Chilmark: Fishing film

Lobsterman Wes Brighton speaks to a full house while a clip of Otto Osmers, a MVRHS senior and the first MV Fisherman’s Trust intern is seen on screen and Exec. Director Shelley Edmundon looks on at the Chilmark Library. — Valerie Sonnenthal

Just the right amount of snow this week. It was a full house for the Fisherman’s Preservation Trust presentation at the Chilmark library, where lobsterman Wes Brighton showed an unfinished film and clips from the forthcoming feature-length documentary on the Island’s commercial fishing community while educating the audience on the difficulties faced by local fisherman. Filmmakers Jeremy Mayhew and Dan Martino, along with executive director Shelley Edmunson and other board members, helped answer questions. If you have historical local fishing images or film footage, get in touch. Find out how you can help preserve and support this important Island right at

It was also a full house in Albert O. Fischer’s backyard at the M.V. Savings Bank opening of his lyrical photographs, up through the end of February. The work will transport you through the familiar and beyond. Don’t miss it. Be sure to sign the guestbook, and all work is for sale.

Even though it didn’t happen in Chilmark, I dare not miss Cynthia Rigg’s Groundhog Day party, where it’s good to know we’re in for six more winter weeks while watching our neighboring town’s political season get its unofficial start. It was also the 50th anniversary of the Bill Murray Film “Groundhog Day,” now taught regularly on various curricula, made into a musical, and continuing to play annually on some platform.

Our own town is talking about whether to compensate our fire chief, David Norton, for the actual time he puts into his job, or continue to pay him “less than a parking attendant.” Besides that, there’s also the matter of the asbestos ceiling tiles which have not been reviewed since the 1970s; sounds like an air-quality test in the present firehouse is overdue.

Read about the U.S Fish and Wildlife Service plans to turn Noman’s Island into a protected Massachusetts cottontail habitat at, and feel free to comment on a 67-page environmental assessment report until March 2.

Pam Goff is looking for a couple of volunteers to help her with a survey of historic houses built after the Civil War and before WWI. If you have the time and are interested, please call her at 508-645-9471.

The Chilmark Community Church Tuesday winter meals continue through February from 5:30 to 6:30 pm; enjoy free food, conversation, and community. All are welcome, free. The Rev. Dr. Charlotte Wright leads a Lenten Bible Study Group on “The Last Week: What the Gospels Really Teach About Jesus’ Final Days in Jerusalem,” based on a book by John Dominic Crossan and Marcus Borg, on Tuesdays from 10 to 11 am, through March 27. Please RSVP for one or more sessions at 508-645-3100 or Books ($10) may be ordered locally or online. 9 Menemsha Crossroads, Chilmark.

Head to “The Peanuts Movie” fundraiser at the CCC for the Chilmark Preschool on Saturday, Feb. 10. Wear pajamas, bring sleeping bags, and get comfy. $10 per person includes pizza, popcorn, and tattoos. Face painting and Valentines crafts are extra. Doors open at 3 pm, film at 4 pm. Questions answered at

Come to Pathways Arts on Saturday, Feb. 10, for an evening of torch songs and love ballads with singers Siren Mayhew, Sean McMahon, Jodie Treloar Sampson, Annie Cook, and Becky Williams, with instrumentalists Adele Dreyer, Rich Giaimo, Chrie Seidel, Andy Herr, and George Davis. On Tuesday, Feb. 13, Lee McCormack hosts an Open Read for Valentines. Doors open at 6:30 pm, and programs begin at 7pm. Mondays, join Rebecca Gilbert for knitting from 1 to 3 pm. You can stop by every day but Wednesdays and Sundays, and find a warm environment to work in; Wi-Fi and computer available. Learn more at

Lots going on at the library; On Wednesday, Feb. 7, at 5 pm, Linsey Lee from the M.V. Museum will present more oral histories from Islanders, ranging from black history on the Vineyard starting with the Shearer Summer Theater, to J.F.K.’s assassination, the Bradley Memorial Church, the Polar Bears, the Cottagers, being a Tuskegee Airman during WWII, and an interview with Dorothy West on her need for writing and self-expression.

Hear Elaine Weintraub, co-founder of the African American Heritage Trail of Martha’s Vineyard, and Carrie Tankard, vice president of the MV NAACP, tell the history of the Trail from its inception to the present day. Tankard will give a presentation on how the Island chapter of the NAACP was formed, and will focus on the story of the five Vineyard women who were the founders of the chapter on Wednesday, Feb. 14, at 5 pm. For questions or information, the library can be reached at 508-645-3360. Sign up for the new monthly newsletter by emailing to stay up-to-date on what’s happening. Stories and Song continue on Tuesday and Saturdays at 10:30 am, as does the Wednesday afterschool club.

The Chilmark planning board invites everyone to attend a presentation and discussion, led by architect and consultant William Brewster of Brewster Architects, LLC, at the Chilmark library on Friday, Feb. 9, at 2:30 pm. Planning board members worked with Mr. Brewster in 2017 to develop recommendations for improvements in parking, pedestrian access, and traffic flow in Menemsha. Mr. Brewster will make a visual presentation and be available for questions afterward. Copies of the recommendation report are available at Town Hall and

Town caucuses, held all over the state during February and March, will elect delegates to the State Democratic Convention, where it is decided who goes to the primary. Chilmark Democratic Committee chairperson Margaret Emerson says, “This is an important and exciting convention because Governor Baker, Senator Elizabeth Warren, Attorney General Maura Healey, Secretary of State William Galvin, and all of our state representatives will be up for re-election.” All registered Democrats are welcome to the town caucus on Sunday, Feb. 11, at the Chilmark library at 1 pm. Doors will open at 12:30 for registration. Not registered to vote? Get registered at the caucus. You can run to be a delegate to the state convention in June, or come to vote for delegates; all are welcome.

Have a great week, and Happy Valentine’s Day to one and all.