2006-03-23 / Editorial

 LETTERS 

An important safety reminder

After returning from a wonderful vacation, exhausted, we retired early in the evening. The next morning we awoke, ate breakfast, and began our day by unpacking and laundry, laundry, laundry.

Three or four hours into our busy day we began to feel a little dizzy and woozy. Tired from the vacation - we thought. All of a sudden we heard the blaring of alarms. Running around in an attempt to change the batteries, as the alarms screamed - we read: "Move to fresh air." And, move we did.

A call to the fire department brought our professional team to assess the situation. Carbon Monoxide was entering the house through the pilot in our gas fireplace. A little sleepy, a little dizzy, without the carbon monoxide alarms, we may have taken "the long nap."

A reminder to my island friends: make sure all alarms have updated batteries. If you don't have the proper alarms in your home (especially you with older homes) get them, please.

Thank you to the Jamestown Fire Department volunteers for your quick response and your direction.

Charlie and Arlene Petit

Jamestown

Help available for pet owners

Thanks to Barbara Szepatowski for her recent articles in the Jamestown Press addressing the issues concerning spaying and neutering of dogs and cats in the state of Rhode Island.

The issues of low-cost spay/neuter services for lowincome pet owners has been a concern among veterinarians, shelters, and animal advocates for many years. During my tenure as president of the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Association, the RIVMA Spay/Neuter Assistance Program was developed. In association with participating veterinarians, this program provides the at-need pet owner with a 50 percent discount on the cost of spaying or neutering their pet. This discount is not reimbursed to the participating veterinarian.

Participating veterinarians themselves provide this discount as a worthy community service.

Since the inception of the RIVMA Spay/Neuter Assistance Program, approximately 14,000 pets have received assistance. The average assistance to those in need is in the range of $100. This translates into $1.4 million in discounts provided by veterinarians to help curb pet overpopulation and the needless suffering and euthanasia that unfortunately accompanies it.

The Newport Animal Hospital, the Jamestown Animal Clinic, and the Newport Animal Clinic have been charter members and to this day continue to support the Spay/Neuter Assistance Program. I would urge you, Paws & Claws, and the Friends of The Jamestown Animal Shelter to help identify those people in need of assistance. The application can be accessed and printed through our Web site newportanimalhospital. com under the bar heading, Links. The RIVMA SNAP program is the first link listed.

Again, thank you for all your efforts and leadership in the quest to help animals.

Jack Civic, DVM,

Jamestown Animal Clinic

A 'thank you' and a 'please'

I would first like to say, thank-you to those who have made Jamestown's past America The Beautiful grants possible, and then ask for help to plant the town forest, which is also funded in part through an ATB grant.

I have been successful in obtaining ATB grants of $5,000 each for the last three years. The money has been used to plant the new trees on the streets of Jamestown. The grants are very competitive due to the small amount of funds available and must be well written, but most of all they involve community participation and in-kind services to ensure an award. In other words, a grant would probably not be awarded to a community that hired a landscape contractor to plant the street trees.

First of all, I would like to thank the Jamestown Highway Department. They have been a great resource and have done a terrific job planting the trees. The Highway Department's in-kind contribution to the match for the grant is nearly 60 percent. I work with them one day planting the majority of the trees; they finish planting the second day on their own. The crew has learned to identify the root flare and set the root ball at the proper grade, remove girdling roots, and pull encircling roots away from the rootball and radiate them away from the trunk. Statistics now point out that 90 percent of the trees planted now are planted incorrectly. The most common failure occurs when trees are planted too deep.

I think it is quite something that the Highway Department, which only does this work two days out of the year, falls into the 10 percent bracket of those who plant trees correctly. The men who have done most of the planting are Steve Bonner, Andrew Munafo, Ramon Ibarlucea, and Bill Page. The Highway Department has done this work with pride and care.

I'd like to thank the Town Tree Preservation and Protection Committee, the Boy Scouts, and other volunteers who have helped mulching and watering the trees. This is the community involvement portion of the grant that is a key and essential element. Community involvement usually accounts for about 13 percent of the match.

Of course, the tree program and ATB grants would not be successful without the professional expertise and support of all the administration and staff. The attention to detail that Fred Brown and Tina Collins possess is amazing. In short, because of the grant and everyone's hard work, the town is getting a $14,000 landscape job for just a few thousand dollars.

And now for the please . . . I'd like to ask for the assistance of volunteers to help plant the town forest/park between the two school buildings. This project is also partially funded through an ATB grant I wrote. This forest will be used as an outdoor educational classroom for the study of natural sciences. The forest is also to be used for passive recreational use. It is being planted with indigenous species with a Native American theme. Some 300 trees and shrubs are coming soon and need to be planted. They are small plants so the work will be easy, as they only require digging into the humus layer. What a great project to do with your son or daughter! Just think, you can plant a tree there today with your child, and return years later and sit under the shade of that tree with that grown-up child and grandchild.

There is great potential for this place. This is a park with an educational theme. I anticipate that the kids will do projects on environmental issues that relate to the island. Adult education could also happen here. The overpopulation of the deer is a huge problem on the island. Deer resistant ornamental plants could be planted along the borders to illustrate their characteristics. Information about each plant could be displayed beside it. Homeowners could review these plants to help them select a design for their yard.

I thank all who have participated in this project so far. The management team for this project consists of Judith DiBello, Matt Largess, Bucky Brennen, David Dolce, Jim Kaczynski, and myself.

More information is available on the Town Tree Preservation and Protection Committee's Web site.

If you would like to volunteer, please contact Judith Di Bello at 4231241 or e-mail hugger93@cox.net.

David Nickerson,

town tree warden,

Jamestown

Sharing the ride

My wife commutes 85 miles round trip daily to CVS headquarters in Woonsocket. I've searched since last July for a rides-share or carpool board for someone from the local area - Newport, Jamestown, Narragansett, North Kingstown - who also commutes to Woonsocket to share in the driving, to save gas, and help cut down on greenhouse gases.

There's no such internal ride-share board at CVS. CVS human resources cannot provide the names of other CVS employees who are Jamestown residents due to privacy concerns.

If anyone knows a CVS Woonsocket employee who is also a nearby resident (Jamestown is ideal), please feel free to give them my phone number, 560-0050, if they want to carpool with my wife. Her hours are generally 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., so she leaves at 8 a.m. most mornings.

I also want to add that it would be nice for our official town and/or community Web site to promote conservation by providing a carpool/rideshare listing, especially as we face $3 plusper gallon gas prices again this summer. Thank you.

Steve Mecca

5 Green Lane

Snow plowing thanks

I would like to thank the Jamestown Highway Department for plowing the snow on my street following the most recent storm.

It was a job well done and I appreciate your efforts.

John Durkin 75 Nautilus St. Hunting in Jamestown

Pursuant to William W. Smith III letter regarding hunting on the island and for the general edification of the islanders.

Any one who hunts in Rhode Island knows that high-powered rifles are not legal in the state because of the population density. Smooth-bore guns and bow hunting are the only methods available that I am aware of. From a trajectory standpoint, both methods have about the same range/effectiveness. I believe that deer hunting can only be done with bow on the island. Also I believe that a hunter cannot be within 600 feet of any occupied dwelling or road. Someone correct me if I am wrong.

So the idea of a bunch of crazies running around the island with highpowered rifles must be stopped . This form of hype fuels irrational thinking in an already confused public regarding their thoughts about hunting and hunters. Hunters are your friend.

Chris deBethune, a former

Jamestowner who now lives in

New Mexico

Nantucket hunting

I have not been to Jamestown. However, I am willing to bet the terrain is much different than Nantucket.

I hunted during the February hunt that was held on Nantucket, and it was not the debacle it was reported to be. The island of Nantucket is very hard to hunt. The brush is nearly impenetrable by humans yet the deer glide through it unchecked. It is the perfect habitat for deer. Mr. Smith III is using buzz words in his letter to the paper such as hunters "lurking." Hunters do not "lurk."

Pedophiles and criminals "lurk." "Violent culling," most deer are killed with one shot. Hunters do there best to minimize suffering. Most of us are animal lovers as well as hunters. We do not hunt because we hate animals. However, we are not disillusioned and led into humanizing animals. (For those who don't know Bambi was only a cartoon!)

"High powered rifles discharged across our island" - as far as I know, only shotguns and muzzleloaders are allowed for deer hunting in R.I. Given an unobstructed lane neither will go much more than a couple hundred yards. Mr. Smith states, "There is one thing which I do know for certain, however, given my study of biology and biological systems.

That is, no amount of culling of the deer population by hunting will ever sufficiently reduce the deer on our island to an acceptable size. The deer can reproduce faster than they can be culled." Deer breed once a year and usually with good health have twins. Some have one fawn and a very few three. So if you do the math for every doe removed there will be one to three less deer the next year. It will take several years for a noted difference in the population of the herd. I do not claim to be a biologist, but I spend as much time afield as one and I urge anyone to look up the facts for yourself.

I do applaud Mr. Smith for allowing hunting on his private property. One of the biggest obstacles for keeping the deer herd in check is the increase of posted land, especially on islands where the size of the herd has an impact on human health, herd health, and the health of the habitat.

To be more effective, the added dates should be during the rut in November when deer are not exactly thinking with their heads.

Troy Kelley Cape Cod, Mass.

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