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


Letter To Editor - Vivian Viloria Fisher Has A 13-Year History Of Legislative Leadership

Dear Editor,

Residents of the First Congressional District have an opportunity to consider a number of good alternatives to the incumbent congressman, Lee Zeldin. Zeldin has established himself as an unapologetic supporter of extremely right-wing policies and an explosive, unpredictable president.

So what should more-moderate leaning and progressive citizens do with their votes in the upcoming primaries? I urge them to attend one of the many “meet-and-greet” events being held throughout the District and to visit the candidates’ websites.

For me, however, a 77-year old resident of Suffolk County since 1967, there is one clear best candidate to replace Lee Zeldin and that is Vivian Viloria Fisher. She has a strong, 13-year* history of legislative leadership and accomplishments. Significantly, she has an impressive record of sensible environmental policies and programs. More specifically, she served as prime sponsor of the Local Law for the Acquisition of Open Space; the law to limit CO2 emissions from power plants in order to reduce greenhouse gases; the law banning the purchase of bottled water in the county; and the law banning the additive MTBE in gasoline. Her background on social welfare legislation demonstrates thoughtfulness and the willingness to study issues and craft sensible legislation whether it is in child care, teen pregnancy, health care, or welfare to work programs. This is no time to elect a congressman without a successful track record in the hard work of public service.

Finally, I believe that one particular issue stands out as reason alone for Viloria Fisher’s election to office. As one of only two candidates with legislative backgrounds, Viloria Fisher is the only one with a clear public position against the expansion of nuclear power. With a president who threatens the expansion of nuclear energy and weaponry in the White House, congressmen and women are needed to check his potentially irresponsible and dangerous instincts.

Paul Arfin


The letter has been altered to reflect Vivian Viloria Fisher’s 13 year history.


Letter To Editor - Experience Matters Vivian Viloria-Fisher For Congress


To the Editor;

As a former Nesconset resident and now residing in South Setauket, I encourage all Smithtowners to take a look at the outstanding record of Vivian Viloria-Fisher, who is running as a Democratic Candidate for Congress, 1st District NY against Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley).  Do not let Democratic candidates, with no or little experience, who have big money behind them or just deep pockets sway you; let the candidate’s record tell the story.   

Vivian served 13 years as Suffolk County Legislator, representing Brookhaven’s North Shore, from 1999-2011, and was selected to serve as Deputy Presiding Officer for six of those years by her colleagues. After her term limit for serving as a legislator ended, she served on a number of boards including The Suffolk County Food Policy Council.

Prior to serving in the county government, Vivian taught English and Spanish, which she started doing in 1969. Taking some years off for raising children in between, she continued teaching until retiring as an educator in 2002 after having served as chair of the Department of Foreign Languages. 

The Democratic primary is Tuesday, June 26th. At the moment, there are five candidates running. Before you decide for whom to cast your vote, check their records, know what they stand for, and what they will support.

Vivian Viloria-Fisher for Congress:  www.vivianforlongisland.org

Helen Seeburger

South Setauket




Letter To Editor - LI Pine Barrens Society Is Not Anti-Farming

To the Editor:

Columnist Karl Grossman and Smithtown Matters know full well that the Long Island Pine Barrens Society is not anti-farming – we’re just pro voters.  In 2007, Suffolk County voters approved at referendum, a program in which the public would pay farmers not to develop their farmland.  Unfortunately, in 2010 and 2013 the agriculture lobby went to the Suffolk County Legislature and asked that the Purchase of Development Rights program be changed to allow them to do more building and construction than permitted by the referendum.  Our Long Island Pine Barrens Society objected.  Why? Long Islanders have preserve land – including farmland – by voting for it at referendum.  So, we don’t much like it when politicians and lobbyists change the laws the public created and the public is funding, without our approval.. 

We’re afraid that residents and taxpayers will stop supporting land and water protection if they know that politicians and lobbyists can change the law we created at referendum, any time they want.  Long Islanders have authorized more than $3 billion to protect land and water and they’re unlikely to keep doing it if a special interest and politicians can change the rules without our approval. Long Islanders have spent more money on land preservation than 45 of the 50 states.  Let’s not let the politicians and the agriculture lobby, kill the goose that lays the golden egg. The State Supreme Court and the Appellate Division on a similar case have declared that any law created by referendum can only be altered by a subsequent referendum.  Sounds right to me.  Why not? We’re appealing the Appellate Court ruling. 

Sincerely,  Richard Amper


Letter To Editor - Guns In Schools I Lived It

Imagine our schools patrolled by armored vehicles and soldiers with semi-automatic weapons because of the fear of violence.

This is not something I need to imagine.  It is a memory.

I grew up in Belfast, Northern Ireland, during a period of armed struggle known as “The Troubles.” I still carry the memory of soldiers and tanks in front of my school, St. Genevieve’s.  I fled the violence of Northern Ireland, fell in love with and married an American soldier, and resolved to raise my children in the peace and safety of the United States of America.

So, when I now hear some say that the only remedy to the massacres that have become all too common in America’s schools is to turn them into armed camps, I am horrified.  Let me tell you from first-hand experience, seeing a tank or an armed soldier in front of your school does not make you feel safer.  That is the past I fled, and I will do everything in my power to make sure it is not our future.

I am inspired by the voices of the students at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School decrying the failure our so-called leaders to protect them.  One of the reasons I am running for Congress against Lee Zeldin is that he is complicit in that failure.  Because of people like Congressman Lee Zeldin and Speaker Paul Ryan, we cannot make any progress on reasonable measures that will protect our children.

As the wife of a decorated veteran and New York City Police Officer and the mother of two active duty soldiers, I support the 2nd Amendment.  And yes, I know how to shoot a gun too.  But, I also support common-sense laws to protect Americans.  

For instance, I support the Department of Homeland Security’s “no fly” list, which says that certain people are such a threat that they shouldn’t be allowed to board a commercial aircraft.  I imagine you do too.  Yet, the House of Representatives will not pass legislation to prevent those same people from buying a gun.

Think about that for a minute.  There are people we deem so dangerous that we will not allow them to step foot on an aircraft, yet those same people can legally purchase military-style assault weapons and unleash terror in any school in America.  That is just the tip of the iceberg of Congress’ failure to enact common-sense laws to protect us.

Lee Zeldin is proud of his “A” rating from the National Rifle Association (NRA). An “A”?  That’s absurd.  It is impossible to represent the interests of Suffolk County and be in 100% agreement with the NRA.  How do you earn an “A” from the NRA?  Among other things:

—Lee Zeldin cosponsored the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which infringes on New York’s laws by allowing residents from other states to carry concealed weapons in our communities.

—Lee Zeldin opposes any ban on semi-automatic weapons, like the ones used in Sandy Hook and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School.

—Lee Zeldin voted to make it easier for people with mental illness to purchase weapons, including military-style assault rifles.

We can do better.  We must start by rejecting the false choice that we must either surrender our 2nd Amendment rights or turn our schools into armed camps and our teachers into snipers.

Let’s tackle the factors that lead to school shootings head on.  Let’s make it impossible for the angry and the mentally impaired to get their hands on assault weapons.  Let’s say that if you can’t board an airplane, you can’t buy a gun.  Let’s have a background check system that does proper background checks. 

Let’s protect our kids with actions, not words.  The answer to gun violence in schools is not to put more guns in schools, it is not to make our schools into fortresses.  I am still the same hopeful immigrant who believes in the promise of America, and I know that we can do better for our children.

Kate Browning, Candidate for Congress, NY-01


Letter To Editor - Zeldin's Live:Lee In DC A Real Snooze

To the Editor:

Lee Zeldin recently sent emails promoting his new “Live: Lee in DC” where he  reads comments and queries posted on  Facebook.  However, when you tune in to his video, note that he spends 99% of his time with blah-blah-blah.    


He chooses the Facebook comments to read, and selects NOTHING of substance. He recites the countries where he visited our troops over the last three Christmases, and comments that he was making a sacrifice by missing his children’s school play in order to remain in Washington for a budget vote.   His answers are vacuous, meaningless prattle such as how sleepy he is, that his daughters like stuffed animals, and that he is actually on speaking terms with some Democrats.  He consumes an inordinate amount of time ruminating on his favorite foods and restaurants in CD-1,  a complete waste of time unless you’re a chef.  Oh yeah, he also watches News 12, wonders about what game is on TV, and quotes from the Fox website. 

 Long pause … longer pause … looonger pause … ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ  

Call Zeldin’s office right now and demand a real Town Hall in the district rather than his idiotic blathering on “Live: Lee in DC.”  

DC: 202-225-3826     Patchogue: 631-289-1097 

Ruth A Cohen 

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