Edgartown woman dies in single car crash
Rachel Dow, 37, of Pennywise Path in Edgartown died Monday in a single-car motor vehicle accident in Oak Bluffs.
The crash took place at about 5:45 pm on Eastville Avenue by the Martha's Vineyard Hospital emergency room parking lot exit.
Ms. Dow's 1988 Acura Legend emerged from the hospital parking lot, shot across the road and into the woods, and caught fire, State Police trooper David Parent said.
Trooper Parent said it appears that Ms. Dow suffered a medical emergency of some sort. He said it appears that her foot continued to depress the vehicle's gas pedal.
According to witnesses, the tires continued to spin even after the car came to a stop, and that may have been what ignited the surrounding vegetation and vehicle. The car came to rest next to a large cedar tree that blocked the driver's side door. Ms. Dow was in the vehicle and unresponsive, Mr. Parent said.
The first rescuers on the scene gained entrance to the car through a back window but were unable to pull Ms. Dow from her car seat. State Police, Oak Bluffs police and Oak Bluffs firefighters responded.
"Rescue personnel tried to get her out and unfortunately they could not, and she was later pronounced dead at Martha's Vineyard Hospital," Mr. Parent said. The State Police accident reconstruction team arrived on the Island Tuesday to investigate.
"She was a lovely girl and very, very special," Michael Dow said of his daughter. She was a regional high school graduate, had come all the way back from drug addiction, and was a very quiet person who was always willing to help others, her father said.
Ms. Dow worked with her father at his automotive repair business, Preferred Tire and Auto in Vineyard Haven. Mr. Dow said his daughter's son, Jeremy, 17, "is absolutely devastated."
Mr. Dow said he was extremely grateful to all the rescue personnel and bystanders who attempted to rescue his daughter. Mr. Dow said State Police Sgt. Neal Maciel brought him to the accident scene and stayed with him much of the day.
"He went above and beyond," Mr. Dow said, "and provided me with great comfort."
A celebration of Rachel Dow's life will be held 11 am, Sunday, at the Portuguese-American Club in Oak Bluffs.
RHS science fair Saturday
The regional high school's 11th annual science fair takes place on Saturday, Feb. 6, in the cafeteria and library.
The fair opens to the public at 11 am. Approximately 180 students are participating and will present their projects to judges from 9 to 11 am.
An awards ceremony takes place at noon.
The science fair includes a wind turbine engineering contest and investigative projects in the categories of chemistry, biology, physics, and earth/environmental science. There also are team projects.
This year's topics include food wrappings as a bacteria source, harbor pollutants, windmill blade size and energy output, solar panel tilt, tidal energy, kite shape and flight, the effects of temperature on fishing line, and ground contamination on ants, according to science teacher and fair organizer Jackie Hermann.
Video contest for high school students
Island high school videographers have a chance to light up the screen at the third annual "Dance. Don't Chance" video contest, sponsored by the state's Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.
The contest is open to registered Massachusetts high school juniors and seniors. To enter, they must write and produce a 60-second video that promotes safe driving and discourages underage drinking.
In addition, students are encouraged to address important issues such as speeding and drag racing, seat belt usage, and distracted driving due to texting and cell phone use.
The contest runs through March 12. Entry guidelines and information are available online at www.mass.gov/safety/promshorts.
The winner will be announced this spring, and his or her video will be aired as a public service announcement. The winning student's school will receive prom-related prizes.
Sail Martha's Vineyard appoints new head instructor
Sail Martha's Vineyard (Sail MV) has appointed David Siegal as head instructor for the Island's nonprofit youth sailing program. Mr. Siegal is a seasoned youth instructor and respected college coach, as well as a former three-time All American sailor at Tufts University. Brock Callen Sr., Sail MV program director, announced the appointment.
"David brings to Sail Martha's Vineyard an impressive coaching and marine industry background, including the head coach position at Roger Williams University, the assistant coach position at Boston College for two years, including its national championship team in 2009, while concurrently serving as a design engineer for Southern Spars Rigging Company in Newport, R.I.," Mr. Callen said.
Find more information on Sail MV summer programs at sailmv.com.
Tisbury School takes the swords out of swordplay
Tisbury School is planning a kinder, gentler production of the play "Hook" on March 12-13. In the storyline, a grown-up Peter Pan is lured back to Neverland to rescue his children, who were kidnapped by Captain Hook.
When it comes time for Peter Pan and the Lost Boys to battle Captain Hook and his pirates in the Tisbury School production, however, their swashbuckling swordplay will be minus the swords.
Christopher Abbot, a grade 7-8 social studies teacher who is the play's director, said when he directed the school's previous production of "Hook" in 2005, the student cast did brandish swords.
At that time, Mr. Abbot asked Dr. Michael Goldfein of Vineyard Pediatrics, an accomplished fencer, if he would help teach the students some basic moves. When Dr. Goldfein's schedule didn't work out, students from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School volunteered.
"The problem is trying to make it look like a conflict without having kids smacking each other around, accidentally breaking a sword or hitting each other in the head," Mr. Abbot said. "We decided we were going to avoid the whole process this time."
In the play Peter Pan rediscovers his inner child again, Mr. Abbot said, along with his imagination.
"We decided since Neverland is imaginary, the weapons were going to be imaginary, too," he explained. "So dueling will be in the audience's heads. They will have to invent what they don't see."
The cast of grade 7 and 8 students has been rehearsing about three weeks. "The kids have taken to it pretty well, although the pirates were probably disappointed not to have cutlasses," Mr. Abbot said.
Peter Boak, who teaches vocal music in grades K-8, is serving as musical director for "Hook," and Cathy Weiss, a grade 5-8 teacher assistant, as choreographer.
This year's presentation of "Hook" will mark 30 years of Tisbury School productions.
Public right in Rogers Path confirmed
The town of West Tisbury and the public have established prescriptive rights to use an ancient way known as Rogers Path, according to a January 25 decision by Judge C. Brian McDonald. Judge McDonald also held that a management agreement for the care and use of the road, entered into by the town and the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank in 2001, defines the terms of the public use and care.
Judge McDonald rejected claims by abutting private property owners Robert C. and Tracy S. Smith, trustees of RTS Realty Trust, Scott F. Bermudes, Cynthia L. Cornwell, Mark and Kimberly Baumhofer, and Alex and Laura Alexander, trustees of AA Realty Trust, who filed suit in January 2002.
Rogers Path is south of Indian Hill Road and west of South Indian Hill Road. It intersects Indian Hill Road and State Road, in what is known as North Tisbury or Middletown.
"Rogers Path itself," Land Bank executive director James Lengyel said this week, "is important in the Island-wide trail network, so the decision was most welcome. But it is the principle that also counts, namely that these ancient ways have a public character that needs to be protected."
The named path, according to Judge McDonald, dates in written records to 1826, when it was called the "Old Cart Way that leads to Prince Rogers" and by other names, including "Burying Ground Road," referring to a North Tisbury or Middletown cemetery. West Tisbury entered into an agreement with the Land Bank in 2001, under which the Land Bank was to manage the path for public use. That agreement triggered the lawsuit.
Judge McDonald held that a combination of the town's appropriation of funds over the years to be used in connection with the path and the public's history and continuing use of the path helped to establish a "prescriptive right" of public use. The court traced the change in the perceived character of the road over nearly 200 years from "cart path" to "lane" to "road."
Agricultural Society invites grant applications
The Martha's Vineyard Agricultural Society (MVAS) has issued a call for applicants for their annual grant program. All farm-related individuals or organizations whose goal is to improve the quality of life and contribute to the sustainability of the Martha's Vineyard agricultural community are eligible to apply.
The MVAS is a non-profit organization, created in 1859, and funded by contributions from the membership and supporters who attend any one of several annual community events.
The society provides assistance to the Island farm community in the form of annual grants to farmers and agricultural organizations. The society gives special consideration to innovative approaches to problems or needs that cannot receive funding through traditional sources according to a press release. The society does not plan to award grants to organizations that have received grants in the previous year.
Applications should include a concise proposal that describes the specific project, its potential benefits, budgetary requirements and a specific grant amount request. Proposals must be received by April 7 and may be sent to: MVAS, P.O. Box 73, West Tisbury, MA 02575. For more information, call Eleanor Neubert at 508-693-4343.MV
Drawbridge committee seeks public comment
The Lagoon Pond drawbridge committee invites Islanders to comment on the architectural and landscape design options for the permanent drawbridge, at a meeting at noon on Friday, Feb. 12, at the Martha's Vineyard Commission's offices, 33 New Avenue, Oak Bluffs. Due to scheduling conflicts, the meeting date has changed from February 10, as reported in last week's Times. Bring lunch if you like.
Run for Habitat for Humanity
Renee Arsenault plans to run the Martha's Vineyard 20-mile road race on Saturday, Feb. 13, to raise money to benefit Habitat for Humanity of Martha's Vineyard.
Sweating for the nonprofit that builds affordable housing on the Island will be nothing new for Ms. Arsenault. She is the owner of a Habitat house and like all owners contributed 500 "sweat equity" hours in house construction.
"We were involved from the beginning to the very end. We literally gave blood, sweat, and tears for this home and I am ready to do it again to raise money for Habitat," she said. "I'm combining two things that I love so much. My passion for running and my gratitude for being a homeowner in this beautiful community."
People can pledge by the mile or in one sum. Checks should be made out to Habitat for Humanity of Martha's Vineyard, and can be mailed to Renee Arsenault, PO Box 1341, West Tisbury MA 02575. For more information, call 508- 696-4646.
MV Mediation Program offers training program
Martha's Vineyard Mediation Program will offer a 32-hour course in basic mediation training, the prerequisite course for training in specialized areas of conflict resolution in March.
Trainers in the field of mediation who have several years of mediation experience in basic, advanced and specialized dispute resolution will conduct the four all-day sessions over the course of the weekends of March 13, 20 designed for people interested in learning the practice of mediation, improving job skills, or simply learning new ways to approach conflict, according to a press release.
For information, call 508-693-2999, email firstname.lastname@example.org or go to www.mvdisputecenter.org.
Tennis Center adds new staffer
Tyler Chronister, a performance enhancement specialist and personal trainer from the High Intensity Training Center of Akron, Ohio has joined the staff at The Vineyard Tennis Center, Workout and Spa. A nationally ranked track and field athlete, specializing in speed and agility, Mr. Tyler brings five years of experience in sport-specific and preventative maintenance training to the facility located at the Martha's Vineyard Airport, according to a press release. For more information, call 508-696-8000.
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.
Island businesses invited
The Martha's Vineyard Times has invited Island businesses to a presentation of the newspaper's new online directory features. The event will be held Thursday, February 11, from 3:30 to 6 pm, at the Wharf restaurant in Edgartown. A 20-minute demonstration of mvtimes.com's new searchable online directories will be offered attendees and repeated for late arrivals.
The Times' online business directory at mvtimes.com was launched last summer. Visitor response has been vigorous, according to the newspaper ad sales team.
"The purpose of the February 11 meeting is to help Island business owners understand the power of mvtimes.com and the new searchable directories and how they will help you meet your 2010 business goals," Times publisher Peter Oberfest said this week. The Times and Mindshare Media are partners in developing the online directories feature. Staff from both of the partner organizations will be on hand. An earlier presentation, at the Mansion House in Tisbury on January 14, was very well attended.
The online directory listings feature photographs of participating businesses and their products; descriptions of the businesses; online mapping, phone, email and live web links; virtual tours, video and menus; live links to booking and reservation pages; links to blogs, Twitter feeds, Facebook pages and other social networking channels; and all of it is live and available on any computer or capable mobile device.
Business listings in the online directories have been free through the fall, but they will convert to paid placements on April 1. For information, call a Times ad sales representative, or email them. Use this email address to RSVP for the February 11 presentation.