Traffic on the roads in town last Saturday evening was nearly nonexistent as people gathered around the television to watch the Patriots defeat Jacksonville. The AFC Championship game is Sunday at 3 p.m. Go Patriots! Today also is the beginning of a long holiday weekend. As you may have noticed there was no school today across the Island. It was a staff development day for the instructors. Monday is the observance of Martin Luther King Jr. Day, so the school, post office andall government buildings will be closed.

Virginia Jones in the town clerk’s office has finished mailing the annual census forms to all of you. Please fill them out and return them in the enclosed postage-paid envelope if you haven’t done so already. For those of you that own a dog, now is the time to license them for the year. You can do that when you return the census envelope or stop by the town hall and purchase a dog tag.

Many of you know Caitlyn Staskiewicz from Oviedo, Fla. She had worked several summers for the Broken Arrow Sandwich Shop, thenat Larsen’s Fish Market. She reports that the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has hired her as a law enforcement officer. She is thrilled with her new job and wishes her many Vineyard friends a Happy New Year.

Catherine DeVito reports that the Martha’s Vineyard Garden Club is open to new members. They meet monthly in the winter at the Wakeman Center on Lambert’s Cove Road, and in the summer at their headquarters at the Old Mill on Edgartown Road. If you would like to come to their next meeting, scheduled for 1 p.m. tomorrow, Saturday, Jan. 19 or would like an application form, call her at 508-693-5372.

James Barrett, formerly of Chilmark, is moving into the Last Resort on Music street this weekend. Will Monast of Waldron’s Bottom Road has almost completed two monthsof improvement work at the house. Jim has sold his Chilmark home to Richard and Joan Kocian who had lived in this town for several years before moving down south.

Did you notice that our own Paul Karasik had one of his cartoons published on page 73 of this week’s edition of The New Yorker magazine? I understand that they will publish another of his works in a few weeks.

Sarah Nelson of Otis Bassett Road departed on Tuesday for her freshman year at the University of New Hampshire. She had been employed at Alley’s Store for more than a year. A farewell cake, in her honor, was cut and served to the employees on Monday.

Sam Alley heads back to Framingham State College tomorrow. He is in his sophomore year. He has spent the mid-winter vacation with his parents and has done many odd jobs around town.

Sandra Polleys of Hemlock Farms, Pa., returned recently to the Island. She had spent a year gathering information on health care from Islanders and lived on Runner Road. She is now staying in Edgartown until late February while she is finishing upher thesis.

Melissa Thomas recently moved back to town and is residing in the apartment above Alley’s Store. She had lived at the former Tom Maley house on Sweet William Way.

Marian Irving reports that the missions committee of the Congregational Church hosted the first in the winter series of church community suppers on Wednesday. They are quite popular. The church invites you to share this heartwarming meal and social get-together each Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. Also she reports that the Church Christmas Faire netted a $5,000 profit and she wants to thank everyone who made the event happen.

On January 24, 1948 the membership of the agricultural society voted to sponsor its annual fair as it had for the past 86 years. That summer, however, the fair was scheduled to run for three days beginning on the last Wednesday in August. The return to a program covering three days instead of two was a revision to the original custom. A two-day fair was the rule before World War II. The society intended to resurrect another custom of a bygone era, an open night, on the evening of August 26. Committees were appointed in the various classes to prepare premium lists and a program. William Penny announced that Alice Mathiewson would be the fair manager, assisted by Ted Minelt.

Happy birthday to Eleanor Dale Neubert, Chris Fielder, and Hannah Maxner today; Debra Swanson, Roy Hope, Andy Estrella, Michael Shea and Patti Lynn tomorrow; Lee McCormick, Jena Wingood, Paul Strauss and Nancy Cabot on Sunday; Carl Tack, Phaedra Fortes, Nili Goldstein and James Costello on Monday; Sandy Atwood, Anya Toteanu, Hilary Wall, and Willie Levesque on Tuesday; Paul VanLandingham, Georgiana White and Alexandra Rothwell on Wednesday; and Zack Wiesner, Dan Sharkovitz and Lewis Waring on Thursday. Belated birthday wishes to Cal Monast.

Well, that is all of the social news for this week’s edition. If you have any news, please call or e-mail me. Have a great week.