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

Saturday
Oct132018

Letter To Editor - Mr. Zeldin Is Wrong About Health Care

October 12, 2018

Editor:

There are many reasons why I’m voting for Perry Gershon for Congress on November 6th, but one of the most important is health care.  Perry’s opponent, Congressman Lee Zeldin, seems to have a distorted view of what health care should do.  

Mr. Zeldin has done some good things for veterans’ health care, and as a Vietnam veteran, I appreciate that, but the Congressman apparently thinks it ends there.  He voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, which would mean higher premiums, an age tax, and no more coverage for pre-existing conditions.

What’s going on here?  Lee Zeldin promotes health care for veterans, but would take it away from other Americans — working people, children, burn victims, nursing mothers.  What can he be thinking?

Sure, veterans have made contributions above and beyond, I know that, I was there.  But protection for vets when others are shut out?  That isn’t what veterans served and fought for.  It sure isn’t what I fought for.

Maybe Lee Zeldin thinks this is how to get the veterans’ vote.  He’s wrong about that.  Or maybe he just thinks he can pick and choose who gets care and who doesn’t, who lives and who dies.  He’s wrong about that, too.

Perry Gershon wants health care for all, and he knows how to make it happen.  That’s huge.  As I said, I’m voting for Perry Gershon for Congress on November 6th.

George Lynch
Quiogue 

Monday
Sep242018

Letter To Editor - Republicans In CD 1 Should Consider Withholding Vote


Letter to Editor:


Bob Woodward’s “FEAR” describes an administration desperately concerned about the commander-in-chief, his impetuous instincts that threaten global alliances and his brinksmanship that could trigger an outbreak of war in the Middle East and Korea.

Woodward documents that senior White House officials distrust Trump because of his pathological lying.  Among those describing Trump as lying are Sen. Lindsey Graham,  Sen. Dick Durban, Reince Priebus, Gary Cohn, and Trump’s personal lawyer, John Todd. Gary Cohn called Trump “a professional liar,” and Todd used an expletive to describe his lying.

H.R. McMaster, for a year the National Security Advisor when he replaced Flynn, is not quoted calling Trump a liar, but he must have strained to hold his tongue.  McMaster authored “Dereliction of Duty,” which exposed the string of lies that sustained the Vietnam War.  Thomas Jefferson was quoted by McMaster at the start a chapter: “He who permits himself to tell a lie once, finds it much easier to do it a second and third time, till at length it becomes habitual; he tells lies without attending to it, and truths without the world’s believing him. This falsehood of the tongue leads to that of the heart, and in time depraves all its good dispositions.”

Many Republican voices have called upon the electorate to restrain Trump by flipping the Congress.  Among them are Bill Kristol, George Will, Steve Schmidt, Bret Stephens, and the list grows.  They are dismayed by Trump’s un-American behavior in separating children from parents at the border, by his disparaging Sen. John McCain’s heroism, by his disgraceful genuflecting to Putin at Helsinki, by his covering for neo-Nazi’s in Charlottesville.

Before the publication of the Woodward book, Bill Kristol said, “(John) McCain points to some of what is best in America, Trump to much of what is worst. It’s up to us to decide which man to emulate, whose path to follow.”  Bret Stephens put it this way: “I’m sorry that so many congressional Republicans have lost their sense of moral principle and institutional self-respect, but that’s a reason to seek Democratic victories in the fall. The Constitution matters more than a tax cut.“  Steve Schmidt said about this mid-term election: “This year’s election for Congress is the most important political choice you will ever have to make.”  Conservative columnist, George Will, penned a column: “Vote against the GOP this November,” and urged that the number of Republicans in Congress “must be substantially reduced.”

Republicans in our congressional district should consider joining this mission to protect the country by withholding their vote from Rep. Zeldin and putting a check on Trump’s unrestrained actions.  We should turn away from Rep. Lee Zeldin, a knee-jerk Trump loyalist and Bannon supporter who recently declined to attend an East End discussion on ethics and morality with nine local religious leaders.  

Steve Abramson, Southampton

 

Monday
Sep172018

Letter To Editor - Much For Republicans In CD 1 To Consider Before Voting


Letter to Editor: 


Republicans in CD1 have much to consider with their vote in the November mid-term elections. 

George Will told USA Today he is encouraging Republicans to work to assure that Trump does not win the 2020 nomination; he is leaving the Republican Party, at least for now.  This week, Republican commentator Bill Kristol, who has called Trump “disgraceful,” announced he is building a “war machine…to prepare for a primary run against Trump,” and has been talking with potential candidates. 

Meanwhile, Steve Schmidt, George Will and other Republican pundits have urged Republicans to help flip the House to the Democrats in the mid-terms to put a check on this irrational presidency.

If you’re a Republican concerned that flipping the House will bring about impeachment, that’s not the issue.  Even if warranted by the Mueller findings yet to be revealed..even if impeachment proceedings were to start in the House..it would take the unlikely defection of 16 Republican Senators to impeach.

In his 2006 autobiography,  James A. Baker III, then running President George H.W. Bush’s reelection campaign, commented:  “The complaint that character should be off-limits in a campaign for the American presidency is both absurd and not historical.  What could be more important?”  Baker saw an important distinction in his candidate, a “war hero, family man, successful businessman, veteran public servant (who) had a hard-won reputation as an honorable man, even among most Democrats.”

Yes, character matters.  Donald Trump is not officially on the ballot this mid-term, but he will be listed in the proxy name of Rep. Lee Zeldin, his staunch acolyte. 

This mid-term election is the opportunity for everyday Republicans to make an important statement about this dysfunctional, immoral presidency.  Rep. Lee Zeldin unequivocally supports Trump, and Zeldin is supported by both Trump and Bannon.   Zeldin’s blind loyalty to Trump should not be rewarded.  Zeldin’s support for Trump feeds a dangerous presidency, characterized by destructive behavior and habitual lying.  Every week brings new evidence of Trump’s character flaws and inability to manage the executive branch.

Republicans in CD1 can make a difference.  It’s up to you to make it happen.

Steve Abramson, Southampton

Tuesday
Sep112018

Letter To Editor - Environmental Future Is At Stake 

 

I’ve had the good fortune to live in some beautiful places in America, and Long Island is without question as beautiful, and special, as anywhere.  And now, as I get older, what matters most to me is making sure our children and grandchildren continue to have a green and generally unspoiled place to swim, bike, hike, play ball, and raise their own children in. 

This is the environmental future I want for all Long Islanders, and why, among other reasons, this election matters so much.  The overwhelming majority of us recognize that climate change is no hoax — that it’s as real as rain.  Locally, it can threaten our beaches on Long Island, and beach tourism, too.  Left unchecked, there will be more hurricanes with the destructive force of Sandy.  Perry Gershon understands what is at stake here.  He has spoken about the perils of sea levels rising, and not just for the southern portion of New York City, but for parts of Suffolk County as well.  Rising oceans can also bring flooding along with it, which causes erosion and property damage.  For all these reasons, and more, he strongly supports the further development and implementation of clean energy.  Perry Gershon believes in the possibility of a carbon-neutral future.  So he stands steadfastly behind reducing greenhouse gases, increased wind power, and the Paris Climate Accord.  

His opponent, incumbent Lee Zeldin, appears to have other priorities.  He claims to be an environmentalist come election time, but for his first three years in office Mr. Zeldin earned a meager 10% rating from the League of Conservation Voters.  Of 22 bills that came before the House and which impact the environment he took the anti-environment side on 21 of them.  He actually voted for cutting funding for the Environmental Protection Agency, and for preventing the EPA from implementing standards to reduce methane pollution in the oil and gas industries.  Notice the increasing number of solar panels on your neighbors’ roofs?  Read about the innovative wind farm going into operation between Long Island and Shelter Island?  Mr.  Zeldin voted against tax credits for wind and solar energy.

However, with careful planning and placement, New York State is intending over the next ten years to produce about 2,400 megawatts of offshore wind energy and, so doing, create nearly 5,000 related jobs.  Perry Gershon, a successful businessperson before running for Congress, is especially enthusiastic about job creation, and knows that a number of these upcoming clean energy jobs will be here in Suffolk County.

I’m supporting Mr. Gershon for a number of reasons, but I often look first at someone’s environmental record or their intended Green Energy and environmental actions.  Partisan policies, and shifting priorities between Democrats and Republicans, change with some frequency on the state and national level.  But what does not change – and what should not shift — is the enduring importance of our region’s vital soil, water, air quality, beaches and oceans.  More important perhaps than taxes, traffic and affordable housing is our home, which is the land, the groundwater, the woods, and the beautiful shores of Suffolk County Long Island.

Ken Taub, St James

Ken Taub, a former advertising agency president, current copy & content provider, online journalist, and yoga studio co-owner, was raised on Long Island and is a longtime resident of Saint James, NY.


Wednesday
Jul252018

Letter To Editor - KPHS Lights Too Close To Homes

 

My name is John O’Leary of Lordly Court in Kings Park. Lordly Court is right behind the schools rear parking lot. Recently the high school started construction of the new parking lot with drainage improvements which was sorely needed due to lack maintenance over the years. Recently a neighbor had a fence damaged from the construction and went over to the site to complain, and, was informed of the districts plan to install new lighting right behind our homes. I reached out to Mr Timothy Eagen (superintendant) and he indeed confirmed this. Mr Eagen stated a lot of thought went into the placement location of these lights and they would be directed north as to accommodate us.

In December 2015, the district floated a “bond” for much needed repairs and updates in all the districts schools in which pictures were displayed of rusting lockers, boilers falling apart and alike. After leaning of all this disrepair my first thought was “ why wasn’t anything maintained all these years?. A big part of this 2015 bond was for a new artificial turf multipurpose track and field which would be “Lighted” for the first time”.  I went to a board meeting to display my disapproval an left with the feeling of “this is coming no matter what anybody says”. So, today myself and my neighbors have the pleasure of viewing tremendous light poles towering over our block along with the noise in the parking lot this field created. Two of these poles are so close to neighbors houses that it worries the occupants that it could damage their homes if it came down.

If that’s not bad enough now we have more lighting to be installed right behind the north side of block houses very close to our property lines. Now I can enjoy looking at light poles from the convenience of my kitchen. The district has stated a few times that it wants to be a good neighbor to Lordly Court but I fail to see it. The district could have easily reached out to us for input about their plans to construct new parking lot lighting but did not.

I have lived in my residence my whole life and have been blessed with a lovely neighborhood. I attended Kings park schools.  I have no children in the district and pay a large portion of my property tax bill to the district!, at least notify us!. I am slowly watching our “quality of life” shrinking and our property values drop. This is a public school not a major sports complex/entertainment hub.

Sincerely,

John O’Leary