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  • May 22, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    I take a long view at this question with my cover story in this week's Phoenix:

    Once upon a time, there was a very smart man, Ira Magaziner, who devised a 1000-page plan — dubbed the Greenhouse Compact — to reinvent Rhode Island’s flagging economy by using $750 million in public investment to seed the high-tech businesses and high-wage jobs of the future.

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  • May 21, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    As Rhode Island continues to wrestle with massive deficits, we're starting to hear some novel suggestions about how to deal with the situation. Bob Walsh has floated a few concepts, such as privatizing a 10 percent chunk of the state Lottery and putting a one-way (incoming) toll booth at the point where I-95 leads from Connecticut into Rhode Island.

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  • May 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Over at Anchor, Don gets the broad strokes right in this post:

    As someone who has led corporate turnarounds for nearly 20 years and has read extensively on what it takes to lead successful change initiatives, it is appalling how little progress has been made to effect real change in the face of the current crisis here in RI.

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  • May 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    State budget is out of whack and the local economy is sucking wind? Check.

    Dems run the show in the legislature, and Republicans can't get a foothold? Check.

    Quintessential boondoggle involving dubious activity (around the Central Landfill)? Check.

    Corruption trial? Check.

    Just another day . . .

  • May 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    This from a release touting URI economist Leonard Lardaro's latest tracking data:

    The year 2008 continues to be a nightmare for Rhode Island’s economy. The Index remains at 8 for March, pointing to a second and deeper recession phase. Fifty is a neutral value—anything below that represents contraction, while anything above it represents expansion.

  • May 10, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    It's not surprising that the latest state revenue estimates have come in lower than previously expected, but this hardly makes it easier to contend with the situation. Here's the heart of Steve Peoples's report today:

    Until yesterday, Governor Carcieri had officially anticipated a budget deficit of $384 million for the fiscal year that begins in July.

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  • May 09, 2008
    By webteam

    drug_illoINSUIDE

    We're at a point where Governor Carcieri, legislative leaders, and A.T. Wall, director of the state Department of Corrections, basically agree on the need to expand treatment options for non-violent criminal offenders. Doing so is smart policy and more cost-effective than keeping such criminals warehoused at the ACI.

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  • May 02, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Renaissance Man Robert Healey, the leader of the Cool Moose Party in Rhode Island, knows just how tough it is to build an alt-party. In 2002, I wrote about the challenges facing alternative parties.

    Healey, 45, who is still hailed by strangers on the street as "Cool Moose" and "the Moose Guy," is currently running for lieutenant governor on a platform of abolishing the office.

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  • May 01, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    JerzykInside1

    As I report in my story on the RI blogosphere, Matt Jerzyk, the leading light of the Rhode Island's Future blog, is looking to sell it. Matt, who is about to graduate from Roger Williams Law School (and as I note in my piece, is a friend and a Phoenix contributor), elaborated this way:

    For me, I have given 3 years of my life to getting RI Future off the ground and I am ready to pass the torch sometime in the near future.

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  • April 30, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From Rhode Island College:

    The survey was conducted between April 17-28, 2008 and sampled 400 randomly selected registered voters for a 4.5 percent margin of error. The sample was drawn reflecting voter contribution by geographic region in recent statewide elections.

    Gov. Donald Carcieri submitted several cost cutting proposals, which the House of Representatives responded to last week.

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  • April 29, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Labor activist Patrick Crowley, who's been on the warpath lately against Governor Carcieri (Pat, we suspect, would say it's the other way around), sends word of this rally:

    Community Activists, Organized Labor and Religious Leaders Will Join In Calling On State Leaders To Promote Economic Justice For All Rhode Islanders

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  • April 25, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Grow Smart RI does a lot of good work in helping to preserve the best of the state's distinctive character, so Scott Wolf and his crew want you to know about the group's May 2 Power of Place Summit, for which registration closes next Tuesday, April 29, at noon.

    Our inaugural Power of Place Summit in 2006 drew nearly 500 opinion leaders, state and local officials, academics, development professionals, investors, journalists and citizen activists for the launch of Rhode Island’s new smart growth oriented state land-use plan.

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  • April 23, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In the course of my habitual channel-surfing, N4N moves on when I find ultimate fighting, rather than Roadhouse, on Spike TV. However, Paul Wachter's recent New York Times Magazine profile of ultimate fighter Shad Smith was nothing less than fascinating.

    Shortly after he was released from California’s Avenal State Prison in early 2005, Shad Smith got a call from the organizers of an underground fight club called Felony Fights.

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  • April 22, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Last week, when I took part in a taping of A Lively Experiment, Ron St. Pierre asked whether it was wrong for state lawmakers to take a spring break with the state facing such dire fiscal problems. Lou Pulner offered the best response, describing how the traditional last-minute passage of a cascade of legislation poses a greater concern.

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  • April 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Peoples elaborates today on the pension and tax proposal discussed by state Senator Stephen Alves during his appearance last weekend on 10 News Conference, while also describing the sharp reaction. And while it's understandable that George Nee, for example, wants to be a part of this conversation sooner rather than later, the pushback (which was keenly anticipated by Jim Taricani during Sunday's show) underlies the difficulty of delivering change in Rhode Island.

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