Gina Raimondo

Hurricane Joaquin blows toward Rhode Island as the state remains vexed by its own ring of challenges: the hangover of 38 Studios, trying to modernize state agencies, financially troubled fire districts, you name it. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Longtime former Common Cause of Rhode Island head Phil West joins Political Roundtable to discuss the fallout from the release of thousands of pages of 38 Studios court documents.


Three marketing firms have been chosen to develop a tourism campaign for Rhode Island. The announcement follows a months-long, national search. One of the firms is New York based Milton Glaser Inc., the agency responsible for the iconic “I Heart New York Campaign.”

In a written statement, Mr. Glaser wrote, “We’re enthusiastic about working on the Rhode Island project, because, among other things, small is beautiful.”

The other firms are HAVAS PR, a public relations firm with an office in Providence, and the Jamestown-based design group Epic Decade.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

The state Department of Transportation is negotiating a possible consent decree with the US Justice Department due to environmental damage caused by years of inadequately monitored runoff on highways around the state.

Rhode Island is getting one-million dollars to help repair the Park Avenue Bridge in Cranston.The bridge was closed for several weeks this summer.

The money will also help pay for the eventual replacement of the century old bridge. The span was shut for several weeks in June after inspectors deemed it structurally deficient.

Some wondered if the closure was politically motivated. The bridge is close to House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello’s law office. The speaker didn’t push to take up a statehouse proposal for infrastructure repair last session.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The 38 Studios lawsuit disclosures have once again cast a cloud over the Rhode Island Statehouse. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders when Rhode Islanders will finally be fed up enough to bring change to Smith Hill.

There will be a day when Rhode Island moves beyond 38 Studios, but that day is a long time off. The public release Thursday of tens of thousands of pages of documents is just one more step toward trying to get a better understanding of Rhode Island's most recent scandal. So with that in mind, thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are welcome at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and you can follow me all week on the twitters. Here we go.

The state Ethics Commission unanimously voted Tuesday to investigate a revolving door complaint filed by the state Republican Party against former state Rep. Donald Lally.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo and the state’s congressional delegation were on hand Monday to announce a $25 million initiative to help low income Rhode Islanders. The money comes from state, federal and private donations. It will be distributed by the Rhode Island chapter of the Local Initiatives Support Corporation.

The money will be doled out over the next twelve months in the form of grants and loans for affordable housing, daycare and education, and public safety.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The Pawtucket Red Sox officially pronounced dead Saturday night their quest to build a ballpark on part of the former I-195 land in Providence, an effort that went onto life support in recent weeks due a variety of hurdles.

In a statement, PawSox Chairman Larry Lucchino said the team was suspending its pursuit of the I-195 parcels and "will cease its public campaign for the I-195 riverfront site."

Happy Friday, and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. 

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Bonus Q+A this week to discuss the failure of the once-heralded startup Nabsys; challenges at the state Department of Transportation; the outlook for her toll proposal; the new state unemployment numbers; and much more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Governor Gina Raimondo joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss her efforts to improve RI's economy; whether she'll support keeping the PawSox in Pawtucket; and the controversy about her administration hiring former state Rep. Donald Lally four months after he left office.

Aaron Read / RIPR

Rhode Island’s unemployment dipped slightly in August, but the state’s recovery from the recession remains fragile, according to data released today by the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training.

The unemployment rate ticked down to 5.6 percent, still above the national rate of 5.1 percent. And the state lost 800 jobs between July and August. In July, the Ocean State unemployment rate was 5.8 percent.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The state Republican Party said Wednesday it has filed a state Ethics Commission complaint against former state Rep. Donald Lally, whose hiring by the Raimondo administration in July -- four months after he left the legislature -- is sparking debate about whether it violated the state's revolving door law.

The complaint was announced in a statement by RI GOP chairman Brandon Bell.