On behalf of the Polar Bears of Martha’s Vineyard, I would like to urge the Oak Bluffs selectmen to support the article on the town warrant for the $40,000 for a beach rake. Our 70-year-old, multigenerational organization is Inkwell Beach-based and we have taken a role over the years to support the improvement and maintenance of the Inkwell, including beach cleanup campaigns with the Cottagers, long-term advocacy for dog policy, trash cans, lifeguards and accessibility for all, as well as protesting the recent questionable sand-replenishment.

As you may know the Polar Bears’ official season is July 4th through Labor Day. The Polar Bears swim and offer water aerobics classes at 7:30 a.m. at the Inkwell Beach, open to all who show up daily! During the Polar Bear 2015 season, we had 600 people in the water aerobics class in July and 1,000 people in the water aerobics class in August. This letter is written to provide the selectmen with a brief glimpse of the use and value of beach care and upkeep given the great numbers of beachgoers and users beyond our Polar Bear numbers.

On behalf of the Polar Bears members, a great many of whom are homeowner and taxpayers, and the public we serve, I urge the selectmen and town members to vote the $40,000 for a beach rake. I am an Oak Bluffs homeowner, taxpayer and voter, as well as a longtime Polar Bear member. I believe we can and should do better for our great natural resources, our beaches.

Caroline Hunter

Oak Bluffs