Tuesday, March 29
Like a TV show that gains steam after the first awkward episode, sometimes promotional campaigns that elicit a negative first reaction can also find their way in this world.
I’m a sucker for commercials that tell me to come somewhere. Tim Allen’s dulcet tones on those “Pure Michigan” commercials make me want to hop in a Prius for a cross-country trip. And I don’t even play golf.
I want to love Rhode Island’s new $5 million marketing campaign, and there are parts of it that show...more
Sunday, March 27
It’s hard to believe The Valley Breeze is already 20 years old. It’s even harder to fathom that I’ve been here for half of that time, with my 10-year anniversary coming up in a couple weeks.
When I first started here in 2006, I knew little about how unique The Breeze was among news publications, particularly with its relentless...more
Tuesday, March 15
Phil Eil's patience must be wearing thinner than an Olsen twin on a fad diet.
During this Sunshine Week (one of my faves), the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island is asking a federal court to order the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration to release thousands of pages of documents in support of its Freedom of Information Act request on behalf of Eil, former editor of The Providence Phoenix. Eil has been frustrated for years in his effort to get from the DEA evidence...more
Friday, March 11
It seems like Rhode Islanders are getting an unprecedented look this year at the way things are run behind the scenes at the General Assembly.
The prime example of this was clearly the truck toll bill, which passed at high speed despite loud protests and led to the unceremonious demotion of key figures who voted...more
Wednesday, February 17
Rhode Island mayors have been conspicuously quiet on Gov. Gina Raimondo’s "RhodeWorks" plan to rebuild Rhode Island’s infrastructure through borrowing and truck tolls. It could be a combination of being happy that state leaders aren’t coming after local taxpayer wallets directly, and seeing state roads and bridges in their communities (like the Route 146 bridge over Mineral Spring Avenue) continue to deteriorate.
North Providence Mayor Lombardi told me he’s one of those who’s not...more
Sunday, January 17
One would think that it wouldn't be that hard to find a 20-acre parcel of open land with easy highway access, says developer David Cascioli, but his plans for a water park in or near Rhode Island continue to be frustrated. This week I wrote about his latest plans falling through on the Attleboro/Pawtucket line.
Cascioli is sounding very discouraged these...more
Wednesday, January 6
For years I've listened to Rhode Island talk radio hosts and listeners complain about the condition of the state's roadways, lamenting that officials won't do more to bring them up to the standard of neighboring states. I've posted plenty of pictures myself of the potholes that dot our fair Ocean State.
Perhaps that's what made John DePetro's statements at the end of his Jan. 6 show on WPRO so surprising. He basically made the argument that leaders will have all kinds of money to...more
Tuesday, January 5
David Norton, the outspoken critic of the Providence stadium deal last year, is making it clear with his early announcement for the House District 60 seat that he's not planning to change his aggressive style.
Norton will challenge freshman incumbent David Coughlin in the primary by taking the approach of tying Coughlin to House Speaker...more
Friday, December 11
One of the things I enjoy most about working at The Breeze is putting out our annual Christmas in the Valley section. This year's edition is our 20th, and in my opinion, one of our best, with throwback themes, staff columns, recipes, events and more. Our staff again put a lot of time and energy into bringing you stories that you'll enjoy this season. Our hope is that this edition will show in some small way how much we appreciate you the readers. All the best wishes for a safe and happy...more
Friday, December 11
Not long after my son first learned to talk, he introduced me to his best friends, Silver and Jack. I assumed, at first, that these imaginary mice would disappear after a few days, replaced by a real stuffed animal or a favorite toy. But they lived on, accompanying an imaginative little boy on his daily adventures.
For whatever reason, Jack has faded into the background in recent months, but Silver has turned into a member of our family, coming with us on trips, fixing things around...more