Tisbury: accomplished kids at the Tisbury School

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Congratulations to Owen Porterfield. This eighth grader claimed victory in the 2015 Tisbury School geography bee last week. Owen correctly answered “Kenya” to this question: “National Geographic explorer Shivani Bhalla works with warriors in the local Samburu community to protect lions south of Lake Turkana in which African country?”

Next, Owen has to take a written test to be eligible for competition at the state level. The 2015 National Geographic Society Bee national championship is in May in Washington, D.C.

Be proud! Our Tisbury School has some accomplished kids. Seventh grader Peter Burke competed against Owen in the championship. Others in the school finals were Nico Arroyo (grade 5), Ruairi Mullin (5), Owen Steenkamp (6), Ashtyn Watts (6), Henry Warner (7), and Christian King (8), after classroom competitions in December.

Friday from 5 pm to 7 pm, you should check out the opening of a new exhibit at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum: “Oak Bluffs Portraits: As Time Goes By.” This was guest-curated by Chris Baer’s photography class. The students staked out the nooks and crannies of downtown Oak Bluffs, climbing walls, crawling down alleys, and accosting strangers in an attempt to recreate archival photos of Oak Bluffs that they studied in the museum library. Free and open to all.

Don’t miss owl night at Felix Neck on Saturday, from 5 pm to 6:30 pm. Join in the Big Moon Owl Prowl, featuring a moonlit walk and other educational activities. $5, free for members; more at 508-627-4850.

Tuesday, see The Judge at the Vineyard Haven library at 7 pm. A big city lawyer, Hank Palmer, returns to his childhood home where his father, the judge, is suspected of murder. Hank seeks to discover the truth, and along the way, reconnects with his estranged family.

The library will host a new poetry workshop with Lee H. McCormack, starting Valentine’s Day. In 2012 Lee was chosen by the Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society as the first Martha’s Vineyard poet laureate. He offers “A Winter Study Group Using Uncommon Threads to Map the Journey Through Matter.” The writing/study group will meet twice a month on Saturdays from 2 pm to 4 pm, continuing on alternate Saturdays through May. The focus is writing poetry to encourage experimentation in content, metaphor, and imagery by studying important world poets. Registration by Feb. 14 is required: 508-560-5071.

This is your town, and you should take the Tisbury Vision Planning Survey: The planning board has created an online survey to gather your input as part of the vision planning. This past fall, a series of planning workshops identified community values, discussed your concerns, and began a plan for the future. This survey gives those unable to attend an opportunity to share their thoughts and ideas. Take the Tisbury Vision Planning Survey: surveymonkey.com/s/tisbury_vision_plan. And for more information, see the Tisbury Planning web page: tisburyma.gov/Pages/TisburyMA_VisionPlanning.

A week from Saturday is a good old-fashioned ham and bean supper with cornbread at the Baptist parish house at 6 pm. You can plan for takeout too. For more: 508-693-1539.

Last Saturday the rain seemed to deter none of those who wanted to learn more about genealogy at the open house held by the Latter Day Saints. There were many on hand to work with those who came in, as well as some of us more specialized types. Liz Villard had some lovely slides of many of the unusual tombstones she has found in our town during her project to record and identify all our cemeteries. It was free, entertaining, and educational. Thanks to those who set it up.

This year did not start off very well for Donald and me, so I have decided not to begin 2015 until Feb. 1. Besides, February is often ignored, and 300 years ago, the new year began in March. I now wish you a happy and healthy New Year!

Big bunches of birthday balloons go out today to Suzanne Kennedy. She is our town accountant, you know. Happy birthday on Saturday to Susie Thurber. Sunday is a special day for Paul Watts and Beau Eric Linderson. Beau will be 6. He is the son of Michelle O’Donnell and Paul Linderson. A happy kindergartner at the Tisbury School, Beau loves Lego, soccer, and superheroes. Wish the best on Monday to Jessica Shannon. Nancy Tutko Hanschka parties on Tuesday. Greetings go out to George Rogers Sr. on Wednesday.

Heard on Main Street: Where is everyone? I guess if you don’t have the flu, you must be in Florida.