Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - March 15, 2019

Friday, March 15, 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? - March 15, 2019

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HOT

AAA Northeast’s Branch Office in East Providence

Who would think AAA would build an architecturally interesting building?

"One of the most intriguing and noteworthy pieces of new architecture around Providence is not downtown, nor in a suburban office park. It is not by a famous out-of-town architect, nor is it at Brown or RISD," writes William Morgan, GoLocalProv Architectural Critic."

"This handsome new gem is unexpectedly found in East Providence, along the Wampanoag Trail, set back from the road, in a marshy spot close to where Mink Brook forms the border with Seekonk, Massachusetts."

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HOT

Anthony Sanders' Be-Woke-Enterprises

Anthony Sanders may have created the next big thing in men’s fashion — custom bow ties. The Providence native has launched a new company that helps design and hand sews larger sized bow ties. The ties exude the epitome of cool. 

Sanders' company Be-Woke-Enterprises is a family business that involves both of Sanders two sons.

Sanders has a day job working for All State Insurance and is an accomplished runner. He was a star runner at Hope High School and today continues to run competitively — including triathlons.

Sanders says he is designing a series of unique ties, but is getting orders for fabrics selected by his customers. LEARN MORE HERE.

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HOT

Jaala Smith

Eleven-year-old Jaala Smith from Pawtucket has starred on FOX’s cooking show MasterChef Junior. Smith’s love for cooking started at the young age of six, and developed into a talent.

“My experience on MasterChef was amazing. Meeting new friends and the judges, and seeing Hollywood and Los Angeles was the best experience you could ever have,” says Smith.

On season seven of MasterChef Junior, Smith goes head to head with twenty-four junior chefs from across the country. 

Celebrity chefs Gordon Ramsey, Christina Tosi, and Aaron Sanchez judge MasterChef Junior, so for Smith and the other contestants, the pressure is on.

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HOT

Special Olympics

Can the Super Plunge Raise $100,000?

Special Olympics of Rhode Island’s Dennis DeJesus joined GoLocalProv News Editor Kate Nagle on GoLocal LIVE where he spoke to the organization’s upcoming “Super Plunge” — where 24 individuals will plunge every hour, on the hour, for twenty-four hours, to benefit Special Olympics. 

Starting on Saturday, March 23 at Salty Brine State Beach in Narragansett, plungers will go into the water once an hour for the next 24 hours, finishing at noon on Sunday. 

“And it’s not just running in and running out — plungers are required to go all the way under,” said DeJesus. 

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HOT

Elizabeth Warren

Days before anyone else, Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was calling for the United States to ground Boeing 737 MAX 8 planes.

Her plea came on Monday -- two days after an Ethiopian Airlines flight on Sunday that killed 157 people.

"The United Kingdom, China, Australia, South Korea, Indonesia, Malaysia, and others have already grounded the 737 MAX. The FAA should follow their lead, reverse their decision, and immediately ground this plane in the United States until its safety can be assured," said Warren in a statement. 

The victims of the crash included citizens of 35 countries, 32 Kenyans, 18 Canadians, nine Ethiopians and eight from China, Italy and the United States.

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NOT

RI --  Fentanyl Ground Zero

A comprehensive series published by The Washington Post about the failures of the administrations of President Barack Obama and Donald Trump on combating America’s greatest public health crisis -- drug overdoses -- claim that the Fentanyl epidemic began in Rhode Island.

The Post article cites a CDC Health Advisory from 2013 sent to public health experts:

“Since March 6, 2013, 14 overdose deaths related to a novel, injected non-prescription synthetic opioid have occurred among intravenous drug users in Rhode Island.  Ten of those deaths occurred in March.  On May 30, 2013, Rhode Island Department of Health confirmed that the implicated synthetic opioid is acetyl fentanyl, a fentanyl analog previously undocumented in illicit drug use.  Acetyl fentanyl is not available as a prescription drug in the U.S.

The age of the persons who died from an acetyl fentanyl overdose ranged from 19 – 57 years, and 10 of the decedents were male.  The toxicology testing results for most of the decedents showed, in addition to acetyl fentanyl, varying mixtures of drugs, including cocaine, heroin (morphine), ethanol, and benzodiazepines.  However, none of these additional substances were present in all decedents and none of these persons tested positive for fentanyl by GC/MS after testing positive for fentanyl by ELISA. Toxicology results for one decedent showed only acetyl fentanyl (by GC/MS) and no other substances.  These deaths represent a significant increase in the number of illicit drug overdose deaths compared with the number of cases typically reported in one month in Rhode Island.”

Former Rhode Island Department of Health Director Michael Fine told the Post that when a series of deaths hit in Rhode Island, he asked for a deeper investigation.

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NOT

America's Top Colleges' Admissions Process

Build a building, get your kid in. Make a big donation and junior comes off the waiting list. Those were the old rules.

The new rules are, have a surrogate take the SATs, bribe a coach, or even pretend to play sport and get a coach to say you're a recruit to get preferential status. 

Simply, there are no rules. Millionaires and billionaires are perverting the integrity of the questionable process.

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NOT

RI --  8th Highest Tax Rates in the U.S.

According to WalletHub, Rhode Island has the 8th highest tax rates in the U.S., ranking 44th out of 51 overall.

“Every year, the average U.S. household pays more than $7,800 in federal income taxes, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And while we’re all faced with that same obligation, there is significant difference when it comes to state and local taxes. Taxpayers in the most tax-expensive states, for instance, pay three times more than those in the cheapest states,” said WalletHub.

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo’s Fiscal Year 2020 budget proposal has been widely criticized for increasing taxes and fees. — and not just from Rhode Islanders.

After Raimondo’s proposed beach and campground increase was called a “regressive tax on the poor” by politicians and economists in Rhode Island, the Wall Street Journal called out Raimondo in its recent editorial, “Nickel and Diming Democrats,” after Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont introduced truck tolls to address the state’s fiscal issues. 

“From coast to coast, they’re taxing anything that moves,” wrote the WSJ Editorial Board.

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NOT

Unfunded Liabilities

Rhode Island’s cities and towns are facing massive unfunded liabilities for both pensions and long-term healthcare costs.

Providence’s unfunded pension and long-term healthcare cost obligations are well reported —now more than $2 billion, but more concerns are emerging about the health of cities and towns across Rhode Island.

“We have two communities (Johnston and Providence) where the combined pension and OPEB liabilities comes out to over $12,000 per resident of those towns. And Providence is understating their liabilities by 15% by using an unreasonable rate of return for calculating its liabilities,” said Ken Block, former candidate for Governor who is raising questions about the lack of political action.

READ MORE HERE

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NOT

RI's Leadership

Not only have Governor Gina Raimondo and other state leaders functionally surrendered the fate of one of Rhode Island's most valuable assets -- hospitals like Butler, Women & Infants and Kent -- to the fate of a Boston healthcare conglomerate, but now the Partners Healthcare - Care New England deal is coming into greater focus.

These Rhode Island assets will be a subsidiary of a subsidiary -- the organization table shows Rhode Island on the bottom rung. 

Rhode Island needs to do better. 

 
 

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