The Block Island Times

Letters - March 22

Mar 24, 2014

To the Editor:

In response to the announced delay of the deer culling project on Block Island, here are 10 reasons why the deer cull at Block Island will never happen.

1. Deer culling is based on outdated science.

2. New studies show reducing or eradicating deer does not reduce or eradicate the spread of Lyme disease, actually just the opposite.

3. Evidence indicates deer are “dead end” hosts for the black-legged tick carrying the disease agent bacterium borrelia burgdorferi, or Lyme disease, because they are immune and do not pass on the infectious disease.

4. Deer are actually helpful in the reduction of the infectious ticks by their excellent grooming habits, and prove to actually be buffers to humans.

5. Evidence shows culling is ineffective because the adult ticks do not become infected by feeding on deer, and the uninfected ticks actually drop off or are groomed of questing winter ticks in autumn before hunting seasons begin.

6. Eliminating deer will only increase and exasperate “hot spots” for the adult ticks who feed on deer, because they will find other hosts that are not immune to the Bacterium, humans being one of them.

7. The white-footed mouse and small mammals are the primary host and infected carriers of the bacterium borrelia. Mice and small mammals have better access and closer proximity to our homes and pets.

8. There is an explosion in numbers of white-footed mice because of the decline and elimination of predators, particularly the red fox, who feed on mice and small mammals. All wild creatures are host or carriers including birds, domestic animals and pets.

9. There is an “unethical morality” to shoot defenseless deer that have grown up around the presence of humans and are unaccustomed to fear humans.

10. With education and the facts, not fear, the good residents of Block Island and beyond will reject, in dollars and sense, the unethical and senseless war on this beautiful and environmentally important species.

Elisa Conte



To the Editor:

The International Workers Center of Block Island is ready to initiate activities for the coming season 2014. This summer we expect around 200 university students from different continents coming under the Work and Travel program with J-1 visas. We are getting ready to welcome them and give them all the support they need to make their season an unforgettable experience.

Our plan is to extend the services we provided last year, including basic food help when they first arrive (most don’t get paid for weeks), bicycle rentals for the season, inexpensive cell phones, a safe place to hang out (the Recreation Center), a weekly dinner, use of computers and free wi-fi. We also organize recreational activities like a first ping-pong tournament, a party on a boat, shopping trips to the mainland, and University of Rhode Island or Community College of Rhode Island visits. Our staff of two also provides informal counseling and advice about housing problems, shopping online and on the mainland, immigration questions, and homesickness (many students have never even lived away from their parental home before). In order to carry out all these activities we need the support of our community; that is why we are asking for your help publishing this request and let our neighborhoods know about our programs.

We need donations of used bikes, even if they are dirty or have flat tires. We can clean them up and make them usable. We can pick them up or you can just drop them off at the Harbor Church on Water Street (in front of the post office).

Support has come from the Roosa Fund, a placement agency, and local churches, but we are almost $2,000 short of funding our complete budget. Tax-deductible donations can be made by check to: Harbor Church, PO Box D-2, Block Island, Rhode Island 02807.

For any additional information about the International Workers Center or different ways to help please contact Raul Mickle, Coordinator of the Center, at (786) 452-4476 or call Pastor Steve Hollaway at the Harbor Church.

Raul Mickle

Harbor Church



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