Here are some of The Providence Journal's most-read stories for the week of Sept. 17, supported by your subscriptions.
When fire erupted at Block Island's Harborside Inn last month, the potential for catastrophe was high, not only for the guests inside but for the island's historic downtown. Yet disaster was averted, thanks to a new mutual-aid plan by the island's fire chief and spontaneous acts of kindness by islanders and visitors. The Journal's Katie Mulvaney and Antonia Noori Farzan tell the harrowing story of how Block Island avoided becoming "the next Lahaina."
Gov. Dan McKee made headlines in May when he announced the state would ban the sale of new gasoline-powered cars in Rhode Island in 2035. But is the state equally ambitious in reducing the carbon emissions of its own fleet of vehicles? A Hummel Report investigation suggests otherwise, including the discovery that McKee's advance man swapped his SUV hybrid for a gas-guzzling Jeep Wagoneer.
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Here are the week's top reads on providencejournal.com:
"Affordable" condos are hard to come by as real estate prices have rocketed since the pandemic, as have single-family and multi-family homes.
The Providence Journal analyzed data provided by the Rhode Island Association of Realtors to peek behind the statewide median price of all three types of residences.
The communities with the most-affordable condos or multi-family homes in some cases mirror, but in other cases deviate from, those with the most affordable single family homes. The Journal's Wheeler Cowperthwaite crunches the numbers.
You've seen the hulking structures straddling Interstate 95 and other highways in Rhode Island: the toll gantries that have caused the state so much grief.
Since the moment they were turned on, the tolls have been at the center of a long-running lawsuit. It prompted one What and Why RI reader to write in to ask about the history and cost of the tolls, and where things stand in the courts.
PROVIDENCE – If you had to pick one word to describe the What Cheer Flower Farm, it’s possible you would pick nice.
There are other words you could pick, for sure. Generous would describe their mission of giving away flowers to community organizations. Conscientious would capture their commitment to sustainability and creating positive changes for the Olneyville neighborhood. Ambitious would describe their current project of rehabilitating the Colonial Knife brownfield into farmland and community space.
But nice kind of sums it all up. At least, that's what Reader’s Digest thinks, naming What Cheer Flower Farm one of the nicest places in America.
For months, they put their personal and professional lives on hold to run the rubber-chicken, meet-and-greet, high-stakes debate circuit on the off-chance they'd make it to Congress.
One quit his job at the Naval War College. Another packed a bag and (temporarily) left her husband and children behind to register to vote in the congressional district in which she was running from a perch in her sister's Gridley Street house. A third left the race – and then his job at Yale Law School – after a TV report about an allegedly "inappropriate" 2019 text exchange that was never made public.
When former White House staffer Gabe Amo won the Democratic nomination on Sept. 5, the other 11 Democrats vying for a chance at Rhode Island's open congressional seat were all free to return to their previous lives.
But that is easier for some than for others.
Political Scene: They put their lives on hold to run for Congress. Now what?
A federal judge has struck down a lawsuit challenging the state’s new shoreline access law, ruling that the case wasn’t properly before the court.
U.S. District Court Judge William E. Smith on Tuesday dismissed the lawsuit brought this summer by the Rhode Island Association of Coastal Taxpayers (RIACT) because the named defendants neither enacted the new law nor were responsible for perpetrating the alleged harm against the property owners.
State lawmakers passed the law in an effort to improve shoreline access by clearing up long-standing confusion about the public's rights. The new law allows the public to use the shoreline up to 10 feet inland of the seaweed line. RIACT promptly sued to block its enforcement.
The organization, which describes itself as a coalition of about 50 members, half of whom own beachfront property, argued that the law stripped them of their right to lawfully exclude strangers from their property without just compensation.
This article originally appeared on The Providence Journal: Journal top stories: Block Island fire; RI spot makes 'nicest' list