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  • November 17, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    During her appearance at Providence's Central Congregational Church last night, NPR's Mara Liasson noted how Barack Obama has been likened to the Google of politics -- because of his facility with technology and because of his unparalleled audience.

    She had not yet read the story about how Obama is going to have to give up his BlackBerry, but Liasson predicted that Obama's socially-networked legion of followers and super-volunteers will be regularly called upon to contact lawmakers and otherwise support his agenda.

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  • November 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    While Obama's use of YouTube has been cited as an emblem of his tech-friendliness, it's only a matter of time before his BlackBerry gets yanked, reports today's New York Times.

    But before he arrives at the White House, he will probably be forced to sign off. In addition to concerns about e-mail security, he faces the Presidential Records Act, which puts his correspondence in the official record and ultimately up for public review, and the threat of subpoenas.

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  • November 15, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    During a Thursday evening panel discussion as part of URI's Journalism Day, Marc Genest saved his biggest salvo for last.

    Genest, a professor at the Naval War College in Newport, spent most of his speaking time excoriating what he called an overwhelming media bias in favor of Barack Obama during the presidential campaign.

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  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Speaking of Tim White, he was interested by my short piece this week on Wayne Franklin, so Franklin and Owen Johnson, another of the new wave of entrepreneurs who sometimes gather under the Geek umbrella, joined us for this morning's taping of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers.

    Johnson went so far as to say that Providence has tipped in favor of a point where the smal but important IT-digital media sector can make some big gains.

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  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    My friend Tim White has been doing an excellent series on WPRI-TV, Probing Pensions, looking at the high cost of overly generous pensions at a time when Rhode Island and its cities and towns continue to struggle with budget issues.

    His latest report details how the most lucrative pension in the state goes to retired Providence fire chief Gilbert McLaughlin, who collects a monthly tax-free sum of $12,991.

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  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    081114_edit_main

    Marriage Equality RI has a benefit tonight . . .

    Cranston - Although the Ocean State is now officially the "Island of Inequality" when it comes to equal marriage rights for its gay and lesbian citizens, hope abounds. On Friday November 14 at the RISD Auditorium in Providence, Rhode Island, the Marriage Equality Rhode Island Education Fund (MERIEF) will host a celebration of the recent landmark decision in Connecticut allowing gay and lesbian couples to marry with a special meet and greet reception and the Rhode Island premiere of the newly released documentary, Saving Marriage.

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  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From Advocacy Solutions:

    Advocacy Solutions is pleased to announce today that we have acquired the State Relations and Campaigns practice of Clarendon Group, a Providence-based public affairs firm.

    Beginning January 1, 2009, Clarendon Group's current State Relations and Campaigns team -- led by Arianne Corrente Lynch and including John Longo and Allison Kerbel -- will join the Advocacy Solutions staff where they will continue to provide the same outstanding level of service to their existing clients while contributing to our growing state relations and grassroots practices.

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  • November 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From the Young Dems:

    PROVIDENCE - The Rhode Island Young Democrats - www.riyoungdems.org - announced today the election of Meghan Grady (23, Barrington) as president, Kimberly Ahern (25, Providence) as vice-president and Eric Coury (25, East Providence) as national committeeman. They are replacing outgoing president Andy Andujar (29, Providence), vice-president Matt Jerzyk (31, Providence) and national committeeman Julian Dash (30, Providence).

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From the General Assembly:

    STATE HOUSE –The Public Utilities Commission is preparing to review National Grid’s proposed plan to comply with a new law requiring the company to credit customers for excess solar or wind energy they produce.

    The new law, sponsored by Rep. David A. Segal of Providence and passed by the General Assembly in June, requires electricity suppliers to use “net metering,” the practice of allowing customers on the electrical grid to be credited on their electricity bills for the value of electricity that they produce with generators such as solar panels or wind turbines but do not use.

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    081114_goldberg_amin

    You've heard about this underground. Now it's time for the real thing. In this week's Phoenix, Greg Cook writes about the unexpected world that Peter Goldberg found in Providence's combined overflow sewer project.

    The steely, gritty black and white photos that he's printed in his studio show silhouetted men walking toward bright lights at the end of tunnels, a couple workers hanging out in a makeshift underground lounge, a bearded driver of a boxy mine train snaking down the dark tunnel, a man wading in the water licking the top of the tracks.

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Lots of chances to discuss the just-past presidential race. Besides David Gergen at RWU this evening, and a panel tonight at URI, NPR's Mara Liasson is headed our way.

    National Public Radio’s Mara Liasson will deliver the fifth Darrell West lecture on “The Impact of Race, Religion, and Gender on the Presidential Election”.

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    It's official. Tom Heslin, a presence at the Providence Journal for more than 25 years and the seeming heir-apparent since the retirement of Joel Rawson, has been appointed as the newspaper's executive editor.

    Heslin's ProJo career dates to the paper's glory days. Yet whether he can reverse the newspaper's decline is a big question.

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Franklininside.jpg

    Rhode Island faces a very difficult balance: deal with the massive fiscal problems at hand, and, at the same time, build on existing strengths without getting dragged down in doom-and-gloom.

    Yet Wayne Franklin, who I write about in this week's Phoenix, is a glass-is-half-full kind of guy:

    "I think a lot of the stuff is the smaller layers that make a city great," says Franklin, who became intrigued with Providence after repeatedly flying into Rhode Island and seeing parts of its cityscape while driving on I-95 to Boston.

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  • November 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    081114_redblue_main

    Mike Miliard takes up the question in this week's Phoenix:

    "A military base is like the most successful flowering of socialism in the world," says Kathy Roth-Douquet, co-author, with Frank Schaeffer, of, How Free People Move Mountains: A Male Christian Conservative and a Female Jewish Liberal on a Quest for Common Purpose and Meaning (Collins).

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  • November 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Last week, as many Americans were celebrating the victory of Barack Obama, Heather Klink and a group of her classmates at Roger Williams University staged a vigil to protest the continued imprisonment of the Egyptian blogger known as Kareem Amer.

    Klink, a senior, says she learned about Amer's case after taking PEN, a class taught by novelist Adam Braver in which students discuss the plight of imprisoned writers.

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