50 YEARS AGO
How much for nothing?
A front page editorial appeared in the March 21, 1964, Reporter calling for an improved system of emergency signals after two men lay injured on a barge off Crescent Beach. Firefighters and EMS personnel were delayed reaching the scene because of faulty signals. It wasn’t the first time the signals had failed in a system that sent daytime calls for help to one number, but night calls to another. That switch over was responsible for the response delay, but the Town Board announced there would be no change in the operation of the system. The editorial called for spending money to establish a single reliable system that would ensure that volunteer firefighters and EMS technicians were getting the right information in a timely manner.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, Southold Police handle dispatching for Shelter Island and generally do so efficiently and effectively. In recent years, there was only one question of how a call was handled. After Shelter Island firefighters listened to the tape, they dropped the complaint, acknowledging that there wasn’t a problem with dispatching.
30 YEARS AGO
Journalism class finds yearbook courses helpful
Shelter Island journalism class students trekked to Columbia University in 1984 for a series of lectures and workshops on what it takes to put out an award-winning yearbook. The program was developed by the Columbia Scholastic Press Association and included tips on what judges of yearbook contests look at in picking winners. The students had already demonstrated they knew that lesson, having won several awards for previous publications.
POSTSCRIPT: Today’s journalism students are also focused on “The Inlet,” the school’s revived newspaper. Several editions have been published this year and have demonstrated award-worthy issues filled with interesting copy and eye-catching pictures.
20 YEARS AGO
Renewed effort toward waterways management
Following complaints from the Waterways Management Advisory Council that its recommendations to the Town Board were being ignored, there was a meeting in March 1994 aimed at resolving the situation. WMAC members complained in a memo that the lack of support from the board had “taken the wind out of our sails.” But board members denied they hadn’t acted on WMAC recommendations. Among the disputes was the number of members, with the WMAC favoring nine, while the Town Board was considering scaling back to a five-member council.
POSTSCRIPT: Today’s WMAC recommendations to the Town Board are generally followed as a seven-member group reviews applications for moorings, docks, bulkheads, jetties and other shore line structures.
10 YEARS AGO
Extra fare break for residents blasted
The Independent Budget Review Office that advises the Suffolk County Legislature on requests affecting Shelter Island ferry services, called an overall proposed increase of 11.3 percent reasonable in 2004. But the IBRO found fault with an amended request from South Ferry to extend lower rates to Islanders, saying the fares increases should be across the board. The Reporter joined Islanders in arguing they lacked choice about using the ferries and deserved lower rates that would be offset by higher rates for those who had other choices about whether or not to use a ferry service. Ultimately, South Ferry won its battle to give Islanders a break.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, it’s routine for both North and South ferry services to charge lower rates to Island residents and workers than are paid by others choosing to ride the ferries. There have been requests from Greenport for similar lower rates for residents there to use North Ferry because Greenport accommodates a ferry landing, but economics have so far blocked that request.