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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


Following a sniper attack at the University of Texas Austin campus, President Lyndon Baines Johnson called on Congress to enact gun control legislation.

Actress Gertrude Berg, known to radio audiences as Molly Goldberg in “The Goldbergs” series, died in Dedham, Massachusetts.

The first British nuclear submarine, the HMS Resolution, was launched.

The Metropolitan Opera House opened at Lincoln Center.

“That Girl,” starring Marlo Thomas, debuted on ABC Television.

And on Shelter Island

Music to Islanders’ ears

In mid September of 1966, the Reporter carried an account of a ferry breakdown serving Martha’s Vineyard. But suggestions that a bridge be built to connect that island to mainland Massachusetts got a sound rebuke from then Secretary of the Interior Stewart Udall, who was vacationing on Martha’s Vineyard.

“An island should be an island,” Mr. Udall said. “I can’t think of anything that would destroy Martha’s Vineyard more than a bridge, so let’s have no more such talk.”

POSTSCRIPT: From time to time, similar bridge suggestions have been made about Shelter Island, only to be rejected by those who value all that makes this place special — including North and South ferries.

School considers taxi for students

Faced with escalating costs of transporting occupational and special education students to off-Island classes, Superintendent Marlene Berman was working out a plan to use taxi services to take the students to buses that would depart Greenport.

She told the Board of Education that about $32,000 could be saved once the details of the taxi services are worked out.

POSTSCRIPT: Transportation off-Island continues to be a major expense for the district. Two years ago, the district suspended transporting students to off-Island combined sports teams in order to cut the budget. Where possible, the district tries to share costs on a per capita basis with other districts in order to keep its transportation costs in check.

School district sees a surplus

Just after the 1996-97 school year started, district treasurer Eileen Hannema told Board of Education members there was a $65,000 surplus from the previous year’s budget that would be returned to taxpayers.

The surplus was the result of an unanticipated increase in interest earnings on district accounts.

POSTSCRIPT: These days with tight budgets, surpluses are generally held in reserve for the following year to offset spending.

The survey says . . .

A survey conducted by  the Group for South Fork (now the Group for the East End), concluded that Islanders considered tick-borne disease their number one concern. The aim of the survey among Islanders was to initiate the development of educational materials.

The telephone survey was conducted by a professional polling firm, the Potholm Group of Harpswell, Maine.

POSTSCRIPT: Just this month, the Deer & Tick Committee talked about the importance of stepping up its educational outreach to the community, including an updated survey. The purpose would be to get feedback on whether the public likes the committee’s three-pronged approach — 4-poster unites, culling of the herd and education.

Currently, most resources are used for the deployment and maintenance of 4-poster units, with lesser budgets for both culling the deer herd and educating the public about tick-borne diseases.