Islander's Blog

Archive for October, 2011

Waterfront News

Monday, October 31st, 2011

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I was lurking around the waterfront late this afternoon and spotted a vessel at the end of Straight Wharf. I grabbed my camera and went over to have a look-see. Her name was Dardanella and she is home-ported in Georgetown. I have never seen her here before. A few minutes after I arrived, it was announced by a member of her crew that she was leaving. I was delegated the task of tossing her lines before she left. A role in which I gladly performed. I tossed her lines back to her from the dock and watched her depart the Boat Basin. A beautiful ship! Here are a few pictures of the Dardanella I took.
– Martie Mack writes the Nantucket Waterfront News blog

Waterfront News

Tuesday, October 18th, 2011

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My buddy Tim Mooney is a diver. He has been diving for bay scallops for a long time. He recently got an underwater camera and filmed while he was diving for scallops. Here are a couple of videos Tim shot.
Thanks, Tim!
– Martie Mack writes the Nantucket Waterfront News blog

Goodman’s Gam

Sunday, October 16th, 2011

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Every week we get another dose of bad news for Nantucket. The Even Keel is closing, the MSPCA is shutting down and the Stop & Shop has bought their way into a virtual monopoly by acquiring mid-island land that very well might have provided competition for them.

I understand why the Even Keel is pulling out of their leased space on Main Street. We will all miss Marshall and his staff and the fine service enjoyed, whether on the patio on a warm afternoon, or a cold winter evening when the half-price meals were a great reason to go outside and drive to town.

Gus Thornton must be spinning in his grave about now. He was the MSPCA when I first moved here and for many years after that. Eventually Dr. Thornton went on to be the head of the entire MSPCA. Unlike many executives, he was connected. When I had a problem 15 years ago, he called me back before the end of the business day and made things right. Unlike the head of today’s MSPCA, he wasn’t paid almost a half-million dollars in salary.

The ridiculous edifice made it a sure thing that the Crooked Lane operation was sure to put them into bankruptcy. Enough animal-lovers were found to donate huge sums of money for an over-the-top building. I mean, what was the point of all the glass and an atrium that did nothing but suck the gas tanks dry to keep it heated and cooled, depending on the weather?

Then there’s the Stop & Shop. I tend to do most of my shopping there for several reasons. First, it has a better selection of produce and second, parking at the Grand Union is difficult at most times. In the summer, well, we know about downtown in warmer months. Once winter sets in, most times during the day, open spaces are at a premium. I shop there, but only when I happen to be in the vicinity and need a few items. People residing in town use the Grand Union, with good reason: no vehicle is needed.

I am tilting toward using the GU more in the future, knowing that the Stop & Shop bought their way into a goldmine. This is one more local institution we need to keep functioning downtown. Some of you may remember that there was a time when the Finast (now Stop & Shop) was located on Main Street, as was the A&P and Charlie’s Market.

Main Street may be one of the 10 Great Streets for 2011, but as we know, most of the businesses along there have little to do with Nantucket and more to do with having the location on their shopping bags. Main Street is great because of the people that inhabit it and those who hang out there. There are beautiful brick sidewalks, leafy trees, old style benches and familiar faces. What could be better?
David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

Goodman’s Gam

Sunday, October 9th, 2011

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When I woke up last Saturday and saw it was raining, that was worrisome. The Nantucket Maritime Festival was opening in three hours and it appeared that it could be a washout. Luckily, the rain cleared up and the Fest went on as planned. Everyone had a good time, particularly the children. There were several tables where kids could decorate various objects and the ever-popular saltwater touch-tank.

All the attendees were drawn to the food being served. I felt it incumbent to try each place. Starting out with shrimp, then a lobster roll, an ice cream sandwich and later was treated by a friend to pizza. I was disappointed that no one was selling fried clams, as that’s always a dish I’m unable to pass up.

I wasn’t surprised to hear that the conference at the White Elephant complained about the public-address system from the Maritime Festival. The music and announcements could barely be heard once I walked over by the sand. I suppose when you’re busy educating the world, a local event doesn’t mean much in the scheme of things.

Later that day, I went to the Scalloper’s Ball, an event that always attracts large crowds. Tickets were sold out well before Saturday and if you were there, it was easy to see why. There were vast amounts of food, prepared by members of the Nantucket Shellfish Association and all of it was outstanding. I concentrated on several plates of mussels, one of my favorite shellfish, and finished with dark-chocolate iced brownies. Why does food always come to the fore with me?

It appears that the Pleasant Street Post Office has survived the USPS cuts and will remain open for the near future. I rarely use it, due to almost no parking spots and the fact that it’s closed for an hour during the middle of the day. Having said that, many folks need the facility, otherwise they wouldn’t have a mailbox. There are those who don’t want to brave town and the traffic, especially in summer months. The workers there are terrific, so this is no criticism of them.

Selectman Whitey Willauer is going to be paying a $3,000 penalty for ethics violations. This is indicative of the hubris many town officials have exhibited over the years. These transgressions should never happen.

I’m a registrar of voters and even though I have every right to sign candidate’s nomination papers, I don’t. As a registrar, my name is printed on the papers, once the signatures are certified by the town clerk. I believe that it would look suspicious should my signature show up twice on the papers, once as an election official and a second time as a supporter of a particular candidate.

We’re still in luck with our weather conditions this fall. Even though rain has fallen in evening hours and in the morning fog is thick, by mid-morning, the sun is out and warmth soon takes over. When you see how much rain has fallen in the Northeast of late, Nantucket is as dry a spot as may be found. We deserve a fall that exceeds our expectations.

And now, a hurtful topic for us as the Boston Red Sox collapsed like a house of cards last week. We knew the talent was there, and aside from injuries, not playing as a team was the deciding factor. As always, the manager takes the blame. Terry Francona will go down in Hub history as the man who eradicated the Curse of The Bambino in 2004 and then did it a second time in 2007.
–David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror