Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We brought Storm back to Oak Bluffs as a desperate last resort. We spent six days in Connecticut (extending our stay for two days, coming back only 45 minutes before I had to be at work). The reason we went to Connecticut in the first place was to bury my mother’s ashes and to attend her memorial service. My husband spent most of that time networking with husky and malamute rescue groups to try to relocate Storm. We thought we had found a place to take him, but it turned out to be an unacceptable situation.

At that point all we could think to do was dock in Oak Bluffs and put him in the care of a young man who knew the dog, was good at handling him and had a home in Oak Bluffs as he was banned only from Tisbury. This was to be temporary, until this week when we were going to place him with a friend in New Bedford, where there is no livestock, until a proper husky foster family could be found. Again, human error allowed Storm to escape. A friend of the young man’s roommate let the dog out of the house, which is what happened in other cases with irresponsible young people who did not understand the gravity of the situation.

We are very, very sorry for the attack on and loss of chickens and are humiliated before this community by these events. We have lived here for 33 years and have watched while in the last 10 years every tiny bit of land has been built upon, making it very hard to coexist peacefully with one another. We are not irresponsible pet owners, we plan to sell our property and move where we will have room to breathe and own pets, but this could not happen soon enough to avoid tragedy.

Recent events (overbuilding, unaffordable housing leading to crowded living situations and my mother’s death making it necessary for us to travel and leave our animals with caregivers) have collided to create the perfect storm (pun intended) regarding this animal, who, by following his instincts, has wreaked havoc for our farming neighbors. I believe he deserves to live in a good environment suited to husky temperament and still hope to be allowed to relocate him. He is a very intelligent and otherwise gentle animal.

Nina Garde

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Menemsha already has a beautiful beach that is better than any additional park. If more restrooms are needed, the town should expand the existing facilities, conveniently located in the beach parking lot. Believe me, when nature calls, no one is going to hike all the way to the Home Port site! Under the better management of proven restaurateurs, the Home Port could continue to be a destination and a boon to the other businesses in Menemsha.

Christine Powers


Consider Town purchase

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Please consider supporting the purchase of the Home Port by the town of Chilmark.

So much could be accomplished with public ownership of this relatively small piece of land. The spectacular vista across the Menemsha Creek channel to the dunes and moors beyond would be opened and protected forever.

This spot is very different from our three popular beaches. It would provide needed public water access for kayaks and small boats, currently available only at Hariph’s Creek. Its design could incorporate deck/seating areas reminiscent of the Home Port, with an enhanced panoramic view of the Coast Guard Station, the pond, coastal banks and hillside homes beyond. Access wouldn’t present the physical challenge, which Lucy Vincent Beach does for some folks.

Chilmark selectmen note the importance of retaining these parking spaces. A residential buyer would presumably delete all public parking and perhaps obscure the vista yet more. A new restaurant? The separate sale of the “dock lot” to an individual deletes employee parking spaces. A 2005 town committee concluded that “at night during the summer, the Home Port is Menemsha’s single greatest generator of traffic.”

The $2 million price (if paid by the town in full) would cost at most $63 a year per assessed million in the first year, decreasing each year to $36 a year in the final 20th year — an average annual tax cost of $50 per assessed million.

Prior to the 2005 vote, $250,000 was pledged by individual donors, to reduce the $3.9 million cost to the town.

We invite you to support this purchase in several ways:

Think about the possibilities and encourage others to do the same. Join us in publicly supporting the plan.

Send a tax deductible pledge to support the purchase, contingent on town meeting approval, to Melanie Becker (Chilmark town treasurer), PO Box 119, Chilmark — the sooner the better, so the word gets out that the cost to taxpayers is going down.

Pick up some pledge cards (from one of the undersigned), invite others to contribute to help make this happen, and mail or deliver their pledges to town hall yourself.

Most importantly, if you see this as a valuable opportunity for the community, come to the special town meeting on September 22 and be a part of a two-thirds vote for the park.

Helen Schwiesow Parker


The above letter was also signed by Clarissa Allen, Frances and David Flanders, Julianna Flanders, Andrew Goldman, Lenny Jason, Jr., Doug Sederholm, Jane Slater and Janet Weidner.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To all the people of Aquinnah who have helped us, on behalf of all of the friends and family of Summer Wibel, I want to thank you for all your efforts in helping us to celebrate her life. Your help in allowing us to use the parking lot at Philbin Beach and facilitating those who joined us made a tremendous impact on what was an otherwise trying time. Thank you for all of your efforts, thoughts and prayers.

James Klingensmith



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On Sept. 8 a visiting friend, his wife, young son and I were driving to the Squibnocket Associates beach for what we thought would be an idyllic beach day. I had warned my friend of the deep road sand on the approach to the beach. Unfortunately, he neglected to engage the four-wheel drive on his vehicle and we became mired in the deep sand. My friend then walked back to the caretaker’s house for help, only to find him not at home.

A call to my friend’s auto club proved useless. After several cell phone calls to friends and neighbors, all of whom were also not home, we reluctantly called the Chilmark police to see if they could help. Officer Jesse Burton responded quickly and cheerfully, assessed the situation and drove my friend’s family and me home. He then returned with my extremely grateful friend to extricate his car.

Needless to say, I was reminded once again why I live on this wonderful Island. The prompt and friendly actions by the Chilmark police and Officer Burton went beyond the normal call of duty and we will be forever grateful.

Barbara B. Rivers



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

An encounter with a police officer oftentimes means a traffic ticket. But that wasn’t the case in Chilmark on Tuesday. To the contrary, the actions of Chilmark officer Jesse Burton deserve the citation; one of commendation and going beyond the call of duty. Officer Burton not only unearthed my vehicle which got hopelessly stuck in the sand on Squibnocket Associates Beach Road, he plucked my weary and dehydrated family from the area, shuttling them all to safety. After being stranded seemingly in the middle of nowhere, my auto club not daring to venture into that kind of terrain, Officer Burton saved the day. Not only were his actions unexpected, his professionalism and graceful demeanor took us all off guard. He’s certainly to be commended.

Tom Haynes



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am a woman in my early 50s. I am an Island homeowner and have a rich and long history with the Vineyard. I am the mother of four kids, married for 30 years. When on the Vineyard I love to rollerblade on the bike path on Katama Road and down Atlantic Drive. Today I was almost killed because a man in a truck decided it would be fun to drag past me going almost 70 to 80 miles an hour and graze my arm. I saw the truck coming off in the distance and moved as close to the shoulder of the road as I could. I could hear this man revving his motor and gunning his car so he could go faster as he got closer to me. I then realized he was truly trying to run me over — on purpose. I just would like to ask why anyone would want to purposefully try to kill someone. I just stopped on the side of the road and cried. I was scared to death that this man and his truck almost destroyed my life. I tried to understand how this person who has never met me, my husband or my four children could be so randomly angry at someone who was just trying to enjoy the last few hours of a beautiful day. Atlantic Drive is used by many for biking, jogging, walking and rollerblading. It is not unusual to see people enjoying this roadway, but it is unusual to see someone purposefully trying to hunt down and strike a person. I certainly hope it’s not that this particular man in his white truck was just sick to death of all those summer people.

It’s sad and pathetic that he felt it was okay to literally attempt to use his truck to randomly target his anger at someone like me who was just out enjoying a beautiful sunset and a private moment away from the world. I just wonder how this man would feel if he had to confront my husband and children to explain why it was that he felt a need to run down a wife and mother for his pleasure. I bet he wouldn’t be quite so threatening without his big white truck. Everyone has a place on this Island, whether you are lucky enough to enjoy theIsland throughout theyear or seasonally. We all have to be more tolerantand respectful of each other.

Elizabeth Bostrom



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We had an exceptionally successful summer reading program offered for the youth in our community here at the Vineyard Haven Public Library. In addition to the excellent participation in our Wild Reads at your library themed story times and crafts, our participants enjoyed chess club, wii games, movies and our special guests who dropped by to entertain, educate and enlighten. We want to especially thank musicians Jeremy Berlin and Julie Austin, author Kate Feiffer, naturalist Gus Ben David and puppeteers Bella and Carol.

At our library this summer, more than 300 youngsters signed up and kept a log of books they read. This included children who are pre-verbal through high school. They logged in more than 4,850 books read. This number surpassed any of our previous years. The enthusiastic youngsters were highly motivated by incentives, all donated by Vineyard Haven businesses. We want to especially thank the Capawock Theatre, Riley’s Reads, Bunch of Grapes, Murdick’s Fudge, Bob’s Pizza, M.V. Bagel Authority, Beadniks and Educomp, who donated a total of $1,300 worth of gift certificates. Thank you all for encouraging reading and making it exciting for young people.

We also thank the many families and child care providers who encouraged reading and visited our library. Lastly, thank you to the Friends of the Vineyard Haven public library, our staff and volunteers who make our programs possible.

Kathy Stinson

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Once again I am profoundly grateful to our wonderful Martha’s Vineyard Hospital — to our attentive, gifted and compassionate Dr. Beth Donnelly, her nurse Sue Kennedy and all the superb nurses on the acute care wing.

My father died in the old hospital in 1968, my mother in 1984 in the “new” one and my husband recently. In each instance the care was extraordinary — to patient and family. The ability to look out of a hospital window and see greenery, flowers and birds at feeders was deeply comforting.

With heartfelt thanks to you all.

Judy Pearse

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the Oak Bluffs conservation commission:

I am writing to you in order to support the petition of Don Olsen for a shed at 137 Sea View avenue. I cannot fathom why this commission wants him to relocate it to the lowest portion of the property and closest to Farm Pond instead of the highest elevation and furthest from the pond. In the spring of this year Don was issued a building permit for the shed in the location he wanted and with that in hand he purchased thousands of dollars worth of materials which are sitting on the site rotting away. This is due to the fact that you issued a cease-and-desist order after the fact and this process has dragged out over the course of six months and two hearings with no end in sight. At your request he has hired an engineer to present you with plans for anchoring the shed to the ground, the way you asked him, and you still deny him his request.

Don Olsen has done nothing but improve this property and protect the pond from runoff. He has relocated his driveway in order to prevent runoffs from occurring. Don knows his property better than anyone and has picked the best location for his shed. If the commission is so concerned with the health of Farm Pond why are they doing nothing:

• To get the culverts opened and the water cleaned;

• To take action against the town for dumping stone and hot top by the culvert which just runs into the pond;

• To take action against the other outbuildings located around the pond, some of which are below grade. I and many of my neighbors believe Don is being singled out because he is in a very visible location.

I am also questioning the qualifications of the commission, i.e., what kind of education and knowledge is required by the individuals on the commission that allows them to make these critical decisions?

I have lived at 129 Sea View avenue since Jan. 3, 1977 and have been here for almost every major storm (except the blizzard of 1978) including Bob and the No Name or Halloween storm of 1991, which I believe you use as the hundred-year storm, and based on this knowledge the shed should be located at the first location. During that storm, Farm Pond flooded its banks to the extent the field behind our house was completely inundated. That means that had Don’s shed been located in the low spot of his backyard, it too would have been heavily damaged, if not destroyed.

In conclusion, I have to say that any project Don has undertaken to improve his property has done just that many times over, and I’m certain that the shed he has designed will be an asset to his property and to the neighborhood around him.

Ralph and Patricia Lanzetti

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I read with great sadness the remembrance for David S. Boyd so lovingly written by his sister in law Joyce Boyd of Vineyard Haven. He was my partner for 11 years during the 1970s when we were young and in love, and conveyed his fondness for growing up on the Island to me. David was a funny and big-hearted guy who would do anything for you. Although our paths parted, knowing him and living the Island life with him changed my life forever. When I visit the Island now, I bring my daughter to see the little house David designed and built with his bare hands for us on Sea Glen Road 30 years ago.

Please, all of David’s old friends and Edgartown buddies, and there are many of you, take some time and remember this fantastic man. I know none of us will ever forget him.

Paula Rockwood