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Flying blind: A primary-season post-mortem

With little public polling on the most hotly contested races in memory, Rhode Island’s pundit class was in the dark as the primary approached
With little public polling on the most hotly contested races in memory, Rhode Island’s pundit class was in the dark as the primary approached. But could the presence of a high-profile gay candidate make opinion surveys suspect anyway?
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 15, 2010


The death of the American city, revisited

Urban renewal is seldom discussed as anything but the great scourge of the American city — a disastrous post-World War II push to steamroll working-class neighborhoods and replace them with towering concrete buildings and cavernous plazas that sterilized once-vibrant places.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 16, 2010


Could Cicilline be in for a surprise on Tuesday?

Primary wisdom
With the Democratic primary for Rhode Island's 1st Congressional District seat in the home stretch, most observers say Providence Mayor David Cicilline is the man to beat. And there is much to recommend the view.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 10, 2010


Digital Armageddon: Could foreign hackers execute a crippling attack on American shores?

A key Department of Defense network goes down. Air-traffic control collapses. Trains collide. Financial data systems are in ruins. Lethal clouds of chlorine gas drift from plants in New Jersey and Delaware.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 03, 2010


Hand puppets and Hope: Grading the candidates' ads

Air War
Primary season is upon us. And the four Democrats vying to succeed retiring 1st District Congressman Patrick Kennedy are engaged in a particularly lively air war on television and the Interzone.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 01, 2010


The backstory on Curt Schilling's Rhode Island jaunt

The Rhode Island Economic Development Corporation's controversial decision to offer a $75 million loan guarantee to former Red Sox ace Curt Schilling's video-game company, 38 Studios, has become a prime issue on the campaign trail.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  September 01, 2010


Providence's mayoral candidates, on bended knee

Wedding Bells
In a parallel universe, where serial candidate Christopher Young's antics are simply an ingenious bit of performance art — and not evidence of a worrisome and often obnoxious instability — his display at the recent Providence mayoral debate might qualify as a sort of capstone on a brilliant career.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 26, 2010


An angry electorate? Eh, whatever

Dud Dept.
Whither the rage? Rhode Island's Great Recession — greater, even, than the national model — was supposed to conjure a once-in-a-generation anti-incumbent fever. But so far, it's looking more like a modest headache.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 18, 2010


After the oil spill, an aging punk rocker takes the stage

It's a Thursday around noon, and I'm sitting in the Hi-Ho Lounge, a dimly-lit dive bar on St. Claude Avenue in New Orleans.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 11, 2010


Report from the Gulf

The BP spill is shattering hopes and dreams along the Gulf Coast.
On a windy Tuesday afternoon in New Orleans, Clara Gerica is in her usual spot: beneath a small, blue tent at the Crescent City Farmers Market in the well-to-do Uptown neighborhood.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 10, 2010


AS220's Fairey mural in progress in Providence

The Art of the City
It's a muggy Wednesday and Johan Bjurman stands atop an 85-foot aerial lift along Aborn Street in downtown Providence, a paintbrush in his hand and a thermos of ice water at his side.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  August 04, 2010


It's on: Chafee and Caprio square off for governor

Man vs. Message
Just a couple of weeks after Attorney General Patrick Lynch withdrew from the governor's race, it is quickly shaping up as a two-man battle: independent Lincoln Chafee versus Democrat Frank Caprio.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 28, 2010


The Met is ready to rock back into action

Nightlife Dept.
The Met is back.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 21, 2010


The Democrats' ambitious new chairman

Party time
Last month, just a few weeks removed from his long-held post as chairman of the Rhode Island Democratic Party, Bill Lynch walked into the party’s convention as a Congressional candidate and didn’t come close to securing the endorsement.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 21, 2010

City Council on the cusp of change

In Rhode Island's most dynamic political season in years, one set of intriguing races is getting short shrift: the Providence City Council contests.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  July 07, 2010

Going hyperlocal: AOL sets its sights on Aquidneck Island

Rhode Island's increasingly crowded media landscape may have a new player soon: AOL is recruiting journalists to run hyperlocal news web sites in Newport, Portsmouth, and Middletown.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 30, 2010


An education funding formula, hailed as a breakthrough, faces its critics

Fuzzy math
For years, Rhode Island was one of just two states in the union without a funding formula for its public schools. And then, for a time, it was the only state with that dubious dis-tinction.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 24, 2010


Have a weird summer!

Five Ocean State oddities worth seeking out
We take you to places a little less predictable and, perhaps, a little less scenic.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 16, 2010


As the World Cup kicks off, Guinness and panic at Ri Ra

World Cup fever has not, exactly, gripped Providence.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 16, 2010


With plans for a downtown mural, Shepard Fairey returns to Providence

It is a rather unremarkable collection of bricks at the moment: an exterior wall at the back of Trinity Repertory Company’s Pell Chafee Performance Center in downtown Providence.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 16, 2010


Making waves

Can WRNI supplant the ProJo as the state’s news king?
Rhode Island’s upstart National Public Radio affiliate, WRNI, aims to be nothing less than a major media player here. And in the space of just a couple of years, the station has taken some impressive first steps.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 10, 2010

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