Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

To help quell the groans and moans about the “excessive” fares to and from Chappaquiddick, I wish to provide the following:

• In 1929 it cost a $1 for a round trip.

• Today, it costs $12.

Taking the $1 in 1929 and converting it to 2008 dollars, we would get $24.64. Thank you Peter Wells for helping fight inflation.

Jozef Sliwkowski



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Let’s try to get beyond the anger, the frustration, the complexities, the absolute disregard for the human condition, and try to deal with the disappointment. As a woman who grew up in the 1940s and ’50s and who is now looking at a comfortable retirement with my husband and my children and grandchildren, there is not a day that goes by when I have to say to myself, “Be patient.” These are words that I have tried to utilize all my life, no matter what the situation. Or, “this too will pass,” in calming the stomach-churning, gut-wrenching feelings of late.

I find myself questioning, if not on a daily basis, then on a daily and nightly basis when I am inundated with all the bad news, all the lying and cheating, all the incompetence and all the questions that come to mind when listening to the pundits of our media or the great writers of our print media. It is more than confounding, to say the least, when I hear over and over again, the wor d bailout when the word should be investment, as that was how it was described by Warren Buffett recently on an hour-long show with Charlie Rose. By bailing out, the government would be making an investment in the future. I wonder if even the representatives understand the whole concept!

However, the sadness I am feeling is more about my generation than about the interpretation of words. We were the generation who saved, who planned for our retirement early in our marriages, who paid for our children’s college educations most of the time by cash so we would have no debt, or so that our children would have no debt. We told the truth. We worked really hard. We were diligent and we were sure that if we did the right things, then the right things would be done for us. Sure, we knew about the Depression. Sure, we had lived through 9/11, the collapse of 1987 and other malfunctions of the financial markets, but now we are looking at something far more serious. We are a generation which is questioning the very core of our democracy. We don’t have the time to save or to plan. We don’t have the time to think in years and years, but in months and years here or there. And, yes, once again, we have done all the right things. But what does it mean now?

Homes are taking years to sell. All the money we worked for so religiously is being depleted and no matter how smart or how conscientious one is, this is not your usual debacle. It is being caused by men and women who are out of control, out for themselves, not in touch with reality, and most of all, never thinking about others or how their actions have affected others across the land. It is astonishing when you watch and listen to the men and women in the Congress who are more interested in their rabid constituents who would rather “get Wall Street” than to think about the future or the present when it comes to our generation. They are clueless and so out of touch it is mind-boggling. What ever happened to checks and balances? Was that not the basis of our three divisions of government? Was that not how any organization worked, by checks and balances? The bosses would watch and respect the employees and the employees would watch and trust the boss. Trust. There’s a word!

So, while I am a consummate half-full glass, and a woman who definitely looks through rose-colored glasses and always will, I feel so betrayed and so misled that I only hope our children and grandchildren will not have to go through the same things that my husband and I have. What we thought would be so fine because we were so fine, so honest, so hard-working and sorealistic, has turned out to be a challenge no one should have to face in their later years. It has been met with land mines neverthought possible. My life is good, I am blessed, but not all our plans will be in stituted as planned because of the generation of men and women who thought tomorrow would always be the same; deregulation would be a panacea. It would make us all rich. Then the crooks stepped in and raped us all.

Susan Lamoreaux



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you for your article in last week’s paper about the unveiling of the state’s plans for the permanent Lagoon Pond drawbridge. Since some questions have been provoked by your article, I’d like to clarify a few details.

There will, of necessity, be a closing of the channel to boating traffic for the installation of the bascule span of the permanent bridge. Permission for this closing must be obtained from the Coast Guard and will be in the range of 12 to 14 weeks. The state understands that it is our preference for that closure to occur in the off-season so as to reduce the impact to boaters. Plans for the new bridge call for one 10-foot multi-user path on the Lagoon Pond side and one six-foot sidewalk on the harbor side.

Finally, for those who have been wondering about the clearance under the temporary bridge, it is designed to be 16 feet, compared with a 15 foot 5-inch clearance under our current bridge.

We encourage feedback and suggestions, which may be sent to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission during this period of public comment. Additionally, the public is invited to our next Lagoon Pond Bridge committee meeting set for Oct. 29 at 9 a.m. at the commission office in the Olde Stone Building in Oak Bluffs.

Melinda Loberg

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I am writing to appeal to the Martha’s Vineyard community for help. My mother, Sally (Habekost) Sylvia, daughter of Priscilla and Fred Thifault of Vineyard Haven, has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition that is going to require surgery at Massachusetts General Hospital Cancer Center, and an extensive recovery period.

Sally is the manager of M.V. Sun Self Storage, Sun Island Delivery, M.V. Cape Cod Trailer Storage, and Old Colony Management Storage. She will be losing time at work which she will not be compensated for and will experience serious financial hardship as a result. She is undergoing surgery on Oct. 10, and will be receiving continuing treatment in Boston.

An account has been established at the law office of Attorney George Brush for tax deductible donations. Donations can be sent to: You’ve Got a Friend, P.O. Box 1317, West Tisbury, MA 02575. Please write “Sally Sylvia” in the memo section of the check so that funds can be properly directed to her account. Any assistance will be greatly appreciated.

Jeffrey Albert Sylvia

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Scattered showers failed to scatter the determined 50-plus walkers who turned out for the Vineyard’s eighth Alzheimer’s Miles of Memories Walk on Sunday, Oct. 5.

From civic-minded Tisbury students of Joan Creato to Windemere volunteers, with teams of Bink’s supporters and a cadre of solo walkers, people gathered, bedecked with rain gear and umbrellas, for the 2.5-mile trek.

At sea, a fleet of nine kayaks proved equally determined to complete a course from Little Bridge to Big and back. Rugged winds and an incoming tide challenged enterprising paddlers.

The twin goals of the walk were to increase awareness of Alzheimer’s disease and raise funds for local services.

Sustenence rewarded participants. Reliable Market donated oranges. Vineyard Bottled Water was appreciated. Sandwiches and baked goods were provided by Rose Cogliano, Dottie Duart, Virginia Gonsalves, Florence Koster and Nicole Matthews. Morning Glory Farm set up a festive autumnal display and Featherstone furnished a tent and tables. Connie and Tony Teixeira distributed T-shirts.

Vineyard Scripts was recognized with a sign for their most generous donation. Alzheimer’s Services of Cape Cod and the Islands was gratified to report contributions topped $10,500, impressive considering the damp weather and new venue.

While some may consider the event a washout, the rain actually inspired walkers and paddlers to work a little harder. We want to thank everyone who participated in this noble cause.

Thomas Dresser

Oak Bluffs

Joyce Stiles-Tucker

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you all so much for the wonderful coverage and support you have shown the Adult and Community Education Program ACE MV. The article was terrific, the writing and research thorough and insightful. It has already generated calls and interest. The generosity of the Gazette to offer to sponsor our first catalog is so kind. Without this important contribution, it would be so much more difficult to get this worthy program off the ground and out to the community.

We are very fortunate to have the Gazette as such a valuable resource promoting quality programs for the benefit and enrichment of our community.

Lynn Ditchfield



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

My wife and I were involved in building a primary school in Siem Reap, Cambodia. The school was completed in 2005 and the enrollment is presently 600 pupils. Last March we had a book and fund-raising drive for the Vineyard School and were successful in bringing seven cases of books and enough money to build 30 additional desks as well as connecting the school to the Internet and adding solar panels.

During that recent trip I decided to try to build another school, this one in an extremely rural and very poor village called Kang Meas in the Kampong Cham District, two hours outside Phnom Penh. Presently this village has no school whatsoever and all classes are held outside. During the wet season classes are held under tarps or tin-roofed lean-tos.

We have already begun fundraising for this latest project and the school is 45 per cent complete. The total cost of a school is just $15,000, which is matched by the World Bank. Once the school is built, the Cambodian Ministry of Education and American Assistance for Cambodia pays all teacher salaries and other expenses to keep it in operation.

Kara and I are reaching out to as many people as we can, asking for whatever help you may be willing to contribute toward this project. All donations are tax deductible through the parent organization American Assistance for Cambodia, under the tax code (501)C. Receipts are usually mailed within two weeks of the donation.

If you would be interested in helping out, checks can be made out to American Assistance for Cambodia and mailed to me at P.O. Box 2225, Oak Bluffs MA 02557, at which point I forward it on to A.A.F.C. Of course you can mail it directly to A.A.F.C., but please let me know so I can enter the transaction in my database. The Web site is

Todd Alexander and Kara Gelinas

Oak Bluffs