News in Brief
Human remains found
on Edgartown Beach
State police responded to Edgartown Harbor Monday at 5 pm, after receiving a report that a body was discovered washed up on a beach near Edgartown Marine.
Police could provide little information yesterday. State Police Sergeant Neal Maciel confirmed the recovery of the partial remains of a still unidentified person and said that an investigation is continuing. He said the state medical examiner was expected to conduct an autopsy yesterday afternoon.
David Caron defeats Linda Marinelli in Oak Bluffs
Hospital pharmacist and political newcomer David Caron defeated incumbent Linda Marinelli for a seat on the board of health. Mr. Caron received 568 votes, while Mrs. Marinelli, a well-known political figure in town, received 328 votes.
Chip Mitchell announced days before the election that he was withdrawing from the race to boost Mr. Caron's candidacy. Mr. Mitchell, whose name remained on the ballot, received 60 votes.
A total of 972 voters, or 33 percent of Oak Bluffs's 2,949 registered voters went to the polls in last Thursday's election.
A major publicity campaign launched by the Humane Society of the United States in opposition to the Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament failed to sway a majority of voters. A non-binding ballot question, "Shall the town of Oak Bluffs continue to allow the use of town property for events related to shark tournaments?" received 458 yes votes and 386 no votes.
In the race for a seat on the board of selectman, incumbent Kerry F. Scott easily beat back a challenge by Mac Starks, 608 votes to 293.
In the four-way race for three seats on the Finance and Advisory committee, Thad Harshbarger, 634 votes, Arthur W. McGrath, Jr., 614 votes, and Douglas Best, 493 votes, each won a three-year term. The fourth candidate, Mrs. Marinelli, received 436 votes.
Voters elected Sharon Rzemien, 481 votes, and David Oliveira, 592 votes, constables. Incumbent Richard Mavro, 448 votes, was the low vote-getter in the three-way race.
James M. Maseda won a three-year term on the cemetery commission. He bested Charlene E. Radcliffe, 530 to 324 votes.
In uncontested races, the following candidates won election: David Richardson, moderator (655 votes); Richard D. Combra, Jr., park commission (650); James H. Westervelt, planning board (632); Lisa Anne Reagan, school committee (758); Priscilla L. Sylvia, Land Bank commission (766); Hans O. vonSteiger, wastewater commission two years (645); Robert Iadicicco, wastewater commission three years (581); Duncan Ross, water district moderator (656); and Michael S. deBettencourt, water district commission (755).
West Tisbury elects Diane Powers, Cynthia Mitchell
West Tisbury voters Thursday chose Dianne E. Powers over Cynthia Riggs to fill a seat on the three-member West Tisbury board of selectmen occupied for the past 30 years by selectman John Early, who decided not to seek an 11th term.
Ms. Powers, who is also the elected Dukes County Register of Deeds, received 415 votes to 193 votes cast for Ms. Riggs.
In another closely watched race, incumbent Cynthia Mitchell beat back a challenge from Jonathan Revere to win a three-year term on the board of assessors.
In a special election last May, Ms. Mitchell defeated Cynthia Riggs for an 11-month term on the board of assessors, to fill the remaining term of long-serving assessor Raymond Houle, who resigned in February 2006.
Ms. Mitchell received 364 votes. Mr. Revere, a sharp critic of the board, received 232 votes
In the three-way race for two seats on the finance committee, Anne K. Nelson, 432 votes, and Sharon Ann Estrella, 308 votes, topped the slate. Joan Ames received 265 votes.
In the three-way race for two seats on the library board, Daniel Waters, 428 votes, and Virginia C. Jones, 331 votes were elected library trustees. Ernest P. Mendenhall received 291 votes.
There were no other contests. The following candidates were elected in uncontested races: Patrick Gregory, moderator (527 votes); David A. Merry, board of health (535); Katherine Logue, treasurer (509); Brent B. Taylor, tax collector (504); Prudence Whiting, town clerk (539); Jeremiah Armstrong Brown, tree warden (489); Leah Smith, four-year term on the planning board (478); Virginia Jones, two-year term on the planning board (462); Robert W. Holt, park and recreation committee (499).
A total of 621 voters, or 30 percent of the town's 2,062 registered voters, cast votes in the town election.
Edgartown voters say yes to Prop 2.5 overrides
Edgartown voters approved a slate of proposition 2.5 overrides Thursday. The fate of the spending questions was the only uncertainty in an election with only one contest for town offices.
With no names on the ballot, Scott Ellis beat Glenn Searle for the office of constable, 60 to 38 votes.
A total of 398 voters, or 14 percent of the electorate, cast ballots in the April 12 election.
Two days earlier, Edgartown voters handily approved a fiscal year (FY) 2008 operating budget of almost $24 million and easily dispatched 67 warrant articles.
Voters approved six capital outlay and two debt exclusion proposition 2.5 override ballot questions.
Voters approved: Question 1, $48,000 for the construction of a boat ramp on Chappaquiddick (214 yes votes to 171 no votes); Question 2, $221,488 for the operation and maintenance of the dredge (283 to 109); Question 3, $130,000 for resurfacing and rebuilding streets (281 to 108): Question 4, $105,000 for rebuilding and repairing sidewalks, bike paths and storm drains (300 to 90); Question 5, $279,400 to construct a bike path on Meshacket Road (200 to 185); Question 6, $61,921 for the town's share of the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority administrative expenses (251 to 130); Question 7, for costs related to the sewer expansion (251 to 127); and Question 8, for costs associated with the taking of land on Robinson Road adjacent to the cemetery (277 to 107).
Voters elected the following town officers: Alan C. Gowell, board of assessors one year (329 votes); Edward E. Belisle, board of assessors three years (315); Harold T. Zadeh, board of health (310); Michael Donaroma, selectman (264); Andre J. Mallegoi, financial advisory committee, one year (259); Fred Condon, financial advisory committee, three years (283); Steve C. Jordan, financial advisory committee, three years (262); Alan Wilson, planning board (297); David B. Rossi, school committee (320); Diane T. Bongiorno, library trustee (290); Nancy E. Doyle Shemeth, park commission (335); Martha J. Look, wastewater commission (323); John S. Lovewell, water commission (313); and Edward W. Vincent, Jr., Land Bank commission (315).
Chilmark considers summer movies for teens
Chilmark selectmen expressed some concerns Tuesday about a proposal to offer movies specifically for teenagers this summer, but gave the go-ahead to community leaders to continue to explore the idea.
Executive secretary Timothy Carroll told the selectmen the movies would be offered on a trial basis at the Chilmark Community Center, perhaps two or three times, at 10 pm on Wednesday nights after the 5 pm movies for children and the 8 pm movies for adults. He said the purpose is to provide some place for town teens to go.
"Police Chief (Timothy) Rich thought it was a fine idea and we should try it," Mr. Carroll said.
Selectman Riggs Parker said several issues should be addressed with the leadership of the Community Center, which offers the movies, as well as with parents. For instance, Mr. Parker said, how will the teens get home at the late hour, since most of them are not old enough to drive.
Thomas Bena, who runs the summer movies, said they would be geared to 14- to 18-year-olds, who normally don't go to the movie nights. He expressed some doubts about the idea himself and said it would mean he would be working later. The idea came from the Chilmark town affairs council, he said.
Mr. Bena said the teen movies could turn out to be "the best idea or the worst idea," but he said he is willing to try it.
"It should be a proposal from the Community Center that runs the programs," selectman Warren Doty said. Mr. Carroll also suggested Mr. Bena talk to police Chief Timothy Rich about the concerns that were brought up Tuesday.
Mr. Carroll also reported good news. Despite a lot of overwash on Squibnocket Beach from Sunday night's big storm, the recently refurbished parking lot had survived Sunday almost intact. "All in all, it was a tremendous success," he said. "It's still there."
He said some minor repairs, such as filling holes caused by the storm, will be made. The Squibnocket Landowners Association has offered to pay for the repairs and also will conduct a beach cleanup on Saturday morning.
Mr. Carroll said some more resurfacing is needed to smooth out the parking lot.
In other business, Tom Osmers, a commercial fisherman, sought support from the selectmen for efforts to start a program to raise codfish on the Island. Though cod fishing is nearly extinct here, Mr. Osmers thinks that local management could revive the local cod fishery. The selectmen said they would provide a letter for him to present to the New England Fishery Management Council this Friday, outlining the town's efforts to rebuild the commercial fishing fleet.
The selectmen turned down a second request from ecologist Greg Whitmore to dig for fossils and other artifacts on Lucy Vincent Beach. The selectmen turned down Mr. Whitmore's first request in February, to conduct part of his graduate research project at the beach cliffs, citing concerns about erosion.
In a piece of business that has been dragging on for some time, the selectmen agreed to order two sample chairs to try as future replacements for the selectmen's meeting room chairs.
Tisbury election is Tuesday
Tisbury voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to decide a race between incumbent Tristan Israel and challenger Jeff Kristal for a seat on the board of selectmen. The polls will be open from noon to 8 pm at the America Legion Hall opposite the Tisbury School.
Oak Bluffs house
gutted by fire
A house on the corner of Lyme Street and Temahigan Avenue was destroyed by fire last week. The only occupant was able to escape safely. Oak Bluffs assistant fire chief Peter Martell said crews arrived on the scene around 2 am Tuesday morning and were able to get the blaze under control quickly.
The house, located near the State Police barracks in Oak Bluffs, was a total loss, according to Mr. Martell.
The fire appeared to have been started by something left on a propane space heater. Fire crews were on the scene for about an hour and a half.
for Phyllis B. Green
A memorial service for Phyllis Booth Green, who died on Oct. 1, 2006, will be held on Saturday, April 21, at 2 pm, at the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury. A reception will follow at the church hall. For more information, call 508-693-5404.
Parking lot plans, house move on Tisbury's agenda
With town meeting over, the Tisbury selectmen got back to regular business on Tuesday night, reminding voters about the annual town election on April 24, at the American Legion Hall, from noon to 8 pm.
In follow-up to a bid opening on April 6, for the reconstruction of the Water Street parking lot, the selectmen discussed the project with Walter (Terry) Eglinas, superintendent at White Brothers-Lynch Corporation.
Although the contract has not been formally awarded, Mr. Eglinas outlined a possible construction schedule, in keeping with the selectmen's goal to reconfigure and reconstruct the parking lot by Memorial Day.
Pending the notice of contract award and scheduling discussions with Stop and Shop management, Mr. Eglinas said the Lawrence Lynch Company, based in Falmouth, owned by White Brothers-Lynch Corporation, would aim to start the job the week of April 30. Due to safety issues, Mr. Eglinas said the lot would be closed to traffic during the pulverization phase, possibly during the week of May 7. Closure dates will be publicized.
In other business, Ralph Packer, owner of R.M. Packer Company, requested a house-moving permit from the selectmen for April 24. Mr. Packer contracted a company to move the Seth Daggett House, built by his wife's family in 1801, from its location on Beach Street across the street from the Vineyard Haven post office to the Packer Company property, about a quarter-mile down Beach Road.
Movers will transport the house down the Beach Street extension and stage it on the beach at the end of the road. About three to five days later, the house will be loaded onto a barge and floated across to the Packer property.
NSTAR will start temporarily moving utility poles along the route about 2 am on Tuesday. Mr. Packer, Police Chief John Cashin, and Fire Chief John Schilling will work out the timing for the house move to minimize traffic disruption.
The selectmen and building and zoning inspector Ken Barwick approved the moving permit, which will allow Mr. Packer to get final approval from the State Highway Department.
In department reports, Chief Schilling said 45 firefighter students Island-wide will participate in a live burn exercise on Sunday at 9 am at Martha's Vineyard Airport to complete their requirements for the state's Firefighter One course.
Chief Cashin submitted a general conduct policy manual for his department to the selectmen.
Shellfish constable Derek Cimeno asked the selectmen to follow up with the Massachusetts public access board about drainage problems in the Lagoon Pond boat launching facility parking lot.
In other business, the selectmen approved Comcast's request to move its customer service office to the Airport Business Park.