Jorge Elorza

For Thanksgiving week, the panel looks back at Rhode Island political stories for which we were thankful for in 2015, as well as our top political turkeys of the year.

Buddy Cianci’s mayoral portrait is scheduled to be unveiled Thursday evening at Providence City Hall with a reception to follow at the Roma restaurant on Federal Hill.

But there has been a last-minute change of plans because one of the men slated to officiate at Cianci’s ceremony – Providence City Archivist Paul Campbell – has been suspended with pay from his $60,000 a year job.

Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column as we head into the run-up to Thanksgiving. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via email, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go.

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio joins Bonus Q+A to talk about the future of the state Senate, the amount of labor influence in the chamber, the outlook for the proposed hotel at the Fogarty Building, and other topics.

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has launched an advisory council to focus on gun violence. The 11-member group will meet at least four times a year, and deliver annual recommendations to the city.

Katherine Doherty

Rep. Joseph Almeida is requesting that Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza appoint a black police officer as a major in the Providence police department. Almeida, a retired city cop and Democrat who represents a South Side neighborhood, said in a news release that Elorza needs to appoint a black officer to a leading role in the department so that the city’s police force better reflects the demographics of 21st century Providence.

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Bonus Q+A to discuss the outlook on development in Providence, and a host of other issues, including pensions, Kennedy Plaza, the PawSox, and more.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence City Council President Luis Aponte joins Political Roundtable this week to discuss continued deficits in the city budget; Mayor Jorge Elorza's strategy in trying to cut the cost of firefighter overtime; and the outlook on attracting the PawSox to Victory Place.

Happy mid-October and thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. Your tips and thoughts are always welcome via email, and you can follow me through the week on the twitters. Here we go

John Bender / RIPR

An investigation is underway in Providence after white supremacist flyers were found in an East Side neighborhood. Authorities are classifying the incident as a hate crime.

Twenty-two flyers were found by law enforcement on Thursday morning, stuffed into rice filled plastic baggies. They were dropped in a neighborhood that’s home to a large Jewish Community Center, and Brown University. The flyers contained racist and anti-Semitic messages. Initial tests for toxic substances came back negative

John Bender / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has set himself an ambitious goal: to rid the city of all housing blight in the next six years. If the city reaches that goal, Elorza said it would be the first city of its size to do so.

On Tuesday, the mayor unveiled his initiative to deal with hundreds of vacant and abandoned homes in the state capital. The project, called EveryHome Providence, offers what the administration calls a suite of tools for taking on these properties.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Mayor Jorge Elorza’s administration has reached a tentative agreement on a three-year contract with Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union of North America, which represents city employees in City Hall, the School Department and the Parks and Public Works Departments.

Elisabeth Harrison / RIPR

Children who know more words tend to do better in school, and that has some researchers wondering whether early language may offer a key to closing the achievement gap. That’s why Providence has launched Providence Talks, with millions of dollars from the Bloomberg Foundation. The program hopes to boost children’s vocabularies by teaching parents to be chattier with their babies and toddlers.

Data from a pilot study due out Monday shows promise. Rhode Island Public Radio’s Elisabeth Harrison went on a home visit with a Providence Talks coach, to see how the program works.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and Local 799, the International Association of Firefighters, are locked in an increasingly bitter dispute about cutting overtime spending in the Fire Department, the latest in a string of conflicts between the union and city leaders. 

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza considers Victory Place -- offered in April as an alternative ballpark site for the PawSox -- a potential home for the Triple A team, even though Lifespan acquired it earlier this month.