Letters to the Editor

Thu, 02/04/2021 - 5:15pm

Thank you to BIPCo line crew

To the Editor,

Many thanks to the line crew of the Block Island Power Company for their diligence in restoring power to our neighborhood – Tom Durden, Jim Stockman, and Dave Milner. They were out there – and up there on the pole – during the peak of the storm, a dangerous job in miserable conditions. For years, I’ve respected and admired those crews, having myself experienced the challenges and misery of wild weather encountered on many voyages, especially on the winter North Atlantic.

Thank you guys.
Please know you’re appreciated.

Keith A. Lewis

off Cooneymus Road


What is going on here?

To the Editor,

The Block Island residents’ outrage and confusion about the latest development in the Champlin’s Marina expansion controversy is understandable. After nearly 20 years, time and time again, Block Island has successfully defended the Great Salt Pond from this illegal expansion. But now, something has dramatically changed.

Before selling the marina, Champlin’s filed an appeal to the Supreme court. It is to contest the very strong Superior Court ruling that the 2011 CRMC (Coastal Resources Management Council) decision to deny the marina expansion was lawful and proper. The opponents of the expansion have filed preliminary briefs to support the 2011 decision.

Imagine our shock now to discover that the CRMC has inexplicably changed sides! They have apparently entered into mediation with Champlin’s to allow a massive new expansion!

What is going on here?

The science of how to protect our globe from irreversible environmental abuse is clearer than ever. Block Island is a microcosm of this, as our land and water and air are under inch-by-inch threats. Champlin’s Marina expansion is one of them.

Our state officials, and others, deserve to know about this latest threat to “A Last Great Place.” (In 1991, The Nature Conservancy named Block Island one of 12 “Last Great Places” in the western hemisphere.” This special designation highlighted the island’s abundance of rare plants and animals and the community’s unique support for conservation.)

Block Island is also the site of the first offshore wind farm in the U.S. It is a small place, unique in its beauty and respite and inspiration for so many.

It is also urgent to continue to disagree with the recent letter in the paper about choosing the financial benefits to accept Champlin’s expansion. It urges the island to use more “sensible compromises” when other lawsuits challenge infringement of the Block Island zoning, environmental and quality of life threats.

The rest of us must not rest until the adage “Might makes Right” turns into “Right makes Might.” Let us share this with our children.

Jane Emsbo

Corn Neck Road


The difficulties of policing on B.I.

To the Editor,

During the recent Town Council meeting there was yet another lengthy discussion about none other than mopeds! This is a forty-year generational discussion that will perhaps continue ad infinitum and we all get that at this point. That’s not the problem.

Here’s the problem. The continuous criticism of the police department is detrimental to the morale of the police officers; and may be the deciding factor on whether any of the reserve officers return this summer.

Hiring new officers is not working. We have advertised for years without attracting anyone; but were able to recruit some from existing members’ personal relationships with retiring officers around the state.

Truly the most difficult aspect of policing on Block Island is getting retired police officers to work here for the summer. This has been a continued challenge throughout the years.

The reserve program is very important for the safety of the community and especially to the existing four full-time police officers.

Believe it or not, the main reason a retired officer would consider coming to work on Block Island is for love of the community and the island itself. It is not the pay, because they can earn twice the hourly wage on the mainland doing traffic and other details.

It is also difficult to stay overnight away from family, sometimes sharing rooms with other officers, or turning over a room that an officer is departing from after a tour of duty.

Add to this the inherent risk of being a police officer especially in these trying times and you can easily see why a retired person in their sixties would not consider the job.

I did not have the opportunity to listen to the latest fascinating installment of the moped wars presented by the town council; unfortunately some of the officers struggling with the decision to return did listen and heard the disparagements against the department.

The citizens of Block Island deserve a more intelligent town government that thinks before they blather on and on, because words matter, especially when spoken by elected officials. In this case, I think their words may come back to haunt them.

Vincent T. Carlone