Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - February 22, 2019

Friday, February 22, 2019

 

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Every Friday, GoLocalProv takes a look at who is rising and who is falling in Rhode Island politics, business, culture, 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 about 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? - February 22, 2019

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HOT

Jorge Elorza

Providing feminine hygiene products to young women in need is a laudable program — especially if it means female students are choosing to miss school when they don’t have access to such necessities. 

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza announced the launch this week of a pilot program at four Providence schools for free menstrual hygiene product programs.

The rollout, however, could have been better executed — having a male politician positioned in front of commercial feminine products for a de facto ad missed an opportunity to include female students and community leaders — who are the driving force behind and the focus of the program.
 

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McKee’s Shark Tank

Lt. Governor Daniel McKee joined GoLocal LIVE to announce the launch of Rhode Island’s second annual Lt. Governor’s Entrepreneurship Challenge, a business pitch competition that encourages high school students to compete for $10,000 in post-secondary scholarships.

He joined GoLocal’s News Editor Kate Nagle and discussed how during the first year over 55 students from 18 schools across Rhode Island participated and 10 student finalists received a share of $9,000 in scholarships. Rhode Island students in grades 9-12 can enter the 2019 Challenge by submitting written business plans to the Lt. Governor’s Office by Thursday, April 11. 
 

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New RWU Emergency Room 

Roger Williams Medical Center opened its new 12,000 square foot emergency room on Monday as part of a $15.1 million project to create a new emergency department.

“This beautiful, modern and accessible facility will add a critical resource for Rhode Island, especially the metropolitan Providence area. Our exceptional and highly experienced emergency medicine physicians and nurses now have a facility that assures they will be able to continue providing top-level emergency care,” said Jeffrey Liebman, CEO of Roger Williams’ corporate parent, CharterCARE Health Partners.

Providence City Council Majority Leader Jo-Ann Ryan added, “I commend Roger Williams Medical Center and CharterCARE on its continued investment in Providence. This beautiful new Emergency Department is a boost to the quality of life in our city.”
 

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Joe Strupp

Veteran journalist Joe Strupp is warning that journalism is under severe threat and it is likely to have an adverse impact on our democracy.

Strupp is an experienced investigative reporter and former editor of the media trade publication Editor and Publisher. On Wednesday, he joined GoLocal LIVE for a wide-ranging discussion on the present condition of America’s media and its future.

Strupp’s new book, Killing Journalism: How Greed, Laziness (And Donald Trump) Are Destroying News And How We Can Save It, has been heralded. "Strupp provides a much-needed voice of sanity as he surveys today's media landscape, and all that's gone wrong. His knowledge and experience might even help us fix it,” wrote Margaret Sullivan, media columnist, for The Washington Post.
 

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HOT

Los Andes Expansion

Diego Curi, one part of the trio that owns and runs one of Providence’s most popular restaurants, Los Andes, shared the exciting news of expansion and growth on GoLocal LIVE.

For those who have dined at Los Andes, it comes as no surprise to hear that the restaurant has been in need of more space to accommodate customers coming in masses for their award-winning Bolivian and Peruvian cuisine.

“It has been a long eleven years. My brothers Omar and Cesin and I are the owners. Cesin is the mastermind in the kitchen, and Omar and I are in front of the house, just ensuring our customers and guests are happy when they come in. We want them to have a better experience every time they dine with us. We are giving them a tour of South America without ever leaving Providence.” says Curi.

The Chalkstone Avenue restaurant expanded its seating by transforming their outdoor patio into an enclosed dining room.

“We are enclosing half of our outdoor patio. It is going to look the greatest it has ever looked this summer. We are ready," said Curi.

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HOT

Nick Albanese

The prolific actor-producer has a packed 2019 — and it’s only February. 
Albanese appeared on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke to his upcoming productions — as well as his television project in the works. 

According to Albanese, “Stages, Movie Sets, and Other Stories: A Night with An Unfamous Actor” includes a small bit of untold stories from Nick's childhood that were left out from his very successful and award-winning first one-man play, The Last Sicilian, along with “tons” of stories from his career on stage, on sets and other side jobs, where he met and spent a good amount of time with some very famous celebrities and a splash of more recent stories about life with his own children.
 

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NOT

Developer Gets Millions, Doesn't Pay Workers

The new apartment tower at the bottom of College Hill in Providence has received millions in subsidies from Commerce RI and millions in tax breaks from the City of Providence in a tax stabilization. But, according to multiple sources, the Pennsylvania-based developer, Vision Properties, owes millions of dollars to the subcontractors that built the $60 million project.

The Edge College Hill is marketed to primarily Brown University and Rhode Island School of Design Students as "Luxury Student Apartments" complete with a gym, granite countertops and fully furnished. Rents top more than $2,000 a month.

Rhode Island business owner Jose Marcano said he has not received pay for his company's work in 2018. 

"I've gotten no pay since [we finished] in September," said Marcano, who said he started on the job in March 2018. "I hear they're looking at the [Vision] tax credit at Commerce, and I've been in touch with the city of Providence regarding their tax stabilization agreement."

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NOT

Raimondo's Beach Fee Increases

Governor Gina Raimondo’s push to increase fees at Rhode Island’s beaches and campgrounds is being widely criticized. Some beach fees will increase by as much as 33 percent.

“Make no mistake -- beach fees are nothing less than the institution of a regressive tax on the poor, for whom public parks and beaches have represented an affordable, family-friendly escape from the inner city,” said Pat Ford, of the Libertarian Party of Rhode Island.

The University of Rhode Island’s top economist Len Lardaro that the fee increase could be scooped and used for other budget needs. “But the Rhode Island economy is slowing down. If the tax revenue disappoints and they need more money, I doubt they'll keep this just for beaches and campgrounds. This will be another money grab by the general fund,” said Lardaro.

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NOT

Russell Taub

Rhode Islander Russell Taub runs with the biggest names in the Republican Party in America. From Vice President Mike Pence to Texas U.S. Senator Ted Cruz to former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, Taub can be seen with everyone at events in West Palm to Las Vegas and the Nation’s Capital

A national, non-partisan ethics watchdog group has named RI GOP insider Taub as one of the most unethical politicians in America -- and Taub is now facing a federal probe.

The Foundation for Accountability and Civic Trust (FACT), last summer asked the Federal Election Commission (FEC) for an immediate investigation into Keeping America in Republican Control (KAIRC PAC) and its Executive Director, former Rhode Island Republican congressional candidate H. Russell Taub, “for operating an illegal scam operation.”

The organization named Taub's PAC one of the worst ethics violators in America. The group also identified U.S. Senators Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris as well as GOP leader Mitch McConnell.  See the full list HERE.

According to one report, federal prosecutors assert "Taub withdrew 'nearly $100,000' in cash, transferred more than $715,000 into his personal bank accounts, and spent more than $217,000 on personal expenses including airfare, hotel rooms, restaurant meals, clothes, cigars, strip club visits and 'escort services.'" The report by the Providence Journal claims that there is a plea deal in place and Taub will be formally charged on Friday.

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NOT

Peter Neronha

Make a decision please one way or the other.

To date, sixteen states have joined together to file a federal lawsuit trying to block President Donald Trump's emergency declaration to fund the building a wall on America's southern border.

“The complaint, filed in California’s Northern District, seeks judicial intervention to stop the order and accuses Mr. Trump of “flagrant disregard for the separation of powers.” The suit claims that the president’s move undermined Congress by redirecting federal money—some of which was intended for states—toward the wall, reports the Wall Street Journal.

Rhode Island has not joined the lawsuit.

California led the lawsuit and the other states are Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, and Virginia—“all of which have Democratic attorneys general and all but one of which are led by Democratic governors,” cited the WSJ.

Rhode Island’s Attorney General, Democrat Peter Neronha, however, won’t commit to whether he will take legal action against the declaration by Trump.

 
 

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