Providence City Hall

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Banning smoking downtown would be an attack on the homeless and a waste of time for city police, who ought to be dealing with real crime, said Elorza.

In his veto message, Elorza said, while this “`ordinance is ostensibly about smoking, its true target is the homeless community. Homelessness is a serious problem in Providence, just as it is in cities across the country. As you are aware, the causes of homelessness are multi-faceted and include substance abuse, mental illness and, of course, economic challenges.”’

Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has called for indicted city council president Luis Aponte to step down as the council’s leader, but two council leaders, President  Pro Tempore Sabina Matos and Majority Leader Bryan Principe, ducked the issue in statements today.

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The new Ward 3 candidate is Republican David Lallier Jr. 

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The Providence City Council has been ensnared in controversy of late. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay wonders why the council is so ineffective.

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A grass-roots campaign has pushed Providence City Councilor Kevin Jackson from office in an overwhelming, unprecedented recall victory on the capital city’s East Side, marking the first time any city political figure has been ousted from office through a recall effort.

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A high-level aide to Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza has resigned after less than a year on the job.

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Rhode Island House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello wants to get rid of the car tax. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says this is a good idea, if lawmakers can find the money to pay for it.

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If you watch too much television news or listen to too many politicians, you may have the impression that crime is on the rise. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay on why perceptions have not caught up with the drop in crime.

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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.

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Paul Campbell, Providence’s veteran city archivist, has been fired just days after being suspended with pay.

On Wednesday Campbell confirmed reports that he has been terminated. He said in an interview that he was given a two-sentence letter by the city clerk that said he would not be reappointed when his term expires in January.

There is disagreement on Campbell’s union status. Campbell said he is a member of Local 1033 of the Laborers International Union of North America and that the union has agreed to file a grievance on his behalf.

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.

R.I.P. Chris Nocera

Jul 17, 2015

Christopher Nocera, a longtime Providence political operative, Elmhurst neighborhood activist and City Hall fixture, died suddenly last night. He was 60.

A burly man with an infectious sense of humor, Nocera was instrumental in Patrick Kennedy’s 1988 campaign for state representative in Elmhurst and Mount Pleasant that launched the career of  Kennedy, Ted Kennedy’s son, who later became a Congressman. Nocera put together a fine ground voter turn-out effort that propelled Kennedy to victory over then Rep. Jack Skeffington, a Mount Pleasant funeral director.

Providence’s rich baseball history is on display at City Hall in a new exhibit to be formally unveiled tomorrow (May 7) at City Hall.

The exhibit, which features memorabilia, baseball cards and photographs of the city’s long and florid baseball history, is located on the third floor of City Hall.

A reception introducing the exhibit will be held at 6  p.m. tomorrow on the third floor at City Hall. It will be hosted by City Council President Luis Aponte, a Ward 10 Democrat, and City Archivist Paul Campbell, a noted Rhode Island historian.

Former Providence Mayor Angel Taveras has landed at the international law firm of Greenberg Trauig, LLC, where he works out of the Boston office.

Taveras says he enjoys his new job with the large firm. The Boston office is located at One International Place in Boston.

The firm’s web site states that Taveras has a practice focused on municipal restructuring (a field he had lots of experience in during four years as mayor of Rhode Island’s capital); public finance; commercial litigation; pension litigation and public infrastructure.

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Larry Eichler, who has been the acting executive director of the Providence Talks education program, has left City Hall. Eichler confirmed his resignation today in a brief interview, saying he is leaving to ``explore other opportunities.’’

Providence Talks is the celebrated program, funded by a $5 million grant from a philanthropy financed by the media magnate and former New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, that is trying to help disadvantaged children expand their vocabularies.

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