Be on the lookout for our most recently arrived public enemy, the Lone Star tick. This critter is roughly the same size as the adult deer tick, but with a distinct single white spot on the center of its back. Its claim to fame is that its bite can cause STARI, which stands for Southern Tick Associated Rash Illness. Our local tick guy Alan vanArdsdale is interested in collecting some specimens for laboratory study. So if you get your hands on one or one latches onto you, save it for him. Capture it between two pieces of scotch tape and leave a message on Alan’s phone at 508-627-7370. He will arrange to pick it up.

The 2015 Chappy Community Center calendar photo contest is a huge success. I submitted a few photos myself, but had no problem casting my votes for two far and away more stunning Chappy photos. Voting continues through Friday, August 8.

The CCC will host the 7th annual Martha’s Vineyard table tennis tournament on Sunday, August 10. Registration opens at 11 a.m. with play starting at noon. Competition is open to players of all ages and skill levels. There is no entry fee. I happen to know that the prizes are Morning Glory pies. Call pong chief Bob O’Rourke at 508-627-7902 or 508-696-6303 if you need more information.

The pond at Mytoi Garden is the home of some very entertaining snapping turtles. Volunteer for Mytoi Garden upkeep on Wednesdays from 9 a.m. to noon. No need to sign up or bring tools, just show up.

There are still chances to participate in a snorkeling adventure co-sponsored by the CCC and The Trustees of Reservations. The next outings are on August 8 (tiny trustees) and on August 22 (junior trustees). Family Night Hike is on Thursday, August 7. Sign up beforehand at the CCC.

Come to the annual CCC meeting on Saturday, August 9, at 9 a.m. Check the CCC website and bulletin boards as well as the Gazette calendar to stay updated on the many events planned.

George Gostenhofer spent nearly all of his summers here on Chappy. He was a member of a very extended family. Celebrate his life with family and friends on Saturday, August 9, at 4 p.m. at the CCC.

The Slip Away Farm farm stand is open Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. all summer. You are invited to Twilight at Slip Away on Tuesday, August 26, from 5:30 to 7 p.m. for drinks, farm foods and tours. Please RSVP to 508-627-7465 or

The new Chappy fire tanker was on display at last week’s CIA meeting. This apparatus was specifically designed for Chappy, but with the capability of crossing on the ferry fully loaded to assist with fire fighting in other parts of town without fire hydrants. The new fire truck carries 2,000 gallons of water, which is triple what most fire trucks carry. Thanks to all who worked to make this acquisition possible.

There may be some Chappaquiddickers who have just recently concluded that they would like to get Comcast service after all. It’s not too late to send in the original first-step commitment letter, but the deadline is August 15. To get your letter, call 774-310-1020 or send an email to

Hurricane season is in full swing again. Though Arthur’s appearance early in July seemed to be ushering in a lively season, Bertha didn’t materialize until a month later. I like to keep an eye on the tropics through a website called Mike’s Weather Page. Mike displays dozens of maps, graphs and charts pertaining to predictions for hurricane formation and tracks. The most interesting chart for me is the plot of the dozen or so computer generated models of probable tracks of each tropical storm. These are casually referred to as “spaghetti models.” Google it and you will see why.

If the U.S. Coast Guard feels that a hurricane poses a great threat to us, they can close the port of Edgartown to commercial traffic. That means that the Chappy ferry would run for emergencies only. Even if the storm is too wild for the ferry, remember that there will be a plan B and C in place to get you to the hospital should the need arise. You should still call 911 or 508-693-1212 for any emergency requiring the ambulance, hospital, police or fire department. Keep an eye on the tropical storm forecast and make any decisions in regard to leaving Chappy well in advance of the arrival of a hurricane.

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