News in Brief
Station Menemsha crew rescues three from burning tug
Coast Guardsmen from Station Menemsha scrambled early Friday morning to respond to a report of a fire aboard the 129-foot tug Canal Deluge, one of two tugs accompanying a barge, about four miles south of Fairhaven in Buzzards Bay.
The Menemsha crew, aboard the station's 47-foot motor lifeboat, rescued three men from the bow of the tug, as smoke billowed from the vessel's engine compartment.
Also responding were the Coast Guard cutter Hammerhead from Station Woods Hole and a Jayhawk helicopter from Station Cape Cod. Two other tugboats helped extinguish the fire aboard the Canal Deluge. A Coast Guard inspector and members of the New Bedford fire department examined the disabled tug to make sure there was no danger of pollution, and the tug was later towed to Fairhaven.
Fire at Claudia jewelry quickly extinguished
Tisbury firefighters responded yesterday to a report of a ceiling fan on fire at Claudia, a jewelry and perfume store at 34 Main Street.
The store is located in the same block as Café Moxie, the restaurant destroyed by fire on July 4, and Bunch of Grapes, the bookstore heavily damaged in that blaze.
The first report indicated flames were shooting from the bottom of the ceiling fan. Though it was clear from the start that the situation was not as serious as the July 4 fire, no fire call is routine in the congested business district, firefighters say.
"Everybody is, obviously, a little sensitive to something on Main Street," said Tisbury fire Chief John Schilling. More than a dozen firefighters and four trucks responded to the alarm, which came in shortly after 1:30 pm.
The fire was out quickly, and firefighters checked to make sure there were no other electrical problems.
"We killed the power, removed the fan, and isolated the circuit," said chief Schilling.
Traffic along Main Street was blocked for a short time, but there was little other disruption for shoppers visiting local stores on a rainy Wednesday afternoon.
For Island soldiers at war
Thanks to the efforts of many Vineyarders, Island soldiers know they are not forgotten. Appeals for donations have resulted in generous responses that have funded the purchase and shipment of food and personal items to servicemen stationed overseas. Organizers say the effort continues, and your help is needed.
As of this week, more than 1,200 pounds of supplies have been shipped to soldiers serving in Iraq and Afghanistan. Some of the money donated was used for postage, but most was spent on food, such as snacks, spaghetti, tuna, crackers, and powdered drinks such as Gatorade. Soap, deodorant, insect repellent, and shampoo are also on the endless list of G.I. needs. And, a local Girl Scout troop donated badly needed cookies.
"Anything that we can think of that they might miss from home," said Dukes County Veteran's Agent Jo Ann Murphy this week. "One mother told me her son asked for Goldfish, so we added that to the list. I've also been enclosing a copy of the Martha's Vineyard Times. Thanks for all your help with this great effort to support our troops."
Estelle Burnham of Edgartown has spearheaded the effort, with Bob Pacheco, owner of Reliable Market, and Ms. Murphy. Ms. Burnham organized and managed the food drive, Mr. Pacheco ordered and provided the food items, and Ms. Murphy handled the shipping.
"I started thinking about the war and how I wanted the boys to come home," said Ms. Burnham, explaining what inspired the food drive. "Then I thought, what can I do, an elderly lady in a wheelchair?" She talked about her idea with her brother, Arthur Honig, who used to work for Mr. Pacheco, and they worked out the details with him and Ms. Murphy.
For information, or to donate, call Ms. Burnham at 508-627-9521.
VTA Bus involved in accident in West Tisbury
On Tuesday West Tisbury Police responded to the intersection of State and Edgartown Road for a motor vehicle accident involving a Vineyard Transit Authority bus and a car. The Tri-Town ambulance also responded. The VTA bus, operated by Jerome Rogers of Oak Bluffs, was heading down the hill just north of Alley's General Store on State Road with approximately five passengers aboard. Kaitlin Taub of New York, who was traveling with one passenger on the Edgartown Road, turned left at the intersection with State Road. Ms. Taub ran the stop sign at the intersection and struck the bus while turning onto State Road. Neither Mr. Rogers nor his passengers were injured. Ms. Taub and her passenger were transported to the Martha's Vineyard hospital with what appeared to be minor injuries. Parts of State Road were closed down for about 40 minutes. Passengers on the VTA bus were transferred to another bus. Ms. Taub was cited for Failure to Stop at a Stop Sign, a civil infraction.
Photo by Alex Bell
Creative Living Award
Tuesday evening, Mitchell Posin and Clarissa Allen of the Allen Sheep and Wool Company in Chilmark received the Ruth J. Bogan Creative Living Award, presented by the Permanent Endowment for Martha's Vineyard.
The ceremony began with the foundation's annual report from executive director Ralinda Lurie, followed by a few words of praise for the award recipients from board member Emily Bramhall. The crowd of some 50 people assembled in the Grange Hall in West Tisbury smiled and laughed at memories evoked in a poem about the Allen Farm, written and read by John Maloney, a poet and neighbor of the recipients.
Then, Mr. Posin and Ms. Allen blushed at remarks by restaurateur Keith McNally, also a neighbor, who shared some embarrassing memories that helped to describe the fondly regarded husband and wife for the audience. Mr. McNally attempted a serious tone when he described the way that Mr. Posin and Ms. Allen have inspired him to start his own farm, modeled after their success. "The fact that I can grow things suddenly is totally due to them," Mr. McNally told the audience.
Endowment Fund board members Ron Rappaport and Deborah Hale presented the award.
Mr. Posin said that he has big plans for the farm in the future. He is looking into adding a windmill, and would also like to learn more about producing what he has come to call "compost tea," his homemade fertilizer. "There's just so much to learn," he said.
The Creative Living Award was established in 1983 to commemorate the lifestyle of Ruth J. Bogan of Oak Bluffs. It recognizes members of the Vineyard community who embody her spirit and have contributed significantly to the quality of life on the Island.
Martha's Vineyard Commission hearing on Martha's Vineyard Arena wind turbine
A proposal by the Martha's Vineyard Arena to construct a wind turbine with a total height of 165 feet will undergo a public hearing as a development of regional impact (DRI) before the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) on August 14, 7:30 pm.
Martha's Vineyard Arena President Jevon Rego said he and the board are pursuing the project because the ice arena is the third largest energy consumer on the Island, after grocery stores and schools.
"Based on last year and predicted rate increases, our projected electric bill for this year is $115,000 - and our operating budget is only about $350,000," Mr. Rego said. "Like most nonprofits, we're running on a shoestring budget, and with utility costs rising, we're getting pinched here."
Based on data from available verified Island wind studies, Mr. Rego said he and project manager Gary Harcourt of Great Wind Rock, an Island-based small wind energy consulting and installation business, are fairly confident the ice arena can offset about 20 percent of its energy costs.
They are hoping to get approval from the Martha's Vineyard Commission by the end of August, in time to submit a grant application to the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative to help cover the wind turbine's cost.
The site will be located behind the arena, as far back as possible. Since Oak Bluffs zoning bylaws permit a maximum tower height of 70 feet, the taller tower requires a special permit from the zoning board of appeals.
Mr. Harcourt has filed an application with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to find out what tower height that agency will allow, given that the height of the regional high school's wind turbine tower across the road was limited to 100 feet because of its proximity to Martha's Vineyard Airport.
Although wind towers are not listed on the Martha's Vineyard Commission's current DRI review checklist, the Martha's Vineyard Arena's project triggers review as a new proposal on a previously approved DRI site.
Martha's Vineyard Peace Council holds Hiroshima memorial
The Martha's Vineyard Peace Council held a memorial ceremony to commemorate the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki at 6 am yesterday at the Gay Head Lighthouse. The day marked the 63rd anniversary of the dropping of the atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The gathering drew about 20 people from Baltimore and San Francisco. Among birds chirping at the peaceful Gay Head Cliffs, men and women of all ages sang "Amazing Grace" and "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands," accompanied on the viola by Atzic Marquez of Yucatán, Mexico.
This is the event's 31st year at the Gay Head Lighthouse. Before then, according to Peace Council Co-Chair Alden Besse, the gathering took place on bomb-scarred Noman's Land.
OBPD sponsors Junior Police Academy
The seventh annual OPBD Junior Police Academy for children ages 11-14 will take place from 9 am-2 pm August 25-28, at the Oak Bluffs School. The free program is designed to introduce children to the different aspects of policing the Oak Bluffs community. Recruits will learn more about such topics as medical emergencies, seat belt safety, defense tactics, and emergency vehicles. The program emphasizes daily themes that the group will discuss, such as accountability, respect and self-esteem. Interested participants must collect an application at the Oak Bluffs Police Department and submit it by 4 pm on Sunday, August 17. Call Sergeant Michael Marchand, 508-693-0750, with questions.
A news brief published in the July 31 issue of the Times, "Three-car accident closes Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road," identified two of the drivers involved in the accident incorrectly as Jose Chavez and Robert Shaw. Tisbury police now confirm that the driver of the white Mustang that was rear-ended in the crash was Kendall Chaves, 17, of West Tisbury. Mr. Chaves's car was forced into the oncoming lane, striking a pick-up truck driven by Claire Shaw, 62.