Letters to the Editor
what they do best
To the Editor:
For those who didn't attend the Ag Hall benefit for Wendy Jenkinson and Cancer Research, let me start with saying it was the event of the season. The Ag Hall was filled with Islanders, whether wash ashore, born and bred Islander, or summer visitor. We were all Islanders for a day. I have never taken part and /or walked away from an Island event that truly encompassed my heart more than this event.
First, I would like to make tribute to Tina Miller. Her calm, cool, and matter of fact attitude made this a huge success. She told me the best events throughout her childhood were potlucks, and she refused to get worked up, as she instinctively knew the Island would do what we do best, pull together when needed. To all of the caterers, volunteers, and attendees, you are the reason we live on this rock. Wendy and her beautiful family have a tough road ahead, but I ask all that attended and now those of you that read this to take some of your good thoughts, prayers, and positive energy and focus them toward Wendy. Send her your good vibes, they will help.
For our year-round community, Sunday's event and Wendy are prime reasons as to why we live here. I'm so proud to be apart of this Island community.
To the Editor:
This is a letter of deep gratitude toward the seasonal and year-round members of the Vineyard community who have graciously considered the 2007 crew of the Menemsha Galley, after we lost our jobs in the Aug. 14 fire.
This summer was extremely busy and has filled us with many positive memories serving all those who stopped by for their favorite summer treats.
The amount of support from the community that we have all received has been overwhelming. It has been a very special experience which has made the staff feel extremely fortunate to be a part of such a special and generous community.
We love serving all of our patrons and thank you all for your generosity over the entire summer and particularly during the last week. We cannot thank you enough for such a great season, and we are looking forward to serving you next summer.
For the 2007 crew
of the Menemsha Galley
Don't let the
door hit you
To the Editor:
Tom Rancich's letter in the August 23 Times is well put. My only suggestion to improve it is Stephen Schultz and Michael Roitman go off-Island to fuel up, they stay there.
Everett H. Poole
Two-wheeler for you
To the Editor:
Tom Rancich has it exactly right about Ralph Packer, the man, and Ralph Packer, the businessman. Stephen Schultz should ride his bicycle more, preferably off-Island.
To the Editor:
I apologize for climbing on the cliffs at Gay Head and for allowing evidence of my poor judgment, in the form of a picture, to appear on the cover of a local magazine.
I was wrong. I wish I had thought about the cliffs that day instead of climbing them.
A sign might
To the Editor:
In response to Joseph Feeks's letter in last week's paper, I want to apologize for my taking of a photo of Kate Taylor perched upon the Gay Head Cliffs. Having climbed those cliffs for many years back in the day, I didn't realize that it was now off limits (as so much of the Island has become). Perhaps a well-placed sign might have been informative, if not onerous.
While Mr. Feeks's letter had a needlessly self-righteous tone, his point is well taken. And I thank him for inadvertently giving some additional attention to the "Best Of The Vineyard Sound" CD. The Island's musical infrastructure, as well as The Martha's Vineyard Community Services, has a lot to benefit from by the increased awareness.
To the Editor:
I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw the cover of Vineyard Style Magazine's fall issue. What were they thinking? Why would any Islander okay this? How could Peter Simon, whose landscape photography already shows the natural beauty of this Island, and Kate Taylor, a long-time resident of Aquinnah as well as an Island icon, allow this picture to even be taken.
Joseph Feeks's letter to the editor, entitled Cliffs sacrificed for 'journalism' (in last week's paper) says it all, and I too think it is important to let editor John Budris, artists Peter Simon and Kate Taylor, and Vineyard Style Magazine readers all over the world know how incredibly distasteful this cover is. What message does this send to our visitors and youth of this Island. That if you love the Earth and want to feel connected to her beauty do you need to stomp all over her? Experiencing the beauty of the Earth, especially our fragile clay cliffs, is to see her, feel her breath in the wind, her energy and heat through our feet in the sand, and hear her sound through the winds and the waves.
I have been to Gay Head beach twice this summer, on Aug. 17 and the second time on Aug. 26. The first time I brought family - my cousin, who used to come to the Island all the time when we were teenagers, and his wife who had never seen the East Coast before this trip. I prefaced our trip to Aquinnah by telling her you can really feel the spirit of the Island when you spend a day around the bend at Gay Head beach. When we reached the shore, the tide was beginning to recede so we walked the high tide line. The shore was littered with drink bottles and detergent containers that had washed up after a rough night on the ocean and there was not one trash receptacle in sight to discard any of it and prevent it from washing away to another shore.
My second trip was after I had seen the cover of the magazine and read the letter to the editor. My friends and I walked around the point to the bunker twice that day. On our first trip around we came across a group of Island teens who were hanging out in front of a tribal boundary marker sign and one was climbing on a bit of the cliffs. I told him to get off. As he climbed down he apologized saying "I know, I know, sorry." I also saw many visitors' children playing in the wet clay and exploring the natural phenomenon.
My second walk around I tried to turn a blind eye as we walked by the group of teens again. They had built a whole clay world, and one boy was on the cliff jabbing away at it with a large stick. We continued on to the bunker to take pictures of how it has changed from last year and walked back. The teens were now fully covered in clay sitting on the high rocks waiting for the ocean to clean them off. All I could think was what fun they are having but at what expense. Is it their desire for Earth goddess/god connection that rationalizes their behavior? Who knows? How do we preserve and enjoy at the same time? We work together as an Island through word of mouth and articles in the paper and in magazines and try to respect the boundaries.
So let me reiterate that the cover of Vineyard Style magazine is a blatant advertisement to all who visit and all who don't quite understand the human impact on our ecosystem, that it is okay to climb on the cliffs. In this day and age we must be more careful. Might I suggest that those who want to view an article with more respect for the beauty of the Island pick up a copy of the Martha's Vineyard Magazine. Their cover story is about the changing coastline of the Island. The cover has a picture of the Norton Point breach. As quoted from that article, "one island might not make a change but we can be an example."
One voice is not enough, so I wrote my letter too.
Rachel A. Baumrin
To the Editor
I'm going to keep this short and sweet, for the simple minded. Section 40B is a goal, not a mandate for towns/communities to have a minimum percentage of their housing inventory as affordable for those who meet low income guidelines. I repeat, it is a goal. Now, along come these bulldozing developers who use this term to parcel chop and shoehorn houses into undersized lots. No matter what the warm and fuzzy purpose, in my opinion, it is wrong.
Affordable housing is a goal, not state mandated. Section 40B is intended to put up multiple units that meet zoning requirements with 10 percent building space devoted to low income recipients. It is that simple.
For our town board members, and/or officials, it would behoove you all to get together and be on the same page for the good of the long term, paying taxpayers, and home owners. I hear from one department they want to control growth, I hear from another they want to open it up to more people like our firefighters, nurses, and public school teachers to be more affordable. If that were the case, I would've received a handout, and a certain firefighter would've been granted a fair, yet minimal variance.
Why is this only for the bold, already accustomed to handouts and expecting more and more with every available resource? Supporting our public service providers is one thing, but we need to ask ourselves, is that what we're really doing with this case on Andrews Road? My answer is definitely no. This is not the site for an affordable house under the guise of 40B. If that is so, then there will plenty more to follow after this.
Too great a sacrifice
To the Editor:
Please add my voice to the chorus of outrage and frustration over the State Police invading my West Tisbury neighborhood on July 25, with very low flying helicopters for a sustained period of time in order to look (allegedly) for plots of marijuana. My beloved Burmese cat of 11 years disappeared from my yard that day, and I know of at least two other neighborhood cats that also vanished that day. Two returned after several days; mine is still missing. I cannot prove that the extreme noise of the helicopters frightened my cat away, but this was the first time in 11 years that he wasn't home when I came home at the end of the day, and I am otherwise at a loss to explain his vanishing.
It's time for government officials and employees at every level to start thinking about the consequences of the bright ideas they come up with to protect us and benefit the greater good, before they implement them. Certainly, from this citizen's point of view, losing my cherished companion pet was too much to sacrifice for a potential weed bust.
To the Editor:
We attended the fourth evening performance of Built on Stilts at the Union Chapel in Oak Bluffs. What a wonderful event in a wonderful building.
Now in its 11th year, Built on Stilts has become an Island tradition. It seems to attract more and more people, young and old, who have a love of dance and are willing to work diligently in rehearsal to stage a whole variety of dance and performances, which enthrall and delight all of us who attend.
We hope the tradition continues far into the future.
We want to thank Abby Bender, who conducts the magic, and all the performers and behind-the-scenes people without whom Built on Stilts wouldn't happen.
And a heartfelt tip of the hat as well to the Island Preservation Trust, owners of the Union Chapel, that graciously donates its great building for this terrific community event.
Steve Auerbach and Phyllis Jampol
wind power sites best
To the Editor:
Your editorial last week wants the reader to believe that the next generation of solutions to the clean energy mystery is in the labs today, including other approaches to using wind to make electricity, many of them far offshore rather than a few miles from the beach. And, a vast ocean wilderness may be traded for a small renewable power yield.
Is it too much to ask that the editor provide the reader with some factual basis for these allegations. I am an engineer who spent his entire career estimating and controlling the cost of electrical power generation facilities in the United States and throughout the world. For several years, I have been researching the contribution and cost associated with generating electricity with Massachusetts's most abundant renewable fuel, offshore wind.
All the facts I have uncovered indicate that the near-shore shallow-water sites, especially those at Horseshoe Shoal, contain the highest grade fuel and have the best potential for producing large amounts of lower cost, carbon free electricity for the Cape and Martha's Vineyard.
Is it too much to ask that the conclusions reached in editorials be somehow backed up with supporting, quantifiable, factual evidence that will document and demonstrate that there is some basis in fact that support the outlandish conclusion that the winds at Horseshoe Shoal will only generate a small amount and more expensive electricity compared to the winds far offshore.
I am aware of other technologies like the potential of tidal and wave energy. Their potential is very small. If the editor knows of other "new emerging clean energy technologies" that have the potential of producing large amounts of cost competitive electricity, it sure would be nice if he would share this information with the rest of us.