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It’s Good to Be Here

To the Editor:

To answer Al Quaglieri’s question [Al Things Considered, July 10]: Yes, I’ve dreamed of leaving, but sept- and octogenarian parents who bailed me out of legal troubles in my youth, a local girlfriend of over one year who actually likes my weirdness, no more Buffalo lake-effect snowstorms (our family moved here in late August, 1977 . . . seven months too late!), and Jimapco (no, I don’t work there—reason later) manage to keep me here in the Mo-Hud Valley.

First of all, Al’s right in that “all that’s paradiscal is not gold,” and there do seem to be real disadvantages to living in places where one can wear abbreviated clothes most of the year—from common, every-year natural forces that can turn one’s home to splinters in seconds to awakening to find a venomous spider or snake on one’s pillow without the aid of Dr. No’s or Mr. Big’s henchmen. As a Woody Allen-esque semi-wuss, I can sympathize. My advice to the claustrophobes is to take up any kind of outdoor winter activity—even snowshoeing if not extremely inclined athletically—and then party ’round the lodge fireplace afterwards. You’ll find it’s invigorating and very romantic in both senses of the word.

Second and culturally, much of Capitaland’s deficit is really a New York state of mind where conservatives embody the worst reactionism of Texas without the drawl, and liberals the utopian idealism of San Francisco’s cultural correctness. Although I will say that since 9/11—or more specifically, since the Patriot Act—even the NYCLU has taken a more classically liberal (a.k.a. “libertarian”) turn (or perhaps “emphasis”) away from the more contemporary definitions of the term. As one who was originally from the YAF and not SDS side of the fence, I naturally view this as positive even though my own “redneck wings were clipped” long ago, to paraphrase Elton John.

For example, I’ll never be the kind of car-basher with a Henry Ford dartboard, but nonetheless believe that the Tri-Cities would benefit immensely from an off-road mass transit rail system for daily commuters, non-drivers/car-owners, and those who want to paint the town with the deliberate intention of getting blotto. And speaking of trains, even if Amtrak’s vast western routes prove to be economically inefficient, our “northeast corridors” will still turn a profit and persist. Long before 9/11 I was an infrequent flyer, and don’t care for the current added delays and body probes, especially when going someplace that only takes one handful of hours to get to on the ground.

And this brings us to proximity . . . from dramatic, malevolent seashores to purple mountains with serene lakes and streams to great cities in which we all love to visit but would rather not reside. Go buy Jimapco’s Northeastern United States sheet map. Notice how New England, southern Quebec—and the Capital District—are on one side, and on the other side the Middle Atlantic states down to D.C. and just below the Mason-Dixon line, southern Ontario . . . and the Capital District again. ’Nuff said.

Bernard Continelli
Rensselaer

In Case of Emergency

To the Editor:

Emergency contraception is an important, but underused, method of preventing pregnancy [Newsfront, July 24]. Legislation passed this year will require hospital emergency departments to provide rape victims with counseling and on-site access to emergency contraception.

The Metroland article on this topic helped to inform readers about this important new policy that will give women the best possible chance of avoiding pregnancy as a result of rape.

One aspect of the article deserves clarification. While a pregnancy test can be part of a hospital’s treatment of rape survivors, it is important to point out that the test is not necessary before administering emergency contraception. Because emergency contraception does not harm an existing pregnancy, the pills are often given without a test.

EC is available not only to rape victims, but to anyone who has experienced a failure of birth control and is concerned about becoming pregnant. In any case, the sooner emergency contraception is taken, the better the chances of preventing unintended pregnancy.

Emergency contraception can be obtained by getting a prescription from a doctor’s office and is available at most family-planning clinics.

The important thing is for the pills to be taken as soon as possible after unprotected sex.

JoAnn Smith
President/CEO
Family Planning Advocates of New York State, Albany

Clarification

In Metroland’s Best of the Capital Region 2003 [July 17], we ran the results of the Readers’ Poll in gray boxes sprinkled throughout the main body of text comprising the staff Best Of selections. In gray boxes labeled “You Said It,” we printed a sampling of responses we received from readers to a handful of open-ended questions in the poll. Among these were approximately a dozen reader-supplied choices for the category Best Local Felon.

While this portion of the Readers’ Poll was intended for amusement only, it has come to our attention that not all of the names we printed are actual convicted felons. We regret the oversight and the insensitivity, and we do not plan on including this category in future Readers’ Polls.

Metroland welcomes typed, double-spaced letters (computer printouts OK), addressed to the editor. Or you may e-mail them to: metroland@metroland.net. Metroland reserves the right to edit letters for length; 300 words is the preferred maximum. You must include your name, address and day and evening telephone numbers. We will not publish letters that cannot be verified, nor those that are illegible, irresponsible or factually inaccurate.

Send to:
Letters, Metroland, 4 Central Ave.,
4th Floor, Albany, NY 12210
or e-mail us at metroland@metroland.net.


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