Authors Posts by The Martha's Vineyard Times

The Martha's Vineyard Times


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The Gatchell house is a holiday treat. —File photo by Robert Gatchell

Continuing a 36-year tradition, at 5 pm on Thanksgiving evening Lynn and Robert Gatchell of Oak Bluffs will hit the switch on thousands of Christmas lights, along with a holiday decoration lineup that includes flying reindeer, candy canes, talking Santas, a toy train, choir people, penguins, and a nativity set outside their home on County Road.

The official lighting does more than delight passersby. It is also the kickoff to the family’s donation drive for the Island Food Pantry.

The Gatchell house is at 148 County Road in Oak Bluffs, between the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and the Oak Bluffs fire station. The light display will be on from 5 to 8 pm until a week before Christmas, when hours will be extended to 5 to 9 pm. Mr. Gatchell said Santa and Mrs. Claus plan to stop by for a few hours on Christmas Eve, weather permitting.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) will host a public meeting about how to improve the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road on Wednesday, December 3, at 5 pm in the Edgartown Town Hall.

The challenge is to improve safety and scenic values while accommodating the traffic on this busy regional roadway. Possibilities of increasing vegetation, narrowing the roadway, improving the Shared Use Path (bike path), improving drainage, and starting with a section in Edgartown are up for discussion, according to a MVC press release.

Improvements to this road are on the 2015 and 2016 Martha’s Vineyard Transportation Improvement Program, which provides state and federal funding for transportation projects on the Island, according to the MVC.

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West Tisbury selectmen last week voted two to one to appoint Ernest Thomas to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission (MVC) to fill the unfinished term of Brian Smith, who resigned in September. Mr. Thomas will serve until December 2015.

Selectmen Cynthia Mitchell and Jeffrey “Skipper” Manter voted in favor of Mr. Thomas at the Wednesday, November 19, meeting. Selectman Richard Knabel voted no, saying he preferred to re-advertise for the position since the only other applicant, Erik Hammarlund, currently an elected at large member of the MVC, rescinded his application for personal reasons.

Mr. Thomas makes his living repairing appliances and in construction. “I have been involved in current issues in West Tisbury having attended every town meeting there for at least 20 years,” Mr. Thomas told The Times. “I hope to have the ability to make a contribution to the overall growth of the Vineyard, especially from a West Tisbury perspective. I know it’s going to take some time for me to come up to speed, but I am excited about having this opportunity to make a contribution to the Island and West Tisbury.”

The MVC, the Island’s powerful regional permitting body, is made up of 21 members. Nine are elected by Vineyard voters Island-wide in elections held every two years, six are appointed on an annual basis by the towns’ boards of selectmen, one is appointed on an annual basis by the Dukes County Commission, and five are appointed by the governor or a member of the cabinet (of these, four do not vote on DRIs or DCPCs).

In other town business, Mr. Knabel reported that a meeting between the selectmen, the parks and recreation department and the conservation commission resulted in the establishment of a joint committee consisting of two members from each group to attempt to find resolutions to concerns about the increased difficulty some town residents have climbing the dune at the entrance to the Lamberts’ Cove town beach and to issues that have grown up around vegetation on the edges of the Mill Pond. Some town residents have asked that vegetation around the pond be trimmed back more to increase the view and provide access for fishermen.

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The mixed doubles Tennis Bonanza at The Vineyard Tennis Center rolled into week two last Friday.

Bev Mazza and Scott Lively, subbing for Jim and Ann Marie Eddy, played an amazing game against Shawn Schofield and Marney Gauley. Bev and Scott’s tactics gave them the advantage in the long rallies and resulted in a win for the Eddys, 7-5, 6-3.

Carmen Wilson and Kye Howell volunteered to sub for Janet and Chuck Scott while they were away. Carmen and Kye rallied against Tim and Dori Clark, with a subsequent win for the Clarks, 6-4, 3-6.

It’s only the second Friday so far in the Bonanza Tournament with 12 more games to go. Play begins at 6:30 pm, Friday night. For more information, call the Tennis Center at 508-696-8000.

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Martha’s Vineyard Youth Hockey’s MV 2 team defeated Canton 4-2 on Friday night, avenging a loss earlier this season.

Will Brugueire was solid in the net, stopping 20 shots. Alexa Pil scored two goals while Eli Gundersen and Mike Wallace each notched one. Cam Geary, Felix Colon, Meg Sonia, and Ava BenDavid were all credited with assists. Graham Sterns and Pat Dutton played hard and contributed to the victory.

MV 2 is coached by Jim Geary, Tim Colon, and Eric Brugueire and plays in Foxboro’s Junior High School League.

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The Massachusetts two-week shotgun season for deer begins one-half hour before sunrise Monday, December 1, and ends one-half hour after sunset on Saturday, December 13.

While risk to non-hunters is minimal, public safety officials advise people entering wooded areas to exercise caution and wear bright colors, preferably blaze orange, particularly at dawn and dusk, when deer and hunters are most active.

Hunting is prohibited within 500 feet of any occupied dwelling or building, without the authorization of the occupant or owner, and 150 feet from hard-surfaced roadways. Hunters must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on the back, chest, and head.

In past comments, Environmental Police said that while walkers and hikers are not required to wear orange they should be aware that it is hunting season and dress appropriately.

With the exception of of shotgun season, hunters now have the option to check in deer online. The one exception is to allow the division to collect biological data about the health of the herd.

All deer taken during the Vineyard shotgun season must be appropriately tagged and taken to official deer-checking stations in the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest or the Wampanoag tribal headquarters building in Aquinnah. Larry’s Tackle shop on Upper Main Street in Edgartown will also be checking deer the second week of shotgun season on a limited basis. Call for hours.

In 2013, Island hunters took 726 deer, the majority of them with shotguns. By season, Island hunters took 257 deer during the six-week archery season; 368 deer during the two-week shotgun season; and 101 deer during the approximately three-week primitive firearms season.

The six-week archery season ends this Saturday. The primitive firearms deer season begins Monday, December 15, and ends Saturday, December 31.

The Martha’s Vineyard Rod and Gun club on Third Street in Edgartown will host a shotgun deer shoot competition from 10 am to 2:30 pm, this Sunday, November 30. The public is invited.

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The West Tisbury Police Department will collect coats and jackets in good condition during the first week of December for distribution to those in need. Unwanted coats or jackets may be dropped off from 9 am to 4 pm, Monday, December 1 to Saturday, December 6. Those in need of a coat or jacket may stop by from 9 am to 4 pm, Saturday, December 13, according to a press release. All coats and jackets not picked up will be donated to local organizations. For more information, call 508-989-3238 or the station house, 508-693-0020.

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On Friday, Governor Deval Patrick swore in 28 members of the 2014-2016 Governor’s Statewide Youth Council. The group included.

Zachary Bresnick of West Tisbury and Elijah LaRue of Vineyard Haven.

Members of the council were chosen based on their demonstrated leadership skills and potential to create change in their communities, according to a press release.

The swearing-in ceremony held at the State House included speeches from Governor Patrick, Secretary of Education Matthew Malone, as well as past council members who offered words of advice and encouragement to the incoming members. The new council members were joined at the ceremony by their families. Rep. Tim Madden presented them with citations from the House of Representatives.

Governor Patrick created the council in 2008 to give young people across the Commonwealth a voice in policy and decision making. In addition to meeting with the governor and policy makers, council members meet bi-monthly with their peers from across the state to discuss issues important to the youth in their communities, ranging from education reform to violence prevention.

A memorial service for Natalie Hoxsie Bailey Perry will be held at 11 am, Saturday, December 6 at the Barrington Congregational (White) Church, 461 County Road, Barrington, R.I., with private interment in Swan Point Cemetery, Blackstone Boulevard, Providence, R.I.

Natalie died on July 27 at the age of 85.

For years, the Perry family summered on their wooden boat Bec-Mar II, docked at the Coastwise Wharf in Vineyard Haven.

Jaslyn E.P. Oliveira

Mariza and Samuel Oliveira of Edgartown announce the birth of their daughter, Jaslyn Eli Paim Oliveira, on November 18 at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Jaslyn weighed 6 pounds, 11 ounces, and she joins big brother Reellan.