Block Island

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Deepwater Wind installed the first foundation over the weekend for what is slated to be the first offshore wind farm in the country. Monday morning the company took state and federal officials on a boat trip to see the barge, cranes, and foundations up close.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Deepwater Wind started to put steel in the water this week for the Block Island Wind Farm. Island residents have mixed feelings about the construction.  

Susan Torrey lives on Block Island all year. She and her husband have been waiting to see visible signs of what is expected to be the nation’s first offshore wind farm.

“We kept looking around and hadn’t seen anything,” said Torrey. “And he came home [and said], ‘Guess what I saw?’ So we said, ‘Let’s go over to the Southeast Light and take a look.’ So we did!”

Photo Courtesy of St. Michael's Country Day School

The bill to make the American burying beetle the official state insect heads to the governor’s desk. This was the result of steady lobbying by third graders in Newport.

  

RIPR File Photo

Town officials on Block Island are calling the recent deer hunting season a success. Local hunters took down more than 400 deer.

Block Island has a high incidence of Lyme disease, transmitted by the bite of a deer tick. So last year the town of New Shoreham and the Department of Environmental Management hired a professional sharpshooting company, Connecticut-based White Buffalo, Inc., to curb the island’s large deer population. But the project fell through.

Poor People's Pub

Bacon is on the menu Saturday at Poor People’s Pub on Block Island. The restaurant is hosting the second annual “Bacon Fest,” a benefit for the Block Island Conservancy. 

Why bacon?

"Why not?" asked server Corinne Adams, a seasonal resident of Block Island. 

The event features a mixture of professional chefs and home cooks, all competing to make the best bacon dish. Participants have the chance to taste each dish then vote for their favorite.

Ambar Espinoza / RIPR

Fare increases of 10 percent have taken effect for regular tickets on the Block Island Ferry. Interstate Navigation Company said the increase covers the costs of maintaining the ferries and docks.

Sarah Isabella, owner of Froozies Juice Bar and Café on Block Island, said she doesn’t think it will affect the number of tourists visiting the island. Isabella said she would be worried if the increase applied to freight rates, “because then we are eventually going to have to pass on the price onto tourists and at some point it all gets, kind of, out of reach.”

RIPR FILE

Deepwater Wind has entered into a 20 year contract with Rhode Island Fast Ferry out of North Kingstown. The ferry service will provide a vessel to help conduct maintenance on the Block Island wind farm which will be built by Deepwater Wind. The boat will be built by Blount Boats from Warren.

Jeff Grybowski, the CEO of Deepwater Wind said the contract will create some eighty jobs in Rhode Island.

Newport Third Graders Lobby For Official State Insect

May 1, 2015
St. Michael's Country Day School

A group of third graders in Newport hope to convince lawmakers to name an official state insect.  The students at St. Michael’s Country Day School in Newport want to make the American Burying Beetle the Ocean State’s official bug.

Their teacher Linda Spinney says the students will make their case at the Statehouse Thursday before lawmakers.

“We’re taking the school bus up there today. It will be a late night for them but I think their parents want them to really see the process and where it takes you when your voices are heard.”

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week Dave and Mark get an update on the Block Island Wind Farm project with Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic? Please email us, we'd like to hear from you. news@ripr.org  

RIPR FILE

Deepwater Wind has secured more than 290 million dollars to build and operate a wind farm off the coast of Block Island. The company plans to begin installing turbines this summer. Deepwater is, so far, the only offshore wind company in the country to get full financing for an offshore wind farm.

                                    

Two banks have financed Deepwater Wind’s offshore wind farm: a bank in France and Ohio-based KeyBank.

RIPR File Photo

Deer-hunting on a state-owned parcel of land on Block Island opens today. Brian Tefft, a wildlife biologist with the Department of Environmental Management, said the deer hunting season has been underway on the island since early October, but…

  “This is a special lottery-only hunt for one parcel of state land located on Block Island in an effort to assist the town with the reduction of deer on the island,” Tefft said.

Providence Business News Editor Mark Murphy joins Rhode Island Public Radio's Dave Fallon for our weekly business segment The Bottom Line.

This week, news director Catherine Welch and Mark talk with managing director of the Quonset Development Corp, Steven King. They talk about the future growth of Electric Boat, new companies moving into the business park, and the role of the Quonset state airport.

When to Listen

You can hear The Bottom Line each Friday at 5:50pm.

RIPR File Photo

The Block Island offshore wind farm will produce more power than originally expected, said Deepwater Wind CEO Jeff Grybowski at an open meeting before the state's Public Utilities Commission. The company expected the wind farm to produce 40 percent of its total maximum power. But since the company proposed the project, advances in turbine technology have bumped up the wind farm’s projected efficiency.

RIPR File Photo

The annual deer hunting season is gearing up on Block Island. Rhode Island Public Radio’s environmental reporter Ambar Espinoza tells us, the hunt on the Black Rock/Rodman Hollow parcel of land opens on Jan. 20.

The Department of Environmental Management’s Division of Fish and Wildlife will set up a deer checking station at the Block Island Police Station in preparation for next week. The hunting season opens Jan. 20 and lasts until Feb. 13. This deer checking station will be open on certain days during the season to check deer taken by hunters.

RIPR FILE

More approvals rolled in this week for the five-turbine wind farm Deepwater Wind.  And  the company says it has secured the last of its permits for the offshore wind farm planned for three miles off the coast of Block Island.  Construction is set to start next year.

The Coastal Resources Management Council has approved the lease agreement for the underwater land on which the wind farm will sit. The lease took effect earlier this month and will be valid for 25 years from the wind farm’s start date.

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