Tags Posts tagged with "Edgartown"


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Mr. Collins will oversee the department and the search to replace retiring police chief Tony Bettencourt.

Soon to retire Edgartown Police Chief Antone Bettencourt advised selectmen Wednesday morning to appoint Jack Collins as acting police chief while they begin a search for his replacement. – Photo by Michael Cummo

In a special Wednesday morning meeting, Edgartown selectmen voted to appoint labor counsel Jack Collins acting police chief, effective on a date to be determined later. Mr. Collins will take over the reins from police chief Antone (Tony) Bettencourt, who last week announced his plan to retire in May.

Selectmen, acting on the advice of Chief Bettencourt, will ask Mr. Collins, who was not present Wednesday morning, to help guide the search and make a recommendation on Chief Bettencourt’s replacement. Mr. Collins is a seasonal resident of Chilmark, where he is also a special police officer. He has served as special labor counsel for Edgartown and Oak Bluffs, and is the president of the Massachusetts Association of Chiefs of Police.

“My recommendation is that you hire Jack Collins to be acting police chief,” Mr. Bettencourt told the board at the Wednesday-morning meeting continued from the previous evening. “He’ll be able to make a more educated decision, because he’ll be working with the officers. He won’t be a threat to the officers; he’s not looking for a police chief’s job.”

Selectman Michael Donaroma said the appointment will help the board make a decision.

“I think it’s a great idea,” Mr. Donaroma said. “He doesn’t want the chief’s job. I know it will definitely help me with the interview process, having someone like that looking over the process.”

The chief said he had discussed the matter with Mr. Collins, and he is agreeable to the appointment as acting chief.

In a phone interview Wednesday afternoon, Mr. Collins said he was looking forward to the assignment.

“I’m flattered and happy to have the opportunity to provide that service to the town,” Mr. Collins said. “I’ve enjoyed working with the people of the Edgartown police department, usually as a trainer. This will be different. I’m very happy the initiative came from the officers.”

The appointment will become effective when Chief Bettencourt leaves the department. While his retirement is effective May 2, he expects to finish his tenure as chief some time in March by taking accrued vacation time. He said he has not yet determined that date.

Chairman Art Smadbeck said he was surprised after reading Chief Bettencourt’s resignation letter.

“I truly understand that for you, it is the right time,” Mr. Smadbeck said. “Congratulations on your 32 years of dedicated service to the town; that’s more than most people give to their community.”

Selectman Margaret Serpa recused herself from Wednesday’s meeting because of a conflict of interest. Chief Bettencourt is her nephew.

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White shingles and black shutters adorn Water Street in downtown Edgartown. —Photo by Steve Myrick

The board of assessors told Edgartown selectmen at their regular Monday meeting that the real estate tax rate will drop by about 6 percent next fiscal year due to an increase in the value of town property. The current rate of $3.70 per $1,000 of assessed value, will be lowered to approximately $3.44 per $1,000 of assessed value.

“The tax rate goes down because the amount of taxable property goes up,” assessor Alan Gowell said. “While last year we had $6.6 billion of taxable property in Edgartown, this year we have $7 billion. We’re a valuable place.”

The assessors recommended that the town continue its practice of taxing residential, commercial, and open space property at the same rate.

Selectmen deferred a vote until the Massachusetts Department of Revenue can certify the town’s valuation.

Also Monday, selectmen voted to appoint veteran firefighter Andrew Kelly as assistant fire chief, on the recommendation of the town’s board of fire engineers. Mr. Kelly will replace assistant fire chief Scott Ellis, who announced his retirement earlier this year.

In other action, Don Hatch, executive director of the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District, presented plans to reorganize the regional waste disposal facility on Edgartown–West Tisbury Road to separate the residential drop-off from the commercial facility. The refuse district wants to borrow $2.5 million for the project, after its current $2.5 million bond is paid off next summer. Edgartown’s share of the bond would be 69.5 percent, or $1.7 million plus interest, over the life of the bond. Voters in Edgartown and West Tisbury will decide whether to approve the borrowing at their annual town meetings. Chilmark and Aquinnah, the other two towns in the refuse district, already approved the measure at special town meetings this past fall. All four towns must agree to borrow the money.

Selectmen voted to continue participation in the Community Development Block Grant program, by applying for another grant. Grant administrator Alice Boyd told the selectmen that she will apply for between $800,000 and $900,000 in federal funds, which are distributed by state officials. The money is slated for energy-efficient home repairs and child care subsidies for Island residents who qualify according to income levels. Edgartown serves as the lead town for the grant, which also includes benefits for West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aqunnah.

Also Monday, Sam Hart, executive director of Adult Community Education of Martha’s Vineyard (ACE MV), asked selectmen to support an appropriation of $15,425, for the organization, a proportional share of $50,000 ACE MV is requesting from all six Island towns. Annual town meeting voters will decide whether to approve the spending.

Mr. Hart told selectmen that private fundraising is up more than double the amount raised last year, and new courses are generating additional revenue, allowing ACE MV to reduce its request for support. The six Island towns appropriated $90,000 last year for adult education classes.

Selectmen approved a recommendation from the shellfish committee that will allow fewer harvesting days for commercial scallop fishermen, but is intended to help protect the fishery. Scallop harvesting will now be restricted to days when the temperature reaches 30 degrees by 10 am. Previously, the allowable temperature was 28 degrees. At that temperature, undersized or seed scallops can freeze and die on deck before they are culled and returned to the water.  “Twenty-eight degrees is exactly the temperature that salt water freezes, it’s right on the line,” shellfish constable Paul Bagnall told selectmen.

Bagnall told selectmen that the 30-degree threshold will help protect young scallops for future harvest.

Finally, chairman Art Smadbeck read a letter from Comcast that alters the original requirement for the cable company to provide service to Chappaquiddick residents.

Under a deal that took more than two years to negotiate, Comcast agreed to extend its cable infrastructure to Chappaquiddick if 270 households paid an advance construction deposit of $2,139 each. Chappaquiddick community leaders predict that only about 200 residents will sign up by the December 19 deadline, but Comcast now says it will allow the Chappaquiddick Community Fund to make up any deficit with private fundraising.

Chappaquiddick resident Woody Filly said the adjustment to the original requirements may convince undecided homeowners that the project will go forward.  

“We hope that anyone who is sitting on the fence, deciding to sign up, this is it, this is the final act,” Mr. Filly said. “We’re hopeful that people who have been on the fence will make their decision.”

Designed with the help of town’s firefighters, it’s a step toward the future.

Left to right: 1927 Mack custom, 1952 Mack custom, 1985 Ford Pumper, 2015 KME Rescue. – Photo by Sara Piazza

On November 1, the Edgartown Fire Department (EFD) received delivery of its newest piece of equipment, a 2014 KME Rescue Pumper built by Bulldog Fire Apparatus, which they designated Engine One. Packed to the gills with the latest technology and firefighting equipment, the truck will be the department’s go-to vehicle for responses to vehicular crashes, fuel spills and other calls for assistance.

The new Edgartown fire engine. – Photo by Michael Cummo
The new Edgartown fire engine. – Photo by Michael Cummo

It carries 700 gallons of water, almost 50 gallons of specialized firefighting foams, and its onboard pump has a maximum output of 1,500 gallons per minute. It has the ability to “pump and roll,” sending water at a fire while the truck is moving, unlike older trucks, in which the driver had to disengage the drivetrain in order to power the water pumps. It even has a bumper-mounted water nozzle controlled by a joystick in the cab.

What makes this truck special, however, goes beyond its sheet metal. It is the latest apparatus to serve as what is perhaps the EFD’s most storied engine company and a vehicle whose design and specifications are the result of over a year of hard work by a select group of Edgartown Fire Department members. What’s more, the truck represents a new direction for the department in the way that it approaches its fundamental mission.

Andrew Kelly was part of the group of Edgartown firefighters who helped design the new truck.
Andrew Kelly was part of the group of Edgartown firefighters who helped design the new truck.

The new vehicle perpetuates a tradition at the EFD. It is the latest in a long line of Engine Ones that have proudly served the town, and for proof of this history one needs to look no further than the small building adjacent to the fire station itself. Occupying the two bays at the Edgartown Fire Museum are two retired Mack fire engines, one built in 1927 and the other in 1952. Both served as Engine 1. The elder vehicle is a Mack custom fire engine, delivered in 1928. “Mack brought a demonstration truck to the Cape and to the Vineyard, and a committee recommended to the Town of Edgartown to buy it,” said retired Captain Richard Kelly, who served on Engine One for many years. That truck served as a front-line engine until 1952, when it was replaced by another Mack, this one assembled in Ocala, Florida. The ’52 featured major improvements over its predecessor, such as a roof and doors. That truck was replaced in 1985 by a pumper built on a commercial Ford chassis. That vehicle, like its replacement, was designed by a committee of EFD members and some readers may be familiar with it as a staple of Christmas in Edgartown parades. It has also responded to countless emergencies over its 29-year career.

The new Engine One may be continuing a tradition, but it has been designed from the ground up with a keen eye on the future. A committee of Edgartown firefighters and officers spent innumerable hours over the last several years poring over every detail of the truck’s configuration.

“We looked to see what was available, but there was a lack of flexibility in design,” deputy chief Alex Schaeffer said.

A dead space was used to add three more seats.
A dead space was used to add three more seats.

One of the department’s major requirements was that the truck had to have as short a wheelbase as possible. This followed a design feature from the most recently retired Engine One, whose short overall length allowed it to get down windy dirt roads and through tight corners when no other truck could. But despite its smaller length, the truck still had to fit everything that the department needed, a task not every manufacturer was able to meet.

“We went through several manufacturers, as we had a specific idea of what we wanted, Mr. Schaeffer said. “We didn’t want to settle for something that wasn’t exactly what we needed,”

In the end, the committee and Bulldog were able to tweak the design precisely to fit what was needed. For example, the rear seats were reduced in number from five to three, and those that remained were recessed into what had previously been dead space in order to create a cavernous rear cabin for firefighters to don their gear. Cabinets and storage was crammed into nearly every available space, allowing a huge amount of gear to be carried relative to the vehicle’s size.  “It was fantastic being able to design our own custom piece,” said Andrew Kelly, a member of the design committee and a lieutenant on both the previous and current Engine One.

The firefighters’  took particular careful with the design, not only in the name of responsible public service, but also because the truck represents an evolution in the operations of the Fire Department. Across the United States, volunteer fire departments face difficulties with maintaining their ranks, as an ever-changing economy and an evolving fire service have placed a multitude of demands on those who wish to serve, and this holds true of the firefighters and EMTs of Martha’s Vineyard. These circumstances, requiring multiple vehicles — and multiple crews — for an emergency response, have the potential to create problems down the road.

Previously, car crashes and other similar emergencies required the response of two vehicles: a pumper equipped with water and other fire suppression equipment and a rescue truck carrying specialized tools for technical rescue. Each vehicle had a separate crew and officers. Given potential staffing challenges, it could become increasingly difficult to require such a high number of fire personnel to respond.

The new Engine One is an adaptation to these circumstances: by combining the capabilities and missions of multiple older pieces of equipment into a single highly capable package, the new apparatus allows for more efficient and streamlined resource management. “Going forward,” Lt. Kelly said, “all of our equipment will be ‘mission-specific’ like this piece.”

Demonstrating this ethos is the department’s Engine Two, a pumper acquired in 2006, which is the front-line vehicle for responses to structure fires. Engine One will now be the first out the door to vehicular accidents and other rescue situations.

“Going into this,” Mr. Schaffer said, “we knew this truck will be in service for 25 years or more, and we wanted to build into it the capacity to evolve with the fire service in that time.”

This ability to adapt to the times is vital not only for the vehicles, but for the department itself, allowing it to continue to effectively serve the citizens that it is charged with protecting, now and into the future.

Micah Agnoli was born and raised in Edgartown and graduated from Tufts University in May with a degree in political science. He has been a member of the Edgartown Fire Department since his junior year of high school, when he started as a junior firefighter.

Rockfish opens in Edgartown Tuesday. —Photo by Michael Cummo

Tuesday will mark the opening night of Rockfish, the new eatery and bar at 11 North Water Street in Edgartown, former home of Eleven North and David Ryan’s restaurants. While the address is the same, the place most certainly is not.

Nell, Will, and Geoghan Coogan are the owners, the sibling trio that have been part of The Wharf’s continued success since 2004. “We all have different personalities and experiences working in the business, at The Wharf and elsewhere in the country,” Nell Coogan said. “We all come at it from a different angle, know each others’ strengths and weaknesses, and we’ve hired a stellar staff. We’ll be here for people in the winter and we’re excited to provide something warm, fun, and different.”

The pizza oven from the former Lattanzi's restaurant is now the centerpiece of Rockfish. —Photo by Michael Cummo
The pizza oven is the centerpiece of Rockfish. —Photo by Michael Cummo

While Rockfish is only steps away from The Wharf, it feels a world away, and it’s obvious that the owners have created something unique. The space itself has been noticeably transformed. The downstairs bar has been rebuilt out of whiskey barrel staves and brought into the middle of the room, creating a stunning focal point. Upstairs, you’ll notice the newly vaulted ceiling, exposing beautiful beams, reclaimed hemlock, and refined ducting. In the corner is a wood-fired oven that was once at Lattanzi’s. This summer, the oven was moved to Rockfish and dropped in from the ceiling. Now, it is beautifully enclosed by inlaid brick. Surrounding the oven is a stunning copper bar supported by bourbon barrels, which emanated the liquor’s scent when cut to fit the space.

John Roberts of Island Food Realty, LLC, and Island craftsmen Bruce Stewart and Alex Young contributed to Rockfish’s impressive new look. There’s brick, glass, and dark wood accents throughout, illuminated by the warm, inviting glow of Edison lightbulb fixtures. The decor is rustic but contemporary, at the intersection of an Edgartown tavern and a Brooklyn whiskey bar. Call it what you will, it’s a place you’ll want to stay.

The floorplan has been rearranged and there’s increased bar seating, even more bar seats than tables. The vibe is upscale yet casual and the space makes it an ideal spot for a date night or a girls night out, versus the family-oriented dining scene at The Wharf.

“When our family took over The Wharf we walked right in and it was a turn-key operation, we didn’t change much of the place,” Ms. Coogan said. “This has been exciting, we’re starting from scratch. It’s pretty fun.”

The name Rockfish came about during the team’s brainstorming process and it just seemed right. Finally, a name all of the owners could agree on, unlike ‘Two Brothers Tavern’ which despite her brother’s best efforts, Nell just couldn’t accept. Rockfish is also another name for striped bass, an homage to seafood on the Vineyard, as well as ‘the rock’ slang associated with the Island.

Adam Rebello, an Island native and former assistant manager at Farm Neck Golf Club joins the Coogans as General Manager. Mr. Rebello has known the Coogan family since he was six years old, and though it was a hard decision to leave Farm Neck, he knew it was the right one. At the helm of the kitchen staff is chef John Shepherd. Mr. Shepherd previously headed the kitchen at The Wharf. The Coogans called upon him this summer to return to The Wharf and he was hooked by the opportunity to open Rockfish. “Once I saw this place I was sold. I was out of retirement, and back in the game,” Mr. Shepherd said. This is going to be a big deal.”

Mr. Shepherd won’t be the only one with head chef on his resume — he hired a who’s-who of culinary talent in the area. Ms. Coogan describes it as “a kitchen full of top chef material. There’s a lot of potential here.” So what will all of these head chefs be cooking?

Edgartown's newest bar. —Photo by Michael Cummo
Edgartown’s newest bar. —Photo by Michael Cummo

The menu runs the gamut, from bar snacks like Marcona almonds to small plates of shrimp, bacon, and grits, and traditional entree-sized meals. One that’s sure to be a favorite is the seafood paella packed with shrimp, scallops, mussels, and clams over saffron rice. Then of course there’s the flatbread pizza, served hot and fresh from the wood fired oven, with toppings such as baby clams, chorizo, sausage, mashed potatoes, arugula, ricotta cheese and more. When the oven isn’t pumping out pizzas, it will be roasting homemade marshmallows for s’mores off the dessert menu, or burning wood for the late night crowd after food service.

The menu will start small but will be constantly evolving. “It will be new and fresh all the time, I’ll keep a rolodex of recipes and we’ll go back and revisit ones that were loved, and we’ll refine them” Mr. Shepherd said. The menu boasts flavors and influences from North Africa, Asia, Morocco, the Mediterranean, and the South. No taste is off limits and the diversity in menu offerings lends itself to sharing. The option of ordering smaller plates and sampling several different things will allow diners to experience the range of the menu. The food service is similar to tapas style, where diners will be encouraged to share food and items will arrive as they’re prepared. Typical coursing can also be requested, but management is excited about offering this more interactive family style or “party style” of dining.

To compliment the food, the restaurant boasts two full bars, an extensive 40 plus bottle wine list, and a menu of classic and contemporary signature cocktails. Especially appealing is the Pear Bubbly, made with Grey Goose Pear, St. Germain, fresh lemon juice and homemade simple syrup. There’s also staples like old fashioned, and espresso martini plus a few dark liquor concoctions good for staying warm in the winter.

Rockfish will be open year round for dinner from 5:30 – 10 pm. The bar will remain open until 1am. Reservations accepted for parties of 8 or more only. For more information call 508-627-9966.

Note: The opening of Rockfish, originally scheduled for Monday, Nov. 24, has been rescheduled for Tuesday, November 25.


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Clogs from baby wipes and other non-dispersable materials are an increasing problem at the Edgartown wastewater plant.

Baby wipes and dental floss can be useful in the bathroom, but these and other non-woven products, many of which are labeled “flushable,” are causing big headaches at wastewater facilities worldwide. The predicament is even more acute on the Island, where limited sewage and aging septic systems are cited as a major cause of the rapidly declining health of Island water bodies.

David Thompson, Facilities Manager at the Edgartown Waste Water Treatment Facility (EWWT), told The Times that the EWWT, which has the Island’s only septic receiving station, has been beset by clogs directly attributable to non-dispersing products.

“People are flushing baby wipes, make-up wipes, dental floss, Swiffer mop heads, and it’s costing us big money,” he said.

“These non-dispersing products don’t sink to the bottom and decay. They float on the top and cause problems,” he said. “If you have this raft of stuff inside a pump, the float isn’t going to operate properly because it won’t know when to turn on. Or the pump will turn on and not get the signal to turn off and the pump will burn out.”

Mr. Thompson said that during periods of elevated flow, non-dispersing material also sticks in bends in sewer pipes, then fats and greases congeal on them, creating a mass that traps more wipes in a vicious cycle. “Take one of those wipes and you can probably tear it apart with your hands. Then twist it into a rope, and you can get a couple of people can’t tear it apart.”

The EWWT is the only septic receiving station on the Island, so the impact of Islanders flushing non-dispersing materials is particularly severe.

“One baby, five diaper changes a day, times 365, for two years, is enough to make a septic fail,” Mr. Thompson said. “When failing septics get pumped out, all those wipes end up in my receiving machine. Multiply that by a couple thousand and that’s what we’re dealing with. When it gets packed in, I can’t even drive a chisel or screwdriver into it,”

The problem is compounding because adult consumption of baby wipes has tripled in the past decade, according to manufacturer Kimberly-Clark.

Tissue issues

A recent Consumer Reports study showed that a sheet of regular toilet paper falls apart in about eight seconds in swirled water, whereas a “disposable” wipe remained unchanged after 30 minutes. The majority of baby wipes on the market that are labeled “flushable,” are non-dispersing, according to Mr. Thompson.

The city of Portland, Maine, tried to address the issue with a series of humorous public service announcements, “What the Flush?”

The problem made international headlines in London in 2013 when London sewer officials investigated a rash of complaints from customers unable to flush their toilets, and subsequently found a 15-ton “fatberg,” the size of a double decker bus, composed of nonwoven fabrics balled up with fats, oils, and grease. In Canada, the Associated Press reported in November 2013 that flushed wipes cost municipal sewage treatment plants about $250 million per year. According to an article in New York magazine, an employee in the city’s department of environmental protection estimates the cost of clearing lines clogged with non-woven products at $18 million a year, not including staff overtime and damaged equipment costs.

Mr. Thompson said he knows of only one company that sells dispersing baby wipes, Sellars Wipers and Sorbents, based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.
“We have to get the word out,” Mr. Thompson said. “Just because a package reads ‘flushable’ it doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. If people care about their plumbing, about their septic system, about their sewer bills or about the environment, they have to start making some changes.”

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Entertainment Cinemas in Edgartown plans to replace its seats.

Edgartown selectmen Monday approved a request from Entertainment Cinema owner Bob LaSala to block parts of the small public parking lot behind the Dukes County Courthouse so that work crews can deliver and install new seats at the Edgartown movie theater.

Mr. LaSala said a 73 foot truck will deliver the new seats on Wednesday morning, and will need about half the parking lot to maneuver. He said he expected delivery of the seats through the cinema’s side doors will take two to three hours. On Wednesday and Thursday, Mr. LaSala asked to block the four parking spaces in front of the Main Street Diner, so dumpsters and a metal recycling truck can use the space while the old seats are removed.

As it turned out, that plan didn’t quite work. On Wednesday the truck was blocking parking spaces on Main Street, and workers were unloading the new seats through the front door. A dumpster was installed in the back parking lot as planned.

“We plan on opening Friday, so we should have this all wrapped up by the end of the day Thursday,” Mr. LaSala told selectmen at their Monday meeting.

Edgartown police helped coordinate the delivery.

In other action, selectmen granted permission to The Wharf Pub to sell alcohol beginning at 9 am on Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14, as part of their traditional celebration of the holidays, including Santa’s visit to the popular establishment.

Town administrator Pam Dolby reported progress in cleaning up the Nunnepaug Solar site, next to the Smith Hollow development.

She said dead trees have been replaced, landscaping and clearing of debris is underway, and a plan to mitigate sound coming from three large electrical inverters is progressing.

Neighbors and town officials had numerous complaints about the contractor, American Capital Energy (ACE), after the solar array was installed during the summer.

“They are being very cooperative and very professional,” said Ms. Dolby, speaking of ACE representatives who are overseeing the project. “Things are moving along.”

Also Monday, selectmen accepted the resignation of Edith “Edo” Potter from the conservation commission. Ms. Potter, of Chappaquiddick, has also served on the board of selectmen, the Edgartown planning board, and the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank, at various times during her long career in public service.

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Photos of long-ago Martha’s Vineyard.

This compact block of shops on Edgartown’s Main Street housed the Hatch & Co. Express office on the near end and a dry goods store on the far. Sandwiched between is W.J. Mendence’s cigar and confectionery shop; the gentleman standing outside the shop appears to be Mr. Mendence himself.

His father, John Mendence, was one of the Island’s first Portuguese immigrants, having arrived in Edgartown from the Azores aboard the whaleship Champion. He retired from maritime life to open this shop in Edgartown in 1879, and it quickly fell under the management of his son, William. Originally a fruit store, the business soon expanded into chocolate, candy, ice cream, and cigars. The interior housed a large glass case filled with penny candy, and later alighted mahogany “back bar” for his soda and ice cream parlor.

W.J. Mendence and his store were well-respected Main Street fixtures for decades, but his family life was troubled. His marriage ended in divorce, and their only child, Edna, estranged from the family, married eccentric loner Harold C. Look. In 1935, Look was committed for life to the State Hospital for the Criminally Insane at Bridgewater after murdering Knight Owen of Vineyard Haven with four pistol shots at Tashmoo’s Herring Creek, in one of the Island’s few murder cases.

Chris Baer teaches photography and graphic design at Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. He’s been collecting vintage photographs for many years.

Diligent police work led Edgartown police to the man who assaulted Stephen Caliri, 63, the owner of the Victorian Inn, late last Friday night in Edgartown, after Mr. Caliri confronted a man urinating in the parking lot of the elegant inn on South Water Street.

Edgartown Police Detective Sergeant Chris Dolby said police will seek charges of assault and battery, assault and battery on an elder and trespassing against Peter Mara, 33, of Hingham.

Mr. Mara was one of a group of intoxicated men in Edgartown that night for a bachelor party who went into the back parking lot of the inn, according to a police report, where the confrontation occurred that sent Mr. Caliri to the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital for treatment of his injuries, which included a fractured nose, cuts, and bruises. The men ran off when Karyn Caliri heard the commotion and ran to help her husband, who was on the ground and being pummeled by Mr. Mara, according to the police report.

The identification of Mr. Mara and his friends began with the discovery of a blue “Hurley” baseball cap and pair of “Havaianas” flip-flops one of the men left behind when he fled. Detective Dolby recognized the hat as the one worn by a man he had seen the night before in the Seafood Shanty restaurant. Based on the description provided by the Caliris, police viewed the restaurant security tape and identified a man paying his bill who was with a group that included the man wearing the hat. That man told police that another member of the group had gotten in trouble and been arrested. A check of police logs led police to William “Denny” Grant, one of the group, who was arrested for disorderly conduct. Police later learned that Mr. Mara had bailed Mr. Grant from jail. His photo on the Registry of Motor Vehicles database matched the description of the assailant, police said.

Police conversations with all three men in the parking lot that night described a night of drinking. Police reached Mr. Mara at his home in Hingham and asked him to return to the Vineyard for a conversation. “I showed Mara the blue hat and flip-flops and asked him if they belonged to him and he said yes they were his,” Detective Sergeant Dolby wrote in his report.

Linley-DolbyWow, we’ve really been having some awesome weather, which is much appreciated after a couple of wet weekends. Well, the ducks certainly enjoyed the wet days, but I am loving this sunshine. Sundays at Norton, backyard pig roasts, sipping cocktails on rocking chairs, ah…This is summer.

On the flip side, even now in the depths of summer, my father continues to garner harassment on his futile search for the snowy owl this past winter. He says he ran into Franny and Eddie Gentle at the barbershop the other day, and they gave him a couple of jabs. Well, Dad, I’ve just received a postcard from your winter nemesis that reads, “The Arctic Circle is beautiful this time of year. Tell Mike I said ‘See you next year. NOT.’” Kind of rude, if you ask me. Them’s fightin’ words.

Congratulations to one of my first ever babysitting charges, who tied the knot this weekend. Lindsay Smith and Matt Garcia exchanged their vows on Saturday, August 9, surrounded by family and friends, at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles. A strong contingent of Vineyard folk made the cross-country trip to witness the nuptials. Best wishes to the two of you.

Alex and Maggie Morrison hosted their annual throwdown this past Saturday, complete with roast pig, live music, and an interpretive Celine Dion DJ set presented by Fitzroy. All were sent home with full bellies and smiles from ear to ear. Can’t wait until next year.

The Murrays took Edgartown by storm this summer, sailing, fishing, beaching, playing tennis, and adding new talents to their repertoires. For Hannah, this meant learning to dive, conquering the Beach Club water slide, and learning to fish — she was in fact declared by Captain Ed Jerome the “Queen of the Flukes.” Meanwhile, Zachary worked on his opti navigation, tossed out the first pitch at an MV Sharks game, and found success with rod and reel, catching both a bluefish and his first sand shark. These two will have a lot of stories for show and tell, come September.

Best of luck to blogger Marnely Murray, who has entered a recipe in the Make the Switch Whole Grains Month Contest. This national contest includes 18 chosen bloggers across the US who start with an old recipe made with refined grains, and then transform the dish into one featuring whole grains, all in an effort to encourage people to consume more whole grains. A substantial cash prize is at stake, as well as the opportunity to help people make healthier choices. Check out wholegrainscouncil.org for more info.

This Week In Pancakes: The Fire Department has you covered on August 24, from 8 am to 12 noon, so mark your pancake calendar, and drop by the station to get your fix. Don’t tell me you don’t have a pancake calendar, because that’s just nonsense.

Kids, grab your parents and head up to Felix Neck for some learning and crafting creature fun time. This program, which offers young naturalists a close-up look at native animals of Martha’s Vineyard, combining a story, craft, and a look at the “creature” of the day, will take place Tuesday and Thursday, August 12 sand 14, from 10 to 11 am. Tuesday, the topic is bugs in general, while Thursday will provide a closer look at our native caterpillars. For children aged three to five with a parent/guardian. Call 508-627-4850 for more info.

A special enormous bunch of balloons go out to birthday boy Bob Carroll this Friday, August 15, as he celebrates his 90th turn about the sun. Don’t tie all 90 balloons to your chair, Mr. Carroll, or you might end up on the moon. Happiest wishes to you!

Also, this week we bestow happiest of birthday wishes upon Lisa Sherman, who celebrates August 15; Braden Moriarty, August 16; Corrigan Mello and Patrice Brewer, August 18; and Mikey Rottman, August 19. Have a blast, guys!

Got Edgartown news? Contact Linley here.

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The Edgartown planning board cancelled its regular meeting Tuesday, rescheduling it to next Tuesday, August 12, at 5:30 pm. The board is considering an application for a special permit from developer Charles Hajjar, who wants to construct eight loft apartments in the Edgartown triangle business district. The rescheduled session will be the fifth meeting on the project since the hearing began July 1.

At the previous planning board meeting, the board closed the public hearing after testimony from many neighbors who opposed the construction. Board members began their debate by asking Mr. Hajjar and his attorney, Sean Murphy, questions from a three-page list of technical issues on setback waivers, parking lot redesign, and construction plans, among other topics.