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  • May 19, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Newspapers have hastened their own demise by offering their content on-line for free. Here in Rhody, an interesting approach: the Newport Daily News will soon allow on-line access only for subscribers.

    Assistant Publisher William F. Lucey had this to say in a Daily News piece on the effort:

    Lucey said he remembers many television watchers were against paying for cable service 20 years ago because they were used to getting free over-the-air channels.

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  • May 18, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    A month after crowding the State House lawn with a tax-day rally, of surprising size, against wasteful government spending, the organizers of the so-called "Tea Party" are back at it again.

    In an e-mail to supporters titled "Save the Date to Save Our State," Tea Party coordinator Colleen Conley is calling on backers to turn out at the State House June 10 to push for pension reform and cost-cutting measures championed by Republican Governor Donald Carcieri.

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  • May 18, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    US Senator Ted Kennedy's endorsement of Barack Obama during the Democratic primary last year was, of course, an important bit of symbolism for the candidate - Camelot passes the torch to a new generation.

    But it was also noteworthy in that it signaled a split between the nation's two most storied Democratic families - the Kennedys and the Clintons.

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  • May 15, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    As evidence mounts that the Bush Administration pursued torture for political ends - to elicit evidence of a tie between Saddam Hussein and Al-Qaeda in a bid to justify the Iraq War - Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is stepping up his already sharp rhetoric on harsh interrogation techniques.

    A report in the Daily Beast by former NBC investigative reporter Robert Windrem says that Vice President Dick Cheney suggested waterboarding a former Hussein intelligence official who might have knowledge of Iraq-Al Qaeda ties.

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  • May 14, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    With William J. Lynch, Democratic party chairman, announcing his interest in the Attorney General's post soon to be vacated by his brother, Patrick C. Lynch, who is gearing up for a gubernatorial run, a question: are two Lynches one too many for Rhode Island voters?

    No, it says here.

    This state has a seemingly bottomless appetite for political dynasties.

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  • May 14, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Rhode Island Senators Jack Reed and Sheldon Whitehouse have recommended that President Obama name Assistant U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Peter F. Neronha the new U.S. Attorney for the state.

    “Peter Neronha is a veteran prosecutor and a dedicated public servant. He is a true professional. His exemplary service in the U.

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  • May 13, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Tune into Sheldon Whitehouse's Senate subcommittee hearings on the Bush Administration's "torture memos" here. And in the meantime, here's the senator's prepared opening statement:

    Winston Churchill said, “In wartime, truth is so precious that she should always be attended by a bodyguard of lies.” The truth of our country’s descent into torture is not precious, it is noxious.

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  • May 13, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Sheldon Whitehouse kicks off Senate subcomittee hearings today on the Bush-era legal memos justifying harsh interrogation techniques. But it is, oddly, Democrats finding themselves on the defensive on the issue as questions linger about what Congressional leaders - particularly Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi - knew when about torture.

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  • May 12, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    A lawsuit filed by Robert Ceprano, the tax collector fired by Providence Mayor David Cicilline in January, alleges that the mayor intervened to waive interest on back taxes owed by Richard Bready, the CEO of Nortek, and other favored friends.

    Ceprano, according to the ProJo, alleges that he refused to take a $25,000 check from Bready for back taxes because it did not include the interest, only to have Cicilline's chief of staff intervene, explaining that Bready was "a generous contributor to the city."

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  • May 12, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Karen Malcolm, executive director of the labor-backed Ocean State Action advocacy group, is stepping down after seven years on staff. Peter Asen, a former journalist now on staff with Ocean State, will step in as interim director. From Malcolm's desk:

    As our state and nation face these tumultuous times, there is also amazing opportunity for change and growth.

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  • May 11, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    I'm all for Providence's own Deer Tick getting some love in the mainstream media. David Fricke of Rolling Stone recently gave the band, once described in the Phoenix as purveyors of "whiskey-fueled, rock-tinged, tall-grass country," a nice little boost when he named the outfit the breakthrough act of the SXSW music festival in Austin, Tex.

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  • May 08, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    Oh, it's not over. Weeks after talk radio finished beating on Mayor David Cicilline for the "P" - you know, the little orange letter meant to rebrand Providence as the "Creative Capital" - our favorite little controversy resurfaced yesterday with a front-page piece in the Wall Street Journal on the local tempest and the broader debate over branding places.

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  • May 07, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    The US Senate's Environment and Public Works Committee today signed off on Rode Islander Cynthia Giles' nomination to the Environmental Protection Agency's top enforcement post. From Sheldon Whitehouse's office:

    Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works (EPW) Committee, applauded the committee’s voice vote today endorsing the nomination of Cynthia Giles, of Barrington, RI, to be the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s Assistant Administrator for Enforcement and Compliance Assurance.

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  • May 07, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    I admit it. I was still a Manny Ramirez fan - even after he pushed the Red Sox traveling secretary. Even after he whined his way out of a Red Sox uniform. The guy was entertaining. He was mercurial. More than you can say for most of the stiffs in baseball uniforms. But now, a report from the Los Angeles Times that Manny has tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug and will be suspended for 50 games. Oh, Manny. It may be time to reconsider.

  • May 06, 2009
    By David Scharfenberg

    While the US House and Senate judiciary committees move cautiously on an independent review into the Bush-era torture memos released by the Obama administration, Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is taking an increasingly aggressive posture.

    The Rhode Islander's Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts today announced a May 13 hearing that will be Congress' first on the memos.

    Read More

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