Community News

In the Know on the East Side

Looking back at the month in local news and gossip around the East Side.


Remembering Mr. Spock
As we mourn the passing of Leonard Nimoy, many members of the Jewish community may remember his last visit to our city. In November of 2008, Mr. Nimoy was in town to be the narrator for a dramatic choral concert at Veterans Auditorium to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht, the event that marked the beginning of the Nazi atrocities leading up to the Holocaust. The program included a choir of over 200 singers backed by a professional orchestra of 40 under the direction of Cantor Brian Mayer of Temple Emanuel and celebrated a thousand years of Jewish music that has survived despite the horrors of the genocide. Mr. Nimoy, himself a talented artist, singer, author and photographer as well a celebrated actor, took his role as narrator seriously… coming in a day early to rehearse because as he said, “we’ve got to get this right.” His generosity of spirit and commitment to the project will long be remembered among all involved in this amazing event. And as we say goodbye to Mr. Spock, may we all remember his mantra: Live long and prosper. 

For a Good Time, Call Reno
It’s always amusing to sift through the almost endless parade of top ten city lists that pour into our office. Some of them, like the recent Travel + Leisure poll that names Providence as their favorite city for 2014, we like. Others, like Forbes magazine, were pretty brutal. The challenge for tourist bureaus across the country is to find something… anything… that speaks positively about their respective cities. Leave it to the good folks representing Reno, Nevada to come up with its own unique niche. Apparently the website did a survey comparing how much single men across the country shell out on that critical first date. Turns out the guys in Reno, Nevada win the “big spender” award ($230 if you’re keeping track of these things). I don’t know where Providence came in, but we’ve got to believe Haven Brothers and Olneyville New York System probably brought our average down a tad.

Time to Make Nice With Mother Nature
In celebration of Earth Day on April 22, assorted clean ups are being organized around the state. While it may be a little too late to score some state funds (applications were due in midMarch we’re told) you might still call Andy Manca at DEM (222-4700, ext 2022) or email him at andrew.manca@ He can alert you as to what clean-up projects are nearby and might be looking for volunteers. If nothing else, check with your neighborhood association or just organize something impromptu on your own. It’s always nice to let Mother Nature know you care. Based on the recent winter from hell, she’s clearly ticked off at us; so a little April love might go a long way.

More Booze News from Brown
Last month, we ran a story about the fallout from allegations of date rape drug spikings at a Brown campus party. One fraternity was kicked off campus for four years while another was sanctioned for a year. Now it turns out Brown has determined that the information from the drug-testing agency was flawed. While no charges have been levied against any individual students, the school still stands behind its disciplinary decision towards the primary fraternity in question based “on its history of inappropriate behavior.” Brown also will not be changing its decision to ban liquor at oncampus events during the spring while they try to establish a more definitive policy for campus drinking. Meanwhile an ongoing dialogue continues in the Brown Daily Herald about whether a ban of this type will in fact produce more offcampus liquor issues. The administration maintains the data says no. The editorial board of the paper says yes it does. We say we’ll just have to wait and see. 

The Snow Must Go On…
As we, like everyone else around these parts, eagerly await the arrival of spring, we decided to do our modest part to expedite the process. Hence a contest. Send us your guess on the exact day the last icy vestige of winter will finally disappear from the East Side. We’ll select the winning entrant in case of a tie and based on our somewhat variable definition of “all gone.” The winner will get dinner for two at one of our fine local eateries. Send your guess, along with your name and contact info, to our website at esm@ or mail it to us at East Side Monthly, 1070 Main Street, Suite 302, Pawtucket, R.I. 02860. You score extra points if you also share any particularly interesting winter horror stories with us. Photos are even better.

Should the Shark Tank?
The news of Gordon Fox accepting a major league bribe from the owners of Shark’s unfortunately confirms how many College Hill residents assume business was being done in terms of getting variances and liquor licenses on Thayer Street. Mr. Fox is about to pay a heavy price for his transgressions. But we remain curious about the other side of the transaction. Last we heard trying to bribe an elected official was a serious no no. Are we missing something here? And at the very least, why should someone who circumvented the rules be allowed to benefit as opposed to other business owners who played the game the right way? Just asking.