News in Brief
Edgartown police make arrests in rash of car burglaries
Edgartown police hope that two arrests on Friday and one on Monday are a step to ending a string of vehicle break-ins stretching back to March in neighborhoods along the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road.
Sergeant Ken Johnson said that an investigation into two car break-ins and damaged vehicles Friday morning in the area of Jernegan Avenue and Pilgrim Road, in which various electronic items were taken, led police to the three men.
Police arrested Jeffrey Gordineer, 18, and Michael Ellis, 17, on Friday. On Monday, police arrested Michael McDermott, 20. The three men are from Edgartown.
They were arraigned on multiple counts of breaking and entering into a motor vehicle, larceny, malicious destruction of property, and receiving stolen property.
As of yesterday afternoon Mr. Gordineer, $1,000 cash bail, and Mr. Ellis, $1,500 cash bail, remained in the Dukes County Jail. Mr. McDermott was being held on $3,000 bail in connection with the thefts but was granted no bail on a charge of violation of probation.
Sergeant Johnson said the investigation is continuing and police plan to question more suspects. He estimated that there have been more than 40 thefts from vehicles over the last six months.
Sergeant Johnson said that the stolen items included CDs, sunglasses, I-Pods and other electronic items that were easily removed, as well as purses and wallets. In almost all the cases the vehicles targeted were unlocked and there was no damage, he said. The thieves simply opened the unlocked car door and took any items of value.
Anyone with information is asked to call Edgartown police at 508-627-4343.
Oak Bluffs police aim
to curb drunk driving
The Oak Bluffs Police Department has announced a partnership with a statewide crackdown on drunk driving. As part of the "You Drink & Drive. You lose," program, the August initiative began two weeks ago and will continue through Labor Day weekend. It includes stepped-up police enforcement on the roads, and the distribution of information about drinking and driving accidents.
The Governor's Highway Safety Bureau is funding the program. "We want to remind everyone of the critical need to be sober and well-rested behind the wheel, to always be buckled up, to obey speed limits, and to report suspected drunk drivers by dialing 911," said Sergeant James Morse in a prepared press release.
The Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee held a public meeting yesterday at the Martha's Vineyard Commission's offices for an update on the bid process, scheduling, and construction of a temporary bridge and new permanent bridge.
Steve McLaughlin, MassHighway project engineer, said a request for proposals for construction of a temporary bridge was published last Saturday, with a deadline of November 21. "We anticipate a contract and contractor on the bid for the temporary bridge by January," he said. The price advertised for the project was $5.6 million.
Mr. McLaughlin said the cost of the permanent bridge is estimated at $25 million and the design process may take about two years. The Parsons Transportation Group bid on the proposal to design the permanent bridge, although there is no contract yet.
The first issue to resolve is the vertical height of the permanent bridge, according to Peter Donohue, a senior project manager from Parsons. His company has recommended increasing the height by 4 feet.
The existing bridge's horizontal clearance is 30 ft., and the temporary bridge clearance will be 34 ft. The permanent bridge's horizontal clearance will be 46 ft.
Several audience members raised concerns about whether widening the bridge would mean widening the channel and opening Lagoon Pond up to larger boats. Mr. Donohue explained that although the bridge span will increase to 46 feet, the channel opening will remain at 30 feet, limiting boat size.
Questions from the public focused on the bridge's height, the construction schedule, the construction process, and the staging of materials, noise, and traffic disruptions. Mr. Donohue assured everyone that his company would try to minimize construction time and disruption.
It would be difficult to speculate about a construction schedule for the temporary bridge before the contract is awarded, Mr. McLaughlin explained. Avoiding working on the project during the busy summer months may not be possible, he added.
He promised to hold quarterly meetings with the Lagoon Pond Drawbridge Committee. In addition, before reaching the 25 percent design stage for the permanent bridge, Mr. McLaughlin said the state will obtain a marine clearance and opening study, followed by a bridge type study with a public hearing.
NSTAR gives Vineyard system a check-up
NSTAR, the Island's power supplier, is using infrared technology to help identify and address potential trouble spots as part of a comprehensive check of the electric system on Martha's Vineyard.
According to a company press release, "In an effort to further improve service and head off potential problems, NSTAR crews have performed infrared equipment inspections and are currently conducting pole by pole 'walk-down' inspections."
The walk-down phase of the inspections includes NSTAR workers examining existing electric equipment with an eye toward proactive upgrades. These upgrades can include the installation of new equipment, lightning protection improvements, and the installation of "squirrel guards" to reduce outages caused by animals. As part of the inspections completed in early June, NSTAR personnel used heat-sensing infrared cameras to identify any trouble spots not visible to the naked eye so repairs or replacements could be made before they affected service.
NSTAR performs similar inspections each year on the main lines of its overhead electric system. The current walk-down phase of the inspections, which have workers in West Tisbury and Aquinnah, are scheduled to be completed by early fall.
NSTAR transmits and delivers electricity and natural gas to 1.4 million customers in Eastern and Central Massachusetts, including over one million electric customers in 81 communities and nearly 300,000 gas customers in 51 communities, according to the company.
Internet safety for students, teachers, and parents
will be subject of forum
Katelyn M. LeClerc of the office of Massachusetts attorney general Thomas Reilly will present a series of programs in September, designed to inform parents, students and teachers on the safe use of the internet. Ms. LeClerc is the internet safety coordinator for the attorney general.
The series, offered from Monday to Thursday, Sept. 11 to 14, will include several presentations in Island schools and an evening presentation open to the community at large. The series is sponsored by the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School, the office of the superintendent of schools, and The Martha's Vineyard Times. It is an outgrowth of an examination, published in The Times on March 9, of the use by Island young people of the myspace.com web meeting place.
According to Ms. LeClerc, the crimes-against-children internet safety program in the corruption, fraud and computer crime division, is part of an effort by the attorney general's office to do more than prosecute cases of predatory internet activity.
Ms. LeClerc, who has an educational background in early childhood education and sociology, now offers four different presentations aimed at students in grades K-12, tailoring each presentation to the developmental and emotional differences in each age group. In addition, she instructs parents, teachers, and school resource officers on Internet safety.
On Sept. 12, the Island adult community is invited to the Performing Arts Center at 7 pm for a presentation on Internet safety. The first hour will include a power-point presentation about some of the things young people are doing online. That will be followed by a live online chat intended to demonstrate some of the realities of the Internet. A question and answer session will follow. Due to the nature of the presentation, the office of the attorney general requests that no one under the age of 18 be admitted.
The school programs will include precautions that students can take to keep their information private, as well as potential online dangers and other issues, including cyber-bullying and web sites such as Myspace.
For information on the Sept. 12 presentation, call Amy Lilavois at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School at 508-693-1033, extension 291.
Early goose hunting season starts Tuesday at dawn
The continuing Massachusetts-wide effort to keep the state's burgeoning non-migratory Canada goose population in check begins with a bang on Tuesday, September 5. That is the start of the three-week early goose hunting season.
Hunting hours begin one half hour before sunrise and continue to sunset. Hunters are allowed to take 5 birds per day.
"Data collected from agency goose banding activities this summer indicate the early goose hunting seasons have kept populations stable in the central and western parts of the state," said MassWildlife's Waterfowl Project Leader H. Heusmann. "In the eastern part of the state where there are more restrictions on hunting activities, goose flocks continue to grow."
A lack of hunting pressure coupled with a ready food supply and no natural knowledge of the migratory cycle that governs the movements of their northern cousins has led to the growth of resident geese populations across the state. These resident populations foul fields, parks and golf courses and can cause significant agricultural damage and high fecal coliform levels in some water bodies.
Resident geese are a problem across the Vineyard. The town of Oak Bluffs was forced to hire a professional dog handler who uses a border collie to keep geese from fouling Ocean Park.
The increase in the number of non-migratory geese in residence on Island water bodies is also a contributing factor to poor water quality and shellfish closures.
Waterfowlers must have a state hunting license and a state federal waterfowl stamp are required for hunting waterfowl. Hunters planning to hunt ducks, geese, woodcock and other migratory birds must also be registered with the Harvest Information Program (HIP) after purchasing a hunting license. This free registration number may be obtained by calling 1-800-WETLAND.
for Elena J. Curelli
Elena Jean (Sullo) Curelli of Mattapan, formerly of Beverly and Beverly Hills, Fla., died on August 29. She was 88. She was the beloved wife of Ernest Curelli. Devoted mother of John Curelli who lives in Oak Bluffs with his wife, Jane, and of Thomas Curelli of Wisconsin. She was the sister of Achi Sullo of Medford, Gerard "Gerry" Sullo of Acton, and Jo Ann Cataldo of Westwood, and grandmother of Nicholas, Ben, Diane, and Stephen Curelli. Visitation will be held Tuesday, Sept. 5 from 10 am to 12 noon at the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, 5 Canton Ave., Milton. Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. Angela's Church, Mattapan, at 12:30 pm. Interment will be at Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston. In lieu of flowers donations in Elena's name may be sent to Hospice House, 3350 W. Audubon Park Path, Lecanto, FL 34461. For directions, online guest book, and obituary please visit www.ccgfuneralhom.com.
Eight-week course teaches small business practices
An eight-week course outlining the skills needed for starting and managing a small business will be offered at the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) starting next month. According to a recent press release, the program, presented by the Cape Cod chapter of the national nonprofit organization SCORE, will run on Wednesday evenings starting Sept. 13.
Planning, financing, accounting practices, e-commerce, and web design are only some of the topics covered in the eight-part lecture series. A volunteer member of SCORE will teach each two-hour class.
The Cape Cod chapter of SCORE provides free business counseling to small business owners, and of the 40 volunteers for this division, seven are located on Martha's Vineyard.
The fee for the course is $95 and registration is required. Interested participants can call 508-696-9687 or visit MVRHS on Sept. 6 from 7 to 8 pm, or Sept. 9 from 11 am to noon to sign up in person.