It’s not a staffing problem, it’s a housing crisis

Island business owners worry about housing staff and meeting demands of summer visitors.

Jesse Steere III, owner of Island staple Shirley's True Value Hardware is concerned about how the housing crisis will not only affect Island businesses, but the Vineyard as a whole. — Abigail Rosen

Island businesses are feeling the pressure of the upcoming influx of summer visitors. It is around this time of year when Vineyard residents begin to brace themselves for what is expected to be — and always is — a chaotic turnaround from a listless off-season to a frenzied peak season. For many year-rounders, summer on Martha’s Vineyard isn’t always beach days and window shopping strolls, but a hustle.

This year, with palpable staffing shortages precipitated by the worsening housing crisis, Island businesses are struggling to fill shifts, and some are closing entirely. Business owners, spread thin, are concerned about their ability to meet the demands of seasonal residents and tourists. 

Jesse Steere III, well-known owner of Shirley’s True Value Hardware in Vineyard Haven, told The Times that over the years, he’s seen it all, bearing witness to years of housing market ebbs and flows and increasing development, but never experienced anything like this. 

With not enough manpower to stock his shelves or be able to offer some of the services Shirley’s once had, Steere is worried about the impact the housing crisis will have on him, and his fellow business owners. 

“We used to sell 300 or 400 Weber gas grills; we’d deliver them all over the Island,” he said. “We had to stop doing that. We were doing electronic keys for cars, we had to stop doing that. I just don’t have enough people.”

“The whole Island is short [on staff],” he said, adding that the housing crisis “has priced everyone out … It’s sad to see.”

In addition to owning and operating Shirley’s, Steere has worked at the Oak Bluffs and Tisbury Fire Departments for 25 and 15 years, respectively, and has family ties on the Vineyard going back as far the 1600s — connected to the Norton family on his mother’s side, in addition to a multigenerational claim on his father’s side of the family. 

Steere said he’s not surprised about increasing complaints from impatient patrons citing a longer-than-normal register line. “You’re going to find that in a lot of places [this summer],” he said. “I’ve been here my whole life. It’s just such a shame to see working-class people have to [move off Island].”

Steere said over the years there’s always been a healthy pool of available workforce, but now, “there’s no place for them to live — why would they come here?”

An advocate for maintaining the Island’s charm through conservation and preservation efforts, Steere noted that the Vineyard’s “grandfathered rules and regulations” concerning its development policies have hindered opportunities to address the housing problem by often denying proposals for multi-unit buildings. Specifically, the Martha’s Vineyard Commission, — many times responsible for the approval or denial of building proposals Islandwide — he said, perhaps should “make an exception sometimes.” 

Steere said that contrary to the mainland, where a staffing shortage can more easily be mitigated by pulling in workers from surrounding towns, the Island’s geographical location obviously makes that more difficult. 

The Oak Bluffs select board recently had to deny a request to increase operating hours for Circuit Ave. restaurants, with the Police Department citing they simply wouldn’t have the manpower to proactively ensure safety in the town with an extended closing time.

Recent emergency responses have been collaborative efforts among departments in different towns, and despite pre-existing mutual aid agreements, which consist of intertown joint response plans, the staffing shortage has seeped into the volunteer-based fire departments. Tisbury Fire Department Deputy Chief Patrick Rolston told The Times that his department is seeing a “huge lack of volunteers.” Rolston said that in the past, the department had almost double the manpower it has now. On an increase of town collaboration, he said, “We’re lucky that all of the departments on the Island work well together.” 

Rolston said the department experiences more volunteer staff turnaround “because they can’t find a place to live, or stay.” Making matters worse, he said, are the enthusiastic volunteers who are trying to get by on one income — “it’s hard to volunteer on that one income,” he said, in addition to affording unprecedentedly high rental costs. Rolsten conveyed that some people move to the Island, and after taking the time to familiarize themselves with the community and decide to volunteer for the fire department, or become an EMT, “and then they can’t find housing after that,” essentially forcing them to move off-Island. And it’s not just Tisbury, he said: “If you want to be blunt, it’s the entire Island.” 

Aquinnah is also dealing with lack of workers — with the town’s police department desperately low on staff, raising concerns about being able to hold a palpable presence in the peak of the summer. Other Aquinnah officials have come before the town’s select board requesting permission to begin to advertise for much-needed help. 

Chris Pantalone, owner of Rocco’s Pizza, told The Times that he’s recently lost numerous staff solely due to the housing crisis, including members of his own family, who have been paramount in the success of the pizzeria’s operations. His brother and his niece — along with her spouse and baby — and two counter workers had no choice but to move off-Island. Pantalone said he’s hoping he will be able to staff up, but without housing for his staff, he will be forced to make tough decisions. On the lack of housing for year-rounders, he said emphatically, “It’s terrible.”

If it weren’t for the ubiquitous lack of housing, Pantalone said, “I wouldn’t have three ex-employees.” To Pantalone, it’s obvious how devastatingly widespread the problem is. His upstairs neighbor, said Pantalone, who had been living there “for 22 years, just came downstairs to say goodbye to me, because she can’t find housing.”

Pantalone said of his communications with numerous other businesses, “We all feel the same, maybe it’s just time to sell and go.” 

Pantalone said the problem has gotten to the point where he’s considering having to close one day a week, and in a “worst-case scenario,” he said, cutting subs from the menu. Although Rocco’s is known for having much loved nonpizza selections, Pantalone said, “If I can’t find staff, I can handle just my pizza business.”

Vineyard Haven’s La Soffitta restaurant announced a full season closure, citing its difficulty with securing enough staff. Outside the restaurant, there is a sign that explains the closing is to “best utilize our resources to meet the demands of our customers”; they made the decision to “focus [their] attention” on sister businesses Waterside Market and Fish MV.

Lack of staff is unquestionably a result of inaccessibility of housing. Precarious housing situations, including the well-known “shuffle,” are only half the battle. Rental availability has decreased Island-wide, with more seasonal residents joining the COVID-19-related mass exodus from big cities. Living spaces once housing year-rounders transition to lucrative short-term rentals, leaving the heartbeat of the Island summer — business employees — lacking a place to live. 

“[Island employees] need a decent place to live, with a bathroom and a kitchen,” Steere said, a sentiment which highlights the unfortunate reality of many year-round Islanders who no longer have the luxury of expecting basic essentials, and in effect, are forced to lower their standards for housing situations.

Although there are some Island businesses that can and do house their employees in workforce housing, it’s often not feasible for a mom-and-pop shop owner. 

Back in March, even Island Housing Trust — the Island’s leading developer of affordable housing — felt the pinch, and reached out to IHT supporters in hopes of securing housing for its own staff. 

Steere said he’s noticed a stark difference concerning increasing homelessness on the Island, and when a seasonal resident who noticed the same inquired about it to Steere in disbelief, he responded, “Well, it’s not like you’re inviting them to your house.”

With recent crackdowns on building owners’ misuse of allotted workforce rentals by way of finding loopholes in agreed-upon housing conditions, Island officials have slowly started to shine the spotlight on the nuances of the housing crisis. 

“All the working-class people have pretty much left,” Steere said, and the ones that are still here will probably have to leave if they can’t find housing. “All the rentals are turning into Airbnbs,” he said. “We need good-quality people here.” Not only is the Island losing seasonal employees, but hospital workers, school employees, carpenters, electricians, and so many of the Island’s talented artists are making the decision to move on.

The reality of the crisis, Steere said, is “something we all need to realize.” 


  1. If providing housing is the cost of doing business, then businesses need to provide housing or pay a wage that allows their workers to do so. Island homeoweners shouldn’t be compelled to subsidize business owners for the cost of doing business. It is not a housing “crisis” just because the price of housing goes up with inflation. If anything it is a low wage crisis because wages are not keeping up with inflation.

    • How much money would you have to make to afford a mortgage for a $800,000 home Can the tows afford to pay volunteer fire people and Paramedics $150,000-200,000 so they can afford to live here. We need to build apartment buildings for regular working people to afford to live here. There are no more year round rentals that I know of.

      • There is an ongoing tension if not friction between those who want NIMBY and those who want affordable housing. The two can barely coexist because they are counter to each other.

      • I agree with Jesse. We too are getting out of the car key business and we have stopped delivering grills. To say we have some wage gap is ridiculous. A single person would need to make nearly $150k/year to buy a $1.25M dump. People here already complain about prices, but why do you think those prices are so high? To pay health and dental and a good wage for employees. To pay every employee on island $150k/year would make everything here unaffordable and everyone would go out of business. Things need to change but I think it’s already too late.

    • It is not the job of anyone to ensure that wages keep up with inflation. Consequences of the invisible hand of the free market will occur and business must decide if they can endure to pay higher and still make a profit.

      • Why is it okay to tweak the economy when it comes to housing, but not fair to address the true source of the problem. Likewise it is not the job of anyone to make certain everyone can afford to live in the resort community of their choice. Let the free market sort it out. I don’t oppose affordable housing and I never have. I oppose taking the equity from Vineyard homeowners when there is no shortage of housing on this island. Island businesses need to provide for their own employees. The housing bank bill is nothing more than corporate welfare. People are being brainwashed to believe there is a housing crisis so it takes their attention away from the fact that they continue to slave for substandard wages.

    • Let’s see, there are currently zero homes on MV under a MILLION DOLLARS. Your solution is for small business owners many who barely scrape by because of the exorbitant rents they already pay, or each island town, to start purchasing million dollar homes to house their staff? Guess who pays for that. Drum roll please…. taxpayers. Please, stop with your anti-affordable housing nonsense. You think you know the answer when you aren’t even listening to the people with the problem. Very thankful you never became our state rep!

      • Actually there are currently 10 homes for sale on MV under $1,000,000, the lowest being $598,000. Made-up facts and personal attacks seem to be the entire AH argument. There are also plenty of ways to provide housing for employees without “purchasing million dollar homes” and without saddling Vineyard homeowners with a new tax on their nest eggs in order to cover these profitable corporations’ business expenses.

      • Carla, it is untrue that there are currently zero homes for sake on the island for under 1 million. There are several. Google “Martha’s Vineyard real estate for sale”. Please stop exaggerating and making up false statements to promote a false narrative.

    • That’s exactly right, Dan. Time for business owners to stop depending on cheap seasonal labor and offer good year round employment. If a business cannot operate, it’s not up to the community to subsidize it.

  2. Editorial alert: There were no Europeans on the island in the “fifteenth century.” That’s the 1400s. No Nortons here in the 1500s either, I’d guess. Not a big deal, I suppose, but copy-editing truly has faded in the last few decades, unfortunately.

    • The Vineyard Sound used to be THE MOST used waterway in the world, second to the English and up until 1914 when the Cape Cod Canal opened up….. thousands of explorers, sailors etc, have sailed by…. I would say that the chances were pretty good that many were here that we dont even know about….

  3. The status quo never remains quo. The island is going to re adjust in a different dynamic just as the country re adjusted during Covid. Many Workers now live anywhere they want in any state, people are flocking out of Blue States; housing prices in many areas are through the roof. Serving the island will take on a different formulation

  4. This newspaper’s business orientation and pro Housing Bank agenda is so relentless that I’ve come out of comment-retirement to say a few things.

    Dan Larkish’s observation is correct.

    The island housing “crisis” has gone on for decades, if not longer. We get these no staff, scare-tactic articles every year. But now there’s a fake solution.
    The problem is, the island cannot stop itself from welcoming more and more visitors, along with those who want to live and work here to service those visitors, and of course, the wealthy seasonal residents islanders love to resent. There’s always money to be made catering to every off-island whim, whether to build a swimming pool or install a fancy grill. The island makes it worse for itself, unable to put the brakes on when more people can make more money. Until things implode. Do islands sink? Or do more and more people have to get outta Dodge, until when and if an island regains its composure?

    Hardware stores are a necessity, but simplifying stock without deliveries seems less mooch-y than a housing bank answer that resolves nothing, prolongs and exacerbates shortages, and brings still more people wanting a piece of a very small pie. People complain about waiting to be rung up at the cash register? I’ve never seen that at Shirley’s. I don’t mind waiting a bit. Also, high school kids living with their parents make great shelf stockers and cashiers. I did that for years.

    The housing/not-enough-staff issue comes up every single summer, without fail. Housing is now a year round demand and the shortages are getting worse. That’s what I’m hearing. Crowds and traffic get worse every year. That’s what I’m experiencing. And so does islander greed and self-interest. I saw a menu with a $67 steak offering, no sides. Another menu with a $34 hamburger.

    Short staff used to be blamed on island teens being too lazy to fill the needed seasonal positions in stores and restaurants, sitting (and drinking and smoking) on the beach instead of standing behind a cash register at Shirley’s or the Chilmark Store. Then it was immigrant dependency and those accompanying rules. Then it was the pandemic. Now it’s because we don’t have enough mooching off wealthy home buyers! Hello, Housing Bank.

    There’s even a MVTimes sob story this week about an up-island family raking it in as a building contractor/property caretaker with lots of work so they don’t want to move off—yet. Pass the Kleenex. And his complaining wife, working 2 jobs, one operating an up-island farm stand, thinks she’s making a point about the housing bank. Up-island farm stands have always been self-serve and are run on an honor system. In recent times they tend to use lock boxes and maybe a computer, but still, the only time you see an employee is when a farmer comes by to restock or clean up. Yet this woman complains she’s operating the stand from 8-3, cut down from 8-5? (I have no way of knowing, but maybe that farm stand operator was referring to operating the 8-5 up-island state-of-the-art farm STORE selling meats, cheeses, breads, croissants, and handfuls of arugula that are so expensive they out-price the fanciest foodie places on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Calling that gorgeous new store a farm stand is like calling Cronig’s a mom and pop store, like they’re selling pickles out if a barrel. Really, couldn’t this newspaper find a nurse or a teacher to tell a personal housing “crisis” story? I mean, we keep hearing about teachers desperately needing housing, but the Times can’t find one willing to talk, without using full, real names like “Larissa”?

    By the way, my long-time plumber and his family also do property care-taking, own their own home, employ and train islanders, and in their spare time are also volunteer firefighters and EMTS. These are hard working, salt-of-the-earth, old time islanders who never whine—and certainly never turn to mooching to solve a problem. Caring about the island infrastructure MORE than housing for employees working in non-essential jobs— who aren’t paid enough to afford to live here—is a good thing.

    I do believe the best intentions started the island Housing Bank scheme, which could work well in wealthy, main land communities. But once you look at who is pushing hardest for it here on a small island accessible only (mostly) by an increasingly unreliable ferry, it becomes more obvious. We need secure housing for those in the safety, security, education, and essential goods and services fields. We don’t need housing for those operating chichi stores selling $16/pound sausage. Why? Because no one needs $16/lb sausages, even if it’s organic. We also don’t need more building contractors.
    And seriously, tracing back umpteen generations on-island and 7 bucks will get you a delicious, buttery croissant, nothing more.

    The Times is feeding bias and baloney to the public in articles like these. Why is the business community so gung-ho on a housing money grab? It’s good for business. No other reason. But it’s bad for the island as we knew and love it.

    The reality is that the more accessible housing is to the people in non-essential jobs who cannot afford to live here, the more ruin to the simple island life we used to enjoy. More housing for building contractors means more people and more shortages on an island. You can’t have everything, especially if you can’t afford it.

    The HB will be steamrolled in— and the island will have exactly what it deserves, I’m afraid.

    Btw, I can trace my family’s roots back to the apes, as can all other humans. Where we landed and how long we’ve managed to stay in one place— without being driven off by antisemitism or no work or inability to keep up with high prices, gives no one privilege or entitlement to continue to live anywhere they can no longer afford. Life is tough in that way. Why someone needs to tell ridiculous, made-up stories about how long they’ve been on island is beyond me— and it has zero impact on housing and staffing your business.

    Pay your employees more or downsize more. Hire high school kids or retired people or folks with disabilities. We’ve mostly all been impacted by recent events and what life hands out. Things change and life is tough. C’est la vie.

      • Thanks. I am out of retirement to comment only on articles about the housing bank scheme, pushed so heavily by the business community and this newspaper.

        • Jackie– we have long disagreed about the land bank.
          I’m not at all surprised to see you don’t like the housing bank.

          But you know, this forum is here to provide a diversity of opinions and reasoning. No matter where you fall on an issue, I appreciate your ability to articulate the reasons you feel the way you do…
          And present them in a clear and blunt manner.
          That frequent commenter might also accuse you of having a “rant” that is “pusillanimous and ill informed” but only if he has no idea what that word actually means..
          I sometimes think he just tries to impress his fellow trump supporters by using a word with more syllables than trump could ever stumble through .

  5. The point that I was trying to make is that we need to build some apartment buildings for working class people. I am not asking any one to pay for it. Building affordable houses is not the answer. Most of us that grew up here including myself lived in what we referred to “the Sears apartments’’. They were affordable apartments that we could afford. Not sure why it is so hard for anyone to believe that we need decent places for people to live. Every where else in the country working people live in apartments it is that simple.

    • Jesse there is a sign in front of your store that says Vote yes on the HB. (And this is how the MV Times is using your words.) So with all due respect you ARE asking that Vineyard homeowner’s pay to build the housing for your employees. No one would object to you and your fellow for-profit business owners providing housing for your own employees. Just build it with your own funds.

      • Like talking to walls, Dan. The business community’s push for the housing bank has been one of self-interest, but sold to the community at large through heartstring tugging about teachers, nurses, and police officers needing housing. The push and the pretense and hypocrisy from the business community’s self-interests, masquerading as caring about the safety, essential, and education workforce, is pathetic.

    • Jessie, you are right. My parents have been saying that since the 80’s. dorm housing, just seasonal for workers. It’s really a 2 part problem. Summer help and year round. A dormatory style unit at the airport would be central and easy access to VTA.

  6. Yes I agree totally I was basically forced off my property in Edgartown by the town and neighbors on Holly Bear lane to sell cheap and looking to buy off island when family is here but you do what you got to do..

  7. andy– you don’t really believe those “fake” government statistics, do you ?
    And even if they happen to be right, it’s only because all the illegal immigrants are settling in southern states where they can get jobs picking fruit and veggies for $6 an hour.
    You know how statistics can be manipulated….

    But just in case you want to look at the Vineyard,which is the place we are talking about– AND, one might reasonably say the Vineyard is “blue” — the population of the Vineyard went up by about 25 % in the last 10 years.

    And– the population of the commonwealth of Massachusetts increased by 7.4 % in the last 10 years.,your%20county%20on%20one%20page.

    To put that into perspective, overall population growth in the U.S was 6.3 %

    So you know, andy– I don’t really care if some old people move from Illinois to Florida.
    That’s what our freedom is about.

    If the Vineyard is so bad, why do you come here ?
    Why do you have a house here ?
    You know we close beaches to protect birds…
    We tax every real estate transaction to buy land that will never be developed– it’s just for the birds and the bees and various other flora and fauna and liberals who want to walk on conservation land trails.
    We limit the size of houses, and even have a law that forbids excess idling of vehicles —police take notice —
    So really, andy, why do you bother to come to this island that is infested with liberals ?
    I’ll make a deal with you– you don’t come here, I won’t go to Florida.
    Except, of course if I have to go through an airport.
    What do you think ?

  8. Excellent article on the problem but the approach may be wrong. Houses and apartments are overkill for seasonal rentals due to the very high prices for purchase and due to the short term rental market which can fetch very high prices and have become a necessity in many cases for people to rent out part of their homes. A kitchen is not necessary for a summer rental neither is an apartment. Dormitories work and will alleviate the problem. From experience renting inexpensive space to workers mainly from foreign countries the economics work from both sides of the equation. This would indeed solve at least the seasonal issue. We did this for years on Circuit Avenue above the old pharmacy which eventually became Black Dog space. Bathrooms with showers, twin beds lined up and it works perfectly and will solve the problem. We converted the dorms to apartments and rented out to Airbnb. That was a decision we regretted. The extra money was not worth the hassle and the amount of trash and waste was phenomenal. Dorms work.

  9. Keller—-Data from the Census Bureau. Residents fled New York City and coastal California in droves in 2021. New York City alone lost more than 300,000 people while nearly 200,000 left Los Angeles County. Another 100,000 fled Chicago’s Cook County, and more than 140,000 left the San Francisco Bay Area. Add in substantial departures from other blue cities such as Philadelphia, Boston and Minneapolis, and nearly 1 million Americans left deep-blue urban areas in 2021. I come here to be the lone voice crying in the wilderness against all the incorrect thinking going on here Keller. The group think on MV is astonishing.

  10. andy — not sure where you get your numbers, as you rarely post anything to back them up.
    Here is the long term trend in population for New York.

    But I am curious as to what your point is, or why you think people choose to move.
    I have a few thoughts about why people move out of “blue” cities.
    First. most cities are “blue”. Especially northern cities.
    You have a pre conceived notion that people are “fleeing” blue cities because they are somehow unsafe or overtaxed. You are wrong….
    Fox news has been running stories every couple of days hammering those points into the pea brains of their cultist followers for years.
    So, OK , if the devout fox followers want to leave, and hang out in state where their 14 year old daughters can’t abort their uncle’s incestuously conceived fetus, let them go.
    If they think their angry child with a history of violent outbursts should be able to obtain 2 assault rifles and 375 rounds of ammo within days of their 18th birthday– Fine– what could go wrong ?
    If they want to live in a state where 19 armed police officers stand outside of a classroom door for an hour listening while children are murdered and bleed to death, let them go.
    I know …. they were waiting for a key.. Those cowards are probably not even smart enough to know that any one of their service revolvers could have blown the lock and the hinges off of that door in 10 seconds.

    So, as I noted above, the MV population has surged.
    Perhaps, Just perhaps, andy, many people are leaving big cities because they can come to places like the “blue” Vineyard, and work remotely, rather than sit in some cubicle all day and then slog through the crowded subway to get into their apartment building and watch tv.
    They can come here, work from their back decks with an ocean view, and then go fishing.
    Isn’t that what you do ?

    • Keller, its Census Bureau data and they are bi partisan. Your rant above is pusillanimous and ill informed.

      • Pusillanimous andy? You think Don’s comment lacks courage? I’ve noticed that you tend to throw out obscure words when you have no actual counterpoint to someone’s picking apart of your comments or fuzzy statistics. It’s called deflection, the far right loves it…

        • Mr Donovan, this is the way I speak. Is that a problem? Keller cherry picks his statistics and he gets them all from left wing rags that suit his style. This forum is opinion based and I am allowed an opinion except for climate change. Some of you simply attack me. May I have an opinion that I like Peets coffee with hazelnut creamer or must I post statistics that prove it is the best?

          • andy– It seems that any website that actually disputes your opinions is a left wing rag.
            But once again, you don’t know the difference between facts and opinions.
            As far as coffee goes.
            Of course, you can have your opinion that Peet’s coffee is the best. I can have the same opinion.
            It’s really good coffee, and it’s organic and fair trade–
            I can also be surprised that you would support a company that actually treats it’s coffee growers fairly.
            My opinion is that you would could not care less about the people picking the beans, and would rather pay less.
            So far, ( except for the organic and fair trade facts) we are expressing opinions.
            Now, if you said that a poll was taken and 85% of people said they preferred Peets to any other coffee, that’s would presumably be a “fact”
            Unless of course, it was entirely made up.
            Then, it’s a lie. It’s no longer an opinion. It’s a lie.

            I know you are busy trying to impress everyone with your vocabulary and linguistical skills, but really , give us a break and learn the differences between things like an opinion, a fact and a lie.

          • First off Andy, I seriously doubt this the way you speak in everyday conversation. No one except the most insecure wanna be intellectual would throw out a word like pusillanimous in normal conversation. I consider myself somewhat well read and I had to look it up.
            Secondly, yes, of course your entitled to your opinion. It’s when you try and pass your opinion off as fact that you get backlash. Don may form his opinions from “left wing rags” that suit his style, but at least he posts his sources. You don’t, you just throw out some obscure words.
            Let’s look at your Peets Coffee claim. It’s your opinion that you like Peets with hazelnut creamer. My opinion is that I also like Peets coffee, but would never put hazelnut creamer in it. It is also my opinion that cream, hazelnut or otherwise, and sweetener of any kind in coffee is the work of the devil. I would offer to post statistics to back my claim, but I can’t. Because it’s not a fact, it’s just my opinion. But by all means, post actual statistics proving that the majority of the population feels Peets with hazelnut creamer is the best. Tell you what, if you can post an actual verifiable and credible source for your opinion about Peets, I’ll make a $1000 donation to the charity of your choice. Good luck.

    • Don,

      I didn’t know you were such an avid watcher of Fox News. Anyway, you forgot to mention the he high crime rates in those blue states and cities along with the ridiculously high recidivism rate and lack of prosecution that lets offenders run amok.

      As for the police officers waiting to breach the classroom it’s a little too early to call them cowards. That will certainly come out at a later time if true. I would also note that you can’t breach a door with a 9mm as a shotgun with a breaching round would be used on the hinge side of the door if a firearm was to be used at all.

      My two cents cents is that there was\is a training problem and a morale problem in policing today. The Fraternal Order of Police has said that their leaders are making it nearly impossible to do their jobs and all critical decision making has to be made by a supervisor. In some cases a car stop has to be approved. In addition, the use of force laws don’t allow police officers to act as judge, jury and executioner. That’s what has been drilled into cops for the last two years. NJ has now instituted guidelines forbidding police officers from upholstering their weapons unless they will likely use them.

      The cops will say we contained the shooter and prevented further carnage. They will also say the Supreme Court has ruled that we are not obligated to put ourselves in harms way.

      I also find it interesting that two days after this tragedy happened an executive order was signed by the President that will now ban military surplus equipment to be given to local PD’s that is needed for events such as these. This town could have use ballistic shields or an Mcat for cover. I just don’t understand this thinking. Police need more help and equipment not less.

      Having said all that it was gut wrenching to watch all those police officers parading around in their “tactical” gear with their “assault rifles” at the ready only to be displayed against the parents watching and waiting in horror. We need to let cops do their jobs with the equipment that is needed. Get rid of the bad apples and the pretenders who like to play dress up.

      And for all the people who were questioning why MV police department have these “weapons of war” when one went missing earlier this year, now you know.

      On another note Mr Keller I did some research on pebble bed reactors and you 100% changed my mind on nuclear energy. Thank you for sharing.

      • The morale problem in policing today is the camera.
        As it it turns out so much of ‘street justice’ turns out to be criminal behavior.
        Who knew?
        Now we all know.

  11. To add to Frank’s comment above, every summer we would rent to 12 or 13 students or E. Europeans. There were 4+ bedrooms, a communal kitchen, 3 full baths, a cleaning service to come in weekly for the common spaces. Rents were affordable and we made a profit with this dorm style arrangemant.

  12. The approval to again and again demolish dozens, maybe hundreds? of modest homes, most in fine condition, to allow these gigantic rental properties in their place, is permanently pushing out the working class. Yes, this also pushes up our property values. And no, I do not necessarily view that as a positive thing. Many of us are not interested in selling. This has been my families year round home since the 1920’s, no price tag can replace this. But now our neighborhood is gone. A burger costs $25. Island health care providers are facing unprecedented staffing shortages. New construction & short term rentals need to be regulated better in my opinion.

  13. Andy– it’s easy to provide a link to your so called “Census data”.
    And, I know the census Bureau used to be bi-partisan, but there seemed to be a number of partisan issues that came up during the 2020 census.
    The most blatant was that issue about ignoring the constitution and only counting citizens. You know when the constitution was written only white men who owned property were counted.
    If you want to talk about “pusillanimous and ill informed” arguments , I suggest you refer to every single comment you have made on this thread.. Not a single verifiable fact… flailing assertions about demographic trends that you have no idea about, let alone their causes as well as some rantings about an “invisible hand” directing how we live– give us a break!
    We both cherry pick some facts andy– I back mine up. Nothing timid about it–
    I informed myself about the issue before I started typing–

    How about you , andy ? How informed are you ?
    So sad to hear that you are crying, I’ll send you a box of kleenex for Christmas..

    • Keller—–The ”invisible hand” is an economic concept that describes the unintended greater social benefits and public good brought about by individuals acting in their own self-interests. The concept was first introduced by Adam Smith in The Theory of Moral Sentiments, written in 1759. It is not a ranting as you suggest.

      • andy– I am very aware of the concept of what the “invisible hand” is in regard to economics–
        Thank you for posting your explanation of why you used that term–
        And extra thanks for posting something that is actually true.

  14. Keller. You need to distinguish between fact and opinion. A fact is a statement that can be proven true or false. An opinion is an expression of a person’s feelings that cannot be proven The source of a fact has to be credible. It cannot simply be your favorite journal or your sister—unless they are a recognized authority. This forum has all manner of opinion. On housing on selectmen, on guns, on virtually anything that touches the lives of its residents. I have opinions on those subjects and am entitled to them. If someone tells us there are no homes for sale under 1 million dollars on MV, that is an assertion that can be countered. I base my opinion on research and empirical evidence and life experience. You dont have to agree with it and usually dont. Thoughtful posters would only counter a misleading statistic but would leave opinions alone. You want to attack opinions and even ad hominem them. I have done some of that also and should not. I am going to continue to give my opinion on this forum and will try not to attack anyone. Are you willing to do so?

    • andy– i of course will continue to post my opinions–
      And I of course will continue to have some respect for your opinions.
      What I will not have is any kind of respect for is your lies.
      Let’s keep it simple, andy– you don’t lie– I won’t call out your lies.
      You express your opinions, I express mine–
      But don’t claim that your opinions are facts.
      I also won’t claim that my opinions are facts–

      Easy peasy for me, — but it seems like it might be a life changing event for you to agree to the idea that your opinions are not facts.
      Good luck —
      One day at a time—

  15. Donovan, I made no factual claim about Peets coffee I simply said its the best in my opinion. As for my vocabulary, I learned English as a third language and my punctiliousness for heuristic learning is lugubrious and abstemious. You are welcome to take shots at me but you have no FACTS as to how I use language. As for your claim that sweetener in coffee is the work of the devil– you do then believe in the devil?

    • andy– neither I nor Donovan , or anyone else for that matter ever said you made a factual claim about Peets coffee.
      Your inference that we did is a lie.
      That’s not my opinion, that’s a fact.

    • Tell you what Andy, I’ll let you slide on your Peets claim, but how about the next time you post one of your opinions as fact, you post something to back at up.
      As far your use of obscure words, I never claimed to have FACTS stating that’s how you speak in everyday conversation. What I said was I have serious doubt that’s how you speak in everyday conversation. Those doubts are my opinion. And I also laid out, based on personal experience with wanna be intellectuals, why I have that opinion. Again, not fact, just opinion. You can throw out as many obscure multi-syllable words as your want. My OPINION will remain no one but the most insecure wanna be intellectuals speak like that. And some of them know how to use a thesaurus.
      As for the devil, I believe in the devil the same way I believe in the tooth fairy, the easter bunny, the great pumpkin, santa claus and god, it’s fun when you’re young, but eventually you grow out of it…

      • Jim–since this thread has degraded into a discussion about how andy speaks, I will throw my OPINION in.
        I met him a few times in the 1990’s
        In 2014, at andy’s suggestion, we met for coffee and had a rather nice conversation for about an hour.
        I posted that on the Times site, and we had an additional on record interview with Times reporter Jack Shae.
        The FACT is, he never once used a word I didn’t know.
        On this thread alone, he used 5 .
        But I feel no inimical sentiments about his ostentatiously evincing his lugubrious and abstemious punctiliousness for heuristic learning.
        Just sayin’
        Who am I to criticize ?
        Besides, I have probably made a seriously incomprehensible word salad out of that sting of words by misuse of the basic laws of grammar, as well as just plain misuse of the words.. How would I know ? 🤝

        • Keller, you did not meet me in the 1990’s. That is a fabrication or a lie or an error of memory. I would prefer the latter. Afterwards we disagreed on many subjects but you got nasty when I supported Trump and things went downhill from there. I will forgive you and apologize to you, and we can start again. What do you say?

          • Andy– have you forgotten that my second ex wife worked at FOCUS at the same time as you ? — ’94-96′ There were a number of staff parties and an occasional bar-b-que.
            I clearly remember meeting you at those events.

            I have nothing to be forgiven for, but I accept your apology.

          • Keller. You have nothing to be forgiven for? Don’t Pastafarians have redemption or absolution or exoneration? I did not work at FOCUS but was a Board Member. Your second wife was a gem and you should not have let her go. If I had met you I would have remembered you at the Jack Shea Black Dog interview. I had the halo around my head do you remember?

  16. Build apartment complexes, and run a true commuter fast ferry and 75% of the housing crisis will go away.

  17. Mr Gault is absolutely correct. However the powers that be wont allow zoning laws to adapt to the need. That plus NIMBY wont ever allow the use of open land in the middle of MV to built low cost apartment complexes.

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