Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The students and staff of the Chilmark School wish to publicly extend heartfelt thanks to the many wonderful folks who made our series of six local lunches possible. First and foremost, wonderful and talented volunteer chef Robert Lionette, who gave so much of his time and know-how to our students. He truly seemed to enjoy himself to the fullest while working with the apprentice chefs (grades K through 5!) Under his gentle yet expert tutelage, our students enjoyed and learned about sourcing, preparing and eating local food. The lunches could not have happened without our parent Lindsey Scott and her faithful volunteers. These dedicated parents and friends transformed the Community Center space into a giant family dinner setting. Tablecloths for the tables, cloth napkins and real dishes for our midday meal and even centerpieces to beautify the table tops — all were graciously provided and swiftly cleared away after each meal by this dedicated group of volunteers.

We couldn’t even call it a local lunch without the hardworking and generous farm families who contributed meat, vegetables, corn and potatoes, herbs, flowers and more. Thanks to them, we had such bountiful local foods to enjoy. Our Island life is surely made richer and better by the efforts of Mermaid Farm and Dairy, Beetlebung Farm, Bluebird Farm, Grey Barn Farm and Morning Glory Farm. Local herbalist and Chilmark parent Holly Bellebuono provided delicious herb teas for our tables. Additionally, Holly and Melinda Rabbit DeFeo pitched in on some after-lunch lessons at our school.

Robert also had some great professional help. Chefs Jan Buhrman and Dan Sauer gave of their time and skills, products and foodstuffs. Many thanks go out to them as well. Through the organizations of the Island Grown Initiative and especially Island Grown Schools (with the wonderful Noli Hoye Taylor at the helm), the parent teacher organization of the Chilmark School, and generous voluntary contributions given by parents and friends of Chilmark School, we were able to keep these lunches cost-free, and offer them to all students. Marina Lent of the Chilmark board of health graciously offered her guidance, as did all the staff of the town hall, with special thanks going out to Rodney Bunker.

Classroom teachers and teaching assistants, together with our principal Susan Stevens were flexible and open to this idea, and the students benefited from the experience. Students served as apprentice chefs, wrote or shared thoughts before each meal, and actually grew and produced some of the ingredients in the meals. They harvested last year’s produce from the garden, grew sprouts for us to enjoy, and ground wheat berries by hand into flour, which they baked into bread sticks for all to enjoy.

After each local lunch, the whole school gathered for special food-based lessons. We learned about bees and pollination, pressed apples into cider, worked in our school garden, learned about hunger and food distribution around the world, studied germination by growing our own fresh vegetables in February in the form of sprouts, studied the science of taste, and did garden visioning projects with words and images. Students made thank-you notes and gifts for folks who provided so much to make these lunches special.

Best of all, we got to watch the Chilmark students as they expanded their idea of what foods they like to eat, grew in their understanding of what food is actually produced here on the Island and developed their vision of the role they can play in contributing to our community-based food system.

Once again, many thanks to all who made these special local lunches possible.

Lizzy Bradley



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This March in Edgartown a half-dozen houses were broken into. While my wife and I were in Costa Rica on vacation, mine was one of them.

This burglar used an axe from my garage to smash my front door ($1,000 deductible, oy vey). They entered looking for prescription drugs but found none.

I have to ask, how did you know of my recent back surgery?

Anyway, I recently received 30 Demerol, great street value, and placed them in the medicine cabinet on the first floor.

No need to break in since we leave the house unlocked. My wife and I work 8 to 4, Monday through Friday.

Oh, by the way, when we were away, so was our pet. He was up at my daughter’s house but he’s home now.

He’s a 125-pound alpha male Akita that hates strangers. Just a warning: He’s trained to bark once, then go for the gonads.

Best of luck.

David Alton


Bad Bargain

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the Wisconsin State Journal by the Martha’s Vineyard Democrats:

The image of the Wisconsin 14, holed up in a dingy, out-of-state motel, mirrored by the stay granted by Judge Sumi, reflected across the country. The rights of workers, which took a century to obtain, were compromised overnight by the will of a Republican junta bent on a shocking power grab.

The Martha’s Vineyard Democrats, a PAC on Martha’s Vineyard, strongly support the Wisconsin 14 and encourage efforts to overturn the recently passed legislation which abolishes the right to collective bargaining on the part of public employees — the teachers, nurses, social workers, government workers who keep the great state of Wisconsin going.

Further, we urge the recall of the governor and Republican legislators who took these draconian measures. Visit to add your name and support to the recall effort.

Paddy Moore

West Tisbury

The writer is chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Democrats.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Look family has been deeply touched by the outpouring of love and compassion from the Island community during Huck’s illness and passing. Nowhere on earth could we have felt such comfort and kindness as from our Island community. For each extended hand, caring embrace, words of kindness spoken and written and shared tears, we thank you. The wonderful food and flowers were a great comfort and gave us the strength to get through each day. Huck always loved a parade and we know he was looking down from above, honored to have been so celebrated by his beloved Island and state friends.

We especially want to thank the Dukes County sheriff’s department and the sheriff’s honor guard, the county deputy sheriff’s association, the police departments of Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah, the Massachusetts state police, the Edgartown fire department, the women of St. Andrew’s Church, the Wharf restaurant, the Oriental-Martha’s Vineyard Lodge AF and AM, the American Legion Post Number 0186, veterans of Foreign Wars Martha’s Vineyard Post 9261 and Father Chip Seadale. Thank you also to the Massachusetts Sheriffs Association and the sheriffs departments and their staff of Barnstable, Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Hampshire, Middlesex, Nantucket, Norfolk, Plymouth, Suffolk and Worcester.

Marge Look and Family


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.