Oak Bluffs: Planning for the school year


I don’t know what went on in your neighborhood on the Fourth of July, but we were surrounded by the loud explosions of fireworks in the nights before, during, and after that date. Sunday night my dog and I had enough, as a couple of houses down the street from us the residents decided to keep on with those fireworks explosions. I found my late husband’s old referee whistle, blew through long blasts in their direction, and everything was quiet for the remainder of the night.

But Monday as I am writing, I am enjoying the weather, as it is less humid and the sun is trying its best to warm things up. Now if only the cars that continue to speed by, racing right through the stop signs, would slow down, what a peaceful time it would be.

I guess some people decided to take precautions in their weekend celebrations by doing proper social distancing and wearing masks, but a great many did not. If it was a town mandate, I do not understand why it cannot be enforced. I don’t think it is infringing on anyone’s freedom any more than not allowing cars to park in restricted areas does, and doing that results in not just a reprimand but also a fine. Someone please explain it.

Under state guidelines, the public schools on the Island are preparing for reopening in the fall and to also have plans in place for instructions in case of a reclosing of schools due to a possible resurgence of the pandemic. The guidelines include a clear set of health and safety mandates for both students and staff, such as wearing masks and social distancing. The schools may have a combination of many methods of teaching students, including going back to remote learning or a combination of remote learning and in-school classroom instruction, with proper safeguards. Within the next two weeks the district will be sending a survey to both families and staff to collect technology readiness, transportation, and school re-entry concerns. Please complete it as soon as possible, as it will provide the basis for the school re-entry plan. The number for the superintendent’s office is 508-693-2007, if you have any questions.

Instead of its usual festive annual summer gala, the Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse invites everyone to gather with them virtually on Thursday, July 23, at 6 pm. On the 23rd they will entertain you as well as look back at memorable moments from their recent past. The hourlong program will entertain you, and hopefully bring a smile to your faces. Please email mj@mvplayhouse.org, or call 508-696-300 for info.

Our Oak Bluffs library building remains closed to the public, but Allyson Malik, library director, and her staff have developed a safe and efficient way to place and pick up your holds. You may select your own items, or provide guidelines on the kinds of materials you need, and the staff will do the rest. Library staff will check out and bag the items for you before an allotted pickup time. The pickup service is completely contactless, for your safety and the safety of the staff. As you discover the new ways you can use the library, please have patience with the staff if they inform you that they cannot accommodate a request. They are trained to follow strict safety standards, and they cannot make any exceptions. Information about the safety practices, including material quarantine, will be available on the website. If you have any additional questions about the process, please get in touch with Allyson directly at amalik@clamsnet.org or by calling 508-693-9433.

We send sincere condolences to the family and friends of Aaron Tripp. I remember him as a student in the Oak Bluffs School, and would often see him walking in the neighborhood. A smiling face that will be missed by many.

I was sad to hear of the death of Madeline Moreis; condolences to the Moreis and Araujo families, as even among such a large family, she leaves a space that cannot be filled.

We send birthday smiles to Hope deBettencourt, Fronzie Conlin, and Josh Correllus on July 10, Colleen Farrissey Hickey on July 11, Lauren Weaver and Jeff LaBell on July 13, David deBettencourt on the 14th, my grandson Nick Rivers and Dianne Kenney on the 15th, and Sophie Combra and Olivia Law Butler on July 16.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Megan Alley, meganislandmegan@comcast.net.