Letters to the Editor, June 16, 2012

Sat, 06/09/2012 - 3:06pm

To the Editor —
A great team showed up to shepherd 275 adults through the Block Island Maritime Institute (BIMI) Chowda’ Cook-Off last Sunday. We are so thankful that they did.
Rita and Steve Draper and their crew had Smuggler’s set up to handle the crowd. For “gate keepers” and ticket sellers we had George Taber, Jim Hinthorn, Wendell Corey, and Steve Draper. Henry Hill handled raffle tickets, photos and cash disbursements. The most difficult management part of the contest is in the chowda’ serving and warming. The “floor” people in charge were Becky Ballard, Carol Hill and Suzy Weissman and they did a yeoman’s job. Let’s not forget those students that will soon be sailing on the schooner Brilliant who helped us out with the serving.
Retail sales were handled by Sarah Nahabedian, BIMI’s new Program Director. Authors Jack Lynch and Gerard Closset were on hand to sell their new books. Of course there was Carol and Audrey plus a friend ... entertainment you never forget. George Mellor met the gals at the ferry and escorted them to Gail and Gerry Pierce’s where they were domiciled for the evening. On the day before the Cook-Off, Sara Nahabedian, Becky Ballard, Wendell Corey and Carol Hill were seen selling raffle tickets for a Bucket of Lobsters at the BIG. How can an event not be successful with a team like this? Thank you all!
Finally there are the real players, the contestants. We would like to thank Aldo’s, Ballard’s, Bethany’s, Club Soda, Mabel’s, National Hotel, The Oar, Poor People’s Pub and individual contestants Mike Ballard, Wendell Corey, and Dick Sirowich. All your chowda’s were truly delicious. You are all winners.
Bruce Johnson
Block Island Marine Institute

To the Editor —
I am hopeful that many Block Island Times readers were able to read a recent front page article in the New London Day with regard to the proposed wind farm. The writer apparently spent most of her time interviewing [First Warden] Kim Gaffett and [Electric Utility Task Group Chair] Barbara MacMullan, both avid wind farm supporters, and thus there is a definite wind farm bias in the article. However, for some semblance of balance, reference was made to certain concerns of wind farm opponents. For example, there was a visual comparison of the height of the turbines to the Empire State Building and the Washington Monument, which has to be very unsettling, even to the most rabid proponents. An interesting but subtle aside in the article was the mention that the coast of Connecticut was apparently devoid of wind, which means that Connecticut residents can apparently travel to Block Island for their visual shock.
The above article made me retreat to the November 6, 2010, Times and an article written by Brent Lang. The article references the initial Public Utilities Commission rejection of the wind farm project and quotes PUC Commissioner, Paul Roberti, as saying that the wind farm was a flawed solution to the island’s electricity woes, and the PUC would initiate an investigation into the construction of a transmission line between Block Island and the mainland. Also at that time my conversation with U.S. Sen. Jack Reed’s office indicated the he would support a transmission line.
It is indeed unfortunate that the PUC was forced by the then governor and General Assembly (with the support of First Warden Gaffett) to reverse their well-thought-out rejection, and here we sit, as Mr. Roberti stated, embracing a very flawed solution to our energy problems.
Based upon what has transpired over the last few years, it is difficult to believe this: that if we had leadership on Block Island that was properly focused on reducing electricity costs, such as what occurred on Nantucket and Martha’s Vineyard with a cable, as opposed to advocating an off the grid ideology for the smallest town in the smallest state, Block Island would be well on its way to energy cost resolution with a stand-alone cable as opposed to being mired in this Deepwater Wind controversy.
Terry Mooney
High Street

To the Editor —
Last weekend’s Glass Float project was a resounding success, proving a little wind and rain needn’t hinder an adventure.
We hope this will become an annual event and in the future we will be able to better communicate (and folks will honor) a fundamental rule: one float per finder.
Thanks to Eben Horton of Wakefield Glass Station who crafted the floats, and everyone who joined the Tourism Council providing support, financial and in-kind; the Rhode Island Council for the Arts, Interstate Navigation; and all who took part.
Not all the floats have been registered, there may be some out there yet!
Zena Clark, president
Block Island Tourism Council

To: the Editor—
The 4th Annual Taste of Block Island held June 1 to June 3 yielded an enthusiastic crowd of visitors, despite brisk Northeast winds and driving rain on Saturday. Many hands contributed to this bi-annual event designed to showcase the island in the shoulder season. Thanks to all the following for the many hours of hard work:
So Rhode Island, Sysco, and Providence Beverage for sponsoring the “Taste of BI”
Washington Trust for providing volunteers
The Bellevue House for loaning a tent
The Tourism Council for creating the Glass Float Project
The National Hotel for providing space on their porch for the rained-out Artisans Show and Chowder Cook-Off.
We are grateful for the continuing commitment the island businesses make to this event by offering discounts and by creating so many appealing events. They are truly the backbone of “The Taste.”
A hearty congratulations is extended to Aldo’s on taking first place in the Chowder Cook-Off!
The fall “Taste of B.I.” weekend will be held September 21 through September 23.
Megan Moran, Sarah Cullen, Cariona Corcoran, Julie Fuller and Kathy Szabo
Taste of Block Island Committee