A look back: This week in Shelter Island History

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Then Dory restaurant and bar proprietor Richard Edwards (center) was one of many Island residents who aired complaints at a March 1984 Town Board meeting about what some said was overly aggressive actions by police during DWI stops. Some called for appointment of a civilian police commissioner instead of the Town Board handling that role.

REPORTER FILE PHOTO
Then Dory restaurant and bar proprietor Richard Edwards (center) was one of many Island residents who aired complaints at a March 1984 Town Board meeting about what some said was overly aggressive actions by police during DWI stops.

50 YEARS AGO
Clark wins first indoor track meet
Cliff Clark — yes, that Cliff Clark, now president of South Ferry — then a Harding College sophomore and cross-country whiz, won a two-mile race, reeling off a 9:53 effort. It was Mr. Clark’s first indoor track competition.POSTSCRIPT: Mr. Clark went on to compete for a spot on the Olympic Team for the 1972 games in Munich. “I can still get my adrenalin rush thinking about being one of the best who competed in the 5000 meter and steeplechase finals,” he told the Reporter in 2012. He placed fifth in the steeplechase while three runners and one alternate were sent to Munich. He missed a place on the team by only two seconds. But he has gone on to help other runners on the Island, including Janelle Kraus-Nadeau, who sought to compete in the 2008 games, but was forced to withdraw from the trials because of an injury. Mr. Clark became the first director of the Shelter Island 10k that launched 35 years ago and has worked as a race organizer ever since.

30 YEARS AGO
Islanders rap cops at packed Board session
About 100 residents packed a Town Board session in March 1984 to protest what they said was “overzealousness” by police officers handling DWI stops. One 68-year-old man complained that he was handcuffed to a jail cell, a practice then Chief George Ferrer said was standard practice for DWI arrests. Another charged that an officer who had been drinking at the same event administered a Breathalyzer test to him. And bar owners and patrons complained that people were afraid to go out at night for fear of being stopped by police. Then Supervisor George Kontje said he didn’t think Shelter Island Police were any more aggressive than those in other towns. But there was a call for appointment of a civilian police commissioner or even dissolving the local department and turning over patrols to state or county police.
POSTSCRIPT: Shelter Island continues to maintain its own local police department without the appointment of a civilian police commissioner. As was the situation 30 years ago, complaints can be filed with the police chief or, if people think it’s merited, with the Town Board.

20 YEARS AGO
BOE eyes 1994-95 budget with zero increase in taxes
While proposing a spending increase of $37,065, then Superintendent Lydia Axelrod presented a budget of $4.64 million that she and the Budget Action Committee had developed. She said spending cuts would enable the district to absorb the increase along with $100,000 needed for school roof repairs without raising taxes.
POSTSCRIPT: The administration and Board of Education are working on a spending plan for 2014-15 that’s expected to remain within the state-imposed tax cap that’s at 1.46 percent because of a lowered Consumer Price Index. But Superintendent Michael Hynes has warned that the district can’t continue forever to dip into its reserve fund to avoid piercing the tax cap. The next budget workshop is set for Monday night at 6:30 at the Board meeting room.

10 YEARS AGO
Community Center panel eyes day care
A committee formed to develop a community center at the Legion Hall in the Center found itself faced with varying proposals for its use, including a youth center, a child day care center and a senior services center. Each would have varying needs that would have to be built into any renovations of the building. Then there were questions about scheduling of various competing interests should all three activities be housed in the building, along with the needs of the Legionnaires. And would each of the groups prefer a distinct center of activities such as the seniors had in 2004 and still have today in the basement of the town’s Medical Center building?
POSTSCRIPT: Fast forward 10 years and the Legionnaires are sharing space with the youth center while the building also accommodates the bowling alley.

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