Nantucket Current, June 25, 2021


View in browser    |   Friday June 25, 2021

B y  J a s o n   G r a z i a d e i

Photo by Kevin Buruchian

GOOD MORNING NANTUCKET: The Nantucket Land Bank recently put the finishing touches on its new pocket park along the Easy Street basin, shown in the aerial photo above. The park was designed to both enhance public access to the waterfront, while also strengthening the island’s coastal resilience in an area prone to flooding. The park features salt-tolerant vegetation, well-draining soils, and an elevated boardwalk to handle coastal flooding events. It is also adorned with markers showing the water levels during historic flooding events. Three out of the six highest flood events have occurred in the last decade: 

Photo by Kit Noble

Judge Rules for Land Council
in Surfside Crossing Case

In a significant setback for the controversial Surfside Crossing housing development, a Superior Court judge has ruled in favor of the Nantucket Land Council’s bid to intervene in the regulatory process, reversing an earlier decision by the state Housing Appeals Committee, which has final say over the project. Surfside Crossing developers Jamie Feeley and Josh Posner are seeking approval from the state committee to build 156 condominium homes, contained within 18 three-story buildings (two stories above grade) on 13 acres of undeveloped pine forest off South Shore Road. But Superior Court Judge Douglas Wilkins this week ruled that the Housing Appeals Committee (HAC) “committed an error of law” when it rejected the Land Council’s motion to intervene in the hearings. Wilkins vacated the HAC’s decision, and remanded the matter back for further consideration by the committee. The Land Council asserted that the ruling means the entire HAC proceedings “will have to start over from the beginning.”


Neighbors Sue Over
Outdoor Theater at Oldest House 

Neighbors of the Oldest House have sued the town, the Nantucket Historical Association, and White Heron Theatre over the prospect of outdoor theatrical performances happening there over the summer. Katherine Stout and Nancy Martin are seeking an emergency injunction in Nantucket Superior Court to stop White Heron from staging outdoor performances at the Oldest House, which is owned by the NHA. The Select Board granted White Heron an entertainment license last month for a scaled back plan that included outdoor theater with no amplification and other conditions, despite vigorous opposition by neighbors. Stout and Martin have asked the court to rule that the license was issued improperly given the impacts they believe will be suffered by neighbors of the property. Judge Mark Gildea heard initial arguments in the injunction hearing yesterday, and the case continues in Nantucket Superior Court this afternoon. 

Hospital Mandates COVID-19
Vaccinations for All Staff

Nantucket Cottage Hospital, the largest private employer on the island, will mandate that all of its employees get vaccinated against COVID-19. It is the first known island business or non-profit to issue a blanket requirement for its workforce. The mandate was issued this week systemwide for the Mass General Brigham hospital network, of which NCH is a member. Once a COVID-19 vaccine becomes fully approved by the FDA – not just approved under an emergency use authorization – vaccination will become a condition of employment for all hospital staff members. “The decision by Mass General Brigham to make vaccination a requirement for its employees is in line with ensuring we’re continuing to play our part in protecting the community and overcoming this pandemic and is consistent with current system wide flu vaccination requirement,” said Gary Shaw, NCH President and CEO. “Employees with religious or medical reasons preventing them from being vaccinated will be able request an exemption from this policy, which is also the case for employees that are pregnant or looking to become pregnant. This policy is further evidence in the medical community’s overwhelming trust in the science behind the vaccines, and demonstrates that our hospital will continue to lead way in overcoming COVID-19.”

Nesting Birds Close
Vehicle Access to Eel Point

Photo by Kit Noble,

Vehicle access to the Eel Point beach area on the north shore has been entirely restricted over the past week due to a piping plover nest right at the drive-on location. While there had been some speculation that the restriction was implemented by a neighboring property owner, Town of Nantucket Natural Resources Department director Jeff Carlson confirmed it was due to the plover nest, which is monitored by Mass Audubon. Access will be restored once the piping plover chicks fledge, usually 30 days after hatching. 

Showers and possible fog to start today, then just cloudy, with SE winds at 10 to 20 mph, becoming southerly in the afternoon. For today:

  • High temp: 73º 
  • Low temp: 66º
  • High tide: 1:37 p.m.
  • Low tide: 6:53 p.m.
  • Sunset: 8:19 p.m.

Captain Blair Perkins is an avid weatherman who has spent his life on the waterfront as a commercial fisherman, boat captain, naturalist, and surfer. His family business, Shearwater Excursions, offers oyster tours, cocktail cruises, eco tours, whale watches, kid’s fishing trips and more. Look for Blair’s weather updates in each issue of Nantucket Current. 

This 6-bedroom antique in-town home has been beautifully renovated maintaining its historic qualities while combining the comforts and needs today’s owner desires. The open first floor plan flows easily to the oversized rear yard for outdoor dining and enjoyment. A charming library with warm paneling provides a relaxing getaway and a free standing studio with bath and kitchenette complements this special property.


– BREAK-IN ON THE STRIP:  Island police are seeking the public’s assistance in identifying a suspect in an early-morning break-in at Island Coffee on Broad Street earlier this week. Nantucket Police Department detectives released a video of the break-in, which appeared to show a middle-aged white male enter the coffee shop and head directly for the register. 

The suspect went back into the coffee shop several times before leaving the area around 3 a.m. on June 22. He was wearing a dark t-shirt, dark pants, dark shoes, and a grayish hat with a white emblem on the front. Anyone with information regarding the break-in is urged to contact Det. Witherell at 508-228-1212 ext. 5618, or 

– SEAL SNAGGED BY TOILET SEAT: The Marine Mammal Alliance Nantucket is monitoring a large male grey seal with a toilet seat cover stuck around its neck. The seal was last seen around Great Point Thursday morning. If you spot this seal, call the MMAN hotline to report the sighting at 833-667-6626. 

“Per the Marine Mammal Protection Act, we cannot and should not disturb the herd so our best chance to attempt disentanglement would be if he is alone on the beach,” the MMAN stated in an alert about the situation. “This is a tough one for sure.”

– POLE PROBLEMS: A broken utility pole at the Milestone Rotary could disrupt vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic at the mid-island intersection all summer long. Department of Public Works director Rob McNeil told the Select Board Wednesday night that National Grid discovered the broken pole in early June, and determined that it just so happens to be a very important telephone pole. “From that location, the entire east side of the island is powered, so catastrophic failure at this location would be exactly that: catastrophic,” McNeil said. While a new pole has already been installed, the problem is transferring all the equipment from the old pole to the new one, a process which involves scheduling with multiple companies including Verizon, Comcast and other private utilities. “These activities will be highly disruptive to the newly completed Milestone bike park,” McNeil said. 

Nantucket restaurants: A complete list of open restaurants by the town’s Office of Culture and Tourism.

Nantucket Current is published by N Magazine on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Subscribe at

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