The Disappearing Councilman

Hi All, What's going on with Mr.Robert Ellis Smith our duly elected councilman? He comes to the Island a day or so before a council meeting, stirs up a bunch no account bull---- and then disappears again like a will-o-the-wisp! Where does he go? Florida? Hawaii? maybe Alaska. Where ever the hell it is, it sure isn't here ! I'm really upset that he spends so little time here yet has the timerity to claim that he is represents us ! I don't think that the people who voted for him did so with the understanding that he would be a "very seldom present" councilman. I noticed that he left this morning again on the 0830 boat. This is Saturday 01/29/05. If you see him coming or going, log on here and record the time and date. After a month or two maybe we should start a recall petition to get him recalled and a real time councilor put in his place! TIFN Everett


Woodwinds, and forms of "Wind"

One wonders why Mr. Wood would launch his tirade against Mrs. Balser with such "messianic" and vitriolic zeal by using an oxymoron! "Facts", and by inference, "invented facts" just doesn't compute. So having started off under a misapprehension,it is no wonder he continues in the same vein. Could he have used a less derrogatory word than "aping" in his description of the methods used to obtain grants? Certainly he could have, but that would have lessened the impact of his salacious statement!

Mrs. Balser has nothing to be "apologetic" about. After all she is trying to obtain for twenty, that is 20 familes, some decent housing that they can call their own, and that they can bring up their kids in, have Christmas mornings in, Thanksgiving dinners, birthday parties and sleep overs in. Just exactly what is your contribution to these people going to be Mr. Wood? You "loudly" and "pompously" claim to be the "champion" of "something" or "everything", but just what I can't figure out. You took a LOT of "literary license" in vilifing her and claiming that her view of the Conservation Triumvirate is that they are "greedy"! Those are YOUR words Mr. Wood, she never said that, YOU DID!

So in conclusion Mr.Wood, the other form of "wind" I see emanating from your Woodwind World is the result of certain biological and chemical processes that eventually emerge as FLATULENCE, which is ALL that your tirade amounts to!

Everett R Littlefield
Old Town Road


Town Lawyers

I only have a short one this time. Can someone explain to me why we hire law firm on an annual basis, only to go out and hire additional lawyers every time the town gets involved in some sort of law suit? Is this because the Town Council has little or no confidence in the abilities of the retained firm? Or is it because that firm has no expertise in the areas we continually find ourselves involved in? It has been this way since I was sitting on the council years ago. Can't we get a little more selective in who we choose to represent our intrests in the State courts? Time to get a new broom new council members, and give the Town Hall a real good sweeping! TTFN Everett


Say "Good things, not Bad"

I started this blog so that all people on, or interested in BI could have a place to come forth and say what they wanted about "things" on BI. So far most of the comments have been of the accusatory, and denigratory vein. With this one I'm going to change directions 180 degrees. When we were kids, my Dad, Lester (Shorty) Littlefield used to tell us all the time, " if you can't say something nice about someone, don't say anything at all" ! As anyone who knew him will tell you, he lived by that dictum. Well I can't say that I've emulated him in that respect. I have been known to rail against certain persons and use uncomplimentary terms when talking about them. With this blog , I hope to acquaint you with the real person behind the name that most of you will recognize. I am now and have always been an unabashed admirer of this person. She has been an outstanding and unreservedly great friend to all of my family virtually from the day she arrived on the Island. Her Name is Mary Jane Logan, nee Balser. Now before you go ballistic and click off, if you are not an MJ fan, push yourself to at least try to read on for a minute.You may be surprised. MJ has a warm and caring demeanor when dealing with people, especially young people. She also has a forceful and direct personality when it is called for. By her own admission, the fact that she comes from Italian stock gives her license to talk fast and loud and wave her arms around when conversing! She is not one to toot her horn and is going to be mortified when she hears of this. But I am sick and tired of listening to people who know nothing of her, other than what they see at public meetings. Demeaning, chastising, berating, and in every way possible, trying to besmirch and destroy her reputation and credibility, is the goal of a few people. By the way , at the end of this there will be a question, yes this is a test! Some previous council members were apparently terrified of her intelligence and integrity and did all they could to engineer and facilitate her departure from the office of the Finance Director. Look at what their inept decision has wrought! When MJ first came to the Island the new gym was in the works. On its completion, she and her husband Don Logan set up and ran the adult basketball league for many years, something she had done previously at various YMCA's. She rounded up money to pay for various and sundry things while Don kept the score books and ran the scoreboard. No pay by the way. The preschool in the bottom of the Harbor Church was a dismal and foreboding place to have a bunch of small kids. It lacked a lot of amenities including chairs etc. Out of their own pocket to the tune of $5K, they bought and erected a play center located there and which I assume then went to the new place. Year after year for a long time, she donated most of the food etc. for the preschool fundraiser spaghetti dinners. More than a couple of bucks! She has helped many of the young familes navigate the intricacies of the paperwork necessary to become a home owner on BI. She and Don even co signed loans for at least two separate families in order for them to own a home! She provides excellent housing for her employees and treats them as human beings which is more than we can say for some business owners here on BI. She also provides housing for young people who are not on her employee list. She wrote all the grants, filled out all the necessary town , state and federal forms , plus those from the lending institutions, went to all the required board meetings and sheparded the Ambrose Lane project from beginning to end including being the Project Manager for the job. Which I have to add was completed in a timely manner. I hope that the wording in the grants didn't offend Mr. Robert E. Smiths sensibilities to much! Over the 18 years she hs been here, she has written grants for work on the Sewer Co., Water Co.,( tanks, pipes, machinery etc.) Housing, and others to numerous and varied to count. The totals for these grants run upwards of 15-20 million dollars. She was asked by a former First Warden to help get the towns treasury books in order. She volunteered her time and paid out of her pocket, the wages for one of her employees to help with the job which was by anyones standards, an unmitigated disaster! After being appointed Town Treasurer, she worked for the next few years to get 100's of thousands of dollars in fines and penalties abated that had accumulated from years of unpaid payroll taxes both state and federal and in liens asessed against the town by the IRS, that had been incurred by the former treasurer. She brought all the town finances into one central office instead of being farmed out all over the place. The payroll for all town employees, plus the water and sewer companies. Also all the billing was done from the same place. This was done in a timely manner that precluded the town having to go out and borrow money against anticipated income to keep the town running smoothly. All the towns property tax billing and collection was located there also which contributed to upwards of a 95% collection rate. This town bond rating was one of the highest in the state. I doubt if it still is given the unbelievable mis-management that now prevails in the finance office and the town hall. So I guess this is about it for now. I thought it was time MJ was given the public KUDO'S for all she has down for this town. Remember Joseph Connolly? He used to call her the "IRON LADY" in a slightly derrogatory tone, but in the end as he came to know he,r it became a term of respect. To bad some other people can't see past the outside veneer. Now comes the promised aformentioned question, Please name for me at least (1) one other person on this Island that can even come close to equalling her deeds? Be they monentary, or deeds of compassion and helpfulness to an individual . I am sincerely ended! TTFN Everett .


A Blustery Day on the Many Acred Island

This is for all the BI afficianados who are UNfortunate enough to be away from here right now. When I got up this AM and looked out my window, surprise, I couldn't! So I poked my head out the door and my driveway had disappeared under a blanket Santas favorite form of precipitation! It has been snowing hard all night with the wind gusting to 60+ mph. I'm sure there are some hellacious drifts in many places today. Haven't heard one snowplow in the nite. They usually always manage to wake me. I assume they are either in the garage safe and sound or buried in the aforementioned drifts along the road somewhere. It is a good thing that we have a lot of backhoes and bull dozers 'cause I think they are going to get a good work out pushing stuff other than dirt!
Just checked the Hartford radar loop and it looks like we are still in the center of a huge counterclockwise rotating band of snow that extends out to about 150 mioles in all directions. It also appears to be sitting virtually DIW, i.e. dead in the water! Well if we don't all die of starvation, loneliness, or kill each other from bad cases of cabin fever, "I'll be back" so sayeth Arnold S. TTFN Everett


Response to Mr. Deluca85

Sir, It is true that quite a few of the businesses on Block Island are owned by what you refer to as "locals". Many of the bigger and biggest ones though are controlled and owned by folks who do not maintain a year round domicile here on BI. True, they do employ many of the Island workers from high schoolers upward in age. "Off Islanders" own practically all of the land spaces not committed to Open space. I haven't tried recently to determine just exactly how many actual Block Islanders there are here now. I refer specifically to those born, raised and who lived here till the bitter end. I can claim the first and soon to be last category,but not too soon, but not the the 'Lived here" part as I spent 20 years in the USN. The "Off Islanders" wound up owning most of the Island because till the middle of the sixties you lived hand to mouth or not at all here. They came from NY, NJ, CT,MA , from everywhere and saw what an idyllic place it was . One brought two friends and so on till most of the Island had changed hands. You are right that people of the Island benefit from the tourism that abounds here. It is a lot of trickle down economics that keeps a lot of us going. When you refered to my business, it sounded as if you thought I was one of the people who was dead set against toursim. Well I'm here to tell you that we in my family all know that without the tourist we'd all be long gone! We do realize which side of the bread has the good stuff on it!. About the taxi business you are also right in that you have to be a year round resident to HOLD a taxi license but not to DRIVE one. I think that everyone who owns a business here understands just what drives the economy. You are right about it being"awful" about the locals having to sell out and move away. It is at that stage right now ,or at least some damn close. There is no way in hell that any of my kids or grandkids will ever be able to buy a piece of ground out here, because of the already pricey 2,3, and 4 million dollar homes! I don't think there is any possibility of the business owners not showing up for any particular summer season. They all pretty much understand, "whence cometh the bread". Hope I've answered some of your questions. Sincerely, Everett


Well here it is friday again, the new paper is out and more fodder for we bloggers! I'm not a CPA nor anything other kind of financial genius, but I can read my Electric bill from Bipco. The first question is, "Does Narr. Elec. have a monthly customer charge and if so how much is it per month?" Next, "Does Narra. Elec. have a fuel surcharge and how much is that and how is it determined? This month my electric bill for the energy that I actually used was $68.78. That sounds good. The Fuel Cost Adj. was $149.68. Even using my worn out cranium based computer that works out to a little more than double. THAT doesn't sound so good! So adding up all the costs, I wind up paying $228.46 for the juice I used. I don't mind paying for what I use, but I do mind using the fuel cost adj. as a way to circumvent the rates allowed by the PUC! Put the total cost of the Kw's into the energy charge and then see just how close to other electric companies we come! I'm sure it wouldn't even be close! Jeez all my LPG customers, better look out that We don't start charging a fee just for the privilege of being a customer. That would give me about $12K more a year on the bottom line! I wonder how much it adds to Bipco's with a lot bigger customer base than I have? Keep a sharp eye out for rapers and pillagers everybody! TTFN Everett


Comments welcome

So it is nice to see that a few folks are looking at this thing and I hope that more will in the future. If you REALLY want to say something to us all go right ahead! If you want to remain a-nonny-mouse, sign a name that only you would recognize. If you want only ME to see it , put it in an email. My address is: elittle@verizon.net Keep talking folks! Look what happened with the one about the roads.It even got a reply from Thelma and I didn't even know she was computer literate! They must have some darn good computers in that "up here" place she was talking about. TTFN Everett


B I Roads

Has anyone noticed how the edges of the roads have begun to look like they did when John Littlefield was running the State Road crew? It is nice to see the stone walls again. But once you leave the grass and get to the asphalt it is a different story. Go for a nice slow walk along the Neck road and keep an eye on the very edge. You will see that the edges are all beginning to crumble and that there are long cracks radiating out toward the center of the road. In addition there are lots of small holes in the travel lane that are bout the size of a baseball and up. These are sure to develop into good sized potholes over time. Right now would be a good time for them to be filled and all the cracks resealed as they were a few years ago. But who is it that is going to do that? As I understood it at the time of all the discussions between us and the State, they would be the ones to do those things. How does the Town get them to move on their commitment? Just submit a letter of request for action? More likely, it will become an ongoing and very lengthy process before any action will result! When the State comes to refurbish High Street, is it going to be one truck full of asphalt at a time, or are they going to set up a portable plant as they did back in the seventies? Very doubtful on the plant scenario.
The roads here on the Island were never built with the thought in mind of the type and amount of traffic that they now endure. The base for all of them is mostly dirt and small grain sand. Further along in time, as more and more of these big trailer trucks loaded to the gills traverse the roads, they will begin to break down faster and faster. Please don't hold your breath while waiting for the State to jump right on their commitment and do a credible job of reconstruction! Everett


Big time Budget Overspend

Has anyone read the 8 Jan. B.I.T.? There is a rather enlightening article in there about a huge budget deficit to the tune of almost a quarter million dollars! How the hell did it get to be that bad you may ask? Well it is a continuing saga from the last three years if you care to go checking. Our Town Manager in her infinite wisdom continues to use the general fund as though it were just a cash register. Somebody should ask her just what fiduciary training she has had. There are thousands of dollars that the town could have been making by short term bonding on the surplus money that was in the general fund. The absolute disaray on the Finance Dept is nothing short of criminal. I'm sure there will be a non-sensical and vitriolic rebuttal of the 01/08/05 article in the paper this coming Friday. Pity the poor reporter who wrote the story, it was only taken Directly from the auditors report! You know, don't shoot the messenger!
So as you read the story and see the number of occassions that the 'Town Hall" has fallen far short of coherent, viable, and well thought out fiscal responsibility, ask yourself if it isn't time for some personnel changes down there! They have no idea where they are going nor how to get there! That's it for this time,


Blogging on Block Island

I have started this blog for the sole purpose of being able to get the "word" out to the people of the Island of just what is going on with our elected officials. More to the point, what it is that they aren't doing! A Town Council session here is usually woefully lacking in an audience! Everyone says they care, but no one shows up to take part until a really controversial item appears on the agenda. The local paper does a mediocre job of reporting ALL the pertinent facts about a lot of things because they don't want to rock the boat to hard. Scathing, factual, and very much needed, 'Letters to the Editor' are edited so that some peoples feelings won't be to sorely bent. It is getting better with the addition of a new reporter who is not afraid to report things as they truly are! Yea Abby!! I am putting the web address for this Blog in the aforementioned paper and hope to have many people read it and respond with their comments. There are things going on in this little town that a lot more people really need to know about. Everett


News Media

This is from a brand new blogger, just found out what one was a few weeks ago. Where would I go to find others disaffected with the biased, reporting of the national news media, or is this not the place to ask. I live on an Island off the east coast and other than going out in my yard and screaming at the trees, I get have no other outlet to vent my displeasure of the one sided and absolutely awful manner in which the media presents material. I'm off for now. Sincerely in need of venting, Everett