The state’s management plan that zones offshore waters for renewable energy projects is getting an update. The first public meeting for stakeholders is happening Thursday at the University of Rhode Island.
The Ocean Special Area Management Plan, or SAMP for short, is a planning tool that allows the state to balance both the economy and the environment as it pursues offshore energy projects. It includes about 15-hundred square miles of portions of Block Island Sound, Rhode Island Sound, and the Atlantic Ocean.
College professors are raising concerns about a plan to tie state funding for higher education with performance. The proposal calls for targets in areas like graduation rates and degrees in high demand fields. Schools would have to meet the targets to qualify for part of their state funding starting after 2016.
Community College of Rhode Island English Professor Anthony Amore says students and faculty need to play a role in setting the performance measures.
One interest group that is already lining up support for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium in Providence: Organized labor.
Scott Duhamel, secretary-treasurer of the Rhode Island Building Trades Council emerged from a press briefing this afternoon by James Skeffington, president of the team and quickly said the building trades unions are planning to be vocal backers of the deal.
``We are all in, 100 percent,’’ said Duhamel. ``This may end up being our number one legislative priority this year.’’
The debate over the Pawtucket Red Sox and a public subsidy to help keep the team in Rhode Island began in earnest Wednesday as PawSox ownership unveiled their much-anticipated plan for a $70 million ballpark next to the Providence River. According to the proposal, a 30-year lease/sublease agreement would have a net cost to the state of about $2 million a year.
PawSox ownership said its proposal does not include issuing any bonds or public debt, and that the team will pay for the full cost of the design and construction of its envisioned 10,000 seat ballpark.