Town Column

Edgartown

By Gail Craig
508-627-3754
Click here to contact Gail

Posted February 22, 2007

The powers that be work in interesting ways, don't they? I've been complaining about winter and how miserable it has been. But wouldn't you know those powers that be tossed me one heck of a week last week, I think trying to point out that things can always be worse! It began first thing Monday morning when, along with getting the kids ready for school, I was greeted with cleaning up after a sick dog. I got the kids to school and got things somewhat cleaned up at home, placed a call to the vet and then went to work. When I came home, it was readily apparent that the house still needed some scrubbing. Tuesday morning dawned bright and freezing and required a trip to the vet with Roxie. All of which is completely manageable, right? Tuesday night brought with it the dreaded winter stomach bug, Riley becoming the first victim. We actually thought it was just the huge piece of chocolate cake he had with dinner but we were sadly mistaken. Wednesday morning, I became the next victim, though I again had to take Roxie back to the vet for x-rays and ultrasounds. Because it was Valentine's Day, Riley had attempted school but about an hour into the day, he came home with me where we suffered our illnesses curled up together on the pullout couch in front of the TV. Later that afternoon, I picked up Roxie, only to find out that she had to go off-Island to South Shore Animal Hospital in South Weymouth for more tests and very likely, surgery to remove a growth on her spleen and the sooner she got there, the better. Facing the prospect of a boat ride and drive to Weymouth while suffering the stomach bug was daunting, to say the least, but she was my first baby so plans were made. Unfortunately, that night, the stomach bug hit Amelia as well, who is still just a little too young to understand the whole thing, so I ended up changing her bed four times that night, having won the job because I was on the upside of the illness and Jamie was slowly being overtaken by it and was too wiped out to deal with it. But, by the next morning, Riley was pretty good, Amelia was doing better, Jamie was fair, and Roxie and I were off to Weymouth. Fortunately, she did not need the surgery but having been diagnosed with chronic hepatitis, liver disease, and an infection of the adrenal glands, she had to stay overnight at the hospital. But, we're home, though I feel like I've missed at least a week of my life. Everyone is reasonably healthy, though I don't think anyone is 100 percent. If my higher powers happen to read this, consider this my white flag of surrender!

Boo Bassett called last week asking that I share that the Town Byway Committee meets every first and third Wednesday of the month at 7 pm upstairs in the town hall and they are looking for volunteers to help with maintaining the byways and ancient ways around town. These volunteers would act as "ambassadors" for the byway committee, assisting with keeping the areas cleaned up, reporting on any dumping that may be happening and so forth. If you would like to help out, please joint the committee at one of their meetings or call Boo for more information at 508-627-5815.

It's nice to see that Edgartown Books is open again, their winter nap having come to an end. If I'm not mistaken, they are open Wednesday though Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm. And the nice thing about this time of year is that there is lots of parking so stop in and visit with Susan, chat about books or life or any other topic that may catch your fancy. And if you're inclined to bring her a cup of coffee, she takes it extra light with two sugars.

Happy birthday to Joanne Ryan, who celebrated on Feb. 17.

By the time this hits the paper, all of the Edgartown School principal finalists will have had their days visiting the school and meeting with the faculty, kids, and parents. Hopefully, we will soon know who will be leading our school. I have my favorite who I would like to see get the position, but I think all three candidates have a lot to offer and, if they are willing to really commit to the school, I think we can finally move forward in a great direction with a bright future.

I was somewhat surprised by a recent editorial in another local publication last week, regarding the tearing down of the Warren House for the library expansion project. While I fully concur that maintaining history, including historic buildings when feasible, is extremely important, I believe that it is very important that the public realize that the Warren House, as it is now, is not historically accurate, at least not of any one historic time period. It has been added onto several times and the original "historic" building barely exists anymore within all of the additions and architectural changes that have happened through the years. And what remains is in terrible condition, full of termites, and structurally unsound for public use of any kind, let alone as a library.

Seeking the demolition of the Warren House was not an issue taken lightly by the development committee, nor was it taken lightly by the historic commission. Had the building not been altered over the years and were it in a condition that would be useable by the library, the committee would not have sought to demolish it. The request was not taken lightly, it was not done as a matter of convenience, and it is not a matter of a private owner just trying to replace it with their "dream" home. It was done as a matter of safety and necessity. Our historic district is a useful, hardworking agency for the town and to suggest that they are simply allowing the demolition of buildings willy-nilly is irresponsible reporting and insulting to the historic committee members who are working hard to see the larger picture, meet the greater good, and do what they deem best for the town. As I said, I am a huge proponent of protecting history. Unfortunately, there are occasions when the demolition of a building is necessary for the greater good and/or safety of the public and this would be one of those times.

Okay - I'm off my soapbox now. Be sure to get me your news for next week or I may have to pull said soapbox out again. Have a great week.