M. V. Savings Bank wants Woods Hole foothold
The Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank has filed an application with federal banking officials for permission to open a branch office in Woods Hole in the former location of Bank of America.
The new office would be just a bagel toss from the Pie in the Sky Bakery on Water Street, a popular stop for Islanders traveling through the busy Steamship Authority port.
A legal notice appears in today's issue of The Times inviting comment to the FDIC on the bank's application to open a branch office.
Christopher A. Wells, the bank's president and chief executive officer, was unavailable for comment yesterday.
The bank decided to make the move to Woods Hole because it would provide added convenience for ferry travelers who already rely heavily on the Vineyard Haven office and expand opportunities in a community that now has no bank offices, according to one knowledgeable source.
The Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank was created by the merger announced in June 2007 of the Martha's Vineyard Co-operative Bank and Dukes County Savings Bank. At the time, bank leaders cited a shared culture of personal service and community values and the evolving nature of the banking business.
Martha's Vineyard Savings Bank is a mutual savings bank and currently has seven Island branch locations, 10 ATMs Island-wide and a Trust and Investment division.
Edgartown balks at MVC control of wind power
Edgartown selectmen Monday declined to endorse a proposal that would extend the Martha's Vineyard Commission's (MVC) regulatory powers over development of large wind turbines built on land or within three miles of the Island's shoreline.
The five other Island towns and the Dukes County Commissioners have endorsed the creation of a district of critical planning concern (DCPC) that would apply local regulations to any development 200 feet above nearly all Island lands and waters. Island officials took that step in response to a state plan that identified two areas off the Island coast for the development of large-scale wind farms.
The MVC is expected to act on the nomination tonight. Acceptance of the nomination would impose an immediate moratorium
Carlene Gatting of Edgartown, an elected Dukes County commissioner and the county's MVC representative, presented information on the DCPC proposal and offered the board of selectmen an opportunity to endorse it.
All three Edgartown selectmen expressed support for a DCPC that would cover air space over waters out to the state's three-mile limit as outlined in the original request from the Chilmark board of selectmen. But they expressed reservations about rushing to impose the same restrictions over land. A moratorium could be a setback for Edgartown's efforts, already well underway, to build a wind turbine at its wastewater plant.
"All of a sudden it morphed onto land," selectman Arthur Smadbeck said, "and may jeopardize a project that we think is pretty important."
Also at Monday's selectmen's meeting, the board approved a transfer of $16,000 from the housing trust fund, to help subsidize the rent of five families at Morgan Woods. All five families pay rents based on 140 percent of the area median income, the highest level in the affordable housing development. The recommendation came from the housing trust committee, because the five families have had unusual hardships such as job losses, reduced hours, or other difficulties.
Town counsel Ron Rappaport updated selectmen on two legal issues. He said the town has prevailed in the latest round of a long appeal process brought by the backers of Cozy Hearth, a self-funded effort by a local businessman to bypass three-acre zoning regulations and build 11 housing units as a means of providing affordable housing for his employees and other backers. A recent ruling of the housing appeals court upheld the Zoning Board of Appeals' decision that scaled back the project from 11 to 9 units. Mr. Rappaport also said William S. O'Connell had dropped his appeal of a town order that prohibited him from using part of his Chappaquiddick property as a landing pad for his helicopter.
Housing fund names new leader
The Island Affordable Housing Fund is expected to name Ewell Hopkins as its next executive director. Mr. Hopkins and his family have lived on the Vineyard for 10 years, but his work has kept him in New York much of that time, where he is a partner at Morgan Holland & Co., a management consulting and systems integration firm specializing in the financial services industry.
Mr. Hopkins has been deeply involved in community and charity work, leading a team that raised money for cancer research, and serving as a mentor to high school students.
He replaces Patrick Manning, who resigned from the housing fund in August, after a three-year stint as executive director. Formed in 1998, the housing fund raises money and provides grants and loans to organizations, towns, developers, and builders, who create affordable housing.
Free state hunter education class offered
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will offer a free hunter education course in October. Successful completion of the state-certified course meets certain state firearms licensing application requirements, as well as hunting license requirements in all U.S. states, Canada and Mexico.
Free hunter safety education courses across the state are widely credited with helping to reduce hunting accidents and create responsible hunters. The class instructor is Jeff Day, a Chilmark police officer and master instructor. The basic class curriculum includes instruction on firearms safety, wildlife conservation, hunting with a bow, tree-stand safety and hunting ethics.
Space is limited, and this is the only on-Island class that will be offered this year, said Mr. Day. Students age 10 to 17 may take the class with parental permission. Students must attend all five sessions to successfully complete the course and receive a letter of completion. The class schedule is: October 20, 22, 24 and 25 from 6 to 9 pm; and October 24 and 25 from 8 am to 3 pm. Classes will be held at the Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club, Third Street, Edgartown. Students must pre-register with the Mass Wildlife Hunter Education program online at www.masswildlife.org or by calling 978-632-7648.
Canal bridge work changed for Cape traffic
Construction crews began adjusting work schedules on the Sagamore Bridge to relieve traffic congestion last weekend, and lane adjustments will continue over the next two weekends. Work began on the bridge on September 14, and traffic was reduced at times to one lane in each direction. The Army Corps of Engineers, which is overseeing the project, changed its original plans to keep two lanes of travel open leaving the Cape last weekend and this weekend. On Columbus Day weekend, two lanes of traffic coming onto the Cape will remain open on Friday and Saturday, and two lanes will remain open leaving the Cape on Sunday and Monday.
The extra lanes will require utilizing construction work space, and preclude crews from working on the weekend days.
"These work adjustments to allow for more lane traffic for the next three weeks will have an impact on the work schedule and will likely push the project into a third season, requiring bridge work in the fall of 2010," wrote Army Corps spokesman Tim Dugan in a news release. A seven-day per week work schedule will resume after the Columbus Day holiday.
High school's 'Principal's Coffee' next week
A Principal's Coffee at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) on Tuesday, October 6, offers a question and answer session with director of guidance Mike McCarthy. The event takes place from 8-9:15 am in the library conference room.
The coffees hosted by MVRHS principal Steve Nixon offer parents an opportunity to discuss school issues with him and each other in a relaxed setting. Baked goods, and coffee, of course, are provided.
Everyone is welcome. Sign in at the front office, and feel free to come late or leave early, if you like.
The next Principal's Coffee will be October 20, same time and place.
House advances bar, restaurant insurance bill
State House News Service
All establishments licensed to serve alcohol on-premises would be required to purchase a liability insurance policy under a proposal advancing in the House.
The bill (H 947), filed by Rep. Peter Koutoujian, chairman of the Financial Services Committee would require such policies to be in place in order for an establishment to receive or renew its liquor license.
The policy would have to include a minimum $250,000 cap for cases in which one person is injured or killed, and $500,000 cap for injuries or deaths involving multiple people. The bill received initial approval in the House last week.
State law doesn't require bars to purchase liability insurance but 88 cities and towns require such policies as a condition of licensing, Mr. Koutoujian said. The bill, if passed, would make such insurance mandatory for bar owners across Massachusetts. He estimated that 30 to 40 percent of establishments statewide have a policy that would meet the requirements in the bill.
Mr. Koutoujian said he worried that without such protection, bars are subject to unaffordable financial penalties and even closure if they are connected to any injuries, accidents or deaths that result from their service of alcohol.
Peter Christie, president and CEO of the Massachusetts Restaurant Association, said the proposed legislation would have little effect because "most people have those policies."
"The bottom line is, there are a lot of things a restaurant can't do. One is to sell alcohol to a minor and another is to serve alcohol to a person who's visibly intoxicated. You need that kind of insurance," he said.
Hob Knob appoints new general manager
The Hob Knob, a 17-room boutique hotel in Edgartown described as eco-friendly, announces the promotion of Mark Venette to general manager.
Mr. Venette arrived at the hotel in the spring and brings more than 25 years of hotel and food and beverage experience to his new position. The Hob Knob is open year-round. For more information, go to www.hobknob.com
Nelson Mechanical debuts new heat pump
Nelson Mechanical Design (NMD) of Vineyard Haven will debut the Daikin Altherma air-to-water heat pump, newly released for sale in the U.S. today, at the Living Local Harvest Festival at the West Tisbury Grange Hall on Saturday.
NMD, a "green" mechanical contractor, specializes in renewable energy systems, including geothermal. The Altherma water heat pump uses stored solar energy in outdoor air to heat water up to 130 degrees F., even during the winter, according to NMD's press release.
The heated water may be used for radiant heating systems and domestic hot water. The Altherma heat pump also is designed to work with solar hot water panels.
The heat pump uses electricity to run a compressor that concentrates low temperature heat from the air into a smaller amount of high temperature heat. Operating costs are estimated at half the cost of running a similarly sized boiler that uses fossil fuel.
Since Daikin's Altherma heat pump does not require a geothermal field of underground tubing, the installation price is about half that of a geothermal system, the NMD press release states. Its efficiency meets or exceeds that of geothermal heat pumps.
Nelson Mechanical Design was chosen to debut the new U.S. heat pump model at the Living Local Harvest Festival as Martha's Vineyard's Daikin Network Alliance member. For more information, visit NMD's website, nmdgreen.com.
Supply New England, complete renovation
Supply New England and The Kitchen & Bath Gallery have completed a significant renovation to their shared wholesale distribution facility and showroom on Eastline Road in the Airport Business Park.
The Kitchen & Bath Gallery is now a Registered Kohler® Showroom, featuring the very best in Kohler products for the kitchen and bath, according to a press release.
Renovations completed this summer include upgrades to the adjacent Supply New England wholesale distribution building, including a new contractor area and the addition of air-conditioning equipment and supplies.
Supply New England has serviced Martha's Vineyard residents and tradesmen for more than 25 years.
For more information, call 508-693-6792.
In an Announcement last week, we reported incorrectly that Nate Hurwitz of Chilmark had completed a National Outdoor Leadership course in Chile. In fact, Nate will leave to start the course on October 8.