O.B. to take up Inkwell yoga permit Monday

Yoga is back on the agenda for the Oak Bluffs Parks Commission. — Joanne Lambert

A meeting has been posted for the Oak Bluffs Parks Commission Monday with just one item on the agenda — discussion regarding a special event permit application submitted by Inkwell Yoga.

Following backlash over having ejected the excercise group from Inkwell Beach last week, the parks commission has explained, through chair Tony Lima, that any activity on public property deemed a “special event” must now secure a permit from the town. 

Per the town’s bylaws, a special event is defined as any “supervised or organized activities involving one or more participants or spectators, which might reasonably be expected to affect the public use or enjoyment, or the general environmental quality, of any park or beach.” 

Additionally, Lima relayed the prohibition of any “commercial activity including, without limitation, signs, notices, advertisement, concessions, or soliciting/selling of goods, services, or articles,” on town-owned beaches and parks, per Oak Bluffs regulations. 

Because the parks department has the authority to issue “a special-use permit upon receipt of a complete application for an otherwise prohibited activity,” the Inkwell Yoga group submitted the request following their removal from the beach, and now the fate of the group activity lies in the hands of parks commissioners. 

The public meeting will be held in person only, at 4 pm Monday at Town Hall.


  1. Merriam-Webster has a nice definition of bureaucracy: “a system of administration marked by officialism, red tape, and proliferation.” Nice job, OB, we’ve made it to a new level. Power to the Bureaucrats.

    • That would only happen IF the Commission was interested in hearing what the community has to say. A 4 pm in-person-only meeting is the perfect way to exclude those working until 5 as well as those who are unable/not comfortable with sitting inside, cheek to cheek with others who may or may not be wearing masks. This is another example of how we are losing everything this island has ever stood for – because the sight of a dozen people doing a sun salutation together on the beach at 7:30 in the morning is so incredibly disruptive.
      Honestly, if this sort of thing offends you – you might consider moving to the “other’ island.

  2. The Commission knows residents on the island are smart enough to put in a Public Records Request for all email and cell phone records to see who was behind this dumpster fire decision. They will pass this real quickly in an effort for it to disappear.

  3. I’m going down with my Falun Gong group in the morning. Seriously does someone at town hall not understand the media will be all over this story? The news crews are probably already on the way to the island. Better have a press release ready laddies.

  4. Based on the definition of a special event, folks gathering to fly kites in Waban park is on the city’s radar as well, right?

    Most people don’t just happen to have a kite in their backpack which then makes it ‘organized’; clearly, people watch: parents become the spectators; and kite flying affects public use because no one wants to get tangled in a kite string. By definition, kids with kites should expect to get shooed out of the park unless they can produce a special event permit.

    We can’t stop there. Wind surfers on Sengekontacket pond… A group of bicyclists… A family picnic… By definition, they all are ‘special events’.

    The City has started down a slippery slope. They’re going to find they need a better definition of ‘special events’ or they might just find themselves facing accusations of prejudice.

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