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This week in Shelter Island history


Vince Lombardi became part owner, vice president, general manager and head coach of the Washington Redskins after coaching the Green Bay Packers to five NFL championships and two Super Bowl wins.

John Madden became head coach of the NFL’s Oakland Raiders.

Yasser Arafat became president of the Palestine Liberation Organization.

Singer Tom Jones debuted “This Is Tom Jones” on ABC.

The Saturday Evening Post published its last edition.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Ice man no cometh — Ice man, he here

That was a headline in the Reporter 50 years ago when temperatures plummeted and while roadways were clear, ferryboat skippers were being challenged to select the best routes to avoid large slabs of ice.

POSTSCRIPT: This winter has been relatively clear of major storms, but that doesn’t mean it’s been mild. Frigid temperatures have challenged today’s North and South ferry crews who have done a remarkable job and done it graciously.


Flap over North Pier land

Thirty years ago, Supervisor Mal Nevel asked the Town Board to assert its right to ownership of land adjacent to the Shelter Island Yacht Club. He said that the Shelter Island Heights Property Owners Corporation (HPOC) had claimed ownership of the site, but that it’s town land and the Town Board had passed a resolution allowing the Yacht Club to use the site for parking.

He added that the Yacht Club had been paying a lease fee to the HPOC for use of the North Pier property and that by doing so, it had abandoned its right to use the property. He further said there were other town-owned parcels that others had encroached on and the town needed to identify them. The Town Board also needed to assert its ownership of the North Pier and enter into a new agreement for a lease fee to be paid to the town.

POSTSCRIPT: In recent months, the Community Housing Board has been exploring town-owned lands for a possible site for a multi-unit rental building to provide affordable housing.


Town Board appoints CPF committee

With the 1998 passage of state legislation creating the Peconic Bay Community Preservation Fund that collects a 2 percent tax from property buyers on the East End, the Shelter Island Town Board appointed seven members to a CPF Advisory Board to make recommendations of how the money should be spent.

The committee makes recommendations to the Town Board, which  makes the final decisions buying property to preserve.

POSTSCRIPT: The recommendations of committee members have generally been followed, although last year there was a difference of opinion when the committee unanimously voted against using its funds to acquire property on Fresh Pond, arguing that it wasn’t needed and would set a bad precedent.


Coffee truck gives merchants jitters

Local merchants reacted to the presence of a South Fork-based coffee truck making the rounds on Shelter Island. While the truck might have provided a convenience for workers on sites around the Island, merchants expressed concern that the truck was cutting into their businesses.

Councilman Ed Brown asked Town Attorney Laury Dowd to look into regulations that would affect the operation of a food truck on the Island. The truck might help local contractors, but not local shops, he said.

POSTSCRIPT: A few years ago, an applicant wanted to sell ice cream at Crescent Beach from a bicycle equipped with a freezer compartment. The Town Board refused to approve the operation. But in the past couple of years, there have been several other operations on Crescent Beach in the summer that pay a token fee to the town.