Award-winning stories recognized by the New England Newspaper & Press Association.

A History Shaped by State Politics
Ivy Ashe
It’s been 65 years since the first Steamship Authority was created, signed into existence by Massachusetts Gov. Robert Bradford in 1948 as the New Bedford, Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority. Regular ferry service had existed prior to that date, beginning in the early 1800s. The arrival of the Old Colony Railroad in the 1870s brought train tracks right to the wharf in Woods Hole, spearheading the growth of both the Island summer tourism industry and the boat lines, which were then privately owned.
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In Gazette Poll of Island Residents, Coastal Erosion Tops List of Concerns
Sara Brown

Martha’s Vineyard residents are here for the outdoor lifestyle, rural character, beaches and coastline, and they stay for the sense of community on the Island. They are happy with their volunteer fire departments, their emergency services, their hospital and their police squads.

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My Baby and Me, Riding to Preschool
Bill Eville
On Wednesday for her last day of preschool, my daughter Pickle and I discuss what music to play on the drive from West Tisbury to Chilmark. The drive takes about 15 minutes and over the last two years we have enjoyed a long musical journey together. It is just the two of us and so I have had no censors or suggestions of what is appropriate or even good.

Pickle fell in step with my groove early on, leaning heavily toward men of the late 1970s. In our hermetically-sealed musical education chamber, a Honda Fit, one could say she had no choice.

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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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