first_imgOn Nov. 10, 1775, the second Continental Congress passed a resolution “to raise two battalions of Marines.”For 242 years, young men and women have served in every clime and place with honor and distinction. If you know a Marine (there are no former nor ex-Marines), thank her/him and wish them another Happy Birthday, Marine, we are grateful for your service.J.P. Kirby USMC (Retired)SchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusAnderson starts, but Dodgers finish off NLCS winSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

first_imgOn Nov. 25 and 26, three patriotic letters appeared on this page — “Those who disrespect our military, should leave” by Vincent Belardo, WWII purple heart recipient ; “Liberals attack on  statues gone too far,” by, self-proclaimed liberal Dave Lowery; and “New confederacy is a threat to America”  by Wallace Hughes. These three men spoke to problems that are a real threat to our democracy and our American way of lifeWhy is this happening? The simple answer is a general degradation of our society. The whys are many and varied. Progressive liberalism is the easy answer, but it goes beyond that.Consider these examples: What with all the sexual abuse allegations that surface almost daily, it’s obvious that some men in power feel free to go beyond a guy just being a guy.  Disrespect and abuse a woman and have her abort it. It’s OK and legal now. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion The “it, “a fetus, has arms, legs and a beating heart. Society says that we can kill it, and it’s OK. A tragic disrespect for and of human life.Prayer in public, a nativity scene or a cross displayed in a public place — in our Christian nation? No, that might offend someone. Better to offend and disrespect Christians of all faiths. The disrespect of our nation and the flag that represents who we are (our ideals and values) are more examples.Consider the family that experiences the arrival of a loved one who returns home in a casket draped with our flag. Consider them receiving that flag and then witnessing someone wearing that same flag as a piece of clothing or having their local barber using that same flag as a drop cloth to catch dead hair. Consider the celebration of Christ’s birthday, once called Christmas, now disrespectfully referred to as “Xmas” or “Happy Holiday.” John OsterlitzGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThis latest idea  of a military parade reminds me of a child’s envy for another’s toy: “If he has one, I want one, too. Only bigger.”Why do we need a military parade, except to satisfy President Trump’s ego? And how many millions will it cost the taxpayers?It’s a bad idea, and I hope more reasonable heads will prevail.Mary SiegelSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Troopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashlast_img read more

first_imgMcConnell abused power on court pickHugh Hewitt is certainly entitled to his opinion, but it was shocking to me that a law professor would call Sen. Mitch McConnell’s decision to refuse to allow a vote on a Supreme Court nominee “a bold move on behalf of the Constitution.”The U.S. Supreme Court is not elected by the people of the United States. The right, ethical and legal move should have been to have the lawfully elected president make the nomination and to have the U.S. Senate vote on the nomination. This was clearly an abuse of power on the part of McConnell.Christine RootBallston SpaDoesn’t president’s character matter?From Mr. Trump we learn many things, not the least of which is that you cannot run our country like a business (as he suggests) and still call ourselves a democracy.Democracy demands cooperation and the rule-of-law. Running a business does not. Our democracy is fragile and requires hard work from our president, not the betrayal of it that Trump delivers. We must choose one or the other. We cannot have both.Like every president, Mr. Trump does some things right and some wrong. We must decide if his successes are worth the harm he causes.Does it not matter the character of the man, the way he talks to people, his cruelty, his unconscionable behavior towards women that we’ve seen with our own eyes? What about his bizarre connection to Putin? That he didn’t dare appear, under oath, before the Mueller committee because he rarely speaks without lying. And it cannot be so, as he claims, that it’s all fake news, a hoax or a witch hunt.How is it possible to excuse such bad behavior because of the few things he does right? Surely, we can do better.The character of the man or woman matters. Jimmy Carter does it for me. No need to care for his politics. Just some of his integrity and honesty would be welcomed the next time around.Livia CarrollSchenectadyDemocrats doing a poor job for countryHere we go again. First, it’s the wall. Now it’s a phone call. Who cares? Why should we be giving our money away to Ukraine anyway? The Democrats still can’t believe that they lost the election to a businessman. Get over it.Now they’re televising the impeachment proceedings. Bloomberg wants in. Hillary might be coming back. Wake up America.I really think it may be time to clean the House. They clearly are not doing the job they were elected to do. The Democrats can’t figure out who’s gonna go up against the president. It’s like an Abbott and Costello routine. Who’s on first.Unemployment is still down. The stock market keeps setting record numbers, and the interest rates are down. The really sad part is the Speaker of the House hates seeing this, and so does her senior sidekick.All I can say is thank God there’s an independent line.Jim PrattBallston SpaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Early removal of Trump requires alignment of the mathematics, physics and politics of impeachment. The Senate trial math is simple. Conviction will require votes of 67 jurors, two-thirds of 100 senators.The physics simply involve resolution of two forces, yea versus nay. In 2020, 23 of 53 Republican senators’ terms will expire. The other 30 have two or four more years. With 47 Democrats, some 77 senators are beyond Trump jury tampering.A pattern of impeachable high crimes and misdemeanors already is evident. Many Republicans, however, demand even higher crimes and misdemeanors. All 47 Democrats are likely to vote to convict. Conviction then would require just 20 of 53 Republicans who respect the Constitution.As numerous permutations lead to removal; the politics are complicated. Some will overlook Trump’s indiscretions, spiraling instability and pursuit of his political interests over national interests. Some will overlook national security risks.With increasing Independent support, however, 20 or more Republicans might prioritize nation over party. Supreme Court Chief Justice John Roberts will preside.He is more likely to burnish than to tarnish the Roberts Court’s reputation in U.S. history.Roberts should instruct senators to decide only on guilt or innocence, and not revisit the House’s (constitutional) impeachability judgment. He should allow anonymous voting to reduce improper defendant pressure on Republican jurors.Trump cannot afford to risk conviction without a deal for (at least) a federal pardon. Opposing forces therefore seem likely to resolve toward resignation. Resignation would best serve Trump, our nation and our democracy.Dr. Robert A. MichaelsNiskayunaGrateful to students for support of vetsOn Nov. 8 my wife and I and our good friends attended a Veterans Day ceremony at the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School.And once again the senior class did a wonderful job. It started with some students presenting the colors. That was followed by the band playing patriotic songs. Next, the students gave very heartfelt speeches.But the highlight was at the end of the ceremony when the entire senior class shook the hands of all the veterans and their families. Another highlight was the wonderful breakfast provided to the veterans and their families. I would like to once again thank the senior class and staff of the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake High School for a job well done. Go Spartans.Chip BowlesRotterdamArticle on gold mines was filled with flawsThe New York Times Service article “Hidden cost of gold: Birth defects and brain damage” by Richard C. Paddock has many errors.I compare to 2017 UN report ISSN 978-92-807-3665-6 on mercury through 2015, with specific references to Indonesia.1: Miner Cece Rifa’I claims distilling a tonne (t) of mercury in a day in his backyard furnace. Hyperbole? Per the UN, a major legal Indonesian smelting operation estimated it generates 4-5 tonnes a week.2: “Yuyun, the environmentalist” (Who?) estimates 10,000t a year illicit Indonesian mercury production, exporting two-thirds. Per the UN, world demand in 2015 was 4700t. Indonesia’s 6600t export is 140 percent of the world demand. Home use is another 3400t. Total- 210 percent of global demand without legal production. The UN estimates Indonesia’s 2015 exports at 285t.3: It can take 5 to a high 20 grams of Hg per gram of gold when used in mining. For Paddock’s reported of $5 billion per year of illicit Indonesian gold, I calculate 513t to 2050t of mercury ($1500/oz gold). The UN estimated 2015 Indonesian mining used of 210t-620t.Ending the terrible consequences of mercury pollution to those both near and far from the Indonesian sources is imperative. But haphazard use of questionable data undermines the veracity of the whole article. Please fact check and rewrite so we can fully support the story.Kenneth FisherSchenectadyMake effort to keep pedestrians safeDuring this season of increased darkness, each of us needs to think about safety.If you’re walking your dog, walking or running, please make sure you are wearing reflective gear, headlamps and blinking lights on your back. Without these items, you are invisible to drivers.In addition, stay on the left side of the road, and when cars approach, form a single file.At the same time, we drivers need to obey traffic laws and slow down.I run regularly in predawn darkness with my friends. In the last two weeks, two of our runners almost got hit by cars who blew through stop signs. Let’s each take a moment and think about how we can work toward keeping everyone safe. Hitting a pedestrian or runner is the last thing any of us wants to experience.Tina LeeNiskayuna Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTrump’s road could lead to resignationlast_img read more

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionFind hope in others sharing my viewsI have come to realize that the pro and anti-Trumpers are well ensconced in their opinions and I try to respect that. For myself, who is practically daily in awe of the things he and his administration say and do (and I mean negative awe), it is hard to believe that society has evolved to this point.That being said, my purpose for writing it to thank other letter writers, columnists, cartoonists and late-night TV show hosts for helping me feel there are others out there who share my viewpoint.It gives me hope that America will continue to be as great as it always has been.Ethel RobinsonSchoharieGrateful for work on Niskayuna Co-opWe attended the Niskayuna Co-op membership meeting on Jan. 7 and have been co-op members for over 20 years. Despite challenges, it is clear that the co-op is moving in a positive direction. It is also clear that change is hard, especially for employees and customers who have been doing things the same way for decades.However, we believe that the changes create opportunities to grow the co-op brand to reach new audiences.We were impressed with the work of co-presidents Sarah Bilofsky and Sunny Lee, as well as the entire board, and left with the feeling the co-op is in good hands.They understand the role of the market and its importance to the community.The interim general manager has moved quickly to learn about us and make positive changes. The meeting allowed for a critical conversation with a broad audience and allowed everyone to feel heard.Thank you to the staff for making the Niskayuna Co-op the wonderful institution it is and thank you to the board for working so hard to keep it thriving for years to come.Bill and Jennifer WilkersonNiskayunaFEMA individual flood aid is limitedWhile I share The Gazette’s concerns for the victims of the 2019 Halloween flood (Jan. 8, “FEMA must help flood victims”), it is misleading to expect FEMA to make people whole again, even if individual assistance was approved. Readers should be aware that individual assistance grants are very limited in scope.The maximum amount of assistance is under $35,000. The average grant is less than $8,000.The program is meant to cover short-term rent and utilities and some uninsured damage. For people who do not have flood insurance, additional assistance from the federal government is only available in the form of a Small Business Association loan.The federal law establishing the individual assistance program was not designed to make people whole or to rebuild ruined houses. And typical homeowner’s insurance policies exclude damages from floods. Only a flood insurance policy, either through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program or through a private insurance company, will cover flood damages. Flood insurance is expensive, but much less expensive than rebuilding your home after a flood.Tax dollars should not be used to repair buildings, only to see them flooded again. Government assistance should instead be used to help elevate or buy out flood-prone homes so that damages are not repeated, and further taxpayer expenditures are not needed.Homeowners and renters must take responsibility for their own risk by purchasing a flood insurance policy.To find out if you are in or near a flood zone, google “FEMA Map Service Center.”William NechamenSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

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first_imgChina’s death toll from the coronavirus epidemic soared to 360 on Monday, with deepening global concern about the outbreak and governments closing their borders to people from China.The fresh toll came a day after China imposed a lockdown on a major city far from the epicentre and the first fatality outside the country was reported in the Philippines. Authorities in Hubei, the province at the epicentre of the outbreak, reported 56 new fatalities. That took the toll in China to 360, exceeding the 349 mainland fatalities from the 2002-3 SARS outbreak. Struggling to contain the virus, authorities took action in the eastern city of Wenzhou on Sunday, closing roads and confining people to their homes.Wenzhou is some 800 kilometres (500 miles) from Wuhan, the metropolis at the heart of the health emergency.Since emerging out of Wuhan late last year, the new coronavirus has infected more than 16,400 people across China and reached 24 nations.The G7 countries — Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom and the United States — have all confirmed cases of the virus. They will discuss a joint response, Germany’s health minister Jens Spahn said on Sunday. In Thailand, which has 19 confirmed cases, doctors said Sunday an elderly Chinese patient treated with a cocktail of flu and HIV drugs had shown dramatic improvement and tested negative for the virus 48 hours later.Most of the infections overseas have been detected in people who travelled from Wuhan, an industrial hub of 11 million people, or surrounding areas of Hubei province.The man who died in the Philippines was a 44-year-old from Wuhan, according to the World Health Organization, which has declared the epidemic a global health emergency.China has embarked on unprecedented efforts to contain the virus, which is believed to have jumped to humans from a Wuhan animal market, and can be transmitted among people.- Wenzhou lockdown -China’s efforts have included extraordinary quarantines in Wuhan and surrounding cities, with all transport out banned, effectively sealing off more than 50 million people.But 10 days after locking down Wuhan, authorities imposed similar draconian measures on Wenzhou, a coastal city of nine million people in Zhejiang province, part of the eastern industrial heartland that has powered China’s economic rise over recent decades.Only one resident per household is allowed to go out every two days to buy necessities, and 46 highway toll stations have been closed, authorities announced.The city had previously closed public places such as cinemas and museums, and suspended public transport.Zhejiang has 661 confirmed infections, with 265 of those in Wenzhou, according to the government.This is the highest tally for any province in China after ground-zero Hubei.Closing borders The United States, Australia, New Zealand and Israel have banned foreign nationals from visiting if they have been in China recently, and they have also warned their own citizens against travelling there.Mongolia, Russia and Nepal have closed their land borders.The number of countries reporting infections rose to 24 after Britain, Russia and Sweden confirmed their first cases this weekend.There were 2,103 new confirmed cases in hardest-hit Hubei province on Monday, bringing the total infected to more than 16,480.With hospitals in Wuhan overwhelmed, China will open a military-led field hospital Monday that was built in just 10 days to treat people stricken by the virus.And with the Chinese economy suffering, the central bank announced it would release 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) on Monday to maintain liquidity in the banking system — the day markets re-open after the long holiday break.Holiday ending The emergence of the virus coincided with the Lunar New Year, when hundreds of millions travel across the country in planes, trains and buses for family reunions.The holiday, which was scheduled to end on Friday, was extended by three days to give authorities more time to deal with the crisis.With many due back at work on Monday, people were starting to return on planes and trains over the weekend, with almost everyone wearing face masks.Customs authorities had ordered temperature checks at all exit-entry points in Beijing, according to state media.Returning travellers were being checked and registered at residential compounds, while fever checks were in place in subway stations, offices and cafes.One 22-year-old arriving at a Beijing train station from northeastern China said her family had urged her to delay her return.”But I was worried it would affect my job,” she said.Security guard Du Guiliang, 47, said he would be starting back at work in Beijing on Sunday, after returning from northeast Liaoning province.”Many colleagues (from Hubei) couldn’t come back. Now, those who work the day shift at our company have to do the night shift as well,” he said.Many businesses were to remain closed for at least another week, however, while some major cities — including Shanghai — had also extended the holiday.Topics :last_img read more