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This week in Shelter Island history


Singer-song writer Gwen Stefani was born in Fullerton, Calif.

A Concorde 001 test flight broke the sound barrier.

The New York Mets swept the Atlanta Braves 3 games to none to become National League Baseball Champions.

Comedian and actor Zach Galifianakis was born in Wilkesboro, N.C.

The Beijing, China subway system began operating.

And on Shelter Island . . .


A promise still not kept

Gov. Nelson Rockefeller promised that the Long Island Rail Road would be the best in the country.

A picture of the station in Greenport at the time revealed nothing appeared in the works to upgrade the easternmost station on the North Fork, or to offer more frequent service to residents of Shelter Island and the North Fork.

POSTSCRIPT: Trains are still sparse on the North Fork run. There are some relatively new two-level trains. But talks have been underway for years to improve all East End stations and service, so far to little avail.


Island disaster plan ready for Hugo

A September storm named Hugo had lashed Charleston, S.C., and just when residents there thought the storm had moved on, they were hit with torrential rains and tornadoes.

Shelter Islanders were sending money and supplies to that hard hit community while taking steps here to ready themselves for a storm that had been unpredictable.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, the Island has so far escaped hurricanes, but threats of high tides and coastal flooding are more frequent than they were years ago.

Under the leadership of Police Chief Jim Read, the Island’s preparedness for emergencies has become more sophisticated. In recent weeks, there was a forum on the Island to guide residents on how to prepare — just in case.

South Ferry has also spent substantial money and North Ferry is moving in the same direction to raise ferry landings to deal with anticipated higher tides. 


Youth Center slated to close

The Shelter Island Youth Center was facing closure after close to 15 years of operation. The building belonging to Shelter Island Presbyterian Church had deteriorated to the point where officials determined it would be unsafe to continue to use it.

Other options were being explored by town officials as possible sites for a youth center.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, with the town’s ownership of the American Legion Post, the building provides both space for the Legion members and the town Recreation Department.


Hole discovered below Legion Hall

A minor accident ended up preventing a huge problem when a bowler dropped a ball that cracked the floor, revealing a 4.5-foot deep-hole that threatened the structural integrity of the building.

The situation was thought to need minor repairs, but it was discovered that the hole had likely resulted from a collapsed septic tank or cistern under the building. Had the hole not been discovered, then public works commissioner Mark Ketcham said the entire footing of the building might have been affected.

POSTSCRIPT: Today, the Legion Hall has a new well with testing underway to ensure it can provide clean water at the building. Plans are being explored for a nitrogen-reducing septic system that will either be an independent system or part of a larger project that could serve the Legion Hall, Shelter Island School, several town office buildings, the Police Department and Justice Court, Shelter Island Library and the Fire Department Center station.

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