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This week in Shelter Island history


The first interracial kiss broadcast on television was on “Star Trek”  between Captain Kirk and Lt. Nyota Uhura.

The Beatles released their only double album in the United Kingdom titled “The Beatles,” but is best known by fans as “The White Album.”

Tammy Wynette and Glen Campbell took home top honors at the Country Music Awards.

The Supremes and The Temptations released “I’m Gonna Make You Love Me” at the same time.

And on Shelter Island . . .


To shoot or not to shoot

Forty years ago, a poignant story written by Patricia Binder appeared in the Reporter describing herself as “sitting on the fence” between pro- and anti-hunting groups. 

POSTSCRIPT: Anyone who has had a deer run into his or her vehicle, or contracted a tick-borne illness, is likely to want to increase hunting. A survey a year ago showed that most Islanders are for increasing the deer hunt.

Responding to that survey, the town’s Deer & Tick Committee has increased its resources for hunting.


St. Gabriel’s Retreat to close in June

That was the headline 30 years ago when Brother Michael Moran announced the St. Paul of the Cross Province of Passionists, owners of the site, would no longer be able to staff the retreat center.

In past years, the number of men joining the Passionists was up to 549, but that number had dwindled to 297 in 1988. The Passionists were anticipating another 50 percent drop by the year 2000. With many of the priests and brothers aging, there would be less younger members interested in working with teens at the site, Brother Michael said.

POSTSCRIPT: The announcement 30 years ago was only the first to come from the Passionists, who would gradually sell off the land to various buyers, including the Fire District, and Richard Hogan for an upscale housing development on the shores of Coecles Harbor.

The Fire Department uses Fireman’s Field for its annual chicken barbecue while Mr. Hogan’s housing development is currently under construction.


School is wired for success

It was 20 years ago at this time that Shelter Island School was nearing completion of its internet wiring to provide connections in all classrooms.

Walter Brigham led the project, saying that the school had entered the information age and he was excited at being able to play a role in making computer access available. He noted the district saved a lot of money by being able to do the work with its own personnel instead of having to hire out to wire the school.

POSTSCRIPT: What may have seemed like a great leap forward 20 years ago probably seems simplistic to a staff still led by Mr. Brigham in updating computer use for the district and training the staff to use computer technology that today is far more sophisticated than what was installed in 1998.


Town prepares for Shell Beach repairs

A three-phase project to restore Shell Beach was nearing a start date, but before work could be done, Steve Papa of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Agency was requiring that protecting the piping plover habitat at the site be inked into the agreement.

Phase One called for shoreline stabilizing groins to be installed. Phase Two called for rock wiring  to shield the slope between the beach and road. Phase Three called for the Highway Department to backfill the sand slopes and build the road.

POSTSCRIPT: During the past few years, groins have been replaced at Shell Beach for ongoing protection of the shoreline.

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