News in Brief
Photo by Tamar Russell
Oak Bluffs Police
expand into old town hall
While the permanence of the move is unclear, the Oak Bluffs Police Department is excited to expand their facilities into the old town hall building. The police currently use one half of the building, and next week will expand into the newly renovated rooms of the old town hall.
"They have done something that's agreeable with us," Police Chief Erik Blake said of the town's decision to expand the department's facilities. "There is some debate in town about whether we're going to go with a campus philosophy, with a joint public safety facility, or stay put."
Chief Blake said the Community Development Committee created a list of all town buildings, with four possible uses for each. The town has not decided if the police will stay in the old town hall, but Chief Blake said his department should be in the space for at least three years.
The building provides more space for the employees, offices for the lieutenant and sergeant, and interrogation facilities.
"We are going to be extremely happy where we are for now," Chief Blake said. The department will have an official moving in ceremony next week.
Chilmark selectmen ask MVC to move quickly on hospital
With little discussion Tuesday night, the Chilmark board of selectmen unanimously approved a letter addressed to the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) urging the regional permitting body to approve the Martha's Vineyard Hospital expansion project without delay or costly conditions.
Board chairman Riggs Parker, who drafted the letter, told his fellow board members, "It's worthwhile to urge the commission to act on the hospital proposal judiciously so as not to tip the costs or we could lose all of it. We need to support what they're doing. This is a private entity that has planned for the town's health needs and has raised the money to do it. We ought not to stand in its way."
The selectmen wrote, "Without discussing the details of your deliberations, we wish to add our voice to those who point out that construction costs increase by the day and every extra condition adds cost."
The MVC is scheduled to take up the hospital project when it meets tonight, when it could vote to approve the hospital project with conditions or deny it.
Farm Neck Foundation announces grant recipients
The Farm Neck Foundation announced it would award a total of $54,700 in grants to 14 separate Vineyard organizations in 2006. The Foundation is an independent charitable corporation created by the Farm Neck Gold Club in Oak Bluffs to provide charitable assistance exclusively on Martha's Vineyard, according to a press release announcing the grants.
The largest single grant is $25,000 to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital building fund, which is chaired by Tim Sweet, executive director of the golf club. The nearby Mass Audubon Felix Neck Sanctuary received $5,000 to help fund exhibit upgrades and building renovations.
The foundation also awarded $5,000 to Habitat for Humanity for its work building affordable houses; $3,300 to the Polly Hill Arboretum to purchase a soil core aerator; $3,000 to the FARM Institute to help fund a farmers-in-training program; $2,000 to the Island Medical Interpreter Services to help fund interpreter services for doctors' visits; and $2,000 to purchase a rolling batting cage for the Vineyard baseball park.
Martha's Vineyard Museum receives challenge grant
The Martha's Vineyard Museum announced that it had received a $25,000 challenge grant from an anonymous donor who will match dollar for dollar future contributions to the museum's fall appeal.
"We are thrilled that this donor has come forward with a creative way for contributors to increase their giving, and the response thus far has been tremendous," said museum executive director Matthew Stackpole.
The museum, formerly the Martha's Vineyard Historical Society, is planning to move from its present cramped quarters on School Street in Edgartown to a new campus on land in West Tisbury where it would be better able to display its various collections and provide expanded programs.
For more information on the challenge grant, the museum or to contribute online visit www.marthasvineyardhistory.org or call 508-627-4441, ext. 121.
County prescription drug program off to a good start
Dukes County manager Winn Davis announced this week that county residents are taking advantage of a Free Prescription Discount Card offered as part of a national discount program sponsored by the National Association of Counties.
According to a press release from Mr. Davis, the program, which began in early October, has already saved 48 residents $1,360 on their prescriptions.
The program has no enrollment fees, no forms to fill out, no age or income requirements and no medical condition restrictions, and it covers pet medications. All residents of participating counties are eligible, and entire households can participate in the program with one card.
The Free Prescription Discount Card can be obtained at the County Administration Building at the Martha's Vineyard Airport, or from the Vineyard Health Care Access Program on New York Ave. in Oak Bluffs. For more information, go to the county web site at www.dukescounty.org or call 508-696-3840.
Grantmakers directory in the works for Island non-profits
A grant writing workshop hosted by the Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative (MVDC) on Oct. 18 attracted more than 50 people. The event was so popular that a handful of interested participants were turned away due to space restrictions. MVDC executive director Peter Temple said that due to the outpouring of interest, they have decided to compile a grantmakers' directory that will be available next April.
The directory will be an easy go-to source for non-profit organizations to seek out grants that fit their organizations' needs. It will include contact information, target populations, average grant size, application procedures and restrictions for various foundations and trusts that would offer grants to Island non-profit organizations.
"A lot of people assume that because Martha's Vineyard is such a wealthy place that the non-profits are doing fine," Mr. Temple said. "But the non-profits face the same cost of living pressures as everyone else." The directory will be delivered, free of cost, to the estimated 200 Island non-profits, and a searchable version will be available online.
Funded by the Peter and Elizabeth C. Tower Foundation, the directory will be compiled over the next six months
MV Community Services conference a success
Martha's Vineyard Community Services reports that the recent fall training conference for Island health and human services providers attracted 90 participants.
"The conference was very well received," said Tom Bennett, associate executive director of Community Services. "The objective was to present an opportunity for Island professionals to expand and enhance their training in their chosen areas, and also to learn about how to really begin to collaborate more effectively for the integration of their services to support our Island families."
Mr. Bennett said that about 90 Vineyard professionals and providers from all of the disciplines, medical, mental health, substance abuse, domestic violence, religion and education, attended. Jan Hatchard, Community Service's director of development and communications, and Mary Jean Conley organized the event, held in the new Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Dr. Charles Silberstein, a Vineyard psychiatrist and the founder of the Foundation for Island Health Care, coordinated the conference, introduced speakers, and moderated panel discussions.
"There will be follow-up from this," Mr. Bennett said. "We hope to have quarterly meetings with the people who attended to try and keep in touch, and keep the energy and the positive process that began at the conference for increased collaboration and referrals to better enhance our professional services."
Community Services plans to make the conference an annual event, and to name it the John K. Pearce Fall Training Conference in honor of Dr. John K. Pearce, the former medical director who passed away a few weeks ago.
Wreaths across America
to honor Island veterans
Islanders are invited to a special ceremony to honor veterans nationwide for the Wreaths Across America project next Thursday at noon in the Oak Grove Cemetery in Vineyard Haven.
Dukes County Veterans' Agent Jo Ann Murphy will place wreaths at the base of military service flags at the cemetery in a ceremony that will take place at the same time in more than 230 state and national cemeteries and veterans' monuments nationwide.
Ms. Murphy said the Worcester Wreath Company in Maine will ship six wreaths to the Island next week, five to represent each branch of military service and one to represent the prisoners of war and those missing in action, to be used for the ceremony.
Ms. Murphy arranged for the Vineyard's inclusion in this special nationwide project, and she said she hopes that many in the Island community will attend this worthwhile event. She also extended a special invitation to the Island's veterans groups, schools, and U.S. Coast Guardsmen stationed in Menemsha.
For 15 years the Worcester Wreath Company of Maine has provided more than 5,000 holiday wreaths to place on every headstone at Arlington National Cemetery coordinated with the Cemetery Administration and the Maine State Society. This year the company enlisted the aid of the Civil Air Patrol to spread its new Wreaths Across America campaign.
The mission of the campaign is to "remember the fallen, honor those who serve, and teach our children the value of freedom." For those who are unable to attend next week's ceremony, Wreaths Across America organizers ask that everyone participate by observing a moment of silence at noon on Dec. 14 "to reflect on the sacrifices made and freely given, by those who will not be home for the holidays."
Luke Feeney, 82,
of Vineyard Haven
The Times received news yesterday that Luke J. Feeney of Vineyard Haven died Tuesday, at the V.A. Medical Center in West Roxbury. He was 82.
Mr. Feeney was the husband of Geraldine M. (Barratta) Feeney and was predeceased by his daughter, Karen Feeney. A memorial service will be held at a later date and a full obituary will appear then. Donations may be made in his memory to Hospice of MV, PO Box 2569, Oak Bluffs, MA 02557. Arrangements are under the care of the Chapman, Cole & Gleason Funeral Home, Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, Oak Bluffs. Visit www.ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.
Island bank names new residential loan officer
The Edgartown National Bank announced last week the appointment of a new residential loan officer. Gail Foerster held the same position with the Cape Cod Bank and Trust (TD Banknorth) for 12 years, and has a background in financial planning and real estate sales.
In a press release, Edgartown National Bank executive vice president Fielding Moore said, "Gail's background provides her with a well rounded view of customer and realtor needs, as well as making the entire lending process a pleasant experience for all. She looks forward to serving all of your residential lending needs."
Ms. Foerster was a seasonal Island resident for eight years, and has now moved to the Island full-time. The Edgartown National Bank is now in its 100th year of existence.
Vineyard residents kick off major Boston development
President and chief operating officer of The Abbey Group David Epstein (right), a resident of Chilmark, and Chairman and chief executive officer of the Abbey Group Robert Epstein (center), a West Tisbury resident, recently presented Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino with a commemorative first brick from the commencement of construction of 45 Province, Boston's newest luxury condominium residences.
Development team members gathered recently with city officials to kick off construction of the 32-story development located at the foot of Beacon Hill and within a short stroll of the city's financial district and Boston Common, according to a press release. The full-service 150-unit residence will feature luxurious amenities including a celebrity chef restaurant, four-season pool, and a roof garden offering panoramic views of Boston.
The Abbey Group is a Boston-based real estate company founded in 1968. More information on the development can be found at www.45PROVINCE.com.
Island Real Estate
adds new agent
Island Real Estate of Tisbury announced that Susan Byrnes-Vincent of Chilmark has joined the company. Ms. Byrnes-Vincent, the wife of well-known charter captain Dick Vincent, brings an extensive knowledge of the Vineyard, particularly up-Island.
A graduate of Smith College, she holds a Massachusetts real estate broker's license. She will be handling both sales and rentals and is currently welcoming new clients. Call 508-693-4800, or go to www.islandreal estatemv.com.
immortalized in art
Although it is on its way out of service, the long-lived ferry Islander will now be immortalized in a series of note cards, prints and pillows. Kedron Design, a company that publishes the original work of New England artist Anne Bell Robb, will introduce a line of products this spring featuring the venerable Islander.
The fanciful image is of the famed ferry coming into the harbor, flanked by a lighthouse on either side and miniature sailboats listlessly floating nearby. It will be reprinted on everything from mirrors to hand-hooked rugs.
The products will be for sale at Bramhall and Dunn in Vineyard Haven, Dragonfly Gallery in Oak Bluffs, and The Golden Door Gallery, Murray's Toggery and Edgartown Books in Edgartown. Kedron Design is based in Sherborn.
The Islander will be replaced next year by the 255-foot, 1,200-passenger Island Home. Construction of the Island Home in Moss Point, Miss., was delayed due to Hurricane Katrina.
adds sales associate
Harborside Realty of Edgartown announced that Elizabeth P. Stevens of Edgartown has joined the office's staff of sales associates. Ms. Stevens has more than 30 years of real estate experience, including residential design and construction according to a press release. For more information, call 508-627-3721
New attorney joins
West Tisbury law firm
Attorney John M. Clothier recently joined the law offices of George B. Brush in West Tisbury. He formerly worked as an associate attorney with a law firm in Dover, N. H., where he specialized in trial law.
Mr. Clothier and his parents have long-time Island ties. He graduated from Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) in 1993. His father, James, now retired, taught math at the high school, and his mother, Marge, worked at both the high school and the Oak Bluffs School.
In 1997, Mr. Clothier received a bachelor's of arts degree from Yale University, where he met his wife Kristen. Upon graduation, he worked as a guide and instructor for the International Mountain Climbing School based in North Conway, N. H.
Mr. Clothier received a degree of Juris Doctor from Franklin Pierce Law Center in 2003.
Rooney and Company adds agent
Rooney & Company of Martha's Vineyard, Inc. announced that Kathy Chaves has joined the real estate office located at 1076 State Road in West Tisbury.
Ms. Chaves lives in West Tisbury with her husband Ernie and three children and is actively involved with a variety of civic and cultural organizations.
Ms. Chaves will be active in sales, helping to expand the office's vacation rental department, according to a press release.
new general manager
Sharky's Cantina, the popular Mexican restaurant on Circuit Avenue in Oak Bluffs, promoted Colette Kurelja of Edgartown to general manager. "Colette has been with us since the summer and it was clear from day one that she needed to be more involved," said Sharky's co-owner JB Blau.
The restaurant is open year-round from 11 am to 12:30 am seven days a week. For more information, call 508-693-7501.
Vineyard gift shop opens in the Mansion House
A co-op gift shop that features unique products made by Island artists and craftsmen will be open for holiday shopping in the Mansion House on Main Street in Vineyard Haven every day from 10 am to 6 pm through Dec. 29.
Gift items include glasswork, pottery, unique calendars and much more.