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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Ticks were a major agenda item on Shelter Island back in 2004 and the problem continues to plague residents today as the Deer & Tick Committee explores ways to tackle tick-borne diseases.

Ticks were a major agenda item on Shelter Island back in 2004 and the problem continues to plague residents today as the Deer & Tick Committee explores ways to tackle tick-borne diseases.

This week in the wider world, 50 years ago:

Lyndon Johnson was President of the United States, having been sworn in on November 22, 1963, in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas.The Beatles’ single, “A Hard Days Night, went to number one on the music charts.

A Gallup poll revealed that the top issues at the time were integration, unemployment and the high cost of living.

“Mary Poppins” emerged as the most viewed of all movies released in 1964.

On Shelter Island:

Players working overtime for Shakespeare debut

The now defunct Shelter Island Players were rehearing William Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night” as a benefit for the Shelter Island Public Library building fund. It was a true community event as actors, stagehands, set builders and others were pushing against a mid August deadline when the play would be presented in the school auditorium. Near capacity audiences both nights netted more than $1,000 for the library building fund.

POSTSCRIPT: Shakespeare was popular then and popular now. Shakespeare’s “Midsummer Night’s Dream” was the featured play at Sylvester Manor July 19 and 20 by director Drew Foster.

Town tackles moorings

It was a new day in Shelter Island waters back in 1984 as the town’s newly adopted provisions establishing mooring fields went into effect. There was more than a little confusion at the outset as residents had to get used to applying for specific placements of moorings.

Under the new requirements, if a resident pulled a mooring at the end of the season, he needed to inform the building inspector and would be allowed to replace it the following season. But anyone wishing to move to another mooring space had to reapply and not simply drop anchor in another spot.

POSTSCRIPT: Thirty years later, it falls to the Waterways Management Advisory Committee to review applications for moorings and requests for docks or other structures surrounding the Island. Recommendations for approval or denial then go to the Town Board for final action. Specific grids have been established for such moorings to assure that boaters aren’t obstructing one another.

Not provincialism, self-protection

In warning against the Suffolk County Water Authority taking over water resources here 20 years ago when the Island was faced with severe drought conditions, a Reporter editorial pointed out the importance of protecting Islanders from intrusion by a company that might not serve their best interests.

The argument postulated that Islanders weren’t being provincial in pushing against SCWA that would put its own interests above those of Shelter Islanders. That had been the experience with the Long Island Lighting Company that failed to keep promises back then, the editorial said.

POSTSCRIPT: Weighing water issues in the past year, the Irrigation Committee eschewed any discussion of inviting SCWA to serve the Island. Whatever the Town Board decides as a result of the committee’s final report will focus on protecting the Island’s aquifer.

League to run tick forum

The League of Women Voters was poised to moderate a town forum on how to control the tick population on the Island 10 years ago. The idea for the forum grew from a campaign by Dering Harbor resident Rae Lapides out of concern for how to battle Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

She was one of the early proponents of the 4-poster units that are currently in use around the Island. The town had initially resisted having another organization moderate the session, but finally bowed to then League president Janalyn Travis-Messer, who said moderating forums on such controversial subjects was what the organization did best.

Councilwoman Chris Lewis noted the forum was organized for educational purposes, not to promote any one solution to dealing with the growing tick population and resulting illnesses.

POSTSCRIPT: While the town participated in the Cornell University-Cornell Cooperative Extension pilot program that appeared to give some relief through use of 4-posters, 10 years later, the Deer & Tick Committee is exploring what combination of solutions might provide the best bang for the buck in the effort to get tick-borne diseases under control.

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