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This week in Shelter Island history

REPORTER FILE PHOTO Hank de Cillia, who was executive director of East End Transit, tried unsuccessfully 10 years ago to convince the Shelter Island Town Board to allow a shuttle boat connecting passengers between North and South ferries.
REPORTER FILE PHOTO Hank de Cillia, who was executive director of East End Transit, tried unsuccessfully 10 years ago to convince the Shelter Island Town Board to allow a shuttle bus connecting passengers between North and South ferries.


President Lyndon Johnson, in his first State of the Union Address, said that the United States could afford to continue to support the war effort in Vietnam and pay for the Great Society social programs he advocated.President Johnson called for establishing a Department of Transportation.

The strike by New York City’s public transportation workers ended after 12 days of traffic jams resulting from a lack of subway and bus service.

The television series Batman starring Adam West and Burt Ward premiered as a mid-season replacement on ABC.

New York City established one-way traffic flow on Fifth Avenue heading south and Madison Avenue heading north.

And on Shelter Island …

Numbers, they are a’changin’

Forty years ago there was a transition in handling emergency calls on Shelter Island, requiring them to be made by dialing 0.

The introduction of the new call system was playing to mixed reviews with some praising it for its efficiency and others critical that insufficient information was being conveyed.

POSTSCRIPT: Islanders, along with other Suffolk County residents, will soon be facing a new innovation, not for emergency calls, but all telephone calls.

This spring, a new area code will be introduced in Suffolk County, but there won’t be the easy crossover that has been in place for other such changes.

You will have to dial the three-digit area code whether you are calling your neighbor in the same area code or a user in the new area code. That means reprogramming automatic dialers on both land and cell lines or simply punching in more digits by hand than you had to do in the past.

Rosenblum is town attorney

In January 1986Helen Rosenblum was appointed by Supervisor Jeff Simes to be town attorney, replacing Charles Cuddy.

The Town Board approved the appointment by a 4-1 vote with Councilman Louis Price voting against the action. He said his vote wasn’t aimed at Ms. Rosenblum, but because he liked Mr. Cuddy and didn’t understand the reason to change direction with someone new.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, Ms. Rosenblum serves as one of two judges for the Shelter Island Justice Court.

Blizzard blankets Island

Just days after taking office as Highway Department superintendent in 1996, Alfred Kilb Jr. was challenged by a storm that dumped two feet of snow on Shelter Island.

What’s more, forecasts called for another 16 inches that could materialize within days.

Mr. Kilb deployed five large plow trucks, two smaller ones, a loader and a grader with crews working nonstop for almost three days throughout the storm to keep roads passable.

POSTSCRIPT: Islanders can be forgiven if they’re holding their collective breath this year. While temperatures have hovered around springtime readings until a cold snap this week, and are projected to rise throughout the week, there has been nothing more of the white stuff in sight except for a few flakes on Monday.

Shuttles on the Island? Maybe not

Few would argue that public transportation on the East End is poor, but when East End Transit representative Hank de Cillia came before the Town Board in January 2006 to suggest a shuttle to run regularly between North and South ferries, he drew quick opposition from  Supervisor Alfred Kilb Jr.

“We’re struggling every day on this Island to preserve our character,” Mr. Kilb told Mr. de Cillia. A shuttle bus, seen by the planners as a means of completing an East End loop, would be “a huge step away from that character,” Mr. Kilb said.

POSTSCRIPT: Ten years later, there remains no shuttle bus running between North and South ferries and seemingly no more appetite to establish a route across the Island.

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