Quit reporting island troubles

Jul 31, 2014


Dear Editor,

I suggest you change the name of your "New Ottawa County Register" to the  "New Put-in- Bay Register."

Your daily negative front page drum beat of South Bass Island issues needs to be reviewed.

If your spine-tingling stories are true, I'm sure they will be corrected.

Love your full page Police Blotters and the mis-fits who make it possible.

And your real estate transactions page always make's for spell binding reading, wow!

All of this lazy, space filling reporting negates the positive work of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands organization and various chambers (of commerce).

Your "National Inquiry" reporting destroys the money and time spent encouraging visitors from all over the country to share this wonderful part of Ohio with us.

Our industry is tourism and we all have to deal with thousands of visitors in a short 110-day period.

Most of us in the islands business comunnity wish that 1 percent of those thousands who cause most of the trouble's would go somewhere else.

The picture you continue to paint every day of our community is ugly. Not so and it needs to stop!


Ken Benjamin, owner
Stonehenge Estate
Put-in-Bay, Ohio


Editor's note: The reader's suggestion the Ottawa County Register censor news information to create a better local business climate does not align with better journalistic practices, or general newsroom operating principles at the Sandusky Register and the Ottawa County Register. Both newspapers, in practice, regularly publish news and information that promotes communities and business communities.


Julie R.

Dear Mr. Benjamin,

It IS ugly so why hide it? Just be thankful they don't tell it all, especially since I would be willing to bet Erie County is even worse than your stinking county!


People need to know what goes on at PIB so they can understand the dangers of setting foot on the island and make an informative choice. Keep bringing the public what it needs SR.


I'm heading to Put In Bay this weekend hoping to get roofied. I could use a little action, conscious of it or not.



Stop It

Cram it, Kenny. Fix the problem and all your worries go away. Leave it as is and your problems stay. Barking up the wrong tree, pal.

Ride 'em SR....Like a new pony.



Licorice Schtick

★★★★★ + a big LOL


I am far from a fan of this "newspaper" and especially its editor, but even I think this could possibly be the most ignorant "letter to the editor" that has ever been written in the history of journalism.

The pictures being painted of your community are ugly because the events taking place on "Hedonism" are exactly that.


It used to be fun to go to PIB, now it's a place to be "seen" a bumper sticker and a Sodom and Gomorrah atmosphere. Sad, I like to party but this is sick.

Truth or Dare

Stories regarding PIB, well, they go way beyond the ruffying going on. You must suck up the bad w/the good. If you can't deal w/it, then the only alternative is for those in the know, to out the serial ruffier, and since there seems to be selective treatment by the local PD and for that matter the Mayor, they may never be caught. Hopefully in the meantime, no one dies and no other women are raped. Way I see it, Oct. 31 coming sooner then later could save a life! By the way, I now better understand why it's referred to, and has been for decades mainly by men, as Put Out Bay.


Love that comment Stop It.

What's wrong Ken the short comings of this... Ah-hem... Enchanting Island Lifestyle is finally laid bare and wide-open for the world to see. Apparently, you forgotten journalism and capitalism 101 in your academic efforts. Business a little slow at the office? Or would you rather throw you integrity and business ethics in the dumpster so you can lie and mislead your goodwill minded individual and investor clientele in how owning a piece of PIB landfill is in their best interest.
I cannot understand that if you are a business owner whether or not you agree with the lambasting ( deservedly so ) that the SR is giving your precious islands so called justice system. It kinda gives the impression of what your willing to sacrifice for the Almighty Dollar. Don't lose a portion of your soul in this as you yourself can see that the cat is out of the bag and it is not the cute kitty that you think it is. My friend please re-think your position on this terrible situation and place blame where it belongs, surely not on the SR.


Kenny, you want to help fix the problem? Show up at a meeting and demand change starting with the corrupt PD and its leader. Then maybe look at the Mayor who is allowing it / condoning it. So easy to write a letter, not so easy to support the changes needed.

sandtown born a...

Kenny is either one of the good ole boys club of Putin bay or he is trying to get the pd off his back with a letter! He won't stand against said pd for fear of retaliation or he is one of them period

From the Grave

I hope the douche bags keep going to PIB and don't start going to KI instead.

The governed

KI has their own douche bags along with the drug and hedonism problems the family that owns Kelley's just happens to do a better job of keeping it quiet. Even put in bay lacks a bar with a stripper pole.


PIB allegedly has an after hours strip club and house of ill repute.

Another Opinion

If the figure I read is correct that Christmas In July weekend had an attendance down with a 53% attendance of other years, It is apparent some of the business owners are screaming. Unfortunately business is seasonal on the island and the patronage is mainly dictated by the summer recess of college age party people and the balance is made up with others from the other age or social groups visiting the island. Yesterday the SR published an article which exposed it all. A former police officer revealing how he was told to arrest or harass certain residents and business people who have spoken out at Council meetings about the practices of the Police Dept. Until the Island cleans up the problem, the news won't change. The increased advertising to bring people to the island won't change the problem or the news.


While the person who posted that could not be farther from accurate as visitors were actually up from previous years , you are
Very Much correct in your statement the root of this problem if not addressed may well cause the previously stated falsehood to eventually come true. If now appears the the corruption goes beyond just the police department and more likely than not includes the Mayor. In as much as she now appears to condone these actions (she is the only one who can terminate) she has also by her refusal to act become an accessory to the acts of the pd. What a shame.


The Mayor and Chief are advised by lawyers/consigliere. You can remove them and new puppets will be put in place.


Who does this guy think he is? He does not get to tell the SR or any other paper how to operate. If you are so concerned about the image over there FIX IT!!!! Ever heard of this thing called freedom of the press? I think it's..............nevermind!

sandtown born a...

I'm calling asking for rates and how much extra to keep the pd off our backs or even a rate on the ruffie tour??? 419-285-2585 office


The letter to editor says, "All of this lazy, space filling reporting negates the positive work of the Lake Erie Shores & Islands ...Our industry is tourism and we all have to deal with thousands of visitors in a short 110-day period."

Mr. Benjamin, it is not befitting that you would prefer that these crimes be swept under a rug for the almighty dollar. Positive promotion of tourism would and SHOULD include a SAFE and TRUSTED environment for our guests to visit. Clean up your island and government over there and perhaps the press will be more positive for your specific surroundings.

I see many articles promoting positive tourist clime in the Sandusky area in the SR. Maybe you overlook the "Entertainment" section? Also, it's unfair you would drag other "organization and various chambers (of commerce)" into your bellyache.


Keep up the good work Sandusky Register! The only way this corruption is going to be addressed is if folks know about it. Sunshine is the best disinfectant.


Complain,b?t*h,cry, moan until it happens to your love one Ken. This letter can't be good for your business either. Not Everything is about $$$$.Really? You're more worried about $$$ then people safety? Disgusting!


The writer is obviously a business owner who doesn't want to see his patronage suffer. Too bad for him. The reason for all the negative attention is because these problems have been getting swept under the rug for too long. Fix the problems & there won't be a need to report on them!


His business is one of the nicer ones oriented to families. It's for sale at $1.5 million.


LMAO!! Of course a realtor wouldn't want any bad publicity to the island properties he's trying to sell.. If no one does anything to stop this mayhem, then atleast the tourist can be somewhat warned of such actions..


Aye. That's one of the more ignorant small town politics letters I've read. I’d admit, the press (in general) can get carried away at times. However, a free press is essential to our way of life. To suggest the press should stop reporting on the negative stories and only positive, nothing would get better in this country. Obviously there’s an issue here, and it’ll never get better unless the truth is out. We all want a better society. Imagine living in Russia with state run news. Don’t urinate on my head, and tell me it’s raining.


commenters you guys need to understand Ken' dilema, as you can read he is the owner of stonehenge on PIB, which he has been trying to sell for 5 years now, and the price gets lower every year... These stories are hurting his ability to bail from the island at a huge profit... once its sold, then you may carry on reporting



The word is out, not just in the local papers. PIB is out of control. Facebook is covered with it. PIB is going to have to hire and pay for a real police department, and do some investigating, and make some arrests.

You want the money and the tourism, pay a competent police force to protect the tourists who come over there. And, if you don't want drunks over there, quit promoting it! You have to accept the responsibility of the businesses you have over there.


Just read the story and was about to post it here, but you beat me to it. I find the comments about after hours clubs and prostitution especially interesting in light of Ottawa County's history with the sex industry, smuggling and the resulting federal sweep that took down the sheriff, and county prosecutor for bribery and case fixing.


look at the growth trends of some businesses... While certain places have been around a loong time, making money selling booze... there are other places been around a short time, that seem to be growing at an excellerated rate... why is that? How are certain places on the same tiny island seemingly earning more revenue running the same business on the same street of the same island... perhaps they have supplemental incomes


Or just smarter and harder working than some of the in breeds who had it handed to them.


a full hotel and sold out cart rental is the same regardless who's runnin it... its what is sold unreported on filings that is making the financial difference


If you have proof come forward if not, YAWN


its pretty safe to say that the massive amounts of news stories chronicling drugging speak for themselves... nowhere in the legitimate business world do businessmen allow their employees to run a muck with illicit drugs, garner headlines, cause hysteria and deter business, without firing them, and solving the issue unless the employees arent really the issue. All BS aside, there is money at stake with all this bad PR, loan notes still must be paid, taxes, utilities etc... business people who had zero involvement would remedy this ASAP. Anywhere else, an employee goes rouge, they are fired or suspended, investigated, a statement and apology are released and marketing goes into overtime trying to repair any possible damage... not here its status quo... so maybe just maybe these businesses dont care if massive crowds of families and average partygoers come back, as long as their select crowd who seek a certain pleasure are not detered


I was not aware anyone had been convicted let alone arrested for these alleged offenses. Are we missing something? Until this occurs, all of this is "alleged" One thing is for sure, with a corrupt police department and apparently corrupt Mayor looking the other way, this will get worse before they get better.


this is where you are confused, that is the legal world, where facts matter and allegations may or may not lead to convictions. Im speaking on the business world where allegations are equally as bad as the truth... remember this little story from a month ago... http://sandrarose.com/2014/06/kf... BAD PR is BAD whether its true or not...


The Island and Ottawa County have a long history of unlawful activity dating back to prohibition and beyond. Undoubtedly money laundering occurs which explains the investments and if history teaches us anything there are many people paid to look away from the drug and sex trafficking occurring. Four sheriffs in Ottawa County and several prosecutors and lawyers have been indicted by the Feds for corrupt activity in the past 50 years and it will happen again. It's become too high profile and obvious to ignore.


The story in the Cleveland Scene titled, Roofie Island, has more alleged rape victims and more druggings reported. It also points the finger to specific bars. It is filled with graphic, chilling and explicit details.

The story in The Scene is making a tidal wave on Facebook! Hitting the age that is (was) going to Put in Bay, far more damaging than the Register stories, since that age group gets their "news" from Facebook.

This problem is way over the top for PIB police to handle, and way over Mulligan's head for that matter. This needs to be given to the experts.


I have seen that exact post on Facebook and the comments...the number of times shared. That will SINK the island faster than the stories here (SR)....agreed! Social media has a bigger impact on that generation than anything.
Hopefully our trip this weekend goes smoothly.

got it commin

You know something...The prob could be fixed if one bar owner would admit the bad egg is working for him...fire him and ring lead a stand against the drug oriented atmosphere that exists on PIB..This bar owner could be a hero!.. But..that would mean he would have to admit theres a prob....and He was part of the prob..and he has the balls to fix it..And I dont think thats gonna happin..instead..He chooses to distance himself from anyone who brings the prob to his attention.. and continues to defend a rapist he employes because of personal reasons..This is a missed opportunity to become an island hero..The ego is a tough thing to compromise.


Dear Ken Benjamin,

How can you overlook and not report on alleged rape and drugging of women? Your letter clearly says you are more upset over the loss of tourists and money than you are of alleged rape. Your letter mocks reports of rape, by calling them "spine tingling stories". I find that repulsive!

Don't blame the messenger! Put the blame on the atmosphere that your island has created, over the last few years. Put the blame on the bars involved in this bad publicity. All of you business owners on the island are responsible for putting a stop to these druggings and out of control police behavior . Instead of writing a letter of demands to the Register, you should be going to your police chief and demanding that he gets to the bottom of this mess!

The reporter for the Scene did more investigating in one weekend on the island, than the entire police force put together! After reading his story, it's obvious where the problem starts. Don't write a letter to your Mayor, get in your golf cart and go find her and ask her what she is doing to clean this up!

I hope that you are reading these comments Ken, but if not, you will get my phone call today to express my feelings towards your callousness of the victims. I will never step foot on your property, let alone spend money there.

got it commin

Well stated Dick....the prob is not the paper...the prob is the bar owner next to you..get in his face and tell him to clean his house..He's the one costing you money..Tell him to drag his rapist employee to the fore front and condemn him as he deserves. Tell him to give his manager a polygraph test and watch his employee run for the hills cause im sure thats what he's afraid of..What a bunch of misdirected blame


I love it when businesses start to lose business do to the TRUTH of whats really going on over there. I know it may not be his establishment promoting it, but its the "Roofie Island" in general. Someone made a bitly link on it yesterday and it already has over 1300 clicks I seen on facebook. http://bit.ly/RoofieIsland <-- that is the ClevelandScene article. A very good one indeed.


You mean Chris Blessing from Mr.Eds "got it commin" ^_^

got it commin

To whom it may concern:.. Hiding...protecting ..and ignoring a rapist makes you as guilty as the rapist himself...Lol..Get ready PIB...DR. Phil is coming..with polygraph in hand..Not to mention...the employees that you are letting go because they dont agree with your policy of protecting a rapist..There gonna chew you up!!


Mr. mulligan,

Have you read the story in the Cleveland Scene? I have and I am infuriated! You should be ashamed and embarrassed that this has been happening for years, according to the story, right under your nose. Every investigation of drugging has come to a stop, a 34 page rape investigation, has come to a stop, right on your desk!

Instead of being worried about getting a police officers' girlfriends minimum wage paycheck, you should focus your attention on the alleged drugging, rape and possible prostitution of young girls on the island.

After reading the article this morning, it's obvious you need to call the Govenor and declare that island a state of emergency! Get the National Guard over there to patrol the bars and protect innocent tourists.(and locals from their own police department) It's obvious this is way over the head of young inexperienced police officers.

Then pick up the phone and call DeWine's office to get some qualified detectives in there, in the form of the FBI or BCI.

You have EMS crews complaining that they have to keep going to the same bar to help young girls that have been drugged. Yet you give an instant command to arrest someone for not handing over a couple hundred dollar paycheck. Where are your prioritys, Mr. prosecutor?

You can sit in your office and hide from the Sandusky Register all day, but you can't hide from the news crews from Toledo and Cleveland that will be descending on your doorstep, demanding why nothing has been done. And why you allow the PIB police to run rogue on the island, doing everything but solve these problems.

Why are your police officers hanging out off duty at the bars involved in the alleged drugging?

I don't have to hope that you read these comments, I know with your ego, you are hitting refresh every five minutes.


Bravo. You seem to know a lot about PIB. Do you know if PIB receives any current federal COPS grant funding as they did in the past and how alleged abuse of those funds might play into this scenario?


The 1% causing you problems is your loser police force, pretty easy to make them go somewhere else......


RE: Editor's note: The reader's suggestion the Ottawa County Register censor news information to create a better local business climate does not align with better journalistic practices, or general newsroom operating principles at the Sandusky Register and the Ottawa County Register. Both newspapers, in practice, regularly publish news and information that promotes communities and business communities.

I didn't read where he suggested that the papers censor news information nor a suggestion that they write articles that promote local businesses.

What I read was the SR has a National Inquirer feel to a lot of articles pertaining to PIB. And the repetitious articles about PIB isn't necessary to report the news and happenings over there. I counted 20 articles about PIB in the month of July? People want and need to know, but the articles are tainted with repetitious negativity and in my opinion written to sway public opinion.

Continue the great reporting, but maybe take the suggestions and review your general operating principles. That's the professional thing to do.

I agree with Mr.Benjamin, The picture you continue to paint every day of our community is ugly.


Look! The only person to come on here and defend Mr. Benjamin, Manowar aka Kenny himself!

What's next are you going to write Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook and tell him to "stop" allowing the sharing of the Cleveland Scene story?!


This story has been shared 88 times, so far, and has been "liked" by 10,842 people! Do the multiplication, that FAR exceeds the circulation of the Sandusky Register!

Facebook is PIB's target market, reaching a generation far more likely to go visit the island's party culture.

The Cleveland Scene did a thousand times more damage than did the multiple stories in the Register. You need take your complaints else where, your spinning your wheels here.

The Scene even commended the Register on its coverage of the island!

If the painting of your community is ugly, take it down.

got it commin

this ugly picture of PIB was not painted by the SR..talk about the misdirected blame...This picture was painted by your over zealous rapist protecting bar owners over there who are putting profits well above the safety of their patrons..If you were wiping the tears off your daughters face after she was drugged and raped on that island, your song would be sounding alot diff..you'd be on the right side then...


If the powers to be would take action against the corrupt police department and Mayor, I think you would see a different light cast by the reporting. As long as they continue to pretend it's not a problem, it will only get worse. Said it before and I will say it again, they are building a house of mirrors and the more mirrors they add, the harder it will be to get out.


Its obvious what Dick and Fedup's opinion's are about the PIB thing. Can no one have an opinion that questions all this hype? And for the record, I don't know any of the players on the Island and I haven't been over there in about three years. And the time I was there, I had a bad experience with the PIB police. And no I wasn't drunk.

That being said, there are some powerful people that reside on PIB and if they had a problem I would guess they could make much more trouble for those in question then the Sandusky Register. Where are those people?

As for the Cleveland scene Dick's been promoting, 10842 likes is far less than the circulation of the SR. The writer of that article is a public record investigator same as Green is at the register. All he did was take the SR lead. 25 year old with some plaques on the wall. Not to mention he's from Ann Arbor. LOL! Easy story with a great headliner that gets the attention of his followers. Its called Marketing.

Instead of fueling the blog's maybe Dick, Digger and Fedup should join forces and start up a "Justice for PIB" campaign. I'd click like on the facebook page. HeHe!


Obviously you have never been on Facebook. When a person "likes" a story, that shows up on their newsfeed for all of their friends to see. Most 20 something's have at LEAST 200 friends. Take that times 11,000 likes.

88 shares goes on the newsfeed and is sent to all 200 or more of their friends, and then their friends.

Mind you, these numbers are this high and the story was posted less than 24 hours ago.

BTW (that stands for by the way) the "powerful people on PIB" are not going to turn in their family, or themselves.

Do your homework before you call rape, a bunch of "hype".


Undoubtedly there are powerful people on PIB who could make more trouble for those in question than the SR; but they have no reason to as they profit from the actions that are allowed to go unchecked.


Babo I suggest that if you attend the meeting tonight or watch on line you will see the most powerful people on PIB are some of the ones you will hear calling for change, they were at the last meeting as well.


You may be right. However, IMO removing the Mayor and police chief will not result in real change as long as Wilbur and Mulligan are advising council.


Yes but Council can release Wilbur and he is part of the problem.


Very true, they need to do it ASAP. Now what about this interesting allegation from a knowledgeable poster on the Scene story that some hotel and bar owners supply the drugs and employ money hungry Eastern European women as "companions" for male guests. That type of operation always involves payoffs to lawyers, police etc and may explain the extreme interest in a certain Bulgarian woman receiving her pay check and why the courts and Mulligan are dragging out a case that on appearances alone would have been dismissed a long time ago.

You know the county ran a lot better when Rosie called the shots.


hmmm Have not heard anything like that. I doubt in today's society that could really happen however the Register did refer to Lampela as "Boss Hog" LOL


Seriously? The Toledo area was and continues to be a top spot for sex trafficking in the country, Ottawa County has a long history of it and you don't think the sex industry exists on PIB?


Maybe someone can explain to "Islandbizowner" where all his tourist $$ are? Google "Media Hype" once and see what comes up. Look and sound familiar to what you been reading in the SR?? Just Sayin"

I guess everything you read on the internet is for real. Who knew!


That's hilarious! You saying, don't believe everything you read on the internet!

Because you actually believe that a person who can not spell, does not use proper English and does not use proper sentence structure, is actually a business owner, just because he created a screen name "islandbizowner".

Blahahahah! Duh.


In another article on the goings-on at PIB, I made the comment on this forum that until the business owners DEMAND a change, the PIB Police Dept will continue doing what they're doing and nothing will change because the Mayor is allowing it to happen because their skin is not real thick (those that speak out at council meetings).

However, writing a letter to the Register to "back-off" on its reporting of the abuses going on by the PIB PD, which will only amount to MORE articles by the Register, this individual needs to stand up at PIB Council meeting and voice his displeasure with what is going on. Anyone can write a letter, but it takes a real man to STAND UP and speak out against wrong-doings.


Come on Dick, its probably dad's money and dad's business. He didn't need to pay attention in school. He still needs to collect those big checks!