News in Brief
Arrested once, Tisbury trio rearrested after police chase
A trio of Tisbury teenagers arrested by Edgartown police on burglary charges was rearrested one week later after stealing a Jeep from the Tisbury Park and ride lot.
The police investigation began with a call from the office of Brewer Tree and Landscaping off Meshacket Road in Edgartown on April 21 reporting a break-in at their yard office. It appeared that someone had also entered five company vehicles but nothing appeared to be missing, said lieutenant Tony Bettencourt.
Following an investigation police interviewed several individuals and one, a juvenile, admitted that he and two other young men used a hammer to remove a lock and break into the building. The teens did not find anything they liked, Lieutenant Bettencourt said.
Edgartown police sought charges against the three, two 15-year-olds police did not identify because of their ages and Brett Geddis, 17, all of Vineyard Haven with five counts of breaking and entering a motor vehicle, breaking and entering of a building and trespassing.
Saturday morning at 1:38 am, an Edgartown police officer was pulling out of the police station parking lot when he saw a Jeep cross the centerline heading in the direction of Katama. The officer drove after the vehicle and activated his lights at which point the Jeep drove off at a high rate of speed.
The officer pursued the Jeep onto Cleavelandtown Road. "At which point the vehicle slowed down to approximately ten miles per hour and he observed all three of the occupants jump out of the vehicle while it was still moving," said Lieutenant Bettencourt.
The still moving unoccupied vehicle hit a responding cruiser operated by officer Michael Snowden and came to a halt. The front end of the cruiser sustained some minor damage, but officer Snowden was unhurt, said Lieutenant Bettencourt.
The three occupants ran off into the woods and nearby yards, pursued by police. The same three individuals were caught the week before for breaking and entering. Police caught up to Mr. Geddis who put up a struggle and was subdued in the driveway of a house.
Police arrested Mr. Geddis for speeding, marked lanes violation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to stop for a police officer, resisting arrest and leaving the scene of property damage.
The two juveniles who escaped into the night were later summonsed to appear in court on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.
When police checked the vehicle registration they found it was registered to Peter McCree of New Jersey. When police called Mr. McCree he said his vehicle should be parked in the Tisbury park and ride lot in Vineyard Haven where he had parked it and left the car keys inside.
Police added unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and larceny of a motor vehicle to the list of charges Mr. Geddis now faces.
Emergency beach repair under way
Work crews are making steady progress on emergency repairs to the town beach in Oak Bluffs, where a section of a retaining wall collapsed earlier this spring.
The bank near the snack shack is being reinforced with gabion baskets, large mesh bags filled with rocks. They allow water to filter through without washing away material that supports the bank.
Town officials report getting many phone calls from curious and concerned residents. Some concerns have to do with the sand hauled in to rebuild the bank, others with odors. The sand comes from dredging projects at the Oak Bluffs Harbor and at an opening to Sengekontacket Pond. According to selectmen Kerry Scott, the material has been tested for contaminants and declared safe. The dredge spoils are used as fill, to be covered over with beach sand and vegetation. She said the odors are most likely from diesel powered heavy equipment used during the reconstruction project.
Once the temporary repairs are complete, an engineer will evaluate the entire beach from the harbor to Farm Pond, to determine the scope of work needed for permanent reinforcements.
Safety seminar tonight at Sail Martha's Vineyard
Seasoned boaters know that safety is mostly a matter of preparation. Having the right equipment and the right knowledge can be the difference between life and death.
Sail Martha's Vineyard is sponsoring a free seminar and demonstration this evening that will help prepare mariners for the worst-case scenario: abandoning ship.
Topics will include safety gear, heavy weather preparation, proper use of a liferaft, and what you should know before, during, and after you abandon ship.
The information is designed for boaters of every experience level, from recreational to professional.
The seminar starts at 6 pm tonight (May 1). There is no cost, but Sail Martha's Vineyard asks that you register because space is limited.
The phone number to register, or get more information, is 508-696-7644.
Park and Ride lot re-lit
Commuters who found themselves in the dark at the Park and Ride lot in Tisbury recently will no longer have to hope for the light of the silvery moon.
Alerted by The Times Monday in response to a reader's email asking why the parking lot lights have been off, Tisbury department of public works (DPW) director Fred LaPiana quickly solved what can be a recurring problem. Mr. LaPiana said in follow-up the next day that a power surge or outage had tripped the circuit breaker, which operates a timer controlling the parking lot lights.
The Park and Ride lot lights are set to come on at dusk, go off at midnight, and come on again at 4 a.m., Mr. LaPiana said. He encourages anyone who notices a problem with the lights to call the DPW at 508-696-4220.
Federal Impact Aid funds benefit Aquinnah
The Up-Island Regional School District (UIRSD) school committee recently voted to put $12,743 in impact aid funds received this year from the U.S. government towards reducing Aquinnah's assessment for the school district.
Over the past three years, School Business Administrator Amy Tierney worked with individuals from Aquinnah and the Wampanoag Tribal Housing Authority to complete the complicated federal application process for the Impact Aid funds.
The Impact Aid Program provides financial assistance to local school districts that have lost property tax revenue due to the presence of tax-exempt Federal property, including Indian lands, according to the U.S. Department of Education's website.
Most Impact Aid funds are considered general aid to the recipient school districts, to be used in whatever manner they choose in accordance with their local and State requirements.
The UIRSD school committee members felt that since tribal housing is located in Aquinnah, that community should reap the benefits of the school district's receipt of the Impact Aid, according to a press release from superintendent of schools James Weiss.
Island Health moves to new office location
The Island Health administrative office moved yesterday from Vineyard Haven to Edgartown. Cynthia Mitchell, Island Health executive director, said the new office is located upstairs from the Island Health Care clinic and health center at the Triangle.
The office telephone number is 508-627-5797. The mail and email addresses remain unchanged.
VTA changes bus schedule with season
The Martha's Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) seasonal summer schedule begins on Saturday, May 3, and continues through Monday, October 13. VTA system route maps with timetables are available free of charge.
Unlimited travel one-day, three-day and seven-day passes are available for sale on board VTA buses, at the VTA operations and maintenance center in the Airport Business Park, at all SSA terminals, and at the Edgartown Visitor Center, according to a press release. Annual passes and 31-day passes are available for sale at the VTA maintenance center and the Edgartown Visitor Center only.
"The VTA is aware that both residents and visitors face rising costs, whether they are in home heating fuel costs, the price of gasoline for their cars, or a gallon of milk," said Angela Grant, VTA Administrator. "The VTA does not foresee any immediate change in fares and pass prices to give our customers an opportunity to save money on their transportation costs. We hope new customers take advantage of the VTA bus system, as well. Even switching some trips from cars to the bus will have a positive impact on peoples' wallets, the environment, and help reduce congestion."
Unlimited-travel passes range from the $6 one-day pass to the $100 calendar year annual pass. Children 6 and under ride free. Seniors age 65 and older and disabled passengers are eligible for 50 percent off fares and passes.
For more information, detailed schedule and fare information, visit www.vineyardtransit.com.
34th Annual Kids Trout Derby is May 10
The 34th annual Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club Kids Trout Derby is scheduled for Saturday morning, May 10, on Duarte's Pond off Lambert's Cove Road in West Tisbury.
The club, with the support of many volunteers and contributors, provides trout, donuts, hot dogs, worms, hot chocolate, and prizes. The annual free fishing event kicks off at first light, approximately 6 am and is open to any child 14 years old and younger. The fun ends at approximately 9 am.
Prizes will be awarded in numerous categories and age groups. For more information or to volunteer, call Cooper "Coop" Gilkes of Edgartown, the long-time tournament chairman, at 508-627-3909.
Endowment Fund adds director, board members
The Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha's Vineyard has hired Ralinda Lurie to be the foundation's first executive director, with responsibility for administration, communications, and donor relations. "With the growth we have been experiencing in recent years, it was time to formalize our operations and development efforts," said Debbie Hale, Permanent Endowment Fund board chairman. "Ralinda will handle our daily operations as well as work to expand our relationships with donors and nonprofits alike. We are looking forward to having a professional staff to help our Board of volunteers as we move to enhance our presence on the Island."
Ms. Lurie has extensive experience serving on boards and working with financial and management institutions. She is a chartered financial analyst and holds degrees from Smith College and Columbia University's Graduate School of Business. The Permanent Endowment Board also announced the addition of two new members. They are Emily Bramhall of Chilmark and Anne Williamson of Edgartown.
More information on the Permanent Endowment Fund is available at permanentendowmv.org or at 508-338-4665.
Montessori School accreditation renewed
Vineyard Montessori School in Vineyard Haven has once again been accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). As of September 2006, the NAEYC revised its program standards and criteria and introduced a new level of quality, accountability, and service for children in childcare programs.
To earn accreditation under the new system, Vineyard Montessori School went through an extensive self-study process, including an on-site visit by an NAEYC assessor to ensure the school's program met each of the association's ten program standards.
"We're proud to have once again earned the mark of a quality program from NAEYC, and to be recognized for our commitment to reaching the highest professional standards" said Kathy Hye, administrative director.
For more information, call 508-693-4090.
In last week's Calendar section, a photo taken of Flo Alexander on Page 14 in the article "Books inspire winning letters by Vineyard students" should be credited to Glenn Kulbako, courtesy of the Massachusetts Center for the Book.