Letters to the Editor: Thank you, Steve Wick


Thank you, Steve Wick

I am sad to hear that Steve Wick has left The Suffolk Times and Times Review Media Group. I thought he had done an amazing job as an editor since he joined the team in 2017. His superior investigative reporting skills were seen over and over in the well-written stories published in this paper. 

The Louise Pietrewicz series in 2018 and 2019 stands out as some of the best investigative journalism I have ever read, especially in a small local newspaper. Ms. Pietrewicz, a Cutchogue resident, went missing in 1968, leaving behind her 11-year-old daughter. Her body (thanks to the reporting of Mr. Wick and former Suffolk Times editor Grant Parpan) was found 51 years later buried in the basement of a former Southold Town police officer’s home. Mr. Wick exposed the corruption and coverup of the grossly incompetent Southold P.D. and town officials at that time. They also produced a documentary called “Gone” about this case.

It hit home for me because my sister Michelle Becker and her husband, Bill, died suspiciously in March 1981 at Matt-a-Mar Marina (today Strong’s Water Club) leaving behind three young children. (Google and read my “Guest Spot” editorial in The Suffolk Times for March 10, 2021, on the 40th anniversary of Bill and Michelle’s deaths.) 

On the morning of March 11, 1981, I was notified that my brother-in-law died and my sister was missing. I drove out to their home in Mattituck. When I arrived, there were many people inside and outside the Becker house on West View Drive. One of the first people I met on the front lawn was Cutchogue resident and Newsday reporter, Steve Wick. We have remained friends ever since. He has been very helpful for me and my family to get answers and a certain amount of closure in our tragedy. 

Steve’s articles and vision will be missed. As a Southold resident and Suffolk Times subscriber, I can only hope someone can continue Steve’s legacy with your paper. Steve will be very difficult to replace.

Michael Malkush

Bronxville, N.Y.

A touching memorial

“Echoes of D-Day, 80 Years On” by Ambrose Clancy was a beautiful story and memory, collective and personal. The fighting generation, their families and children were often bound by the unspoken memories.

I have a clear recollection of being on a Rockaway beach Aug. 15, 1945 (though only 5 years . old), when the bells of St. Francis de Sales began ringing and joyful people made their way up to the church. Chances were everyone there had family or friend in the war.

Conrad Power

New York Cit

Good luck to Chief Flatley

As a retired detective sergeant from New York City, I had numerous dealings with Chief [Martin] Flatley. He and the members of his department gave me and my team members very professional assistance when we asked. It was always a pleasure and I wish him nothing but good luck in his next endeavor. He was a true asset to the Town of Southold.

John Kenna


Tapping the brakes on development

While it is heartening to see letters to the editor reflecting the real and present danger of the state of national politics, it is disheartening to not also see letters addressing the real and present danger facing us in our own backyard — the Hamptonization of the North Fork.

Our zoning code is 35 years out-of-date, and inconsistent and incompatible with Southold’s current Comprehensive Plan. An ever-growing push to develop on the North Fork has necessitated the town’s hiring of zoning consultants. Presently, they are analyzing the code to help revamp it and bring it in line with Comp Plan goals.

During this code review many urged the town to establish a 12-month moratorium on all new construction. The town, however, has limited the proposed moratorium to applications for hotel, motel and resort development. Applications for such projects are not the only submittals likely to negatively impact the North Fork. Already, swaths of unprotected land are being cleared for residential and commercial uses; Hampton-sized, out-of-character dwellings are being constructed — or re-constructed from once modest residences. Reasonably priced housing stock, serving generations of families that once formed the fabric of our communities, has gone the way of the carrier pigeon — extinct. This push to build is changing our landscapes, downtowns, neighborhoods and even our next-door neighbors as surely as any hotel, motel or resort development. The very concept of “community” is inextricably being shredded before our eyes.

So, yes, write letters about national politics, but consider your own backyard and what’s happening. Write letters on behalf of the North Fork. On June 18, the town will hold a hearing on their proposed moratorium. The public notice states that “all interested persons will be given an opportunity to be heard.”

Jean Schweibish


Trump is not a joke

If Donald Trump is elected president this November, his appointed Supreme Court can back him up when he declares a national state of emergency and suspends the rights stated in our Constitution. Trump will become our country’s first dictator. Trump as president will control the executive branch, also the Supreme court and maybe Congress. Two-thirds of government will be controlled by Trump and he will have the veto power and the Supreme Court to make him our first dictator. Our Constitution will no longer be our savior of democracy.

Warren McKnight


Tip jars out of control

So tell me: What are the tip jars all about? I went to Aldo’s for a delicious macchiato yesterday. Two scones, a macchiato, $14. (4.50 per scone = $9, $4.50 for the macchiato, Charged $14. 50 cents tax? Not sure. ) Anyway, I did not leave a tip in the jar at the register.

My friend in back of me put a dollar in the jar for her coffee. As we were waiting for our coffees, Joshua yells out, “Thank you for the tip.” They never thank you for the tip — especially after you’ve moved up the line to wait for your order. Maybe I’m paranoid, but I’m sure the yell was meant for me, especially since he didn’t even direct it to [my friend].  Wish I’d said something, like: “Are you talkin’ to me?” 

The tip jars have gotten out of hand and I refuse to supplement their workers’ salaries. Also, like Starbucks, they rack in a lot of money, so share it with your workers!

I tip very generously in restaurants, deliveries, etc., but not for a sandwich in a deli, a couple of bagels or for a freakin’ cup of coffee! 

Anyone else feel this way?

Barbra LaCorte


Libraries of things

Heartened to see how Suffolk libraries have also become libraries of things. So excellent for the environment, quality of life and community. Hmm … might it just be a matter of time until the physical books are replaced by things and books are only available electronically? And while we’re at it, might libraries also double as sources of community fridges and pantries and closets? And what else too? The trend is a good one. Go, Suffolk libraries, go!

Jacquelyn Ottman


A task for Grattan

I wish to congratulate officer [Steven] Grattan on his appointment to the position of Southold Town Chief of Police.

Among the challenges I see is the enforcement of traffic laws on the North Road.

Based on my experience, those who observe the speed limit, signal when changing lanes and turn their headlights on in the rain are a dwindling minority.

Unfortunately, in my opinion, the enforcement of these laws would require the support of the 101st and 82nd Airborne Divisions.

John Viteritti


Where’s the transparency?

Despite his campaign promises of transparency in government, [Riverhead Town Supervisor] Tim Hubbard’s acquiescence in back room negotiations with the developers of massive Soundfront resorts and the Town Square stinks. As for so-called agri-tourism resorts, an email trail between town officials and the developer and his lawyer suggests more than undue influence. Even more concerning is why the terms of the master developer agreement for Town Square have been kept in the dark and if the town is planning to give away properties paid for by taxpayers to a member of the Riverhead Republican friends-and-family network. Mr. Hubbard and his cronies need to come clean on why special favors seem to always inure to the benefit of his developer-donors. Quid pro quo?

Ron Hariri


Legionnaires say ‘Thanks!’ 

To meet the need for an emergency repair fund for the Greenport Skating Rink, the members of the Greenport American Legion held a lobster bake fundraiser Saturday evening. 

Residents from Greenport as well as the rest of the North Fork responded to the Legionnaires’ request and were rewarded with a truly amazing evening. The meal prepared by Charlie Manwaring’s team from Southold Fish Market included steamed hard clams, mussels, soft clams, an ear of corn and a potato as well as a pound-and-a-quarter lobster. As if that weren’t enough, there was an unlimited raw bar with oysters donated by Oysterponds Shellfish Company and clams provided by Charlie, plus an endless supply of clam chowder along with music by DJ Mayo.

So first of all, we want to thank Charlie and his team for a job more than well done! Local businesses donated over 20 door prizes, thank you all. Two local girls sang “The Star-Spangled Banner” a cappella and five local JNROTC members did an awesome job of busing; thank you. Last but not least, thank you to everyone who supported this function.

This was our first lobster bake, and those who attended, as well as those who could not, can look forward to the second annual lobster bake in 2025. 

Greenport American Legionnaires