News in Brief
Vineyard House purchases land for new campus site
Jerry Goodale of Vineyard Haven joined Dana Anderson, president of Vineyard House, Monday following a closing on 4.4 acres of land he sold to the non-profit organization at below market rates.
Vineyard House provides living space for Islanders in early recovery from substance abuse. The $270,000 purchase of property off Holmes Hole Road in Vineyard Haven moves the organization closer to its goal of a single campus, according to a press release.
"This is one of the most generous gifts anyone has ever given us, and we can't begin to express our thanks to Jerry," said Ms. Anderson.
Vineyard House, which runs three houses, plans to consolidate into a single facility by 2007. The new facility is expected to cost between $3 and $4 million dollars. A capital campaign is planned to raise the needed funds. For more information, call 508-693-8580 or visit the organization's web site at www.vineyardhouse.org.
blamed on alcohol
Chilmark police said that a Vineyard Haven woman was under the influence of alcohol and wasn't wearing a seatbelt when she drove her car up an embankment and into a tree, causing the car to flip over Saturday evening.
Police said that Hope Hushion, 29, who was transported to Martha's Vineyard Hospital and later airlifted to an off-Island hospital, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, and not wearing a seatbelt.
Tim Rich, Chilmark police chief, said that Ms. Hushion was listed in stable condition yesterday afternoon.
Chief Rich said that police received a call reporting a vehicle rollover on South Road near Meetinghouse Road, shortly before 6:30 pm on Saturday. When emergency responders arrived they found Ms. Hushion's 1993 Acura hatchback upside down in the road.
Police determined that Ms. Hushion was driving up-Island when she lost control of the vehicle, drove off the side of the road, and struck a tree. Her car capsized, finally landing upside down on the roadway.
Chief Rich said that Ms. Hushion sustained serious injuries, but that the crash could have been much worse.
"It was fortunate for her, and for the motoring public, that she didn't crash into someone head-on," said Chief Rich. "She is also lucky that she wasn't ejected from the vehicle, because she wasn't wearing her seatbelt."
Three contests on Edgartown ballot
Voters will decide three races in the Edgartown election next month, according to nomination papers filed with the town clerk on Feb. 23.
The annual town election is scheduled for April 13.
Among the contests, Kevin Searle is challenging David Murphy, the incumbent, for a three-year term on the board of health.
Timothy Connelly and Jay Guest are vying for a three-year term on the wastewater treatment commission.
The final race is a three-way contest for two seats on the board of library trustees. The three candidates are Herbert Foster, the incumbent, David Blackburn, and Richard Fenn.
A number of candidates are running unopposed. They include Arthur Smadbeck, incumbent selectman and chairman of the board, who is running for another three-year term.
Laurence Mercier is running unopposed for another three-year term on the board of assessors.
William Bishop 3rd and Alison Cannon are seeking three- and five-year terms, respectively, on the planning board.
Wanda Williams, the incumbent town clerk, and Melissa Kuehne, incumbent town collector, are both seeking reelection to their posts.
Leslie Baynes is seeking another three-year term on the school committee, and Glen Searle is running for another three-year term on the parks commission.
The board of registrars has until next Thursday to certify all the names that will appear on the ballot. The candidates have until March 13 to withdraw from the election.
Four-way fight for two selectman seats in Oak Bluffs
Four candidates will battle for two seats on the Oak Bluffs board of selectmen in the annual town election next month.
Gregory Coogan, incumbent selectmen and chairman of the board, and Roger Wey incumbent selectman, are running for reelection against McKinley Starks and Christine Todd.
The only other contested race is a four-way fight for three seats on the finance committee. Kris Chvatal is seeking election to one of the three-year terms along with three incumbents who are seeking reelection. The incumbents are Frank Case 3rd, Mimi Davisson, and Peter Palches. Michael Perry is the only candidate seeking the single two-year appointment to the Finance Committee.
Among the other uncontested races, William White is seeking another three-year term on the board of health. Judith O'Donaghue is running for another three-year term on the school committee. Erik Albert is running for a five-year term on the planning board. Susan Desmarais and Kevin Johnson are running for two available seats on the wastewater commission. Joseph deBettencourt is seeking reelection as tree warden. Jesse Law 3rd is running for another three-year term on the cemetery commission. Allan deBettencourt is seeking reelection to the parks commission, and David Richardson is seeking another one-year term as town moderator.
The candidates filed their nomination papers with the town clerk on Feb. 23. Candidates have until March 13 to withdraw from the election, which is scheduled for April 13.
North Bluff garage owner concedes one appeal
In an agreement entered in Superior Court Tuesday, the owner of a controversial garage in the North Bluff neighborhood of Oak Bluffs accepted the building inspector's decision to revoke his building permit.
Joseph Moujabber, Oak Bluffs businessman, had appealed the Oak Bluff's zoning board of appeal's (ZBA) decision in July 2004 to uphold the building inspector's revocation of the building permit for the garage located at 10 Sea View Avenue Extension.
The judgment stated, "The Zoning Board of Appeals' decision properly, and within the board's authority, upheld the decision of the Oak Bluffs building inspector... to revoke building permit No. 2003-347."
Yesterday, Michael Vhay, attorney for Mr. Moujabber, would not comment on how the agreement was reached.
This is just the latest chapter in the ongoing saga over Mr. Moujabber's controversial garage. Mr. Moujabber still has two other appeals pending in Superior Court regarding the structure.
The issues over the garage first arose in November 2003, when Mr. Moujabber applied for a building permit to replace an existing, single-story, 240-square-foot garage. The replacement that Mr. Moujabber erected stands three stories tall, includes sliding glass doors, balconies, and a roof deck.
Neighbors, outraged by the size of the structure, argued that the garage was larger than the project originally applied for in the building permit, and that Richard Mavro, then Oak Bluffs building inspector, did not have the authority to issue a building permit in the first place.
Following a written opinion from Oak Bluffs town counsel, in May 2004, Mr. Mavro revoked the building permit. Mr. Moujabber appealed the decision to the ZBA. Two months later the ZBA voted to uphold the revocation. That was the issue settled in this week's court agreement.
The fight is not over. On Nov. 16, 2004, the Copeland Plan District review board denied a request from Mr. Moujabber for a certificate of appropriateness to move the massive garage about 10 feet and attach it to his house next door. Two weeks later, on Dec. 1, 2004 Mr. Mavro ordered the garage demolished.
Mr. Moujabber appealed both the Copeland review board's decision and the demolition order. Those two appeals are still pending in Superior Court.
SSA supports amendment targeting Cape wind farm
The Steamship Authority last week announced its support of an amendment added to a $8.7 billion Coast Guard appropriations bill by U.S. Rep. Don Young, a powerful Republican lawmaker from Alaska, that would cripple Cape Wind's effort to build the nation's first offshore wind farm in Nantucket Sound.
The amendment proposed by Representative Young, chairman of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, would ban all wind turbines within 1.5 nautical miles of shipping and ferry lanes. Cape Wind officials said if approved it could prove fatal to their project.
In a letter dated Feb. 23, Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, said the buffer zone appears to be a reasonable means to protect ferry traffic. SSA ferries travel well within the zone established in the amendment that must be approved by a House and Senate conference committee that is working to reconcile differing versions of the bill.
This week, Mr. Lamson said the SSA's opposition is based on navigational concerns and is not new. He made the decision to send a letter he said, "Because the timing was right."
Mr. Lamson wrote that a "wind energy facility consisting of 130 wind powered generators in a grid occupying 24 square miles" could interfere with the ability of SSA captains to maneuver.
"Under certain wind and sea conditions, it occasionally becomes necessary for our captains to use tacking maneuvers outside of our normal navigational tracks to ease the motion of the vessel and allow for a greater margin of safety with regard to the passengers and freight on our vessels, or to provide a greater margin of safety between vessels transiting within established ferry routes," he wrote. "The area is very congested at times with commercial and recreational traffic. With the wind farm as currently proposed for Nantucket Sound, it has the potential for creating a significant hazard to safe navigation for our vessels and other users of the waterways."
Mr. Lamson also cited a 2004 British study that concluded in part that the presence of wind turbines created considerable clutter on radar displays.
He wrote, "A separation zone of at least 1.5 nautical miles, appears to be a reasonable requirement in order to minimize the potential radar interference, navigational risks and disruptions of service that we are likely to encounter, especially in adverse conditions such as fog, high winds and high seas."
Senator Edward Kennedy, a foe of the wind farm, supports the amendment. Although he has not taken a position on the wind farm, Senator John Kerry opposed the amendment and lack of debate. In a statement to the Cape Cod Times, he said the amendment was "an insult to Americans who care about good government."
The bill must go back to the Senate and the House for approval.
Locally, the SSA meets Tuesday at 9:30 am in Woods Hole. The agenda for the monthly meeting will be light said Mr. Lamson and will include an update on several boatline projects.
The complete text of Mr. Lamson's letter to members of the Senate-House conference committee appears on the OpEd Page this morning.
for Doris Thorington
Doris E. Thorington of Oak Bluffs died yesterday at Windemere Nursing Home. She was 83.
A funeral mass will be held Saturday at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church, Oak Bluffs at 1pm. Burial will take place at a later date at the VA National Cemetery in Bourne. Visiting hours in the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home on Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road will be held on Friday, from 7-9 pm and Saturday at 11:30 am. Donations in her memory may be made to the Vineyard Nursing Association, P.O. Box 2549, or to the Oak Bluffs Public Library, P.O. Box 2039 both in Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book.