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This week in Shelter Island history

Old, open book with a damaged cover.


 CBS Television Network’s “60 Minutes” premiered and still runs today.

The St. Louis Cardinals clinched their second successive National League Pennant, beating the Houston Astros 7-4.

New York Yankees outfielder Bernie Williams was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Writer Ken Follett, best known for the thrillers he has written, married Mary Emma Ruth Elson

And on Shelter Island . . .


Ideas exchanged on defeat of Town Hall building project

Voters turned thumbs down on a $90,000 bond issue to build a Town Hall addition. The vote was 341 to 123. Debates were ongoing with some saying it was a vote to keep taxes down while others saw a need for attention to other structures they believed were needed more than an expanded Town Hall.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the town is planning an expansion into a structure next to Town Hall with the first steps to take over a rear parking area.

That no eviction of existing renters is taking place has calmed the initial response to the plans to buy the house.


LILCO DEIS says cable no threat to Island water

The year was 1988 and the Long Island Lighting Company, pre-runner to the Long Island Power Authority and PSEG-LI, submitted the results of an environmental impact study that revealed a proposed design of a cable to link electric power cables from the North and South forks would cause no threat to the Island’s groundwater.

The purpose of the linkage was to provide a backup to prevent outages on either fork in the event of a line break east of Riverhead.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, PSEG subcontractors completed a successful linkup between Shelter Island and the North Fork after attempts started in 2012 had failed. Until this summer, the Island has been dependent on generators to ensure power in the event a single cable from the North Fork failed.

The project started last fall and was completed by mid-May this year in line with agreements from both Greenport Village and the Heights Property Owners Corporation with little disruption of traffic in the area around North Ferry or on the North Fork.


Merged fire department budget approved

It was 20 years ago when the merged Center and Heights fire departments approved a budget to fund the new unit for 1999. The amount to be raised from property taxes would be $335,400, representing a reduction from the previous budgets for the separate departments that was $372,750.

Total appropriations for 1999 were $355,400.

POSTSCRIPT: Fire Commissioners are currently working on a 2019 budget that could come in at just between $984,000 and $1 million. There were several open items on the initial draft that commissioners expected to nail down by the time of their next meeting on September 24.


Are hydrogen-powered cars in Island’s future?

Eagle Auto Mall in Riverhead brought a hydrogen-powered car to display on the Island  prior to the Snapper Derby  in 2008.

Only 100 such cars manufactured by Chevrolet at the time. Those showing the vehicle said, “Think of it as an electric car that can be charged in five to seven minutes.” They boasted that a charge would power the vehicle for 200 miles on a good day at  the equivalent of $3 per gallon of gasoline.

They expected the hydrogen-powered vehicles would improve to 800 miles on a single fill within five years and were slated to go into mass production within two years.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, it’s electric-powered vehicles that have caught on with a number of Islanders.

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