Providence

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. 

John Bender / RIPR

There are a few less parking spaces in downtown Providence today. The city is taking part in the worldwide phenomenon known as Parking Day.

Parking Day is an event meant to promote awareness of the importance of parks and greenspace in cities.

Artists and designers have taken over dozens of parking spaces in the city, and transformed them into tiny parks. Most feature seating and greenery. Some offer ping pong, reading nooks, and even an outdoor café.

Organizer and landscape architect Jenn Judge says parks build community in urban areas.

John Bender / RIPR

The Providence City Council approved a new zoning ordinance limiting student housing in the city. The council voted 11-3 to approve the ordinance.

Proponents say the ordinance will help alleviate the disruptive college partying, residents say is encroaching into quiet neighborhoods. They say landlords are buying up single family homes, and filling them with college kids.

Mark Turek / Trinity Rep

Theater season kicked off this week in Southern New England with a contemporary version of Shakespeare's “Julius Caesar” at Trinity Rep. Rhode Island Public Radio theater critic Bill Gale says there's hardly a better way to begin.

John Bender / RIPR

The American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island opposes a proposed Providence ordinance, that would limit the number of college students permitted to rent single-family homes. The city council votes on the issue Thursday.

In an open letter to the Providence City Council, the ACLU says the proposed ordinance is too broad in its definition of students. The ordinance, meant to tamp down on excessive partying, would affect undergraduate and graduate students; meaning for instance two married couples pursuing PhD’s could not rent a single family home in the city.

Trinity Rep

Trinity Repertory Company opens its 52nd season with William Shakespeare's Julius Caesar. The production is designed to have the feel of our modern political world, (hence the suits pictured above).

The show also offers a surprising twist in casting. The title role of Julius Caesar will be played by a woman, Trinity Rep veteran Anne Scurria. (Julius Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, will be played by a man -- with a name change to Calpurnius.)

John Bender / RIPR

   

The Providence City Council holds a final vote next week on an ordinance that could significantly affect student housing. In a city that’s home to half-a-dozen colleges, town-gown relations are an ongoing struggle. But some residents have reached a breaking point.

Torey Malatia
Elizabeth Manley

Rhode Island Public Radio announced Tuesday it has hired Torey Malatia, who led Chicago's public radio station, WBEZ, for nearly 20 years, as its new president, CEO, and general manager.

Judge Berman's decision arrives in time to salvage a disappointing sports season in New England, as, meanwhile, the future home of the PawSox hangs in the balance. Thanks for stopping by for my weekend column. As usual, feel free to share your tips and thoughts at idonnis (at) ripr (dot) org, and to follow me on the twitters. Here we go.

RIPR FILE

Brown University has adopted a new single policy on sexual assault. The policy was recommended by a task force last year.

That task force was formed after a student alleged that she was sexually assaulted at a Brown fraternity party, in 2014. The new policy streamlines the complaint process for people reporting alleged instances of sexual assault.

One notable change is the use of trained investigators when examining these claims. The investigators are expected to interview students, witnesses, and responders when preparing reports to resolve complaints.

Ian Donnis/File Photo / RIPR

The potential cost of buying Brown University-owned land for a PawSox stadium is raising questions about the feasibility of the project, a team spokeswoman said Thursday.

PawSox spokeswoman Patti Doyle said the team still hopes to reach a renegotiated agreement to build a 10,000-seat ballpark on part of the former I-195 land in Providence.

But Doyle acknowledged that the cost of buying the part of the land owned by Brown -- expected to top $10 million -- is leading to questions of "Is this still workable? Is this something we can come to terms with?"

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency made a stop in Rhode Island on Tuesday to discuss federal initiatives on climate change. The meetings included Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza and about 20 business leaders.

John Bender / RIPR

As negotiations continue for a new PawSox stadium in Providence, opponents will stage an unorthodox protest Monday. The group plans to gather at the vacant lot proposed for the stadium and turn it into a park.

A park is exactly what opponents say will be taken from the city if the stadium is built. The parcel on former highway land was initially set aside for a large public park. The group “No New Stadium” plans to give residents a taste of what they may be missing if the park never materializes.

John Bender / RIPR

A cantor chanted a Hebrew prayer of mourning, as the afternoon sun beat down on some one hundred people gathered for the dedication of the state’s Holocaust memorial. Local politicians and prominent members of the state’s Jewish community offered remarks on the project. Many highlighted the memorial’s significance in the light of more recent violence and genocide worldwide.

The newly unveiled memorial sits at the edge of Downtown Providence, near statuary dedicated to the two World Wars.

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