Island school wins "shade grant"
An eighth grade math class at the West Tisbury has won a $1,500 grant from the Melanoma Foundation of New England. The grant will be used to create shade at the school. Typically, the grants are used to erect sun shelters, plant trees, or employ other methods of making shady spots, offering children protection from overexposure to the sun.
The foundation held a contest for four different grade levels in all Massachusetts schools. There were more than 500 entries, and only four winners chosen. Schools in Bourne, Northborough, and Weston also received $1,500 grants.
The children in West Tisbury created a television spot. The spot features students on Vineyard beaches, using their math skills to calculate the importance of protecting skin from harmful sunrays.
Melanoma Foundation board member Martin Padley will travel to the West Tisbury School on Wednesday, Nov. 28, to present the children with the 'shade grant.'
According to the foundation, skin cancer is the most diagnosed cancer in the United States, yet also the most preventable. The organization's goal is to combat the rising rate of melanoma and melanoma deaths.
Paving project to close part of North Road
A repaving project will close a stretch of North Road in Chilmark following the Thanksgiving holiday.
The highway department warns it is possible for particular driveways or sub-division roads to be obstructed completely, for up to two hours, when the final topcoat of paving material is laid down.
From 8 am to 5 pm, Nov. 26-30, a section of North Road between Menemsha Cross Road and Tabor House Road will be closed to through-traffic. A length of approximately one mile, between 300 North Road and 435 North Road will be repaved. The paving will begin near Menemsha Cross Road (the end of North Road nearest Menemsha) on Monday morning.
The side roads affected are Crowberry Lane, North Slope Lane, Turtle Cove, Trustee Lane, Homeward Way, and The Aerie. Residents living on those roads are likely to experience delays.
During the project, the highway department will post specific information daily on its voice mail message (508-645-2100 ext. 2134), and on the town's web site (www.ci.chilmark.ma.us).
Galleries, artists combine in benefit sale
Granary Gallery, Gardner Colby Gallery, and Field Gallery have combined to host a benefit for one of their own, Dee Dee Hagen. Ms. Hagen, who was recently diagnosed with malignant melanoma, is the wife of artist John Hagen. Eighty artists will donate proceeds of the Dec. 9 sale of their artwork to the effort. The benefit will take place at the Granary Gallery, at 6 pm.
Chris Morse of Granary Gallery explained the artistic collaboration this way, "Martha's Vineyard, as a community, has often looked inward in times of need."
For information, call 508-693-0455, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Jaws and Islanders Read The Martha's Vineyard Times
Over the course of the years, "Islanders Read The Times," has proven to be one of the more popular ways our readers connect to the Vineyard and The Times. We have received photos of readers holding up copies of The Times all kinds of interesting and exotic locations.
We've had photos taken on top of mountains, on top of an elephant, on top of a camel, in front of cathedrals, and in front of waterfalls. The stunning Islanders Read photo found on page 18 of the News section of this week's Times deserves special mention.
In preparation for a trip to Baja Mexico that included diving with great white sharks, Ben Ross of Edgartown laminated a copy of The Times, which coincidently had a fishing photo on the front page.
Amory Ross, his cousin and travel companion, is a professional photographer who specializes in nautical and outdoor scenes (amoryross.com). Island camera buffs may be interested in the details behind the shot.
The photo was taken 200 miles off the Baja coast with a Canon 1Ds mkII and a 15mm fisheye lens at ISO 400, f/3.5, shutter speed of 1/350. Amory used an underwaterhousing for the camera that was made in Australia by Aquatech. He said, "Fortunately, the 80-plus feet of visibility off Guadalupe means I never had to use a flashstrobe so it was taken with all natural light."
Deer shotgun season begins Monday
Although the Vineyard archery hunting season ends Saturday, Island deer will get only a one-day respite. The two-week deer shotgun season begins Monday, one half hour before sunrise.
While risk to non-hunters is minimal, public safety officials advise people entering wooded areas to be cautious and wear bright colors, preferably blaze orange, particularly at dawn and dusk, when deer and hunters are most active.
Hunting is prohibited within 500 feet of any occupied dwelling or building, without the authorization of the occupant or owner, or within 150 feet from hard-surfaced roadways. Hunters must wear a minimum of 500 square inches of blaze orange on the back, chest, and head.
State wildlife officials said that hunting remains the most effective means of controlling deer, particularly during the shotgun season, which accounts for the majority of the deer killed.
All deer taken during the Vineyard shotgun season must be appropriately tagged and brought to the official deer checking station in the State Forest, or the Wampanoag tribe's headquarters building in Aquinnah.
Any hunting related problems should be reported to the police at 911 or the state environmental police dispatch number at 1-800-632-8075.
Sprinkler system quenches Main Street fire
Tisbury fire fighters, police officers, and emergency medical service (EMS) personnel responded to a fire at 4 Main Street in an apartment above Martha's Vineyard Premier Properties at 9 pm last Saturday.
Assistant fire chief Jim Rogers said the fire was contained to the kitchen, caused by something cooking on the stove unattended. A sprinkler system quickly extinguished the flames.
Mr. Rogers said that a neighbor who lives in the adjacent apartment reported the fire. Although she does not speak English, she indicated two women and a man were still inside. Although the occupants left the building safely, when the Tisbury Police arrived first at the scene, they had to operate on the assumption that someone might be trapped inside, Mr. Rogers said.
"I think our men and the Tisbury EMS and Tisbury Police Department did a great job, because it was a very difficult situation," said assistant fire chief Jim Rogers. "The report that came to us was we had a working fire with people trapped in the building. It made for some tense moments under tough conditions. We thought people were trapped, and we didn't know for sure until we got our first crews into the unit to look for them."
Although the sprinkler system prevented damage from smoke or flames, water drenched and damaged the real estate office and Brickman's toy department, which are located below the apartment. The main portion of Brickman's was not affected and the store reopened the next morning, Mr. Rogers said. Martha's Vineyard Premier Properties was closed Monday and Tuesday while a water damage restoration crew worked inside.
"Even though it was a relatively small fire, it was very intense," Mr. Rogers said. "It tripped four separate sprinkler heads. If they didn't have sprinkler heads, in my opinion that building would be gone. It had a pretty good head-start on us by the time we got there. It would have extended to most of the building."
The Oak Bluffs Fire Department responded with mutual aid, standing by at the Tisbury fire department, Mr. Rogers said, and the Edgartown Fire Department offered to respond, as well.
Hospital receives state grant for rooftop solar panels
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (MTC) has awarded the Martha's Vineyard Hospital a $198,000 design and construction grant to place solar electric panels on the roof of its new hospital building. The total cost of the project is expected to be $370,000.
According to a hospital press release, 200 photovoltaic panels will be placed on south-facing roof surfaces of the new hospital. At peak capacity, the panels will generate an estimated 44 kilowatts.
In prepared remarks announcing the grant, Tim Walsh, hospital chief executive officer, said that Martha's Vineyard Hospital plans to seek a silver rating for the new building from the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program of the U.S. Green Building Council. If successful, the hospital would be one of just a handful of hospitals in the United States to receive a high level of certification for earth-friendly design and construction.
"During our capital campaign for funds to construct the new hospital," Mr. Walsh said, "we heard clearly from the Island community that our supporters wanted a high-performance, environmentally responsible facility. Our pursuit of a grant for solar electric power is part of our effort to build a new hospital that shows we care not only about our community, but also about our environment."
LEED standards cover a broad range of building criteria, from water efficiency and indoor environmental quality to energy efficiency and good stewardship of materials and resources, according to the press release.
The new hospital is scheduled for completion late in 2009. The rooftop panels would be one of the last touches.
The Massachusetts Technology Collaborative (mtpc.org) is a public development agency for renewable energy and the innovation economy.