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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Louis Washkansky, the first person to undergo a heart transplant, died 18 days later in Cape Town, South Africa, as a result of drugs used to suppress his immune system to keep it from rejecting his new heart.

Ian Anderson and Glenn Cornick formed the rock group Jethro Tull.

“The Graduate,” starring Dustin Hoffman and Anne Bancroft opened and Mike Nichols went on to win an Academy Award as best director for the production.

The Monkees’ “Daydream Believer” was popular with listeners in the United States.

And on Shelter Island . . .

40 YEARS AGO

Final election results show record turnout

It was nearing late December by the time the Suffolk County Board of Elections was able to tally and release final statistics on the November balloting in 1977. But a look back at some of the statistics revealed some interesting information.

A record at the time of 1,405 people cast ballots that year and Dorothy Ogar, who had been deputy town clerk, was making her first bid for the top post. She was the top vote-getter, running unopposed. She garnered 1,269 votes.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, it took a month for the Board of Elections to finalize votes that handed a Town Board seat to Democrat Albert Dickson who, on election night, appeared to have lost to Republican Marcus Kaasik by a small margin.

And even in the race for town supervisor, it was three weeks before it could be determined that incumbent Jim Dougherty had statistically been eliminated in his bid for a sixth two-year term. Gary Gerth takes the supervisor’s seat as of January 1.

30 YEARS AGO

School needs served up at BOCES breakfast meeting

A meeting of school district representatives from throughout the East End with Senator Kenneth LaValle in December 1987 might have been enough to give the senator indigestion. Various superintendents called for more state funding for capital projects.

They also complained about rising costs for health insurance and the need for a new state aid formula that would address the needs of operating East End Schools.

POSTSCRIPT: Not a lot has changed for East End schools with officials still arguing their case for more state aid. Because the area is property rich, it’s assumed this is a wealthy community. But the escalated property values have no relation to what residents are earning. Unless people sell their properties and move to lower cost areas, they are unable to keep up with increasing costs. Unfunded state mandates and a state imposed tax cap don’t help the situation, school officials continue to say.

20 YEARS AGO

North Ferry  considering rate hike in 1998

Bernie Jacobs, who was general manager of the Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC) let it be known that the parent company of North Ferry was considering a possible increase in fares despite what had been an apparent record year in revenues.

Mr. Jacobs said through October of 1997, revenues were running about 10 percent of those from the previous year, but they had not continued to grow through November. He attributed the increases through October to almost perfect weather during the summer that resulted in many more visitors to the Island.

At the same time, a study was underway to determine whether an increased schedule was needed in the off season. But what was really driving the consideration of a rate hike was increasing costs of operating the ferry service, Mr. Jacobs said.

POSTSCRIPT: Neither North Ferry nor South Ferry has raised rates in the past few years. There have been rumors that one or both might be looking to do so in the year ahead. But there has been no word from either company except for Stella Lagudis, who is HPOC general manager, saying if there were to be a request for a rate increase, it would be linked to adding another large ferry to the fleet. That hasn’t even been priced yet, she said.

10 YEARS AGO

The 4-poster is here!

That was the headline at this time 10 years ago with a thank you to residents who had contributed $83,383 to enable the town to continue to use the devices that were first placed in 2008 under the Cornell University-Cornell Cooperative Education pilot program to deal with deployment of the units that rub a tickicide on the necks of deer while they feed at the stations.

Since then, the town and New York State have contributed funds to keep the units viable, but the debate continues between those who want even more units deployed and those who have backed off from that spending, maintaining more money has to be spent culling the herd. Otherwise, they say, use of 4-posters will do nothing more than make the deer fat and healthy and able to reproduce.

POSTSCRIPT: No one expects the units to be eliminated, but based on a survey conducted among Islanders this year, it seems likely that increased efforts will be made to further cull the herd. The aim is to eventually have fewer deer on the Island and no need to continue to use the units despite the call from some to keep them permanently.

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