Aquinnah: Plan ahead to enjoy beaches


Saskia and David Vanderhoop organized a vigil and protest in honor of George Floyd this past Friday at the Cliffs. I am sorry I could not attend; by all accounts it was a lovely and peaceful gathering. There were songs, drumming, and words of commitment to meaningful change. They both felt moved to act due to the unrelenting deaths of black people at the hands of police in this country. Thank you, David and Saskia, for holding this event, I hope there will be more to come, and that it contributes to the reckoning that is unfolding around the world.

You will need a Philbin Beach permit to park in the lot beginning this Monday, June 15. Permits are available Monday through Saturday from 10 am to 2 pm at the Town Hall. Go to the window on the side of the building (to the right of the entrance) to get them. The application is available online at, you cannot mail them in this year, and you can only pay by credit card. You must wear a mask and stand six feet apart from other people when getting your permit. It is worth reading the rules for Philbin this summer, which you can also find on the town website, as things are different this year due to COVID-19. Please remember that the only beach that dogs are allowed on in Aquinnah is Lobsterville Beach, and please, clean up after your dogs.

The Outermost Inn is set to open on June 18 for some outdoor dining and picnic-style takeout options. Cliffhangers is planning on opening, but does not have a date yet. At this point, Juli Vanderhoop doesn’t think she will open Orange Peel Café at the Cliffs this summer, but will keep the bakery up and running. There will be pizza for sure, but it will be reconfigured to safely distance. On the Cliffs will be opening this weekend. The owners are not yet sure what the capacity in the store will be, but it will be open for business.

The town of Aquinnah will hold a socially distanced annual town meeting on Tuesday, June 23, at 1 pm. The meeting will be held in front of the Aquinnah Fire Department building. The annual town election will be held the following day on Wednesday, June 24; the polls are open from noon to 4 pm at the Aquinnah Town Hall. Early voting by mail is encouraged; you can get the application on the town website or stop by town hall, where there are some next to the bulletin board in the drop-off/pickup box. The last day to register to vote or to change party enrollment for the town election is this Friday, June 12; for more information, call the town clerk at 508-645-2304. There will be a pre–town meeting information session via Zoom on the evening of June 16, to allow voters who may not  be able to attend the town meeting to ask questions on proposed warrant articles and the budget. The annual town meeting warrant is posted on the website at, and the proposed budget will be posted by the town accountant on the website later this week.

Pathways Arts is still posting content and holding a writer’s group on Tuesday nights. Go to for upcoming events and posted content.

ACE MV is offering summer classes online. Some are fun, and some are more practical and include certification, and some are even free or donation-only. Go to for information and to register.

The Chilmark Community Center has canceled a lot of programming this year, but not all! The adult tennis program will start on June 13. And the road race will be run virtually (I’m not sure how that is going to work, but I am intrigued). Online registration for the race will start at 8 am on June 15 at

Congratulations to Riley Ignacio-Cameron, who graduated from high school this past Sunday! It doesn’t seem like that long ago (to me) that he was in fourth grade. The MVRHS created a drive-through caravan to celebrate the graduates during this crazy time. There will be a celebration for all the 2020 graduates in July at the Ag Hall. Emerson Mahoney will be graduating from Dartmouth College virtually this coming Sunday. His mom, Juli, is trying to come up with a special plan to help him feel connected and celebrated, even though he cannot be with his classmates. Happy birthday to my old friend Danny Jensen, who celebrates on Tuesday!

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