Thu, 12/12/2019 - 6:45pm

An island dilemma

It sometimes seems we spend so much time figuring out how to take care of, and provide the most pleasant experiences for, our seasonal visitors that the needs of year-round, work-a-day island residents sometimes get overshadowed. It’s not really the case, of course, but it can seem that way.

The members of the Senior Advisory Committee are constantly, thoughtfully trying to find ways to care for the members of the island’s elder population, not only in search of providing health care needs, but in other equally significant ways, such as finding transportation for island seniors who may otherwise be shut in for too much of the winter and who need to get out of the house for any variety of reasons.

There are still constant postings on social media for longtime residents and workers who need year-round housing for their growing families. It’s been a good year for housing, but more needs to be done.

Now we find out that the only car inspection station on the island is no longer providing that service. You can certainly be frustrated over owner Robbie Murphy’s decision, but you can’t blame him. There is not one business owner on Block Island that would continue to perform a service or sell a product that costs them money.

There may be a solution to this, or there may not. It is, as First Warden Ken Lacoste said, a private sector issue. But that doesn’t mean the community can’t find a way to resolve this.

Not everyone on Block Island is rich, or on an endless vacation. Taking a car off, with no guarantee you’ll return that day with an inspection sticker, could be onerous and costly. A conversation about how to help island residents, working families, would be a great help.