January 28, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 28, 2013


---- — Shelter pets

TO THE EDITOR: I think more people should buy pets from SPCA shelters.

Shelters would save money, animals won’t be lonely, and people would be happier.

The shelter would save money by taking care of fewer animals and buying less food. I went to the SPCA, and it was filled with lonely animals. There were many animals that needed to be cared for.

The annual SPCA cost to care for a medium dog is about $695 and about $670 per year for a cat. If I got a pet, I would like to get an older cat or dog so it would have a nice home to die in. That would save the SPCA a lot of money.

Do you want an animal to be lonely for the rest of its life? The animals in a shelter sit in their cages and look up at the people who work at the shelter.

When I went to the SPCA in Peru, I saw animals in cages, and it made me sad. I wanted to take them all home and walk around the city to see if I could find people who would care for them.

If you’re an animal lover, you should buy your animals at the SPCA. Did you know that 3 million to 4 million dogs and cats are put to sleep in the United States each year? If you get a pet at SPCA, you will be saving an animal’s life. Pets help you be healthier and happier, and you will live longer.

So do you think you should get an animal from the SPCA? If you do, it’s a very good idea, so go and buy your next pet at the SPCA shelter, and save a life. And yours, too.


Stafford Middle School student


Process concerns

TO THE EDITOR: The recent layoffs at Clinton Community College have generated questions about planning and management at the institution. I am concerned with the process used to arrive at the decision to eliminate 10 positions at the college.

When the search for a new president commenced in 2008, one of the “essential qualifications” outlined in the prospectus was “active engagement in forging consensus on college issues and managing organizational change with an open and fair approach that empowers others and promotes team building, trust and collegiality.”

Unfortunately, the decision to eliminate positions was not managed in a collegial or consensus-forming manner. College-wide representatives were not invited to frank discussions of the problem and ways to address it.

When genuine shared decision-making occurs, the expertise and insight of all constituents is valued and considered, with the goal of arriving at a decision that is understood by all involved. Individuals collaborate to seek solutions, compromises and alternatives. Everyone may not embrace the outcome, but everyone has been represented in the process.

True shared decision-making is complicated and time-consuming, but it also empowers a campus and results in transparent outcomes.

Other than this situation being the “new reality,” as President Jablonski stated at a November Board of Trustees meeting, the campus still has no understanding of how these particular positions were chosen to be eliminated.

I recognize that, even with shared decision-making, the conclusion that the college needed to eliminate positions may have been the same. However, I believe that an approach that trusted in and valued the input of the campus community may have found other options.

Whatever the result, if the qualities outlined in that “essential qualification” had been demonstrated by President Jablonski, we certainly would have avoided the acrimony and divisiveness that now permeate Clinton Community.


Professor of English

Clinton Community College


Second Amendment

TO THE EDITOR: Excuse me, gun-control debaters (and that includes the members of the New York State Legislature), I guess I must remind you that the Second Amendment does not refer in any way to gun safety, personal security, hunting, fishing or recreation.

Most certainly, we must secure our schools, inside and out, to prevent violent acts against children and staff. And we should look earnestly into how treated, as well as untreated, mental illness is factoring into the increase in certain types of domestic and community violence. The violent and unconscionable nature of American entertainment might also be an issue to confront. But none of that relates to the Second Amendment.

The Second Amendment, in terms very clear to 18th century Americans who had fought a long war against the tyranny of their king, supports the “un-infringed right” — nay, the duty — of a free people to “keep and bear arms” to defend their Republic from attack by a fully militarized foreign power or from fully militarized tyranny within.

All New Yorkers, and that includes State Legislature members, this message is for you: Whatever you think or I think about guns or gun safety or our government or our president or hunting and fishing rights or even the right to defend one’s hearth and home, it has no logical relationship to Americans’ rights to keep even fully militarized arms.

The Second Amendment must stand — with all its original logic, meaning and purpose — so our generation and the next and the next can keep and enjoy all of the rights Americans have enjoyed for more than two centuries.

To quote a famous line from a famous document from 222 years ago: “The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”




Support for athletes

TO THE EDITOR: This is a letter of thanks, a small token of our deep gratitude.

On Friday, Jan. 11, approximately 80 people from the North Country — from Plattsburgh, Peru, Willsboro, Essex, Westport, Wadhams, Elizabethtown, Moriah and Schroon Lake — made the trek to Middlebury College in Middlebury, Vt., to watch our two children play basketball at the collegiate level.

Bolster and Willa McKinley, both freshmen, play for the Connecticut College Camels of New London, Conn., and on Friday, their teams played Middlebury. This unbelievable North Country turnout swelled our hearts and filled us with love and pride.

Not only that, but the McKinley fans went wild at half-time in a very special display of enthusiasm that may well have gotten Willa a few more minutes.

We hope to thank each person individually, but in the meantime, we want to say thank you to those many supporters.





Helpful staff

TO THE EDITOR: With all the negative comments concerning the water temperature of the pool at the Wellness Center, I would like to relate a positive story.

Three years ago, I suffered a stroke that left me disabled. I joined the Wellness Center to walk in the winter. I met trainer and swim coach Kara Bordeau, who encouraged me to try swimming.

I never thought I would swim again in my life. But, with Kara’s help, I learned to swim laps with the aid of a jog belt, mask and snorkle.

The pool area is bright and clean; the staff is extremely professional. Personally, I think that the water temp is nice.