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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Former interim school superintendent Gil DeCicco left the district 10 years ago after a replacement was named.
Former interim school superintendent Gil DeCicco left the district 10 years ago after a replacement was named.


The United States Senate approved eliminating all silver from dimes and quarters and reducing the silver content from 90 percent to 40 percent in half dollars, a move backed by President Lyndon Johnson because of a silver shortage.

The first major combat offensive by American troops started in Vietnam.

Two Viet Cong terrorist bombs ripped through a floating restaurant on the Saigon River, killing 31 people.

The Rolling Stones topped the music chart with “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction.”

Frank Sinatra released his album, “Sinatra ‘65: The Singer Today.”


And on Shelter Island …

Everything old is new again

With a Supreme Court decision 50 years, East Enders got a loud and clear message that they would have little voice in the Suffolk County Legislature. An editorial that ran in the Reporter at the end of June in 1965 dealt with the decision that found the existing county legislature was unconstitutional and that under the revised system, 18 county legislators would come from western towns while only two would come from the five East End towns.

East End legislators and residents have been complaining throughout the years that the County Legislature pays little heed to their interests and that Peconic should have its own county legislature.

POSTSCRIPT: The refrain has been heard again here in recent months, since former Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver quit after being indicted on fraud charges and Carl Heastie took his place.

Mr. Silver blocked past attempts at creating a new county, but many have speculated that Mr. Heastie may be more open to the idea that would require state approval.

Protests received on waterways proposal

Even before a hearing on a proposed law to limit mooring areas, 30 years ago the Town Board  was receiving letters of protest. They came from Connecticut boaters who said they aren’t responsible for polluting local waters. The proposal resulted from debris, household trash and various pollutants found in the water that were contaminating fish spawning areas.

The following week, there were many pros and cons aired at the early July hearing, but Supervisor George Kontje said the board wouldn’t be acting on the ordinance.

POSTSCRIPT: Because of the limited availability of mooring space, permits are issued for Shelter Island residents only, but nonresidents can find moorings at a number of commercial establishments. They are also allowed to anchor in designated areas for up to 48 hours.

Lanahan named chairman of assessors

Twenty years ago, Bob Lanahan was named chairman of the town’s Board of Assessors, replacing Anthony Blados who died the month before. Mr. Lanahan had already announced he was seeking another term on the board and had been cross-endorsed by both Republicans and Democrats.

POSTSCRIPT: Al Hammond announced recently that we won’t seek another term on the board this November after serving for 15 years.

DeCicco bids goodbye

It was the end of June 2005 when acting school Superintendent Gil DeCicco bid farewell to the Shelter Island community. He had taken the reins when Ken Lanier had to resign the job for health reasons a year earlier.

At his final Board of Education meeting, he thanked the community and outlined efforts that were under way to strengthen the special education program and to implement the school’s first overall improvement plan.

POSTSCRIPT: A year ago, the district bid farewell to former Superintendent Michael Hynes and last September, Leonard Skuggevik stepped into the role. At the final Board of Education meeting this month, it was two members — Dr. Stephen Gessner and Marilynn Pysher — who said their goodbyes. Two new board members elected in May — Kathleen Lynch and Susan Binder — will be sworn in at the district’s July 1 reorganizational meeting.

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