providence

Providence pension lawsuit looming, trial this fall

July 24th, 2014 at 10:09 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – A pending lawsuit by a group of retirees over changes to Providence’s pension system could cost the city more than $11 million over 10 years if the retirees prevail, according to data reviewed by the Target 12 Investigators.

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Providence mayoral hopefuls Solomon, Smiley at odds on crime

July 23rd, 2014 at 1:22 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The gloves are coming off in the Providence mayor’s race. And it has nothing to do with Buddy Cianci.

After Michael Solomon unveiled his public safety plan Wednesday, Democratic primary opponent Brett Smiley criticized Solomon for not doing enough to address crime during his two terms on the City Council.

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Eastside Marketplace sold to Stop & Shop’s owner

July 22nd, 2014 at 10:41 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Scott Laurans, the longtime owner of Eastside Marketplace, told WPRI.com on Tuesday that Ahold USA, the American division of Royal Ahold NV, has bought the local grocery store’s holding company, ESM Inc.

Eastside Marketplace will retain its name and be operated as a separate division of Ahold USA, he said.

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Watch Executive Suite: WaterFire creator Barnaby Evans

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


GOP’s Harrop wants Providence to enter receivership

July 18th, 2014 at 10:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – His message: “Vote for me and we’ll put Providence into receivership.”

It’s not the most conventional campaign slogan, but Republican mayoral candidate Daniel Harrop claims it’s the only cure for a city facing a massive unfunded pension liability, crippling tax rates and a crumbling infrastructure because of “Buddy Cianci’s incompetence and Democratic inaction.”

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Providence council could tie tax breaks to minimum wage increase

July 17th, 2014 at 2:09 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Recipients of special tax breaks in Rhode Island’s capital city would be required to pay employees at least 125% of the state’s minimum wage, under an ordinance set to be introduced at a City Council meeting Thursday night.

Rhode Island’s minimum wage will grow to $9 an hour beginning Jan. 1, meaning developers or businesses seeking tax stabilization agreements from the city would be required to pay workers at least $11.25 to qualify for a reduced tax rate, according to City Councilman John Igliozzi. Wages would increase as the minimum wage goes up.

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Rep. Hull backs Smiley in Providence mayor’s race

July 16th, 2014 at 12:05 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Brett Smiley picked up his first significant endorsement outside of the city’s East Side Wednesday, winning the support of State Rep. Ray Hull, who represents part of the vote-rich 5th ward in Mount Pleasant and Elmhurst.

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City Council overrides Taveras veto of landlord tax cut

July 14th, 2014 at 6:37 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Landlords in Rhode Island’s capital city will get their tax break, after all.

The Providence City Council voted Monday to override Mayor Angel Taveras’s veto of an ordinance that reduces the tax rate for rental property owners, but could force the next mayor to raise taxes on homeowners across the city to pay for it.

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Lorne Adrain drops out of Providence mayor’s race

July 14th, 2014 at 1:29 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The race for Providence mayor is shrinking.

Lorne Adrain, who considered running for the city’s top job as a Democrat before making a last-minute decision to run as an independent, said Monday he is pulling out of race, the clearest sign yet that liberal-minded Providence residents could attempt to rally behind one candidate in the race against former Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr.

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Watch Executive Suite: Joe Paolino; Beaudoin and Kishfy

July 14th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes


Violent crime in Providence fell 45% between 1991 and 2012

July 14th, 2014 at 3:13 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Violent crime in Rhode Island’s capital city was nearly slashed in half between 1991 and 2012, mirroring a national trend that saw a significant reduction in the number of homicides, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults over the last two decades.

A WPRI.com review of Uniform Crime Reports published by the FBI shows Providence reported 2,049 violent crimes in 1991, the year Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. began his second go-around in City Hall. By 2012, current Mayor Angel Taveras’s second year in office, the city reported 1,133 violent crimes, a 45% swing.

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Buddy Cianci to run campaign out of former Hillary Clinton office

July 10th, 2014 at 5:00 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – What do Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. and Hillary Clinton have in common?

A campaign headquarters.

Cianci, the six-time former mayor of Providence who is again running to lead Rhode Island’s capital city, plans to open his campaign’s central office at 175 Broad St., the same location that housed Clinton’s Rhode Island office during her unsuccessful 2008 campaign for president.

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Jorge Elorza wants to build Providence broadband network

July 8th, 2014 at 11:03 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Democratic mayoral candidate Jorge Elorza said Tuesday he wants Providence to try its hand at the broadband business, proposing a multi-million dollar plan to build a public network that would compete with existing Internet service providers.

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Mayor Taveras vetoes Providence landlord tax break

July 3rd, 2014 at 11:03 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The mayor of Rhode Island’s capital city has vetoed an ordinance that would lower taxes for rental property owners across the city beginning next year, in part because he believes it will force the next mayor to raise taxes for more than 19,000 homeowners.

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Providence admits actuary questioned its pension math

July 1st, 2014 at 12:54 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Lawyers for Providence Mayor Angel Taveras have rewritten bond documents to acknowledge that its actuary disagrees with the way the city reported how much money is in its cash-strapped pension fund.

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Cianci defends 1991 decision that ballooned pension debt

June 26th, 2014 at 9:45 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence mayoral candidate Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. on Thursday defended a decision he made during his second administration that resulted in generous pension benefits for hundreds of municipal retirees.

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• Related: How ‘comedy of errors’ torpedoed Providence pension fund (Nov. 28, 2011)


Analysis: Cianci candidacy upends RI political landscape

June 25th, 2014 at 4:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes, On the Main Site

More from WPRI.com: Full story | Cianci’s opponents | Timeline | Photos | In-Depth

Buddy is back.

Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. is already the most iconic Rhode Island political figure of the past half-century. But now, at age 73, the twice-convicted former-mayor-turned-radio-host-turned-mayor-turned-radio-host has decided to try and add one more “-turned mayor” to his résumé. In doing so, he’s upended everything we thought we knew about how Campaign 2014 would unfold in Rhode Island.

Good luck to the long list of down-ballot candidates – Frank Ferri, Nellie Gorbea, Ernie Almonte, and on and on – trying to get attention in elections most voters don’t know or care much about. The only two political stories that are likely to garner significant attention over the next few months are Cianci’s comeback bid and the race for governor – with the latter campaign a distant second in the coverage contest.

The motivation for Cianci is obvious: he thinks he can win, and he loved being mayor. If you’ve listened to the guy bark tips on snow-plowing to elected officials he’s interviewing from his studio during a storm, you know this is a man who still relishes the tasks of a municipal chief executive. And he’s never gotten to leave office on his own terms.

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Buddy Cianci enters race for Providence mayor

June 25th, 2014 at 3:38 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The Buddy Cianci Show is moving from the Wampanoag Trail to the campaign trail.

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Buddy Cianci still eligible for city pension in Providence

June 24th, 2014 at 11:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. remains eligible to get a pension from the city regardless of whether he decides to make a comeback bid for his old job.

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Solomon wins Dem endorsement in Providence mayor’s race

June 24th, 2014 at 4:29 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – City Council President Michael Solomon won the Providence Democratic City Committee’s endorsement for mayor in convincing fashion Monday, earning nearly six times the votes of his closest competitor in front of a smaller-than-normal crowd at the Rosario Society Hall in Silver Lake.

Solomon, who has represented parts of the city’s Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant neighborhoods since 2007, is among five Democrats hoping to replace first-term Mayor Angel Taveras, who is running for governor.

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Here’s why Buddy Cianci has to get off the air if he runs for mayor

June 23rd, 2014 at 3:26 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

There’s one reason former Providence Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. is expected to wait until the very last minute on Wednesday before he announces whether he’ll attempt to win back City Hall: his job.

Federal law requires broadcast companies – like the two that currently employ Cianci – to “afford equal opportunities to all such candidates for that office in the use of such broadcasting station.” In other words, if WPRO-AM and WLNE-TV wanted to keep Cianci on the air after he declares his candidacy, they would have to provide equal opportunities to every other candidate in the race to appear on air.

“In this situation, if the host is running for mayor, every time he is on the air he is ‘using’ the station for free (i.e. no cost to him or his campaign),” Christy Burrow, a Washington, D.C.-based attorney who specializes in regulatory communications, told WPRI.com. “This triggers free equal opportunities for all opponents – they can go to the station and demand an equal amount of free time.”

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Solomon wants 15-year tax break program for Providence developers

June 19th, 2014 at 12:17 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Developers seeking tax breaks from Rhode Island’s capital city would no longer be required to seek approval from the mayor’s office or the City Council, under a proposal introduced Thursday by mayoral candidate Michael Solomon.

Solomon, the current City Council President, said his “master tax predictability program” would provide 15-year tax stabilization agreements to qualifying businesses, sending a “loud and clear message to the development community that Providence is open for business.”

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Cianci has one week to decide about mayoral campaign

June 18th, 2014 at 5:06 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Former Providence Mayor Vincent A. “Buddy” Cianci Jr. has until next Wednesday to decide if he’ll again seek the city’s top job, nearly 12 years after he resigned from the office following a felony corruption conviction.

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RI ranked dead last in new small business survey

June 16th, 2014 at 7:30 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Ted Nesi

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Rhode Island has posted yet another painfully poor showing in a national survey of local business climates.

Rhode Island came in dead last – 38th out of 38 states examined – in a new survey of 12,000 small business owners published this month by Thumbtack, the San Francisco-based online services provider, and the Kauffman Foundation, a Kansas City-based nonprofit that studies entrepreneurship. The city of Providence also received an “F” from small businesses in Thumbtack/Kauffman’s survey of major cities.

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Prov City Council wants $15 hotel worker min wage on Nov. ballot

June 12th, 2014 at 11:06 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The proposed $15 minimum wage for hotel workers in Providence isn’t dead yet.

While state lawmakers meet Thursday evening for what will likely be a marathon debate over the state’s $8.7-billion budget, the Providence City Council is expected to approve a resolution that would leave it up to city voters to raise the minimum wage for roughly 1,000 city hotel workers.

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Providence City Council may cut taxes for rental property owners

June 4th, 2014 at 10:12 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – The majority of the Providence City Council wants to lower tax rates for rental property owners and slightly increase rates for those who live in their homes beginning in the 2016 fiscal year, but council leadership is calling for a public hearing before another vote is taken.

The council is scheduled to vote on the ordinance for a second time Thursday night even though it has never been approved by the Ways and Means Committee, an unusual path to passage that has some council members asking for more time to discuss the law.

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Providence’s deputy tax collector suspended, charged with fraud

June 1st, 2014 at 5:53 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence’s deputy tax collector was arrested and suspended without pay after a city audit revealed he ”manipulated tax records via computer on numerous occasions” on his own home between 2005 and 2014.

Marc Castaldi, who has worked for the city since 1984, was charged with fraud Friday after the audit showed he used a computer to “conceal the amount of taxes owed so as not reach the level required to be placed on the tax sale list,” according to a police report obtained by WPRI.com.

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Taveras wants ‘study’ on $15 hotel minimum wage

May 29th, 2014 at 4:34 pm by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – Providence Mayor Angel Taveras said Thursday an economic impact study is needed before the city agrees to a $15 minimum wage for hotel workers.

Taveras declined to say whether he would veto an ordinance that would raise the minimum wage if it is approved by the City Council, but urged the council to do its due diligence before it votes on the legislation.

“I think we should do an economic impact study that helps us evaluate the impact of this very unique proposal so we can understand what, if any, consequences we might have there,” Taveras told WPRI.com. “We want to make sure to help the people we want to help.”

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Providence seeks to change high school grad requirements

May 27th, 2014 at 1:31 am by under Nesi's Notes

By Dan McGowan

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) – With just 11 days until high school graduation ceremonies begin across the city, the Providence School Board is expected to amend its diploma policy Tuesday, part of a last ditch effort to help hundreds of students who haven’t achieved a qualifying score on the state’s standardized test complete high school.

The latest changes to the policy will provide a waiver to Providence students who have scored “equal to or higher than the lowest passing score of any other student that met the requirement by showing progress toward proficiency” that will allow them to graduate from high school, according to a draft copy of the new requirements obtained by WPRI.com.

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Watch Newsmakers: Yelnosky on pensions; Joe Paolino

May 11th, 2014 at 5:00 am by under Nesi's Notes