The Block Island Times

In Case You Haven't Heard

By Fran Migliaccio | Mar 10, 2012

About town

Not to miss, two fine feasts: Sunday, March 11, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., is the day of the annual St. Paddy’s Day Breakfast at St. Andrew’s Parish Center, served up with smiles by the Block Island Catholic Ladies Guild.

On the saint’s actual day, March 17, the Block Island Lions Club hosts the annual St. Patrick’s Day Dinner, corned beef and cabbage with all the trimmings, at McGovern’s Yellow Kittens. The doors open at noon, and dinner is served at 1 p.m.

The Block Island Hurricanes did it again! They stormed the Aquidneck Island Christian Academy Eagles, 57-38, at Tuesday’s home playoff game, distinguishing themselves with deft footwork, effective defense, aggressive offense, and a fine sense of team play. At half time, graduating team seniors Kody Nicastro, Sam Spier and Captain Noah Gasner were recognized. As of this writing, the Hurricanes head into another playoff game here on Thursday.

If you need work done on your house, I was advised, this might be a good time to find someone to do it; many of our skilled island contractors and workers in the building trades may welcome work opportunities in this lean season.

Block Island everywhere

Arlene Tunney and Ken Maxwell report from Florida: “Wanted to let you know that we were with Smitty and Irene in Palm Beach to see Smitty’s son, Jeff Smith, perform with the Paul Taylor dance company. The performance was at the Duncan Theatre at Palm Beach State College. Jeff graduated from the Boston Conservatory in 2001 and danced with the Martha Graham Ensemble before joining Paul Taylor in 2005. Quite impressive and a packed audience! They can really ‘leap’!”

For those who may not know, Smitty is Lloyd Smith of Corn Neck Road, and Irene is the lovely Irene Roach.

Distinguishing herself in speed and scholarship is Nora Hall, daughter of Delia Cooper Hall and Gary Hall. Gary, some may remember, was the fastest runner in his class during his school years on Block Island. Nora, a freshman and track team member at Tollgate High School in Warwick, took first place in the entire state of Rhode Island for the 600-meter run in late January. She will be honored at an award dinner at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick on March 19.

Nora also does 4x4 and 4x8 relays, reports proud Mom Delia, and is on the Tollgate soccer team — she will play junior varsity in the fall. She is, in addition, an accomplished equestrian — her first passion — with the Interscholastic Riding Association in North Smithfield.

Scholastically, Nora took high honors during both of her junior high school years, and continues to maintain high honors in high school.

Another gifted Block Island offspring is Katrin Frye, granddaughter of Joya Verde and Virginia Dare, who has achieved nationwide coverage as a reporter/interviewer for NPR News. On January 15 she was featured on "All Things Considered" in a special about the fast growing private “cottage industry,” statewide in her native Montana, of individuals setting up shop and manufacturing guns of nearly every description.

Katrin's father, David Frye, is familiar to Block Island audiences as a musician who has performed in various venues here over the years.

Charley LaCoste, son of Marlee and Ken LaCoste and a firefighter with Narragansett Fire and Rescue, played a key role in a marine rescue last fall when two fishermen were swept off their boat into rough seas. A three-man team — Capt. Pete Taylor, Lt. Paul Bowe and LaCoste — responded to the rescue call with the department’s only boat, a 13-foot inflatable Zodiac. The surf was heavy, the fishermen suffering from hypothermia, and the only chance of rescue was to launch the Zodiac in very risky conditions. With LaCoste at the helm, the little inflatable was brought alongside the struggling fishermen, who were pulled on board by Taylor. All made it safely to land, and an admiring letter to the local newspaper, giving an account of the rescue, urged Narragansett taxpayers to take great pride in the courage and dedication of the members of their Fire and Rescue Department.

All creatures

While walking with tiny doglets Tia Maria and Coco Chanel, on their leashes, at the Island Cemetery last week, we found ourselves accosted suddenly by two large liver Labradors, not leashed, who ran right at us, came very close, seemed too interested and not particularly friendly. As the doglets abandoned barking and screamed in fright, I was eventually able to pick up one, then the other, screaming myself while fending off the advances of the two large dogs, then shouting at the Labs until they finally went away. The owner, walking on the nearby greenway trail, strode by at a distance, tossing an un-sorry “Sorry,” over a shoulder in passing. We know not who, we do not want to, but the three of us, left frightened and shaking in the cemetery, hope it will not happen again.


Morgan and Phil Walsh, now in Easton, Maryland, celebrated the arrival of their new daughter, Madelynn Ava, two months ago. Proud grandparents are Suzann and Frank Walsh, Suzanne Wagner, and Mike Wagner. Madelynn’s big brother Max, who will be four years old in May, just got his first trophy in soccer. Congratulations all around!

Congratulations to Rachel and Peter Voskamp, now in Washington, D.C., who celebrate their third wedding anniversary on March 21.

Of cakes and candles

Happy birthdays on March, 10, the date of this paper, to Willis Dodge, Kim Gaffett, Cathy Payne and Tracy Muller. And wish happy birthdays to these people in the days ahead: Denny O’Toole, March 12; Rosemary Tobin and Lyn Paquin, March 13; Mona Dwyer Helterline, March 14; Renée Brielmann, March 19; Pattie Murphy, March 21; Sue Brown Black, March 22; Sue Gibbons, March 23; Missy Sanchez O’Reilly, Tina Wileikis, and Cormac Baird Rigualts Lang, who turns two on March 24. A little late, but not too, to say happy birthdays to Pam Glen and Lynn Fletcher, both born on March 7.

Let us know what’s happening! Visiting relatives, special occasions, updates on friends near and far, projects… Deadline is Tuesday morning, and Fran can be reached at 466-2892 or

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