Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In last week’s paper you titled the front page article: “Vineyard Backs Obama All the Way.” I was one of the 25 per cent on the Island who did not vote for him. And so I feel it was very misleading to express in print that the voters on this Island backed President Obama all the way. I am one of those persons that feels that our new President does not have the qualifications or emotional muscle to lead our country. He certainly has the voice and the rhetoric to persuade Americans to vote for him. We certainly need change at the top. Mr. Obama, I feel, is not the right choice.

Judy Nune



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

When I scheduled my hip replacement surgery three months ago I felt very comfortable about coming home for my recuperation because I expected I would have a week to 10 days of Vineyard Nursing Association at-home nursing, physical therapy and home health aide services to help me get back on my feet. Imagine my shock, followed by fear, when the hospital called VNA to schedule services (four days before my arrival home last Tuesday) only to be told that I would have to wait seven to 10 days after arrival home for physical therapy, as there were staffing shortages. I then also learned that if I used outpatient physical therapy, I would not be eligible for nursing or home health aide services because of insurance mandates preventing any home services if outpatient services have been used.

What to do? I was in a panic and unsure I would be safe coming home.

I could not go 10 days without physical therapy as that is the key to recuperation with orthopedic surgery. Fortunately I have been able to rely on the kindness of many friends for my needs — nursing help, overnight care, personal care and rides to the hospital for my outpatient physical therapy and blood work. Not everyone would be so fortunate.

I write this because I feel it is an appalling situation. What prevents VNA from contracting with other Island physical therapists when they have their own staffing shortages? Is this a funding problem? Or a staffing and operational problem? How can the situation be fixed? I would like to help remedy this situation so no one else has to fear returning home after hospitalization because they would have no home health services.

Abbe Burt

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following letter is addressed to state Rep. Eric T. Turkington, Rep.-elect Tim Madden, the Friends of Sengekontacket, the Farm Pond Association and Oak Bluffs and Edgartown town officials:

It is important to pay attention to weight limits and to not allow them to be increased for the upcoming work done by the state rebuilding the Beach Road bridges, for a number of reasons.

Beach Road is part of the Island Roads District, which was designed to protect the history and scenic character of specific roads.

Families visiting Oak Bluffs, Edgartown and all parts of the Island use the five-mile stretch of the Joseph Sylvia Beach because it is a wide, long and beautiful beach with the only safe, calm swimming available to the public. The safety of the public’s use of that beach is in jeopardy if the weight limits are increased, which would allow fully loaded 18-wheelers to take the quick way to Edgartown. The economic impact to the towns of Oak Bluffs and Edgartown would be hugely negative as families realized that the beach-side, roadside parking was too close to passing trucks to be safe enough to use.

Beach Road is a fragile barrier beach and the seawall along Sea View avenue is frail.

And last but not least, the tradition of children jumping into the water from the bridges should be preserved, which would not happen with large heavy trucks going by.

Please pay attention to the weight limits, and do not let them be increased.

Thea Hansen

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I believe the Vineyard Gazette owes the veterans, their families and other patriotic Americans a full explanation as well as a sincere apology for boldly posting a despicable, disgraceful, disrespectful, unpatriotic and anti-American picture of our torn, tattered-to-shreds American flag shown along with the names of our Island’s soldiers, sailors and marines currently serving on active duty in our armed services along with the names of Vineyard residents who are Iraq and Afghanistan veterans.

The picture was strategically placed right next to your editorial giving a big hurrah concerning Obama’s win in the Nov. 7 issue.

I am quite surprised that you didn’t include the picture of the Island’s group holding a picture of Obama’s buddy, Bill Ayers, stomping on the American flag posted in another magazine.

I can see why your readership continues to rapidly decline just like the present housing market nightmare created by Acorn, and Massachusetts’s own Barney Frank and the rest of his crew.

I could certainly go on but I am sure you get my point. Too many people at your paper had to have seen this picture on its way to being published and did absolutely nothing.

Woody Williams

Vineyard Haven

and Port Royal, SC.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Like most people who live on the Vineyard part- or full-time, my wife and I ride the Steamship Authority ferries often to and from Woods Hole.

On a recent trip, I noticed that flat screen televisions have been installed in the upstairs lounge of the ferries, as well as in the ferry terminals.

I am writing to express my disappointment and disapproval and to suggest that the Steamship Authority remove the televisions from these public areas at once. Here’s why:

The 45-minute ferry ride from Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard passes through some of the most beautiful seascape in North America.

And it used to be one of the most peaceful rides: 45 minutes to enjoy the serene, stunning views and fresh sea air‚ without the chatter of commercials, television announcers, talking heads, laugh tracks and the other noise that clutters so much of our public space on the mainland.

When passengers choose to surf the Internet on their laptop computers or listen to music on iPods, they do so without disturbing other passengers. Should people wish to watch television, they can certainly do so at home‚ again without disturbing others.

However, when you put on television in the public areas of the ferries, you force everyone to watch and listen‚ whether they want to or not.

I hope your readers will encourage the Steamship Authority to restore the peace and quiet so many of us look forward to during the ferry rides and remove the televisions.

You may be surprised to read this letter as I host two television shows on PBS. However, I would never want my shows broadcast in a public space where they might bother people who prefer to enjoy the quiet.

Steven Raichlen



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I purchased regular gas on Thursday, Nov. 6, in Raynham for $2.12. The owner told me it could be under $2 by the end of next week. I also bought gas here on Thursday early evening, after getting a loan from the bank to fill up the tank. It’s time again that the Attorney General’s office look into the price-setting policies of our local suppliers and retailers. Island selectmen, pick up the ball and do something for the electorate!

Ralph Friedman

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A few weeks ago a woman called the recreation department at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation to inquire about her daughter doing her art therapy internship with us.

I asked her to find out specifics on what supervision, license etc. that she would need and get back to me. We were very excited about the possibility of her working with our residents.

Unfortunately, I did not get the woman’s name or phone number. I am hoping that she will see this letter and call me at Windemere. I would love to meet with her and discuss the internship and working with the residents at Windemere.

Please call me at 508-696-6465, extension 722.

Betsy Burmeister

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following is an open letter to the Nantucket Anglers Club:

We surfcasters of Martha’s Vineyard believe the current stewardship of the Island Fishing Cup shall rightly come to an end on its first anniversary in Nantucket’s possession. All past contestants surely recognize that the first tournament, total weight aside, was decided in Nantucket’s favor, due in part to the meager size of that island and the propensity of us with size not to take advantage of those without.

Nevertheless, the surfcasters of the grand isle of Martha’s Vineyard shall take their fight to Nantucket on Friday, June 19, 2009 with supreme confidence that our friends and relatives shall rejoice upon our victorious return on June 21. Consequently, the name of that smaller island, engraved on one side of the cup, shall begin a long and uninterrupted tenure facing the dark stark wall of our trophy cabinet in Edgartown, while our name, engraved on the other side, shall, in victory, bask in sunlight.

In the spirit of sportsmanship and friendship, Martha’s Vineyard Surfcasters Association therefore, shall deliver its 2009 challenge in the persons of its finest fishers who shall test their winning skills and lay their lures enticingly upon the bounty of Nantucket’s bluefish and bass. Upon word of acceptance to our 2009 challenge, Vineyard surfcasters far and wide shall mark their calendars and begin preparations for the contest ahead. While anxiously awaiting your reply, I remain very truly yours.

Victor Colantonio