Anne Jordan was a contributing editor to GOVERNING.E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
My Christmas tree has been up for a couple of weeks and is starting to shed some of its needles. But that's nothing compared with what happened to Rhode Island's official Christmas tree this week.
As the result of new fire codes enacted in the wake of a 2003 nightclub fire that killed 100 people, Christmas trees are designated as "flammable vegetation." State workers believed that they were required to dry the 18-foot blue spruce with hot-air blowers and spray it with fire retardant.
They were wrong. The tree was declared dead on Wednesday and was quickly removed from the capitol rotunda. It was replaced yesterday with a Fraser fir.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.