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This week in Shelter Island history

Old book with a damaged cover. Book is open, visible texture sheets.


North Vietnam troops captured a Green Beret camp at Ashau Valley.

Grammy winner and singer-songwriter Edie Brickell was born in Dallas, Texas.

France withdrew from NATO’s military command, protesting United States domination and asking that NATO headquarters be moved to Paris.

Five-time Horse of the Year Kelso retired after a career in which he was the all-time money winner until 1979 when Triple Crown winner Affirmed surpassed him.

And on Shelter Island …

Let state and county aid flow without loss of local control

Fifty years ago, Assembly Minority Leader Perry Duryea wrote a column in the Reporter praising funding from the state and county governments without which, he said, many major undertakings would never see the light of day.

Education, for example, could never meet the standards it’s expected to demonstrate without help from county, state and even federal governments, Mr. Duryea said.

At the same time, he cautioned that it’s important to be able to receive the financial assistance without having the other levels of government dictate policies.

POSTSCRIPT: Concern for local control continues to be an issue for school districts that have struggled with Common Core initiatives in the past few years.  It now appears  they’re successfully fighting back to bring about changes that will end the dominance of the state and federal governments on how schools are operated, assessed and even staffed.

But a last minute wrinkle from the U.S. Department of Education is threatening to withhold money from states where 95 percent of students don’t submit to standardized tests. The department won’t penalize individual districts, but if it’s allowed to take money from the state, the result is less money that lands in local school district coffers.

Educators are watching the situation, hoping that the threatened financial penalties don’t materialize.

Fallacies, facts about groundwater

Thirty years ago, it fell to the Conservation Advisory Council to inform residents about the condition of their water — everything from its source and amounts to quality.

In the first of a series of columns in the Reporter, the CAC let Islanders know the water didn’t flow from Connecticut, but came from an aquifer, and while soil filtered the water, it couldn’t completely protect it from contaminants. The process by which it flows through the sand is slow and so is the process of removing contaminants — taking years.

There are steps that can be taken to protect water, including wise land use, the CAC reported.

POSTSCRIPT: Educating the public about groundwater in the mid 1980s was an early step to what’s being done today at great expense to determine what contaminants are in water and what needs to be done to protect it.

A lot of today’s focus throughout Long Island is the condition of aged septic systems that need to be upgraded.

Janelle Kraus offered full scholarship to Wake Forest University

It was 20 years ago  that Janelle Kraus, an Island outstanding athlete in track and cross country, learned she would be the recipient of a full athletic scholarship to Wake Forest University in North Carolina. Cliff Clark was her Island coach at the time and a friend of Wake Forest Coach Francie Goodrich. Mr. Clark  said his protege would claim the fifth spot on a seven-member team.

Ms. Kraus had been courted by four other Division 1 schools — Dartmouth, the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and William and Mary.

POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Kraus-Nadeau is a cross country coach and lives in Madison, Connecticut with her husband, marathoner and nutritionist Bill Nadeau, and their daughter Josephine.

She was inducted into the Wake Forest Hall of Fame in the class of 2011-12 and is considered the most highly decorated women’s track athlete in Wake Forest’s history.

She was inducted into the Shelter Island Athletic Hall of Fame in June 2013 and returned later that year to honor Mr. Clark — a man she’ll always call “Coach,” she said, when he was inducted into the Hall of Fame.

She returns regularly to run in the Shelter Island 10K.

Residents prevail on town to consider 4-posters

Two town residents in 2006 asked the Town Board to consider the use of 4-poster units as a tool to control tick infestation on the Island.

Residents Jim Cardone and Herb Stelljes argued there was convincing evidence that the units would be effective in dealing with ticks that have been carriers of Lyme and other diseases.

“It seems to me it’s time to take the only ethical and moral stand for the welfare of human beings on the Island,” Mr. Cardone said, arguing it was time to move beyond “irrational fears.”

Evidence of the viability of the units is “overwhelming,” Mr. Stelljes said.

Town Board members were noncommittal, but at the time in 2006, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation banned the use of 4-posters that use the tickicide permethrin. New York was the only state in the lower 48 that banned the use of the units.

POSTSCRIPT: It was a long time coming, but in 2008, Shelter Island became one of the test sites allowed to deploy 4-posters in a program financed and operated by Cornell University and Cornell Cooperative Extension. From 2008 through 2010, there were 60 units on Shelter Island.

Today, there’s a move for a follow up study on the safety and effectiveness of long-range use of permethrin.

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