Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
When I get a paper, I don't expect to peel off a bunch of cheap stickers.
I would tell you where to stick them, but I'm too much of a gentleman. Anyway, here's your sticker back. [the letter writer enclosed his Tab-On sticker.] Stick it. Thank you.
How Nantucket does it
To the Editor:
I live on Nantucket and we have the yellow dog stickers (golden retriever). MV has the black dog (black lab). We also have stickers that say Buy Local/Hire Local. I don't see a problem. Let's not forget, charity starts at home.
By the way, great paper. Wish we had something similar.
No question what's happening
To the Editor:
Regarding the recent letter complaining about the "Save MV - Hire American" sticker ["Can't tolerate it," September 13], the line "What is happening to our Island?" is at the apex of irony. Local people are being put out of work by employers hiring illegal immigrants. That is what's happening. As for the sticker, where can I get one?
Not a limit at all
To the Editor:
This is the transcript of an address to legislators, representatives, stakeholders for the Massachusetts Ocean Plan.
Welcome to Martha's Vineyard Island. Thanks for coming to our Island.
I am opposed to the use of the Commonwealth's three-mile limit for near coastal wind generation and sea bed mining. I will edit this letter to be brief as three minutes allow.
I will let the professionals visit the avian issues after listening to Matt Pelican at an Aquinnah hearing this past week. My take is that a minimum of a one-mile protected shore/sea zone is needed. Nomans Land is protected; how can you develop wind power 1,000 feet away by 400 feet tall? Our Island flyway is like nowhere else in Massachusetts. It is year-round and involves both sea and land species. Chappaquiddick Island is a similar feature for these migration patterns.
I believe the scientific review of the effects of the magnetic and electrical radiation from ocean wind power generation has been totally overlooked in these coastal proposals. The effects of electrical forces are known, and sea water conducts energy faster and farther wouldn't you agree? Our Martha's Vineyard shores are the deflector of many whales, sharks and dolphins as they migrate north and south annually. Personally, I have experienced the visits of these mammals over in Edgartown Harbor for years. The forage food for the great fishes, tunas and swordfish, are spawned and raised in our ponds and near coastal world, often harvested by fishermen both local and foreign. No one says what effect power grids will have on this marine world.
I had years of experiences as a Navy sonar operator and remember volumes of rules and regs about using our sonar when in habitat areas. I have seen no data about the acoustical emissions from the generators, their rotating blades, and the other mechanical equipment and its effects on the marine animals in our coastal environment. These signals will not only be emitted from the towers and their support structures, there will also be a reflected/refracted energy off the sea bed. If our small helo sonar sets were an issue in 1969, a 500-plus-foot tower should be unimaginable after 2009. I have listened to the Chesapeake Bay Bridge acoustical sonar signature at 20 nautical miles in a Navy helicopter and lately to the regional high school turbine, I can only imagine what audible and sub-audible sounds will be generated by the wind towers into our local ocean habitat.
When the sea bed is torn up with the installation of the towers and trenching for the cable runs, I believe that the sea floor will suffer from a modification of topography and a real disturbance of subsurface materials. We are lucky, to a degree, to have the WHOI Data Tower off Edgartown Great Pond with its long history of the water conditions and chemistry. Our local tides are documented by our own published navigation guide, because they are so unique. Buried materials suspended in the tidal flow will wind up on/in our beaches and in our ponds for years to come. No part of the Vineyard will be spared. Remember, also, part of this area and areas nearby (25 nautical miles away / 100 square miles in size) have a history of receiving all the bad and evil materials from nearby projects since the 1040s. The military is still using a piece of this ocean for its live fire practices, as it has been doing since World War II. These foreign, known materials and their component elements are all broken down and dissolved eventually into the sea water near our Island. They still can't say what is causing the lobster diseases now present in this area.
As an Islander's aside, a retired commercial fisherman commented about who is reviewing the geology for this area. I personally have encountered shoal "stones" (surface obstructions) in more than 50 feet of water. Time past deposited some of the Buzzards Bay, Vineyard Sound, and Nomans rocks in this area. Do you blast them out of the way for the construction? You are not going to move them. Just ask the Q.E. II.
I will speak strongly for you to remove the sand and gravel mining operations from this legislation. I can think of no place that can sacrifice the near coastal sea floor and not expect to see repercussions at the shore interface with increases in erosion or other coastal modifications. The sea level rise still floats all boats. The Army Corps has set a 22-inch rise in the Oak Bluffs waterfront's protective sea wall as the 2008 standard. The sea floor needs all the stability it can have, so our shoreside coastal resources will survive.
Will the Commonwealth pay for the damage to our beaches and ponds for the power pollution that comes ashore? Our Island has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars to identify our land and water issues, and their restoration programs are ongoing and very expensive.
And last but not least, will the Homeland Security Protection Plan for this area be state or federally funded. How can Massachusetts even think of its responsibilities to provide security for this area? If the builder pays the costs, where is the oversight for possible pollution issues? The closure of such an important fisheries habitat transportation area will be catastrophic to our Island industries.
Thanks again for coming. Your actions will be watched, their consequences measured, and any local impacts displayed to the world and beyond.
Robert E. Gilkes
To the Editor:
I finally get it. There are going to be wind turbines in our waters, no matter how offensive I think they are. But shouldn't our Martha's Vineyard Commission, Dukes County Commission, and our local selectmen have the final say as to where they will be built, how many will be built, who will build them and how we can benefit from them. As representatives of the Islands, these bodies understand the sensitive nature of our Island's natural habitats, local tourist industry, local lifestyles and local needs, as the state does not. The MVC was put into place to protect this beautiful and sensitive place. This plan ignores the need and our right to local review and local final approval or rejection of decisions.
The state has designated two areas off the Gay Head Cliffs to start putting up wind turbines. In five years or less they will assess the project and at that point may put up many more. The plan does not give a limit to how many might be placed in these areas. These areas will also be open to mining of sand and gravel, and aquaculture under this plan.
Navigational hazards, huge amounts of light pollution (we may lose our starry skies), the noise both from fog horns and buoys, I believe, will change the peace and quiet of the Vineyard forever. If Cape Wind goes forward, as it seems it will, we may soon be sandwiched between two large power plants. Don't forget deep water wind technology does exist, but it is not put forward in this plan.
As I read this very innocuous sounding executive summary of the MOMP, I thought of our forefathers who fashioned our Constitution and fought for our freedom from what they felt was a foreign government. Right now I believe I feel similarly to how they must have felt.
Democracy and our Constitution give us the right and the responsibility to say no, not in my back yard. My backyard is too dear and too special to me. Don't let this Ocean Plan take away our power and our rights here on Martha's Vineyard.
Please join me on Wednesday, September 23, at the Katharine Cornell Theater at 6 pm for the Martha's Vineyard public hearing on the Mass. Ocean Management Plan.
Lucky to have them
To the Editor:
Thank you to the Oak Bluffs EMT services, the Oak Bluffs police, and the Oak Bluffs fire department for responding to the Surfside Motel the night of September 15. Once more the indispensable skill of these companies was evident. We need these folks. They come out in the evening, during the meal hour, voluntarily to render aid that no one else can.
We are grateful to the ladder truck, to the ambulance crews, and the police department for their selfless expertise. Calm, professional, efficient, courteous, experienced - we are lucky.
Kate and Sarah Young
Everyone at the Surfside
They don't earn our votes
To the Editor:
It would appear to me that the people we hire (vote) to represent us in Washington, D.C., with a starting salary of $162,000 a year, with the best perks in the land should earn their salary by being able to work more than one issue at a time. Working people do it all the time.
But, then again we don't hire (vote) for our Washington representatives to work, we hire (vote) for them to represent us. They just choose to represent those with money first and those who check the hire option in the voting booth second.
Heath care, regulating the market to create a level playing field for all investors (not just the big investors), and energy are three important issues that can and should be worked simultaneously. It doesn't take a mental giant to work these three issues at the same time.
If business employees chose to be popular and work only one issue at a time, they, in all likelihood, would end up at the unemployment office. New unpopular worker bee representatives in Washington could not possibly accomplish less than the current slate of incumbents. The next time we step into the voting booth we might want to consider hiring, voting for, unpopular worker bees and send all popular, less responsive incumbents to the unemployment office.
To the Editor:
My wife and I have been taking taxis from the Island Queen dock to our home on Barnes Road for more than 30 years. While we have seen the cost rise over the years, it has still remained in the range of $7 to $8 (we usually tip a few extra dollars to the driver on top to this). This is for one to two people with little or no luggage (no pets, children ... just one or two people).
My wife was off-Island in July for a few days and returned on the Island Queen, took one of the cabs that was already waiting at the Island Queen dock. It was Adam Cab from Edgartown (no, we didn't call ahead of time, they were at the dock waiting for a fare). When they dropped her off they charged $20. She protested, and the driver said it was the normal fee. She told him that she wouldn't pay that much and that the most she ever paid was $8. He called his dispatcher, and he told the driver to charge $15. She paid the $15.
I called the Oak Bluffs Police Department to see if fares were somehow regulated. A very helpful officer said yes and asked all the right questions (did we call Adam Cab ahead of time, did she have excess luggage or large packages, etc.). He said that since they were already at the Island Queen dock waiting for fares they were in violation and had overcharged. He called Adam Cab and talked to "Leon" who tried to say that my wife had called them (not true) the officer explained that that was not the case and that they over charged. "Leon" said to have the "woman" call him. She did, and he tried to say (once again) that since she called them (not true) that the fare was justified. She advised "Leon" not to go there and that she would be calling the police for assistance (they offered to help if the situation wasn't resolved) if he insisted. "Leon" backed down and said he would refund $8 and would either mail it to us or drop it in our mailbox.
Guess whether we have ever seen the $8. Of course not. Here's how I think about it. It's not the $8, the point is I don't like getting lied to, and I don't like getting price gouged. My advice to readers is this: know ahead what the fare will be, and don't ever use Adam Cab (unless you like being lied to and price gouged).
So many to thank
To the Editor:
The fourth annual Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival has come and gone - in a blur. Despite the down economy, amazingly, attendance seems to have risen again this year to more than 2,500, and the four days and nights of showcasing international movies, parties, and other gatherings was a true success in every sense of the word.
All this is due to the unbelievable dedication of a huge team of volunteers. I have to thank Mary Spencer, Angie Park-Sayles, and TaraRose Macuch, in charge of volunteers and the box office (Mary), and the special parties (Angie and TaraRose), respectively. Nothing would've worked without them. But there are also many more who staffed the box office day and night, greeted festival attendees with pithy and interesting introductions, who took tickets and ran projectors, provided lodging and food donations, and performed the dozens of small but essential tasks a successful festival requires. And they did it all with smiles on their faces.
I doubt the newspaper can afford the many column inches it would take to thank each of you individually, as you deserve, so please know that as I look at the volunteer roster with all your names, I'm incredibly grateful to know you and to have been able to depend on you once again to make the Martha's Vineyard International Film Festival the success it was.
Now, on to year five.
To the Editor:
I recently discovered a pleasant surprise on the Island that I would like to share with everyone. While looking for a restaurant to have the rehearsal dinner for my son's wedding, someone suggested that I look into Giordano's Restaurant, since they now have a new take-out menu for small functions.
I met with Leanne Giordano, who is the dining room manager, and she assured me that she could accommodate me with no problem. My husband met with Billy Giordano, the executive chef, and before I new it the menu was in place and everything was set for the dinner.
The dinner was held on Thursday evening, and all of my 40 guests were amazed with the food, service, and decor of the tables. Some of my guests even commented that the food at the rehearsal dinner was even better than the food at the wedding reception, which was also very good. My final surprise came when I got the bill. I could not believe the value that I got for my money, and in today's economy that is a big plus.
I would like to thank everyone at Giordano's for making this special evening possible. Leanne was very pleasant and creative in setting up our tables for the event. Our server, J.P. Money, was the perfect choice for dealing with our sometimes difficult guests and bartender Johnny B. did a wonderful job keeping everyone happy. Special thanks to Buster and Billy Giordano for putting together the perfect selection of appetizers, salads, entrees, and deserts for our guests to choose from.
To the Editor:
The Tisbury Police Relief Association would like to extend our sincere thanks to the many people and businesses that made this year's Bicycle Safety Day a huge success. While some of the financial support is secured through community policing grants, the Tisbury Police Relief Association covers the balance of the funding. Even so, this annual event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors, including the Tisbury School, Cycleworks, Bob's Pizza, Basement Designs Inc, Gypsy Catering, Seaside Celebrations, The MV Times, and Vineyard Cash & Carry.
By all accounts, the more than 75 children in attendance enjoyed a fabulous late summer day sharpening their bike riding skills while learning about safe bicycle operation with the help of several Tisbury Police officers. Remember to keep the rubber on the road and always wear a helmet.
Officer Kelly Kershaw
Tisbury Police Relief Association
Bicycle Safety Event Coordinator
To the Editor:
Every summer, Windemere residents sample some of the great Island events. We do that through the amazing generosity of the Island community. We have many to thank: MV Agricultural Society, MV Hebrew Center, The Vineyard Playhouse, The Tabernacle (MVCMA), Oak Bluffs Library, Vineyard Haven Library, The Preservation Trust, MV Chamber Music, Farm Neck Golf Club, and many other venues, individual artists and performers. We also must thank the many volunteers who assist us on our outings and the elevator operators that have eased our way.
Finally, a standing ovation for the people of Martha's Vineyard, those who have kindly waited when we blocked the way with our van or helped a resident into an event. Your patience and understanding is appreciated.
Betsy Burmeister and Mary Holmes
Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center
Irreplaceable right to decide
To the Editor:
The new Oceans Management Plan and the Cape Wind proposal are threatening our irreplaceable natural resources, especially our vistas. I am alarmed by what could happen here if either plan is allowed to move any further forward. We, the people of Martha's Vineyard, through the Martha's Vineyard Commission, have been wise stewards of the Island. Please, people of Martha's Vineyard, visitors, residents and representatives alike, do not let our power be usurped through inaction any longer.
Why are 100 percent of the proposed wind farms for coastal waters of Massachusetts all clustered around Martha's Vineyard and not near the Dorchester Yacht Club's marina, or Marblehead? Could this be because no one up in the State House wants them to be built in their backyard? No small irony that we here on the Vineyard have the very least representation of any constituency on Beacon Hill.
Need I remind you of Halliburton? The Big Dig? Huge generators filled with PCBs, gravel mining for our waterways and beaches. Erosion is a huge threat. How about the fishermen? And the tribe? And what about our birds? What about the incessant pounding of huge pile drivers and jet plowing of cables as they build, maintain, and then decommission these monstrosities?
Imagine hundreds of strobe lights on the windmills flashing in the night when you go out to view the stars. Remember that Nantucket Sound was a designated Marine Ocean Sanctuary before Cape Wind and the Ocean Management Plan were thrust upon us?
Industrial wind farms in our waters amount to experimental technology built at huge expense and with a severely detrimental green footprint for the benefit of a private utility.
Did you know that the very windmills proposed to clutter up Nantucket Sound are not being built by GE any longer, because they are neither reliable nor economically viable? Did you know that the wind turbines proposed for Nantucket Sound will not even turn for 223 days of each year due to lack of wind? I encourage our state lawmakers to rethink their allowing the industrialization of our best asset, our pristine waters.
Wake up, people. The MVC must be able to freely exercise its authority under Section 831. Martha's Vineyard's waters must be designated as a District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC) and all Islanders and our representatives need to support the MVC.
We are not going to save money on our electric bills by allowing industrial parks sold as eco-friendly ways to save the world. If this is meant for the good of all mankind, then make the utility public. Do not repeat history with Cape Wind and the Oceans Management Plan.
Let the MVC do their job as they have for 35 years and make our oceans a DCPC. Any Ocean Management Plan, state or federal, must give our local and regional planning agencies deference. Listen to the people and prosper, fail to do so and we suffer the consequences.