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This week in Shelter Island history


The United States conducted an underground nuclear test at the Atomic Energy Commission’s Nevada test site.

The Chicago 8, which became the Chicago 7 — Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner — were indicted by the federal government for conspiracy, inciting to riot and other charges related to anti-Vietnam War and counterculture protests; they were arrested during the Democratic National Convention in Chicago

UCLA won the 31st annual NCAA Basketball Championship beating Purdue by a score of 92-72 to give the school its fifth championship in six years.

A local teen organized a Rally for Decency at the Miami Orange Bowl, attracting 30,000 people protesting singer Jim Morrison’s behavior at a concert earlier that month.

John Lennon married Yoko Ono in Gibraltar and a few days later the couple staged the first-ever “bed-in” for peace in Amsterdam.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Three say no, two maybe

Shelter Island was considering “tuitioning out” its high school students and made inquiries with surrounding districts.

East Hampton, Southold and Mattituck said they couldn’t accommodate the Shelter Island students, but both Greenport and Sag Harbor said they would be open to discussing the possibility.

The Board of Education said it was just testing the waters by exploring the possibility of sending its secondary students to another district, but wasn’t committed to any plan to do so.

POSTSCRIPT: From time to time, some have speculated about closing the local school and tuitioning all students to other districts, but nothing has come of the talk. A couple of years ago, Oysterponds in Orient queried Shelter Island about taking some of its secondary students who currently go to Greenport, but so far that hasn’t moved forward.


Faculty protests tenure decision

The Board of Education turned down the recommendation of Superintendent Marlene Berman to grant tenure to a physical education teacher. Faculty members protested the decision, walking out on the Board of Education meeting.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, the faculty and administration negotiated a new contract with talks that were described as amiable.


Forbes seeks 50-mile evacuation plan

Concerns about the Millstone Nuclear Power Plant in Waterford, Connecticut prompted Congressman Mike Forbes to introduce legislation asking that plans be created within a 50-mile radius for evacuating people in the event of an accident. The requirement at the time was for a 10-mile evacuation plan, but that couldn’t serve Eastern Long Island.

At the same time, Fish Unlimited filed suit in Superior Court in Hartford to prevent Northeast Utilities from reopening Millstone.

POSTSCRIPT: Millstone continues to operate under its current owner, Dominion Power Generation Group, although Dominion executives said they might retire the plant within a few years. However, as recently as March 15 this year, Dominion announced plans to keep the nuclear power plant operating for at least another decade. Millstone produces about half the electricity for Connecticut.


Mandates on the minds of Board of Education members

Budgeting for the 2009-10 school year raised concerns about mandated requirements to pay tuition and bus expenses for students attending charter schools. Superintendent Sharon Clifford said she did not think that line in the budget would increase, but could not offer any guarantees. In the 2005-06 school year, the district had spent more than $400,000 on tuition and busing of charter school students.

POSTSCRIPT: Although some large school districts like Riverhead are hard hit by the Riverhead Charter School, Shelter Island is mostly affected by the need to pay transportation costs for students opting to attend private or parochial school within a 15-mile radius. The Island is not responsible for tuition costs for those schools.