August, 2012

Let Tracy Breton be your guide to RI’s new public records law

August 31st, 2012 at 1:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Rhode Island’s new public records law takes effect on Saturday. A great rundown from the Projo:

Come Sept. 1, at least on paper, Rhode Island will become a more transparent state.

Before adjourning in June, the General Assembly overhauled the state’s Access to Public Records Act which incorporates a new “balancing test” that public officials will have to use when deciding whether to release records requested by the public. …

It appears that some public bodies, including the Judicial Nominating Commission, will have to revise some operating procedures and release more information. …

The new law will require disclosure of additional details of employment contracts for certain government employees, including presidents of the state colleges and universities. Employees of contractors and subcontractors working on public works contracts are also subject to the amended act. …

It requires police departments to provide basic information about an adult’s arrest within 48 hours of a request, or within 72 hours if a request is made on a weekend or holiday.

Read the rest here. For more information, check out the RI ACLU’s new overview.

Chafee will speak at Democratic National Convention next week

August 31st, 2012 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Gov. Lincoln Chafee will deliver a prime-time speech at the Democratic National Convention next week, joining other former Republicans in a push to burnish President Obama’s bipartisan credentials before the November election, has confirmed.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Chafee: Iraq, high court made me back Senate gym pal Obama (Feb. 22)

NFL’s Nightmare, Free Ricky

August 30th, 2012 at 11:43 pm by under General Talk
  • Last year the players were locked out, this year it’s the refs. That equals two straight strange preseason’s and most likely a second straight strange start the regular season. Last night’s Pats-Giants game was one of the most embarrassing displays of officiating ever seen on any level of any sport. The league will go with replacements for week one and most likely beyond which means more than one Division III college ref will be scarred for life from the Bill Belichick death stare. The NFL has proven tough when it comes to negotiating but they may back down a bit if we have any repeats of what we saw in the Meadowlands.
  • Free Ricky is at a fever pitch. My Twitter account almost exploded Wednesday when a picture of Ledo on PC’s campus was posted to Friar Blog. As I write this we haven’t heard from the NCAA on his eligibility but Ledo and the Friars are acting like he’ll be on the floor for them this season.
  • I am still amazed by the lack of interest in college football in the Northeast. I understand the distaste for the politicking in the sport but the atmospheres, the uniforms and the nationwide discussion of who ranks number one are enough to fill my Saturday’s during the fall.

Doherty opens up RI-1 cash advantage; Cicilline spends $491K

August 30th, 2012 at 10:13 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The tables have turned in the 1st Congressional District.

Campaign finance reports filed Thursday night show Republican Brendan Doherty has taken the lead in the campaign cash race for the first time this cycle.

Doherty’s campaign had $609,380 on hand as of Aug. 22, while Democratic Congressman David Cicilline had $483,454, Federal Election Commission filings show. Anthony Gemma, Cicilline’s opponent in the Sept. 11 Democratic primary, had $24,991.

All three campaigns spent heavily between July 1 and Aug. 22, particularly Cicilline’s, the reports show. The Democrat shelled out $491,574 over the past month and a half, bringing his total campaign spending this cycle to $1.3 million.

Gemma spent $202,070 over the same period, while Doherty – who doesn’t face a primary – spent $171,866. However, Cicilline also continued to stockpile more money than his rivals, bringing in $142,225 during the period against Doherty’s $111,059 and Gemma’s $62,719.

New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $2,500 to Cicilline on July 23, the filings show. The two men served together for eight years as Northeastern city mayors. Retired CVS Caremark CEO Thomas Ryan contributed another $2,000 to Doherty this month, bringing the Republican’s total donations from Ryan to $4,500.

A separate filing by Gemma showed he loaned his campaign another $150,000 last Friday, giving him a new infusion of cash. Gemma said his campaign’s debts stood at $341,132 prior to the new loan.

Bloomberg says RI is ‘Setting Standard For Bondholders’ Love’

August 30th, 2012 at 9:33 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

First it was Bond Buyer, and now Bloomberg News is using Central Falls’ expected exit from bankruptcy next week to take stock of Rhode Island’s solicitous attitude toward Wall Street and its bondholders. Michael McDonald and Steven Church report for Bloomberg:

Central Falls, the first city in Rhode Island’s 222-year history to go bankrupt, is preparing to exit court protection after 13 months by keeping bondholders whole while raising taxes and cutting workers and pensions.

The financial and political support Central Falls got from state officials makes the case unique among municipal bankruptcies in the past year from Alabama to California. …

The Central Falls approach “is a good sign for bondholders of Rhode Island bonds compared to, say, California,” said Alan Schankel, head of fixed-income research at Janney Montgomery Scott LLC, an investment bank in Philadelphia. …

“You take the bonds being held hostage out of the equation,” said James Spiotto, a bankruptcy lawyer in Chicago with Chapman & Cutler LLP.

To understand why Central Falls’ bankruptcy will likely go down as one of the major policy achievements of the Chafee administration, it’s instructive to read this May 2011 post explaining just how difficult the process was expected to be. For better or worse, depending on your perspective, Central Falls will now be held up as evidence that municipalities can use Chapter 9 effectively to get out from under their financial burdens.

Rhode Island’s high unemployment rate and long list of financial problems make it easy to miss the fact that significant progress has been made by the class of officials elected in 2010 – Chafee (and Rosemary Booth Gallogly) in Central Falls and other municipalities, Raimondo and Chafee with the state pension system, Taveras with the mess in Providence. The most important and toughest task remains, though – fixing the state’s economy.

• Related: Could RI’s pay-bondholders-first law be unconstitutional? (Aug. 12)

(photo: Ted Nesi/WPRI)

Blue Moon

August 30th, 2012 at 8:54 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

It was a beautiful drive into work overnight with cool, crisp air and moon-lit skies.  It will be another great evening/night to sit under the light of the “Blue Moon”.  By today’s definition a blue moon is the second full moon of the month.  And while it’s not quite as rare as the phrase, “Once in a blue moon” might have you believe… tonight will be the last chance to see a blue moon until 2015.

Blue Moon

Usually months have only one full moon, but occasionally there’s a second one. The moon waxes and wanes from one full moon to the next over 29.5 days.  Since most months are 30 or 31 days long it is possible to fit two full moons in a single month. This happens every two and a half years, on average. The last blue moon was on December 31, 2009.  The next blue moon will be July 31, 2015.


RI a rare state where ‘blue’ books outsell ‘red’ ones on Amazon

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

Presidential elections in Rhode Island are usually landslides these days. Book sales are a lot closer.

That’s according to, which has created a “heat map” showing which political books sell the most copies in each state. Across the U.S., 58% of book purchases are “red” books and 42% are “blue” ones – and red books have the advantage in 46 states. Rhode Island is one of four exceptions, with 51% of book purchases classified as “blue.”

Ezra Klein points out that it’s possible to quibble with Amazon’s classifications: Is Robert Caro’s LBJ bio really a partisan-leaning “blue” book? Is Politico’s latest e-book a red one? Here’s the local list as of Wednesday:

On the blue list, Joe Stiglitz sells better in Rhode Island than he does nationally, while Howard Zinn is more popular nationwide. On the red list, the Politico e-book doesn’t even make the national list while it’s #5 in Rhode Island, while U.S. #3 “Obama’s America” by Dinesh D’Souza doesn’t crack Rhode Island’s top five.

Hurricane Hunter Aircraft

August 29th, 2012 at 7:13 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening…

There are many ways to measure the weather within and around a hurricane, but the most direct way is to fly an airplane right thru the eye!  Now that’s a bumpy flight.  The special aircraft is called the WP-3 Orion Hurricane Hunter. It essentially is a weather laboratory in the sky..

The picture below is from inside the eye of massive Hurricane Katrina.  Once inside the eye, the  plane is surrounded by a 360 degree circular wall of clouds(called the eye wall) which extends from just above the ocean to 40, 000 ft up into the sky. (see cockpit picture below)


The plane will make multiple passes thru  all levels of the storm recording 100′s of pieces of data.  This data is sent back to NOAA’s super computer models, which in turn, help determine future strength and track of storm.  For example this is the latest forecast track for Isaac…

Ofcourse Doppler radar, satellites, other research aircraft along with high resolution computer models all come together to help better predict these storms…..Tony Petrarca


Watch: Fung, Zaccaria, Carcieri nominate Romney at the RNC

August 29th, 2012 at 3:03 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The Rhode Island delegation to the Republican National Convention, led by Party Chairman Mark Zaccaria and Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, cast the state’s votes for Mitt Romney and Ron Paul on Tuesday in Tampa. Click the photo to watch their moment in the sun – including a Del’s reference – thanks to CSPAN:

Providence area lost third-most jobs in the US over last year

August 29th, 2012 at 12:07 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics is out with the metropolitan employment report for July, and it contains more bad news about Rhode Island’s economy (emphasis mine):

The largest over-the-year decrease in employment [as of July] occurred in Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis, Wis. (-6,000), followed by Brownsville-Harlingen, Texas (-4,700), and Providence-Fall River-Warwick, R.I.-Mass. (-4,100). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment was reported in Dalton, Ga. (-6.0 percent), followed by Great Falls, Mont. (-4.8 percent), Hot Springs, Ark. (-4.7 percent), and Danville, Ill. (-4.5 percent).

Slate’s Matt Yglesias has more on the problem.

Watch: WPRI 12′s full Cicilline-Gemma debate (in two parts)

August 29th, 2012 at 8:32 am by under Nesi's Notes


Update: Entire 90-minute debate is here in three parts, and the Web-only final half-hour of the debate is here.

• Related: Analysis: Gemma misses target in raucous debate with Cicilline (Aug. 28)

Analysis: Gemma misses target in raucous debate with Cicilline

August 28th, 2012 at 10:56 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

David Cicilline and Anthony Gemma agree on almost everything – except whether Cicilline is a liar.

Over the course of WPRI 12′s raucous 90-minute debate on Tuesday night, Gemma couldn’t point to a single one of the 1,697 votes Cicilline has cast in Congress where he would have voted the other way – going so far as to tell voters the two Democrats are “very similar” and would vote the same way on nearly every aspect of federal policy.

Gemma later came up with two policies on which he disagrees with Cicilline, neither of which is likely to win him many votes – he wants to end Saturday mail delivery and eliminate the Bush tax cuts for households who earn between $100,000 and $250,000. That allowed Cicilline to pledge fealty to just about every Democratic position under the sun.

It was that kind of night for Gemma, who repeatedly stumbled when the discussion veered away from questions about Cicilline’s honesty and integrity. And even then, he failed to press his advantage on what WPRI 12 pollster Joe Fleming says is Cicilline’s Achilles heel – his misleading comments about Providence’s finances in 2010.


Don’t forget to watch the Cicilline-Gemma debate tonight

August 28th, 2012 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

It starts at 8 p.m. on WPRI 12 and The whole thing will be streamed live on our website, and the final half-hour of the debate, from 9 to 9:30 p.m., will air only on and will feature your questions. The AP’s David Klepper has a good preview.

• Related: New WPRI 12 Poll: Cicilline 43%, Gemma 31%, undecided 17% (Aug. 27)

Artur Davis condemns ‘chilling’ ‘intimidation’ of black RI Dems

August 28th, 2012 at 3:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

How Rhode Islanders vote just keeps making news.

This time it’s former Alabama Congressman Artur Davis, a dissident Democrat who’s speaking at the Republican National Convention. In a National Review profile of Davis, John Fund resurrects comments Davis included last year in a Montgomery Advertiser article he wrote.

“I was disappointed to see Bill Clinton, a very good president and an even greater ex-president, compare voter ID to Jim Crow,” Davis wrote, “and it is chilling to see the intimidation tactics brought to bear on African-American, Democratic legislators in Rhode Island who had the nerve to support a voter ID law in that very liberal state.” (Emphasis mine.)

National Democrats are not pleased with Davis, who’s playing the same ostracized-moderate role that Lincoln Chafee does when their party critiques Republicans. But this comment is yet another example of how Rhode Island Democrats’ surprising passage of voter ID provides supporters with a useful talking point.

(photo: AP/Paul Sancya)

Tonight at 8 – Cicilline, Gemma debate on WPRI 12 /

August 28th, 2012 at 11:29 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Double helping of RI coverage in Bond Buyer, on Chafee, CF

August 28th, 2012 at 10:44 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Bond Buyer reporter Paul Burton has been keeping an eye on Rhode Island and its myriad financial problems, and over the past week he weighed in with not one but two lengthy stories about the state.

The first article, published Thursday, is “Under Chafee, Rhode Islanders Tackle Fiscal Woes,” and it focuses on the new pension law and efforts to stabilize distressed municipalities like Providence, Central Falls and Woonsocket. Burton interviewed Chafee, who called the various problems “icebergs,” and also spoke with investors:

“Rhode Island, in a way, is the poster child for trying to resolve distress, whether it involves getting a community out of bankruptcy or pooling resources to save money,” said Natalie Cohen, managing director and head of municipal research for Wells Fargo Securities in New York. …

“Because of the weaker communities, investors are staying away from even the stronger credits,” said [William Fazioli, a senior management consultant in the Providence office of Philadelphia consulting firm PFM Group Inc. and] former East Providence city manager. “The interest rate is higher, even for the more highly rated communities.”

“There is still a great deal of credit stress,” said Naomi Richman, a managing director at Moody’s, which last December issued a special report on municipal struggles in Rhode Island. “Most of the factors that were discussed in December are still evident to a certain degree.” …

Analysts and government observers alike say few governors if any have spent as many hours [as Chafee] on municipal matters.

“He seems to be paying attention to his knitting, that’s for sure,” said Alan Schankel, a managing director at Janney Capital Markets in Philadelphia. “Rhode Island, of course, has some economic issues. But everyone there seems to be pulling the oars in the same direction.”

An article Monday – “Central Falls, R.I. Could Exit Bankruptcy Next Week” – is a straightforward examination of how Rhode Island’s smallest city managed to avoid the sort of grinding slog through bankruptcy reorganization experienced by Vallejo, Calif.:

“One of the reasons why we’re so close to exiting bankruptcy is the extra attention we’ve gotten from the leadership. They profoundly understood the problems that a city faces. Both of them understood the goals and never wavered from the problem. There was no ego, no attitude,” [Central Falls attorney Ted] Orson said, naming Gallogly and Chafee. …

Moody’s analyst Vito Galluccio warned that Rhode Island municipalities still face serious challenges. “Although there has been some stabilization and helpful intervention from the state, we still expect some challenges for cities and towns,” he said, citing a slow recovery, stagnant tax bases, property tax cap limits and a high unemployment rate. “They’ve been proactive, but there are still a lot of risks and we will continue to monitor them.”

Orson called the Central Falls case a game-changer. “It changes the communication that cities have with their stakeholders. Before Central Falls, when cities negotiated with stakeholders, there was a strong feeling that cities did it without an ‘or else’. Central Falls has made it very clear, at least in Rhode Island, that there is an ‘or else,” he said. …

“What Ted [Orson] did in Central Falls is no different than how a professional services firm runs an engagement. Central Falls is doing it differently than the folks in Jefferson County, [Ala.,] and Vallejo, [Calif.,] who just threw up their hands and said, ‘We’re bankrupt,’ ” said [Gary Lewis, a private-sector financial consultant in Scranton, Pa.], who has been trying to convince officials in distressed Scranton to seriously consider filing for bankruptcy.

The hearings on Central Falls’ bankruptcy case are scheduled for next Thursday and Friday.

Rain Won’t Last All Day

August 28th, 2012 at 9:38 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Back to school for some students today and  it’s been a soggy start at the bus stop.  A cold front is moving through today, with scattered showers and even some downpours.  In fact, there’s a line of torrential rains with embedded thunderstorms slwowly moving across RI and southeastern MA late this morning.

Flood Advisory

It’s bringing rain up to 1-2″ per hour and leading to some street and poor drainage flooding.  There’s a flood advisory in effect until noon.  The good news is that the rain won’t last all day. By the time the kids head off this bus this afternoon, skies should be partly sunny with drier air moving in.

Afternoon Bus Stop Futurecast

New WPRI 12 Poll: 52% of Gemma voters would back Doherty

August 27th, 2012 at 9:50 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – More than half of Anthony Gemma’s supporters will desert the Democratic Party and vote for Republican Brendan Doherty if incumbent David Cicilline is the party’s congressional candidate, an exclusive WPRI 12 poll released Monday night shows.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: New WPRI 12 Poll: Cicilline 43%, Gemma 31%, undecided 17% (Aug. 27)

Isaac Getting Stronger

August 27th, 2012 at 7:43 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening..

Below is a high resolution satellite view if Isaac from space…we are seeing  signs of the center of the storm becoming better organized with more thunderstorms developing. This satellite photo also shows some drier air on the east side of the storm. Tropical systems do not “like” dry air, and this may only temporarily slow down the intensification process as some of this dry air may briefly be ingested into the storm…bottom line, in the end game Isaac will get stronger as it approaches the coasts of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama  and the west end of the Florida Panhandle….Tony Petrarca

Next map below is from one of our in house computer models we use at channel 12. The red colors show the location of the strongest winds around the center of the storm. This model forecast is for 10am Tuesday morning showing the storm just south of Mobile Alabama. The forecast from the National Hurricane center has it (the eye) tracking a bit further west into New Orleans. It should be noted that  while knowing where the center of the storm is obviously important, the severe weather extends well beyond the center of the storm….Tony R Petrarca

New WPRI 12 Poll: Cicilline 43%, Gemma 31%, undecided 17%

August 27th, 2012 at 6:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Walt Buteau

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Anthony Gemma is losing ground in his Democratic primary campaign against Congressman David Cicilline, as nearly half of likely voters are still unfamiliar with the two-time candidate, an exclusive WPRI 12 poll released Monday evening shows.

Read the rest of this story »

Watch Executive Suite on Slater Technology Fund, VoltServer

August 27th, 2012 at 12:23 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Dry Today but Showers Possible Tonight and Part of Tuesday

August 27th, 2012 at 8:54 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We’ve had a fantastic stretch of late-summer weather recently with storm-free conditions and warm temperatures.  Today is no different–at least during the daylight hours.  We’ll see partly sunny skies and rising humidity levels as temperatures climb to seasonable highs in the upper 70s to lower 80s.  A cold front will approach our area late tonight and pass off-shore tomorrow.  It’s expected to bring a few showers and thunderstorms, and some could contain some heavier downpours.

Surface Map at 8am Tuesday

Behind the front, very dry, comfortable air will move in for Wednesday and Thursday, followed by a warm-up for Friday and the start of the weekend.  So far, it’s looking like any remnants of Isaac will stay away from southern New England through Sunday.  We’ll keep you updated.

Sox Move On, I Don’t Care About Lance Losing Titles

August 27th, 2012 at 12:32 am by under General Talk

When it comes to huge national stories that get picked apart by some of the best writers of our generation, I often times feel like the little guy standing in the corner trying to outshout the loudest voices on earth. In other words my opinion, although welcome in some circles, doesn’t carry as much weight as say Gordon Edes, the brilliant writer that nailed the Red Sox megadeal from start to finish.

 Anyway, my thoughts are that the Sox are bolder than anyone in New England dared to believe. Josh Beckett had to go and Carl Crawford will some day wake up thinking the last two seasons were simply a nightmare, but trading Adrian Gonzalez is what makes this deal one of kind. His production suggests that he could in fact have been the centerpiece of a World Series contender for years to come, so why? Well, if you walked down the street in any New England town and asked a Sox what he or she thought of A-Gone the response you’d usually get “He’s a great player but why doesn’t he care?”

 That expressionless, head down, lunch pail approach plays well in places like So Cal or maybe even in the Midwest but not here. Fans want larger than life personalities that can dish it out just as much as they can take it. You want to cheer for the button down, clean cut All-American boys you’ll have to become a Yankees fan. We want Johnny Damon and his hair, Manny and his weirdness, Pedro and his little friend.

 It’s unfair to chastise a guy because he falls more to the “blah” side of the personality chart but in the end A-Gone will once again thrive in the NL West. Meanwhile the Red Sox can move away from one of the more awkward eras in franchise history.

 I have to admit that I really don’t care that much about Lance Armstrong losing his Tour de France titles. I actually thought this story was dead like seven years ago. I’ve been pestered in the last couple of days for an opinion but my response is usually a shoulder shrug or a blank stare. Who in this country can break down how the Tour de France works? How many stages? How does the timing work as opposed to just one guy beating out the rest of the field in each stage? Most think it’s just one guy pedaling faster than the others and he gets to wear a yellow jersey and gets flowers if he’s in first place. Those are the images that come to my mind when thinking about Lance in his prime.

 Now the image is a yellow Livestrong bracelet and the million dollar checks handed over to help raise money for cancer research. In fact NONE of his sponsors backed out when the titles were stripped. What’s more, donations to the Livestrong foundation went up 25% within hours of the news. Did he lie? Most likely. Do we feel cheated out of the pride we felt for Lance as he dominated the rest of the world? Some do sure. Not me though, I’ll go back to not paying attention to the sport until another American superstar emerges.  

 Speaking of suspected cheating athletes from Texas, I have to admit that I watched every pitch of Roger Clemens return to the mound Saturday night. I am not sure what the 50 year old is trying to prove but rest assured it isn’t that he can still strike out Joey Gathright in an Independent game. Don’t be shocked if some MLB team is crazy enough to take a chance on him. (Astros I’m looking at you)

Journey to the edge of space

August 26th, 2012 at 10:49 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Every once in awhile, I come across stories of school-age kids working on amazing projects.  A group of Tiverton college students are working on a project to send a fully autonomous solar-powered boat across the Atlantic.  You can get more info on that at their website  It’s truly remarkable.

Another awesome project is in the works in New Hampshire…called HeartSat.  A high school student who has a deep interest in aerospace engineering wants to launch a ballon through the atmosphere into space with instruments on board the flight vehicle to measure  a number of things in the atmosphere.  Andrew Mahn is entering his senior year at a small private school in New Hampshire.  He has already been a part of other teams who have launched rockets into outerspace…those projects were funded.  For Andrew’s HeartSat, he has already raised the $1900 he needed and is well on his way to send his payload into space.  The flight vehicle, as depicted below, can ascend and descend through the atmosphere very well without the use of a parachute!

HeartSat Flight Vehicle

HeartSat Flight Vehicle

HeartSat stands for High Elevation Atmospheric Research Tool SATellite.  The primary mission, in Andrew’s words, is ”to analyze radiation and prevalent gasses of the troposphere and stratosphere. It will utilize a completely custom electronics system designed and built from the ground up. If the project is successfully funded….top notch sensors… will provide truly meaningful scientific data”

  • Geiger–Müller counter
  • Carbon dioxide gas sensor
  • Methane gas sensor
  • Barometric pressure sensors
  • An open-source spectrometer
  • Two HD cameras to record the flight

Wow.  I think I was still collecting baseball cards at his age.  Andrew is offering the data he collects to anyone who wants it.  As you can see from the instruments listed above, he will be recording the trip on camera, which should be fascinating to watch!

Here is a video Andrew made describing this endeavor. 


Oh, and he is still looking for donations…you can make a donation on his web page.


Where do Isaac’s leftovers go?

August 26th, 2012 at 9:14 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Below is a very long term forecast for next Sunday (day before Labor Day).  The bright colors indicate where the precipitation is expected to be. The big “L” with the bright colors over the Ohio Valley is heavy rain from the remnants of Isaac.  Keep in mind, this is only a computer forecast, so it’s not guaranteed to be correct.  However, it is one possibility.  This possibility would work out well for us because it would keep most of our Labor Day weekend dry for southern New England.  Stay tuned…a lot could change!

One small step for man….

August 25th, 2012 at 8:23 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog
Neil Armstrong in July, 1969

Neil Armstrong in July, 1969

…One giant leap for mankind.

This is a litte off beat from the typical weather blog, but worth thinking about.  On the passing of Neil Armstrong today, we say goodbye to a true American hero, pioneer and an inspiration to us all. 

To understand this very private man, I think it would be best to read the words from his family:

“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil, we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink.”

Armstrong passed away in a month with two full moons…the second is known as a blue moon, a rarity.  This first man to walk on the moon was a remarkable man…brave, strong and determined.  He was dedicated to his country (served in the Korean War) and his family.

We should all follow in his dusty, moon-rock filled footsteps. 

-T.J. Del Santo


Feeling Foggy This Morning?

August 25th, 2012 at 7:56 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Below is a picture from our City Cam early on Saturday morning.  Fog can form at anytime, but is most common during the early morning….that is usually when temperatures are at the low point for the day.  If temperatures drop enough, they can get close to the dewpoint.  The dewpoint is the temperature at which the air can no longer hold moisture, and that’s when you start to see fog.  Even if the temperature is not exactly equal to the dewpoint from the official weather service station , it may be equal in other spots which is why you can see some fog in the picture below. –Pete Mangione


August 23rd, 2012 at 9:40 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog
Ragweed Plant from

Ragweed Plant from

Have you been sneezing or coughing a lot? Watery eyes? Runny nose? Sinuses hurt? Have a headache? Did all this start recently this summer?  You are probably allergic to ragweed.  Ragweed season typically starts on August 15th, but in recent years it has started earlier.

Ragweed is a plant that can grow just about anywhere….yards, gardens, cracks of sidewalks, on the sides of highways.  One plant can produce billions of pollen grains! For those who are allergic to those tiny grains, their body’s immune systems think the pollen is dangerous.  Their immune systems fight it…and the effects are the sneezing, watery eyes and coughing…

Ragweed flourishes after a wet spring, which we didn’t have this year.  Warm temperatures, high humidity and light winds allow these plants to grow even better…as these factors aid in the fertilization process.  That lack of moisture will limit the amount of ragweed around this year, but conditions recently have been perfect for the plant to grow.  While the ragweed plant population may not be higher than normal this year, the plant is still here and people are still suffering, as a result.  Another problem is ragweed pollen can travel for hundreds of miles! It’s so light, the wind can easily bring it from, say, western Pennsylvania to Rhode Island!

Ragweed pollen.  Courtesy of American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

Ragweed pollen. Courtesy of American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology

What if you are allergic to the pesky plant? Allergy doctors have always told me to do the following…

  • Track the pollen count every day ( is a good site)
  • Stay indoors when the pollen count is high
  • Keep windows and doors closed when the pollen count is high
  • Use an air purifying machine with a HEPA filter
  • Take your medications as directed by your allergist.

 -T.J. Del Santo




See you next week

August 23rd, 2012 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

A programming note – I’m taking a few days off starting today, so there’ll be no more posts this week and no Saturday Morning Post this weekend. Don’t forget to watch Newsmakers and Executive Suite, though – and, of course, my @tednesi Twitter feed never sleeps.

While I’ll be back next week, Monday and Tuesday we’ll all be locked down preparing for Tuesday evening’s Cicilline-Gemma debate – get tickets and submit questions here. But I’ll have a post mortem analysis of the debate right here on Tuesday night, and then be back in the saddle as usual on Wednesday.

Don’t make too much news while I’m gone, and as always, thank you for reading!

(photo: eBay)

Weather Winning Streak

August 22nd, 2012 at 6:25 pm by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Good Evening…

Some of our high resolution computer models are able to predict what a satellite picture would look like in the future.  Our current model we use called “Microcast” does this…and now a new computer model we’re are using called “RPM”  has this forecast feature as well…

The RPM map below is the satellite projection for Thursday morning..ofcoure the shades of gray and white is the forecast cloud cover….bottom line, more sunshine Thursday….Tony Petrarca



The map below is the RPM Model wind forecast for Isaac by Friday morning near the Dominican Republic. The deep red core are the strong winds …take note of the “hole” in the middle…that is the projected location of the eye. Long range forecast has storm getting close to Florida Monday Morning.