Town Column


By Kay Mayhew
Click here to contact Kay

Posted March 1, 2007

It will be so sad to say farewell to the Islander. We will miss her.

I admit it. The architect said visitors could learn about Vineyard flora from the excessive plantings planned for the town parking lot. I did suggest guests should visit Polly Hill for that. It is true that I asked the selectmen not take away the up to 10 parking places now expected to vanish. Town meetings are such fun.

Dolly Campbell is sharing a warm story about a baby hippo. It seems that poachers killed the mother hippo and baby was washed up onto the beach. But baby landed on top of a 100-year-old turtle. Baby decided this was mother. The turtle, though a male, seems to be doing a fine job of raising the baby. We are waiting for Dolly to produce the picture showing this happy little hippopotamus with "mom."

When our new ferry arrives in Vineyard Haven on Saturday, the first welcoming sound will be that of the bagpipes played by Tony Peak. Tony gives generously of his time and talent, providing music when it means a lot to all of us. Thanks, Tony!

The naturalists tell me that during the winter, turkeys separate into different groups for males and females. If this is so, I have some very confused turkeys in my yard.

Thanks to our health agent, Tom Pachico, I learned that that the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife sent a wildlife biologist over to the Island to look at our problem with feral turkeys. The good news is that he agrees the turkeys are feral, not wild. The bad news is that he estimates Tisbury only has 48 turkeys. I have at least 35 to 40 in my yard most days. I know of at least three other areas in town with just as many. Now I want to invite him back to visit "my" herd and do a recount. Meanwhile, I would like to hear from any of you who have turkeys. I want your street address and the number of turkeys you see. Of course, it would be even better if you wrote James Cardoza at DFW, One Rabbit Hill Road, Westborough, MA 01581, to tell him.

Mr. Cardoza says he visited one street in Tisbury and one in Chilmark. He suggests the whole problem is that our neighbors are feeding the turkeys or allowing them access to spilled birdseed. He claims it is really not much of a problem, but does refer us to something called turkey conflicts on the DFW web site. He also referred to the DFW web site for more information on avian flu.

Mark your calendar now for electronics disposal day at Community Services. You can get rid of all your small electronics, from cell phones to computer monitors, from small refrigerators to PDAs. Cell phones are donated to Cell Phones for Soldiers, a group that has raised more than $300,000 to pay for phone calls home from soldiers in Iraq. The fees are low, from $1 for a cell phone to $10 for a television. The fees will help pay for technology upgrades for Community Services. Deliver your stuff to the parking lot, opposite the high school, on Saturday, March 24, between 9 am and 2 pm.

Happy birthday tomorrow to Katie Kennedy. Sunday belongs to Polly McDowell and Shirley Adams. Big bunches of birthday balloon wishes go out to Evan Kristal, who parties on Wednesday.

Heard on Main Street: "New England has four seasons - almost winter, winter, still winter, and road construction."