Letters, March 17, 2012

Fri, 03/16/2012 - 5:36pm

To: the Editor—

I’d like to address some of the concerns surrounding the maintenance of Heinz Field.

I think that what we are forgetting in this argument is the word “maintenance.” According to most field maintenance schedules, the infield is first wetted down and then dragged, making it unnecessary to use herbicides. Herbicides, chemical or organic, are not a silver bullet. Once sprayed, weeds do not disintegrate. You are still left with burned out weeds that then need to be dragged with an implement and removed. Why not do this the right way once? Wet it, drag it. Mowing also needs to be done regularly. If weeds go to seed you get more weeds.

Concerning the debate whether to use organic or chemical fertilizers: Where I sit this is not a debate. I have young children who will be using this field regularly. I could list hundreds of studies and websites (beyondpesticides.org, a good one to start with) for reference against chemicals, as could anyone debating the chemical fertilizer side of the argument. California has just released a study about nitrate levels in drinking water and the damage it causes in young children. We sit on top of our aquifer. Nitrates in drinking water are known to cause disorders in urinary and kidney systems (not to be a doom sayer but we can refer back to Dr. Baute’s research on cancer rates if you like to jump to those conclusions).

The process in which fertilizers are made relies heavily on petroleum, and they contain countless questionable ingredients, among them ammonia, sulfuric acid and urea, a known eye, skin and respiratory irritant. I’m not sure that any town employees have a Chemical Applicators License required to use the products they are hoping for?

We have so many resources here that could be used and applied in the off season. Why not get a maintenance schedule together that works both for the community and the Recreation Department. One article I read refers to a “Volunteer Day” for serious weed pulling.

New Jersey, New York and Connecticut all have state-wide mandates requiring athletic fields and parks used by children to be maintained organically. Many towns enacted mandates before the states did. Why not roll with the tide instead of letting it wash over us? The longer we go without doing any maintenance, the worse the field will get.

Heather Hatfield

Old Town Road


To: the Editor—

The Block Island Catholic Ladies Guild expresses thanks to the BI Times for the headline banner about our brunch.

Our elves, old, new and especially the school children, worked hard preparing the space and cooking all kinds of wonderful delights for our early Saint Patrick`s Day Brunch. The turnout was impressive on a lovely sunny day.

The Pot of Gold winners were Pat and Sandy Kelly, Eunice Kelly and Barbara Hirsch.

This winter we have completely refurbished the Not-New-Boutique. All are invited to visit when we open. We also contributed to the installation of the new stained glass windows at the Chapel Street Church.

So thanks to all our industrious elves, those who participated in the raffle and all the folks who came to the brunch. Top of the morning to all!

Pat Queally, event coordinator

Connecticut Avenue