Solar Thermal Pool Heating Proposal Draws Mixed Review

Local pool builders, contractors and Chilmark selectmen showed up to a public hearing of the planning board Monday afternoon to discuss a proposed amendment to town zoning bylaws.

The amendment would require heated swimming pools built in the town to use solar thermal heating systems as the primary source of energy to heat that pool. The planning board hopes to put the amendment on the warrant for an Oct. 29 special town meeting.

Vineyard Haven Library Series Shows Many Ways to Save Energy

Going green has become a passion for Betty Burton, the adult programming coordinator at the Vineyard Haven Library. When asked where her interest came from Ms. Burton laughed, saying, “I was a child of the 70s, first of all.” She started composting when her children were growing up. Now she and her family have given up meat in favor of living on locally-grown produce, including foods from her own backyard. “It’s very important to me. We have a very small house. We grow our own vegetables,” Ms. Burton said.

Let Them Eat Cake at Long Point as Trustees Celebrate 100th Site

On Sept. 30 The Trustees of Reservations announced a significant milestone: the opening of its 100th reservation, Cormier Woods in Uxbridge. The opening celebration at the new reservation will take place on Oct. 18.

As well as a special celebration planned at Cormier Woods, including a ribbon cutting, ranger-led walks and live folk music, The Trustees will mark the 100th reservation with local celebrations around the state throughout the month of October.

Energy Project Names New Director

The Vineyard Energy Project announced this week that it has named David McGlinchey as its new executive director. He takes the helm from Kate Warner, who founded the nonprofit energy project in 2003 with a broad mission of outreach, education and energy development.

Conservation Society Will Hold Walk at Crow Hollow Farm

As a part of the Vineyard Conservation Society’s Clean Water Initiative in partnership with the Massachusetts Environmental Trust, this season’s program will focus on the health of Vineyard waters. On Sunday Nov. 9, Islanders of all ages are invited to the come to Crow Hollow Farm (located off of New Lane in West Tisbury). This family-friendly walk will proceed around the farm and out to the pretty Pear Tree Point on the Tisbury Great Pond. Participants and kids will have the chance to meet and learn about the ponies, land and water.

Senator Robert A. O’Leary Winner of Audubon Award

Cape and Islands Sen. Robert A. O’Leary was recognized with a legislative leadership award by Mass Audubon on Nov. 6 for his role in the passage of the Oceans Act, an ocean management plan to protect fisheries and sensitive marine habitats, as well as promote responsible development of renewable energy.

$200,000 Grant Awarded To Polly Hill Arboretum

The Polly Hill Arboretum has received a grant of $200,000 from the Foundation Franklinia for 2009. The grant includes $100,000 toward the arboretum’s seeds for the future capital campaign endowment and $100,000 toward operating costs in support of the living collection.

Energy Savings Available for Vineyard Farmers

Farmers across Massachusetts who are interested in becoming more energy efficient are invited to apply for a new audits and incentives program offered by the Massachusetts Farm Energy Program. The program will provide energy audits, renewable energy assessments and financial incentives for implementation of audit recommendations, including those recommended by public utility programs.

Conservation Tax Law Has Few Takers on the Vineyard

About 130 acres of land on the Vineyard was permanently protected from development under new conservation restrictions in 2007, according to state government figures.

The relatively disappointing result was in spite of generous tax incentives — which expired at year’s end — and in sharp contrast to figures for the state as a whole.

Statewide, 266 new conservation restrictions, covering a total area of 11,200 acres were signed off by the secretary of the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, Ian Bowles.

Land Bank Monies Fall Slightly as Market Slows

In a clear sign of a cooling real estate market here, revenues at the Martha’s Vineyard Land Bank fell in 2007 for the second straight calendar year. The total number of real estate transactions also was down last year, for the third year in a row.

The land bank collected $10.9 million in revenues in 2007, compared with $11.6 million in 2006, a drop of seven per cent.

And the land bank recorded 1,403 real estate transactions in 2007, a drop of five per cent from the previous year, when 1,474 transactions were recorded.

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