Letters to the Editor, Sept. 7, 2012
To: the Editor—
As a witness to the public side of the very difficult events relating to the BIHS, I was heartened to read Steve Davidson’s letter to the editor of August 18. Might it not behoove us to stand by the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” when assessing the board’s actions?
Susan and Peter MacGill
To: the Editor—
If you were a cynical person and had read the misleading and inflammatory letter by Howell Conant in last week’s Block Island Times, you might wonder whether the author, for crass political gain, was deliberately exploiting the current emotionally charged atmosphere that has caused a serious rift in our community.
The dismissal of the director of the Medical Center has precipitated a great concern among the community and the facts surrounding that decision are still not on the table. The Town Council has not taken this matter lightly, nor tried to sweep it under the table.
At the council’s meeting on August 1, after hearing that a non-disclosure agreement precluded the B.I. Health Services board from discussing the details, a motion was made and approved to arrange a meeting with the board to discuss the details of their action. At the monthy BIHS board meeting a week later, three council members were present and significant input was given. At the Town Council worksession on August 30, a motion was made, which passed unanimously, to urge the parties to consider mediation in an attempt to resolve their differences. Mediation usually calls for compromise, without which fair and effective government is not possible, and the council hopes that this approach will be fruitful.
I, for one, do not believe that Mr. Conant is out to exploit this situation for political gain. I believe that he is doing us a favor in showing his true colors as a “shoot from the hip” gunslinger who is firm in the rightousness of his beliefs and has nothing but disdain for established, constitutionly prescribed, governmental procedure.
And so, two months from now, when we voters go to the polls to select a First Warden, we will have a clear choice. It is your choice. Do you wish a council who will deliberate the issues and hear all sides, or do you want a posse led by John Wayne?
Ray Torrey, Second Warden
To: the Editor—
When our son Eric was badly burned on Monday August 27, Block Island went into high gear. Rescue volunteers (Beth, Bryan, Cecilia, Gary, Kirk and Tristan) were on the scene in minutes and got him to the Medical Center where Dr. Miller and her team of Linda and Joelle assessed and stabilized him. He was flown off the island on New England Airlines with Robin’s assistance at the airport, and in Westerly an ambulance was waiting to transport him to Rhode Island Hospital. And Richard Mazzur of Oldfield Motors — it was your quick action that saved his life by quickly extinguishing the flames. The teamwork was awesome, and in record time he was admitted to a burn unit.
Block Island is a beautiful island, but more importantly it is all the special people who make it truly wonderful!
Lorin and Whitney Stearns
To: the Editor—
My husband was recently diagnosed with terminal cancer. His last wish was to go deep-sea fishing. This simple wish sounds like an easy one to fulfill for most people. Unfortunately, he has diabetes as well, and one of his legs has been amputated while the other leg has no mobility. It is difficult for a man of his large stature to maneuver around the house and yard in a wheelchair, and we knew that being on board a fishing boat could be even more challenging.
We tried to find a charter company willing to welcome someone with such impairments and were unsuccessful. I was finally recommended Captain John Hunnewell at Pale Horse Fishing Charters of Block Island. He was extremely kind and understanding, assuring me that he could get my husband on his boat and that he would be completely safe from the time we arrived to the time our excursion was over.
The experience was overwhelmingly wonderful from the beginning. Not only were they able to get my husband and his wheelchair on board, Captain John’s first mate Mike never left my husband’s side. He kept him safe, secure and having fun the entire time, showing my husband how invested he was in fulfilling his wish.
The second mate Hank was also more than happy to add to the experience, making sure my husband caught as many fish as possible, while Captain John perfected his ability to hover over the best fishing locations.
Captain John, Mike and Hank, please accept sincerest thanks from our family for a job well done and a dream come true. May all of your kindness be returned unto you.
Brenda and Michael Baris
To: the Editor—
The letter to the editor from the Pollard family, owners of the Empire Theatre, caught my eye. Apparently changes in the movie industry are requiring theaters to invest in new digital technology. Rather than dip into a rainy day account or seek delayed billing from the vendors of the new equipment, the owners of the Empire are soliciting funds from the community to pay for their upgrade.
Let me contrast this with a small ad in the Boston Globe that ran over the Labor Day weekend. The ad was a simple five line classified:
I’m WORKING Monday (caps in the original). Not happy about it but that’s what we do. LowBed Johnson, 800 660 2412.
(For those not in the construction industry, a “lowbed” is a 40 foot trailer used to move construction equipment from job site to job site. )
I’m sure that “Lowbed Johnson” was very busy on Monday. He knew that a lot of contractors would want to get their equipment in place for an early start on Tuesday. When he finished moving the last piece of equipment Monday night, I’ll guarantee that Lowbed Johnson put some of the proceeds into an equipment fund to save for a new truck as well as new legislation that requires diesel exhaust scrubbers on construction trucks. (Shameless plug: my company, Foley Engines, is the leading supplier of diesel exhaust scrubbers in the U.S.).
The Empire Theatre? It was closed over Labor Day weekend, perhaps the busiest weekend of the year.
Jay W. Foley