Friday, May 29, 2015

Fourth and Final Strategic Plan Prototype Released for Feedback! - May 27, 2015‏

The final version of the strategic plan is taking shape, but you still have time to give the Ambassador Design Team your feedback.  This prototype includes revisions to third prototype, including the visions of success and the strategies for action within each priority area.  

Please go to to watch a short introductory video, download prototype 4 of the strategic plan, and respond to the brief (six-question) survey, which focuses on your high-level feedback regarding the quality, scope, and focus of prototype 4.

The survey will be open until 8 a.m. on June 1. After we close the survey, we will collect and gather the feedback into a report that will  inform the Ambassador Design Team’s final revisions. We expect to bring a final plan forward next month.

You can read the reports of the feedback from the other prototypes on the RIDE web site at

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Citywide Conversation

Please Join

Mayor Jorge O. Elorza, Councilman Kevin Jackson, and Councilman Sam Zurier for a Citywide Conversation.

Monday, June 15at 6:00pm - 8:00pm
Nathan Bishop Middle
101 Sessions St, Providence, Rhode Island 2906

Join the conversation about how we can work together
to benefit our city.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

Providence LWV study of library funding: meeting March 27, 10 am‏

Library Funding: The State’s Responsibility
Over the past few months a subcommittee of the Providence LWV has been gathering information on the status quo of library funding, as well as on possible changes. Summaries of interviews and background material are online (contact Joan or Hollie Courage for the URL/web address). 

We are meeting Wednesday, May 27, 10 am, at 344 Taber Avenue, to plot the next step in this Providence LWV study. A report? A forum? Any preliminary conclusions? 
Even if you haven't been part of the committee, we welcome your participation.
If you would like to contribute to this discussion, please review the materials, and come.

Joan Retsinas
phone 401-272-0422

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Providence Transition Committee Reports

These reports contain valuable input and insight into the needs and priorities of residents and stakeholders throughout Providence. There were 10 subcommittees: City Services; Economic Development; Education; Ethics, Transparency + Open Government; Arts, Culture + Cuisine; Housing + Neighborhood Development; Public Safety; Sports, Recreation + Youth Programming; Strategic Opportunities; and Sustainability.

Transition Committee Report

Also available at: Open Data Portal

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

A City Braces for Its Ballpark to Go the Way of Its Mills
FEBRUARY 24, 2015

The icy reminder of a baseball truth has blown down from New England, down from a Rhode Island city forever described as gritty, or struggling, or, more politely, challenged. No doubt you have seen signs for this brown-brick metropolis along the interstate, on your way to someplace else: Pawtucket, population 71,000...

Now Pawtucket is also home to this familiar lesson: Beyond the game’s innate poetry, which has seduced generations of hacks to summon their inner Whitman for every slam-bam double play, professional baseball is a cold business, as emotional at its core as an expectorated spray of tobacco juice.

Full story

Monday, May 18, 2015

Coordinated Assault on Endangered Species Act

America’s strongest and most important law for protecting wildlife, the Endangered Species Act, is under a coordinated assault. Since January, over 30 bills and amendments have been introduced in the U.S. House and Senate that would dismantle the Act, including eight extreme bills in the Senate that received a hearing last week.

The Endangered Species Act (ESA), passed in 1973, has helped prevent the extinction of numerous species, including the Bald Eagle, Whooping Crane, Brown Pelican, Peregrine Falcon, and more. While many species are recovering thanks to the ESA, hundreds of species continue to be in dire need of its protections. The bills introduced in Congress, however, would only serve to accelerate extinction.

Full Story

Grassroots Providence Procession Draws Attention To Water Issues

Rhode Island Public Radio
11:47 AM SAT MAY 16, 2015

A group of artists, scientists, educators, and residents who want to promote the health of urban ponds will march in a parade later today in Providence for the eighth year in a row. Mashapaug Pond and its watershed in the Pawtuxet River basin are the centerpieces of the Urban Pond Procession. The pond is on the state’s list of impaired waters. It’s not a safe body of water in which to swim or fish.

Full Report

Many R.I. lawmakers could gain from pension deal

Providence Journal
By Katherine Gregg

Journal State House Bureau

Posted May 17, 2015 at 2:00 AM

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — At least a third of Rhode Island’s part-time lawmakers have a potential personal stake in the proposed settlement of the legal fight over dramatic 2011 pension cuts aimed at saving taxpayers $4 billion over the next two decades.

That includes the 10 state lawmakers already collecting pensions — ranging from $7,402 a year to more than $74,000 — from the state-run retirement system covering state workers, public school teachers and municipal employees. For them, there is an opportunity for a series of boosts in their pensions they might not otherwise see for years.

Full Story

Panel studying charter school funding issues report

STATE HOUSE – The Special Legislative Commission to Study and Assess Rhode Island’s “Fair Funding Formula,” led by Rep. Jeremiah T. O’Grady (D-Dist. 46, Lincoln, Pawtucket) issued its findings today after hearing testimony from advocates and representatives from public schools, charter schools, municipalities and the Department of Education over the course of three months. While making no formal recommendations, the commission’s report found that certain high-cost expenditure burdens were disproportionately borne by public sending districts and that charter schools, through the Fair Funding Formula’s tuition calculation, saw increases in their respective tuition payments as a result...

Press Release

For more information, contact:
Meredyth R. Whitty,
PublicistState House
Room 20Providence, RI 02903
(401) 222-2457

Related stories:
Consultant: Closing some Warwick schools necessary and unavoidable
North Kingstown school board approves district-wide all-day kindergarten

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Brown's Commencement/ Reunion Weekend 2015‏

Brown University’s 247th Commencement exercises take place on Sunday, May 24 on the College Green. The ceremony will conclude Brown’s three-day Commencement/ Reunion Weekend and mark the official end of the University’s semiquincentenary celebrations, the 250th anniversary of Brown’s founding.

Brown’s 250th celebration began in March 2014 with fireworks on the College Green. As the celebration enters its final weekend on Friday, May 22, a four-minute firework display will follow the Senior Sing at Campus Dance, just after midnight.  In consideration of our neighbors, the twenty-second finale will be significantly quieter than a standard firework display.

Information on traffic patterns, street closings, and parking bans

Any questions or concern contact:
Katie Silberman
Community Liaison; 863-3717

LWV library study - next steps

Please come to a Library Funding Committee meeting:
Wednesday, May 27, from 10 am to noon.

We have collectively interviewed a slew of librarians about the Library Funding formula, have gathered written information about formulas. Now we need to look at all the material and decide what needs to be/ can be done next (The information is available to committee members online.)

For more information: Call Joan Retsinas 272-0422

Monday, May 11, 2015

Report finds that R.I. meets all early learning quality standards

Rhode Island is among the best in the country for the quality of early learning programs.

A report that the National Institute for Early Education Research released today (May 11, 2015), “The State of Preschool 2014,” finds that Rhode Island is one of only five states to meet all ten standards, or benchmarks, for the youngest learners. This marks the 5th consecutive year that Rhode Island has met all 10 standards.

Full Story

PawSox owners to present stadium plan to Jewelry District Association – May 12, 2015

Presentation on Proposed PawSox Stadium – James Skeffington
Monthly JDA Meetings are open to the public

You’re invited to attend.
Next meeting: Tuesday, May 12, 2015
Meeting time: promptly at 4:00 pm to approximately 5:30 pm.

Meetings are held the second Tuesday of every month. Each meeting offers updates on local issues and reports of JDA action, as well as occasional guests from city government departments, businesses, universities and others whose ideas and/or actions are important to the Jewelry District.

Meeting Location:

Brown University Continuing Education Department
200 Dyer Street, Providence

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Climate Council needs board members

Posted: May 04, 2015 4:30 PM EDT
Updated: May 04, 2015 4:30 PM EDT
By NBC 10 News

Nominations are now being sought for the new Rhode Island Executive Climate Change Science and Technical Advisory Board...

Nominations should be submitted no later than May 15, 2015 to Elizabeth Stone in the DEM Director's Office at, by fax at 222-6802, or by mail to the DEM Director's Office in Room 425 at 235 Promenade Street, Providence, RI 02908. Interested individuals are encouraged to include a current resume or bio, cover letter and contact information.

A link to the Resilient Rhode Island Act and the complete list of the activities of the Science and Technical Advisory Board can be found at:

Full Story

Monday, May 4, 2015

Downtown Baseball Stadium Discussions

Sam Zurier announced in his May 3 Ward Letter that he will co-host a public meeting with State Representatives Aaron Regunberg and Edith Ajello, and State Senator Gayle Goldin to share the information we have, and invite all of you, as members of the general public, to share your thoughts, opinions and ideas.  The meeting will take place on Monday, May 18 at 6:00 p.m. at the Hope High School Cafeteria.  The formal discussion will begin at 6:30.  Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

NBC 10 I-Team Exclusive: RI court costs out of whack

Posted: Apr 27, 2015 7:17 PM EDT
Updated: Apr 28, 2015 11:46 AM EDT
By Katie Davis, NBC 10 I-Team Reporter

NBC 10 began investigating the state's unpaid court costs in February, and learned criminals owe Rhode Island taxpayers more than $70 million.

But, the I-Team also learned that chasing that cash isn't always worth the cost. In some cases, Rhode Island taxpayers spend more to lock people up than those people ever owed.

Full Story