Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
The relationship of the Vineyard and the Steamship Authority is symbiotic. Without the Island the ferries have no market; without the ferries the Island cannot get supplies or tourists from the mainland. The Steamship Authority adds complexity and cost to its business by adding boats and staff in order to get all those people (read: customers) from the Woods Hole Terminal to your Island.
How traffic flows out of the terminal onto Tisbury streets is the responsibility of the town of Tisbury. If the Steamship Authority cannot run ferries into Tisbury safely and on time, they have a professional obligation to change their schedule until they can. If they then are able to add runs to Oak Bluffs, they should discuss it with Oaks Bluffs to determine whether that port can handle an increase in traffic. Or they can save on their insurance premium by reducing the number of ferry runs to the Vineyard. I do not know of any obligation other than that of a nice-guy businessman that requires them to make more than a nominal effort to deliver all of those potential customers to your doorstep.
If the embarkation fee is going to be used for municipal projects rather than embarking ferry cargo and passengers, please be honest and label it a tax so I can deduct it on my income tax return.
West Haven, Conn.
Oak Bluffs voters asked to support waste plant upgrade
To the Editor:
On November 8, 2005 the voters of Oak Bluffs will be asked at a special town meeting to support Article 12, which asks voters to approve spending $1million to add needed equipment to the Wastewater Treatment Facility. This money will be used to design, construct, and install a primary clarifier, mechanical screen, and additional piping. This equipment is needed to remove fats, oils, and grease (FOG) from the incoming wastewater as well as any sand, grit, and other solids. The equipment will also remove any plastics, rags, and objects larger than ? inch in size.
When our facility was first constructed, we were under great pressure to build a plant that would treat wastewater at the lowest cost. We relied on hired engineers to steer us in the right direction and for the most part, our system has been successful in meeting the Department of Environmental Protections (DEP) discharge requirements to Ocean Park. Unfortunately, if we do not add this necessary equipment, we will not be able to continue to meet the DEP mandatory water quality standards for our discharge to the park.
We have had issues with grease and solids entering the plant. Grease is a problem because it coats the micro-organisms and prevents them from absorbing and digesting the organic matter that must be removed from the waste stream in order to meet our discharge permit.
Another problem is that grease fosters the growth of a string of bad bacteria that prohibit our good bacteria from working properly. The grease also coats the ultra-violet disinfection bulbs and reduces their intensity and ability to kill any remaining pathogens, bacteria, or viruses in the effluent leaving our plant.
We have stringent grease regulations for restaurants and other commercial establishments. We have not tried, nor do we believe it is necessary to try, to regulate what happens in residential kitchens. The fact is no matter what we do to regulate, and what you do to try to prevent grease and solids from entering our system, enough will get in to compromise the treatment process.
Without a primary clarifier, we have no ability to remove sand, silt, and other items that when placed in water settle to the bottom. Currently we need to pump out the contents of the tanks, climb inside, and manually shovel out this material. Otherwise, this material will displace the liquid in the tank and will reduce the capacity of the plant. A primary clarifier would eliminate these costly, dangerous, and unpleasant steps by automatically removing this material prior to it entering the plant.
Lastly, the mechanical screen will remove any and all items larger than ? inch. These include plastics, rags, razors, wrappers, cigarette butts, small toys, rocks, food scraps, diapers, etc. Screening will remove this material from the waste stream prior to it entering the plant, and remove any negative impact on the effluent.
Grease, sand, grit, plastics, and rags are a major maintenance issue at the plant with operators spending hours each day cleaning it out from our sand filters and tanks. We need to have this material removed prior to it entering our treatment plant and the best way to accomplish this is with a primary clarifier.
We are proposing that the funding of this equipment be 50 percent by taxation and 50 percent from the Wastewater Department's budget.
The town voted back in April of 2004 to have us perform a study to see what would be involved in adding the ability to treat septage and dewater our sludge at our facility. This study has been completed and we are prepared to bring this question to the voters at next April's annual town meeting.
This clarifier and screen will be compatible with the septage and dewatering equipment if the voters should decide to move ahead with that later project. In any event, the clarifier screens are vitally needed now, to allow the town of Oak Bluffs to operate its facility correctly and meet its discharge permit. If Article 12 is approved now, we expect to have the project completed before the start of the 2007 summer season.
The best solution to the grease and solids problem is for Oak Bluffs to install the necessary equipment to remove this material and properly operate our facility as efficiently as we can, while continuing to meet our discharge permit. We urge voters to support Article 12 at the November 8 special town meeting.
Robert A. Iadicicco
Oak Bluffs Wastewater Commissioners
Seasoned traveler's observations
To the Editor:
I am a bus traveler, and I think the VTA has to have good signs to tell travelers where they are going to get the best connections. Also that they need correct change when coming off the boat.
You have to have good signs, directions. The most traveled areas are Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury. Traffic should be constant at these points. Even though a lot of the bus drivers are Islanders, I never hear hardly a sound out of them. I'm sure they can be very helpful to travelers if they would speak over their mike to explain some of their knowledge about the Island towns. I seldom hear a word out of any of them. It seems to me they represent our Island. It's nice when people are friendly. It makes everyone feel better. Silence is not golden, I'm sorry to tell you. We all learn from one another. When bus drivers speak, everyone onboard pays attention. Come on, bus drivers, let us know about the Island towns.
You must keep your buses apart by at least half an hour from Edgartown and from Tisbury. It makes for better service. Many times I've seen the buses in Edgartown and Tisbury there at the same time. That is a bad setup this time of year. Keep at least half an hour between arrivals and departures.
Today, Wednesday, Oct. 19, at 6:45 am, I took a bus from Edgartown to Oak Bluffs to Vineyard Haven, arriving at SSA in Tisbury at 7:20. The VTA should make travel [available] from Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and Tisbury every half hour. Persons who run the schedule don't have a good system. I see buses from Edgartown altogether at the same time. If you do that you might as well have only one bus.
When I arrived in Tisbury at 4 pm, I was surprised the bus was there but it was going to West Chop. I don't believe there is any need for that bus. No one even rides on that bus on Oct. 23, 2005. Then I had to wait another half hour for a bus to Edgartown. The VTA bus drivers know the most traveled routes are Edgartown, Oak Bluffs and Tisbury. The VTA has to get better organized. Travel on the bus and you will find out. Don't sit in your office: take the bus from town to town. The traveler needs convenience as they travel from town to town.
Most of the commuters on the bus come from off-Island and don't know much about the Island. It would be a fantastic thing if bus drivers informed people about the Island and where the best places to visit on Martha's Vineyard. We are Vineyarders and should know the best scenic places to go on the Island. The bus drivers are really our ambassadors on the Island. The people will get a view of the Island through their eyes.
I'm very happy we have the commuter system. It would be good to have a bus come every half hour at Edgartown and Tisbury going through Oak Bluffs separated by a half hour. The main plans should be Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury. To have a bus to go from Tisbury to West Tisbury and Up-Island, Gay Head, that is fine, that is where the boats all come too. All the tourists mostly arrive in Tisbury to travel around the Island. Airport to hospital to Oak Bluffs is fine. The park-and-ride in Tisbury is a necessity. It is just great to have a bus system year-round.
The park-and-ride in Tisbury is great. I can see all the buses running until the middle of October, but after that I see no need for it. Edgartown to Gay Head or Tisbury to Gay Head through West Tisbury should be enough.
As I travel the bus, it's nice to have a little smile. Happiness is my thing as I travel for a while. I meet a lot of nice people as I go down the road. It's very pleasurable to pass along friendliness, I've been told. So I'll never change as I ride the bus along.
Let happiness be your guide and you never can go wrong. Thank you.
I love to travel by bus, and I know some of the drivers. I was born in Edgartown and travel the bus frequently. All those people represent our Island of Martha's Vineyard. Thank you.
the issue first
To the Editor:
I want to make some comments about Robert A. Iadicicco's response to my letter concerning the wastewater supervisor for Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
In my letter, I never said that the wastewater supervisor was guilty. I stated that he should not receive a raise until the case lodged against him by the state is resolved.
How can Mr. Iadicicco state that Joe Alosso's errors on his own septic system should have nothing to do with his job and his salary increase? If a teacher at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School was suspected of a wrongdoing, would the Regional High School committee go ahead with a raise before the pending case was resolved? Would not the infractions be a cause for concern until the infractions were remedied?
Mr. Iadicicco also states that the wastewater supervisor's salary is comparable to the market averages.
Here are a few wastewater supervisor openings, their salaries, and the city/county populations:
Do you think the salary is comparable to the market average? No way.
I would hazard a guess that the wastewater supervisor's salary is one of the highest town salaries on the Island with the exception of the school superintendent's.
What is the combined population of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, about 9,000?
I have also viewed wastewater committee and selectmen meetings on local television, and I have noticed that I am not the only individual raising questions.
Eric E. Hohenthal
To the Editor:
I found an article on the Insiders Report from NewsMax, dated September 4, that may explain Cindy Sheehan's actions against President Bush and the war in Iraq.
I hope that Robert Reed, who wrote the letter in response to Cindy Sheehan, will find and read the article. This may help in understanding what Americans are up against when it comes to the press going in all directions with their subterfuge.
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter recently sent to the American Cancer Society:
Last month, on a glorious Vineyard Sunday afternoon, staff members of the Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank and Dukes County Savings Bank convened on the grass at the Manuel J. Nunes Jr. Memorial softball field in Edgartown to determine which assemblage of bean-counters and paper-pushers could score more runs than the other without injuring themselves (or each other) in the process.
At stake were bragging rights and possession of the new Bank Cup trophy; as well as the honor to choose the recipient of a $1,000 donation, $500 provided by each bank. The championship trophy will be on tour and display, until next year at least, in the lobbies of the Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank.
On behalf of the staffs of both The Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank and Dukes County Savings Bank, please accept these two $500 checks in honor of Richard J. McCarron Jr., a valued member of the Dukes County Savings Bank staff and a great friend to us all. We're all waving Rick on as he rounds the bases to a speedy recovery.
Richard J. Leonard
The Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank
Better use for
To the Editor:
Would that the fifty billion just approved by a 97-0 vote in the U.S. Senate for continuing the wars on Iraq and terrorism were put to use helping the world's poor. As the globe's leading seller of weapons and biggest bully, have we no shame?
Health care illusions
To the Editor:
In life there is a fine line between optimism and illusion. My case in point: plans to fix our old hospital. Health forums across the Island have recently pinpointed the cracks in our health system. Did the hospital planning committee pay any attention?
The possible acquisition of Dr Jacobs's practice by MVH acknowledges that the hospital might benefit from having Dr. Jacobs and his patients in their camp and not as competition. His clinic is quite successful. The number of paying patients on the Island is a sought-for commodity. After all, we have a smallish population which is decreasing slightly if lowered school statistics are taken into account. Yes, the high cost of living makes it very difficult to attract private doctors. And yet, if the hospital becomes our only source of doctors, then these same men and women become company men with offices furnished to them and their autonomy diminished. The administration owns them just as surely as old-time mining companies owned their "company men" and as present big business does today. Our health care then becomes monopoly medicine, however benignly it begins. The situation becomes very serious if the hospital does not listen to what the people's needs are.
All studies, forums and surveys through the years show that the Vineyard's most urgent health needs are for an expert in tick-borne diseases, a pro-active mental health system, and for doctors to care for the chronically ill. Our high rate of suicide (sadly, one of our most valuable citizens is a recent example) is the highest in Massachusetts. Our rate of depression is way above the nation's average. Our widespread use of drugs and alcohol, often documented by professionals as home remedies used to alleviate depression, is sad. I have never read or heard that we urgently need more surgeons or state-of-the-art surgical facilities or more private rooms for which many insurances will not pay. I do acknowledge that all of these features would be great to have, but are they what we need most? Are the recent health forum and all the studies wrong? Or is the planning board of MVH wrong and out of touch with its clients? If MVH becomes our one and only health provider, then it is up to every Islander to see that our most important health needs are met. Cannot our deepest needs be addressed by $42 million dollars?
The clinic in Edgartown is not yet fully successful for the majority of Islanders who might benefit by it. We might own another clinic in the future. What is the hospital doing? Do we have any control or say over our Health Care System? Absolutely and resoundingly not, if we don't move ahead, put our individual group efforts together, and hold tight to our purse strings. Petitions and public outrage might help, too. MVCS is going through another critical stage of transition. Are MVH and MVCS conferring about our needs? Do they care?
I have serious doubts about the MVH administration's ability to deal with reality. It is arrogant and persistent in its own goals but, in not dealing honestly with the community, it leaves both as staff open to criticism and its clients needy. If Dr. John Ferguson wants to build a model of rural health care out of our hospital, he cannot continue to ignore the true health needs of the area's population. We all agree we need and could benefit from a new, expanded Emergency Room. Why do the CEO and the trustees not concentrate on what we all agree are other crying needs?
The line between optimism and illusion is ours to draw if we want our dollars to go towards what we need on the Island. We should not give more power to the hospital until it listens to us. We need to get on our phones, get out the petitions, hold defining meetings again and again and vote. Optimism is looking forward to what we need and will help; illusion is blindly following present hospital plans for shiny new quarters in a deaf and blind medical monopoly.
Roberta B. Mendlovitz
To the Editor:
The Harley Girls of East Chop had a spectacular ride around the Island with the Martha's Vineyard Harley Riders on Sept. 18. We started the adventure at the Joneses' house. Karen and Frick bought the ride at an auction fundraiser for Hospice in August. Many thanks to the Harley gentlemen who donated their "time to ride" as an auction item.
With helmets in place and holding on tightly, we were off. There wasn't a cloud in the sky as we headed up-Island to Aquinnah via Middle Road, then to Menemsha with a stop for lunch at the Galley. We headed back home by way of Edgartown, hoping to see someone we knew as we traveled down Main Street. Last stop before home was to the Portuguese-American Club for some refreshments. We all have new best friends now, and who knows, maybe there will be a new bike or two on the Chop.
To the Editor:
I am a former manager of the West Tisbury Farmers Market, and I am compelled to clear up a misunderstanding concerning a letter to the editor this week from William R. Meyer of Edgartown. I don't know if it was a joke, or maybe the flowers Mr. Meyer bought originated in Vietnam, but one thing I do know is that all farm vendors in the West Tisbury Farmers Market must grow all their own flowers and vegetables on-Island. It is one of our basic rules, and we can and do make farm inspections to be sure of it. No "out-sourcing" here.
To the Editor:
I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend Mrs. Irene Pacheco, proprietor of Reliable Self Service Market. Upon arriving on the Island in early January 1971, my first grocery shopping experience was at the Reliable Market. I remember standing in the check-out line, watching the woman behind the cash register wearing white gloves, smiling while assisting customers in front of me, answering their questions, discussing the local community news of the day, as well as discussing balances and accepting payments on personal grocery charge accounts. I found the care, interest and service she afforded her customers genuine and sincere.
In the coming weeks and months, I continued to grocery shop at the Reliable Market and developed a friendship with Mrs. Pacheco, her son Bob, along with store employees and many other regular daily grocery shoppers. Although I will miss my daily conversations with Mrs. Pacheco, all who shop at the Market will continue to see and experience her love, care, honor, dedication, commitment and hard work afforded to her family, the store, its customers and community, instilled in the eyes of her son, grandchildren, and family. I will remember our friendship and the kindness she extended to my family and me, always.
Kenneth A. Barwick and Family
Thanks to the
To the Editor:
I am writing this on behalf of my family and friends to give thanks to my Martha's Vineyard community. On June 14, I experienced a mother's worst nightmare. My then 2-year-old son Anthony was accidentally struck by a vehicle. The Edgartown police and EMTs arrived at my house within minutes.
My son was rushed to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital, where within seconds they made a decision to have my son flown to Children's Hospital in Boston. When my son arrived in Boston, he had a neck brace that not even Children's had seen before, and had the CAT scans they needed to act quickly. They commented on what a great job the Martha's Vineyard Hospital did. Due to the professional, quick, and confident decision making of our hospital and emergency response teams, I do believe they saved my son's life.
Since the accident, I have received an overwhelming amount of love and support, which has made this scary nightmare a little less chilling. Having lived through such a horrific event, and because of all the support we have received from our Island community, reminded me why Vineyarders love being Vineyarders.
My sons Anthony and his older brother Gino are now running around like children should be. There are far too many people for me to list who deserve our thanks, but know that we are all very grateful for your love and support. I, Anthony, Gino, family and friends, from the bottom of our hearts, can never thank you all enough. We are so proud to be Vineyarders.
Dianna, Anthony, Gino,
and the DelTorto family
Give him shelter
To the Editor:
I have a complaint about the bus stop in Oak Bluffs, Beach Road side and across from Ocean Park.
There is no bus shelter at either stop. The wind sometimes can almost knock you over, and when it is cold, you freeze.