Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I left the Vineyard four years ago, trading in the bucolic life for some city living. It seemed like a good idea at the time. But as many know, the call of the Island grows quickly too loud to ignore. Listening to the endless bleat of car horns and police sirens wailing through my neighborhood, I fantasized about the natural delights I knew I was missing out on - the breezy stretches of beach, birds flitting ceaselessly in salted blue skies, wide-eyed whitetails peeking out between the oak trees. I idealistically pondered the cotton-tailed bunnies and speckle-backed fawns that would be poised right outside my door, all beckoning me into enchanted lilac-scented Vineyard afternoons. I decided it was time to come back.
I hadn't factored caterpillars into this equation.
My long-awaited moving day became a scene from a horror movie as we raced my belongings up the caterpillar-riddled stairs of my new home, frantically shrugging off the freakish stowaways that rained on us from above. Once we removed the tarp from the jumble of boxes and furniture in the back of the pickup, we had to move fast. Avoiding the swarm became a test of speed, endurance, and agility. They were swinging from silky strands that threaded through the mangled oaks, dropping from the sky like horrible little paratroopers, littering the ground so that only the most nimble-footed could avoid squishing them. They inched through our hair, up our sleeves, peppered our backs, clung to doorknobs; short skinny green ones, fat blue and gold ones, ridged black and yellow ones, fuzzy squashable ones.
But what of my idealized fantasy, my benign, natural wonderland? I had traded the sound of urban chaos for the soft roar of a million many-legged leaf-munchers merrily shredding the canopy and the distasteful patter of whatever comes out the other end of an insatiable caterpillar. It was beginning to look as if spring had never arrived - the forest was stripped naked. They seemed to have consumed it all and yet still, they were everywhere.
Still, being back on the Island is worth the caterpillar trouble. An umbrella keeps them out of my hair on strolls through the woods, and with no leaves on the trees above the porch, more sunlight reaches my potted lilies. It's a little easier to look on the bright side of things when it's springtime on the Vineyard, far from noisy city streets littered with trash, rather than caterpillars.
I'll miss all you guys
To the Editor:
I want to thank everyone who showed up for our graduating class of 2006. The last four years have been an amazing experience at MVRHS. We've all had our good times and our bad. We'll always cherish our memories to the last drop.
I've met several teachers along the way that have inspired me and taught me life-learned lessons that I'll be sure to never forget. I've encountered several kids along the way that I'm positive will achieve their dreams and perhaps be famous one day.
I hope that this year's graduating class was able to make a difference. We've had a pretty tough year with racism issues splurging in our school. I hope that we've inspired other students to be leaders and push forward to integrate with students of other cultures and ethnicities. When I come back to visit MVRHS, I want to see the American and Brazilian cultures combined, not separated. I want to see everyone sitting together and enjoying themselves and sharing culture and experiences.
There's a lot to learn from the Brazilian students at MVRHS, and they have a lot to learn from us. As I always say, a smile can travel a large distance in a short amount of time, so imagine what a little conversation or friendship with someone from a different culture could do. The smallest things can make the biggest differences. They can change a lot of things. Life has its risks and you have to take them, or you'll get nowhere.
I'll miss all of you guys in my graduating class of 2006. I hope you all have an awesome summer and achieve your dreams. Good luck in college.
To the Editor:
Regarding the winter moth caterpillars, perhaps it would be helpful if people could put out those bug zappers in December when the moths are laying their eggs. It might at least protect the trees around the houses. Maybe an entomologist would care to weigh in.
The taxi facts
To the Editor:
I am writing this letter in response to Todd Rebello's letter in last week's Letters to the Editor. I am Linda Marinelli's daughter. It disappointed me very much that Mr. Rebello wrote things about my company that are offensive and untrue. If he has an Issue with my mother's statements about his uncle who was on the board of selectman, then he should have responded by stating the facts that he disagreed with. He has every right to do that, but that is not what he did.
He says that my mother attacked someone in his family (his uncle Richard Combra), but instead of defending his position by arguing over the facts relating to her letter, he turned around and did exactly what he claims that she did. He attacked her family. He attacked me (her daughter) and my business. I can't stand responding to political mudslinging, but even 13 years later, there are still vicious lies and rumors being printed about my company just because some politicians are always trying to find some kind of dirt on my mother.
I admit my mother is not very diplomatic. She is not a quiet woman, as I am, and she tells it like she sees it, and that angers some people. Mr. Rebello attempted to make it look like my business license was voted on by my own mother, which it was not.
Now, I feel I must tell the public the facts that he omitted. The statements he made were as follows. He said my mother cast the deciding vote for my business license. That is not what happened. When I got in business 13 years ago, yes, my mother was on the board of selectman at the time, however at the meeting she abstained from the voting. She said that she was in conflict because the applicant was her daughter, and she stood up from her selectman's seat and went and sat in the audience, before the vote took place. Prior to the vote, she did participate in the conversation, which she realized later was her mistake, and she openly admitted to that. After much discussion, the board postponed the vote until the next week.
The next week came, and my mother removed herself from the meeting while they discussed my application. I recall she sat out in the hall on a bench while my application was discussed. At that meeting my license was approved by the other members of the board. Linda did not cast the deciding vote as Mr. Rebello stated, nor did she cast any vote at all. She was sitting In the hallway by herself at the time the voting took place, I don't believe I ever saw him at that meeting, so he must have heard some incorrect information.
A few weeks later, one of the other taxi owners out of anger over new competition in the business reported Linda to the ethics commission for involving herself in the discussion. Mr. Rebello stated that I only should have two cabs. Once again he has his information wrong. Each year for the next four years the business grew. We are a 24-hour, year-round company with reasonable rates, and we needed more vehicles to keep up with the demand of our service. I asked for a third, fourth, fifth, and sixth cab over the next four or so years, as our customers desired so we could accommodate them (we being me and my husband at the time). I don't want anyone to start another rumor. When I say "we" I am referring to my ex-husband and myself. We got a divorce, but we both still own the business. All of our additional vehicle licenses were all approved by different boards of selectmen.
I really don't know why Mr. Rebello said the license says I have two cabs, because it says we have six. We have operated six permits for almost a decade, and all our permits were applied for and approved through the proper process. After we opened for business other companies were of course upset that there was competition. Between the competitors and the politicians that already disliked my politically active whistleblower kind of mom, rumors and lies were started making accusations that she gave me the license, in attempts to discredit her. This all happened just prior to election time.
These lies probably didn't help her election that spring, and she lost. If Todd Rebello or anyone else does not like my mother's opinions, then I would ask that they do the right thing. If they want to find fault with Linda, than please at least state true facts in response to her statements, and leave me (her kid) and my company out of it. One has nothing to do with the other.
For a short time she drove taxi for me after losing the election, since she had time on her hands that summer, and my husband at the time hadn't quit his other job yet, so I really needed some help. I asked my mother if she would drive for us. This made the same stupid rumors get worse, I work very hard, and I feel Mr. Rebello has attempted to discredit my company out of his anger toward my mother, and I deserve an apology.
To the Editor:
A word about the Oak Bluffs selectmen's choice of chairman: I have served on boards and committees, and I always voted for the person I wanted to lead me; the one whose philosophy was near to mine. Why would I, or you, vote for someone with whom we disagreed most of the time? The last time this happened on the board of selectmen, they bypassed a man who accused them of being dishonest (or words to that effect), and (surprise) they didn't vote for him. Anyway, with a five-person board, the one-year rotation doesn't work very well either.
Secondly, why do all the letter writers assume that the stories about selectman Kerry Scott are untrue? Are the other selectmen lying? I have always found Casey Sharpe to be very professional in her conduct and thoughtful in her statements. And we know that some selectmen have harassed town employees in the recent past; and past chairmen have been seen to be micromanagers.
Re: the beauty parlor matter that Todd Rebello discusses: As the chairman of the wastewater commission, I visited the property after hearing about the outrageous deal that Ms. Scott orchestrated. I found a beauty parlor operating without a license; a sewer line from the house that had been illegally connected to a town storm drain; and a delinquent wastewater account. When a town workman accidentally exposed the pipe and reported the violation, Ms. Scott arranged for the town to install a new, legal connection to our wastewater system; paid for at town expense. Quite a nice reward when everyone else on the wastewater system paid private contractors for their service connection. The shop owner then complained that the highway department workers spoiled her garden, for which she demanded compensation. Ms. Scott then had the town pay $2,800 in compensation, to be shared by the highway department and wastewater system. When I got involved, about $1,400 had been paid. I recommended that Casey Sharpe stop payment on the check; however, it was too late. I then suggested that a lien be placed on the property to recover our money. I don't know if that was done, because I learned that wastewater funds had not yet been used, and my official interest ended there.
Robert A. Iadicicco
Oak Bluffs Wastewater Commission
To the Editor:
I would like to suggest to all those that do not know how to navigate a four-way stop sign, go to Burlington, Vermont for a visit. That city has a great many four-ways, and during all of my frequent visits I have never encountered a pick-up truck or a woman on a cell phone or just a downright discourteous driver that didn't take his/her turn. Never once have I seen two cars go through at once in Burlington or even see a car not wait for its turn. Watch for your turn, don't just assume it's your turn.
Please, dear Islanders and visitors alike, use your common sense until the "blinker light" round-about is created, hopefully, so that there will be no fatalities there.
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to the Edgartown selectmen.
I just want to clarify. The working class members of Cozy Hearth subdivision will need composting toilets while the town of Edgartown is considering letting the members of a private club with initiation fees of $80,000 and their subdivision, which will certainly be second homes for seasonal vacationers, flush their toilets into the town's wastewater treatment plant. When the town needs more money to fund its treatment plant who will be asked to subsidize it? The taxpayers.
The town's treatment plant will eventually reach capacity. Who will have sewering? Will the sewer reach those who need it most? I know of several dense subdivisions in Edgartown with no town sewer. Many of these subdivisions directly impact the quality of the great pond.
I for one am outraged that the town would even consider allowing the proposed private and exclusive club to hook up to its sewer before all existing residential homeowners in existing areas of concern have had the opportunity. I would like to see the town tell the members of the fancy club to compost their waste so the year-round workers may flush. Something just doesn't smell right here.
Now, a letter to the Land Bank:
This letter is regarding the suggested management plans for Manaquayak Preserve.
I have read quotes from many people who currently enjoy access to this wonderful pond, either through their ownership of property on the pond or by having access granted at the exclusive invitation of these owners. These people overwhelmingly wish to protect what they already have; access to a private paradise.
I have seen the property in dispute only once. My husband and I were living about three miles from the property. We biked to the Lambert's Cove Inn and trespassed to enjoy a brief dip in the freshwater. We were more fortunate than others we know who have attempted the same dip, in that our clothes and towels were not confiscated while we were in the water and we were not chased out of the area by an angry man wielding a firearm.
I have lived on this Island for 25 years and summered here since age three. This was my only visit to the pond. My children who were born here have no hope of enjoying this pond without breaking the law, which I cannot condone, or being granted an elusive invitation by someone we do not know.
If the Land Bank is going to bow down to those who don't want to share their own private paradise, then perhaps the Land Bank should simply let the neighbors purchase the property.
I cringe to think of the $350 I paid the Land Bank when I purchased my starter house and the $8,000 when I moved to my current home. Both of these homes have been our primary and only residences for the entire time we, working-class, blue-collar Islanders, have owned them. To use this money to support the maintenance of exclusive property which will only be enjoyed by those fortunate enough to own neighboring property and their friends is unconscionable.
When the Land Bank purchased a property abutting Ice House Pond I was optimistically ecstatic, I envisioned taking my two children for a family swim in fresh water and enjoying a chance to show my kids that the Land Bank is really a great equalizer in terms of access. Especially on this Island where so few enjoy so much at the expense of all of us. We have no public pool and precious few public beaches. The overtaxed public swimming areas on the Island would benefit from an increase of access. If proposals to exclude the general population of the Island from enjoying Ice House Pond are successful, it will be just another example of the rich robbing the honest working folks.
I encourage the Land Bank to open the property to public use as soon as possible. Anyone concerned about the public using this property should look to the Cape Cod National Seashore to see how the public can enjoy property while protecting it. And those who own property on the pond should stop using their homes to cook, bathe, toilet, wash clothes and clean if they are so concerned about a few swimmers spoiling the pond.
And finally, a letter to Sen. Rob O'Leary:
I am the mother in a year-round working-class family on Martha's Vineyard. My husband works for a utility, and I work in the service industry. It may seem on the surface that the proposed Martha's Vineyard Housing Bank would benefit families like mine. Wrong.
Our story is typical of young families here. We saved for 10 years and borrowed from family to purchase a dismal starter home in 1992. When it came down to the closing, we had to struggle to pay the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank their tax on the purchase price because only the first hundred thousand was exempt for low-income first-time homebuyers.
We put our life's blood into that house for 10 years and created a wonderful but too-small home. We sold it for enough money to purchase a larger dismal wreck in need of extensive renovation but with enough space to live comfortably as a family. We again struggled to pay the Land Bank tax. This time it had grown to almost $9,000. This money, we were informed by the Land Bank, is not tax deductible until we sell. So, in addition to paying the nine grand we also paid $1,620 in income tax for money we were forced to turn over to the Land Bank. That is in an 18 percent tax bracket. Sure would have made a nice college fund for the boys or a nice Roth Ira or a nice roof for the house.
Now, I get my property tax bill and there is a Community Preservation Act tax tacked on. This is another $74 from a family with 15- and 10-year-old cars. We eliminated cable TV to save $50 bucks a month.
Our family has played by the rules and struggled. I see families living in their privately owned "affordable houses" on larger lots than mine, with brand-new SUVs, and grand landscaping. To top it off, when these families are no longer low-income they remain in their plush homes. If they do decide to sell instead of willing their homes to their children regardless of the children's income, they still enjoy a profit on the home. Sometimes a slightly limited profit but still a profit.
Now there is talk of taxing the sellers. Great. When my elderly father and I sell our homes to retire on a fixed income, we can subsidize the services industry housing needs of all of these rental homes.
Here is a novel idea in Massachusetts: Tax the weekly rentals. It may cost the wealthy more than the poor and middle class since they are the majority rental home users, but it works in every other resort area. I know it is shocking to think of only taxing the ones who contribute to the housing crunch. Usually it is the struggling classes who subsidize the wealthy, but let's try this and see how it works.
To the Editor:
Having reflected on Bill Boggess's letter of June 8, wherein he expressed his concern for Sen. Edward Kennedy, I would like to nominate him for the Humanitarian of the Year Award. However, should his baleful wish that the senator meet a savage and untimely end lose out to some "bleeding heart" nun trying to end hunger in Darfur, then as a
fall-back honor I believe Mr. Boggess would get ample consideration from the Zarqawi Foundation.
To the Editor:
This is in reply to Bill Boggess's letter published in the June 8 edition.
Mr. Boggess is a cad. While I have in the past, and will continue in the future to defend his right to have and to speak his opinion of our senior senator, for him to wish upon a professional flight crew (along with the senator) a catastrophic lightning strike, is lower than low. It is nothing short of reprehensible.
My professional life has been training pilots and aircrews to, among other tasks, take what is left and get their craft and their passengers safely back to terra firma. For him to wish them to fail makes me seethe and pray to meet Mr. Boggess some day on the field of honor so we might settle this like gentlemen. My seconds stand ready.
Your support needed
To the Editor:
I am writing for two specific reasons. First, to let people know about how wonderfully supportive our business and artist community is to the Island population. And second, to ask for your help for a good cause on Wednesday, June 21 for a silent auction/dance at Outerland for the Vineyard Committee on Hunger.
I don't know if people realize how often the businesses and artists on this Island are asked to donate and are, in turn, extremely generous to fundraisers. Statistically, we have five times the not for profits here than the rest of the country, further enhancing the generosity of the donors. We are very lucky indeed to have these wonderfully involved business owners on this Island, and I would encourage you to support them in return. It's hard being in business here. Between often-high rents, utilities skyrocketing and high labor costs, it's not so easy making a decent income.
Now the help-us-out part: believe or not, we have a very well-utilized food pantry on this Island and many other organizations that benefit from food assistance from the Vineyard Committee on Hunger. We not only help support the food pantry but donate to other hunger-based organizations as well. Some of those include Care (assisting greatly the ongoing starvation in Africa); The Heifer Project; the Fish Farm in Haiti, and others in need. We look for organizations where our money goes to the people in need, not the administrators.
I would like to thank Barry Rosenthal for donating Outerland for us to begin with and Sam Feldman for the seed money. The list of donors is extensive for our silent auction and please remember that next time you pass by a store. And please come to our fundraising event on Wednesday, June 21 for from 7 to 10 pm at Outerland.
Call for bloodshed
To the Editor:
So reader Bill Boggess hopes that Ted Kennedy's plane will crash - "we can only hope," he says. I am no fan of the old windbag either, but does this mean the editorial pages of The Times are open to calls for killing other public figures?
Thanks to the walkers
To the Editor:
I would like to thank you for printing the picture of the four young girls with Glow Sticks on the front of your Calendar section.
Sara [caption spelled it Sarah] Turner and Alicia Oliveira are two of my granddaughters who walked the Relay for Life.
I was unable to attend the relay, but would like to thank all the walkers, their sponsors, and the American Cancer Society for their time and support.
I have colon cancer and don't get out as often as I'd like to but enjoy reading your paper. I was very impressed with the amount of people that participated in the relay. Thank you all and God bless.
Mildred Rocker Gonsalves
Professional and timely
To the Editor:
My mother's caregiver called me and told me that she was unable to contact my mother for several hours. After much searching and calling her friends, we contacted the police Department and the Dukes County Sheriff's Office.
Several weeks prior to this event, we signed my mother to the Project Lifesaver program. She wears a personalized wristband that emits a tracking signal when the Sheriff's Department is notified of her disappearance. After contacting the Sheriff's Office they were able to locate her.
I would like to thank all for helping to search for her, however a special thanks to the Tisbury Police and Lt. Donald Rose of the Dukes County Sheriffs Office for their help. Professionalism, dedication and with the help of technology made it possible to locate my mother in a timely manner and prove that the system is in place and IT WORKS. The process works...
By the way, my mother was having a lovely dinner at her church.
Sandra G. Bronson
A challenge met
To the Editor:
The graduation of the class of 2006 will be a memory I shall never forget. A young lady, as a member of this class, was working very hard to complete her final year of high school, when she had found out that she was expecting a baby. Without any questions asked, she knew what she wanted to do. She was going to keep the baby and finish school, no matter how difficult it became not only for herself, but for her child as well.
As the school year progressed, things slowly became difficult. Classes went from days to nights, and then finally to home tutoring. With all her hard work she was able to complete her school year, finishing early enough to give birth on February 6, to a beautiful baby girl - Alyssa Lynn Sylvia, named in memory of her late sister Naomi Lynn McCarron, who passed away in 2000 from her battle with cancer.
Kara Marshall should be extremely proud of herself. Not many girls Kara's age get to finish school once pregnant.
I, Linda Hammond, Kara's mother, am very proud of my daughter. Never have I ever been more proud than on Sunday, June 11, when I witnessed Kara walk across that stage to receive her diploma while carrying her baby Alyssa. I know it touched my heart and many others who watched.
Kara has already been accepted at Blaine Hair School and will be attending this fall while living in Salem.
Kara, I love you and am very proud to have you as my daughter, and thank you for my granddaughter. Love, mom.