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Views and comments expressed in Letters To Editor are the opinions of the writer not Smithtown Matters.

Wednesday
Jul182018

Letter To Editor - Read What Supervisor Wehrheim Wouldn't Allow Me To Say

Letter to Editor 

My name is Amy Fortunato, I live in Smithtown.  Thank you town council for this opportunity to explain my concern for public safety in Smithtown.  Mr. Wehrheim, I called you directly to discuss the news article that quoted you from a transcribed recording during a recent fund raiser on June 28th.  I was disappointed and surprised to read that you would describe anyone participating in a demonstration as being relegated into Jericho Tpke. And then to be taken care of by Suffolk County police.  Bodily harm is tragic.  Human life is precious.  I mentioned to you that my husband was hit by a car at the intersection of NY Ave and Jericho Tpke.  Mr. Wehrheim, we’re friends and we have a developed a working relationship over the recent years.  I assure you that I only hope and pray for your well being and success.

Please be more careful in the future when you are talking about your intention when setting up barricades in Smithtown.  This impacts our freedom to gather.  Those barricades were set up for the first time at the Town Hall to restrict the unity rally;  I have not ever seen such an extensive system of barricades ever before at the Town Hall.  Even when you were sworn into office as Supervisor, we were not restricted from sitting on folding chairs supplied or walking and standing on the lawn.  

It’s disappointing that our safety and freedom to gather peaceable was mocked.  It’s also disappoint that two clearly identified journalists with whom you have a working relationship were ejected from the same fund raiser without provocation.  I would hope that you would defend their freedom of the press.  These freedoms are held dear and I hope that you will defend our freedom to gather peaceable and for the freedom of the press to report the news without restriction.   

Let us be the community and citizens that demonstrate respect and civility as we all work together for the benefit of all Smithtown residents.  Thank you.

 

Amy Fortunato is a candidate for Smithtown Town Council

Friday
Jun222018

Letter To Editor - Zeldin's Fundraiser With Sebastian Gorka Is An Insult

To the Editor:

On June 28th Lee Zeldin will open his general election campaign with a fundraiser in Smithtown featuring Sebastian Gorka as his speaker.  This is yet more evidence that Zeldin, far from being  moderate or representative of his constituents, has cast his lot with the most extremist elements of his party.

Sebastian Gorka has been tied to neo-Nazi and anti-Semitic groups in Hungary, as well as accused of lying on his naturalization application about his connection to these groups.  During his brief time in the White House he was denied a security clearance.  Mr. Gorka denies being a fascist or anti-Semite.  Here are the facts.

Gorka wears a medal and uses an honorific indicating membership in the modern reconstituted group Vitezi Rend.  During World War II Vitezi Rend was a virulently anti-Semitic group established by the Hungarian dictator Miklos Horthy, himself a self-described anti-Semite and collaborator with Hitler. It’s described by the U.S. State Department as “under the direction of the Nazi Government of Germany during World War II.” 

In 2007 Gorka co-founded a Hungarian political party, the New Democratic Coalition (UDK), described by the Anti-Defamation League as “openly anti-Semitic” and by the U.S. State department as “extreme ethnic nationalist”.

That year, when interviewed as the head of the UDK, he spoke approvingly of the formation by the extremist right-wing political party Jobbik of a paramilitary militia arm as “a defense of the nation’s soul”.  Apparently he saw nothing wrong with the creation of a black-shirt outfitted, storm-trooper-like Jobbik militia for “protection”.  Once created, this militia, calling itself the Hungarian Guard, staged mass demonstrations in Hungary notable for their violence, leading to assaults and murders of ethnic minority people in Hungary.  The uniform of this group recalled that of the Arrow Cross, the notorious Nazi party of Hungary, which directly participated in the murder of tens of thousands of Jews and others during World War II.

Long Island voters have no control over the views or activities of Sebastian Gorka.  They can however decide whether they want to be represented by Lee Zeldin, who selected Mr. Gorka as a featured speaker for his campaign kickoff fundraiser.  Voters should ask themselves why did Rep. Zeldin chose Mr. Gorka to speak, instead of some other Republican figure without Mr. Gorka’s links to European neo-fascists and anti-Semites.  There were many other choices.  I would submit that the choice of Mr Gorka reflects Rep. Zeldin’s conscious, strategic decision to appeal to white nationalism and anti-immigrant hysteria for his own political advantage, regardless of the long-term consequences for our country.  His choice of Mr. Gorka insults the memory of the victims of the Nazis and the intelligence and common decency of Long Island voters.

David Friedman

 

Thursday
Jun142018

Letter To Editor - Zeldin's Letter Burnishes His Non-Existent Credentials

To the Editor:

Lee Zeldin recently sent me a letter that attempts to burnish his non-existent credentials regarding gun control.  He states, “I am committed to pursuing common sense solutions.  That is why I have called for a Congressional hearing and action in light of the tragedy in Parkland.”  Zeldin is a great one for speaking out and calling for, but he evidently is not speaking or calling loud enough because I haven’t heard anything.
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If he is truly interested in finding common sense solutions, why does he approve concealed carry of weapons in NY, which have been approved by states with the lowest restrictions?  Why does he have an A rating from the NRA?  Why is he the largest recipient of NRA money in the state?  Why did he fail to attend a recent forum on school safety and gun control hosted by Smithtown students, or at least send an aide to articulate his position?  Could  it be because he would rather serve the NRA than his constituents?
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His letter also states, “I have also reintroduced my Protect America Act (H.R.3998) to prevent terrorists from purchasing firearms or explosives.”  How does he suggest we identify these terrorists, and prevent them from buying firearms or explosives?  Anyone can go to a gun show, or to a private seller, and purchase anything without a background check.  Who were the known or suspected terrorists who committed mass murder at Columbine, Parkland, Sandy Hook, Oklahoma City? 
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Let us not forget the Florida official who failed to conduct background checks for an entire year because she could not remember her sign-in name for the website, and did not bother to arrange for a new one.  This is for real, and with a Republican governor, no less.  Does the fact that she was recently fired make you feel more secure?

Who is Zeldin kidding?  Only himself and his fellow Republican lackeys.  It’s time for him to get smart, grow a pair, and find compassion. 

Ruth A Cohen
Lake Grove NY 11755

Monday
Jun112018

Letter To Editor - Call NYS Senator In Support Of Senator Hannon's Bill

There is  a bill, being reviewed by the environmental  conservation  committee in the New York Senate  to limit high nitrogen fertilizers  on your lawn . This same  bill has been passed by the Assembly. Please contact your  NY senator and ask that  they support Senator Hannon’s bill  S8170 on this topic. The legislative session ends on July 1, 2018 so we need to act now!

According to  a presentation on June 6  regarding the new cesspool requirement   by the Suffolk County, Dept of Health, excess fertilizer use on our lawn is the second cause of  waterway pollution  causing algae blooms 

According to a  Suffolk County water authority speaker, that visited CCA in 2013, the aquifer closest to the  ground surface known as the upper glacial aquifer, is so polluted  from nitrogen and other contaminants, that  they do not draw water  from it in most areas that they serve.

Other Senators on the committee are Senators; Lavalle, Marcellino,Todd and Phillips who represent different areas of Long Island.*

Sincerely,

Rachel Ross, Secretary, Commack Community association

*The letter has been amended.

Sunday
Jun032018

Letter To Editor - A Cautioning To The People

Dear Editor.

A cautioning to the people:

With interest I heard President Trump’s legal team claim that the president does not have to answer for his actions because as chief executive and enforcer of Law he cannot violate the Law. The reasoning reminded me of Thomas Hobbes’s Opus Magnus Leviathan 2.XVIII.2 where that political scientist claimed the same for the kings of his time. If you are not familiar with Hobbes’s work, it is manual for tyranny that has long been set aside. Hobbes never envisioned democracies like those now where the responsibilities of national leaders, or Sovereigns as he called them, have carefully delineated responsibilities and limitations.

Britain, the country where the work originated, has, through Civil War, a Glorious Revolution, and various acts, stripped their kings and queens of almost all authority and placed it in the hands of Parliament and the Prime Minister, and the Prime Minister regularly reports to the Parliament. Many times I saw Tony Blair being questioned by parliament on television.

The United States, in our turn, made provision for this in Article II, Section 3 when the founders required the president regularly report to the Congress on the State of the Union. True, this provision has be turned into a farce and cause for politicking once a year, but the Constitution does, in its wording, call for more serious approaches.

At the dawn of the French Revolution, the French National Assembly, under the leadership of the Marquis de Lafayette, created The Rights of Man. In the first Right it declared the Nation, or the people as a whole, not a committee or a single man, to be the Sovereign, and in Right Fifteen the Rights of man says, “Every community has a right to demand of all its agents an account of their conduct.”

These changes were caused by revolution, and these revolutions were caused by leaders who chose to disregard the needs and natural rights of the people. If our understanding of Law does not require our leaders to answer for themselves, then we will go back to the prerevolutionary times and our leaders will degenerate into people like Tiberius, Stalin, or Kim Jung Un, people who answer to nobody.

Gordon L. Stewart