The Block Island Times

In Case You Haven't Heard

By Fran Migliaccio | May 11, 2013
Courtesy of: Roberta and Rob Closter; Danielle and John Bates Skyler Natalie Bates and Keegan Xavier Closter, hospital buddies.

About town

The 27th Annual Beach Cleanup is happening on Saturday, May 11, and everyone is welcome to come and lend a hand. Bring friends and family, and sign up at the Fred Benson Town Beach at 9 a.m. Trash bags will be provided. Afterward, enjoy the cookout at the Beach Pavilion at noon, provided this year by Deepwater Wind and cooked with flair by Bruce Johnson. Hurricane Sandy and other winter storms have not been kind to the beaches, making the cleanup effort all the more important. For further details, call organizer Henry duPont at (401) 741-5136. The event is sponsored by the Committee for the Great Salt Pond,

The 2nd Annual First Step Auction, a fundraiser for the Block Island Early Learning Center, takes place at 4 p.m. on Saturday, May 11 at the Atlantic Inn, with a silent auction that ends at 6 p.m. Picture frames decorated by local artisans will be available for purchase, along with pottery, paintings, other works of art, travel packages and excursions of various types. All items may be viewed at the auction website,, and may be bid on through Friday, May 10. Final bids, however, will take place at the silent auction on May 11 and will be accepted until the gavel comes down at 6 p.m.

Orchids for Mother’s Day, sponsored by Block Island Economic Development, may be ordered by calling (401) 466-5832, or emailing The large, two-stem orchid plants in a variety of colors will be available for pick-up on Saturday, May 11 at the Community Center from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Home delivery is also available for a $5 fee.

Coming up on Sunday, May 26 (the Sunday of Memorial Day weekend) is the Annual Chowda Cook-off sponsored by Block Island Maritime Institute. The grand tasting event gets underway at 3 p.m. at Smugglers Cove. Tickets, at $15 for adults and $10 for children, include a free soda or beer, plenty of chowders to taste and vote on, the company of lots of good friends and entertainment by the Two of Hearts.

Chowder cooks who would like to enter as contestants in the cook-off are being sought; contact Becky Ballard, (401) 466-7706, for details.

Block Island everywhere

“Thanks for the shout out,” wrote Bob Dotson of NBC Universal, after he’d read the mention of his new book in the column published April 20. He offered a correction, however: the new book, in which he talks about Fred Benson, is entitled American Story, A Lifetime Search for Ordinary People Doing Extraordinary Things. (The title mentioned in the last column, Make It Memorable, is the book he wrote a few years back.) Bob added, “American Story is now a New York Times best seller, so Fred’s tale is being read far and wide.” More details can be found at


Congratulations to Roberta and Rob Closter on the birth of Keegan Xavier, who weighed in 8 pounds, 7.5 ounces, 22-inches long, on April 22. He joins older sister Keira and “big brother” golden retriever Okie. Proud Block Island grandparents are Linda and Robert Closter.

A day later, April 23, Skyler Natalie Bates, 7 pounds, 13 ounces, was born to Danielle and John Bates, also at South County Hospital. After being hospital buddies, the two will continue as island neighbors on West Side Lane, where both families live.

Happy anniversary to Pam and John Gasner, who were married May 6, 1990.

Of cakes and candles

Belated happy birthday wishes to Mike Mooney, whose birthday was April 13.

Happy birthdays to: Jessica Lee Filkins, Jane Lohr, George Dodge, Sue Schaller and Don Warner, May 3; Norman Ward and Ted Merritt, May 4; Josephine Dugan, May 5; Ben Martin, May 6; Cap Easterly, May 8; Henry duPont, May 9; Ken Maxwell, Finn Francis Heinz (who will be 5), Kate McConville and George Mellor, May 12; Mark Koch, Scott Fowler, May 14; Ella and Alexa Thornton (who will be 7), Ginni Collins and Tom Civil, May 15; Helen “Lady Bird” Tripler, who will be 91 on May 16; Kelly Leone and Susan Mott Pike, also on May 16; Lonni Todd and Monty Stover, May 18.

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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