Letters to the Editor
Life changing bee
To the Editor:
I would like to thank you so much for giving me one of the best experiences in my life. The fact you also paid for all of it touched me. The National Spelling Bee itself was so much fun. They had a barbecue, a banquet, even an after-party.
In addition, for being able to go to the bee, I was able to go to so many places I had never been before. There were so many museums, it was hard to choose my favorite, but I finally decided that my favorite was the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum.
Once again, thank you guys so much. In another way of putting it, you guys made my life change so greatly. I will never forget you. Thanks so much once again, and I hope to see you next year.
Editor's Note: In March, Lily Lubin won the 18th annual Island-wide Spelling Bee, sponsored by The Times, which earned her a trip to Washington, D.C., to compete in the Scripps National Spelling Bee.
To the Editor:
I would like everyone to know that there are three wonderful young adults on this Island. All three were heroic on Lucy Vincent Beach on July 28.
Sheila Freitas, an off-Island lifeguard, saw a man in trouble in the water. He was caught in a rip tide. His two children were going out to help him.
She ran to Joshua Robinson-White, who quickly radioed Bennet Schwab. These two beach guards ran quickly past my niece and right into the water.
The three of them saved the dad and helped his two children have a happy ending to what could have been a tragedy.
A thank you also to Martina, who has trained her whole staff in rescue techniques.
To the Editor:
People often ask why we live on the Vineyard. Here is one of the many reasons.
Last week's storm felled a tree across our driveway, blocking it completely. One call to our neighbors, the Mark Crosslands of Ocean Park fame, and behold, a bobcat was in the driveway. The tree was pushed aside.
I think the best part of the whole story is that the driver of the cat got out and gave me a big hug and said, "This is what neighbors are all about." This is what the Vineyard is all about.
Connie De Felice
A sail aboard Vanity
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to the Martha's Vineyard Museum.
What a great afternoon we had last Saturday with Captain Chris Murphy at the helm of the Vanity. My family truly appreciated the opportunity to sail in the beautiful Edgartown harbor. But best of all was the opportunity to sail in the Vanity, with its historic connection to the harbor. Being on such a lovely boat and learning the catboat's role as a working boat in the Island fisheries, and the Vanity's particular history, created a tangible connection to the past. Chris's knowledge of and passion for this history was a real treat.
I would like to thank Chris and the museum for their commitment to maintain this historic vessel and make it available for the public to enjoy. It is experiences such as this that educate people about Island life and foster a better appreciation and support of Island-wide efforts to sustain and protect our heritage.
Legal and prudent, different for bikers
To the Editor:
Reading the letter to your newspaper of July 16, from Bill Veno, entitled "For two-wheeled enthusiasts,",I couldn't help but disagree with many of the letter's points.
Yes, bicycling is healthy, but most Vineyard bikers are not doing it from need, but for enjoyment. So, biking does not take many cars off the road, free up many parking spots or affect the environment. In fact, every time a mechanically powered vehicle brakes for a bicycle, it degrades the environment, not much, but it does.
In my life, even though biking on state roads is legal with bi-directional 45 mph traffic, no shoulders, random access, and trees crowding the verges, I have never used the road except to cross it, because I am in no great hurry and am I concerned about covering a lot of ground with my fat tires. I am certainly not going to thrust my life in the hands of today's entirely too easily distracted drivers for fun, health or even the environment.
But, that's me, and I have few qualms about others seeking different biking experiences. But when I see an adult leading a child biking on a state road beside a bike path, I shudder. I've seen this now hundreds of times on Beach Road, on the West Tisbury Road and on Barnes Road, and I just don't get it, so I slow to 10 mph and point to safety.
Furthermore, when I hear Mr. Veno tell me not to use my horn when the road gets crowded, I laugh at the writer's apparent ignorance of the situation out here. How do I know they can hear my car or any one of the thousands of nearly silent hybrids so popular here? Ear buds are not illegal, so how can I see their ears as I overtake? Is it worth the risk to not use my only means of communication with these road users so as not to startle them?
We should never forget that most vacationing bikers, bike occasionally, are new to the area, and are simply not state road savvy, though I don't mean the "professional" bikers dressed like giant bugs with advertisements written all over their clothes, who obviously know what they are doing out there. For the rest, we need signs at every meeting of bike and car path, so people are told of the location of safe biking for all.
And some folks, I think, need to teach the difference between what is legal and what is prudent.
The way it really happened
To the Editor:
I am writing to express my family's disappointment with the Vineyard Gazette. In the July 14 issue, Jim Hickey wrote an article labeled "Police Beat." In this article, Jim neglected to find out the facts and printed what I would consider falsified information. We called the Vineyard Gazette and were told they would retract their statements in the article; however the only thing they retracted was their statement that Mr. DeBettencourt was not the one flown to Boston and that in fact it was Mr. Oliver.
My parents, my aunt, and my uncle were the victims in the car. We had asked them to also correct the following incorrect statements:
They stated that the woody (antique car) was stopped in the middle of the road, when in fact they were still moving and in the process of taking a right turn. Only the tail end of the woody was still in the road when the other vehicle struck the car.
They also said the woman who hit them was 29. She was only 19 years old.
They also stated that the teenager who hit my uncle's car tried to stop, yet there was not a single skid mark that indicated she used her brakes before hitting them.
We are tired of everyone saying, "Why were you parked in the middle of the road?" My uncle was driving, and he was turning - not stopped.
We felt the need to write this letter so that people understand the true nature of the accident and that what they read in the Gazette was incorrect, that Jim Hickey did not report the incident using the police statement and portrayed a biased view through all the misinformation in his article.
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
Taxes and health care
To the Editor:
Welcome President Obama and family again.
We are so happy to have you here. I believe our tiny Island sets great examples pertaining to our nation's health care problems.
We attract the very rich and famous and the poor. Why? Anonymity or fame, or you were born at the pond, stuck in the mud.
If you are here to stay you may acquire free health care; providing you are not a homeowner, have a business and/or provide for your family (these would put you into the pay too many bills, too many taxes, just plain can't afford health care you'll go broke trying group.) We are not nicknamed Taxachusetts lightly.
Not so. Sound too stupid to you, sir? But I suggest we all refrain from paying state and federal taxes until you straighten out immigration. Can't you sell green cards? Trust me, they would pay to see Momma.
In principle, sir, it's just not fair. I mean, the funnel. I, like just about everybody, I believe, we are all cut out of the same mud. We should all have health care. Let's make it so we can contribute or be counted for. There are millions of dollars being sent (in our example) to South America by the same hands that accept $25 (untaxed) and free health care.
Oh, I guess we'd better pay our taxes, be good citizens, respect those who govern us, or we may be arrested.
Remember, too, love thy neighbor; you can always borrow a cup of sugar from him but maybe not the butter, these days.
Crisis in Honduras
To the Editor:
The view from here in Central America is much different than the rhetoric I hear from the United States. Regarding Zelaya, president of Honduras, and the "coup" that kicked him out, I will put this into an analogy that hopefully will make it easier to understand.
What if President Obama, being lawfully and duly elected to the office of President, swore an oath of office to uphold the Constitution of the United States of America? What if he then decided that he liked being president so much that he wanted to be president for life? No more elections. After all, he was lawfully elected, and being president, he can do whatever he wants.
But suppose the Constitution, the Supreme Court and the Congress of the United States all said to Obama, "You cannot do that." And if Obama said, "I do not care what you want, I am going to do it anyway", what would the response of the citizens of the USA be? Would you roll over and do nothing? Would you get angry and protest?
I saw Zelaya's attempt to cross into Honduras from Nicaragua at Las Manos. There were about 25 Zelaya supporters, 100 members of the press. In Honduras, there were hundreds of thousands of protesters against Zelaya. The people of Honduras do not want Zelaya back. Zelaya said at the border that when he stepped into Honduras, the military would drop their guns and come to his side. The military did not.
But the USA is going all out to cram Zelaya down the throats of the people of Honduras. What arrogance. The people do not want Zelaya. Zelaya broke the law, violated the constitution. He is the one who attempted a coup. Be careful of leaders who attempt to consolidate power under the guise of democracy. Freedom is so easy to lose.
When I lived in the U.S., I thought it was our motherly duty to meddle, correct, and discipline the world. After all, we knew what was best for everyone. I thought of the USA as the conductor of a great global symphony. If only everyone would just behave as we wanted. What arrogance. We have enough to worry about in the USA and should take care of our own problems first, or we will not be strong enough to survive, let alone direct another symphony.
Thanks to the consultant
To the Editor:
Once again Robert Wasserman has done an outstanding job looking into Tisbury's police department problems. We are extremely fortunate to have such a great opportunity to have him so close by to advise.
I could not agree more with Mr. Wasserman concerning hiring from within, if at all possible, but there must be an open process for promotion. And they should advertise for a chief of police, saying there's a strong internal candidate.
I personally think Dan Hanavan would make an excellent chief for our department, and I would hope that the selectmen give him every opportunity to hold that position.
Lastly, I would like to thank Mr. Wasserman for stepping in once again to help our town, as all his previous interventions were a great help, especially when the selectmen followed his recommendations to the tee. It has always been when they strayed from his recommendations that we seemed to have issues pop up again and again.
I support Dan Hanavan and hope our selectmen will end up appointing him as our new chief.
A goal reached
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter addressed to Stop & Shop.
On the morning of Independence Day, our church, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, organized a pancake breakfast for our Island veterans. After putting up the flags on the Avenue of Flags, they hurried to the chapel for sustenance.
Thanks to Stop & Shop and its generosity, the breakfast was a success, and the veterans were happy - the main goal.
Brent Brown, President
Martha's Vineyard Branch
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints
To the Editor:
Every year, one of the premier Vineyard fundraising events is held at the Field Gallery. The Vineyard Nursing Association's annual clambake on July 22 was a resounding success, as auctioneers Lenny Clarke and Kenny Goldberg entertained the sold-out audience at the same time as they enticed the crowd to participate in some very spirited bidding.
But beyond the auction, this event is a wonderful community night supported by year-round and part-time Islanders with equal zest. These Islanders recognize the need to support the homecare efforts of the Vineyard Nursing Association, as we help over 1,500 Vineyard families every year. We thank all those in our community who attended and helped to make this fundraiser very successful.
Also, everyone at the Vineyard Nursing Association knows the tremendous effort that it takes to stage this event, and I would like to thank all the wonderful people and generous businesses that help make the event possible.
Special thanks to: Belinda and Burt Eichler who, by sharing their personal experiences, helped the audience understand how truly valuable, worthy, and necessary are the skills that the Vineyard Nursing Association brings to families on the Vineyard; Chris and Sheila Morse, who graciously provide the venue at the Field Gallery every year; Lenny Clarke and Kenny Goldberg, who lent their auctioneering skills and good humor again this year. The Vineyard Sound a cappella group provided some entertainment as well as donated their talent as part of one of the auction items. The Martha's Vineyard Clambake Company, Jim's Package Store, Big Sky Tents, Chilmark Spring Water Company, Little Rock Farm, and Brian and Noreen Flanders, all of whom supplied various food, beverages, and desserts; Jacquelyn Schuman, Bardwell Electronics, Cronig's Market, Edgartown Estates Homeowners Association, and Allied Waste Services, individuals and businesses that helped underwrite the event; all the individuals and businesses that donated their skills and merchandise to make the silent and live auctions possible.
And, as the CEO of the Vineyard Nursing Association, I want to personally thank the members of the clambake committee, all volunteers, for the time and effort that they put into the planning for this event. However, I would be remiss if I didn't especially thank Kristin Buck, our development director, and Nisa Poulos, her able assistant, whose tireless efforts day and night, weekends included, pulled all this together and provided for all of us a wonderful and successful evening. Thank you to all.
Bob Tonti, CEO
Vineyard Nursing Association