West Tisbury: Town services

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— Kyra Steck

Our whole living room is perfumed by a pot of paperwhite narcissus that opened in time for New Year’s Day. Mike brought them home to me a couple of weeks ago. They were all green foliage then, buds buried deep and invisible. Now their delicate flowers stand on tall stems above the once-dominant greenery. Many would think this a small pleasure, something taken for granted, then thrown away without a thought. For me, those small pleasures are enough. They make up my life in moments I treasure.

The first Island baby of 2021 is Abe Courtney, born in the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital on Jan. 2. Abe’s parents are Cassie Bradley and Patrick Courtney.

January is the month that town clerk Tara Whiting-Wells sends out the annual street list/census forms to every residence in West Tisbury. It will arrive in all of our mailboxes this week. Dog license renewal forms, information from the Energy Committee, and a survey from the Climate Advisory Committee will also be in those envelopes. Please fill out the relevant forms and either return by mail in the enclosed return envelope or leave it off in one of the two dropboxes in front of town hall. Town hall is only open by appointment, so we have lost for now the ability to casually walk in when we had a moment to accomplish such errands.

Tara did tell me that dog licenses could be renewed online, but when I tried the town’s website I couldn’t get to the form. She is working to right the problem, so it should be fixed by the time you are reading this column at the end of the week. The website is westtisbury-ma.gov.

Congratulations to the West Tisbury library, awarded five-star status by the Library Journal. The nation’s libraries are all reviewed on a series of statistics including circulation of printed and electronic material, patron visits, program attendance, and public computer and wifi use. These numbers are then compared with other libraries of similar sizes and budgets. The West Tisbury library has been a regular winner of this designation. We all love our library and it’s nice to see it recognized by a non-partial panel as  an excellent purveyor of library service. Thanks to Alexandra and her staff, especially for keeping it all going throughout the pandemic.

West Tisbury’s rescue squad got plenty of attention, too, in a long article in last week’s MV Times. It’s really nice to have our town services recognized for the work they perform so well, and noted that our fire department and rescue squad is still almost all volunteer. Thanks to Rich Saltzberg, who spent a lot of time at a drill and on the phone talking to the crew members before writing his story. I should point out that all the Island towns have rescue personnel in their fire departments.

I’m going to miss the long weekends off of Christmas and New Year’s. Especially since we couldn’t go anywhere or have guests, the holidays have been quiet, with time for walks with Mike and Abby, then time to settle down on the sofa with our Christmas books, tea, and home-baked cookies, and the soft fragrance of newly blooming paperwhites.

If you have any West Tisbury Town Column suggestions, email Hermine Hull, hermine.hull@gmail.com.