Authors Posts by Megan Alley

Megan Alley

Megan Alley

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At last it’s a bit cooler and you can actually get into town and find a parking space without too much trouble. The boat cruises are still docking outside the harbor and they bring in many sightseers, so we are hardly lonely, but at least now you probably recognize at least 50 percent of the people you meet on the street.

On Sunday it was exactly one month ago that our rescued yellow lab arrived at our home. Things have worked out unbelievably well. Molly was obviously well cared for, trained, and loved by her previous owners. I often wonder why she was relinquished and wish they could know how very happy she is here and what a loving addition to our home she is.

Don’t we all respond with a laugh when tourists ask quite seriously, “what do you people do in the winter?” All the events mentioned in my column this week are only a small portion of those happenings that keep us busy throughout the fall and winter and even into spring.

Sandra Fisher Thornton is visiting her sister Maureen Anderson for a few weeks. Sandra came especially to attend the 50th class reunion of her Alma Mater, New England Deaconess Hospital. She has enjoyed meeting many of her relatives and numerous friends here in Oak Bluffs.

The time of the free Sunday class at the Mansion House has changed from 5:30 to 3:30 pm. On Sunday, Oct. 3, Brenda Wallis will be instructing the class Butt N’Up. Come join in for this great workout!

On October 1 the M.V. Film Society autumn film series at the Katharine Cornell Theatre opens with “Ondine,” a new film from Irish director Neil Jordan starring Colin Farrell. Additional information can be found on the film society web site (including links to movie trailers) at

Carlin Hart will serve as auctioneer for the Oak Bluffs School Eighth Grade Auction to benefit the Class of 2011 at Farm Neck on Sunday, October 3. Once again, they have great items for you to bid on.

The 6th grade trip to Camp Alton Jones is planned for October 6 to 8. This is a very enriching experience for 6th graders.

The annual Open House for grades K-5 will be held on October 7. This event gives parents and others an opportunity to sample their child’s classroom and school environment (along with their child). The open house will be preceded by a pasta dinner, which is sponsored by the 8th grade to benefit their annual trip next spring.

The school’s fall production this year will be “Annie,” and they are opening up the chorus for children (especially girls) grades 1 and up. It is necessary for a parent, guardian, or babysitter of appropriate age to be present with your student at all rehearsals. Mark your calendars now for the performance dates, Friday through Sunday, November 19 –21. It should be a great show!

The grade 6-8 track meets are scheduled for Fridays, October 1, 8, and 15, at 3:30 at the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School.

The Community Solar Greenhouse Fall Festival will be held this year on Sunday, Oct. 3, from 12 noon to 3 pm at 114 New York Ave. (next to Dick’s bait shop) in Oak Bluffs. There will be games, trifles, and treasures, raffle, free soup, music, and vendors.

The 3rd Annual Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School ’80s Dance Party and Rock Auction will be held this Saturday, Oct. 2, at Nectar’s. Silent auction starts at 6:30 and the live auction starts at 8 followed by Dancemania with DJ Jason Araujo. $25 includes Flatbread’s pizza and salad bar! There will be tons of great auction items, including a week in Virgin Gorda; chainsaw work; private Super Bowl Party; ski weekend in Vail; fishing trip with Louis Larsen; Dream Garden (bobcat work, landscaping, plantings); and Celtics tickets.

The Island Elderly Housing Arts and Crafts show will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Woodside Village Building 2 from 1 to 3 pm. Come and see the many creations fashioned by these residents and you can probably get a head start on your holiday shopping.

We send birthday smiles to Grace Vanderhoop and Elyse Madeiras on Oct. 2, Will deBettencourt IV and Marc Hanover on Oct. 5, Tony White on Oct. 5, and Robert Moreis on the 6th.

Enjoy your week.Peace.

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A brief but moving ceremony, reflecting on the tragedy of 9/11, was held at the Nelson W. Amaral Fire station on Wing Road on Saturday. All the EMS and Fire Department vehicles were pulled out on the tarmac with lights flashing. Fire and EMS personnel in uniform stood at attention in memory of those who perished on that evil day.

Later that afternoon, the Oak Bluffs Fire Museum open house was well attended. We do appreciate the beauty of that corner of the Town and all the hard work of the people that made it possible.

Our condolences to the family of Erick Clements: his parents, Vera-Jean and Albert, and siblings, Albert, and his wife, Becky, and his sister, Summer-Anne. They have our deepest sympathy. What a loving tribute to Erick was the graveside service for him on Saturday last with so many relatives and friends attending to show their caring.

Condolences also to the family of Barbara Lewis especially her four sons. A cheerful hardworking person, she will be missed.

Looking for a high-intensity training class? The Mansion House offers a free fitness class on Sunday, Sept. 17, at 5:30 pm. Brenda Correa will challenge your fitness level and muscular endurance with a variety of equipment and movements.

Michelle Bettencourt is another Oak Bluffs resident who has been chosen to serve as an Muscular Dystrophy Association Jailbird, going behind bars to help Jerry’s Kids©. In order to be released, she needs your help to raise $1,600 bail.

The school is now in full swing and Back to School Night for grades 6, 7, and 8 is on September 17. Beginning October 1, the Carousel newsletter will no longer be distributed to each student. The Carousel will be available online as always and there will be a supply of the paper Carousel in the office. Please support the school’s effort to go green.

Once again it is Sally Foster time at the Oak Bluffs School. But this year they are using Meadow Farms Fundraising. The Meadow Farms packets have been sent home. This paper and gift sale is the PTO’s biggest fundraiser of the year. The money raised supports all of the things the PTO does to enrich life at the Oak Bluffs School. If you have any questions about Meadow Farms, please contact Carla Hoyt at 508-693-8481 or Paula Caron at 508-696-0642.

At the Oak Bluffs library on Thursday, Sept. 16, at 6 pm, there will be an author’s talk with Paul Samuel Dolman on his book “Hitchhiking With Larry David.” A question and answer session follows his talk. Refreshments will be served.

Saturday, Sept. 25, from 10 am to 2 pm, Puzzle Day in the Children’s Room for ages 3 and up takes place. There will be jigsaw puzzles, word games, a maze, and scavenger hunt . There will be prizes and the special craft time will be 11 am to 12 noon.

The Friday Conversations program will be at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center: 10 am to 11:30 am on Friday, Sept 17. The guest will be Paul Pimentel of the Vineyard Power Committee. This is a grass-roots group that wants to create a wind farm out in the ocean, beyond Nomans Land. Paul will discuss the feasibility, benefits, and the economics of a wind farm at that location.

Here is news about an upcoming Willoughby family reunion. It will be on September 18 from 1 to 6 pm at the P-A club. It will be potluck with a grill available. If possible anyone attending is asked to please bring pictures and pass the word. Folks from Virginia, Michigan,Connecticut, Nova Scotia, Vermont, North Carolina and who knows where else will be attending.

Many Woodside Village residents are celebrating their birthdays this month; we send special smiles to Jeannette Vincent, Spencer Hilton, Emma Goldhorn, Linda Andrews, Lillian Bush and also to Aidlyberg Village resident William Sullivan.

Also getting birthday smiles are Patti Moreis and Kathy Burton on September 17. Donald Combra sends birthday wishes to his son Michael Combra all the way to New Hampshire. Ronnie Klein celebrates on Sept. 19 with special wishes from wife Roxanne, Smiles to Cory and Amber Medeiros on Sept. 20, followed by Ruthie Metell on the next day.

Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Thank you to all the emergency workers that planned ahead for the possibility of disasters due to a hurricane. What a thankless job that sometimes is, especially when the disaster never arrives. But if it had, every one of those people would be getting high praise instead of the few, thank goodness, critical reviews.

We were fortunate that we were spared, and now we are getting closer to perfection in our preparedness for such events. It doesn’t seem as if many people fled the possibility of a hurricane hitting the Island last weekend as the streets were crowded on Sunday, and Monday morning, Labor Day, you could hardly walk, never mind drive, through the streets to shop or whatever you had to do. Soon there will be quite a change, but this wonderful weather seems to make people more reluctant than ever to leave here, and can you blame them?

Today from 6 to 7:30 pm, at the Oak Bluffs library, there will be an artist’s opening and reception as Wilfred Dantis presents his vibrant work in a show titled Images of Haiti. Come and meet the artist. His pictures remain on display through September.

Next Wednesday, Sept. 15, from 10:30-11:30 am: The Poetry Group meets with Brigitte Lent. Enjoy poetry and read your own or the work of others in a relaxed atmosphere. This group meets the third Wednesday each month.

Have you always been interested in taking a “Spinning” class ? Now is your opportunity to try this great workout for free with Spinning instructor and Fitness Director, Brenda Wallis on Sunday, Sept. 12, at 5:30 pm at the Mansion House.

Mary Paula Hunter and her wonderful company of young dancers from Providence, R.I. will be at The Yard Saturday, Sept. 11, at 4 and 8 pm. If you would like more information, please contact The Yard at or 508-645-9662.

We know summer is over when all church services for the Good Shepherd Parish of Martha’s Vineyard change to their winter schedule of being held at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church in Oak Bluffs. St. Augustine’s in Vineyard Haven and St. Elizabeth’s in Edgartown are now closed until spring.

There will be a Monday Night Special at the Vineyard Playhouse on September 13 when they present a staged reading of a new play by Alice van Buren — “Ink,” a tale of captivity. In the wake of the great native revolt known as King Philip’s War, a woman who was “captured” must submit her tale on paper for the Puritan leaders. For more information regarding times and tickets, contact the box office 508-696-6300, ext. 21, or e-mail

The fifth annual Martha’s Vineyard Film International Film Festival will take place September 9-12. In just a few short years, the festival has become an end-of-summer highlight for many people.

We send birthday smiles to young Ryan Araujo on September 10, Linda Ben David on the 11th, and Emily deBettencourt and Valarie O’Donnell the next day. My daughter Mary Alley celebrates on September 13, Florence Ben David on September 15, and Rick Kelly on September 16.

The Oak Bluffs School, along with all the Island schools, opens this morning. It will be different in many ways with some new students, new staff, and of course a new principal, Carlin Hart. So best wishes and high hopes to all for a great year.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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The Island is quieter now for a moment before Labor Day weekend. Can you believe summer is drawing to a close? These past few weeks I have been busy making pickles and, thanks to a friend who donated the beach plums, I have been making jelly. Not having made it for quite a few years, I discovered one necessity I absolutely had to have this time around — my good eye glasses to read the recipe.

The President and all of his entourage left on Sunday. It felt and sounded like we were under invasion for a while with the noise and sights of numerous helicopters and very large planes. Hopefully, he and his family were able to enjoy some moments of peace. I always wonder if the President would appreciate being treated as a “regular tourist” or prefers all the attention being focused on him.

Pam Rogers, daughter of Bob and Jodie Falkenburg, who live in the Campground, had quite an adventure on her last night of working at the Beach Plum Inn on Friday evening. She ended up being the server for President and Mrs. Obama and their guests for dinner. She said they both were charming and very easy to communicate with.

Don’t forget that there will be an open house at the new Fire Museum at the Nelson W. Amaral Wing Road Fire Station in Oak Bluffs this Saturday, Sept. 4, from 1 to 3 pm. All are welcome. Now is your chance to view the inside of this interesting building.

If you are interested in seeing what ACE-MV has to offer this fall you can download a copy of ACE-MV Fall 2010 catalog or pick one up soon. Registration is now available online.

The First Annual Buddy Harris Bid Whist Classic was held at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs on Wednesday, August 25, attended by nearly 75 vacationers and Islanders. For nearly 20 years, Buddy Harris was a vacationer on Martha’s Vineyard setting up housekeeping on Ocean Avenue near Ocean Park in Oak Bluffs. Buddy had a love for playing cards and enjoyed challenging friends and visitors to daily games of Bid Whist. As a tribute to the life and legacy of Buddy, his friends organized this event.

At the 5th Annual Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival, actor Matthew Modine will receive the Global Citizen Award. For any questions regarding the festival, mail film festival organizers at, or call 508-696-9369.

The Oak Bluffs library is moving ahead with a busy fall schedule. Tonight at 6 pm, the Movie Night film is the Noir classic “Laura,” starring Dana Andrews, Gene Tierney, and Clifton Webb, and directed by Otto Preminger. Free admission and popcorn. And on Friday at 11 am, Tom Dresser returns to discuss his new book, “African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard: From Enslavement to Presidential Visit.”

The Woman’s Club of Martha’s Vineyard, organized by Sarah Joy Mayhew and Mary Wesley Worth, will be starting its 112th year of meetings on September 20th. New members are more than welcome. The objectives of the club are social, literary, civic, and philanthropic. For more information, call Janice Belisle at 508-627-4861. Please join them.

Remember that school opens next week and with so many students of all ages riding their bikes and walking between home and school and back again, please be very aware of their unpredictable maneuvers.

We send birthday smiles to Pam Melrose and Bink deBettencourt on August 30, Nancy Giordano, Sean Flynn and Les Phillips share the 31st, Tony Ferreira on Sept. 1, Ed Ben David Sr. and Evelyn Christopher will celebrate on the 2nd. Our favorite person behind the meat counter at Reliable Market, Bob Pacheco SHOULD take a few hours off on the 3rd to party. Young Skylar Christopher Hall gets his birthday cake on the 6th and the queen of Rosebud Balloons, Susan Phillips, gets a smile on Sept. 7.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Monday was what I call a summer respite day. It was as if the Island got a much-needed shower to clean up after a very hot and busy summer. It gave us time to stop, take a breath, and relax while watching the rain and listening to the wind — that is if you were not trying to travel by auto to any town on the Island. Traffic was the slowest and busiest I have ever seen.

My, but there are an awful lot of people on the Island angry about many happenings in Oak Bluffs. People are angry about dirty beaches, lack of an animal control officer, no helpful responses from the health agent regarding beach closures, lack of police presence… and the list goes on. Seems to me most of these problems could be brought down to manageable size, if not solved, by proper communication.

On Saturday last, niece Kathy Farrissey traveled to Connecticut to pick up our adopted rescue lab, Molly. Molly arrived all the way from Tennessee on the “Last Chance Railway” after three months of negotiations with the lab rescue organization, labs4rescue. Somewhere between three and five years old and a bit overweight, she is a sweet yellow English Lab, comes when called, and an absolute gem. She fit right in with our family, and also all of our couches, and seems to want to make ours her forever home. Kathy felt it was quite an experience to go and watch the many rescued dogs being greeted by their new families as they got off the bus. Myself, I think Kathy would make a wonderful animal control officer for Oak Bluffs, even if only for emergencies. Any seconds on that nomination?

There is a new group forming, Friends and Neighbors of Sunset Lake (FANS of Sunset Lake), and they are doing a fabulous job working with the Town of Oak Bluffs, Conservation Commission, and Parks Department to clean and beautify the park. Special thanks to those who participated and donated to this worthwhile event.

Pam and Jim Butterick will once again open their home at 359 Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs and host An Evening of Music on the Lagoon on Sunday, September 5 at 6 pm. Please come and enjoy the musical trio consisting of John Gorman, Jan Hyer, and Matt Pelikan as they set the sunset scene for the final Sunday of the summer, while enjoying wine and appetizers. There is no admission charge, but a generous donation of any amount is encouraged that will directly benefit the ongoing restoration of the historic 1895 Hook and Hastings pipe organ of the Federated Church of Edgartown. Any questions please call 505-939-0335 or email

On August 29 at 5:30 pm, the Mansion House is offering a free fitness class with Brenda Wallis. The club’s fitness director will be hosting her class, Hard Core. Be prepared to work all your core muscles hard, using equipment such as gliding discs and stability balls.

At the Oak Bluffs library tonight at 5:30 pm, come and hear Susan Klein speak about Island communities, traditions, and transformations. See the new video and get your personally inscribed copy of the new book, “Martha’s Vineyard: Now & Zen.”

Shawn Broadly was chosen to serve as an MDA Jailbird and being Locked-Up to help Jerry’s Kids©. In order to be released on good behavior, he will need your help to raise his “bail,” which has been set at $1,600 to benefit individuals and families served by MDA who are affected by neuromuscular disease and to help this important cause.

On Sunday, August 29 from 4 to 6 pm will be the opening of the Art of the Ceramic Bowl show. Island potters will be making bowls for a cost of $25. You choose your bowl, and it will be filled with soup; the meal includes Rickard’s bread, beverages, and dessert.

The Rev. Robert Hensley of the Grace Episcopal Church, and the Island Ecumenical Council, will hold a special service on Sunday, Sept. 5 at 11 am followed by a picnic at the Tabernacle to provide support and financial assistance to residents of the Gulf Coast region. The Theme of this special worship service is “It Isn’t Easy Being Green.” A free-will offering will be taken and donated to Community Services of Louisiana. Free tickets are available from the sponsoring churches. Other groups and businesses wishing to take part, donate food, participate, or who are seeking additional information are asked to contact the Rev. Robert Hensley at Grace Church: 508-693-0332

We send birthday smiles to Ginny Hall and her son-in-law Leon Holt and Erin deBettencourt on August 25, Christine Anthony on the 24th, Retired Chief Nelson Amaral and Ken Ruszyk on the 26th, brothers Matt and Andrew Marchand share the 28th along with grandson Chris Alley. And guess who turns 100 the 29th? Alice Rose, who still manages to keep her flower garden beautiful along Wing Road.

Enjoy your week.


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Now dawn comes later and prods me awake as ruffles of light peek in around the edge of the window shades an hour before it is time for the alarm to go off. Even the crows that only a few weeks ago were full of enthusiastic cawing, waking the neighborhood with their annoying calls, sound reluctant and unenthusiastic as their harsh calls barely sound across the trees. So summer starts to wind down as the dark also creeps in earlier, and suddenly the days are shorter, as is the time to enjoy the outside. With all the events taking place this week, you will have to move quickly to fit them all in.

The wondrous Agricultural Fair opens this week with many exhibits, side shows, and of course all the games for both young at heart and younger. And those colorful fireworks will once more be shown on Friday night, thanks to the hard work of the Oak Bluffs Firemen’s Civic Association members and volunteer firefighters. Show your support for both events the best you can so that these traditions can continue.

You can now follow the M.V. Film Society and the M.V. International Film Festival both on Twitter and Facebook by clicking on the appropriate name. Become a fan and keep in touch with the world of cinema on the Island.

The M.V. Campground and Tabernacle has offered many programs this summer and they just keep coming. Today, Thursday, Aug. 19, at 4 pm there will be a special children’s event of Steve Songs in Concert. One of the original members of Vineyard Sound, Steve is the star of “Mr. Steve” on PBS Kids. Wonderful concert for children and adults and no admission charge.

The 175th Anniversary Celebration of the founding of the Camp Meeting on Martha’s Vineyard will take place on Sunday, Aug. 22, at 7pm. There will be a MVCMA Historical presentation by Marge Hopkins and refreshments. All are welcome to join in the very special celebration with no admission charge.

Cottage Gardens will be the subject on August 25 at 9:30 am as Alicia Lesnikowski and Thalia Scanlan from COMSOG will be in the Tent to discuss appropriate plants for a cottage garden. And a real farewell to summer as the final Community Sing for 2010 at the Tabernacle takes place on August 25 at 8 pm.

There will be an All-island Kick-off event called “Let’s Move Martha’s Vineyard” on Tuesday, Aug. 24 (rain date Aug. 25), based on Michelle Obama’s National initiative “Let’s Move” to get communities involved in stopping childhood obesity within the next generation. The object is to get individuals and families started on a year-long effort to increase activity and perhaps eat a bit healthier.

There are a number of free activities along with our Island chefs’ examples of how to fit healthier meals in an affordable easy manner into busy lives. The location will be in Oak Bluffs Parks with Alley Park (formerly Waban) as the central HQ. Activities start around 8:30 am at the Inkwell (Town) Beach with the Polar Bears, followed by Outrigger canoe trials and quick swimming “skill pointers.” Alley Park Fun activities, music, and demos are from 1 to 6 pm. Niantic Park Pro Tennis Exhibition, MVRHS Boys and Girls Tennis vs. Town officials, and Tennis “skill pointers” from 10 am to 3:30 pm and M.V. Little League 11- vs. 12-year-olds All Star Game at 6 pm in Veira Park.

Starting August 20 you can see the website for course descriptions and online registration for ACE-MV at for adult and community education.

There will be early registration at the Let’s Move Martha’s Vineyard Kick-Off Festival from 1 to 6 pm.

MV’s new Flatbread Company is different from other pizzerias in two ways: They use locally grown organic ingredients, and every Tuesday is Benefit Night as therestaurant donates $3.50 for every flatbread sold between 5 and 10 pm to a local nonprofitorganization. Tuesday, Aug. 24, the proceeds will benefit the M.V. Center for Living. This is a wonderful way for Vineyarders to help their local nonprofits.

The free fitness classes are continuing every Sunday at the Mansion House. This Sunday, Aug. 22, join Island healer, Fae Konjte-Gibbs, as she guides you through her yoga class called “Inner Body Yoga.”

So many of us have admired the new Oak Bluffs Firemen’s Museum at the four corners by the Fire Station. All of this was made possible by the determination, hard work, and dreams of retired Oak Bluffs Fire Dept. captain Donald Billings, and the late assistant chief, Bill Norton. Many donations were made by citizens and also landscapers, electricians, and other vendors who either donated time and materials or charged the minimum price possible for their services. We all have seen the beautiful results of this cooperation. On Saturday Sept. 4, there will be an open house there starting at 1 pm. There are plans in the works to possibly open the museum two half-days a week so the memorabilia there may be viewed by visitors. They also would love to have any fire department-related objects that you would like to donate.

We send birthday smiles to Terry McCarthy and Richard Mello III on August 12, Nelson Oliver and Shaun DePriest the next day, Russ MacDonald on August 18 and Becky Rogers and my son Dion Alley on August 19.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Crowds, longer traffic jams, high humidity, and a struggle to remain patient signal the arrival of August. We know that it is also the wind down of summer, so do those things that you were going to do “someday” today.

On Thursday, Aug. 12, from 6 to 7 pm, Gus Ben David returns to our library for an encore presentation of his “Animal Interviews.” His July event was SRO, so come early. Then on Friday, Aug. 13, at 11 am author Tom Dresser will talk about his new book, “African Americans on Martha’s Vineyard: From Enslavement to Presidential Visit.”

This Sunday, Aug. 15, The Mansion House is offering another free class at 5:30 pm. Featured is a Pilates Power Mat class with certified Pilates instructor Brenda Correa.

Walter Ashley of Oak Bluffs, owner of C&W Power Equipment, is featured in the August issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine, in an article on chainsaw cutting at the Ag Fair.

Just follow the light on August 18 and it will take you to the Campground for Grand Illumination Night, where hundreds of lanterns will decorate the cottages and surrounding areas. The Friends of the O.B. Council on Aging will host their 2nd annual Illumination Night Lobster Roll Sale that same night starting at 5 pm. Included on the menu are the rolls, chips, cookies or brownies for dessert and a beverage for the price of $15. This fundraising event directly benefits the O.B. Sr. Center.

Trinity Episcopal Church in Oak Bluffs will have the very reverend John P. “Jep” Streit as celebrant on the next two Sundays, August 15 and 22. The Rev. Streit is dean of St. Paul’s Cathedral in Boston, where he is well known for his outreach and inclusiveness among Boston’s diverse ethnic and religious communities. Trinity Episcopal Church, a summer chapel, is located across from the Steamship Authority in Oak Bluffs. Services are at 9 am and all are welcome.

Only five weeks until the M.V. International Film Festival. The Festival will take place on September 9, so stay tuned for more info as we receive it.

My sister Joyce Wadsworth is here from her home in Paso Robles, Calif., visiting her daughter Lynn Rebello and Lynn’s children, James, Ashley, and Joel. We took her for a ride to Menemsha on Sunday and she saw the damage to the waterfront there for the first time. Even though a lot has been cleaned up, she still was overwhelmed by the loss.

You won’t have to venture outside the Campground area in Oak Bluffs for a variety of entertainment. This afternoon at 4 pm there is a special children’s event with The Airborne Comedians, a comedy with Amazing Juggling. Fun for all ages! Free Admission.

Tomorrow at 7:30 pm for Monster Madness, a children’s musical play performed by children in the Campground community. And a treat for adults will be held on Saturday, Aug. 14, at 6 pm when there will be an Evening Concert with the Artie Shaw Orchestra and music and dancing to wonderful big-band music.

On Sunday, Aug. 15, at 7 pm, the Family Movie night at the Tabernacle will feature “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.” Free-will offering. And you are asked to please bring a nonperishable food donation for the Island Food Pantry. The summer film series in the Tabernacle continues with the film “Last Train Home” on August 17.

The Animal Shelter of Martha’s Vineyard and the friends of Oak Bluffs together are presenting an evening with jazz legend Ramsey Lewis at the Performing Arts Center on the campus of the MVRHS. This fundraiser will take place this Sunday, Aug. 15, at 7:30 pm. Doors will open at 6:30.

The M.V. Garden Club will hold its annual meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 17, at 1 pm at The Old Mill in West Tisbury. The topic for this month’s program isHow Birds Have Changed, presented by Gazette columnist Soo Whiting of Chilmark.

Most Islanders are familiar with the Jimmy Fund, but Rose Cogliano, the popular assistant director of the Oak Bluffs Senior Center, has a special interest in The Dana -Farber Cancer Institute’s walk in Boston on September 12. Her 38-year-old sister, Denise Cogliano, the youngest of Rose’s eight siblings, died suddenly in March of this year. Denise also had Island connections, working for Susan Branch, and she had some wonderful friends here on the Island. She was a strong supporter of this march and always lead a team in memory of her father, Joseph Cogliano. Upon Denise’s death, Rose’s daughter Marguerite didn’t hesitate to take over team Cogliano with the help of Sotheby’s Real Estate in Boston, the firm Denise worked for. So, if you would like to support this team, sign on to team Denise-Gibson Sotheby’s and show the people up in Boston that we Vineyarders can make a big difference!

We send birthday smiles to Terry McCarthy and Richard Mello III today, Nelson Oliver and Shaun dePriest on August 13, Russ MacDonald on August 18, and my son Dion Alley and Becky Rogers on August 19.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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Well, we say goodbye to July this week and hope that August will be a little cooler and less humid, but I don’t think that has ever happened. I can’t imagine there being more people and tourists in town than there were this month, but usually there are. I guess we have to hang in there a little longer and adapt to the traffic jams, long lines, and no parking places.

The Federated Church House Tour Committee announces that its upcoming 4th annual Edgartown house tour, will be held on Tuesday, Aug. 10, from 2 to 4:30. This year’s tour will include four wonderful homes with seven sites, including a charming boathouse on the harbor. Tickets are $35 each and may be purchased in advance by mailing checks to the Federated Church (with House Tour in the subject box) P.O. Box 249, Edgartown, MA, 02539, or may be purchased the day of the tour in front of the church.

Congratulations to Richard Combra Sr. who is the new Farm Neck Golf Club Champion. His staff at the Big Dipper send hearty cheers his way.

Greg Skomal of Oak Bluffs, who is about to leave the Island, is the featured scientist in a July 2010 Martha’s Vineyard Magazine article called “Unraveling the Great White Hype.” In the article, Greg talks about sharks in New England waters, and specifically about the increasing population of gray seals, a favorite food of great white sharks, in the waters off the Cape and Islands.

The Free Sunday specials at the Mansion House will run through the month of August . This Sunday, Aug. 1, at 5:30 pm, fitness director Brenda Wallis will be teaching her popular class, Butt n’ Up. Blending strength training, low-impact aerobics, and yoga, this fusion class will give you an all-over body workout.

We have been enjoying our South Carolina relatives’ visit for the past two weeks. Our son and daughter -in-law Dion and Debra and their children, 14-year-old Ben and 5-year-old Paige, have been visiting and entertaining us these past couple of weeks and reconnecting with their Island relatives. Grandson Sam had to remain back home in Charleston as he enters his sophomore year of college in a few weeks, so now his summers are spent working. The family started the long drive back home today and now things are very quiet.

The Vineyard Playhouse, Doug Liman, and his friends Tamara Buchwald and Abigail Rose Solomon, will be presenting a gala celebration to benefit the Playhouse. Come and enjoy the sunset at his historic 18th century Chilmark homestead on the ocean on Sunday, Aug. 1, from 5 to 8 pm, featuring a performance by Film, TV, and Tony award-winning Broadway actress and singer Debra Monk accompanied by Wesley Nagy. Please RSVP to Tessa Hayward 508-693-6450 ext. 29 or

Katie Mayhew and David Crohan have released a CD of a live recording of their duets from their Fall 2009 concert at the Whaling Church. A percentage of the profits from the CD will be donated to several different Island nonprofits, including COMSOG (The Community Solar Greenhouse) and Camp Jabberwocky.

Katie and David will be performing together again this summer at a benefit concert for COMSOG on August 1 at the Whaling Church at 4:30 pm. CDs will be on sale at that concert.

Marquerite Cogliano has been placed on the Dean’s list at U-Mass Amherst. Marguerite is majoring in sociology and criminal justice and will be a senior in this upcoming year. Her mother Rose and brother Joe are very proud of her.

Want to try a brief free ride on one of those Hawaiian outrigger canoes by the little bridge? Just call 508-627-6097 and a free tryout will be arranged.

If you want a relaxing and entertaining time this summer, come and see Marty Nadler’s show at the Tabernacle on Saturday, Aug. 7, at 8 pm. Titled “Very Vineyard,” you will laugh and actually relate to much of the material. Marty has added some new material along with some of the classic pieces.

Penny and Don Hinkle found a parakeet at their East Chop home on Sunday. To claim it, please phone 508-693-2637.

We send birthday smiles to Heather White, Bernie Crossland, and Ashley Medeiros on July 30, Sofia McGroarty Sampaio on August 1, Tricia Bergeron and Donald Mitchell on August 4, and Joann DeBettencourt, Evamae Magee, and Susan Klein on August 5.Belated smiles to David deBettencourt who celebrated on July 14.Enjoy your week.Peace.

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These past few weeks have tested the abilities of the Island’s EMS and Fire departments to the nth degree. How fortunate we are to live in a community where cooperation between these departments brings forth the absolute best abilities of each individual and each group. We are very lucky that no matter what emergency event takes place we are in the best of hands and are so very proud of all involved.

Congratulations to Shawna Medeiros and John Odonnell on the birth of their son, Liam Sean Odonnell who was born on June 30. His proud grandparents are Valarie and Bruce Odonnell, also of Oak Bluffs.

Tom Dresser will be the guest speaker at the Friday Conversations program at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center on July 23. Tom will discuss his latest book, “African Americans on the Vineyard, from Slavery to Obama.” This is Tom’s 10th book on subjects from murder to the many charms of the Island.

The African Artists Community Development Project is bringing Melanie DeMore back to the Island to hold a singing workshop for the concert on August 5 at Union Chapel. With grace, humor, and energy she teaches her African-American folk and gospel music in easy to remember four-part harmony that is guaranteed to lift the spirit. Please join them either at the workshops or the concert at Union Chapel to raise money for Zambian orphans and disabled children. The Children’s Singing Workshop with Melanie is at 2 pm at the Grange Hall Theater in West Tisbury and the Adult Sing Workshop is at 6 pm at the Charter School, also in West Tisbury.

The Crab Cake Suppers have started again this summer. They are held each Wednesday at the Trinity Church Parish House across from the Tabernacle in Oak Bluffs from 6 to 7 pm or until sold out, so get there early. The cost is $12 for a full meal, and hot dog meals are also available for $5. Meals can be eaten in or taken out and proceeds from the suppers go to various mission and/or community outreach programs that the church supports.

Where are Vanessa and baby Bong Bong? These treasures have not been seen in Farm Pond this year and we are wondering where they might be or what has happened to them.

The sixth annual Della Hardman Day celebration sponsored by the Town of Oak Bluffs will be held on Saturday, July 31, in Ocean Park. A series of cultural and educational programs are being planned for the 2010 celebration by the Della Hardman Day Committee composed of year-round and seasonal residents.

On Sunday, July 25, the Mansion House is offering a body conditioning class for free. Join trainer Brenda Correa at 5:30 pm as she guides you safely through a series of strengthening moves both with and without a variety of equipment. All are welcome, both members and non-members. The free Sunday series will continue through the month of August.

Yard Arts are featuring many events among which will be “All Things Mozart,” a lecture/concert with Cori Ellison, on Tuesday, August 3, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm and other programs too numerous to list here. For information or to register, please call 508-645-9662 or visit

Two popular speakers are returning to the Oak Bluffs library in the upcoming weeks. Tom Dresser is coming back on Friday, Aug. 13, at 11 am and Michael Wooley on Thursday, July 29.

We send birthday smiles to Aiden and Logan Araujo on July 24, Paul Robinson and Joanne Debettencourt on the 26th and Travis Bernard, Rachel Barrett, and Denise Alwardt on July 29.

Enjoy your week.Peace.

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This hot and so very humid weather has lasted for such a long stretch it makes us wonder if we have been suddenly transported to a place somewhere in the tropics. Now, instead of a rarity, air conditioners have become commonplace and thank goodness for the dry, cool air they provide. It is not without a loss however, as with the windows being closed, I do so miss the sounds of the birds singing that draws me to the window to watch them eating at the feeders. And I no longer hear the sweet sound of the wind chimes outside the bedroom windows that lull me to sleep. I guess, while this heat wave persists, I will have to make the choice between comfort and pleasure.

I have received many comments about the item in last weeks column regarding the beach rubbish incident. I am starting to feel like the rubbish police as one reader wanted me to know that there is someone who “smuggles” rubbish into the public bathrooms by the bulkhead via her large beach bag, where she leaves her trash in the containers there. If everyone played fairly, it would cost everyone a lot less for town services.

On Friday, July 16, the guest speaker at the Friday Conversations program at the Oak Bluffs Senior Center will be Peter Martell, Emergency Management Director for Oak Bluffs. Peter will talk about the dangers related to, and preparations for, the hurricane season, which is now upon us. Peter has many years of experience as emergency management director and will share his knowledge and insights.

Follow the crowd to the Oak Bluffs library for their annual book sale. On Friday, July 23 from 10 am to 5 pm, and on Saturday July 24 from 10 am until 3 pm you may find the best bargains on used and interesting books. Sunday from 12 noon to 2 pm is the giveaway day when you may get a book at no charge. Please remember that this event will be at the Oak Bluffs library this year.

Congratulations to my friend of more than 50 years, Ruthie Metell, who was honored as the volunteer of the year at the Oak Bluffs senior center. Ruthie has always been one of the first to volunteer to help out with any charity event, never complaining, always smiling.

The Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club will hold its monthly meeting on Tuesday, July 20 at 1 pm at The Old Mill in West Tisbury. The topic for this month’s program is hydrangeas. Paul Mahoney, the guru of plant disease diagnoses and the owner of Mahoney’s Garden Center, will present the program.

Another free class is being offered by the Mansion House on July 18. A new piece of strength training equipment called the kettlebell will be featured. Master kettlebell trainer Mathea Morais will guide you through a series of powerful and dynamic moves that will work all the muscles in your body including the heart. This class begins at 5:30 pm.

On Friday evening, July 23, from 7 to 8 pm, the story of Captain Levi Jackson and the rescue of 14 people from the Mertie B. Crowley, which wrecked off Wasque on January 23, 1910, will be told by his great-grandson Herb Ward. The talk will take place at the Parish House of the Federated Church, on the corner of Cooke and South Water Streets in Edgartown. A suggested donation of $10 will go to the Minister’s Discretionary Fund, to help Island families in need.

Maureen and Bill Anderson, daughters Kristen Anderson, Kathy Farrissey, Gretchen Anderson, and son Bill hosted a graduation party for Kristen’s son Ian Thompson last week. Ian graduated from the high school at St. Pete’s Beach in Florida so this get-together enabled his New England relatives to offer their congratulations.

The annual Campground Flea Market takes place on Saturday, July 17 from 9 am to 1 pm, rain or shine.

Livingston Taylor, with special guest Kate Taylor, will be in concert that night at 8 pm. Tickets are $20 and $35. This will be a rare opportunity to have both Livingston and Kate together for a wonderful evening at the Tabernacle. Then on Sunday, at 8 pm there will be a concert with Ed Kilbourne, singer, song-writer, story-teller. A free-will offering will be taken.

There will be two shows at The Yard this weekend. The Bridgman/Packer Dance, on Friday, July 16 at 8 pm and on Sunday, July 18 at 6 pm. Then there will be an evening with dance photographer Lois Greenfield, Sunday, July 17 at 5:30 pm. Please feel free to contact Yard Artistic Director Wendy Taucher at 508-645-9662 or if you would like further info.

Deborah Colter will meet and greet visitors to the Cousen Rose Gallery on Saturday, July 17 for a Meet-the-Artist Reception from 7 to 9 pm. While you are enjoying the art, the reception music will be provided by Peter MacLean.

Don’t forget the P.A. Feast starting this Saturday followed by the parade and more feasting on Sunday.

Our deepest condolences to the family of Linda Francis. We know she was loved by her sister Susan, daughter Felicia, and her granddaughter Ariana, all of whom will miss her dearly.

We send birthday smiles to Sophie Combra on July 16, Russell Rogers and Summer Clements the next day, Suzanne Metell on July 18, Lynn Webster on July 19 and Charlene Alley on the 22.

Enjoy your week.