Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would like to congratulate Mr. Madden on his victorious campaign for state representative of Barnstable, Dukes, and Nantucket District. I am privileged to call Tim a friend, and I’m confident he will represent us all with pride, commitment and a deep focus on our region’s most important issues. Congratulations are also due to Mr. Larkosh and Ms. Freitag on their campaign efforts. Being on the inside of this race, I can truly appreciate all of the hard work, energy, and fortitude it takes to put yourself out on a limb in an effort to better serve our public interests.

I learned more than I could have ever imaged throughout this process. I am so grateful for the tremendous support I received from family, friends and volunteers. We tried to create a new path of public service during this campaign, one in which political parties, political action committees and other organizations did not have any influence in my efforts to best represent our district. Many policy proposals were directly influenced from the discussions I had with community members in Falmouth, on Nantucket, and here at home on the Vineyard. Your voices were heard.

I feel as if this journey has just begun. On Nov. 4, we overcame a racial barrier that for too long has plagued our nation and its founding principles. Perhaps one day, with effective leadership at all levels of government, we will be able to look beyond party lines and organizational interests to realize that public service at its core is about representing all of the people.

I’m so deeply proud of my military service to our country, and now that the election has passed, I look forward to getting back to a regular drilling schedule in the U.S. Coast Guard Reserves. Please know that I will also continue my work to bring higher education opportunities to the Vineyard and Nantucket. That effort has only just begun.

For the more than 3,000 people who voted for me in this election and to all others who expressed their gratitude for my involvement in this race, you have my eternal appreciation. I am blessed to be a member of such a wonderful and positive community.

Jacob Ferreira

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As was said:

Rosa sat so Martin could march. Martin marched so Barack could run. Barack ran so our children can fly, and for all Americans to have renewed hope for the future of our great country.

Marie B. Allen

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Generosity hereabouts is rarely far from view, but it still took me by surprise last Saturday in the weirs of Quitsa Pond. My pig-headed outboard had self-launched from the dock in one of the big blows that raked the Pond recently. I found it stuck on a spit of land, full of water with the propeller sunk in hard sand. After crab-walking the engine along the shore to a safe, dry place, I went back to tie down the boat until I could properly rechristen it.

Right then a boy climbed out of the shoreline brambles and asked if I needed help. Two of his pals were nearby, out of sight, and he called for backup. They hauled the launch upright until it was bone dry. That was help enough, but then the first boy who’d approached me said he would get the boat back to the dock once the tide was in. I begged off, but this was no gratuitous offer. The boat was back on the dock when I returned to the pond on Sunday.

I’ve had the great blessing of raising a child on the Island, so I’m somewhat used to the special sense of community that so many Island kids seem to find in the ether here. But every once in awhile that local state of grace still knocks you in the head. The name of the lad who helped me out, I made a point of learning, is Matt Mayhew. To Matt’s parents, I just want to say, congratulations on bringing such a good-hearted son into a fevered world. To Matt and his buddies, thanks again, guys. Life should hold many good things for you.

Charles Furlong



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I know it may seem amusing to steal someone’s sign, but it really is not. I spent the day Friday trying to save a young cat that ultimately died in her owner’s arms. That evening I took my children trick-or-treating. Saturday I spent the morning caring for sick and injured pets. Imagine my dismay when I went outside and found the sign for my veterinary office had been stolen. I have to assume it was taken by young people, who saw this as a harmless Halloween prank. It was not.

We are all part of the same community. Maybe you who stole the sign have a dog or a cat. Maybe a veterinarian once helped your pet. Do the right thing and please bring back our sign.

Michelle Jasny, VMD

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Regarding the excerpt from Holly Nadler’s book published in the Oct. 31 Gazette:

I had the privilege to work with the staff and students of The Penikese Island School for a number of years. The culture exhibited there is anything but a “morass.” The staff is dedicated, caring and capable. Every day they work with these young men to overcome traps, confusion and impediments in a community built on respect, responsibility and relationships.

The author’s use of 30-year-old statistics to brand these young men as part of her “curse” is reprehensible. She owes an apology to the many students, staff, family and friends of The Penikese Island School.

Matthew Burke

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The decision of the town of Oak Bluffs to build a private wireless network, with the goal of cutting communications costs in half, is not without its potential risks to public health. In this country and around the world, serious and far-reaching concerns are being raised about the proliferation of wireless technologies.

Wi-Fi networks, like their cellular phone counterparts, utilize low-level, modulated radio frequency radiation in the microwave range to transmit their signals. Regarding human anatomy and radio frequency radiation, a complex and disturbing picture is emerging. Studies have been done on exposures to low-intensity microwave radiation of people living near cellular phone base station antennas in Spain, Germany, Israel, the Netherlands, Egypt and Austria. All of the studies document significant adverse health effects. In the German and Israeli studies, these effects include increased rates of cancer. Although the power density levels of Wi-Fi antennas are lower than those of cellular phone base stations, the extremely low frequency pulsed modulations that characterize digital networks might also be having biological effects, and we do not know what the long-term results of chronic, 24-7 exposure to radio frequency radiation will be in the future. It is worth noting that the Environmental Protection Agency acknowledges that current Federal Communications Commission radiation standards are inadequate and do not account for all the possible harmful effects of radio frequency radiation.

More and more, skeptics of the risks are forced to confront a community of researchers globally unified in the need for exercising caution with wireless technologies. Anyone who investigates this issue is greeted by decades of research into radio frequency radiation. Possibly the largest body of evidence emerged in September 2007, when a group of scientists, researchers and public health policy professionals released the Bioinitiative Report. The report documents evidence of the health impacts of exposure to electromagnetic radiation hundreds or thousands of times below maximum exposure values. The authors worked with 200 scientific studies and concluded that existing limits for public safety were inadequate.

And there is growing opposition to WiFi proliferation around the world. In Ontario, Canada, University of Lakehead president Fred Gilbert eliminated Wi-Fi connections from places where Internet connection via optic fibre was possible. He based his decision on studies that link cancer in animals and humans with exposure to electromagnetic fields. Also in 2007, the Federal Ministry of the Environment in Germany stated that as a precaution, systems transferring information by cable would be given precedence over Wi-Fi systems. There are many other examples, such as the decision of the Board of Health and Safety in Paris, France, to vote in favor of a moratorium on the installation of Wi-Fi in libraries and museums until the health effects of Wi-Fi had been confirmed.

In light of this controversy, the proponents of townwide Wi-Fi for Oak Bluffs, including the purchasers and decision makers that have allowed this network to go up, have acted with narrow vision, favoring cost-cutting benefits while catering to a mindset that prizes a no-holds-barred approach to wireless technology. Before Wi-Fi becomes Islandwide, perhaps it is time for a public forum to address the above mentioned concerns. At the very least, there needs to be a dialogue that acknowledges the much darker side of Internet when you want it, where you want it.

Richard Moon

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I wish to echo a few recent letters printed in both Island papers regarding the possible reaffiliation between Dr. Richard Koehler and the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. As a former and potentially future patient, I find his diagnostic and operating skills and bedside manner totally top of the line. I completely trusted his skills while he performed two hernia operations on me in the early 1990s. He even made my colonoscopy a fairly pleasant encounter. Now that says something!

On a more serious note, I was saddened by his decision to leave the Island several years ago with his wife and family, mostly due to minor bureaucratic and professional differences with hospital management. He has since taken up residency in Plymouth and works with the Jordan Hospital. Many patients, including myself, make the trek over there for his experience and expertise.

He has detected a true desire by Islanders to have him back here, at least part-time. He is more than game. But there is one major obstacle — the hospital apparently refuses to even accept his application. I find this unacceptable, particularly in a hospital that enjoys a critical access designation in the state of Massachusetts. It seems antithetical that a hospital that is critically needed (i.e. — our only real choice) in its community would refuse to allow an application. It’s true that we already have two competent surgeons, but it would be nice if we could have another choice, if so desired. Dr. Koehler is a highly skilled laparoscopic surgeon who was one of the pioneers of this method.

Hospital leaders recently mounted a very effective fund-raising effort to build a shiny new hospital. We sensed an “out with the old, in with the new” sort of mandate.

I am personal friends with many of the hospital’s largest donors, and I believe most of them would agree with me in my opinions about the consideration of privileges for Dr. Richard Koehler.

I see our new hospital taking shape almost every day as I pass by on Beach Road, and I am filled with pride. It is going to be beautiful. We should all be proud of our grass-roots effort to rebuild. Now let’s make sure that the business and medical practices taking place within these sparkling new walls are the best that they can be. And that would certainly include Dr. Koehler.

Peter Simon



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We live in such a loving and giving community, I wanted to take this opportunity to thank and honor a man who has given so much and asks for so little in return. Stephen Bernier of Cronig’s Market is such a man. I want to thank him for his generosity and commitment to making our Island a wonderful place to live and raise our families.

I am part of a group of adult men (Young Brothers to Men) who are committed to working with some of the at-risk young men in the community. The men serve as role models and advisors to help guide them along the proper path to manhood. We have over the years called upon the community to provide us with support in trying to organize the young men into taking responsibility for their actions. These principals of our group include, manhood, scholarship, dedication and improvement of our community.

Mr. Bernier and Cronig’s Market have helped us to work toward these goals by providing the needed resources, which allowed us to meet recently with 60 of our young men, and help instill some positive motivations for their lives.

Please, along with myself, and the other mentors help me to extend our most sincere thank you to Cronig’s for all that they do for our community.

W. Leo Frame Jr.

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Denmark imposed carbon taxes that have led to a large decrease in carbon and greenhouse gas emissions. Per capita emissions dropped to nearly 15 per cent lower in 2005 than in 1990. And Denmark accomplished this while posting a remarkably strong economic record.

What did Denmark do right? Everything. They imposed a carbon tax they did not want to collect.

This is a hard, if not almost impossible, lesson for U.S. politicians to learn. They did it in Denmark. It can be done in the United States. Like Denmark, congress could enact a revenue neutral carbon tax, earmarking the tax to subsidize the switch to carbon-free renewable fuels and environmental innovation. Danish policymakers made huge investments in renewable energy and subsidized environmental innovation with their carbon tax. When the program started, Denmark’s electrical power generation relied heavily on coal, but not more so than the U.S. today. The tax gave companies a reason to leave coal and invest in carbon-free renewable fuels including offshore wind. The key was providing easy substitutes and not limiting the renewable fuels that could be tapped.

A carbon tax in the U.S. could be the panacea — just pop in the economic incentives and watch them work their magic. But unless steps are taken to lock the tax revenue away from policy makers to make sure they are invested in carbon-free fuels and environmental innovations, a carbon tax could lead to more revenue rather than less pollution.

If the President and new congress are committed to cleaning up the U.S. portion of carbon and greenhouse gas emissions, it will cost money, and the money will have to be raised. A revenue neutral carbon tax should be high on everyone’s list of options. If implemented, it should stay in effect until carbon-based fuels are no longer burned to generate electricity.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

For several years I have read in your newspaper kudos for our local hospital. On Oct. 11 this year, I witnessed the services of the emergency room at its best. My wife had serious shortness of breath and low pulse. Upon entering, my wife went to triage, I to register her. A take-charge nurse named Beth had her in a room, set up monitors, fed her intravenously, all in an effort to stabilize and diagnose the cause of her symptoms. Dr. Beland, on duty, frequently visited the room to evaluate my wife’s condition. After a period of time it was decided that she should be evacuated by air to Boston Medical Center. Beth then prepared my wife for this transition and turned over the patient to the air evacuation team, supported by Oak Bluffs emergency services personnel. My wife had received excellent care by a very professional and proficient emergency room staff, working as a team as the air evacuation staff took over. My wife subsequently recovered and she and I will be forever be grateful for the quality of care received, a credit to the emergency room staff.

William R. Caulfield

Springfield, Va.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

We would like to thank the people who contributed in so many ways to the success of the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School Minnesingers auction, including the tireless, dedicated members of the Minnesinger Parent Group, Trip Barnes, auctioneer extraordinaire, and Charlene and the staff of the Portuguese-American Club for their invaluable assistance. We express special appreciation to the members of the community who attended the auction for their generosity and continued support, and to those who contributed all the exquisite auction items.

Jan Wightman

Oak Bluffs