July, 2012

Summer Rain Check…

July 31st, 2012 at 6:38 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening…

Here is the  latest on our Summer water update……At one point we were

In a moderate-severe drought this past Spring..mainly due to a dry winter.  Looking at the map below we are classified in “yellow”  which is “abnormally dry”. Most of Central and western Massachusetts is under a moderate drought. It should be noted that this map does not include the healthy 1-3” of rain we just had this past Saturday night. Bottom line, at this point it is still dry, but not moderate or severe, and certainly not the intense drought that is on going in the central United States.

 

 

A look at our local rainfall stats.

As far as year to date…Jan 1st thru Now:   21.59”  that is  -5.28 inches below normal

Rainfall Since June 1st….7.65” of rain which is 0.85” Above normal

 

Rainfall For May    4.24 inches…..that is 0.70”  ABOVE normal

Rainfall For June    5.02 inches…..that is 1.38” ABOVE normal   

Rainfall For July    2.63 inches…that is only 0.55” below normal for the month   

 

The map below is the drought outlook from NOAA…showing some improvements for southern New England…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Raimondo raises staggering $258K in 2Q, giving her $857K

July 31st, 2012 at 6:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Gina Raimondo continues her reign as Rhode Island’s undisputed queen of fundraising.

The treasurer raised $258,155 during the second quarter while racking up just $19,984 in campaign expenses, according to her latest filing with the R.I. Board of Elections.

Raimondo’s already formidable campaign war chest jumped from $617,922 on April 30 to $857,903 on June 30. The first-term Democrat and former venture capitalist is widely expected to run for governor in 2014, capitalizing on her successful push for the state’s landmark pension overhaul last year.

Raimondo now has far more cash available than Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, a Democrat who had $237,239 on hand as of June 30, and incumbent Gov. Lincoln Chafee, an independent who had $233,108. Unlike her two rivals, the treasurer reported no small-dollar contributions.

(more…)


Taveras raises $114K; mayor passes gov with $237K on hand

July 31st, 2012 at 5:27 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Providence may be hurting for cash, but the mayor’s campaign sure isn’t.

Angel Taveras raised $114,810 during the second quarter and spent $32,427 on campaign expenses, according to his latest filing with the R.I. Board of Elections. The first-term Democrat’s fundraising prowess is being closely watched amid speculation about whether he could run for governor in 2014.

The size of Taveras’s campaign war chest jumped from $154,857 on April 30 to $237,239 on June 30, increasing his cash on hand by $82,382 in just three months. He now has slightly more available than Governor Chafee, who ended the quarter with $233,108. Brett Smiley is the mayor’s chief fundraiser.

Taveras received a number of intriguing contributions during the second quarter, including $1,000 from Engage RI PAC, the pension-reform group closely associated with his potential Democratic rival Treasurer Gina Raimondo. He also got $200 from Kerry King, the Republican who ran against Raimondo in 2010.

Other Taveras donors with familiar names were Richard Bready, Dennis DiPrete, Alan Hassenfeld, Patrick Lynch, Clay Rockefeller and Dominick Ruggerio. The mayor’s biggest campaign expenses included $3,752 spent on catering from Venda Ravioli on Federal Hill.

Taveras wasn’t the only city politician who raised a lot of dough during the spring. On the Providence City Council, David Salvatore’s war chest grew by $10,824 and Seth Yurdin’s rose by $6,021, their filings showed.


Cusack: Neither austerity nor taxing the rich is enough for RI

July 31st, 2012 at 5:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Bob Cusack is an ex-investment banker – now with Providence’s WhaleRock Point Partners – and a former East Providence City Councilman, giving him a unique perspective on the state’s economic crisis. He argues neither side of the political divide has the solution for Rhode Island:

What is needed is a dramatic reversal of the current trend, even as the country and the region’s economic growth is barely positive and getting weaker. We need a frank discussion among policy makers and outside policy analysts and local stakeholders on what steps to take immediately to get on course for real economic growth, then the negotiations with the special interest groups that inevitably must be part of the solution. As to the budget, just as there aren’t enough “rich” here to tax to fix this, there isn’t enough public sector employee income to reduce either. The numbers are too big.

The need is for more gross state income, in other words, a bigger pie. Our small size is a virtue here, as the right economic development initiative could be transformational. If the answer were obvious, it would already be in place. Austerity alone is never enough. Southern Europe is a recent example. And if more government spending worked, Greece would be Switzerland. We need to identify a job generator, make the changes needed to attract those jobs and then promote Rhode Island to execute on the strategy.

Read the rest here.


Nearly one in 5 workers still ‘underemployed’ in Rhode Island

July 31st, 2012 at 12:18 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s “underemployment” rate was 18.9% over the past year, meaning nearly one in five workers wanted a full-time job but couldn’t find one, according to newly released U.S. Labor Department data.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Another lousy ‘jobs’ report; few signs of life in the RI economy (July 20)


Chafee raised $44K in 2Q; gov’s war chest stands at $233K

July 31st, 2012 at 11:07 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Lincoln Chafee continues to raise money like a man seeking reelection.

The governor boosted his campaign war chest to $233,108 during the three months ended June 30, up from $208,566 on April 30, according to his latest filing with the R.I. Board of Elections.

Chafee raised $43,980 during the second quarter and spent $17,699 on campaign expenses. Among those who gave the governor $500 each were Pat Rogers, his former chief of staff; Mike Trainor, his former spokesman; and David Gilden, who was replaced as the EDC’s general counsel in the wake of the 38 Studios debacle.

Gilden’s replacement, attorney Jonathan Savage, also gave Chafee $500. Other contributors included the lobbyists Rick McAuliffe, Gerald Harrington and Robert Goldberg, and prominent businesspeople Arnold Chace, Jim DeRentis, Brad Dimeo, Bill Gilbane, Jeff Grybowski, Timothy Horan, Diane Hurley, Dennis Keefe and Michael Ryan.

Chafee still owed himself $1.61 million from loans he made to his 2010 gubernatorial campaign as of June 30.

Chafee, an independent, has sidestepped questions about whether he will run for a second term in 2014, though during a February appearance on “Newsmakers” he said: “I’m raising money, and that’s really the test of if you’re serious about running.” He added: “And no one likes that, so…”


Getting “Clipped” by an Ocean Storm

July 31st, 2012 at 8:24 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Yesterday’s computer guidance had a small ocean storm just barely missing our area for tonight, with most… if not all… of the showers remaining off-shore.  Today, the majority of the  guidance have made 2 noticeable changes–1) a track of the storm closer to the coast and 2) a faster arrival of the rain.   As I look at the radar this morning, I am tending to agree with the change.

Sat/Rad from 8:15am

That said.  It’s not going to be a “washout” and most outdoor activities will be a “go”.  Mid and high clouds will thicken and lower through the day, and showers will threaten our area by early evening.  The first part of the night will feature some rain—with southeastern MA having the highest chances of seeing more widespread and possible heavy downpours.  It’s going to be a cooler than average day, too, with temperatures only climbing into the mid and upper 70s.  Not the best way to end July.

This Afternoon

The first few days of August will bring a return of warm and muggy conditions with highs humidity, hazy sun, and a small risk of an isolated late afternoon shower or thunderstorm.  In fact, temperatures will likely be well into the 80s to near 90 for Friday and the weekend.


What you need to know about the new RI public records law

July 31st, 2012 at 5:00 am by under General Talk, Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

BRISTOL, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. Attorney General Peter Kilmartin said a record 750 people signed up for this year’s “Open Government Summit” at Roger Williams University. Here are my quick hits and takeaways.

Read the rest of this story »


The RI Foundation wants your ideas for fixing the economy

July 30th, 2012 at 4:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The Rhode Island Foundation wants your ideas for fixing the state’s economy.

The nonprofit will hold a two-day event called Make It Happen RI on Sept. 7 and 8 to bring together leaders in the state’s private sector to develop an action plan for improving economic development. Here are the themes for the nine working sessions:

  • Attacking Unemployment
  • Marketing Rhode Island
  • Support + Growth for Existing Businesses
  • Business Environment
  • Closing Skills Gaps
  • Startups: Helping Entrepreneurs Thrive
  • Quality of Place
  • Leveraging/Maximizing Sites
  • High Potential/High Impact Sectors

Do you have an idea? Send them to MakeItHappenRI@rifoundation.org by Aug. 27 or leave a comment below.

(Disclosure: The Rhode Island Foundation sponsors “Executive Suite.”)


‘Rising progressive star’ Whitehouse to talk Citizens United

July 30th, 2012 at 1:41 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse’s national profile continues to rise.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee will hold a national conference call on Tuesday at noon for its members and the press where Whitehouse will discuss efforts to overturn the Citizens United ruling and his Disclose Act, WPRI.com has learned.

The committee describes Whitehouse as “a rising progressive star” and says its strategy was to force Republicans to vote on the campaign finance bill even though it was unlikely to pass. “As a result, supposedly ‘moderate’ Republican senators like Scott Brown, Olympia Snowe, and Susan Collins were exposed in local headlines,” the group says.

The Progressive Change Campaign Committee is a national political action committee that works to elect liberal Democrats. In 2010, the group provided crucial support for David Segal in his failed bid for the 1st Congressional District nomination, which was won by David Cicilline.

The committee says it has more than 3,700 members in Rhode Island.


Tornado Confirmed in Plymouth on 7/24

July 30th, 2012 at 12:13 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

National Weather Service survey teams have confirmed that an EF0 tornado touched down in the Manomet Section of Plymouth, MA in the late afternoon on Tuesday, July 24.  Here’s the official report from the National Weather Service Office in Taunton, MA:

PUBLIC INFORMATION STATEMENT NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE TAUNTON MA 1111 AM EDT MON JUL 30 2012 …EF0 TORNADO CONFIRMED IN MANOMET SECTION OF PLYMOUTH MA ON TUESDAY JULY 24 2012…

LOCATION…MANOMET SECTION OF PLYMOUTH IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY MA

DATE…JULY 24 2012

ESTIMATED TIME…408 PM TO 409 PM EDT

MAXIMUM EF- SCALE RATING…EF0

ESTIMATED MAXIMUM WIND SPEED…65 MPH -

MAXIMUM PATH WIDTH…15 YARDS

PATH LENGTH…45 YARDS BEGINNING LAT/LON…41.94 N 71.57 W ENDING LAT/LON…41.94 N 71.57 W *

FATALITIES…0 * I

NJURIES…0

* THE INFORMATION IN THIS STATEMENT IS PRELIMINARY AND SUBJECT TO CHANGE PENDING ANY FINAL REVIEW OF THE EVENT AND PUBLICATION IN NWS STORM DATA.

…SUMMARY…

THE NATIONAL WEATHER SERVICE IN TAUNTON MA HAS CONFIRMED THAT THREE WATERSPOUTS FORMED OFF THE COAST OF MANOMET IN PLYMOUTH COUNTY AT 406 PM ON TUESDAY JULY 24 2012. THEY THEN RAPIDLY MOVED ONSHORE…CAUSING MINOR DAMAGE AT WHITE HORSE BEACH BETWEEN 408 PM AND 409 PM…AND THEN DISSIPATED. THESE WERE PHOTOGRAPHED WITH A TIME STAMP. TECHNICALLY…A WATERSPOUT MOVING ONSHORE AND CAUSING DAMAGE IS CLASSIFIED AS A TORNADO. DAMAGE WAS VERY MINIMAL. A WINDOW OF THE CRANK-OUTWARD TYPE WAS RIPPED OFF ITS HINGES AND THEN SHATTERED WHEN IT HIT THE SIDE OF A HOUSE. A BEACH UMBRELLA AND A FEW AWNINGS WERE DAMAGED. SAND AND OTHER DEBRIS WERE HURLED INTO THE AIR ABOVE THE LEVEL OF BEACHSIDE CONDOS. WIND SPEEDS WERE LIKELY LESS THAN 65 MPH…HOWEVER THAT IS THE MINIMUM SPEED ALLOWED FOR A CLASSIFICATION OF AN EF-0 TORNADO. THE PATH LENGTH WAS ONLY 45 YARDS AND THE WIDTH WAS NO MORE THAN 15 YARDS. THERE WERE NO INJURIES OR FATALITIES. THIS INFORMATION CAN ALSO BE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE AT WEATHER.GOV/BOX.

FOR REFERENCE…THE ENHANCED FUJITA SCALE CLASSIFIES TORNADOES INTO THE FOLLOWING CATEGORIES:

EF0…WIND SPEEDS 65 TO 85 MPH.

EF1…WIND SPEEDS 86 TO 110 MPH.

EF2…WIND SPEEDS 111 TO 135 MPH.

EF3…WIND SPEEDS 136 TO 165 MPH.

EF4…WIND SPEEDS 166 TO 200 MPH.

EF5…WIND SPEEDS GREATER THAN 200 MPH.


Study: RI doctors paid lowest Medicaid rates in the country

July 30th, 2012 at 12:03 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Rhode Island spends more than any other state on its Medicaid program per enrollee, but apparently that’s not because local primary-care doctors are getting a windfall.

Doctors in Rhode Island get paid the nation’s lowest reimbursement rates by Medicaid, the state-federal health insurance program for the poor, relative to what private insurers offer, according to a 2009 Urban Institute study flagged by Forbes.com’s Avik Roy.

Rhode Island and New York both pay primary-care doctors rates that are only 29% of what they’d get from private insurers, the least in the nation, the study found. Rhode Island’s payment rate is far below those of the other New England states: Maine (42%), Vermont (54%), Massachusetts (62%), Connecticut (63%) and New Hampshire (73%).

The federal government limits the ability of states to scale back Medicaid coverage. “So, if states need to reduce Medicaid spending, but can’t make less people eligible for Medicaid, what do they do?” Roy writes. “Pay doctors less.” He suggests the Affordable Care Act will force more states to cut doctors’ rates.

Bloomberg’s Josh Barro counters that “expanded [Medicaid] participation is a good thing. The objective of the Medicaid program – which all 50 states have voluntarily agreed to participate in – is to provide health coverage to poor people. When eligible people do not participate, it is a policy failure.”

• Related: Chart: RI elders cost Medicaid 7 times more than kids, families (March 1)

(chart: Avik Roy/Forbes)


Sun’s Back!

July 30th, 2012 at 9:01 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s a new week and a new weather pattern, with high pressure building overhead and sweeping all of yesterday’s gloom off-shore.  We’ll start the week dry and comfortable with temperatures as highs climb into the upper 70s to near 80.  A sea breeze this afternoon will keep the coast near 76.

Tomorrow will feature partly sunny skies early, but clouds may thicken by late day.  I’ll be keeping a close eye on an area of low pressure (storm center) that will be over the ocean waters t our south on Tuesday.  It may come close enough to bring a period of overcast skies and even a few rain showers to our area Tuesday night and part of Wednesday.  As of this morning, though, the majority of our computer guidance is keeping most, if not all, of the rain over the waters east of Cape Cod.

Tuesday Evening Futurecast

Bermuda High Pressure will control our weather late week…  it will bring warmer and muggier conditions to southern New England, especially from Thursday through the weekend.  It will also bring a chance of an isolated late afternoon or early evening  shower or t’storm.  It doesn’t look like a washout any of the days.  In fact, I’d only put our chances of seeing any wet weather at about 30% each afternoon.  You’ll still be able to get beach and pool time in… especially each morning and early afternoon.


Watch Executive Suite with Washington Trust’s Joe MarcAurele

July 30th, 2012 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site


Watch Newsmakers with Boston magazine’s Jason Schwartz

July 29th, 2012 at 12:33 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

• Related: Exposé blames Schilling for 38 Studios mismanagement, costs (July 23)


Heavy Rain and Street Flooding Saturday Evening

July 28th, 2012 at 11:52 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

An area of low pressure interacting with an upper-level disturbance along with an ample supply of moisture in the atmosphere produced some very heavy rain Saturday evening.    That heavy rainfall lead to some significant street flooding across the area.

Here’s a look at the rain totals from Saturday:

RHODE ISLAND

…NEWPORT COUNTY…
   MIDDLETOWN            2.87  
   PORTSMOUTH            2.25  

…PROVIDENCE COUNTY…
   WOONSOCKET            2.83  
   CUMBERLAND            2.56  
   NORTH PROVIDENCE      2.28  
   WEST GLOCESTER        1.98   
   BURRILLVILLE          1.73   
   RUMFORD               1.45  

…WASHINGTON COUNTY…
   SOUTH KINGSTOWN   3.21 
   KINGSTON                       2.87  
   NARRAGANSETT          2.37  
   WAKEFIELD                   2.00


The Saturday Morning Post: Quick hits on politics & more in RI

July 28th, 2012 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Welcome to another edition of my weekend column – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to tnesi (at) wpri (dot) com.

1. If you want to understand why Mayor Taveras fought so aggressively to keep the City Council from controlling half the money in Providence’s $40 million road-repair bond, read this 2000 Providence Phoenix story by Steven Stycos. (Ironically, Stycos is now a councilman himself.) An Urban Institute expert described Providence’s way of doling out bond money as “unusually politicized,” with each council member having almost carte blanche authority over spending in his or her ward. Governments should borrow to fund long-term infrastructure projects that have a higher rate of return than the interest on the bonds, but back then bond money was used to pay a principal’s salary and develop a restaurant. Buddy Cianci, apparently confusing borrowed money with free money, told Stycos: “This way, we can make the improvements and the tax rate doesn’t go up.” Cianci left off the crucial word “now” – because the tax rate certainly will go up eventually if the projects aren’t ones that will boost the city economy and help offset the interest costs. Taveras would do well to burnish his reformer credentials further by finding a new, transparent way to allocate bond money if voters approve the proposal in November.

2. Speaking of Providence, the city’s website about previous mayors is a bit of a mess. David Cicilline is MIA; clicking his name leads to a page that says “Access denied. You are not authorized to access this page.” (Sounds like his emails.) John Lombardi served as mayor for just four months, yet he gets a longer biography than anybody else – it clocks in at 498 words, more than twice as many as Cianci, who was in the mayor’s office for 21 years. Perhaps that verbosity kept someone from noticing his name is spelled “Lomabardi”?

(more…)


Stalled Weather Pattern

July 27th, 2012 at 9:00 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It’s a bird, it’s a plane….nope, it’s a stationary front! Fronts often move from west to east, bring some kind of weather event, and then leave. But other times, a front will stall, keeping the same weather pattern in place. A stalled front is often called a stationary front. We will continue to sit next to a stationary front for the first half of the weekend. Similiar to Friday, it will be humid with the chance of showers and thunderstorms…but much of the day it will be dry. -Pete Mangione


Christopher Young and Kara Russo finally set a wedding date

July 27th, 2012 at 4:11 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

It’s official. Gene Emery reports perennial candidates Chris Young and Kara Russo will tie the knot on Sept. 8, three days before they both appear on the congressional primary ballot.

Loyal WPRI 12 viewers, of course, were the first to know they would someday tie the knot. Who can forgot when Young proposed live during our August 2010 Providence mayoral debate? Watch (skip to 2:25):

Bonus: remember when he sang a song on The Rhode Show?

• Related: Chris Young’s surprise marriage proposal (Aug. 24, 2010)


Watch: Sheldon Whitehouse’s son Alexander in court today

July 27th, 2012 at 2:23 pm by under Nesi's Notes


Bloomberg examines the high stakes of the RI pension lawsuit

July 27th, 2012 at 11:29 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Michael McDonald reports for Bloomberg News:

While the court action may take months or years, it’s being closely watched as it may provide guidance in other states where similar legal battles have arisen, said Amy Monahan, who teaches law at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis. Rhode Island is also unusual because, unlike in California, where court rulings have sided with labor to protect benefits, there is little precedent to guide the outcome, she said.

“Other state courts will watch because they’d love to come up with a way to address this area that makes sense,” Monahan said, calling it “a compelling case.”

“Rhode Island has it all: a poorly funded plan and really widespread changes,” she said. …

The law provided “a dramatic punctuation” to efforts by U.S. state and local governments seeking to control retiree costs as pension-plan losses drained assets, said Ronald Snell, a senior fellow at the National Conference of State Legislatures in Denver. …

“[Raimondo] deserves credit along with others,” said David Walker, president of the Comeback America Initiative, a nonprofit public-policy group in Bridgeport, Connecticut. “She had the courage to campaign on the need for pension reform and to make tough choices, even in the face of significant union opposition.”

Read the rest here. The Newsmakers episode that the article references is online here.

• Related: Study: RI pension bill ‘a good approach’ – and it may be legal (Nov. 4)

(photo: Ted Nesi/WPRI)


BankRI faces $4.2M loss on tax credit-backed 38 Studios loans

July 27th, 2012 at 9:50 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

BROOKLINE, Mass. (WPRI) – Bank Rhode Island may lose as much as $4.2 million on loans that were apparently given to 38 Studios in exchange for tax credits Curt Schilling’s firm never received, its parent company announced Thursday.

Read the rest of this story »


Slow-Moving Front Keeps Weather Unsettled

July 27th, 2012 at 9:02 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After weeks of little to no rainfall, we’re changing it up with a stretch of unsettled weather.  It’s not going to be a washout today or tomorrow, but a few hit-or-miss showers and t’storms are possible.  The threat of “severe” thunderstorms will be low today, but some strong thunderstorms with heavy downpours and gusty winds are possible.

As expected, there was a significant outbreak of severe weather yesterday in the northeast.  This morning, thousands are without power, at least 2 people are dead and The city of Elmira, NY will be cleaning up from a possible tornado.

Storm Reports from 7/26

Forecasting summertime convection can be tricky business, so while there were no severe storms locally, the heightened alert was certainly warranted given what happened just to our west.

It’s a slow-moving front that will keep the risk of additional showers and thunderstorms in our forecast into the upcoming weekend.  The best chance of seeing wet weather interrupt your outdoor activities will be in the late afternoon and early evening on Saturday.

Weekend Futurecast

 


Would Rahm Emanuel have pushed Cicilline out of the race?

July 27th, 2012 at 8:11 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

It’s long been a mystery to Rhode Island political observers why Washington Democrats apparently made no effort to push Congressman David Cicilline to retire and allow a more popular candidate to run in the 1st District. Folks in the Beltway are asking the same question, National Journal’s Josh Kraushaar reports:

In the course of a recent conversation I had with a senior Democratic strategist, the operative expressed a sense of nostalgia for the halcyon days of 2006. That was when Sen. Chuck Schumer of New York and Rahm Emanuel ran the Democratic congressional campaign committees with a no-holds-barred approach, anointing their favored nominees and pushing aside weak candidates to clear election fields. …

Those days are long gone …. The clearest example of the changed environment can be seen at Emanuel’s old stomping grounds at the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee; the DCCC is at risk of losing four House seats in solidly Democratic territory thanks to ethically tainted incumbents and weak candidates. …

The not-so-fearsome foursome are Rep. John Tierney, D-Mass., Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I, Connecticut House Speaker Chris Donovan, running in CT-05, and former Rep. Alan Grayson, running in an Orlando-area seat newly drawn to elect a Democrat. …

Party leaders had plenty of time to recognize that Cicilline faced serious problems, with his weak 2010 performance, alarming poll numbers and stream of bad headlines. But instead of recruiting an alternative candidate in a district where Democrats dominate, they watched and are still waiting to see what transpires.


Severe Threat Diminishes..

July 26th, 2012 at 8:29 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening…

Radar shows storms in nearby Connecticut have weakened….rain and non severe thunder likely however…Severe weather now unlikely…Tony Petrarca

 

Tony


Severe Weather Tonight

July 26th, 2012 at 7:14 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening.

Here is latest radar…. the severe line is just near New York City where there is a complete ground stop of traffic at Newark, LaGuardia and JFK..wow !  However this line is moving more southeast than due east which means it may miss us….but…dont want to write this off  yet. These squall lines are never a “steady state” feature…they evolve and change as they advance. Need to see more development of this line from Hartford to Springfield if any severe weather is going to make it here. We hope its stays to our south as these storms are dangerous…another update shortly…Tony Petrarca


David Cicilline – implacable foe of irresponsible city spending

July 26th, 2012 at 7:04 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

It’s easy to forget now that when Congressman David Cicilline won the mayor’s office in November 2002, he was hailed as a reformer who help Providence move past the corruption-stained Cianci era. These quotes from a 2000 Providence Phoenix story about the city’s questionable spending offer a reminder:

Not everyone wants the new bond to pass. “To borrow $50 million, with no detailed plan and procedure for approval of projects, invites problems,” says state Representative David Cicilline (D-Providence), who represents the East Side and is co-chair of Providence’s caucus in the House. …

Cicilline also objects to the use of bonds to help non-profit agencies. “It’s irresponsible to ask the residents of the City of Providence to make donations to non-profit organizations,” says Cicilline, a likely mayoral candidate in 2002. “It’s not appropriate to use borrowed money . . . it shouldn’t happen.”


Politico: How’d Gemma get more Twitter followers than Mitt?

July 26th, 2012 at 3:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Anthony Gemma’s Twitter popularity has been raising eyebrows for awhile around these parts, and now the mystery has gone national. Politico’s Steve Friess reports:

A primary challenger in a tight Rhode Island congressional race has nearly 1 million Twitter followers — more than Mitt Romney — but he’s not talking about how he amassed such a staggering social media fan base in a short span of time. …

Other candidates recently have been caught up in allegations that their campaigns were buying Twitter followers, including Romney and Newt Gingrich. That’s relatively easy to do online, costs only pennies apiece and is not illegal — only in violation of Facebook and Twitter terms of service.

But an oversized social footprint that suggests mass appeal can be embarrassing for a campaign should it be revealed. …

Fewer than 1 percent of Gemma’s Twitter followers are based in Rhode Island, but 14 percent are in Canada, according to Michael Hussey, CEO of PeekAnalytics, one of two independent social media research firms that provided POLITICO data on Gemma. Many of his followers’ profile photos are racy and their hometowns include cities such as Istanbul and Karachi, Pakistan.

Read the rest here. Friess tweeted an ironic twist: when he began working on the story he found out that Gemma was already following him. He also notes that the Gloria Gemma Breast Cancer Research Foundation actually has more followers than the better-known Susan G. Komen for the Cure.

• Related: Anthony Gemma has a new Twitter feed: @Gemma4Congress (July 19)


35 Dem, 5 Republican primaries for General Assembly this year

July 26th, 2012 at 2:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

There are 113 seats in the General Assembly’s two chambers, and 30 of those elections are over before a single vote is cast because one candidate is running unopposed. But not everyone on Smith Hill was so lucky – some politicians must fight off challengers in the Sept. 11 primary to keep their seats.

Here’s a district-by-district look at which districts have primary elections. Incumbents are in bold. If the current lawmaker isn’t in the primary, I put the name in brackets.

House

In the House, 18 incumbents face primary challengers – all Democrats except Republican Rep. Laurence Ehrhardt, who’s opponent says she was told he’d be retiring and then surprised her by deciding to run again.

  • District 2 (D): Chris Blazejewski vs. Dirk Hennessey
  • District 6 (D): Raymond Hull vs. Peter Wasylyk
  • District 8 (D): Michael Tarro vs. Libby Kimzey vs. John Lombardi
  • District 11 (D): Grace Diaz vs. Laura Perez
  • District 12 (D): Leo Medina vs. Joseph Almeida
  • District 16 (D): Peter Palumbo vs. Michelle Bergin
  • District 18 (D): Art Handy vs. William McKenna
  • District 30 (R): Robert Bolton vs. Emil Fachon vs. Antonio Giarrusso [Watson]
  • District 32 (R): Laurence Ehrhardt vs. Sharon Gamba
  • District 34 (R): Stephen Tetzner vs. Christopher Wilkens [Tanzi]
  • District 35 (D): Spencer Dickinson vs. Kathleen Fogarty
  • District 39 (R): Clay Johnson vs. Michael Picillo [Valencia]
  • District 40 (D): Lauri Archambault vs. Jon Restivo [Chippendale]
  • District 44 (D): Peter Petrarca vs. Gregory Costantino
  • District 45 (D): Rene Menard vs. Mia Ackerman
  • District 46 (D): Jeremiah O’Grady vs. John Douglas Barr II
  • District 49 (D): Lisa Baldelli-Hunt vs. Stuart Gitlow vs. Michael Morin
  • District 50 (D): Jon Brien vs. Stephen Casey
  • District 52 (D): Karen MacBeth vs. Augustus Uht
  • District 54 (D): Lance Mantia vs. David Pellegrino vs. William O’Brien [Schadone]
  • District 56 (D): Agostinho Silva vs. Joseph Faria
  • District 58 (D): William San Bento Jr. vs. Carlos Tobon
  • District 59 (D): J. Patrick O’Neill vs. John Arcaro
  • District 63 (D): Robert Britto vs. Katherine Kazarian vs. Sam Lovett vs. Charles Tsonos [DaSilva]
  • District 65 (D): Gregg Amore vs. Timothy Chapman vs. James Miller [Savage]
  • District 68 (D): Kenneth Marshall vs. John Hanley [Morrison]
  • District 73 (D): Marvin Abney vs. David Carlin [Jackson]

Senate

In the Senate, eight incumbent Democrats and one Republican face primary challengers.

  • District 3 (D): Maryellen Butke vs. Gayle Goldin [Perry]
  • District 5 (D): Paul Jabour vs. Maura Kelly
  • District 9 (D): Michael Pinga vs. Adam Satchell
  • District 14 (D): Daniel DaPonte vs. Roberto DaSilva
  • District 16 (D): Elizabeth Crowley vs. Joseph Moran
  • District 17 (D): Louis Azar vs. John Cullen [O'Neill]
  • District 19 (D): Ryan Pearson vs. James Spooner [Moura]
  • District 24 (D): Marc Cote vs. Lewis Pryeor
  • District 25 (D): Frank Lombardo vs. Nicole Amelia Acciardo
  • District 26 (D): Frank Lombardi vs. Gene Dyszlewski [Lanzi]
  • District 29 (D): Michael McCaffrey vs. Laura Pisaturo
  • District 33 (D): David Gorman vs. Leo Raptakis [Shibley]
  • District 34 (R): Frank Maher vs. Paul McFadden

Update: WPRI 12 political analyst Joe Fleming calls to say it’s actually surprising to him that there are four Republican House primaries. ”It’s a rarity that there are so many,” he said. “Usually there’s only one or two.”

• Related: The lucky 30 who’ve already won their General Assembly races (July 23)

An earlier version of this list incorrectly classified the Senate District 34 race as a Democratic primary and missed the Democratic primary in House District 56.


Chafee won’t default on 38 Studios bonds; may try refinancing

July 26th, 2012 at 12:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Gov. Lincoln Chafee won’t consider defaulting on the 38 Studios bonds.

“I take ‘moral obligation’ to the fullest extent of those words,” Chafee told WPRI.com in a State House interview this week. “We made a moral obligation and I’m going to live up to it.”

Asked how he reconciles that with his support for last year’s pension cuts, Chafee said: “I don’t think the words were as strongly associated as the exact words ‘moral obligation.’”

“I think we – to the Rhode Island state workers, teachers, public safety employees, we want to look out for their future,” he said. “But this is selling bonds based on those words – ‘moral obligation.’”

(more…)