2007-06-28 / About Town

Bush to speak at War College today

By Dotti Farrington

The Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority (RITBA) last week authorized $5,100 for extra round-the-clock security because of a triple burden of activity this week and next.

The Rhode Island State Policebased security was ordered for the visit of President George Bush as part of major events at the Naval War College (NWC) in Newport, as well as the Tall Ships presence in Narragansett Bay in the bridge area. The week's events include fireworks displays both Friday, June 28, and Wednesday, July 4.

Traffic from about a quarter of a million visitors for the events was the main focus of the RITBA extra security contingent. The trooper presence was intended to enable more efficient communication and dispatch of added security as might be needed, authority officials said.

Other agencies cited plans for security for the Tall Ships, particularly to establish boundaries around the Tall Ships and other craft on the bay. Details of added security arrangements for the week were not made public.

The office of President Bush confirmed late Friday that he would speak at the Naval War College this morning at an international military symposium for the 50th anniversary of the NWC Naval Command College for an expected 1,600 top ranking military officials from around the world who studied there over the years. The President was to speak to the military leaders about "the global war on terror," according to his press office.

Reports about the Bush visit said it was the first for the Republican president to the predominantly Democratic state, and will leave Vermont as the only state he has not visited during his presidency,

Gov. Donald L. Carcieri invited Bush several months ago, according to the governor's press office. The governor was scheduled to host other Republican governors at the Hyatt Regency Newport on Goat Island for talks on education and finances. They then were to attend a clambake at the Eisenhower House at Fort Adams State Park. The confirmation of the President's visit to Newport did not specify plans for his attendance at the Hyatt and Fort Adams programs.

The President was expected to go from Newport for a vacation of unspecified length at his family's seaside home in Kennebunkport, Maine.

Leaders of the Rhode Island Community Coalition for Peace, based in Providence, said members were planning a presence in Newport during the Bush visit to give their message that they support an end to the war in Iraq.

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