Sea Breeze Effect is On This Weekend

April 12th, 2014 at 8:47 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Air temperatures will try to warm into the 60s and 70s this weekend, but ocean temperatures are still in the 40s.  What does that mean? A sea breeze of course!  While this will affect our weather on both Saturday and Sunday, there will be a few key differences in the way each day develops.

SATURDAY (TODAY)

Winds will start from a “land” direction (west-northwest) during the morning.  They will then start to bend from the south-southwest through out the day.  But because the process will take a while to happen,  I would not be surprised if the coast hits the low 60s during the late morning and early afternoon.  From the mid to the late afternoon, the sea breeze effect will start to take over and pull temperatures back down into the low 50s.

SUNDAY

Wind will be stronger and more consistent through out the day from the south.  Because of this, the coast may never make it out of the mid 50s; inland areas should make it into the mid 60s.  Basically, look for a BIG difference between coastal and inland areas.  Here is a snapshot of Sunday early afternoon temperatures.

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Note the Providence temperature in the low 60s.  Providence and other areas adjacent to Narragansett Bay can be tricky because winds from the south can create a cooling affect from “bay breezes”.  That’s why on Sunday, places away from the bay (like Smithfield) should end up warmer then Providence.

Have a good weekend! -Pete Mangione

 

 


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

April 12th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, The Saturday Morning Post

By Dan McGowan

Even Batman takes vacations, so I’m fillingdan in for Ted while he’s living large in Washington, D.C. As always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to dmcgowan@wpri.com and tnesi@wpri.com. For quick hits all week long, follow @danmcgowan and @tednesi.

1. Friday afternoon’s announcement that mediation has failed and the Rhode Island pension law will go to trial Sept. 15 all but guarantees the process will continue when a new governor takes office in January, but how long could it go? Former R.I. Supreme Court Justice Robert Flanders believes it could be more than a year before the dust finally settles. Flanders told WPRI.com Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter could render a decision before the end of this year, but that the case will ultimately head to the state’s highest court. “That court can move relatively quickly when it wants,” Flanders said. As it currently stands, the trial will begin a week after the Sept. 9 Democratic gubernatorial primary that includes Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Clay Pell. While Raimondo will probably take the brunt of the criticism from union members, a trial will also likely force Taveras and Pell to take a position on the 2011 pension law once and for all. Flanders said he believes the state will ultimately prevail. “My view all along has been the state has the better case here,” he said.

2. Even when Batman is on vacation, he knows how to help out in a pinch. Here’s the first of two Nesi dispatches for the week: “Brown University is once again making jaw-dropping predictions about this year’s primary for governor. In a repeat of the methodology I noted last October, Brown’s new poll says 395 of the 600 Rhode Island voters in its general-electorate sample are likely to vote in the Democratic primary, implying a voter turnout level of roughly 66% in the upcoming Sept. 9 Democratic primary. As I said before, this would be a massive increase over the 18% of registered voters who turned out for the hard-fought 2002 Democratic primary between Myrth York, Sheldon Whitehouse and Tony Pires. Additionally, Democratic primary electorates are different from general electorates – the voters are typically more concentrated geographically in the urban core around Providence, especially in a year like this one where the capital city will also have an open mayoral race on the same ballot. So while Brown’s top-line finding – a tight race between Gina Raimondo and Angel Taveras, with Clay Pell far behind – isn’t so absurd as to be dismissed out of hand, it should be treated with extreme caution for now. (As for the tiny 86-voter Republican primary survey – any result that carries a margin of error above 10% should be taken with a full can of Morton Salt.)”

Read the rest of this entry »


RI pension mediation ends; trial set for Sept

April 11th, 2014 at 2:44 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island’s landmark pension law is heading to trial.

Gov. Lincoln Chafee and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo said Friday the state and its major labor unions have ended court-ordered mediation talks after eligible police officers voted to reject a proposed pension settlement. The two sides are now set to head to trial Sept. 15.

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‘Superman’ owners appeal city tax bill

April 10th, 2014 at 5:42 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The owners of 111 Westminster Street is asking the city to adjust the value of the vacant skyscraper known as the Superman building – a request that would reduce the amount of taxes owed on the property.

David Sweetser, whose real estate investment firm High Rock Development owns the Superman building, has filed a property tax appeal with the Providence tax assessor’s office that would lower the taxes on the building that has been empty since last April, according to spokesman Bill Fischer.

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Brown poll: Raimondo has slight lead over Taveras

April 10th, 2014 at 10:53 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – State treasurer and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo is clinging to a slight lead over Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, but more than a third of primary voters are still undecided, according to a Brown University poll released Thursday.

The new survey of 600 registered Rhode Island voters – including 395 Democratic primary voters – put Raimondo in the lead with 29.4%, with Taveras close behind at 25.8%. Clay Pell finished a distant third at 9.6%. More than 35% of those polled said they were still undecided.

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‘Superman’ building owners seek $39M from taxpayers

April 9th, 2014 at 12:08 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The owner of Providence’s tallest building is again seeking $39 million in state support to help turn the vacant skyscraper into a mixed-use facility that would include office space and rental apartments, a project he says will create more than 1,000 jobs in Rhode Island’s capital city.

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Layoffs hit storied Providence law firm Edwards Wildman

April 8th, 2014 at 1:59 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Edwards Wildman is cutting 52 jobs in 10 of its 16 offices worldwide, spokesman John Tuerck confirmed Tuesday. The targeted employees are 42 administrative staff members and 10 lawyers. Tuerck declined to disclose whether the Providence office is among the 10 affected.

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Chafee: RI may continue pension deal without police

April 8th, 2014 at 1:44 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – R.I. Gov. Lincoln Chafee said Tuesday the state may consider moving forward with its pension settlement without the eligible police officers who voted to reject the deal.

“There are various options and that might be one,” Chafee said following a news conference at the U.S. Attorney’s Office Tuesday morning.

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Rhode Island to improve jobs for mentally disabled

April 8th, 2014 at 11:44 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Developmentally disabled Rhode Island residents who for years performed manual labor for little money will have the opportunity to secure “real jobs with real wages” under a settlement announced Tuesday.

The U.S. Department of Justice and the state of Rhode Island said the ten-year agreement will require the state to provide employment and daytime services that will give approximately 3,250 developmentally disabled residents the opportunity to work in a traditional work setting rather than so-called sheltered workshops that segregate employees.

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Heavy Rain this Morning

April 8th, 2014 at 8:14 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Heavy rain continues to slow the morning commute with a FLOOD ADVISORY issued for our area until 10am.

temp 1

Rainfall totals near 1″ are likely… the main impacts are localized street and poor drainage flooding along with some rapid rises in smaller streams.  Right now, our major rivers will be very swollen, but should remain below flood stage today.  The Pawcatuck River in Westerly could see some minor flooding by tomorrow morning.  wstr1_hg

Rain will taper off by mid-day with some slow clearing through the afternoon.  A cold front will sweep across our area this afternoon with some slightly cooler, but dry and bright weather for Wednesday and Thursday.  Beyond this morning, our next chance for rain will be Friday into early Saturday.


Police vote no on RI pension settlement; mediation restarts

April 7th, 2014 at 12:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The high-profile Rhode Island pension settlement was in jeopardy Monday after preliminary results showed 61% of eligible police officers had rejected it; Superior Court Judge Sarah Taft-Carter immediately ordered the two sides back into closed-door talks.

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Chart: Blue Cross has 98% RI market share under Obamacare

April 7th, 2014 at 10:24 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Here’s something Obamacare has hardly changed: the way one insurer dominates Rhode Island.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island’s share of the individual health insurance market dipped from 100% in 2013 to 98% in 2014, as the launch of HealthSource RI more than doubled total enrollment of those who purchase plans directly for themselves rather than get them through an employer or the government, according to preliminary figures released last week by Blue Cross and HealthSource RI.

Take a look:

RI individual health insurance 2014

Blue Cross was the only insurer selling plans to individuals last year, but finally got a little bit of competition in 2014 when Neighborhood – which was created in 1993 to take advantage of local Medicaid changes – began offering commercial plans to individuals who make up to 250% of the federal poverty level.

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Rain on the Way for Tonight

April 7th, 2014 at 7:29 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

After a beautiful Sunday, some changes are on the way for today.  It will still be pleasant through the day and dry until this evening.  But we are tracking our next weather system which will deliver a decent slug of rain tonight.  Ahead of the rain, skies will turn mostly cloudy this afternoon and southeasterly winds will become breezy.  High temperatures will range from the upper 50s inland to low 50s along the coast.

The rain will begin to move in after the evening commute, turning steadier and heavier from about 9pm to 5am.  During that time, some downpours, isolated thunder and fog are possible.  Rainfall totals will be between 3/4″ to 1.5″ of rain.  That’s enough to cause some minor flooding issues… We are mostly concerned with poor drainage and street flooding; however, we’ll also be watching local rivers and streams as water levels are still running high.

Rain will taper off early Tuesday (before 10am) and the rest of the day will be dry and breezy.


Watch Executive Suite: CBRE’s Alden Anderson

April 7th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


7 Day Futurecast: History Making?

April 6th, 2014 at 9:12 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Today should be the 6th consecutive day of high temperatures of at least 50 degrees.  As I was putting together the 7 Day Futurecast this weekend, I noticed that every day had a high temperature of at least 50 degrees.  Check it out…doesn’t it look nice?

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This made me think…when was the last time we had 7 days in a row with a high of at least 50?  I should caution, I quickly did some research on this earlier this morning…so this is not OFFICIAL.  But based on what I could find, the last time this occurred was October and November of last year.  Here are those high temperatures:

October 28: 61
October 29: 53
October 30: 58 
October 31: 65  
November 1: 70
Novemer 2: 66  
November 3: 54 

It’s been quite a while! So enjoy the next few days. -Pete Mangione

 


Watch Newsmakers: Speaker Mattiello, Leader DeSimone

April 6th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Mild Afternoons, Cool Nights

April 5th, 2014 at 7:54 am by under Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

April is that time of year when we often get nice afternoons but chilly nights.  This weekend is a great example of that.  Check out the forecast for this afternoon….

SaturdayAfternoonGoNow

 

Now compare that to tonight, when temperatures will tumble into the 40s, and eventually the low 30s by early Sunday morning!

 

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Despite the chilly start Sunday morning, temperatures will recover into the upper 50s by Sunday afternoon.

There is some potential rain on the way Monday night into Tuesday morning.  Some of the rain could be heavy, so this is something we will keep an eye on for the next several days.  Have a great weekend!

-Pete Mangione

 

 

 


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

April 5th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site, The Saturday Morning Post

Happy Saturday! Here’s another edition of my weekend column – as always, send your takes, tips and trial balloons to tnesi@wpri.com. For quick hits all week long, follow @tednesi.

1. Who is Nick Mattiello? Just before he was elected speaker, I suggested the Cranston Democrat was a moderate who might be a Republican if he was in another state. Others – particularly unhappy progressives – have suggested Mattiello isn’t really a Democrat at all. But the speaker himself rejected that suggestion on Friday. “I’m a Democrat. I’m a proud Democrat,” Mattiello said on this week’s Newsmakers. “I don’t believe that Democrats all have to be on the furthest-left outpost. There’s some people that believe that, but that is not the majority of the Democrats in Rhode Island. I believe I represent a typical Democrat.” Noting his support for “an appropriate safety net,” Mattiello said: “Middle-class values are in the middle, and I tend to politically be situated in the middle.” Asked why he appointed Republican Rep. Doreen Costa as vice-chair of House Judiciary, Mattiello said: “There’s too much raucous debate between the parties. I think that we have to respect each other more. … It doesn’t mean I’m less of a Democrat.” One reason Mattiello’s views are interesting – the speaker will play a key role in determining whether Angel Taveras, Gina Raimondo or Clay Pell gets the Rhode Island Democratic Party’s gubernatorial endorsement. His No. 2, John DeSimone, has already endorsed Taveras.

2. Mattiello repeated his policy mantra – “jobs and the economy” – roughly 500 times on Newsmakers. But no politician campaigns against jobs and the economy, so what does the new speaker think would help? Two items to watch: Rhode Island’s corporate and estate taxes. On the corporate tax, Mattiello told us he wants to get the rate down to 7% from its current level of 9%. On the estate tax, Mattiello noted that Rhode Island currently has one of the lowest exemptions in the nation – $921,655 in 2014 – and that it has a “cliff,” where an estate valued at $1 more than the exemption triggers a tax on the entire estate (not just the amount above the exemption). “We’re looking to eliminate the cliff and possibly increase that threshold a little bit so that we can keep high wage-earners and people that have accumulated wealth in Rhode Island, rather than have them leave as soon as they retire,” Mattiello said. All that will be music to the ears of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, which has long made the case that those changes would improve Rhode Island’s business-climate ranking and cost less than, say, lowering the sales tax. But they’ll still reduce revenue in a difficult budget climate, and they’ll face serious pushback from the left.

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Rep. Gordon Fox still receiving salary, health benefits

April 4th, 2014 at 6:51 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

EAST PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Newly minted Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello said Friday he spoke with Gordon Fox two days after the dramatic law enforcement raids that shook up the state’s political power structure, but said he remains in the dark about what the investigation is about.

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RI elections board reviewing $10K cap after high court ruling

April 3rd, 2014 at 3:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Rhode Island’s cap on combined campaign donations may be on the way out.

The U.S. Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that federal-level aggregate limits on how much money a donor can contribute across all politicians, parties and PACs (as opposed to the limits on how much can be contributed to each one) are unconstitutional. Rhode Island is one of eight states that also has its own aggregate limit on state-level contributions, U.S. Chief Justice John Roberts noted in his decision.

Rhode Island law currently caps the amount that can be donated to candidates, party committees and PACs to $10,000 a year. While Wednesday’s Supreme Court ruling did not itself throw out Rhode Island’s state-level limit, the R.I. Board of Elections says it may not defend them in court if they get challenged.

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Education activist Regunberg to run for Fox’s House seat

April 3rd, 2014 at 12:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Young liberals have found the candidate they want to replace former Speaker Gordon Fox in the R.I. House of Representatives.

Aaron Regunberg, a 24-year-old community organizer known best for launching the Providence Student Union activist group, said Thursday he plans to run for the House District 4 seat left open by Fox, who resigned as speaker and announced his plans to retire after law enforcement officials raided his Gorton Street home and State House office two weeks ago.

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Play Ball !!! Opening Night at McCoy

April 3rd, 2014 at 11:34 am by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

Thursday night is the home opener for the Pawtucket Red Sox, and the weather will cooperate….by April standards.  First pitch is at 7:05pm at McCoy Stadium in Pawtucket.  The PawSox will be facing the Lehigh Valley Iron Pigs in their first game of the year.

  Storm_Radar_Social

High pressure is nosing down from Canada.  This high pressure ‘ridge’ is promoting dry and pleasant conditions here in Southern New England.   With high pressure, you get sinking air, and with sinking air it is tougher to make clouds and precipitation.   There are some high clouds off to our west today, and we may see some of them arrive during the game, but we’ll stay dry.  You can leave the umbrellas and ponchos at home.

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Obamacare swells RI individual insurance rolls to nearly 40,000

April 2nd, 2014 at 5:52 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Rhode Island’s individual health insurance market has gotten considerably larger due to Obamacare.

Nearly 40,000 Rhode Islanders signed up for individual policies during the 2014 open enrollment period that ended Monday night, up from roughly 17,000 who did so in 2013, according to preliminary figures from the state’s new HealthSource RI marketplace and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island.

That total breaks down as 27,968 individuals who used HealthSource RI to sign up for plans from Blue Cross or Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, along with 11,271 who bypassed HealthSource and bought Obamacare-compliant policies directly from Blue Cross, the two organizations told WPRI.com.

Those 11,271 direct-purchasers are important to Blue Cross because they will be combined with those who bought through HealthSource RI to make up the insurer’s 2014 risk pool for individual insurance. The size and shape of the risk pool is crucial to determining how much premiums will cost.

Gary Claxton, an expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, told The New York Times that “these lives count every bit as much as the ones that came in through the exchange” for insurers because of the risk pool issue.

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Center for Freedom suggests $225M to cut from RI budget

April 2nd, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A new report from the Rhode Island Center for Freedom and Prosperity suggests $225 million that should be cut from Gov. Lincoln Chafee’s proposed budget for next year, starting with the elimination of a $50-million increase in the historic-preservation tax-credit program.

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• Related: Gov. Chafee, quoting Taylor Swift, proposes $8.5B state budget (Jan. 15)


PEDP board to meet in private Wednesday

April 1st, 2014 at 5:01 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Board members for the Providence Economic Development Partnership (PEDP) are scheduled to meet behind closed doors Wednesday to discuss potential litigation involving the troubled city lending agency.

A spokesman for Mayor Angel Taveras said he could not confirm the matter that will be discussed when the board enters executive session, but Target 12 reported last month that the FBI subpoenaed records related to a 2009 loan approved by the PEDP.

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Medicaid enrollment from HealthSource RI hits 56,531

April 1st, 2014 at 3:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

From my updated story on the new Obamacare enrollment numbers:

Separately, the R.I. Executive Office of Health and Human Services told WPRI.com 56,531 individuals used HealthSource RI to sign up for Medicaid, the government health insurance program for low-income individuals, from Oct. 1 to March 22. That’s far more than what state officials had forecast, which was for 28,000 Medicaid sign-ups by Sept. 30 and 51,000 by March 2015.

At this point, then, more than 84,000 Rhode Islanders have signed up for health insurance through the new Obamacare marketplace since it opened Oct. 1 when private and Medicaid enrollment are combined. Blue Cross was not immediately able to say how many others have signed up for coverage directly through its website, bypassing HealthSource RI.

• Related: Chart: 6.5% in RI sign up under Obamacare, most for Medicaid (March 18)


Coldest March in 30 Years…and One of the Wettest

April 1st, 2014 at 1:46 pm by under General Talk, Tony's Pinpoint Weather Blog

We can probably all agree that March was very cold.  Temperatures through the month were frequently well below average.   In fact, 21 out of the 31 days in the month, we had below average temperatures.   Eleven out of those 21 days were 10° or more below average.

Despite the very cold month, it wasn’t the coldest March on record for Providence.

Cold_March_Social

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Nearly 28,000 in RI signed up for HealthSource RI plans

April 1st, 2014 at 12:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Nearly 28,000 Rhode Islanders signed up for private health insurance plans through the state’s new Obamacare marketplace before Monday night’s deadline to enroll, according to a preliminary count.

HealthSource RI spokeswoman Dara Chadwick said 27,968 individuals signed up for private plans through the new marketplace between Oct. 1 and the 11:59 p.m. deadline for 2014 enrollment, 1,840 of whom signed up Monday. The number is expected to rise as others finish getting processed.

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Slater Technology Fund’s stake in Andera worth $3M

April 1st, 2014 at 11:49 am by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Here’s an interesting update to my story from last night on the Andera-Bottomline deal:

Thorne Sparkman, managing director of Rhode Island’s taxpayer-backed nonprofit Slater Technology Fund, told WPRI.com Slater made multiple investments worth a total of $750,000 in Andera, and its stake in the company was worth more than $3 million when the Bottomline acquisition closed.

Sparkman called the Andera deal “a nice win for Charlie, his team, investors, and Rhode Island generally,” and said Slater will use the windfall to “invest more aggressively in other young Rhode Island companies.”

For more on the Slater Fund, read my 2009 PBN deep-dive.


Republican Loughlin may challenge Cicilline

April 1st, 2014 at 10:59 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Congressman David Cicilline may have a serious challenger after all.

John Loughlin, a former Republican state representative who lost to Cicilline by six percentage points in 2010, said Tuesday he is considering challenging the two-term incumbent later this year. He said he will make a final decision in the “very near future” and could declare his candidacy as soon as next week.

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