West Tisbury: Neat new police station


I had a cold last week and slept through most of the storm. I saw some snow wind-blown across our bedroom windows, but otherwise missed it and it was melted away by the time I went outside and off the property. There are some big limbs down, notably in the triangle by Brandy Brow. Overall, we seem to have gotten through just fine with no loss of power, no accidents, no flooding, no trees blocking roads.

There is a new sign at the Public Safety Building. Police Department, Fire Station No. Two and Tri-Town Ambulance share the facility as they were meant to, following the completion of the new police station that looks from the outside as though it had always been there.

Immediately as you enter, the main area is visible through interior fenestration, lots of glass that makes the building and its occupants feel accessible right from the onset. There is parking behind the building and a discreet entrance to a private interview room for people needing their privacy.

Administrative assistant Haddon Blair gave Mike and me the tour this morning. Earlier, he had filed a request for materials, pleased at how easy things are to find, especially without crawling around on his hands and knees to find them. They are already remarkably well organized for having just moved in.

Every officer has his own cubicle with a desk and space to keep his own open cases right to hand and laptops that go from desk to patrol car. There are file cabinets and storage closets galore, all neatly arranged, with room to spare for now. Years of reports, evidence for pending cases, extra equipment, log books, training materials, lockers, bunks for emergency overnights — there is a place for everything. ACO Joannie Jenkinson has her own office upstairs. There is a high-tech computer room and a conference room that also serves for ongoing training classes. Planning for the future, there is a separate locker room and bathroom for female officers.

The color scheme is a deep cobalt blue and values of gray. Very attractive and professional, about as nice as a police department could be. Still, I have to admit a nostalgia for the old station with Chief George Manter’s acid green entryway and its view of the pond, the smallness of the station and the town’s troubles, a different time.

You will all have a chance to see at least some of it when we vote next Thursday.

Next Tuesday, April 8 is our annual town meeting. It begins at 7 pm at the West Tisbury School. Polls open for the town election on Thursday, April 10, noon to 8 pm, at the Public Safety Building.

Maria McFarland will be a write-in candidate for the Board of Assessors. She has worked in town hall for both the Personnel Board and the Conservation Commission. There is no candidate on the ballot.

The ballot is pretty uncontroversial this year. No contested races for any office. There is one ballot question, “Shall the town vote to have its elected treasurer become an appointed treasurer of the town?” Our current treasurer is Kathy Logue, who has held the position more than ably for 11 years. This ballot vote is the second part of the process, as the town meeting floor vote passed last fall.

The Friends of the Vineyard Haven Library have chosen John Hough Jr. as the recipient of Honoring a Vineyard Author, for 2014. Former honorees were David McCullough, Ward Just, and Jules Feiffer. John will speak at the library in July about his new book, “Little Bighorn.” I realized I hadn’t yet read his last book, “Seen the Glory,” and so picked it up and haven’t been able to put it down. It is a fast moving, well told tale about three young Vineyard recruits to the Union Army, a perfect companion as I’m nursing my cold. I recommend it and can’t wait till “Little Bighorn” comes out in June.

April has been designated “Awareness Month for Alzheimer’s on the Vineyard,” and a collaboration by the Supportive Day Program, Windemere, Martha’s Vineyard Museum, and Featherstone have produced an impressive list of events. On April 7, at Windemere, Mary Holmes and Nancy Cabot begin “Art & Memory,” a five-week program of art making and art looking for people with memory loss. Suzanne Faith of Hope Dementia will be at the Tisbury Senior Center at 1 pm on April 8 for the first CARES (Compassionate Alzheimer’s Respite Education Support) group. Suzanne, Eileen Murphy, and Leslie Clapp will be on hand. It will continue to meet on the second Tuesday every month. There will be a fundraiser at the Film Center on April 13, a reception at 4 pm, before the movie, “Away From Her” with Julie Christie as a woman with Alzheimer’s, followed by a Q&A discussion led by Karen Achille. A dementia conference is planned for April 25. Alzheimer’s care and education are very important to me, so I am grateful we have these resources available for our whole community. More to follow.