Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Thank you Pam Dolby, Jennifer Rand, Edgartown selectman and all the other Island town officials that are pushing Comcast to provide service to Chappaquidick. It is amazing to me that Comcast, a major corporation with massive financial and corporate resources, cannot find a way to either make the Chappaquiddick project financially feasible or see it as part of an overall obligation for the right to provide services to Martha’s Vineyard.

So Comcast, where is the financial analysis of what revenues you would get from Chappaquiddick? As a resident, I have never received any questionnaire or contact relating to what Comcast services I might want to purchase. Now that NStar has installed conduit under the harbor, how does that change the cost of building the system? How about other revenue sources to make the project successful? The town recently released an RFP for a DAS system; could you not use part of your system to provide that service creating a whole new revenue stream for the Chappy installation?

According to newspaper accounts, you would like others to somehow pay for this project. If it is investors you are looking for, then put a proposal on the table and let the private sector participate.

But in the end this is about a mega company with over $4 billion in annual profits (2011) saying they don’t want to do something, and expecting everyone to just go away. A recent FCC ruling just gave Boston the right to regulate the rates Comcast charges for some of its services, a departure from the 2001 deregulation of rates. People are tiring of the one-way approach, and like the city of Boston are taking a stand. Come on, Comcast, shed some of the mega-corporation persona, assume the hungry, small business approach and work with the community to come up with a creative solution that works in everyone’s best interest.

Woody Filley



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The April 13 edition of the Gazette reported that voters overwhelmingly backed a dredging plan for the manmade Mill Pond.

In fact, the article placed on the annual town meeting warrant by the town Mill Pond committee simply requested permission from the town meeting to pursue grant funding for an undefined project at the Mill Pond. The article was approved by town meeting voters, but only after being amended to include the provision that the committee must come back to town meeting for per- mission to spend any money.

At this point, the only plan that exists are several conceptual designs in a report the committee obtained from its consultant, ESS Group. These conceptual designs could cost from $150,000 to $700,000. The report cost taxpayers $22,400 in Community Preservation Act funds, with an additional $1,000 spent to have Carl Nielsen of ESS Group come to give a short presentation at town meeting on April 10. In my opinion, the conceptual designs will not improve the habitat at Mill Pond for our native fish and wildlife, and are not sustainable over time.

The stated goals in the ESS Group report relating to sediment and nutrient uptake in the constructed wetland component of their conceptual design are likely already being accomplished in shallow areas in the upper end of the Mill Pond, at no cost. The water in the pond, while warm, is of good quality, partly because the Mill Brook stream flow adds and removes about three times the volume of the Mill Pond (185,000 cubic feet) each day.

Townspeople who enjoy the Mill Pond can continue to do so without spending a dime. There is no need to do anything so environmentally detrimental as dredging the pond — it’s fine, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon.

At the very least, do no more harm.

Prudy Burt

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It was nice to read Gregory Wallance’s piece on Friday which challenged President Obama’s online documentary that compared his challenges today to those facing FDR. The Road We’ve Traveled is the opening salvo in Mr. Obama’s $1 billion campaign to get reelected and even his supporters, like Mr. Wallance, are finding fault with it.

Mr. Wallance concludes, “President Obama deserves, in my view, great credit for intelligently and skillfully managing the country’s recent economic trevails.” Call me crazy, but I don’t see how he came to this conclusion. I think the Obama agenda has made the great recession worse, not better. Instead of cutting spending, he increased it to record levels, saddling us with historic debt. His green energy strategy has been a disaster, supporting companies that should not get help, like Solyndra. His energy policy has helped drive up gasoline to record levels while hurting oil exploration efforts and killing the XL Pipeline. Obamacare is the most visible and unpopular program in modern history. Nearly 75 per cent of Americans oppose it and it will crush any hopes of reigning in federal spending and improving care at every level. Businesses are already bracing for the dramatic impacts.

While gas prices keep rising, the unemployment numbers remain high. Millions can’t find work and millions more have already “disappeared” off government records. All Mr. Obama can come up with is the so-called Buffet rule. But we all know it is a ruse that would reduce the deficit by less than one per cent. And those who read the papers know that higher taxes are already in the works for everybody.

Mr. Obama favors European-style socialism with a growing government sector that manages more and more of our lives. This is bad on so many levels. We need only look at the news to see how our allies across the Atlantic are struggling. There are marches in the streets while governments struggle to solve their mounting debt problems. France, for instance, is running public debt at 90 per cent of GDP. This is where we are headed under Mr. Obama’s leadership.

I welcome Mr. Wallance’s expertise on Mr. Obama and his economic strategy, but I am not the only one who is skeptical about the president’s ability to cope with this crisis. A recent poll found Mitt Romney was regarded stronger on the economy. A new Gallup Poll found that only 24 per cent of Americans think we are on the right track. That means the vast majority disagree with the direction we are going as a country. After nearly four years in office, I think we know Barack Obama well enough to judge his vision by his success or lack of success. Nov. 2 will be the day America grades his performance.

Peter Robb

Oak Bluffs and Holliston


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On April 10, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, West Tisbury, and Tisbury voters passed town resolutions supporting Massachusetts Senate Resolution S.772. Chilmark followed suit on April 23, and Aquinnah votes the question on May. 8.

The Senate resolution is designed to protect the free speech rights of people, not corporations. It is supported by Cape and Islands Sen. Dan Wolf, Rep. Tim Madden and millions of people throughout the U.S.

Having passed town resolutions, the challenge now is to get the committee on the judiciary to move the resolution forward for a vote in the Massachusetts legislature. We can help make this happen by contacting the two chairmen of the committee.

Chris Fried

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

As the Oak Bluffs representative to the Cape Light Compact, the region’s energy efficiency program coordinator, I would like to publicly thank Ewell Hopkins and his boy scout troop for helping to distribute this year’s free CFL light bulbs at the Oak Bluffs annual town meeting. The bulbs are more traditional in looks and will each save $1.57 in yearly operating costs, and a small portion of their cost will go to the Ellie Fund to help fight breast cancer. Ewell continues to do a great job of connecting his scouts to various Island events and offering their energy and enthusiasm as a resource while helping them learn about vital functions of our thriving community.

Richard Toole

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Martha’s Vineyard Community Services would like to give a big thanks to everyone who helped make electronics disposal day spring 2012 a success! Besides benefitting Community Services, Island residents also saved $4,970 by recycling their televisions and monitors with us instead of through traditional means (based on current Island pricing).

Thank you to all who helped: our recycling partners, volunteers, community service workers, Tom Seeman of Island Bottled Water for providing us with transportation and for helping so many elderly and disabled with home pickups, Brian Kennedy who provided help from community corrections, Elizabeth Rothwell of the Harbor View Hotel for providing rooms for off-Island helpers, and Steve Beck, Nate Beck, and Rochelle for all your expertise and guidance. And most importantly, thanks to the Vineyard community for all your support and participation that made the day possible.

Julia Burgess

Oak Bluffs

The writer is executive director of Community Services.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Another reason to love this wonderful Island! The Edgartown Library has organized a delightful series of Sunday afternoon viewings of Downton Abbey.

Thanks to the hard work of Virginia Munro, guests at these events not only get to see these wonderful dramatic performances but get to have tea served in china cups with gorgeous vintage teapots. Tea is served with finger sandwiches, crumpets and dainty desserts — all provided by Virginia. Elegant and delicious food, incredible presentation, great conversations among the guests and the drama from Downton Abbey. Kudos to Virginia Munro and the Edgartown Library for presenting this series.

Gerry Moriarty



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

In 1980 Mike Wallace rented a house around the corner from me in Edgartown for the summer. I was working on a book about Thomas Hart Benton at the time, and he was interviewing Tom for 60 Minutes.

It was inevitable our paths would cross. Mike and his lovely wife Lorraine became very special friends.

“Mike’s a marshmallow,” Dick Salant, his boss at CBS, told me. And when I asked him if he would be willing to do a program at the Old Whaling Church to raise money for the Old Sculpin Art Gallery, he was more than willing, even bringing Harry Reasoner for one of the programs. It attracted an overflow audience. He never refused to do something for the Island which he had known since childhood. We will miss him.

Polly Burroughs

Jamestown, R.I.


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Once I took a lavender bath by candlelight with the cool evening air blowing over my body and the evening sky silhouetting flowering trees and pear blossoms out of knee-high ancient windows. Scottish soap left from visitors last fall reminds me of past travels and tall daffodils from healthy Vineyard soil bloom in Oma’s many painted pitchers.

I am at peace here. Such silence in April; such calmness and beauty. The first evening star appears. Treetops dance. The wind whistles through screen windows. Birds murmur quiet evening lullabies and church bells toll. This is my last night on Wilbur Lane. This gift will not be forgotten. This home will always stay within me. This place will always be inside my beating, bleating heart.

Good night moon and teal blue painted sky.

Dorothy Putnam