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March 11, 2011     Vineyard Gazette
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March 11, 2011
 

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EIGHT VINEYARD GAZETrE, MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASS. FRIDAY, MARCH 11, 2011 Martha's Vineyard's Newspaper for 164 Years Established in 1846 A Journal of Island Life Julia Wells, Editor Joe Pitt, General Manager Lauren Martin, Managing Editor Stephen Durkee, Director of Graphics and Phyllis Meras, Contributing Editor Design A Richard Reston Publisher 2003-2010 Richard Reston and Mary Jo Reston Publishers 1988-2003 Sally Fulton Reston and James Reston Publishers 1968-1988 Elizabeth Bowie Hough and Henry Beetle Hough Publishers 1920-1965 Sifting Through the Muck Following the rules can start to seemlike a fool's game when many in society begin to tout that regulations -- any inconvenient regulations m are an affront to freedom and an obstacle to pros- perity. Nevermind that a free market depends on a well-regulated system. This is true whether dealing with home loan approvals, oil rig safety procedures or scrutinizing investment results (Madoff, anyone?). The penalties for recklessness must be severe for the market to make sense. It is amidst this broader political atmosphere that we on the Vineyard should examine the recent spate of property owners in violation of wetlands protection laws, from West Chop to Chap- paquiddick to Crystal Lake. These wetlands laws were born of the Clean Water Act, which, like America's other bedrock environmen- tal protection laws, was Eassed on a broadly bipartisan basis. The lawmakers who passed this country's landmark environmental laws did so, the agency's chief recently testified, "to protect American children and adults from pollution that otherwise would make their lives shorter, less healthy and less prosperous ... to make the air and drinking water in America's communities clean enough to at- tract new employers.., to safeguard the pastime of America's forty million anglers ... to protect the farms whose irrigation makes up a third of America's surface freshwater withdrawals ... to preserve the livelihoods of fishermen." We on the Vineyard are currently celebrating the return of the migratory birds we welcome as harbingers every spring; these soar- ers and songmakers feed on the flogs, fish, midges and flies harbored by our wetlands. We also watch for the next northeaster that may rob our shore- lines; wetlands act as a natural buffer between ocean and land, preventing flooding during times of extreme high tide and storm surges by acting like a sponge to soak up excess water. Wetlands, neither fully land nor fully water, are our first line of defense against natural disasters. The recent Vineyard wetlands violations vary from clear-cutting to filling. Homeowners and contractors who should have known better were involved. Generally, no one involved sought a permit. And yet no one is facing a stiff fine. On the Island, we like to play nice. But our environmental en- forcers, unable to outspend owners in court, end up enabling those property owners who find it easier to play naive and make some reparations after the damage has been done. It's cheaper than fol- lowing the rules. It may be that these property owners really had no idea that, having bought in a precious environment, they ought to take care before changing it. In which case, perhaps it is time then to repeat a simple guideline proffered decades ago by a member of the Martha's Vineyard Commission: "If you can see water, come see us" before you take action to make human changes to this very finite natural resource. Catching Up on Daylight Saving Daylight Saving Time is upon us again. On Sunday, March 13, most of the United States will spring forward and enjoy an extra hour of daylight at the end of the day. Hawaii and most of Arizona abstain; the Navajo Nation residing in the state observes the tradi- tion. Presently, it seems an innocuous event embraced as little more than a harbinger of spring, albeit moaned about for a few days as the alarm clock rings an hour earlier. However, the ritual's begin- nings stem from much more complex affairs including insects, golf and war. The movement was first attributed to New Zealander George Vernon Hudson in 1895. Mr. Hudson was an entomologist looking for more time at the end of the day to collect specimens. In the early 1900s, avid golfer William Willett of England furthered the cause. Too many rounds aborted at the 15th hole due to darkness, perhaps. During World War I, in an effort to conserve coal, first Germany, then England and eventually the United States looked to create another daylight hour. Later, retailers in the U.S. championed the cause. More daylight, more shopping was the motto as the economic engine roared to life. Sometimes the roots of a tradition seem so distant from the af- fairs of the present day. However, in this case, particularly here on the Island, the original motivations are still readily apparent. Retail economics and leisure activities both play important roles here. The Island takes the conservation of its resources and energy seriously too. Perhaps then it is the catching of insects that is the least prominent of these activities on everyone's summer list, at least those older than ten. Then again, so many summer pleasures do seem to revolve around the catching of things --- waves, the sun's rays, all manner of balls. And perhaps sweetest of all is the catching up with old friends not seen since the previous summer. So here's to Daylight Saving Time as it beckons all those who have wintered elsewhere, home again to the Island. Two Arrows Diverged on a Shadowy Street Sam Low TALE OF TWO CITIZENS Editors, Vineyard Gazette: There it was in black and white on page one of the Gazette (March 4), and the contrast depicted in the stories of two individuals was just as startling.The remembrance of the late Edwin (Bob) Newhall Woods described a model environmentalist whose conservation practices assured that many acres of Vineyard land would remain forever wild. Then we have the case of Ms. Mary Howell who, wishing to improve her little piece of West Chop, dredged a pond and filled in a wetland. It's too bad Ms. Howell did not bother to show up at the recent conservation commis- sion meeting to discuss these violations. How do you defend such blatant disre- gard for protecting sensitive land? The commission can fine up to $300 a day for violations, but the cost of land lost? Priceless. Pamela Street Vineyard Haven SAME GARBAGE Editors, Vineyard Gazette: There was a time, in Vineyard Ha- ven, when there was one garbageman who drove the truck and gathered the masses of refuse from the cans every week, once a week. One man.And once upon a time, when one was remiss with a garbage sticker, one could put out a pie, or cold soda, and the sticker situa- tion magically disappeared by said gar- bageman. Being made aware that this soul had a lot to deal with, I was well trained in the art of being appreciative of the garbageman. It's slightly different in these south- ern climes on Palm Beach. A snappy truck and multiple little trucks zoom up and down the lanes every morn- ing. No stickers are needed --for gosh sakes the property taxes alone are enough to provide a third world country food, housing and clothing for a decade, thus no sodas, pies or stickers are required for the removal of garbage. Dutifully I have been dragging the garbage can from this house to the roadside. Mindful of the garbageman's plight, I saw no reason for the man to run up this driveway and drag the can down to the street ... after all, I have been Vineyard trained. Morning after morning they silently appear and the can is emptied. I drag it back up the drive and all is well until it is filled and then I drag it back down the driveway to the roadside. I need no rock, approximately a size 8 shoe, to hold this lid firmly attached to the can. Palm Beach has no skunks sniffing out yogurt containers, or crows, except for a few older bipeds dressed in pinks and greens from the Sixties. One can actually leave a garbage bag on the street and in all its resplendent green glory, not one little claw mark or DNA swatch could be found by any CSI agent on said bag. This morning, much to my'horror, I discovered a very tastefully appointed calling card on my front door from the Palm Beach Code Enforcement Task Force. What had I done this time? Is the pool too dirty? Is the dryer running too hot? Is my little dog too uncoiffed? Are there too many white pebbles in the pea gravel driveway? Is the doormat outdated? Have I gone out in public with a broken nail? None of the above! I made the mistake of taking the trash can to the edge of the: driveway. On Palm Beach a trash can is supposed to be hidden, at all times. It is the job of the garbageman to hunt for them. Not only do they not get a pie or soda, they have to search high and low, behind ficus and thorny bougainvillea, and as the temperature climbs, perhaps these men have to go by scent. There are no trails of empty yogurt containers to follow or little bits of green plastic. Everything is just so pristine, perfect, except for the few misadventures, like me and my garbage can, down on the road. Jean Goodman-McIntosh Vineyard Haven DAYBREAK CLUBHOUSE Editors, Vineyard Gazette: Members and staff of the Daybreak Clubhouse of Martha's Vineyard Com- munity Services urge Island legislators to protect funding for clubhouses. The Department of Mental Health has proposed $3 million in cuts to clubhouses across the state. Losing the clubhouse would be losing the lifeline for people with mental illness on the Island. "Daybreak has enabled me to find stability and structure in my life ... and keeps me out of the hospital," said a member. Upwards of 30 Islanders are active with Daybreak, upwards of 100 Is- landers are permanent members; 7,000 hours of attendance are logged each year. Daybreak provides community. "Not everyone has the support of a family member to rely on. That's what daybreak does," said one young woman .... The clubhouse is open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. "It gives me something to do during the day ... It has given me the oppor- tunity to work at Murdick's Fudge and Cronig's," said one man. Many essential services would be lost without the clubhouse. The community would lose much of the financial contributions made by clubhouse members. The clubhouse holds jobs with lo- cal businesses. Ten to fifteen mem- bers are working at any given time in the community, logging 6,812 hours a year and earning an aggregate of over $65,000. Vocational training also would be lost if Daybreak Clubhouse closes. An education scholarship fund at Day- break provides scholarships of up to $500 allowing members to advance their skills. The clubhouse is open weekends and every holiday for social events. The Daybreak Clubhouse cannot afford to lose any more funding. The clubhouse already operates on a bare- bones budget having been flat-funded for 13 years. "It's unfortunate that DMH is pro- posing such deep cuts to the clubhouse program. If anything the clubhouse program is the most successful program for those who are vulnerable. To limit the services of the clubhouse would be a great expense to all." To Page Nine The Dog Who Defied Death Three Times By SAM LOW HER NAME WAS MAILE MALAMA KAMEHAMEHA. IT WAS A LONG MONIKER and it pretty well summed her up. Maile is a kind of Hawaiian vine used as a ceremonial lei and worn mostly by men -- she loved ceremonies and always gravitated to male "two-legs" (as she called human beings). Malama means "to take care of," and that was her goal in life, which she did per- fectly. Kamehameha is the name of Hawaii's first king, the chief who united all the islands, which suggests her strength in adversity. But, as she would have told you, that all sounds a little too grand. What she did really well was enjoy life. One of the things she loved most, and we Islanders can all relate to that, was swim. Every day, at about five in the afternoon, we showed up at the beach in Harthaven. We swam together side by side (it took a little time to convince her that was a good thing). Looking one way, I saw the glistening jewels of water spill off my arm as I "Australian-crawled" through the water. Looking the other way, I saw her churning legs as she "dog-paddled." I could beat her in a short race, but she was faster over any distance. Her beach behavior, however, was a little raunchy. She loved to eat all kinds of dead things -- crabs, fish and shell- fish -- and, walking the Farm Neck Golf Course, it was difficult to convince her that goose turds were not for consumption. She was an athlete who responded to the challenge of all kinds of thrown projectiles. Like all good Islanders, she understood the meaning of "community" and greeted everyone who came her way with enthusiasm. A year ago, she had her first seizure -- probably caused by a brain tumor of some kind. During the last two weeks, she had two more, which she responded to by getting back to work enjoying life within a day or so. She was strong-- and loyal. I'm convinced she stayed around to guide me most of the way through my first winter on the Island.And she was deeply wise. How do I know that? Because unlike most of us, she knew when the party was over. After almost 12 years of loving life, she passed away at 3:25 on Thursday morning. Life will never be the same. MAILE MALAMA KAMEHAMEHA. Sam Low THE GAZETI'E CHRONICLE Mucking Around From Gazette editions of March, 1961: Although it seems sometimes that the minutist of details of President Kennedy's life in the white House are covered with great gusto in the national press, one important detail just might be overlooked, and since it is surely contributing to the wellbeing of the First Family, it is duly reported here: Cape Pogue scallops have found their way to the White House dining room. Scallops taken at Cape Pogue by Oscar C. Pease and purchased by Gordori E Shurtleff were shipped to Bostoig including a select order of bay scallop destined for the presidential table, the second such order. The Edgartown selectmen's interesl in the acquisition of Collins beach i~ being held in abeyance while the lega; aspects of the whole matter are looked into by the town counsel. It had beeft the selectmen's intention to wait until after the legal investigation had beeri completed before announcing any o~ the details of the plan other than th~ fact that an offer to sell the town th~ waterfront property of the late Helen FA Collins had been made by the preseni owners, W. Stuart Fuller and his sister Catherine E Gay.The town has been fered the chance to buy the entire trac[ which, besides approximately 100 feel of shore, includes frontage on South Water street and Commercial street On the property are two houses, ond of them large and dating from one of the Island's most gracious architectural periods, the other smaller and built" a style nowadays considered not quit as felicitous. Before the board proceed to find out, at a special town meeting whether or not the town wants to the property, one of the selectmen, P. R. Dube, thought it would be desir able to ascertain definitely the presen ownership of the beach portion of thd property. For years there has existed a school of thought which held that the beach already belonged to the town or, at least, that the townspeople had legal access to it. On a springlike Palm Sunday, J. Barry Keenan found his attention attracted by a tumult in his goat yard. The Keenan premises, port of call for much interest- hag wildlife, are just outside Edgart0wn on the Vineyard Haven Road, Investi7 gating, Colonel Keenan discovered a lively but incapacitated Canada goose, unable to take off into real flight. The humane thing to do was to catch the goose and take it to the Foote memorial shelter of the S.EC.A. "I really got a work-out," Colone( Keenan reported the next day. He couldn't catch the goose, but he solved the problem by shooing the big bird down the road, keeping it out of traffic and into a feld, opposite the Shelter:i Here George Jackson caught the goose by running along with it as it attempted to fly and tackling it as it landed. After: examination, food, drink and rest at the' shelter, the goose was liberated at An- thier's as a patient ready for discharge and self help. It joined a flock in the pond and is expected to resume normal life. Although much detail remained: incomplete, Edward Pacheco, propri etor of the new Reliable Self-Service: Market in Oak Bluffs, was hopeful her would be able to open his doors for business. This brand new market is' one of the most impressive food stores: on the Island. With floor space of 8ff by 59 feet, the store has lent itself toz the arrangement of "display islands"; approved in the modern market. A prominent feature is the arrangement of the aisles designed to guide the shopper through the displays and to bring him around to the check-out counter in a convenient manner. In this market and the enlarged store of the Cronig Brothers of Vineyard Haven, the Island now has two of the largest independent grocery markets of its history. Lillian Hellman, noted playwright and longtime summer resident, is the: winner of the Creative Arts medaP for this year. The award is made by Brandeis University in recognition! of "a lifetime of outstanding achieve-" ment." An honorarium of $1,500 goes' with the medal to be presented commencement exercises. "Everyone likes medals and money," Miss Hell- man said when she was asked about:" the award. A woman left the table after a formal dinner and said to the lady who sat next: to her, "Maybe you don't know it, but you were eating my bread and butter all through the meal."The woman, without a blush, replied: "I didn't know it, but: I'm not a bit surprised. It sounds just like me." This honest, unabashed com- ment was made by Emily Post.The lady, : for many years an Edgartown summer resident and whose very name came to mean Etiquette to America, was first,; and foremost an enemy of stuffiness;' For this reason her work, despite its potentially pretentious subject matter, captured the country in a period of: social change. Compiled by Cynthia Meisner library@mvgazette.com