Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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New beach rules have many people in a tizzy. I’m not getting involved in the fee schedule, which seems to be far more complicated than my feeble mind is able to absorb. I do less driving on beaches every year. They’ve stolen the joy from a tradition that once was assumed to be our right. There is one thing about these rules I’m in total agreement with. No more glass containers on our beaches.

This is a no-brainer that is easily 30 years late in coming. Was it the infinite shards from beach-party fires, or the numerous stitches inflicted on dozens of beach users each year that brought this about? Drunken fools, who threw bottles into a pile of coals at parties, deserve most of the blame. The ban on vitreous containers will be a plus for us and our sandy environment.

Remember Phil O’Connell from seeing him around downtown sidewalks? No? How about when he moved over to Hyannis? Over there, you may have noticed him when you exited the fast ferry, or by the bus station. You probably wondered why he was carrying sports equipment wherever he wandered. A football or a lacrosse stick was his favorite companion.

Phil made headlines when arrested on a downtown street here several years ago. Let’s say he was disturbing the peace and quiet of a lovely day.

Now, Phil has moved to the western part of the state (Northampton) and is attempting to besmirch Nantucket. He went out and had made a large banner saying “Nantucket Rapist Island.” I only hope that people in Northampton are smart enough to see through his charade, and keep their children far away from his influence.

I noticed that Daffodil Weekend brought a goodly number of vacationers to our fair shores last weekend. Having avoided downtown until after the antique cars left for Sconset, I went to pick up my mail. There were quite a few shoppers going to and from shops. I heard that business was brisk and for that I’m pleased. Too many local people have struggled over the past couple of seasons. They (we) need a big summer to recoup our losses.

The Egan Institute is bringing back an updated version of the Seafest. This isn’t going to be the same celebration as it was 30 years back. It’s a worthwhile reason for year-round islanders to join together, relax after Labor Day, eat some good food and reconnect with one another. On Friday, prior to the event, there will be several informative seminars concerning the rise of our seas. There will be no alcoholic beverages served at this gathering.

There’s a ton of pressure being applied to Secretary Salazar to approve the wind farm in Nantucket Sound. It appears he’s going to cave. Putting windmills on dry land is a terrific strategy for more energy independence. I’m in favor of them on Nantucket as well as Martha’s Vineyard and Cape Cod. Putting them out in the sound is anything but sound.

For anyone who doesn’t see Nat Philbrick walking around town these days, it could be because he’s off promoting his new book, “The Last Stand.” You will find him on Tuesday, May 4, at 6 p.m., at the Boston Public Library. His new tome is about Custer’s last stand and while it’s whale of a book, there aren’t marine mammals involved this time.

I was terribly sorry to hear of Alison Sweet Zieff’s passing this week. She was a kind, gentle lady. There will be a service for her at the Unitarian Church Saturday, May 1, at 11 a.m. Alison will be missed.
– “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and occasionally in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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