Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I read with great sympathy the letter from the owners of the Victorian Inn about the proposal for a restaurant on South Water street. It is hard to believe that the historic district commission would permit such a development in an area of inns and historic homes. Having been a homeowner here for 30 years, I want the beauty of Edgartown maintained. We have lost too much good business to draw people downtown on a daily basis already. Do we want to further discourage visitors to our downtown?

My winter home, Southport, Conn., has been protected for more than 40 years by firm hands making wise decisions at the historic district commission meetings. Often homeowners have felt these to be too strict but in the long run the beauty and the day-to-day life of the village have been preserved for future generations.

We do not need an outdoor cafe crammed into that small piece of land — the area that visiting sailors see first. I wonder what unknown influences worked on the zoning board of appeals and the historic district commission to permit such an intrusion.

Jane K. Dean


and Southport


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you to the Vineyard Gazette for publishing Liz Durkee’s informative and troubling series of articles explaining the likely effects of climate change on our precious Island. I hope that anyone who cares about the Vineyard will be sure to read all of them.

I also want to express my appreciation to Ms. Durkee for including a number of concrete things that each of us can do in our personal lives to make a difference. I know that her suggestions are motivating me to try a bit harder to shrink my family’s carbon footprint.

I wonder, however, whether Ms. Durkee may have skipped over the most important way that concerned Islanders can have an impact on climate change and its effects. After all, this is a global problem, and although individual and local efforts are certainly important, they cannot succeed unless they are part of a global effort. If our national leaders, in both government and business, do not make climate change a critical priority, our local efforts can have little impact.

The good news is that the Vineyard’s special features, the very things whose vulnerability Ms. Durkee has documented, attract an extraordinary assemblage of powerful and connected people to our shores. They know why they keep coming back here year after year. We need to make sure they understand how fragile all those things are — our beaches, our ponds, our fisheries, our flora and fauna. Perhaps that recognition can awaken them to the crisis of climate change and can arouse them to action that we alone cannot achieve.

So I hope that — in addition to adopting Ms. Durkee’s practical recommendations — you’ll also join me in reaching out, in whatever ways you can, to visitors and Vineyarders in positions of power and influence. Get them to read Ms. Durkee’s articles. Ask them whether they will help to protect our fragile ecosystem — and those around the world. Tell them that we need their leadership to bring climate change to the top of the national agenda.

Personally, I’m starting with a letter to President Obama. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt if others would do the same. But I’m not stopping there. I’m going to reach out to friends and acquaintances, to seek out connections to people who can influence national priorities, with the goal of using their love of the Vineyard to bring home the lunacy of leaving the threat of climate change unaddressed.

Peter Enrich



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I would like to add my congratulations to Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard as they celebrate their 30th anniversary.

As pointed out in the Gazette article of June 24, some consumer confusion exists because there are two hospice organizations on the Island. To mitigate some of that confusion allow me to correct one of the statements made in the article. Island Hospice does not operate through the Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA). In actuality, Island Hospice — a Medicare-certified hospice — is an independent, nonprofit organization that has contractual relationships with both Hospice of Martha’s Vineyard and the VNA.

In the case of the VNA, Island Hospice hires our nurses and aides when they admit one of our patients into their hospice program who chooses them for end of life care. For the patient, this makes for a seamless transition from home care to hospice care. Our patients are free to choose any hospice organization they prefer, and many patients in home care never choose hospice care of any kind.

Today, the VNA, a nonprofit home care organization, has a census of 300 patients, some of whom are at end of life. We, however, are not a hospice. Each of our 300 patients has a plan of care that was designed by their nurse to meet their individual needs. We have been delivering homecare for 27 years on Martha’s Vineyard and during that time we have received many awards and been recognized by organizations for the quality of our patient care. More importantly, our patient satisfaction is second to none.

Vineyard Nursing Association is a Medicare-certified home care agency and is accredited through the nationally recognized Certified Home Care Accreditation Program.

I appreciate the opportunity to correct the record.

Bob Tonti

West Tisbury

The writer is chief executive officer of the Vineyard Nursing Association.

The Vineyard Gazette welcomes letters to the editor on any subject concerning Martha’s Vineyard. The newspaper strives to publish all letters as space allows, although the editor reserves the right to reject letters that in her judgment are inappropriate. Letters must be signed, and should include a place of residence and contact telephone number. The Gazette does not publish anonymous letters.