News in Brief
Police charge Tisbury woman with attempted murder
A woman's fit of jealous rage landed her in jail on a charge of attempted murder and awaiting deportation proceedings that could result in her return to her native Brazil.
According to Tisbury police, Saturday night Silvana Dias deCampos, 31, drove to a house at 27 Lagoon Pond Road. Martha Espinoza, 20, was working on a computer on the second floor of the home when her roommate let Ms. deCampos into the house.
According to the police report, "Espinoza told me deCampos lunged at her and had both her hands around her (Espinoza's) neck. Espinoza told me she couldn't get deCampos' hands off her neck and began to feel nauseous and light headed.
"Espinoza told me she started to cough and gag. Espinoza told me she was trying to pull deCampos' hands away from her throat and not lose her balance. Espinoza told me she started vomiting and deCampos released her grip."
Ms. Espinoza called her cousin Shelyn Garcia of West Tisbury for help.
Officer Michael Gately and Sgt. Robert Fiske responded to a call at 7:15 pm from Ms. Garcia. Ms. Garcia, her father and Ms. Espinoza met the officers outside the house on Lagoon Pond Road.
Ms. Espinoza told the police officers she had dated Junior Oliveira, who is the father of Ms. deCampos' baby. She said Ms. deCampos was jealous of her and had been calling her and following her around since January.
The women declined an ambulance and Ms. Garcia drove her friend to the hospital.
Based on information from Ms. Espinoza, the police officers drove to Bernard Circle where they stopped Ms. deCampos in her car. Her infant daughter was in a baby seat in back, covered with a blanket. She told police she had just picked her daughter up from the babysitter there.
The police officers, joined by Officer Scott Ogden, arrested Ms. deCampos and transported her to the Dukes County House of Corrections.
Her babysitter, Maria DaSilva, agreed to take care of the infant, and the police officers notified the Department of Social Services about the incident.
Ms. deCampos was arraigned on Monday in Edgartown District Court for attempted murder, operating without a license and assault and battery. Bail was set at $7,500 cash or $75,000 surety.
Ms. deCampos was already on pre-trial probation for a previous assault and battery charge on Junior Oliveira in an incident that occurred in December 2007. Because of the new charges, her pre-trial probation was revoked and she was put back on the trial list.
According to court officials, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a detainer on Ms. deCampos.
McCullough on HBO
Historian David McCullough of West Tisbury was joined by his granddaughters and Dennis Fiori, president of the Massachusetts Historical Society, at the Boston Public Library on March 7 for the HBO Films Premiere of the miniseries "John Adams." Mr. McCullough is a two-time winner of both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award.
The MHS co-hosted the premiere with HBO, Comcast, and the Boston Public Library. The MHS is home to the Adams Family Papers, which were an important source for "John Adams," Mr. McCullough's biography of our second president, which won one of his Pulitzers. The Society is holding an exhibition through May 31 called John Adams: A Life in Letters
Longer limit, higher fines, for Edgartown parking
Edgartown visitors will have an additional hour to park in the downtown retail district, but will face stiffer fines for exceeding the time limit.
The board of selectmen approved several recommendations of a special committee convened to revamp parking regulations.
The one-hour limit for street parking will be increased to two hours. More than 100 downtown merchants supported the extension.
"We felt that two hours was a more convenient time," said Christina Cook, owner of The Christina Gallery and secretary of the Edgartown board of trade. "An hour wasn't enough time to come in and have lunch, and then shop, to give people more time and not feel rushed."
Selectmen followed the lead of several other Island towns and approved an increase in parking fines.
For example, the penalty for parking too long will increase from $10 to $25.
In keeping with the welcoming attitude, selectmen agreed with a recommendation to change the name of the Dark Woods Trolley Lot to the Upper Main Street Park & Ride. Committee members said Dark Woods sounded a little too ominous.
The lot is located behind the Edgartown post office by the triangle. Town and business leaders have actively worked to get workers and visitors to use the lot to ease parking congestion downtown.
Along with the name change, town officials plan to improve landscaping, lighting, and drainage at the parking lot by early June. Town meeting voters approved $230,000 to rehabilitate the parking facility in 2006.
Oak Bluffs police officer honored
Oak Bluffs police officer Jeffrey Trudel, honored by Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) at a recent awards ceremony, stands with Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake.
Officer Trudel was one of 79 local police officers recognized for their commitment to enforcing drunk driving laws and keeping roadways safe at the MADD "Drive for Life" law enforcement recognition breakfast at Devens Common Center in Devens on Feb. 26.
According to MADD, drunk driving is the most frequently committed violent crime in the United States and affects 3 out of every 10 Americans. "Keeping our roads safe is dangerous and thankless work," said MADD state executive director Barbara Harrington in prepared remarks. "MADD considers officer Jeffrey Trudel and all of the men and women of law enforcement everyday heroes, and Drive for Life is MADD's way of saying thank you for their commitment to enforcing our impaired driving laws."
Back to prison
Joshua T. Downs, 32, of Dartmouth and New Bedford is heading back to state prison. Mr. Downs, arrested last June on drug charges and for assaulting a police officer, last week pled guilty in Dukes County Superior Court and received a sentence of 3 1/2-4 years in Cedar Junction.
In June last year, Oak Bluffs police arrested Mr. Downs following a violent scuffle on Circuit Avenue. At the time Mr. Downs had an outstanding warrant for his arrest from Fall River District Court. In the course of the arrest police found a bag on the ground that contained 13 individually wrapped bags of cocaine.
Mr. Downs was released from state prison last March after serving time for a drug distribution conviction stemming from his arrest in March 2005 by officers with the Martha's Vineyard Drug Task Force.
Trout truck makes Island stops
The Vineyard fishing season unofficially opens Tuesday with the highly anticipated arrival of a Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) truck carrying a full load of trout from the state's Sandwich fish hatchery.
DFW stocks Island ponds twice each spring with hundreds of brook, brown, rainbow, and tiger trout. The stocking program is funded by the sale of sporting licenses.
Ponds to be stocked are Duarte's, Uncle Seth's, and Old Mill in West Tisbury, and Old Mill Pond at the head of Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.
Fishermen are allowed a limit of three trout per day from ponds. Fishermen 15 years of age and older must have a Massachusetts freshwater fishing license. Licenses are available from town clerks and online at www.sport.state.ma.us/.
Dr. Monto joins Nantucket Hospital staff
Bowing to the winds of change affecting physicians in private practice across the country, West Tisbury orthopedic surgeon Dr. Rocco Monto this week confirmed he will end his private practice and join the staff of the Nantucket Cottage Hospital on Nantucket effective April 1.
Dr. Monto is no stranger on Nantucket. He has worked on Nantucket for eight years while maintaining an office in West Tisbury. He has no plans to become a stranger on Martha's Vineyard.
He told The Times he will continue to maintain his Vineyard office and treat Island patients. "I care about both islands deeply," he said.
Last March Martha's Vineyard Hospital and Nantucket Cottage Hospital officially became affiliates of the Massachusetts General Hospital and members of Partners HealthCare, the umbrella physicians group that owns several Boston area hospitals.
Dr. Monto said that change in the medical landscape was the catalyst for his decision to accept an offer from Nantucket and join the Partner's system. "For me it is all about what I can do to deliver the best care," he said.
Chuck Gifford, Nantucket hospital's community relations and development office director, told The Times the hospital had a need for an orthopedic specialist and was happy to have Dr. Monto join the staff. He said it reflects a new model for rural hospitals that would benefit both islands.
Dr. Monto is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery and is a fellow of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons.
West Tisbury selectman faces election challenge
West Tisbury voters go to the polls on April 10 to elect town officers.
There is a three-way race for a spot on the board of selectmen. Incumbent Glenn Hearn will face off against Jim Powell and Richard Knabel for a three-year term.
The men already wear a number of political hats. Mr. Hearn is West Tisbury's Land Bank commissioner. Mr. Powell serves on the Martha's Vineyard Commission. And Mr. Knabel sits on the West Tisbury Finance Committee, a position he said he will resign if elected, and the Dukes County Charter Study Commission.
There is a five-way race for two seats on the library board of trustees. Incumbent Linda Hearn, incumbent Hermine Hull, Cynthia Riggs, and Gregory Orcutt will vie for two three-year terms.
There are no other races on the ballot. All of the incumbents are unopposed.
Oak Bluffs budget calls for $643,413 in overrides
The Oak Bluffs finance and advisory committee has agreed on a draft 2009 fiscal year operating budget built around cuts in summer services and three Proposition 2.5 overrides totaling $643,413.
In what committee chairman Thad Harshbarger called a grueling process, the committee decided to delay a street paving project costing $50,000, eliminate a seasonal position for the board of health, eliminate lifeguards at town beaches and end the town tennis program.
In a bit of creative bookkeeping, the town will place approximately $200,000 in embarkation fee revenue, money received from a legislatively imposed ferry passenger fee, in the operating budget and earmark it for harbor uses.
Several articles on the town warrant will ask voters to transfer money from the ambulance reserve fund to pay for services previously funded out of the operating budget.
"The best we could do, in most cases, was hold the line and not allow increases," said Mr. Harshbarger. "That got to be painful."
Two of the override questions relate to school funding. Voters will be asked to approve a Prop 2.5 override for $157,294, a portion of the town's Martha's Vineyard Regional High School assessment.
A second school funding override seeks $236,119 for the Oak Bluffs School budget.
The third override question, a request for $250,000, would cover the first installment in a 30-year plan to pay for town employees' post retirement health benefits.
An earlier actuarial study showed the town would need to set aside nearly $600,000 this year to pay for future health benefits. Town officials believe they can drastically reduce the liability by mandating that retirees transfer insurance coverage to the federal Medicaid program when they become eligible, while the town supplements any gap in coverage with private insurance.
Selectman Ron DiOrio stressed that no retirees would lose benefits under the plan, but it would save the town millions in insurance costs.
Oak Bluffs offers insider view of police work
Oak Bluffs police will offer a unique view of police work, from their side of the badge, in a Citizen's Police Academy.
"Officers will conduct training in areas of their own expertise, allowing participants a practical view of policing and its complexity in these changing times," said chief Eric Blake in a statement announcing the program.
Topics will range from various areas of the law, to firearms, field sobriety tests, domestic violence, port security, and community policing. Among the optional practical exercises offered, are a cruiser ride along, a marine patrol, and a trip to the firearms range.
The program will begin on April 17, and run every Thursday evening for eight weeks. Information and applications are available at the Oak Bluffs police department during business hours, 8 am to 4 pm, Monday through Friday. Applications for the Citizen's Police Academy are due by Friday, April 4.
SSA traffic was up in February
Steamship Authority (SSA) traffic to and from the Vineyard increased in February when compared with the same period last year. According to the SSA, passenger traffic was up 8.5 percent, automobiles were up 6.1 percent and truck traffic was up 7 percent.
SEED Corp offers workshops in business skills
The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation and Edgartown National Bank will hold two basic business workshops aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs. The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, Martha's Vineyard Commission, and SCORE (Service Corporation of Retired Executives).
The workshops will be held at the Lola's Restaurant on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs on Thursday, April 10. The first workshop, "Learn the Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing For, and Financing Your Business," will be held from 8:30 to 11:30 am. Registration begins at 8 am. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge to attendees.
According to a press release, this workshop is geared toward helping potential entrepreneurs evaluate and understand the fundamentals of owning one's own business. Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing, and the loan application process will be presented. Attendees will also be provided with a free guide to writing a business plan and other materials.
The second workshop, "Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business," will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 pm.
The focus of this workshop is to help attendees understand a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. The workshop also explains how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his or her business more efficiently.
Please call Tamarah Barao at SEED Corporation at 508-822-1020 by April 4 to register for either or both sessions.
For more information on SEED and its programs, visit www.seedcorp.com.
ServSafe class offered
The Public Health Network Services will host ServSafe food service classes this month. Cynthia Barletta and Alice Robinson of the host service will teach the classes, sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Association (OBA).
Beginning March 25, ServSafe food sanitation classes will be held for anyone requiring certification as a Person in Charge in a restaurant or other food service establishment. The classes will run on three consecutive Tuesday and Wednesday nights from 5 to 9 pm at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School.
The next evening series of classes begins April 29, and day classes will be held during the week of June 23.
You must pre-register for materials. The State Health Code book and Employee Training Guide will be provided, along with the ServSafe course book and exam.
Registration fees begin at $250, with discounts available for additional employees of the same establishment and OBA members. To register, contact Ms. Barletta at 508-624-4808 or Ms. Robinson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Our Island Club broadens membership
Our Island Club, a discount purchasing program for year-round Vineyarders, announced a change in its membership criteria effective March1.
People who vote or work on the Island or have children who participate in Island youth sports programs will be able to join the Club under the new guidelines.
The Club works with 100 participating businesses to provide discounts on products and services that include food, gasoline, home heating fuel, restaurants, retail stores, and personal services.
For more information, go to www.OurIslandClub.com or call 508-693-4541.
Grace Preschool earns national accreditation
Grace Preschool in Vineyard Haven recently received accreditation from the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC), the nation's leading organization of early childhood professionals.
"The NAEYC Accreditation seal lets the families in our community know that children who attend Grace Preschool are receiving the best care and early learning experiences possible," said Debbie Jernegan, director of Grace Preschool.
The accreditation process included an on-site visit by NAEYC assessors to ensure that the program meets each of the ten NAEYC program standards, according to a press release.
The NAEYC Accreditation system was created in 1985 to set professional standards for early childhood education, and to help families identify high-quality preschools, child care centers and other early education programs.
Renewal retreat welcomes the spring
Vineyard Complimentary Medicine (VCM) on State Road in West Tisbury will host a Renewal Retreat on March 29. Activities will include yoga, meditation, body treatments, and Qi balancing treatments. The cost is $175. VCM will donate the proceeds to the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life. For more information, call 508-693-3800.
New cancer center opens in North Falmouth
Hematology Oncology Specialists of Cape Cod is now open in North Falmouth. The new cancer center offers comprehensive hematology and oncology services, with a 15-station state-of-the-art infusion suite for chemotherapy and other intravenously administered medications, an on-site laboratory, and complete consultative services, according to a press release.
The center was designed and is owned and operated by Dr. Victor Aviles, the founder of Hematology Oncology Specialists of Cape Cod, and the Chief of Hematology and Oncology at Falmouth Hospital. The facility is designed to meet the growing demand for increasingly complex cancer and hematology services.
For more information, call 508-564-7411.
Shibori opens on Circuit Avenue
Shibori, a family store featuring hand-dyed clothing, artwork, and locally designed clothing, will hold an opening party from 5 to 7 pm on Friday at its new location at 47 Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, across from daRosa's.
Shibori will be open weekends through the spring. For more information, call 508-696-5666.
Caroline Taylor Properties adds sales agent
John Dutton has joined Caroline Taylor Properties as a sales agent. Mr. Dutton is a well-known Islander. His skills include several decades of painting expertise that translates into a keen appreciation of the appropriate colors to stage a home in order to create a lasting first impression.
For more information, call 508-627-5554.