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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - December 22, 2017

Friday, December 22, 2017


Every Friday, GoLocalProv breaks down who is rising and who is falling in Rhode Island politics, business, and sports. 

Now, we are expanding the list, the political perspectives, and we are going to a GoLocal team approach while encouraging readers to suggest nominees for who is "HOT" and who is "NOT." 

Email GoLocal by midday on Thursday anyone you think should be tapped as "HOT" or "NOT."  Email us HERE.


Related Slideshow: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - December 22, 2017

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David Salvatore

The newly elected Providence City Council President deserves credit for working the angles and putting together the votes to take the top spot.

Becoming council president is more about math than ideology — can you put together 8votes.

As GoLocal reported Monday, Salvatore had met over the weekend with Council colleagues to secure support for his bid. 

"I am honored and humbled to have the support of my colleagues on the council to support me to serve as President of the Providence City Council. I am grateful to Council President Pro Tempore Matos for her service as acting Council President.  I look forward to working with every member of the council on behalf of all Providence's residents," said Salvatore. 

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Singer and Songwriter, Wildee, thought a move to Westerly for her husband’s new job at Electric Boat meant the end of her music career, but since relocating and making the conscious decision that she “wasn’t done with music”, her career has taken off and is propelling her into the next level. 


After taking a year off from music, the Temecula, CA native began writing and performing again and has since opened for some of her country music idols, Eric Church, Billy Currington, and even RI’s own Billy Gillman. 

She has had radio airplay on local country music stations, and has made enough connections in Nashville to encourage a new relocation, to the country music capitol of the world early next year. 

Wildee performed her new single, “Burn,"on LIVE, which will be released in February. 

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GoLocal LIVE

Launched in February of 2017, GoLocal LIVE is a first of its kind live online digital program that features interviews, reports, and even music with the biggest names in Rhode Island, across the United States, and the world.

When launched, GoLocal LIVE was intended to connect Rhode Islanders faster and more dynamically to the most newsworthy and most interesting people. It has now done it more than 1,000 times and watched millions of times on GoLocal, on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. All of it takes place in our studio on Weybosset Street in the Financial District in downtown Providence at the Navigant Credit Union Broadcast Center.

“What has been exciting is we have been able to bring a sweeping array of cool and innovating quests in the region, the nation, and the world -- ranging from New York Times bestselling authors, to the United States' National Archivist, to leading experts on race in America,” said Molly O’Brien, Lifestyle Editor of GoLocal LIVE.

“One of America’s top writers, Ben Mezrich, kicked off his book tour with us for his latest book ‘Wooly’ and I saw him at a fundraising event a couple weeks later — he was all about the GoLocal format because he had an opportunity to speak at length about his career and his next projects,” said News Editor Kate Nagle.

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Toys for Puerto Rico

Hasbro has teamed with the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve and Hillwood Airways to deliver 30,000 toys and games to families in need in Puerto Rico this week.

“Our purpose as a company is to make the world a better place for children and their families, and we are grateful for this opportunity to help make a difference for deserving families this holiday season,” said Brian Goldner, Chairman and CEO, Hasbro, Inc.

The Hillwood Airways cargo plane filled with Hasbro toys and games will depart for its first flight the morning of Wednesday, December 20, from the Fort Worth Alliance Airport in Texas and arrive that evening at the Luis Munoz Marin International Airport in Puerto Rico, just three miles southeast of San Juan.

All toys and games will be unloaded before the plane departs to Miami to pick up more toys and games and then embarks on a second flight back to Puerto Rico on Thursday, December 21.

Toys for Tots Marines and volunteers will be on the ground to receive the toys and games, and then distribute to nonprofit organizations throughout Puerto Rico in time for Christmas on December 25 and Three Kings Day on January 6.

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Sabina Matos

She lost out on the Council presidency. She could not put together the votes. But, she showed class going out the door.

For the past seven months, I have had the pleasure and honor to serve the city that I love as acting City Council President. Because of that opportunity, I have been able to meet so many wonderful people across Providence. I now have a greater understanding of the many challenges and opportunities present in our city.

Since taking office, my goal has always been to put my constituents and our city first. Although I had hoped to serve out the term, I only wish the best for our newly elected Council President David Salvatore. I will continue to advocate for all residents, and I look forward to continuing working closely with David and my City Council colleagues.

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Chris Callaci and UNAP

United Nurses and Allied Professionals [UNAP] General Counsel Chris Callaci appeared on GoLocal LIVE to talk about how the announcement that up to 200 jobs will be saved at Memorial Hospital came to pass, following dialogue between the union and Care New England [CNE] -- and after Callaci said UNAP had not even been at the table, until it took legal action.

Callaci said that following the announcement of Memorial's closure, that he reached out to the Governor Gina Raimondo's office and the Department of Health, to no avail -- and it was only when UNAP claimed that critical provisions in the Hospital Conversions Act (HCA) had been ignored by CNE during their attempt to close Memorial and eliminate operations without following any regulations -- and when UNAP filed a lawsuit -- did CNE agree to sit down with UNAP. 

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Joe Trillo

Most everything out of Trillo's mouth or posted to social media is, well its embarrassing. For a guy who had a decent career up on Smith Hill, he is now undoing it all with silly insults and ridiculous comments on Facebook.

He is transforming into the gubernatorial Chris Young.

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Brown University’s Demolition Plans

The very definition of NOT HOT maybe Brown University this week. The University's plans to tear down, destroy, demolish, obliterate a group of pristine and historically important buildings on College Hil faced a ton of negative feedback from Brown faculty, students, neighbors, preservationists, environmentalists and just about anyone else who has heard about Brown's  plans.

What may be more absurd is that they are claiming that the proposed 500-seat performing art center will have minimal impact on traffic and parking on College Hill.

It is nearly impossible to find a parking space nearly anywhere Thayer Street.

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Providence School Department

The father of a 6th-grade student at Nathan Bishop in Providence -- who is in a wheelchair and has cerebral palsy -- contacted GoLocalProv on Monday afternoon to blast the bus company and school department, after he said he was called by the bus to pick his son up along the route, after the wheelchair lift broke -- for the second time in one day. 

"There's just no contingency plans for these kids. It's not acceptable," said Randy Lutz. "Meanwhile the [bus] door's open, it's 30 degrees out, and you've got these kids stranded on a bus. To be exposed to the cold for you and I is one thing, but for these kids who have underlying issues -- you're putting kids lives in jeopardy."

Lutz, who lives in Washington Park, said he was called mid-afternoon to come pick up his son on North Main Street, when the wheelchair lift broke again, after it had malfunctioned on the morning route. 

"I had to go find the school bus -- he's on a wheelchair bus -- and I find him and lift him in his wheelchair through the exit, because the lift is stuck down on the bus," said Lutz. "These things happen, but the same thing happened in the afternoon after it just happened this morning?"

"So that big door on the back is open, it's 30 degrees or less out, and kids sitting there -- my son has cerebral palsy, and is susceptible to something like pneumonia, and they're putting these kids on extreme risk on the way home," said Lutz, who said it took him approximately an hour to get to the bus. "And on top of that, they don't seem to have much concern.  When I got there at 4:20 to pick him up, there was no mechanic there. I'd gone to Warwick and back and get there before any assistance from levels."

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Providence School Department - Part II

Just weeks after a Classical High School parent questioned a teacher allegedly sleeping in class, students at the award-winning Providence high school have begun an Instagram page to vent their concerns about what they say are a myriad of issues facing Classical. 

The Instagram page, #ClassicalCrisis, contains posts that call out teachers by name for alleged incidents pertaining to issues of race, sexuality, health, and more -- by some accounts with names, while others remain anonymous 

"There are many issues facing Classical, to be perfectly honest," said page administrator, Classical Senior Alana Thompson. "To put it roughly, there is a lot of racism, transphobia, homophobia, and general bigotry that bleeds through at all levels including the teachers and [sic] admin. They have also blackmailed multiple students, they are complacent in the occurrence of sexual harassment and assault, in addition to allowing bullying to continue and escalate, and punishments will occur (or not occur, for that matter) depending on how much they like someone as a person or how good their grades are. They will also give punishments that extend outside of the law, such as holding someone in detention for longer than the legal time allotted. They have also ignored students’ pleas not to call their parents because they are abusive."

"As far as education and academics go, many of the teachers are incompetent and have been complained about for years by many students. It should not take a parent going directly to the Providence Public School Department to handle a teacher; yet it does, however, and this only takes care of one out of the mass of inadequacy," added Thompson. 

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More bad numbers and more bad numbers. 

The Rhode Island ACLU is calling the latest numbers from the state regarding the timely provision of food stamp benefits “alarming.”

The November 2017 timeliness rates issued by the RI Department of Human Services show that nearly one of every two of the neediest households in the state did not get their food stamp applications in time.

According to a letter sent to special master Deming Sherman from the ACLU and the National Center for Law and Economic Justice (NCLEJ), “the percentage of applications for which expedited SNAP was issued within 7 days was only 58.19%. This means, of course, that almost four out of every ten households determined to be the most destitute went without timely assistance during the holiday season.”

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Don Grebien

It is hard to hit a guy when he is down, but his newest (seems like daily) PawSox funding concept proposed by Pawtucket Mayor Don Grebien has an endless number of holes in it.

Grebien is hard working and affable and no one deserves the number of hits he has been taking, but the silly and detail vacant PawSox proposal undercuts his own effort to save the PawSox.


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