Flotsam & Jetsam

Recent news you can sort of use.

To Pickle, or Not to Pickle...

Tova Katzman

The Chilmark Planning Board voted to initiate the public hearing process on whether to ban the construction of pickleball courts in town. “If you have a pickleball paddle in their car, are you subject to search and seizure?” one board member rhetorically asked. “If we pursue a ban,” said another, “there may be some disturbed people.”

Thar They Blow

Courtesy of Christin Khan NOAA permit number 18786

Nantucket Residents Against Turbines have appealed a lower court’s dismissal of their challenge to Vineyard Wind’s offshore turbine construction, citing potential impact of the construction on endangered right whales. That initial lawsuit was funded with help from the Caesar Rodney Institute, which is itself funded in part by the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers and the American Energy Alliance.

Thar They Go

Ray Ewing

Lawsuits notwithstanding, Vineyard Wind announced they have installed the first of sixty-two offshore turbines. Each measures three times the height of the Statue of Liberty and is expected to power more than 6,000 businesses and homes.

Thar Blow Goes

Lindsay Lesniak

Authorities confirmed that twenty-four toucan-decorated bricks found on Lucy Vincent Beach in Chilmark in July were, in fact, pure cocaine. “This is not a common thing to happen in Massachusetts,” said David DiTullio, of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, without clarifying if he meant bricks washing ashore here were rare, or Jungle Beach goers turning drugs in to the authorities were rare.

Here Comes the Guv!

Governor Maura Healey proposed a $4 billion “Affordable Homes Act,” which, if passed, will allow towns to enact local transfer fees of up to 2 percent on property sales greater than $1 million or the county-wide median price. On the Vineyard, the median threshold is $1.39 million. The tax, which would be paid by sellers, can only be used to support affordable housing.

May I Please Be Excused?

Ray Ewing

According to state data, Dukes County has the highest rate of vaccine exemptions in Massachusetts – nearly six times the state average. At the Chilmark School, one in four kindergartners received exemptions, a rate nearly eighteen times the state average of 1.4 percent. Meanwhile a few miles down-Island, the Martha’s Vineyard Public Charter School, where the exemption rate is nine times the state average, reported an outbreak of chickenpox.