Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Many people told me in the past few weeks that my grandfather, Peter Williamson, was a great guy and very respected. They said when he was the chief he was known for helping people. I am too young to know about those years.

I knew him as my Papa.

He would watch movies with me any time I wanted. He would watch the same Elmo movies over and over.

I used to sleep in his big bed with him and Nana when we would visit Florida. I remember when we went to Disney World. He rode in the front row at Splash Mountain and got all wet.

At home he made the best stews. I loved feeding the squirrels with him. He made a garden just for me. He bought me a bike and helped me as I tried to ride it.

My three-year-old sister Maggie says it best when she says: “Miss my Papa.”

Caroline V. Moffet, age eight



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Last week’s Gazette supplement was welcome and informative. It’s good to see so many people and organizations on the Vineyard committed to changing energy use and waste. During the holidays in December I was appalled by the number of catalogues in the post office and our unconscious waste of paper products (and trees). In Songbird Journeys Miyoko Chu of the Cornell Lab of Ornithology writes: “The Natural Resources Defense Council and other conservation groups are pressuring tissue products companies to reduce their consumption of virgin wood and encouraging consumers to buy recycled products. (Kleenex and Scott contain no recycled wood pulp, in contrast with the Canadian company, Cascades, which uses 96 per cent recycled fiber.) “Consumers can also help stop wasteful clear-cutting by taking their names off mailing lists for catalogues. Each year about eight million tons of trees are turned into catalogues, according to Audubon. More than one billion catalogues, largely from the boreal forest, are produced each year for Land’s End, J. Crew, Victoria’s Secret, J.C. Penney, and L.L. Bean, according to the National Wildlife Federation.”

Although using recycled paper products and unsubscribing to catalogues may seem like a small effort, together we could begin to make a difference in reducing energy waste.

Martha Moore


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you for the special 12-page status report A New Island Energy. On Friday evening my wife and I attended the MBL Associates Falmouth Forum in Woods Hole. Ian Bowles, Massachusetts Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs gave a talk titled An Overview of Massachusetts First Year and Looking Ahead, concerning energy and the environment.

I am pleased and proud to report that I personally hand delivered a copy of your energy section to Mr. Bowles at the end of his presentation. From my experience with Mr. Bowles on the Cape Light Compact and the support Mr. Bowles has provided our organization, I am confident, that after reading your report, Mr. Bowles will expand his support to include Martha’s Vineyard’s regional Island-wide approach to achieving greater energy independence.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Gazette story last week headlined Electricity Straight from the Sun and Wind states that I have a “beef” with the wealthiest Vineyard homeowners. This is inaccurate.

What I said was that large homes have done more to change the Island than small wind turbines will. My point was simply that people will get used to small wind turbines and solar panels just as they have gotten used to everything else that is new or different on the landscape.

I have made a comfortable living working here on the Island, often for some of the wealthiest Vineyard homeowners, and plan to do so for a long time.

I am in fact friends with some very wealthy Vineyarders and I hope to remain friends with them.

Having to write this letter causes me great distress.

I would have expected better from the Gazette.

Gary Harcourt

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I came to the Vineyard for a summer job over 10 years ago and never left. The natural beauty and sense of community have held me here. The Island is certainly a place that deserves our thoughtful protection. What distinguishes an admirable effort toward local preservation from a Not In My Back Yard attitude are the benefits of preservation on one hand and on the other, the implication that some other neighborhood should bear the costs we are unwilling to. The Cape Wind project would alter our seascape for decades, so let us carefully consider what else the wind farm can do.

Cape Cod has the worst air quality in Massachusetts, with the Islands slightly better. This translates to high asthma rates, mercury in our fish and additional strain on ponds and estuaries and their shellfish beds. State regulators have said that Cape Wind would directly reduce production at local power plants with much higher pollution outputs like the Canal Power Plant. Ian Bowles, Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, states that Cape Wind’s production would be the equivalent of taking 175,000 cars off Cape and Islands roads each year. This would also lead to over 1,000 tons per year reduction of pollutants like sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, and a reduction of over 770,000 tons of carbon dioxide per year.

We now know that global climate change is inevitable. Scientists assure us that much disaster can be averted if we quickly undertake ambitious plans to change the way we consume fossil fuels. Our community has the unique opportunity to take a huge step toward that goal. In fact we have a responsibility.

The wind farm would provide the equivalent of three quarters of all the electricity used on the Cape and Islands, without burning fossil fuels. This alone will not change the global climate but each community must do its part. Having the first large offshore wind farm in America will greatly ease the way for other cities and towns to make their own necessary changes.

Two extensive federal reviews of Cape Wind have indicated that harm to the local environment would be negligible and short term, aside from changes to the view. On the other hand the environmental impact of not building Cape Wind would be far worse.

Imagine, we can lead the way fighting climate change, reduce local air and water pollution and increase our available energy, and all independently of strip-mined coal or dwindling foreign oil supplies and the geopolitical dangers they entail! The proposed array of windmills will actually embody preservation more than an unspoiled view.

If looking at windmills leaves us painfully aware that power costs more than money, perhaps that will help us. I for one will look out and see the grace of a community embracing solutions and hope for our future.

J.J. Johnston

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Gazette story headlined Traffic Fatality Stirs Negative Reaction Against Brazilians included the following bit of reporting: “Most of the postings were carried by the Martha’s Vineyard Times, which publishes all its reader comments on its Web site.” Thank you for directing your readers to our site. That was very collegial of you. However, the Times does not publish all its reader comments. I suggest you look at the Times comment site. You will see by my numerous comments and the howls of some angry posters that we do not publish all of the comments submitted by our readers.

Nelson Sigelman

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Scottish Society of Martha’s Vineyard would like to thank all the individuals and businesses that helped make our annual Robert Burns dinner such a success. All the profits from the raffle and auction go to the high school scholarship fund.

The Scottish society is open to all. If you would like to become a member call Deborah Medders.

And see you next year.

Steve Ewing


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.