Shouting during the anthem disrespectful

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion I went to the Union/RPI hockey game at Union College recently. As is always the case, the event starts with the performance of the national anthem. The anthem begins “Oh say can you…” at which point, Union students and fans shout “U”, drowning out the lyrics on either side.Later in the anthem, RPI students and fans respond by shouting “red glare” (a reference to their teams’ colors) again, seriously disrupting the anthem.Well, they’re disrespecting our country, our flag and our national anthem. Wouldn’t you just love it if some college president said: “Get the sons ‘o’ b—-s out of the rink now. They’re expelled: Expelled.”I would report these “disrespectors” to President Trump, but he probably wouldn’t be too concerned because they’re almost entirely white.Bill MacTiernanSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcylast_img read more

Improve the world one person at a time

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion During a dinner with friends, we celebrated someone’s 91st birthday. He gave a heart-felt speech about how the closeness of our small group was such a gift to him. We all agreed.Although I personally would like to save the whole world, it is often saved one person at a time.With all the hurtful speech and the hateful actions going on in our country, perhaps you can select your one person, be a gift to them, and save the world that way. Worth a try.JANICE WALZScotia More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Parks contribute to local quality of life

first_imgA timely article in the November 2017 magazine of the American Planning Association concludes: “Parks and recreation planning is more than fun and games. Parks contribute significantly to the quality of life for all, deliver a wide range of benefits beyond their borders, and hold immense potential for advancing sustainability in communities.”Parks, urban forests and green community elements help us manage stormwater, clean the air, provide places for relaxation and study and enhance health and wellness. Planners now know that the financial value-added can be measured. Once lost, mature forests can’t be replaced, especially in areas like rapidly developing southern Saratoga County.Communities as diverse as Madison, Wisc.; Vancouver, Canada; Chattanooga, Tenn.; and Los Angeles County are all devoting significant resources to the preservation and enhancement of trees and forests within their communities. Clifton Park should follow the forward-looking examples above by preserving the complex of mature forest, wetlands and foot trails nestled between Clifton Park Center and Moe Road.Vote yes on Dec. 5 and urge the school board to sell 34 acres in central Clifton Park for public recreational use. A yes vote is a yes for a healthier, more sustainable and better southern Saratoga County. Keith MartinClifton Park More from The Daily Gazette:Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…High-risk COVID exposure reported in Clifton ParkFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

How high up does responsibility go?

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Florida Gov. Rick Scott has asked FBI Director Chris Wray to resign after learning that FBI field offices had received tips that Nikolas Cruz was dangerous. On Feb. 14, Cruz murdered 17 people at a high school in Parkland.Wray began his term in August 2017. In September 2017, an FBI office in Mississippi received information of a person using the name Nikolas Cruz posting to YouTube that he intended to be “a professional school shooter.” Reportedly, this information could not be linked to Cruz. In January 2018, a tip that Cruz posed a threat was received on tip-line in Broward County. In light of the recent tragic events, Gov. Scott demands that Wray resign for a potential failure of the FBI. These tips occurred during Wray’s first five months in office. The FBI employs roughly 35,000 people. Gov. Scott would hold Wray accountable for the decisions made by all 35,000 employees (in the first six months of Wray’s tenure). If that is the standard, two questions: 1) Why stop there? Has Gov. Scott called on President Trump to resign? After all, he appointed Wray. If the buck stops at the top, why stop with the director? 2) Will Gov. Scott, who has been the governor of Florida for over seven years, apply the same standard to himself? Will he resign the next time an employee of Florida makes a serious error?John LovellNewnan, Georgia The writer was born in Schenectady and attended Albany Law School.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

State needs to go all in on ethics reform

first_imgYou know how when you have so much on your plate, you’re paralyzed into procrastination and inaction? The outcome of all this is like that.Well, here’s a simple solution to the vexing problem of which solution to enact. One solution is to take the uncertainty and confusion out of what ethics reforms to support and what not to. One simple way to ensure that every loophole is plugged and every opportunity for nefarious characters to steal money and give favors at the public’s expense is taken away.Do them all.All those ethics reforms mentioned above?Do. Them. All.No more wringing of the hands over which solution is best. New York state corruption and unethical conduct is so expansive and unpredictable that it needs every single reform it can get its hands on. It needs one comprehensive package of reforms that covers every conceivable scandal and opportunity for malfeasance.Give the watchdog agencies all the power and teeth they need. Expand FOIL and expose government contracts and economic development projects to full public scrutiny. Limit outside income for legislators. (Maybe give them their pay raise as an incentive.) Close the LLC loophole. Limit government access of lobbyists. Impose term limits on leadership positions in the Legislature. The works. Take all the proposals and cover every possible scenario.If you don’t support this one comprehensive reform package, then you don’t really support ethics reform in New York state government. And therefore, you support the continuing pattern of corruption that plagues state government, gives power to individuals who are highly connected at the expense of those who aren’t, and promotes further mistrust among the citizens.To get the public’s attention and give the politicians something to put in their campaign literature, we’ll call this omnibus anti-corruption bill something catchy like “The Big Sweep” or “The Clean House Bill” or some other household-cleanliness-related metaphor.No more arguing over individual solutions that never go anywhere.Do them all and just get it done.The public will thank you. And you won’t have to waste time again coming up with a new rescue plan each time somebody else in state government goes up the river.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Categories: Editorial, OpinionAfter each corruption trial involving someone in New York state government, the politicians hem and haw over the best ways to end this particular bit of wrong-doing. For one trial, the response might highlight the need for an overhaul of our campaign finance system. Another might spotlight the specific need for LLC reform, which would limit the ability of campaign contributors to sidestep regular campaign contribution limits to funnel large contributions through limited liability corporations.When lawmakers use their law firms and businesses to funnel business to friends, business associates and family members, the politicians propose limiting outside income for legislators.When powerful lawmakers like Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver and former Senate Majority Leaders Dean Skelos and Joe Bruno get convicted of using their powerful offices to enhance themselves and those close to them, the politicians blame it on longevity. So they propose term limits on leadership positions or on legislative terms of office to prevent individuals from becoming too powerful.When state lawmakers hide pet projects in the state budget without providing a line-item listing, the voices call for expansion of the state’s Freedom of Information Law.When someone is able to dodge existing ethics rules for long periods of time undetected, like the recently convicted Joseph Percoco in a bribery scheme, they propose putting more teeth into government watchdog organizations like Joint Commission on Public Ethics (JCOPE) to ferret out the really sneaky folks.Or they propose a combination of one or more solutions, whichever fits the crime du jour.Then after throwing out the various proposals, they do what they always do. They declare that the ethics problem in question is either isolated to one individual or is too broad to cover all the potential violations. So they do nothing at all. That’s Albany at work.Let’s take Percoco as an example of how all this goes down.Percoco was a longtime trusted ally of Gov. Andrew Cuomo who was convicted Tuesday of two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of solicitation of bribes or gratuities for helping his corporate interests get special attention from the Cuomo administration. In return for using his access and influence, Percoco received more than $300,000 in bribe money, prosecutors alleged.Albany’s reaction was predictable.After sleeping on his response, the governor preposterously claimed Wednesday he didn’t know exactly what Percoco was up to while hanging out in the governor’s office all those years. He said he thought Percoco was doing “transition work” related to the governor’s re-election campaign and called Percoco’s illegal actions “an aberration.” In other words, it’s not a problem with the system; it’s a problem with this one guy. Now that he’s been ferreted out, the problem has gone away.Assembly Speaker Carl Heastie had a similar reaction, saying a broad brush shouldn’t be applied to all government officials and that the fact that Percoco was convicted of violating a law was an indication that a legislative solution wouldn’t have prevented this ethical lapse.Cuomo’s political opponents see all this corruption as a reflection of Cuomo’s personal lack of ethics and control over his administration.And good-government groups see this conviction, along with all the elements of corruption and unethical conduct that were exposed during Percoco’s trial, as further evidence of a more pervasive problem that needs a broad menu of reforms.last_img read more

Foss: Hope for a happier year

first_imgAccording to the CDC, the decline in life expectancy is driven by drug overdoses and suicides — what some have termed deaths of despair. “Young people are being hit especially hard,” an article on the trend noted on the website for The Atlantic magazine. “Death rates increased by nearly 3 percent for people aged 25 to 34, and by 1.6 percent for Americans aged 35 to 44.” I’ll admit that I’ve found it difficult to relate to the despair that underlies such statistics. The past year has been full of joy for me, largely because of my son, who has enabled me to once again see the world as a place of wonder and possibility. It’s been a treat to introduce him to the beauty in our midst – to take him hiking in the mountains or to a sandy beach – and to everyday pleasures such as play, books and music. The delight he takes in discovering the world is contagious. I’ve heard various theories as to why more people are taking their own lives or succumbing to addiction, but one thing seems clear: For too many people, the world is a place of struggle, hopelessness and, yes, despair. Between 1999 and 2017, the age-adjusted suicide rate increased 33 percent, from 10.5 deaths per 100,000 to 15 deaths per 100,000, according to the CDC.  Categories: News, OpinionI’ve always been something of a worrier. But it wasn’t until I became a parent, in January of 2018, that I really understood what it meant to worry. Mainly, I worried that I would somehow fail to protect my son, that some sort of tragedy would befall him. Many of my worries were prompted by the news — grim headlines about drug addiction and rising suicide rates, drunk driving accidents and random acts of violence. Most disturbing of all were the reports, based on data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that life expectancy in America declined for the third year in a row in 2017 — a troubling development in a country of great wealth and resources. My hope for 2019 is that we, as a society, do more to address a serious public health problem that has mostly flown under the radar. Reversing the decline in life expectancy and the unhappiness seemingly at the root of it must become a priority if we care about ensuring a bright future for our children.  I don’t know what is causing this upward swing, although there are a number of possibilities. The research indicates that suicide is usually related to problems with jobs, finances, substance abuse or relationships, and that mental health is often a factor. Some have wondered whether our busy pace of life, combined with the isolation and loneliness experienced by many adults, is also a cause. As we close the door on 2018, we should consider what we can do to make the world a place where our friends, family and neighbors can truly embrace living, and all the joy that comes with it. If we do this, it might not be too long before the CDC annual report on life expectancy contains good news, rather than bad. Reach Sara Foss at sfoss@dailygazette.net. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s. center_img More from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcyFeds: Painting stolen by Nazis and found at Arkell Museum returned to familyEverything from The Daily Gazette Sunday, Oct. 18Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%last_img read more

NAV rises 18% for booming St Modwen

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Government avoids £131m blushes with legal upheaval

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Brown’s new tax havens

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The breakfast club

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