2015-12-17 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Solar Return on Investment Revisited

To the Editor:

In the Dec. 10 issue of Newport This Week, I was quoted as commenting to the Middletown Town Council that the solar arrays offered by the Solarize Aquidneck Program would return approximately 50 percent on invested money ("Island Residents Urged to Solarize").

I certainly wish this to be the case, but the number is significantly less and should have been between 10 percent and 15 percent I don’t know whether I misspoke or was misunderstood, but in either case the Solar Aquidneck Program arrays do offer a substantial return on investment, but not 50 percent.

I also wish to note that I indicated that my annual electricity bills could be reduced to about $60. This estimated figure is correct for my home, but for other installations annual electricity costs would be dependent on a variety of factors such as the size of the array, efficiency, and the financial option chosen.

The Solarize Aquidneck Program is a unique opportunity to substantially reduce your electricity bills, increase Rhode Island’s production of renewable energy, and reduce CO2 emissions.

The Rhode Island and federal financial incentives offered by the Solarize Aquidneck Program will in all likelihood end or be significantly reduced in the future. If you have ever considered installation of a solar array, this is the time to do so.

Representatives of the Solarize Aquidneck Program will be available at the Aquidneck Growers’ Market in the Newport Vineyard Winery each Saturday from Jan. 2 through Feb. 13. I hope you can visit the table to discuss the Solarize Aquidneck Program and sign up for a free installation estimate. The Solarize Aquidneck Program will end Feb. 15. Richard Adams

Middletown

Disabled Adults Need Workable Solutions

To the Editor:

Rhode Island is rapidly and aggressively planning to eliminate centers in the state that benefit individuals with intellectual and/ or developmental disabilities in a manner that is not only insensitive to these individuals but also quite harmful.

The Maher Garden Center is scheduled to cease employing most of its disabled workforce in March 2016, and the Bristol Day Center is scheduled to close in early July. Both centers offer adults with disabilities a safe, secure, friendly, and–so importantly–a meaningful environment for daily jobs and activities. The Bristol Center currently supports some of Rhode Island’s severely disabled people, adults with minimal or no mobility. Where will these atrisk citizens find such places in six months, when both centers are closed? Remaining at home 24-7 is surely not the answer. The state’s argument to end “segregated” environments offers numbing isolation as the alternative. That is not a viable option for this writer or the many Rhode Island residents with disabilities. Surely the state can do better.

The Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals may have its budget problems, but those should not be addressed at the expense of our at-risk community. Closing these centers and, subsequently, many of our group homes will destroy the sense of community and family that the Maher and Bristol centers and group living arrangements encourage and foster.

The Department of Justice consent decree states, in part, that people with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities have the right to informed choice. Unfortunately, Rhode Island seeks to diminish or, indeed, eliminate their choices. Rhode Island must find a more realistic, workable, and compassionate solution for our disabled adults. Linda K. Stanich

Johnston

Maher Focuses on Individuals

To the Editor:

The James L. Maher Center has provided a service better than most others for many years. No state agency or its staff could ever provide equal service because it's a business full of regulations and restrictions meant to protect and provide but doesn't consider the individual's quality of life. Maher is full of love, life, family and friends no matter the individual. Maher should be able to employ who they want and provide a service to those employees if needed.

My cousin and her coworkers deserve to make choices concernng their own livelihoods with the help of their families and Maher staff; not directed by the state.

I would be remiss not to mention the many other individuals who receive services from agencies they call home and their staffs they call family, including my niece and her roommates in another local agency, Looking Upwards. Jane Roggero Portsmouth

Shelters Benefit a Success

To the Editor:

On Thursday, Dec. 3, we held our eighth annual Singing for Shelter, an acoustic Christmas concert for the benefit of Lucy’s Hearth and The McKinney Shelter. Twenty-six local musicians played to a packed Channing Church and we were able to raise $4,578 for our two homeless shelters.

We wish to thank the following people and organizations who helped to make Singing for Shelter such a great success: Channing Church, John Flanders, Tom Perrotti, Sheila Mulowney, Lynne Tungett, Art Berlutti, Christmas in Newport, Mama Leone’s, Jennifer Barrera, Linda Naiss, Karen Jeffries, Merrill Cordeiro, Deb Johnston, Ken Robinson, Frank Dwyer of Stagecraft Audio, Rick’s Music of Raynham,Mass., Mike Fischman, Ed McGuirl, JohnMichael and Dianna Skaggs, Rick Jones, Donna Maytum, Kay Kreiger, Diane Myers, Beverly Peirson, and Jim Manson.

Also, our heartfelt thanks to the following musicians who gave of their time and talent to perform: Alfresco Flutes, Rick Jones, Alan Bernstein, Mike Coffey, John Monllos,

Joanne Rodino, Mike Jackson, John Prevedini, Bob Blais, Gene Beaudoin, Tom Perrotti, Chuck and Toni Ciany, Ed Ledwith, Jimmy Winters, Jack Casey, Chris, Diane and Jonathan Myers, ZanRicky Duo, Rand Bradbury, Joe Lambiase, Chief Noda, and Ray Davis.

We are grateful for all the community support of our homeless shelters. We wish everyone a holiday full of peace and joy. Anne and Mark Gorman

Newport

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