North Kingstown, RI – Good morning, Ocean State. This is Bob Plain, editor and publisher of the RI Future blog podcasting to you from The Hideaway on the banks of the Mattatuxet River behind the Shady Lea Mill in North Kingstown, Rhode Island.
As Bruce Springsteen suggests it’s Monday, the first day of the first full week of 2014 … and talk about climate change! It’s already 50 degrees warmer than it was last week. A 50 degree swing! Last week pipes were freezing all over Rhode Island. Today, we might have a thunder storm.
The big news out of Washington DC this week centers around Rhode Island’s senior Senator Jack Reed, who is working with Republican Dean Heller of Nevada to extend federal unemployment benefits. Listen to my interview with Sen. Reed from Friday here.
Policy aside, it’s really cool that 2014 inside the beltway politics starts with a bit of bipartisanship that includes a Rhode Islander. Will this be a trend in the new year … will this be the year America re-learns how to work together? Here’s more evidence that perhaps we will: Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, a jew and a socialist, said he’s on the same side as the pope!
To learn more about the Ocean State version of Pope Frank, make sure to check out Ed Fitzpatrick’s column on Sister Ann Keefe … Remember earlier when I wondered what Rhode Island would be like if Anchor Rising or RI Future were in charge? Well imagine if superstar Ann Keefe ran the state? I’d take that.
The ProJo’s State House trio nailed it yesterday with this description of Smith Hill Season: “the $14,947-a-year legislators will be off and running, with public hearings, private horse-trades and almost nightly legislative fundraisers…”
The AP’s David Klepper had a fascinating look at one of the ways Rhode Island has been systematically ignoring our most vulnerable residents.
A Florida judge ruled drug testing welfare recipient is unconstitutional.
For yet another example of how Rhode Island seems to revile the poor and disaffected, see the recent ire from the business community about a potential parole office in downtown Providence. Please make sure to check out Sam Howard’s take on this issue. Needless to say, the ProJo op/ed page thinks reformed offenders don’t belong in downtown Providence.
Tom Sgouros thinks you need to read this press release. If you know why, you passed the spelling test.
Jonathan Jacobs, who works for Brett Smiley’s campaign for Providence mayor, had this to say about Eli Broad’s op/ed about how maybe we are giving the rich a hard time.
And James Kennedy wants you to sign this petition to add more bike lanes to the West End of Providence.