Archive for June, 2013

ALN Board of Directors asks the question; “Is it do or die”?

TO: ALN Subscribers FROM: ALN Board of Directors RE: ALN’s Future DATE: June 26, 2013 Every year Alliance For A Livable Newport (ALN) has had a membership drive each March in advance of the April annual meeting. This year both the membership drive and the annual meeting were postponed while the ALN Board did some soul searching about ALN’s future. The Board is concerned about two factors, both having a significant negative effect on the organization and bringing into question whether the organization can continue to operate and, if so, on what level. (1) Over the past two years ALN has lost major financial contributors. Members’ dues and donations from neighborhood associations accounted for less than 30% of its operating budget. The balance came from “deep pockets” supporters. For various reasons, those supporters have ceased to contribute at the level they have in past years (some have ceased contributing altogether).  (2)At the same time, members who had contributed their time and efforts to do the work necessary to plan, organize and facilitate ALN’s activities drifted away, again for a variety of reasons. They left a very small core group of workers who are suffering from burn out trying to do […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 27, 2013 at 9:02 pm

Categories: Recent Updates   Tags: , , , , ,

POLL: #1 Newport: RI’s Best Communities 2013

Surrounded by a sprawling waterfront, Newport was fittingly titled the “Birthplace of the Navy.” Since its establishment as a city, this highly visited community has enjoyed a history of progress and success. In fact, Newport has more standing buildings built before 1830 than any other American community. It offers cruises, excursion boats, city tours, golf, and fishing among other things for visitors making it one of the most desired tourist destinations in the country. http://www.golocalprov.com/news/1-newport-ris-best-communities-2013/ Newport by the numbers Established: 1639 Population: 24,672 Median household income: $58,080 Median housing price: $352,500 2013 Best Communities rankings Overall ranking: 1 Affordability ranking: 38 Education ranking: 35 Economic Condition ranking: 17 Safety ranking: 35 Arts & Culture ranking: 1 Famous residents Benedict Arnold, (governor) of Rhode Island William Coddington, governor of Rhode Island John Clarke, Baptist minister and drafter of the Royal Charter Nicholas Easton, governor of Rhode Island George Berkeley, philosopher Louis Alexandre Berthier, French Army officer, later Marshal of France and Napoleon’s chief of staff William Ellery, signer of the Declaration of Independence Robert Feke, portrait painter Peter Harrison, architect Samuel Hopkins (clergyman), Congregational minister, Calvinist theologian and pioneer leader for abolition of the slave trade Aaron Lopez, prominent merchant Louis-Marie, […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 24, 2013 at 7:49 am

Categories: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY, INFRASTRUCTURE, NATURAL ENVIRONMENT, PUBLIC HEALTH & SAFETY, Recent Updates, SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION   Tags: , , , ,

June Survey Statistics, Results, Graph and Charts

SHARE THIS REPORT:         Survey Report: June 2013 VIEWED  404 STARTED  262 COMPLETED  121 COMPLETION RATE  46% DROP OUTS  141 TIME TO COMPLETE  4 mins  “The city could save half a million dollars.” We heard this first from Harry Winthrop at an ALN forum in April. Now we have Naomi Neville’s comments in the Newport Daily News’ Guest View column of 5/28/13 making a clear case for combining School Committee and city resources in managing finances and other administrative services for the schools. Do you think this would this be a good idea? Yes : 61.47%No : 11.01%Maybe : 27.52% Answer Count Percent 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1. Yes 134 61.47% 2. No 24 11.01% 3. Maybe 60 27.52% Total 218 100% Mean: 1.661 Confidence Interval @ 95%: [1.543 – 1.778] Standard Deviation: 0.882 Standard Error: 0.060  The summer season has begun! In spite of the fact that Newport has ordinances in many neighborhoods prohibiting rentals of less than a month, there is a growing “underground” business in Newport rentals of a week or less operated by individual homeowners. Are you in favor of short-term rentals in most of Newport’s neighborhoods? Answer Count Percent 20% 40% 60% 80% 100% 1. […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 11, 2013 at 11:06 am

Categories: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY, SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION   Tags: , , , , ,

Survey Question #3 Responses – Do you favor a two-tier property tax system?

ADD your responses below! Or post them on our Facebook page! Share this with your Newport neighbors, tell us what you think! Your voice, your community, your opinion matters!    It has been suggested by a City Council member that property taxpayers whose legal residence is in Newport receive a discount on their taxes. Opponents argue that such an arrangement would discourage second home ownership in Newport, which has been a financial boon to the city.   Do you favor a two-tier property tax system? 06/03/2013 7581023 [No] The last thing Newport should be doing is discouraging second home ownership. Non-resident owners contribute equally to the cost of Newport’s services while utilizing fewer of those services, benefiting Newport residents. A prime example is the costs of Newport’s schools. 06/05/2013 7607639 [Yes] A tax exemption would be a benefit to our year round residents. Too many homes are “dark” in the offseason, and while we don’t have to pay to educate children in those homes, having vacant homes is damaging the fabric of our community. I’m not sure that seasonal ownership is a financial boon to anyone but the person who sells their house to someone who wants to live here […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 10, 2013 at 8:55 pm

Categories: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Survey Question #2 Responses – Short Term Rentals?

ADD your responses below! Or post them on our Facebook page! Share this with your Newport neighbors, tell us what you think! Your voice, your community, your opinion matters!  The summer season has begun! In spite of the fact that Newport has ordinances in many neighborhoods prohibiting rentals of less than a month, there is a growing “underground” business in Newport rentals of a week or less operated by individual homeowners. Are you in favor of short-term rentals in most of Newport’s neighborhoods? 06/03/2013 7581023 [Yes] Permitting short-term rentals must be combined with better enforcement of regulations reining in excesses of “party houses.” 06/05/2013 7607714 [No] That is what hotels are for 06/06/2013 7610587 [Yes] It’s happening anyway. Might as well go with it. 06/06/2013 7611297 [Yes] why not will bring in more business and taxes 06/06/2013 7611492 [Yes] short term is probably preferable as it involves people who make a short term commitment..not like the horrible tenant you cannot get rid of! The renters of short term are sometimes I assume family friends…or people who know people…what is the reason to not allow it? 06/06/2013 7610965 [Yes] It’s happening everywhere. There are websites dedicated to the rental business and […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 10, 2013 at 8:49 pm

Categories: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Survey Question #1 Responses – School Committee save $500k per year?

ADD your responses below! Or post them on our Facebook page! Share this with your Newport neighbors, tell us what you think! Your voice, your community, your opinion matters!  “The city could save half a million dollars.” We heard this first from Harry Winthrop at an ALN forum in April. Now we have Naomi Neville’s comments in the Newport Daily News’ Guest View column of 5/28/13 making a clear case for combining School Committee and city resources in managing finances and other administrative services for the schools. Do you think this would this be a good idea? 06/03/2013 7581023 [Yes] It is an administrative savings that is long overdue. 06/05/2013 7607639 [Yes] Great idea, but it might not result in actual tax savings. The savings would end up on the school side and might not count toward maintenance of effort. Regardless, it is money which could be put toward early education programs. 06/05/2013 7607877 [Maybe] It is worthy of examination. With the proper controls, checks and balances in place, the schools Administrator should not have to worry that educational funds would be siphoned off elsewhere. There is also the concern that the schools would be nickel and dimed to death […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 10, 2013 at 8:38 pm

Categories: SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION   Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Newport Gateway Center to get facelift

NEWPORT, R.I. — A plan to give the Gateway Center on America’s Cup Avenue a new look was unveiled to the public on Wednesday by Evan Smith, the president and CEO of Discover Newport, the regional visitors and convention bureau. He described the plan as practical, affordable and actionable. The building and the 8-acre site are owned by the city of Newport. In 1988, the Rhode Island Public Transit Authority signed a 99-year lease to use part of the site as a bus terminal, so both parties would have to support the redesign. Smith said he was encouraged after meeting with City Manager Jane Howington Wednesday morning and with Mark Therrien, RIPTA’s assistant general manager, in the afternoon. “We want to inspire our partners, realizing we are the tenants,” Smith said. “We are open to the ideas and creativeness of the city and RIPTA if they want to change this redevelopment plan.” Some of the white canvas canopies over the Gateway Center’s walkways were torn up by superstorm Sandy last October and have been removed. Therrien said he would see if federal disaster money is available for the damages. Howington said the city has been in contact with the Federal […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 8, 2013 at 10:16 am

Categories: INFRASTRUCTURE   Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Newport Councilor Claims Superintendent Violated State Law

Newport City Councilor Michael Farley said a $750,000 shortfall in the 2012-13 school budget should had been reported within five days after it was discovered. By Olga Enger Email the author June 4, 2013 After a budget meeting with members of the Newport City Council and School Committee Thursday, Councilor Michael Farley said a $745,000 school budget shortfall came to light that should had been previously reported. “The school committee had a legal obligation to notify the council of all shortfalls within five days of discovery of this and all other budget shortfalls,” said Farley. At the meeting, Superintendent Jack Ambrogi said because a business manager did not appropriately allocate funds, there was a $600,00 shortfall for tuition and a $145,000 shortfall for bus monitors. “We already put a freeze on the budget back in March because we knew that there were issues,” said Ambrogi. “We already said that we weren’t going to spend any of that capital improvement money this year because we knew there were issues.” In response, Farley made seven requests to the School Committee for supporting documentation under the Freedom of Information Act and the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act. “It is important to […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 6, 2013 at 7:56 am

Categories: GOVERNMENT ACCOUNTABILITY, SCHOOLS AND EDUCATION   Tags: , , , ,

June Survey; 3 Questions, 3 Minutes

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 5, 2013 at 10:44 pm

Categories: 5 Focus Areas - Categories Updates, INFRASTRUCTURE   Tags:

Queen Anne Square opens to rave reviews during dedication ceremony

Dave Hansen | Staff photographer Visitors take in ‘The Meeting Room’ installation at Queen Anne Square on Friday evening. The park opened to the public earlier in the day. By Sean Flynn | The Newport Daily News | 0 comments NEWPORT, R.I. — Toni McGregor of Newport held her 8-month-old grandson, Lochlan Alistair McGregor, under the arms Friday morning as he splashed his feet on the water table that is a centerpiece of “The Meeting Room” foundation in the newly redesigned Queen Anne Square in Newport. “I think he’s the first child to do this,” McGregor said at the end of a dedication ceremony featuring the artists behind the park’s redesign: internationally known artist and architect Maya Lin; landscape designer Edwina von Gal of Long Island; and stonecarver Nick Benson of Newport, who also has a national reputation. “I think the fountain is going to be a hit,” said Scott Wheeler, the city’s parks and grounds supervisor. “It’s wonderful how Maya Lin designed it to be interactive. It’s a great asset to the park.” Newport police officers estimated more than 400 people attended the dedication ceremony. All 145 seats were filled and crowds of people stood around the perimeter as Gov. Lincoln D. […]

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Posted by NewportAlliance - June 5, 2013 at 10:36 pm

Categories: NATURAL ENVIRONMENT   Tags: , , , , , ,

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