Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

With the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals and the Cottage City Historic District set to review Joseph Moujabber’s latest construction plans for 10 Seaview avenue extension, we finally appear to be moving toward a resolution to the five-year saga of the Garage Mahal. We know that the town of Oak Bluffs and the people of Martha’s Vineyard are sick of this story and want to see the illegal three-story apartment building, at long last, torn down. To be sure, no one is more eager to see this issue resolved than we, Mr. Moujabber’s neighbors, are.

Whatever decision the town boards reach will be precedent-setting, with substantial long-term implications for the North Bluff and the town as a whole. Oak Bluffs needs to get this one right. The easy thing to do would be for Cottage City and the board of appeals to rubber stamp Mr. Moujabber’s new construction plan and be done with it. That would be a mistake.

Though it’s an improvement on the Garage Mahal, Mr. Moujabber’s proposed addition violates historic district guidelines and town zoning regulations in a number of ways, big and small. Cottage City, for example, mandates that any new addition “shall be secondary in scale and mass” to the original building. Yet Mr. Moujabber proposes to attach a three-story structure to a two-story cottage. The proposed addition is, in fact, taller than the original building and substantially roomier on the inside as well. To call the addition secondary to the original building is, quite simply, a fiction.

Once Cottage City and the board of appeals have helped Mr. Moujabber determine an appropriate size and design for his addition, the town of Oak Bluffs will have discharged its legal and moral duties. The town will then have the right — and the obligation — to see the Garage Mahal torn down. We all want that. None of us wants to see this case drag on. Yet we are aware of the importance of this process. To ensure that it is never faced with another situation like this one, the town must show that it has the ability to enforce its own rules and regulations and that it will not be bullied or intimidated. Oak Bluffs must not be so desperate to get rid of the Garage Mahal that it will accept anything in its place.

Aaron Naparstek

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It upsets me when I read newspaper articles that make Oak Bluffs look bad, or stupid.

The issues regarding pandemic and terrorist readiness have been studied and planned for several years.

The health agents were told two years ago that the regional high school could not possibly be used for inoculations or other measures during the summer months when the population swells to 50,000 to 100,000. They were told by the police chief and the emergency management coordinator that the roads would be clogged and very few will ride busses. The health agents were told to design their plans around multiple public buildings in each town. But they insisted on including the “high school only” idea in their final report; they were instructed to correct it, and it has yet to be done. Rather, they continue to lobby and give statements to the press, some of which seem only too happy to criticize Oak Bluffs.

I trust that this letter will clarify the issue, and direct our efforts toward a viable solution.

Robert A. Iadicicco

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Within this past week I have encountered numerous cars past dusk without their headlights on. Heading home one night after work at 11 p.m. or so, all the way from Oak Bluffs to West Tisbury, there was a truck in front of me without his headlights on the entire time. Thursday night there was a car crossing over the bridge without his lights on, and several more incidents like these that I can recall. You’re not only endangering yourself, but the lives of others as well.

I just wanted to remind everyone to put their headlights on when they start up their car, just as you should put your seat belt on.

Megan Klein

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Overheard in the operating room of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital while undergoing a very, very minor surgical procedure: “What this country needs in the Presidency is a girl in a bikini with a shotgun.”

Tom Hale

Vineyard Haven