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This week in Shelter Island history


Warren Burger was confirmed as Chief Justice of the United States Supreme Court.

Georges Pompidou was elected president of France.

The Oakland A’s Reggie Jackson got 10 RBIs to beat the Red Sox 21 to 7.

John Lennon and Yoko Ono were guests on the British David Frost television interview show

Jacqueline Susann’s “The Love Machine” was among the best selling books in the United States

And on Shelter Island . . .


Mrs. Rackett retires

In June 1969  Grace Rackett was about to wind up a 20-year career as art teacher at Shelter Island School. She was one of the first teachers in the BOCES Cooperative Services program, splitting her time and teaching in Orient and Aquebogue as well as on the Island.

At a party celebrating her retirement, Mrs. Rackett said she had enjoyed her years of teaching Shelter Island students, but  it was time for her to call an end to her career and devote time to writing and illustrating children’s books.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, art teacher Stephanie Sareyani is retiring at the end of this month after a 30-year career, 28 of them in the district.


Shifting burden on ferry rates

The Suffolk County Legislature, charged with regulating rates for North and South ferries, was reexamining its approach to rate changes. Thirty years ago they began to shift the burden so that Islanders and those who work here would become eligible for lower rates than were charged to the occasional person using either or both ferries.

The legislature set up a committee to assist with a study of lower rates for residents.

POSTSCRIPT: North Ferry has just received a rate increase that took effect at the start of the Memorial Day weekend and South Ferry is in the process of shepherding its rate hike request through the Legislature. Both requests have continued to embrace the philosophy of giving price breaks to locals and those who work on the Island.


10K expected to be huge

Mary Ellen Adipietro took charge of the Shelter Island 10K that had developed over the previous 20 years from a small local race to a premier race attracting name runners from around the world.

By 1999, it had become one of the top 100 races in the United States. Race officials had registrations from the largest group of elite runners ever to have run the course.

POSTSCRIPT: This year’s race is only two weeks away, on June 15, and Ms. Adipietro will be celebrating both her own 20 years at the helm and the race’s 40th anniversary. Many former Olympians will be back on the Island to run the race along with other elite runners from the New York City and Boston marathons and other major races.

Through the years, the race has raised more than $750,000 to benefit charities.


Analog to digital transition arrives on Island

Those used to the old analog delivery of television channels were about to see blank screens on some channels or, if they had prepared for the transition, programming delivered via digital systems.

Local channels 2 through 13 would still deliver analog service on the Island, but how long that would continue was an open question. The reason for the transition, according to the Federal Communications Commission, was to free up communications frequencies for public safety transmissions.

Wireless service providers were also able to buy some of those analog frequencies at auction.

POSTSCRIPT: Fast forward 10 years and customers are generally tapped into cable or satellite services.

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