Fri, 08/04/2017 - 6:15am

A matter of safety

To the Editor:

What is it going to take for us to recognize we have a safety problem on the island, particularly during the summer season?

Trying to merely walk on the side of the road, no less take a family bike ride to the beach, is terrifying. Driving safely seems an impossibility with moped and bike riders weaving in and out of traffic, cell phones in hand, taking selfies. Few riders use helmets. While, as my eight-year old grandson said, “People leave their minds behind on the mainland,” the problem is ours to solve.

Do we need re-engineering of our main roads to allow for pedestrian and/or bike traffic? Do we need a lower speed limit? Is education of drivers and riders, alike, adequate? Do we allow too many cars and mopeds on-island? Before there is another serious accident, let us be the ones to fix our problem before we become known as a small island where accidents are bound to happen.

Sue Hagedorn, RN

Southeast Road


An Island treasure

To the Editor:

Do you know an Island Treasure? Someone who has who has given countless hours toward enhancing the quality of life for the Block Island community in deed, time, or inspiration. Please nominate him or her to be the 2017 Block Island Residents Association Island Treasure Award recipient by mailing us the name and a paragraph describing the reasons why your nominee should be declared the 2017 Island Treasure and mailing it no later than Monday, Aug. 21

We will honor the person at our annual meeting on Saturday, Sept. 16.

Mail to:

Island Treasure Award

Block Island Residents Association Board

PO Box 456

Block Island, R.I. 02807

If you have any questions, call me at (203) 876-7343 or (203) 494-0352.

Donna Corey

Block Island Residents Association


Keep your dog on a leash

To the Editor:

My family and friends know me as a devout dog lover. In some circles I am even known as a "dog whisperer" for my ability to pet and stroke a dog into a happy stupor. However, this all goes out the window when I am walking on Block Island's beautiful nature trails and I hear and see an unleashed, barking dog barreling toward me. This has happened several times this summer as well as during all previous summers. Sometimes the dog's owner never appears but I hear them calling for the dog and eventually the dog turns back. Sometimes the owner approaches me and says "oh, he's friendly, he won't hurt you." But that does me no good beforehand, when this strange animal is running toward me, barking and baring its teeth, causing my heart to race and my legs to shake since I have no idea how the dog will behave when it gets close to me.

I believe there is a town ordinance prohibiting unleashed dogs in public, which presumably would include the nature trails. And I understand it's not easy to enforce this everywhere. Perhaps very conspicuous signs can be posted on the entrances to the nature trails? Or as in New York City where I live, the town can designate very specific, marked and fenced areas where dogs can run off leash.

So, dear dog owners, please be considerate of those who are also enjoying the island's lovely walks and keep your dogs — even the 'friendly' ones — on leashes, as per town rules!

Sherri Maxman

Center Road, Block Island, and New York, N.Y.


Church Fair a success

To the Editor:

Thank you to everyone who helped make the July 22 Harbor Church Fair a success; to everyone who planned and pitched in and worked; to all who came and ate and went home with some treasure, big or small, or just came and heard cool jazz on a hot morning! 

A list of all who contributed would be too long to print but everyone please know we remain very grateful for the wide community support which allows us to reach out beyond our own congregation and provide so many spaces for so many different activities and ever-changing needs of our island-wide population. 

There are still times when keeping the doors open makes the big old building feel more of a burden than a blessing, but those times always pass and we move on to our next challenge!

Again, thank you.

Leadership Board

Harbor Church


Balloons are festive, but...

To the Editor:

Please find attached a photo of 300 balloons I found one afternoon in the two mile stretch between Black Rock and Southwest Point. (See above photo.)

Perhaps you would like to caption it, “Can you find Nemo?”

Dave Cahill

East Lyme, Conn., and Block Island


Put the brakes on

To the Editor:

Herewith, one year-round resident’s reaction to Jan Wampler’s model community center: Very well designed, to be sure, and a decided boon to any small town of 1,000 or so residents that can afford it. Trouble is, that’s not Block Island. We may be 1,000 inhabitants in February looking for relief in winter, but 20,000 to 30,000 people in August, most of whom come here to be out, rather than in, doors. As for swimming, we have the sea. Moreover, a preponderance of the island’s tax base, approximately 80 percent, derives from homes occupied only in the summer season. And, excepting the unlikely appearance of a generous Daddy Warbucks, it would be from that 80 percent that most of the revenue for such a center would have to be raised. Would the summer folk welcome a community center? Well, given a moment to think about it, perhaps they would. But would they like their taxes to be raised to pay for it? Most probably not.

A meeting of the Block Island Residents Association at which the subject of a community center, with an indoor swimming pool was broached last year, elicited this sotto vocce comment from our former Town Manager: “It was the absence of all that structure and formality that attracted me to Block Island in the first place.”

This writer soundly seconds that comment. Let’s concentrate on preserving the treasures we have — land, sea, and sky — and apply the brakes on further efforts to turn Block Island into a mini-mainland.

P.S. Wood

Old Mill Road