Rick Herrick



Three cheers for our full-time residents. During the off-season, so many of them spent countless hours volunteering their time to improve our community. Rob Hammett and Steve Durkee, the new park co-chairs for the East Chop association, worked hard this winter trimming trees, clearing brush, and removing trash from several association parks. They deserve our special thanks!

Liz Huss, Terry Appenzellar and Penny Hinkle collected several bags of trash (nips, cans, bottles and paper items) on their daily walks around the Chop in March. They were joined by Bruce Sanders and Bob Huss, who focused mainly on Massachusetts Avenue.

Several worthy projects were accomplished at the tennis club workday on the second Saturday of June. Trees were trimmed, battens were removed from the windows, which were then cleaned, the porch floor was washed, and two truckloads of junk were taken to the dump. As the old saying goes, many hands make for light work. There were so many volunteers that we were finished after a little more than two hours.

When I spoke briefly with Beach Club manager Kelly Hess recently, she had exciting news to report. Mike Diaz from Humphrey’s bakery will be running the snack bar this season. Get ready for those wonderful sandwiches made with homemade Humphrey’s bread.

Many of you will be happy to learn there is a group of East Choppers who work throughout the year to insure your tax money is spent wisely. The ad hoc fiscal tax force is chaired by Terry Appenzellar. Bob Huss, Fred Hancock and Renee Balter are also members from East Chop.

This group meets twice a month with a mandate to make recommendations on ways the town government of Oak Bluffs can become more efficient. The 10-member committee evaluates each department in terms of services provided and the cost of those services. The committee examines the books, compares the functioning of the department with similar departments in towns comparable to Oak Bluffs, and asks hard questions of town employees. It then makes recommendations to the selectmen on how efficiencies can be achieved. I for one am grateful for the hard work of these dedicated volunteers.

Over the last few years, I have devoted considerable space in this column to reporting on the dangerous erosion problem regarding the bluff along East Chop drive. Thanks to the able leadership of Liz Durkee from the Oak Bluffs Commission, we may be making progress on this issue. Liz reports that the East Chop association and the town of Oak Bluffs have applied for Community Preservation Act funds to develop a plan for stabilizing the bluff. The money for the plan becomes available on July 1. Once a plan has been drawn up, the Town and the East Chop Association can then apply for grant aid to fix the problem. I’ll keep you posted!

Finally, three cheers go to Ned Fennessy, the manager of the East Chop Tennis Club for the past 14 years. In addition to managing our club, Ned coaches the boys’ varsity tennis team at the high school, and this year his team had a dream season with a perfect 23-0 record. They won the Division 3 state championship for the first time in the school’s history on June 14. Ned has coached the boys’ team for the last 22 years and he attained his 250th win as a coach this season. Wow!

Regular readers of the Gazette will recognize this as my first column in 2012. Please make sure it is not my last one by sending your news to my e-mail address above. Many thanks!