Fri, 01/17/2020 - 9:15am

A success!

To the Editor:

Thank you to everyone who came to my bake sale and who donated in-person, by mail or online! We were waiting for a few last minute donations to come in, so that’s why this letter is a little late.

I’d also like to thank the Island Free Library for letting me have the Bake Sale there.

Thank you to the Lewises for their kind letter.

Thank you to all the bakers, including my Dad!

I’m happy to report this was my most successful Bake Sale yet. We raised $1,200 for the Sandy Hook Promise Foundation.

I’m very happy to be able to donate to such an important cause.

Thank you again to the Block Island community.


Abigail Willi

Block Island School


Some ideas for the Feds

To the Editor:

 It seems to me the longer I live, the more I think our Federal government is broken. I’m not talking about one party over another or one office holder over another. Here is a quick list of things that I think the federal government should be doing. Of course problems simply get worse and some problems will take longer than others to solve.

1. Prohibit the manufacture of e-cigarettes and eliminate vaping at once. We can only expect more and more deaths and use by younger and younger people. The medical cost of maintaining those people who do survive for the rest of their lives is overwhelming.

2. Universal background checks for firearms. Everyone who buys a firearm must undergo a background check. That is not the case now. I am in favor of amendment two of the Constitution. We now have more guns than people.

3. Eliminate the use of automatic assault weapons. The military can use them but no one else.

4. All public schools would have a federally mandated security system whereby all persons, student, faculty, staff person or visitor must go through a detection device. Rather than every school district in the U.S. determining what they think they need, our Federal  Government would determine the single requirements that will end school shootings overnight. Federal aid would be part of this program. In addition to the obvious advantage, this would permit a mini industry to form with many new jobs. Imagine to never again hear of a school shooting.

5. Global warming deserves an all out war.

Wind farms. Our federal government should be doing everything it can to promote this. To date we have five turbines at sea in our entire country. Other countries, all smaller than we, have generated electricity this way for decades. Wind farms on land are great but sea winds are superior. Enormous Federal funding would be required. A new industry would be formed. Turbine blades from General Electric could be manufactured in the U.S. rather than France, as they are now.

Electric cars. This is the direction we’re going. Let’s end production of gasoline/diesel driven vehicles within the next two or three years. Let’s simply accelerate what will happen eventually.

6. Clean water. All U.S. citizens deserve to drink water that is clean in all respects--no lead or other contaminants. The Flint, Michigan situation is, I’m sure, just the beginning. Water piping in most municipalities is probably ancient and forgotten. Water systems are not usually monitored until they break. A solution is for the Federal government to mandate periodic clean water tests of all municipalities. And where contaminants are found, the infected system would be replaced. Large amounts of Federal assistance would be offered and a new industry would form.

7. Texting and phoning is an enormous cause of auto deaths each day. Many times innocent passengers or people in another car are  killed. I’m sure an electronic device can be installed in each vehicle that would prohibit texting and phoning if the car was in motion. If the car is not operating, texting and phoning would be permitted.

8. Rotaries in our road system. In an effort to reduce auto emissions, install rotaries from coast to coast and eliminate most traffic signals. This will ensure a constant flow of traffic and eliminate the backups caused by most traffic lights. We should take a page from Ireland’s book. There are a few lights there, but most of their intersecting roads enjoy rotaries where traffic does not stop but moves  constantly. Block Island has a rotary that works well.

9. Plastic. Plastic bags are an enormous waste and detriment to our environment. Many states and municipalities are eliminating plastic waste on their own. I suggest the Federal  government ban such plastic. This will reduce the plastic industry but will help the glass and paper bag industry.

10. Fracking. End fracking coast-to-coast immediately. This is a significant reason drinking water has been ruined in many places. Many states have already banned it. We do not need to promote the drilling for oil that will decrease when we convert to electric vehicles.

These items are but a few of many things that simply contaminate our world and our health. Our governments sit by day after day and watch matters get worse. And, these are matters that our Federal government can do. WWII is a perfect example of how our government can lead and team with industry to get the job done. We presently spend more on defense than the next six largest countries’ military budgets combined. Let’s spend less on defense and more on saving our people and the planet.

Peter Greenman

Center Road



To the Editor:

I have been coming to Block Island by boat since the early 1970s. My stay there is part of my yearly vacation. I come from a land faraway to the west, a small town in eastern Long Island called East Hampton, specifically, Springs. You may know the area as “the Hamptons.” I despise that name as it refers to a general area full of glitzy people with deep pockets. Most of them not very nice.

It wasn’t always like this. At one time it was a nice small town full of local people who all got along. Now during the warm weather, it is unbearable due to traffic and over-crowding. Modest homes are torn down and McMansions are erected in their place. The rural East Hampton I knew growing up is gone.

My point is that Block Island seems to be going the same way. I can remember entering the Great Salt Pond and all its beauty. Then one year there appeared a large white tent on the lawn of a very classic home. That was the beginning of the end to me.

I follow The Block Island Times and the articles on zoning and building. The great Surf hotel changed hands, the outsiders move in and then came the name change: Block Island Beach House! How chic.

My message is: don’t let Block Island go the way of the Hamptons. Keep your open fields, stone walls and turn-of-the-century buildings. 

Best regards,

Jeffrey Plitt

East Hampton, N.Y.


Thanks to Steve Land

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Officers of the Block Island Yacht Club and the entire membership I wish to extend our sincere appreciation for the kind and professional care we have received from our departing Harbormaster Steve Land. As Steve moves on to other exciting opportunities he will know that he takes with him the gratitude of this community that he has served so well over the last eleven years. Aside from lending his expertise in helping the BIYC to iron out many of the on-water problems associated with running Race Week 2018, Steve went out of his way to assure that many of our visiting sailors from other yacht clubs were treated with care and courtesy during their annual cruises to Block Island. We have received many testimonials from several yacht clubs attesting to Steve’s professionalism.

Under his leadership the high quality of skills and professionalism has been adopted by the entire staff of the Harbors Department. In the worst of weather, at all hours of day and night, his personal on-water involvement and skill has resolved problems that could have led to dire outcomes. He has been a fine ambassador for our island. We send him off with our best wishes for his future adventures.

Sincerely, Ray Torrey

Past Commodore, BIYC


To the Editor:

On behalf of the Directors and the Members of Block Island Community Sailing, we are saddened to hear that Harbormaster Steve Land, one of the best supporters of our efforts to introduce the sport of sailing to Block Islanders, is moving on to a new opportunity.

The Harbors Department under Steve has shown the highest level of professionalism in their management of an extremely complex operation. A quick listen to Marine Radio Channel 12, the Harbormaster’s frequency, will reveal nothing but welcoming, courteous, and helpful radio transmissions to our visiting boaters. And in a storm when our visiting boats are dragging anchor, Steve and his crew are the first to be out on the water lending assistance and protecting life and property. His love for sailing is not only demonstrated by his support for Block Island’s sailing organizations, but also evident off season, in the middle of a blow, when his lone high-performance sailboard can be seen skipping over the waters of the Great Salt Pond.

Thanks for all you have done for boating on Block Island, Steve, we look forward to your eventual return.

Best wishes,

Henry duPont

Director, B.I. Community Sailing