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Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - October 13, 2017

Friday, October 13, 2017


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

One change we announce this week is we have gone to "HOT" or "NOT" by committee -- and the opportunity for readers to make recommendations.

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 & Who’s Not? - October 13, 2017

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Marvin Abney and House Finance

In a marked contrast to the Senate Finance Committee's initial hearing on the PawSox, House Chairman Abney presided over a balanced and thoughtful examination of the proposal. The House Finance Committee members were straightforward and asked direct questions about the financial viability of the project.

Committee members raised key questions that Mayor Donald Grebien and PawSox boss Larry Lucchino seemed unable to answer.

What happens to McCoy in the future and who is responsible for the costs?

Who pays for the maintenance of the new ballpark?

Kudos to Abney and the committee for asking real questions.

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Jobs, Jobs, and More Jobs

T.F. Green is becoming the biggest job creator in Rhode Island. As Rhode Island continues to rebuild its economy, the airport is becoming a major factor in job opportunities.

The Airport Corporation has approved an agreement which will allow Pinnacle Logistics to expand cargo operations at the airport and Quonset Business Park and they will create about 300 jobs in Rhode Island.

Flying direct to Norway is great. The announcement of 300 new jobs is even better.

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Steven Frias

Republican Steven Frias may have lost by less than 100 votes to the all-powerful Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello in the November 2016 election, but now he is back going door-to-door to voice opposition to the financing scheme for the PawSox Stadium.

He is not sitting on the bench. The big question is, will he go to bat against Mattiello again in 2018?

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3 Top RI Health Professionals Get National Nods

Three Rhode Island health professionals were named to three distinct top awards or positions in America. Small state, three impressive leaders. 

Rhode Island’s Michael Fine, M.D. has been awarded the Barbara Starfield Primary Care Leadership Award from the Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative. 

Rhode Island’s David Casey has been named to the National Board of the American Lung Association. Casey serves as Vice President, Workforce Strategies and Chief Diversity Officer for CVS Health.

Rhode Island Department of Health director Nicole Alexander-Scott, MD, MPH, has been named President-Elect of the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials. She is the top Health Director in the U.S.

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St. Joseph Retirees

For decades the workers at St. Joseph saved lives, comforted the sick, and created a safe environment. While these healthcare workers were serving others, those they trusted failed to protect these men and women’s retirement.

In some cases, like the Diocese of Providence, they never made needed contributions to the retirement fund. 

Now, these men and women are getting active and fighting back.

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Rick Simone

Need a giant event managed? Rick Simone in the past couple of weeks has helped with the Gloria Gemma celebration and the Columbus Day weekend on Federal Hill. Combined, the two events brought upwards of 200,000 people to Providence.

While Simone was certainly not alone, he was one of the architects of bringing people together to support causes and to enjoy a great glass of wine.

Please note: Simone hosts GoLocal's popular weekly dining and hospitality show on GoLocal LIVE.  We know how talented he is. 

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Max Wistow

Attorney Max Wistow usually receives contingency fees of 33 to 40 percent as well as expenses in the big legal battles he takes on. And he usually wins. 

Wistow, who has been tapped by the receiver in the St. Joseph Pension Fund collapse, agreed to compensation substantially less than his traditional compensation in order to preserve the assets he recovers for the retirees.

Give credit where credit is due.

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The Penthouse - and the Board of Licenses

The old rules in Providence were that adult entertainment clubs would be restricted - and set apart - in certain areas in the city. While The Penthouse — Providence’s newest nightspot complete with stripper poles — does not include nude dancing, it probably should not be located in the midst of some of the most historic and valuable real estate in the city, not to mention next to residential neighbors. 

And another thing -- it is right across from where we are hoping to locate the most the most innovative companies in the world — on the I-195 land. 

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Mike Corso’s Coffee

One of the biggest villains in the 38 Studios debacle, Mike Corso went away with public scorn, but no criminal charges.

Now, Corso is back. The tax credit king, movie producer, and 38 Studios architect is launching Bramo coffee - cold brewed.  It is Not HOT.

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Harvey Weinstein, Saturday Night Live, and the Collusion of Silence

SNL has always been a fair broker in heckling most every bizarre and creepy behavior of presidents, business or Hollywood leaders. But, this past Saturday night the show gave the serial sexual harasser and now alleged rapist Harvey Weinstein a free ride.

Conservatives cried foul, that the free pass was another example of the “liberal entertainment industry” being biased.

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US Soccer

The performance of U.S. Soccer against Trinidad and Tobago was an epic failure and global embarrassment. Now, the USA will not make the World Cup since 1986 —when Ronald Regan was President.

The U.S. was playing for the World Cup and against an island nation with a total population of 1.3 million. It is analogous to team USA losing to the all-Maine team.


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Sheldon Whitehouse

For much of the summer, when not at the all-white Bailey’s Beach Club, Sheldon Whitehouse bounced from national talking head political to show to political show lambasting the Trump Administration and their lack of transparency. One of his biggest targets of Whitehouse’s criticisms - President Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

Whitehouse on Morning Joe and Meet the Press Daily complained that Kushner wouldn’t answer the questions of the Senate Judiciary Committee which Whitehouse serves on.  But, who wants to turn down a free meal? Axios unveiled that last week Whitehouse went to dinner at Kushner and Ivanka Trump’s home for dinner.

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John Henry - Owner of the Red Sox and the Boston Globe

The Globe is struggling to print their newspaper despite having spent more than a reported $75 million on refurbished presses and new software. Big investment. Poor return.

The Boston Red Sox have the third highest payroll in baseball at $200 million and got bounced again in the first round of the play-offs. Big investment. Poor return.

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Political Correctness and “White Trash” Sandwich

In the world of sandwich shop names for sandwiches, U-Melt’s “White Trash” sandwich seemed fairly tame, frivolous, and not really that funny.

But due to what appears to be a single customer's complaint and a national political environment that seems like anything can be taken as offensive and spark a political firestorm, U-Melt changed the name of the sandwich and issued an apology.

Social media comments in the hundreds posted on GoLocal’s article fell into three categories:

1) Political correctness has run amok. (A lot).

2) The name was offensive and should be changed. (A few). 

3) OOOOH, that sandwich looks delicious. (Winner winner).


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