Ivory laws will hurt people, but won’t save any animals
I read with a great deal of dismay and fear the June 2 article about a proposed ban on ivory.
As an antiques collector, I own many ivory art objects, some going back to the 1700s -- watches, clocks, card cases, netsukes, sculptures, etc. I bought them for their beauty and artistry, and I am sure the ivory was taken from animals killed centuries ago when it was a legal practice. When I leave this world, I would want my family to donate those priceless things from the past to a museum, where they would be admired for generations to come. The new laws, executive orders or whatever being contemplated by politicians with too much time on their hands will do great harm to many Americans who don't have a voice in how their lives are being senselessly disrupted.
There is already a ban on ivory taken from elephants being killed "as we speak" in Africa and Asia. If banning ivory taken from elephants killed 100 years ago was going to bring the animals back to life and prevent poachers from killing more elephants and selling the ivory to China and other dissenting countries, I would 101 percent agree with the new laws being proposed. I also would regard my personal losses as a sacrifice for animals, which need to be protected from human greed.
Unfortunately, that's not the case. The laws being imposed willy-nilly upon a silent American majority by a rabid and vocal minority are going to create chaos and financial losses for millions of innocent people. Museums, collectors, dealers, auction houses, innocent owners, etc. are going to be penalized, and some will suffer major financial losses.
As an animal- and nature-lover, I believe ivory laws are needed to protect the elephant herds left in our protection. But for goodness sakes, bring forth well-thought-out laws that protect the animals, but at the same time won't bring disaster to the lives of millions of Americans caught in the gun site of a zealous minority. Representatives of the American people, think wisely for a change and enact laws that protect not only animals but also humans.
Family Court judges desperately needed
Re June 4 article, "Bill would add judges:" Our families can't wait any longer. It's time to alleviate the crushing burden on the Family Court systems in Schenectady and Albany counties, which is why I'm the co-sponsor of comprehensive legislation creating new Family Court positions that would be funded by the state budget.
I'm proud that the Assembly has taken the lead on this issue and approved the expansion on June 2. Growing the state's Family Court system is long overdue, as there hasn't been a major increase of Family Court judges in more than three decades.
The need is especially dire locally, where non-Family Court judges from all over the area are relied upon to help fill the void. The creation of additional Family Court judge positions is supported by studies from the state's Office of Court Administration and the New York State Bar Association.
Our bogged-down Family Court system already takes months to resolve cases, and these are dragged out even longer by a lack of Family Court judges. Anything we can do to improve this process, which could shorten a child's stay in foster care, speed up a custody issue or end a family's turmoil, is one of my top priorities.
The legislative session is quickly winding down, but there is still time for the state Senate to follow the Assembly's lead on this issue. If we act now, additional judges can be in place at the start of next year for Schenectady and Albany counties.
Our families shouldn't have to wait any longer for justice.
The writer is an assemblyman.
Visit to Schenectady is marred by rubble
A couple of thoughts pertaining to downtown Schenectady: A visit to a restaurant, well worth going to, is made extremely difficult. The corner of Erie Boulevard and State Street is loaded with rubble that has been there for the past two weekends at least.
This is onerous for one using a cane to maneuver; the stones present an actual hazard. It's hard for a businessperson paying taxes to have to deal with this slow-moving removal of detritus.
The other thought was brought to the fore by headlines in the June 7 Daily Gazette: Assailants at the movie theater being given a "second chance."
Sorry, but as I read about the victim's wounds, I could not but wonder about the safety of downtown's venues.
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