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This week in Shelter Island history


Sirhan Sirhan was convicted of assassinating Senator Robert F. Kennedy.

At the 41st Academy Awards, “Oliver” was selected as best picture, while Cliff Robertson was named best actor and Katharine Hepburn and Barbra Streisand tied for best actress in the first-ever tie for the award.

The first major league baseball game outside of the United States was played in Montreal, Canada with the Montreal Expos defeating the St. Louis Cardinals by a score of 8-7.

The Supreme Court struck down laws prohibiting private possession of obscene material.

In the 33rd Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club, George Archer won his only major title, one stroke ahead of runners-up Billy Casper, George Knudson and Tom Weiskopf.

And on Shelter Island . . .


School Board negotiating with Orient

The Shelter Island School District was negotiating with the Orient Board of Education to accept Orient students in grades 7 through 12 into the Island’s school.

Shelter Island School was not large enough to accommodate 97 secondary level students here, but by 1970, the Board of Education speculated that new classrooms and a gymnasium that were in the planning stage could provide for the additional students who would have to come to the Island by bus and ferry.

Through the years, what has become the Oysterponds School District, has several times approached other school districts to accept the secondary students, but to date, they remain in the Greenport School District.

POSTSCRIPT: A couple of years ago, Oysterponds approached Shelter Island about the possibility of this district taking students with musical ability. To date, nothing has transpired on that front.


Town Board considers Dickerson land for Senior Center

A gift of 10 acres of land on Menantic Road willed to the town by Daniel Dickerson was acquired with consideration of using a building on the site as a Senior Center. Otherwise, the building was to be razed and the site used as parkland.

It was estimated that if a Senior Center was to be located at the site, it would cost between $50,000 and $60,000 to bring it into compliance with ramps, railings and widening of doorways.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Senior Center is located in the basement of the Medical Center on South Ferry Road while the site on Menantic Road is parkland.


Plover protection on Causeway blocks clammers’ access to beds

 Wildlife biologists from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers erected fencing to protect piping plover nests. Work by the  Corps to shore up the Second Causeway had been delayed for seven years, with much of the delay due to the need to protect two piping plover nests.

But baymen complained that the fencing was blocking their ability to dig clams in the area.

Councilwoman Sharon Kast said the fencing would be temporary, until the Corps could determine the location of nests once the birds returned in April.

Plans at the time called for the Corps biologists to shift monitoring of the piping plovers to The Nature Conservancy.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, town officials are reaching out to the Army Corps because after 20 years, there are breaches that have shown up on the Second Causeway. Town officials are hoping the Army Corps will agree to revisit the area and determine how to correct the situation.

There is also more cooperation between the town and area baymen whose concerns are being factored into efforts to protect the waterways and keep them accessible to those who earn their livings from the sea.


Southside plies water between Shelter Island and North Haven

Southside joined the fleet of South Ferry boats in 1999 as the company was upgrading its fleet. The new, larger boat had a number of upgrades from earlier boats.

POSTSCRIPT: South Ferry has commissioned a new boat this year that should be ready by the end of 2019, according to company president Cliff Clark. It’s being built by Blount Boat Works of Warren, Rhode Island. The company has previously built two other boats — Sunrise and Southside — for the company.

The new boat is to be named the Southern Cross.

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