2011-02-17 / Letters to the Editor

No problem with big crowds

It is refreshing to see that the cold weather has not dampened the humorous spirit of Jamestowners. The tongue-in-cheek reporting of residents addressing the conservation commission about the environmental im- pact of the Penguin Plunge is without question a well-done piece of satire.

This satire is carried on in a letter by Kolman Ventrone. Her humorous suggestion of citizen volunteers policing the Mackerel Cove festivities conjures up images of sexagerians from the Quononoquott Garden with handheld trowels. Or perhaps, with Ventrone’s suggestion of the addition of personnel from “the Jamestown auxiliary police” and “the Jamestown flaggers” and uptick in equipment to nightsticks, full riot gear, teargas and water cannons is more appropriate. I would like to interject here that I don’t think live ammunition would be needed – at least not until things really get out of hand.

Let’s face it: it is likely that the Penguin Plunge resulted in the bending of some beach grass, the deposition of some urine in the water and, with all the excitement, exhalation of above-normal amounts of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. That’s it citizens, the big three: pollution of the water, air and land.

This situation positively screams for reform. All this excitement about the Mackerel Cove environment made me recall my concerns about the potential environment impact of the detonation of fireworks on the Fourth of July. What if a misfire occurred and two or three square fiery rockets landed on the beach sand and melted together 100 of the 50 quadrillion sand grains on the beach? That mess might take millennia to break down.

The issue here is the asphalt road across the causeway. It takes up a great deal of space that formerly was occupied by beach grass, rosehips and poison ivy. This situation is intolerable from an environmental standpoint.

All activities, people and their pets must be banned from the beach. Naturally this means the road across the causeway must be removed. This removal might prove to be an inconvenience for those living on, or wishing to travel to, Beavertail, but certainly suitable transport by ferry from Dutch Harbor could be arranged while development of plans and construction of another bridge to the mainland is underway.

Jim Lake


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