Edgartown Stop & Shop raises $2,940 to fight hunger
The Stop & Shop Supermarket in Edgartown has raised $2,940 for the Christ United Methodist Church/ Island Food Pantry, to help provide hunger relief to Island residents.
From October 30 until December 3, 2009, all Stop & Shop stores from New Hampshire to New Jersey participated in the 2009 Food for Friends campaign. Through the sale of paper turkeys and fundraising events held at the stores, Stop & Shop associates and customers donated more than $1.2 million. Together with a corporate match, Stop & Shop will donate more than $1.4 million to local and regional food banks.
Headquartered in Quincy, Mass., The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company employs more than 59,000 associates and operates stores throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Maine, New Hampshire, New York, and New Jersey. The company is a member of the US Green Building Council and has been awarded LEED (EB) certifications for 50 of its existing stores. Stop & Shop has been recognized by the EPA for the superior energy management of its stores and is also a member of the EPA's Smart Way program.
Out with the old
Construction workers began Thursday to cut the old Lagoon Pond drawbridge into pieces small enough to be lifted by a heavy duty crane. The crews have already removed much of the bridge deck, including the iron span that once lifted to let vessels pass into and out of Lagoon Pond.
Oak Bluffs asks for budget help from taxpayers
The issue of trash collection sparked some unwarranted fears in Oak Bluffs yesterday. A flyer was distributed to local mailboxes claiming that the town of Oak Bluffs will no longer provide trash service as of July 1, 2010. "That's obviously not true," said town Administrator Michael Dutton, in between fielding calls from puzzled residents who called town hall.
The flyer urged residents to call Monte Bizzarro, who owns a local trash hauling company, to sign up for private pickup.
The issue of trash collection has been a subject of discussion in various budget meetings, but no decisions or recommendations have been made to discontinue trash collection. It was one of the issues discussed when the Oak Bluffs financial advisory committee called for interested taxpayers to attend its January 14 meeting. In response, they got a packed meeting room full of budget-minded constituents.
Town administrator Michael Dutton outlined the challenge ahead. The very first draft of the town budget shows a $1.7 million shortfall.
"We've got to figure out how to crack that nut," Mr. Dutton said.
Speaker after speaker offered ideas on how to increase revenue or reduce spending. Not surprisingly, no one was in favor of raising taxes through a Proposition 2.5 override.
After a discussion of ideas, committee chairman Mimi Davisson took a straw poll to see where the taxpayers want the budget cutting to focus. The areas receiving the most support were parking fees, regionalization, trash collection, and increasing town fees and licenses. There was also considerable support for an across-the-board cut, requiring every department to reduce spending by the same percentage. "Something has got to give unless you want to price people out of their homes and off the Island," said resident John Boardman.
Chilmark reviews waterfront liability
Town-owned leased lots along the waterfront in Menemsha basin may be required to have tenant supplied liability insurance of $1 million, indemnifying the town of Chilmark in the event of a lawsuit resulting from injury. Selectman Frank Fenner advised his colleagues this week that at least some of the six or seven tenants lack such insurance.
"We have to protect the town," Mr. Fenner said. "Insurance should be part of every town-leased lot. The cost to cover the town is only a few hundred dollars a year." He recommended withholding leases until the matter is resolved.
Warren Doty worried that the premium could be much higher and could pose a financial burden to some tenants. The board agreed to wait a week to research the town's exposure and the cost of additional insurance for its lessees.
The board also named Coco Adams, acting superintendent of the cemetery commission for the past six months, a permanent employee and approved Sean Slavin as a permanent police officer. Mr. Slavin has served with the West Tisbury police department for the past several years.
Housing Fund, NAACP, join forces in fundraising
The Island Affordable Housing Fund (IAHF) said last week it will join the Martha's Vineyard NAACP in a concerted fundraising effort to retire the mortgage on the property at the corner of Masonic Avenue and Dukes County Avenue in Oak Bluffs, where the Bradley Square affordable housing and commercial development is planned. The two organizations have set a goal to retire the mortgage in six months. "What we're saying is we want to, in a fiscally responsible way, preserve the historic value, the sacredness of the land, and provide the NAACP their first venue on the Island," Ewell Hopkins, IAHF chief, said yesterday.
The property was purchased for $905,000 in 2007. The Fund owes about $700,000 on the mortgage.
"Right now, we're spending supporters' money to pay the debt," said Ewell Hopkins, executive director of the Fund. "That is a more and more difficult message to deliver to the community."
Mr. Hopkins said that if the mortgage is retired, the fund will focus on redesigning the project, and raising the money to finish it.
"Then we'll be able to go into the summer fundraising season," Mr. Hopkins said, "saying we own the property. Right now we're overextended."
A news brief published January 14, ("Facebook photos lead to alcohol charges"), incorrectly reported that police arrived at the house occupied by Beach White with a search warrant. According to the police report, police looked through a window and saw what appeared to be marijuana on a scale. The police were in the process of obtaining a search warrant when Mr. White arrived at the house and provided police with permission to look inside the house and barn.
In an article published January 14 Calendar section ("NAACP celebrates Dr. M.L.K. Jr. day"), we mistakenly referred to former Senator Edward W. Brooke 3rd, an Oak Bluffs summer resident, as "the late" senator. Mr. Brooke is alive. In October of last year, he received the Congressional Medal of Honor.
In a news story published January 14 about the Edgartown School spelling bee ("Edgartown School student Jesse Herman knows his geography"), we reported Jesse's mother's name incorrectly. She is Lori Sue Herman.