Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

My partner, Jay, and I purchased a home on the Vineyard nearly six years ago. I don’t think we’ll ever forget the words of the listing agent, Rob Kendall, when he first showed us our house. He stood on our deck in the yard and looking out over the valley below and the vast ridge beyond, he raised his arms and beamed: “Welcome to the Chilmark Alps.”

Last Tuesday I was sitting in my kitchen looking out at the Chilmark Alps and I noticed a construction crane rising in the sky. My heart sank. I knew the town didn’t allow buildings that were as high as the crane, and I knew that the town hadn’t approved a cell phone tower to be built. I knew it could only be there for one thing: yet another wind turbine.

A trip to town hall confirmed that, indeed, an application had been received for a turbine, and this one was going to be big: 149 feet big. To put that into perspective it is nearly as tall as a 15-story building. This turbine is nearly three times the size of the Gay Head Light. This turbine, if built, would be visible from the neighborhoods near Middle Road, Meetinghouse Road, South Road and from Abel’s Hill. The property that the turbine will sit on directly abuts hundreds of acres of conservation area and walking trails known as Middle Road Sanctuary, a Sheriff’s Meadow property.

We have all heard the arguments against the turbines: noise, light flicker, view obstruction, bird kill, sinking property values. All are debatable.

We also hear the usual reasons for wanting to build these enormous industrial structures: smaller carbon footprint, lower energy costs, replacing fossil fuels. These too are subject to debate.

What we aren’t discussing enough is community benefit and conservation.

This community of Chilmark has worked long and hard to preserve the land’s natural beauty. We limit the height of our homes, we have some of the toughest conservation laws, we have laws preventing light pollution and even laws to quiet noise from swimming pool equipment. Our efforts make this town one of the most naturally beautiful places on the eastern coast of the United States. I, like many others in town, moved here for that community involvement that is found lacking in our suburbs and cities. I moved here because this community cares about this Island and the Island is all the better for it.

The applications for wind turbines that are being presented to Chilmark and other towns are single use, residential turbines. These structures will serve only the individual who builds them at the expense to the community. Many more people in the community pay for these structures by seeing them, having their views obstructed and listening to their noise. That is not community living, that is not politically correct.

We may have our priorities reversed here. These structures are so massive and so permanent that they should be used as a last resort, not a first reward because a homeowner says they want to be “green.” We need to exhaust all conservation efforts and less obstructive energy alternatives before we sacrifice this beautiful Island that we have worked so hard to protect.

I ask that we all work together and produce an integrated package of legislation for residential consumers that would address all renewable energy methods and technologies, that we create a holistic, sustainable energy policy that serves this treasured Island and the community of the Island so as to reduce our collective carbon footprint, rather than focus solely on residential turbines.

A well-crafted policy will insure that we have done our best for the Island and its people and that we will not suffer the unintended consequences of otherwise well-intentioned people.

Russell Maloney



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Though I may not often understand how the Vineyard works, I think I know why we now have a Republican senator. This was referendum on Obama, not a senatorial race. As America continues to bleed jobs and mortgage its future with financial debt, Obama has recently opened up to many new fronts. Health care and Afghanistan are not what most Americans want to hear about, or pay for. Having the remains of our tax dollars allow for bank executive bonuses in the middle of a great recession is also not the way to get votes. It has always been about the economy. The people simply want a president, or a party, to recognize that. And the people are right. If the economy is not healed soon, and made a priority, we may soon have neither a Democrat nor Republican in office. It happened in Germany in 1933, simply the result of leadership that failed to recognize the necessity of a stable and working economy.

Paul Adler

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Regarding the Gazette story Vineyard Veers Right notes only Scott Brown as town assessor and one-time centerfold of 1982 and card-carrying former actor. It neglects more apt information: 30 years in the Army National Guard, his Tufts and Boston College degrees, perhaps time on welfare. This up-by-the-bootstraps life should be a positive twist on the Gazette’s approach to the above subjects.

Myrna Pinter Murphy



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am writing this letter in hopes that the airport commissioners and the Edgartown selectmen will not change the business zoning at the airport in order to accommodate a liquor store instead of a music venue.

Now Nectar’s, formerly the Hot Tin Roof and Outerland, has supported a myriad of off-Island talents and local musicians in which every Islander has benefitted.

For many decades this place has been a central point for the community to gather for a wide range of events from teen nights, fundraisers, weddings and other Vineyard functions.

The culture of the Vineyard is one that supports the arts. Please think carefully about the loss of yet another beloved Vineyard landmark.

Annette Cingle

and Annie Foley

Chilmark and

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We can all argue and disagree over the current state of the striped bass fishery, even to the point of citing federal fishery numbers and statistics that are contradictory. However, the more important issue is the long-term welfare of this most valuable resource, especially to the Island’s tourism industry which overshadows the striped bass commercial fishery by many thousand fold.

Making striped bass a game fish and eliminating the commercial market for them will:

• Make harvesting rules the same for everyone.

• Eliminate special interest lobbying.

• Save the bass from commercial exploitation.

• Create a beneficial, public obligation of striped bass stewardship.

• Eliminate the abusive and under-reported black market for striped bass.

• Remove fish that are unsafe to eat (all wild stripers) from the marketplace.

• Protect the large breeding females and their DNA that are now being slaughtered.

• Help focus public attention on and help save the striper’s prerequisite ecosystem — water quality, food supply, etc.

• Encourage conservation and enhancement of stripers by allowing regulators to manage for the long term.

• Provide equal quality and safe, farm-raised stripers for public consumption.

• Create an estimated net gain of approximately 3,000 new jobs in Massachusetts.

• Increase state tax revenue by as much as $334 million according to several independent economists.

• Stimulate an increase in general economic activity.

• Boost tourism to Massachusetts.

• Politically appeal to the 600,000-plus recreational saltwater anglers in Massachusetts.

• Return the striped bass to all the people.

• Recognize and benefit from the increased value of the striper as a recreational only species.

Dean Clark

Marstons Mills


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Jan. 22 Gazette story headlined Bill Is Called Not Fair Game quotes several people who belittle and dismiss our efforts to preserve striped bass in Massachusetts. But nowhere in the story does he explain what our bill does or why we believe it is necessary for the survival of striped bass. Since 2006 the recreational catch of striped bass in Massachusetts has declined by 70 per cent, according to the federal government. Recreational anglers catch 80 per cent of the stripers taken from Massachusetts waters. When they can’t catch fish, you know the population is in trouble. That’s why Stripers Forever and legislators led by Rep. Matthew Patrick of Falmouth propose a ban on commercial fishing and severe curtailment of recreational fishing, by lowering the daily catch limit for recreational anglers from two to one. The story does readers a disservice when it quotes Warren Doty, cochairman of the Dukes County/Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Association about the merits of the bill. Asking an advocate for commercial fishermen whether stocks of striped bass are healthy is a little like asking Bernard Madoff how your account is doing.

Jeffrey Krasner


The writer is a spokesman for Stripers Forever, a nonprofit that seeks to protect striped bass throughout the Atlantic seaboard.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Kudos and thanks to the Edgartown Cinema management, the nurse (by happenstance), concerned moviegoers, the Edgartown EMTs and doctor at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for the wonderful care given to my husband Peter. How fortunate we are to be living on this Enchanted Isle where one’s need becomes everyone else’s concern.

Eulalie Regan

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Upon reading the Gazette’s recent front page article headlined “Foreclosures, Joblessness Up,” I felt compelled to offer some important considerations when reviewing the statistics offered in the story.

While no one could disagree with the conclusion that we are now seeing an increase in unemployment since October 2008, I do feel, however, that it is directly attributable to the Wall Street crash and the impact it had on our otherwise inflation-proof buyers and investors of homes here. There are few people who do not know of someone impacted by the sudden cancelation or suspension of large housing projects previously scheduled that would have employed architects, contractors, plumbers, electricians, lumberyards, etc.

While acknowledging that the past year has been a tremendous challenge to everyone involved in the housing industry, I don’t feel the state of the real estate market (which does directly impact employment here) is as dire as the data used in the story would imply.

Clearly the number of foreclosures has been going up but when viewed in contrast with other towns and states they do not represent as dramatic a percentage of our sales volume as they do elsewhere. One might not, however, come to this conclusion upon reviewing the gauge used as a basis for illustrating the sharp increase in activity.

The story used the number of column inches banks had purchased to advertise foreclosures in the last quarter of 2009 and compared to those purchased in 2008.

I don’t really feel this information represents a reliable gauge of foreclosure activity for a couple of reasons. The first is that each foreclosure notice for one house occupies 12 inches of classified space. This would mean that based on the total number of inches cited in the article (418 in 2008 and 929.5 in 2009), one might then assume there were as many as 35 “potential” foreclosures in 2008 and 77 in 2009, a substantial number.

But state laws related to foreclosure proceedings require banks to advertise each foreclosure notice a total of 3 times per property prior to the actual auction. This would mean that the now 35 potential listings for 2008 would represent approximately 12 actual properties, and the 77 for 2009 about 26.

A review of the actual data from our MLS system shows that these numbers were only off by two to four closings, which is still clearly far too many. However, I think looking at the data in this more filtered way makes the reality a bit less daunting and hopeless. My concern was that readers may have mistaken the column inches (418 and 929.5) as actual foreclosures.

The good news is that the real estate community has begun to finally see a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel, and we are encouraged about the activity we are seeing. In the last quarter of 2009 there were 123 closings with another 21 under agreement. These numbers represent almost half of the total transactions done for 2009 which is very promising. Both the holiday season and now January have seen this trend continue.

This news should be encouraging to the entire community because as real estate goes, so goes the rest of the Island economy, as the need for all the products and services related to home ownership again begin to be in demand.

I hope this serves to give everyone a feeling that the glass is half full versus half empty. I think as a community we all deserve to feel optimistic again.

Jean Kelleher

West Tisbury

The writer owns Kelleher Real Estate.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Scottish Society of Martha's Vineyard would like to thank all the businesses and individuals who generously donated items for our 23 rd annual Burns dinner benefitting our scholarship fund. Thanks also to the Harbor View restaurant and staff, especially chef Levon Wallace for the excellent haggis. And to Trip Barnes, auctioneer, for wringing what he could out of a tough crowd.

Steve Ewing



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the Tisbury selectmen from the Tisbury Business Association:

I am writing to thank you for raising the issue of snow removal from sidewalks in town. About one month ago I wrote to all Tisbury Business Association members asking them to be mindful of winter coming and to take care of this matter in each of their properties.

Please let me know if the business association can be helpful in another manner in this matter.

I would also like to take this opportunity to invite the three of you to our annual St. Patrick’s Day breakfast which is scheduled for 8:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 17. As I’m sure you are all aware, this is the true beginning of spring on all rightful calendars.

Pat Gregory, President

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Waters of the World team would like to sincerely thank every guest who has visited our aquarium our inaugural year. There have been some major changes since last season and more changes are still to come.

We have added hundreds of exciting new fish as well as several new reptiles from all over the world, and of course all your old friends like Marvin, our six-foot moray eel, Alex and Abigale, our baby alligators (who will soon be celebrating a birthday), our friendly stingrays, sharks, starfish and cucumbers in our touch tanks and our koi.

So please stop by to see your old friends and meet a few new ones, including our new African sleeper shark touch exhibit, exotic live coral exhibit, clown fish and anemone exhibit and much more. Hours of operation, effective immediately are Thursday through Sunday noon to 6 p.m.

We would also like to thank all the families and businesses who have supported us.

Edward McGill

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette,

It’s through this wide world I will roam,

Through hell holes and riots I’ve been

But the worst mess of the whole bunch

Is what used to be my happy home.

It’s true. I’ve been trampled by horses, gored by an ox, completed three grueling days passing my exams with the British Horse Society with a ruptured disc, almost careened into an abyss several thousand feet in the Swiss Alps, escaped a mountain lion lurking in the Pyrenees, barely made it through a fence with a herd of irate bulls in hot pursuit, and gone unscathed in barroom brawls that I conducted. I have survived cancer and have been fighting Lyme disease for a quarter century. I even survived a marriage, but this all pales to these last few weeks which have been more brutal than the Chinese water torture.

I am referring to the Jan. 19 special election in Massachusetts.

Under a state law that governs annoying phone calls, the following elements must be met in order to make a case: “The suspect made or caused calls to be made repeatedly (at least three times) . . .”

So how and why did our senatorial candidates get away with the barrage of telephone calls into our private homes with our private telephones that went on from early morning until after dark? Is it true that they bought cell phone numbers from the providers?

On election day I made three attempts to get to the polls. With my dog Alice and cat Tossu in tow, we headed for the car. After voting, we were headed to the town hall on business, then to Menemsha Beach with an ice cream cone. I thought that would settle my stomach since I was such a nervous wreck with the incessant phone calls. I was waiting for a doctor’s call and needed to answer the phone. Alice, Tossu and I would be halfway to the car when I’d hear it ringing. We’d race back on rain-soaked ground, up onto the slick porch, climb the steps, unlock the door, run across the living room to the phone in the kitchen only to hear the ravings of a politician’s aunt, uncle, dead grandmother, godchild, etc. What was next? The screeching of the family cat as they jumped on its tail or the howling of the candidate’s pooch as someone kicked the poor critter? Why not? We got to know the rest of the family.

The third run back to the house left me sprawled on the porch as I missed the steps. I managed to get to the phone where a live male was at the other end telling me what they were doing was legal. I headed to the polls for the fourth time. Alice and Tossu looked up at me with their sweet, fuzzy faces as if to say: “No way are we driving anywhere with you. You don’t know whether you’re on foot or horseback.” I took off my gear and collapsed into the chair by the fireplace. I was too weak to drive and my heart was broken; I’ve never missed a major election. Every time I got up to call a friend to take me to vote, another political call would come in and tie up my line.

I was going to vote for Coakley but after her horror tactics via telephone, I was going to give Kennedy my vote as he had enough grace to trust that I had read the newspapers regarding the candidates. I want someone in office who will eliminate telemarketers. Those of you who were subjected to this telephone blitz should tell your tales of woe on a Web site or to your local newspaper. I made one promise to myself: I will never vote for anyone who is too lazy to go stumping.

This must be stopped before the next presidential campaign. Can you imagine two years of having our telephones tied up? We should be able to mark an X on our telephone bills if we want these calls; otherwise we should be paid $5 for each one of their intrusions. Think of the money the politicians saved by not buying advertising space in newspapers and on Web sites.

I wonder if tragedies ensued, like death, because folks couldn’t dial 911 for help while the political bleats tied up their lines.

Sorry if you don’t like the above tirade. It was scribed by a frazzled old bat with a cat.

Trina E. Kingsbury