Blogs | Ethan Shorey

Wednesday, March 30

The widespread consternation over the $500,000 spent on the design of a new “Rhode Island: Cooler and Warmer logo” for the state got me to thinking about the rebranding Pawtucket officials commissioned last year.

Working with city-based Glad Works, Mayor Donald Grebien and his staff got a new website (, logo, and “Pawtucket: Join the Evolution” slogan for just $5,000. Grebien spokesman Rico Vota said...


Wednesday, March 30

There’s been a lot of speculation about where the controversial “Cooler & Warmer” slogan for the comprehensive Rhode Island marketing campaign originated.

Oddly enough, the Providence-based advertising agency that created the “Rhode Iceland” video and helped with the campaign, IndieWhip, did work for another company with a stake in making people warmer and cooler.

The ”work” section of the...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...


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...