Aquinnah: Leveling the Playing Field

— Kyra Steck

The snow is coming down fast and heavy. It is a wet snow with large flakes, there is wind too, as there frequently is here. It feels like a true winter when it snows. Living here I’ve learned to mark the winter passing in ways other than snowfall, as it doesn’t happen that regularly. The ways I mark are usually events: Berta and Vern’s Christmas party, people jumping in the ocean on New Year’s Day, the Chilmark School fundraiser/concert, the mass Exodus of February break, the M.V. Film Festival. Since last March most of those events have been cancelled. So now, I look out my window and watch the light change, a little more allotted every day, and today I see the snow, still falling as if it will never stop.

The Gay Head Community Baptist Church is holding services every Sunday at 10 am. You can come in person with a safe distance between each of you, but you can also join via Zoom. If you are interested in attending, email the church at

If you need help with rent payments, there is help available. The Dukes County Regional Housing Authority has opened a Covid Winter Rental Relief program through funding from the Martha’s Vineyard Community Foundation, Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, and the State’s Community Foundation for COVID-19 Relief. For more information on this program contact the DCRHA directly at 508-693-4419 or via their website,

Everyone’s favorite drama, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission “Artificial Turf Hearings,” will continue tonight, Feb. 4, at 7 pm. This particular hearing will include testimony from Sarah-Jeanne Royer. Ms. Royer is an oceanographer who has studied how degrading plastics contribute to greenhouse gas emissions. This is something to consider as our community tackles climate change and plastic pollution. The proposed 2.7-acre plastic carpet will need to be discarded and replaced every 8 to 10 years. The meeting will meet via Zoom, go to for information on how to attend.

The Martha’s Vineyard Non-Profit Collaborative, with the generous support of the Tower Foundation, invite you to join them for: “Leveling the Playing Field, Interrupting the Patterns of Privilege and Power,” a presentation by Debby Irving on Wednesday, Feb. 10, at noon to 2 pm, via Zoom. This is part of their “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Series,” Debby Irving is a racial justice educator and the author of the acclaimed book, “Waking Up White: And Finding Myself in the Story of Race.” This workshop explores how we can begin to level the playing field by interrupting common patterns of power and privilege. Participants will leave with two powerful tools to analyze power dynamics and cultivate transformative cultures in their circles of influence. Contact the MVNC to participate at

Did you know there is a small marsh pond at the end of Old South Road and Moshup Trail? And that it freezes in the winter and you can skate on it? No? I didn’t either but now we both know. You’re welcome.

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