Cranston #15: RI’s Best Communities 2012

Thursday, June 28, 2012


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It will be a challenge for the state's third-largest city to accept that a year's time and a set of small revisions in GoLocalProv's Best Communities formula might take it from its enviable #1 perch to #15, but this is the quantifiable reality for former champion Cranston in 2012.

Even when Cranston ruled the rankings, it was never a blockbuster, but a steady performer with a dominant position in Arts & Culture in 2011. This year, with more emphasis on Education, Cranston's #29 ranking pulled it down the list, as well as its Safety ranking of #31 and Economic Condition ranking of #30. Its laudable #6 ranking in Arts & Culture as well as #3 in Restaurants & Bars makes it a fun place to explore and enjoy nightlife, but it was not enough to overcome the schools and crime data. Can Rhode Island's champion make a come-back? Time, and the numbers, will tell in 2013.

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Cranston by the numbers

Established: 1754
Population: 80,387
Median household income: $57,922
Median housing price: $185,000

2012 Best Communities rankings

Overall ranking: 15
Affordability ranking: 13
Education ranking: 29
Economic condition ranking: 30
Safety ranking: 31
Arts & Culture ranking: 6
Restaurants & Bars ranking: 3

History in a nutshell:

Cranston was settled in 1638 by a few of Roger William’s acquantainces, the Pawtuxet Purchasers. Originally a part of Providence, Cranston become its own town in 1754. Similar to its neighbor, Warwick, Cranston’s early development arose from burgeoning textile and manufacturing plants located along the Pawtuxet River. Cranston became a city with its own city government in 1910. Today, Cranston is Rhode Island’s third largest city in the state and is a major commercial and industrial area.

Famous residents:

A.J. Smith, General Manager of the San Diego Chargers
Dennis Wholey, talk show host; was born in Cranston
Deon Anderson, played in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys
Elisabeth Hasselbeck, of Survivor fame and co-host of The View
Elisha Hunt Rhodes, noted General and American Civil War diarist
George J. Peters, United States Army soldier and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II
Hugh Duffy, major league baseball player
Jack Capuano, retired former professional ice hockey defenseman and head coach of New York Islanders
Jack Reed, U.S. Senator from Rhode Island
Marissa Castelli, Bronze medalist at the 2008 U.S. Figure skating Championships in novice pairs
Mark Van Eeghen, former NFL Pro Bowl running back who played for the Los Angeles Raiders and the New England Patriots
Michael Parkhurst, former New England Revolution soccer player, MLS rookie of the year
Monty Are I, popular American Rock Band
Nehemiah R. Knight, Governor of Rhode Island and U.S. Senator
Robert Knight, textile manufacturer, founder of Fruit of the Loom
Sasha Cagen, public intellectual and creator of the Quirkyalone movement
Sergei Khrushchev, son of former Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev, acts as a Senior Fellow at the Watson Institute for International Studies at Brown University
Steven Krasner, retired sportswriter and current author, born in Cranston
Christopher Lippitt, Revolutionary War officer, manufacturer
Tom Mellor, played in the National Hockey League, won a silver medal at the 1972 Olympics
Abraham Nathanson, developer of the game Bananagrams
Vinny Paz, former lightweight and light middleweight boxing champion
Will Blackmon, NFL defensive back for Green Bay Packers
Garrett McWeeney, professional basketball player/Hollywood playboy
William Carpenter, early settler from 1644
Frederick Lewis Weis, reverend, author
Don T. Volino, Jr. Italian philanthropist, media consultant
Steve Laffey, former Mayor of Cranston
Edward D. DiPrete, former Governor of Rhode Island and former Mayor of Cranston
Joe Trimble, former MLB pitcher for the Boston Red Sox and the Pittsburgh Pirates
Lauren Alviti, Miss Rhode Island Teen USA 1997
Freda Felcher, former girlfriend of Harry Dunne, Dumb and Dumber

Famous residents source: Wikipedia

For more Best Communities coverage, don't miss GoLocalTV, fresh every day at 4pm and on demand 24/7, here.


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