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State must act to end horrific abuse of race horses

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
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State must act to end horrific abuse of race horses

Bravo! Many thanks to reporter Stephen Williams for his March 21 story about the horse trainer being investigated for horrific animal abuse. Gratitude also goes to Daily Gazette editors for making this a front-page story.

David J. Skorton, chairman of the New York Racing Commission, and Christopher K. Kay, CEO and president, must enforce every humane law regarding the horses, or risk Saratoga Race Course crumbling under a shady and ugly reputation.

Horses have no voices, and it is up to us to defend them against mistreatment, and to make sure the abusers don’t fall under the radar.

Vigilance over this often shockingly abusive industry is essential. Keep up the good work.

Suzanne Miller

Schenectady

Be tougher with energy suppliers

I am constantly being bombarded with phone calls and knocks on my door, with offers to have my utility bills lowered by the suppliers. They use misleading and deceptive language, with questions such as, do I want my rebate? ... am I green? And statements such as, my gas and electric supplies will never be interrupted. What is the meaning of all this? That they will turn my power off? That I do not care about conserving energy? One company threatened to sue me for terminating a so-called agreement.

Finally, I contacted my state representative. Three days after contacting them, I received a letter, titled, “State cracks down on independent energy supply companies.” It read, “The Public Service Commission voted, 5 to 0, to tighten regulations.” Apparently the commission is aware of the practices of the utility companies. Also, and I quote, “ ... targeting low-income and elderly customers who are more vulnerable with claims and tricking them into signing contracts that cost money to terminate” (i.e., ripping off your grandmother.)

In the commissioner’s letter it also stated, underlined and highlighted, “very few ended up saving money.” Commissioner Gregg Sayre also said, “We are indulging the market with a relatively light hand to a place where it will work better.” What does a relatively light hand mean? To gently persuade them? In one sentence the commission is saying the companies are conning poor, old people out of their money, and in the next sentence says it will treat them with a light hand.

All the sale representatives have been friendly and polite. When asked, they respond that they are just doing their job and trying to make a living. But I suppose a pickpocket is just trying to make a living. In fairness to the Public Service commissioner, I did call and I did get results. I suggest that if you feel threatened, harassed or conned, that you call them at 1-800-342-3355. Be sure and get the name of the company.

Anthony J. Compagnone

Johnstown

Farley needs to back Fair Elections plan

It looks like we’re finally going to see some much-needed campaign finance reform. Given the level of corruption in Albany, it’s long overdue.

Gov. Cuomo has included a Fair Elections system of small donor matching funds, lower contribution limits and increased enforcement of our election laws in his budget. Our senator, Hugh Farley, has yet to support these common sense reforms; without them, there’s little hope for real democracy in New York state.

Sen. Farley, I hope you’ll do everything possible to keep Fair Elections in the budget.

Deborah Rembert

Schenectady

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