Ah, the intra-party fellowship of the holiday season! That's one of one of our top themes this week, so 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.

As we near the end of 2017, Rhode Island Public Radio Political Analyst Scott MacKay has  been reflecting on the year in politics and the year ahead. Today he brings us his annual ode, “Twas the night before the New General Assembly session, with thanks to poet Clement Moore. (Advance copy of commentary that airs Monday).

Twas the Night Before Christmas and all through the Rhode Island Statehouse, the pols were stirring, with the Senate calling the House a louse. / Creative Commons License

Rhode Island ranks as the 11th healthiest state, according to a new report released by the nonprofit United Health Foundation.

Massachusetts ranks number one.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell joins Political Roundtable to discuss his new priorities and Democrat Doug Jones' win over Republican Roy Moore in a dramatic U.S. Senate race in Alabama.

New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell joins Bonus Q&A to discuss the city's manufacturing sector, Governor Charlie Baker's popularity, the outlook for South Coast Rail and more.

RIPR File Photo

Where does a state find $500 million to fix a long backlog of school building repairs? General obligation bonds, that's where. At least that's the recommendation from Rhode Island's School Building Task Force.

Avory Brookins / RIPR

The nation's first offshore wind farm about four miles off the coast of Block Island celebrated its one-year anniversary Tuesday. The wind farm supplies power to nearly 2,000 customers on the island and is saving those ratepayers money. Residents say the wind turbines have positively impacted tourism, but there are some disappointments too.  


Utility company Eversource is demanding a national environmental group take down a study that says they unfairly withheld natural gas capacity and inflated electric rates– but the Environmental Defense Fund is standing by its research.


Merriam- Webster has revealed “feminism as its word of the year for 2017. The Massachusetts-based dictionary said “feminism” was looked up on its website 70 percent more this year than last. Peter Sokolowski, Merriam Webster’s editor-at-large, said interest in feminism sparked several times—including during the Women’s March, and the premiere of the movie “Wonder Woman.”

Lynn Arditi / RIPR

Job cuts often follow mergers, such as the deal for CVS Health to purchase the insurance company Aetna.  But CVS Chief Executive Officer Larry Merlo says this deal may be an exception.  

RIPR File Photo

A pledge sheet asking legislative candidates to support a series of progressive issues is making waves ahead of Rhode Island’s 2018 election season.  

This I Believe New England: Seeing Clearly

Dec 12, 2017
Scott Indermaur

Most of us have discovered that we can be blindsided by life's unpredictable, sometimes unbidden events: the doctor's diagnosis we weren't expecting, or perhaps the stinging message from a spouse or partner letting us know the relationship is over.  You know the type of news – the kind no one wants to hear.  Yet, sometimes horrific news seems to offer us a meaningful wake-up call, a chance to sort out priorities and put things in perspective.

A Conversation With The Providence Athenaeum's Matt Burriesci

Dec 12, 2017
Photo Credit: The Providence Athenaeum

Matt Burriesci is the Executive Director of The Providence Athenaeum. He talked with Laxmi Parthasarathy for a special RIPR interview. They talked about the Athenaeum's 180-year history, its beautiful Greek Revival building, its collection, and how it is working to engage audiences with its programming today.

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence Teachers Union is asking why so many teachers are being placed on administrative leave and facing investigations for abusing students. The union called a special meeting with city and school officials Monday.  


Washington D.C. has ended a temporary residency program for almost 60,000 Haitians allowed to legally enter the United States following an earthquake in 2010. The affected Haitians will have to leave the U.S. by 2019. The program has also been revoked for 2,000 Nicaraguans and it's unclear if other groups, including 300,000 Salvadorans, will be allowed to remain.