To the Editor:
The summer of 2020 will resemble many previous summers, e.g., snarled traffic, difficulty getting off and on the Island by ferry, expensive restaurants and entertainment offerings, and difficulty in seeing friends. Why does this phenomenon happen each year? Because the town governments subscribe to the philosophy “money talks, all others walk.” They claim that the Island cannot exist without the money raised by tourism. However, the Island towns are able to exist without the money raised by the tourist season.
Is this adherence to greed really of benefit to the year-round population whose summers are now spoiled? Those people who live here are the ones that provide the majority of funds that support the Island, yet our interests are usually subordinated to those of the few business owners.
Perhaps, then, it is incumbent upon us to make our preferences known at town meetings and local elections? The Island is rapidly becoming a tourist attraction and an expensive second home for the wealthy.
This year of the coronavirus adds a new wrinkle. The Island was mostly opened by the beginning of July, with enforcement and required penalties for violations of Massachusetts’ public law.
I have read in both local newspapers that each town’s police departments, health departments, and related agencies will monitor compliance of the wearing of masks and social distancing. However, as the police chief of Oak Bluffs has announced, fines for violations will not be issued. I believe that other towns will follow suit.
Many rational persons will conclude that this will offer little protection and result in an increase in the number of cases on Martha’s Vineyard. I hope that you will agree that it is time to make our feelings known.