Islander's Blog

Goodman’s Gam

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The Sconset Beach Preservation Fund is back again. These are a number of well-heeled owners of houses perched on the bluff up along Baxter Road. Over thousands of years, sand has accreted and eroded from the shores of our benighted sand bar. Now, some folks out on the bluff have (once again) decided that they are going to attempt to stop erosion below their homesteads.

Let’s rehash what’s come before this most recent try to thwart Mother Nature. First, they tried a “dewatering system.” Besides tearing great gouges into the beach they said they were trying to save, it didn’t work. It may have caused more damage in the end. They like to say it worked, but then when it didn’t they had a number of excuses for why it failed. The pumps failed, there was a storm, the waves ate my homework, etc. When it was over, stalks of metal pipes were left in place for years.

Later on, the next idea was terracing along the bluff. Along came a storm and pieces of lumber and netting were scattered all over the island, not to mention some that ended up out in the shipping lanes. It took months for the SBPF people to pick up the remaining remnants. The best thing about that fiasco was that many islanders were able to use the lumber fixing up their own homes. I like to call it the “Robin Hood” effect.

Back they’ve come with their latest idea. Marine mattresses, rocks, anchors into the dunes and other accouterments that sound really neat, until you realize that this is more of the same hogwash they’ve been feeding us for years. This will not work in the long run, and in the short term, our beaches will undergo major surgery for nothing more than a Band-Aid. We already voted against this ridiculous idea years ago at Town Meeting.

And now, for the ongoing story “As the Nantucket Airport Turns.” By gosh those Airport Commissioners are getting tough. They had a meeting on Tuesday (after I wrote this column) to straighten out some of what they created. I’d like to call it “We’re Closing the Barn Door, Now.”

Then there’s the airport commissioner (travel agent) that sold the airport tickets to travel all over the country. They say that very little, if any money was made by the travel agent/commissioner from these sales, but that isn’t the point. Even if they lost money on the tickets, it leaves the perception of dirty dealings. I have to wonder what’s next in this affair.

People out Surfside way are plenty fried about what took place out in their neighborhood over the July 4 weekend. Too many bodies, too much alcohol and a mountain of litter left on the beach. Now, they filed a petition to see what can be done to control the situation in future years. This past year the police allowed those who were old enough to carry alcohol onto the beach.

I’m no crowd-control expert, but here’s a simple solution to the litter and over-drinking that takes place there. Since we have regulations against public drinking, have police confiscate all beer, wine and booze as people try to bring it on the beach. Have a couple of Dumpsters right there to toss the hooch into. Should large crowds congregate, that’s fine. Have a nice day on the beach and celebrate at home, or in a bar.

We have had a wet August this year. Those days when there wasn’t rain, it was beautiful. It would be nice to see the rest of this month and September is perfect. Don’t we deserve it?

In the summertime, our Board of Selectmen meets but every other week. I’ve heard complaints from some citizens about this. My take is that by having fewer meetings, there aren’t as many things they can mess up. Less is more.
David Goodman’s “Goodman’s Gam” appears weekly in this space and regularly in The Inquirer and Mirror

One Response to “Goodman’s Gam”

  1. Janet Duke Says:

    Great column.

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