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Almanac Archive 1/31/2011

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Save the Date
VCS Night at Sharky's!

Tuesday, February 15th
will be VCS day at Sharky's Cantina in OB and Edgartown.
15% of all food proceeds will be donated to VCS.
Dine-out for a great cause!
view the menu HERE

Quotes of the Week:

By 2035, 80 percent of America's electricity will come from clean energy sources.
- 2011 State of the Union Address

By 2035, renewables will climb 14 percent, nuclear 17 percent, natural gas 25 percent.
-U.S. Energy Information Administration

It’s not going to be easy to make an energy plan that adds up; but it is possible.
-David MacKay, physicist

The energy-related challenges of the 21st century require a dramatic shift in direction — from an emphasis on energy supply to an emphasis on energy efficiency.


Getting There: Bikes, Buses, Biofuels, and Beyond!
Tuesday, February 1, Waquoit Bay Reserve Visitor Center
 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Our choice of transportation is the single most impactful environmental decision we can make as individuals. Cars are also the largest source of airborne nitrogen which can make its way to our surface waters. Learn about the alternatives!

Public Hearing: M.V. Land Bank
Tuesday, Feb 1, 5:15 pm, Oak Bluffs School cafeteria.
OB Town Advisory Board of Land Bank discusses draft management plan for Southern Woodlands Reservation.

M.V. Water Alliance Speaker Series Wednesday February 2, 12:15 pm, M.V. Commission, Oak Bluffs. Storm-Smart program with Steve McKenna, coordinator for office of Coastal Zone Management. Free.

Sustainable Book Club
Wednesday February 9, 5:30 pm, Felix Neck, Edgartown. “The Unsettling of America” by Wendell Berry. Free.

Tisbury Community Forum
7–8:30 pm, Vineyard Haven Library. M.V. Museum seeks ideas for future exhibits. Refreshments. frontdesk@mvmuseum.org.

Winter Gardening Workshop
Wednesday, February 9 
11 am–12:30 pm,

Native Earth Teaching Farm

The Secret Life of Eastern Coyotes “Coywolves”
Wednesday, February 23rd 6:30pm. Cape Wildlife Center, 4011 Main Street, Barnstable, MA.
Lecture by Dr. Jonathan G. Way. Learn about the natural history and habits of this often misunderstood wild neighbor, now resident on Martha’s Vineyard. Free presentation  For more information, contact Heather at: hrockwell@hsus.org

Super Bowl Chili

    * 2 pounds of local ground beef
    * 2 medium onions, chopped
    * 1 head of garlic (about 15 cloves),   peeled, chopped
    * 1/4 cup ground chiles
    * 2 tablespoons ground cumin
    * 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    * 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
    * 1 12-ounce bottle dark beer
    * 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice
    * 2 teaspoons dried oregano
    * 2 teaspoons coarse kosher salt
    * 2 tablespoons tomato paste
    * 3 tablespoons masa (corn tortilla mix)
    * Coarsely grated sharp cheddar cheese
    * Chopped green and/or red onion
    * Chopped fresh cilantro
    * Diced fresh tomatoes (optional)
    * Sour cream (optional)

Cook beef until browned, stirring occasionally, about 3 minutes.drain grease and reduce heat to medium. Add 1 tablespoon oil and onions. Sauté until soft, 8 to 10 minutes. Add garlic; stir 2 minutes. Add ground anchos, cumin, allspice, cinnamon, and cloves; stir until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add beer; stir 1 minute, scraping up browned bits. Return beef and juices to pot. Add tomatoes with juice, 2 cups water, oregano, and 2 teaspoons coarse salt. Bring chili to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover with lid slightly ajar, and simmer gently until beef is just tender, 1 3/4 to 2 hours. Cool 1 hour, then chill uncovered until cold. Cover; chill overnight.

Spoon fat from chili. Bring chili to simmer over medium heat. Stir in tomato paste. Sprinkle masa over; stir to blend. Simmer uncovered until thickened and beef is very tender, stirring often, and adding more water by 1/4 cupfuls if too thick, about 30 minutes.

Top with garnishes and serve.

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Local News

Rez Williams on ART,
Conservation and Community

by Kaysea Hart

Rez in his studio in West Tisbury

Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with painter Rez Williams at his West Tisbury home (a Greek Revival farmhouse built in the 1830's) where he lives with his wife Lucy Mitchell, who is also an accomplished artist.

Rez moved to the Vineyard in the 1970s; a self-described “hippy from New York City” drawn to the landscape and relaxed pace. After many years of painting Vineyard landscapes, Williams came to the realization that “the landscapes themselves were all much more interesting than their paintings”.

The Moshup Trail painting on the cover of our most recent newsletter was one of Williams’ last landscapes, painted when he served on the VCS board

Click HERE to read the full interview

What is the Wakeman Center?
By Brendan O'Neill

VCS Staff and Board outside the Wakeman Conservation Center

Many readers may drive past the Wakeman Center sign on Lambert’s Cove Road and wonder what goes on there.
In 1986, several of the Island's non-profit organizations working in the field of land conservation cooperated in the planning and building of a conservation center named in honor of the late Mary Wakeman of Edgartown. The Center is located at the old Cranberry Acres campground, acquired and replanned under the auspices of the Vineyard Open Land Foundation. Today, VOLF owns and manages the open space around the Center, and is restoring the old cranberry bog to organic production. VOLF donated the land on which the Center was built as part of their master planning for the campground.
This experiment in sharing information, office space and overhead has proven to be a great success, and the effectiveness of each of the participating groups has been greatly enhanced. But the dedication of the Center was long in gestation.
Click HERE for a history of the Center.

In Our Own Back Yard
by Kaysea Hart

Otter in Cranberry Acres pond

Last Friday, in order to burn some energy before a dreadful Friday evening commute to Boston with one year old in tow, I went for a walk on the Cranberry Acres Trail located behind the Wakeman Conservation center. It’s a little known trail with many surprises. Bring your camera because you never know what you’ll be fortunate enough to see. I was thrilled to see this otter pair in the center of pond that serves as the reservoir for the adjacent bog being restored to organic cranberry agriculture by the Vineyard Open Land Foundation (VOLF).

The short, but flat and well-maintained trail loop will take you around the pond and include a nice view of VOLF’s operation, including the historic cranberry sorting barn. The loop is about half a mile. If you are up for a longer adventure, the trail connects with a trail to both the Nature Conservancy’s John Hoft Farm and The Land Bank’s Black Water Trail, both with stunning views of Duarte’s pond.

Buy the new expanded fourth edition of The Walking Trails of Martha’s Vineyard and find a little-known trail near you!

Other News

Who's in control of deciding where our electricity comes from?
click HERE to find out!