And the fact that former House Speaker Bill Murphy is Baccari’s lawyer on the Cranston project makes it all the more suspect — not to mention that the developer numbers House Majority Leader Nick Mattiello in his corner, according to BeloJo reporter Mike Stanton, who broke the story.
You have to admire, in a perverse way, Baccari’s method here: when he couldn’t get the zoning changed to let his project go forward, he moved to change the definition of what a “supermarket” is. The prolix Bill Clinton would be proud of these semantic gymnastics. The Cranston City Council eventually approved the project on a 6-2 vote. And the neighbors — including frequent Phoenix freelance contributor Steve Stycos, who is a leader of Friends of the Pawtuxet, the river near to the proposed site — are still up in arms. Among the concerns: the coming of an architectural travesty.
As Stycos told Stanton, “Aesthetically it turns another section of Warwick Avenue” — which experienced terrible flood damage this spring — “into more pavement, another box store, more impermeable surfaces and runoff into the river.” And, he added, “I know we’re going to be picking up trash bags that will fly everywhere.” How wonderful!
ELECTION 2010: NOTES FROM THE POLITICAL FRINGE
The “throw the bums out” buzz around this year’s elections have encouraged a bumper crop of mamalukes to get on the ballot and hope that no one questions them too closely. Or maybe they do want to be questioned closely in the unwavering belief that the more ludicrous their positions, the more likely the public will embrace them.
Ernest Greco of Providence, who teaches at Roger Williams University, has tossed his coonskin cap into the ring for the 2nd Congressional District, joining Betsy Dennigan and the incumbent, Jim Langevin. Among his favored positions is passionate support for the completely nutso “Defense of Marriage Act” — the federal law created to deny gay and lesbian citizens the right to marriage, based on the fantastical notion that same-sex marriage somehow has a negative impact on heterosexual marriage.
Greco says he’s “articulating some points of view that you hear articulated at the grassroots a lot.” Something else we’ve found in “the grassroots” a lot is uncollected dog feces. DOMA has a similar quality and aroma. His main supporters seem to be the rank and file of the Rhode Island Right to Life Committee.
Meanwhile, the GOP has its own genius candidate in Robert Tingle, somebody who might easily fit into the “perennial candidate” category along with the amazing Chris Young. Tingle is currently irritated with GOP Head Ramrod, Gio Cicione, who has indicated that he is leaning towards the candidacy of non-Republican Cool Moose, Bob Healey.
Tingle seems to think that just saying you are a Republican and getting your name on the ballot is somehow equivalent to Healey’s public record of more than 20 years of carving out positions on every meaningful issue out there. Your superior correspondents may not agree with the Cool Moose’s mostly libertarian positions, but if you are a conservative Republican, Healey is seasoned and articulate with a deep knowledge of all the major issues. Anyone of the conservative persuasion who thinks that Tingle, a pit boss at Foxwoods, would be a better or stronger candidate must be spending a bit too much time at the casino.