Some of you may recall my earlier reports on Nantucket NIMBYs' efforts to deny local Chef Gabriel Frasca the opportunity to deliver fried food and soft ice cream to the Island's residents and visitors.  These legal challenges came at the same time other Nantucket NIMBYs were trying their best to kill the Vineyard Wind project, the first offshore wind project in the northeast.  

Today, thanks to The Boston Globe's great Brian McGrory, we learned that the opening of the Straight Wharf Clam Shack is imminent, just about ten months after the lead NIMBY agreed to drop a myriad of legal challenges to this small business. 

That's great news.  But I can't help wondering whether we would have this happy ending but for the torrent of negative media coverage of the NIMBYs' multi-faceted effort to drive a small business owner to distraction to which Mr. McGrory refers in today's dispatch.

I agree with Mr. McGrory that “[s]elf interest trumps mutual interest at almost every level of civic life”.  The fact of the matter is whether we're talking about renewable energy infrastructure, or affordable housing, or anything else in our collective interest that people might prefer to be someplace other than where it is proposed, we're not to get where we need to get unless it is easier to get from here to there.  And, as I've written in the past, that means we have to limit the ability of NIMBYs to misuse our environmental protection laws to delay or defeat these projects. So, yes, we should celebrate Chef Frasca's success, and the success of the Vineyard Wind project in defeating the legal challenge by the other Nantucket NIMBYs.  But we should also commit to making it harder to bring such NIBMY lawsuits in the first place, starting with the renewable energy siting legislation the Massachusetts legislature is currently considering.  In the meantime, I will be one of the Clam Shack's first customers, review to follow.