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Outdoors in RI: Photography, Easter weekend, 2A strong, Trout, Turkeys, and you – Jeff Gross

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by Jeff Gross, contributing writer

Photo: The solitude and tranquility in the above photo were captured by Demi Pita within the week.  Demi captures numerous outdoor scenes each week often at the crack of dawn.

Demi’s photos would complement various rooms in your home.  Wonderful woodland scenes to accent your living room or den, Scenic Sea scrapes with or without lighthouses to decorate the bathroom and shower area.  Starry photos of the milky way that will look wonderful in the bedroom as well.  Demi is often up before the roosters to capture that first ray of daylight in many a scene.  The extra effort and early to rise dedication shows in his works. I have the good fortune of working with him and look forward to publishing his works in the future. One can purchase his works online here:  DEMI PITA

Outdoor photography is Demi’s forte. He just mentioned that Rhode Island has many beautiful places to explore. 

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With beautiful weather this weekend and fishing season 3 weeks away, try exploring some woodlands in Rhode Island. Sun and 55 degrees is the forecast for Saturday and Sunday. These beautiful sites are right in our backyard. The two photos below are of the Durfee Management area taken on March 13th as I was able to run Abby. Naturally, Abby ran right for the water.

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<strong>Easter Egg Hunt!strong>

Seven Cedars farm in Smithfield, Rhode Island is hosting their annual Easter Egg Hunt on March 30th, the Saturday before Easter.  Weather will be exceptional with 55F temperatures and bright sunshine.  Don’t forget the sunglasses. 

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<strong>Trout & Turkeys & RI DEMstrong>

As trout fishing season is just 3 weekends away, get ready by purchasing needed licenses online now.  This writer learned at the 2024 RI Saltwater fishing show that active military can obtain a Rhode Island Saltwater license for free. This Saltwater RI license is also valid in MA, CT, NY and Maine, as well.

Also, a reminder from the RI DEM: Turkey Hunting Permits go on sale April 1st for all Youth, Paraplegic and Public seasons.

RI Online license purchases here:  Online Services | Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (ri.gov)

While you are out and about fishing or Turkey hunting on state lands keep a watchful eye for odd sightings.  I would like to give a shout out and “atta boy” (USCG military term for someone doing an exceptional job) to Jason of RI DEM’s Emergency Response Team.  This writer found 2 blue buckets of what appeared to be a mix of motor oil and paint thinner recklessly disposed of on Brook Trail alongside the Falls River (Wood River).  The 5-gallon buckets were approximately 30 yards from the river.  There is no excuse for dumping hazardous waste outdoors anywhere, and it is a criminal act to do so. Worse yet, the hazardous waste was left in a pristine fishing and hunting area. 

Speaking with Jason, this criminal behavior is on the rise in the state management areas, so keep a watchful eye out.  Often times you will just find a popped helium balloon or other litter which can be thrown into the trash.  But on a rare occasion, an incident like this occurs.  You’re not being a “Karen” by protecting the woodlands and waterways. The DEM is always spread thin so it helps to have an extra set of eyes while afield.  This is why I recommend keeping DEM enforcement on speed dial. If you find something of this hazardous nature and cannot locate a DEM official, email me and I’ll take it from there, and you’ll get the “Atta Boy”. Again, many thanks to Jason, as this criminal dumping could have been a calamity. Oil and paint thinner would readily flow down the Wood River and likely shut down the entire waterway. 

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<strong>Doing our jobstrong>

Again, I want to thank all of you for reading these articles and also for sharing them with others so they can choose for themselves whether to read the articles. I am very humbled by all of your efforts. Each and every one of you deserve an “Atta Boy”.  Just as a reminder these little articles started out in 2018 as a recommendation to write to cure a broken heart.  Readership in 2018 was 250 to 400 friends and acquaintances.  With your efforts and contributions readership has grown to 2,000++ weekly, with 10s of thousands to the site – and growing.

The growth has been noticed by the MSM (Main Stream Media).  As is seen around the country, the general public has started to question the just-the-facts perspective of MSM, and putting an “issues advocacy” perspective to their writing, be it gun “facts” which have unconstitutional arguments to them. Digital platforms such as this one are growing in the state, and in the country, and being an educated society makes for a strong society. 

This writer will point out getting facts wrong. From media to legislators, critiques are made when deserved, even at the risk of getting criticized, myself. In the nastier times we live in, hearing “my mother should have been slapped when I was born”, is mild compared to what some are subject to.  That said, controversial topics will draw this nastiness out because we seem as a society incapable of civil discourse today. Saying that, I will call it out, when necessary.

This year’s legislative session and plethora of gun bills, left some of the supposed “experts” of the gun community thinking they were above criticism. That’s not the way it works. My friend, David, last night said to me “these people (gun community) should watch what they say as they will be called out when they make pompous remarks, or worse yet support an unconstitutional law”. I agree, as like myself in 2018, it is all part of the learning curve. The gun community “experts” need to learn they need to be accurate in what they say. Too many are altering the facts especially when they were not privy to a situation and witnessed facts. This “better than thou attitude needs to go as well”. It’s part of Rhode Island’s dysfunction. And no one is better than anyone else.

Some accurate facts that came up this week are as follows. The Third Circuit Court of appeals denied an en banc appeal by the PA government to overturn the 3 judge panels decision that ruled that the PA law banning 18-20 year olds from carrying or possessing firearms is unconstitutional. So the 3 judge panel’s decision is now a final judgement and applies to PA, DE and NJ.  I have reason to believe the gun shops in those 3 states will be swarmed with 18-20 year olds this weekend who want to exercise their inalienable right to self-defense and other law-abiding gun purposes that is reaffirmed in the US Constitution and then reaffirmed in the Heller, McDonald, Caetano, RI’s very own Caniglia and also the Bruen decisions. 

A reminder that Rhode Island’s very own Caniglia v City of Cranston at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS) was 9:0 unanimous ruling that the City of Cranston violated the Second Amendment rights and other rights of Edward Caniglia.  When the 18–20-year-old Rhode Island gun ban was brought up as to initiate a a legal case against the state of Rhode Island: the so-called gun community “experts” declared the case was not a priority right now. That was about 2 years ago.  This legal case is a slam dunk so why the hell is the case not important? And who sets that agenda we’re supposed to get behind? I truly wonder if the wool is being pulled over the rest of the RI gun communities eyes?  It is time to start questioning everything that has just been taken for granted. Dividing the gun community, as with other controversial advocacy issues, can be a strategy of who we are really facing.

Squatters, really?

In the State of Florida, Governor DeSantis was proactive and passed legislation to remove “Squatters” immediately from a home owned by another person.  At this moment, blue states like California and others are taking 6 months to evict “squatters” from the home of another. These “squatters” enter the home while the owners are away on vacation or at their winter or summer homes.  While the eviction process in these blue states takes 6 months, the “squatters” destroy the home they are trespassing in. Whether insurance companies will cover the damages through the homeowner’s policy is also in question.  Speaking to a number of conservatives in Rhode Island, if “squatters” entered their homes, the matter would be over in seconds not months. Rightly so, as Rhode Island has the castle doctrine, and stand your ground inside one’s home. Fortunately, this blue state issue is becoming a major problem, but it has not occurred in Rhode Island, where it could get ugly.

Have a wonderful Easter and enjoy the warm weather outdoors with your family!

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<strong>Jeffrey “Jeff” Gross strong>spent 21 years as an Analytical Chemist at the USCG R&D Center in Groton, Connecticut, Woods Hole Laboratories, and Helix Technologies. Changing careers is a “great learning experience for everyone”, Jeff says, and I’m an avid outdoorsman and conservationist, a student of the Sciences, and the world. The US holds too many wonders not to take a chance and explore them”.

Jeff is the Model Train and Railroad entrepreneur. Proud Golden Retriever owner. Ultra strong Second Amendment Advocate and Constitutionalist. “Determined seeker of the truth”.  Jeff is a RIFGPA Legislative and Legal Officer, Freshwater Chairman, NRA Liaison.

His subjects include Outdoors, Second Amendment, Model Railroading, Commentary, and Whimsical. He can be reached at: [email protected].

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