Oak Bluffs: Town parking

— Shelby Regan

What an ending to the month of May between wild winds, torrential rains, and political happenings. Because of the Memorial Day weekend our columns have to be submitted by today, Saturday, so I am sure we will miss some events important to you. Yesterday I was admiring the beautiful goldfinches and other seasonal birds at the feeders, the blooming rhododendrons and rows of purple irises along the driveway. But by early evening I was wondering if they would survive the storm. This morning they seem to still be beautiful and colorful.

So many changes appear to be looming in our future. Among them, possibly a new school for Tisbury, new fire and EMS building for Chilmark and a home for Tri-Town Ambulance Service, a rebuilt Memorial Wharf for Edgartown, and the list goes on.

I must admit the vote of the select board in Oak Bluffs to approve parallel parking in town doesn’t thrill me for two reasons. The first is how difficult it will be for anyone who cannot walk any distance or carry their shopping bags, unless there is parking available close to where they wish to shop. I am not just speaking about senior citizens here but also people with disabilities of all ages. I know as lifestyles have changed, that we have to adapt to change but to limit access to town by so many is not helpful. The second reason for my not supporting this move is because I do not think the voices of many who opposed this plan were heeded. I agree with Gail and Ryan that this decision should not be made by the five-member board but by the voters. Let us see what this part of the future brings.

One of the changes we all look forward to is the possibility of not having to wear masks outside as long as we continue to be cautious and keep everyone safe by washing hands and socially distancing when appropriate.

I hope Memorial Day was celebrated by remembering our veterans past and present and enjoying the day.

Climate Action Week, a Climate to Thrive, is Nov. 1 through Nov. 6. Elizabeth Durkee is one of the leaders planning this event and wants everyone to know that there will be Zoom and email meetings where you may give your ideas for any of that week’s events. To access a form to submit your ideas for a Climate Week event/activity, email durkee@mvcommission.org. You are asked to fill it out and return it by June 15.

Native Islander, Wampanoag, and former Oak Bluffs resident, James Vanderhoop reached out to me to let me know his memoir was published on May 22. Its title is “Every Step Taken: Confession of An American Gypsy.” Available on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format, Amazon describes the book as a memoir of James Occouch-van der Hoop, a tale of the extraordinary life of a champion for Native American and First Nations rights. Congratulations James on this great accomplishment.

Joanne Lambert and Kim D’Arcy of the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services Family Center will host a child care event on June 9. As we know, we have a huge crisis of lack of child care options for families on-Island. Joanne has worked as a family child care provider in Oak Bluffs for 25 years and is currently working for the Family Center as the family child care network coordinator. One of the missions of the job is to create more licensed, high quality child care programs by building a network of support for existing programs and mentoring potential providers through the licensing process. This program will reach more people who are interested in this career by providing an Information session about the process and the support available. This will be held via Zoom on June 9 at 6:30 pm. Anyone can attend who would like to learn more about family child care. Zoom meeting ID# 876 8743 8258. Questions: contact Joanne Lambert at jlambert@mvcommunityservices.org.

Congratulations to Willy and Sue deBettencourt who will celebrate their wedding anniversary on June 10.

We send birthday smiles to Bert Combra on June 4, Laura Hayden and my sister Ann Hearn on June 5, Jennifer Robinson on the 6th, Rory Moreis on June 7, Robert Murphy on the 8th, Ernestine Kinnecom and Katharine Colon on June 9, and Suzanne Walker and Lisa Willlston on June 10.

Enjoy your week. Peace.

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