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slides: Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot & Who’s Not? - May 12, 2017

Friday, May 12, 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? - May 12, 2017

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HOT

David Segal

The former state representative, city councilman, and candidate for Congress (who was bested by Congressman David Cicilline but nevertheless made a strong run) made some astute points on GoLocal LIVE about the danger of offering corporate subsidies to lure companies to Rhode Island, noting they resemble a “race to the bottom”. Segal, an unapologetic progressive, is spot on with respect to this issue, not to mention scores of others. Don’t be surprised if we see him running for office yet again in the future.

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HOT

Gary Sasse

While the Governor’s office resorted to spin and sought to place blame on President Trump for the fact that Rhode Island’s revenues are currently $99 million lower than expected Rhode Islanders could get some real talk from the former Executive Director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council and state Director of Administration. Sasse pointed out that it’s almost impossible to blame Trump for Rhode Island’s revenue problems. “The state revenue numbers are not consistent with the economic comeback the Governor talk about," said Sasse.

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HOT

Carolyn Rafaelian

The founder and CEO of Alex and Ani was recognized Tuesday in New York City by the David Lynch Foundation (DLF), a global charitable organization that addresses the epidemic of trauma and toxic stress among at-risk populations, for her work to help reduce stress in at risk populations. Rafaelian is staunch promoter of meditation and has donated substantial sums to increase the practice among the population.

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HOT

K. Joseph Shekarchi

The House Majority Leader has sponsored legislation that will mandate that children under two years of age or 30 lbs. be placed in rear facing car seats. It’s a good piece of common sense legislation that studies show will save lives of some of our youngest and most innocent. A companion piece of legislation is making its way through the Rhode Island Senate.

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HOT

The National Association of Letter Carriers

The Rhode Island letter carriers will be teaming up with the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, for the 25th consecutive year, to collect food for the hungry. So let’s all make sure we leave a bag of nonperishable, healthy food items near our mailboxes tomorrow so that the letter carrier can retrieve it and send it over to the food bank. Props to the National Association of Letter Carriers for hosting this drive nationwide.

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HOT

New York Yankees

It’s supposed to be a rebuilding year for The Bronx Bombers, yet after a month and a half the team finds itself in first place, thanks to strong play by youngsters like Aaron Judge, and veterans like Matt Holliday. The Yankees had a six game winning streak before losing on Wednesday evening. If the Yanks can continue playing well, expect the rivalry with the Boston Red Sox to rekindle. Wouldn’t that be fun?

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HOT

Happy Mother’s Day

Sunday is mother’s day. Let’s take a moment to thank all the mothers in our lives for everything they’ve done for us.

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NOT

Luis Aponte

The council President was indicted on Wednesday afternoon by a grand jury on felony charges embezzlement and unlawful use of his campaign funds. Of course, Aponte should be presumed innocent until proven guilty, but it’s not a good look for a sitting councilman, let alone the council president, to be the subject of a grand jury indictment.

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NOT

Providence City Council

Yes, there are Providence City Council members who are the beyond reproach. Yet the fact remains that just over two years after the Providence City Council’s leadership team was installed--with Kevin Jackson and Luis Aponte taking the top two leadership positions--both men are being prosecuted for felonies. That doesn’t reflect well on the rest of the city council, since the body voted to elect those individuals to the leadership positions.

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NOT

Revenue Shortfall

The numbers from the all-important May Revenue Estimating Conference are in, and they’re ugly. The state has a $99.6 million shortfall. That’s going to make it much more difficult for lawmakers to find money to pay for subsidies to keep the Pawtucket Red Sox in Rhode Island, fund the Governor free college tuition plan, or perhaps even implement the House Speaker’s car tax repeal plan. Make no mistake: these developments have created headaches on Smith Hill.

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NOT

Walter Bronhard

The East Side property mogul, who owns an estimated $50 million worth in real estate, has come under fire from neighborhood groups and tenants for the condition of some of his buildings. Bronhard is also ensnared in numerous lawsuits with former tenants. Bronhard is a force in Providence, but it would be nice if he were a bit less reclusive and more responsive to the concerns of community and neighborhood groups.

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NOT

Donald Trump

The President of the United States fired James Comey, the now former Director of the FBI, this week, for the way he has handled the investigations into the way former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton handed classified information. The problem is that last autumn Trump praised Comey for reopening the investigation just days before the election. Further, Comey also happened to now be leading an investigation into the Trump campaign’s tied with Russia.

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NOT

Joe Bevilacqua, Jr.

The Convicted felon and disbarred lawyer now manages one of Rhode Island’s premier tennis facilities and working with both children and adults. That’s a tad bit disconcerting considering that in the early 2000s, he was tied to a case involving an inappropriate relationship with a 16-year-old girl from East Greenwich. Bevilacqua was accused of having a sexual relationship with the teen girl and introducing her to cocaine. That’s led some to question whether he should be managing a facility that requires him to work with children. 

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NOT

School Aid Formula

The state of Rhode Island is currently mulling a change to the school aid formula that would result in a $3.4 million dollar loss among 16 Rhode Island school districts, with Cranston ($861,024); East Providence ($646,694) and Coventry ($532,333) seeing the biggest losses. With school districts across the state already strapped for cash and with extremely tight budgets, a change like this doesn’t seem fair at this point.

 
 

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