Monday, June 24, 2002


Cianci jury has reached a verdict

06/24/2002 and Associated Press reports

PROVIDENCE / Updated 1:07 p.m. -- Mayor Vincent A. Cianci Jr. has been found guilty of racketeering conspiracy, the first count against him, but not guilty on the second racketeering charge detailing specific acts.

The two counts are the most significant of the 26 facing the mayor and his two co-defendants.

The conspiracy charge accused the three of planning to run a criminal enterprise that encompassed City Hall departments, the mayor's campaign organization and bribes in exchange for city favors.

The second count asked the jury to find each of the defendants guilty or not guilty in several specific cases.

The verdicts on each of the counts in the federal corruption trial of Cianci, his former top aide, Frank E. Corrente, and businessman Richard Autiello, are now being announced.


Sunday, June 23, 2002

Miniature Golf

I'm a big fan of leisure time and the summer is the time for miniature golf.

Naturally, you can Miniature Golf Online And it's a lot of fun. But in case you were thinking about going miniature golfing in Real Life, here are some places to consider:

Miniature Golf Courses in Rhode Island-- listing

Yahoo's YP listing of miniature golf places in Rhode Island

Or Bring the Golf to you!
9 Holes on Wheels - (401) 334-9718, 1-800-383-9600
Portable mini golf, complete with clubs, balls... everything you need.

Saturday, June 22, 2002

Summer Shakespeare by Trinity Rep around the state.

For the last few years, Trinity Rep has been doing a summer Shakespeare Festival, where (mostly) Conservatory students do Shakespeare outdoors for free at venues around the state. It's exciting theatre, it's free, it's usually pretty good (although as you can imagine, it's outdoor touring theatre, so the focus is not on the props or costumes) Th

This year they are doing The Tempest andThe Comedy of Errors, both of which are pretty good fodder for this kind of theatre. The Tempest is already up ( Read the Providence Journal Review --you may have to register first), and Errors will begin in July, after that they'll be in rep.

Next Few Performances of The Tempest:
Sat, June 22 6 pm, Waterplace Park in Providence
Sunday June 23, 4 pm Winfield & Sons, Scituate, RI
Wednesday, June 26, 6 pm Garden City Shopping Center, Cranston, RI
Thursday, June 27, 6 pm Academy Field, East Greenwich, RI
Sunday, June 30, Coventry Public Library, Coventry RI

Saturday July 6 at 6 pm is the first performance of Comedy of Errors at Waterplace Park

See The Rest of the Schedule.

Friday, June 21, 2002

Let The Library Buy A Book For You

The Library system in Rhode Island is setup so that all the state libraries are connected through the CLAN system (Cooperating Libraries Automated Network)

The Barrington Public Library has an online form so that you can ask them to purchase a book. (and then hold it for you.) This is a really useful way to get books that you want to read but not own, and that might be VERY expensive.


Okay, this isn't quite about Rhode Island, but I'm sure this is something that everyone has experienced. You've almost certainly received a letter from Nigeria asking you to help them get millions of dollars out of some African country. It's a scam, naturally. And with the advent of email, it's practically a cottage industry in parts of Africa. The way it works is, you get a letter from Africa telling you that an important government official needs YOUR HELP transferring a large amount of money to a "secure account" in the United States. He needs your help because his country is at war, the money's not safe, they are in fear of their life, etc.. Anyway, they tell you you're going to get a substantial portion of these millions of dollars, in return for your help. BUT, they just need you to first pony up several thousand of your own dollars in order to pay for various fees, bribes, etc. And strangely, no one ever gets those million dollars...

Well, someone decided to beard the lion in its lair. She wrote back, and a hilarious correspondence ensued....


Thursday, June 20, 2002

Smith's Castle

Smith's Castle is the site of 17th century trading posts established by Roger Williams, the founder of Rhode Island, and Richard Smith. Destroyed during King Philip's War, it was rebuilt by Richard Smith, Jr. in 1678 and bequeathed to Lodowick Updike in 1692. Expanded in 1740 by Daniel Updike, Attorney General of Rhode Island for 26 years, it became a thriving 18th century plantation. Following a brief 20th century revival as a dairy enterprise, the property was purchased and restored by the Cocumscussoc Association in 1949. Today, an award-winning restoration, with an 18th century style garden, it provides a look at four centuries of Rhode Island history. [text and photo courtesy of}


Wednesday, June 19, 2002

Bob Rizzo --Artist and Government Employee!

Bob Rizzo is the director of the Office of Cultural Affairs for the City of Providence. As a result, he's responsible for commissioning lots of artists, and creating an artistic atmosphere in the city of Providence. He's also an accomplished sculptor, painter, and performance artist in his own right. He recently opened up his own art gallery (The Over the Top Gallery) on the second floor of the Arcade (the oldest indoor mall in the United States, now owned by Johnson & Wales University) You can see photographs and images of his work on his website, but it's nothing like seeing the real thing. The gallery is open by appointment only. Call 401 265-8729 to make an appointment.

Here's a little quote that Bob gave in an interview in Rhode Island Monthly magazine (June 1998):

A lot of what I do is moving sculptures around the city. I was on a bus going downtown and the driver asked me what happened to a sculpture in front of Citizens Bank. He said he looked forward to driving by it every day. That’s what we’re trying to do – to affect their lives. It’s feasible that the average person could see three hundred sculptures in ten years without leaving their state and without entering a museum. We’re trying to grow that whole experience. I’m always looking for the next big thing – like WaterFire. I never knew that it would be as successful as it is. Do I feel pressure? No, I don’t allow that. That would make me crazier than I am.

About the ponytail – I’ve been growing it since 1973. I promised myself that the day I got out of the Army I would never cut my hair or shave every morning. It is kind of a running joke. Obviously I’m the only guy in government who has one. There’ve been suggestions that I cut it off for fund-raising purposes, but I won’t do that. I said I would never cut my hair, and if I can’t keep a promise to myself then who can I keep one to?

Monday, June 17, 2002

Telephone The Movie

Telephone is a new film short by a new Rhode Islander, Terry Montlick.

Here's the synopsis:  
It is 1960. A man is on a tryout for a white-collar job with a pharmaceutical company. His wife is pregnant with their first child, and he desperately needs money. He is alone in a small, grim office, with only a telephone connecting him to the world. Everything goes well until there is an unexpected phone call, and he is faced with the most chilling choice of his life.

Saturday, June 15, 2002

Rhode Island Organic Farmers!

If you like to eat vegetables in quantity, you should check out some of the local organic farmers. Many of them have FARM shares that you can buy, and every week or two pick up a large basket of raw fruits and vegetables (whatever's in season and just picked) I have some friends who do this, and they get more vegetables than they can eat! (and they have 3 kids!)

List of Rhode Island Organic Farmers

List of Rhode Island Farmer Markets

Friday, June 14, 2002

Plunder Dome

Rhode Island has been jokingly called "The corruptest state in the Union." The FBI set out to prove that. A trial that has been percolating for the last three years is just entering the endgame. The jury is currently deliberating on whether or not Mayor Vincent "Buddy" Cianci, the mayor of Providence for the last 25 years (minus a brief stint as a felon, when he was a radio talk show host) is guilty of taking bribes, or whether a series of men in his administration took bribes in his name, but without his knowledge. The trial has been called Plunder Dome, and here's a few places where you can get the facts, and follow the latest information.


Turn to 10- PlunderDome Coverage -- City Hall on Trial." associated with Buddy Cianci. Sponsored by Citizens for Ethical Government

Channel 12-- eyewitness news

Listen to a 1 hour show about Corruption in Rhode Island, from One Union Station

Thursday, June 13, 2002

The Everett Dance Theatre

Everett Dance Theatre is one of the top dance companies from Rhode Island. They have their own theatre/rehearsal space (in a former carriage house) The artistic director of Everett is my former dance teacher Dorothy Jungels, whose creativity regarding dance creation (and her enthusiasm towards found dance and the ability to incorporate it into other forms) is simply unparalleled. I highly recommend any of their work, evn that which I haven't seen.

On June 14 and 15, 2002 Everett members Aaron Jungels, Marvin Novogrodski and Bravell Gracia Smith present new works. Novogrodski (a good friend of mine, and an excellent clown and dancer) teams up with hypno-therapist Doug Vogel in Out of My Mind to explore life's struggles. Dancer Paula Hunter (who has her own company, and is quite a good dancer and choreographer in her own right) will perform Losing Track

June 14 and 15 , 2002 at 8 pm
.The Carriage House Theatre
7 Duncan Avenue Providence RI
Tickets: $10.00
Box Office: 401-831-9479

Wednesday, June 12, 2002

Focus Rhode Island

Focus Rhode Island is a public radio talk show focused on Rhode Island. It's the remnants of what is left from the show "One Union Station" Which was a 2 hour daily show that was trying to take the place of Talk of the Nation. It's hosted by Pamela Watts, who hosted One Union Station and was a reporter for ABC-6 for 15 years. The show appears once a week (on Fridays) from 1-2 pm on WRNI (1290 AM, 1230 in Westerly)

A strange thing about WRNI-- although it is Rhode Island's Public Radio station, it is owned by Boston University's Radio station WBUR.

Tuesday, June 11, 2002

Rhode Island Yahoo Group

I am a big believer in Yahoo groups. They are free mailing lists that allow people with similar interests to share information, to get information, and to make friends. The Rhode Island Yahoo Group is one of about 30 that I'm a member of, and while I don't read everything on the list (there's a lot of joking and contests that I'm not that interested in) I have to say that it's a place to give and get worthwhile information about Rhode Island. Check it out, and see if it's for you!

Join the Rhode Island Yahoo Group

Monday, June 10, 2002

Providence Indoor Paintball

I've always thought about doing Paintball. It's like LaserTag, except you really get hit with the stuff. I haven't actually worked up the courage or the cash to try it. One of these days, I'll go with a friend to try it. (Actually, the friend that I am most likely to go with is probably the guy who is the least best person to go with-- he's a captain in the National Guard, and would probably whip my butt in Paintball.)

It costs around $35 to $40 to go and try this.

There are apparently lots of paintball places in the area!
Paintball places near Providence (courtesy ofYahooYellow Pages)

Sunday, June 09, 2002

Tragedy in Providence: Journal worker kills 2, injures 1

-- An employee of The Providence Journal Co. fatally shot two coworkers, wounded a third, and may have then died in a car fire after a wave of violence yesterday morning that swept from the newspaper's production plant in the city to a suburban neighborhood in Warwick.

The police said that Carlos Pacheco, 38, a 20-year employee at The Journal, entered the building at 210 Kinsley Ave. at about 9:30 a.m., and shot a supervisor, Robert Benetti, 38, of Pawtucket. Benetti died.
Pacheco then shot and wounded a driver, Charles Johnson, 30, of Providence, as Johnson sat in his pickup in the parking lot.

Shortly after, the Warwick police found Matthew Fandetti, 29, shot dead in his house in Warwick, and a fourth person burned beyond recognition in a car parked in a lot near a baseball field and the Kenney Manufacturing Co., at 1000 Jefferson Blvd., in Warwick.

Detectives say they are waiting for the results of an autopsy to determine the identity of the burned person, but the destroyed car belonged to Pacheco, said Providence Detective Maj. Martin F. Hames. The handgun was also in the car.

Providence Police Chief Richard T. Sullivan said yesterday that the police were "99 percent confident" that the killer was among the dead. He refused to comment on a possible motive or whether there had been any threats of violence.


There's a New Hamlet In Town

Eric Tucker plays Hamlet in a low rent, low tech version of the classic that focuses on the acting and not the props. Joanna Beecher plays both Gertrude and Ophelia, and the lights mysteriously go out when they meet on stage!

The show is being put on by the Beowulf Theatre Company, which is an offshoot of SFGT (Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre, which used to be Alias Stage) Beowulf's Hamlet runs through June 23 at the First Universalist Church, 250 Washington St., Providence. Performances are Thurs-Sat 8 p.m., Sun. 7. Tickets are $12, $8 for students. Call 421-6619 for reservations.

Saturday, June 08, 2002

And here's an aerial view of my neighborhood!

Photo courtesy of MIT and the RI Ortho-photo server

The Jewelry District Association is a group I'm involved with, that does advocacy for my neighborhood, the Jewelry District of Providence. The district used to be (as you might guess) an old jewelry manufacturing district. At one point, nearly 80% of the world's costume jewelry was manufactured here in Rhode Island! As of late, it's changed to be a multi-use district with lots of bars, restaurants, medical office space, architects, and even some downtown living space. It's about as close as you can get to living in NYC while still living in Rhode Island. The Jewelry District Association has a website (which hasn't gone live, after over a year of playing around-- Every month I ask about it, and every month they say "Real Soon Now." Hey, what am I going to do? Not my money, not my problem. If it ever does go live, it better be the best damned website ever! :o)

Anyway, I administer the mailing list for the Jewelry District Association, and if you want to find out what's going on in the Jewelry District, then join the announce-only group... There's not much traffic 3-5 messages a month

Thanks for visiting my blog-- It's about my great home state of Rhode Island. I'll be adding Rhode Island Images, Rhode Island News, and Rhode Island musings from time to time. Check back, and if you've got something really cool going on in Rhode Island, Send me a Shout!