Judith Hope, shown in 2001, got her fund idea from a...

Judith Hope, shown in 2001, got her fund idea from a Massachusetts trip. Credit: NEWSDAY/KATHY KMONICEK

I enjoyed seeing Judith Hope’s groundbreaking political career highlighted [“ ‘Hope’ for women in politics, on Long Island and beyond,” From The Point, Dec. 2]. Hope is one of a handful of persons who has played a leadership role in protecting the special character of the East End.

Of course, her impact has been felt far beyond her East Hampton home, both in New York State and across the nation. She has not been just a mentor to countless women political candidates. I had the honor of serving as her Planning Board attorney early in my career.

It is sometimes forgotten that Hope was the catalyst for the East End’s nationally recognized Community Preservation Fund. After visiting Nantucket, Massachusetts, with her husband, Tom Twomey, she told of a land preservation program there funded by a fee on real estate transfers. She gave me the task as her attorney to draft state legislation to do the same thing for the East End.

Later, when I got to the State Assembly, that legislation was eventually passed with the co-sponsorship of Thomas DiNapoli and Kenneth LaValle. Her efforts for our region and country still inspire us all.

— Fred Thiele, Sag Harbor

The writer represents the state’s 1st Assembly District.

Merchants are unfair with card surcharge

Consumers are slowly being conditioned to accept a 4% surcharge when paying with a credit card [“Card surcharges are banned in this state,” Just Sayin’, Dec. 2]. People protested when inflation reached 8% in 2022, but now it’s silent on this 4% surcharge that is basically inflation on top of inflation.

Today, many merchants place small placards in their stores describing that their prices now reflect the cash discount price. Paying by credit card will incur a surcharge. It wasn’t always this way.

Merchants paid interchange fees (often less than 4%) to enjoy the convenience of eliminating cash and checks and allowing consumers to purchase more than what was just in their wallets.

European consumers are protected from paying nearly all these surcharges.

Helping merchants survive during the pandemic was a worthy cause, and this surcharge may have been reasonable. But now, why do we blindly accept this? Are we really going to go back to cash and checks? I hope not. I will support merchants that don’t add a surcharge.

— James Santangelo, Stony Brook

Poignant memories of Dad’s daily ritual

Today was a significant day, the day I needed to cancel my dad’s Newsday subscription after he passed away last week. I grew up sharing the paper with him, reading it each night and then talking about stories we read. We always had a joking “fight” of who would look at the paper first, who got to turn the crisp pages.

His love of current events, sports and reading encouraged and developed my love of reading the daily paper. Even as he lived with advanced disease and had trouble reading, he still wanted his daily paper that he looked at each morning. Thank you, Newsday, for being a part of my memories that bring a smile to my face.

— Sharon Granville, St. James

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