Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
I would like to express my deep thanks to the Oak Bluffs Fire Department for their very quick response on Wednesday, Aug. 30, to a 911 call to my home on Pennsylvania Avenue.
As I was not on the Island, the fast action taken by my neighbors averted a potentially disastrous situation. The fire department is one we all tend to take for granted (of course, until we need them).
Thanks again - your efforts were much appreciated.
Oak Bluffs and Norwell
To the Editor:
It was ironic that the same issue of The Times a few months ago had articles on the ongoing failure to fully enforce Melanie's Law and on the attempt to regulate (whether license or ban) moped drivers. In other words, the police do not have time to protect us from repeat drunk drivers but are cheerfully willing to take on yet another victimless crime.
It is possible to protect oneself almost totally from the dangers of mopeds, simply by not riding them. This is not true of cars, which routinely kill pedestrians, cyclists, moped drivers, and people in other cars. Therefore, the public would be best served by removing all police resources from moped drivers until we were sure that every last car driver was fit to drive. And while I grant that mopeds, especially poorly driven ones, do produce a road hazard, I would much rather share the road with a moped than a six-wheel SUV.
And now we plan to enforce the ban on nude bathing at the long-time nude beach in Aquinnah. I don't know about you, but I would much rather the cops and courts spent their time stopping drunk drivers, or enforcing restraining orders, or even foiling rapes like the recent one by a known sex offender. The nude section at Aquinnah is far enough from the road and the overlook that, to be certain the people actually are nude, you need binoculars.
It is common knowledge that the beach is clothing-optional, but we could always put a sign at the drop-off. This is not a case of mothers caught unawares by naked people promenading in front of their kids: this is a Puritan attempt to enforce some people's standards on everyone. If you don't like nudity, don't go to nude beaches. I don't like anchovies, but I simply don't eat them: I don't insist on an Island-wide ban. Live and let live.
In all my world travels, I have yet to find a place whose police presence exceeds the Vineyard's. Given these resources, we have an incredible opportunity: we could create a place where no one feels threatened by anyone else's actions. There are places in the world where bikes are left unlocked and women walk safely alone at night. That could be the Vineyard - but not as long as our cops and courts are squandered on parking tickets, pot patrol, mopeds, and sunbathers.
To the Editor:
As a 13-year-old who lives in Oak Bluffs, I was very offended by Gail Craig's Edgartown column last week. She made some general comments about teenagers who hang out in ice cream shops being "hoodlums," which is pretty funny. Where is it that she would like us teenagers to be? There are worse places than ice cream shops, believe me.
If she felt like she were being treated like a tourist, my guess is that she was the one being rude. Most teenagers I know here in my hometown work hard in the summer and live with the fact that we don't have a lot of options for a social life on the Island. We play sports and go to the beach and go to the movies and then maybe even hang out at the ice cream shop for a while. If that makes us hoodlums, I'll be curious to see what Ms. Craig's perfect children will be doing when they are teenagers. Maybe she should get her ice cream in Edgartown.
Convicted by his picture
To the Editor:
Your article about the arrest of an Island doctor was tasteless and tabloid-like. Are you trying to compete with the National Enquirer?
First of all, accompanying the story with a photograph of the doctor in handcuffs served no purpose but shock value. Your court report is full of arrests, but no photographs - appropriately so, in a country where the justice system is based on the belief that one is innocent until proven guilty.
By publishing a photograph, the paper has tried and convicted the accused. I have heard people talking about this all over the Island, horrified that the paper would do such a thing, before all the facts are known.
This man's family has been humiliated and his honor disgraced, prior to a fair trial. The facts as reported are misleading as well, with the wording chosen for more shock value.
"Fugitive from justice" is a phrase that implies something simply not applicable to the circumstances. Unfortunately, people will remember the photograph and assume it means the man is guilty. What gives you the right to do that? You could have effectively ruined a career and a young family by turning the community against them with one sensational photograph. How can you think that is an ethical use of your media power?
In the same issue, you also published a photograph of an accused rapist. The two situations do not compare, however, because the man pictured in that article has been convicted of sexual crimes and is registered as a sex offender, making himself a matter of public record. In the case of the doctor, it is simply a man accused - no conviction, no record, no reason to be publicly humiliated.