Public forums on new Aquinnah wind bylaw
The Aquinnah Planning Board released a proposed wind bylaw yesterday and scheduled two public forums over the next two weeks to give the community an opportunity to discuss it.
The first forum takes place on Monday, at 5:30 pm, and the second one on Tuesday, August 18, at 5:30 pm, both at the Aquinnah Town Hall. Following the public forums, the planning board will schedule hearings on the proposed bylaw in the fall.
The new wind bylaw addresses issues associated with the special permitting, siting, installation, and decommissioning of land-based private and municipal wind energy generating facilities.
The entire town of Aquinnah was designated a District of Critical Planning Concern (DCPC) by the Martha's Vineyard Commission in 2001, which provides for special regulations enforceable by the town and commission.
Aquinnah planning board member Carlos Montoya said yesterday that the proposed wind energy bylaw will fall under the town DCPC and that it will add special permitting for wind turbines under the existing special permitting regulations.
"That makes sure the Planning Board takes into consideration the goals of the overall town-wide DCPC in evaluating the impacts and costs and benefits of wind energy to the town," Mr. Montoya said.
Oak Bluffs Police arrest turns up assault rifle
Oak Bluffs Police responded to a domestic disturbance call Tuesday evening at Debettencourt Circle. In the course of the subsequent investigation and search of the premises, police found a sophisticated tactical assault rifle of a type commonly used by police and military forces along with large capacity clips of ammunition.
Police arrested Jason M. Sullivan, 28, on charges of assault and battery, possession of a large capacity weapon and possession of a large capacity feeding device, according to the police report.
Mr. Sullivan did not have a firearms license. According to the police report narrative, Mr. Sullivan described the rifle as his "toy."
The rifle is a River Rock M-4 .223 carbine fitted out with Eotech holographic sights, a laser sight, tactical light system and bi-pod/broomstick grip. Lieutenant Tim Williamson said it is very sophisticated weapon that is never used for hunting of any sort.
Lieutenant Williamson said the rifle fires bullets that would easily penetrate a bullet proof vest. He added that it is a reminder of the types of guns that some people possess.
Former principal named interim YMCA leader
Former Martha's Vineyard Regional High School principal Peg Regan stepped in as interim executive director of the YMCA this week. Ms. Regan will oversee operations for the local organization and lead the search to replace John Clese. Mr. Clese resigned as executive director to take a position with the YMCA in Chicago. He will consult with the Vineyard organization during the transition period.
Ms. Regan, a board member of the YMCA since 2003, began her term as interim executive director on August 1.
West Tisbury sets exact fare taxi rates
After more than a month of discussion and analysis, West Tisbury selectmen last week approved a set of exact taxi fares for three town-licensed cab companies.
The new fare system replaces a subjective system of rates set by the cab companies that sometimes varied greatly from company to company for the same ride, generating confusion, suspicion, and complaints from customers.
The fare schedule covers the cost of travel between the airport in West Tisbury and the Oak Bluffs and Vineyard Haven steamship terminals and 23 West Tisbury locations and streets.
The rates apply to trips to or from the destinations and include one or two passengers, with up to two pieces of luggage each. Additional people in a party may be charged $3 each, and the excess luggage fee is set at $10 per fare.
Taxis may charge $4 per bicycle, $1 per minute for stops or waiting more than two minutes, and a $100 vomit fee. The board also outlawed doubling of rates at any time of day and removed dirt road and speed bump charges as add-on charges.
The new rate from Scrubby Neck Road to the Martha's Vineyard Airport is now a maximum of $15, for example. The trip previously would have cost between $10 and $30, depending on the cab company selected and where the customer's home is located in Scrubby Neck, a residential subdivision opposite the airport.
Setting the $15 fare from Scrubby Neck to the airport, "doesn't preclude someone from charging $10," said selectmen Richard Knabel.
"But it does keep them from charging $30," selectman Dianne Powers noted.
The West Tisbury board has requested that the All-Island Selectmen's Association discuss Island-wide taxi regulations at its September meeting.
In other business, selectmen agreed to send an application for a state-sponsored Green Community grant to the planning board for review. The new Green Community Grant Program is designed to help municipalities better organize their ecological and carbon footprint efforts.
Expanded, upgraded mvtimes.com goes live
A new edition of mvtimes.com, greatly enlarged and more interactive, went live this morning. The Martha's Vineyard Times website, which has been repeatedly modified or redesigned over the years, now includes extensive, fully searchable business and services directories, with handy maps for each business, a searchable events and activities calendar, and enriched collections of editorial material, new and archival, related to businesses and events.
"This is the beginning of a huge step up for mvtimes.com," Peter Oberfest, Times co-publisher with his wife, Barbara, explained this week as he described the enhanced site. "Our goals are to retain content equal to what is published in the weekly print newspaper, make the site livelier and easier to navigate. We also want to add to it new content, plus handy searchability that will serve both our large regular visitorship, but also new visitors who have interests in where to dine, to stay, to hear music, to go sailing or kayaking, or to occupy the children for a day, or whatever else. We wanted to do everything we do now, and more."
The Oberfests led The Times effort to upgrade mvtimes.com, along with Times webmaster Rick Mello, and in collaboration with Susan Goldsmith of Mindshare Media. Mindshare Media's TicketsMV events calendar is incorporated in the new Times site and combines event-specific listings and complete Information Page listings from the weekly print Martha's Vineyard Times.
Among mvtimes.com's new features are hot links to any participating business - restaurants, inns, guesthouses, B&Bs, wedding related enterprises, or other services - that books guests or customers online. Businesses may include social networking links to their listings, including Twitter, Facebook, blogs and more. Businesses may load up to 13 photos, video files, logos, and virtual tours (slide shows) to their listings, and long and short descriptions, menus, and even links to a business's favorite online review sites, or to reviews themselves.
Ms. Oberfest said that her staff continues to gather information about the hundreds of Island businesses of all kinds that will be part of these categorized and cross-referenced directories. The searchable directory listings include summary and detailed views of businesses and service providers.
Mr. Oberfest said that as business owners or operators review their listings, they should be in touch with The Times to add or refresh information. Businesses that do not appear in the directories should be in touch to provide their information. Each business may be featured in up to three appropriate categories.
Mr. Oberfest said the new site will integrate editorial coverage from The Times with the businesses participating in the directories, to enrich the experience for visitors searching for information. The new site will also relate special events listed in the calendar to the appropriate business listing. New and archival editorial material for each new site category will be associated with businesses and events in the directories. The new calendar, powered by TicketsMV.com, will link directory businesses directly to their featured events.
"And, in a huge upgrade in convenience for mvtimes.com visitors, the new events, activities, information, and business content is searchable on handheld devices - PDAs, Blackberries, and iPhones. Listings, phone numbers, and Web links are live and searchable from wherever you are."
Mr. Oberfest added that the design and functions of the new mvtimes.com will be polished and tinkered with over the next few weeks.
"It's a sort of beta version," the publisher explained. "We're going to fuss with it, and we want to hear from visitors and businesses about their experiences with the new site. We're looking for comments."
Beach road property rehabbed
A building rehab project is underway at 45 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven. The interior was gutted and the roof removed over the past few weeks. The finished project will offer retail space on the first floor, and an apartment on the second floor, as it did before water damage compromised the building earlier this year.
Tisbury Marina LLC, the corporation that operates Vineyard Haven Marina, across Beach Road, owns the building. The property will also be used to handle overflow parking for several local businesses.
According to Tisbury building inspector Ken Barwick, broken water pipes damaged the interior of the structure last winter.
Man arrested for slashing children's raft
Oak Bluffs police officers responded to a report last Thursday that an intoxicated man used a knife to slash an inflatable float being used by children near Little Bridge in Oak Bluffs.
Sgt. George Fisher and Officer Christopher Wiggin met up at the beach near the bridge with the mother who reported the incident, along with her son and his friend.
According to Sgt. Fisher's report, the two children told the police officers they observed a man use a knife or knife-like instrument to cut the rope on the float they were using and then stab it to deflate it. They said he put the instrument in his swimsuit pocket and later put in a cooler or the back of his parked vehicle.
The children pointed out the man, later identified as Joshua Van Alstyne, 36, of Austerlitz, N.Y.
Sgt. Fisher examined the raft, which appeared to be damaged beyond repair. He estimated its value at $60.
The police officers interviewed the children a second time to make certain Mr. Alstyne was correctly identified before they spoke to him.
"I interviewed Van Alstyne who denied responsibility for the damage," Sgt. Fisher said in his report. "Later in the interview he admitted he had a verbal dispute with the children over their conduct near his family. He stated they were using profanity and verbally abusing his son."
Sgt. Fisher said that during the interview, he did not detect any indication that Mr. Van Alstyne was intoxicated. He arrested him for malicious destruction of property.
Mr. Van Alstyne was arraigned on July 31 on a charge of vandalizing property. His case was continued without finding for three months and he was ordered to pay $150 for probation supervision fees.
Tall ship on the rocks in Woods Hole
The tall ship Unicorn, a 118-foot topsail schooner on a voyage to Martha's Vineyard, ran up on a rocky underwater ledge in Woods Hole Wednesday morning, according to the U.S. Coast Guard. None of the 16 people aboard were hurt. Two vessels from Station Woods Hole responded, and took nine teenagers and one adult off the stranded schooner, leaving six crew members aboard to help get the vessel off the rocks. Two tow boats eventually pulled Unicorn off the rocks, and the tug Jaguar towed it to Vineyard Haven, where it was safely anchored in the outer harbor Wednesday evening.
Divers are expected to check for damage to the vessel. The Coast Guard is investigating the mishap.
On its web site, the New Jersey-based schooner advertises luxury accommodations for executive training, as well as sail training for young women. According to the ship's schedule, it was on a women's sail training voyage from Boston to Newport.
Jabberwocky campers set sail aboard Alabama
Campers and staff of Camp Jabberwocky, a summer facility for people with cerebral palsy, set sail around Vineyard Haven Harbor Wednesday afternoon aboard the Black Dog schooner Alabama.
In addition to providing an afternoon of fun for the campers, the sailing adventure helped promote The Jabberwocky 5K Run and Half Mile Fun Walk, scheduled for Saturday, August 15, at 10 am. The Black Dog Tall Ships sponsor the events.
Savings Bank plans West Tisbury building
With local and regional permitting out of the way, the Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank is set to begin construction on a new building for its Financial Group at 496 State Road, adjacent to the bank's West Tisbury branch office.
Through the efforts of the Island Affordable Housing Fund, Habitat for Humanity, West Tisbury Affordable Housing Committee, and the bank, an existing house on the site will be moved to another site to become the future home of an Island family, according to a press release.
The new bank building is designed by MacNelly Cohen Architects. "The coordinated efforts of all the people and organizations involved with saving this home for West Tisbury's affordable housing initiative is one of the most rewarding parts of this project," Richard Leonard, chief operating officer, said. "We are pleased that the architecture of the new building will complement the rural character of the community and the farmhouse style of the branch office next door, as well as our initiatives for building a more eco-friendly facility are being realized."
The bank also announced that Robert G. Ripley Jr. has joined the MVSB as senior vice president, Financial Group manager. Mr. Ripley has over 25 years of banking, investment, and taxation experience.
Stop & Shop helps children with cancer
Vineyard shoppers who purchased $1 Triple Winner Game scratch-off tickets at the Edgartown and Vineyard Haven Stop and Shop stores helped the supermarket chain raise almost $16,000 to help fight pediatric cancer.
The Stop and Shop Supermarket Company's 2009 Triple Winner campaign raised $5.25 million chain-wide for donation to programs to eradicate childhood cancer and fund research, according to a press release.
Both the Edgartown and Vineyard Haven Stop and Shop stores reached their goals for the 2009 Triple Winner program, raising over $8,400 and $7,500, respectively.
Tickets for the 2009 program sold out in two months, a record breaker since Triple Winner was launched in 1991. To date, Stop and Shop has raised $50 million through the program.
All Triple Winner Game proceeds are divided and given to The Jimmy Fund in Boston, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York, and Johns Hopkins Medicine and the Children's Cancer Center in Baltimore.
"Thanks to the generosity of our customers, associates, suppliers, and the Boston Red Sox organization, the Triple Winner Game is Stop and Shop's most successful program in our effort to fight childhood cancer," director of public affairs Faith Weiner said in the press release.
Energy housing specialist to talk on zero energy
Marc Rosenbaum, a systems engineer whose vanguard work on low-energy buildings has earned awards and national recognition, will talk about the current state of the art, to include zero energy, passive houses and deep energy retrofit.
His past projects include three of the American Institute of Architects Top Ten Green Projects, according to a press release. Mr. Rosenbaum will speak tonight at 8 pm at the Chilmark Community Center.
A short published in the July 30 issue of The Times, "Run in the Sun," incorrectly listed the time of the Vineyard Scoops 5K run. The race started at 9 am.
A story published in the July 30 issue of The Times, "In Print: An expert's insight into Shakespeare," incorrectly identified Joann Green Breuer as the former head of American Repertory Theatre (ART). Robert Brustein was former head of ART.
In a story published on July 30, "For Della," the Spirituals Choir was incorrectly identified as the M.V. NAACP Spirituals Choir.