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

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


Monday
May282018

Letter To Editor - Memorial Day A Day To Remember The Sacrifices

 

 

My paternal grandparents were immigrants. They came to this country with very little and built a successful life for themselves through education and hard work.

Here’s a picture of my grandfather, Willard Bill Angen. He served America in the second World War, and then also the Korean War:

He was a U.S. Army Colonel and physician who fought in the war and participated in the liberation of Dachau, caring for its victims and saving lives. 

Although my grandfather lived to come home and raise a family, many brave soliders died securing our freedom from fascism. It is only through their noble acts that our country has survived and remained great into its third century. 

Today we remember their sacrifice, and the sacrifices of all who died serving our country. Our thanks should speak louder than any words.

Perry Gershon

Perry Gershon is a candidate for Congress in the 1st Congressional District. Mr. Gershon is in a democratic primary to be decided later this month.


Tuesday
May082018

Letter To Editor - SCSD Trustee Chris Alcure Asks For Your Vote On May 15

Dear Smithtown Community,

I am writing this letter to ask for support and vote for my re-election to the Smithtown Central School District Board of Education on May 15, 2018.

I am currently finishing my 6th year on the school board and I am hoping for the opportunity of serving this community for another term.   As a member of this community, and with two very active children in this district, I care a great deal about what goes on in the school district from the perspective of a parent and taxpayer.  I want all students to get the best education possible.  I believe that all students should have opportunities to grow academically, socially and emotionally.   I want to ensure the students have the best educational opportunities available to them, and that our teachers and staff have the resources which will allow them guide our students, set the bar higher for students and see our students soar to new heights.

Reflecting over my two terms on the school board, so much has changed in education across the country and in New York State which had a significant impact to Smithtown.  It was literally the “Perfect Storm”. We saw the economic downturn, a decline in student enrollment in Smithtown, the rushed roll-out of the Common Core, the implementation of the teachers evaluation system (APPR) and the link to flawed state assessment and the beginnings of Opt-Out Movement.   With the hard work of the administration along with the support of the board of education, Smithtown has been able to weather this storm and in my opinion, the district has come out stronger with the ability to implement several excellent new programs and initiatives that have benefited our students.

Looking ahead, you may ask, why am I excited at the prospect of being elected to a third term.   Simply said……..the work isn’t done. Smithtown is top tier district on Long Island, but I envision new areas and opportunities that the collective board can explore that can take our district to new levels.

So when you go to the polls and vote on May 15th, I ask you to consider the following:Please be reminded that a vote for Christopher Alcure is a vote for:

1.        Proven Leadership

2.        Student Advocacy

3.        A Better School District For A Better Tomorrow

4.        Building Hope and Building Futures

 

I urge the community to weigh my experience, accomplishments, devotion and vision for the Smithtown School district when you vote on May 15th.

Thank you,

Christopher Alcure

Smithtown Board of Education Trustee 2012 to Present 

Monday
Apr302018

Letter To Editor - School Board Trustee Christopher Alcure Seeks Third Term 

Dear Editor,

My name is Christopher Alcure.   On Tuesday, May 15th, school districts across New York state will be holding their annual budget vote and election of school board trustees.   I am coming to the end of my second term on the Smithtown Board of Education, I am up for re-election and I am seeking a third term on the board of education.   

About Christopher

  • My family has deep roots in Smithtown.
  • My wife was born and raised in Smithtown and attended Smithtown public schools.   
  • I have lived in Smithtown for the last 15 years and my wife and I have two daughters.
  • Our daughters currently attend Smithtown schools.
  • My wife and I are small business owners in Smithtown employing 25 locally based employees.
  • Professionally, I am a corporate accountant.
  • I am active in the community volunteering as a youth sports coach, as a volunteer with the church and volunteering with a local charity helping Smithtown families in need.
  • My wife is one of the founder of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation and she 

is still very active with this organization.   I sit on the executive board of the Smithtown Children’s Foundation and we assist Smithtown families in need.

  • Lastly, I have served on the Smithtown board of education for 6 years, including 3 years as board president.

School Board Accomplishments

  • Several to enhancements to educational opportunities for students over the last few years: 
  •  
    • Implementation of Project Lead the Way as a STEM program.
  •  
    • Roll-out of instructional coaches for Math, ELA, Special Education and Project Lead the Way (PLTW) to support elementary teachers for the Common Core and PLTW implementations.
  •  
    • Expanded full-day Integrated Co-Teaching model (ICT) across Kindergarten to 5th grade for elementary, now including two certified teachers in integrated classrooms. 
  •  
    • Rolled out the CAMP program, a middle school summer enrichment program promoting academic growth, resiliency and whole child development.
  •  
    • Replaced study halls for 6th, 7th, and 8th grade and replaced them with quality instructional programs.
  •  
    • Rolled out of Google Classroom software for middle and high school students.
  •  
    • Additional investment in technology with new Smart boards, Chrome books and iPads.
  •  
    • Implemented Challenge by Choice, an initiative to allow secondary students to challenge the class placement process and allow them to select more rigorous classes 
  •  
    • Added AP Capstone, a research and project based college accredited program in the high schools.
  •  
    • Improved building safety measures which included:
  •  
    • Over 500 security cameras in district linked to our 24-hour central command center located in the New York Avenue building.
    • Security vestibules constructed in all elementary buildings
    • Added external guard booths at the middle and high schools 
    • Added a visitor ID scanner system and a uniform visitor procedure in all buildings 

 Re-Election Priorities 

  • Investing in additional building safety measures.  We must keep our students and staff safe.  We are living in a different world now and this is my highest priority.
  • Maintaining small class size at all grade levels.  
  • Attracting and retaining the best teaching talent.
  • Exploring ways to continue to improve educational opportunities for students, at all levels, on the path towards college and career readiness.   
  • Improving the district’s facilities so that every building has 21st century learning capabilities.  
  • Developing programs that educate the whole child including promoting student wellness, anti-bullying and social media citizenship.   
  • Extending play time for elementary students.  
  • Adjusting school start times for the betterment and wellness of our students.    Studies show that most middle and high school students do not get enough sleep and that teenagers would benefit from later start times. 

Vote for Christopher on May 15th

  • I am an advocate for all students and teachers in Smithtown and I am committed to public education.
  • I am committed to the Smithtown community as demonstrated by being active as a community volunteer and serving on the school board for the last six years.  
  • I support maintaining the quality of the current K-12 educational program which includes: 
  •  
    • maintaining small class size at all levels  
    • maintaining full day kindergarten 
    • maintaining a 9-period day at the middle school and high school levels
  • I am honored to serve on the Smithtown Board of Education and do not take my role as a school board trustee for granted.   
  • I am humbled by my role as a board member in helping students reach their potential.
  • There is so much more that can be accomplished and I want to continue this journey representing the Smithtown Community.   

I ask you to go out and vote for me on May 15th.  

Thank you,

Christopher Alcure

Smithtown Board of Education Trustee

2012 to Present

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