Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley

It is amazing what a difference a week makes. Now the election will be over by the time you read this column, and we will know who the members of our selectmen’s team will be. No more campaigning for a while, but on to other town business. The carpenters are hurrying to complete alterations, and even new construction, along Circuit Avenue and the outskirts of town, so that all will be ready when the streets explode with people and activities in just a few weeks.

And so the cycle goes on.

We send condolences to the family of Brianna Combra, who died Sunday in an auto accident. Brianna’s father Russell built our house some 18 years ago, and he would often bring his happy and pretty 6-year-old daughter with him that summer. Brianna adored her dad, and he her. We send her mom Tekla, her large extended family, and everyone who loved her our sympathy, love, and prayers.

The Oak Bluffs Council on Aging is a busy place this spring, what with activities and planning future events. There is a trip to Foxwood planned for the end of June. If you are interested in going along, you should call Rose at the center at 508-693-4509, ext. 3. As a list has already been started, it would be a good idea to call as soon as possible so you will not be disappointed. The Friends of the OBCOA also have some exciting plans for this summer. They are planning a flea market and fair on Saturday, July 11, from 9 am to 2 pm. Tables will cost $25, but if you register early, you will get a $5 discount. Contact Lou Gagnon, president of the Friends of the OBCOA, at 508-693-5507 to reserve a table at the discounted rate. Finally, the new landscaping around the center should be commencing in early June.

Hungry anyone? Head for the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs today between 5 and 7 pm for another great fish fry. Not just fish, you know, but delicious sides, including mac and cheese, French fries, salad, coleslaw, rolls, and various desserts.

The Library Friends of Oak Bluffs are once again accepting donations of books in good to excellent condition for the July book sale. You may bring donations to the library on Saturday, April 25, from 12:30 to 2:30 pm. They will accept books for adults, teens, and children, including paperbacks and softcovers, DVDs, audio books and CDs. They request no Bibles, Readers Digest books, or videotapes. Any reference material should have been published in the past three years. The July sale is for the benefit of the Oak Bluffs Public Library.

John and Sarah Lolley enjoyed a weeklong visit with daughter Kate and her husband Brad Hawkins. Before their Vineyard visit, Kate and Brad participated in the Global Health Conference in Boston. They have returned to their jobs in Suriname, South America, where they are both employed in the public health field.

We send birthday smiles to Mark Baird on April 19, Mathew Leonard who turns 17 on the 20th, Shelby Ponte and Cee J Jones on April 22, Gloria Steere the next day, and Peter Martell and James Moreis Jr. on the 24th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

Sunshine has ruled these last few days, and along with flowers and budded shrubs, it seems as if it has also brought smiles to a lot of faces. Stores are being scrubbed and opening after a long winter’s rest, and many students are here on a brief break from their college studies off-Island. Easter weekend saw many visitors just coming to spend time with their Island families or to check on their summer homes. Let’s try to keep those smiles on while we head to another, hopefully busy, spring and summer season.

Volunteers from the Healthy Aging Task Force are preparing for the Town Meeting by talking to people about two important items on the Town Meeting warrant: First Stop and MySeniorCenter. If approved by voters in all Island towns, First Stop will be an information and referral website, staffed by a real live human being, to provide comprehensive information for Island elders, their families, caregivers on- and off-Island, and Island service providers. Designed to close the current information gap, it will help elders get the information they need about everything from assisted living, home and respite care, geriatric assessments, and ramps, to home repair, transportation, and wellness programs. MySeniorCenter is cutting-edge digital technology to strengthen COAs, saving staff time and enabling COA members to sign up from home for a broad range of activities all over the Island.

Neither of these programs duplicates any other existing services, and First Stop has been recommended by the Rural Scholars each year for several years. For more information write to
I’m giving everyone a heads-up that there will be a blood drive at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs on Tuesday, April 21, starting at 11:30 am. If you are able to donate, please do, and know by your donation you will be helping to save lives.

Reminder that there is walk-in-registration for Youth Hockey on April 11 from 9 am to noon. The registration will be held in the MVRHS cafeteria.

The programs for children at the Oak Bluffs library are many and various. The Book Babies sessions have changed their time to accommodate naps. On Thursdays from 11 to 11:30 am, babies from 2 to 24 months old may enjoy songs, stories, and playtime. The Movie Afternoon feature for Thursday, April 9th, is Song of the Sea. This is a PG animated film based on an Irish legend; ages 8 and under require adult supervision, and it’s offered on a half-day of public school. From noon to 1 pm on Saturday, April 11th, there will be a baby calf visit with a bottle-fed calf from Chilmark Hills Farms. Children will be able to make a cow puppet and check out books about bovines.

Games Day for Kids will be on Wednesday, April 15th, from 1 to 3 pm with puzzles, board games, hunts, Twister and other fun for ages 3 and up.

The Graphic Novel Book Club will meet Tuesday, April 14, at 7 pm, and discuss The Shadow Hero by Gene Luen Yang. New members are welcome. On Saturday, April 11, at 1 pm, a Fit in ’15 program, Organize Your Home, will feature Kim D’Arcy of Organize MV. You will hear about planting the seeds of organization.
The upcoming Art & Memory Program, led by local artist Nancy Cabot, starts Monday, April 13th. This a five-week program of art-looking and art-making, and will be held from 10:30 to 11:30 am in collaboration with Featherstone Center for the Arts and Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center. If you have any questions about this program, please contact Mary Holmes, memory care program coordinator at Windemere Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, at 508-862-1933.

An Oak Bluffs School garden work day is being planned for Sunday, April 12, from noon to 3 pm. The school hopes to rebuild the garden beds and get the soil ready for planting.

Cradles to Crayons is a nonprofit organization that helps homeless and in-need children get the essentials they need to survive. Now students at the Oak Bluffs School are getting involved by collecting new or like-new clothing. This includes shirts, coats, pants, and socks. Bring your items to school and drop in the clothing bins located in the front lobby and in front of the gym.

Remember Oak Bluffs Town Meeting on Tuesday, April 14, at 7:15 at the Oak Bluffs School, and elections at the Oak Bluffs library on Wednesday, April 16, from 10 am to 7 pm.

Birthday smiles for the month of April to Aidylberg resident Merle Beaulieu and Woodside Village residents Carl Greer, Anita Cimino, Ralph Silva, Mary Hofmann, Mary Nichols, Francis McCarthy, and Charles McKay.

Birthday smiles to Tevin Antone Araujo on April 10, Michael Rebello on the 12th, granddaughter Sarah Rivers on the 13th, and Nicholas BenDavid on the 15th.
Enjoy your week. Peace.


Well, are we holding our breaths, waiting to see if there actually will be no more snowstorms? The birds have started their flirtatious songs, but they seem a bit hesitant, as if they really can’t believe the storms are over until next winter. I wonder if March will have gone out like a lamb by the time you read this column Thursday morning.

Now, we know what always happens in April: not only the income tax deadline of April 15, but also town meeting and election time in Oak Bluffs. The town meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 14, at the Oak Bluffs School, not at the usual site at the MVRHS. The meeting will start at 7:15 pm. On Wednesday, April 16, the town elections will be held at the Oak Bluffs library. Remember, if you don’t voice your opinions or vote, you can’t complain!

Holy Week services for Good Shepherd Parish start the spring schedule. Holy Thursday on April 2 is at 7 pm, and Good Friday services on April 3 start at 3 pm. Both services will be held at St. Augustine’s in Vineyard Haven. The Easter Vigil on Saturday, April 4, at 8 pm will be at Our Lady Star of the Sea in Oak Bluffs at 8 pm. Easter Sunday, April 5, offers many choices. Sunrise service at 6:15 am at Sheriff’s Meadow Beach, West Chop; the 8 am, 11:30 am (Portuguese) and 5 pm services will be in Vineyard Haven; 9:30 am in Oak Bluffs; and 11 am at St. Elizabeth’s Church in Edgartown.

Here is a chance to enjoy a bit of Africa without leaving the Island. Terry Appenzellar will give an armchair travel talk and wildlife photo presentation at the Oak Bluffs library. This program starts at 6:30 pm on Thursday, April 9.

The library is hosting a great program to help people do some spring cleaning. The entire month of April is Yarn and Fabric De-Stash time. So go through your stash of yarn and fabric; bring what you no longer need or want to the library during April. On Saturday, May 2, from 10 am to 2 pm, they will have a huge giveaway of everything they have collected. They have already received four bags of fabric. Patterns and small equipment such as knitting needles or other supplies will also be accepted.

Islanders Talk Benevolent Fund will sponsor a Kale Soup Throwdown on Sunday, April 19, from 5 to 7 pm at the P.A. Club in Oak Bluffs. The admission will be $10 for adults, children 5 to 10 years of age will be $5, and children under 5 will be admitted free. This will be an evening of fun with entertainment, a silent auction, and a 50-50 raffle. For an entry form or further information, please contact Debby Lobb Athearn at 508-693-9627 or on the Facebook page for Islanders Talk. The entrance fee is $10, and you must bring at least four gallons of soup to enter. In addition, you will be responsible for your own heat source (Sterno and bricks, or a hot plate and extension cord). Soup categories include Best Kale Soup, Best Alternate Kale Soup (vegan, gluten-free, etc.), Is It Kale Soup? and a professional category. You will also be responsible for bringing your own ladle and hot cups to pass out your soup. In addition, there will be an award for the best display. Entry deadline is Friday, April 10.

The Vineyard Playhouse received a “Best of the Vineyard” in 2014. And they hope you still think they are the best, and vote in the Martha’s Vineyard Magazine “Best of the Vineyard” Contest. The National Fossil Day at the Oak Bluffs library is also in the voting list of Best Off-Season Events, and they too request that you vote for them in that category. Voting ends on April 5, so please cast your vote now.

Parent-teacher conferences are fast approaching at the Oak Bluffs School. The dates are April 9, 13, and 15. These conference days will be noon-dismissal days. Both the YMCA and the Boys and Girls Club programs will start at noon on those days.

The dental program “Vineyard Smiles” will also be at the school during the month of April. Those dates are April 3, 16, and 17. For more info, you may contact Vineyard Smiles at 508-696-0020. They will be offering many dental services for your children.

Sue Mead sends belated Happy Birthday wishes to her mom, Jan Mead, who turned 90 years young on Friday, March 27.

We send birthday smiles to Heather Holt on April 4, Sandy Ferreira on the 6th, David Tchorz and David Hill on the 7th, Ben Hall III on April 8, and Donald Combra and Richard Giordano on the 9th.

Enjoy your week, and have a peaceful and happy Easter.

Isn’t it nice not to hear the constant scraping sounds of snowplows as they clear the streets after our never-ending storms? The sun is slowly melting all evidence of our winter, bringing back the spring birds with their joyful songs, and also bringing back the snowbirds from their winter sojourn in the South. Now we have time to focus on the “political season,” which seems pretty calm so far. But time will tell.

Starting on Tuesday, March 31, the “Spice of Life Memoir Organization,” taught by Susan Klein, M.Ed., begins at the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging at Wamsutta Avenue in Oak Bluffs. This great workshop will be held every Tuesday through May 26, but there will be no classes the week of April 13. The classes run from 1 to 3:30 pm, and thanks to the generous support of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging, the fee has been discounted to $169, with all materials being supplied. You may call Susan at 508-693-5150 to register or for more information. MVCS’ Daybreak Clubhouse presents a classical piano performance by Charles Whitehead at the Old Whaling Church on Saturday, March 28, at 4 pm. All proceeds from the performance will benefit Daybreak. $15 general admission; $10 students and seniors. Tickets are available by calling 508-696-7563.

Help support the 5th grade students’ Shenandoah trip this summer by donating your returnable cans and bottles. Any donations that have the returnable symbol for Massachusetts will be gladly accepted. Rinsed and bagged bottles are also greatly appreciated. Donating is easy. There are large bins located outside the Oak Bluffs School, near the nurse’s office, that have posters created by 5th grade students. Please donate by putting the bottles into the blue bins (not at pick-up or drop-off, as this is a bus area). This will be an ongoing fundraiser till the end of the school year.

Condolences to the family of Katherine Stewart on the loss of their mother and grandmother. Mrs. Stewart was a talented musician and organist, and will be missed by her family and all those who enjoyed her musical talents.

Monday Night at the Movies continues at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse with the showing of the movie Hairspray on March 30 at 7:30 pm. This is a dance-filled comedy about the efforts of a teenage girl battling closed-minded Baltimore adults as she tries to get the local afterschool TV dance show integrated.

We send birthday smiles to James Rebello and Hannah Gibbs on the 27th; Kailyn Hart on the 28th; Garrett Broadly on the 31st; Robin Meader, Tyson Araujo and Sandy Moreis on April 1; and Richard Combra on April 2.

Enjoy your week and the sun. Peace.

The sun makes a big difference, doesn’t it? So take time to enjoy it. It certainly has been an interesting winter. We have come to appreciate everyone who made it possible for us to function amid the storms and snow. Personally, for myself, I was made aware of all the help available in our community when in the midst of the Thursday snowstorm, I became suddenly ill with one of those numerous viruses raging through the Island. Thanks to the Comm. Center, OBPD, and OBFD Ambulance Service, I was whisked to our community hospital ER, and after a plethora of tests by knowledgeable and caring staff, was soon tucked away into acute care with a marvelous view of the moon in the stormy sky. Now I am home, mostly healed, but tired and ever so appreciative and grateful.

A friend recently lent me a 1924 copy of a publication of the Delta Alpha Class of the First Baptist Church of Vineyard Haven. It could best be described as a small booklet of places to see on the Island and numerous interesting ads. Some of the names will be quite familiar, such as LaBelle’s Restaurant, Island Laundry, Leonards Garage, the Wigwam, and my favorite, “Strand Theatre — the best run in New England,” and admission was listed at 25 and 30 cents. The booklet also had lists of what to see in each town, and for Oak Bluff a few of the sights to see listed were the Methodist Tabernacle and the Baptist Tabernacle on the Highlands, the Japanese Stores and the Country Club. Surprisingly, there was no mention of the Flying Horses.

There will be a reception at the West Tisbury library on Sunday, March 15, from 3 to 5 pm for the black and white photography exhibit of Max Skjoldebrand titled “Lines, Light, Shadows and Reflections.” This exhibit will be shown at the library throughout the month of March. During the reception, David Rhoderick will provide live piano music on the Library’s beautiful Steinway.

Island Moon Coffeehouse at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse takes place on Thursday, March 12, at 7:30 pm. The coffeehouse is hosted by Jemima James and features Isaac Taylor. There will be traditional Irish music with Mary Wolverton, Myles Thurlow and Tauras Biskis.

Offshore Ale Co. in Oak Bluffs has not only great food but also a giving heart. Now they have graciously chosen Island Elderly Housing to profit from their Dine to Donate fundraiser. On March 25, anytime between 11:30 am to 8:30 pm, 20 percent of the pre-tax dine-in food sales will go directly to Island Elderly Housing. For information regarding tickets, please contact Island Elderly Housing directly.

Here is an Island-wide community event: The Slow Food MV’s annual Farmers’ Brunch will be held on Sunday, March 15, from 9 to 12 noon at the Chilmark Community Center. There will be four speakers, as well as exhibits and displays, and a raffle of GMO-free products available locally. The cost is $12 at the door or at; $10 for members.

Don’t miss this opportunity to participate in a Memoir Organization and Writing workshop led by Susan Klein, M.Ed. The Spice of Life program will run on Tuesday afternoons from 1 to 3:30 pm at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center from March 21 through May 26, with no class the week of April 13th. Thanks to the OBCOA, the cost of the workshop is only $169, which includes all materials. This is a wonderful opportunity, as usually the cost of this workshop is $325. Don’t hesitate if you are interested; call Susan Klein at 508-693-4140, as I did already.

Traumatic Brain Injury Presentation, Panel and Discussion takes place on Saturday, March 21, from 10 am to 12 noon at the Harbor View Hotel, Edgartown. In the second session of the Martha’s Vineyard Veterans Support Series, representatives from the Home Base Program, Martha’s Vineyard Hospital, Providence VA, and SAVE (Statewide Advocacy for Veterans Empowerment) will be speaking on the signs, symptoms, and treatments available for TBI. Following the presentation there will be an expert speaker’s panel, including an interactive discussion. Lunch will be provided! Please RSVP to Julie Meader at 508-693-7900, ext. 223, or This program was previously scheduled, but had to be rescheduled due to the weather.

We send birthday smiles for the month of March to Aidylberg resident Merle Beaulieu, Woodside Village residents Hershel West, Joan Fennell, Lucy Costa, Austin Cargill, John Ellis, Michael Haydn, William Thorp, Robert Martin, Dorothy Grant, Shirley Robinson, Mary Haigazian, and Frances Smith. Smiles to Jenny Hart on March 13, Will Farrissey on the 14th, Jib Ellis and Bill Stafursky on the 15th, and Edith Rouseau, Kelsey DeBettencourt, Joe Moujabber, and Jaime Leon on the 18th.

Enjoy your week and the sun. Peace.

Listen carefully, everyone, and remember the following: This summer, when the temperature and humidity rise higher and higher, and we are all feeling like oversoaked sponges, exhausted as the heat saps us of all energy, no one, absolutely no one, is allowed to say, “Oh, I can hardly wait for winter and colder weather.”

Meanwhile, half of what used to be our free time has been eaten up by shoveling our way out of our houses and to our cars to enable us to be mobile again. But just be grateful if your job does not involve having to be able to access the streets and side roads across the Island, perhaps to deliver heating fuel, packages, mail, or even medical assistance. If I had to write an essay on “How I spent my winter,” it would read: “Look out window, sigh, shovel, work on jigsaw puzzle, read four books, cancel appointments, build wood-stove fire as subfreezing temps cause my heat to fail every few days, keep letting dog out, keep calling and looking for dog who is enamored of all the snow and apparently feeling she has to check on every tree in the woods in back of the house, and of course, open refrigerator door every hour on the hour.”

The work on the new Oak Bluffs Fire Station is creeping along, and how they are able to work in this weather is beyond me, but working they are.

Carol Carr Dell and a few friends decided to head to the Plane View Restaurant at the airport last week. Suddenly, one of the group said, “This is the first time in a month I have been out of Oak Bluffs.” I am sure this has happened to many people these past months. They were treated to a few humorous signs when they arrived at their destination. The first was a sign on a snow-covered bench outside the entry to the Plane View looking toward the runway that read, “No sitting on bench until summer.” Then someone told them that the previous sign read, “Snow View Restaurant.” At least some still have a sense of humor in this mess.

School has reopened after winter break, and students have returned to school and town. On Tuesday, March 10, there will be a professional development day; all students will be dismissed at noon.

Our Oak Bluffs library offers some interesting programs. At 1 pm on Tuesday, March 10, you can enjoy Movie Afternoon, featuring the family comedy, The Boxtrolls, which is rated PG.

Also on Tuesday, the Graphic Novel Book Club will meet at 7 pm. This month’s selection is Kill My Mother by Jules Feiffer.

And you can enjoy more movies at the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse on March 9 at 7:30 pm, with the film Desk Set, a delightful 1957 comedy about a TV research department being replaced by computers. A battle of wits ensues between the department head and the computer firm’s engineer.

There’s a couple of great events coming up for the animal lovers out there, courtesy of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging. On Monday, March 9, the OBCOA hosts a “Service Dogs Demystified” program at 1 pm. Service dogs are a valuable tool for helping those with disabilities, but do you really know what defines a dog as a service dog? This is a one-hour presentation on what makes an animal a service animal under the current regulations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as on some of the tasks service animals can be trained to perform. Then on Monday, March 23, at 1 pm, the OBCOA will host a program about ”Building Simple Mental Enrichment Toys for your Companion Animal,” which will show you don’t have to spend a lot of money to create toys for the animal friend in your home. Both programs will be led by animal handler Karen Ogden.

Pat and Kerry Alley, accompanied by their niece Kati Alley, traveled to Glastonbury, Conn., last week to visit their daughter and son-in law, Sarah and Jack Lavolette, and their children. They too have been inundated with snowstorms this winter. After a few days in Connecticut, the group went to South Hadley, where they were the guests of daughter Rachel Alley, Greer, and their children, Jonas and Drew. Former Oak Bluffs residents Charlie and Gaynell Downs joined them for dinner one night, and everyone had a fun evening catching up on the latest news.

We send birthday smiles to Bill Rankin on the 9th, Vicky White on the 10th, and Cindy Krauss on the 11th. Willie deBettencourt, Pauline Gregory, Janice Rose, and Molly deBettencourt share the 12th. Enjoy your week. Peace.

Megan-AlleyAre we there yet? Meaning, Are we almost at the end of this stormy, snowy winter? The snow and ice have brought many planned activities to a screeching halt, but there are blessings scattered here and there also.

For instance, I have found that my car’s gas consumption has been cut in half, because after observing the “weather du jour,” it seems to make more sense to remain home. The automatic-opening doors to the emergency entrance of the hospital have become quite finicky in these extremely low temperatures. On that freezing cold day last week, they would not slide open when someone approached, although maintenance personnel had worked on them tirelessly.

Later that afternoon we heard a crash, and much to everyone’s surprise a large deer had run directly into the doors. If the doors had been working properly, the deer would have run right into the emergency room waiting area. Apparently the deer was uninjured, and ran quickly across the parking lot and disappeared, while we all looked at each other wondering if it had really happened.

ACE MV classes are starting for the spring session and, hopefully, that must mean that winter is winding down. The classes start on March 3; you can sign up at or by calling 508-693-9222. Among the many classes being offered are Fertilizer Safety Certificate (UMass, Amherst), Pesticide Licensure, Understanding Tick and Mosquito Control, ServSafe Food Handling, Financial Planning, History of Cuba (Fitchburg State), Cooking and more.

The Oak Bluffs School spelling bee was held Tuesday, Feb. 17. The competitors were from grades 4–8. Sixth grader Zack Smith and fourth grader Nora Riemer were the finalists. In the end, Nora spelled “phonics” to make it to her championship word, “ipso facto.” The Oak Bluffs School congratulates Nora, and looks forward to supporting her at the Island-wide spelling bee, which will be held on Friday, March 13, at 9:30 am at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center.

Schools are closed this week for winter break, and will reopen on Monday, March 2.

Last week, due to an editing error, some of the information in the item I wrote about Susan Von Steiger was left out. Susan was the outreach coordinator for the Oak Bluffs Senior Center for close to 20 years. She recently retired from that position. Last week, a group of Susan’s friends, 19 in number, wanted her to be recognized for her longtime service to our seniors and the town. So her friends decided to honor her themselves by taking her to lunch at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. They had a wonderful time sharing many laughs and memories. Congratulations, Susan, and we hope you enjoy your retirement.

We send birthday smiles to Earl Peters on the 27th, Heather Ferreira on March 2, Reggie Kriszewski and Kathie Case on the 3rd. Alison Ferreira, Amy Billings and Christine Buckley celebrate on the 4th, and Marguerite Cogliano on March 5.

Enjoy your week, and stay warm and safe. Peace.

Monday morning, and the temperature is now up to 4 degrees, and what a surprise I woke up to this morning. Only 52 degrees inside my house, because sometime during the night my heater broke. But the sun came out, and when I got home from work, the heater was working again, so Molly the lab and I are starting to get warm.

In the midst of all this snow this month, I was thinking Sunday that we here on the Island have much to be thankful for. In spite of the cold and ice, the highway department personnel have tirelessly kept plowing, digging, and sanding the roads to make them safe for us and travel possible. Delivery people are still managing to bring us our packages, and everyone is struggling to make sure we have what we need. Thank you to all of you who do this for all of us.

Like so many other events that had to be postponed because of the snow, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse production, “Wicked Good Winter Cabaret,” has been rescheduled for Saturday, Feb. 21, at 7:30 pm. Tickets are available online at

A Fit in ’15 program, Guided Visualization, will be held at our Oak Bluffs library on Saturday, Feb. 21, from 1 pm to 2 pm. Learn the basics of this technique for help with anxiety and more. Dress comfortably. This a program for adults and older teens.

Wow: 1,414! That is the number of food items the Oak Bluffs School second grade collected and delivered to the Island Food Pantry. This would not have been possible without the generosity and work of many students and their families.

The school wants parents to be aware that in the event of a local outbreak of any vaccine-preventable illness, students who are not completely immunized — meaning they have received all required doses — will be excluded from school for a period of time. The duration of school exclusion varies with each vaccine-preventable illness, but in the case of measles, nonimmunized students will be excluded for a minimum of 21 days. If your child is missing doses of required vaccines, or if you are unsure if your child is up to date, please contact your child’s health care provider. For more of the most current and accurate measles information, please check the Centers for Disease Control web site:

Susan Von Steiger has recently retired from her position as outreach coordinator for the Oak Bluffs senior center. Last week a group of 19 women from the senior center honored Susan by taking her to lunch at the Martha’s Vineyard Chowder Co. What a great way to show their appreciation to Susan for her years of hard work and devotion.

Congratulations to Richard and Lorraine Mavro, who celebrate 66 years of marriage today, Feb. 19. Hope you celebrate in style.

We send birthday smiles to Brenda Lehman and Linda Scott on the 21st, and Katy Marchand and Rita Jeffers on the 22nd. Melanie Marchand, Kristen MacLean, and Paul Buckley Jr. share the 23rd, and Benjamin Peters, Wendy Macey and Linda Rice celebrate on the 25th.

Enjoy your week, and remember that next week is school-vacation week on the Island, so many kids will be about — and it looks like they will be sledding a lot! Peace.

One look out the window this Monday morning says it all. Everywhere I look the scenery is white, and more snow is coming. It will stop sometime. It always does, but in the meantime, here are a few reminders that will make life a little easier for everyone. If you have a hydrant near your house, please shovel it out, so if it is needed the fire department will have quick access to it. Check on your neighbors to make sure they are well and have heat and food, and remember the streets and sidewalks are coated with ice under all the new snow that is still falling. Most of us have now learned to do the “penguin waddle” as we maneuver over the icy paths.

Carol Christopher Clark is very grateful to everyone who donated to or attended her fundraiser. As a result of your generosity, she has been able to resolve some of the medical expenses that were incurred during her extended medical treatments. Thankfully, Carol is now in remission from her illness.

Back in the day — way, way back in the day actually — Saturday-night movies at the Capawock Theatre in Vineyard Haven were our wintertime entertainment. Now the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse, along with Island Entertainment, has launched a Monday Night at the Movies program. On Feb. 6 at 7:30 pm, the feature will be Batman, the Movie. So venture out on that night and enjoy 105 minutes of constant action and excitement that will bring a pleasant interruption to this dreary winter.

The Martha’s Vineyard Museum has a new exhibit, “Victorian Secrets.” The museum is exploring underwear’s place in history. “Victorian Secrets” will open on Friday, Feb. 13, with a reception from 5 pm to 7 pm in the Museum Galleries. Admission is free to members and $7 for nonmembers. The exhibit will be open through May 25.

Here is a story to warm your hearts in these cold days. Jodie and Bob Falkenburg decided to use their Christmas gift card for Offshore Ale last week to celebrate 65 years since their first date. While seated in the restaurant, they mentioned to the waiter that this was a special night, and told him why. Two men seated at the next table asked them if it were really true that they had their first date 65 years ago, and they told them it certainly was. They enjoyed their dinner, and when they asked the waiter for the bill, he said that the men sitting next to them had already taken care of it. Needless to say, they were overwhelmed by such a generous act from people they didn’t even know. The Falkenburgs are hoping that perhaps the men read this column and then will know how much they appreciated their generosity.

More interesting programs are coming up at our Oak Bluffs library. The Valentine Party for Kids will take place on Saturday, Feb. 14, from 10 am to 12 noon. There will be special crafts, candy, and more at this event for all ages. Enjoy Hearts and Hot Chocolate, also on Saturday, from 10 am to 2 pm. You can write a valentine to your favorite character in literature, and the best valentine wins a prize.

Birthday smiles for February to Woodside Village residents Rita Reynolds, Dennis Morrow, Glenda Cataloni, Ada Macomber, Rosemary Brown, Norman Either, Jeffrey Sullivan, John Bettencourt, Jack Shimmelman, Anne Sylvester, and Elaine Goldin. Smiles to Tory Pasqualino on Feb. 13, Susan Christopher on the 14th, brothers Eric and Michael deBettencourt and Lorraine Mavro on the 15th, Carol deBettencourt, Kathy Farrissey, and Fr. Michael Nagle on the 16th, and Carrie Tankard and Joel Rebello on the 18th.

Bring your hearts to the Linden Tree

Please join Sense of Wonder Creations’ young people this Saturday, Feb. 14, Valentine’s Day, from 10 am to 2 pm and after to place your homemade heart (make it waterproof if possible, or we can help with that) on the Linden Tree on Main Street in Vineyard Haven (next to Capawock), with your heartfelt hopes, dreams, or prayers for your family, friends, the world, or anyone you know who is in need. Then it is up to you and universal love to make your valentine promise come true. See you on Saturday. Write Pam Benjamin with any questions:

Enjoy your week, and don’t forget your special Valentine person Saturday. Peace.

What an experience this last week has been. Snowbound for most of last week, I was feeling as if I were in another world consisting of absolutely no color but white. Being forewarned, I felt I was well prepared with food, water, flashlights, battery lanterns, and wood for my wood stove in case I lost power, but one important item I had forgotten. My snow shovel was safely stored in the woodshed, and I was about two feet too short to get through the snow to reach it. It wasn’t as if I planned to shovel miles of snow, but it would have worked much better than the broom I had to use to push snow away from my doors in order to open them. Tuesday night, grandson Matt came by in attempt to plow me out, but the snow was too high and too heavy to move. He quickly shoveled a path to the front door and a space for my lab Molly to get to, and said a Bobcat was needed to clear the driveway. My kids and grandkids kept a check on me and brought me groceries, which were needed, as I was housebound until Thursday night when Marc Rivers of SOS Services came with his Bobcat and I was FREE! So I stayed home, but had plenty to occupy my mind, between looking out at the snow and my nonelectronic “toys,” books and a jigsaw puzzle I dug out of the corner of a seldom-used closet. I am still working on the puzzle, and it has replaced television as my source of entertainment.

Our library will hold an author’s talk with Al Woollacott on Saturday, Feb. 7, at  2 pm. He will read from his book, The Immigrant. A question-and-answer session will follow. Refreshments will be served. And here is a sweet treat for the kids: the Valentine Cookie Decorating for Kids program. It will be on Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 am to 12 noon, and they may make a special cookie for someone. All ages are welcome to attend. The Graphic Novel Book Club meets Tuesday, Feb. 10, at 7 pm, when they will discuss Pyongyang by Guy Delisle.

Remember, back in the day, when ham and bean suppers were the primary fundraising events for many organizations? Well, here is your chance to enjoy them again. The First Baptist Church in Vineyard Haven will be serving ham, baked beans, coleslaw, cornbread, dessert, and a beverage. Takeout is available, and there will be a free-will offering. This great supper will be held on Saturday, Feb. 7, at 6 pm.

The Oak Bluffs School seventh grade ski trip was postponed due to the blizzard. It has been rescheduled for Feb. 9, starting at 5 pm, until Thursday Feb. 12 at 6 pm.

Here are a few programs that might be of interest to many of you. It’s the big T (tax) time again, and the AARP Tax Aide Program, which provides trained volunteers to offer you assistance with filing annual federal taxes, will be starting up. Volunteers will be at the Oak Bluffs Library on March 3, March 27, and April 1. Call Rose Cogliano at 508-693-4509, ext. 3, to make an appointment. The volunteers are also offering assistance in other towns, so call local Councils on Aging in your towns for more info.

Our Y is offering a new program called the Memory Café. It is a social club for people experiencing memory loss who want the opportunity for social connections and friendships. Itwill meet Thursday mornings, starting today through June 25. For more info and times, call the Y.

We send birthday smiles to Maureen Anderson, and Bella Pasqualino today, Kelly Irene Pacheco on the 6th, Chloe Hoyt, Marc Rivers, and Sally Scott on the 7th, Adam Barmakian, Nelson deBettencourt, and Richard J. Mavro on the 10th, Juanita Suarez Espino and Cody Pachico on the 11th, and Melissa Kalagher and Simone Davis on the 12th.

Please drive carefully through these wintery episodes, and keep your eyes on your neighbors, checking on the housebound to make sure they are safe and warm.

Enjoy your week. Peace.