Latest Articles


Can Providence rise to the greatest civil rights challenge of our times?

Standardized test scores — cold, flawed, too often depressing — come and go with little notice these days; an ugly drumbeat we'd prefer to ignore.
School reform
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  March 08, 2013

In Woonsocket, a kinky empire

Browsing the catalog for Athena's Home Novelties, you can almost hear Roy Orbison faintly warbling "Only the Lonely."
Sex and the city
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  February 08, 2013

The urban chicken roost movement hits Rhode Island

Ernest and Linda Lambert, retirees living in a shaded suburban cul-de-sac just off Woonsocket's Mendon Road, have an unusual backyard project.
Good Eggs
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  November 23, 2012

New York Times misses the mark with Woonsocket column

Rhode Island's fiscal woes have attracted plenty of national press, much of it unflattering. But if the locals have grumbled a bit about the stories, they've been forced to concede their basic veracity.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 22, 2012

Freedom from Common Sense Foundation; dance fever; what’s in a name?

The controversy over the Freedom From Religion Foundation's attack on a World War I and World War II memorial on city land in Woonsocket — it includes a cross — isn't worth a week's worth of talk radio time. But it does warrant a comment by P&J.
Defining offensive
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  May 04, 2012

The vultures of Woonsocket

You see the scene over and over in the B-grade Western. The cowboy hero wanders across a desert, praying he'll find a watering hole. Above him appears a dismal omen — vultures circling in the sky.
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  March 09, 2012


In Woonsocket, questions for a questionable doctor

There's a name for that ailment seen in news photos of rail-thin Third World kids with protruding bellies. It's called "kwashiorkor," and it's seldom ever reported outside famine-stricken regions.
Billing Dept.
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  May 20, 2011

A bank robber downsizes

There's nothing like an art heist to make journalists spout hyperbole. What else could explain the wild things they've said about Myles J. Connor, the Boston career criminal who by his own account has tiptoed by night through literally dozens of museu
The long fall from ripping off Rembrandts to shoplifting sunglasses
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  April 29, 2011

Culture notes

You have to give the BeloJo some credit for publishing Tom Chandler's missives on the local poetry scene.
Poetry and prose; not-so-young adults; the return of invective
By RUDY CHEEKS  |  April 22, 2011

The Devil makes them do it

"Americana, on the rocks" is the official tagline for the Benedictions, steady cooking since forming just 16 months ago (more on that in a minute), led by a familiar name on the folk circuit in G.W. Mercure.
Digging deep with the Benedictions
By CHRIS CONTI  |  June 25, 2010

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

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
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 04, 2010


Incarcerated in a maximum-security prison in Cranston, Rhode Island, Jeff Mailhot grabbed a pen and a sheet of stationery and traced an outline of his beefy left hand.
A serial killer seeks a payoff
By JOHN LARRABEE  |  April 02, 2010

Border patrol

Good stuff from Woonsocket to Newport
Off the Couch

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

The next Scott Brown?

Republican Scott Brown's victory last month in the race for the late Ted Kennedy's Senate seat has every two-bit GOP hopeful in the Northeast claiming the mantle of the pick-up truck populist.
John J. Loughlin’s suddenly high-profile campaign to oust Patrick Kennedy
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 12, 2010

Candles + caring

Former Best Music Poll nominee Mike Gendron and uncle Pete Gendron team up and unplug at the Greenwich Hotel on THURSDAY (the 4th), rocking the lounge free of charge til 12:30 am.
Bob Marley’s b-day + downcity benefits

Shake some action

Psych + sludge + metal + more
Off the Couch

See ya, '09!

Forget those gift cards burning a hole in your pocket and catch some good shows around to close out '09.
Off the Couch

Make-believe Main Street

WaterFire, bocce, oh my!
Lifestyle centers create public squares in private places. Can a nation undone by sprawl be saved by the Mall?
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  November 06, 2009

Affordable housing in a wealthy redoubt

Barrington, not exactly known for its welcome mat to working poor families, now has its first affordable housing project in living memory.
At Home
By RICHARD ASINOF  |  October 23, 2009


A look at a ‘very different senator’

Six-term Senator Claiborne Pell died at 90 early this year.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 25, 2009

Providence Fall Preview Listings 2009

A page of listings for local music, theater, art, festivals and more this fall.
Music, theater, art, festivals and more in the coming months
By PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 18, 2009


Six Star and friends get raucous in Bristol
Off the Couch
By PROVIDENCE PHOENIX STAFF  |  September 11, 2009

Health of a nation

Let's just forget about all these dog and pony health care "forums" and face some facts. First and foremost, the main (and, perhaps, only) debate is this: Do you believe that health should be subject to the marketplace?
Enough with the 'forums!' Plus, playing politics and sporting news.
By PHILLIPE AND JORGE  |  August 21, 2009

RISD's hope-less situation

On August 3 it was announced by the Rhode Island School of Design that Hope Alswang had resigned as the director of the RISD Museum. Those who have followed the coverage of this story may be somewhat confused by the revelation that absolutely everyone
Outrage over the Alswang 'Resignation.' Plus, too many sad passings
By PHILLIPE & JORGE  |  August 14, 2009


If the Rhode Island International Film Festival were a monster movie, it would be something like The Blob That Engulfed Delaware . Like its dozen predecessors, the 13th annual event will be taking over the state.
Get ready for RIIFF's 13th Filmapalooza
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  July 31, 2009
deer list

Hail, Deer Tick!

Heady days for Deer Tick.
The Providence rockers are poised for a breakthrough with Born On Flag Day
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  June 19, 2009

Surviving the econopocalypse

If you're like the more than nine percent of Americans currently unemployed, your "Yes We Can!" has lately lost some of its gusto. You've hit up everyone you know for work, including your mom, your ex, and your ex's ex.
Want to keep your head above water in post-meltdown America? Here's some ways to get your own bailout bucks — without a W2.
By LISSA HARRIS  |  June 12, 2009

Champlin's Seafood

There are clam shacks and there are clam shacks. Champlin's is more of a clam duplex, hot meals upstairs and fish market below. If you have friends visiting from the coast of Maine, where they take this sort of place seriously, bring them down and show
Clam shack bragging rights
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  June 05, 2009