Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

How many wind turbines for Martha’s Vineyard?

Electricity is measured in kilowatt hours. One kilo equals 1,000. One 50-watt light bulb left on for 20 hours consumes one kilowatt hour of electricity (50 watts x 20 hours = 1,000 watt-hours = 1 kilowatt-hour).

The average U.S. household consumes about 10,000 kilowatt hours of electricity each year. A 10-kilowatt wind turbine (like the one at the Martha’s Vineyard High School) can generate about 10,000 kilowatt hours annually at a site with wind speeds averaging 12 miles per hour. The height of the high school’s 10-kilowatt wind turbine is 112 feet (to the top tip of the blade above the ground). The Massachusetts Maritime Academy built a 248-foot 660-kilowatt turbine. If the high school could have put up a 600-foot tall five-megawatt (mega equals a million) turbine instead of a 10-kilowatt wind turbine, that turbine could have produced more than 15 million kilowatt hours of electricity in a year — enough to power more than 1,400 households. There are approximately 14,000 households on the Vineyard. Ten five-megawatt turbines or 5,000 high school-sized wind turbines could supply the electrical needs of the Island.

Peter Cabana

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Last week’s front page article on wind resource assessment incorrectly stated that wind power planning on Martha’s Vineyard is proceeding without the necessary supporting data.

This assertion is fundamentally wrong.

Regional wind mapping has shown beyond any reasonable doubt that we have an exceptionally good resource — one of the best in the state. The Island terrain affects the wind at any particular site so individualized testing must take place to justify specific turbines. This specific site testing is not necessary to establish the overall feasibility of the wind resource.

The Vineyard Energy Project has not yet invested in, or made a commitment to, the development of wind turbines in any one location. We recognize, however, that the local wind resource is strong.

We enthusiastically sponsor the Community Wind Resource Mapping Project. This program will measure the wind speed for several promising sites and create an Island-wide database. That research will allow us to evaluate potential turbine locations based on accessibility and wind speed. It will help inform many local, community planning decisions. It will not affect the overall potential for wind energy development on and around Martha’s Vineyard.

Renewable power and energy efficiencies provide a path to a clean, sustainable energy future. For the Vineyard, the most abundant and powerful renewable resource is wind. It is time to harness this valuable resource to strengthen our community.

David McGlinchey

West Tisbury

David McGlinchey is executive director of the Vineyard Energy Project.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Electric lights were turned off for an hour across the country Saturday evening from about 8 p.m. to 9 p.m. In West Tisbury citizens complied for the most part with one exception: the parking lights around the perimeter of the Agricultural Society’s grounds. They were blazing forth and had been since late afternoon, even though daylight illuminated the landscape.

The event at the Ag Hall? A film showing how serious the squandering of electrical power can be. The co-sponsor of the film? The Ag Society itself. If it weren’t such a serious matter it would be laughable. Oops!

Heidi Schultz

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

So, here I am, worried as to whether or not I’m going to get any kind of tax refund this year, and in an attempt to distract myself, I go to Yahoo and see if there are any new headlines.

There is. It’s about AIG and how the New York Attorney General was stalled by AIG when documents were requested and that the much-disputed AIG bonuses were (in fact) mailed on Friday and that piece of information only got to the New York Attorney General Tuesday morning because AIG stalled Mr. Cuomo. Bonuses — our tax dollars — went to 73 persons, in amounts ranging from $1 million to $6.4 million! And — and! — these persons who received the bonuses, each of them worked in the financial products aspect of AIG, which is directly responsible for the collapse of AIG and forcing the government into a position — with world economic hanging in the balance — where the company had to be bailed out with our money! The kicker is that 11 of these persons are no longer working for AIG.

So I took a deep breath and did something I haven’t done before: I called the offices of Senators Kerry and Kennedy. I’m a registered independent and I believe that both Kerry and Gore got robbed of the presidency. But that’s neither here nor there. What has incited me even more is that I got two totally different responses from these two different offices.

To both persons to whom I spoke, I quantified that I had no aspirations to speaking with the senators; they are busy people, I know that. And I made it clear that I knew I was like a million other calls they received — and will continue to receive — over this topic. Senator Kennedy’s office was polite, tolerant and supportive. I asked what I could to do, as John Q. Public, to help the senator as he put himself into the fray. Mike, the person who answered the phone, said that just by calling the senator, that was help enough. Then I asked, very politely, whether or not the senator — or anyone in his office — had thought of a way where everyday people (like me) could help. He said he hadn’t heard of anything but that he’d be glad to bring it up. He graciously took my name, my phone number and told me that if anything was organized, that I’d be informed. Now, I have no delusions of grandeur. I know my phone number is going right in the circular file and that I’m going to be forgotten as soon as Mike moves on to his next task. But still, I got the warm fuzzies.

So much so that I called Senator Kerry’s office. Using the same exact verbiage and tone of voice, I repeated myself to a woman in Senator Kerry’s office. Not only did she not offer me her name, but she didn’t want to take mine. When I asked what I could do to help, she said that calling the senator’s office was help enough. When I asked if the Senator had/could thought/think of a way for us — John Q. Public — to help him, she said, “If he did, he would post it on the Web site and you could read it there.” Yeah, that generated warm fuzzies. That’s when I shared that I had just gotten off the phone with Kennedy’s office and that I had — quite frankly — been better received by Kennedy’s office. Hearing nothing but silence, I said, “Well, if that’s the way the Senator [Kerry] prefers to do business, then so be it. I still admire and respect the man.” Because, I do. He’s a great leader and damn good senator. I then asked if she at least wanted to take my e-mail address. That’s when she said if I wanted to stay informed that I’d have to send the senator an e-mail and that way I be on the mailing list. In a very disappointed tone, I thanked her for her time and suggested that perhaps the senator may want to take a look at how he interacts with his constituents.

I don’t want to be on a generic mailing list. I don’t want to be solicited for campaign donations or whatever project is coming up on the senator’s agenda. Right now, my ire is centred on the debacle that is AIG, the bailout, and these obscene bonuses. And, right now, I’m fired up. I want to galvanize people. I want to stage protests, bring in local news highlighting what local people think and feel about this national tragedy. But, what I don’t want to do is undermine whatever our elected leaders are planning to do. That’s why I called; I was looking to do what I could do for my country (and my sense of outrage). What I got was, at best, a pat on the head, and at worst, a “thanks but no thanks,” each within a span of five minutes, from the offices of two of the most respected men in the country.

Maybe I should never have picked up the phone to begin with, huh?

Nancy Gaffney

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In his March 13 letter compiling the woes besetting the Vineyard Haven post office, Woody Williams takes a side trip from the horrors of graffiti to make an unwarranted attack on war protestors whom he characterizes as “unpatriotic.” It may be that Mr. Williams had no difficulty in accepting misinformation, disinformation and/or a blatant dishonesty in a rush to an illegal war that has led to the killing, maiming and derangement of thousands of American men and women and tens of thousands more citizens of Iraq; but to tar those who did not accept that behavior by the Bush/Cheney administration as unpatriotic is at best naive and at worst ignorant. I am quite certain that Mr. Williams is a patriotic American, as are the millions who found the invasion of Iraq to be a grossly un-American activity.

Allan Manings

Edgartown and

Los Angeles, Calif.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would like to suggest a way to provide funding — at least in part — for the Island animal shelter: a small fee for each dog that travels on the ferry to and from Martha’s Vineyard. As a dog lover, I know that other dog lovers would gladly pay a small fee to support this important cause.

Charles Pinck

Washington, D.C.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I think that you should do a piece on the soon-to-be-voted on HR 875 and S425 food safety bill. Though laudable in intent, the vague wording of the bill needs urgent revision. This bill will likely place a very heavy burden on small operations, such as small family farms that exist on our Island. We don’t want to lose more local jobs here or anywhere in the country at this time. This is a very pressing issue, as the bill may be passed shortly.

Pat Brown

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Well, we did it again! The First Congregational Church of West Tisbury has completed 12 weeks of Wednesday night suppers for the community. We’ve given meals to approximately 675 people. This would not have been possible without the generous contribution of various meats donated by Cronig’s Market. Thank you, Steve Bernier. And every meal was completed with Black Dog bread, thank you! Congratulations to our church committees, directed by Rosalie Powell, for making all the delicious delights with fantastic desserts included. A special thank-you to John Kelleher, for table set-ups each week. We all enjoyed the wonderful meals and conversations throughout the quiet months. See you next year.

Brenda T. Lehman

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A huge thank-you to Peter Wells and his crew that run and maintain the Chappy Ferry. In all types of weather and conditions the captains and the crew are always there providing safe passage to Chappy 365 days a year. From everyone that uses the ferry, you are all the best!

Tom Kent

Scottsdale, Ariz.

and Chappaquiddick


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

How does one appropriately assess and then add to the memory of a truly fine man after he is gone?

Stanton C. Richards, private and public citizen, of West Tisbury, was such a man. A cheerful and friendly man of great character, integrity, decency and kindness. A gentleman’s gentleman, if you will.

A man, who along with my first cousins and late summer next door neighbor, author Robert Crichton, must have attended Depression era New York’s Bronxville High School concurrently where Chrichton, known as Ace, was the top pitcher on his baseball team.

I hadn’t known Stan was a World War II U.S. Army combat veteran of the Italian campaign, including Monte Cassino. The Italian campaign, along with the second battle of the Ardennes, or Bulge, in Belgium, was the most hellish and horrible of the entire war on the Western Front.

A highly respected veteran, Stan flew commercial aircraft from the Vineyard to Boston and successfully managed the Edgartown Yacht Club complex for 27 years. He also chaired the County of Dukes County selective service office for 20 years during the difficult Viet Nam War period and thereafter served the town of West Tisbury as assessor for another 33 years. In these posts, Stan gave the county and town the benefit of his life experience, wisdom and good judgement in matters fiscal and otherwise.

I can state categorically and without reservation that Stan was ACLU founder Roger N. Baldwin’s best friend and colleague during summers on the Vineyard, followed closely by famed Vineyard Gazette editor and publisher Henry Beetle Hough. I “inherited” Roger from my parents who had bought their place in Chilmark at exactly the same time as Roger and Evie bought theirs and am speaking as his volunteer summer driver for the last decade of his life. There was no one Roger was more happy to see than Stan.

Roger made everyone feel special in his presence. To be sure, as a lad, Stan must have been among the first generation of Roger’s young and husky, late teen to early twenties “canoe boys,” who would help haul the heavy, old, canvas and wood canoes from the Windy Gates barn to the Squibnocket Beach and town landing every summer since 1931. Not to mention the other Island ponds, great and small, salt or fresh, as Roger claimed to have dipped his paddle in them all, no doubt with Stan’s help!

I was proud to call him friend.

Indeed, where do we get such men as Stanton C. Richards?

Peter Colt Josephs