Letters to the Editor, July 12, 2013
To the Editor:
On behalf of the Double Ender Committee, we would like to thank the scores of people involved in making Block Island’s Fourth of July celebrations a success. To the dozens of donors, large and small, who gave generously to fund the fireworks and parade, a heartfelt thank you. Block Island Volunteer Fire Department, Block lsland Rescue Squad, and Block lsland Police Department, with assistance from the Rhode Island State Police, without your involvement, the parade and fireworks don’t happen. Thank you for helping to provide a safe venue for both events. Thank you to Interstate Navigation for your generosity and help getting our parade participants to and from Block Island and your willingness to work with us to make sure things went smoothly. To our Grand Marshal, the unsinkable Connie LaRue, thank you for your countless years of service as head of the Double Ender Committee and thank you for your presence and the dignity you brought to the parade. Thanks to the expert, hard working crew of American Thunder for an outstanding and very well received fireworks display. To the Mott family, thank you for the use of the staging area for the start of the parade. Thanks also to the Lions Club for rounding up volunteers and to those volunteers who helped with security along the parade route. Thank you Block Island Tourism Council for taking the time to hear us plead our case and then providing us with a generous donation. Thanks Block Island Times for getting the word out often and effectively about the celebrations to the wider Block Island community, as well as your coverage the day of the events. To the many ad hoc members of the Double Ender Committee who gave time and effort the day of the parade, thanks so much. Finally, a special thank you goes to all the parade participants, young and old, families, groups, and businesses who put in talent and effort to make the theme of the parade, “Disney,” come alive.
The Double Ender Committee
To the Editor:
A Program Director for the Sierra Club passionately expressed his position as to why Deepwater Wind should receive full acceptance as Rhode Island’s energy supplier [“Deepwater Wind is good for R.I.” was posted on blockislandtimes.com on July 8]. I get the feeling from his impassioned commentary that Rhode Island “deserves” to be punished for energy gluttony and slovenly energy use habits. It’s hard to disagree with much of what he says if you feel that we must be punished at all. I don’t.
Yes, many of our living habits produce telltale carbon footprints. If we follow them back to the source, we find oil wells or coal mines or perhaps our sacred outdoor grills and even rotting skeletons from decommissioned wind turbines. We gulp energy and we pay for it. Now, Abel Collins and the local Sierra Club want us to pay even more because they think we deserve to be punished. The cost of electrical energy production is going down every year as the availability of natural gas and green, renewable hydroelectric power all become more abundant.
However, as Sierra Club designated martyrs, we are obligated to pay more and take the punishment due others upon ourselves here in Rhode Island. This is perhaps why Rhode Island’s previous governor chose a Wall Street hedge fund to become our “clean and green” energy provider.
It seems that Rhode Island may be possibly stuck with an electrical energy provider that has never put up a utility pole or a wind powered turbine (the business for which they claim expertise). We are asked to pay the price for their learning curve by providing them with our prized seaside children, Narragansett Pier and precious Block Island, as our sacrifice. Do we deserve it? Of course we don’t.
And here is why: Rhode Island should be praised for being on the bottom of the list of states for energy consumed per resident. We are also last on the list of states for total energy consumed. The data comes from the US Government as well as a private group.
We need to praise, not punish, ourselves. The Sierra Club just does not get it. We deserve electric rate reductions, not the proposed 250 percent increase that comes along with the acceptance of Deepwater Wind’s giant turbines just off the Block Island Coast, destruction of our rich fishing grounds and electromagnetic poisoning of Narragansett Pier beach.
The President of the Narragansett Town Council, James Callaghan, made it clear how he felt about Deepwater Wind’s recklessness when he stated at an open work session on June 26, “… I just can’t imagine being part of a group that lets that happen [placing a high voltage cable under the Narragansett town beach]. It can’t be the best option and I know it is probably the cheapest for you, but it doesn’t make sense to us.” Deepwater’s CEO refused to budge on this point.
Today, Rhode Island does not deserve to become the classroom lab for a fully inexperienced energy company. [Video game production company] 38 Studios was an experiment by a baseballer and Deepwater Wind was a Midas dream by a Wall Streeter. It’s time for Rhode Island to engage proven professionals in their own fields not in their dream fields.
Our group of concerned citizens, DeepwaterResistance.org, includes investors, environmentalists, engineers, community leaders and housewives and grandparents. We know a bad deal when we see one. With Rhode Island’s current choice of a preferred alternate energy provider, we see a string of bad deals ahead. The results will be higher taxes, higher electric bills, loss of more energy-dependent industry, and more of our cities and towns suffering from lower bond ratings or bankruptcy unless people become informed and take action.
The two websites referred to above are:
To the Editor:
I read the featured letter in your recent edition [July 6] and found it both enlightening and troubling. It is true that South Africa had great promise after apartheid and, for a time, under the brave leadership of Mr. Mandela, but that has been squandered by the ruling ANC (African National Committee) party. Based on my own recent travels to South Africa, it is clear that the current government is corrupt and incompetent. They have wasted time and resources on their own self-enrichment instead of investing in the improvement of the education, prosperity and health of the South African population.
In spite of this, many people of all ages are trying to improve their lot in life on their own by pursuing a decent education, contributing to their communities, and trying to find and hold a job.
It is encouraging to see that the students described in the letter from Kimble Burke Snyder are so positive and hopeful about the future. I trust that their government will not disappoint them once again.
Michael F. Murphy
To the Editor:
We would like to thank the man that came to our door on July 3, on Corn Neck Road, to report that our Border Collie Hank was in the road. A firework from the Great Salt Pond scared him and he got out of his fenced area.
My husband and I will be forever grateful!
Thank you very much!
Kevin and Barbara Fleming
The following letter was sent to the New Shoreham Town Council and copied to The Block Island Times.
RE: FAA Proposal to Decommission the Sandy Point VOR/DME Navigational Aid.
Dear Town Council Members,
On behalf of the Block Island Aviation Community, I would like to thank the Town Council for your concern and resolution to notify the Federal Aviation Administration in opposition to their plan to decommission the Sandy Point VOR navigational aid at the Block Island Airport. The Town’s timely action, in identifying the potential detrimental impacts of this proposed action, on Block Island’s aviation, business, and emergency medical services communities, is well evidenced by the FAA’s own findings which echo, word for word, many of the Town’s well stated concerns.
In addition, the town was able to leverage their position by sending a letter and copies of their resolution to members of our federal congressional delegation, and the governor’s office, in order to bring additional support for our position, from those offices.
Thanks again for recognizing the importance of this issue and your effectiveness in getting the favorable outcome.
Beacon Hill Road
To the Editor:
The Committee for the Great Salt Pond would like to thank everyone who attended the Fireworks Picnic and congratulate all who helped to make it a great success. Many months of planning went into the one night and everything went off without a hitch. Tickets went on sale about two weeks in advance of the event and the event was sold out. The raffle tickets were always a hit with everyone from elders to children; everyone wanted a chance to win. There were games, and music by Glenda Luck at the event, making it a party atmosphere even with the fog. We had 17 prizes from generous donors, which helped us raise money to preserve the Pond and for education projects. The raffle was not about money or prizes, it was about how many people support the Committee’s goals to preserve the Great Salt Pond.
Thank you to all the people who supported us. Special thanks to all who donated items for the raffle: Island Bound Book Store, Cardi’s, Spring Street Gallery, Glass Onion, Mary MacGill Jewelry, Star Department Store, Lazy Fish, Marye-Kelly, Bonnie and Clyde, Cool To Be Kind, Block Market, Rags, Mahoney’s Clothier, The Block Island Times, North Light Fibers, Golddiggers, and George Taber. In addition, thanks to those who helped make this event possible: Peapod for supplying the ice cream, the Drapers for making the ice cream possible, Coca-Cola for the sodas, Aldo’s for the cake, Sean and Mike at the Transfer Station, Robbie Brown at Robert Brown Septic Services, Ila Manner-Schulman at Golddiggers, Sean Kivlehan, the O’Brien Family and The Sullivan House staff.
Next year we will have more tickets available so that everyone can enjoy the fun and games. See you out on the Pond.
Corn Neck Road