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Rhode Island Tip Sheet: Will the I-195 land create a jobs-quake?

August 23, 2011

STATE OF THE STATE: In case you were off in a cave somewhere, an earthquake in Virginia gave Rhode Island a little nudge this afternoon, shaking the newsroom floor at Rhode Island Public Radio, and causing the evacuation of downtown buildings and the State House. It also led Governor Lincoln Chafee, during his I-195 Commission news conference on a dirt hill near the Jewelry District HQ of NABsys, to  conclude, “It’s indicative of the great changes that are coming, particularly to the real estate that we’re standing on.”

JOBS-QUAKE? If all goes according to plan, the 20 acres of land made available by the relocation of Interstate 195 will spark economic development near downtown Providence. Chafee has nominated Colin Kane of the Peregrine Group to chair the commission. Peregrine might be best known for renovating the Rumford Center loft complex which is home to the popular Avenue N restaurant. Kane is a Tollgate Class of 1984 grad, but his Peregrine affiliation makes him at least an honorary Townie, and we know how Chafee likes him some Townies.

KANE AND ABLE: A Navy veteran who lived out of state for a few years, Kane says he came to believe that Rhode Island offered “the highest quality of life and the best opportunities for my family.”  He worked for Gilbane Properties before founding Peregrine in 2001. Kane says Peregrine has worked on a number of RI projects, including GTECH’s relocation and ALCO, and will open a restaurant in Mexico City in a few months.

KANE SPEAKS: Kane says East Providence’s waterfront commission showed him how such groups can play a positive role in development. He says his support for the I-195 Commission was based on several notions: the commission’s efforts must add to the City of Providence’s efforts to promote economic development and “thoughtful land use”; the commission should facilitate “a bridge linking downtown and our emerging Knowledge District”; “The goal of this commission is to provide a single source of decision-making that provides predictability to the disposition, permitting, and long-term use of this corridor,” to avoid pad site by pad site planning and oceans of surface parking lots,

OTHER COMMISSION MEMBERS: Like Kane, they’re subject to Senate confirmation: Lawyers John Kelly and Mark T. Ryan; community activist Michael Van Leesten; physician and entrepreneur Barrett Bready of NABsys; labor and delivery nurse Barbara Hunger; art consultant Diana Johnson

ROAD SHOW: Chafee and Taveras plan an upcoming fact-finding trip to Pittsburgh.

ANGEL ON THE TOWN: Taveras hits the Drinking Liberally scene tomorrow (Wednesday).

CRIME AND POLITICS: Will the Jason Pleau case carry a cost for the governor?

PAWTUCKETTed Nesi wishes the Bucket a happy 125th birthday by tracing the history of McCoy Stadium. Can anyone tell Mr. Tip Sheet which future major leaguer was the first to hit a home run at McCoy?

TWEET ALL ABOUT IT: Not only did NPR’s Andy Carvin adopt a rescue Newfoundland over the weekened, he tweeted 1200 times about the situation in Libya.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Len Levin permalink
    August 24, 2011 1:20 am

    Ian,

    The first future major leaguer to hit a home run at McCoy Stadium in a Pawtucket uniform could have been either Johnny Logan or Chuck Tanner of the 1948 Pawtucket Slaters, who went on to distinguished major league careers. The Slaters entered Organized Baseball in 1946 as a Boston Braves but no future major leaguer on the team hit a home run in either year. If it was somebody from another team, a good guess would be either Don Newcombe or Roy Campanella of the Nashua Dodgers in 1946. Campanella hit 13 HRs that season and Newcombe (one of the best hitting pitchers of his day) hit 2.

    Len Levin

  2. Len Levin permalink
    August 24, 2011 3:57 am

    Ian,

    Another possibility: A future major leaguer who played at McCoy when the Slaters were a semipro team during World War II was Yogi Berra. But I don’t know whether he hit a home run there.

    Len

  3. August 24, 2011 2:04 pm

    Good guesses, Len, but the answer is Walter Alston, who, of course, went on to manage the Dodgers for many years.

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