News in Brief
Christine Todd gains one vote in Oak Bluffs recount
Christine Todd, who lost in the April 13 election by just five votes to incumbent Roger Wey in a four-way race to elect two Oak Bluffs selectmen, increased her vote total by one, after an official vote recount. The recount, requested by Ms. Todd, took place Monday afternoon.
The hand recount was conducted in the Oak Bluffs Library and revealed one uncounted ballot. Although Ms. Todd gained one vote, Mr. Wey remains the winner. Incumbent Gregory Coogan also gained one vote, while the totals for Mr. Wey and McKinley Starks remained the same. Town clerk Deborah Ratcliff said the cause of the miscount has not been determined.
The final vote tally was: Mr. Coogan 610; Mr. Wey 489; Ms. Todd 485; and Mr. Starks 157.
With his win confirmed, Mr. Wey will begin his seventh term as a selectman. He also heads the Oak Bluffs senior center. Ms. Todd serves on the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals.
Russ Lawrence of Edgartown, a member of the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Association, directs a backhoe operator in removing rusting fence posts along Norton Point Beach. Photo courtesy of TTOR
TTOR, fishermen begin Norton Point Beach cleanup
With plenty of volunteer help from the Martha's Vineyard Surfcasters Association, The Trustees of Reservations (TTOR) removed fence posts and rope from Norton Point Beach during a daylong cleanup on April 13.
"They were able to remove two-plus miles of old, rusty fence posts and poly rope from the beach in less than four hours," said Chris Kennedy, TTOR regional director. "What a great crew."
The Trustees, a private conservation organization that now manages extensive beachfront on Chappaquiddick, signed an agreement on March 31 to assume management of the county-owned beach,
The two-mile strip of barrier beach that links Katama to Chappaquiddick is an important transportation route and recreational resource. The beach is also considered prime nesting habitat for protected shorebirds.
Over the years, county beach management has proved inadequate, resulting in lengthy closures to protect nesting shorebirds and a beach littered with half-buried, rusting fence posts, decaying rope, and other assorted debris.
The Trustees management plan includes setting up an air station, providing full-time ranger coverage, and shorebird monitoring. The nonprofit statewide conservation organization already owns and/or manages approximately 12 miles of beach and more than 800 acres on Chappaquiddick, extending from the county's Norton Point beach to the tip of Cape Poge.
Island man has fatal heart attack on SSA ferry
A Vineyard Haven man who boarded the Steamship Authority (SSA) ferry Nantucket for a 2:30 pm departure Thursday suffered a heart attack and collapsed while walking up a stairway from the mezzanine level to the dining area.
Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, said crewmembers immediately went to the aid of David Ganong of Vineyard Haven and alerted emergency medical service personnel, who responded to the Vineyard Haven terminal.
Mr. Ganong was taken by ambulance to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital. "We learned later that unfortunately he didn't make it," said Mr. Lamson.
The boat was fully loaded and preparing to depart when the emergency occurred.
Mr. Lamson said each boat is equipped with a portable defibrillator and crewmembers are trained in CPR.
Mr. Ganong opened a dental office in the historic Luce House at 18 Beach St. in Vineyard Haven in July 2004. A memorial service will be held at 1 pm Saturday at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs.
West Tisbury assessors invite taxpayers to meeting
The West Tisbury board of assessors invites all West Tisbury taxpayers to a meeting to address questions and concerns related to the assessing process.
Topics to be discussed include all aspects of the work of the assessing department, including data collection, classification of property, market analysis, and valuation, according to a press release. Board members will also provide information on Proposition 2.5, exemptions, abatements and answer taxpayer questions.
"We are putting on this forum in response to direct requests from taxpayers," said Cynthia Mitchell, a member of the board of assessors. "Concerns raised as a result of the high-profile Bill Graham case will also be part of the discussion."
The meeting will be held at 4:30 pm on Thursday, May 4, at the Howes House.
Photo by Linda Wood
Sign of the times
A road sign in English and Portuguese advised motorists to detour around road construction in Katama Monday.
No precise figures are available for the Island's Brazilian population, but their increasing presence has led Island officials to increase the amount of information offered in Portuguese.
Aquinnah annual budget hangs on Prop 2.5 overrides
Faced with an increase in the town's school assessment and without a surplus of free cash, Aquinnah selectmen Monday approved an annual town meeting warrant that will ask voters to do something they have not done in a long time - raise taxes.
The annual town meeting warrant and election ballot will present voters with 12 separate Proposition 2.5 override questions. The questions will include requests for money needed to fund the town's regional assessments.
Voters will be asked to approve overrides to fund the town's assessment from the Martha's Vineyard Commission ($27,394), the Martha's Vineyard shellfish group ($27,000), the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority ($6,055), the regional refuse district ($23,102), and the Up-Island Council on Aging ($27,550).
Aquinnah voters, notoriously hostile to Proposition 2.5 overrides, will be asked to approve a total of $215,303 in ballot questions at the May 10 election. If all Proposition 2.5 questions are approved, the average tax bill of $2,910, based on an assessed property value of $750,000, would rise by approximately $280, according to town officials.
The shellfish/harbormaster operating budget, an expense that normally is included in the general operating budget, will also appear as a Proposition 2.5 override question.
Town leaders are working to absorb a $174,000 jump in the town's annual school assessment.
The annual town meeting will begin at 7 pm, May 9. The annual town election is May 10.
From left, an Edgartown police car driven by officer Mike Snowden makes a dramatic exit in a training video in production by cameraman Dillard Morrison, assistant director Michael Cataldo, and soundman Chris Mara of the Emergency Film Group. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Edgartown wastewater plant, take one
Although the Edgartown wastewater treatment plan might seem a far cry from Hollywood, it provided a dramatic backdrop for a training video filmed on Monday by the Emergency Film Group.
The film required a bit of poetic license, since it simulated what would happen in the event of a chlorine gas leak at a wastewater treatment plant. None of the Island's plants uses chlorine gas.
The Vineyard-based production company wanted to use an Island location, and the Edgartown plant in particular, since it is the largest wastewater treatment facility. Joe Alosso, facilities manager, said he was happy to accommodate the filmmakers and found the process fascinating.
Making their movie debuts, David Thompson, chief operator at the Edgartown wastewater plant, and Mike Snowden, an Edgartown police officer, provided local talent for their film roles.
The training video will be used by wastewater treatment plants and state agencies. Mr. Alosso said he was promised a copy of the film, which he hopes to make available for viewing on Channel 13.
During the early morning hours of Wednesday, April 19, Sharky's Cantina on Circuit Ave. in Oak Bluffs was robbed. If anyone has any information regarding this case, the owners of Sharky's ask that they call the Oak Bluffs Police at 508-696-0303 or 508-693-0750. Sharky's is offering a $5,000 reward to anyone who supplies the necessary information to prosecute the robber or robbers. JB Blau, Josh Aronie, Jesse Martin of Sharky's ask the public to keep an eye out: "If you see somebody making unusual purchases, acting out of character, or odd behavior in general and you think it may be related, we ask you to let the Police know. Thank you."
Thorncroft wins 17th four-diamond award
The Thorncroft Inn in Vineyard Haven received its 17th consecutive Four Diamond Award from AAA at a ceremony in Boston on April 3. The 14-room inn on Main Street dates from 1918 and was originally part of the Thorncroft Estate, built by a grain merchant from Chicago.
The award reflects "an obvious level of quality throughout...combined with a high degree of hospitality, service and attention to detail," said AAA in a press release.
Owners Lynn and Karl Buder say their marketing plan is built around romantic getaways for couples. "We find consistency is the key element," Karl Buder said in a phone conversation on Monday.
The inn was one of eight properties on the Cape and Islands and the only one on Martha's Vineyard to receive the award. For more information, go to thorncroft.com.
Buying club donates to non-profits
Our Island Club, a discount buying program for Islanders, announced it would distribute over $13,000 to more than 100 Island charities and non-profit organizations as part of the club's 2005 membership enrollment drive.
According to a press release, the club will make its largest single donation to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard. The agency will receive $1,577.
The donation arrived at just the right time for Hospice, said Terre Young, Hospice's administrator. The donation will be shared between the Christopher Fund, which helps to cover patient's needs, and a ten-week new volunteer training program.
Other organizations that will receive donations are Martha's Vineyard Community Services, the Food Pantry, Martha's Vineyard Hospital and YMCA.
Our Island Club was started in November 2005 to provide discounts to year-round residents for products and services, while benefiting Island charities and non-profits. According to the company, 20 percent of each annual membership fee - $79 for a single person and $99 for a family - is donated, and members can stipulate which organization it will benefit.
"This is a great community effort and an effective way to help a broad base of Island organizations," said Geoff Rose, a Club founder.
For more information, visit
Curves donates pounds of food
The owners and Island members of Curves, the workout center located in Vineyard Haven that specializes in helping women drop unwanted pounds, donated 401 pounds of food to the Island Food Pantry in March.
The donations were made as part of Curves's 8th annual national food drive, coordinated locally by owners Sandie Burke-Gaudet and Beverly Burke and the Curves staff.
The Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative (MVDC) will hold the second workshop in its Creating a Professional Organization series for Island non-profit organizations. The series is designed to help non-profits create and sustain an organization infrastructure that will attract and keep donors, according to a press release.
"Creating and Managing an Effective Board", will be held on Thursday, April 27th at the Martha's Vineyard Hebrew Center in Vineyard Haven.
The workshop is designed to help attendees learn the importance of recruiting and managing an effective board of directors; identify where their organization is in its life cycle, and what type of board is best for it right now; and gain useful advice on managing the transition to a stronger board focus on fundraising, as well as successful nominating and recruiting strategies.
The cost is $50 per person, including all course materials and a continental breakfast. To register, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 508-696-4647.
ENB announces promotions
Fielding Moore, executive vice president andchief executive officer of the Edgartown National Bank, announced the promotion of Chele Reekie to vice president of retail banking and Ellen Biskis to vice president as controller and compliance officer.
Ms. Reekie has been with the Edgartown National Bank since 1999 and Ms. Biskis since 2004. Mr. Moore congratulated both employees for their hard work and commitment to the customers of the Edgartown National Bank and community of Martha's Vineyard.
An obituary for Frank J. Williams of Edgartown published on April 6 failed to include the name of his brother Gary Williams of Edgartown.