Complete Lee Zeldin Environmental Voting Record

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Lee Zeldin’s League of Conservation Voters (LCV) score for 2019 was 28%. This seems like an improvement from his scores from prior years, which hovered around 10%, but to put things in perspective: The average Member of Congress score in 2019 was 56%, twice Zeldin’s, and true friends of the environment routinely score in the 90’s or even 100%.
Zeldin’s lifetime score, covering all 3 of his terms in Congress, remains a dismal 13%.
Since our last update, in August 2019, Zeldin voted 5 times to preserve or expand the rights of fossil fuel interests to explore and drill: Off the Gulf Coast of Florida, in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, near Chaco Canyon National Park, near the Grand Canyon, and in 200,000 acres of Colorado Wilderness. He also voted to permit seismic air gun blasting (for oil and gas exploration) that harms marine mammals.
Also since our last update, Zeldin voted against closing a loophole in the Clean Water Act that allows companies to discharge unlimited amounts of toxic PFAS (also known as “forever chemicals”) into our nation’s waterways, and Zeldin voted in favor of the Trump North American trade deal that completely failed to address climate change.
On the other hand, since our last update and sometimes in seemingly contradictory fashion, Zeldin voted to ban oil and gas drilling off the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts, to impose a moratorium on seismic blasting off the Atlantic Coast, to ban all trade in shark fins and to increase some regulation of PFAS in drinking water and consumer products.
Full details can be found in the linked Complete Lee Zeldin Environmental Voting Record Spreadsheet.
By Marc Rauch and Suzi Kondic, see post on Facebook
And here is the prior post from 2017:
Posted in 2020 elections, Air Pollution, carbon neutral energy, climate change, Environment, long island, science, SCOTUS, sustainable energy, Uncategorized, water quality, wind energy, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Zeldin’s Blind Allegiance to Trump

Appeared as Letter to the Editor in The East Hampton Star

Shocking Indifference
East Hampton
June 29, 2020

Dear David,

Five months after Covid-19 was first diagnosed in the U.S. and 125,000 deaths later, the Trump administration still has no comprehensive strategy, other than to foist all responsibility on states and governors. Not content with simply offloading the responsibility, the president willfully creates obstacles to dealing with the pandemic by mocking the advice of his own handpicked White House task force.

Sneeringly dismissive of wearing a mask, Trump has framed this incredibly simple way to stem the virus’s spread as a sign of weakness, and as a referendum on himself, claiming in a Wall Street Journal interview that some people wear masks “to signal disapproval of him.” It’s hardly surprising, then, that fanboy Lee Zeldin chose not to wear a mask at Trump’s recent Tulsa rally despite standing shoulder-to-shoulder with over 6,000 people in an enclosed arena.

Coming from a district that has already witnessed the devastating consequences of the virus when it is spreading exponentially, Zeldin’s choice to not wear a mask shows an alarming lack of common sense, a shocking indifference to the sacrifices made by health-care workers, and a callous disregard for every resident of Congressional District 1. It also reveals blind allegiance to a dangerous president who has repeatedly put his own interests far above those of this country.

In November, we must vote Trump and Zeldin out of office.



Posted in democrats, East Hampton, GOP, long island, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, Zeldin | 3 Comments

The Scale of Testing Compared to the Scale of the Outbreak

Fox News, Trump (and Zeldin) are blaming the current resurgence of Covid-19 cases on increased testing.  So let’s have a look at the data!  I highly recommend this website: The following graphs come from this site which has data for most countries in the world.  Clearly, increased case numbers most often do not correlate with increased testing!

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The above graph depicts daily tests per million inhabitants (Y-axis) versus daily confirmed cases of Covid-19 (X-axis).  The line traces the data over time (April 8th to June 26th).  In this case, it is data for Luxembourg.  Note that the daily tests per million remained constant from April 8th through June 1st while confirmed cases dropped about 100-fold. And then the daily tests performed rose by nearly tenfold (May 20 through the end of June), but the confirmed cases rate remained more or less constant. In other words NO CORRELATION between testing numbers and confirmed cases.

Let’s look at some other countries.

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In Bolivia there has been a steady increase in testing and likewise a steady increase in confirmed cases.  But note that the positive rate (light grey diagonal lines) has gone from 10% in March to 50% in June.  If the increase in confirmed cases were solely due to increased testing, the positive rate should remain constant.  NB: the ‘positive rate’ is the percentage of tests that are positive over the total number of tests performed.

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In Marocco testing increased by about 10-fold between April 21 and May 30. But the confirmed cases decreased from 5/Mio people to about 1/Mio people and the positive rate fell from 20% to 0.5%! In June there was a sharp rise in confirmed cases but daily test numbers remained constant.  Again: NO CORRELATION.

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The USA shows a similar pattern to Marocco: initially a steady rise in both confirmed cases and testing.  Then in April testing increases steeply, but confirmed cases actually diminish, and in June there appears to be a rise in confirmed cases but testing remains constant.   NO CORRELATION.

These curves indicate that increased testing is hardly the sole factor when trying to explain increased confirmed cases.  In fact, there is no evidence that increased testing plays any role.  More likely, it is a number of factors that leed to rising case numbers.  These would include “opening up” prematurely, non-adherence to public health rules, such as social distancing, hand washing, wearing masks, and avoiding mass gatherings (especially indoors).

Visit the website to view the results in your favorite country!

This is a great article on the frequency of testing and the lag in test reporting in the US and why it is so important for contact tracing!

Posted in Coronavirus, Health Care, public health, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Lee Zeldin Promoting Massive COVID Super-spreader Event

Screen Shot 2020-06-18 at 9.23.11 PMThe reelection campaign for U.S. President Donald Trump required attendees reserving tickets for a June 20, 2020, rally in Tulsa to agree they will not sue the campaign or event organizers should they be exposed to COVID-19 at the event. Confirmed by Snopes!

You can’t make this stuff up.

Congressman Lee Zeldin of New York is going to Oklahoma to be on stage and rally with the President.

At a time when we’re trying to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, Lee Zeldin is promoting a massive super-spreader event that will surely make people sick.

At a time when millions of Americans are calling for racial justice and civil rights, Lee Zeldin is cheering on Donald Trump’s barely-concealed dog-whistles to his racist supporters.

At a time when America is calling out for leadership, Lee Zeldin is groveling for Donald Trump’s praise.

There’s no doubt: We must end Lee Zeldin’s career in Congress!

He doesn’t represent us. He doesn’t work for us. He doesn’t even stand up for himself.

I’ll always, always, always put Long Island first.


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Early Voting in Suffolk County, NY

Useful info from the Board Of Elections website for the Democratic Primary Election:

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I strongly urge either early voting or mailing in your absentee ballot.  This is because they are expecting a huge turn out: about 40,000 voters compared with the prior record of 25,000 voters in the 2018 Dem. primary.  Combine a large turnout with a reduced number of polling places and confusion because people can’t find their newly assigned polling places…   You see what I mean.



I VOTED!  Sunday morning at 11 AM, June 14th. No lines. I was the only voter at the election site in East Hampton (Windmill Village). Over 1.5 days only 42 people had voted early at this site.  Everyone wore masks and gloves and observed 6′ distancing, and it felt safer than going to the grocery store.

Posted in Fair elections, Uncategorized, voting by mail | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Voting for Delegates


We received our mail-in ballots.  I asked whether we should vote for all 6 delegate candidates. It is confusing for many of us.  For example, under Biden’s name, there are 6 candidate delegates listed, see above.

I had received different opinions and someone suggested that voting for all 6 delegate choices defeats your purpose?

Since I personally know one of the delegates I asked them and got the following response:

Biden’s allocation of delegates will be based on the percentage of the total votes that HE gets.  This is quite separate from the number of votes each delegate receives. The number of votes each delegate receives will determine who is elected delegate, in descending order, alternating by gender.  ie, if 10,000 total votes are cast for POTUS and Biden gets 5,000 votes, he will get 1/2 of the number of delegates in the 1st congressional district (CD NY-01).  If you “bullet vote” the delegates (vote for only 2 or 3 out of 6) you increase the chances of those specific delegates of being elected. 


Posted in Uncategorized, voting by mail | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Don’t Waste This Moment

Printed as a Letter to the Editor in The East Hampton Star, June 11 edition

East Hampton
June 8, 2020

To The Star:

Three and a half years of the Trump administration have left America reeling, its values and ideals subverted and sabotaged. But the best of America is still here, too, embodied in each of us who wants to see our country live up to its promise: It is in the hospital janitor, the supermarket clerk, the doctor, the bus driver, the first responder, who all courageously go to work every day during a pandemic; it is in the teacher who Zooms into the lives of students; it is in the peaceful protesters who march and make their voices heard even though they risk a virulent virus, and, at times, virulent cops, and it is in the police officers who do their jobs professionally and respectfully.

For those who believe that this country is better than the racism, the flouting of the rule of law, the incendiary tweets that are the hallmarks of the Trump administration, this can be a time of transformation, when we do the work that needs to be done: to face uncomfortable truths; to become knowledgeable about issues and elections on both the local and national levels; to hold elected officials accountable; and to make civic action a part of our daily lives.

Yes, this can be a transformative time for us. But if it is not, if this is simply an extraordinary moment that dissipates, if in November we do not resoundingly defeat Donald Trump and his renegade Republicans, then that truly will be the end of the grand American experiment in democracy.



Posted in 2020 elections, democrats, GOP, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized, Zeldin | 2 Comments

Lee Zeldin’s Record

No matter where you live — Montauk or Manorville, Smithtown or Shirley, Patchogue or Port Jefferson — we all want our communities to thrive. To do that, we need a representative who puts our needs first: safe drinking water and well-paying jobs. Affordable healthcare and prescription drugs. A tax plan that works for working families. And decisions based on science, not donations. Although Zeldin says he’s fighting for us, his voting record says otherwise. Zeldin serves the needs of big business and the powerful few, not the working families in his district.

Check out the issues here.  For example healthcare.

NY-01 deserves a representative who puts us first.

Photo Courtesy of Sean P. Mills Photography

Photo Courtesy of Sean P. Mills Photography


Posted in Coronavirus, East Hampton, economics, Health Care, immigration/deportation, Medicaid, medicare, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Lowe’s or Home Depot? Your call.

Screen Shot 2020-06-09 at 9.48.45 PMMarvin Ellison, is the CEO of Lowe’s

Lowe’s announced Wednesday that it would assist minority-owned businesses with $25 million in grants to support efforts to relaunch the American economy.

Lowe’s is dishing out the funds to help small businesses, especially home improvement professionals, in need of masks, personal protective equipment and other supplies to operate safely. The new funds follow $340 million of support the home improvement retailer provided for Covid-19 response activities in the first quarter.

By contrast in regard to Home Depot (this from 2019):

Home Depot sought to distance itself from billionaire co-founder Bernie Marcus after he pledged to back President Trump’s bid for re-election in 2020.

Calls to boycott the retailer took off as news spread that Marcus told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that he plans to support Trump’s bid for another term.

“If you plan on buying a hammer, wood, or ANY home improvement items from Home Depot, you may as well send donations DIRECTLY to trump’s 2020 campaign,” read one tweet under the hashtag #BoycottHomeDepot.

By Betsy Cagan | President| Bargaining Power Inc., New York, NY 10011,



Posted in Coronavirus, economics, economy, Uncategorized | Tagged , | 3 Comments

Anxiety, or A Day in the Life of a Covid-Vulnerable

IMG_5979May.  Late morning, midweek.  Parked at the curb of our village post office, I was in the passenger seat waiting for my gloved-and-masked husband to return with our mailbox key and any mail.  I noticed a 30-something couple out bicycling.  Or rather watched them walking toward me, balancing their bikes, chatting away, shouting some “hellos” to a neighbor on her porch.  Walking closer.  No masks.  Not on. Not under the chin.  Not a scarf or bandana.

I rolled up my window.  A distinct feeling of nervousness pulsed through my chest.   Anger even.  It surprised me.  What a strong response. Danger. Danger.  Like a red blinking light. 

I would have liked to have been able to smile, to wave a neighborly “hello,” to nod a greeting of togetherness, enjoying the lovely spring day.

Instead I felt fear. 


To Be or Not To Be.

We had just returned from our once-a-week dart into town for essentials, stopping for pre-ordered, pre-paid, pick-ups, and at a few little open-air farm stands when we saw no cars, no customers, or we knew they had good safety procedures in place.  I had smiled at a handwritten chalkboard sign, I felt protected by my farm neighbors: NO MASK, No Entry. Stay Safe.


No Mask No Entry

Throughout the day I felt jittery.  I couldn’t shake it.

Late afternoon a friend called.  I assumed she wanted to talk about the book club we had created together, an experiment to bring other like-minded women into our discussion on climate change, and ultimately to take action.  It’s all part of our ongoing work together with a grassroots group we call Drawdown East End .

I couldn’t stop myself from mentioning the bicyclists and my lingering unease. 

“Me too!” she said and rushed to tell me her story — her unsettling morning ocean walk, seeing young people bunched together, no masks of course.  What should I do?  Should I say something?  Should I notify someone?  I shared her uncertainty.   Wanting to do something she had started a conversation with a young woman beach walker, safe-distancing, motioning to the little huddle.  “Oh that’s my brother and all his buddies.  They’ve been together forever” she laughed.

“What to do?” my friend asked me.  Somehow the idea of protecting our community health — and economy — by wearing a mask was not getting through to younger people.

Don’t they know we live in a “hot spot?” A place where our infection numbers are going up, not down?  Don’t they know that our neighborhood stores, family restaurants, not to mention our schools, parks, beaches will only open when we get our numbers down?  Don’t they know that the hospitals here are overwhelmed, doctors and nurses inundated, exhausted? 

It felt good to at least share our common experience, to at least give it a name: anxiety.   

We didn’t actually talk about how invisible we felt, in our 70s, to younger people.   How our health didn’t seem to even be of any concern.

And we didn’t really dwell on how we felt — nervous.  Didn’t they know they could be carrying the virus and shedding?  Didn’t they know that as young healthy people they may never feel any symptoms, or they may be just be shrugging off a little sore throat, some muscle aches, a low fever — and shedding?  Didn’t they know we are counting on them, the young and healthy, to do the right thing?

I told my friend about a popular local business owner, a young father, who had to self-quarantine and deep-clean his store after one of his employees tested positive for coronavirus.  “I’m the CDC’s worst nightmare” he had told our town paper. “I feel great, never felt better, but here I am at home.  I had to have the test, and I’m positive.  I’m infectious and I would never have known it.”   I could feel my friend nodding in agreement.  “Infecting people without knowing” she said. “Everyone’s worst nightmare.”

My anger or anxiety or whatever it was did not subside.  It just loomed, like a fog. 

I checked in with a neighbor.  A little older than I, it has become a habit now to call and ask how she was doing.  Recently I joined her weekly meditation sitting.  “Why” she asked ”do you say you feel disrespected?  You are putting intention on an action which is unnecessary.  Perhaps these young people are just uninformed.  Ignorant of the facts.”  Her words seemed like a magic wand. That sinking feeling cleared. Right. Get the facts. Follow the science. That will help me out of this feeling of helplessness.


The Facts.

I share an interest in getting-the-facts with my husband.  Our Sundays include watching a favorite news show:  GPS with Fareed Zakaria.  This time his guest was surgeon Dr Atul Gawande who talked about how a Boston hospital guarded against Covid-19 in their crowded workplace.

“How did you do it?” asked Fareed.

Dr Gawand told how his hospital system of 75,000 people avoided transmitting the virus by everyone doing 4 key things, which, imperfect by themselves, become effective together, like a “drug cocktail.” 

  1. Hygiene/hand washing.
  2. Social distancing.
  3. Symptom screening (daily before work).

“Everyday before I go to work” Dr. Gawand said, “I go to a Web site on my phone….Do I have any of the symptoms of COVID-19? ….Do I have a sore throat? Do I have a runny nose? Not just a fever. Fever is present less than 40% of the time when symptoms start.”

When he has no symptoms, he gets a green pass to go to work.  If he has a symptom, like a runny nose, he stays home and calls in for testing.

Daily symptom screening. How smart.  Turns out that the CDC has a Covid-19 self-assessment tool.  I took it, curious to know all the symptoms:  cough, runny nose, shortness of breath, fever, chills, muscle pain, sore throat, new loss of taste or smell, nausea, diarrhea.  (Turns out that they take 2-14 days after exposure to the virus to appear.)

And, number 4.  Masks.   

Masks are vitally important, Dr. Gawande said, because sneezing, talking loud, even soft talking can project viral droplets, and wearing a mask blocks those droplets.  Further,  masks are important because they address the virus spread by the asymptomatic.   “You know, about half or more of the spread is from people who don’t have symptoms.  And those people who don’t have symptoms, they wear a mask and that prevents them from spreading to others.” 

A woman and a child in a protective surgical mask on their face are standing on the beach in swimsuits. Chinese coronavirus disease COVID-19 is dangerousI gasped.  Half or more of the spread is from the asymptomatic?  Do people know this? 

I asked my husband “do you know this?”  “Invisible spreaders” he commented.  How people are spreading Covid-19 without symptoms” popped up from VOX as I researched.  Half the people in Iceland who had the virus didn’t know it.  Others findings: people can start transmitting 24-48 hours before showing any symptoms, people were most infectious right before they started to show symptoms.  Infection rates go down 85% if you are wearing a mask.


The Solution.

Was the Boston hospital 4-part regime effective?  Very.  Data from one month showed that 50,000 employees did a daily check-up.  11,000 turned up with symptoms.  They all stayed home.  They all were tested.  Only 10% (1,400) tested positive, they self-quarantined 14 days until they tested negative.  Then they could return to work.  No spread.

Something Dr. Gawande said gave me hope: if 60% of us wear masks, do the 4 key things, we can shut down the virus.

Fareed Zakaria looked impressed.  “But is it — I mean, can we — will we do it?”

Dr. Gawande answered: “So, I think the answer is yes. But it is the hardest part of this journey…..”  The hospital culture that worked so well, he said, is “I never want to be the one to infect somebody and kill them.”

Thank you Dr. Gawande.  Yes. Me too. I never want to be the one to infect someone, injure or yikes, kill them.  I’m sure 60% of Americans feel that way too. I can count on “us.”

Do I feel less anxious now….with this new information on how to protect myself and img_5968others?  Yes. 

Hey, this just in — 89% of Americans say they wear a mask when out!

Now we just have to jump start daily symptom self-screenings.


Posted in climate change, Coronavirus, Health Care | 2 Comments

Huge Crowd in Bridgehampton: Justice for Floyd

This was easily the largest rally I have ever seen on the South Fork or in Suffolk County.  Official estimate according to the about 1000 people.  Just imagine Main street (Rte 27) filled on both sides and on the sidewalks with protestors: from the Bridgehampton Community House to the Monument.  We marched the distance and back, twice.

The chants included: “Hands Up, Don’t Shoot”, “Black Lives Matter”, “Justice for Floyd,” “Silence = Violence”, “Be the Change”, “I can’t breathe.”  And the crowd lay on the street face down and hands in the back for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the time that Floyd begged for help.

The videos on the are telling.  The story is also covered by the East Hampton Star.

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Posted in bigotry, Civil Rights, Discrimination, fascism, police, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Recipe for Fundamental Social Change (from Judith Hope)

Everybody is missing the key element of this challenge.  Fundamental social change will not happen at the national level. (Although courageous and coherent national leadership would be really helpful.). It must come from the grassroots up. It must begin in local communities throughout the nation. For example :  how many of the following questions can any of us answer:

How many black law enforcement officers are on the East Hampton Police force?
What percentage is this of the local force?

How many black officers are on the Suffolk County law enforcement agency?  What percentage?

What is the extent and quality of local police training in Anti-Bias Law enforcement practices?

Does East Hampton have an Anti-Bias Task Force?
Are they active or merely window-dressing?

How many minorities are in local elected public office?

How many black citizens are on the Town/County Democratic and Republican Committees?
What are we doing to recruit more minorities onto the political committees?

You get the gist…. I will get off my soapbox now & I apologize. I have a former local official trapped inside me who occasionally demands to be heard!

Judith Hope


NB: just change the name of the town to “Anytown, Anystate, USA” and then send to your local newspaper!



Posted in bigotry, Coronavirus, Discrimination, East Hampton, police, Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Protesting the Callous Murder of George Floyd right here in Bridgehampton

We are moved to action after the vicious and callous murder of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. We stand in solidarity with our brothers and sisters all over the country who demand an end to racist policing. We call on all appropriate agencies to arrest the other three officers who watched former officer Derek Chauvin kneel on Mr. Floyd’s neck and ignored his cries for help. We also remember two other recent victims of deadly racism Ahmaud Arbery and Breonna Taylor and the sadly all too long list of other victims.

On Tuesday, June 2nd at 5pm, we will meet at the Bridgehampton Community House (2368 Montauk Highway, Bridgehampton, 11932). Please wear masks and social distance as possible. Bring signs.

We will then march from the community house to the monument. We will either do this once or twice depending on how many of us there are.
During the final part of the march, for those who are able, we will lay in the road on our stomachs with our hands behind our backs and repeat I can’t breathe for 8 minutes and 46 seconds, the amount of time George Floyd had a knee crushing his neck.
We know this is a difficult time and realize some would like to participate, but are at a higher risk for coronavirus….don’t worry, we got you! Please park your car on Montauk highway in Bridgehampton between the community house and the monument in either direction and put your sign outside your car facing the road. We would also ask marchers to do the same!
Black Lives Matter!
Note from Lisa Votino – All are welcome. Yes I am bringing my child. ❤ If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to me at
Posted in bigotry, Civil Rights, Coronavirus, Discrimination, East Hampton, fascism, police, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

George Floyd, Minneapolis Protests, Ahmaud Arbery & Amy Cooper

The contract between society and black America, explained by Trevor Noah.  Great stuff:

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Click on the image and listen to the YouTube video – it is well worth your while.



Posted in bigotry, police, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 3 Comments

Virtual Forum: 8 hours and 46 minutes

Screen Shot 2020-06-01 at 10.27.28 AM

Dear Friends,

Over the past week, there have been thousands of people gathering together across the country to protest and rally against injustices against the black and brown community. There have been renewed calls for accountability, transparency and reform of a system that that only protects some. We have much work to do in this Country and in this State!

Right now, as a country and as a people, we should all be feeling some form of intense emotion as a result of the murder of George Floyd. Personally, I am beyond outraged. I can’t tell you the amount of times that I replayed that video in total disgust and then again in sorrow, but never in disbelief. This is not the first time and it, unfortunately, will not be the last if we don’t force change. George Floyd’s senseless death is the culmination of a long list of modern day lynchings and abuse of black and brown people.

It is time to have a real, raw and unfiltered conversation about what is happening in our country, why it continues to happen and how we on Long Island all can be a part of changing it. In my role as an Elected Official and a Civil Rights Attorney, I will be bringing together Civil Rights leaders, Civil Rights attorneys Social Justice advocates, and Police Reform experts for “Exploring the Blue Line: A Real Discussion on The Reality of Race” (Thursday, June 11th @ 6pm). More information will be available soon but please Save the Date and time and come ready to be part of creating the change that is long overdue.

Today (June 1st) from 12pm – 8:46pm, I will be hosting a Youth Speak Out to give the youth an opportunity to be heard! This is for the YOUTH! Their voices are important!

This is a virtual forum and will allow for their voices to be heard while still protecting their health and safety during this pandemic. The forum will be open to youth participants for 8 hours and 46 minutes (representative of the 8 minutes and 46 seconds that the Officer kept his knee on George Floyd’s neck) and youth participants can join anytime throughout the day and stay as long as they’d like.

If you know of any youth that would like to join, please have them register at


Valerie Cartright  (Cartright for Senate, Port Jefferson Station)

Posted in 2020 elections, bigotry, Brookhaven, Civil Rights, Coronavirus, Discrimination, police, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

“I Can’t Breathe”

“I Can’t Breathe”
The Murder of George Floyd

“The time for endless conversation has passed. We are a nation of differences and this is our greatest strength. It is a time for action in a way that cannot be ignored or denied.”   

“I like millions of other Americans watched in horror as the life of George Floyd was taken from him and his loved ones. I watched as those sworn to protect stood idly by and ignored his desperate pleas that he could not breathe. The video depicts police brutality and those images are indelibly imprinted in my mind. The murder of George Floyd seen live by America is another dark episode in our nation’s longstanding history of systemic racism that is still alive and well in our society today.

I found hope and inspiration today in the words of President Obama who commented: It’s natural to wish for life “to just get back to normal” as a pandemic and economic crisis upend everything around us. But we have to remember that for millions of Americans, being treated differently on account of race is tragically, painfully, maddeningly “normal” — whether it’s while dealing with the health care system, or interacting with the criminal justice system, or jogging down the street, or just watching birds in a park.

This shouldn’t be “normal” in 2020 America. It can’t be “normal.” If we want our children to grow up in a nation that lives up to its highest ideals, we can and must be better. It will fall mainly on the officials of Minnesota to ensure that the circumstances surrounding George Floyd’s death are investigated thoroughly and that justice is ultimately done. But it falls on all of us, regardless of our race or station — including the majority of men and women in law enforcement who take pride in doing their tough job the right way, every day — to work together to create a “new normal” in which the legacy of bigotry and unequal treatment no longer infects our institutions or our hearts.”

My hope was short-lived as I read the words of President Trump. With his usual lack of basic humanity, compassion, and understanding, and in keeping with his moronic tweets, he broadcast that the protesters in Minneapolis could be shot: “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” The Divider in Chief continues to divert attention from systematic racism in America, which he has done nothing to eradicate, and continues to try to shift the focus and blame on those victimized by it.

I in no way condone the violence and destruction that took place in Minneapolis and other cities after the death of George Floyd at the hands of police. It does nothing to improve police behavior or help the African American community. It is impossible to justify, but for me as a Social Worker it is not impossible to understand or to predict. When peaceful protests fail to effectuate meaningful change and people of color continue to die at the hands of racists and police, we as a people cannot expect endless patience from the victims and the community.

The time for endless conversation has passed. We are a nation of differences and this is our greatest strength. It is a time for action in a way that cannot be ignored or denied. The problem is obvious and the solution in our hands. Your power as a voter can elect and hold responsible leaders who will be responsive to the communities they serve and can work toward implementing educational programs to teach our youngsters and adults to embrace our differences.

Trump and those who would hold us back rather than lifting us up must go. We must work together to make sure no person endures economic, healthcare, educational, criminal justice or any other inequity based upon their race. We must enlist men and women of every color and creed to serve together and fight together to ensure every American enjoys equal rights, liberty and opportunity. I firmly subscribe to Dr. King’s vision when he said, “I refuse to accept the view that mankind is so tragically bound to the starless midnight of racism and war that the bright daybreak of peace and brotherhood can never become a reality” and I will fight with every fiber of my being until it is so.”


Posted in bigotry, Civil Rights, Discrimination, first amendment, GOP, long island, police, Trump, Trump atrocities, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Protest in Commack drawing criticism

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 3.38.58 PM

Some insightful letters to Newsday:

The behavior of a few unruly demonstrators at the recent Commack protest was shameful [“Trump cheers LI protesters,” News, May 17]. If these few were, say, 4% of the
demonstrators, the other 96% could have and should have shouted them down. That
small group was aggressive, inconsiderate of others, and shameful. They think guns
and shouting and flags and MAGA hats combine to show they are correct. Where were the others with similar opinions who could discredit the shameful actions of those few? Why aren’t President Donald Trump and Fox News condemning what those few did? I hope other readers will react the same way, and I hope Newsday publishes their condemnation of those few.
Jan Huml, Bohemia

Friends from out of state were calling me and asking what’s wrong with the people here who harassed a TV reporter at a rally in Commack. I’m embarrassed by the sheer ignorance and arrogance of these people who don’t care about the coronavirus or who dies from it. Salons, gyms and nonessential business closings were the only thing that kept this virus from even more tragic consequences. These screaming people need to get a clue. As for me, I don’t care if you’re not smart enough to do the right thing. Go catch
the virus but keep it in your own circle. You shouldn’t be allowed to spread it to those
of us who abide by the state mandates.
Carol Galati, Ridge

We read how President Donald Trump worked his magic and people who had apologized for their appalling behavior were suddenly not at all sorry. That’s the president’s special sauce -— bring out the worst in people. On May 15, Trump tweeted, “Fake news is not essential,” with a video retweet of the ‘Setauket Patriots’ protest. The next day, he
tweeted that the TV reporter was an “enemy of the people.” Although the group had
apologized two days before, blaming a “few idiots” and “outsiders unaffiliated with the group” for harassing him, once they got the presidential nod, they reverted back to form, tweeting, “Thank You President Trump.” In November, it’s up to us to send Trump and his enablers packing.
Carol Deistler, Springs

The protesters who want to rush into opening Long Island with no precautions are like Typhoid Mary, who argued she should be free to live her life even if she infected others because she wasn’t sick herself [“We’re all Typhoid Mary now,” News, May 17]. We all want to resume a normal life, but most of us want to proceed with caution to lower the risk for the vulnerable. You can’t do that if you have a herd of people who don’t care if they are infected or if they infect others. Some, egged on by the Rush Limbaughs of the world, think it is no big deal if we cull the herd of the elderly, the sick and the poor. I am
most appalled by those protesters who call themselves Christians. Jesus did not tell his followers to turn their backs on the vulnerable. It is the exact opposite of what he said.
Bill Bence, East Meadow

Newsday’s editorial about the protesters who harassed that News 12 reporter got me
angry all over again [“Protesters behaving badly,” May 19]. To me, this small band of
haters in no way represents the larger majority of Long Islanders, and yet we now
seem to be singled out by President Donald Trump as being his supporters. I’m even
more upset by my local Republican representatives who now choose to just stand by
and do nothing to admonish the president or the protesters for their actions. I need to
remind them that we, the voting public, have very long memories and come November
will hold them accountable for their actions. I was and had been a conservative
Republican for 50 years — but not anymore.
Frank Socci, West Babylon

Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone said in “Trump cheers LI protesters” [News,
May 17], responding to the president’s tweets, that he did not want “to get into any
kind of back and forth on what the president may be saying.” We understand Bellone’s
position as a politician in a county hard hit by COVID-19. President Donald Trump’s remarks aren’t overtly subversive, but I see them that way. He is really calling those who harassed News 12 Long Island reporter Kevin Vesey “great people,” showing Trump supports a fanatical base, the more fanatical the better. When he tweets, “Fake news is not essential,” he shows he understands the power of a free press and will actively undermine it at every turn. We must conclude that his concept of governing is antithetical to our representative, democratic ideals. I have only one question: President Trump, have you read the First Amendment, which guarantees the right to peaceably assemble — and a free press? It’s only 45 words, Mr. President, and it’s a good read.
Katherine Curcio-Payne, Seaford

Posted in Coronavirus, economy, Ethics, first amendment, GOP, long island, Trump, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Children with Coronavirus Produce the Same Amount of Virus as Adults

We all know that kids seem protected against the coronavirus (SARS CoV-2) that causes COVID-19 disease.  They rarely get ill, although there are reports of serious and deadly disease.   A different issue,  is whether children can be asymptomatic carriers of the virus and spread the disease to other age groups which are more likely to get seriously ill.  It is a big issue since many communities are considering opening up the schools, especially for younger children, whose parents need to go back to work.

One question arose: might infected kids produce less virus than infected adults?  This has now been addressed in an interesting paper from German/British Virology labs:

An analysis of SARS-CoV-2 viral load by patient age. By Terry C. Jones et al.

They examined viral load by real-time RT-PCR threshold cycle values (which is a relatively sophisticated method.  And they looked at 3,712 COVID-19 patients of all ages.

They found no significant difference between any age categories including children: the viral loads in the very young did not differ significantly from those of adults:

Screen Shot 2020-05-15 at 10.27.14 AM

This graph shows that patients (each represented by a single dot) spanned a spectrum of different viral loads (Y-axis) from log 104 to log 1012.  That is a huge variation in viral load (which is expected) but importantly there is no statistical difference between any of the age groups (X-axis).

Note that the numbers of dots are less dense for kids up to 20 years-old and for 91-100 year-old persons.  That is simply because there were fewer individuals in these age groups.

Patients were recruited From Jan.26 through April, 26, 2020: 59,831 patients in total,  3,712 (6.2%) had a positive RT PCR test.

Note that these individuals included all comers, both symptomatic and asymptomatic.


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The $20 Murder

Screen Shot 2020-05-31 at 12.38.45 AM
George Floyd was arrested over possibly attempting to pass a counterfeit $20 bill.
I once went to make a deposit at the Chase Bank at the corner of Little Neck Parkway and Northern Boulevard in Queens, NY.  After a long delay, I was informed that a $20 bill was being confiscated and sent to the Mint in DC for verification because it appeared to be counterfeit.  This large bank could not distinguish between real and fake money.  Several months later I was credited with $20 because the bill turned out to be genuine. 
What if I had been black George Floyd instead of white Ruth Cohen?  Would the police have been called?  Would I be dead?
Ruth A Cohen
Lake Grove, NY
My recent Letter to The Editor (above) appeared in the current
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Is the healthcare “free market” working for you?

Journalist Jon Walker published a new piece for The American Prospect titled, “A Guide to the Nightmare of Getting Health Insurance in a Pandemic,” which detailed the absurdity of the U.S. system.

Walker paints a picture of a healthcare system that is perhaps “not working” for those who need it most:



Posted in Coronavirus, Health Care, Trump, trumpcare, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Tagged , , | 2 Comments