Time to staff schools with armed guards

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionJust a few short weeks after the Parkland massacre we have another shooter walk into an unguarded door in a school in Maryland and shoot two students.Most of the solutions offered over the last couple of weeks to solve this problem involve gun control. That issue makes our politicians feel good, but doesn’t solve the problem at all. Let’s face it, we’re never going to get guns out of the hands of people who want to kill us. Let’s bite the bullet and spend the money necessary to control the access to our schools and secure them with metal detectors and armed guards. We don’t need any more of our kids getting killed in school.In my opinion it’s the only solution to this problem that is going to work.Ron BelliSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positionsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlinelast_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Jan. 17

first_imgIn 1961, President Eisenhower warned of the growing power of the military-industrial complex. Sixty years later, it’s the neo-liberal idea of continuous war that supports this metastasized industrial behemoth infecting American economic and social life.Using this introspective lens, we might conclude that while the boorish Boy-President Trump makes the United States look foolish and dangerously unreliable, lasting international enmity toward the United States results from previous imperial presidents funding brutal, costly, continuous wars going, obviously, nowhere.Rev. John A. EkmanGreenfield Center Funny thing is, only a tiny percentage of disqualified background check applicants found swearing to false information are prosecuted. The rest just go on their way, possibly to obtain a gun illegally.In closing, I would be skeptical in regard to anything coming from Everytown For Gun Safety. There’s never been a gun restriction they didn’t like.Timothy O’NeillScotia Abortion: No long-term health effectsFor years anti-abortion activists have made claims about the dangers and long-term harmful health effects of abortions. Last March, an in-depth report issued by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine (NASEM) refuted these claims using the results of extensive data analyses. Regarding the safety of abortion, the NASEM report concluded that serious complications from legal abortion are rare, regardless of the method used. Previous presidents held continuous warPresident Trump considers using presidential powers, bypassing Congress, and declaring a national emergency in order to pirate $5.7 billion in unused funds to fulfill a very silly “Build that wall” campaign promise.Democrats are justifiably upset. But wait.Presidents G.W. Bush and Obama used presidential powers, debatably granted by the War Powers Act, to bypass an all-too-compliant Congress. They initiated or expanded Middle East tribal wars. The Watson Institute of Brown University estimates that recent wars have cost American tax payers $5.6 Trillion.This cost estimate includes items like veterans’ care, weapons procurement and lost investment opportunity in American infrastructure, education, etc. For example, $1 trillion hire 5.6 million teachers. Talk about “Keep America Competitive.” The new world order sounds very familiarChina was exploited by colonial powers through opium trade. The British used divide-and-conquer in Ireland. India (Hindu) and Pakistan (Muslim) got the ‘British’ treatment. America is getting the treatment Native Americans received.  The model is the same.British treatment — divide and conquer (competing tribes), drugs (fire water) and ideology (Christianity). So many hands, foreign and domestic, are turned against America.The Southwest of the United States was ‘acquired’ from Mexico. This matter will be relitigated as a byproduct of the dissolution of America. Human wave immigration will complete the conquest of America.  A Fifth Column and Fourth Estate place the United States in mortal danger. The good news is you will be told it’s the moral course of action. As with ‘truth and reconciliation’ in South Africa, new injustices will be created. Human nature does not change. Race, color and creed make no difference. “New world order” change has occurred down through history and the world is still here.  A new world is coming, one you will not recognize.“Bye bye Miss American Pie.”Edmond DayRotterdam In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, childbirth in the United States is about 90 times more fatal than legal abortion.Regarding the potential of long-term health effects from legal abortions, the NASEM report concluded that having an abortion does not increase a woman’s risk of secondary infertility, pregnancy-related hypertensive disorders, preterm birth, breast cancer, or mental health disorders such as depression, anxiety, or post-traumatic stress disorder. Further, the NASEM report noted that abortion-specific regulations in many states may prohibit qualified providers from performing abortions, may misinform women of the risks of the procedures they are considering, or may require medically unnecessary services and delay care.Finally, the report noted that access to clinical education and training in abortion care is highly variable at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.Specifically, training opportunities are particularly limited in the Southern and Midwestern states, as well as in rural areas throughout the country.Legal abortion in our country is safe and doesn’t lead to harmful long-term health effects.Unfortunately, the religious right, with assistance from the Trump administration, is intent on imposing serious obstacles to women seeking legal abortions.Don SteinerSchenectady Connecting with Jesus will also get you into judging things Right Down the Line (cool song by Gerry Rafferty) instead of from a ditch off to the left or the right of the road surface. Staying on the path (Jesus is also The Way) is much easier on your car.For more information about Jesus, search out and befriend Jesus believers like me. We are attracted to coffee, so you will find us at coffee hours, coffeehouses, and coffee shops. Look for the distinctive baseball cap we wear.I hope this helps, or at least brightens up your morning ride on the bus.Joel NelsonSchenectady Do you want truth? Connect with JesusThank you for Fred Como’s Jan. 10 letter. I share his dislike of “two tribes sniping at one another” and his desire for the whole truth rather than some bias or other.I have some good news for Fred and the rest of us.Jesus is The Truth. If truth is what you want, and you have not yet done so, connect with Jesus. By doing that, you will get out of whichever of the two tribes you were stuck in and break from sniping. It might even save you a few trips to Facebook jail, which I avoid because I hear the food there is none too good. Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionBackground checks have consequencesFor several reasons, I take exception to the column in favor of universal background checks.The columnist states that these background checks impose no burden on law-abiding gun purchasers. This is simply not true.These checks must be performed by federally licensed gun dealers, at a cost to the buyer anywhere from $30 to $50, no small amount. And, under these laws, background checks must be performed even when lending your buddy a shotgun to go rabbit hunting.Plus, when transfers are denied, there’s up to a 95 percent false denial rate, delaying legitimate purchases.Purchasers filling out background check forms sign a statement swearing that the information given is truthful, under penalty of the law. Applicants swear that, among other things, they have no criminal record, no record of domestic abuse and no disqualifying mental or drug issues. Stefanik shutdown vote is not jusifiedBy U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik voting to reopen the government, she has joined the Dems. Or as I prefer to say, she went over to the dark side.”I once was proud that we Republicans had a strong female voice in Washington; not so much anymore.She claims her vote to reopen the government is in sympathy for federal workers.Her sympathy for these workers who will be fully recompensed and continue to have a job after the shutdown is over — as opposed to the possible and probable future victims of illegal criminals, human trafficking and the drugs poured into our inner cities — is not justifiable.Her decision not to accept her pay is commendable. However, she hasn’t stated whether she will also be recompensed. Dr. Arthur SalvatoreMaltaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more

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How to…Understand and survive the serviced office shakeout

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Ark goes back on the market

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LMS benefits from West End strength

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‘It will start at midnight’: Indonesia insists on travel ban despite China’s protest

first_imgIndonesia has insisted on imposing a travel ban to and from China as an effort to prevent a deadly coronavirus from spreading into the country, even after a Chinese envoy expressed his disagreement over the plan.Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi confirmed that Indonesia would stick to the travel ban, which will take effect at 12 a.m. on Wednesday.“Yes, it will start at [midnight],” Budi told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re doing what other countries have already done. We have been very careful about this.” Budi said meetings with the management of domestic airlines would take place on Wednesday to discuss related matters, including the calculation of potential losses they may suffer as a result of the policy.He added that the government was finalizing a policy regarding cargo planes if goods were still being flown to Indonesia. It includes a requirement that the flight crew must undergo a medical inspection upon arrival and cannot get off the plane.Chinese Ambassador to Indonesia Xiao Qian previously asked Indonesia to follow the advice of the World Health Organization (WHO), which has not recommended that countries restrict travel to and from China despite having declared a global emergency over the new coronavirus.“In this situation, we need to be calm. Don’t overreact and do something that would have a negative impact on investments and the [Indonesian] economy,” Xiao told reporters in Jakarta during a press briefing on Tuesday. Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi told a televised news conference on Sunday that Indonesia would immediately bar visitors who had been in China for 14 days.Earlier on Sunday, the government flew 243 Indonesians from China and placed them under quarantine at a military base on the sparsely populated Natuna Regency in Riau Islands.Budi said the government was also discussing efforts to handle around 3,000 Indonesian citizens who were still in China at the moment.Transiting in a country that has not imposed a travel ban on China was one solution, he said.Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Wishnutama Kusubandio said the travel ban would be a big challenge for the country’s tourism as the number of Chinese tourists was quite large, about 2 million in a year.“Once again, our main priority is protecting the health of the Indonesian people. That is the main thing to consider at the moment,” he said.He said the ministry would instead boost domestic tourism and encourage local tourists to travel within Indonesia, also for the sake of reducing the risk of contracting the coronavirus abroad.“Together with the Transportation Ministry, we will set a meeting with about 30 airlines to see the possibility of switching their international routes to domestic ones,” he said, adding that regions most affected by the travel ban would be Bali, North Sulawesi and Bintan Island in Riau.Topics :last_img read more

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Banten governor says 4 residents positive for COVID-19 after returning from Malaysia, Bali

first_imgThe neighboring Southeast Asian country has 149 confirmed COVID-19 cases to date, as reported by the John Hopkins University. The governor, however, did not elaborate on the details of the two people, including their age and gender, as well as their date of departure and return from the neighboring Southeast Asian country and Bali.Wahidin also did not mention whether the two were among the 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases reported by the central government in Indonesia so far.Prior to providing the updated information, the governor uploaded on Thursday a video on his Instagram account @wh_wahidinhalim and his official Facebook page, H. Wahidin Halim, in which he confirmed that at least two Banten residents who had recently traveled to Malaysia had tested positive for COVID-19. Wahidin further called for Banten residents not to panic and to avoid mass gatherings in public places. “Be cautious and avoid crowded places so we can prevent ourselves from getting infected by the coronavirus.”The confirmation from the Banten governor came amid criticism against the central government, which has continued with its opaque manner of providing information on confirmed coronavirus cases in Indonesia, including on the country’s first COVID-19 fatality, a 53-year-old foreign woman known as Case 25. It was later confirmed that Case 25 — reported by British media that she was from the United Kingdom — died in Bali, but local authorities said they were only informed after her death that she had tested positive for the disease.The government’s spokesperson for COVID-19, Achmad Yurianto, who is also the Health Ministry’s director general for disease control and prevention, has refused to disclose the location of each patient and their nationality if they were foreigners as he insisted that only the tracing team needed the information.When asked about the Banten governor’s announcement, Yurianto said on Thursday that he had never heard the information and instead questioned where Wahidin had obtained the data from.”We have never conveyed data [about the COVID-19 patients] to the governor. The data are submitted to the health agency for tracing purposes.” Yurianto said.However, he opened the possibility that the two patients to whom Wahidin referred might be among those treated in Jakarta, but were actually residents of Tangerang in Banten who commuted to the capital every day.”There is a possibility. However, we never give [the data] to [regional] administration’s authorities,” he said.Indonesia had recorded 34 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Thursday, three of which have since recovered after receiving isolation treatment. Meanwhile, two patients admitted to the hospital for exhibiting COVID-19 symptoms died on Thursday.Topics :center_img Banten Governor Wahidin Halim has confirmed that four residents of the province who recently traveled to Malaysia and Indonesia’s resort island of Bali have tested positive for the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19).”Three of them recently traveled to Malaysia and one of them has just returned from Bali,” Wahidin said on Thursday, citing information from the Baten Provincial Health Agency.He said the four patients were being treated in Sulianti Saroso Infectious Diseases Hospital (RSPI Sulianti Saroso) and Persahabatan General Hospital in Jakarta, kompas.com reported.last_img read more

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House members lead campaign to donate salary to COVID-19 victims

first_imgLawmaker Nurul Arifin of the Golkar Party faction, one of the proponents of the pay cut, says House members should be able to take a pay cut of up to 50 percent. National Democratic Party faction chairman Ahmad Ali said the cut could begin with their April salary. He too proposed a 50 percent cut.House Speaker Puan Maharani of the ruling Indonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P), however, said the matter should be discussed by the factions first before being brought to the House leadership.The 575 members of the House receive Rp 4.2 million (US$263) in basic salary and around Rp 61 million in monthly benefits. House speakers and their deputies receive Rp 20 million in additional benefits.It’s not clear if they are proposing to cut their basic salary only, or their take home pay. Nearly half of the House members are businesspeople and more likely to have other sources of income.The House has been virtually empty and silent in the first three weeks since COVID-19 hit Indonesia at the start of March, primarily because it was during a long recess, which was extended by one week to follow the government’s social distancing instruction.The government has been handling the COVID-19 pandemic with little role played by the House. The House is being brought in now that Jokowi is seeking permission to circumvent the law that bars the government from running a budget deficit of more than 3 percent.The People’s Consultative Assembly (MPR) is getting into the act with speaker Bambang Soesatyo telling The Jakarta Post on Tuesday he would donate all his salary for the next three months. He did not say whether he would ask other MPR members to do the same.Member of the House of Representatives (DPR) take a photo after attending the Plenary Meeting Session at the Senayan Parliament Complex, Jakarta, on Monday, March 30, 2020. (JP/ Dhoni Setiawan)In West Java, one of the regions worst hit by the pandemic, Governor Ridwan Kamil announced that he had asked that all staff of the provincial administration including himself, accept a pay cut for the next four months and donate the money to the needy.“This is our service to the country for the next four months,” Ridwan said on Monday, adding that when the idea was proposed, none of his staff objected. He said his office was still calculating the size of the cut, whether they would also cut benefits.Ridwan has also decided to give Rp 500,000 a month to each family that is listed as poor in West Java.He appealed to residents to donate any spare money they have through the various religious alms schemes to help the government cope with the pandemic.Antaranews.com reported that many city mayors had followed suit.The mayor of Sabang in Aceh, Nazaruddin, has pledged to give all his salary starting in March for the cause even though the city has not had any confirmed COVID-19 cases, his spokesman Bahrul Fikri said.Mahyeldi, the mayor of Padang in West Sumatra, said he would donate his salary for the next six months.Padang has 94 people being monitored and five under surveillance for COVID-19.He urged all civil servants to donate at least 7.5 percent of their salary for the next two months,” Mahyeli said.Sulkarnain Kadir, the mayor of Kendari in Southeast Sulawesi, pledged to donate his salary for six months from January to June.“This is a way of showing my attention and concern for the people of Kendari city, especially those with low income and those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak,” he said on Monday (mfp)Topics : Chairman of the House of Representatives (DPR), Puan Maharani (center) smile after attending the Plenary Meeting session at the Parliament Complex Senayan, Jakarta, on, Monday, March 30, 2020. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)In the regions, governors and mayors are also taking similar actions to encourage salaried people to donate part of their income.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has imposed “large scale social restrictions” rather than a complete lockdown, but this still means closing down schools, work places and places of worships. This means more people could lose their jobs and income in the coming months. Most vulnerable are the 55 percent of the 130 million workforce who work in the informal sector. Working from home (WFH) may be effective in slowing down the spread of COVID-19, but for many in the informal sector with no regular income, this means the loss of their source of income. No work simply means no pay.Members of the House of Representatives are now taking the lead in donating part or all of their salary to help those whose livelihood has been most affected by the WFH concept. Returning from the month-long recess on Monday, some House members immediately proposed that their salaries be cut by as much as half and the money given to people who have lost their sources of income.last_img read more

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COVID-19: Parents provide free food to UI students who cannot return home

first_imgShe said the money was collected from 20 parents, only a third of her community members, so Titi remained optimistic that there would be more people donating to the program. “Some parents have said that they would donate food like bread and milk instead of money. Some people outside the community had also shown interest in donating to the program,” she said.UI had asked its students originally from outside Greater Jakarta to stay in their dorms instead of returning to their home towns so as to curb the spread of COVID-19 to other regions.”All students are advised to stay in their dorms or in their rooming houses until the situation gets better,” UI secretary Agustin Kusmayati said in a circular on March 16.Titi said that some students have asked for more food.”Some students said ‘Bu, could you give us more?’ and I am sure we can provide them more food as more donations keep on coming,” she said. (nal)Topics : Support continued to grow for the program as more and more parents were taking part in it, she said.”Thank God, there are a lot of people who care about the students,” Titi said as quoted by kompas.com on Wednesday.”In less than a week we managed to gather about Rp 6 million (US$359). With the money, we are able to provide free food to the students twice a week for a three-week period.”Read also: GoFood, GrabFood provide contactless food delivery amid COVID-19 spread A number of parents of University of Indonesia (UI) students are working together to provide free food to students from outside the Greater Jakarta area who are currently staying within or near the university’s compound in Depok, West Java, during the COVID-19 outbreak.Two students’ parents, Iwel and Titi Reza, initiated the program through a group they named “Moms UI”.Titi said she had sent 135 food packages to UI students from outside the city who were currently struggling to get food as many restaurants around the campus had closed because of the outbreak.last_img read more

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Austria reopening thousands of shops in first loosening of lockdown

first_imgTopics : The World Health Organization on Friday urged caution, saying: “Lifting restrictions could lead to a deadly resurgence”, without mentioning Austria specifically.”I am simply 100% certain that we did the right thing and are doing the right thing,” Kurz said in an interview with newspaper Kurier published on Saturday.The same day, he told national broadcaster ORF: “We are not out of the woods. The danger is still among us,” urging the public to keep self-isolating and implement social distancing.Other Western European countries are loosening their lockdowns, albeit differently. On Monday, Spain allowed some activities, including construction and manufacturing, to restart. Denmark is reopening daycare centers and schools for children from first to fifth grades on Wednesday. “Economically, too, we want to come out of this crisis as quickly as possible and fight for every job in Austria,” Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, a conservative governing with the Greens, said in an open letter to the country on Saturday, the eve of Easter Sunday.Last week, he outlined a step-by-step plan to reopen parts of the economy, starting with shops of up to 400 square meters- roughly twice the playing area of a singles tennis court – as well as all home-improvement and garden centers on Tuesday.They are due to be followed by shopping centers, larger shops and hairdressers from May 1. Restaurants and hotels could reopen progressively from mid-May, Kurz has said.It remains unclear whether, even with limits on the number of people allowed inside shops and a requirement for all shoppers to wear face masks, Kurz is sending a mixed message about the lockdown, which is in place until the end of April.center_img Thousands of shops across Austria will reopen on Tuesday as it becomes one of the first countries in Europe to loosen its coronavirus lockdown, but the government is still telling the nation it is “not out of the woods” yet.Austria acted early in its outbreak to close schools, bars, theatres, restaurants, non-essential shops and other gathering places roughly four weeks ago. It has told the public to stay home and work from there if possible.It has fared relatively well so far, having reported 368 deaths in total, fewer than some larger European countries have been suffering each day. The daily increase in confirmed cases is in low single digits in percentage terms and hospitalizations have stabilized.last_img read more

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