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  • January 31, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    For the baseball obsessives among us, the New York Times had an inspired headline -- and a pretty good story, too -- earlier this week. Spring training will be here before we know it.

    IMHO, I'm glad the Helton deal didn't happen. The Sox don't need to be giving up young studs like Hansen and Delcarmen to get an aging slugger.

  • January 31, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: The ProJo is reporting that Celona got 2 1/2 years.

    Deadline commitments are keeping me from the sentencing this morning in US District Court of former state Senator John Celona of North Providence, a central figure in the ongoing probe of State House influence-peddling. While US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente described the status of this investigation as "extremely active" in January 2006, further developments -- including the recent indictment of two men linked with drugstore giant CVS -- have happened quite slowly.

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  • January 30, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Providence is receiving attention for impressive reductions in crime, and justifiably so. The city's 11 homicides in 2006 represented the lowest figure in many years, and this happened at a time when Boston, which enjoyed considerable success in reducing violence in the late '90s, has seen its murder rate soar. The Providence Police, under the leadership of Dean Esserman, as well as the Providence streetworkers, deserve considerable credit for this good news.

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  • January 29, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Today marks the official launch of my blog, Not for Nothing, which draws its name from a bit of the Rhode Island vernacular and focuses on Rhode Island politics and media. I hope to add to the civic discussion and to break some news.

    Later this week, the Phoenix will carry a story by Erica Sagrans about the growing merger of politics and technology in the state.

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  • January 26, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Despite denials by the Carcieri administration, the widespread belief is that the governor sought the resignation of Colonel Steven Pare, the superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police, and that former state police Major Brendan Doherty will be his successor.

    The ProJo's Amanda Milkovits captured some of the undercurrent in a a January 13 story

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  • January 25, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Even with widespread recognition about the failings of the drug war, moving in a new direction remains difficult for states, in large part because of entrenched practices. I've got a look in this week's Phoenix at how the state deficit and crowding at the ACI are causing RI policymakers to consider a different approach. In related news, Brian C.

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  • January 25, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    Hard on the heels of the news of that the Providence Journal was withdrawing as the lead sponsor of the annual Rhode Island Statewide Spelling Bee, the ProJo is pinching more pennies. While the newspaper industry remains in a collective state of anxiety, because of the movement of readers and advertisers to the Internet, these cuts seem small-minded and short-sighted, not to mention harmful to newsroom morale.

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  • January 24, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    We can assume that courtesy, not support for the policy, explains why Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse applauded President Bush not long after he talked last night about the importance of bringing the fight to the enemy. And we can only ponder how we might be better off without this mess.

    Still, the lack of a domestic attack since 9/11 offers some fuzzy support for those inclined to conflate the war in Iraq with taking on the threat of terrorism.

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  • January 23, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    One of Rhode Island's unsuccessful 2006 candidates recently contacted me to vent about the influence of money in politics, and how the press rates the credibility of candidates according to their war chests. Well, as I told him, welcome to the real world. It's sad, but true, that money remains the juice on which our politics runs.

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  • January 22, 2007
    By Ian Donnis

    With Rhode Island's 2006 election season barely having passed, a potentially large field of prospective Democratic gubernatorial candidates is already shaping up for 2010, including Frank Caprio, David Cicilline, Patrick Lynch, Elizabeth Roberts and perhaps Charlie Fogarty. Cicilline has cultivated a lot of positive press since taking office in 2002, but any number of politically gifted mayors -- including Buddy Cianci and Boston's Kevin White -- have received rude awakenings when they've tried to run statewide.

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