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This week in Shelter Island history


Willie Brandt became chancellor in Germany.

“Monty Python’s Flying Circus”  was among the most popular television programs at the time.

“Love American Style” debuted on ABC television.

Jackie DeShannon got a Gold Record for “Put A Little Love in Your Heart.”

And on Shelter Island . . .


Drugs and children is subject of PTA forum

A Suffolk County Police Detective led a session on Shelter Island for parents to  to help their children avoid drug use. He spoke about the dangers of using drugs not specifically prescribed for them and showed a film emphasizing reactions to various drugs.

POSTSCRIPT: Illicit drugs remain a problem in every community, but much of today’s emphasis is on vaping — use of electronic cigarettes that were once thought to be a safe substitute for tobacco products.

After several recent deaths around the country from vaping, Shelter Island School, which has previously presented a program on the dangers of the use of these products, has renewed its efforts this year to provide students with information on why use of these electronic cigarettes is dangerous.


Highway crew gets 12% raise

The Town Board and Highway Department concluded long negotiations that finally resulted in a 12% raise for crew members, retroactive to the previous July. Although a stiff increase, the highway employees had long been underpaid. The Town Board concluded it was time to bring their salaries in line with what their counterparts in neighboring towns were earning.

The Reporter editorialized that the raise was long overdue and supported it.

POSTSCRIPT: In the past several years, former highway superintendent Jay Card Jr. had argued for more money for his staff and himself, noting that despite their heavy responsibilities, they continued to be underpaid compared with similar workers in surrounding towns.

This year, it falls to Highway Superintendent and Public Works Commissioner Brian Sherman to carry the ball when it comes to supporting his staff and himself and working to get the equipment vital to the job. It’s one of the budget requests that always gets much scrutiny because it is one of the largest expenditures town taxpayers have to bear.

It will be at least a couple of weeks before it’s determined where the 2020 budget is headed.


Town Board gets accessory apartment report

Consultant Don Kornrumpf presented the Town Board with a 30-page report he had prepared on the impact of creating affordable apartments in town.

The report dealt with several  scenarios and impacts on zoning, Suffolk County Department of Health Services regulations and supply and demand estimates. He estimated the year-round population would be close to 2,500 with his “best guess” that there would be a need to house approximately 270 people with an estimated 138 rental spaces available.

POSTSCRIPT: For years, there have been efforts to create more affordable housing, but none have been built. Today, the Community Housing Board, with the support of the Town Board, has a plan for a single structure that could provide four individual apartments. The committee is vetting some sites for such a structure that could land on a town-owned lot or need to be purchased from a private owner.


Students prep for ‘The Challenge’

Teachers Janine Mahoney and Peer Miedema were helping a team of Shelter Island students prepare to compete on Channel 12’s “The Challenge.”

The teachers had been making their case that there were too few Suffolk County schools represented on the televised show and finally won agreement from Channel 12 executives to enter a team that would compete and demonstrate their knowledge of history, literature, math and science.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, the first Board of Education meeting since school began Sept. 4 was filled with plans for new efforts, but mostly dominated by an item not on the agenda that came up at the end of the meeting: A  state mandate requiring that all students at least start, and where possible complete, immunizations.

Parents of non-immunized students were given 14 days to provide proof that they had at least started the required vaccinations or would be banned from attending classes.

They understood the mandate was created by New York State, but some were seeking support to try to force a delay in its implementation. Parents said that with the late June passage of the new law, they had inadequate time to make plans for their children’s education.

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