News in Brief
Public hearing scheduled for outdoor furnace regs
The Tisbury board of health (BOH) will hold a public hearing next Tuesday at 4:30 pm, at the Tisbury Senior Center, regarding proposed regulations for outdoor wood-burning boilers (OWB).
As defined in the draft regulations, an OWB is a "wood-fired boiler surrounded by a water jacket in an insulated freestanding shed with a smoke stack and used to heat water that is carried by underground pipes to provide heat and/or hot water to a building."
The proposed regulations would require a permit from the board of health before installing an OWB. An application for a permit would have to include a map indicating the proposed boiler's location in relation to all other buildings and separation distances from the boiler to all structures within 500 feet.
Under the proposed regulations, no boiler would be approved for installation within 50 feet of a house it is serving or within 200 feet of any other house. Boilers located between 200 to 500 feet of a neighboring house would require a smokestack height of at least 50 percent of the height of the eaves line of the highest abutting residence, plus two feet.
Operation of the boilers would be limited to the heating season, Oct. 1 to May 1. Only dry, seasoned, untreated wood may be burned in the units. Any violation of the regulation may be punished by a $50 fine for the first offense, and any succeeding day at $250 per day of offense.
The proposed regulation would exempt boilers installed before the effective date of the regulations.
Unlike indoor wood-burning stoves, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) does not yet regulate OWBs. Last year, New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer released a report focusing on the harmful effects of OWBs and calling for EPA standards.
In a response to his report, the Outdoor Furnace Manufacturer's Caucus of the Hearth, Patio, and Barbeque Association came out in support of EPA standards, as well.
At next week's hearing, members of the public can voice their opinions, both pro and con, for consideration by the board of health in making a decision on adopting any regulations.
Wampanoag wind test tower gets public airing
The Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) plans a public hearing this evening on a proposed 150-foot meteorological tower.
The tower is designed to measure the wind and collect other relevant scientific data over a six- to nine-month period as part of a wind turbine feasibility study funded with a $50,000 grant from the Massachusetts Technology Collaborative.
The Wampanoag planning department wants a setback variance and special permit to allow for the cutting of trees from the Wampanoag land use commission. The public hearing is at 5:30 pm, in the tribal administration building located off State Road in Aquinnah.
Paul Reeves, a Boston-based wind energy developer who says he wants to level the playing field for Native Americans and people of color, is conducting the wind feasibility study.
Sara Thulin, chairman of the Aquinnah conservation commission, said the conservation commission must also review the project, but there is no schedule for doing so yet.
Gasoline prices rise
That was the headline of a Times news highlight published on May 24, 1995. The price of gas had just risen sharply, and the nationwide average had reached $1.19 for self-service regular gas, according to the report. In the state, the average for self-service regular gas was $1.27 and $1.47 for self-serve premium.
Remember the good old days?
File photo by J.J. Gonson
32nd Annual Kids Trout Derby is Saturday
Rain or shine, youngsters and adults will gather around Duarte's Pond off Lambert's Cove Road in West Tisbury Saturday morning for the 32nd annual Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club Kids Trout Derby.
Trout, donuts, hot dogs, worms, and hot chocolate will be in ample supply. The club spent almost $4,000 to stock the pond with trout just for the morning, said Cooper "Coop" Gilkes of Edgartown, long-time tournament chairman.
The annual free fishing event kicks off at first light, approximately 6 am. The fun ends at 9 am.
Young fisherman in numerous categories will have an opportunity to win many different awards and prizes that have been donated by the club and a long list of sponsors. The cost to stock the pond with hundreds of trout and run the tournament is paid for by the club and many generous sponsors.
Club officials appreciate the cooperation of the public in holding off fishing in the days prior to the tournament to increase the odds that the kids will catch some fish.
Coop says there is no early fishing allowed, or wading. He reminds parents and guardians this is a kids' fishing tournament and asks that kids be the only ones fishing.
Volunteers are always needed. For information, or to help out, call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909.
Frank Fenner, Janet Buhrman elected in Chilmark
In the only race on the election ballot, Chilmark voters last Wednesday picked incumbent Frank Fenner over challenger Steve Gallas by a vote of 282 to 104.
Janet Buhrman, running as a write-in candidate, gathered enough votes to beat out Robert Thorpe for a seat on the board of health. The vote tally was 221 to 172.
A total of 405 voters, or approximately half of Chilmark's electorate of 806 voters, went to the polls.
Write-in candidates were needed to fill several gaps on the ballot. Frank Yeomans, the only candidate on the ballot for a three-year term on the finance committee, sailed to victory with 296 votes, but there were not enough write-in votes to fill two additional seats.
With three open seats on the planning board, Mitchell Posin (329 votes) and William Meegan (290), the only candidates on the ballot, were easily re-elected. If he accepts, Tim Lasker (51 write-in votes) would fill the remaining seat on the planning board. Virginia Dyer received 30 write-in votes.
Keith Emin, with 15 write-in votes, was the top vote-getter in a horse race for election as the surveyor of wood, lumber and bark. He beat out 10 other contenders, including David Flanders, Josh Scott, and Mitchell Posin, seven votes each.
Running unopposed were: Leonard Jason Jr., assessor (338); Jane Slater, library trustee (334); John Flender, cemetery commissioner (334); Mitchell Posin, fence viewer (335); Pamela Goff, Land Bank commissioner (313); and Keith Emin, tree warden (357).
Voters approved the only ballot question, a request to borrow the amount needed for repairs to the fill dock, 305 to 63.
Chilmark will meet on Middle Line Road
Chilmark selectmen Tuesday night agreed to meet with members of the town's housing committee and the Island Housing Trust (IHT) at 4:30 pm on Thursday, May 11 to discuss the issues surrounding the town's Middle Line Road affordable housing project.
Those issues include a recent state Ethics Commission letter that raised roadblocks to the involvement of South Mountain Company CEO John Abrams, who was a consultant for the project and serves on the IHT board, which submitted the only proposal to build the project; the need for a performance bond; the town's total financial commitment, and rent prices.
The selectmen said they would decide whether to name Mr. Abrams a special municipal employee. Doing so would enable him to avoid running afoul of ethics laws.
Conducting their first meeting following town elections last week, the board elected Riggs Parker chairman and Warren Doty vice chairman.
In other business, the board discussed "Janelle," a boat owned by Stanley Larsen, town shellfish constable and fish market owner. She has been inactive for years. The selectmen and Chilmark harbormaster Dennis Jason agreed that the boat must be moved off the commercial dock by June 1, and must be active by July 1, or else further action would be taken.
Selectmen also agreed to hold a meeting to once again determine the Chilmark definition of a "commercial fisherman." The meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, May 10.
Renato Gomes Da Rocha.
Edgartown police look for missing man
Edgartown police late yesterday notified The Times that Renato Gomes Da Rocha of Edgartown has been missing since Tuesday night. Mr. Da Rocha, 48, works for a construction company working on Chappaquiddick. He was dropped off at his residence on Curtis Lane after work and has not been seen since.
The police department has received several calls about Mr. Da Rocha from concerned friends and co-workers. His family in Brazil has not heard from him.
If anyone has information about Mr. Da Rocha, contact the Edgartown police at 508-627-4343 or the Massachusetts State Police at 508-693-0545.
Chilmarker foots the bill for Middle Road meeting
Chilmarkers are concerned about the increased use of Middle Road, which is shared by an increasing number of vehicles, joggers, bicyclists, and buses. Transportation consultant and Chilmark Middle Road resident Jeff Parker is one of those residents.
On Tuesday, Mr. Parker will sponsor a public discussion of Middle Road with Reid Ewing, associate and research professor at the National Center for Smart Growth, at the University of Maryland. The "brainstorming" session begins at 1 pm in the Chilmark Community Center.
According to a press release, Mr. Ewing is a nationally known expert in traffic calming and street design.
Out like a lamb
A lamb, recently born at the Farm Institute in Katama, is missing. Staff member Wes Wood said yesterday that when the animals were gathered yesterday, farm employees noticed the small white lamb with multiple black splotches was absent from the pack. The lamb, born only weeks ago, had not yet been tagged by farm staff. During the recent wild weather, a fence holding the animals in the pasture on Aero Street blew down, and farm workers assume the animal escaped then. Anyone with information regarding the missing lamb is asked to contact the Farm Institute office at 508-627-7007.
Services Friday for Marlene Rubin
Marlene Rubin died Tuesday at her home in Edgartown. A graveside service will be held tomorrow at 2 pm in the New Westside Cemetery on Robinson Road in Edgartown, officiated by Rabbi Caryn Broitman.
Donations may be made in Ms. Rubin's memory to Hospice of Martha's Vineyard, P.O. Box 2549, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557.
Arrangements are by Chapman, Cole and Gleason Funeral Home on Edgartown Road in Oak Bluffs. An online guest book and information are available at
Second corrections guard put on
Michael Trance, a Dukes County House of Corrections guard accused of arranging an inmate's beating in concert with another guard at the Edgartown correction facility, was put on pretrial probation for two years at a hearing yesterday.
Mr. Trance of West Tisbury was indicted on one charge of conspiracy in connection with the assault on inmate Paul Garcia by another inmate, Jason Labbe. He and his fellow corrections officer, T.J. Roginski of Tisbury, were accused by an inmate, Alan Thistle, of arranging for Mr. Labbe to hit Mr. Garcia in a June 2003 incident.
Last week Mr. Roginski pled guilty to one charge of conspiracy to assault Mr. Garcia. In exchange for the guilty plea, he was sentenced to no jail time and straight probation for a year, during which time he may not be employed in law enforcement.
Dukes County Sheriff Michael McCormack, who oversees the County Jail and House of Correction, was on vacation when Mr. Roginski was sentenced last week. Commenting yesterday on the beating incident, Sheriff McCormack said, "Certainly I would ask the public to look at this as something that is an aberration and not characteristic of the behavior of the men and women who work for me. They do such an excellent and professional job day in and day out, and I don't want anyone to think that this type of incident is tolerated in any way in our department."
West Tisbury educator honored
Valerie Becker, the computer teacher at the West Tisbury School, has been named a curriculum author and innovator by Apple Computers, for participation in the July 21-31 Apple distinguished educator program: "ADE Institute 2006 - Global Awareness: Explore. Create. Share."
Ms. Becker will join a team of approximately 65 educators from the United States and eight other countries, who will gather in Europe for a 10-day cultural and curriculum exchange program, to explore the cities and cultures of Berlin, Germany and Prague, Czech Republic according to a press release.
The institute's goal is to address the need for more innovative approaches to teach today's students the importance of being citizens in a global community.
The Apple Distinguished Educator (ADE) Program, now in its 13th year, is an advocacy program focused on innovation, excellence, and leadership. The participants are members of a select group of K-12 and higher education professionals possessing an identified expertise in educational technology leadership. The ADE program now involves more than 600 educators globally, with members in the U.S.A., Canada, Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, and Latin America.
IHT offers Oak Bluffs affordable home ownerships
The Island Housing Trust, a non-profit affordable housing organization, is offering two houses, located at 148 Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road in Oak Bluffs, for sale to qualified buyers.
One two-bedroom house will be sold for $195,000 to a qualified applicant earning 110 percent or less of the median income ($67,700 for a three-person family) and another three-bedroom house will be sold for $280,000 to a qualified applicant earning 140 percent or less of the median income ($95,600 for a four-person family). Applicants must have attended a homebuyer workshop sponsored by the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority. The application deadline is June 2.
For more information or to receive application forms, call the Oak Bluffs housing office at 693-3554 ext. 114 or the Regional Housing Authority at 508-693-4419.
Red Cross offers pre-hurricane season training
The Martha's Vineyard Red Cross will provide a series of free disaster services training classes prior to the start of the hurricane season.
The course is designed to teach volunteers how to prepare for and respond to emergencies and disasters on the Vineyard, including how to effectively feed and shelter large numbers of people. New volunteers and those who want to refresh and advance their training are welcome.
Classes will be held May 19, 5:30 to 9:00 pm and May 20, 9 am to 3 pm at the American Legion Hall in Vineyard Haven.
[The Red Cross provided the following Portuguese translation] A série de cursos da Cruz Vermelha é especificamente destinada a ensinar como alimentar e abrigar grande números de pessoas. Ofereceremos cursos a pessoas que querem aprender como se preparar e responder a emergências e disastres em Martha's Vineyard. O Cápitulo local também deseja treinar novos voluntários, revisar e adicionar ao ensino de voluntários com experiência. Todos os Voluntários treinados terão a oportunidade de entrar no Sistema contra disastres da Cruz Vermelha National.
Volunteers are asked to register by May 12. Call 508-696-0092 for information.
A story last week about two Dukes County corrections officers, T.J. Roginski and Michael Trance, referred to their involvement in orchestrating two inmate beatings. In fact, as assistant district attorney Lisa Edmonds explained this week, although two beatings were indeed carried out, Mr. Roginski and Mr. Trance were each indicted on only one charge of conspiracy to commit assault and battery on only one victim, Paul Garcia, an inmate at the time.