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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


The United States Department of Education denied funding to 12 southern school districts it said violated the 1964 Civil Rights Act.

Busch Memorial Stadium in St. Louis opened and the Cardinals won a 12-inning game, 4-3, beating the Atlanta Braves.

Tens of thousands of antiwar protesters picketed the White House prior to a rally at the Washington Monument.

Actor Stephen Baldwin was born.

The Rolling Stones released “Paint It Black.”

And on Shelter Island …

Town beach access at issue

It’s a subject that remains settled in the eyes of most Islanders, but 50 years ago, the then owners of the Chequit Inn were complaining about having to “police” their guests when it came to beach access.

Then Chequit owner, Mary Franzoni, said  cards should be issued to hotel guests so they could use town beaches. Instead,  guests had to pay $1 for an auto sticker that would allow them beach parking privileges.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, all registered guests of hotels, inns, motels, guest cottages, rooming houses and camps are given parking privileges at beaches. And for the second year in a row, a limited number of day passes can be purchased at Town Hall for $20 each allowing users to visit Wades and Shell beaches.

Special ferry zones proposed

Helen Rosenblum, who was then town attorney, proposed in May 1986 that a special ferry zone be established to amend the code that had both North and South ferry companies in AA residential zones.

That zoning would limit both companies from business expansions, since they were already considered nonconforming uses that generally have difficulty gaining approval of changes that would enhance nonconforming use.

POSTSCRIPT: The current zoning code provides the companies with the ability to apply for special permits for projects necessary to their operations, but such additions can’t alter the general character of the neighborhoods and would be subject to height, area and setback requirements.

The provisions didn’t apply to existing structures at the time of the change, except buildings had to be in compliance with bulk regulations of the district in which they were located.

Community planning on Islanders’ minds

Twenty years ago, Islanders were clamoring for implementation of a community plan that would speak to future development here. Among major concerns were housing density, bed & breakfasts, accessory apartments and two-family houses.

While the plan had been developed, implementing it was becoming muddled, according to an editorial at the time that suggested officials were losing sight of the intent of the plan and allowing personal views to take them off track.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Community Housing Board is finding itself struggling against forces that seem to block its goal of trying to provide workforce housing for those who may work for small Island-owned companies and government. They may never be able to buy homes here at the escalated prices that exist, but they serve the Islanders in many functions and want to live where they work.

Government workers must live on the Island unless they get special permission to live elsewhere and that only comes after three years of service to the town.

Tick forum: A defense of 4-posters

In May of 2006 the Island’s Deer & Tick Committee held a forum at which it featured a film on 4-poster units that declared that the pesticide, permethrin, was both effective in killing ticks and environmentally benign.

When applied in an oily 10 percent solution, it was said to be less toxic than fabric softener and more precisely targeted than sprays. It was said to be highly effective in killing adult ticks and breaking the tick life cycle if used for at least three years.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s Deer & Tick Committee embraces use of 4-posters as one of the tools in the arsenal to try to beat back tick-borne diseases. But at least one member, Marc Wein, has questioned the long-term effects of using permethrin.