State of the City: Roses are red, violets are blue, sugar is sweet, but Viola, RI loves you!

Crime Alert: Maple syrup fraud. In (thoroughly pathetic) local crime news, WPRI is reporting that a local man pled guilty to “maple syrup fraud” this past week. Apparently, Bernard Coleman began a legitimate online maple syrup business, but in order to maintain profits after a price increase for syrup, “he decided to make his own out of water, sugar and maple flavoring.” Best part: Coleman was able to keep this up for THREE YEARS. That is, until a pair of maple syrup connoisseurs doubted the authenticity of their $220 order and “had it tested by the state Department of Agriculture Consumer Protection.” So, there you go boys and girls, your hard-earned (by which I mean… your parents’…) tax dollars at work — testing the authenticity of maple syrup.

The Water Cycle. According to a recent poll conducted by Brown University (wait… where?), Congressman David Cicilline ’83’s job approval rate has dropped to an all-time low of 15%. Apparently, even former President Richard Nixon had a higher approval rating after the Watergate scandal was exposed. Damn, Cicilline — it’s time to step up your game.

But, on a serious note… that’s actually really embarrassing. Even after announcing the city of Providence is heading towards bankruptcy, Mayor Angel Taveras’s approval rating is around 60%. BlogDH predicts it’ll jump up to 96.7% this June when Taveras announces that Providence is broke and is set to evaporate into the atmosphere.

Pick a prize: Oscar or Hallmark. When we last checked, there were at least five separate stories about Viola Davis’s Oscar nomination for The Help, billed as breaking news on the ProJo (not to mention the greeting card?). With all due respect, Ms. Davis, The Help is a decent movie and you looked beautiful but there are MUCH, MUCH MORE important events happening in Rhode Island (bankruptcy, defaulting on retiree pensions, failing state education, union strife — just to name a few)…maybe the ProJo should be covering those? Plus, it must be amazing just to be nominated, right?

Update: Sad news for Rhode Island…seems like Jersey (way to rep, Meryl!) has you beat out again…


$336 million up for grabs, is it yours?

According to the L.A. Times, $336 million could be yours! Wait, seriously though. The hefty Powerball jackpot was recently won in none other than the tiny great state of Rhode Island, and (even after taxes) will amount to the largest lump sum payment in Powerball history. There’s only one problem: not a single Rhode Islander has yet stepped forward to claim the cold, hard ca$h.

The winning ticket (1-10-37-52-57; Powerball number: 11) was recently purchased at a local Stop & Shop in Newport, despite the fact that the identity of the lucky buyer still remains a mystery. Interestingly enough, however, due to a Rhode Island law that makes the names of lottery winners a matter of public record, he she phe will soon be a local celebrity whether phe likes it or not.

Now, as you may know, we Bloggers are all for modesty. But when there’s more than a quarter-billion dollars at stake (yes, billion with a big ole “B”) we usually draw the line. Here’s hoping the lucky winner has an @brown.edu suffix attached to his/her email address…

Dolla’ Dolla’ Bills Y’all!


Former undergrad declares candidacy

Libby Kimzey may not have her undergraduate degree yet, but she could be on her way to a seat in Rhode Island’s House of Representatives. As of today, she is officially a candidate for the District 8 seat where Representative Mike Tarro, a first-termer, currently resides.

Originally admitted in the class of ’09, Kimzey has since taken off several semesters to lobby and organize for political groups in the state.

Kimzey started lobbying for Rhode Islanders for Fair Elections in Spring ’09. At the time, “there were certainly some people that didn’t take me seriously because…I was 19 years old,” Kimzey said. Later, when she worked as campaign manager for Teresa A. Tanzi (D-34, Narragansett, South Kingstown), she helped unseat one of those representatives, David Caprio.

Working on the Tanzi campaign has taught Kimzey to effectively communicate the issues, even to people who might not agree with her, she said. “She’s been my role model in a lot of ways,” Kimzey said. Tanzi’s campaign proved that to take on an incumbent, “You have to work in coalition and you have to start early and you have to think about your resources.” Continue Reading


Rhode Island: making questionable choices every day

According to recent statistics about the comparative health of the 50 states, Rhode Island pulled in at number 10 — not bad for the state constantly heralded for unemployment and child poverty. However, “binge drinking is a problem” and the state’s “forte is smoking.” And what percent of those studied were college students?


Getting down in the PVD

Gallup just completed its annual state-of-the-states poll, rating all 50 using a highly calibrated Well-Being Index. Hawaii won (seriously? They should be disqualified.); West Virginia came in last (maybe that’s just what you get for being an off-shoot of a state).

And Rhode Island didn’t perform too shabbily, coming in at 40th place. As the smallest state in the nation, we’ll take what we can get.

But the real kicker was the city-by-city analysis. Providence ranked as the second-worst on the well-being chart. To make matters worse, it was our emotional health scores that brought us down.

We’re just speculating, but this could be a reason the Brown girls are feeling emotionally … burdened.