Letters to the Editor
Bike path is a town decision
To the Editor:
I've been reading the letters discussing the bike path controversy on Chappaquiddick and feel three points need to be made. The first is the bike path being discussed is an Edgartown bike path, it does not belong to the residents of Chappy. The second point is the highway department and planning board have a duty to make the town of Edgartown as safe as possible for the residents and visitor; they should not be asked to recuse themselves from this issue.
The third point is much more personal. I was returning home to Katama one afternoon during the late 1970s when I was stopped from proceeding along Pease Point Way. Before I had a chance to ask the police officer what was happening I noticed tears streaming down her cheeks, then I heard the screams. These screams weren't human, it was the sound of a banshee, something coming from a place I never want to go.
They were the noises made by a mother who had just watched her daughter die. Her bike had hit the curb and threw her under the wheels of a town dump truck. I have two questions to ask of the people who oppose the bike path. Why would you choose to risk someone's life for the sake of a few trees, and are you willing to volunteer to be the one to call to tell someone that they have lost a family member?
I've lived in Edgartown for 38 years and have worked numerous times on Chappy. It's a narrow road with many blind corners making it hard to pass a bike rider. To wait until we do have a serious injury rather than dealing with an emotionally charged issue would be criminal. The town should hold the required meetings to determine the facts and include an article in the next town meeting. Let the voters of Edgartown decide.
Best of care
To the Editor:
Going to the emergency room was a totally new experience for us. We did not know what to expect. The staff was so reassuring and efficient in taking care of my husband, John.
The arranging of his being transported to Mass General ran smoothly.
I would also like to thank Dr. Timothy Guiney for seeing to it that my husband had the best of care at Mass General. Thanks again.
Let's get the facts first, then consider options
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to the Edgartown selectmen.
We were pleased to read the letter that Dick Knight and the Chappy Path Committee (CPC) wrote to your board and published in the Vineyard Gazette of March 12. The conciliatory tone is a welcome relief to a year and a half of rejection of our assertion that alternatives to a mixed-use path need to be explored before tearing up the roadside and permanently changing the Chappaquiddick landscape.
The letter outlines four steps, based on certain premises.
Step 1: Develop a factual basis for discussion. We could not agree more that feasible options, their implications and costs are imperative to consider. However, the superficial nature of the Northeastern University undergraduate senior project, and the absence of any closely examined alternatives, does not give us confidence in the results. We seriously question using it as a basis for any future action.
Step 2: Accurately measure public opinion. A survey commissioned by the CPC bike path developers and written by undergraduate civil engineering students is inherently biased. The obvious challenge of an impartial survey is in deciding who develops the survey, who receives it, and who evaluates the results. Chappybikepath.com exists for the purpose of sharing public opinion. It is invaluable because all letters to public officials and newspapers, and comments submitted to the site are posted there. These reflect true opinions not led by any questions.
Step 3: Promote community understanding. The Chappaquiddick community is very much involved and engaged through research and debate. There have been three public forums including the Sharing Chappy Roads professionally moderated meeting on Aug. 11, 2009. The concept of a mixed-use path on Chappy is not new or complicated; it is very simple for anyone to understand without additional surveys and studies. Is a path needed or wanted? What can be done to make bikes and cars more compatible? Those are the questions to be addressed. Can this community tolerate another summer of bike path discussions when some people are already not speaking to each other in a civil manner?
Step 4: Engage the appropriate town committees. The appropriate town boards have been engaged and made it clear that they do not want to be involved until Chappy community members come to some agreements. If the CPC continue their bike path campaign, then that process can only happen if the two sides meet under the leadership of an objective mediator in order to end the debate, as recommended by Julia Wells in her recent Vineyard Gazette editorial.
Final note: We applaud the CPC's stated desire to have a civil and rational discussion. We again invite them to sit down with us to identify the specific safety and congestion issues. Then let's work together to plan steps that our community can take now, to address those issues prior to jumping headlong into a bike path which will permanently and adversely affect the aesthetics and environment of Chappaquiddick.
Sharing Chappy Roads Committee
Two collection bins
To the Editor:
In answer to numerous requests, The Salvation Army now has two clothing collection bins positioned on Martha's Vineyard.
This was facilitated through the extreme generosity of Island businesses including, Tisbury Towing and Transportation, R.M. Packer Co., The Edgartown National Bank, Edgartown Stop & Shop, Vineyard Cash & Carry and Carroll's Trucking.
One bin is located in the parking lot of the Edgartown National Bank, Upper Main Street Branch, next to Stop & Shop.
The second bin is located in Vineyard Haven at Cash and Carry off the Edgartown Road.
Your donation of bagged clothing will be sorted for local use first.
Items not suitable for Island use will be transported to the mainland to Salvation Army facilities where they are prepared for sale in our Thrift Stores.
The proceeds from these sales help support many programs including our Adult Rehabilitation Centers.
Please do not leave any items outside of these bins.
Should you have any questions concerning donations or any other Salvation Army matter, please contact me at 774-563-9436.
Richard S. Reinhardsen
To the Editor:
On March 23, bunches of daffodils will arrive at the boat terminal to be picked up and delivered by volunteers. That means $12,000 will be sent to The American Cancer Society from Martha's Vineyard for their annual Daffodil Days campaign. We are always within the top ten of any group participating on the Cape and Islands. But then, no community can compete with this Island in caring for others. It is gratifying to know that we are a part of the American Cancer Society's continued efforts in education and research to wipe out cancer.
This time next week our Island will be enjoying 12,000 beautiful daffodil blossoms and you will be reminded that all of our volunteers will be grateful to you for what you have accomplished in this campaign. We are also grateful to those of you who donate part of your purchases so that we may give flowers to our hospital, nursing homes and senior centers. Our hardest- and longest-working volunteers who take care of the pre-sales and deliveries are Kerry and Pat Alley, Katharine Colon, David Cron, Debbie Magnuson, Joyce Stiles Tucker, Susie Wallo, Marilyn Wortman and Penny Uhlendorf. Also, Brad Clough, John Clough, Kenny Ivory, Denys Wortman, and Roger Spinney help with deliveries.
Every year we must give special thanks to our unsung heroes, the ones in each office who collect their orders and turn them in as pre-sales. They are really the ones who determine how well we do, but are far too many for us to acknowledge individually. Our ACS branch in West Yarmouth and headquarters in West Bridgewater have never heard of a community who handles sales this way. Again, Martha's Vineyard is special!
On March 24, Jacquie Renear will be selling daffodils at a table in the hospital and Dorothy will be selling at Cronig's Market in Vineyard Haven. Debbie Magnuson will be selling on Thursday at the West Tisbury Post Office in front of Fella's, rain or shine. Tony's Market in Oak Bluffs will be selling as soon as the flowers arrive. Thank you, all who have participated with us and for all you have accomplished
Which limerick won?
To the Editor:
The entrants are probably wondering,/ while the jury is judiciously pondering,/ which limericks might have won,/ as honorable mention or number one./ Do be patient and no despondering….
The library staff would like to express a heartfelt thanks to the master of rhymes, Joe Eldredge, for presiding over this event; our jury members Donald Nitchie, Jonathan Revere, and Susanna Sturgis for keeping us in order; and our musical guests Gregg Harcourt, Mary Wolverton, and Mattie for graciously providing Irish music for inspiration.
A special thanks goes to our participants: Harriet Bernstein, Doug Brush, Barbara Chandra, Kathy de Rham, Wayne Greenwell, Maureen Hall, Marilyn Hollinshead, Alan Janger, Margaret Kelley, Robert Knight, Pat Lee, Brigite Lent, Jesse Leo, Paul Levine, Eileen Maley, Jack Marshand, Marion Morris, Domingo Pagan, Beth Parker, Jonathan Revere, Michael Sears, Pam Speir, Susanna Sturgis, Linda Voluckas, and William Waterway for their entries.
The jury is still out. The winners and honorable mentions will be revealed next week.
The library will host a second challenge this summer, and we will compile an anthology of Vineyard Limericks for 2010. This publication will be available this fall.
Colleen E. Morris,
West Tisbury Free Public Library
Blow, you resource, blow
To the Editor:
On January 27, the Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan was released. The Ocean Plan work group identified 11 fossil energy generating facilities and one nuclear facility adjacent to the planning area, with a total generation capacity of 7,942 MW. A megawatt generates about as much electricity as 225 to 300 households use.
Coal, oil, and natural gas are burned to generate 75 percent of Massachusetts' electricity, hydroelectric 18 percent, and nuclear seven percent. Massachusetts has no reserves of coal, oil (except offshore), or natural gas (except offshore).
Natural gas is the principle carbon-based fuel burned by Massachusetts utilities for generating around 40 percent of our electricity. Natural gas is received by pipeline from the U.S. Gulf Coast and Canada and imported via liquefied natural gas (LNG) import terminals in Boston. The Everett and Gateway LNG import facilities serve the Northeast, while a third facility (Neptune LNG) was recently approved.
There are currently three major natural gas pipelines that transect Massachusetts Ocean Management Plan area: Hubline, a natural gas pipeline that brings product from landside sources, and two ocean pipelines and their accessory infrastructure that bring natural gas from LNG ships, which are (or will be) moored at deepwater ports seaward of the planning area.
Massachusetts' increasing dependence on natural gas for power generation, 40 percent of its residents also use natural gas, coupled with its high population density along the coast and its lack of real estate for developing utility-scale land-based wind electrical power generation facilities; make it a prime candidate for the pursuit of utility scale offshore wind.
The U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) estimates that more than 900 gigawatts (GW) (close to the current installed U.S. electrical capacity) of potential wind energy exists off the coast of the United States, with more than 50 percent located off the North Atlantic coastline. New England is an ideal location for wind farm development because of its high wind resource in shallow waters close to major population centers.
Massachusetts offshore wind is classified as excellent to outstanding by the Department of Energy National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Offshore wind projects could produce over 100 percent of the electricity used by the residents in Massachusetts.