Nicholas A. Mattiello - Rhode Island’s new Speaker of the House - is 50 years old. He lives in Cranston. He is a lawyer, a father, and a motorcycle aficionado with a preference for Harley Davidsons. He was first elected to the Rhode Island House of Representatives in 2006.
He is also, if you believe the many folks we spoke with for this week’s cover story, the most powerful politician in the state.
On this week’s “This Just In” page, we introduced you to Jim Nellis, “the Georgia-born, investment-banker-turned-social-media-consultant who is the mastermind behind RI Food Fights,” the operation putting on the “Spectacular Cookie Smackdown” this Sunday at Fete in Providence. Jim’s got an impressive resume when it comes to creating Facebook pages, and he’s got the #socialmediaswagger to go with it.
So, in case you haven’t seen our tweets, Facebook posts, print ads, online ads, radio spots, and articles on the subject (we’re normally quite shy, we swear), the Providence Phoenix turns 35 years old this year, and tonight - Thursday, November 21, 2013 - we’re throwing a party at Lupo’s at 7:00 p.m. to celebrate. All are welcome to this FREE shindig, which will include food from Wes’s Rib House (among other local joints); beer from the Revival Brewing Co.
Yesterday’s all-day celebration of the 350th anniversary of Rhode Island’s state charter included a ceremonial re-dedication of plaques at the Roger Williams National Memorial on North Main Street. Just after 1:00 p.m., a crowd of about 100 gathered to hear congressman Jim Langevin recall his days as RI secretary of state, when he was entrusted with overseeing the charter – a document described by the late historian Thomas Bicknell, he said, as “the greatest instrument of human liberty ever constructed.
@phileil @white_tim @NBC10_Jim @NewsProvidence @tenygross great u got the mom.
Norm Ornstein, of the American Enterprise Institute, is one of the nation's most respected Congressional observers.
That explains why he and Thomas Mann, another pillar of the Washington establishment, caused such a stir last year with their book It's Even Worse Than It Looks: How the American Constitutional System Collided with the New Politics of Extremism
When the East Providence Town Council this week unanimously approved a resolution in support of state legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage, it got the play of a minor story. And it was, no doubt, just a small part of a broader push to pass a gay nuptials law in Rhode Island.
But the vote, viewed another way, was of significance.
A key Brown University oversight committee has voted unanimously to recommend that the school divest from coal, delivering a significant victory to student climate change activists.
The Advisory Committee on Corporate Responsibility in Investment Policies (ACCRIP) has recommended divestment only three times before: from companies operating in Darfur during the genocide there, from tobacco corporations, and from HEI Hotels.
The Providence Journal posted news on its web site yesterday afternoon that executive editor Tom Heslin will retire April 25 after 41 years in journalism.
The paper noted all the essential elements of his impressive CV: he oversaw the investigative team that won a Pulitzer Prize in 1994 for its work on corruption in the state's judiciary; he guided the paper's remarkable coverage of the Station night club fire; he helped found the New England First Amendment Coalition and ACCESS/RI, which have pushed for greater transparency in government.
After a failed Congressional bid in 2010, former Rhode Island State Representative David Segal joined with digital prodigy Aaron Swartz to form lefty advocacy group Demand Progress.
The organization went on to play a central role in the remarkable Internet uprising last year that killed a pair of bills known as SOPA and PIPA.
Last week, online news and commentary web site The Ocean State Current - a project of the conservative Rhode Island Center for Freedom & Prosperity - ran a series of posts detailing the overtime pay doled out to state-employed psychiatrists, nurses, and laundry workers.
The pieces included some eye-popping numbers.
As you may have heard, I'm leaving my post as news editor of the Providence Phoenix in a couple of weeks to take a job as an online reporter at WBUR, a National Public Radio affiliate in my native Boston.
It's tough leaving a job I truly love. But I feel much better knowing the place will be in good hands: Phil Eil, a regular freelancer for the paper these past few years, will be taking my place.
Governor Chafee has taken a lot of flack today for comments he made in an interview with Buddy Cianci blaming the media for his poor approval ratings.
"We don't have a Walter Cronkite out there," he said, "somebody that just calms everybody down and says, 'Look.'"
"Instead, for some reason, the media just gets themselves whipped up," he continued, "who's the piñata of the day, who's the punching bag of the day.