Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Unbelievable tragedy fills our hearts with sorrow and pain. We cannot begin to express the feelings that are upon us as we reach out to the Pothier family for the horrendous loss of their beautiful, young and vibrant daughter Jena. There are no words strong enough to comfort them in this sorrowful time. We also understandthe pain thatKelly McCarron and herfamily are experiencing at this time. We wish them support and love. Unfortunately, we understand, all toowell, what both of these families are going through at this time. It is our greatest wish thatno parent, grandparent, brother orsister  ever feel this type of pain.

How many crosses must we bear at the side of our Vineyard roads? This is a pain that rips to the core of your very being. Your child is there with you waking and havingbreakfast, making summer plans, then off to college in the fall, so full of life, love, hope,joy. It all ends in just a flash. One moment they are here, then you are choosing a casket. How can this be? How can this happen to me, to us? How do I wake up each day and look into their empty bedroom. How do I go on? The heartache is like no other!

Our wish and goal is that you never feel this type of pain. We don’t want others to know this desperate pain. The only way to accomplish this is through knowledge and education. Please don’t say that this won’t happen to me. It can happen and it does happen. It happens 6,000 times a year. That is how many teenagers die in car related crashes; 400,000 teens are injured each year as well. Another astounding number is 40 per cent of all 16-year-old drivers have been involved in a police reported accident. What will it take to stop this from happening? It is simple, education. The RMV only requires 30 hours of training. That is simply not enough. Teens need more modernized training, more knowledge, higher standards for safety. They need to know how to be better defensive drivers. They need to know how to avoid some of the everyday distractions. They need more awareness on the causes and effects of speeding, talking on the phone, drugs, alcohol and others in the car with them. We need our kids safe and coming home to us!

Let’s hold our educators responsible and accountable to make driver education more of a priority. If it is a priority it will get funded. Please don’t let the heartache into your home like it has come into our home. We can not express the emptiness we still feel for our own loss that occurred five years ago to our wonderful boy David.

Having safe drivers of all ages benefits our entire community. Please join with us to make the best life can offer for all of us.

Barb and Tom Furino



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As the former owner of the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore and owner of the building I have kept my promise. The building is ready for occupancy 10 months after the devastating fire that almost destroyed the building.

The credits for that almost impossible feat are due to those who surrounded me during the rebuilding process.

The major effort was lead by Leo DeSorcy of DeSorcy Construction Company. I have been fortunate to have a long term building relation with the DeSorcys. Leo’s dad, Donald, built the second story on the building as well as my home in West Tisbury. Leo was present while the building was burning reassuring me that he could and would rebuild the building.

John Dowling, general manager of East Coast and his great crew worked along side Leo. They worked on the building for over six months often seven days a week to meet the completion date of the month of May.

It was like a working family working together as Berube Electric Company came aboard. Frank and Raymond have been serving the building for almost 40 years. Frank never thought he would be crawling between floors of the building again after the construction of the second floor in 1979.

The finishing job was the plumbing done by Kenny Sylvia of Midland Plumbing. I remember when Kenny’s grandfather plumbed the first house she lived in and Kenny’s father; Gilbert plumbed her house in West Tisbury.

I particularly want to thank the selectman, all town inspectors, firemen and policemen and the DPW. Gratefulness goes out to her business neighbors who tolerated the construction at the expense of their businesses.

I am so pleased that the building has been rented to Dawn Braasch, the new owner of the Bunch of Grapes Bookstore. My dream has come true to see the bookstores rebuilt and know that it will continue to serve the community of Martha’s Vineyard.

Ann K. Nelson

West Tisbury