Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The story “Islanders Hold Fast to Hope in Hard Times” in the Jan. 2 edition of the Vineyard Gazette contained errors about Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation, in our view. First, no mining of foundation properties occurred or was allowed. Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation allowed transplanting on its properties, in accordance with property management plan goals. Second, Sheriff’s Meadow Foundation was indeed aware of the work that was taking place at Priscilla Hancock Meadow, wrote to neighbors about the project, and noted the then existing arrangements with the landscaping firm in Sheriff’s Meadow’s 2006 Annual Report.

Adam R. Moore,

Executive Director

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The merchants of Edgartown are making it difficult to do business in town again this winter. At most half of the sidewalks are not shoveled or cleared even a week after a snowfall. This is not new and the culprits are the same merchants every year.

Some merchants clear the sidewalks well with regularity, others clear a path a snow shovel wide and many do nothing.

The town streets where I am forced to walk this last week were no better. Dock street was a mess of icy puddles and ridges of frozen snow and ice.

I routinely walk up from the Chappy ferry and try to negotiate around icy sidewalks to do business at the library, bank, hardware store, town hall and coffee shop and whatever else is open. The mess at the Triangle post office area is really shameful: either a flooded pond or a mass of ruttedice. The new Boathouse isthe worst in town followed by the Corner Paper Store and the whole length to a nd including the library. Forget it trying to get to the Harbor View.

I find that if I have to bring my car across from Chappy just to safely drive from one spot in town to another I just skip Edgartown altogether and do my shopping and business where I can walk a block without risking a fall. Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven have their acts together. Sidewalks are free and clear in those people and business friendly towns.

I don’t know if there’s an ordinance for sidewalk clearing in the business district or anywhere in Edgartown for that matter. If you really are interested in keeping a lively winter business climate you’ll try to show your customers that you really care about their business. Good luck with the absentee owners who moved their wares and themselves south. The few of you left may be among them soon if your customers stay away.

Will Geresy



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would sincerely like to thank everyone who helped me the night of Dec. 19 after I suffered a heart attack under the Christmas tree at my dear friend Jaime Hamlin’s annual holiday party. Thank you, Jaime. Thanks to Dr. Yukevich, Nina Thayer and the Tisbury ambulance for getting me to the hospital. Thank you Dr. Kendall and the emergency room team for diagnosing and stabilizing me. Thanks to the Coast Guard helicopter that attempted to reach the Island but had to turn back. There was no way off the Island that night. Thanks to the Oak Bluffs EMTs who drove me to Mass General at 6 a.m. on Dec. 20 through a blizzard, a horrendous and dangerous ride. You were great, professional and helpful. Thanks to Dr. Guiney for forgetting to turn off your beeper and taking Dr. Kendall’s 2 a.m. call. Thanks to the great Mass General and the wonderful nurses.

Thanks to Bridget Tobin, Commonwealth Care and L.D.

Happy New Year to everybody.

Robert Green



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Gazette in its story titled “You Don’t Have a Cell Phone? Good Luck Finding a Pay Phone” has brought to our attention a very important public safety issue. For the past few years I have been deeply concerned by the disappearance of pay phones on the Island, but particularly up-Island, since cell phones do not generally work in that area. Also, not all people have or carry cell phones.

This is a matter of public safety and should not be taken lightly. To their credit, when the matter that there were no pay phones in all of Menemsha was brought to their attention, the Chilmark selectmen put an emergency phone on the exterior of the harbor master’s shack. But the question is, how many people know it is there? What happens after hours, if someone has a heart attack in the Menemsha parking lot or falls off the jetty while fishing?

What is the responsibility of the town to its voters and visitors regarding public safety? How much of an expenditure should the town make for this form of public safety? How much would a lawsuit cost if someone died or became disabled because help could not be reached?

If this is not a matter for the town would it be a matter for Homeland Security to consider? Does someone have a solution?

Susan W. Shanok

Chilmark and

New York city


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I was incarcerated in an airtight enclosure of approximately two and a half feet by four feet and several inches on Saturday, Dec. 13 in Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church. I was hoping to watch the annual Minnesingers’ Holiday Concert.

I want to thank the Edgartown firemen for a speedy and most kindly response and thankful rescue. I would also like to thank all of those, especially those from the Minnesingers’ Parents Group, who were there to help.

I am also writing this letter on behalf of all severely handicapped people, and others, who need and want to be able to attend events in public venues. The handicapped elevator in the Whaling Church is too old and too small to accommodate a power chair like mine. I did maneuver my chair in but when the outer steel door was slammed shut, it pulled back the metal screen which must be shut before the outer door can be reopened. It is also illegal to be unable to call for help. The telephone is located so high that I could not reach it. [I cannot stand or move my paralyzed legs.]

I am asking all of you to call the Edgartown Old Whaling Church to replace the present inadequate handicapped elevator for a federally approved accessible entry to the auditorium. It would also be appropriate to have several spaces in the front row [i.e. accessible] for wheel chairs. Remind the beautiful, beloved and historic Whaling Church that as a public venue, it must be accessible for the handicapped.

Barbara Bick

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the Edgartown School community we would like to take this opportunity to thank the people and businesses that made it possible for the Edgartown School to once again donate 25 boxes of food to Red Stocking to give to families in need during the holidays.

The Edgartown School has been assembling its food boxes for the past 31 years and we owe a great deal to the many people and businesses that continue to make this possible. We warmly thank the students and families for their donations of nonperishable food, the school staff for monetary donations to help purchase meat, fruits and vegetables, Carroll’s trucking for donating the 25 boxes, and Cronig’s Market for helping to offset the cost of the perishable food items. For the past 30 years, the A& P, and then Stop & Shop of Edgartown, have been our partners in this endeavor. This year the situation changed, and Stop & Shop was unable to make a commitment. Sarah McKay, Cronig’s store manager, came to our rescue with open arms and a warm heart. Sarah and owner Steve Bernier were delighted to help us continue this very valuable tradition and for this we are grateful and appreciative. We thank all for the generosity, and we look forward to working together again next year.

Sandy Joyce and Barbara Reynolds

Edgartown and Vineyard Haven