Tag: RI

The differences between similar cities

So if you aren’t aware I’ve been working in Cambridge, MA. Cambridge and Providence have a lot of similarities. And quite a few differences. 

We’re similar in the fact we’re both college cities. Cambridge has both Harvard and M.I.T., Providence has Brown University, Johnson & Wales University, Providence College, Rhode Island College and Rhode Island School of Design aka RISD. 

Both cities have major bodies of water that cut through them. The population of Providence is larger than that of Cambridge. 

Cambridge has a rapid rail system called the Red Line that runs through it – Providence is still stuck with stinking diesel buses that pretty much serves Providence and Pawtucket and everything else is on their own. 

Now at first I thought it was the tax rates, those in Cambridge are approximately what they are in Providence. But no, while taxes may be a component they’re not the major factor. 

The major factor is this – in Providence we do everything half ass. From road paving – the street I live on connects Atwells Avenue to Broadway and then further to Westminster St. The section from Atwells to Broadway was completely stripped down to the gravel base, repaved and then re-striped. But the half that runs between Broadway and Westminster has been stripped, and primary paving done. But there are still manhole covers that stick up some way because the second layer of paving hasn’t been done yet, and it’s been this way for weeks. 

Typical half ass measure. 

Then there’s the fact that I had to bitch to my city councilor about snow on city owned overpasses of I-95. Or that the current snow removal ordinance lacked any enforcement teeth. I worked with my city councilor and the law was changed – now if you refuse to clear your sidewalks the city will fine you, refuse to pay the fine and a lien will be placed against your property. And if it’s really annoying, the city will clear the sidewalks and bill the property owner. Refusal to pay also results in a lien against the property. Those are teeth my friends but I shouldn’t have had to agitate for it. 

It even extends to stores and restaurants. There’s a place near me – I won’t mention it by name but they’re also opening a pizza place on Westminster Street, that their food is awful. Yet people beat a path to their door. It’s like because our city and state government has accepted just good enough, so too the business community. 

In essence the key difference between Providence and Cambridge is the half measure. 

In all communities in Massachusetts at the beginning of the month all the streets are cleaned. In Providence it’s a rare occurrence. In Providence we muck out the storm drains just before all the leaves fall off the trees. I’ve made a racket about that one because I’d much prefer to have clean storm drains in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Wait until the leaves are off the trees, then muck out the drains. But in Cambridge, not only do they muck out the drains, they also scrape the stickers off utility poles, re-mulch around trees and the list goes on. Their DPW actually works. 

Part of the problem in Providence is that back in the 1980’s they moved everything to contractor basis. It’s time to bring it back home. 

So there’s my rant for the holiday weekend. 

 

Driving Offensively

So I know, I know. You’re taught to drive defensively. But this post is about the offensive driving I’ve seen just this weekend in and about the Warwick, East Greenwich, North Kingstown and Newport areas.

The first offense was at a commercial drag in NK. I’m in the left lane and this jerk with a pickup  truck pulls in from the left he swings INTO MY LANE! Asshole!

And please – I’ve posted before on how speed limits are set artificially low in order to increase traffic violation revenue. For example, I’m old enough to remember prior to the energy crisis the speed limit on I-95 through Rhode Island was 70MPH. Now it’s 50 or 55MPH until you get down around exit 10 or so and then rises to 65MPH. But here’s the thing, try doing the legal limit. Try not getting run over. Try. Because that highway moves at 70-80MPH now.

So it hit me today – instead of setting the maximum speed limit for a highway why not set a minimum of say 80MPH in the left lane.

That’s the other thing – get the fuck out of the left lane if you’re gonna do the speed limit. As I do more highway driving I find a certain aggressive behavior emerging on my part. When I come upon an ass wipe in the left lane I had once tried flashing the beams. People in RI don’t know what that means. So I do what you’d naturally do. No, not pass on the right. I get right on your fucking bumper. And big surprise, people in RI move right when you do that now. Yay!

And while I’m on the high horse – maybe we need to revise drivers education and the manuals. Because it’s pretty obvious the jig is up regards speeding. The cars we have today are much tighter than cars of old. They’ve got traction control, automatic braking, adaptive cruise control, and direct port electronic fuel injection. Cars have oomph again.

And lets face it – I know that going from 70MPH to 0MPH in the space of a few seconds will make your insides leap outside. But it’s a risk you take. And I figure maybe I’m not so much an offensive driver, I tend to leave long distances between me and other cars on a normal basis, I signal lane changes, etc. But I am an aggressive  s well head up north of 85MPH because the end would come much faster at that speed.

So maybe I’m not so much an offensive driver, I tend to leave long distances between me and other cars on a normal basis, I signal lane changes, etc. But I am an aggressive driver as evidenced above.

But one blew my mind earlier. I was coming down Division Road in East Greenwich and come upon a stop sign. I actually come to a complete stop. Jerk face behind me flashes his beams at me. Yo fucker – you’re lucky. I’d take the lights out of your car and shove them up your ass. Every time the power goes out all you have to do is bend over.

And RI now has marriage equality

I suppose we should set a date. Once I’ve got a little more cash coming in I can do that.

But two things that made me laugh were:

1) One Ronald L’Heureux of North Providence, RI tried to block the enactment of the law in court yesterday. The just rightfully threw his sorry ass out of the court. I did read that the bigot represented himself. That’s rich!

2) Westboro Baptist church got a nice warm bronx cheer in RI today. They camped out at Providence City Hall, Cranston City Hall and the State House. You know I’d love to know where they get the money to flit all over the U.S. They’re coming from Westboro, Kansas which is 1,437 miles from Providence. In a couple of vans which probably get 15mpg so that means $766.40 in gas, probably $100 in tolls for both ways. And it looks like they have about 15 people – so let’s say they have to buy food along the way because it’s a 22 hour drive. So add 15 folks times 4 meals each at an average of $15 and you add $900. So we’re at $1,666.40 and add ancillary needs and you’re up around $2,000.

Bigotry is expensive.

The Rogues Gallery of RI Representatives that voted AGAINST Marriage Equality

I’ve already posted the roll over here on scribd.

 

But I figured it would be especially derisive to post the photos of those who voted against us.

And if you like, go hit the House site and lookup the legislators and see what they do for a living. You may want to avoid them in the future.

So to begin with the gallery of the 19 who voted against us in our quest for full equality and note, I tagged all LaSalle Academy grads, since I graduated from LaSalle in 1982 and we all share an alma mater. And in fact a full 26% of the bigots graduated from LaSalle. I don’t get it, I went to the same school and I didn’t turn out to be an asshat.

Rep. Samuel A. Azzinaro – Deputy Majority Leader
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Rep. Lisa Baldelli-Hunt
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Rep. John M. Carnevale (LaSalle Academy Class of 1979)
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Rep. Stephen M. Casey
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Rep. Michael W. Chippendale – Senior Deputy Minority Leader
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Rep. Arthur J. Corvese – Deputy Majority Leader

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Rep. Doreen M. Costa – Deputy Minority Whip
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Rep. Gregory J. Costantino (LaSalle Academy Class of 1978)
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Rep. Antonio Giarrusso
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Rep. Raymond A. Hull (LaSalle Academy Class of 1981 – they year before me!)
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Rep. Raymond H. Johnston, Jr.
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Rep. Jan Malik
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Rep. James N. McLaughlin – the incoherent one of the bunch of bigots
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Rep. Patricia L. Morgan
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Rep. Robert D. Phillips
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Rep. William San Bento Jr. – Deputy Majority Leader
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Rep. Joseph A. Trillo – Deputy Minority Whip (LaSalle Academy grad, no year available)
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Rep. Stephen R. Ucci – Majority Whip (LaSalle Academy Class of 1989)
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Rep. Thomas J. Winfield
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RI House Passes Marriage Equality 51-19!

For you numerically inclined, 72% voted for the H-5015-A the Marriage Equality bill.

27% percent voted against and we can be sure Rep. Trillo, Rep. Corvese, McLaughlin et al were that 19 people.

Now on to the senate. But here’s the thing, this passed with more than a mandate. Senate President Paiva-Weed needs to let this vote.

The list of those who voted for, against and those who abstained can be found here.

 

 

 

 

RI Division of Taxation must be a mess

So a while back I had gotten a notice that I owed $1,700 in tax to the state of Rhode Island. I figured fine, I’ll just let them yank a couple years returns of $700 to $800 and pay the remainder.

Now I filed my 2010 taxes and was owed close to $900. But get this they didn’t apply it against my owed tax. And they didn’t refund it either. Plus, one other tactic the state uses is to snatch your federal return. But I got a full federal return.

Based on this I begin to smell something extremely rotten. Because you see if even the IRS isn’t collecting back tax for RI now, it means RI’s system has some very serious problems.

Today I get a letter in the mail about RI’s Tax Amnesty and how I can pay $438 less and settle the matter.

I have some words for Division of Taxation. Two words to be precise, FUCK YOU. You don’t what you are doing.

My license is valid for four years – and as far as registrations go I don’t own a car. There is also a high probability that I will leave this crooked little state within that four years.

Perhaps I’ll just hire an attorney and sue the state. That would be fun.

But better yet – if I leave the state entirely. I’ll build my little real estate empire here and then I can live ANYWHERE I want. At the 24 unit mark I don’t have to work a full time job anymore. And we start moving into the lower levels of “fuck you” money at approximately twice that. And my goal – when this is all done at a minimum 100 units, maybe 150. I really want to build this.