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This week in Shelter Island history


New York Yankee Mickey Mantle announced his retirement from baseball after 18 years, citing persistent knee injuries; he is credited with 536 home runs.

James Earl Ray pleaded guilty to the murder of Martin Luther King Jr.

McDonald’s CEO Ray Kroc married his third wife, Joan Mansfield, who was a philanthropist and would later give away much of their money after his death.

Boston Center Phil Esposito became the first player in National Hockey League history to record 100 points in a single season.

The former USSR performed a nuclear test in Eastern Kazakh.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Suffolk deer hunt deemed success

It was the first special deer hunt since the 1920s — today known as the deer damage permit season — and New York State Department of Environmental Conservation deemed it a success for Suffolk County where 162 deer were culled from the herd. Of that tally, 62 were culled from Mashomack Preserve and Hay Beach.

POSTSCRIPT: This year’s “deer damage permit” season — hunting allowed after the regular season ends —  continues on the Island through the end of March, but it’s too early to assess its effectiveness. Members of the Deer & Tick Committee had hoped to have more hunters participating.


Residents reacted to absent doctors

 Shelter Island’s two doctors — Dr. Edward Grunwaldt and Dr. George Stroll — were both on vacation at the same time. The Senior Citizens Association circulated a petition to demand action be taken to ensure there is at least one doctor available to Islanders

POSTSCRIPT: Medical care on the Island remains an issue today with efforts by Supervisor Gary Gerth to work with the two Island doctors — Dr. Peter Kelt and Dr. Nathanael Desire — to provide more coverage. The agreement through Winthrop Hospital calls for a doctor or physicians assistant to be on call in Dr. Kelt’s office. Dr. Desire is currently working to bring Dr. Jay Slotkin to the Island to cover some hours in his office. Still, seniors on the Island would like to have an urgent care center here so they aren’t forced to go off Island for medical care.


Town Board okays 8-foot deer fencing

The Town Board — after hearing from a large number of residents — voted to allow installation of deer fencing up to 8-feet in height. The new law allowed for fencing around land principally devoted to horticulture or agriculture.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s Town Code has no provision specifically for deer fencing and limits front fencing to 4 feet and side or rear fencing to 6 feet. There are other provisions pertaining to tennis and pool fencing.


Police contract talks halt, go to mediator

Just 10 years ago, talks between town and police negotiators broke down and both sides agreed to mediation. They were attempting to negotiate a three-year contract when both sides admitted they had hit an impasse.

Supervisor Jim Dougherty at the time called the police “a real bedrock of support for the quality of life we enjoy” and said department members are “professional and competent.”

Both sides were being represented by contract attorneys and neither Mr. Dougherty nor Sergeant Jim Cronin, spokesman for the Shelter Island PBA, would comment on what elements of the negotiation remained unresolved.

POSTSCRIPT: In February, Supervisor Gary Gerth announced settlement of a four-year contract with police that increases wages 3 percent this year and 2 percent for each of the following years through 2022. That is in line with what most town employees received in wage increases for 2019.

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