Rhode Island is making progress but still faces numerous obstacles in its effort to develop sustainable and equitable economic growth. Scott Wolf, executive director of Grow Smart RI discusses the importance of restoring historic district tax credits, improving transportation systems, and revitalizing Rhode Island's downtowns. He also talks about the proposed Green Economy bond, and the need to change direction in the development of solar farms.
Round two as Frank explores a dispute between Portsmouth, RI residents and the Navy over Navy plans to build a solar farm that’s expected to come close to a residential area that overlooks Narragansett Bay. Solar Breakers, a subsidiary of BQ Energy, LLC, has signed a 37-year lease with the Navy to build the 75-acre solar farm on what has been described as unused land. The planned relocation of a fence has raised concerns among residents of its impact on both quality of life and property values. Guests joining Frank for this discussion are Portsmouth Town Council President Keith Hamilton, and Residents Bob Berner and Ralph Sotek, advocates for many neighbors.
In this edition Frank discusses a dispute between Portsmouth, RI residents and the Navy over Navy plans to build a solar farm that’s expected to come close to a residential area that overlooks Narragansett Bay. Solar Breakers, a subsidiary of BQ Energy, LLC, has signed a 37-year lease with the Navy to build the 75-acre solar farm on what has been described as unused land. The planned relocation of a fence has raised concerns among residents of its impact on both quality of life and property values. State Sen. Jim Seveney of Portsmouth and Ralph Sotak, a neighborhood advocate join Frank for this discussion.
Steve Brown, executive director of the Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU discusses issues of pay equity, a city's effort to block federal funding from an organization that protects victims of sexual abuse, and the battle to protect freedom of the press and speech, among other issues.
Hands that Rock, a Rhode Island non-profit that uses massage therapy to bring “the magic of music to underserved children,” is holding a fundraiser on Sept. 15, featuring three bands, food, and merchandise signed by many famous bands. Darcy Lynch, the organization’s executive director who also owns Stagehands Massage Therapy that provides massage, chiropractic and other services to leading bands and stagehands, joins me Wednesday on Open Forum on WADK (1540 AM). Darcy is the daughter of Ron Lynch, who was a member of the Cascades (“Rhythm of the Rain” … “Listen to the Rhythm of the falling rain…”) and is a former producer for the Discovery Channel.
Among Rhode Island's newest and fastest growing industries is medical marijuana, with three medical marijuana compassion center and over 100 growers. Joining us today were Seth Bock, Owner of Greenleaf Compassion Center of Portsmouth, and Rob Dupoint, the Center's retail supervisor.
As one Rhode Island town once again debates the merits of a municipal ethics commission, we’ll explore the role of local ethics commissions and the relationship with similar state commissions with John Marion, executive director of Common Cause in Rhode Island.
Medicaid matters in Rhode Island, with one in three Rhode Islanders served by the program. It’s the subject of a recent Economic Progress Institute Report and the subject of today’s Open Forum on WADK (1540 AM) at noon. Joining me will be Linda Katz, chair of the institute’s “Protect Our Healthcare Coalition,” and Carmela Greer, executive director of the Edward King Senior Center.
The Rhode Island Department of Transportation is reporting that revenues from truck only tolls, in its first month, are exceeding expectations. Meanwhile, the DOT is facing a lawsuit from the American Trucking Association that claims those tolls discriminate against out of state truckers. Chris Maxwell, president and CEO of the Rhode Island Trucking Association, joined Frank on Thursday at noon on WADK (1540 AM).
Providence Journal editor Alan Rosenberg joins Frank to talk about the relationship between the Journal and the Newport Daily News, both now owned by Gatehouse; about changes in coverage at the Journal; attack on the free press; and more.
Exploring the sights and sounds of our future leaders with my seven-year-old granddaughter, Addison Kate Prosnitz. She's ready to explore the adventures that are ahead in the third grade. We also explored some great programs offered by the Small Business Administration and prepare for month-long celebrations ahead, like international pickle month.
With the Rhode Island Legislative session winding down John Marion, Executive Director of Common Cause, gives us an overview of legislative initiatives that are likely not going to be approved in this session, including early voting in Rhode Island.
Prevent Suicide Is Everyone's Business with Frank Prosnitz, Ryan Belmore and....
Jamie Lehane, President & CEO of Newport Mental Health
Melanie Varady, Senior Director/Eastern Division for American Foundation for Suicide Prevention
Denise Panichas, Executive Director of The Samaritans of RI
On today’s Open Forum Frank explores the world of comedy from the perspective of a finalist on NBC’s Last Comic Standing to the announced start of truck-only tolls in Rhode Island, expected to begin next week. Kerri Louise, who will perform in a comedy show in Narragansett a week from Saturday, joins us at noon, followed by Chris Maxwell at 12:30. Chris is the executive director of the Rhode Island Trucking Association. We'll talk comedy in the age of Trump, and then about trucking in the age of a crumbling infrastructure and how governments are attempting to finance the repairs. And, of course, we explore whether the national trucking association plans on filing a lawsuit to halt Rhode Island's truck only tolls. The Trucking Association has said this as an important case, fearing if truck only tolls are embraced in Rhode Island, it could spread across the country.
ALS (Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, has long been viewed as among the most devastating conditions for both the afflicted and his or her family. Mary Murphy and Mary Frances Vesey, both of whom lost husbands to ALS, witnessing the courage, strength, bravery and determination of their husbands, and also demonstrating that same courage, strength, bravery and determination as caregivers for those they cherished. Both join Frank in this episode in advance of an Evening of Hope, a major event of the Rhode Island ALS Chapter, scheduled for June 22.
Rhode Island economy – bliss or abyss. A deal for a new Pawtucket Red Sox stadium by the numbers. How do you turn around a 60 million deficit a few months ago into a 38 million surplus a couple of weeks before the end of the fiscal year? Is Rhode Island’s economy as good as the incumbent politicians want us to think, or as bad as their opponents are anxious to portray? University of Rhode Island economist Len Lardaro joins Frank for this edition of, The Open Forum, to provide us with some answers and perspective.
Mary Ann Sorrentino, the former head of Rhode Island’s Planned Parenthood, and longtime advocate for women’s rights is the guest on this edition in advance of a press conference later in the week at which she and others will advocate for passage of legislation in Rhode Island that would make Roe V. Wade the law in Rhode Island. Mary Ann will weave together stories from Ireland, where abortion has just been legalized and from Rhode Island, in fear of the “nightmare” women “will surely face” if the Supreme Court overturns Roe v. Wade, which became the national law 45 years ago.
What’s fact? What’s fiction? Everyday questions are raised, a nation divided, a nation confused. Gene Emery, a former Providence Journal reporter, and PolitiFact contributor joins Frank on this edition of, The Open Forum, to help unravel the rhetoric as we approach important mid-term elections. Besides his work at the Providence Journal and PolitiFact, Gene is also a correspondent for Reuters.
Bahjat Shariff was born in war torn Lebanon. He left his country and family behind when he was 18, and with 300 in his pocket arrived in Los Angeles, where he would enroll in Citrus College. Bahjat, who continues our “Bridge to the Future” series, has been recognized by the New England Patriot for his charitable work, raised a family, and currently is the operating partner and Senior Vice President of Operations for Howley Bread Group, a franchised chain of more than 20 Panera Bread Restaurants. Our series, “Bridge to the Future,” is meant to highlight the tremendous contributions of first-generation immigrants to the United States. Bahjat joins Frank on this edition of, The Open Forum.
Blink your eyes and what you saw before is bound to change – at least when it comes to politics in Rhode Island. Candidates in what is a crowded gubernatorial field continue to jockey for position. Former Secretary of State Matt Brown, who was initially considering a run for governor as an independent, has indicated now that he’ll run as a Democrat, joining Gov. Gina Raimondo, and progressives Paul Roselli and former state Representative Spencer Dickinson. Brown is also a progressive. Dickinson joins Frank on this edition.
Blues great and Newport resident James Montgomery will be inducted into the RI music hall of fame. He is Frank's guest on this edition and talks about his 50-year career in music, the blues, his commitment to raising funds to help veterans and fight the opiod crisis.