The Aquinnah Community Programs Committee will be sponsoring a work day on Saturday, Dec. 15 at 10 a.m. to build the new playground equipment near the Aquinnah Fire Station. Volunteers are needed to assist the Big Toys Company workers in the construction of the playground. If you would like to bring your shovels, rakes, post hole diggers, hammers, or other necessary tools, your services will be very much appreciated. In exchange for your volunteerism, you will then enjoy chili, venison stew, hot chocolate and cookies, and other delicacies during the lunch hour and throughout the day. Please stop by and join in the fun.

Friends of Aquinnah Public Library will host a holiday open house at the library on Thursday, Dec. 20 from 5 to 7 p.m. Stop by to enjoy the festivities of the evening which will include music, refreshments, and holiday cheer.

All Aquinnah residents are invited to the winter solstice party sponsored by the Aquinnah Community Programs Committee which will be held at the tribal building on Saturday, Dec. 22 from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Come out and meet your neighbors and join in the festive fun. There will be activities for the children to participate in. Turkey and ham will be roasted for your dining pleasure. Please bring an accompanying dish to share. If you are new to Aquinnah and have a child under the age of 15, please call me at the above number to register for the gift giving so that Santa will arrive for giving of an age appropriate gift.

The Aquinnah selectmen met on Dec. 11 and the first order of business was the introduction of Cheryl Andrews-Maltais as the tribal council chair-elect. The selectmen presented her with a special scrimshaw desk set in honor of her successful election and the anticipated working relationship between the tribe and town.

Get-well wishes to Beatrice Gentry who spent a brief stay in the intensive care unit at Martha’s Vineyard Hospital this past week and is now resting comfortably at her home.

Peter Gulbrandsen has spent the past week working on his new Lobsterville Road home. Pete is a union carpenter in New Jersey and his wife Sandy is a teacher. Their dream is to retire in two years and move here year-round at an early retirement age for both.

Condolences to the family and friends of Moses Malkin who died at his winter home in Florida this week. Moe, as he was widely known, and his wife Hannah have been very generous, caring and committed friends and neighbors to many. He was a great mediator. They have been very generous benefactors for numerous causes over the years, especially for educational scholarships. Their generosity allowed the children of Aquinnah the use of their pool for swimming lessons over the past decade in addition to their other acts of kindness. Services will be held on Sunday, Dec. 16 at 11 a.m. at Levine Chapel, 470 Harvard street, Brookline.

Tribal chief Ryan Malonson returned home from Brigham and Women’s Hospital on Friday evening and has been cared for by his sister Bettina Washington for the past week. Bettina has returned to her home in Waltham and will return again next week.

Joan Gentry Patadal remains a patient at Spaulding Rehab hospital in Boston while recuperating from an ankle fracture. She would appreciate cards at this time while still receiving her medical care.

Lisa Bibko-Vanderhoop has once again created her Vineyard Sea Dogs calendar for 2008 which will remain at $15.95 for the coming year. For 2008, there are seven golden retriever puppies on the cover, as well as all new scenes across the Vineyard. Lisa also has holiday cards, a favorite being the Merry Chrismutts of Squid Row at Menemsha Texaco. She donates a portion of her sales to StopGlobalWarming.org, the work of which she enjoys sharing with Laurie David. Lisa will be at the Oak Bluffs School Holiday Fair on Saturday, or you may request holiday cards or calendars by mail at P.O. Box 83, Aquinnah, MA 02535, or check vineyardseadogs.com. The calendars and cards are also available at Bunch of Grapes, Cronig’s, Craft Works, Sun Porch Books, Alley’s, and Edgartown Books.

Philip Weinstein and his wife Penny are spending their first full winter at their Sandcastle Lane home. He is a professor of English at Swarthmore University and is on sabbatical while writing his book. It was a pleasure meeting them this week.

Stephen Weinstein and his wife Eva were at their East Pasture home over the weekend while enjoying the sights and sounds of the holiday season.

For your end of the year gift giving to support our Aquinnah community, the following entities would appreciate your contribution in any amount, in honor of friend or family member, or in memory of a loved one: Community Baptist Church of Gay Head, P.O. Box 151. Aquinnah Cultural Center, Ten Black Brook Road. Aquinnah Firefighters Association, 65 State Road. Friends of Aquinnah Public Library, 65 State Road. Philbin Beach Scholarship Fund, 65 State Road. Old Town Hall Restoration Fund, 65 State Road. Wampanoag Community Center Building Fund, 20 Black Brook Road. Each is in Aquinnah, MA 02535.

The Martha’s Vineyard Library Association will be sponsoring a fine amnesty. Those with books, DVDs or videos at home that are way overdue may now return them without having to pay those stiff fines of the usual five cents a day which can add up significantly. Those seeking amnesty may return their items to the appropriate library for the last two weeks of December 2007. In exchange of paying a fine, you are requested to donate non-perishable food items which will then be donated to the Island Food Bank.

Happy birthday wishes this week to Naomi Andrews Carney who will celebrate on Dec. 16 and shares the day with Ariana Feldberg and Douglas Plumer. Francis Scott and Pam Vanderhoop share the day on Dec. 17. Steven Roth will observe his special day on Dec. 18. Ingy Farat Lew will party on Dec. 19.