Wampanoag Tribe Puts Casino on Fast Track; Selectmen Call Closed-Door Meeting

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Tribal leaders confirmed this week they plan to convert their community center to a gambling hall by the end of the year. Mark Lovewell

The chairman of the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) today announced that work will begin soon to convert a tribal community center into a gambling hall, despite a pending federal lawsuit aimed at determining whether it has that right on Martha’s Vineyard in the face of state and local prohibitions.

Responding to inquiries

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Judge to rule on dispute over Martha's Vineyard casino plan

In this Monday, Aug. 4, 2014, file photo, the unfinished tribal community center sits on the Aquinnah Wampanoag reservation in Aquinnah, Mass., on the island of Martha's Vineyard. The state and the tribe are asking a federal judge to settle whether the tribe can turn the unfinished community center into a gambling house on the famous resort island. A hearing on the request is set for Aug. 12, 2015.
PHILIP MARCELO, FILE — AP Photo

AQUINNAH, MASS. — The state of Massachusetts and an Indian tribe whose ancestors first inhabited Martha’s Vineyard are asking a federal judge to settle whether the tribe can build a casino on the island that has long been a favored vacation destination for the rich and powerful.

The Aquinnah Wampanoags want to turn an unfinished tribal community center on the remote, western side of the island into a gambling hall filled with electronic betting machines.

In this Monday,

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Following Discovery of Rare Plant, Lead in Soil, Lighthouse Move Begins

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Brick and mortar lighthouse stands just 46 feet away from eroding cliff. Lighthouse is expected to be moved in late May. – Timothy Johnson

After more than two years of planning and a delay caused by the discovery of a rare plant, the Gay Head Light relocation project got under way early this week — and then encountered a new hurdle with the discovery of soil contaminated by lead.

The company Tetra Tech, along with John Keene Excavation in

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Fighting the Good Fight: MV Times Editorial

Martha’s Vineyard residents and visitors benefit from a number of private, nonprofit organizations. Most rely on a dedicated core of volunteers who are willing to do the heavy lifting, and they derive the majority of their financial support from a small percentage of Island seasonal and year-round residents, but promote missions that benefit all who live and visit here.

The more public organizations readily spring to mind. Walking trails, open vistas, fishing derbies, and sporting events organized to support a

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Federal judge reaffirms Wampanoag Tribe settlement agreement

Erected by Air Force reservists in 2004, the unfinished community center will be converted into a class II gaming facility, if the tribe's current plan is executed.

Erected by Air Force reservists in 2004, the unfinished community center will be converted into a class II gaming facility, if the tribe’s current plan is executed. — File photo by Nelson Sigelman

In a decision that goes to the bedrock of the longstanding legal relationship between the Wampanoag Tribe of Gay Head (Aquinnah) and the Martha’s Vineyard community, U.S. District Court Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV said that the tribe remains bound by the terms of the settlement

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Missteps, late tax payments create budget deficit for Aquinnah

Aquinnah will hold a special town meeting January 7 to help plug a hole in the town budget.

A series of financial missteps, underestimates of revenue from fees, licenses, and fines, and late property tax payments combined to create a $101,564 budget deficit for Aquinnah in the current fiscal year, a shortfall town officials hope to resolve at a special town meeting on Wednesday, January 7. The deficit amounts to 2.6 percent of the town’s $3.8 million budget for

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