Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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I feel pretty good about myself at this point in early 2011. The first thing is that I have yet to write the wrong date on any checks issued so far this month. The second thing is that I remembered to put the orange sticker on my license plate. Usually, a policeman has to remind me to do so.

The spring political season has begun and several people have taken out papers for town offices. My sole comment is to say how happy I am to see that the town moderator is running once again. Sarah Alger only works a few weeks per year at this job, is paid (at the most) a dollar an hour and absorbs more garbage than most elected officials.

Downtown is in some way quieter than it has been for 30 years. There is more activity in the mid-island section of Nantucket. One reason for this, and I’m not spilling anything new, is because there wasn’t much three decades back to attract people to the mid-island, other than the Finast. Now, town is practically deserted in the off-season and in the peak season, few islanders are to be found in those environs. I’m not counting the people working there.

The winter demise of downtown makes sense, though I wish it didn’t. Other than the banks, insurance and real estate brokers, and a few other niche stores, there isn’t much to hold folks’ attention on a daily basis. There are a few hundred dinosaurs (like me) who refuse to get an out of town post-office box, or go to an out of town pharmacy. Our sole public library is right in the center of downtown.

We’re now watching town offices moving out of town. The police station will for the most part be at Fairgrounds Road and it’s likely that the Board of Selectmen will hold “test” meetings in the community space at the new police station. I believe that keeping as much town business in the core district is essential to having a viable year-round community. We need more, not less businesses and government offices in the Main Street area. At least one landlord has raised the rents so high, that most if not all year-round merchants are priced out of the market.

I’m pleased to see that the discord on the BOS hasn’t died after the new year. Wouldn’t we all be surprised if the five-person board buried the hatchet? Instead of trying to dump all over other members, what if they paid attention to why they’re supposed to be doing? The title “public servant” doesn’t mean trying to rack up points for a finite group. What are needed are smart people, seeking to serve. I miss Matt Fee.

What took place in Tucson over the past weekend was horrendous. As a gun owner and lifelong hunter, I enjoy shooting. A gun is a tool that in the right hands is perfectly safe. Unfortunately, in this country, there are states that make obtaining a gun too easy.

I don’t mind having to wait 30 days to get permission to buy a firearm. Anyone who needs a gun that quickly worries me, as hunters buy well in advance of the season. We all know people that seem unsteady, mentally. Would you want them to own a gun? Yeah, yeah, we know people like that who already have gun(s).

Get ready for a tremendous Sunday, watching the Patriots trying to make it two in a row against the New York Jets. Given the finesse the team is showing, this ought to be a great game. Tom Brady is playing at a level that’s not to be believed.
– Goodman’s Gam appears weekly in this space and periodically in The Inquirer and Mirror.

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