to the Editor
To the Editor:
I am writing today to comment on the kindness of strangers. Last
year while at the skate park, I fell and broke both bones in my
arm. A very nice young man called 911 for me, and I was taken to
the hospital for surgery. But what prompts todays letter is
another situation that took place at the skate park. On Thursday,
July 7, my son was there and had an accident. There were several
teenagers there at the time. My son was knocked unconscious, and
appeared to have a seizure immediately upon being knocked out. The
young men and women who were there had the presence of mind not
to panic, not to try to move my son, and to call 911. They also
were very descriptive to the EMTs about what had happened to my
Stephen spent the night at the hospital because of the head injury.
Luckily he is OK, but with a sore belly, and a major concussion.
Stephen did not have his helmet on at the time of the accident,
so I would like to remind the kids, and the parents about the importance
of wearing helmets. Stephen is grounded from the skate park for
not having his helmet on that day. He got lucky that he only had
a major concussion it could have been so much worse.
Mostly, I want to thank everyone who helped both my son and I when
we had our accidents at the skate park. First the kids, who all
stayed calm, cool, collected and did all the right things: you all
rock. As a parent, I feel so much better about Stephen going to
the skate park without me, because I know that you all look out
for each other. Again, you all rock.
Second, to the EMTs and the police who responded to the scene, you
all were great. Thank you all from the bottom of my heart for taking
such good care of both my son and me, when we were in no condition
to care for ourselves.
Kelley A. Wilson
A Marine says thanks
To the Editor:
I would like to thank the Island community for supporting the Marines,
sailors, airmen, and soldiers who are overseas in combat zones.
I know some dont believe in what we are doing over there,
but I am glad to see that political views are not getting in the
way of doing something wonderful for Islanders that are in harms
It was a great surprise to receive boxes from someone other than
family. I would like to give special thanks to Mom and Dad, Jo-Ann
Murphy, Julie Clarke, Patrick Long, Marie and Michael Zadeh, Leslies
Pharmacy, the ladies from the Edgartown District Court, the Edgartown
mothers, and Dukes County Deputy Sheriffs Association for
everything they were able to send as a direct result of your generous
donations. These people not only sent things for me personally but
adopted some of the young Marines who worked for me
that werent receiving any mail or care packages. I also need
to say thank you to a little girl named Willow Wunsch, who sent
Christmas presents for several of my Marines.
I am happy to report that my unit has returned to the states and
has taken to the business of catching up with family and friends.
I have been able to spend 30 days on leave with my wife and new
son, born while I was deployed, and am looking forward to my next
assignment. I am due to report for recruiting duty on July 4, which
will keep me stateside for three years. While I am not scheduled
to be deployed back to Iraq any time soon, its very reassuring
to know that if and when I am called to go back, I can count on
the support of this amazing community. Thank you for keeping us
in your thoughts and prayers.
United States Marine Corps
To the Editor:
I apologize to my African-American friends, and neighbors on Netock
Avenue, Oak Bluffs, for the antebellum effigy that appears so disturbing
to our view.
Our good neighbor has said it commemorates his drinking buddy, the
long departed Vineyard jazz player. So, why is he standing with
a shovel, as a scarecrow, in his vegetable patch?
Benefits of a Y
To the Editor:
I was quite amazed at the Mansion House and Vineyard Tennis Center
owners concern for the community with their opposition to
the YMCA in their letter to the editor in the June 30 edition. Even
as a 13-year-old, I was able to afford a full membership to the
Y. The Y became the primary hangout of many kids, not just in my
hometown but for kids throughout the country. The benefits it provided
were both immediate and long lasting. The proposed location across
from the high school and next to bike paths, a bus stop, available
parking, and the Marthas Vineyard Ice Arena and skateboard
park could not be a better one. I have to wonder how many kids can
afford a membership at the Vineyard Tennis Center at a cost of close
to $400 per year or the Mansion House fitness center at $300 for
nine months, or whether they would even want one.
The Montachusett Regional YMCA currently offers a youth membership
for ages up to 12 years for $12 a year and for 13 to 18 years of
age a membership is $41 per year, or 13- to 18-year-olds can choose
to purchase a full membership for unlimited use at $117 per year.
A college-age student can purchase a yearly membership for $224,
and an adult for $350. Neither the Mansion House nor the Tennis
Center can offer the wide range of programs and activities available
at the Y.
It is also interesting to note the concern that public money could
go toward funding the YMCA. If my memory serves me correctly, was
it not public money that went toward helping the Mansion House and
nearby businesses after it was damaged by fire several years ago?
Luckily, there was no loss of life.
Interesting again is the Island business communitys alleged
concern for affordable housing. I would like to know how many of
those Island businesses pay their employees a livable wage and medical
benefits, so that a family could afford a mortgage or one of these
so-called affordable houses, in addition to Island taxes and Island
cost of living well beyond the norm due chiefly to the greed of
those concerned Island businesses. It should be noted that the YMCA
has been known to offer weekly room rentals at reasonable rates
for those maybe between jobs or down on their luck. The best rate
quoted for a room at the Mansion House for one night was $269 or
$479 for a deluxe accommodation, and theyll even throw in
a king-sized bed.
The concern that the YMCAs fundraising could diminish funds
available for the hospital is also interesting. How may Island businesses
make it a common practice to hire the lowest-wage workers with no
insurance, who, when hurt or ill, have to be treated at the hospital
at others expense?
The mention of having no big corporations on the Island makes little
sense, as well. All the evils that make up large corporations are
right within many of the Island businesses with perhaps the only
difference being that Island businesses have the opportunity to
price gouge and provide poorer service due to the fact that they
have no competition. But just like a large corporation, the Mansion
House and other businesses in Vineyard Haven were able to prevail
upon the government to use taxpayers money to bail them out
when things did not go well.
James M. Sepanara
To the Editor:
Recently, the town of Chilmark mailed out a notice about repaving
a section of North Road from Tea Lane to the firehouse. The mailing
was descriptive and complete but ominous because it warned of road
blockages rather than just detours. These blockages would occur
because of a decision to use equipment which paved the whole road
instead of just one lane. Accordingly, there would be times when
a section of road would be closed so residents would not be able
to leave their homes or return for hours.
Fortunately, town officials were up-front about the problem and
very helpful in providing advice on how best to avoid the blockages.
This help was provided at town hall and by town officials and police
on site while the work was being done.
Making a well-planned effort even better was early completion of
the work. This Monday to Friday job was finished on Thursday afternoon.
Construction completed ahead of schedule.
Spread the word it can happen.
For all youve done
To the Editor:
On Mothers Day, 2005, I experienced a nasty fall while trying
to access Squibnocket Beach. This was the first time I have experienced
such a traumatic event and would like to thank all those who responded
and rendered aid. To Officer Brian Cioffi and the Chilmark Police
Department, the Tri-town ambulance staff, the Marthas Vineyard
Hospital, and especially the Falmouth Hospital staff. Together,
your level of care and compassion was excellent. All of you coming
together as you did in my time of need made this experience a little
easier on me.
To all of my family and friends, I cannot thank you enough for all
youve done. From your daily visits, running errands, food
shopping, bringing meals over, and doing the occasional load of
laundry. Youve made me realize how many people care for me.
I thank you for all youve done and, for some, still do for
Madeleine Cookie Perry
What about the chaperones?
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter sent to Michael Halt, principal of the
West Tisbury School:
The June 23 issue of The Marthas Vineyard Times includes an
article by Ezra Blair headlined West Tisbury students reprimanded
for misbehavior on overseas flight.
After reading the article I found myself hoping that some facets
of the story had gone unreported. Specifically, I hope that the
adults the seven chaperones, three teachers and one
administrator were also dealt with in some way for
their lapses in judgment in performing their adult roles during
A more satisfying lead sentence might have been School and
airline officials reprimanded members of the West Tisbury School
eighth grade class, and their accompanying adults, for the students
behavior during an overseas trip to England earlier this month.
The adults ignorance of the students behavior is excused
in the article by citing the seating assignments that separated
students and adults. Knowing the natural exuberance of eighth graders,
did the adults swap seat assignments so that some of the students
sat up front while more of the adults sat near the students? Did
the adults introduce themselves to the flight crew before the flight,
asking that any problems be brought to their attention? Did the
adults understand the roles they were entrusted to fulfill?
The behavior of the West Tisbury students is influenced by the adults
who work with them. Therefore, it is my hope that you dealt with
the adults as well as the students and that the news article simply
omitted that information.
To the Editor:
Yikes. If you dont agree with Fred Thornbrughs slant
on things (pro gay marriage here) [The Times, Letters to the Editor,
July 7] its because you are one of those, in his own words,
Evangelical and religious bullies, political extremists, and
Since Im not an evangelical, religious bully, I guess that
means Im either an extremist or a maniac, possibly both. Either
way, Im clearly a dangerous individual.
Im not sure how society can protect itself from people like
me. Perhaps it could require all Republicans to register with the
local police like sex offenders do. Maybe it could require them
to wear electronic anklets so their movements can be tracked by
their thought-police officer.
Since Im trying to be helpful here, you can see that Im
not without sympathy for Fred Thornbrughs plight. It must
be nearly unbearable for a demagogue, excuse me, I mean, of course,
for a tolerant and enlightened individual such as Fred to have to
share air and space with hoards of redneck yahoos such as myself.
Ocean Park creativity
To the Editor:
A special thanks should go to Mark Clements for his creative contribution
at Ocean Park this year. The wonderful flowers and the mulching
that will keep them looking great all summer long were donated and
planted by Mark. The park just keeps getting better and better,
thanks to the wonderful work of the highway-park department and
contributions from people like Mark.
Oak Bluffs Association
Stop high stakes campaigns
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic
You have very kindly included me in your new Survey of Democratic
Leaders as a resident of West Tisbury. The questions asked were
all pertinent and smartly addressed to what a rational person would
want for any pursuit of public policy. But your people have not
asked us the most important question. If my party believes it can
lead this country out of its present predicament, it will be because
it has asked its voters to become the answer to this question.
Are we willing and able to reduce the unacceptable level of high-stakes
campaign financing that has taken our government out of the hands
of its people? Can we create a plebiscite that will guarantee the
validity of our great experiment; one that ironically we now seek
to export to a troubled world?
If this is possible, the Democratic Party is currently the only
one that can do it. If the party is not willing to try, I, for one,
am not sure what good your questionnaire will do.
A compliment and a question
To the Editor:
Thanks are due for our Sen. Rob OLeary, who spoke out against
a proposed bill which would reduce Marthas Vineyard and Nantuckets
voting strength on the Steamship Authority board. He clearly explained
the reasons why the bill should be rejected by the state Legislature.
The bill would not best solve the current issues at the SSA. It
is very much appreciated that Senator OLeary strongly articulated
his opposition at the June 7 public hearing.
The absence of any statement by Rep. Eric Turkington of the Barnstable,
Dukes and Nantucket district (which is the primary legislative district
for the Steamship Authority) greatly concerns me about his position.
Where does he stand on the issue? Does he support Mr. Patrick or
Senator OLeary? Senator OLeary clearly supports the
islands choice for local control.
The Steamship Authority was originally created by the Massachusetts
legislature to serve as a lifeline transportation system for the
islands. Now is the time for the islands of Nantucket and Marthas
Vineyard to strengthen our alliance by working together with our
representatives, Marc Hanover of Marthas Vineyard and Flint
Ranney of Nantucket, along with the port authority representatives.
It is better to have local control than have the state come in and
attempt to influence the outcome of improving the Steamship Authoritys
lifeline service to the islands.
Editors Note: Mr. Powell was an unsuccessful candidate for
Representative Turkingtons seat in the 2004 state election.
According to Mark Hanover, SSA board chairman, Mr. Turkington accompanied
boatline officials when they met with senate leaders to discuss
their opposition to the bill.
A dangerous near miss
To The Editor
This afternoon, July 6, my daughters and I were on the Vineyard
Haven-Edgartown bike path headed into Edgartown. I was on my way
to the clinic next to the Stop and Shop Pharmacy to participate
in the tularemia study as they were asking for another blood sample.
We had planned to go to Dairy Queen afterwards.
Coming into Edgartown on the path, down the last hill we were doing
about 25 mph. A pickup truck pulls up beside us and isnt even
past us when he turned right, right across the bike path wanting
to go into a driveway.
As he was next to us just before he turned I saw that the turn signal
on his passenger side rear view mirror was flashing. I applied the
three brakes hard on our bicycle built for three as he made his
move. To avoid this fellow I shot off the path, across the driveway
he was turning into and into the woods. We missed him by inches.
We did not crash or even go down, but I have to say I hope I never
hear my little girls scream like that again.
I have been a long-time critic of these paths and my concerns have
been repeatedly dismissed and ignored.
This guy had locked up his brakes as we shot mere inches from his
from front bumper. If we had remained on the path we would have
slammed into his truck.
He then threw it in reverse and took off into town.
He wasnt watching where he was going. He endangered our lives.
He ran us off the bike path and then he took off. It is only by
the grace of God and my cycling skill that my children and I were
It was 4:45 pm, broad daylight. How can anyone miss a 10.5-foot
long bicycle built for three with two little kids and a big guy
with dozens of feathers sticking out of his helmet.
This is a prime example of the criminal stupidity of those we give
driving licenses to. The season is young but we seem to have a real
bumper crop of such motorists this year.
I reported this to the Edgartown Police in person.
Bring back the hydrant
To the Editor:
Now that the Louisburg Square loser has faded once again into irrelevance,
perhaps the city of Boston will choose to re-install the fire hydrant
that was removed from in front of his house.
It is unlikely that any presidential vehicles will park near the
hydrant or in front of the house, now or ever.
William L. Boggess
To the Editor:
Congratulations to Sheriff Michael McCormack for the return of the
Dukes County Sheriffs Department Marine Division.
Its nice to see the county making its presence known and assisting
others in keeping our busy waters safe.
To the Editor:
I feel the need to respond to the Tisbury selectmens meeting
of July 5, and the news article following, on July 7. I have had
a mooring in Lake Tashmoo for 11 years, but this year it was revoked.
And that occurred regardless of the fact that I asked for my mailing
address change numerous times, they were informed of the name change
when I married in 1996, have had the same phone number for 11 years,
am in the Island Book, a Marthas Vineyard Chamber of Commerce
I had the gumption to have the town fax me the changes for the new
requirements pertaining to the new mooring regulations last season,
as I heard through the grapevine.
I have all 11 checks as receipts, including this years mooring
fee, all with my mailing address on them and am utterly appalled
I was on the new grid May 9, 2005, and was scheduled to have a block
put in before June 1. Make no mistake about it, there were no three
registered letters sent to me at the wrong address regarding any
of the particulars, or they would have been forwarded to me, as
had been done for the last nine years, as I am acquainted with the
boxholder who, incidentally, I have a check made out to him for
one years mooring fee, along with the coordinating check register,
as he so graciously paid it for me in 2001. Now thats nice.
The conversation with the harbormaster? Well that was not nice,
but went just about the way I had imagined. He was arrogant and
condescending, telling me my mooring broke off in his hand, all
the while my mushroom was sitting on Tashmoos landing directly
behind him, and where it will continue to sit, fully intact.
Why on earth would I have a mooring inspected when the specifications,
which I had ascertained myself last year, clearly state that my
boat, being 25 feet, needed a concrete block barged out and dropped.
This is a job that entails hiring a company to do this. I was not
caught with my pants down, in fact I had contacted a contractor
to do this mid-May when I was made aware that I was on the grid
and relatively sure of where I was going to be. The specifics then
would be taken over by the contractor, as per our conversation,
as he was in the midst of other contracts in Lake Tashmoo.
Lets talk about maintenance, shall we? How hard is it to maintain
a mooring? Since circumstances dictate this, such as upgrade of
mushroom, and in doing so replacing chain, and luckily for me, Ive
had to replace five mooring balls due to theft, making it virtually
impossible to keep up with winter sticks, but reasonably easy to
check on the chain. Not challenging at all.
I have had two boats registered for a total of five years, including
renewal for this year. Ive held a captains license for
five years, a commercial permit for shellfish, rod, and reel, and
an endorsement for a charter boat. All issued through the great
state of Massachusetts.
Why, this is not business. This is personal.
To selectman Tom Pachico, I want to take this time to publicly thank
you for your support.
And this is how the meeting was wrapped up, by selectman Ray LaPorte,
and I quote:
I suggest you put your name back on the list and work your
way back into the harbormasters good graces.
Id like to site General Laws of Massachusetts Chapter 91:
Section 10A, second paragraph,
no such mooring fees
may discriminate on the basis of residence,
Captain Sarah Trespasz Minton