News in Brief
Paving will close
North Road to traffic
The Chilmark highway department will begin paving North Road between Hammett Lane and North Slope Lane on Monday. The road will be closed to through traffic until the work, which is expected to last five days, is completed.
Roads affected will include 196 to 340 North Road, North Tabor Farm Road, Pepperbush Lane, Crowberry Lane and the north end of Tabor House Road.
Local traffic will not be allowed to cross freshly laid bituminous concrete according to a press release. As a result driveways and subdivision roads may be obstructed for up to two hours.
The paving is expected to begin 8 am Monday at the west end nearest Menemsha and be completed Friday. Work will continue until 5 pm each day.
For up to date recorded information and announcements call the highway department at 508-645-3073 or check the town website at www.ci.chilmark.ma.us.
Chilmark agrees to
Al DeVito as UIRSD rep
The Chilmark selectmen agreed to the appointment of Al DeVito of the West Tisbury finance committee to represent the Up-Island Region in negotiations over the state's new wealth-based school funding formula. All three selectmen expressed dissatisfaction with the funding formula, in their Oct. 3 meeting.
Selectman Frank Fenner Jr. said that the state has stressed regionalizing schools for the past 15 years, but now, "It is doing something to pit one town against each other. It's not clear how they are deriving this wealth-based formula."
A recent report by local school officials on the funding ramifications showed a wide variance among the Vineyard towns. For example, Chilmark and West Tisbury each would pay an extra $100,000 or more under the plan, while Oak Bluffs would save about $390,000.
Mr. Fenner asked Chilmark executive secretary Tim Carroll to draft a letter to the state Department of Education expressing the town's concerns about the formula.
In other business, the selectmen heard a report from town treasurer Melanie Becker on a draft of the 2005-06 annual town audit prepared by accountants Powers & Sullivan. Selectman Riggs Parker commented the audit was "a very favorable one," which suggested the town make only a couple of improvements. The town has a total of $12.6 million in assets.
The selectmen would like to eliminate tour buses on Tea Lane. They will contact the bus companies about the matter.
The board officially opened the noncommercial family bay scallop season and heard a report on the potential of the fishery from Stanley Larsen, shellfish constable. The commercial season will open Nov. 1.
The selectmen accepted the resignation of Lois Norton from the personnel board, acknowledging her "long, effective service."
Deadline nears for
MVAuction registrants are eligible to win a $500 shopping spree among Island businesses who offer gift certificates for auction. But time is running short. The deadline to register is Saturday at midnight.
MVAuction is a feature on mvtimes.com that offers live bidding, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, for gift certificates from more than 30 Island businesses. The winner of the $500 shopping spree will be drawn from among auction registrants. Registrants who have not participated in auction competition are eligible. But you have to register to win. Details may be found at mvtimes.com.
Oak Bluffs selectmen accepted the appeals of five resident homesite applicants Tuesday. The applicants had been turned away from the Oak Bluff's resident homesite lottery, the process by which homesites are awarded.
The selectmen were sympathetic to the emotional appeals of the five appellants, who had been deemed ineligible under all or some of the six lottery categories. The board accepted all five appeals, and the applications will be returned to the lottery pool.
"Our view of the world is to open the gates and let people in," said selectman Ron DiOrio. "Hopefully, we will save some souls here."
Jim Rankin, president of the lottery committee, said out of 38 total applications, 10 were rejected, but all were invited to appeal to the selectmen. He said he developed strong relationships with the applicants throughout the process. He said he was pleased with the board's decision. The lottery is scheduled for Oct. 24, when six applicants will win the opportunity to purchase affordable lots of various sizes in Oak Bluffs.
In other business, the selectmen voted to reconsider a previous decision about where to store an emergency management trailer. After a push from selectman Roger Wey, the board voted four weeks ago to move a trailer stocked with $60,000 worth of emergency management equipment from emergency management coordinator Peter Martell's driveway to the highway department.
Mr. Martell and town fire Chief Dennis Alley asked the board Tuesday to reconsider that decision. They said that the trailer, one of only 97 in the state, ought to stay where it is.
"It has a daily grandfather coming in and looking after it," and every EMT and member of the volunteer fire department knows where it is located, in case of an emergency, Chief Alley said. The board voted to reopen the discussion and then to revisit the issue at a later date.
The board also granted permission for Slice of Life Café to close for 10 days in November to replace the kitchen floor; appointed Mr. DiOrio to the Dukes County advisory board; declared October "Domestic Violence Prevention Month"; and thanked town officials for handling the approximately 4,500 visitors who visited from two cruise ships last weekend.
Family's gift of a Lambert's Cove trail is dedicated
Linda Hearn, William Stewart, Emily Smith, Sheriff's Meadow Foundation director Dick Johnson and Cynthia Mitchell walk along the new Goethals Family Trail. Photo by Kathy Retmier
In a private ceremony on Sept. 28, a small group of West Tisbury officials and representatives of the Sheriff's Meadow Foundation (SMF) dedicated a new walking trail on a 20-acre parcel adjacent to the Lambert's Cove Beach and thanked Henry Goethals, the former owner of the property, and his family for making it possible.
The trail was made possible through a collaborative fund-raising effort by the town and Sheriff's Meadow that generated significant private support for protecting the land abutting the popular private town beach from development. In 1999, SMF and the Friends of Lamberts Cove raised $400,000 to purchase conservation restrictions over two lots owned by Mr. Goethals totaling 20.3 acres. Town voters later agreed to spend $325,000 to purchase one of the lots.
A public opening of the self-guided nature trail is planned for later this fall.
Cape man named news editor at Vineyard Gazette
Against a backdrop of continuing decline in paid circulation, the Vineyard Gazette last week announced the promotion of reporter James Kinsella of Marston Mills to the position of news editor. He replaces Alexis Tonti in the position. Mr. Kinsella joined the Gazette, and the ranks of commuters who regularly travel to and from the Vineyard, in 2002 as senior writer.
Prior to joining the Gazette, Mr. Kinsella was a staff reporter for the Inquirer and Mirror, a Nantucket weekly. He also worked for the Cape Cod Times from 1983 to 2002, according to a brief report in the Gazette's Oct. 6 edition announcing the staff change.
In that news report, Gazette publisher Richard Reston said: "The strength of good journalism depends always on the journalist's commitment to fair and balanced reporting and to an understanding that the great stories about the life of a community are told with understatement and without the emotion of overblown rhetoric that so tarnishes the public discourse today."
Mr. Kinsella had little to say to The Times. Asked for a comment on his elevation to news editor, Mr. Kinsella said, "Oh no, I don't have anything to say about it." Mr. Kinsella also declined to say if he planned to move to Martha's Vineyard.
According to the Gazette's most recent U.S. Postal Service Statement of Ownership, Management and Circulation, also published in the Oct. 6 edition, the Gazette's average 12-month circulation declined from 9,581 copies in 2005 to 9,509 in 2006, of which only 5,050 copies were mailed or sold on newsstands to Island readers.
According to the postal statement, the Vineyard Gazette is owned by Richard and Mary Jo Reston of Sarasota, Fla., Thomas B. Reston of Washington, D.C., and James B. Reston of Chevy Chase, Md.
The Gazette story carried no explanation for the removal from the masthead of Ms. Tonti, who was promoted in May 2005 to the news editor job left vacant by the resignation in September 2004 of Nis Kildegaard, news editor since January 1981. Mr. Kildegaard's departure followed the abrupt dismissal of publisher and editor John W. Walter on Sept. 3, 2004, after 18 months on the job.
Mr. Walter, former managing editor and executive editor of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, was immediately replaced as editor by Julia Wells, a Gazette reporter since 1984.
Vineyard Alternative Heating hosts grand opening
Vineyard Alternative Heating will host a grand opening event on Saturday, from 10 am to 7 pm, at their new showroom located at 151 Beach Road (Synergy Building) in Vineyard Haven near the Martha's Vineyard Shipyard. The festivities will include good food, wine, hot cider, restaurant gift certificates and a free drawing for a year's supply of wood pellet fuel.
The company sells free-standing heaters that burn pellets made from recycled, compressed sawdust. For more information, call 508-696-6960.
In a story in last week's Times about a forum for county commissioner candidates, we incorrectly identified the hometown of Carlene Gatting, who in fact lives in Edgartown.