Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I’d like to commend Mark Alan Lovewell and the Vineyard Gazette for the excellent story, Owner of Quitsa Strider in Menemsha Sells His Fishing Rights, Ending an Era. It’s important for our coastal communities to better understand the unrelenting obstacles our fishermen are up against, and your story really brought that message home.

Jonathan Mayhew is widely known as one of the best and most versatile fishermen out there. He’s also been a great advocate for better scientific information, and in 1993 he helped us develop the nascent bluefin tuna research and aerial survey program at the New England Aquarium (which now resides at the University of New Hampshire). Sad, indeed to witness the loss of such a fishing legacy.

Molly Lutcavage



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Last Saturday during hurricane Noel, Edgartown harbor master Charlie Blair was patrolling the harbor with the assistance of Donny Benefit, Mark Defeo and Bill Bishop. I received a call from Charlie informing me that my boat had broken loose and drifted next to a dock. When I arrived and running down the stairs to the dock I felt like that person you always see on the Weather Channel doing on-site reporting. I couldn’t believe that in these hurricane-force winds and pelting rain how quickly Donny and Bill in the patrol boat had a line tied and Mark on the bow directing the tow. I was lucky enough to jump on, started the engines and waited for Mark’s signal to go. Wishing my windshield wipers would go faster, we headed for shelter in town. Arriving safely made me realize that I was indeed with a few great men.

Lee Welch



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am responding to the articles in both of the Vineyard papers regarding the new proposed special education programs. I will suspend most of my sarcastic, cynical and critical comments regarding this proposal in hopes that there really is an altruistic motive and not just a cost-cutting motive.

In hopes that the new special education program is truly being developed as the best quality program a family could ask for (and not just for saving time and money for the Island regional school district) I would like to address a few issues:

• Is the superintendent’s office going after every grant available to get the best specialized equipment for these students? Are they going to build a much-needed sensory integration space to help the kids regulate their bodies? Are they going to provide the latest visual systems and auditory communication guides that are available? Are they going to bring in specialists from around the country (who usually love to come to the Island) in íorder íto get out-of-the box ideas in order to help these children succeed? Will they provide the needed social skills tools for these children as well as integrated social play times? Will they provide relationship based therapies as well as behavioral programs? Will this program make the parents’ hearts sing íwhen they walk íinto the classroom? I do believe that there is an opportunity to create an amazing program on the Island and it will take a great deal of creativity, time and resources.

• Is this a one size fits all program? What if a family chooses not to participate? Can they still attend their preferred school?

• I do hope that the creation of an amazing special needs program will be the crowning glory for the people in the superintendent’s office.

• Seeing quotes like: “Hopefully this is a bump,” and “We see the need to provide a consolidated program to focus on the students’ individual needs,” are taxing my brain.

Having a positive impact on the life of a child with developmental challenges — priceless.

Mary Kuh Ambulos



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On Oct. 19, a beautiful fall day, I headed out from my house on Oak Lane for a trail ride to Misty Meadows. This is a ride I’d done numerous times with a friend using the bike paths and fire lanes in the state forest. What made this day different was that I, a novice rider at best, went out alone on a horse I’d had for barely two months. (A recipe for disaster.) I was nervous, my horse was nervous. As we proceeded, it became more and more difficult for me to push him on and our anxiety levels were mounting. We finally made it to the end of Oak Lane and onto the bike path where I was able to get him to move on and trot. Then we needed to take a left turn onto the fire lane. We took that left, and he took another immediate left to a path he knew would get him home. I tried to turn him back, at which point he hit the eject button, left me where he assumed I wanted to be, and bolted for the comfort of home and his herd.

In an instant the amazing Vineyard good neighbor support system we’re all so familiar with kicked into gear. A couple, out for a nice autumn walk on the bike path I had just left, came immediately to my aid, making calls to 911 and to my barn partner, Annie. (Jeanette, thank you so much for letting me rest against you until the EMT’s arrived.)

Soon the West Tisbury police and the Tri-Town ambulance were there. What a relief to see familiar faces – including a knowledgeable horsewoman. The care on scene, in the ambulance and into the hospital was completely professional while at the same time personal and reassuring. I hope no one ever takes these folks for granted. It takes a very special kind of person to be willing to drop everything at a moment’s notice to run to the aid of those in serious need not knowing what they might encounter.

Upon arrival at the hospital the transition from the EMTs to the emergency room staff was seamless. And again, the professional care and concern of the emergency room nurses, doctors and radiologists gave me great comfort and eased my anxiety. The decision was made that I would be having a sleepover, so off to acute, the nurses there continuing the professional and supportive care I’d been receiving all along.

I know there are names I either didn’t get or don’t remember, but I do want to thank everyone who helped me — those whose names I know (Officer Skip Manter, EMTs Fran, Sloane and Tony, emergency room nurses Beth, Patty and Betsy, Dr. Kasper and Dr. Pil, radiologists Ed and Kathy, acute care nurses Cheryl and Ellen) and all those whose names I don’t know. I also want to thank Kathy Logue, who, seeing my horse galloping by riderless, followed him to my house and, along with my neighbor, Ebba Hierta, took care of him so that my barn partner, Annie, could dash off to find me — already being tended to by the EMTs. And thank you to the many friends who have called and have brought flowers and food.

Certainly, one hopes to never need this kind of care, but it is pretty incredible to be on the receiving end when you do. My heartfelt gratitude to you all.

Nancy Rogers

West Tisbury

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.