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Jim Gillis should go back to being funny and informative

I need to criticize Jim Gillis' weekly “Spare Change” column.

To me, it mostly feels like he's barely phoning it in, making it a waste of valuable column space - like Leonard Pitts' columns used to be, before The Daily News finally kicked that racist drivel to the curb.

Example: last week's comment about President Donald Trump. Gillis blithely uses Trump's statements on his appreciation of how hard the president's job is as opportunity for another one of his left-wing gotchas - never considering that maybe what Trump said was simply an honest admission that shows humility and respect. Gillis merely provides a superficial and glib assessment without any consideration of alternative points of view.

Another example has been Gillis' ongoing dismissals of the Breakers welcome center debate as too trivial to get excited about, unworthy of even being on his radar, despite the fact that many, many people in town believe it to be another example of government officials and corporate interests putting their own greed and egos over the wishes of the people.

Many residents, myself included, are feeling hopeless regarding the profitdriven changes to Aquidneck Island these past several years. Unfortunately, it's like to survive we have to get resigned to all this rapid, thoughtless development, stacking houses one on top of another to grab a water view by destroying someone else's.

There is a relentless erosion of neighborhoods going on, with little consideration for maintaining the town's historic character. That's why we believe new construction of a large, modern building on the Breakers landscape is a heartless travesty, an unnecessary desecration of historically sacred grounds. We deserve support, not contempt from our local newspaper. But Gillis doesn't seem able to intellectually grasp the feelings and thoughts of others he either disagrees with or doesn't understand.

Has Gillis become incapable of writing anything beyond seemingly thoughtless, superficial and negative one-liners? Is he able to do more than trash anything he deems unworthy and beneath his esteemed consideration?

How about writing a local, weekly column that truly educates and informs readers, the way Bob Kerr used to do in the Providence Journal?

I remember when “Spare Change” used to be funny and informative, nothing like the negativity it often is today. When will editors at The Newport Daily News demand that Jim Gillis step up his writing again, beyond what are now mostly random, unrelated personal musings that often don't add up to very much?

Newport County newspaper readers and residents deserve more, much more.

Karen Gavin, Middletown

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