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As May Day approaches, a local labor movement at a crossroads

Protest Dept.
May Day, the international workers day, is just around the corner. But organized labor, here in Rhode Island, is not in a particularly celebratory mood.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 25, 2012


Revolution: Silent film at the library

At the Movies
Last I checked in with Dave Dvorchak — Providence Community Library office manager, film geek, Renaissance Man — he had found a long-forgotten cache of 16-millimeter movies owned by a defunct consortium of Rhode Island libraries.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 25, 2012


The quiet push to decriminalize marijuana possession in Rhode Island

Pot is not a crime
The often frustrating push to get a workable medical marijuana regime up and running in Rhode Island has received plenty of ink in recent years. But the state's pot politics don't end there.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 18, 2012


Get back in the groove

For the casual music fan, the record store might seem an anachronism in the age of the iPod. And in a way, it is. That's no small part of the charm.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 20, 2012


Local heroes of 2012

In this 15th annual edition of the Providence Phoenix 's Best issue, we highlight people and organizations who are doing exceptionally good work — local heroes who often labor behind the scenes, but are changing their communities for the better.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 11, 2012


Robert Ballard on discovering – and preserving – the Titanic

Under the Sea
Robert Ballard, the charismatic professor of oceanography at the University of Rhode Island, has had an illustrious career as a marine explorer. But he is best known for discovering the Titanic on September 1, 1985.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 11, 2012


Can Cicilline’s apology clear the decks?

Mea Culpa
This week, Providence mayor-turned-Congressman David Cicilline appeared on WPRI-TV to apologize.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 11, 2012


At Kennedy Plaza, plans for rebirth

Public Works Dept.
Kennedy Plaza, in the heart of downtown Providence, has long been a problem. Seedy, unwelcoming, it is a troubling — if helpful — reminder of the poverty and addiction that still plague the renaissance city.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 04, 2012


Lenny Clarke comes to Swansea

Stand-up comic and actor Lenny Clarke has carved out a career as a Northeastern everyman — a wise-cracking, self-deprecating, heavily-accented jokester with an appealing obnoxious streak.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 28, 2012


Can Anthony Gemma’s feel-good wonkery and pent-up rage beat David Cicilline this time?

Jekyll and Hyde
There is a strange duality to businessman Anthony Gemma's all-but-official Congressional campaign.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 21, 2012


Hummel’s soft play for a more robust RI media

Features Dept.
Michael Healey, best known as the amiable spokesman for former Attorney General Patrick Lynch, has nicknamed independent investigative reporter Jim Hummel's stories the "Hummel Pummel."
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 21, 2012


The ProJo passes on controversial 'Doonesbury' series

As the ProJo Turns
Turn to the comics in this week's Providence Journal and there, near the top of the right-hand column, you'll find cartoonist and provocateur Garry Trudeau's "Doonesbury" in its usual spot.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 14, 2012


Can manufacturing save the state's economy?

Making It in Rhode Island
As the economy coughs its way toward something resembling recovery, politicians and economists are pointing to a surprising elixir: manufacturing.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 22, 2012


Kevin Kelly brings his happy Darwinism to Providence

Kevin Kelly, co-founder of Wired magazine, now holds the title of "senior maverick" with the publication. And his contrarian tendencies have earned him a huge following among the geekery — and plenty of scorn from critics.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 07, 2012


After another dismal poll, Cicilline’s (narrow) path to victory

Survey Says
Another week, another God-awful poll for freshman Congressman David Cicilline. The latest: a WPRI-TV-commissioned survey that found voters favoring Republican challenger Brendan Doherty 49 to 34 percent in a head-to-head matchup.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 29, 2012

Its paywall up, the way forward for the Journal

As The ProJo Turns
The Providence Journal 's long-awaited paywall went up this week.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 29, 2012


RISD’s hockey team turns the dick joke into high art — OK, low art

Go Nads!
The third period has just begun and the Nads, the Rhode Island School of Design's club hockey team, is losing 2-0 to a squad from Emerson College.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2012


Andre returns to College Hill

Propaganda Dept.
If you found yourself on Benefit Street this past Monday, you could have been forgiven for wondering if Providence's own rascal king had made a stunning return to politics: there, behind the First Baptist Church, was a large "Re-Elect Cianci" billboard.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2012

Making the ‘Buffett Rule’ law

Tax Dept.
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has received plenty of ink for his "Buffett Rule" legislation, named after billionaire investor Warren Buffett.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 16, 2012


Interview: Alice Bag of Stay at Home Bomb

Once a punk rocker, always a punk rocker
Alice Bag (nee Armendariz), who shone bright in the Los Angeles punk scene of the late-1970s, will be in town Saturday to read from her book Violence Girl: East L.A. Rage to Hollywood Stage and to play a few tunes at 7 pm at Rochambeau Library.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 10, 2012


What physics can teach us about Wall Street

Lisa Randall is one of the world's leading theoretical physicists.
By: DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 25, 2012

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