A look back: This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO | This view of Shelter Island from 600 miles above was taken by a satellite in 1973.

Tiny ticks feasting — more bother than threat

An unusually high number of complaints from Mashomack Preserve hikers about itchy, irritating bites late in the summer pointed to an inordinately high level of larval ticks of all kinds, including the aggressive Lone Star ticks. Mashomack’ natural resources manager Mike Scheibel confirmed that ticks were more abundant and said workers there had also received a lot more bites. But Lone Star ticks were relatively new to the Island at the time and their bites were considered more annoying than threatening, according to Suffolk County Department of Health Services lab director Dr. Scott Campbell. Because of the late season, he said the ticks hadn’t picked up diseases, including Lyme, ehrlichiosis and babesiosis.
POSTSCRIPT: In 2013, there has been an increase in tick-borne diseases and town officials are addressing the issue by trying to get more 4-posters deployed next spring as well as to enhance hunting of deer on which the ticks feed.

State aid cuts projected

Shelter Island Board of Education members were examining planned cuts in transportation aid from New York State in the fall of 1993, concerned whether increases in other state aid would kick in and wondering how long other aid would be sustained. Even with the planned cutbacks, Shelter Island didn’t appear poised to get a hit for the next school year, but the district treasurer at the time was expressing concerns that projected levels of state aid wouldn’t be realized and the district could be looking at difficult times if the transportation aid cuts were sustained.
POSTSCRIPT: The problems faced 20 years ago have been magnified many times by increasing mandates from both the federal and state governments that are either underfunded or totally unfunded.

Highway race gears up

Among the hot political races 30 years ago was the battle between two experienced highway chiefs — incumbent Frank Klenawicus and former highway chief Leo Urban. Mr. Klenawicus was running for a third term and was endorsed by the Democrats and Independence Party. Mr. Urban had the backing of the Republican Party. He had held the job from 1973 to 1979. Although Mr. Urban defeated Mr. Klenawicus in the primary battle for Republican backing, in November it was Mr. Klenawicus who prevailed by a vote of 752 to 606.
POSTSCRIPT : This year, the Highway Superintendent Jay Card Jr. created a stir a few months ago when he said he might not seek re-election. He is running unopposed.

Satellite eyes Island from 600 miles above

In 1973, the ERTS-1 satellite offered up a picture of the East End of Long Island with Shelter Island front and center. The picture included parts of the Connecticut shore and a vast area of the Atlantic Ocean. The satellite circled the earth every 103 minutes and was among the early efforts at satellite communication. The satelite program was operated by the Department of the Interior and was designed to gather information on the earth’s surface to develop applications of real and practical value about farming and forestry.
POSTSCRIPT: Looking back, the image captured 40 years ago is nothing like those from Google earth. Islanders who haven’t been treated to Councilman Peter Reich’s scoping  of  locations of docks and moorings might be astounded at today’s clarity.