Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The fishing community on the Vineyard needs to be aware they are losing an outstanding fishing friend and supporter. Last Friday, August 6, The Trustees of Reservations announced that Dave Babson, the young, able and friendly superintendent of their Chappaquiddick property, had resigned, effective immediately. Folks found this out Saturday at the scheduled Chappaquiddick Island Association meeting, when neither Dave nor anyone else from The Trustees showed up to deliver a scheduled report. In the absence of hard information, the rumor mill attributed a perceived premature road opening for fishermen’s access that had the potential to cause harm to a protected shorebird as the cause of the resignation. But in fact, the road opening caused no harm and as a result there was no justifiable cause for this presumably forced resignation. We love and need to protect our shorebirds; however, this matter which should have been a teaching moment was deemed good enough reason to toss Dave under the bus. The resignation is bad news — as bad as it gets for Martha’s Vineyard fishermen.

There is good news, however. It’s not too late to turn this around, but it requires speedy action on our part. The Island community needs to circle the wagons around Dave Babson. Please e-mail The Trustees at thetrustees.org and ask that they refuse to accept Dave Babson’s resignation. Please do it today! We need to keep this great guy on board for the mutual benefit of The Trustees and the Vineyard.

Ed Trider



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

There was a meeting at the Chilmark Community Center Sunday night about Cape Wind and our energy future. During the question and answer session some of the members of the panel suggested that Mass Audubon had a cozy relationship with Cape Wind and the state. Is Point accusing Mass Audubon of collusion when they supported Cape Wind? Will they put it in writing?

Jay Ayer



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The neighborhood homeowners’ association representing 14 families on the North Bluff in Oak Bluffs was surprised to learn that plans were well along to build a large, public pier in our neighborhood. We welcome the idea of a handicapped-accessible, public fishing pier, but have several concerns over the possible impacts of such a structure on our residential enclave, if built directly in front of Pasque avenue, as is currently proposed.

We worry about traffic, which is already congested and bottlenecked at our tip of the Island, due to ferry traffic.

We have concerns about parking. This is currently a difficult but contained problem, but one new attraction could break a delicate balance.

The potential for noise, amplified by water, is daunting, especially because this pier is to be open 24/7 and would be directly across from homes and porches.

We fear the pier will present an opportunity for loitering and substance abuse.

This is a public beach used for swimming. Some of us swim there on a daily basis, as does the general public. Fishing lines and tackle could injure swimmers.

We worry that bait, blood and fish remains might attract gulls, cormorants, rats and skunks.

The handicapped accessibility of the pier is dependent on a separate boardwalk project, which has neither been approved nor funded yet. This could wind up being a state-funded pier to nowhere for those with wheelchairs, walkers and canes.

From an overall planning perspective, wouldn’t the other side of the ferry dock make more sense? The infrastructure of public buildings, parks and parking already exist there, well tended and patrolled, offering plenty of built-in buffer between the nearest homes and any impacts a pier could produce.

Belleruth Naparstek

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the Oak Bluffs selectmen:

Please deny the approval of rental three-wheeled vehicles in our town. They are not mopeds, they are not cars, but they are a lethal tragedy waiting to happen.

Ken Rusczyk

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

With retirement from my position as outreach worker at the Edgartown Council on Aging approaching, I am reminded of something my favorite philosophy professor used to say: “We all stand on the shoulders of someone else.” This phrase makes me think of two very special people here on the Island — Tom Bennett and Judy Olson.

Tom hired me as an intern when I was in graduate school. He assigned me to Judy Olson, who oversaw the Elder Outreach Community Mental Health program at the Island Counseling Center. While Judy is no longer living, her inspiration, vast experience and knowledge combined with unwavering commitment to elders lives on in the work that I have done and continue to do. She challenged me, supported me and taught me in a way that instilled deep compassion and dedication for and to clients and their families.

Tom Bennett is the unsung hero of our community. I can only imagine how many lives he has made better through his direct and indirect work. Supervising interns is such important work but probably not noticed by many. Tom has always been available to listen, offering sage advice and counsel. He has continued to give that to me during all the years since I left the counseling center.

Tom will probably downplay his role, and I think Judy would as well, but I just want to express that I could not stand on the shoulders of more dedicated, knowledgeable or compassionate professionals. Thank you for allowing me to learn from you and inspiring my work.

In closing, my dad raised me to believe that each of us should leave the world a better place than we found it. Thanks to my dad, Tom and Judy, I retire thinking I did that.

Susan Desmarais

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs thank the community for making our annual book sale over the July 23 weekend our most successful sale to date. For assistance throughout the year, the library friends thank the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, the Oak Bluffs highway department and the Oak Bluffs public library staff. Additional thanks to the United Methodist Church of Martha’s Vineyard, Jim’s Package Store and Our Market and our neighbors who donated so many wonderful books.

Marilyn Miller

Oak Bluffs

The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha’s Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.