An American flag became a concern for two Navy veterans.

An American flag became a concern for two Navy veterans. Credit: AP/David Zalubowski

As part of its annual seven-part consumer alert holiday series, the New York State Division of Consumer Protection is reminding consumers that credit card surcharges are prohibited in this state.

A visit to the state website notes that businesses are not allowed to advertise a price and add a surcharge at the point of sale when a consumer elects to pay with a credit card.

The practice of “surcharging” is prohibited by New York State under section 518 of the New York General Business Law, unless a business utilizes its exceptions. The exception to section 518 allows businesses to charge a higher price when: the business makes the higher charge the “regular price” and that price is advertised in a prominent place within the business.

Consumers can receive a cash discount off the listed price but do not have to pay an added surcharge. Thus, buyers can refuse to pay this illegal surcharge.

It’s bad enough that inflation has given businesses the excuse to significantly raise prices, but to add this surcharge on top is outrageous.

— Jeff Goldschmidt, Stony Brook

Tattered U.S. flags should be replaced

When my husband and I voted at the Five Towns Community Center in Lawrence in November, we observed that the American flag flying was so tattered and torn we couldn’t believe it was flown that way every day. We asked inside if the flag could be taken down.

We are both retired Navy veterans and are so dismayed when we see this. A woman told us a new flag was requested from the Town of Hempstead several times to no avail. After we voted, with no janitor around, we asked her if we could take it down ourselves. The woman said we could.

We went out, saluted and took it with us. We folded it and took it to the Cedarhurst American Legion flag drop. It is terrible that Americans see our glorious flag in such condition and do nothing. We need more people to say something to businesses and government building managers when they see flags that need to be replaced.

I am a proud citizen and hate to see our Old Glory disrespected.

— Janet Pescatore, Lawrence

Appreciating a 2023 Thanksgiving drive

On Thanksgiving evening, it was so enjoyable driving from West Islip to Mastic. The South Shore Mall was dark, and the parking lot was essentially empty. The stores in the smaller shopping centers and strip malls were closed and dark, too, as everyone was away for the Thanksgiving holiday.

COVID-19 took a lot away from us, but we now got something back to appreciate more. Thanksgiving again has become, for most, a day to spend with family and friends rather than with sales associates and cashiers. Thanksgiving stopped being “Pre-Black Friday” and went back to being a day of gratitude and thanks for our blessings.

— Barbara Haynes, Hauppauge

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