News in Brief
Photo by Susan Safford
Auto drives into hospital
A driver experiencing medical problems stepped on the accelerator and slammed into the side of the Martha's Vineyard Hospital late Friday morning.
Oak Bluffs Police lieutenant Tim Williamson said the vehicle moved with sufficient force to knock down a metal fence and jump a concrete ledge before coming to rest against a metal support beam between two windows.
The driver was treated and released. Police filed no charges but plan to seek an administrative review to determine if the driver is medically capable of operating a motor vehicle.
Time is money as Hospital takes final MVC steps
The Martha's Vineyard Hospital returned to the Martha's Vineyard Commission (MVC) Monday night as part of the final steps needed to receive a building permit from the Oak Bluffs building inspector.
In December, the MVC ended a marathon review and approved the construction of a new building on the hospital's current Eastville site in Oak Bluffs. The approval included a condition that hospital officials return to the MVC for final approval of a number of details before the powerful regional permitting body issued a certificate of compliance.
Without a certificate of compliance, the hospital cannot receive a town demolition permit or building permit.
Hospital chief executive officer Tim Walsh met Monday with members of the MVC's land use planning committee to review final hospital plans for items that included lighting and storm water runoff. Following extended discussion, the committee approved the plans.
But there is one more step. The full MVC must sign off on the hospital's exterior architectural details, which have been the subject of a committee that includes Island architects, MVC executive director Mark London, and hospital officials.
Once the MVC approves that plan, the certificate would be sent to the building inspector and recorded with the Registry of Deeds. The final step is the Oak Bluffs planning board.
Mr. Walsh is anxious to begin the $42 million hospital expansion and renovation project. The construction manager estimated that delays would soon cost the project from $100,000 to $150,000 in added construction costs, he said.
The hospital has already received approval from the Oak Bluffs zoning board of appeals and conservation commission.
Tough week on the SSA's Island Home
Last week was not a good week for the Island Home.
On Wednesday, the noon trip from Vineyard Haven to Woods Hole left more than one hour late when the crew was unable to close the new ferry's stern doors. The problem, later corrected, was tied to debris in the hydraulic lines.
On Friday, the Island Home arrived at 3:15 pm at the Woods Hole terminal. A woman in a car parked in one of the center aisles on the freight deck opened her door just as a Cape Cod Express truck was driving off the boat. "It pretty much took her door off," said Phil Parent, SSA human resources director.
On the same trip a couple in a Dodge minivan was preparing to drive off, when the male driver experienced some type of medical problem and stepped down on the gas pedal. The car shot forward and hit a support beam by the starboard side door, said Mr. Parent. "It pretty much demolished the van and blocked everyone from getting off," he said.
A pair of Falmouth EMTs just happened to be nearby waiting to board the ferry. They administered first aid. The unidentified man was transported to Falmouth Hospital. His wife was uninjured.
The car had to be removed with a forklift. The door was checked and operated without a problem. The Island Home, which was scheduled to depart for Vineyard Haven at 3:45 left at approximately 4:30 pm, said Mr. Parent, who added that for the most part, passengers and vehicle drivers were very understanding of the delay.
Taxi drivers upset by new Tisbury licensing policy
About a dozen angry Vineyard Haven taxicab owners and drivers protested new licensing regulations at the Tisbury selectmen's meeting Tuesday night at the Katharine Cornell Theatre.
The selectmen held a public hearing in November 2006 and adopted new taxi regulations in December. They agreed to turn the licensing review process over to the Tisbury Police Department and did not hold a hearing on the licensing criteria. Many of the long-time cab drivers said their applications for operator's licenses were denied under the stricter regulations.
"Under these rules and regulations, I had no choice but to turn your applications down," Police Chief John Cashin told the cab drivers.
Police Officer Timothy Stobie drafted the regulations while serving as acting police chief last year. Officer Stobie said he copied most of the regulations verbatim from ones used in other Island towns, particularly Oak Bluffs and Edgartown.
The cab drivers said Tisbury's regulations are now the strictest, and that in some cases, drivers who were granted an operators' licenses in another town were denied in Tisbury. "A lot of people wouldn't qualify under these regulations," said attorney Dan Larkosh, who represented several taxicab owners. "Our concern is that the regulations should be based on current conduct and linked to public safety."
Commenting yesterday, Chief Cashin said because of more extensive background checks, "A lot of people felt we may have leant too much weight to some facets of their life that were so long ago that they felt they should be erased from consideration."
Chief Cashin told the cab drivers he would be happy to review the regulations. The selectmen agreed to hold a hearing on May 29 at 7 pm, to address the issues with the cab company owners and drivers. In the meantime, they extended the licenses for those who were denied for another 21 days, which will allow the drivers to work during one of their busiest times, Memorial Day weekend.
In other business, the selectmen held an animal complaint hearing regarding a dog belonging to Carol Chapman. Leah Tofte-Dorr and her husband Clifford Dorr said that Ms. Chapman's dog was running loose and killed a pet chicken belonging to their six-year-old son in their front yard. The selectmen voted to require Ms. Chapman to pay restitution for the chicken, $20 plus tax, post a $100 bond, and keep her dog restrained for a year.
Edgartown teen heads
to state teen pageant finals
Maggie Lindland, 13, of Edgartown will compete for the title of Miss Massachusetts Teen at the Miss Massachusetts Teen United States Pageant at the Sheraton Hotel in Framingham on Saturday. The winner will win a week's trip to Las Vegas and the opportunity to compete for the Miss Teen national title.
Maggie, an eighth grade student, attends the Edgartown School.
Land Bank expands
farm preserve on Katama
The Martha's Vineyard Land Bank Commission has announced Tuesday the purchase of five acres on Herring Creek Road in Edgartown. The purchase will expand the Land Bank's 15.5-acre Norton Fields Preserve.
The seller is the Philip B. Norton Trust and the price was $2,750,000.
James Lengyel. Land Bank executive director, said the purpose of the acquisition was to protect additional Katama acreage suitable for farming. The land, opposite Edgartown Marine, had the potential to be divided into eight building lots, he said.
Preliminary management goals call for converting as much of the property as is feasible to usable agricultural fields. A portion of the purchase price will be paid via a Land Bank promissory note.
Members of the public with any questions about this or other acquisitions are encouraged to attend one of the Land Bank's regular Monday evening meetings.
The correct spelling of a name contained in a news brief published May 10, "New building committee in West Tisbury," is James Osmundsen.
A May 10 news brief incorrectly stated that Edgartown clerk magistrate Liza Williamson oversaw an April 23 clerk's hearing for Kevin Cusack. First assistant clerk magistrate James Sheerin from New Bedford oversaw the hearing.