This week in Shelter Island history: Fuel cost protests and a changing of the guard


The Motion Picture Association of America in 1968 introduced a rating system to guide parents about what films were appropriate for their children to see. At this time in 1970, that was changed substituting the PG — parental guidance — for the M rating representing films rated for mature audiences.

Former speaker of the House of Representatives Paul Ryan was born in Jamesville, Wisconsin.

British actress Minnie Driver was born in London.

In the NFL draft, Terry Bradshaw of Louisiana Tech was the first pick of the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Several members of the Grateful Dead were busted on LSD charges shortly after performing on Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

And on Shelter Island . . .


Ryan resigns as Planning Board chairman

The year was 1980 and William Ryan stepped down as chairman of the Planning Board. He had been appointed to the Planning Board in 1976 and became chairman in 1979 after several months as acting chairman.

Gunard Bergman was named chairman by fellow Planning Board members. He had been a Planning Board member for seven years and had the greatest seniority among board members at the time he became chairman.

POSTSCRIPT: Long-time Planning Board chairman Paul Mobius left the board at the end of 2017 after many years of service and Emory Breiner became chairman at the start of 2018, to be succeeded by Ian McDonald in 2019. Mr. McDonald is still chairman. 


Tracey leaves Island for East Hampton job

With great regret, the Board of Education 30 years ago accepted the resignation of athletic director and boys physical education teacher Chris Tracey who accepted a job  as assistant principal at the Springs K-8 School in East Hampton. In his letter of resignation, he said he lives in East Hampton and family considerations and opportunity for professional growth prompted his decision to leave Shelter Island. 

POSTSCRIPT: Todd Gulluscio has been director of athletics, physical education, health, wellness and personnel for several years now and when he took the job, he expressed pleasure at being able to return home to Shelter Island to tackle his responsibilities.


Islanders protest high fuel oil costs

Islanders were shivering through a particularly cold winter at this time in 2000, but to exacerbate the situation, they were being hit with high prices for the home heating oil. Assemblyman Fred Thiele Jr. (I-Sag Harbor) and State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson) carried their message to then state attorney general Eliot Spitzer, maintaining that the high costs their constituents were paying were well beyond legitimate market forces.

Mr. Thiele charged the suppliers were being “greedy and amoral” in their pricing while Mr. LaValle called price increases “outrageous and unjustifiable.”

POSTSCRIPT: Despite a few frigid days, the winter has been relatively mild so far this year. While gasoline prices have been stable, there have been fluctuations in fuel oil prices from time to time.


New house’s big basement under scrutiny

Ten years ago, resident Sean O’Shea had won Planning Board support for a special permit for a house on Proposed Road in Shorewood, but Town Board approval for the needed permit had yet to be granted.

Paul Mobius, then chairman of the Planning Board, expressed concern among his members about work underway prior to approval by the Town Board. The house, originally described as having less than 8,500 square feet of living space, would end up with 11,648 square feet of living space, given work in the basement area and the owner’s call to finish that work that would include a sitting room, wine cellar, sauna, exercise room, batting cage and multi-fixture bathroom.

People came out to a hearing to protest the project.

POSTSCRIPT: So-called mega-houses continue to raise ire among many town residents who express concerns about the changes such structures are having on the culture of the Island and concerns about the effect such structures might be having on water quantity and quality.