Letters to the Editor
of choice, lost
To the Editor:
To those allowing this new energy proposal to pass, do they not realize what they are giving up? Your freedom of choice, for one. You will be told how much you can drive, how much energy you're allowed to use in your home, how you can heat your home.
Your children will be nothing more then hamsters running in a hamster wheel. Think about it. Playground equipment that uses the energy of your children as a way to generate power? Does no one find this wrong? Honestly, have we become so blind? It's almost like child labor. Even the mention of it sickens me.
I am glad to be leaving this Island, the place I was born and grew up on. I'm leaving it behind and never looking back. It's being destroyed by people who move here from off-Island and other states. They come here for the beauty and then do everything in their power to change it. Houses are going up everywhere, there's hardly anywhere for the wildlife to go anymore.
This plan sounds to me like it will allow members of the town to just come into your house and tell you what to do and how you have to live. What happened to "Land of the Free"? Proposed plans get voted down, then special meetings are held, and they are passed anyway. Is there even a reason to vote anymore?
People need to start standing up against all of this. What's next? Will the papers be edited by government officials? Will our freedom of press be revoked? Or our freedom of speech?
Energy conservation is a wonderful thing. More people should get involved, of course, but you should not be told by others what you have to do, how you have to live. And your children should definitely not be used as some sort of guinea pigs. Just imagine if your child is playing on this new playground equipment, and there's a short in the wiring. The dangers are just not worth it. Parents, if you love your children, I urge you to reconsider this all.
Thank you to the people who made this Island beautiful. And goodbye to the ones who have done nothing but destroy it since they moved here.
for the SSA
To the Editor:
This letter was written to the author's friends at the SSA.
I read with interest the article, "Traffic down, revenue up at SSA" in the April 12 edition of the MV Times. This may sound too simplistic to ponder for more than a moment, but I am wondering if leaving the Vineyard were less costly, you might actually make more money by the simple fact more people would travel off-Island for a day trip, overnight, or whatever. My suggestions follow:
1. Have a low year-round price for Islanders. If this seems impossible for you to consider, than I plead for your understanding that $83 is way too much money to pay to take a trip off-Island from mid-May to October. I recently booked a trip for May 20, needing to go to a graduation just for the day. When I was reminded of the rate, I canceled and fortunately found a car to borrow. That certainly contributes to the decrease in Island vehicles statistic in the article.
2. Offer a one-day off and on rate for Islanders who need to venture to America just for the day now and then. I am certain that would bring in some dollars. Perhaps a flat $35 round-trip rate for traveling off and back in the same day, Oct. May, and $45 May Oct.
3. Work harder to reduce your expenses. (i.e., staff on the boat. I know there are Coast Guard rules and unions, but there must be a way to not need an obvious over abundance of well paid SSA employees on every trip.) We all have budgets. Reduce yours.
Well, those are a few suggestions. I know that if I upgraded my home comparable to how you upgraded from the Islander to the Island Home, I would have to increase my business rates so much I'd be out of business pretty quick. The boat is lovely, but too big for what the Island needs. A friend of mine called it "the Hummer of the boat world."
In closing, living here now since 1982, and seeing the various changes in our SSA, I think things are getting out of hand. Remember, you are servicing the people who live here and need to travel without feeling it's a huge expense. I think I speak for many who feel this way. It would be bizarre if for just one day, nobody took the boat.
To the Editor:
I read with great interest Bob Woodruff's essay ("Disappearing Wequobsque Cliffs...3/29/07) because my husband, Jim, and I and our little dog, Delilah, went for a stroll on LVB on a beautiful Saturday not too long ago. We went up to the cliffs to examine the many textures in the clay. Then, stepping away to continue our walk, we were shocked as a great mound of the cliff came tumbling down exactly where we had been standing not two seconds before.
Needless to say, we would have been buried in the avalanche of heavy clay, had it happened two seconds sooner. It was quite a chilling experience and one we relayed to everyone we saw that day at the beach so that they would not get too close to the cliffs.
To all who enjoy this beautiful area: please be careful and walk a good distance away from the cliffs because I can say, from firsthand experience and as Bob said in his essay: "Be mindful of the constant potential for instantaneous sheering and slumping of the cliffs."
Janet Skora Brooks
To the Editor:
This past Saturday I stopped by the Chilmark Town Hall just before noon to see if I could renew my dog's license. Leonard Jason was amiably speaking with a Chilmark police officer, and he told me that I couldn't find anyone to do that until Tuesday, since Monday is Patriots Day [when, as Friday's New York Times (Sports Friday, D6) said that Reuters said that "a race official said that the Boston Marathon would go ahead as planned," even though "a powerful storm threatens runners and spectators": alas, everything else in Massachusetts stops].
Mr. Jason, to my surprise, recognized me and remembered my name, even though our only formal interaction was nine years ago when he inspected my newly built house in Chilmark. He even remembered my house and key details about the inspection. My thoughts were that Chilmark is very lucky to have such a worker and that Mr. Jason's memory is phenomenal. He then patiently listened while I asked about how far setbacks from a septic system had to be, if I wanted to expand a room in my house, and he explained how far they are set, teaching me a few things I didn't know. I thanked him for the information and again privately marveled at how lucky Chilmark is to have Mr. Jason as building Inspector.
When having dinner with a neighbor that night, I mentioned how amazed I was that Mr. Jason remembered me, and she replied that there was something in the M.V. Times about him (April 12, News in Brief) on page 2. I was shocked to read that Mr. Jason had been summonsed (I guess that means given a ticket) by an Edgartown police officer, while he was leaving the Edgartown court house on March 22, when he was asking to get his pocketknife back, after his being there "to meet with a lawyer about a matter related to his position as building inspector" for the town of Edgartown (which he is also, as in Chilmark).
Apparently the woman who "gave him a receipt for the knife and said he could pick it up upon his departure," is not very good at doing her job, because "on his way out of the courthouse the two had some words, and the woman said she did not recognize Mr. Jason and felt fearful of him and "a courthouse official called the Edgartown Police." The police officer apparently had to figure out what to do: weigh the words of one fellow town employee with the words of another; one acting as a building inspector and the other performing the task of a coat check attendant, and I suppose he or she decided not to decide, and to let a judge decide because, as the M.V. Times notes, the matter "is awaiting a probable cause hearing."
The M.V. Times said that they telephoned Mr. Jason, and he said, "I haven't done anything wrong."
I can imagine this a dedicated town employee, with an excellent memory, must be surprised that another town employee, who had given him a receipt for his property and told him that he could pick it up later, would "not recognize" him an hour or so later, and would say she "felt fearful of him." I hope this matter is resolved amicably, and thank the M.V. Times for reporting the details with concern for accuracy and with concern for the personal dignity of everyone involved.
Chilmark and New York City
Dennis Alley always answered the call
To the Editor:
I would like to take this opportunity, following town meeting, to thank a special gentleman from Oak Bluffs. For 51 years he has answered the call in all kinds of weather conditions and at all hours of the night. I could guess that his wife should also get a great deal of thanks, for when the phone rings at 2 am, I would gather it wakes her as well. Not only is this gentleman a courageous leader, he is also a respected professional and a sincere and good-natured neighbor to us all.
To the Oak Bluffs fire chief, Denny Alley, I will always remember your service as a true professional and good person. It has been an honor to serve with you.
Denny, speaking for many of us in Oak Bluffs, you will truly be missed.
Oak Bluffs Water District
To the Editor:
The Grace Church winter community suppers have concluded another successful season. The committee wishes to thank all those who participated and supported us by cooking all the delicious entrees, salads soups and desserts.
Special thanks to Father Rob and the soup supper committee for all their hard work each week, and for Father Rob's delicious soups.
We wish to acknowledge Brownie Troop 523 and their leader Kathy Van Aken who worked several weeks at the suppers enabling the Brownies to earn their individual Community Service badges.
A special thanks to the Black Dog Bakery for donating their delicious breads and to Stop and Shop for their donations of food.
We also would like to thank Mark Martin for refurbishing the head and tail of our dragon, and the dancers and percussionists that performed at our Chinese New Year celebration, year 4707, the year of the pig.
We wish you all a wonderful summer and look forward to seeing you again next season.
To The Editor:
This letter has been sent to the Oak Bluffs selectmen.
There is no need nor any excuse for the outright animal cruelty and sadistic barbarism perpetrated in the name of scientific analysis (or for any other reason whatsoever), which is how the Oak Bluffs Shark Tournament is best described. A substantial majority of Island residents and animal rights groups members nationwide would categorize this as a slaughter of one of the most beautiful creatures in the sea - a creature that is already in serious danger and declining numbers. This is not a sport. Rather, it is blood lust for the sake of those who enjoy seeing a dying creature, hanging headless by its tail, dripping its last drops of blood into what had been its all encompassing home.
Together with a great number of your Island neighbors, I beg you not to sponsor this tournament, which is but a travesty on what the Vineyard is believed to be: respect for the natural beauty, not only of the land we live on, but for those creatures that live beneath the sparkling sea that surrounds our beautiful home.
Fine in Saigon
To the Editor:
Webcam is just fine where it is, as of 10 April 2007. I check the harbor at least once a day, weather too. Thanks.
Saigon and West Tisbury
Wake up call
To the Editor:
The fire and temporary closing of SEMASS should be a wake-up call to all Islanders and the Martha's Vineyard Refuse District. The removal of all waste material to off-Island sites is both expensive and wasteful. Not all of the materials that are disposed of should be shipped off. Now is the time to seriously undertake an all Island composting and recycling program. This undertaking will save taxpayer dollars, help the environment through recycling and enable local farmers to have a compost source for their crops.
It is urgent that Martha's Vineyard practice sustainability and that we become more self-reliant, buying local and cooperating Island wide.
The selectmen of Aquinnah urge all Island residents to support this effort and to make your thoughts known to your refuse district representatives and selectmen. Pressure must be brought to bear upon the refuse district to become socially conscious and responsible to the needs of our Island community.
On behalf of the Board of Selectmen, Aquinnah