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This week in Shelter Island history


Ralph Nader set up a consumer organization known as Nader’s Raiders.

“Love Story” actress Ali McGraw wed producer Robert Evans.

Canadian-American comedian Samantha was born in Toronto, Ontario.

“Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” starring Paul Newman and Robert Redford, premiered in theaters.

Led Zeppelin released its second album.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Voters eyeing upcoming election

Voters had a couple of weeks before they would either re-elect Evans K. Griffing to a ninth consecutive term as supervisor or choose Louis Price to succeed him. It was an off-year election in most areas, but on Shelter Island, it had been an active year of campaigning because of the supervisor’s race.

As history shows,  Mr. Griffing returned  to Town Hall.

POSTSCRIPT: This year, there’s a race between incumbent Gary Gerth on the Republican ticket and former two-term supervisor Gerry Siller, as well as races for two seats on the Town Board. Paul Shepherd, who won big four years ago on the Republican line, was ignored by the GOP this year, and is running on the Conservative Party line, while incumbent Democratic Councilman Jim Colligan seeks another term. The GOP is backing Marcus Kaasik who failed by only a few votes when he ran two years ago, and newcomer Julia Romanchuk Weisenberg. In addition to Mr. Colligan, the Democrats are backing Mike Bebon, who chairs both the Water Advisory Committee and the Community Housing Board.


School’s financial report reviewed

An unusually large group of residents arrived at a Shelter Island Board of Education meeting with questions about how the district was spending money. Their concern was whether the district was overtaxing residents, since its unreserved fund balance was then more than the state’s allowable 2% above its budget.

But questions to the auditor revealed that, especially in the case of small districts, the cap on undesignated fund balances is frequently overridden because a single unanticipated need could force a small district to have to go back to voters asking  permission to raise more taxes after they have approved a budget.

POSTSCRIPT: Generally, the focus on school budgets starts in January in most districts, leading to a vote in May to accept or reject a spending plan.


CAC mulls mosquitoes

Mark Ketcham, chairman of the Conservation Advisory Committee, told members he was looking at various actions the town might consider to battle mosquitoes. He was looking at the alternatives of ground or aerial spraying to determine which might be the best approach.

Town Board liaison to the CAC Sharon Kast suggested consideration of a product called Mosquito Magnet designed to lure mosquitoes into a trap and advertised as environmentally friendly.

POSTSCRIPT: Twenty years later, while the focus here is on ticks, in recent years, there is concern about Eastern Encephalitis and West Nile virus detected in Suffolk County.