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This week in Shelter Island history: Blackout, state title and more



A week after the great Northeast blackout, magazines like Life were full of pictures of the darkened New York City skyline.A barge carrying 602 tons of chlorine gas in cylinders that had been lost off the coast of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, was found and the cylinders recovered without harmful effects.

This was the launching of the first Kellogg’s Pop-Tarts that were originally called Country Squares and evolved from a product similarly wrapped and put out by Post, but that was dog food.

The Byrds topped the music charts in the United States with “Turn! Turn! Turn!”

And on Shelter Island …

Massive power failure barely affects Island

Shelter Islanders had been leery that since its privately held electric company had been purchased by the Long Island Lighting Company, they would be beset by major outages and poor responses from the off-Island behemoth.

But when a massive power failure struck the northeast in November 1965, Islanders saw only a few seconds of an outage before their power was up and running smoothly.

Of course, through the years, there were complaints about LILCO bills and that led to the creation of the Long Island Power Authority and now PSEG-LI,

POSTSCRIPT: Just last week, the Heights and Center were hit by a power outage resulting from a cracked tree hitting a main power line on North Ferry Road. PSEG responded rapidly and got lights on for the more than 2,700 residents who had been in the dark for more than two hours. A more permanent fix was in the works throughout the day. Of course, there are still concerns about electric bills and what decision will ultimately be made about ensuring power to the Island is reliable as politicians and company officials explore various options.


Board, public swap barbs at budget hearing

Thirty years ago, about 30 Islanders turned up at the annual public budget hearing complaining that the Town Board wasn’t making it easy for locals to know what was contained in the $1.8 million preliminary proposal.

What people wanted was an overall fact sheet. But then supervisor George Kontje argued that copies had been available at the Town Clerk’s office for perusal or purchase and that all previous budget meetings had been open to the public.

Ultimately, the Town Board adopted a $1.7 million budget for 1986 fiscal year.

POSTSCRIPT: This year’s public hearing on the budget garnered not a single question and the few people who turned up at the hearing were on hand for other issues that were due to come before the Town Board at its regular weekly work session.


Janelle wins States

One of Shelter Island’s most remarkable athletes, Janelle Kraus Nadeau, brought home a state championship to add to her many accomplishments as a cross country runner. She won the Class C State Championship at Corning Community College in November 1995 with a time of 14.42.7.

Ms. Kraus-Nadeau was named to Shelter Island School’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 2013 and two years earlier, was inducted into the Wake Forest University Hall of Fame. Injuries interrupted her efforts to become an Olympic runner, although she trained for the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, China, but had to withdraw from the Olympic Trials Marathon.

POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Kraus-Nadeau continues to return to Shelter Island for various 5k and 10k races with her husband, marathoner and nutritionist Bill Nadeau.


Scallop veteran

Albertus “Toots” Clark was only 5 when he first started scalloping in waters off Shelter Island. At 90, he was in his 85th year of scalloping in 2005 along with a small contingent of others.

His experience had taught him to recognize signs of good and bad years for Peconic Bay scallops and he was seeing signs that the scallop population that had been almost wiped out by nitrogen runoff and algal blooms was beginning to take hold again.

Eel grass was growing again and Mr. Clark said every year, he was seeing improvements.

POSTSCRIPT: This year as the scallop season began there was optimism about a bountiful harvest. In 2014, scallopers reported they harvested three times as many scallops as they had the year before and now they’re seeing a return to what was great scallop harvests of the early 1980s.

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