2017-09-14 / Opinion

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Coyotes in Braga Park

To the Editor:

It's been almost a year since Cliff the Coyote was relocated to another part of the state. While Cliff is no longer a force to be reckoned with, he has left a legacy that definitely is. His younger siblings and former charges have continued to make their presence felt in the parts of Middletown and Newport that their pack calls home. They have accounted for the majority of sightings reports in the past year and have been the topic of several recent conversation threads on the Nextdoor website. Of particular concern to Newport residents are repeated sightings in Braga Park and the neighborhoods nearby.

Despite our persistent no-feeding message, we believe it is still taking place, based on patterns in the tracking data and unconfirmed reports. There are currently no collared coyotes on the island and the Narragansett Bay Coyote Study (NBCS) is reluctant to deploy any more until all the tracking data to date has been reviewed and acted upon. Meanwhile, we are pleased to report that the Newport city manager has signed off on the NBCS best coyote management practices, as Middletown and Portsmouth have already done. Having Newport on board lays the groundwork for a coordinated island-wide approach to coyote management, since these resourceful animals have no regard for municipal boundaries and one community's problems can easily spill over into another.

In the meantime, we advise all residents who encounter coyotes in their yards and neighborhoods to defend their "territories" by acting big, mean and loud, throwing small objects, or using a hose or squirt gun. These coyotes are seriously "habituated" to people, so don't expect instant results. But if the entire neighborhood works together, the chances of success will greatly improve.

For more information on "What To Do If You See a Coyote," including a short video, please visit CoyoteSmarts.org

Numi Mitchell, PhD,
Lead Scientist, Narragansett Bay
Coyote Study

Jo Yellis, Project Coordinator,
CoyoteSmarts

Better Than Ever

To the Editor:

Like Lois and Linda who wrote in last week, I have been a big fan of La Forge Casino Restaurant. For decades, Peter Crowley and his team, including Mike, Holly, Kay, Alberto, Brian, Dave, the summer staff from Ireland, et cetera, have welcomed me warmly and served me delicious food and drink.

I disagree, however, that the restaurant has taken a step backward. For me, several recent visits and meals confirm La Forge is better than ever, and I hadn't thought that possible.

True, some walls are a bit bare, and I do miss the evocative photo of Jimmy Van Alen and Pancho Gonzales, but Rome wasn't built in a day. Give the new owners time.

On the plus side, I see cheerful new awnings and signage. I see an appetizing, well-presented new menu. The food was excellent, the lobster bisque particularly good. Now there is daily breakfast. Finally, new owner Brendan O'Donnell (the Irish legacy remains) greeted me with personal warmth and genuine interest. In my opinion, Peter Crowley sold to the right man.

As always, one has Bellevue Avenue beauty, tranquility, and convenience. For breakfast, lunch, or dinner, it is hard to improve on a table within the Casino complex, Stanford White's first commission and striking creation. This is America's Wimbledon.

"21" in New York? It's okay, but give me La Forge Casino in Newport, any day of the week.

Bill Rives
Newport

Crosswalk and Lights Needed

To the Editor:

For nine years, I have tried to straighten out the speeding on East Main Road in Portsmouth. I have written and called senators, congressmen and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The previous governor told me that they can’t be bothered with it. It’s a state road!

Five years ago, someone from the DOT told me that it would be settled in two years. I was almost hit by a car five years ago, and recently my friend was almost hit. The cars travel 40 to 50 mph and the police don’t give out tickets. When I called five years ago, the officer on duty told me tickets don’t pay our salary. Oh really!? My friend won’t leave her house and Clements is losing business because people are afraid to cross in the crosswalk.

When I lived in Newport, I wrote a letter to Police Chief Gibson. He responded to it within two weeks. Lights were changed and crosswalks were painted on East and West Main roads. People have died here. I live in senior housing. We need a light and crosswalk. Please help us.

Jan Furtado
Portsmouth

American Pride

To the Editor:

On Monday, Sept. 11, while driving down East Main in Portsmouth on my way to shop, I was amazed! There covering over half of the outside of the Portsmouth Fire Station was our American flag. It was so very beautiful.

On my way home I had to stop and take in the magnificence of our flag. While doing so, a Fireman came out. He told me what a gigantic job it was to display this flag. They had to use the huge ladder truck to hang our flag from the roof down to the bottom of the building.

The firefighters that took this on did it out of love and remembrance of all of those who perished on 9/11 and all those who saved so many lives. I felt very emotional in hearing this and so proud to be an American.

On my way home it was upsetting to see how few flags were hanging from homes in my neighborhood, as well as in others.

The flag that binds us together as Americans should be part of our love for our country and be hung everyday.

Yes, my flag is displayed with pride.

Terry Lorenz
Portsmouth

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