Aquinnah May Work With Tribe, Chilmark to Help Manage Pond

Approval of a mussel farm permit this week may lead to a collegial effort to clean up Menemsha Pond.

In the process of approving Hollis Smith’s aquaculture permit request, conversation expanded to disclose informal discussions between Chilmark and Aquinnah town officials and Wampanoag tribal members to work together to clean the pond.

Menemsha Pond waters lie in both Chilmark and Aquinnah and have been separately maintained by each town historically. The pond has not been dredged since 1971 and “has been dying for 20 years,” Mr. Smith said.

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Report Mixed On Cape Wind

A staff report released by the Cape Cod Commission this week gives a decidedly mixed review to the controversial plan by Cape Wind Associates to build 130 wind turbines on Horseshoe Shoal. The report finds that Cape Wind’s plan to connect the turbines to land in West Yarmouth through underwater electricity transmission lines meets only eight of 32 performance standards set by the commission.

In general, the staff report concluded, a good deal more information is needed in order to satisfy the requirements of the commission.

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Oak Bluffs Invites Preservation Proposals

The Oak Bluffs Community Preservation Committee (CPC) is pleased to announce that application forms are now available to request funding for projects for historic preservation, affordable housing and open space/recreation for the fiscal year that begins in July 2008.

Requests for proposals are being accepted through Oct. 5, 2007.

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Solar Thermal Pool Heating Proposal Draws Mixed Review

Local pool builders, contractors and Chilmark selectmen showed up to a public hearing of the planning board Monday afternoon to discuss a proposed amendment to town zoning bylaws.

The amendment would require heated swimming pools built in the town to use solar thermal heating systems as the primary source of energy to heat that pool. The planning board hopes to put the amendment on the warrant for an Oct. 29 special town meeting.

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Vineyard Haven Library Series Shows Many Ways to Save Energy

Going green has become a passion for Betty Burton, the adult programming coordinator at the Vineyard Haven Library. When asked where her interest came from Ms. Burton laughed, saying, “I was a child of the 70s, first of all.” She started composting when her children were growing up. Now she and her family have given up meat in favor of living on locally-grown produce, including foods from her own backyard. “It’s very important to me. We have a very small house. We grow our own vegetables,” Ms. Burton said.

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Let Them Eat Cake at Long Point as Trustees Celebrate 100th Site

On Sept. 30 The Trustees of Reservations announced a significant milestone: the opening of its 100th reservation, Cormier Woods in Uxbridge. The opening celebration at the new reservation will take place on Oct. 18.

As well as a special celebration planned at Cormier Woods, including a ribbon cutting, ranger-led walks and live folk music, The Trustees will mark the 100th reservation with local celebrations around the state throughout the month of October.

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Energy Project Names New Director

The Vineyard Energy Project announced this week that it has named David McGlinchey as its new executive director. He takes the helm from Kate Warner, who founded the nonprofit energy project in 2003 with a broad mission of outreach, education and energy development.

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Senator Robert A. O’Leary Winner of Audubon Award

Cape and Islands Sen. Robert A. O’Leary was recognized with a legislative leadership award by Mass Audubon on Nov. 6 for his role in the passage of the Oceans Act, an ocean management plan to protect fisheries and sensitive marine habitats, as well as promote responsible development of renewable energy.

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$200,000 Grant Awarded To Polly Hill Arboretum

The Polly Hill Arboretum has received a grant of $200,000 from the Foundation Franklinia for 2009. The grant includes $100,000 toward the arboretum’s seeds for the future capital campaign endowment and $100,000 toward operating costs in support of the living collection.

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Energy Savings Available for Vineyard Farmers

Farmers across Massachusetts who are interested in becoming more energy efficient are invited to apply for a new audits and incentives program offered by the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program. The program will provide energy audits, renewable energy assessments and financial incentives for implementation of audit recommendations, including those recommended by public utility programs.

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