Too often public discussion of controversial issues results in little more than a shouting match. Only the loudest of voices are heard and substantive, thoughtful comments are in short supply. It is rare when public meetings of this kind affect changes of opinion or create new understandings. Volume and vitriol seem to be the order of the day rather than respect and reason. In these situations, the bravado of the few creates the impression that they speak for the many. Unfortunately, this has been the case when the topic of immigration has been the focus of these public discussions. Nonetheless, several local eastern Long Island politicians and community leaders believe that despite this troubling history public discussion can be a good thing producing good results. MORE