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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Residnets of the Haight-Ashbury section of San Francisco conducted a mock funeral to observe the end of the hippie movement there since the neighborhood had become infiltrated with new residents who had allowed it to deteriorate.

The Beatles turned down a $1 million New York concert offer from producer Sid Bernstein who had brought the group to  Carnegie Hall back in 1964.

The 1967 World Series marked the first since 1948 in which the Yankees, Dodgers or Giants weren’t playing.

Ray Chapman — who played for the Charlotte Hornets, Washington Bullets, Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns before going on to a career as a sportscaster — was born in Bowling Green, Kentucky.

LPGA golfer Ellie Gibson was born in Corpus Christi, Texas.

And on Shelter Island . . .

50 YEARS AGO

Opposition to new constitution grows

Opposition to a revised New York State Constitution was growing on the East End and, as state results would show, would go down to a resounding defeat in November.

Opposition came not only from politicians, but groups were voicing concerns about the revision. What finally killed it, according to many critics who wrote at the time, was it was being presented as a single proposition rather than broken into sections that could be individually accepted or rejected.

POSTSCRIPT: This November, voters throughout the state will be voting on whether or not to open up a state constitutional convention. If voters reject that proposition, changes could still be made to individual sections of the constitution just as the United States Constitution can be amended.

Proponents argue the document is aged and needs major revisions, while opponents argue about various sections and point to the expense of a full constitutional convention and the possibility that after all the effort and expense, a revised constitution could still be defeated.

30 YEARS AGO

Town bows to request for cable expert

It was 30 years ago at this time that the Town Board was considering an application from the Long Island Lighting Company for installation of a 69,000 volt underground cable. But residents were hesitant and finally persuaded the Town Board that it needed to hire an independent consultant to assess the safety and viability of the cable. There were also concerns about the effect the cable might have on the environment.

After listening to concerns at a public hearing, the Town Board finally agreed to delay action until an independent consultant could be hired to assess the situation.

POSTSCRIPT: A much hoped for cable connecting the Island to a Southold substation is currently undergoing an environmental review and work is anticipated to begin shortly. This time, Islanders, faced with the need to replace cables that failed and one that is aged, are looking forward to PSEG lines running from the Heights to Greenport and finally to that Southold substation.

An earlier effort broke down in 2013 and the Island has been living on a prayer that the last remaining cable would keep working while having backup generators on the Island each summer just in case that last cable broke.

If all goes as expected the new cable will be up and running by mid May 2018.

20 YEARS AGO

Peconic County Now to sue state legislature

After years of frustration, a group determined to try to separate the five East End towns from Suffolk County opted 20 years ago to sue the New York State Legislature. Then speaker Sheldon Silver had year after year refused to consider legislation to allow creation of a separate county, and in 1997 he told members of Peconic County Now he would reconsider his position, but  failed to do so.

POSTSCRIPT: Mr. Silver was arrested in 2015 on corruption charges and convicted, and while his conviction was overturned this summer, he is no longer a member of the state Assembly.

Since his ouster, there has been the occasional hint that with him out of the way, it would be time to revive the effort, but there has yet to be a concentrated effort to form a new county.

10 YEARS AGO

‘Frugal’ is budget catch word

Alfred Kilb Jr. was supervisor 10 years ago when he presented his $9.25 million budget for 2008. He said he was trying to be “a little more frugal” in the proposal than he had been when putting together the 2007 budget.

Still, his proposal, which would undergo changes by the entire Town Board, called for adding about $1 million to spending or about an 11.9 percent increase in taxes. As is often the case, much of the proposed increase resulted from manpower costs and equipment.

POSTSCRIPT: Gone are the days when spending increases are in double digits. But that doesn’t mean the town will stay within the state-imposed 2 percent tax rate increase. Even before budget talks got underway, the Town Board had unanimously passed a resolution enabling it to pierce the cap if it became necessary.

The supervisor’s budget proposal has been released, but doesn’t get totalled until after budget meetings with department chiefs that typically take place during the month of October. The current year’s spending plan is $10.77 million.

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