The Lighthouse Park Expansion, facilitated by a deal Susan Rosenthal, then RIOC‘s leader, cut with the city deteriorates in the autumn sun. It’s three years of unfulfilled promises and no sure future.
by David Stone
(Above: An old shelter from a now forgotten bus route lingers, broken glass and all in the Lighthouse Park Expansion area. An empty Hennessy bottle takes a spot on the bench.)
Excited about the possibilities, RIOC then Assistant Vice President Jonna Carmona-Graf invited community input in a session at Good Shepherd Community Center.
But that was January 2020, and a few months later, Carmona-Graf was an early victim of the Shelton J. Haynes era at RIOC. With her went the plans and community ideas, and they have not been seen since.
Carmona-Graf’s presentation broke the map down into real, active possibilities for the community to consider. Examples from other city parks suggested wide-ranging possibilities.
Where are they now?
The gap between promise and reality widens every season.
There is no realistic connection between the plans considered by residents two and a half years ago and this junk heap settled into the soil.
Where is RIOC with the extension? Nobody knows, but in a spring board meeting, RIOC President/CEO Shelton J. Haynes mumbled something about building…another parking lot.
That plan is still too ill-conceived – we hope – to become reality, but where is the park?
The Lighthouse Park Expansion Today
Stagnant water, dumpsters and grassless fields greet visitors along the East Promenade.