Oak Bluffs: New harbormaster, State House rally, town candidates, and Community Greenhouse

—MV Times

“If I’m going to sing like someone else, then I don’t need to sing at all.”  –Billie Holiday

Jazz legend Billie Holiday was born on April 15, 1915. She saw her voice as an instrument, and she had no trouble using it as she saw fit. She was a songwriter also, and although she had a very hard life, she was way ahead of her time as a woman making her own way in life.

Congratulations to Emily deBettencourt, our new Oak Bluffs harbormaster! Emily is our first female harbormaster in Martha’s Vineyard history, and she is taking over management of the largest, busiest marina on the Island. Emily grew up in Oak Bluffs, and was second-in-command to harbormaster Todd Alexander, who retired last July. Emily’s mom Hope must be so proud, and I’m sure her dad Eric is beaming and bragging about her in heaven.

More congratulations go to Del Araujo for winning first prize at the Island’s first “Perfect Pitch” competition! This “Shark Tank” contest brought eight contestants to pitch their business idea for a chance to win cash awards. Del opened his coffee shop Aquila in Aquinnah last summer, to rave reviews, and has recently expanded to a second location at the Y, which was an instant success. His pitch to the judges was to build an observation deck at the Aquinnah shop, so customers can enjoy their coffee and their time there. The judges were impressed with his pitch and with his hard work to create a successful business, awarding him $10,000 to make his vision come true. I can’t wait to go sit on the new deck and sip delicious coffee while enjoying the view!

Many thanks to the 200 Islanders who rallied at the State House in Boston on March 23 to support legislation to create the MV Housing Bank. They met with lawmakers and made their voices heard on the steps of the State House, with drumming and passionate speakers. It was a diverse group, including people from all walks of life and students from Vineyard schools. The housing crisis has touched every aspect of life on M.V., and also on Nantucket. As Grayson Kirk, a senior at the M.V. Charter School put it, “We are what makes the islands resilient and beautiful. Get rid of the community, and you don’t have the islands. This is our home.” Thanks to you all for making our voices heard!

Pinkletinks are singing, and town meeting season is here. The Oak Bluffs annual Town Meeting is April 11 at 7 pm, at the MVRHS Performing Arts Center. You can see the warrant on the town website, and get ready to vote. Then, get ready to vote again on Town Election Day, Thursday, April 13. Voting will be at the Library Meeting Room from 10 am to 7 pm. We have two positions available on the select board, as Brian Packish and Ryan Ruley will step down. The three candidates are all very knowledgeable and focused on working for the betterment of the town, so I think it will be a tough choice, but the town can’t lose!

Dine at Offshore Ale to Donate for Island Elderly Housing on April 11 from 4 to 9 pm. This is an easy way to help support this great organization that cares for our elderly, simply by enjoying a great meal at our favorite brew pub.

You can enjoy another great meal on April 13 at the monthly MVRHS Luncheon. Delicious food is prepared by the culinary department, with live music. The music begins at 11, lunch is served at 11:30. Call 508-939-9440 for reservations.

The Community Greenhouse of Martha’s Vineyard (or simply “the Greenhouse,” as I call it) on New York Avenue is gearing up for the season. The gang of volunteers that keeps the Greenhouse going has been busy preparing for and seeding new plants for the 2023 gardening season. If you are not a member, you should really consider it. Member benefits include a place to grow and pick greens year-round, and discounted prices on all plants. You can get more info and sign up on their website: marthasvineyardgreenhouse.org. If you are planning your garden, watch for its May plant sale!

April birthdays include Guinevere Rebello on April 8. Donnie Combra, Richard Giordano and Kelley Metell celebrate on the 9th. Sandy Ciciora, Tevin Araujo, and Ray Moreis all celebrate on April 10. Happy birthday to Carleen Cordwell and Diane St. Pierre on April 11, to Michael Rebello on the 12th, and Jill Reidell on the 13th.

Send me your news!

If you have any Oak Bluffs Town Column suggestions, email Joanne Lambert, joannelamber@gmail.com.