News in Brief
File Photo by Ben Scott
More VTA service added for busy weekend
With two big Island events making this probably the busiest weekend of the year, extra buses and additional routes have been added to the Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) schedule. The Agricultural Fair in West Tisbury started today and will run through Sunday. The annual Fireman's Association Fireworks takes place tomorrow evening in Oak Bluffs.
For those waiting with bated breath to see the skillet toss and cow chip bingo at the annual Ag Fair, the VTA will offer two direct routes, one from the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven and the other from Church Street in Edgartown. The buses will leave 15 minutes past the hour from 10 am until 10 pm, with return tips leaving 45 minutes past the hour until 10:45 pm.
All normal routes that pass the fairgrounds will drop passengers off on the main road, but will not pull into the fairgrounds.
With many streets closed down in the already unfriendly parking climate of downtown Oak Bluffs, taking a VTA bus to view the fireworks in Ocean Park may be the easiest option. The #13 bus, which runs from Vineyard Haven, through Oak Bluffs to Edgartown, normally drops passengers at Ocean Park. But due to the street closings, it will make alternate stops at The Wesley Hotel and Waban Park, and will run its regular schedule with buses until 1 am.
File Photo by Diana Waring
Porch swing stolen from Alley's General Store
The theft of a two-seater swing from the porch of Alley's General Store last Friday has left customers and store employees alike missing its familiar comfort.
Store manager Rhonda Backus, who reported the theft to the West Tisbury Police, said it must have taken place after she left work at 9:30 pm. An employee arriving at 6:30 am on Saturday noticed the swing was gone. Ms. Backus said someone must have used bolt cutters to cut the swing from its chains, which were left hanging.
Ms. Backus described the swing as being similar to a hammock, with rope webbing on a wooden frame. "It has been here forever and is part of the store," she said, adding that several customers have stopped by to ask about it and to comment on its loss.
"We've got to find out where to get a new one," Ms. Backus said. "It's part of what makes it Alley's, just being able to hang out and chit-chat. It's missed by everyone in town." A donation jar has been set out, and customers already have donated a few dollars toward a new one, she added.
If anyone has any information, please contact the West Tisbury Police at 508-693-0020.
$5,000 bike stolen from truck in Outerland parking lot
A handcrafted Foes racing bike, valued at $5,000, was stolen from outside Outerland early Monday morning. Greg Packish, owner of the mountain bike that was handcrafted to fit his size and build, said it was plucked from his friend's truck during a 10-minute interval when he ran inside to help close the bar. Mr. Packish is the bar manager at the nightclub.
When working, Mr. Packish said he usually keeps his bike locked in dry storage. But on this particular night it was locked in his friend's truck, save for the ten minutes around 1:30 am when he left the back open.
He called the police that night, and an officer scanned the area with a searchlight, but turned up nothing. The Edgartown Police Department said they receive similar reports of stolen bicycles on a regular basis.
Mr. Packish said he often takes the three year-old bike off-road, and rides it to work to stay in shape.
Raised on the Island and a current Edgartown resident, Mr. Packish placed an ad in today's Times offering a reward for the pilfered bike.
File Photo by Susan Safford
SSA holds public meeting on Nantucket refurbishment
The Steamship Authority (SSA) will hold a public meeting this afternoon at 4 pm in its Vineyard Haven terminal to hear what Islanders have to say about the planned refurbishment of the ferry Nantucket.
Although the vehicle ferry is generally used on the Hyannis to Nantucket route, boatline management decided to give Vineyarders an opportunity to comment since the vessel is sometimes used on the Woods Hole to Martha's Vineyard route.
The planned work includes: increasing the snack bar area and doubling the number of seats; upgrading air conditioning and heating systems; installing an elevator on the port side to the snack bar area; and adding new wider passenger loading doors to accommodate six-foot-wide passenger ramps.
Norton Point reopens
to through traffic
Norton Point Beach, the two-mile sand link between Chappaquiddick and Katama, reopened to off-road vehicle traffic last Friday. The beach was closed to through traffic earlier in the summer to protect a nesting colony of least terns and several pairs of piping plovers.
An off-road vehicle permit is required to drive on the beach. Permits are available at the Dukes County administrative office located at the airport and from The Trustees of Reservations, which manages the beach under an agreement with the county.
County names The Times official paper of Dukes County
The Dukes County commissioners have named The Martha's Vineyard Times the official County of Dukes County newspaper for fiscal year 2007, which began on July 1.
"As such, the County of Dukes County will be placing all its official meeting notices, advertising, etc. with The Martha's Vineyard Times," E. Winn Davis, the county manager, wrote in a letter to the newspaper, dated Aug. 11.
The decision, made by the commissioners on July 26, came in response to a request for proposals from newspapers of general circulation in Dukes County. The Times offered the county the best advertising rate, deadline convenience and greatest number of Island readers. As part of the agreement, the discounted advertising rates will also be available to all towns in Dukes County.
The Times is mailed to every Island postal customer in the six Island towns and delivered to Island inns and hotels. The Times web site is also an important source of news and notices for on and off-Island readers (more than 60,000 readers weekly).
"This is a natural role for The Times," news editor Nelson Sigelman said this week. "We do our weekly best to be sure that we are the newspaper Islanders read, and of course our readers will need to see the notices from county government and the six towns. We'll do everything we can to publish this information in a timely and fairly priced way."
Tisbury selectmen negotiate with new police chief
The Tisbury selectmen have been conducting contract negotiations with Capt. John G. Cashin, after offering him a job as chief of police on August 1, according to Town Administrator John Bugbee.
"We are about 99 percent there," said Mr. Bugbee. "We are pretty close to coming to an agreement, and hope to wrap up discussions in a week or so."
Captain Cashin was 1 of 3 finalists selected by a police chief search committee, narrowed from a field of 17, including Officer Daniel Hanavan of the Tisbury Police Department. He currently serves as the investigate service commander in the Norwalk Department of Police Services.
Although Mr. Bugbee said Mr. Cashin's starting date has not been firmed up, the selectmen are hoping he can be on the job in early September. Captain Cashin said in his interview with the selectmen last month that if he were offered the job, he would need to sell his home in Stratford, Conn., but could make temporary living arrangements on Island until then.
in Vineyard Haven
Kiddo's, a new children's store located in the Tisbury Market Place, opened in August. According to a press release the store specializes in gifts, clothing, and essentials for children with the focus on newborns through age six.
Owner Danielle Bailey is planning a grand opening on Saturday, Sept. 2. In the meantime she invites people to stop in and visit.
Kiddo's is open Monday through Saturday. For more information, call 508-693-5437 or go to www.kiddosmv.com.
Raymond Kittila of Vineyard Haven honored by MetLife
Raymond O. Kittila of Vineyard Haven was honored at MetLife's annual Leaders Conference on August 2. Metlife, a subsidiary of MetLife, Inc., is a leading provider of insurance and other financial services to millions of customers throughout the United States. Honorees at the Leaders Conference must exemplify the highest standards of professionalism, integrity, customer service and sales achievement. Mr. Kittila is a financial planner and a member of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors.
An advertisement published last week for day and sunset cruises aboard the 90-foot schooner Alabama provided incorrect sailing times and rates. Daily sailing times are 1 to 4, and 5 to 8 pm. Ticket prices are $60 for adults, $40 for children 5 to 12. Children under five sail free. For more information, call 508-693-1699.
A story about the Possible Dreams auction incorrectly described a visit to secret caves outside Paris with archaeologist Duncan Caldwell as a dig and said the trip sold for $10,000. The auction price was $16,000.
In an Aug. 10 article titled "It's Ron DiOrio in Oak Bluffs," The Times reported that Herbert Combra was unreachable. In fact, Mr. Combra was contacted and said it was unfortunate he lost in the race for selectman, and that Mr. DiOrio had a large crowd working for him whose efforts he could not overcome.