone would notice? Did you think we wouldn't look up the tax assessors web site? Are you THAT arrogant? Or do you just not care?

    The taxpayers deserve a full-time Mayor that doesn't go on vacation 5 times in one year or take on a conflicting full-time job with RIPTA like you did. I believe that Mayor is me.

    If anyone wants more information please visit www.correntemayorwarwick or just call me at 338-9900. Unlike you Scott, I am available to the taxpayers.

    Enjoy the warm Summer everyone.

    Ridhard corrente

    Endorsed Democrat for Mayor

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Report this

  • Tmal21966

    Mr Corrente, as a long time Democrat and Warwick resident I really feel your response was quite out of place.

    This article was not political in any way. This was nothing more than an article on a positive event that happened in our community. I find your choice to turn this event for all Warwick residents into a political opportunity to be quite a turn off as I'm sure many other voters will also.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2016 Report this

  • richardcorrente

    Dear Tmal21966,

    The article stands on it's own and you're right. It was a positive event that I applauded and one that should be repeated.

    However, it is the type of event that Avedisian has never done in the past and don't you think it is a little odd that after I suggested it (dozens of times in many political platform statements) he decided to take credit for it. He was quoted in the article. I was just responding. If the Republican candidate can make a statement, shouldn't the Democrat be able to. I think so. Congress agrees with me and for decades they have supported "equal time" for all candidates.

    You say you are a long term Democrat. It was the Democrats that pushed for equality on this and every issue.

    Tmal21966, doesn't the reader have the freedom of choice (another Democratic principle) to decide to read my comment or not?

    They know who wrote it. They know I am the endorsed Democrat for Mayor. Can't they choose for themselves?

    Like you did when you wrote your comment?

    Sounds like a freedom that you want for you and Avedisian but not me. You don't sound like a Democrat, but no one knows who you are because of the pen name. Here's an idea. Call me at 338-9900. I would like to discuss/debate this issue respectfully. I look forward to your call. When you do, could you please use your real name? Thank you Tmal21966.


    Richard Corrente

    Endorsed Democrat for Mayor

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Report this

  • CrickeeRaven

    Keep it up, Dick Corrente. At this rate you'll turn off every online reader, as well as every voter in the city.

    "If the Republican candidate can make a statement, shouldn't the Democrat be able to. [sic] I think so."

    He's also the sitting mayor, Dick, and you apparently weren't there. So, it's really your failure not to attend a wonderful community event that's led you to post another screed against Avedisian on the Beacon comment boards.

    Oh, and this gem: "Did you think we wouldn't look up the tax assessors web site?"

    I have, and here's what I found in comparing the property where you live and the property where Scott Avedisian lives:

    The address you list as home [177 Grand View Drive] had an assessment that stayed level for three years prior to this year's increase which the real owner -- Red Stick Acquisitions of LOUISIANA -- will be paying taxes on, and that the drop in the mayor's assessment amounted to $1,700. That's about $34 off his 2016 tax bill. You, on the other hand, received a 100% assessment reduction on the property where you live, since you sold it to an out-of-state corporation.

    You're a tax cheat, Dick. Plain and simple. You sold your property so you wouldn't have to pay property taxes, sewer fees, and water bills like the rest of the actual homeowners in Warwick. You've created the conspiracy theory about Avedisian as a smokescreen, and you're failing to get any real traction with it, which clearly explains why you keep repeating it.

    Oh, and before you start whining again about anyone's use of a screen name, maybe your research into the Revolution didn't include the part where people used pseudonyms when criticizing the British government or discussing what the Constitution would look like [see: The Federalist Papers].

    This is the Beacon's comment board, not yours -- no matter how much you're paying for ads -- and they're the ones who can decide how people can comment -- not you. So, stop acting like everyone's cranky uncle complaining about pseudonymous comments.

    And you're the one running for office, Dick -- you're supposed to be operating by different standards. Actually, I think I just proved that you ARE, just not in the way that any respectable candidate should be.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Report this

  • HiMyNameIs

    I really wish I could insert a GIF of Ashton Kutcher yelling "Burn!" here. Slow clap for CrickeeRaven.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Report this

  • Scal1024

    Rick, you can say cut taxes and cut spending but when faced with budgets it becomes harder. The loss of building permit fees, car taxes paid by seniors, loss of revenue from cutting property taxes adds up.

    When you criticize the mayor for his property eval going down, did you criticize the Democrats on the city council? My guess is you didn't because you gave them the benefit of the doubt. I think the mayor is smart enough to know people would look up his evaluation, which is exactly why there is no wrong doing here.

    I agree with the other poster who said it was unfair to attack the mayor on something like this. It was a nice event and even before I read the comments I figured you were going to praise him, not try and take credit for the idea. This is the exact problem with politics right now and I see why a voter would be turned off. Your condescending response was an even worse offense. To try and tell someone they don't sound like a Democrat? Who are you to decide? It's an uncalled for thing for a candidate for mayor to say to a voter. If this is about equal time then it's funny I never see the mayor commenting on here. You have commented about him on articles that don't involve him. That is being political for the reason of being political.

    Lastly, to claim the mayor stole your idea is ridiculous. They have done these events at Roger Williams Park for awhile now. Did you give them the idea too? Claiming credit on this comes across as so petulant. The mayor hasn't won re election all these years because he's not well liked or because he's not trusted, people like him and he has a strong amount of support. To imply he did this because he's afraid of losing seems like a BIG stretch. I'd say he's pretty safe.

    I was surprised by the whole post Mr Corrente. I think when the mayor has a fun, community event like this the only thing you should do (as a candidate for mayor) is applaud him. Anything else seems cheap and unnecessary. I invite you to answer Crickee Ravens accusations as I do find that to be a legitimate charge if true. Also, if you have any estimates on the cost of cutting taxes/spending, seniors car taxes (how many seniors would be eligible?), A 2 year freeze on building permit fees I'd love to hear it. Until then my advice is to stop trying to score cheap political points on any and every issue.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Report this

  • CrickeeRaven

    Scal1024, I wouldn't he holding my breath waiting for Corrente to reply. He's shown a complete unwillingness [including on this comment thread] to actually answer for anything he says, instead deflecting and trying to harass other commenters about using pseudonyms online. At least he's giving us a clear view of what his temperament would be like if he were ever elected.

    Here's something I didn't mention last time: Corrente claimed in a recent letter to the editor [,115119] that the assessment on one of his properties "tripled." It's an empty lot that went from $3,700 to $8,700.

    First: That's not triple. Triple would have been $11,100. Second: If you're lucky enough to own an undeveloped property in Potowomut, it's bad form to cry about the assessment. And third: Especially when the assessment on your other property on Greenwich Ave went DOWN by $5,000.

    Let's see if Dick will reply to any of this. Going by his recent behavior, I'd say 'no.'

    Oh, and HeyMyNameIs [wikky-wikky-wikky 'Slim Shady!'], thanks for the compliment. I, for one, can't sit idly by while Corrente spouts such easily discredited gibberish. He clearly underestimates the collective intelligence of the city's voters, and I'd like to disavow him of that belief.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2016 Report this

  • CrickeeRaven

    Hoo-boy, these guys just did a tune on Dick Corrente:

    For all his crying to Avedisian "You don't know what it is to struggle to "PAY" taxes. You have always been the person that "RECEIVES" taxes," it's pretty clear from that article that Dick is getting a much bigger tax break than the mayor, particularly on the property he calls home but does not own.

    Also, it looks like I need to correct my earlier statement that Avedisian's tax bill [you know, the one he pays] is $34 less this year. It's actually $90 less. The $34 represents $1,700 in assessment x $20.40 tax rate for 2016-17. The Post writer used each year's assessments multiplied by each year's tax rate, which is, obviously, the correct way to compare the difference. So, I apologize for that -- and credit the Post with doing far more research than I did.

    [They even compared the changes in assessment for five properties nearby Avedisian's. I won't post spoilers here, it's worth reading the whole thing.]

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • JohnStark

    Mr. Corrente wishes to cut property taxes. Fine. Current rate is $20.24 per thousand of assessed value for residential properties and $30.36 for commercial properties. To what level, Mr. Corrente, do you wish to reduce these rates? If you continue to dodge this most basic question, kindly cease with the "cut taxes" rhetoric, and please stop mentioning taxes and pensions in response to every Beacon article pertaining to school plays, honor rolls, and Food Truck Nights. Enough is enough.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • Scal1024

    After reading the story in the post it is quite clear Rick has been fudging the truth. It is unbelievable to me that a candidate for mayor would claim corruption and special breaks... While also saying he is getting raked over the coals in taxes and having none of it be true.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • Bob_Cushman

    Since CrickeeRaven believes everything printed in the Warwick Post is true, I checked out the article and posted this response on that article:

    Talk about slanted reporting. Sorry Rob Borkowski, this yet again proves that you and the Warwick Post can’t get the facts straight and are as bad as Corrente in making claims that simply are not true.

    You write, “Take a moment to re-read something that was just mentioned: The fiscal 2017 tax rate is lower than the FY2016 rate, meaning it fell, rather than increased. [Corrente is claiming 16 straight years of tax increases under Avedisian; fiscal 2017 ends that streak, which goes unmentioned by Corrente.]”

    The total amount of revenue budgeted in fiscal 2016 from property taxes was $221,900,051. In the current 2017 fiscal year, property tax revenue is budgeted at $226,606,952, an increase of $4,706,901. In this case Corrente is right, Avedisian increased taxes again for the 16th straight year.

    Your snake oil reporting forgets to mention to your readers that with any property revaluation the final results are total revenue neutral, meaning the overall taxes collected will stay the same at the end of the revaluation if all things remain the same in the budget.

    If overall property values in the city increase, the tax rate will decrease [that is what happened in this revaluation]. If overall property values in the city decrease, the tax rate will increase.

    However since the Mayor Avedisian can’t control city spending each year and has been unable to balance the budget over the past two years tapping the city rainy day fund, he created a $3 million structural deficit carried into the fiscal 2017 budget.

    That forced him to decide to either cut $3 million in spending (pipe dream] or at least increase the "revised reval tax rate" higher, to collect that additional $3 million needed to balance the budget. And that’s exactly what he did.

    But to make matters worse he continued new record city spending by another $1.7 million, thus increasing the new rate even more. The entire $4.7 million went to the city budget, since schools were level funded again, to pay for more active and retired employee benefits.

    So even through the tax rate is below what it was last year, that doesn't mean property taxes did not increase this year.

    Bottom line Rob, you as well as Corrente are “playing political games with the facts”.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • Kammy

    My family had a great time at Food Truck Night. We got to see a lot of friends, meet new friends, and try great food. I can't wait for the next one.

    As for Mr. Corrente, I am glad I am not the only one sick of seeing him take a regular non-political post and try to make it into one. Do you lay in wait for each new article to come out so you can be the first to post? I met you a few weeks ago in Dave''s parking lot and I listened to you talk to other voters about the Mayor and what you don't like about him. While I don't agree with everything Mayor Avedisian has done over the years, I cannot deny that he has done some great things for our city. I stand by my previous opinion of you and I put you firmly in the same category as Stacia Petri Huyler.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • CrickeeRaven

    Just as I did on the solarize article, Bob Cushman, I'm going to remind you that the Post clarified their story. I'm sure you're very proud of the now-disproven attacks you've made. Good job!

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • Brandybacon

    Mr. Corrente, as a life long Warwick resident, and a republican, I must say this. When I have voted in the past, I was one who would always check the republican box. That said, I feel that I will not be doing that this year. I have read about you, and read your comments. I have witnessed you on the streets, esp on the corner of post and airport very early in the mornings. You have had my attention. I must say many of your comments here I am in total agreeance with. I am 40 years old and have grown to hate this city and this state, and would love to see it change for the better. This Warwick food truck night had very little promotion, and is something my entire family would have loved to have gone to. The reason it "went so well" was because it only had 1200 people attend. What I cannot understand is that if warwick has a 750,000 budget for tourism, whose pocket is that going into, because there is no way that amount of money is being used efficiently. One of these mornings, I will stop and shake your hand, as I would love to bend your ear about real promotion for this city for when you become mayor. You'll have my vote.


    A warwick Resident who doesnt want to hate the city that I live in.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • Bob_Cushman

    I too have to re-post my reply from the Solarize Article as CrickeeRaven has. Seems a bit of collusion going on between you and the Post. Its OK for the Warwick Post to refer to your Beacon comments as a source of information in their article and even include a link to the Beacon article, but they refuse to post my comment which found the error?

    What a bunch of frauds and cowards at the Warwick Post.

    What you CrickeeRaven fail to realize (or maybe you do realize) it was my comment that I posted (pending the editors approval, that never came) on the Warwick Post page that called out Rob Borkowski for his mistake. But in true cowardly fashion Borkowski or the editor or you, never posted my comment on the page that I intentional posted on this paper as proof of the error.

    But they did write this statement to make it appear like they caught and fixed the error:

    "Take a moment to re-read something that was just mentioned: The fiscal 2017 tax rate is lower than the FY2016 rate, meaning it fell, rather than increased. [Corrente is claiming 16 straight years of tax increases under Avedisian; as reported previously, fiscal 2017’s tax rate reduction and the recent revaluation of property means that the city will generate more tax revenue, which supports Corrente’s statement.]"

    Before it read: “Take a moment to re-read something that was just mentioned: The fiscal 2017 tax rate is lower than the FY2016 rate, meaning it fell, rather than increased. [Corrente is claiming 16 straight years of tax increases under Avedisian; fiscal 2017 ends that streak, which goes unmentioned by Corrente.]”

    Some Great Journalistic ethics at the Warwick Post. How can you believe anything that is written in the Warwick Post. Clearly Rob and the other member of the 2 man team have a political agenda.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this

  • CrickeeRaven

    Bobby, just stop. I read the Post, that's all. I don't know anyone there, so stop with that conspiracy stuff.

    I'm challenging you on these comment boards, and you don't like it; that's what's really happening. You're as thin-skinned as Corrente and can't stand when things aren't done your way -- which has been going on for quite awhile now, if what I've read in the Beacon [are you going to attack them, too, Bobby?] the past couple of years is correct, so it's a mystery why you haven't gotten used to that.

    Thursday, August 18, 2016 Report this