Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter to express my deepest thanks to the residents and staff of Island Elderly Housing for welcoming me back to the maintenance department. I'm honored to be back amongst you all.
During my nearly one year away from I.E.H., I came to realize how much I missed being a part of one of the Island's closest knit communities. The familiar faces, smiles and constant words from residents and staff alike have solidified my belief that I am working for one of the greatest organizations on the Island.
Upon arriving back to work in August of 2005, I was amazed to see all the work accomplished by the Island Elderly Housing staff in such a short period of time. Recently, Bill Arsenault, maintenance director at I.E.H., attached a satisfaction survey to every work order completed for the residents. Given the positive responses, both written and vocalized by the residents, it's clear how far I.E.H. has come in its quest to not only provide affordable housing to so many members of the Island community, but to do everything in its power to help the residents in any way possible.
As an example, Wednesday afternoons have been dedicated to helping residents by doing odd jobs for them, even though these odd jobs don't fall under the job responsibilities of the maintenance department. The response from the residents and the participation from the staff has been nothing short of wonderful. It's ideas like the above mentioned, the staff and most importantly the residents, that make I.E.H. such an incredible place to be on a daily basis.
My point is Carol Lashnits, Dorothy Young, Bill Arsenault and the rest of the Island Elderly Housing staff have worked extremely hard over the past year to meet the challenges that come with our rapidly growing organization. I have confidence this trend will continue into the future. I am proud and excited to be part of such a wonderful community. Thank you staff and residents alike.
Count on us
To the Editor:
Regarding a letter to the editor last week from Irene Baugh and Rita Reynolds of Woodside Village II, when Island Elderly Housing tenants have concerns or requests, we encourage them to go through the proper channels, which allows us the opportunity to resolve issues internally. When residents choose, instead, to bypass this protocol and begin the process of resolution with letters of complaint to HUD and requests for advocacy from outside agencies, they are announcing to all that they believe that IEH will not be responsive to their needs. As soon as we learned from HUD of the tenants' request, we called them to set up a meeting for the following day.
IEH's mission and ministry for the past 30 years has been to provide affordable housing and related services for the low-income elders of this community. This mission could not have been accomplished without an awareness of, and a sensitivity to, those whom we serve. As a service organization, we know who our customers are, and we are committed to advocating for them.
Actions speak louder than words, and so please judge us by our fruits. We, too, are "Folks you can count on."
Carol E. Lashnits
Island Elderly Housing
It's not the ATVs,
it's the riders
To the Editor:
I am the attorney who Lisa Rogers identified in her letter printed in your Jan. 12 issue. In that letter, Mrs. Rogers inaccurately described an incident in support of her proposal to turn parts of the State Forest into a motocross track. My family lives very close to the State Forest, and it is very important to us. In the interest of preserving the forest, I feel compelled to respond.
Mrs. Rogers's letter neglected to mention the following facts concerning the recent incident:
I have repeatedly asked Mrs. Rogers and her teenage riders (both over the phone and in person) to stop trespassing across my private property; however, they continue to use my property as a short cut to Mrs. Rogers home in Island Farms, West Tisbury. Incidentally, although Mrs. Rogers's own residential neighborhood consists primarily of dirt roads, I can certainly appreciate why it does not accommodate her teenage riders.
Mrs. Rogers was not present at the incident she described in her letter. Her two teenage riders had just turned off Dr. Fisher Road on two unregistered ATVs. I encountered the two ATV riders as they were trespassing over my private property. As the two teenagers approached me (traveling on a narrow path that was coincidentally brush-cut across my property without my permission), I stood at the side of the path and signaled that I wished to speak with them.
The ATV riders certainly recognized that I was asking them to stop. As they sped past me (narrowly missing me), I was dumbfounded. I never jumped out in front of them or "shrieked" as Mrs. Rogers alleges. I did shout matter-of-factly (over the noise of their revving engines), "Okay, I see you." I was trying to inform them that if they wouldn't voluntarily stop and address the situation with me like good citizens and neighbors, then I could just as easily identify them to the police. They kept on going, so I reported them to the police.
I wasn't there to see the policeman cited in Mrs. Rogers's letter "as he pulls someone off their motorcycle while it is in motion." I have a hunch that this police officer's experience was similar to mine. My experience with these particular riders leads me to doubt that they are capable of adhering to rules or established trails.
What Mrs. Rogers fails to understand is that most of us have no problem with ATV use per se, our annoyance is with ATV riders using private property and public land like one big motocross track, oblivious to other people, their property rights and the environment. Almost as irksome is the attitude of entitlement that is routinely invoked to explain away these continuing violations.
For example, Mrs. Rogers cites the "anarchy" which she claims is a result of society's failure to provide her teenage riders with a motocross track; however, the true and obvious source of these confrontations is that her ATV riders, with impunity and without remorse, persist in disturbing others by illegally riding ATVs on both public conservation land and private property.
Mrs. Rogers further cites the skateboard park in support of her proposal. I was the attorney for the skateboard park (I represented them for free). The skateboard park wasn't some easy land giveaway. There were countless meetings where parcels were considered; liability and other legalities were continually debated. The skateboard park took many years of hard and dedicated work by parents and their kids before becoming a reality.
The skateboard park proponents set a fine example in support of their cause. In that case, kids did their own extensive research on parks in other communities. Parents made countless proposals to the selectmen and various other authorities. Many seemingly good proposals were rejected for a variety of reasons; however, despite being told to start over from the beginning many times, the skateboard park people were patient and polite at each and every stage of the proceedings.
Equally as important, the skate-park people stayed focused and "on message." They didn't demand or complain; instead they adapted, changed their plan and came back again and again. Because of this, no one ever got tired of hearing them pitch yet another proposal. Finally, the proponents of the skate park, as a result of all their dedication, fortitude, generosity and grace, won their small place to build a park.
I certainly don't take credit for the skate park; however, based on my personal experience with that project, I know that anyone who is sincerely committed to establishing a motocross track will have a difficult task ahead of them. A motocross track is certainly possible if proponents are willing to work hard and stay focused. I humbly offer the following advice to Mrs. Rogers, realizing of course that she may or may not find it useful in her advocacy of a motocross track on Martha's Vineyard:
1. Accept reality. Motocross is not an activity with a low impact on the environment. Bicycle riding, horseback riding, hiking, running, bird watching and any similar activities can and do take place, side by side, without detracting in any significant fashion from one another or the natural environment. In contrast, motocross creates large amounts of dust, the smell of toxic exhaust fumes and loud engine noise (even with a "proper muffler"). Furthermore, a motorized ATV running over an area has a negative impact on soil and vegetation. Motocross is simply incompatible with land set aside for environmental conservation.
2. Take responsibility. Please know that we think it's great that you found a passion; and whether your passion is dune buggies, NASCAR, motocross, karaoke, or playing the bagpipes, we are not judging you. We want you to be happy, but not if your happiness comes at our expense. Take responsibility for your own activity, and don't expect the rest of us to subsidize your passion with free public land. Society doesn't owe you a place to ride. If this activity is truly important to you, then dedicate yourself - organize, raise money, research and acquire a parcel of land that is compatible with your use. No one is stopping you.
3. Respect others and the environment. Show people you can ride responsibly and obey the laws, rules and property rights of others. If you are truly concerned about the safety and welfare of others, stay off private property and public conservation land. If a policeman or private citizen approaches you, don't speed off. That doesn't avoid the conflict, and it only makes you look bad. Realize that your individual riding conduct will govern how motocross riders are judged as a group. Try turning off your engine and listening. If you are riding where you are legally entitled to ride, calmly explain that. You should have no problem. If you are riding where you shouldn't be riding, then admit your mistake and apologize. Then promptly leave the area and don't ever ride there again. The renegade act greatly undermines your cause.
4. Be flexible. Just because some people don't support your idea of turning parts of the State Forest into a motocross track, doesn't mean the same people won't support a track somewhere else. Don't waste valuable time and energy on a hopeless project when you can adapt it into a project people will support. Don't attempt to marginalize or downplay people's criticisms and concerns. Instead embrace their input as an opportunity to make your project better. Recognize that they have a legitimate right to prevent your project from upsetting the residential or environmental balance. Ideally, you want your final project to be something of which the whole island can be proud.
Finally, I am encouraged to hear that Mrs. Rogers's proposal for a "track location is no way limited to the State Forest." Conservation land is incompatible with motocross riding given the noise, speed, fumes, dust and the impact of such activity on the soil, vegetation and wildlife. Furthermore, it would set a bad precedent to allow any one group or another to carve out areas of the state forest for their own private use. On the other hand, a track in an appropriate location, a place that minimizes environmental impact and disturbance to others, could be a great asset to the Island. I wish her group success in such a project.
To the Editor:
I have been following the discourse about ORVs in the State Forest with much interest.
I have known Lisa Rogers for many years, from working together on the Mountain Bike Search and Rescue Team, plus her help with the setup and running of the off-road portion of the M.S Ride, and also the many times Lisa has spent riding with me and the off-road group, Sundays past.
Lisa is a great ambassador for equestrians and cyclists alike, and I have no doubt she would be an equally great ambassador for the ORV community.
I have no doubt her kids would be responsible riders, but the ORV community has a great deal to overcome with the perception that the other trail users, including me, have of them, a perception that they have brought upon themselves by their own actions.
I wrote last April to both The Times and the Vineyard Gazette about the destruction of our trail system by ORVs. Imagine a beautiful day, a 20-mile ride in the woods of Martha's Vineyard, and every single trail is absolutely freshly shredded by ORVs.
This has been a serious ongoing problem.
As the weather improves and the ground thaws with the coming of spring, you will see from Edgartown, to Oak Bluffs, Vineyard Haven, West Tisbury and on up to Chilmark, as has happened every spring, the trashing of trails and ancient ways by these ORVs with no regard whatsoever for others who use these trails. It will continue through the summer and fall until it gets too cold to ride.
From the State Forest to Land Bank, Sheriff's Meadow and the Trustees properties, none are sacred from these motorized vehicles.
I once read in a National Geographic that an off-road motorcycle can displace one and a half tons of soil per mile ridden. From what I have seen of the Island trails I would believe it.
I have followed ripped-up tracks right back to where some of these riders live. They sure don't appear to be too smart, or maybe they just don't care.
I have seen signs that are placed to keep ORVs off trails and at entrances of the State Forest to keep them out destroyed, signs that are designed to take a great deal of abuse. They are made of some sort of plastic, polycarbonate material.
You could run over them with a truck, and they would pop right up. I have seen the results where riders of ORVs have taken their rear wheel, placed it against the sign post, locked the front brake hard on and spinning their rear wheel, melted the posts.
Every year, the 10 years I was involved with the M.S. charity rides, we had problems with ORV riders destroying signs, flagging and course markings in the State Forest.
The ORV community, these riders, adults and children, along with the parents of these children, need to take responsibility for the damage they have already done, for the reputation they have already made. They need to get their act together. They as a group need to educate and police themselves before demanding the use of what they have been abusing already, what they have no rights to ride on.
There is nowhere except on one's own private property or with the written permission of a property owner, on their person, that one can ride an ORV on this Island legally.
The states of New York, Connecticut, and Vermont have banned ORVs from all state properties because of the damage done by them. As yet, Massachusetts has not banned ORVs, but if the riders off-Island are anything like they are here it may not be to long.
In regards to the Vineyard, it will take a serious organizational effort by the ORV community as a whole. They need to organize themselves as a responsible group. Not people just wanting a place for their kids to ride but willing to do the work, a lot of work, to make it happen. They will need to get insurance as an organization before they are even considered. Then the newly organized, responsible, insured ORV community will have to apply to the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Management in Boston before they may or may not get permission to ride in the State Forest.
If anyone had talked to the superintendent of the State Forest, John Varkonda, he would tell you the same thing. You have to go to the DEM up in Boston.
But with the history of conduct by the ORV community here on the Vineyard, all I can say is good luck. So far, the only thing the ORV community has done is shoot itself in the foot.
MVC defense against racism charge rejected
To the Editor:
Martha's Vineyard Commission, "Thou doth protest too much, methinks." (William Shakespeare from Hamlet.)
The derogatory, racist application of demeaning practices, statements, rulings and various other sundry procedures by this legislatively sanctioned body to restrict the participation in the economic life of Martha's Vineyard is very well known.
In the article written in The Times by Nelson Sigelman on Jan. 5, 2006, Douglas Sederholm who is the vice chairman of the commission, chooses to refer to me as a "delightful individual" instead of Applicant # DRI-335-M3 or, as the applicant Jack E. Robinson, clearly illustrating his perception of African Americans as being "delightful individuals" who probably can sing, dance and rule the basketball court.
For the commission to refer to a portion of "Town Beach" in its official documents as The Inkwell is a monumental slap in the face, and then to proclaim that this relic of slavery here on the Island is enduringly adored by us is sheer folly and utter nonsense. For many African Americans it is on the same scale of vehemence as the previous "Little Black Sambo" elementary school books, and the stereotyped radio and TV program called Amos and Andy.
For more than a century, African Americans on Martha's Vineyard have endured the racist application of some public official's personal prejudices through various governmental institutions. This must, and this will, cease, soon.
The staff of the commission consists of individuals who are professional, capable, courteous and qualified, and there is not one person or department on the commission that I have perceived as being underhanded or practicing selective enforcement of rules and regulations.
I am hopeful that this agency will see the folly and insidious nature of its rulings and participation in the racist practices that has existed for some time on the Island of Martha's Vineyard and reverse their course.
"If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?...." (William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice.)
Jack E. Robinson
To the Editor:
Writing as an individual member of the Martha's Vineyard Commission and representing only myself, let me offer my congratulations and thanks to Nelson Sigelman for his recent article concerning a meeting of the MVC subcommittee on hospital sites (Imagineering: MVC weighs hospital sites, January 12). Despite its mildly sarcastic tone, it was a factual presentation of what occurred at the meeting and in conversation thereafter.
However, the public might be better informed if there was a common understanding of where the hospital and the commission are relative to the commission's consideration of the hospital's plans. Recent news articles and letters to the editor seem to indicate that clarification on that matter would be helpful.
First, the commission has not received an application from the hospital concerning its building plans nor, to my knowledge, has any governmental body in Oak Bluffs. Such applications are necessary to start the formal process for consideration of a development of regional impact by the commission. Second, in this preapplication period, it is a prime responsibility of the commission to help the prospective applicant prepare for the public hearing which will inevitably occur after the application is received. Through the medium of meetings with commission staff and with the commission itself, the applicant is helped to understand the issues which should be dealt with in the presentation at the public hearing. At these meetings, individual commissioners are given the opportunity to raise matters of concern which the applicant, in the opinion of a commissioner, may not have treated in sufficient depth in its preparation for the coming hearing.
Third, it is the responsibility of individual commissioners and the commission as a whole to question information provided by the applicant in order to ensure its validity. Any expectation that I would accept presented data without question is simply unrealistic.
We are involved in an orderly process designed to produce information which will eventually help to answer a very important question: Where should the new hospital be located? Location is already and will continue to be an issue to be explored and explained, hopefully to the satisfaction of the community at large. The hospital's financial analysis did not deal with specific alternative options, which I believe to be essential, so that I can do my job as a commissioner and the public can make a fully informed decision to support the hospital project wherever it may eventually be built.
Because the commission has the personnel and technology to make such an investigation, the subcommittee was formed, and staff was assigned to find such specific options. A list for discussion purposes was created of possibilities, to be winnowed shortly to a reasonable number to be further investigated. In the meantime, the subcommittee has visited three possible sites for discussion at a future meeting. Property owners will be contacted when we find sites, if any, that seem to be reasonable to pursue. It should be noted that the subcommittee includes among its members the chief executive officer of the hospital and the vice-chairman of the hospital board.
In the end, all of this activity concerning other sites may well turn out to be "imagineering," as the headline to Mr. Sigelman's report stated. Even so, a thorough job of investigation, analysis, evaluation and public education will have been accomplished as a basis for sound longterm decisions and community understanding and acceptance.
To the Editor:
Almost daily in Massachusetts young persons are killed in automobile accidents, overdose on drugs, or die violently or by their own hand. Despite these tragedies however, what gets most attention is teenage smoking (Ted Dewing's letter in the Dec. 22 Times).
I have never heard of a teen crashing a car, overdosing, or for that matter, even failing the MCAS test, because he or she had smoked too many cigarettes.
A challenge to Sharky's
To the Editor:
On Dec. 27, in a publicly advertised hearing, the Oak Bluffs selectmen unanimously granted an annual all-alcohol liquor license to Sharky's Cantina, Authentic Mexican Cuisine in the heart of Oak Bluffs. There was extensive concern and discussion about the location of the facilities on the premises, and the building owner Laurence Hardoon gave a very informative explanation to the selectmen about their history within the Arcade Building.
Over 20 years ago, Mr. Hardoon purchased the old building, the first commercial property in Oak Bluffs, and set out to restore it to its original beauty. In cooperation with local and national government agencies, Mr. Hardoon located the restrooms where they remain today in an effort to protect the historic integrity of the Landmark Building. In 1994, he went through the laborious process of having the building designated as National Historic Site #94000813, a great honor to only 22 locations on Martha's Vineyard. The Arcade Building joins other sites such as the Union Chapel, Downtown Edgartown, all five lighthouses, the Flying Horses and the Martha's Vineyard Campground in the National Register of Historic Places. (http://www.nationalregisterofhistoricplaces.com/MA/Dukes/state.html) The Arcade building is one of only nine privately owned properties on Martha's Vineyard to carry this honor.
In the Friday, Jan. 13 issue of the Vineyard Gazette, the contents of the Oak Bluffs selectmen's meeting were summarized by Max Hart on page 5. As the managers and owners of Sharky's Cantina, we were quite surprised to see that 87 of the 103 lines in the article were about us. Our neighbor, Marc Hanover, owner of Linda Jean's, had gone before the board and "told the selectmen that they were wrong to grant the (liquor) license because Sharky's does not have adequate bathroom facilities within the building." By challenging the liquor license, Mr. Hanover was essentially asking the selectmen to close Sharky's down.
Within the Arcade Building, for more than 20 years, restaurant customers have walked down a well-lit private causeway to the conveniently located warm, comfortable, and clean facilities. We have two restrooms within the building that are maintained, monitored, and cared for on a regular basis. Ample signage, lighting, and directions insure that all customers find the facilities with ease. We have never received a single complaint from any customer about the facilities and for 20 years both building inspectors and health inspectors have signed off on the location within the premises.
A liquor license has existed at this location for more than 20 years, and no neighbors, officials or customers, complained about the location of the restrooms. Why now do we read in the paper that suddenly the selectmen, the inspectors and the state are being challenged on their decision?
We have also heard rumblings in town from a few sources that think we need to add restrooms within the only available space: the causeway which leads from Circuit Avenue to the Campmeeting Association. We, the owners of Sharky's, on behalf of ourselves and the tens of thousands of people who use that causeway annually, vehemently oppose any construction that would close access to the Campgrounds or alter a National Historic Landmark in any way. The Campmeeting Association has been a good neighbor to Sharky's. We have a phenomenal working relationship with them and, like good neighbors, they bring concerns directly to us and we remedy them immediately.
We would like to thank the Oak Bluffs selectmen for the decision to allow our annual status, to our loyal customers who have made Sharky's their winter getaway, and to the Camp Meeting Association for being such cooperative neighbors.
JB Blau, Josh Aronie, Jesse Martin
To the Editor:
My wife and I moved off the Island two weeks ago after having lived on Island year-round for 11 and 8 years respectively. Why? The quick answer, housing costs. The place we rented, a chicken coup in Katama, was to be put up for sale by the landlady so she could have enough to live on in her retirement years.
No regrets, it was a financial and psychological decision we both agreed upon within minutes of hearing our housing was disappearing. I read the MV Times religiously and have contributed to the Letters to the Editor column numerous times. I've enjoyed the Mark Martin volley of letters, going on four weeks now. Mr. Martin's writings are talented with a unique perspective. Perhaps I relate to him, being an independent liberal type with conservative tendencies. Nevertheless, his stuff is worth reading twice just to pick up on all the innuendo and underlining meanings. I laugh considerably.
Hey, Larry David, you may have a new talent sitting right here under your nose. Keep up the good work Mark, give it to them three ways, long, hard and continuous.
I was devastated to hear of B's passing. I knew him, as I knew many of you, as a casual acquaintance. I met B when he worked at Island Transport as a mechanic years ago. He was a warm, friendly, and very likable guy. He smiled a lot. The Vineyard is worse off not having him around.
I drove school buses most recently; many kids up-Island will miss me, as I will miss them. Myself and a select few drivers were responsible for saving the school district 1.5 percent of this year's school budget because we stood up for our rights as human beings. You're welcome.
Before that I did cable for almost four years. Some may remember I made headline news last April regarding allegations about a cable being cut. The only thing I'll say about that is, I wonder whether there has been a significant increase in the birth rate on the Island due to no TV for almost two days. It was nine months ago this month. If anyone from the hospital maternity ward has noticed an increase please post the results or call me, I'm curious.
As for my lovely wife Hilary Crook, many of you knew her from when she worked at the Net Result for Louis Larsen. The past five years she created and worked as the water quality chemist for the Wampanoag Tribe. Anyone connected to water on Island is going to miss her considerably.
I have mixed emotions about leaving the Island personally. But I think it was time to get back to living in America. Good Luck to all, and perhaps next time we meet it will be when I am on vacation to the rock and not as a resident.
Time to spend with you
To the Editor:
It hurts when a friend dies, and for me, Barbara Counsell had a hometown wit and wisdom that would light up the corners of my life with her roaring fireplace of a personality. Part of my daily trip to the post office, was going into Leslie's Drug Store and sharing a laugh with Barbara. There is no profit, you see, in people who have little time to spend with other people. In Barbara's eyes, knowing that I was a transplant didn't seem to set me apart from the community. She met me at my level without judgment or prejudice. The greatest truth of friendship is to share humbly, softly, gently, openly, candidly, respectfully, lovingly and often. Barbara was this kind of a gift for me. Thank you, Barbara, for giving these gifts to me, from your life.
To the Editor:
The Island certainly rang in the new year in great style this year, and the Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association would like to thank button buyers, fireworks cruise attendees and raffle entrants for their support of the Last Night First Day 2005/6 celebration. We especially would like to recognize the numerous individuals and loyal local businesses who gave generous cash donations helping to underwrite this great family event.
The celebration couldn't have been as wonderful if it weren't for some very generous individuals and organizations.
Did you see the fireworks by CR Pyro & Company? We can thank Ernie Boch Jr. for sponsoring them! And the OB Fire Department and Chief Alley for keeping a close watch. And to Steve Perlman of the Hanover House for housing the fireworks team.
Did you go on the Cruise? Thanks to New England Fast Ferry, Island Food Products, the Tisbury Stop and Shop, Net Result, Sandy Pratt and Jeff Kristal for making it great!
Did you buy a button? Thanks to our button outlets - Bunch of Grapes, Mocha Mott's OB and VH, Island Entertainment, Alley's, The Mail Room, The Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, MVOL, and Island Mini-Golf for their assistance.
Did you take your kids to see Peter Pan? Thanks to Richard Paradise and the Silver Screen Society for making that happen and to the Tisbury DPW for making it happen in the dark!
And did you eat supper at the Welcome Center? The Tisbury Fire Department's companies 651 and 621 did a great job feeding the hungry celebrants!
Did you decorate a hat and enter the Crazy Zany Hat Parade? Thanks to Linda, Vinnie and Dawn for helping the kids with their hats. And thanks to Shirley's and the Thrift Shop for supplies and to the Park Plaza Hotel, Starbucks, Edgartown Cinemas, the Museum of Science, the NE Aquarium and Dr. Alan Hirshberg for all the great prizes!
Did you buy a raffle ticket? Well Melissa Clay bought the one that sends her and a friend courtesy of Cape Air to Boston to stay at the Hyatt Harborside Hotel and dine out at Olive's! What a great deal she got, thanks to those donations.
How did you hear about Last Night? Did you see the terrific poster? That was created for us by Tara Kenny of the MV Times. Did you get the complete schedule compiled by Amy and friends from the MV Times Calendar section? Did you go on-line to MVOL to find out all about it, thanks to the work of Dawn and Elizabeth? Or did you stop by the Chamber of Commerce and find help from Gary, Linda and Dave? All of these organizations were supportive co-sponsors. Information was also carried by Adelphia, Plum TV, WMVY and MVTV.
And last, but certainly not the least, a big hurrah for our talented entertainers: The StingRays, Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish, Maynard Silva, IMPers and IMPact, Mark Lovewell, Tristan Israel, the Belly Dance Review, Corinne deLangavant and friends, Nancy Jephcote and the Flying Elbows, Coco the Clown, ballroom dance instruction organized by Michelle Roberts and the all-ages rock show bands. Pink Socks and Sapphire Vagabond, organized by Laurel Reddington and Jeff Pratt. They were made to feel at home at our host venues: the Katharine Cornell Theater, St. Augustine's Catholic Church, the Unitarian-Universalist Church, Sail MV, and the Baptist Church and Parish House (our Welcome Center).
And a final thank-you to Jeff Kristal whose dynamism and incorrigible sense of fun infected us all. 2006 is off to a great start. The Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Service is too, thanks to all of you.
Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association
Tisbury Ambulance Service
To the Editor:
The annual holiday Peacecraft sale was again a success raising funds for artisans of self-help projects in developing countries throughout the world and for the Fish Farm for Haiti Project. It is our hope that the Fish Farm Project will help relieve poverty in the poorest country in our hemisphere: Haiti.
Today, with the tremendous help and support of the Vineyard community, a well has been drilled and five basins constructed for raising Tilapia, a hardy fresh water fish. The project has underwritten costs for the construction of the first level of a school, a playground, and living quarters. One hundred and twenty-five children are now attending the primary school and 40 adolescent girls are in job training classes.
The Fish Farm for Haiti Project is an all-volunteer, nonprofit and tax-exempt, Vineyard-based organization which recently incorporated under the title of Little Children of Mary. We have been holding our annual holiday Peacecraft sale since 1997. We are grateful to Rob'n and Steve Mussell of the 90 Main St. Deli in Vineyard Haven who hosted the sale this year. Previous storeowners who have generously donated a space include Matt Ferro of Woodland Business Center, Tim Dobel at his Tisbury Cafe, Karen Coffey of Pyewacket's, Kim Nye of the O.B. Flea Market, Lucy Menton of Mystic Martha, the Chilmark Community Center Antiques and Crafts Fair, and the N.A.A.C.P. Holiday Bazaar.
May God bless all of you who have helped us try to help those most in need. May we all become carriers of peace in this New Year.
Little Children of Mary Board