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Planning the zoo's future
Readers responded to Monroe County's plan to renovate the Seneca Park Zoo, including tearing down the main building (News, March 18).
I love the zoo and think it is past time that the zoo updates its main building. Zoos have a key role in getting people interested in wildlife which will, in the long run, help create the political pressure to save wildlife habitats.
The zoo should not be a prison to animals that should otherwise be free. They should also not serve animals as food. The irony is that the only reason a zoo might need to exist is to help animals who might otherwise go extinct. But the eating of animals is one of the prime reasons animals go extinct.
Close this animal prison. Children are not going to learn much from an animal in an artificial habit other than putting profit and entertainment over an animal's right to be free just like us.
What is the long-term plan for the zoo? If they can't expand at Seneca Park, maybe a long-term plan to move the zoo back to Durand Eastman Park where there's tons of room.
We need to stop preserving specimens and start saving habitats. The specimens found in zoos are very poor representations of the species.
In order to survive in captivity, they need to possess behavioral attributes — lack of aggression, adaptability to non-native climates — usually at odds with the attributes that would make them best suited for survival in their natural habitat.
A generation or two in captivity and you don't even really have a specimen of that species anymore.
In nature, these organisms are creating and maintaining our life-support system. In captivity, they are feeding a foolish worldview for humans who'd rather have someplace to take the kids on Sunday than actually securing their kids' future.
Vargas vs. the school board
Rochester schools Superintendent Bolgen Vargas may sue the school board over changes in his responsibilities (Urban Journal, March 11).
"The superintendent says the board is trying to take away authority that both state law and his contract allow — authority he needs in order to carry out his responsibilities."
That's funny — this is the same argument schools have about central office. Give the principals and schools their authority back because we need it to carry out OUR responsibility, which is to TEACH OUR CHILDREN.
Can I ask if any of this means putting staffing and scheduling back at the building level?
I have never experienced mismanagement as I have in the past two years. Central office has no idea the needs of a particular building.
LISA DIRENZO ENGLERT
Poverty may be the single biggest hurdle in all of this, but this is all about personnel, and this has never been clearer to everyone who works in the district.
The district has never had so many high-level changes, large-scale blunders, principal discontent, student shuffling, superintendent vs. board chair anxiety, volunteer unhappiness, parent confusion, etc.
GOTTA SAY IT