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Almanac Archive for October 12, 2016

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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)
Conservation Calendar

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 or call (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.
Local News

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 traffic.
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 grow smart.
Other News

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)
 
Submit your conservation news to: almanac@vineyardconservation.org

Copyright (C) 2016 *Vineyard Conservation Society* All rights reserved.


Original content by Jeremy Houser unless otherwise noted.
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