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This week in Shelter Island history

50 YEARS AGO IN HISTORY

Barbra Streisand was honored at a Friars Club tribute in New York City.

The Soviets launched Venera 5, a space probe that landed on Venus and sent back atmospheric data

Actress Tracey Gold, who portrayed Carol on “Growing Pains,” was born in New York City.

The Who’s Peter Townsend and Roger Daltry were on the run from the New York City Police Department. They were accused of kicking an officer off stage in what turned out to be an attempt to clear out Fillmore East because there was a fire in an adjacent building.

Actor David Boreanaz, who performed in “Angel,” “Married with Children,” “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” and more recently in “Bones” and “Seal Team” was born in Buffalo, New York.

And on Shelter Island . . .

50 YEARS AGO

No Island cleanup

A Reporter editorial recounted a check of neighboring towns and villages and noted that only Shelter Island was remiss in not organizing a spring cleanup campaign.

“On Shelter Island, we leave the program to the magic of nature,” the editorial said. The result at the time was private dumps in many backyards, something the Town Board had outlawed years earlier.

POSTSCRIPT: A spring cleanup has been organized by the Lions Club for the past couple of years. Volunteers have given generously of their time while businesses have contributed food and drink to  volunteers.

30 YEARS AGO

Gurney wins first place award at Science Congress

Meredith Gurney earned a first place award at the LILCO Energy and Environmental Science Congress where she presented a project dealing with solar heating and conversion.

She received a plaque and $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

Carey Balinsky, another Shelter Island student, placed second, also receiving a plaque and a $100 U.S. Savings Bond.

POSTSCRIPT: Meredith Gurney Page continued her interest in solar energy. In 2011, she led the effort to install solar panels on the roof of the Shelter Island Hardware business she and her brother Dave Gurney operate in the Heights.

20 YEARS AGO

Security on docket for Island school board

Much of the attention of Board of Education members was focused on ways to increase security.

The concern arose in the wake of the deadly shooting at Columbine High School in Colorado that had occurred just a few weeks earlier. Superintendent Lydia Axelrod told the Board of Education she understood concerns, but didn’t want to overreact to the situation. Among the actions discussed at the time was locking all doors to the building during the school day except for one entrance that was monitored. But there was concern about distances between parking areas and that entrance.

POSTSCRIPT: Sadly, school shootings and shootings at other public places have become an ongoing issue. The Board of Education has stepped up security measures and today there are regular lock down drills, use of cameras and special equipment to slow down anyone trying to shoot their way into the building.

10 YEARS AGO

Town marks reopening of Shell Beach

After it was closed for two years because of damage caused by a nor’easter, Shell Beach was finally reopened thanks to an almost $1 million investment — 75 percent of which came from the Federal government. Public Works Commissioner Mark Ketcham oversaw the project that involved a stairway through a rock revetment designed to protect the area from erosion.

POSTSCRIPT: In the past few years, new groins have been installed at Shell Beach to provide relief from erosion of one the Island’s loveliest beaches.

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