Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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There is no need for paid parking on our downtown streets. If Nantucket needs more income from people visiting the core district, a simpler solution is already in place. Keep the current regulations as they are. Police the area vigorously. Raise the fine for people that exceed the time limit. And, finally, tow vehicles once they’ve accrued a second violation in the same space.

This bad idea is similar to others proposed in recent years: the idea (quashed, thank goodness) of a rotary, excuse me, roundabout by the high school; a bike path through the Creeks, an environmentally sensitive area to say the least; and speed humps on Orange Street. They lasted a summer and now reside in a storage spot. I recall they cost a hefty chunk of change. Perhaps the town could have a yard sale and some private buyer could use them. We don’t need them and never did.

Let’s return to downtown parking for a moment. We know who the offenders are, when it comes to parking overtime. Employees and owners of businesses and real-estate folks move their cars all day long, while many of them accept tickets as the cost of doing business. If that’s the case, doing business as usual ought to help fill empty town coffers.

When owners of downtown businesses encourage employees to use NRTA buses during the summer season, many spaces would open up. Not only that, said employees wouldn’t need to exit the shop every hour or two to hunt for their next parking place. As it is, many people now skip going into town if possible. Some businesses are cutting their own throats by letting this parking place bingo continue.

Now that the NRTA buses are in the mix, why would they want to adopt a “mascot” and change their name? We all know who and what the NRTA is and does. They’re a local bus line and they perform a useful and beneficial service that too few people take advantage of. As for a mascot, why spend money for an unneeded item that would likely not add any new riders and confuse others. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Another bad idea that the voters have already said no to, and in a big way is a parking garage. The more I see of plans for Wilkes Square projects, the less I think of them. Few of us knew what the triangle on Washington Street was until a couple of years ago. Now, I wish we’d never heard of “improving” it. If it ain’t broke (and it wasn’t), don’t fix it.

That free wind energy we had hoped for in Nantucket Sound will cost at least double what we pay, using fossil fuels. I wouldn’t mind paying more for wind energy, but doing so while providing the developer a quarter of a billion-dollar profit (before a kilowatt is generated) doesn’t cut it for me. The only thing green about this project is the money Cape Wind will reap from consumers, in addition to federal tax credits (that’s all of us).

This has turned into a list of complaints, so, what’s one more? The windmill over on school land has turned into a fiasco. Why was the location changed? Supposedly, placing the structure by a cemetery was not to be. I have yet to hear a complaint from the residents (six feet under) concerning noise or the way it looks. Not so for the other neighbors.

It appears that we’ll be seeing a new sitcom with Nantucket in its title. “Naughty in Nantucket” is going to be a CBS comedy which is going to be every bit as much about our tiny pile of sand as “Wings” was. Now, there will be even more people thinking things about us that don’t exist.

These past few years we have all known people who have lost their house, or a job. For Mike Sturgis, the closing of Cinco is a loss of both. Cinco opened as the financial world came to a crashing halt and apparently it was too much to overcome. I wish Mike and Connie the best.
“Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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