Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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In last week’s column, I jokingly said that our weather would be springlike once May came around. After the quip, temperatures took a couple of steps backward and the wind followed suit. Lately, and for some days to come, we have reverted to early February. March is the “fooler” and though April Fool’s Day is tomorrow, this has become a very long, drawn-out joke.

There are signs of things to come. Trees are budding, along with birds winging their way north to these shores, not to mention more greenery showing itself. Soon there will be reopening and new births of local eateries. As with many people here, the Downyflake has been missed, but they’ll be open shortly. The restaurant out at the airport has been a fine fill-in, though I miss talking sports with Mark.

Town Meeting convenes Monday in the Nantucket High School auditorium. It’s sad that so many people either don’t attend, or there are many that cannot, because they’ve never bothered to register to vote. I am very pleased to see that many high-school students who are old enough have done so.
One line I use on people (to get them to be involved) is that it takes mere minutes to register and about the same amount of time to cast a ballot. It’s free. And, this gives you a chance to weigh in on things that impact the world you live in. This ploy rarely works. Too many people believe that their vote doesn’t count. It never will, if you don’t use it.

T.J. Malvesti will be moving on. As the senior chief at Coast Guard Station Brant Point, he will be missed by many. This is the nature of military life (I know, it’s the Department of Transportation). Every few years it’s time to pack up and go to the next posting. I met T.J. a few times and was on a committee with him. As with most in command, he is level headed and very sharp.

Chief Malvesti took over from Sheila Lucey, who was so taken with Nantucket that she left the Coast Guard to settle here. She is now the assistant harbormaster to another Coast Guard chief that was stationed here. I’d say the Coast Guard, aside from protecting and caring for local mariners, has continued to look over our waterfront in a most positive way. Thank you to all three chiefs. We have been more than lucky in this regard.

I was pleased to see last week’s editorial concerning the Dreamland Theater people asking for an extension to keep working on the exterior past June 15. My belief is even that date is too late. May 15 would be more appropriate. Even now, the area is a mess and once people begin to show up, this will be an accident(s) waiting to happen. They would need half a dozen guards, day and night to combat drunks walking by there at night and college kids, looking for mementos to hang in their dorms. Then, think about those Disneylanders who have no fear of heavy machinery, or huge trucks backing over them. Wouldn’t that make juicy headlines for off-island media sources?

I’ll never get tired of explaining why many decisions by town boards and committees don’t spring from common sense. The BOS are paid, but it’s a pittance and really doesn’t count as income. Other boards and committees truly are working for free. Many members are trying to help our community, but all have something in common: power.

If you attend any meetings and you want something to go your way, remember to let the members have their way. Resistance is futile. Object to them and you will not walk out of the meeting happy. It’s a stone-cold fact of life.

The HDC versus Land Bank kerfuffle is fascinating, to say the least. Both bodies are used to laying down the law. In this instance, neither has the upper hand nor will either budge. The BOS is deadlocked at 2-2 and can’t make the decision. I think the BOS needs to arbitrate this and all involved need to act like adults. Sorry, I got carried away. That will never happen. Again, we have an early April Fool’s Day.
– David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam appears regularly in this space and The Inquirer and Mirror

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