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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

New York inventor Ralph Baer had an idea about other ways to use television when nothing good was being broadcast and began work on what would become a Magnavox Odyssey, an early home entertainment game system.

The Canadian Broadcasting Company began offering programs in color for the first time.

United Nations Secretary-General U Thant announced he wouldn’t seek re-election because the UN had been unable to bring an end to the Vietnam War.

Actress Selma Hayek was born in Vera Cruz, Mexico.

Ozzie and Harriet Nelson ended their family television show after 14 years on NBC

And on Shelter Island …

40 YEARS AGO
LILCO says atomic energy safe, economic

Officials of what was in 1976 the Long Island Lighting Company, were on the Island to enlist support for a nuclear plant at Shoreham.

“The approach to the design, construction and operation of nuclear power plants makes provisions for both the expected and unexpected failures of men and material, as well as natural phenomena, such as hurricanes and earthquakes,” said LILCO Project Manager Thomas Burke.

POSTSCRIPT: In 1991, the New York State Court of Appeals by a 4-3 vote upheld a 1989 agreement to close the plant, but it would be close to four more years before the plant was decommissioned and ultimately closed.

Ratepayers are still being assessed for the project and its closing.

30 YEARS AGO
School gym roof section gives way

Early September is always a critical time for school districts readying for classes to begin. But back in 1986, then Superintendent Marlene Berman had an added burden when a small section of the roof over the gymnasium gave way over the Labor Day weekend.

It resulted from the shifting of  beams in the area over the locker rooms that caused those rooms to be closed off until repairs could be made.

POSTSCRIPT: While administrators, teachers and staff are typically busy this year, a lot of work has been done over the summer to improve the building, including the major project of a new heating and air conditioning system and many changes contributing to more energy efficiency.

20 YEARS AGO
Record rainfall hurts Island summer business

As Labor Day was approaching in 1996, merchants were lamenting a summer in which heavy rainfall had taken a hit to July business. A busy August helped to make up the shortfall, but it couldn’t totally make up for the July losses.

POSTSCRIPT: Welcome to 2016 where drought conditions mean dry weekends with lots of tourists. It may help business, but poses an issue for the aquifer that, despite a few heavy rainstorms this summer, needs a lot more rain to replenish the water supply depleted because of the heavy demands for water use that summer crowds bring. Recent downpours, however have helped to recharge the aquifer.

10 YEARS AGO
Primary elections set

In 2006, there were no Island primary races, but statewide, Republicans and Democrats were poised for primaries where then Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton had a challenge in the Democratic race from Jonathan Tasini and Republicans K.T. McFarland and John Spencer were eyeing the Senate seat.

Ms. Clinton and Mr. Spencer would go on to face one another in the general election, which she won handily in November.

POSTSCRIPT: This year the two announced candidates for Town Board — incumbent Mary Dudley for the Democrats and Amber Williams on the GOP ticket — will face off in the November general election.

Ms. Clinton, of course, is running for president against Republican Donald Trump .

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