Thu, 08/31/2017 - 8:30pm

Vile accusations

To the Editor:

As you know, the Town Council voted to delay the entire election for the Utility Board. I did vote in favor of that action, but not due to a lack of faith in the abilities of the Town Clerk's Office to accomplish what needs to be done, and on time. 

Neither did I so vote because I believed the innuendo and vile accusations thrown about by a very few people speaking at the meeting last Thursday and this Monday. 

However, beyond the acknowledged flaws in the process which would always cast a shadow, with foundation or not, upon the outcome, of even greater concern to me was — and remains — the pall of misinformation that has been cast over our community. I choose to believe it was well-intended, and hope going forward people who feel the need to share “facts” do so only with facts, not opinions or wishes.

I was also shaken by the reality of people to whom I found myself having to say, “No, the Utility Board ballots were not in the power bill!” Where do these rumors even start? 

Still, I do think we were able to separate the proverbial wheat from the chaff, to listen to the honest observations, to take the good, helpful suggestions, and toss the rest where it belongs. I remain optimistic the vast majority of people in this community want us to move ahead, to learn from, not mire ourselves in, past actions.

A notice will be enclosed in your next BIPCo bill, please read it! And, please, vote when the new ballots are issued. 

Martha Ball

Mansion Road


Broadband Committee clarifies 

To the Editor:

The New Shoreham Broadband Committee is making good progress in evaluating how to deliver affordable and reliable Internet service to all Block Islanders. The article in the Aug. 19 edition of The Block Island Times gave a good update on the information gathering process but we wanted to clarify a couple of points. First, while we are hoping to have finalized our recommendation so a May 2018 approval could be sought, that date is not set in stone. It may happen sooner or it could be later in 2018.

Second, on the issue of the content available on a high speed network, the choices are many. The quote “I don’t even want to get into it” was a bit out of context. In fact, we want to get into it a lot in our upcoming outreach sessions. Why? Because it will save users a lot of money on monthly charges that they now pay. A true broadband network, whether wired or wireless, can deliver Internet, phone and TV-type services. One attendee at a recent meeting said he just wanted fast Internet and TV with the Red Sox and local news. Like many users today the other 100-plus channels that he must pay for, he never watches. This freedom of subscribing to only what you truly want can be easily done over a high speed Internet connection. These services exist today, but we on Block Island can’t get them. If we could, a user could save $50 to $100 a month over Dish or Direct TV. Even more savings are available when telephone service is added.

Please attend one of our committee meetings at Town Hall every Thursday at 1 p.m. and learn more. Our first information session will be at the Block Island Residents Association Annual Meeting on Saturday, Sept. 16. All are invited. The bottom line is that with the mainland cable having optical fiber we can connect to the world wide web as never before. The challenge is to build the right island-wide network to do it.

Bill McKernan

Chair, New Shoreham 

Broadband Committee 


Public documents availability

To the Editor:

Today I stopped at the Island Free Library to review the legislation recently passed for our Utility District only to find that there is no hard copy on file. Now I am of the generation that likes a hard paper copy in hand to read and re-read.

I do have a computer, but my printer is capricious and often does not work.  

Intrigued by the librarian's answer, I then asked if the Town Charter, newest Town Audit or the latest Comprehensive Plan were available for the general public. The answer was no.

I hope this letter may prompt the powers that be to file these documents at our library as soon as possible.

Edith L. Blane

Corn Neck Road


Thank you

To the Editor:

Many thanks to all the volunteers that helped put the fire out on West Side Road for the Carley/Mandel House.

As a family, we can never thank you enough. We are grateful no one was hurt. Thank you for your kindness.


The Carley/Mandel Family

Sheridan and Robert Carley


Next Blood Drive

To the Editor:

Here's a sure sign the summer is about to wind down. Our first blood drive of the fall will be at the Block Island School gym on Thursday, Sept. 7 from 12:30 to 5:30 p.m. Please plan to donate. Statistics show that 37 percent of the population can donate but only five percent do. The new motto is "Help someone else. Become a donor.”

Here are helpful hints to keep in mind:

- If you have recovered from heart attacks or cancer you may be able to give again.

- People age 16 may donate with a form signed by a parent.

- Age 17 and above can donate.

- No upper age cutoff.

- Those who have had Lyme disease may be able to give.

- Bring your driver’s license.

- Call 453-8307 if you have any questions of eligibility.

- Arrive no later than 4 p.m. as the process of paperwork and donation takes about an hour.

If you would like an appointment visit www.ribc.org, then there will be no waiting. Otherwise simply walk in. 

Please make every effort to give. Remember one unit of blood can save up to three lives!

Peter Greenman, Coordinator

Rhode Island Blood Center