Letters to the Editor
A perfect day,
To the Editor:
What started as a perfect fall day at the pumpkin festival at the wonderful Morning Glory Farm this past Saturday soon turned to a scary situation for me and my family. My husband, Kenny, is a type one diabetic, and he started having an insulin reaction due to low blood sugar. I and my two children, who were very scared, tried to get him better by giving him some orange juice, but it was too late and he started to go unconscious. I am used to seeing this, but my children are not and were very upset and scared.
I would like to thank the caring woman with the adorable baby and a fluffy dog in the back of her truck parked next to my car. I am so sorry I did not ask you your name. You were so kind to take my kids to see your dog, so I could care for my husband and they would not be as scared. I am very grateful and cannot express how much that helped the scary situation.
I would also like to thank Jocelyn Broadly and Sam Cleland, who both have sons in school with my son. They saw the situation and came right over told me the kids could stay with them and go enjoy the festival so I could follow the ambulance to the hospital. I don't know what I would have done without your thoughtfulness and concern for me, Kenny and Hunter and Shelby. Thank you does not seem like enough but from the bottom of all of our hearts, God bless you and thank you.
We would also like to thank the Edgartown police and EMTs who arrived very quickly and got Kenny to the ER quickly. Also I would like to thank the Edgartown fireman who arrived before the ambulance and helped me with Kenny. Sorry, I did not get your name either. Also, big thanks to the staff at Morning Glory Farm for helping by bringing juice and asking if I was okay and needed anything.
The day was not what we had planned, but Kenny was okay after some care at the hospital, and the kids had a great time at the pumpkin festival, thanks to the kindness of strangers and friends. Thank you all.
To the Editor:
Well, another Martha's Vineyard fishing derby has come and gone but not without controversy. One of our local sharpies boated a very large bass whose belly was full of lead weights. The fish was disqualified. For most of us, however, it was plain that the fisherman in question in no way violated the derby rules. The "yo-yo" rig is forbidden during the derby, and stuffing a fish with anything is a major no-no.
After a certain amount of public outcry, the fish was re-entered, but without the pound and a half or so of lead found deep in its gut. Was that fair? It's a question sure to be debated over the course of a long, cold winter.
Forget the derby for the moment. For me, the pressing question has nothing to do with the derby. Instead, the incident brings to mind a larger and ultimately more important ethical question regarding the general use of the so-called "yo-yo" rig to catch striped bass. It was explained to me that these "baits" involve the use of multiple lead weights stuffed inside large bunker (baitfish) and skewer-like steel wire or wood inserted for stability. The rig is "yo-yo"ed from the boat and is irresistible to large, hungry bass. Many of the larger bass that swallow these rigs break free from the fisherman trying to boat them, and I have been told that it is extremely difficult for these fish to digest the wire and lead. We all know about the horror of lead poisoning, so how is it okay to be directly responsible for causing these fish to swim around for years with sometimes pounds of pure lead trapped inside their bellies?
To me this is cruel. To help prevent unnecessary tissue damage, most of us have modified our fishing techniques by breaking off barbs from hooks, using circle hooks when bottom fishing, etc. Fish-friendly techniques help to preserve this fishery. These so-called "yo-yo" rigs are brutal, and pounds of lead and metal left lodged deep inside the bellies of large striped bass sounds like we are poisoning the very fish we claim to love and revere.
I urge everyone who cares about the food they eat and the creatures that swim in the ocean to seek out information from local fisherman and biologists. Voice your opinion and help outlaw the cruel "yo-yo" rig and do your bit to preserve and protect the striped bass.
To the Editor:
While on a tour of Martha's Vineyard, our tour bus stopped for a shopping break in Vineyard Haven. While there, we lost our Sony Cybershot Digital camera. We were upset because of the value of the camera and its contents.
When we arrived home, I called the Tisbury Police Department and told Officer Linda what happened and gave the serial and model number of our camera. She said she would look through the cameras and call me back. We were elated when she graciously informed us they had our camera.
The person or persons who returned the camera did not leave their name.
This letter is to thank Officer Linda and the person that was so kind to turn our camera into the Tisbury Police Department. It is satisfying to know there are still people with such noble high morals.
We were so taken by the people in Martha's Vineyard, the clerks in the stores, the polite drivers, and the attentive hospitality by the concierge and the employees at the Harbor View Hotel. Thank you to all of you.
Karlene Artelle Kolberg
To the Editor:
It is a sad day for me. I just heard that Virginia Hackney has left us. Her passing reminds us all of how the basics of our human emotions can blossom and be brought back to us by someone who others may pass off as simple.
Virginia was by no means simple. She was a person who had no fear, was willing to try anything, and always aimed to leave everyone and anyone with a smile on their face. Virginia was everything we should strive to be. Virginia was kind, considerate, daring and irascible. I met her on a karaoke stage, when I hosted at Seasons some years ago. With some trepidation, Virginia overcame her immediate fear to become one of the most charismatic and fun people to ever hit the stage. The joyfulness emanating from her face won the world over. She will be missed terribly.
All I can say is thank you, Virginia, my friend and my unexpected teacher of all things that really matter. Behaved you did. You taught us all to grasp onto goodness and relive the beauty and innocence of our youth. Virginia, be at rest knowing you touched us all.
Honorable and fair
To the Editor:
I want to thank the Martha's Vineyard Times and Nelson Sigelman for publicizing Joe Alosso's exoneration by the administrative magistrate of the state's Division of Administrative Law Appeals. As an Oak Bluffs wastewater commissioner, I followed the case closely for technical reasons; and as a friend of the Alosso family, I felt their pain as the obviously unfounded charges were pursued. The Oak Bluffs officials that abetted this action should be chastised and put out to pasture.
It is noteworthy that the regional DEP office in Lakeville deplored the charges. In the years that I have known Joe and dealt with him professionally, he has always acted honorably and in the best interests of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
In all fairness, the courts should require the DEP to reimburse his family for the unjustified legal fees.
Robert A. Iadicicco
Your help needed
To the Editor:
With the newspapers and TV news filled with articles of corporate and political corruption, and athletes using drugs, it was more than refreshing and inspiring to receive the following letter from my neighbor, Dan Parker.
"I am writing to inform you about a humanitarian project I have become involved with and find myself very passionately moved by.
"Following the 2005 hurricanes, I was drawn toward assisting the victims because it was such a natural fit with my professional capabilities. My wife, as the Youth Minister at Federated Church in Edgartown, led me to join in the leadership of a youth group humanitarian trip to offer rebuilding aid for one week in St. Bernard Parish last December.
"What we encountered in the New Orleans area was nothing short of appalling, devastation beyond anything conveyed in the media. These innocent victims continue still to suffer from the loss of their homes and livelihoods, their neighborhoods and social support systems. The ineffectiveness of our national response has left them feeling hopeless and abandoned, yet they continue to be people of such rich and deep spirit.
"We were recently contacted by a 63-year-old widow who wants desperately to get out of her FEMA trailer and back into her home, which has been completely gutted. She is doing her own part to help survivors in her job as a social worker assisting youth who have been uprooted and traumatized by the storm.
"My wife and I are organizing another mission trip through the church for this November, a 10-day trip for adults to help this determined and wonderful woman get a functional and safe living space again. She says she cries every time she receives contact from us, and we hope to go accomplish amazing things for her.
"While I work hard here on the Island, my life is blessed by relative comfort, hope and dignity. If you feel the same way about your life and your prospects and blessings, I hope you will consider making a donation which will enable me to volunteer on your behalf and on the behalf of other like-minded and compassionate donors. If we all open our hearts as we are able we will have a significant influence, and that influence will have the power to change lives."
As Dan mentions, he made a trip to New Orleans last December to offer rebuilding aid. He was accompanied by his wife, Jill, and Jerry Fritz, minister of the Federated Church and a youth group composed of Matthew Fisher, Win Grimm, Jackson Parker, Cassandra Gaines, Michaella Gaines, Dani Cleary, Wes Haeselbarth, and Dan Durawa.
Please note: Dan Parker did not suggest I send his letter to our local newspapers. However, I do feel strongly that as many people should know about this very worthy cause. Any support you can give, through the Federated Church, to Dan Parker and his volunteers for their humanitarian trip to New Orleans will be greatly appreciated.
Wrong choices for special needs
To the Editor:
Is the Island's special needs education program in need of special attention? Our community considers itself to be enlightened and engaged. We pride ourselves on inclusiveness. But is it to a fault? When it comes to special needs students who need all possible resources focused on them in a space designed for them, our school system may be failing.
The inclusion of some students in a general education classroom is a disservice, a failure to include that child in what all of us wants for our own - the best we can offer.
When the system places a severely disabled child in a general education classroom, it isolates that child from the atmosphere and resources he or she needs to succeed. It frustrates the child. It leaves him or her behind. It is heartless. When students have special needs, it is up to our top-heavy school administrators to do some heavy lifting.
No Child Left Behind intends for every child to be provided with the tools the child needs to succeed. To fail to evaluate, set goals, track goals, and constantly monitor and upgrade is to fail that child. It also breaks the law. To fail to place such a child in an environment where the child receives a meaningful educational experience is also a violation. Having endless meetings, failing to make decisions, ignoring the responsibility you were trained to assume is lazy and weak-kneed. At worst it is immoral not to do the best you can for those less fortunate.
Test and target, set goals, make the appropriate placement regardless of who protests - make progress. That's education. Warehousing and babysitting are not part of No Child Left Behind, nor is it part of the state's special education program. It is in fact a denial of services and is actionable.
James P. Hickey
To the Editor:
I recently returned to the Island after spending seven months in Iraq with the US Marine Corps. My family and I would like to thank all the people that greeted me at the boat: the color guard from the Vineyard Haven American Legion Post #257, the police and the Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven fire departments. I would like to thank all those who had a part in the wonderful time I had on the Island this last week and a half. To my friends and friends of the family thank you for the time I had with you all. And I hope to see you all soon again.
CPL Duncan MacMullen USMC
Dry is safer, friendlier
To the Editor:
We are writing to express our strong conviction regarding the so-called beer and wine issue in Vineyard Haven. Our conviction grows out of a good many years of experience and observation in a considerable number of communities where we have been associated.
We recognize the business community's desire to make as much money as possible, especially from the so-called tourist population with which we live. We also recognize the "right" and "desire" of many of us, including ourselves, to enjoy a glass of wine at a favorite restaurant.
However, all these supporting arguments pale and fail when measured against the negatives of changing from a dry town to one where beer and wine will flow more freely, no matter what restrictions are adopted. (And, by the way, even the restrictions we now have in place are not enforced to any significant degree. Who can assure us that the proposed restrictions will be enforced any better, and by whom?)
We realize full well that this is a very subtle thing, extremely hard to articulate or even recognize early on. But it is an irrefutable fact that communities with a freer flow of beer and wine are not as family friendly or as safe and quiet and desirable as the so-called dry communities.
We hold up the very obvious example of Ocean City, New Jersey, which is virtually the only resort on the Jersey Coast where one would want to live or raise a family - and when all is said and done, the reason is that somehow amid political upheavals and changes of trends they have remained dry these 125 years, and are proud of it.
Please, Vineyard Haven, think long and hard before going down a road we will soon enough regret.
John and Jane Wilbur
A matter of fairness
To the Editor:
This is the time of year when people involved in town finances begin the long process of preparing our budgets for the next fiscal year.
Part of the budget for every town is the cost of the Regional High School district. Last April, voters in Oak Bluffs opted not to support the regional agreement, a choice that led to considerable conflict with taxpayers from other towns.
It could happen again. If we are unable to agree on a fair way of assessing taxes to pay for the regional district, we could once again be caught up in anger and accusation that accompanied the process last year. Once again, we may end up resorting to a state formula that few if any of us understand, and the fairness of which no one seems willing to stand up for.
On the Island and across the country, our schools and many other local government functions are supported by property taxes. The regional district has been supported by property taxes since it was instituted in 1956. The controversy revolves around the way in which properties are taxed.
In a progressive tax, the more your property is worth, the higher your rate of taxation. We can see a parallel in income taxes, where the greater your taxable income, the higher tax bracket you are in. The higher your tax bracket, the greater the proportion of your earnings that is taken in taxes. No one, so far as I know, is suggesting a progressive property tax to pay for the schools.
In a regressive tax, the more your property is worth, the lower your tax rate. The regional agreement, which specified the assessments for the regional district, is a regressive tax. Under that agreement, every property in the two wealthiest towns is assessed at a lower rate than any property in any other town. This inequity is part of the agreement itself and must be changed.
The only fair way to pay for the regional district is to treat all property on the Island the same: to have a flat tax, in which we are all assessed at exactly the same rate. This is not a strange or unfamiliar suggestion: the MVC is paid for by a flat tax; so are the county and the refuse district. Within each town, every property owner pays for the schools at the same rate; and across the country it is common to assess all property owners in a school district at a single rate.
The high school offers its services equally to all students on the Island. It is part of our caring for the next generation and helping to preserve our democratic way of life. I am proud to pay my fair share of the costs of the education it offers, even though my children and grandchildren all live in other states. I am happy to contribute to the education of children from all six towns. I am not happy to be contributing to the education of children from wealthier towns at a higher rate than their parents are.
The main counter-argument to a flat tax so far has come from people who say that no one, especially the wealthy, will give up a financial advantage, however small, or however unfair. I hope they are wrong. I believe that it is just as important to treat others fairly as to be treated fairly, and I want to believe that most voters and taxpayers in all six towns will agree with me about that.
Oak Bluffs Finance Committee
Five brave ladies
To the Editor:
The Heritage Trail recently dedicated its 19th site and its first in West Tisbury. We honored the courage and integrity of five courageous women - Peg Lilienthal, Nancy Smith, Nancy Whiting, Virginia Mazer and Polly Murphy - who risked their safety and the good will of their community by taking a heroic stand on the issue of justice and civil rights. A plaque placed at the old library on Music Street in West Tisbury lists their names and their honorable achievement.
It was a gorgeous day and the families and friends of those who were being honored turned out in strength. Our thanks to all of them and to the local businesses who supported us by their donations: Cronig's, Alley's, Back Alley's, and Morning Glory Farm. We are indebted to all of you. Your contributions were greatly appreciated by our guests. We also have to thank master craftsmen Eben Armer and Everett Whiting most sincerely for their beautiful work in installing the plaque; and Beth, Colleen, and Hermine at the library who helped us to organize the mobile museum display and were so patient and gracious. We owe a great debt of gratitude to Lynne Whiting of the Vineyard Museum who helped us at every step of the way and to selectmen Diane Powers and Glenn Hearn for their support and to selectman Skip Manter for his good wishes.
It was a great day, and it's a wonderful site on the trail. We urge you all to stop by and pay your respects to five brave ladies.
Elaine Cawley Weintraub
Carrie Camillo Tankard
African American Heritage Trail of Martha's Vineyard
Complains of bank's shareholder notice
To the Editor:
This is a copy of a letter to Richard Leonard at the M.V. Co-operative Bank:
My name is Ryan Elizabeth Searle, and I am a customer of the Co-operative Bank. I am writing to inform you of my frustration regarding the manner in which I was informed about the shareholders' meeting.
I received the notification in my post office box in Vineyard Haven on Sept. 13, the day of the shareholders' meeting. However, the letter was dated Aug. 31. Furthermore, my mother, who is a customer of yours as well, did not receive the letter until after the shareholders' meeting (and she and I have the same mailing address).
I am particularly frustrated because I caught wind of the meeting over the summer but could not find out the date. I am concerned about this merger and strongly oppose it. I wish I had received the proper notice so I could make arrangements to be in town for the meeting, thus making my vote count.
I am not sure whether these letters were sent out late or if there was a mix-up at the post office, but there is no reason why it should have taken weeks to reach me at the same post office it was mailed out of. I tend to think this was not the fault of the postmaster because I have never had a problem with the Vineyard Haven post office.
Regardless, I attend law school in Vermont and wish I had the opportunity to at least voice my concern about the system in which the votes were counted. I truly do not want this merger to occur and wanted to at least address my concern about not being able to vote by proxy. I am sure many of your customers are students furthering their education on the mainland who may not have been able to make it to the meeting.
I strongly oppose this merger and do not wish to continue as a customer if it takes place as planned. I do not want my funds being handled by the Dukes County Savings Bank or anyone affiliated with it.
Thank you for your time.
Ryan Elizabeth Searle
Vineyard Haven and
South Royalton, Vt.
An odyssey on
To the Editor:
Just as the tides ebb and flow daily on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, so the migrants come and go as well. In 2005, I left the Island - again. Yet, this time was to be different. I set off in search of a greater connection to the inner workings of society, to take my rightful place on the world stage. Ironically, this was the exact opposite reason why I had originally come to the Island in the first place. I had reached a breaking point, when I realized that all my efforts to live sustainably and to be part of "the solution" would never really amount to much if I did not choose to embrace a path toward direct political action. Since I had exhausted most job opportunities on the Island, such as gardening, farming, painting, and the remaining patchwork of odd jobs, I really had nothing left to lose.
My first stepping-stone to the world of international politics might, at first glance, seem like a step backward into the past. My first strategy was to align myself with an established group with common interests. Idealist.org led me to a retreat center in the Hudson Valley owned by The Grail, an 86-year-old women's movement spawned by WW I and the youth movements of Europe. While mowing lawns, painting Victorian buildings, and meditating the days away, I learned from women whose experience with political and social movements has spanned continents and generations. The women of The Grail opened the gate to political action for me when they handed me a pass to the United Nations to attend the 2006 Commission on the Status of Women.
The UN had always been a dream of mine, a place where people from all cultures would at least sit at the table together and discuss issues of worldwide consequence. When I returned to Cornwall and my light bulbs, paint brushes, and snow shovel, I knew that I needed to be more integrally involved in the UN and international relations. These caretaking activities, which had sustained me for 14 years of my life, no longer fulfilled my destiny. I began studying global affairs at New York University, and my eyes were opened as to how much more I needed to learn before I could effectively join in the work of social transformation.
January 2007 found me returning to the Vineyard for that one last job to pave my way to New York City full-time. I painted a house in Chilmark as fast as I could and then drove to Brooklyn and got an apartment just in time for the next Commission on the Status of Women. Armed with a United Nations pass and a title of UN intern, I went to the UN every day with my laptop and pretended like I was working, in order to get a job. Eureka. It worked.
May 2007 found me in Geneva, Switzerland at the World Health Assembly working for Global Alliance for Women's Health. With absolutely no knowledge of health or medicine, I bravely fought the bureaucracy with swords and broken French in order to represent the voice of civil society at a convention of European good ol' boys. We organized a meeting aimed at gathering support of government and health ministries to provide treatment for the 250 million diabetics in the world and to outline prevention strategies for this disease which is 80 percent preventable.
In July 2007, I returned from Valle de Angeles, Honduras, where I attended the Young Women of the Americas Summit. This group of 30 women, from six countries, was a grassroots effort in forming a network across borders and languages to discuss social issues and the effects of globalization. My brain is still recovering from the language immersion and the liquor brought by the Brazilians, but my heart is strengthened with the stories of courage from every woman I met.
I am writing this story to send word to my fellow Islanders, that life is indeed good on Martha's Vineyard. Yet, there is a time for sailing, and there is a time for fighting the evils of the world. You never know when I will wash up on shore some day, tired from the struggle and ready to exchange Coney Island for Menemsha. And vice-versa, you never know when your number will be called, and it is time to leave the sheltering arms of an Island so embracing, in exchange for the wild and maddening pace of humanity's evolution.
Adventure in store
To the Editor:
It has been a few weeks since my travel adventure -and adventure it was. I was all by myself, in a sailboat, charting the high seas, in a race around the world; I was from war-torn Uganda, entering the highly acclaimed music and dance festival of Africa; I was an orphan on the streets of Singapore; I was part of a Brazilian kidnapping crime ring; I was in the lottery for a free house in Aquinnah; I was a polar bear cub, traveling the Arctic snowfields; I made music in Istanbul; I looked for Opal in Australia; I had love affairs in Paris; I was an aging aristocrat in Buenos Aires; and there were so many more places I could have gone, adventures I could have had if only I could be in more than one place at the same time.
I could have gone "Into the Wild" with Sean Penn; I could have gone to Switzerland, to Denmark, to Delhi, to Cuba, to Iran, to Bosnia, to Croatia, to Beijing. And when I had gone all the places I could possibly go in one day, I was rested and ready, to share my adventures, with a glass of wine, great music, delicious foods, at a beach party aboard and dockside the Alabama. Or, I was on the Mansion House rooftop, on the eve of a splendid, near autumnal, equinox sunset. Or, I was deep in the armchair comforts of Che's Lounge. Or, I was at the Oyster Bar with all the trimmings; a coffee chat at the Belushi-Pisano Gallery, next day, Beetlebung; an "English Butler" afternoon tea; live music at the Bowl and Board; art gallery art and refreshments at the "Art Walk", on Main Street....
All those places, for a very small price, joining the festive crowd on Main Street, Vineyard Haven, movie schedule in hand, choosing my next adventure. Part of the "Big Picture, on a Small Island."
Here for the festival, a new acquaintance exclaimed excitedly: "This is a big deal. This is a great secret. If you go to Sundance, you never get to tip your wine glass with, or hear the inside stories of, the producers, the directors, of these award winning, soon-to-be-released big ticket films all within walking distance, of such small, intimate theatres."
And so, with you, I share the secret, Richard Paradise's secret, really. Next year, every year, third week in September, "The International Film Festival", right here, in Vineyard Haven, the Capawock, the Katharine Cornell, and the Vineyard Playhouse, a small haven in a big, big world. Pack your suitcase for adventure.
Making the boat
To the Editor:
Facing a very important meeting in New Jersey, Sept. 25, my wife and I needed to arrange a ride to catch the 7 am boat in Vineyard Haven.
Calling Stagecoach Taxi the afternoon prior to the 25th, we were assured that a 6:30 am pick-up would occur. However, 6:30 came and went. Phone calls only reached an answering machine, so we trudged with baggage in hand out to the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, fully expecting to meet our cab on the way, but no.
Desperate at 6:45, we stuck our thumbs out, but cars streamed by, including a couple of cabs (not Stagecoach), which we tried to flag down, again to no avail.
Our day was about to implode when a green Suburban heading away from Vineyard Haven toward the Blinker turned around and came back. It was 6:50 and suddenly, thanks to this good person, we had a chance. Light traffic favored us, and we slid from our savior's vehicle with two minutes to spare.
We raced to the gangway and boarded, only to realize that as we unloaded, we never got the driver's name.
A bit of inquiry has revealed that our day was saved by Rebecca Tinus, who told us she was on her way back from dropping her daughter at the boat and that she could see the despair in our faces, which led her to attempt our rescue. Perhaps it was a random act of kindness, but we suspect that people who know her will not be surprised by her actions.
By the way, aboard the Sankaty the following day, we phoned Stagecoach to ask what went wrong and why we were not picked up. They agreed it was their error, and we suggested that they could go some way to rectifying their almost costly mistake by meeting us in Oak Bluffs and giving us a ride home. They said they would get back to us. Sadly, the call never came.
T. Michael and Larissa Flynn
Vineyard Haven and
Lyndon Center, Vt.
To the Editor:
I just wanted to remind all women and men how important it is to get a mammogram at any age. How do I know this? I am a two-year survivor of breast cancer. Many of you know me and my story. If not, here it is in a nutshell.
I was having a routine physical with my primary care giver Dr. Klein (to whom I owe my life, and miss) when she suggested I have a mammogram. My husband and I were in the planning process of having children, and she thought it was a great idea to get a routine mammogram for future mammograms. I was 36, did not have history of cancer in my family, so I thought, what have I got to loose? Well, they found a lump that could not be felt; it showed up on the mammogram. Thank goodness that I had gone. Knowing myself, I would have not gone for a mammogram unless I really had to. Who knows what size it would have grown to, or where it would have spread to?
My life had changed. Many would have said for the worse, but I say for the better. Going through the whole process of chemo, losing hair, radiation treatments on- and off-Island for what seemed an eternity and now hormonal treatment, I have learned so much during the whole process. You learn about your family's and friends' strengths. You learn about your own strengths, it's okay to cry, it's okay to laugh, it's okay to be strong and it's okay to let others love you. You learn that when one door closes, another opens, and that on the other side of that door is a whole new group of people, that you needed to meet for your sake and for their sake. You learn that there is a lot of good in people out there that you know and that you don't know. You also learn that is okay to have cancer, that it is not something to be ashamed of, that people want to know what is going on, and it is okay to let people help.
Many of us here on the Island have known someone or are that person with cancer. This Island and its community have shown me that I chose the right place to live. The love and caring this Island has shown me and my husband has revived my faith in man/womankind.
Thank you all who have been there for us, whether in person or in thoughts. So please, women and men of the Island, please remember October is Breast Cancer awareness month. Get them squished and photographed for your future and the future of your family. And for those surviving and striving, keep your head up and feel the Island love. At least know I am always here for you.
Not a war
To the Editor:
As a longtime viewer of the nightly network newscasts, I have a simple question for the Big 3 anchors: Why is the Iraq occupation still almost exclusively referred to as "the War in Iraq"? It's kind of obvious, at least to this viewer, that what we have here is an unprovoked invasion, followed by an unjustifiable occupation. The same question can be asked of all the national media, who have essentially caved in to this spin-created myth and thus refer to the occupation as "the war." A little truth in labeling might help convince those who still buy into the whole sad affair that we really need not be there and never should have gone in the first place.
New at Vineyard House
To the Editor:
The board of directors and advisors of Vineyard House Inc., the Island's only residential facility for men and women in early recovery from addiction to alcohol and drugs, would like to introduce Kathy Ferland, our new administrative officer, to the Vineyard community. Kathy brings rich and varied experience to the helm of our organization, and we are pleased to welcome her aboard.
We are fortunate that the transition of leadership is a seamless one, in that Brian Mackey, retiring as our executive director, has left our organization and its important program in peak condition. We look forward to his return soon as a member of the board.
We urge anyone in the Vineyard community who is struggling with addiction or who has a family member or friend in trouble who needs a safe place to begin recovery to contact Kathy Ferland at Vineyard House at 508-693-8580.
As we celebrate our 10th anniversary this year, we are grateful to everyone who supports this important, lifesaving work. Thank you.
Dana K. Anderson
Vineyard House Inc.
Thanks to the walkers
To the Editor:
We thank more than 50 participants of the eighth annual Miles of Memories Walk on Sunday, October 14. The walk is designed to raise awareness, and funds, for Alzheimer's Services of Cape Cod and the Islands, and we did just that.
With two wheelchairs and a little red wagon, the walk attracted the attention of passersby. The Tisbury police assured a safe route for the walkers.
Joyce Stiles-Tucker organized the race from the Tisbury Senior Center, and volunteers in the Oak Bluffs Senior Center prepared welcome refreshments. Donations from Reliable Market and Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop were appreciated. More than $9,000 was raised for this worthy organization.
It's gratifying to have support from so many Vineyarders, to combat a disease that frightens and frustrates so many people.
Fun fall event
To the Editor:
The Tisbury School PTO hosted its fourth annual Harvest Festival Oct. 13. The Harvest Festival is a fun community event. The festival consists of a potluck dinner and a variety of games and activities including pumpkin decorating, face painting, apple bobbing, hayrides, and pony rides. All of these activities are free of charge, so that it may be affordable and accessible to all families in our community. This event is possible thanks to many teachers, parents, students, and businesses in the community.
First, we would like to thank the wonderful staff at the Tisbury School for supporting this event especially Richie Smith, Maureen Deloach, Mary Ellen McElroy, Joan Creato, Deb Conroy, Michael Ovios, Ruth Campbell, John Custer, and Kevan Nichols.
Many thanks to all of the seventh- and eighth-grade volunteers and parent volunteers, especially John and Janet Packer, Liz and Tom Trotter, Emma Smith, Wendy Tillman, and Marie Barton. We would also like to thank the following local businesses and community members whose generous contributions were greatly appreciated: Stop & Shop Supermarket, Mediterranean Restaurant, Fred LaPiana, and Laurie Clements.
Finally, a special thank you to all of the families who attend the event every year ensuring that this lovely fall tradition will remain for years to come.
Harvest Festival Coordinator
Tisbury School PTO