Bill Rancic Defends His Wife Giuliana After Fashion Police Controversy: 'I Tried to Get Them to Release the Footage' 41 years, 2,191 covers and 55,436 stories from PEOPLE magazine's history for you to enjoy
- Kim Zolciak's Daughter Brielle, 18, Gets Lip Fillers From Kylie Jenner's Plastic Surgeon – Watch Her Procedure via Selfie Video
- Read the Cover Story: Adele’s Triumphant Return: How Love Changed Her Life
- Khloé Kardashian Tells Fans 2015 Has Been 'Hands Down the Worst Year of My Life'
- WATCH: Black Friday Is Upon Us - Let this Video Serve as a Reminder to Stay Safe in the Madness!
- Adele Shatters U.S. and Canadian Sales Records With 25 – And She's Not Done Yet
On Newsstands Now
- Matthew McConaughey: In His Own Words
- Jessa Duggar's Wedding Album
- Brittany Maynard's Final Days
Pick up your copy on newsstands
Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine
People Top 5
LAST UPDATE: Tuesday February 10, 2015 01:10PM EST
PEOPLE Top 5 are the most-viewed stories on the site over the past three days, updated every 60 minutes
- July 02, 1984
- Vol. 22
- No. 1
Beset by Mopeds, Block Islanders Say They Would Rather Secede Than Go to Hell on Wheels
But that bucolic image was shattered in a raucous midnight rally on June 5. As television crews from Manhattan and Tokyo shot the scene, some 185 of the 650 year-round residents stood up at a town meeting to shout for nothing less than secession from Rhode Island. What had whipped the tranquil islanders into revolt was the plague of mopeds, those little scooters that are to Harley-Davidson what Woody Allen is to Marlon Brando. On summer weekends nearly 15,000 mainlanders crowd in, many renting some of the gas-powered two-wheelers. Worse yet, the state government has refused to let the islanders regulate mopeds.
"I can see no alternative other than secession," proclaimed Norris Pike, a leader of the island's militant faction. "Are we starting a revolution? No. It's just a continuation of one that was begun by our forefathers."
Pike's pique was greeted by a lusty ovation. And then the crowd voted to confirm Pike's motion for a declaration of independence. Mopeds, the residents explain, shatter the seaside solitude, tear up the sand dunes—and hurt people. Lisa Sprague, captain of the island's volunteer rescue squad, claims that her group can no longer handle the volume of moped-related accidents: 78 last year (up from 42 in '82), including a pregnant woman who lost her 7-month-old fetus.
Not surprisingly, the owners of the island's five moped rental agencies—some of whom take in up to $150,000 per summer—are dead set against the movement and dispute the accident statistics. Says Kathy Finnimore of Island Mopeds, "Every time somebody falls off a bike and scratches a leg, the islanders call out the rescue squad and it counts as an accident."
The moped controversy became a polarizing issue after the Rhode Island Supreme Court struck down an ordinance passed by the town council limiting the number of mopeds on the island. Subsequently, the state senate killed a bill requiring a motorcycle license to rent a moped on the island.
Fed up with the state government, Pike asked the Block Island town council to consider the radical option of seceding. Even before the motion carried, the governors of Massachusetts and Connecticut sent offers of annexation. "Please be assured that the citizens of Block Island would be welcome as residents of Connecticut," wrote William O'Neill, Connecticut's Governor. "I am a firm believer in the old proverb 'All rights to the people, and every moped in its place.' "
Meanwhile, on the island, the moped squabble has escalated into guerrilla warfare—or what passes for guerrilla warfare on "unspoiled, unhurried" Block Island. "People come here and spit on our place," laments Finnimore. "And I don't think I'll get many Christmas cards this year."
November 23, 2015
Treat Yourself! 4 Preview Issues
The most buzzed about stars this minute!