Vineyard Vibe
  1. My “Aha” Moment (Thank you Oprah!)

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    Many people wonder what motivates a person to pack up their life, sell their home and go live on an island full time. For me this picture dramatically illustrates my motivation…

    At 29 I had managed to work my way up to a great position in an exciting Fortune 500 computer company only to realize that (at the end of the day) the only reason I was working was for the paycheck. It was an exciting time to be in the technology field (before personal computers), to work with some really talented Harvard MBA’s and enjoy the rather relaxed and fun corporate culture.  However, the 65+ hour work weeks, 2 hour commute and lack of (what I could technically call) a life finally took its toll.The following explains my “Ah Ha” moment!

  2. Martha’s Vineyard Dreamin’

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    by seaWhile waiting to board the next boat back to the mainland after a truly magical stay here on the island, ever wonder what it would be like to be able to live here and instead commute to work? For those with professions that would enable telecommuting it really isn’t that farfetched a concept and over the years more and more people are doing just that. However, for those who actually have to be at work it is a bit more complicated, can be done – but does have some challenges especially for those with families.

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    Category: News

  3. Green Tip! – Does Your Deck Pose A Health Threat?

    All Decked OutDeck_Yard_-_Patios_vs_Decks_F6_1Mb

    Getting your deck ready for summer entails more than cleaning the furniture and planting flowers. Here are some considerations:
    1. Pre-2004 decks: According to Consumer Reports, if your deck was built before 2004, it could be constructed with lumber treated with chromated copper arsenate (CCA). CCA is a chemical preservative that was used to protect wood from things like dry rot, molds, and termites. But its arsenic, chromium, and copper content poses a health risk.
    2. CCA Options. You could remove and replace a deck with treated lumber or refinish it and seal in the toxins. Consider hiring a professional who has experience handling the wood and the sealants safely.
    Tip: Don’t chip, mulch or burn CCA-treated wood, don’t inhale sawdust from treated wood, and wash your hands after handling it. More safety information at EPA.gov.
    3. Inspections. According to the American Society of Home Inspectors, most deck collapses are caused by poor construction and age. Confirm that your porch or deck is safe and meets your local building code by hiring an inspector. Find one at HomeInspector.org.

    Also see, “A Deck Built to Fail”:

    4. DIY safety. The North American Deck and Railing Association offers some DIY resources to help you assess the safety of your deck or porch.
    Consult the NADRA site for a complete list of things to check. Here are just some key areas to inspect:

    Railings
    • Is the handrail height 34″-38″?
    • Is the handrail graspable?
    • Are railing or handrails firmly in place?
    • Are there any visible signs of red rust on fasteners or connectors?

    Ledger boards

    The ledger board is the spot where the deck attaches to the house. Improper connections are a common cause of deck collapses.
    Tip: The ledger board should not be fastened just with nails.

    Wood decay.

    Be sure the wood is sound. Check where the deck attaches to the house, support posts, the joists underneath the deck, and deck boards and stairs. Signs of decay include being able to easily insert a screwdriver ¼ to ½ an inch into the wood and being able to break off slivers of wood without seeing splinters. Spongy wood is also a bad sign.

    Support posts.

    Be sure the connections are tight between support posts and beams under the deck.

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    Category: News

  4. Our Green Tip of the Month!

    Green Certified Broker

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    “Inch Pebbles” and Facing Green Challenges!Inch Pebbles

     

    With all the buzz around utility bills and energy efficiency, it can be easy to lose sight of all the benefits of a greener lifestyle. Maybe you’re already living a bit greener? Don’t make the latest FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) be linked to an over whelmed feeling about sustainability. Sure, there’s a lot out there, but you can tackle challenges one at a time.

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    Category: News

  5. We’ve Gone Mobile!!! So Why Should You Care?

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    After a year of planning, we are pleased to announce that Kelleher Real Estate is one of the first agencies on Martha’s Vineyard to create a mobile website. Finding  a vendor that could actually create a “true” mobile site (as it turns out) was not an easy task. Having such a small MLS database (ie LINK) with only a little over a hundred subscribers did not represent a lucrative enough financial windfall for most companies; however, after 10 months of researching we did find one and are very pleased with the platform they have created for our site. What Does This Mean To You as a Buyer or Seller?

  6. The Delicate Dance

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    For the most part, the Vineyard faired far better than many of our coastal neighbors this winter in terms of damage to life and property. However visitors to our shores this summer will be startled to see how the high winds and “astronomical” high tides battered some of our most coveted Vineyard landscapes. Beginning in Vineyard Haven with the on-going flooding of State Road and Five corners along to East Chop Drive which was washed out and closed for weeks. While not a new occurrence in their area, homeowners on the tip of Wasque Point on Chappy watched as their multi-million dollar investment teetered on the brink of falling into the sea and are now faced with the enormous, expensive and controversial task of remedying the situation.

    While to the delight of the South Beach devotees who will see very little change in their beloved beach, sadly such is not the case for our friends up on the South Shore in  Chilmark. While those on the water on the south shore expect anywhere from a minimum of 1’ – 5’ of erosion in any one year, this year in some areas they have seen as many as  10 feet from one storm threatening waterfront property and in some cases requiring owner’s to tear down their homes.

    Photo by Peter Simon for Vineyard Gazette

    When visiting Lucy Vincent, visitors will see huge swaths of cliffs gone with some sadly pared down to display layers of clay that should have been protected from the elements for decades to come. This altered landscape will forever alter the shoreline thus leaving less room for sunbathing and beach walkers might find they need to now  take circuitous routes in and out of the water to get around the newly transformed shoreline.

    As a community this startling change in the weather patterns (and their impact on our coastlines) has brought to the forefront issues that some environmentalists here have been monitoring and warning us about for years. However the extent to which this problem has escalated this past winter now involves a lot more than just the conservationists and engineers working in a bubble taking measurements and coming up with systems to slow the erosion. Now there is collateral damage. People’s homes and thus investments are being devoured by the sea, tide and winds.

    We are not only faced with the task of attempting to maintain our beautiful beaches and shorelines but our leaders must also play  God and decide which houses can stay and which must go. They have to assess the dangers to our fragile eco-system and decide just how much of a compromise will be acceptable to allow homeowners to over-ride our existing conservation restrictions pertaining to freshwater wetlands to reposition and move their homes to alternate sites on their lots. This is not an enviable position to be in and as a community we must do what we can to support the conservation  groups working on our behalf and hope that they are making the right decisions.  An error in judgment could result in irreversible damage to our treasured coastline and ecosystem and could ultimately have economic ramifications here as well. Unlike any other challenge this island has faced in recent years, this is clearly among the most critical because we have the most to lose.

    Photo by Ray Ewing for Vineyard Gazette

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  7. Commentary – Dreaming of a Better Democracy

    Dreaming of a Better Democracy
     
     
    Here Is the Solution to the Problems with Washington – reprinted from my letter to  the MVTIMES.COM

    To the Editor:

    I had a dream last night that our democracy today looked like our forefathers intended – a government run “for the people, by the people.” In my dream, it was a time where our elected officials were selfless, hardworking individuals who (due to the new voting rules) were able to work together as one cohesive body, because their only role in Congress was to educate themselves on the bills and resolutions coming up and to then advise their constituents accordingly.

    In this dream, there were no political parties, and our representatives (including the president) were no longer influenced by the dogma of a particular party, lobbyists, or their own self-interests for re-election. Their vote could not be bought or sold because they no longer owned it. In reality, our vote is truly the most valued right we have as citizens, and we have seen that too many times the people we have entrusted with this treasure abuse it and use it for their own purposes instead of ours. This is not to say that there aren’t some good intentioned and honest members of congress left (aka Scott Brown), but sadly the culture that is now Washington makes it impossible for even good people to be able to truly make a difference anymore.

    In my dream, once elected, our representatives (using all of the latest technology and social media at their disposal) are able to advise their constituents of upcoming bills and resolutions, explain how they will impact them personally (as a state and a country), and then allow us (via this media) to actually tell them how to vote on our behalf. The representative then just becomes our mouthpiece to go back to Washington and vote as we tell them to without the negative influences that can now sway their vote. This would take the pressure off of them to have to align themselves to a particular party or group. It would foster a greater sense of civility among legislators and allow all citizens to finally feel like they have a voice in government.

    Of course, not everyone within a state will agree on how to vote but (in what is the American way), majority rules. If someone decides not to participate, this is their choice, although they also lose their right to complain. As a realist, I realize that (with such a system) a lot of safeguards would have to be in place to insure that each vote cast was from a valid citizen, unbiased, etc., but I am confident this could be worked out in the design process. Think of all the talented Gen X/Y-ers it would put to work.
       Well, it was at this time I woke up to the din of a TV in a darkened room. Ironically, there was yet another political ad of one candidate ruthlessly bashing another to the degree (I have to say) I have never witnessed in my many years. I reflected on how it would no longer be necessary if we could take our vote back from the politicians and put it back where it belongs – with us.
    While we are fast approaching the time we traditionalists and baby boomers need to hand over the reins of government to the next generation, I truly wish we could give them a better medium in which to conduct the people’s business, because what we have now is truly not working and hasn’t for a long time. Abraham Lincoln stated, in a campaign speech, that “a house divided against itself, cannot stand.” How prophetic?

     

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    Category: News

  8. The Haves – Have Nots! A Vineyard Commentary

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    The Martha’s Vineyard Times has been running a summer series on various individuals that make the island their home in the summer. It is titled “Summer People“. To follow is a Letter to the Editor I sent upon reading the 4th in the series. It seems to have struck  a chord with a lot of people. I thought therefore that it might be worth putting it here in my blog in the hopes of getting other people’s impression of the issue I had raised and the perception that I feel it had left.

    Here is the intro to the series mentioned  in my letter -


    “Summer People,
    a weekly MVTIMES series, whose goal is to introduce readers to their summer neighbors, some of them prominent and extraordinarily accomplished,some whose lives are less exalted, all of them Islanders in their own ways. How do they describe their connections to the Vineyard and their seasonal Island neighbors? How do they describe their off-Island lives?”

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  

    And Here is My Letter  to the Editor -
     
     
     
     
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    Category: News

  9. Lambert’s Cove Parking Lot Full! Really?

    In spite of paying my taxes in my town and buying a beach sticker, this sign is sadly a common sight we locals encounter when trying to dash down the street to our town beach for a quick dip on a steamy hot day. It can get frustrating especially when I’ve already lathered on layers of sun screen at the house to save time once I get there. So, there I am sweating and greasy but still confident the trek down will be worthwhile only to hear  the adorable young attendants say there is no room to park. Understanding that I need to be gracious to our summer visitors and that there really isn’t anyway my SUV could ever fit into the one tiny spot open, I make the trek down the road in search of a legal spot to park. Not wanting to come back to a $50 ticket I drive way down the road thinking I could have probably just as easily left the car at home and walked (-:    Ever the optimist though I am excited just to find a spot, drag my chair and bags out and make the 1/2 mile walk down the street. (Alright so maybe it’s only 1000 feet but at my age it feels like a marathon).  So, I round the corner to the entrance and what do I see?

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    Category: News

  10. Kelleher Real Estate Goes to the Street Fair!

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    As the island’s only GREEN Certified Broker, I thought it might be fun to buy a table at this year’s annual Tisbury Street Fair! While I hadn’t been for years I remembered it as being somewhat of a carnival on steroids. With local people lined up along the shops selling their novelty items, discounted clearance stuff and really great food.

    Read More »

    Category: News

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