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  • July 13, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Fresh from issuing a new report about the rising impact of taxes in Rhode Island, RIPEC's Gary Sasse makes an appearance on Newsmakers this week. With a stuctural deficit of $400 million expected for 2009 through 2012, Sasse says the time to reform state spending is now.

    As one example of inefficiency in spending, Sasse cited how Rhode Island has 39 assessors -- and how a study group back in the late '60s/early '70s had recommended reducing this number to five!

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  • July 13, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Who knows if Mr. Butch, a.k.a. Harold Madison Jr., ever made it to Rhode Island, but the Worcester native was a longtime folk hero-celebrity of the street in Boston, where he was a fixture in Kenmore Square and Allston. Butch, who is said to have been in his late 50s, was fatally injured yesterday during a scooter accident in Boston.

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  • July 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    As part of my July 6 interview with US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, I asked him, "Do you think Americans are more or less safe since 9/11?"

    Here's his answer:

    I think we're less safe since 9/11, because I think the Bush administration has failed to adequately implement the 9/11 Commission report, because they've failed to adequately implement the Baker-Hamilton report.

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  • July 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    As if it wasn't already abundantly clear, so much for those who want to believe that the Bush administration is tough on terrorism.

    From the AP:

    WASHINGTON -- U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded al-Qaida has rebuilt its operating capability to a level not seen since just before the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, The Associated Press has learned.

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  • July 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    I'll be venturing to RI-PBS this afternoon to take part in this week's taping of A Lively Experiment. The show is broadcast on public TV at 7:30 tonight and then again at noon Sunday.

    Last week's show was particularly, uh, lively, considering the fireworks going back and forth between John DePetro and Bob Walsh. Perhaps the most entertaining moment came when Walsh expressed his willingness to debate DePetro on JD's show, provided that Dan Yorke serve as the moderator.

  • July 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Jon Scott was the far more credible of the challengers to US Representative Patrick J. Kennedy last fall. I've had the opportunity to speak with him since, and Jon is a bright guy with a strong measure of interest in public service. Earlier this week, Tom over at RI Report theorized that Scott may challenge US Senator Jack Reed when the Democrat comes up for reelection:

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  • July 12, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    RI Future's Matt Jerzyk offers a look in this week's Phoenix at how the campaigns of the Democratic presidential contenders are shaping up in Rhode Island, as well as the role that the state will play in electing the next president:

    inside_Dems111

    On an overcast night in early June, nearly 100 of US Senator Barack Obama’s local supporters crowded into the Peerless Lofts in downtown Providence, watching campaign videos, writing checks, and signing up to volunteer.

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  • July 11, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    After 9/11, some observers suggested that the clash between the West and Islamic extremists would foster a generation of more politically active and civicly engaged young people. Unfortunately, a new study doesn't offer much encouragement (h/t Romenesko).

    From Reuters:

    War and politics are largely ignored by American teenagers, according to a Harvard University study released on Tuesday, which found that 60 percent of them pay little attention to daily news.

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  • July 11, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Speaking of local literary life, ProJo scribe Mark Arsenault's occasional writing column, The Mystery of Writing, is a welcome addition to the Lifebeat section, which often can otherwise be digested in under 90 seconds.

    Mark, an excellent reporter, knows a thing or two about writing, having published several mystery novels (I profiled him last year), and his pleasantly laconic sense of humor -- as well as some useful advice -- comes out in his column.

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  • July 11, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    The Providence Athenaeum, one of Rhode Island's great jewels, celebrates its 169th birthday today. If you've never been, it's a great time to check it out. (Btw, Christina Bevilacqua, an occasional Phoenix contributor, has done a stellar job in enlivening the Ath's calendar of events -- even more of a reason to consider becoming a member.

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  • July 11, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Props to the junior circuit for winning. Ichiro is amazing. And as moving as it was to see the tribute to Willie Mays, the way in which Barry Bonds glommed on and was cheered by his hometown crowd was revolting.



  • July 10, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: The ProJo also had coverage of plans for the Thursday evening event.

    Speaking of the strip-mining of American newspapers, some of those recently departed from the Times of Pawtucket are due to be celebrated on Thursday. Phillipe & Jorge have the details:

    You may recall that a couple of weeks back, your superior correspondents were ruing the departure of a number of longtime scribes from the Times of Pawtucket.

    Read More

  • July 10, 2007
    By webteam

    So says Brian Wilder of Cranston, who has an eloquent -- and important -- letter to the editor in today's ProJo:

    As a daily newspaper reader, how would you like it if you could only get news from the Internet?

    As newspapers across the country shrink, lay off staff or shut down, this is where we are headed. For example, The Boston Globe recently closed all of its foreign news bureaus, while the Los Angeles Times, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Dallas Morning News and dozens of other major papers have recently had significant staff layoffs.

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  • July 10, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Greater City: Providence, a newish group with a strong interest in planning and development issues in the capital city, holds its latest monthly get-together at 5:30 this evening, at Spats Restaurant on Angell Street.

    Here's how GC:P describes itself:

    Greater City: Providence promotes the growth and development of the Greater Providence region in as urban a pattern as possible.

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  • July 10, 2007
    By webteam

    As John Mulligan reports today in the ProJo, the Senate is continuing to press for changes in policy on the war in Iraq. US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse discussed the same topic when he sat down with me in his Providence office this past Friday. Here's an excerpt from our talk, more of which will be in this week's Phoenix.

    Even with some of the weakening Republican support – Senator Domenici, Senator Lugar – the White House shows no sign of backing away from its strategy on Iraq

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