The current dust-up over floating docks with the threats of people living and working on the water — or I should say perceived threats — is masking the real issues in Vineyard Haven.

Perhaps I am wrong, but the real issues are within the grand scheme of things diametrically the opposite of what the board is engaged in focusing on.

Two key issues are rising sea levels and air quality.

I have sent a letter to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission regarding the TIPS funding request for submissions for the next round of funding. I pointed out to them that the large diesel-powered buses were not only violating the clean air goals of the commission but also a hazard to cyclists.

Anyone who rides a bicycle and has one of these things come up behind them knows that. I recommended smaller, electric-powered vehicles.

But the issue of air quality is broader than that. The cruise ships run their diesels 24/7 for power. There is power hook up available for them. The selectmen have done nothing to regulate the cruise ship industry. Nothing. But they pick on Rick Brown and Jeffrey Canha. This is absolutely wrong in my humble opinion.

Traffic and parking are also large issues.

As a cyclist, there are no bike racks at Owen Park. For a town that so devotedly succumbed to the commission to spend $2 million-plus for a cycle path from Winds Up to the Marketplace, it has never done anything to help cyclists. Now, at least, town administrator Jay Grande has gotten MassDOT and the town to work together so that our DPW can get the sand off of the roadways in town Congratulations, but what about bicycle racks, and proper ones that a cyclist can lock the frame to, not just the front wheel. Some of these bikes are worth more than most vehicles that Vineyarders own.

Finally, let’s look at the Steamship Authority.

Enough is enough. Set a limit to growth. We are over the top now.

I hope that a gentle hand will be used when navigating the treacherous waters of either aiding or preventing our population from living and working on the water.

Frank Brunelle
Vineyard Haven