Thu, 10/11/2018 - 7:00pm

‘Not very professional’

To the Editor:

Extra! Extra! It’s less than a month until our local election takes place, and The Block Island Times still has not provided bios or info about the candidates. Not very professional.

For the record, I am in favor of eliminating the deer in the safest, fastest, and most productive way possible!

Mark Emmanuelle

First Warden Candidate

West Side Road


Appalling behavior

To the Editor:

As a former business owner and long-time summer resident, I was appalled this past Saturday at the way my grandson, his wife, and their nine-month-old baby girl were treated by a lady taxi driver.

They had planned to bring their car over, but could not be guaranteed a return spot on the ferry on Monday.

They trudged up the hill to where the taxis were waiting, toting suitcases, a car seat, stroller and many other items needed for the baby. The driver, who was first in line, refused to take them to their destination, which was about a half-mile away. She stated they had too much “stuff.”

And you wonder why tourism is down on the island?

Janet Nelson

Southern Pines, N.C.


A heartfelt thank you

To the Editor:

As a summer resident for 48 years, I have never had to call an ambulance to our home on Graces Cove. I recently had a health incident that frightened me enough to call 911 instead of relying on my friends.

In a matter of minutes, Lisa Sprague was at my door followed by the EMTs who respectfully took charge and gave me the courage to stand and enter the ambulance. These young people were so supportive, I can’t thank everyone enough, including Kirk Littlefield, who sat with me to make sure I was going to be okay.

Thank you to everyone including the Block Island Health Center Staff, you are all a great team. Enjoy a nice quiet winter!

With heartfelt appreciation,

Bernadette Murphy


Who will be next?

To the Editor:

I am sad to still be hearing about how many people are struggling with Lyme disease here on Block Island.  

That shouldn’t be, not on our small island! Not when we know how to lessen the chance of getting the disease. Why aren’t we able to finally solve this awful problem? If it takes reducing or eliminating the deer herd, then do it. I don’t get it.  

Who will be next?

Janet Merritt

Block Island


Unwanted seals

To the Editor:

I was on island this spring for a week of fishing and was disappointed to encounter seals, particularly on the north end.

This concerns me and I hope it concerns the Department of Environmental Management.

Seals attract sharks, which prey on them. Sooner or later, you will notice a bump in shark population...and sooner or later one of the big sharks will make a mistake that makes unwanted headlines for Block Island. This phenomenon is happening right now on Cape Cod and it is not helpful to their economy.

Surf fishermen and bathers are not happy about the devastating attacks that have been taking place on the Cape, and one attack was fatal in mid-September. Another swimmer was attacked there in August and survived.

Now I know that marine mammals are protected — so are sharks —but if tourists are allowed to make life easy for the seals (in addition to the teeming baitfish near the island) the seal population will bloom, soon followed by great whites and other big sharks.

The cormorants were no great gift to the island, and the seals will be worse guests.

I encourage you to support an educational effort to help tourists understand that interacting with seals in any way is a negative for the island, and let’s hope the seals will eventually get the message and drift back to Cape Cod!

Anthony E. Wright

Suwanee, Georgia


Better access to the Great Salt Pond

To the Editor:

At a recent Town Council work session, our town manager, Ed Roberge, gave a very well prepared presentation that clarified many questions about parts of the Harbor Management Plan that still need to be completed. Kevin Cute, from Coastal Resources Management Council was in attendance and contributed to the discussion.

Also discussed was a facility for visiting boaters and the general public in New Harbor at the Ball O’Brien property that could include the following: showers/bathrooms, a Harbormaster’s office, a dinghy dock, outhauls, an access road from West Side Road to the beach, and a proper boat launching ramp with parking for boat trailers nearby. Lighter small craft could be stored for the summer on the beach. There’s an 800-foot beach on the Ball O’Brien waterfront that’s totally hidden and unused that could be enjoyed via the access road.

It’s very difficult for community members to find a place to keep a boat. The Harbors Committee is proposing two solutions to help remedy this. One plan is to install about a dozen or more outhauls off the Ball O’Brien beach that can hold boats up to about 22 feet in length. In addition, a boat launching ramp with trailer parking would make it possible for many community members to enjoy boating. The existing launching ramp is inadequate and has no parking. Due to limited options on Block Island, a well-designed boat launching ramp with trailer parking is perhaps the most efficient way to allow many people to get out on the water.

It’s worth noting that most of the features above are designed to offer greater access to Great Salt Pond for the community and the general public. There is state and federal grant support available for projects that create more opportunities for public access to the waterfront. One of the Committee’s next steps is to investigate these grants.

After getting statistics from the Chamber of Commerce and the Harbors Department, I was surprised to learn that on an average summer day, there are three times more people on boats at anchor or moored in New Harbor than the number of guests staying at all the hotels, inns, and B&Bs. When you add in the approximate $600,000 the Harbors Department collects in mooring rental fees, you can easily see that visiting boaters contribute a substantial amount to the island’s economy, three times more than all the hotel guests do. If you include people on boats in Old Harbor and at the New Harbor marinas, there are five times more visiting boaters than hotel, inn, and B&B guests. This illustrates the need to provide basic amenities like a shower and bathroom facility for these boaters. Most other harbors provide public showers and bathrooms for visiting boaters and some people are choosing to go there instead. I believe the information above is correct.

Gary Pollard

Harbors Committee