Thu, 03/15/2018 - 9:15pm

Great job

To the Editor:

Thank you Islanders and pilots for a good turnout and great feast and festival at our St. Paddy’s Day Brunch on Sunday, March 11.

Molly O’Neill and the Ladies of St. Andrew Guild did a masterful job.

Fr. Joe Protano

St. Andrew Parish Church


Like the old days

To the Editor:

For as long as it lasts (how ‘bout forever?), Chief Carlone’s commitment to the island speed limit will be a gift to those of us who enjoy the Island by bicycle or on foot.

Last Sunday, on my regular Island loop, it was like someone had sprayed Valium on the whole west side of the island. Cars eased by me almost silently. It was like old times. And sure enough, I eventually came to an officer parked beside the road. 

Some background. My family’s first time on Block Island was in 1980. Our sons were eight and 10. At the end of four weeks, we had not used our car even once. We walked and biked everywhere. Drivers welcomed us. They waved as they went by. Everyone drove with their windows down; we could sometimes catch the score of the ballgame as they passed. Now our granddaughters, of similar age, beg to ride their own bikes into town. Too dangerous.

I would be interested to know from others at what age they allow their children to bike on island roads, perhaps to school, for example. 

James Bailey

Arlington, Mass., and Pilot Hill Road


Use safe balloon practices

To the Editor:

Protecting the environment and reducing litter is a goal that we wholeheartedly support. But education — not legislation —  is what the Block Island Town Council needs to consider before proposing a ban on the sale of balloons that could negatively impact members of the community, the livelihood of local businesses, and the joy that people of all ages experience from balloons.

The article “Town-wide balloon ban may be next,” by Cassius Shuman (3/9/18), stated that the Planning Board is pushing for the Council to draft an ordinance “prohibiting the sale and use of all non-biodegradable balloons on Block Island.” Violation of the ordinance would result in a fine not to exceed $500.

Economically, this ban would be a negative blow to both local businesses and the town, resulting in lost sales and revenues. For retailers that heavily rely on balloon sales, such as party stores and florists, the loss of these sales could be financially devastating.

Stopping balloons from becoming litter is something that every single person, young and old, can do for no cost and with minimum effort. 

The Balloon Council (TBC), a national association of balloon manufacturers, distributors and retailers, encourages efforts to reduce litter and protect the environment by educating the public about how to use and dispose of balloons properly.

TBC and the balloon industry welcome the opportunity to share materials from our national “Meet Faraday: Smart Balloon Practices Campaign” (balloonsliftup.com) with the Block Island community to help prevent the ban on balloons and the potential economic losses to local businesses. 

Simple tips, such as never releasing foil/Mylar balloons into the air, always weighting them so they don’t fly away, removing balloons when the celebration is done, and popping and throwing out/recycling balloons, can make a huge impact by reducing litter.

Balloons are a customer staple that produce income for local businesses year-round and help people celebrate the most important times of their lives.

Education, not legislation, is the answer, so this island community can continue to enjoy the positive power of balloons and protect the environment. Say no to the ordinance, and yes to Smart Balloon Practices to save our balloons!


Dan Flynn, Chairman 
 The Balloon Council




To the Editor:

After 35 years of coming to Block Island, my wife Barbara and I recently purchased a condo on West Side Road. After four years of looking, she found a globe on March 9 at Clayhead. 

Paul Vigeant

West Side Road