Americans must act to stop gun violence

first_imgThe Obama White House was fired upon — he was not in residence at the time. Martin Luther King and Robert Kennedy were also assassinated. Two members of Congress were shot, but survived with the female victim suffering severe brain damage.Why is it that the powerful NRA gun lobby can’t provide any information or data on its claim that guns are needed for individuals to protect themselves by having guns? Could it be that there are no practical facts or records? The American people need to instill a backbone in our faint-hearted Congress, which always backs away from any meaningful gun control despite our ghastly record of unnecessary mass deaths by guns.The American public must demand action from their government to end these horrific mass murders by guns, otherwise the killings will never end.Benjamin Franklin wisely stated the results of inaction when he pointed out that people who behave like sheep will be devoured by the wolves.Mary Jane ValachovicNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists From 2005 to 2016, over 300,000 people were killed by guns. No other industrialized country in the world has such a tragic record.In addition, many of our presidents and leaders have been assassinated, including Lincoln, McKinley, Garfield and Kennedy. Theodore Roosevelt was shot while giving a speech. He survived because the bullet hit his metal glass case. Franklin Roosevelt was attacked while riding in an open car. The bullet missed him, but killed his passenger.President Truman’s residence was fired on by two gunmen, who killed one guard. The second guard was able to kill the attackers. President Reagan was seriously wounded, but did recover. President Ford had an attempt made on his life by a deranged woman. Gov. Wallace was shot and disabled by a lone gunman. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Foss: State’s Amazon deal warranted scrutiny

first_imgThis latest twist in the ongoing GE saga is just another reminder that the incentives states use to attract businesses don’t always live up to the hype. There are countless examples of companies that received generous government subsidies but failed to produce the jobs they promised or make promised investments. One of the bigger boondoggles in recent memory is Wisconsin’s decision to award the Taiwan-based electronics company Foxconn $4 billion in subsidies to build a massive new facility that would employ 13,000 people. These lofty plans have since been scaled back, and the promised jobs seem unlikely to materialize. I don’t know what Amazon would or wouldn’t have done had it built a second headquarters in New York City, and perhaps the $3 billion in incentives offered by the state would one day have seemed like a great deal, though I have my doubts. What I do know is that, given their spotty track record, these deals shouldn’t be above scrutiny or criticism. New Yorkers are right to object to the lack of transparency, accountability and public involvement that characterized the state’s effort to bring Amazon to New York City, and to ask whether the cost would have been worth it. In all likelihood, it wouldn’t have been.  Categories: News, OpinionOn the same day Amazon announced that, no, it won’t be building a second headquarters in New York City after all, I found myself reading about General Electric. It was just a few years ago that Massachusetts scored what appeared to be a major economic development coup, luring GE to Boston with a $150 million incentive package.  Things haven’t worked out as planned, to put it mildly. Last week the struggling company announced that it will sell the parcel of land where its new Boston headquarters was supposed to go, and reimburse $87 million in state money used to acquire and prep the property.  Certainly, it wouldn’t have taken much for him to convince people the company was acting in good faith — to demonstrate some concern about Amazon’s impact on housing prices, homelessness or New York City’s already overburdened public transportation system. Of course, state leaders, from Gov. Andrew Cuomo on down, could have done more to make the case that Amazon’s presence would have been good for New York.But they didn’t, and were ill-prepared to do anything other than lash out at their opponents when the deal fell apart in such shocking and unexpected fashion. If the Amazon saga has one lesson, it’s that it’s no longer enough to entice a big business to your community. You also need to justify the expense, and explain how the average person will benefit.Neither Bezos nor Cuomo did this, and it’s ultimately what doomed Amazon’s plans for New York. Reach Gazette columnist Sara Foss at sfoss@dailygazette.net. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s.More from The Daily Gazette:Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…Crossgates mall sues for $20M-plus as Lord & Taylor shuts downMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashFeds: Painting stolen by Nazis and found at Arkell Museum returned to familycenter_img In an essay titled, “Handing Out Tax Breaks to Businesses is Worst Than Useless,” the writer and urban theorist Richard Florida makes the case that our current approach to economic development is hugely wasteful. States, Florida writes, “shell out too much money up front. They front-load incentives, instead of watching how businesses that are getting the incentives perform over time. Companies are able to take the incentives and can be slow to deliver on jobs or follow on investments, or in some cases just pull up shop altogether. … Basically, states hand over the money to companies and then do not even follow up to see if they are working or not.” Whether the uproar over New York’s incentives for Amazon sparks a larger movement to reform our broken system of economic development remains to be seen.But it should. There’s a better way to do things — one that takes the concerns of residents into consideration and treating the community as a partner, rather than an irritation to be subdued and overcome. Amazon had little interest in addressing the questions raised by its opponents, opting to scrap its plan to build in Queens rather than deal with these perfectly valid concerns. This “my way or the highway” approach doesn’t reflect favorably on Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, suggesting that in addition to being the richest man on earth he might also be the most thin-skinned. last_img read more

Letters to Editor for Tuesday, Sept. 10, 2019

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCelebrate work of direct support prosThis week (Sept. 8-14) is National Direct Support Professionals week.Direct Support Professionals (DSPs) are the people you see throughout our community assisting individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities with shopping, working, and every other aspect of their lives.DSPs are at work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week helping people achieve their goals and lead independent lives.At Schenectady ARC, 80 percent of our workforce are DSPs.   As a family-based, not-for-profit organization focused on serving people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, we could not function without our committed and compassionate DSPs.During National DSP week we are honoring our DSPs with lunches donated by our board of directors, and with raffles of gift cards and merchandise donated by grateful family members and our corporate partners.During this week, we hope everyone will join us in celebrating these dedicated workers and thanking them for vital role they play in supporting people and making our communities diverse, inclusive, and better places to live.Kirk LewisSchenectadyThe writer is the executive director of Schenectady ARC.The world cannot afford to lose wasps Had Mr. Barron not sprayed the nest, his chances of getting stung are slim. “But most wasps are actually solitary, non-stinging varieties.And all do far more good for humans…,” according to National Geographic. However wasps with the ability to sting only do so if they feel threatened.Much like bees, wasps are suffering a decline, which humanity cannot afford.If this continues, there will be less pollination and manage of pest control in crops.Haley SurprenantSand LakeMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuscenter_img Humanity has always had its quarrel with wasps.They build nests in our homes and disturb everyday activities. But what society fails to see is the serenity and protection they bring to us. Our negligence in understanding the importance of their role in society could ultimately lead to sacrifice.Despite the disgust and panic they instill upon us, wasps are extremely beneficial to our ecosystems. They prey on virtually every pest.“Wasps are so adept at controlling pest populations that the agricultural industry now regularly deploys them to protect crops,” explains National Geographic.According to the University College of London, next to bees, wasps are “humanity’s most ecologically and economically important organisms.” These pests also carry human diseases.According to an article published by the New York Times, “Mr. Barron immediately retreated, and later sprayed hornet killer on the nest… He said that just angered the yellow jackets, the highly aggressive wasps that live in such colonies. Mr. Barron was stung 11 times.”With that being said, are wasps really that dangerous to mankind?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, Nov. 20

first_imgGazette provides opposing viewpointsMy letter is in response to Mike Eplite’s Oct. 4 letter (“Paper has shifted too far left.”) Looking at the Letters to the Editor and the Opinion page of The Daily Gazette,  I have observed that the paper has included both conservative and more liberal thoughts in the opinion section of the paper. I think it is better to have a paper that prints voices that include people’s views across the spectrum of beliefs, so that we don’t just hear opinions from just the right or the left.While the primary goal of a newspaper is to objectively report the news of the day, the reality is that our country is divided along party lines, and it is our media that can help us to evaluate both sides of an issue.If we only look at one side, then we languish in the side in which we feel most comfortable.As citizens, we need to be challenged to consider the other side and to understand the basis for the other side’s position. We still might come out supporting the side where we’re most comfortable, but at least we have examined both sides of the issue.To refuse to consider a difference of opinion, we fail to use our intelligence to think through different perspectives on the issues of the day.Bill ShapiroSchenectadyNisky should weigh public trash pickupWith 2020 being a national election year, we can expect to hear much overheated rhetoric about the evils of socialism and the joys of free enterprise.So let’s consider a necessary service: garbage pickup. When we moved to our Niskayuna neighborhood in ‘84 there was one service, municipally provided, if memory serves. Now we have three commercial services.Recently a young man tried to sell us on yet a fourth service with aggressive pricing as his selling point. He claimed that some neighbors had signed up. If true, this would mean that four times each week, we will have very heavy trucks making multiple stops, including reversing on neighborhood streets which have numerous curves with short sight distances.In addition to autos, these streets are used by walkers, bicyclists, joggers, schoolchildren waiting in the dark for school buses, UPS, FedEx, USPS, town trucks picking up yard waste and clearing snow, and homeowners allowing yard waste to spill into the street. Such a combination appears to be a recipe for a personal injury accident or even a fatality.Do we just wait for this to happen or act proactively, either by returning to solely municipal garbage pickup (enduring the evils of socialism?) or a single private provider whose pricing is regulated by the town?  Ted and Norrine ThompsonSchenectadyGrateful for coverage of Connery servicesI extend a sincere thank you to The Gazette newspaper and all the TV stations that provided extensive positive media coverage of the acceptance of the body at 3 p.m. and the memorial Mass at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Nov. 6 at the Church of the Immaculate Conception in Glenville in memory of Reverend J. Thomas Connery, our beloved former pastor, teacher and friend.Your coverage was a great gift to our Catholic community.Joseph M. AglioGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: 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 motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGOP needs to learn art of compromiseRepresentative Elise Stefanik was questioned recently about healthcare, but had no viable answers. She voted to eliminate the Affordable Care Act without a replacement in place, stating that any replacement had to be a bipartisan agreement.She’s denying the Republicans’ efforts in the creation of the ACA through ideas from a Republican think tank, The American Heritage Corporation, in response to the President Clinton’s efforts to institute universal healthcare.Middle class families were going bankrupt at alarming rates. A Harvard study revealed that 51% of the bankruptcies in the country were for medical reasons. Of these, 75%were insured. The Republican plan was a way to preserve the insurance industry and cover all Americans with real coverage. President Obama appointed a committee of six Republican and six Democratic senators to approach the issue, get input and formulate a plan; which became the ACA.The Republican Party had shifted from a center-right party to a radicalized totalitarian party whose sole purpose was to obstruct everything the opposition party put forward. The Republicans’ goal has been dominance and wanting the new president to fail. They have no plans for infrastructure, healthcare or immigration reform.The Affordable Care Act was the compromise, and that’s why the Republicans have no solutions to replace it. It was their own plan. How do you come to a bipartisan agreement with a totalitarian party that refuses to compromise?Frank DeSantisGloversvilleThe writer is a former Republican mayor of the city of Gloversville.last_img read more

Wilson buys ex-RAF site in Warrington

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You better shape up

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Stepping out

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Scramble to revalue after tax break is axed

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See you later, alligator: Crocodile rescue contest in Palu cancelled as no takers emerge

first_img“We will not give up. We have prepared equipment for the team,” he said, adding that the special team would arrive in Palu on Tuesday.However, Hasmuni did not reveal what strategies the special team would adopt to rescue the crocodile.BKSDA Central Sulawesi had launched the contest because it did not have enough resources to locate the wild crocodile in question.Read also: Up for a challenge? Contest held in Palu to save crocodile stuck in tire for years The reptile was regularly spotted swimming in the waters connecting the Palu River to Palu Bay. Officials and conservationists previously tried but failed to catch it.Family Reptiler Tadulako (FARTA), a community of reptile lovers in Palu, expressed hope that the crocodile could be helped as soon as possible, as the tire could endanger its life.“Hopefully the evacuation can run smoothly. We hope that we can help the agency in some way,” FARTA founder Gunanta said.Gunanta said that, once saved, the crocodile could be released in the Palu River, its original habitat. (syk) A contest to save a wild crocodile that has been living with a used motorcycle tire around its neck for years has been cancelled after the Central Sulawesi Natural Resources Conservation Agency (BKSDA Central Sulawesi) failed to gain any interest from the community.“Yes, we are ending the contest,” BKSDA Central Sulawesi head Hasmuni Hasmar said during a visit to the Palu River on Sunday as quoted by Antara news agency.Hasmuni said that, in place of the contest, the agency would prepare a special team with the assistance of the Environment and Forestry Ministry’s Biodiversity Conservation Directorate General.center_img Topics :last_img read more

BREAKING: Japanese man tests positive for COVID-19 after Indonesia visit: Report

first_imgA Japanese man has tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) shortly after returning from a visit to Indonesia, Japanese public broadcaster NHK has reported.According to the NHK report, the Tokyo metropolitan government announced on Saturday that the man, a Tokyo resident in his 60s, had been infected by the novel coronavirus.The man, a staff member of a senior care facility, visited a healthcare institution on Feb. 12 after he developed “cold-like symptoms”, but returned home the same day because he was not diagnosed with pneumonia. He returned to work at the senior home on Feb. 13. He spent Feb. 14 at home and then reportedly traveled to Indonesia on a family vacation on Feb. 15.  The NHK report did not specify the man’s exact destination in Indonesia.The man was hospitalized upon his return to Japan on Feb. 19 for severe difficulty breathing, and is said to be in “serious condition”.A press release from the Tokyo Novel Coronavirus Infectious Disease Control Center on the Tokyo metropolitan government’s website states that a Tokyo resident in his 60s had tested positive for the disease and that the onset of his symptoms occurred on Feb. 12. The release, however, does not mention any travel history to Indonesia, saying only that the man had no travel history to China within 14 days prior to onset of symptoms. The patient’s condition is listed as “serious”.This case marks the second time a patient has tested positive for COVID-19 following a visit to Indonesia. The first, a Chinese man identified as Jin, tested positive for the disease earlier this month, eight days after returning from Bali. (kmt)Topics :last_img read more