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17 Comments by Brian Bossetta


Terror attacks remembered at Southampton Town Hall

Dear Hampton: Thanks for your interest in correcting my article that had Mr. Horn indicated as Ms. Kabot's "Legislative Aide." However, his official e-mail notification to me this morning contained the following signature:

Ryan Horn
Legislative Aide
Southampton Town Supervisor
" Sep 11, 08 6:18 PM

Town Justices upset over criticisms about court schedules

Dear Dave:
I can only speak for myself, but I do not question the work ethic of any of the Town justices, their judicial integrity, or their dedication to the people of Southampton Town. I never accused any one of them of not working hard.
I reported only on the court schedule and how often they work in light of the addition of the fourth justice, which was added last year. The effectiveness of that additional justice position in achieving the objectives articulated by the Town Board when established in February 2007 is, in my view, a fair and legitimate story.
I appreciate your comments.
Brian Bossetta" Oct 29, 08 10:01 PM

2009 budget adopted by Southampton Town Board

The list of the 17 positions is on the way, thanks for your interest. " Nov 23, 08 6:49 PM

New system to decrease response time, enhance safety

Dear Mr. Doe:

Thanks for pointing out the error in the story. Mr. Buckley is the chairman of the Hampton Bays Fire District. Please note that it has been corrected. Your interest is appreciated." Dec 18, 08 10:44 AM

Town employee suspended for racist messages referring to the president-elect

Dear Sir: I tried to contact Mr. Judy for this article and was unable to. I would love to speak with him in order to give him his fair say. If you do know him, please convey to him that I welcome his call. Thank you. " Dec 19, 08 10:47 AM

Dear Sir: As I mentioned to the gentleman above who commented, if you know Mr. Judy please tell him that I would love to hear from him so he can have his full say. We have made numerous attempts to contact him, including leaving messages with town officials, but were unable to. I welcome his call any time. I will meet with him if he desires and promise to provide him with every opportunity to tell his side of the story. I make no assumptions about Mr. Judy whatsoever. Thanks for your interest. " Dec 20, 08 11:49 AM

Dear Blue:

We did look up Mr. Judy's number. We also left messages with his direct boss and with several town officials that we wanted to speak with him. We also tried, through the town attorney's office, to find out if he had an attorney that we could contact. As I have said in my prior comments, Mr. Judy is welcome to contact me any time and I will give him his fair and equal say and every opportunity to state his case and tell his side of the story." Dec 21, 08 11:32 AM

Southampton Town may take legal action against Cablevision

diy_guy: You are correct about Cablevision and Optimum. The story has been corrected. Thanks for pointing that out." Dec 23, 08 5:03 PM

11 rescued pups find new hope at town shelter

Mr. Wheeler: Thanks for pointing out the error in my story. It is being corrected. " Feb 4, 09 11:30 AM

East Hampton budget officer to be arraigned Thursday

Mike: You are not the only one using your real name....my colleague, Beth Young, and I are also using our real names. You are certainly free to express your opinion, but I find it Interesting that someone who considers a paper to be "crappy" would bother reading that paper and commenting on its website. And, to Beth's question: Did you read about the arraignment this morning in the Independent? If so, where is it? " Jun 10, 09 5:11 PM

Kabot won't appeal to Board of Elections

Dear golfbuddy:

Thank you for your question, which gives me the opportunity to clarify my article.

Yes, the Democrats did file specific objections to Ms. Kabot's petition, which led to a review of those objections by both the Democratic and Republican commissioners from the Suffolk County Board of Elections.

Friday, the BoE found that enough of the signatures collected by Ms. Kabot were invalid and the petition was thrown out. Ms. Kabot has until Tuesday to appeal the BoE's decision.

Thanks again for your interest." Aug 29, 09 11:18 AM

My former editor says he will not post comments about Ms. Kabot's DWI, which I believe is appropriate. However, dozens of comments were posted on this website to the article reporting the DWI arrest of former town comptroller Steve Brautigam, which I wrote and which included Ms. Kabot saying that Mr. Brautigam "excercised poor judgement." " Sep 10, 09 9:12 AM

Supervisor Kabot will fight DWI charge, stay in race

Once again, Mr. Shaw argues, "When we post a police item (a normal DWI charge that appears on the police page, for instance), we automatically do not allow comments."

Well, I go back to the story on former town comptroller Steve Brautigam, who was arrested for DWI in Southold. I reported that story, which included comments from Ms. Kabot that Mr. Brautigam "exercised poor judgement." Despite the possible ramfications to Mr. Brautigam's career and family, the comments were posted immediately, including calls for his resignation.

In fact, of all the stories of a legal nature that I personally reported on while at the Press, including a town employee suspended for sending inappropriate text messages after the presidential election last year and a discrimation suit against the town by the housing director, never were the comments held.

Having covered Town Police, I understand that everyone listed in the police reports enjoys the presumption of innonence. That includes public officials, citizens and police officers." Sep 11, 09 12:14 PM

AlwaysLocal:

I don't recall this ever being an issue. The nature of a specific comment may have been as inappropriate ones have either been taken down or not posted in the first place.

But it seems to me that if a case is newsworthy and that the story is posted on the website and printed in the paper, and that if letters to the editor would be accepted, then comments on the web should be as well.

The question is: If the story on Ms. Kabot's arrest is available for public consumption, why shouldn't the public have a right to comment? Does public comments, most of which are anonymous, prejudice pending litigation more than the publication of the story itself? If so, than that's a pretty arrogant attitude for the press to take. " Sep 11, 09 12:48 PM

Well, AlwaysLocal, that's a question for those who used to pay my salary.

All I can say is that I do not recall any case, whether it was one I reported on or one that others reported on, such as the investigations in East Hampton, in which comments were not allowed.

Again, in my humble opinion, if allowing citizens to comment on their supervisor being arrested for DWI would somehow infringe on Ms. Kabot's right to due process, then the story itself should have been held.

This is why the Town Board, under state law, has the right to discuss litigation and personnel matters in executive session where reporters are not allowed.

It just seems logical that if a media outlet provides you with information, espeically on an individual you put in office, then that media outlet ought to provide you with the opportunity to comment on that information.

It's an editor's job to decide on content and whether a story is suitable for publication. And while an editor can certainly deem comments over the line and not appropriate for posting or publication, It's not an editor's job to decide whether or not the public can comment on what's been reported. " Sep 11, 09 1:20 PM

Dear JimmyKBond:

You are absolutely right. The forum is a courtesy. The issue is providing that courtesy in some instances and not in others, such as Steve Brautigam's arrest (to beat a dead horse) and Ms. Kabot's.

Have you ever considered that all the average citizens named in the police blotter are presumed innocent? Do you think in every case they are all found guilty? How often have you read in the paper that "so and so" who appeared in last week's police blotter was found not guilty or that the charge was reduced?

And while it is a "courtesy," as highhatsize (East Quogue) pointed out, many come to this site for the commentary, which increases the hits and exposure to the site. " Sep 11, 09 4:01 PM

Trust me, Sam. Joe can take it and he can dish it out. He enjoys a healthy exchange.

And while it is not the only story in the paper, it is an extremely important one...as evidenced by the fact that you too are still commenting.

" Sep 11, 09 4:14 PM