2007-04-19 / The Walrus Says

The Walrus Says

By Jim Munro

Kudos to the island's Junior Girl Scout Troop 865 that Saturday spearheaded the first phase of a three-part effort to clean and restore Mackerel Cove beach.

Getting a jump on Earth Day, the event was a continuation of the troop's efforts from last October when the fourth graders did their first trash pickup on a cold, rainy afternoon. All Jamestown Boy and Girl Scouts were invited to join in this latest pickup, and with the weather cooperating this time, some 50 scouts and their parents showed up with rakes, shovels and garbage bags to help with the clean-up.

The goals of the first phase Saturday morning entailed the removal of all accumulated trash, clearing away dead vegetation and raking out the dunes and any large sand piles to prepare the beach for the second phase.

With the assistance of islander Chris Powell of the state DEM phase two will be the delivery and unloading of trucks of sand within the next two to three weeks. The third phase will be the replanting of the dune vegetation.

Marah Campbell, leader of Junior Troop 865, organized the project assisted by coordinator Julie Kallfelz. Marah said the beach was hit very hard by storms last fall resulting in garbage being washed ashore, dunes being washed away and the loss of a great deal of the beach grass.

Saturday's volunteers walked the entire length of the beach collecting refuse. Marah said that the scouts recovered everything from old-fashioned soda pull-tabs to cement encrusted pier pilings. Plastic drink straws and fishing line were the number one and two most found objects of the day. The most popular find was a dead skunk!

Joining Junior Girl Scout Troop 865 were members of Junior Troops 709 and 647; Daisy Troops 1318 and 1397; Brownie Troop 612; Boy Scout Troop 1 and Cub Scout Pack 1, Dens 1 and 2.

"Troop 865 would like to thank all the scouts and their families for donating their Saturday morning to the restoration effort. It was wonderful to have all the Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts working together on such a worthy project," Marah said.

Great job!!

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For the past couple of weeks we've experienced computer problems and have not been able to retrieve our e-mail. A friend has been helping us out but we may have missed a message or two. If you have sent something to us and it has not appeared in print, please give us a call. The numbers are at the bottom of the column. Thank you.

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Islander Nancy Kolman Ventrone's son is getting a lot of national press recently.

He is former Jamestowner Ross Mirkarimi, the San Francisco city councilman who is calling for the elimination of plastic grocery bags in his city. He has been there for some 20 years. He came to the full-time council in 2004 from the city's district attorney's office.

Ross grew up on Jamestown and was student body president during his last year at the Jamestown School. He spent his high school years at Bishop Hendricken.

"He has always been issue oriented and speaks out when no one else does. I'm proud of him," Nancy said.

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That wonderful musical experience, the Tubaphonia Concert, will soon be upon us.

Islander and co-organizer Martin Hellewell who plays the double-bell euphonium said this spring's free event will be entitled "An Armed Forces Salute," and will be held at 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, May 12, in the North Kingstown High School Auditorium.

Islander Fred Pease will also be on hand with his sousaphone. He'll join tri-state area musicians of all ages from middle school students to seniors. In addition to those pieces mentioned, instruments will include "an amazing assortment of low, conical brass horns including baritones and euphoniums, ophecleids, helicons and, of course tubas of all sizes."

Nationally renowned tubist and conductor Gary Buttery will again lead the talented assemblage as he has for many years.

Martin said the performance occurs one week before Armed Forces Day, "so we will parade the colors and salute our veterans and armed forces with patriotic tunes, melodies and anthems. We invite you to singalong with the big brass.

The concert will also feature a prelude to the Echo Taps Worldwide which starts at Flanders' Field, Belgium, at 11 a.m. (GMT) on May 19, (Armed Forces Day), and here in the U.S. at 11 a.m. (EDT), continuing westward by time zones.

"This very moving event is open to all brass horn players and will take place that day at the Rhode Island Veterans' Cemetery in Exeter. More can be learned at www.echotaps.org, or Google "echotaps." All are encouraged to visit the cemetery and observe the ceremony," Martin said.

For specific questions about the Tubaphonia contact the organizers at 295-1607 or 423-1285.

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A bank's employment of a greeter is a good public relations move. The island's BankNewport has never had one because we kind of greet each other.

But now there's Henry. He was standing outside the entrance when we arrived at the bank Friday afternoon and when we let ourselves in Henry dashed through the open door to the manager's office where he sprawled on top of the desk and rolled over. He then took a sip out of a cup of coffee.

He returned to the lobby and in a sign of greeting rubbed himself up against several customers.

Henry is a black and white neighborhood cat who has found a friendly home in the bank with lots of people to pet him. At least until a customer shows up with a dog.

*** Which brings us to Dr. Joshua The Jamestown Hatch of the Jamestown Animal Clinic with his Pet Tip of the Week.

"Far too often pets are given human medicines that may not be appropriate . Owners often are trying to help their pets who may be in pain or ill, but many over the counter medicines can be dangerous for your pets.

"The most common problem is giving pets pain medicines like Tylenol or Advil. Dogs cannot break those medicines down like people can and they can cause liver and kidney damage. Cats are even more sensitive to those medicines and should never be given any pain reliever without first consulting your veterinarian.

"Some medicines like antihistamines or antacids may be safe but you should always check with your veterinarian before giving your pet any human medicines. These days there is almost always a 24-hour emergency animal hospital available if your pet is in need of medical care or medical advice and I encourage you to use those services and not risk making things worse by giving the wrong medicines."

WOOF!!

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The Rocket Dawgz look forward to firing their shells high above the soon-to-be pristine beach at Mackerel Cove. But we need your money to blow up. Send some of your tax refund to the Fireworks Fund, Box 1776, Jamestown 02835.

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Kudos to Dave Martin, president of Stearns Farms, who in last week's Viewpoint carried the torch for us downtrodden homeowners being redlined by the insurance companies.

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This week while the kids are home get together your stuff that's in good condition to donate to the Giant Yard Sale. The event will benefit 10-year-old Payton Watson who is being treated for Leukemia.

It happens on Saturday, May 12, at the school on Melrose Avenue. Items will be collected at the school the week of May 7.

If you have questions, or want to help, call Nora Santamour at 423-3822 or Sally Schott, 423- 2388.

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Coming soon to this column - new arrivals from the pet world. If a new pet has joined your household call or e-mail us with the type of pet, age, name and residence and we'll welcome the newcomer to the island.

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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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