Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - February 9, 2018

Friday, February 09, 2018


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Every Friday, GoLocalProv breaks down who is rising and who is falling in Rhode Island politics, business, 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 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 9, 2018

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In Rhode Island, we have a lot of millionaires. Our wealthy are wealthy, and that is a good thing. Hopefully, we can grow a lot more wealth at all income levels.

Rhode Island has the 16th most millionaires per capita in the U.S, according to a recent study done by Phoenix Marketing International.

According to the study, there are 418,815 total households in Rhode Island with 6.22% of them being millionaires.


“The Phoenix Wealth and Affluent Monitor (W&AM) U.S. Sizing Report is intended to provide estimates of the number of affluent and HNW households in the country. Sizing estimates are provided at the State level as well as by Core-Based Statistical Areas (CBSAs),” said Phoenix Marketing International.

Rhode Island’s 2017 ranking is one spot higher than 2016, when they were ranked 15th, and three spots lower than 2015, where Rhode Island was ranked 19th.

The Rankings

Rhode Island ranks directly behind Colorado and Wyoming, who rank 14th and 15th respectively.

RI ranks ahead of New York and Illinois, who rank 17th and 18th respectively.

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Sharon Steele

The Jewelry District activist is a dog with a bone trying to keep elected and appointed officials accountable for enforcing the city’s regulatory controls over bars, nightclubs and strip clubs -- and in particular, who serves on the boards, as evidenced by her appearance on GoLocal LIVE this week. 

Why does she work so hard to build coalitions and attend city meetings? Because the real estate professional knows it is a fine line between having a great fun and safe city and living in a crime-ridden, lawless city where campaign donations and insider deals mean more than quality of life.  

Heads up Mayor Elorza and members of the City Council, Sharon Steele is coming after you.

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Olympian Hamlin

Guess who will carry the American flag at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics?  GoLocal LIVE’s favorite luger.

In 2014, Erin Hamlin made history, earning a bronze medal at the Sochi Olympic Winter Games, becoming the first U.S. singles luger earn an Olympic medal.

Come February, she heads to her fourth Olympic Games in PyeongChang, South Korea.

“It’s pretty crazy, I never imagined when I first got into this sport that I would go to four Olympics, that’s kind of insane to think about that concept,” Hamlin said. "To be at four is pretty surreal.” 

Throughout her 18 year career, Hamlin has become the most decorated U.S. singles slider in history. In 2009, she won her first championship gold, then 2017 she won three medals in singles and team relay. 


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Helena Foulkes

Helena Foulkes has been one of the most influential change-makers in American retail and now she is leaving CVS to take on a big challenge.

Foulkes, the current President of CVS Pharmacy and Executive Vice President of CVS Health, has been tapped by Hudson Bay Co. to lead the organization, according to the Wall Street Journal.

"The owner of Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord & Taylor announced that it is hiring Helena Foulkes, president of CVS Pharmacy to fill a post vacated in October by the departure of Jerry Storch. The Wall Street Journal reported the move earlier. Hudson’s Bay’s Chairman Richard Baker has been serving as interim CEO until a replacement was found," wrote the WSJ on Monday. 

"At CVS, Ms. Foulkes, 53, is responsible for its retail operation, from operating the chain’s 10,000 stores and online selling, to overseeing supply chain, marketing, and retail. Retail comprises an ever-shrinking share of CVS’s business as the company focuses on health care through its massive pharmacy-benefits business and on completing its planned acquisition of insurer Aetna Inc."

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GoLocal LIVE’s One Year Anniversary

We are very excited to celebrate our first anniversary of the innovate, broadcast media platform — GoLocal LIVE.

We would like to take a minute to thank our viewers, guests, and supporters for all helping to create a unique way to story tell.

GoLocal LIVE celebrates its 1st Anniversary on Thursday, February 8.

We are proud to have broken news, tapped the expertise of some of the world’s leading experts, helped non-profits raise awareness, and entertain.

When first concepted, many told us that it would be impossible to do six to eight live interviews a day. They said there is not enough content, they diminished the idea and said we would never be able to do it -- no one can do it.

We will be the first to admit that broadcast in an on-street studio in downtown Providence across from a construction site is not always easy.

Moreover, when you do something that no one has ever done before there is no manual to reference.

But, thanks to an amazing team at GoLocal, we have been able to connect Rhode Island with reports from Paris just after a terror attack, tap the former Prime Minister of Ireland on the impact of Brexit on his country, and allow candidates for office to announce their candidacy. ALL LIVE.

Believe us, no day is dull. Last Friday, a puppy from the Puppy Bowl, former Patriot Jarvis Green talking business and sports, and the band with the hottest viral video in-studio performing…oh, yea the minister called President Trump’s Pastor — all in-studio.

Just another day.

In addition, we get to work with some of the best companies in Rhode Island — our sponsors. Smart companies who want to get their message out and want to support innovation. They want to be part of the content, not an interruption.

While much in local media is bleak and the worry about the future of local journalism, we are excited about the future. Stay tuned. Next week we will have penguins in-studio, and over the next few weeks, we will be announcing a new programming and a wildly exciting expansion.

Thank you to everyone for being a part of LIVE. We have just got started.

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Patriots Fans

Does Patriot Nation Believe in “Bill We Trust” and “Do Your Job”? No, not really.

The Patriots loss to Eagles exposed an ugly reality — despite 17 years of unmatched success — most Patriots fans simply do not understand why the Patriots win.

The Patriots win because Bill Belichick, who was raised at the knee of his father at the United States Naval Academy, has understood since childhood that the sum is greater than the parts. 

When Wes Welker didn’t follow a stated policy going into a playoff game against the Jets in the 2011 playoffs.

Welker sat for the first quarter and the Patriots lost. In 2014, Jonas Gray ran for 201 yards and scored four touchdowns and soon was gone. Malcolm Butler did not play defense in the Super Bowl. There was a reason. 

It was not arbitrary. It was not petty. It was how you build and sustain a winning franchise in a period of changed values and free agency.

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Welcome to partisan politics. CVS has had a political action committee and they have always funneled money to the politically powerful in D.C. and in the states.

But, just as there $69 billion deal is pending before the regulatory agencies they seem to be upping their game.

As GoLocal reported, CVS is one of the largest donors to President Donald Trump’s campaign, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal and federal campaign documents. And a deeper dive by finds that CVS has been funneling hundreds of thousands of dollars primarily to Republicans since the 2016 elections.

As the Wall Street Journal’s Julie Bykowicz wrote on Thursday, "The largest donors to Mr. Trump’s campaign include political committees for CVS HealthCorp. and LendingTree Inc. loan servicing company, FEC reports show. The largest donors to the America First super PAC were Geoffrey Palmer, a Los Angeles property developer and friend of Mr. Trump’s who gave $2 million, and Ohio-based Murray Energy Corp., the largest privately held U.S. coal-mining company, which gave $1 million. The chief executive, Robert Murray, wrote an action plan on coal for the Trump administration and gave it to the Energy Department.”

CVS has lots of reasons to support the GOP. Presently, its $69 billion purchase of insurance company Aetna is being reviewed both by the Federal Trade Commission and the Department of Justice. The $66 billion deal is one of the largest business deals in the world in the past ten years. Combined, the two companies’ sales will make it second only to Walmart in the United States.

“Trump administration regulators are not ready to sign off on CVS Health's $69 billion deal to acquire Aetna. The Department of Justice asked the firms to provide more information on Thursday, just as the 30-day waiting period under Hart Scott Rodino Act expired,” reported CNBC on Thursday.


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Too much debt for Rhode Island means too little funds to correct fund critical programs.

Gary Sasse, former Director of Administration in RI, said that Governor Gina Raimondo’s requests for bond issues - school rehab, URI and RIC, and environmental bonds — are too much in borrowing for one cycle.

Sasse sites a comprehensive report issued by RI General Treasurer Seth Magaziner that recommends RI election cycle bonding should be limited to approximately $220 million.

Raimondo has proposed $368.5 million in borrowing for the school rehabs, according to the Raimondo’s’s budget:

The Governor proposes several capital budget investments for voters’ consideration in November, including:

$250M for Schools

$45M for Narragansett Bay Campus at URI

$48.5 million Green Economy and Clean Water Bond

$25 million Horace Mann Hall at RIC

Big money and too much in one year.

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Larry Lucchino 

He is no Ben Mondor

It seems like every PawSox game ever played in McCoy, Ben Mondor was there too greet the fans. Pat the kids on the head, big laugh, welcoming smile.

In contrast, the present PawSox boss Larry Lucchino is sitting in his office looking at spreadsheets, barking orders at PR consultant and lobbyists, and getting the message out that Rhode Island is stupid not to do business with him.

As GoLocal reported this week, while the future of the new PawSox stadium is in peril, Larry Lucchino -- chair of the ownership group asking for approximately $40 million in public financing -- has been barely seen in Rhode Island as of late.

Neither Senate President Dominick Ruggerio nor Speaker of the House Nick Mattiello has spoken or met with Lucchino in months according to their spokespeople.

Lucchino did not attend the Senate Finance Committee hearing and passage of the funding structure. Nor did the PawSox chair attend the full Senate vote.

When the PawSox scheduled a public meeting in Mattiello’s district in January, it was long-time PawSox executive and Ben Mondor holdover Mike Tamburro, Vice Chair of the PawSox, who made the presentation to those that attended the event. Lucchino did not attend.

According to David Ortiz in Governor Gina Raimondo’s office, they cannot identify the last time Raimondo spoke or met with Lucchino.

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Crime in Providence

Big night in the big city. Mayor Jorge Elorza is holding the State of the City, the Providence College Friars are hosting the Georgetown Hoyas, and Joe Baris decided to go to the game.

Just one problem. Baris came out to find the wheels stolen right off his car while he was inside watching the game.

If Providence wants to be a great city, then it needs to be a safe city. 

Score of the game:

Thieves: 4 Wheels

Providence and Mr. Baris: Zero


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