While snow is on the horizon as I write this late entry into the town column section for the paper, I’m still treasuring the warmer temperatures we’ve been lucky enough to have recently. It is very difficult to keep up with the workouts in the winter. We run laps in the gym or up and down stairs, and it is boring, with a capital b and a double g! The warmer temps have allowed for a handful of outside runs over the past week or so, and it’s just been such a treat to be out in the fresh air, with even a touch of sunshine from time to time. Friday is Groundhog Day. I never put much faith into that little critter, but I’d much appreciate it if he’d declare a quick end to winter, please and thank you, Punxsutawney Phil!
There will be a Neighborhood Convention on Tuesday, Feb. 6, at 11 am at the
First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven. The topic will be “The Summer Food Service Program and Beyond,” with Noli Taylor. All are welcome. Bring a sack lunch.
We started a fun project this week with my sixth grade students. My cousin, Jen, works in a home for the elderly over on the Cape, so she and I devised a wicked plan to bring our two groups together. To that end, my students are writing letters to a handful of her elder clients. She gave me a handful of names. I’ve got about 40 kids. So, I’ve got two or three kids writing a letter to each one of the home’s residents so each week I can send out a new batch. In the third week or so, we’ll write another 40 letters and I’ll ship those off each week too! Great lesson for the kids. A treat for the residents. And joy spread. The kids really embraced it, and were excited to write to their new penpals. How awesome is that?
We continue to await the college acceptances in the Casey/Gardner/Craig household. Riley and Kiana have gotten into some great schools, so we at least know that they will indeed be college-bound in the fall. We just don’t know where either will go yet. It’s very exciting and terribly unsettling at the same time. I just can’t believe that they are going to college. I’m not ready. They are, I’m sure. But I’m not.
I have to say, I’m very perplexed about the hiring process for our new Edgartown Police Chief. I know arguments can be made for hiring an outside company to weed through the applications and select the “three best candidates,” but it really makes me uncomfortable. For years, we’ve promoted from within. And I know that can cause problems. But why must we jump right from the nonadvertised promotion-only technique to letting some company that doesn’t know our community and doesn’t care about our town make this decision for us? As I understand it, the company will weed out anyone who doesn’t fulfill the preferred qualities for job and offer up the three top candidates, in their opinion, to the selectmen and the selection committee. And we’ll never know which applicants were cast aside, or why. So in theory, every officer on our department could apply for the job and none of us would never know it if Integrity Testing deems them substandard. Nor will we know why. I’m truly saddened for our officers who have committed years to this town. If it makes you uncomfortable too, I’d encourage you to contact the selectmen. Currently, I feel like a lone voice screaming into the wind trying to get some community involvement in this hiring effort. Our officers deserve our support.
We ran into Deb and Garrett Orazem this weekend while out for dinner at the Newes, and we joked about how best to write it up in the column. I commented that Deb is one of the few to “escape” the school during retirement. Almost every retired teacher gets pulled back to sub at one point or another. But Deb is too busy and too content to come back. She’s taken the helm of the Garden Club, and is having a grand time with that and being outside, while she readies herself for the upcoming sailing season on her Herreshoff, June Bug. Retirement seems to fit her to a T.
This coming weekend is a dance competition weekend for us, the first one in two years. I can’t wait to see my baby girl back up on stage doing what she loves. She’s only in three numbers this year, as she eases back into the dance world again. And everything is on Saturday so we can make it home on Sunday in time for the big game.
Have a great week. Go Pats!