For the past few summers, staying connected to the outside world, the availability ofhigh-speed Internet and cell phone coverage has been a bigdiscussion topic wheneverChappy residents get together. Just how far do the digital subscriber lines (DSL) extend, what phone numbers have access, and why does your neighbor have DSL and you are told it is unavailable at your location? Where is there good cell phone coverage?

Many of us started with dial-up access to the Internet and that worked just fine — in the beginning. Then came DSL, Wi-Fi at the community center and, for some, even satellite access. We now hear that cable may be on the way. Some of us are never satisfied with our connection speed, no matter how much it has improved over the years. Others wish it were possible to get away from the technology that keeps us wired 24/7. But the need to be con nected is the new reality, be it for business, social, or other reasons.

One of the ways we stay connected socially in August are the charitable events that take place. On Tuesday, August 12 at 6:30 p.m., the Friends of the Edgartown Library will present an internationally acclaimed program of Japanese storytelling with koto music accompaniment on the library lawn. Storyteller and award-winning author Patty Christiena Willis and composer and koto player Mary Lou Prince will present: The Bear Story, accompanied by a Japanese harp. Patty and Mary Lou lived and performed collaboratively in Japan for many years. Patty’s book, The Village Above the Stars, has won national awards in Japan. The public should bring blankets or lawn chairs. In the event of rain, the production will be moved to the Anchors Council on Aging on Daggett street.

On Thursday, August 14 at 7 p.m. the Friends of the Library will host an open house at the library to provide a summer update to the public about the library capital campaign. Refreshments will be provided.

Every year, Sigma Phi Epsilon raises money for the Youth AIDS Foundation. The charity helps prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS in third world countries by focusing on youth education in countries which are particularly vulnerable. To help raise money this year, Barton Phinney is hosting a pasta dinner at the community center on Wednesday, August 13 at 6 p.m., prior to the ice cream social. The pasta, salad, and bread are being provided by Lattanzi’s with beverages also included. The cost of the dinner is $10 with tickets sold at the door.

A few reminders about upcoming events at the center: Voting for the 2009 Chappy calendar photos concludes tomorrow, the Farmers’ Market continues on Wednesday afternoons, and a Skunkabout with Luanne Johnson will be held Friday, August 15.

The Skunkabout program is for children 10 and older and will allow them to study the habitat of skunks. Please call Margaret at the center at 508-627-8222 for more information or to register for this event.

The Friday Foreign Film series continues this evening at 8 p.m. with the Norwegian film Cool and Crazy. The men in the village of economically struggling Berlevag, Norway, have three choices: fish, sing or leave. In this documentary, we get an inside look at the men of the Berlevag Male Choir (who range in age from early 20s to the choir’s elder statesman in his mid-90s), as we follow their rehearsals and performances in their hometown and in Murmansk, Russia.

The cinematography is beautiful. If you like to get a genuine feel for life in another country and culture, you’ll love this film.

At the annual meeting of the Chappaquiddick Community Center last week, the following board members were elected: Daryl Knight, president, Sydney Bath, vice president, Joanne Gosser, secretary, Sue Geresy, treasurer. Additional board members are Sharlee Livingston, Mary Spencer, Susie Lindenberg, and Flo Johnson. My tenure as a board member has ended after two years as the director and six years on the board. But like many other Chappy volunteers, I will continue to support this worthy organization. It will just be in a differentcapacity. 

The Chappaquiddick Island Association will be having their August meeting tomorrow, Saturday, August 9 beginning with a coffee hour at 8 a.m. The meeting is scheduled from 9 to 10:30 a.m. with speakers Dr. Jeffrey Zack of the Martha’s Vineyard Hospital who will speak about tick-borne illnesses, Jo-Anne Taylor of the Martha’s Vineyard Commission who will give an update on the breach, and Terry Forde who will give an update on Comcast. Watch for September hazardous materials pick-up dates.

Chappaquiddick was once again well represented at the All Island Art Show. Among those taking home ribbons were Laura Jemison, Sharon McCann Daly and Bobby Fitzgerald.

Annie Heywood will be exhibiting at Featherstone in a teacher and student exhibition while Kevin Keady will be performing at Featherstone Monday evening, August 11.

It is with sadness I report the death of Bea Self on Thursday, July 31. From 1945 until 1964, Bea and Ed Self summered at their home near the Cape Pogue lighthouse. From 1964 until the present Bea lived at her home Cove Meadow, also on Cape Pogue. Bea was the last surviving member of the CWEMPT (Chappy Women’s Early Morning Paddle Tennis Association) that played regularly at the Chappaquiddick Beach Club. Bea is survived by her son Win Self, daughters Karen Osler and Judy Murphy and her grandchildren.

Get-well wishes go out to Dr. Joe Murray who is hospitalized at Mass. General, recovering from an illness.

Yes, I too sometimes bemoan, the cell phone, Blackberry, and computer world we live in today. But were it not for the computer and Internet access, I would not have been able to write a column this week as I am in Florida, having returned my granddaughter Emma Tilghman to her parents, her sister Lily, and her new baby sister, Mary.