Branding New England

In Government by Jef Nickerson1 Comment

Scott Kirsner at his Innovation Economy blog asks us to do a test. Here’s a quick city-association game for you. When I say Hollywood, what industry comes to mind? If I say Silicon Valley, could you name a couple companies based there? Nashville conjures up country music chords, and Seattle connotes e-commerce, coffee roasting, and monopolistic makers of operating systems. …

Rachel Maddow thinks Infrastructure is sexy…

In Government by Jef Nickerson3 Comments

…and so do I. Visit for Breaking News, World News, and News about the Economy Update 12/29/2008: More infrastructure problems? Video from WTOC-TV Savannah. Georgia Power still has not determined the cause of this explosion, but there was a similar manhole explosion in downtown Savannah back in August.

City technology rant: Reporting unsholved sidewalks edition

In Government, Technology by Jef Nickerson2 Comments

OK, see that post down there I just made ranting about sidewalks? See the bit at the end where I said: We can continue to report these issues to the Office of Neighborhood Services or our City Councilors I suppose. But doesn’t it really seem that in a modern functioning city, these things should just be taken care of? So …

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City Plan Commission Meeting – December 16, 2008

In Government by Greater City ProvidenceLeave a Comment

December 16, 2008 • 4:45pm Department of Planning and Development • 4th Floor Conference Room 400 Westminster Street, Providence, Rhode Island 02903 Opening Session Call to Order at 4:45pm Roll Call Approval of Regular Meeting Minutes of November 18, 2008 Director’s Report Land Development Project 1. Moses Brown School (Case No. 98-039MA) – Request for Approval of Minor Change to …

Mr. Cicilline Goes to Washington

In Government by Jef Nickerson3 Comments

The ProJo reports that Mayor Cicilline in his capacity within the U.S. Conference of Mayors headed down to D.C. yesterday to meet with a bunch of big wigs. Cicilline and mayors from Stamford, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, and Dallas met with President-Elect Obama, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and others to discuss direct economic stimulus …

A Silver Lining? Towns Consider Service Consolidation

In Government by Bret Ancowitz6 Comments

Many people have been saying for years (decades?) that Rhode Island, for its size and population, is outrageously (and inefficiently) over-serviced… Too many towns, too many school systems, too many police departments, etc. etc… Several state leaders have given unsuccessful lip service to the idea of serious service consolidation in the state, but it appears that our ongoing economic catastrophe …

Zoning Board Smacks Down Paved Yard

In Government by Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

David Kolsky, organizer of the Wayland Square neighborhood group, emailed members the happy news of the Zoning Board defeating one of the more brazen attempts by a property owner to pave over their front yard for parking. This apartment property, at 153-155 Medway Street, actually borders the Wayland Sqaure community parking lot where the building’s residents already park for a …


In Government by Jef NickersonLeave a Comment

Image from stock.xchng Yes, yes, we don’t live in Ohio so what does it matter? And if like me, you live on Federal Hill, then both your State Senate and State Representative seats are uncontested. But you still need to vote! It is your duty and it is fun, no honestly connecting the two lines with that marker… fun stuff! …

Testing the QAlert System Part III

In Government by Jef NickersonLeave a Comment

Ok, remember the city’s QAlert System which I decided to put to the test (link, link)? I had submitted that the bricks were loose in the crosswalk at Benefit and Waterman. I got a response that the complaint was submitted. Well over the last few weeks, not only have the offending bricks been removed… …but so have all the bricks …

Testing the QAlert System Part II

In Government by Jef Nickerson3 Comments

On Monday I posted about the city’s new QAlert system for reporting issues to the city and tested it. I sent in a request to repair a brick crosswalk at the intersection of Benefit and Waterman. I received an automated reply today. Activity was posted on a service request (ID: 1304) that you filed. The service request and activity details …

Elmhurst Charrette

In Government by Matthew CoolidgeLeave a Comment

I received a postcard in the mail last week reminding me that the Providence Tomorrow Neighborhood Charrette for Elmhurst and Mt. Pleasant, my neighborhood, was this week. That’s right, February 25-27 at Triggs Memorial Golf Course. If you were wondering, here’s what you missed today: Neighborhood Character 9-11am Commercial Corridors 11:30am-1:30pm Infrastructure 2-4pm Livable Neighborhoods 6-9pm I arrived around 7:30 …

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DRC Meeting – January 14, 2008

In Government by Greater City Providence1 Comment

Downcity Design Review Committee NOTICE OF PUBLIC MEETING MONDAY, JANUARY 14, 2008, 4:45 PM Department of Planning and Development, 4th Floor Conference Room 400 Westminster Street, Providence, RI 02903 AGENDA Call to Order Roll Call Approval of December 10, 2007 Meeting Minutes New Business 1) DRC Application No. 07.11: 87 Weybosset Street – parking lot Conceptual review of the proposal …

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Providence Tomorrow: Washington Park & South Elmwood Neighborhood Charrettes

In Government by Jef NickersonLeave a Comment

The Providence Planning Department has announced the first in a series of neighborhood charrettes that will be taking place around the city as part of the Providence Tomorrow planning process. The charrettes will be taking place at the Washington Park Community Center, 42 Jillson Street on the follow dates and times. March 22 through March 28, 2007 Kickoff/Open House Thursday, …

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Interim Comprehensive Plan Draft Released

In Government by Jef NickersonLeave a Comment

The latest step in the Providence Tomorrow process is the release of the Interim Comprehensive Plan. The plan is online with an interactive system for public comment. Public comment is open until March 30th at which point the planning department will be review the comments and preparing them for presentation to the City Plan Commission. For those without computer access, …

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In Government by Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

As one Greater City Providence member pointed out to me, my initial posts about Providence Tomorrow had something of a negative tone, and he wished to reassure me that things are actually looking quite hopeful. And you know what? He’s right! My skepticism is almost exclusively directed at some of the the anti-growth, anti-development, and anti-people (yes, anti-people, more on …

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First impressions; ‘Providence Tomorrow’ Tuesday sessions

In Government by Bret AncowitzLeave a Comment

Wow. Huh. Hum… Those are the first words that pop into my head after participating in the first day of Providence Tomorrow planning charrettes. Not since medical school have I ever participated in an activity that left me so exhilarated, angry, hopeful, and depressed, all in one sitting. I’ll start “Part I” by reviewing my general impressions of the process. …