Steve Pare

Unless you were living in the abandoned East Side tunnel during the Providence mayoral campaign, you listened to round after round of desultory electioneering rhetoric about high crime in the city.

One of the delicious ironies of the mayoral tilt was Buddy Cianci, who knows his way around a prison cell, fueling fears about crime on the campaign circuit and in Tee Vee spots, going after Jorge Elorza for a teen-aged shoplifting incident.

Ian Donnis / RIPR

Jorge Elorza this afternoon will be inaugurated Providence’s mayor. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay parses the challenges the new mayor faces.

After impressive primary and general election  victories, law professor Elorza takes over the spacious second-floor office in the capital city’s Beaux-Arts City Hall. Since his election he has wisely reached out to the city’s warring political and ethnic tribes as he prepares to govern a 21st Century ancient New England port that had its beginnings in the 17th Century.

RIPR FILE

Street crime is once again a political topic in Providence. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says it’s time for nightclub owners to better control their rowdy customers.

Federal Hill is more restaurant theme park than Little Italy these days. While the Providence neighborhood is dear to older generations of Italian-Americans, it is no longer the fulcrum of such revered up-from-poverty Rhode Islanders as former Sen. John Pastore, who grew up there.