Letters to the Editor, July 7, 2012
To: the Editor—
At approximately 3:30 a.m. on July 1, my household was awakened by a barrage of aerial fireworks. It was close at hand and from the general direction of a neighbor. I lay awake listening to the sounds of the debris of the event hissing and falling on our roof. I don’t know who is renting around us but I feel sure an islander wouldn’t do such a thing.
We as islanders know that families of young children; working persons in service positions getting what rest they can before a hectic day; those who just closed up a late business and are looking forward to a night’s sleep; or members of the Rescue Squad catching a few winks between calls and hoping the next sound they hear is not a signal that their services are needed — all these neighbors of the celebrant can’t make up their lost rest and don’t feel entertained by this premature revelry. Whoever perpetrated this unkind act, or any others entertaining such a thought, please be aware this is not acceptable on Block Island. It’s important to know the difference between liberty and license.
To: the Editor—
Our family has been visiting Block Island by boat for almost 15 years, averaging 30 to 40 days per summer season. We dock in New Harbor, as Old Harbor is not a place for children. As our family grew we purchased a van to leave on the island for the summer but we often still walk to town or to dinner, or even just stroll down to BIMI to peek in the tank, or partake of some Killer Donuts.
As I read the article “Man injured in hit and run” in the June 30 edition, I have to say I wasn’t at all surprised. West Side Road is without street lights and without sidewalks and is heavily traveled by many people staying in the New Harbor marinas. If you drive that stretch of road any time during the day or evening you will see bikers, walkers, runners, moped riders, kids on skateboards heading to the park, and people pushing strollers. Both sides of the road have grass but the north side is all but impassable due to the bushes that grow along the side of the Narragansett Inn. The south side of the road is usually filled with parked cars and boat trailers. The uphill climb to the Boat Basin leaves many a bicycler swerving into the road and many others attempting to navigate around them.
We arrived in mid-May with our van, dropped it at the marina and walked back into town to catch the ferry back to Point Judith. We were puzzled as we attempted to walk along the north side of the road as money was apparently spent to reseed the stretch of roadside between Ball-O’Brien Park and the Narragansett, and had string and posts in the ground forcing us to walk in the road. That same stretch of roadside is now pounded back to dirt by the hundreds of people that travel there daily.
New Shoreham has done a fantastic job updating and building sidewalks in every other part of town. I can walk from Dead Eye Dick’s, all the way through town, and out to see the animals behind Manisses without risking my life or that of my children. Why does the town not address this excessively dangerous section of roadway? Why is this the singular place on the island that doesn’t deserve sidewalks? Ball-O’Brien Park brings in plenty of kids riding skateboards and bicycles, and most ride there rather than getting dropped off by a car. How many more people will need to be struck, either during the day or night, before the money is allocated to build safe passage for visitors and their children? I hope not many more, and I hope it’s not my child who has new grass to walk on instead of a sidewalk to travel safely on.