News in Brief
Chilmark's North Road will be closed for paving
North Road in Chilmark will be closed between Tea Lane and the West Tisbury town line from Monday, October 6, until Friday, October 10, from 8 am to 6 pm daily.
Local traffic will not be allowed to cross freshly laid bituminous concrete, and local residents are advised to expect delays of up to two hours, according to a town notice. Daily information is available on the town website ci.chilmark.ma.us.
Shellfishing a victim of deluge
All ponds and bays on Martha's Vineyard were closed to shellfishing Monday. The Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) ordered a statewide closure because of heavy rainfall from weekend storms. The closures do not affect the bay scallop season.
DMF closes shellfishing areas when there is more than four inches of rain because of the increased possibility that rainwater runoff will carry fecal coliform and other contaminants into area water bodies.
While there was more rain this week, the additional rainfall may not cause further contamination, because most contaminants are already washed into the ponds, according to Dave Whittaker, an aquatic biologist with DMF. He planned to begin further testing this week, in hopes of reopening the shellfishing areas sooner than the usual five-day waiting period. Residents are advised to check with their local shellfish warden for any updates.
According to observers who report to the National Weather Service, West Tisbury received 6.5 inches of rainfall from Friday through Sunday, and Vineyard Haven received 5.6 inches over the same period.
Donald W. Vose service planned
Donald W. Vose, 96, died yesterday at his home in Edgartown. Mr. Vose, who was born in 1911 on North Water Street, was the president of the Edgartown National Bank for more than 50 years.
A full obituary will be in next week's paper. His family plans to hold services at the Federated Church of Edgartown on Oct. 18.
Oak Bluffs police stay busy in the rain
The weekend's soggy weather and frequent downpours did not hamper Oak Bluffs police. According to a log provided by police, there were five arrests and four individuals taken into protective custody.
Midnight Saturday officers assigned to the drug task force executed a search warrant targeting Darren Bennett, 26, of Maine and Martha's Vineyard. Police said they had information that Mr. Bennett was selling cocaine at various Oak Bluffs bars.
At the time of the search, police said Mr. Bennett had four individually packaged bags of cocaine worth approximately $400, one Percocet pill, and $221 in cash. He was arrested and charged with possession of cocaine with the intent to distribute and possession of Percocet.
Mr. Bennett was arraigned on Monday and released on bail.
About 1 am Saturday police officers responded to Circuit Ave. extension for a report of a domestic assault and battery. Officers arrested Megan Shevelin, 29, of Oak Bluffs on a charge of assault and battery.
Not long after that officers responded to a disturbance call at the Lampost Lounge on Circuit Avenue. They arrested Juan Narciso More, 50, of Edgartown on a charge of disorderly conduct.
A Sunday noon traffic stop resulted in the arrest of Fortunado Jose Carlos Nunes, 37, of Oak Bluffs for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
At 2:30 pm police stopped and arrested Marcio Quaresma, 30, of Edgartown for unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle.
Tisbury committee asks how funds might be used
The Tisbury community preservation committee encourages local groups and individuals to comment on how the town may use approximately $500,000 in available community preservation act (CPA) funds.
Trip Barnes, CPC member, told The Martha's Vineyard Times, "These are taxes we all voted for, and it is important that people know the money is there to be used."
The CPC will hold an informational meeting at 5 pm Monday in the Tisbury Senior Center on Pine Street, "on the needs, possibilities and resources of the town for the use of CPA funds."
Bank manager reassures customers
Managers at the Bank of Martha's Vineyard, a branch of Sovereign Bank, have spent much of the past week reassuring customers that their money is safe, following a week of financial turmoil that saw the stock of the parent company, a regional bank, take a battering on Wall Street.
"I've talked to a lot of people," said Paul Watts, senior vice president for the local branch. "You don't have to jump off the ledge. It's okay, but you need to know what's going on. We're a strong branch; we're doing well. The bank has $12 billion in cash reserves. We're still making loans, we're still interested in making loans. Our deposit base is staying loyal to us.
Moody's Investor Service, a widely watched rating agency, downgraded its rating of Sovereign Bank Tuesday, citing the bank's sizable exposure to mortgage lenders Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae.
Sovereign Bank also replaced its chief executive officer, in a move designed to restore confidence among investors.
Mr. Watts said it is a scary time in the banking business. The financial turmoil and credit crunch that contributed to the failure of Washington Mutual Bank, and the forced sale of Wachovia Bank may have contributed to Sovereign Bank's misfortunes. Mr. Watts said the uncertainty in global markets caused two large European investors, identified in news reports as Norway's Norges Bank, and London's Tosca Fund Asset Management, to sell 40 million shares on the open market earlier this week. Each investor held a five percent stake in Sovereign. The bank's stock was trading publically at about $8 last week, but on Monday the price plunged to $2.33, down 72 percent. The price has rebounded somewhat, closing at $4.82 on Wednesday.
Chilmark slaps landowner with large fines
The Chilmark conservation commission imposed fines totaling $1,500 per day against Merle and Bonnie Berger, landowners on scenic Pease's Point who, according the commission, cut large trees and cleared wide swaths of brush on their own land and that of their neighbors.
The commission then offered a reprieve of sorts, intended to encourage Dr. Berger, a prominent Boston physician, to submit a satisfactory restoration plan by next Thursday. If he does, the fines will be forgiven. If he does not, the fines will be retroactive to yesterday, the date of the conservation commission's action, and continue until an acceptable plan is submitted.
The commissioners made it clear that the plan submitted by Dr. Berger, called a notice of intent, fell far short of their request to restore the properties to their original state.
Earlier this year, the conservation commission issued two enforcement orders to the Bergers. Those orders found that the couple 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, a large clump of willows from 30 to 50 years old, and a towering black willow tree, which screened a nesting habitat for rare herons. The order also found that the cutting was done not only on the Berger property, but also on land owned by the Robbie and Laurie Dietz.
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.
Martha's Vineyard Commission planner appointed to Oceans Commission
Governor Deval Patrick has appointed Jo-Ann Taylor of Edgartown to the Oceans Advisory Commission in implementation of the Oceans Act of 2008. Ms. Taylor is on the staff of the Martha's Vineyard Commission, where she specializes in coastal planning.
In May Governor Patrick signed the Oceans Act of 2008 into law during a ceremony held at the Boston Aquarium. Known as the Oceans Bill, the act places review of all development in state controlled waters under the authority of a single comprehensive development plan. It is the first legislation of its kind in the nation.
The 17-member Ocean Advisory Commission is charged with drawing up the plan, which must be in place by December 2009. The plan is expected to allow for development in the Cape Cod Oceans Sanctuary, which includes Buzzards Bay and the waters off Martha's Vineyard and the Elizabeth Islands.
The Oceans Advisory Commission held its first meeting on August 13 in Boston. A round of public listening sessions is planned to inform the public about the act and to solicit public input. The Martha's Vineyard Commission will host a Vineyard session on Tuesday, October 14, from 7 pm to 9 pm at the commission offices located in the Stone Building, Oak Bluffs. Ms. Taylor may be reached by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone 508-693-3453 ext. 19.
Corrections : Tax list additions
Because Tisbury assessors reported assessment data on commercial and condominium properties separately from the bulk of assessed property data, those properties were missing from The Tax List, published in last week's Times. You will find these today on News, page 27. They are also available with the downloadable online version of The Tax List, at the mvtimes.com store, and in hard copy from The Martha's Vineyard Times office.