2007-04-19 / Letters to the Editor

Help with cleanup on Earth Day

Please join the Jamestown Conservation Commission on Earth Day and help keep Jamestown beautiful! We will be cleaning up all of Jamestown's public shoreline access areas on Saturday April 21st from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Sites will include: East Ferry Town Beach, Potter's Cove, Park Dock, Jamestown Shores Beach, Fort Getty, Mackerel Cove, Hull Cove, Sheffield Cove and West Ferry. We will meet at the Jamestown Recreation Center around 8 a.m. for coffee and muffins, which will be generously provided by Slice of Heaven. Teams will then be assembled and dispatched to various and diverse points on the island, armed with trash bags provided by RIDEM and work clothes and gloves (your own) to pick up the garbage. We need your help and the help of anyone you know including your children to address the never ending stream of refuse that finds its way from the hands of a million different strangers to our doorsteps. The more volunteers the easier the job- we have a lot of ground to cover.

Volunteers with trucks would be especially appreciated as we need to collect the bags roadside and deposit them in the dumpster donated by Island Rubbish Services. A gourmet lunch will be served by the Jamestown Land's Trust following the morning's activities. The Jamestown Conservation Commission would like to thank all prospective volunteers in advance for their assistance with this Earth Day project.

Patrick Driscoll

Earth Day coordinator

CFLbulbs help save the earth

On Saturday, April 21, a seventh-grade advisory class, along with other seventh graders and our good friends at Jamestown True Value Hardware store, Scott and Paul, will host an Earth Day event.

They will help customers take a big step, with little cost, to "go green."

GE is offering a $2 cash rebate for each CFL(compact fluorescent lamp) bulb purchased. These students want to raise awareness of the huge impact these bulbs can have on our planet, and begin to make a difference right here in Jamestown.

On April 5, a seventh grade advisory class took a walk to the hardware store to learn more about these bulbs. Scott shared this jaw-dropping fact with the students: If every American home replaced just one incandescent bulb with a CFL, enough energy would be saved to light over 2.5 million homes for a year and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of 800,000 cars! Paul and Scott also showed us several other great qualities of CFLbulbs, including that they remain cool to the touch! Jamestown Hardware is a true Jamestown leader in this field, as they have switched to all CFLbulbs and have already seen the savings.

The students encourage you to come down to Jamestown True Value and get some amazing facts about these greenhouse gas reducing bulbs. For instance, did you know that if every household in Jamestown switched only one incandescent bulb to a CFL, Jamestowners would save at least 849,366 pounds of CO2 from entering the atmosphere and $115,970.40 over the life of these new bulbs? Replacing only two standard incandescent bulbs with two CFLbulbs would result in a staggering Jamestown savings of at least 1,698,732 pounds of CO2 and $231,940.80! Remember, too, one CFLbulb lasts a minimum of 1,642 days (4.5 years) compared to one incandescent bulb that lasts on average a mere 167 days. For ways to help slow down greenhouse gas emissions, these CFLs are a good place to start! We hope to see you there!

Mrs. Bernardo's Seventh

Grade Advisory

Maia White, Ivy Burns, Shay

Reilly, Vicky Shaw, Andrew Burrows, Jimmy Perry, Michael

Jordan, Matt Jewell, Charlie

Wooley, and Drew Haley.

Helping to solve the housing deficit

There are two editorial issues raised by your paper that I would like to comment on. The first was regarding the use of accessory apartments to become part of our affordable housing inventory in order to reach the 10 percent goal mandated by the state.

During the development of the Jamestown Affordable Housing Plan the use of "unofficial" apartments was considered a solution that had potential but very difficult to establish since there would need to be some type of amnesty offered to those homeowners who were violating existing zoning laws.

I agree with your paper's position and believe it still offers the most practical solution to the problem. It's difficult to see how we are going to reach the mandate before big project developers take advantage of these new laws that let them fast track our Town's normal approval process.

Nothing worthwhile comes easy and the task of allowing accessory apartments to be used in this manner is presumed a difficult path to follow, but it has the potential to leave our community intact and provide our children and seniors better housing options.

The other editorial that I want to address is the issue of having a town wide referendum to decide where the DPW facility should be located. As a way to relieve the frustrations of a long drawn out and contentious problem I agree that the suggestion is very tempting.

However, since the hurdles have been identified as being motivated by NIMBY issues, then it stands to reason that a referendum on the issue would give a major advantage to those areas with the highest concentration of votes.

Locations like Beavertail, Fort Getty, the Battery, Dutch Island, Watson's Farm, the Windmill, etc., would all be at a great disadvantage should NIMBY issues be decided by referendum.

Does anyone really think that a vote between any central island location and a location on the other two rocks would be competitive or fair? Come on now, let's get back to reality.

Our elected officials are charged with making difficult and often unpopular decisions to protect us from the day-to-day changes in public opinions. Often issues that are highlighted by the media one week are non-issues the next.

Our council president frequently makes it clear that he is not influenced by the number of people who come to a meeting speaking out on an issue one way or the other. He reminds us that council decisions need to consider all the facts, all the people and that emotions should not decide what's best for the Town.

What I find disturbing about your editorial is that at Monday night's council meeting, after Town Administrator Keiser presented three locations for the DPW facility, Council President Long just happens to mention that your "Editorial Suggestion" could be used to decide which site would be the best. How's that for a turn-about.

Apparently the frustration of trying to make the right decision has become so "emotional" for the council they are willing to throw in the towel on their leadership responsibilities.

Regretfully, your editorial opinion might have just changed the future direction of our town's policymaking procedures.

Sav Rebecchi

Sail Street For some children, it does take a village

I staunchly believe that my son is and has been a "community" child. He has been raised, loved, taught and cared for by many special people in Jamestown. My son is Caleb Barclay de Tolly, a talented visual artist, persistent joker, wiry climber and severe autistic.

Caleb has attended Melrose School since he was diagnosed at the age of three. I firmly believed that he would continue throughout his entire academic career in the local Jamestown schools. Yet, due to the amorphous, cunning nature of autism, he severely regressed in the winter months and his behaviors are no longer "containable" in a typical school setting. Following April vacation, he will be attending the Pathways Strategic Education School in Warwick.

There are so many people who I deeply appreciate their wonderful dedication and deep caring for Cay. Very first, thanks to Peggy Wark for saying she was not sure if she could meet his needs, but she would try. She surpassed herself and built a program that not only succeeded for Cay, but for other little people too. Gratitude goes to Terry Kahn for throwing herself into a totally new methodology for teaching Cay to speak, and it worked. He tells me he loves me. Also thanks to Caleb's OT's, Teresa and Sharon for working out his heebie jeebies and allowing him elusive calm. He zips, buttons, snaps, and ties his own sneakers with pride.

Our deep gratitude to Lew Kitts for being Cay's friend and letting him paint the yellow driveway lines on the concrete road, not just a piece of paper. Renie Sullivan, thank you, for never being surprised at what Cay got himself into next. I saved all the nurse's blue notes you sent home diagnosing his little nose, ears, tummy, and throat. Regards also go to Ms. Mitchell, Mrs. Rezendes and Mrs. Boothman for agreeing to an experiment in learning for their typical and notso typical kids. Also, thanks to Al and Diane for buckling him in and bringing him home just like the regular kids on a regular bus as well as Lu Ann for sweating through the summer with him on the little bus.

I want to thank Beth Pinto for her unwavering dedication to ensure there is a place where our special needs kids fit into the school community. And, when they don't fit anymore, my admiration goes to her having the courage to admit it.

Continued from page 8.

I appreciate her honesty and judgment. Gratitude also goes to Trish McDevitt for reaching out not just to the child, but offering her help, thoughtfulness and survival strategies to our whole family. Trish was always looking for that "magic key" to unlock Cay and his abilities. Absolutely one of my favorite things is listening to him read while he sits in my lap. It's an incredible feeling.

At last, deep appreciation to Karen Rafanelli, who was pinnacle to his success. Karen was and is Caleb's school mom. She could "read" him. Karen knows his inner workings and emotions: happy, distressed, curious, and very silly. I think Caleb bonded with Karen more than anyone else in the school community. Karen, in her consummate professionalism, held him to his responsibilities and gave him the tools to succeed and grow. What an incredible gift Karen gave to Cay, her love.

There are so many others that have touched Cay's school experience and felt his pride, joy and confusion as he has carved out his path. If I have forgotten to mention our thanks to you, he has not. His voice is quieter than mine.

I recall the first kiss he ever gave me outside the preschool door when he was five years old. There wasn't a dry eye in the hallway. With a kiss for luck, he is on his way, again.

I think this decision was easier to make, since I truly believe Caleb will be back in the island schools. For now, he belongs somewhere else to succeed. But, I think our community can carve out a place for our children whose needs are different then others. Our community has the greatest building block already in place, the caring folks in the Jamestown Schools. Thanks again.

With Deep Regards and Gratitude

Amy Barclay de Tolly

Jamestown

Mark the date for our annual meeting

The Jamestown Community Theatre (JCT) will hold its Annual Meeting on Monday, June 4 at 6:30 p.m. It will be held at a residence located at 9 Meadow Lane. The meeting is open to all current members of JCT.

In addition to thanking outgoing board members, new board members will be welcomed. A brief board meeting will follow the general meeting where officers will be elected.

Please mark this date and come to share ideas, enthusiasm and concern for the future of the JCT. We look forward to seeing you!

Kevin A. Somerville

President, Jamestown

Community Theatre

Let's recycle more things Jamestown

I am writing because I agree with Megan Lepre's letter in last week's newspaper. It bothers me that there are only a few things that we can recycle in Jamestown. I wish we could recycle plastic fruit containers and milk cartons, for example.

There are other ways that we can help our environment though. I am reading a book called "50 Simple Things Kids Can Do To Save The Earth," by The EarthWorks Group. I recommend reading this book because it gives a lot of ideas about how we can help save the earth by doing our part. For example, we could use canvas bags at the grocery store instead of using plastic bags and we could shut the lights off when we are not in a room.

I hope that the Town Council will listen to Megan's requests.

Liam Reardon, age 9

Melrose School

Helping me helps Dorchester children

I am passionate about my life and my business. My life is my children and my business is helping all children in "making new choices." I ran the Boston Marathon this year to raise funds for the Colonel Daniel Marr Boys and Girls Club of Dorchester Mass.

From pre-school to high school age, the club is a safe haven where children's curiosities and talents are explored and nurtured. Paying annual dues of just $5, kids are entitled to participate in over 100 programs in art, music, sports, education, peer leadership and life skills at three campuses in the Dorchester community.

My goal is to raise $5,000 for the club. I hope you will consider sponsoring me and by doing so, your tax-deductible contribution will go a long way in making a difference in the lives of many children and families served by the club.

Visit my website at www.firstgiving. com/Pamelaallen to donate electronically. Thanks so much for your support.

Pamela Allen

Jamestown

Tankers and the price of gasoline

I have been monitoring tugs and barges filled with gasoline and fuel oil as well as tankers off-loading fuel, just off Potter Cove. There are no protective booms surrounding the operations. This is not legal.

What bothers me as much as this, is that these same tankers and barges sit in the lower bay or wait by Brenton Reef for a few days and then the price of gasoline goes up. This happens all the time.

Big oil companies say the cost of refining is somewhat to blame. They own the refineries in different countries and ship the same fuel to three different places to be processed, which adds to the price each and every time.

I hope I am wrong, but it sure doesn't look that way.

Arthur J. Christman

Jamestown

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