Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I attended the celebration of the life of Dave Willey; KAP1055 is how I knew him. He was the pilot that would show up one and a half hours prior to his first 7 am Boston flight to pre-inspect his aircraft, wash the windows, and clean the inside of this plane. He took pride in his job. He would also call first thing to find out what kind of delays we had going to Boston for the day. I know this because I am one of six air traffic controllers who had the pleasure of controlling him in and out of the Vineyard. I was called in on the night of 26 September, and as I was driving in I was still hoping he was going to be all right. KAP1055 was not just another airplane that flew into the Vineyard. He was one of our Cape Air pilots, one of our friends, a Vineyarder.
One of the hardest days I have ever had was opening the tower at 6 am and knowing my first Cape Air Flight to Boston was not KAP1055. To all the Cape Air pilots that had the privilege of learning to fly with this man, you need to know he will always be your co-pilot, just from a higher place. To my crew at MVY Air Traffic Control Tower, he will always be remembered as KAP1055. We are sorry for your loss.
Do your homework
To the Editor:
Regarding the article entitled "Concerned citizens vs. the common good," by Nis Kildegaard. Please do your homework regarding Bradley Square, Mr. Kildegaard. Inform yourself and talk to the people before judging them. Not as easy as piling up clichés and blindly repeating the lines you are being fed, but much more honest and rewarding.
To the Editor:
I've sent the following to the airport commissioners:
The presentation by Luxury Media Partners to place advertising both outside and inside the Airport Terminal seems to have some merit in that it would generate some income for the airport. There are, however, substantial detriments, which it appears you have not considered or discussed.
First, any signage on the exterior of the terminal building would have to comply with the West Tisbury zoning bylaw, which is strict about the sorts and sizes of signs which may be placed on the outside of buildings.
Second, do we wish to be "branded" as a luxury destination? Is this the image of Martha's Vineyard that we wish to promote?
Third, the folks who travel by private jet seldom pass through the terminal, so what is the point? Promoting luxury goods projects a very elitist image to those who do and just reinforces the idea that the Vineyard is, indeed, a very expensive place to visit as well as to live. It also conveys a message that it is okay to pander to one's own narrow self-interest, and to wantonly consume natural resources. Is this the message that visitors should receive?
Fourthly, and most importantly, do we wish to promote traveling to the Vineyard by private jet? Is this something that has been openly and comprehensively debated by the community, and is it in the best interests of the Martha's Vineyard community? I think not.
Many residents have expressed their concern and annoyance at the impact that the noise of private jets landing and taking off has on their lives, particularly on summer weekends when there is an yo-yo procession of small jets in and out of the airport. It appears that the numbers have increased significantly in the past couple of years, and there are frequent instances of landings and take offs in the middle of the night as well.
If the Airport Commissioners wish to increase income why not dramatically increase the airport fees (this is presuming that there are fees) for virtually all private jets, the only exceptions to be granted for certified medical flights. This could create a substantial source of income, and also institute consequences for such egregious behavior. Further, why not limit the hours during which the airport can be utilized (always with the exception for certified emergency flights) and establish graded fees so that those landing or taking off late in the evening, or early in the morning pay a significantly larger fee? Thus, all flights from 0800 to 2000 would pay one fee, flights would be banned after 2230 and before 0630, and flights during other times would pay double.
This would convey all the right messages, substantially increase income, and, we hope, decrease the number of offending flights. Also, there is ample precedent for limiting the hours during which any airport may be used. San Diego has a ban and so do many other airports.
Virginia Crowell Jones
To the Editor:
Thank You Martha's Vineyard - you are inspirational and educational.
In late September, we completed the first ever permaculture design course on Martha's Vineyard. It was a superb 10-day event - from the affordable/pleasant venue at the Martha's Vineyard HI-Hostel, to the tasty vegetarian meals from the Morning Glory Farm's kitchen and fields, to the great September weather and the spectacular sunset/moonrise at Aquinnah/Gay Head, and to the 10 outstanding site visits and local speakers.
What was special about these site visits/speakers was that they represented only a few of the hundreds/thousands of Islanders that are dedicated to a future for Martha's Vineyard - one that is full of local/nutritious food and farms, promotes and finances small/local businesses, finds resources for workers to live on Martha's Vineyard and for sons/daughters to stay, and commits money, words, plans, and actions for preservation, conservation, renewable energy, self-reliance, and well-being. Martha's Vineyard is a special place - historic, cultural, scenic, rustic/rural, recreational. And, it seems that everyone is working to preserve/enhance it - hundreds of people on commissions, boards, committees, non-profits, organizations, trusts, businesses, banks, and individuals, some wealthy, all passionate. The current Martha's Vineyard Island Plan, with its wide participation and broad coverage, is a prime example of this passion, this involvement, and how groups are working together.
So, thank you Martha's Vineyard - all of you - for a glorious place for a course on sustainability, Permaculture, local food, small business, and community activism/commitment. You are a great example for other cities/towns/regions/groups. Special thanks to your special places and people - Polly Hill Arboretum, Vineyard Energy Project, Anna Edey/Solviva, Island Housing Trust, Island Cohousing, Morning Glory Farm, W. Tisbury Farmers Market, Native Earth Teaching Farm, Lindsey and Josh Scott, Allen Farm, Wampanoag Natural Resources, the Island Grown Initiative, Slow Food-Martha's Vineyard, our local students/interns: Kaila Binney and Jen Brown, and the Martha's Vineyard HI-Hostel. Our visits and your deep commitment to knowledge of your Place were a significant part of our learning about cooperating with Nature, living abundantly within local resources, and leaving our place better than we found it for our great grandchildren and beyond.
We plan to make this course an annual event in September and hope to do shorter, two-day versions for busy Island residents in April and September. Thank you for all your help, Martha's Vineyard.
It's what's next that will count
To the Editor:
With the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals and the Cottage City Historic District set to review Joseph Moujabber's latest construction plans for 10 Seaview Avenue Extension, we finally appear to be moving toward a resolution to the five-year saga of the Garage Mahal. We know that the town of Oak Bluffs and the people of Martha's Vineyard are sick of this story and want to see the illegal three-story apartment building, at long last, torn down. To be sure, no one is more eager to see this issue resolved than we, Mr. Moujabber's neighbors.
Whatever decision the town's boards reach will be precedent setting, with substantial long-term implications for the North Bluff and the town as a whole. Oak Bluffs needs to get this one right. The easy thing to do would be for Cottage City and the ZBA to rubberstamp Mr. Moujabber's new construction plan and be done with it. That would be a mistake.
Though it's an improvement on the Garage Mahal, Mr. Moujabber's proposed addition violates historic district guidelines and town zoning regulations in a number of ways, big and small. Cottage City, for example, mandates that any new addition "shall be secondary in scale and mass" to the original building. Yet, Mr. Moujabber proposes to attach a three-story structure to a two-story cottage. The proposed addition is, in fact, taller than the original building and substantially roomier on the inside as well. To call the addition secondary to the original building is, quite simply, a fiction.
Once Cottage City and the ZBA have helped Mr. Moujabber determine an appropriate size and design for his addition, the town of Oak Bluffs will have discharged its legal and moral duties. The town will then have the right - and the obligation - to see the Garage Mahal torn down. We all want that. None of us wants to see this case drag on. Yet, we are aware of the importance of this process. To ensure that it is never faced with another situation like this one, the town must show that it has the ability to enforce its own rules and regulations and that it will not be bullied or intimidated. Oak Bluffs must not be so desperate to get rid of the Garage Mahal that it will accept anything in its place.
What about those ugly tanks?
To the Editor:
I recently heard that those very large, unsightly oil tanks at the Packer Warf on the Vineyard Haven harbor are empty and unusable, and have been for more than 10 years. It was also said that Ralph Packer, the owner, was unable to remove them because of the costs. I'm curious if this is true and if any readers would be interested in commenting on them.
Why do it then?
To the Editor:
You gotta love when the town sends its street sweeper out between the hours of 7:30 and 8 am, perfect timing when the traffic is heavy for workers and sending our children to school. Maybe after 9 am would work out better for all of us?
To the Editor:
Restraints are the only reality for the new president in the new year. Regardless of who may win in the election in November, the only option for the first four years is to unravel the mistakes and problems that have been handed to this new administration and president. All the best intentions will be hard met with so many restraints, it will take more than the American public and press may understand. The world no longer looks at America as the "maverick" or "new change" agent. The whole world has changed. Only the fairy tales remained the same.
I suspect there is a new world order beginning to emerge, namely "one world government." It may be the one solution to the problem of global warming.
The hunter-gatherer had long disappeared, as well as the industrial revolution, before I arrived on this planet. And frankly, I can't tell anyone if or how the free market works, but I can tell you that the middle class is something that every country and every culture possesses. In that, the United States has been instrumental.
But there is a new world order taking place, in which political parties and religious beliefs will not be allowed, in order to save this planet and its inhabitants. Yes, there will be great resistance and differences; it is the mainstay in the algebra of life, and I am confident I will not see it in my time here on this planet. But it cannot be denied that we (all peoples of this planet) are on the edge of another great change.
To the Editor:
A heartfelt thank you to all the EMTs who helped me get safely from my Kingdom Hall to the hospital on Sunday afternoon. Your professionalism and care was greatly appreciated in my time of need. I am grateful as well you were able to save the Boden dress.
Elizabeth J. Greene