Letters to the Editor
A home to call her own
To the Editor:
It's 5:30 am on Friday May 30. Only hours away, not much sleep, my kids are away in Washington D.C. on their school trip, and soon I will be closing on my own brand-new home.
Through a town lottery, I recently won the right to buy an affordable home at Jenney Way in Edgartown. I just can't believe it. Finally our very own home here on Martha's Vineyard. Wow.
I've worked very hard raising the twins alone for the last nine and a half years, and it has been very hard at times, but also very rewarding. I have raised such great kids, and now I can offer them a home they can call theirs. Words can't describe this sense of security, nor what this means to us.
As I sit here writing this letter to my dear family and friends, I can't help this overwhelming feeling of emotions. The tears keep coming, but they are good tears, tears of excitement; yet there are some stressful tears too. But mostly they are tears of love for all of you. We have been so blessed to have you remain in our life all these years, especially for those who are so far away. Thanks for supporting me.
My very first home: this is the best present I could give Kyle and Korrine. I love them so much, and they deserve this.
If it wasn't for the awesome support from my parents, I'm not sure I would be able to do this. I also can't thank the awesome supporters and organizations on this Island who have worked so hard to make affordable housing a dream come true for us - the Island Affordable Housing Fund, Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, Island Housing Trust, South Mountain Corporation, and hired subcontractors, Board members of the Island Affordable Housing, Martha's Vineyard Commission and all the wonderful Island supporters that have donated to Island Affordable Housing. Apologies for anyone I've missed, and thanks to everyone. I am forever grateful to them.
It would mean the world to me if one day you all could come and see our new home. I welcome your support, thank you.
The tears keep coming, so I'm going to end this now.
A happy and sad ending
To the Editor:
My husband Jim works as an assistant harbormaster in Tisbury. They've been busy rebuilding the dock down at Owen Park, and he's been there helping, always accompanied by Otis, our 11-month-old Jack Russell. Last Tuesday, at 4 o'clock, Jim called me and said, "I've been looking all over for Otis - I can't find him anywhere." I was on my way out the door for a meeting, so I couldn't help Jim in his rescue attempt, but we agreed that I would leave my phone on vibrate, and he would call as soon as he found him.
At 6:30, when my work was finished, Jim had still not left a message. I immediately called him only to find out that for hours he had been circling between Owen Park, "doggie jail," the Steamship Authority, West Chop, Vineyard Haven Yacht club and the houses in between and round and round with no sign of or information about Otis's whereabouts.
We agreed that I would begin with a swing by the pound, and then I would go to the Steamship Authority, with a stop by the Black Dog dock, although Jim thought it highly unlikely that Otis would stray so far. He's always been so good about sticking around.
The pound and the Black Dog dock revealed no clues as to where Otis might be, so I started walking the beach towards the ferry. On the way there I spotted a group of people sitting on a bench with their dog, so I stopped and asked the usual, "Have you seen a little white dog...? The woman, or mom as she turned out to be, said, "No, sorry." Her son then jumped in, "Yeah we have, Mom - that sounds like the dog we saw today." She said, "But that was around two." I quickly let her know that Otis had been missing since the afternoon and asked what she knew. She proceeded to tell me a story that I still find unbelievable.
She and her family are from Toronto and were visiting the Cape. They came over to the Island for the day. They were hanging out at the beach near Owen Park, when they saw a family walking along. "There were grandparents, parents and a few kids," she said. She added that they began luring this cute little dog away by picking up stones and saying, "Come here," as they worked their way down the beach. She said she thought it was really odd that they were encouraging this dog to follow them away.
She said that she and her family then left the beach, got on the bus to head to Edgartown and couldn't believe it when just as the bus was about to pull out those same people got on the bus carrying "that cute little dog." She said they sat right in front of her with the dog on the boy's lap, so she made conversation, saying things like, "You know, that dog probably belongs to someone here." They said, "No, he was lost - we're taking care of him for the day. When we return to catch the 9:30 ferry, we'll bring him back and find a shelter or something." The woman from Toronto was astonished, but she wasn't sure what to do. She overheard them talking and heard the boy ask if he could keep the dog.
A little while later as she was walking around Edgartown she saw the family again, this time walking the dog on a leash. She asked them, "You bought a leash for him?" "Yeah, he's too heavy to carry," was the reply.
At this point in the story, I paused, called Jim and told him I had information about Otis and that he should come to the ferry. Two minutes later he showed up. This lovely woman from Toronto started at the beginning and was relaying the details to Jim when a bus pulled into the Steamship Authority lot. As he listened, Jim watched the passengers exit the bus. Sure enough this family got off the bus, and began walking towards the ferry with Otis on a leash being led by the boy.
Trying to stay calm, Jim walked over to the family and asked, "What are you doing with my dog?" "This is your dog?" asked the boy. "Yes, what are you doing with it?" answered Jim, the pretense at calm quickly slipping away. The dad, unbelievably, said, "You could say thank you." "For stealing my dog?" asked Jim. "Yeah - I fed him and bought him a leash. You should pay me." Jim knew at this point that walking away was definitely the smart thing to do. He picked up Otis and headed toward his truck. I looked at the dad and said, "I can't believe you would teach your kids to steal someone's dog." His response? "Get a life."
We're still astonished that people actually took our dog from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown and were on their way off-Island with him. In retrospect, Jim wishes that he had thought to tell the state policeman that was standing by the ferry. But we all know about hindsight. Anyway, we sure are happy to have Otis back and are amazed at the incredible luck and timing that led us to find him. To the family from Toronto, we are forever indebted.
Judy A. Salosky
A memorial destroyed
To the Editor:
My friend Brandy once told me that when she grew up and had a place of her own that she wanted to have a beautiful, purple garden. When Brandy passed away in January, everyone who knew her died a little inside. For her birthday, May 14, I decided that Brandy should have her purple garden. Within a week of her birthday, my friends Nikki and Laura had already started planting various purple items. When I returned to the Island for the summer and had the time, I purchased many purple plants, prepared the soil and added to the garden, I was working at Mahoney's at the time, so it was very easy for me.
I was so excited to see how the plants would flourish. I needed to leave the Island for a few days and asked my good friend and coworker Jillian to water the plants for me. I was astonished to hear that almost all of the plants had been dug out of the ground or cut down to nothing, after not even a week had passed. I was only able to enjoy the plants for one day before I left the Vineyard for the weekend, and by the time I returned, they had been taken.
My good friend Kristy immediately contacted the Oak Bluffs Highway Department and was told directly that the men had specific instructions to leave that stuff alone. I do not understand what would possess a person to steal from a memorial site. Brandy deserves to have her own place, her own purple garden. It kills me inside to know that if I try to invest the time and money again that someone could just come and take away all my hard work. I would like this garden to flourish so that everyone can enjoy it in her memory, to serve as a reminder as to how much she loved and affected us. If you have any information regarding the plants please e-mail me at email@example.com. Any information is greatly appreciated.
Brandy was an amazing individual, unlike any other, and she touched anyone who had ever met her.
To the Editor:
I was pleasantly surprised to be mentioned in your last issue and wanted to let you know how much I enjoyed my first trip to New England. What a beautiful jewel Martha's Vineyard is.
I am a Florida native and am almost embarrassed to admit I've never even seen snow (at least not without the sand mixed in, Florida-style). However, there's one thing we Florida folks know and that's heat. I was packed and ready for balmy days, yet rarely took my jacket off during my five-day stay.
Back home, we flew into Jacksonville to a balmy 93 degrees. I was in a swimsuit the next day (and in the water).
We have another trip planned in September, and I hope to inch a toe into the water then. If not, there are still many beautiful attractions to keep me busy on Martha's Vineyard.
I must commend the professionals of the Oak Bluff Fire Department on their professionalism and hard work regarding their fundraising efforts selling shirts on Circuit Avenue. Few non-fire personnel are aware of the tremendous sacrifice these folks and their families make year-round to ensure the safety of every citizen in their community. Kudos to your departments on Martha's Vineyard for their efforts. I will bring patches to exchange in September and look forward to meeting with them all. Many rather warm wishes from Florida.
Bernita A. Bush, Captain
Clay County Fire Rescue
Not for Obama
To the Editor:
After the struggles of the Republican and Democratic primaries, Americans are left with two choices. One believes wars can be fought and won, one does not. For many years as a liberal Democrat, presidential choices were easy for me. I attended several conventions, served on Democratic committees, named one son Stevenson for Adlai.
This year I may not vote at all. I dont want the Iraq war to continue for years, and I don't want a man who is evasive and alienated from himself to make the big decisions. It is terrifying to me, who began working for the Democratic Party by doing publicity for Gerry Studds's first run for office in our home town of Cohasset, who worked hard for Eugene McCarthy, to be stifled, but I just cannot bring myself to mark a box which won't help my troubled country.
Hillary Clinton would have been the strongest and safest candidate, because on her own she is a remarkably intelligent and energetic woman who has proved over and over that crises were only challenges to her heart and soul. But we also must admit that her husband did a pretty good job as president and with her election, we would get two experienced hands to handle the biggest job in the world.
High negatives, maybe, but lots of experience and certainly tons of personal exposure. Are we so sophomoric that we think change is always better? Are we always out for new highs? Did we fall in love with a well trained young charmer so quickly that we didn't even think? Did we hate the Clintons so much for their human frailties that we grasped at the slim figure of a supreme opportunist? Maybe, but I think that fundamentally we got caught up in the guilt of our past racism and were trying hard to bury it, e.g.
"At last we have an acceptable man of color." In the excitement of getting rid of our guilt, proving we are good people, we brushed aside the introspective exam so much needed in choosing government officials. I lived in Chicago, attended the university there, married a law professor with two degrees from there in a church on the South Side. The University of Chicago was founded on and remains an extremely liberal institution. Here one must not only revere intellectualism but preferably accept all forms of it which lean towards the Left. L. Farrakhan bought his first temple two blocks from our apartment in the late 1950s. But I also desegregated restaurants there in my twenties, visited churches like Rev. Wright's (all black churches are not like his), had my first baby in a black clinic at the same hospital where Michelle Obama works now.
I hated the bigoted system of race relations that existed in Chicago as in the South. Back in Massachusetts, my husband and I became the quintessential liberals funding black banks in Roxbury, initiating METCO (inter-racial bussing from Boston to the South Shore, still working today. But, I also met people in the demonstrations against the Vietnam War in Washington, D.C. and in SDS (Students for a Democratic Society) who were elitists and out of touch with (nor did they care about) the majority of Americans.
I keep up with old friends. I know Obama's shabby first political tactics in Illinois, his wife's low boiling point about race. The house he owns is next to an influential friend found guilty last week on 16 counts of corruption. Obama commented: "That's not the Tony Retzko I knew." Oh yes, and is it also not Rev. Wright, the racist, he heard as he sat in his church over 20 long years while Wright became a second father to him? Right now Obama is the arrogant prince of his world, but can we deny his unsettled upbringing, his father's unseemly death at 30-something, his 10-year exposure to radical Muslimism with his Indonesian stepfather? Genes and social conditioning form every human being. A man who is not comfortable with who he is and does not know himself is not capable of being a strong leader.
It is gratifying that an African-American might represent our country at last, but it has to be the right man. I hope everyone in the months ahead will read unbiased biographies about Barack Obama, look beyond his oratory, and make his or her own thoughtful decision.
Roberta Bradford Mendlovitz
Planting small trees best
To the Editor:
When passing by the row of pitch pines along State Road at the Polly Hill Arboretum, I often notice their picturesque beauty that represents the Vineyard sense of place. I enjoy knowing these trees were planted as seedlings purchased in 1929 for 10 cents each. Though I don't know the exact circumstance of their planting, I imagine Howard Butcher Jr., perhaps with the help of his daughter, the future Polly Hill, planting the little trees with an old shovel and a watering can.
Large, mature trees can be moved with huge trucks and earth-moving equipment and lots of money and fossil fuel, but it isn't a healthy choice for the trees. Mature trees, dug and moved, take many, many years to return to normal growth. And that is only under optimal conditions. These stressed trees experience transplant shock and are much more susceptible to insects, disease, and drought. Small trees can be easily planted with a garden spade. They grow fast and adapt quickly to a new site.
In addition, removing large trees from our protected, natural areas isn't a wise or healthy choice for the environment, even when following a restoration plan. When massive unwanted native trees are harvested from a natural site, the tree is saved, perhaps, but at what cost to the immediate environment? Along with the tree, the roots and the surrounding soil and soil organisms are removed; and, the site is disturbed, which denigrates the ecosystem and makes way for invasive plants that cause further denigration.
As I read about the current controversy surrounding SMF properties, I can't help but reflect on the lessons I have learned from Polly Hill that continue to be reflected at the Polly Hill Arboretum. (I disclose here that I am married to the director.) Though not everyone has the persistence to grow trees from seed, there is value in starting small, with knowledge and patience. Polly wasn't interested in the immediacy of results, but in the process of growing plants. In time trees mature, and as Polly quipped, you can enjoy the "teenage years" along the way. With proper explanation, even those initially interested in an instant landscape can be helped to understand the value of planting small trees.
Polly Hill felt there was an enduring bond between people, plants, and the land. I sense that connection on Martha's Vineyard, and I appreciate the organizations that preserve and protect our land. Polly also believed in considering mistakes as opportunities for learning a lesson that leads to at least one positive outcome whenever mistakes are made. Polly is no longer with us, but the Polly Hill Arboretum continues to promote her legacy and share her wisdom and common sense. There is much satisfaction, and good sense, in planting small trees.
A monstrous project
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to the Martha's Vineyard Commission.
I write this letter in opposition to Bradley Square, not because I'm against affordable housing or the arts district, but because of the monstrosity of this project and its impact on the neighborhood overall. The fact that there's talk of making a major cut-through road (Masonic Avenue) into a one-way and making another very narrow road (Warwick Avenue) one way, sending major traffic down this road that at one time was dirt, not more than 15 years ago. I travel both of these roads at least once a day. Warwick Avenue can barely take a large vehicle at its current size with parking on one side. So, when there's a road race, and traffic is redirected to use these streets, as happened over Memorial Day weekend, and you have VTA buses driving them, I just find it hard to believe it'll be possible. I feel that the people making these suggestions or recommendations have not thought things totally through. And, yes, it's a day here or there, but its public safety overall and not the inconvenience of the day.
I apologize for not making the past two meetings, however I work two jobs this time of year and was unable to attend. I have lived at the corner of Circuit and Pocasset Avenues for 34 of my 42 years. I've seen several accidents and changes in my neighborhood. I've also had to fight for the on the street parking that is existing between the signs on Pocasset between Circuit and Hiawatha Avenues and to think that, after all I've done to secure parking for myself, family members, guests, and my neighbor, with Bradley Square we are going to have to worry when and if we'll have parking when we return to our residences.
For the past two Saturdays (May 17 and 24) there have been art shows where there has been a police detail, a first for that. So if there's a need now for police details to direct traffic, foot and auto, what's going to happen when there are more residents needing parking as well as more commercial business in this area?
I feel like this is an assault on the neighborhood as a whole and that the arts district is looking at themselves as the only ones who are going to be affected by Bradley Square. And they couldn't be more wrong. There are large trucks up and down Masonic Avenue on a regular basis. Making Masonic into a one-way would affect the town as a whole and not just the neighborhood. With parking issues in town and on the outskirts of town, I feel this is adding fuel to the fire or salt to injury.
I don't believe that the groups wanting to build the Bradley Square Complex have been totally truthful about just what all is going to take place in Bradley Square. They have mentioned several different concepts or plans of who and what is going to be there and then you read that the NAACP and the church are going to operate there, and then that's rescinded. So, I feel there's more to this than being told or not told.
Also it seems that the artists receiving the livable workspaces have already been hand-picked, and I just want to know, are they current residents of Oak Bluffs or ever a resident of Oak Bluffs? What made them qualified already for these units? So in closing, I hope you consider the rest of us who live in this neighborhood, that aren't artists, who will definitely be affected and impacted by this monstrosity of a project. Please remember, we are not against affordable housing, arts people, or the NAACP. We just want our neighborhood to be safe for our children and others.
Improved financial management needed
To the Editor:
This letter was written to the Oak Bluffs selectmen.
I feel compelled to point out that by not posting a warrant for this special election, the election is, simply put, illegal. Posting warrants should be as familiar and routine for selectmen and their staff as brushing your teeth. Of course, you know that posting warrants warns and notifies voters of impending changes in which voters have a right to participate. The state requires more notice, fourteen days instead of seven days, for specials since people may be caught unaware.
I do not accuse you of malfeasance. I did read some information in the paper, but perhaps not all voters did. I write not because there was an oversight, but because you seek to remedy that oversight by having the state legislature declare your illegal action legal. Are you using the same playbook the White House uses? Our voters deserve better.
Regardless of the vote outcome, the only fair action for you to take is to redo the election. Your office has been quoted as saying, "Despite what a lot of people may think, we don't have a lot of employees that are well versed in election law." Well, you should, and you only need one person so well-versed. I suggest you contact the Department of Revenue, local services division, which works tirelessly (and for free) to help municipalities with legal election questions. They provide you with election law books, which explain very clearly what rules you must follow. Ignorance is no excuse.
When I asked at the polling station about the posting, as I could not find one at the Post Office, I was assured by election officials that the warrants had been properly posted. I believed that and so was shocked to read the story in this week's Times.
Did failure to post the warrant affect the outcome of the election? With one override winning by only 19 votes, what do you think?
Also, you must know that end of year transfers may not be accomplished without town voter approval, not unless something in state law has changed. The paper states that, until now, you have been transferring money around as mere bookkeeping entries.
I do see your June 24 special town meeting warrant printed in the paper. That is good, but should have been done this way all along, for obvious reasons. The public has a right to vote on how you spend their money. Overdrawn accounts should be rare emergencies, really, such as snow removal. When you can keep transfers hidden, no one is accountable for overspending. Transfers should be few. Accounts with positive end-of-year balances should trip into surplus revenue which, after subtracting real estate receivables and deficits, becomes free cash, available for voting (at town meeting) for any purpose.
I see by your warrant that you are using all the money saved in the medical insurance employer account to cover many, many salary increases for 2008. Did you make all those increases voted for 2009 retroactive to 2008? If so, how can we afford that? You simultaneously ask us for hundreds of thousands of dollars for overrides. Is anyone there being frugal with our money? Can we really afford all these very large salary increases at a time when heating oil is almost $5 per gallon.
I don't disagree with rewarding employees. But budget increases should be affordable. Raising the budget freely in one area to seek overrides in another may not be good fiscal management.
Beverly L. Burke
Missed opportunities in Oak Bluffs
To the Editor:
This letter was sent to the Oak Bluffs selectmen.
By permitting two instances of illegal activity to take place year after year, the town is foregoing $19,000 of additional income.
Although the town's harbor regulations prohibit a person or entity from maintaining more than one private mooring and from renting a mooring to another, and although the state's Inspector General has issued opinion letters to the towns of Chatham, Harwich, ruling that it is illegal for a person or entity to hold more than one private mooring and to rent them to others, the town year after year issues licenses to the East Chop Beach Club to maintain 20 private moorings, which it rents to others. The town receives $150 for each license. However, it rents the town moorings for $900 each. When these 20 licenses expire at the end of this year, the harbormaster should manage these 20 moorings for the town and rent them to those owners of sailboats who presently moor their boats in the Lagoon and wish to moor them in the harbor to avoid having to require the bridge to open every time they enter and leave the Lagoon. The net increased income to the town will be $15,000.
The second illegal activity is the owner of Nancy's restaurant maintaining a four-space parking lot on town land, rent-free. If the owner wishes to provide parking for his customers, which the former owner promised and was required to provide when he added 50 seats to the restaurant, he should rent the four spaces from the town at the going rate of $1,000 each and designate one of them for disabled customers as required by federal law. The increased income to the town will be $4,000.
Joseph S. Vera
Oak Bluffs and Cambridge
To the Editor:
Since I submitted the following information by letter to you last year, many of your readers have probably heard the term "Colony Collapse Disorder." Bees, our number one pollinators, are leaving their hives and not returning. I personally continue to find dying bees mostly at my family home in Chatham. At my home on Martha's Vineyard where I do most of my gardening, I have noticed a decrease of bees and wasps for the past two years. Most reports I've read agree that pesticides are weakening the immune systems of bees allowing the introduction of disease or that pesticides are causing the bees' inability to find their way back to their hives.
The use of pesticides is not as well regulated as one would hope. It is up to the buyer of the poison to follow the instructions, respect his neighbors and respect nature. Many home owners don't realize what poisons are used on their lawns, bushes and flowers by landscapers. We all are responsible for making the choices that eliminate pesticides from our lives.
Here is a recap of the information that I received last year from the Mass Extension Service regarding pesticide use by homeowners trying to rid their trees of caterpillars:
There are three main sprays. B.T. is the least harmful to the environment and will kill any caterpillar, butterfly or moth. The second, Spinosad, once dry will kill only caterpillars but while wet will kill bees. The third spray, Pyrethrum, will basically kill all insects.
If you are an insect-phobe, please realize that insects are a huge part of the food chain as pollinators. The entire dynamic of an ecosystem is weakened by the loss of its insects.
Birds, bats, wild and domestic animals and humans are all made sick by these pesticides.
No place for ridicule
To the Editor:
A hurtful incident happened today, and I wish to raise awareness by writing about it.
I am a skin cancer survivor, and after a few particularly painful, difficult procedures, I have been told to not get any sun exposure - ever. I was walking in Edgartown with a sun parasol. A group of young women came up behind me and started making derogatory comments about the fact that I was carrying a parasol. One even said, "Who does she think she is?"
I was completely caught off guard and did not respond. What I would have said is, I wish with all my heart that I could savor the sunshine, enjoy having it on my skin. But I cannot. However, I have survived cancer, and I hope that you never have to go through what I have been through.
Please think before you speak....it is totally not okay to ridicule people, and it hurts.
More than just a visit
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to Nell Coogan, associate counsel to the Senate Ways and Means Committee, at the State House in Boston.
On behalf of the Tisbury School fifth grade, thank you for the unique opportunity you provided for us on June 4 during our visit to the Massachusetts State House. I eagerly accepted your invitation to bring my class there, as I knew it would make for a meaningful and enjoyable field trip. It far exceeded those expectations. We are greatly appreciative of your efforts to coordinate a tour, above and beyond what other school groups receive.
Our students marveled at the State House itself, which is truly a remarkable building. But they were equally struck and impressed by the people they met and the stories they heard. They know that - thanks to you - they received an experience that most do not get. In particular, their day was highlighted by: meeting and conversing with Senate President Therese Murray (the first woman to hold this post in Massachusetts); touring both the Senate and House of Representatives chambers, and getting a detailed history of these rooms from State House insiders; receiving a formal welcome from the Speaker's chair while we sat in the House chamber, as they prepared to go into session; seeing a view of downtown Boston from the State House balcony (ordinarily off-limits); viewing the Tisbury town flag in the State House's Hall of Flags; entering the governor's office; meeting Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray; meeting our State Representative Eric Turkington; having our class photo taken with Senate President Murray, Lieutenant Governor Murray, and Representative Turkington.
Undoubtedly, it was an enriching and memorable day for these fifth-graders. For some, it inspired an even greater interest in civics and politics, subjects that this class already has a passion for. It was encouraging for them to hear several times from government officials that the State House is really the "People's House," for it allowed them to realize the role and responsibility of citizens in their government.
It is important for young students to begin to understand the importance of the role government plays in our lives, as well as our responsibilities. Thank you for sharing this learning opportunity. It was made even more meaningful for them, knowing that you attended the Tisbury School and Martha's Vineyard Regional High School. Accordingly, there are many young students who aspire to follow in your footsteps, pursuing an interest in civics and government.
We appreciate your collaboration with the offices of State Senator Robert O'Leary, State Representative Eric Turkington, Senate President Therese Murray, and Lieutenant Governor Tim Murray. Each office provided staff to meet with us, answer questions, and make our tour even more rewarding. The itinerary you designed for us was thoughtful and creative. We are grateful.
Best wishes for an enjoyable summer. We look forward to seeing you on the Vineyard. Again, thank you so much for giving us an incredible and rare experience.
Social Studies Teacher
At graduation, so many to thank
To the Editor:
Reflecting on our son's graduation this weekend and in the spirit of "it takes a village," we'd like to specially thank some of the many from our Island community who helped create our graduate's love of life and learning. To Maria Brown for the babies in the basket, to Debbie Milne, Janet Packer and Cathy Carroll of Community Services Pre School for wagon rides, ball pits, Legos and frog ponds, in Oak Bluffs. To Anne Davey for circle time and stories, to Liz Cornell for fractions by telling time, analytical thinking by playing chess and a wonderful trip to St. Ives, to Betsy Gately for geometry and history in the shape of a colonial herb garden, to Doreen Marino for the cycle of life in a tadpole tank, to Kim O'Connor for being first to see the artist.
At the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School to Jennifer Saunders Knight for clouds and algebra disguised as fun, and Amy Reece for form and format in the creative process, to Sarah Smith for never accepting less and always expecting more, to Jane Paquet for the universe, the atom, and the artistry of robotics, to Jonah Maidoff for breathing life into social studies and making it real, to Deborah Cutrer for inspiring honors placement in high school math. To the Charter School community for the best middle school experience anyone could ever have - there is no better environment. At the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School to John Fiorito for a great beginning, to Inez Montanile for keeping track and passing on forgotten lunch bags, to David Wilson for the pearl of wisdom that it all matters from the very first day of high school, to Corrine Kurtz for understanding the present by learning from the past, to Mrs. Orazem for appreciating the dreamer, to Ruda Stone for always listening to the whole explanation, to Natalie Munn for her perseverance and diligence, to Bill McGrath for the difference between proficient and advanced and making it seem easy, to William McCarthy for his wisdom, love of literature and philosophy, and the masterful ability to pass it on, to Laurie Halt for why we register to vote, to Christine Ferrone for creating a better writer in spite of himself, to Dana Munn because he just like physics rocks, to Dan Sharkovitz for what's black and white and read all over and the coffee to go with it, to Jeff Agnoli for never letting him quit and always letting it be his decision to keep going, to Chris Baer for keeping the photographer engaged, to Mike Tinus for the string thing and the easy walk across the stage.
To Janis Wightman for theory and access to ebony and ivory, to Janice Frame for the love of paint, paper, charcoal and ink, to Scott Campbell for passion in clay and fire, to Paul Brissette for freedom within the portfolio.
In our community to Will Luckey for years of dedication and musical instruction that will last a lifetime, to Mark Weiner, Rob Phillips, and Michiko Maekawa of Martha's Vineyard Glassworks for the boy's introduction to making a living as an artist, to Meredith and Tim at Mocha Mott's for his first one man show, to Ann Nelson for always being there from birth, to Deborah Colter for sharing her wisdom and knowledge as an artist and a mom, and collectively to the Arts Department team of the Martha's Regional High School, the Martha's Vineyard Art Association, the Martha's Vineyard Scottish Society, and the community of Featherstone for inspiring and supporting a young artist in incredible ways with amazing experiences and providing the foundation that leads to numerous and brilliant choices for college acceptance.
Selena and Bill Roman