News in Brief
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Oak Bluffs library open for business
The newly completed Oak Bluffs library on the corner of Penacook Avenue and School Street opened its doors to the public over the weekend.
Town officials said that a grand opening ceremony is being planned for a future date.
The new 18,000-square-foot, $3.8 million facility includes separate areas for audio-visual materials, meeting rooms, a historical room, and a children's library. New features also include free high-speed wireless Internet access for anyone with a PC or Mac notebook. Users can access the Internet from virtually anywhere in the library or even just outside the building.
The long-awaited new library replaces the cramped facility in a former grocery store on Penacook Avenue. That 2,407-square-foot building had no room for expansion and limited handicapped access.
The new library hours are from 10 am to 8 pm on Tuesday and Thursday, and from 10 am to 5 pm Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday.
For more information on the new library, visit the Oak Bluffs town web site at www.ci.oak-bluffs.ma.us, and click on "Public Library" in the toolbar on the left side of the page.
Doug Reid and Beth Kramer. File photo by Ralph Stewart
Popular Biga Bakery changes hands
Almost 10 years ago, Beth Kramer and her husband Doug Reid opened Biga Bakery selling fresh-baked bread, pastries, soups and sandwiches out of a small shop at the end of the building that houses the West Tisbury post office near Up-Island Cronig's. The bakery quickly became a popular lunch and coffee stop with Vineyard regulars.
On Nov. 15, Ms. Kramer and Mr. Reid will sell the business to Fella and Jane Cecilio, well-known caterers and something of an Island institution in their own right.
Speaking from behind the counter Tuesday, Mr. Reid said he and his wife plan to close the doors sometime next week, possibly on Thursday. He said the most rewarding part of the past 9 years has been the interaction with the people who have come through the doors. "This community has been fabulous to Beth and myself," he said.
Mr. Reid said he and his wife wish Fella well and will be forever grateful to the community.
Sometime around Thanksgiving, Fella's will open where Biga's once was. Jane Cecilio said Fella's will be open for breakfast and lunch. Although the menu will change, and include Fella specialties like chili and chowder, Biga regulars will still be able to get the popular breakfast sandwich. "We saw no reason to discontinue something people like so much," she said.
Asked what prompted the couple, who operate Fella Caterers, to take over Biga, Ms. Cecilio said it seemed like a natural transition.
MVRHS Field hockey team loses heartbreaker
Kayla Correiro's goal with 2:26 remaining lifted 18th- ranked Bishop Stang to a 3-2 victory over the Vineyard in the opening round of the MIAA Division 2 State Tournament.
Kathryn Debettencourt and Phebe Bates scored for the Vineyarders.
The loss was the final game for Vineyard Head Coach Lisa Knight, after 18 seasons. Coach Knight guided her teams to several playoff appearances, including the 2000 State Final. She was honored for her distinguished service in women's sports at Faneuil Hall in February.
West Tisbury man charged with trafficking cocaine
A West Tisbury man faces several drug-related charges, including trafficking cocaine, after he was arrested in the area around Hart Haven in Oak Bluffs, where police said he had been smoking crack cocaine.
Gregory Leland, 29, was arrested and charged with trafficking cocaine, possession of a class B substance, possession of a class D substance, and having an open container of alcohol in a motor vehicle.
According to Oak Bluffs police, officers on routine patrol in the area around Hart Haven noticed Mr. Leland's vehicle off of a remote dirt road. As the officers approached the vehicle they saw that Mr. Leland had an open container of beer in the car. The officers approached the car and began questioning Mr. Leland.
According to a police department press release, "Upon a brief investigation Leland admitted to officers that he had been smoking crack cocaine and had more cocaine in the vehicle."
When officers searched Mr. Leland's car they found nine grams of cocaine, as well as drug paraphernalia, including a crack pipe.
Lt. Timothy Williamson of the Oak Bluffs police department said the Mr. Leland was cooperative, and gave police permission to search his home in West Tisbury.
Upon searching his house, officers found 77 grams of cocaine, ecstasy pills, and a small amount of marijuana.
Lieutenant Williamson said that the cocaine had a street value of approximately $7,000 to $10,000.
"It obviously wasn't for personal use," he said.
Mr. Leland is the son of Leslie Leland, Dukes County commissioner.
West Tisbury man sentenced to 15-20 years in state prison
Brian Frost, 27, of West Tisbury, was sentenced to 15 to 20 years in a state prison last week, following his conviction last month on several charges including drug trafficking.
On Oct. 20, a Superior Court jury convicted Mr. Frost of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute, possession of heroin with intent to distribute, and possession of an illegal firearm. Due to Mr. Frost's prior drug convictions, Judge Thomas Connolly held a trial by judge following the verdict and convicted Mr. Frost of receiving a second and subsequent conviction of trafficking cocaine and being an armed career criminal.
Sentencing was delayed until Oct. 27. Judge Connolly sentenced Mr. Frost to seven to 10 years in a state prison for the heroin conviction, and another seven to 10 years for the cocaine conviction. For the conviction on the armed career criminal charge, Judge Connolly sentenced Mr. Frost to three to five years, to be served concurrently with the heroin sentence.
Mr. Frost will serve his jail time at the Massachusetts Correctional Institution at Cedar Junction, in Walpole.
Red Cross hurricane relief training continues
The Martha's Vineyard chapter of the American Red Cross will begin its last set of courses on Thursday, Nov. 10 for volunteer training for Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.
Called an "Introduction to Red Cross Disaster Services Operations," the course includes an overview of the hardship conditions that volunteers could face when on assignment.
"This will be the last set of disaster-related courses we will be conducting at this time," said Sharry Stevens-Grunden, in a press release issued this week. Ms. Stevens-Grunden has been coordinating the training that the local Red Cross chapter has offered since September.
"We plan to assess the community's interest in Red Cross disaster services training after the first of the year, and if there is an interest in continuing training we will certainly hold [more classes]," she wrote.
The Nov. 10 training course will be followed by a Red Cross Health Services class specifically for licensed nurses. That day-long course will give participants the skills needed to work in the health services field during disaster relief operations.
According to the press release, the National Red Cross needs more volunteers in the areas of emotional and medical health.
For more information about the Red Cross courses, contact the local chapter at 508-696-0092.
Saturday flu clinic expands services and information
A planned flu clinic Saturday sponsored by the Visiting Nurse Service (VNS) of Martha's Vineyard Community Services and the Vineyard Nursing Association (VNA) has been expanded to include additional services offered by multiple agencies.
The clinic will be held in the gymnasium of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School from 10 am to 2 pm.
Information and screenings will include: Dental Screenings through the Vineyard Smiles program of Vineyard Health Access; free blood pressure screenings provided by Island EMS; Lyme disease prevention and avian flu information provided by the local boards of health agents; information on the early detection of breast cancer from the Vineyard Nursing Association's Women's Health Network; information on prostate health from the Prostate Support Group and Visiting Nurse Service; information from Poison Control, Smoke Free Zone, and booster seats will be provided to grandparents who care for young children through the Early Childhood Prevention Program of MVCS; information about changes in Medicare's Prescription plan will be explained by Mary Leddy of the Vineyard Health Access program; fire and home safety information will be available from Island fire chiefs; advice for preparing for winter, emergency preparedness and the benefits of Infant/Child CPR for adults with grandchildren will be available through the American Red Cross; information on protecting your family from the dangers of lead poisoning and effects of radon in your home provided by Wampanoag Tribe of Aquinnah; and information about the water testing program on Martha's Vineyard will also be available.
For more information, call the VNS at 508-693-7900, ext. 255, or the VNA at 508-693-6184, extension 10
MVC hosts training for town planning and zoning boards
Two workshops targeted at members of town planning boards and zoning boards of appeals will be offered by the citizen planner training collaborative in conjunction with the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) in November.
Both sessions will be held at the MVC offices in the Stone Building in Oak Bluffs. The first, site plan review, will be held on Saturday, November 5, at 9 am. The second, planning with community support, will be held on Wednesday, November 13, at 6:30 pm.
The cost for each workshop is $25 per person. Brochures and registration forms are available at the MVC, 33 New York Ave., Oak Bluffs, or by contacting CPTC at 413-545-2188. For more information from the MVC, contact Bill Veno at 508-693-3453, ext. 15.
Blankets for Biloxi
Richard Knabel of West Tisbury has begun a drive to collect blankets for hurricane victims in Biloxi, Miss. Mr. Knabel told The Times he has been corresponding with a longtime friend, Robert Titzler, MD, who has been volunteering in Biloxi. Dr. Titzler reported that conditions are deplorable, and that although the crisis seems to have been forgotten by the media, need remains great. He wrote that as the weather is getting colder and living conditions remain marginal, warm blankets are needed.
Mr. Knabel, who explained that sending blankets is a way to help fill an identified physical need, plans to collect donations for the next few weeks. The Rev. Al Stefanik at Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven has offered space in the parish hall on Woodlawn Ave. as a drop-off station. Blankets should be clean and in good condition.
Dr. Titzler writes, "gifts of the practical kind, especially blankets, as well as cash specifically designated for use to purchase items named, or to support the volunteers with housing, meals, and working supplies can be sent to : Hands On USA, 2113, Pass Road, Biloxi, MS 39531."
In the past several weeks, Vineyarders have been extraordinarily generous in donating stuffed animals, which are now being shipped to hurricane victims housed in shelters (see story in Community, Page 13). Mr. Knabel is hoping Islanders will be just as generous making this fall a little warmer for those who are struggling to survive.
"If you wish to send a truckload of blankets to Hands On USA, just drop them off at the door here and watch the volunteers get them delivered in a day," Dr. Titzler wrote.
For more information, call Richard Knabel, 508-696-9134.
Acupuncture and Acutouch, located at 86 North William Street in Vineyard Haven, has announced the addition of Upledger CranioSacral Therapy and Visceral Manipulation to its practice by manual therapist Malinda Mayer on the first and third Fridays of each month, beginning in November. Call 1-508-564-5242 for an appointment.