Kudos to library for Jamboree help

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Schenectady County Public Library (SCPL) and Friends of SCPL are iconic institutions in the area’s educational and cultural life. I’m delighted that they are supporting The Reading Is Fun Program (RIF)’s first annual Grand Reading Jamboree, to be held in the historic Proctors Theatre complex, donated for the event, on April 21, noon to 4 p.m. RIF’s many volunteers promote early-childhood literacy by working on foundational reading and conversational skills and vocabulary with especially challenged 4-9-year-olds in pre-K, Kindergarten, and Grades 1-3 in the Schenectady City School District. The Jamboree is keyed to that mission. Friends is funding Nina Crews, a leading children’s-book author of color, to participate in the Jamboree and it’s defraying the cost of two costumed famous children’s-book characters, Cat in the Hat and Thing One and Thing Two. Another outstanding children’s-book author of color, Ty Allan Jackson, is joining Nina Crews at the Jamboree, to resonate with an anticipated large gathering, especially with those from Schenectady’s communities of color SCPL will issue library cards at the Jamboree and organize a book-nook with diverse literacy activities for young children and literacy information for adults.The Jamboree will be for about, and by Schenectady children — about getting and keeping them on the reading track, for all of their lives. In that interest, RIF has arranged for the outstanding Culinary Arts Department at the Steinmetz Career and Learning Academy, an off site part of Schenectady High School, to cater the event, which many children’s books and other items will be gifted to the youngsters.CDTA is donating buses for those needing rides and from the Jamboree.ALVIN MAGIDNiskayunaThe writer is founder and executive director of The Reading Is Fun Program (RIF). He is an emeritus professor of political science at University at Albany/SUNY.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesNiskayuna girls’ cross country wins over BethlehemEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Who does Chris Tague actually represent?

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The 102nd Assembly District now has a representative in Albany, but will he be representing all of us or just the Republicans and his close buddies? No secret here; I’m not a big fan of Mr. Chris Tague. But I’m hoping he will put partisan politics aside and work for all of his constituents. I truly want to give him a chance and see him do well, for if Mr. Tague does do some good, it should benefit the district that he represents. Mr. Tague was sworn in recently and one of the first statements out of his mouth has me thinking if I’ve been right about him all along. Assemblyman Tague stated: “I’m excited to get down to work on behalf of my friends, neighbors and constituents.” Now, they’re just words and maybe I’m making a big deal about nothing. But I have always said, Chris Tague — good for his friends, bad for the rest of us. For Mr. Tague to be successful, he must always remember his constituents come first.Jerry FioreSummitMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOppose tax bill that will hurt nonprofitsNon-profit organizations — including charities, colleges and universities, hospitals and religious institutions — are enormously important to the economic health of our area.It’s important that we call on our congressional representatives to repeal the Unrelated Business Income Tax (UBIT) of 21 percent on parking and transportation fringe benefits provided by tax-exempt entities. This was included in the tax reform act last year. Housing project costs are very highRe Dec. 8 article, “Hamilton Hill housing gets $3.3 million boost,” $40 million toward a second phase. Most of these organizations are subject to this tax, particularly those that provide parking predominantly for their employees. Employers who do not provide their employees with cash subsidies for parking or transit benefits will still have to estimate and assess tax on the cost of maintaining employee parking spaces if most of the spots are used by employees. Incredibly, even employers who do not pay for these amenities, but ask their employees to pay their own costs on a pre-tax basis, are taxed as well.The result is that already-overstretched, non-profit budgets must be stretched further to pay this federal tax. This needlessly burdens the public service missions of many worthy organizations. The alternative many face is to take the benefit away from their employees.Please join me in asking U.S. Reps. Paul Tonko and Elise Stefanik, and U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand and Charles Schumer to support efforts to repeal this tax and to correct this unfair and burdensome situation. Let’s enable these worthy organizations to focus their resources on their missions; performing some of the most essential work of our region and our society. Keith KaplanSaratoga Springs The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has only approved one marijuana drug. Does anyone care about the long-term effect on humans?Veterinarians are concerned on the harmful effects on animals. Do we have the same concern for humans? There is a nationwide crisis with teenagers vaping. What happens when you add marijuana to the mix?We spend millions a year on ads on the harmful effects of smoking and drug addictions on one’s health. Will we spend more to counter the impact of marijuana?The state Comptroller’s Office estimates a $3.1 billion market for recreational marijuana that could conservatively yield annual tax revenues of as much as $1.3 billion. I believe our annual state budget is about $168 billion. The increase in revenue from marijuana would be less than 1 percent of the total. That’s just a rounding error for the state, and it’s wasteful spending.Finally how many deaths will be caused by increased DUI’s and other circumstances due to marijuana? I wouldn’t want to be one of our legislators who vote for legalization and have those deaths on my conscience.Jim VincentNiskayuna center_img Consider negatives of legalizing potThere have recently been a number of articles on recreational marijuana. It appears the focus is on the new revenue the state will receive. Consider the following:Many doctors have indicated marijuana is a gateway drug. Are we adding to the state’s addiction problem?The American Medical Association has not given its overall approval for medical marijuana, let alone recreational marijuana.   The numbers I pulled out were: 58 units at $22 million, or approximately $379,000 per unit; 85 units at $40 million, or approximately $482,000 per unit. I think those numbers are astounding.I certainly understand the need. What I can’t understand is the cost. It seems to me that when the government or tax money is involved in construction projects, money is no concern. It’s a concern to me, since I live in the highest-taxed state in the union.How about we rehab some of the foreclosed properties? Let’s assume the average single-family home in the city is $125,000 —that’s about three or four houses versus one unit in this project.See? The numbers don’t click.As I said, I understand the need, but you have to understand it has to be paid out of our pocket (the taxpayers).There ain’t no free lunch.Charles “Bill” HansenRotterdam JunctionMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, March 11

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump made the swamp even murkierYou have to admit that Trump followed through on one of his campaign promises. He “drained the swamp.” God will punish abortion supportersHow many more murdered babies will be sacrificed to the money-grubbing abortion industry?It was with horror, when I found out New York state passed the abortion bill allowing abortion to be done up to birth.Who are these maniacs who think this stuff up? Now women can have abortions for “age, economic, social and emotional factors.”What happened to abortions only for the physical health of the mother? What percentage of abortions are really done for the physical health of the mother nowadays? It’s pretty darn low if you ask me. I never thought this country could stoop so low as to murder babies. Yes, they’re babies, not a bunch of cells.Just remember you big-shot politicians, Judgement Day will come, and who will be the big shots then (Gov. Cuomo).  To have the gall to light up the World Trade Center in pink, they should’ve used red, the color of blood, shed by these innocent babies.I’m also ticked that my tax money is going toward abortion.According to Sen. Rand Paul, $7 billion in taxpayer funding went to abortion providers like Planned Parenthood, under the guise of “community health services,” under Obama.I’m a retired registered nurse who was taught to take care of people, not murder them.If I were working today in the health care field, I’d refuse to participate in abortions, whether it cost me my job or not.This country will receive God’s judgement upon it for these abortion laws. May God have mercy on us all.Audrey SaltsmanJohnstownMore 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: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccine Anyone in the federal administration with intelligence, experience, or moral principles was sent packing. And they have been replaced with the likes of John Bolton and Mike Pompeo, both of whom never saw a war they didn’t like; an oil company lobbyist for EPA chief; and a secretary of education who derides public education.And now we get Elliot Abrams, appointed by Pompeo as special representative for Venezuela, where Trump hopes to overthrow a government of an oil-rich nation.Sound familiar? It should. Abrams was one of Dubya’s chief advisers who, along with Dick Cheney and Paul Wolfowitz, lied us into the never-ending war in Iraq.Before that, he was deeply involved in Reagan’s Iran-Contra scandal and was convicted on two counts of unlawfully withholding information from Congress. Bush pardoned him.He was also accused by Amnesty International of covering up atrocities by United States-backed dictators in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala, where he supported mass murderer Efrain Rios Montt.Independent Counsel Lawrence Walsh prepared a number of felony counts against Abrams, but he got off with a plea agreement, a $50 fine and community service. He also came close to being disbarred in the District of Columbia. Sound like a typical Trump appointee? Yup. Trump drained the swamp. But he’s turning it into a cesspool.Richard W. Lewis, Jr.Glenvillelast_img read more

Will Electric Park spark interest?

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Transport: Road rage

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Wales’ small world

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LA’s grand design

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WanaArtha Life’s securities accounts blocked by AGO in Jiwasraya trickle down effect

first_imgTopics : “The management deeply understands the policyholders’ concerns and we apologize because we can’t fulfil the policyholders’ claims at this time following this unexpected event that is out of our control,” Yanes wrote in the letter.Read also: Government readies insurance holding company to save Jiwasraya by FebruaryDespite the incident, WanaArtha Life assured its policyholders that the policy benefits in the insurer were safe and that it was trying to handle the situation with the AGO, OJK and other relevant authorities to lift the blockade.“We will gradually pay the policyholders’ claims in the next 14 working days after the blockade has been lifted by the authorities,” said Yanes. State-owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwasraya’s ailments seem to have infected another insurer in the country as its investment mismanagement case has also disrupted privately owned insurer PT Asuransi Jiwa Adisarana Wanaartha’s (WanaArtha Life) business.In a letter to its policyholders on Feb. 12, WanaArtha Life president director Yanes Matulawata confirmed that the insurer’s securities accounts had been blocked by the Attorney’s General Office (AGO) in connection to its investigation into a corruption case pertaining to Jiwasraya’s fund management.The blocked accounts had disrupted the insurer’s payment of policyholders’ claims, he added.center_img The AGO last month instructed the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the country’s bourse authorities to block 800 securities accounts as it investigated Jiwasraya’s investment mismanagement that caused the state-owned insurer to fail to pay Rp 16 trillion of its policyholders’ claims.Read also: AGO uncovers millions of suspicious transactions involving Jiwasraya’s investment instruments“We received an informal report on Jan. 21 saying that our securities accounts had been blocked,” Yanes said in the letter to policyholders. The insurer then informed the Financial Services Authority (OJK) and the Indonesian Central Securities Depository (KSEI) about the report.  He went on to say that the insurer had tried to provide clarification to the AGO. The authority then questioned one of the insurer’s board of directors as a witness in Jiwasraya’s case.last_img read more

Lawmakers call for better coordination to detect COVID-19 as Indonesians test positive abroad

first_img“We urge the government to come up with new ideas so that suspected and confirmed cases may be swiftly treated. This may be done by bolstering coordination between ministries, agencies and hospitals. Such an effort would be beneficial for the contact-tracing process,” he told The Jakarta Post over the phone on Tuesday, adding that interagency coordination remained lackluster even amid coronavirus concerns.He went on to say that the government had to ensure that all 132 hospitals designated as referral centers for COVID-19 cases across the country were properly equipped to treat patients.Read also: Jakarta designates five more hospitals as COVID-19 referral centers“Not only do we need to ensure the treatment of patients but we must also consider the safety of health workers. This is why we need to make sure that every referral center is equipped with an adequate supply of protective gear,” Saleh said.Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician Netty Prasetiyani shared Saleh’s concerns, saying it was imperative that the government improve vertical and horizontal communication channels in its battle against the virus.“The recent detection of COVID-19 patients in Singapore may well serve as a reminder for the government to heighten its alertness at home,” she told the Post. “Make sure that every hospital and health center as well as related agencies and departments are well-coordinated to immediately report suspected coronavirus cases.” The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore has again recently urged Indonesian citizens who are in Singapore or planning to visit to be vigilant and to follow the rules and instructions from the city-state authorities, who recently announced that all visitors seeking treatment for COVID-19 would need to pay for their treatment.”The Indonesian Embassy in Singapore would like to again remind all Indonesian citizens in Singapore and Indonesian citizens planning to visit Singapore that the [Disease Outbreak Response System Condition] Orange status still applies in Singapore to overcome COVID-19, so high vigilance is still needed,” the embassy said in a statement.Read also: COVID-19: Referral hospitals in West Java lack protective gear, medical equipmentTreatment of severe respiratory infections at public hospitals in Singapore typically costs between S$6,000 and $8,000 (US$4,300-5,800), according to the Ministry of Health’s website.“We expect that all Indonesian citizens follow the [rules of] Singapore authorities on handling the spread of COVID-19, such as maintaining personal health and hygiene, periodically washing hands after activities in public spaces, avoiding crowded places and events when not urgent and immediately seeing a doctor if you experience symptoms,” the embassy said in a statement.The Indonesian Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto, was not immediately available for comment when contacted by the Post.Topics : Meanwhile, a 64-year-old Indonesian man referred to as Case 147 arrived in Singapore on Saturday and tested positive for the virus on Sunday. Singapore’s Ministry of Health identified both cases as imported cases, meaning they likely contracted the virus before arriving in Singapore.Read also: Indonesia confirms first possible COVID-19 community transmission as cases rise to 27A 50-year-old Indonesian woman also recently tested positive in Australia after arriving there from Jakarta, but the Indonesian Health Ministry has said it believes she had not contracted the virus in Indonesia.National Mandate Party (PAN) politician Saleh Daulay called on the government to ensure that every ministry, local administration, agency and health center maintain a constant line of communication with one another to improve the identification of COVID-19 cases as the country was still in the early stage of a health emergency. Lawmakers have urged the government to bolster interinstitutional coordination to improve the detection of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) cases across the country, given that a number of patients seem to have slipped under its radar only to be identified later beyond the country’s borders.A 65-year-old Indonesian man referred to as Case 152 in Singapore arrived in the city state on Saturday after having reported symptoms the week before and sought treatment at a hospital in Jakarta on March 2. He visited Singapore General Hospital on Friday and tested positive on Saturday.last_img read more