Ancient Ways Protection Plan Stalls
Julia Wells

A longstanding effort by the town of Edgartown to protect five ancient byways suffered a setback last week when a superior court judge sent a district of critical planning concern (DCPC) designation back to the Martha’s Vineyard Commission for another review.

The five paths are Middle Line Road, Ben Tom’s Road, Pennywise Path, Watcha Path and Tar Kiln Road. Their use as cart paths and byways dates to Colonial times, and in 2007 the commission approved a town-sponsored initiative to designate them as special ways under the Island Road District DCPC.

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Cost of Gas is Legally High
Julia Wells

Sky-high gasoline prices on Martha’s Vineyard — a universal truth here and an unending point of annoyance among Islanders of every stripe who pay dearly at the pump — are not the result of price-fixing, the United States Court of Appeals has found.

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VNA on the Move, Expands to Nantucket
Julia Wells

The Vineyard Nursing Association, the Island’s only home nursing provider, announced this week that it will expand its services onto Nantucket, where currently there are none.

VNA chief executive officer Robert Tonti said he expects to open a Nantucket office by early May at the latest. The Nantucket Cottage Hospital will provide $350,000 in startup money for the service, paid out over three years, Mr. Tonti said.

“We are helping their community and we’re happy to do it,” Mr. Tonti said in an interview.

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Farewell to a Woman of Character and Grit
Julia Wells

She was an Oak Bluffs selectman and I was a cub reporter for the New Bedford Standard Times. The year was 1973. Geraldyne DeBettencourt had recently been elected as the first woman selectman on the Vineyard. It was quite a milestone when you think about it now, especially placed in the context of nearly four decades ago when Island government was a dyed-in-the-wool, old-boy network. My professional world too was heavily populated by men, most of them kindly, small-town newspapermen who were willing to take me under their wing.

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Sheriff: House Arrest For Kelly McCarron
Julia Wells

Acting well out of the public eye, Dukes County sheriff Michael McCormack quietly agreed last month to allow Kelly McCarron, the young woman who was drunk and driving the car the night 18-year-old Jena Pothier was killed in June 2009, to leave a Barnstable correctional facility for women less than seven months into a one-year term. Ms. McCarron has returned to the Vineyard to serve out the remainder of her sentence at home under electronic surveillance.

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Gazette Wins 17 Awards, Nine First Place
Julia Wells

The Vineyard Gazette won 17 awards in the annual New England Newspaper and Press Association contest this year, including nine first-place awards for excellence in journalism and advertising. The awards were announced at the annual banquet held by the small newspaper press association in Boston last weekend. The contest saw nearly 3,000 entries from small daily, weekly and biweekly/monthly newspapers in the six-state region of Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Vermont and Maine. Newspapers are judged in daily and weekly categories by circulation.

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AP Senior Executive is Tapped to Be Next Gazette Publisher
Julia Wells

Jane R. Seagrave has been named publisher of the Vineyard Gazette, the newspaper’s owners, Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg, announced today.

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Lobster Boat Rescue Averts Large Oil Spill
Julia Wells

After nearly two days of foundering in the surf near a remote coastline in Aquinnah with hundreds of gallons of fuel on board, the Sherry Ann, a 46-foot offshore lobster boat out of Westport, was freed from her unwanted rocky berth and towed to a nearby salvage barge Thursday afternoon.

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Possible Dreams Auction Looks To Make Night Impossible to Miss
Julia Wells

Two high rollers in a bidding war to share a peanut butter sandwich with Carly Simon?

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Three Towns See Big Election Wins; Beer and Wine Allowed
Julia Wells

West Tisbury will allow the sale of beer and wine in restaurants for the first time in modern history, Oak Bluffs saw a vote of confidence in town government, with two incumbent selectmen reelected, and spending was approved for two major public library construction projects, one in West Tisbury, the other in Edgartown.

And public opinion is running strongly against the roundabout in at least two towns.

These were the highlights of the annual town elections held yesterday in three Island towns.

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