West Tisbury

Tonight was an ice sky. Sharp and clear, stars picked out one by one overhead. The moon shone brightly, illuminating the ice underfoot.

It’s been treacherous to walk anywhere this past week. Despite daytime temperatures in the teens and twenties, the sun still melts enough to make a slick skim coat of water atop the ice that covers walks, lawns, driveways, and roads. Even the dogs go “slip slidin’ away,” to quote an old Paul Simon song. I walk gingerly behind them, out to the wood pile to replenish the night’s supply indoors for the stove.

The Weather Channel promises snow this week, temperatures to climb into the high 30s.

Rabbi Caryn Broitman will lead a traditional Reform Shabbat service at the M.V. Hebrew Center this Friday, January 21, beginning at 5:30 pm. Throughout the service, she will answer questions and lead a discussion about the history and differences between Jewish Reform and Reconstructionist movements. Everyone is invited to attend.

It’s a good week to have a birthday, to be inside eating birthday cake with friends. Happy birthday to Amy Leonard on January 22.

Marilyn Hollinshead sent news of a first aid course, free of charge, open to all Vineyard residents, to be held this Saturday, January 22, 10 am to 2:30 pm, at the Chilmark Community Church Education Building. The course will be led by an instructor from the American Heart Association, Peter Tennant. Participants can earn certificates in First Aid and Heimlich Maneuver. Bring your sandwich for lunch; beverages and dessert will be provided. Call Marilyn at 508-693-5803 to pre-register.

After you have finished that, come to the library at 4 pm for a Winter Concert with Taffy McCarthy and Bob Johnston.

January 22 is the last day to sign up for some adult education courses offered by ACE MV. A series of professional development classes in English Composition, EKG & CPR Training, and ServSafe Food Sanitation Training are offered, as well as a cooking workshop called Yoga of Food. Pre-register online at www.acemv.org or call Lynn Ditchfield at 508-693-1033, ext. 240.

The Sustainable Book Club will meet at the West Tisbury Library this Sunday afternoon, January 23, at 3 pm. Chef Dan Sauer will lead the discussion of “Slow Food Nation” by Carlo Petrini.

Nancy Cole and Lynne Whiting, with students and teachers from the West Tisbury School, have developed a year-long curriculum following the adventures of Laura Jernegan, daughter of a 19th-century whaling captain, who went to sea with her family for several years. They also have an educational website for the Martha’s Vineyard Museum, www.girlonawhaleship.org. Read about Laura Jernegan on the website or in the current issue of Martha’s Vineyard Magazine.

The West Tisbury Library will host a Public Forum on Monday evening, January 24, at 5:30 pm. Members of the Building Committee, the Library Foundation, Friends of the Library, and Board of Trustees will be present to answer your questions and to let you know where we are in the process of applying for a state grant to enlarge our library.

Emma HallBilsback is one of 28 students selected to serve on the Governor’s Statewide Youth Council. Emma and fellow Vineyard student, Delmont Araujo, with their families, attended their induction ceremony at the State House last Friday, January 14. Governor Deval Patrick presided over the ceremony.

The council “encourages young people to become civically engaged in their local communities.” They meet with the governor throughout the year to discuss how state government can partner with local communities to create solutions and promote involvement in government. Congratulations to both of you.

When Mike and I saw the Wasserman/Bassett table at Sunday morning breakfast, Bob mentioned that he had just returned from India. Later he sent the following description:

“I have just returned from seven weeks in Hyderabad, India at the National Police Academy training the senior managers of the Indian National Police (1,750,000 officers). Susan joined me for three weeks, and one weekend we traveled to Agra to view the Taj Mahal. a beautiful world wonder. Understanding the culture of the country — the world’s largest democracy — and experiencing the challenges of that environment for policing was an interesting undertaking. We will probably return in May for another session.”

I was standing in Cronig’s parking lot one afternoon last week, talking with Laura Murphy and Sue Hruby. Laura pointed to the trees that seemed covered with birds, then to the birds themselves. They were cedar waxwings attracted to the winter berries that clung to bushes and had thickly fallen to the ground. It was quite a sight.