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  • December 29, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    As we get ready to kiss 2008 goodbye, reporters aren't the only ones facing a shrinking job market. Get a load of this recent listing from Slate:

    Before we get too weepy about lost journalistic jobs and folded publications, let's ask how often reporters lamented the decline of other industries, products, and services swamped by Rossetto's digital typhoon.

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  • December 29, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    There's not uncommonly a link between a down economy and a rise in violent crime, so the streetworkers based at the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence have their work cut out for them -- more so than usual.

    Appropriately, Ed Fitzpatrick took up the streetworkers and their efforts in a column on Christmas:

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  • December 23, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Rhode_island_2008review_main

    I recap 2008 in this week's Phoenix:

    For a good metaphor of the year experienced by Rhode Island in 2008, consider the economic-development summit called by Governor Carcieri in November.

    On the surface, the notion of seeking fresh thinking about the Ocean State's deteriorating economy was eminently reasonable.

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  • December 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In a switch, House Speaker William J. Murphy -- often described as the holder of the most powerful position in state government -- is taking a wait-and-see approach to just how long he wants to remain Mr. Speaker.

    During a taping this morning of WPRI/WNAC-TV's Newsmakers, Murphy indicated that he doesn't necessarily intend to hew to a previously discussed self-imposed eight-year limit on his speakership.

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  • December 13, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In the aftermath of 9-11, a boom in demand for American flag lapel pins was easy to anticipate. Richard McIntyre, an economics professor at the University of Rhode Island, knows of a fellow American who tried to win the manufacturing job for these pins to sell them to Wal-Mart. As McIntyre describes it, Wal-Mart demanded such a low price that the flag pins -- the kind for which Barack Obama faced criticism (for not wearing one during the bygone campaign season) -- that they were instead made in China.

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  • December 11, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    frog_toad_main

    [Asher at Frog and Toad in Providence]

    With the economy in rough shape, it makes more sense than ever to support locally owned businesses this holiday season. I write about the topic -- and offer some suggestions -- in this week's Phoenix:

    While some shoppers might be lured just by particular merchandise, Asher Schofield, a former graphic designer, also credits localism with helping to spur business, particularly during the current downturn.

    Read More

  • December 10, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Some speculate that Saul Kaplan was asked to give up his job as executive director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation. As we know, Governor Carcieri said via a statement that Kaplan plans to return to the private sector. At minimum, the timing is striking, given the state's very serious economic problems.

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  • December 09, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    I wrote earlier this year about the long-stalled nature of economic development in RI. Now, with this news from the gov's office, the task at the EDC will belong to someone else. Kaplan demonstrated a good understanding of the big picture, and I wish him well.

    Governor Donald L. Carcieri today accepted the resignation of Saul Kaplan, the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation.

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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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  • December 04, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Via PR maven Andy Cutler:

    December 4, 2008 (Providence, RI)— Pentair Electronic Packaging today announced the company will relocate several manufacturing product lines from Poway, California to the company’s Warwick, Rhode Island facility. The product line transfers will create additional new jobs at the Warwick site.

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  • December 04, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    In this week's Phoenix, Greg Cook writes about how the bad economy is affecting arts and culture in RI:

    In September and October, Trinity's The Dreams of Antigone played to 90 percent capacity, Columbus says, but that was driven by the sale of discount tickets. Audience members seeking bargains seem to be the reason previews of A Christmas Carol have sold out — an unusual occurrence — but more pricey seats during the regular run remain.

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  • December 03, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Efforts are heating up to promote local businesses for the holidays, and I'll have more on this subject in next week's Phoenix.

    For now, here's a quick look at some of what's going on:

    -- Craftland launches Friday.

    -- Farm Fresh RI's weekly winter market debuts this Saturday, from 11 am to 2 pm at Hope Artiste Village, 1005 Main St.

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  • November 21, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Goodison.Cohen.01INSIDE

    I agree with Matt and with David Carroll, who takes up the topic today in a ProJo op-ed: as Rhode Island struggles with joblessness, Providence's Working Waterfront should be stregthened, not weakened.

    Today, the piers and wharves of the Providence River handle ships and barges that bring in gasoline, home-heating oil, cement, highway rock salt and coal.

    Read More

  • November 19, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    AS220 is the spot, from 5:30-9.

    After October’s special event with Jason Fried, Providence Geeks returns next week to our regularly scheduled program. The November Geek Dinner will feature DandyID – a promising startup recently transplanted to our fair city from Boulder, CO. DandyID is a web service and team of social-web enthusiasts dedicating efforts towards simplifying users’ experiences amongst multiple online destinations.

    Read More

  • November 18, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    We know about the bad news on the RI economy. But the RI EDC's Saul Kaplan, in a news release today, points to some good news:

    Rhode Island was cited as a top performer in the 2008 State New Economy Index, a report published by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation and the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF).

    Read More

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