News in Brief
Spring construction planned for Lagoon Pond ramp
The long-awaited construction of the Lagoon Pond launch ramp and parking lot will begin in early spring, according to Tisbury harbormaster Jay Wilbur, who was notified by the state's public access board (PAB) about the plans this week.
The PAB received 12 bid packages for the project and will open them on February 23. Once the contract is awarded, the PAB expects construction to take 90 days and be finished by summer, Mr. Wilbur said.
In addition to a new launch ramp, the existing pier will be replaced with a longer L-shaped dock. The parking lot also will be rebuilt to improve drainage and to add a protective stone bulkhead.
Tisbury selectmen discuss spring projects
Stung by Cupid's arrow, the Tisbury selectmen made short work of their Valentine's Day agenda.
After two postponements last year, harbormaster Jay Wilbur announced the public access board (PAB) plans to start the construction of the Lagoon Pond boat launch ramp and parking lot this spring. The PAB expects construction to be finished by summer, Mr. Wilbur said.
Fred LaPiana, director of public works, announced the garage facility that will house the town's new fire truck is almost complete and should be finished in time for its arrival. Fire Chief John Schilling said he expects delivery of the truck on either Feb. 24 or 25.
Due to recent vandalism on markers that help fire fighters locate hydrants buried in snow, Chief Schilling also asked for help from residents in reporting missing or damaged markers to Tisbury Water Works.
In response to selectman Tristan Israel's concerns about after-hours phone coverage, Ted Saulnier, Tisbury police chief, agreed to set up an answering machine. He said an operator is available at night at 508-693-1212.
In other business, the selectmen agreed to accept an invitation from the Oak Bluffs selectmen to join them in applying for a regional small cities grant. The program, funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, will provide up to $30,000 to each eligible low- to moderate-income household for home repairs critical to safety and code compliance.
At their next meeting on Feb. 28, the selectmen plan to interview candidates for appointment to the Community Preservation Committee.
"It's amazing what love will do," declared Ray LaPorte, board chair, at the meeting's conclusion, as people quickly headed off to Valentine's Day celebrations.
Airport night spot
gets new name
The Hot Tin Roof, a legendary Island nightspot, has a new name and logo to go along with new owners. The nightclub located at the Martha's Vineyard Airport once owned by singer/songwriter Carly Simon is now called Outerland, according to Barry Rosenthal of West Tisbury, new co-owner/operator with his brother Arthur.
The Rosenthals said the new name derives from the term used by naturalists to describe the islands in the stretch of water from Long Island Sound to Nantucket Sound.
According to a press release, Outerland will continue to present a varied selection of live, world-class musical entertainment. The musical styles will span every genre, including pop, rock, folk, reggae, blue grass, hip-hop, jazz and more.
The nightclub will continue to operate under a seasonal license from April 1 through Jan, 15 of each year.
SSA volumes perk up
For the first time in several years, the Steamship Authority reports some good news about traffic volumes. As of Feb. 7, passengers on the Vineyard runs were up 12.4 percent compared with 2005 figures. Autos were up 4.8 percent according to the same year over year comparison, and trucks (freight) jumped 24.5 percent.
For Nantucket travel, passengers were up 8.9 percent, autos 8.3 percent, and freight 26.3 percent.
On both Vineyard and Nantucket runs, the heavily discounted excursion fares for islanders whose travel begins from the island are up 8.8 percent for Vineyarders and 22.9 percent for Nantucketers. More expensive regular fares for auto travel to and from both islands are down, compared with 2005 data.
In a news story published last week titled "ATVs stir debate," we mischaracterized Lisa Rogers's efforts to gather support to create an ATV club and find a location to ride ATVs legally on Martha's Vineyard. She has not launched a campaign to legalize ATV riding.