Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
Island friends: All of us in Bill Styron's family want to thank you for the extraordinary care you took of him these past months, and have taken of us especially in recent weeks. Nurses at the hospital and at home, doctors and medical staff, town leaders and community service members, neighbors, acquaintances (and, of course, long-time pals): your gifts, your healing words, will be long remembered. With appreciation.
On the passing
of a mentor
To the Editor:
Peter Kipp Clough passed away last week. Peter (or Pete) lived on Cottage Street in Edgartown. I mention where he lived because he took great pride living on Cottage Street, maintaining the family house, and living in Edgartown. Peter was a man who cared deeply about his family, friends, business relationships, prep school and university, country, and church. Values are a common theme preached these days. He had them long before it became fashionable.
Peter took care of his sister who lived in New Jersey, because he promised his mother that he would do that and she shouldn't worry. Peter put on his armed services uniform to take his place in the fourth of July parade, immediately following his wife's death, because it was his duty and honor to serve his country.
Peter and I met 30 years ago. Peter came to live permanently on the Island, moving from New Jersey at the age of 50. He brought with him the skills of real estate appraiser, insurance, and finance. He was the first professional appraiser on the island, holding the Senior Residential Appraiser (SRA) designation from the Society of Real Estate Appraisers. As Peter approached retirement, he asked me about my employment future. As he put it, "I don't want this work to go off-Island to people who don't understand the Island properties and culture." With my background in planning and zoning (and coming from New Jersey), Peter was exploring the possibility of our working together. At his urging, I took courses in appraisal, and as he approached 62 he had enough confidence in my abilities to suggest we combine his practice with mine. He was willing to share his client base and expertise at no cost. Only with my insistence did we agree that he would be paid his usual hourly consulting rate.
We worked together for 10 years. He brought integrity and "thinking out of the box" long before it was the state of the art. As the years went by his active role in our business declined, but I was free to stop in and talk with him about some difficult appraisal assignment that was troubling me. Without fail, he sent me off with some new idea to work on. He was always interested in how his old clients were doing.
He served till the end on the Edgartown board of assessors. Each time his term came up, he told me he was contemplating not running gain, but he and I knew that would not happen. At his encouragement I served on the Oak Bluffs Board of Assessors for eight years, not approaching his longevity of public service.
Peter had a sense of humor. He was a great supporter of education. When there wasn't much sense being made by the experts from some city, he would say that, "too much education is getting in the way of good old common sense".
My mentor and friend Peter is gone. I will get stuck again, but I am left with memories of good work, and the question "What would Peter have suggested I do?"
especially all women
To the Editor:
On Nov. 10, I went to listen to a band at Oyster Bar with friends. There was quite a large crowd of what appeared to be mostly year-rounders/Islanders having a great time. The music was awesome, the food was terrific. and the service was excellent. The karma was right and a good time seemed to be had by all.
Before entering the Oyster Bar, I decided to keep my pocketbook with me, which I normally don't do in the busy summer months. My purse is a small shoulder strap bag that you can comfortably keep on you at all times. I, like most mothers, need to carry a bag for our cell phone in case of an emergency. It's also nice to be able to not have to carry your car keys in your jean pocket, yes?
After only half an hour I took my coat and bag off and placed them on a couch to my left where I could see them out of the corner of my eye. I must have been being watched by professional thieves, because I only turned my back for minutes to say hello to friends and I noticed my coat and bag were missing. I didn't panic at first because I thought, "How could this happen: it's not the summer and we all know each other, really."
I looked everywhere and to my dismay never found them. They had been stolen right from underneath my eyes ... wow, I was shocked. The criminals not only got my expensive purse, but they got my cell phone, car keys, house keys, and my identity (which is the biggest scare). Later that weekend I found out that I was not the only person who got robbed that night. So beware, there is a group of thieves going into restaurants all over the Island and looking for any chance they get to steal.
FYI, if you do get your identification stolen, you need to take actions immediately and call each of the three credit bureaus and place a fraud alert. Also you need to file a police report so that the police can continue their investigation into these crimes. The police report will also come in handy when and if someone tries to steal your identity. Change your locks. Report to your credit card companies immediately, put a suspension on your cell phone and make the public aware so that people can be reminded that this island isn't as safe as it used to be.
A special thanks go to David O'Sullivan and Rhonda Conley. They were my angels and stuck by my side the whole time. They were so kind to stop their evening fun and help me look for my bag and coat, they offered to drive me home to get a spare key which was way out of their way. This world should be made up of more people like them. They really cared and I was a complete stranger to them. Wow, thanks! To the person or persons who took our things and who think it's all right to steal. What goes around, comes around. So be careful.
Thanks to the chief
To the Editor:
This is a letter to Chief John Schilling.
This Dec. 15 marks the fifth anniversary of the fire that destroyed The Tisbury Inn. It might be easy for some when they see the rebuilt Mansion House, to forget that night and the heroism of the Tisbury Fire Department, but we never will.
With fear and admiration, we watched that Saturday night, as then Chief Richard Clark and you conducted your volunteers and orchestrated the safety of the town. We held our breath as other firefighters showed up and went to work.
The fire that started Saturday night and wasn't fully extinguished until Sunday afternoon, underscored the importance of our community, friends and staff. Because the fire was trapped, unseen, behind the walls, our staff had to insist that Zephrus diners, health club members and inn guests leave the building. The EMTs and the hospital were ready, but not one person got hurt because of the dedication of the Tisbury Fire Department and their colleagues in our neighboring towns. We feel so blessed that our loss was measured only in equity and effort, not in injuries! Their dedication inspired our determination to quickly rebuild.
There aren't enough words to express our continued appreciation. But on this fifth anniversary we want to say thank you again by offering all the members of the Tisbury Fire Department and their colleagues in Oak Bluffs and Edgartown, a small token of our appreciation in the form of a two-week membership in the health club. All they have to do is come in this December and show their firefighter I.D. card and they will receive a two-week health club gift certificate that can be used anytime. If not inclined to use it, perhaps they can give it to the significant someone who worried about them that night, as their heroism kept the loss to one replaceable building and prevented the history of 1883 from being repeated.
We are very proud and happy in our new building, but prouder and happier that the cornerstone of Mansion House is built on the dedication of Vineyard volunteers and the memory of a brilliantly successful, rapid response to an old building's last hurrah.
Please share this with your department and accept our thanks once again.
Susan and Sherm Goldstein
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to James Weiss, superintendent of schools, with copies sent to Paul Dulac and the Marblehead Reporter.
I feel that I am completely unable to adequately express my utter dismay at the situation at the Edgartown School with the recent, second resignation of Dr. Dulac. I realize that decisions have been made, and I strongly support Dr. Dulac's resignation at this time. Nevertheless, I feel the need to express my feelings on the topic, if for no other reason than to simply air them and move on.
I am virtually incapacitated by the anger I feel by the betrayal we have all suffered at the hands of Paul Dulac. I was an ardent supporter of the man during the hiring process and was thrilled with his ultimate selection of the position. I was also bitterly disappointed when his insurance and retirement issues came to light and seemed at the time to be insurmountable. My first instinct was that he was positioning himself at the bargaining table for some sort of financial gain, but when I heard his issues, I felt they were valid concerns.
I, like most others, was delighted when it was announced that the problems had been resolved and that our principal and his wife, herself a teacher in our school, would be staying.
Here we are, one week later, and we are once again on the downward side of Dulac's rollercoaster ride. From the beginning, he testified that he was here for the long haul, he had done "the superintendent thing" before and this is where he wanted to be, back in the trenches with the kids. According to his repeated comments, for him it was "all about the kids". What a difference two months makes. Apparently, his heartfelt concern for our children was a negotiable asset, available to the highest bidder, which in this case was Marblehead.
I was duped. I admit it. I fell for his rhetoric. I had misgivings in the beginning, wondering if Dulac could possibly be as great as he seemed. I voiced my thoughts on a couple of occasions, wondering if others felt he was sincere. Overall, the consensus was that he was genuine and would be a wonderful asset for a school that had been stymied for the last several years, due to retirement of longtime principal Ed Jerome, construction of the new school building, the search for a new principal, and now the inability to successfully pass the MCAS exams. And is it just me or is Dulac's resignation following the release of the test scores circumspect? But I digress. Dulac was hired and we, the parents, teachers, and community collectively let out a sigh of relief that we would now be moving forward, with a strong and determined leader at the helm, bringing us forth into a successful future.
I can't help but wonder if the Marblehead community would give Mr. Dulac the same level of support that this community gave him two weeks ago when his insurance and retirement issues came to light. This town, perhaps the entire Island, rallied around our principal, to find a solution and keep him here. Little did we know that Mr. Dulac would burn us all again within a week.
I realize that the Dulacs are making decisions based on what they deem is best for them. However, these adults work with children and for better or worse, are role models for these youths. I am trying to teach my children about responsibility and commitment, ethics, morals, and personal integrity, and that money, while useful, is not the primary importance. People are what matter. Paul Dulac's actions over the last week have set back these lessons beyond compare. I have been supporting and complimenting this man for six months and now I am faced with trying to be diplomatic about actions I find reprehensible. All I can say to my son is that I was wrong about someone and that sometimes, people disappoint us and don't live up to our expectations and hopes for them.
Contrary to his statements last week that he didn't want to "have a soap opera here," he alone has created the drama. He has shown no respect for the school, whose image he has tarnished, whose forward momentum he has stalled, and whose student body is left wondering what hit them. I have been told that he has required students to write essays on these specific topics of making decisions and living up to commitments. How can he expect children to do so when he himself, as the supposed leader of our school, is incapable of abiding by his own decisions and commitments? There will always be a better offer around the corner. That is part of life that we all face daily.
At this point in time, I support Dr. Dulac's resignation. His actions of late have destroyed his credibility with parents, teachers, and students alike. We will be more successful with another interim principal at the helm as we again seek a full time principal for our school, a leader who is able to focus on our school and not be looking toward possible greener fields on the other side of the fence, a leader who upholds the morals, ethics and honesty that we try to instill in our children.
I would like to thank you, Dr. Weiss, for looking beyond any personal relationship you may have with Dr. Dulac, for putting the kids of Edgartown first and requiring Dr. Dulac's resignation. We now need to move on, try to get beyond the betrayal we have suffered at the hands of G. Paul Dulac, and find a candidate for the position with the administrative qualities to get the job done and the ethical fortitude to live with the choices they make. Selecting someone with a strong history with the island and how our community works might not hurt either. I thank you for hearing me out and allowing me to air my disappointment.
Gail Gardner Craig
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to Tim Sweet, vice chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital.
I, the Vineyard Conservation Society, Vineyard Energy Project, Tisbury Waterways, and MV Peace Council thank you for agreeing to improve the design of the proposed new hospital building. As you know, we presented CEO Tim Walsh with a detailed letter explaining how the current building design fails to meet the energy and environmental targets recommended by the Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, American Institute of Architects, and the voters of Martha's Vineyard (via the 2004 Renewable Energy Resolution). We hope that the MV Hospital will follow the example of hundreds of building owners across the US. They have recognized the importance and economic benefits of owning "green buildings", buildings that use half the energy of a conventional building, release half the pollutants, provide healthier interior conditions, and help the US progress towards energy independence. A local example is the MVYMCA. The Y board has decided to construct their new building so that it achieves the highest (Platinum) rating in the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. We look forward to participating in your next public hearing and learning about the improvements that you have decided to incorporate in your building so that it rises from the lowest LEED level, to the highest.
Hope you like
To the Editor:
The West Tisbury Paths Beside the Roadways Committee is very proud of the latest path in North Tisbury and would like to thank the following.
First, White Brothers (White Lynch Co.) for the excellent job they did constructing the path. Steve Berlucchi, county engineer, for getting state approval and overseeing the construction of the path. Nice job, Steve.
A special thanks to the Hoffman and Ferro families for granting easements to the town when staying within the state layout would have been difficult.
We must include the selectman in our thanks for their ongoing support of our project.
Last but far from least, we thank the West Tisbury voters for granting us the money to create this path. We hope you are happy with the results.
We urge everyone to take a walk on this new path and enjoy the feeling of safety it affords.
The November town meeting will have an article asking for money for our next path, which will be on the Edgartown road starting just east of the Youth Hostel and going to the police station. If you like what we have done so far, please come to town meeting and vote in favor of the next path.
Bill Haynes, Chairman
West Tisbury Paths Beside the Roadway Committee.