2008-02-07 / Letters to the Editor

Zoning decision story is biased

As former residents of Jamestown for nearly eleven years, we still check into the island via the Jamestown Press. This past week we were shocked to read a piece passing itself off as a news item regarding the certificate of occupancy given Jack's Electric by the Zoning Board of Review.

Its author, Sam Bari, showed a nastiness regarding the Andres family that was as uncalled-for as it was unprofessional. With a dramatic tone, he characterized the Andres as "relentless" in their opposition, which they have every right to be, and focused on an "attempt to thwart the project with a series of legal maneuvers," which they have every right to do.

He states they "arrived at Town Hall with their Providence attorney." As opposed to North Kingstown? Cranston? Why is that news? "Nevertheless," Bari continues, the lawyer "argued for the Andres' for nearly two hours," and asked a question which "drew laughter from the board as well as from the audience."

Fortunately, according to the tone of Bari, wiser heads prevailed, and now "the House that Jack Built" can finally be occupied. Sam Bari even finished the piece with a Frank Capra ending, where "Jack's Electric President, Jack Brittain stood beside his wife, Mary, and daughter, Julie Swistak, and listened intently as the motion

was read and ultimately approved. During the emotional

moment immediately following the decision, Brittain could only say, "The fat lady finally sang." Slow fade. Music up.

It's this kind of politicsas usual, trashing of "lesser folks" that has made Jamestown as much a great place to leave as it is to visit.

We've known the Andres', and found them to be good and decent people. We know the problem they and the street faced with that eyesore called Jack's Electric.

I would hope in the future that the Jamestown Press would practice decent journalism instead of character assassination via innuendo and cheap sarcasm. At present, Bari's tone helps no one.

Stephen and Kae Geller

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