Christopher Allen

If You Lived Here, You’d Be Home by Now: Combating brain drain in the Ocean State

Rhode Island has yet to shake the common assumption that while the state is a great place to study (and visit), it is a bad place to remain. Commonly referred to as the educational “brain drain” — the problem of thousands of college graduates setting sail for greener pastures the moment they are handed their […]

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Where Have All the Carnies Gone?: The Ocean State might be left out of an American tradition

Last year was a bust for that key New England tradition, the summer carnival. Most were canceled outright. Others turned to the “drive-in” format to recoup fiscal losses. Carnival and fair operations represent a billion-dollar industry nationwide, generating hundreds of millions of dollars in state and local revenue and employing hundreds of thousands of people. […]

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An Independent Voice: Providence activist, educator running grassroots campaign for Ward 15

The city of Providence is set to see another special election this summer. With Dan McKee’s elevation to governor, the lieutenant governor position became vacant. McKee nominated then-Providence City Council President Sabina Matos as his number two, creating a rare opening in the 15-member body that oversees the capital city. The winner will finish out […]

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Felonious Bunk: Punishment can’t solve complex social problems and decriminalization might not go far enough

Last November a ballot measure approved by Oregon voters decriminalized the possession of small amounts of heroin, LSD, methamphetamine, oxycodone and cocaine. The Oregon initiative did not legalize the use of hard drugs, it just ended the practice of destroying drug users’ lives to save them. Instead, citizens found in possession of these drugs face […]

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Irish Eyes are Waiting

Last year, many of us soothed our disappointment over St. Paddy’s related cancellations with what we now know was an erroneous thought: Well, there is always next year. So, it’s deja vu all over again. And while the City of Pawtucket went ahead with their parade in 2020 and Newport officials engaged in a much-publicized […]

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Crime in the Streets: Warmer weather, relaxed restrictions could lead to another spike in gun violence

Rhode Island Attorney General Peter Neronha announced last month the second major statewide grand jury indictment in response to a so-called firearm “straw purchasing” operation. It is alleged that a group of men bought guns from a handful of Rhode Island businesses for the purposes of selling them illegally. The leader of the conspiracy, Rashaan […]

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Eat Your Veggies: Plant City X takes root on Aquidneck Island

Plant City, the popular 100% plant-based food hall and marketplace on South Water Street that opened in 2019, now has a sister “fast food” franchise churning out quick and healthy eats in the corporate-dominated gauntlet of West Main Road in Middletown.  And according to patrons, many of whom waited months in enthusiastic anticipation of its […]

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Moving Images: Newport Art Museum selection highlights the plight of domestic abuse survivors

The Newport Art Museum has added a collection of works by world-renowned documentary photographer and activist Donna Ferrato, and will be displaying a curated selection in the Howard Gardiner Cushing Gallery that documents the plight of domestic abuse survivors.  Donna Ferrato: Selections from Living with the Enemy will run from Feb. 6 to June 6. […]

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Enemy at the Gate: Domestic violence is an epidemic under COVID

Domestic violence incidents have skyrocketed during the COVID-19 pandemic, with reported emergency calls up by at least 70% . While social distancing, isolating and quarantining are mere nuisances for some of us, for others it’s a living nightmare.  Victims of domestic abuse no longer have somewhere outside the home to go to, and the COVID […]

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