Letters to the Editor

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The Lesson of the IDP Victory As president of the Frank McCourt High School PTA and a participant in the Brandeis Campus Working Group, I would like to thank each and every person who gave time and support in our efforts to keep Innovation Diploma Plus (IDP) at the Brandeis Campus. The recent news of the DOE's decision to drop the proposal to move IDP is a victory not only for all four high schools co-located in the campus, but for all public schools in the city. In my experience as an involved parent, PTA president and previous member of the Community Education Council, I have seen the DOE at many times make decisions on rezoning, co-location, moving and closing schools without the support of the community. I am thrilled that this time we were able to join together, raise our voices and say "NO MORE!" I appreciate that many of us spent endless hours in our efforts to keep IDP "home." We have spent valuable time needlessly, much of it parent volunteer time. It is time we would rather have spent bettering our schools and communities. More importantly, I hope the DOE realizes that we don't want to do it again. - Robin Klueber President, Frank McCourt High School PTA Only Adopt I was pleased with much of Cori Menkin's story educating readers regarding pet shops and their relationship to commercial breeding facilities known as puppy mills ["Don't Be Fooled By Deceptive Puppy Mills," Jan. 17], but I do have one major point of contention: Menkin writes of making adoption the "first option" when looking for a companion animal. I say it should be the first, second, third and only option. There is no reason to purchase an animal via pet shop, over the Internet or from those whom Menkin labels "responsible breeders." For the thousands of animals living and dying every year in shelters and breed-specific rescue groups, I suggest that "responsible breeders" put a temporary halt to their puppy/money-making operations, and, instead, lead all potential customers to the many shelter animals already looking for homes. Menkin, an ASPCA employee, understandably mentions only the ASPCA facilities, but there are many other shelters and small rescues to visit, including Animal Care & Control at 326 E. 110th St., where you will save a life and a great deal of money. - Mickey Kramer, President and founder of Iadoptedmypet.com Saving the Horses Many people want to see the horse carriage trade come to an end in NYC, and with the looming mayoral election, now is the time to get serious and support legislation that could make it happen. We started this campaign in 2006, and all online polls done since that time show between 75 and 80 percent of respondents favoring a ban of this trade. Most people who support a ban just want to see the horses off the street and have not analyzed the electric car bill-Intro 86A. But the money does not exist for these cars. I know, because I have analyzed the bill and the financials behind it. It will cost $4,000,000 the first year to put 23 cars on the road to substitute for 23 horses. The overall cost will be close to $12,000,000. Politicians, who may not realize the funding does not exist, have said that they will leave it up to the tourists to decide which they like better-the cars or a carriage ride. This is not what anyone who supports getting the horses off the street wants. How much longer are politicians going to look the other way and try to shift responsibility for doing the right thing? Are they waiting for a human death to occur as it has in other parts of the country? Besides, a ban of this business should not be dependent on the success of an untried business. Continued support for this Emperor's New Clothes bill is hurting the legislation that actually would make a difference: New York State Senate Bill S667 and Assembly Bill A997, sponsored by Sen. Tony Avella and Assembly Member Linda Rosenthal, respectively. These bills are are not glamorous and not surrounded by celebrities but nevertheless have a better chance of passing and becoming law if legislators have the courage to support them. It is time! Horses do not belong on congested city streets. There have been too many accidents to mention here, and many continue to go unreported. Please get involved and visit us at www.banhdc.org. - Elizabeth Forel, Coalition to Ban Horse-Drawn Carriages CORRECTION: In last week's cover story about the Westside Rifle & Pistol Range, the weapon cocked by Howard Kwok's rifle class was a rifle not a shotgun, as stated.

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