Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Despite what your story (Uneasiness Over Lyme Disease Spreads, August 15) suggests, the science behind the Lyme disease guidelines issued by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) has never been in question and the guidelines remain in place today.

The IDSA Lyme disease guidelines are voluntary recommendations, not requirements, for physicians. The majority of doctors choose to follow them because they are based on the best available scientific and medical evidence. Studies have proven long-term antibiotic treatment for Lyme disease is ineffective, very costly, and most important of all, potentially harmful to patients.

When creating medical guidelines, IDSA uses the best available scientific evidence to provide optimal patient care. All IDSA guidelines are subject to a stringent review, particularly when screening potential conflicts of interest of volunteer panel members.

Your accusation that our panel members benefited financially from the guidelines is wrong. In fact, the panel recommended only generic drugs and generic diagnostic tests. Members of the 2006 Lyme disease guidelines panel were required to disclose relevant conflicts of interest before the guidelines were published. As an additional review, the panel solicited feedback and opinion from a number of experts outside the guidelines panel to ensure balance and accuracy.

Dr. Donald Poretz

Arlington, Va.

Dr. Poretz is president of the Infectious Diseases Society of America.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Recently I read your article on Greg Craig and his Obama campaigning on the Island. In your supposedly informative article were the details of the Obama fund-raiser to be held on the Island. I certainly would like to know if you declared this free advertising as a campaign contribution. Shame on you for such unbiased support. Where are your journalistic criteria?

By the way these comments are in no way directed at Mr. Craig. They are directed solely to your newspaper.

Robert A Sewell

Williamsburg, Va.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

What is up with the recent Jules Feiffer Obama cartoon? Is it a joke, poking fun at Obama’s overzealous followers or is it a blatant political statement? Did I miss a similar cartoon on Senator McCain that waxes poetically about his candidacy for presidency in another issue?

I found it funny that Mr. Feiffer failed to mention Obama’s controversial spiritual mentor of 20 years, Reverend Wright. He also left out William Ayers, the domestic terrorist and cofounder of the Weathermen, another mentor and early fund-raiser. I’m not sure this type of counsel encourages positive change or unifies anybody.

So what is the Gazette trying to say by publishing this cartoon? It seems out of character for the paper.

Peter Robb



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As summer drew to an end, my mother sang a song with the words “Goodbye, goodbye to summer, for summer’s nearly gone.” I would cover my ears, so as not to hear her words. Island children in summer hear different sounds: band concerts, game rooms, the Flying Horses, Illumination, the fair and the fireworks on Ocean Park. All this without thought, thankfully, of the hurts of the world.

Some kids save their money to spend at the fair, and some parents give with a smile (and sometimes a groan!). Most are totally unaware of the work these people do to compose their summer tunes.

Looking around at the many happy faces (all colors together, laughing, talking, enjoying themselves, the way it should be in the world). I can’t but wonder if more money can’t be appropriated for the fireman’s association. Did every member work as tirelessly as Ken, who puts his whole heart in this project?

Gazette reporter Jim Hickey did a fine job of interviewing Ken to inform us of all the good works the association provides for students and needy. The Oak Bluffs police chief can be very proud of his men who so efficiently assisted the crowds and directed traffic.

I hope more people will set their priorities in order and give generously. After all, we spend on so many other things, don’t we? Don’t ever feel your donation is too small.

Having grown up in Oak Bluffs, with many happy memories of summers past, although I’m happy for the businessmen, I’m sure they went to bed exhausted but smiling, and why not? I hope this won’t have been the last year for this show, but perhaps if they must skip next year in order to earn more money for scholarships, etc., people will miss it.

With sincere thanks to Ken Davey, the police, the town band, those who had to collect the rubbish left by many and all who helped to insure a safe, fun way to bid farewell to summer.

Judy Davey

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As a seasonal resident of the Island for 24 years who has visited the Agricultural Fair many times, I have always loved the exhibits in the hall. The art, flowers, fruits, pies, crafts, photography, and quilt displays are the highlight of this annual event and I look forward to them each year.

Imagine my disappointment — and that of so many others — when the hall was closed to us for several hours on the opening day of the fair. Arriving at 10:15 a.m., paying the admission fee and wandering over to see the displays, I was dismayed that the hall was not open yet because of the judging of the various items. I amused myself for awhile, had my lunch, and returned to the hall. I was informed by the young kids asked to guard the doors that the hall was still barred to the public. An hour later, still closed. After nearly four hours, I gave up and left, having seen none of the exhibits I so anticipated. What a shame.

But more than a shame, this was poor organization at best and a bait and switch at worst. Please don’t invite the public to the fair if the fair is not ready. Better yet, do the judging before opening day and make the fair as fun as it should be for all.

Audrey Yett



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Have you noticed that there are no American flags displayed on the public buildings on Martha’s Vineyard? Check out your town hall, community center and library and see if there is a flag flying on the flag pole. Why are there no flags on these public buildings? Has Martha’s Vineyard left the Union?

Art O’Connor

Sarasota, Fla.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am helping to organize the search for a bone marrow donor that could help save a life. You may give the gift of life when you donate your bone marrow. Even if you are not a match today, your bone marrow may be the match in the future that will save someone’s life.

The more people who donate the more opportunity there will be for all those in need to have a chance to live. It is a very simple process. Please take the time to come to the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury on Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. to learn about the process.

Please become a bone marrow donor and save a life. Your help could help find the right bone marrow match. It could be you.

For more information contact Michael A Guglielmo at 603-254-8284.

Lisa Brown Langley



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am curious to know with all the mystery and debate connected with the closure of Sengekontacket Pond if any of the researchers have looked at the possibility of problems stemming from the runoff of pesticides and herbicides typically used on most golf courses of which Farm Neck is a direct abutter?

Jay Grossman



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Yet again White Trash Intellectuals Productions returned to the Vineyard for a wonderful experience; this summer I was joined by Fran Sommers, a playwright that shared her latest work, Space. Thanks again to those in the community that gave us such great support during our stay — particularly to the wonderful feedback and encouragement supplied by Ava and Andrea Geyer for their great reading.

See you all next summer — and thanks again for being such an inspiring and intelligent little Island.

Elizabeth Dembrowsky

New York, N.Y.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Asante sana — Phrase. [Kiswhahili] Thank you very much!

My deepest thanks to Eleanor Neubert and her faithful agricultural fair volunteers, all of you avid Red Sox raffle ticket buyers, Vineyard friends, neighbors and especially my St. Andrew’s support team at our Mission to Maseno nonprofit table at the fair.

It was a gift to meet so many people this past weekend who share a connection to East Africa and who support my efforts to return to Kenya. As a sadly predictable result of the post-election (January-March 2008) chaos there, the sick got sicker and the poor got poorer. The people of rural western province have asked for our help. We will be providing hope, as well as food and medicine, to orphans and their caregivers. Thanks to the love and support of this Island community and the Episcopal Church, I will be leaving Oct. 14 for a long-term mission assignment to work as a nurse in Maseno, Kenya, where malnutrition and poverty are exacerbating the already-devastating effects of HIV/AIDS, malaria, tuberculosis and other diseases. I am grateful to have an opportunity to extend my volunteer efforts, this time off-Island, after 35 years of working together with AIDS Alliance, Food Pantry, Habitat and Hospice volunteers here.

Meanwhile, close to home, Heather Smyth from Worcester was the lucky winner of our benefit raffle at the fair: two Red Sox tickets, an autographed Curt Schilling rookie card and poster. However, I am the lucky winner of your ongoing friendship and support, and I will carry them to Kenya with me. The people of Maseno will know I am there because all of you care. Asante sana! Please stay in touch via

Dianne Smith