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

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