Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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It’s early January, there are another 10 weeks of winter left and it feels as if we’ve already had enough cold and snow for the entire season. It could be worse. Think about people in parts of Florida and the Deep South. They’re experiencing weather rare to the area and are unequipped to deal with it.

When there’s snow in places below the Mason-Dixon, few snow plows are available to clean up the streets. Plus, people in southern climes are not used to driving when it’s slippery. The first time I drove in snow (North Carolina, 1966) there was a half-inch on the ground and on the asphalt. Cars were going off the road, accidents were common and I was more scared of the other vehicles than the snowy roads. I feel far safer here.

In a normal winter we don’t begin to see much road damage from ice heaves until springtime arrives. This go-around there are quite a few divots along Surfside Road, particularly in the neighborhood of the schools. Hummock Pond Road has a good share of eruptions, too. Patching them now isn’t going to last long, not to mention the town has little funds to fix them at any point in the near future.

I was pleased to see that National Park Service has approved that Nantucket Sound is eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places. This came about when two Native American tribes asked for the designation because of its cultural and spiritual significance to their people.

My belief is simple. Nantucket Sound should be protected for a number of reasons, not the least of which is the Native Americans’ concerns. This country needs more protection of our natural resources. I’m not anti-green when it comes to wind-generating devices. I am opposed to them being situated in an area chosen to evade paying rent.

If all of the electricity was going to be directed to Nantucket, the Vineyard and last of all, Cape Cod, I’d still be against the site of the project. As it stands, there’s no guarantee we’d be the beneficiaries of this wind-generated manna. The voltage would be sold to the highest bidder. If someone would like to place these immense towers in a spot where there’s little traffic on the water or in the sky, I’m all for it.

This is all about the money for the developer. He stands to clear a cool $250 million in tax credits right from the get-go. His last project (turned down) was an oil-fired, electricity-generating plant in South Boston. This gent certainly is an example for a greener world. Put these towers where I don’t fish, boat or fly by in an airplane and I’ll be the first to endorse the idea.

Once again, town clerk Catherine Flanagan Stover has come through in the clutch. She had decided to cease selling hunting licenses. The town has decreed that town offices should cut any nonprofit services. Hunting licenses produce no revenue for us, and they take up valuable time for the town clerk and her two assistants. Catherine will still be selling the licenses until either the state has a way to obtain one online, or a private entity on-island takes over the service. Thank you, Catherine.

Many of us watched the hockey game between the Boston Bruins and Philadelphia Fliers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day. It was an exciting game, with the Bruins coming back in the last few minutes to tie the score, and then win in overtime. Seeing the greenest baseball stadium wreathed in white snow was beautiful and thrilling at the same time.

Now for the Nantucket connection . . . A.J. Mleczko, former gold and silver Olympic medal-winner on the U.S. women’s ice-hockey team, was invited to skate on the ice at the Fens on Monday. A.J. brought the youngest of her brood, 2-year-old Sam. Sam was on skates but isn’t a polished hockey player (yet). A.J. will be doing the color commentary for women’s ice hockey next month at the Vancouver Winter Olympics.

On a nepotistic note, if you pick up a copy of the January edition of Bon Appétit, there is a six-page spread of recipes from my brother Andrew Chase and his co-owner/chef Erwin Schrottner and their New York restaurant, Café Katja.

If you don’t care to respond here, feel free to e-mail me at, phone me at (508) 228-4325, or write to P.O. Box 1263, Nantucket, MA 02554. Should you wish to speak to me in public, please be kind. You know how fragile I am. Stay well.

– Goodman’s Gam appears each Thursday by noon at and, and monthly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

4 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Greg Garber Says:

    David, if I’m not mistaken, hunters can obtain their licenses at This is the MassOutdoors website. You have to register as a customer, then you can use a credit card to purchase a license. Mainlanders can obtain their freshwater fishing licenses at the same site.

    Please remind all of our saltwater brethren to register as a National Saltwater Angler at This is the precursor to the Mass. saltwater licenses in 2011.

  2. David Says:

    Hi Greg, It’s good to see your email. As usual, you stole my thunder. I was going to write about the saltwater licenses next week. As for the hunting license, I couldn’t find a way to make it work, though I’m a total moron when it comes to doing much online (or offline for that matter). I called Town Clerk, Catherine Flanagan Stover, who told me that it appears that the links work sometimes, but often don’t. She has had dozens of people come in because they couldn’t make it work online, though they may be as computer obtuse as me (or is it I)? **David**

  3. Greg Garber Says:

    I’m not a hunter, but my co-worker here in Cambridge was able to connect yesterday.

    Please continue the dialogue about the Saltwater Registry next week…..I received my temporary license already, and I’m hoping the Division of Marine Fisheries contacts me for the survey over the next year.

  4. Christine Says:

    You’re correct about the harsh winters for the states who aren’t equipped to handle them. I’m in the Tulsa, Oklahoma, area, and it’s been terrible for the last 3 winters. We don’t have enough road crews, except for the major arteries. City and county side streets are never cleared. We just have to wait for the snow to melt. A couple of years ago we had the most devastating ice storm anyone could imagine. Most homes are total electric. We were without power for 10 days in the dead of winter. It was crippling. I’ve never experienced anything like it in my entire life. Our 20 trees were on the ground. All night we lay awake listening to the sound of snapping limbs falling, knowing there was nothing that could be done. The next morning, it looked like a war-torn country. Tears rolled down our faces. Three days into the ten days without power we packed our bags and drove to the Gulf of Texas, where warmth and sunshine restored our beaten spirits. Now, as each winter approaches, we have decided that deep snow without road crews isn’t so bad. We know that if it’s just the beauty of snow, we’ll be alright.

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