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The Martha's Vineyard Times

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The Denniston house has deteriorated over the years. – Photo by Michael Cummo

The Oak Bluffs historical commission (OBHC) voted unanimously to designate the Denniston house, the first African-American church on the Island, a “preferably preserved property,” thus sparing the long-vacant wood frame building from the wrecking ball for six months. The action was prompted by a demolition permit filed with the town in late December by carpenter Matt Viaggio, who said he is acting on behalf of the trustee. The OBHC can assign the “preferably preserved property” designation to any town property over 100 years old.
The question central to the proceedings was whether the location of the building or the actual structure is historically significant. The back and forth was brisk.

“I go by it every day, and I think It’s time to move on,” Amy Billings, a member of the community preservation committee, said. “I understand there’s historic significance, but it’s cost the town a lot of money.”

“I think everybody knows about the failed project of Bradley Square and the lack of resolution,” David Wilson said. “None of that undermines the the historic value.”

“I agree with David,” Barbara Baskin said. “Buildings can be fixed. It can be brought back to original condition.”

“It’s sat in disrepair for three decades,” Lori Perry said. “It’s not responsible to leave it like it is. It can be marked with a plaque; we don’t need the building.”

Commission Chairman Pamela Melrose said other than the demolition delay, the commission had little sway over the final result. Commissioner Renee Balter asked Mr. Viaggio what his plans are for the lot. “At this time I have no plans,” he said. “I’m just trying to clean it up.” Mr. Viaggio said the lot has become a public parking lot and a “free-for-all.”

Ms. Balter suggested giving Mr. Viaggio 30 days to formulate a plan that could include saving part of the building or moving the building. Mr. Viaggio said there was “not much building left,” and he said they would not know any more in 30 days.

The Martha’s Vineyard Housing Fund purchased the Bradley Square property at the corner of Dukes County Avenue and Masonic Avenue in 2007 for $905,000, with the intention of building affordable housing, retail space, and preserving the building. After a grueling permitting process before Oak Bluffs town regulatory boards and the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, a national recession triggered severe declines in charitable donations.

In August 2009, Governor Deval Patrick helped turn the first shovelful of soil to break ground for the Bradley Square affordable-housing development. Unable to complete the project, the fund faltered.

The property was on the market for nearly a year, but no buyers emerged. Under the shadow of foreclosure proceedings, the lots sold at auction on Aug. 4, 2011, for $500,000.

The Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank Charitable Fund, a donor-advised fund with the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard, announced its grants for applications received during the final operating quarter of 2014. These include quarterly Charitable Fund Grants totaling almost $10,000 made to Island nonprofit groups, as well as annual Educational Mini-Grants totaling almost $8,000 made to teachers, according to a press release.

The six community nonprofit groups to receive a grant are Martha’s Vineyard Center for Living, for dementia-certificate training; Island Children’s School, for an educational enrichment program; Island Grown Schools, for curriculum and resource toolkits; The Yard, for a youth program; Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival, for an educational enrichment program; and the West Tisbury Free Public Library, for a teen room mobile display.

“At Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank, we are committed to assisting great organizations that serve our community and contribute to the high quality of life that we all enjoy here,” Bank President Paul Falvey said in a press release.

The bank also awarded a total of 23 Educational Mini-Grants to Island teachers, an increase over previous years. “The number of funded Mini- Grants for each of the past four years since the program’s inception has averaged in the high teens,” said MV Savings Bank grant program coordinator Patti Leighton. “This year, because the bank was able to increase the Permanent Mini-Grant budget by more than 40 percent, we were able to fulfill more applications at the requested amounts, and answered nearly two dozen requests.”

More information about the Martha’s Vineyard Savings Bank Charitable Fund and its community grants program is available online at mvbank.com. Information about the Permanent Endowment is available at endowmv.org.

Feb. 6, 2015

Adam Vincent Tucker, Vineyard Haven; DOB 5/16/88, possession to distribute class A drug (heroin), conspiracy to violate drug law: continued to pretrial conference.

Katrin Verclas, Washington, D.C.; DOB 7/18/67, unlicensed operation of motor vehicle: dismissed without prejudice; state highway-traffic violation: dismissed without prejudice.

Feb. 9, 2015

Jacob S. Bassett, Edgartown; DOB 3/7/74, violating abuse prevention order: continued to pretrial conference.

Emmett Cook, Edgartown; DOB 8/17/93, possession to distribute class A drug (heroin), possession of class C drug (clonazepam), conspiracy to violate drug law: continued to pretrial conference.

Nelson A.S. Dickson, Vineyard Haven; DOB 12/14/93, marked lanes violation, OUI-liquor or .08%, negligent operation of motor vehicle, speeding, unlawful possession of fireworks: continued to pretrial conference.

Patrick McHugh, Oak Bluffs; DOB 11/11/85, being present where heroin is kept, conspiracy to violate drug law: continued to pretrial conference.

Jennifer M. Nelson, Edgartown; DOB 6/4/70, shoplifting by asportation: guilty, must pay $50 fine; a second charge of shoplifting by asportation: guilty, must pay $50 fine.

Feb. 12, 2015

Amanda R. Berninger, Oak Bluffs; DOB 6/20/82, OUI-liquor or .08%, negligent operation of motor vehicle, marked lanes violation, speeding: continued to pretrial conference.

Scott C. Crawford, Chilmark; DOB 6/17/64, OUI-liquor or .08%: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; negligent operation of motor vehicle: guilty, one year probation, must pay $250 HIF, $50 VW and $50 PSF; motor vehicle lights violation: not responsible.

Anthony J. Deharo, Oak Bluffs; DOB 2/22/69, operating motor vehicle with suspended license: guilty, must pay $1,000 fine.

Kevin J. Leaf Jr., Vineyard Haven; DOB 3/22/84, assault and battery: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; resisting arrest: guilty — four months in the house of correction suspended, two years probation with alcohol screens, must pay $50 VW concurrent with another charge.

Timothy D. Mercier, Vineyard Haven; DOB 2/10/80, assault and battery: one year pretrial probation.

Timothy D. Mercier, Vineyard Haven; DOB 2/10/80, OUI-liquor or .08%: continued without finding for one year, the defendant is to attend the driver alcohol education program and must pay a state fee of $250, loss of license for 45 days, must pay $250 HIF, $50 OUI, $50 VW and $65 PSF; negligent operation of motor vehicle: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; improper operation of motor vehicle: not responsible; failure to stop/yield: not responsible.

Feb. 13, 2015

Christopher L. Derr, Cambridge; DOB 8/22/63, shoplifting by asportation: to be dismissed upon payment of $50 court cost.

Christopher L. Derr, Cambridge; DOB 8/22/63, shoplifting by asportation: to be dismissed upon payment of $50 court cost.

Cornelius B. Driscoll, Boston; DOB 11/27/89, affray (Common Law): one year pretrial probation; disorderly conduct: one year pretrial probation.

Eugene Paul Kelley 3rd, Milton; DOB 7/14/91, affray (Common Law): one year pretrial probation; disorderly conduct: one year pretrial probation.

Michael J. Luongo, Milton; DOB 9/14/91, affray (Common Law): one year pretrial probation; disorderly conduct: one year pretrial probation.

Harley L. Stowell, Manchester; DOB 8/1/63, boat OUI-liquor or .08%, 2nd offense: not guilty; unsafe operation of motorboat: guilty, one year probation, must pay $1,740 restitution and $50 VW; wanton destruction of property over $250: not guilty.

Wesley V. Wood, Edgartown; DOB 3/15/63, OUI-liquor or .08%, 2nd offense: continued without finding for one year, the defendant is to attend the driver alcohol education program and must pay a state fee of $250, loss of license for 45 days, must pay $250 HIF, $50 OUI, $50 VW and $65 PSF; negligent operation of motor vehicle: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; marked lanes violation: not responsible; no inspection sticker: not responsible.

Feb. 17, 2015

Gabriel Grasing, Vineyard Haven; DOB 11/26/75, violating an abuse prevention order: one year pretrial probation.

Joao Orcutt, Oak Bluffs; DOB 6/24/83, OUI-liquor or .08%, negligent operation of motor vehicle; no inspection sticker; miscellaneous motor vehicle equipment violation, OUI-drugs (not identified): continued to pretrial conference.

John P. Murphy, Vineyard Haven; DOB 6/24/67, OUI-liquor or .08%: continued without finding for one year, the defendant is to attend the driver alcohol education program and must pay a state fee of $250, loss of license for 45 days, must pay $250 HIF, $50 OUI, $50 VW and $65 PSF; negligent operation of motor vehicle: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; marked lanes violation: not responsible.

Feb. 18, 2015

John D. Black, Edgartown; DOB 5/4/80, OUI-liquor or .08%: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; negligent operation of motor vehicle: continued without finding for one year, the defendant is to attend the driver alcohol education program and must pay a state fee of $250, loss of license for 45 days, must pay $250 HIF, $50 OUI, $50 VW and $65 PSF; marked lanes violation: not responsible.

Feb. 20, 2015

Scott W. Dario, Oak Bluffs; DOB 9/24/68, marked lanes violation: not responsible; OUI-liquor or .08%: continued without finding for one year, the defendant is to attend the driver alcohol education program and must pay a state fee of $250, loss of license for 45 days, must pay $250 HIF, $50 OUI, $50 VW and $65 PSF; negligent operation of motor vehicle: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; no inspection sticker: not responsible.

Brandon Francis, Edgartown; DOB 11/22/91, possession of class C drug (mushrooms): to be dismissed upon payment of $100 court cost.

Cesar H. Garcia, Falls Church, Va.; DOB 3/21/72, OUI-liquor or .08%, 2nd offense: two years probation, must pay $250 HIF, $50 VW and $50 OUI; negligent operation of motor vehicle: dismissed at the request of the Commonwealth; marked lanes violation: not responsible.

Brett C. Geddis, Edgartown; DOB 9/6/90, shoplifting by asportation: continued to pretrial conference.

Brett C. Geddis, Edgartown; DOB 9/6/90, negligent operation of motor vehicle, number plate violation, motor vehicle lights violation, uninsured motor vehicle, unregistered motor vehicle, no inspection sticker, possession of open container of alcohol in motor vehicle, miscellaneous motor vehicle equipment violation, misuse of dealer/repair 540 commercial number plate: continued to pretrial conference.

Anna O. Power, Edgartown; DOB 12/11/95, marked lanes violation: not responsible.

Feb. 23, 2015

Abel T. Bishop, Edgartown; DOB 6/21/80, vandalizing property: continued to pretrial conference.

Justin Dodge, Vineyard Haven; DOB 2/22/82, strangulation or suffocation: continued to pretrial conference.

Omar S. Johnson, Edgartown; DOB 9/8/73, assault and battery on a family/household member: continued to pretrial conference.

The American Board of Obesity Medicine (ABOM) has certified Dr. Gail M. O’Brien of Alliance Internal Medicine in Vineyard Haven as an ABOM Diplomate. ABOM Diplomates are specialists in obesity medicine who undergo rigorous training and an extensive examination process to achieve this designation, according to a press release, and represent the highest level of achievement in the medical specialty of obesity medicine.

ABOM collaborates with the National Board of Medical Examiners (NBME) to administer the annual credentialing exam. There are approximately 20 physicians in Massachusetts with this certification. Dr. O’Brien welcomes new patients and referrals for consultation. For more information about Dr. O’Brien or the ABOM, go to alliancemv.com or abom.org, or call 508-627-3600.

Apple Corp. recently confirmed a new 2-year contract with Edu Comp to provide the Island community with authorized sales and service of Apple products. Following the closing of Mac Sales and Service, Edu Comp is the only business on Martha’s Vineyard or Nantucket that has this designation, according to a press release. It is a prestigious achievement, requiring a spotless track record of customer service and consistent sales levels, said Edu Comp manager Dan Carbon.

Edu Comp recently renovated its sales space in the 4 Main Street store in Vineyard Haven to include a dedicated Apple display and sales area. Edu Comp stocks the full range of Apple products, including iMacs, MacBook Pro and MacBook Air computers, iPads and iPods, in addition to a wide selection of cases, chargers, and other peripherals.

Edu Comp’s sales staff is backed by the service and support of six year-round technicians, including two certified Apple technicians. For more information, call 508-693-0803, or go to educompmv.com.

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Work was scheduled to coincide with low tide in the harbor area. The timely repair may help avoid a larger problem in the future.

Tisbury Water Works crews will repair a leaking water main under Beach Road Thursday.

Updated 11:30 am, Thursday

Tisbury Water Works crews repaired a leak in a water main along Beach Road Thursday. The work left area businesses without water service for a short time in the morning.

The pipe is located in the vicinity of the Martha’s Vineyard Shipyard. The discovery of the leak helped avoid a much bigger problem, one water works employee said. The repair schedule was timed to coincide with low tide, so groundwater will not complicate the work.

On Wednesday, water works employees distributed flyers that told residents and businesses of the disruption, and advised: “You may want to fill water jugs/pails for your water needs during these hours. You may encounter discolored/rusty water once service is resumed, this is due to a disturbance in the water lines. Please run an outside faucet until your water runs clear.”

Anyone with questions is asked to call 508-693-3100.

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The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce Wednesday issued a consumer alert about recent telephone solicitations of Island businesses.

Businesses have reported receiving phone calls from people claiming to represent the Chamber of Commerce and asking for information to update their listing for the chamber directory. When pressed, the caller might say he is with the American Chamber of Commerce, which does not exist, the chamber said in a press release.

The Martha’s Vineyard Chamber of Commerce said that chamber staff will always identify themselves by name on all calls, and suggested that if there is any doubt, business owners and their staff hang up and call the Chamber of Commerce directly at 508-693-0085.

Etienne Kingston Woodger

Arlene Fruto Woodger and Bruce Bradford Woodger of Edgartown announce the birth of a son, Etienne Kingston Woodger, on Feb. 20, 2015, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Etienne weighed 6 pounds, 4 ounces.

Layla Goncalves Carlos

Cristina Carlos and Juner Carlos of Edgartown announce the birth of a daughter, Layla Gonçalves Carlos, on Feb. 21, 2015, at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. Layla weighed 6 pounds, 9.9 ounces.

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The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) last week announced it would distribute more than $651 million to 586 Native American tribes in 34 states. The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) will benefit from the federal largesse.

HUD announced that the tribe will receive $462,176.

Indian Housing Block Grant (IHBG) allocations are distributed each year to eligible Indian tribes or their tribally designated housing entities for a range of affordable-housing activities, according to a HUD press release. The amount of each grant is based on a formula that considers local needs and housing units under management by the tribe or designated entity.

“Our nation is at its best when everyone has a fair chance to thrive,” HUD Secretary Julián Castro said. “These funds will support the innovative work Native American tribes and families are doing to build a more prosperous future. Our partnership with these local leaders today will create better housing opportunities, more robust economic development and stronger communities tomorrow.”

“We have been receiving this grant for many years, and we are thankful for the support from HUD that enables us to provide housing to our tribal members,” Wampanoag chairman Tobias Vanderhoop said.

Willard Marden, tribal housing administrator, said the grant money would be used to maintain affordability and help maintain and upgrade the tribe’s 25-year-old housing stock. There are 33 houses located on tribal lands, of which 26 are rentals.

 

Featherstone Center for the Arts announced the opening of a new Teen Art Cafe, a destination intended for local Island teens to create and share art.

Charter School student Isabella Morais created the space “to create a space where teenagers can go and create, as well as have the space for open studio time, as well as go to take an occasional class in drawing, painting, sculpting and more, all taught by local artists,” according to the cafe’s web site.

The cafe opened its doors for the first time on Wednesday, Feb. 25. Class and open studio time will be available throughout the week, with an exhibit showcase on Saturday, Feb. 28, at 5 pm for the general public. The cafe will open Friday-Sunday weekly starting Oct. 2, 2015. For a complete list of offerings, schedule, and additional information, visit

teenartcafe.squarespace.com.