Good to Be Here
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.
Case of 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
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
Emergency contraception can be obtained by getting a prescription
from a doctor’s office and is available at most family-planning
The important thing is for the pills to be taken as soon as
possible after unprotected sex.
Planning Advocates of New York State, Albany
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
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.
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