Animal hospital must take reasonable steps
In response to a Dec. 18 letter [“Animal hospital tries to be good neighbor”] by Matthew Pike about his Aqueduct Animal Hospital, all I can say is shame on him. I drive by that facility every day and evening, and I hear dogs barking every single time.
Then I see Pike’s statements, letters and comments on The Gazette blog, which tells me there’s good reason the entire neighborhood is upset. God bless what they’ve had to endure.
The neighborhood has been supportive of the business and the previous owners for the last 45 of 50 years. The last five, which occurred after the neighborhood was built, have been under Pike’s management, which has been a real nightmare.
Prior to Pike, animal runs were kept on the opposite side of the building, not where the Schwaber Drive neighborhood is located. This offered a natural sound barrier, and neighbors were happy to support the business. In fact, previous owners were welcomed as part of the neighborhood. However, over the past few years, Pike decided to expand his business.
Pike’s unauthorized “improvement” included putting the runs and a group area for dogs, which are out all day long.
This is the area within 50 feet of the houses. None of the previous owners did this. Pike didn’t even have the common decency to reach out to the neighbors to speak with them about his ideas for expansion.
For two years, letters have gone unanswered. Personal visits from neighbors have been met with calls to the police by Pike saying they were threatening. The shoddy enclosures have led to several animals escaping, seen by the signs posted for lost animals from Aqueduct.
However, Pike takes no responsibility, only to say he’s been trying. Neighbors ask that he operate like every other kennel, providing dogs one or two hours of outside time twice a day. This would also give neighbors a barking break, especially before 7 a.m. and after 9 p.m.
What’s Pike’s response? “I’ve spent two years trying to come up with a solution.” It’s not that anyone wants to completely eliminate the barking; they are just asking for reasonable accommodations.
Every business, or almost every business, is held to high standards in our town, especially when they are located in residential areas — all except Pike’s, that is. We aren’t talking about trains or planes or highways like he continues to try to weave into the conversation; we’re talking about neighborhoods, families and kids, and being cooperative. Local bars are fined if they break noise ordinances, as are residents and every other business, except for Aqueduct and Pike.
It makes me question where the town is on this, as they still have yet to enforce the law/ordinance, provide requested information as required and respond to this issue publicly. Maybe it’s because the zoning board members aren’t elected. Maybe it’s because it’s not an election year. It’s been years without resolution and it’s a shame that the only way to get anything done is to have to go to the media to fix something so simple.
There’s no room for businesses that bully and threaten neighbors and refuse work with the community. And with the amount of news about corrupt elected officials, there’s no room for that in Niskayuna, either. I think the best message here is if you can’t work with the community, leave.
Take action to make world a better place
Around the holidays, there is the desire to express our thanks to others and to take the opportunity to give to others. There are those who make giving their daily mission, not only during the holiday season. Maybe we can recall people in our lives to admire for their daily caring for others and make them our example for 2016.
I think it is particularly important to do this, considering some of the issues which our country faces with terrorism, guns and community conflicts. These issues are on many of our minds these days. It is easy to choose disillusionment and anger. Can we agree that there is no easy solution, and that blaming these issues on one people or one cause is not the true source of these problems?
The problems are complex, but too often many of us look for a quick solution and end up blaming this group or that situation. I believe that we all want peace and good will among us all. We can be part of making a difference by using our favorite role models who exemplify the caring and giving spirit we so admire.
I think of people who give refuge to those who were burned out of their homes or those who visit wounded soldiers and people who take the time to assist home-bound seniors, plus many professional people such as nurses and doctors who go the extra mile to help the sick.
There also are teachers, our clergy, volunteers, Niagara Mohawk employees, police and firefighters, and workers in many areas of our lives, who every day choose to commit to make the world a better place when they do their best for others. We can think of those giving people when we question what has gone wrong with our communities, cities and country.
As we think about giving individuals, we realize that they provide us with an optimistic life perspective. They spread a message of helpfulness through their daily deeds instead of angry acts such as road rage, ready-to-fight attitude, accusatory statements and ridicule of others.
If we pay it forward, by using caring verses resentment, understanding of others versus judgment of them, attempts at an open mind instead of “my way or the highway,” and admitting a mistake with sincerity rather than the denial of it, then I believe the world will be a more compassionate and peaceful place for all of us.
No need for anger at churches for attacks
Michael Bishop wonders in his Dec. 16 letter to the editor why he finds no Christian “outrage” over the Nov. 27 shooting at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado.
Outrage? As a Christian, I cannot feel outrage over the crazed attack of a mentally disturbed recluse, who, in his sick actions, defied all Christian teachings. Sad? Absolutely, for the families of the three people killed and for the nine wounded and their families — and sad also for the man of warped mind who committed the heinous, un-Christian act.
Now, if a Christian church espoused such violence against a Planned Parenthood clinic, I would be outraged. (There’s no evidence I know of that any church did.) A Christian is unequivocally taught by Scripture that vengeance is solely in the hands of the Lord. Killing in the Lord’s name is a violation of the Fifth Commandment (Sixth for Catholics and Lutherans). I would not attend such a church.
But neither would I attend a church that did not consider abortions — and Planned Parenthood commits more than 300,000 of them per year — an equally heinous violation of the Sixth Commandment. And, because all lives are in the image of God, belonging first and foremost to God, a Christian church certainly should regard Planned Parenthood’s grotesque practice of selling aborted babies’ body parts as a violation of the First Commandment.
In both the case of the Colorado shooter and Planned Parenthood, human beings have placed themselves and their own judgments in the matter of life and death over God’s.
Mr. Bishop compares the Colorado slayings to the recent San Bernardino killings, which were committed by Muslim extremists. He finds the incidents equivalent in terms of their being worthy of outrage. (I think; his letter suggests that only “far right-wing elements” would consider the Islamic killings to be an outrage).
There are huge differences, almost too obvious to mention. The San Bernardino killings, like the 9/11 attack, were not committed by mentally disturbed people. They were committed by rational beings, living and working among us in America, who were supported by foreign Muslim terror networks and/or U.S.-based jihadist sympathizers.
As a group, they vow to kill non-Muslims, a rational if erroneous interpretation of their scripture, which in places does call for avenging in their god’s name (as the Charlie Hebdo terrorists in Paris said they did).
They have often slipped through the cracks of Western security to kill the innocent. Unlike Christians, the name of their faith, upon acts of violence, is avoided by the U.S. Executive Branch. Excuses are often made for their most murderous deeds by the far left, and sometimes by even the not-so-far left. There is room for outrage.
Vincent P. Reda
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Categories: Letters to the Editor