A few weeks after my report on the City of Providence's dramatically expanded use of parking meters and heightened collection efforts, the ProJo's Daniel Barbarisi followed up yesterday with more details on the City's consideration of so-called SmartBoots.
This raises the specter of an intensifying and confiscatory nanny state, as seen with this detail:
Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline has won plaudits for putting city government on a more ethical footing and for overseeing a construction boom, among other achievements. Yet two recent developments -- the consideration of selling the main downtown branch of the Providence Public Library, and the closing of the West Broadway School, over the wishes of a number of parents -- are stripping at least some of the shine from the Renaissance City.
When even Ed Achorn whacks Governor Carcieri for not sounding a sufficient alarm about Rhode Island's problems, you get a sense of the difficult times facing the Ocean State. One piece of this puzzle is the state's brain drain, and I've got a story about it in today's Phoenix.
Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline offers an implicit response, of sorts, to Achorn with an op-ed in today's ProJo, headlined, "RI must climb out of its budget rut."
Once upon a time, a pair of Providence city councilors found out that moving forward a progressive agenda was much more difficult than they thought would be the case. (Note: This is one of those dodgy older links that is highly irregular. Suffice it to say, it concerns a 2004 story I wrote in the Phoenix about how Miguel Luna and David Segal ran into a lot of frustration while trying to make progress in bringing First Source to fruition.
Do you see parking meters popping up in new and different places in Providence? You're not just imagining it.
Have you been unfairly slapped with a ticket? Judge Caprio is a pretty understanding guy, but fighting tickets (like the one for a parking prohibition contained in this tree) takes time (and perhaps more money to park in the PPD garage, too).
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.