News in Brief
High school comes up clean in first dog search
The first search conducted by drug-sniffing dogs at Martha's Vineyard Regional High School (MVRHS) took place at 8 am yesterday morning. "It was a very good outcome, with nothing found," said principal Margaret (Peg) Regan.
A Massachusetts state police canine team, consisting of four German shepherds and their handlers, arrived in separate cruisers from South Shore locations aboard the 7 am ferry. On arrival at the high school, they were assisted by Island law enforcement officers, including State Police lieutenant Bob Moore, and Police Chief Erik Blake, Lt. Tim Williamson, and Det. Nick Curelli from the Oak Bluffs Police Department.
Ms. Regan said the dogs were not in contact with students. The school underwent a lock-down, with students confined to their classrooms for the hour it took for the search. A guidance counselor accompanied students who needed to leave their classrooms for any reason, Ms. Regan said.
The dogs checked lockers in the hallways, gym locker rooms, culinary lockers, and cars in the parking lot, and found nothing. At one point, the canine officer conducted a controlled find, planting something for the dogs to discover, to ensure they were on task, Ms. Regan said.
The search resulted from a policy adopted by the MVRHS school committee at a meeting on March 5 allowing Ms. Regan to conduct searches of the building for drugs and other contraband using the assistance of the Oak Bluffs police, the state police, and canines.
Ms. Regan made a request to the State Police for the dog search, with the support of the school administration and Chief Blake. "It's not my decision when they come - they need two weeks' notification," she explained. Ms. Regan announced a search would be conducted sometime in April or May in a family newsletter that went home with students about two weeks ago.
"Ideally, we would like to do them randomly and frequently, rather than a once-a-year big sweep," Ms. Regan said. "I've been talking to the Oak Bluffs police about how to make that happen. Maybe we will be able to have a dog that's a regular visitor to the high school, that searches a different part of the building two or three times a month."
Photo by Ralph Stewart
33rd Annual Kids Trout Derby is Saturday
Fair weather, cool temperatures, and good fishing is predicted Saturday morning for Duarte's Pond off Lambert's Cove Road in West Tisbury Saturday morning at the 33nd annual Martha's Vineyard Rod and Gun Club Kids Trout Derby.
The club, with the support of many volunteers and contributors, provides trout, donuts, hot dogs, worms, hot chocolate, and prizes. The annual free fishing event kicks off at first light, approximately 6 am and is open to any child 14 years old and younger. The fun ends at approximately 9 am.
Cooper "Coop" Gilkes of Edgartown, long-time tournament chairman, said the morning is the perfect time to introduce youngsters to fishing. Prizes will be awarded in numerous categories and age groups.
Janet Messineo of Island Taxidermy will mount the winning fish.
Club officials asked for the cooperation of the public in holding off fishing in the days prior to the tournament to increase the odds that the kids will catch some fish.
Coop says there is no early fishing allowed, or wading. He reminds parents and guardians this is a kids' fishing tournament and asks that kids be the only ones fishing.
For information, or to help out, call Cooper Gilkes at 508-627-3909.
Chilmark voters went to the polls in large numbers last week. A total of 389 voters, 47 percent of the town's 820 voters, turned out on Wednesday to decide one contest in an election dominated by Menemsha Harbor issues.
Incumbent J.B. Riggs Parker held off a challenge for his seat on the Chilmark board of selectmen from political newcomer and fisherman Karsten D. Larsen, 221 to 159. Mr. Parker told The Times, "I am very grateful for the voters' support and will do my best for the next three years."
There were no other contests on the ballot.
Reelected was Clarissa Allen, board of assessors (342 votes); Katherine Lees Carroll, board of health (320); Richard Alan Osnoss (274) and Russell R. Walton (262), planning board; Richard Williams, finance advisory board (268); J. Norman Freed, library trustee (262); Jane N. Slater, cemetery commission (309); Clarissa Allen, site review commission (319); Everett H. Poole, moderator (339); and Melanie Diane Becker, treasurer (321).
Photo courtesy of the Oak Bluffs Police
Michael Marchand promoted to sergeant in Oak Bluffs
Matthew Marchand pins a sergeant's badge on his dad, Oak Bluffs police officer Michael Marchand, at a ceremony Thursday in the Oak Bluffs Public Library meeting room attended by town officials, friends, and family.
Officer Marchand was a patrolman in Tisbury for 10 years before he joined the Oak Bluffs police force two years ago. According to a police department press release, Officer Marchand has a bachelor's degree from Roger Williams College in Rhode Island and a masters from Western New England College in Springfield, both in criminal justice. Officer Marchand lives with his wife and four children in Oak Bluffs.
New assistant principal for regional high school
Neal Weaver will be joining the staff of Martha's Vineyard Regional High School as an assistant principal, beginning July 1. Mr. Weaver will fill a position held by Anne Lemenager, who requested a return to the classroom next fall in her former position as the department chair of health and physical education.
Mr. Weaver signed a three-year contract with the high school on April 23, chosen from a field of 6 finalists among 26 applicants. Although a native of Ohio, he currently works as an assistant principal of curriculum at Sandalwood High School in Jacksonville, Fla., with a student population of 3,000.
"He's very excited about moving to Martha's Vineyard and being in a school with 800 students," said MVRHS principal Margaret (Peg) Regan. "He'll be able to spread his wings a little and get to do a little bit of everything here."
Mr. Weaver received a bachelor of arts degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in 1997, and a master of arts degree from Ashland University in 2004. He worked as a classroom teacher in Ohio before moving to Florida.
"He seems to be able to develop systems to get things done in a very effective manner," Ms. Regan said. "It's always good to have someone who brings some new ideas."
Photo by Ralph Stewart
Caution needed when visiting Norton Point breach
News that an unidentified fisherman lost his footing and nearly fell into the swift current running through a wide breach in Norton Point Beach circulated around the sport fishing community this week.
Dave Belcher, The Trustees of Reservations Chappaquiddick superintendent, the conservation organization that manages the beach, said he heard that someone fell in but was able to get back out of the water. "I've been telling everybody to be very careful," said Mr. Belcher. "The beach is still eroding and you have to be extremely careful."
Mr. Belcher said there is no reason for anyone to walk into the water. He advised against standing on any steep banks.
Well-known fisherman Cooper Gilkes of Edgartown said that fishermen who are used to fishing Island ponds when they are open to the ocean should not assume that conditions at the breach are similar. "There is a strong tide and people are just not used to it," said Mr. Gilkes. "Everybody had better be real careful."
Yesterday, Mr. Belcher said he expected to open the Chappaquiddick side of the beach roadway to over-sand vehicle traffic by Friday. He said fishermen would still face a walk because it is too dangerous to run the roadway close to the breach, which continues to shift. The Katama side was opened last week.
The Trustees manage the county-owned beach under a contract signed with the county. Beach over-sand vehicle permits are available at the TTOR office in Vineyard Haven, the Dukes County administration building at the airport, Coop's in Edgartown, and by mail. The cost is $60 for a resident and $100 for a non-resident.
SSA puts Islander
up for sale
The Steamship Authority (SSA) board Tuesday authorized management to issue an invitation for bids for the Islander with a minimum asking price of $750,000.
The minimum asking price was based on a marine survey of the vessel's value. The scrap value of the double-ended ferry is estimated at $200,000.
According to a management report of the monthly meeting held on Nantucket, it is expected that anyone who bids on the Islander would continue to operate her, given the low scrap value. Management will open bids on July 10.
On Tuesday Wayne Lamson, SSA general manager, announced the Executive Office of Transportation would provide a $1.5 million grant for improvements to the SSA'S Fairhaven facility, which are expected to total $6.5 million.
Management also expects to award the first phase of the Oak Bluffs terminal reconstruction project at the July board meeting. Marc Hanover, Vineyard SSA member, told The Times there would be a more complete report made at the June SSA meeting on the Vineyard.
Mr. Hanover said the Island Home would return to service today following a scheduled two-week hiatus in order to address warranty items and improvements.
Nonprofit created for Menemsha fishermen
Chilmark selectman and former fish broker Warren Doty this week announced the creation of The Menemsha Fisheries Development Fund (MFDF), a nonprofit corporation created with the goal to "return Menemsha to a viable and economically sound fishing village."
According to a press release, the fund was established with private donations "to act as a change agent, to provide vision, logistical and financial support for new initiatives and new directions for commercial fishing in the Town of Chilmark. Grants will be given to upgrade equipment, to try new sustainable aquaculture and fishing techniques, and to diversify operations."
A board of three directors, who are also the founders of the nonprofit corporation, manage the fund. Mr. Doty is the corporation president. Ted Mayhew, former Chilmark selectman and retired president of Dukes County Savings Bank, is the clerk. Mary Murphy Boyd, a West Tisbury School teacher and Chilmark EMT is the third director.
A five-person review committee, yet to be formed, will approve applications and recommend awards to the directors.
According to a mission statement, the MFDF will "encourage new sustainable fishing techniques, new and existing aquaculture projects and the development of new shoreside facilities to serve Menemsha's fishing community."
The fund is open to fishermen working out of Menemsha, but Chilmark residency is not a requirement. Mr. Doty told The Times.
Mr. Doty said the fund has received private donations, including one "very significant" donation from an anonymous donor. He was unwilling to reveal how much money is available. "We have enough to get started," said Mr. Doty, "It's a decent amount."
Mr. Doty said he expects the fund would award individual grants of up to $5,000 for a variety of purposes, including shoreside infrastructure, aquaculture, and new fishing techniques. "We hope people will apply," he said.
Application forms are available at Menemsha Texaco or by calling Mr. Doty at 1-508-564-0150.
Trucks must pay or go away in Park and Ride lot
Beginning May 15, owners of commercial vehicles over 20 feet long must pay to park at Tisbury's Park and Ride parking lot. Those without authorization from town administrator John Bugbee's office will be ticketed.
Under new regulations adopted by the Tisbury selectmen at a meeting Tuesday night, commercial vehicle owners must seek approval from Mr. Bugbee before they can park in the lot.
The rate will be $10 a day for a commercial vehicle parked in the lot less than 10 days. If more than 10 days, an annual or seasonal parking voucher must be purchased.
The new regulations provide for the storage of commercial trailers for a fee in a designated area at the lot, as well. No hazardous materials may be stored in trailers, and they will be subject to random inspections by the Tisbury police department.
A complete list of rates is available at town hall.
Photo by Katie Carroll
Chilmark School engages in May Day fun
Chilmark School children celebrated May Day Tuesday with a bit of traditional hide and seek. The day began with the children hiding from their teachers. When the bell rang signaling the start of the school day the teachers ran to find the children making for a spirited start to a fun day.
May Day events included a maypole dance, taught by Lee Fierro, around a brightly decorated May pole. The students also delivered baskets filled with flowers and baked goods to their grandparents and other members of the Chilmark community.
The May Day activities at the school date back more than 100 years, beginning at the one-room Menemsha School.
30 years with an open house
An open house to celebrate the 30th birthday of Michael Donaroma's retail greenhouse and nursery takes place this Sunday, May 6, 1-4 pm, at the store's location on 271 Upper Main St. in Edgartown.
Mr. Donaroma and his staff invite the public, including "young and more mature green thumbs," to enjoy an afternoon party in the garden store and help them reminisce about past years of Island gardening. Cake and refreshments will be served.
The spring open house offers visitors an opportunity to preview Mother's Day ideas, ask gardening questions, and seek advice from the staff's plant professionals.
For more information, call 508-627-8366.
Taco eaters compete
for a good cause
Sharky's Cantina in Oak Bluffs will host a Cinco de Mayo Taco Eating Contest Saturday at 3 pm, to benefit Habitat for Humanity Martha's Vineyard. Big eaters have an opportunity to win cash and prizes.
The contest kicks off with qualifying heats where contestants must take in ten mini-tacos. The top six qualifiers are then entered in the final, several hours later, and the winner will be the first to take in 20 mini-tacos.
The $20 entry fee will be donated Habitat M.V. Sharky's will also offer free breakfast burritos to the first 200 people who show between 11 am and 3 pm in celebration of the beginning of breakfast at Sharky's, beginning in mid-May.
For details on the contest, call Sharky's at 508-693-7501. Space is limited.
Edgartown National Bank chairman is named
Fielding Moore, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer of Edgartown National Bank announced the appointment of D. Warren Vose, Jr. as Chairman of the Board of Directors at the Edgartown National Bank.
Mr. Vose has served as a member of the Board of Directors since 1974.
Mr. Vose, a former military and commercial airline pilot, has an intimate connection to the bank. His great grandfather, Julien Vose, was one of the founders of the Edgartown National Bank and his father, Donald W. Vose has served as President of the bank since 1957.
The Edgartown National Bank is a locally-owned and operated community bank founded 102 years ago.