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  • July 24, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Tourism is a $5 billion industry in Rhode Island, and with ongoing budget woes (and high gas prices), you'd hope the state might be able to realize more revenue from this sector.

    To some, the state has an excess of tourism-related agencies. They include:

    The state division of Tourism, part of the RI EDC.

    Five independent regional tourism councils, funded in part through the hotel tax, representing the Blackstone Valley, Newport County, Block Island, the East Bay, and South County

    Read More

  • July 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Wags used to say that some day there would be an occasion when there's not a casino story on the front of the ProJo. The topic du jour these day, of course, is immigration.

    One colleague makes a good point. The subjects of yesterday's raids were reportedly maintenance workers at six local courthouses -- a situation showing the extent to which these individuals are performing low-level work in our midst, in public institutions.

    Read More

  • July 03, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    The gov's office released this optimistic statement earlier this week:

    Governor’s Renewable Energy Plan Gains Momentum

    Funding Approved for SAMP

    Governor Donald L. Carcieri today announced that the Rhode Island Renewable Energy Fund Board of Trustees approved funding for the development of a Special Area Management Plan (SAMP) covering Rhode Island’s offshore waters, executed by a joint partnership between the Coastal Resources Management Council (CRMC) and the University of Rhode Island (URI).

    Read More

  • June 18, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Via the Geeks:


    Photo Copyright 2008 Nathaniel R. Walker

    Wednesday, June 16, 2008, 5:30 – 9pm
    AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI
    FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)

    Summer would seem to be upon us – so come slurp a cold one and scarf a spicy one while we talk tech.




    Read More

  • June 16, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    The ProJo's Lynn Arditi has done some great stories on the human impact of the foreclosure crisis in Rhode Island, and she had another one yesterday, a profile of a constable who does hard work, trying to make a living while forcing people from their homes.

    One day he noticed a child’s crayon drawing taped to one of those refrigerators, and the reality startled him, like a slap.

    Read More

  • June 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Making a spot-on case, the ProJo editorializes strongly in favor of the former:

    Instead of doing all they can to develop the full potential of Providence as a working port, some public figures are, almost unbelievably, trying to undermine it. Mayor Cicilline, for one, has been advocating “mixed-use” zoning that would bring in marinas (not exactly a full-fledged year-round business in these parts), retail stores and condo developments.

    Read More

  • June 09, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Today marks the start of the City of Providence's charette for the future of the waterfront along Allens Avenue. Dan Barbarisi offers coverage here. For my previous report on the clashing visions for the area, click here.

    The Providence Working Waterfront Alliance has released a study to coincide with the planning session.

    Read More

  • June 06, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    Ever since Bill Gates became a skrillionaire, the social status of geeks everywhere has been on the ascent.

    Not coincidentally, Providence Geek Jack Templin wants the local geek community to increase its already impressive representation in PBN's 40 under 40 sweepstakes:

    By my count, last year's list featured 5 terrific leaders from the ITDM community, or 12.

    Read More

  • June 04, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    I'm a bit late in getting to this, but here's another sign of some of the positive efforts being made even as Rhode Island continues to face serious economic challenges, via PR maven Andy Cutler:

    June 1, 2008 (Providence, RI)—On Tuesday, June 3, Dr. Barbara Alving, director of the National Center for Research Resources (NCRR), will join Rhode Island’s research community, policy makers and business leaders at Rhode Island’s second annual Collaborative Research Symposium, entitled Emerging Biomedical and Life Sciences Research in Rhode Island.

    Read More

  • 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.

    Read More

  • May 21, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    From your friendly neighborhood geeks:

    Wednesday, May 15, 2008, 5:30 – 9pm
    AS220, 115 Empire Street, Providence, RI

    FREE (buy your own food and drink – it’s cheap)

    The Search Agency Logo

    Next week’s Geek Dinner will feature a presentation by the Founder and CTO of The Search Agency and Providence Geek regular, Carl Dunham.


    Read More

  • 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.

    Read More

  • May 14, 2008
    By Ian Donnis

    So says a new report by Citizens for Tax Justice:

    The report finds that:

    • The majority of the benefits of the tax cuts for capital gains and dividend income go to the richest one percent in every state.

    • Revenue collected by the capital gains tax was much higher during the Clinton administration, when the tax rate on capital gains was higher.

    Read More

  • 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.

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