scott mackay

On Politics
4:36 pm
Mon December 15, 2014

The paranoid opposition to RhodeMap RI

It looks like the RhodeMap RI debate is much ado about not so much. Those who oppose this largely benign economic and social blueprint have blown the results so far out of proportion as to be ludicrous.

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On Politics
4:16 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Rhode Island Pays Final Respects To Lila Sapinsley

Rhode Island bade farewell and paid tribute today to former state Sen. Lila Sapinsley, a liberal Republican who became the first woman Senate Minority Leader, at funeral services at Temple Beth-El  in the Providence East Side district that she so ably represented.

Sapinsley, who died earlier this week at her Laurelmead home at 92, was eulogized by Rabbi Leslie Y. Gutterman as a path breaking woman of compassion, accomplishment and conviction.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:32 pm
Thu December 11, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Will RI's Business Community Help Raimondo Or Just Complain

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo will inherit a stronger economy than Lincoln Chafee did, but will local business leaders step up to help improve the climate?
Credit Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.

Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.

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On Politics
3:48 pm
Tue December 9, 2014

Former State Sen. Lila Sapinsley Dead At 92

Lila Sapinsley,  former state senator from Providence’s East Side and patron of arts, education  and good government causes, has died at her Laurelmead home in Providence. She was 92.

A liberal Republican, Sapinsley rose to become the first woman  Senate Minority Leader and was nearly elected lieutenant governor in 1984, an election she narrowly lost to Democrat Richard Licht.

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On Politics
4:22 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: What's Behind The CVS-Boston Connection

CVS Health headquarters in Woonsocket.
Credit CVS Health

What to make of the news that CVS Health, which is headquartered in Rhode Island, is opening a high-tech center in Boston.  RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay has some thoughts.

Rhode Island-based CVS Health employs more than 7,000 workers in our state. The pharmacy giant calls Woonsocket home, but the recent news that it is opening a high-tech center in Boston sent shivers through segments of the business and  economic development community in a state with New England’s highest unemployment rate.

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Education
4:54 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

URI To Hire 55 New Faculty Members To Improve Teaching, Research

URI is adding 55 new faculty to accommodate its growing class sizes.
Credit RIPR FILE

The University of Rhode Island is embarking on an ambitious plan to hire 55 new faculty members over the next four years to support the university’s core missions of teaching,  research and engagement.

URI President David Dooley said URI will invest about $5.3 million to establish these new positions. Money to support this investment in teaching and research will come from within the university’s operating budget.

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On Politics
3:09 pm
Thu December 4, 2014

Mayor-elect Elorza to highlight tonight's Hope Street Holiday Stroll

Mayor-elect Jorge Elorza is making an appearance tonight at the annual Hope Street Merchants Association’s Holiday Stroll along Hope Street.

This event begins at 5:30 p.m. and highlights the businesses along Hope Street. It is a festive event filled with fire jugglers, a petting zoo, musicians  and food trucks. Along with the fun, it serves as reminder of the need to shop local during the holiday season.

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On Politics
4:00 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

RI Sales, Income Tax Collections Up, Gambling Taxes Down

Gambling revenues were down at both Twin River and Newport Grand (pictured) from the same time last year.
Credit RIPR FILE

Some good news for Rhode Island’s  state budget: income and sales tax receipts are up over last year’s totals.

That’s the report from the state Department of Revenue comparing state revenues through October with the same period last year. Income tax collections are 3 percent about last year and sales levies are up 4.3 percent, according to data released today.

On a more sober note, state gambling tax collections are down 1.3 percent from the same period last year.

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On Politics
2:26 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

A.T. Wall to Remain at Corrections under Raimondo

Governor-elect Gina Raimondo has decided to keep A.T. Wall, Rhode Island’s longtime corrections director, and the nation’s longest serving corrections head, in his post.

Wall has served as director of corrections since 2000. A graduate of Yale University and  Yale Law School, Wall is a native Rhode Islander who worked as a prosecutor in Manhattan after law school. He is known as erudite and thoughtful and is well-respected within the corrections community locally and nationally.

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Scott MacKay Commentary
2:57 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Scott MacKay Commentary: Time To Focus On R.I. History In Our Public Schools

In this age of STEM and standardized tests, are we teaching enough Rhode Island history in our public schools?
Credit First Student Company

It sometimes seems as if all of our contemporary debates over education revolve around high-stakes testing. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says our schools are neglecting an important topic that isn’t tested.

Trying to figure out what’s happening in education nowadays is an exercise in futility. You have to learn a new language suffused with psycho babble and techno-speak:  educators use terms  like rubrics, social-emotional learning and  site-based management..

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