2005-09-08 / Letters to the Editor

LETTERS

Opposed to new water tower

Do as I say, not as I do.

In the Sept. 1 issue of the Jamestown Press, there is a story on the back page about the zoning board to rule on a 70-foot tower for Cingular Wireless.

At the May zoning board meeting that the paper alludes to, the town of Jamestown also requested a special-use permit to build another 130-foot water tower on Howland Avenue, in a P zone. They also requested variences for setbacks and height restrictions. the article condems the cell companies request because the cell tower will be 35 feet higher than the existing pole.

The town’s request was for a 130-foot tower that exceeds the maximum height restrictions in a P zone of 35 feet by 105 feet, more than three times as high as zoning regulations allow. The article goes on to say that the location of the cell tower would require setback allowances because the pole is less than 30 feet from the side property line. The town’s request for the proposed water tower on Howland Avenue will have less than 45 feet, where 50 feet is required, plus an additional 1 foot of setback for every foot of height, in addition to the minimum relief, that means 130 + 50 = 180 feet of setback on all four sides (sec 82-305).

The lot on Howland Avenue is 23,397 square feet where 40,000square feet is required, and on that 23,397 square feet, there is already a one-million-gallon water tower, three out buildings, a 10by 50-foot by 8-foot high fence, and a commercial generator (sec 82-306).

The town’s requests were unamiously denied by the entire zoning board at the may meeting, and they were told to go to the planning board to come up with a contingency plan and alternate sites for the tower. One zoning board member asked if they realized what they were asking to do, putting another water tower in a residential area. Suggestions were made to look into storing the water underground. The town said that was a feasible option,

When asked why we needed a new water tower, the response was “for fire protection” to which one zoning board member said, “We don’t have a lot of fires in Jamestown.” When asked by the zoning board if the tower had to be located on a hill, the response was “no,” the pressure comes from pumps not the height of the tower. When asked who was going to pay for this, the response was, just the residents that use town water.

Two weeks later the planning board okayed the requests and within a month the zoning board, who was so much against the tower being put in a residential area with no contigency plan or alternative sites, unamiously passed the town’s request. My question is where is the contignecy plan and where are the alternative sites that were requested by the zoning board.

The zoning board has been hammering Cingular Wireless for four months over a cell phone tower on an empty lot in a non-residential area, but was able to approve another 130-foot one-million-gallon water tower on a lot that was too small to construct the first tower on, in a residential neighborhood, in less than one month. There is something seriously wrong with this picture.

It seems to me and everyone else that I talk to, that when we are losing 1.5 million gallons of water a day out of the South reservoir, that building a one million gallon water tower that equates to one days waste, is not in the best interest of the taxpayers of Jamestown, It will do NOTHING to eleviate the shortages, it will do NOTHING to improve the quality of our water, and it certaintly will do NOTHING to lower our water bills. SO WHY ARE WE BUILDING IT?

Where will the two million gallons of water go if something happens to the water towers?

Yeah right, and the Titanic couldn’t sink. Norman F. Messinger Jr

77 Cole St.

Keeping the town beach clean

I applaud some of the suggestions in last week’s letter to the editor titled “All Should Help Keep Beach Clean”. However, the personal nature of the piece compels me to respond to some of the more spurious and careless statements.

The writer’s dismissal of the news article I referred to in my earlier letter is unfortunate. The article contained much useful information along with testimony from an out of state marine biologist, an expert on seaweed, that was quite enlightening. Since the author claimed to be responding to my letter, which was about seaweed, her utter dismissal of the topic is puzzling.

The suggestion that soiled diapers on the beach, however offensive, are responsible for high bacteria counts in test water samples is also unfortunate, as it encourages ignorance of the real causes. At the risk of being dismissed again, I will point out that today, Sept. 1, the Providence Journal reported that the RIDEM had ordered the closing of several more ocean beaches in our area due to high bacteria counts. The reason given was runoff from recent rains. We are accustomed to beach closings in the upper bay, but today’s list included Easton’s Beach, Newport, Atlantic Beach, Middletown, and Scarborough Beach in Narragansett. With our own bacteria levels rising, though still “safe,” should we ignore events in these other communities as the writer suggests? I would add that a stroll on any of these other beaches, especially late in the day, reveals the same types of litter found here. We are not “different,” as the author claims.

On the topic of litter, I object to the writer’s claim that I need “education.” For over a quarter century, I have given countless hours of my time as a volunteer cleaning up not only Mackerel Cove but all of our beaches, as well as parks and ball fields. My own education in this particular area, and that of dozens of fellow volunteers, comes from hands-on experience. Jamestown employs a team of four youths and one adult supervisor in the summer to remove litter. They are among the most dedicated workers I have ever employed. The problem with litter, as with seaweed, is that the job of removing it is endless.

The suggestion that the beach could or should be mechanically raked at 1 p.m. is incredible, and makes me wonder how often the author actually goes to the beach. This would hardly be an “agreeable solution” for most beachgoers.

I encourage the writer to follow through on her laudable suggestions regarding volunteer efforts to supplement the town’s work. I also encourage her not to limit her efforts to Mackerel Cove. She might start by introducing herself to year-round volunteer and Youth Litter and Conservation Corps Supervisor Bonnie Jamison. She would soon become educated herself as to the magnitude of the growing litter problem, and the steps, including public education, that are already being taken.

Matt Bolles,

director of parks

and recreation

Generosity noted

On behalf of Bob and Peggy Rotondo, who are summer residents at Ft. Getty and winter residents in Ocean Springs, Miss., I would like to say a heartfelt thank-you to the family at 206 Capstan St. (I never got their names.)

The family recently held a yard sale which Peggy and I visited. When Peggy explained that she would be returning to her home in Mississippi, which is on the gulf coast area devastated by Hurricane Katrina, and that she wanted to purchase one of the cots they had for sale, they kindly donated a cot, several folding chairs, and an air mattress for Peggy to either use if she had to take people into her home or to donate to her church in Mississippi.

It is heartwarming to know that there are such generous, caring people on Jamestown who are so willing to help those in need.

Thank you again for your kindness, and may God bless you and all the people of Jamestown.

Deborah Balukas,

a Ft. Getty Camper

Donation thanks

The North Kingstown High School Boys’ and Girls’ CrossCountry Program would like to thank the Ali’s Run Committee for its generous donation to our team. Our program has a great mix of student athletes from both the Jamestown and North Kingstown areas. With the recent school budget constraints, this donation will assist us with registration fees, travel expenses, updating uniforms, etc. This will also enable us to continue to assist the middle school sports programs. We appreciate the Ali’s Run and Challenge, as it promotes both an active and healthy lifestyle, and we will continue to support this great race and program in the future. Thank you very much,

Mary Brennan, for the North Kingstown

High School Cross

Country Program

A successful tour

On Saturday, Aug. 27, some 350 individuals visited seven gardens in Jamestown, which, despite a water ban and a summer long drought, amazed everyone with a bounty of colorful flowers and vegetables.

The Quononoquott Garden Club played host for the tour, which also encouraged everyone to visit all of Jamestown’s scenic and historic attractions. People came from as far away as London, upstate New York, and surrounding states for a chance to see Jamestown at its end-of-summer best.

The club will use the tour proceeds to continue its efforts at beautifying the island through the planting of daffodils, the purchase of waste receptacles and benches, landscape facelifts to town buildings, and much more. In upcoming weeks, the club will announce how these funds will be spent.

The 40 members of the club want to thank everyone who took the tour. We take great pride in accomplishing our civic projects and could not continue them without your support. Thank-yous also go to Baker’s Pharmacy, the Secret Garden, and Frerich’s Farm, who sold so many of our tickets, to the Jamestown Police Department, for helping out with traffic control, and to Kate Leyon, for providing video recording services to make a permanent record of the tour.

Thank-you to Crystal Spring Water, which provided much of the thirst-quenching water that was given to tour participants on that hot sunny day.

We also thank all of the homeowners who toiled endlessly all summer to make their gardens the best they could be. They are Jack and Mary Brittain, Bill McCarthy, Joe and Donna Drago, David and Jennifer Clancy, Donna and Jeff Sisson, Monty and Veronika Neronha, and Bob and Lynda Sutton and all the volunteers at the Jamestown Community Farm. Also, thanks go to Rita and Anthony Antine for volunteering their house for the post-tour party.

We could not have done it without all of you.

Donna Drago, Gloria

Westlake, Joyce Allphin, Jill Meyer, Linda Warner, the Quononoquott Garden

Club A hunter’s view

I am writing to substantiate the information expressed in a Letter to the Editor from Art Chapman of Cranston. I too am a hunter and have been reading all the articles with interest concerning Jamestown’s increasing deer population. I as well did not appreciate Ms. Crawford’s speaking on behalf of hunters. Her statement and I quote that “hunting by bow and arrow is cruel even by most hunters’ standards” is pure conjecture on her part. I will go out on a limb here and guess that Ms Crawford does not and never has hunted. Ms. Crawford should be allowed her personal opinion but is not qualified to speak for “most hunters.” I fall into the category of “most hunters” and would like to argue this point.

To begin with, I am an avid hunter and have hunted deer for 27 years. I also have harvested deer with many weapons, including a bow and arrow. As Mr. Chapman indicated in his letter, which is consistent with my own experience, deer do die very quickly with a well placed arrow; it is not cruel; in fact quite the opposite. So in my opinion and based on actual experience, Ms. Crawford does not have any idea of what she speaks. Again from personal experience with a bow and arrow, and from my observation when hunting with others, archery hunters try to be close, usually inside 30 yards (the distance from home plate to first base in a regulation ball field), in order to make an accurate shot.

I practice every week with my bow so as not to make any bad shots at deer in order to harvest them quickly. These are the type of archery hunters, like Mr. Chapman and me, which the DEM is proposing to utilize for the Beavertail Cooperative Archery Deer Hunt, hunters that are required per regulation to pass Hunter Safety Courses, and have passed the DEM proficiency testing to obtain a permit for Jamestown.

For the record, I would like to mention that my hunting helps alleviate a growing deer population at no cost to anyone but myself. I am required to pay for a hunting license, and then purchase the deer tags for the state of Rhode Island. In my case, the total is $180.50 this year alone, all of which is used to support wildlife conservation. These license fees do not include the percentage amount that the government takes from my huntingrelated purchases of equipment and ammunition, again utilized to support wildlife conservation (Pittman-Robertson Act). Finally, I provide further funding assistance for wildlife conservation through my memberships in wildlife conservation organizations like the National Wild Turkey Federation and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation.

In closing, I would like to see archery hunting allowed in Jamestown on public land and would be happy to help any landowner solve a current deer problem on private property.

Colin Spero Portsmouth

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