Authors Posts by Steve Myrick

Steve Myrick

Steve Myrick
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With some notable exceptions involving candidates with local ties, Islanders voted much like the rest of the state Tuesday.

Voters in Edgartown fill out their ballots in Tuesday's primary election. (Photos by Michael Cummo)

Election results on Martha’s Vineyard mirrored statewide results for the most part in Tuesday’s primary election, which saw light turnout across the Island and the state.

There was little campaigning outside of the Oak Bluffs library polling station.
There was little campaigning outside of the Oak Bluffs library polling station.

In the race for the Democratic nomination for governor, Martha Coakley carried Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, and Tisbury. Donald Berwick won in Aquinnah, Chilmark, and West Tisbury. Both candidates have Vineyard ties. Ms. Coakley spent summers working on the Island earlier in her life, and Mr. Berwick owns a home in Chilmark. Ms. Coakley received a total of 802 votes on the Island. Mr. Berwick received 688 votes.

Statewide, Ms. Coakley won with 42 percent of the vote. Steve Grossman was second with 37 percent, and Mr. Berwick was third with 21 percent.

Charles Baker easily won the Republican nomination for governor statewide, and he was the overwhelming choice of local Republicans, with 354 votes. His opponent, Tea Party candidate Mark Fisher, got 96 votes.

As voters did statewide, Islanders offered strong support to women on the ballot. Maura Healey trounced Warren Tolman 1,375 to 428 in the race for the democratic nomination for attorney general.

In a tight race for treasurer, Island voters favored Deborah Goldberg, with 724 votes, to move on to the general election, over her two male challengers.  Barry Finegold was second with 508 votes, and Thomas Conroy was third with 398 votes in the three-way race.

A voter entered the Tisbury polls to cast his vote in the Massachusetts primary on Tuesday.
A voter entered the Tisbury polls to cast his vote in the Massachusetts primary on Tuesday.

Martha’s Vineyard voters made a contrary choice in the close race for the Republican nomination for representative in Congress. Local Republicans chose Mark Alliegro, a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, over John Chapman, 168 to 136, but it was Chapman who prevailed statewide to advance to the general election against Democratic incumbent William Keating.

Three incumbents earned spots on the November 4 general election ballot as Democratic nominees to the Dukes County Commission. John Alley of West Tisbury was the top vote getter with 1,084 votes. Leon Brathwaite of West Tisbury was second with 950 votes, and David Holway of Edgartown was third with 880 votes. They were the only candidates named on the primary ballot.  Incumbent Christine Todd of Oak Bluffs ran fourth with a write-in campaign, winning a handful of write-in votes in both primaries.

Other candidates are expected to run as independent (unenrolled) candidates, and will appear on the ballot in November. The seven county commissioners all run for re-election every two years.

Voter participation was down slightly from 2010, the last off-year statewide primary where no presidential election was at stake. This year an average of 18.7 percent of registered voters went to the polls in the six Island towns. In 2010, 20.3 percent of registered voters participated in the primary election.

Aquinnah proved to have the most one-sided electorate. Of the 75 voters who went to the polls on Tuesday, not a single voter requested a Republican primary ballot.

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The Moffet Cup was sailed in a stiff breeze. Photo by David Damroth.

Sometimes it’s a well-timed tack that makes the difference in winning and losing the Moffett Race. Sometimes it’s outsmarting the swift tidal current, or anticipating a shifting breeze, that earns you a year’s worth of bragging rights in the Holmes Hole Sailing Association’s season-ending competition.

Or maybe, like Jeff Robinson, who captured this year’s race in the John Alden–designed schooner Phra Luang, you just get around the buoys and see what happens.

“You go out there, you have a good time, and if you’re really lucky, you win,” Mr. Robinson said, shortly after the cheers died down at the after-race party and awards ceremony Saturday afternoon. “You just hope for the best.”

Phra Luang, 42 feet of wooden sailing tradition and a familiar sight in Island waters, bested 34 other boats that completed the 20.8-mile course in Vineyard Sound on corrected time. Five boats did not finish the course.

Jeff Robinson (left), skipper of Phra Luang, accepts congratulations on the 2014 Moffett Cup victory from Holmes Hole Sailing Association commodore Jerry Goodale. Mr. Robinson's grandson, Odin Robinson, served as crew.
Jeff Robinson (left), skipper of Phra Luang, accepts congratulations on the 2014 Moffett Cup victory from Holmes Hole Sailing Association commodore Jerry Goodale. Mr. Robinson’s grandson, Odin Robinson, served as crew.

Mr. Robinson’s modesty notwithstanding, it took considerable sailing skill and a strong boat to stand up to a steady 20 knots of wind, with gusts to 30 knots. The fleet was off shortly after 11 am in two classes, under fog and overcast skies. Once out in Vineyard Sound, the sailors found rough seas as they zipped twice around the course. Four-year-old Odin Robinson, the winning skipper’s grandson, attested to that. When asked what part he liked best about serving as crew he said, “When the waves are crashing over.”

Jerry Goodale, always a top contender and winner in 2008, was second this year on corrected time, in his Pearson 31 Stormalong. Jim Lobdell in Malabar II, a sister ship to Phra Luang and winner in 1989, was third. Juno, the Gannon and Benjamin schooner skippered by Scott DiBiaso, was fastest around the course on elapsed time, finishing in 2 hours, 46 minutes, and 12 seconds.

Phra Luang joins an exclusive club with the 2014 victory. A winner also in 2007, she becomes just the second boat to win the Moffett Race twice, and Mr. Robinson just the third skipper to capture the race twice, since the race began in 1978. Alan Wilson won in 1993 sailing Altius, and again in 2001 sailing Chantey. Harry Duane won aboard Andiamo II in 1995 and 1998. Andiamo II was the winning boat in 2012, with Mr. Duane’s grandson Jared Hammond at the helm.

A bit of comic relief punctuated the awards ceremony at the Vineyard Haven Yacht Club, as race committee chairman Roger Becker announced the results in reverse order. Despite a more than respectable elapsed time of 3 hours, 16 minutes, and 5 seconds, the 48-foot yawl Aurora, skippered by Bradley Abbott, was placed last on corrected time. That news brought a roar of relief from the good-natured crew of Trinity, eagerly gathered near the front of the crowd, and quite obviously pleased to escape last place.

Mr. Becker resumed reading the results when the impromptu celebration died down, and announced the next-to-last-place finisher was none other than Trinity, which set off another round of celebration from skipper David McDonough and his fun-loving crew.

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Menemsha is home to a small commercial fishing fleet.

In a joint conference call on June 26, 2012, representatives of the Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fishermen’s Association and Cape Wind Associates announced that the Island-based fishermen’s association had ended its federal lawsuit against the proposed wind farm on Horseshoe Shoal and entered into a settlement agreement with Cape Wind valued at approximately $1.25 million.

Warren Doty, a Chilmark selectman, spoke at town meeting. An  outspoken advocate for fisheries issues, he was instrumental in forming both fishermen's organizations.
Warren Doty, a Chilmark selectman, spoke at town meeting. An outspoken advocate for fisheries issues, he was instrumental in forming both fishermen’s organizations.

The agreement called for the Fishermen’s Association to support the Cape Wind project “as a sustainable source of clean energy for the future.” In exchange, Cape Wind and the association agreed to work together to establish a Martha’s Vineyard Permit Bank that would enable the purchase of commercial fishing permits for use by local commercial fishermen and the promotion of “Vineyard wild-caught” seafood.

One month later, in papers filed July 23, 2012 with the Office of the Secretary of State, the Menemsha Fishermen’s Preservation Trust Inc. was renamed the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, Inc., in order to handle the proceeds of the settlement.

Although the Association existed under the umbrella of county government, at the time,

Warren Doty, a Chilmark selectman who had spearheaded the creation of the Fishermen’s Association and the associated MV Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, and who was president of both entities, said he was bound by a confidentiality agreement not to reveal the settlement amount. Mr. Doty said the newly created and renamed nonprofit corporation would administer a permit bank designed to enable fishermen to buy into permit fisheries closed to new entries.

Two years later, the Fishermen’s Association appears to be in organizational disarray. The Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, following a long dormant period in which its tax exempt status was revoked by the IRS, is undergoing a revival, with a small group of stakeholders organizing to define the group’s mission, and researching the best way to support local fishermen.

Gaining traction

The Menemsha Fishermen’s Preservation Trust, was incorporated on October 3, 2011. Incorporation papers listed Wesley Brighton, a commercial fisherman from Chilmark as president, Shelley Edmundson, a fisheries researcher from Vineyard Haven as treasurer, and Katherine Carroll of Chilmark as clerk. The corporation was organized as a standard 501(C)(3) corporation, for charitable, educational, and scientific purposes.

In a July 23, 2012 filing with the Massachusetts Secretary of State, the Menemsha Fishermen’s Trust became the Martha’s Vineyard Fishermen’s Preservation Trust and was reorganized with Mr. Doty as president, Ms. Edmundson as treasurer, Ms. Carroll as clerk. All three are also listed as directors. In addition, Mr. Brighton and John Keene, the well-respected owner of an excavation and construction materials company from Chilmark, are listed as directors.

Other than that routine application to record a change of officers, and another routine application to change the name of the organization, there is no record that the trust filed any annual reports with the Secretary of State or the Attorney General, as required by state law. There is no record that the trust filed any annual tax statements, as required by federal law. On May 15, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) automatically revoked the trust’s tax exempt status for “its failure to file a Form 990-series return or notice for three consecutive years,” according to the IRS.

In a telephone conversation last week, Mr. Doty confirmed that the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust did not file the required reports with state and federal governments

“We didn’t do it,” Mr. Doty said. “We were very inactive in 2013 and we didn’t file the proper paperwork. We need to do that.” He said the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust is working to file the necessary tax documents, in order to get back in good graces with the IRS.

Mr. Doty, an outspoken advocate for commercial fishing interests in Menemsha and on the Island, said the group has made substantial organizational progress since it began meeting regularly in May of this year. Other members reached by The Times agreed.

“This organization is finally getting a little bit of traction,” Mr. Brighton said in a phone call. “The Cape Cod Fishermen’s Alliance, they’re helping us quite a lot. We’re trying to get funding for Shelly (Edmundson) so we can have a full-time employee, as opposed to a bunch of people that have full-time jobs, who are very eager at meetings, but are challenged with getting things done.”

Ms. Edmundson, a doctoral student at the University of New Hampshire and conch researcher, said the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust established a website in June, and is working on other ways to increase its visibility. “I feel strongly about this group,” she said. “In the next year you’ll see a lot of momentum.”

Funding is contingent

The Cape Wind facility would occupy a 25-square-mile section of Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound and generate a maximum electric output of 468 megawatts with an average anticipated output of 182 megawatts, according to federal documents.

In a recent email, Cape Wind spokesman Mark Rogers said that Cape Wind, according to the agreement, could not disclose the amount of the settlement agreement, but he confirmed that payment is contingent on the wind project getting its final financing in place, which Cape Wind executives expect to happen before the end of 2014.

Local sources with knowledge of the settlement details said the agreement calls for Cape Wind to pay the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust $250,000 when project financing is in place. The agreement calls for Cape Wind to pay an additional $1 million once permitting for the wind farm is in place.

Confidentiality bound

Two years later, Mr. Doty is sticking with the agreement to keep the financial terms of the settlement secret.

“I’m not supposed to divulge that,” Mr. Doty said last week. “We did sign a nondisclosure settlement that we won’t talk about.”

Asked to explain the contradiction inherent in a lawsuit that claimed that the wind project would permanently end fishing in the Horseshoe Shoals area and the settlement language which announced strong support for Cape Wind, Mr. Doty said that at the time the Fishermen’s Association was in a financial bind.

“We had run up $125,000 worth of legal bills,” Mr. Doty said. “The law firm agreed to do the first $75,000 pro bono. We raised about $25,000, but we were still way short of our bill. The lawyers said what’s your plan, to continue would be another $150,000. We can’t raise that kind of money. They suggested a settlement.”

Despite the potential funding, the organization’s officers remain ambivalent about the financial settlement, and Cape Wind.

“I think if Cape Wind doesn’t happen, that would be great,” Mr. Doty said. “We were opposed from start to finish.”

“We’re in an uphill battle on public relations because of the lawsuit, and the stupid non-disclosure agreement,” Mr. Brighton said, acknowledging some of the hard feelings the organization’s reversal generated on the waterfront. “The public thinks we’re Halliburton in some way, where we have this back door dealing in secret meeting rooms, when all we’re trying to do is keep these kids fishing. Cape Wind required us to have the non-disclosure.”

“It would be nice if Cape Wind doesn’t get built and the settlement money doesn’t come in,” Ms. Edmundson said.

Off the line

Even as the Fishermen’s Preservation Trust moves forward, its parent organization, the Fishermen’s Association, formed under the auspices of Dukes County, remains adrift. The organization has not filed any reports with county officials in the past year. The organization’s web page on the Dukes County web site is more than a year out of date. The phone number listed for more information is disconnected. And there is no record of any articles of organization, or annual reports detailing the name and address of the group, time of its last annual meeting, and names and addresses of officers, required by state regulators.

County commissioner Tristan Israel, also a Tisbury selectman, helped form the Fishermen’s Association under the umbrella of the Dukes County government.

“I’ve sort of seen the thing fall apart, and I’ve been disappointed about that,” Mr. Israel told The Times. “If we don’t hear anything in the next few months, we ought to dissolve it. We can’t have an organization that doesn’t exist.”

Mr. Doty stepped down as president of of the Fishermen’s Association last year. On April 24, 2013, the county commissioners appointed charter fisherman Alex Friedman of Edgartown to the position. According to the county minutes, the commissioners requested quarterly updates “either in person or in writing.”

At a Division of Marine Fisheries hearing in February 2014, Mr. Friedman testified on behalf of commercial interests and spoke as president of the Fishermen’s Association. He asked not to be reappointed when his term expired on March 1, according to county manager Martina Thornton.

Ms. Thornton said the county placed advertisements seeking someone to fill the post, but received no interest. Asked how the county viewed an organization that appears defunct using its name, Ms. Thornton declined comment.

Mr. Friedman did not respond to repeated messages left on his voicemail.

“As far as I know he’s [Mr. Friedman] never called a meeting,” Mr. Doty told The Times. “The Fishermen’s Association has been inactive. It’s disappointing, but I think there’s a real need for that organization. I think the county commissioners really want to support it. There has to be some young guys that want to step up.”

Contradiction in terms

In June, 2010, among the first actions of the Martha’s Vineyard/Dukes County Fishermen’s Association was to file a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on behalf of the fishermen’s association, and individually on behalf of association member Jonathan Mayhew to stop the Cape Wind project on Horseshoe Shoal in Nantucket Sound.

The defendants were Secretary of Interior Ken Salazar and the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOE).

Mr. Mayhew is a longtime commercial fisherman and Chilmark selectman. He was a party to the settlement.

In a 16-page complaint, attorneys David Frulla and Shaun Gehan of Kelley Drye and Warren said the Cape Wind energy project would effectively end all commercial fishing on Horseshoe Shoal — prime, historic fishing grounds for Vineyard fishermen.

Two years later, the fishermen’s association reversed its position, and agreed to settle the lawsuit with Cape Wind.

Just before the settlement was announced, four of the seven county commissioners and acting county manager and county treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders met in executive session with Mr. Doty and Mr. Brighton.

According to minutes of that session, Mr. Doty told the commissioner that his group’s law firm had worked out a settlement deal with Cape Wind that would soon be made public. Although the Fishermen’s Association operates under the umbrella of Dukes County government, the commissioners signed off on the agreement without a request that Mr. Doty reveal the settlement amount.

On the Menemsha dock, where a small group of fishermen continue to pull a living out of the sea, commercial fisherman Alec Gale, co-owner of the Menemsha Fish House, a wholesale seafood seller, said the Fishermen’s Association has not been on the minds of local fishermen.

“There’s been no talk of anything at the docks,” Mr. Gale said. “It was a pretty sour subject. A lot of people that were involved with the association were not happy with not getting informed about, or not agreeing on settlement of the lawsuit. There was no meeting or anything.”

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A fresh harvest of oysters from Katama Bay. — Photo by Michael Cummo

The Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) and Department of Public Health (DPH) ordered Katama Bay oyster beds closed to commercial harvesting as of September 3, and for at least seven days, as a precaution following a fourth reported case of illness caused by eating raw oysters.

“This precautionary closure is due to the presence of environmental conditions conducive to the growth of Vibrio parahaemolyticus (Vibrio) in oysters harvested from the area based on information relative to closures in 2013,” DPH said in a press release Wednesday.

“We recognize the impact these actions have on many of our local businesses, and we do not take them lightly,” said Cheryl Bartlett, RN, Massachusetts Commissioner of Public Health.

DPH said this is the first time a specific harvest area in Massachusetts has been closed due to Vibrio this year. “The decision to issue a precautionary closure was made jointly between DPH and DMF officials in response to warming waters in Katama Bay, anticipated high air temperatures forecast for this week, and identification of a fourth confirmed case of Vibrio tied to the area. Current water temperatures in Katama Bay are consistent with water temperatures and environmental conditions that were associated with Vibrio illnesses in 2013.”

The most recent report of illness was associated with oysters harvested from Katama Bay on August 7, and consumed raw on August 8, according to DMF. State audits have shown no mishandling of the shellfish.

Edgartown shellfish warden Paul Bagnall said he has been closely monitoring compliance with the new regulations, which require the oysters to be kept out of the sun, and iced within two hours of harvest. “Compliance has been excellent,” Mr. Bagnall said. “The guys in Katama are willing to go over and above what the state requires. But we’re doing something we didn’t do 20 years ago, and that’s eating raw oysters in the summer months.”

Vibrio is a bacteria that occurs naturally in coastal waters in the United States and Canada. It has caused illnesses in the Gulf Coast and West Coast of the United States for a number of years. It is not related to pollution of Massachusetts shellfish.

Last September, an outbreak of Vibrio illness led to a month-long closure of oyster operations in Katama Bay and across the state, which has seen a steady rise in Vibrio cases since 2011. The sharp increase in illnesses caused federal authorities to mandate stricter regulation of the handling of raw oysters. Regulation is enforced locally by the DMF and DPH.

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Election season is upon us. — Ralph Stewart

Massachusetts voters will decide several hotly contested statewide and district primary races when they go to the polls on Tuesday, September 9.

With the departure of Governor Deval Patrick after two terms in office, three candidates hope to carry the Democratic banner into the November general election. Two Democrats are also battling it out for their party’s nomination for attorney general. There is also a three-way race for the democratic nomination to fill the job of state treasurer now held by Steve Grossman, who is a candidate for governor.

Voters, including registered independents (unenrolled), may vote in the primary election but must request only one party’s ballot.

Several candidates have no challenge in the primary but may face opposition in the general election on November 4, from independent candidates whose names do not appear on the primary ballot. Polls open at 7 am and will close at 8 pm next Tuesday.

Following are brief sketches of the candidates in contested Democratic and Republican primaries, based on campaign literature, the responsibilities of the office they seek, and contacts where voters may find more information about individual candidates.

U.S. Senate

Edward J. Markey(D)(markey.senate.gov) of Malden is the incumbent running unopposed for the Democratic nomination, after winning a special election in June, 2013, to fill the seat of John Kerry, who was appointed Secretary of State. He lists climate change, clean energy, safeguarding privacy, nuclear non-proliferation, investor protection, and preserving an open Internet as priority issues.

Brian J. Herr (R)(brianherr.com) of Hopkinton is running unopposed for the Republican nomination. He lists reducing the federal work force (except military) by 15 percent, eliminating duplicate and inefficient programs, passing a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution, and imposing term limits on Congress, as issues he would address if elected. He would vote to repeal Obamacare, the federal Affordable Care Act, and redirect the issue to the states to draft their own health plans.

Governor

Three candidates for governor appear on the Democratic primary ballot:

Donald M. Berwick (D)(berwickforgovernor.com) of Newton, who also owns a seasonal home in Chilmark, is a pediatrician and former Obama administration health care official. He identifies jobs and the economy, education, and health care as key issues. He advocates single payer government health insurance, like Medicare, for all citizens.

Martha Coakley (D) (marthacoakley.com) of Medford is the current attorney general for Massachusetts. She lists jobs, education, healthcare, and civil rights among her primary issues, and says she is dedicated to the principles of opportunity, fairness, and equality.

Steven Grossman (D)(stevegrossman.com) of Newton is Massachusetts state treasurer, a leading figure in numerous charitable organizations, and the former chairman of the local and national Democratic Party; he stresses his private sector business skills. He includes jobs, earned sick time, and education as top issues.

Two candidates appear on the Republican primary ballot:

Charles O. Baker (R)(charliebaker2014.com) of Swampscott is a former Secretary of Administration and Finance under Governors Weld and Cellucci, and former CEO of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He is focused on the issues of economic growth, schools, and safer, stronger communities.

Mark R. Fisher (R)(markfisher2014.com) of Shrewsbury is the owner of Merchant’s Fabrication in Auburn, a metal manufacturing facility, and identifies himself as a member of the Tea Party. He lists fraud against government programs, immigration, taxes, and gun rights among his primary issues.

Lieutenant Governor

Three candidates seek the Democratic party nomination:

Leland Cheung (D)(lelandcheung.com) of Cambridge is a Cambridge city councillor, and highlights private sector experience in the technology industry.

Stephen J. Kerrigan (D)(stevekerrigan.org) of Lancaster is a former selectmen in Lancaster, and he served as an advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy.

Michael E. Lake (D)(electmikelake.com) of Boston is the CEO of Leading Cities, a research collaborative that advocates for business development and government-to-government cooperation.

Karyn E. Polito (R)(karynpolitoforlg.com) of Shrewsbury is running unopposed in the Republican primary. She is a former state legislator who owns a commercial real estate firm.

Attorney General

The attorney general is the chief lawyer and law enforcement official for the Commonwealth.

Two candidates are running for the Democratic nomination to replace Martha Coakley, who is a candidate for governor:

Maura Healey (D)(maurahealey.com) of Boston has worked in leadership positions at the Massachusetts Attorney General’s office. She includes civil rights, a clean energy economy, and community engagement among her primary issues.

Warren E. Tolman (D)(warrentolman.com) of Watertown is a former state representative and state senator. He lists mandating smart gun technology, fighting opiate abuse, and combating campus sexual assault as top issues for his candidacy.

John B. Miller (R)(millerforag.com) of Winchester is a civil engineer and attorney in the private sector, running unopposed for the Republican nomination. He said he is running to fight public corruption, protect consumers, and combat crime.

Secretary of State

The secretary of state regulates corporations, elections, public records, and securities.

William Francis Galvin (D)(billgalvin.org) of Boston, secretary of state for 19 years, is running unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

David D’ArCangelo (R)(davein2014.com) of Malden, running unopposed for the Republican nomination, is a Malden city councillor and founder of a public relations firm.

Treasurer

The treasurer manages state finances including the Department of Revenue, the state lottery, and state pension plans. Three candidates seek the Democratic nomination:

Thomas P. Conroy (D)(tomconroy.org) of Wayland is a state representative with experience in the financial industry. Education, the environment, financial literacy, and income inequality are among his primary issues.

Barry R. Finegold (D)(barryfinegold.com) of Andover is a state senator and attorney in private practice. Investing in the economy, small business, families, and schools are the focus of his campaign.

Deborah B. Goldberg (D)(debgoldberg.com) of Brookline is a former Brookline selectman and former executive at Stop & Shop, which her family founded. She includes wage equality, a college savings plan, financial literacy, and free tax preparation as her goals.

Michael James Heffernan (R) (mikeheffernan2014.com) of Wellesley, running unopposed for the Republican nomination for treasurer, is a technology entrepreneur and former banking executive. He describes himself as fiscally responsible and socially progressive, concerned about per-capita debt.

Auditor

The office of the state auditor “audits the agencies of state government to ensure that funds are spent in an appropriate manner.”

Suzanne M. Bump (D)(suzannebump.com) of Great Barrington, a former state representative and the incumbent auditor, is unopposed for the Democratic nomination.

Patricia S. Saint Aubin (R) (patriciasaintaubin.com) of Norfolk is a former financial executive with experience in the banking, insurance, and hospital sectors. She is unopposed on the Republican ballot.

Representative in Congress

The congressman represents the Massachusetts 9th district, including Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, as well as parts of Bristol and Plymouth counties. FourRepublicans seek their party’s nomination, to face the incumbent Democrat:

William Richard Keating (D) (keatingforcongress.com) of Bourne, the incumbent congressman, is unopposed on the Democratic ticket. He includes creating small business jobs, educational opportunity, strengthening middle class families, and improving domestic security as his top issues.

Mark C. Alliegro (R)(markalliegroforcongress.org) of Falmouth is a scientist at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, and a professor at Brown University. His campaign is focused on jobs, economic growth, economic freedom, and health care reform.

John C. Chapman (R)(johnchapman2014.com) of Chatham is an attorney who has held government posts in the Reagan administration, with the Securities and Exchange Commission, and with Governor Mitt Romney. He lists restoring fiscal discipline, economic growth, energy, and veterans as primary issues.

Vincent A. Cogliano, Jr. (R)(coglianoforcongress.com) of Pembroke is a former radio and television broadcaster and an entrepreneur. His campaign is focused on jobs, tax reform, and small business growth. He opposes Obamacare and advocates free market reform of healthcare.

Daniel L. Shores (R)(danshores2014.com) of Sandwich is an attorney in private practice. He includes limited government, secure borders, a balanced budget amendment, and economic growthas top priorities in his campaign.

Governor’s Council, First District

The First District includes Barnstable, Bristol, Dukes, Nantucket, and Plymouth counties. The Massachusetts Governor’s Council is composed of eight individuals and acts on issues that include criminal pardons and commutations, and approval of judicial appointments.

There are four candidates on the Democratic ballot: incumbent Oliver P. Cipollini, Jr. (olivercipollini.com) of Barnstable; Joseph C. Ferreira (joeforgovco.com) of Somerset; Alexander Kalife(alexanderkalife4governorscouncil.weebly.com) of New Bedford; and Walter D. Moniz(bit.ly/1q31xDH) of New Bedford.

The are no candidates on the Republican ballot.

Senator in General Court

The state senator represents Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and Cape Cod, except for the towns of Bourne, Sandwich, and Falmouth. Republicans will field two candidates.

Daniel A. Wolf (D)(danwolfforsenate.com) of Harwich is the incumbent state senator and CEO of Cape Air, running unopposed for the nomination. Among his top issues are putting people to work, education, health care, and energy.

Ronald R. Beaty, Jr. (R)(beatyforstatesenate.blog.com) of Barnstable calls himself a Tea Party Republican, who favors limited government, fiscal responsibility, individual liberty, and adherence to the U.S. Constitution.

Allen R. Waters (R)(voteallenwaters.com)  of Mashpee says he stands for social, educational, and economic progress for all Americans through self determination, self control, hard work, civility and respect.

Representative in General Court

The state representative’s district covers Martha’s Vineyard, Nantucket, and West Barnstable.

Timothy R. Madden (D)(timmadden.com) of Nantucket is the incumbent state representative, running unopposed on the Democratic ticket. There are no candidates on the Republican side.

District Attorney

The Cape and Islands district attorney leads prosecution of approximately 15,000 criminal cases each year.

Michael D. O’Keefe (R)(daokeefe2014.com) of Sandwich is the incumbent district attorney, running unopposed for the Republican nomination.

Richard G. Barry (D)(richardbarry.org) of Barnstable is a former assistant district attorney and a criminal lawyer, running unopposed for the Democratic nod.

Register of Probate

Elizabeth J. Herrmann (R) of Edgartown is the incumbent, running unopposed in the Republican primary. No candidates are named in the Democratic primary.

County Treasurer

No candidates appear on the primary ballots. Incumbent treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders runs as an independent (unenrolled) candidate, and appears on the November election ballot.

County Commissioner

The county commissioners set policy and make appointments for Dukes County government. Running for reelection in the Democratic primary are incumbents John S. Alley (D) of West Tisbury, Leon Arthur Brathwaite (D) of West Tisbury and newcomer David Jeffrey Holway (D) of Edgartown.

There are no candidates named on the Republican ballot. Others running as independent (unenrolled) may appear on the November ballot.

TownVoting Locations

Polls open at 7 am and close at 8 pm.

Aquinnah: Old Town Hall; Chilmark: Community Center; West Tisbury: Public Safety Building; Tisbury: Public Safety Facility; Oak Bluffs: Public Library meeting room; Edgartown: Town Hall meeting room.

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The Obamas returned to the Island for a fifth vacation respite, which included lots of golf, social gatherings with close associates and a fundraiser.

President Barack Obama and daughter Malia ride through the Manuel F. Correllus State Forest in what would be a rare public sighting. (Ivy Ashe for the Vineyard Gazette) — Ivy Ashe for the Vineyard Gazette

President Barack Obama, his family, and the presidential entourage departed Martha’s Vineyard Sunday evening. The clatter of helicopters and osprey aircraft just after dinner time punctuated the end of a 15-day summer vacation that underscored Mr. Obama’s love of golf and was notable for a lower profile and more limited public sightings of the first family than in past visits.

According to White House pool reports, there were no sightings of the president or the first lady, planned or spontaneous, in the final five days of their Vineyard vacation. Photographers assigned to the press pool had little to show for the long days in tow.

On Thursday, August 21, the president spent the afternoon on the links at Farm Neck Golf Club. Later that evening, he and Ms. Obama dined at their vacation home with Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick and his wife, Diane.

On Friday, August 22, the president and first lady began the day with a walk near their Chilmark vacation home, and ended it at the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks display. The first family watched from Seaview Avenue Extension, where White House senior advisor Valerie Jarrett rents a vacation home. The motorcade did not return to Chilmark until after 1 am, according to pool reports.

On Saturday, August 23, the president returned to Farm Neck Golf Club for his final round of golf of the vacation. Over the 15-day vacation, Mr. Obama played six rounds of golf at Farm Neck in Oak Bluffs, and three rounds at the Vineyard Golf Club in Edgartown. He skipped Mink Meadows, a course he has played at least once on each previous vacation.

On the links, the president spent time with a tight circle of friends. They included NBA stars past and present Alonzo Mourning and Ray Allen, along with former NFL star and sportscaster Ahmad Rashad. Other frequent foursome partners were Cyrus Walker, a cousin of Ms. Jarrett; White House trip director Marvin Nicholson, and former White House chef and policy advisor Sam Kass.

The first family’s final day on the Island featured a hike along trails near their vacation home off North Road in Chilmark, and a quiet afternoon at home.

The president broke from his vacation schedule three times to address world events, including the civil strife in Iraq, the shooting of an unarmed African-American teenager in Ferguson, Missouri, and the gruesome killing of journalist James Foley by the militant group that calls itself Islamic State.

Immediately after condemning the killing of Mr. Foley, Mr. Obama played a round of golf at the Vineyard Golf Club, which drew criticism from political friends and foes alike.

Ms. Obama enjoyed lunch in Edgartown with friends, hiking in Chilmark, and a stroll from Oak Bluffs to Edgartown along State Beach.

The vacation included three dinners out with friends, at the Sweet Live Cafe in Oak Bluffs, State Road Restaurant in West Tisbury, and Atria in Edgartown.

It also included a fundraiser for Democratic Senate candidates, and a birthday party for the wife of political power broker Vernon Jordan, attended by former president Bill Clinton and his wife, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

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Several Island police department budgets took a hit over the course of President Obama’s two-week vacation on Martha’s Vineyard. The Secret Service requests help with crowd control and traffic control as the president moves around the Island to visit golf courses, beaches, and restaurants. Those services are not reimbursed by the federal government.

The Oak Bluffs police department estimates about $13,000 in extra hours and overtime for police officers. Police were requested to help when the president visited Farm Neck Golf Club six times during the first family’s 16-day vacation. The president also dined at the Sweet Life Cafe and attended the annual Oak Bluffs fireworks display Friday night.

In Edgartown, Chief Tony Bettencourt estimated his department spent approximately $3,500 on extra shifts and overtime associated with the president’s vacation. It was an unusually expensive year for Edgartown. The Secret Service called on the department to provide officers for the arrival and departure of the president at the Martha’s Vineyard Airport. This year there was an extra arrival and departure, when the president briefly returned to Washington, D.C., in the middle of his vacation. The president also dined at the Edgartown restaurant Atria, and appeared at the Edgartown School for a statement on the murder of journalist Jim Foley by terrorists. Michelle Obama also traveled to Edgartown for lunch.

Those costs were offset by the $14,200 in rent the government paid for the use of the Edgartown School, which served as the White House media center. That rental fee goes into the town’s general fund.

The Secret Service called on West Tisbury police to cover two shifts during the president’s arrival and departure from the airport, at an estimated cost of $720.

Because the president rented in Chilmark, that town’s police department, one of the Island’s smallest, was called upon to provide daily coverage. Chilmark police chief Brian Cioffi declined to comment on the costs to his department. “I do not comment on the financial aspects or the security aspects of a presidential visit,” Chief Cioffi said. In an email statement, executive secretary Tim Carroll said town department heads have not yet submitted those costs.

Under normal circumstances, there are four State Police officers assigned to the Vineyard. The presidential visit swelled their ranks to more than 16. No costs were immediately available for overtime and rental accommodations.

The Massachusetts Environmental Police also assigned an additional officer to the Island, in addition to the sergeant now assigned.

Police departments in Tisbury and Aquinnah did not have any extra costs associated with Mr. Obama’s visit this year.

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A documentary film released this month makes the case that urgent action is needed to restore the health of the oceans, and one step may be to close some areas to fishing.

Dr. Sylvia Earle sits on a tiny one person submersible called the Deep Worker. — Kip Evans

Documentary filmmaker Bob Nixon and a group of local fishermen have enlisted in the effort spearheaded by Sylvia Earle, one of the world’s most respected oceanographers, to create marine sanctuaries, and they want to begin in the waters near Martha’s Vineyard.

The idea is to create what Ms. Earle has dubbed “hope spots,” a large tract of ocean where no fishing, dumping, or ecological alteration is allowed. The tracts are chosen because of a unique or critical environmental trait that deserves protection. The idea is to provide a protected area where aquatic life can regenerate.

The effort is an attempt to preserve and rebuild fish stocks that have dwindled to the point where entire species are threatened, as is much of the once thriving New England fishing industry.

The concept received an international boost last week with the release of the documentary Mission Blue, which profiles the life of Ms. Earle and her continuous, urgent campaign to save the world’s oceans. The film was produced by Mr. Nixon, a seasonal resident of Chilmark, and Fisher Stevens.

“No ocean, no us,” Ms. Earle says in the film, a phrase she repeats in a dizzying schedule of speaking engagements around the world. “Sixty years ago, when I began exploring the ocean, no one imagined that we could do anything to harm it. If we continue business as usual, we’re in real trouble. The ocean is dying.”

Mr. Nixon, owner of the Beach Plum Inn, Menemsha Inn, and Home Port restaurant, is an award winning documentary filmmaker who spends a lot of time on Vineyard waters. An avid conservationist and outdoorsman, he said the film demonstrates how the world’s oceans are in immediate peril, including the waters surrounding Martha’s Vineyard.

“I’ve been coming here since I was 15,” Mr. Nixon said in a recent telephone conversation. “I’ve seen the stripers go down. I was around when the Derby had a moratorium, and I’ve seen them come back. But everyone is aware they’re not here like they used to be.”

Three years ago, Mr. Nixon arranged what turned into a series of meetings and strategy sessions among Island fishing interests and Ms. Earle.

“It was an unlikely meeting,” Mr. Nixon said. “Sylvia has very strong opinions about fishing and overfishing and industrial fishing. The fishermen felt they had a common bond with her, they both saw the impact of these industrial fleets. They are embracing her idea of marine sanctuaries as a self interest. For their livelihood to continue, they are convinced spawning areas and critical habitat need to be preserved.”

That view may be slightly optimistic. Among the first group that met with Ms. Earle three years ago were William “Buddy” Vanderhoop of Aquinnah, a well-known charter fisherman, charter fishing captain Jennifer Clark, commercial fisherman Alec Gale, and Chilmark selectman Warren Doty, who has been involved in the commercial fishing industry in several capacities.

Mr. Vanderhoop has become a strong advocate of creating “hope spots” in Vineyard waters.

“You just can’t keep taking fish,” Mr. Vanderhoop told The Times. “I’d like for my kids to have as good a time fishing as I have all my life. We need to make a couple of safe havens where the fish can spawn. Give them a break.”

Mr. Vanderhoop puts much of the blame for species decline on large scale commercial fishing. He believes a practice known as pair trawling, where two commercial fishing boats drag a large net between them, primarily to catch herring, a critical food source for striped bass and other species.

“With all the technology out there, fish don’t have a chance,” he said. “You take away the forage fish, then you have no large fish coming in because there’s no bait. The general public doesn’t know this is happening out there, which is a real shame. Ecologically, it’s just stupid.”

But not everyone agrees with the concept of marine sanctuaries, and not everyone agrees they should be in Vineyard waters.

“I’m not in favor of it at all,” said Alec Gale, a Menemsha based commercial fisherman and co-owner of the Menemsha Fish House, a wholesale seafood market. “That’s where our fish come from. It would be basically like cutting our own throat. Why would I be in favor of something that is going to end up killing me?”

Mr. Doty said he attended the original meeting, but had no communication with the group since then, and they have not reviewed with him the three areas under consideration.

This summer, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) established a process for communities to nominate areas of the ocean as national marine.

Among the criteria are whether the area “supports present and potential economic uses, such as: tourism; commercial and recreational fishing; subsistence and traditional uses; diving; and other recreational uses that depend on conservation and management of the area’s resources,” according to NOAA.

The group has identified three areas to investigate as possible marine sanctuaries. One area is southwest of Gay Head, in Rhode Island Sound. Another tract is just off Noman’s Land, south of Martha’s Vineyard. A third area is well offshore, south of Nantucket in an area known as Banana Shoals.

Mr. Nixon and Ms. Earle are organizing diving expeditions on the three sites beginning this month, to help gather information necessary for the nomination process.

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Beth Toomey will join the Martha's Vineyard Airport commission.

Updated 11 am, Wednesday

Dukes County Superior Court Associate Justice Richard J. Chin handed the Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission (MVAC) a significant victory in its legal battle with the Dukes County Commission over control of the county-owned Martha’s Vineyard Airport and its operations.

In an 11-page decision dated August 7, Judge Chin ruled in favor of the airport commission on every point in its request for a preliminary injunction against the County Commission, county treasurer Noreen Mavro Flanders, and county manager Martina Thornton based on his view that the airport commission has shown “a likelihood of success on the merits.”

In issuing his preliminary injunction, Judge Chin said the county commission is enjoined from appointing the county manager to the airport commission as an ex-officio, nonvoting member; the county manager is enjoined from serving in such a capacity; and the county treasurer is enjoined from refusing to pay invoices duly approved for payment by the airport commission, from obtaining privileged or confidential communications between the airport commission and its attorneys without notice to, or the consent of, the airport commission, and from releasing those communications between the airport commission and its attorneys to the public.

In a separate three-page decision, Judge Chin denied an airport commission request to dismiss the county commission’s counterclaim, filed May 30, which mirrored the airport claim, and rests on the county argument that the airport is under the jurisdiction of Dukes County, as a subdivision and department of the county, according to Massachusetts law.

That decision would allow the case to proceed toward a trial, unless the two sides settle the issues out of court.

“In this case, the MVAC does not argue that the counterclaims should be dismissed because the facts are insufficiently pled,” Judge Chin wrote in his August 7 ruling. “Instead the MVAC argues for their dismissal on their merits and asserts its own position is correct. This is better decided when both parties have fully briefed and argued the substantive issues.”

However, there is little in the judge’s decision that would indicate a ruling in favor of the county. Judge Chin said that the county charter “does not supersede the narrowly tailored airport act even though it was enacted afterwards.”

The latest battle in the lengthy history of county efforts to exercise control over the county-owned airport began with a13-page civil complaint filed May 5. Airport commission lawyers from the Cambridge law firm of Anderson & Kreiger asked the court to prohibit county officials from seeking to “unlawfully interfere with, and obstruct the functioning,” of the airport commission. The seven members of the airport commission are appointed by the elected members of the seven-member county commission.

Judge Richard Chin listened to arguments at the hearing on July 27.
Judge Richard Chin listened to arguments at the hearing on July 27.

In his decision, Judge Chin said the standard for issuing a preliminary injunction when a government brings suit to enforce a state law has two parts. First, the judge said he had to decide whether there is a likelihood of success on the merits of the airport commission’s claims against the county commission. Second, he had to determine whether the preliminary injunction promotes the public interest, or at least does not harm the public.

Familiar route

The Dukes County commissioners met in executive session Tuesday to discuss the judge’s decision. Reached Wednesday by phone, county commission chairman Leonard Jason, Jr. declined to comment on the discussion or indicate if the county commission intends to continue its counterclaim.

In earlier comments Monday, Mr. Jason said the ruling was a split decision.

“It looks like the judge split the baby in half,” Mr. Jason said in a phone conversation Monday. “The judge did two things. He said I want to hear the case, because they [the airport commission] asked to dismiss it. And he said the county manager can’t sit on the airport commission, and Noreen has to pay the bills, until I hear the case.”

Attorney Robert Troy of the Sandwich law firm Troy Wall Associates represented county officials at the July 29 hearing before Judge Chin.

“Judge Chin is one of the most respected judges in the Commonwealth and the County appreciates that he recognized that its defense of county government asserted in its counterclaims is entitled to go forward and be adjudicated,” Mr. Troy wrote in a statement emailed to the Times Friday. “The Dukes County Airport is the only county airport in the Commonwealth and as such has unique status under Massachusetts law. I intend to confer with county officials about the most effective steps that can be taken to defend the county government structure that was approved by the Legislature and the voters of Dukes County.”

Attorney David Mackey of the Cambridge law firm Anderson & Kreiger, who represents the airport commission, said the judge affirmed the airport commission’s position.

“We’re pleased by the judge’s preliminary ruling that recognizes, once again, the airport commission, not the county, has responsibility for the care and management of the airport,” he said.

“We’ve been down this road before,” Dukes County commissioner John Alley of West Tisbury told The Times Friday afternoon, in reference to a 2005 decision by Superior Court Judge Robert H. Bohn that upheld the statutory authority of  the airport commission. Mr. Alley had served on the airport commission for more than three decades until his fellow county commissioners, angered over airport commission decisions, in April refused to reappoint him to the airport commission.

Mr. Alley said he expects to urge his colleagues on the county commission to end the legal action. “It’s almost like, what part of no don’t you understand,” Mr. Alley said.

Ms. Mavro Flanders declined comment until she consults with her attorney. Ms. Thornton was on vacation and unavailable for comment.

Public interest

In issuing his injunction, Judge Chin reviewed the foundation of the complaint and cited legal decisions and documents that have been cited repeatedly in the long-running feud between the county commissioners and their appointed airport commission over control of the airport.

These included the grant assurances, or contract agreements, that state aviation officials obliged the county commissioners to sign in an earlier legal battle. The assurances, signed most recently by the county commissioners and the county manager in 2012, defined the conditions for the airport and business park to receive millions of dollars in state and federal funds, andit  wrung an agreement from the county commissioners “not to take any action to reorganize the airport commission, or in any way to interfere with the autonomy and authority of the airport commission….”

In his decision, Judge Chin cited the grant assurances in underpinning his decision to grant a preliminary injunction in the public interest. “The county’s alleged violation of the grant assurances may also cause the MVAC to violate the grant assurances, putting its funding at risk and interfering with its ability to operate the airport safely and efficiently to the detriment of the public,” he wrote.

Judge Chin also cited Judge Bohn’s 2005 decision, known as the Weibrecht decision, in which Judge Bohn ruled that the legislation establishing the airport commission trumped the county charter, and the airport commission alone is responsible for the custody, control, and management of the airport, and is empowered to expend its own funds to pay salaries. That protracted legal battle began when then county manager Carol Borer, with the support of the county commissioners, refused to pay airport manager William Weibrecht and assistant manager, now manager, Sean Flynn, the full salaries agreed to in a contract signed by the airport commission. That legal decision cost taxpayers $525,000.

In a legal opinion sought by county commissioners in 2012, the county’s own attorney affirmed that the county commission has no authority over airport operations.

“The county commission argues that the Weibrecht decision is narrow in scope, addressing only the power to set salaries for the airport manager and assistant manager, and is consequently irrelevant to the issues before the court in this case,” Judge Chin wrote. “The court disagrees.”

With regard to the county charter, Judge Chin said, “The court agrees with Judge Bohn that the [county] charter, a broad enabling statute, does not supersede the narrowly tailored Airport Act even though it was enacted afterwards.”

Treasurer is grounded

The dispute with Ms. Mavro Flanders, the elected Dukes County treasurer, began when Ms. Mavro Flanders refused to pay redacted legal bills that the airport commission submitted from law firms it had retained. The airport commission redacted what it contends are details protected by attorney-client privilege, or health privacy laws.

“The County Treasurer has acknowledged that, in many cases, and apparently without notice to and without the consent of the MVAC (Martha’s Vineyard Airport Commission), she has communicated directly with staff at the law offices of the MVAC’s attorneys to obtain unredacted copies of the invoices,” stated the airport complaint. “In sum, the County Treasurer believes that she has the legal authority to refuse to pay invoices which have already been duly approved by the MVAC, to obtain privileged and confidential communications between the MVAC and its attorneys without notice to and without the consent of the MVAC, and to release those privileged and confidential communications to the public at large.”

Judge Chin rejected the county treasurer’s claim that invoices approved by the airport commission for payment were lacking detail required by state law.

“Where the MVAC is not using any of the county’s funds to pay its invoices for legal services, it may expend its funds without the county’s oversight,” Judge Chin wrote. The invoices “are not so deficient in detail that they fail on their face to comply with the statute.”

The judge said the law does not require release of confidential communications.

“The county treasurer has no authority to decide otherwise in this case, especially since the county treasurer has no decision-making authority with respect to the invoices.”

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Leandro Miranda appeared in Edgartown District Court Friday. — File photo by Susan Safford

Edgartown police, acting on information provided by Oak Bluffs police, arrested Leandro Miranda Friday afternoon on a default warrant at a Millers Professionals Inc. jobsite on Clevelandtown Road in Edgartown, according to a press release.

The court issued a default warrant for his arrest after Mr. Miranda, 23, failed to appear in court Monday, August 11, for his scheduled arraignment in connection with his latest arrest Sunday, August 10 for operating a motor vehicle without a license. Mr. Miranda posted $600 cash bail Sunday night and was released from the Dukes County jail. On Monday, the court forfeited his $600.

Police have now arrested Mr. Miranda, most recently of Oak Bluffs, five times since March 2. In two of those arrests, he was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, and fleeing police in his vehicle at high speeds.

At a hearing in Edgartown District Court Friday, presiding justice H. Gregory Williams ordered Mr. Miranda held without bail.

“I’m going to be holding Mr. Miranda on the warrant until Monday, August 18,” Judge Williams said. A court officer interpreted for Mr. Miranda, a Brazilian national, who sat in handcuffs and leg shackles. “Probation has moved for detention. The Commonwealth will be moving to revoke bail, and requesting bail in the new case. We’ll see what happens at that time,” Judge Williams said.

At a July 10 hearing following Mr. Miranda’s third arrest on a charge of driving without a license, Judge Williams made it clear that if he got caught driving without a license again, the consequences would be severe. “If you even think of driving a car without a valid license, which you won’t get for a quite a while, you’re going to jail,” Judge Williams said at the earlier hearing.

As part of a plea agreement disposition of his first two cases at the July hearing, Judge Williams issued a six month suspended sentence, along with two years of probation. Mr. Miranda was free after posting $5,000 bail, which he may have to forfeit because he did not show up for his last court appearance.