Candidate Nancy Goroff.

Candidate Nancy Goroff. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

Daily Point

Political science in CD1

Politics is infinite. At least one prominent supporter of Nancy Goroff, running for the Democratic nomination in the First Congressional District, thinks so.

The political action committee known as 314 Action Fund — named after the math symbol known as pi (the irrational number 3.14159265 …, etc., that runs on seemingly forever without a repeating pattern) — lists Goroff as one of its favorite congressional candidates.

Created in 2017, 314 Action hopes to raise $20 million this year in support of candidates with strong scientific backgrounds who are running for office, from local legislative seats to the U.S. Senate, said spokesman Raiyan Syed. He likened 314 Action to EMILY's List, a longtime group that raises money for Democratic pro-choice women running for office.

“There’s no EMILY's List for scientific-minded candidates,” Syed told The Point. “We need candidates who rely on data and facts to make decisions.”

Goroff's campaign underlines that the former Stony Brook University chemistry professor and department chair would become, if elected, the first female member in the House with a science-based PhD. Goroff is currently running for the Democratic nomination against former CNN television commentator John Avlon in the June 25 party primary.

The winner will face GOP incumbent Rep. Nicholas LaLota. Goroff gained her party’s nod in 2020 but lost in the general election to the GOP’s then-incumbent Rep. Lee Zeldin.

Syed said 314 Action believes there are plenty of voters who strongly support STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) education in schools and society and they will back those candidates like Goroff who have been endorsed by the group. Goroff is among 16 candidates it has endorsed for the House, with three running in U.S. Senate races. All of them are Democrats.

In a telephone interview with The Point, Goroff emphasized how her scientific background would help develop new jobs and technology projects for the First District, where Stony Brook University is a prime employer. Goroff said she is a strong supporter of solar energy and wind power projects and pointed to her Stony Brook work on projects for improved battery performance funded by $22 million in grants.

Goroff said she has a lot of experience with federally-funded research and hopes to attract future money for practical products that can be developed at places like Stony Brook, Brookhaven National Lab and Cold Spring Harbor Lab.

“Because I’m a scientist, I've been trained to find real-life solutions,” Goroff said.

— Thomas Maier

Pencil Point

Special edition

Credit: CQ ROLL CALL/R.J. Matson

For more cartoons, visit

Final Point

Move to quiet East End airport battle

In the War of the Roses that is the litigation over the East Hampton Town airport, the aviation industry has been successful in stopping any restrictions on flights. Now, it seems to be withdrawing from one of its ramparts.

Is it an olive branch that could lead to a peace treaty?

Lawyers for the aviation side are withdrawing “in the interests of efficiency” the regulatory petition it filed with the U.S. Department of Transportation to stop the town from closing the facility or minimizing its use by private jets and helicopters. The aviation side says that recent losses the town suffered in New York courts means it doesn’t need to ask the feds to come into the process.

“The users of the airport would welcome a peaceful solution,” said James M. Catterson, who represents aviation firms which lease hangars at the airport. As of now and through the busy summer season, the aircraft will be using the town airport without any town restrictions on number of flights, approaches for helicopters, and what time of day the aircraft will fly.

Despite that, Catterson said industry wants to be “good neighbors” and come to a compromise with the town that would end more than a decade of battles over the town trying to supersede FAA rules. “We want to reach a consensus on flight path, capacity, and time,” he said.

In March, the Appellate Division confirmed a 2022 ruling blocking the town from closing the airport or making new rules that would diminish operations, a decision the town called “deeply disappointing.” Earlier this month, the town filed a notice that it would appeal to the state’s top court, but the odds of the case being heard are considered slim. The town did not reply to requests for comment.

— Rita Ciolli

Subscribe to The Point here and browse past editions of The Point here.


Unlimited Digital AccessOnly 25¢for 5 months