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I have waited for weeks to see the windmill at Nantucket High School begin to turn in the breeze. Last weekend while heading home from grocery shopping, there it was. I turned to drive up behind the school. Coming up alongside the windmill, two things leaped out at me. First, there were dozens of kids playing right below the turbine, and second, how little noise was being (no pun intended) generated as the blades whirled around.
The proximity of the blades to so many kids running about brought home thoughts of the Bartlett’s Farm generator and its wayward contraption. It made me think that location, location, location is the key here. I wouldn’t have thought twice about the kids, had the high-school whirligig been placed down by the cemetery.
If there ever is an accident, it would take place right next to the high school and many students that are in the area daily. Somebody moved the oversized whirligig from down by the cemetery, and placed it up against the school. Now its original spot is a school-bus parking lot. Somebody tell me this is a good substitution, both visually and from the safety of Nantucket’s children. I am all for windmills, as long as they are in the proper location, whether in Nantucket Sound or in the schoolyard.
For the past few weeks, downtown Nantucket streets have been positively barren. Most days, it’s a simple task to find a parking space anywhere one looks. Unless you travel back in time to the late 1970s, I can’t remember seeing so few vehicles and pedestrians out and about in the middle of most days.
You could blame the paucity of people downtown on the slow economy, but from what I see and hear there appears to be more construction going on this fall and winter than the last couple years. I hear workers complain that they don’t have as much work as in the past. On the other side, many more guys I know have sufficient work for themselves and their crews. Other carpenters and craftsmen with years of experience seem to be working steadily.
I certainly don’t believe we’re out of the woods, yet things are looking up. I’m seeing more worksites with various subcontractors scurrying about. The one thing that could hurt this scenario is the scarcity of scallops. That will mean there are going to be fishermen without work on the water who will now be looking for labor on the land.
Over the past few weeks I’ve noticed downtown businesses that sweep or rake trash and leaves from their sidewalks into the adjacent street(s). I believe this is called littering. It shows a bad attitude and is deserving of a warning, or a summons.
Next up, cleaning snow and ice up in front of stores and homes in the core district as we get further into winter. Thank you to people that take the time to make sidewalks safe when they’re slippery. To those who don’t, think of the many senior citizens trying to walk while dealing with sidewalks that are challenging when dry, not to mention when there’s clotted snow and chunks of ice to deal with.
As of today, we have endured a week of rainy, damp, gray, windy weather. Going forth from today (Thursday) the weekend is supposed to be bright and wonderful. I hope so, as this continual dreary weather is making me feel that the price we are paying for a nearly-perfect summer has come due.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space, and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror