Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Dory owner Jack Kiffer outside his bar and restaurant in 2012 has taken ribbing from friends that he has been on the Reporter front page through the years more often than any other Islander.
Dory owner Jack Kiffer outside his bar and restaurant in 2012.


The world’s longest suspension bridge, the Verrazano Narrows linking Brooklyn with Staten Island, was opened to traffic.The 1964 LPGA tour concluded with Jack Nicklaus emerging as the leading money winner with earnings of $113,285

Television screens were filled with tributes to President John F. Kennedy a year after he was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.

Elvis Presley’s “Roustabout” had audiences packing movie theaters.

The University of California’s Berkeley Campus Free Speech Movement was in full swing, inspired first by the battle for civil rights and then demands to end the war in Vietnam.

And on Shelter Island …

Emergency communications streamlined

A new emergency communication system was installed at Police headquarters and an upgraded system was expected for the Fire Department back in 1964. It may be hard to fathom what originally existed, but prior to creating a link to Southold Police, a person calling an officer for help might, while he was on patrol, get the policeman’s wife.

And if she wasn’t home to forward to message to the officer, the caller was left without a means of dealing with what could be anything from a minor problem to a major incident.

POSTSCRIPT: Welcome to 2014, when Southold Police act as dispatchers, backed up by Suffolk County. There’s a movement, somewhat slow to implement, to switch from low band to high band service among the various departments to improve communications, often needed not only for one department to communicate with its members, but to seek support services from other departments.

The hold up in conversion has been both an issue of expense and determination of changing standards that would best serve to streamline those communications.

Preserve will open special deer season

In November 1994 Mashomack Preserve officials  made a decision to open their forested areas to deer hunters the following January for town and state approved hunts.  In line with state law at the time, hunters were allowed to use shotguns and muzzle loaders and to take deer or either sex. During the previous year, the preserve had been closed to deer hunting.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s Deer & Tick Committee is struggling to find a way of getting hunters to cull the deer beyond the limits they have in the past year, with some difference of opinion between officials and hunters if there’s a need to increase culling of deer.

Town Board to vote on sprinkler law

Back in November 1994 the Town Board was setting a public hearing to discuss a revision on the use of automatic underground sprinkler systems. The plan to revisit the issue was in response to droughts during the summers of 1993 and 1994, during which there was a lack of enforcement of the existing law.

Town authorities judged that the law, as it existed, allowed violations to continue for too long a time before any action could be taken. The plan was to enact a moratorium on any new systems while a new ordinance could be drafted and put in place.

POSTSCRIPT: History tells us that in 2003, a new ordinance was put in place, but while banning new systems or changes to existing systems, no outright ban on use was to be implemented until September 2013.

That date has come and gone and after almost a year of meetings in which the Irrigation Committee  concluded inground systems weren’t culpable for a drain on water resources, the town has extended its moratorium to at least early 2015, while it reworks a proposed new ordinance.

Town moves to shut Dory

After prolonged battles with owner Jack Kiffer over numerous citations for violations by the Bridge Street bar and restaurant, the town was preparing to shut down the operation in November 2004. The Town Board instructed attorney Laury Dowd to seek an injunction to shut down the business. The town was also preparing to revoke the Dory’s wetlands permit.

POSTSCRIPT: Jack Kiffer continues to operate the Dory .

[email protected]