Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - January 19, 2018

Friday, January 19, 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? - January 19, 2018

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HOT

Gina Raimondo

Like her or not, her State of the State performance was a first-rate performance. Her previous speeches were disjointed and her personal presentation was awkward.

This time her presentation was smart, comfortable and confident. The speech had a theme, a message and elements were highly poignant. 

Can she sustain it?

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HOT

Dr. Luis Daniel Muñoz 

Muñoz appeared on GoLocal LIVE this week and spoke to his run for Rhode Island Governor in 2018 as an independent -- and why he decided to enter the race.

Muñoz, who graduated from Central Falls High School, attended Rhode Island College before getting his doctorate and entering the tech world in health care, spoke to his interest in addressing the education -- and technological challenges -- facing Rhode Island. 

He has flagged issues such as "healthcare costs [which] poses great risks to all Rhode Island families. Our healthcare systems are complex, fragmented, and in many cases, inefficient. The payers within this system displace their own risks to patients and providers. We must protect patients and healthcare workers and challenge the intermediary institutions that contribute to rising costs."

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HOT

Ray Rickman

The former State Representative, Deputy Secretary of State, and head of Stages of Freedom (and weekly contributor to GoLocal LIVE with "Rickman's Big View") took a close -- and scathing -- look at the oft-lauded Rhode Island author H.P. Lovecraft -- and called him out for his racism, regardless of the "era" in which Lovecraft wrote.  

Wrote Rickman is his two-part series: 

The all-knowing narrators in Lovecraft’s fiction echoed the author’s racism. The following description of a corpse is an excerpt from the 1922 short story Herbert West – Reanimator, when he introduced the now-commonplace zombie to American horror fiction.

“The Negro had been knocked out, and a moment’s examination showed us that he would permanently remain so. He was a loathsome, gorilla-like thing, with abnormally long arms which I could not help calling legs, and a face that conjured up thoughts of unspeakable Congo secrets and tom-tom poundings under an eerie moon. The body must have looked even worse in life—but the world holds many ugly things.”

Lovecraft remains bewilderingly beloved by some for his literary status.  And certainly not by all, because he was racist -- which Rickman aptly points out. 

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HOT

Patricia Morgan

So it might be an election year -- but House Minority Leader Patricia Morgan and Republican gubernatorial candidate Morgan took a preemptive strike when she released the House GOP "State of the State" on Tuesday ahead of Governor Gina Raimondo's annual address. 

Rather than react to Raimondo's speech, Morgan took some wind out of Democrat Raimondo's sails by garnering press prior to the big event. 

"The Republican Caucus will continue to propose solutions to begin reforming the bad policies and practices that hurt our families and businesses alike. We will research, testify, advocate and discuss with all stakeholders," said Morgan.

"The goal is to stop corruption, strengthen our economy, allow business to grow and create good paying jobs and create an educational environment in which every child can thrive. Republicans have the political will to search for and provide solutions. We want every Rhode Islander to Grow, Work and Retire here…in the Ocean State."
 

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HOT

Author A.J. Finn

Finn's debut novel, “The Woman In The Window” is currently number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list, and is being published in 38 territories around the world. 

This week he appeared on GoLocal LIVE.

“In The Woman In The Window, I try to view mental illness and its miseries through the lens of a thriller,” says Finn. 

Finn has immersed himself in the thriller and suspense genre, studying mystery and suspense fiction at Oxford University. He says he wanted to try and give readers a more complex experience than other suspense fiction in his debut novel.  

Battling incorrectly diagnosed bipolar disorder for more than fifteen years, Finn says the story is informed by personal experience.

“My hope is that The Woman In The Window can be enjoyed as both a swiftly paced thriller and an earnest account of grief and trauma, resilience and redemption,” Finn says.

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HOT

Olivia Culpo 

The former Miss Rhode Island USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe, is now Miss Sports Illustrated (Rookie, that is) more than five years after earning the world's top beauty contest honor.

Sports Illustrated reported this week that Culpo made the cut:

"I am honored to be in such great company with such an iconic brand," Olivia said of being chosen as a SI Swimsuit rookie. "This was a major goal of mine because many of the women that have posed for SI have gone on to have such inspirational careers. I feel so blessed that this goal is becoming a reality and it shows me that hard work and positive intentions can lead to something amazing."
 

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HOT

RI Real Estate

The RI Association of Realtors reports that 2017 was a record year for single-family home sales.

They report that 11,282 single-family homes were sold in Rhode Island in 2017, up from 11,066 in 2016.

In addition, the median price of those sales climbed 6.3 percent to $255,000.
“The housing market was hot last year. Our biggest problem was lack of inventory, particularly in the starter home market. It seemed like properties were being sold just as soon as they were listed which made it extremely tough for buyers, particularly in some areas more than others,” said Joseph Luca, President of the Rhode Island Association of Realtors.
 

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NOT

GateHouse Media

Yikes. In a Boston Globe feature on the future of the now bankrupt Boston Herald, a Providence Journal reporter gave insights into the impact their parent company has had on newspapers under their management.

GateHouse, who owns the Providence Journal and the Worcester Telegram and more than 100 other daily papers, is a bidder in the bankruptcy proceeding for the Herald.

“'They haven’t cut pay — what they have cut is bodies,' said one experienced Providence Journal news staffer, who likened the massive GateHouse chain to the Borg from ‘Star Trek,’ a feared alien race that forcibly assimilates all in its path,” wrote Mark Arsenault of the Globe.

“Fewer journalists means ‘we get our ass beat all the time’ on stories, the staffer said, which is not something longtime Journal readers are used to seeing from a newspaper with a long history of providing smart coverage and narrative storytelling,” wrote Arsenault — both he and his wife Jennifer Levitz of the Wall Street Journal are former Providence Journal reporters.

GateHouse itself is owned through a complex web of corporate entities which ultimately leads to the Tokyo-based mega-bank SoftBank.

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NOT

Senator William Conley

Senate Finance Chair William Conley, who is opposed to allowing voters to decide the fate of the proposed public financing for the PawSox Stadium, receives nearly all of his campaign donations from powerful lobbyists, political action committees, state house lawyers and fellow legislators.

According to a detailed review of Conley’s 2017 campaign finance reports through the third quarter, few constituents donated to his campaign. The review of documents was especially difficult as few of the entries filed with the Board of Election’s Campaign Finance Division had complete information. Names, addresses, or employer information was missing for the vast majority of the campaign donors.

Lobbyist affiliation and other data is missing in Conley's campaign finance reports

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NOT

RI's Judicial System

On Monday night, a 17-year-old shot a 19-year-old man in the parking garage at Providence Place Mall. The shooting triggered an active shooter alert. The mall was shut down. Dozens of law enforcement and emergency response were deployed. Workers were sent home.

On Tuesday the shooter was arraigned. 

On Wednesday the shooter was sent home.

On Thursday most Rhode Islanders who were aware of the situation were disgusted.

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NOT

Mayor Jorge Elorza

After the arrest of the 17-year-old, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza did not voice outrage at the violence, he had not shown up at the Mall, nor did the Mayor outline how his administration was going to make sure the shoppers will be safe in the future.

"We picked up a knucklehead," said Elorza.

 
 

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