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

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