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slides: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - April 7, 2017

Friday, April 07, 2017

 

Russ Moore

Every Friday, GoLocalProv's Russ Moore breaks down who is rising and who is falling in RI politics, business, and sports. Moore has worked on both sides of the desk in Rhode Island media, both for newspapers and on political campaigns. 

 

Related Slideshow: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - April 7, 2017

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HOT

John Lombardi

The state representative from Providence called out the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) this week, questioning why the agency cut a program that provided free rides to qualifying disabled and elderly passengers, yet mismanaged its overtime budget in 2016, costing millions more than was budgeted. It’s good to see someone trying to hold the organization accountable.

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HOT

Gina Raimondo

The Governor received a ringing endorsement for her efforts to improve education in state of Rhode Island from Arne Duncan, the highly regarded former Secretary of Education under President Barack Obama, in a GoLocal Guest MINDSETTER™  piece earlier this week. Duncan highlighted her efforts to expand computer science education, provide free SAT testing, make investments to expand Pre-K and guarantee every child access to all-day kindergarten. Duncan also endorsed her controversial plan to provide free college education to every Rhode Islander.  

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HOT

Paul Doughty

The President of the Providence Firefighters union pointed out on GoLocal LIVE this week that the City of Providence’s return on its pension fund investment has been greater than the state of Rhode Island’s over the last 5 years. Therefore, it makes little sense for a community like Providence to enter into the state run Municipal Employee Retirement System, as General Treasurer Seth Magaziner recommends. That’s a good, common sense point from the union president. 

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HOT

Christopher Maher

The Providence School Superintendent, (Mayor Jorge Elorza and the school board as well) deserves credit for opening a new school, located in the West End, for refugee students as well as other students who have been negatively impacted by a trauma. The city has partnered with The Dorcas Institute, a refugee resettlement group, to provide social services and case managers for the students--an excellent move by the city and school department.  

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HOT

The Santa Files

Ed Asner will be starring in a new Christmas movie, called The Santa Files. The film will have a uniquely Rhode Island touch, since it will be filmed right here in Rhode Island, it’s director will be New England Tech graduate,Tom DeNucci, and its cinematographer will be Brown University graduate Sam Eilertsen. 

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HOT

Horse Racing Season

College basketball is over, but that’s fine since we’re now less than 1 month away from the first Saturday in May, and we all know what that means, the Kentucky Derby is fast approaching. The most thrilling two minutes in sports will be here before we know it, and in the run up, we have exciting horse races like the Toyota Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland in Kentucky and the Wood Memorial in New York, both of which will be run tomorrow. Both races may very well showcase the eventual derby winner. 

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NOT

Anastasia Williams

The state representative from Providence is stepping down as the board chairwoman of the John Hope Settlement House. That’s a move that should have taken place a long time ago since the organization has struggled financially under her leadership. Hopefully, the John Hope Settlement House will move forward and rebound financially under new leadership.

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NOT

Seth Magaziner

The Rhode Island General Treasurer has made strides to improve office’s transparency. So why isn’t he getting behind Blake Filippi’s proposed bill that would require the State Investment Commission to include, in its annual report, a separate section devoted to alternative pension fund investments, including the expensive, and controversial hedge funds? If Magaziner truly believes in transparency, he will implore the state legislature to codify it by supporting the Filippi proposal.

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NOT

Larry Lucchino

Is the leader of the Pawtucket Red Sox ownership group just looking for a bailout from Rhode Island taxpayers. It’s no secret that the team’s attendance has declined since Lucchino’s group purchased the team, so now the businessman is looking for Rhode Islanders to build a new, state-of-the-art “public park” for his team to play its games in. What if we, the taxpayers, don’t want to build a new park, since we already have stellar parks, such as Fort Adams in Newport, Colt State Park in Bristol, Goddard Park in Warwick, and Slater Park in Pawtucket? 

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NOT

Raymond Studley

Somehow, despite paying millions in overtime and 125 RIPTA employees making more than $20,000 in overtime in 2016, the organization’s CEO believes that the authority is being managed and staffed effectively. Apparently, Studley believes it’s safe and healthy to pay such generous benefit packages that it becomes cost-effective to have bus drivers and other employees working copious amounts of overtime. Ah, only in Rhode Island government! 

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NOT

Stressed Out

Maybe the superstar rock band 21 Pilots, who sing last year’s smash hit “stressed out” should play a free concert here in Rhode Island sometime soon? Why? Well, Rhode Island ranks as the most stressed out state in New England, according to Wallethub.com. Let’s make sure we all try to relax, not sweat the small stuff, and count our blessings to reduce our stress and improve our health! . 

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NOT

Bill O’Reilly

Speaking of stressed out...more than 30 advertisers have pulled their ads from the highly rated “O’Reilly Factor” after news reports have surfaced that both Fox News, and O’Reilly himself have paid out settlements to several female staffers over the years who have been allegedly subject to sexual harassment from O’Reilly. That must have the know-it-all cable tv host a bit perturbed. This comes just months after former Fox News President Roger Ailes left the company after facing similar allegations. Is there a culture of harassment at Fox News? 

 
 

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