Letters to the Editor, December 14, 2013

Mon, 12/16/2013 - 3:00pm

To the Editor:

For many the thanks of Thanksgiving continued through the weekend as folks paid tribute to Ed McGovern for his decades of service as proprietor of the Yellow Kittens and Winfield’s. From great service to five star cuisine to Lions Club support to political acumen to Clam Shack, he has demonstrated an uncanny ability for doing things in exceptional fashion. His tenure at the Kittens was a result of the mutual respect that he and owner Dick Kiley shared. Dick entrusted his beloved Yellow Kittens to Ed with a Texas-type handshake, which allowed the Kiley visionary to pursue other successful projects, including the Captain Daniel Packer Inne in Mystic, a nationally recognized tavern and restaurant, owned and operated by his charismatic widow Lulu and managed by their perspicacious daughter Allison.

As the throngs enveloped the Kittens, and Ed worked the floor with his Bogart-style white dinner jacket embracing his legions of friends, I could distinctly hear Dooley Wilson at his Casablanca piano pleading, “Let’s play it again, Ed...”

Terry Mooney

Sunset Hill


To the Editor:

The Block Island staff of the Nature Conservancy would like to thank our volunteers, supporters and all who came to our holiday open house over Thanksgiving weekend. We were overwhelmed by the show of support for our program and the collective efforts of the Island’s conservation community. We have a great deal to be thankful for.

The Nature Conservancy would like to give special thanks to the following island businesses that contributed to the gathering: The Beachead, Bibbs Soda, Club Soda, Finn’s Seafood Restaurant, McGovern’s Yellow Kittens & Winfield’s Restaurant, Red Bird Package Store, Poor People’s Pub, and the 1661 Inn. We especially would like to give thanks to the generosity of Rita and Steve Draper and Justin Abrams for not only hosting the open house but also their dedication and commitment in making this event so successful.

We wish everyone a warm and joyous holiday season!

Scott Comings, Chris Littlefield, Adrian Mitchell, Charlotte Herring

The Nature Conservancy, Block Island Program


To the Editor:

Supporters of the Early Learning Center who are following our accreditation and fundraising news may be interested in more details following last week’s articles. This past October we submitted the required candidacy materials for the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC) to review; this is the third of four major steps in the process. Sometime before March 1, 2014, we will host a site visit from the assessors. Our classrooms and teachers will be observed, our documentation reviewed, and our facilities toured. Following the site visit, it will be another several months before we know NAEYC’s decision about our application. There are hundreds of criteria for us to meet, and this is the first time that the Early Learning Center has applied, so it would be impossible for me to say that I am quite certain that the Early Learning Center meets the criteria.

I am hopeful, however, as the board, staff and I have been working hard to research the criteria and prepare the materials to the best of our abilities. Whether or not we receive accreditation this time around, we have learned a lot about our center in relation to national standards for early childhood education.

The article from last week’s board meeting stated that acting Treasurer Roberta Closter “reported our fundraising was down approximately $50,000.” To clarify, this number is equal to our initial fundraising goal for the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) and we have raised almost 50 percent of that amount. Although, there was some discussion about how a few of our events have not brought in the funds that they had in the past, we are still on track to meeting our goal. The unexpected capital expenses discussed at the meeting are separate items from our budgeted fundraising plan. We are currently fundraising for both capital and operating support, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank the community for their involvement and reassure you that your support is making a positive impact in helping us maintain a high quality program.

Christine Grele

Block Island Early Learning Center