Aquinnah: Opening in phases


Happy Memorial Day everyone, we’ve made it this far! While this weekend promises to be different from years past, let’s all be grateful for being safe and healthy, albeit restricted from some people and things we love. Let’s remember as well that this day is not just the start for our summer season, but a day to remember the men and women who gave their lives in the service of this country. Thank you for your sacrifice.

The governor spoke this past Monday on a phased plan to reopen the state. As of May 18th, construction sites are permitted to have up to 10 workers. All workers are required to follow the M.V. Construction Guidelines, “Rules for Getting Back to Work – Phase 2.” These guidelines are available for pickup at the Town Hall entrance or online. See them online at

On May 25, churches and hair salons can reopen with guidance, available at; libraries and retail can also reopen on May 25 for curbside pickup and delivery only, and restaurants are still only open for curbside pickup and delivery. Hotels and short-term rentals are currently open to essential workers and vulnerable populations only — this has not changed — their reopening will be part of phase 2 for which no firm date has been set. From the website: “We are actively considering whether additional guidance will be provided to hotels/lodging before phase 2.” The earliest date given for phase 2 beginning is June 8, but word on the street is that short-term rentals will not be allowed until July.

If you are interested in how the businesses and public spaces in Aquinnah are going to be affected this summer, I highly recommend attending the virtual selectmen’s meetings. They are held on Tuesdays; check the Aquinnah town website for times, While the businesses at the Cliffs are working together for a plan to reopen (the Aquinnah Shop is already doing takeout), the Cliffs’ parking lot will be open this summer with “restricted density,” and a $30 fee, to be paid by credit card only. The Chilmark Tavern is opening this Thursday for takeout and delivery; to order, call 508-645-9400 or online at

The Yard has canceled most of its in-person events this summer; however, “Yoga at the Yard” and “Community Dance Class” will be happening online beginning in June. The Yard will continue providing creative prompts for people to respond to in whatever medium they wish. Go to for more information.

Pathways is continuing its Writers and Poets night on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm via Zoom. There is a prompt for this coming Tuesday, May 26 — go to their website at, or call 508-645-9098, if you are interested in reading and to receive the prompt.

The M.V. Community Greenhouse Plant Sale is happening this Saturday and Sunday from 10 am to 4 pm at 114 New York Ave. in Oak Bluffs. Every year they have great plants, and it is not too late to get some for your garden. The greenhouse is a nonprofit organization for learning about growing and harvesting vegetables and flowers. To become a member or to buy plants, email

This has been a stressful time for all of us, so here are some helpful numbers if you or your loved ones find yourself in crisis: Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Hotline: 508-696-SAFE (7233), Urgent Care and Emergency Services (Mental Health Crisis): 508-693-0032, and Crisis Text Line: Text “talk” to 741-741.

Happy birthday to Janis Vogel, who celebrates on Monday, and to the library’s Rosa Parker, who celebrates on Tuesday. Hugs and kisses to you both, from a safe distance of course.

If you have any Aquinnah Town Column suggestions, email Molly Purves,