Aquinnah: Lonely Island


Happy February, everyone! Welcome to the longest short month on the Island. The good news is that Chilmark Chocolates will reopen this Saturday, Feb. 2, at 11:30 am. The bad news is they will close again on Feb. 17. The good news is that February break is the last week of this month, and you can join in the mass exodus that happens that week and get away for a bit. The bad news is, perhaps a vacation is not possible for you or your family at this time, and you will feel abandoned on our cold, lonely Island. The good news is that many of the organizations on this Island host vacation-week activities so you will not feel so alone and abandoned. February on Martha’s Vineyard can seem like a 28-day desert of cold and ice, or it can be a wonderful opportunity to travel, connect with your neighbors and drive through Five Corners at top speed while eating Chilmark Chocolates. It just depends on how you look at it.

Please note that the abatement deadline in Aquinnah for real and personal property abatements is Friday, Feb. 1. The office will be open from 9 am to 5 pm.

You may have seen many students from Plastic Free MV making the rounds of selectmen’s meetings on the Island. These are middle school students from the West Tisbury School who are committed to limiting the amount of plastic that we use and that invariably ends up in our landfills and waters. They will host a public forum at the Chilmark library on Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 3:30 pm. The students will give a presentation on the plastic bottle bylaw that will be on the town warrants in West Tisbury, Chilmark, and Aquinnah this spring. After the presentation, they will be available to answer questions.

At the library this week: On Thursday from 2 to 3 pm, public health nurse Lila Fischer will lead a mindfulness workshop. On Saturday, there is story time at 10:30 am, and kids’ craft will be held from 11 am to 3 pm. The Afterschool Club will be on Tuesday at 4 pm.

Sassafras, the outdoor nature camp run by Saskia and David Vanderhoop, will begin its next round of winter programming this Saturday. The camp meets for five Saturdays through the winter, ending on March 16. Go to for information and to register. The cost is $200, and some financial aid is available.

Pathways Arts is continuing its great winter programming. On Thursday, Jan. 31, the musicians Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen will perform at 7 pm. The Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival will host free screenings for the family on Saturday, Feb. 2, at 10 am. You can help the MVFF decide what family films to show at the festival in March. On Sunday from 3 to 6 pm, there will be an artist reception for Nygel Jones and Harry Seymour. Allison Cameron Perry’s Qi Gong class happens every Saturday at 3 pm. This is an all-ages class, with a suggested donation of $15. Lastly, on Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Cleaveland House Poets, featuring Eleanor Bates, Fan Ogilvie, Susan Puciul, Arnie Reisman, Christopher Legge, and Valerie Sonnenthal, will read their work. The readings will begin at 7 pm.

The West Tisbury School is hosting a community dinner and a movie on Friday, Feb. 1 from 5 to 7 pm. It’s a “zero-waste” event; please bring your own place settings. Dinner will be served at 5 pm. Family films will be shown at 5:30 pm, including a documentary about students at the West Tisbury School. Food will be for sale, and the movies are free.

The Island Wide Youth Collaborative (IWYC) has expanded its Immigration Resource Center from once a month to twice a month. Now you can come on the first and third Friday of every month to receive assistance with immigration issues from the Immigration Resource Center of the Community Action Committee of Cape Cod and the Islands. An attorney will be present on those days from 9 am to 3 pm to answer questions, provide assistance with forms, and give advice. You do need an appointment to meet with the attorney. Contact Susan Mercier at 508-693-7900, ext. 401, or to schedule an appointment. The next Immigration Resource Center will be held on Friday, Feb. 1. IWYC is located on the campus of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, across from the high school and next to the YMCA.