Letters to the Editor, June 15, 2013
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the members of Block Island Health Services for their votes and kind words of support during the recent election. I pledge to continue my commitment to the Medical Center and the staff with the same honesty, integrity and professionalism that I have for the past four years. I look forward to working with my fellow board members, the staff and the community to facilitate the services of the Medical Center.
Peckham Farm Road
To the Editor:
Scenic Block Island would like to thank the people who attended the fundraiser for rebuilding the Spring House Pump House on a very busy day last Sunday afternoon. So many people on Block Island feel sentimental about the little Pump House on Spring Street!
Thanks to the generosity of the Spring House’s Frank DiBiase, we were able to present interesting facts about the Pump House’s past. Chuck McMellon told us the history of the Pump House in words and pictures. Edie Blane gave us stories about her memories and those of Elwin Dodge that transported us to the past. Stories told by the other attendees reflected the importance to the community to retain historic structures.
The pump house contained the spring that supplied water to the Spring House in the days before running water. The spring, which still exists, also supplied water to many families whose household water came from cisterns that many people found undrinkable. The spring became their source of what they describe as wonderful tasting water.
The effort to rebuild this 19th Century structure began as it was deteriorating. When it had to be torn down we thought the effort might be over. But many interested people have continued to give generously in small and large amounts that have added up to nearly half our goal. Our historic buildings are slipping away year after year, taking our past with them. It’s important for our community to retain our sense of history, which is one of the many things that brings people to Block Island.
The enthusiasm and the excitement in the room on Sunday were really heartening and we look forward to starting to rebuild the pump house soon.
Mary Anderson, President
Scenic Block Island
To the Editor:
On May 20, I held a fundraiser for the City of Warwick Animal Shelter at Chianti’s Italian Cuisine in Warwick, R.I., owned by T.J. Martucci, a frequent boater on Block Island. As a volunteer for “The Friends of Warwick Animal Shelter,” a volunteer organization formed to raise monies to assist with the caring of the animals of the city’s shelter, I decided to contact local businesses who would be willing to assist me in succeeding with my endeavor. As time went on, I was very surprised at the overwhelming support and generosity of many businesses and individuals within not only my own community but neighboring communities as well.
As I searched for donations to offer as potential raffle gifts and silent auction items, it became quite apparent just how generous people are when it comes to helping out those animals in need of a new home and in some cases medical care. As a frequent traveler to Block Island for many years, I thought to myself how wonderful it would be to be able to offer a gift or two from Block Island in my raffle offerings. I found the generosity of the islanders to be quite extraordinary.
I would like to thank the following businesses from Block Island, one of the greatest treasures of this state, for their support. To begin, I would like to thank Interstate Navigation for donating round trip tickets to get our winners to the island. Next, I would like to thank Gabrielle from the Inn at Old Harbor for donating a one night stay for two. Finally, a thanks to the 1661 Inn for their donation of a gift certificate towards our winners’ little trip to the island.
All of these items combined were auctioned off as a getaway trip to your beautiful island of paradise in a silent auction. It is because of people and businesses like those on Block Island that my endeavor was a great success, raising more than $5,500 to aid in the caring of our little furry friends.
Many, many thanks!
“Drops of Jupiter”
To the Editor:
When behavior in the public arena appears to contradict good judgement, it is time to look for private motives. An obvious case in point is the varied reaction to the proposal to build wind generators at sea. Those who wouldn’t see them from their homes recognize their value to the community; those whose vistas they trouble turn apoplectic. Their motive is obvious — and understandable. But this writer is sorely troubled to explain why three members of our small community saw fit to file complaints to the State Ethics Commission about First Warden Kim Gaffett’s participation on two matters before the Town Council. In neither case would the results have been altered had Gaffett recused herself: the appointment of her highly qualified brother-in-law to the Planning Board or the negotiation of the contract between the Town and Block Island Health Services. Nor was any special benefit derived either by Gaffett or any of the parties involved. Whereas the town benefitted from both decisions, despite the jurisdictional overlaps that often occur in so tight a community as ours. This was well known to the complainants. Nevertheless, once they registered their objections, a strict interpretation of the state statute governing ethics violations — crafted for far larger jurisdictions than Block Island — was triggered, resulting in fines to Gaffett totaling $750. To the retired complainants that amount may not seem like much, but it is for one who has devoted the most productive years of her life to serving the island in capacities less well compensated for, figured in dollars per hours spent, than the most menial task in, say, the tourist industry or town government itself. So why did they do it? The only motive this observer can come up with is sheer mean-spiritedness.
If Peter Saxon, Bruce Montgomery and Arlene Tunney see the matter differently, let us hear from them.
Old Mill Road