News in Brief
Photo by Mae Deary
Lagoon Pond drawbridge to be closed nightly next week
The Lagoon Pond drawbridge will be closed for repairs for four nights next week, according to John Carlisle, MassHighway spokesman. A contractor and crew are scheduled to arrive on the ferry at 8:15 pm Monday night and will begin work as soon as they get set up, Mr. Carlisle said.
The drawbridge will be closed to vehicle traffic but left in the raised position to allow boat traffic until 6 am Tuesday morning, and again on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday evenings from 6 pm until 6 am. "We try to do the work as unobtrusively as we can," Mr. Carlisle said.
Because the drawbridge has shifted, the workmen will be making necessary adjustments to keep the bridge's spans properly aligned and lessen the possibility of them getting stuck as the steel expands in the summer heat.
Depending on how fast the work progresses, the project may not take four nights, Mr. Carlisle said.
Joseph C. Carter
Former police chief is promoted to brigadier general
Joseph C. Carter, former Oak Bluffs police chief and a seasonal Island resident, was promoted to the rank of brigadier general in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Mr. Carter, a 32-year veteran, is the first African-American to be federally recognized as a General Officer in the Massachusetts National Guard's 370-year history, according to a press release.
"I'm humbled to be the one at this time and this place to achieve this honor," Mr. Carter said in prepared remarks. "I pledge to serve with integrity, honor, and professionalism as I support the Adjutant General in achieving his vision for the Massachusetts Army National Guard."
Mr. Carter, a former Boston police officer, resigned in Jan. 2003 after four and half years as Oak Bluffs police chief to become the new chief of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority police.
He was widely credited with restoring stability to the Oak Bluffs police department following a tumultuous period that peaked with the 1997 July 4th holiday weekend that saw the department stretched beyond its limits to handle the holiday crowds.
Space needs committee gets to work in West Tisbury
Members of the West Tisbury space needs committee (SNC) reported to the selectmen last week that they have elected officers, clarified their mission, and developed an ambitious timetable in which they hope to accomplish their charge.
The annual town meeting in April, which put a final end to the $3- to $5-million town hall building project, asked the selectmen to appoint a committee to study not just the workplaces for town hall employees, but all the assets and needs of all town departments. The selectmen completed selecting the members of the new committee on June 14.
The SNC's mission statement says that they will prioritize the needs of town functions and departments into three areas: "immediate (one to three years), moderate (three to five years) and long-term (five to ten years)." They will also "prepare one or more models and timelines of how to effectively and efficiently satisfy the town's total space needs by creatively using, renovating, adding onto, or leasing existing available assets within the town or building new assets."
The SNC will meet every Monday (except for Labor Day) between now and Nov. 15, when they will have a report and recommendations ready to present to town voters. During that time they will survey needs, consider options, agree upon space-use models, and draft a report. The schedule includes seeking public comments at intervals throughout the period.
The SNC has chosen Chuck Hodgkinson as chairman, Kent Healy as vice-chairman, and Bea Phear as secretary. The other members are Les Cutler, Hermine Hull, Kathy Logue, and Bob Schwartz. Sue Hruby is an alternate and back-up secretary, and Joe Eldredge will serve as an unpaid consultant for town hall matters.
Two finalists for Oak Bluffs town administrator position
An appointed screening committee has whittled a field of five people who applied to fill the spot of Oak Bluffs town administrator down to two finalists.
The final two candidates are Stanley Arend, a public official from California with Island roots, and former Oak Bluffs selectman Michael Dutton, according to current town administrator Casey Sharpe.
Public interviews of the two candidates will take place Friday at 3 pm in the Oak Bluffs library meeting room.
The board of selectman will ultimately choose which candidate will take the place of Ms. Sharpe, who resigned May 9 after serving as the town's executive secretary for two years and as its town administrator for almost four years.
Shortly after her announcement, Mr. Dutton announced his resignation from the board, and it was widely suspected he planned to apply for the town administrator position.
Edgartown Library committee presents revised plans
The Edgartown Public Library advisory committee presented a revised library expansion plan at a meeting of the Edgartown selectmen Monday.
Library supporters are hopeful the downsized expansion plan will pass muster with Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA), which last year rejected the library trustees plan citing size and lack of parking as two primary factors.
According to material presented Monday, the new plan decreases the square footage of the planned library expansion by 14.7 percent, from 25,200 to 21,500 square feet. In addition, the library area below grade level was increased to make the addition blend into the surrounding neighborhood and appear less imposing.
Parking was increased from 10 off-street parking spaces to 22 spaces by moving the library addition closer to North Water St. to create more space. The revised plan also reduces the estimated cost of the project by nearly 11 percent, from $8.37 million to $7.47 million, assuming that construction will commence in July of next year and take 25 months.
The library trustees are scheduled to appear before the Planning Board and the ZBA on July 26, to ask permission to have their application reheard. Generally, applicants must wait two years unless there is evidence that shows a significant change from the original petition.
The revised plans are on display at the Edgartown Public Library.
Sheriff's dept. rescues wind surfer drifting offshore
A Dukes County Sheriff's Department patrol boat captained by former sheriff Christopher Look Jr. rescued a tired and weak windsurfer in the water and drifting offshore in strong winds and rough seas Sunday afternoon.
Mr. Look and deputy Kevin Donovan were patrolling in the department's 23-foot patrol boat off State Beach between Oak Bluffs and Edgartown when an unidentified windsurfer hailed the boat and reported that another windsurfer was having trouble getting back to shore, according to a report of the incident.
Mr. Look and Mr. Donovan headed straight offshore from little bridge for a distance of approximately one mile. The wind was blowing more than 30 miles per hour and the waves were three to five feet according to the official report when Mr. Donovan momentarily spotted a sail sticking out of the water.
The deputies retrieved Bill Cookson, 45, of Edgartown who said he had been in the water for an hour and a half, along with his sailboard. Mr. Cookson was brought to Memorial Wharf in Edgartown and waiting EMTs. But he said he was feeling better and declined assistance.
Being at the helm was nothing new for Mr. Look, who retired in January1999 with the honorary title of chief deputy and is working for the sheriff's department for the summer said Mr. McCormack.
Mr. Cookson could not be reached for comment.
Fire outside of Coop de Ville restaurant in Oak Bluffs
On Wednesday morning around 1 am, there was small fire in the alleyway outside the Coop de Ville restaurant in Oak Bluffs. The cause of the fire is unknown. The Oak Bluffs fire department rushed to the site and quickly put the fire out after several people in the vicinity noticed the fire and called the police. Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Dennis Alley said that accumulated piles of cardboard outside the restaurant caught on fire. "There was minimal damage," he said. "We put it out very quickly." Pete Berndt, owner of the Coop de Ville, seemed to think that the fire was due to someone throwing a firecracker down the alleyway as a prank, although Chief Alley said that "nobody can tell you for sure how or what started it." There were no injuries and the site was quickly cleaned up.
Photo by Susan Safford
with Sail M.V.
Sail Martha's Vineyard, dedicated to preserving and continuing the seafaring heritage of the Island, throws its Vineyard Cup Race and Seafaring Festival bash this Friday through Sunday, July 7-9.
Along with a seafood feast and countless harborside activities, the packed schedule includes championship events for yacht racing, team competitions, junior class races, New England region windsurfing competitions, and gig boat rowing races. Walter Cronkite, Honorary Commodore of the Vineyard Cup Race, will lead the fleet out to Vineyard Sound and compete in the race Sunday.
On Saturday evening at 6 pm, dine in waterfront style at the annual Seafood Buffet and Auction at Tisbury Wharf. The evening will feature delicious food, socializing, and tempting items to bid on.
On Sunday evening, Outerland will host an awards ceremony and dance, with some proceeds benefiting Sail M.V.'s free children's sailing programs.
For more information or to reserve tickets for Saturday's buffet and auction, call 508-696-7644 or visit sailmv.com. To register for the race visit ..vineyardcup.com/ Also see the ad on Page 20 in today's Times.
housing bank bill
Legislation designed to create a fund to be used to support the creation of affordable housing on Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket emerged from the state Senate and is now before the House.
On June 22, the Senate, on a vote of 23-14, approved bill S2555, "An Act Establishing the Martha's Vineyard and Nantucket Housing Bank.
The housing bank bill, modeled closely after the land bank legislation, would impose a one percent fee, paid by the seller, on real estate sales. The first $750,000 of each sale would be exempt.
The bill, which is opposed by real estate interests, must emerge from the House, be signed by the Governor and then be approved by local town meetings.
Company provides stroke screening
Life Line Screening, a national provider of vascular screening test designed to reduce the risk of having a stroke, will be at the Edgartown American Legion Post on Katama Road in Edgartown on July 13.
According to a company press release, ultrasound technology is used to scan for potential health problems related to blocked arteries, aortic aneurysms, and hardening of the arteries in the legs. Preventative screenings can be used to reduce the risk of having a stroke, said the company. A complete vascular screening package costs $109. For more information, and to schedule an appointment, call 1-877-237-1287. Pre-registration for the screenings is required.
Soaps by the sea
Vineyard Soaps and Vineyard Shea Butter Lotions, recently opened at the Dockside Marketplace in Oak Bluffs.
The shop features individually hand-crafted Martha's Vineyard-shaped soaps and body lotion made from pure African shea butter and silk extracted from the fibers of butterfly cocoons. According to a press release, shea butter is naturally rich in vitamins A, E, and F, and it moisturizes and protects the skin, while the silk fibers add softness.
"Not only are you clean from these soaps but the scents and fragrance oils have an aromatherapy healing effect as well as freshening your home," said shop owner Marilyn Moses.
For more information, go to www.vineyardsoaps.com.
In the ART supplement published on June 22, The Times mislabeled one of the captions in the story, "Three Painters Talk About Creative Process." The name under the lower right photo should have read Liz Taft.