Island can’t sustain the overcrowding

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To the Editor:

Our formerly delightful, but relatively little-known summer hideaway Island began to dramatically change after the Kennedy Chappy fatal incident, blockbuster film “Jaws,” coupled with Clinton and Obama sojourns here, and led inexorably to the sad state of affairs we year-rounders endure currently.

It is impossible to obtain services without interminable waits, long lines, traffic jams, lack of parking, and disgruntled everyone!

At present, overcrowded, understaffed schools, beloved but now besieged hospital, dental services, accounting firms, car service and repair, etc., etc., which we all formerly enjoyed can no longer be taken for granted, as unlike in the ’70s, ’80s even ’90s purchase or rental of homes was never an issue. Now lack of affordable housing decimates the scene for workers’ ability to remain here unless in untenable conditions of unhygienic overcrowding. Just inquire of your service people their living conditions. Appalling! Influxes of wealthy newbies dominate and control our real estate market and out-of-sight rentals, which have led to disastrous results we ALL now experience.

It is time to say “enough” as the overcrowded, jammed tourist cities of Europe are doing. Venice is even putting a tax on tourists, to eliminate overcrowding. Our open woods are fast disappearing as former visitors opt to build lavish, greatly oversize homes here, with unintended loss forever of the quaintness of the New England 1800s Victorian homes or quaint cottages here, so pleasing to the eye. It is all far too much. I worry about potential water shortages, sewage and garbage disposal, traffic jams, plus polluted ponds already in evidence. Where and when will abuse of our natural resources end? Will ordinary folks, willing workers, continue to be displaced by greed, ostentation, and exploitation of one class over the group most needed in our Island society, but who no longer can afford to continue to live here? No simplistic answer is possible before we sink under our own weight of overbuilding and destruction of our former beautiful pristine fields, ponds, and woods!

Doreen Kinsman
Vineyard Haven