Oak Bluffs: Virtual theater fun

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— Shelby Regan

Here on this Island, according to the latest figures, COVID numbers are increasing daily, yet the governor has now suspended the early closures and stay at home rules. But just because we can does not mean we should, so let’s use common sense and continue our cautious behavior. Wearing two masks has also been a suggestion, and I decided to when I made a necessary trip out and it was not easy as one or the other one continued to slip off my ears, but practice makes perfect they say so I will continue to do so.

Our cold days are now more numerous than the warmer ones and my wood supply is rapidly sinking, along with the seed in the bird feeders as now many birds gather to feed. They still share but also have a pecking order; if the flickers are there, the others wait their turn and do not interfere with the larger birds’ dinners.

Sincere condolences to the family and friends of Barbara Jones who died last week after many years courageously fighting cancer. Barbara was a much-loved teacher at the Oak Bluffs School and a friend who always had a smile and was so optimistic. We are so sorry Bill. Hold your memories fast.

Did you all get your Town Street Listing form to complete? It is really important that you fill it out and return it. It will help you to get your preferred Steamship Authority status, be able to vote, and receive many benefits that perhaps you didn’t know were available. Also, if you have a dog there is probably an application for a license enclosed with the census form. It enables you to renew the license through the mail by enclosing a check to cover the license cost, plus a $1 mailing fee and the license and tag will be mailed back to you. Thus you will avoid the necessity of making a trip to the town clerk’s office. Be sure to do this before March 1 as that is when late fees begin.

The Oak Bluffs School parent-teacher conversations, which will be the new form for parent-teacher conferences, will be held on the following dates and times: Grades 5-8: Jan. 25, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm, Feb. 1, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Grade 4:  Jan. 29, 8:30 am to 2:30 pm. Students will continue with their remote learning schedule during these “parent conversation” days. Instructions and how to download and get started on Zoom can be found on the schools website: oakbluffsschool.com/zoom.html or at  zoom.us

The Trustees of Reservations will host a beginner birding program for adults at Long Point Wildlife Refuge from 1 to 3 pm on Feb. 3, 10, and 17. Preregistration required at thetrustees.org/events. If you are new to birding, winter is a great time to learn. Join a Trustees naturalist for this guided program at Long Point Wildlife Refuge. An introduction will cover binocular use, field guides, benefits of birding and helpful hints for identifying birds in the field. Then, explore the refuge’s diverse habitats in search of winter birds. Space is limited to allow for social distancing and preregistration is required at thetrustees.org/events. Masks are mandatory. This program will be held entirely outdoors; please dress for the weather and bring binoculars and a small notebook. Please note that restroom facilities are currently closed. Directions: use the winter entrance to Long Point Wildlife Refuge via Deep Bottom Road (located on the Edgartown-West Tisbury Road 1.1 miles west of the entrance to the airport). Travel down the dirt road approximately 2.5 miles, following the arrows to the Long Point parking area. The cost is $10 for non-members; $5 for Trustees members.  For questions, contact  jsepanara@thetrustees.org or call 508-693-7662.

The Martha’s Vineyard Playhouse is holding an inclusive, once-a-week after school program on Tuesdays for grades 3, 4, and 5 and on Thursdays for grades 6, 7, and 8. Join them for virtual theater fun. This program is open to all Island children and children with Vineyard connections. To join the groups at any time, log on to mvplayhouse.org.

Belated birthday smiles to those who celebrated last week: Michael Blake, Paul Buckley, and Holly Nadler on Jan. 23; Joe Peters and Megan Vasconcellos on the 24th;  Wayne Barrett, Julia Bettencourt, Madeline Alwardt, and my great-grandson Eagan Gibson on the 25th, and Caroline Davey on the 27th. Smiles to Michael Perry III on the 29th; Mike Giordano, Barbara Spain, and Jarek Peters on the 30th; Bethany deBettencourt on the 31st; Noah Hoyt and Judy Searle on Feb. 1; Emma Williamson on the 3rd, and my grandson Matt Rivers on the 4th.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

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