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  • December 08, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    An action being staged later this week by Ocean State Action and some other groups:

    Next Wednesday, Dec. 10 - Join us as we say, "Housing is a human right"
    Dec. 5, 2008

    JOIN THE PEOPLE'S BAILOUT WEEK OF ACTION in PROVIDENCE:
    While the banks get bailed out, they are throwing families out of their homes.



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  • December 05, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Whether you see Rhode Island's glass as half-full (like Tom Sgouros) or approaching empty (like Ed Achorn), the folks at RI Nexus have a cool upcoming event:

    Making it through the Downturn and Emerging Stronger than Ever

    Where: RIEDC, 315 Iron Horse Way (ALCO), Suite 101, Providence. Google Map


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  • November 20, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    down+out_INSIDE.jpg

    Many social advocates across Rhode Island point to a "perfect storm" of adverse forces -- the fiscal crisis, budget deficits in RI, the foreclosure mess, high unemployment, etc. -- as we move into the holiday season. In this week's Phoenix, I write about this and some of the fallout.

    In a possible harbinger of similar efforts by other social agencies, Westerly Area Rest Meals (WARM) recently launched "A Dollar Makes a Difference!," a campaign in which it is seeking donations of $1 a week, from October 1 through March, 1 to help Westerly's most needy residents keep warm this winter.

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  • November 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From an op-ed by the senior senator in today's Call of Woonsocket and Times of Pawtucket:

    The average benefit to Rhode Island job seekers is $309 per week and may usually be collected for up to 26 weeks.

    Economists agree extending benefits is one of the most effective ways to stimulate the economy.

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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 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 12, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Answer: Neither can get their fiscal house in order.

    I'm hardly an expert on the auto industry. But haven't we been hearing for decades about how this industry has to be smarter and more competitive to outflank entries from Japan and elsewhere?

    Part of the problem is how the US auto industry -- back when gas was relatively cheap in the mid-'90s -- popularized the SUV, since the vehicles helped to propel the bottom line.

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  • November 07, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    UPDATE: ON SECOND THOUGHT.

    While it might not look good for Democratic legislators to skip the gov's conference, by and large, it's worth remembering that politics is personal. Governor Carcieri and his lieutenants spent a good part of recent months targeting legislative Dems, sometimes in harsh ways, so it's distinctly unsurprising, in the absence of overtures by the gov, that they would take a pass on attending what was billed as his conference.

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  • November 07, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In a campaign-worthy performance, General Treasurer Frank Caprio this morning rebutted Steve Laffey's recent criticism of him and his management of Rhode Island's state pension fund, signaling the continued opening shots of the 2010 gubernatorial race.

    Comparing the performance of RI's pension fund with its counterpart in Massachusetts doesn't make sense, Caprio said during a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers, since Rhode Island doesn't invest in hedge funds, and since the impact of the Bay State's considerable hedge fund investment won't be known for months.

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  • November 06, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From the LG:

    We all know that Rhode Island is home to thousands of unique artists, artisans, retailers, manufacturers, cafes, restaurants and farmers whose small businesses are locally owned and crucial to our neighborhoods, our quality of life, and Rhode Island’s overall economy. Unfortunately, many of these unique businesses and individuals are facing tough times as a result of the economic downturn and larger macroeconomic trends.

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  • October 31, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Laffey, the unannounced Republican gubernatorial candidate for 2010, recently took a cross-country tour with his family, landing in time to see C.C. Sabathia make his first outing for the Brewers. Laffey says visiting Mount Rushmore was the top highlight of the trip, and that he was tempted to set up a coffee shop in upper Montana.

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  • October 27, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Steve Peoples has the details from today's Revenue and Caseload Estimating Conference at the State House.

    "The worst is not over by any means," said Mike Lynch, an analyst with the firm Global Insight. "We see little cause for any optimism."

    Global Insight predicts that Rhode Island's unemployment rate will exceed 7 percent through the end of next year, among the highest in the nation.

    Read More

  • October 24, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    With state and national fiscal crises, state Treasurer Frank Caprio -- who has been aggresively fundraising for an anticipated gubernatorial run in 2010 -- is shedding the normal lack of attention that comes with his job and moving directly into the limelight. Case in point is the lead story in today's ProJo.

    Read More

  • October 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    During my recent Q+A with RISD president John Maeda, I mentioned how some futurists associate apocalyptic scenarios with "the singularity" -- the time when artificial intelligence accelerates past its human counterpart. Here's what Maeda said.

    That’s why I came to RISD, actually. I mean, yes, if you look at the future of technology, yes, you’re going to put something in your brain.

    Read More

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