Top State Court to Hear Appeal of Tribal Sovereignty Case

Signaling its own interest in a case which has attracted attention
around the country, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (SJC)
agreed this week to hear the Aquinnah court appeal over sovereign

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Aquinnah Reconvenes Town Meeting
Ian Fein

Aquinnah Reconvenes Town Meeting


Aquinnah voters this week will pick up where they left off one month
ago and reconvene their annual town meeting to try to adopt a balanced
town budget.

The original town meeting adjourned early on May 9 when it became
clear that a large contingent of voters were unhappy with the budget as
presented. This week's meeting, a continuation of the chaotic
first installment, will be held on Thursday at 7 p.m. in the old town

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Project Aims to Open Moshup Trail Vista
Ian Fein

The first time Carlos Montoya came to the Vineyard, he took a ride
up-Island and turned onto Moshup Trail - the unmistakable
three-mile length of road that hugs the western edge of the Island.

"Oh my god," Mr. Montoya said this month, recalling his
impression from that 1970 visit. "It was unbelievable."

Now a 10-year resident of Moshup Trail, he characterizes it as the
single most important stretch of land in Aquinnah. "It is simply
one of the most magical places," Mr. Montoya said.

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Town, Tribe Sign Historic Land Use Pact
Ian Fein

Town, Tribe Sign Historic Land Use Pact


At a characteristically informal event that was more potluck dinner
than Yalta Conference, town and tribe officials in Aquinnah this week
signed the intergovernmental land use agreement approved by town meeting
voters earlier this month.

About a dozen members of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah)
and a half-dozen town officials attended the signing ceremony at the
tribal headquarters on Tuesday evening.

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Bills Await as Aquinnah Stalls Special Town Meeting Again
Sam Bungey

There was a lot wrong with the warrant for an Aquinnah special town meeting planned for Feb. 3, but a posting error was the official cause for a last-minute cancellation.

The decision, made at the selectmen’s meeting Tuesday, further postpones votes on some $20,000 in town housekeeping measures outstanding since last fall, and action on a proposal from Ted Cammann and Jim Glavin of Chilmark to stage a seasonal performing arts program at the Aquinnah Cliffs.

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Moshup’s Treasure Needs Protection
Brendan O'Neill

The Legend of Moshup is an ancient creation story from the Wampanoag oral tradition. It tells of the giant Moshup, the personification of the immense forces of nature, deciding to settle here after a long journey, and dragging his foot to separate Martha’s Vineyard from the mainland and plow up the Cliffs of Gay Head. Scraps from his dinner table are the fossilized bones and teeth of ancient life forms found there.

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Affordable Housing Site Focus of Aquinnah Town Meeting
Remy Tumin

At a special town meeting this coming Tuesday night, Aquinnah voters will be asked to buy land for a new affordable housing site and approve a new tax amnesty program, among other things.

Moderator Michael Hebert will preside over the special session that begins at 7 p.m. in the old town hall. There are nine articles on the warrant.

The community preservation committee is asking voters to approve borrowing $240,000 to buy a 6.3-acre parcel of land at 45 State Road to be converted into either affordable homes or rental units.

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Aquinnah Town Meeting Sees Walter Delaney Give up Gavel
Megan Dooley

The Aquinnah selectmen expect a swift and easy special and annual town meeting on Tuesday, citing a noncontroversial warrant despite a long list of articles, and plenty of free cash to cover all the spending.

“I don’t see a single thing that’s controversial,” said selectman Camille Rose at Tuesday night’s selectmen meeting.

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Longtime Moderator Recalls Skunks, Bumps in Aquinnah
Megan Dooley

Longtime Aquinnah moderator Walter Delaney remembers, years ago, spotting an unexpected visitor sneak into a town meeting. It was a warm summer night, and he had just gaveled the meeting to a close when a skunk strolled through the front doors and settled in beneath a chair in the back of the room. Calmly, the moderator directed the other meeting attendees out the side door, careful not to alert them to their curious guest and spark a potentially smelly panic.

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