Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of Save Giovanni’s Friends Inc. and DKMS Americas, I would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society and to all those who joined the bone marrow registry during the 2008 agricultural fair. The drive was a huge success, and as a result we were fortunate enough to add 312 new donors to the registry. We were also invited back to the Island Labor Day weekend where we added 79 more donors during the Artisans Festival. Our sincere thank you goes out to Lisa Brown Langley and Andrea Rogers who made this possible.

We are very grateful to everyone who joined the registry and for your selfless act in wanting to help a stranger in need. Your decision to join the registry may give someone a second chance in life and we hope you get the opportunity some day. It will be an experience you will never forget for the rest of your life. We were honored to meet each and every one of you. Your kindness, warm hearts, and best wishes will stay with us forever.

We are educating the public one bone marrow drive at a time and ask that you help us spread the word. After hearing how easy it is to donate, many people want the chance to save a life, especially when it is a child’s life. We hope that those who did not sign up, but were interested in learning more about the donating process will consider joining the registry in the near future. We have self-test kits available at, so you can join the registry from the convenience of your own home.

Too many of us wait until someone we love is diagnosed with a life-threatening disease, and then the search becomes critical. But it is very difficult to find a match since your genetic makeup must closely match up with a patient’s. Therefore, the more people who join the registry today, the better chance a match will be found for a patient tomorrow.

Save Giovanni’s Friends drives have added 16,854 donors to the registry since January, 2007 and 12 matches have been found. We were just notified this past weekend that a match for a one-year-old girl has been found from a drive we did in Maine several months ago. We thrive on news like this, and it’s people like you that make this possible.

Please visit our Web site for the latest updates and listing of future drives. If you are interested in supporting our efforts, please send an e-mail to or call 603-524-8284.

Anna Hantschar



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you to the Oak Bluffs fire department, EMTs and police. Sunday’s fire drill at Woodside Village was a success! Because of you, our residents and staff are more aware of what would happen in case of a fire at our building. Your professionalism, your thoroughness, and your care with those who needed assistance were a great help and reassurance to us.

Ann Wallace, Director

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The tours offered by The Trustees of Reservations on Chappaquiddick are always a delight and especially so when led by Dick Jennings.

Dick’s knowledge of the Island and of the flora and fauna and geography is encyclopedic.

His delight in sharing it is palpable.

Samantha Drogin



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the steeple fund capital campaign of the Federated Church, we would like to gratefully acknowledge Ben Hall Jr. and Great Harbour Gourmet and Spirits, Jim and Debbie Athearn and Morning Glory Farm, the services of Jim Legando and his piano tuning skills, and the fantastic John Alaimo and his good humor on the piano, at the recent Evening of Music on the Lagoon, held at our home to benefit the steeple fund.

Donations from these businesses and people helped to make the evening a huge success, and help our committee as we progress toward our goal in raising enough money to ensure the repairs and restoration of our three historic buildings, the 1828 Meetinghouse, the Federated Church Parish House and the historic Mayhew Parsonage, which have all hosted countless groups for meetings, rehearsals, concerts, dinners, Fourth of July fireworks, and more, to countless Islanders, no matter their church affiliation. We are indeed grateful for their support.

Pam and Jim Butterick

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

After spending one delightful month at our Vineyard home in West Tisbury, my husband and I decided to have one last ice cream cone at Mad Martha’s in Vineyard Haven before getting in line for the boat to Woods Hole and return to our other home in Hartford, Ct. We sat on the bench, basking in the sun, reflecting on our stay and our imminent departure from the Island we love so much. About five minutes before docking, I realized that my little black purse which I had set down beside me on the bench had been left behind. Needless to say panic set in. I quickly called Mad Martha’s and was informed that someone had turned in my purse. To the person who returned my purse to Mad Martha’s, I wish I could thank you personally to express my gratitude, but your anonymity in no way diminishes my appreciation of your honesty and integrity. To the young woman at Mad Martha’s I extend my utmost thanks for your concerns and safekeeping of my purse. And to my dear friend Ruth Adams of the Treehouse Gallery in West Tisbury, who navigated the retrieval of my purse and mailed it to me, I am so indebted to your caring heart.

It is inspiring to know that honesty is still a cherished virtue, especially on the Island we so adore.

With gratitude and sincerest thanks.

Helene Brown

West Tisbury

and Hartford, Ct.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I was reading about the difficulty you are having there with algae. It’s a shame.

The Monterey Accelerate Research System (MARS) observatory will be installed 3,000 feet off Monterey Bay. It will observe the sea floor 24/7 and will carry data and register carbon particles. A copper line of wire will provide electricity and deliver two gigabits of data per second to the researchers on the shore.

The Benthic Rover Robot will study how carbon will be metabolized too. Flow cytometers identify particles by laser in the sea (Woods Hole and MIT, Drs. Chisholm and Olson).

Algae is a problem everywhere, as is hypoxia. Snails and shellfish are good to stabilize algae and snails eat some kinds of algae.

It is my belief that sea grasses should be mixed and watched so overgrowth of certain types is less likely (spartina, etc.). Eelgrass, widgeon grass, etc. use nitrogen in the water. More oysters, clams, mussels and snails are needed (especially snails) in algae-rich areas. More research is also needed in these areas.

Tying houses into the wastewater system is important too. Mud puppy testing (mud puppies are flat boats used to take core samples in difficult areas to get to, to get a clear view of what you’ve got there) may be useful. And it is a good idea to examine whether a dredge is needed.

Overdevelopment of the shoreline, including the development of too many docks and pilings, is terrible for natural ecosystems; it can take years to reestablish these systems. Use of an area for business, for testing of chemicals or corporate tests (even years ago) could have left refuse behind and should be checked (I am sure you know that too).

Contacting Restore America’s Estuaries at is one good place to converse with like-minded people. There are also many groups dedicated to restoring and protecting ponds, waterways, etc., including Riverkeepers, The Nature Conservancy and Clearwater.

Good luck to you.

Joy Maniscalco

Port Washington, N.Y.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I wish to piggy back on Dr. Goode’s impressive remarks (Sept. 5 Gazette) about rebuilding the school system in New Orleans. Federal funds designed to aid in the recovery efforts were either largely wasted through wasted millions on no-bid Katrina projects or not actually provided. The Associated Press has detailed how at least a billion dollars were mismanaged by awarding temporary housing contracts without competition. Huge amounts of money continue to be misappropriated, as evidenced by the Government Accounting Office, the nonpartisan arm of Congress, in its recently released investigation of the Pentagon’s no-bid contracts showing sloppy oversight that demonstrated very wasteful mismanagement of funds.

What seems to be needed is a strengthened sense of consciousness about requiring politicians to match their deeds with the words used during election campaigns. We must hold them accountable for their actions and vote them out of office when they fail to deliver sufficiently. Our representatives on every level of government dispense taxpayer monies and we must be vigilant in watching how they do it. For voters in Massachusetts, it all begins with today’s primary on Sept. 16.

Duncan Walton

Oak Bluffs