Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It has been reported in your paper that the Aquinnah Public Library has cut hours.

This has not happened, nor has this been planned for the future. Our library hours continue to be Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Out here, at the windy tip of our Island, our small, yet busy library is a lively community center for the people of our town. Every week of the year, we host lectures, workshops, concerts, children’s story hours and crafts, reading groups and, throughout the fall and winter, a regular artist in residence.

Please do stop by and take part in some of the Aquinnah Public Library events. Many thanks to our Friends and patrons for their continued support.

Nancy Delaney, Betty Joslow

and Martha Vanderhoop


The three are the trustees of the Aquinnah Public Library.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

An armed policeman at this week’s regular meeting of the West Tisbury Assessors! What is our town coming to?

Cynthia Riggs

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To the teachers, staff, parents and students of the Oak Bluffs School:

I would like to offer an apology. I offer no excuses and would like to say I am sorry for the hurt and disappointment I have caused my family and everyone involved with the school and the community. I wish I could turn back time and not have made this horrible decision that has affected so many.

I have been in the Island work force since the age of 13 and have always prided myself on my reliability and honesty and can’t imagine what I was thinking. I loved my job and looked forward to going to work every day and spending the day with your children, many of whom are my grandchildren and family. There are so many parents who used to be students at the school and I know how much you trusted me. I’m sorry I betrayed your trust.

To the office staff, I would like them to know I regret the extra work I created for them and how difficult things must have been.

I would like to thank all the teachers, staff and friends for all the support you have offered me in the way of cards, letters, phone messages and flowers, and to my family that has shown unconditional love and support, especially to my daughter Jessica, who has never left my side through all of this and shouldered a lot of my burden.

I accept the punishment that was given and hope to be able to hold my head high sometime again in the future.

In closing I remain a good friend to you all.

Susan Peters

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Friday, March 7, 2008 is a day in our lives that won’t soon be forgotten. An inspiring speech was given that day, by way of duet, delivered by Dr. James Weiss and Carlin Hart before the court. I partially missed pieces during their address, as the court officer commanded me to stand at my mother’s side when her legs began to weaken and her body swayed.

Evidently they touched on the topic of comparison between consequences suffered by children in the school system when they’ve done wrong, and their desire for just punishment in my mother’s case.

I regret not having spoken up that day myself, during those fleeting moments that will stay with us forever, as my Mom stood there before the crowded courtroom, shaking, her lips quivering and her eyes welled with tears. Other than the death of a loved one, I can’t imagine anything worse. She looked so sad, so defeated, so scared, weak and helpless. I should have had a speech prepared that fateful day, illustrating how horribly painful my mother’s life has become through all of this.

Don’t misunderstand. What she did was wrong and should reap consequence. However, I should have explained that no additional punishment handed out that day could ever measure up to the punishment she’s already given herself. I don’t think her life will ever be the same again, and that breaks my heart, as it does many who love her and knew her before all of this.

Under the advisement of our legal counsel, it has only just become very recent that we are permitted to publicly address the community and its school system. Though my mother has been unable to face many people, and has spent most of the last seven months in her home, I want everyone to know that her willingness to explain and most of all apologize has been a haunting desire that has filled much of her daily thought, for what has seemed like an eternity.

Emotionally this has taken an indescribable toll on my mom. The shame, devastation, embarrassment, humiliation, fear, sadness and remorse she is feeling is unimaginable. With that being said, I feel that it is important that our Island community know that my father, Earl Peters, had absolutely no knowledge, of any kind, regarding this matter, not until questioning began last summer.

Many people deserve an explanation, especially the people who were close to her over the years. There is no good excuse for unjustly taking money. Unfortunately her means with the intention to replace it, with utmost sincerity, obviously didn’t come soon enough.

Bad things happen to good people and my Mom is a good person. Through all of this, I haven’t thought for a moment that anyone who truly knows Sue Peters, in their hearts, believe that this was anything more than a horrible, horrible mistake. A mistake that was made through fogged judgment and sheer desperation that stemmed from overwhelming personal circumstances. I also want people to know that it didn’t have to go as far as it was taken.

And for those of you who don’t know, immediately following a brief interview and prior to my mother speaking with anyone from the school on this matter, I, alone, met with school officials. At that time I offered an explanation pertaining to the very personal reasoning behind what was done and I presented a bank check in the amount of what was taken in its entirety. Unfortunately, the school declined to accept our financial restitution at that time, and it wasn’t until the pursuit of prosecution was well underway that one of the officials acknowledged our money.

My mom, being a graduate of the Oak Bluffs School herself, began her involvement as a parent in 1979 when I started kindergarten. She then became employed by the school in 1983 and has been there ever since. This has certainly been an abrupt, devastating and heartbreaking end to a job she loved and appreciated so much.

After all the years of service, devotion, dedication, hard work and yes, honesty she so proudly provided. I will continue to pray that the opinions of those who know her not be changed by her actions. And I would like to wholeheartedly thank all those, especially the abundant members of her Oak Bluffs School family who have sent cards and flowers, written letters (including recent character reference letters and letters of support to be read by the judge) and left kind messages on the machine. The outpouring of care, support and concern is so greatly appreciated and will never be forgotten.

Susan Peter’s only desire is forgiveness and to once again feel as though she can walk down the streets of our little world without fear of being judged. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you for your love and support. You just don’t know how much it’s meant to her.

Jessica Peters

Oak Bluffs

The writer is the daughter of Susan Peters.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This is the ninth of my origins letters, published exclusively in the Gazette over the past 40 years, in order to bring long-forgotten historical information of significance to Islanders.

To be truly literate in the early European history of our region one should have read or been familiar with the late Harvard historian Samuel Eliot Morison’s works, most particularly his Portuguese voyages to America in XV (1940).

Short of metropolitan Boston, the nearest copy to be found is in the truly outstanding New Bedford Public Library (and Athenaeum).

Incredibly, no copies are to be found in the free public libraries and the historical societies of the entire Cape and Islands region. Makes you wonder.

Single copies become available, on average, every 20 years when an owner dies. It is an extraordinarily hard book to find. The Holy Grail of early Portuguese navigation and discovery in the Americas, both real or fanciful.

Peter Colt Josephs



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Way to go, Mrs. Freydberg. I saw your picture in last week’s Gazette and you looked terrific. At 100 years of age, you don’t look a day over 75. Congratulations. Please let us all know your secret to longevity. Belated best wishes to you.

Barbara Dutton

Oak Bluffs