Vineyard Lobstering

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Regarding your recent article on the lobster industry on Martha’s Vineyard (March 19), I was very surprised at Louis Larsen’s statement that “Maine’s and Canada’s lobsters were much better than the ones caught locally!” Wonder what Louis Sr. would have to say about that? All the lobsters that I see being shipped in from Maine and Canada have been pounded up for so long that they have no antennas and the meat has shrunk because they haven’t been eating. They are cheaper, that is why they are better for the retailers.

Locally caught lobsters are of very high quality, coming from very clean waters. Granted lobsters do shed, and, having a new shell, it is softer and hasn’t totally filled with meat yet, as happens in Maine and Canada as well. Up there they sell them as shedders at a different price. There is also a demand for new shell lobsters (shedders). Hard shell lobsters are sold at a higher price. The spotted or shell diseased lobsters are more and more in demand due to the high meat content; these haven’t shed as yet, and therefore are packed with meat. These are the ones Mr. Larsen pays the least for, yet charges the most when sold as pure lobster meat by the pound ($40 to $50).

I would think that Mr. Larsen, being a former fisherman himself would do everything possible to help his local lobstermen by promoting their locally caught fresh lobsters, that are not trucked down from Canada. Some markets actually have two tanks, one with and labelled New England lobsters and the other Canadian. On your Island you should distinguish between Vineyard caught and imported. Give the customer a choice. Vineyard lobsters are better then imported ones, and that’s a fact. Local lobstermen should also be paid more for their product, especially since you purchase the imported ones so cheaply. I was told that your local lobsters actually have printed on their bands the name of the boat that caught them and that they were caught locally. So you can actually tell where they came from. Good idea on someone’s part!

Remember, lobsters are extremely healthy to eat. They contain less fat than chicken breast and have low cholesterol, but contain more of the good cholesterol. Just go easy on the butter. Good eating!

Jon Vincent

New Bedford

Better Bus Schedule

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

While I think the VTA does a very good job at a very reasonable fare level, there could be room for improvement.

Being a seasonal resident of the Island for more than two decades, good fortune allowed me to take advantage of the beautiful day, Sunday last, March 21, and make a quick trip to Edgartown as a walk-on passenger on the 1:15 out of Woods Hole. To make the passage seem shorter and to get into the Island frame of mind, I always make sure I have three quarters in order to purchase a copy of the Gazette before I board. There was a very interesting and informative supplement in the March 19 edition about the Island Plan. While I have yet to read the supplement in its entirety I did a quick peruse and did read the section on making our transportation work better. It states, “We need to expand and improve our bus system...” As we were inside the Vineyard Haven breakwater, I was making small talk with an SSA employee and noticed a bus in the usual spot for pickup. I commented that I could almost guarantee it was the #1 bus and it would depart before I could get there. I was correct on both scores. Luckily for me, the weather was beautiful and I only needed about two hours in Edgartown, so I waited the 20 minutes for the next departure, or otherwise there would have been a needless taxi to Edgartown trip. There are five instances per day where the #1 bus departs the SSA terminal in Tisbury 10 minutes or less prior to the boat’s arrival. There are four instances a day of the same for the #3. What is even worse is if you are on the late boat Friday, Saturday, Sunday or holidays at this time of year, the #13 leaves 10 minutes before the boat’s arrival and the #1 leaves 20 minutes before the boat’s arrival, making the VTA not an option.

I feel that if we want to improve the VTA and increase ridership, tie the VTA schedule to the SSA schedule so the buses depart 10 minutes after the ferry’s arrival, not before. There are also three instances where the #1 arrives within four minutes after the SSA departure and the #13 has five incidences of arrival six minutes after the SSA departure.

The VTA is a good deal. After all, $3 to Edgartown (bus fare) sure beats $20 (for a taxi). In fairness to the VTA, Peter Pan departures out of Woods Hole are even less coordinated. Thank you.

Roman Wajer


and Woodstock


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

A big thank you to Frank Folts Sr. of Sundog in Edgartown for his weekly reminder of the end of winter and the beginning of spring on the front page of the Gazette. It gives everyone a lift to know warmer, sunnier days are just around the corner.

Sylvia Metell

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

While listening to Bill Moyers interview Jane Goodall the other night about her view of the world, I could not help but think of the straw vote at the Chilmark board of appeals, denying Granville and Lynne White of their ability to install a 5 kilowatt turbine (a small wind turbine) on their 63-acre piece of land.

Goodall talked of her work with chimpanzees and their similarity to our species. She talked further about our unique abilities to think abstractly and to use our minds in ways that are beyond that of other species. She said that since the Industrial Revolution, we have been using the earth in such a way as to participate in our own demise and she marveled, given our special cognitive abilities, at our denial of this trend.

She talked about her own efforts to keep species alive and celebrate others who are doing so despite the mounting evidence of a sixth extinction of the earth’s species. She talked about standing on some cliffs in Greenland watching as huge icebergs broke up and melted into the sea while the Inuit people who were watching with her had tears streaming down their cheeks.

We need to all do our part to ensure the health of the Island and earth for future generations. We need to get beyond our fear of the unknown, and our desire for everything to stay the same and look at the challenge of how to leave the Island and earth in good shape while at the same time providing the energy that we all want to be able to use now.

These smaller turbine projects and solar arrays are just a beginning and a way to get the community engaged in generating the power that we need. They pave the way for the larger scale efforts in both the efficiency and renewable generation that are needed to meet our energy demand in a sustainable way. We don’t have a lot of time to meet this challenge. Instead of slowing the process, we need to work together to find ways to embrace new technologies while keeping values such as the beauty of our Island in mind. We need to stop thinking small and instead think expansively about the Island and earth’s future and do things that will serve our children and our children’s children and beyond.

We should applaud people like Granville and Lynne who want to do something to help instead of turning them away and hoping that some big thing will come along to solve the earth’s problems. And applaud planning boards such as Oak Bluffs’ for their efforts to encourage wind generation in their town.

Every solar array, every wind turbine, every efficiency project that is done now is a ray of hope. Each of these efforts is a gesture of caring for the future of the Island and the earth and is in that way so beautiful.

Kate Warner

West Tisbury

Rebuilding Haiti

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Even though months have passed since the earthquake in Haiti, assistance is still needed. I know that Vineyard residents have helped in aiding the Haitian people and continue to as well. The support cannot stop now or any time soon. Haiti has always been one of the poorest countries in the world, but after the earthquake, they need more help to stabilize their country.

I am a Vineyard resident who is attending Salve Regina University in Newport, R.I. As a university project, we are attempting to help rebuild a school in Cite Soleil, Haiti. We are partnering with Haiti Mary Care and The Haitian Project. Our biggest fundraiser will be to create a tent city on the grounds of the school, which we hope will promote awareness and raise funds for our endeavor. The people involved need to be sponsored, so we can stay up all night to bring awareness to the Haitian devastation. If anyone is interested in sponsoring me or wants more information, please get in touch at We are hoping to raise $100,000 by the end of the semester. All donations are tax deductible.

Thank you for your help.

Sagitta Woodman

West Tisbury

Save Nantucket Sound

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Nantucket Sound — once it’s gone, it’s gone forever. Think about that for a minute. Nantucket Sound — not only is this beautiful body of water a public natural treasure of the Cape and Islands, but it is also culturally and spiritually a home for the Wampanoag Tribes. One has to wonder why this ugly debate of preservation or industrialization continues, but it does.

Now, more than ever, is the time to take a stand and let the federal government know that the beauty of Nantucket Sound should not be destroyed by a private developer. A private — wealthy — developer who will get even richer from the government subsidies, funded by our tax dollars, which will be thrown his way if this project is approved.

Together we need to have our voices heard one more time to help save Nantucket Sound.

Rebecca S. Everett

Oak Bluffs

Celebrity Waiters

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I have to say thank you, thank you, thank you to all the people who helped to make the Celebrity Waiters Pasta Dinner at the Federated Church, for the benefit of the Haiti PeaceQuilts project, such a huge success! Thanks to my committee, who are the best, and to all the other members of the church who pitched in! Thanks to the PeaceQuilts people for their wonderful help and participation. Special thanks to Joe Capobianco, our chief cook and bottle washer! And, of course, thanks to the “celebrity” waiters who made the evening so much fun, as well as so profitable!

Last but not least, thanks to the Vineyard Haven Stop & Shop and Cronig’s for their generous donations, which certainly helped us make more money for the benefit!

Barbara Peckham

Oak Bluffs

A Very Sad Day

Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The following is a copy of a letter sent to Rep. John Boehner, minority leader of the U.S. House of Representatives:

Yesterday was a very sad day for the Republican Party.

I grew up in Steubenville, Ohio, where my father was a general practitioner of Republican persuasion. When I received my MD degree in 1973 in Cincinnati, Richard Nixon was in the White House developing a plan for national health coverage. My classmates and I, and my father, felt strongly that such a plan should exist to make health care available to all Americans.

Unfortunately, the Republican Party lost its vision and gave in to selfish interests and extreme right wing sentiments.

Since 1973 I have worked in a medical system that has diminished patients and doctors alike and has made our public health statistics the laughing stock of the developed world.

The Republican Party is largely responsible and has betrayed its traditions and the country, and you seem to be a major example of this betrayal.

What’s more, recently you have encouraged oafish conduct among your constituents.

Please change your ways and your vision. If you look back into the traditions of Republicanism, you will find just cause to care for your fellow Americans and support legislation which reduces human suffering.

Recently in Massachusetts, where I practice, we have enjoyed a system that makes health care available to everyone, and the feeling among my patients is of great relief. Sure, there is red tape, but people who have been too poor to seek medical care are now coming in for problems long neglected.

Please visit Massachusetts and see how a compassionate approach works.

You, Mr. Boehner, are the one who should be ashamed of your opposition to helping your fellow Americans! I am sure the history books will look upon your “leadership” with sadness and ridicule.

Gerald Yukevich

Vineyard Haven