Rosanne Cash to Play Summer Benefit for Gay Head Light

The ongoing effort to raise money to move the Gay Head Light got an extra boost this week with the news that country music legend Rosanne Cash will come to the Vineyard this summer to play a benefit concert.

Mitzi Pratt, a member of the save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, confirmed Wednesday that plans are in the early stages for the Grammy-winning recording artist to perform at Flatbread on July 1. Click here to purchase tickets online.

At their meeting Tuesday the Aquinnah selectmen signed a letter of intent to enter into a contract with Ms. Cash. The selectmen are overseeing the relocation of the lighthouse, which must be moved sometime in the next year due to rapid erosion at the Gay Head Cliffs. The 1856 brick tower now stands 46 feet from the edge of the cliff.

Ms. Pratt said the committee approached Ms. Cash about the possibility of a concert and received a positive response.

“We are thrilled at the possibility of having her grace our shores,” she said in a brief press statement about the event.

Ms. Pratt said logistics such as an opening act and ticket prices are still in the process of being settled. She said Flatbread has donated the venue.

Ms. Cash, the daughter of country music and rock and roll icon Johnny Cash, recently debuted a new album, The River and the Thread. It is her first album in more than four years. She is currently on tour.

The concert is the latest in a large, Islandwide fundraising effort to raise $3 million for the relocation project. The fundraising committee hosted a 10k road race in Aquinnah in October and a winter solstice event at the lighthouse in December.

The town is in the process of obtaining ownership of the lighthouse from the U.S. Coast Guard, which has declared it surplus property.

Geological and engineering studies are underway around the tower in preparation for the move.

Field Borings Concluded at Gay Head Lighthouse Site

Jan. 23, 2014 — Aquinnah, MA— Geologic Earth Exploration, Inc. completed field borings this past week at the Gay Head Lighthouse site. The effort, under the direction and supervision of GEI Consultants, is a critical part of a study to determine the composition of the soils underlying the lighthouse and below the potential relocation sites. Engineers and geologists will review the data and samples collected to determine the suitability of the locations to support the lighthouse as well as the geological sustainability of each site over a long period of time.

borings test

Geologic Earth Explorations crew conducting borings tests

 

The field work consisted of boring 22 individual holes to a depth of 20 to 40 feet and collecting soil samples at 5-foot intervals. While the GEI field engineer collected samples and recorded drilling data, a research geologist, Byron Stone from the U.S. Geological Survey,  examined the core samples to determine their composition at different depths. In addition, Stone, a consultant to The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, will assess the relocation sites to help determine the best site in terms of resistance to future erosion. By analyzing the depths and thicknesses of silt, sand and clay layers and the evidence of ground water, Stone will render an opinion on the long-term sustainability of the sites.

stevedubebyronstoneGEI will conduct a series of lab tests on collected samples and make recommendations for type of foundation specific to existing soil properties. A new foundation will have to be constructed for the Lighthouse once it is moved.

The final report is expected in the next few weeks.

Background

The Gay Head Lighthouse, a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013, currently sits 46 feet (Aug 2013) from an eroding cliff and geological experts recommend it should be moved in the next year or so or the area around it may not be stable enough to safely do so. The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee is working to save this iconic structure and working navigational beacon, which has stood at the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of the island since 1799 and was replaced with the current brick lighthouse in 1854. The committee’s objective is to move and restore the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location which will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal to cover these costs is $3 million. For more information or to make a donation, visit http://gayheadlight.org/.

About Geologic Earth Exploration

Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Norfolk, Mass., Geologic Earth Exploration offers drilling services that surpass the technical capabilities of its competitors. Whether conditions involve high hydraulic pressure, difficult recovery bedrock or other challenging scenarios, Geologic Earth Exploration offers customers the very best drilling talent on the market.

About GEI Consultants, Inc.

Founded in 1970 and headquartered in Woburn, Mass., GEI has completed more than 35,000 projects in all 50 United States and 25 countries worldwide. GEI brings to its clients a refreshing blend of technical expertise, collaborative spirit and innovation. GEI is a trusted source of technical expertise to hundreds of clients nationwide who value high-quality service and work products and who seek a strong partner to achieve their desired project outcomes.

 

About Byron Stone PhD:

Reasearch Geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey/U.S. Dept. of Interior, Hartford, CT

Director of the Massachusetts Quarternary Geology Project

Aeologic brings the highest level of drilling

Press Contact: Len Butler

(508) 326-8541

len.butler@comcast.net

or

Maura FitzGerald

(617) 426-2222

mfitzgerald@v2comms.com

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lighthouse Poetry Project Deadline Extended

If holiday festivities and duties have silenced your poetic muse, relax. You have more time to enter your work in  the Gay Head Lighthouse Poetry Project.

The deadline for submission has been extended to January 7, 2014. Read more about the project here.

Two Vineyard Residents to Receive Community Preservation Award

Good friends and like-minded community activists Philippe Jordi, of West Tisbury and Derrill Bazzy of Aquinnah, have each been named to receive Kuehn Awards from the Community Preservation Coalition. Though nominated independently, they will be honored simultaneously for their use of the Community Preservation Act to enrich and preserve their respective communities.

Named after Bob Kuehn, one of the primary forces behind the creation of Massachusetts’s Community Preservation Act (CPA), and someone who also cared deeply about Martha’s Vineyard, the Robert Kuehn Award is given to individuals who embody the spirit of the Act by turning ideas into action.  Jordi is executive director of the Island Housing Trust, a community land trust and community development corporation that has helped provide hope and opportunity to hundreds of island residents seeking a dignified solution to their affordable needs over the past eight years.   Bazzy, a designer with South Mountain Co., has been chair of Aquinnah’s Community Preservation Committee since its inception eleven years ago.  He has been an active participant in generating and designing affordable housing Island-wide, and is the former chair of the Aquinnah Affordable Housing Committee.  Bazzy also co-chaired the committee that oversaw the historic restoration of the Vanderhoop Homestead overlooking the clay cliffs of Aquinnah.

Currently, the town of Aquinnah has been challenged by the need to relocate its historic and iconic Gay Head Lighthouse.  Bazzy has led a groundbreaking effort to reach out to the other five island towns for CPA funds to augment that project’s budget, which surpasses three quarters of Aquinnah’s annual town budget.  Both men’s quiet and dignified visionary leadership, grounded in building consensus, is a fitting testimony to the memory of Bob Kuehn and the vital contributions the Community Preservation Act has made to the maintenance of our unique locales. The awards ceremony will take place at the State House in Boston on January 14.

Background

The Gay Head Lighthouse, a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013, currently sits 46 feet (Aug 2013) from an eroding cliff and geological experts recommend it should be moved in the next year or so or the area around it may not be stable enough to safely do so. The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee is working to save this iconic structure, and working navigational beacon, which has stood at the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of the island since 1799 and was replaced with the current brick lighthouse in 1854. The committee’s objective is to move and restore the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location which will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal to cover these costs is $3 million. For more information or to make a donation, visit http://gayheadlight.org/.

 

Press Contact:                    Maura FitzGerald

(617) 426-2222

mfitzgerald@v2comms.com

Erosion study underscores Gay Head Lighthouse peril

erosion study at Gay Head lighthouse

A Sourati Engineering Group employee surveyed the Gay Head cliffs in August 2012 as part of the work for a recently completed erosion study.

MV Times: Erosion cut the distance between the imperiled Gay Head Lighthouse and the edge of the bluff on which its now sits as much as five feet during the year ended in August, according to the results of an erosion study released last week by the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee (SGHLC), which has mounted a multi-million dollar effort to save the iconic Martha’s Vineyard beacon.

“The results of the most recent erosion study conducted on the cliffs surrounding Gay Head Lighthouse demonstrate the unpredictability of the rate of erosion and underscore the need to act quickly to avoid a worst-case scenario,” the committee said in a press release.

Results from two surveys taken by George Sourati of Sourati Engineering Group in Vineyard Haven, one on August 8, 2012 and again August 7, 2013, were compared in the press release. The latest survey revealed that the top of the bluff surrounding the lighthouse had eroded in several areas.

According to the press release, a 25-foot portion southeast of the lighthouse eroded an average of four feet, with the largest loss in that area being five feet; a 15-foot section east of the lighthouse eroded an average of two feet; and a 20-foot section north of the light eroded an average of 18 inches. Continue reading….

Seaworthy Gallery to Donate Percentage of Sales to Gay Head Lighthouse Fund

Jeff Serusa of  Seaworthy Gallery in Vineyard Haven announced today that he will donate 10 percent of the proceeds, through Christmas 2013, from sales of the Jeffrey Serusa photograph “Gay Head Lighthouse at Night”.  It is a unique photograph in which eight exposures were taken by the light of the moon on one piece of film. The photograph is a 55”wide x 14.5” high giclée print on canvas with a custom frame.  It is being offered in a limited edition, numbered series. The photograph may be viewed at http://seaworthygallerymv.com/2011/10/gay-head-lighthouse-at-night/.Seaworthy Gallery

“On behalf of http://gayheadlight.org/,the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee, I’d like to thank Jeff for this generous offer, ” said Beverly Wright, committee chair.  “It is wonderful that part of the proceeds from this beautiful photograph of the Gay Head Lighthouse will help contribute to saving the lighthouse itself.”

Seaworthy Gallery is located at 34 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven.  For more information please contact Jeff Serusa at 508-693-0153.

Background

The Gay Head Lighthouse, a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013, currently sits 46 feet (Aug 2013) from an eroding cliff, and geological experts recommend it  be moved in the next year or so or the area around it may not be stable enough to safely do so. The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee is working to save this iconic structure and working navigational beacon, which has stood at the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of the island since 1799. It was replaced with the current brick lighthouse in 1854. The committee’s objective is to move and restore the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location which will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal to cover these costs is $3 million. For more information or to make a donation, visit gayheadlight.org.

Gay Head Lighthouse Geotechnical Engineering Firm Selected

October 17, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact:                 Len Butler

Len.butler@comcast.net 508-326-8541

Aquinnah, MA –  On Tuesday night, October 15, the Town of Aquinnah Selectmen approved the recommendation of the Building subcommittee of the Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee to hire GEI Consultants of Woburn, Massachusetts to conduct the geotechnical testing on the three proposed move sites for the Gay Head Lighthouse.

The selection process was based on the following criteria: demonstration of understanding of project objectives, project staff experience project team/staff experience, project work plan and approach, similar project experience, and cost proposal projected cost.ghlfromwater-600

According to Len Butler, Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Building Subcommittee Chairman, GEI Consultants is a well respected engineering firm with a great deal of experience in the geotechnical investigation of coastal subsoils. They will provide useful information about the ground stability of the three potential relocation sites, and whether or not the move paths to those sites will be able to sustain the load, to aid the committee in making an informed decision as to which is the best location for the Lighthouse to remain for generations to come. GEI Consultants was selected from a pool of eight firms that submitted proposals and were selected for their expertise and experience in similar projects.

As the lighthouse relocation process rapidly moves forward, the ownership process has been delayed due to the recent government shutdown. The Town of Aquinnah should have been in the application for ownership process now, however due to the shutdown an October 10th meeting with the General Services Administration was cancelled and now the town must wait until they reschedule that meeting involving all interested parties and the Federal agencies involved (NPS, GSA and USCG, and Massachusetts Historic Commission) to move forward. The town is yet to be notified when this meeting will be rescheduled.  Over two weeks have already been lost and the timing for the application process cannot begin until the town is given approval to begin the 90 day application process, but the clock is still ticking.

The Gay Head Lighthouse, a Martha’s Vineyard treasure and one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places of 2013, currently sits 46 feet (Aug 2013) from an eroding cliff and geological experts recommend it should be moved in the next year or so or the area around it may not be stable enough to safely do so. The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee is working to save this iconic structure, and working navigational beacon, which has stood at the picturesque cliffs of the western most tip of the island since 1799 and was replaced with the current brick lighthouse in 1854. The committee’s objective is to move and restore the Gay Head Lighthouse to a location which will sustain it for many generations. The fundraising goal to cover these costs is $3,000,000. To find out more, or make a donation, visit gayheadlight.org.

Little philanthropists raise $200 for the Gay Head Light

Two sets of kids hosted lemonade stands to benefit the Gay Head Lighthouse, which is in danger of toppling into the sea due to cliff erosion.

children sell lemonade to raise money to save the Gay Head Lighthouse

(Left) Malia Bodnar and Maeve Sheehan show off their “Keep on Shining” tee-shirts. (Right) Lily Kolm, Warren Webber Gebb, and Eliza Webber Gebb raised $130 for the “Save the Gay Head Light” campaign.

Eliza Webber Gebb and Warren Webber Gebb raised $130 along with their friend Lily Kolm. Duo Malia Bodnar and Maeve Sheehan raised $70. In both cases, the kids initiated the projects and decided to donate the proceeds, raised by charging $1 to $2 per cup. Asked by her mother, Meg Bodnar, why the she and the other children were spending part of their precious summer working the lemonade stands, Malia Bodnar said, “It’s so close to the edge, Mama, we have to save it!”

Learn more about the project to Save the Gay Head Lighthouse at gayheadlight.org.

Gay Head Lighthouse Poetry Project

The Martha’s Vineyard Institute for Creative Writing

and the Martha’s Vineyard Poetry Society

in conjunction with

The Save the Gay Head Light Committee

Announces the Lighthouse Poetry Project

 

“…hunger for the sea’s edge, the limits of the land,

            where the wild old Atlantic is shouting on the sand…”

~John Masefield

Write a poem about the Gay Head Lighthouse.  Capture its beauty, marvel at its history, reflect on its seeming (and illusionary) timelessness, find words for your feelings when you married there, stood there as a child, first saw it from afar, or watched fireworks explode over Devil’s Bridge.  Write of the sea’s edge and eroding cliffs, of the wild Atlantic and the limits of the land, and of this beacon of light at the edge of our island.

Help The Save the Gay Head Lighthouse Committee in its race against time with a poem.  Keep on shining with your tribute to the Gay Head Light and let the light keep on shining too.

Selected Poems will be published in a limited edition, letter-presshand-bound book. All sales will benefit the Town of Aquinnah’s Gay Head Lighthouse Fund.

Editor, Alexander Weinstein. Co-editors: Keith Leonard and Fan Ogilvie.

Details:

Up to 3 poems per person of any style or length (prose poems accepted) should be sent by January 1, 2014 to lighthousepoetryproject@gmail.com.

All winning submissions will be notified by email in February 2014.

Email highly preferred.  If absolutely necessary, hard copies may be sent to Town of Aquinnah Lighthouse Poetry Project, 65 State Rd. Aquinnah, MA 02535