The start of June has done nothing, naturally, to stop the breakneck flow of news in the Land of The Gift That Keeps on Giving. So welcome back to my weekly column. You can reach me at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) com, and (please) follow me on Twitter. Let's head in.

While Lincoln Chafee's move to become a Democrat might be utterly unsurprising to some, the governor's move nonetheless scrambled the landscape for what already looked like a riveting election fight next year. That's why Chafee leads my weekly column. Thanks for stopping by. Feel free to drop me a line at idonnis (at) ripr (and) org  and to follow me on Twitter. Let's go:

Happy Friday and welcome back. Your tips and thoughts are always appreciated in my inbox at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's dive in.

Tom Heslin, who oversaw the Providence Journal's Pulitzer-prize winning probe of the state court system in the 1990s, is retiring later this month as executive editor, the paper reports. The move comes after a long and distinguished career encompassing the Journal's glory days.

Heslin, 62, had been on an extended leave of absence for health reasons.

Ernest Hemingway's storied retort to F. Scott Fitzgerald about why the rich are different -- because they have more money -- comes to mind in surveying some news involving the Providence Journal.

As Ted Nesi notes, executives with ProJo parent A.H. Belo are hardly suffering amid the ongoing certainty facing the newspaper industry:

Providence Phoenix Newspaper
Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Last week news broke that the weekly alternative paper, the Boston Phoenix, was stopping the presses after 47 years of publication. The news caught most media watchers off guard and has left some in Rhode Island wondering about the future of the Providence Phoenix. Here with insight into what happened in Boston and what’s ahead for Providence is the associate publisher of the Providence Phoenix Steve Brown.

Welcome back to my weekly column, and a happy St. Patrick's Day weekend to all. Stay safe out there and don't let the green beer get you. As always, your thoughts and tips are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to it.

Boston Phoenix Newspaper Closes

Mar 15, 2013
Photo courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album
courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album

It’s the end of an era for a popular Boston weekly newspaper. The Boston Phoenix will publish its last edition March 15th. The last online edition will come a week later.  The company’s newspapers in Providence and Portland, Maine will continue publishing.

In a sad day for anyone who cares about the news, one of the great alternative news weeklies -- The Boston Phoenix -- is closing, ending a long run of delivering penetrating political coverage and superb reporting on arts and entertainment. Sister papers in Providence and Portland, Maine, will continue.

Phoenix editor Peter Kadzis offered this statement:

Welcome back to my weekly column. As always, your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. Let's get to the list.

Congressman Jim Langevin is responding to criticism from rocker Ted "Cat Scratch Fever" Nugent, an ardent gun advocate, lambasting what MSNBC dubbed the rocker's "bizarre diatribe" following President Obama's State of the Union address on Tuesday.

Via news release:

Ian Donnis

Connie Grosch, the highly respected photojournalist who was laid off in November as part of broader cost-cutting at the Providence Journal, has been hired as the press secretary for Congressman David Cicilline.

"I couldn't be more thrilled," says Grosch, who is slated to start in the new role on January 22.

A New Year, a new General Assembly session, and the formal/informal start of the 2014 campaign season are upon us. Welcome to another edition of my Friday column. Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me your tips or thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (org). Here's the rundown:

“It’s the holiday season,” as the song goes, and what’s December in Rhode Island without another Statehouse-tree related controversy? Mull that over along with my Friday column. Your thoughts and tips are welcome, as always at idonnis [at] ripr [dot] org.

The governor’s office sent out the following advisory at about 11:32 am today:

Governor Lincoln D. Chafee will host the 2012 State House tree lighting today, November 29, 2012 at 12:00 p.m. in the State House rotunda. The student orchestra from Cranston’s Park View Middle School will be performing holiday songs in the Bell Area of the rotunda beginning at noon.

According to the governor’s schedule, Chafee’s due for a ribbon-cutting for JetBlue at T.F. Green Airport at 1:25 pm.