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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


People were reading Jacqueline Susann’s novel, “Valley of the Dolls.”English actress Helena Bonham Carter was born in Golders Green, London.

Fidel Castro declared martial law in Cuba, anticipating a possible attack from the United States.

“Mame,” starring Angela Lansbury and Beatrice Arthur opened at the Winter Garden Theater on Broadway.

Athlete Zola Budd was born in South Africa, but represented Great Britain in the 1984 Olympics and her native country in the 1992 Olympic Games.

And on Shelter Island …

Town studying possible link with Southold’s base station

Fifty years ago, there was a proposal on the table from the Southold Fire Department to handle Shelter Island’s fire dispatching services. But the Town Board resisted the possibility, mostly because the price tag would be about $30,000 per year.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Southold Police Dpartment  handles dispatching for Shelter Island with Suffolk County providing backup services.

Because there will be a gradual transition from low band to high band service, the fire district here will have to buy new equipment, some of which will be paid for from revenues earned if a second cell tower is allowed to be constructed on the Island.

Islanders know ticks and how to avoid disease

That was the gist of a story carried in late May of 1986 in the Reporter that maintained full-time residents and those who are regular weekenders and/or summer residents recognize the problems associated with ticks and take the steps to avoid getting bitten, or if bitten, are quick to seek treatment to avoid serious illness.

The story implies that problems develop mostly for one-time visitors who get bitten, leave the Island not knowing the consequences and return to their homes and doctors who aren’t aware of Lyme and other tick-borne diseases.

It also mentioned antibiotics that even in late stages of such diseases could be effective treatments that would “with relative success” keep most victims from developing chronic Lyme Disease.

POSTSCRIPT: While most Islanders are aware of steps they need to take to protect themselves and doctors here are well aware of the symptoms of various tick-borne illnesses, there are constant stories of people who do not that reach the ears and eyes of those in the know — members of the Deer & Tick Committee and those who work at such sites as Mashomack Preserve.

Mike Scheibel, Mashomack’s natural resources manager and chairman of the Deer & Tick Committee talks about children who show up at the preserve wearing flip flops and shorts.

People mus protect themselves with shoes and socks and, if they follow advice from Southampton Hospital’s Tick-Borne Disease Resource Center, will spray their shoes with tickicide and use bands of tape with sticky side out around the top of their socks to keep ticks from landing on their bodies.

As for antibiotics that can avoid chronic Lyme, there are serious regimens of treatment, some requiring hospitalization, according to the experts. But the best defense, they have said, is daily tick checks and immediately seeing a doctor if you have a bite to start early treatment.

Peconic Estuary Program primed for conference

The Peconic Estuary Program 20 years ago organized the First Annual State of the Bays to take actions to protect the estuary the Environmental Protection Agency has listed as one of 28 estuaries of national significance.

The National Estuary Program was created in 1987 to promote appropriate management  to protect the water bodies from pollution, development and overuse. The goal was to develop a Comprehensive Conservation and Management Plan to protect and improve water quality.

POSTSCRIPT: Twenty years later, there have been advances in technology and the Peconic Estuary Program remains in the forefront of the effort to protect the estuary. But costs of implementing upgrades to aged septic systems remains a problem threatening the achievement of the goal.

Holmes is vice chair of Suffolk County Planning Commission

Islander Linda Holmes was elected vice chairman of the Suffolk County Planning Commission in May 2006.

The author and World Wear II historian had served on the commission since 2004 when she was appointed to fill the unexpired term of Ronald Cyr that ended in December 2005.

She was then re-appointed to the Planning Commission by County Executive Steve Levy to a full four-year term.

POSTSCRIPT: Nicholas Morehead is today’s Shelter Island representative to the Suffolk County Planning Commission.

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