Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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According to Quentin the Quahog, my prediction from last week’s post was accurate. Our mollusk with all the answers is now reposing in harbormaster Dave Fronzuto’s gullet after spitting to the left on Tuesday. Only six more weeks of winter would be a respite around here. The third week in March, (chronologically) is the signal for spring. We’ll be lucky if it feels like spring a month beyond that date.

Beautiful fall weather (from warm ocean water) results in a late spring. This is a good tradeoff in my mind. Nantucket has made the big time with Quentin this year. The Boston Globe posted the news on late in the day, complete with Mr. Fronzuto’s disparaging comments regarding Punxsutawney Phil. I believe most islanders feel the exact same way. Besides, groundhogs are the last thing we need here.

Then there was the sensationalistic story about Nantucket, Martha’s Vineyard and part of Cape Cod representative Tim Madden. Traveling between Boston and the three communities he serves made him the highest-reimbursed rep for travel expenses in the legislature at $13,900. Tim is up on Beacon Hill just over 150 days per year.

Aside from the toll of that amount of travel, boats, planes and automobiles (sounds like a movie) the tickets cost money. It’s only fair that the state pays for this. The voters in Mr. Madden’s district deserve his services and he isn’t paid enough salary to dole out travel expenses from his own pocket.

This so-called exposé came courtesy of the Boston Herald, a newspaper that is similar to some of the headlines I read while going through the checkout line after shopping for groceries.

There has been much discussion about the fence a homeowner erected going through the dune at Steps Beach. As much as the split rails look ridiculous, standing alone for a short stretch on the beach, it appears to be legal. My question is: how long will it take for some vandal to trash it? Otherwise, summer is coming and kids are sure to use it for a beach party bonfire. The fence is jarring, to say the least.

Years back there used to be a saying here: you can tell a carpenter by the black Lab in the back of their pickup truck. A contractor has two Labs in the bed of his pick up. Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed at least a half-dozen guys in pickups with small dogs riding in the cab. Poodles are the last thing I expect to see with these big macho builder types. They’re no match for a retriever when it comes to retrieving tennis balls at the worksite.

Cutting the social-services department sounds like a good idea to save the town $30,000 a year, but at what cost? The system is working well as it is. Taking a chance like this could easily fail, which would then end up hurting people in need and costing more money (to us) in the future. We all know the old saying, “if it isn’t broke, don’t fix it.” I believe there are several other items in the town budget that could save us thirty grand and wouldn’t hurt a soul.

You have to give Cape Air credit. They’ve sent two of their Cessna 402s to help out the relief effort in Haiti. The planes will be making 10 trips a week to ferry in medical personnel as well as medical supplies. One plane will be flying to Port-au-Prince, while the second one is going to service two cities outside of the Haitian capital. Great job and thank-you for doing a good deed!

Sunday is the Super Bowl, an overhyped contest most years. This go-around should be good. The two best teams in the NFL meet in Miami to duke it out. It’s a tough call for me. I’d like New Orleans to win, but I have to believe Peyton Manning will lead Indianapolis to a victory. Or, maybe The Who will steal the spotlight.

You now have four days to buy cards, flowers or candy for your honey. Valentine’s Day is next Sunday.

If you’d like to get a hold of me directly, call (508) 228-4325, write me at P.O. Box 1263, Nantucket, MA 02554, or e-mail me at
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

6 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Greg Garber Says:

    David–you imply (I think) what I say more explicitly here…..

    I’m sure what the homeowner did at Steps Beach is legal, it’s plain stupid if it’s not…..but it is spiteful and arrogant regardless. That path has been there for decades before they arrived, and it will be there for decades after they leave. It may not hamper access one bit, but it will not pay the owner dividends within the community. I can’t think of any incidents with respect to those abutting properties–do other readers have an opinion?

    It’s as silly as the signs and snow fence at 40th Pole a few years back–although some of the beachgoers there were indeed out of line.

  2. David Says:

    Greg, I agree with you, though as one who spends quite a bit of time out on the beach and around ponds, the litter is everywhere. If I owned a piece of property that people mistreated, I’d probably put up a fence. In this particular case, I don’t see that. One final note, I received an email correcting my timing of Valentine’s Day. It isn’t four days hence, but ten days (actually nine by now). **David**

  3. Greg Garber Says:

    by the way, David, with respect to litter, I remember how bad Washing Pond was 15 years ago…..God forbid what it’s like now….

  4. Kenny B. Says:

    Hi David – I agree with you on Tim Madden. People on the mainland generally don’t get the fact that we can NOT just jump in a car and go to Boston, or Hyannis, or anywhere except ‘Sconset and Madaket. Every trip demands a boat or a plane. And it also imposes the risk of not being able to go WHEN you want to and/or return WHEN you want to. So you have to be prepared to be stuck in a hotel room, with maybe NO toothbrush! And also this costs $$$$. Get used to it!

    And Social Services! Don’t mess with something that is working. The savings they are talking about are not significant and could easily be eaten up by factors no one is foreseeing.

    Nantucket is missing another big snowstorm that is burying the mid-Atlantic. It was a blustery day today (Saturday) but not bad enough to keep 20 people from walking with the NCF folks around Windswept Bog.

    And tonight is the Spelling Bee. There is certainly plenty to do on Nantucket.

  5. james Says:

    who knows anything about the B&B Martin INN. Is it own by a corporation or locals. Or managed by locals and owned by a hotel chain. Is it a nice place reasonable priced. Do the innkeeppers live on the premise as well and cook the meals or is food catered in from outside vendors? Thinking about staying there for a honeymoon. Thanks for any information. James

  6. Christine Says:

    James, I’m not familiar with B&B Martin Inn, but I can tell you that both times I’ve visited Nantucket have been wonderful. The islanders are such kind, thoughtful, welcoming folks. They are a family, and they will draw you into their lives and homes with much love. They take the time to get to know each visitor. They are genuinely interested in everyone and every story. It’s not just an island—it’s a home. It’s a family.

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