Support opinions in editorial pages


To the Editor:

We are writing in support of opinions set forth in two essays that appeared in The Times on April 4. 

The first was written by Jack Fruchtman, who makes a persuasive argument that our immigrant population is crucial to the economy of the U.S. and the Vineyard, and that we need to do whatever we can to change the opinions of some of our politicians (and others) who want to close our borders and demonize all immigrants.

The other was written by Ewell Hopkins, who has recently decided not to seek re-election as the long-time chairperson of the Oak Bluffs planning board. He, too, makes a persuasive argument for support of an article that is on the warrant for consideration of the voters of Oak Bluffs at their town meeting, which will occur on April 9.

Hopefully the voters have supported Hopkins’ view that the community needs commercial operations, recognizes that there are no commercially zoned districts in Oak Bluffs other than limited areas on Circuit Avenue (and none as a practical matter that would support parking or storage of equipment or vehicles needed by commercial operations), and that a reasonable solution is the creation of “overlay districts” that would allow commercial activity (including affordable housing) by special permit from the Oak Bluffs planning board.

The lack of commercial space is not unique to Oak Bluffs. The down-Island towns are also burdened with finding a solution, because many of the owners and operators of these year-round businesses, neighbors of ours, live in the down-Island communities, and proximity to their businesses is crucial. 

Is it possible that we homeowners in residential areas could sit down with those who need to run their businesses next door and find an acceptable solution that would satisfy everyone? If these businesses are required to move, where are acceptable areas for them to move to? It is easy to state the problem, but coming up with the solution should be the goal. Should this be addressed by all Island towns, acting in concert to solve the problem of our business community? We all understand, or should understand, that the goal is to establish a healthy, thriving, year-round economy, but how do we do that?

Let’s figure it out.


Elaine and Howard Miller