The Martha's Vineyard Times http://www.mvtimes.com Martha's Vineyard News Now Sun, 25 Jun 2017 07:03:28 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.8 Hospital board stands behind CEO firing http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/24/hospital-board-stands-behind-ceo-firing/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/24/hospital-board-stands-behind-ceo-firing/#respond Sat, 24 Jun 2017 20:15:36 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413950 The hospital’s board of trustees, after a meeting on Saturday, has reaffirmed its decision to fire Joe Woodin as CEO and president. In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the board said it “unanimously stands by its decision.” Mr. Woodin was fired earlier this month after a little more than a year on the job. Trustees’ […]

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The hospital’s board of trustees, after a meeting on Saturday, has reaffirmed its decision to fire Joe Woodin as CEO and president.

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the board said it “unanimously stands by its decision.”

Mr. Woodin was fired earlier this month after a little more than a year on the job. Trustees’ chairman Timothy Sweet initially attempted to get Mr. Woodin to resign, but he refused. Two days later, the board of trustees voted 13-1 to fire him.

“(The firing) was based first and foremost on what the board deemed to be in the best interest of the greater hospital community,” the statement reads. “To respect Mr. Woodin, we have opted not to speak publicly about the details. We know that our silence has caused the community great distress, but we believe, in the case of an individual’s employment, there is a courtesy of privacy.”

Mr. Sweet and his wife, Rachel Vanderoop, the hospital’s community development director, initially caused confusion by issuing a misleading press release stating that Mr. Woodin “stepped down.”

Mr. Woodin, in an interview with The Times that day, made it clear he was being pushed out the door and wanted to remain in the hospital’s top job.

Reached on Saturday, he thanked the community for its overwhelming support.

“We have appreciated everyone’s interest in trying to resolve this,” he said. “The support has meant a lot to me.”

At the time of his firing, Mr. Woodin said there had been no indication that there was any displeasure with his performance. In fact, he felt secure enough to purchase a house on the Island just a short distance from the hospital.

The board of trustees talked about a difference of vision.

We are able to say that based on information from members of the hospital community, the board was concerned about ensuring stability, and avoiding the loss of individuals who are essential to the operations of the hospital and the delivery of care to our patients,” the statement released Saturday states. “We are pleased that our employees, who have dedicated their careers to Martha Vineyard’s Hospital, remain in place and continue to deliver the best care to our residents and our visitors.”

The Times has received more than a half-dozen letters, including from hospital staff, supporting Mr. Woodin and condemning the decision to terminate his employment.

Meanwhile, a community group has formed in the wake of the decision. Alan Brigish, whose late wife was helped as a result of Mr. Woodin’s intervention, said he’s had an outpouring from hundreds of people upset with Mr. Woodin’s termination.

“There’s a tremendous amount of anger and frustration with the board,” he told The Times.

In Saturday’s statement, which was sent out by the hospital’s interim CEO Timothy Walsh, the board acknowledges that the process caused confusion and distress. “We could have done better and we will going forward,” the statement reads. “We owe that to everyone.”

The hospital board will turn its attention to finding a new leader for the hospital. “We will fully evaluate the person’s leadership skills and style, fit for the hospital and the community, and will seek input from the community in the selection process,” according to the statement.

 

 

 

 

 

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Ferry captain wasn’t impaired at time of crash http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/ferry-captain-wasnt-impaired-time-crash/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/ferry-captain-wasnt-impaired-time-crash/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 19:49:39 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413585 The captain and the pilot of a fast ferry M/V Iyanough that crashed into a breakwater near Hyannis a week were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the Steamship Authority. The results of the drug tests, from a U.S. Coast Guard-approved testing facility, were released on Friday, according to a press […]

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The captain and the pilot of a fast ferry M/V Iyanough that crashed into a breakwater near Hyannis a week were not under the influence of drugs or alcohol, according to the Steamship Authority.

The results of the drug tests, from a U.S. Coast Guard-approved testing facility, were released on Friday, according to a press release from the Steamship Authority. Alcohol tests from the night of the crash were also negative.

Both the captain and pilot had a combined 60 years experience. They remain on administrative leave.

The Coast Guard investigation is ongoing into what caused the crash, which injured 15. Two of the injured were airlifted by Coast Guard helicopter and 10 passengers also had to be hoisted to safety from the boat during the dramatic rescue of the 48 passengers, six crew members, and three food service workers.

Rough seas and heavy winds have been cited as a contributing factor in the crash.

With the Iyanough out of service, the Steamship Authority is running a modified schedule to Nantucket using the Sea Streak. Passengers are encouraged to make reservations at 508-495-3278 or visit steamshipauthority.com.

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MVC approves medical marijuana grow operation http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/mvc-approves-medical-marijuana-grow-operation/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/mvc-approves-medical-marijuana-grow-operation/#comments Fri, 23 Jun 2017 18:10:44 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413577 The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has voted to approve a Registered Medical Marijuana cultivation operation for Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, at 90 Dr. Fisher Road, in the West Tisbury light industrial district. “I think it’s important to note that this will provide a service to the Island that it currently doesn’t have,” Fred Hancock, commissioner […]

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The Martha’s Vineyard Commission has voted to approve a Registered Medical Marijuana cultivation operation for Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, at 90 Dr. Fisher Road, in the West Tisbury light industrial district.

“I think it’s important to note that this will provide a service to the Island that it currently doesn’t have,” Fred Hancock, commissioner from West Tisbury said. Christina Brown, commissioner from Edgartown, made a motion that  the approval be prefaced with verbiage that states the operation is providing a service that’s important to the Island.

All commissioners but Lenny Jason voted for the added language.

“You want to tell me there’s no grass on this Island?  Give me a break,” he said.

“I appreciated the fact that the commissioners stated that this is a service that’s important to the Island,” Geoff Rose, chief executive officer of Patient Centric, told The Times Friday morning.

The building was initially intended to be a Registered Marijuana Dispensary as well as a cultivation operation but, citing concerns of area residents about increased traffic, on May 26, Mr. Rose amended his application to remove the dispensary part of the application.

Current occupant Big Sky tents will share the first floor with an 1,800 square foot storage area. Patient Centric will use 1,800 square foot of the first floor for office, laboratory and storage. It will use 3,600 sf of the second floor for a flower room, vegetation room, the mother room, the clone room, trim room, packaging room, cure room and for office and storage space.

Patient Centric is licensed and regulated by the Department of Public Health (DPH). The marijuana grown at the cultivation site will be dispensed at a site to be determined, to patients with a Medical Marijuana Card issued by DPH. Mr. Rose also offered in his application the testing facilities at the site will only be used for plants grown there.

The cultivation operation now goes back to the West Tisbury Zoning Board of Appeals on July 13.

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Yard Sales June 23-25 http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/yard-sales-june-10-11/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/yard-sales-june-10-11/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:58:00 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=407925 Click here to see all yard sales on one interactive map.  

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Click here to see all yard sales on one interactive map.

 

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VIDEO: Fire damages boat, dock at Lake Tashmoo http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/fire-damages-boat-dock-lake-tashmoo/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/fire-damages-boat-dock-lake-tashmoo/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 14:45:27 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413549 A fire aboard a boat on Lake Tashmoo at the end of Northern Pine Road has damaged the boat and damaged a nearby dock. No one was aboard the boat at the time of the blaze and there were no injuries. Fire officials from Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs responded to Harbormaster John Crocker’s call […]

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A fire aboard a boat on Lake Tashmoo at the end of Northern Pine Road has damaged the boat and damaged a nearby dock. No one was aboard the boat at the time of the blaze and there were no injuries.

Fire officials from Vineyard Haven and Oak Bluffs responded to Harbormaster John Crocker’s call for assistance.
Mr. Crocker, who was on his private boat, responded to a call at about 8:30 am about smoke coming from the Charlotte Anne. When he arrived, he saw smoke coming from the cabin of the 35-foot work boat. The boat is owned by John Packer.
Mr. Crocker had his son drop him off at the dock and he went up to the road to direct firefighters to the boat fire in the remote area off Northern Pine Road where the Crocker family owns a farm that stretches all the way to the water.
As of 10:30 am fire crews remained on the scene cleaning up. The boat, which sustained significant damage from the fire, is being salvaged by Mr. Crocker, according to Tisbury Fire Chief John Schilling.
Chief Schilling said none of the fuel from the boat leaked into the water. “In that sense, we were very fortunate,” he said.
Smoke billowed from the scene shortly before 9 am and could be seen on the incoming ferry.

The fire is the third boat fire in recent weeks, including a fire aboard a Steamship Authority ferry, Mr. Crocker said. “It’s strange because boat fires are pretty rare,” he said.

Madeleine Moore contributed to this report.

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Mushrooms at West Tisbury Library a growing concern http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/mushrooms-west-tisbury-library-growing-concern/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/23/mushrooms-west-tisbury-library-growing-concern/#respond Fri, 23 Jun 2017 12:29:45 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413536 Part of the West Tisbury Library’s exterior has been torn out to remove damp, mushroom-infested building materials, town administrator Jennifer Rand informed the selectmen Wednesday evening. West Tisbury allocated approximately $90,000 to address a moisture problem in the library during its last town meeting. Ms Rand told the selectmen that the scope of the moisture […]

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Part of the West Tisbury Library’s exterior has been torn out to remove damp, mushroom-infested building materials, town administrator Jennifer Rand informed the selectmen Wednesday evening.

West Tisbury allocated approximately $90,000 to address a moisture problem in the library during its last town meeting. Ms Rand told the selectmen that the scope of the moisture problem had essentially mushroomed.

“At first glance it looked like our worst fears were not being realized. At second glance, we probably are hitting a worse case scenario,” she said.

The affected area is located at the back of the library in a bump out section of the building.

Part of the bump out has been left open to drain and air out, Ms. Rand said, while another part has been resurfaced with plywood to protect it.

Ms. Rand said she hoped to have a conversation with both the architect and the builder about how to remediate the problem as soon as possible. However, she also said she will consult with town counsel to explore legal options.

“At first glance it seemed like it would cost us more to pursue resolution with the builder or architect than we would get in return. I’m not clear that’s true anymore,” she said.

Selectmen chairman Skip Manter argued against legal action. Money that would be spent in pursuit of a legal solution would be better spent fixing the damage to the library, he said.

“If there is a remedy, even if it involves legal action, and it’s enough money, it’s worth pursuing,” selectman Cynthia Mitchell said.

The cost of fixing the problem has not been established.

On Thursday, the bump out area of the library was torn apart but no mushrooms were evident. Some exposed wood appeared water-stained and mildewed.

Ms. Rand later told The Times that the mushrooms had been removed when the bump out was dismantled.

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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS: June 12 – 16, 2017 http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/real-estate-transactions-june-12-16-2017/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/real-estate-transactions-june-12-16-2017/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:55:12 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413178 Aquinnah June 15, Donald D. Worley, as personal representative under the will of Leonard F. Vanderhoop Jr. and as trustee of the Vanderhoop Family Trust, sold property off Moshup Trail to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission for $1,300,000.   Edgartown June 13, Virginia Susan Villani and Davis H. Shingleton sold 7 Pamela Way to […]

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Aquinnah

June 15, Donald D. Worley, as personal representative under the will of Leonard F. Vanderhoop Jr. and as trustee of the Vanderhoop Family Trust, sold property off Moshup Trail to the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank Commission for $1,300,000.

 

Edgartown

June 13, Virginia Susan Villani and Davis H. Shingleton sold 7 Pamela Way to Sharon Gordetsky for $450,000.

June 15, Martha Weston, trustee of Martha Weston 2007 Trust, sold 11 North Roger Rd. to Melissa M. and Michael J. Thompson for $745,000.

 

Oak Bluffs

June 13, Carl J. Kenney sold 14 Shirley Ave. to Christopher E. Dick and Elizabeth A. Burba-Dick for $296,500.

June 16, Steven Cohen and Linda M. Cohen sold 262 Farm Neck Way to Steven L. and Nicole S. Andrews for $1,450,000.

 

Tisbury

June 12, Adrianne Ryan sold unit 10, 176 Sandpiper Lane to Allen M. Morrison for $642,500.

June 14, Pardo Family LLC sold a lot off Bigelow Rd. to Lillian G. Friedlander for $540,000.

June 15, Mark R. Warsofsky sold 24 Border Rd. to Lisa C. Phelan for $748,900.

June 15, Michael J. Rouse sold 45 Andrews Rd. to Primo Lombardi for $190,000.

June 15, Pamela B. and Ellen B. Kennedy sold 10 Harbor View Lane to Alice Bennett Groh and Nicola Groh for $1,450,000.

 

West Tisbury

June 16, Simon and Brooke Barletta sold 19 West Farm Rd. to James M. and Laura A. Jacobson for $1,237,500.

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REAL ESTATE TRANSACTIONS: June 5 – 9, 2017 http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/real-estate-transactions-june-5-9-2017/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/real-estate-transactions-june-5-9-2017/#respond Thu, 22 Jun 2017 20:49:42 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413176 Aquinnah June 5, Vineyard Conservation Society Inc. sold Lot 524 to Sheriffs Meadow Foundation for $50,000.   Chilmark June 9, Great Rock Bight LP sold a lot on Brickyard Road to Brickyard LLC for $2,350,000.   Edgartown June 5, John W. Magnuson and Barbara M. Phillips sold 6 Magnuson Way to Richard S. Dubin, trustee […]

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Aquinnah

June 5, Vineyard Conservation Society Inc. sold Lot 524 to Sheriffs Meadow Foundation for $50,000.

 

Chilmark

June 9, Great Rock Bight LP sold a lot on Brickyard Road to Brickyard LLC for $2,350,000.

 

Edgartown

June 5, John W. Magnuson and Barbara M. Phillips sold 6 Magnuson Way to Richard S. Dubin, trustee of 6 Magnuson Way Trust, for $980,000.

June 8, Warren T. Hoar and Hedwig Hoar sold 21 Katama Shores Condominium to Paul Davidovits and Judith H. Davidovits for $33,900.

 

Oak Bluffs

June 7, Allen S. Hanson individually, and Leslie Ann Look and Sara Hanson Alwardt, as Personal Representatives of the estate of Lincoln F. Hanson, sold 50 Farm Pond Rd. and 9 Hart Haven Rd. to Nan Bacon for $750,000.

June 9, William R. Alwardt sold 16 Pierce Ave. to Andrew J. Farrissey and Katherine Farrissey for $350,000.

 

Tisbury

June 6, John Polcari sold Unit 12, 223 Sandpiper Lane to Tyretta Meadows for $604,500.

 

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Children exposed to marine electricity in Menemsha http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/students-field-trip-shocked-water/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/22/students-field-trip-shocked-water/#comments Thu, 22 Jun 2017 15:43:02 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=413148 Update: Several students from West Tisbury School were apparently exposed to an electric current Wednesday while wading near transient docks in Menemsha, according to harbormaster Dennis Jason. Marshall Carroll, owner of the nearby Menemsha Texaco, and assistant harbormaster Glen DeBlase were notified by a teacher’s assistant that students had experienced strange sensations in the water […]

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Update:

Several students from West Tisbury School were apparently exposed to an electric current Wednesday while wading near transient docks in Menemsha, according to harbormaster Dennis Jason.

Marshall Carroll, owner of the nearby Menemsha Texaco, and assistant harbormaster Glen DeBlase were notified by a teacher’s assistant that students had experienced strange sensations in the water near Crab Corner, a narrow beach between the Menemsha jetty and the town’s transient dock, Mr. Marshall told The Times. When Mr. Marshall and Mr. DeBlase hastened over to the dock, the children were already on the sand, out of the water. Mr. DeBlase instructed them to stay clear of the water. He dipped his hand in the water off the dock and detected current, according to Mr. Marshall. This prompted him to open the electrical box on the bulkhead above the dock and cut the circuit, Mr. Marshall said. In the moments prior to the power cut, Mr. Jason arrived.  He told The Times that he reached his hand in the water and felt a “little tingle.” Mr. Jason did not elaborate further on the incident.

Emergency crews were not called to the scene, according to local police and an official from Tri-Town Ambulance.

West Tisbury School principal Donna Lowell-Bettencourt said the children, third graders, were at Menemsha for a beach day. She acknowledged that they had experienced a “small shock feeling” but that they all appeared to be fine. She commended the teachers assistant for reporting the anomaly to harbormaster staff. She also commended the teacher who led the trip for reporting the incident to her.

Crab Corner is a popular spot for kids and on Thursday there were children swimming and paddling there near the transient dock.

Police Chief Jonathan Klaren said he did not know about the incident, but went to the waterfront Thursday morning and learned that the power had been shut off to the dock.

Officials are waiting for an electrician to evaluate the dock’s wiring, assistant harbormaster Richard Steves said.

There is caution tape and duct tape around the electrical box that serves the dock.

As of noon Friday, no electrical work had been done. Mr. Steves said when an electrician does arrive, he or she will only be able to examine the underside of the dock, where the wiring is, at low tide. He also said yachts are scheduled to tie up at the transient dock sometime Friday and that they will be instructed to rely on their generators for additional power.
The Electric Shock Drowning Prevention Association, an advocacy organization, recommends not to “swim in or near marinas, docks or boatyards,” according to its website, due to the potential threat of  leaking electricity. The association’s site diagrams electricity leakage in a marine environment.

Story updated to include more details about the incident.

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Community aces team’s return http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/community-aces-teams-return/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/community-aces-teams-return/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:48:25 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412793 The scene was an incredible one. Dozens of parents and family members, and a lineup of fire trucks, parked near the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal. The anticipation was palpable as family, friends, Steamship workers, and, yes, even tourists waited for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School girls tennis team to emerge from the ferry. Where […]

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The scene was an incredible one.

Dozens of parents and family members, and a lineup of fire trucks, parked near the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal. The anticipation was palpable as family, friends, Steamship workers, and, yes, even tourists waited for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School girls tennis team to emerge from the ferry.

Where were they? In a van? On a bus? People were clutching cameras, armed and ready, pointed at every exit.

It was as if the crowd was waiting for rock stars and, in a sense, they were.

After all the passengers had cleared the gangway and all of the cars and trucks emerged from the freight deck, the triumphant team, winner of the state championship for the third year in a row, marched off the freight deck together carrying the state championship banner and trophy. They were greeted by loud cheers, whistles, and the deafening sounds of sirens blaring.

Goose bumps.

Full disclosure here. One of the girls, a freshman phenom by the name of Hannah Rabasca, is the daughter of one of our designers, Kristófer Rabasca.

But that’s not the only reason we were so thrilled to see this outpouring. It was just such a genuine moment for the community, and some of our adopted community, to come together to celebrate a job well done. A great moment for the girls, and anyone who witnessed it as a spectator.

And hey, if you missed it, don’t worry. The girls tennis team at the high school is stacked for years to come. For many schools, this would have been a rebuilding year with so many freshmen and sophomores on the team, but for the Vineyarders it means plenty of great years ahead.

Congratulations to all of the members of the 2017 team, and to their coaches, as well.

Watch out, tennis world, this team is the New England Patriots of the courts.

 

Give it a shot

After having seen some of the photographs provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we know Nomans Land is breathtaking.

Problem is, the opportunities to take photos on the federal refuge are few and far between.

For those who don’t know the history, the island was once used for farming and fishing. But during World War II, the U.S. Navy, which had an air station on Martha’s Vineyard where the airport is now, used the island for target practice.

Those years of military training left Nomans Land a dangerous spot, and so it’s posted with signs warning the public to stay away or face prosecution.

As the Times reported last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on a plan to open up Nomans Land to filmmakers interested in capturing the habitat and history of the 628-acre island off the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

As Elizabeth “Libby” Herland, refuge manager, points out, this isn’t for the next Hollywood action film. The request to film on the island originated with Alex Bushe, a documentary filmmaker, interested in sharing some of the mysteries of Nomans Land with the greater public.

Mr. Bushe and other filmmakers interested in capturing the island on film would go to the island with staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service, and would be restricted to shore areas and paths that have been cleared of unexploded munitions.

It seems like a logical and easily managed step in unlocking the mysteries of the island. Let’s hope the public, the towns, and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) support it as an “appropriate and compatible” use of the property through their public comments.

To make your voice heard, email libby_herland@fws.gov, write by mail to her at 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, or send faxes to 978-443-2898.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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CDC study slams Lyme disease treatment with long-term antibiotics http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/cdc-study-slams-lyme-disease-treatment-long-term-antibiotics/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/cdc-study-slams-lyme-disease-treatment-long-term-antibiotics/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:20:38 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412789 Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report which is adding fuel to the fire in the debate about the existence, and treatment, of “chronic Lyme Disease.” CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, “Serious Bacterial Infections Acquired During Treatment of Patients Given a Diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease,” states that “chronic Lyme […]

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Last Friday, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) released a report which is adding fuel to the fire in the debate about the existence, and treatment, of “chronic Lyme Disease.”

CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report, “Serious Bacterial Infections Acquired During Treatment of Patients Given a Diagnosis of Chronic Lyme Disease,” states that “chronic Lyme disease” is not a scientifically verifiable illness, and that treatments of prolonged antibiotic therapy are ineffective at best, and at worst, potentially fatal.

“Clinicians, health departments, and patients have contacted CDC with reports of serious bacterial infections resulting from treatment of persons who have received a diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease,” the report states.

The study highlights case histories of five patients who were treated for chronic Lyme disease with long-term antibiotics. Complications included septic shock, Clostridium difficile colitis, osteodiscitis, abscess, and in two cases, death.

“These cases highlight the severity and scope of adverse effects that can be caused by the use of unproven treatments for chronic Lyme disease,” the report states. “In addition to the dangers associated with inappropriate antibiotic use, such as selection of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, these treatments can lead to injuries related to unnecessary procedures … and missed opportunities to diagnose and treat the actual underlying cause of the patient’s symptoms.”

Patients in the study were treated with intravenous antibiotics with a PICC (peripherally inserted central catheter). The surgically inserted line injects the antibiotic directly into the bloodstream on the theory that oral antibiotics don’t work as well because they don’t break the blood-brain barrier. The new study took a dim view of PICCs, stating that they were consistently a source of infection.

Regarding the scope of the three-year study, a CDC spokesperson told The Times in an email, “CDC has periodically heard from state health departments and clinicians about patients who have acquired serious bacterial infections during treatments for what is sometimes referred to as ‘chronic Lyme disease.’ We have heard of many cases, but limited the report to five examples.”

Test questioned

The blood tests currently used to detect the presence of Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria, which cause Lyme disease, are the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), and the Western blot test, which can confirm the results of an ELISA test.

Chronic Lyme disease advocates believe that current testing methods are inaccurate, and a major source of their concern. Last week’s CDC report also addresses this: “There is a belief among persons who support the diagnosis and treatment of chronic Lyme disease that Borrelia burgdorferi can cause disabling symptoms even when standard testing is negative, despite evidence that the recommended two-tiered serologic testing is actually more sensitive the longer Borrelia burgdorferi infection has been present. Some practitioners use tests or testing criteria that have not been validated for the diagnosis of Lyme disease. A significant concern is that after the diagnosis of chronic Lyme disease is made, the actual cause of a patient’s symptoms might remain undiagnosed and untreated.”

According to a CDC spokesperson, “You may have heard that the blood test for Lyme disease is correctly positive only 65 percent of the time or less — this is misleading information. As with serologic tests for other infectious diseases, the accuracy of the test depends upon the stage of disease. During the first few weeks of infection, the test is expected to be negative. Several weeks after infection, currently available two-tier testing has very good sensitivity … Antibodies against Lyme disease bacteria usually take a few weeks to develop, so tests performed before this time may be negative even if the person is infected. It is not until 4 to 6 weeks have passed that the test is likely to be positive. This does not mean that the test is bad, only that it needs to be used correctly.”

Sam Telford, an expert on tick-borne diseases and professor of infectious disease and global health at Tufts University, former MV Times columnist, and chronic Lyme disease skeptic, told The Times that the new CDC report is “yet more evidence” that people should question a chronic Lyme disease diagnosis if the traditional tests show no trace of Borrelia burgdorferi. “When the evidence for a diagnosis rests on testing by a handful of specialty laboratories, in the face of evidence from well-validated tests that have been in use for 30 years, it seems to me that they are limiting their chances for a different diagnosis and treatment to improve life … I think that to the detriment of their health, some people with true illness embrace a faith-based diagnosis instead of an evidence-based [scientific] diagnosis. The CDC report shows what can happen … very tragic. There are many possible diagnoses for the signs and symptoms experienced by those who undergo such extreme treatment regimens.”

 

Theories behind lingering Lyme

Most people infected with Lyme disease are cured with a two- to four-week regimen of strong antibiotics, most often doxycycline. However, roughly 10 percent of those infected experience long-term symptoms that include muscle ache, joint pain, fevers, cognitive impairment, and extreme fatigue.

The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) calls this condition post-treatment Lyme disease syndrome (PTLDS), and unlike chronic Lyme disease, the industry-standard blood tests confirm the presence of the Borrelia burgdorferi bacterium.

“The good news is that patients with PTLDS almost always get better with time; the bad news is that it can take months to feel completely well,” the CDC website states. The CDC does not recommend use of long-term antibiotics for PTLDS. “Regardless of the cause of PTLDS, studies have not shown that patients who received prolonged courses of antibiotics do better in the long run than patients treated with placebo.”

There is a growing faction that believes chronic Lyme disease exists irrespective of CDC studies, and that people presenting with persistent Lyme disease symptoms should be treated with long-term antibiotics.

On a visit to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital last summer, Dr. Nevena Zubcevik, attending physician at Harvard Medical School and co-director of Dean Center for Tick Borne Illness at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown, said she believes the current testing methods are inadequate.

She cited information from a researcher at the CDC: “Barbara Johnson, an expert with the CDC Lyme program, reveals that the current two-tier method is positive in only 31 percent of those with erythema migrans (the bull’s-eye rash associated with Lyme disease) and in only 63 percent of those with acute neuroborreliosis or carditis due to Lyme disease. This means that out of 100 patients who have Lyme disease, we might misdiagnose 69 of them, leaving their infections untreated … Given the current urgent state of affairs, we should be racing to find better testing strategies that will identify all of the Borrelia species and associated co-infections, and to find better antibiotic regimens that will cure our patients.”

Dr. Zubcevik suggested that the correct antibiotics aren’t being used to treat the long-term symptoms of Lyme disease. She diagnoses this condition as “persistent symptoms related to Lyme disease,” not chronic Lyme disease. “The drugs we are using might be contributing to persistent bacteria, and may not be fully clearing infections,” she wrote in an email to The Times last year.

Dr. Zubcevik did not respond to The Times’ request for comment on the new study.

Though her stance is controversial, it resonated on Beacon Hill. Last July, the House of Representatives, overriding Governor Baker’s veto, passed a bill requiring health insurance providers to cover the cost of long-term antibiotics. Massachusetts was also one of the first states to enact a bill protecting doctors who prescribed long-term antibiotics, when Governor Deval Patrick signed it into law in June 2011.

Enid Haller works as a patient advocate at the Dean Lyme Center, where a number of Vineyarders, and people from all over the country, go for treatment. Ms. Haller also runs the Lyme Center of Martha’s Vineyard, described on her website as a walk-in information service for Lyme and tick-borne diseases, on Panhandle Road in West Tisbury.

Ms. Haller told The Times she believes the CDC, and Mr. Telford, are wrong about the accuracy of the ELISA and Western blot tests. She said she suffered the long-term effects of Lyme disease for more than 10 years, and never tested positive for Lyme disease with the traditional tests given at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. “The Igenex test is essentially a better implemented Western blot test,” she said. “I came back very positive for Lyme [disease] with the Igenex test.” Ms Haller said the Igenex test should be the standard test for the Cape and Islands, including Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She said the Dean Lyme Center at Spaulding Hospital in Charlestown uses the Igenex test, and her treatment there has been the breakthrough she’d sought for more than a decade. She said getting the antibiotics intravenously, through a PICC line, was the key.

“It worked incredibly well,” she said. “I had my PICC line removed last November because you have to take it out after a year, because the tubing starts to deteriorate. After the holidays, the symptoms slowly started to come back, the joint pain, the brain fog; I had trouble walking. But a month ago I had a PICC line put back in, and I started feeling better in 48 hours. The pressure in my head just went away.”

Ms. Haller said she feels well enough to join four other Spaulding patients who are traveling to Germany in three weeks for “hyperthermia treatment,” a process where the body temperature is raised enough to kill Borrelia burgdorferi. “I’ve spoken to a lot of people who’ve gotten better from it. I know I can’t be on antibiotics forever,” she said.

 

Conspiracy theorized

Ms. Haller said she thinks last week’s release of the CDC report was in response to an “uprising,” spearheaded by four people from Lyme Cryme, a chronic Lyme Disease advocacy group, who traveled to Washington, D.C., two weeks ago to lobby congressmen. Lyme Cryme members allege that there has been a coverup orchestrated by the CDC, and that the agency has long advocated ELISA and Western blot tests, knowing that they don’t work. “They’re starting a class-action lawsuit against the CDC, so it doesn’t surprise me the CDC came out with the article last week,” Ms. Haller said.

A 249-page treatise by the $ociety for the Advancement of $cientific Hermeneutics ($A$H), titled “Descrambling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC’s) For-Profit scientific nonsense,” also alleges CDC perfidy, with an underlying profit motive. “We don’t test positive on the stupid test because it was designed to fail. It was designed to market a vaccine, not diagnose Lyme disease. A core group of doctors with financial interests in the Lymerix vaccine have intentionally misled the medical community about them … At some point, it was decided by CDC officers that they should commercialize Lyme and other emerging tick-borne diseases by patenting vaccines and test kits … Their plan: Make Lyme only 15 percent detectable so that the Cabal would be guaranteed to have an at least 85 percent ‘effective’ vaccine. If they maliciously discredited the people who became ill as a result of the ‘vaccine’ itself (septic shock) or vaccine failure (Lyme), then the vaccine would be ‘safe,’ too. We call both the crime of falsifying the testing and the resultant — and current — bogus testing criteria, ‘Dearborn.’”

Ms. Haller alleged Mr. Telford is also involved in the deception. “Sam owns part of the vaccine,” she said. “Whenever he speaks on the Vineyard, he’s always pushing the vaccine. I always wondered why. I would be interested to know the other doctors who own the vaccine, because they stand to make a lot of money. This is getting exposed now, and I think that’s why Sam gets so mad when we discuss this.”

Ms. Haller said she knows people who have gotten sick from Lymerix, which was introduced in 1998 and withdrawn three years later amid a class-action lawsuit alleging it caused arthritis-like symptoms. “I know people who have dementia because of the Lymerix vaccine, and Sam refuses to acknowledge that. The veterinarians use it, but I know many people on the Vineyard who have given it to their dogs or cats or horses, and they have terrible reactions to the vaccine. They’re probably still making millions and millions of dollars from that.”

In an email to The Times, Mr. Telford dismissed the CDC conspiracy as “ravings,” and stated he has no financial interest or motives with Lymerix. “In 1991, I co-discovered the mode of action of the vaccine … that is all. I did not make the vaccine. I own no patents, never did, received no funding other than to help run the Phase II clinical trial back in the mid-1990s, receive no funding now, and am not pushing it for any financial gain. I hope to revive Lymerix under a nonprofit structure … vaccines for the people by the people. I am pushing for this because I am outraged that Lyme incidence keeps going up and up, and something I helped develop as a younger scientist might have prevented hundreds of thousands of cases over the past decade … and could do so in the decade to come.”

Prevention remains the key

Prevention is paramount when it comes to fighting the spread of Lyme disease and other virulent tick-borne diseases — babesiosis, spotted fever, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, tularemia, Powassan virus, and ehrlichiosis — by wearing permethrin-treated clothes when working or playing outdoors, and making daily tick checks.

This is especially crucial in the months May through early July, when the vast majority of infections will take place.

More information on tick-borne disease prevention can be found on the Martha’s Vineyard Boards of Health Tick-Borne Disease webpage.

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Shellfish constable to town residents: Dig in http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/shellfish-constable-town-residents-dig/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/shellfish-constable-town-residents-dig/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:14:56 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412787 Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall says if Islanders want to keep eating their quahogs, scallops, and steamers, the town has to go local. “I’d much rather see 10 or 12 licenses filled,” Mr. Bagnall said. At the Edgartown board of selectmen meeting, officials discussed updates to Edgartown shellfish bylaws and the approved expansion of aquaculture […]

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Edgartown shellfish constable Paul Bagnall says if Islanders want to keep eating their quahogs, scallops, and steamers, the town has to go local. “I’d much rather see 10 or 12 licenses filled,” Mr. Bagnall said.

At the Edgartown board of selectmen meeting, officials discussed updates to Edgartown shellfish bylaws and the approved expansion of aquaculture licensing.

Aquaculture licenses, which in Edgartown are given to people interested in raising shellfish from seed, can only be administered in nonproductive areas, he said. The sizable decrease in wild harvesting over the past decade leaves an opportunity open for growth.

The Edgartown Shellfish Committee has started searching for eligible beds, like in Katama Bay, where the north channel’s beds are lush.

Bagnall also expressed concerns about safety on barges used for shellfishing in deeper waters. Come winter, the cold freezes surfaces on barges, making them slippery — and risky. He fears people slipping into the water.

“In the winter you see sea smoke — that’s salt water freezing before your eyes,” Bagnall said.

In Katama Bay, the closest barge floats over 6,000 feet way — over a mile. Recounting his own experience sliding into the water, luckily shallow, he stresses the need for extra precautions.

“It’s not about just getting out, you also have to get inland,” Bagnall said.

In other business, the board of selectmen announced an increase in the cost of processing parking tickets. Tickets will increase to $2 effective July 1 — a 50 cent increase from the previous processing fee. Dukes County Advisory Board determined the cost of processing parking tickets exceeded what current fees were yielding. The fee has not increased since 2006.

Fire Chief Peter Shemeth will be working with the board of selectmen on the transition plan when it comes time to appoint a new fire chief. “It’s not done that often, and I want to make sure it’s done right,” Chief Shemeth said. Including Chief Shemeth, only two fire chiefs have been appointed over the past 30 years.

Two police officers received special commendations for saving the life of an elderly man last week. Officers Kyle Altieri and Alexander Guest saw a man fall inside a restaurant, and found him shaking, and discovered he had stopped breathing. Officer Altieri performed rescue breaths and Officer Guest called 911. Officer Altieri realized he could not feel the man’s pulse, and began performing CPR until paramedics arrived. The elderly man awoke, and was taken to Martha’s Vineyard Hospital.

Vineyard Power president Richard J. Andre updated selectmen on the the company’s plan to scout viable sites for their offshore wind farm cabling — potentially in Barnstable and Falmouth. “We are focusing this summer on export cable routes,” Mr. Andre said. These sites would require about 30 miles of undersea cabling, and five miles of onshore cabling from the Island to the sites. Vineyard Power is one of the companies seeking permission to build offshore wind turbines 15 miles off the south coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

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Building committee votes to build new school http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/tisbury-school-three-story-building/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/tisbury-school-three-story-building/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:13:48 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412779 Update: On Monday, the Tisbury School building committee voted to build a new three-story structure and remove the existing building once it’s done. According to the building committee web site, the decision was made on Monday to build a new school at 40 West William Street. Once that’s built, the old school will be removed. […]

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Update:

On Monday, the Tisbury School building committee voted to build a new three-story structure and remove the existing building once it’s done.

According to the building committee web site, the decision was made on Monday to build a new school at 40 West William Street. Once that’s built, the old school will be removed.

The original Times story on the project was incorrect.

At the meeting, the vote was split with many school leaders voting for new construction and town leaders voting against the plan.

Still, the building committee is moving forward on June 29 by submitting the plan to the Massachusetts School Building Authority for review and approval.

Exact placement of the school on the site will be decided during the schematic design phase, according to the site.

This vote follows the decision on June 13 to keep the school at its current location. The project, which is projected to cost the town $33 million, is set to be submitted to the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MSBA) grant program on June 29.

The new design will maintain much of the current building’s qualities, but increase the size of the structure. The total size of the new building will be about 52,000 square feet. The main part of the building will be kept along Spring Street, and will be surrounded by about 80,000 square feet of play area. The gym and cafeteria areas will be increased. and the addition is said to include new resource centers for students. Parking and drop-off areas will remain mostly in the same location.

The overall cost of the project is $48.1 million, with MSBA reimbursing nearly 42 percent of the project costs. This cost includes the feasibility study, project management, architect and engineer design costs, construction costs, and furnishings. This price has raised some concerns among town leaders, because Tisbury is currently looking into several other public projects, such as renovations to the senior center and police station, as well as improvements to wastewater and storm drainage, officials said during Monday’s meeting.

There were some suggestions for a four-story school design, with the additional floor either above or below the original structure. However, this design was rejected due to zoning laws, and the fact that it would restrict the collaborative learning goals of the school. The large basement area for classes and student usage was turned down due to its “bunker-like” qualities and limited access to daylight and natural ventilation.

With the plan approved by the building committee, it will now be submitted to the MSBA for approval of both the design and funding. This will be submitted in June, and is expected to receive approval. Once approval of funding and design from the MSBA has been received, the plan will be submitted for approval by the town. If approved, construction will begin and will be expected to finish in the summer of 2021, according to Peter Turowski, the building’s architect. However, if the town does not pass the building plan, the project will lose MSBA funding.

Story has been updated to correct the vote.

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Rep. Keating authors Lyme disease legislation http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/rep-keating-authors-lyme-disease-legislation/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/rep-keating-authors-lyme-disease-legislation/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:13:07 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412784 According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), five counties in the 9th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Bill Keating, have the highest rates of Lyme disease in the commonwealth — Nantucket is first, Dukes County is second, followed by Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable counties. Last week, Rep. Keating authored the Tick-Borne Disease Prevention […]

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According to the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH), five counties in the 9th Congressional District, represented by Congressman Bill Keating, have the highest rates of Lyme disease in the commonwealth — Nantucket is first, Dukes County is second, followed by Plymouth, Bristol, and Barnstable counties.

Last week, Rep. Keating authored the Tick-Borne Disease Prevention Act, which will direct the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to publish two sets of materials specific to Lyme disease and tick-borne illnesses. The first will update prevention and treatment procedures for both healthcare providers and the public. The second includes training materials for healthcare providers. The Tick-Borne Disease Prevention Act would ensure the CDC publishes guidelines that help Americans understand the risks, know which questions to ask, and ensure they spot tick-borne disease symptoms as quickly as possible.

According to the CDC, nearly 20 percent of people surveyed in areas with high incidence rates of Lyme disease — such as Martha’s Vineyard — were unaware that the disease was even a risk. In a separate study, half of those surveyed reported they did not regularly act to protect themselves against tick bites during the warmer months.

“Residents of Southeastern Massachusetts — and all throughout the Northeast — are keenly aware of how prevalent ticks are, and how dangerous a tick bite can be,” Rep. Keating said in a press release. “With potential diagnoses 10 times higher than the number of cases reported to the CDC, it’s time for Congress to recognize that we need to do more to prevent the spread of tick-borne disease. My legislation will help increase awareness and promote early detection, which is a critical component to a good prognosis.”

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New auctioneer for Possible Dreams http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/new-auctioneer-possible-dreams/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/new-auctioneer-possible-dreams/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:09:41 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412781 The Possible Dreams Auction, run by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), has hired Sherry Truhlar as its new auctioneer for 2017. Ms. Truhlar is a professional auctioneer and the founder of Red Apple Auctions, a business dedicated to helping a variety of nonprofits and schools raise money through auctions. Ms. Truhlar has had an extensive […]

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The Possible Dreams Auction, run by Martha’s Vineyard Community Services (MVCS), has hired Sherry Truhlar as its new auctioneer for 2017. Ms. Truhlar is a professional auctioneer and the founder of Red Apple Auctions, a business dedicated to helping a variety of nonprofits and schools raise money through auctions.

Ms. Truhlar has had an extensive career, working for major companies such as Koch Industries, GE, and various television networks. As she became more involved and dedicated to auctioneering, she founded Red Apple Auctions, where she not only runs the auction, but assists the auction committees with management and development. Her techniques and strategies include onsite services, webinars, and DIY training, as well as a program known as “My Profitable Auction Blueprint,” which supports and guides auction chairs throughout the auction process.

The Possible Dreams Auction will be held on Sunday, July 30, at the Winnetu Oceanside Resort. Items in the past have included an exclusive taping of “Late Night” as well as a personal meet and greet with Seth Meyers, a walk across the Brooklyn Bridge with David McCullough, and a tour of the set of “Ghostbusters” with Dan Aykroyd. “If you’ve been to this before, you’ll see a few familiar favorites, but I promise you, we have some surprises in store as well,” Ms. Truhlar said in a promotional video for the event. “It’s going to be a fun event, and we’re going to raise a ton of money.”

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Plovers may close all of Norton Point Beach http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/plovers-may-close-norton-point-beach/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/plovers-may-close-norton-point-beach/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:08:31 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412774 As a result of roving and reproducing shorebirds that are protected by the federal and state government, more of Chappaquiddick was closed to oversand vehicle access on Monday. Chris Kennedy, The Trustees of Reservations Martha’s Vineyard superintendent, ordered the closing of a larger section of Norton Point Beach to oversand vehicles (OSV). On Wednesday, Mr. […]

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As of Monday, most of Chappy was closed to vehicle traffic. More closures are likely.

As a result of roving and reproducing shorebirds that are protected by the federal and state government, more of Chappaquiddick was closed to oversand vehicle access on Monday. Chris Kennedy, The Trustees of Reservations Martha’s Vineyard superintendent, ordered the closing of a larger section of Norton Point Beach to oversand vehicles (OSV).

On Wednesday, Mr. Kennedy told The Times that he anticipates the full closure of all Norton Point OSV trails beginning on or before July 1. “This will certainly create frustration for many, but the beaches are still open for walking, and we will all be contributing to the protection of this wildlife resource on our Island,” he said in an email.

Beaches north of the Dike Bridge remain closed to OSV traffic until the birds fledge, which could be another month or more.

“We have about the same number of birds as last year, but this year they’ve spread out more,” Mr. Kennedy said. “We ask the public to be patient. We have to enforce the law.”
According to Massachusetts state law, there can be no vehicle activity within 100 yards of the closest piping plover nest or chick. Plovers don’t like to nest close to one another, so they can take up a lot of beach.

“The law doesn’t say ‘100 yards from the nest,’ it’s ‘100 yards from the closest chick,’ so as fledglings wander further from the nest, we may need to close more beach,” Mr. Kennedy said.

South of the Dike Bridge, a short stretch of Leland Beach is closed, but drivers can bypass it on the bayside road. Mr. Kennedy said he was optimistic that the bayside road south of the Dike Bridge would stay open all summer.

All of Chappy, except the bomb abatement site at Little Neck, remains open to pedestrians. Dogs must be leashed at all times. OSV owners can check the TTOR Facebook page for updates.

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School committee hopes to improve special education programs at MVRHS http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/school-committee-hopes-improve-special-education-programs-mvrhs/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/school-committee-hopes-improve-special-education-programs-mvrhs/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 21:05:08 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412771 Both the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and All-Island school committees are looking at ways to ensure a more consistent transition from eighth grade to high school for students in special education programs. The All-Island school committee will meet on Monday at the high school to discuss the shared services programs, address ways the school […]

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Both the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School and All-Island school committees are looking at ways to ensure a more consistent transition from eighth grade to high school for students in special education programs.

The All-Island school committee will meet on Monday at the high school to discuss the shared services programs, address ways the school can help better integrate them into the high school, and set up a special education subcommittee.

At the high school committee’s last meeting on June 5, board members discussed some of the major components of the shared services programs, like the Bridge Program, which is a program that serves students in kindergarten to eighth grade who are on the autism spectrum. Parents and school leaders have expressed concern that there is no integrated program at the high school that specifically addresses the needs of the students who are in such shared services programs.

Matt D’Andrea, superintendent of schools, and Hope MacLeod, co-director of student support services, told the committee they are currently negotiating a contract with Mark Palmieri, assistant director of the Connecticut-based Center for Children with Special Needs, to help oversee the creation of a high school autism program, as well as develop more adequate programs for students on the autism spectrum, and with Down’s syndrome and other intellectual disorders.

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Motorists walk away uninjured from O.B. vehicle collision http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/motorists-walk-away-uninjured-o-b-vehicle-collision/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/motorists-walk-away-uninjured-o-b-vehicle-collision/#respond Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:53:08 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412766 An Isuzu Rodeo and a GMC Denali pickup collided at the intersection of County Road and Eastville Avenue in Oak Bluffs Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported at the scene. Both vehicles were hauled away. Trooper Dustin Shaw from Massachusetts State Police is investigating the accident.  

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An Isuzu Rodeo and a GMC Denali pickup collided at the intersection of County Road and Eastville Avenue in Oak Bluffs Tuesday afternoon. No injuries were reported at the scene. Both vehicles were hauled away. Trooper Dustin Shaw from Massachusetts State Police is investigating the accident.

 

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The children are watching http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/the-children-are-watching/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/the-children-are-watching/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:48 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412732 To the Editor: Years ago, when I was tabbed to lead the Oak Bluffs School, a very wise educator, Priscilla Sylvia, reminded me to be sensitive to the children of my new school, as I highlighted areas that required change. Priscilla simply said, The children are listening, and they feel what is being said about […]

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To the Editor:

Years ago, when I was tabbed to lead the Oak Bluffs School, a very wise educator, Priscilla Sylvia, reminded me to be sensitive to the children of my new school, as I highlighted areas that required change. Priscilla simply said, The children are listening, and they feel what is being said about their school. I remember these words often, and I bring them up in this context.

Enough. What started as and still is a personnel matter has grown into what is perceived by some as hate crimes, bullying, and a police state. Enough. The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School is our school. It is a school filled with joy. It is a school filled with care. It is a school filled with talent, young and old alike. It is a school filled with goodness.

While a minority of our community would not agree with my beliefs, I must speak on behalf of the many staff, children, and parents who have corresponded with me in support of our high school and the direction in which it is moving. After four years of instability, we now have stability. After four years of changing directions, we have direction. Our high school is filled with devoted learners and teachers. Our high school is filled with visionary students and staff. Our high school is filled with caring young men, ladies, and mentors. No one embodies these qualities more than Principal Sara Dingledy.

I led the search for Sara more than a year ago. Directly following her first interview, I knew she was special (and needed). Through a collaborative process, staff, students, parents, and community members expressed a similar sentiment when we chose Sara to be the leader of MVRHS. I feel, personally and professionally, very fortunate that Sara reciprocated and chose us, by choosing to lead MVRHS and by choosing to join the Martha’s Vineyard community as a whole.

Personnel matters and matters involving students cannot be discussed, nor should they be discussed, in a public manner. Those who choose a public forum might represent one side of challenging and difficult issues related to personnel or student matters. It is natural that they feel anger and frustration.

Public forums, social media, parking lots, and playing fields are rarely appropriate venues to voice frustrations. It is time to remember and consider our most valued and important part of the MVRHS community, our young people. They are listening, and they are feeling. This group, more than any, needs balance to be brought to this issue. They represent the very large majority of children who feel more safe as a result of increased accountability, and more optimistic about the direction of their school, because the large majority of teachers feel they have the clear vision, empowerment, and resources that Sara provides and that this entire school so richly deserves.

Saying that I support Sara Dingledy might intimate she needs my support. I support MVRHS. I support the children. I support the staff and leadership, and I support the direction that the school has taken. Sara does not need my support — quite the opposite; and from where I stand, we need the support she provides our community through her leadership.

 

Richie Smith, assistant superintendent

Martha’s Vineyard Public Schools

 

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World War II ordnance exploded at Long Point http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/world-war-ii-ordnance-unearthed-long-point/ http://www.mvtimes.com/2017/06/21/world-war-ii-ordnance-unearthed-long-point/#comments Wed, 21 Jun 2017 20:00:22 +0000 http://www.mvtimes.com/?p=412738 Update: A Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad exploded a 100-pound photo flash bomb Tuesday evening creating a loud bang that reverberated throughout the region. A Times intern on the scene said it sounded like an explosive grand finale at the end of a Fourth of July fireworks display. The explosion jolted residents in the region […]

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Update:

A Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad exploded a 100-pound photo flash bomb Tuesday evening creating a loud bang that reverberated throughout the region.

A Times intern on the scene said it sounded like an explosive grand finale at the end of a Fourth of July fireworks display. The explosion jolted residents in the region who reported their windows rattling on social media.

West Tisbury Deputy Chief Gregory Pachico told The Times that the detonation went off as planned. A berm was built surrounding the bomb to lessen the impact.

On Tuesday crews from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, working for the Formerly Used Defense Sites Program (FUDS) discovered the 100-pound photo flash bomb at Long Point Wildlife Refuge, off the Deep Bottom Road entrance to the property. The discovery is part of an ongoing investigation, see separate story.

The Massachusetts State Police Bomb Squad and the US Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal team from Newport, Rhode Island were on the scene Wednesday afternoon.

The red star (upper left/center) marks where a 100-pound photo flash bomb was recovered on Long Point. The yellow house represents a shed less than 200 feet from the bomb. The yellow bullseye marks the Woods Hole wave sensor.

Detonation took place right around 6 pm, just as had been predicted by Army Corps project manager Carol Charette.

Trustees of the Reservation (TTOR) rangers cleared the beach and parking lots under the direction of the Mass State Police, by 5 pm, one hour earlier than the normal closing time.

West Tisbury Fire Department had assigned two fire trucks and EMS to be on scene for the detonation.

The TTOR planned to contact the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institute to warn about the upcoming shockwave, and to recommend they shut down their radar unit to prevent unnecessary damage.  

FUDS crews have been working on the Vineyard, on Chappy and Long Point Wildlife Refuge, since 2010 to recover practice bombs used by pilots in training during WWII.

“This is the first photo flash bomb we’ve found at Long Point, and there are possibly more,” Ms. Charette told The Times. “It’s not a safety hazard because we’re guarding it. We have to modify the explosive site safety plan because it’s going to need a wider exclusion zone before we detonate it.”

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