A job well done
To the Editor:
The summer of 2018 was delightful on Block Island. The weather was outstanding and the ocean was perfect for those of us who enjoy swimming, kayaking, and general beach activities extending into the late evenings.
Unfortunately, but as usual, the mopeds were a terrible distraction and were responsible for what appeared to be an unprecedented number of serious accidents...which lamentably changed the lives of a number of visitors whose injuries required life flights and serious, prolonged medical attention. At some point in time, and an issue that has resurfaced over many years, either elimination or at a minimum additional restrictions need to be applied to not only save the unwary visitor from themselves, but to also decrease the increasing burden on the small but brilliant fire and rescue volunteers and Medical Center personnel, without whom these injuries would certainly be exacerbated.
I also would like take a moment to extol the fine work of Chief Carlone and his department for their exemplary work. For example, but not limited to, enforcing the speed limit for visitors and residents alike, extinguishing the pathetic “circle gang,” and in particular using social media to dissuade visitors from treating this precious island as their drunken playground, especially on the 4th of July. Truly a job well done!
The Lobster Pot Tree shines
To the Editor:
This is the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree’s eighth season and it is bigger and better than ever — one level taller than in previous years. Turtle (Harold Hatfield) does not believe in doing the same thing twice, so each year it is fun to see how he changes it. FYI: Turtle used 197 lobster pots last year and this year it is around 205.
As we have done the last couple of years, we are continuing to make the tree building a festive family event as well as a fun fundraiser! Congratulations to the kids (and parents) from the Block Island School who sold coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods raising $452. Half of the money raised goes to the Block Island School Friends program which helps fund class trips and the other half goes into the maintenance fund for Esta’s Park, the home of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree. Also, a big thank you to those community members who donated baked goods and who stopped by and bought goodies and made donations!
A huge thank you goes to Turtle, the organizer of this wonderful project, and his wife, Heather, who, by the way, almost set their house on fire while testing all the strings of lights. Thank goodness for circuit breakers! On Saturday, Turtle and crew started gathering all the lobster pots and other supplies needed and then building the base of the tree. On Sunday, he and his crew finished building the tree, adding the lights, buoys, and the top of the tree.
On both Saturday and Sunday, there were many faithful helpers showing up: Jordan and Kate Ryan, Patrick Evans and Kate Mello, Zena Clark and Jamie Johnson, Katie Howe, Jake and Laurel Nelson, Alisa Berry and their kids who put in hours of construction time! In addition, there were lots of “sidewalk superintendents” admiring the tree and taking photos.
I also want to thank the behind-the-scene helpers. A big thank you goes to Fred Howarth for supplying the buoys. Did you know that each lobsterman has his own color buoy and when you look at the tree, you’ll know Freddy’s is red and yellow! Another large thank you goes to Jon Grant for the loan of all the lobster pots Also, a huge thank you goes to Robbie Gilpin for once again providing the revolving light for the top of the tree. Thanks goes to the Block Island Gardeners for making the wreaths for the park (and the whole downtown area) and the Block Island Tourism Council for providing the new tree lights. Last, but not least, thanks to three of our businesses for their support: Island Hardware donated the zip ties and Bethany’s supplied the coffee cups, coffee and hot chocolate, and Kimberley’s for feeding the whole crew.
The lights will be turned on at dusk on Thanksgiving Day so families here for the holiday can enjoy the tree even if they have to leave on Friday. The Old Harbor Task Force invites you and your friends and family to come down and take a few photos of everyone standing in front of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree.
It is always a pleasure to thank the Block Island community for its continued support of the downtown parks — and of the Lobster Pot Christmas Tree!
Margie Comings, Chair
Old Harbor Task Force