News in Brief
Coast Guard assists wet, cold, stranded Derby fishermen
A Coast Guard crew from Station Menemsha retrieved a trio of Derby fishermen from a stalled boat in rough sea conditions Tuesday, just west of Dogfish Bar off Aquinnah.
The unidentified men, all in their early twenties, called for assistance after their engine quit and could not be restarted in seas estimated at between three and five feet. When they were located by Coast Guard personnel aboard a 21-foot rigid hull inflatable that left Menemsha to answer the call for help, the men were standing in a center console boat that appeared to be awash because it was sitting so low in the water.
"When we saw them it looked like they were standing on the water," said Petty Officer Jose Adams, coxswain of the rescue vessel.
The Coast Guard crew took two of the three men aboard and towed the boat back to the safety of Menemsha Harbor.
The sea conditions that day exceeded the capability of the boat, said Mr. Adams. "The men knew it was rough but thought they could get away with it," he said.
The Coastguardsman said the men had only two personal floatation devices (PFDs) on board and were at risk of losing use of their radio because the boat battery was running low as a result of trying to start the engine.
"All they had was their rain gear and they were pretty cold," he said.
Petty Officer Adams said fishermen would be well advised to always check the weather forecast and exercise caution, especially this time of the year when water and air temperatures are cooling off.
"They should prepare for a situation like this by carrying a spare radio, flares, and protective equipment," he said.
Ocean Park fence to be replaced with plantings
A fence that the Oak Bluffs parks department erected in Ocean Park, which drew heated opposition from some neighbors, will be removed and replaced with plantings, a parks department official said this week.
Richard Combra Jr., Oak Bluffs highway superintendent and parks commissioner, said that his board was not aware that it needed a permit from the Oak Bluffs Cottage City Historic District Commission, to put up a fence on town parkland. He said the parks commission has agreed to remove the fence and plant several shrubs and bushes in its place. Plantings, he said, do not require permits from the Cottage City Historic District Commission.
The parks department built the fence in August to prevent a homeowner abutting Ocean Park from parking her car on town parkland.
At an Oak Bluffs selectmen's meeting in September, Henrietta Norris said that the property is hers, and that the fence cuts off her rightful access to her parking spot. A host of Ms. Norris's friends and neighbors also attended the meeting to speak out against the fence.
Yesterday, Mr. Combra said that that boundary markers and property records clearly show that the land in question is town parkland. He said that town counsel has also looked into the matter and has agreed that the town owns the land.
"We're not trying to pick on anyone, but we can't allow people to park in the park," said Mr. Combra. "If we allow one person to do it, we would have to allow everyone to do it." He added that he hopes the plantings will be more attractive and will help appease some of the neighbors who have opposed the fence.
School district to stay
in bus business
The Martha's Vineyard Regional High School district committee and the up-Island regional school committee voted Tuesday night to continue to run bus service for the remainder of the school year.
The Vineyard school system assumed responsibility for school bus service at the start of the school year on September 7. The move came after MV Coachlines abruptly backed out of its transportation contract with the Island school districts.
Instead of turning the service over to the only other bus company that had bid on the contract, Island Transport Inc., the school committees voted to take on the responsibility of bus service themselves, at least on an interim basis.
Two weeks ago, the all-Island transportation subcommittee voted to recommend to the school boards that they continue to run the service themselves.
At Tuesday's joint school committee meeting, the school boards supported the recommendation. The high school committee voted unanimously, and the up-Island school committee voted 2-1 to assume responsibility of the school buses for the remainder of the school year. The one dissenting vote was from Jeffrey "Skipper" Manter, a West Tisbury selectman and up-Island school committee member.
Yesterday, James Weiss, Vineyard superintendent of schools, said he now plans to hire a transportation manager to run the bus service. He said he thinks the decision to continue running bus service was a positive one.
"I think this gives us the opportunity to complete the year in a positive way," said Mr. Weiss. "My goal for this year is to learn more about our transportation system so that no matter what we do long-term we can do from a position of knowledge."
He also thanked the bus drivers and everyone else involved in the transportation service. "We really appreciate all their hard work," he said.
Hearing set in fatal motorcycle accident
The Edgartown clerk magistrate will hold a show cause hearing in Edgartown District Court Wednesday to consider if there is enough evidence to proceed with charges brought against an Edgartown man in connection with a fatal motorcycle accident in August, according to West Tisbury Police Chief Beth Toomey.
At approximately 7:45 pm on Sunday, August 11, David Honey, 49, and his wife and passenger, Laura Honey, 54, of Morgan Luce Lane in Oak Bluffs were returning home on Mr. Honey's Honda motorcycle along State Road when they were involved in a collision at the intersection of Scotchman's Bridge Lane with a Volvo driven by Theodore Bennett, 23, of Edgartown.
Mr. and Mrs. Honey were transported by Tri-town ambulance to Martha's Vineyard Hospital. Mr. Honey was later transported by Coast Guard jet to Massachusetts General Hospital where he died of injuries sustained in the crash. Mr. Bennett was not injured.
On August 22, West Tisbury police filed charges against Mr. Bennett of motor vehicle homicide by negligent operation, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, failure to give way at an intersection and failure to stop at a stop sign.
Mr. Honey was a highly skilled plumber employed by Walter Smith Plumbing and Heating of Edgartown and the father of a 17-year-old girl.
Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club "Duck Shoot"
On Sunday, October 23, the Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club will celebrate the Island's waterfowling traditions and rich outdoor heritage with a "Duck Shoot." Competition is open to the public on the club's skeet and trap range overlooking Sengekontacket Pond in Edgartown.
The duck shoot is sponsored by the Rod and Gun Club, The Martha's Vineyard Times, and the Wampanoag Tribe Natural Resources Department (WTNRD)
The afternoon event will feature an adult two-person team competition; a youth video target shoot open to all youngsters free of charge sponsored by the WTNRD; and a waterfowling presentation by the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society.
The adult competition is open to any two-person team. Each team will take a turn sitting in a symbolic duck blind situated in the middle of the skeet range and try to break as many clay targets as possible out of a set total sent hurtling across the range at all angles and directions. The team entry fee is $40.
Young people between the ages of 12 and 18 will be able to experience the fun and excitement of the shooting range using the tribe's video target shooting system, equipment used for hunter education training purposes.
Brett Stearns, WTNRD director, and Jeff Day, a Chilmark police officer, both of whom are certified hunter education instructors, will provide tips and answer hunting and firearms questions.
Martha's Vineyard was once home to some of the country's finest decoy carvers, men like Benjamin D. Smith of Oak Bluffs, who was born in 1866. To highlight this rich history of gunning, Matthew Stackpole, director of the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society will be present to talk about the society's collection of duck hunting objects used by Vineyarders in the past.
The Duck Shoot begins at noon, Sunday, October 23 rain or shine on the club grounds located off Third Street in Edgartown. Adult entrants must pre-register between 11:30 am and noon.
For more information, call Bob DeLisle, club president, at 508-627-3019 or Nelson Sigelman, Times news editor and fishing columnist at 508-693-6100, extension 13.
West Tisbury one-trick pony
West Tisbury will hold a special town meeting on Tuesday, October 18, at 7 pm at the West Tisbury School. The sole purpose of the meeting is to vote on a bylaw establishing a committee to administer the Community Preservation Act (CPA), which was approved by balloting at the town elections in April.
The CPA will be funded by a three percent surcharge on real estate taxes, matched by funds from the state. The money may be spent on affordable housing, open space preservation, and historic preservation, with the requirement that at least 10 percent of the funds in any year go to each of the three categories. The committee established by the bylaw will decide how to allocate the other 70 percent. The seven-member committee will include a member appointed at large by the selectmen and one member appointed by and from each of the following: the conservation commission, the planning board, the historical commission, the parks and recreation committee, the finance committee, and the affordable housing committee.
The proposed bylaw can be viewed at the town's web site (http://www.town.west-tisbury.ma.us/warrant.htm) or at the town hall.
Joseph P. Kenney 3rd.
Navy man with Island ties dies in accident in Italy
The Times yesterday received news that Petty Officer Joseph P. Kenney 3rd, 20, was killed in an accident on October 8, near Sigonella, Italy.
According to a news report in the online edition of Stars and Stripes, a daily newspaper published for the U.S. military, Mr. Kenney died when the motorcycle he was riding hit an Italian cargo truck.
Mr. Kenney grew up in Bridgeport, Connecticut and attended Jonathan Law High School, where he graduated cum laude and was a member of the National Honor Society, according to information received yesterday from the Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home.‑
He joined the United States Navy immediately upon graduation. He was assigned to Naval Station Training Center, Great Lakes, Illinois, Naval Air Station Pensacola, Florida, Naval Air Station Jacksonville, Florida, and finally to the aircraft intermediate maintenance detachment at Naval Air Station, Sigonella, Italy.
He is survived by his parents, Karen and Joseph P. Kenney, Jr. of Vineyard Haven; his sister Lauren Kenney of Bridgeport, Ct., a niece, Jade Hernandez also of Bridgeport, Ct., and his grandmother, Gertrude H. Kenney of Vineyard Haven, as well and numerous aunts, uncles and cousins.
He will be afforded full military honors at the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven at a date and time to be announced. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 508-693-1495, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs.
Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.
Edgartown School posts principal job
Edgartown Elementary School began advertising last week for a new principal to start work on July 1, 2006.
The salary range for the position is $97,000 to $110,000. Candidates must hold a master's degree in administration or curriculum, be licensed as a Massachusetts principal, and have experience as an elementary school teacher and administrator and facilitator.
When Edward Jerome, the former principal, announced last April that he planned to retire this fall, the Edgartown school committee appointed G. Paul Dulac to serve as interim principal from August 15 through June 30, 2006. Mr. Jerome officially retires tomorrow.
Applications are available from the Edgartown Elementary School's web site at www.mv.k12.ma.us or at the office of the superintendent of schools in Vineyard Haven. The application deadline is November 1, 2005.
Red Cross offers training for Katrina and Rita relief
The Martha's Vineyard chapter of the American Red Cross will begin a third set of courses on Saturday, October 15 for volunteer training for Hurricane Katrina and Rita relief efforts.
The first course, titled Introduction to Red Cross Disaster Services Operations, is scheduled for Saturday, Oct. 15. Several additional training courses will follow, including: family services on Oct. 22; mental health services on Oct. 29; and health services on Nov. 12.
"We would like to appeal to the licensed mental health and social work professionals on the Island to volunteer their time and professional skills by going on assignments to assist the Red Cross in our hurricane relief efforts," said Deborah Medders, Executive Director of the Martha's Vineyard chapter of the Red Cross.
Ms. Medders said that as the National Red Cross assesses the needs in the hurricane-devastated areas, it has become apparent that the relief services would benefit from more volunteers in the emotional and medical health fields.
Three volunteers from the Island's Red Cross chapter have already been deployed to the areas impacted by Hurricane Katrina. Cynthia Farrington, of Edgartown, and Teresa Temple, of Aquinnah, were sent to Baton Rouge, La., and Jim Pepper, of Tisbury, has been sent to Biloxi, Miss.
The three Islanders will be on Red Cross assignments for three weeks. They are among a pool of 12 Islanders who meet the eligibility criteria and have been registered with National Red Cross to take assignments in the hurricane relief efforts.
According to a Red Cross press release, since September, 42 Islanders have taken courses in Red Cross disaster services operations, including the orientation to Katrina relief, which provides an overview of the difficult conditions a volunteer could face when on assignment.
For more information about the Red Cross courses, contact the local chapter at 508-696-0092.
Jim Powell will run for state rep seat
Jim Powell of West Tisbury held a party Saturday night to officially announce his candidacy for the seat currently held by longtime Cape and Islands state representative Eric Turkington.
Mr. Powell teaches Spanish at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School and represents West Tisbury on the Martha's Vineyard Commission.
Hospital will provide free flu vaccines
Martha's Vineyard Hospital will provide free flu shots to adults 18 years and older on Tuesday, October 25 from 9 am to noon and from 1 to 4 pm.
The public is asked to enter the hospital via the Doctor's Wing where a volunteer will be available to assist them. People seeking vaccinations are asked to wear short sleeves or loose fitting clothing if possible.
Pre-registration is not required. Vaccines will be given on a first come-first served basis.
For more information, contact Donna Enos, R.N. at 508-693-0410, extension 141.
According to a press release, the Department of Public Health recommends influenza vaccine to high-risk groups, which includes individuals 65 years or age or older, people with long-term health problems or weakened immune systems, and pregnant women. The vaccine is also recommended for adults 50 to 64 years of age who want to reduce their chance of contracting the influenza virus. Individuals considering the flu vaccine are advised to visit the web sites of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, http://www.cdc.gov/flu/ or the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, http://www.state.ma.us/dph/cdc/epii/flu/flu1.htm for additional information on who should receive a flu vaccination.
In a news story last week, entitled, "Schools weigh staying in bus business," The Times incorrectly reported that two transportation subcommittee members voted against making a recommendation that the schools continue to run bus service. In fact, Judi O'Donoghue and David Morris abstained from the vote.
The Times also reported that the school still needs to establish bus routes, implement a drug-testing program for drivers, and secure the necessary insurance. Those are actually measures that the school has already completed.