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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


The Gallup Poll announced that in a three-way race for the presidency, Richard Nixon would get 41 percent of votes to Lyndon Johnson’s 39 percent and Alabama Governor George Wallace, 11 percent.

President Johnson announced in a televised speech that he would not be a candidate for re-election, although most accounts link that not to the Gallup Poll but to an editorial by CBS newsman Walter Cronkite who spoke out against the Vietnam War.

More than 150 Columbia University members of Students for a Democratic Society occupied the school’s administration building over continued association with the Institute for Defense Analysis, a nonprofit corporation administering federally funded research.

Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first person to travel to outer space, was killed in a training accident in an MIG-15UTI that crashed near Kirzhach.

Actress Lucy Lawless, who starred in the title role of the television series, “Xena: Warrior Princess,” was born in New Zealand.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Town to name dog warden

After a public hearing that strongly favored taking action to curtail dogs wandering loose in the town, a resolution to create the position of dog warden was headed for adoption.

The new dog warden would be supervised by the Police Department.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the town employs an Animal Control Officer who still deals with the same problems, but a good deal of Beau Payne’s work revolves around issues of deer and tick control, including maintaining 4-poster units and overseeing recreational and deer damage permit hunts.


Citizens Budget Review Committee wants changes in school spending

Thirty years ago, a Citizens Budget Review Committee had formed to bring its interests in school spending to the forefront. The basic message they brought to the Board of Education was that they thought Superintendent Marlene Berman’s $3.68 million budget proposal was not lean enough.

It called for adding two staff members, a computerized library system and a shared athletics program for a boys soccer team.

The message from the committee was: “Let’s hear about basic needs, not gravy.”

POSTSCRIPT: The anticipated 2018-19 budget of $11.7 million hasn’t raised an eyebrow among members of the public or the Board of Education. The voters get final say on the spending plan on May 15.


Highway building eyed for fix or flatten

The Highway Department’s garage on Route 114 was the focus of attention from the Town Board 20 years ago trying to make a decision about whether it could be sufficiently repaired or needed to be replaced.

There was talk about renovating the garage so it could also house police headquarters, a jail, storage area and meeting space as well as a Chamber of Commerce visitors center.

POSTSCRIPT: Once the decision was made to replace the structure a long debate ensued about whether to build a new structure in the same area or to build on Bowditch Road.

Today, the new Recycling Center and Highway Department garage and offices are on the Bowditch Road site and despite doubts about its viability there in past years, it has worked out well for both the town and immediate neighbors.


Town to revamp CO policy

Ten years ago, there were some changes to town code affecting certificates of occupancy.

Under the old policy, if someone was buying or selling a house and needed a new inspection for a new certificate of occupancy,  requests typically came from banks and required a new inspection of the property.

Under the code change, the request for a new inspection would have to come from the buyer or seller.

POSTSCRIPT: Currently, the Building Department is revising the fee structure looking to link fees with the amount of work inspectors have to do on a given project.

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