To the Editor:
It would seem to me that Ernie Boch Jr. could put his best civic-minded foot forward and seek input from Island businesses, nonprofits, and organizations, and create something unique that would satisfy the bylaw restraints placed on his Tisbury property.
His comment that Beach Road hasn’t changed since the mid ’60s and his inference that development would make things better galls me. Here is a piece of barrier beach that remains basically unspoiled. What is he looking for? Something akin to Ogunquit Beach, York Beach, or Coney Island? Good on Martha’s Vineyard for keeping something undeveloped. This property of his in Vineyard Haven is a chance to show Islanders, tourists, and anyone interested that something can be done when people get together and invest in the future.
I would suggest that a shellfish hatchery, lobster hatchery, or aquaculture facility that provides seedstock to Island growers and an educational atmosphere open to the public would bring great dividends. There are numerous examples of these types of facilities in the area. It would take collaboration, co-operation and a willingness to explore new partnerships to bring something into being. What have we to lose? Shellfish, seafood, and the origins of our food are a great drawing card, and the reason many people come to the Vineyard. Getting in touch with the basic elements of life — the sea, open spaces, and a slower pace of life in tune with nature — is what brings people here.
Perhaps a maritime museum showcasing indigenous boat designs, or a history of our working waterfront, would attract interest. Mr. Boch could take 25 cents on the dollar in admission fees if need be. The possibilities are endless.
Does Mr. Boch have to make another statement that showcases his wealth, à la Donald Trump? Why not get on board with Islanders who want to preserve the best of what we have, what we are, and who want to invest in the future? Showcase a basic, vital source of our heritage and make it available to all.