Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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School vacation is coming up, and that means town will be even emptier than it has been this winter. I’ll hazard a guess that there will be fewer families traveling off-island, particularly those going on expensive southern sojourns. Trips to closer spots within a couple hours’ ride are more likely. What’s more important is families spending time together.

A recession that’s got us in its grasp has hurt most parts of our lives. The one benefit might be that it could help by pulling members of families closer to one another. I don’t recommend financial straits as a method for fixing what ails the modern household tribe, but it may be a way to begin the process.

This afternoon, I received an email from WBUR, the National Public Radio station in Boston. It was a report from an organization whose website is . They publish a set of rankings for counties around the U.S.. According to their research, Nantucket is the healthiest county in the Commonwealth.

They take a number of factors, including, among other things, smoking, teen pregnancy, binge drinking and poverty rates in order to reach their conclusions. I’d like to add another couple of reasons for the general good health here. We have a local hospital, unparalleled for a small community, stocked with some mighty fine doctors, nurses and technical staff. Another point in our favor is the island’s fresh, relatively unpolluted air. Nantucket is a less stressful place to live. If you don’t believe me, try living elsewhere. (For more on the study, pick up next week’s Inquirer and Mirror).

We now know the names of candidates for local elections, coming on April 13. This promises contests that may prove interesting, especially for the Board of Selectmen, Planning Board and Historic District Commission. Each of these races will pit incumbents against newcomers.

I like the saying, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” As the BOS goes, there are some fixes in order, but ridding ourselves of the two incumbents now running would hurt the board. I’m looking forward to Meet the Candidates night, mainly to hear what some of the new candidates running for the HDC and Planning Board have to say.

The bigger election(s) are going to come in the sheriff’s race(s). We already have two Jims, two Mikes and a Bret saying they’re in the hunt. It appears there could be more people tossing their hat in the ring before the end of April.

In September comes the primary, which then leads to the general election in November. I’m hoping both fall frays are equally exciting. I can’t remember any election around here for a single office with as many qualified candidates. Nantucket voters deserve good choices for all local offices and this go-round should be outstanding!

There are a couple of local spots sporting neon signs (not kosher here) that aren’t actually in the window, but they’re placed so as to be viewed as one passes by. The one that is particularly bothersome is in the front of a bar/restaurant across from the Town Building.

This owner might not be breaking the law, but he is bending it beyond the limit. I know the gentleman contributes his space to many good causes, so it would be nice if he’d consider moving the offending sign away from the window area.

Boston Red Sox pitchers and catchers report for spring training today. There’s a long way to go before the season begins, though this is our warning signal that there are only six weeks of winter left.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror.

3 Responses to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Kenny B. Says:

    Hi David – Seems like we have the weather fixed temporarily. Forecast has us just barely getting below freezing for the next week. But watch out around Feb. 28 when the full moon hits. As my Mom would point out, this one is an “underground moon,” full right at astronomical noon – 11:40 a.m. Old Mr. Moon will be directly underneath us as the sun is on the opposite side. Let’s hope this old-timer weather sign is as valid as quahog spitting for predicting the weather.

    And I hope you are still enjoying the Olympics. I was sorry to see the Russians take offense when their wonderful men’s skater, Evgeny Plushenko, just missed getting gold and had to settle for silver. I was pleased to hear Evan Lysacek take the high road on this. But then when you win, taking the high road is easier.

    I also come from a generation that remembers the Olympic ideal of sport, something that is done to personally do the best you can. Now we have professional athletes competing in the Olympics. And I also regret the Nationalism that is promoted – the medal count by country for instance. This year the U.S. is way ahead so the media is making even more of it. Yes, the USA is a wonderful country, but it would be a better country is we didn’t have to rub our “wonderfulness” in everyone’s faces.

    As you say David – so many candidates running for office. A few will do well. A few others will act as spoilers, drawing votes from other candidates, spreading the field. Is that a good thing? Don’t know. And of course, our current Sheriff is probably unbeatable, even if he doesn’t bother to run. Folks just love to write his name in.

    I’m hitting the Habitat House this morning to drive a few nails and lug stuff from point A to point B. It’s a worthy cause. I do note that this current project is way above the simple designs that were the aim of the original Habitat program. But I guess that’s Nantucket. Simple is no longer the way we do things on Nantucket.

  2. Greg Garber Says:

    David, go to Mitchell’s and pick up a copy of Willie Mays: The Life, The Legend… won’t be disappointed.

  3. David Says:

    Ken, It’s interesting you should mention pros in the Olympics. I recall a squad of US amateurs beating the Russian pros in Ice Hockey in 1980. As much as I agree with you, at least it’s on a level playing field, now. Greg, I’ve read a couple of good reviews about the book. I’ve just begun “Game Change,” so it may be a week or so before I move on to another book. Willie Mays never got the credit he deserved. Great hitter, base stealer, fielder and all around good guy. **David**

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