Editorial: This is some week in America

You’ll read in this edition about a dog park being established, about dredging planned in Greenport to help boaters, about a Mattituck teen who has been selected for a very prestigious ballet program and about the candidates both political parties have picked to run for local office.

If you pick up the Riverhead News-Review, you’ll learn about tax abatements, lawsuits, the retirement of a police detective after 31 years and the closure of a 64-year-old family business. You might also want to take a look at the Shelter Island Reporter to read about what’s going on over there.

Reporting these stories is part of our duty as community newspapers to do our best to keep you informed, to highlight what should be highlighted, to point out what should be pointed out and to celebrate what should be celebrated. A good example of that is this week’s guest column on the importance of Black History Month.

But, of course, farther-reaching events are playing out at the same time on a larger stage, events that impact all of us on the North Fork and across America. As we write this, Michael Cohen — our president’s former fixer and lawyer, all-around crook and soon-to-be prison inmate — is detailing for a congressional panel what he characterizes as the crimes and behavior of the man he spent years lying for.

He is testifying with the cameras on, so we can all see and hear it. Tomorrow, he will testify behind closed doors. So much is at stake in our country it is hard to put it all into words.

No matter what Mr. Cohen says, some of us will dismiss it all as lies because he’s spent most of his legal career as a paid prevaricator. Others among us will be horrified at the allegations and know that, had anything similar been thrown at former President Barack Obama, the GOP would have demanded his removal from office and wanted him tried for treason.

It seems we are living in a split-screen America. We keep rooting for one side or the other even when it no longer matters — or makes any sense. 

We hope you’ll appreciate that our focus is on our communities and all the great things being done locally to make them wonderful places to live and work. Occasionally, though, we must weigh in on events, big and small, that occur beyond our towns and neighborhoods but affect every one of us. 

We did this last week with the growing Catholic sex abuse scandal. You will read a number of letters in our papers this week from readers upset by that coverage. We are glad to print those letters. Keep them coming.

In the meantime, grab a coffee and head over to the ice rink in Greenport. Look out for the magnificent bald eagle that has been spotted in Mattituck. It looks like we might soon be home to a bald eagle family somewhere on the North Fork. 

That’s good news this week in split-screen America.

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