A note of thanks
We thank you for the generous outpouring of love and support being displayed by the Block Island community and beyond.
We feel that you are putting your arms around us in an unending hug that blankets us with your caring, concern, and deep affection. Your kindness is sustaining us beyond measure.
Please know how profoundly grateful we are to count you as partners in our journey.
Robbie, Irina, Julian Murphy
To the Editor:
I was surprised to read the editorial in last week’s paper that decried the town’s continued opposition to the Quonset-based ferry service to Old Harbor, declaring that opposition to be “futile”…especially since the editorial ran in the same issue that carried a story about an interim order issued by the Division of Public Utilities. Whereas the editorial’s author says that it’s “unclear why the town leadership is maintaining steadfast opposition…” to Mr. Donadio’s ferry, the Town Manager, in the article just mentioned, clearly points out that safety concerns, dock capacity and location, and vessel circulation were at the heart of the town’s overall capacity concerns in Old Harbor. Rather than take the advice of the editorial and simply say these issues “…will have to be addressed…” if the ferry is ultimately approved, the Town believes — and experience has shown — that it is a better use of tax dollars to proactively oppose things that we know will be problematic.
This case arose on my watch and so I have been following the detailed filings and arguments that have gone on to date, as has Ed Roberge…and the three Town Councils he mentions that have sat since the case began… and we all remember Mr. Donadio making his original proposal to the town and stating that he would never pursue this if the town didn’t want it!
The town doesn’t want it and doesn’t think that spending tax dollars to fight it is futile. If one only reads the memos filed in this recent action before the Division, you will see that the Coastal Resources Management Council, in returning the application filed for the proposed dock construction, has determined neither location proposed can be approved without the consent of the Town of New Shoreham. The applicant has already been granted an additional year to prove a dock can be built, and that second year expires in September of 2018.
This editorial professes to be neither for nor against the Quonset ferry. Really, because I’m having a hard time finding any neutrality in the writing. Why is that?
Pilot Hill Road
Thank you, Interstate
To the Editor:
Yesterday, on Sunday, July 22, I came over on the 1:30 boat. I left a bag of groceries by my chair. I realized what I’d done at 7:30 and went down to the boat to ask about my bag. I wasn’t really expecting to find it. One of the young men there remembered finding it. “Yeah, I put it in the fridge.”
I was grateful and very happy to have driven across the island to find it. Thank you, Interstate Navigation, for your great staff. My sister who lives in another state insisted I recognize them in the paper. On Block Island, we take this competence and honesty for granted.
So thanks, you guys, at Interstate Navigation.
To the Editor:
I began a recent sermon by saying “If you want to feel loved, try announcing that you’re leaving.”
I feel like the Robert Duvall character in a movie we showed at the coffeehouse, “Get Low,” who hosts his own funeral so that he can hear what people say about him. I certainly never expected to hear an encomium like Father Joe’s letter in this paper before I was dead. It was a close call last December with a subdural hematoma and a stroke, but I’m still alive and enjoying it!
Many island folks have been gracious in stopping me to say they will miss me, or to thank me. It’s touching that people think I’ve made a difference, but nothing I’ve moved forward has been done alone.
The three “accomplishments” people mention are (1) the Friday night Coffeehouse and film series, of which the unsung heroes were Pat Tengwall, Beth Gaffett Tengwall, and Judy Mitchell, for eight and a half years; (2) raising awareness of mental health issues and helping provide access to care on the island, including the telemedicine program, which would not have happened without Mike Brownstein and the continuing work of the members of NAMI Block Island (Jim Hinthorn is now President); and (3) the programs of the International Student Center for five years, which depended on Director Raul Mickle, a host of donors, and volunteers who provided meals, including Ellen Jacke, who made her slaw twice a week for four years. The ISC is now being run by an Advisory Board, which will carry on the hospitality without missing a beat.
I’m thankful to Lisa Starr and all my Poetry Project friends, who made a huge difference in my personal growth and sense of myself as a poet. I’m thankful to the members of Harbor Church for encouraging my good ideas and tolerating my bad ones, especially Martha Ball — and the entire Leadership team — who sometimes had to ride out waves I caused. They and all the others who responded to sermons heard in person or read online were a deeper source of courage than they know. And as football players always say, I want to give all glory to my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, who has been the source of love and strength and every good word I’ve uttered. May he, with the Father and the Spirit, bless everyone on Block Island as long as you live.
Pastor, Harbor Church
To the Editor:
I have been a visitor to the island for almost 35 years, and love its beauty.
I have also been witness to the transition from bicycles to mopeds to scooters, and the problems that have arisen (remember the No-Peds bumper stickers). One of those problems is noise; first with the mopeds, and now the scooters. The scooters are less noisy than the old mopeds were, but not by much, and they still disturb the silence of the island anyplace near a road on busy summer days — and on this small island, that is virtually everywhere!
This year I made a trip to Beijing and Shanghai, China, and was very surprised to see that almost all gas-powered scooters (and I have heard there there were millions of them) have been replaced with all electric ones. Along with bicycles, the average Chinese commuter uses these electric scooters, day and night — and all in complete silence, without emitting any fumes. For sure, China has a bad pollution problem, but these scooters do not contribute to it directly, they are part of the solution. As busy as Beijing streets can be, they are a lot less noisy and chaotic because of these e-scooters.
It would be a great idea for all island bicycle/scooter rental businesses to transition from gas to all electric scooters, and electric-assist e-bikes. This would be a fast and easy way to dramatically change the dynamic of the island from noisy and frenetic to peaceful and quiet again.
There are now many options for rechargeable electric scooters and bikes at all price ranges and abilities. I just want to state that I have nothing to gain by this; I do not sell e-bikes, but I do see a lot of them where I live in Brooklyn, New York. The e-bikes are especially good since you can also pedal them and get some exercise, using the motor only when you are tired, and need a boost.
This should be good for business since there are many people who would prefer to have this greener option. The rental businesses could probably charge a premium for them in the short-term, as they transition. Another plus is the tie-in with the new wind turbines, and the availability of reliable, clean electric power they provide.
I hope that someone reads this letter and does something to get this idea rolling. I noticed a town meeting article in The Block Island Times from 2006 that mentions allowing e-bikes to be purchased by rental companies if they replaced scooters. Now is the time to do it!
Thanks to all
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Board of Directors of Block Island Health Services, I would like to thank the Block Island community for their support of our Summer Celebration. Over 250 people enjoyed a beautiful evening at the Sullivan House. Thank you to Sean and Rosalie Kivlehan, their staff and bartenders for providing a wonderful buffet dinner under the tent.
Thank you to Cameron Greenlee for the beautiful music during the evening and to Vin and Karin Carlone of Fugitives From Justice for the special surprise treat to complete the evening.
All of this was accomplished by a wonderful committee under the direction of Pat Doyle, Fundraising Chair. Special thanks to Pat, Becky Ballard, Susan Bush, Carol Hill, Susan Matheke, Ray Torrey and Suzie Wright for a job well done.
We also would like to acknowledge our 60 sponsors who generously supported the event with their monetary donations. Thanks to the Mendozas of Calaveras, the Leones of Aldo's, Rita Draper of The 1661, Steve Filippi of Ballard's, and Ross Audino of TigerFish for the delicious appetizers.
As always we are grateful for the extraordinary staff of the Medical Center. Together they provide outstanding health care to the Block Island community 24 hours a day, 365 days each year. Their expertise, compassion and professionalism is second to none.
We all are truly blessed.
To the Editor:
For Royal Bruce Montgomery:
“For years I never knew whether the twilight was the ending of the day or the beginning of the night — and then, suddenly, one day I understood that this did not matter at all, for this is but a circle. And so there is no beginning and no ending, and this is how I came to know that birth, life, and death are one and it is neither the coming or the going that is of consequence. What is of consequence is the beauty and the love that one gathers and shares in this interlude called life.”
— Winston O. Abbott.
Shalom, dear friend.
West Side Road