New England Newspaper & Press Association

Under the Hood and On the Speedway, These Racers Know Their Craft
Ivy Ashe
Sometimes 130 miles per hour isn’t all that fast. Ask Chris (Fibber) Magee, 49, of Vineyard Haven. When Mr. Magee is at the wheel of his custom-built Dodge Charger, after the green flag has flown and he’s centrifuging around the curves at Seekonk Speedway, when he’s jostling for position among the other cars on the track, speed is just a number.
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A Principal and a Gentleman, Michael Halt Says Goodbye
Olivia Hull

The 33 eighth graders at the West Tisbury School aren’t the only ones moving on to high school. Their principal, Michael Halt, an Island educator and administrator since 1997, is gearing up for a major transition of his own. Mr. Halt’s last day is June 28. Then he will pack up his truck and head for California, where, in the fall, he will start as principal of the San Clemente High School.

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Burning the Candle to Make Ends Meet
Remy Tumin and Sara Brown
Phoenix Russell tends alpacas in the morning and gives horses and humans massages in the afternoon. Anthony Esposito composes songs while waiting in his cab at the ferry terminal. Vineyarders holding multiple jobs say that summer is the time to hustle, but Sundays are a day of rest.
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Looking Within For Portuguese Catholic Mass
Felipe Cabrera

Last year Good Shepherd Parish in Oak Bluffs was faced with a problem. Father Messias Albuquerque was leaving, and due to a priest shortage in Brazil finding a replacement who could say mass in Portuguese would be difficult. Recruiting someone to say the Saturday mass was a familiar issue. Over the years a series of clergymen have filled this role.

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Effort Underway to Save Chappaquiddick Home on Eroded Bluff
Sara Brown

Wasque Point is a remote place; this is the far southeastern corner of Chappaquiddick, an island off an island. The name comes from the Algonquin word Wannasque, which means “the ending.” Where the land ends, there is nothing but Atlantic Ocean, dotted with flocks of scoters bobbing where the waves break, and then it’s ocean as far as the eye can see.

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Linda Marinelli Gave Voice to Life
Julia Wells

Linda Marinelli, a career Vineyard politician and former longtime Oak Bluffs selectman whose firebrand style and tireless, bruising crusades in the name of open government were legendary, died Jan. 31 in Falmouth. She was 81.

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Moving Toward Shore, Paddling Together
Bill Eville
For my wife Cathlin’s last day of radiation treatment for breast cancer, the kids and I head into Boston to be with her. Eirene, aka Pickle (age four), decides to dress as the hobbit Frodo Baggins. Her costume includes a pair of blue jeans, a white mesh shirt she says is the elven material mithrail, and a long turquoise cape. She also insists that her face be rubbed with mud, as during Frodo’s travels to Mordor he was often dirty.

Hardy (age seven) wears the same pants and shirt he has worn nearly every day for the past few months.

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Thomas Hale, 87, Was Shipyard Owner, Maritime Historian
Tom Dunlop

He was an artist and historian, author and harbor master, boat yard owner and model maker, designer of homes, builder of lobster boats and family yawls, a husband, father and grandfather. Three times he was denied the chance to enlist in the armed forces after the attack on Pearl Harbor. He finally joined a volunteer ambulance service working with the British army and was present at the liberation of Bergen-Belsen.

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Health Care Checkup: Access to Primary Care Improving
Sara Brown and John H. Kennedy

Islanders seem to voice the complaint nearly as often as they grumble about summer traffic backups at the blinker light and spiking prices at the gas pump:

You can’t find a primary care doctor on the Island.

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Super-Sized Houses Are Talk of Towns
Remy Tumin and Sara Brown

It’s a question that vexes local planning agencies and inflames passions from homeowners builders, and residents on both sides of the issue.

When it comes to houses, how big is too big?

This issue has special resonance on the Vineyard, where land is limited and residents have a history of fiercely protecting — and debating — the Island’s character.

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