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Jeff Grybowski: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

 

Jeff Grybowski: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

Deepwater Wind has been in the spotlight now for years — and this December, finally came online, under the direction of CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

Grybowski, who had been a top staffer under then-Governor Don Carcieri, was the focus of a CBS News feature on Tuesday. 

As GoLocal reported on December 13:

After years of planning, regulatory hurdles, and construction Deepwater Wind is now online and producing energy.

“Our success here is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of local workers who helped build this historic project, and to the Block Islanders and the thousands more around the U.S. who’ve supported us every step of the way of this amazing journey,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

“America’s first offshore wind farm was built thanks to the ingenuity, innovation, investment, and collaboration of many people working together. These five massive turbines spinning above the ocean are technological marvels and a tribute to the outstanding work of our laborers, trade unions, engineers, and clean energy technicians. I hope that in addition to providing clean, renewable energy, the offshore wind model we’ve put in place here can generate more wind projects and good-paying jobs,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed, a senior member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, and cosponsor of the Incentivizing Offshore Wind Power Act.

The Deepwater project was envisioned under Governor Don Carcieri's tenure.

“This is a triumph for the American worker and U.S. energy independence, and it’s just the beginning,” said Tom Kiernan, CEO of the American Wind Energy Association (AWEA). “Offshore wind presents a unique opportunity for additional U.S. ocean energy development. Scaling up will create well-paying American jobs and drive private investment to strengthen our infrastructure.”

The question now is the cost efficacy of the alternative form of energy, which Rhode Island business leader John Hazen White, Jr. had questioned back in 2013.

"As Deepwater inches along in its quest to deliver the first offshore wind project in U.S. waters, new concerns are being raised about the costs that Rhode Islanders will have to pay in electric rates for Deepwater, even as other supplies of onshore wind power energy – at much cheaper rates - are being secured by the state," wrote Hazen White. 

 

Related Slideshow: 16 Who Made a Difference in RI in 2016

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Paul Morse: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

While many Rhode Islanders set out to make a difference in their communities in 2016, perhaps no one walked the walk -- or talked the talk -- more than East Providence's Paul Morse. 

As GoLocal reported:

East Providence's Paul Morse is encouraging Rhode Islanders to #BeTheChange by doing 30 good deeds for people in a 30 day stretch. 

Morse also started a Facebook group so that others could contribute things that they are doing. The group is over 1,000 members. 

GoLocalTV has more.

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Alexandra Diaz: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

At first blush, it looked like it was going to be a story of everything wrong with youth sports, after an 18-year old played briefly in a pre-teen football game in Providence for 12 and 13 year olds. 

The incident went national, culminating in late-night show host Conan O’Brien making it the punchline of a joke. However, Alexandra Diaz, the founder of the Capital City Buccaneers, the team who played the older teen, took action as soon as she discovered what happened — and fought to keep the other youth playing, and cheering, for the program, who had nothing to do with the incident, but initially faced a ban. 

As GoLocal reported:

The founder of Providence's Capital City Buccaneers is speaking out after a 18-year-old played in a pre-teen varsity football game -- and the entire team program, which includes other age groups and cheerleaders -- got banned from the league.

READ MORE HERE

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Max Wistow: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

The veteran Rhode Island lawyer has been behind the state's 38 Studios lawsuit  since 2012 -- and in 2016 the effort to recoup some of the taxpayers losses saw major headway. 

As GoLocal reported in September:

Curt Schilling, Thomas Zaccagnino, Richard Wester, Jennifer MacLean, and their insurer, Starr Indemnity and Liability Company, have agreed to a proposed $2.5 million settlement with the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation in the 38 Studios litigation. 

The settlement was filed in Rhode Island Superior Court on Monday and is contingent upon court approval. 

If the Court approves the settlement, the Corporation will have obtained settlements totaling approximately $45 million in the ongoing 38 Studios litigation, more than half of the state's $88 million moral obligation on 38 Studios bonds for both past and future appropriations.

READ MORE HERE

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Lauren Niedel: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

In a year where Progressive Democrats were on the move, Niedel was one of the driving forces behind the successful - if not surprising - Bernie Sanders effort in Rhode Island.  

Niedel and her team deployed the tried-and-true tactics of grassroots organizing - and a Get Out The Vote (GOTV) effort that saw the Democratic establishment turned on its head come primary day.

In April, Niedel outlined her strategy to GoLocal, when rallies were being planned in support of Sanders.  

"Our rally is incorporating The Democracy Spring events that are taking place across the US. It is specifically geared to energize Bernie Sanders Base in RI. We will be focusing on the GOTV effort. For Bernie to win we have to knock on more doors and make more calls than the Clinton campaign - and through this rally not only will it be an amazing time, but we will also capture that energy and enthusiasm as a call to action for our GOTV effort," said Niedel. 

READ MORE HERE

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The Speidels: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

While Providence has seen a number of new highly acclaimed restaurants open in the last several years (Birch and Oberlin, Milk Money, to name a few), it’s not every day you get a five-time regional James Beard “Best Chef” nominee opening up shop.

But Champe Speidel along with his wife Lisa upped the Providence food game when they bought the building on Hope Street that had formerly (and famously) housed the Rue de l’Espoir.  And they brought with it the established Persimmon from Bristol, which had scored two national James Beard nods for excellence in service. 

And patrons have weighed in to sing their praises as well, giving the East Side restaurant, giving the Speidels an average of over 4.5 stars out of 5 for over 140 reviews.

READ MORE HERE

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Billy Gilman: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

He’s the Rhode Island wonder boy that could, that made us believe in second acts.

After starting off as a child star, Gilman’s journey in the music world took him to The Voice this year, where he finished second in the wildly popular reality music show.

Gilman was born in Westerly in 1988, recording his first single, "One Voice," at 11 years old. "One Voice" became a top 20 hit on the Billboard country music charts making Gilman the youngest singer to have a top 40 hit on the country music charts. Later that year, he released an album, of the same name, on Epic Records, and it became certified double platinum in the U.S. 

Gilman left Epic Records and signed with Image Entertainment in 2005 releasing "Everything and More," followed by the self titled album "Billy Gilman" in 2006.  After taking a break from music from 2009 to 2013, Gilman released a new single in 2014 titled "Say You Will.”

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Harris and Steele: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

In a year in which the Providence Board of Licenses was front-and-center in city politics, given numerous episodes of violence and drugs at nightclubs, former Board chair Johanna Harris and community activist Sharon Steele were front and center in trying to hold the board accountable. 

In September, former Attorney General Jeffrey Pine issued a scathing report on the protocol and procedures of the Board, which Harris and Steele have been consistently railing against. 

As GoLocal reported in September:

The Vault Lounge on Federal Hill, located in a building formerly owned by Congressman David Cicilline, and now by his brother John, got a total of a ten day closure by the Providence Board of Licenses (BOL) for a shooting outside the club in June. Now, Aqua Lounge on Broad Street is facing a thirty day closure after an August shooting on its premises — and the city solicitor is looking to pull its license altogether.

READ MORE HERE

Prev Next

Jeff Grybowski: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

Deepwater Wind has been in the spotlight now for years — and this December, finally came online, under the direction of CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

Grybowski, who had been a top staffer under then-Governor Don Carcieri, was the focus of a CBS News feature on Tuesday. 

As GoLocal reported on December 13:

After years of planning, regulatory hurdles, and construction Deepwater Wind is now online and producing energy.

“Our success here is a testament to the hard work of hundreds of local workers who helped build this historic project, and to the Block Islanders and the thousands more around the U.S. who’ve supported us every step of the way of this amazing journey,” said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeffrey Grybowski.

READ MORE HERE

Prev Next

Dr. Rajiv Kumar: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

The Shape-Up RI founder has come a long way - and fortunately for Rhode Island, has come back to his roots

From launching the successful workplace wellness program in Rhode Island over ten years ago, to growing it into a regional and now global healthcare leader, Kumar recently piqued the interest — and backing - of British entrepreneur Richard Branson’s Virgin Pulse, who acquired Shape Up this past February. 

READ THE REST OF THE STORY

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Dorian Murray: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

No one may have had more of an impact in 2016 on Rhode Island — and the rest of the world — than 8 year old Dorian Murray.

Murray, who was diagnosed with stage four cancer at the age of four, had wished to become famous -- and in the process inspired people around the globe with his courageous battle. Sports stars, music stars, television celebrities and more all posted photos to Twitter and Facebook using the hashtag #DSTRONG.

READ MORE HERE

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Julie Lynn Cardinal: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

At the beginning of 2016, women were still not allowed to be full members of the Westerly Yacht Club.  

And one woman - Julie Lynn Cardinal — with a very public pronouncement after a vote upheld the males-only policy, helped to change that.  As GoLocal reported: 

The club, which was officially formed in 1928, allows women to take part in club activities and hold leadership positions, but voted again Thursday night to maintain the males-only membership status quo.

READ MORE HERE

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Steve Frias: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

The hottest race in 2016 in Rhode Island was undeniably the contest between Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello and Republican challenger Steve Frias in District 15 in Cranston.

The Republicans went all in on Frias, in an effort to knock out the most powerful Democrat — and elected official — in state politics.   And Frias used the opportunity to push a number of issues — from pressing the Speaker on his position on then-Representative John Carnevale (when he was found not to live where he said he lived), to pushing for a line item veto, to keeping 38 Studios front and center when Governor Raimondo continued to refuse to direct the State Police to release the interview documents, and more. 

READ MORE HERE

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Benros, Arffa, Forbes, and Martin: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

Rosinha Benros, Phyllis Arffa, Lee Forbes, and Deena Martin had all owned restaurants at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket — and all went out of business at the hands of developer and landlord Lance Robbins. 

So when the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation announced this fall that Robbins’ Urban Smart Growth would be getting $3.6 million in tax credits to expand loft construction at the location, they decided they were not going to be silent.

READ MORE HERE

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Stefan Pryor: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

He was everywhere in 2016 in Rhode Island - from large deals to big controversies, and oftentimes in places somewhere in between.  If big business decisions were being made that involved state investment - and state taxpayer dollars — Pryor was there alongside the Governor making the announcements. 

Pryor, the Secretary of Commerce, had touted the unveiling of the $5 million tourism campaign that quickly fell into chaos when footage of Iceland was found used in the video; multiple errors were found on the website, and Tourism Chief Betsy Wall was ousted from her position less than six months after coming on board (and a gag-order was issued to keep Commerce employees from talking about her departure afterwards — ouch).

READ MORE HERE

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Dylan Molloy: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

Brown lacrosse star Dylan Molloy led the Bears to their first Final Four appearance since 1994 and then played the Final Four game against Maryland with a broken foot and scored two goals.

Following the season, Molloy was named the winner of the Tewaaraton Award, recognizing him as the top men's college lacrosse player in the country. He is the first ever Brown player to win the award and only the third Ivy League player. 

READ MORE HERE

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Joe Wilson, Jr.: 16 Who Made a Difference in 2016

In 2016, racial tensions heated up at Trinity Rep when members of the Brown University theater community criticized Trinity Rep for racial implications of casting decisions in its production of Oklahoma! as well as recent plays. 

In May, GoLocal reported of the silent protest that took place outside the theater:

Matriculating Brown/Trinity MFA student Adrian Blount was one of the students who spearheaded a silent protest outside the theater on Sunday before a performance of Oklahoma!

READ MORE HERE

 
 

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