Who’s the Nancy?

By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  November 15, 2006

Being a bit longer in the tooth than Rick, these aging queens can go a bit further back on Tavares, a talented quintet of five brothers that had disco and soul hits in the 1970s and 1980s. (Think Harold Melvin and the Bluenotes, if they were Portuguese and knew where Gano Street was.)

When Philippe arrived here in the late 1960s to attend college, there was a group called Chubby and the Turnpikes, which later morphed into Tavares. (Chubby was one of the five founding brothers — and he wasn’t chubby, but that’s family showbiz.) At age 18, P. used to go to a Fox Point bar at the corner of Wickenden and Brooks, then known as Manny Almeida’s Ringside Lounge, after a local boxer. A huge, neon sign proclaimed it the place “where the leading sporting figures of the world unite.”

Although the drinking age then was 21, P. and friends had been introduced to the owner through a story too long to tell here, and they were quite welcome. When he celebrated a birthday there and the bartender gave him a free shot, he said “What are you, 19?” to which P., in his haste, quickly assented.

To make a long story long, the top hit for years on Manny’s jukebox was “I Know the Inside Story,” by Chubby and the Turnpikes, who were already local legends. It is nice to see them get their due, and judging by Massimo’s article, it appears they still have that touch of and affinity for the local stomping ground that gained them so many admirers and hometown fans even in the early days. 

Are you next?
In response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request and lawsuit filed earlier this year, the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island recently announced it has received documentation confirming that federal officials entered information about a local peaceful protest into a terrorism database.

At the time of the ACLU’s FOIA request, news reports indicated that the Pentagon had gathered and shared political surveillance data with other government agencies through its Threat and Local Observation Notice (TALON) database. Former Deputy Secretary Paul Wolfowitz initiated TALON in 2003, purportedly to track groups and individuals with possible links to terrorism.

However, the media reports indicated that the database included information about peaceful protests, including one held in December 2004 by the Rhode Island Community Coalition for Peace (RICCP), in front of the National Guard recruiting station in downtown Providence.

The TALON document, dated December 10, 2004, begins by stating that it is being provided “only to alert commanders and staff to potential terrorist activity or apprise them of other force protection issues.” The memo explains that “an emerging RI coalition in opposition to the war in Iraq will hold a picketing action in front of a RI National Guard Recruitment Station” on “13 Dec 04 from 1630 to 1800.” The memo adds that the goal of the protest is “to create an awareness of an organized, action oriented anti-war movement in Providence.”

The “incident type” is labeled “specific threats,” and the source of the warning is described as “a special agent of a federal law enforcement agency.” The memo adds that the source apparently obtained the information from a “posting on an Internet bulletin board.” Nice, huh?

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