Battles and Bruises: The Island Year in Review

Powerful state legislators on a hostile mission to take over the Island ferry system. Moneyed mainland developers on a singular mission to convert the last pieces of open space into huge profits. A vise-grip of housing problems for middle-income workers. Wobbly leadership. A voter-driven mandate for change on the Martha’s Vineyard Commission. Baffling tick-borne disease. Cold winter. Rainy summer.

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Year 1998 Was Time of Turmoil for Island: Progress Made Despite Political Battles

On a sunny and busy day this July, Oak Bluffs post office square was filled with the sounds of a man and a woman arguing angrily about whether or not the town should install a $14 million sewage system.

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More Demand and Less Supply Tell Story of 1998 Real Estate Market

Houses were sold as soon as they came on the market, listings under $200,000 became an endangered species, and building lots were almost as hard to find as a heath hen.

That was Martha’s Vineyard real estate 1998, according to a random sampling of Island professionals in the field, and real estate 1999 is likely to be the same, only more so.

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Quality of Life Was Island's Biggest 1997 Issue

Across the Island, hundreds of acres of beautiful land were designated as conservation property and protected from development.

Still, prominent conservationists joined together to make a dire prediction, that all the Vineyard's undeveloped land will be built upon by 2005.

Meanwhile, throngs of cars were increasingly viewed as villains on the Island's two-lane roads.

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Storms Both Natural and Human Rocked the Vineyard During 1996

Martha's Vineyard 1996 was a year of storms. There were tempests of the natural sort: September's Hurricane Edouard, though less fearsome than predicted, tore into the Island with gusts up to 80 miles per hour, tossing tree limbs around like chopsticks. An unexpected January blizzard dumped 20 inches of snow on the Island, the biggest one-day tally in nine years. Rain was a dreary, dull constant. The Vineyard absorbed a record 61 inches of rainfall this year, and the Island often looked more like Seattle than a sunny paradise.

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Searching for Island Solutions: Year 1995 in Review

Explosive population growth and all its attendant social issues. A rebounding economy fueled by a robust real estate market. A painful crush of early summer traffic and along with it the sobering realization that the Island has nearly reached its threshold for seasonal population. A mild winter and a nearly cloudless summer capped by a peaceful concert in a West Tisbury field with an unprecedented gathering of more than 10,000 people. These are the benchmarks of the year 1995 on Martha's Vineyard.

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Finding a Rhythm on the Rollercoaster That Was 2022

September fourteenth. Summer was over and Martha’s Vineyard had already begun its annual downshift into fall. Children were back in school, the frenzy of August was a fast-fading memory.

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A Look Back at 2021, a Roller Coaster Ride That Wouldn’t Quit

With apologies to Red Sox fans, it would be easy to paraphrase the late, great Yankees catcher/philosopher Yogi Berra to describe the year 2021: déjà vu all over again.

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In 2020, Global Pandemic Reshaped Martha’s Vineyard

A year unlike any other, 2020 brought with it sweeping change and challenges normally only felt on a geological time scale, all cast in a global pandemic.

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Vineyarders Contemplate New Millennium with Thoughtful Hope and Confidence
Bryan Chambala

Looking across Vineyard Sound from Woods Hole it’s hard to imagine that Vineyarders could have anything to wish for in the coming century.

To the mainland resident, the Island looks peaceful and perfect, a little slice of paradise in the midst of a breezy New England December.

If they only knew.

Just like anyone else, Islanders are looking forward to the new millennium with a mix of trepidation and optimism. The residents of this tiny chunk of land do have dreams for the coming century, albeit modest ones.

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