I hope that the members of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission will have the wisdom to ignore the naysayers and stick to the facts when it comes time to approve the new Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven.

Anybody with an ounce of sense would immediately recognize that the current store is ugly and outdated and needs to be replaced. Why do we need to be so afraid of change, especially when this is exactly the kind of change that would help improved the downtown area?

Many bloggers and letter writers have decided that just opposing the new store is not enough. Now they want to attack the mitigation measures agreed to by Stop & Shop. Somehow they see something sinister in the fact that the Town wants to make sure that the project is done correctly and that the surrounding area will also see the benefits of the project. Mitigation measures are very common in towns throughout the state. To imply they represent something less than the norm is ridiculous and only points the weakness of the opposition arguments.

The fact of the matter is that Stop & Shop has done the best it can in a bad building. They are ready to step up and invest millions of dollars, not only create a better store, but also insure that the surrounding areas benefit as well.

This is the kind of progress we need and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission should approve this project without any additional delays.

Melissa Abram