Greetings and happy Saturday! I have another edition of my weekend column for WPRI.com. Please feel free to send your takes, tips, and trial balloons to firstname.lastname@example.org and follow me on Twitter and Facebook. Here are some highlights from this week:
1. Numerous projects, including the Fane tower, the Pawtucket soccer stadium, and the South Quay terminal, are facing financial challenges despite having been touted by politicians during the 2022 campaign trail. Even school construction projects are seeing rising costs. This poses major challenges for developers, who are struggling to secure funds in a time of construction-cost inflation, higher interest rates, and tightening credit standards.
2. News of the “pause” on the Pawtucket stadium project and the stalling of the Superman building redevelopment have created a tumultuous week in Rhode Island development news.
3. Helena Foulkes has declined to run for the 1st Congressional District seat, leaving the door open for a wide-open contest as many promising candidates vie for the position.
4. Rumors continue to circulate that Foulkes may run for governor in 2026, but it remains to be seen whether current Governor Dan McKee will run for another term.
5. Lt. Gov. Sabina Matos will host the National Lieutenant Governors Association’s 2025 spring conference in Rhode Island, providing an opportunity to showcase the state and support local businesses.
6. Republican State Rep. Bob Quattrocchi’s controversial comment to his Democratic colleague Rebecca Kislak has ignited a discussion around Speaker Joe Shekarchi’s decision to remove Quattrocchi from his committee.
7. Governor Dan McKee has lost another cabinet director, as Jim Thorsen steps down from his position as the head of the Department of Administration. A temporary replacement has been found in Brian Daniels.
8. Former state Rep. Anastasia Williams will soon launch a new podcast called “Real Talk with Anastasia Williams.”
9. Steph Machado has covered the ongoing debate around the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights and the case of Providence Police Sgt. Joseph Hanley, who was found guilty of assault two years ago but has not yet been removed from his position.
10. TikTok has faced widespread criticism from lawmakers over its ties to the Chinese government and its impact on young people’s mental health.
11. This week marks the 20th anniversary of President George W. Bush’s launch of the war in Iraq. Rhode Island’s congressional delegation largely opposed the invasion at the time.