Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - December 8, 2017

Friday, December 08, 2017

Every Friday, GoLocalProv breaks down who is rising and who is falling in Rhode Island politics, business, and sports. 

Now, we are expanding the list, the political perspectives, and we are going to a GoLocal team approach while encouraging readers to suggest nominees for who is "HOT" and who is "NOT." 

Email GoLocal by midday on Thursday anyone you think should be tapped as "HOT" or "NOT."  Email us HERE.

  • HOT

    Fatts Russell

    In the biggest game of the year in Rhode Island, freshman URI point guard Fatts Russell put on a show. His dazzling ball handling and strong shooting were nearly topped by his tenacious and relentless ball hawking.

    For URI fans he is a messiah; for college basketball fans in general, Russell is a delight.

    It will be a fun four years in Kingston. On the biggest college hoops stage — the team's biggest rivalry game — the littlest guy with the best nickname was the most dynamic player on the court.

  • HOT

    Jay Leno

    As GoLocal first reported in October, Jay Leno was looking at -- and has purchased -- Seafair at 254 Ocean Avenue in Newport, one of the city's premier estates. 

    Former Nortek CEO Rick Bready was the previous owner of Seafair. The final selling price was $13.5 million. 

    Leno joins a growing list of celebrities to decamp to Rhode Island, including Taylor Swift (Watch Hill), Christopher Walken (Block Island) and Nicholas Cage (Middletown) - never mind, that one did not work out too well.

    Leno hosted his last episode of NBC's Tonight Show in 2014.

  • HOT

    Gina Raimondo and, maybe Lincoln Chafee

    It was an up and down week for the Governor as it relates to governing. More bad news on the budget overshadowed the week.

    However, for Raimondo "the candidate," this was a dream week. Joe Trillo, the former GOP legislator, announced that he is running for Governor as an independent. For Raimondo, who barely got more than 40 percent of the vote in '14, a third party candidate is an electoral gift.

    The one danger is former Governor Chafee now sees an even clearer route to reclaiming his seat as if he topples Raimondo in a Democratic primary, is it all but gives him a free path to the State House in a three-way against a GOP nominee and Trillo.

  • HOT


    Pending federal anti-trust approval, CVS is poised to be one of the most important companies in America -- and the most powerful in healthcare. 

    The numbers are staggering. Combined CVS and Aetna will be the second largest company in the U.S. by revenue and the fourth largest in EBITDA.

    CVS Health President and Chief Executive Officer Larry J. Merlo said, “This combination brings together the expertise of two great companies to remake the consumer healthcare experience. With the analytics of Aetna and CVS Health’s human touch, we will create a healthcare platform built around individuals. We look forward to working with the talented people at Aetna to position the combined company as America’s front door to quality health care, integrating more closely the work of doctors, pharmacists, other healthcare professionals and health benefits companies to create a platform that is easier to use and less expensive for consumers.” 

    The deal is big. A GoLocal analysis found that a combined CVS and Aetna company will be the second largest revenue company in the United States — at $240 billion — ahead of Apple ($215B) and Berkshire Hathaway ($223B). The only company in America doing more revenue would be Walmart ($485B).

    The biggest winner in the proposed acquisition of Aetna by CVS may be Rhode Island.  The deal is one of the biggest business deals in the United States will transform the company and its roll in healthcare in America.

  • HOT

    Laura Burkett

    When artist and designer Laura Burkett learned the Rhode Island School of Design canceled their long-running holiday sale, she saw a good opportunity to create a new event, help local artists sell their work and continue the RISD show legacy.

    Burkett is the director of The Art Providence Holiday Show which replaces the RISD Alumni and Student Holiday Sale on December 9-10 at the Rhode Island Convention Center.  

    “Our vision for the Art Providence Holiday Show is to provide artists who depended on the RISD show with a viable alternative and to offer the Rhode Island community an opportunity to see an even wider range of artists creating high-quality art, craft, and design," says Burkett. 

    The juried show features over 200 artists and artisans from around New England and the country. Show categories include ceramics, furniture, glass, jewelry, leather, metal, mixed media, painting, photography, printmaking, prints, sculpture, and wood. 

  • NOT

    RI's Protection of the Elderly

    Rhode Island is one of the worst states in the country when it comes to elderly abuse protections. 

    According to a recent study completed by WalletHub, Rhode Island is the sixth worst state for elderly-abuse protections in the U.S., ranking 46th overall.

    “Abuse happens every day and takes many forms. But vulnerable older Americans are among the easiest targets for this misconduct, especially those who are women, have disabilities and rely on others for care or other types of assistance. By one estimate, elder abuse affects as many as 5 million people per year, and 96 percent of all cases go unreported,” said WalletHub.

    RI’s Rankings:

    49th Best– Elder-Abuse, Gross-Neglect & Exploitation Complaints
    47th Best – Number of Eldercare Organizations & Services
    30th Best – Number of Certified Volunteer Ombudsmen
    49th Best - Prevalence
    3rd Best - Resources
    30th Best - Protection
    3rd - Highest Total Expenditures on Elder Abuse Protections

  • NOT

    Four Partners at Partridge, Snow and Hahn for the Bishop

    The ongoing saga of the collapse of the pension fund at St. Joseph pension fund is unveiling the failure of a number of institutions in Rhode Island.

    The nearly 2,800 retires are facing dramatic cuts to their meager pensions, but that didn’t stop the Diocese of Providence of Providence to open the coffers and sending four high priced partners from the law firm Partridge Snow and Hahn to Superior Court to continue to block the investigation of into the pension fund account.

  • NOT

    Reed, Whitehouse, Cicilline, and Langevin Relating to Sexual Abuse

    How many women have to come forward?  How many lawsuits have to be paid off with public money?

    Rhode Island’s Congressional delegation has been slow and political in reacting to multiple cases of sexual assault against their peer Democrats in the House and Senate.

    We get that Al Franken is funny and that John Conyers was once a leader on civil rights issues, but you lost any moral high ground on calling out Republicans like Alabama U.S. Senate candidate Roy Moore for his despicable behavior when you enabled and stayed silent on the behavior of your colleagues and peers until you had no choice.

    Not exactly at the front of the parade, gentlemen — maybe it is time to have a little better gender balance in the RI Congressional delegation?

  • NOT

    RI's Budget

    Rhode Island's budget deficit is bad this fiscal year and will top more than $200 million next year. 

    As the budget gap continues to grow, so do questions about the ability of the Raimondo administration to move quickly and efficiently.

    The ever-growing budget problem in Rhode Island is triggering deep concerns from the key fiscal legislator, House Finance Committee Chair Marvin Abney.

    Abney this week expressed to GoLocal News Editor Kate Nagle his concerns about the management of the budget and the urgency in which Governor Gina Raimondo’s administration is taking on the issues.

    Abney would not say the budget is being mismanaged by the Raimondo administration, but came close.

    "Where the departments managed better, or could they have been managed better...I don't like to get into food fights with, you know, with the administration. But there is no doubt that there are some communications that could be better," Abney said

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