Imagine if it had been snow! On Tuesday, Chappy got two full inches of rain. As long as it’s raining we might as well get plenty. Salt water surged around the footings of the ferry house and the wind gusted to 50 mph. Yet the On Time III crew safely fulfilled their duty. I can still hear the echo of the applause from the Chappy community at the recent annual appreciation dinner held in honor of the ferry captains and crew last week.

Just the other day Chappy ferry maintenance guys Erik Gilley and George Fisher remounted a propeller and rudder onto the underside of the On Time II. It marks the turning point in the work at which parts are going back into place rather than coming off. The very sticky job of overhead fiberglass repair to the underside of the hull is complete and the Sampson posts are at the galvanizer. Dozens of other details are also nearing completion. Weather is a big factor for working on a boat hauled out at the water’s edge this time of year, so there is no definite date for her return to service.

Everyone is invited to the Chappy Community Center Holiday Dinner on Christmas Eve from 6 to 8 p.m. Please bring a side dish or dessert. Call Lynn Martinka at 508-627-8222 if you’d like to provide a main dish. Folks continue to donate to the CCC 25th anniversary matching fund. Forty-six of our neighbors gave a total of $27,693 to match the original $25,000. The new 2015 calendars are available through the mail by printing out the order form from the CCC website, or stop in when Lynn is there.

Great news! The years of effort to bring Comcast to Chappy are about to come to fruition. On Monday at the Edgartown selectmen’s meeting, Art Smadbeck, chairman, read a letter from the Comcast Corporation concerning the cabling of Chappaquiddick. The letter states that Comcast will cable Chappy even if 270 subscribers are not signed up as long as the shortfall in the “Aid to Construction” fee is provided by the community. Community-minded individuals have established the Chappaquiddick Community Fund (CCF) to be used as a vehicle to raise tax-deductible donations to be used to better the Chappy community. Along with other grants, the CCF will raise money to fund the shortfall in construction fees to get Comcast cable to Chappy.

We hope that those who indicated they would sign on if their help was needed will do so before the Dec. 19 deadline. Every subscriber added to the rolls will reduce the amount needed to be raised by the CCF. 

Those in the community who have just now decided to sign up should contact the executive secretary to the selectmen Pam Dolby directly at the town hall or contact Dennis Goldin ( or Woody Filley ( 

It is almost certain that getting the cable to your house during the initial cabling will be cheaper than at a later date. We are confident that in the long run, subscribers will save on TV, internet and phone using a cable provider. Now is the time to send your $2,139 to Pam Dolby, P.O. Box 5158, Edgartown, MA 02539. 

To date the CCF has raised over $44,000 to cover the aid to construction fees for 21 families and has obtained pledges of approximately $123,000 to go towards the expected shortfall. As the letter states, Comcast has committed to cabling if a total of $577,530 is provided and we are confident that the community will come together, as subscribers and as benefactors, to reach that goal. At present we will need approximately $12,000 more than what has been pledged, or six more subscribers to secure Comcast’s commitment as outlined in their letter. If you have already sent in your $2,139 and are willing to also participate in the Community Fund, send your tax-deductible donation to the Chappaquiddick Community Fund, c/o Lionel Spiro, 22 Worthington Drive, Brookline, MA 02146. Email Lionel if you have any questions:

One final thought occurs to me. For Comcast, the issue all along has been about money. If you sign up now your cost to participate is included in the lump sum that is required to get Comcast to go to work. If you sign up later, paying the same as we all are now, your $2,139 to Comcast is just gravy to the company. To my mind that certainly seems undeserved. 

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