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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

President Lyndon Johnson signed the Freedom of Information Act, enabling people to seek documents and information relating to government actions.New York City Transit fares rose from 15 to 20 cents.

“Tarzan and the Valley of the Gold” was released in movie theaters and is remembered for its James Bond-like portrayal of a suited, globe trotting Tarzan.

The Beatles became the first musical group to perform at Nippon Budokan Hall in Tokyo, inciting protests from locals who said it was inappropriate for a rock ‘n roll band to play at the hall that had been built for judo competition for the 1964 Olympic Games.

Comedian Jim Gaffigan was born.

An on Shelter Island …

50 YEARS AGO
Dering Harbor elects mayor and trustee

That’s a headline that might well have come out of more recent elections, but the year was 1966 and 80 percent of eligible voters turned up at the polls to re-elect then Mayor G. Roy Genung and Trustee Mrs. Clews Carpenter. Both ran unopposed.

POSTSCRIPT: Running unopposed, Mayor Tim Hogue was re-elected this year to a 13th two year term. Incumbents John Colby Jr. and Brandon Rose were re-elected, with Mr. Colby getting 34 votes and Mr. Rose, 36. Opponents

Challengers Ari Benacerraf and Elizabeth Morgan, each had 26 votes.

30 YEARS AGO
Society’s Chapel Museum opens to the public

The Shelter Island Historical Society, which acquired Manhanset Chapel, converted it for use as display space with museum curator Louise Green selecting pieces to be displayed there.

On the opening weekend in July 1986, Ms. Green and staff members were on hand for guided tours of the new museum space.

POSTSCRIPT: Ultimately, the Historical Society had to give up the chapel space, but after many years, the effort to provide more display space as well as room for researchers to examine records long buried in cramped space is underway. It will also provide more storage space.

20 YEARS AGO
HPOC announces no fare hike for North Ferry

In July 1996, Islanders and other regulars who use North Ferry to commute between Greenport and Shelter Island got the good news that the Heights Property Owners Corporation was in good financial shape and wouldn’t be looking to raise ferry fares within the next year.

At the same time the HPOC agreed to reopen talks about turning over its water system to the Suffolk County Water Authority, a suggestion, even then, that sparked controversy on the Island.

POSTSCRIPT: Both North and South ferry companies must get permission for rate hikes from the Suffolk County Legislature after financial records are reviewed. There’s a current call from some Greenporters for a $1 surcharge to help defray the cost of road maintenance leading to the Greenport ferry, but there has been no submission for a rate hike related to that request.

As for turning the Heights water system over to the SCWA, that is something that has long been resisted and seems unlikely to happen.

10 YEARS AGO
Camera records board’s meeting for cable

Following much debate, the Town Board began recording its meetings in the summer of 2006 for rebroadcast on Cable Channel 22.

Council members Peter Reich and Chris Lewis had favored the recordings, while Councilman Ed Brown worried that it would “hinder brainstorming” and politicize the sessions. Supervisor Alfred Kilb Jr. hadn’t opposed recordings, although he thought it unnecessary to record work sessions.

POSTSCRIPT: Both work sessions and regular Town Board meetings are recorded today.

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