2006-06-29 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

It's almost KA-BOOM time and the Rocket Dawgz thank everybody who have responded generously and expeditiously so we all may enjoy the 11th annual fireworks shoot to be fired this year at Mackerel Cove. We'll celebrate on the Fourth, our nation's 230th birthday.

We have six days left for those of you who have not had a chance yet to send in your checks. Make them out to Fireworks Fund and send them to P.O. Box 1776, Jamestown 02835.

Ray Medley of Tel-Star told us that the show has been programmed

and the truck is being loaded in New Hampshire with 3to 10-inch shells, including the ever-popular Battle in the Clouds.

"We're putting together an exciting show assortment, including some stuff you haven't seen yet," Ray said.

Contributors last week are Wharton and Ann Biddle of Meadow Lane; Blanche Murray, Conanicus Avenue; Norma and Bud Walsh of Whittier Road; Kathryn Farrington of the Newport County Convention & Visitor's Bureau (with special thanks to Donna Kohler of the East Bay Bed & Breakfast); Pearl and Walter Turgeon, Beavertail Road; Claire Ferguson and Family, Bayview Drive; Clifford White of Seaside Drive; John and Karen Benson of High Street; Jill Symons, Cole Street; Sean Magee, Mast Street; Judith DiBello of Spanker Street; and Kathy Brownell of Conanicus Avenue who wrote, "This donation is in memory of Mary Sylvia. Mary watched last year's fireworks from her living room window and went 'ah' after every single one."

Also donating were Peter and Rochelle Carvevale of Westwind Drive; Prudence Sellars and Richard Heath, Clarke Street; Andrew and Margaret Holmes, Holmested Court; Patricia and Paul Jutras of Seaside Drive; Charles and Karan Osenton, Blueberry Lane; Donald and Carolyn Palumbo, Conanicus Avenue; and Linda and George Warner of Shady Lane.

And, many thanks to all who are dropping money into the merchants' cans throughout town.

As of last weekend, it appears we'll come in about $3,000 under last year. Considering what we had only two months ago this is a major achievement and everybody who donated deserves a shell all their own Tuesday.

The raindate for the shoot is Wednesday, the 5th.

Leave your pets at home.

Keep the donations coming, who knows what we might blow up.

See you there!

KA-BOOM, KA-BOOM, KABOOM!

***

A year of close contact

between a school in Ugunja, Kenya, and the sixth grade at the Jamestown School was celebrated June 15 when islander Amara Murray and her husband Matt Mulder, who have returned to the States, came to speak to the class about their experiences volunteering in Ugunja. They thanked the youngsters for their money donations and continuing correspondence with the students in the African village.

Sixth grade teacher Beth Weibust said that Amara dressed in everyday Ugunja clothing for women and Matt wore men's ceremonial clothes.They brought a present for the class and showed a PowerPoint slide show with pictures and information about the village.

"One class had become pen pals with a group of eighthgraders from the local school in Ugunja. It became apparent that health and educational facilities were poor, so the Jamestown students immediately set out to raise funds. The children raised over $700 and the Jamestown Rotary Club pitched in an additional $350. Money was used for items such as mosquito nets, a deworming program for the preschoolers, desks and chairs for the school," Beth said.

She added that Amara is continuing her education at Harvard Medical School while Matt is looking for a job in Cambridge. Great job, everybody!

***

Like many of us this time of

year with all the graduations in the news, native islander and marathoner Jim Pementell reflects on years gone by.

"I know it is not your column but I just read Sue Maden's "This Week in Island History" and saw where on June 16th, 1956 the Jamestown Elementary School (the Clarke School where the library now stands) graduated 28 students. I was one of those students and I can remember it like it was yesterday. After graduation, we had a dance and talked about heading off to high school at De La Salle Academy, St. Catherines Academy and Rogers High in Newport. To Jamestown kids that was a big deal because we had to take the ferry and leave the familiar confines of our little island to go off to school with the "big city kids."

We were maybe 14 years old and somehow the discussion got around to what age is old age. The consensus was that if you were 35 years old, you might as well go lay down in the cemetery because it was all over. So much for that idea."

Thanks, Jim. Our goal at that time was to reach the year 2000. It seemed an eternity away.

***

Hyperthyroidism is not good.

So says Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Hyperthyroidism is a common endocrine disorder in many middle-age and older cats. The thyroid gland is responsible for metabolic regulation, and in these cats the gland is overproducing and increasing the cat's metabolic rate. The most common signs of hyperthyroidism are weight loss, an increased appetite, poor hair coats, and often an increase in water intake, as well as possible vomiting, loose stool, and even heart disease.

"Now, since many other problems including kidney disease, liver disease, infection, and cancer can cause many of these signs it is important to have your cat examined and have thyroid levels checked if you notice any of these problems. Fortunately, hyperthyroidism in cats is treatable in roughly 98 percent of cases, and although it will be a lifelong treatment, there are different options available to help you and your cat deal with this common feline disorder. As always, consult your veterinarian with any questions or concerns. Thanks, Doctor!

***

"Life is just a bowl of cherries...

"

***

The ferry Jamestown, after

more than a half century of service and now located in Weehawken, N.J., is being put out to anchorage or wherever they put old boats.

Former islander Dick Smith dropped a note and a newspaper clipping explaining what's happening to the one time local ferry.

"I am a former Jamestown resident born in Newport in 1937, and then raised in Jamestown. I spent the first 22 years of my life at 2 Coronado Street.

I am writing because I live in New Jersey and when taking the New York Water Way to NYC from N.J. would board the ferry from the old "Jamestown" ferry.

Well the state of N.J. has built a new ferry terminal to be used for loading passengers and will not be using the Jamestown any longer.

"We lost the nostalgic Governor Carr. It would be great to see the last remaining ferry, other than the one in Portland, Maine, from the Jamestown & Newport Ferry system in Jamestown once more."

The ferry was brought to Weehawken some 15 years ago after duty as a nightclub in Philadelphia.

An article in the Bergen Record explains that the Jamestown was being used as a waiting room and snack bar for passengers going on other ferries. The story goes on to say, "the old Jamestown ferryboat - which is sandwiched between two piers - is undersized and ugly, offering little more than a cafe."

She may be "ugly," but she's ours. Bring her home and we'll give her some tender, loving care.

***

The members of Boy Scout Troop 1 are gearing up for their annual canoeing trip and voted this year to return to the Saco River, where they canoed two years ago.

Entitled High Adventure 2006, Saco & Whitewater Rafting the Kennebec River, Scoutmaster Dave Volpe said that this year the troop will enter the water near North Conway, adding a day to the river trip. They plan to leave either Saturday, July 8, or Sunday, July 9, at 8 a.m. sharp.

"We'll plan to get in the water by 2 p.m., and spend four nights and five days on the river. We will camp, as we did on our last trip on the river banks, while paddling down stream. We'll cover approximately 50 miles and encounter three portages, where we will have to carry all our gear for about 1/4 to 1/2 a mile. All meals will be cooked over open fires on the river's bank from firewood we collect," Dave explained.

Happy canoing, guys. Be prepared.

***

In the meantime, the scouts

will be working tomorrow at the library, moving books upstairs from the cellar in preparation for the library's annual book sale. Scout Kyle Wright is in charge.

***

Don't do North Road in the

rain. You can't see the holes. There's a doozey right at the entrance to the dump.

***

Reacting to my comment in

last week's column about some residents wanting to keep kids off the town dock, Jill Anderson replied, "I'm quite sure that no one wants to stop Jamestown kids from fishing on the town dock, especially the members of the harbor commission. In fact, their vote to request closing the pier from 9 p.m. was made with family fishing and enjoyment in mind. During the discussion at the recent commission meeting as they were considering a 7 p.m. closure, it was pointed out that kids (and their adult companions) frequently fish there until dark, prompting a change in their request until 9 p.m.

"Anyone who has been in the East Ferry area late at night or very early in the morning is aware that we have a problem; the trick is how to balance use and abuse." Thanks, Jill.

*** While speaking with Jill she again appealed to those who have garage or yard sales to please remove their signs when the sale is over. "If you put 12 signs up, take 12 signs down," she said. Makes sense to us.

***

Kudos to islander Maurice "Reece" Laflamme who was first in his class and valedictorian at graduation ceremonies at the Prout School. He'll pursue business studies at Babson College in Wellesley, Mass.

***

John Doty is wondering where everybody went. He called to tell us town workers installing sidewalks on Union Street started work about three weeks ago then got up and left not to be seen again, leaving much unfinished work. "One of the new walks already has three cracks in it," he said.

*** Be true!

***

Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760.

E-mail us at jtnwalrus@hotmail. com or drop your items off at the Jamestown Press.

Bring along a check for the fireworks.

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