Thu, 10/10/2019 - 9:00pm

A celebration well enjoyed

To Block Island Friends and Family,

We would like to send a great big thank you to everyone who contributed to the celebration of life for our dad, Lew Gaffett, held at the Old Island Pub. It was certainly a celebration Lew would have so enjoyed. It was wonderful to see old friends and hear stories of great times.

Some people cannot go without mentioning. To Kimberly and Rita who pulled all the food together from different establishments in the community—they made it look effortless when we know it is not. Specifically, we would like to thank Kimberly’s, The Oar, Aldo’s, Poor People’s Pub, McAloon’s, Sugar Rush, Beth, Lisa, and Mary. If there is anyone we missed thank you so much!

We would also like to thank Jess Brown and Sean Daly for helping us clean and set up the event space and Allie McCabe for providing the beautiful flowers.

Our community spirit and the gathering of friends is truly one of the things Lew so loved about Block Island. It constantly amazes us how this community shows such love and support just when you need it most.

With many thanks and much appreciation.

The Gaffett Family


Once upon a seal…

To the Editor:

On Tuesday, Sept. 24, a severely injured harbor seal pup floated ashore in front of the Avonlea, at the south end of Crescent Beach.This same harbor seal had been released two weeks previously after rehabilitation at Mystic Aquarium.

Thanks to many calls to the Mystic Aquarium Stranding Hotline (860-572-5955, ext.107) by folks at the Avonlea and on the beach, I was alerted to attempt a rescue. “Wade” the harbor seal pup was severely injured with deep lacerations through its lower abdomen and hind flippers, but had somehow managed to escape. I have experience with identifying shark encounters with marine mammals, sea turtles, and unfortunately, shark attacks on humans, and estimate this near-miss bite to have been from a large shark.

Interestingly, the attack most likely occurred in shallower water near shore, estimating perhaps at a time near midnight from the condition of the seal.

Unable to swim, the small seal had been luckily pushed to safe haven by the waves and early morning incoming tide in time to be still barely alive on the beach. A quickly-assembled, impromptu team of Moriah Tinkham, Gabby Saba, and Arnie “Seal Herder” Flaig was of great assistance as we guided the weakened seal into a large animal container. We were successful and the container was placed on the 3 p.m. ferry to Point Judith, with kind and quick assistance from our friends at Interstate Navigation.

At Mystic Aquarium, “Wade” the seal survived surgery and intensive care, and is expected to make a full recovery! Sometimes we win one, and it is always through many helping hands and efforts.

Thanks again to all of you that responded so quickly.                                                                        

Jules Craynock, Oceanographer


A colossal success

To the Editor:

By any measure, the Walk to End Alzheimer's was a colossal success. Here’s one reason why: Last year, Westerly conducted its first Walk to End Alzheimer's. That town is significantly larger and, per capita, wealthier than Block Island. They raised $54,000. This year Block Island, the very smallest of all municipalities, raised at last count $55,000. What a victory. When the final donation is made, I’ll tell you in a letter.

This walk took on a life of it's own. I’ve never witnessed  anything like it. Our team captains were Sandra Kelly, Jennifer Phillips, Molly O’Neill, Kristin Baumann, and myself. Without ever asking, my daughter. from Breckenridge, Colorado, came here just to walk. As it turns out she was the biggest money raiser at over $9,000. Our son from Middletown, R.I. raised over $7,000. And our two grandchildren from Colorado and Massachusetts also joined the walk. Possibly the most amazing walkers were two old singing friends of my wife Sandy. They live in the Lowell, Mass. area, just under New Hampshire. Debbie brought her 90-year old mother and Barb brought her daughter-in-law and two grandchildren. The youngest was two years old. That drive was all across Massachusetts, get the first boat, the walk, and back same day. Amazing. There were many others who came over, including Lt. Gov. Dan McKee and Sen. Susan Sosnowski.

It was a significant display of what our Block Island community is famous for. I'm sure the local chapter of the Alzheimer's Association in Providence will want us to repeat the Walk next year. But perhaps the best part of the walk was that the event helped to spread awareness about Alzheimer's disease. There are people on our small island who have the disease. It's the sixth largest cause of death in the U.S. and the fifth largest cause of death in R.I. Most are unaware of how prevalent it is. All money raised in walks throughout the country goes directly to research.

If you were not aware of the Walk and would like to donate now, make out a check to Alzheimer's Association and send it to me at Box 1242, Block Island, R.I. 02807.

With great thanks to all who donated, walked, or helped in any way

Peter H. Greenman

Team Captain