Town Column

Oak Bluffs

By Megan Alley
Click here to contact Megan

Posted February 8, 2007

So now we are bundled up in what is real winter. The cold came as we knew it would even though later than usually. Doesn't it make us realize that we really have no final say in nature's decisions? Just because it came late, I hope it doesn't feel it can linger late. Please be sure to check on the homebound and the elderly to make sure they are keeping warm and they have enough food on hand, as this is a difficult season for many people.

While we shiver from our first really cold spell of weather, Sean O'Connor was in the middle of the Gulf of Mexico last week bringing the "Island Home" to us. His wife, Paula, and daughter, Shannon, are very excited because he has been gone since October. First he was in Connecticut for the repair on the Martha's Vineyard and then on to Pascagoula. Miss., to see the completion of the Island Home. Shannon and Paula went to visit recently and loved the new ship. It is about a ten-day journey; so the vessel should reach Martha's Vineyard in a few days.

The Quilters at the Senior Center have finished the patchwork curtains for the new room and are now busily cutting out their Spring Quilt. They meet every Friday at 1 pm and could use help from anyone who would like to participate. If you don't know how to sew of quilt, just come anyway and they can teach you. Refreshments are always served at each meeting. When you get a chance, stop by the Center and check out their schedule of events. They offer many interesting programs several days a week.

Robert Iadicicco reports that the talk given by Dr. Magda Ramirez last week was very moving. She spoke of her efforts to bring healthcare to the mountain villages of Guatemala. She and her husband, Rob Goldfarb (of the Farm Institute), are returning to Guatemala very soon. For those of you who would like to contact her, you may e-mail her at (Spanish Yahoo network).

There are two upcoming programs at the Oak Bluffs Public Library that would be of interest to many of you. On Saturday, Feb. 17, at 1 pm for ages 6 to 10, at the Tell-A-Story program concerning African American History on Martha's Vineyard, Leigh French will tell a biographical story, and then everyone will have the opportunity to create his or her own story. Books will be made from the stories and put on display in the children's area. Also on the same day at 3 pm there will be an African American History Celebration. Motivational speaker Roy Bolling Jr. and African American Dance Specialist Myra Romain will be coming to the Oak Bluffs Public Library to help celebrate African American History Month. This program is geared towards junior-high to high-school ages.

On Monday, Feb. 12, the Martha's Vineyard Public Schools are hosting a workshop at the Oak Bluffs School from 6 to 8 pm. The workshop is entitled "Parents Are Powerful." The Boston organization The Parents Place will be facilitating this workshop, and the presentation will be in both English and Portuguese. This is to help promote parent involvement in children's education. The workshop is being promoted through the Title I Program and ELL Departments. So if your child is a part of either of these school programs, please try to attend. For more info, contact Sue Costello at 508 627-3316, ext.211.

Joan and Nelson Oliver are pleased that their daughter Erika Oliver has returned to the Vineyard to take a new position in the M.V. Public School system. Erika will be working with autistic elementary students and high school students who are learning English. She leaves her position in the Leominster School system where nine years ago she started the Leominster's Creative Choices Before and After School program. Her program housed children in grades one through eight for programs that ran as early as 6:30 am until 6:00 pm in two of the schools. Each of the two schools involved had between fifty and sixty-five students enrolled in the programs. Administrators at Leominster had nothing but the highest praises for Erika and the programs she established.

We send birthday smiles to Gerry Debettencourt and Marc Rivers, who partied yesterday; Maureen Anderson, whose special day is today; Adam Barmakian and Nelson DeBettencourt, who share Feb. 10; and Juanita Espino, whose birthday is Feb.11.

Enjoy your week and send your news along. Don't forget that special day next Wednesday, Feb. 14, Valentine's Day!