Posted March 2, 2006

By Jacqueline Sexton - 508-645-2895 -

Writing a town news column can be tricky. Especially at this time of year when everyone except school children and teachers seems to be either away or hibernating. Fifty years ago the Vineyard Gazette used to intersperse the news in its town columns with two-liners exhorting readers to call in (no e-mail) their news: "It is a courtesy to your guests..." to have their names mentioned in our columns.

The scarcity of news leads inevitably to longer passages of commentary. In desperation I once wrote that the "library police" came to my house to arrest me because of an overdue book. I thought it was a pretty stirring tale, designed to amuse if not to inform. So it was something of a shock to learn that an outraged library patron had burst into the library protesting library tactics, saying, "It was terrible what you put that poor person through."

All of which is a roundabout way of asking everyone to telephone, e-mail or snail-mail their news. Thank you!

Congratulations to fifth-grader Ian Bardwell who emerged the winner of the school spelling bee, thereby qualifying him to represent the school at the Island-wide spelling bee, sponsored by The Times, on March 17 at the Harbor View Hotel in Edgartown. We'll be rooting for you, Ian.

The school is closed for vacation this week.

The Friends of the Library have been busy putting together a schedule of speakers for the library's evening programs. The first program will be next Thursday, March 9 at 5:30 pm at the library when Will Flender will discuss the third edition of his "Walking Trails of Martha's Vineyard," which was published a few months ago by the Vineyard Conservation Society. The trail guide has been regarded as the official guide since its first edition came out in 1996. The third edition is packed with new features, including new and revised maps in color of 49 walks in every Island town, a foldout map of the whole Island, and a new section on short walks.

Admission to the talk is free, and refreshments will be served. Autographed copies of the guide will be available. Call the library with any questions at 508-645-3360.

Today is the anniversary of Dr. Seuss's birthday. Long may his memory live!