05/05/2011 5:58 AM |


Suffolk Enquirer?

How sad that this newspaper has resorted to sensational journalism.

You printed a headline story out of a domestic disturbance call simply because it involved an elected town official.

Have you ever reported other domestic disturbance calls? I never recall that you did.

So why now? A family dispute? You have to be kidding.

Have you thought of the children involved and what teasing they may face by their schoolmates because of your irresponsibility?

Does the family involved deserve that type of notoriety?

The public official involved has served this community admirably for 20 years. He and his family have sacrificed a lot for Southold Town and they deserve privacy.

Shame on you.

Poor taste, very poor taste.

May I suggest that you report on the incompetency of the Obama administration, and how they are systematically destroying our economy.

Now that is important reporting.

God Bless America.

John Copertino


Where’s the truth?

Democracy can be a messy, fragile business. A few of us sometimes leave a digital ring around the bathtub.

That is the price for the flood of opinions in tweets, emails, blogs, Facebook, letters and comments published on smartphone screens, computer monitors and electronic newspapers. These are the frequently mangled voices of the people telling each other off, an American tradition.

Feathers, however, frequently get ruffled and often the fur flies. That’s the way it should be.

The way it should not be is for this stream of opinion to be cut off because some big shots are getting bruised. And when it is stifled by a newspaper that claims to be an institution of and for the community, allegedly “guided by the concerns and interests of our readers,” we are confronting hypocrisy in its ugliest form. These individuals are supposed to know better.

Scott Russell takes personal leave from supervisor’s post” headlined the breaking digital edition story on Friday, April 29. “A day after Southold Town police responded to a domestic disturbance at his Cutchogue home, Supervisor Scott Russell has temporarily turned over his town responsibilities to Deputy Supervisor Phillip Beltz”, was the lead that shocked Southold Town.

“We hope that everyone respects the family’s privacy,” Mr. Beltz exhorted in the story. Many readers did exactly that.

Unwittingly, however, Mr. Beltz touched the third rail of controversy and unleashed a thunderstorm of anger from readers who denounced the Southold Police for not respecting everyone’s privacy. Within minutes of the news story breaking, one reader wrote: “Personal and private, huh? Lucky thing he’s (was) the super … anyone else with a doemstic (sic) dispute can expect the police to CB it, the police to text their friends about it, the police to openly and wantonly talk about others’ personal and private matters in public arenas, at delis, restaurants, friends’ living rooms, etc. How long before Suffolk Times removes this post?”

Not very long indeed. And there were many more that I unfortunately cannot quote because each and every comment of the story is deleted. Even the ones that wished the Russell family well in these trying times. It was as if one big eraser descended from the blue sky and attempted to wipe them all off the face of the earth and our memories.

These remarks are not libelous nor the shouting of “Fire!” in a crowded theater. These are angry demands for equity and professionalism.

If Martin Flatley were a conscientious police captain, he would be requesting an investigation to uncover the truth of these claims.

If Mr. Kelly were an investigative journalist, he would be following these leads.

If this newspaper was truly guided by the concerns and interests of its readers, I would not have to write this letter.

Michael Edelson


The consequences

Concerning the piece on nuclear power plants on Long Island, it was not mentioned that as a result of ridding the island of nuclear we have the highest electric rates in the nation.

Also note that there are hundreds of nuclear power plants around the world that are safe and that we are not near any seismic faults.

And the north shore of Long Island is not susceptible to tsunamis.

Richard Brewster


Did he pay more?

I have one question for John Henry (“The Wealthy Should Pay Higher Taxes” April 21).

When he last filed his taxes, what was the amount of the check he wrote to the U.S. Treasury to voluntarily increase his total tax payment for the year?

I thought so.

Same as Warren Buffet.

Peter Carroll


Selective amnesia?

It’s like the old Steve Martin routine where he’s asked why he didn’t pay his income tax. He responded, “I forgot.”

Is it possible the mayor, after telling the taxpayers at two budget meetings the tax rate would not go up, while he was walking home from one of those meetings just happened to remember he wanted to raise taxes but forgot to mention it to the public?

Welcome to Greenport, where friends and special interests get to go free and the taxpayers pay for it.

John Saladino


Day of reckoning

Tuesday, May 17, is a tax-reckoning day.

You will have the opportunity to vote your voice for change with regard to the suffocating salaries in the school district budgets.

Regardless of the lowest tax increase in years, salaries remain on the steep rise.

That same day is also the last day to file a Southold Town property tax grievance. I urge everyone to file a grievance. In fact, if everyone were to flood the assessors’ office with this vital paperwork a grand message of outrage would be heard throughout the land.

You all may know what I just learned. There is a house in Orient that recently sold for $1.9 million with $9,640 in annual property taxes. Another house in Orient lists for $1.1 million with taxes of $7,310.

In Cutchogue, taxes on a $1.4 million house are $10,662, while another Cutchogue home worth $1.75 million is charged $14,529.

A Mattituck home valued at $1.5 million is assessed $15,069 annually.

Get out your calculators and multiply the “100 percent of full value” listed on your tax bill by .5 percent. That is the proportioned percent many million-dollar homeowners are paying per year. By these rates, my taxes should be $2,522 rather than the $6,183 I pay.

The rich are getting richer because I’m getting screwed by paying more proportionally. Are you too?

I’m sure if I take the time to investigate further I’ll uncover more to make me sick. I am naïve to believe that we elect officials to take care of us.

Vote and file; that’s the only road to change. It’s going to take every one of us to take the risk toward change.

MaryAnn Fleischman


Proved my point

Thanks to Thomas Brennan for critiquing my article. As a typical liberal progressive teacher, he has identified a product of the public school system.

And in doing so, inadvertently proved my point regarding the quality of a public school education.

Spelling and grammatical errors aside, one fact I do not have to support is he works for the taxpayer.

Since November 2008, the taxpayer is awake and more informed. The more informed taxpayer votes on school budgets.

As the more informed taxpayer reviews the public school system, with it’s overpaid, top-heavy administrators and inept union tenured drones, they are now, because of the Supreme Court decision, able to consider a private school education, devoid of the liberal, progressive, socialist, Communist, Democratic ideology, to educate their children.

He missed or failed to address the crux of my article. I will reiterate:

The Supreme Court has ruled in favor of the taxpayer. Parents may take a tax credit and apply it to a private school education.

Elderly people and those without children may apply their tax credit in the form of a scholarship to a student’s tuition in a private school.

Every student who leaves the public school system reduces the amount of school aid from the state.

A number of informed readers saw past the grammatical and spelling errors in the article and are questioning the public schools system and its politics versus the private school system.

Please feel free to red pen this article.

George Dengel


Keeping it green

Bravo to Greenport for being crowned with the honor “Tree City USA” by the Arbor Day Foundation, the National Association of State Foresters and the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Forest Service for the seventh consecutive year.

Hats off to George Hubbard Jr. for carrying on the tradition of his late father, former Mayor George Hubbard Sr. Tree committee chairman John Quinlan and his team also deserve a pat on the back for keeping the trees green and growing beautifully, rain, sunshine or drought.

Apart from the village’s support for the benefits of maintaining healthy trees, including promoting healthier communities by their filtering out dust and other particles, green trees are also a reflection of peaceful and loving Greenporters.

Keep up the green revolution!

Muneer Haleem


A complete success

Last week Julie Lane wrote an article about our son Zachary Ludlow titled “Doctors just didn’t know.” It was a well-done piece that aptly described our family’s struggle with Zach’s affliction, Lesch-Nyhan disease.

It also advertised our fundraising yard sale for the Lesch-Nyhan Children’s Research Foundation, which was a complete success.

The outpouring of support from the community was touching. Family, friends, neighbors and strangers donated goods for the sale. Many people came and gave much more than the price of their purchases. Some stopped by just to donate.

We truly want to thank everyone for making the day a winner. It reaffirmed our appreciation of our community.

Tom Ludlow and Melissa de la Puente


Thank you, Mr. Ross

Gerrie and I would like to thank John Ross for his great article in The Suffolk Times about our daughter Karen’s adventures. (“Vanilla beans get top billing,” April 7.)

We remember in 1973 when he and his family moved in next door to us on Mechanic Street in Southold and opened up a new restaurant in town, Ross’s. When we first went to the restaurant we were very surprised to see that he was not trying to be the same as all the other restaurants on the North Fork.

He was going to do something new, and this he did.

We could also see that fresh was the most important thing in his cooking. The menu included seafood from local waters, vegetables grown in our town and he also promoted local wines from the North Fork.

Gerrie and I, in our 80+ years, have done a lot traveling and gone to a lot of restaurants. Still, after we get our order, we often say “remember when we had this at John’s?”

He set such a high standard and very few have come close.

We will always miss eating at John’s.

Mason and Gerrie Wells
formerly of Southold


Kudos on gas moves, Mr. President

Many thanks to President Obama for pressuring Brazil to dig for oil — on land and at sea — now!  You see, Brazil needs the jobs, and China really, really needs that oil! The leadership in Beijing sees low oil and gas prices as a hedge against inflation, which means we’ll still be able to buy cheap goods from China to offset the higher gas prices we’ll be paying here! Thank you so much, Mr. President, or as they are saying in China, “shee-yeh,” Mr. Obama. And in Brazil, “Gracias, Senor Obama!”

Dick Marakovits


A Tucker thank you

Thanks again to all the local and family volunteers for joining together and helping to build the new Mattituck High baseball dugouts. Completing the project safely during the baseball season was no easy accomplishment.

Thanks to all of the Mattituck Lions for ensuring we had the funds to complete the project on time. Of course, the Mattituck Booster Club was once again terrific.

A very special thanks goes out to those donating their time and money who don’t have a child in the Mattituck Baseball system.

We couldn’t have done it without your help.

Thanks you to Florence Building Materials, which made a tremendous donation of materials, and to Delta Concrete for giving all of the masonry materials.

Bob Perry of TMC Carpentry, Darren Bovino of Bovino Construction and Mike Margolis from Quest Home Improvements all gave up their weekends to lend a hand.

Finally, thank you to the entire school staff and community, what a great place to raise a family.

Paul Finger



18 Comment

  • I agree with Michael Edelstein. Every one seems to get their fifteen minutes of publicity in the Suffolk Times Police blotter when they commit an act that the police responds to. But when it’s a Town official, it’s hush hush. Either report it all, or report none.

  • Dengel you are what’s wrong with this country.

  • Kindly show me one single domestic dispute that has ever been reported in this newspaper, and I will gladly concede the point.

    Until then, this is just rumor-mongering for the sake of satisfying individuals’ personal desires to see the personal family matters of a public figure examined in public. If you think there is a scandal, go find it, and report back to all of us. Otherwise, maybe it just is what the paper says it is, a domestic dispute. Nothing sexy, nothing exciting, noting newsworthy, other than one person involved.
    Mr. Russell has served this town well. The man and his wife may have found themselves involved in a family matter, like many, dare I say most, of us have at one time or another. Give it a break.

  • The full story on the Supervisor taking leave from office is on the front page of the hard copy edition of the Suffolk Times and in the online edition of the Shelter Island Reporter –

    It is incredible for the Republicans to claim that “We have no reason to believe that Scott won’t be at the top of the ticket…” Not to jump to a conclusion, but unexpectedly leaving office is obviously reason to question running for re-election.

    Scott Russell deserves personal privacy, but his departure from public office is public business.

    Why didn’t the Suffolk Times report on how long the Supervisor is expected to be on leave?

  • I couldn’t care less what happened at his home, but if it was ANYONE of us laypersons, you bet there would be more than a slight blurb. That was and is my point.

  • Wrong. Domestics are never printed in the paper. PLUS… comments are not allowed on the police report for this very reason. All of this is BS… people need to get a life… especially that troll Edelstein.

  • The recent arrest of a Town employee (who regularly deals with the public) on charges of aggravated harassment goes unnoticed in our paper, while naming one of the masses who urinates on a sidewalk is newsworthy? What is the policy of this newspaper? The punster would say YELLOW journalism

  • Hey dude1762, thanks for making a succinct argument. When we disagree with someone, the best thing to do is call them a “troll”. Clearly: Winning. I am the one that wrote about being irritated at the police and they way they choose to share information. No, domestics are not printed. It would be (in a case where there are no arrests, as in the Russell case, btw, he wasn’t arrested to my knowledge) an infringement on our civil liberties. Why, there are certain codes of conduct that our well-compensated boys in blue abide by–with diligence. cough cough cough ahem…But, DOMESTIC INCIDENTS ARE openly disucssed in places way too public, or to “buddies”, as fodder for conversation. Why do I know that? Not only have I heard it myself, but my career was actually destroyed by one (still current, no slapped wrists there) member of the Southold Town Police who decided to call my employer and give them information: some, from a domestic incident (where I WAS THE VICTIM) and SOME COMPLETELY FABRICATED. It has pretty much put an end to that career, meaning I wasted about 90,00 in a Masters, and on top of that HAD TO LOSE THE ONE CAREER I TRULY PASSIONATELY LOVED because one member of the SH Town Police decided it was his right to destroy my life (hey, I don’t live in Southold anymore, but every month you taxpayers are footing the bill to protect his right to violate my civil rights). And what’s even more sickening is that the Captain and Chief REALLY DON’T SEEM TO GIVE A ahem. AND other times I’ve made this point (two other stories, as I recall) faced the same censure: meanwhile, cursing and name-calling is okay…but making a rational argument (albeit emotional) is NOT OKAY? So I can call someone a synonym for excrement but I can’t question the quality of equality going on with regard to police matters?

  • May I suggest that you report on the incompetency of the Obama administration, and how they are systematically destroying our economy.

    Proof John, proof! Don’t start spouting nonsense again it’s boring!

    Your old friend

  • May I suggest that you report on the incompetency of the Obama administration, and how they are systematically destroying our economy.

    Proof John, proof! Don’t start spouting nonsense again it’s boring!

    Your old friend

  • And btw, leave Thomas Brennan alone. I am an MHS graduate, and I can’t count the number of former students who had their LIVES CHANGED due to this man’s teaching skill and genuine compassion for his students. If I were to offer an informal poll, certianly his name would be at the top of “favorites”. Were there grammatical errors? Yes. Are there errors in yours, Mr. Dengel? YES! A cursory read brings up: “Spelling and grammatical errors aside, one fact I do not have to support is he works for the taxpayer.” Hmmm…did you mean “to support is THAT he works”? Next: “Elderly people and those without children may apply their tax credit in the form of a scholarship to a student’s tuition in a private school.” Oh dear, they are all sharing one tax credit? Next, and I don’t have the energy to point them all out…funny you should pretend to be so astute: “Every student who leaves the public school system reduces the amount of school aid from the state.” Mr. Dengel, did you know that you are supposed to stay in the same tense, there? i.e. “Every student who leaves the public shool system WILL REDUCE”. Get my drift? Might have helped your already trite argument to have done a grammar-check via Microsoft Word.
    The main point is, that despite grammatical errors, who misses the WHOLE POINT? Would you be satisfied to have a grammatically correct article that was either senseless or inflammatory? Not rhetorical. I’m sure the Nazi’s had plenty of those. No, I am in no way comapring you to a Nazi, simply trying to show you that when the information you print is bogus, not based on facts, or inflammatory in nature, you are doing far more wrong towards educating the community than if you said “then” not “than”. No? The point of your letter obfuscated the truth, was inflammatory in nature and mean-spirited.

  • Dear John Copertino, in the kindest of ways: I think you need medication. Your thought patterns are something like this: (you speaking) I think blue is the best color.. .Therefore, Obama is a sadistic torturer who will liekly eat me. Meaning: YOU MAKE NO SENSE! Someone who wants to offer logic cannot in good conscience say a plus b equals c therfore q to the tenth must be four score and seven years ago. How many ways can I try to convey how disillusioned you are….you seem to fancy yourself a prophet…or at the very least one of the only beacons of truth…but the words that actually come out of your mouth make absolutly no sense. While I completely disagree with you ideologically, I would love it if, among your scores of letters, you were able to compose one that: 1. made sense–made me reconsider beleifs; and/or 2. Did not put some human onto a skewer, singing them like a sideshow act to disract others from seeking truth. I’m sure you will write again, do you think you could fulfill those requirements (not for me, but for your own sanity and redemption)

  • I also submit that some shoddy spelling is the result of shoddy editing (including not transcribing correctly). I’m sure than Mr. Brennan knows the difference between “principal” and “principle”. I can’t imagine his letter is the only one butchered. Mine are my own fault–mea culpa, Mr. Brennan.

  • I’m happy that they are exposing the ponzi scheme of the government employee contract, which is systematically driving down the value of our homes and putting many in the poorhouse.

  • Here is your incident: Look at the domestic “incident” reprted this week wherein the paper names a man in Aquebogue of attempted rape.