I realize it is a month away, but I thought I would share the information now so you will be sure to mark your calendars and line up your child-care providers. On February 9, the Chilmark School PTO will host its biggest fundraising event of the year. For a mere $15 per ticket, you will gain entry into the heart of our community and beautifully transformed Community Center. Once inside, you will partake in a beautifully arranged dessert bar, dance to live music by Johnny Hoy & the Bluefish, and have the opportunity to bid on both live and silent auction items. Did I fail to mention this will be the perfect venue for you to socialize with friends and neighbors while rockin’ away those winter blues in style? I meant to say that, too. Tickets for the event will be available online at, through all school parents, at the school, and at Menemsha Texaco.

Do you have something you’d like to donate to the auction? Since we are a nonprofit organization, that entitles you to a tax deduction. Gift certificates, artwork, clothing, tickets to an event, framed photography, guitar/piano/cooking/gymnastic/riding lessons, vacation get-aways, goods and services — you name it, we’d love it! Items for the auction can be dropped off at the school or contact me to coordinate.

Here is an FYI from the library folks: that awesome collection of books will be inaccessible to all of us on Thursday January 17. Yes, the library will be locked up tight while the entire staff is off-island for CLAMS (Cape Library Automated Materials Sharing) training. No, this has nothing to do with bivalves but rather the new loaning/borrowing system that our library has opted to join in order for us to gain access to an expanded list of materials.

While we are on the theme of FYIs, here is one from Fire Chief David Norton: Yes folks, it is that time of your you have been waiting for — burn season is upon us. The first day you may legally light off that growing pile of brush in your backyard is January 15. By now you should all know the process. David needs to be called after 7 am. Try his cell first 508-627-2760. If you don’t reach him on that number, try his home. 508-645-2819, then the Cross Road station at 508-645-2550. Atmospheric conditions must be conducive to safe burning so, you must actually speak with him, make your request, and get his permission — you cannot leave him a message advising him you are burning.

Be sensible, folks. State regs spell out no leaves, no stumps, no tires, no combustibles, and no construction debris. Be logical about your placement too — 75 feet from a dwelling is the minimum setback for open burning during between 10 am and 4 pm.

Happy birthdays to, once again, so many. Somehow I managed to omit Linda Coutinho’s last week; it was on the first and I know I typed it amid all the others, but who knows what I did. Sorry, Linda. I said it in person as we celebrated Cody’s 21st, but I intended to put it in print too. Happiness goes out to Ryan Kurth, Joshua Thomson, Jeff Lynch, Thaw Malin, Will Holtham, Susan Stevens, and the rest of you who have aged another year.

One final note. The flu has come knocking on doors. Hand washing is a must. If your achy, feverish and exhausted, then by all means, be considerate and opt not to go out and spread it among the general population. Call your physician right away. Stay healthy, folks.