Yvonne Guzman

Activist Group in Oak Bluffs Works for Holiday Harmony

The Fourth of July weekend in Oak Bluffs was a big mess last year, everyone said.

There was too much traffic. An ambulance couldn’t get through a street crowded with people. There were clashes between cultures and, when people talked about the weekend later, blatant racism.

Bob Holland of Oak Bluffs stayed home, but he heard all about it. And he sees no reason why all these people shouldn’t enjoy Oak Bluffs on its biggest holiday weekend.

So this year, he will be there to help with other members of the new Martha’s Vineyard Million Man Association.

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Oak Bluffs Celebrates Juneteenth

David Corbitt of Indianapolis discovered Oak Bluffs this weekend. A second-year law student, Mr. Corbitt traveled here at the urging of a college friend.

Serena Henry came from Atlanta, and Phyllis Buford came from St. Louis, with her family. She joined friends from Kansas City, Mo.

Bobby Hall traveled here from Florida, and he had a great time.

“It doesn’t get much better than this,” said Mr. Hall, who joined about 800 people Friday night for live music, dancing and sunset at Inkwell Beach.

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Organizers of Weekend Are Pleased

Several hundred people attended special events this weekend in Oak Bluffs, reducing gridlock downtown and adding to the festive atmosphere.

And it all happened because of a chance meeting on Memorial Day at the Dragonfly art gallery in Oak Bluffs.

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Oak Bluffs Celebrates Fourth

Oak Bluffs is the place to be for the Fourth of July weekend.

That’s always been the case, according to many residents, and now they have one more reason to think so.

This weekend, the community will conduct its First Annual Juneteenth Day of Independence, a Multicultural Celebration. Events include a beach concert Friday and a dance Saturday. Both nights will feature live music, plenty of food and several vats of non-alcoholic ginger beer.

And townspeople are predicting great success.

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Chilmarkers Ponder the Question: How Big Should the New School Be?

The Menemsha School still has a great old-fashioned school bell, sounded daily by a rope that dangles down from the roof.

Children of different grades still sit in class side by side and play together in a playground bordered by a foresty area they call "twiggyland." Many townspeople were educated here, in the same place as their parents and grandparents.

Today, the challenge to Chilmark is maintaining the special qualities of this rural school while making room for growth.

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Charter School Serves Students By Innovating
Yvonne Guzman

The classroom is both comfortable and practical. Furnished with stacks of books, a Macintosh computer and a sprawling leather sofa, it is a bright room with windows offering a view of a forest and enough light to nourish three potted plants.

Here, nestled in the giant L-shaped sofa, half a dozen students read novels and write in journals. Some talk quietly, and others work on "dialogue journals." That means they write entries directed to teacher Meredith Collins, then leave the notebooks in a basket, where Miss Collins finds them and writes responses.

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Public Charter School Is Days Away from Island Launch
Yvonne Guzman

In Max Butler's first weeks at school, he will help set up a computer system.

Max, 12, will also join other students of various ages in a writers' workshop. He will take classes called understanding math and algebra, studies in science and problem-solving.

And that's only the first month.

An advisor with the new Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School helped Max design this schedule recently. In coming weeks, they will decide what comes next.

"It's pretty exciting," said Max, of Gay Head. "For the first time ever, I can't really wait to go back to school."

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Vineyard's New Charter School Begins to Bring Innovative Elements Together
Yvonne Guzman

For Meredith Collins, public education was not very interesting.

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Open House, Open Minds: Charter School Finds Abundance of Eager New Applicants

Wanda Emin is happy with her children's school. Still, she was one of dozens of parents who showed up this week at an open house for the Martha's Vineyard Public Charter School.

She came, she said, at the urging of Brooke, 13, and Heather, 10.

"We just came with an open mind, and we'll go home and talk about it," Mrs. Emin said, guessing that her daughters are attracted to the school because "what they like is being able to make their own decisions."

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New Charter School Makes Progress

Betsy McIsaac, a long-time seasonal resident, heard that the Vineyard was getting a charter school when she read about it in the paper last summer.

Today, she is part of its educational advisory group. Because Mrs. McIsaac worked as a school administrator for 30 years, her expertise has been greatly appreciated by charter school organizers.

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