Providence

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Colin Kane, chairman of the I-195 Redevelopment Commission, joins the Roundtable this week to talk about what's next for the land made available by the relocation of I-195, debate over the future of the state Economic Development Corporation, and other topics.

WaterFire Recieves National Arts Grant

Apr 30, 2013
Heather Katsoulis / FLICKR

WaterFire Providence, the organization which runs the public art installation, has received a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

The grant will fund a wide variety of new art projects along the WaterFire route, said managing director Peter Mello.

Natalie Jablonski/RIPR

A plan to fill Kennedy Plaza in Providence with a mix of pedestrian-friendly activities will be announced Thursday evening.

    

The effort to populate Kennedy Plaza with more people is being led by the Downtown Providence Parks Conservancy. The group’s head, Cliff Wood, said it will take time and a mix of millions of dollars in public and private money to reach the goal. The vision is to fill Kennedy Plaza with a variety of uses, like transit, shopping, socializing, concerts, a beer garden and children’s programs.

Urban Farm Supply Store Draws Debate

Apr 15, 2013
Elisabeth Harrison/RIPR

A new farm and garden supply store on the West Side of Providence has become a source of neighborhood controversy.  Residents rallied Sunday in support of the business called Cluck!.

About a hundred people sipped coffee and munched on scones at the Sunday morning rally.  They were there to support a new store that aims to supply small growers and chicken farmers in the city.  Community member Alice Danahy says the storefront, which used to be an abandoned gas station, was an eyesore.

Redevelopment of Land in Providence Underway

Apr 8, 2013
John Bender / RIPR

Groundbreaking was held outside downtown Providence for the newest phase of the I-195 relocation project.

The redevelopment will repair streets, create public spaces, and prepare land for commercial use on the 35 acre parcel west of the Providence River.

Rhode Island Department of Transportation Deputy Director Phillip Kydd says the program helps to free up crucial land for development in Providence.

Food Tourism Conference to Come to Providence

Apr 1, 2013

The nation’s first Food Tourism Conference is coming to Providence thanks to a successful Kickstarter campaign which reached its goal of $12,000 over the past weekend.

Seth Resler is a foodie, and he believes there are many others out there like him. 

That’s the idea behind the first Taste Trekkers Food Tourism Conference. 

Resler, who has produced a number of food-related events, believes that there is a large number of people who base a major part of their vacation planning on where and what they will eat.

Murders Up, Overall Crime Down in Providence

Mar 28, 2013
Flo Jonic / RIPR

Providence Police say crime in the city fell four percent last year.  The news comes as detectives investigate the capital city’s first murder of the year. Twenty-year-old Wesley Smith was gunned down Wednesday night on Dudley Street in south Providence.

Both burglaries and robberies fell by double digits, continuing a 20-year trend.

There were five more murders last year than there were in 2011. But Providence Public Safety Commissioner Steven Pare says even the higher number is consistent with the city’s 20 year average of 20 murders per year.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras unveiled a 20-point economic plan Wednesday morning during a meeting of the Providence Foundation. The mayor's repeated rhetorical emphasis -- how Providence has bounced back from the financial abyss thanks to collaboration and shared sacrifice -- sounded like one message he'll wield next year during an expected Democratic run for governor.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

A group of mayors from around Rhode Island called Monday for the state Senate to legalize same-sex marriage. It remains unclear when the Senate will take up two competing same-sex marriage bills.

The advocacy group Rhode Islanders United for Marriage says the mayors of six communities support same-sex marriage: Providence, Warwick, Pawtucket, North Providence, Central Falls and Cumberland. Providence Mayor Angel Taveras calls same-sex marriage a matter of equality and something that will give Rhode Island an economic boost.

Providence Given Thumbs Down for Housing Investors

Mar 21, 2013

Providence has been named one of the most dangerous markets for real estate investors.  HomeVestors of America along with Local Market Monitor has ranked 38 markets as "dangerous"  for those looking to buy homes as rental properties.  Providence ranks number-26 and is the largest city on the list.

HomeVestors President Ingo Winzer says cities with a “dangerous” rating have a combination of high unemployment or weak job growth as well as falling, or weak, home prices.  

The Rhode Island School of Design has received a private donation of $1M to fund international relationships.  RIPR’s John Bender has more.

A $1M donation coming from Bangalore, India to RISD is the largest international gift the school has ever received. The money will be used to fund a visiting faculty position, specifically, artists and scholars connected to India.

RISD has had study abroad programs to India, and Provost Rosanne Somerson is excited to now bring scholars from India to RISD

Boston Phoenix Newspaper Closes

Mar 15, 2013
Photo courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album
courtesy Boston Phoenix Facebook Photo Album

It’s the end of an era for a popular Boston weekly newspaper. The Boston Phoenix will publish its last edition March 15th. The last online edition will come a week later.  The company’s newspapers in Providence and Portland, Maine will continue publishing.

The March issue of Travel + Leisure named Providence the second best city in America for pizza, just behind Chicago. Providence has its own specialty pie: the grilled pizza.

File / RIPR

Providence Mayor Angel Taveras says it’s a dream that the city won a $5 million prize to help low-income children boost language skills. The prize money came from a philanthropic organization set up by New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

Providence won with a program that will equip low-income children with devices that record conversations and count the words they are exposed to. The children’s parents will then be coached on ways to expose kids to more words. The goal is to close what’s known as “the word gap,” between low-income and more affluent four-year-olds.

RIRP file

Providence has won $5 million from the Bloomberg Philanthropies to count the number of words low-income children hear in a typical day. The project aims to address what many experts say is at the heart of the achievement gap: the fact that some children arrive in school with far richer vocabularies than others.

For the contest, Bloomberg asked cities to submit plans that would drive innovation in urban areas. Providence proposed giving children tracking devices to record the words they hear, and giving their parents advice on how to improve the children’s vocabularies.

Pages