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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Got a bright future?

August 1, 2011

STATE OF THE STATE: It’s the day of reckoning in Central Falls, thanks to two long-running trends: 1)  a near-non-existent tax base; and 2) unsustainable agreements with public employee unions. Through it all, the first and most ironic thing to come up when you Google the city is the tagline, “A City with a Bright Future.” A cautionary tale, perhaps, for the legislature’s pending stab at pension reform? 

VIEW FROM THE TOP: Governor Lincoln Chafee says he doesn’t expect other cities and towns to go into receivership or bankruptcy. He tells me the following: “I don’t think this is going to have that big of a perception [impact]. There’s been so much focus on Central Falls and the teachers’ situation there, and previous financial difficulties. It’s so unique — I mean, it’s a one square mile city. From its heyday, when the factories were all  extremely prosperous to the gradual decline, the closing of the factories, it’s kind of almost inevitable that we’ve got to this point.”

OUT-OF-TOWN VIEW: The Wall Street Journal posits CF as “the second muni casualty of 2011”

NESI: Dan Beardsley tells Ted that CF is a wake-up call for unions.

DEBT DEBATE: Congress is gearing up for possible votes, reports NPR . . . . Paul Krugman says President Obama has surrendered and that the impact will be disastrous . . . . NRO describes the Boehner love-fest . . . . Eric Cantor calls the deal a game-changer . . . .  Governor Chafee, in a WRNI interview, says Congressional Republicans are hypocritical to oppose tax hikes on the wealthy, since, he says, the GOP turned a surplus into deficits during the George W. Bush years.

THE PRESIDENCY: Dan Kennedy, in his words, has a counter-intuitive view of why Obama blew it.

MUST-READ: Mike Stanton’s Sunday ProJo story on the demise of a bill aimed at the impact of “payday lenders.”

AS THE PROJO TURNS: Sports fans watching TV over the weekend saw their share of Tom Curran, Shalise Manza Young and Sean McAdam (who broke the news about how Clay Buchholz is suffering from a stress fracture in his back, an injury more associated with position players). As one wag put it to me today, why can’t the local daily get this kind of talent? 

GREAT NORTH: (Via Romonesko) Boston Globe editor Marty Baron gets his Twitter on.

RIPTA PROTEST: Coverage via Greater City: PVD.

BIRTHDAY: Alex Nunes; Michael Evora.

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