From Gazette editions of December 1986:
The Vineyard may only wonder — perhaps despair is a better word — at the insanity of yet another collision over the future of Georges Bank.
We are talking about the richest fishing ground in the world, a ground already in serious trouble, with catches sharply down and a domestic fishing industry belly up, the way fish float after a kill. Georges Bank is the lifeblood of the domestic fishing industry and that industry and the Vineyard and the rest of New England are synonymous. We are talking about giant oil companies and a renewed interest in Georges Bank waters they consider their playground for exploratory drilling.
By their most optimistic estimates, the experts agree the oil companies, if they strike it rich, will find only enough gas and oil on the fishing grounds of Georges Bank to fuel this nation for 25 days. Georges Bank has fed this nation and many others for centuries and will continue to do so only if these fisheries, an international treasure, are managed properly. The food of these waters is not a disposable resource to be replaced once it is destroyed.
All drilling on the Bank must stop.
Watch out, Island press. There’s a new newspaper on the streets of Edgartown, and it’s must reading for every family with kids in the Edgartown School.
The Eagle is reported, written, edited and published by a small group of Edgartown School students. The Eagle is flashy, savvy and jam-packed with 10 pages of news, entertainment, photographs and $200 worth of local advertising.
Doris Dufour, the faculty advisor, says the staff members were chosen from the sixth, seventh and eighth grades by a committee of teachers. “The students had to prove to me that they could write, be scrappy and go after the news and be easy to get along with,” she says.
Publisher Patrick Dougherty admits the kindergartner interviews were not easy to get. “We had to go back 10 times. It was tough.”
Getting teachers to talk, however, and as one reporter hinted, to stop talking, was another story.
The Edgartown conservation commission will hear comment from the public and accept proposals for the future of Katama Farm at a meeting on Monday. The conservation commission is landlord for the town-owned 190 acres, former site of Seaside Dairy, where farmer Stephen Potter recently closed the cheese processing and milk-production business. One written plea for a dairy and cheese operation has come in so far, and commission members say they have received phone calls from interested parties who intend to offer proposals for the best use of the property.
In their formal proposal, Caleb Williams and David Griffiths, two off-Island organic dairy farmers with background in cheese production, say they wish to convert Katama Farm into a “diversified organic dairy farm.”
The proposal states: “Extensive improvements are planned. The manure pit will be eliminated. Landscaping of the farmstead will be begun. Bottling of milk and cheesemaking will continue. In addition to cheddar cheese, fine European style cheeses will be made. Other Island farmers will have the opportunity to have their milk processed at Katama Farm. Access will be made for walkers, joggers, hunters, cross-country skiing. School children would be encouraged to visit the farm. regular meetings with the public are proposed.”
Edgartown selectmen voted unanimously to welcome Universal Studios to film parts of Jaws ‘87 for a few days this winter. Frank Baur, the film’s producer and production manager, spoke at length with selectmen to allay official fears that the 1987 extravaganza will resemble those of 1974 and 1977 when Universal Studios film crews clashed frequently with officials over town rules and regulations.
“In the over 40 years that I have been an assistant director and production manager, I have always gone to the authorities and told them what we are going to do, asked them for their cooperation and I always tell property owners I will leave their property cleaner than I found it,” said Mr. Baur. “When I heard there were some mistakes with Jaws and Jaws II — I am very distraught that anyone would act in a destructive way.”
Fred B. Morgan Jr., the Edgartown selectman who voiced the most concern at the prospect of another film crew in Edgartown, said: “It seems to me I’ve heard that song before. I was hoping the town would never again hear from Universal Studios.” Selectman Thomas Durawa, who was not in town during previous filming, offered an upbeat assessment of the proposal: “I’m looking forward to it. February is pretty slow around here,” he said.
Compiled by Cynthia Meisner