Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Steven Carter’s letter to the editor regarding dogs on Lambert’s Cove Beach was unfortunate in its tone and further heated up an already hot issue. A true compromise came out of the annual town meeting to allow summer days that include both time that is people only, and time when residents can share walks and water play with their dogs. The challenge now is to develop a plan to put it in action and enforce it effectively and sustainably.

Because of earlier misfires, it is understandable that those who have come to prefer a dog-less beach are skeptical. However, the committee organized to come up with a plan for the benefit of all is a group of committed, high-functioning adults that is confident it is up to the task. Unfortunately, sometimes it takes the threat of losing something precious to make us hunker down and get serious about solving a problem.

West Tisbury is a wonderful community known for its lively debates and informed citizenry — not a cookie cutter town. That quality has a lot to do with why many of us love living here. We all share a desire to enjoy a clean and peaceful beach for swimming, walking and picnicking with family and friends. And we are also concerned that we might lose qualities of life that we value.

It is wonderful and grounding to spend time on quintessential Lambert’s Cove Beach, and for some of us that walk is with our dog. Many of us have built this into our Vineyard lifestyle, even our exercise, and would miss it terribly as many of us would also miss biking, fishing, kayaking, riding, etc. For seasonal residents, many of them longtime members of the community and taxpayers, without the compromise they would have no opportunity to walk the beach with their dogs. For year-rounders, a chilling winter day is not the same as one with balmy breezes.

And the beach is a place where no creature, two or four-legged, need be threatened by ticks — not a small matter.

Working this out successfully requires all of us to be willing to give a little. We did that at the town meeting; now let’s listen to each other and find ways to make the compromise work. West Tisbury fiercely protects its uniqueness. It would be sad to go the route of locking everything up tight as a drum, as many off-Island communities have done, and become unrecognizable as the special place that this is.

May Baldwin and Susan Spence

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

The reported speech of public figures has usually seemed to me to be somewhat bland and ordinary.

Reading the Gazette’s (meticulously accurate) Friday report of my Café Moxie discussion with selectman Jeff Kristal shows vividly why this is so. Over-indulgence in fine oratory, followed by a resounding yes to the question “May I quote you on this?” can, like other over-indulgences, cause some discomfort in the cold light of the following day, with the Gazette front page before one’s eyes.

I hope the discerning reader will hear within the previous paragraph the sound of a foot being withdrawn from a mouth and reattached in its usual place.

I am pleased to report that by the time this is read, and thanks to great help and good advice from the town in the person of Aase Jones, Café Moxie’s completed application to the town for a permit to operate as a restaurant will be in the selectman’s office. I understand a public hearing will be needed for this permit to be issued following the change of ownership, since the issue of the last victualler’s license, and this prompts me to return to Jeff Kristal’s reported remarks in a more respectfully restrained way.

Café Moxie is a local venture through and through, and all involved including the town and Mike Ryan and his team share the desire to get it up and running as soon as possible. I know the selectmen and the town will go through the permit process fairly and expeditiously, protecting the interests of th e town, and on Mike’s side we are committed to doing the right thing in every respect, so the odd ill-judged comment (and we all make them from time to time) is of no significance.

On the other hand an application from outside the town, perhaps involving big money and hot-shot lawyers, could result in serious problems for the town if unfortunate remarks were made prior to a related hearing by a selectman during a public selectmen’s meeting. The relatively relaxed and informal approach of selectmen is an important part of the successful working of a small town such as ours, and this should not be lost, but does need to be overlaid with some prudent restraint.

During the Second World War a common poster in the UK read “Loose Lips Sink Ships.” Here and now, unfortunately, it can sometimes be the case that Loose Lips Lose Lawsuits.

Nick Mosey

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

It is noteworthy and gratifying to have the Island towns voting on Oak Bluffs traffic patterns. We badly needed the advice and counsel of our fellow towns. Thank you.

A suggestion for next year’s ballots: Each town should have a nonbinding referendum on acid rain, global warming and that problematic cold fusion dilemma.

Ken Rusczyk

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Reporting on the lack of common sense and common courtesy:

Saturday we were driving toward Vineyard Haven at noon and just past 250 State Road in West Tisbury came upon the young Nip ’n’ Tuck draft horses cavorting around in a very excitable state along side and on the road. They had obviously escaped, were snatching grass here and there and were a bit spooked. Several of us stopped, while others either pulled to one side and stopped or got out of their vehicles to help (thanks, Joe and Sarah). The hazard lights were flashing on my truck and I motioned to several drivers to either slow down or stop, which they did. However, one bright, young testosterone-fueled spark in a relatively new, large navy or black pick up actually increased his speed to pass as we attempted to catch the horses, who were skittish. As he sped past, my hand motions signaling him to stop or slow down were totally ignored.

We did catch the horses, although one was so feisty (and so massive) that I let him gallop off following his friend who was being led back to the farm road and up the dirt road. At that point we gestured to the rest of the backed-up cars to proceed while fuming at the egregious stupidity of the young man who sped by. If a 1,000-pound draft horse had landed on his hood he would have been in a world of hurt and so would the horse.

The animal control officer and her assistant (who both turned up shortly after) told us that they are often at the scene of an accident or frightened stray animal and even the message of flashing lights on top of their vehicle doesn’t seem to penetrate the thick skulls of folks who don’t have the brains of an intelligent cockroach.

It is time for all drivers (particularly those in the service industries who drive trucks and vehicles towing landscaping trailers or heavy equipment) to slow down on our roads (it is an Island — where the heck do you think you are going?), get off your cell phones while driving, and respect the rights of animals, pedestrians, bicyclists, in short, all those who also might be on the road. Otherwise you could get a bon voyage salute from me, and it won’t be a friendly wave.

Virginia Crowell Jones

West Tisbury


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

Times are changing. I am just wondering how long it will take the Island business owners to make their businesses accessible for people with handicaps.

After living on the Island for many years it is now coming to my attention just how many businesses are not handicapped accessible, and that is not only the small shops on the Island, it also goes for doctors’ offices and dentists’ offices and even the Edgartown courthouse. For the number of tourists coming to the Island each year, you would think business owners would take the initiative and bring their businesses up to speed.

I know disabled people who have to leave the Island to go shopping because they are tired of shopping for items from the doorway of the shops on the Island. This is a great injustice to the longtime residents of the Island and to the baby boomers who will be reaching their mid to late 60s in the next few years.

The shops and doctors offices are not the only businesses that are difficult on people with handicaps. The courthouse doesn’t even have a restroom that a person in a wheelchair is able to use. I want to challenge the business owners to make their businesses handicapped accessible.

Come on Island business owners, do you have to wait until someone you love can’t make it into your shop before you do something about it?

Something needs to be done to update all facilities on the Island so that everyone can use them safely.

Donna Noorali

Oak Bluffs


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On behalf of the Tisbury Volunteer Ambulance Association we would like to thank all for the outpouring of support for our event Respond in Style, Go Red for Women fundraiser on April 28. The night was full of fun, fashion, food and many goods were auctioned off. We thank all the local businesses who donated clothes for the fashion show and items for our auction. Thanks to Hinckley’s Lumber and the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School drama department for the stage and the catwalk. A special thank you to the models from EMS and police departments all over the Island. Jack and Pat Law were great masters of ceremony and Jeff Pratt kept us dancing all night — you guys rocked out! A heartfelt thank you to the men and women behind the scenes, without whom the event would not have happened.

Mark your calenders for the second annual Respond in Style for April 2013. See you then!

Tracey Jones

Vineyard Haven



Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

I want to thank the citizens of Tisbury for the honor and privilege of serving them on the board of health for the past 12 years.

James Pringle

Vineyard Haven


Editors, Vineyard Gazette:

On April 25, the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School held its third annual Wellness Day. In supporting a healthy balance of the mind, body and spirit, the goal of the day is to offer students the opportunity to attend informational seminars that promote the idea of wellness. The assembly and workshops focused on making good choices, leading healthy and productive lives, and understanding and appreciating the diversity among students and staff.

Each student attended the keynote address, presented by Dr. Traci Brooks, director of adolescent medical services at the Cambridge Health Alliance. Students also had the opportunity to attend two of the 38 workshops being offered by faculty members and community volunteers, covering a variety of topics.

I would like to publicly thank all of the facilitators who took time out of their already busy schedules to volunteer their time and educate our students (very early in the morning) on how to manage and reduce the stress that exists in their everyday lives. I would also like to thank the 18 faculty and staff members who stepped out of their daily classroom roles and offered workshops on a variety of topics.

Over the past several months, my own experience planning this event has reminded me of the power of the community we live in. First, it is always impressive to me, how much knowledge and experience there is on this Island; secondly, and most important, it is truly amazing to me that I can reach out, make a few simple phone calls and within no time, create a day offering 39 different workshops all focusing on the mind, body and spirit and promoting wellness among our Island youth. It is incredible.

My gratitude and appreciation is truly overwhelming. Thank you to all that made it happen.

Amy Lilavois

Vineyard Haven


The writer is school adjustment counselor at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.



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.