Squid's Ink

Squid’s Ink: Darkness falls and traffic jams

“Maybe we really are living in the end of print journalism,” said the fictional cephalopod scrambling to squeak in a squib before the deadline…

Did you notice The Providence Journal‘s front-page headlines on Tuesday, December 12?

Let’s start off with what was missing…

How about ANY coverage of the sudden westbound closing of the Washington Bridge. Even the next morning on the Journal’s website there was no mention of the traffic chaos this created on Providence’s East Side. You had to go to GoLocalProv for that.

We squid have known for a long time that the Blowjo lays its pages out well in advance of the next day, but come on! The DOT announcement came in the afternoon. Their press conference was at 5pm – just in time for rush hour. You couldn’t do a real story?

On December 12, we were checking out the RIDOT traffic cams and traffic was backed up all the way to the Massachusetts Border.

More RI Transportation Fails

Is it a coincidence that the potentially dangerous Washington Bridge failure occurred just after the grand opening of the Henderson (Red) Bridge Suicide Traffic Circle? Nobody at DOT went on record with that, but we’re certain of the following:

1) Driving to Providence (or anywhere South) from Rhode Island’s West Bay, Fall River, and beyond just got impossible. DOT suggests cutting across East Providence or using 495 to get to 95.

2) The traffic coming into Providence’s East Side just got even more impossible.

3) The 146 Suicide Off Ramp continues to be a clusterfuck on 95 North.

4) Reconstruction continues on RT 37 – for no particularly good reason. I mean, really, wasn’t this highway ok?

5) The 6/10 Construction seems to be finished. These are awesome spans of high rise highways that still confuse GoogleMaps.

6) RIPTA is facing huge deficits leading many calls to “Save RIPTA.”

We asked Transport Consultant Ima Freud why is RI having so much trouble with roads and traffic?

“Nobody who votes rides the bus,” they said. “Bus passes are considered a social service benefit, not a tool for economic growth. We give them to Providence high schoolers. Who wants to ride the bus with a bunch of smelly drug users and Dunkin Coolata crazed students? Nobody.”

So, what was on the front page?

  • Hasbro is closing its downtown Providence office. But no mention of the tax breaks that the company applied for back in 2011 when they “moved” downtown. Hasbro was supposed to create 300 jobs downtown. According to the Projo (which actually wrote They were “running out of space” in Pawtucket.) Now they’re announcing layoffs of 1,100 people just before Christmas. “On the plus side,” said Ima Freud of Hasbro’s Grinch office, “Everybody who’s laid off will get one of our new gender-neutral Mx. Potato Head dolls!”
  • The RI Foundation donated $530 million to help animals. Yes, human beings are hungry. They don’t have healthcare. They don’t have transportation to their jobs (if they have jobs). But David Cicillini’s non-profit will keep cute puppies from homelessness and give healthcare to cuddly kittens.
  • And Mark Patinkin diatribed against the Harvard, MIT and Penn presidents for their mealymouthed freedom of speech testimony before Congress. Hey Mark, calls for Israel to back off and take some responsibility for what’s happening to people in Gaza is not necessarily a demand for Jewish genocide. For some reason, the conflict seems to be working for both Israeli and Hamas leaders – to the detriment of both Israeli hostages and Palestinian men, women, and children.
    The U-Presidents could have said something powerful like, “How about we have a rational conversation and listen to both sides so we can find a  solution…” But they punted.

On a cheerful note

Reading the comic “Wallace the Brave” by Will Henry is a delight. You’ll meet Wallace, Spud, Sterling, and many more. Even the parents are heroic. With echoes of Calvin and Hobbes, this strip is set in “Snug Harbor,” RI. If you don’t get The Urinal, check out the strip at https://www.gocomics.com/wallace-the-brave