News in Brief
Gisely Fish holds her newborn daughter Rachel, flanked by her mother Mara Rosignol, son Matthew, and husband Jacob, at the end of an exciting day. Photo by Ralph Stewart
Rachel decided that now was the time to be born
The first drive to the Martha's Vineyard Hospital early Monday morning turned out to be a practice run for the Fish family of Edgartown.
When his wife, Gisely, said she was going into labor at 6 am Monday morning, Jacob Fish drove to the hospital. His sister-in-law, Tatiana DaSilva, went along to help watch the couple's three-year-old son Matthew once they arrived at the hospital.
After about an hour it appeared to be a false alarm, and the family returned home. About 9 am, following a hot bath, Gisely's strong contractions began. Tatiana said she called Jacob at work, and he rushed home.
The entire family got back into Jacob's work truck, a Chevy Silverado V-8, and headed for the hospital. "When we were right in front of Cumby's [Cumberland Farms] she yelled, 'The head is coming out,' and we just thought she was being dramatic," said Tatiana with a laugh. Jacob said if she was going to have a baby it would be in the hospital. His wife insisted that was not the case.
"She started yelling, 'Yes, it is,'" said Tatiana.
Jacob pulled up to the emergency room entrance and ran around to open the passenger door for his wife. To his surprise, his daughter was already making an appearance.
Tatiana ran in to alert the ER.
"When I ran in, they said they were going to go get a stretcher and by the time they got out there the baby was crying and kicking," said her excited new aunt.
Rachel Rebecca Fish weighed six-pounds, 17 ounces at birth, approximately 10:17 am.
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Trout and spring arrive on schedule
Jeff Breton from the state Division of Fisheries and Wildlife (DFW) heaves a net full of trout into an island pond, while associate Ed Kraus looks on. The DFW crew arrived on the 11 am ferry yesterday, carrying a load of approximately 750 brook, brown and rainbow trout from the state's Sandwich fish hatchery. In the first of two seasonal trout stockings, the truck stopped at Duarte's Pond, Seth's Pond, and Old Mill Pond in West Tisbury, and Old Mill Pond at the head of Lagoon Pond in Oak Bluffs.
Fishermen are allowed a daily limit of three trout per day from ponds. Fishermen 15 years of age and older must have a Massachusetts freshwater fishing license. Licenses are available from town clerks and online at www.sport.state.ma.us/.
SSA works through
Island Home kinks
Like a new house owner going through a punch list, the Steamship Authority (SSA) continues to address problems with its new ferry Island Home, boatline general manager Wayne Lamson said this week.
Balky elevators have needed some adjustment. It can take a while to warm up the passenger areas after the ferry has been shut down all night. And in windy conditions the air pressure affects some of the doors, either making them hard to open or too quick to close. Recently, a tripped electrical circuit caused a short delay.
Mr. Lamson said he expected some problems like these to appear and be addressed once the ferry was put into service. He said the SSA has scheduled a service period during which the Martha's Vineyard and then the Island Home would be taken out of service for short periods prior to the start of the busy summer season. Some of these problems will be corrected then, he said.
Recalled pet food pulled from Island shelves
Pet owners last week were alarmed to learn that specific brands of wet-style cat and dog food manufactured by Menu Foods have been implicated in the death and illness of pets across the country.
Menu Foods manufactures products for brand names like Eukanuba, Iams, Science Diet, and Nutro Natural Choice, as well as some store brands for companies including Wal-Mart, Winn-Dixie, Hannaford, and Price Chopper.
Menu Foods told the Federal Drug Administration it received the first complaints of kidney failure and deaths among cats and dogs from pet owners on Feb. 20, according to published reports. The company later announced a nationwide recall of more than 60 million cans and pouches of pet food.
Cronig's market reported that a search of shelves turned up none of the recalled products. An employee at SBS said some of the recalled dog food was found and removed from the store. A Stop and Shop spokesman said that dog food on the recall list had been found and removed from shelves. Stop and Shop registers have also been programmed so that any missed items will not be sold.
A full list of recalled products is available from Menu Foods at www.menufoods.com/recall/.
Photo by Julian K. Robinson
Osprey and pinkletinks
Photographer Julian Robinson, who's been on osprey watch for a while now, photographed the osprey couple above rebuilding their nest overlooking Lobsterville Beach at noon yesterday.
On Monday, Suzan Bellincampi, sanctuary director for Mass Audubon at Felix Neck, reported the first osprey of the season at the sanctuary.
And Alex Goethals filed the first pinkletink report of 2007. Mr. Goethals, who lives in Lambert's Cove, emailed news of his observation to The Times at 7:09 pm, March 14. Mr. Goethals' report was posted on the mvtimes.com Latest News ticker. Next morning, he added modestly, "I don't expect a medal, I'm just amused by the sound... Picked up a little last night, though not at a full roar yet. I can hear them again this morning, so it's well confirmed. I can hear them in the swamp next to the house."
For additional creature news, this time about seals, see page one.
Oak Bluffs builder
faces assault charge
Oak Bluffs police say they expect to file a complaint in Edgartown District Court against builder Kevin Cusack, 47, of Oak Bluffs, in connection with an alleged assault on a town employee.
According to Oak Bluffs police, town conservation commission agent Elizabeth Durkee was conducting a site inspection at 337 Barnes Road in Oak Bluffs at approximately 10 am on March 14, when the assault occurred. Ms. Durkee told police that Mr. Cusack pushed her to the ground and struck her with a closed fist. Mr. Cusack, a former member of the town conservation commission, owns the house.
Lt. Tim Williamson said Tuesday that police wanted to conclude their investigation before filing what he said would likely be a misdemeanor charge of simple assault and battery.
Free state hunter education class offered
The Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife will offer a free hunter education course in April. Successful completion of the state-certified course meets certain state firearms licensing application requirements, as well as out-of-state hunting license requirements.
Under a recent change in state law, possession of a firearms identification card alone is no longer sufficient to apply for a Mass hunting license.
Free hunter safety education courses across the state are widely credited with helping to reduce hunting accidents and create responsible hunters.
The class instructor is Jeff Day, a Chilmark police officer and master instructor. The basic class curriculum includes instruction on firearms safety, wildlife conservation, hunting with a bow, tree-stand safety and hunting ethics.
Space is limited, and this is the only on-Island class that will be offered this year, said Mr. Day. Students age 10 to 17 may take the class with parental permission. Students must attend all four sessions to successfully complete the course and receive a letter of completion.
The class schedule is: April 9 and 12 from 6 to 8 pm; and April 14 and 15 from 8 am to 3 pm. Classes will be held at the Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club, Third Street, Edgartown.
Students must pre-register with the Mass Wildlife Hunter Education program online at www.masswildlife.org or by calling 978-632-7648. For class information only, call instructor Jeff Day at 508-645-9323.
Wayne George died
Wayne R. George, 52, of Oak Bluffs died March 20, at his sister's home in Rutland, Massachusetts, after an illness. Funeral services will be Saturday, March 24, at the First Congregational Church of Rutland, 264 Main Street in Rutland, at 2 pm. Visitors will be welcome at the church from 1 to 2 pm. Burial will be private in Hope Cemetery. Miles Funeral Home, 1158 Main Street, Holden, is directing arrangements. www.milesfuneralhome.com
Oak Bluffs takes action
on special contracts
Oak Bluffs selectmen convened a special meeting Tuesday to follow up on recommendations made by town counsel Ron Rappaport and town labor counsel Michael Gilman concerning various personal service contracts held by town employees.
Selectmen voted unanimously to end all of the personnel service contracts now held by town employees at the end of the fiscal year on June 30.
The selectmen agreed to ask the personnel board to recommend which town employees should have personnel service contracts and review contract language, including any fringe benefits included as part of the contracts in order to provide consistency. Selectmen said they would act on recommendations from the personnel board, after reviewing the proposed new contracts with Mr. Rappaport.
Selectman agreed to begin the process of revamping the contracts with the contract for town administrator Michael Dutton. Selectmen Ron DiOrio said that once Mr. Dutton's contract is approved, it could provide a template for others.
The selectmen emphasized that their intent was to correct any flaws in the contract process and not harm any town employees.
In a letter dated Feb. 27, the Mr. Rappaport and Mr. Gilman advised selectmen that five of the 15 personnel service contracts the two lawyers reviewed were "unauthorized" and that town health insurance contributions, larger in these contracts than in labor agreements with other town workers, must be made the same for all town employees.
Municipalities may hire employees using either a contract negotiated with a bargaining unit or a personal services contract. The latter allows towns to employ people independent of the terms of a union contract.
The Iyanough was built to replace the problematic Flying Cloud. She is the latest addition to the SSA fleet, following the commissioning of the Island Home on March 3 on the Vineyard route.
SSA to commission
new fast ferry
The Steamship Authority (SSA) will hold a commissioning ceremony on Saturday, March 24, for the boatline's new fast passenger ferry, Iyanough.
The fast ferry, named for the chief of the Cummaquid tribe who assisted the Pilgrims, will serve on the Hyannis to Nantucket route. The 350-passenger-capacity vessel features flat-screen television screens and a separate luggage and bicycle compartment.
The MV Iyanough is scheduled to depart Hyannis at 9:45 am for her commissioning ceremony at Steamboat Wharf, Nantucket, at 11 am. Following the ceremony, there will be an open house until 2 pm. The Iyanough is scheduled to begin service on March 28.
LWV sponsors forum for Oak Bluffs candidates
The League of Women Voters will sponsor a public forum for Oak Bluffs candidates on Wednesday, April 4, at 7 pm in the Megan Alley community room of the Oak Bluffs elementary school on Tradewinds Road.
The forum is intended to provide an opportunity for Oak Bluffs voters and interested Vineyard residents to hear each candidate's stand on issues of vital importance to Oak Bluffs and to the Island, according to a press release. Members of the audience will have an opportunity to ask the candidates questions, and the candidates will also be allowed to question one another.
LWV holds West Tisbury candidates night
The League of Women Voters of Martha's Vineyard will hold a West Tisbury candidates forum on Friday, March 30, at 7 pm at the Howes House across from Alley's General Store on State Road, West Tisbury.
This is an opportunity to hear from those running for public office in West Tisbury and ask questions on topics of importance to the town. For information call Cathy Brennan at 508-693-7305.
Past and Repast
features Georgia Morris
Documentary film writer and producer Georgia Morris will discuss and present excerpts from her latest film: "Rescuing Emmanuel," in a lecture, on March 26 at 1 pm in Grace Church Parish Hall. The film, shot in Brazil, Mexico, India, Indonesia, the US and Kenya, describes the human rights violations visited on children living and dying in extreme poverty.
Ms. Morris is a co-owner of Galen Films in Vineyard Haven and has written several Galen productions. Her work has won several Cine Golden Eagles and was nominated for a CableAce for Best Writing for "Big Guns Talk: The Story of the Western." Recently, Georgia directed a retrospective for Theater Communications Group, "Forty Years of Passion." Her plays have been produced in New York and Martha's Vineyard, and a screenplay won her an Independent Filmmaker Grant from the American Film Institute.
Monday's presentation is the fourth and final part of the MV Museum's annual lecture series, Past and Repast, which is celebrating women's history month by highlighting enterprising women of the Vineyard. A lunch of soup and sandwiches will be served prior to the lecture, beginning at noon. Call the MVM for reservations: 508-627-4441 ext. 111
Island assessors announce recertification will take place
The Island Counties Assessors Association announced that assessors in Aquinnah, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury, and West Tisbury have each begun the property value recertification process for fiscal year 2008, which begins on July 1, 2007.
The process begins with a review and update of existing property data, according to an association press release. Assessors also collect additional data, including property sales information, rental income, and expense and construction cost information.
Calendar-2006 property sales will be verified and analyzed and then compared with existing assessed values. Property values are then adjusted to meet the full and fair cash value standard set by law.
Once values have been updated for all types of property, real and personal, the state Department of Revenue will complete a certification review in each town to ensure that assessments are at market value as of the fiscal year 2008 assessment date (January 1, 2007) and that assessments are uniform and equitable town-wide, said the association. Taxpayers will have an opportunity to review their updated assessments as soon as preliminary certification from the Department of Revenue is received by a town.
Revaluation/recertification projects in the five towns is expected to be completed by early fall. For more information, contact the assessors office in each town: Aquinnah 645-9667, Edgartown 627-6140, Oak Bluffs 693-3554 ext. 201, Tisbury 696-4206, and West Tisbury 696-0101.
Vineyard Complementary Medicine staff attend specialty programs
Vineyard Complementary Medicine staff members recently attended training seminars in their respective fields. Chiropractor Bryan Graham attended a sports medicine seminar hosted by The Professional Football Chiropractors Society, the organization responsible for uniting official team chiropractors of all 32 NFL teams. The focus was treating athletic injuries and how team chiropractors work with other health care practitioners in a sports setting.
Acupuncturist Hellie Neumann recently completed a certification program on facial acupuncture renewal.
Call 508-693-3800 for more information.
SEED Corp offers workshops in business skills
The South Eastern Economic Development (SEED) Corporation and Dukes County Savings Bank will hold two basic business workshops aimed at assisting potential and existing entrepreneurs. The free workshops are being held in cooperation with the Harbor View Hotel, Martha's Vineyard Chamber of Commerce, Martha's Vineyard Commission, and SCORE (Service Corporation of Retired Executives).
The workshops will be held at the Harbor View Hotel on North Water Street in Edgartown on Wednesday, April 11. The first workshop, "Learn the Fundamentals in Planning, Preparing For, and Financing Your Business," will be held from 8:30 am to 11:30 am. Registration begins at 8 am. Breakfast and lunch will be provided free of charge to attendees.
According to a press release, this workshop is geared toward helping potential entrepreneurs evaluate and understand the fundamentals of owning one's own business. Information on how to get started, where and how to get financing, and the loan application process will be presented. Attendees will also be provided with a free guide to writing a business plan and other materials.
The second workshop, "Understanding the Purpose of Financial Statements and How They Can Help Determine the Health of Your Business," will be held from 12:30 pm to 3:30 pm.
The focus of this workshop is to help attendees understand a balance sheet, income statement, and cash flow statement. The workshop also explains how a small business owner can anticipate financial needs in order to operate his or her business more efficiently.
Please call Tamarah Barao at SEED Corporation at 508-822-1020 by April 5 to register for either or both sessions.
For more information on SEED and its programs visit www.seedcorp.com.
Edgartown realtor joins Sotheby's network
Edgartown realtor Wallace & Company announced it has joined the Sotheby's International Realty real estate network and will now do business as Wallace & Co. Sotheby's International Realty.
The partnership will provide access to Sotheby's exclusive real estate products and services to better market their clients' properties to buyers throughout the country and the world, according to a press release.
Owner Thomas Wallace said, "Our mission remains to share the beauty, character and charm of our Island with people throughout the country and world."
The Sotheby's International Realty network has more than 7,200 sales associates located in more than 350 worldwide offices. Franchise affiliates also benefit from an association with the venerable Sotheby's auction house, which was founded in 1744. All listings from Wallace & Co. Sotheby's International Realty will be marketed on the sothebysrealty.com global Web site. For more information call 508-627-3313.
Dukes Academy offers
Dukes Academy will offer several new courses for would-be real estate licensees. The course modules include Alternative Dispute Resolution, 1031 Tax Deferred Exchanges, Facilitation, and Residential Financing.
According to a press release, the Alternative Dispute Resolution course highlights the tremendous advantages of arbitration and mediation to facilitate dispute resolution. For more information call 508-696-1900 or go to firstname.lastname@example.org.
A story published March 15, "Dogs, owner saved from icy death at Long Point," incorrectly reported that signs posted at The Trustees' Long Point Wildlife Refuge require that dogs be on a leash. The signs flatly prohibit dogs from the property.