enough hypocrisy

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This from Laurie David’s (self-proclaimed environmental activist) blog on the Huffington Post:

“My favorite action tip for the week is to stop idling. On average, a car will burn more than half a gallon of fuel for every hour spent idling. In general, 10 seconds of idling uses more fuel than restarting the car, according to the U.S. Department of Energy. — Signing off from the Green Zone, Laurie David.”

I have a photograph of a Dynapac, used to roll over a newly built tennis court for Ms. David, that was parked by Bart Thorpe and left unattended at the side of my property with the motor running and fouling the air. Another photograph was taken this month by the Chilmark conservation officer Russell Walton. It shows heavy equipment tracks and boards thrown down in a roadway recently and illegally built in the wetlands on Ms. David’s property.

People are what they do, not what they say. Laurie David is no environmentalist, nor can I imagine what “green zone” Ms. David lives in. It certainly cannot be here on Martha’s Vineyard where she has created yet another illegal mess on her Chilmark property. Laurie David has again been found to be in violation of the Wetlands Protection Act by the Chilmark conservation commission. Perhaps Ms. David’s green zone refers to the piles of money it takes to build, tear out and damage legally protected wetlands and buffer zones on her nearly 75 acres of Chilmark property. As she must well know by now, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission. Ms. David has been taking the easier route since 2000 when she first paid workers to tear out environmentally protected trees on her property and then claimed she was sorry, she didn’t know. It’s time for her to stop. The only common denominator in the near decade-long years of illegal environmental abuses on her property is Laurie David herself, despite the different employees she pays and then blames as responsible. Any true environmentalist would have made certain there was never any further environmental degradation or illegal building after the first incident in 2000.

The Chilmark conservation commission has issued a six-page Massachusetts Department of Environmental Protection enforcement order to Laurie David and to Bart Thorpe, the person I see driving much of the heavy equipment to and from the David property. I live next door and am forced to see, smell and hear what it takes to be so environmentally reckless and irresponsible. Please join me at the next conservation commission meeting at Chilmark town hall on June 3 at 12:30 p.m. when Ms. David will have yet another opportunity to beg forgiveness. I encourage Chilmarkers who have had enough of the hypocrisy, excuses and damage to our wetlands to come to this meeting and voice their concern. I am hopeful that the conservation commission will firmly and finally act to stop Laurie David’s persistent and illegal damage to our local ecosystem.

Another quote from Laurie David: “If you do one little thing, you’re going to make your friends do it, you’re going to make your family do it . . . We all have to become global warming activists.”

Jacqueline Mendez-Diez



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Vineyard Gazette story on the Oceans Act draft in the May 8 issue was an example of sensationalist journalism not up to the usual standards of the Gazette. The newspaper allows Mark London’s opinions to get exposure without any cross-examination and on top of this adds fear-mongering in the headline and throughout the piece as well. The Gazette does not do any investigation on its own about how arduous it is to design, site, permit, finance and build off-shore wind turbines. Nor does it recognize that those who would do so would be highly sensitive to all the Island interest groups involved whether they be tourist-oriented or fishermen, precisely because they would need the broad support of the Island. The implication is that wind turbines would capriciously pop up on their own a mile off the beaches without warning. The article uses the term unregulated development to warn us of this in the second paragraph when in fact there is a complex process involved in erecting wind turbines including protracted preliminary technical requirements as well as multifaceted permitting requirements. Of course, if climate change and sea-level rise are not addressed, tourism will ultimately be affected in a major way by the flooding of many parts of the Island that we all love. And finally, don’t forget that when it comes to energy prices, Martha’s Vineyard is a captive market in the era of peak oil. The serious energy problems of the Island going forward are the proper context for this article’s subject but nowhere to be found in it.

Ted Bayne

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Oh what a night!

The Ballroom Dancers of Martha’s Vineyard sponsored a dance at the P.A. Club last Sunday night to benefit the YMCA. The evening began with a free swing dance lesson and some impressive moves on the floor. The crowd began to swell just in time for an energized performance by Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. What a great time! The joint was jumping while everyone danced off the cobwebs of the long off-season. The energy in that room was incredible.

I cannot express my thanks enough to Janet Holladay of the ballroom dancers for making this all possible. The bringing together of community in support of our Island Y is so heartwarming. Every little bit raised helps us toward our goal of filling the fund-raising gap. My thanks also go out to all of the ballroom dancers of the Vineyard who used the money they collected over the winter to sponsor this event, to Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish for their inspiring performance and to the wonderful folks at the P.A. Club for their generous hospitality and warmth.

Hats off to all of those who ventured out to dance the night away for such a great cause!

Be on the lookout for more Y fund-raisers throughout the upcoming season and by all means call me if you would like to sponsor another dance at the P.A. Club.

Christine Todd

Oak Bluffs

Christine Todd is development director for the YMCA of Martha’s Vineyard.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The Friends of Oak Bluffs have been around for many years, working to beautify Oak Bluffs by selling benches, bricks, lanterns, prints and more to fund our plantings and other projects. Last week the Friends of Oak Bluffs and a crew of volunteers added many beautiful new perennials to the David Healey Mall. We want to be certain to give credit where credit is due. This year the plants were donated and delivered by Crossland Nursery. We all owe a huge thank-you to Bernie and Mark Crossland who provided us with this gift.

Bernie and Mark have a great pride in our town and we are very fortunate to have them planting in our jewel Ocean Park and other places around town. Thank you Crossland Nursery!

Priscilla Sylvia

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On Wednesday, May 20, the American Cancer Society made an appearance on Martha’s Vineyard when it sponsored a wonderful program called Look Good Feel Better, during the breast cancer support group meeting for Island women who have met once a month for the past five years. Look Good Feel Better provides a kit containing a variety of quality cosmetic products to women dealing with cancer. With the professional assistance of Maggie and Daniella of Maggie’s Salon in Vineyard Haven, the women of the group were guided to use the products. It truly was amazing as women were transformed and made to feel better as they were pampered. We also had wigs, scarves, and caps to play with. We thank Gayle Bagley from the American Cancer Society who set the stage and provided treats, scarves and caps, Maggie Mae and Daniella, who helped us with the products, Leslie Look, who gave massages to each of the participants, Eden Nursery for providing flowers, and the Vineyard Haven Public Library for providing the venue. Most of all, thank you to each of the women who share their stories, encourage one another, and dare to look good and feel better as they battle cancer!

Kathy Stinson

Vineyard Haven