Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Street Sweeping to Begin April 5, Yard Waste Collection Begins April 13


Street Sweeping Schedule from the City Council

Single Payer

Raimondo cherry picks data, overstates issues in Reinventing Medicaid
By Steve Ahlquist on March 31, 2015

Two single-payer advocacy groups, Rhode Island Chapters of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP) and HealthCare-Now, have prepared a report that is highly critical of Governor Gina Raimondo’s Reinventing Medicaid initiative.

The PNHP/HCN-RI report identifies five areas of concern and concludes that “Governor Raimondo has made it impossible” to achieve the goal of developing “a plan to improve the quality of care Rhode Islanders receive and reduce the costs for Rhode Island taxpayers.”

H5387, a single-payer health care bill introduced by Representative Aaron Regunberg.

Monday, March 30, 2015

Citywide Conversation on City Services and Education 3/31

Citywide Conversation on City Services and Education tomorow, Tuesday, March 31st from 6-8 pm. The conversation will be held at the Silver Lake Community Center at 529 Plainfield Street, and it will be the first of many opportunities to share your ideas at different venues across the City.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Providence facing school budget crunch

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Several members of the Providence School Board are calling on the Elorza administration to increase the city’s contribution to the school department for the first time in five years, as officials scramble to close a projected budget shortfall.

School officials told the mayoral-appointed school board Monday that they’ve narrowed a $34.7-million gap in the budget that takes effect July 1 down to between $6 million and $10 million, but the cuts identified could harm students and teachers across the city, according to board member Keith Oliveira.

Full Story

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pension settlement

Providence Journal
R.I. municipalities holding emergency council meetings on pension settlement
By Katherine Gregg  Posted Mar. 25, 2015 @ 3:39 pm

Table showing the potential added cost to Rhode Island cities and towns of a proposed settlement in the lawsuit over the state's pension overhaul.

Reminder: “Technology and Community Engagement.” - 3/26

Thursday, March 26, 6:30 pm
“Technology and Community Engagement.”
Speakers: Andy Cutler, Founder of Achievery
Sue Ellen Kroll, Director of Grants and Strategic Partnerships, Rhode Island Council for the Humanities
Facilitator: Joan Retsinas, LWV member

An informal reception will follow.
Where: The Lippitt House Museum, 199 Hope St, Providence
(Parking is available at the lot across the street).
Note: Attendees with limited mobility can park in the drive at the entrance off Angell Street.  That entrance has 6 steps with handrails. Once inside, the doorways are wide enough to accommodate wheel chairs. If you need to park in the drive, please notify the Museum in advance (453-0688).

Monday, March 23, 2015

Secretary of State's Transition Committee Report

Nellie Gorbea's 12 member Transition Committee worked with her to outline important areas to address over the next four years. Their report entitled Restarting Rhode Island is now available. The report’s recommendations have a common goal: develop a stronger connection between Rhode Islanders and their government.  Click here to read more.

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Providence Parent Academy

Providence Public Schools, in collaboration with the Paul Cuffee School, is launching the Providence Parent Academy, a community-driven initiative designed to provide families with the tools and resources they need to become more meaningfully engaged in their children’s education.

For more information or to register by phone, please call (401) 456-0686 or (401) 453-2626. To register online, visit: http://pvdparentacademy.eventbrite.com

Monday, March 16, 2015

Addresses of convenience

By Will Collette on March 16, 2015
RI Future

One of the nice things about owning several properties is that when it comes to politics, you have lots of choices about where you can say you live. I’m not talking about the formal definition of legal residence, but “addresses of convenience.”

Having an address of convenience gives you the choice of where to vote or where to run for office. You can shop around to find the most advantageous choice. Not necessarily a legal choice, but one that is rarely ever challenged.

Full Article

Here are the 15 bills Mayor Elorza wants the General Assembly to approve this year

By Dan McGowan, WPRI.com Reporter
Published: March 15, 2015, 11:53 pm  Updated: March 16, 2015, 10:00 am

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – From increased state aid to changes to the car tax, Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has asked state lawmakers to approve a slew of bills he believes will help Rhode Island’s capital city during his first year in office.

Elorza submitted the city’s annual legislative agenda to the 21 state representatives and senators who make up the General Assembly’s all-Democratic Providence delegation Friday, a day after Gov. Gina Raimondo released her first budget proposal.

Full Article

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Education: Strategic Plan Process Update - March 13, 2015‏

Last month, the 26 members of the Ambassador Design Team released their first prototype for the plan, which consisted of a set of values statements.  Through surveys and through community meetings, the team members sought and received feedback on this prototype.  Based on this feedback, the team has now released its second prototype, which includes revised value statements and a set of priorities that will serve as the organizing principles for the strategic plan.

The second prototype is now available for your feedback through March 22, 10 pm.

To provide feedback:
Step 1: Open the “Values and Priority Statements” PDF found here: www.ride.ri.gov/Plan-Feedback.
Step 2: Watch the short video linked on that web page, which provides an introduction to the process.
Step 3: Review the prototype and fill out the survey to respond to the work of the ADT.

Friday, March 13, 2015

Superintendents: Refusal of PARCC exam could impact schools’ federal funding

By Susan Hogan
 Published: March 12, 2015, 9:56 pm  |  Updated: March 13, 2015, 12:21 pm

WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — In just four days, thousands of Rhode Island students will be taking a new standardized test, known as the Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers (PARCC) exam.

Many students won’t be taking the test though, because their parents are refusing to let them participate. Rhode Island doesn’t have a formal policy that allows students to opt out of taking the exam, and with so many refusing to take it – school superintendents around the state were forced to respond...

Several school superintendents made it very clear that decision could result in a loss of federal funding for certain schools, which are required to have at least a 95% participation rate.

R.I. shields emails from public scrutiny

Providence Journal
Posted Mar. 13, 2015 at 2:01 AM
By Kenneth Kramer

 It is the annual Sunshine Week, when U.S. newspapers publish stories about public records and the difficulty in obtaining some of them. Public records are generally defined as records, regardless of their physical form (so email would be included), made or received in connection with the transaction of official business by any government agency...

 The federal law governing public records is called the The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), but each state has its own laws, and there are quirks.
-In Rhode Island, email correspondence of elected officials is not public (See http://webserver.rilin.state.ri.us/Statutes/title38/38-2/38-2-2.HTM).

Full Article

TEDxProvidence 2015

Tickets on sale Now for TEDxProvidence 2015
PROVIDENCE, RI - The Providence Speaking Society is proud to announce the 4th Annual TEDxProvidence. This event will take place on Saturday, May 2 at the Columbus Theater from 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Tickets are available at the Columbus Theatre and online at Eventbrite[read more]

Governor Gina M. Raimondo's Fiscal Year 2016 budget

Yesterday Governor Raimondo presented her proposed budget and has posted it, an interactive version, and fact sheets online.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Charter school funding

Charter school funding takes center stage at RI State House
Posted: Mar 11, 2015 4:28 PM EDT
Updated: Mar 11, 2015 4:28 PM EDT
By NBC 10 News
State lawmakers are taking a closer look at funding charter schools.
The special legislative commission studying the education funding formula's methods for financing charter schools will meet from 3:00 - 5:00 pm Friday, March 13, in Room 101 of the State House.
In November a report was published calling for greater transparency and public control over charters and their management associations.

The commission meeting is open to the public and also available on Capitol TV (Channel 1013 for Cox HD; Channel 15 for Cox and Full Channel; Channel 34 for Verizon).