Local Features

If you who still have people on your holiday shopping list, don’t panic! We have book picks from the chair of RISD's Department of Literary Arts and Studies. Associate Professor Nicole Merola sat down with Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison.

RIPR FILE

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse took an active role in the overhaul of the “No Child Left Behind Act”. That’s the federal education law that ushered in a new emphasis on standardized testing in public schools. The new law, known as the “Every Student Succeeds Act” is supposed to reduce the focus on testing. It got a signature last week from President Barack Obama. Senator Whitehouse joins Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison now to discuss the new law.

Elisabeth Harrison

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse said Friday that President Barack Obama was "too slow" to recognize that Americans need to know more about what is being done to stop the Islamic State. 

"I think if you’re the president and you’re getting national security briefings every minute and your military are running a very complex program to try to deal with ISIS, it’s easy to think, okay, we got this," Whitehouse told RIPR.

RIPR file photo

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s first year in office has been dominated by a caustic dispute with the city’s unionized firefighters. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why the labor dispute has gotten so nasty.

    

This week on The Bottom Line, Rhode Island Foundation President and CEO Neil Steinberg joins host Dave Fallon and Providence Business News editor Mark Murphy to talk about the Foundation's centennial. To celebrate, they're raising $10 million toward the restoration of Roger Williams Park.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

In 1989, playwright Wendy Wasserstein’s “The Heidi Chronicles” won a Tony Award and a Pulitzer Prize. Now, Trinity Rep in Providence has revived this very personal play. Rhode Island Public Radio Theater Critic Bill Gale says maybe they should have left well enough alone.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Language immersion programs known as “dual language” programs are a growing trend in public elementary schools. They allow students to become bilingual in English and another language, like Spanish. 

Providence school officials have just announced a plan to offer new dual language programs in Spanish and possibly Mandarin at Carl Lauro Elementary School.

The programs would begin with two Kindergarten classrooms in each language, then add a grade every year until fifth grade.

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

We’re taking a look at the local music scene in Rhode Island, with an eye toward gift giving this holiday season.  Our music consultant is Tom Weyman, of the Columbus Cooperative -- which operates the Columbus Theatre in Providence.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Senator Jack Reed backs President Obama's view that American troops should play a supporting role, rather than a primary one, in the fight with Islamic State. Reed discussed the issue, as well as gun violence, climate change, and other topics during a recent interview with Rhode Island Public Radio.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Once again, an independent agency has questioned Providence city government’s financial direction. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why Mayor Jorge Elorza and the city council aren’t taking this more seriously.

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 discuss the outlook for retailers this holiday season with Paul DeRoche, senior vice president of government relations at the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce.

According to DeRoche, retailers have noticed that millennials eschew aparrel in favor of devices like smart phones. For the holiday shopping season, DeRoche predicts sales volume will increase by 5 percent from 2014.

Joan Marcus

Even with  ticket prices sailing over $100, Broadway's musical theater season continues to thrive. Rhode Island Public Radio theater critic Bill Gale caught two shows recently and says one is a masterpiece of the new, the other a pleasant enough look at the past.

You rarely encounter two art works of the same genre that are as different as “Hamilton,” and “An American in Paris.”  

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 president and CEO of Collette of Pawtucket, Dan Sullivan. Sullivan is a travel industry veteran, whose company organizes guided vacations and tours all over the world. The three talk about how the travel industry has been affected by the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, what travelers should know about security, and the growing popularity of Cuba as a travel destination.

When to listen:

Chuck Hinman / RIPR

This month we bring you a special, Thanksgiving Rhode Island  Artscape. We take look at the art and the history of the Thanksgiving menu, and how it’s changed

RIPR FILE

Tis the season of shopping, socializing and celebrating. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says commercialism has over shadowed the holiday season.

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