Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - November 16, 2018

Friday, November 16, 2018

 

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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 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? - November 16, 2018

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HOT

New Concepts for Pell Bridge

Creative ideas.

RITBA is considering installing bike and pedestrian paths on its bridges which currently do not have them – the Newport Pell Bridge, the Mount Hope Bridge, and the Jamestown Verrazzano Bridge.

They are also considering the construction of an enclosed observatory on top of the 400 foot high west tower of the Newport Pell Bridge.

This potential project would include an elevator running up the side of the tower to transport people to and from the observation deck.

RITBA believes this would “be a major attraction, enhance tourism and generate substantial annual revenue.”

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HOT

Oprah

UMass Lowell thought it was saving the biggest news of the night for the end at a big fundraiser featuring Oprah Winfrey.

Oprah had even bigger news.

After Chancellor Jacquie Moloney announced that UMass Lowell had raised more than $1.5 million for scholarships at the Chancellor’s Speaker Series Thursday night, Winfrey pledged on stage to match it.

More than 6,000 people listened to the nearly 90-minute conversation between Winfrey and Moloney, which touched on education, gratitude, “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” her work with children in South Africa, a 10-day visit with Nelson Mandela and her commitment to living a life of purpose and service.
 

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HOT

Trinity Rep

Trinity's season opener, Pride and Prejudice, recently ended a successful run, playing to sold-out audiences and over 90% capacity.

The comedy was the highest-selling comedy produced by the organization since The Odd Couple in the 2009-10 Season. The production was also notable for playing to higher paid capacity than any show since The Completely Fictional – Utterly True – Final Strange Tale of Edgar Allan Poe in the 2010-11 Season. More than half of the Pride and Prejudice public performances sold out.

Executive Director Tom Parrish commented, “We are thrilled that audiences embraced and enjoyed Kate Hamill’s contemporary adaptation of Pride and Prejudice. It turned out to be a hit, exceeding our expectations and marking a fantastic start to the 2018-19 Season.”

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HOT

George Dussault

Rhode Island musical producer George Dussault appeared on GoLocal LIVE with News Editor Kate Nagle, where he spoke to being on the official ballot for a Grammy Award nomination for the 61st musical awards.

Dussault, who is up for producing Brenda Bennett’s album “Once Again” in the Best Americana Album, called the process — as he has been nominated to be on the ballot now over twenty times -- “mysterious.” 

“You submit your work and then it’s basically nicely asking for votes and for listenership. We’re looking for people to listen and give us their thumbs up,” said Dussault. “At this point we’re pretty high up on the ballot. We’re contenders.”

Dussault spoke to his background in the industry, working with Bennett — and where he can be found playing music in Rhode Island and New England.

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HOT

Fane Tower

After nearly two years, the privately financed project that will add millions to the tax roll and will create hundreds of new construction jobs finally received its first significant approval. The height limitation was increased to allow for the $300 million private investment.

The state regulatory structure allows for endless delays and is need of significant reform.

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NOT

Twin River Tiverton

Down, down, down goes the revenue.

In September, Twin River’s new casino in Tiverton opened with great fanfare, but the numbers show that after the initial excitement, revenue has fallen by 19 percent.

In the first month, the Tiverton casino generated a total of $11,437,607 in revenue — of that $9,837,048 was from video terminals and net table games revenues was $1,600,559, but in October the video revenue numbers fell by nearly 25 percent.

October video net terminal income fell to $7,573,687 and the net table games increased slightly to $1,696,431. The total net decrease was 19 percent month over month.

The numbers were provided by the RI lottery Commission and the State’s revenue office.

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NOT

RI Economy

A new report released on Wednesday by the U.S. Department of Commerce shows that Rhode Island’s economy is lagging the rest of the country in economic growth and many top experts forewarn that this may be an early indicator of Rhode Island’s economy moving towards a recession.

Texas's gross domestic product is growing more than 120 percent of the rate of RI.

Rhode Island is ranked last in New England and tied for the third worst in America.

A collection of leading economists are warning that RI may be replicating trends of the past few decades

“Look at the data -- we had negative growth for the 1st and 4th quarters of 2017. That was horrible, but when you have 2 negative quarters that reduces your base for indicators,” Len Lardaro of the University of Rhode Island.

“What this shows is a slowdown in our economic momentum. You know what I say about Rhode Island -- we're 'FILO' -- "First In, Last Out' of a recession.

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NOT

Kewan Platt 

Nichols guard Nate Tenaglia took a vicious elbow during his team’s game against Fitchburg State on Tuesday night.

After attempting a three, Tenaglia took an elbow from Fitchburg junior guard Kewan Platt and immediately dropped to the floor and grabbed his face.

WATCH VIDEO HERE

Platt has since been suspended and banned from campus by the Massachusetts State Collegiate Athletic Conference.

“The Fitchburg State community is appalled by the conduct displayed during Tuesday night’s home basketball game. The player involved has been indefinitely suspended from the team and barred from campus, effective immediately,” said Fitchburg State on Twitter.

The school added, “His behavior is antithetical to our community values and good sportsmanship. Fitchburg State does not tolerate behavior that violates those standards. The case is being reviewed at the student conduct level for consideration of further sanctions.”

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NOT

Amazon HQ2

Many are criticizing Amazon for playing hundreds of cities off against one another and then picked obvious megacities. The process cost communities across the country tens of millions in consulting fees and endless wasted effort. In the end -- NYC and D.C. split the golden ticket.

Manhattan Institute Senior Fellow and self-described “Urbanophile” Aaron Renn joined GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle on GoLocal LIVE to discuss Amazon’s announcement of its new “HQ2” locations in New York and Northern Virginia in Crystal City. 

“They were sort of the obvious places that Amazon would have gone all along,” said Renn. “People were thinking [they] just wanted access to talent and the usual tech markets…so just go to New York or DC or a place like that, maybe Boston — but I think most people were putting DC very close at the beginning because [Bezos] owns the Washington Post.”

Renn, who is a contributing editor of City Journal, and an economic development columnist for Governing magazine, spoke to the backlash regarding the subsidies offered to Amazon, the workforce the tech company is seeking, and how the decision to focus on the “coastal cities” could have a significant impact on the United States’ economy. 

 
 

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