Superman building

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.


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.


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.

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


Supporters of turning the vacant Superman Building into apartment units say they may unveil a new financing plan as soon as next week.  The General Assembly has been wary of offering a public subsidy to reuse the Superman Building in the aftermath of the collapse of video-game company 38 Studios. Supporters of the project say filling the Superman Building with tenants and other new uses would boost the economy in Providence.

New Life For The 'Superman' Building?

Feb 11, 2014

There may be new hope for the tallest building in Rhode Island.  But efforts to rehab the so-called Superman building, in downtown Providence, failed just last year.

The 26 story building, built in 1928 went dark in April of last year, when its tenants, Bank of America, moved out. The owner, Massachusetts-based High Rock Development, proposed a plan to turn the office space into residences.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for a weekly business segment we're calling The Bottom Line. Each Friday they look at business news and themes that affect local business and the public.

Peter Green

A photographer living in downtown Providence has caught amazing photos of hawks, owls and falcons flying above the capital city. He discovered the wild birds by following the pigeons.

It all started when Peter Green moved into an apartment facing the Superman building. He loved to watch the pigeons fly outside his window, and one day he spotted a falcon munching the pigeons that had captured his attention.