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This week in Shelter Island history


Due to concerns about ethics violations, Abe Fortas resigned from the Supreme Court after just under four years after being appointed a justice by President Lyndon Baines Johnson.

Larry Johnson, who played basketball for the New York Knicks and Charlotte Hornets, was born in  Tyler, Texas.

CNN Chief Washington Correspondent Jake Tapper was born in New York City.

Movie goers were flocking to theaters to see Walt Disney’s “Love Bug,” the story of Volkswagen Beetle Herbie.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Shelter Island is fastest growing town on East End

A LILCO-conducted census revealed that Shelter Island was the fastest growing town on the East End. It saw an increase of 5.71 percent in population from the previous year, according to the company.

The story at the time reported that the Island was the most sparsely populated community on the East End, but was showing the most growth over a one-year period.

A 1960 census showed 1,312 people on the Island, and by 1968, LILCO was reporting 1,610. Then in 1969, 92 more residents had settled here.

POSTSCRIPT: The Island population continued to increase. In 2015, a U.S. Census interim report showed there were 2,412 residents here, but the following year that number had increased by only one, to 2,413.


B-zone law draws overflow crowd to hearing

Residents jammed Justice Court where the Town Board was meeting in a hearing on a proposed amendment to the business zone. Among the concerns voiced at the time were concerns from business owners that changes would restrict resale and expansion possibilities. Other were concerned about development in the Rams and Section 9 and a LILCO proposal for installation of a 69,000-volt underground transmission cable.

After listening to residents, the Town Board agreed there would be changes to the proposed business zoning plan and a new version would be slated for a public hearing.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s focus on zoning deals with efforts to improve the look of the town along commercial areas of Route 114 in the Center.


Revaluation saves Island from feds

The federal government was contemplating a suit against Nassau County for discriminatory real estate assessments based on 1930s construction costs and 1960s land values.

Shelter Island was sitting pretty because two years earlier, it had adopted a revaluation policy that required 100 percent of current market value.

POSTSCRIPT: At first, the move was unpopular in some quarters. But through the years, annual reassessments and property sales prices were shown to align and there are few complaints when tax bills arrive. Many of those who have questioned their tax bills have been able to resolve differences by meeting with assessors, rather than having to grieve their taxes before the Board of Assessment Review that meets in May of each year.


Suffolk bans BPA

A column in the Reporter 10 years ago by Karl Grossman dealt with Suffolk County taking steps to ban bisphenol A, a hardener used in plastics linked to cancer and other illnesses.

Suffolk County was the first in the nation to ban the use of BPA.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s emphasis remains on plastics, especially straws that are endangering marine life. Several communities have  banned them while on the Island, a program at the school resulted in replacing plastic straws with paper ones and distributing metal straws to students that can be reused.