Once again it is time – if you haven’t already - to get your tickets to the Providence Newspaper’s Guild’s annual Follies show at the Venus de Milo in Swansea, Mass. As always the show, a spoof of all things Rhode Island, but especially our state’s entertaining political culture, is slated for the last Friday evening in February, which this year falls on Feb. 27th.
Veteran Rhode Island political reporter Jim Baron was remembered this afternoon as a journalist of great integrity, ability, dedication and humor at a celebration of his life at the Bellows Funeral Chapel in Lincoln, R.I.
Baron, who died January 5 at age 57 after a protracted illness, was a reporter for the Pawtucket Times and Woonsocket Call whose career spanned more than three decades, most of it spent covering Rhode Island politics and the General Assembly.
Gov.-elect Gina Raimondo is meeting with Rhode Island business leaders as she shapes her new administration. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay hopes the business hierarchy steps up to help her.
Raimondo is taking over a state government that is much better off than the one Gov. Lincoln Chafee inherited from Don Carcieri four years ago. Unemployment was 11.4 percent; now it’s at 7.4 percent. The state budget deficit is much lower and cities and towns are not hovering over bankruptcy. Even Central Falls is out of receivership.
The incoming administrations are assembling their staffs (read on), as time ticks down for the Class of 2010. Thanks for stopping by for my weekly column. As always, feel free to share your thoughts and tips via idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.
A great fun time was had by all last night at the Fund for Community Progress event honoring longtime Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr. The time was held at the Pearl Restaurant on Charles Street in Providence.
Several hundred retired and still-working journalists jammed a function room at Pearl for an evening of humor and tributes to Kerr, who was fired by the ProJo in the latest round of job cuts by the newspaper’s new owners, an arm of the Gatehouse media empire.
The Fund for Community Progress is hosting a `Toast’ to former Providence Journal columnist Bob Kerr for his 43 years of outstanding journalism and service to the southeastern New England community.
The event is scheduled for Oct. 24 at the Pearl Restaurant and Lounge at 393 Charles Street in Providence. The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and has a suggested donation of $25 to the Fund for Community Progress.
This week The Providence Journal laid off at least 22 employees as it switched hands from AH Belo Corporation to New Media Investment Group. One of the newsroom staffers let go was columnist Bob Kerr who had worked at the paper for 43 years, spending almost half of that time writing a column that ran three times a week.
Kerr was escorted out the door on Tuesday and wasn’t able to write a final column. So we extended an invitation for him to say good-bye to the Rhode Islanders who read his column week after week, year after year.
Instead of letting him retire gracefully, the new owners fired the newspaper’s heart and soul in a particularly callous manner - in a personnel meeting that Kerr described as ``pretty cold and abrupt.’’
With two weeks until election day, Democrats Clay Pell, Angel Taveras and Gina Raimondo stuck to familiar campaign themes and solidifying support in a spirited televised debate this evening that was long on rhetorical flourishes but short on major policy differences.