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Safety Improvements on Main Street Completed

It’s finished.  On Friday, May 11, 2012 the New York State Department of Transportation’s (NYSDOT) Commissioner Joan McDonald announced the completion of pedestrian safety improvements in Smithtown.  The improvements, on NYS Route 25/25A – Main Street, were enacted to encourage safer and slower driving on a stretch of road in Smithtown that has been the scene of serious pedestrian injuries and deaths.

“We moved quickly to provide safety improvements that provide greater protections for pedestrians.” Said Joan McDonald in her press statement. “Walkers should feel more secure when crossing and motorists should better understand the need to drive with caution.”

Changes to Route 25/25A include a new configuration for westbound travel.  Westbound travel will merge into a single lane after the Rte. 111 intersection.  There will be left turn lanes at intersections between Rte. 111 and New York Avenue/Redwood lane.

In addition to new crosswalks and pedestrian signals, existing crosswalks have been widened.  Pedestrian walk signal timing has been altered to stop traffic in all directions allowing walkers more time to start crossing before vehicles get a green light.

A “rest in red” policy has been implemented at Lawrence and Maple Avenues.  Rest in red means traffic signals will remain red until a vehicle has pulled up to the intersection. Only when the car is at the intersection will the signal turn green.  According to the DOT this will help deter speeding during off-peak hours when there is less traffic and increased opportunity to speed. 

Left turns will be prohibited at Singer Avenue and the Branch Shopping Center.

Will these changes work? Some people think not.  One resident who declined to give his name likened the changes to putting paint on a structurally unsound house. “ It may look better but the underlying problems still exist.”

NYSDOT is hopeful that the safety improvements will work and reduce pedestrian –vehicle accidents.  The DOT will continue to monitor the traffic and determine whether further enhancements are warranted.

Nesconset resident Ray G. put it this way “It is the state’s responsibility to make the road safe and navigable. It is however, ultimately, up to drivers and pedestrians to follow traffic laws.”


Students From Bretagne, France Experience Smithtown Lifestyle

French Exchange 2012

      Last March, twenty students from Bretagne, France were welcomed into Smithtown High School West. They experienced the “American lifestyle”, by attending school, living with American families, and participating in activities that typical teenagers would. Sixteen High School Students, from Madame Gallagher’s class,  (Nicole Barriere, Taryn Dunigan, Nick Eng, Cassidy Foley, Mike Gerver, Danielle Gladstone, Sara Heinlein, Sarah Kearns,  Catherine Kinney, Samantha Kodack, Krista Lamberti, Nicholai Mitchko, Sam O’Carroll, Vera Penavic, Emily Roach, and Faryn Solomon) , eagerly, opened their homes to the French. I happened to have the privilege of hosting two exchange students and it was absolutely amazing. They had the chance to see NYC for the first time and all of the beautiful sights on long island. All of the host students and I became extremely close with the exchange students.  We were able to learn so much about each other. There is so much out there in the world and experiences like this help us to broaden our perspectives. I can’t wait to participate in the exchange next year. —Sara Heinlein


Smithtown Graduate Mike Vigliarolo Named Atlantic 10 Rookie Of The Week

NEWPORT NEWS, Va. - Saint Louis freshman first baseman Mike Vigliarolo was named the Atlantic 10 Rookie of the Week for games played April 30 - May 6. He is the first Billiken freshman to earn Rookie of the Week accolades this season.

Vigliarolo powered the Billikens to four wins last week, including a conference sweep of St. Bonaventure to put Saint Louis in a tie for first place in the A-10. On the week, he hit .375 with a .725 slugging percentage. Against the Bonnies, the Smithtown, N.Y., native hit .500 (5-10) with a .600 slugging percentage and .545 on-base percentage.

In addition to his balanced production at the plate, Vigliarolo showed prowess in the field, by going error-free in 26 chances on the week. On the season, he has only one error in 243 chances and a Billiken freshman-record 232 putouts.

Vigliarolo and the Bills will return to action Thursday, May 8, against Eastern Illinois at 6:00 p.m. The contest will be the final home game for Saint Louis in 2012. (Reprint Newport News)



NYS Police Arrest Smithtown Man In Child Porn Case

The New York State Police at Brentwood, NY, reports the arrest of Sean R. Murphy, 27, of Smithtown, NY, after he was found to possess digital photos and videos depicting underage children engaged in sexual acts. Investigators, acting on a Cyber Tip received through the Internet Crime Against Children (ICAC) hotline, identified Murphy through his computer account. The case was forwarded to the Brentwood station and an investigation initiated.
A search warrant was obtained and executed at Murphy’s residence on Monday, May 1, 2012. The warrant yielded an IPhone, several computers and computer storage mediums. A forensic analysis of these items conducted by Investigators of the Computer Crimes Units (CCU) uncovered the photos and files. None of the children depicted were known to Murphy, who was charged with several counts of Possessing Sexual Performance by a Child less than 16-years-old, an E Felony. He will be arraigned at Suffolk Criminal Court to answer the charges.
Any person who may have any information that may assist the New York State Police with this investigation is encouraged to contact the NYSP Brentwood Barracks at 631 231-6389. All calls will be kept confidential.



Randy Altschuler - Press Conference Detailing His 10 Point Plan For Economic Growth

Randy Altschuler’s 10-Point Jobs Plan for Long Island

Jumpstarting Suffolk County’s Economic Engine

A 10-point plan to foster job creation & investment in Suffolk County’s future

Released May 7, 2012Jumpstarting Suffolk County’s Economic Engine

A 10-point plan to foster job creation & investment in Suffolk County’s future

The Problems

38,353 The number of people on Long Island who have become unemployed between the time when Tim Bishop was sworn into Congress in January 2003 and the most recent US Department of Labor statistics from February 2012.

10% The number of Long Island homeowners 90 days or more behind on their mortgages.

12% The percentage decline from 2000 to 2010 in the number of 25-34 year olds who live on Long Island because of the lack of sufficient jobs

40% The amount that welfare rolls have ballooned on Long Island since 2009.

$1,320,000,000,000 The amount of money the United States government will spend just this year beyond what it takes in. Over the years both Republicans and Democrats in Congress have failed to restrain spending and borrowing to the point that we are on the verge of a full-blown crisis. Our children and grandchildren – future Long Islanders – are being saddled with debt they cannot repay, and we are promising our citizens the protection of programs like Medicare and Social Security which are on their way to insolvency.

The Solution

I am proposing a 10-point plan to utilize our vast resources – a highly educated workforce, tremendous natural assets, world-class research institutions, and capable high-tech companies – to once again make Suffolk County an engine for economic growth and the economic crown jewel of New York State. My plan, which draws from my experience as a self-made businessman who came from humble beginnings to build two businesses from the ground up and create thousands of jobs in America and around the world, is based on four very simple principles:

1. The private sector creates jobs, not the government. 2. Every law we pass should make it easier, not harder, for the private sector to create jobs. 3. Congress should not be in the business of investing our money in their favorite pet projects. 4. All Americans should be able to pursue their dream without having to beg for government


Jumpstarting Suffolk County’s Economic Engine

A 10-point plan to foster job creation & investment in Suffolk County’s future

Alexander Hamilton, a New Yorker, said that:

“It will be of little avail to the people that the laws are made by men of their own choice, if the laws be so voluminous that they cannot be read, or so incoherent that they cannot be understood.” (Federalist Papers 62)

Hamilton couldn’t have foreseen Obamacare and its 2,000+ pages. But he understood the threat to our country and economy posed by bloated and convoluted legislation, which politicians like Tim Bishop have repeatedly voted into law.

What Hamilton warned against in 1788 is exactly what is happening today. I will be a different kind of Congressman. Here is my plan for putting our district back to work:

1. Help Start-up Businesses Grow

The Problem

Current tax and regulatory policy makes it too hard for startups to grow and create jobs. New jobs are born out of start-ups taking chances. This is an area where I’ve had some experience. Let’s incentivize risk-takers to do what they do best and make it easier for them to raise capital. Suffolk County has world-class technology and educational institutions like Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, but jobs aren’t being created in significant numbers because we are making it too hard for start-ups.

Suffolk County is the ideal place to create a high-tech corridor that is the envy of the world – and we are missing that opportunity. Suffolk County should be the Silicon Valley of the East. That hasn’t happened because politicians like Tim Bishop have failed to do their job effectively.

The Solution

o Create research and development tax credits that are refundable and/or transferrable.

o Extend Net Operating Loss carry-forwards for startups up to 15 years. o Double the minimum amount of revenue generated before regulatory laws kick-in.

2. Reform & Simplify the Tax Code

The Problem

America has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world. Every day, business owners make decisions where to invest and create jobs. Let’s make that decision easy for them. How many businesses do you know that attract more customers with higher prices? Let’s cut the cost of doing business in Suffolk County and in the rest of America.

We need a sensible pro-growth tax policy; excessive taxation is devastating to job creation. Every dollar that a small business owner pays in excess tax is a dollar they cannot put into expanding his/her business. We will create more jobs if we let that owner decide how to put that dollar to work in his/her business, rather than Tim Bishop or any other Congressman deciding how to spend it.

The Solution

o Reform and simplify the federal tax code without raising rates on any taxpayers.

o Cut taxes 20% on small businesses with fewer than 500 employees.

o Eliminate the death tax so small businesses, including family farmers, can grow through generations.

o Repeal the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT). o Eliminate the 3.8% surtax on net investment income scheduled to take effect on


o Maintain current tax rates on qualified dividends and long-term capital gains.

o Lower the corporate income tax rate to 25%, which would make the United States competitive with the rest of the developed world. At the same time, close the loopholes in the corporate tax structure.

o Adopt a territorial tax system so that U.S. companies operating globally aren’t taxed twice.

3. Eliminate Job-Killing Government Regulations

The Problem

Over-reaching and burdensome regulations present a huge problem for American companies, discouraging them from expanding in the United States and driving them overseas. According to the federal government’s Small Business Administration, the cost of regulation exceeds $1.75 trillion annually. For small manufacturers, it has been particularly expensive, $28,000 per employee per year.

During the first 26 months of the Obama presidency, the regulatory bureaucracy grew by 16 percent. There have been 75 new major regulations costing businesses an estimated $40 billion. The Federal Register, the government’s compendium of new rules and regulations, was over 81,405 pages in 2010.

2,000-page bills that nobody can understand (including the legislators who are voting on them) are symbols of a broken system. Nobody who voted for these bills can possibly have understood what was in them. Making matters worse is that these bills give unaccountable, unelected regulators free rein to flesh out the details. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 was 8 pages long. The bill passing the Reagan tax cuts was 186 pages long. If Congress can’t say what it has to say in 200 pages or less, then it’s probably too much government.

The Solution

o Repeal and/or reform the job-killing legislation imposed by the Obama Administration, including Obamacare, and previous administrations of both parties, that have empowered unelected and unaccountable Washington, DC bureaucrats to run amok, imposing thousands of job-killing regulations.

o Implement a rule that the cost of new regulations imposed by federal agencies be offset by reduction in the cost of existing regulations, the first step in providing regulatory relief for businesses.

o I promise never to vote for a bill that I haven’t read. And I also promise never to pretend I’ve read a bill that I haven’t. Laws should be made by Congress, not regulators. And they should be simple so the lawmakers can be held accountable.

4. Roll out the Red Carpet for Business, Not the Red Tape

The Problem

An excess of local regulations, cumbersome inspections and drawn-out permitting processes are making it too time-consuming and expensive for small businesses to operate and grow. Instead of discouraging business growth, we should be encouraging it!

The Solution

o Form my own 1st Congressional District Small Business Advisory Panel to identify specific impediments to job growth on Long Island mandated by the local, county, state and federal governments. Based on these recommendations, I will draft specific legislation seeking to eliminate or reduce those obstacles and provide incentives for growth.

o Work cooperatively with the county, towns and villages in Suffolk County to streamline and reduce the cost of their permitting and inspection processes for residents and businesses, enable on-line filing of permits and “fast-track” any permits that will boost job creation.

5. Repeal & Replace Obamacare with Free-Market Reforms

The Problem

Obamacare has had tremendous negative repercussions for our economy. It has hindered job creation, fostered economic uncertainty, taken $500 billion out of Medicare, and degraded the quality of healthcare for all Americans. It will cost over $1.76 trillion, add $500 billion to the country’s deficit and raise taxes on the middle-class by another $500 billion.

Obamacare forces individuals to buy health insurance and regulates what insurance must cover. This makes insurance more expensive for everyone (including businesses, many of which pay for their employee health insurance). When employers have to pay more for employee’s health insurance, common sense will tell you that they hire fewer employees.

The Solution

Repeal and replace Obamacare with common-sense measures that will both reduce healthcare costs and expand the ranks of the insured, including:

o Enable insurance companies to compete across state lines to increase competition and lower rates. Give consumers more options.

o Give small businesses the ability to pool together and purchase healthcare for their employees as a group to lower rates.

o Enact comprehensive tort reform. Medical liability concerns have forced physicians to practice defensive medicine and reduce the scope of their practices, which has adversely impacted patients’ access to care and the cost of the care they receive.

o No more cookie cutter healthcare plans. Allow consumers to purchase a wide range of individualized plans with different benefits and payment structures.

o Put medical decisions in the hands of doctors and patient, not insurance company executives, government bureaucrats or unelected, unaccountable boards/panels.

o Maintain provisions that prohibit insurance companies from denying coverage to people with pre-existing conditions.

6. Enact a Sensible Energy Policy

The Problem

Skyrocketing energy prices have a double negative impact on Suffolk County – they not only hurt residents trying to fill their gas tanks or heat their homes, they act as a deterrent for potential employers who can’t afford to start or grow their businesses in such an expensive environment.

As recently as World War II, the United States was the world’s largest oil exporter, producing 6 of the 7 billion gallons of oil used by the Allies during the war. Today, the United States spends almost $500 billion importing foreign oil, a dependence that is costing our country an estimated 1 million jobs. The national security ramifications of this dependence are also very troubling.

Cheap, abundant, clean energy is a major competitive advantage for America. Understandably, manufacturers like to put plans in places where energy costs are low. Cheap, abundant, clean energy produced in America will create jobs in America.

The Solution

We need an all-inclusive approach that will reduce our dependence on foreign oil, and lower energy prices for the residents and businesses of Suffolk County while taking strong precautions to ensure that the air we breathe and water we drink is clean, including:

o Advocate for environmentally responsible expansion of domestic drilling for oil and natural gas to reduce our dependence on foreign oil.

o Get government out of the energy investment business.

o Ensure that President Obama’s “cap-and-trade” plan – supported by Tim Bishop – never becomes law. We simply cannot afford a national energy tax that will cost middle-class homeowners and small business owners thousands of dollars more in higher energy costs, which add to the cost of every product made and transported in the United States.

7. Improve Suffolk County’s Business Climate & Attract New Capital

The Problem

In recent years, big employers like Bed Bath & Beyond, and Arrow Electronics have announced they were relocating a significant amount of jobs from Long Island.

With our proximity to New York City, and a wonderful quality of life, Suffolk County should be the destination for new businesses, not a place businesses are fleeing. We need to reverse this trend.

Most Congressional offices (not just Tim Bishop’s) don’t function as vehicles for business expansion. I know a lot about how small start-up businesses struggle to raise capital. My office will be staffed in a manner consistent with my 1st, 2nd, and 3rd goals as your Congressman: to bring more jobs to Long Island.

The Solution

o My first staff hire will be an Economic Development Coordinator (with a background in business, not government). This person’s only assignment will be to work closely with local community and business leaders to persuade businesses to move to and/or increase their investment in our community.

o My second hire will be a Capital Coordinator. This person’s assignment will be to connect local businesses with potential public and private funding sources. I want businesses who want to expand to know who they should call – my office.

o I will commit to personally meeting face-to-face with potential business owners in and outside of Long Island – to pitch them on the benefits of relocating to the 1st Congressional District, which is home to such world-class research institutions as Stony Brook University and Brookhaven National Laboratory.

o Partner with existing groups like Accelerate Long Island to foster entrepreneurship and innovation right here on Long Island.

8. Protect and Foster the Growth of the Long Island Fishing Industry

The Problem

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, New York ranks 9th among coastal states in overall retail sales in saltwater sport fishing with over $373 million in total spending on saltwater tackle sales alone. An estimated 291,000 saltwater anglers help contribute more than $645 million a year in total economic impact to the state, with total salaries, wages and business earnings from saltwater fishing estimated to exceed $220 million a year.

Saltwater fishing - both commercial and recreational alike - has been a part of Eastern Long Island’s heritage for nearly 400 years. Open public access to a healthy and sustainable population of fish represents both a significant jobs issue for New York’s First Congressional District and an American legacy.

The Solution

I will encourage Members of Congress on both sides of the aisle to enact pragmatic federal fisheries reform to protect both our New York fish and our New York fishermen, including:

o Fighting for science-based reforms to the Magnuson Act that assure access to healthy, sustainable fisheries off Long island. The current law is full of over- burdensome, statutory definitions that have left many of our local fishermen standing at the dock, unable to take advantage of years of heavy sacrifice.

o Working cooperatively with the recreational and commercial fishing communities to rebuild and preserve fish stocks, while seeking reforms that suspend overly-strict annual catch limits where reliable science and data is lacking.

o Addressing the scientific and statistical problems at NOAA and more appropriately balance conservation and commerce. This would include socioeconomic impact studies when certain management decisions are to be made.

o Equalize catch quotas with neighboring states. Currently, New York commercial fishermen are restricted to less than half the quota allowed in neighboring states. New York fishermen are allowed 7 percent of the overall Mid-Atlantic quota, while New Jersey and Rhode Island are allowed 16 percent and 15 percent respectively.

9. Help Suffolk County’s Agriculture Community

The Problem

While Suffolk County only has 34,000 acres devoted to all forms of agriculture, it generates more agriculture revenue than any other county in New York State – over $300 million annually. The agriculture community employs more than 7,000 people in Suffolk County, is an integral part of Long Island’s heritage and is critical to preserving Long Island’s valuable open space.

With over 100 different crops grown, Long Island is proud to offer an agricultural diversity that few other areas in the state can match, with a commitment to produce an abundance of quality products in areas such as Vegetable and Potatoes, Fruits, Wine and Grapes, Poultry and Livestock, Nursery, Floriculture and Fishing.

The Solution

I will help the agricultural community grow and create even more jobs in Suffolk County. Here are four concrete steps I can take to make that happen:

o Create a three-year renewable visa program for law-abiding farm workers who have followed the proper channels and are already in the country legally, in order to avoid costly disruptions in production for local farmers.

o Take on the bureaucrats at the EPA, and prevent them from excessive, over- regulation of Long Island’s agricultural community.

o Permanently repeal the death tax, which is particularly devastating for our farmers who want their children to be able to continue farming.

o Support the conservation title of the Farm Bill that assists our farmers in developing and implementing farm practices to protect Long Island’s environment.

10. Helping our Veterans Find Private Sector Jobs

The Problem

Veterans have been particularly hard hit by the unemployment crisis, with the veteran unemployment rate at 12%. This problem will get worse, as the United States is likely to see a large reduction in its Armed Services over the next four years partly as a result of the withdrawal from Afghanistan and Iraq and partly as a result of large defense cuts.

It is shameful and inexcusable for the Congress not to be doing everything possible to insure that these brave warriors to whom we owe so much return home to a stable, well- paying job.

The Solution

Many Suffolk County residents currently serving or who have served in the military could have difficulty finding jobs when they return home due to the sluggish Obama economy. We owe it to our veterans, after their sacrifices, to make sure they have an easier time adjusting to civilian life. Thus I propose:

o Provide employers with an effective tax credit for each veteran they hire by enabling employers to expense 150% of a veteran’s wages for the first three years they are employed. It would then return to the standard 100%.

o Create an outreach program within the district to identify the employment needs of veterans returning to civilian life.