Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I was wondering after reading the story headlined “African American Community Blasts Magazine Article,” what exactly was the point? Does one journalist commenting on another journalist for a thinly veiled attack on the integrity and lifestyle of a section of our Island community warrant that much ink? In my opinion, I’m just being sociological, a real testament to black achievement would be to ignore this controversy, enjoy the summer and love thy neighbor.


Matthew Burke

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As a visiting boater to the Vineyard, I’m writing about the increased mooring fees in Oak Bluffs harbor and how they may be negatively affecting the business revenue.

First a little background: we have been making the annual pilgrimage to Oak Bluffs aboard the Dally Cally since Hurricane Bob came through on August 19, 1991. We have been successful in convincing friends and fellow yacht club boaters that the rafting of boats on one mooring is not that bad and have talked up this location to all sorts of cruisers. It has become a tradition for our family and many of our friends to come back each year. Currently we have seven boats in the harbor and a total of eleven have come this last week. Our children, now grown, all chased the brass ring at the Flying Horses, and now return to visit the Island from around the country to have a reunion of sorts. Two of the adult children now have their own boats and will come into the mooring field later this week. In years past, some of the boats would stay for three weeks and during that time spend a lot of money throughout the Island at restaurants, laundry, groceries, takeout, gift shops, hardware, etc.

Back when we started visiting Oak Bluffs, I believe the cost to rent a mooring was around $10; now it is $40. The last couple of years we are cutting our visits short because of the mooring costs, in favor of more reasonably priced or free harbors nearby. It is too bad for us and bad for your businesses.

We are leaving and you don’t know why!

Look at the big picture. Your community could capture more revenue by having reasonable mooring fees; reduce fees if you are rafting, weekly rates, etc. The word would spread again that Oak Bluffs is a boat-friendly town. Our group is considering other locations; would you rather have half the mooring spots used at $40 or all of them at $25? Raising fees is cutting down the overall potential revenue the town’s businesses receive.

You are pricing your harbor out of business.

We hope this is constructive information and look forward to returning next summer.

Joe Callahan



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A modest man with a gentle nature who tirelessly advocated for the people of Martha’s Vineyard: that was Jack Ware. A man who served the Island for 20 years with quiet energy and generosity of spirit and left behind a legacy that will live forever.

On June 30, Jack Ware died at the age of 90. All of us at the Permanent Endowment Fund are greatly saddened by the loss of the man who brought to life the Vineyard’s community foundation 26 years ago. Jack recognized the many different needs of the Island and created the endowment as a way to help meet those needs. He was our founder, our leader and our friend and he will be greatly missed.

Jack retired to the Island in 1981 but certainly did not retreat from public service. In establishing the Permanent Endowment Fund in 1983, he recognized that a community foundation would provide an effective means of bringing together the generosity of many to help meet the needs of all of the Island community. In his words, “Men and women who live on Martha’s Vineyard, visit here, leave and return, spend summers and then retire here all share the belief that this Island is a unique and precious place in which to live, work, and play. With their love of the Vineyard, they also share care and concern for its people and its beauty, and a sense of its abiding and special qualities in a setting where winds and waves remind us all of eternity. These men and women, wherever else they may go, never forget the Vineyard. And it could mean much to many of them if the Vineyard never forgot them either.”

For 16 years, Jack Ware guided the growth of the Permanent Endowment with patience and care. In his lifetime, the endowment has grown from an initial gift of $60,000 to almost $6 million in assets. It has supported the work of Island nonprofits through 785 grants totaling over $1.5 million and awarded more than $1 million in scholarships to over 500 Island students pursuing higher education. Quite a legacy for a humble man who never sought accolades for his efforts on behalf of the community.

As announcements of his death have noted, it was Jack’s wish that gifts in his memory be made to the Permanent Endowment Fund. The endowment has established the Jack Ware Fund for Martha’s Vineyard in his honor and already is welcoming gifts from those whose lives he touched. Once again, we thank Jack for his love of this Island, his devotion to the service of others and for the better life he has helped bring to all of us.

Ralinda Lurie

Oak Bluffs

Ralinda Lurie is executive director of the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Your article on David McCullough’s talk last Sunday afternoon left out one very important detail: the Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library.

This was the latest in a series of talks presented free by the friends of the library to honor Vineyard writers. These talks are extremely popular: the tickets for this year’s talk were made available on June 1, and all 150 seats were gone in less than 24 hours! Standing room tickets for the back of the garden were then issued, and also went almost immediately. Other events over the years have honored Lillian Hellman, William Styron, Art Buchwald, Linda Fairstein and Philip Craig.

I would like to thank our friends’ president Myra Stark and our new library director Amy Ryan for facilitating this event. I would also like to thank the volunteers who provided cookies and brownies as well as lemonade and iced tea for our refreshment afterward, as well as the dozen friends who served as ushers and otherwise helped out.

We are truly blessed to have such a wonderful public library which provides so many excellent programs to us free of charge.

Thank you to all who made this possible.

Ellen Miller Eisenberg

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Lucy Vincent is not disappearing nor does she need a facelift as your paper has reported.

Lucy Poole Mosher Vincent was a dear lady who was a greatly respected Chilmarker. She served as our librarian for over 20 years, was a noted ornithologist who led bird walks with adults and with school groups and was vitally interested in all aspects of town affairs.

She became blind in her late years but kept up with her gardening, birding and “talking books,” dying in 1970.

She most certainly was not a beach, she was not cliffs and most assuredly was not a rock band. Those of us who loved and respected Lucy and are related to her are greatly disturbed by the fact that the paper reports the beach as though it were a person. To pacify all of us, include the word “beach” or better yet, report it as Vincent Beach.

Harriet Poole Otteson