Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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We had a few days of summer last week, before May weather moved back in. Had there been some cooler days, with a smattering of rain taking place, no one would have batted an eyelash. In this case, people had their hopes raised high by July-like temperatures, perfect blue skies and little wind. As the weekend rolled in, clouds, rain (torrential in some cases) and a 20-degree drop on local thermometers took the starch out of the most optimistic Nantucketers.

Having gone through a spring that never really happened we had to figure summer, once it took hold, would allow us to plead amnesia regarding the past three months. Not so. Now, the recent gloomy weather has made us look over our shoulders and wonder when summer will stay longer than a handful of days.

As we enjoyed those beautiful days, I was up late after watching the Bruins versus Vancouver playoff game. When I turned off the television and then the lights, a flash outside caught my eye. There were a half-dozen fireflies in our back yard. Seeing them made my evening. Well, that and a Bruins win.

The crowds haven’t reached peak saturation as of yet. Judging from traffic flow, or should I say the lack of vehicle movement at times, this might be our worst driving season to date. The usual intersections have become badly clogged in early morning and late afternoon. Four Corners is especially tough, as is Five Corners, the roundabout and the Rotary. Downtown is jam-packed, with the exception of beach days, once the noon rush has passed.

Many people living here have found that the best way to get around traffic problems is to do errands when fewer others are out and about. Shopping for your groceries, doing laundry or visiting other businesses early in the morning is a fine way to avoid the crush. I have found that buying groceries after the dinner hour is a simple cure for dealing with too many vehicles, or the bodies contained in them.

Some Board of Selectmen members are open to the idea of what they’re calling “valet parking.” This doesn’t strike me as much different as using the “Wave” shuttle buses to access downtown. Having parking lots where people could leave their car and then be ferried into town is unlikely to succeed. Those with cars are going to drive to their destination. They don’t want to wait for a bus or van to pick them up. As said earlier, the “Wave” already is serving the purpose and far too few people avail themselves of that service.

I wish that wasn’t the scenario. Some of the high-end hotels use vans to bring their customers in to downtown. That’s another story, as these are people who don’t have a vehicle and have little choice as to how to get around the island on their own.

One solution to help alleviate some of the parking problems would be for downtown merchants and restaurants to present coupons for discounts in their establishments. These could come in the form of “Wave” tickets. This may or may not work, but it would be simple to implement and cost virtually nothing.

I’m writing this column prior to the vote on Tuesday’s override questions. The mosquito debate is one of those things where almost everyone I’ve spoken to thinks that a $100,000 outlay is going to help eradicate the nasty little insects. It won’t do any such thing. The money would be to study the problem and come up with a plan for the future.
If anyone believes that helping wipe out mosquitoes could be affected by a six-figure plan they’re fantasizing. Given the present local, state and federal regulations, a fix could cost millions of dollars. That wouldn’t be a one-time fix. Few voters have taken the time to carefully examine the upshot of what this study could cost us in the long run.

We have mosquitoes and have always lived with them. I have never lived, or visited, anywhere that didn’t have a mosquito problem. I remember when they used to spray DDT at will. Sure, it killed them; and they came back each year to bother us.

The Kelly Culkins West Walk for the Marla Lamb Cancer Travel Fund takes place this Saturday, June 18th. The walk begins at Faregrounds Restaurant, goes out to Surfside and then back to Faregrounds, where there will be a cookout. Money raised helps provide transportation for cancer patients to and from their medical appointments on the mainland.

Living here makes it expensive to leave the island. Dealing with pain and chemotherapy is more than enough for any one person to deal with. You may sign up from 10-11 a.m. at Faregrounds. The walk begins at 11 am. Please donate as much as you can, as this benefits our local friends and neighbors. A $10 donation is expected if you are attending the cookout and not walking.

I have far too much experience with cancer. My great grandmother, grandmother and sister all had breast cancer. All three overcame that, but succumbed to other types of the disease years later. I doubt there are many of you that haven’t been touched by cancer in your family, friends or acquaintances. Please support the walk.
 David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

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