Side of the Rhode: Who’s Hot and Who’s Not? - March 9, 2018
Friday, March 09, 2018
GoLocalProv News Team
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.
Rep. Patricia Serpa
Chair of the House Oversight Committee has been relentlessly watchdogging the Department of Children Youth and Family.
Last week on GoLocal LIVE at the State House she ripped the lack of state action on the state contracted Pawtucket youth facility which allegedly had multiple cases of illegal activity - drugs, sexual exploitation, etc.
Now, as a result of her hearings, the state is canceling the contract -- thus, forcing the closure of the facility. Kudo to Serpa and her committee.
In one fell swoop, former RI Secretary of State flipped the table on the Rhode Island governor’s race.
The smart and accomplished Brown will be a formidable challenger to Governor Gina Raimondo’s Democratic base in the general election (if Raimondo wins the primary). Brown’s strategy is to collect the progressive vote and attract anti-Raimondo Democratic voters.
You have to love people who do nice things for people. Newport Vineyards raised more than $8,000 for Puerto Rico recovery efforts through their Una Noche Para Puerto Rico event.
The over $8,000 raised is being split between the Mark E. Curry Family Foundation - Cosa Nuestra’s Hurricane Relief Fund, whose goal is to feed warm meals to those who are still in need and get small restaurants back in business.
The organization will use 100% of funds raised to pay local restaurants and local chefs to produce meals that will be delivered to those in need.
The funds will also go to help rebuild La Estación in Fajardo, Puerto Rico, the restaurant owned by Chef Kevin Roth, a long time friend of Newport Vineyards Executive Chef Andy Texeira.
Lots of people helped — more than 200 attended.
The night was a celebration of Puerto Rican culture, and included dancing to the music of Robertico Y su Alebreke of Providence.
When someone gets it right, give them credit (watch video).
iHeart and Cumulus
Cumulus — the parent company of WPRO AM, WPRO FM, HOT 106, and LITE 105 — went bankrupt late last year. Now, iHeart Media saddled with $20 billion in debt and is expected to declare bankruptcy any day according to multiple reports.
Combined — these two radio giants own approximately 1,300 stations. Each day, more syndicated content, less local staff and sadly, executive bonuses.
RadioInk reported last Thursday that the iHeartCommunications’ board compensation committee “approved millions of dollars in bonuses for iHeart CEO Bob Pittman, COO Richard Bressler, and General Counsel Robert Walls. Pittman, who reportedly received $500,000 bonuses each of the past two years, is eligible to earn a bonus for each calendar quarter of 2018 of $2.325 million and Bressler is eligible for $1.325 million."
WJAR, Sinclair, and Trump
WJAR-10 parent company has been under constant criticism for it pro-President Trump agenda being weaved into the news broadcast of its local affiliates.
Now they have taken the pro-Trump agenda to a new level.
A family of conservative multimillionaires owns Sinclair Broadcast Group. And Sinclair Broadcast Group is on the cusp of owning enough local television stations to reach 70 percent of American households. Every news station under Sinclair’s umbrella is required to syndicate commentary that comports with its owners’ ideological views. Over the past 13 months, this has meant regularly providing viewers with the insights of Sinclair’s chief political analyst, former Trump spokesman Boris Epshteyn. It has also meant featuring analysis from conservative pundit Mark Hyman, and updates from the “Terrorism Alert Desk” (sensationalized coverage of recent terror attacks from around the world) on a routine basis.
Now, Sinclair is taking its “covert state media” game to new, Orwellian heights: By the end of this month, Sinclair will require all of its local news anchors to condemn “national media outlets” for publishing “fake stories” and “using their platforms to push their own personal bias,” according to internal documents obtained by CNN. Those documents instruct local news directors to air these criticisms of “biased and false news” — criticisms that, of course, echo the president’s own — over and over again, so as “to create maximum reach and frequency.”
The problem is that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza does not understand how a city works. It is comprised of a lot of people who live pay check to pay check, struggle to pay rent, have their phones turned off sometimes for non-payment, sometimes don’t have healthcare, wish their children could go to better schools, worry about crime on their street.
By implementing a brainless program under the guise of traffic safety and to take $95 or $190 off of thousands of residents through an ill-conceived and poorly executed revenue grab that does nothing more than make those working hard to get nowhere economically, get nowhere economically faster.
Raimondo and Jobs
Key to Governor Gina Raimondo’s governing strategy is job creation, but in 4 of the last 6 months, Rhode Island has lost jobs. This undermines her leadership, adversely impacts Rhode Island’s economy, and damages her re-election chances.
To quote Jim Carville's famous political quote,“It's all about the jobs, stupid.”
Rosa Parks House
What happened? It was exciting that the home of one of America's greatest was going to be restored and on display in Providence, but on Thursday afternoon a huge curveball was thrown.
Brown University announced that is was pulling the plug due to some legal dispute.
Brown's statement said in part:
Brown University deeply regrets that it must cancel the display of the house that was to be a central focus for a planned exhibition dedicated to Civil Rights Movement pioneer and American icon Rosa Parks, which was scheduled to open in early April.
The University recently learned from the Rosa and Raymond Parks Institute for Self Development that the Detroit house that was to be the focal point of the programming and an exhibition celebrating Rosa Parks and civil rights is the source of a current dispute.