Kelruss t1_jegm53m wrote

It's not a vote, it's data from the Bureau of Transportation Statistics sorted into a table so the company doing the ranking can flog insurance. Although, it looks like they've used two different years for the roads and bridges, as the number for the roads is the most recent available, 2020, but the number for the bridges seems to be from 2021, even though 2020 would be the proper comparison and 2022 is the most recent year.


Kelruss t1_jegji68 wrote

I think u/derpbeluga gave you a great breakdown of practical costs. Just for a statistical view (which I always find helps me put my own financial circumstances in perspective) the median household income in RI is $74,489 (according the 5-year average of the US Census Bureau's Annual Community Survey between 2017-2021). Meanwhile, households on average contain 2.46 people. So, you'll almost certainly be doing better than the majority of households with two or more people in RI.


Kelruss t1_jd9dze9 wrote

This seems like a question to ask the Town. Just looking on Google Maps, it looks like an old right of way, where Quaker Rd would’ve run through all the way to Rt. 120. This might still be a paper street, where the Town stills own the property, but the road just no longer exists. Residents may or may not be aware of it (which could lead to disputes). Alternatively, residents may have petitioned the Town to abandon it, and then it would all be private property. But if it’s cut and maintained along the route, then that makes me more inclined to believe it’s still the Town’s property, that’s who I would ask.


Kelruss t1_jd7arxm wrote

So, this is my conjecture (Chapin is silent on this since he was more concerned about the anchor): but I think there are a couple of things going on here. First, the 1852 version has filigree that appears to me to be somewhat indicative of a breaking wave. Second, it also, at that point, replaces a more traditional escutcheon shape (though the preceding image was a 1782 seal, which means that theoretically could’ve occurred at any time over the intervening 70 years).

You can see that in this 1876 image of the State arms from Henry Mitchell’s The State Arms of the Union that the basic pattern of the filigree used by Mitchell around the escutcheon looks a lot like what’s present on this interpretation of the modern seal (which if from Wikipedia and uses Chapin as its source as well). Now, as far as I know, this is original to Mitchell… but it might not be. If you look at the other arms, Mitchell largely uses the same escutcheon shape with the same filigree style. RI’s is the only escutcheon with this particular asymmetrical shape. So it’s possible that Mitchell was reacting to images already out there (the 1852 engraving’s filigree is asymmetrical, but not like this), or he developed his own shape & filigree and that influenced subsequent design here in RI.

FWIW, this filigree is not mentioned in state law for either the arms or for the seal. So they’re completely discretionary to the designer or the administration that commissioned them.


Kelruss t1_jd65e8n wrote

This is just called "filigree" and it isn't "supposed to be" anything, it's just a bit of embellishment that has been carried over from a physical engraving to a digital version.

Edit: checked some of my old notes, there's been some level of filigree on the state seal since 1852 - according to Howard Chapin's Illustrations of the Seals, Arms and Flags of Rhode Island.


Kelruss t1_jcz8mlv wrote

I don’t think it would’ve been to stay. The path would be win the special, win again in 2024, come back in 2026 or 2030 and run for Governor as a sitting Congresswoman. This is the same rationale I think other “big” name candidates would’ve been using. Being Congressperson gives you access to press coverage that you otherwise would have to generate.

But also, I don’t believe she is a CEO anymore? She left HBC a few years ago.


Kelruss t1_jc6m0ml wrote

It’s the offering from the cities that are participating in community choice aggregation (CCA). Together, they’re effectively saying, “we’d like to buy more renewables in our power supply, but keep the price low.” They got a bidder who was able to do that (in this case, it’s a 5% mix from NextEra) and now those of us in the CCA communities are all automatically being switched to that company starting in May. Unless you opt out for RI Energy, who provide no renewable power and are more expensive over the same time period.


Kelruss t1_jc3ib31 wrote

Reply to comment by sophware in New electric company by shuckit401

I think you’re misinterpreting me? I didn’t make a value judgment as to your politics; I certainly didn’t suggest anything about Both Sides here. Nor am I trying to be dismissive about concerns. But there is a lack of acknowledgment I’m seeing about who has agency here and the limited scope of our choices as consumers. The CCA program puts our municipalities in a much stronger position as negotiators on our behalf, it increases the use of renewables, and it’s cheaper. The other option currently available doesn’t deliver that. Those are our two options, at present.

There are/were efforts to have the State “nationalize” RI’s energy company, but that’s a huge lift. But even if that’s an end goal, meanwhile, with CCA, we can organize within our municipalities and hold them to account much more easily than we can with the PUC. We can push for changes with the next RFP, especially now that people are much more aware of it.


Kelruss t1_jc2ydag wrote

Reply to comment by sophware in New electric company by shuckit401

FWIW, NextEra is similar to PPL, they gave strongly to Republicans while that party was in power, then hedged in 2020 and gave more or less evenly, then switched to Dems in 2022 (they were maybe more strongly associated when Republicans than PPL was in earlier cycles - albeit, some of this is before Citizens United). It’s notable that National Grid gives much less than any of the others (less than $200K total nationwide in many years), and it operates only in the Northeast US, which is a heavily Democratic area. Meanwhile, NextEra comes out of Florida and is largely a southern company. That geography undoubtedly has influence on which politicians they give to.

This isn’t to excuse any of these companies nor to suggest that their political spending is without consequence, but again, the political spending here is beside the point as the goal is cheap energy prices that match the renewable goals of the municipalities involved. That’s just not something that’s possible as individual ratepayers under the PUC arrangement with PPL. Neither of these companies is ideal, but the goal of community choice aggregation is laudable, and seems worth supporting to me (especially if it’s cheaper and greener).


Kelruss t1_jc1v2tb wrote

It’s community choice aggregation by the City, the company is there because they provided the lowest bid, and they can be replaced when their contract is up. I’m sure it won’t surprise you, but PPL, who owns RI Energy, also financially supports Republicans. GoLocal wants a scandal because it’s GoLocal, but the City follows an RFP and bidding process that’s not about how a company donates, it’s about whether that company is fit for purpose in their proposal (often that means: the cheapest).

Bottom line: utility companies going to utility company. The difference here is that the goal is to shift us to renewables without wrecking our bank accounts, and ultimately to provide a cheaper greener service as more renewables come on line. My understanding is that they do that by negotiating energy prices as a collection of municipalities, rather than us as individual ratepayers being stuck with the whims of RI Energy and the PUC.

So you can either switch to the cheaper, greener option, or you can opt out.


Kelruss t1_j9dlm7v wrote

Confirming the gasometer, it looks like the Providence Gas Company had operations in that area, according to an 1882 map which has both circular buildings marked. The building was on the block bounded by Crary St. on the north, Borden to the south, Hospital to the east, and Clay to the west. Today, it's the Eddy St. exit of of I-95 South (Exit 19, formerly 36 B).


Kelruss t1_j8pakbj wrote

Generally, I think they've been somewhat effective, though I know they annoy a lot of drivers. I also notice that for the most dangerous vehicles (large pickups and SUVs with high front heights which make it more likely a pedestrian will be crushed under the wheels rather than falling onto the hood), the speed hump "solution" is fairly ineffective; these vehicles' widths tend to be enough to adequately clear the humps without slowing down much. So, we're effectively slowing the safest vehicles, but still failing to stop the most dangerous ones.

Ideally, we do things like raised crosswalks and planting trees along street edges and doing road diets and then start separating out pedestrian, cycling, and vehicle uses... but I won't hold my breath (I will raise it with the city councilors I know, though).


Kelruss t1_j7w9vse wrote

I just don’t know how to read situations where journalists write up these fake “studies” like the HonestTea PR stunt where they evaluated the “most honest” cities by leaving a barrel of their product out and asking for people to use the honor system. Or having press releases I’ve sent out personally run word-for-word without a call to me or any other sources (and then I know enough to know when I’m reading a release). Or heck, just a couple of days after BLM RI held a Tyre Nichols vigil, every mainstream local news outlet ran a winking PR stunt story where the Cumberland Police claimed to have arrested Santa Claus and presented “evidence” of his existence.

Every single journalist I’ve ever talked to has said what you wrote about how they’re supposed to do their jobs. And then I see them do these things over and over again. It’s disheartening.


Kelruss t1_j7w2j25 wrote

Look, I’m critical of this kind of coverage and how it warps our politics and shapes policy outcomes, but I think that’s going too far in describing at least how a lot of local journalists approach their job. There is a “if it bleeds, it leads” quality to the nightly news (the “Eyewitness News” format) that reinforces perceptions of crime. The stories are straightforward to write and draw traffic/attention, so in an industry that looks to fill time/column space, the economics of these stories contribute to their proliferation.

But a lot of news bias in our local papers and television stations is less a particular agenda of any single journalist or outlet, and their bias towards who talks to them (and who they view as a legitimate source to talk to). They are also conditioned to see “sides” of a story. Crime stories, as far as they are concerned, only have two sides: the police and the criminal, and the latter isn’t talking to them, so they only report the police narrative, which reinforces the ability of the police to write their narrative.

There is also just the inescapable reality that the corps of journalists who cover Providence are overwhelmingly white, and virtually none (whether white or not) are actually from the city. They simply don’t have contact with or contacts within the city, and so they can’t tell complex stories about the city. So when a shooting happens, they can only tell you the victim’s name and age, and can’t really delve into who that victim is/was as a person. In comparison, when a violent crime victim is not from Providence, coverage will often go a bit deeper.

The other problem is that a lot of journalists in local media do not provide analysis, but merely report what is said. Data-driven features take time to produce and are infrequent. But most “data” stories are because someone released a report, whether government as in OP’s link, or an advocacy group calling attention an issue, or as a marketing ploy for some company’s product (a lot of the rankings that get reported). Journalists are not very skeptical of these stories, and just report what is said in the report, the press release, or what some of their interviews say. But they generally won’t analyze the methodology or sourcing of such things, and tell their audiences if it’s any good.

The result is coverage that is biased towards anecdotes rather than data, biased towards what people say rather than what is actually occurring, and biased towards the loudest yellers and those with the resources and prestige to yell loudest.