This week in North Fork history: Southold three-peats as state champ

SUFFOLK TIMES FILE PHOTO | The 1981 Southold boys soccer team celebrates its third-straight state championship.

The following stories were excerpted from Suffolk Times issues published 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years ago this week:

30 years ago …

Settlers repeat as state soccer champs

The Southold Settlers overcame a slick playing surface on Nov. 21, 1981, to capture their third straight boys soccer championship with a 1-0 win over upstate Harrisville.

Settlers halfback Doug O’Brien scored the game’s only goal at 5:41 in the second half.

“I saw their goalie way over to the left side of the net,” O’Brien said in that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times. “He didn’t move quickly enough and I came back to the right side.”

Two years earlier, O’Brien had scored the lone goal in Southold’s Suffolk County Championship win over North Babylon.

Goalkeeper Billy Boergesson recorded 13 saves in the 1981 state title game.

Postscript: Southold would go on to win state championships in 1983, 1985 and 1986. O’Brien’s brother Greg, Suffolk’s all-time leading scorer, played on those teams.

David Rothman succumbs at 85

David A. Rothman, the Southold retailer who was a friend of Albert Einstein and Benjamin Britten died of Leukemia Nov. 19, 1981, at St. Charles Hospital in Port Jefferson, according to an article in the following week’s Suffolk Times.

Mr. Rothman’s friendship with Einstein began in 1939, when the scientist, who was summering at Nassau Point, walked into Rothman’s Department Store on Main Street in search of “sundials.”

Mr. Rothman was a charter member of the Southold Rotary Club, an organizer of North Fork Community concerts, which brought visiting musicians to the East End, and a founder of the Custer Institute.

Postscript: Thirty years later, Rothman’s is still owned and operated by the same family.

25 years ago …

Costello project shifts into high gear

Southold town’s first affordable housing project got off the starting line on Nov. 24, 1986, according to that week’s issue of The Suffolk Times.

John Costello had proposed to split a 48.5 acre parcel at Moores Lane and the North Road in unincorporated Greenport into two unequal segments. The larger portion, about 55 percent of the property, was slated for 85 moderately priced single-family homes on quarter-acre lots. The remainder of the property was slated for 85 townhouse units.

By law, the single-family homes had to be priced at $75,000. The townhomes were expected to sell for between $130,000 and $140,000.

Postscript: The community is now referred to as Pheasant Run. The median sale price of a home there now is $286,000, according to One townhome even sold there for $425,000 in 2007.

Heating Oil Price: How low can you go?

At this time last year, home heating oil prices were slightly over $1, we reported in 1986. Now the average price hovers at about 80 cents, with most retailers offering a discount of 10 cents per gallon if the bill is paid within 10 days.

20 years ago …

Showdown on McDonald’s

Southold Town hosted the final ZBA hearing on the controversial proposal to build a McDonald’s on Main Road in Mattituck on Nov. 21, 1991, according to the following week’s Suffolk Times. The event featured a bombshell when McDonald’s Corp. attorney Peter Mineo said the eatery would not dump any of its trash at the Southold landfill.

“We will hire a carting company to take all the trash out of Southold Town to Brooklyn and beyond,” he said.

One of the more popular speakers at the hearing was 14-year-old Brian Pillai of Laurel who asked Mr. Mineo: “Will McDonald’s send people around to pick up garbage with their name on it that end up on people’s lawns?” Young Brian later added “Where McDonald’s goes, crime goes.”

Postscript: We all now know McDonalds was built, but Southold Town has since changed the code so no free-standing “formula food” restaurant can be built anywhere in town.

15 years ago …

Penn professor wins $10,000 Greenport park design contest

The winning entry of the waterfront design competition looks like it might have come from an Etch-a-Sketch, read the lede of the page 3 story in the Nov. 28, 1996 issue of The Suffolk Times. A few circles, a few squares and a couple curves.

“I must say this design was not necessarily the one I expected would get chosen,” said then-Greenport Mayor Dave Kapell.

The design contest was to develop Mitchell Park, which the town had purchased for $1.2 million earlier that summer. The contest was won by Penn professor James Corner, who proposed in his winning entry to build a “rectangular steel and glass pavilion to house the carousel the Grumman corporation donated to the village last year.”

More than 500 designs from around the world were entered in the contest.

The property was once home to Mitchell’s restaurant, which burned down in 1978. It had been slated several times for commercial development before being purchased by the village.

10 years ago …

Casino coming to town?

Guess what? A half-acre lot in Southold, site of the former Town Hall, is no longer U.S. Soil. It now belongs to the Suzerain Nation of Kitoi, Alaska, which plans to open a casino there, we wrote in the Nov. 29. 2001 issue of The Suffolk Times.

Tribal chief Faith Braswell and part-time Southold resident Peter DiMaggio, a real estate broker in Alaska, were working at the time to renovate a two-story 5,600 square foot home on Traveler Street for the purpose of opening up a casino there that would employ as much as 50 people. At the time of the article, the first set of slot machines was being installed, but that didn’t leave elected officials here or in Alaska confident the casino would ever get built.

“Don’t bet on it,” said then-Congressman Felix Grucci (R-East Patchogue).

An Alaskan Congressman said the Kitoi were not even a federally recognized tribe.

Former Southold Supervisor Jean Cochran took it a step further, stating “they’re crazy.”