2019 by the numbers


There are a number of reasons we’ll remember 2019. Here are some of them:

6-15: The pounds and ounces of Solstice Hannagan, the first Island baby born in 2019 — it just so happens that he came into the world in an ambulance on the way to the hospital.

25: The number of Coasties at Station Menemsha who went unpaid as the year started with a federal government shutdown.

5-4: The vote taken by the MVRHS school committee to approve a synthetic field. The vote closely mirrored the divisiveness in the community over the issue.

30,000: The amount J.B. Blau estimates he lost betting against the New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. When they won, Blau, an Island restaurant owner, threw his hands up as if he’d just won the Lombardi trophy.

135,000: The dollar amount of a contract for HMS Consulting to facilitate the recommendations it made to right the ship at the Steamship Authority.

24: The number of years served by Tisbury selectman Tristan Israel. Israel announced going into the election season that he wasn’t running for re-election, setting off a two-way race for his seat.

120,230: The amount raised by a GoFundMe for Flat Point Farm in West Tisbury, which was destroyed by fire, killing nearly 100 farm animals.

10: The number of acres that Martha’s Vineyard Film Festival agreed to buy from the Martha’s Vineyard Agricultural Society in April. The MVFF would back out of the deal later in the year.

7,272: The square footage of a proposed replacement house on the site of the historic Mill House. The demolition of the historic house set off a firestorm after The Times revealed it had been done without the proper permits. The builder ultimately got a slap on the wrist.

1891: The year a Civil War monument was erected in Oak Bluffs by Confederate soldier Charles Strahan. In May, after months of public meetings and comment, selectmen agreed with a request by the Martha’s Vineyard chapter of the NAACP to remove two plaques from the monument and put them on display at the Martha’s Vineyard Museum.

60: The age of Pulitzer prizewinning author Tony Horwitz when he died while on a book tour. Far too young. 

20,000: The amount of miles Frank Cray’s Ford pickup had on it when hydraulic fluid rained down on it and other cars from the lift deck on the Steamship Authority’s Island Home.

144: The number of graduates in the class of 2019 at MVRHS. Another eight graduated from the Charter School.

2: The number of companies seeking recreational marijuana licenses in Tisbury, both on Mechanic’s Street. It’s also the number of tornado warnings the Vineyard was under within a 12-hour period.

32: The number of drivers who voted to approve a new union contract with the VTA, ending a monthlong strike that limited bus transportation on the Island during the busy tourist season.

1: The number of presidential candidates who held forums on the Island over the summer. Mayor Pete Buttigieg held a ticketed event at the Performing Arts Center.

3: The number of days of Beach Road Weekend, an event that brought in thousands of people for a concert and a showing of “Jaws” with a live performance by the Cape Symphony Orchestra.

67: The number of Coast Guard houses nationwide contaminated with lead, including the West Chop housing. The Coast Guard launched an investigation after The Times reported families had been moved out of the West Chop houses due to contamination.

2,000,000: The amount of money approved by voters in Tisbury after the Tisbury School started the year closed, and students then had to be separated between a newer portion of the school and MVRHS. A portion of the school was closed due to lead and asbestos found during an air quality evaluation.

6: The number of years Julie Fay was at the helm of M.V. Community Services. She announced her retirement, and was widely lauded for advancing the mission of community services on the Island.

84: The age of Tisbury crossing guard Stephen Nichols when he was relieved of his duty and had his guns seized for allegedly making threats against the Tisbury School. Ultimately, he was reinstated after The Times reported on the incident and it raised a furor in the community.

173,000: The dollar amount of grants given to Island nonprofits by the Permanent Endowment of Martha’s Vineyard.

11.75: The amount in millions that former President Barack and Michelle Obama paid for their Edgartown property, ending months of speculation.

442,000: The amount set aside for a new harbor patrol boat in Tisbury after the old boat sank at the pier. A review found a hatch on the boat had not been properly secured, overwhelming the bilge pumps and destroying the boat’s engines.

40: That’s what it will cost you to continue receiving The Times in print or online. Many of you have already subscribed, but this is another friendly reminder (you’ll find others sprinkled throughout today’s paper) that this is the last free issue of the newspaper. We’re looking forward to serving you in 2020 and beyond. (Shameless plug.) If you’ve got questions or want to subscribe, go to mvtimes.com/subscriptions.

230: The number of votes in the House of Representatives to impeach President Donald Trump for abuse of power. There were 229 yes votes for impeachment on obstruction of Congress, the second article of impeachment.

84: The age of novelist Ward Just when he died. Another one gone too soon.

2020: The new year, and hopefully a new vision for our Island and our country.