Matthew's shirt and jacket provided by Club Monaco.
Rhode Island's state legislature thought it would be a good idea to give same-sex partners the right to plan each other's funerals when one partner passes away. It's a right married couples have, of course. But Gov. Don Carcieri said: not so fast! The socially conservative leader vetoed the bill because it's part of a "disturbing trend" threatening heterosexual marriage. I'm confused. How does a gay person planning a loved one's funeral have anything to do with someone else's marriage?
Those who support the veto point out that Rhode Island recognizes neither gay marriage nor civil unions. Still, many people are shocked that the governor would intervene to deny same-sex partners some comfort during a hard time. The state's attorney general has called the veto "cruel and heartless," and lawmakers in the Democratically-controlled legislature said they would work to override the veto. Hopefully they will succeed!
While Rhode Island is the smallest state in the nation, there is no shortage of great food. It's known as the Ocean State, and after spending a few days exploring it, I can say it definitely lives up to its name! There's a never ending supply of fresh lobster, succulent clams, and much more. The selection from under the sea is out of this world, but that's not all Rhode Island has to offer. There are plenty of other interesting foods, like pizza bread and coffee milk. Take a dip into the Ocean State's fare and check out some of my favorites here.
The intuitive trend in America to move to where the land is open and the climate warm has hit a road bump. Thanks to the housing crisis, which makes the idea of taking on a new mortgage scary and risky, people are staying put.
The population slowdown specifically hit the western and southern states, which had seen huge growth and migration over the last decade. While this trend could mean less traffic and more space for those already living there, it could also lead to less political influence. Based on current projections, California might lose a seat in Congress for the first time ever following the 2010 Census.
Still, a population slow down in the South and West doesn't mean other regions are growing faster. In 2008, Utah was the fastest growing state, followed by Arizona, Texas, North Carolina, and South Carolina. And Michigan and Rhode Island actually lost population.
Have tough times made you shelve any plans for moving?
Real estate hobbyist Nicolas Cage is at it again. The actor has listed a historic 24,664-square-foot, 12-bedroom, 10-full-and-3-half-bath estate in Newport, RI, for $15.9 million, according to Real Estalker. Cage purchased the monumental English manor-style estate just last year for $15.7 million. It's unclear whether he purchased the property furnished, but it seems furnishing the sprawling home alone would cost much more than the $200,000 raise in price. To see dozens of gorgeous interior and exterior photos, and read the property description, read more
Reading and writing have competition for lesson time in Rhode Island. A new law requires all middle and high school students to take a unit in their health classes to help students recognize the beginnings of an abusive relationship. Sadly, the inspiration behind the law is a victim of one such fatally violent murder and is named the Lindsay Ann Burke Act in her memory.
The murder of Lindsay Ann Burke at the hands of her ex-boyfriend prompted the enactment of the lesson mandate. The Rhode Island Attorney General who was instrumental in getting this law passed said: “You teach sex ed., you teach ‘don’t do drugs,’ you teach ‘don’t drink,’ you should also be teaching ‘don’t be a victim of domestic violence.’ “
But the education isn’t all about abuse and violence. To see what else it teaches, read more
The Rhode Island Board of Elections has reinstated the voting rights of two men who had them taken away last year. The men were found two decades ago to be not guilty of murder by reason of insanity. However, they now live in a psychiatric center and neither man had ever been released from mental care custody.
Rhode Island law says both convicted felons and those “lawfully adjudicated to be non compos mentis” — or sane — aren't allowed to vote. Lawyers for the men appealed for their right to ballot on the grounds that the finding of insanity applied only to “a brief period of time” and that “since it covers a brief period of time, it didn’t seem to persuade the Board of Elections that the men should lose their right to vote.” Let's remember that the "brief period of time" was long enough to let them escape being charged with murder, though they killed four people between them.
The subject of felons getting to vote came up when we were all watching Recount — the Florida felon list played heavily into the plot. Is the right to vote something that should be taken away permanently? Do we need a more nuanced system where those convicted of federal felonies could re-earn voting rights? Or should we be even more selective as to who gets to pick our leaders? Was Rhode Island right to reinstate the rights of the mentally ill men?
Both sides of the pond are facing a prison problem. In the US, states facing budget crises are now looking at an alternative to raising taxes — let's just say it's a lock-checking idea. They're letting prisoners go free well before their sentences are completed.
In a time of tough budget decisions and rising prison costs, a choice has to be made. Marc Mauer, executive director of the Sentencing Project, a Washington located group that supports fairer sentencing, said: “Do you want to build prisons or build colleges? If you’re a governor, it’s kind of come to that choice right now.”
To see how some states are compromising on containment, and what's happening in the UK, read more
The New York Times' Light and Space Where Fire Alarms Once Rang visits the Providence, Rhode Island home of artist couple Wendy Edwards and Jerry Mischak, which was originally built in 1931 as a firehouse. The couple, who were living in a mid-19th-century house on Brown University's campus and also renting two separate spaces for their studios, wanted to find a place where they could both live and work. When Mischak saw a sign for a new firehouse going up in East Providence, he stopped into the old headquarters, and spoke to the firemen about the digs. A year later, they'd paid $185,000 for "a hazardous wreck," complete with "lead-base paint and asbestos." An architect helped them to transform the space, removing the fire poles, unearthing gorgeous steel beams, raising the ceilings, creating an open dining and living area, and making two artist studios. Some architectural details were salvaged as evidence of the structure's origins, like French doors, subway tiles, and fire pole openings. But in essence, the building was renewed, instilled with the kind of light and space that only artists could see in a perilous, old structure — the same kind of vision that has transformed ancient cathedrals and chapels and frat-boy dwellings into modern homes.
Who won today? Well, that depends what your definition of "win" is. Clinton definitely broke Obama's winning streak, and came away with big prizes — Ohio, a state crucial in the general election, and Texas, which is as big as it gets.
Hillary Clinton might have a legitimate ticket out of Junior Super Tuesday, simply as a result of the complicated nature of the results. Deciding which matters most —net delegates, the popular vote, big states vs. small states, momentum — is all susceptible to serious pro-Clinton spin. Today, it may mean that the Democrats and the press, want to take a second look at Barack Obama.
Earlier, most of you said that Hillary Clinton needed double digit wins in Ohio and Texas, or she's toast. It's true that the math is still not in Hillary's favor, and an appeal to superdelegates may turn people away from the Democratic Party. Now that the results are in, do you think Hillary should go on?