News in Brief
Complete your calendar of good works
A printing error last week deprived the Martha's Vineyard Times Community Works Supplement of one page of scheduled nonprofit events. A page of calendar events was left out of the publication. The missing part of the Calendar of Nonprofit Events appears in this morning's Times on Page 23 and will be included in each of the next three editions of the Times.
The online version of Community Works, with all its pages, appears on MVTimes.com, together with additional information about the nonprofit organizations whose activities are what Community Works is all about. For those who would like to attend one or all of the nonprofit fundraising festivities or make a donation to the nonprofit organization, the complete, live Calendar of Nonprofit Events, a ticketsMV.com creation, may be reached with a click on the nonprofit link in the ticketsMV.com calendar.
Community Works is a new Times special publication, underwritten in large part by Coldwell Banker Landmarks and intended to spread the word about the crucial work island nonprofits do and their need for support during the most important fundraising season of the year.
Celebrate the Fourth
The Vineyard's Fourth of July weekend festivities include the Edgartown parade and fireworks. Expect plenty of patriotic favorites and amusing floats.
The parade kicks off at 5 pm from the Edgartown School and proceeds to Main Street and along Pease's Point Way out to the Harbor View Hotel. The parade returns along North Water Street and back up Main Street, past the float judging at the historic Old Whaling Church, and back to the school.
Edgartown police say parking will be limited, and recommend taking Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) buses to avoid heavy traffic. Handicap parking is available at the Edgartown Yacht Club parking lot if a handicap permit is shown to the officers stationed at the corner of Water Street and Main Street.
The official celebration ends with a bang over Edgartown harbor, as fireworks light up the night sky beginning shortly after dusk, at approximately 9 pm. The fireworks will be fired from a barge moored off the Edgartown Lighthouse. Almost anywhere along the Edgartown waterfront will offer a good view of the display.
Photo by Sherri Church
High school shows its appreciation with breakfast
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School honored 177 businesses that provided work-study and mentoring opportunities for students at an employers' appreciation breakfast on June 10. More than 250 students participated in the various programs.
In addition to Island businesses, students worked with staff at Martha's Vineyard Hospital, local schools, and community organizations. High school culinary arts students prepared breakfast sandwiches and baked goods for the event.
Edgartown Police ride herd on successful bike rodeo
Edgartown police officers stand with some of the more than 35 youngsters who turned out for a bike rodeo the Edgartown Police Department sponsored Saturday.
The fun included speed checks with a radar gun. The officers cooked lunch and all of the participants received a free bike helmet and a chance to win one of several prizes, including a bicycle donated by the Police Association and R W Cutler bike shop.
Power boat, sail boat collide in Tashmoo channel
A boat collision early Sunday afternoon in the narrow channel entrance to Lake Tashmoo left extensive damage to one of the vessels, but there were no serious injuries.
Tisbury harbormaster Jay Wilbur responded to the emergency.
The 22-foot sailboat Beer Nuts, operated by Walter Morris, was entering the channel, as the 36-foot power boat Sally Forth, operated by William Hambrecht was exiting the channel, according to Mr. Wilbur.
When the two boats collided, the bow of the sailboat caused extensive damage to the power vessel, above the waterline. Both boats were able to return to the harbor.
A sailboat under sail has the right-of-way over a power vessel, though there are exceptions involving narrow channels and shallow water.
Mr. Wilbur has not yet made any judgment about whether either operator violated right-of-way rules that govern boats operating when in danger of a collision.
"I'm not making that determination, but in general, that's the rule," said Mr. Wilbur.
The right-of-way rule giving a sailing vessel preference to hold its course is based on the concept that a power vessel has more maneuverability, and is better able to avoid collision.
In this case, the power vessel, a Hinckley picnic boat, has unusually keen maneuverability. Powered by waterjet propulsion, the boat has a very shallow draft (the part of the boat below the water line) and at low speeds, is able to start, stop, or back almost instantly, even in very tight quarters. The boat is built with advanced marine technology. Depending on available options, the cost of a new Hinckley picnic boat can exceed $1 million.
Mr. Hambrecht is the founder, chairman, and CEO of WR Hambrecht + Co, a financial services firm with headquarters in San Francisco, and offices in Boston, New York, and Philadelphia.
Efforts to reach Mr. Hambrecht and Mr. Morris for comment were unsuccessful. Both men are seasonal residents of Tisbury.
Land Bank expands Chappaquiddick property
The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission Tuesday announced the purchase of 52 acres on Jeffers Lane on Chappaquiddick in Edgartown. The seller was Jane Knight and the price was $3,400,000.
The property will be incorporated into the Three Ponds Reservation said James Lengyel, Land Bank executive director, bringing the total to 312.4 acres and making it the Land Bank's largest property. Mrs. Knight's land fronts on Cape Poge Bay for a length of 290 feet.
The Land Bank will own 3.2 of the acres in fee-simple, with the remaining 49 acres being subject to a conservation restriction. Two new trail easements will cross the property and connect the beach to the Chappaquiddick Road.
These will complement an existing trail easement, part of the Cross-Chappaquiddick Trail that the Knight family donated to the Land Bank in 2005.
A cottage sits atop the ridge overlooking the bay. Mrs. Knight will reside in the cottage for her lifetime. Afterward the Land Bank will remove the cottage and restore the property to its natural state.
Cape Poge Bay is a popular location for fishing, bird watching, waterfowling, canoeing, and kayaking.
Land Bank purchases and management plans are approved by the local Land Bank advisory board, made up of appointed members in each town, and the elected Land Bank commission. Mr. Lengyel said members of the public with any questions about the latest acquisition are encouraged to attend the Land Bank's regular Monday evening meetings at the agency's office on Upper Main Street in Edgartown or one of the monthly meetings of the Edgartown town advisory board.
Chilmark farmers receive Creative Living Award
The Permanent Endowment Fund for Martha's Vineyard announced Tuesday that Clarissa Allen and Mitchell Posin of the Allen Farm Sheep and Wool Company of Chilmark are the 2008 recipients of the Creative Living Award.
The Creative Living Award was established in 1983 through the Ruth J. Bogan and Ruth Redding Fund. The award honors the memory of Ruth Bogan who, in the words of her friend Ruth Redding, was a "gallant woman who loved beauty, who loved the Vineyard and who believed 'anyone can do anything.'" The award recognizes members of the Vineyard community who embody that spirit and love for the Island.
"As the twenty-fifth recipients of the Creative Living Award, Clarissa Allen and Mitchell Posin truly reflect the spirit of Ruth Bogan and her belief that the inhabitants of the Vineyard should 'value their treasure,'" said Debbie Hale, chairman of the Permanent Endowment Fund board. "They taught themselves how to be farmers and along the way helped preserve the beauty of the Island while showing all of us the importance of preserving our wonderful agricultural heritage."
In a press release announcing the award, Ralinda Lurie, endowment fund executive director said that over the past 33 years, Mitchell and Clarissa have worked to transform almost 100 acres of rugged terrain along South Road in Chilmark into a productive sheep farm. Their land has been in the Allen family for more than 200 years, although both only became farmers in an effort to keep the property when it came into Clarissa Allen's care in the early 1970s. Starting with a few goats to clear the land, then adding some pigs and a flock of sheep, Mitch and Clarissa began what has become the Allen Farm Sheep and Wool Company. Through hard work, determination and a willingness to learn, the Allen Farm Sheep and Wool Company has been built into a fine example of sustainable agriculture on the Vineyard producing free range organic eggs, chicken and lamb enjoyed in homes and restaurants throughout the Island.
In addition, they have preserved treasured land for their neighbors and visitors alike by committing nearly 30 of their 94 acres to permanent conservation. "For all that Mitch and Clarissa have contributed to life on the Vineyard, it is with great admiration and respect that the Permanent Endowment Fund will be honoring them with this year's Creative Living Award," said Ms. Hale.
The presentation of the Creative Living Award will be held on August 5 at the Grange Hall in West Tisbury beginning at 5:30 pm and open to the public.
Aquinnah, Tribe to cooperate on several fronts
In a special meeting Friday morning the Aquinnah board of selectmen and representatives of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) discussed several co-operative efforts that include the purchase of a new ambulance and the enforcement of shellfishing and harbor regulations.
Friday morning Bret Stearns, director of the Tribe's natural resources department, told the selectmen said that the Tribe has found a replacement for the Tri-town ambulance that was stationed in Aquinnah but is now out of service and in need of extensive repair.
Town administrator Jeff Burgoyne said the ambulance has been out of service for about five weeks due to a series of problems, the last of which called into question the stability of its chassis. Mr. Burgoyne estimated that the ambulance would cost $16,000 to $17,000 to repair.
In 2004 the Tribe outfitted and donated the four-wheel drive ambulance to the town of Aquinnah for use by the Tri-town Ambulance Service. Previously, the only ambulance available for use in the tri-town emergency area, which includes the towns of West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquinnah, was garaged in Chilmark.
Mr. Stearns told selectmen Friday that he recently sent a letter to the Indian Health Service and has secured a six-year-old ambulance, currently in New Jersey. If the Wampanoag tribal council decides to buy the ambulance, they will donate the ambulance to the Tri-Town Ambulance service, he said.
At Mr. Stearn's suggestion, the selectmen also agreed to discuss the possibility of appointing an employee of the Tribe's natural resources department to fill a newly created town position of assistant to the harbormaster/shellfish constable who would report to the town harbormaster/shellfish constable, Brian "Chip" Vanderhoop. Tribe and town officials have not yet decided on a job description or how to share any costs associated with the position.
"Both organizations have an interest in keeping the pond healthy," said Mr. Burgoyne. "It's definitely a win-win situation."
In another example of Tribe-town cooperation, the town agreed to provide the Tribe with the use of a highway department dump truck to facilitate a clean-up around Menemsha Pond.
The shoreline is currently littered with the remnants of the Tribe's now defunct oyster farming operation. Plastic-mesh bags attached to floats used to contain oysters are piled up on shore and have been a particular sore point for abutters tired of looking at the mess.
In an interview after the meeting, selectman Spencer Booker, who is also a tribal member and a natural resources department employee, responded to a question from The Times about the cleanup. Making it clear he was speaking as a selectman and not a Tribal representative he said, "I believe that the Tribe will do what it's always done: respond to the needs of the community as a whole."
In other business the selectmen took over the responsibilities of the town's appointed three-member finance committee in order to facilitate budget transfers prior to the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
John Walsh, a member of the finance committee, resigned last month after moving out of town. Town moderator Walter Delaney, the appointing authority, did not reappoint finance committee chairman Isaac Taylor. That left only Darren LePort.
The town's bylaws state that the moderator has until the first day of May to appoint a Finance Committee; if he cannot fill a vacancy on the Finance Committee, the selectman may take on its duties until other members can be appointed.
Summer sessions at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School
A broad range of classes and clinics begin this week at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) summer program. Instruction includes sports, science, drama, and art.
Among the new offerings this year are children's creative drama, clay pottery, track and field, guitar, and computer animation. Popular football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, and tennis clinics will be offered again this year.
Elliott Bennett will teach a new Wonders of Science class. Children will use hands on experiments to discover the principles of physics, chemistry, biology, astronomy, and ecology.
Kids interested in technology can sign up for instruction in Flash animation, or computer robotics, taught by Ken De Bettencourt.
Island artist Scott Campbell will conduct an art studio for children, including clay pot making and many other artistic pursuits.
The popular sports programs will have some familiar instructors, and some new faces. Chris Fecitt will lead the tennis clinic. Other sports programs include basketball with Michael Joyce, soccer with Garry Metters, dugout baseball and football with Martha's Vineyard Regional High School head coach Donald Herman, and field hockey with Liane Dixon.
For the 11th summer, U.S. chess master David Koenig will offer a chess course for players of all ages. Mr. Koenig, who is also a top Scrabble player, will also offer a Scrabble course.
To sign up for any of the summer sessions, visit www.mvrhs.org/clinics/, or call (508) 693-1033, extension 235.
Four arrested in Oak Bluffs over weekend
A Connecticut man was arrested in the early morning hours this past Friday and charged with smashing car windows along the Oak Bluffs harborfront, according to a report of weekend arrest activity provided by Oak Bluffs police.
Mark Anderson, 24, of Windsor, Conn., faces wanton destruction of property and disorderly conduct charges. The incident happened shortly after 1:30 am on Circuit Avenue Extension, near the harbormaster shed.
A few minutes later, Jeffrey Howanitz, 24, of John Island, S.C., was stopped on Circuit Avenue Extension. Police said they will seek charges of operating under the influence of alcohol, and other motor vehicle related charges against Mr. Howanitz.
On Saturday afternoon, Oak Bluffs police stopped a vehicle on Edgartown Road and arrested Cleber Oliveira David, 39, of Vineyard Haven on a charge of operating a motor vehicle without a license.
Early Sunday morning police arrested Peter Sprayregan, 32, of Cheshire, Conn., on Circuit Avenue. He will face disorderly conduct charges.
According to the weekend log report, Oak Bluffs police answered 96 calls for service, arrested four people and took three people into protective custody.
Piano restoration company celebrates anniversary
Stanwood and Company, a local piano restoration company, will host its first-ever open house on July 6, in celebration of 28 years in the business of tuning and restoring pianos on the Island. The public is invited to visit the piano workshop at 50 Lambert's Cove Road in West Tisbury from 10 am to 4 pm.
The event offers an opportunity to meet the staff, learn about pianos and the history of Stanwood and Company, and view and play a newly restored vintage Mason and Hamlin piano. Many Islanders may recognize owner David Stanwood as the man quietly tuning the piano before many summer concerts.
Mr. Stanwood, a professional piano tuner for 30 years, received the 2007 Distinguished Alumni Award from the prestigious North Bennet Street School in Boston. He also has been recognized internationally as a major innovator and educator in the field of piano technology.
Mr. Stanwood specializes in custom piano action designs using his patented and renowned Precision Touch Design system, which has been installed in concert hall and clients' pianos throughout North America and Europe. His company restores, repairs and tunes pianos as well as offering appraisals, voicing, piano brokerage, piano sales and custom piano actions using his patented designs.
On Martha's Vineyard, the Whaling Church, Martha's Vineyard Performing Arts Center, Union Chapel, the Tabernacle and the Martha's Vineyard Chamber Music Society concert grand pianos all feature his action balancing system.
In 2007 workshop manager Boaz Kirschenbaum and his wife Sakiko, both graduates of the North Bennet Street School's piano technology department, joined Stanwood and Company. Mr. Kirschenbaum received extensive training in the Steinway factory in Hamburg, Germany, and formerly worked for Steinway in New York and Sydney, Australia.
4th is deadliest boating holiday
The U. S. Coast Guard has issued some sobering statistics about boating over the 4th of July holiday.
According to the Coast Guard, the 4th is not only the busiest boating holiday of the year, but the deadliest, both nationwide, and in the northeast.
Over the past ten years, 38 people died in boating accidents in the Coast Guard's first district, which covers the Northeastern United States.
"Alcohol has been involved in 42 percent of the 4th of July fatalities," said Al Johnson, a recreational boating specialist for the Coast Guard. "If alcohol is going to be part of your celebration," he added, "stay off the road and stay off the water."
Mr. Johnson said the best insurance for survival in an emergency on the water is to wear a life jacket.
Coast Guard accidents statistics show that approximately two-thirds of the people killed in boating accidents drown, and of those people, 90 percent were not wearing life jackets.
"Awareness is the key ingredient," said Mr. Johnson, "You can relax and enjoy your time on the water but be aware of what's going on around you, the status of your vessel and passengers, as well as the proximity of other vessels."
State House News
Service: Patrick signs cigarette tax hike
Gov. Deval Patrick signed a $1-per-pack cigarette tax increase on Tuesday, according to his press secretary, Kyle Sullivan. The law took effect as soon as the governor signed it. Lawmakers estimated the package would be worth $175 million in new tax revenue for the fiscal year. Supporters of the new law were roundly criticized Monday by lawmakers who felt the legislature and executive branch were not giving retailers enough time to comply with the proposed law. The increase brings the total state tax on a pack of cigarettes to $2.51.
Rep: Housing bank will ease affordable housing shortage
Bills to establish fees on certain home sales on Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard will stem a "crisis" situation on the islands that towns on the mainland don't face, said Rep. Eric Turkington, the principal driver of the bills in the House. Mr. Turkington, whose district includes Martha's Vineyard, said the bills would only tax the "super-rich, mostly from other states, who buy vacation homes for millions of dollars." Under the bills, home sales of properties valued at over $2 million on Nantucket and $750,000 on Martha's Vineyard, would be subject to a 1 percent fee, which would be transferred to a housing bank. The housing bank would then use the money to establish affordable housing units for the less wealthy, such as public safety officers and teachers. "What's an issue in other places is a crisis on these two islands," Mr. Turkington told the News Service. Answering criticism from Republican senators that the passage of the bills would lead to a clamoring from other municipalities for similar fees, Mr. Turkington said, "The prospect that many other communities are going to be trying to emulate that is zero." The Senate passed the bills last week, sending them to the House. Last session, the House defeated similar proposals by a narrow margin. Asked whether the bills had a better chance this session, Mr. Turkington said, "There's a different House." If any group is to be taxed, Mr. Turkington added, "the super-rich out-of-state vacationers are a pretty good group to look at." During Senate debate, leader sponsor Sen. Robert O'Leary said the median home value on Nantucket was $1.5 million and on Martha's Vineyard was $1 million.
Lola's Restaurant adds lunch, beach delivery
After 15 years in business, Lola's Restaurant on Beach Road in Oak Bluffs, well-known for late night dinner and live music, is now serving lunch in its dining room and courtyard, according to a press release.
Lola's has also added beach delivery to its lineup. For $10 the restaurant will deliver a sandwich, soda and chips anywhere between Town Beach and big bridge.
For more information, call 508-693-5007.