Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


Dr. James Bedford, author and University of California psychology professor, became the first person to be cryogenically preserved following his death. His body is still at the Alcor Life Extension Foundation in Scottsdale, Arizona.

The Human Be-In was held in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park Polo Fields and is considered to be a prelude to the Summer of Love that made the Haight-Ashbury district a symbol of the American “counter-culture.”

The Louisville, Kentucky, draft board turned down Muhammed Ali’s request for an exemption on religious grounds as a Muslim and he was later sentenced to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine. He was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title and banned from boxing for three years, but never went to jail since the judgement was appealed and later overturned.

“Fistful of Dollars,” starring Clint Eastwood was a top draw in movie theaters in America.

Music lovers in the United States were listening to The Monkees’ “I’m a Believer.”

And on Shelter Island …

Three towns rule Suffolk

A Reporter editorial 50 years ago noted that since a Brooklyn federal judge had ruled that Suffolk County must be governed on a one-man, one-vote basis, Babylon, Islip and Smithtown had controlling votes.

That gave control to leaders in those three towns over appointments and decisions that would affect the entire county.

POSTSCRIPT: For years, East End political leaders have contended that while tax money goes to Suffolk County, what comes back in services is much less. The needs of the East End towns and villages are under-represented in today’s Suffolk County Legislature, leaders continue to argue.

But despite suggestions of forming a separate Peconic County, that idea would need state approval and continues to fall on deaf ears in Albany.

Split vote ousts planner

It was January 1987 when the Town Board, on a split vote, ousted Linda Holmes from the Planning Board. The vote was a tie with one absent member and Town Attorney Helen Rosenblum said a re-vote could be taken when that member returned to town.

There was no discussion of the reasons behind the vote and the two members who sought to remove Ms. Holmes refused comment.

Ms. Holmes at the time argued that the removal was politically motivated, but it was upheld a couple of weeks later, still with no explanations

POSTSCRIPT: The current Planning Board, while initially resisting a request from the Town Board for comments about the possibility of adding site planning for commercial properties to its responsibilities, expect some movement on this issue in 2017.

Islanders poised for hearing on helicopter ban

Twenty years ago at this time, the Town Board was about to embark on a hearing that would ban helicopter landings on Shelter Island, except for emergency purposes such as medical transports. The proposal would still allow landings at Klenawicus Field and Westmoreland.

The action came in the wake of complaints from neighbors about noise and two applications for private or commercial heliport landings at two Menantic Peninsula locations. A moratorium was in place on new applications pending the possible legislation.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, emergency helicopter landings occur only at Klenawicus and the hullaballoo over such noise is in relation to the East Hampton Airport, since flights bound for there tend to fly across the North Fork and Shelter Island.

Quigley takes oath — women rule court

After being elected to replace retiring Shelter Island Justice Court Judge William Sulahian in November 2006, Patricia Quigley took the oath of office administered by Judge Helen Rosenblum.

At the time, Shelter Island didn’t have much history of women serving on the bench or even practicing law in town.

POSTSCRIPT: Last week, Ms. Rosenblum, who started on the Justice Court bench in 2004, took the oath of office administered by her fellow Judge Mary-Faith Westervelt.

[email protected]