The Wall Street Journal online has an cool housing stress map (link below) that shows the relative distress of cities and towns across the US. It takes into account the percent of mortgaged homeowners spending 30% or more of household
income on owner costs, the percentage of the population not working and
the percentage of the population without health-insurance coverage. Rhode Island's level is 81, just under the mean of 87.5, which is virtually the same as Massachusetts and the other New England states.
The data was collected in 2009, so it's a little out of date. Still, in the face the daily news broadcasts about our abysmal unemployment rate, it's encouraging to know that our stress levels are about average. Perhaps, as a result, we will
Amidst all the lamentations about losing the America's Cup to San Francisco, I can't help thinking that the loss might actually have a positive impact on Newport as a sporting place to race. Already, local yacht clubs have introduced new races to recognize the sailing achievements of amateurs with a healthy love of the sport and the competition.
I must disclose here that I am singularly unqualified to comment about yacht racing having been afflicted from an early age with serious motion sickness. (I even wear a patch to ski!). Still, as a native Rhode Islander, I have been surrounded by boats and sailors all my life, and I understand how much they contribute to the character and the economy of Newport, Jamestown, Bristol and the other coastal communities