SCCC thankful for response to campus threats
As readers of the Daily Gazette know, on April 22, the campus of Schenectady County Community College [SCCC] and its satellite locations were evacuated after authorities were alerted to a threat against the institution's students and staff.
This momentary disruption to the pace of life for the SCCC community was certainly unwelcome, but it was handled calmly and with clarity by both our staff and our students.
This was in no small part thanks to the immediate, coordinated and professional response from our local emergency services, whose members quickly ensured the safety and security of the campus, Center City location and downtown Albany extension site.
On behalf of the entire SCCC community, I would like to extend a heartfelt thanks to the members of the city of Schenectady police and fire departments, the Schenectady County Sheriff's Department, New York State Police and U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives [ATF], including their specially trained animal team members, who all showed the utmost dedication to duty during this recent situation.
It was thanks to their efforts that this incident was resolved quickly and safely, and students were back in class in short order.
Again, a sincere "thank you," is in order for all our emergency responders.
Denise Murphy McGraw
The writer is chairwomen of the Board of Trustees for Schenectady County Community College.
Writer strikes chord on abandoned cats
Thank you, Susan Gibson, for your May 2 letter, "Abandoned cats are deserving of our compassion."
All communities must get involved to put an end to animal cruelty, which includes abandoning cats. People move out of their homes/apartments and toss their cat(s) out like garbage. If the streets were filled with abandoned dogs like there are cats, there would be such a public outcry to help them.
Don't turn a blind eye to cats. All animals deserve to live a good life.
Missed chances are hurting Schenectady
As a business owner for many decades in downtown Schenectady, I'd like to point out a few potential items of economical development that in my opinion were unfortunately allowed to "fall through the cracks" in our fine city.
The first and largest one I experienced was in the early 1970s when our fine City Council member, Charley Seber (now deceased), had a bona fide large developer ready and able to build us a civic center at the end of Edison Avenue, Erie Boulevard and I-890. However, two businesses would have had to be displaced. They refused to move (even at the city's expense). After much negotiating, the developers lost interest with us, moved on and built "our" civic center in Glens Falls. Known as the Glens Falls Civic Center, I believe it is doing well.
Some years later, The Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame originated here in Schenectady, was very popular and attracted many out-of-staters to its annual induction ceremonies. When it needed larger quarters and could not find any suitable arrangements in Schenectady, it moved on to Amsterdam, where it seems very successful and happy. Another one, "fallen through the cracks."
Our American Locomotive Museum, which opened only recently to much excitement and fanfare on Maxon Road Extension, has moved to Amsterdam, for, I believe, larger quarters. This historic company founded here now has its museum located in Amsterdam.
"Fallen through the cracks?" These are just a few examples of missed opportunities I've witnessed. I do not care to witness perhaps this largest ever opportunity of having a casino on the Alco site.
I urge all our City Council people to get behind this effort 100 percent. Are we going to have the prospect of tremendous economic benefits to our city again "fall through the cracks?" The possibility of such an increase in our tax base and reduction of property taxes seems like a definite "no-brainer" to me. Let's all get behind this.
Ringling defends treatment of animals
Once again, animal rights activists are attempting to distort Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey's excellent record of animal care.
Animal rights activists continue to distort legal proceedings in an attempt to level spurious charges against Ringling Bros.' dedicated team of animal-care professionals. It's time we set the record straight.
Ringling Bros. is proud of its human and animal partnerships, and the physical and behavioral needs of our animals are a top priority that can be seen in every city we visit. Ringling Bros. also meets or exceeds all federal, state, and local animal standards. In fact, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducts regular unannounced inspections of all federally licensed zoos and circuses to ensure compliance with government regulations and policies. Ringling Bros., despite activists' claims, has never been found in violation of the federal Animal Welfare Act.
Additionally, Ringling Bros. has made a lifetime commitment to the Asian elephant. In 1995, the Ringling Bros. Center for Elephant Conservation was established to ensure that future generations have the opportunity to experience this magnificent yet endangered species. Since 1992, we've had 26 Asian elephant births and have the largest sustainable population of Asian elephants in the United States. This is a major step in the conservation of this highly endangered species.
In short, when it comes to our animal performers, we are truly committed to their care and well-being, and their continued survival.
Animal activist groups will no doubt continue to distort the care and commitment we have for all of our animal performers. Rather than take what they say at face value, we invite Albany families to see for themselves how our animals are thriving.
The writer is vice president of Corporate Communications Feld Entertainment (parent company of Ringling Bros. Circus).
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