Sunday, January 31, 2016

City’s mid-year finances, the budgetary impact of charter schools, and the City’s lobbyist registration program

From Sam Zurier's January 31, 2016 Ward Letter

On January 25, the administration submitted a Report describing government’s performance against budget through the end of the second quarter of the fiscal year (December 31, 2015).  It includes several adjustments to the original budget, which when combined leave the budget more than $200,000 ahead of its original “bottom line.”
On January 26, the Education Committee met to discuss the financial interaction between charter schools and school districts...  The  Education Committee reviewed an Analysis of high school sports, estimating that support of charter school student-athletes costs the Providence Public Schools approximately $800 per student-athlete... This year, the School Department’s budget includes $15.1 million in “tuition” payments to charter schools.  In 2012, the Internal Auditor published a Report estimating that the School Department recovered (in “marginal cost” savings) less than half the money it lost to the charter schools.
In 2013, Providence became the first Rhode Island city to adopt a lobbyist registration program, a major advance in open government.  The Clerk’s Office maintains a Database of 34 lobbyists and quarterly reports they submit.

KIDS COUNT Data Center Moves Race-Related Statistics Center Stage


Users can now Search by Characteristic when sifting through data and hunting for trends on child and family well-being...

To this end, users can quickly pull data on a wide range of topics — everything from birth rates and poverty rates to school suspension rates — and break these statistics down by race and ethnicity.

Full Story

Friday, January 29, 2016

ResilientPVD Lab Feb 1 - 3

On February 1st through the 3rd, a team of experts from around the country will come to Providence for three days of charrettes, workshops, and community meetings to explore how Providence's infrastructure, buildings, and neighborhoods can prepare for the impacts climate change. Join Mayor Jorge Elorza and the Office of Sustainability February 1st at 6 PM for a community workshop, and February 3rd at 6 PM for the final presentation...

The Office of Sustainability has invited hundreds of stakeholders to participate in various events over the course of the three days. Residents and other community members are encouraged to participate in the evening workshop on the 1st, which will be held at Providence Career and Technical Academy, and the final presentation on the 3rd, which will be held at 444 Westminster St. Both events are at 6 PM. Please click here for more information and to register...

Full Story

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Shorthanded on enforcement?

Posted: Saturday, January 23, 2016 12:05 am
Providence Business News

State environmental agencies have less staff to adequately protect Rhode Island waters than in the past, and that could negatively impact the local economy, say advocates...

The agency has seven staff attorneys, down from nine in 2005; and as of 2014, had 23 staff in compliance and inspection, down from 39, and 67 in the water division, down from 86 in 2005...

as of 2013, the most recent year available, there was a DEM backlog of 150 enforcement cases in the Office of Compliance and Inspection.

Full Story

Saturday, January 23, 2016

Harbor Management Final Report

Communication from Lisa Carnevale, Chair of the Providence Harbor Management Commission, submitting the final 2016-2021 Harbor Management Plan (HMP) for the City of Providence.

LIVE MAP: Major Power Outages Across RI

Track power outages and expected repair times on this real time interactive tracker.  Widespread outages are expected to hit. Check the Live Map direct from NationalGrid

City Services - Snow

Winter Weather Tips and Info

To learn more about the City of Providence's snow and ice removal policies, and how you can prepare for winter weather, visit
-Mayor Jorge O. Elorza

Tuesday, January 19, 2016


As part of Providence’s school choice process, you have the option to request the middle school and high school you would like your child to attend. We invite you to visit and learn more about our schools before you submit your choice. Our middle and high schools will be open between January 19th and 28th. Come and meet with the principals and staff, and learn about the different academic programs and students activities offer at each school.

dates and times 

Monday, January 18, 2016

Snow Removal

From Councillor Zurier’s Jan. 17th newsletter

Also on Monday night, the Director of Public Works described this year's snow removal program to the Public Works Committee, providing answers to questions, a Ward 2 snow removal map, and an inventory of snow removal vendors.  The map describes the Department's progression from major streets to residential streets.  The City upgraded its fleet of trucks to enhance its ability to pretreat roads, and is committed to plow "curb to curb" (i.e. within 6" on either side).  I asked about two issues you raised with me last year, namely plowing at street corners and 24/7 telephone access.  The Director said that the City is aware of the problem of snow piling up at street corners (which makes it difficult to provide access to sidewalks) and will avoid that as much as possible, and will have some ability to clear corners on important streets. The Director also said that the "snow removal hotline" number of (401) 680-8080 will provide 24/7 message service for after-hours snow removal requests even when there is not a "snow emergency."  This morning, I called that number and got a fax line.  I am hopeful this changes, but please remember that you can always call the Police Department's non-emergency line at 272-3121 if the hotline fails.

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Join us on MLK Day to honor Sister Ann

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence
Candlelight vigil on MLK Day to honor Sister Ann Keefe

4:00 to 6:00 pm
265 Oxford Street
Providence, RI 02905

*Rain, snow or shine

Sister Ann Keefe passed away on January 18, 2015. She never let an opportunity to discuss nonviolence and her Beloved Community pass her by. We'd like to call it divine intervention that the one-year anniversary of her passing can be honored alongside Martin Luther King, Jr.

Our work, rooted in the teachings of Martin Luther King, Jr., was fully ignited by Sister Ann's unmistakable spark. Join us this MLK Day as we honor two of the Institute's biggest champions: Sister Ann and Martin Luther King, Jr. Sal Monteiro, Director of Nonviolence Training at the Institute, will give a brief introduction followed by a short multi-faith prayer.

We are the Beloved Community. We are united for peace.

Refreshments will be served.

The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence | 401.785.2320 | 401.270.5490 |  |

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Civil Rights Roundtable: MLK Day Celebration

Join youth organizations and the RI Civil Rights Roundtable on MLK Day to discuss youth activism in RI. January 18th from 12:30 - 3:00pmMathewson Street Church134 Mathewson St, Providence RI

For more information

Monday, January 4, 2016

Citywide Conversation - Tuesday, January 26at 6 PM - 8 PM

Citywide Conversation
Tuesday, January 26at 6 PM - 8 PM

Mount Pleasant High
434 Mount Pleasant Ave, Providence, Rhode Island 02908

Please join Mayor Jorge O. Elorza and Councilwoman Jo-Ann Ryan for a Citywide Conversation.

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

For more information: Grace Diaz


Overcoming the chronic disease of hardening of the categories
By Peter Simon
Posted 1/4/16

PROVIDENCE – One bad joke amongst epidemiologists working in public agencies in the U.S. is that what kills most bureaucrats is a disease called “hardening of the categories.”

Congress loves categorical funding. There are literally more categorical programs authorized and funded by Congress than there are districts and representatives. This challenges those of us who work at the state and local level to create ways to at least coordinate our programs so that investments leverage other programs and funding.