Letters to the Editor
So very grateful
To the Editor:
On Saturday, Nov. 5, the directors of Island Theatre Workshop Inc. gave me a wonderful tea party to mark my letting go (call it retiring - but I'm not; only from C. T.) of our summer program, Children's Theatre, after 31 years, nine of them as director since the death of its founder Mary Payne. The party was held at the Oak Bluffs Sailing Camp where C.T. works, plays, and performs in July and August. To say the party was fabulous is too small an expression for what it meant to me. All the aspects of my life were represented there that afternoon in the presence of so many dear friends, colleagues, family, board members, and C.T. alumni - to say nothing of the children. The children, oh my. Linda Berg, my music director who has supported and inspired me for so long, collected a group of our C.T. children and some staff members, and put together a very funny and moving selection of the songs we have written together over the years, with some amusing narration to tie it all together. And the children sang, and sang, and sang. Incredible - for me and everyone there. The heavens blessed us with a perfect afternoon, and the tea was as close as it could be to a regular Royal English High Tea, given as a potluck by those who came. A surprise "piece de resistance" was Taffy and Chelsea McCarthy's rendition of the "Twelve Rules for Writing a C.T. Play" sung lustily by the assembled crowd to the tune of "Twelve Days of Christmas". Hilarious. And the flowers. They are still blooming in my living room. So gorgeous - so generous. All of it, from Chuck Downing, who opened all the windows and stayed to play with us, to all my beloved adults and children, some who came from off-Island, and the lovely surprise of four beaming girls who had been in the Tisbury production of "Peter Pan" who plied me with flowers.
I wish I could tell you all how deeply it moved me and how thankful I am to all who worked to make the day so successful, to all who have called or spoken to me since with congratulations and regret that they could not attend and to the alumnae who sent e-mails of support. It's overwhelming. I can't possibly mention everyone by name, but you know who you are, and please be assured that you are all in my heart and memory. I must mention Kevin and Joanne Ryan and Stephanie Burke who created such a cozy and beautiful atmosphere, who work so faithfully as board members to support ITW and all its undertakings, and the rest of the board, those who are "old," "retired" and new. And the parents who have so patiently and positively "donated" their children who grace us with their creativity and their talent. Donna Swift (who directs IMP) was an excellent help to C.T. as a staff member; Kaf Warman, ITW's associate artistic director, is always present with suggestions and support; Hilary Blair, who now teaches and directs out in Denver, has given me more friendship and inspiration than I can describe (Hilary and I arrived in C.T. the same year - 1974 - when she was 10); and Nancy Luedeman "the oldest living member of C.T.," a fantastic rock of talent, humor, intelligence, and ideas. And the children. Most of all, the children. All of them, of all ages. "The children, the children, I can't forget the children, no matter where I go or land or sea" sings Anna in "The King and I." That goes for me, for each, for every one, thank you for giving more to me than I could imagine, for inspiring me to write the plays and the music for you, for giving me fun, and heartache, and challenges, and so much delight, so much joy. Linda, dear friend and colleague, these I bequeath to you and your staff. Knowing you as I do, I know that those children of the future will be beautifully taken care of.
Oh, fellow Islanders, we are so fortunate in our community. In tragedy, hardship, and joy, we pull together and give generously from our hearts. Thank you, dear Islanders. I am so very grateful.
Artistic Director of ITW
Pepper the geese
To the Editor:
I have a suggestion about the Canada geese on Ocean Park and Farm Neck Golf Course.
Oak Bluffs could put pepper on the grass to discourage them.
How dare she
To the Editor:
Shame on Margaret Orlando who wrote in response to "A friend struck down." How dare she point a finger of blame and guilt at a family that is experiencing pain from the loss of a loved one. Family pets are as much a part of a family as children are.
Here's a question: If Ms. Orlando's friend's child ran into the street to catch a ball and was killed by a hit and run driver, would she say to her friend, "Well, it was your job to keep your child under control."
We all want to protect our loved ones and care for them the best that we can, and when terrible things happen we look to our family, friends, and the community for support. Shame on Ms. Orlando for not being able to identify with another human being's feelings and situation, but she will have to live with that.
Thoughtless and unkind
To the Editor:
How kind of Margaret Orlando last week to remind that 12-year-old boy and his mother that the hit-and-run death of their dog was indeed their fault. Anyone who owns a dog here is aware of the leash law. Most of us have made the effort to train our pets, with varying degrees of success. Some are under impressive voice control, others have the willfulness of a teenage girl. Over the past five years I've wrangled several dogs who have come into my yard to visit Traveller, including repeat visits from the pet of a local police officer. He's not flouting the law, nor is he unaware of it. The dog simply escaped. It happens. Forget the training or the just completed three-hour walk. All it takes is one darting squirrel, a surprised cat, a moment of dropped vigilance, or a parted line and they're off. That's why they're called "accidents."
Like Ms. Dickson and her son, most of us have lost a pet to traffic or some other human error at some time in our lives. It's a screw-up that's not likely forgotten. They know they're "going to have to live with that." Or did you think it might not occur to them unless someone such as yourself enlightened them? Laying blame on a saddened child is unnecessary, unkind, and thoughtless.
To the Editor:
Five years ago, it was my privilege to review one of the first performances of the Martha's Vineyard School of Ballet's production of "The Nutcracker." In my story, I quoted young Katelyn Fritz, who had just attended her very first ballet performance. "I am going to be Clara," she said earnestly. She soon began to take lessons with the company and now, just five years later, she makes her solo debut in this year's production of "The Nutcracker." And yes, she is Clara. It is quite a tribute to this young lady's hard work and the serious encouragement of her teachers. And you may be sure I will again be in the audience!
Congratulations to the whole company; we look forward to your performance.
You can do it
To the Editor:
I am a Tri-Town EMT (West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah), and I'm asking for your help. If you've ever had a car accident, bike accident, house fire, illness of some sort of emergency, chances are you've had EMTs show up to help. We know lots of you have because we get notes thanking us for what we were able to do.
For over 30 years my husband and I ran a business in Edgartown, but I knew that when I retired I wanted to become an EMT. With encouragement from my family (especially our oldest son, who will be a paramedic in July), I went to the open house for future EMTs. That's when I met Martina Mastromonaco, the coordinator for Tri-Town Ambulance. She told me that if I could hold someone's hand and help put them at ease I could be an EMT.
Of course she was exaggerating. I would have to do a whole lot more than that. I got on the phone, called Fran Bradley and asked her to take the course with me. She agreed without hesitation to be my partner for the EMT class and from then on in, there was no stopping us. We studied hard, had a lot of fun along the way, and made some wonderful new friends in and out of our class.
There is a tremendous amount of satisfaction being able to use what I've learned to help someone else. Tri-Town EMTs are a dedicated great bunch and I love working with all of them, but unfortunately our ranks are dwindling. People retire, move away, or have other fields of interest they wish to pursue.
If the thought has ever crossed your mind to become an EMT, then this is your invitation to join us at an Open House on Saturday, Dec. 3 in Vineyard Haven (next to the police station). There will be information about the course that begins in January and lots of EMTs to answer any question you may have.
If you are 18 and a high school senior, a mom or dad, or grandmother or grandfather, we'd love to have you join our ranks. All towns on the Island need to add new EMTs, but Tri-Town, especially Chilmark and Aquinnah, need your help. So please, just do it, help us help you, our neighbors, and friends.
Fun for all
To the Editor:
A big, heartfelt thank you goes out to the Chilmark Fire Department and to Katie Carroll for hosting a safe, fun-filled Halloween party. It is such a wonderful tradition and one that we all, children and parents alike, look forward to.
The members of the volunteer fire department, along with Katie, put their time and money into decorating the community center, preparing goody bags for each child, held a costume contest with prizes, and don't forget breakdown and clean up. Community members also pitched in by providing baked goods for the treat table and there was warm cider and coffee served.
The children have such an awesome time, and they enjoy seeing all their friends in costume. They parade around the Community Center being judged by the costume judges, and then prizes are awarded. It's pretty exciting for the kids.
Thank you again, Members of the Chilmark Fire Department and Katie Carroll, for caring about our community and especially caring about our children. Year after year, you give them an evening to remember
The Chilmark Community
To the Editor:
There once was a team from Nantucket/Whose goal for the Cup/was to pluck it,/But they left with chagrin,/All hopes dashed in the bin,/And their dreams,/Just a sad, empty bucket.‑
To the Editor:
I urge my Aquinnah neighbors to vote no on Dec. 6 to a cell site at the landfill. Here are many reasons to vote no. The selectmen and planning board admit there is a health hazard. That is why they do not want a cell site at the church. To put it at the landfill would be a crime against humanity.
More than 40 studies have shown adverse biological or human health effects specifically from cell sites and cell phones. Cancer, especially brain tumor and leukemia, but all other cancers also. Cardiac arrhythmia, heart attack and heart disease, particularly arrhythmia. Neurological effects, including sleep disturbance, learning difficulties, depression and suicide. Reproductive effects, especially miscarriage and congenital malformation. Viral and infectious diseases because of reduced immune system competency as associated with reduced melatonin and altered calcium ion homeostasis. This information is available on the Internet. People work at the landfill, we deliver our trash to the landfill, and people reside all around the landfill, including children. The risk factors are too great to put the cell site at the landfill. Please, vote no on Dec. 6 to keep our landfill and its neighbors microwave-free. To voice your opinion and concerns, go to the special town meeting the night before on Dec. 5.
Listen up, selectmen
To the Editor:
At the Special Town Meeting on Wednesday, November 16th, West Tisbury's electorate gave a clear mandate to our three selectmen: "Assert your leadership!"
We want our selectmen to be more forthcoming with information, and to stop hiding their dubious actions behind secret executive sessions.
We want them to stop closing their eyes and ears to what other town bodies are doing. The debacle of the illegal legal bills run up by the Board of Assessors could easily have been prevented had the selectmen, as our chief executive officers, communicated with the assessors.
We want them to stop appointing themselves to their own committees. If the Town Hall building committee had not been so incestuous, they'd have understood how townspeople felt about soaring renovation costs.
When an action affecting one of the selectmen is brought before the full board, we want the remaining board members to demand that he recuse himself - namely, step out of the room, out of hearing, out of sight.
We want the selectmen to adhere to the policy that a selectman shall not have even an appearance of conflict of interest. We don't want our selectmen serving on multiple town bodies with differing, and often conflicting, responsibilities.
Now that our voter registration is above the 2,000 mark and our town budget is in excess of $12 million dollars, our selectmen must begin to act as the responsible and professional CEOs we thought we elected.
Season for caring
To the Editor:
Holiday cheer visited Martha's Vineyard Community Services on Tuesday when students from the West Tisbury School arrived with their teachers, Robyn Maciel-Wingate and Marsha Curtis, to deliver 32 Thanksgiving baskets to be distributed to families in need.
Students Maili Scott, Henry Smith, Alex Dorr, Caleb Costas, Colby Gouldrup, Patrick Hart, Jacob LaPierre, Greggory Aquino, Abbey Entner, Jake Terry, Olivia Gross, Taylor Smith, and Gordon LaPierre arrived bright and early to deliver baskets brimming with all of the traditional holiday favorites.
It was really moving for everyone here at Community Services to see the students proudly stewarding the baskets to the different agency programs where they were needed for distribution to clients.
We share heartfelt appreciation with Robyn and Marsha and the students they inspired and hope that they all take great pride in the fact that they made a big difference in the way 32 Island families will be enjoying Thanksgiving this year. Beyond the lovely meals provided, the knowledge that they care is sure to bring great warmth to the holiday for those they helped.
Director of Development