50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY
The Soviet Union announced it had launched the world’s first multi-manned spaceship with three astronauts aboard.
Dr. Martin Luther King won the Nobel Peace Prize.
Song and dance man Eddie Cantor died of a heart attack at age 72.
Singer Bobby Darin was trying his acting chops, having just appeared on “Wagon Train” and prepping for a role with Janet Leigh in a TV movie for Bob Hope’s Chrysler Theater.
The New York Yankees lost the World Series to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Communist Party stripped Nikita Khrushchev of his posts as premier and party chief, replacing him with Leonid Brezhnev.
And on Shelter Island …
50 YEARS AGO
Johnson leads in ferry poll
It was at this time in 1964 that Cliff Clark, then purser at South Ferry and a student at Harding University, conducted a presidential poll among ferry riders and determined that people he encountered were leaning toward re-electing President Lyndon Johnson. Those he polled came mostly from six states — New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. The results he reported at the time were: Mr. Johnson, 39 percent; Barry Goldwater, 34 percent; undecided, 25 percent; and 2 percent not voting.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, Mr. Clark is president of South Ferry and, we suspect, too busy to be polling in presidential election years.
30 YEARS AGO
DEC alters coastal map
Working with data provided by Shelter Island property owners, the state Department of Environmental Conservation began revising its Coastal Barrier Districts map for the town. The purpose of the maps is to identify those low-lying areas that could be subject to erosion resulting from storm damage.
As a result of revisions, regulations affecting various areas would be implemented. Such regulations would affect setbacks necessary to allow development.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, the town continues to require setbacks aimed at protecting wetlands and areas that could be easily eroded. When Superstorm Sandy struck the Island in 2012, there were major areas of erosion, including on the Ram Island Causeway that required shoring up by the Public Works Department.
20 YEARS AGO
Commissioners agree to study fire department merger
It was in October 1994 that commissioners of Shelter Island’s separate fire districts showed a majority favored a fact-finding study to determine the possible ramifications of merging the two districts. The majority of firefighters from both the Heights and Center Fire Departments supported their individual Boards of Commissioners in endorsing such a study.
Still, there were hurdles to be overcome. Then Commissioner Fred Ogar said that the Heights had more equipment while the Center had more firefighters. Heights commissioner Rick Gurney said there would have to be a complete restructuring to make a merger work.
POSTSCRIPT: Today, there is one district while there are three firehouses on the Island — the Center, the Heights and Manhansett on Cobbetts Lane.
10 YEARS AGO
Energy option blowing in the wind
Ten years ago, Shelter Island was among 30 New York State municipalities considering a contract with Community Energy Inc. to bring wind power to the town. Initially, at least, it was going to cost ratepayers a little more if they opted to go ahead with the project that would provide the town’s demand for electricity through wind-generated turbines that would be located upstate.
POSTSCRIPT: The plan never came to fruition and the debate today is how to provide backup electric power from PSEG with either an on-Island substation or cables running from Shelter Island to Greenport.