Noteworthy events

Annual lecture at Polly Hill

On Wednesday, August 11, the Polly Hill Arboretum (PHA) will host their annual David H. Smith Lecture, honoring Mr. Smith’s conservation ethics. Wednesday’s speech will feature the director of the Mt. Cuba Center, Rick Lewandowski. The Mt. Cuba Center seeks to celebrate native plants through gardening and conservation.

Mr. Lewandowski will speak about the Center’s gardens, plant exploration, and biodiversity mission. The gardens are an inspiration for those who seek to learn about gardening informed by natural processes. The lecture is sponsored by Donaroma’s Nursery and the Martha’s Vineyard Cultural Council and will begin at 7:30 pm at the Far Barn. Tickets are $10; $5 for PHA members. For more information visit pollyhillarboretum.org.

Charles Ogletree at Community Center

The Chilmark Community Center’s Summer Evening lecture series continues its impressive lineup this Thursday evening with Charles Ogletree. The Harvard Law School Jesse Climenko Professor of Law will discuss his new book “The Presumption of Guilt, The Arrest of Henry Louis Gates Jr.,” an examination of race, class, and crime in the United States and the steps needed to embark upon equality for American citizens.

Professor Ogletree was also the founding and executive director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice. Books will be available for purchase and signing after the discussion. The lecture will begin at 8 pm. Tickets are free for members, $5 for non-members. Contact 508-645-9484 for further information. The Chilmark Community Center is located at 520 State Road.

“Soups and Sides”

Catherine Walthers will be signing copies of her newly released book “Soups and Sides” at a reception for the book at Pep Art from 5 to 8pm this Friday, August 6. Ms. Walthers is known for her book “Raising the Salad Bar,” a comprehensive collection of salad and dressing varieties, along with grains, pasta, poultry and more.

“Soups and Sides” promises to be equally as inventive, with recipes ranging from the standard tomato soup with grilled cheese to creative combinations such as red lentil soup with chickpea burgers. Pep Art is located at 7 Beach Street Extension near Five Corners in Vineyard Haven.

Midnight Farm spa party

On Saturday, August 11, Midnight Farm will collaborate with Tata Harper, CEO of Tata Harper Skincare, to host a spa party from 3 to 6 pm. Guests will receive complimentary mini facials and individual product recommendations from the Tata Harper Team. The company, founded in 2009, is a collection of 100 percent natural products with zero percent synthetic ingredients. It is based out of Vermont where all the products are produced and a percentage of them also grown. For more information on Tata Harper products, visit their website at tataharper.com.

149th Annual Agricultural Fair information

The 149th Annual Agricultural Fair will take place this year Thursday, August 19 through Sunday, August 22 at the new Agricultural Fair Grounds, 35 Panhandle Road in West Tisbury.

The Agricultural Hall will be open this week 9 am-12 noon through Friday, August 6, and next week 9 am to 1 pm Monday through Saturday (August 9-14) for sign-ups and registrations. Children 8 to 10 can sign up to be a “runner,” where they earn a free pass to the fair in exchange for coming the day before the fair opens to take entries and bring them to the appropriate stations of the hall. Children over 11 can sign up to do security or trash, both of which pay $5/hour. Children over 14 can sign up to be ticket-takers at the rate of $7/hour. For $10/hour, adults can help with the 50/50 raffle, which will take place each day of the fair and raise money for the costs of next year’s fair’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

The M.V. Agricultural Society is currently accepting entry forms for fair entries through Monday, August 16 by 5 pm. This year’s fair book also has a supplement for certain entries for next year’s 150th anniversary. Three events (golden wedding contest, plowing match with horse and oxen, and a pre-fair parade) along with special entries will have to be registered for by June 1, 2011. For questions, contact the M.V. Agricultural Society in the mornings at 508-693-9549.

Panel on political challenges facing the bench

The Martha’s Vineyard Center for Dispute Resolution will host a discussion on the “Political Challenges Influencing (or not) Those Serving on the Bench” next Wednesday, August 11 from 5:30 to 7:30 pm, moderated by Martha’s Vineyard Times editor Doug Cabral.

Panelists include three distinguished legal authorities: Norman H. Stahl, Senior Federal Judge and United States Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit, Robert A. (Bob) Gammage, retired Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas, and Joseph E. Sollitto Jr., Clerk of the Courts/Magistrate for the County of Dukes County in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The Honorable Ann Brown, chairman of the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission in the Clinton Administration, will offer introductory remarks. Refreshments will follow the discussion. Suggested donation of $25. The event is sponsored by Tomassian & Tomassian, Attorneys at Law, Edgartown, Massachusetts.

Hear the music

Bring the family to a free concert this Saturday, August 7, by Johnny Hoy and the Bluefish. From 7 to 10 pm, the Island band will play at Memorial Wharf in Edgartown, next to the Chappy ferry.

Open your eyes to hunger

This Tuesday, August 10 at 7 pm, the Vineyard Haven Public Library will host an informational event on hunger in America. Dr. Mariana Chilton, director of the Philadelphia GROW Project/Witnesses to Hunger will present Witnesses to Hunger: Photographs by 40 Mothers Changing Policy on Hunger in America.

This project shares digital photographs taken by low-income mothers of infants and toddlers of their everyday experiences in order to inform others and to improve federal assistance programs. Complemented by their voices, these stories are poignant and aim to inspire change. Since Witnesses to Hunger went public in 2008, 45 mothers have become powerful advocates for policy change on a local, state, and national level. One mother participating in the project will be present to share her experiences and there will be a photo display in the library from the project. A question and answer session will follow the event along with refreshments. For questions contact the Vineyard Haven Public Library at 508-696-4211.

MVM meeting medal

Monday, August 9, the Martha’s Vineyard Museum will hold its annual meeting at 5 pm. The meeting will be highlighted by the 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Medal award ceremony, which seeks to reward leaders in the community in recognition of their outstanding commitment to preserving the history, arts, and culture of Martha’s Vineyard. This years recipients are David McCullough, Arthur R. Railton, and Tobias Jonathan Vanderhoop.

The meeting will be held on Monday, August 9 at 5 pm at the Federated Church, 45 South Summer Street in Edgartown. A reception will follow at the Pease House Galleries in the back of the museum, around the corner. The event is open to all M.V. Museum members as well as the general public. Visit mvmuseum.org for more information.

Yiddish and Jive

On Wednesday, August 11, at the Edgartown Library, Professor Herb Foster, Emeritus SUNY at Buffalo in New York, will present a lively and instructive demo on the Yiddish and Jive slang that has become popularized in American English. The event will begin at 6:30 pm and is free of charge. Refreshments will be served. Contact 508-627-4221 for more information.

Author’s talk

Author Dolen Perkins-Valdez will be at the Oak Bluffs Library signing her book “Wench: A Novel” this Friday, August 6. Meet her at 11 am. For more information, call 508-693-9433.