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Quote of the Week
“Now that’s a whistle. It will blow your socks off. Islanders want to
hear that whistle coming around West Chop. Most people won’t see this,
but they’ll hear it.”
--Captain Ed Jackson of Marine Systems Corp., on the antique steam
whistle salvaged for the construction of the new Steamship Authority
vessel Woods Hole (Vineyard Gazette)
National Fossil Day
Thursday, Oct. 13, 4:00 to 7:45 pm, Oak Bluffs.
Celebrate National Fossil Day and explore the world of marine and
paleobiological research. Presenters will be displaying fossil finds and
be available for discussion. Bring your own fossils if you have them!
Free, all ages. At the O.B. Library, call (508) 693-9433 for more info.
Presenters include paleobiologist Fred Hotchkiss, Ann DuCharme of
the MV Museum, Meg Tivey and Ann McNichol from WHOI, prehistorian and
artist Duncan Caldwell, zoologists Scott Smyers and Kyle Cormier, divers
Heidi Raihofer and Joe Leonardo, artist and swimming instructor Michael
Wooley, archaeologist Bill Moody, marine ecologist Wendy Culbert,
students Jacob and Sam Gurney, and others.
Free Screening: One Big Home
Thursday, Oct. 13, 7:00 pm, O.B.
A free showing of MV Film Festival founder Thomas Bena's own documentary
film, One Big Home, followed by a discussion of the issues surrounding
trophy homes. At the Performing Arts Center (next to the high school),
for more info and to reserve a free ticket see website
. For the VCS perspective, see this previous Almanac
The State of the Vineyard
Wednesday, Oct. 19, 4:00 to 5:00 pm, Edgartown.
As the featured guest for the MV Chamber of Commerce's "State of the
Vineyard" event, MVC Executive Director Adam Turner will present
statistics illustrating the socio-economic, demographic, and
environmental trends affecting our island. At the Harbor View Hotel's
Menemsha Room, free, but RSVP via email
or call (508) 693-0085.
Electronics Disposal Day
Saturday, Oct. 22, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Oak Bluffs.
Many electronic devices and appliances contain toxic chemicals that can
be harmful if not disposed of properly -- and getting rid of them at the
dump is expensive! Free yourself of burdensome junk at MV Community
Services, across the street from the high school. Fees range from $2 -
$30 per item (10% discount for carloads) and benefit MVCS. For more
info, see website
(508) 693-7900 ext. 267.
Guided Walk: Cedar Tree Neck
Saturday, Oct. 22, 10:00 am to noon, West Tisbury.
Join Sheriff's Meadow staff for a walk through their largest sanctuary.
The trails at Cedar Tree Neck cover diverse terrain including groves of
beech trees and pines, ridges with ocean views, beachfront, windswept
headlands, freshwater ponds and sphagnum bogs. It will be a strenuous
walk, so bring water and wear suitable shoes. Free, more info at website
or (508) 693-5207.
Reducing Plastic Waste: Island High School Students Get in on the Act
Reducing waste one bottle at a
time! A counter monitors the savings from one of the two water bottle
refilling stations installed at the MV Regional High School. (Photo from today by Natalie Munn, click to see the machine)
Congratulations to the students of the MV Regional High School, who
together have saved over 8,000 disposable water bottles from the waste
stream since the recent installation of two bottle refilling stations at
the school. The machines, which dispense cold, filtered water similar
to a traditional water fountain, are so convenient that now almost every
student is carrying a reusable water bottle.
VCS is attempting to expand our plastics reduction campaign from the
recently passed plastic bag ban to find creative solutions that actively
reduce pollution and waste. Schools are an especially sensible place
for these bottle filling stations because not only are they saving many
plastic bottles a day, they are instilling a positive sense of pride in
reducing waste for young people. The first two filling stations were
installed over the summer as a pilot program to test the waters, and so
far it has been hugely popular – we now hope to secure funding to take
the project Island-wide!
Summer Traffic: Steamship Not the Real Problem, But Could be Part of Solution
As a response to increased demand, the "supersized" freight boat Woods Hole this year took over the duties of the long-running Governor. (Photo by MV Times)
As the tumult of summer slips back in our collective rearview mirror,
the cooler, calmer air of early fall prompts some consideration of
whether our Island quality of life — sometimes cynically marketed, but
always sincerely valued — is under threat. Let’s leave the really heavy
stuff — the almost impossibly complex challenges like climate change,
housing shortages, and diversifying an economy overly reliant on the
building, buying, and beautification of second homes — for another time,
and just consider one issue that we can all agree is a problem: summer
Read the rest at the Vineyard Gazette
Affordable Housing: Share Your Thoughts, Help Shape the Future
As the Selectmen, Planning Boards, and Housing Committees of all six
towns are busily developing “Housing Production Plans” to address the
Island’s housing shortage, the All Island Planning Board has recently
created an online survey
to gauge public opinion. There is quite a lot at stake in this process,
so VCS would like to echo the statement on the MVC’s website inviting
you “to help shape the future of the Island.” If you can, attend the
public meetings (schedule here) for your town’s Housing Production Plan. But if you can’t – and there are many folks for whom this is just not feasible – take the survey!
VCS has long believed that there is no need for conservation and
affordable housing to be in conflict. Smart growth – locating new
housing within walking distance of jobs, schools, shopping, and public
transportation – adds vibrancy to the community in places where density
already exists, rather than clearing forests, displacing wildlife, and
fragmenting what habitat remains. We can dispel the myth of a perpetual
conflict between growth and conservation, but to do it we must learn to
ARC-X: Information for Local Leaders on Global Climate Chance
Last month, NASA announced
that August was Earth’s single hottest month since 1880, the beginning
of the modern system of climate records. That’s part of a broader
pattern in which 2016 is shaping up to be the hottest year on record,
and the third such record-breaker in three years.
That well-worn graph of yearly global temperatures, which usually only
reveals a steady upward climb when viewed on a scale of several decades,
now looks more like a year-to-year staircase.
Therefore, with climate change at the top of the news, it was a very
fitting time for the release of a handy new internet tool from the EPA.
Their Adaptation Resource Center web portal, or ARC-X,
is for anyone interested in finding the latest in climate adaptation
information, but particularly geared toward local governments, town
planners, and other decision-makers. In their words, ARC-X provides
“users with information tailored specifically to their needs, based on
where they live and the particular issues of concern to them.” (Thanks to Chris Seidel of the M.V. Commission for the story tip)