2008-05-08 / Front Page

Methoprene banned from Jamestown waters

By Sam Bari

The Town Council voted unanimously at the April 30 meeting to stop using methoprene and other toxic chemicals for the islandwide mosquito abatement program. However, the motion to ban the use of the larvicide was not without conditions.

Town Council Chairman Julio DiGiando said that he felt it was important to keep the resource of a larvicide available and accessible in case of a breakout of West Nile Virus. If that were to happen, he said, "It would be nice if we were prepared." No cases of West Nile Virus have ever been reported in Jamestown according to the state's health department.

Department of Environmental Management mosquito abatement coordinator, Al Gettman said that he believed approximately seven cases of West Nile Virus have been reported in the last ten years in the state. He also said that might be because the current program is working.

Gettman said that many cases are not reported because the symptoms are often slight or not evident. People who have suffered from more extreme cases were the elderly and those with weakened immune systems, he said.

The matter was the second to last item on a crowded agenda that had already taken the meeting to well after 10 p.m. However, the council felt the matter was important enough to consider and Chairman DiGiando made the motion to ban the chemical methoprene and other larvicides from approximately 600 storm catch basins around the island unless an outbreak of West Nile Virus occurred.

Woodpile pier

A discussion of the safety concerns surrounding the use of the town-owned woodpile pier were supported by a letter to the Town Council presented by William Munger, owner of Conanicut Marine Services, the leaseholder of the East Ferry Marina.

In his letter, Munger reminded officials that the town and Conanicut Marine are jointly responsible to manage the woodpile pier for the "utmost safety of all user groups." He mentioned the conflict between fishing and boating interests that has caused dangerous conditions and situations.

Munger said the boating public, who must have access to the pier and floating docks to load and unload passengers and gear as well as gain access to the pumpout station to empty their holding tanks, was being impacted by those using the dock for fishing.

"When line casting from the woodpile pier deck, it is not unusual for fishermen to snag their hooks in the dock lines securing the "Coastal Queen" to the north and the same to the sailing vessel lifelines and dock lines to those vessels secured to the nearby marina docks to the south," Munger said.

He mentioned that fishermen currently casting across the south fairway from the pier deck also hinder safe passage of CMS launches and the Jamestown/Newport Ferry navigating this narrow channel. It was suggested that fishermen casting from both sides of the narrow pier endanger anyone walking or sightseeing down the center of the pier.

Munger would like to see the rules governing fishing on the pier remain as status quo, which would mean no increase in the number of rod and reel fishermen allowed at one time on the deck of the pier. Munger would also like to be included in the immediate and future discussions of ways to safely accommodate all user groups visiting the facility, he said.

Chairman DiGiando said the matter would be sent to the Harbor Management Commission for consideration and a recommendation to the Town Council.

Teacher appreciation week

The Town of Jamestown proclaimed May 4 through May 10, 2008 as Teacher Appreciation Week and urged all citizens to pay tribute to local teachers.

William (Bill) J. Piva

retirement

On behalf of the town, the Town Council made a resolution April 19, 2008 to extend its sincere appreciation to William J. Piva, Jr. for his many years of service as a member of the Jamestown Police Force and his continued commitment as director of Jamestown Parks and Recreation.

Piva served as a Jamestown policeman for more than 22 years and has received many commendations as well as awards for acts of valor before retiring. Since then, he has worked tirelessly to make the parks and recreation department and all of its various programs all that they can be to best serve the community, the council said.

Licenses and permits

The council voted unanimously to approve a one day peddler license to the Jamestown Historical Society on May 26, a one day entertainment license to Megan Martin on June 28 at Fort Getty, and an entertainment license June 14 to the Jamestown PTO at the Jamestown Country Club.

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