Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Aug. 24

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWhere is outrage over police actions? Where is the outrage? I saw two pictures on the local news that should shame us all.In Galveston, Texas, a black man with handcuffs behind his back was attached to a rope on each wrist held by two officers on horseback, who were leading him down a road.In Troy, two policemen were on top of a man who was on the ground and a third officer with a police dog picked up the dog and set it on the man on the ground. It was then said the dog bit the man.Peg LapoDelanson We are off to the races folks, and the finish line is the coffers of the Roman Catholic Church.Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s legislation virtually removing the time limit on filing claims of childhood sexual abuse, while well-intentioned, has opened the floodgates making anyone in a Roman collar fair game for a lawsuit and hence a monetary award for the accuser.And, playing into this fiasco, the proliferation of ads featuring law firms licensed to practice in New York (quite obviously looking to make a handsome fee) has become a disgrace to the profession.While Cuomo’s law has given an opportunity for many victims who had been afraid for decades to finally come forward and get the justice they so rightfully deserve, the sheer numbers and the list of clergy that seems to grow each day makes one question the veracity of some allegations.It seems that anyone who has ever been in a Catholic church, school, rectory, camp or any edifice, enterprise or activity that was even tangentially a part of the Catholic Church has already declared or will soon reveal that a priest, deacon or brother abused them. While I’m positively, absolutely,certain there are legitimate complaints, as someone who spent his entire childhood, adolescence and adulthood immersed in the church and its institutions, I am equally, positively, absolutely, certain that abuse was not universal. Frank J. CiervoNiskayunaState must address health care taxes/feesA recent letter to the editor in The Gazette wrote about a 2002 initiated 6.8 percent “luxury tax” on the costs to be a nursing home patient. With rates that reach $15,000 per month, this extra tax is an obscene affront to the ailing and elderly.I wrote to my state senator and assemblywoman many months ago about an extra New York tax/surcharge on my medical bills for necessary surgery, stating that I was appalled that patients would be considered a target for the state to rake in more revenue.Do state politicians see something here that needs repealing? Let’s have our legislators move on from feel-good photo opportunities and get to some really important legislative activity. Years ago, Sen, Jim Tedisco (then assemblyman) had alleged that the state had a spending problem, which he then watered down to a “spending-priority” problem to appease liberals in the district. Well, New York simply has a spending problem, amplified by high-taxed residents moving out to more efficiently run states. For a start, I and many others would love to see something done about these health care taxes/fees/surcharges. They should be gone.Christine DeMariaClifton ParkSeniors can’t afford school tax burden I need to opt-out from paying my school taxes.We are in our 70s on a very limited income. We try to live on Social Security and minimal pensions. I no longer can afford to pay for six-figure salaries, health and retirement benefits unheard of by many seniors.The latest last straw has been to hear people cashing in on thousands of dollars of unused sick time. This is a vacation fund paid for by my tax dollars that I could use for my own health care costs and other monthly expenses. Each month, I must set aside money from my Social Security income to be sure I will have funds to pay taxes in September. I have been paying taxes for over 50 years and I feel I have done my part. I no longer can subsidize the ever-rising cost each year. I’m sure I speak for many seniors. Paul St. OngeCharltonWe need reasonable  gun control policiesDr. L. Barlyn’s August 14 letter ( “Media Coverage Spurs More Violence”), was a reasoned, sensible response to the hysteria which occurs after each tragic episode of gun violence. But I disagreed with his gun control solutions.Panicked people run around like chickens with their heads chopped off demanding our pandering politicians do “something,” even if that “something” might be totally ineffective in reducing gun violence or even worsen the problem. Greatly diminishing rights of law-abiding gun owners is a worthless non-solution that our enemies must cheer. Gun registries should only contain the identities of people who should not own guns, similar to the “no fly” terrorist watch list. Gun registries that  reveal names of legal gun owners/buyers should be abolished; any such registry would be of great use to an enemy in the event (God forbid) of an attempted take-over. If these grieving, frightened people were familiar with world history, they would know that disarmed societies have wound up like sheep to be shorn and were enslaved or annihilated.History is replete with examples: Stalin’s Russia, 3 million-10 million; Cambodia’s killing fields; Rwanda; etc. For those too lazy to study history, watch “The Magnificent Seven” on TCM. For those who think, “It can never happen here,” just look around at this beautiful, rich-in-natural-resources country and know there are tyrants (foreign and domestic) who would unleash a bloodbath to possess it. Fortunately, we have many courageous citizens, still armed with 300 million guns, who would make a tyrant think twice. Shelda RoerigBallston Lake Doubt all church sex abuse claims are legit ‘Dangerousness’ in bail is discriminatoryLet’s set the facts straight: New York’s bail law has never included “dangerousness” and for good reason. (Editorial: Fix bail laws to give judges more discretion with violent offenders). “Dangerousness” measures have been proven to openly discriminate against black and brown defendants. They present the false promise that judges can accurately predict whether a person will commit a crime in the future based upon simple accusations when the evidence shows that they can’t. In 1969, when New York’s current bail law was being negotiated, the Legislature specifically rejected adding dangerousness to the statute based on concern that such determinations would be too speculative and would disproportionately harm low-income communities of color. The same is true today.Adding “dangerousness” to New York’s bail statute would invite judges to indulge negative racial stereotypes about who is “dangerous,” which is why advocates, legal experts and elected leaders rightfully fought to keep it out of the new bail law.A 2008 study found that black defendants with more than one prior conviction are 28 percent more likely to be considered “dangerous” than white defendants with similar records. The author concluded that “assessments of dangerousness and culpability are linked to race and ethnicity, even after offense seriousness and prior record are controlled.”Bail isn’t a tool for incarceration, nor was it ever meant to be. The goal of bail reform is to end mass jailing and create a more equitable pretrial system. The new bail law is an important step toward that vision.Clyanna LightbournTroyOutrage over racism raises questionsIn regard to Gerard Havasy’s August 16 letter (“Not everyone who disagrees is a racist”) about the people he grew up with who did not like people of color and President Trump all not being racists: to paraphrase William Shakespeare “Me thinks the gentleman doth protest too much.”Lyn KucijSchenectadySt. Clare’s workers just want fair shareOn Aug. 8, I called into the Paul Vandenburgh radio program. I felt that as co-chair of the St. Clare’s Pensioners Committee, I had to set the record straight. Paul said that he felt that the pensioners would readily take money from the state to fund their pension. He stated that the governor was only saying that he did not know anything about our issues. It sounded like Paul was supporting the governor and that hurt. We are 1,100-plus good, hardworking people who were guaranteed our pension in writing by St. Clare’s Hospital in Prudential letterhead every single year. We don’t know what happened and we are definitely not looking for a “handout.” We are asking for help from the bishop and the governor as our leaders. Thank God for Letitia James, the new state attorney general. Her forensic investigation will reveal the real story. I only hope it is soon.Mary Hartshorne Ballston Lakecenter_img More from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Don’t let Trump gut EPA’s protectionsFor much of the past year, drivers in Saratoga Springs had to detour around a construction site at the intersection of Excelsior and High Rock Avenues.What looked like the expansion of a church parking lot and a little municipal groundskeeping was in fact a project to clean up polluted soil at the Niagara Mohawk Power Corp. Superfund site.Federal Superfund sites are areas contaminated by toxic waste that the Environmental Protection Agency has designated top priorities for cleanup. There are dozens of federal Superfund sites in New York and two dozen more that have been successfully remediated and removed from the list of national priorities.The Superfund program is only one way in which the EPA makes New York a safer and healthier place to live, and only one of many programs that are at risk under the Trump administration.The White House has proposed a budget for 2020 that docks the Superfund budget by $116 million. The proposal also includes a vast array of cuts to the EPA that will make it easier for polluters to release toxic chemicals into our environment and harder for federal and state governments to hold them to account. With the upcoming budget negotiations, our senators have an opportunity to reject the president’s vision of a future in which industries are free to pollute with impunity. They can build, instead, an EPA that will outlast the current administration and continue to protect our communities far into the future.Maude EmersonSaratoga SpringsDon’t punish children who are unvaccinated I’m extremely disappointed in your Aug. 17 editorial calling for the house arrest of unvaccinated children. Who should be in charge of enforcing this? Will this be an expansion of police duties or a special officer from DOH? Do you suggest a new law where all children need to wear a badge stating their vaccination status? Why stop with children? Shouldn’t all people be required to carry their papers at all times? After all, plenty of adults are not up to date. Where does that end? Perhaps a better solution is to question school-aged children out and about during school hours. This would include home-schooled children who are vaccinated, but it’s all for a good cause as long as we target, harass, and bully unvaccinated children until they are afraid to leave their homes.Do you see where this can lead? Think what you will about the parents making these decisions. Children will pay the price of the hysteria being stoked.If this crisis were solely about measles, why is the entire vaccine schedule being enforced? Why not just a measles shot, separate from mumps and rubella? Why are students required to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, a blood-borne pathogen, if the problem is measles? Please consider the implications of vilifying unvaccinated children. Those who had religious exemptions represent less than 1 percent of the population, but editorials like yours would have people looking at all children as potential walking biohazards. Who does this constant fear serve? Certainly not the children.Bronwyn FackrellGlenvilleEpstein had wealth but had lost his soulWhat a deplorable situation.Jeffrey Epstein was a billionaire and he could have put his money to good use emulating Bill Gates.I wish he had three sensible friends:One psychiatrist who could have found the cause of seeking happiness through sex trafficking. Another doctor friend, who could have tested his hormonal levels, especially testosterone, and treated it to adjust them from bad to good. And a third friend, a pastor, who could have helped him to seek spiritual guidance.What’s the use of winning the whole world and to lose the soul? He has taught a good lesson to boys and young men how to conduct themselves decently and not to become a prey to the devil, but to follow God’s principals.Dr. Mercy PremsegerGlenvillelast_img read more

CLS makes 34% NAV increase

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Rising sons

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Thai student under observation in East Java after returning from virus-hit Thailand

first_imgSatrio said four other Thai students who had traveled home to Thailand would soon return to continue their studies in Tulungagung. The health agency would coordinate with campus authorities to monitor them upon their return, he added. “We have just been informed that one of them is on their way to return to Indonesia,” he said.AS and the four students are among 106 Thai nationals studying at the institute. Thailand has recorded at least 33 confirmed cases of the coronavirus (COVID-19) since the virus, which was first discovered in Wuhan, China, spread globally, Reuters reported on Tuesday. Health authorities also conducted body temperature checks on dozens of foreign students at IAIN Tulungagung on Thursday as a precautionary measure.Blitar Immigration Office head Andika Pandu Kurniawan said the office had conducted “immigration surveillance” last week to monitor foreign citizens living in Tulungagung, including 16 foreigners from China, Hong Kong and Taiwan, although none of them had traveled home during the period of the coronavirus outbreak.Blitar Health Agency official Krisna Yekti told The Jakarta Post on Thursday that the agency had also been monitoring local residents who had recently arrived in the regency from countries exposed to the coronavirus. Since early January, the agency has recorded 24 residents, mostly migrant workers, arriving in Blitar from China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, among other places — all of which had confirmed coronavirus cases. China has recorded the highest number of deaths and infections so far. Krisna acknowledged that a female migrant worker who arrived in Blitar from Hong Kong on Feb. 2 had previously shown symptoms of influenza, including a high body temperature, a cough and breathing problems, which were similar to that of coronavirus. “We visited her [on Wednesday] and her health had already improved,” Krisna said, adding that the woman had been taken care of at her own home and was currently under intense monitoring by the agency. As of Thursday, the coronavirus had killed 1,367 people and infected nearly 60,000 globally, AFP reported.Despite having reported suspected coronavirus cases, Indonesia has not confirmed any cases so far. (afr)Topics : A Thai student enrolled at the Tulungagung State Islamic Institute (IAIN) has been put under observation after returning to East Java from her home country of Thailand, where more than 30 cases of the novel coronavirus have been confirmed since January.Health authorities said that the female student, identified as AS, did not show symptoms of the coronavirus and remained in good condition after arriving in Tulungagung on Feb. 8.”She is under our monitoring for 14 days starting from the day of her arrival from Thailand. This is the standard operating procedure [SOP],” Tulungagung health agency official Satrio Wibowo told journalists on Thursday. last_img read more

PREMIUMGroups encourage Indonesian women to break stigma, join STEM

first_imgGoogle Linkedin women-in-STEM women-empowerment STEM LOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Indonesia is stepping up its efforts in women empowerment with more communities to help young girls and women embrace science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM).The groups, which include STEM with Her (Jakarta), Femme in STEM (Bandung, West Java), Jakarta Society of Women Engineers (Jakarta SWE) and West Nusa Tenggara Society of Women Engineers (NTB SWE), are trying to break stigmas and norms that still hamper women’s participation in the fields.One of the stigmas is that STEM fields are regarded as a male domain requiring physical exertion and working in dirty and dangerous environments. Saskia Amalia Aryono, the founder of STEM with Her, believes that more exposure to female role models could help break the stigma.“I’m lucky that I have had role models since I was a child because my mother and aunt are e… Topics : Facebook Forgot Password ? Log in with your social accountlast_img read more

PREMIUMIndonesia announces $742m stimulus to shield economy from virus

first_imgThe government has announced a Rp 10.3 trillion (US$742 million) stimulus package that is expected to boost consumer spending and reinvigorate Indonesia’s tourism industry, which has been deflated by the deadly coronavirus outbreak.Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said on Tuesday that the government would disburse 
Rp 4.6 trillion to the 15.2 million beneficiaries of its staple needs program. The government will also add Rp 1.5 trillion to housing loan and down payment subsidies for low-income Indonesians.“This is the 30 percent bottom segment. They will use the funds immediately for consumption,” Sri Mulyani said at the State Palace.The government will also grant Rp 3.3 trillion to regional authorities to compensate for tax revenue losses from tax exemptions that are also part of the stimulus.“We will support ten tourist destinations […] by not co… Wuhan-coronavirus COVID-19 stimulus China household-consumption tourism Sri-Mulyani-Indrawati Jokowi tax-collection Log in with your social account Linkedin Google Topics : Forgot Password ? Facebook LOG INDon’t have an account? Register herelast_img read more

Medan woman tests positive for COVID-19 after trip to Jerusalem

first_imgTopics : A woman in Medan, North Sumatra has tested positive for COVID-19 after a recent trip to Jerusalem.The 51-year-old woman is the second confirmed case in Medan. The first patient, a doctor, passed away Tuesday.COVID-19 response team coordinator at Adam Malik Hospital in Medan, Ade Rahmaini, said the first and second case were not connected. However, she said both patients had recent travel history to Jerusalem.”Both have travel history to Jerusalem but in different groups,” Ade said on a press conference on Thursday.The hospital’s spokesperson, Rosario Dorothy Simanjuntak, said 11 people were being treated in isolation rooms as of Thursday.”10 patients are COVID-19 suspects and one has tested positive for the virus,” Rosario said.North Sumatra Health Agency head Alwi Mujahid said the agency was tracing the group that went to Jerusalem with patient one.”Patient one, a lung specialist,  had traveled to Jerusalem and Italy. He went with a group of people and we’re tracking them at the moment,”Alwi told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. (nal)last_img read more

Romania increases jail penalties to fight virus spread

first_imgIohannis declared a state of emergency on Monday.Restaurants and coffee shops are closed and gatherings of more than 100 people are banned. Flights to and from Italy and Spain have been suspended.With the Easter holiday on the horizon, Iohannis advised the Romanian diaspora — more than four million people — to avoid returning home.”With sadness, but with sincerity, we must say that you shouldn’t return home this year,” he said, adding: “It’s basically impossible to travel throughout Europe.” Around 3,800 people have been placed in quarantine in Romania, mostly people returning from high-risk areas or those who have had contact with a confirmed or suspected coronavirus patient.”We can’t accept that irresponsible citizens who should be isolated don’t respect the rules, walk around freely among others and risk making other people sick,” Prime Minister Ludovic Orban said.The eastern European country has so far recorded 227 confirmed cases of the virus but no deaths, with 25 people having made a recovery.”The numbers will go up for sure,” President Klaus Iohannis said on Thursday during a videoconference with the prime minister and regional leaders. Topics :center_img Romanians face up to 15 years in prison if they violate measures imposed to contain the coronavirus pandemic, the government announced on Thursday.An emergency decree lays down the harshest punishment for those who know they have the disease and flout the rules — up to 15 years if someone gets infected and dies as a result of their actions.Anyone failing to respect quarantine rules could face up to three years in prison, going up to five if their actions lead to the infection of another person.last_img read more

Six Bandung shopping malls close doors, stepping up efforts against COVID-19

first_imgAt least six shopping malls in Bandung, West Java, have announced temporary or partial closures starting on Wednesday due to the COVID-19 outbreak.The first shopping mall to make the announcement was Miko Mall, on Tuesday, although several outlets offering basic goods and ATM centers remain open. “To support the government’s efforts to prevent the spread of COVID-19, we are announcing the temporary suspension of our operations to April 10, except for outlets on the lower ground floor, the ATM center and tenants [offering] delivery services,” the Miko Mall management announced on its official Instagram account on Tuesday.Cihampelas Walk followed suit on its social media account, announcing its temporary closure from March 27 through April 9.”To support maintaining the health of all Bandung residents, we will stop our operations from March 27 to April 9 — except for Yogya Supermarket, Watsons, Century, Guardian, BJB Bank, and the ATM center. While we are closed, we urge all customers to stay home,” it said.Meanwhile, Paris Van Java Mall has announced on its Instagram account that it will be closing its doors from March 27 to April 2.”However, Carrefour Paris Van Java [remains open] and can be accessed through the Concourse Level entrance. The supermarket is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.,” it noted.Three other Bandung shopping malls suspending operations are the King Shopping Center (March 27-April 2), Paskal (March 28-April 10) and BTC Mall (March 27-April 5).Earlier on March 14, Bandung Mayor Oded M. Danial issued several preventive measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the city, although closing shopping malls was not one of them.”I urged all markets, shopping malls, shopping centers and modern outlets to continue [to offer] their services while implementing maximum health standards and preventative measures for COVID-19,” Oded said at the time.The mayor also shut down schools and several public facilities for two weeks starting March 16.He also advised the city’s residents to remain alert, follow a healthy lifestyle, avoid crowded areas and stay at home. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

As media layoffs grow, industry pleads for urgent relief

first_imgA grim outlook Some analysts offer the grimmest of pictures for an industry that has been shrinking for two decades and struggling for a business model in the digital age.Ken Doctor, a media analyst and consultant, highlighted the irony of the situation, with the public needing independent information more than ever.”This has accelerated the timeline for news organizations,” Doctor said. “They have been trying to come to grips with being truly digital and most of these outlets have been too slow.”Even with spikes in digital readers, advertising has taken a hit from slumping business conditions, and from marketers’ reluctance to place ads alongside news of the crisis, the analyst said.Doctor said the news organizations, which have been relying more on subscriber revenue, such as The New York Times and Wall Street Journal, may weather the crisis better.But he sees an increase in “ghost newspapers” which have been bought by investors and still make money “but have little or no local content” due to newsroom cuts, Doctor added. Topics : Relief on the way?Some modest relief efforts are underway. Facebook said it was committing $100 million to help news organizations confront the crisis including with some “emergency” grants.The National Geographic Society launched an emergency fund for journalists all over the world covering COVID-19 within their own communities, with grants of between $1,000 and $8,000.Some hard-hit outlets like free weeklies have shut down in print or been asking readers for contributions, while the Chicago Reader issued a coloring book to raise funds.The NewsGuild, which represents about 25,000 journalists at 200 outlets, called Wednesday for a public fund to support newsrooms and media workers to prevent layoffs, along with tax credits and deductions for news subscriptions.”The industry was already suffering and entered this crisis without enough workers to cover this story,” the union’s president Jon Schleuss said in a message to members. “Now, we’re facing a possible extinction.”The question of federal government aid is politically awkward for the media, and comes amid longstanding distrust of journalism outlets and attacks on media by President Donald Trump.Some outlets may be able to obtain tax credits or other relief from the $2 trillion economic relief package approved by Congress, yet many in the industry say this may not avert a further erosion of the media.The media advocacy group Free Press said a journalism stimulus plan should include “direct, emergency subsidies” for newsrooms and tax credits.Others have called for the government to spend $500 million on public service ads about the health crisis to aid media.Duke University public policy professor Philip Napoli said the crisis may help awaken the public to the importance of news media.”News is what economists call a  public good, a type of product for which it is particularly challenging for the market to capture its full value,” Napoli said in a Wired editorial. “The price we pay for news and the price advertisers pay to reach news consumers doesn’t reflect the news’ full economic value.” The ailing news industry, struggling during a pandemic-induced economic slump, is pressing for new government relief as media outlets scramble to keep covering the health crisis.News outlets have begun layoffs, furloughs and pay cuts even as readers increasingly turn to the media for reliable information about the coronavirus outbreak.Many local news organizations are facing “an existential crisis” with the near collapse of advertising revenues, according to a letter from two industry groups to President Donald Trump and congressional leaders.center_img “We will be engaging with elected representatives in a discussion of options for actions the federal government could take to help sustain our local news ecosystem,” said the letter from the News Media Alliance and America’s Newspapers, which represent hundreds of media groups.Earlier this week, the largest US newspaper chain, Gannett, announced a combination of pay cuts and temporary furloughs in an effort to ride out the crisis. Another media firm, Lee Enterprises, is asking employees to accept two weeks of unpaid leave during the next three months at its more than 70 newspapers.The Tampa Bay Times said it would cut its print editions to only Sundays and Wednesdays due to the sharp ad revenue drop.The Times-Picayune and The Advocate, the largest news organization in New Orleans, is to furlough about 10 percent of its staff due to the slump, and C & G Newspapers has suspended publication of its 19 print newspapers in the Detroit area. “While many publishers have seen increases in online traffic and digital subscriptions, the additional revenue has in no way made up for the sharp losses in ad revenue,” said a blog post by David Chavern of the News Media Alliance.last_img read more