Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - November 30, 2018

Friday, November 30, 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 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? - November 30, 2018

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HOT

Jon Romano

The top Raimondo policy guru is leaving the State House to go help drive the strategy for the Democratic Governors Association -- which Governor Gina Raimondo chairs in 2019.

Romano was the key player in developing the RI Promise program, and Democrats picked up seven state houses in the mid-term elections.

The DGA's gain is Rhode Island’s loss.

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HOT

David Cicilline

It was not a top five leadership position in the House Democratic ranks, instead, RI’s David Cicilline got a consolation prize.

Cicilline was elected Chairman of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee (DPCC), which leads efforts to develop the Caucus policy agenda and communications strategy that explains where House Democrats stand on the issues important to middle-class families and what they are doing to deliver results for working people by bringing down costs, lifting wages, and rooting out political corruption.

The failure of Cicilline to grab a top-tier position may freeze him out for top posts in perpetuity.

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HOT

Viola Davis

The Washington Post is reporting that Central Falls native Viola Davis is taking on the role of Shirley Chisolm.

"Viola Davis made history by becoming the first black actress to be nominated for three Academy Awards and is the only African American to secure acting’s triple crown (an Emmy, Oscar and a Tony). So when it came time to pick an actress to depict Shirley Chisholm, the first black woman elected to Congress, as well as the first woman and person of color to pursue a nomination for president in a major American political party, Davis was a natural fit."

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HOT

CVS

The long-awaited final federal approval of CVS’s acquisition of insurance giant Aetna received final approval on Wednesday. CVS stock closed up 1 percent, but the overall Dow Jones was up 2.5 percent yesterday.

“Today marks the start of a new day in health care and a transformative moment for our company and our industry,” declared CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo. “By delivering the combined capabilities of our two leading organizations, we will transform the consumer health experience and build healthier communities through a new innovative healthcare model that is local, easier to use, less expensive and puts consumers at the center of their care.”

The deal is expected to maintain and potentially increase employment in Rhode Island. Similarly, Aetna officials have told state leaders and hometown Hartford media that they expect the deal to help grow jobs. The deal points when announced saw tens of millions in cost reductions. 

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HOT

Virgin Pulse

The Providence-based Virgin Pulse is at it again. It may not be a deal the size of the CVS-Aetna merger, but they have scored another acquisition.

Virgin Pulse announced this week it has acquired the workplace wellness company SimplyWell. 

The acquisition follows the completion of Virgin Pulse’s merger with RedBrick Health earlier this year, as GoLocalProv reported. 

“With employers shifting towards health management platforms that combine engagement and clinically-focused solutions, the addition of SimplyWell’s condition management coaching, claims analytics and reporting capabilities allows us to expand the breadth of our employee health and wellbeing offering by helping the highest risk employees manage chronic, costly conditions. We remain committed to pursuing additional complementary acquisitions and making significant investments in R&D to further distinguish ourselves as a world-class, innovative leader and bring us closer to delivering our vision of creating a safe, trusted experience that supports employees across the full health and wellbeing continuum,” said David Osborne, CEO of Virgin Pulse.

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NOT

Climate Change

Unfortunately, the climate is getting hotter and the winter is getting more severe. When the Trump administration releases a report outlining the dire impacts of climate change — the impact must be significant.

The report issued by Trump’s administration states that the Northeast will be among the hardest hit areas in the country, “Ocean and coastal ecosystems are being affected by large changes in a variety of climate-related environmental conditions. These ecosystems support fishing and aquaculture, tourism and recreation, and coastal communities.”

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“Observed and projected increases in temperature, acidification, storm frequency and intensity, and sea levels are of particular concern for coastal and ocean ecosystems, as well as local communities and their interconnected social and economic systems,” states the report.

The study finds that high temperatures will continue to get hotter and impact more days each summer and correspondingly, the number of severe winter days will increase.

“The new study is a comprehensive summary of the effects that are and will result from global climate change. In Rhode Island and in the northeast, we are seeing rising sea level, coastal erosion, storm events and changes in fisheries due to climate change, and these impacts will only increase with time,” Dean Bruce Corliss of the University of Rhode Island’s Graduate School of Oceanography told GoLocal.

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NOT

Projo Circulation

The Providence Journal’s print circulation continues to plummet. According to the Alliance of Audited Media, the Providence Journal’s paid weekday print circulation is now below 45,000.

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NOT

RI’s Education System

Will we ever get serious about improving our schools? RI’s children’s future depends on the betterment of our inferior schools. How bad are RI schools — they test 17% to 20% lower than students across the stateliness.

Please break out the excuses — we will need to use them all this year. We have repeatedly changed the tests to try and get results that show better results, but at the end of 12 years attending RI public schools, our children will be at a significant disadvantage. Game, set, match. Or in RI trip, fall, lose out.

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NOT

Food at the Dunk

Nothing is better than a URI versus PC rivalry game. Regardless of their records, the game is the ultimate rivalry. But, if you are going to the game — eat first or after. At many areas and stadiums there is a concerted effort to create high-quality offerings and variety, but not at the Dunk.

The food is mediocre at best and downright uneatable nearly always.

It pales to Fenway, the Garden and McCoy. Forget venues like Yankee stadium or Scotiabank Center in Toronto where the food is actually good.

This year at Yankee Stadium “a new Rotisserie Chicken and Steak stand (Section 105) has charbroiled flatiron steak, organic rotisserie chicken, and a burger” opened.  

The burgers at Scotiabank Arena in Toronto could make any best burger list. In contrast, the hotdogs at the Dunk are uniquely soggy.

Enjoy the PC and URI game Saturday and be sure to support the local restaurants before or after the game. 

 
 

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