Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am writing from Maryland, but I have spent over 30 summers under the gracious shade of the Tabernacle and the MVCMA trees. My father, Frank Gould, has worked tirelessly to ensure the future of the Tabernacle itself. I’ve watched my childhood friends graduate under that Tabernacle roof; I’ve picnicked with own young children on the lawns while listening to Tabernacle concerts and discussions; I’ve continued old friendships and made new ones on the lawns and porches of MVCMA.

I learned today that a small but vocal group of people are trying to block a proposal for an accessory addition to the Tabernacle. What is perhaps most shocking is that their efforts are directed against the creation of wheelchair accessible toilets. I also learned that this matter is being reconsidered this week.

Our world is already a dark one. This is a moment for Oak Bluffs to come together to create inclusive spaces for people who want a moment of respite from the darkness.

The Department of the Interior and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission have already approved this addition, and they have both determined that the addition does not undercut the historic nature of the Tabernacle.

I hope that the Oak Bluffs planning board votes with their hearts and moral compasses, knowing that this is a decision that will strengthen the entire community. I hope that our entire Vineyard community understands the importance of inclusion.

Paige Black

Takoma Park, Md.