Thu, 07/12/2018 - 9:00pm

In praise of Pastor Steve

To the Editor:

Allow me to raise my pen and voice in recognition of the Rev. Steve Hollaway and what a gift he has been to the Community on Block Island!

A solid man comfortable in his own skin and a solid Minister of Christ committed to the word of God, Rev. Steve used all his talents to enrich his parishioners and serve the many needs of the BI community. His word and thought always are backed up by a plan of action that responded directly to the needs addressed. The poor, the foreigner, the sick, the emotionally ill, the drug addicted, the ecumenical dimension, the social condition of person and place, justice for a just cause, a fearless voice and pen for a darkness in need of light, Rev. Steve has been the Pastor, the guide, the Friend and the Servant in response to a need.

But above all, Rev. Steve was the bon pasteur of Harbor Church, a true beacon on a hill! He tried and succeeded in so many ways to make the place and the personnel a welcoming sign to all comers who were seeking solace and safe harbor. He instilled in his parishioners that the building is a home for those in need of a place and space. Almost every group has taken advantage of the invitation to “use the place”.

The entire community needs to express appreciation for Rev. Steve and his ministry among us. And express sincerely our very best wishes for him and Becca as they move into the next phase of life and ministry. Go with God!

Rev. Joseph Protano, Pastor

St. Andrew Catholic Church


Don’t get scammed

To the Editor:

One of the international students working on Block Island has fallen victim to a telephone scammer pretending to be from the Internal Revenue Service. Americans might have heard enough about the scam to know to hang up, but this very young European lost $500 very quickly.

It was apparently a random call to a cell phone. The caller identified himself as an IRS agent and said that the student owed $6000. This made no sense, of course, because the student had never worked in the U.S. before. But when the man threatened to come and arrest her, the naïve student was frightened. She thought perhaps she had broken some law she was unaware of, and did not want to be deported.

The pretend IRS agent said that he would do her a favor, but she must not tell anyone. He asked how much cash the student had. She told him she had $500. He instructed her to buy five $100 Apple gift cards. She promptly purchased them at the Block Island Grocery. Then, as instructed, scratched off the back and read the man the PIN numbers from the back of the cards. Immediately a $500 Apple credit was transferred to the thief’s account, with no refund possible.

I write not only to remind readers that the IRS never calls asking for money, but also to ask the community if we can help this student who lost $500. We do not want to identify or embarrass the student, but donations can be made to the International Student Center, PO Box D-2. We will pass funds on to the victim up to $500; in the event there are excess donations the Center will use them for the twice-weekly student dinners. 

Steve Hollaway

Harbor Church


Thank you

To the Editor:

On behalf of my belated husband, Larry Breakstone, myself and our family, it is with heartfelt gratitude that we thank our incredible Block Island community for their unconditional support, generosity and tender loving care. In particular we would like to thank Linda Closter, Mark Clark and the B.I. Medical Center, Hope Hospice and Palliative Care of R.I., the B.I. Rescue Squad, Mike Shea, and our dear friends and neighbors.

With deep appreciation,

Karen Levey and Family

Dunn Town Road


A few odds and ends

To the Editor:

Mid-summer now, a bit hot, a bit perfect, a bit crowded. Just a few observations that you may or may not have already observed.

White buoys out in front of Town Beach demarcating the cable bringing electricity from mainland or windmills to the island. The cable just happens to run just a few feet under hundreds of beachgoers and again just a few feet from the lifeguard stands. Being told over and over again that this is not an environmental problem, try sending a text picture while sitting near or over the cable. It won't send — at least not on my iPhone 7, but move to either side 50 feet and it will send. 

I don't actually get a tingling feeling over the cable, but something is amiss. Maybe put the buoys on the beach. 

Then look out at wind turbine number one (to the left) and watch it stand still almost every day with a stiff breeze, again something amiss. I’ve heard that the wind turbines can't run without an outside electrical source in order to function, meaning a break in the mainland supply and we get nothing. Now we understand having to have all new diesel  generators on the island putting us right back to before the cable with all the expense.

The new dam at Old Town Road is leaking again down almost two feet, subjecting the wildlife to new threats in the pond again. Water should be going over, not under, the dam. A dead muskrat floating at the dam is mute testament of the problems that pond is having. Yet there is a pile of junk on both sides of the dam supposedly monitoring the eel population, according to Chris Littlefield. This mess of non-functioning nonsense is visible at the site of the beautiful restored culvert.

The Town Council approved a 25 percent increase in fees at the Transfer Station, starting immediately. Oddly enough, this same Council gave the operators of the station a new contract just a few months ago, ignoring other bids for the operation that would have given the town thousands of dollars for this same contract. How do they then award a pay increase when it wasn't presented with the new contract? 

Trash pickup vendors serving the rental community this summer having already bargained for their services with homeowners now suffer a 25 percent loss in revenue. We all are now paying 25 percent more. All the worry about having affordable housing; how about affording to live here? It's a trifecta: gasoline, garbage, and electricity. 

On a positive note, great Fourth of July, great fireworks, great parade, great happy crowds, happy businesses and great thank you to Chief Vincent Carlone for successfully managing this magnificent week. 

John Willis

Beacon Hollow Farm