The news from Vinalhaven
This has been one of those weeks where the ferry brings more folks than it takes away and the store windows are covered with flyers about the programs going on in town. I’ve seen a number of visitors turning a Vinalhaven map around and around trying to figure out which way to walk to get to the quarry, and yes, I do help them figure it out when I can. It is lily season now too. Lilies, many of them procured at Vivian Knowlton’s over the years, are blooming everywhere you look, making the island postcard perfect on these hot summer days. Despite the high heat, we’re all still working on our jobs, hobbies and projects, which is bound to produce some news over the course of the week.
The Old Fire Hall project was given the go-ahead by the selectmen at their last meeting, so the plans have been accepted and the group behind the project can move ahead with fundraising and other details. Phil Crossman is a major motivator on this project and in case he doesn’t have enough to do with running the Tidewater Motel and Island Spirits, and working on his Circumambulation of Vinalhaven, he’s improving Main Street with a granite sidewalk in front of the motel. Town is getting classier all the time.
In other municipal news, the town is accepting applications for the animal control officer position. If a job description including “constant and varied contact with the public and potentially dangerous animals” piques your interest, contact Marjorie Stratton at the town office (P.O. Box 815) to find out more.
At the library this week, children who went to story time were treated to a Teddy Bear Picnic with stories, cookies and lemonade organized and presented by Georgeanne Davis. It was wonderful to see so many children cozily sitting with their favorite teddy bear or other stuffed animal listening to stories on the back patio of the library.
The Smith Hokanson Auditorium held the annual Partners in Island Education Artists Panel, where every year different well-known artists come together to discuss their craft. The cafeteria was the spot for the American Red Cross Blood Drive to try to improve the low blood supply issues this time of year. Fox Island Concerts is also using the school and community facilities this week to launch their summer season of concerts. For their summer schedule check out their website at foxislandsconcerts.org.
Business around town
Our medical center sent along a bit of information they wanted to share with readers, as well as some information on a newly hired physician’s assistant. Dinah Moyer writes, “Islands Community Medical Services Inc., a private, nonprofit, community-based health care organization, provides comprehensive health care to the residents of Vinalhaven and Matinicus, two small islands off the coast of Maine. ICMS treats all patients and provides all services regardless of ability to pay without the benefit of the support of local taxpayer dollars. Established in 1946 as a means to support an island-based family practice, ICMS has provided services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to all island residents: year-rounders and vacationers, children, adults and seniors, lobstermen and their families, the poor and uninsured.“ I for one have been grateful for their services on a few occasions and if the front page on the Wind is any indication, so are lots of other folks. In addition to the great team they already have at ICMS, Alan Chaffee started work on July 2. Alan brings with him Emergency Department experience and island-living experience as he worked on Nantucket for 19 years. He’s been a PA since 1980 and we’re glad that he’s here and getting settled in.
A downtown book signing and gathering of some of the island authors (interestingly there are quite a few authors here) occurred this week at the Paper Store on Main Street. I was there with my book “There Was a Little Girl,” a children’s book published this last winter which I originally wrote for my daughter when she turned 1. Jen Wadleigh was there with her romance novel “Sea Whispers,” and Judy Arey and Jasmine Arey were there with “Travels with Pig” as author and illustrator, respectively. Rounding out the selections, Andrew Updegrove brought his thriller “The Alexandria Project.” All of these books can be found at bookstores on the mainland as well and online. There was much discussion about the changes in publishing, the process of getting a book printed, and how to market a product. Many town-folk stopped by to give feedback on the books. Look for another signing to occur in August. If you’re a local author and want to join the fun, contact Carlene at the Paper Store.
What folks are talking about
As in many towns along the coast of Maine, folks are talking about the lobstermen’s tie-up. Lobster economics is a complicated topic, and one worth discussing. One morning this week, the usually empty town parking lot had at least 20 lobstermen standing around mulling over the current state of lobster prices and buyers and debating the merits of going out to haul or not.
At the bandstand on Tuesday night however, the mood was carefree as the Vinalhaven Town Band gave a concert on the town green. Director Michelle Wiley-Arey even took the opportunity of a relaxed audience to try to teach the people a thing or two about Maine state music history and R B Hall’s marches. Though they aren’t as famous as Sousa’s marches, they are near and dear to many a Maine heart. Be on the lookout for signs in town about the date of the next concert, sometime near the end of July or early August.
Vinalhaven’s annual PechaKucha event, hosted by the ARCafe, was enjoyed by a sizable crowd at the Yellow Schoolhouse this last week. If you haven’t been to a PechaKucha, I encourage you to go to one somewhere. The idea was devised in Tokyo in 2003 as a way for young folks to show their work in public and network with others. Now these events are held around the world. Presenters of all ages share slides on their artwork, vacations, livelihoods, projects or whatever else they are inspired by. There are no limits on the topic, but there are limits on the length of the presentation. With 20 slides and 20 seconds, presentations are concise. Topics at VH PechaKucha this year included, among other topics, photography, a trip to The Gambia, a California bike ride, and photos seen on dives and during fishing here in the waters off the island.
The evening of slide shows seemed to me representative of summer on Vinalhaven. On any given day you’ll encounter people with a wide variety of interests and viewpoints who have explored various destinations. You’ll have any number of options around town with which to fill your time, and many topics to talk about as you go about your day.
If you have news to share that you’d like to see in this column, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a message at 207-863-4134.