Culture & Tourism
- The Nantucket Cultural District Work Group members continue to work on developing a new website and robust calendar for the District. The work includes developing and implementing a marketing initiative to get the word out about the District and its partners. We expect to launch the new site in 2022. The District’s social media presence is re-emerging. If you haven’t signed up for the District’s Instagram or Facebook pages, please do! We’re on Facebook and on Instagram.
- The District submitted its application for renewal of the five-year designation as a Cultural District and we learned that the renewal was awarded by the governing board of the Massachusetts Cultural Council at its August 25th meeting!
- The Information Aides at 25 Federal Street, the Straight Wharf Kiosk, and the Airport continue to greet visitors and provide maps, to suggest activities and to recommend restaurants. This has been a busy summer for the lodging industry. We’ve seen many nights and most weekends where every lodging establishment is full. And, the Cisco Brewery Van schedule continues to be one of the most frequently asked questions.
- Programming at Children’s Beach has wrapped up for the summer. This year, visitors and residents could enjoy morning yoga, Saturday morning puppet shows, and Sunday afternoon concerts.
Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Actions
ACCORDING TO AMY: Month of August
According to Amy highlights the island’s past using Amy Jenness’s book, On This Day in Nantucket History. The goal of this project is to specifically highlight dates, events, individuals, etc. to share information on Nantucket’s diverse history in order to acknowledge lesser known accounts of the island’s past. Using Jenness’s book and accompanying research, According to Amy will recognize moments of the past that deserve recognition through the lens of diversity, equity and inclusion.
August 1ST: Birthday of Maria Mitchell
Maria Mitchell was born on Nantucket on August 1, 1818. Mitchell displayed an interest in astronomy and a talent for mathematics at a young age. Her father, the prominent William Mitchell, also a talented astronomer, taught her himself.
In 1836, Maria Mitchell became the first librarian for the Nantucket Atheneum, and for the next twenty years, she pursued her interest in math and astronomy while employed there. Her discovery of a comet in 1846 was due in large part to her self-education. The discovery made her an instant celebrity, and the king of Denmark awarded her a medal… In 1862, she began teaching at Vassar College, where she taught until she retired at age seventy, and she died in 1889.
August 11TH: Frederick Douglass Speaks at Atheneum
On August 11, 1841, Frederick Douglass spoke at the antislavery convention held in the Nantucket Atheneum’s Great Hall. “It was with the utmost difficulty that I would stand erect, or that I could command and articulate two words without hesitation and stammering,” he later wrote.
Leaders in the Massachusetts Anti-Slavery Society invited him to join their cause, and within five years, Douglass had an international reputation as a powerful orator. He wrote three autobiographies, edited several newspapers, took a leading role in the women’s movement and served for over half a century as an untiring advocate for racial justice.
Douglass returned to Nantucket to lecture four more times: at antislavery conventions in 1842 and 1843, on the Fugitive Slave Law in 1850 and in 1881 on his experiences in the abolitionist movement. On his final visit in 1885, he revealed with deep sentiment that he “had not come to ask a hearing, but to stand once more on the island of Nantucket.” Frederick Douglass died on February 20, 1895, at seventy-seven years old.
August 19TH: Birthday of Mary Ellen Pleasant
Mary Ellen Pleasant, an African American abolitionist, businesswoman and entrepreneur during the California gold rush, was born in 1814. Raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and educated on Nantucket, Pleasant met William Lloyd Garrison in Boston and joined the abolitionist movement.
By the 1860s, she was living in San Francisco, where she owned a restaurant and was an investor. She owned 920 Washington Street (in the heart of today’s Chinatown), the meeting place of some of the city’s most prominent politicians. She helped share early San Francisco and is thought to have covertly amassed a fortune close to $30 million. Mary Ellen Pleasant died in January 1904.
MEET NEET: “The People Who Make This Island Run”
Meet NEET is a pilot initiative by the Town of Nantucket’s Diversity, Equity & Inclusion (DEI) Office. The Nantucket Employee Empowerment Team (NEET) was created to empower employees to recognize and utilize their skills, to provide exceptional customer service to the Nantucket community. The vision for this initiative is to recognize members of our community for their work. Meet NEET aims to share with the public general information about “the people who make this island run.”
GOAL: There are approximately 400 full and part-time individuals who work for the Town of Nantucket. The goal of Meet NEET is to identify and learn about the unsung heroes who work to keep their departments performing at optimal capacity. Another goal of this initiative is to acknowledge community members who volunteer on boards and committees for their contributions to civil service and Town operations.
INITIATIVE’S OBJECTIVES: The five initiative objectives are: (1) acknowledge Town employees and volunteers, (2) embrace workplace diversity, (3) build community comradery, (4) collect qualitative data on DEI, and (5) seek ideas for improvements in Town operations. These objectives were created to demonstrate how the participants’ input will be valued. The objectives will also be used to develop metrics, exemplify benchmarks reached, and/or used to create other avenues for engaging employees and the community.
PARTICIPANTS: Participation is completely voluntary. All participants will be selected and interviewed by the DEI Director. Participants will have an opportunity to review their write-up prior to publication in the Town Manger’s monthly electronic newsletter.
QUESTIONS: The questions proposed to participants will cover five areas: (1) living on Nantucket, (2) employment/volunteering experiences, (3) DEI hopes, (4) favorite recreational activities, and (5) food for thought. The questions will vary depending on the participant’s role and responsibilities. Generally, the questions aim to unearth information about the individuals, their work, and life on Nantucket, which their colleagues and neighbors may not know but find useful and get to know them better.
DURATION: This is a pilot project for September 2021 to December 2021 only. Four individuals will be interviewed during the initiative’s duration, with one person’s story acknowledged per month in the DEI section of the Town Manager’s newsletter. This initiative may continue depending on community feedback or on the recommendation of Town leadership.
Energy Office News
August Energy Efficiency Events a Success!
No-Cost Appliance Recycling: The Town’s Energy Office, in partnership with National Grid, hosted an appliance recycling event on August 7th, which collected over 30 old, inefficient dehumidifiers and refrigerators for off-island recycling. By recycling inefficient appliances and replacing outdated models with ENERGY STAR® certified appliances, you’ll reduce your energy consumption and receive Mass Save rebates up to $125. But that’s just the beginning. When you safely recycle your appliances, you also:
To learn more about how to recycle your outdated appliances at a future Nantucket event, including a free pick-up of old refrigerators and dehumidifiers at your home, please visit: ngrid.com/nantucket or call 1-877-889-4761.
Small Business Energy Assessments: On August 16-18, Complete Energy Solutions, National Grid’s lead energy efficiency provider for small businesses, traveled to Nantucket to conduct free energy assessments for the island’s small business community. Over three days, they completed 70 business assessments, identifying over 536,935 kWh, or $63,035, in potential savings through energy efficiency upgrades for lighting, HVAC, weatherization, and refrigeration. Businesses that were audited and qualified through the program, are eligible for a limited-time incentive up to 100% from National Grid on select efficiency solutions.
Are you a small business interested in receiving a no-cost Mass Save energy assessment? Please call 1-833-237-2677, or click here to schedule.
The Town of Nantucket’s Energy Office is a proud partner of the Mass Save program on Nantucket. For questions regarding how to save energy in your home or business, please contact: Lauren Sinatra, Energy Coordinator at LSinatra@nantucket-ma.gov.
On Tuesday August 17, 2021, the Town hosted an online listening session to discuss, gather public input, and listen to concerns about PFAS chemicals and contamination on the island.
The listening session included updates project and information about current and planned actions to address PFAS on Nantucket. The PFAS internal team gathered the questions received during this meeting and is working on responding to them.
PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) are a group of human-made chemicals used for decades in products such as non-stick cookware, fast food wrappers, stain-resistant sprays and certain types of firefighting foam.
Sewer Department Projects
Surfside Road Sewer Improvements Project
Work within the roadways is scheduled to resume September 13, 2021. The contractor is planning to begin with installation of the 8-inch force main from the new pump station (53 Surfside Rd. – Assessor’s Map 67, Parcel 218.1) to Miacomet Ave, followed by completing the gravity sewer main installations between First Way and Vesper Lane and 250 feet of gravity sewer in Bartlett Road to the west of the intersection with Surfside Road.
Prior to the summer hiatus, the contractor installed gravity sewers in Surfside Road from Miacomet Ave to First Way – approximately two-thirds of all new sewers to be constructed in Surfside Road and Bartlett Road under this project. During the summer road work hiatus, the contractor has been working on constructing the new sewer pump station at #53 Surfside Road. Final connections and surface restoration are scheduled for the spring of 2022 once the new pump station is in operation.
Due to heavy traffic in the corridor and a return to full time in-person learning at the public school campus the Select Board approved a waiver of the noise ordinance bylaw to allow construction within the roadways to be done in the evening hours. For the safety of the crew and public full road closures are in effect during roadway work, which is scheduled to take place Mondays through Thursdays from 4pm – 2am. Local businesses will remain open and accessible during evening construction hours. Police detail officers are on site to assist with access to local homes and businesses. The contractor will be installing temporary trench pavement every Friday (weather permitting) between 9am – 2pm (single lane closure only) to avoid school drop-off and pickup times.
The public is urged to visit the project webpage for more information, including weekly schedule updates, crew location, road closures, and detour plans for Phases 1-3 throughout the duration of this project. The Sewer Department can also be reached at (508) 228-7200 x7800 with any questions.
Sea Street Pump Station Sewer Force Main No. 3
The Town is implementing a sewer project that includes the installation of a new sewer force main that will connect the Sea Street Pump Station (SSPS) to the Surfside Wastewater Treatment Facility (SSWWTF). For more information, visit the webpage dedicated to this project.