Featured Story

This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


Boston Red Sox outfielder Carl Yastrzemski won the American League’s Most Valuable Player award.

Surveyor 6 became the first man-made object to lift off from the moon.

United States planes bombed the Haiphong shipyard in North Vietnam for the first time and President Lyndon Johnson told the American people that the U.S. was inflicting more losses on the North Vietnamese than American troops were taking,  announcing, “We are making progress”

Actress Lisa Bonet, best known to audiences for her role as Denise Huxtable on the Cosby Show, was born in San Francisco

Davey Jones of the Monkees opened a boutique, Zilch 1, in Greenwich Village

And on Shelter Island . . .


Town approves budget with 2.24 tax rate

It was November 1977 when the Town Board passed a budget for 1977 that would cost taxpayers $2.24 per $100 of assessed property valuation. The action came after the Town Board was able to scrape $5,400  to $5,500 from its spending plan to reduce the amount of money that would have to be raised from taxpayers.

The amount the town was projecting to spend in 1978 was $939,000, but it was also anticipating revenues in the amount of $220,000 from the federal government and other sources to offset the burden taxpayers would have to provide.

POSTSCRIPT: The town has adopted a 2018 budget of $11.6 million  that raises spending by 3.9 percent.


Goat Hill gets new officers

Thirty years ago, the Shelter Island Country Club (SICC) at Goat Hill had a board meeting on a frigid day to elect new officers. Robert Clark, who had been serving as vice president, took the top spot while Grace Silvani became board vice president. Betty Kontje, who would eventually go on to lead the board was continuing on as secretary-treasurer.

POSTSCRIPT: The SICC has just chosen a new leader in Marc Scola who takes the reins from Ron Lucas. Mr. Lucas oversaw the changes in the club that was operating at a loss for a few years and he and his board were able to make changes that resulted in making a final payment to Shelter Island town for a $10,000 bridge loan this year.

Among the changes were an agreement that the new restaurant, The Flying Goat, which operated at the club this summer, would be able to take receipts from both food and bar receipts. Past restaurant operators had only been getting receipts from the food operation.


STAR program to provide school tax relief for seniors

Twenty years ago at this time, seniors were being given information on a new program that would allow them a deduction on taxes they pay to support the school system. Assessor Robert Lanahan explained that seniors with a combined income of $60,000 could receive a deduction on their property tax bills, but if the property was owned by a husband and wife, at least one of them would have to be 65 years old or older. They stood to save between $250 to $420 per household.

POSTSCRIPT: The deduction is still in place today although the average savings per household is generally nearer to the lower number.


4-poster dominates agenda

Police Chief Jim Read and Michael Seagraves of Cornell Cooperative Extension were at the Town Board work session at this time 10 years ago to explain the implementation and budget details of the 4-poster pilot program that was scheduled to begin on Shelter Island on November 26, 2007.

The town was due to install the first 15 units of the 60 it had purchased. It was estimated that the town’s cost between 2007 and the end of the program in 2011 would be $761,220, including paying for the units, corn to attract deer, tickicide that would be applied to rollers rubbing on deer necks as they feed, maintenance of the units and signage. The town came up with some of the money, the county with some and Fire Island, which was also participating in the pilot program, a small amount, but there was still a need to raise more money.

Alfred Kilb Jr., who was supervisor at the time, announced that to get the program off the ground, there would have to be state, county and federal participation in raising the necessary funds.

Ultimately, of course, the program was funded.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s program is run by the town, but has benefitted from some state funding to help support deployment of the 4-poster units.

[email protected]