West Tisbury: lots of projects around town


I am late getting my column done this week, so the wind is howling and snow blowing across the windows as I sit here writing. We are all inside, the dogs, kitty, and fish. Not Mike. He’s out shingling the fire house.

Station 1 is getting a facelift inside and out, as the West Tisbury Energy Committee begins implementing energy-efficiency projects that led to our Green Community status. The station is getting new insulation that will make the building more efficient. Next, a heat pump will be installed. That will facilitate hooking into the solar array that went online two weeks ago.

Sue Hruby of the Energy Committee said, “It’s nice that some of these energy projects we have been working on for so long are coming to fruition.” She mentioned the streetlights that were converted to LED last September, with a resulting drop in kilowatt hours used from 21,904 to 380. This figure is based on a projection of usage and potential savings done by the Cape Light Compact as the committee was studying the project. Sue said the savings for West Tisbury was so dramatic because of the age of so many of our streetlights.

Upcoming projects are replacing windows and adding insulation at the Howes House and tweaking the ventilation systems at the Public Safety Building and Town Hall. Funding is from grants from Cape Light Compact and the State of Massachusetts.

Other members of the Energy Committee are Sandy Shapiro (chair) and Margaret Skinner. Sue said they could use some additional members, and suggested that anyone who was interested could come to one of their meetings and/or submit a letter to Executive Secretary Jen Rand at Town Hall. The Energy Committee meets as needed, so check the notices at Town Hall or call one of the committee members.

Katie Stafford wants everyone to know that she will be running in the Boston Marathon in April on behalf of Tufts Medical Center. Her goal is to raise $5,000, money that will directly support their mission “to heal, to comfort, to teach, to learn, and to seek the knowledge to promote health and prevent disease.” This will be Katie’s fourth marathon. A direct link to her fundraising site is teamtuftsmc.org/kstafford. I hope we can help her exceed her goal.

Laura Hearn sent an email notice that registration is now open for Felix Neck’s Fern and Feather Summer Camp. You can download a 2015 camp brochure at massaudubon.org/felixneckcamp. Marion Hammond is camp registrar. She can be reached at 508-627-4850, ext. 101, at mhammond@massaudubon.org, or at Massachusetts Audubon at Felix Neck, P.O. Box 494, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568. There are scholarships available for Island families.

I suppose we will all be digging out of our houses and driveways for the next few days, but once you are out, there are lots of things to do.

The West Tisbury library is having a seed swap and germination workshop this Saturday, Jan. 31, from 1 pm to 3 pm. The Saturday drop-in craft is making folded paper puppets. Weekly story times are Mondays at 10:30 for infants and Thursdays at 10:30 for preschoolers.

Two of our Christmas amaryllis are blooming on a table in our sunroom, a contrast with each other and a counterpoint to the snowy woods outside. One is bright crimson with a green and white throat, the other a pristine white. There is something so stately and elegant about those heavy flowers atop their tall stems. Jane Freilicher, one of my favorite painters, often used them in her still lifes, set against a window with the landscape outside her studios, either the New York cityscape of roofs and skyscrapers or her bucolic Water Mill, Long Island, lawn and water view. That contrast of inside/outside has been a reliable subject for artists, and remains one that enchants and keeps some of us busy through the winter when it’s too cold to paint outside.