Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - March 23, 2018

Friday, March 23, 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 23, 2018

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Historic Preservation

According to a new study commissioned by The Preservation Society of Newport County, historic preservation generates $1.4 billion for the Rhode Island economy annually. 

"What we found is Rhode Island's historic cities, towns, and neighborhoods attract visitors, residents, businesses, and investment. The assets of past centuries are the base of a 21st-century economy and are often locations of choice for today's Rhode Islanders,” said Donavan Rypkema of PlaceEconomics.

”The study is the first of its kind here in Rhode Island, taking a comprehensive look at the diverse ways in which our lives are positively impacted by historic preservation. It is exciting that quantifiable results reinforce what members of the preservation community have seen anecdotally for many years,”  said Preserve Rhode Island’s Executive Director Valerie Talmage.

Key Findings of the Study:

        RI welcomes 9.8 million heritage visitors annually, who add nearly $1.4 billion to the state's economy.
        Spending by heritage visitors creates 19,000 direct jobs, and another 7,000 indirect jobs
        Since 2001, 326 historic buildings have been rehabilitated in 26 of the state's 39 communities using state historic tax credits.
        Every dollar the state invests in a tax credit project generates $10.53 in economic activity.
        56% of Rhode Island's population growth since 2000 has occurred within local historic districts, which comprise only 1% of the state's land area.
         Preservation is green: the reuse of one 40,000 square foot historic building is equivalent to taking 24-28 cars off the road and preserving 4.2 acres of greenfield land.

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Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea

She has been selected as a member of the Governing Institute 2018 Women in Government Leadership program.

Each year, the Governing Institute selects 25 women who serve in state and local offices to participate in in a bipartisan national leadership program.

"I am honored to have been selected to be a part of the 2018 Women in Government program and connect with a diverse, bipartisan group of women from around the country," said Gorbea. "Already the program has facilitated great conversations and given us the opportunity learn from one another as we work to better the lives of people across the country.”

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GoLocal Sports

When it comes to breaking the biggest stories in College Basketball GoLocal has a pretty good streak.

This week, GoLocal was the first in the country to report that UConn was hiring Dan Hurley — three days ahead of the ESPNs of the world. GoLocal  was first to report Cooley’s hiring, Baron’s firing, and now Hurley’s bolting.

GoLocal was first to report:


Friday, March 16, 2012
Scott Cordischi, GoLocalProv Sports Editor has learned that former Wagner men’s basketball coach Danny Hurley has accepted the job to become the new men’s basketball coach at the University of Rhode Island. While URI has yet to officially announce the deal, sources tell that Hurley will sign a multi-year deal to succeed Jim Baron in Kingston and that the deal could be worth just over $735,000 per season which would be in line with the median salary in the Atlantic Ten Conference.


Sunday, March 12, 2012

GoLocalProv Sports Staff

Jim Baron will be fired as early as today by the University of Rhode Island according to multiple sources.. Baron just completed his 11th season at URI and was never able to take the Rams to the NCAA Tournament. This year Baron's team finished 7-24 - a major disappointment for the Rams.

Sources close to the University's athletic program tell GoLocal that Baron final years of his contract will be paid by booster money - not paid with University funds.

EXCLUSIVE: Ed Cooley PC’s Top Choice

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Scott Cordischi, GoLocalProv Sports Editor

Are you ready to drink the “Cool”-Aid Friar fans? Are you “Cool” with Ed being your new head coach?

Whether you are or are not is irrelevant because Providence College has made Fairfield’s Ed Cooley their top and only target in their search for a new men’s basketball coach.

Athletic Director Bob Driscoll has summoned former Big East Commissioner Mike Tranghese to be his point man in a search for a new head coach and apparently Cooley is his top choice.

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Neil Steinberg of the Rhode Island Foundation joined GoLocal LIVE's Business Monday to discuss the launch of TogetherRI — a new initiative designed to create a community discussion and help find common ground on Rhode Island’s priorities.

TogetherRI kicked-off this week with “get-togethers.”

The events around the state are 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. There are 20 get-togethers hosted all over Rhode Island through May 5.

The full schedule and details about the events are posted on People can register to attend, but RSVPs are not required.

Steinberg hopes that a good cross-section of Rhode Islanders will attend the events and share their views and recommendations on how to improve Rhode Island.

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Matthew Zarrella

The now-retired Rhode State Police Sergeant says he’s always had a special connection to dogs, even as a child. It’s that connection that turned into a career that helped saved the lives both people and animals.

Zarrella, who developed the Rhode Island State Police’s first search and rescue K-9 program, rescued and rehabilitated dogs on verge of euthanasia. He trained those dogs and others to become part of the search and rescue K9 team. 

His story told over the course of four years, is now featured in the documentary “Searchdog” made by Rhode Island filmmaker Mary Healy Jamiel.

While no longer working in law enforcement, Zarrella owns the business American Patriot K9 Training that offers a range of services including sessions for domestic clients and classes in K9 Search and Rescue.  

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Commercial Real Estate

Neil Amper’s Capstone released their annual report and it shows that the office market has not recovered from the Great Recession 10 years later, with average gross rents totaling approximately $18 per square foot, reducing vacancy across the state to under  6%.

“The lack of new construction in the industrial sector, which is also the only segment showing an increase, may be the factor for the increase in price per square foot,” said Amper.     

According to the report, “There have been very little new additions to the retail market, there has been some shifting of retailers from Bald Hill Road in Warwick to the Rhode Island Mall. On Thayer Street in Providence, 37,000 square feet of space, representing 26% of the existing retail stores, has been leased to new tenants primarily from Boston and New York.”

The report adds, “The office market continued to absorb space with very little new construction occurring, but rents have remained stable at $18 per square feet. There was $296 million sold between 2015– 2017, resulting in a total of 3 million square feet transacted.”

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In 2016, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced his support of then-House Majority Leader John DeSimone, the conservative Democrat facing  -- and ultimately losing to -- progressive Democrat Marcia Ranglin-Vassell. DeSimone was a strong NRA supporter and was targeted by gun control advocates.

On Monday, Elorza shed his "incumbent" argument and announced his support for progressive State Representative Aaron Regunberg in the Democratic primary for Lieutenant Governor against Dan McKee. 

When responding to why he supported the challenger in this race, Elorza cited deep personal ties with Regunberg as well as "shared values."

Elorza refused to respond to why then he would not have supported Ranglin-Vassell versus the conservative DeSimone who had taken political contributions from the NRA.

Questions again arise about Elorza’s lack of support for minority candidates. A GoLocal investigation in 2015 found that nearly all of Elorza's senior appointees were white -- department directors and top staffers. He has appointed some people of color to junior staff positions.

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Jorge Elorza

On Tuesday night, the Administration of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced that a parking ban would be put in effect at 11:00 a.m. on Wednesday. The decision functionally crippled many small and large businesses across the city.

The announcement was somewhat of a shock as most forecasts did not have Providence being hit with heavy snow until late afternoon or even early evening. The impact was a shutdown for some companies, lost wages for many workers, and a day of lost revenue for many small businesses.

"Parking bans should go on in the middle of the night. There has to be an alignment between the ban time and business time. Our city doesn't understand the fundamental basics of how a business works," said Bob Burke, owner of Pot Au Feu restaurant in downtown Providence. 

"When you put a ban on at 2 a.m., here's what happens. People begin to take their cars off the street before they go to bed, so the cars gradually start coming off, and almost all are off by 11 p.m.," said Burke. "So by putting a 2 a.m. ban, you're effectively putting on an earlier ban for residential. No one's setting an alarm for 2 a.m. and going out to move their car."

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Nick Mattiello

Tapping the controversial ex-city hall staffer Michael Cotugno for a State House job doesn't look good. 

The appointment of Cotugno, the son of mail-ballot guru and political operative Ed Cotugno, who had a contentious stint in the City Council office before leaving for green pastures, undermines Mattiello's leadership on reforming master lever and passing comprehensive ethics reform.

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Underage Drinking and Adults

As MADD Executive Director Eric Creamer said this week following a party in Providence that saw an underage drinker hospitalized -- underage drinking is an adult problem. 

Karla Sherman posted to FB that her son's friends alleged that adult party hosts had tried to wash their hands of any responsibility when her son had "turned blue and started foaming at the mouth" -- for fear of legal repercussions. 

"MADD strongly supports the criminalization of actions by adults who provide or allow alcoholic beverages at events for underage participants. Underage drinking is an adult problem --  meaning an adult has to supply the alcohol for an underage person to drink – and any adults who do so must be held accountable," said Creamer. 

Whether or not culpability is found regarding the party in Providence on Saturday, it should serve as a huge wake-up call for adults who allow for, or enable, underage youth to drink under their watch.  


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