Superman building

The end of the General Assembly session is coming into sight, summer beckons, and the politics beat remains frenetic. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Just another quiet week in Rhode Island, right? Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As usual, your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

More than 150 civic, business and political leaders gathered in the majestic grand banking hall of the vacant Superman Building Thursday to endorse the use of an as-yet-unspecified public subsidy to revitalize the iconic structure in downtown Providence.

Boosters said remaking the Jazz Age-era building with a mix of uses emphasizing residential would create more than 1,000 jobs, help fill the demand for more downtown housing, and offer other economic benefits.

Screenshot of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island's Peregrine Falcon Webcam

The iconic Superman Building may be vacant, but it has no trouble attracting peregrine falcons. The skyscraper’s current residents welcomed four chicks this week.

State Commerce Secretary Stefan Pryor joins the Bonus Q+A segment this week to discuss the effectiveness of the Raimondo administration's incentive program; whether the state can play a role in reviving the Superman Building; attempts to attract a Cambridge Innovation Center office, and much more.

A summer slowdown of news? Rhode Island's summer of 2015 will likely be remembered for two important releases of information -- the State Police report on Cranston Mayor Allan Fung, and, more significantly, the unsealing of documents in the state's lawsuit over 38 Studios. As always, feel free to drop me a tip or your comments, and to follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A proposed ballpark for the PawSox in Providence and the vacant so-called Superman Building might seem to have little in common. Yet both raise questions involving economic development and the possible use of taxpayer subsidies. 

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Mark and Dave sit down with Sylvia Maxfield, dean of the Providence College School of Business.

Maxfield says lawmakers' quick passage of the budget sends a message that Rhode Island is serious about turning around the economy. She also discusses what makes her believe this budget is "pro jobs" and "pro business."

When to listen:

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The female falcon that nested atop the Superman building last year is back this spring. The falcon laid her first egg less than a week ago, according to Jeff Hall, senior director of advancement for the Audubon Society of Rhode Island.

Through the organization’s Peregrine webcam, bird enthusiasts are observing the falcon and her male partner taking turns at the nest. Hall said the falcon will sit on her eggs constantly until all her eggs are laid.

“So all the eggs will then mature, if you would, at the same time,” said Hall. “so they’ll all hatch around the same time.”

Developer and former Providence mayor Joseph Paolino joins Bonus Q&A to discuss snow removal; how Providence can cultivate more tax revenue; what's next for the Superman Building; and more.

Catherine Welch / RIPR

The three men vying to be the next mayor of Providence debated Wednesday night at Brown University. The debate was organized by the Taubman Center at Brown University.

Buddy Cianci is one of those candidates and as Rhode Island Public Radio’s Catherine Welch reports, the debate focused not just on the city’s future but on its past including decisions made during Cianci’s nearly 22 years as mayor.

RIPR FILE

The owner of the Superman Building in downtown Providence renewed his call Tuesday for a public-private partnership to revitalize the vacant skyscraper. But it remains unclear whether the state will provide $39 million in requested help.

RIPR FILE

A bill that would use $39 million in taxpayers’ money to revitalize the vacant Superman Building is slated for a Senate Finance committee hearing this Tuesday.  Lawmakers have been lukewarm about using a public subsidy for the Providence skyscraper.

While we've had a glimpse of spring and winter weather over the last week, politics remains the thing for all seasons in the Ocean State. So welcome back to my weekly column, and feel free to share your thoughts and tips at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org. You can also follow my missives all week long on the twitters. Let's get to it.

Photo Courtesy of Peter Green via Audubon Society of Rhode Island

Three baby peregrine falcons born atop Providence’s Superman building are now banded for tracking.

  There were four eggs, but only three chicks survived, all boys. And now they have bands on their legs that the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will keep a record of.

The Audubon Society of Rhode Island’s Jeff Hall said the banding took about a half hour, and the process started when licensed bander Joe Zbyrowski climbed a ladder to reach the chicks nesting in a special box.

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