Thu, 12/27/2018 - 9:00pm

‘Great respect and gratitude’

To the Editor:

I have been coming to Block Island since I was an infant, in 1955. My parents bought a house here in 1960. My fond memories of growing up here are too numerous to count. My mother, Jane Scranton, is 92 and still lives on her beloved island. She recently had a serious health problem and my wife and I came on Nov. 3 to help her convalesce. My mother has recovered her health and my wife and I will return to Oregon on Dec. 30.

I often hear people say how difficult it is to get workers to do anything on the island. I would like to give a different impression. A few years ago I called Rick Bachelder and asked him about digging a new well. He came up to the property the same day and within 10 days we had a new well with great water. I found him easy to work with and very knowledgeable. Mom has a live-in health care person, Maria Reis, who is beyond sainthood. On Thanksgiving morning she had a problem with propane. (My wife and I were off island for a few days.)  One phone call to Peter McNerney, who brought assistance within minutes, and the problem was solved. We had several faucets that were almost 40 years old that were leaking. I called Don DiMaggio and he returned my call within hours, ordered new faucets and replaced them within a week. He also restored our filtration system. Don and his apprentice Marti are always polite and professional.

I noticed that we had a small leak on a pipe coming off of our solar hot water system. Someone said, "Good luck getting anyone to come fix that.” I called John Warfel, who has serviced the system in the past. He returned my call within 24 hours and was at the house the next day. He ordered some parts and within a few more days came up and made the necessary repairs. Murphy's Law reared its ugly head this past Friday evening. The furnace quit, so I checked the fuel tank. The gauge read empty, so I called Millie of Ballard’s Oil and she had a truck driven by Seth in my yard within 15 minutes. Seth pumped 106 gallons into the 275 gallon tank. He checked the fuel gauge on the tank and informed me that the gauge was bad. I then called Ray Reynolds, who services our furnace every spring, and he was at the house 20 minutes later. Within 30 minutes he had assessed the faulty sensor and had the furnace up and running.

People can say what they want about unreliable and incompetent workers on Block Island. That has not been my experience.  

I have great respect and gratitude for the hard-working men and women who keep this island running. I have consistently found them to be professional, competent and reliable. This letter is to thank them for everything they do.  

Chris Scranton

Amy Dodge Lane


Many helping hands

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Helping Hands Food Pantry, I would like to say thank you to all who have donated so generously this year, in the past, and who will in the future. We very much appreciate all of the support we receive from this community both in actual food donations and monetary donations.

This year the Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Leo Club all worked very hard to collect food donations for us. Also, Eileen Birk offered classes in exchange for donations to the pantry. These donations are especially valuable because they offer more variety in goods available. We also are very grateful to Interstate Navigation for allowing free passage for our shopping trips and waiving the freight on our orders; Kimberly Ward (of Kimberly’s), who has always been an enthusiastic supporter in many ways and who provides fresh vegetables at holidays; the BIG, which allows us to order items at competitive prices; The Block Island Times, which organizes and hosts a fundraiser each year; and Washington Trust, a steadfast supporter and always willing to host a donation basket.

Of course, special thanks to the Harbor Church for allowing space for the pantry. There always has been a terrific response to our appeal letter and we are so thankful for your donations. We also want to express gratitude to all the volunteers who do the heavy lifting and to those who help run the pantry. We couldn’t do it without you!

Happy New Year to all!


Mary Aubut

David Kane

Theresa Sisto

Joanne Warfel


Give the gift of life

To the Editor:

We at Rhode Island Blood Center hope that your holidays have been pleasant in every way. Now, please consider one of the most precious gifts anyone can give — lifesaving blood. Blood is in every respect a life-giving gift.

Our first blood drive of the year is Thursday, Jan. 3 from 1 to 5 p.m. at Harbor Church.

Here are some reminders.

- Ages 16-17 may donate with a permission form signed by a parent. These forms are available at the Block Island School office.

- Bring your driver’s license

- if you have questions about eligibility, call 453-8307

- If you would like to make an appointment, visit www.ribc.org. Appointments are taken before walk-ins. If there are many appointments, the Rhode Island Blood Center will send an extra person

Please make every effort to give on Thursday, Jan. 3. This is the one blood drive when all donors will receive a gift from Dunkin’ Donuts — a one-pound bag of coffee. With many thanks for your gift.

Peter Greenman, Coordinator

Rhode Island Blood Center