From the Vineyard Gazette editions of August, 1980:
How it will work out is impossible for anyone to know. The Coastal Zone Management program has approved a $98,000 proposal to build a solar-powered shellfish hatchery — the first federally funded in the country — in Vineyard Haven. The plan, if it works, is expected to produce enough shellfish seed stock — an estimated two million a year — to meet the needs of five Island towns, Oak Bluffs, Gay Head, Chilmark, Tisbury and West Tisbury. The grant results largely from the threat of offshore drilling for oil, mainly on Georges Bank. The CZM’s energy impact program grants funding “deemed necessary because of offshore energy activities . . . if an offshore oil spill were to threaten local shellfish beds the proposed hatchery relying largely upon a renewable source of energy would be indispensable to the needs of Martha’s Vineyard.” Come what may, salt water farming must remain a basic, scientific, and ultimately practical goal for the Vineyard.
A single engine light plane crashed in scrub pines about 400 yards west of the Katama airport yesterday afternoon. The pilot and his passenger walked away from the wreck unharmed. The plane had taken off into gusty winds and an overcast sky. The pilot and his passenger had gone up to test conditions, and decided to come back to the ground, and were approaching the runway when they received a radio command to pull the plane back up into the air. It went up and then down. According to eyewitnesses the plane tried to land on a downwind runway. The force of the winds behind the plane apparently pushed it past the runway’s edge. The plane hit an embankment on the side of Herring Creek Road, then bounced several times in an open area west of the road before coming to rest in the trees. “He went right straight through the runway,” said Steven Gentle, the owner of Katama airport. “And this is where they want to build houses. Perhaps they’ll realize now this is a hell of a dangerous place. It’s fortunate this is open space.”
Registration for a possible military draft ended as unobtrusive this week as it began last week. An informal Gazette survey of Island post offices shows that about 273 men born in 1960 and 1961 obtained selective service cards, answered the eight questions, and returned the cards to the post office in their town. The feeling of apathy about registration began after a federal court ruled first that registration was unconstitutional because women could not sign with the men. Then, Justice William F. Brennan overruled that decision from Nantucket, allowing registration to proceed. The Supreme Court will decide its constitutionality this fall. Some men on the Island said they felt they could wait until registration had some visible force of law behind it. Penalties for not registering, according to the selective service office in the capital, are a $10,000 fine or five years in prison or both.
Die-hard Vineyard supporters of John B. Anderson’s independent candidacy for president turned out for a fund-raiser cocktail party at Andrea Simon’s hilltop Chilmark home, followed by a clambake at editor-publisher Michael W. Straight’s place at Quitsa this past Sunday. Hundreds more — an estimated 500 people and 200 cars — swarmed to the airport to prove to Mr. Anderson that, no matter what the polls were saying, his candidacy isn’t flagging on the Vineyard. Representative Anderson couldn’t make it. He was elsewhere, assuring the panelists on the high-exposure television program Meet the Press that he would be coming up in the next few weeks with the kind of support he needed to qualify for the League of Women Voters head-on debates. For the rest of the afternoon he was engaged in his search for a vice-presidential running mate.
On the other hand, Paul Tsongas, the United States junior senator from Massachusetts, did show up, meeting with 200 people in Edgartown’s Old Whaling Church. The tone of the meeting was fitting for a summer community which draws its residents from across the country, Mr. Tsongas is not a fiery speaker. His style runs to understatement and irony, but he was firm in several opinions, three of which are: that the people of the United States must learn to contribute service to their own country; that the United States is heading for a severe energy shortage in the 1980s; and, that the Democratic party is in serious trouble unless it finds ways of addressing current national problem. “We had an economic system (in the 1930s) that created an FDR and we pursued that into the 1960s with the civil rights struggle and the war on poverty. The Democratic party was the party that responded to those needs and the people came to the party. But the party eventually became complacent.”
Compiled by Alison Mead