Letters to the Editor
Apologies to all
To the Editor:
Since it is now public record that I caused the cable outage in April 2005, I think it is proper to apologize to the people on Martha's Vineyard who were affected.
I am sorry to you all for creating any discomfort, inconvenience, loss of revenue, or entertainment. The act I committed was propagated by a build-up of anger and frustration from my interaction with people I worked for at Adelphia. It was a stupid, selfish thing to do. I should have swallowed my pride, disregarded my manhood, and walked away clean.
As it turned out, I couldn't let go, it worked on my mind and brought me to the act of lashing out. All the folks affected were collateral damage. My rage was intended for the Adelphia Company and individuals in that now-defunct cable operation.
I tolerated that bad work environment because the job was pretty good for Martha's Vineyard.
The moral of the story is, if you work at a place that causes frustration, depression and anger, get the hell out before it makes you go crazy.
Again, my apologies to all, and may you all find peace and happiness in your daily lives.
MSPCA critics ought to step up
To the Editor:
I am someone who is very familiar, on a weekly if not daily basis, with the Martha's Vineyard shelter. I know most of the animals by name and what their status is, who's going home etc. I have three dogs. Each one came from the Island shelter. Two are of the mixed variety and one is a "thoroughbred." He was as equally homeless as the two mixed breeds. I also gave a home to a cat who was having a very difficult time with shelter life, He was so stressed and super sensitive that his future seemed pretty short. I offered to try him as a barn cat. He has blossomed into a sweet but still very independent cat. You only get Bob's attention when he decides to give it. Unfortunately, there aren't enough "perfect" situations for every animal. I fostered a little Chesapeake cross puppy for a few days until he was transferred to Methuen to someone who was interested in him there.
I have been to the Boston, Methuen, and Centerville shelters and would be recognized there, so I think I can speak about the MSPCA.
I would like to start with the fact that the MSPCA is not and has never been a no-kill shelter. It has never been a secret. They absolutely believe in euthanasia in certain circumstances. The last few letters to the Island papers would have you believe that they have uncovered a big dirty secret. You can go to www.mspca.org to read their statement of beliefs. I have done some research into what a no-kill shelter is really about. No-kill shelters agree to keep unwanted pets until they find a new home or live out their natural lives. Sounds wonderful, right? Here's the difference.
Shelters like the MSPCA take all animals. Untrained animals, sick animals, those that have bite histories, etc. A no-kill shelter will usually assess your animal before accepting it. They may request that you pay for any necessary vet expenses. They may refuse animals that need ongoing vet care, are aggressive, or have something contagious, like feline leukemia.
The animal, if it is accepted, will live its life in a kennel or cage, with people to care for it. Some animals can adapt to shelter living. Others, like my Bob, cannot. What kind of life is that for an animal who will be stressed and or depressed for the remainder of its days? What happens when a private no-kill shelter runs out of money or closes? They go to a government shelter (pound) or a private non-profit shelter like the MSPCA. What happens when adopters return pets that don't work out? Most no-kill shelters will kill under certain circumstances. They will end an animal's suffering. The MSPCA also euthanizes animals that are suffering. Hmmm.
I would like to speak to those who have been bashing the Martha's Vineyard shelter. I would suggest you put your money where your mouth is. Donate to the organization, or volunteer. Certainly animal lovers like you would be great assets to the animals in the shelter. Offer up your home as a foster situation for the animals waiting for homes. There is a litter of brand-new kittens at the shelter right now that would certainly benefit from the socialization.
I wonder who the animal lovers really are. Is it those who would preserve a life no matter what the cost to the animal? Perhaps not. Maybe it's the person who assesses, tries to find a home for and/or relieves the stress and sickness of an unwanted pet. Let's not forget that's where it all starts. We can spay and neuter our pets. We can train them. We can care for them for their whole natural lives.
I would like to remind everyone that Martha's Vineyard is part of the state of Massachusetts, and the MSPCA is one organization. If I want hamsters that reside at the Boston shelter, can I not have them because I don't live in Boston? Should someone in Methuen not have the Chesapeake cross puppy because it was surrendered here? Neither animal mentioned in the letters I have read so far was euthanized because their space was taken up by an "off-Island" animal. Actually, I know that there is a sweet, older cat that has been happily residing at the shelter for over a year. She came in as a local stray. In the other two cases mentioned in the letters, there were in fact other circumstances. Lastly I would like to give the definition of the word euthanasia. It is of Greek origin, which literally translates to "a good death."
MSPCA is the place
To the Editor:
I wanted to write this in regards to the article I read in which someone complained about leaving their cat at the MSPCA and finding it was gone, that it had to be euthanized, when they inquired about it some days later.
I had wanted to write this a while back when I adopted my little dog friend. After I read that article, though, about the MSPCA, I felt this needed to be said. The MSPCA is the right place for your animal, if you do not want it or can't find a home for it.
I adopted a small dog from the MSPCA. I am very happy with my dog; he has adjusted well to his new home amidst the terrible treatment he received in his prior home.
What I want to say is this. The people who owned the dog before me dumped the small dog out on the street left to himself! How cruel. Now if you want to talk about cruelty, that is cruelty. And a lot of people do these things or lock them up in their cellar or just downright neglect them.
We have a MSPCA here, folks, that will take in unwanted animals or strays. I thank God for this. To me there is nothing worse then dumping your animal off somewhere or just closing your door and leaving him or them out on the streets to fend for themselves.
The MSPCA will take all kinds of unwanted or strayed animals, dogs or cats. The best place for your animal, if you do not want them or can't take care of them or can't afford them or can't find a home for these precious animals, is the MSPCA.
They, the people at the MSPCA, will work hard to place the animal in a home. But I am sure at times there is no home for the animals; that is sad but reality. It is sad to hear that animals have to be euthanized because of the lack of adoption. But folks, it is better then abandonment of these precious animals to fend for themselves, no one caring for them or loving them. Of course, here I am talking about domesticated animals. My little dog is an added animal to my household, but I am so happy that I have him. But it saddens me to think that people could just throw their animal out the door when there is a MSPCA here that will take them in, and work to find an adoptive family.
Also, I have heard other stories of the abandonment of animals. I guess the MSPCA could tell you more of these cases that would show how much cruelty really is done to God's precious little animals by people.
So folks, the MSPCA is the place to bring your animal, if at first you can't find a home for him or her yourself. Please do not just abandon them to the streets.
To the Editor:
This letter was sent to Oak Bluffs police chief Blake.
I met you when I went to junior police academy this summer. I think the academy was terrific. It helped me to feel safer and more confident about myself. Officer White was a great teacher, along with the other officers who helped her. It was very nice for the Oak bluffs Police Department to offer this educational program. Thank you.
County engineer a valuable employee
To the Editor:
Regarding the controversy over the parking tickets written by county engineer Steve Berlucchi, it needs to be said that Steve is one of the most valuable people working for the county. He's also one of the finest human beings working for the county. Obviously, he was roped into this ticket writing business and then given no direction or training besides.‑So all the vitriol by letter writers and others is misplaced. Steve doesn't deserve it.
On the matter of the parking violation known as "wrong direction" - that is, parking against the direction of the traffic flow - I wish someone such as the parking clerk or parking ticket hearing officer or one of the police chiefs would point to the‑law that forbids "wrong direction" parking.
In the two and a half years I worked for the Tisbury Police Department, which writes a‑huge number of "wrong direction" tickets, I was‑never able to explain the legal basis for these tickets to the many angry motorists who‑questioned them.‑I do know that‑when I started at Tisbury PD, people were seldom cited for "wrong direction." One traffic officer started writing the violation,‑and soon it became common practice‑at Tisbury PD to cite people for "wrong direction."
It's a ridiculous charge even though there's some slight validity‑to the assertion that vehicles pulling out from "wrong direction" parking places‑pose a traffic hazard.‑The hazards created every‑few seconds at Five Corners dwarf the "wrong direction" threat.
With all the one-way streets in Vineyard Haven, parking in the "wrong direction" is not only customary but in some cases‑prevents creating‑even worse traffic hazards. Yet‑one police officer targets a‑certain neighborhood and‑writes "wrong direction" tickets to the people who live there. (Full disclosure: I received such a ticket.)
Most of the "wrong direction" tickets are written by traffic officers in what is known as the "A&P lot" -more accurately the Stop‑and Shop lot on Water Street.‑People who don't park with the front of their vehicles at the front of the parking space receive "wrong direction" tickets.
Most police officers‑will tell you that people get more incensed over a‑parking ticket than over a moving violation, which‑carries a lot more consequences than a parking ticket.‑But few‑town officials‑hear the outraged complaints of those ticketed for "wrong direction." It's a silent public relations nightmare for the town of Tisbury, which will suffer‑in the long run.
What's clear from articles on the Berlucchi affair is that departments may use their discretion in writing parking tickets for "wrong‑direction." As mentioned in this letter, it was started in Tisbury by a single traffic officer who decided to start writing the‑violation. All it would take to stop the practice would be for the new police chief to tell his officers, "Ease up on‑the 'wrong direction' tickets."
County clerk Joseph Sollitto Jr., who hears parking ticket appeals, was quoted as saying that‑the offense "wrong direction" is mentioned in the state driver's manual. He's right; it is mentioned along with other parking violations on Page 136 of the manual. But the driver's manual is not a law. Does anyone out there know which Massachusetts law makes it illegal to park in the "wrong direction?" Is there such a law?
That's my property
To the Editor:
On Wednesday, Sept. 13, a seemingly uneventful morning, after downing my second cup of coffee, I placed a call to Cheryll Sashin, the Oak Bluffs tax collector. It was my intent to simply ask her if she knew why a member of the assessors office of Oak Bluffs was dispatched to my property unannounced, armed with measuring tape, clipboard, and surly attitude. To measure my house?
Having had extremely negative experiences‑with that office in the not too distant past, I was more than a little wary. Given a choice, I would prefer to experience a throbbing root canal. After furnishing Cheryll with the book/page and parcel identification, within seconds she succeeded in accessing the real estate computer files. The next sentence she uttered started my heart pounding. Alisa, she said, that property was sold and transferred to Kim and Leighton Todd on the eighth of August. My most valued asset, with the slip of a careless finger, given away....
How in the name of God could that happen? Is there no oversight? How many times have they screwed me over? Dealing with that office has been like dancing in a minefield with flippers on. After recovering some composure, I called the assessors office. I threatened legal action. I think I offered to rearrange their furniture, I'm not sure. The gross mistake had to be rectified immediately. I went to the assessors office to pick up the newly corrected printout. At the office, no mea culpa. The surly lady was on the offensive, claiming it was just a simple typographical error. The assessor Diane Wilson was conspicuously absent, as was the case in the past. Only the frightened office worker was there, trying to maintain her dignity on this ship of fools.
The town of Oak Bluffs should be very ashamed of the lack of professionalism. This constitutes gross negligence. Don't let this happen to anyone again. Do you know where your property is?
Just feed the birds
To the Editor:
This letter was written to the West Tisbury selectmen:
In recent weeks there has been a great deal of concern and talk of what to do about the deterioration of the quality of the Mill Pond; with plans for a "study" as to how to treat the problem.
I have lived here steadily since 1986, and prior to that time spent part of every summer here. The problem of weed growth started within the past few years, when someone had the bright idea to stop the grain feed for the wonderful flocks of mallards, muscovies, and swans that through the years had kept the pond in pristine condition.
Perhaps it would be the simplest solution to spend a pittance of cash on grain and start feeding the wildlife again, rather than waste a great deal more on a so-called "study."
Muriel L. Bye
Bait and switch
To the Editor:
Thank you to my many Island neighbors who kept my 85-year-old mom and eight other travelers company on Sunday, during a two and a half hour wait, due to out-of-date information on the bus line's web site, featuring a non-existent 6 pm bus to Boston from Woods Hole. A thank you too, to Bonanza/Peter Pan Bus Line for finally, today, after I spoke with them once again, correcting the web site, so that other Vineyard travelers will not be inconvenienced, or endangered, any longer.
Season of music
To the Editor:
It's time to give an overdue note of thanks to so many people who helped give the Vineyard Haven Band the opportunity to complete another wonderful season of music on the Island. The band played a series of eight Sunday evening concerts over the summer as well as the special events performances at the 4th of July parade and Whaling Church in Edgartown, Grand Illumination, and Oak Bluffs Fireworks. The large variety of musicians and instruments under the talented direction of Bill Ericksen were excited to play for so many enthusiastic listeners. Special thanks also to Julie Schilling (assistant director), Frank and Peter Dunkl for instrument transport, Martha and John Child and the rest of the band board of directors for the time and talents they gave to the effort.
We also need to applaud the efforts of our friends at the Stop and Shop in Vineyard Haven who helped us carry off the second annual band picnic with delicious deli trays of meats and cheeses, salads, fruits and vegetables. We especially appreciated the wonderful attention given to our "giant "order by Sam, Stewart and Bob. The food was delicious. Thanks also to Chilmark Water.
We will look forward to the 2007 summer season.
To the Editor:
It's been a little quieter nod cooler in Tisbury now that the fields at Veteran's Park no longer have softball players running around the bases. This summer has flown by, and another great softball season has passed. This summer, the women's slow pitch softball league expanded its play to two nights a week with eight teams competing. Most nights had perfect weather, with no rain-outs or delays. The final night was a bit soggy, but still many fans came out to support all of us.
A huge thanks goes out to our sponsors; The Wharf Pub, Mocha Mott's, Summer Shades, Long and Meehan, Campbell & Douglas, The Wampanoag Environmental Lab, Island Entertainment, and Dairy Queen.
A round of applause to our umpires David Gazaille, Marc Rivers, Gary Smith, and David Jendrick for a great job behind the plate. Ray Tattersall, we appreciate you always being there to help us out.
Thanks to Don Lyons and Ralph Stewart who stuck with us all the way, snapping photos and keeping score.
Our captains, coaches, and fans kept the games interesting, thank you.
We look forward to our third year next season. Please come out and play if you are interested or come down to watch a little softball on a hot summer's night.
Veronika Van de Geer
Women's Slow Pitch Softball League
To the Editor:
The sixth Oak Bluffs Beach Clean-up Day, held this past Saturday, was a great success. Thirteen bags of litter were collected from the beach and grass bank along the sidewalk . The area cleaned of litter extended from the Steamship Authority to the Inkwell seawall. A big thanks to the volunteers who helped, especially David Meurisse who helps out every year. Also Peter and Sam Barnes. Free coffee and donuts were graciously provided by Rita Brown of MV Gourmet and Bakery. Also thanks to Nicole Morey who scheduled the bag pick-up by the highway department.