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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


Expo 67, the World’s Fair, opened in Montreal with the date coinciding with the centennial of the Canadian Confederation.

Muhammad Ali refused military service and was stripped of his heavyweight boxing title for three years.

Fidel Castro announced all intellectual property belonged to the people and said Cuba would translate and publish technical literature without compensation.

Elvis Presley married Priscilla Beaulieu in Las Vegas.

The New York Knicks signed Bill Bradley to a four year $500,000 contract.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Court upholds ZBA decision on Inn

Despite neighbors’ objections, the New York State Supreme  Court upheld a Zoning Board of Appeals decision allowing the Dering Harbor Corporation to expand its motel facilities.

The court’s decision was based on the town’s zoning ordinance that allowed hotels and motels anywhere on the Island providing they were able to win ZBA approval. Details on the size of the expansion were not listed.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, Dering Harbor Inn operates as both a vacation hotel and co-op.


Congressman talks about Shoreham with Island residents

Thirty years ago, George Hochbrueckner, then congressman representing the Island, told residents he didn’t buy Long Island Lighting Company’s statement that without being allowed to raise the power level at the Shoreham Nuclear Plant, there would be brownouts and blackouts in the coming summer season.

New York State had enough power to prevent that from occurring, Mr. Hochbrueckner said.

POSTSCRIPT: Shoreham has been decommissioned, although ratepayers are still being assessed for closing the plant. But the current issue involves a bailout that began this month to keep three aged upstate nuclear plants running for at least 12 years.

A legislative hearing could overturn that bailout, but if it stands, residents, schools, municipalities and housing authorities throughout the state will be paying for that estimated $7.6 billion bailout for at least a dozen years and maybe until 2050.

Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) has pointed out that no one except Long Island residents helped with the bailout to close Shoreham and various experts have weighed in calling the plan to keep the three upstate plants open is more expensive than other options.


Closer look at Pataki school tax relief

It was Governor George Pataki who introduced the concept of tax relief through the STAR program 20 years ago. It was designed to reduce school taxes for seniors and owners of median valued properties.

To make up for the lost revenues, money from the state lottery was to close the gap. Under Mr. Pataki’s plan, the lottery money that had been going to the state’s general fund was to be put into a special school financing fund.

POSTSCRIPT: The STAR program has provided savings in school taxes, but in recent years, the State Legislature had changed the formula, providing that those entitled to the lower taxes would receive a rebate. The problem for many was the need to lay out the money at tax time and await a refund.

That has been reversed and reverted to the former method handled locally, so that property owners entitled to the lower taxes won’t have to keep paying and awaiting a refund.


Lyme disease vaccine proteins hold promise

Ten years ago, scientists from Brookhaven National Laboratory and Stony Brook University patented proteins that held promise for advancing the development of a Lyme vaccine.

The Research Foundation of the State of New York licensed intellectual property of the Lyme vaccine technology to Baxter International. Baxter International researchers who collaborated with the New York scientists to further develop innovations employed in the Lyme vaccine used in a clinical trial.

Further efforts have continued as scientists around the world have worked on various projects built around the work done as Stony Brook and Brookhaven and subsequent trials by Baxter International.

POSTSCRIPT: While a vaccine was marketed several years ago, it has since been taken off the market and testing continues to find a vaccine that would be both effective and cause no major side effects.

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