Police on my back

Since when do you get busted for playing a Clash tune?    
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  April 27, 2006

Phillipe & Jorge hear unconfirmed reports that a taxi driver, in one of those Mideast countries run by hirsute sons of the dessert, was charged with being a terrorist, or infidel, or simply just a fan of oldies, for playing the Clash’s “Rock the Casbah” on his car radio. The late Joe Strummer might have been a terrorist, but we tend to think of him more as a flat-out rocker with bad teeth.

This reminds us to offer a long overdue plug to WRIU (90.3 FM) for its Sunday programming schedule, which washes over us, beginning at 8 am, as we peruse the Sunday papers and dig into the New York Times’ crossword, or when we go to our favorite tanning salon, Fake-A-Bake, to tone up our George Hamilton looks. 

World Wide Waves (8-11 am) provides some of the best world music you can find, an amazingly eclectic blend that has turned us on in particular to some very fine African artists. You have never heard anything quite as bizarrely funky as “Rock the Casbah” being sung in Arabic (save for the chorus). We were treated to that upside-down yellow cake just recently.

Following up, from 11 am until 2 pm, is Shades of Blue, an equally stimulating mix of old and new, with favorite songs of P&J that we never thought we would hear on the radio. It’s a final elephant’s burial ground for Muddy Waters, the coolest man to ever walk the Earth, and his pal Howlin’ Wolf.

WRIU is the University of Rhode Island’s station, but that isn’t why we are plugging it (Jorge is a URI alum). It just happens to be people’s radio as it should be. How’s that for a Sunday sermon?

Bowling with lefties
One of the most successful efforts for international peace and justice to grow out of Vo Dilun came 20 years ago with the Providence-Niquinohomo Sister City Project. With Nicaragua under assault from the Reagan Administration’s contra army, Vo Dilunduhs stepped up, helping to provide medical, building and school supplies to a city that was being torn apart by war.

In 1986, 60 Rhode Islanders traveled to Nicaragua to build a health clinic in the oppressive heat. Two years later, another 100 Rhode Islanders went to build a school on the outskirts of Niquinohomo, in Justo Romero. Through the years, the Sister City project has continued, shifting its aid to the most needed projects.

The program went from sending construction brigades, to material aid, to grants for locally initiated projects. There has been support for a water project, rural electrification, public sanitation, a sewing cooperative, a women’s center, local artists, as well as the sending of thousands of dollars in medical supplies every year. Longtime Sister City folks tell us that their most lasting legacy is the woodworking shop started by William Smith and Rosi Viadaurre, which is now the largest employer in Niquinohomo.

This Sunday, to mark the 20th anniversary of that first group of pilgrims, the Providence-Niquinohomo Sister City Project is bringing back one of its most successful (and fun) fundraising tools — the duckpin bowl-a-thon.

P&J remember the great times at Chip’s underground lanes bowling with the likes of William McLaughlin, now deceased, the Brown University professor and Rhode Island historian, and a who’s who of local peace and justice types. The latest bowl-a-thon will take place on Sunday, April 30 from 4 to 6 pm at the Town Hall Lanes, 1463 Atwood Avenue, Johnston.

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