Letters to the Editor
Linda Marinelli, a top ten
To the Editor:
When Charlie Marinelli died a couple of years ago, a small group of us, after the funeral, went to the interment at the Oak Bluffs Cemetery. Standing there among the graves, under cloudy skies, between the old Oak Bluffs School and the water department, I reflected on the drama I had just witnessed in Our Lady Star of the Sea Church.
Linda, thin from her own recent brush with death from cancer, walking alone up the aisle, one hand on the casket, the other occasionally holding on to a pew for support. Now, here in the cemetery, Father Nagle finished the burial ritual and said to us, "A member of the family has arranged a special musical offering." I don't think anyone had told Father Nagle what it was going to be. We looked around, and there were no musicians - just a large pickup truck next to the black hearse, with some sound equipment and a man bustling about. Soon we were hearing, "Daddy Never was the Cadillac Kind," by Confederate Railroad.
"I had nothing to do with it," Linda commented afterward. Charlene, her daughter, had worked it out, she said. It was Charlene's way of saying goodbye, thanking Charlie for being the down-to-earth, loving person he had been.
Now Linda is leaving us, too. Not in a hearse. She's moving to the Cape. Once again Charlene is involved in helping us say goodbye, working with Sara Crafts on a potluck for Linda at the P-A Club Friday evening.
Unfortunately, I can't be there. I had wanted to go and tell people why I have always admired Linda. From among the many reasons, here are the top ten.
She has always lived close to the earth. Her plant sales were a first spring stop for down-Island gardeners. She made a living with her scallop shucking operation and truck garden at Sengekontacket. This was before "sustainable" became such a green buzzword.
She took people under her wing, giving them food from her own refrigerator, a job when she could.
She never went to college, or high school. But despite having her formal education cut short at an early age, she would herself go to the law library at the Dukes County Court House, find the appropriate sections, and bring them to bear on local issues.
While never a man-hater, she constantly fought discrimination against women in politics and the workplace.
She was a zealot for transparency. She frequently invoked provisions of the Open Meeting Law. She pioneered the videotaping and broadcasting of public meetings, thus changing the character of local Island government.
She was not intimidated. When Bill Graham, then president of the hospital, wanted to arrange for public funding for that institution, he called for a meeting of the All Island Selectmen up at Howes House in West Tisbury. Linda, who had served on the hospital's board, was at the time a selectmen in Oak Bluffs. She showed up at Howes House with her video camera. When Mr. Graham said there would be no videotaping, Linda insisted that the Open Meeting Law applied. The meeting did not take place.
She modeled the motto: Say what you mean and mean what you say.
She gained public access to the beach at the mouth of Oak Bluffs Harbor, securing a right-of-way over the protests of the East Chop Beach Club - not the only instance when she fought for the public's enjoyment of its own property.
She often ran for office and usually won - school committee, board of selectmen, board of health, finance committee.
She wrote and had published a wonderful biography - "My Way."
Linda is leaving, on her own steam. We are diminished. Who can replace her?
To the Editor:
The residents of Martha's Vineyard are very fortunate in many ways, not the least of which is benefiting from an ongoing relationship with the UMass Medical School. Every fall a group of medical and graduate nursing students arrives on the Island for two weeks to do an internship in conjunction with the Dukes County Health Council. The students are given a challenge to study and research, an issue that affects the health of the Island community. Interviews are scheduled, they go to work, and at the end of their two weeks they give a Power Point presentation with their findings and suggestions to the Health Council, those interviewed, and anyone who wishes to attend. Their presentation is then posted on the Dukes County web site.
This year they were given a particularly difficult two-pronged assignment to attack. How do we get parents more involved with their children and the consequences of their risky behavior, and how is the Island populace educated about good health care practices?
In the process of studying these questions, the students interviewed about 200 Islanders. Those interviewed represented a true cross-section of the Island, and they willingly and enthusiastically gave of their time. No one refused the request. Because they were unknown to the students, those interviewed talked freely and openly on a difficult subject, something that might not have occurred so readily with someone they knew. The students were entertained and housed during their stay.
I am writing to thank the Martha's Vineyard Hospital that housed the students, Ron Rappaport who gave his usual eloquent welcome and introduction to the Island, the Youth Task Force that issued the challenge (under the aegis of the Health Council), and those who so graciously gave the students their time. Of course, thanks go to the students who worked many, many hours on behalf of Island residents. A job well done.
Their informative Power Point presentation can be found on the Dukes County web site, under Youth Task Force. Please take the time to read it.
Rural Health Scholars Committee
Dukes County Health Council
Feds must do their jobs
To the Editor:
As a Wampanoag Indian and a former vice chairman and councilman of the Mashpee tribe, I am not opposed to alternative energy development. The problem I have with the Cape Wind proposal is its location - Horseshoe Shoal - where evidence of tribal existence is present. The federal government has yet to do its job and show that the area does not contain the burial grounds we believe are there. Until it does, I cannot support the construction of the wind turbines.
The disrespect and ridicule of Wampanoag people and their religious cultural practices, which has surfaced in the news media, would clearly be called racism if aimed at another peoples' religion and culture. Would non-native people quietly stand by if the threat was to their ancestors' final resting place? I wonder.
David Pocknett Sr.
Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe
To the Editor:
I read about the closing of Garcia's Deli with great sadness, both for the Garcia family and the tribe.
Paul Garcia has done such a wonderful job, slowly building a business in a spot that is actually not a great location for a business. It has taken a long time to get to this point where both the Garcia family and the tribe are making money. For a long time, it was only the tribe.
Now the tribe is going to "kill the goose that laid the golden egg" by trying to charge more than the business can support. Congratulations to Paul Garcia and his staff for a job exceedingly well done for seven years.
The tribe had a great deal and soon will have no deal. A new owner will reap some of the benefits from Paul Garcia's business acumen, but will soon find out it is not easy to replicate a concept just by virtue of being there.
The onerous rent will put the new owner out of business before he/she has a chance.
I had McDonald's Restaurants as a client for many years. Think what you will about that company, but they surely know how to run a business. They charge their owner/operators a fixed rent every year that does not come close to the total percentage of sales that the tribe has been charging Paul Garcia.
For example, an average McD's restaurant does $1.5 million in sales per year. Rent on that store will be around $140,000 or 10%.
I would be willing to bet that Garcia's does not gross even a quarter of an average McD's sales, and the tribe is charging $100,000.
How shortsighted and greedy on their part, yet he has been making his payments, and we all benefit by having a very well run business that sells wonderful food and drink to a large community. I have been consulting with retailers for nearly 40 years and have been teaching retail marketing communications concepts for the past 12. I see disaster for the tribe, and it is so easily avoidable if they would just re-think what they are doing.
I hope the tribal leaders are smart enough to do just that, so we still might have our deli sandwiches every day.
What a sad day for all involved if they don't.
John C. Verret
Thanks ring out
To the Editor:
The concert at the Whaling Church on Saturday, Nov. 7, was a wonderful evening of music, thanks to the hard work and generosity of David Crohan, pianist extraordinaire, Katie Mayhew, MVRHS senior with the voice of an angel, the Minnesinger Parent Group, Janet Heath and the Preservation Trust, Merrily and Frank Fenner, and the appreciative audience made up of community members, including former Minnesingers and their parents. Thanks to everyone for your support of David, Katie, and the Minnesingers and for making this such a successful event.
Performing Arts Department Coordinator and Minnesinger Director, MVRHS
To the Editor:
I would like to thank everyone who helped out by participating in my summer research project, sponsored by the Levitt Summer Research Fellowship at Hamilton College. Growing up on Martha's Vineyard, I have always felt that we live in quite a unique environment. I was especially interested in finding out how those of us who live on Martha's Vineyard year-round navigate and understand the Island throughout both the winter and summer settings. I know the summer can be a busy time for a lot of us, but all of your input was both interesting and a valuable addition to my final paper and project. All of your comments were much appreciated.
To the Editor:
In regard to two letters in the October 29 issue of The Martha's Vineyard Times, I hardly know where to begin.
In regard to Gitmo, no, it is not closed. But every attempt to do just that is being done. I assume we all know that.
Once again, no, it was not necessary for Obama to bow to an Arabian, whatever.
There is no need to "do a little research" on Obama's background. It has been on TV and in newspapers and magazines many months before and after his election, about his relationships with Reverend Wright, Mr. Ayers, ACORN, etc. It is not a smear. They are facts. They are on tape. Let's not forget Anita Dunn, who sings the praises of Mao Tze Tung, who killed over 70 million of his own people.
On health care, over half the population do not want his version, and are quite satisfied with their present coverage. So many times it has been proven that it does not work effectively in other countries.
It is not a president's job to be doing public relations about the Olympics, especially when he should be listening to his generals on the best strategy for Afghanistan, get the job done, get Osama, and evacuate. Hitler and Stalin thought they knew better, and the rest is history.
Amnesty. You want verification? It is a known fact that we have criminal elements and terrorists in this country, due to a lack of enforcement of the border patrol for many years. There are arrests every day. Inflammatory rhetoric, my eye.
Advertising revenue? A little research on the Internet would no doubt show that anyone in Glenn Beck's position, from any station, is handsomely rewarded for their services. What they are paid is one thing. Whether they are patriotic is quite another.
Blackboard lessons, if I can use that phrase, and facts conveyed by special guests apparently fall on many deaf ears.
Children sing of the "anointed one" in school, but we mustn't salute the flag.
Naive? You betcha. We are going down a perilous path with no sign as to how we are going to dig ourselves out of this quagmire.
Raising the minimum wage in the midst of a meltdown, more government, czars, and higher taxes is not the answer.
I could continue on, but why bother. It is a waste of my time.
And yes, Glenn Beck is a patriot. I'm certain that new listeners will become aware of that, regardless of any buffoonery. And yes, it is a sad situation that there are not more like him.
I wonder when Beck's phone, connected to the White House, will ring. Don't hold your breath.
In closing, allow me to quote a saying that always appeared at the top of the "funny papers", as they were called in the thirties: "What fools these (we?) mortals be."- Puck.
How true that is, in today's world.
Norman S. Reed
To the Editor:
Gift certificates [gift cards?]. Are they a good idea? With the holidays coming I wish to warn the readers about them.
Recently I went to finish one certificate up. They told me, by scanning their computer that someone with my last name finished it back in August. This did not happen, by me or anyone else. Their mistake was that they scrolled through their computer and let someone who did not have the card finish it off. The card was mine, the remainder on it was mine, and it was in my purse.
Needless to say, I was not happy about this. The manager said she would have the owner call me. This did not happen. Who knows which store will honor gift cards properly? So, my question to all of you is, do you still think they are a good idea? Because I now definitely don't.