Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I write to address the Vineyard Nursing Association’s efforts to accommodate an increased demand for physical therapy services here on the Island, a demand which has been made keener by our absorption of the entire case-load of the Visiting Nurse Service unit of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (which closed its doors last June) and by the loss of our full-time physical therapist over two years ago.

After our full-time therapist relocated, we entered into a contract with Vineyard Complementary Medicine to provide physical therapy on an as needed basis. Since the VNA takeover of VNS patients we now engage the services of eight part-time therapists and continue to solicit others. Unfortunately, with a nationwide shortage of physical therapists and the high cost of Island living, we have not had the success we had hoped in hiring a quality full-time therapist.

While we continue our search for a staff therapist, the VNA makes every effort to accommodate our clients’ requests for prompt appointments but, from time to time, it may take a few days longer to schedule a physical therapist home visit than is optimal. In response to a recent suggestion, the VNA is revising its scheduling process so that we can better identify specific dates that physical therapy visits are available when requested, which should make coordination of home care visits after surgery more seamless.

We have had a challenging year in many respects, but are happy to report that we recently received national re-cognition and certification by the Community Health Accreditation Program and are settled in to our new office space on State Road. The Vineyard Nursing Association always welcomes your comments, concerns, and suggestions. I can be reached by e-mail at

Robert Tonti

West Tisbury

Mr. Tonti is chief executive officer of the Vineyard Nursing Association.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I read Mark Lovewell’s well-written article about striped bass (Striped Bass Index Drops, Anxiety Rises) with great interest, but was dismayed to see that the Division of Marine Fisheries employees are still telling the same fairy tales.

Commercial striper fishermen love to dream up exotic and even crackpot explanations of why their fish are disappearing. Acid rain, pollution, lack of bait, global warming, embryonic mortality, agricultural runoff; it is all part of the emperor’s clothes that the commercial community uses to cloak themselves from the reality of what they are doing to the fishery. Now DMF has added another crackpot theory; the stripers are secretly hiding out on Stellwagen Bank!

The crackpot explanations by the commercial sector and DMF would be like buffalo hunters blaming the disappearance of the buffalo on the fencing of the prairies by farmers or market hunters blaming the extinction of the passenger pigeon on the cold winters of the 1880s.

An experiment was already performed on a massive scale that disproved all these crackpot rationalizations for commercial striped bass fishing. When there was a three-year moratorium in the 1990s, the bass came roaring back. It was overfishing that was the cause of the decline then and is the cause of the decline now.

The only way to bring the striper back is to take it off the market. One hundred years ago Massachusetts led the country in the protection of birds by banning the sale of them, but today the same state is the worst in the country as far as protecting striped bass from the ravages of the rod and reel commercial fishermen. The time is long overdue to stop the gray-market trafficking of striped bass, as most other states have already done.

Frederick Thurber

South Dartmouth


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A recent story in the Gazette referred to a proposed article which is to be presented before an Oak Bluffs special town meeting to authorize the taking of $250,000 from the wastewater retained earnings account to hire a firm to investigate the effluent seepage and take such corrective action as required to correct the problem at Ocean Park. This article was reported to have been criticized by Kerry Scott, who called it vague and confusing. The story went on to quote Ms. Scott as saying “people do not want to go a town meeting with a million questions [about an article]. I want to know where this money will be spent investigating: who is getting paid to do what?”

At a town selectman’s meeting on Oct. 28, the selectmen were informed by the wastewater commissioners that we were in receipt of a notice of noncompliance due to the periodic breakout to the ground surface of treated effluent. In summary the notice of noncompliance requires that:

• Within two months of the notice, the permittee shall contract with a Massachusetts professional engineer to prepare a report.

• Within four months from the date of notice, the permittee shall submit a report that outlines modifications to the facility or other changes required to insure that the facility can remain in compliance with permit requirements and all breakout of treated effluent cease immediately.

Mr. Alosso stated that he initiated this action by the DEP in order that corrective action could be completed prior to next summer’s peak flows. At this meeting the selectmen were informed that we were in the process of negotiating the scope and price for a study to determine the reason for the periodic breakout of treated effluent to the ground surface and actions needed to correct the problem.

We have as yet not agreed with a consultant on the scope of the study but are confident that the study and corrective action can and will be performed at equal or less than the monies being requested in the warrant. Were we to wait until the April town meeting to request funding we would not be able to implement the required corrected action in time for the summer peak flows.

When we have concluded our negotiations and selected a consultant the selectmen and the public will be informed and the agreement made available to those who have an interest. Following completion of the study the next steps will be to define a scope of work required to perform the corrective action, and select a contractor to perform the corrective action.

Persons having questions may contact the wastewater commissioners. We also welcome interested parties to attend any of our meetings.

The commissioners are committed to insuring that the wastewater system operates in full conformance with all applicable regulations and that we serve the ratepayers in the most cost effective manner possible. We are also striving to expand service to those areas of the town which are most environmentally sensitive. Currently we have a moratorium on new unapproved hookups until we resolve the issue before us.

Hans von Steiger,

Robert Iadicicco

and Gail Barmakian

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

My heartfelt thanks to the wonderful person who found my music on the road and took it to Will Luckey, my piano teacher. I couldn’t imagine trying to duplicate two years of notes. I’m sorry I can’t call you in person to thank you, but hope that you see this letter.

Thank you!

Polly Brown

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It’s not that bad during the winter months, but come summer trying to find a parking space just to mail a letter can be a problem. Why can’t Oak Bluffs do what Edgartown does and have a drive-up mail box, say near the police station, where you can just drop your mail and be on your way without taking a parking space, if you’re able to find one, just to mail a letter?

Bob Dumais

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Whether they support or deny his qualifications, and whatever their level of expertise, all the media columnists, bloggers, writers, analysts and bloviaters discussing Barack Obama’s inauguration next Jan. 20 are almost unanimous on one point: he will be the 44th President of the United States of America. Every reference source confirms that number, except one:

Only forty-two men have previously held that position, as a look at those same reference sources will confirm. The discrepancy goes back to the election of Grover Cleveland (D) in 1892, to succeed Benjamin Harrison (R). There are no provisions in the U.S. Constitution or laws on the numbering of Presidents, so we generally referred to them in order of succession, from Washington (1) through Harrison (23), for one term or two. Would Cleveland, already number 22, also be 24 because of the gap between his two terms?

The answer was yes, but no one seems to know who gave it. Probably the same mysterious “they” responsible for so many of our other perplexities. It is of no consequence, a done deal. Ever since Cleveland the numbering of presidents has run smoothly, and no one wants the headaches of a recount. (Ask Minnesota!) Presidents will be judged by their records, not their numbers.

W.R. Deeble

West Tisbury

The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha’s Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.