Rhode Island Culture

Whistling past the graveyard

Please, Rhode Islanders, start paying attention to the evidence.

By Justin Katz | October 26, 2022 |

If you’re thigh deep in the muck of Rhode Island politics, as I am, you may find something about the local society inexplicable.  The game is so locked up, in Rhode Island, that it isn’t clear whether anything can shake the stranglehold of insiders and special interests.  Consider two recent stories. On the National Education…

Schools Closed Tomorrow — Seriously?

By Patrick Laverty | September 10, 2012 |

Maybe this is more of a venting post but why in the world are the schools closed tomorrow? Simply because it’s an election day? Because some schools get used as polling places? I still don’t get it. The middle school I attended was used as a polling location, more specifically the cafeteria. Rather than canceling…

Things We Read Today This Weekend, 6

By Justin Katz | September 9, 2012 |

First, scroll down and read Monique’s postings on Rep. Spencer Dickinson. Then… The topics of hope and hopelessness pervaded this weekend’s readings, from absurd labor rules in schools, to the likely outcome of Make It Happen, to Spencer Dickinson’s insider view, and then to Sandra Fluke.

Hal Meyer: Revisiting My Former Home from the Outside

By Justin Katz | March 13, 2012 |

Post Falls, ID (Ocean State Current) – Following Jennifer Hushion's explanation of why her family is considering leaving Rhode Island, former Portsmouth resident Hal Meyer reflects on why he left and the change he has experienced. Not long ago, my wife and I moved out of Rhode Island. We relocated to North Idaho, also known…

About the Cranston Banner

By Marc Comtois | February 17, 2012 |

Regarding the Cranston banner, well, it’s pretty much all been said, so I won’t divert too much time into it. Suffice to say, it’s obvious that the decision to pursue an appeal was heavily affected by the current fiscal crisis in the City of Cranston. Would they have gone ahead if Cranston had more money?…

Connections: Cranston Prayer Banner->Teacher Pay->Failing Catholic Schools

By Marc Comtois | January 12, 2012 |

Back when TLC actually put on programs that reflected their actual name (The Learning Channel) instead of just reality crap, there once was a show called Connections, hosted by a balding English dude with glasses named James Burke. I loved that show. In it, Burke would link seemingly unrelated items through history. (Like getting from…

‘Gansett as the Sun Rises on Adulthood and Sets on Rhode Island

By Justin Katz | January 1, 2012 |

A little while back, an editor of a new online magazine, 7STOPS, sent me a link to an essay therein by Adrian Shirk, Providence-resident writer. The piece interweaves the history of Narragansett beer with the sense of rootlessness accompanying college graduation, these days, and the stasis of the state. While looking for an apartment, I…

The Birthplace of Dumb Apathy

By Justin Katz | August 2, 2011 |

With the pension crisis on hold until a special legislative session, apart from a typical Rhode Island study group (or special interest group, as the case more accurately is), with Central Falls entering bankruptcy, and with the fully-mobile-yet-somehow-disabled John Sauro emerging once again as a symbol (this time of the lack of consequences for a…

Coach Cooley: A Role Worth Modeling

By Marc Comtois | May 29, 2011 |

That Providence College basketball has turned to a native son to turnaround it’s troubled program is not new news, but Kevin McNamara’s piece in today’s ProJo about new PC basketball coach Ed Cooley is one worth reading. He had a tough family life but was lucky to know a family that helped him out. Above…

Bewildered Leaders and a Bewitched Population

By Justin Katz | April 13, 2011 |

Calling Lincoln Chafee our “bewildered governor” and joking about the national search no doubt conducted before Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio hired the 25-year-old son of his union pal for a $90k job, Ed Achorn puts his finger on the chilling reality: Until voters hold accountable these leaders — and the legislators who put them…