Aquinnah: Happy birthday, Anne Vanderhoop


The great February-vacation Island clear-out is in full swing this week. If you are on the Island and longing for a warmer, sunnier place but just can’t do it this year, I advise you not to go on Facebook. There you will see an abundance of happy Islanders frolicking on beaches and having a grand time everywhere but on Martha’s Vineyard. At least the weather here is a little milder than it was last winter. I guess that’s a consolation.

Remember to vote in the presidential primaries this Tuesday, March 1! Absentee ballots are available through Carolyn Felz, the town clerk; just stop by town hall.

The library has some extra things scheduled this week due to the vacation. On Thursday, Feb. 25, from 11 am to 3 pm, kids can come in and make a penguin out of paper and cotton balls (not a real one, don’t worry).

Thursday at 5 pm is the final meeting of the Island-wide Sustainable Book Club. “The Human Age” by Dianne Ackerman will be discussed. On Saturday, Feb. 27, at 10:30 am, there will be Story Time, and there will also be a craft from 11 am to 3 pm. Kids can come in and make an elephant (again, not a real one). On March 15 there will be another kids’ movie and pizza night. The library will show “The Peanuts Movie” and serve pizza (both regular and gluten-free) starting at 5 pm.

The Aquinnah Cultural Center will host a “Winter Funraiser” this Saturday, Feb. 27, from 4 to 8 pm at the Old Town Hall. There will be venison stew, quahog chowder, and cornbread. The Black Brook Singers will be on hand, and there will be crafts and a big raffle. Tickets are $20 (suggested donation); for more information, contact the ACC at or call 508-477-7240.

The Planning Board and Community Preservation Committee are sponsoring another Aquinnah Circle visioning session in conjunction with the Conway School, this coming Wednesday, March 2, at 7 pm at Aquinnah Town Hall. It will be a great opportunity to share your thoughts and ideas, as well as hear what others have to say. If you have time earlier in the day, Ryan Corrigan and Mariko McNamara — the two graduate students who are facilitating the visioning — are planning to be at Town Hall from 2 pm until 7 pm that day to informally share the information they’ve gathered so far, as well as to gather more input from townspeople.

For those of you who can’t be a part of Wednesday’s events, a short email survey has been prepared by Mariko and Ryan, which can be found on the Aquinnah town website. And of course, if you want to see and hear what was discussed at the first visioning session, a video of the session can be found on the MVTV website by selecting Video on Demand from the website menu bar, then typing the word “visioning” into the search box. It will take you directly to the Feb. 2 event.

At Pathways tonight, Claire Ganz will workshop her ongoing project, “Part of Me” which is an interactive work. The invitation to the event says, “Bring your 7-year-old!” I’m not sure if other kids are welcome, or just 7-year-olds. The event begins at 7 pm, and will also feature work by Benjamin Cheney, Chilmark columnist Valerie Sonnenthal, Sawyer Klebs, Wendy Weldon, and Rob Hauck.

“Powerful Tools for Caregivers” is a free series of six self-care education sessions designed to help family caregivers handle the unique challenges of caregiving. A new series of “Powerful Tools for Caregivers” will be held March 7 through April 11 from 2 to 4:30 pm at Howes House in West Tisbury. All attendees must register. To register call Mary Holmes at 508-560-6012, or email

The Democratic caucus for electing delegates to the state Democratic convention (June 4, 2016, in Lowell) will be at the Aquinnah Town Hall at 65 State Road on Monday, Feb. 29, from 5 to 7 pm. Originally the time was 7 to 9, so please make a note that it is earlier now.

The Aquinnah Democratic Town Committee is holding the caucus. All are welcome, though only registered Democrats can vote at the caucus. Also, the next day, March 1, is the presidential primary, so don’t forget to vote. The polls are open from 7 am to 8 pm at the Aquinnah town offices. You will see some of your neighbors are also on the ballot, running for the Town Democratic Committee. It is not too late to be a write-in to join the town committee. it is a very easy process, so call Megan Ottens-Sargent for details at 508-645-2776.

Congratulations to Clyde Smith, who won the Chilmark School spelling bee. He will go on to represent the school at the All-Island Bee on Friday, March 25, at the MVPAC.

Anne Vanderhoop celebrated her 85th birthday surrounded by family this past Sunday. I hope she’s around for many more years; she is one of the people that makes Aquinnah a special place, and we are lucky to have her.