The previous owners of the Urinal knew this and worked off its premise years ago when they set up local bureaus in more than a dozen communities statewide. But then the financial axe fell, the community offices were shuttered, and reporters were reeled back into the Fountain Street fortress. (When P&J informed former Providence mayor Buddy “Vincent A.” Cianci of this turnabout upon his return from his New Jersey vacation at the government’s pleasure, and told him people now contacted the “South County bureau” by calling someone at Fountain Street, he quipped, “Why don’t they just say they have a Paris office, too?”)

Good luck and Godspeed to Messrs. Chace, Fain, Howell, and Hayes in their quest to bring The Other Paper’s ownership back where it belongs. If you ever need a glowing recommendation and endorsement, P&J would be happy to provide one. We are sure its impact would be invaluable.

Don’t get around much anymore

Kudos to The Other Paper’s “PolitiFact” column for exposing a recent claim by House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello as an outright hummer.

In the midst of the ongoing debate over tolls on Little Rhody’s bridges, Speaker Mattiello, who represents Cranston (and quite obviously leaves it only to go to Halitosis Hall), twice referred to the Pell Newport Bridge as a “tourism bridge,” as opposed to one with predominantly commuter and local traffic.

Say what?

That distinction certainly comes as news to the thousands of drivers who are kicking out a toll in both directions as they get to work and back or simply do business on opposite sides of the East and West Passages of Narragansett Bay on a regular basis. One only need to look at the massive flow of cars on weekday mornings heading toward Aquidneck Island, and an equal amount coming back after 4:30 pm to realize that these folks aren’t all coming and going from tours of the Bellevue Avenue mansions. But of course this knowledge would require leaving the Cranston-Prov metro area.

PolitiFact politely pointed out that, using numbers the RI Bridge and Turnpike employs for its own traffic flow records, annually only about 20 percent of the cars are tourists. This also doesn’t take into account the number of folks paying full freight for the bridge who aren’t en route to Newport, but headed for the Cape — a fact that renders Mattiello’s argument even weaker.

One would hope for a more statewide vision and knowledge from a Speaker of the House, rather than a gross generalization equivalent to, say, a Newporter arguing all Cranstonians are Italian.

Bob Time

A celebration of Bob Dylan’s music has become an annual tradition at Patrick’s Pub on Smith Street in Providence. Timed around the troubadour’s birthday, May 24, the evening usually features rare videos of Bob, a quiz, and live music from bands that got together just for this purpose. In the past, there has even been a karaoke-style component where members of the audience get up and regale everyone with their favorite Bob tune.

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