Letters to the Editor for Friday, June 7

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCharacter should matter in a presidentThe people of the United States, by popular vote, elected their choice for president. Enter the Electoral College. Due to redistricting to suit the leaders of one party in this election, the popular vote went down the tubes.We elected a man who was only interested in being a dictator, abandoning and confusing many of our allies, and much preferring dictators, people who only want to be “hangers on” to the man they believe will be able to rule the world.He will do this, of course, with his charming personality, kindness to the wealthy and ignoring what he considers the lower “working class.” I was a child during World War II, but I still remember my parents and, by extension, me, always feeling confident after listening to President Franklin Roosevelt speak. Now, 75-plus years later, when the leader of this country tweets, twitters and brags, I feel only discouraged. Party shouldn’t matter—character should!Pat BruschettiCanajohariePlenty of reasons to re-elect Madigan After reading the candidates’ submitted rationales for why they should be endorsed and spending several hours reviewing and debating, the Saratoga Springs Democratic Committee voted to endorse current Finance Commissioner Michele Madigan for re-election as the more qualified candidate.While different members had different rationale for selecting Madigan, my rationale included: Madigan has seven years experience running the city’s finances; our taxes haven’t been raised for seven years; our bond ratings by Moody’s and Standard & Poor’s are high and have increased during her tenure in office; Madigan has successfully pushed for expanded trails, balanced growth and increased sustainability; and she’s worked closely with our other Democratic office holders: Mayor Kelly and Commissioners Franck and Martin.Her good work continues with her recent announcement that the city’s reserves increased by another $1,200,000.Unfortunately, after losing the committee vote, Patty Morrison decided to run as an unendorsed candidate for our city’s very important and difficult finance job, for which she was found to be the less-qualified individual. I hope you’ll join me and the Democratic Committee and vote for Commissioner Michele Madigan in the Democratic primary on June 25. Cynthia CorbettSaratoga SpringsNisky board justified in extending contractThank you, Niskayuna school board, for voting to extend Superintendent Tangorra’s contract. This crucial first step will establish stability in a tumultuous time in our district, a turbulence shamefully stoked by The Gazette. The May 30 editorial (“Nisky board flunks sup’t extension”) and subsequent cartoon mark new lows in a persistent bias against Niskayuna schools.To The Gazette’s first point: Notification of the contract was done exactly as it has always been. The public knew about the contract vote. The meeting was well attended, and many people spoke, nothing sneaky. To the second point: Yes, we elected two new board members, but the only candidate for school board critical of the superintendent was defeated. Even if the new members opposed the contract, the vote would be 5-2, a moot point. The current board negotiated the contract over the last several months; it makes sense that they would then vote on it. To the last ridiculous point: Extend for just a year or two? Really? We are facing a capital project with the possibility of school reconfigurations, and The Gazette thinks we need a temp at the helm?The problems between the bargaining units and administration are being addressed. The board didn’t “flunk” the contract vote. The Gazette has failed its readership. Perhaps the editorial staff would benefit from a Niskayuna education that teaches its students to think critically and consider a diversity of thought. Reprehensibly, The Gazette focuses only on the viewpoints of malcontents and a disgruntled minority of union members.Aliza MesbahiNiskayunaHow would you feel if kids got measles?With no sense of irony and I suppose substantial amount of snark (or lack of awareness), Karen Cookson asks in her June 2 op-ed if there is a correlation between vaccines and developmental issues. She then writes, “Just asking.”Ms. Cookson, how would you feel if your children were among those in the areas of New York state where measles were again a concern, after have been wiped out in 2000? Just asking.Michael FondacaroAlbanyChange the way public schools are financedI wonder when the taxpayers of the state are going to wake up to the fact that they are being ripped off every year by these oppressive school taxes. Do they realize that their school taxes amount to 66.5 percent of their total property tax? I think that many people have given up voting on school budgets because they feel they have little control over anything.We were told years ago that proceeds from the state lottery would be used for education.The state has been promoting gambling of all types ever since, with no lowering effect on any of our taxes. School boards throughout the state have an obligation to the taxpayers to petition the state to change its way of allocating state aid.We must tell our lawmakers that enough is enough, and they need to do something about it. There needs to be change in the way that public schools are financed to give substantial relief to the property owners of this state.Robert A. Van VorstGlenville Thanks for including the flag in newspaperI was very impressed with the addition to the paper on Memorial Day. I refer to the picture of our flag. Someone had the common sense to put the advertisements on the back.I did read those, but our flag needs to stand alone. And that picture of our flag is now on the door of my home. A great idea.Beverly J. OudtScotiaDemocrats need new mantra on TrumpDemocrats need a new mantra. The “Trump derangement syndrome” has sent them and their fake media over the top with stupid accusations. Congressman Paul Tonko has joined the chorus. I like the one sentence Western summary of the Mueller report and Congress now circulating on the Internet: “While we recognize that the subject did not actually steal any horses, he is obviously guilty of trying to resist being hanged for it.”Gerard F. HavasyClifton ParkLate-night TV should seek other targetsIt’s interesting that the shows out of New York City, such as The Tonight Show and Saturday Night Live, make a living night after night, week after week, out of roasting Donald Trump. Don’t they realize that Americans love an underdog? It’d be refreshing to see what they can do with some other jokers in Washington and Albany for a change. I’d stay up to watch Cuomo and Pelosi being raked over the coals.Mac BryantSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Tuesday, Oct. 8

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDems lie so big they distort the truthThe Big Lie was used by Adolf Hitler in his book “Mein Kampf.”He said in Mein Kampf of telling a “lie so colossal that no one would believe that someone could distort the truth so infamously.”  Sounds like the current crop of Democrats in Washington, D.C.Lou MosherAmsterdamPressure Metroplex for funding of parksIn the Oct. 5 Gazette, Pete Demola reported that Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy will seek additional funding for city parks.The New York state law creating Metroplex states under “purposes and powers of the authority” that Metroplex is to, “…design, develop, plan, finance, create, site, construct, renovate, administer, operate, manage and/or maintain such buildings, parks,….and other facilities as may be necessary or convenient…”Metroplex will get approximately $8,689,000 from county sales tax receipts in 2019. Any funding for parks?The Metroplex Law requires its chair and board to give rigorous detailed reports on its projects to the county legislature, the City Council, town boards and the public. But the annual Metroplex report to the county legislature is superficial, while the other reporting requirements are simply ignored altogether.Our elected representatives at the town, city and county level will ask the Metroplex Development Authority representatives to spell out what Metroplex will do to upgrade parks in the city and towns, as well as all other Metroplex projects, only when the voting public demands it.Elmer BertschNiskayunaGrateful to all who packed backpacksSchenectady Community Ministries (SiCM) would like to take this opportunity to thank the Feed the Children Organization, Price Rite Market Place, Thompson and Johnson Equipment Co for their forklift and operator, Schenectady Police Department,  Mayor McCarthy, Superintendent Larry Spring, Assemblyman Phil Steck, officials from Assemblyman Santabarbara’s and Congressman Paul Tonko’s offices, Susan Zimiti from the governor’s office, and Tom Hedderon from NYS SNAP Program, the SiCM Staff and 75+ community volunteers for making the “BackPack Giveaway Program” such a wonderful success.On Thursday, Aug. 29, starting about 6:30 a.m., this group of staff and volunteers met to setup the distribution of backpacks filled with school supplies, new reading books, boxes of personal care items, cases of water and cases of fresh produce for 400 families.The entire operation was unloaded, setup, distributed and cleaned up by 2 p.m. Four hundred families, approximately 1,800 individuals, received these supplies, all donated from Feed the Children and the Price Rite Market Place.SiCM thanks you for assisting our families in preparing for Back to School.Jo-Anne RafalikSchenectadyThe writer is the Summer Meals Director for Schenectady Community Ministries. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Driven to disruption

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Cumbria Access some areas

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Tim for a change

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Tax liability software deal

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Talk of the towns

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Yenny Wahid on mission to popularize sport climbing, discover new talents

first_imgDjoko acknowledged this had been a successful strategy, as it was the purpose of a sport association to gain the best assistance for its athletes.”There are no regulations that specifically prohibit this. However, it would be best for sports people if the government provided greater support alongside stricter monitoring to ensure results,” he told The Jakarta Post recently.Sport climbing has grown in popularity in Indonesia over the past three years thanks to the achievements of the national sport climbing squad at a series of international events. The inclusion of the sport at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta and South Sumatra’s Palembang also boosted its popularity and helped change perceptions of it from only a hobby of outdoor enthusiasts to a legitimate sport.On a mission to create many more Indonesian spiderwomen and spidermen, Yenny’s first goal is to intensify efforts to popularize the sport by building 100 climbing walls across the country.“We will look for potential talents from schools, beginning at the elementary level. The [new] walls could be developed at schools or at other facilities. This will boost enthusiasm [toward sport climbing].”“If we facilitate the youngsters [by providing facilities], they will be able to hone their abilities and we will be able to spot those with the potential to go forward,” she said.When taking on her new role, Yenny, who is also known as a pluralism activist, acknowledged there were many challenges to developing the sport, including a lack of facilities and infrastructure.“Significant investment is required to renew or build new infrastructure. Building a wall and buying the equipment is expensive enough,” she said.“I received information that one of our male athletes actually broke a world record during an Asian championship last year in Bogor [West Java] but it was annulled as the measurement equipment used [at the event] did not meet international standards,”“That is tragic. For me, those kinds of circumstances must not be repeated in the future,” she added.Right now, members of the national sport climbing squad are on a mission to secure the last ticket to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics. After failing to grab an Olympic ticket at the qualifier in Toulouse, France, last November, the squad, comprising Aries Susanti Rahayu, Nurul Iqamah, Alfian M. Fajri and Aspar Jaelolo, will battle for the ticket at the last qualifiers at the Asian championships in Morioka, Japan, on May 18 to 24.The Tokyo Games, where sport climbing will make its Olympic debut, will only feature a combined event comprising three climbing disciplines, namely speed, lead and bouldering.Indonesian athletes are known to excel at speed climbing.“Our biggest competitor in the last qualifier will be the Koreans, as they excel in lead climbing and bouldering,” said FPTI’s achievement and development department deputy head Rahmat Sofyan. The daughter of the late former president Abdurrahman “Gus Dur” Wahid and newly appointed chairwoman of the Indonesian Sport Climbing Federation (FPTI), Yenny Wahid, has vowed to go all out to improve the country’s performance in the sport by producing more high-quality athletes.Yenny, widely known as one of President Joko Widodo’s biggest supporters, has followed in the steps of National Intelligence Chief Gen. (ret) Budi Gunawan and former vice presidential candidate Sandiaga Uno, who have previously dived into the national esports industry by taking roles in the newly established Indonesia Esports Association.The former journalist was elected as the federation’s chairwoman in December last year by acclamation and will head the organization until 2023. She decided to run for the position as she felt Indonesia had a lot of untapped potential in the sport, she explained during the inauguration of the federation’s new management in Jakarta on Tuesday. Topics :center_img “I like sport climbing despite the fact I cannot climb,” she said.“We already have the Indonesian Spiderwoman, but I feel there are many talents out there waiting to be discovered. That’s why I want to contribute to developing sport climbing in Indonesia,” she added, referring to star sport climber Aries Susanti Rahayu, who is popularly known by her nickname Spiderwoman, which she earned after setting a world speed climbing record of under 7 seconds.Many believe Yenny faces an uphill battle because of her inexperience in the field, or even worse, suspecting her to have used the federation as a political vehicle to gain popularity. Responding to this, Yenny said at the end of the day it will be the results of her leadership that would tell the difference.Previously, head of the Indonesian Sport Scientist Association Djoko Pekik Irianto said many sport associations had sought to appoint chairpersons with close proximity to political power in order to guarantee government support.last_img read more

US could start reopening in May, top virus advisor says

first_imgAnthony Fauci, the veteran pandemic expert who has quietly sought action to stem infections, said in a televised interview that parts of the country could begin easing restrictions in May — but was cautious.”I think it could probably start at least in some ways maybe next month,” Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, told CNN.”We are hoping by the end of the month we can look around and say, OK, is there any element here that we can safely and cautiously start pulling back on?” Fauci said.”If so, do it. If not, then just continue to hunker down.” The United States may be ready to start gradually reopening next month, the government’s top infectious diseases expert said Sunday, as signs grew that the coronavirus pandemic was peaking.President Donald Trump had earlier wanted the world’s largest economy to be “raring to go” by Easter Sunday, but most of the country remained at a standstill and churches took celebrations online to halt the spread of the virus that has killed more than 22,000 people in the US.Trump has cast the decision on when to ease the lockdown as the biggest of his presidency as he faces competing pressures from public health experts and businesses along with some conservative allies who want a swift return to business as usual. Fauci said that regions would be ready at different times rather than the United States turning back on like a “light switch.”Stephen Hahn, commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration, told ABC he was “hopeful” about a reopening on April 1 but added: “I think it’s too early to be able to tell that.”Unlike in most Western countries, lockdown decisions are primarily up to local governments, not the president, and leaders of a number of hard-hit, densely populated states have vowed to act as long as necessary.”We want to reopen as soon as possible,” New York Governor Andrew Cuomo told reporters. “The caveat is we need to be smart in the way we reopen.”Neighboring New Jersey’s governor, fellow Democrat Phil Murphy, said that an economic recovery depended on a “full health-care recovery.”If “we start to get back on our feet too soon, I fear, based on the data we’re looking at, we could be throwing gasoline on the fire,” Murphy told CBS.Trump, for his part, wrote on Twitter Sunday: “We are winning, and will win, the war on the Invisible Enemy!” Topics : ‘Cautiously optimistic’ The United States has been recording nearly 2,000 deaths a day from the coronavirus, disproportionately older people with weakened immune systems and ethnic minorities with less access to health care and teleworking.Worst-hit New York recorded another 758 coronavirus deaths, Cuomo said.”You’re not seeing a great decline in the numbers, but you’re seeing a flattening,” he said.Fauci similarly said he was “cautiously optimistic” as admissions into hospitals and intensive care had begun to decline.The United States, which has 4.25 percent of the world’s population, accounts for almost a fifth of the world’s nearly 110,000 deaths from COVID-19 since the disease first emerged in China late last year.The New York Times, in an extensive article published Sunday, described Trump as failing to act quickly in part due to confidence in his gut instincts and his distrust of civil servants he brands as a conspiratorial “deep state.”Fauci, who has advised six successive presidents, acknowledged when asked about the article that the US could have saved lives by shutting down public spaces when the disease’s seriousness became clear early in the year.”But there was a lot of pushback about shutting things down back then,” Fauci told CNN, without naming Trump.Trump soon afterward posted an interview on in which Fauci said that the United States “early on did not get correct information.”Trump last week zeroed in on the World Health Organization to explain early difficulties, saying the UN body was overly reliant on China when illnesses first emerged in Wuhan.Trump had been hoping to campaign on a strong economy as he seeks re-election in November.Instead, some 17 million people have lost their jobs in a matter of weeks and his presumptive Democratic rival, Joe Biden, has been hammering him over his virus response.last_img read more

Jokowi fires child protection commissioner who made ‘pregnant from swimming pools’ claim

first_imgCouncil chairman I Gede Dewa recommended that Sitti resign voluntarily or risk being dishonorably discharged by the President himself.Sitti nevertheless refused to resign and urged the President to reconsider her dismissal from office amid the current COVID-19 pandemic.“Allow me to plead to the President that this is a time when every element must work together [for the country’s best interests],” she said in a statement on Saturday.Sitti became the subject of controversy in February after saying that women should exercise caution when swimming in public swimming pools for fear of getting pregnant.“There is an especially strong type of male sperm that may cause […] pregnancy in a swimming pool,” Sitti said in the interview. “Even without penetration, men may become sexually excited [by women in the pool] and ejaculate, therefore causing a pregnancy.”She initially defended her claim, saying that it was based on scientific journals, but later retracted the statement and apologized.The KPAI itself issued a response saying that Sitti’s statement did not represent the views of the organization. (rfa) Topics : KPAI chairman Susanto had called on the State Secretary to promptly dismiss Sitti on Wednesday.The agency’s ethical council previously recommended Sitti’s immediate removal from office, saying that she had violated the commission’s code of ethics by making the statement.Read also: Child protection commissioner apologizes for saying ‘strong sperm’ could impregnate women in swimming poolsThe ethical council also said that Sitti had been dishonest in claiming that her statement was backed up by scientific studies.center_img President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has signed a decree on the immediate dismissal of Indonesian Child Protection Commission member Sitti Hikmawaty following her scientifically inaccurate claim that “strong sperm” could impregnate women in swimming pools.“[The decree] has been [signed],” State Secretariat secretary Setya Utama said on Sunday as quoted by tempo.co.The presidential decree states that Sitti would be dishonorably discharged from her duty as a KPAI member. The dismissal would be carried out through the Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Ministry.last_img read more