Thu, 08/29/2019 - 9:30pm

Unravelling the fabric

The following prose poem was submitted by Nancy Greenaway:

Our Hometown

Bruce Springsteen’s hometown is my hometown.

Bruce and I grew up about three blocks from each other, a short distance from his song’s “textile mill.”

The Karagheusian rug mill was opened by two Armenian immigrants who fled incipient genocide in Turkey and brought jobs to a community called Freehold.

 On their looms they produced miles of quality carpet for hotels, ocean liners, luxury trains, Radio City Music Hall, the Supreme Court.

My dad, an English immigrant at 17, worked his way from the looms to the personnel office, where he got to know and care about nearly every family in town.

He walked to and from the five-story factory every day, balanced company and workers’ needs, and when he died, people packed the funeral home with flowers and themselves. 

Immigrants, whether dark-skinned or light, desperate, or merely hopeful, weave together America’s distinctive texture, pattern, durability.

Trample that spirit and risk the unravelling of democracy.

Nancy Walker Greenaway

Corn Neck Road

Ed. Note: Greenaway said she wrote this to commemorate a silent vigil protesting immigration detention policies that will be held next to Esta’s Park on Ocean Avenue on Friday, Aug. 30 at noon.


Is it any wonder?

To the Editor:

Your article on traffic concerns and vehicular congestion this year was very timely (too bad it was cut short on page 26). I can’t be the only one who wonders if the influx of cars is directly related to the price of bringing them out here.

Car reservations are cheaper today than they were five years ago. Why do renters bring three or four cars to the island? Because it is cheaper to bring them here than leave them parked for a week or longer in one of the lots in Pt. Judith.

The price of a standard sized car to Nantucket is $225 each way — in season (though ‘only’ $140 off season). I’ll bet if the price of vehicles was increased significantly — in season (like Nantucket) then there would be fewer cars on island next year.

Jim Dewey

Sheffield Farm


Huge success, lots of fun

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Block Island Health Services Board of Directors and staff, I want to thank all those who attended our summer fundraising event at BIMI. The Taco Party was a huge success and lots of fun.

Thank you to Kimberly and her fantastic crew for the wonderful feast. The tacos and salads were delicious and enjoyed by all.

The ice cream provided by Smitty's, cookies by Lauri McTeague and birthday cake donated by John Leone of Aldo's Bakery were a special finish to the meal.

A sincere thank you to Pat Doyle and her committee, Becky Ballard, Susan Bush, Susan Matheke and Carol Hill for organizing the event, selling tickets and decorating. To members of the board who arrived early to set up the tables and chairs and stayed late to put it all away, many thanks.

To our generous sponsors, who we listed in the ad in last week’s paper, we owe a huge thank you.

And thank you to the anonymous donors who bought tickets for Rescue Squad members and Medical Center staff.

We are also so grateful for the favorable and willing reception to the announcement of the Capital Campaign for the Medical Center. The planned improvements will benefit all of us on Block Island — expansion of the acute care area and of the primary/preventive/physical therapy areas; dedicated housing to ensure visiting medical residents and students and off-island specialists can support the care of our full-time providers; and increasing our endowment for long-term sustainability.

Thank you to everyone who attended our fundraiser on Friday, and we invite everyone in the community to support your Medical Center — each of us has a role to play in making a meaningful gift to ensure the high quality health care we all deserve and depend upon.


BIHS Board Chair Cindy Baute


Not helpful

To the Editor:

On Thursday, Aug. 22 at 9:06 a.m., I asked the editor The Block Island Times to please run by me quotes attributed to me regarding the Town Council meeting on my aquaculture farm assent modification, as there have been accuracy issues in the past. He did not call me about my email, and I went to do field work. At 10:05 a.m. on Thursday the editor provided brief information via email. I had left for field work after I sent my email and did not get his email until about 2:30 p.m. At no time did he ever tell me he was on a deadline and needed a response by Thursday noon. (The editor could have called me, as he called me for my reaction to the Shellfish Commission decision initially.) I don’t think it is unreasonable for me to assume that the paper would take the time or effort to be accurate. The paper often prints stories about meetings after they have occurred. Instead of taking the time to be accurate, the editor rushed a story to print, and for what reason? My conversation with the editor on Friday, Aug. 23 is that he basically said I am not the only issue they are dealing with. Great. Welcome to life, sir. Do you not think that we all live in a similar world, having multiple issues to confront simultaneously? Now your actions have just added more for me to deal with.

For the record, this is what I relayed to the editor by email at 2:42 p.m. on Thursday August 22 specific to the discussion at the Town Council meeting and the reporting.

Corrections: I was not surprised a vote took place, I was surprised at the outcome. I said they misunderstood, misrepresented and were wrong in their statements. I knew the Town was going to schedule the meetings after the Town Manager told me about it, but I had to teach veterans mustering out of the services who were taking a five week course in solar technology. For one of those weeks, I am the Technical Expert.

This did happen: I offered several times for the town to contact the state to discuss the contents of the advisory. I heard no acceptance by any town official to do so.

This is mostly very correct, as quoted in The TimesAfter many years of working with the Shellfish Commission to make aquaculture more successful — it is big benefit to the town — I seem to be continuously singled out,” Warfel said. “And for them to say that I am out of compliance and not anyone else puts us back many, many years. The State understands that these markers move over time. Weather moves them around. If that is the standard, then every farm, in every state is out of compliance. I can’t believe that’s the reason,” he said.

Clarification: I submitted a schematic of the float with my application. The prototype was out there for their inspection so they could compare it against the old style, which is right next to it, and is not in use. I was trying to help them understand. 

Christopher Warfel

High Street   


Next Blood Drive

To the Editor:

The fifth Block Island blood drive will be held on Thursday, Sept. 5 at the Harbor Church from 1 to 5:30 p.m. Here are some things to keep in mind.

- All donors receive a free tee shirt

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

- Anyone older than 17 can donate. There is no upper age cutoff.

- Bring your driver's license.

- If you have questions about eligibility, please call (401) 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, they’ll send an extra person.

Please make an extra effort to give. Summer is a time when many people are on vacation and are not here to give. So please devote just an hour to make a donation.

It s estimated that 370,000 people in Rhode Island are eligible to give blood, but only five percent do so.

This year marks the 40th year Block Island has participated in Blood Drives. A proclamation will be given here to commemorate this.

Peter Greenman

Coordinator, Rhode Island Blood Center