Letters to the Editor
A scary lesson
To the Editor:
On Monday evening, Sept. 24, around 6 pm, a young or young-ish woman who drives a large, fairly new pickup truck was heading west and south on West Spring Street in Vineyard Haven. When she took the sharp turn just before the waterworks, she was driving fast, in the middle of the road. Her truck was straddling the center line, and she was surprised by my car coming around the corner. Fortunately, I was in my lane, and my reflexes were working, so I was able to drive up onto the road bank before she hit me. My passenger and I were, needless to say, shaken and then angry. I hope she was scared, and I hope that scare taught her a lesson.
Susan Forbes Hansen
Vineyard Haven and
West Hartford, Conn.
New view welcomed
To the Editor:
Thank you for adding the new web camera at Five Corners.
Every day I check in with the MV Times to keep up on the news of our beautiful island. This new view brings all of us who love the Vineyard feel more connected no matter where we are in the world.
(Klahowyas) from Seattle
To the Editor:
I haven't really been looking at the MVT webcam as much as I had been doing when the new MV Island Home began serving your area. But during the hour of 1800 EDT on Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2007, I did. I am very appreciative and thankful that the cam was aimed at the ferry dock this day. There at the dock was a ferry I rode many times here on Puget Sound. This is the MV Governor. I haven't seen this ferry operate since she's been at your neck of the woods. Maybe I should have been looking at the cam years before the Island Home was on the drawing table.
Good to see this ferry in service today.
Here is some history of this vessel, for those ferry aficionados there at Martha's Vineyard. This vessel was built in Oakland, Calif., in 1954 for San Diego. Originally the MV Crown City, she served there until the new bridge was built in 1969. Her running mates were the MV San Diego, MV Coronado II, MV Silver Strand, and MV North Island.
After being released from service in San Diego, this vessel came north to Puget Sound and was renamed MV Kulshan. She operated on the Mukilteo-Clinton run. From 1970 to 1972, her running mates here were the MV Olympic and MV Rhododendron (both former Maryland ferries from the Maryland Drydock Company), and occasionally the MV Chetzemoka was added as fourth ferry at Clinton. In 1973, she operated alongside the MV Rhododendron and MV Vashon. In 1978, more changes took place, and the bigger MV Illahee ran alongside the Kulshan and the returning Olympic.
A couple of notable mishaps occurred aboard the Kulshan at Whidbey. One day, folks in a camper boarded her and wanted the outside lane to get a nice view. At that time, this vessel had a lifeboat on davits over the outer lane at each side. The camper hit the boat damaging both. Out of service for a while. The other mishap happened when a logging truck lost its load on a rough crossing. I've been aboard this vessel on a rough crossing myself, and waves were crashing over her main deck bulwark, with thrill seekers deliberately getting soaked.
A powerful storm in February of 1979 sank half of the Hood Canal Floating Bridge. In 1980, the Kulshan moved to the reestablished Lofall-South Point run and ran alongside the MV Tillikum.
In 1981, the Kulshan, replaced by a bigger ferry on the Canal, returned to Clinton as third ferry operating with the MV Illahee and MV Nisqually.
After subbing for the MV Hiyu on the Point Defiance-Tahlequah run about a year later, her last assigned captain rang the final "Finished With Engines" and she was done here.
She was sold to the US Coast Guard for service at Governors Island, New York. A Whidbey Island paper published photos of her passing through the Panama Canal on her long tow, which included a stop in San Diego, for ferry historians there to see her one last time on the US West Coast. Modifications to the vessel included a new passenger lounge at one side and the replacement of the wooden bridge deck bulwarks with steel tubular railings. She operated there as the MV Governor, taking turns with the MV Coursen, MV Minue, and MV Tides.
She is now at your neck of the woods operating alongside the MV Island Home, MV Martha's Vineyard, MV Gay Head, et al.
For the ferry experts there at Martha's Vineyard, what makes the SSA decide when the MV Governor operates on your run? I usually see the MV Gay Head doing freight trips, and truckers must have a nightmare backing their rigs aboard that one!
Just wanted to share this bit of history of your MV Governor with you folks there at the Vineyard.
They did it
To the Editor:
We wanted to correct an error in the caption of your front page photo last week, showing several children loading a big pumpkin into a wheelbarrow and giving all the credit to the adults on hand.
Kendra Mills, 10 years old, Sadie Dix, 11, and Ruby Dix, 8, did all the work involved in this home school project. After hearing about children living in poor conditions at a school in Sikkim, India, from friends who are living in India, the girls decided to make them the focus of their community service work.
Being girls who live on farms (Hillside and North Tabor), they drew on their knowledge and skills. They selected varieties of pumpkins to grow, shoveled truckloads of compost, started the seeds in the greenhouse, planted their seedlings, fertilized, weeded, watered, and at the end, though a little shy about doing so, made most of the calls inviting friends to the sale.
Other than driving (car, truck, and tractor), the parents offered support and guidance only. The beauty of the project was that these children were helping other children and having a great deal of fun doing it. Thank you for letting us correct it; we're getting all kinds of hell around here!
Carry in, carry out
To the Editor:
There's a line from the old movie Network that constantly runs through my mind every time I take my dog out for a walk on the Rumble Trail, which starts at the end of my block in Vineyard Haven. The line is, "I'm mad as hell, and I'm not going to take it any more!" Thank you, Paddy Chayefsky.
I'm fortunate enough to live on the street that connects to the Ramble Trail. The reason I'm mad is because of all the garbage and assorted debris ranging from nips and Red Bull cans to old clothing and lobster shells left on the road on which I live, the small parking area in front of the trail, and on the trail itself.
The Ramble Trail is a real gem put aside by the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank for people to, how should I put it? ramble on. They ramble by themselves, with their friends and lovers, with their dogs and in my case, my cats as well. I feel very lucky to live in such close proximity to the Ramble Trail. When it's not bombarded with garbage, it's a little slice of heaven where you can walk the assorted trails, smell the unique briny aroma of Lagoon Pond and daydream. But in the last couple of years I have noticed that individuals have discovered it and have made it a dumping ground. Whatever happened to, "Carry in, carry out?"
And, as I have discovered recently, this is not an isolated situation. I walk with a friend of mine who lives close to Sunset Lake in Oak Bluffs. As we were walking the other day, I mentioned to her my frustration over the way people were using my neighborhood as a dumping ground. As we discussed various solutions to the problem, such as putting a garbage pail in the parking lot, a neighborhood watch or a community clean up, she looked down and saw a discarded plastic grocery bay filled with garbage in the middle of the road. She said not to worry, someone would come along and clean it up. Today, she told me that the bag of garbage had blown all over the lovely park that runs adjacent to Sunset Lake, leaving behind old crusts of bread, corn cobs and cigarette butts, Guess we should have picked it up when we had the chance and not waited for maintenance.
This past Sunday, however, was the straw that broke the camel's back for me. That day we received a telephone call from a friend that a property my husband owns on the Boulevard in Edgartown had been vandalized. We drove over to assess the damage and were frankly appalled by what we saw. Okay, so a window was broken, kids break windows, maybe it's some strange right of passage. However, it wasn't just the window that was broken; someone had come along and ripped the white picket fence apart. The gate was torn off and multiple slats of fence ripped off. What gives? To me this is an act of violence. While my husband end I were there doing clean up, a lovely lady from the neighborhood came by and told us that there has been a rash of vandalism happening in the area, and she herself had fallen victim to it when a pair of garden ornaments from her beautiful garden were destroyed by vandals.
These are things that you never worried about say, 10 years ago. What has changed that make individuals have so little respect for their own environment and other people's property? I don't have the answer, all I know is I'll continue to clean up when I see that it needs cleaning up, and I'll do my part and carry in and carry out as I have done my entire life, as I know my friends do. It would be nice if someone who has littered carelessly in the past reads this, takes it to heart and thinks before they toss garbage anywhere except in a garbage can. It would also he nice if whoever vandalized anyone's property would consider getting professional help, because frankly, you need it.
A parking solution
To the Editor:
We wanted to thank the Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority and the Holy Ghost Society for supporting the new Martha's Vineyard Hospital construction project by helping to provide a parking solution for the nursing home and the hospital. The Holy Ghost Society has provided space for the 75 employees to park 0.6 miles from the hospital. The MVTA has begun to provide a shuttle service for our employees. This off-site parking solution provides sufficient parking for our patients and visitors. It is gratifying to have the community come together in support of the new hospital.
Martha's Vineyard Hospital
The Anchors, at the center of so much
To the Editor:
September is National Senior Center Month, a time to acknowledge and thank the many seniors and their families for their continued support.
Currently there are 1,201 residents 60 years of age or older in Edgartown, compared to 1,061 last year and only 874 five years ago. This past year more than 448 residents 60-plus attended our programs and/or used our services such as our popular Friday Café, men's and women's breakfast, delicious soups, social trips off-Island, cooking classes, classes at Featherstone Center for the Arts, COMSOG memberships, clambake, foot clinic, massage, yoga, pilates, educational programs on healthy aging, knitting, rug hooking, mah jong, memoir writing, antique appraisal, dinner and movie nights, jazz series, legal help, health insurance counseling, health screening, caregiver support, one-on-one counseling, meals on wheels, free bass and bluefish, book group, wheel chair and medical equipment loans, free transportation services, and so much more. We provided home visits to 72 individuals; 57 family members received assistance and 187 seniors from other towns attended our programs.
Where do we go from here? As new generations begin to redefine retirement and positive aging, there is a growing focus on wellness, meaningful work experiences and volunteerism. When it comes to finding tools for staying healthy and involved or needing information, The Anchors is an excellent place to start. We will continue to connect Edgartown residents with meaningful volunteer opportunities, increase access to valuable benefits and resources, expand our partnerships to provide even more educational opportunities, offer a wide range of wellness programs, and even trips around the world!
We hope you plan to attend one of our programs or just stop by for a cup of coffee with some friends and enjoy the beautiful view! If there is a program you want or a service we are not providing, please let us know. The Anchors is a reflection of your ideas, wishes, and program choices. We hope The Anchors evolves to reflect a more empowered vision of aging and we want to involve the entire community in helping to pave the way for the future of the center.
We thank the selectmen for their continued support, the ECOA directors for their visions and advocacy, the Friends of ECOA for all their fund-raising efforts, and to every resident 60+ for your talents, generosity, guidance, and dedication.
This year, stop by, get involved and make the Anchors your center of it all!
From ECOA Staff
Susan Desmarais, Outreach
Cook & Custodian
Cathryn Mancuso, Assistant Director
Laurie Schreiber, Director
Mary Vancour, Secretary
They live on
To the Editor:
After watching The War and Ken Burns on WGBH, we should always honor these very special people that gave us the freedom that we live today. They gave so much for us and USA, to live and die for freedom. They will always live on.
Michael J. Flynn
Cheaper electricity from wind
To the Editor:
In your editorial concerning the Cape Wind debate, you suggested the residents of the Cape and the Islands do their own private cost-benefit analysis. To help in this effort, your readers should be aware that a cost-benefit analysis for Cape Wind has already been undertaken and recorded in a statement made by Dr. Jonathan Haughton, a professor in the Department of Economics, Suffolk University, at a public hearing held on Dec. 16, 2004, at MIT (Room 10-250) by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Massachusetts Environmental Policy Act Office on the proposal by Cape Wind Associates to build 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound.
Professor Haughton, who teaches cost-benefit classes, concluded that the economic costs exceed the economic benefits for the Cape Wind project. Professor Haughton calculated the cost of generating electricity to be 9.06 cents per kWh, very close to the figure of 9.0 cents reported in the Draft EIS (p3-307). At the time, he was paying 6.32 cents per kWh. Dr. Haughton estimated the economic benefits of electricity generated by Cape Wind to be 7.06 cents/kWh. Dr. Haughton concluded that, at that particular point in time (December 2004), the economic costs exceed the economic benefits by 1.99 cents/kWh.
Now, let's fast forward to today, and take a look at what has happened in the interim. In the summer of 2005, hurricanes Katrina and Rita hit the gulf coast, damaging a significant number of oil and natural gas platforms. I can vividly remember seeing pictures of oil and natural gas platforms that were toppled and moved. The disruption resulted in massive amounts of money being spent by the oil companies trying to restore the Gulf's oil and natural gas supplies, resulting in higher fuel costs for utilities. The higher cost of generating electricity was passed on to you and me and is reflected on our electric bills. In January 2006, the residents of the Cape and Martha's Vineyard saw an 86 percent spike in the price they pay for generated electricity. The residents of the Cape and Martha's Vineyard currently pay 10.99 cents/kWh for generated electricity, and this rate is good only till the end of the year. Utilities are unwilling to commit pricing for longer than six months, due to the volatility in the price of oil and natural gas. Today, it would appear that the benefits of Cape Wind exceed the cost by approximately 2 cents/kWh.
Unlike oil and natural gas-fired power plants, the cost for wind is zero. Once the mortgage is paid off on a wind farm, the cost of generating electricity drops dramatically. There are no ongoing fuel charges to deal with. Electricity from a wind farm can be stably priced for a long period of time, up to 20 years.
I am on the board of the Cape Light Compact, and wanted the residents of the Cape and Martha's Vineyard to take advantage of this opportunity. At one of our board meetings, I made a motion, that was passed by a 10-3 vote, authorizing our chief procurement officer to enter into negotiations for a long-term contract for the purchase of all the electricity generated by Cape Wind. If the project is built, and our negotiations successful, I believe the residents of the Cape and Martha's Vineyard will, for the first time, be able to experience a long-term, more stable price for generated electricity with the added benefit of not releasing any carbon dioxide in the process.
Why Cape Wind
debate drags on
To the Editor:
It's a measure of progress to incorporate the lessons of history into the present time. It's nice to see that after more than 100 years of fossil fueled power plants, the subcommittee of the Cape Cod Commission has introduced new, rigorous standards for approving an energy project in Massachusetts.
Wouldn't it have been weird if the power plant on Buzzards Bay had been denied because it was submitted to the degree of skepticism that Cape Wind now receives? We wouldn't have had catastrophes like the 2003 Buzzards Bay spill that dumped almost 100,000 gallons of oil into the Bay. For that matter, wouldn't it be great if every fossil fueled power plant in America was subject to the same standards? We could have already solved global warming.
It's not as though we shouldn't have the debate about the environmental impact of Cape Wind, of course. But any examination of Cape Wind by the Cape Cod Commission needs to focus on the facts of the project, not the mountains of "what-ifs" handpicked by the Alliance to Protect Nantucket Sound.
No other power plant in the history of New England has taken longer to be permitted than Cape Wind. Why? Because if environmental devastation were sure to follow Cape Wind's construction, the Alliance would have already won, and this project would been killed by the federal or state government a long time ago.
Instead of being the ecological or economic catastrophe waiting to happen that the Alliance claims, Cape Wind, in the real world, has been approved in the Army Corps of Engineers' environmental impact study of the project and by a slew of state agencies over six years. The project has won the endorsement of local and national environmental groups, union workers, tourist officials, fishermen, and the majority of Cape residents.
And yes, there are some very good environmental questions that have to be asked of Cape Wind. For the most part, these questions have been asked and answered multiple times over in six years. It's always possible to spend millions of dollars and invent feasible environmental risks out of thin air and pay for the high-priced PowerPoint slides that are going to prove it. The cost/benefit and risk assessments presented by the Alliance are very little more than speculation and shortsightedness. The looming consequences of irreversible global warming are a mere 10 years away, according to James Hansen, NASA's climate guru, if we don't begin to reduce our carbon emissions. Cape Wind would be a massive hit on New England's carbon dioxide emissions.
It's about capitalism
To the Editor:
At last Thursday's Cape Wind discussion (in Katharine Cornell Theater), opponents continued to portray Cape Wind (CW) as a nasty developer - an organization wanting to obtain public property, install machinery, receive government subsidies, and earn profits for its shareholders.
I'm confused. Why are they making such a fuss? Isn't this how we operate in America? Aren't all the existing companies that presently supply our electricity (Mirant Corporation, etc.) the same type of nasty developer? Aren't they all privately owned, occupying (or impacting upon) public property, taking advantage of subsidies, and earning profits for their owners?
I suggest that Cape Wind de-energize their opponents' attacks by clearly and proudly stating that Cape Wind is playing by the rules of capitalism - that it is a company that wants to sell a valuable and much needed product (clean electricity), and like Mirant and the other energy "developers," is entitled to make a profit.
And if people want to continue opposing the construction of new, corporate-owned electric-generating equipment (such as Cape Wind's turbines), then I suggest that they take $10,000-plus out their wallets and install solar panels and turbines at their homes. In addition, they should convene government committees, establish town-owned electric utilities, and set up town-owned wind turbines (the way the town of Hull has).
Unfortunately, the second option will likely take 10-plus years, and by the time such turbines are operational, global warming will be out of control.
Tree cutting defies
To the Editor:
We have had several developments over the weekend in regard to the ancient ways in Edgartown that warrant further investigation and public knowledge. There was a moratorium on all tree cutting along the prospective ancient ways until the next Martha's Vineyard Commission meeting next Thursday. On Saturday, Ben Hall ignored this ruling and hired people to cut trees on Middle Line Road. The neighbors, led by Paul Ulyatt, called the police, who came and made him stop.
Ron Rappaport, Edgartown town counsel, obtained a court order against Mr. Hall. The injunction only covered Middle Line Road. Undeterred, on Sunday, Mr. Hall hired two men to cut trees along Watcha Path. When confronted by one of our neighbors, Robert Green, the two men, Jim Clark and Jamie Gaspar, took off. Again, the police were called. This issue of the road preservation is currently in front of the MVC, and the neighbors are trying to approach it in a responsible way. Mr. Hall has ignored the decisions of the town, the commission, and the neighborhood. He is clearing property that does not belong to him, and we are puzzled as to why he is not in jail at this point, or heavily fined. One of the trees he cut along Watcha Path was more than 100 years old. Robert Green took pictures of the destruction.
To the Editor:
Recently, Jim Hickey wrote an article in the Gazette about the recent Martha's Vineyard Commission meeting where they considered the nomination of five ancient ways in Edgartown as districts of critical planning concern. In the article, Mr. Hickey stated the following: "When one woman Thursday suggested the Hall family might disregard the moratorium if the commission did not take action, she received a sharp rebuke from Therese Hall.
"I think it's disgusting to think the Hall family would do anything to hurt this town and this Island we love more than anything... you all think we are going to do something awful on this property and it's wrong," she said.
I would like to state for the record that I am the woman noted in the article who voiced my concerns that the Hall family would ignore the moratorium. I would also like to state for the record that J.C. Clark Trucking, working on behalf of the Hall family, was working along Middle Line Path, cutting trees and creating a roadway, ignoring the moratorium, just as I feared. They were served with a cease and desist order, which stopped them from working in that spot but did not prevent the crew from doing the same thing the following day on Watcha Path.
I implore the town voters to support this endeavor to declare these paths special ways, should it come to a town vote. Do not be duped into thinking that the town will be obligated to widen these paths to 40 feet and make them accessible to motor vehicle traffic. The town can take control of them to protect them as special ways while keeping them as footpaths. I assure you, it is not the town that is jeopardizing and threatening these wonderful paths.
I would like to take this opportunity to ask the Hall family to publicly promise that they will discontinue the cutting of trees and the development of roads along these ancient ways while the moratorium is in place and while the commission and the town of Edgartown continue to evaluate this proposal. That way, they could show the members of this town that they really do want to protect these ancient pathways and not alter their nature in any way.
Gail Gardner Craig