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Denise Civiletti

Home Opinion Denise Civiletti
Denise Civiletti, copublisher of with her husband Peter Blasl, is a lawyer, journalist, news junkie, digital media maven and the proud mother of two Riverhead High School graduates (2010). To send Denise an email, click here.

Getting drivers licensed is in everybody’s best interests

Allowing all residents to lawfully obtain a driver’s license will make our roads safer, reduce the number of unlicensed and uninsured drivers, reduce insurance premiums, add millions to the state treasury and cut enforcement and court costs.

What comes next for EPCAL land deal? Town must get these questions answered

There are a number of troubling questions that the town board should get answered as quickly as possible about the pending sale to Calverton Aviation and Technology.

‘Sunshine Week’ series: Why the future of local journalism matters — to you

According to academic studies of communities that lost their local newspapers, government became more inefficient, civic engagement and voter turnout declined and — get this — the cost of municipal borrowing went up. That’s what happens when the press isn’t around to fulfill its role as government watchdog.

‘Sunshine Week’ series: Riverhead Town must do these things to ensure transparency and ethics in government

The town needs a more comprehensive code of ethics as well as rules to govern the conduct of public officials presiding over adjudicatory hearings. These are steps that will institutionalize transparency and act as guardrails to protect the public interest.

‘Sunshine Week’ series: Reporting on crime in the dark — when police don’t provide basic information

It's hard to have confidence in the crime reports you compile when the information provided by police is inconsistent and incomplete.

‘Sunshine Week’ series: Transparency in government requires public notices that are easily accessible for all

Public notices are a basic building block of government transparency, yet an archaic state law mandates their publication in a medium that fewer and fewer people are using: print newspapers. The result is a big problem for government transparency.

‘Sunshine Week’ series: What’s the big secret? Public records, meet the 21st century

By law, most government documents are public documents, accessible by the public, as they should be. Nevertheless, many government officials — especially the lawyers — behave as if national security is at stake and they work for the CIA. 

‘Sunshine Week’ series: How to improve transparency in public meetings

Local governments have come a long way in achieving transparency in public meetings, in large measure thanks to technological advances and the internet, but they've still got a long way to go.

‘Sunshine Week’ special series: Why open government matters

After nearly 20 years of local news reporting, I could fill a book with stories of government officials trying to prevent reporters — and hence, the public — from finding out what they’re up to.

When decisions spark controversy, just blame the media

After intense community reaction to reports about a plan for a new food waste plant on Youngs Avenue, Riverhead town board members accuse the press of getting the story wrong. Gee, this sounds familiar. Column by Denise Civiletti.
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