2014-12-31 / Opinion

Bellyachers Should Learn to Compromise

To the Editor:

I am really tired of reading about rich people in Newport who are bellyaching about how Newport should be, about their perception of how things are and their phobias about table games and cafeterias. I am tired of rich people telling me how I should vote. I am tired of rich people spending money on lawyers to tie up civic developments whether at Ann Street Pier or at The Breakers. I am tired of rich people bellyaching. They have nothing to bellyache about; you're rich, so just stop complaining!

A case in point, the Bellevue- Ochre Point Neighborhood Association (BOPNA) who has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars suing the Preservation Society because they want to build a visitors center and serve lunch. The Preservation Society has had to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to defend itself in the courts. How much has the boondoggle cost, a half a million? Couldn't that money be better spent? How about a Bellevue-Ochre Point neighborhood scholarship fund? Or a new preservation project?

So let’s talk about the Ochre Point neighborhood. Drive down the street and what you will see is some beautiful old building and lots of ugly concrete dormitories, classrooms and other ugly appendages and most likely a cafeteria, all belonging to Salve Regina University. Granted these were all built a long time ago, before BOPNA was even thought of. If you are trying to establish architectural commonality on Ochre Point, it is too late. The bus has already left the station.

The ludicrous rants and cries of “cafeteria, cafeteria” and subsequent bushwhacking of the Preservation Society about serving sandwiches at The Elms and Marble House is nothing more than mean spirited and misanthropic. Why can't my grandmother find a place to sit and have a Coke and a smile while visiting these landmarks? No! No! say the bullies with the money, the Preservation Society has an evil plan to plant cafeterias in all its mansions and thereby destroy local restaurants. Poppycock. Winter hurts the local restaurants more than sandwiches at the mansions and I do believe most of the mansions are closed or mostly closed during the winter.

I am tired of picking up my favorite weekly paper only to read about how somebody is suing somebody to stop somebody from doing something. I know as a member of the Off Broadway Neighborhood Association we have never sued anybody. The reason is we try to work things out and compromise nor can we afford the legal fees.

So please stop bellyaching, stop hiring lawyers, learn that it is not your world but our world and that means we need more cooperation and less pontification.

William Fitzgerald
Newport

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