The Block Island Times

Letters to the Editor, July 6, 2013

Jul 08, 2013

To the Editor:

This article is going to get right to the point real quick. I am getting very frustrated with conditions I am finding when performing the Annual Minimum Housing Inspection for the issuance of a Rental Room, Rooming House, or Hotel License. Property owners and businesses are required to submit an application for the license. The application will identify the number of rooms, number of beds, and the maximum capacity. It also states when the business will open and close. This application is a requirement of RIGL 45-24.3-12 and Chapter 22 Section 3 of New Shoreham’s General Ordinances.

I am finding fire alarms and fire extinguishers not tested, exit lights and emergency duplex spotlights not working. Fire alarms must be tested quarterly. Fire extinguishers, once tested and/or recharged are valid for one year. Exit lights and spotlights must work all the time.

The owners know when they are opening and should have all these items in a working condition prior to my inspection. When I arrive for my inspection the rooms are already occupied.

In the future, if all life saving devices are not in a working condition, the application will not be approved. The owner will be notified of the disapproval, and given a time period to correct the deficiency. If the deficiency is not corrected within the allotted time period, steps will be taken to remove the guests and close the business until the deficiencies are corrected and inspected.

Don Thimble

Minimum Housing Inspector

Town of New Shoreham


To the Editor:

A couple of quick comments:

1. Young adults are the responsibility of parents. Nothing beats good parenting.

2. I agree with First Warden [Kim] Gaffett that our society is getting out of control with new laws. When do we let some sunset when their usefulness is no longer required?

3. There are many young people on the Island that work several jobs and into later hours. Will we be restricting their ability to build a college fund or for any useful purpose?

4. Do we really want to make the island less friendly to parents with teens?

All this said, I believe that Chief Carlone and his force do a great job of keeping these young people out of harm’s way. Making a curfew that is late enough that all eateries have closed giving the youth time to return home makes sense. What next: A police stopping a car because a youth looks under age? Profiling?

It’s my feeling too many of you have forgot your teen years. Two a.m. and later is unreasonable, but we are splitting hairs here. Many of these youth will be going to college within two years and then parental control is lost.

Lee Miles

Delray Beach and Block Island


To the Editor:

My family and I have just finished another fantastic week on Block Island (June 15 – 22). We have been vacationing here for the past 25 years. We all love the island and can’t wait to get on ‘Island Time’ to enjoy the beaches, the restaurants and the shops. But we especially enjoy the peace and lack of commercialism. Over the years we have walked large sections of the coast and we have completed the walk around the block. During these walks we have noticed the shifting sands of the beaches, especially at the bluffs with some years the beach being all rocks and some years plentiful sand.

We keep in touch with the island by reading The Block Island Times online and this past fall and winter we were concerned with the storms that were causing damage along the entire East Coast. We saw pictures of Corn Neck Road in shambles, sand inside the Beachead and Ballard’s Inn, and the destruction that occurred at Fred Benson Pavilion at Town Beach.

As winter turned into spring we were happy to see the repair of the road and that the restaurants were able to reopen but we were still concerned about the other damage to the island. When we climbed through the dunes from the Town Beach parking lot our concerns were realized as we saw the black sand nearly covering the beach and the sand near the dunes covered in rocks. We were lucky because it was early in the season and the beach was not crowded and thus we were able to fine a decent piece of beach. But still, there was not the normal white sand we are used to at Block Island. We are concerned that in July and August there will not be enough beach space for all of the vacationers, especially at high tide. This may not affect the number of tourists for this year, but we think that it will affect the number of tourists for future years. While this might make a nice low-key vacation for us, we don’t think it will be good for the islanders that rely on the tourist industry.

The beaches are such an important part of any vacation. Why would you come to Block Island if it were not for the beaches? If the beaches looked like this 25 years ago, when we made our first day trip, we probably would not have continued to vacation on the Block. It might be time to take a look at reclaiming the sand and not waiting for Mother Nature to bring the sand back in order to protect and grow what is Block Island.

Living in Connecticut, the local TV stations covered the devastation that occurred on the coasts of New York, New Jersey and Rhode Island. They also reported on the recovery of the boardwalks, amusement parks, homes and beaches in those states. These states made an active effort to restore the beaches to the way they were before the storms of last year. We would like to see the same for Block Island.

We are hooked on vacationing here and will continue to come and support the local economy each summer and we want to make sure that all of the islanders can survive and stay on the island!

Many thanks to Sheila at Blocks of Fudge for turning us on to ‘Sea Salt Caramel Chocolates!’ They are the best!

The Richmond Family

Bill, Lynn and Jessica

New Hartford, Conn.


To the Editor:

Last Friday morning lightning knocked out the transformer on the pole at the edge of my yard and also my telephone service. The transformer was replaced and power restored within hours after I called Block Island Power Company (and thanks to Abra Savoie for her calming presence there).

I am never surprised but always amazed, and grateful, that as soon as the storm, be it October hurricane, February blizzard or June lightning, abates the BIPCo linemen — Friday in the person of Scott Fowler — are out working.

When I first drafted this letter the phone wasn’t going to be back for three days, but it also was restored, on a weekend, two days sooner than that faraway date provided by the faraway Verizon office.

A very grateful customer,

Martha Ball

Mansion Road

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