Letters to the Editor
Red Stocking once again
To the Editor:
On last Friday morning, amid the cold pouring rain, the Red Stocking Fund of Martha's Vineyard provided a little sunshine into the lives of 275 children from 173 families by distributing food, clothing, blankets, and toys. This monumental endeavor was again made possible by the extreme generosity of all of our contributors, our vendors, and especially our army of very dedicated shoppers, wrappers, packers, and distributors. We sincerely thank all of you on behalf of the recipient children. Be assured that you have made a difference in the lives of these children.
It is virtually impossible to thank each individual and organization that gives so much each year without leaving out someone. Thus we have begun a tradition of singling out a couple of important players each year. First, we would like to acknowledge the tremendous help provided by Sara Kuh, Maria Mouzinho, and the staff of the Health Care Access Program of Martha's Vineyard. They are our vital link to the resident Brazilian population, which has become an important segment of our Island community. They assist us with verifying applications, with providing translation services, and especially with sorting out those odd shoe sizes. We would be at a loss without them. Secondly, we could not accomplish the daunting logistics of this program without the unswerving co-operation of Grace Episcopal Church. We literally take over most of Grace Church for a full week each December. We displace the choir practice; we move the Vestry meeting to some out-of-the-way space; we interrupt over and over the daily work of the Church secretary, Pat Witte. No one ever complains; they only ask what else they can do for us. We could not operate as efficiently as we do without the help of Grace Church.
Finally, we would like to note a couple of changes to our board. We are grateful to Judy Mayhew for all her years of service and her many trips to the Cape to bring back toys. We are most pleased to welcome Gail Gardner Craig and Meaghan Morris, whose enthusiasm and energy will serve us well for years to come. The "old elves" are getting more tired each year. Thank you again, each and everyone, who has been a part of this truly incredible effort on behalf of the needy children of Martha's Vineyard.
Kerry H. Alley and
Red Stocking Fund of Martha's Vineyard
Thank you, Cathy Brennan
To the Editor:
During this season of sharing gratitude, we wish to thank and honor Cathy Brennan for her 17 years of compassionate and professional service to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard. Our community benefited from her belief and teaching that presence and skilled attention to those facing serious illness, pain, death, and loss does make a profound difference and often opens the door to experiences of love, hope and meaning for all involved. As a staff nurse for 12 years and then as the director for five years, Cathy touched the lives of many: patients and their families and friends, volunteers, medical and nursing students, staff, colleagues, and community groups.
This coming year, Hospice will celebrate its 25th anniversary in our community. It will do so, in part, because of Cathy Brennan's years of dedicated service and the power of her simple kindness. On behalf of your professional colleagues and the community whom you served, thank you, Cathy.
Jean Hay, MSW, LICSW
MSN, RN, CS
Graham land worth tons more
To the Editor:
Let me begin by saying that I support the West Tisbury assessors.
I was called to do two plumbing inspections at Bill Graham's property about two weeks ago and when I went down there, I took a good look at the property. Now, let me emphasize the fact that I have spent many hours in years past hunting and fishing around there, so I know the area quite well. I was really impressed with the beauty of the property as I drove through to the "Beach House" to inspect (it passed). The beautiful slopping hills, the views of James Pond, Vineyard Sound, Makonikey, and Woods Hole were breathtaking. I wish I had such views and waterfront land.
Actually, what I do have (and damn glad of it) is just a little less than two acres with an old house on it. There is a glass factory (seven days a week) on the north side, the state highway and a restaurant on the east side, and an antique shop to the south. The town values this at just a little under a half million dollars. Now, I am not complaining about my evaluation, but I am wondering why mine is worth so much and Bill Graham's is not worth much, much, more.
I have said for a long time that if Mr. Graham says his property is only worth say $20,000,000. Then the town should buy it and give us all a beautiful beach, pond access, great recreation area and still be able to sell some of it and make a profit.
Bottom line: the town should not back down from the lawsuit. (Strange that Mr. Graham wants to settle now that the court has ended and people have come down from the state to see his property.) I do not think the selectman have the need or the right to supersede the assessors. We have spent the money for court, let's let justice take its course.
West Tisbury reality
To the Editor:
In last week's Times, Peter Williams provided West Tisbury with a dose of reality on the subject of the town's now famous tax case. It seems that a wealthy property owner thinks that his bill is so unfair that his assessment should be lowered from approximately $52 million to $20 million; he feels this way even though town assessors have already compromised by lowering his assessment by 8 million. Last week, Mr. Williams explained that with such a drastic reduction in this assessment the average tax bill would go up by $150 a year. However, there are many average people in West Tisbury who have property that is far above average in valuation. If you are one of those taxpayers and if you think that your bill is going up by only $150, get out your calculator.
Furthermore, we should not forget the position that other wealthy landowners are likely to take. Until now, these good folks have admirably stayed above the fray, but if the town accepts the terms of the landowner in question, can anyone blame our well-to-do neighbors for complaining and for initiating their own legal challenges? Although they would be living on much smaller estates, they would be paying the same or even more tax than the largest landowner in town.
The citizens of West Tisbury should be asking the selectmen to end all discussions about the possibility of extralegal negotiations on this matter. Having invested so much in this case, our logical course of action is to let the court decide. At this advanced stage, where is there any advantage in surrendering? If in the unlikely event the town loses in court, we would be basically in the same position as we would be if we now run up the white flag. Let's not advocate a classic case of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
As for the threat of an appeal, appellate courts in these matters are seldom overruled. West Tisbury citizens, the selectmen and the board of assessors should demonstrate our willingness to compromise by stating that we will not appeal. The matter is now in the hands of the judges; let them decide
Thomas E. Norton
To the Editor:
Bravo to the selectmen; they came through strong and clear for the protection of the tax base and protection of all the taxpayers of West Tisbury.
Here is one scene that they saved us from: If the rich guys of WT get together and all ask for a "Graham" reduction of their taxes (that is, a 60 percent reduction), what will it cost the remaining 2,450 property owners. There are 63 properties in WT that are valued at $4 million or more. The total value is $445 million dollars. The tax that they pay is approximately $2.2 million dollars per year.
Thus a reduction of 60% would leave a burden of $1.32 million dollars. The average cost for each property owner would have to pay an additional $539 per owner. Year after year after year.
I have used the assessed values of $4 million dollars or more to distinguish the rich guys from the rest of us. It could be argued that the cut-off line should be lower than $4 million, which would make it worse for the rest of us. (I assume that these owners could each afford $20,000 in expenses for a tax fight.)
Now comes the question: What should our elected officials do?
A. Hand out freely these reductions; or,
B. Fight like hell to keep the values up so that we, the non-rich, can afford to pay our taxes.
To the Editor
On Sunday, Nov. 27, while on duty in the MVY airport control tower, I witnessed the tragic accident involving Jimmy Rogers. Jimmy was by far one of the finest aviation professionals I have ever had the pleasure of working with and a pilot for whom I always considered an asset to the tower operation. As a pilot and mechanic, his technical knowledge and skill was often called upon to ensure the safe and expeditious flow of air traffic into and out of the Vineyard airport, particularly during the summer months. It goes without saying that the loss of Jimmy has left a tremendous void at the airport.
As an air traffic controller I have been involved in countless emergency situations over the span of 23 years, the vast majority of which have ended without serious incident. Each emergency is unique and requires the solicitation of individual and collective experience, trusting ones intuitiveness, while also following appropriate FAA protocol and procedures for each circumstance.
Recently, this past Monday, I was on duty in the control tower when a local MVY pilot about to land reported an unsafe landing gear indication in his cockpit. Other problems were also occurring inside the aircraft, which gave even greater cause for concern. Airport crash and rescue personnel were immediately notified and standing by the runway within two minutes, a promptness for which I have always known them for. Moments after the alarm sounded I received a phone call from Ted Stanley, owner of Direct Flight. Mr. Stanley is the MVY Airport safety counselor, appointed by the FAA in support of that agency's Airport Safety Program. Ted was calling to offer his assistance. It is rare for a controller to release a tower frequency to a non-controlling entity. Personally, I have never done such a thing before. However, the unusual circumstance coupled with the nature of the emergency called for immediate technical assistance on frequency.
On a handheld radio from inside his hangar, Mr. Stanley quickly began guiding the pilot through a complex sequence of procedures and troubleshooting in an attempt to resolve the unsafe landing gear indication. I listened while Ted called upon his knowledge and personal experience with the type of aircraft involved, while also referring to technical manuals to ensure the accuracy of each maneuver. After more than 10 minutes of conversation, the pilot finally announced that his landing gear was "in the green." The aircraft then landed safely without incident.
I would like to thank Ted for his willingness and his efforts this past Monday, which in all likelihood prevented a less than desirable outcome during this emergency. I would also like to acknowledge the outstanding job consistently exhibited by the MVY airport crash, fire and rescue team. Their efforts, which over the years have often been above and beyond the call of duty, have helped the control tower in providing a safer airport environment for everyone.
Midwest ATC Services
appointments process needs
To the Editor:
My letter below was delivered by hand to Winn Davis, the Dukes County manager.
At your meeting last week, I spoke to you about the quality of the annual appointment process. I chose to follow up with this letter because of the importance of the issue and the absence of two of your members.
The power of appointment vested in the County Commissioners is indubitably the most important one you hold. Delegation of authority is an awesome task and responsibility, which you must well know.
In recent months the very existence of Dukes County has come under fire. The use, and many would argue misuse, of hundreds of thousands of dollars of county funds for the purpose of settling a power struggle has the public outraged. Even now the financial burden to the county increases at more than $1,000 per month as interest accrues on the unpaid judgment.
In past years we have witnessed what many perceive as an increasing level of angst and secrecy surrounds the appointment process, especially with respect to the airport commission. We see no open discussions of applicants. In fact we hardly even hear their names mentioned.
Valuable and intelligent members of our community with remarkable credentials are passed over in favor of others with comparatively little to offer. Those people you do appoint must have some underlying attribute you find appealing. What is it?
During his term on the airport commission your employee, TJ Hegarty, had the distinction of writing to the chairman saying "If you want to be a NAZI control freak about this you are going to have a problem" to defend his unilateral actions with airport employees. Three years ago, Mr. Hegarty was chosen over two talented and experienced retired businessmen who are both pilots. While the observation is clearly retrospective, was this truly representative of your most careful and conscientious consideration efforts?
This is not a maligning of Mr. Hegarty. I have known TJ for decades, and he built the home of a close friend of mine. I would easily rely on TJ for expertise in several areas, however aviation and management issues are not among them.
Conversely, your appointment of Marc Hanover as our representative to the SSA has been excellent. He works hard, listens, and applies sound reasoning and business principals to a job he takes on with candor and integrity. However his response of "very strange" when asked to comment on his impression of the actual appointment process was unforgettable.
Service on a local government body is typically a thankless job born out of a feeling of responsibility to give back to one's community. Certainly each of you is to be lauded for your own service. However, I'm sure you must occasionally ask yourselves why you do it.
Being an unpaid public servant requires a sense of duty, but also a willingness to serve with other members of the community. I myself had the privilege of serving with Bob Wasserman, who chaired the search committee for the previous airport manager. It was time-consuming work but proved to be an enriching and rewarding experience with a positive outcome for the Island, and a task I recently offered to repeat.
While it may be blunt, it must be said that attracting talented volunteers to public service is in no small part a function of the prospect of with whom they will serve. In this case opposites do not attract.
A letter to the Vineyard Gazette of Dec. 2, written by Margaret Logue (my fellow member on the Dukes County Charter Study Commission) extolled the virtues of retaining our county government. We and 13 others spent two years crafting a charter to save Dukes County government. More than a decade has passed, and I still heartily agree with Margaret in principal. However, in practice our idealistic goals remain largely unmet, an opinion increasingly shared by many others.
Perhaps there is an opportunity to turn the tide of criticism, a tide which others would happily see drag the county as an institution out to sea. Consider extending the deadline for applicants to the airport commission and renewing your invitation to citizens to serve this segment of local government. The risks are low and the potential dividends significant.
Any one of the seven of you can propose this action, and only four are required to act on it. There must be one statesman among you willing to consider this positive step. If not, then perhaps the nay-sayers are correct. Please do something to renew our faith in your leadership.
Racial harmony, her goal
To the Editor:
There were several hundred people present last Sunday afternoon at the Martha's Vineyard High School Performing Arts Center to celebrate the life of Della Brown Taylor Hardman. Della was an African-American who offered so much to so many that it seemed to all of us that she must have been cloned six times. All of the people who spoke of her cited her many accomplishments and her many, many friends.
There was one aspect of Della's life that did not receive mention, her interest in interracial harmony. Ten years ago, when I first arrived on the Vineyard to make it my year-round home, I expressed to an African-American member of the church to which I then belonged, that I, as a white person, was uncomfortable with my inability to make easy friends with people of color, that I felt shy and did not know how to do this, that I seemed to be carrying some kind of inherited shame that I couldn't shake off that made it impossible for me to feel that a person of color could like me without the history of slavery getting in the way. This very thoughtful and dear person suggested that I meet Della, which she arranged for me to do. Della invited me to sit down and talk about what was on my mind. An hour later she said, "Join the MV NAACP. You are white, and the NAACP needs black and white working together."
It has been a long time since that conversation. I followed her advice; sometimes I was the only white person present but many, many times not, and over the years my friendships have blossomed. I take from having known Della that it is especially important for all of us to celebrate what we share in common.
Improve the bus service
To the Editor:
When I read William L. Boggess's "Year-round bus service flawed" in last week's Letters to the Editor, I was glad to see someone else with the same views as myself towards the VTA. I feel like I'm in a constant battle with the Transit Authority. I can never rely on the bus to get me anywhere on time. I don't think that I have ever gotten on the bus when it was scheduled to be there. All it takes is for one bus to be late, and then the whole schedule can be ruined. That's not the only problem I see with the VTA either. They don't have nearly enough buses running this time of year. I live in West Tisbury, and getting a bus home or to town is impossible. They only run every hour, and they stop running earlier than some of the other routes do. I find it very hard to plan to get somewhere if I have to switch buses. The arrival and departure times of many of the buses often miss each other by just a matter of a few minutes. It's very frustrating. I would like to see a lot of changes and improvements for the better. Thank you.
Fix the bus schedule
To the Editor:
I think that the Vineyard Transportation Authority bus schedule should be fixed. If you need to get to an appointment and you need to take a bus, you should not have to worry if you are going to show up on time. You should be able to time it to the minute.
The bus schedule doesn't have to change drastically. Depending on the season, perhaps take out some of the stops so the bus doesn't stop at the same place every hour, just every other hour.
Bus changes needed
To the Editor:
Regarding the new bus routes, the off-season schedule is a flaw. It is a flaw in my view because William Boggess was right in saying that the buses are usually late in arriving to their stops all day. I also agree with Mr. Boggess on the fact that the buses are normally a great convenience to the locals and tourists alike. Hopefully the bus drivers and the V.T.A. staff will either change the schedules altogether or make sure bus drivers are at their assigned stops on time.
A busy lifetime
To the Editor:
Tubby Rebello did a lot in his short lifetime.
I have many pleasant memories of Tubby Rebello. Mainly as my student in the old Oak Bluffs High School. I remember him not only as a good student but as a live wire who at times had to be brought back to earth. Rest in peace.
Robert H. Hughes
To the Editor:
There is much debate this year over the Patriot Act.
The saying "Give me liberty or give me death" would seem to support those who value civil liberties over those who support life. The possibility of stopping a terrorist attack at the expense of civil liberty rights is at the heart of the debate.
There is another appropriate saying "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness."
The difference there is that life comes first.
Personally, I would choose life. My wife would choose liberty (because of abortion, not so much the terrorists) and it seems we are both forced to compromise our personal beliefs of the pursuit of happiness to make it work.
My wife and I love each other despite our differences, it is too bad our country seems unable to do the same.
Bush was accused by the New York Times today of spying on Americans. It may be true or not, I suspect it will take a year or more to find out (politically who wins).
For comparison here are two examples: Democratic President Roosevelt confined Japanese-Americans during WWII. Republican President Lincoln suspended Habeas Corpus during the civil war.
Both presidents "temporarily suspended rights" for what they believed benefited the overall good of America. Isn't that what we expect of them?
Both presidents were bitterly criticized for their actions.
Boston and Edgartown
Favors cell tower
To the Editor:
I feel that the cell tower in Aquinnah is a good choice. It will make it easier for the tradesmen to communicate with jobs and fellow workers. If there were ever an emergency, the tower would allow the proper authorities to be alerted promptly. The tower will also make reception a heck of a lot better up-Island. I don't agree with Maureen Williams in your Dec. 1 issue that the towers cause health problems. Maybe if there were some hard facts that showed the towers could cause some fatal health problems, I would have some concerns, but as of right now I am in favor of the tower.
A place for off-roading
To the Editor:
Rare is the parent who is able to choose his or her child's passion. Pleased is that parent when the child's passion requires them to be gainfully employed to support it. Alas, there is a catch. There are few places to pursue the fun and excitement without raising the ire of many.
Do you know or love someone who enjoys riding an ATV or off-road motorcycle? Do you think there should be a local club for them to join, a safe and supervised legal place to ride, and a chance to learn valuable lessons?
Before he left the Island, I was encouraged by our former environmental officer to follow the necessary steps to apply for space in the State Forest. I'm told Nantucket has done it; so why can't we?
I've been asking around and have met several people who want to be involved. I would like to gather names, assess interest, and simply facilitate the start of something my husband and I feel has been a long time coming. Please call us, Donald or Lisa, in the early evening if you would like to be involved, or have any information to share.
To the Editor:
Now that my jaw has returned to its appropriate position, after reading with dismay a letter you posted last week from a man whose vitriolic comments were no less than disturbing. I will give him credit for at least being honest about how he feels. Yet the prejudice infused within his commentary made my skin crawl a bit, forcing me to write in.
"...An overabundance of people with mental problems wandering around, but most of them have homes and make up the bulk of our winter residents..." Someone actually put this in print. I am short on response, dumbfounded by the audacity of such a comment. I mean - really!
The "gaggle of huge signs representing the altruistic contributors have completely blocked all view of it..." (Habitat for Humanity Home on Edgartown Road.) I suppose if one were to lie down on the bike path in front of the two-foot sign, one could have the view of the project obscured.
Here is a clue sir. First of all, not everyone has come to the Island by choice. Many people were born and raised here. Yes it's true, people actually originated on this Island. Another truth is that the Island infrastructure is supported, and managed by the people who live here year-round. Clearly, this gentleman has no idea what struggle exists for many people who live here. To diminish their issues and to minimize the reality that poverty and struggle exist here is a bold and unfortunate sentiment. To criticize those who choose to try to help is only negative and has no useful purpose. To compare service to those in need to a lipo-suction fundraiser is callous, embarrassing and just plain nonsense.
I got the sense that the writer was striking out because we did not choose his poster idea for the Ag Fair. He was clearly upset at the choice, and this seems to be the impetus for his lashing out... something about a famous cow. His statement that people are suffering because we don't care that much, negates his own argument. People care enough to be working to create housing for those who struggle with this basic need. People care enough to support the Food Pantry that feeds many who struggle to make ends meet. People care enough to bother to reach out to those who struggle with illness of all types, including mental illness.
Perhaps the letter was written in order to give the writer a forum in which to offer the metaphors he may have been dying to use. And, after all of the finger pointing the writer tells us he is not pointing fingers. Talk about confused.
The year-round Island population is made up of concerned, caring, very altruistic people who are the first to stand and support someone in need. They work hard to create a life and do indeed depend upon the revenue generated by our summer visitors. People have a right to live here and work here and struggle here. And we have a right to help those that need help without being criticized for it. It is easy to sit in a chair and be critical. It is far more difficult to step out and help.
In an age where there is so much need throughout the world and altruism is fragile and donor fatigue is very real, to fuel the idea that service to our community is a waste and the people in need do not deserve assistance, has no value or basis in reality. Perhaps the writer was just looking for attention. Perhaps the dream shattered by the loss of the Ag Fair poster contest will be replaced by a literary award. In the meantime, the rest of us hopefully will continue to help, continue to give, and continue to be compassionate to those who are in need.
To the Editor:
Nov. 26 not only witnessed glorious weather, but a wonderful outpouring of support for the first "5K for KJ" cross-country run. The run benefits a scholarship fund dedicated in the name of former teammate Kevin Johnson, and was sponsored by the MVRHS Boys and Girls Cross-Country Booster Club. 198 entrants, both young and "older," turned out to run, walk, and leapfrog the 3.1-mile course through our state forest. Smiles, best wishes, fond memories, and many laughs were shared on that morning, and once again it is thanks to our community members who made such an event possible. Our entrants far outnumbered our initial hopes, the T-shirts sold out, and the donations were generous and thoughtful. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year, and don't forget to tell a friend.
Our thanks go out to the MVRHS for access to the facilities, Peter Hall of Basement Designs and Claire Lindsey for the much sought after T-shirt design and printing; The Toy Box, John Clarke of Island Water System, and Fire and Ice for contributing to the printing of the T-shirts; Cronig's and Pepsi for supplying our water and fruit stations; Marylee Schroeder for deciphering handwriting while registering entrants; Plum TV, MVY Radio, the Times and the Gazette which helped so much with the dispersal of information.
Prizes for our top finishers were graciously donated by The Wharf, Martha's Vineyard Limousine, Entertainment Cinemas, Humphreys, Chilmark Chocolates, Murdick's Fudge, and Edgartown Pizza. Thank you all.
MVRHS Boys & Girls Cross Country Booster Club
To the Editor:
In the next year more than 30,000 Massachusetts residents will be diagnosed with cancer. As a Vineyard resident, I'd like to bring awareness to an effort going on right now in our state to combat this devastating disease. The Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts has created a specialty license plate bearing the words "Conquer Cancer," whose proceeds will directly benefit a group of local nonprofit cancer organizations. These organizations represent cancer research, prevention, compassionate care and survivorship. Before the Registry of Motor Vehicles will produce these plates, though, the Coalition has to collect 1,500 applications for the license plate. So far, we have more than 1,300 applications, so we are nearing our goal.
Because so many Vineyard residents are affected by cancer, I am appealing to all those able to help to pre-order Conquer Cancer license plates now so that they can be put into production as soon as possible. To learn more about the Conquer Cancer license plate and how to get an application, you can visit the group's web site at www.conquercancer.org, or write to: Conquer Cancer Coalition of Massachusetts, P.O. Box 67308. Chestnut Hill, MA 02467
Make a difference
To the Editor:
It's time to make a difference as a community.
Coming from a senior's perspective as an American at MVRHS, I tend to see a lot of racism and rude behavior that's uncalled for. I have both many American, Brazilian, Mexican, and Latino friends and it hurts to hear all of the judgmental comments and racial slurs thrown back and forth between every group.
Many kids tend to pick up their rude behavior from friends or family members that they're highly influenced by; but on the other hand, I know several other people that have racist friends or family members that have not been influenced by relatives to "hate" on other races or cultures. It depends where you stand and how much you truly believe in yourself and respect yourself.
My group of friends is very diverse. In my junior year of high school my lunch table consisted of everything you could imagine: Americans (black, white and milano), Brazilians, Latinos, Mexican, German, Indian, and many more. Now, in my senior year of high school we've all managed to form a much larger group. We've grown much closer and consider one another a "big happy family" and I love it.
I tell my friends everyday how much I truly love them and appreciate them for who they are. My friends are what keep me going everyday. My friends are what keep my social life intact and share the good time with me and form memories every day. My friends are the ones who help me when I'm down. They help me keep my grades up. They make me happy, and our trust is a special bond that we share that'll never be broken after all we've been through.
I believe that everyone has enough knowledge and stability to put a smile on other people's faces and to pass it on. I also believe that everyone has enough courage to stand up for others and make new friends and look beyond their color and see them for who they really are.
Go to the Brazilian church one night or learn a few Portuguese words here and there, make a difference in whichever way pleases you and makes you feel good about yourself. It's about time we make a difference on this Island. We're a community. A community helps one another out and works as a "big happy family," as a team. We work together and help to make a difference no matter how big the change may be. It's about time we all accept each other and look beyond race and culture. Make new friends and stop putting others down because you may never know how it'll hit you in the back one day. What goes around comes around.
To the Editor:
I would like to thank everyone who was involved with the fundraiser for the earthquake victims in Pakistan and Kashmir on Dec. 3 at the Hebrew Center. It was attended by 120 people and we raised more than $4,000 that will be given to the American Jewish World Service.
Not one penny of the money we raised had to be spent on the event itself; everything was donated. Generous donations of goods came from the Island business community, including Cronig's, Stop and Shop, The Natural Food Barn, Vineyard Bottled Water and Our Market.
And the food was fabulous. Authentic Indian food really made a hit. Our volunteer chefs included Nancy Nordin, Linda Cohen, John Schwartz, Lungdrig, Gyaltso, PaIden Lama, Uma Datta, Kiran's Catering and Drew Kinsman.
The Hebrew Center was beautifully set up and decorated for the evening by Sharon Gamsby, Peggy Pinney and Lis Jones. Fae Kontje-Gibbs made the posters.
And we had six high school students who donated their time to help make the evening really work: Niko Ewing, Jonah Lipsky, Alice Hopkins, Becky Williams, Dylan O'Brian, and Lucy Mayhew.
Of course, the musicians deserve a great deal of thanks as well. Our own David Stanwood, setting the mood with his laidback piano presentation, and Greta Bro and Ricardo Frota from Gloucester, delighting the crowd after dinner.
Zee Gamson, the social action committee, and the board of the M.V. Hebrew Center supported this event with ideas, encouragement and financial assistance.
It was truly one of the most heartwarming, sacred and energized evenings possible as people from all parts of the Vineyard community came together to help those in desperate need in the Himalayas as the winter approaches.
Again, thank you to all who supported this event. We all had so much fun, maybe we'll do another!
Social Action Committee
M.V. Hebrew Center
Thanks to all
To the Editor:
I would like to express by thanks and appreciation to the Oak Bluffs building department for their time and assistance with my recent project. It was a pleasure to work with a department where everyone is considerate, helpful and knowledgeable. Thank you all.
To the Editor:
In November, I came home to my pet bird falling to her side. I wasn't sure of she had a heart attack or something wrong with her foot. The emergency vet on call stressed it wasn't important enough to see an emergency vet. I had to wait three more days to take her to another vet. In the end it was a broken leg. Dr. Atwood and Dr. Williams both tried their best to save her. Also Dr. Bridget Dunham went above and beyond the call of duty. The staff at the Vineyard Vet clinic were supportive and helpful.
I would also like to thank Jen at the MSPCA for her understanding. Thank you, Kathy and Sammi Chaves, for your love and support, and Stephen Bell for being a great caretaker in the end.
Sad to say, Cheerios didn't make it, but thank you Dr. Williams for your kindness and bending over backwards to help. As for the vet on call who didn't think it was important enough to help, this is the second time I've had to call you. Both times you stressed it wasn't important. Both times in the end the birds died. Thanks a lot.
To the Editor:
I think that it is ridiculous that students at the high school use the bus shelter across the street from the high school as a smoking room. The police are a block down the road.
To the Editor:
The public doesn't deserve to be overcharged, but the town of Edgartown does indeed. Why? Very simple: they never made an economic study of the taxi industry. That is exactly what I said in the Edgartown selectmen's meeting Dec. 12. I did not say what The Times and the Vineyard Gazette said that I said. I never said that the prices were too low.
There is a videotape to prove it and to help determine responsibilities; apparently the press in the Vineyard doesn't understand that - beyond basic respect for the truth - their social function rests upon the independence from police versions and that all parties interested must be given a fair chance. The language selected was taken just from the police as well as the selection of issues alluded to. Your reporter admitted to me that saying that I had said that the prices were too low was an impression by the chief of police of Edgartown. In a democratic society - as we understand it today - the independence of the press is a key element of the overall system of checks and balances in a way not unlike that of the three branches of government. I cannot demand that the papers say what I want them to say, but I do have the right not to be maliciously misquoted. I must say that I see no bad faith on the part of the MV Times, but please admit to the public that what you said happened not to be true.
If you want to know, there are many things that can be done to assure the livelihood of the driver and the very viability in the long run a healthy taxi industry in the Vineyard without raising prices. They range from changes in ownership structure to - in Edgartown - fair demands for service. To analyze it far exceeds the length of this letter. In the proposal of new rules for the taxi companies that the chief of police introduced to the taxi company owners in the meeting held every year, it is said that companies must pay workers comp for drivers. That may or may not be fair but only shows one thing: they don't care to know how it actually works. Drivers on the Vineyard have always been paid as subcontractors to bypass fair labor standards although the way it is done is, in reality, a major violation of labor laws because drivers do meet the definition and the requirements by the Massachusetts Department of Labor to be just employees, since they do not own the equipment and do not have any decisional freedom to operate.
The town of Edgartown had carefully reserved for Accurate Cab the job that other companies with more granted licenses never wanted to do because it is less profitable although socially very useful. In other words, a structural injustice is perfectly acceptable to those who understand privilege above fairness. Initially, that was viable because of the visitor bounty of the late nineties but with the crisis came the judgment: "crisis" actually derives from the same Greek root for "criteria." It has been very hard for me to communicate with the town. Nobody will ever compensate me for preventing so many DUI at the expense of my circadian rhythms though they could tolerate me for that purpose. They made substantial legal errors with us but to them it is just about who they think they are. They represent in the full sense of the expression people like a passenger from North Water street that refused first to pay the legal fare and ended up throwing the money on the ground for me to pick it up after I threatened to call the police (in Tisbury).
Daniel Antonio Jaimen Navarrete
Accurate Cab Owner from 2003-2005
Santa visited Hospice
To the Editor:
A generous community sent Santa to Hospice early this year. There were boxes and bags filled with hand-made gifts, knitted, baked and crafted to sell at our Handmade from the Heart fundraiser. The Daniel Fisher House was filled with absolute Christmas splendor and given to us for the day through the Martha's Vineyard Preservation Trust. A few days later, Kevin and Joann Ryan, Judy Williamson, Joyce Balboni, along with Our Lady Star of the Sea parish, hosted their annual concert, Reflections of Peace. During this busy season, talented musicians found the time to practice for hours, and provide an evening of beautiful music. The concert was not only a time for a peaceful respite but also reminded all about the work of Hospice.
The third great gift comes from Ellen and Scott Gerstmar, owners of the Henrietta Brewer House, an assisted living home in Vineyard Haven. Scott and Ellen have set aside a room for Hospice patients whose families are unable to support their loved ones' needs at home. This gift is not only to Hospice, but to the community and it means a great deal to all of us.
To you, the community, and to all mentioned here, I write my thanks with grateful appreciation for all you do for Hospice, each and every time we ask. We are very proud of our work and we greatly appreciate your commitment to us. Thank you.
Terre D. Young