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This week in Shelter Island history


Two hundred people attended the first Jewish worship service at the White House during the Nixon era when the president wanted to encourage religious unity.

Fifty-thousand people attended the three-day Denver Pop Festival that would be overshadowed two months later by Woodstock in New York.

Life Magazine announced the retirement of photo journalist Margaret Bourke-White, who would succumb to Parkinson’s Disease two years later.

The Stonewall uprising, said to be the beginning of the Gay  Pride Movement, started with New York City Police carrying out an early morning raid at the gay bar in Greenwich Village.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Shelter Island School graduates 23

The graduating class from Shelter Island School numbered 23. Graduation that year took place in the school gymnasium.

POSTSCRIPT: This year’s graduating class numbers 19 students and, weather permitting, will be under the tent on school grounds on Saturday, June 29.


The Reporter sold to veteran newsmen

Barbara Dunne closed on the sale of the Shelter Island Reporter to veteran newsmen Gardiner (Pat) Cowles III and Warren C. McDowell. Mr. Cowles was the owner and publisher of the Three Village Herald in Setauket and Mr. McDowell had previously owned and published the Fire Island Tide.

The year before the men had purchased the Sag Harbor Express, which they redesigned, winning a New York Press Association first place award in the graphic design category. The Reporter staff was to remain and advertisers would have an option to include their ads in one or both papers.

POSTSCRIPT: In 2000, Troy and Joan Gustavson purchased the Reporter, expanding the Times Review brand that also includes the Suffolk Times and News-Review, along with several magazines.

Their son-in-law and daughter, Andrew and Sarah Olsen, are the current owners of Times Review Media Group, the Reporter’s parent company.


Crack down on bikers

Two bicyclists were fined for traffic violations on Shelter Island roads. The Reporter suggested in an editorial that too many bicyclists saw Island roads as “lazy country lanes.” But the editorial said bluntly: “We have some nasty roads for bikers and, in the summer, some nasty vehicle drivers who also think they own our bucolic lanes.”  Some are “dysfunctional because of substances that affect their compatibility with an equally dysfunctional bike rider.”

The editorial called for more tickets to  go to bicyclists.

POSTSCRIPT: While many Island roads experience heavy traffic during the summer season, one considered particularly dangerous is the picturesque but narrow New York Avenue. Vehicles, cyclists and hikers share the roadway that is posted for a 25 mph speed, but on more than one occasion, town officials have raised questions about whether it’s appropriate for all three groups to share that road, especially in summer months, when there are many more people on the Island.


Committee cancellations plague residents

When the Deer & Tick Committee cancelled a meeting at the last minute 10 years ago, resident Richard Kelly complained about the lack of notice, which led to a confrontation at a Town Board work session with then supervisor Jim Dougherty.

Responding to Mr. Kelly’s complaints, Mr. Dougherty said town staff members aren’t charged with notifications and charged that Mr. Kelly was heavy handed about making demands to workers at Town Hall.

POSTSCRIPT: Cancellations of committee meetings still happen — sometimes in the online calendar on the town’s website. But others are cancelled without public notice until the day or night of a meeting, particularly in the off season when it sometimes becomes difficult to get a quorum at the last minute. In such cases, a resident would likely not know until arriving at Town Hall for a meeting that the meeting has been cancelled.


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