Wednesday, July 8, 2020

Soundings

Change, from the grassroots

The school year that begins today across the Island is one of important firsts for public education here.

The view from the saddle

The Vineyard, with its bike-friendly scale, has tantalizing possibilities as a model community for encouraging alternatives to the automobile.

Happy trails

Last month, after my column on the Vineyard Transit Authority was published here, I was struck by the vehemence of one online poster who lambasted our regional bus service as a source of traffic congestion and air pollution and an assault on American free enterprise.

Transit Into summer

Imagine running a service that sees demand double each year from February to April, double again from April to May, again from May to June and again from June to July.

A library moment for an Island that loves its libraries

In the season of annual town meetings that opens this Tuesday, public libraries are making headlines in four of the six Island towns.

Sorely tested

The MCAS tests were born out of the Commonwealth's Education Reform Act of 1993, years before the No Child Left Behind Act came along and co-opted them as part of our national high-stakes testing system.

Accidental addicts

It was about a year ago, after a broken leg and a couple of surgeries at Martha's Vineyard Hospital, that I first became aware of the connection between prescription painkillers and crime on the Island.

Cross-town referral

The irony of this situation is almost too rich.

Raising money the wrong way

Last month I devoted this column to the fundraising practices of the Dukes County Deputy Sheriff's Association.

Charity navigating

Heather, one of our young patrons at the Edgartown library, approached me last week to say she was raising money for her school band's trip, and could I help? When I said yes, she led me to a table and pulled a fat envelope from her backpack.

Traffic and tuition

Labor Day, each year, concludes the season when we're apt to grow most resentful of the Vineyard's summer people and begins the season when we should be most grateful for them.

Telling our story

This summer's new publication from the Martha's Vineyard Donors Collaborative (MVDC) could hardly have a more ambitious title: "Understanding the Vineyard.

Housing: we get this

Six years ago, the agencies working from the Vineyard Housing Office in Tisbury had a ready answer to the criticism that the Island's housing soup has too many cooks.

Look left, and yield

Once upon a time, the traffic planner's toolbox for designing an intersection was simple.

Library design struggle in Edgartown ends with an opportunity

Have you noticed how much less stressful it is to have the viewfinder of a camera facing you than the lens? It's the same way with newspaper writing: My side of the keyboard is usually the safer place to be.

Parsonages and predicaments

Up in West Tisbury, the request for permission to tear down the Old Parsonage has gotten a lot of Island press — and rightly so, because it plays out against the backdrop of our concern for preserving the character of Martha's Vineyard.

Benefits and detriments

Every couple of years, as required by its state charter, the Martha's Vineyard Commission pulls out a document called the DRI checklist and reviews it.

Favorite finds on the Vineyard

As my husband Rob and I entrenched ourselves inside this weekend, I began to take notice of how many things in our house came from Island businesses.

Bad process, good outcome

When a good thing happens at an inopportune moment, in an unfortunate way, it's still a good thing.