A weekly gleaning of news reports about President Obama's vacation; where he will stay, what he will do and references to the Island (called Hollywood East, didn't you know) and Islanders that may surprise some.
But first, the real news. President Barack Obama and family will vacation on the Vineyard from August 23 to August 30. That's the official, unofficial word, as of late yesterday, according to Nancy Gardella, Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce executive. We think Ms. Gardella is official enough for our unofficial purposes, and a lot more authoritative than a great deal of what you've heard about the event, non-event in the past few weeks.
Even before this official, unofficial word, there was plenty of certainty and opinion regarding a presidential visit to Martha's Vineyard. We want to keep you abreast of all official, unofficial, and downright ludicrous newsbits. So, herewith, a rundown.
• Under the headline, "Obama takes summer holidays in Martha's Vineyard," on July 8, the British based travel web site, Beat the Brochure, said that while the Vineyard has been the holiday retreat of previous presidents, "no presidential holiday has been as emotively charged as Mr. Obama's."
The report continued, "Much is being made about whether the Obama family will stay in Oak Bluffs, the traditional resort for the majority of the black population; or will the Obama's [sic] enjoy their sun holiday on the predominately white part of the island, redubbed Hollywood East.... One thing that is guaranteed is that Martha's Vineyard as an island will be right back on the hot spot of places to visit for tourists either taking USA holidays from abroad or US citizens who want to share in a piece of Obama history."
• On Sunday, the Cape Cod Times described the attributes of Vineyard residents. "When the Obamas arrive on Martha's Vineyard in late August, they will find a spectacularly beautiful island inhabited by casual natives accustomed to famous people walking down the street," the Cape Cod Times reported under the headline, "Martha's Vineyard prepares for another presidential visit."
Apparently the reporter was not on Main Street in Vineyard Haven last week when an Island man in a pickup truck screamed at a woman driver holding up traffic while she waited for a parking spot to "go back to New Jersey."
The Cape Cod Times reported, "The White House still won't confirm the trip, but many islanders are confident President Obama will be the latest chief executive to choose Martha's Vineyard as a vacation spot. The Wesley Hotel in Oak Bluffs has blocked off close to 70 rooms for the Secret Service in August, according to a source."
The story described a likely August vacation itinerary that included the Oak Bluffs fireworks, illumination night and the Ag Fair. As for where the Obamas plan to stay, "A best guess seems to be the home of Ron and Judith Davenport in the East Chop section of Oak Bluffs, where Obama attended a fundraiser in 2007," said the Cape daily, but it noted that Judith Davenport denied any knowledge of a first family visit.
As for the crowds a visit is likely to attract. No problem. "Even the traffic headaches sound delightful with business as low as the average temperature this June," the Cape Cod Times reported.