Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Our selectmen have voted to move the little-known war memorial from its somewhat obscure site at the triangle across from Whiting’s Pond to the town hall. I feel this is such a great idea I have volunteered my time and equipment to make the move.

However, the site they have chosen at the town hall I feel is inappropriate under a large holly tree. I feel it should be placed near the flag that these veterans fought and died for. We have a beautiful flagpole sitting in an area much more suitable for a monument. Also, there is room for additional monuments or monument for all the other veterans since 1945, to present. Also I have heard talk about a fallen firefighters monument.

I am not a vet myself but I hold great respect for those who have fallen and those who have survived.

I am looking for support for this if you would please write, call, or e-mail the selectmen’s office.

Richard T. Olsen

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It is good that Peter Robb, apparently a libertarian, recommends a book to us (Gazette Editorial Page, July 15); this should happen more often.

Libertarians have much to say to us these days. How shall we assess what is at the root of this ideology? Who, in their view, deserves power and freedom? Mr. Robb recommends Ayn Rand to us, but she probably found her title, The Fountainhead, and many of her ideas in the writings of Friedrich Nietzsche. Among other things, Nietzsche hoped that the “will to power” of a “ruling race” that lived “beyond good and evil” would assert itself proudly over (democratic) “do-unto-others” restraints. Or rather this is what certain acolytes thought he hoped.

Of course corporate capitalism is not maintained by “a ruling race.” Its barons are seldom the untamed creative spirits that Nietzsche and Rand dreamed of, but serviceable folk who do what’s there to do. However the corporate system is indeed, in its truest operation, beyond morality, “beyond good and evil.” When capitalists can control government they make laws and spend our money freely; when they cannot they become libertarians and frugalists. They rail against the incursion of altruism into business and the unrestricted right to profit is hailed as the true fountainhead of all value.

The libertarian rediscovers Ayn Rand, with her corrupted Nietzschean baggage. It might be useful for us to reread Nietzsche.

Edward Hewett



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Kudos to you for freshening the Gazette’s online face. I like most of the changes, but while the Trajan Pro font for headlines and sidebar navigation is pretty, please consider not using all caps. Not only is the use of all caps hard to read, it makes the text look dense, and to most Internet denizens, it looks LIKE SHOUTING.

A web professional myself, I understand the complexities involved in a large make-over, and I applaud the effort to keep the Gazette stylish and functional.

Paula Eisenberg



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I was on Main street, Vineyard Haven, on Tuesday, July 5 at about 5:50 p.m. with a friend when we witnessed a very disturbing incident involving a policeman. We saw a police car come to a stop in the left lane of the other side of the street. There was a young man (late teens?) on a skateboard on our side in the street, and the officer, while exiting his vehicle, called to him to stop. He did stop and the officer ordered him, in what seemed to us to be a very aggressive manner, to give him the skateboard.

The young man picked up the board and the officer repeated his command — this time with more ferocity — and grabbed the skateboard. He pulled it while repeating his order, but the young man just stood there holding the board — neither pulling back nor aggressively gripping it, just holding it. The officer became increasingly vehement in his pulling and twisting, and kept demanding to be given the board, but the young man just stood there expressionless and speechless. The officer seemed furious; he muttered something about did the kid want him to arrest him, and then he did the unthinkable: He made a fist with his free hand, and with what seemed to be a large amount of force, wound up and struck the boy on the forearm. With some more pulling, the officer was able to get the board away from him, and then yelled something about if the boy wanted it he could come to the police station; then he walked quickly back to his car and drove off.

This event troubles me greatly; I feel like I was a witness to an assault on an innocent citizen — and by someone who is supposed to be upholding the law.

Mark Schneider



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the Edgartown selectmen:

I am writing to bring to your attention the recent heroic actions of the following Edgartown lifeguards: Jane Sarno, Derek Andrade, Justine Cohen and Kurstin Meehan.

On the afternoon of Saturday, July 2, at approximately 2 p.m. the communications center dispatched a call to Edgartown emergency personnel reporting two swimmers in distress outside the “cut” off the Norton Point area of South Beach.

The Edgartown lifeguards mentioned above quickly responded to the area, entered the water and swam out to the struggling swimmers. One of the swimmers went into cardiac arrest. The lifeguards continued with the rescue effort which now included performing CPR and transferring the patient onto three different boats before reaching the awaiting ambulance. This was a very complicated rescue and sadly one of the swimmers did not survive.

Given the treacherous conditions that exist in this area and the difficult nature of this particular rescue, these lifeguards should be commended for their selfless lifesaving efforts. They conducted themselves in a professional manner and are an asset to the visitors and citizens of the town of Edgartown.

Det. Sgt. Christopher Dolby



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I want to thank all who organized, contributed to and participated in my retirement party on July 9. The music by Tristan, Nancy and Paul and the presence of old friends, coworkers and relatives made it a special evening that I will never forget. In particular, the photo collage, the stories and comments of many friends and the thoughtful gifts highlighted a memorable party.

To the organizers, special thanks for their successful efforts from food and drink to the set-up and clean-up crews. Thank you all.

Bill Wilcox

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We were so impressed with the amount of support given for the 20th seafood buffet and auction and the sixth Vineyard Cup regatta. We send a tremendous amount of thanks to the town of Tisbury, Tisbury Wharf Co., the Black Dog Tavern, vendors, parents, volunteers, donors, board and advisory members and so many people who stepped up to make these fun and exciting events happen, all to fund the varied programs that Sail MV offers. Our heartfelt thanks.

Peggy Schwier

Vineyard Haven

The writer is president of Sail Martha’s Vineyard.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It truly does take a village to produce a successful evening of fund-raising and we all know there are many of them on this Island in the summer! Many of us have friends involved in all of these organizations and we want to support their worthy causes. Summer is so busy with all the great opportunities on the Island that it is difficult to choose.

We at the Featherstone Center for the Arts were indeed fortunate on Monday night. The moon was full, the breeze was balmy, Farm Neck looked beautiful and many people arrived to enjoy the evening. Most importantly, however, was the support shown for Featherstone. The countless individuals and organizations that donated items for the auctions, the many volunteers that worked for hours behind the scene and at the event, the staff of both Featherstone and Farm Neck, our wonderful auctioneer, the tireless musicians all deserve a sincere round of applause. Thank you, thank you, thank you one and all.

Patsy McCornack

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Water, sand and chemicals are injected into the well at high pressure to loosen shale and release gas. Fracking is exempt from regulation under the Safe Drinking Water Act, and companies are not legally required to disclose the chemicals used in fracking operations, claiming them as proprietary trade secrets.

At least 44 municipalities across the country have passed measures to ban fracking.

Duke authors Rob Jackson and Avner Vengosh have written that their research shows “the average methane concentrations to be 17 times higher in water located within a kilometer of active drilling sites.” The Duke study spotlighted a long known and more legitimate concern: the possibility of leaky well casings at the top of a drilling site.

Flames exploding from kitchen taps and livestock dropping dead from tainted water. These aren’t scenes from a horror movie. They’re the increasingly common results of fracking in many places in the U.S. To date, at least 1,000 cases of water contamination have been documented near drilling sites. In some cases, residents can no longer drink from their taps.

Between 2005 and 2010, the largest natural gas producers and two trade associations have spent, on average, more than $200,000 every calendar day lobbying on behalf of industry interests.

Recent visitors sent me two newspaper articles on fracking, one for, one against, and asked whom can I believe?

I will let the facts speak for themselves.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven

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.