News in Brief
Aquinnah moves back special town meeting
Aquinnah selectmen agreed to move back the date of the town's upcoming special town meeting from Feb. 15 to March 8.
Town administrator Jeff Burgoyne said the decision was made so that town officials would be able to present spending questions to voters utilizing money from free cash. He said the town is waiting for the state to certify the amount that would be available to spend.
Edgartown School principal candidates announced
The Edgartown School committee narrowed the field of candidates for a new principal at a meeting last week. The seven semi-finalists offered an interview include: Elana Aitken, clinical director, Hampshire Educational Collaborative; Carlos Colley, Nantucket Schools assistant superintendent; Carlin Hart, Oak Bluffs School assistant principal; Robert Lane, West Tisbury School assistant principal; Lisa Sheffield, educational consultant; Richard Smith, Tisbury School assistant principal; and Joseph Thibodeau, Edgartown School physical education teacher.
The candidate interviews, open to the public, will be held in the Edgartown School Library starting at 5 pm on Feb. 7 and Feb. 8.
The schedule for Wednesday, Feb. 7, includes Mr. Thibodeau, 5 pm; Mr. Hart, 5:45 pm; Mr. Smith, 6:30 pm; and Mr. Colley, 7:15 pm. The interviews on Thursday, Feb. 8, include Ms. Aitken, 5 pm; Mr. Lane, 6 pm; and Ms. Sheffield, 7 pm.
Principal Paul Dulac worked his last day at Edgartown School last Friday. Mr. Dulac resigned on November 15, 2006, at the request of superintendent of public schools James Weiss over issues surrounding a job search that resulted in Mr. Dulac being named the new superintendent of Marblehead's school system.
In mid-December, Mr. Weiss named Edgartown School assistant principal Anne Fligor the acting principal from Jan. 19 through the end of the school year. The superintendent also contracted the services of Michael Joyce, a retired former Edgartown School guidance counselor, and Donna Lowell Bettencourt, the school's library media specialist, to assist Ms. Fligor with work on the school's curriculum.
Dukes County Savings Bank protects security
The Dukes County Savings Bank last week announced it had cancelled 400 bank debit cards that were affected by a computer security breach at the TJX company.
According to press reports, data from millions of customers may have been exposed by the mid-December breach. TJX is a Framingham retailer that operates more than 2,500 stores, including T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods.
According to a press release, Dukes County Savings Bank took this action to ensure the safety of these accounts. New debit cards were issued immediately to all 400 affected customers and staff members of Dukes County Savings Bank telephoned each customer to explain the situation.
Dukes County Savings Bank has six branches on the Vineyard. For more information, call 508-627-4266.
Housing bank bill is
re-filed on Beacon Hill
Hoping for success the second time around, backers of legislation designed to create a fund to be used to support the creation of affordable housing on Martha's Vineyard learned that Senator Robert O'Leary, a key supporter, filed the bill on Jan. 9.
Senate Bill #781 would impose a one percent fee, paid by the seller, on real estate sales. The first $750,000 of each sale would be exempt. Modeled closely after the Land Bank, the bill would create a housing organization that would be self-funded and award money to a variety of housing initiatives.
Last summer the legislation, which was combined with a similar effort to create a Nantucket housing bank, passed the Senate but went down to defeat in the House where it was opposed by real estate interests.
The legislation filed this month no longer contains any reference to Nantucket. The Martha's Vineyard Community Housing Bank Coalition, a group created to push the bill through the legislature, is optimistic that separating the Vineyard from Nantucket will further its chances.
A copy of the bill is available on the coalition's web site at www.mvchb.org.
Tisbury considers new emergency services building
The Tisbury selectmen plan to ask voters to approve the purchase of property next to Oak Grove Cemetery on State Road for the purpose of building a new emergency services facility (ESF). At a meeting Tuesday night, the selectmen discussed an article they submitted for the annual town meeting warrant, requesting $1,650,000 to acquire property for a new fire station and ambulances service facility.
The ESF and selectmen were unable to find a large enough town-owned parcel on which to construct a combined fire, police, and ambulance services facility. Instead, the new proposal for a fire department and ambulance services building requires the purchase of property next to Oak Grove Cemetery, plus the use of some adjacent unused cemetery land. The Tisbury department of public works (DPW) maintains and operates the cemetery.
DPW director Fred LaPiana requested that the article contain language that informs voters about redefining the cemetery boundaries. He and the Board of Public Works Commissioners asked that a new stone wall be constructed to delineate the new cemetery boundary and that a storage shed be replaced before any construction starts. Mr. LaPiana suggested the cost of the 1,000-foot stone wall, which he estimated at about $75,000, could be included in a funding article for the ESF if it is approved by voters later. The selectmen approved Mr. LaPiana's amendments to their article.
In other business, the selectmen agreed to increase dog pound boarding fees to $10 a day. They also approved animal control officer Laurie Clements's request for repairs and maintenance at the facility, and agreed to talk to West Tisbury officials about sharing the costs and use of a new animal shelter.
Continuing discussion from their last meeting about making the fire chief a full-time town employee, the selectmen asked town administrator John Bugbee to get information about fire departments in other towns.
What do you think about
The Tisbury selectmen invite the public to a hearing on the possibility of granting licenses for the sale of beer and wine in restaurants and inns on Feb. 6 from 5-6:30 pm in the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
"I encourage all interested town residents to attend this important hearing and have your voices heard on the beer and wine issue," town administrator John Bugbee wrote in a press release. "We are approaching a critical juncture in the process, a juncture that will dictate whether or not this matter continues to move forward or not."
The selectmen drafted an article for the April annual town meeting warrant to file a home rule petition with the state legislature. If voters approve the article, the home-rule petition would have to be approved by the state legislature and then by Tisbury voters in a town election.
The selectmen have put together a draft set of rules and regulations, which would include limiting the sale of beer and wine to patrons of restaurants (including restaurants within inns and hotels) with the seating capacity of not less than 30 persons. The beer and wine would have to be served at a dining table by a waiter or waitress and consumed with meals only.
The public hearing offers the first opportunity for community members to voice their opinions about beer and wine sales, and to suggest possible additions or amendments to the proposed rules and regulations.
For questions, contact Mr. Bugbee at 508-696-4203.
John M. Dias, 46
John Michael Dias, 46, died on Jan. 22. Mr. Dias was born in Stoughton, the son of Peter F. and Marie C (Teixeira) Dias, who predeceased him. Mr. Dias worked for Edgartown as a waste management engineer.
Visiting hours are Friday from 2 to 4 pm and 7 to 9 pm, at the Silva Funeral Home, 80 Broadway, Taunton. A funeral will be held on Saturday at 10 am followed by a Mass at 11 am at Annunciation of the Lord Church, First Street, Taunton. A full obituary will appear in a future edition of The Times.