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This week in Shelter Island history


President Richard Nixon appointed Henry Kissinger as his National Security Advisor.

Baseball Commissioner William Eckert was fired after three years on the job when it was believed he wouldn’t have the ability to stop a threatened players strike.

The Rolling Stones released their “Beggars Banquet” album containing the classic track, “Sympathy for the Devil.”

Comedian Margaret Cho was born in Queens.

“The Best of Laurel and Hardy” was among the post popular films of the time.

And on Shelter Island . . .


County agrees to impose sales tax

The Suffolk County Board of Supervisors agreed to impose a 2 percent sales tax on retail purchases. The tax would go into effect in March of 1969 and would be similar to one imposed on Nassau County residents.

The Suffolk County Board of Supervisors was the pre-runner to the Suffolk County Legislature. It estimated that in the first year, the sales tax would bring in about $20 million in revenues.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, Suffolk County residents pay a sales tax of 8.25 percent.


Mashomack establishes deer season

The Nature Conservancy’s Mashomack Preserve opted to open its land to shotgun hunting in January. The 10-day deer hunt would run for two weeks on weekdays from sunrise to sunset.

Mike Scheibel, a senior wildlife biologist with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, requested that the limit for deer culling be increased to 80 deer of either sex or age, up from 63 the previous year.

POSTSCRIPT: Mashomack’s deer hunt today continues past the February and March hunt observed by the rest of the town.


Island to pay nearly 18 percent more in county taxes

An unwelcome holiday message came to the Island from the Suffolk County Legislature: The town’s county taxes would be increasing by almost 18 percent for the year ahead. The increase represented an additional $82,485 that the town would be expected to send westward in 1999.

The increase, according to a Reporter story at the time, represented faulty New York State real estate valuations that had been provided to the county. Shelter Island wasn’t alone in the faulty valuations. All Suffolk County municipalities would see increases.

POSTSCRIPT: The five East End towns have continually complained that their needs aren’t being met by Suffolk County because the legislative balance gives much more representation to western Suffolk towns than it does to the East End. It’s why there has been, from time to time, calls to separate the five East End towns into a separate Peconic County where the needs differ from those of western towns.


Permethrin detected in venison

The Town Board received a report from a laboratory showing that meat from the necks of two deer exposed to the tickicide permethrin showed traces of the substance in the neck muscle and hides of the animals.

The report showed that the concentrations were so minimal that they “posed a very low risk potential” to human health, according to Dr. Jim Leach of the New York State Department of Health.

Nonetheless, the report didn’t settle the debate for some over whether the town should continue to offer venison to residents at the Recycling Center.

POSTSCRIPT: The debate continues to this day with many insisting the meat is perfectly safe with no reports to prove otherwise, while some refuse to eat the meat, including some hunters who help to cull the Island’s herd of deer.


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