Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would like it to be known that the “Susan Shea” mentioned in the article in the Vineyard Gazette on Sept. 14 by Mike Seccombe titled, Sengekontacket Fine Is Planned, dealing with board of health violations, is not me. I have a home in Ocean Heights but it is not on the Boulevard.

I personally feel that this article brings to light some of the problems that should be dealt with and checked by both Edgartown and Oak Bluffs.

I feel that every home should have its waste system checked the same way as is being done in Vineyard Haven. But in this case, every home surrounding Sengekontacket Pond.

I am a home owner in Ocean Heights, director on the board of the Friends of Sengekontacket, director on the board of Felix Wildlife Trust, the Aquinnah’s selectmen appointee to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, a member of the Island Plan, board member of the Friends of Aquinnah Public Library, member of the Aquinnah Finance Committee, and a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Water Alliance.

I would like the people of Vineyard not to confuse me with anyone else. Thank you very much for helping me to clearing up this peculiar situation.

Susan L. Shea

Aquinnah and Edgartown


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I chose not to go to Washington to join the latest protest against this endless war.

From weapons of mass destruction to shock and awe, from so-called free elections to insurgent violence, from the surge to a an alleged “return on success,” Mr. Bush has done everything he wanted to do, and I still have no clue what is the mission in Iraq. Does he really think the Iraqi army is ready to stand up?

I have grown disillusioned with Congress for its inability to stop Mr. Bush’s war.

So I have given up trying to stop the war. My bumper sticker reads 01-20-09, the last day of the Bush presidency. I’m counting the days.

Tom Dresser

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In the future, please spare us rants like Ralph Graves’s Summer Person: Trophy Houses (Vineyard Gazette, Sept. 7.) Being against trophy houses is like being for motherhood and apple pie. Let’s deal with the hard issues, not the easy ones. Invective against trophy houses amounts to more than wasted ink unless they are accompanied by a realistic understanding of the role of construction in the Vineyard’s emerging economy and by a little knowledge of architectural aesthetics.

The good old days, which upon examination may not actually have been so good, are long gone. The Vineyard is changing. In appearance large parts of it may be, as Mr. Graves says, “rural,” although even that’s debatable. However, the hard fact is that its economy is no longer rural, if that is meant to be synonymous with agricultural. Heaven help us all if this sector suddenly dries up either through a slump in the national economy or as we clamp down on what can and can’t be built.

As for the house on Main street toward West Chop that Mr. Graves seems not to like: I have walked and driven by it many times. As it has emerged, first in its massing and now in its detailing, it seems to me a highly skilled work of architecture. Mr. Graves calls the old shingle mansions of West Chop “huge, prominent, ostentatious.” However, he also claims they are “wonderful to look at. They have become Island treasures. . . .” Doesn’t Mr. Graves understand the irony of his words? Is he so in love with the past and so fearful of the future that he can’t grant some of the large houses recently built on the Vineyard may also become Island treasures?

L.C. Richardson



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On the 27th of August I went to the emergency room at the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital as I had a bout with vertigo. I want to say that Dr. Peter Laursen and his staff did such a thorough search along with Mass General Hospital partnerships.

By his instructions for two CAT scans an aneurism in the middle of my brain was discovered. I have the highest praise for this hospital. Had Dr. Laursen not found the aneurism, I would not be alive today.

We went from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital to New England Baptist Hospital where neurologist Dr. Tandon confirmed by MRI the enlarged aneurism and sent me post haste to the Lahey Clinic to see Dr. Choi, the intervention neuro radiologist and had a five-hour operation the next day. A platinum wire was fed up the groin to the brain to plug up the aneurism.

I will always have the highest praise for the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and staff and thanks for the new lease on life!

Dick Sherman