Newspaper Archive of
Vineyard Gazette
Edgartown, Massachusetts
December 2, 2016     Vineyard Gazette
PAGE 1     (1 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 1     (1 of 16 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
December 2, 2016

Newspaper Archive of Vineyard Gazette produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2018. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

I have been one acquainted with the night I have walked out in rain @ and back in rain I have out-walked the furthest city light. - Robert Frost 's Vineyard, seven miles off southeast msetts. Winter population, 16,535; in ?wenty miles from city of New Bedford, aston and 150 miles from New York. Devoted to the interest of the six towns on the Island of Martha's Vineyard, viz.: Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Tisbury (Vineyard Haven), West Tisbury, Chilmark and Aquin- nah. These, with Gosnold, constitute Dukes County. Volume 171, Number 29. Established 1846. 2016 Vineyard Gazette LLC. VINEYARD GAZETTE MARTHES VINEYARD, MASS., FRIDAY, DECEMBER 2, 2016 Sixteen Pages. $1 a Copy. Hark! Youth Meets Experience in Holiday Song By LOUISA HUFSTADER This weekend's Christmas concerts by the Island Community Chorus, directed by Peter Boak, will be unlike any in the group's 20-year history. On Saturday evening and Sunday af- ternoon at the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown, the 125-member choir will be joined by more than two dozen much younger voices as the Martha's Vineyard Children's Chorus makes its holiday debut. "The children's choir is only a year old," Mr. Boak said, after rehearsing the adult chorus in the church Mon- day night. 'At their first public concert last spring, at Union Chapel, they in- vited the community chorus, the high school Minnesingers and the high school mixed chorus, so the kids in the children's chorus had something to aspire to, to see what happens through a lifetime of singing." At the spring concert, each group performed a couple of numbers before joining in a mass choir to sing with au- dience participation. "That was a really wonderful experience," said Lisa Varno, 31, founder and director of the children's chorus. "When we all sangtogether, we invited the audience to sing an ostinato underneath us. It sounded so beautiful in that space." This fall Ms. Varno asked the com- munity chorus if the children could join them for the holiday concert. Mr. Boak's response was immediate. "That will be great," he said. The young singers range in age from first grade to seventh grade, and Tues- day afternoon was their first rehearsal in the Old Whaling Church. Lining four pews in front of center stage, they wriggled, stretched, jumped and spun in place as Ms. Varno led a brisk set of warm-up exercises to get them feel- ing comfortable in the vaulted, high- windowed church. "Trust that the space is going to hear you," Ms. Varno told the young choristers, who are in just their second semester of singing together. "It's a big- ger space than you're used to, but you're certainly filling it." Unaccustomed to public perfor- mance and a little at sea in their grand surroundings, they watched Ms. Varno carefully as she demonstrated proper concert posture. "I'm going to show you some funny things, so be prepared to laugh," she said, before mimicking an attentive audience member sitting upright and paying attention, and then a squirming child in the chorus. She also slouched languidly across the aisle, leaning on the edge of a pew, to show them improper posture. "If I conduct like this, you're welcome to stand like this," she said with a smile. Humor and light-heartedness are hallmarks of Ms. Varno's style as a chorus director, a job she has held as a public music educator for nine years in Massachusetts and Pennsylvania. She also has deep Island musical roots; her mother and aunts sang with the high school Minnesingers. Ms. Varno formed the Martha's Vineyard Children's Choir in January, 2016, in part as a "feeder program" for the Minnesingers but also because there was no Island-wide sing- ing group for kids. "I really thought, there's a gap here, and that it would be useful for the com- munity, so I decided to take it upon myself to start one," she said. Rehears- als are weekly, and auditions are non- existent. Follow the Gazette on facebook To Page Four Mand- Wide Delivery/ Island's best selection and best prices ...................................... 508-693-0236 Downtown Oak Bluffs TRACKER H O M E~ECOR Home Sales & Vacation Rentals Wallace & Co. INTERNATIONAL REALTY Serving the VTneyard for over 35 years. Chihnark Ed artmvn 508-645-5044 x x 5(1S-627-3313 EDGARTOWN 508,627.8725 PLEASE RECYCLE --- ,...,--...-T-- --....r .- 98 ! ! /- :~ ". ,.~ , / "~i Merrily Fenner had a heavy heart the day she sold her family home in Vine- '7i. yard Haven. Sentimental feelings aside, she : .... knew that it would mean evicting her six ; .bZ,,..,.,. ] tenants, including a young couple from Brazil she has come to know.over the years. She said the sale came quickly this summer. Because the couple does not speak English, Mrs. Fenner got on the phone with friends and reached out through social media to help them find another home. But she said the only offers were a step down in size, with monthly rents at least twice the $800 she had charged for a separate cot- tage on the property. The couple eventually found a temporary arrangement in Edgartown, but the future is uncertain. "My heart absolutely broke for these kids," said Mrs. Fenner, a lifelong Islander who has seen as many as 100 tenants come and go over the last 20 years. "One of the hardest things that I have ever had to do was to go down there and say I've sold the house." She was glad at least that it happened in the fall, rather than in the spring, when the couple would have faced a much tighter rental market. "It would have been abominable," she said. "They may not have even been able to stay on the Island." Housing problems run deep on the Vineyard, where low wages and a seasonal economy can create a recipe for hardship. It's a similar story in 7E:-'- t/ NEXT TO THE MV AIRPORT I I~ 4' D P By ALEX ELVIN .," /, t 508-696-3704 Pilgrim Plant Under Scrutiny Federal Regulators Arrived At Nuclear Power Plant Early This Week to Begin An Intensive Inspection By ALEX ELVIN The Nuclear Regulatory Commission has launched a ;far-reaching inspection of the Pilgrim Nuclear Power Plant in Plymouth, where a series of mishaps in recent years has raised public alarm and triggered heightened oversight by the federal agency. A group of 20 nuclear experts from around the country arrived in Plym- outh on Monday and will spend two weeks inspecting plant documents, pro- cedures and equipment. Their arrival marks the third and largest phase in a heightened inspection process initiated last year after continued safety viola- tions. Earlier phases in the inspection found minor violations related to water leakage and a revised maintenance pro- cedure. "How many inspections does it take to shut down a dangerous nuclear reactor that threatens over l resort communities around the country, where high-cost second homes tilt the scales of the real estate market, raising home prices across the board and creating a burden for workers and retirees. For many Islanders, the sting is sharpest in April and May, when rents skyrocket for the summer and tenants find themselves scrambling for housing they can afford, on or off the Island. Some turn to friends, word of mouth and social media, since landlords tend to shy away from advertising to avoid the inevitable flood of inquiries that follows. With the fall may come a sigh of relief, as crowds disperse and rents return to off-season rates. But it's not always an easy transition. Plans to vastly increase the Island's year-round affordable housing stock through the development of state-certified housing production plans began this year. But whether those efforts will succeed in a community largely defined by its seasonal character and high-end real estate remains to be seen. There is evidence that a booming second- home market has worsened housing insecurity on the Vineyard in recent years. According to the American Community Survey, which provides a five-year snapshot of trends, more than 65 per cent of all new homes built since 2010 are vacant in the winter. A lack of dedicated rental developments means that most year-round rentals are in private homes, which themselves may get swept up in the housing market, as Mrs. Fenner's was this year. To Page Nine -- have the same heightened level of oversight. The NRC on its website notes weak- nesses in "identifying and evaluating is- sues and completing corrective actions in a timely manner" at Pilgrim, which is slated to close in 2019. The inspection comes against a back- drop of intense public concern sur- rounding the plant's safety. In a letter to Gov. Charlie Baker in October, the Cape Cod National Seashore Advisory Council pressed for the plant's immedi- ate closure and for an evacuation plan that extends beyond greater Boston to include the Cape. The entire state del- egation in October demanded that the NRC deny Entergy's recent application to postpone compliance with a new safety procedure that was put in place following the disaster at Fukushima in 2011. According to the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency, which oversees evacuations in the state, the Cape and Islands would not be in immediate danger in the event of an accident at Pilgrim, so the short-term plan would be to shelter in place. But others have pointed out that the radio- active plume at Fukushima extended 50 miles from the plant and that a similar event here could easily affect the Cape and Islands. Every town on the Cape, and most towns on the Vineyard, passed nonbind- ing resolutions two years ago asking for the plant's closure. Earlier this year, three members of the advocacy group Cape Downwinders were arrested at Gov. Charlie Baker's statehouse offices, where they had gath- ered to deliver a letter calling for the plant's closure. About 20 protesters from Boston and the Cape held signs To Page Four Saturday, Dec 3rd & Sunday, 4th 10am to 5pm Living room ~ Bedroom -- Kitchen -- Porches -- Pool table ~ Art, etc. 7 Chapel Ave, Chappy (508)654-5413 Nember FDIE Marflha's V'meyard I B, i -$ A V T -N G $ B A N K Vineyard Sound 508-627-4266 Member DIF