Shedding light on electric co-op and Island concerns
Cape Light Compact (CLC) administrator Maggie Downey will provide a power-point presentation and answer questions about the recently formed Cape and Vineyard Electric Cooperative (CVEC) at the All-Island Selectmen's meeting at 5 pm on January 21 at the Tisbury Senior Center.
The meeting, open to the public, also will include discussions about Island concerns between the selectmen and State Representative Tim Madden and State Senator Robert O'Leary, who are scheduled to attend.
The CLC is a regional energy services organization made up of 21 towns in Dukes and Barnstable counties. It uses the combined buying power of the region's electric consumers to negotiate for electricity.
But, like municipalities, the law prohibits CLC from owning electricity-producing systems, which means the compact can only negotiate electricity prices at the retail level. That led the town of Barnstable, the county of Barnstable, and CLC to form an electric cooperative in 2007, to enable municipal entities to own electricity-producing systems and sell the energy directly to CLC at wholesale cost.
Currently, the CVEC is seeking State and Federal approval for tax-exempt status in order to own and operate energy systems and to enter into contracts with the Compact.
"Ms. Downey's presentation next week will offer an update on the cooperative's current status and the opportunities it presents for Island towns," said Peter Cabana, CLC's Tisbury representative.
Sail Martha's Vineyard offers captain's course
Sail Martha's Vineyard is offering instruction geared toward getting a commercial captain's license once again this winter.
An informational meeting is scheduled for Thursday, January 15, at the Sail Martha's Vineyard headquarters, 110 Main Street in Vineyard Haven. The meeting starts at 7 pm.
The courses offer two tracks of instruction. One leads to a 100-ton captain's license, allowing operation of commercial vessels under 100 gross tons, including ferries, charter boats, water taxis, and other commercial vessels. Another course leads to a license commonly known as a "six-pack," which allows for carrying up to six passengers for hire. Also scheduled this year is instruction on how to operate a harbor launch.
At the informational meeting, experts will be on hand to outline the courses, and determine a course schedule. For more information, call Sail Martha's Vineyard at 508-696-7644.
Tisbury annual report wins award
Tisbury's 2007 annual town report won second place in a statewide contest held by the Massachusetts Municipal Association (MMA), in the category for towns with populations less than 5,000.
Judges considered layout and design, quantity and depth of information, organization, originality, and overall usefulness of the report to residents, according to the MMA's website.
Assistant town administrator Aase Jones organized Tisbury's annual report and oversaw its production. The Tisbury selectmen have asked Ms. Jones to accept the award for the report on the town's behalf at a ceremony on January 24 at the MMA's annual conference in Boston.
The 2007 annual report's cover features a photograph taken by Selectman Denys Wortman of the Steamship Authority ferry Islander leaving the port of Vineyard Haven for the last time, as she passes by the new Island Home ferry, arriving for the first time.
Tisbury's 2005 annual report also won second place in the MMA's 2006 contest.
West Tisbury unearths unused scholarship
West Tisbury selectmen last week deeded a long-forgotten $3,600 scholarship trust fund to the Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society Scholarship Fund.
Residents established the fund as a gift to the town 25 years ago as a memorial to the late Everett D. Whiting, treasurer Kathy Logue told the selectmen.
Ms. Logue discovered the unused funds recently in a review of town documents. "We talked with several heirs who suggested we deed it to the agricultural society's scholarship fund," she said.
Selectmen also asked town administrator Jen Rand to follow up with town resident and furniture maker Carlton Sprague who has offered to build a conference table for the renovated town hall, using lumber from an elm tree removed recently from the town hall site to allow renovation work to begin.
Ms. Rand provided a sketch of the six-foot circular table design prepared by Mr. Sprague that would seat six to eight people. Mr. Sprague is willing to craft the table at minimal cost, she noted.
Photo courtesy of NEHA
Hospital chairman named trustee of the year
Seasonal West Tisbury resident John P. Ferguson last month received New England Healthcare Assembly's (NEHA) prestigious 2008 Trustee Leadership Award, which recognizes the "significant contributions of a hospital trustee whose personal courage and achievements have been of exceptional value to healthcare."
Mr. Ferguson is chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital board and chief executive officer of Hackensack University Medical Center in New Jersey. The award was presented at the NEHA Annual Trustee Leadership Conference in Boston.
Mr. Ferguson has been chairman of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital since 2002 and on its board since 2000.
In presenting the award, Nancy Palmer, a Massachusetts Hospital Association board member and board chairwoman of Northeast Hospital Corp., praised Mr. Ferguson's "vision and clarity, which turned around a small rural hospital faced with a variety of threatening issues."
"I am humbled to be recognized with such a prestigious award honoring dedicated volunteers who influence our industry and the way healthcare is delivered in America," said Mr. Ferguson. "I believe this recognition belongs to everyone at Martha's Vineyard Hospital - for it is our collective passion for providing the highest quality care to our patients that continues to drive what I do."
Oak Bluffs fire department receives $66,500 grant
The Oak Bluffs Fire Department this week learned that it will receive a $66,500 federal grant under the Department of Homeland Security's Assistance to Firefighters Grants program. The money will be allocated to purchase a plymovent system to remove the diesel exhaust from the department emitted by the fire apparatus, according to a press release provided by the offices of SenatorsEdward M. Kennedy and John F. Kerry and Representative William Delahunt.
Fire Chief Gilbert Forend said the grant would enable the department to install a much-needed vehicle exhaust extraction system, and remove the dangerous toxins emitted by our apparatus into the fire station daily. He credited executive assistant Anita Billings for her hard work in preparing and executing the grant application.
The nationwide program was designed to strengthen community preparation for fire-related emergencies and protect the safety of fire personnel. Visit firegrantsupport.com for more information.
Photo by Deborah Medders
Tisbury Mural Project takes shape
On Saturday a group that included high school art students and local artists gathered at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School Performing Arts Center (PAC) to work on the Tisbury mural project under the leadership of Paul Brissette, head of the regional high school art department, and artist Anne Grandin and architect Tom Larson.
Ms. Grandin and Mr. Larson' s mural design, "Gateway to the Island," a colorful and historic depiction of Vineyard Haven, was the winning entry in a competition meant to spruce up Vineyard Haven.
The mural is comprised on nine large panels. This spring it will be formally unveiled and placed on a 10- by 45-foot blank exterior wall facing the parking lot next to the Stop & Shop in Vineyard Haven.
Citing background music piped over the PAC sound system with the likes of Steely Dan and Muddy Waters, Tisbury town moderator Deborah Medders, a mural committee member, said, "The working environment was great."
Curves offers free weight management classes
Curves of Martha's Vineyard, the franchise fitness club for women, is offering free weight management classes to teach its method for losing weight and raising metabolism. Classes are open to members and non-members, according to a press release, and include a 90-minute start-up class for first-time participants and special topic classes such as "Smart Grocery Shopping."
For more information, call 508-696-3030 or go to mvcurves.com.
In the January 8 edition of The Martha's Vineyard Times, a news brief, "Edgartown scallop season to end; yield is down," incorrectly reported that Edgartown closed the commercial season for scallopers. The town closed Cape Poge to commercial scalloping. The outer harbor and Katama Bay remain open to fishing, according to Paul Bagnall, Edgartown shellfish constable.
A story published in the January 8 issue of The Martha's Vineyard Times, "Slavins wins Chilmark homesite in lottery," incorrectly reported that Jeff Wass and Deborah Silliman had participated in 10 previous lotteries. Last week's homesite lottery was the first for the couple, but they are 10-year veterans of the affordable housing effort.
A story in the Jan. 8 Times, "Burst sprinkler pipe floods Tisbury galleries," reported that building owner Larry Levine contacted gallery owner Louisa Gould about the flood. Ms. Gould said this week that he did not contact her, and that the man identified as her husband is her fiance.