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ProJo: R.I. Gov. Chafee proposes moving state offices into landmark ‘Superman building’ in Providence

Governor Chafee, as part of a package of budget amendments submitted to the legislature Thursday, proposes using part of this year’s revenue windfall to fund the initial planning and engineering to evaluate moving state offices into the building at 111 Westminster St.

See also: Bank of America to leave the “Superman” Building, now what?

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Boston.com: Innovation fellows to get $300K for RI projects

Allan Tear, co-founder of Betaspring, an incubator program that helps high-tech entrepreneurs turn their ideas into companies, aims to create a “start-up revolution” in areas including art and design and food and beverage that he says are founts of largely untapped economic potential.

Soren Ryherd, whose Providence company Working Planet helps businesses maximize profit through online marketing, plans to launch dozens of retail stores online — with the goal of eventually moving some into empty storefronts to help revitalize Main Streets and neighborhoods.

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The Providence Phoenix: At Kennedy Plaza, plans for rebirth

Officials have moved, with some success, to cut down on crime in recent years. And they have taken a few steps toward revitalization: a farmer’s market, a beer garden in the summer, repairs to the fountain in Burnside Park. But Kennedy Plaza is far from the civic hub the city’s boosters envision.

And so it was with some anticipation that a handful of the city’s doers gathered in a small conference room at the city’s Art, Culture + Tourism department on Westminster Street this week to watch a collection of Rhode Island School of Design students roll out their ideas for rebirth.

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RI Future: Taveras Beheads Flanders; Chafee Should Give Him Haircut

Bob Flanders seemed to take a perverse pleasure in threatening other people’s livelihoods. But yesterday he was the one who got beheaded rather than getting a haircut when Providence Mayor Angel Taveras severed the city’s relationship with the Central Falls receiver-turned-municipal bankruptcy zealot.

Taveras fired Flanders yesterday because the retired Supreme Court justice, who was acting as an legal adviser to the Capital City in its quest to avoid going belly up, said he thought bankruptcy was inevitable.

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Boston.com: MBTA unveils 23 percent fare hike; limited service cuts also proposed

MBTA riders would pay an average of 23 percent more and most service cuts would be spared under a budget-balancing plan that will be announced this morning by the T, the state’s top transportation official said in an interview.

The changes, to take effect July 1, are significantly less severe than the two proposals unveiled by the T in January and widely criticized at hearings throughout Greater Boston in recent months. Those proposals would have relied entirely on fare increases and service cuts to make up the $160 million deficit the MBTA faces for the upcoming budget year.

No word yet on what will happen to Commuter Rail service.


See also: MBTA.com: Fare and Service Changes: MBTA Staff Recommendation

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PBN: Providence Chapter 9 “unavoidable”

Providence, Rhode Island’s capital and biggest city, probably will seek bankruptcy court protection to deal with a budget deficit, Robert Flanders, the state-appointed receiver for nearby Central Falls, said Tuesday.

“I don’t see how they can get out of it without going there,” said Flanders, a former state Supreme Court justice and a partner at Hinckley, Allen & Snyder LLP. He put Central Falls into bankruptcy in August and has used the city’s legal status to tear up contracts with city workers and cut pension benefits.

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ecoRI News: New Launch Date for Single-Stream Recycling

The goal of single-stream recycling is to dramatically increase the volume of recycable items collected, thereby extending the life of the state landfill. The new sorting machines can bundle a variety of plastics, such as coffee cups and yogurt containers. Selling bales of these plastics to recycling processors is expected to bring in additional revenue to the RIRRC and participating cities and towns.

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PBN: I-195 commission focuses on the details

Faced with the seemingly daunting task of maximizing land use in the heart of Providence for the next generation, the I-195 Redevelopment District Commission finds itself immersed in details concerning every inch of the 40-plus acres of the old highway’s footprint.

The process could take years, according to John Kelly, vice chairperson of the commission. Kelly spoke before the Rhode Island Chapter of the U.S. Green Building Council at the New England Institute of Technology on Wednesday, March 21.

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Media Matters: STUDY: Media Missing The Mark On Gas Prices

A Media Matters analysis of print and television coverage of rising gasoline prices between January 1 and February 29 finds that news outlets often provided a shallow and shortsighted treatment of the issue. For instance, several outlets largely overlooked fuel economy standards – a key policy solution that mitigates U.S. vulnerability to price spikes – while promoting increased U.S. drilling and the Keystone XL pipeline, which would likely move gas prices by only a few cents, if at all. In addition, cable news outlets primarily hosted political figures rather than energy experts or economists to comment on gas prices. Fox News, which covered gas prices far more frequently than any other outlet, regularly blamed President Obama for the recent price increase, a claim in line with Republican strategy but not with the facts.

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Boston.com: New Balance details Brighton plans

Athletic shoe giant New Balance released detailed plans Wednesday for a new Brighton world headquarters that will include at least four new buildings with offices, restaurants, a hotel, and a sprawling sports complex that may offer everything from ice hockey to tennis.

The company filed a detailed proposal with Boston city officials, kicking off a months long process to review the 14-acre development project off Guest Street. The tallest buildings would be between 16 and 20 stories in height.

It would be nice if Providence had a company that wanted to expand itself say onto the 195 land…

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PBN: JWU plans new business, tech school buildings

Johnson & Wales

A new business-school building is at the heart of Johnson & Wales University’s latest downtown-campus expansion plans, which also include a new technology-school building, dorms and offices.

The planned business school, one of up to eight new structures in a revised master plan that also includes major renovations on the campus, would be located at the corner of Chestnut Street and Friendship on land that used to include a piece of the former Interstate 195.

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RINPR: Chafee unveils plan for state’s distressed communities; legislative outlook uncertain

Flanked by mayors and town managers from around the state, Governor Lincoln Chafee unveiled a plan this afternoon for helping Rhode Island’s most fiscally troubled communities. He held up a copy of the Providence Journal - featuring headlines about Woonsocket’s cash crunch and Providence’s bond downgrade - to underscore the gravity of the situation.


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WPRI: 195 land commission needs more money

The Route 195 Redevelopment District Commission created by the General Assembly last year was given $250 million for economic development planning. Now the seven-member commission of volunteers says it needs more money to hire an executive director to help execute the group’s five months of planning.

Seems the Commission actually borrowed $250k from the EDC, not was given $250 million by the state.

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Bad bridges costing RIPTA

ProJo reports on how deficient bridges are hurting RIPTA’s bottom line.

The agency recently adopted a plan to reduce service and raise fares to close an expected budget gap. The service cuts will save a projected $650,000 and the fare increase will generate a projected $975,000.

Meanwhile the authority has spend approximately $1,000,000 due to bridges that they cannot cross. Costs come from using extra diesel on detouors, paying drivers for longer shifts, and in one case, purchasing a smaller bus.

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