Authors Posts by Jamie Stringfellow

Jamie Stringfellow

Jamie Stringfellow

Raindrops don't deter Vineyarders from slurping up Blizzards.

Dark skies and raindrops didn’t stop hundreds of hungry Islanders from lining up at Dairy Queen for its spring opening on Tuesday. It was a long, cold blizzard-filled winter on Martha’s Vineyard and it wasn’t  clear whether those in line were more eager for DQ Blizzards, or a just an annual, reliable sign that spring was indeed on the way.

By 3 pm, the rain tapered off, and Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School student correspondent Sophie Petkus reported: “There were tons of kids arriving when we got there. I ordered a grasshopper Blizzard with hot fudge. Sarah [Dawson, on break from the University of Vermont] got a chocolate Blizzard with Oreo, Heathbar and M&M’s.”

Six DQ employees— four behind the counter, and two assists — kept up with the steady demands, which appeared to lean heavily away from traditional soft-serve cones, and toward Blizzards, in all forms.

Seems appropriate.

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The Island Home will not make her Monday morning run. File photo by Steve Myrick

Updated, 9:52 am, Monday

The Steamship Authority is running boats on a trip-by-trip basis, but has canceled the following trips:

9:30 am Woods Hole to Vineyard Haven, due to mechanical issues

10:45 Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole, due to mechanical issues.

The Authority advises calling 508-548-3788 or 508-693-0367 or visiting to check on current status.

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Oak Bluffs officials closed East Chop Drive Saturday afternoon, between Munroe and Brewster Avenues. — File photo by Steve Myrick

Oak Bluffs town officials have announced that East Chop Drive, between Brewster and Munroe Avenues, will be closed from 5 pm, Saturday until at least 5 pm on Sunday, due to the incoming blizzard.

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The Tisbury DPW has declared a parking ban on downtown Vineyard Haven streets, from 9 pm Thursday evening, through 10 am Friday morning.

The National Weather Service forecast predicts 1 to 3 inches of snow beginning this afternoon, and ending late this evening.

The parking ban is to allow DPW crews to clear any accumulation tonight, as well as clean up snow left over from the January 26-28 blizzard.

The weather service forecast says heavy snow with blizzard conditions is likely Saturday afternoon into Sunday. The exact path of the Saturday storm in still uncertain, but up to a foot of snow is possible, according to forecasters.

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The MV Island Home leaves port. – File photo by Michael Cummo.

Updated, 10:27, Tuesday.

The M/V Island Home will be out of service today (Tuesday)  due to repairs. The freight vessel M/V Sankaty will be replacing the M/V Island Home for its scheduled trips starting with the 3:45pm Woods Hole to Martha’s Vineyard trip.  There will be limited passenger capacity and amenities on these trips.
The M/V Island Home is expected to resume service on Wednesday, February 4th at 6:00am.


For more information, please call 508.548.3788 or 508.693.0367
or go to

Current Conditions may be viewed at

The Island enjoys a storm for the record books.

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Maybe eight inches, maybe 10. Maybe 12 to 18. Maybe some rain. Maybe not. Definitely some wind. By mid-day Monday, Jan. 26, forecasts for the winter’s first big storm on Martha’s Vineyard ranged from “serious” to “blizzard.” By the time the first flakes fell at mid-day,  forecasters had dialed up their snow predictions, wind gust speeds, and warnings for the Island went from winter storm to blizzard.

After lingering for close to 40 hours, Juno finally sailed off to Downeast Maine, having dumped over two feet of snow on the Vineyard; the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) posted estimates of 27 inches in Oak Bluffs as of 3 am on Wednesday.



Christmas spirit alive and well in Edgartown.

From left, Nathan Averill, Vinny Paciello, Frankie Paciello and Preston Averill selling raffle tickets at the Vineyard Youth Hockey table. – Photo by Lynn Christoffers

“I was on assignment, taking photos of Christmas in Edgartown before the parade,” Times freelance photographer Lynn Christoffers wrote us on Monday morning. “I thought to take a few shots of the tables set up along Main Street. The hockey team caught my eye — the boys looked so cute with their matching purple hats and were diligently trying to make change to the steady stream of passersby who bought raffle tickets. I asked the mom in charge, Kim Averill, if I could take a photo of the boys selling, and she asked if I was with the newspaper, since a magical event just happened. She told me the story, almost in tears as she spoke.”

We got Kim Averill on the phone. She’s the mother of two of the youth hockey players, and retold the story.

“We were in front of Alchemy setting up before the parade,” she said. The parents and kids were selling raffle tickets to raise money to send two youth hockey ‘squirt’ teams to the Fire and Ice hockey tournament in Westfield over Martin Luther King weekend in January.

“A woman came over,” Kim continued, “and asked us what we were raising money for. We told her about the tournament.”

“How much do you need?” the woman asked Kim, who explained they needed $1,600 for two $800 entry fees.

“So, if you had the $1,600, you could go?” she asked, and Kim answered yes.

“Can I write you a check?” she continued. Kim said of course, assuming the woman was about to buy some raffle tickets.

“I want them to go,” the woman said to Kim, as she handed her a check for the entire $1,600. “Hockey was a big thing in my son’s life.”

“Wow!” The boys said as they realized what had happened.

“I found out,” Kim said, “that her son had passed away.”

Kim turned and saw that another mother working the booth, Lyra Paciello, had tears in her eyes.

The boys continued to sell their raffle tickets and raised enough money so that, along with the gift, some families who would not have been able to go are now able to. Traveling with the youth hockey teams is expensive for Island families, Kim said, given the boat travel and need to stay in hotel rooms for at least a night.

“If she’s reading this, I want her to know that one check affected 30 boys,” Kim said. “It’s incredible, what she did.”

The Good Deed Report is a feature intended to share random acts of kindness across the Island. If you know of any good deeds please share them with us by calling 508-693-6100 ext. 30 or emailing

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East Chop Drive is often closed in stormy weather. – File photo by Jamie Stringfellow

Oak Bluffs officials Tuesday closed East Chop Drive due to concerns about the safety of the road in the stormy, rainy weather. Fire Chief John Rose said the roadway would remain closed until 8 am, Thursday morning.

The National Weather Service has issued a wind advisory, which is in effect from 3 pm to 10 pm Tuesday. Wind gusts up to 35 miles an hour are expected.

The crumbling corniche that wraps around East Chop bluffs and overlooks Nantucket Sound has a long history of erosion-related closures. It was closed for two years after hurricane Bob in 1991. The seaward lane was closed in November 2012 as a result of erosion from Superstorm Sandy. Three months later, winter storm Nemo caused damage that closed the road entirely for two weeks. One lane remained closed until late June of 2013, when it was reopened to reduce traffic on the alternate routes that cut through residential areas of East Chop.