To the editor:
Congratulations on the wonderful article this week on the college boys’ project to design, build, and test a solar powered, computer controlled, robotic boat and their plan to send it off on a transatlantic voyage. As a retired engineering manager I am impressed by how these young men have organized, planned and executed this project with each one’s specialty being applied to a specific need of the project.
With all the bad stuff we read about youth in the papers today it is refreshing to read some good news.
As you noted, all but one of the boys are Tiverton residents and for the most part, their families are members of the Tiverton Yacht Club. Interesting to note they participated in the TYC’s sail training program during the period after the clubhouse fire. As you know, while we have had no clubhouse for 10 years, our club has carried on and is in fact more active now than it was before the fire.
A number of my non-TYC member friends have asked me what’s going on with the club and its plan to re-build. First off let me address what is going on. Our Commodore, Dr. Greg Jones has convinced the Board of Directors to make the most of what we have while continuing efforts to re-build. Accordingly we have filled in the hole where our basement was, placed a tent in that area, purchased a number of new chairs and picnic benches and set up the property with a much more pleasant appearance.
We are in the process of making tile repairs to our pool, have contracted with lifeguards and swimming instructors and expect to have an outstanding swimming instruction program. We have dredged our marina, installed floats in a configuration that allows sail training boats to be stored on the floats, freeing up the beach and of course allowing sail training to go on without dragging boats over the beach. We have ordered sand for our beach and expect delivery soon which will allow members a pleasant beach to enjoy this summer.
Our sail training program has hired instructors for the season, has planned an adult instruction program
and purchased a new boat specifically for this purpose. The rest of our sail training fleet has been upgraded and we are looking forward to the best program in years. Wednesday night cruising races are also going extremely well and again this year we are hosting a June 22 the Around Aquidneck Island Race which will start near Hog Island Light House and finish in the Sakonnet River south of Gould Island. A post-race party will be hosted on the club’s property.
Our social committee hosted a great holiday party and has planned an active summer with weekly Thursday night theme pot luck dinners, and an evening beach party to enjoy our new sandy beach. In addition, we have upgraded our web site, www.TivertonYachtClub.org
Lastly, under Commodore Jones’s leadership the club has been endeavoring to be a good citizen to the community by hosting annual blood drives, collecting food and clothing for East Bay charities, and, more recently, conducting the Penguin Plunge on New Years Day (which you covered nicely) and raised over $1,400 for the new Tiverton Library Building Fund
While composing these above thoughts, this week’s Sakonnet Times arrived with its highly critical letter by David Campbell whose legal expertise has effectively blocked our legal efforts to re-build and who has done his best to put us out of business. It is true that most people in town and their political representatives want the club to re-build, probably for the good we do for the community. While I don’t think our legal expenses have reached $600,000 yet, when combined with the town’s legal expenses, they excee that. The crime is that it has cost Mr. Campbell nothing since he is an attorney. In various court cases he has even tried to be reimbursed for his actions.
Our marina is legal per the RI Supreme Court and has the approval of the Coastal Resources Management Council. Our present re-building project is hung up thanks to Mr. Campbell who first convinced DEM that we needed a larger septic system, and then when we complied and got a larger system approved by DEM, he convinced the Superior Court that the larger system was evidence that we planned to expand the non-conforming use of the club and the court disallowed it, noting that we needed to get zoning relief, which of course is what we’ve been trying to do.
Mr. Campbell’s solution for the club is apparently to move to another location. We believe the solution is for him to go back to Barrington where he came from.
John F. Brady, PhD
Mr. Brady is Fleet Captain, TYC