Community aces team’s return

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The scene was an incredible one.

Dozens of parents and family members, and a lineup of fire trucks, parked near the Vineyard Haven ferry terminal. The anticipation was palpable as family, friends, Steamship workers, and, yes, even tourists waited for the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School girls tennis team to emerge from the ferry.

Where were they? In a van? On a bus? People were clutching cameras, armed and ready, pointed at every exit.

It was as if the crowd was waiting for rock stars and, in a sense, they were.

After all the passengers had cleared the gangway and all of the cars and trucks emerged from the freight deck, the triumphant team, winner of the state championship for the third year in a row, marched off the freight deck together carrying the state championship banner and trophy. They were greeted by loud cheers, whistles, and the deafening sounds of sirens blaring.

Goose bumps.

Full disclosure here. One of the girls, a freshman phenom by the name of Hannah Rabasca, is the daughter of one of our designers, Kristófer Rabasca.

But that’s not the only reason we were so thrilled to see this outpouring. It was just such a genuine moment for the community, and some of our adopted community, to come together to celebrate a job well done. A great moment for the girls, and anyone who witnessed it as a spectator.

And hey, if you missed it, don’t worry. The girls tennis team at the high school is stacked for years to come. For many schools, this would have been a rebuilding year with so many freshmen and sophomores on the team, but for the Vineyarders it means plenty of great years ahead.

Congratulations to all of the members of the 2017 team, and to their coaches, as well.

Watch out, tennis world, this team is the New England Patriots of the courts.

 

Give it a shot

After having seen some of the photographs provided by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, we know Nomans Land is breathtaking.

Problem is, the opportunities to take photos on the federal refuge are few and far between.

For those who don’t know the history, the island was once used for farming and fishing. But during World War II, the U.S. Navy, which had an air station on Martha’s Vineyard where the airport is now, used the island for target practice.

Those years of military training left Nomans Land a dangerous spot, and so it’s posted with signs warning the public to stay away or face prosecution.

As the Times reported last week, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is accepting public comments on a plan to open up Nomans Land to filmmakers interested in capturing the habitat and history of the 628-acre island off the southern coast of Martha’s Vineyard.

As Elizabeth “Libby” Herland, refuge manager, points out, this isn’t for the next Hollywood action film. The request to film on the island originated with Alex Bushe, a documentary filmmaker, interested in sharing some of the mysteries of Nomans Land with the greater public.

Mr. Bushe and other filmmakers interested in capturing the island on film would go to the island with staff from the Fish and Wildlife Service, and would be restricted to shore areas and paths that have been cleared of unexploded munitions.

It seems like a logical and easily managed step in unlocking the mysteries of the island. Let’s hope the public, the towns, and the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) support it as an “appropriate and compatible” use of the property through their public comments.

To make your voice heard, email libby_herland@fws.gov, write by mail to her at 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, or send faxes to 978-443-2898.