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

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

Sunday
Apr292018

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

Hauppauge

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

Monday
Apr232018

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