Fiber-optic network coming to Vineyard Haven
A New York company plans to begin pulling fiber-optic cable into underground conduits in downtown Vineyard Haven next week, and then begin offering voice, video, and data services over a fiber-optic network this summer. The company intends to compete with cable television, phone, and Internet service providers, including Comcast and Verizon.
Fiber-optic cable carries digital information through a tiny glass or plastic wire with pulses of light. The technology allows consumers to choose from a much larger variety of services than the more limited volume of information that travels through conventional wire networks.
The company, Global Protection Communications Systems (GPCS), has been constructing a fiber-optic network at no cost to connect computers at Tisbury town offices and the Tisbury School, under contract to the town. Local construction crews used specialized equipment to bore small tunnels underground along Spring Street, between town hall, the Tisbury School, and other town offices.
Andrew Nanaa, one of the founders of GPCS, said the company intends to install a fiber-optic network that covers all of Tisbury, and eventually the entire Island, including the most remote properties. He would not disclose the price the company intends to charge for phone services or television programming.
Driver arrested on ninth license charge
Joelcio B. Alvares, 41, was arrested by Oak Bluffs police last Friday and charged with speeding and operating a vehicle on a suspended license. Police say this is the ninth time Mr. Alvares has been charged with operating on a suspended license. He is a resident Oak Bluffs, and a native of Brazil. He was held at the Dukes County House of Correction after a routine check of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records showed federal authorities had issued a detainee warrant. He was transported off-Island Wednesday morning, and transferred to the custody of ICE.
ICE issues detainee orders for a variety of reasons, among them a desire to question someone, failure to show up for an immigration hearing, or involvement in a serious crime.
Local authorities are required to hold the suspect for 48 hours, while ICE decides whether to take custody of the individual.
Cape Light Compact seeks smart energy applicants
Cape Light Compact is launching a new Smart Energy Monitoring Pilot Project that uses new technology from GroundedPower, Inc. to track home energy use, helping consumers lower costs, combat global warming and promote national energy security, according to a press release.
The Cape Light Compact, which purchases electricity and provides energy efficiency programs for residents and businesses of Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard, is seeking 100 volunteer homeowners to participate in what it describes as a landmark energy efficiency pilot program. The project involves the installation of whole-house wireless monitors, an optional appliance monitor, and a wireless base station that will upload real-time data to web-enabled software that provides the homeowner with detailed information on how much energy is being used, when it is being used, how much it costs, and actions that could reduce energy consumption and promote savings.
The pilot project will look at how and to what extent consumers respond to real-time information about electricity consumption and demand and how their energy savings actions are affected by being part of a community network.
Cape Light Compact is seeking participants for the pilot, 75 from Cape Cod and 25 from Martha's Vineyard. Residents who would like to participate can sign up for consideration by completing an application available at capelightcompact.org or by calling 1-800-797-6699.
Teen jailed after stolen car chase
A West Tisbury teenager is being held without bail, after he was charged with stealing a vehicle and driving drunk.
According to Oak Bluffs police, a green Dodge pick-up truck was reported stolen from Lake Avenue about 3 pm Monday. A few minutes later, Tanner Andrade, 17, was spotted driving that vehicle on New York Avenue. Police say Mr. Tanner fled at high speed, turning onto East Chop Drive with officer J.J. Mendez in pursuit. After a brief chase, Mr. Andrade stopped on Harrison Avenue. Officer Mendez ordered Mr. Andrade and a 16-year old female passenger out of the vehicle. The female, not identified because she is a juvenile, was eventually released to her parents. Mr. Andrade was transported to the Dukes County House of Correction.
In Edgartown District Court on Tuesday, police charged him with eight separate motor vehicle infractions, including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, operating under the influence of alcohol, operating with a suspended license, and speeding. He was ordered held until a bail hearing, scheduled for tomorrow.
Three teens sought in post office vandalism
Tisbury police are looking for three young people suspected of vandalizing the U.S. Post Office building in Vineyard Haven. Two parts of the building were damaged sometime between 4 pm on January 31 and noon February 1, according to a police report. A storage shed and door in the rear of the building were spray painted with the words "nothin is free" along with other symbols, and the south wall of the Post office were sprayed with the word "Peace" along with a peace symbol.
The manager of the Cumberland Farms store, which is located in the same building, told police that shortly after she noticed the vandalism to the storage shed, two young women and a young man came into the store with black spray paint on their hands and fingers. She estimated the man was 18 to 20 years old, and the two women were younger. The report says the store manager confronted the three teenagers about the vandalism but could not positively identify them, and hasn't seen them since.
Under Massachusetts general laws, a conviction for defacing a building with spray paint is punishable by up to two years in jail, and a minimum fine of $1,500, plus the cost of cleaning up the graffiti. Offenders also face suspension of their driver's license for one year.
Vineyard projects deemed shovel-ready
A state task force included six projects on Martha's Vineyard on a list of projects that are "shovel-ready" and merit consideration for funds from the federal government's economic stimulus package.
On the short list are:
$4.2 million for Phase III of the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority terminal reconstruction
$440,000 to repair runways at the Martha's Vineyard Airport
$90,000 to replace the roof and repave the driveway at the Dukes County Jail in Edgartown
$35,000 for energy efficient modifications to state lobster hatchery
$19,750 for technology infrastructure at the Martha's Vineyard Charter School
$15,000 for a walk-in freezer at the Charter School
In a 172-page report, and a 78-page list of qualifying projects, a task force of state administrators warned, "most of the projects on the lists included in this report will not ultimately receive funding."
The "shovel ready" list includes $9.6 billion worth of projects throughout the state. A second list, which is currently being evaluated for readiness, includes projects totaling $18.3 billion, including approximately $56 million in projects submitted by local governments and organizations on the Vineyard. Massachusetts is expected to receive only $1 billion to $2 billion for these kinds of projects.
SSA traffic declines eat into revenue
Steamship Authority traffic, including passengers, autos, and freight (trucks), declined significantly during January. For passengers and autos, the drop was steepest on the Vineyard route, but Nantucket freight fell off a 14.7-percent cliff for the month, almost twice the size of the decline for Vineyard freight.
Vineyard passenger traffic fell 5.1 percent during January. The line as a whole saw a 4.9 percent drop. For autos, the shortfall in Vineyard traffic was 6 percent. For the line as a whole, it was 5.6 percent. Freight for both islands dropped 10.3 percent for the month, compared with figures for January 2008.
These traffic declines were large enough to offset fare increases and push revenue down compared with revenue in January 2008, but less dramatically. Revenue for auto fares fell seven tenths of a percent in January. For freight, the revenue drop was 11.1 percent. Revenue from passenger travel, despite a decline in numbers of travelers, rose 2.7 percent in January.
Edgartown Marine named Yamaha dealer
Edgartown Marine Boat Services located on Herring Creek Road in Edgartown at Mill Hill is a newly certified Yamaha Outboard Dealer and full line service center.
Edgartown Marine Boat Services is now certified to sell new Yamaha outboard engines and service existing Yamaha engines. "We are also still providing a full range of service for all types of engines and boats of all makes and models," said Chad Metell, general manager. "From installation, commissioning, tune-ups, spring maintenance, and storage, we are a full-service boatyard."
For more information, call 508-627-6500.
Island has new vehicle inspection station
Martha's Vineyard Autoworks in Vineyard Haven is now a Massachusetts certified vehicle inspection station. ASE certified master technician and owner Louis Figueroa said inspections provide an added convenience and service for his customers. Inspections are available from 9 am to 5 pm Monday through Friday without appointment.
Martha's Vineyard Autoworks services autos and trucks. The garage is located on Evelyn Way opposite the Pine Street cemetery on State Road. Call 508-696-7160 for more information.
Vineyard Comp. Medicine opens yoga studio
Vineyard Complementary Medicine in West Tisbury opened VCM Yoga studio on February 1. The space integrates a medical model of movement with the ancient art of yoga, according to a press release.
VCM Yoga directors Megan Grennan and Jane Norton have created a full schedule of classes. For information and a class schedule, go to vineyardwellness.com.
The story, "Young scientists amaze at annual RHS fair," published on February 12, included a misspelling of the last name of William Trapp, 14, of Edgartown as Tripp.
In a photo caption in the February 12 issue, for the story "Charlie Brown at the Regional High School," Emily Lowe's last name appeared as "Rowe."