Circus is evil, but at least affordable for kids, families
When I first thought about writing this letter, I had planned to write all the reasons I hate the circus and why people should not attend. I still believe this 100 percent.
Ringling Bros. Circus abuses animals. This has been proven in a court of law and Ringling’s was fined $270,000 for violations of the federal Animal Welfare Act for making elephants perform when they were very ill; using very sharp objects and electric prods to beat, shock and gouge elephants; confining and restraining the elephants by using ropes and chains for up to 23 hours per day; not properly securing the animals; transporting the food in the same containers that carried animal waste ... and the list goes on.
I do not want the circus to come to Albany, but I believe the larger issue is there are no alternatives. There’s nothing else that comes to Albany that is affordable and gives children and families access to animals. I am the first person to advocate for animal-free circuses, but tickets to Cirque de Soleil cost over $50. There are many families in this community who simply cannot afford a high-costing ticket, do not/cannot go to the zoo, and do not watch PBS obsessively like myself.
The circus is something many families do together, as they cannot afford some of the local acts that come to the Albany area and are unaware of the abuse the circus inflicts on the animals. We can educate people about the horrible abuses that come with the circus, but the real issue is if we had alternatives, no one would go.
Time for Cuomo and his ilk to go
The federal, state and local governments are alienating us. Is this the kind of government we want? I don’t.
Let’s start with the state. How many people voted “no” for casinos? It’s only state revenue that puts nothing in your stomach or pockets. It was also forced on us; the vote meant nothing to Cuomo. Did Cuomo put the SAFE Act to a vote? No, it was forced on us.
Cuomo is wasting our taxes on charter schools when he should be investing in our public schools for their betterment and safety. Common sense says if an underachiever can’t make it in a public school, they’re going to do better in a charter school? I don’t think so. Gov. Cuomo, that’s three strikes, you’re out.
Rob Astorino is the best candidate for governor, and should beat Cuomo hands down. This state needs a governor that is for us — the whole state — not just New York City. If New York City and Brooklyn are smart, they will vote against Cuomo, [Sen. Charles] Schumer, and [Sen. Kirsten] Gillibrand.
We the people, upstate, have had enough of them supporting the rich.
Claude Rizzicone Jr.
Family Courts in need of more resources
[Gazette reporter] Steven Cook is to be commended for his thoroughly researched April 13 article on the Family Court.
It is very important to create more public awareness of the desperate needs of the Family Courts throughout the 4th Judicial District and the entire state of New York. Other courts have also suffered from a lack of resources, which causes delays in the decisions of the cases they handle. But it’s particularly egregious in Family Court, where children and families await permanent solutions and where a judge with previous knowledge of the case — who does not have to be brought up to speed on the background — is very cru
cial to formulate the best possible solution.
It is true that other resources, including public defenders and other support staff, are in need of more funding, as Jonathan Gradess of the New York State Defenders Association points out. But adding 20 more judges, as adopted in the state budget, is certainly a step in the right direction.
Hopefully, it will eventually lead to more resources given to the Family Courts. Faster, well-thought-out solutions for the children and families involved in the courts should be an important policy priority in New York state.
Helga Asquith Schroeter
The writer is on the committee for Modern Courts and LWV [League of Women Voters] of Schenectady County.
Accommodate pregnant workers
It has been a long time since my kids were young, but I haven’t forgotten what it’s like to be a working mother, especially a pregnant working mother.
Women head up more than 1 million households in New York and 63 percent of our working mothers are either the primary breadwinners or co-breadwinners in their families. In short, pregnant women need to work, but they often have to choose between their health and a paycheck.
The Women’s Equality Act will improve this situation. It will ensure that employers provide reasonable accommodations for pregnant women.
We’re not talking about draconian measures that will cost employers big money. The act requires only sensible accommodations — maybe a chair, more frequent bathroom breaks, access to drinking water, or relief from heavy lifting.
Too often, when women request such accommodations, they are forced from their jobs or must take unpaid leave. This jeopardizes their families’ finances at the worst possible time.
If these provisions are enacted, they will actually help employers. Such simple measures improve workplace morale, increase employee retention and reduce training costs.
Ultimately, the Women’s Equality Act helps women, employers and the state’s economy.
No problems with N.Y. health exchange
I was disappointed that your April 17 paper gave such small prominence to the article describing how the New York State Health Exchange had signed up almost 1 million New Yorkers as of the middle of April. The article was buried on page 8.
Given the importance of this issue for so many of your readers, I would have thought it worthy of Page One. Especially after all the attention given the federal government’s faulty roll-out (though now largely fixed), people should also hear about how well and competently New York’s health exchange roll-out was accomplished, right from the beginning.
Paranoid over brush pickup in Rotterdam
Do some people in Rotterdam really think that the town is singling them out because they opt-out of brush pickup?
Like the April 16 article says, it is so the highway department can easily see which houses to go to without trying to find house numbers. I don’t think anyone cares who opts-out of brush pickup and who doesn’t, and why would anyone be embarrassed? I would say good for you that you took a stand and said enough is enough.
I think we have so much more to concern ourselves with than this kind of nonsense.
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