News in Brief
Polls open Tuesday
for state primary
Democrats, Republicans, and Independent voters go to the polls Tuesday in the state primary election. Polls will be open from 7 am to 8 pm across the Island and the state.
The hottest race is between the three candidates for the Democratic nomination for Governor. Voters will pick between Christopher Gabrieli, Deval Patrick, and Thomas Reilly.
In a lower profile Democratic race, Deborah Goldberg, Timothy Murray, and Andrea Silbert are competing for the lieutenant governor nomination.
In other contests on the Democratic side, William Galvin, incumbent secretary of state, faces a challenge from John Bonifaz, and Carole Fiola, incumbent councilor, faces a challenge from Kelly Kevin Lydon.
The Republican slate is less hotly contested. Kenneth Chase is challenging Kevin Scott for the right to challenge Democratic Senator Edward Kennedy. In the only other contest, Ricardo Barros is squaring off with Doug Bennett for the right to challenge state senator Robert O'Leary.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Vineyard Haven post office lot to undergo construction
Construction will begin this week on Vineyard Haven's post office parking lots, according to a notice posted by Postmaster Joe Massua.
The project, which has been postponed since last spring, will including removing an above-ground septic system behind the post office building that is no longer in use, and regrading, repaving, and restriping the public parking lot in front and the employee lot in back.
Work will begin in the employee lot first, according to Christine Dugas, U.S. Postal Service spokesperson.
"We beg our customers' indulgence, because while the back lot is being done, the employees will have to park out front," she said. "When the front lot is being worked on, we will try and free up some parking in the employee lot in back, and jockey parking between the two lots."
The payoff for customers will be the addition of 4 to 5 new parking spaces, Ms. Dugas said. The project is being done by White Brothers/Lynch Corporation on Martha's Vineyard and should take approximately 60 days.
Cape Wind would extend data tower's life
Cape Wind Associates, the would-be developer of a 130-turbine, wind-powered electrical energy generating installation on 25 acres of federal waters southwest of Hyannis on Cape Cod, has asked the Army Corps of Engineers to extend the permit for its data gathering tower, now in place on the shoals.
The data tower, visible to mariners traveling through the channel that runs east and west between Cape Cod to the north and the Vineyard and Nantucket to the south, is now permitted until Oct. 31, 2007. Cape Wind wants the permit extended to Oct. 31, 2012, according to a news release from the Corps. Cape Wind's request for a permit for the wind farm it plans awaits action by federal regulators. Public comment on the request to extend the life of the data tower will be welcomed by the Corps until Oct. 4 of this year.
Passport Day at post office
The Vineyard Haven Post Office will host a "Passport Day" on Sept. 23, where passports will be processed or renewed by a trained passport acceptance clerk.
From 10 am to 1 pm, postmaster Joe Massua and the acceptance agents will be on hand to answer questions and take passport photos, according to a recent press release.
The highlighted passport day comes in light of the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative (WHTI), a plan that came out of recent legislation stating that all travelers entering the United States from Bermuda, Panama, Canada, Mexico, or the Caribbean must have a passport or other accepted document. This is a change from prior travel requirements, the press release states.
By December 2007, this requirement will extend to all air, sea, and land border crossings.
Bourne Bridge repainting will affect traffic
Repainting work on the Bourne Bridge resumed Sept. 6, according to the Army Corps of Engineers. Until Oct. 6, lane restrictions will be in place weekdays during normal business hours, except Fridays, when the restrictions will be lifted in the afternoons. Beginning Oct. 10, the lane restrictions will be in place all day, seven days a week. During these times, only one lane will be open each way on the bridge, and no wide loads will be permitted.
SSA numbers for autos
and passengers down,
but revenue is up
Steamship Authority auto and passenger traffic is down fractionally for the eight-month period that ended Aug. 31. Passengers are off two tenths of a percent and autos nine tenths of a percent. Freight, which means trucks, including non-commercial vehicles, is up 10.6 percent for the period.
Despite the shortfall in the two largest income categories, the boatline reports increases in revenue of 4.8 percent for passengers, 6.2 percent for cars, and 17.4 percent for trucks.
MVRHS school committee kicks off new school year
Members of the Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) school committee kicked off the start of a new school year with a meeting Monday night. It almost turned into a non-meeting until committee member Roxanne Ackerman arrived to make a quorum.
Student representative Chad Curtis reported that with the decrease in after-school buses to just one at 4:15, some of the students who play sports are finding it an inconvenience. MVRHS Principal Peg Regan explained the school committee made the decision to change the bus schedule last spring to save money, $100 a day. Ridership last year on the 5 pm bus was very low, with only about 4 to 6 students.
The Vineyard Transit Authority (VTA) has adjusted the schedule of one of its line buses to help accommodate the high school athletes, Ms. Regan said, and students may purchase a yearly pass for $25. School committee Priscilla Sylvia suggested that if a student could not afford a pass, perhaps the school could subsidize the cost.
James Weiss, superintendent of Martha's Vineyard Public Schools, said he would check with Transportation Manager Jim Flynn and Athletic Director Mike Joyce to see how many athletes need transportation.
Regarding a proposal to put an Automated Teller Machine (ATM) at the high school, Mr. Weiss said he has not found any other high school in Massachusetts that has a stand-alone automated teller machine, and he has been advised to go slowly and perhaps allow all of the Island banks to participate through some kind of bidding process.
He also informed the committee that Debra Comfort of the State Department of Education Legal Office advised him that the All-Island School Committee and MVRHS School Committee are separate political entities and cannot be combined.
Marjorie Harris, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction, said plans are being made to offer 3 to 4 extended adult education classes starting in mid to late October. Responses from a community survey done last spring showed the first choices were Portuguese classes and computer classes.
The next school committee meeting will be on Tuesday, October 3, 7 pm, following a land use planning subcommittee meeting at 6:15 pm.
Small Oak Bluffs blaze quickly doused
From the parking lot of Our Market last Thursday afternoon in Oak Bluffs, the view out over the harbor included a large cloud of smoke wafting upwards over the harborside buildings.
The source of the smoke was a small fire in an abandoned general store next to the Lookout Tavern. The fire started when an extension cord connected to a row of soda machines sent sparks flying, according to Oak Bluffs Assistant Fire Chief Peter Martell. The Oak Bluffs fire department quickly extinguished the flames.
Nearby establishments, including the Bank of Martha's Vineyard, were evacuated. No injuries were reported.
The fire began shortly after 2 pm, and by 2:45 spectators had cleared and traffic was moving smoothly through the often-congested area near the Oak Bluffs Steamship Authority.
Our Island Club adds auto insurance group discount
Our Island Club, a membership program that provides year-round Island residents with discounts on products and services at participating businesses while benefiting Island charities, has added a discount on auto insurance.
According to a press release, MVI Insurance and Helm Insurance are offering club members a group discount from Plymouth Rock Assurance and Safety Insurance.
For information about Our Island Club, visit www.OurIslandClub.com or call 508-693-4541.
in Zagat spotlight
Sharky's Cantina on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs receives special mention as an "up and coming" restaurant in the latest Zagat newsletter, one of only four Cape and Island restaurants included in the survey. The international rating service said the Cantina provides Vineyarders with a change of pace along with Tex Mex food and flowing margaritas.
"We were honored to be mentioned in the section," said Sharky's co-owner JB Blau. "Our mission is to provide fresh, authentic Mexican cuisine and a fun, festive atmosphere on Martha's Vineyard. Any time Oak Bluffs can receive national attention, it helps us all."
Also mentioned in the Zagat Survey was Detente of Edgartown.
Island doctor published
in international journal
A West Tisbury doctor is the lead author of a scientific paper that was published in the July 2006 issue of the Journal of Knee Surgery, a prestigious international scientific periodical.
Raymond Rocco Monto co-authored the article "Magnetic Resonance Imaging in the Evolution of Tibial Eminence Fractures in Adults." It was produced in collaboration with the Stedman-Hawkins Institute in Vail, Colo., and co-authored by four others.
The study focused on skiers who had a knee fracture and looked at the importance of performing magnetic resonance imaging (MRI). Dr. Monto said that once the MRI was performed, many other smaller injuries were often found in addition to the fracture.
"Our experience as physicians at a large ski resort suggests that [tibial eminence fractures] are more common than previously thought," the study reads. "Furthermore, through the use of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), we have noted a high incidence of concomitant injury."
Dr. Monto is certified by the American Board of Orthopedic Surgery. He also serves as the team physician for the United States National Soccer Team.