Mark Alan Lovewell
One of the rarest creatures on the earth, the endangered right whale, was seen near the Vineyard Tuesday.
Right whales
National Marine Fisheries Service



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.


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.


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.

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.


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.


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.