Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On Dec. 19, I received a phone call from Comcast offering to reduce the cost of my cable service, upgrade my high-speed modem and eliminate my Verizon home telephone bill completely. The savings offered were considerable. I agreed.

On Dec. 23, the Comcast installer came to my home completed the installation, and all was well. Later in the day, I discovered Comcast changed my original phone number without speaking to me about this. In addition, I could call out, but not receive calls. The technician came back to the house on Dec. 24, reviewed his work, and was on his cell phone to the Comcast office to set things up again. Needless to say, he apologized, but said he couldn’t do anything else. The problem was between Comcast and Verizon. When he left on Dec. 24, I could no longer make or accept calls. My phone service was dead. I spent 16 hours on my cell making multiple calls to Comcast trying to fix this situation. Everyone I talked to at Comcast was very polite, but no one could fix the problem. Now it is New Year’s Eve and Comcast just informed me that I wouldn’t have my phone number until Jan. 13, 2012.

I warn other potential customers, do not get suckered in by Comcast. I read in the papers about the negotiations going on Islandwide with Comcast. I hope the Island committee insists on high-quality services in each town, including Chappy, and penalties when things go wrong. I would never choose Comcast again for my phone service.

Ralph Friedman

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Wall Street Protestors, people of many colors, genders and political persuasions, have been speaking out to our political leaders about the social and economic inequality between the wealthiest one per cent and the rest of the population. The protests have sparked similar Occupy protests around the world.

Today we remember another protestor, Dr. Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., who spoke to the consciences of political leaders and many Americans of his time who criticized him for his nonviolent protests as “unwise and untimely.”

During the extremely difficult and hate-filled times of the civil rights movement, Dr. King wrote in 1963 from the Birmingham jail: “We know through painful experience that freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor; it must be demanded by the oppressed.”

Although there are those who have expressed annoyance at the Wall Street protestors, let us not forget the same feelings were violently demonstrated against the disciplined nonviolent protestors who sympathized and marched with Dr. King during the civil rights struggle.

Let us enter this new year without vitriol and obstructionism, and work toward Dr. King’s vision of a country and world of peace and harmony.

Marie B. Allen

Oak Bluffs

The writer is the former president of the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A recent Cape Cod Times article indicated that there is some citizen opposition to the proposed roundabout at the intersection of Barnes and Vineyard Haven Roads in Oak Bluffs. This situation is similar to one that occurred in the town of Barnstable in the late 1990s.

A dangerous safety problem had developed at the intersection of Race Lane and Route 149 in the village of Marstons Mills. Changing the intersection to a four-way stop only resulted in more rear-end accidents. Traffic signals were proposed, but the cost was too high. A roundabout was then proposed for the intersection. There were many people in town who spoke out in opposition to this new and different idea.

After objectively weighing the facts concerning roundabouts, the town fathers courageously decided to proceed with the roundabout construction, over the objections of the naysayers. The results were a success. The new roundabout solved the traffic problems and has gone on to become accepted by the drivers of the area, including most of those who had spoken out against it.

Since then, two more roundabouts have been constructed in Barnstable, one on Bearse’s Way at the new youth center in Hyannis and a second at the intersection of Route 149 and Route 6. That roundabout was designed expressly at the request of the residents of the village of West Barnstable, who objected to the traffic signals that had been proposed for the location, because they felt that a roundabout was more in keeping with the rural character of the area.

Robert A. Burgmann


The writer is the retired Barnstable town engineer.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A short time ago, my husband and I stopped at Rocco’s for a slice before going to the movies. After the movie, when we returned home, I realized my purse was missing. My heart sank and my mind began to race. Where could it be and what would I do without all the vital contents? A moment later, I checked our phone answering machine and heard the sweetest and most comforting voice of Chris at Rocco’s. He had found my purse and would leave it at the register for me to pick up at any time.

I just wanted to publicly thank Chris for his honesty and thoughtfulness. It was a wonderful feeling to experience and a great reminder that there are still thoughtful and caring people out there.

Renee Balter

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To the anonymous mechanic who refilled my tire (and fixed the air valve) after it sprang a leak on School street in Edgartown — thank you! The surprise of returning to my car, AAA card in hand, only to find that no further help was needed, was simply fantastic.

The holiday season may be over, but the Vineyard spirit of generosity and community knows no limits.

Ivy Ashe

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The 15th annual PeaceCraft benefit closed its successful monthlong sale on Christmas Eve when the raffle was drawn. Congratulations to Martha Hudson, winner of the oil painting donated by artist Mark Zeender, to Arlene Harkness, winner of 100 gallons of fuel oil and gas from Vineyard Oil, and to Elaine Eugster who won two day trips on the Black Dog Tall Ships.

We extend thanks to:

• Eric Anderson, who donated this year’s location at 13 Beach Road, across from the Black Dog Tavern;

• To all the shoppers who shopped at PeaceCraft, giving holiday gifts that benefited not only the receivers but the artisans and projects working in poverty-stricken areas of our world, including Haiti;

• To the many volunteers who manned the sale and helped set up and close up post sale;

• And to all our benefactors who gave their treasures to be sold for the poor.

May you all have treasure in heaven and a Happy New Year.

Margaret Pénicaud

Vineyard Haven