Rashed Mian has been covering local news for the Long Island Press since 2011. He graduated from Hofstra University in 2010 where he studied print journalism. Rashed, the staff's multimedia reporter, covers daily news for the web, shoots/edits feature videos and writes about civil liberties. He loves Afghan food and sports. Rashed is also a caffeine freak. Email: [email protected] Twitter: rashedmian
A poised Hillary Clinton officially accepted the Democratic nomination for president Thursday during a sprawling speech steeped in history, as she became the first woman from a major party to be nominated for the position.
Clinton shared an emotional embrace with her daughter Chelsea Clinton, whom introduced her to the crowd just after 10 p.m. In her remarks, Chelsea portrayed Clinton as a doting mother and grandmother who was always there for her in her time of need. It was the sort of personal touch some observers suggested had been missing from her campaign.
Clinton, the former first lady, U.S. Secretary of State, and U.S. Senator from New York, spoke for about an hour as she outlined why the American public should trust her to sit in the Oval Office. Her speech also served as a stinging rebuke of her Republican competitor Donald Trump, who she cast as woefully unfit to be president.
“America is once again at a moment of reckoning,” said Clinton, as she spoke about American patriots in Philadelphia more than 200 years ago, who, despite their differences, banded together to “stand up to a King.”
“Powerful forces are threatening to pull us apart,” she added. “Bonds of trust and respect are fraying.”
Speaking of her rival, Clinton ridiculed the reality TV star and real estate tycoon for having thin skin when provoked.
“Imagine him in the Oval Office facing a real crisis,” Clinton told the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia. “A man you can bait with a tweet is not a man we can trust with nuclear weapons.”
Clinton also used the moment to reach out to Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (I-VT) supporters—saying, “Your cause is our cause”—and acknowledging that when it comes to public service, “the ‘service’ part has always come easier.”
That’s just a taste of what happened Thursday during the closing day at the DNC.
As we say goodbye—thankfully—to convention season, here are four takeaways from Day 4 at the DNC.
Clinton became the first woman from a major U.S. political party to be nominated for president, an achievement that wasn’t lost on her Thursday night.
“Standing here as my mother’s daughter, and my daughter’s mother, I’m so happy this day has come,” she said. “Happy for grandmothers and little girls and everyone in between.”
“Happy for boys and men, too—because when any barrier falls in America, for anyone, it clears the way for everyone,” Clinton continued. “When there are no ceilings, the sky’s the limit. So let’s keep going, until every one of the 161 million women and girls across America has the opportunity she deserves.”
Once criticized by Trump for using the “Woman Card,” Clinton embraced the comment.
“In America, if you can dream it, you should be able to build it,” she said, while explaining that small businesses need a boost. “We’re going to help you balance family and work. And you know what, if fighting for affordable child care and paid family leave is playing the ‘Woman Card,’ then deal me in!”
Clinton is not the first woman to be a presidential nominee. Most recently, Green Party candidate Jill Stein ran in 2012 and is the party’s candidate again for this election.
Still, the former chief U.S. diplomat’s nomination has served as an inspiration for countless women.
Clinton accepts limitations
The Democratic nominee prodded Trump for suggesting during his convention speech that he alone would cure all of America’s ills.
One of his major claims last week in Cleveland was that he’d rid American streets of crime.
“Don’t believe anyone who says: ‘I alone can fix it,’” Clinton told the crowd Thursday.
“Really? I alone can fix it? Isn’t he forgetting troops on the front lines? Police officers and firefighters who run toward danger? Doctors and nurses who care for us? Teachers who change lives?”
Clinton was making the point that running a country isn’t a job for one person—even a president.
“None of us can raise a family, build a business, heal a community, or lift a country totally alone,” she said. “America needs every one of us to lend our energy, our talents, our ambition to making our nation better and stronger.”
One of the most powerful moments of the convention did not belong to one of the A-list politicians that took the stage over the course of four days, but to Khizr Khan, the father of a fallen Muslim U.S. soldier.
Khan’s role was clear, given Trump’s proposals over the course of the primary and now the presidential campaign. Trump has called for foreign Muslims to be banned from the United States, suggested Muslims be placed in a database and tracked, and called for surveillance of mosques in the country.
Khan’s speech had the crowd in Philadelphia on its feet as he honored his son and lamented that his child would never be able to live out his dream of fighting for his country if policies Trump has proposed were in place when he emigrated here.
Captain Humayun Khan was killed in Iraq in 2004 after he ordered his soldiers to back away from an oncoming vehicle filled with explosives. While they took cover, Khan approached the car and lost his life when it exploded.
“If it was up to Donald Trump, he never would have been in America,” Khan said. “Donald Trump consistently smears the character of Muslims. He disrespects other minorities, women, judges; even his own party leadership.”
“Donald Trump, you’re asking Americans to trust you with their future,” an emotional Khan continued. “Let me ask you: Have you even read the United States constitution?” Khan then pulled out a pocket-sized copy from his suit jacket, prompting cheers from the crowd.
“I will gladly lend you my copy,” he told Trump.
Khan wasn’t done.
“Have you ever been to Arlington Cemetery? Go look at the graves of the brave patriots who died defending the United States of America. You will see all faiths, genders and ethnicities.”
In his most stinging rebuke, Khan said: “You have sacrificed nothing and no one.”
The speech prompted enthusiastic cheers in the arena and online.
Khizr Khan's speech is so moving. Really the standout moment of the convention.
It’s clear that after all the reconciliation, teaming with Sanders to pen a progressive Democratic platform and continuous nods to the Vermont Senator during the course of four days, Clinton is still trying to court his loyal supporters.
Clinton formally thanked Sanders for inspiring millions to get involved in the political process. And she wasn’t shy about appealing to those key voters, mostly young people, on a national stage.
“To all of your supporters here and around the country: I want you to know, I’ve heard you,” she claimed. “Your cause is our cause. Our country needs your ideas, energy, and passion. That’s the only way we can turn our progressive platform into real change for America. We wrote it together–now let’s go out there and make it happen together.”
There were reports of Sanders’ supporters openly protesting Clinton’s speech verbally or through silent demonstrations.
A Sanders supporter from Long Island who spoke to the Press following Day 2 of the convention said she wouldn’t vote for Clinton on Election Day. Why? The way she framed it, there are many people who still don’t trust her. She also met many protesters in Philadelphia who still can’t bring themselves to vote for her. But there are a large number of Sanders primary voters who have said they’ll be voting for Clinton, even if it’s simply an anti-Trump vote.
Clinton has 100 days left in the campaign to convince them to back her. That’s a lot of time. But that also gives Trump ample opportunity to reach out to Independents who voted for Sanders and try to sway them, too.
Whatever the case, Election Day can’t come soon enough.
(Featured photo: Adam Schultz for Hillary for America/flickr)
There was a point toward the end of President Barack Obama’s speech at the Democratic National Convention Wednesday night when he talked about the American values instilled in him by his Kansas grandparents.
“They came from the heartland,” Obama told the partisan crowd in Philadelphia, drawing cheers, especially from the Kansas delegation.
“And my grandparents explained that folks in these parts, they didn’t like show-offs,” he added. “They didn’t admire braggarts or bullies. They didn’t respect mean-spiritedness, or folks who were always looking for shortcuts in life. Instead, what they valued were traits like honesty and hard work, kindness, courtesy, humility, responsibility, helping each other out. That’s what they believed in. True things. Things that last. The things we try to teach our kids.”
This was Obama’s vision of America: a place where people want to work hard and provide for their families. His portrait came in stark contrast to Donald Trump’s dystopian outlook of a crime-ridden nation seemingly on the verge of inescapable collapse that the billionaire tycoon depicted last week in Cleveland at the Republican National Convention. Unless, of course, one man—Trump—can ride to victory in November against Hillary Clinton and reinstate law and order, actually end crime, obliterate the self-proclaimed Islamic State, shore up the country’s Mexican border, and prevent foreign Muslims from entering the United States.
“Americans watching this address tonight have seen the recent images of violence in our streets and the chaos in our communities,” Trump said last week during his acceptance speech. “Many have witnessed this violence personally, some have even been its victims.
“I have a message for all of you: The crime and violence that today afflicts our nation will soon come to an end,” he added. “Beginning on January 20, 2017, safety will be restored.”
Obama painted a different picture in Philadelphia. This was likely Obama’s last major speech as president, and it came on the eve of Hillary Clinton’s historic acceptance speech for the Democratic nomination for president, making her the first woman to be nominated by a major American party.
Although Obama spent parts of his 45-minute address lacing into Trump—he called him a “no plans” guy and evoked “homegrown demagogues” in the same line as communists and Jihadists—the president was seeking to refute Trump’s narrative of an America on the brink of disaster.
This vision was not lost on some conservatives.
Text just now from a senior House Republican who gave me permission to tweet this: “We were supposed to make that sort of speech.”
Obama also tried to make the case that America’s best days are still ahead.
“That is America. Those bonds of affection, that common creed. We don’t fear the future. We shape it,” he said. “We embrace it, as one people, stronger together than we are on our own.
“That’s what Hillary Clinton understands—this fighter, this stateswoman, this mother and grandmother, this public servant, this patriot—that’s the America she’s fighting for,” Obama said.
For all the focus on what constitutes “real America,” Obama also sought to mobilize the Democratic base: urging all voters to exhibit the same passion as Bernie Sanders’ supporters and hit the polls on Election Day.
“If you want more justice in the justice system, then we’ve all got to vote—not just for a president, but for mayors and sheriffs and state’s attorneys and state legislators,” he said.
When the Democratic faithful booed at the mere mention of Trump’s name, Obama urged them to turn their distaste into action.
“Don’t boo,” he insisted. “Vote!”
Day 3 of the Democratic National Convention also included fiery speeches from Vice President Joe Biden and his potential successor, Clinton’s VP pick, Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA).
Biden, who has made a career out of appearing to be cut out of the same cloth as middle-class Americans, questioned Trump’s commitment to workers.
“No matter where you were raised. How can there be pleasure in saying ‘You’re fired?’” asked Biden. “He’s trying to tell us he cares about the middle-class? Give me a break. That’s a bunch of malarkey.”
Kaine also questioned Trump’s devotion to working-class people.
“So here’s the question, here’s the question: Do you really believe him?” Kaine asked the audience. “I mean, Donald Trump’s whole career says you had better not.”
Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was a Republican when he ran for city hall and is now an independent, made a prime-time appearance to denounce Donald Trump’s business acumen speaking as one billionaire about another. Calling Trump a “dangerous demagogue” and a “risky, reckless and radical choice” for the White House, Bloomberg cited Trump’s half dozen bankruptcies as a real estate developer and called out his hypocrisy for saying he’d protect American jobs despite having his Trump products made overseas by cheap labor.
“Trump says he wants to run the nation like he’s running his business? God help us!” Bloomberg said. “I’m a New Yorker, and I know a con when I see one.”
Tellingly, New York City’s current mayor, Bill de Blasio, a liberal Democrat, spoke around 5:30 p.m. when the hall was nearly empty. In 2000, he’d run Clinton’s successful campaign to become a New York Senator.
Thursday night it’s Hillary Clinton’s turn to take the stage in prime-time for the most anticipated speech of her political life. No doubt the hall will be packed and millions of people will be tuning to watch. The question remains: Will Americans trust her? She still has a lot to prove.
(Photo credit: Michael Davidson for Hillary for America/flickr)
Love her, loathe her, or leave her alone, Hillary Clinton made history Tuesday when the Democratic National Convention nominated her as the first woman nominee for U.S. president from any of the two major political parties.
When the former U.S. Secretary of State’s nomination became official, Democratic delegates from Long Island enthusiastically cheered the historic result.
“To see Hillary nominated was a life moment,” said Maureen Liccione, a delegate from Brightwaters, who was speaking to the Press from Philadelphia where the convention continued on its third day. “For a little girl growing up in the late ’50s and ’60s, I could never have imagined there would ever be a woman nominated for president.
“But it’s not just a woman; it’s this woman, who I’ve come to know, admire and respect since she first ran for the senate,” she added. “I am thrilled beyond words.”
Suffolk County Executive Steve Bellone called Day 2 of the DNC, specifically the roll call, a “unifying moment.”
“Obviously it was a historic moment for the country,” Bellone told the Press in a phone interview from Philadelphia. “For all the talk of unity, that process really went very well, with the Bernie Sanders people—you know, who worked so hard and were so passionate about their candidate and their issues—having the opportunity to cast their votes, and then at the end to have Bernie Sanders himself basically deliver the nomination by acclamation, I think was an important moment and changed the direction of the convention.”
So Clinton is finally the nominee for president of the United States. When she was New York’s Senator eight years ago, she sought the same position during a particularly acrimonious primary battle against then-Sen. Barack Obama from Illinois.
The last eight years brought her more scrutiny, contempt from her opponents, and a barrage of attacks associated with her handling of a private email server during her time as the nation’s chief diplomat as well as her perceived foreign policy failures in the Obama administration.
Still, Clinton persevered.
Clinton will officially accept the nomination Thursday night in prime time. She made a brief appearance on the big screen overlooking the convention podium late Tuesday night via satellite from New York. That moment, when she was shown standing amid a small crowd of young women and girls, was preceded by a dramatic shattering of the glass ceiling to symbolize the historic nature of her presidential nomination. As she told the audience from the live video feed, “If there are any little girls out there who stayed up late to watch, let me just say, I may become the first woman president, but one of you is next.”
The evening also saw her husband, former President Bill Clinton, provide a sweeping portrait of the “real” Hillary Clinton, not the “cartoon” her opponents have created and repeatedly mocked.
“Cartoons are two-dimensional. They’re easy to absorb,” said Bill Clinton. “Life in the world is complicated, and real change is hard. And a lot of people even think it is boring. Good for you, because earlier today you nominated the real one.”
It was an atypical speech for the former president. Instead of going on the offensive or going on about himself, Bill Clinton essentially narrated a biography of his wife’s life—from the day they met at Yale Law School, their courtship and all the way through parenthood.
Along the way he highlighted Clinton’s major political and social achievements around the country to debunk the perception that she’s a product of the status quo. She moved from state to state as a young lawyer, he said, trying to reinforce the message that she sought to help people.
“She is a change-maker,” he insisted. “That is what she does.”
The former two-term president’s speech was well-received, LI delegates said. And his message seemed to hit its mark.
“There’s Hillary, and then there’s the comic book version of Hillary,” said Liccione, borrowing one of Bill Clinton’s most memorable lines of the night.
“I thought it was really interesting, because you haven’t seen an in-depth, personal, biographical look at Hillary Clinton and all the work she’s done over the decades for children and families,” said Bellone.
Trying To Unite
For the first two days of the convention, the Democratic Party establishment has gone to great lengths to try to appease Sanders’ legion of supporters—a passionate group that feels betrayed by the party, especially after WikiLeaks published emails from Democratic National Committee employees showing their favoritism toward Clinton, despite purporting to remain independent. The leak, which came from 20,000 emails purportedly hacked by two Russian intelligence agencies, cost DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz her job.
Meanwhile Sanders has done his part to bridge the divide. He gave a full-throated endorsement of Clinton during his highly anticipated speech Monday evening. In fact, when he came to the podium, he was greeted with an ovation that lasted several minutes before he could begin. On Tuesday, when it was Vermont’s turn during the roll call, Sanders moved to suspend the procedural rules, so he could nominate his primary rival for president by acclamation.
But Clinton’s campaign hasn’t had the same luck winning over some of Sanders’ more passionate die-hard supporters.
“I think in the beginning I really didn’t know much about her. I didn’t have anything against her,” Aliva said over the phone. “And just by doing my research and hearing about some of her policies, yeah, I am against voting for her now. I know people will say, ‘What are your other options…a Trump presidency?’ I’m just tired of when I go to vote, I’m just tired of holding my noise and just choosing the lesser of two evils, because that’s how you vote sometimes.”
Aliva says that Clinton is untrustworthy. She criticized the former U.S. Senator from New York for celebrating New York State’s $15 minimum wage law, despite her proposing only a $12 federal minimum wage.
“When I look at those things, she flip-flops on issues, and it just shows she’s not an honest person…and she doesn’t have enough integrity for me,” Aliva said.
But she’s also worried about Donald Trump’s winning the election. Recent polls have given him a three- to four-point lead over Clinton following last week’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland.
“Either way,” Aliva said, “this country is just a mess.”
It’s unclear how many Sanders voters Clinton will have to reel in to secure victory in the Electoral College. But those who do have Clinton’s back are confident she’ll win, nonetheless.
On Thursday in Philadelphia, they’ll get to see Clinton, the official nominee, firsthand.
“I think what we’re going to see is the next president of the United States,” said Liccione.
(Photo credit: Samuel Fisch for Hillary for America)
Nassau County police are searching for two suspects who went on an anti-Muslim rant and threatened to kill two Cedarhurst gas station clerks because of their religion, police said.
The incident, which occurred at a Shell gas station on Rockaway Avenue on Saturday night, is also being investigated as a potential bias crime due to the suspects’ racial slurs and anti-Muslim remarks.
According to police, the two suspects—a man and a woman—grew angry after they were denied “slushies” because the gas station wasn’t able to make the frozen beverages at that time. They became more enraged when a store clerk denied their use of an electronic food stamps card to purchase several other unidentified items.
That prompted the woman to throw food at the clerk and “to use racial slurs, anti-Muslim remarks and threatened to kill both store clerks,” said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the police department’s chief spokesman, at a press conference Monday at police headquarters in Mineola.
When one of the clerks demanded they leave, the male suspect pushed a New York State Lotto machine to the ground, causing $4,000 worth of damage, LeBrun said. The man also launched a 6-foot metal cart and two bottles of antifreeze in the clerks’ direction, he added.
Prior to fleeing the store, the pair repeated their anti-Muslim remarks and physical threats.
LeBrun declined to go into specifics about what was said, reiterating that they were “very disparaging and very harmful remarks.”
“I’m just going to basically state that they were derogatory, and they did threaten to kill them based on their religious and ethnic origin,” LeBrun said.
A manager at the gas station told the Press he wasn’t working Saturday but he was informed the woman shouted, “Kill him! Kill him!” to her companion.
“They messed up the place,” said the manager, who wished only to be identified by his initials, G.S.
The manager said this was the first time in three decades that anything like this had happened.
“Even in 9/11 [this] never happened,” he told the Press. “I don’t know what was in their mind.”
G.S. said he didn’t know what specifically was said during the altercation.
At the press conference, LeBrun said bias crimes “will not be tolerated in Nassau County.”
Although police are investigating the incident as a possible bias crime, LeBrun said authorities believe it was the clerk’s insistence that “slushies” were unavailable that sparked the outburst.
The suspects were last seen fleeing the store northbound on Rockaway Avenue. The man was described as black, wearing a black shirt, shorts, and a blue baseball cap that was turned backwards. The woman was described as black, wearing a white shirt, shorts and long, black, braided hair.
Authorities are analyzing video footage and information regarding the electronic food stamps card.
Detectives ask anyone with information about the crime to call Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 1-800-244-TIPS. All calls are anonymous.
Hope you’re ready for another burst of extreme heat, Long Island.
Sweltering mid-90s temperatures are in this weekend’s forecast as a heat wave surges toward the region, according to forecasters.
Long Island heat wave temperatures
The National Weather Service in Upton is predicting a blazing hot start to the weekend on Saturday with a high near 95. Luckily, the mercury should fall about 20 degrees during the evening, providing Long Islanders with a brief respite.
Sunday’s expected high temperature is 91, the weather service said.
As the forecast currently stands, Long Island will only have the heat to contend with this weekend as no summertime storms are expected.
That’s not the case for Friday, however.
Potential Friday storms
Forecasters are warning of isolated showers and thunderstorms Friday afternoon that could produce small hail, gusty winds, and heavy rain.
Another round of heavy rain could drench the Island later in the evening, meteorologists said.
The Island is under an air quality alert until 11 p.m. Friday. The alert is triggered when forecasters believe air quality levels spark health concerns. The South Shore is also under a high rip current risk throughout the day and evening.
Health officials are advising people prone to elevated levels of pollutants—traditionally the very young and people with pre-existing health problems like asthma or heart disease—refrain from strenuous outdoor activity.
PSEG Long Island said it’s monitoring the heat and potential storms and encouraged ratepayers to be mindful of energy usage.
The utility recommends that customers:
Seal holes and cracks around window air conditioners
Close blinds to keep the sun out
Cool the house only when it’s occupied
Replace air filters, if necessary
Use other household appliance other than ovens to heat food
Two Nassau County police officers responding to a house fire that killed its sole occupant were among four people injured in a chain-reaction crash in Massapequa Thursday morning, police said.
The officers sustained only minor injuries, police said. The woman involved in the collision with police and a pedestrian who was knocked into a parked car were both listed in serious condition.
The dramatic crash came as the pair of officers were racing to a raging fire on North Suffolk Avenue just after 9 a.m., said Det. Lt. Richard LeBrun, the department’s chief spokesman, at the scene of the crash.
According to LeBrun, the officers were crossing the intersection at New York Avenue and Broadway when their vehicle was struck by a 2002 Toyota Camry. Then the Camry jumped the curb and slammed into a pedestrian, who was launched into a parked Nissan Rogue.
The mangled Camry only came to a stop after it had barreled into a corner hair salon that was unoccupied at the time of the crash. The salon, which had a “Grand Opening” sign dangling from its facade, suffered extensive damage.
The 63-year-old female driver of the Camry was transported to the hospital with serious injuries, LeBrun said. The pedestrian was said to be in very serious condition at a local hospital.
The officers were undergoing a medical evaluation, LeBrun explained.
“There’s never any routine police call—every call is serious,” LeBrun said. “We always try to use good judgment; they did have the right of way, they’re responding to a 911 emergency call. Unfortunately the woman did have the stop sign and did proceed through that intersection.”
LeBrun said the department’s main focus was the health of those who were injured.
“At this point we just want to make sure everybody is safe,” he said.
Police did not immediately identify the 79-year-old victim of the morning blaze. The man, who was alone in the house, was pronounced dead at the scene, LeBrun said.
LeBrun said the officers “did their best to try to enter the home” but were unable to because of the extreme heat emanating from the house.
LeBrun did not say what had sparked the fire.
Portions of Broadway and the street where the blaze occurred remained taped off through the afternoon.
The collision was the first major incident involving Nassau police since the department temporarily ordered officers to patrol in pairs earlier this week. The department triggered its heightened-alert protocol following Sunday’s ambush slaying of three cops in Baton Rouge.
“Until further notice we have two police officers in each car,” LeBrun said. “We assess daily with regard to any changes that we’re going to make.”
Trump officially became the GOP presidential nominee during the Republican National Convention in Cleveland Tuesday, on a night when jailing presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton became the dominant theme.
The reality TV star formally received the presidential nomination after the Republican National Committee, through some creative maneuvering, allowed New York State to pledge its delegates out of order.
Representing the GOP delegation for New York State was Trump’s son Donald Trump, Jr.
“It’s my honor to be able to throw Donald Trump over the top in the delegate count tonight,” Trump, Jr. said.
And with that, the once long-shot presidential hopeful who had managed to overcome challenges from more mainstream Republican conservatives, emerged as heir to the throne of the party of Lincoln.
“Today has been a very, very special day, watching my children put me over the top earlier,” said Trump, whose informal acceptance speech was beamed over a large screen. The candidate will formally accept the party’s nomination on Thursday night.
Trump ran one of the most unconventional primary campaigns in recent history. Instead of grassroots politicking, he relied on delivering bombastic speeches in front of mass audiences and maintaining a hyperactive presence on Twitter.
His atypical campaign rhetoric has also been controversial. Trump has been accused of inflaming racial tensions with his anti-immigrant fervor and proposals to have Mexico build a 40-foot wall along its 2,000-mile border with the United States and to ban Muslims from entering the United States.
Now that the business tycoon has secured the nomination, Hispanics and Muslims in America are wondering where they stand as an already divided nation braces for four more months of wall-to-wall election coverage.
Long Islanders react to Donald Trump’s nomination
Watching the GOP convention Tuesday night, Nayyar Imam, who has served as Muslim chaplain for the Suffolk County police and is the president of Long Island Muslim Alliance, said he couldn’t help but think of comedian and former CBS Late Late Show host Craig Ferguson’s, “It’s a Great Day for America” segment.
“It’s a bad day for America,” Imam observed.
Imam expressed shock at the constant barrage of attacks aimed at Clinton. But he also came away pleasantly surprised after hearing House Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech on Tuesday.
“Everything is about Hillary Clinton,” Iman said. “There’s nothing about Donald Trump.”
Matthew Ugaz, a 19-year-old junior at Binghamton University who lives in Stony Brook, said he was initially “unsurprised” upon hearing the news of Trump’s coronation.
“However, I feel very angry and a bit unsettled about what’s going to happen to our Latino community,” Ugaz, a U.S. citizen whose family emigrated from Peru, told the Press.
Adding to his uneasiness was Trump’s selection of Indiana Gov. Mike Pence as his vice president. Pence is scheduled to address the Republican convention Wednesday night.
“I am very worried,” said Ugaz, a volunteer at the immigrant advocacy group Make The Road Action. “Some of my family is illegal and undocumented.”
The advocacy organization has been busy going around communities and encouraging immigrants here legally to register to vote.
“Most immigrants that we spoke to that are allowed to vote, some of them are uncertain because they’re scared to make their voices heard,” Ugaz said. “There’s no reason to be afraid to have your voice heard.”
Plagiarism controversy swirls
Before voters can head to the polls, there’s still party business to address. Trump has to formally accept the nomination, which he’ll do on Thursday. The Democrats will hold their convention in Philadelphia next week.
“It’s been a great convention, very well-run, well-organized,” Suffolk County Republican Party Chairman and Trump surrogate John Jay LaValle told the Press in a phone interview as he stood by the Cleveland waterfront awaiting Trump’s arrival Wednesday.
“It was a great night,” he said of Tuesday’s roll call vote that gave Trump the nod. “It was tremendous. Especially being from New York, I was very proud to support Mr. Trump…It was very exciting. Everyone was elated, in the whole room, by the way.”
“You really felt like you were part of history and something very special,” LaValle added.
While most party officials were eagerly anticipating Trump’s acceptance speech, controversy was still lingering from Monday night when his wife Melania Trump was accused of plagiarizing parts of First Lady Michelle Obama’s speech from 2008.
For two days the Trump campaign denied that segments of the speech were swiped. But on Wednesday Trump’s campaign released a statement in which a speechwriter accepted blame for the mishap.
“I asked to put out this statement because I did not like seeing the way this was distracting from Mr. Trump’s historic campaign for president and Melania’s beautiful message and presentation,” said a statement attributed to Meredith McIver, an in-house speech writer for the Trump organization.
For his part, Trump seemed unfazed by the controversy, taking comfort in the old adage: “All publicity is good publicity.”
Good news is Melania’s speech got more publicity than any in the history of politics especially if you believe that all press is good press!
With Melania’s cribbed speech hanging over the convention Tuesday night, the show went on with Trump’s roll call vote and speeches from GOP bigwigs like Ryan, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie needling Clinton.
Christie, a former federal prosecutor, stood onstage and held a mock trial of Clinton, lambasting her for personal and professional missteps he deemed illegal, prompting the convention goers to repeat in unison, “Lock her up!”
On Twitter, Clinton’s campaign shot back at Christie by referencing the so-called “Bridgegate” scandal, when his underlings closed the George Washington Bridge in Fort Lee, N.J., causing a colossal traffic jam that stretched miles.
Political consultant Michael Dawidziak, who worked at three Republican conventions from 1988 to 1996 as an aide to former President George H.W. Bush and candidate Bob Dole, acknowledged that this year’s GOP convention has been unlike any other.
“I say this one is clearly the most different one I’ve seen ever,” he said with a laugh when reached at his Long Island office. “It’s certainly a different type of convention. It’s not sticking to your typical script.”
As the Cleveland convention rolls on to its inevitable conclusion, Imam said he’s eager to see if Trump will still spread his anti-immigrant message during Thursday’s speech when the prime-time TV audience may be the largest of the week.
“That’s something we have to watch,” he said.
(Featured photo: Republican National Committee photo via Facebook)
Suffolk County authorities said they disrupted two drug distribution networks and arrested 14 people as part of a months-long probe into drugs flooding into the East End.
The East End Drug Task Force executed more than a dozen search warrants since July 14, resulting in the seizure of six kilos of cocaine and heroin, the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office said.
Three of the 14 people swept up in the busts were either members of or belonged to an offshoot of the Bloods street gang, the DA’s office said.
“Drug dealers and weapons are a deadly combination,” said Angel M. Melendez, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations New York, in a statement. “We are pleased to have removed several of both off the streets of Suffolk County during these enforcement operations.”
The widening investigation into the pair of drug distribution networks took shape after patrol officers on the East End noticed “a significant upward trend” in heroin and cocaine drug busts beginning last September, the DA’s office said.
Investigators then developed information that led them to focus on a cocaine operation in Riverhead and Southampton.
Arrested as part of the large-scale bust were 36-year-old Corey Woodley of Flanders and 42-year-old Eric Thomas of Riverhead. Both men were allegedly involved in the operation of those two networks, authorities said.
Thomas, who was out on parole, was arrested on July 14 after East End Task Force members executed a search warrant at his home. Investigators said they seized cocaine and more than $4,000 in cash from the house, along with scales and other drug paraphernalia. Thomas is facing several drug-related charges.
The arrests associated with the months-long probe go back several weeks. On July 6, Task Force investigators arrested Ronald Paschall as he was returning to the East End after allegedly picking up more than a kilo of cocaine in New York City, authorities said.
Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota alleged that Paschall, a purported gang member, traveled west twice a week to pick up cocaine, which he then sold to resellers, who would distribute the drugs to residents in East Hampton, Riverhead, Southampton and Southold Towns.
Paschall’s 38-year-old associate, Jimmy Dean of Baiting Hallow and Dwayne Harris of Riverhead, his accused drug runner, were allegedly responsible for a second distribution ring, Spota said. Paschall, Dean and Harris were also accused of drug crimes and gang affiliation. Paschall was additionally charged with unlawful fleeing from a police officer.
The East End Task Force is a multi-agency drug enforcement unit that includes Suffolk County police, New York State police, village and town police departments, federal agencies and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s office.