Letters to the Editor
Supermarket claims doubted
To the Editor:
I read the letter "Yes on one" printed in last week's Gazette and written by the manager of the Stop & Shop. A couple of questions come to mind. First, the letter states that by allowing the Stop and Shop to sell wine that it will equate to "lower wine prices, saving consumers money." This certainly hasn't been the case with groceries when comparing the large buying power of the Stop and Shop and the smaller buying power of a locally owned family grocery store like the Reliable Market. Time after time newspaper comparisons have shown the Reliable to be the best value for Island shoppers. Why should we think we'll save money by allowing the Stop & Shop the ability to sell wine?
The next question was if the Stop & Shop plans on increasing the hourly rate of its employees as a result of this new revenue stream? With the current competition of small family-owned stores I know that local beer and wine as well as all alcohol stores operate with just as many people as they need to stay in business. If revenue is taken away from these stores then some employers will be forced to let some employees go. This won't be so the cashiers and other supermarket employees can make more money; it will be because the shareholders of the Stop & Shop are making more money.
You have to be at least 18 years old to sell wine. What will happen to our high school students who work at these supermarkets? They are going to need cashiers that are at least 18 years old so that will mean more lost job opportunities for our Island youth.
Luckily the passage of Question One will only give our Selectmen the OPTION of issuing a license to grocery stores to sell wine. It will not guarantee anything for them. I ask everyone to vote NO on ONE. That way, even if it passes state wide we will have sent a loud and clear message to our Island Selectmen that we value our local, family-owned businesses, we need to have places our high school students can work, and that we are smarter than to fall for the old adage "bigger means cheaper."
Touched by the
To the Editor:
Some may say how unfortunate it was for me to have fallen from a ladder and broken my neck in early September, but I don't see it that way. Okay, it was a bit unlucky but it was a pure accident, and my prospects for a complete recovery make me feel like the luckiest guy alive. Now for the hard part: a generally active tree guy who must convalesce for a period of several months. The point of this letter is that my convalescence is being made anything but difficult by the outpouring of support that I and Vickie have received, from family and friends, from my crew and clients and from many special friends in the Island tree trade. Right from the start when I was admitted to our local ER where I received very competent and compassionate care and treatment, through my stay at Boston Medical Center (where I came to in the trauma unit and some close friends had assembled), then my return home and on up until the present moment, I've been overwhelmed and touched by the response.
To all those who've shown their concern and generous nature in the form of calls and letters and visits, the delivery of meals (and "special" delivery of my indispensable recliner) and even financial contributions, and to those who may yet call or visit, please know how humbled I am and how grateful we both are.
To the Editor:
I find it fitting that there was a private ceremony to celebrate The Lambert's Cove trailhead purchase. It goes well with the exclusive nature of the beach in the summer months. I often hear people talk about the "Island community." To me it is bunch of feel-good rhetoric. What kind of community keeps certain members from enjoying its beaches certain times of the year? The up-Island towns should open their town beaches to everyone year-round.
I know what the up-Islanders are thinking right now. "Where am I going to park my big S.U.V. if we share the beach?" Relax, the parking lots can still be private, but if somebody walks or rides a bike, they should be welcomed as "members of our Island community." Lastly, the S.U.V. comment was a joke.
disease is real
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to Nelson Sigelman's Oct. 5 article about the updated Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) guidelines for diagnosing and treating Lyme disease. Mr. Sigelman is correct in noting that a debate rages in the medical community over Lyme diagnosis and treatment. Many in the medical profession debate whether chronic Lyme disease even exists. In fact, the IDSA and the International Lyme and Associated Diseases Society (ILADS) disagree on important Lyme disease issues.
I can appreciate the fact that Mr. Sigelman contacted Sam Telford 3rd, associate professor of infectious diseases at the Tufts University School of Veterinary Medicine, to comment on the guidelines, but additionally speaking with an ILADS researcher/physician would have contributed to a more balanced article.
For the last five years, a family member, now 21, has been fighting chronic Lyme disease and a co-infection on Martha's Vineyard. We suspect that she was ill with Lyme disease for about two years before an off-Island infectious disease specialist correctly diagnosed her. She had 26 symptoms of approximately 32 that are consistent with Lyme. Would Dr. Telford, who acknowledges he is not a medical doctor, attribute blind spots in vision, joint pain and swelling, and short-term memory loss to "normal aging or occasional complaints" for a teenager?
What authority does he have to claim chronic Lyme does not exist in the human population, and to suggest cavalierly that those who have lingering symptoms "entertain other diagnoses" and "change their diet, do more exercise, drink more red wine, watch more 'Three Stooges,' go fishing, think positively"? I am thankful that now, after years of aggressive therapies, this family member is feeling better, although her cognitive skills are still diminished.
There is a tendency not to question the validity of claims based on research done by a prestigious and powerful organization. Those who deny that chronic Lyme exists claim the support of mainstream medical groups, but the reality is that a small group of them has managed to dictate policy to larger health-care organizations through a closed process that rejects dissenting views. Interestingly, the IDSA refused to meet with ILADS researchers and patient groups before establishing their guidelines.
However, this last Thursday, October 12, the IDSA did invite ILADS president, Dr. Ray Stricker, to debate Dr. Paul Auwaerter of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, at their annual meeting in Toronto. Dr. Stricker is Director of Union Square Medical Center, a multi-specialty medical practice in San Francisco where he treats over 900 Lyme patients. During the debate, Dr. Auwaerter stated that the guidelines committee reviewed 400 articles before establishing their guidelines. Dr. Stricker showed a slide of more than 18,000 articles published to date about Lyme and urged them to keep reading. After the meeting, Stricker noted how many doctors came up to him later and expressed concern about how many patients they had to send away still sick.
The new guidelines established will make it harder for both patients and doctors to properly address this major public health issue. The guidelines will encourage insurance companies to embrace up-front cost savings inherent in shorter treatment and deny payment for longer treatment, even if the Lyme patient is still sick, but showing signs of improvement.
Another frightening thought to consider is the current guideline for blood donors with a history of having Lyme - if you have been symptom-free for 12 months, you can still donate blood!
There is a bill before Congress that is coming up soon, The Lyme and Tick-Borne Disease Prevention, Education and Research Act of 2005, HR 3427. Over 100 patient and professional groups endorse it. Besides forming a federal task force on Lyme disease, this legislation will help develop a definitive test, improve treatment, and address education and prevention strategies.
It provides $20 million over the next five years for this vastly under-funded disease. I encourage your support in having this bill passed. If you live on Martha's Vineyard, please contact Senators Kerry and Kennedy, and Representative Delahunt. Their contact information can be found at http://www.visi.com/juan/congress/.
To the Editor:
On Columbus Day, I was requested by my son to walk his dog since he was off-Island and had recently moved from Vineyard Haven. He advised me that his cat liked to follow along. So we set forth on that gloriously sunny fall day.
I walked for an hour along the dirt roads in West Tisbury, enjoying the serenity and beauty of the surroundings. After an hour, we began our return. However, to my dismay I became totally disoriented. There were so many different dirt roads, I lost my bearings completely. Suddenly a red Jeep appeared, and I flagged it down. None other than our cheery Martha's Vineyard Museum director Matthew Stackpole was at the wheel, and he came to my rescue.
The dog, in his excitement, charged out of his leash and collar prancing around Mathew, and the cat ran off and hid in the woods. [I was] totally undone with the ensuing mayhem. Matthew calmly captured the dog, reattached him to his leash, handed him to me, then proceeded to search for the kitty.‑Cradling her in his arms, he then accompanied me to the road leading to my son's home. Despite the fact‑that home garden chores were awaiting him, this compassionate Vineyarder took considerable time on my behalf. It was indeed greatly appreciated.
Telling you who
makes a difference
To the Editor:
How does one show their appreciation for the continuous generosity which happens to touch the lives of so many young men on this Island? One makes it a point to tell the community.
It is important for the community to know what is in the public spirit of Stop and Shop and Blair Cote, the manager of the Edgartown store. Following in the tradition of the previous store and managers from A&P, Mr. Cote and Stop and Shop have continued to generously provide support which enables us to reach this critical group. Because of this support some of our most at risk young men are brought together with mentors and role models. These mentors volunteer their time in an attempt to share their experiences and to provide the model for developing positive manhood and citizenship.
I also wish to acknowledge the high school principal, Peg Regan, who has been instrumental in assisting us and also helping to make this happen. She has created an environment of inclusion in the high school and has made our campus much more harmonious.
Thank you for this opportunity to acknowledge some of the fine work that goes on unheralded in our community.
W. Leo Frame