Thu, 08/17/2017 - 9:00pm

Please pick up your trash

To the Editor:

There are many demands made of the government of Block Island, as reported in every issue of The Block Island Times. However, there are some problems that restraint and civil responsibility would do a lot to solve. In that department is the trash left by others, as evidenced by this picture of the trash picked up on a typical morning walk into town along the roads and back along the beach. (Besides, bending down is good exercise.)

Peter Emanuel

Trim’s Ridge 


New electric bill confusing

To the Editor:

Like all Block Island homeowners I recently received my July electric power bill from BIPCo. I find it a bit confusing.

If I read it rightly there are four components: 1.) Plant and distribution charge (I think I understand that). 2) System charge (say what?) 3) Fuel cost adjustment DSI (I thought that was gone with the wind!). 4) Transmission charge (what is the difference between plant and transmission charge?)

Each component includes a charge out to the fourth decimal point. If my addition is correct homeowners are paying 37.78 cents per kilowatt for July. It's hard to compare to last year. I hear people saying it is up: others say it is down. Which is it?

I also feel that if the bill includes many lines with costs to the fourth decimal point that a bottom line should be included on the bill so the customer can compare without the need for an adding machine.

Steve McQueeny

High Street


The town and the dinghy dock

To the Editor:

From my investigation, there is a conflict that exists between the Block Island government and the Block Island Boat Basin (BIBB). The conflict caused the BIBB to alter their dinghy dock policy, cutting the usable dinghy space in half. In addition, BIBB apparently installed a different dock which enables dinghies to under ride the dock. At the suggestion of the Harbormaster, who finds himself in the middle of all this, I’m relating the following incident to you:

I, now age 73, have been coming to Block Island for the last 40 years. My wife will be 70 next month. On June 29, we came ashore to the dinghy dock, using the launch service. Upon noticing the situation with the reduced dinghy space, I felt worried to the point that I reported my concern to the Harbormaster’s assistant. Little did I know that we were going to be a problem on the next day. 

The next day we decided to take our dinghy, Woodstock — named from the Peanut’s cartoon — in to the dinghy dock.  We had to do the usual pushing to get a tie-up. When we returned after about six hours on the island, we returned to see Woodstock was partially sunk with the motor awash. After salvaging what I could, I brought both ashore at The Oar. Some onlookers offered to help. An onlooker said another dinghy operator in their effort to push in for a tie-up had pushed Woodstock under the dock where it got punctured by a sharp object. Since BIBB policy was the proximate cause of the problem, I went to complain to the BIBB operator. Though irate, I used “the King’s English” to explain why I had suffered the loss. Instead of using good business sense, he and two associates retreated into the office and slammed the door in my face. At that point I did not use “the King’s English” to tell him what I thought of BIBB policy. This act resulted in me being banished from using the BIBB facilities. The Harbormaster’s assistants brought Woodstock out to my sloop, and I’m getting an estimate for its repair. If I had an operational dinghy, I would rather make a beach landing than use a dangerous dinghy dock.

Peter Mott, a Block Island resident/landowner, offered to service my motor. This he did, but subsequent efforts on my part here at home indicate a major repair or trashing the motor would be in order. The new motor cost me more than $1,100.

Henry R. Stebbins


A great success

To the Editor:

The 53rd Barbershop Quartet Festival is now history. It was a success by any measure. First, the music was first rate. Ask anyone who went. Then there were 30 singers on the island, arriving Friday and leaving Sunday. Our local economy was certainly helped. No singer receives any compensation, so expenses are very low and net profit is high. All net profits go to the Mary D. Fund. This year with great pride I report a new all-time record net profit of $8,699. By any measure, this event is a win-win. Another major reason for the profit is the six host families for the quartets. If it were not for them, the festival would operate at a loss. Many thanks to them. Interstate Navigation is generous to the singers as well. Typing is done pro bono by an island person. Thanks to you all and all contributors. 

Aldo's is to be thanked for staying open late as all singers and some audience go there after the show to eat. Then, in the morning, The 1661 is open late for all singers who eat well and sing some more. Finally, some singing took place at the American Legion picnic on Sunday. 

Some singers have told me it is the best time of their barbershop year. Planning for next year has already begun and the event will be held on Saturday, July 21. Thank all of you who were the audience and who helped make the show such a great success.  

Peter Greenman, Festival Chairman