Hello BIRA Friends and Members!
We hope you are enjoying all of the beauty and joys of summer that our little island has to offer and thank you for your membership in BIRA and your continuing support of all that we do. I would be remiss in not acknowledging the disturbing news we all heard last week, but in the words of one visitor to Block Island,
“My favorite place got a bit of a bad rap this week…So much more to this amazing little island than what you will see taking a hard left off the ferry.”
As another summer begins to slowly wind down, let’s look forward to September sunshine, cooler evenings and some of the warmest swimming conditions the island has to offer!
In our last update, we discussed BIRA’s continuing support of shoreline access improvements, a new electric vehicle charging station on the way, our ongoing support of students at the Block Island School, our support of moped reform and much more. Here’s a brief look at what’s been happening since and what’s ahead.
Mark your Calendar for the BIRA Annual Meeting
We hope that you will be able to participate in the Annual Meeting of the Block Island Residents Association held on Sunday, September 11 at 5 p.m. at the St. Andrew Parish Center on Spring Street. The meeting will be streamed live on the BIRA Facebook page, but all members and the community are invited to attend.
Jeffery M. Wright to Receive 2022 Island Treasure Award
BIRA is pleased to announce that Jeffery M. Wright, President of the Block Island Power Company is this year’s 2022 recipient of the Island Treasure Award. The award will be presented at the Annual Meeting of the Block Island Residents Association held on Sunday, September 11 at 5 p.m. at the St. Andrew Parish Center on Spring Street.
In making this award, BIRA recognizes the enormous contribution that Jeffery has made to our community, as the driving force in dramatically improving BIPCO, including significant infrastructure improvements, important and effective interactions with National Grid, faster and better power outage response times and impressive communication of the work BIPCO is doing or reporting on regarding weather issues, power outages and repair times, wind generator questions and the National Grid undersea cable. Through his leadership of the power company, Block Island has been the beneficiary of all of the above, as well as the now reliable delivery of power. His timely, friendly and informative emails keep us all up-to-date on all types of situations, crisis and otherwise, even as they are unfolding. In short, Jeffery has put POWER into the Block Island Power Company.
Stella Gockenbach Receives BIRA Community Service Scholarship
At the Block Island School graduation this past June, Stella Gockenbach, was awarded the $1000 BIRA Scholarship for Community Service. As part of her senior project at the BI School, Stella created the Community Free Fridge at the Island Free Library. This has been a very successful and appreciated project for the whole community, young and old.
Stella is entering Bard College in Berlin, Germany this Fall. She will be majoring in Literature and Rhetoric.
BIRA Supports International Student/Worker Center
The International Student/Worker Dinners take place on Tuesday evenings at Harbor Church on the side lawn. The dinners began June 21 and run through Labor Day. There have been 60 to 70 student/workers from at least 14 different countries (including the US) at every dinner. It is most remarkable to see friendships develop across nationalities AND the students are most appreciative of the food and a place to gather. BIRA’s $500 donation to the International Student/Worker Center provided lasagna (meat and vegetable) green salad, garlic bread, and ice cream sandwiches.
Community Support and More
Through membership dues and donations, we continue to support organizations that include Helping Hands, the Deer Task Force, Block Island Health Services, Block Island Fire and Rescue as well as programs for island students through the Block Island School. We are also happy to support entertainment activities like Soundwaves’ Movies on the Beach and Blues on the Block. With your 2022 membership and donations, we hope to continue to support these worthy organizations and activities.
Your annual membership is a stake in Block Island’s present and future. We truly need your support and welcome your participation.
Thank you in advance.
Joe Loya, President