Town Columns


By Jacqueline Sexton - October 12, 2006

The big news in fishing circles last week was that a couple of respectable fish were caught after a long barren period. Whether or not that constitutes a trend, it's a ray of hope.

There are more berries on the holly bushes and more fruit on the Japanese dogwood than usual. Someone once told me that that is nature's way of providing for its creatures during what will be a harsh winter. So stock up on firewood.

Belated birthday greetings to Isobel Knowlton, who turned 95 in June. She is fondly remembered by many 30- and 40-something "children" for the chocolate chip cookies she always made for them when they were little kids. Peter Knowlton came down from Beverly for the Columbus Day weekend with some friends.

The first newsletter of the school year is out, and principal Diane Gandy, upbeat and enthusiastic as ever, predicts another busy and fruitful year. The younger children have been fascinated by the transformation of the caterpillars they collected at the Allen farm into beautiful monarch butterflies, while the older children are studying the water cycle. (There are thoughtful people in town who think the water supply is more of an issue than the oil supply.)

Becky Tinus has made a DVD of the fourth and fifth grader's trip on the Shenandoah, set to music. It's available at the school for $20. And the PTO cookbook is also available, for $15. Any proceeds from these two endeavors will go to defray expenses for the school's Outing Program.

The community is never far from school happenings. The Coast Guard supplied maritime maps for the Shenandoah excursion, and South‑Mountain Company has donated plexi-glass lids for the terrariums.

New students at the pre-school, whose enrollment is up this year, are Brooks Carroll, Hoffie Hearn, Megan Zellinger and Katie Goldsmith. Dawn Braasch is the new part-time teacher. According to pre-school director Chris Abrams, the pre-school continues to provide an excellent project-based, community-oriented education at the pre-school level.

Chilmark seems to get more international all the time. Max Bossman, a native of Estonia and an Island resident since 2000, is having a show of his photographs of various aspects of‑Vineyard life at the Bank of Martha's Vineyard, opening on October 20 and running through November 1. Mr. Bossman graduated from Voronezh State University in Russia with a masters degree in computer science and mathematics and has also studied art, design and photography in Voronezh and Moscow. He is a web site designer.

The annual Justin Lord Coleman memorial hike will take place Saturday, Oct. 21 starting at the Coleman residence at 150 South Road at noon. Program director for Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Janice Perrin, will give a brief talk, after which participants will walk to the Hancock Beach and back, three miles, or choose to continue on to Lucy Vincent Beach and back for a ten-mile hike. There will be simultaneous walks in San Francisco and Chapel Hill, N. C. Julie Coleman's sister, Evelyn Kreyling is organizing the Chilmark hike; if you have any questions, please call her at 508-645-2261. The walk will take place, rain or shine.

Greg Skomal, the Island representative for the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Wildlife, will talk about sharks and other large ocean fish next Wednesday, Oct. 18, from 5:30 to 6:30 pm at the Chilmark library. The event is free, sponsored by the Friends of both the Aquinnah and Chilmark libraries.

Library assistant Kimberly Schlesinger will start her after-school program for children six and up next Wednesday, Oct. 18. Kimberly has been collecting materials - boxes, bottles, all sizes and shapes - for weeks for the children to do crafts. Any questions, please call her at the library 508-645-3360.