From the Vineyard Gazette editions of July, 1970:
The preliminary census report released this week indicates that there are 318 fewer Dukes County residents this year than there were a decade ago. In 1960, the revised and corrected federal census of the county disclosed that there were 5,829 inhabitants of the Vineyard and Gosnold. This year’s first census report lists a population of 5,511. The 1970 figure is an initial one and subject to change.
The tax rate in Edgartown has leaped to $64 per thousand valuation for this year, from last year’s pleasant $47. Although the assessors were able to add nearly a million dollars in new valuation this year, it only partially offset the increased spending. Some of the outstanding expenditures at the annual meeting to be raised by taxation were the purchase of the Lighthouse Beach, $23,000; the purchase of a site for a sewage plant, $29,000; and funds attending the reconstruction of the Edgartown-Vineyard Haven Road, $10,000. The Edgartown School appropriation was up $39,000 this year, and the Regional High School appropriation was up $20,000.
“The board of selectman of the town of Tisbury have refrained from entering into any debate, either written or verbal, over the dredging to the entrance of Lake Tashmoo. We feel that since recent developments of letters and editorials, especially in the Boston papers, the board should make a statement to correct misinformation. The controversial dredging proposal for the opening of Lake Tashmoo entails no plans . . . to alter Tashmoo in order to make it a marina.”
Estimates are that there are or have been 15,000 young people, 18 to 24, on the Vineyard, and 3,000 of them — even though many of them don’t want to be — are jobless. A considerable number of these have been laid off in recent weeks, as hotelkeepers and restaurant proprietors find that guests and customers they expected simply are not coming. The Fourth of July weekend is being described as a “bummer.”
Twenty nine defendants were arraigned in district court yesterday on the same charge that 32 others had been some weeks ago, trespassing. As with the other 32, these defendants came from all over the country.
Shots were fired by police in West Tisbury Tuesday evening as three campers, allegedly trespassing, were routed out of the woods at the end of Music street by a combined force of West Tisbury and Chilmark police, and the Natural Resources officer. The shots apparently were part of a new “get-tough policy” that seeks to discourage young people from coming to the Island without advance acommodations and then camping on beaches and in woods without the owners’ permission.
It’s too bad, it’s regrettable and perhaps stronger expressions may be used, but the season has already progressed far enough to demonstrate that such traditional Island gatherings as the fireworks, Fourth of July parade, and Illumination cannot be held in the spirit that made them fun or that gave them character and meaning. Most Vineyarders feel that they must be suspended for a while. Exploitation moved in a summer or two ago bringing overcrowding, disorder and commercialization that can only blight and destroy.
Now we have so great a gathering on the Island of the footloose young, ragged and unkempt, forming a society or an anti-society of their own, that when they come crowding into narrow streets and limited space designed long ago with other purposes in view, their aggregate presence is overpowering.
Many of the 23 young people involved in the third great drug use round-up on the Island have been attending drug clinics on an “unofficial probation” by arrangement with the district court.
State Senator Allan F. Jones, serving the district that includes the Vineyard, will not run for re-election when his term expires this year. Senator Jones made it clear that he has enjoyed serving his district, and that it had been a worthwhile and rewarding experience. His reason for leaving office is his many business interests. Those business interests include, on the Vineyard, part ownership of the Harbor View Hotel and Norton and Easterbrooks Inc.
As was expected, Dr. Jonathan M. Daube has been confirmed to serve as superintendent of the Island schools. Dr. Daube is 32 years old and succeeds Charles E. Downs, who has served for 12 years in the post. Dr. Daube, who was a Senior Lecturer of Education at the University of Malawi at Limbe, Malawi, was formerly assistant to the superintendent of the Newton school system.
Menemsha gets more upscale every day. Recently Nancy Nitchie reported spotting an ad tacked up outside the Bite offering a $3,000 bassoon for sale and listing a phone number in Mystic, Conn. One hopes the seller got to sail over to place his ad in our obviously more economically promising part of the world!
Compiled by Alison L. Mead