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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Ethiopian Atalalech Katema won the Shelter Island 10k for the third successive time in 2005.
Ethiopian Atalalech Katema won the Shelter Island 10k women’s division for the third successive time in 2005.


A methane gas explosion occurred in a mine near Dhaibad, India, killing 375 people and injuring hundreds more.Famed heart surgeaon Dr. Michael DeBakey, credited with development of the artificial heart, was on the cover of Time magazine.

“Shenadoah” with James Stewart and Doug McClure was pulling audiences into movie theaters.

Actress Brooke Shields was born in New York City.

The movie “Hud” starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas and Patricia Neal was released.

And on Shelter Island …

Water shortage?

That was the headline of a Reporter editorial 50 years ago this week after a particularly dry spring raised concerns about  a water shortage that summer. Studies throughout Long Island predicted no problem.

But Shelter Islanders, with a fragile aquifer and dependence on well water were advised to heed warnings to be cautious about water use.

POSTSCRIPT: Numbers just released by the United States Geological Survey for Shelter Island raise concerns for the local Water Advisory Committee with levels at an all time low.

Again, while there’s no ban in effect except as it pertains to the newly adopted requirements affecting automatic irrigation systems, the same message might now go out to residents and visitors alike to use what’s necessary, but to be cautious and not waste the resource.

Never ending summer traffic problem

A Reporter editorial at the end of May 1985 despaired at the increase of traffic, particularly in Shelter Island Heights, and the need to find a solution to both controlling vehicle speeds, attentiveness to walkers, joggers and bikers and, of course, the lack of sufficient parking.

POSTSCRIPT: Fast forward 30 years and traffic and parking remain a problem, especially in the Heights, and bikers, joggers and walkers are still vying for space with vehicles on narrow New York Avenue.

What’s new on the Rock?

A Reporter roundup on new businesses set to open for the summer of 1995 saw Joy of the Wok due to open that June with Chef Sung Wong offering Chinese cuisine Hunan style on Route 114. The chef had previously worked at Panda Gardens in Wainscott.

Another restaurant opening was Chamberlain’s on Grand Street where Angus Chamberlain was promising a menu he called “eclectic American.” Duvall’s Corner at Route 114 and Duvall Road was boasting a menu of regional American cuisine with “an Italian flare.”

POSTSCRIPT: Twenty years later, all three are gone and there’s an often heard refrain from Islanders that they wish they could find Chinese food without having to ferry to the South or North forks. What’s new this summer is the Red Maple coming in June at the Chequit and Shelter Island House at the former La Maison Blanche, now run by Keith Bavaro and Ali Bevilacqua of the popular SALT restaurant at the Island Boatyard.

Familiar faces at the finish line

Eric Chirchir of Kenya and Atalalech Katema of Ethiopia not only won the Shelter Island 10K in 2005, but Ms. Katema did it for the third successive year in the women’s division and Mr. Chirchir for the second time in a row in the men’s division.

“This is my race. I own it,” Mr. Chirchir said at the finish line.

POSTSCRIPT: Who owns the race in 2015 will be determined on June 20 at the 36th Annual Shelter Island 10K.

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