News in Brief
Outerland nightclub plans to close its doors
Outerland, the Vineyard's largest live music venue and an establishment with a storied nightclub history, will close its doors at the end of November.
In a September 15 letter addressed to vendors, Barry Rosenthal, managing partner and co-owner with his brother, Arthur, of the nightclub located adjacent to the Martha's Vineyard Airport, said it was a tough season compounded by the expense of bringing artists to Martha's Vineyard.
Mr. Rosenthal said the club's season officially ends on November 30. "At that time we will close our doors and do not intend to operate the club moving forward," wrote Mr. Rosenthal of West Tisbury.
He added, "We are actively seeking a suitable buyer who wants to keep live music alive on Martha's Vineyard. We have always felt the club serves as an attraction for tourism and Martha's Vineyard."
Mr. Rosenthal asked his vendors for forbearance and patience as he tried to avoid bankruptcy. "We are trying to avoid filing for protection and would like to work out a payment settlement plan with you," he wrote.
He added that the club is priced for a quick and efficient sale.
In its earlier years the club, once owned by singer/songwriter Carly Simon, was a celebrated Island nightspot called The Hot Tin Roof.
The Rosenthal brothers, acting through the company BAR LLC, bought the nightclub in January 2006 from HTRR Inc., a corporation headed by Herbert Putnam 3 of Oak Bluffs and Dirk Ziff, a publishing heir from New York and West Tisbury.
The former owners retained the popular name and the nightspot became Outerland.
At the time, Barry Rosenthal said the club would become the cornerstone entertainment venue for the Martha's Vineyard community and reestablish itself as a world-class entertainment destination.
This week, in a visit to The Martha's Vineyard Times office, Mr. Rosenthal said, "We've tried everything, but the economy and the costs of this kind of business have made it tough. I think it has an important place in the entertainment scene here."
Pease's Point tree clearing before Chilmark ConCom
The Chilmark conservation commission is set to hear a dispute involving the cutting of trees and other vegetation in restricted conservation area of Pease's Point, one of Martha's Vineyard's best known scenic vistas.
Earlier this year the conservation commission issued two enforcement orders to Bonnie and Merle Berger, who own a home on Pease's Point Way. Dr. Berger is on the staff of the Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, and previously was the medical director of Boston IVF, a prominent in-vitro fertilization clinic.
The enforcement order found that Dr. Berger was responsible for clearing vegetation that was protected under a conservation restriction issued in September of 2000. Among the vegetation cut were trees and shrubs, and a large clump of willows from 30 to 50 years old, which screened a nesting habitat for rare herons. The order also found that the cutting was done not only on Dr. Berger's property, but also on land owned by the Robbie and Laurie Dietz, the children of long-time Chilmark planning board member Anabel Dietz, who died in 2005.
After a site visit this past April, the conservation commission issued a separate enforcement order, asking Dr. Berger to correct other violations, including a gravel driveway and a buried propane tank, in areas covered by the restriction.
Dr. Berger has submitted a notice of intent, which is a formal plan to correct the violations. The notice includes a proposal to plant a tree and other vegetation around the herring nesting area, and erect a fence around the driveway area. In several areas where vegetation was cut, he proposes to let vegetation grow back naturally, while taking care to remove any invasive species that volunteer.
The plan to restore the area will be the subject of the commission's hearing, scheduled for Wednesday, October 1, at 12:30 pm at the Chilmark town offices.
Edgartown officials rebuff police critic
The Edgartown selectmen's meeting Monday was the scene of a tense exchange between Edgartown officials and Warren Gosson, an Edgartown resident and a retired Oak Bluffs police detective.
Appearing before the selectmen as part of the meeting agenda, Mr. Gosson accused Edgartown police of failing to investigate a drug transaction he said he witnessed in early October 2007, and failing to investigate the officer he approached with that information.
Mr. Gosson told selectmen he had followed up several times but never heard from police or the chief.
Mr. Gosson said he expected to be the target of mudslinging for bringing his complaints to a public forum, but said he was ready for that.
Police Chief Paul Condlin, responded in sharp terms. Mr. Condlin accused Mr. Gosson of meddling in the police department and defended his department's handling of the incident. He said Mr. Gosson's information had proven unreliable in the past.
"I'm here for the community, for the people of Edgartown," said Mr. Gosson.
"I work for the people of Edgartown," said Chief Condlin in response. He said whatever credibility Mr. Gosson had as a former police officer is gone.
"This board supports our chief," chairman Art Smadbeck told Mr. Gosson. "It's up to them to handle it, it's not up to you to handle it. It's not up to you to go in and harass them, criticize them about what they did. The day that this board doesn't have confidence in the chief of police, he won't be the chief any more. That day will probably never come for me."
Selectman Margaret Serpa also offered her support. Selectman Michael Donaroma did not attend the meeting.
Fire knocks out Hy-Line's high-speed ferry service
An engine fire aboard the Lady Martha Thursday morning means there will be no high-speed ferry service between Oak Bluffs and Hyannis until next season. The ferry is owned and operated by Hy-Line Cruises, a private ferry company that also operates between Hyannis and Nantucket.
Lady Martha was scheduled for five trips daily through October 13 and then four trips a day till her season ended on October 31. The company's conventional ferry, Brant Point, is currently scheduled to make one round trip per day until her season ends on Oct. 19.
Yesterday, Philip Scudder, Hy-Line vice president of marketing, said the company had looked into replacing the ferry for the rest of the season, but no fast ferry is available to lease, and the potential demand is not enough to add to the Brant Point schedule. He said the company is focused on arranging for repairs to the Lady Martha, so it will be ready for service next season.
The fire aboard the Lady Martha broke out when an oil seal burst just minutes before she was about to dock in Hyannis Thursday morning.
"While we are still in the process of determining the cause of the fire, in conjunction with the Coast Guard," said Mr. Scudder, "it is very clear that there has been severe damage to the machinery and electrical wiring within that space, as a result of the flames and heat."
The fire was contained to the starboard engine room of the vessel. Six passengers were on board traveling to Hyannis, but 100 passengers were waiting to make the return trip to Oak Bluffs. There were no injuries among the passengers. Four crew members were treated for smoke inhalation.
Public meeting on Lagoon Pond drawbridge design
Representatives of MassHighway and Parsons Engineering, designers of the permanent Lagoon Pond drawbridge, will present their proposals for the basic configuration of the permanent design at a public meeting at 4 pm on Wednesday in the offices of the Martha's Vineyard Commission on New York Avenue in Oak Bluffs.
Topics will include the width, height, and layout of the bridge; the location and clearance of the boating channel; the design of the bridge-tender's house; the size and location of retaining walls; and the adjacent open spaces and pedestrian paths.
Once this stage is completed the designers will begin to draw up design details after which it would be difficult to make substantial changes to the basic design configuration, according to an Martha's Vineyard Commission press release.
Woman injured in moped accident
An Illinois woman lost control of her moped and struck a pick-up truck in Vineyard Haven Tuesday. She was transported by ambulance to Martha's Vineyard Hospital.
The accident happened about 1:15 in the afternoon, at the intersection of Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road and State Road.
Police say 51-year-old Cindy Burnett of Troy, Illinois was traveling down State Road, attempting to make a right turn onto Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road. The operator of a pick-up truck at the intersection saw the moped was making too wide a turn, and attempted to move out of the way, but could not avoid the moped.
Police issued no citations.
Edgartown, Oak Bluffs set bay scallop seasons
Recreational bay scallop harvesting in Edgartown will begin on October 1, and the commercial bay scallop season will open November 3.
The dates were approved by vote of the Edgartown selectmen, on the recommendation of shellfish constable Paul Bagnall.
Commercial scallopers may take three 10-gallon wash baskets of scallops per day.
Recreational permits allow one 10-gallon wash basket of scallops per week. Recreational scallopers are not allowed to use drags until October 31.
The season is scheduled to end March 31, 2009, for both recreational and commercial scallopers. In recent years, some areas of the scallop fishing grounds were closed earlier, to protect against over harvesting.
Mr. Bagnall advised selectmen at their Tuesday meeting that he will probably recommend that no commercial oyster harvesting be allowed this winter or next winter from Edgartown Great Pond. He said the supply of oysters will not support commercial harvesting, though the pond remains open to recreational harvesting.
In Oak Bluffs, selectmen set shellfishing seasons at their Tuesday meeting.
Sengekontacket Pond will open for quahogging on October 1. The pond was ordered closed the last two summers, after the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries designated Sengekontacket Pond a "conditionally approved area."
Sengekontacket Pond will open to recreational scallopers on October 18, and open to commercial scallopers on October 27.
The Oak Bluffs side of Lagoon Pond and other waters will open for recreational scallop permit holders on October 25, and to commercial scallopers on November 3.
Selectman Duncan Ross, who has been active in the plan to restore the pond's ecosystem, reported recent samples from a partial survey of the pond have shown better than expected results. Mr. Ross said he hopes the pond will remain open next summer, but said the town is waiting for a full array of tests to be completed.
Tisbury has also set dates for scallop season in Lake Tashmoo and all waters outside ponds. Recreational scalloping will open in Lake Tashmoo on October 18, and commercial scalloping two days later on October 20.
Scalloping opens on the Tisbury side of Lagoon Pond for recreational fishing on October 25, and for commercial harvesting on October 27.
Turn in light bulbs, turn on energy savings
Cape Light Compact (CLC) is hosting the Vineyard's first light bulb turn-in event at the Living Local Harvest Fest on Saturday from 9 am to 3 pm at the Ag Hall in West Tisbury.
Vineyarders who bring incandescent light bulbs to recycle will receive an instant rebate worth $2.50 for standard spirals, $3 for covered bulbs, and $4 for reflectors to use towards the purchase of new Energy Star qualified light bulbs available from CLC at the Harvest Fest. There is no limit on the number of light bulbs participants may turn in, but depending on demand for certain types of bulbs, the supply may be limited.
CLC, administered through Barnstable County, is an inter-municipal regional energy services organization made up of all 21 towns of Barnstable and Dukes counties.
For questions or comments, visit capelightcompact.org or call 1-800-797-6699.
IEH adds new board member
Island Elderly Housing, Inc. (IEH) announced that Bill Stafursky of Oak Bluffs has joined the nonprofit's board.
IEH currently provides 165 quality, affordable apartments in one of four campuses for Martha's Vineyard's low-income elderly and disabled, enabling them to lead independent lives "We are really pleased that Bill will be joining us in our mission of helping our low-income elderly friends and neighbors remain on Martha's Vineyard to which they have given so much," said John Early of West Tisbury, IEH board President.
Mr. Stafursky has a long history of involvement in town and Island community affairs.
CDC joins Tribe in tick-borne disease study
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in cooperation with the Wampanoag Tribe's health service and department of natural resources, will conduct a study of tularemia and Lyme disease exposure among tribe members.
Cynthia Robinson, the Wampanoag tribe's environmental health coordinator, said the purpose of the study is to identify people who have been exposed to Lyme, tularemia, and other tick-borne illnesses common to this area and learn how tribe members are affected and how further infection may be prevented.
The study is part of a developing environmental health program for which the tribe received funding. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call 508-645-9265
Dockside Real Estate opens
Real estate broker Paul Thoutsis, formerly of Sollitto Associates, recently opened his own office, Dockside Real Estate, in Oak Bluffs. Mr. Thoutsis worked at Sollitto Associates for eight years. Prior to that, he worked for three years at Hughes and Sollitto. Contact him at 508-693-1444.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Medicine Shoppe is now Vineyard Scripts
Vineyard Scripts is now the new name for Medicine Shoppe, a pharmacy at 117 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven.
"After 16 years as Medicine Shoppe, our franchise is running out, and we're going solo," said pharmacist David Perzanowski, who owns and operates the pharmacy in partnership with his wife Nellie. "Nothing will change, as far as contracts with third parties, pricing, and all that."
No longer paying franchise fees will afford more resources to better serve their patrons' needs, Mr. Perzanowski said. He has served as a pharmacist to the Martha's Vineyard community for 26 years, starting in 1982 when he began working at the Oak Bluffs Pharmacy. He also managed the Edgartown Drug Company for many years, and helped open the Triangle Pharmacy where the Stop and Shop Pharmacy is now located.
The Medicine Shoppe name change follows a change in location, as well. On May 19, the pharmacy was moved from its former store space at the Vineyard Haven Shell gas station at 46 Beach Road to a new building a short distance away at 117, across the street.
When asked how he and his wife picked the new name Vineyard Scripts, Mr. Perzanowski said they brainstormed as many possibilities as they could think of, from the obvious, Lagoon Pharmacy, to the whimsical, Perzanowski's Pill Emporium. Customers made suggestions, as well.
"It took almost two years running things back and forth between my wife and me," he said. "Vineyard Scripts was her idea, and it seemed to fit."
On Tuesday a new sign went up at the pharmacy, which Mr. Perzanowski describes as "Vineyard purple with white letters," making the name change official.
In a story in last week's Calendar, "Eric Turkington: Looking back, moving on," Rhonda Cohen's name was omitted. Ms. Cohen was a co-chairman of the committee that organized last Sunday's appreciation of Rep. Turkington at the Ag Hall.