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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Amy Carter, daughter of President Jimmy Carter and Carter, was born in Plains, Georgia.

Mariner 5 made a fly by of Venus  to test the atmosphere and examine solar particles.

Approximately 70,000 Vietnam protestors marched from the Lincoln Memorial to the Pentagon where speakers included social activists Allen Ginsberg, Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin.

Seven men were convicted of civil rights violations in Meridian, Mississippi.

Joe DiMaggio was hired as vice president of the Oakland Athletics.

And on Shelter Island . . .

50 YEARS AGO

School faces knotty problem

It was at this time 50 years ago that the Board of Education struggled with a decision to spend $1 million to expand or send its high school students off-Island to be educated.

The conundrum surfaced the year before when 300 district taxpayers asked that a new gymnasium be built to accommodate crowds who were coming out to watch basketball games. That started what became a year-long discussion that expanded to include issues of too few classrooms. The investigation also included looking into tuition and transportation costs if students in grades nine through 12 were to study off Island.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, with declining enrollments, clearly relieves the issue of needing more space, but the effort underway is trying to lure more students who study off-Island to return.

Much of the effort has been focused on drawing students in for preschool classes, enhancing the elementary school curriculum and hoping students and parents will want to stay for the upper grades.

30 YEARS AGO

Thiele seeks 16th Legislative District seat

The year was 1987 and Fred Thiele Jr. was running as a Republican for a Suffolk County Legislative seat representing the 16th District. He had  served as Southampton Town attorney, East Hampton Planning Board attorney and counsel to the East Hampton Zoning Board of Appeals. He carried 74 percent of the vote to win the seat.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, Mr. Thiele is an Independent generally voting with Democrats and he represents the district in the State Assembly. He  has expressed an interest in running for Congress against incumbent Republican Conservative Lee Zeldin in 2018, met with Democratic Party leaders in Washington and, judging by his announcements pertaining to federal issues, seems primed to seek the seat.

20 YEARS AGO

Faulty mics plague forum

Twenty years ago the candidates forum at Shelter Island School ran into technical problems making it difficult for audience members to follow the discussion.

What was an expensive system of hard-wired and cordless microphones failed so badly that they stuttered and whined until they were finally shut down.

POSTSCRIPT: This year’s forum ran into its own technical difficulties when a camera used to tape the event for playback on Channel 22 malfunctioned.

10 YEARS AGO

Clark makes Olympic team

Shelter Island’s own Amanda Clark made several attempts to qualify for Olympic sailing teams and succeeded in 2007 for the summer games in Beijing, China in 2008.

Olympic trials took place at the Alimitos Bay Yacht Club in Long Beach, California, where she and sailing partner Sarah Mergentheler competed. The following fall, the two spent trained for the in Melbourne before leaving for China.

POSTSCRIPT: Amanda Clark and new sailing partner Sarah Lihan were back for the 2012 London Olympics.

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