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.
It's official. Ending months of speculation, a White House spokesperson confirmed Friday that President Obama and his family will spend the last week of August vacationing on Martha's Vineyard.
"They've spent vacation time there before and are looking forward to relaxing together as a family at the end of a very busy summer. We'll have more details about the exact dates and location at a later date," the spokesperson said in an email to The Times.
The Times immediately posted the official confirmation on mvtimes.com. Other news outlet websites carried the same news followed by print editions the next day.
The Times also learned that the Obamas plan to stay at Blue Heron Farm in Chilmark.
•"Its official: The sandbox for the stars is once again becoming a presidential playground," reported the Boston Globe on Saturday under the headline, "Surf, sand and secret service, Obamas' Vineyard vacation a done deal."
•Off-Island news outlets had fixed on Oak Bluffs because of the town's long history as a vacation resort for affluent African Americans. But last week one Island resident with good connections told The Times the Obamas would stay at Blue Heron Farm, a private estate in Chilmark. News and rumor travel fast.
On Tuesday, under the headline, "Oprah may rock on with Obama," Boston Herald gossip columnists Gayle Fee and Laura Raposa reported, "Word on The Rock is that President Barack Obama's BFF Oprah Winfrey reportedly is trying to rent a massive estate in Katama on Martha's Vineyard for the last two weeks in August."
And reported the Herald, "Other scuttlebutt on the island is that the Secret Service has scoped out Blue Heron Farm in West Tisbury as a possible landing spot for the First Fam.
The estate, which sold for more than $20 million in 2005, boasts a completely renovated, 10,000-plus-square-foot historic farmhouse and more than 30 acres of privacy. Which would be a plus for presidential security." The Herald's geography is not as sharp as some of its more caustic headlines: Blue Heron Farm is in Chilmark.
Seasonal residents William J. and Mollie Van Devender of Mississippi own Blue Heron Farm. Mr. Van Devender, a professional investor, real estate developer and venture capitalist, is a partner in the Vineyard Golf Club and a well-known sportsman and conservationist.
•On Friday, under the headline, "Vineyard Security Plans Take Shape for President, The Vineyard Gazette reported, "The massive security effort required to accommodate a Vineyard vacation for President Obama and the First Family next month is now under way. As recession-stricken Island businesspeople fix their sights, with broadening smiles, on August."