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May 28, 1995

Bureaucracy keeps
Almond unplugged

By Timothy C. Barmann

You may soon be able to write to Governor Almond by e-mail.

Rhode Island Horizons, the Journal-Bulletin's on-line service, gave the governor a one-year account and an e-mail address on Prodigy when it launched its service May 1.

Horizons general manager Edward Huff said he hopes the governor will participate in on-line discussions with Rhode Islanders on Horizons, which is accessed through Prodigy.

But it may take a little while before the governor is up and surfing.

Jim Taricani, Almond's communications director, is arranging to connect the governor and he's run into a stumbling block: bureaucracy.

Taricani, who spoke at the recent Rhode Island Press Association awards dinner in Newport, said he was told the cost to get the governor on line is only about $140 for a modem and a new phone line.

No problem, Taricani thought.

Until he ran into the paperwork.

There were proposals to write, and approvals to get by various departments. So far, the process has taken almost four weeks.

Once the governor is connected, his e-mail address will be linc01a@prodigy.com.

Taricani said he's also been waiting five months to have his computer linked with other press-office computers one floor below him. He uses a Macintosh and some of his staff uses Wang computers, so their disks aren't compatible.

Until their computers are connected, staffers will have to keep running upstairs to hand Taricani hard-copy drafts of press releases. And he'll have to keep editing the releases the old fashioned way - with paper and pencil.


9/17/95: Governor Almond is online and has his own areas on Rhode Island Horizons and the Ocean State Free-Net. Click here to read that story.
Timothy C. Barmann is a Journal-Bulletin staff photographer. His column runs every other Sunday on the Online page. Comments about this column or suggestions for future topics can be sent to him via e-mail at tim@cybertalk.com.