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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.
Newport by the numbers
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
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, vicomte de Noailles, French army officer
Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, comte de Rochambeau, French general
Charles Theodore Pachelbel, first organist of Newport’s Trinity Church and son of Johann Pachelbel
William Selby, organist (Trinity Church) and composer
John Smybert, artist
Ezra Stiles, minister, diarist, and President of Yale
Gilbert Stuart, portrait painter
Isaac Touro, hazzan at Synagogue
Judah Touro, prominent merchant and philanthropist
Vice-Admiral Sir Jahleel Brenton, Royal Navy
William Ellery Channing, one of the foremost Unitarian preachers of the 19th century
George Bancroft, historian, Secretary of the Navy, diplomat, and summer resident
August Belmont, financier
Ambrose Burnside, Army officer stationed at Fort Adams, later a Civil War general, governor, and senator
Julia Ward Howe, author and summer resident
Henry James, author
William James, Harvard professor
John Kensett, artist
Clement C. Moore, summer resident and author of ‘Twas the Night before Christmas
Levi P. Morton, summer resident and donor of Morton Park, later Vice President of the United States
Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry, hero of the War of 1812
William Trost Richards, artist
Milton H. Sanford, textile magnate and thoroughbred racehorse owner
Richard Upjohn, architect
Louis Agaziz, scientist and adventurer
Caroline Webster Schermerhorn Astor, socialite
Alva Belmont, socialite and leader of women’s rights movement
Charles D. Barney, socialite, banker, founder of Smith Barney Brokerage
Oliver Hazard Perry Belmont, socialite, builder of Belcourt Castle
James Gordon Bennett, Jr. newspaper publisher and yachtsman
Ogden Codman, designer
Richard Morris Hunt, architect
William Morris Hunt, artist
John LaFarge, artist
Pierre Lorillard, tobacco manufacturer
Rear Admiral Stephen B. Luce, founder, Naval War College
Captain Alfred Thayer Mahan, naval historian and strategist
Ward McAllister, flamboyant raconteur of high society, coined the term ‘the 400’ for the New York social elite
Charles McKim, architect
H.H. Ricardson, architect
Edith B. Price, writer and illustrator
Horace Trumbauer, architect
Alva Vanderbilt Wife of William K. Vanderbilt, early feminist and active in the women’s suffrage movement
Consuelo Vanderbilt, daughter of W.K. and Alva Vanderbilt; Duchess of Marlborough
Cornelius Vanderbilt II heir to Vanderbilt fortune, Chairman of New York Central Railroad
William Kissam Vanderbilt heir to Vanderbilt fortune, noted yachtsman
Edith Wharton, author
Stanford White, architect
Edward Malbone, artist and miniaturist
Caleb Gardner, captain and counsul of the French Empire
Thomas Harper Ince, actor
Ida Lewis, lighthouse keeper credited with saving 18 lives in Newport Harbor throughout the nineteenth century; she received national attention and numerous honors. A United States Coast Guard buoy tender bears her name
Matthew C. Perry, Commodore of the U.S. Navy who forced the opening of Japan to the West with the Convention of Kanagawa in 1854, under the threat of military force
Harry Anderson, actor and comedian
Nadia Bjorlin, soap opera actress (Days of our Lives)
Frank Corridon, who pitched for the Chicago Cubs, Philadelphia Phillies, and St. Louis Cardinals and is known for inventing the now illegal pitch, the spitball
Tanya Donelly, musician, vocalist for Rhode Island-based bands Belly and Throwing Muses, as well as guitarist for the band The Breeders
Leon Wilkeson, bass guitarist
Charlie Fern, White House speechwriter, journalist.
Van Johnson, actor, known best for “all-American” roles in MGM films during World War II.
Mena Suvari, actress, known best for her role as the vampish cheerleader with whom Kevin Spacey’s character is obsessed in the 1999 film American Beauty.
Laura Jane Barney socialite, philanthropist, Smith Barney Brokerage heiress Champ Soleil Mansion on Belleveue Ave
Admiral Jeremy Michael Boorda, 25th Chief of Naval Operations
John Nicholas Brown, socialite, yachtsman and philanthropist
The Cowsills, a popular 1960s pop/flower power band that had a #2 hit with The Rain, The Park, And Other Things in 1967
Doris Duke, tobacco heiress and philanthropist
President Dwight D. Eisenhower, located his summer White House at Newport
Fleet Admiral William F. Halsey, Jr.
Paul L. Gaines, first African-American to be elected mayor of a New England city
Kristin Hersh, musician, vocalist for Rhode Island-based band Throwing Muses, 50 Foot Wave and solo artist.
Fleet Admiral Ernest King, Chief of Naval Operations, 1941–1945
MacGillivray Milne, 27th Governor of American Samoa, 1936–1938
Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz, Commander, U.S. Pacific Fleet, 1942–1945; Chief of Naval Operations
Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, summer resident and First Lady
Claiborne Pell, socialite and U.S. Senator
Admiral William Sims, commander of U.S. Naval Forces in Europe 1917–1919
Admiral Raymond Spruance, the victor of Midway and later President, Naval War College
Harold Vanderbilt, yachtsman and bridge player (inventor of contract bridge)
Paul Gordon – keyboardist and guitarist with Goo Goo Dolls, New Radicals, Lisa Marie Presley and currently The B-52’s
Joanna Going, Actress
Richard Hatch, first winner of the realty television show Survivor
Richard Saul Wurman, architect, graphic designer and founder of the TED Conferences
Sheldon Whitehouse, U.S. Senator
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?
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?
Successful KickStarter Campaign!
530 Backers – $61,130 pledged of $55,000 goal
Hollywood is forcing all theaters to upgrade to digital projection as the era of 35mm film comes to an end in early 2013!
by Kathy Staab click the link below to read the complete story!
|Alliance for a Livable Newport December 2012 Survey Results|
|Survey Name: 3 Questions – 3 Minutes|
|Dec 26, 2012 8:20:14 PM|
PLEASE COMMENT BELOW!
|2. At a recent Newport City Council workshop, the reconstruction and redesign of lower Broadway was presented. Turns out the project will be “long and messy.” An aggressive timetable would complete the work in a little over a year but the Broadway Business District streets would be torn up for the entire summer of 2013.
Will it be worth the turmoil in a major commercial district over the busy 2013 summer tourist season to keep within the project timetable?
If the project is suspended over the summer months (2013) to permit greater access to businesses and ease traffic congestion the project costs increase and therefore would not be completed until 2014. – Responses
|1||I don’t think tourists have found this major commercial district. Rip off the band-aid, fix this area, and be done with it.|
|2||GET IT DONE!|
|3||I am in favor of the construction being completed in the shortest amount of time within the current budget. I feel that the city and construction crews can minimize the disruption to local businesses with careful planning and communications. I look forward to a new, improved Broadway before I have to replace the shocks on my Jeep!|
|4||Fine with either working through summer or braking and finishing 2014. I would leave the decision up to the business owners of lower Broadway|
|5||suspend the project during the summer – give the businesses a chance to recoup during the summer months.|
|6||Any mess and tear up in summer is bad for the city, for tourism and residents alike. Do it in off season.|
|7||Sadly, I do not know the details but believe that disrupting a major thoroughfare during peak months is absurd.|
|8||I support suspending work for the summer of 2013.|
|9||Let’s get it done. Rather than dragging on the work we can just bite the bullet and move on the overall improvement of the town. Although I go there a lot of thought of generally attractive area just now so the sooner it’s improved the better|
|10||no, not worth it|
|12||Businesses on Broadway would suffer too greatly by having the street torn up for an entire summer. As with many projects in Newport there hasn’t been sufficient impact planning. Take, for instance, the new traffic lights at Bellevue & Memorial. At first blush it seemed a good idea but lack of impact planning has created a new nightmare.|
|13||No> I worry about the businesses. When they did Washington Square it was a mess and really affected businesses like Yesterdays.|
|14||Yes do the work with doing the summer recess of construction activities|
|15||The city must do all it can to balance the desire for quick completion with the needs of the businesses to make their money during our short summer season. Let’s consider some alternatives, e.g. Staggered work areas, off-hours construction work, flexible parking regulations on side streets, protected pedestrian walkways through construction areas.|
|17||This question should be asked of the owners of businesses along Broadway. While I may have an opinion, their’s is the most important one.|
|18||Everyone has been complaining to get lower Broadway updated.You now have the chance so do it all and get it over with. Tired of people complaining about everything! Finally a chance to get your complainants filled and know your complaining about when it’s going to be fixed! Shut up and let the work get done!|
|19||Relocate the “wet shelter” at Washington Square and turn the building into a parking garage!!!|
|20||Who will pay for this? Will it increase prices in Newport???? Honestly, consequences need to be evaluated which is currently very short sighted on this Island and elsewhere.A|
|21||The city to should do everything it can to NOT interfere with businesses during the busy summer tourist season. It’s been hard enough in this economy for small, local businesses to prosper. Don’t make it any harder than necessary.
As residents of Broadway, we rely on on-street parking – we do not have a driveway. Keep disruption to a min
|22||I do not think it makes sense to do a major construction project on Broadway during the summer months. The surrounding streets cannot handle the traffic. Extend the project to 2014 but get started ASAP this spring!|
|23||No. Let them do it as fast as they can. This is not a tourist area and the businesses will likely be kept open duing construction. There are many ways to mitigate construction impacts.|
|25||Tax revenue collected during the summer season should make up the difference of the suspension. We need to ensure hat many tourists come and facilitate their spending.|
|26||How late in 2014 for completion if work suspended in summer 2013? If December, then work through the summer; if January, suspend work.|
|27||RE Sakonnet: tolls are necessary BUT they should not be higher for out of state transponders, and cash payments should be kept low, maybe a dollar a crossing, otherwise its punitive and defies fariness and common sense
RE Broadway: Go for the extended schedule to protect the businesses
|28||Poor grammar, the project “will not be completed until 2014” because “the project costs increase”. I am disappointed in you showing your biase in the phrasing of the question. I had thought you above that.|
|29||Just get on with it and get it done.|
|30||I agree that suspending road work for the summer would be worth the extra investment. Many businesses on Broadway are struggling, whether they are new and trying to get established or older and trying to stay afloat. They don’t need the additional pressure of losing an entire season of income and business, and neither does our tax revenue.|
|31||Yes they should go ahead as proposed. There are always delays and postponements and stretching it out won’t facilitate the project.|
|32||The”turmoil” should be judged by the by the business owners. The inconvenience will be the same length of time but business owners might be able to “optimize” the schedule.|
|33||Newport needs the tourists. Do not do anything during the high tourist season to make Tourists frustrated. Hope the project has been well planned to truly make a difference.|
|34||I favor doing as much as possible, then suspending for July and August only.|
|35||The outcome will be worth the added disruptions that the accelerated timeline will cause.|
|37||DOT was able to widen and improve the roads in downtown Bristol this year with some disruption to business. They kept everyone informed, posted ‘open 4 biz’ signs and changed direction patterns for awhile. Now everything is in place. It worked in Bristol, it can work in Newport. Just make sure they ADD parking spots not take them away!|
|38||Job must be done. Road condition is poor. With proper planning disruption s/b minimal.|
|39||I believe the plan should be as efficiently coordinated as possible with clear communication with business owners and a phased implementation that minimizes disruptions to pedestrian traffic. Perhaps a tax break should be offered to effected businesses as well.|
|40||I would opt for the more aggressive timetable but also doing everything possible to provide access to the Broadway businesses.|
|41||suspend during summer or make west broadway more user friendly|
|42||suspend over summer|
|43||yes. It’s about time.|
|44||No “turmoil” is necessary… (other than the heretofore unresolved ‘Proper’ Traffic Flow) Now, is certainly the time to forever Fix the ‘problem’… First & foremost… Please, please direct All ‘Tourists’ coming down Spring St (AT St. Church)… to take either a Left or a Right… (up &/or down Memorial Blvd) to the Pell Bridge &/or Rts 114 or 138|
|45||Yes, rip it up please, lower Broadway is a mess. How can the roads in Newport be as bad as they are? Also I would like to thank whoever re-striped memorial and removed the old stripes with a grinder so the once pristine newly paved road can have tons of potholes after the winter, yea!|
|46||It should be done in manageable sections…well planned…well controlled…well thought-out! If that takes an extra 6 months, so be it!|
|47||Just get it done!|
|48||suspend the work over the summer|
|49||SUGGEST THE LONGER PROJECT, but do not know the cost difference.|
|51||probably worth waiting until 2014|
|53||suspend over the summer months|
|54||Let’s get it done as soon as possible. I’d like to see what the alternative routing will be, however.|
|55||The answer to that question may lie with the RIDOT schedule, TIP funding deadlines, costs and contractual issues. I’m assuming the City doesn’t want to disturb the summer months either and must have explored other options.|
|56||yes to 2013 summer construction|
|57||Delay the project to the extent we are confident that the costs to local business owners would be beyond negligible. It’s better that all citizens bear the extra cost than to ask local businesses to do so unless it can be demonstrated that they will receive “extra” profit from the repaving of Broadway.|
|58||I am in favor of moving ahead with the project and not suspending during the summer.|
|59||If the extra cost isn’t too bad, I would support suspending the project. Why not start mid August next year (most tourists are gone by then) and try to finish before July 4 weekend. I think the merchants who depend on summer traffic should have a major say in this. Leaving 1st question blank-no room for statewide tax to cover it vs just locals.|
|60||I think it is necessary to suspend the work over the summer. The businesses on Washington Square have already had their summer season disrupted twice recently. In particular, I am concerned about the impact on Yesterdays, a restaurant that has been a local favorite for years. How many summers can you take away from them with construction – really??|
|61||just get it done now|
|62||Yes, it will be a great improvement for the long range.|
|63||I doubt if most of the small businesses on Broadway could sustain a loss of summer 2013 revenues – some locals might walk over to the restaurants or salons but the tourist dollars would likely be lost|
|64||Get it over with Work thru summer months|
|65||keep to the planned timetable and do not suspend. otherwise, it will doubtless be even longer than estimated time and could run over into a second summer!!! creative managing should be able to reduce limited access to businesses/restaurants and allow shifting the burden evenly.|
|66||I favor suspending the project over the summer of 2013.|
|67||Before answering the question, it would seems that the working assumption that very little of the pre-work could be done that would necessitate the total disruptive summer of 2013.
That being true, the traffic would be very trying and it would hurt business. Winter 2013-14 seems preferable.
|68||I think there is never a good time to do a project like this. I have always thought of Broadway as the “locals” street and locals will know how to avoid any problems.|
|69||Yes, get it done soooner rather than later and minimize the possiblitiy of it never being completed. People will get used to going about their business during construction.|
|70||do it now Provide free parking and shuttle service to broadway. Better yet have trolleys doing a loop. Eliminate the parking on one side while project is being done.|
|71||I believe only those individuals located in the work zone, with private, for profit businesses should be asked for comments.|
|72||Re Q 1, can’t answer Y/N. Depends what the viable options for funding RI bridges and other travel improvements are. In general, user-fee approach with breaks for low-income drivers makes sense.
Re Q 2, need to clarify what are the aims of the Broadway re-do, and what are the options?
|73||Stretch out the project’s timetable in favor of less traffic turmoil during the summer.|
|74||The area is at least half a century behind. Get on with it!|
|75||Keep the project going through the summer and provide signs directing people to park at the Gateway Center and walk to the businesses.|
|76||What is needed here? I don’t know enough about this project to say, except to ask if the businesses there want the reconstruction, and if it is necessary.|
|77||I did not attend the workshop. I don’t have sufficient information about the project, the projected costs of the project, details of disruption to daily life and commerce, additional costs involved in suspending project for the summer, nor how thoroughly these issues have been examined, so not qualified to answer this question.|
|78||I haven’t been able to find information on what they are proposing – only comments or updates that assume I should know what the plan is. I think it’s important to keep traffic flowing in the summer, even if it delays the final completion.|
|79||The businesses should be protected and construction should not continue through the summer.|
|80||It will be worth it, if effective, well marked detour routes and signs directing people to open businesses are provided. Consider temporary parking due to lost street parking — perhaps St. Joseph’s lot when the church isn’t using it and after school is out. Mann St. from Bdwy to Central could be temporarily 2-way for easier access to that lot.|
|81||My business went through the rehab of lower Thames Street (from post office to Dean Ave). The project took much longer than expected because of decayed water pipes and the like. Lost a summers worth of usual income The City needs to come up with another plan ( perhaps night construction, this would require less police supervision|
|82||How much are project costs increased if split into two phases? I think this question should be answered/estimated in order to make a decision.|
|83||I am in favor of recommendations, but businesses have to be protected in the summer.|
|84||The planned reconstruction is completely unnecessary. There is no way any work should be carried on during June, July, August or September. Having people back into angled parking is a very bad idea.|
|85||In these hard economic times any pressure on the consumer to make their buying/ dining more difficult is reason for them not to visit. The work should be suspended during the summer or find a more aggressive work crew that can get the job done from November through June. Newport and shop owners need to make it easy on the consumer.|
|86||YES Please do it..I dread going up that road..so does everyone coming into town|
|87||yes it would be worth suspending the project during the summer months.|
ALN has asked 10 important questions of our local candidates in the upcoming 2012 elections for Newport City Council and School Committee.
Read how each candidate has responded to these important questions in the following documents shown below! ***Very important that you “comment”, “like” and “share” this information with your friends, family and neighbors in Newport. Anyone can comment below!
*Space for this workshop is very limited. The Rotary room at the Newport Public Library will hold two dozen people. Please come early to make sure of a seat.
Funding Our Schools-Rhode Island’s Role in Supporting Local Education
Until the passage of new legislation in June 2010, Rhode Island was one of only two states that did not use a funding formula to help support local school districts. Rhode Island’s new funding formula has been in place for almost two years, and the state has also received new federal monies as part of the Race to the Top grant. What exactly is a funding formula and what does this all mean to local school districts?
Alda Rego, Rhode Island Department of Education‘s Director of Finance, and Kristen Cole, RIDE’s Senior Finance Officer, will explain how Rhode Island’s school funding formula affects local community school funding and how the school district’s demographics are factored into the funding formula. Representatives of the Newport School District will be on hand to discuss the impact of these programs on its funding. There will also be a discussion of how the Race to the Top funds are being used by RIDE to strengthen public education in Rhode Island. There will be time for questions after the presentations.
“The League of Women Voters believes that the state has an important role in funding education,” says Susan Wells, president of the League of Women Voters of Newport County. “Citizens need to understand how the formula works and why it is important. There is more to it than grumbling about how much more or less a district receives under the new formula. We hope this workshop will be a concrete step in forming a basic understanding of what is at stake.”
Information on Rhode Island’s funding formula is available at RIDE’s Web site:
- Please join us for this informative event.
- Free and Open to the Public
- For more information or to submit questions, please e-mail: