angel taveras

Ahead of Easter, RI governor hopefuls discuss their faiths

April 18th, 2014 at 12:01 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – It’s Holy Week and Passover for Christians and Jews around the world, and among those commemorating the solemn religious periods will be the five major candidates for Rhode Island governor, all but one of whom say they’re Christians.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras agenda backs pension, weapons bills

April 15th, 2014 at 5:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Criminals serving life sentences would be ineligible for pensions, cops would have an easier time seizing weapons and litterers would face stiffer penalties under a variety of state legislation backed by Providence mayor and gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras.

Taveras is scheduled to testify Tuesday in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee in favor of ten bills that comprise the city’s legislative agenda for 2014, according to Meaghan McCabe, a spokeswoman for the mayor.

Read the rest of this story »


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.

Read the rest of this story »


Mayoral candidates want to hire minorities, fix schools

April 1st, 2014 at 6:05 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Five mayoral hopefuls outlined their vision for Rhode Island’s capital city Monday, promising to hire more minorities and women, improve the school system and build a more diverse police force during a candidate forum at the Ebenezer Baptist Church on Cranston Street.

The forum was moderated by Brown University political science professor Marion Orr and hosted by the Rhode Island Black Business Association, a 501(c)6 nonprofit founded in 2010. The candidates included Democrats City Council President Michael Solomon, former Housing Court Judge Jorge Elorza, former Water Supply Board Chairman Brett Smiley, East Side businessman Lorne Adrain and Republican Daniel Harrop.

Read the rest of this story »


Providence’s pension return tops state’s since ’11

March 27th, 2014 at 5:50 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The pension plan in Rhode Island’s capital city has outperformed the state’s fund since Democratic rivals Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo took office, the city’s longtime financial consultants said Thursday.

The analysis, conducted by Boston-based Wainwright Investment Counsel, shows Providence’s $284 million in investments earned a 10.9% return between 2011 and 2013, while the state pension fund earned a 9.2% return during the same time period.

Read the rest of this story »


Rep. Ray Hull mulling run for Providence mayor

March 17th, 2014 at 10:54 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – State Rep. Ray Hull, a veteran member of the Providence Police Department, is considering tossing his hat into the city’s already-crowded mayor’s race, WPRI.com has learned.

The 50-year-old Providence Democrat confirmed Monday that he is planning to launch an exploratory committee “very soon,” but said he did not wish to comment further until his plans are finalized.

Read the rest of this story »


Most gov candidates oppose NECAP, support testing

March 13th, 2014 at 7:28 am by under General Talk

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – All but one of Rhode Island’s major gubernatorial candidates have found something they agree on: The NECAP standardized test should not be part of the state’s high school graduation requirements.

Democrats Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, state Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Clay Pell as well as Republican Cranston Mayor Allan Fung all said Tuesday they oppose tying results on the test to a high school diploma, but indicated they aren’t completely against the use of standardized testing in education.

Businessman Ken Block, who is challenging Fung in the Republican primary, said he supports the graduation requirements that are already in place, which include the use of the NECAP – short for the New England Common Assessment Program – for the classes of 2014, 2015, and 2016 before moving to another assessment beginning the following year.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras proposes new job-training program at CCRI

March 11th, 2014 at 11:15 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras on Tuesday put forward a proposal to have the Community College of Rhode Island offer up to 2,000 Rhode Islanders specialized job training tailored to the needs of individual companies.

Gina Raimondo quickly dismissed the Taveras plan as just “baby steps,” which led the Taveras campaign to accuse the treasurer of “trying to score cheap political points.” Republican Ken Block, meanwhile, said both Democrats want “more big government business as usual.”

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Raimondo rolls out plan to boost RI manufacturing (March 10)


Myrth York, former Taveras ally, backs Raimondo for gov

March 5th, 2014 at 8:30 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The woman who made three unsuccessful runs for governor of Rhode Island is throwing her support behind a new contender for the job.

Read the rest of this story »


Smiley wants overhaul of Providence loan program

March 4th, 2014 at 4:15 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The mayor of Providence would have no say over a controversial taxpayer-funded small business loan program controlled by the city, under a proposal released by mayoral candidate Brett Smiley Tuesday.

Smiley, an East Side resident and former chairman of the city’s Water Supply Board, is calling for the Providence Economic Development Partnership (PEDP) to establish an independent program that would place “loan-making decisions in the hands of qualified underwriters” rather than the agency’s current 15-member board.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras, council clash over affordable housing

March 3rd, 2014 at 6:24 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence City Council is seeking to override Mayor Angel Taveras’s veto of an affordable housing ordinance that he claims would put Rhode Island’s capital city at “substantial risk.”

The ordinance would provide a tax rate for new and rehabilitated affordable residential housing units at 8% of the previous year’s gross rental income, a policy council members say has already been on the books thanks to a state law that was passed in 1995.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras chief of staff leaving to launch consulting firm

February 27th, 2014 at 5:28 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The man largely credited with helping save Providence from bankruptcy is leaving City Hall.

Michael D’Amico, who served as the city’s director of administration since Mayor Angel Taveras took office in 2011, plans to launch a consulting firm that will specialize in finance and accounting, union contracts, and labor and government relations.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras, Raimondo exchange harsh words over pensions

February 25th, 2014 at 3:49 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The campaigns of Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treasurer Gina Raimondo exchanged fire Tuesday about the two Democrats’ records on pensions, signaling Rhode Island’s ongoing battle over retirement benefits will be a battleground in this year’s primary for governor.

“Not only has the mayor failed to solve Providence’s pension problem, for most of his term he was too busy to bother with it,” Raimondo campaign manager Eric Hyers told WPRI.com. “He skipped 80% of the meetings of the board that oversees the city’s pension fund in the first half of his term.”

“We’re not surprised that she’s attacking him now since her constantly evolving positions and statements prove that she will say or do anything to get elected,” Taveras campaign manager Danny Kedem told WPRI.com.

Read the rest of this story »


City suspends rec center boxing; several ‘violations’ found

February 20th, 2014 at 11:02 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence officials say they suspended a boxing program at a South Side recreation center after an internal investigation found the program violated “several city policies and procedures.”

The shuttered boxing program was hosted at the Davey Lopes Recreation Center on Dudley Street, the same facility that nearly had its pool demolished last summer after the city’s 2013-14 fiscal year budget didn’t provide funding for the pool.

Read the rest of this story »


Chart: Comparing Raimondo, Fung and Taveras on pensions

February 18th, 2014 at 12:39 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

Three of Rhode Island’s major candidates for governor this year – Treasurer Gina Raimondo, Cranston Mayor Allan Fung and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras – have all struck deals with union members and retirees over the last two years to reduce the shortfalls in the pension funds for which they’re responsible.

So how much did they save?

In dollar terms, Raimondo obviously achieved the highest savings: a $3.9 billion cut in the state’s unfunded liability under the terms of last week’s proposed settlement, compared with a $186.4 million reduction from Taveras’s settlement and a $37.4 million reduction from Fung’s settlement. But that’s not really a fair comparison, since the two mayors were dealing with significantly smaller total liabilities.

(more…)


New WPRI/Projo Poll: Taveras 31%, Raimondo 27%, Pell 15%

February 12th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras and Treasurer Gina Raimondo are locked in a tight battle for the Democratic nomination for governor, with Taveras holding a slight lead but one in four primary voters still undecided, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Wednesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Rhode Island Democratic primary voters puts Taveras on top at 31%, with Raimondo close behind at 27% and political newcomer Clay Pell further back at 15%. An even larger share of primary voters – 25% – haven’t decided whom they’ll support in the Sept. 9 election.

Read the rest of this story »

• Interactive: Dig into the full results and crosstabs for the new WPRI/Journal poll


New WPRI/Projo Poll: 46% of primary voters back pension law

February 11th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi and Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Fewer than half of Democratic primary voters in Rhode Island support the 2011 pension overhaul championed by one of the party’s leading candidates for governor, Treasurer Gina Raimondo, an exclusive WPRI 12/Providence Journal poll released Tuesday shows.

The new survey of 503 likely Democratic primary voters also shows 70% of them think it’s important that a candidate for governor has prior elective experience, a key question for Raimondo rival Clay Pell, while 55% think Providence’s financial problems have been only somewhat solved by Mayor Angel Taveras, another Democratic candidate for governor, since he took office in 2011.

Read the rest of this story »

• Interactive: Dig into the full results and crosstabs for the new WPRI/Journal poll

Tomorrow at 5 a.m. – find out whether Raimondo, Taveras or Pell holds the lead among primary voters.


Taveras touts accomplishments in final State of the City

February 11th, 2014 at 4:59 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayor and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Angel Taveras said during his final State of the City address Tuesday he will leave the city better than he found it when he took office three years ago.

Read the rest of this story »


Buddy Cianci looms large over Providence mayor’s race

February 10th, 2014 at 1:23 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A year ago, it was a whisper. Six months ago, a growing rumor. Now it’s the talk of the town.

Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. said he isn’t ready to publicly discuss whether he’ll make a third political comeback later this year, but the 72-year-old acknowledged he is aware that his name has appeared in several polls linked to the mayor’s race in Rhode Island’s capital city.

Read the rest of this story »


Pell loans his campaign $1M; Raimondo has $2.5M

February 2nd, 2014 at 4:15 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democrat Clay Pell has jumped to the front ranks of Rhode Island’s best-funded politicians after putting more than $1 million of his own money into his campaign for governor, as his rivals Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Mayor Angel Taveras continue to sock away six-figure sums.

Here’s a rundown of how much money all the candidates for statewide office had as of Dec. 31.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Ex-Enron trader Arnold gave $100K to pro-Raimondo PAC (Jan. 31)


Pell, senator’s grandson and Kwan’s husband, running for gov

January 27th, 2014 at 4:02 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By David Klepper

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island’s already contentious race for governor is about to get a lot more complicated with the entry of Clay Pell, the grandson of the late U.S. Sen. Claiborne Pell and the husband of Olympic figure skater Michelle Kwan.

Read the rest of this story »


Former top Taveras supporter backing Pell for governor

January 26th, 2014 at 4:36 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – He’s not officially in the race for governor yet, but Clay Pell has already picked off one of his likely opponent’s top supporters.

Victor Capellan, who served as deputy campaign manager for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras during his 2010 campaign, will endorse Pell in the race for governor, according to Bill Fischer, a spokesman for Pell.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras, Raimondo back higher minimum wage; GOP opposed

January 23rd, 2014 at 4:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Both announced Democratic candidates for governor agreed Thursday that Rhode Island should raise the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour. They just don’t see eye to eye on when to do it. But the two Republican candidates disagree.

Read the rest of this story »

• Related: Watch gubernatorial candidate Gina Raimondo on Newsmakers (Jan. 23)


Candidates for governor, mayor discuss violence at forum

January 21st, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – In the first candidate forum of 2014, the Democratic hopefuls for governor and mayor of Providence on Monday pledged to invest in nonviolence training and provide more support for young people at risk of falling into a life of crime.

Read the rest of this story »


Raimondo, Taveras back Chafee budget; Fung wants lower taxes

January 16th, 2014 at 4:48 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The two announced Democratic candidates vying to succeed Gov. Lincoln Chafee expressed initial support for the governor’s final budget proposal Wednesday night, while a leading Republican hopeful called on state leaders to consider lowering taxes this year.

General Treasurer Gina Raimondo and Providence Mayor Angel Taveras, both Democrats, said they still want to dig in to Chafee’s $8.5 billion budget proposal, but agreed that the governor’s plans to spend an additional $38 million on public schools, freeze tuition at state colleges and invest in infrastructure are all good starting points in an election year.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras: Providence ended 2013 fiscal year with $1.6M surplus

January 13th, 2014 at 5:47 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence is still living “paycheck to paycheck,” but Rhode Island’s capital city ended the 2012-13 fiscal year with a small surplus, according to the city’s annual audit released Monday.

Read the rest of this story »


Taveras replaces Bill Fischer as PRA spokesman after 2 months on the job

January 10th, 2014 at 12:47 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – After two months on the job and a shift in political support, public relations specialist Bill Fischer is out as the $3,000-a-month spokesman for the Providence Development Agency.

Fischer’s firm, True North Communications, was hired by the quasi-public agency in October, but was let go in December shortly after he became a spokesman for Clay Pell, who is expected to challenge Mayor Angel Taveras and General Treas,urer Gina Raimondo in the Democratic primary for governor this September.

Read the rest of this story »


Providence council begins vetting ‘generous’ tax breaks

January 7th, 2014 at 2:38 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Providence City Council Ways and Means Committee got a crash course on the convoluted history of the city’s special tax break program Monday, less than three years after the council gave the Taveras administration the go-ahead to sign off on 10 tax stabilizations without legislative oversight.

In a report prepared by deputy city solicitor Adrienne Southgate, the five-member committee learned more than 100 such “tax stabilization agreements” have been awarded since the 1980s, ranging from massive projects like the Providence Place Mall in 1992 to a nightclub in the heart of Olneyville in 2011. About 44 of the stabilizations remain active, according to Southgate.

Read the rest of this story »


Most mayoral candidates oppose moving state parole offices downtown

January 3rd, 2014 at 5:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Add the majority of the candidates vying to become mayor of Providence to the list of those who oppose relocating the state’s probation and parole offices downtown.

Democrats Brett Smiley and Jorge Elorza and Republican Daniel Harrop said Friday they would like the state to explore other options for the proposed move from Prairie Avenue to 40 Fountain Street, directly across from the Providence Journal building. The State Properties Committee approved the deal last month.

Read the rest of this story »


Fire, police unions sue Providence over OT pay

December 24th, 2013 at 1:48 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s two public safety unions have filed separate federal lawsuits against the city charging that their members are owed overtime pay that wasn’t calculated accurately.

Paul Doughty, president of Providence firefighters union Local 799, and Taft Manzotti, president of the Providence Fraternal Order of Police, say the city did not factor in longevity pay when it calculated overtime for public safety employees, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

Read the rest of this story »