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This I Believe New England: Empathy

23 minutes ago
Scott Indermaur

  Empathy – real empathy – is a mysterious phenomenon.  The poet Walt Whitman wrote, "I do not ask the wounded person how he feels, I myself become the wounded person.”  It’s reasonable to ask whether we have the capacity to truly tune into other people’s experiences, particularly when they’re traumatic.  Perhaps we get closest to real empathy when we’re able to draw on our own compelling experiences that somehow approximate those of the people we care about most.

Gabe Amo / Governor's Office

Governor Gina Raimondo’s senior advisor on drug policy, Tom Coderre, said all options should be on the table to deal with the state’s opioid crisis, including safe injection sites. 

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo's campaign has released a copy of a fundraising agreement reached last month between her campaign and the Providence Democratic City Committee.

A sadly familiar story dominates the news once again.  Meanwhile, the political beat remains busy in the Biggest Little. As usual your tips and comments are welcome, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Providence Preservation Society

Brown University plans to demolish several historic houses on Providence’s College Hill to make way for a new arts center.

Rhode Island state Senator Nicholas Kettle (R-Coventry) was arrested Friday afternoon on charges of video voyeurism and extortion.

Kettle, 27, has served in the Senate since first winning election in 2010.

Asked about the allegations underlying the voyeurism charge, State Police Lieutenant Colonel Joseph Philbin said, “Basically, he transmitted pornographic pictures of his girlfriend without her permission electronically.”

Gerard Donnelly / Creative Commons License via flickr

The utility announced last year they would seek a general rate hike, for gas and electric utilities. The original proposal called for an increase in gas rates by about five percent and electric by about six percent. The company now says those numbers will be less, accounting for savings under the new federal tax law.

That didn’t stop some dozen people from criticizing the company for the proposed increase during a public hearing in front of the Public Utilities Commission. A small crowd gathered at Pawtucket City Hall, to voice their concerns over the potential increase.

Creative Commons License via Wikimedia

Did that dog bed you got at L.L. Bean 5 years ago get chewed by its occupant?  Until last week, you could just take it back and get a replacement for no charge.  The company has announced that it's changing its famous unconditional return policy that has been a part of the brand since it started more than a century ago.  The change comes as a response to the growing number of customers who have been taking advantage of the policy.

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

Rhode Island State health officials say preliminary figures show drug overdose deaths declined in Rhode Island in 2017 for first time since the opioid crisis hit the state five years ago.

State Senator Dawn Euer (D-Newport) joins Bonus Q&A to discuss a range of legislative issues, including the progressive movement, the PawSox stadium debate, abortion rights, redevelopment in Newport, and much more.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Rhode Islanders need more education to get better jobs. 

That was one of the main findings of a recent report by the Economic Progress Institute, a think tank that works to improve the well-being of low and moderate-income Rhode Islanders. The institute’s executive director, Rachel Flum, sat down to discuss the report and related topics.

American Wind Energy Association and Special Initiative on Offshore Wind

The American Wind Energy Association, a wind industry trade group, has released new underwater footage from around the Block Island Wind Farm.


John Bender / RIPR

Lilian Calderon spent her first night with her family in Rhode Island after being detained for nearly a month by federal immigration authorities in Massachusetts. 

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