Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A vote for Sen. John McCain is a vote to give our nation an opportunity to rethink the abortion issue and to have a change of mind and heart. It is not easy in the political climate of the Vineyard today to say, “Vote for John McCain.” It is never easy to go against the mainstream. But in the name of democracy and in the spirit of tolerance, each voice needs to be given a chance to be heard.

When abortion was legalized it sent the erroneous message that it is acceptable. The taking of an innocent human life needs to be rethought. It is a woman’s natural instinct to protect the child in her womb. Abortion violates this maternal instinct. There are enormous consequences involved when natural order is violated. Mother Theresa of Calcutta said that abortion is the greatest destroyer of peace in our world. No wonder peace is in crisis.

Slavery, now unthinkable, was once legal. I believe that future generations will look back on legalized abortion much as we look back on slavery and question how it could have ever been legal. We need real change. We need a change of heart.

It is our civic duty to vote but we need to be cautioned that it is not through presidents that we will have peace in the world. Peace will come through prayer and through the conversion of our hearts back to God.

No matter which candidate wins this upcoming election I can promise you that he will be in my prayers, as will our nation, and that I will continue to pray for peace.

Margaret Mayhew Pénicaud

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

What happened to the Republican Party in Massachusetts’ 10th Congressional District? Were they outsourced overseas along with American jobs?

Two years ago in 2006 incumbent Cong. Delahunt had three opponents in the general election — an independent, a Republican and a write-in. It was a busy season, even for the write-in although nobody took the candidate seriously.

Fast forward to 2008 and it seems as though Congressman Delahunt is running for re-election unopposed. Apparentlyno Republican had guts enough to step up to the plate.

Don’t believe everything you don’t read in the paper.

The erstwhile write-in from 2006 is back and has been campaigning to be your representative in Congress since the primary when it became painfully apparent that the congressman was running unopposed for re-election.

I’m that write-in both from 2006 and now in 2008 and I won’t allow Congressman Delahunt a free pass.

Robert F. Brown



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Gazette story about the water in Ocean Park was fair and accurate; the reporter took the trouble to discuss it with Joseph Alosso, our plant manager. The headline, however, was very upsetting to the people who picnic in the park with their children. The water that has been found in a few sections is clean and it meets the Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection standards for drinking water. Before leaving the wastewater plant, it is carefully processed, sand-filtered, and then irradiated with ultraviolet rays. You may not care to drink it, but it is clean.

The problem of poor percolation in the park has been studied and documented for three years. Sections have been dug up, pipes have been inspected, sections of the dispersal system have been turned off or throttled down and agricultural watering has been stopped or reduced for periods of time. Engineers have been brought in to study it, and engineering reports were issued in 2006 and 2007. Now a contract is being issued to the original designers to find and fix the problem, and it states that there will be no fee if their design is at fault. The Gazette article also lists other measures that Mr. Alosso and the wastewater commission are actively pursuing.

The comments by an Oak Bluffs selectman are unfortunate, ill-considered, and untrue. The selectmen knew about the problem three years ago because Mr. Alosso reported it to them, and the town administrator and the selectmen have received regular updates. Anyone who thinks that we have not been proactive, and that the plant manager should have known better, has not been paying attention.

The notice of noncompliance issued by the DEP is a procedural formality; they have been apprised of the situation at every step of the investigation. Their order did not force us to act; we were already acting. They merely said that they will be watching over our shoulders as we work to solve the problem.

Robert A. Iadicicco,

wastewater commissioner

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As an Oak Bluffs taxpayer and former wastewater commissioner I was frustrated and somewhat relieved to read your article about the effluent in Ocean Park. Effluent being the nice word for treated wastewater!

Over three years ago I brought up this concern in wastewater meetings and then at a selectman’s meeting. The only person who recognized the problem and wanted it addressed was Kerry Scott. The town is fortunate to have a selectman with foresight. After that meeting a letter was written to the newspaper by my fellow commissioners dismissing what I had to say and I was taken to task.

The fact that this situation has continued is beyond the pale . . . the only people who can be trusted to evaluate and remedy the problem are the wastewater commissioners whose tenure is more recent. I have faith that Mr. Von Steiger and Ms. Barmakian will find a way to evaluate the situation in an unbiased manner, and then find a solution.

The seepage is brown in color and smells like sewage . . . I said that years ago and was ignored. It’s time for the people who use Ocean Park to demand that our officials fix this problem.

Susan Desmarais

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter was sent to the chairman of the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission on Sept. 23.

At its regular meeting held last Wednesday the board of selectmen voted to convey its opposition to any and all proposals that would seek to initiate the development of electronic display advertising at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport.

The board feels that such an endeavor would seriously compromise the Vineyard’s unique aesthetics it has to offer travelers and would urge the airport commissioners to vote against the idea of display advertisements at the airport.

Jim Newman, Spencer Booker

and Camille Rose



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I have just had a remarkable medical experience which I feel I am obliged to make known to the people of this Island. I am very old and had a condition which was worsening and needed surgery, but it was, wisely, agreed here that I was too old to undergo it safely because of the full anesthetic needed.

Then, just by chance, I fortunately heard of Dr. Richard Koehler, an outstanding surgeon who once practiced on the Island, and now is at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth, but comes to the Island once a week to interview patients and follow up on cases.

I went to see him, and his diagnosis was that my condition needed surgery and that he could successfully do it with only a local anesthetic.

He performed skilled surgery at Jordan Hospital, which was an entirely painless experience, and totally successful, finding however a serious condition which surely would have erupted into a probably serious emergency.

I feel that we Islanders are being unwisely denied Dr. Koehler’s presence and expertise in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and that with the big, new hospital coming soon, Dr. Koehler has a legitimate and essential place on the staff.

I believe this is an issue that the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital staff should no longer ignore.

Margaret Freydberg



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Did your read it? Block Islanders are embracing a large offshore wind farm. Even to the point that they could get used to seeing the windmills. Shame on them! How noticeably un-NIMBY.

Ken Rusczyk

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In late September, we completed the first-ever permaculture design course on Martha’s Vineyard. It was a superb 10-day event — from the affordable and pleasant venue at the Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hostel to the filling and tasty vegetarian meals from Morning Glory Farm’s kitchen and fields, to the great September weather and the spectacular sunset and moonrise at Aquinnah, to the 10 outstanding site visits and local speakers.

These site visits and speakers represented only a few of the many Islanders dedicated to a future for the Vineyard, one that is full of local and nutritious food and farms, promotes and finances small local businesses, finds resources for workers to live on the Island and for sons and daughters to stay, and commits money, words, plans, and actions for preservation, conservation, renewable energy, self-reliance, and well-being. The Vineyard is a special place — historic, cultural, scenic, rustic, rural, recreational. And it seems that everyone is working to preserve and enhance it — hundreds of people on commissions, boards, committees, nonprofits, organizations, trusts, businesses, banks, and individuals, some wealthy, all passionate. The Island Plan, with its wide participation and broad coverage, is a prime example of this passion, this involvement, and how groups are working together.

So thank you Martha’s Vineyard for a glorious place for a course on sustainability. You are a great example for other cities and towns.

We plan to make this course an annual event in September and hope to do shorter, two-day versions for busy Island residents in April and September.

Dick Pierce

Austin, Tex.