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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - November 10, 2017

Friday, November 10, 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? - November 10, 2017

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HOT

Detroit's Amazon HQ2 Pitch Video

Detroit has been to hell and back and the city's pitch to Amazon HQ2 is real and compelling.

The fight for Amazon is fierce and Detroit decided to go all in with a package that is brilliantly compelling. The pitch video shows what Detroit has to offer and admits its past failure. WATCH THE VIDEO DIRECTLY BELOW.

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HOT

Alternative ComicCon

It cost $35 to get into ComicCon and if you want a Gene Simmons autograph, add another $120. Well, the folks at Providence Community Library have created an Alternative ComicCon, a small scale interactive comics convention for local residents, kids, and teens, which returns for its second year at Olneyville LIbrary this Friday.

Exhibitors include Big Nazo, Providence Comics Consortium, Providence Roller Derby, Providence City Arts for Youth, and more. 

Olneyville gamers' club The Board Room has donated a selection of games; local artists Jeremy Ferris and Olivia Horvath will offer a large scale collaborative drawing and an animation workshop, and author, artist and children’s book illustrator Cathren Housley will provide a creative arts workshop. There will be a comic book giveaway and costumes are encouraged. 

“Alternative ComicCon exposes people of all ages to the intersection between art, expression, education, and community in a fun and engaging way” said event organizer, Sarah Gluck, Manager of Olneyville Library.

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HOT

Emily Luther

Rhode Island’s latest star on The Voice continues to demonstrate her talent and poise. On GoLocal LIVE this week she expressed her excitement about being on the national competition. She is one of a stream of Rhode Islanders who have wowed America. 

In the past couple of the years, Sarah Potenza, Billy Gilman and Johnny Gates have all been big stars on the show.

Luther, a Woonsocket native, says she tried to “stay present” by using meditation to stay true to herself as an artist, and ultimately become coach Adam Levine’s pick to move on with his team.

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HOT

The Gift of Vision Ball

One special young Dominican Republic man’s tragic loss of sight has inspired The Gift of Vision Ball, a fundraising event to benefit the Joselito Hernandez Scholarship Fund on Wednesday, November 15. 

The event is in partnership with Caritas Smile, a 100% volunteer-based organization who “serves woman & children with random acts of kindness” throughout the US and Latin America.

Caritas Smile Founder, Sixcia Devine, says that it’s important to feel “enlightened and empowered that we can make a difference” and that “the gift of laughter” is what helps the Dominican community persevere.  

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HOT

Brown and Hasbro

Professor Bertrand Malle of Brown University -- lead investigator on the project, dubbed ARIES (Affordable Robotic Intelligence for Elderly Support), will add artificial intelligence capabilities to Hasbro’s current Joy for All Companion Pets. On GoLocal LIVE Malle discusses the collaborative project between Brown and Hasbro and how the effort could have an important impact on seniors and their quality of lives.

The Hasbro products are animatronic dogs and cats designed to provide interactive companionship, comfort, and joy for older adults. The research team’s goal is to develop additional capabilities for the ARIES companions to help older adults with simple tasks that could include help in finding lost objects, medication reminders or other tasks that sometimes become challenging, especially those who may have mild dementia.

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HOT

Speaker Nick Mattiello

The Speaker of the House had a good week. He continued to articulate the opinion of most Rhode Islanders — we love the PawSox, we hate giving tens of millions to billionaires.

Then, he intervened on behalf of Rhode Islanders and raised concerns over the Raimondo Administration’s proposed $250 auto inspection late fee. The fee is unnecessarily burdensome. And, it begs the question, can Rhode Islanders charge the DMV a late fee for the months of technology failures and continuously long lines?

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NOT

Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island

The rate increases at Blue Cross should be investigated for price gouging. As one Rhode Island small businessman told GoLocal, he has seen his family’s health insurance premium more than double in the past five years, as states -- and the federal government -- struggle to tackle mounting costs.

"$23,000 a year?  Not acceptable," said Jerauld Adams, of getting his renewal notice for 2018 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. 

Adams, who is married with four children and lives in Providence, reacted to seeing his monthly premium increase to $1,936.17 - after having paid $841.04 a month in 2013.  

"You just shake your head, I don't know what to do," said Adams, who owns four mills in Central Falls that have been converted into small commercial rental space for approximately a hundred tenants.

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NOT

URI Football

You hate to kick someone when they are down, but except for a few seasons in the mid-1980’s, URI football has really never been up.

A successful sports team can be great for PR, recruiting and building a university’s brand. And, an endless losing tradition can also have an impact. It takes away resources from other sports and academic programs. Over the past ten seasons, URI has lost 90 percent of its conference football games. The decade before was not much better either.

Only one coach in URI history had a winning record. It was over 100-years-ago. He coached one year and he was 6-3.

Boston University, Hofstra, and others have dropped football and never looked back.

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NOT

Shermans

It is official. 

The sale of the Newport Daily News and a group of community newspapers in South County to GateHouse Media has been completed. Now, one of the last true family-owned New England newspapers is now owned by a complex web of corporations that is ultimately held by SoftBank in Tokyo, Japan.  

It is the end of a hundred plus year legacy.

The demise of newspapers continues. The loss of local ownership continues. 

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NOT

RI Commerce

Is this stuff really this difficult?

It looks like the quality control group at the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation may have been out of the office when Rhode Island’s submission to recruit Amazon’s 50,000 employees and $5 billion investment was being prepared and submitted to win Amazon’s HQ2.

Why can't we properly submit a real application?

Renderings prepared for Rhode Island’s application --  including the Providence site -- just recently submitted to Amazon in some instances appear to eliminate two of Providence’s largest and newest buildings. 

The Blue Cross tower and the IGT Building (formerly GTECH) in at least one photo appear to be missing; other renderings show the state government buildings behind the State House consumed by Amazon construction, along with other private properties directly adjacent. In contrast, other competing cities competing for the "economic development grand prize" created and submitted applications with detail and specifics as to how they would fund, incent and meet the needs of the new Amazon HQ2.

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HOT

Council President Sabina Matos

Acting Providence City Council President Sabina Matos called for Nicholas Hemond to step down from his role as Chair of the Providence School Board.

Matos’ announcement comes a day after Hemond, who is also an attorney, helped the Penthouse nightclub get their license back after it was previously revoked following a shooting outside the club.

Since she fired away at Hemond, he has quit representing The Penthouse -- but the perception of a conflict remains with all of his work before the Board of Licenses.

And, where is Mayor Jorge Elorza on this?

Read a portion of Matos’ Statement Below

Boards and commissions serve a critical role in our municipal government. They harness our citizens' talents and offer the perspective of a person removed from day-to-day administration. I am grateful for the service of everyone who serves on our many boards and commissions. However, I am deeply troubled by the apparent conflict of interest presented by attorney Nicholas Hemond's dual role as chair of the Providence School Board and as a private attorney representing many of the nightclubs and bars constantly brought before the Board of Licenses for serious infractions.

 
 

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