This week in Shelter Island history: Noise violations and bowhunting laws


The urban legend surfaced that Andrew Lloyd Webber had asked John Lennon to star in “Jesus Christ Superstar,” but the story has since been debunked.

The first Boeing 747 was previewed in Seattle, Wash.

300,000 fans saw the Rolling Stones at the Altamont free concert in California.

Rapper Jay-Z was born in New York City and named Shawn Corey Carter.

Los Angeles Police Chief Edward Davis announced the arrests of members of the Manson Family cult who committed nine murders at four locations, including killing actress Sharon Tate

And on Shelter Island . . .


Avoid the newscasts

Fifty years ago at this time, a cartoon appeared in the Reporter of two young children watching television with a newspaper spread in front of them warning of violence on TV.

The caption was, “Mom says it’s okay as long as we don’t watch newscasts.”

POSTSCRIPT: Fast forward to today and we have a renewed battle about the news emanating from Washington and assertions that much of what is being put out by the media is incorrect. We’ll leave that to today’s reader to ponder with a word of advice: Any medium that never runs corrections probably shouldn’t be trusted since errors occasionally happen, but need to be corrected as is the practice by responsible media outlets.


Noise committee reviews drafts of new law

It was early December 1989 that town officials were struggling with the effort to establish a noise ordinance and ways to enforce it. Town councilwoman Barbara Allen led a subcommittee looking at two drafts and ways to take the best parts of each and combine them into one workable proposal for a law.

One draft used subjective observations as a means of enforcement while a second suggested use of a decibel meter. James Eklund, a committee member at the time, suggested a simple approach similar to an East Hampton ordinance. The Town Board made plans to see a decibel meter in practice in January 1990.

POSTSCRIPT: Today’s noise ordinance deals largely with limiting use of loud music, particularly amplified music, and decibel meters are used. There are exceptions to limits for public and charitable events and while repeated offenses are punishable by fines and/or jail sentences, Shelter Island Police do their best to issue warnings and try to quell problems before they have to issue tickets for offenses.


Siller says newly organized bowhunting group reducing deer

The year was 1999 and then-supervisor Gerry Siller was assessing the impact of a newly organized group of bowhunters on helping to reduce the deer population on the Island.

The town had received approval from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for what was then known as “the antlerless hunt” that focused on culling female deer before they could give birth to future generations of deer.

POSTSCRIPT: Having served two terms as supervisor in the 1990s, Mr. Siller has just won a third term and takes office on Jan. 1. The issue of how to tackle the continuing problem of tick-borne diseases will be among his newly constituted Town Board issues.

The Deer & Tick Committee has been steadily moving to emphasize more effective culling of the deer herd.