A trip over the Sakonnet River Bridge will soon cost drivers. Will it hurt business in RI? Could it help business in Bristol as more drivers use Mt. Hope?
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Monday, May 20, 2013
Recent goings on at the Rhode Island State House.
General Assembly launches easy-to-use bill tracking email system Members of the public who want to track the progress of certain bills throughout the legislative session can now use the General Assembly website to sign up for email updates. After a simple registration process, a member of the public can subscribe to up to 50 bills of his or her choice. Using the new tool, one can search for bills by committee, category, sponsor, range of bill numbers or individual bill numbers. Users will receive email updates regarding the change in status of these bills hourly, daily, or weekly, depending upon their preferred settings. Senate passes legislation banning gender rating in health insurance market Falling into step with the federal …
Eva-Marie Mancuso, the state’s new Board of Education chair, uses courtroom demeanor to try to convince angry teachers and nervous parents that change is necessary.
Eva-Marie Mancuso enjoys a lively debate but is clear about one thing: When it comes to education in Rhode Island, the status quo is not an option. At a recent Q&A session in East Greenwich, the state’s new Board of Education chair, sparred with state Sen. James Sheehan (D-NK, Narr.) over teacher evaluations, cajoled teachers to work with the state, and tried to reassure at least one parent that using passage of a test as a graduation requirement is the right move. The forum, organized by the EG Democratic Town Committee, was held at EG’s Town Hall, the former Kent County Courthouse. The setting suited Mancuso, a personal injury lawyer. Although the new Board of Education for the first time combines all levels of public education in the …
Thursday, May 16, 2013
The Roger Williams University students have been studying ways to improve Woonsocket's dilapidated Main Street.
Transforming Woonsocket's sporadically vacant, dilapidated and economically challenged Main Street to a vibrant cultural and business center requires more residents, teamwork, organization and a full-time manager. Those suggestions were part of the presentation Roger Williams University Professor Jeremy Wells and five of his graduate program in historic preservation students noted in their recommendation for Woonsocket to adopt the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Approach Monday night at the Museum of Work and Culture. Wells and his students have been studying the downtown Woonsocket Main Street area for the last few months, speaking with community leaders, business owners, and incorporating the Cecil Group's Main …
Wednesday, May 15, 2013
The Portsmouth Town Council will issue a RFP for ferry services to Prudence and Hog Islands. The Prudence Island Ferry boards in Bristol.
The Portsmouth Town Council will seek requests for proposals to provide ferry services to Prudence Island, as well as Hog Island. The Prudence Island Ferry, the only means of public transportation for Portsmouth residents from Prudence Island to Bristol, will end its service on Dec. 1. The Portsmouth council voted Monday night for the town administrator to draft a RFP for ferry services to Prudence Island. The council is also looking into adding ferry services to Hog Island, too. Ferry services to Hog Island have not existed for more than a decade. What do you think about these plans? Tell us in the comment section below.
Tuesday, May 14, 2013
Presentation of "Main Street Approach" held at 6:30 p.m. at Museum of Work and Culture.
Roger Williams University Professor Jeremy Wells and 50 of his students will make their case for using the National Trust for Historic Preservation's Main Street Approach in Woonsocket tonight, 6:30 p.m. at the Museum of Work and Culture. Wells and his students, who have been studying the downtown Woonsocket/Main Street area, chose the Main Street Approach, "...because no other downtown revitalization approach has such a long track record of success, information and support," Wells wrote in a recent release. Roger Williams' assistance comes via a pilot program from the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation (RIEDC) marshaling the university's Community Partnerships Center on the city's languishing downtown center. Mayor Leo …
Rhode Island Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse rebuts "magical thinking" masquerading as religious viewpoint on carbon pollution.
Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) took the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday to rebut the remark of a fellow senator, whom, he said, told him God wouldn't allow humanity to ruin the planet with carbon pollution and climate change. "It is less an expression of religious thinking than it is of magical thinking," Whitehouse said. The remark sweeps aside consequences, duty, responsibility and awareness of the issue of climate change, he said. "That is seeking magical deliverance from our troubles, not divine guidance through our troubles," Whitehouse said. The senator hasn't attributed the remark that spurred the speech, but The Huffington Post reports Sen. Pat Roberts (R-Kan.) recently said he didn't know what humans have done to Mother Nature. In …
Monday, May 13, 2013
Residents in Portsmouth and Tiverton say they plan to drive around the Sakonnet River Bridge to avoid bridge tolls.
Bridge tolls on the Sakonnet River Bridge are not expected to begin until this summer, but area residents are already changing their daily routes to avoid these extra fees. Despite pending legislation, the town of Portsmouth's lawsuit and outcrys from many communities, the Department of Transportation plans to transfer ownership of the Sakonnet River Bridge this summer. The new owners, the Rhode Island Turnpike and Bridge Authority, plan to install bridge tolls on the span between Portsmouth and Tiverton. On Tuesday and Wednesday, I asked Portsmouth and Tiverton-Little Compton Patch readers if they were already changing their daily routes to avoid bridge tolls. Here's what a few, who plan to change their route, said: Allen Thibault …
Here are the highlights from news and events that took place in the General Assembly this week.
Primary offense for seatbelt violations in Rhode Island remains in place With the 2011 seatbelt law set to expire on June 30, the House of Representatives voted to repeal the sunset provision so that failure to wear seatbelts by adults will remain a primary offense in Rhode Island. The House passed the bill (2013-H 5140), sponsored by Rep. Anastasia P. Williams (D-Providence). Sen. Joshua Miller (D-Cranston, Providence) sponsors the Senate companion bill (2013-S 0352). Click here to see news release. Senate OKs Crowley bill to use technology to catch Medicaid waste and fraud The Senate approved legislation (2013-S 29A) sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth A. Crowley (D-Central Falls, Pawtucket) to require the state to use technology to screen …
Saturday, May 11, 2013
Rep. Dennis Canario talks about recent gun legislation.
The following is an op-ed submitted by Rep. Dennis Canario. In the wake of the horrific tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, the General Assembly leadership joined with Gov. Lincoln Chafee, Attorney General Peter Kilmartin and law enforcement officials to introduce a package of gun legislation, including several bills that seek to strengthen existing laws dealing with firearms violations. Since the introduction of those bills, the House Committee on Judiciary, on which I serve, has held a lengthy hearing. Over the course of about eight hours, many people testified on the various bills. There was clearly a great assortment of opinions, from strong support to strong opposition. I am writing to share with my constituents …