Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Applications for Red Stocking, the Vineyard’s own effort to provide food and clothing for Island children from birth through grade eight, will be available by Nov. 1. Last year Red Stocking provided for over 419 children in need of neighborly assistance. Applications may be obtained at most branches of all Island banks, at Martha’s Vineyard Insurance Co. in Vineyard Haven as well as at all elementary schools, at Early Childhood Program of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, at the tribal headquarters in Aquinnah, at the Massachusetts Department of Families and Children, the Boys’ and Girls’ Club, Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, Morgan Woods and the Island Food Pantry.

Applications will also be available at the Health Care Access Office where assistance will be available for Portuguese-speaking families (the phone number is 508-696-0020). Parents are strongly urged to apply early, preferably by Nov. 15, so that they might receive food vouchers prior to Thanksgiving. Wrapping will be done at Grace Church from Monday through Wednesday, Dec. 12 to 14. Volunteer wrappers may call Patricia Carlet at 508-693-3187 to let her know when they are available to help.

The MV Harley Riders will be riding around the Island on Sunday, Nov. 7, collecting donations and toys. The public is invited to welcome them at noon at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs.

For information call Kerry Alley at 508-693-2324, or Lorraine Clark at 508-693-0725.

Checks in support of Red Stocking may be mailed to Barbara Silvia, treasurer, 67 Midland avenue, Vineyard Haven MA 02568.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

For 17 years it has been our joy and privilege to work with almost 2,000 fourth graders in the Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools system.

We are deeply disappointed that the Vineyard schools (except for the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School) have decided not to participate in our Fourth Grade Theatre Project.

We believe that arts in education are extremely important — in fact we believe that creativity for children is paramount to their education.

During our project, we teach vital skills in collaboration and creative problem solving and have strived to integrate these concepts directly into the fourth grade curriculum. In our original plays, we have blended history, science, geography, social studies, mathematics and English language arts with the inspired efforts and wild imaginations of nine and 10-year-olds.

Our program reaches every child and at different levels. They sample the many different areas of live theatre production, from writing plays to presentation. The most unique aspect of our educational model is that the playhouse becomes a classroom for the students. While at the theatre, the children work closely with many different instructors on a process that is equally, or more important, than the show itself. In addition to playhouse staff members and local artists, the project has employed college interns from Bennington, Endicott and other schools and included elder members of our community in a multi-generational outreach effort.

On a more positive note, we will now be able to begin the first phase of our planned and much-needed renovations to the theatre building earlier than anticipated due to the unexpected cancellation of the Fourth Grade Theatre Project. We look forward to continuing to serve the youth of our Island and are grateful to all those who have supported The Vineyard Playhouse.

MJ Bruder Munafo

Vineyard Haven

The writer is executive and artistic director for the playhouse.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

There appears to be a great deal of confusion among your readers as to the difference between a roundabout and a rotary (please see the two letters in the From the Web section in the Oct. 14 issue). A rotary is a large circle connecting several side roads. A car may enter only if another car isn’t already in it, or is far enough away so that one can enter safely. Cars already in the rotary have the right of way, hence cars on the side streets may have to wait awhile before entering. A roundabout is a very different matter. Here the circle is smaller and cars may enter from any of the side streets at any time, provided there’s room to fit in. Traffic moves at a slower pace, partly due to the sharper curve of the circle. The wait to enter is very short and sometimes one doesn’t have to wait at all.

A roundabout was completed near us in Belmont. Many were dubious before its construction, but we have noticed that traffic moves much more smoothly and rapidly than before, when it was a three-street, rather scary free-for-all.

Having said this, I still think the congestion issues at the blinker intersection are hugely overblown. Rarely have I had to wait more than a few minutes, even when a ferry has recently disgorged cars in Vineyard Haven and the visitors come pouring along the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. The problem is with us for only two months of the year.

Cate Hitchings

Arlington and



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I find it preposterous that one vote, the deciding vote, by one individual who openly and unashamedly stated he was doing the bidding of a select Oak Bluffs group, has now given us, the Vineyard public users of the roadways, an unwieldy, impractical, accident-producing monstrosity. I am frankly aghast. As an 80-year-old frequent traveler abroad, I have endured ample opportunity to utilize these treacherous roundabouts. They can be dangerous, and life-threatening as one is forced into a mad scurry entering the already rushing circular maelstrom in times of high usage. Ditto for exiting. The entire plan is diabolical and beyond this old lady’s comprehension and ability to cope.

I imagine other senior citizens, of whom we have many here, will agree, as will confounded visitors. As other dissidents have suggested, we then will endure longer-than-ever lines in Edgartown and Vineyard Haven, in addition to the poor hapless souls unable to venture into the whirling circular racetrack from the opposite directions. May saints preserve us!

I suggest that an Islandwide democratic vote be demanded by the Island populace, who otherwise will become the unwitting innocent victims of this disastrous undertaking, made possible by one lone vote. Help!

Doreen Kinsman

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following comment was posted on the Gazette Web site in reaction to the story about the MVC decision on the roundabout.

Notwithstanding the outcome of the issue, please know how much we “off-Islanders” respect the process and uniqueness of decision-making on the Vineyard. It is refreshing to see a community struggle to understand an issue, debate it with different points of view, and then decide the issue albeit with emotion in the aftermath — that is the Vineyard way. If only our nation could embrace this way in our current national dialogue, and in our national debates.

Edgar G. Davis

Indianapolis, Ind.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The latest dispute we expound about

is whether to build a new roundabout.

We question the function

Of a circular junction

when the crossroad’s enough to confound about.

Eileen Maley

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Over Columbus Day weekend, our food truck Irie Bites was vandalized at the park-and-ride lot in Vineyard Haven. I suppose it really shouldn’t surprise me, as all summer long I kept reading stories about kids going up there at night, stealing cars for joyrides and ripping off personal belongings. But somehow, I am surprised. Reggae music espouses mostly love and respect in most of its lyrical content, and following the golden rule. My iconic photographs of Bob Marley, Peter Tosh, Toots, Burning Spear, Jimmy Cliff and other reggae legends are now just floating around the Island, maybe up on some kid’s wall.

The images were specially prepared as magnets, and were easily just peeled off the steel siding. Any idiot could have done it easily, and obviously they did. Somehow, I thought the inherent sense of Island community protectionism would have spared us this indignity.

As the late, great Bob Marley once wrote, What Goes Around, Comes Around, I presume the laws of karma will come back to haunt the perpetrators. And next summer, I will be sure to redesign the truck, making the photography more permanent.

But to end this letter on a good note, I want to thank all who helped make Irie Bites have a successful first year — friends, customers and town officials. A special shout out goes to Daniele (of the Scottish Bakehouse), and Gina (from the ArtCliff Diner) who helped in many ways to get our mobile truck up and going. Rather than see us as unwanted competition, they realized the Island is big enough for all of us, and as a community at large, we need to support each other whenever possible.

Now, that’s the kind of Martha’s Vineyard I have come to know and love the best.

One Love.

Peter Simon



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Imagine my utter shock and dismay to awaken one beautiful fall morning in my peaceful Oak Bluffs home to discover that two of my three treasured bronze garden trellises were missing. Set in the garden at the foot of my driveway, only feet from the entrance, they had been lifted from the earth, in the night or early morning, and I hate to put a word to it, stolen. Aside from the fact that the theft is disturbing, the fact that it happened in the one place our family comes each year to find a sense of peace, and a rarer sense of security and connectedness to our neighbors, the fact that that has been taken from us, is yet another and bigger robbery.

I have since departed the Island, but not before leafing through catalogs, chatting with garden stores hoping somehow in the future I can replace those gracefully arched, fleur de lis-topped trellises, which my new pink roses were just beginning to reach out to. I can’t begin to explain my attachment to these things; after all they are only metal objects of not enormous monetary value. But only in their absence do I realize how much they delighted me. Akin to my walking along the trail of soft pine needles behind the elementary school each morning. Descending the hill above Sunset Pond and marveling at the sparkling, dawning light atop the water in Oak Bluffs harbor. Drinking a cup of coffee and gazing out the window at my three lovely trellises soon to be covered with delicate pink roses, well, quite simply, they brought me happiness.

My mother remains on the Island hoping that one day, someone may spot them, return them to us and not just restore one of the delights of our garden, but also, our faith in our community.

Kathleen McGhee-Anderson

Oak Bluffs

The writer is a playwright, whose play 5 Mojo Secrets was produced at the Vineyard Playhouse this summer.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the neighbors residing on and around Leonard Circle in Vineyard Haven, we’d like to thank William Waterway for his assistance in finding a new home for Rupert the rooster. This is something that most of us have been trying to achieve for the last three years with no success until now.

We also appreciated his clarifying in the Oct. 14 issue of the Vineyard Gazette that indeed Rupert was very much a pet, (albeit one without papers) as I don’t know too many “wild” animals willing to come into a home to be fed and watch TV.

That said, long live Rupert!

June Parker

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The West Tisbury Library Foundation would like to thank the many people who helped with our first-ever Applefest on Saturday, Oct. 8 at the West Tisbury Grange.

There were many donations of time, good and services, and people have been coming from all corners of the community to support the expansion of our little West Tisbury library.

You have undoubtedly read about our library statistics, and I may bore you, but it’s worth repeating: Of all the Island libraries, ours has the highest circulation and the largest collection, but only the second smallest facility. The number of cardholders grew from 900 to 9,000 in just 13 years. As Dan Waters is fond of saying, “We are loving our library to death.” It is not just town residents who use our library, but residents of other towns as well. All donations large and small are appreciated.

Carol Dodd Brush

West Tisbury

Harvest hurrah

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Athearn family and the rest of the staff at Morning Glory Farm would like to thank the Vineyard community for coming to our farm last Saturday to celebrate the fall harvest at our Pumpkin Festival. It was extremely gratifying to see the smiles on such a wide variety of people, and especially the remarkable number of little people with their parents. It was great fun for us too. Thank you for the kind comments that give us rewards that money can’t buy. We want to thank the Edgartown police for their support and helpful presence and the volunteers from the MV Gleaners Group and others who helped to supervise games, scoop soup, serve pumpkin pie, dip French fries and operate our pumpkin trebuchet.

We are grateful that our Island community, on so many levels, is supportive of our farm and other agricultural ventures on the Island. We are happy that good, simple fun and fresh, safe, and tasty food are important to people here so that festivals like ours and the Living Local Harvest Festival are so well attended.

Jim Athearn,

family and farm crew



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To this former resident and now occasional visitor the Vineyard is a special place.

The entire Island is a sanctuary presided over by Blue Heron in the off-season.

Take good care of this special place for current and future generations.

Bill Meyer


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.