June 19, 2013
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June 11, 2013
From our files: This week in Shelter Island history
10 YEARS AGO
Town Board looking to streamline bureaucracy
The Town Board passed several new regulations intended to lessen the impact of the bureaucracy. The most controversial was to allow the town to implement a mooring grid system for Silver Beach and Simpson Road sections of West Neck Harbor with anticipated further expansion of such grids to other waterways. The aim, according to the Waterways Management Advisory Council members, was to streamline the application process for mooring locations, reduce the amount of space needed for moorings and increase the space remaining for recreational.
POSTSCRIPT: Today’s Waterways Management Advisory Council is still discussing the possibility of creating more grids and, even in areas where there aren’t grids, efforts are being made to approve moorings that are placed in a tighter field than might have been allowed in the past, thanks to the GPS.
20 YEARS AGO
Residents question changes in police rules
Facing rumors about changes in staffing and record handling in the Police Department, the Town Board fielded questions and provided answers to various questions. Supervisor Hoot Sherman said the board had an obligation to review regulations in effect for 20 years. Prime among his concerns was that no one got into police records without due cause. He promised an open hearing on proposed changes and assured residents that while Sergeant Dick Jernick was retiring, the town would continue to be covered by use of additional part-timers and more police overtime.
POSTSCRIPT: At the end of August, resident Ben Heins charged that police had been trying to intimidate him and he demanded an investigation, saying that townspeople are “terrified” of police. The Town Board, which also functions as Police Commission, met in executive session to look into Mr. Heins’ complaints about a particular officer.
30 YEARS AGO
Authorities study fresh water supply
Members of the United States Geological Survey from the Department of the Interior and representatives of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and county Consortium for Funding and the New York State Legislative Commission on Water Resource Needs joined local Planning Board and Town Board members and Island water analyst John Hallman to start an update of a 1974 report on Shelter Island water needs. That report had concluded that the local hydrological system was not in equilibrium as a result of pumping and concentrations of chloride. Continued pumping would result in deterioration of the fresh water supply by inducing saltwater concentrations.
POSTSCRIPT: The Water Advisory Committee regularly monitors the water supply today and while members worried earlier this summer about the possibility of a drought, water levels are near normal.
50 YEARS AGO
Literacy tests set
Literacy tests were scheduled at Shelter Island School for new voters who couldn’t submit proof that they’d had any formal education. Those who had to take the tests in order to qualify to vote in the mid-term and local elections of 1962 had two dates from which to choose to take the tests.
POSTSCRIPT: While it’s not happening on Shelter Island, there are other states that have instituted various requirements for voters to establish their registrations. There have been a number of court cases on the issue of voter qualification with more expected in the pipeline until the Supreme Court is expected to ultimately decide the legality of the various laws.