Fri, 02/28/2020 - 12:45pm

A heartfelt thank you

To the Editor:

On behalf of the McQueeny and O'Neill families, I would like to thank all those who helped make Claire's transition from this life to the next as painless as possible. To those who visited bringing goodies, gossip, bridge games and prayers, thank you. Over 30 years ago we made the decision to move from "the real world" to this tiny island because we liked the feel of the people and the place. Claire never lost sight of that. Little did we know then that two of our children and her six grandchildren would be here until the end.

We thank the ministers of the Catholic, Episcopal, and Baptist congregations who would ease the way for Claire's journey — only on Block Island! She touched many lives, attested to by all those who packed the summer church in mid February! We thank the nurses who attended her particularly those from Hope Hospice, to members of the Block Island Rescue Squad. It is a grand place to live, and just as nice a place to die. 

Thank you all.

Steve McQueeny, and all members of the McQueeny and O'Neill families


Your donation is needed

To the Editor:

Our second blood drive of the year will be Thursday, March 5 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the Harbor Church. The need for blood never seems to decrease and the Blood Center needs to collect 200 units a day. At the last drive, Block Island residents provided 23 units. It was a good total but we have done much better.

With many of us in Florida or on vacation, this can be a difficult time of year for the Blood Drive. Accordingly, please make every effort to donate.

Things to keep in mind:

• No upper age cut off

• 16 year olds may donate with parents permission. Forms can be picked up at the Block Island School

• Anyone age 17 and above can donate

• Bring photo ID

• If you have questions of eligibility, call 453-8307

•  If you want to make an appointment visit www.ribc.org

• Those who have had cancer may be able to give

• Those who have had Lyme disease over a year ago may be able to give

So, let’s increase our donation of 23 units in January.

Peter Greenman, Coordinator

Rhode Island Blood Center


Cat tales of Block Island

To the Editor:

Feral cat issues are always linked to the actions of local cat owners.

By and large I have been impressed with the level of good animal care, both personally and as a community issue, shown by our animal owners here on Block Island. Recently, two unmarked cats (Cat “A” and Cat “B”) were claimed by their Block Island owners after being treated, neutered, and vaccinated at a mainland clinic. Having been caught in Block Island Feral Cat Initiative (BFCI) traps, both roaming cats were evaluated by a mainland clinic veterinarian as exhibiting long-term improper care and possible neglect, a matter of public record. These cats could have been impounded and placed for adoption. Allowing unneutered/non-spayed cats to roam outdoors on Block Island defeats the purpose of the volunteer BFCI — to reduce the Block Island feral cat population. Under a previous owner, Cat “B” had been evaluated on Block Island about five years ago and was very healthy but given a recommendation to be neutered, which did not happen. Cat “B” now has been evaluated as being FIV positive.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV) Infection is a disease transmissible through physical contact and can spread through a cat population if contacted cats have not been properly vaccinated. With a compromised immune system, FIV+ cats must be kept under strict indoor quarantine, as otherwise they will develop other sicknesses as well as infecting others. Cat “B” most likely became infected on Block Island, which means that there may now be more than one FIV+ cat on Block Island. Luckily, FIV is not transferable to humans.

What would convince the few irresponsible local cat owners to follow rules and guidelines? The first rabid cat on Block Island?

Some basics:

I.D. your outdoor cat.

Establish regular Veterinary care.

Update your vaccinations.

Have your cat spayed/neutered. “No person shall own or harbor, within the state, any cat over the age of six (6) months which has not been spayed or neutered.” R.I. Title 4, Chapter 4-24, Sec. 4-24-3

The irresponsible actions of a few can easily undo the concerted actions of the many.

Jules Craynock

R.I. Certified Veterinary Technician


Drop off, take away

To the Editor:

Drop off any clothes, linens, towels or jewelry for the second fashion swap upstairs at the Old Island Pub on Saturday, March 17 at 6 p.m.

This is a great way to do (free) retail therapy and/or a great reason to purge your closet or clean out your drawers. Come get your fashion on or drop off.

What can be dropped off:

Clothes: gather and drop off (or bring the day of) items that can be worn again. All sizes for men/women/kids/shoes/boots, etc.

Gather and bring clothes that are stained or ripped. Please bag this category separately from wearable items and label it properly. Those items are appreciated and repurposed, too! 

Linens, towels, etc., that are presentable (okay to use for company). Humans get first dibs.

Also, linens, towels, etc. that are past their prime. Bring them, too, but keep labeled and separated please. I bring those to the animal shelters.

Jewelry: We’ll take anything. Bag in a name-labeled Ziploc bag. I can send you to or bring your stuff for you to my “metal man” in Wakefield. Costume jewelry usually goes to folks who do repurposed arts and crafts or to senior centers. Beaded things go to folks who like to restring.  

Come by, drop off, hang out, take things with you, bring a friend, or take for someone who can’t make it. Come have fun!

Thank you to all who donate items.Thank you for coming by to check in, to gather, share in a fun, healthy, positive- judgement-free zone. Thank you Old Island Pub for the space and to the OIP kitchen for smelling so delicious. It’s great to be able to order food and feel comfortable eating while trying on clothes. Thank you to Perennials Consignment in Wakefield for supporting our repurposing process. 

Keep up the good work. Those N2BSA items (never to be seen again) get repurposed. Everything will be happy in their next ‘forever home.’ 

Think of all of the new dance room you’re creating with getting all these extras out. 

Text (401) 632-7308 with questions.

Amy Doran

West Side Road


Customer generation

The following was sent to the Block Island Utility District Board of Commissioners and copied to The Block Island Times:

To the Editor:

I believe there is wide support for the Block Island Power Co. line rebuilding and pole replacement program. These were and are very important areas that will improve the resiliency and reliability of electricity, and lower losses in overburdened circuits. It’s good to see this work in action.

There are other also important areas that need to be addressed that are not as visible as the line trucks. This includes customer generation policies. The policies need to be developed for flexible short and long term planning purposes and ensure that they are representative of the interests of the majority of consumers. We, the owners of BIPCo, need to make our wishes known to the Block Island Utility Board. Please go to these meetings if at all possible. There are many customer generation models that have been proposed and implemented around the United States. Some are regressive towards customer generation, while others are very supportive.  

The critical question is, ‘What is the price that consumers should receive for their investment in renewable energy generation technology that fairly balances their interests and needs, versus those of the Block Island Utility District owners (us) and its need to be financially sound?

Some utility policies proposed in the country are akin to if the horse and buggy industry had a monopoly, and it prevented the introduction of motorized vehicles in order to thwart disruptive technologies from being implemented. These regressive utility policies are attempting to stop customer renewable energy generation. This may seem absurd in today’s world given the environmental catastrophes that seem to surround us, but as one who reads energy policy newsletters on almost a daily basis, I can tell you some utilities and commissions do not believe a customer should be allowed to install solar technology and use the power within their home.

The Block Island Utility District needs to retain expertise to evaluate short- and long-term policies relative to integrating customer generation, with fully shared information for the basis of their evaluation and recommendations for our consideration. Line rebuilding appears well on its way. Now we need to tackle the equally important customer generation issue.

Christopher Warfel

High Street