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Mayoral Candidate Jorge Elorza statement on Providence Public School’s busing policies

Following an article posted yesterday on Rhode Island’s Future, Candidate for Providence Mayor, Jorge Elorza released the following statement on the matter.

Jorge Elorza, Democratic candidate for Mayor of Providence, issued the following statement on Providence Public School Department’s busing policy.

jorge-elorza-002Our city’s public high school students are not eligible for bus passes unless they live more than three miles from school. Students that fall into the far end of that range could be walking for as long as 45 minutes to an hour just to make it to their first period classes.

As a community, we have to do everything in our power to make sure our students are in their classrooms and learning. Our students face too many challenges for us to be creating additional institutional barriers for them. Denying students who live between 2-3 miles away from school bus passes impacts learning, impacts health, and impacts safety, and our low-income communities are disproportionately affected.

When I was a child growing up on Cranston Street, my Mother acted as the school bus for many kids in the neighborhood. Although we were lucky to have her there to bring us to school, not every student is as lucky as we were.

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Storm recovery

2013-0210-atwells-snow

Atwells Avenue, midday Sunday, February 10, 2013.

Latest updates we have on storm recovery, please share any updates you have in the comments:

First, this from RIEMA, ugh!


With temperatures well below freezing tonight, snow and ice that melted today is refreezing on sidewalks and roadways, use extreme caution on roads and sidewalks overnight and during the morning commute.


City of Providence

Also, Providence Snow Hotline: 680-8080

Further updates from the City:

PROVIDENCE CONDUCTING CITYWIDE INVENTORY OF STREETS TO COMPLETE NEMO CLEANUP PROVIDENCE PUBLIC SCHOOLS CLOSED TOMORROW, MONDAY, FEBRUARY 11

PROVIDENCE, RI – Providence officials are conducting a block-by-block inventory of every street in the City to determine which secondary roads remain impassable and deploy resources as needed in the wake of Winter Storm Nemo.

More than 90 percent of Providence’s more than 1,800 roads have been plowed. Less than 200 secondary roads still have not been plowed or need further clearing. In many cases, these are dead ends and narrow side streets with a car that remained parked on the street after the parking ban went into effect.

Because of the great amount of snow, clearing side streets has required the deployment of the city’s full inventory of front loaders and other large equipment; plows have not been sufficient to clear narrow residential roads.

The City is also contracting with private vendors that have large equipment. Privately contracted front loaders available to Providence have been limited by the high demand for such equipment across the state.

PROVIDENCE SCHOOLS CANCELED TOMORROW

Providence Public Schools will remain closed tomorrow, Monday, February 11 to allow for continued Nemo cleanup. District offices will remain open and all 12-month employees should report for work.

POWER OUTAGES

National Grid reports that the number of households without power in Providence has been reduced to 200 from more than 9,000 yesterday.

PARKING BAN

A citywide parking ban remains in effect. Vehicles parked on the street will impede plows and emergency vehicles, delaying snow cleanup and posing a public safety risk. Vehicles in violation of the parking ban may be towed.

SNOW ON ROOFTOPS POSES SAFETY RISK

With freezing rain forecast for tomorrow, residents are asked to closely monitor snow accumulation on business and residential buildings. Heavy snow can add stress to structures. Flat, commercial roofs are most vulnerable to stress, but slanted structures may also be susceptible. Residents should take reasonable precautions to monitor their homes and businesses and safely remove snow from roofs as necessary.

TRASH COLLECTION DELAYED

There will be no trash or recycling pickup on Monday in the City of Providence due to Winter Storm Nemo. Residents whose usual garbage collection day is Monday will have their trash and recycling picked up on Tuesday. All trash and recycling pickups for the rest of the week will also be one day later.

If possible, residents are asked to leave trash and recycling bins at the end of their driveways for collection. Trash and recycling cans should not be left in roadways.

OTHER CLOSURES IN THE CITY

The Roger Williams Park Zoo, Museum of Natural History and Planetarium, Botanical Center and Bank of America Skating Center will be closed tomorrow.

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Providence 2013 State of the City Address


Mayor Angel Taveras

2013 State of the City Address

Providence Is Recovering

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 • (as prepared for delivery)

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor's Office.

Photo of the Mayor delivering the State of the City from the Mayor’s Office.

Governor, Mr. President, honorable members of the Providence City Council, distinguished guests, and my fellow residents of our great Capital City –

One year ago I stood before you in this Chamber with an urgent message for our City and the entire State of Rhode Island. Providence was in peril. Despite many difficult decisions and painful sacrifices made to pull Providence back from the brink, we were still $22 million short of closing a $110 million structural deficit.

Crucial steps necessary to navigate our City safely through our Category 5 fiscal hurricane had not yet come to pass. We still needed to reform our unsustainable pensions. And we needed Providence’s large, tax-exempt institutions to contribute more.

As I stood before you on February 13, 2012, Providence was running out of cash, and running out of time. In the months that followed, there were some who said Providence could not avoid filing for bankruptcy.

BACK FROM THE BRINK

Today it is my privilege to deliver a much more hopeful report on the State of our City: Providence is recovering.

Through collaborative efforts and shared sacrifice, we have all but eliminated our City’s $110 million structural deficit, and we expect to end this year with a balanced budget. Working together, we have accomplished what few believed possible.

We were determined to address the root causes of Providence’s fiscal emergency and prepared to act unilaterally if necessary. And we knew our City would never achieve a lasting recovery without addressing our unsustainable and spiraling pension costs.

In April, following months of actuarial analysis and public testimony, this City Council unanimously approved a pension reform ordinance that put Providence’s pension system on a sustainable path.

We recognized that passing the ordinance would likely lead to a high-stakes lawsuit with no real winners – because a decision in favor of the status quo would push our City over the brink. However, faced with the challenge of negotiating pension changes with more than 2,000 retirees who were not represented by a single entity, we saw no alternative.

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Mayor Taveras’ Budget Address

Update: Video of the Mayor’s budget address.


Press Release from Mayor Taveras’ office regarding tonight’s budget address (See below prepared text of the Mayor’s Address):

Mayor Taveras Delivers Fiscal Year 2012 Budget to City Council

Shared sacrifice is major theme of Mayor’s first budget submission

PROVIDENCE, RI – Mayor Angel Taveras today delivered his proposed 2012 budget to the Providence City Council. The budget reflects the many difficult decisions the City faces to address a ‘Category 5′ fiscal emergency and to restore financial stability to Rhode Island’s Capital City.

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Snowblogging: Fluff Factor Edition

Fred Campagna keeps Tweeting about the “Fluff Factor” in this storm, and it is certainly apparent out on the streets of Providence:


Definitely a “fluff factor” inland. Report of 5.8″ in N. Cumberland. Northern Rhode Islanders, how much new snow have you received?less than a minute ago via Facebook

January 21, 2011 Snow

There was also some second guessing going on last night about school closings, but I think I agree with closing schools today. I often lament the fact that we New Englanders seem to have lost our ability to function in our environment, and that is certainly apparent in the people yacking on cell phones and driving 50mph because they have 4-wheel drive, see ya in the ditch later fool! And the yahoos who can’t drive are part of the reason school should be canceled.

January 21, 2011 Snow

While today’s snow is certainly fluffy, it was indeed falling at a very fast clip as I was walking through it around 8am, and even the most conscientious shovelers could not keep pace with it. And even fluff becomes a compacted slippery mess as people walk on it.

January 21, 2011 Snow

Then there are all the sidewalks that were never cleared after the last storms. Put fluff over ice and you have hidden mine fields of danger to navigate. It was certainly prudent to keep the kids at home today.

January 21, 2011 Snow

January 21, 2011 Snow

January 21, 2011 Snow

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New Urban Arts wins national award

new_urban_arts_web

Update: We received the photo above of today’s award presentation. Pictured from Left to Right: Jason Yoon, Executive Director, New Urban Arts; Rosalia Velis, Studio Team Advisory Board Chair; and First Lady Michelle Obama. Photo by Steven E. Purcell

It’s official! New Urban Arts, an interdisciplinary arts studio and gallery for high school students and emerging artists in Providence, Rhode Island that empowers young artists to explore the visual, performing, and literary arts through yearlong free out-of-school programs, is being nationally recognized as one of 15 youth arts and humanities programs to receive the prestigious 2009 Coming Up Taller Award. Youth and adult representatives of the program have traveled to Washington, D.C. today for a White House ceremony, where they have accepted the award from First Lady Michelle Obama.

Coming Up Taller is a national initiative that recognizes and supports outstanding out-of-school and after-school arts and humanities programs for children, especially those with great potential, but limited outlets for creative expression. A project of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Institute of Museum and Library Services, Coming Up Taller Awards honor programs that offer exceptional learning experiences in the arts and the humanities and that have a tangible effect on the lives of young people as evidenced through improved academic scores, enhanced life skills, and positive relationships with peers and adults.

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Site tour: Providence Career and Technical Academy

Providence Career and Technical Academy

Wednesday I had the opportunity to tour the new Providence Career and Technical Academy on Cranston Street. Some info about the new school:

The PCTA is a brand-new, state-of-the-art career and technical education center. PCTA will be the region’s finest physical plant, designed to provide integrated academic and technical instruction in the areas of general construction, HVAC, electrical, plumbing and pipefitting, carpentry, culinary, cosmetology, automotive, and graphic communications. PCTA boasts the following amenities:

  • Wireless academic classrooms, technical laboratories, and related theory classrooms, all equipped with ceiling-mounted LCD projector, smartboards, and wireless voice amplification;
  • Three computer labs, including a graphic communications lab equipped with professional-grade hardware and software;
  • Comprehensive technical labs, all fully equipped with state-of-the-art equipment reflective of industry standards.

From its physical and conceptual roots, PCTA was designed to serve a broad educational clientele. The building includes co-located adult employment services and a health clinic. In addition, the physical layout has separate entrances and security features that allow for safe, simultaneous use by both adults and children.

Electrical lab with mock-ups of wood and metal-frame rooms for students to work in. Each lab has a leaning suite adjacent to it.

Providence Career and Technical Academy

Printing presses in the design studio. Design and print services will be available to the general public.

Providence Career and Technical Academy

Media center. Shelves will contain periodicals, students will be able to check out laptops to use in the Media Center. The school does not have a traditional library.

Providence Career and Technical Academy

Science Lab.

Providence Career and Technical Academy

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