Letters to the Editor, Sept. 21, 2012

Mon, 09/24/2012 - 4:10pm

To: the Editor—

Over the last week I have been approached by island voters asking me if I would run as a write-in candidate for First Warden. I am honored by their support. However, I am committed only to running for a position as Town Councilor at large. I hope to see you all at the polls in November.

F. Norris Pike

Ocean Avenue

To: the Editor—

At the conclusion of a performance at the Soup and Song coffeehouse in Harbor Church on Friday, Sept. 14, two officers of the New Shoreham police department entered the church building to talk to the performer. He was taken to the station and arrested for failing to appear at a hearing on a domestic matter, but the specifics of the case are irrelevant to our complaint.

Our objection, as clergy, is that the tradition of respecting a church building as a sacred space was violated for no apparent reason. It is important to us that houses of worship remain places where peace rules, where sinners are welcomed and can feel safe.

We understand that there is no U.S. law requiring the police to treat churches as legal sanctuaries, but there is a longstanding tradition of respect. None of us can recall a time on Block Island or even in the state in which police entered a church to find a suspect. For a thousand years it was a part of English common law that the accused could seek sanctuary in churches. What remains of that tradition in this country is simple courtesy shown to clergy and congregations by waiting until accused persons leave the church before an arrest is made. Even Immigration and Customs Enforcement has a policy of not arresting undocumented persons inside a church. When FBI agents came to Block Island to arrest Father Daniel Berrigan, they never dreamed of arresting him inside Saint Andrew Church.

In the arrest made on Sept. 14, the police had no reason to think that the coffeehouse audience or the performer’s relatives were in any danger. The officers could have found another location to make the arrest without violating what we consider a building dedicated to God.

We do not believe that Chief Carlone or any of the officers have any ill will toward our congregations or clergy. Perhaps a mistake was made, or perhaps the officers did not understand the long history of respecting houses of worship. In any case, we request that the New Shoreham police make every effort to avoid carrying out arrests in houses of worship unless there is an imminent risk of harm to persons inside. We are happy to have police officers worship with us or participate in the many community events in our facilities, but we hope they will leave their power to arrest at the door.

Clergy of Block Island Ecumenical Ministries:

The Rev. Stephen Hollaway

The Rev. Gary Lemery

Father Joseph Protano

Cantor Elliot Taubman

To: the Editor—

To all the many people of this wonderful Island who have sent cards, letters, telephone calls, personal stops at the house, prayers and good wishes for a speedy recovery, I wish to thank you from the bottom of my reconstructed and revamped heart!

Everett Littlefield

Old Town Road


To: the Editor—

I was deeply disturbed a few weeks ago when driving down Coast Guard Road to go clamming to find the entire beach access roped off — roped off with pseudo official signs claiming a need to preserve dune grass. Since when have there been dunes in that location?

I gather that the Cormorant Cove Association, again in their best community spirit, are denying islanders and others access to the cove by prohibiting parking. It is too bad that members of the association who are community minded cannot stand up to the self interest of a few.

I am not a boater. My buddies and myself — we are all in our eighties — love to clam, are living here and can no longer enjoy accessibility to the cove.

Gene Davis

Seaweed Lane and Mystic, Conn.

To: the Editor—

The Block Island Lions Club held its annual Fall Golf Tournament on Monday September 10. Proceeds from this event benefit the College Scholarship Fund. The day was quite windy, but beautiful and we enjoyed a good turnout. As always we express our appreciation to the golfers, most of whom play every year, for their continued participation in making this an enjoyable and successful event.

We need to thank Ray and Sue Linda of Interstate for continuing to generously donate round trip ferry tickets for the golfers. We also acknowledge and value the professional assistance of Megan Moran of Group Sales, Cindy Littlefield and the entire ferry crew.

Many thanks to the following local and mainland businesses who donated money as T-sponsors: Arnold Lumber, Attwood Real Estate, B.I.M.I., Ballard’s Inn & Restaurant, Block Island Realty, the Block Island Times, Cullion Construction, Dead Eye Dick’s, Flood Ford, Hull Suburban Propane, Joseph Oliveira Masonry, Lamb’s Package Service, Old Post Office Bagel Shop, Seacoast Eye Associates, Star Department Store, the Surf Hotel, Tyler Electrical Services, and Sushi Bob.

Prizes were generously donated by the Bird’s Nest, “Fish the World,” Elmridge Golf Club, Gates Insurance, Meadowbrook Golf Club, and G.R. Sharky’s.

Block Island Lions Club

Golf Committee

To the Block Island Community,

Sunday September 9th marked the 40th Anniversary of Block Island Conservancy; and we were fortunate enough to celebrate four decades of conservation on Block Island in style.

The theme for this party was aptly “Thank You.”  And thankful we are; as over 200 of Block Island Conservancy’s friends and supporters came out to enjoy a spectacular evening.

We would like to thank our gracious and generous hosts, Rosalie and Sean Kivlehan of the Sullivan House for sharing their stunning location and warm hospitality with us.

We are also grateful for the following supporters who were integral parts of this event: Beantown Swing Orchestra, Suzanne Nolter & Scott Comings of Blazing Star Farm, the Block Island Ferry, Ryan Designs, Block Island Reservations, Koru Eco Spa, the Atlantic Inn, Aldo’s, Hotel Manisses/1661, Kimberly Ward, the Beachead, Barby Michel, Eric Gennert, Alicia Martin and our eloquent speakers David and Justin Lewis.

Most importantly, we would like to thank you. Block Island Conservancy is a grassroots organization that has accomplished some very big things.  We could not-and can not- do it without your continued support.

Thank you again and here’s to the next 40 years!


Block Island Conservancy 40th Anniversary Committee:

Laura Michel Breunig, Logan Mott Chase, Rosemary Tobin Turner, Melissa Hempstead