Letters to the Editor
Times editorial on energy DCPC
To the Editor:
"Chaotic energy DCPC questions deserve a firm No". The Martha's Vineyard Times has taken a firm conservative view, one echoed by the White House, concerning the mitigation of fossil fuel use. It is now evident that the greenhouse effect is real and is a threat to our environment. Future generations will negatively feel the effect as climates change and seas rise.
Neither Times News Editor Nelson Sigelman nor Editor Doug Cabral acknowledges this threat. Nor do they have a constructive suggestion. Mr. Sigelman phoned me, asking loaded, biased questions, trying to pit the Island Plan against Aquinnah's DCPC initiative. No questions were asked about a moratorium, only negative, false assumptions were made. The position of the Times is detrimental, misleading and environmentally without conscience. It is journalism in its worst form.
What is needed is a wakeup call to act now in order for this Island, this country, and the world to see that unless we can mitigate the use of fossil fuels, we will continue to put future generations in grave jeopardy. Mr. Cabral, Mr. Sigelman, and President Bush may wish to remain in a state of denial. However, it is my hope that Island residents will realize that the environmental threat is real.
The Energy DCPC is not a Martha's Vineyard Commission-initiated plan. The concept comes from Aquinnah, and it is a plan that would be tailored on a town-to-town basis by local residents. Furthermore, it is a plan that would affect new structures only, not renovations as was stated in the Times. The Energy DCPC will have to be voted through the commission. Whether it is from Aquinnah or the Island Plan is irrelevant, as the goal is the same.
Will what we alone do change the future? It is a start. We can help contribute both as a role model and a catalyst to slow the manmade deterioration of our environment.
Jim Newman, Selectman
Editor's Note: Apart from his hyperbole and wrongheadedness, the writer is also in error. The Aquinnah article proposing the energy DCPC does indeed refer to renovations, as well as new construction. It read, in part, "The purpose of the Island-wide Energy Conservation DCPC is to mitigate the environmental impact of new or renovated structures which demand high amounts of non-renewable energy..." As ultimately approved, the article was amended and the reference above was removed, but Mr. Newman's intention is clear.
Explain the lacrosse coach's departure
To the Editor:
Ten years ago, Peter Ferrini started working on bringing lacrosse to the Vineyard high school. For the past nine years, he has coached the lacrosse team with great success and this year was to be his last to round out 10 years. Peter was fired just before the season started. Could the newspaper print the story of what happened to Peter?
David E. Morris Jr.
More information needed
To the Editor:
I voted my conscience last night and feel that as a taxpayer and parent of two Oak Bluffs students, I was manipulated into a choice that offered short-term gain in the form of $400-plus, with no clear insight to the long-term pain or ramifications as a taxpayer, or Island citizen, to what the statutory (wealth-based) formula will mean in the future.
I was tempted to reach for the carrot dangled, yet felt that as a Vineyarder there comes a time when I need to say that the state government doesn't always know what's best for me. That as a citizen, I should pay my fair share (per student portion) of the high school's budget. That as a resident, PTO parent, and SAC member, I have to assume some responsibility and help find a way or at least the support for the town of Oak Bluffs to cover the costs to keep our existing teachers in light of increased enrollment.
I wish the town officials, FINCOM members, and residents with more political and financial knowledge had done the research to determine the long-range impact of the vote against the high school budget. I welcomed the visitor from Tisbury's statement last night, though wish he had brought up the questions I now raise. For my part, I was silent. By 10:30 that night, I had no more energy to raise the hard questions that nobody wanted to hear or had answers to. As we head into another night at town meeting, I hope it isn't too late for us to regain a reality check, and at least ensure that the $400-plus that enticed us doesn't become a faded memory in the town's stabilization fund, and that a portion of it at least covers the two teachers that will be cut from our school.
If the expenditure of the $400,000 in fact heads to a special town meeting in July for a vote, I appeal to residents to support our school. I invite voters who have no connection to the school to come visit the school, read stories, attend assemblies, feel the positive energy in the hallways and classrooms. See what your tax dollars pay for before school is out, that you can make an educated, fair decision with a clear conscience.
Rebecca Thomas Geary
To the Editor:
It sure was nice to drive through downtown Oak Bluffs on April 1, after being away for the weekend, to see the flowers planted in town. I don't want to give credit to the wrong people, however I believe it was the Friends of Oak Bluffs and would like to thank them for their time and such a great job. And if I'm mistaken, then thank you to whoever took the time to beautify the downtown area. Job well done.
Creative ideas, not beer and wine
To the Editor:
We are very concerned about the ongoing discussion in Tisbury on whether to allow beer and wine to be sold in restaurants to bring more people and business to our town. This is a heartfelt concern for us. Nat has been living in Tisbury for more than 50 years, first coming in the summers and then becoming a full-time resident in 1972 with Pam. We love Tisbury, raised our family here, and now one of our daughters (with our grandchildren) is building a house here. We empathize with the business owners and would like to offer some creative ideas to help them.
Tisbury restaurant owners say they are struggling to make enough money to pay the high taxes in the town. Maybe the town could make an effort to lower the taxes for business owners who are Island residents. They also say that Tisbury is dead in the winter, and the stores are not getting enough business in the summer. It seems that maybe the owners who have closed their stores in the off-season did very well in the summer. Vineyard Haven used to be a thriving town before the essential stores moved away from Main Street. Cronig's, the Post Office, Shirley's Hardware and Yates drugs were all in central Tisbury. Tisbury is also different from the other towns in the way that the business area is spread from Wind's Up all the way up to State Road and the Scottish Bakehouse, which has recently opened a branch in downtown Vineyard Haven and is already contributing to the community (and business) with poetry nights and workshops.
The stores and restaurants need to provide items that are affordable for Islanders, if they want them to shop here in the off-season. There are many people who shop off-Island at large chain stores to get cheaper items. Vineyarders who shop at off-Island discount stores are not going to patronize expensive restaurants with or without alcohol sold on the premises. The Bunch of Grapes is one of the few independent bookstores left in the country. They have been very creative with Friday night book talks and their goodwill with the local community. People love to shop there. I know summer visitors who will wait to buy their book list for the year and their Christmas gifts at the B of G.
When people get off the ferry, it would be nice to have easier access and an inviting walkway with flowers, plants and trees that leads to the downtown business area. Trees in the parking lots would alleviate excessive heat generated from the asphalt in summer.
We are very concerned about the quality of the harbor. Edgartown does not have marinas, but V.H. does. Now the loud motor yachts go past Tisbury to Oak Bluffs. Think about Oak Bluffs in the summer. We also have the ferry docking here year-round from Woods Hole and New Bedford.
It seems like we could all take advantage of this wonderful seaport community and have a walking tour with a maritime museum, educational facility and nautical related artisan studios and shops. It could be in association with the Martha's Vineyard Museum, the Mystic Seaport Museum or the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute. We should take advantage of the unique resources that this town has to offer. If we had a great educational facility like that, families would come year-round and would even come from off-Island.
Several people have recommended quahog, oyster, chowder, puppetry and art festivals, music in the streets, sidewalk art and sandcastle contests, and later hours for the pharmacy and other essential stores. Tisbury could be a magnet for families by having more public spaces for picnicking and rainy day activities. A possible site is the soon to be former fire station.
Let's see some creative and visionary ideas that will support our business community without compromising our quality of life. Tisbury is a unique town, and we need to work together to solve problems for all our citizens and visitors. Serving beer and wine is not a solution.
Nat and Pam Benjamin
It's all changed
To the Editor:
It's only natural we (voters) create Tisbury in an image of our selves. Unfortunately, perhaps a demographic change (younger weeded out cause we got expensive) would be required. That would be a second home marketplace and a downtown that can only support T-shirt /coffee shops and ad hoc SSA parking. Exaggerated? What's more exaggerated than the threat of beer and wine, in the context of all the changes we've witnessed in the past 10 years? Put down your laptops and cell phones, and tell me what hasn't changed? The entire Island got an upgrade, from airport to new boat.
You may worship at the altar of "all change is bad," but the train left the station, and like the 90s, it ain't coming back. If you want to preserve the Vineyard (of memory), just stay inside. Change has happened, and it's everywhere. Refusing to throw community business a bone (beer and wine), solves nothing. When the train pulled away, business was left on the dock and as usual remains the most neglected sector of the community. Were getting older, and it shows.
Beer and wine is a hiccup in history. Some day the harbor and the fine boats that grace it will be an unavoidable part of the town's identity. We could get behind that and make a difference now. But that's a tall order coming from a place that can't decide on a sidewalk. I still wouldn't have missed it for the world. Thanks.
To the Editor:
This is a copy from the town clerk's office on the bylaws for the byways committee.
"6-1 Purpose. The Board of Selectmen shall appoint a Byways Committee for the purpose of defining and providing "management" for a network of public and private special ways that will serve as a secondary means of travel throughout the town and the 'Island', especially for pedestrians and horses."
Eight years ago, Robert (Froggy) Green and I and the rest of the byways committee cleaned Ben Tom's Road (an Ancient Way), with the help of seventh- and eighth-graders from the Edgartown School. Since then, it has got to be a mess again. Once people start dumping, everyone thinks, well, why not?
Not in Edgartown. We love our byways and will do anything to protect them. Dumpers are a disgrace to nature and humanity. We now have byways wardens to patrol and take care of them. You dump in Edgartown, and you are going "down." Our byways wardens are patrolling our byways as I write this letter. We are also investigating a recent dumping (one whole dump truck load) and will prosecute whoever is responsible.
Right now there are several high school students from the leadership class who are mapping and cleaning Three-cornered Rock Road. We are going to make them assistant wardens to assist the byways wardens and the byways committee.
The more eyes and ears we have in the woods and roads, the better. We'll catch someone, because there are many more who care about our byways than those that don't. Right now we only have jurisdiction in Edgartown. But if the kids ask the proper authorities in their towns, maybe they can help the whole Island.
On March 31, we tackled Ben Tom's Road. Again, it was a mess. We took five truckloads to the landfill and two vehicles. It really looks great now. We plan to do at least one byway a month till they are all cleaned up. I just want to thank everyone that helped. They were some of the wardens and neighbors, the Sheriff's Dept., the Edgartown Highway Dept. (with two dumptrucks and two drivers), Froggy with his truck loaded over the cab with mattresses and a couch; Steve Handy for taking the vehicles out; Don Hatch and the Refuse District for taking the mess; James and Debbie Athearn for use of the parking lot at Morning Glory Farm; and our youngest junior warden, Nicole (the fishing pole) Barry Jackson. Special thanks to our (byways wardens) boss Paul V. Condlin. We all salute you for a job well done.
If you see anybody dumping, write down the type of vehicle and license number. Or, if you just find trash anywhere, call the byways hotline, 627-5815. We will investigate anything and everything.
Thanks to our community for all the help.
Sharks have jobs too
To the Editor:
We are not old enough to vote, but if we could, we would vote against the shark tournament. People kill helpless sharks just to win a contest, plus each shark or any other animal has a job. If there are no sharks left, who knows what will happen.
Maddy Alley, age 8,
Sophia McCarron, age 8,
To the Editor:
I have been visiting charming Oak Bluffs by boat from the Cape my whole life, first with my parents and later with my own children. Now we spend winters in Florida but, come June, no summer would be complete without our yearly visits to the Vineyard. Oak Bluffs means flying horses, delightful gingerbread houses around the Tabernacle, long, early morning and evening walks up the Hill towards Vineyard Haven, crazy, loud Fourth of Julys, standing in line for the movies, ice cream dripping all over us, and many more happy things.
The gruesome shark tournament diminishes all this. Oak Bluffs, please, just say no on April 12.
To the Editor:
In researching Martha's Vineyard for an upcoming vacation, I was saddened to learn that your community plays host to a Monster Shark Tournament. As an earlier letter to the editor pointed out, several of these species (makos, threshers and porbeagles) are either threatened with or vulnerable to extinction.)
Fisheries all over the world are being decimated at rates that would be unthinkable if the average person could see the damage being done. It is such a shame to be encouraging the destruction. Can't you organize a Monster Champion Shark Photography Tournament or something? Then our children and grandchildren would have something to remember all the slaughtered and extinct species by.
I grew up in a hunting community, and understand that people, like many other animals, sometimes hunt and kill. But killing animals purely for the sake of killing them (and for the accolades of other people also killing for the sake of killing) is a cruel exercise in power. Would you tolerate this behavior if the victims were a little closer to extinction? A little cuter and fuzzier? If they were human? Compassion has to start somewhere - raise the bar, Martha's Vineyard.
To the Editor:
To the voting public of Oak Bluffs: You have an opportunity this Thursday to send a message to the selectmen that the Monster Shark Tournament is an unwanted spectacle of brutality. Please vote to express your desire to see the termination of the MST. Oak Bluffs is your town, and Martha's Vineyard is our home. Please tell the Boston Big Game Fishing Club that we care about what happens in our home.
Let's end the exploitation of our Island by a small group of business people and an outside contingency who could care less about the welfare of our Island. The BBGFC profits enormously from this tournament, and gives nothing back. However, the BBGFC would like you to believe that it is those of us whom oppose this tournament who are attempting to dictate policy when, in fact, it is the BBGFC who has been holding Oak Bluffs and Martha's Vineyard hostage to its agenda. In this context, it is easy to see how attempts to marginalize the opposition are disingenuous, as the only group with anything to gain is the BBGFC.
We live here. We care about our home, and we will continue to fight this Island blight until it is no more.
the wind farm
To the Editor:
The "not in my back yard" concept is a representation of American sub-conscious selfishness - "every man for himself." We built this country together as an escape from the confinement of the old world, and the hope for a more ideal lifestyle; but as time has passed, and the nation has aged, we have paralleled, to some extent, the social structure, religious/government, and authoritarian forms of the old world we were escaping from. People continue to migrate to this country to fulfill the same dreams we once had, and we push them away, because of the American selfish sub-ego.
We should continue the levels of pioneering our forefathers had and look past American selfishness and continue moving forward. As stated on the Today Show on March 17, 2007, electric bulb entrepreneur Thomas Edison would love to see the evolution of his invention. He would be proud to know that his invention, the light bulb, which changed people's lives and brought them out of the darkness, has lasted all these years, evolving and improving; e.g. fluorescent, low energy bulbs. Remember that when the light bulb was created we were easily harnessing new sources of energy, and there was not a strain on energy at that time. Now there is, and it is our present-day obligation (since we continue to use the product) to improve it for our times, and not live on bulb nostalgia.
Instead of looking at the negative aspects of the Cape Wind project, we should focus on the positive. We would be taking a stand against global warming (our WW III) and doing our part together for the greater good of the world. We should look to those blinking lights as a constant reminder of our efforts to make a difference, to help the earth for our children.
I know it seems futile when every day we are faced with contradictions to this cause, e.g., Glade Plug in Air Fresheners - oxymoron? - yes! But that is the selfish sub-conscious saying "Why should I if no one else is?" We have to fight back, and this is our protest. If we are at a never-ending war against terrorism - fighting people who invoke terror - oxymoron? - yes!; then we should also put the same effort into the fight against inevitable demise of the beauty we strive to preserve.
In retrospect, it does seem somewhat crazy to put an industrial structure in one of the environmental habitats we wish to preserve, but maybe that is the principle beauty of it. Remember, just because the ocean looks clean and free of man's impact, doesn't mean that it is. Just take a walk down the north shore of Martha's Vineyard in the winter, and you will see the junkyard of the sea floor washed up on the beach tangled and imbedded.
Great waterfalls and dams generate electric energy for many and they are found in some of the great natural parks of America; so why not us? Let us let the natural preservations be the generators of their preservation: letting nature show and teach us how powerful she can be without harming her, as well as the rest of the world. It will only increase their need to be saved and not tossed around in political land squabbles for oil, hunting, and fishing. They will enforce their preservation by being even more valuable as a preservation generating its own preservation.
Might I remind those Cape Codders who live on the Nantucket Sound coast, when you look out over the sound you see the beautiful, natural seascape of oceans and islands, and it is clean and peaceful; but the Islanders, who pride themselves on their efforts to be green, look out on to the Cape and see smoke stacks, lights, and haze every day. So it would be important to realize that what we see is not really a good argument for why we should not build the wind turbines.
Instead of thinking of them as annoying, unsightly, blinking lights; try to think of them as monuments of our collective effort to fight the war on global warming. We could view them as an ideal protest against global warming, and the blinking lights in our back yard as a constant representation of the success of that protest. Then one might be able to say please, please, "in my back yard." This is not something that will just happen; we cannot just sit back and say "yeah someone will do it some day somewhere else."
Rachel A. Baumrin
For Cape Wind, question is 'What about us?'
To the Editor:
The following letter was sent to the Boston Globe.
The Cape Wind story reads like a conflict of environmentalism vs. privilege. There is another side, namely, the interest of local communities and their year-round residents.
I live on Martha's Vineyard year-round, along with some 15,000 other people. We are not wealthy summer visitors. My ancestry is rooted here on both sides, including Thomas Mayhew, first governor of the Island, before him the Pease family and others who landed before the Pilgrims set sail, and even further back in time immemorial, by way one of the "bow-and-arrow Daggetts," two brothers who married two Wampanoag sisters. My maternal grandfather was the last, living whaling captain of Martha's Vineyard.
Year-round realities here are as little known to our summer visitors, or to the Boston Globe, as the far side of the moon. Nor have the principals of Cape Wind demonstrated either knowledge or interest.
The cost of living here is 60 percent above the national average, and housing almost 100 percent higher than the national average, 12 percent higher than Boston. Grocery prices are up 37 percent nationally, 13 percent above Boston; utilities up 52 percent and 16 percent, respectively; transportation 39 percent and 22 percent, and so on. Yet the median household income is about 20 percent below that for Boston. (These figures are from a recent study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission - www.mvcommission.org - discussed in the April 6 edition of the Vineyard Gazette.)
Prices do not fall in the winter, but incomes do, for employment is mainly in sectors with large seasonal fluctuation (service, retail, construction, finance, insurance, and real estate). Because of a housing shortage far more acute than that in Boston, due to properties being tied up in the seasonal rental trade, many of our people have to move twice annually between winter and summer rentals. Many residents are much out on the waters around us as in generations past seeking food for the table, if not for their livelihood, and you would be right to infer that the cherishing of Nantucket Sound hereabouts runs far deeper than esthetic enjoyment from a lawn with an ocean view.
Now comes Cape Wind, proposing to sell power generated on our waters for their private profit with no significant benefit to these communities beyond the generalized benefit to us all of green power. Looks to us like yet another off-Island corporation that takes money out and puts little or nothing back.
There are comparable wind farm systems in Denmark. Why are they successful? Because they engaged the local communities from the outset, and because residents in those communities see a direct benefit in their power bills.
So please, don't play into the hand of Mitt Romney and his fellows as they snicker and snipe at wealthy liberals for what they portray as NIMBY hypocrisy. Don't write us locals off as of no account the way Cape Wind has done. Tell our story too. We definitely want the environmental benefits of green power. But this feels like a rip-off.
Now if this were to be reframed as a hybrid arrangement of public ownership and private management answerable to us the public, it might have a chance of local support. The chances may be slim, given the polarization and mutual caricature achieved thus far by the two sides that have been granted so public a voice, but it might be worth a try, don't you think? Such local support, in turn, just might influence the wealthy opponents of Cape Wind. And they, according to what I read in the paper, are all that stand in the way. Right?
To the Editor:
Now that the beautiful spring weather is upon us, I am writing to remind Vineyard drivers to be especially careful of our students walking to and from school or waiting at their bus stops. At a recent bus driver meeting, several of our dedicated drivers raised concern about motorists who were following too closely or who didn't stop when the bus's lights were flashing.
Please remember to drive carefully whenever you see one of our big yellow school buses, and be sure to stop when those lights flash. We want our Vineyard children to arrive safely.
James H. Weiss
Superintendent of Schools
and thank you
To the Editor:
This is a letter to our community, friends and those who thought so much of our daughter to send hundreds and hundreds of get well cards and letters, gifts to keep her busy, and beautiful flowers to cheer her. Thank you.
It has been close to five months since the car crash that changed my daughter Samantha Church's life. This is a long road, a lifetime of healing and recovery from the events that took place on the night of November 26, 2006.
Samantha has fought to recover from her surgeries, she worked hard on her physical therapy and continues to do so. She is walking but not without pain and tires easily but, despite her disabilities, she challenged herself to keep up with her college classes and took two online classes while she was recovering, She could have read one of the many wonderful books given to her while she was unable to walk and was healing, but she chose to fight for her education. (The books of enjoyment will come later.) She wanted to walk with her graduating class from Savannah College of Art and Design. We encouraged her with every hop, slide, crutch and step of the way. She just amazes me. How many times did we say, you can do it?
Samantha has many friends and likes to spend time with them. Many of her friends flowed through our home keeping her upbeat and positive. When Samantha was healed enough and able to leave our home safely for an hour or two, we let her go - the hardest thing for me as a mother to do. She enjoyed a few evenings out to dinner, an occasional night of music or a movie. Many people saw Samantha trying to have some sort of life, she was making a grand attempt at getting her life back. We supported her efforts and her positive outlook. (We have to let her try.) There were so many times when Samantha came home exhausted, beat, defeated, crying, but she would rest and try again. Once again my daughter amazes me.
This ordeal, this car crash, this total disregard for the law changed all of our lives. We all took turns helping Samantha cope with everyday life, Life skills that come so easily to us were a challenge and we as her family needed to be there for her. This help not only came from us her parents but her two brothers and her boyfriend as well as her entourage of friends. We worked as a team a family unit. Our last five months have been difficult but you do what you need to with love and make your family work.
Samantha and I made The Trip to Savannah, Georgia in late February to see to her accommodations at college. (Would she be able to do it?) To make her as comfortable as possible with her seating. (Was she really going back?) Then, our trip took a sudden change when I became seriously ill. Here I was traveling with my daughter to help her with her needs, and the tables turned. (This can't be happening.) Samantha was helping me. When we returned to the Vineyard and I was seen by our family doctor and then in our emergency room. I was quickly on my way to Boston, Mass. General Hospital. Here I was meeting the same people, our EMT's who helped my daughter during the crash. They were taking care of me and asking about Samantha at the same time. They were speaking of the crash and some things I was unaware of, or had just put out of my mind with the initial shock of Samantha's injuries. These same people were now helping me. Our Emergency Medical Teams are wonderful. (Vote yes for everything they need in your towns)
Just five months ago I was at my daughter's bedside at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (with her friends) and now Samantha was standing at the foot of my hospital bed in Boston (with those same friends). (Talk about a mother letting go?) Nothing stops her from going back to college. (Samantha's going back to school!)
Samantha calls weekly. She is back in Savannah and is counting the weeks until graduation. She is missing home, missing her friends, and missing her dog. She will walk with her graduating class from Savannah College of Art and Design.
So many people have stopped me in the stores or in the street to ask how Samantha is. She is working hard at everything. So now, you all know where she is, how she is doing, and that she is amazing. Thank you all for thinking of Samantha. She is very focused on her recovery and schooling right now. She will be back to thank you all soon.
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter sent to Richard Paradise of the M.V. Film Society from the Irish History and Culture Class at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.
Please accept our gratitude for your generous support in providing an evening of Irish film and music for the benefit of our students' Irish trip. The evening was wonderful and we all enjoyed the films very much. Both of them were funny and thought-provoking, and deeply sad - a real Irish mixture of emotions.
One of the hardest things about organizing a trip such as this is to face the disappointment that some students have to accept when they realize that the trip is out of their reach financially. Events such as this Irish film festival not only put some money in the pockets of the young people who are off to see the world in all its complexity, but they show our students that they are cared for and their futures valued by this community.
I thank you most sincerely, and on behalf of the students taking the trip to Ireland, we'll end with an Irish blessing:
May the road rise to meet you
May the wind be always at your back
And until we meet again
May God hold you in the palm of his hand.
Elaine Cawley Weintraub,
Irish History and
Culture Class Advisor
Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
Chronic Lyme is real
To the Editor
I am appalled that I have never received any sort of response to my letters to Forbes magazine including the editor and David Whelan, author of the article, Lyme, Inc. in the March 12th issue. My words have fallen on deaf ears.
I am forwarding this to you because I feel it is imperative that the public becomes more knowledgeable about Lyme disease, as there are so many people suffering with this disease, and we need to support the current research and good doctors in this area of infectious diseases.
The following is the letter I sent to Forbes, and I do hope you will have the courage to print it. I realize it is a personal story but it is a true one.
I believe your article regarding chronic Lyme disease is irresponsible and a disservice to the public. It seemed to lack thorough research and understanding of the disease. It was insulting to me as a RN and victim of chronic Lyme disease as well as the physicians who are honest and trying desperately to learn more about this disease to relieve the pain and suffering of so many people.
Lyme disease is the great imitator as the symptoms vary and are complicated as is the diagnosis while the disease destroys your brain and nervous system. It is well known that the treatment for chronic Lyme is controversial, however, your article appears very flawed as you have exposed a physician who seems to be "a rotten apple in the barrel" and primarily interested in the monetary results. I do not know if this is true as I have not done any research.
Over two years ago, I was first diagnosed with Lyme disease with positive lab tests and was treated with doxycycline. Initially the ER doctor thought I had meningitis as I did not have any "bull's eye" or usual symptoms. As time passed I developed a multitude of problems including depression that became severe as I did not respond to a variety of antidepressants. I probably would not be alive today if I had not been treated for a second tick bite last July. Doxycyline was prescribed and after two doses the depression was gone. Remarkable, right. An antibiotic to treat acute depression and all of my lab work was negative for Lyme. I referred myself to an infectious disease physician, who treats chronic Lyme. I have found him to be honest, patient, thoughtful, conservative, compassionate and devoted to research for an accurate method of testing, diagnosing, and treating Lyme disease and not out for the money. I have been on oral antibiotics for over five months with ups and downs, however, I am 95 percent better as I no longer have depression, chronic irritable bowel syndrome and other symptoms.
You have hurt the victims of Lyme as well as the good physicians. You must understand that with Lyme disease, there are still many unknowns and you should support the dedicated and responsible infectious disease physicians and their research.
Maybe you or a loved one need to suffer with chronic Lyme disease to truly understand and have compassion. In the future, please be more responsible in your reporting. Your article seems so biased that I question whether you represent the insurance companies. There are "rotten apples", fraud, and corruption in every profession including but not limited to insurance companies, lawyers, politicians, bankers, the media, and journalists always making money on the ills of others.
I look forward to your response explaining your motivation as well as your commitment to better balanced reporting.
A powerful message
To the Editor:
This is a very personal note to all 250 or so people who came out to the Chilmark Community Center last Saturday for a "Harambee." In 2002, you gathered to help put 61 child laborers (Kenyan coffee pickers) in school. Four years later, Saturday night, you saw their progress, met a few more kids living in extreme poverty, and you took action to change their futures. Looking out over the crowd, I saw power, the power to reject "shock and awe" and deadly belligerence and replace it with a culture of life and hope. These funds can help contribute to a generation of committed leaders in their poor country. The kids want to be doctors to help their fellow Kenyans, lawyers to defend the rights of the poor, and teachers. They all speak to what the needs are. Children who've known hunger and disease make great students. They know what this opportunity means.
When we emptied the donation boxes at midnight, the total was $8,650, and checks are still coming in. As a matter of fact, we hope many more people who missed the event may consider joining you all to help these kids. One educated child changes the lives of a whole family.
Saturday night was one of those times when you remember why you live on the Vineyard. We videotaped the Harambee for our friends in Kenya, to see our Island community turn out to help their children. This is a powerful message.
We thank all of you who worked so hard to make this event happen.
If you haven't and want to contribute, send checks to Kenyan Education Fund, P.O. Box 4219, Vineyard Haven, MA 02569.
Funds are distributed to the schools through the African Network for the Protection and Prevention Against Child Abuse and Neglect, Kenyan Chapter, a good organization run by people we know and trust to get the funds directly to educate the kids.
Thank you all so much. I know these children send you their enormous love.
Georgia and Len Morris
Vote, or don't complain
To the Editor:
I really love the voters in Edgartown. Here we have a selectman's seat available, and the incumbent is running unopposed. That says a great deal.
A lot of people complain about the way things are - "This illegal this...," "That unfair that..." etc. I think there should be a rule: "If you give up your right to vote, you should forfeit your right to complain."
In fact, the next time someone complains to you about the system, ask him right away, "Did you vote?" and that should be enough to silence him. VOTE for a change.
needs your help
To the Editor
Thanks in advance for sharing my letter. I am writing to announce that once again for the 13th year, The Safe Haven Project will hold our annual "Vineyard Project" camp on the Island for young people with HIV and AIDS. Camp will take place from April 13-20. I am especially thrilled to have the camp taking place this year as, now, more than ever, the opportunity to share a loving community with young people who so often live in fear of rejection and stigma is truly a blessing. This community has rallied behind this effort from day one in 1994 when so many others in our nation turned their back on those living with HIV and AIDS. The Island community opened their arms wide back then and have kept them open ever since.
These days, less and less attention and support comes to those in this situation. Thus we have been forced to be creative in our efforts to continue this program. This year, to help offset some of the reduction of funding, we are holding our first annual "5K Run/Walk for Camp." It is our hope that many folks will take a couple hours this Saturday, April 14, to join us in support of the kids we serve. The event will take place at 10 am at the high school track. Campers will be on hand at the event to enjoy your company. The run/walk will be followed by a cookout by Lenny Clarke (not the comedian but a funny guy nonetheless) with food donated by several Island businesses, and karaoke at the Youth Hostel in West Tisbury. You will be able to see exactly where your contributions will go and the impact they will have. I would love to see the track filled with people from across the Island. The kids would be thrilled.
If you wish to join this important effort you can pick up registration/donation forms at Cronig's in Vineyard Haven, Tony's Market in Oak Bluffs, and Alley's in West Tisbury, or just come to the track.
On behalf of the 35 kids who will join us this year and the hundreds who have come in the past, I want to express my personal gratitude to all those who will help us make this the best camp ever. See you at the run.