Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On April 9, 2008, an editorial in The Boston Globe concerned an aerial-photo exhibit that has just gone on display at the Museum of Science in Boston. The photos, taken by David Arnold, a friend and former colleague of mine at the Globe, juxtaposes glacier photos taken decades ago by the legendary Brad Washburn against matching photos taken by Arnold in 2005. They show the dramatic — and frightening — retreat of the glaciers as they melt away due to global warming. One of the most telling photos in the exhibit is of the Matterhorn in the European Alps, photographed by Washburn from an airplane in 1960 and again by Arnold three years ago.

“In the more recent photo,” observes the Globe editorial, “it looks as though a huge windshield scraper has simply stripped the ice off the mountain.”

Speaking at the opening of the museum exhibit, Arnold pointed out that the Alaskan coastal town of Yakutat now offers surfing in the summer months. The water temperature in Yakutat one recent summer reached 67 degrees, “about the same as Chatham in mid-July,” Arnold noted.

Surfing in Alaska may be a global-warming plus for adventurous surfing enthusiasts, but not for the people of Asia and South America, where snow packs in the mountains supply water for much of the world’s population. “The exhibit sounds a major alarm,” the Globe warns.

That editorial was still on my mind an hour later when the mailman delivered the April 4 edition of the Vineyard Gazette to my Boston condominium and I opened it up to read this headline on Page One: “Town Objects to Cape Wind — Edgartown Seeks to Intervene on Side of Cape Cod Towns and Their Commission Against Wind Farm.”

Folks, how much longer? How much longer are we going to look for ways — under any and every conceivable false pretext — to oppose green energy in this country? Can’t we see what we’re doing to the planet? Is the unobstructed view of an ocean horizon so very important that we’re willing to put the lives of our grandchildren and their grandchildren — and millions of others around the world — at terrible risk on this earth after we are no longer here?

Nero is supposed to have fiddled while Rome burned. If so, that was emergency action of the highest order compared to what we’re doing to our planet while the greenhouse gases build up and the earth’s atmosphere breaks down.

Can’t we come to our senses?

Timothy Leland

Boston and



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would like to congratulate Margaret Serpa for retaining her seat on the Edgartown board of selectmen for a fourth term. I hope she has the perseverance to address the many issues that came up during this campaign.

I also want to extend a heartfelt thanks to those who continuously gave of their time and support on my behalf. These people ranged from those who gave time to spread the word of my candidacy and concerns, to those who gave me the support needed to meet the physical and emotional demands of campaigning. Others who feared retribution took me into their confidence and spoke freely of their concerns. Some helped me find information, contacts and sign locations. Then there were those who showed up repeatedly on election day to spend long stints holding signs or bringing food.

People I hadn’t seen in years came by to wish me luck and cast their votes. I am impressed and invigorated by the support and dedication of the people who helped me along the way, and all of you who came out to support me.

Although we lost by 107 votes, this is the closest anyone has come to winning against an incumbent in Edgartown for over 30 years. I am disappointed by the loss, but more importantly I am in disbelief at the low voter turnout. The results show the incumbent garnered the support of roughly 17 per cent of the registered voters and I had 14 per cent. This means that 69 per cent of the registered voters in Edgartown did not exercise their right as an American citizen to vote, a right that Americans for over 200 years have fought and died for.

I will run again, and in the meantime will continue to push the issues put forward by the people of Edgartown. I plan to stay in touch with the contacts I have made and will continue to regularly attend the various town board and committee meetings. I will monitor progress in communication and transparency in town government, as well as pushing for more long-term planning.

The Web site I have used during my campaign (townofedgartown.org) will be transformed from a campaign Web site to a political forum for Edgartown, acting as a watchdog for what our leaders are doing, as well as a place for people to freely bring forth creative solutions and ideas.

Regardless of which candidate you supported, I want to thank everyone who participated in our American electoral process.

Bob Fynbo



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As an Oak Bluffs resident, artist and gallery owner I have loved our town for its nurturing of a diverse community.

I was saddened at our recent town meetings when disrespectful remarks were made about ethnic minorities and artists. We as caring citizens need to stand up to those people who would make any kind of disparaging statements about any group or profession whose only goal in life is to enrich the very fabric of our community.

America was founded on the principle of free speech, but it does not give anyone a right to trample on the dignity of others, and we as citizens should never tolerate that language or behavior under any circumstances.

I was appalled by the remarks and I knew I had to comment. I am specifically referring to comments made regarding the Bradley Square project, which in my opinion embraces the arts, the NAACP, affordable housing, Habitat for Humanity, the neighborhood and historic preservation, which will enrich the arts district in our beautiful town.

Paula Catanese

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On Sunday, April 13, the Island Community Chorus presented Mendelssohn’s Elijah to a full house at the Performing Arts Center at the high school.

Members of the audience and the chorus felt this was an outstanding and rewarding experience. The accolades are still arriving.

In this day of threatening cuts to the music programs on the Island, I would like to point out several aspects of this concert.

The orchestra included many highly professional musicians from the Boston music circles.

However, there were also many members of ourIsland music faculty, equally highly professional: Brian Weiland, head of the music department at Oak Bluffs, Mike Tinus, a teacher with the outstanding Island String Program, Julie Schilling, instrumental music department head at the Tisbury School, and Anne Davey, a teacher at the Tisbury School. Also in the orchestra was Sophia Saunders-Jones, an alumna of Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Two of the soprano soloists also studied music at our high school. Abigail Southard is a graduate and Hannah Marlin is currently in her sophomore year there.

It is also necessary to point out that Peter Boak, who trained the chorus and conducted the concert, is the vocal music teacher at the Tisbury School.

I think this speaks volumes about the outstanding job our music faculty is doing, and I would strongly urge that the budget committee look elsewhere to find ways to cut expenses. Our music students are certainly worth the maintaining all aspects of our obviously successful music programs.

Mary-Jean Miner

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In the warm afterglow of Sunday’s Elijah concert, the Island Community Chorus would like to thank the Vineyard community for its wholehearted support.

Bringing a major musical work such as Elijah to life here on the Island has been a formidable journey for all of us. First and foremost, we want to thank our musical director Peter Boak for having the courage to take on a project of this magnitude. We sincerely thank our families, who supported many months of rehearsals, taking us away from them on Monday nights and even weekend afternoons. We are grateful to the 31 talented musicians who made up our orchestra and performed as our soloists. We are thankful for the generosity of Grace Episcopal Church for allowing us to move their organ to the Performing Arts Center for the event. We greatly appreciate the cooperation of the high school music department for allowing us to disrupt their space and borrow their equipment. In addition, our sincere thanks to Jim Novak, manager of the Performing Arts Center, for his many hours of help during our setup, the concert itself and the breakdown afterwards.

Most of all, we want to extend our heartfelt thanks to the many hundreds of people who packed the Performing Arts Center on Sunday afternoon to listen to and enjoy one of Mendelssohn’s greatest works. Your support meant everything to us and made all the efforts of so many people feel so worthwhile.

Judy Crawford

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Just before the first day of spring, the American Cancer Society finished its annual Daffodil Day campaign. Island residents have always been generous and this year was no exception.

We took orders from businesses, schools, banks, etc., a few weeks before delivery, but the real heroes were the people at each place who coordinated the orders — too many to thank here, but please know how much we appreciate all of you.

We also need to thank those of you who donated money so we could give flowers to Windemere, Long Hill, the Henrietta Brewer House and all the councils on aging.

This year we beat the blossoming of most flowers on the Island, so it was a treat to have our boxes of buds come into the Steamship Authority dock, and fun to see us all take our designated boxes, and run off to deliver them. The daffodils also were sold at several places around the Island and we also thank the business owners for their generous giving of their space.

The volunteers who year after year, have given unselfishly of their time are Keri and Pat Alley, Nancy Abbott, Margaret St. Dennis (Bangs), Cynthia Barletta, Helen Burt, David Crohn, Jackie Renear, Roger Spinney, Joyce Stiles-Tucker, Bess Stone, Tony’s Market, Penny Ulendorf and Marilyn Wortman.

Until next year, thank you.

Dorothy Bangs

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To the public:

You are invited to see the future.

The West Tisbury Free Public Library is embarking on a planning process, and we need your help. Following a technique that has worked well for other libraries, and offered at no charge by our state regional office, Cheryl Bryan of the Southeastern Massachusetts Library service will join us for one day only in April to facilitate a community discussion. We are writing to you because we think you offer a unique and valuable perspective.

We’ve structured the meeting to include information, small groups and workshops, feedback and participatory discussion. General public involvement is essential to garnering a broad-based portrait of our town’s views.

Questions for exploration include:

What should the West Tisbury library be like in 2015?

What present services do patrons particularly like?

Are there services not currently offered that you would like or appreciate?

We hope to gather as many locally generated ideas as possible about the library’s future. With this knowledge, the staff will provide feedback, the trustees will have a basis for planning, and the town can begin to identify library needs and how these fit into the overall town future needs study.

Please join us on Wednesday, April 30 at 11 a.m. at the West Tisbury Grange next to the town hall. It should be educational, entertaining and illuminating. Expect to spend approximately three hours. Day care and lunch will be provided.

Someone from the committee will call to confirm these details with you and answer any questions you may have. Meantime, please call 508-693-3366 to make a reservation for this exciting event.

Thank you.

Beth Kramer

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter has been sent to the Oak Bluffs selectmen:

Recent photos and articles in the Boston Globe and Herald featuring violence are often on the front page because violence sells newspapers.

Examples include: Mother murders girlfriend of her child’s father. Father loses custody of children and murders them and himself. Three young males and one female make a gasoline firebomb and toss it into bedroom of children with whose parents they had earlier argued. Husband kills wife and himself after having been served with restraining order. Teen gang members kill each other in retaliation and kill a young child with stray bullet. And in the pages of the Gazette, woman violently chokes the girlfriend of her child’s father.

A recent article in the Globe describing the controversy over the Oak Bluffs shark tournament included a photo taken last summer depicting a crowd of women, men and children at the harbor applauding the sight of a dead but bleeding shark hanging to be weighed. This photo reminded me of one taken in Mississippi in the 1930s depicting a crowd of women, men and children applauding the sight of two dead African Americans hanging by their necks from two trees.

Joseph Sequeira Vera

Oak Bluffs

and Cambridge