Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It is time for us all to embrace wind power. What a joy it is to see these beacons of hope sprouting up here in New England. How can anyone who uses electricity not think the same? Isn’t it great driving from Woods Hole to Falmouth? To see the white blades soaring into the sky saying, “We are on the grounds of an institution of higher learning — we are here to promote the greater good for all!”

Or to see the multiple small turbines at a nursery in Westport. Did they get special treatment because they are in agriculture? I don’t know. If they did, great. More power to them.

Or to drive into Tiverton, R.I., and see the really huge one. Even Rhode Island can get it together to approve these things!

Which summer was it, 2009? Three small wind turbines went up in West Tisbury. Don’t we all feel pride to live in a place where people care. I know I do.

To be sure, bird safety is a big concern. Hopefully technology will come up with a solution to protect birds. As we have more turbines with more research and information coming in, science may show how to keep birds away from spinning blades.

To read the letters from the complainers with their greedy, self-centered attitude of their spoiled views, I just don’t get it. The turbine on South Road is right in my sunset view. It doesn’t make me upset. It makes me feel hopeful and happy.

Embrace wind power. Any wind power. Anywhere!

Arnie Fisher Jr.

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

This is a letter to Martha Vineyard inhabitants, both the annual and seasonal types. The Chilmark zoning board of appeals recently approved a request for two wind turbines to be built on the Island. As a neighbor of the Grey Barn, I feel compelled to voice my concerns to the Island and its lucky inhabitants. My family has owned property in Chilmark since 1886 and deliberately left a soft carbon footprint.

Years ago, when all fast food restaurant applicants were turned down (except Dairy Queen) and the four-way stop deemed better than a stop light at intersections, this was clearly to preserve Martha’s Vineyard quaintness.

A 150-foot wind turbine is not quaint. Nor will it provide enough power to sustain a farm. It will kill birds and disturb wildlife, keep neighbors awake and probably contribute an unhealthy environment to all. The production in China of the material to produce the magnets for the turbines has left an environmental catastrophe.

Holland no longer builds these turbines because of their lack of effectiveness over the life of the turbine. So the idea has crossed the ocean in search of new customers. Once built, the gigantic 15-story structures will resemble the oil derricks in Texas and the ocean-hiding skyscrapers in Miami. The serene footing of Martha’s Vineyard will be lost forever.

My grandmother, Mildred Purdom, would say be careful what you wish for. There must be another way for the Island to seek a green image without losing its identity.

Jeannine Hiers Sample

Alexandria, Va. and Chilmark


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In January 1978 southern New England had four storms with the snowstorm of Jan. 20, 1978 being the worst in over a century, with 21 inches of snow in Boston, 12 to 20-foot drifts and wind gusts up to 62 miles per hour. That broke the old Boston record of 19.4 inches set on Feb. 16 and 17, 1958. The January 1978 total was 36 inches. The January 2011 total in Boston measured over 40 inches. Storms were lined up in the Pacific in both 1978 and 2011 slamming into the West Coast every four to six days.

We turned into February 1978 thinking the event of the winter was behind us. However, a storm moved out of the Midwest and redeveloped off Cape Hatteras on Sunday, Feb. 5, and the forecast was for six inches for Monday, Feb. 6, for most of the region. The storm developed like a hurricane and moved very slowly toward southern New England. For the 24-hour period ending at 7 p.m., Feb. 7, a record snowfall of 23.6 inches had fallen on Boston; wind gusts were up to 125 miles per hour and some areas had received 45 to 55 inches of snow. The 21-inch total for January 20, 1978 was broken 17 days later by the Great Blizzard of 1978, breaking all snow records since meteorological data were first noted in 1882!

As we turn into February 2011, a storm is predicted for Feb. 2 and 3 (Tuesday and Wednesday this week), another for the weekend. Storms are lined up in the Pacific as frigid air from Siberia flows into Canada and the United States. All the ingredients for major storms are present, very similar to 1978.

There’s an old saw that says, “As the days get longer the storms get stronger.” Will February 2011 be like February 1978? Who knows . . . the potential is there. We’ll soon find out!

Edward Higham



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

At another famous tea party there were, besides Alice, a Mad Hatter, a March Hare and a Dormouse (asleep). The Hatter asks the table why a raven is like a writing desk. Alice thinks riddles are nice, but is prevented trying to give an answer on purely procedural grounds.

The Hatter looks at his watch to see what day of the month it is, but it is off by two days because the March Hare had told him to put butter in it: “The very best butter!” So they try putting it in tea.

The Mad Hatter makes a statement that for Alice “has no sort of meaning at all and yet seems certainly to be in English.” Then he asks if she has solved the riddle yet. “I give it up,” says Alice, “What is the answer?” “I don’t have the slightest idea,” he replies. “Nor I,” says the Mad Hare. So they sing “Twinkle, twinkle, little bat, how I wonder where you’re at,” while the Dormouse in his sleep goes on saying “Twinkle-twinkle-twinkle . . .” until they pinch him to make him stop. As Alice leaves, the others are putting the Dormouse in the teapot.

How fortunate that all this has nothing to do with our present public affairs . . .

Edward Hewett