The Block Island Times
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Letters to the Editor, November 9, 2013

Nov 08, 2013

To the Editor:

Dear Block Island: The fastest internet you now enjoy is DirectTV, or WiFi from your phone provider. Both of these options are more expensive than DSL [direct subscriber line], but offer up to 12Mbps [internet connection speed], verses 1.5Mbps service with DSL.

A fiber cable run to the island would and could be a great thing, but it won’t improve your internet service without a huge investment to the backbone structure of fiber cable around the island and to each and every home on the island...millions! How likely is this in anyone’s lifetime?

Perhaps there is another way. Wireless internet as a viable fulltime solution on Block Island. You want and need a solution. Wireless internet seems the way to go. Improvements in wireless towers or other relatively low-cost wireless innovations should be addressed by town planners.

Improved wireless towers may provide your answers.

Andy Fletcher

Wakefield, R.I.

 

To the Editor:

When all else fails, obfuscate (Featured Letter, Nov. 2), wherein the Town’s recent decision to more clearly define its own property, Weldon’s Way, is characterized as an assault on tourists, or “the enemy.”

In what world is it anti-tourist to hope for a Weldon’s Way that is friendly to pedestrians as well as vehicles? Just last week, in a different space in this paper, I recalled hearing the delighted exclamation “sidewalks!” when returning visitors first saw High Street newly reconstructed, bordered by a smooth path of cement where there had been a dirt trail.

Newcomers stop at the Empire Theatre corner and ask if they can get to Aldo’s by High Street. I usually tell them they can — especially if they have small children — but there is no sidewalk and offer the back way down the street and through the moon gate alternative. It just seems the friendly thing to do.

There will always be plenty remaining to be done, but let’s not drop sidewalks. They are too important to our visitors — and our residents as well.

Martha Ball

Mansion Road

 

To the Editor:

I would like to thank my neighbors, friends and the B.I. community for the bountiful support they have shown me since the death of my wife, Nancy Doolittle, on July 28, 2013. I further thank those who have made contributions to the Block Island Free Library in her memory.

John T. Doolittle

Sheffield Farm

 

To the Editor:

I read in last week’s paper [Nov. 1] that Block Island Health Services had “retained an attorney...to represent us in a United Healthcare appeal, with the condition that we not spend more than $5,000.”

When you have been operating at a loss for many years, this is a lot of money. More importantly, appealing to United Healthcare is not even your responsibility.

Delivering health care is your responsibility, and you do a wonderful job at that. Sandy and I are members of BIHS and we have never received better health care.

Peter Greenman

Center Road

 

To the Editor:

The Block Island Early Learning Center would like to express much gratitude and appreciation to everyone who participated in the 7th annual Motoring Event. The event was held on Saturday, Sept. 28. A wide variety of vehicles attended: cars, trucks, tractors, motorcycles, and for the first time, planes and boats. Everyone had something to enjoy with the pumpkins, mums, music, cider, burgers, dogs and delicious baked goods, poster art and T-shirts for sale.

Thank you to all our sponsors: Interstate Navigation, Block Island Tourism Council, Block Island Motoring Group, The Narragansett Hotel, The Harborside Hotel, The Oar Restaurant, The National Hotel, Block Island Chamber of Commerce, DVL Landscape Architecture, Kurt Tonner, Littlefield & Sons Propane, Brown Septic Services, the Turco Family, B.I. Ladies Auxiliary, Mott Automotive, Murphy’s Automotive, Oldfield Automotive, The 1661 Inn, the Mott Family, the Draper Family, Island Entertainment, Riolo Racing, Ballard’s Oil Co., Block Island Sport Fishing Carters, the Lillie Family, the Visceglia Family, The Recreation Department, RIAC, B.I. Airport, Cathy Payne, Payne’s Dock, and our anonymous donors. You support in helping to make the event a continued success is much appreciated. Congratulations to all our raffle winners and a thank you to the island businesses who donated the wonderful prizes.

Many thanks also to all our mainland visitors who brought out their beautiful vehicles and to our many volunteers for all their hard work. We are especially grateful to Derek and Deana Van Lent for once again coordinating this ever-growing event and to The Narragansett, Payne’s Dock, and the Block Island Airport for hosting the event.

Finally, we are grateful to all the people that helped make the Motoring Event a success who we may not have mentioned. We look forward to seeing even more vehicles and people next year as we continue to improve this weekend event.

The Staff of the Block Island Early Learning Center

 

To the Editor:

The Board and Staff of Block Island Health Services wish to express their sincere appreciation to Senator Susan Sosnowski and Representative Donna Walsh for selecting Block Island Health Services for a legislative grant of $5,000 from the Rhode Island Senate, and a grant of $3,000 from the Rhode Island House of Representatives.

The money is awarded to help support the transition to electronic medical records. The cost of the hardware and software for this system is substantial. The legislative grants provide needed support to the center to implement this project.

We also appreciate the personal support they provide for all of our activities as well their commitment to providing health care on Block Island.

Barbara Baldwin

Executive Director

Block Island Health Services

 

To the Editor:

In the Oct. 26 edition of The Block Island Times, I wrote a reasonable letter simply stating I was not happy with the Block Island Health Services (BIHS) writing a letter to the Director of Health Rhode Island, declaring in the Oct. 19 edition, a “Health Emergency on Block Island.”

“We’re saying it [the increases of Lyme cases] is a health emergency and want the Department of Health to respond positively,” Baldwin said (Barbara Baldwin Executive director of BIHS). I believe this is the wording used in the letter to Michael Fine, MD. I certainly acknowledged Lyme disease as a problem on Block Island, but not a health emergency, especially when there are so many more alcohol- and drug-related problems and associated deaths here constituting the real health emergency which gets very little attention.

Now, in the Nov. 2 edition, the BIHS, in a letter to the editor, refutes my statements with a letter, “Contrary to what was written to the editor, Lyme disease is a serious health problem” — now changing course and claiming Lyme disease as a serious problem six times in their letter. There is nothing contrary in my letter, but no more mention of health emergency in theirs. Isn’t that exactly what I said should be said. I referred to the Deer Task Force as having made medical statements “with nary a medical professional amongst them” and did not include any of the BIHS board in that statement, except Barbara Baldwin, so I take it as a serious charge that I was “wrong” when I was correct.

I wish BIHS success in their fundraising endeavors, but picking on other Block Island citizens again is going in the wrong direction, to use their own vernacular. If they want to go “tit for tat” in this letter column, be my guest, I have all winter. I do understand BIHS to have an exemplary board of MDs, RN, PHDs NPs — then why was the letter signed with an ESQ?

I would hope that all that professionalism on the BIHS board can handle the Lyme disease problem. Again, I also ask them to turn their sights on a more pressing and serious and true health emergency: alcohol, drugs and psychiatric-related maladies so present here on this island and placing tremendous burden on our medical, police facilities and the public itself.

John Willis MD

Beacon Hollow Farm

 

To the Editor:

I would like to thank the Block Island Community for all their love, support and words of encouragement throughout my husband Jim’s long medical ordeal. You all helped make my days a little easier.

A special thank you to our Rescue Squad. They were always there anytime we needed them, even on short notice. They always made sure Jim felt safe, secure and comfortable. I know that I feel a great sense of comfort knowing the rescue squad has dedicated, caring members. Thank you.

I cannot say enough about Dr. Miller, Liz, Linda and Mary at the Medical Center. They always helped us get through each crisis with the information we needed to understand what was happening. Their caring and attention to Jim was exceptional. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

To my BIG family, thank you for always being there giving me support and understanding. The chicken dinner you prepared for us was a welcome surprise. And to MaryJane, you are the best. Thank you for everything.

A big thank you to Grace Luddy for “Jim’s Wild Horses,” he loved that picture, Geoffrey Lawrence for your carpentry skills, Betty and Fraser Lang, The Block Island Times, the Chamber of Commerce for your food tray. And to St. Andrew’s, Harbor Church, St. Ann’s and B.I. Christian Fellowship for all your prayers for Jim.

I truly feel blessed living here on Block Island.

Mary Ellen Murphy

Corn Neck Road

Comments (1)
Posted by: Elliot Taubman | Nov 11, 2013 18:22

Sorry Andy. You are not up to date on the technology on the Island. Now we have 4G with both ATT and Verizon. Sprint is also going upscale. All three are supposedly going to 4G LTE.  If you have other ATT  or Verizon service, it is actually faster and cheaper to have a hotspot rather than DSL. We have two locations, so for security,  and to have a land line, have kept a line for fax and DSL.  The DSL is slow, particularly in the summer when all systems are overloaded. The real problem is bandwidth. I do agree with Andy that the only economic way to improve bandwidth would be to install the fiber optic and then connect it to all wireless carriers who would want to connect. It may be economic for the town to connect by fiber optic cable on existing poles to town facilities, or using a wireless repeater, particularly if they can get a federal grant.  The important thing for the Island's future is to have excellent internet connections.


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