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This is our Senate leadership

Watch Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed’s statement:

Ciccone steps down from leadership role: wpri.com

Pathetic.

No word from the Senate President on Senator Ruggerio who was the one who actually plead to refusing a breathalizer.

There’s also this from the Journal:

Senate Majority Leader Dominick Ruggerio on Wednesday called Sen. Frank Ciccone’s decision to resign from two of his committee posts “courageous.”

“Obviously he is thinking about the Senate as an institution,” Ruggerio said after the regular Senate session ended. “I wish him the best and he is my friend and I am sure things will work out.”

Yes, courageous that Ciccone, who along with Ruggerio, works for Laborers International Union of North America, will remain the Vice-Chair of the Senate Labor Committee. What does organized labor in Rhode Island think of all this, threatening police officers pensions?

You know what would have been courageous? Putting your drunk friend in a cab.

Ruggerio also stated that he would stay in his post as Senate Majority Leader (the number 2 spot in that chamber) and remain on all his committees. People, Ruggerio was the drunk driver, Ruggerio was the one who could have killed someone.

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News & Notes

The Hill: Obama urges House GOP to ‘follow the Senate’s lead’ on $109B highway bill

The White House on Monday continued to pressure the House to accept the $109 billion transportation bill that was passed last week by the Senate, saying that President Obama was ready to sign the measure into law.

The administration has long signaled it supported the Senate’s version of the federal highway bill over the five-year, $260 billion that had been under consideration in the House. The pressure has been amplified since the Senate approved its version of the measure with 74 votes.


Next American City: Can the Arts Save Struggling Cities?

Advocates of creative placemaking are careful not to present their work as a panacea. But they firmly believe that art has a central role in reviving urban economies and communities. As examples, Coletta offers the Design District in Miami; the ArtPrize festival in Grand Rapids, Mich.; WaterFire, which lights up the rivers in downtown Providence, R.I., with dozens of bonfires; and the Studio Museum in Harlem, which is credited with helping to fuel the resurgence there.


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News & Notes

"I'm not in love with any of them"

Photo (cc) M4D1

Pedestrian Observations: Surreptitious Underfunding

One third of the MBTA’s outstanding debt, about $1.7 billion, comes from transit projects built by the state as part of a court-imposed mitigation for extra Big Dig traffic; interest on this debt is about two-thirds the agency’s total present deficit. Metra was prepared to pay for a project to rebuild rail bridges that would increase clearance below for trucks and cut the right-of-way’s width from three to two tracks. Rhode Island is spending $336 million on extending the Providence Line to Wickford Junction, with most of the money going toward building parking garages at the two new stations; Wickford Junction, in a county whose number of Boston-bound commuters is 170, is getting 1,200 parking spaces.


Salon On the waterfront, the battle rages on

In October, when an Australian metal-recycling company purchased two deep-water berths in Providence, R.I., Mayor Angel Taveras hailed it as “a major accomplishment in the city’s efforts to revitalize its waterfront industries.”

Five months later, locals are unhappy about the “eyesore” their new neighbor has created: a 50,000-ton hill of steel. “Where did the scrap metal pile come from?” asked a Providence TV station.

It’s the epilogue to a battle that’s been raging in Providence for several years – on one side, a developer who wanted to turn the shoreline into apartments, offices and hotels. On the other, the maritime industries that have been working there since the turn of last century. In the end, industry won, but the complaints that followed – who put this big, ugly heap of metal on our lovely industrial port? – say something about our attitude toward working waterfronts.


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U.S. Senate passes 2-year – $109 billion transportation bill

cpan senate highway bill

CSPAN screen capture via DC.Streetsblog

Yesterday, the United States Senate passed a two-year, $109 billion transportation bill on a bi-partisan vote of 74 to 22. The bill is set to move to the House of Representatives where House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has been unable to muster support for a 5-year bill that everyone from transportation activists, to Republican Representatives in urban districts, and Sec. of Transportation Ray LaHood panned as a giant step backwards in transportation planning and funding.

While the House bill was widely panned, the Senate bill passed yesterday is finding broad support:

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News & Notes

Berlin Dynamic from Matthias Makarinus on Vimeo.

Vimeo: Berlin Dynamic

Dynamic Berlin – Timelapse project with over 50.000 photos and thousands of people. Dynamic light, clouds, street life, movement and much more. Shot from May 2010 – September 2011 with Canon 5D Mark II and many lenses.

Via: The City Fix


The Hill: Boxer sees ‘no path forward’ on $109B Senate transportation bill

The Senate transportation bill, which is shorter than the controversial House version of the measure, has been hailed for its bipartisanship since was approved unanimously by several committees. The Senate bill does not include provisions to expand oil drilling, but it has been bogged down amendments such as a measure from Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) dealing with foreign aid to Egypt and an effort to contraception in their healthcare plans.

Boxer said Wednesday that she would not allow the transportation bill to be permanently stopped during the amendment process.


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News & Notes

United Nations

Is Smart Growth a United Nations plot to subvert local control and create a world government? Photo (cc) Ashitakka.

News & Notes Agenda 21 and other wacky theories [New Urban Network]

Anti-smart growth ideologues have never shied away from half-truths and dubious arguments, but recent references to Agenda 21, Portland, Detroit, and Denver are unusually strange.

This article co-authored by Wendell Cox and Ronald Utt focuses on the United Nation’s Agenda 21, adopted in 1992, and its supposed connection to the smart growth movement. I guess the point is that if the UN issues a proclamation – in this case in favor of sustainable development – then any related activity must be part of some kind of world-government plot. The UN is also in favor of economic growth, peace, diplomatic relations, and education, and for programs that fight hunger, disease, and tooth decay.

See also: How the Tea Party Is Upending Urban Planning [The Atlantic Cities]


Lawmaker’s high-speed rail plan: Will it fly? [CNN]

How fast can high-speed trains come to the Northeast corridor? Not fast enough for Republican Rep. John Mica of Florida.

The chairman of the House Transportation Committee recently came out with a proposal to create a high-speed rail line – trains that can travel more than 200 mph – between Boston and D.C. in 10 to 15 years. Can it be done in half the time Amtrak said it would take?


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Route 195 land reuse bill moving swiftly, too swiftly?

News on legislation at the State House to decide how the Route 195 land freed up by the relocation of the highway has been moving swiftly today. So swiftly it is hard to keep up. Forgive me as I drop some links instead of write my own post about it.

First, this morning ProJo published, State, city at odds over Route 195 land panel.

The governor would appoint four members and the Providence mayor, three, according to legislation introduced Thursday by Senate Majority Leader Dominick J. Ruggerio, D-Providence, at a hearing of the Senate Committee on Housing and Municipal Government.

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