Add amenities at the beach

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To the Editor:

As we approach our town election, and as we move forward together in a difficult time, I have a request to make of our new select board.

For 33 years, I have lived on Daggett Avenue, and used the town beach at the end of Owen Little Way; this is the beach next to the V.H. Yacht Club.

My children took sailing lessons at the Yacht Club. It’s an attractive, membership-based facility, and it’s well-run, and I have no complaints about seeing people have a good time they pay for. It’s a great place to have a wedding, have lunch, and the rest … all if you’re a member.

But I am writing to request facilities for our town beach, which is immediately next door to the Yacht Club; in fact, our town beach is on land the voters of our town agreed to swap with the Yacht Club to enable them to have their boats next to their clubhouse and their dock.

A visit to our town beach at Owen Little Way shows that use by individuals and families is growing as outlets to the harbor are limited. The beach is small. There is no dock, no stairs for older users, there are rocks everywhere — no sand entry to speak of. Pain is written on the faces of all ages as they attempt to navigate entry, especially at low tide. A large platform on top of two huge concrete culverts that send street runoff into the harbor is the only featured manmade amenity at the town beach.

Tashmoo has limited parking, and an almost impassable road that receives little or no town attention. Owen Park is largely given over to boating.

Why don’t we install some amenities at this gracious little beach, so valued by the neighborhood and so rare in our town? A real dock that goes out 20 feet. Some stairs. A floating raft and a sign that doesn’t say ” Private Beach” at the pathway, which it certainly isn’t, and which greeted me two days ago.

All of our candidates for office are pledging new and renewed attention to meeting the more immediate needs of our town and taxpayers. I’m anxious to see if these improvements get done immediately, while the pandemic makes travel difficult and families and residents need options for swimming and sunshine. It doesn’t matter who owns the initiative; these improvements are long overdue and are town responsibilities.

Len Morris
Vineyard Haven