Letters to the Editor, September 28, 2013

Mon, 09/30/2013 - 2:00pm

To the Editor:

The Democratic Town Committee of Block Island wishes to recognize and thank the individuals and organizations that made the Sept. 3 visit to the island of Sen. [Jack] Reed and Rep. [Jim] Langevin such a success, including members of the Chamber of Commerce, and the staffs of the Medical Center, the sewer plant, the Block Island Conservancy, and the Island Free Library.

We also wish to thank the 1661 Inn for providing the venue and the lunch that allowed us to further our goal of raising funds necessary to support our activities. Furthermore, we thank the islanders, approximately 50 in number and not all Democrats, who attended the luncheon and the subsequent period of interaction with the senator and the congressman.

Finally, of course, our major thanks to Sen. Reed and Rep. Langevin for visiting Block Island to learn about our achievements, our problems, and our aspirations.

Bill Wilson, Secretary

Cooneymus Road

To the Editor:

Your periodic publication of the Police Log is a worthwhile exercise: a reminder that although surrounded by the delights of wondrous nature and scenic beauty, and part of a close-knit community, we, nevertheless, on the human level, especially during the influx of the tourist season, remain merely a microcosm of the mainland whereby mischievous, errant and undisciplined behavior, here also abound — behooving us to remain vigilant and grateful to Chief Carlone and his staff for their commendable efforts to safeguard us.

Richard Weisbroat

West Side Road

The following letter was sent to the members of the Town Council and the Electric Utilities Task Group and copied to The Block Island Times.

To the Editor:

As you are aware, on July 31, 2013, the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) named Deepwater Wind the provisional winner of two offshore wind energy sites located in the federal waters off the coasts of Rhode Island and Massachusetts.  Deepwater has indicated it will use the sites to develop the Deepwater Wind Energy Center (DWEC), a utility-scale wind farm 10-15 miles away from Block Island and which will consist of up to 200 turbines with a regional transmission system linking Long Island, New York, to southeastern New England.

The DWEC is the project envisaged by the 2009 Joint Development Agreement (JDA) between the State of Rhode Island and Deepwater as Phase II in the JDA. The existence of the JDA was a key component for Deepwater to obtain bidding credits from the BOEM, is executory and placed Deepwater at an advantage to win the federal auction. Phase I in the JDA is the 5-turbine wind farm planned for approximately 2.5 miles off the shores of Block Island.

Importantly, the JDA contemplates the possibility that Phase I therein (the Block Island Wind Farm) might be discontinued and Phase II therein (the DWEC) would proceed independently.  Very importantly to us on Block Island, the JDA contemplates a cable connection to the mainland for Block Island even if the Block Island Wind Farm is not built and the DWEC is built.  More specifically, Section IV(B) of the JDA reads as follows:

DWW [Deepwater] shall interconnect Phase I [the Block Island Wind Farm] or, if Phase I is Discontinued, Phase II [the Utility Scale Wind Farm on the outer continental shelf] with the electric power system of BIPCo and shall offer BIPCo electricity on commercially reasonable terms. DWW and the State through its OER [the R.I. Office of Energy Resources] shall cooperate with and assist in arranging transmission from Block Island to mainland Rhode Island and to Block Island from mainland Rhode Island. DWW and the State through its OER shall endeavor to reduce the costs of any such transmission to a minimum and arrange an equitable sharing of the costs of such transmission among BIPCo, the Project and the relevant Transmission Provider [National Grid]. DWW and the State through its OER shall assist BIPCo in proceedings with ISO-NE and any regulatory proceedings governing such transmission to and from mainland Rhode Island. [Emphasis added].

I have had recent discussions with certain members of the Town Council’s Electric Utilities Task Group, which suggest that there is uncertainty among EUTG members, and perhaps the Town Council, that the JDA ensures that Block Island would get a cable connection to the mainland if just the DWEC were built. It is my opinion the Section IV(B) (cited above) is clear on this point.

However, in order for the Town Council and the EUTG to plan properly for the future of the island, I believe that it would be appropriate for the Town Manager to seek a legal opinion from Rhode Island Attorney General Peter F. Kilmartin regarding the collective rights of the State and the Town to enforce the construction of a cable connection to the mainland if just the DWEC is built under the JDA.

I am available to you to assist in the preparing of such a request.

Mike Beauregard

Mohegan Trail



To the Editor:

I’d like to thank our island community for the outpouring of support during my recent housing search. So many people offered rooms, winter housing, tips, suggestions, and went out of their way to help me find housing that actually finding something was inevitable.

There are, as they say on award shows, too many people to single out and thank and I know I’ll end up forgetting someone. So, to the many realtors who were on the lookout, to the homeowners who offered rooms and cottages, to the tipsters and those who offered their personal references on my behalf, and especially to my new landlord, I offer my sincerest thanks.

Macsperts will be moving to Cooneymus Road year-round as of Oct. 1.

John Barry

formerly Center Road

To the Editor:

On behalf of St. Ann’s by the Sea, I would like to thank the many people and organizations that made our first (annual?) square dance a very successful event. Close to 100 people filled the dance floor at Ballard’s Inn on Saturday night to engage in some old fashioned foot-stamping square dancing.

Steve Filippi and his staff at Ballard’s provided a perfect seaside venue for the event and great food. And what Square Dance would be authentic without bales of hay to sit on? For that, we thank John Littlefield. The Queen of Silent Auctions deserves special thanks as she lined up some terrific items from over 25 organizations and many individuals — thank you Margie Comings!

Businesses making donations were the following: Golddiggers, The Beachead, Wild Flowers Boutique, Ballard’s Inn, The Manisses, Rebecca’s, Old Post Office Bagel Shop, Eli’s, Jessie Edwards Studio, Surf Hotel, Glass Onion, The Oar Restaurant, Greenaway Gallery, B.I. Tees, Building Blocks Toy Store, Solstice, North Light Fibers, Block Island Accommodation Services, National Hotel, Aldo’s Bakery, Island Bound, Mark’s Beachcomber Hair Design, Block Island Times, M&C Gas Station, Atlantic Inn, and Finn’s Seafood Restaurant. Thank you to all these local businesses and other individuals for your generosity.

Members of the Surfside 8 Square Dancing Club from Westerly volunteered their time and made the trip to the island. They provided professional instruction to a very eager and willing crowd. And of course, the biggest thanks go to all of you who purchased tickets, donned your western attire, bid on silent auction items, got out on the dance floor, and otherwise appeared to be having a very good time.

Chair of the Square,

Jim Hinthorn