Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - March 2, 2018

Friday, March 02, 2018

 

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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? - March 2, 2018

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HOT

WARNING: Civil Discourse Wins Out

In a period of hate mongering, a politically charged fight between a brewer and a conservative group turned into a classy apology and a gracious acceptance.

As GoLocal first reported, on Wednesday, Sean Larkin of Revival Brewery took to Facebook to publicly cancel an event scheduled for that evening by the local chapter of America's Future Foundation, after seeing an Instagram post that accused AFF of being white supremacists -- which representatives from AFF not only strong refuted, but called out Revival for stifling free speech.

Then something happened -- an apology.

"We're happy to see Mr. Larkin has apologized, and look forward to seeing everyone at AFF-RI's event in March," said Larry Gillheeney with AFF. 

Apology Made

Larkin posted the following on Thursday morning:

Morning all.

Yesterday was a whirlwind of information and emotions.

It started with folks accusing my company of supporting "White Supremacy". This is an accusation that I'm sure most of you would agree is disturbing.

Blindly and without a major investigation into the group's background, I made a vague statement this is still up and posted in its unedited form.

For that, I owe the AFF an apology.

I have spoken to people inside and outside of their organization, who understand why I acted the way I did initially.

While I may not be a supporter of their organization, and I don't believe in crushing progressives as advertised in their event for the gathering, they do deserve an apology.

Please take this a formal apology of statements made on my personal page, I have no formal proof nor do I suspect anyone in the AFF Rhode Island Chapter to be racist or have any ties to "White Supremacy". My initial reactions on the matter were fueled by misinformation and I and we as a company made statements before all the facts were clear.

Thanks to Luis Vargas for the guidance on this matter.

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HOT

Marta Martinez

Trinity Repertory Company has named RI Latino Arts’s (RILA) executive director Marta V. Martínez to serve as Trinity's Artist-in-Residence. 

As an Artist-in-Residence, Martínez will advise Trinity Rep as they develop theater-based programs by and for the Latinx people of Rhode Island. Martínez will also study how Trinity Rep produces their plays, develops new work, and structures their theater education programs for young people, in the hopes of creating an independent bilingual theater company.

"Over the past three years, we have worked closely with Marta on our initiatives to collaborate with members of Providence's Latinx community,” remarked Artistic Director Curt Columbus. “I'm particularly thrilled Marta will be around our offices and rehearsal spaces more often, as we look to create more programming about, by, and for the Latinx audiences in Rhode Island.  We hope one day to announce with Marta the creation of bilingual Latinx theater company.”

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HOT

Carla Cueller and Family Services of RI

Family Service of RI (FSRI) is receiving a national award -- the Mutual of America Community Partnership Award -- recognizing its work with several Rhode Island police departments to provide psychological first aid and other help to victims of crime and violence.

FSRI's Carla Cueller, who has more than 14 years of experience serving as FSRI's bilingual Police Go Team Coordinator, providing culturally sensitive services to crime victims joined GoLocal's Kate Nagle on LIVE to talk about being deployed to crime scenes with the police officers on patrol. Cueller provides on-scene crisis intervention and mediation, interpretation, courtroom support, advocacy, and referrals for victims of sexual assault, homicide, child maltreatment, domestic violence, dating violence and other forms of crime. 

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HOT

Mickey Lamantia

Get ready for the next Rhode Island music star.

Cranston native Mickey Lamantia says he has a laid-back attitude when it comes to the recent attention and buzz surrounding “Every Bad Habit” his first full-length album.

“It feels good, things are happening,” Lamantia says.

The country singer and songwriter has received recognition and praise, recently Rolling Stone named Lamantia as one of the “10 New Country Artists You Need To Know” for 2018. 

At a time when popular country music can be dominated by “pop” music, Lamantia’s outlaw and traditional country album “Every Bad Habit” debuted at number 10 on the iTunes album chart.

“It’s more about the music and the songwriting and the craft of it,” Lamantia says, “I think the turn is coming where people want some more depth to the songs, and realness to it.”

Two of his songs, “Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms” and “How Do I Say Goodbye?” have over 2.5 million views and have been shared around 40 thousand times on Facebook. 

Lamantia explains social media has been a major factor in building his musical brand.

“This allows me to get around the country, without having to go out every weekend and tour…which is the way I would love to do it, but with the two kids I won’t put them at risk by chasing my dream unless it’s kind of secure,” Lamantia says. 

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NOT

Public Funding for the Proposed PawSox Stadium

Another day and another bad poll for the PawSox ownership group.

A poll conducted by a Democratic consultant on the proposed PawSox funding scheme looks to have failed to change the game, after Speaker of the House Nicholas Mattiello -- who is the key decision maker in whether the plan moves forward or not -- was lukewarm to the claims that it showed sufficient public support for the project. 

“The poll results are not surprising to me.  When given a neutral question (Question 7), only 40 percent of Rhode Islanders agree with the proposal," said Mattiello. "Those numbers rise only when prompted with assumptions that are speculative at best and are presented in the most favorable light to the proponents of the proposal.”

Following the survey commissioned by BuildRI.org and conducted by Democratic pollster Joe Fleming, the building trades are saying there is enough public support for the taxpayer-supported Pawtucket Red Sox ballpark proposal at the Apex site, however. 

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NOT

Ethics Commission

"Systems? We don't have systems?" is the attitude of the folks at the Ethics Commission.

Elected and appointed local and state officials are required by law to submit an annual Financial Disclosure Statement to the Rhode Island Ethics Commission, but a GoLocal review finds that the commission essentially has no functional tracking structure to know if an official actually submits their application.

A GoLocal request for a copy of the ethics disclosure form for Graham Waters, the Town Administrator in Coventry, was responded to with a series confused and incomplete responses. Waters became the Town Administrator in February of 2016. He is the highest-ranking official in Coventry.

Over a three-day period, Ethics Commission staff could only confirm that there was no form for Waters on file.

Lack of Tracking, Clarity, Answers

GoLocal had interaction with three different members of the staff and it became apparent that the Ethics Commission staff could not track the records and could not confirm if Water had been noticed for non-compliance.

“The question of whether he (Waters) is required to submit financial statements has not yet been addressed by the Town (Coventry). We have not sent him a form because his name has never been submitted to us,” wrote Michelle Berg, Financial Disclosure Officer of the Ethics Commission.

The Ethics Commission does not post Financial Disclosure forms online. Members of the public and the media must call or visit the office to access copies of the public documents. 

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NOT

Aaron Regunberg

Is New Mexico is close to Iceland? 

We all remember when the RI Tourism video included a video clip from Iceland.

Now, a campaign email from Lt. Governor candidate Aaron Regunberg claims he will not accept any money from the “NRA and gun lobby” and he wants to “turn New Mexico blue” a reference to making New Mexico a Democratic state.

Regunberg hails from Chicago, Illinois and came to Rhode Island to attend Brown University. He is running against incumbent Democratic Lt. Governor Dan McKee in the primary. Jake London from Regunberg's campaign said the error was inadvertent. "We copied over as part of our fundraising software and it did not get caught," he told GoLocal. 

His email reads:

How we win elections matters. This campaign we are building together is about empowering Rhode Islanders to be proud of our shared Democratic values.  

Dark money from special interest groups corrupts our democracy and often holds back elected officials from taking the bold stances we need on critical issues like universal healthcare, a living wage, climate action and gun violence prevention.

That’s why I’m proud to make a pledge to you. I will not to accept ANY money from the fossil fuel industry or from the NRA and gun lobby in my campaign for Lt. Governor.

The special interests we’re up against have lots of money, but this movement has you.

Help from friends like you is the only way we'll have the resources we need to win – so please sponsor our first big event of the year with $5 or more!

If you've saved payment information with ActBlue Express, your donation will go through immediately to turn New Mexico blue:

Express Donate: $5

Express Donate: $10

Express Donate: $25

Express Donate: $50

Or, donate another amount

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NOT

RI’s Healthcare Policy

Do we have a healthcare policy?

Nearly every hospital in Rhode Island is considering some type of major business transaction -- a merger, acquisition or other significant business deal. In the past two years, hospitals have been closed, deals have collapsed, major hospital groups from Connecticut and Massachusetts have entered the market looking to buy assets on the cheap. 

Presently, Rhode Island's government has no stated healthcare policy for the hospital industry -- healthcare is the largest segment of the economy and it employs 56,000.

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NOT

Councilman Izzi

On Monday, Scituate Councilman Nick Izzi was captured on video swearing and, what looks to be, physically assaulting Chuck Coliins, III on video.  Collins approached Izzi at a convenience store and asked him about a potential ethics violation and Izzi responded with swearing and some form of physical altercation.

WARNING: GRAPHIC LANGUAGE - SEE VIDEO HERE

Collins is the son of Izzi’s fellow council member Chuck Collins, Jr.

According to Collins, the relationship between himself and Izzi has deteriorated over the recent year and Collins claims Izzi has been harassing him and his family.

Izzi, reached by phone on Tuesday said, “I am not saying anything until I hire a lawyer.”

“Nick Izzi has been harassing me and my family. He is using his position on the Council for his own,” said Collins.

Collins said the Rhode Island State Police have been notified and they are reviewing the store video. GoLocal is awaiting confirmation from the State Police.

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NOT

America’s Response to Syria

The one thing that Presidents Barack Obama and Donald Trump can agree on is to allow the genocide in Syria to go on unabated.

 
 

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