Sunday, May 21, 2017

How to Be Mindful Mowing the Lawn

So reads the headline in The New York Times.

And, yes, mowing can be zen-like and meditative. Row after row, acre after acre, and hour after hour. A sit-down riding mower and ear plugs help.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Yankees Beat Red Sox

New York Yankees 3, Boston Red Sox 1.

Happy 25th birthday, Aaron Judge, who homered on his first pitch at Fenway.

Right as rain.

The New Yorker ~ Mark Ulricksen

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Question #1 - Hard Liquor?

Voters in the Town of Tisbury on Martha's Vineyard will have the opportunity tonight to approve or deny the sale and consumption of hard liquor at its restaurants and inns. This may seem a very quaint notion, but the island's history of "dry" and "wet" towns goes back a long way, more than 300 years in some towns, and has ardent proponents and opponents. Tisbury had been a dry town for 188 years before voters approved the sale of wine and beer in 2010, by a margin of 881-747.

Chilmark Annual Town Meeting ~ Vineyard Gazette ~ Peter Simon
Yesterday, 273 voters in the island town of Chilmark held fast and voted down at its Annual Town Meeting its second proposal in two years to serve alcohol of any kind.

The Town of Tisbury presents its latest measure, Question #1, at its town meeting tonight. Vote for Question #1 signs are visible in many retail stores along Main Street in Tisbury's Vineyard Haven where a few shuttered store windows illustrate the difficulty some businesses have earning enough each year to pay rent and employee salaries and benefits, while earning enough profit to make it sustainable. Home goods and furnishings retailers like Carly Simon's Midnight Farm and Juliska, whose other location is in Stamford, CT, were the latest Main Street businesses to close last fall.
Town of Tisbury ~ Annual Town Meeting
Is serving hard liquor the answer? Proponents argue restaurants are anchors that attract people who then shop at other town businesses. Restaurant and inn owners say they're disadvantaged from earning the higher profit margins that alcohol affords owners in other island towns. Over the years, restaurants in dry towns have allowed customers to BYOB, charging corkage fees of up to $9 a bottle.

It's hard to argue against the economics and the pace of "progress."

Unless, of course, you consider the unintended consequences and the inherent virtue of leaving things just as they are. Such are the island forces mobilizing to appeal the recent decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit to grant the island's Wampanoag tribe the right to build and operate a gambling casino in Aquinnah, formerly known as Gay Head.

Addendum: The vote on Question 1 was held Tuesday, May 9. 37% of registered voters turned out and the referendum passed 769 to 475.