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This week in Shelter Island history


Ice hockey legend Bobby Orr, who played for the Boston Bruins, scored his first hat trick — three goals in a single game — in a match with the Chicago Blackhawks.

Flamboyant stage and screen actress Tullulah Bankhead died of pneumonia in New York City at the age of 65.

Tennis great Arthur Ashe was the first black to be ranked number one at season’s end.

Actor Peter Sellers divorced actress Britt Ekland after four years of marriage.

And on Shelter Island . . .


A bridge across Long Island Sound?

In a Reporter editorial 50 years ago, a report that the State Department of Transportation had finally revealed that it wanted a bridge from Bayville to Westchester County.

“Keep an eye on this one,” the editorial advised. Why should Islanders care? Because if a bridge, was built the editorial suggested, it would be only a matter of time before someone wanted bridges to connect Shelter Island with the North and South forks.

The editorial called it a battle between the people versus big government.

POSTSCRIPT: There have been proposals through the years for bridges to be built connecting Shelter Island to the mainland.


All’s not dandy with Dandy’s

It was at this time 30 years that Daniel Calabro asked to adjourn a Zoning Board of Appeal hearing that sought to expand his property in the Center for commercial uses. Mr. Calabro wanted to add Dandy’s Liquors to  Fedi’s Market along with a pharmacy.

He needed a setback variance for the proposed construction that would send his application to the Zoning Board of Appeals.

Back in the 1970s, the Town Board had created B-1 zoning that applied to that site and others to accommodate municipal buildings, the library and Post Office and professional offices for doctors, lawyers, realtors and accountants.

But Mr. Calabro said at the time that the town was failing to follow those restrictions in various B-1 zones, and the ZBA was left to consider whether a pharmacy might be a permitted use. There was further discussion, but Mr. Calabro finally asked for adjournment to provide further time to study limitations and to give the Town Board time to appoint someone to a vacancy on the ZBA. Mr. Calabro was reported to be among those seeking that appointment.

POSTSCRIPT: Currently, Dandy’s Liquors continues to operate at the site. Fedi’s became Schmidt’s Market for a period but now sits empty with a sign that it is for rent.


Town Board contemplates deer fencing

The Town Board was contemplating legislation that could allow applicants to seek 8-foot-high deer-proof fencing to protect property. There had already been several traffic accidents involving deer and damage to private properties.

There was much talk at the time about tick-borne illnesses, but the prime issue for most favoring the fencing was the damage being done to shrubbery on which the deer were feeding.

There had been earlier discussions of deer fencing, but nothing had reached the stage of being written into the Town Code.

POSTSCRIPT: There are no specifics in today’s code about deer fencing, but the code does allow those seeking fencing higher than the typical 4-foot height to seek variances. Such was the case with the recent application from the Shelter Island Fire District that got approval for 8-foot enclosures around generators and other equipment at a cell tower to be constructed at the Manhanset Firehouse. But the walls involved with this application had no relationship to deer. Rather, it is to buffer noise.


Venison program gets okay

State and county officials 10 years ago gave the go-ahead to the town to make venison available to Islanders despite some trace amounts of the tickicide permethrin being detected on the neck muscles and hides of deer that feed from 4-poster units. The New York State Health Department had previously said the trace amounts posed no threat to human health.

POSTSCRIPT: As recently as last week, the Deer & Tick Committee said that, while there have never been any reported cases of people becoming ill from consuming the deer meat, there are those who still refuse to eat it.

Nonetheless, the committee wants people to be aware that during the hunting season underway now, there will be supplies of meat for the public at a freezer at the Recycling Center. The committee also wants those who use supplies from the food kitchen at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church to know the meat is available to all residents at the Recycling Center.

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