Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I work at the food pantry as a volunteer. I now get it about the hardship on Island that justifies support for the food pantry. It’s real to me, now I see that it’s more that just putting some groceries in the purple boxes in the supermarket. The need is real. I see the elderly, infirm, single mothers, mentally incapacitated, unemployed people come in, and they all need to eat.

A woman came by yesterday and wrote a very generous check to the food pantry. She said it was in lieu of giving her family Christmas gifts. Isn’t that a great idea? Isn’t there someone on your gift list who would love to have the good karma of a donation to the food pantry instead of another piece of stuff?

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce asked everyone who attended their holiday party to bring something for the food pantry. Isn’t that a good idea? Why not include a request for a donation of nonperishable food to every party you give, every group function, every child’s birthday party?

The food pantry is like the ocean, the food comes in, the food goes out. The shelves are stocked and then the shelves are empty. Will you do your part to make sure that there is a continuous high tide of food all winter?

Thank You.

Arlan Wise



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

When I had a tunnel permit bumper sticker on my car, I said it eliminated waiting in the standby line for the steamship. Now I propose eliminating the issue of the roundabout by simply digging a tunnel under the intersection.

The tunnel would start by Goodale’s pit and emerge just past the high school. Exits and on-ramps to the tunnel would provide easy access. Traffic along Barnes Road could proceed at its leisurely pace.

The Big Dig made the ride under Boston a breeze. If we offered those experienced tunnel-diggers a chance to get out of jail and work on the Vineyard, we would create jobs too.

Think about it. A tunnel eliminates a roundabout. No need for costly traffic lights, timed for summer visitors. No reason to pursue a bridge to fly cars over the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. My tunnel would speed traffic from one end of the Island to the other.

Isn’t this an idea whose time has come?

Thomas Dresser

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Sharks fans: I just wanted to inform all of you before you found out before the summer started that I will not be returning for a second season on Martha’s Vineyard. I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of you personally for an amazing summer in 2011. Being a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Sharks inaugural campaign was truly an honor and all of you fans made this team possible. Without all the fans there would be no Martha’s Vineyard Sharks.

It was my full intention to come back to the Sharks for the 2012 season but another opportunity arose that I could not pass up. It was a good opportunity for me and my family, and I needed to do what was in the best interest of both the Sharks and myself. Another catcher needs to experience the amazing hospitality of you fans and all of the wonderful things that Martha’s Vineyard has to offer.

I will, however, be seeing all of you again throughout the summer season as I will be playing for the new Pittsfield team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League. Although I will be coming back to the Vineyard in a different uniform, I just want all of you to know that my heart is still with the Sharks. I will always be a member of the first Sharks baseball team, and it will always hold a special place in my heart.

You fans are the main reason why I wanted to return and all of you are and will always be special to me. The way you all welcomed me with open arms is something I will never forget and will cherish it all of my life. More importantly, to all of the younger Sharks’ fans on Martha’s Vineyard, I hope I made you guys proud when I played, and I hope I was the person and player that you expected to see every game. I played my heart out for you guys especially every time I took the field.

To all the young ballplayers, I want to leave you all with a message, and my message is this: When you take the field for a game always remember why you are out there. You are out there because you love the game of baseball, and that’s exactly what baseball is, a game. Never treat it as anything more because when that happens, that’s when you stop having fun. No matter how old you get, no matter how far you go in this great game, just never take a single minute for granted on that field. If you aspire to play in the majors one day as I do, go out and take that dream. Don’t be afraid to fail. It’s part of the game and part of life. The only failure you will have in pursuit of your dreams is by not pursuing it at all. Sharks’ fans, thank you again for everything. You have all been so gracious to me and my family. I will see you all this summer. One more thing: please don’t boo me too bad when I come up to hit! God Bless you all.

Anthony Corona (#25 for the


C.W. Post College

Brookville, N.Y.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It was great to see the Gazette represented in this year’s Christmas Parade. Thanks for participating and being a part of the Island community.

Jim Wynn



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The beautification committee in Edgartown has received two gifts in memory of Marie Sbardelli of Chestnut Hill, who died on Oct. 24. These gifts were given by friends of her family.

Mr. and Mrs. Pat Sbardelli visited every summer for many years with the Thomas Chirgwins, and later with Carol and Dick Fligor. Edgartown was a second home.

With their love of the Vineyard, these gifts have been designated for the new sign, in the making, Welcome to Edgartown, which in the spring will be placed at the Triangle area coming into town. It will be set off with lovely plantings.

Carol Fligor



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

What gives, honestly, with our representative’s stonewalling of the many scientific and intuitive questions which are being asked of the 9/11 Commission Report, and the (mainstream) media’s apparent total lack of curiosity or interest? If our own government isn’t guilty of some sort of cover-up you wouldn’t guess it from the arrogant, ad hominem way it has attacked the questioners rather than respond to the valid questions being asked. Should we not be curious that such blatant evidence of controlled demolitions (go to was withheld from the official report? What’s at stake is not so much the incompleteness of a report but its very integrity. Was such omission intentional, criminally, or was it just plain incompetence, racing with mob mindset to reach a top-down foregone conclusion? Either way, it warrants a real investigation that follows, not ignores, highly evolved and developed standards and principles of proper investigative methodology and protocols.

Why not, for one of the largest, most serious crimes in the history of this nation having such devastating worldwide consequences? Ever watch a TV crime show? If the evidence isn’t fully reconciled by the conclusion and they catch the wrong bad guys too early into the show, you know it’s back to the drawing boards and a more careful look at the evidence, all evidence without bias wherever it might lead. Authentic investigations do it this way and don’t rely on unreliable coerced, (waterboarded) confessions (thrown out by courts of law). They also cross examine key witnesses and chase down contradictory testimony to find out who’s been lying under oath and why. Why should we accept anything less? Why were these most basic principles of true fact finding ignored and short-circuited by a people’s government which over the years, with just reason, spent so much time and energy and money perfecting? The government has left its people no choice but to ask: Was there a hidden agenda? It’s only healthy and American to want to know the truth so we can act on it, uniting us, not ignore it or run from it in denial and fear, leaving us helplessly ruled in a cloud of uncertainty and misinformation by others all too anxious to move on. Moving on is fine and helpful for those circumstances (loss of a loved one) beyond which we have no control. But where a possible wrong can be righted, how and why would our leaders expect us to move on?

This is leadership at its worst. Ignoring possible wrongdoing suggests guilt. Under the Patriot Act, and the new but not-so-secret interpretations of it, our democracy and freedom, if you can still call them that, are in serious danger. We need to get our priorities straight and take control of our own agenda, not politely partake in our government’s, being fooled into thinking this is what makes us democratic. Any and all discussion to further improve our status as a nation and a people becomes meaningless if we are unwilling to step up and demand adherence to the governing principles and gains we have made so far. That time was yesterday. It has come but not yet gone. It’s up to us. Go to for more intuitive questions we owe it to ourselves to become familiar with and to be thinking about . . . and talking about, not privately in shame but publicly in earnest.

Let the people decide for themselves after they are allowed to hear key officials responding to the tough questions they were never asked nor required to answer. Only by confronting what we might think is a cancer can we ever learn its cause and hope to find a cure.

Nick van Nes

West Tisbury

A copy of this letter was sent to Cong. William Keating.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Oil and natural gas are found in two different varieties, conventional and unconventional. Conventional oil is liquid crude oil. Conventional natural gas is free untrapped gas. Each can be found uniquely. Both can be found together. Colonel Drake struck conventional oil with a well drilled to a depth of 69.5 feet at Titusville, Pa., in 1859. On April 20, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon was two days away from temporarily capping an oil well in the Gulf of Mexico it had drilled more than six miles deep in 4,130 feet of water. During the disconnection process the rig suffered a blowout. The natural gas caught fire, sinking the rig. During the 357 days it took to stem the flow of oil and natural gas, 3.3 million barrels of oil plus copious amounts of natural gas were released into the Gulf of Mexico. These are two examples of the process used to drill and release conventional oil and natural gas.

America’s conventional oil tank is almost empty. All that is left at the bottom is about 20 units of oil. Each year, two units of this oil is pumped out of the ground. At current rates of extraction, America’s conventional oil tank will be drained dry in 10 years. (One unit of oil equals one billion barrels). America’s voracious annual oil appetite consumes seven units of oil every year. If America had to rely only on her conventional supplies of conventional liquid crude oil, her tank would be empty in just three years.

American oil companies are now clamoring to develop unconventional sources of oil and natural gas.

A new wave of drilling called fracking is being used to extract these unconventional sources of oil and natural gas. Fracking is a federally unregulated process. The procedure involves injecting a chemical cocktail under pressure to break apart shale rock so the oil and/or natural gas can escape and be forced to the surface.

Flames exploding from kitchen taps, and livestock dropping dead from tainted water — these aren’t scenes from a horror movie, they’re the increasingly common results of fracking in many places in the U.S. To date, at least 1,000 cases of water contamination have been documented near drilling sites. In some cases, residents can no longer drink from their taps. At least 44 municipalities across the country have passed measures to ban fracking.

The EPA has determined that hydraulic fracturing played a role in contaminating drinking water in a Wyoming community. Groundwater in the aquifer contains compounds associated with hydraulic fracturing. Fracturing was exempted by a 2005 energy bill from needing prior approval from regulators under the Safe Drinking Water Act.

America will never ever again be able to become energy self-sufficient and energy independent in producing the oil and natural gas it needs from its indigenous combined reserves of conventional and unconventional sources of oil and natural gas.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the board of directors of Adult and Community Education, and the cultural festival planning committee, many thanks to the generous supporters of the fall cultural festival. Your generosity helped create an amazing evening celebrating Island diversity and culture and supports the new Winter/Spring 2012 catalog of courses now available online and in print at schools and libraries.

We deeply appreciate your support and thanks for joining us again this year.

Lynn Ditchfield


The writer is director of ACE MV.

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.