Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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We’ve entered August. The following few weeks are going to be intense, horrendous traffic, too many entitled people and with any luck, beautiful weather to assuage some of the pressure. It doesn’t take too much to survive a summer on our favorite sandbar.

I’ve been meaning to get this on paper for better than a month. After driving the Milestone Road one evening, reflectors placed along the center line made the job of returning to town much more pleasant. The only state road on island is straight for the most part and tends towards boring one into submission while driving its length. Having the center line lit up makes the ride easy.

A Verizon repairman I ran across on India Street told me that the utility is now in the process of burying lines in the downtown area. Nothing will make me happier than seeing the overhead infrastructure disappear from sight. We have paid a surcharge for years and it’s time for those dollars to be put to work.

Nantucket has no neon lighting and the HDC (sort of) controls what buildings look like. Removing visual pollution from the electric, phone, and cable lines is another blight we need rid ourselves of. I can’t wait until there are only leaves and clouds to view when looking up at the sky, when I’m downtown.

A few weeks back, I mentioned how a downtown art gallery owner had some difficulty with a Community Service Officer. It seems her 12 pound dog has been singled out, because it sometimes walks out of her shop without a leash. Mind you, the dog never roams more than a couple feet from her mistress and is very shy. I know this dog and it is not an aggressive animal. When her owner does errands, the dog is on a leash.

Let’s get one thing straight, there is a leash law here. But, if the CSOs are going to enforce it, do so for everyone. There are several dogs, (all larger than the one I’m referring to) that are unleashed and live in front of downtown shops. Either go after them as well, or leave a tiny, gentle canine alone.

My personal take on the situation is that dogs that stay close to their owners and aren’t bothering others ought to be left alone. I see more nasty people around here than dogs. That includes a CSO, who seems to think he’s a cop. Please and thank you go a long way, when dealing with the public.

I attended The Simpsons Night of Comedy at Jetties Beach, last Thursday. The evening was full of laughter and I’ll guess that a few attendees learned some new language in those couple of hours. Mike O’Malley, host of the event, was sharp as could be, as were the other comedians on the bill. Next year, I plan on getting tickets to other events at the Nantucket Comedy Festival. It was a terrific show!

The following night found me at an art opening by M.J. Levy. She is one of my favorite people, not to mention an inventive and most talented artist. Every year, M.J. has new techniques to show off and that’s one thing I appreciate so much about her art. It’s ongoing, yet each new chapter appears as if she has been doing it forever.

I received several e-mails and direct comments regarding this column from last week. One reader wondered if the NRTA buses could extend one of their routes out Hummock Pond Road. That way the many visitors to Cisco Brewers and Nantucket Vineyards wouldn’t be navigating the shoulder of a narrow curvy road, with quite a bit of automobile traffic.

While this is a good thought, there are insufficient riders to warrant buses, most of the day. What is needed is the Hummock Pond bike path, which has been in the pipeline for many years. The path would remove most bikes and walkers from the shoulder. Having lived out that way, I’m all too familiar with the problems along there. Dodging bikes, walkers and other drivers should become a thing of the past, once a path is in place.

Other than a couple of cool, cloudy days, our weather has been lovely. I’ve gone and spent a few afternoons lying on a beach, a rare treat for me. This is the sort of activity I could easily get used to.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space, and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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