With the opening of the Howwossee Trading Post this past week, all the shops at the Cliffs are now open for the season.

Congratulations to all the students of the Class of 2012 who will be graduating on Sunday from Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School. Those graduating from Aquinnah include Spencer Booker, Clara Corjulo and Tiara Lee.

Thank you to the Friends of Aquinnah Public Library and to the Aquinnah/Gay Head Community Association for sharing the cost of the new CLAMS program for the Aquinnah Public Library. The generosity of both organizations will make it easier for the library staff to perform their detailed tasks in a more efficient manner.

Speaking of gifts to the Aquinnah Public Library, I was pleasantly surprised to learn that Olga Hirshhorn graciously donated Lift Every Voice, written by Patricia Sullivan, a professor of history at the University of South Carolina. Betsy Burmeisteer, recreation director at Windemere, would like to remind everyone of the upcoming annual residents auction to benefit the activity programs on Friday, June 15, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Agricultural Hall in West Tisbury. Wine, desserts and light fare will be served. Some of the interesting donations for the auction include airplane rides over the Vineyard, massages, lunch at Farm Neck, clams from The Bite, handmade quilts and blankets, golf lessons and bass fishing.

The Boston Area Roadsters will return or the annual Aquinnah Power Cruise at Aquinnah Circle on Saturday, June 16, from noon to 3 p.m. Aquinnah Circle is the destination for a meet and greet of car buffs, motor and gear heads from the Vineyard and beyond. The general public is invited. Please feel free to bring your special interest cars, hot rods and antique automobiles to join in the afternoon of fun. For moreinformation, please call Carl Widdiss at 508-645-9528.

A rousing thank you to Monina Von Opel and Edward Miller for their very generous donation of 100 comfortable chairs via the Aquinnah Public Library for use by the community at the old Aquinnah town hall. The chairs have been a welcome addition for seating at meetings and library events.

Condolences to the families and friends of Anna Campos Madeiros and Phyllis Conway, both wonderful ladies who are no longer in our midst.

Congratulations and all the best to Raymond Dineen, grandson of Walter and Nancy Delaney, who graduated summa cum laude from the Newman School on Monday in Boston. Raymond has accepted a scholarship to study music at the Boston Conservatory of Music in September. He has played viola for many of his school years, recently played in a quintet, and has performed at the Boston Symphony in the past. Raymond is the son of Gayle Delaney and Andrew Dineen.

All the best to Jennie Greene, who has worked for the Aquinnah Wampanoag Tribal Housing Authority for the past 18 years. Jennie has been an invaluable asset in the area of housing and has served on many national boards and has been recognized for her efforts with numerous awards and plaques. She has been a cheerleader, a mom, an ardent supporter, an educator and has worn many more hats over her term with her genuine concern about the approximate 100 inhabitants of the housing units who are residing there at any given time. She has shared the successes of many along the way and proven that it actually can take a village to raise a child in many instances. We can thank Jennie for her dedication in providing programs to enhance the lives of the residents. She will be greatly missed but at least now she will enjoy more free time with her children and grandchildren, meeting with her friends, reading, knitting, lunch with friends and perhaps a few board appointments.

Joseph Vanderhoop Lee, son of Marshall Lee and Martha Vanderhoop, has arrived for the summer after completing his freshman year at Columbia University. He is looking forward to working at their family gift shop at the Cliffs, the HatMarCha Shop.

Samuel Vanderhoop Lee, son of Marshall and Martha, recently graduated from Yale University with a degree in graphic design. Graduation exercises were attended by his parents, Marshall and Martha, his brother Joseph and uncle Charles Vanderhoop 3rd. For now, Samuel is deciding on his future career plans, which will land him anywhere in Manhattan, Providence or Boston.

It was nice to see Dr. Ron Low and his wife Cynthia over the holiday weekend, opening their home for the season.

Tiffany Smalley enjoyed the weekend at home with her parents Jay and Millicent, as well as her siblings Faith and Zachary. Tiffany has been working for the National Congress of American Indians in Washington, D.C., since her graduation from Harvard University in May 2011.

There will be a fundraiser for Ricky Vanderhoop, who has been undergoing medical treatments for the past four years on Saturday, June 9, from 6 to 10 p.m. at the Aquinnah Shop Restaurant. Rick requires lifesaving medications and chemotherapy that have become unaffordable. Entertainment for the evening will be performed by Kate Taylor and Jennifer Clarke. You still have time to donate for the silent auction. Tickets are $50 each and are available at the Aquinnah Shop, LaChoza, 7-A in West Tisbury and the Orange Peel Bakery. Sounds like a fun evening.

Sophia Elizabeth Welch was so honored by her family and more than 100 of her closest friends at her family home on Sunday to congratulate her on her recent graduation from the University of Vermont. Sophia majored in anthropology with a minor in environmental studies. She will apply her skills while working with the Aquinnah Tribe for the summer.

During a recent meeting held in Aquinnah, a decision was made that did not sit too well with many in attendance and frankly violated Indian civil rights. So, I would like to quote from excerpts in the Vineyard Gazette files of Feb, 6, 1987 on the Historic Ruling Grants Recognition: “Two of seven criteria that the Wampanoags supplied additional evidence for to gain them federal tribal status were in the areas of social cohesion and political influence and authority. These data show that the Gay Head Wampanoags have an extensive and interrelated communication network connecting those Wampanoags in Gay Head and elsewhere on Martha’s Vineyard with each other and with those members living off-Island. Included in this network are the major families of the tribe and the tribal officers. Some of the tribal officers are Gay Head town officials. The second area, that of proving a continued tribal influence or other authority of members as an autonomous entity until present, gave the bureau opportunity to credit five Gay Head Indians with leadership power over the members. Further evidence presented in the petitioner’s rebuttal demonstrated that political influence or other authority was also maintained over members through organizational bodies which functioned outside of and or parallel to the town government such as the Howwosswee and Pawkunnawakutt Councils and the Wampanoag Tribal Council of Gay Head, and by leaders such as Harrison Vanderhoop, Lorenzo Jeffers, Napolean Madison, and Donald Malonson, who have functioned both outside and within the municipal structure of the town of Gay Head. The report also names Walter Manning.”

Welcome to Arden Grace Cuch who was born on May 29 in Utah, weighing in at 7 lbs, 7 oz. Arden missed her brother Ryder’s sixth birthday by just one day, but what a nice gift for him to have a baby sister. Arden is the daughter of Cameron and Marilyn Cuch and the grand-daughter of Carla Giles Cuch, who had flown to Utah for the arrival of her first grand-daughter. She will make her Vineyard debut in the near future and have a chance to meet her Aquinnah great aunts and uncles and her numerous cousins.

Happy fifth anniversary wishes to Michael Abrams and his wife Melissa Vanderhoop as they celebrate on June 9.

Happy 18th anniversary wishes to Edwin Vanderhoop and his wife Patricia Paiva on June 11.

Happy birthday wishes to Ernestine Kinnecom, Ken Rose, Meaghan Jeffers, Allen Carney, and Michael J. Fox as they all share the day on June 9. Carl Widdiss will celebrate his special day on June 10 and shares the day with Aquinnah Hill.

Ruth Cronig Stiller will be observing a major milestone as she celebrates her special day on June 10. Speaking of Ruth, she recently called her brother S. David Cronig to wish him well on his birthday. David was a classmate of Gladys Malonson Widdiss and they are the only two surviving members of the Tisbury High School Class of 1932, of which Gladys was the valedictorian.

Happy birthday wishes to Barry Milavsky on June 11. Ted Cammann and Jennifer Caton Randolph will celebrate on June 12. Raise the flag on Flag Day for Madeline Fisher on June 14 as she shares the day with Elmer Vanderhoop, Cheryl Vanderhoop Sellitti, and Michael Mayrand. Kristina Ann Kestenbaum Leslie will celebrate on June 15 and shares the day with Sylvia Lima.