Trump's first 100 days: Long Islanders sound off

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As President Donald Trump's first 100 days neared their end, we asked Long Islanders how he's done. Here are their assessments of his job performance, from foreign policy to Obamacare and his temperament.

We asked the Long Islanders the same set of questions. Here are highlights from their interviews. Some answers have been edited for clarity and space.

Ramona Sheppard, 50, schoolteacher from Massapequa Park Trump
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Ramona Sheppard, 50, schoolteacher from Massapequa Park

Trump 'actually stood up to the other countries'

Q: Which things that President Trump has done do you like the best?

A: The fact that he's so persistent and the fact that he actually stood up to the other countries, and finally made a difference. We're not subservient to anyone, we're still a great country.

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: I think his biggest success is the fact that he's still getting a lot of flak from a lot of people, but it's not stopping him. He's not letting the opinions of some people stand in his way of making really important decisions. And that the United States is looking like we're not scared of anyone. We know what's right, we know what's wrong, and I think the countries are siding with him, regardless of what people think.

Joseph Sosa, 18, Oceanside High School senior Transgender
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Joseph Sosa, 18, Oceanside High School senior

Transgender students change 'really important'

Q: Which things do you dislike most?

A: For me, it would be him getting rid of the protections for LGBT students -- for trans students -- and that was really important to me. That bugged me the most because I'm a president of the gay-straight alliance at my school, and a bunch of students, they're a minority, but they're a very oppressed minority, and that actually is really upsetting, so that bugs me. It bugs the hell out of me.

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: Becoming president. Getting in office, somehow, is his biggest success, I guess.

John Borda, 74, retired postal worker from Massapequa
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

John Borda, 74, retired postal worker from Massapequa Park

'You got to listen sometimes'

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: I guess the Supreme Court, the judge on there. That's a good success.

Q: Has your view of him changed since he's become president?

A: Yes. As I say, I think he's got this egotistical way about him, that he's not a bendable person, he doesn't ply. So I don't think he listens to his advisers, and I think his advisers are getting a little PO'ed at him, for some reason, I don't know. 'Cause he's the boss, and you got to listen sometimes. You're looking for 30 guys' help.

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Elijah Crawford, 47, of Hempstead, operating room technician
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Elijah Crawford, 47, of Hempstead, operating room technician on disability

'I still can't fathom how he won it'

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: As of right now, I have to say I think I don't really see him as being successful. Maybe winning the campaign, his campaign. And I still can't fathom how he won it with the policies and the type of temperament that he's shown. ... I believe that it had to be Russian involvement, because that was a successful campaign for something that should not have happened. He should not have won that. That's his biggest success. And I think it was a crooked way of getting to that successful point.

Q: Are there things you miss about President Obama?

A: The policies that Obama promoted, peaceful strategies, the health care, lowering the gas prices, giving things to the people of the country that we wouldn't have even fathomed that we could have prior to him coming into office. Who would think people in need could have health care if you really need it? I never known that in my lifetime in America. I been born, raised here on Long Island, never known -- if you lost your job, you're doomed, if you need to see a doctor like someone as in myself. I think Trump is trying to destroy all of the positive things that Obama set forth. ... I think the problem is that the man did a good job, but he's black.

Rachel Powers, 59, hairdresser from West Babylon 'A
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Rachel Powers, 59, hairdresser from West Babylon

'A little more finesse, a little more schmoozing'

Q: Which things do you dislike most?

A: I'm a little afraid of his foreign policy, I'm a little afraid of the way he flies off the handle, you know what I mean? He's got a little bit of roughness around him. Even though he's a self-made millionaire or whatever, I feel like a little more finesse, shall I say? A little more finesse, a little more schmoozing. He's very abrupt and he wants it his way, and listen, wouldn't we all like that?

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: I hope that his biggest success is going to be to make America great again, like he says. That would be a great thing, because I like the fact that he's saying buy it here, work here, make it here and buy it here, that's his mantra now -- right now he's like let's bring corporations back. I like the fact that he is giving incentives to keep companies here, and I think that we should have more industry here -- we've outsourced everything. So I think he's on that path, and I hope he stays on that path.

Debbie Kavadias, 45, assistant hospital administrator from Oceanside
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Debbie Kavadias, 45, assistant hospital administrator from Oceanside

'I have very, very harsh views of this president'

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: I am not a supporter in any way of Mr. Trump's, so I couldn't name anything at this point.

Q: Which things do you dislike most?

A: I hate the travel ban that he imposed, I am not supportive of his actions in Syria ... I have very, very harsh views of this president. I was not a supporter of him. When he was elected I did vow to give him a fair shake, and I'm not impressed with his first 100 days. He's very flip-floppy on all the issues. He doesn't take a stance and stick by it. I think he is who I thought he was, and I don't think he's presidential material.

Joe Wasieleski, 68, bank teller from Long Beach
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Joe Wasieleski, 68, bank teller from Long Beach

'Slowly but surely he may calm down a little'

Q: Has your view of him changed since he became president?

A: I think slowly but surely he's learning to, for lack of a better word, get a little mellower, that he's just not going to be able to do whatever he wants and everybody's going to go along with him as far as the world leaders. I think slowly but surely he may calm down a little, be a little more diplomatic ... or compromising.

Q: Are there things you miss about President Obama?

A: Well, in his own way he was kind of a slick Willie. He was smiling, but he was doing all these drone things and bombings, but he just wasn't braggadocio about it, he was more low-key. He was I guess the lesser of two evils.

Sisco Barnard, 68, retired bus operator from Riverhead
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Sisco Barnard, 68, retired bus operator from Riverhead

'Everybody has to be given a chance'

Q: What about his biggest failure?

A: His failure was the insurance -- Obamacare. I don't think he totally understood anything about that. Because the insurance companies know exactly what's going on. You got to go across everyone that's dishing out insurance -- insurance, sure, the House got a little crazy about making profits with the premiums and stuff like that. I can't afford some of my premiums. I can't afford some of my prescriptions. It went up higher. I don't blame that on Obamacare, because I don't really have Obamacare, I just have a health care plan.

Q: Has your view of him changed since he's become president?

A: Not really. I feel that everybody has to be given a chance. I do see that he sees the difference between Democratic thinking and Republican thinking. I do see -- that's why some people were thinking he was leaning towards Democratic ideals. He was a Democrat at one time, but he's more a businessman, and Trump is very smart -- he's going to make sure that his business [will] be well taken care of.

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Ashaunti Martinez, 23, Hunter Business School student from
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Ashaunti Martinez, 23, Hunter Business School student from Mastic

'I think the country's more hectic now'

Q: Has your view of him changed since he became president?

A: I see a little bit more positive. He's not a complete idiot. There's something up there. I thought he was just going to start a war with everybody, so he's going about it more nicely than I felt he would have. ... I don't know if his ties with Russia are correct, but if they are, I hope that he's not doing anything bad about it, that there's good in what he's communicating with them that he's not telling us. So let's hope there's actual ties where Russia and us are still close and not enemies -- that'd be bad if we were. So if he's fixing our ties, maybe.

Q: Are there things you miss about President Obama?

A: When everyone was more calm.

Q: When everyone was more calm?

A: Yeah. I think the country's more hectic now, because a lot of things are happening in a short amount of time. And it's hard for people to recuperate from stuff happening so much all the time. Obama was more steady, and Trump is always throwing garbage out when you can't take it out, so it just overflows.

Charles Lyon, 52, of Oceanside, Herald Community Newspapers
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Charles Lyon, 52, of Oceanside, Herald Community Newspapers ad salesman

'He doesn't care what people think about him'

Q: What do you think has been his biggest success?

A: I just think he doesn't care what people think about him, so he continues to be like that. I think that's not a bad thing to have when you're a president.

Q: Has your view of him changed since he's become president?

A: I think that he's probably a little bit more stable than people gave him credit for. I don't think he's a dummy, or stupid.

Juliet Laor, 36, school psychologist from Valley Stream
(Credit: Edward B. Colby)

Juliet Laor, 36, school psychologist from Valley Stream

'I don't find him funny anymore'

Q: Are there ways you think President Trump has hurt or helped Long Island?

A: I don't know how Long Island has been affected specifically. What is interesting is to see how it's polarized people, so you really know where people stand politically, if you're willing to get into that with them, which I try not to.

Q: Has your view of him changed since he's become president?

A: Well, back when he was just running, and nobody thought he was going to win, he was kind of funny. I don't find him funny anymore. Now I see him as a threat.

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