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slides: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - Dec. 30, 2016

Friday, December 30, 2016

 

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? - Dec. 30, 2016

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HOT

Sharon Steele

The East Side of Providence real estate consultant raises an interesting question about the zoning requirements in Providence. The property known as the Tillinghast Mansion on the corner of Lloyd Street and Thayer Street is being transformed into a Suboxone clinic. The property was previously a day spa, Steele points out. Steele is right to question what zoning is in place to allow such radically different uses of properties in a residential neighborhood. 

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HOT

Sean Spicer

The Barrington native has been tapped to take the top communications job in the world. Spicer will be Trump’s White House Press Secretary. Spicer is the second prominent Rhode Islander to hold a top cabinet position in the Trump White House, alongside Michael Flynn, who will be Trump’s National Security Adviser. 

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HOT

Cheryl Jordan

The President of Stages of Freedom’s board of directors is working hard to make life better and more fulfilling for Providence’s minority youths. Stages of Freedom works hard to give youths more access to cultural opportunities such as visits to museums, and also works to help make sure more minority youths learn how to swim. Stages of Freedom recently received a $50,000 grant from the Hassenfeld Family Foundation to further promote and fund swimming lessons. 

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HOT

Nicholas Mattiello

The Speaker of the Rhode Island House of Representatives enters the new year seemingly as powerful as he’s ever been, despite narrowly winning re-election this fall. Yet that being the case, he faces challenges this year, as Governor Gina Raimondo and he do not appear to be on the best terms, and that may derail his efforts to fulfill his campaign promise of phasing out the car tax. That being said, the Speaker will remain the focal point of Rhode Island politics in the upcoming year. 

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HOT

Isle Brewers Guild

The organization that’s poised to open up a new brewery in Pawtucket’s has announced its new leadership team--which is filled with experienced and talented beer industry professionals. The new brewery will be a 130,000-square-foot brewing campus and located at 461 Main Street in Pawtucket. It will include a 100-barrel brewhouse, a tasting room, indoor and outdoor event space, classroom space and corporate offices.

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HOT

Happy New Year

Happy New Year: Here’s hoping 2017 will be filled with peace, joy, and prosperity for all the good people of Rhode Island. 

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NOT

Barack Obama

Maybe the time has come for the President of the United States to just stop talking and leave office gracefully? This week, Obama said that he is confident that he would have won a third term if term limits didn’t preclude him from running. But Obama also told us, just a few months ago, that there’s never been anyone more qualified to become President than Hillary Clinton. The President doesn’t seem to have the pulse of the American electorate the way he once did. 

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NOT

Gina Raimondo

If the Governor wants to thrive in the new year and beyond, she needs to start taking transparency more seriously. A perfect opportunity to achieve that end would be to release all of the documents pertaining to the 38 Studios Investigation, which resulted in no charges of criminal conduct. If Raimondo fails to do this, the situation will remain an albatross hovering over her all next year and into 2018’s race for Governor. 

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NOT

Tony Mascaro

The Programming Director at 630 WPRO should explain why he let John DePetro, the award winning talk radio hold who is loved by Rhode Island conservatives, leave the station and put an end to his show. Mascaro and WPRO management will have a difficult time finding someone to fill DePetro’s shoes.

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NOT

Seth Magaziner

Count the Rhode Island General Treasurer as another one of the state’s politicians who needs a strong 2017 to buoy his political career. Magaziner grabbed some positive headlines in 2016 thanks to his decision to slash a large portion of the  state’s hedge fund portfolio (a move that was a very long time coming.) Yet the state’s unfunded liability grew slightly last year, and the fund will require tens of millions more to keep the plan afloat. Magaziner needs to start showing returns from the fund. 

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NOT

Legalized Marijuana

The state of Massachusetts decided this week to delay the legalization of retail sales of marijuana by six months in an attempt to improve the law and make sure public health and safety safeguards are written into the law. Further, it’s still unknown how the incoming Trump administration will handle the issue, since it’s currently still illegal under federal law. It’s starting to look like it was a wise decision by the legislative leaders in Rhode Island (Senate President Teresa Paiva Weed and House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello, to take a wait and see approach on the law. 

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NOT

Rank-and-File Legislators

Wouldn’t it be nice if the Rhode Island state legislature became a bit less monolithic in the upcoming legislative session? In previous eras, legislators were far more comfortable speaking their minds and bucking leadership. Politics was much more fun back then. These days, you’d think Darth Vader was the Speaker of the House, as most legislators seem more scared of offending the power structure than anything else in this world. 

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NOT

Providence College Friars

The Men’s basketball team turned in a very disappointing performance against Boston College last week, losing to an Eagles team that is clearly inferior. After Wednesday night’s loss to Xavier, the team’s schedule doesn’t get any easier in the foreseeable future, with highly regarded Butler on tap next. 

 
 

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