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Editorial: Groceries — Crossing the line

Posted 4/16/20

With all due respect to Governor Gina Raimondo, who’s been a leader among governors during this crisis, her Monday 14-day quarantine declaration for people who cross state lines to grocery shop …

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Editorial: Groceries — Crossing the line

Posted

With all due respect to Governor Gina Raimondo, who’s been a leader among governors during this crisis, her Monday 14-day quarantine declaration for people who cross state lines to grocery shop does not work for this corner of Rhode Island.

Little Compton residents, who have no home-town grocery store, mostly head over to nearby Lees Market in Westport.

And while Tiverton is blessed with a superb grocery store in Tom’s Market (which is also well-known to Little Compton customers), some shoppers there cross the line to the immense Market Basket, just a minute north of town in Fall River, or drive a few minutes over to Lees. 

If all of Tiverton and Little Compton were to descend upon Tom’s Market tomorrow, the shelves would be picked clean in short order and the crowd inside and out of that modest-sized grocery would violate every known social distancing rule. Tom’s owner has done yeoman’s work keeping the shelves stocked at the firm’s stores in Tiverton and Warren in recent weeks, but he admits it has been a challenge. 

We understand the governor’s exasperation with people who find all sorts of unnecessary reasons to hop in the car and expose themselves to the virus.

But Rhode Island’s two towns east of the Sakonnet River have always been special cases. They were both part of Plymouth colony long ago and could be forgiven for sometimes feeling cut adrift from the Ocean State — witness Rhode Island’s willingness to slap heavy tolls on the new Sakonnet River bridge a few years back.

Hopefully, the governor really meant this new rule for every other part of Rhode Island — and that what goes on east of the bridge won’t draw much more attention than usual.

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.