Thu, 01/31/2019 - 8:45pm

ConserFest rolls along

To the Editor:

The 11th Anniversary of ConserFest was full of exciting new experiences. Despite the heat, we had a huge turnout at the Narragansett Inn for food, fun, and fantastic music! With your support, we raised almost $20,000 to support Island environmental organizations, specific conservation initiatives, and the education of the next generation.

Our main event at the Narragansett was a fantastic success! We highlighted some amazing regional performers and capped the day off with the legendary Rowan Brothers. Many attendees had never been to ConserFest before, so we were able to reach a new audience and bring more people who love Block Island into the ConserFest family.

Here are some ConserFest milestones this past year:


The Scholarship Fund 

• We were fortunate to be awarded a grant this year from The Roosa Fund to support our scholarship program. This year, scholarships were made to two incredible B.I. school students for the 2018-2019 academic year to support their studies and stewardship in environmental conservation. We are so proud of them.


Dune Grass Campaign 

• We donated 10,000 dune grass stems to be planted along Crescent Beach and were excited to see the Block Island School students help plant them in the spring.

Looking forward to contributing to the fortification of our dunes and helping make our beaches safe from erosion for years to come.

In addition, we have a few new ventures on the horizon that we’ll be very excited to announce in the next few months, so keep in touch with us via our website or Facebook page.

Thank you all! We couldn’t have done it without our amazing volunteers, sponsors, business partners, musicians, performers and supporters:

The Roosa Fund, Block Island Conservancy, The Nature Conservancy, Ross Draper and the Draper family, Sean Larkin and Revival Brewing Co., Interstate Navigation, Town of New Shoreham, R. Brown Septic Services, Persephone’s Kitchen, Three Sisters, Rebecca’s Take-Out, Southeast Sound, The Inn at Old Harbor, The Sea Breeze Inn, Arlene Tunney and Ken Maxwell, REI, JoeyTotes, Elevation Studio.

And a huge thank-you to all of our Silent Auction Donors!

Cameron Greenlee,
on behalf of ConserFest


‘We will miss you’

To the Editor:

Those of us fortunate to have encountered Jon Emsbo, by chance or design, in and about the island, found ourselves in the never-disappointing company of an unpretentious, soft-spoken and steadfast gentle soul of urbanity personified. And, in parting, we inevitably came away for the better.

By temperament and outlook, he was a natural fit who instinctively blended in with the island way of life:  as a regular in the spirited and spiritual give and take of the Saturday morning men’s breakfasts; as a devoted conservationist enamored of the island’s natural beauty; and as participant in the sundry meetings of civic, conservationist, and socially activist import.

He was also the island’s point man in defending the integrity of the Great Salt Pond during the crusade against the trespass and usurpation of its pristine waters by the threatened expansion of Champlin’s Marina. He tirelessly traveled to and from the mainland, relentlessly attending and monitoring each of the countless Coastal Resources Management Council hearings while keeping the Town and the Committee informed and in readiness, so as (i) to persuade the CRMC, via objectivity, transparency, and evenhandedness, to deny the expansion, and (ii) to head off, if need be, the possibility of any undue influence or overreaching that might be brought to bear at any stage of the proceedings.

Those efforts were not in vain; to this day, the pond remains unassaulted and intact, and the community cohesive.

Those of us privileged to know Jon and Jane were witness to a lifelong and all-encompassing love affair, aptly echoed by Jane in dedicating to him her heartwarming book of “Poems, Prose, Paintings & Doodles” — For Jørgen. My husband, my inspiration, my hero.

As amplified by the heartfelt poem, “My Husband of 46 Years.”

Dear Jon, is it any wonder we adored you and will sorely miss you.


Richard and Micheline Weisbroat

West Side Road


Community service

To the Editor:

My family and I would like to extend our heartfelt appreciation to Peter Gempp, the outgoing chief of the Block Island Volunteer Fire Department, for his service to our community (The Block Island Times, 1/19/19).

When one moves on from public service and from a job well done, there is often a sense of accomplishment along with a sense of loss.

I am sure Peter is feeling both, but to help assuage whatever sense of loss he carries, he’ll always be Chief whenever our paths cross.

Douglas Gasner

Corn Neck Road