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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


400 people in New York City died of respiratory failure or heart attacks in the city’s smoggiest day when residents were told to remain indoors and avoid driving.

80 people perished in a Bulgarian plane crash near Bratislava, Slovakia.

The Beatles began recording their Sgt.. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album that would include “Strawberry Fields Forever.”

Actor Billy Burke, known for his role in the Twilight series, was born in Bellingham, Washington.

The Supremes’ “You Keep Me Hangin’ On” was top of the charts in the United States.

And on Shelter Island …

Child injured by dogs on school grounds

It was 50 years ago that a 7-year old child was bitten by a dog on a school playground, resulting in cries for restricting dogs from wandering free.

While some called for fencing of the school playground area, others argued that restrictions had to be wider, keeping dogs from wandering freely on town streets.

Dr. Frank Gross announced that the child would recover fully, but would have scars on her leg for the rest of her life.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, dogs are required to be under their owners’ control, unless muzzled or on the owner’s property or property where the owner has permission to let the dog run free. Otherwise, they must be leashed.

Environmental review law hearing set

The Town Board set a public hearing on a proposed revision to the environmental quality review section of its code aimed at toughening restrictions and bringing it into compliance with state codes.

POSTSCRIPT: The state code continues to be in place today in assessing necessary compliance for building projects, with some projects requiring lengthy reviews to ensure they don’t adversely affect wetlands and water quality.

Sherman challenges Reeves for commissioners role Revaluation

Herb Sherman entered the race for fire commissioner, challenging incumbent James “Zippy” Reeves for the post. The big issue at the time was whether to merge the Island’s two fire districts, with Mr. Sherman insisting talks were dragging, while Mr. Reeves said it took time to examine the various implications of a merge.

Mr. Reeves had served as a commissioner since 1981 and was commission chairman several times in the Center. Mr. Sherman was a long-time firefighter and a former chief in the Heights.

Mr. Reeves prevailed in the vote 290 to 208.

POSTSCRIPT: One commissioner, Larry Lechmanski, is seeking re-election as a commissioner when voting commences December 6. He is running unopposed.

Rosenblum tapped to preside at drug court

Shelter Island Justice Helen Rosenblum became the third judge to serve on the East End Regional Intervention courts, providing non-violent drug offenders an chance to seek intervention rather than punishment for their offenses.

While the position is unpaid, Judge Rosenblum described it as “life changing.” She was a backup judge for the program for a year.

POSTSCRIPT: Judge Rosenblum continues to serve on the “drug court” and was just re-elected without opposition to another term on the Shelter Island Justice Court bench.

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