BRAYTON TAPPED AT CITY HALL:
The office of Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline released a statement Friday indicating that Christopher Bizzacco, his wunderkind chief of staff, is being replaced by Operations chief Deb Brayton. Bizzaco, who is preparing to pursue an advanced degree, takes on a new title as senior adviser. With the possibility that Linc Chafee might run for mayor in 2010, some have speculated that the City Hall presence of Brayton, a Chafee veteran, is designed to help smooth the way for this . . . .
It’s episodes like last week’s Joba Chamberlain-Kevin Youkilis incident, in which the Yankees’ new relief stud twice threw over Youk’s head, that make baseball purists wish the American League didn’t have the designated hitter . . . .
Departing state Representative Peter Ginaitt of Warwick, who has attracted bipartisan plaudits, shared an interesting anecdote prior to a taping last Friday of WPRI/WNAC-TV’s Newsmakers. After being elected during a special election in 1992, he put the usual legislative license plate on a family car. Since sore feelings remained from the state credit union crisis, one unhappy Rhode Islander focused his ire on Ginaitt’s wife, spitting at the car while she was in it with their two young children. The episode led Ginaitt to take the legislative plate off the car. After 16 years on Smith Hill, Ginaitt suggests it’s the relative small number of ethically challenged lawmakers who give the General Assembly a bad name . . . .
Speaking of dubious behavior in public office, things have been quite quiet, at least on the surface, with Operation Dollar Bill, the federal probe of legislative influence-peddling. After striking a high profile with this investigation, US Attorney Robert Clark Corrente still needs to deliver . . . .
VIOLENCE SPIKES IN PROVIDENCE:
Back in May, I wrote: “In contrast to the simplistic rhetoric of tough-on-crime politics, Providence is demonstrating how complex solutions can help to ameliorate complex problems” (“Providence: safer than you think?” News, May 24). “Now, the big question is whether the city can sustain its success in having reduced violence — and for how long.”
We now know the answer. As Bill Malinowski wrote August 30 in the ProJo, Providence has been marked by a burst of shootings, predominantly in the poor neighborhoods most affected by the illegal drug trade: “In terms of violence, the Providence police say August has been the worst month in at least five years,” Malinowski wrote, with at least 26 shootings reported to the police, 20 people shot, and two people killed.
Unfortunately, none of this is particularly surprising. The best efforts of police and their allies can only do so much in squelching violence. The situation speaks mostly to how we as Americans collectively tolerate things in poor neighborhoods that would never fly in more affluent ones.
: This Just In
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