Town Column

West Tisbury

By Hermine Hull
Click here to contact Hermine

Posted March 22, 2007

You know that old line about New England weather? "If you don't like it, wait five minutes and it will change." That about describes the past week. I spent the first few days raking leaves and cleaning up my garden beds, enjoying 50-degree temperatures, only to watch from inside by the woodstove as the week ended with a day-long snowstorm followed by rain and mud, then cold. Mike and I drove up to Menemsha on Sunday afternoon to look at white caps and breaking waves and churned-up water that made the most beautiful colored stripes. Mike said the sand from Long Beach was what turned one band of water a color I called "olivine" after a mineral of the same name. It was beautiful, stripes of viridian, Prussian blue, and olivine, a painting for sure.

It is rare for Mike and me to go off on a jaunt by ourselves, but after their bad behavior earlier in the day, Talley and Murphy were definitely left home in the figurative "dog house," in reality the comfort of the living room sofa. I had stopped by my mother-in-law's to visit with her and Mike's brother, and to let the dogs run around with Bobby's poodle, Daisy. As we were talking, Jared noticed my dogs running through the woods towards Blakesley's. So off I went calling for them. No dogs. I drove down Dan'l's Way and along Tiah's Cove Road before returning home to alert Allen Healy, who was on duty, and find Mike to help me search. To make a long story short, I was down past Pond View when Mike appeared with our two dogs in the back of his truck. He had found them on South Vine Lane playing with another golden retriever. No one was home, but Mike put the dog in the house and left with our two. Bobby was frantic that Mike had put the dog in the wrong house, so Mike went back later in the afternoon and enjoyed meeting our neighbors, the Kellehers, and their beautiful golden. It all ended well.

I'm unbearably jealous of our friends Dan and Elaine Pace and the glowing email Elaine sent after watching the Red Sox beat the Yankees at City of Palms Park. Although not possessed of wanderlust, one dream I do have is going to some beautiful spot on the Gulf coast of Florida to paint palm trees and see spring training at City of Palms Park. My Aunt Janice and I drove to Fort Myers when the ballpark was being built and walked around and through the stadium. It was a great thrill, but nothing to compare with sitting among the crowd at a real game. Maybe someday. Anyway, Elaine wrote, "Hope that's a foreshadowing of the season to come!" and I hope she's right.

We have a new baby to welcome. West Tisbury Police Officer Sean Slavin and his wife, Dardy, are the parents of Quinlan Slavin, who was born on March 15.

There are lots of political goings-on as we prepare for our Annual Town Meeting and election. Not only are there candidates for contested races, but several committees will be holding informative public meetings in the next couple of weeks.

The Community Preservation Committee (CPC) will hold a public forum on March 28, 7 pm, at the Howes House to present their recommendations for the spending of CPA funds. They plan to discuss the list of proposals they received and the process used to make their selections. As this is the first time the newly formed CPC will be reporting to the Annual Town Meeting, it should be interesting to learn more about how the committee has organized itself and its priorities.

On March 30, also at the Howes House at 7 pm, the League of Women Voters will sponsor Candidate's Night. This is an opportunity not only to listen to and question candidates for various town offices, but a chance to learn more about how the town government works. There is a contest between Diane Powers and Cynthia Riggs for a seat on the Board of Selectmen. Joan Ames, Sharon Estrella, and Ann Nelson are running for positions on the Finance Committee (two seats; Sharon Estrella is the incumbent), and Jonathan Revere is trying to replace incumbent Cynthia Mitchell on the Board of Assessors. There are two openings on the Library Board; Ginny Jones, Ernie Mendenhall (who is the incumbent), and Dan Waters are running. Please note that I have listed all candidates alphabetically.

Saturday morning, March 31, 10 am, the Finance Committee will present their recommendations for the warrant articles. This will be a list of factual information, not a forum for discussion.

By the time you are reading this, I hope everyone will have received your copy of the Space Needs Committee's final report. Several of our members, assisted by Ernie and Megan Mendenhall, gathered around the Logue-Mendenhall dining room table last Saturday afternoon to address, seal, and stamp 1366 copies of the report, which were mailed at the West Tisbury Post Office Monday morning. Our special thanks go to Miss Megan Mendenhall, who single-handedly affixed postage stamps to every report, a display of dogged determination that took her the better part of Saturday afternoon and evening and was finally accomplished late Sunday morning. We will be holding our final public forum to discuss the recommendations in the report at the Public Safety Building (we expect a large crowd) on April 4 at 7:30 pm.

Judy and Bob Jahries have their grandchildren, Charlie and Martha Kenyon, visiting them from Northfield-Mt. Hermon, for the week. They have a very full agenda planned, including multiple trips to the Toy Box, hunting for shells on all the beaches, and participating in "The Quest" at the Polly Hill Arboretum. I wish them great adventures.

Despite the freezing winds, a two-foot long otter was spotted cavorting in the Mill Pond, and bright gold witch hazel flowers are blooming in several locations around town. Have a good week.