2006-11-22 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

The members of the Jamestown Police

Department are the ones normally on the receiving end of calls for help.

Now, they are asking us for help.

On Oct. 18 of this year Payton Watson was diagnosed with leukemia (AML). Since then, she has been a patient at Hasbro Children's Hospital in Providence. Her parents, Jamestown Police Sergeant Frank Watson and Elizabeth (Goode) Watson, take turns sleeping with her nights in her room.

Payton, who turned 10 on Saturday, is in the fifth grade at the Hamilton Elementary School.

The IBPO Local 305 of the Jamestown Police Department has established a medical fund to assist Payton and her family with their ever growing financial needs.

If you feel you can help, make your check out to the Payton Watson Medical Fund and send it to the IBPO Local 305, 250 Conanicus Ave., Jamestown 02835.

***

With Christmas shopping going into full gear this weekend, Tony Rafanelli, president of Jamestown Baseball, has some gift ideas for those adults with young baseball players on their lists.

"This coming spring, Jamestown Baseball will cease to provide batting helmets so each player will have to provide his/her own helmet. This is for health reasons. Players should get helmets approximately one size bigger since they will have grown significantly between December and April," Tony advised.

He said that other gift ideas include gloves, wood bats (no aluminum), and cleats, again at least one size larger.

In closing, he said, "I hope all of our players are throwing occasionally. After all, the season opener is only five and one half months away!"

***

Beavertail is a beginning, but only a beginning.

We hope you read Peter B. Lord's article on the front page of last Friday's ProJo, "Ticks are taking over." And if you looked at Conanicut Island on the map you saw that we are infested with the little blood suckers.

Thomas N. Mather, a URI scientist who has been tracking tick populations in Rhode Island since 1993, was quoted as saying this year more than twice as many Rhode Islanders - about 717,000 - face a high risk for encountering deer ticks in their neighborhoods than in 1993, when 275,000 were at risk.

Accoring to Lord, each year hundreds of Rhode Islanders contract Lyme disease that causes high temperatures, muscle pain, and headaches. More advanced cases lead to arthritis, encephalitis, and other complications.

Lord does not mention that one of these other complications is death. Rhode Island has one of the highest infection rates, per capita. Babesiosis, another tick-borne disease, is on the rise.

We hope that property owners on the north end will voluntarily open their land to hunting even if only on weekends.

We love animals dearly and appreciate the fact that deer are cute and remind us of Bambi.

But when we see a deer in the back yard, we see years of heartwrenching pain and sickness for those who acquire Lyme disease.

***

We have been blessed so far, but winter will be here soon and Dr. Joshua Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic in his Pet Tip of the Week warns that extra caution must be taken to protect your pets.

"As the weather gets colder there are some additional dangers for our outdoor pets. Cats and kittens like to nap on warm places and this can include car engines. Knock on the hood or honk the horn before starting the engine to scare the cats and get them out from under the hood. "Another vehicle related issue in the winter is antifreeze toxicity. Most antifreezes smell good to cats and dogs and actually taste sweet. Very small amounts licked off the ground or from under your car can do irreversible damage to animal's kidneys. Thoroughly clean up any spills. Store your antifreeze in tightly closed containers, and store it where pets and children can't get to them. Finally, be aware of the expected cold temperatures and upcoming weather and bring your pets inside or make sure they have plenty of shelter from the elements before it starts to get bitterly cold." Thanks, Doctor.

***

For Thanksgiving time, Mister five by five he's ...

***

Islander Dorrie Linn writes, "Operation Support Our Troops has experienced a reduction in contributions this year, and we have had to use our postage funds to buy socks, treats, and various items to send to our brave troops for Christmas.

The U.S. Postal Service here has allowed me to place a box in the lobby for such donations, as has Baker's Pharmacy. I will be asking other places also, in addition to putting out canisters marked with 'Pennies for Postage.'

"In the few years I have lived here, I have found the people of Jamestown to be very caring and giving. So my hopes are high."

Keep up the good work, Dorrie!

***

And from SGT Alan D. Weaver Jr., 520th ENG DET (Firedawgs), 10th Mountain Division, FT Drum, NY, comes this: "I read your column last week and wanted to share with you this version of 'It is the Soldier.' It's a little shorter than the one Mr. Schaefer sent in to you . . . but I think it's just as powerful.

'It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press.

'It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech.

'It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate.

'It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag, and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag.' "So true huh?" So true!

***

Jamestown artist Rene Stawicki has an exhibition of paintings and works on paper for sale in the Tearoom Gallery upstairs at the Cathryn Jamison Salon on Narragansett Avenue.

***

The Boy Scouts of Troop 1 got in an early Thanksgiving dinner while camping out the weekend before last at Cub World at Feinstein Youth Camp in Pascoag.

The troop busied itself with launching bottle rockets and participating in a five-mile compass hike as well as explorations of the camp areas.

The "Thanksgiving Feast" was held on Saturday night with the bird cooked outdoors and each patrol preparing a side-dish of its choice.

Scoutmaster David Volpe said Scouts attending were Senior Patrol Leader Brian Volpe, Asssistant Senior Patrol Leader Kyle Wright, Drew Matley, John Chase, Zack Volpe, Cobra Patrol Leader Eric Archibald, Nick Fay, Vaughn Nelson-Lee, James Perry, Dylan Walsh, Saints Patrol Leader Cameron Toppa, Josh Nolan, Matt Rafanelli, Nick Dalton, Screaming Eagles Patrol Leader Sal Morenzi, Mike Brendlinger, Dan Bailey, Sam Baugh, Hayden Maclean and Chris Waterman.

Now, that's the way to eat turkey.

***

This from Town Councilwoman Barbara Szepatowski:

"Thank you for fielding Rick Bothelo's question on the building permit for the animal shelter.The animal shelter will be built with no town funds or labor. Because the building is owned by the town, the building permit had to be issued to them. Once the town administration staff move to the new town hall, many hope that the property will be used for an affordable housing site.The rehabiliated building could then become the office, meeting place, storage, etc., for the housing complex. This could help the housing project rather than hinder it, since the building could also be used for a construction management office. The worse case is that the building would be torn down. If this happened all of the usable materials would be harvested as was done with the planning office (fire alarm system, new replacement windows, interior doors, piping) and reused as is being done now. And while this project has taken longer than we had hoped to "officially start," all found and abandoned pets have been fostered leaving no cost to the town for placement at the neighoring shelters in North Kingstown or Newport County. Our system of fostering Jamestown's homeless animals has also always had the lowest euthanization rate, 0 to 2 percent, in the state.

"The Animals Shelter has been on the table for a long time. But with any all-volunteer project, patience is needed. Often other topics move to the top of the list - the teen center being the main one. When we looked at the shelter building and the commercial building on Narragansett Avenue as teen center locations it was without the use of any tax dollars for rehabilitation or rent, just volunteer labor and donations. Both sites were also studied and discussed to raise public awareness to the question of why weren't the teens at the rec center where they were until about 10 to 12 years ago when their area was turned into the rec staff's office. At that time, nothing was done to find another site for them. So 10 years later, they are moving back, and we hope the grand opening in early January will be the highlight of the New Year."

We're looking forward to it. Thanks, Barbara!

A tentative date has been set for January 5.

*** Happy Thanksgiving to all!

*** Be true!

***

Call in your stuff for this column to 423-0383 or 829-2760. You can e-mail us at jtnwalrus@ hotmail.com, or drop your items off at the Jamestown Press office.

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