Letters to the Editor, June 9, 2012
To: the Editor —
I would like to thank the members of the community for coming out to support the Drama 911 Players’ recent production of “I Hate Shakespeare!” at the Harbor Baptist Church. What you saw was the birth of Block Islands’ newest and only theater troupe.
Last week’s article in the Times summed up the show perfectly. I would like to use this space to thank some very special people because of the enormity of assistance they provided.
First, the kids. Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication to see this through. None of you quit, none of you complained — to me at least — all of you put in long hours to bring your individual talents to the play. You all said at some point, “But I can’t…” Well, you did, and you should all be very proud of yourselves. All of you came out looking like the superstars that you proved to be.
The parents: For helping the kids with their lines and allowing me to alter your schedules in a significant way to get them to the rehearsals. Next time I promise we will not do a play around little league!
Margret Wolf: Margaret is part of the production team at Scorpio Film Releasing. She schooled the parents in makeup, organized the entire backstage area for a smooth transition between scenes, made sure costumes were switched at appropriate times, made the cauldron bubble, made the dress Mary Conant wore, the costume for “Puck” and the “Richard the Third” costume. The list goes on.
Vicky Carson made the rest of the costumes at the school under the auspices of the Sewing Club with material donated by Jim and Stephanie Murphy. There were many days I was up at the school and saw Vicky taking costumes out of her van that she had worked on at home. If dedication had an image, it would be a picture of Vicky Carson. Deborah Hart put in long hours there as well and should be commended for her hard work.
Thanks so much to the best understudy any director could ask for, you know who you are… Mike Shea. Jake Douglas also stepped in at the 11th hour and shined as “MacBeth.” Welcome to Drama 911 Jake, you are a fine addition.
Lisa Sprague, Marc Scortino, Mike Dugan, Ed McGovern and Josh Weisz-Smith, you played your roles perfectly and looked great in those costumes!
When you are walking through town, or the preschool, and run into Mother Theresa aka Tracy Heinz — thank her. Tracy was the one on the beach one day when I said, “We should start a drama club for the kids.” Tracy has been by my side ever since. There is truly nobody on this planet that has helped with the success of Drama 911 more than Tracy. Without her there would be no plays at all.
John Barry, Betty and Fraser Lang at the Block Island Times for the last-minute program design and printing.
All of the staff at the Island Free Library. Your tireless support and unending encouragement played no small part in our recent success, and thanks for working the bake sale.
The Block Island Fire and Rescue, for letting us use the space above the new rescue building. It’s a great space with a great vibe for the kids…thank you.
The amount of work and time that goes into a stage play is enormous. Many of you have asked how you can help in future shows. I can ask you to call us first if you have items that you might be taking to the dump or bringing to Goodwill. Props, lighting, stage curtains, room dividers, land to build a theater, perhaps even building us a theater, etc. If you have any experience in movies or theater and want to share that with a group of sometimes well-behaved local kids we would love to have you.
This was the first time we charged admission for our plays. Thanks also to Mary Aubut, Mimi Leveille and Liz Langevin for doing that. There are so many things that go into a production of this sort and things cost money. We barely broke even this time out. During the upcoming months we will be hosting a variety of fundraisers to support our future activities. Those include bringing performing artists and teachers to the island to interact with the kids. Your support is vital for us to continue this worthy community endeavor.
Thank you all again for coming out and supporting DRAMA 911! “Like” our page on facebook/drama911 for pictures of the show and updates on the program. You can also email us there if you wish to assist in any way or call me directly at (401) 487-0422
Program Director, Drama 911
To: the Editor —
I am writing the paper about two numbers, 47 and 3. Both numbers are controversial. I am split right down the middle with them. Let me explain why. The number 47 is the percent of land the conservation groups have secured from development. This land will be held as natural habitat for both farm and animal alike, forever. I applaud this work. The island is a much nicer place because of it and I think all islanders agree.
Now, as I said, I am split down the middle with the two numbers 47 and 3. I love number 47 and I don’t like number 3. The number 3 is the percentage the Land Trust committee takes from every buyer of a home on the island. This is a wicked large amount of money for someone who wants to live on Block Island.
What do they do with this money? They buy more Block Island land to put into the conservation trust never to be developed. I think the Land Trust has enough conservation land and enough for everyone to enjoy. The Land Trust has done a great job — now let’s close the doors, send everyone home and let Mother Nature run conservation land. I would like to encourage new people to come to Block Island without being burdened with a 3-percent “buying a home” tax.
Lakeside Drive and Millis, Mass.
This letter was written to the Town Council and copied to the Block Island Times:
The budget is set for another year with no large surprises. However, while I wasn’t able to attend the Financial Town Meeting I was not overly surprised that Mr. Robison’s request to remove $5,000 from the budget designated for organic fertilizer was denied. What surprised me was Ms. Gaffett’s response that: “Per an agreement between the Land Trust and the town, the town cannot dictate the type of fertilizer used at Heinz Field, only the Land Trust can (dictate).” The problem with dictating is that this relieves the Land Trust and the Town Council from responsibility to answer my persistent question: “What is the validated, research-based fact or facts that have led the Town Council and Land Trust to determine that it is the town’s financial or cultural interest to mandate the use of organic fertilizer at an added cost of $6,459 (per year) in lieu of equally effective use of “synthetic” fertilizer?” If the Land Trust can dictate a sum of $6,459, what would constrain it from dictating, say, $16,459 for any other organic matter it might wish to apply to Heinz Field?
To date, no one wants to clarify the “agreement” that currently governs the maintenance of Heinz Field: “The town as owner of the property would have the authority to decide what products are to be used; however, because the Land Trust holds a Recreation Easement on the property, it would also have to approve of the Town’s plan for turf management. New language in the Land Management Policy allows for the Trustees to approve of the use of synthetic products on a particular property if it is determined that they are needed. The burden would be on the town to show why a synthetic product is needed.” Nowhere do I see the word dictate! The town can certainly show that the use of organic products burdens the taxpayers of Block Island with an increase of about 300 percent over synthetic products. There is no substantiated data to prove that the Heinz Field is receiving any improved nutritional value. Over the past three years or so, the added cost is approaching a total of about $20,000. Without change this total will grow each year. Are there not more essential town budget items that could make use of these funds?
According to the August 20 issue of the Block Island Times, “the Land Trust has contacted Professor Frank Rossi at Cornell University to develop a ‘joint’ plan with the Town Council for the management of Heinz Field.” If there was ever any action, I have seen no report of this effort to work with Dr. Rossi.
While I realize that the budget is finalized for the ensuing year, it is time for this continuing problem to be resolved by the current administration and not “kicked down the road” for another year. The current agreement leaves too many questions as to who is indeed in charge. Since Recreation Director Rob Closter is ultimately responsible for carrying out any “dictates,” I think that he should be included in any deliberations.
As a final question, has the town attorney ever reviewed the agreement between the Town Council and the Land Trust? If not — why not?
Frederick H. Nelson
To: the Editor —
Block Island Health Services would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of our 15th Annual Swing Into Spring, held on May 20th. This year we were able to raise $15,000. Once again, Smuggler’s Cove opened its doors and provided an ideal setting for our event. Thanks to Rita and Steve Draper for graciously providing the space and lending us their professional staff.
Other donors who worked behind the scenes to provide food, beverages and services to whom we are very grateful are the 1661 Inn, Aldo’s Restaurant, the Atlantic Inn, Ballard’s Inn, the Beachead, Block Island Depot, Cooked Goose, Club Soda, Interstate Navigation, McGovern’s Yellow Kittens, Mohegan Café, National Hotel, New England Airlines, O’Neil’s Liquor, Red Bird Liquor Store, Sun Farm Oysters, Wakefield Liquors, Cindy Baute, Linda Closter, Scott Cooper, Pat Doyle, Pam Hinthorn, Jan Miller, Linda Spak, Champ Starr and Chris Warfel.
Our brilliant volunteers who helped coordinate and work the event were Nurse Linda Closter, Dr. Janice Miller, Kit, Kim and Danielle Woodward, Alcy Stiepock MacKay, Avery McGinnes and board and staff members.
Our gratitude to all of these people, and to everyone who attended, donated, participated in the raffles and helped out. You all made it happen! Hope to see you at the “Swing” again next year!