Don’t Shoot Them
Tuesday, a celebrity with local ties added her name to those
pushing Gov. George E. Pataki to approve a bill that would
amend an existing law on canned hunting to make the activity
illegal. Wendie Malick, a star of the TV show Just Shoot
Me, sent a letter to the governor pronouncing her astonishment
that such an activity is legal at all in New York, and urging
him to sign the bill into law.
Canned hunting essentially involves the confinement of animals
for the hunting pleasure of humans who have paid a fee for
the “sport.” Unlike hunting in the wild, the animals have
no means of escape, and therefore are at the complete mercy
of the hunter.
Currently, there are no federal laws to govern canned hunts.
The existing New York state law allows for hunts on properties
larger than 10 acres.
In her letter to the governor, Malick, a native of upstate
New York, asked him to “ensure that the existing law is amended
so that all facilities in New York engaging in the indefensible
killing of captive animals are banned.” She also said, “Canned
hunting is a sad, cynical business that has no place in civilized
What makes canned hunts doubly cruel, critics say, is that
most of the animals are born and raised in captivity, and
therefore are trusting of humans, sometimes so much that they
don’t even know to run from a hunter. This works well for
facilities that provide the service, because it guarantees
The bill, which was sponsored by Scott Stringer (D-New York
City), states that while there are federal and state laws
offering protection for many endangered, threatened and native
animals, “a lack of specific prohibitions allow a wide range
of animals, including certain species of bear, llama, zebra
and ram to be killed in this manner.”
Only 10 other states, including California, New Jersey and
North Carolina, have laws prohibiting canned hunting. The
New York bill to prohibit all canned hunting already passed
the Assembly and Senate on June 20, and now awaits Pataki’s
approval or veto.
nine northeastern states accepted Gov. George E. Pataki’s
invitation to enact a regional cap on carbon dioxide emissions
last week, the governor’s office trumpeted the announcement
as an environmental victory for the state. But a number of
environmental groups have been waiting for action since the
governor unveiled his plans for reduced greenhouse gas emissions—in
Jason K. Babbie, an environmental policy analyst with New
York Public Interest Research Group, said New York state cannot
afford to wait until April 2005—the deadline set by the nine
regional states that will work together—to enact a regional
cap of greenhouse gas emissions. Pataki’s Greenhouse Gas Task
Force already has completed studies and made the promises,
Babbie said. Action is the next step.
think having a regional cap will eventually be a very good
thing; however, New York needs to take the action now,” said
After 90 days of deliberation, nine out of the 10 states that
Pataki asked to participate in a regional carbon dioxide emission
cap accepted—Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, Delaware,
Maine, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and Rhode
Island. Maryland, who declined participation at this time,
may become involved at a later date.
was pleased that it was such an enthusiastic bipartisan response,”
said Anne Reynolds, air and energy program director with Environmental
Advocates of New York. “I still wish that New York would go
ahead and establish a state carbon cap or at least begin the
rulemaking process to establish that at the same time they
are continuing discussions.”
Participating states will meet in September 2003 to begin
discussions on the development of a cap in each state and
establish a set of rules for trading reduction credits. Power
plants will be allowed to purchase emission rights, an allocated
amount of carbon dioxide set by each state, from another plant
in the region. The plan should be completed by April 2005.
Richard McIntire, spokesman for the Maryland Department of
the Environment, said state officials understand why Pataki
wanted to attack greenhouse gas emissions with a regional
approach, but said there are more issues that Maryland needs
to address first, such as carbon monoxide and cleaning up
the Chesapeake Bay. Presently, Maryland has no regulations
for carbon dioxide emissions.
not a situation where we have flat-out said ‘no,’” said McIntire,
who said the door isn’t closed to anything. “We’ve had a process
of our own underway. It wouldn’t be fair to invalidate the
whole process and sign on to another initiative.”
Rulemaking in New York is known to take up to two years, said
Reynolds, who urged Pataki to get started now. Reynolds said
that because there is no regional government, each state is
going to have to establish their own cap and accompanying
rules, and then discuss trading as a region.
a step, but by no means a complete victory,” said Babbie.
against money in politics: protesters at the Bush fund-raiser
Photo: John Whipple
fund-raiser Tuesday for President George W. Bush, hosted by
Gov. George E. Pataki, offered an ideal setting for local
activists to highlight their respective issues by protesting.
The fund-raiser was a $1,000-per-plate event complete with
Bush’s sister, Dora Bush Koch, as a special guest. The event
was held at the Armory Automotive Center (Colvin and Central
avenues, Albany). The protest, which took place at the beginning
of the fund-raiser, was a bipartisan demonstration, according
to Jon Bartholomew, an organizer with Citizen Action of New
Among the groups protesting were Citizen Action of New York,
Women Against War, Alliance for Democracy, Bethlehem Neighbors
for Peace, New York Citizens for Clean Elections, Capital
District for Justice and Peace, Upper Hudson Peace Action,
and the Saratoga Peace Alliance.
The protest was organized to bring attention to campaign finance
reform and help in “reclaiming our democracy,” Bartholomew
The demonstrators, numbering in the hundreds, marched up and
down Colvin Avenue outside the Amory Center brandishing signs
and bullhorns, as well as mops and brooms, representing clean
elections and the need to “M.O.P. up” campaign finance policies
(Money Out of Politics). A five-minute excerpt from a local
activist’s play, a political satire focusing on the loss of
democracy, was performed in the street.
campaign finance system that we have right now corrupts the
whole idea of democracy,” said Bartholomew.
There are two major problems with the current campaign finance
system, according to Bartholomew: Generally, candidates are
personally wealthy, have access to money or are willing “to
sell their souls,” he said, adding that once elected officials
are in office, the campaign contributors get special attention.
Bartholomew and Citizen Action of New York protestors are
pushing the state to enact Clean Money, Clean Elections legislation.
This initiative, already used in Arizona and Maine, calls
for public funding of campaigns once candidates have proven
they have public support.