Letters to the editor

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Remembering Armenian genocide

April 24 marks the 109th commemoration of the Armenian genocide. Our Armenian history is well documented, save for a select few who seem to think that having a revisionist’s view of history somehow changes it. On April 24, 1915, most Armenian doctors, educators, writers, intellectuals, lawyers and community leaders were ordered rounded up and viciously killed, or forced into death marches. This massacre left over 1.5 million Armenians dead from the actions of Young Turk Government members.

Genocide across the world has had a profound effect, and there is no doubt that this was a horrific incident, encased in a horrid part of history. Unspeakable crimes, committed by undeserving-to-mention individuals, and by a community and government who still to this day overwhelmingly denies this history.

We must recognize the happenings of 109 years ago. Wounds heal, but scars certainly remain. The healing process truly begins when all involved take responsibility for their role. We will never be able to change what happened, but we can all help with continuing to educate, so that history never repeats itself.

Armenian Americans and human rights supporters must continue to teach individuals of this history. We must take time to reflect and remember all of our family and friends whose lives were taken. There is no mistake that we have a dark cloud hanging over our heritage due to horrific actions from others. However, we also have a ray of sunshine shining through, and that is our successes and survival.

State Rep. David Muradian, 9th Worcester District

Message to Congress: Help!

Many of us agree with the saying, "If you don't stand up for something, you'll fall for anything."Yet such acts require courage, and in more than a single instance. And the world craves such moral commitment today. Sometimes, history even demands that we individually, and as a nation, decide on the course of war. It's a duty many of us would prefer to shirk, but avoidance is not patriotism.

In the Middle East, Israel, formed in 1947 in the aftermath of the Holocaust, is itself obliterating Gaza and precipitating a massive humanitarian catastrophe; starvation and a lack of medical access are rampant. While Hamas' invasion of Israel was savage, Israel's retaliation, partly fueled by American armaments, has killed over 30,000 civilians. Unless more Americans insist we reject this carnage, history will hold us partly responsible.

In Eastern Europe, Vladimir Putin's Russian army is waging a brutal war of attrition against a smaller neighbor, Ukraine, a sovereign nation once part of the Soviet Union. Currently, in large part because of a pause in U.S. military support, Ukrainian troops are being outshelled 10-to-one on the battlefield and the country's prospects wane. Again, history will ask: Why did the world's strongest democracy, the U.S., abandon Ukraine in its time of need? We must decide here, too. Tell Congress: Help!

R. Jay Allain, Orleans

Traffic study on warehouse project needed

The Shrewsbury Planning Board is reviewing a proposal to construct two massive warehouses totaling 927,000 square feet that could severely impact our community's safety. The plan includes 524 parking spaces, 187 loading docks and 71 trailer storage spaces. This proposal would add 1,495 vehicle trips to existing traffic; 554 would be large diesel-engine trucks.

I am especially concerned with the Shrewsbury Planning Board's failure to demand an in-depth traffic analysis and review of the 1-290 on and off ramps at Main Street before approving a special permit for the developer. The problem lies in the potential impact of the increased number of trailer trucks navigating that area, and the teenagers traveling this route daily on their way to Shrewsbury High School. I'm also concerned about the dangers posed by increased trailer truck traffic on our local roads.

The safety and well-being of our residents, especially our youth, are of utmost importance to everyone.

I suggest the Shrewsbury town planners pursue an extensive traffic analysis of all areas, including the I-290 ramps. As seasoned town officials, they must make informed decisions that prioritize the welfare of our community.

This study should delve into the traffic patterns and potential hazards associated with the proposed development, emphasizing the safety of the students negotiating the I-290 intersection. The Shrewsbury Planning Board must gather sufficient information before giving final approval.

To voice your concerns or provide comments, email the Shrewsbury board at planning@shrewsburyma.gov.Let's not have a tragedy occur and then look back and think, "Too bad we didn't do such a study."

Anne Marie Rafferty DiPierro, Shrewsbury

Ban exotic animals in traveling acts

Since Ringling Bros. came to Massachusetts last week, residents have been delighting in its spectacularly reimagined animal-free show. Lawmakers in the commonwealth should take a cue from Ringling and pass a bill restricting the use of exotic animals (elephants, big cats, bears, primates and giraffes) in traveling shows.

Exotic animals used in traveling acts suffer from extreme confinement, abusive training, negligent veterinary care and a lack of opportunities to express natural behaviors.

These wild animals have inflicted hundreds of injuries on spectators, including at the Brockton Fair, where a girl was bitten by a monkey in 2017. Exotic animals used in traveling shows also put the public at risk of contracting zoonotic diseases like tuberculosis and rabies.

House Bill 3245 ensures that our state no longer supports this cruel industry, protects public health and safety, and standardizes an existing patchwork of local laws on this issue. Notably, in these communities with related municipal laws, shows have successfully adapted, demonstrating a viable business model.

Massachusetts should no longer be supporting the cruel and dangerous traveling exotic animal acts industry.

Elizabeth Magner, Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (MSPCA-Angell), Boston

This article originally appeared on Telegram & Gazette: Letters to the editor