2014-05-22 / Opinion

Follow the Logic

To the Editor:

Since sending the letter below to the City Council on Tuesday of this week, I learned that the issue of serving any refreshment in a residential district requires an ordinance change. As I am an attorney licensed to practice law in Rhode Island, I can't disagree. I fully support an ordinance change that would permit tea and muffins to be served in historic properties, and allow children to sell lemonade from stands in front of their homes. I think what really bothers me is that we have SO MUCH potential in this city - yet there are children who are homeless, and families who don't have enough to eat. Why are we focusing on tea at the mansions? Dear Members of Newport's City Council:

I don’t wish to step on any toes here, but what is the big deal about the Preservation Society serving tea and sandwiches on the premises of its historic properties? I personally can't go anywhere anymore without stopping for a cup of tea and a muffin after standing for an hour or two. I lived and worked in The Netherlands for fifteen years and every museum and historic property had a cafe, except those canal houses in Amsterdam, simply because they are too small.

I am an attorney trained in logic in two languages and two legal systems and I don't buy the logic that if the Preservation Society is permitted to sell tea and cookies, they will eventually open full scale restaurants.

It reminds me of Our Lady of Mercy High School, which I attended in Rochester, New York. I remember senior year like it was yesterday, Sister Maria Teresa in her full habit at the front of the room, with white chalk outlining that, IF we started holding hands, then we would let the boy touch us, or, god forbid, kiss us, and then we would absolutely get pregnant! I followed her instructions until I was in law school and then I realized I was missing life.

So using that unhealthy logic… the Preservation Society will start with cold food, move to a “real cafĂ©” and then full restaurant service? Sorry, I disagree, and I think you should too! The Preservation Society is focused on preserving historic properties and will continue to do the wonderful job they do. Tea is simply a convenience for their visitors, including old ladies like me. Bonnie Watson Kniskern


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