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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


North Korea captured the USS Pueblo holding its crew for 11 months after claiming the Navy intelligence ship had been in its waters while the United State maintained it was in international waters.

Although it would be a few years before it occurred, President Lyndon Johnson called for an end to the conversion of the U.S. dollar with other currencies then held to the gold standard because of economic pressures that were driving down its value.

Peggy Fleming won the United States Ladies Figure Skating Championship held at the Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina.

The Kander and Ebb musical, “Happy Time,” starring Robert Goulet and choreographed by Gower Champion, opened on Broadway and ran for 286 performances, but was the first Broadway play to lose $1 million.

“The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie,” starring Zoe Caldwell, who would go on to win a Tony for her performance, premiered on Broadway.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Ferry crews do what Coast Guard did

Fifth years ago, it took the U.S. Coast Guard to cut through 9-inch deep ice in Dering Harbor to enable a fuel tanker get to Piccozzi’s Dock. The Coast Guard cutter Red Wood made its way through the ice creating a path for the fuel tanker.

POSTSCRIPT: In the wake of the recent blizzard and high winds that carried frigid temperatures, you may have noticed ferries taking a slightly different path as they crossed between Shelter Island and Greenport on the north and Shelter Island and North Haven to the south. The reason is to take advantage of opportunities to break off chunks of ice and send them westward, opening up passage for the two vital links to the North and South forks.


Thiele pledges help with town land acquisition

It was 30 years ago that Fred Thiele Jr. was serving his first term as a Suffolk County legislator. He held a meeting with the Town Board, pledging to assist with acquisition of land along the Ram Island Causeway and in what was then dubbed Section 9.

He also offered help to town officials to deal with brown algae problems and what was then a growing concern about Lyme disease.

POSTSCRIPT: Mr. Thiele went on to represent the area as an Assemblyman, a post he still holds. He briefly flirted in recent months with a run for Congress where he might have faced off against Congressman Lee Zelden (R-Shirley) in November. But after a close look at the race, he opted to keep his Assembly seat.


Fire commissioners settling money issues

In the wake of the union between the Center and Heights fire districts, there were issues still be resolved in terms of money both had brought to the table. At the same time, the newly formed single district was engaged in working out billings with Dering Harbor that was served by the district.

There were no financial discrepancies, but simply a need to work out details and clarify records so the newly formed single fire district could operate smoothly.

POSTSCRIPT: If it took years for the two separate fire districts to reach a pact to unite, it has been more than 20 years now since the union and the Shelter Island Fire District is operating well with its five commissioners who run at large.


Kraus honored as ‘Athlete of Year’

Janelle Kraus was named Athlete of the Year by “New England Runner” after the Shelter Islander placed 12th in the women’s division of the Boston Marathon the previous year.

Her former high school coach, Cliff Clark, called the magazine a prestigious regional publication, covering all of New England and New York.

Her time of 2 hours, 41 minutes and 24 seconds placed her sixth among American women runners in the race.

POSTSCRIPT: Ms. Kraus-Nadeau returns to the Island frequently to participate in the 10K with her husband Bill Nadeau.

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