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


Letter To Editor - SC Marine Revitalization Advisory Council Working For Residents

Dear Editor, 

On January 16, the first meeting of the Suffolk County Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council for the 2019 year will convene. 

The Legislation creating the Council, which I sponsored and which was adopted last year, is intended to establish a relationship that will allow government and private industry to work with local communities to attract good paying jobs to the region and encourage the growth of the marine sector of the local economy.

With 980 miles of shoreline and more than 300 bodies of water, the marine industry is critical to Suffolk County’s economy and it is my priority to ensure that government remains dedicated to maintaining the support the industry needs to thrive.

The $1.579 billion economic impact of the marine industry, the 7,000 plus people in marine-related jobs, and our marine workforce development are essential to Suffolk County becoming an attractive location for new business. Our investment in recreational boating and fishing, which are at the heart of regional tourism, must continue to play a major role if we are to maintain our place as a tourist and vacation destination.

We will be holding two public hearings, the first on February 6 at the William H. Rogers Legislature Building on Veterans Memorial Highway in Hauppauge, and the second on February 7, at the Evans K. Griffing Building, 300 Center Drive in Riverhead. Both hearings will begin at 5 p.m.

The meeting is open to marine industry stakeholders, such as marina owners and operators, fishermen and baymen, and residents in areas in need of dredging as well as members of the community.

Improving market conditions and opportunities in Suffolk County are key components of a healthy economy and I am excited about the work of our Marine Industry Revitalization Advisory Council and the future of our great County. 

DuWayne Gregory, Suffolk County Legislature Presiding Officer



Letter To Editor - In Support Of Tom Donohue For St. James Fire Commissioner


Dear Editor,  
There is an important election for St. James Fire Commissioner next Tuesday, December 11th.  There are many good reasons St. James residents should consider voting for Tom Donohue.
Besides his 30 years of service in many leadership positions in the St. James Fire Department, perhaps the most important reason to vote for Tom Donohue is that he is his own person. He is independent and not afraid to speak up to correct things that are wrong. He is an intelligent business professional who speaks honestly and and has productive ideas on how to solve the current problems in the Fire District.  Tom wants to heal the current divisions in the Fire Department and move forward in a positive direction.
In addition to being a 9/11 first responder himself, Tom Donohue organized our St. James 9/11 Memorial and remains its Chairman to this day. Tom Donohue chaired the Fire District’s Citizens’ Advisory Committee and brought together community leaders to successfully oppose the sale of our Main Firehouse on Route 25 A.  I was honored to sit with Tom and other St. James on this impactful committee. As a result, all our residents are safer now that the Main Firehouse will remain open for years to come. 
In addition, Tom Donohue spoke out against the whopping 19.8% Fire District property tax increase imposed by the current Commissioners last year.   Thankfully, Tom  is running to replace one of the Commissioners who voted for that unwarranted tax increase.
Finally, in addition to his fire service, Tom Donohue is a tireless volunteer for various community groups. He is an assistant scoutmaster for Boy Scout Troop 7 in St. James, a youth soccer coach and a member of Celebrate St. James. He recently wielded a mean drill setting up the stage props for their successful performance of “99 Minutes to Broadway” at Nesaquake Middle School! 
Tom Donohue deserves your vote for Fire Commissioner next Tuesday. Please take the time to vote between 3pm and 9pm at the Jefferson Avenue Fire Substation. Thank you.
Troy Rosasco
St. James



Letter To Editor - Thank You To Residents In 2nd NYS Senate District

Dear Editor:

     Thank you to the residents of the 2nd Senate District for once again providing me with the opportunity to represent them in the New York State Senate.  It has been my distinct honor to serve the community since 2002 and I am humbled to be able to return to the State Capital to protect our way of life.

     As I stated during the past months, regardless of any election outcome, the Senate Republican Conference will continue to be a strong and important voice in Albany.  That includes standing up for hardworking taxpayers, advancing policies that help businesses create new jobs and new opportunities, and working every day to keep our families secure and safe.

     With the election behind us, now is the time for all of us in government to put politics aside to work for the betterment of all who live and work in New York State.  While no one should doubt that we stand ready to push back when the need arises to protect our region and our state, we are committed to working with all parties to find common ground when it exists.

     As we move forward with the work ahead of us, I welcome everyone’s input on matters that are important to all of our residents.  As my office prepares for the upcoming year, we invite those we represent to contact our office by calling 631-361-2154 or sending us an e-mail at flanagan@nysenate.gov to share any thoughts they may have.

     Thank you again for providing me with the opportunity to continue serving you in the New York State Senate and I look forward to hearing from you.


John Flanagan

New York State Senate


Letter To Editor - Lee Zeldin Failed To Call Out Trump's Lack Of Respect

To the Editor:

 This is from Member of Congress and veteran Lee Zeldin’s Facebook post for Veteran’s Day:

“Every day should be Veterans Day, yet on this great Veterans Day morning, I would like to thank every US veteran for their sacrifice in defense of our flag and our freedoms on behalf of the greatest nation in the world. It’s hard to imagine that not that long ago, our country spat on our heroes as they returned home from combat. That can never happen again. To our Vietnam Vets, welcome home! Our great veterans deserve our unwavering love, loyalty, and respect for their service not only on behalf of their families back home, but also for strangers to keep the rest of us safe… .” *

While some people did denigrate returning soldiers because of their opposition to the Viet Nam War, our country did not spit on them.  Zeldin can visit the Viet Nam Memorial Wall in Washington to see how our soldiers are honored and cherished. 

However, someone who did spit upon our veterans is our five-deferment president.  He failed to join numerous world leaders in commemorating the end of WW1 at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery and Memorial  in France where the Battle of Belleau Wood was fought.  The cemetery contains the graves of 2539 known and unknown Americans, and commemorates 1060 dead soldiers.  Why did Trump refuse to attend?  It was raining, so he stayed in his hotel to watch TV instead. 

But Trump is not alone in expressing disdain for the fallen. Lee Zeldin also dishonored them by failing to utter one word of criticism about Trump’s disgusting lack of respect.   This should not be surprising because Zeldin never expresses any opinion that is not in lockstep with Trump’s, but his silence in this instance is particularly shocking.

Ruth A Cohen

Lake Grove


Letter To Editor - LCV Gives Zeldin A 9% Environmental Rating

To the Editor: 

In an effort to burnish his image with East End voters Congressman Lee Zeldin has taken out a full page ad in some local papers. I would like to address some of his claims. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been “safeguarding our environment.” Fact: Mr. Zeldin has one of the worst environmental records in Congress. The non-partisan League of Conservation Voters (LCV) has given him a grade of 9%, one of the lowest in Congress. Contributing to this low rating are his votes to reverse clean air rules and to block the Clean Water Rule, which protects the drinking water of one in three Americans. And Mr. Zeldin’s vote for an amendment cutting the EPA budget by $1.9 billion does not sound like “safeguarding our environment” to me. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been “supporting our veterans.” Fact: As a member of the Veterans Affairs Committee, he skipped 65% of the committee’s hearings in 2015. In 2017 he abandoned Veterans Affairs for Financial Services, which presides over the bank, insurance, securities and housing industries, from which he has received millions in donations. Which might explain why Mr. Zeldin voted “No” on a bill preserving our veterans’ right to sue if their mortgages violate anti-predatory lending laws. The bill was designed to also protect vets from brokers who get bonuses for selling them unaffordable mortgages. With his vote Mr. Zeldin put the interests of financial predators ahead of those of our vets. 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been working on “repairing our nation’s infrastructure.” Fact: Our nation’s infrastructure is starting to resemble that of a third world country. Mr. Zeldin and his fellow Republicans have controlled the presidency and both houses of Congress for two years. They have failed to come up with legislation to address this problem, opting instead to give huge tax 

cuts to multi-national corporations and billionaires. (Said tax cuts, by the way, have resulted in increased corporate profits with minuscule pay raises for workers, while raising the deficit to unsustainable levels.) 

Claim: Mr. Zeldin has been working at “improving healthcare in America.” Fact: Mr. Zeldin voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act which provides health insurance to thousands of his constituents. Mr. Zeldin and his fellow Republicans offered no replacement plan, apparently unconcerned with the pain and suffering the loss of insurance would cause for millions of our fellow Americans. If you have a pre-existing condition, a son or daughter you need to keep on your health plan, or are unable to afford needed medicines, you should be very concerned with Mr. Zeldin’ws record on health care. 

I have no faith that Mr. Zeldin is fighting for me in Congress. That is why I am voting for Perry Gershon on Nevember 6. 

John Neely
Westhampton Beach, New York 

P. S. I am a former member of the Southampton Town Democratic Committee.