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David Scharfenberg

Latest Articles

Play ball; when 'wireless' meant radio; on the green

Phillipe was on suicide watch when news broke that the New England Patriots had allowed Wes Welker to sign with the Denver Broncos. And when the Red Sox opened the season April 1 against the damn Yankees in New York, P. had his gun to his head once agai
161 to go
By  |  April 05, 2013

The Phoenix cleans up

We're just back from the New England Newspaper & Press Association's annual awards gala at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel & Towers — $8 beers! — and we've got a nice little stash to report.
Huzzahs
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  February 17, 2012

Awards for the melancholy

Any gathering of journalists these days is, inevitably, a bifurcated affair: half-liquor-fueled bonhomie and half-dark talk of an uncertain future.
Gala Dept.
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  May 13, 2011

Dueling ideas

Both of Maine's senators, Susan Collins and Olympia Snowe, have backed cybersecurity legislation in hopes of avoiding or averting the catastrophes described in David Scharfenberg's main piece. But their approaches have been different, leading to confli
Maine's senators on cybersecurity
By JEFF INGLIS  |  September 03, 2010
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An education funding formula, hailed as a breakthrough, faces its critics

For years, Rhode Island was one of just two states in the union without a funding formula for its public schools. And then, for a time, it was the only state with that dubious dis-tinction.
Fuzzy math
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 25, 2010
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Have a weird summer!

We take you to places a little less predictable and, perhaps, a little less scenic.
Five Ocean State oddities worth seeking out
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 18, 2010


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Pols and blowhards beware: PolitiFact is coming

The Providence Journal , facing the newspaper industry's twin demons of declining circulation and plummeting advertising revenue, is in an intense period of reinvention.
As the ProJo turns
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 11, 2010
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Making waves

Rhode Island’s upstart National Public Radio affiliate, WRNI, aims to be nothing less than a major media player here. And in the space of just a couple of years, the station has taken some impressive first steps.
Can WRNI supplant the ProJo as the state’s news king?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 11, 2010

A Rhode Island filmmaker’s tribute to the Good War

Amid the moral ambiguity of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — the handwringing over weapons of mass destruction, drone attacks, and the rights of detainees — there is something startling about the raw patriotism of the documentary Navy Heroes of Norman
  Heroes
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 04, 2010

Privacy concerns make facebook the new bad guy

There was, for a time, a pretty clear moral hierarchy in the tech sector. Microsoft was the evil overlord, Apple the virtuous underling.
Networks
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 28, 2010
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Balls of fire

For one month every four years, the United States — try as it might — can’t impose its vacuous culture on the rest of the planet. The World Cup arrives and the Americans are, at best, an afterthought.
Porn stars, witch doctors, elephant farts, and the worst soccer team on the planet take center stage at this summer’s World Cup
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG AND LANCE GOULD  |  May 28, 2010


Can the Netroots triumph in Rhode island?

Stories of State Representative David Segal’s nascent, underdog run for Congress invariably make a nod to the Progressive Change Campaign Committee. And rightly so.
On the Hustings
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 21, 2010
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Patrick Lynch’s labor problem

For Attorney General Patrick C. Lynch, candidate for governor, labor matters.
Unions
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 21, 2010
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Sound Session lives on

Donald King, former artistic director for the Providence Black Repertory Company, gets the queries quite frequently these days.
Festivals
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 14, 2010
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How Rhode Island can eliminate homelessness

Making it a reality is a matter of political will.
The concept is as simple as it is radical: give the homeless a place to live, with no strings attached
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 14, 2010

A media market splintered

The fragmentation of the local media market, long predicted, is finally a reality.
Online
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 07, 2010


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A Soviet submarine finally meets its demise

Out on Allens Avenue in Providence, Rhode Island is finally saying goodbye to the Cold War.
Relics
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 30, 2010
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Shaking up the school system

Rhode Island education commissioner Deborah Gist’s take-charge style could make a winner of a state that often seems destined to fail. But critics say her free-market approach won’t work.
The Reformer
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 23, 2010
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Joe Paolino weighs a different kind of mayoral run

It had been rumored for some time.
The Independent
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 16, 2010
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Our Local Heroes(1)

In the 13th annual edition of the Providence Phoenix’s Best issue, we highlight people and organizations who are doing exceptionally good work.
We are all in their debt
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  April 16, 2010
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The first Latino mayor?

Until recently, to talk about Angel Taveras was to talk about the future.
Angel Taveras’s moment suddenly arrives
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 16, 2010


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A wind farm — and a governor’s legacy — hang in the balance

With Governor Carcieri’s second and final term coming to an end, it is time to think about the “L” word — legacy.
Not Easy Being Green
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 09, 2010
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Smith Hill weighs a ban on the under-21 crowd

Seasoned partiers will recall that about a decade ago our august legislature considered barring anyone under age 21 from Rhode Island night clubs in a bid to curb underage drinking.
The Fun Police
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 02, 2010
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WPRO swaps two big personalities

Talk-radio listeners could be forgiven for wondering if WPRO sprung a bit too far forward this week when Buddy Cianci's show begun airing at 2 pm instead of the usual 10 am.
Spring Forward
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 19, 2010
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Down ballot drama

The race for governor and the scramble to replace retiring Representative Patrick J. Kennedy have obsessed Rhode Island's chattering class. But all the talk has obscured an intriguing set of "down ballot" races for lieutenant governor, attorney general,
Important races to watch in '10
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 12, 2010
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David Byrne and the Termite Towers

Providence Mayor David N. Cicilline's second annual Senator Claiborne Pell Lecture on Arts and Humanities wasn't really about the arts. Or the humanities.
Cycling
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 12, 2010


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Ken Miller just can’t win

What’s an honorable man to do?
Brown biology professor attacked by Darwin-hating fundies and leftie atheists alike
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 05, 2010

Amid the gloom, a one-man optimism offense

Seven or eight years ago, with the state's economy aflutter and Providence in ascendance, Scott Wolf thought Rhode Island was finally starting to shed its inferiority complex.
Chins Up Dept.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 26, 2010
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Seven years later, a tale of recovery

It has been seven years since fire tore through the Station nightclub in West Warwick, killing 100 people and scarring thousands more. And still, the story unwinds.
The Fire
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 19, 2010
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What now?

Representative Patrick J. Kennedy's campaigns were always about something far larger than Rhode Island's First Congressional District, which snakes from Burrillville down through the Blackstone Valley and into Newport.
Kennedy's exit rewrites the political game book.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 19, 2010