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Newspaper Archive of
Vineyard Gazette
Edgartown, Massachusetts
July 17, 2009     Vineyard Gazette
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July 17, 2009
 
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If someone thinks that and peace is a diche that must have been left behind in the Sixtieo, Vl N EYh. R D card, seven miles off southeast ,= Winter population, 15,007; in *= !  :; miles from city of New Bedford, nd 150 miles from New York. Volume 164, Nu ......... taOJlshed t84o. 2009 Vineyard Gazette Inc. s his problem. Love and peace are eternal. - John Lennon GAZETTE 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- nab. These, with Gosnold, constitute Dukes County. VINEYARD GAZETTE, MARTHA'S VINEYARD, MASS., FRIDAY, JULY 17, 2009 Twenty-Eight Pages (Two Sections). $41 a Year, 75 a Copy. David Stanwood Jaxon White His Rare Touch Will Transform Piano Playing By MIKE SECCOMBE David Stanwood, piano player, piano lover, technician and innovator, recalls being "spoiled" at an early age, by an accidental encounter with a single in- strument. It was a seven-foot BOsendoffer, in a show room, and when he played it, he said: "I felt as if I'd put on magic gloves." It wasn't just the tone; it was the touch. Later, when he went to the North Bennet Street school in Boston to be- come a technician, he remained fixated on that aspect of the craft in particular; what they call the "action" of a piano, the way the complex arrangement of levers, wires and hammers resport to the player's touch. "It's the interface between 1 artis- tic intention and the sound that omes out," he said. That's a mechanically complex in- terface; there are some 5,000 parts between the musician and the perfor- mance. But, at its most simplified, the whole conundrum comes down to the relationship between how hard the player's fingers go down on the keys and how hard the hammer hits the strings as a result. For the roughly 300 years since the piano was invented, the adjustment of the actions of pianos, even the best ones, was a pretty imprecise affair. Some pianos had light actions, which suited certain players. Some had a heavy action, and suited others.And the action tended to vary not only among instruments, but even among the dif- ferent keys on individual instruments, which really suited nobody. Until now, that is. The West Tisbury artisan, having devoted himself for de- cades to trying to solve the problems of piano action, thinks he now has them licked. He has invented some- thing that will allow any musician to effectively customize any piano to suit their playing style.And do it in minutes, themselves, just by adjusting a couple of knobs. Think of what the system could mean for concert pianists who, unlike most other musicians -- violinists, for ex- ample -- do not consistently play their own instruments, but encounter new ones in every hall. Now, they can simply recalibrate every new instrument to their personal touch preference. The concept is really just Grade One physics. If one alters the pivot point of a lever, one adjusts the mechanical advan- tage. If the pianist twiddles the knobs on the front of Mr. Stanwood's keyboard, To Page Eight Own a slice of the Vineyard with Hob Knob Offerin unrivaled access to distinctive pl0perties around the world Wallace Sotheby & Co. Servi,,  tim "neyard for over thirly years Up Island Down lshmd 508-645-5044 vw.x allaceinv.com  50S-627-3313 508 627 4330 www.hobknobrealt,'.com rlll!!!!![iU!!!!llfl = RECYCLE 0 Vineyard Security Plans 'Fake Shape for President By SAM BUNGEY The massive security effort required to accommodate a Vineyard vacation for President Obama and the First Family next month is now under way, as recession-stricken Island business- people fix their sights, with broadening smiles, on August. Local and state officials relevant to se- curity and law enforcement on land, sea and air have been contacted by the U.S. Secret Service and told to direct all media queries to its Boston headquarter The spokesman there did not return calls yesterday and Wednesday. Martha's Vineyard Airport facility managers have been told to support the security demands of the First Family for a presidential vacation during the final week of August, the Gazette has learned. Meanwhile, a rental agreement on an Island property for the First Family is likely to be signed within a week, ac- cording to sources, though there is still no confirmation from the White House about the visit. Steamship Authority general manager Wayne Lamson said the boat line is al- ready working with government agencies to respond to transportation needs. "We're working with the appropriate agencies," he said. "The Secret Service mainly, but also the White House, to provide whatever space and transpor- tation they need, particularly vehicles going over and back before, during and after the stay." Oak Bluffs police chief Erik Blake confirmed that he also had been con- tacted by the Secret Service. Chief Blake, who was a patrol officer during the years when then-President Clinton vacationed on the Island, said the local police job is chiefly to provide trifle eoatrol during any movement of tt ,e : Family. j  o ! elkcret Service do a really good communicating their needs. It's ,ost] traffic enforcements.You know, [e',s :oing ,o!fmgTuesday,' or,'There's a gocd possibility he'll be going to churehat this location, at this time.'" Cl!jef Blake said his department will s lecf a group of officers to be on spe- cial duty for the duration of the visit. "They volunteer to come in at short notice, if we need five extra people on Beach Road," he said. Chief Blake added that while crowd control will be a concern, Oak Bluffs be- ing inundated with people at the height of the summer is a given in any case. "A couple thousand more people in August, when town is saturated any- way, won't change anything. But it's an event," he said. In Aquinnah Chief Randbi Belain. who also confirmed that the Secret Service had been in touch, was a special officer when the Clintons came to dine at the Kennedy house in his town, and To Page Nine African American Community Blasts Magazine Article By MIKE SECCOMBE In a perverse way, the article in a recent edition of New York magazine suggesting the African American com- munity on Martha's Vineyard was seg- regationist, elitist and even perhaps racist, was testament to black achieve- ment. After all, the young African Ameri- can author of the article, who goes by the single name Tourr, was airing very much the same criticisms that are more usually leveled at the white establish- ment. Absent a black elite, he could not have done it. Whether such criticisms are valid is another matter.And the overWheting view of a large number of Island resi- dents, seasonal and year-round, .black and white, is that the piece, published June 21 under the headline Bla and White on Martha's Vineyard, w des- perately unfair and wrong .... ,: Thus Abigail McGrath, of'4Oak Bluffs, drafted a letter of respo to the magazine and circulated it ong her Island friends for their Signhes. It was quite a lez'" - ". +: for seven generations and I don't recog- nize MY Vineyard in the article, Black and White on the Vineyard, written by Mr. Tour6," she began, then went on to condemn its "appalling inaccura- cies which misrepresent the Island in a divisive way." She went on to bet "a free week in To Page Nine Busy Weekend Regatta in Tisbury t enefits Sail Martha's Vineyard By MARK ALAN LOVEWELL As many as 90 sailboats are expected to race this weekend in the fourth an- num Vineyard Cup.Last night Vineyard Haven harbor was full of visiting boats for the three days of racing. .This is the biggest summer event for Sail Martha's Vineyard and the num- ber of boats scheduled is up from last year. The style of boats participating is as varied as the sailors who sail them. Vineyard Haven outer harbor is now full of masts, booms and rigging. And the shore of Owen Park will be the staging area for many sailors. "We've got one-design sailboats, schooners, gaff-rigged sailboats. We've got Nonsuch and every Friendship 40 on the East Coast," said Brock Cal- len, program director for Sail Martha's Vineyard. "We've got schooners with names like Juno, Charlotte and when and I" Vineyard Cup is a sailors' regatta designed by sailors. Coincidentally, this is also the weekend of the Edgartown sailboat regatta.The Edgartown Yacht Club is hosting its 86th annual regatta. Even Menemsha Pond will be the site for fast sailing. Sail Martha's Vineyard crews are running races Saturday and Sunday and they begin at I p.m. Many boats will race down Vineyard Sound Saturday to a spot near Quick's Hole, a passage between the Elizabeth Islands of Pasque and Nashawena. And they'll race back. The sight is best seen from any beach on the Vineyard Haven outer harbor. The race begins at 10 a.m. The best sail of all is Sunday, when the organizers put together a pursuit race. "Everybody has a different start- ing time based on a handicap," Mr. Callen said. "The intent is to have all the boats finish together at about 3:30 to 4 p.m. Unlike any other sailboat on the race, a huge number of boats cross the finish line at the same time.The best viewing stand will be all along East- ville Beach. A handicap race allows sailors one of those rare opportunities to compare how well they are doing in relationship with other sailboats. The Vineyard Cup is also a big event ashore. Owen Park is the designated meeting and refreshment center for the racers. During the morning it is where crew members gather before they go sailing and at night it is their place to party. The public is welcome To Page Six TU ESDAYS 11AM- 3FM +.  ,... 1+ IEA RD VINEt{ARD HAVEN SUNRISE OPENS A SILENT AND MAJESTIC WORLD AT THE FIRST SHERIFF'S MEADOW SANCTUARY. riffs Celeb 'a She Meadow , rates 50th Anmversary ,:- Jaxon White By MIKE SECCOMBE GaZette Senior Writer It owns dose to 150 parcels of land, totaling some or on our sister island, Nantucket. 2,000 acres, and holds conservation restrictions over "And," Said Mr. Lengyel, "both the Vineyard and another 600-odd acres. Nantucket at about the same time realized there was That is impressive growth, about to be a lot of pressure on them that was not But the significance of Sheriff's Meadow-- which there before. is celebrating its 50 years with a benefit gathering on Monday evening goes beyond those statis- tics. Let the executive directors of two of the Island's other conservation organizations explain it, "Sheriff's Meadow is the progenitor of all the lo- cal conservation on Martha's Vineyard," said James Lengyel of the Martha's Vineyard Land Bank, "It was founded in response to a real need for a local land trust, in a time before the conservation society or the open land foundation. There was the garden club and some regional groups. There was no local land trust before it," said Brendan O'Neill of the Vineyard Conservation Society. Before Sheriff's Meadow, there were conservation organizations, of course, but none local, either here "Suddenly the Islands were approachable in ways they hadn't been in the past. I would ascribe it to post-war prosperity, the interstate highway system and the rise in leisure hours. "People here began to realize that if they did not do something quickly, while they could; the situation soon would be beyond ,their grasp," he said. So that is what the Houghs started. Not just their foundation, but an Island movement. After them it developed  with the Martha's Vineyard Com- mission and town zoning to manage land use, the land bank, with its publicly-funded land acquisition program, the VCS, with its mission of advocacy and education and lezal defense -- into what Mr. O'Neill To Page Sixteen From little things, big things grow. A little over 50 years ago, Henry Beetle Hough became concerned that a little parcel of land in Ed- gartown, where he and his wife Elizabeth liked to walk, might fall prey to land developers. Mr. Hough, then owner and editor of this paper and an author, used the money earned from sales of one of his books. Once More the Thunderer, to buy the 10 acreSwhich had been known for at least the previous century as Sheriff's Meadow. But when he tried to pass it into the stewardship of one of the relatively few conservation organiza- tions then in existence, he could find no takers for a small parcel which had no endowment for its main- tenance. So Henry Hough set up his own foundation, and named it after the piece of land. "And," Said Adam Moore, now executive direc- tor of that foundation, finishing the story, "Sheriff's Meadow is now the largest private land owner on the entire Island." Private Beach Association Offers Town a Million Dollars for Sand By JIM HICKEY Continued erosion around the Island -- a phenomenon perhaps exacerbated by global warming and a rise in sea levels -- has created a booming new industry on the Vineyard, as towns and private groups compete for the suddenly hot commodity of sand to use as ammu- nition in their battle against the sea. A plan sponsored by the Oak Bluffs Conservation Commission to dredge 57,000 cubic yards of sand from a channel between Little Bridge and Big Bridge along Joseph Sylvia State Beach already has garnered a great deal of interest from both public of- ficials and private citizens who are urgently seeking sand. Edgartown wants to get a cut of the sand for the Bend in the Road Beach; Dukes County wants a piece of the sandy gold to renourish State Beach, which has slowly eroded since the last major beach renourishment some 15 years ago. Meanwhile, the private Cow Bay homeowners association in Edgartown this week contacted Oak Bluffs select- man Duncan Ross about buying a large volume of sand for the barrier beach in front of Trapp's Pond, which has been badly damaged by years of erosion. The barrier beach now faces the prospect of being totally washed out to sea. The Cow Bay association last year paid approximately $150,000 to help underwrite an Edgartown dredge of Sengekontacket Pond, and in exchange Red Sky's at Night .... Pinot Noir Tonight! 508=693-0236 Down Town Oak Bluffs received around 17,000 cubic yards of sand. But a powerful northeaster washed away much of that sand in April, and the Cow Bay homeowners are again in the market for a large delivery of sand. In a conversation with the Gazette this week, Mr. Ross said Edward Ce- rullo of the Cow Bay homeowners as- sociation contacted him by phone this week with a proposition to purchase To Page Seven Statistics Trace Boost In Summer Rentals By JIM HICKEY After a sluggish off-season tied to the sustained national recession and an abysmal June blamed on terrible weather, several real estate profession- als this week reported a dramatic spike in weekly rentals just as the weather improved and reports of an August visit from President Obama were revealed. A recent report compiled by the web-service Weneedavacation.com, which matches people with weekly rentals, found that bookings on the Cape and Islands were down 20 per cent in January, down 24 per cent in February and down 3 per cent in March. The report tracks when people book a weekly rental, not the month whey they take their vacation. But the report shows the trend re- versed in April when bookings increased by a nominal one per cent, and then rose sharply as bookings spiked 30 per cent in May and a record 55 per cent in June. To Page Seven Mark Lovewell COW BAY ENJOYSFINE VIEW OF NANTUCKET SOUND. +