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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


Three students died in the Orangeburg massacre at South Carolina State University where black students stood up to protest a whites-only policy at the areas’s only bowling alley.

The United States conducted a nuclear test at a Nevada site.

American actor Gary Coleman, best known for his role on the NBC series “Different Strokes,” was born in Zion, Illinois.

American figure skater Peggy Fleming won gold at the 1968 Grenoble, France, winter Olympics

“Planet of the Apes,” starring Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowell and Kim Hunter, was released in New York City

And on Shelter Island . . .


County police split ruled unconstitutional

It was 50 years ago that three local laws adopted by the Suffolk Board of Supervisors eliminating county police coverage of the five East End towns and eight western Suffolk villages was deemed by Supreme Court Justice Arthur Cromarty to be unconstitutional.

The suit had been initiated by the Suffolk County Patrolmen’s Benevolent Society and Amityville Mayor Louis Howard.

Judge Cromarty said such a move would have to be done through a public referendum.

POSTSCRIPT: Shelter Island, along with the other East End towns, has its own Police Department, calling on Suffolk County Police for assistance in major cases.


Fire district boundaries at issue

It was 35 years ago that then supervisor Mal Nevel declared 10 parcels served by the Center Fire District actually were in the Heights. The supervisor was a Heights Fire Commissioner at the time.

Town Attorney Stanley Corwin declared that the issue had to be settled and councilman Louis Price said it should be a matter argued in a courtroom. The lines had been drawn in 1931 and those parcels had been a “no man’s land” for all those years, Mr. Price said. Others on the Town Board thought it up to commissioners for both districts to decide the matter and suggested an arbitrator would cost far less than taking the issue to court.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, it matters not since there is but one fire district since the two agreed to merge in the later 1990s.


FIT project contracts signed

It has been 20 years now since the Board of Education signed the necessary contracts to get construction underway on the FIT Center. The plans called for providing the school and community with Little League baseball fields, tennis courts and building that would house various exercise equipment.

POSTSCRIPT: The FIT Center is a much used facility providing students and community members with an affordable way to work out. Recreation Director Bethany Ortmann has plans this year to upgrade and replace some equipment that has outlasted its usefulness.


Town considers CO policy options

Ten years ago, the Town Board debated how to handle fees for replacing certificates of occupancy. Typically a CO is issued after the building inspector has determined that work on a property has been satisfactorily completed in compliance with the plans for that work.

The policy in place at the time required that a property owner seeking to replace a certificate of occupancy would have to submit to another inspection for which there was a $50 fee. Some on the board believed that replacing a CO should not require a new inspection or have to pay any fee.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s Town Code makes no reference to any fees in connection with replacing a certificate of occupancy.

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