Letters to the Editor
To the Editor:
The undersigned Oak Bluffs wastewater commissioners are pleased to learn that our department head, Joe Alosso, has been completely cleared of any ethics violations. We have always known Joe to be honest and ethical in all his personal and professional activities.
We find it deplorable that a selectman has chosen to make unfounded and untrue accusations about an Oak Bluffs employee. We feel that Joe Alosso deserves a public apology.
Robert A. Iadicicco, Chairman
To the Editor:
Thanks for your coverage on the Edgartown Library's ZBA meeting. I appreciate the fact that you gave us news space, even though we should have contacted you in a more timely fashion.
To the Editor:
I am writing in response to William McNulty's letter of May 31, "Matter of decency".
I believe that one of the shared goals of the MV Times and of the Friends of Family Planning is to inform. Neither can or should "draw the line for decency," for me or anyone else.
Webster also formalized the meaning of the word "morality," making sure we knew it was open to interpretation. Actually, the Bible (also open to interpretation) beat him to it.
So, for the sake of honesty, people should not be able to usurp that term, notwithstanding what the fundamentalist right says.
If Mr. McNulty's Bible is missing the pages on loving thy neighbor, the Golden Rule, or the other myriad lessons on compassion, he can borrow one of mine. I find the straight edges perfect for drawing lines for decency. Peace.
To the Editor:
Under the careful oversight of Roland Goulart, the Vineyard Transit Authority bus drivers deserve a lot of credit for their careful and courteous driving on Island roads year-round. We all know that is no easy task, especially in summer. High traffic, narrow streets, boat traffic, other less courteous drivers. They keep their schedules in an orderly fashion, patient and courteous to all. A great and helpful low-cost transport service to Island life for young and old. Thanks guys and girls. Someone noticed your good driving.
To the Editor:
As part of the April town meeting, The Oak Bluffs Community Preservation Committee recommended $200,000 of Community Preservation Act money be spent on a plan proposed by Vineyard Baseball (a nonprofit encompassing all of Martha's Vineyard's youth baseball programs) to renovate Veira Park. The voters of Oak Bluffs agreed.
The renovation plan includes: an additional baseball diamond, an unpaved off-street parking area, a playground and picnic area, and a wooden split rail fence surrounding the park. The plan does not include overhead lighting, a concession stand, public announcement system or electronic scoreboard, as has been rumored.
The scope of the project exceeds the $200,000 CPA contribution. However, the additional funds have been contributed through private donations by individuals who agree with the overall benefit of an improved and safe baseball playing area.
Following the April vote, the Oak Bluffs selectmen referred the project to the Martha's Vineyard Commission for additional review. We sincerely hope, during the commission's review, that any and all interested persons might join us during a Saturday afternoon, when the current field is in use by our Little Leaguers.
What you'll see is spirited play by kids from all over the Island in a park that lacks parking, sitting, shade, dugouts, bathrooms and other safety measures.
Veira Park has been home for Martha's Vineyard Little League for more than 50 years. With the proposed improvements and continued support by the Island community, we believe there will be 50 more years of Island children with fond memories of playing and watching baseball at Veira Park.
Help in dealing
To the Editor:
In a recent ad in the Island papers advertising the Relay For Life, The Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group was somehow omitted as an On-Island Cancer Support Service. This letter is to assure you that the group indeed does exist, and is thriving. We have financially helped more than 300 Vineyard families.
The Martha's Vineyard Cancer Support Group (MVCSG) is dedicated to helping Island residents who are dealing with cancer. Our mission is twofold: each Wednesday a group meets at the MV Hebrew Center at 12 noon to share experiences, hopes, and strengths. The meetings are open to cancer patients and families and friends of cancer patients. All meetings are confidential.
The other goal of MVCSG is to help enhance the quality of life for Vineyard cancer patients by providing temporary and emergency financial assistance for related health care needs. Our funds are used primarily for food, child care and travel expenses to and from treatment and any other expense not covered by insurance. All money that we raise stays here on the Island and goes directly to cancer patients and their families. We have no administrative costs, no office or phone bills, but we do have tremendous support from many people.
We recently had our annual fundraiser, "An Evening Under The Stars" at the Mediterranean Restaurant and it was an overwhelming success. We want to thank Doug and Leslie Hewson of the Mediterranean, Leigh Carroll of Carroll's Trucking, the major sponsor, the many vendors who donated food and services and the many people who participated by coming that evening or sending a donation. We are so very grateful for your help.
We are here to help anyone on the Island dealing with cancer. If you or anyone you know could use our assistance, please call 508-627-7958 or 508-696-9849. All inquiries are confidential.
Remember, no one with cancer needs to be alone.
Jane C. Carroll
Oak Bluffs should reconsider
To the Editor:
The recent vote by the Oak Bluffs town meeting not to abide by the existing Martha's Vineyard Regional High School agreement, originally signed by all Island towns in the late 1950s, means Oak Bluffs has elected to educate the Oak Bluffs high school students in some manner yet unspecified. All other Island towns have agreed to abide by the conditions of the existing per pupil agreement, even though Aquinnah appropriated lesser funds than assessed on the assumption the regional agreement had been abrogated by the Oak Bluffs town meeting vote. Furthermore, the 1993 Education Reform Act legislation upon which Oak Bluffs erroneously based its vote, will when fully implemented be closely in accord with present per pupil agreement, proving the wisdom of our forefathers.
For Oak Bluffs to have elected to abrogate an agreement of 50 years without notice or discussion with other members of the agreement is simply unconscionable and is a horrible disservice to the town's student population. Further, the fact that leadership of Oak Bluffs would recommend opting for a million dollar windfall over the next few years as opposed to one of the finest secondary school educations available in the state is, under the existing agreement, both shortsighted and baffling. Martha's Vineyard is an Island community made up of six distinct and individual towns in one federated structure that in keeping with the Massachusetts Constitution franchises towns as local taxing authorities, with cooperation being the basis of common need and good.
The existing regional high school agreement is the Island's longest standing cooperative understanding and has for several years been a pattern for Island-wide activities. In fact, the number of significant accomplishments made by the Island's towns and other Island-wide organizations since 1990, and prior to the earlier county charter study, far exceeds 100 and will likely reach 200 when all entries are tallied. This list is being compiled as a part of the ongoing county charter study to provide an objective perspective on Island-wide governance without concern for who might receive credit, and the results suggest contributions from all elements of Island life from public and private sector - utilities, nonprofits, volunteers, year-round and seasonal residents, and visitors.
The fact that the total property value of the Vineyard has increased fivefold since 1990 is in itself a strong indication that the Island has been doing something right, particularly when it is recognized that referrals are far and away the best form of publicity. The fact the two shoulder season months each side of July and August now have a level of traffic equal to summer season is a further indicator the Vineyard is broadening its reach into the rest of the country and the world. This overall attractiveness of the Island has been brought about through cooperation among all elements of Vineyard society working together both formally and informally. Our continuing on a healthy path necessitates a strong degree of cooperation by all parties.
The town of Oak Bluffs, as well as Martha's Vineyard as a whole, deserves a re-vote by the Oak Bluffs electorate to remain a part of existing MVRHS agreement beyond 2010, when results of the ongoing charter study and Island Plan can be realized.
How about an
To the Editor:
Martha's Vineyard should explore the formation of a Dukes County Energy Cooperative, as the vehicle for adopting progressive energy regulations for the Vineyard. On a recent vacation outing in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, I discovered Lower Valley Energy Cooperative, which has been providing some of the lowest electricity rates in the country to its residential customers. 2005 marked the 12th consecutive year without an electric rate increase. Lower Valley Energy charges an average residential customer 5.8 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh). We on Martha's Vineyard pay close to 20 cents/kWh.
The cooperative model, which Lower Valley Energy is organized under, ensures the lowest energy prices through several checks and balances. First of all, the members approve both their electric and gas rates through an elected board of directors. As elected representatives, they serve the members' interest. Second, their rates are carefully scrutinized and approved by the Wyoming Public Service Commission. Lastly, any revenues in excess of expenses (profits) are held as equity and returned to the members. If this were a private utility, the money would have gone to shareholders. The cooperative business model has worked well for Lower Valley Energy members for more than 67 years.
I had the opportunity to talk with James Webb the President/CEO of Lower Valley Energy. Lower Valley Energy Cooperative services 23,411 customers. Martha's Vineyard's winter population is under 20,000. Lower Valley Energy Cooperative is a model the Vineyard might want to consider and strive to emulate. James Webb recently assisted the island of Kauai in forming a cooperative, and he is willing to help others do the same.
Voters in four Island towns this spring approved a measure to explore adopting progressive energy regulations for the Vineyard. One option for consideration might be a Dukes County Energy Cooperative.
To The Editor:
While 10 American lives were lost in Iraq on this Memorial Day, things were pretty much like any other Memorial Day on the Vineyard. However what transpired this year while 150,000 service personnel were overseas in Iraq and thousands of others in more than 36 foreign countries was that the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority was quietly deleting any reference to veterans in its applications. Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, an autonomous authority created by the Commonwealth that doesn't answer to Dukes County, has volunteer representatives from each town and a governor's representative. If you imagine that this board is irate over the slighting of veterans while there is still war going on, you would be wrong. D.C.R.H.A.is not recognized as a legitimate housing authority by H.U.D., does not have a numerical waiting list (or first come, first serve), but claims it matches people to openings. Of course, every housing authority must match people to apartments, single parents with one child to two-bedroom units, large family to multi-room units, and so on, but by being one of the few housing authorities that does not use a numerical list, it enables them to deny veterans the state-mandated would two points to be awarded on a numerical list.
While the Vineyard Housing Office may only service .02 percent of the Island's population and may be as irrelevant as the now closed unemployment and welfare office (and a savvy housing search would more effectively be done with each Thursday's MV Times), they have, in the past, refused to explain their operational methods policies under the state Freedom of Information Act and may in the past have installed clients in unsafe housing. What should be of concern to Vineyarders is that the proposed Housing Bank's estimated $2 million yearly funds, or one percent of sellers' profits on real estate sales, might fall into the hands of this authority, one that isn't too good on explaining its actions, or on equal distribution of housing. In the case of Veterans, they are not even being asked to identify themselves.
Hard work for Affordable Housing
To the Editor:
We at the Island Affordable Housing Fund would like to thank Coop DeVille, and especially Austin Higgins and "Peter" Berndt, for hosting the First Annual Oyster Shucking Contest. Through their hard work and generosity, they were able to raise $1,500 for the Island Affordable Housing Fund with this first, fun, successful event of the summer.
It was a picture perfect Saturday afternoon, and there was a lot of excitement surrounding the contest. Jon Holden was the winner, shucking his oysters with speed and precision. He will hold the title until next year's event. The oysters the contestants shucked were then sold to people in the crowd. People were extremely generous, buying the oysters, knowing that the proceeds would go to Island Affordable.
We would also like to thank all the people and businesses that participated in or contributed to the event. The money raised will go toward keeping an individual or family on-Island as part of our "Summer of Affordable Housing" fund-raising campaign. Through events like these, and with the community's continued support, the Island Affordable Housing Fund will be able to provide Martha's Vineyard decent, affordable workforce housing in order to protect our Island's character. People are our most important resource.
Island Affordable Housing Fund
Not the world's measure
To the Editor:
Man is manifestly not the measure of all things. This universe is shot through with mystery. The very fact of its being, and of our own, is a mystery absolute, and the only miracle worthy of the name. The consciousness that animates us is itself central to this mystery and the ground for any experience we might wish to call "spiritual." No myths need be embraced for us to commune with the profundity of our circumstance. No personal God need be worshiped for us to live in awe at the beauty and immensity of creation. No tribal fictions need be rehearsed for us to realize, one fine day, that we do, in fact, love our neighbors, that our happiness in inextricable from their own, and that our interdependence demands that people everywhere be given the opportunity to flourish. Call it what you want; the words don't belong to anyone. It is only the meaning that matters.
To the Editor:
How you play, MV Coop Bank.
We are writing to highlight the generosity of Richard Leonard and the Martha's Vineyard Coop Bank and their exceptional contribution to the MVRHS field hockey teams. Our girls are very lucky to be part of a community that continues to show outreach and support of programs like ours. We are very lucky as a community to have the chance to work with such wonderful future leaders, like our girls. As the interest in our program continues to grow, our budget needs to do so as well. Last 2006 fall season, many girls were sent out onto the field with uniforms dating back a couple of decades. They did so willingly and, as a team of 60, built a family based on teamwork and support. Mr. Leonard's donation will help our team grow and strengthen, along with providing a chance for them to access equipment that is much needed. Many thanks.
Lisa Knight and Kim Munn
MVRHS Field Hockey
To the Editor:
Last trip to the States, I decided to buy an umbrella to take back to Nicaragua. What a difficult thing that was.
Nicaragua has a beautiful blue and white national flag, but people do not seem to unite under this flag. Instead people splinter under the colored flags of their political party. You are known by the colors you wear, and the colors you wear identify you with your party. People here even paint their homes with the colors of their party.
There are currently four main political parties. The PLC has red for its color; the MRS has orange; the ALN has red and white; and the FSLN has red and black, although during the election, the FSLN changed from red and black to pink and turquoise and yellow. Now they are back to red and black, except for the plethora of pink caps issued to the public.
So, when I went to buy an umbrella, I found pink ones, yellow, blue and orange ones, red ones and black ones. What to do?
I found a big multi-colored one with all the colors. Now when I sport my new umbrella during the upcoming rainy season, everyone will be confused. Good thing.
I long for the day when the people of Nicaragua will be united under the national flag instead of being so terribly splintered. Keep the faith.
To the Editor:
This is a thank-you letter to the more than 300 people from every town on the Vineyard who joined us at the Tisbury Waterworks for another spectacular Memorial Day celebration.
In addition to the picnic, the recently restored chimney, and displays of the past and future glory of the Tashmoo Spring Building were reviewed by all, including our major anonymous benefactor, as well as our architect, Eric Ward, a Vineyard homeowner.
Special thanks to the Water Works and the Tisbury DPW crews for their work in getting the site ready for the picnic. We had plenty of picnic tables, well-mowed lawns, and trails for children's pony rides on Ollie, who came to the picnic with Ralph Packer.
Special thanks also to Tristan Israel and Paul Thurlow, and the Flying Elbows, for the hand-clapping, foot-tapping music; to Deb White and her crew at Seaside Celebrations for the tent to shade our volunteer grillers - Water Commissioner Ralph Packer, Tisbury School principal Maureen De Loach, Tisbury selectman Denny Wortman, and Master Griller Linc Hanson; to Warren Doty, Jim Pringle, and David Ferraguzzi, who scooped out and served 15 gallons of ice cream; to Paul Hakela of Daily Grind for the cones; to Sara at Cronig's for hot dogs and rolls; to Sam at Stop & Shop for the watermelons; to the YMCA of Martha's Vineyard for setting up and directing the children's games; to Sail MV, Paul and Tomar Waldman, and others who provided us with rowboats for boating on the pond; to Laurie Clements and her helpers for bringing Frosty, the petting pony; to Ralph Packer's granddaughter, Lucy Thompson, for sharing her pony; to Suzanne Kennedy, the pony helper; to the Vineyard Playhouse for providing the WC; to cameramen Ned Hehre and assistants Jim Pringle, Jr. and Win Grimm.
Thanks to everyone who volunteered to help with the games, the boats, the rides, the music, and food, and especially to Isabel West and Dana Nunes for restoring this tradition to our Island. What a terrific way to start another summer on Martha's Vineyard.
The Memorial Day Picnic Committee:
Patricia Carlet, Harriet Barrow, Sandra Kingston, Lorraine Wells, Denys Wortman, Marian Halperin, Henry Stephenson, Aase Jones, and Linc Hanson
To the Editor:
The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs wish to express their gratitude to the highway department for its assistance during our recent book sale. Thanks to its help and the willing volunteers, it was a very successful effort to support the summer children's programs at the library. Special appreciation to Willy Burney and Evan Rogers.
To the Editor:
On May 4, 2007, the County of Dukes County held its annual Benefits Fair for all municipal employees. This year's success was the result of hours of planning and cooperation with Cape Cod Municipal Health Group's Vineyard Wellness Coordinator Judith Jardin. We would like to thank the following people who spent the afternoon and evening supporting municipal workers.
The health-care plans were represented by Bill Rowbottom of Blue Cross Blue Shield, Bill Hickey from Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, and Aim Boisvert of Delta Dental. With the ever-changing health industry this was an opportunity for employees to have a one on one discussion with these representatives. Kim Andersen from MyMedication Advisor came to inform employees of additional ways they could save on their prescription medications.
Also, Kelly McCracken from the Dukes County Contributory Retirement System, was available for questions regarding the municipal pension law.
Also at the fair were investment professionals who could give insight about the deferred compensation plans that employees may take advantage of. Christopher Flanders and Brianna Jean represented AXA Financial Advisors, while Stanley Startzel and Brian Fisher of Lincoln Investments were present. Marilyn McManus from Boston Mutual Life Insurance attended so that employees could sign up for life insurance during open enrollment. Keith Crochiere was there letting employees know the variety of services the EAP Network offers.
Local podiatrist Dr. Jay Segal, brought his portable ultrasound machine so that all interested employees could have their feet scanned. Oak Bluffs EMTs Jeremy Rogers and Peter Tenant along with Tri Town ALS Coordinator Deb Cini were on hand to take blood pressure readings. Susan Sanford and Brian Graham from Vineyard Complementary Medicine promoted overall wellness through acupuncture, massage and physical therapy, as well as sports medicine rehab and chiropractic care. Yoga therapist Martha Abbott demonstrated yoga techniques to invigorate the mind and body. Vineyard Healthcare Associates handed out information regarding addiction and woman's health issues. Employees were able to talk with Alex Sylvia, a personal trainer from Vineyard Workout and Spa, on proper stretching techniques to help prevent serious injury while exercising. Oak Bluffs Police officers helped educate adults and children about how to properly fit and wear bicycle helmets. Child ID kits were issued by Lt. Donald Rose of the Dukes County Sheriffs Department. Leslie Segal Pallas from Vineyard Audiology performed a hearing test for anyone who was interested.
We'd also like to thank those who gave donations for door prizes - Cronig's Market, Stop and Shop, Vineyard Fitness Center, Reliable Market, and Blue Cross Blue Shield.
A special thanks to the Oak Bluffs School for allowing us the space to hold this event. Big thanks to janitor Jack McElhinney for really helping pull things together, the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Culinary Arts for providing the healthy snacks, and Vineyard Bottled Waters for donating water.
We'd also like to thank all the municipal benefits administrators who helped spread the word about the benefits fair as well as those who volunteered their time.
Senior Financial Clerk
County of Dukes County
M.V. Wellness Coordinator
For Cape Cod Municipal Health Group
To the Editor:
Staff and residents of Lagoon Heights would like to give a very special thanks to the individuals and businesses that supported our cause by donating to the Fellowship Health Resources of the Cape and Islands annual Bob Walker Memorial Golf Tournament fundraising event held on May 4:
HN Hinckley & Sons
Larsen's Fish Market
Cash n' Carry
Menemsha Fish Market
Stop and Shop of Edgartown
The Mansion House
Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. is a nonprofit 501 c 3 organization and a United Way associate member agency (#3200) that provides residential and day services to individuals with psychiatric disabilities. All proceeds from our tournament go directly to fund educational and recreational opportunities for the individuals we serve. All donations are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. Please contact Lagoon Heights, the Martha's Vineyard site of Fellowship Health Resources, Inc. for all inquiries regarding interest in future donations.
Shawn Shaw, staff and residents
Fellowship Health Resources
of Cape Cod and the Islands
To the Editor:
Amazing things happened. Skies cleared, cheers were heard when teachers, students, staff, families and community members with enthusiasm, flexibility, and unprecedented participation decided an event was worthwhile. On June 4, at 1:30 pm, the entire Tisbury School embarked upon its First Annual Fun Run. Class and school spirit shined as each class rose to the occasion. Some classes were wearing the same color, others had designed their own tee-shirts as all embarked on the path of physical fitness, school spirit, and helped raise funds for the playgrounds of Tisbury School.
The success of this event was in the hands of so many. I thank all who helped make this a great success for the school.
To the Editor:
The Boys and Girls Club of Martha's Vineyard and Big Brother / Big Sister of Martha's Vineyard would like to publicly express our gratitude to Tim Sweet, Mike Zoll, and the entire staff of the Farm Neck Golf Club for hosting the 13th Annual Children's Benefit Golf Tournament on Sunday. The tournament is the largest fundraiser of the year for both organizations and is an essential piece of our respective operations each year.
We would also like to thank our tournament sponsor, the Morton Financial Group, the many hole sponsors, and the players, many of whom play this tournament every year, aware of its importance. In conclusion, we owe a special thank you to Tom Wallace at Wallace and Co. / Sotheby's who we can count on each year and whose sign mysteriously disappeared at some point during the day and was not seen by the players.
One of the many things the Boys and Girls Club and Big Brother / Big Sister have in common is the commitment to be available to all children, regardless of their ability to pay. Without the support we share, this would simply not be possible. See you next year.
MV Boys and Girls Club
Big Brother/Big Sister
Golf Tournament Committee