Month: October 2020

Focus on real problem behind all the violence

first_imgRe Oct. 17 letter, “Keep assault weapons only for police, military”: Please define your definition of an “assault-style weapon”? Do you mean any item that can be used to assault and inflict rapid and numerous wounds and/or death? If so, it must apply to cars, trucks, planes, knives, swords, hammers, screwdrivers, any firearms, bottles, pipe and any item a deranged individual would use to inflict pain, injury and even death to another person or animal.What is wrong today is that people have changed. Why do certain people feel that the solution to their problem is to inflict pain and worse on innocent people? Is it drugs? An overwhelming fear of failure? The problem is not the object used to inflict pain and death — it’s people. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Over the years, I have observed that the prevailing attitude of prohibiting this and that and passing more laws isn’t working. It’s always easy to prohibit “something.” Does it really solve anything, other than saying we did “something?” It didn’t work for booze, gambling and prostitution, etc.I agree with your comment, “but our forefathers could not have envisioned the reality of today. It is not 1776.” Our forefathers fought to free themselves from the abuses of an oppressive government. I wonder how they would react to today’s governmental involvement in our daily lives?The people of today are nowhere to same people of 1776. Recent events have certainly demonstrated that fact. Some people are less caring of their fellow man, have an attitude of, “What can I get out of this for me,” and have just “gone off their rocker.”Let’s agree to really put forth an effort to address the real problem. Let’s address what is affecting people. Mental illness? Drugs? I do know one thing for sure. It’s not the assault-style weapons you referenced in your letter.Joe VivaBallston LakeMore from The Daily Gazette:Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationlast_img read more

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Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Dec. 15

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMayor should show city citizens respectGary McCarthy once said that being mayor of Schenectady is his dream job. Does that dream extend to the citizens? A mayor who is aware of the socio-economics of his city should know that the aftermath of a heavy snowstorm can present hardships to many of its residents.The mismanagement of last week’s storm certainly worsened many situations.Every day in our city, people walk, cycle, use walkers or wheelchairs out of necessity. Food and prescription medications can’t wait. Doctor appointments have to be kept. Rent needs to be paid on time. People need to get to work and school.All last week, roads had a dense, ice-covered snow-pack with ruts, bumps and pockets that are worse than potholes. Some still do. Such unsafe conditions made these things incredibly difficult for pedestrians and drivers alike. There is financial hardship in lost work and wages, damage to vehicles, and personal injuries.Is our mayor aware of how this all plays out, or is he oblivious to it?Mayor McCarthy likes to tout Smart-City technology, but he ignored the National Weather Service and UAlbany’s Mesonet technology. He blames the plow drivers for declining overtime, but should be asking himself why multiple drivers would do this during the holiday season?Every Schenectadian knows what it’s like to be disrespected by those who don’t live here. We also know what it’s like to be disrespected by our mayor. Mayor McCarthy, please fulfill your dream, and bring your citizens out of this nightmare.Lisa RussoSchenectadyForget blame; create a shoveling brigadeThe negative comments about inadequate snowplowing in the city of Schenectady are understandable; I drive a car and have barely avoided accidents on streets that look like ski slopes.And I’m also a pedestrian, unable to leap over the huge snowbanks that have made it difficult to cross Erie Boulevard and State Street before the walk light turns to “don’t walk.”But it’s not just the huge snowbanks. Sections of sidewalk along State Street have been badly neglected. The northside stretch between Erie Boulevard and Broadway is a hazard to all pedestrians, and especially to the disabled.On Dec. 5, I saw a blind gentleman with a white cane making his way along that icy stretch. Who would be responsible if such a pedestrian, or any pedestrian, were to fall and injure himself? Rather than assigning blame, how about forming a “snow-shovel brigade” of private citizens who will come out in force to clear the city sidewalks?Roger ShefferSchenectadyState needs to pass an aid-in-dying lawIn response to Wendell Neugebauer’s Dec. 6 letter (“Assisted suicide laws do more harm”), as a practicing physician I have come to accept the fact that every medical intervention and treatment has limitations.Even the most vigorous, compassionate treatments may end in a failure to cure or relieve suffering. A tiny, unfortunate minority of patients reaches this point. It’s for them, in their final six months of life, that we seek a dignified exit,  bringing an end to humiliating suffering.Death is non-negotiable. We all die. When a patient has an incurable, terminal disease, it’s the natural extension of our professional duties to continue easing suffering.Many persons prescribed the aid in dying medications never take them. Just having the prescription provides comfort.Gov. Andrew Cuomo deserves great credit for endorsing medical aid in dying, as an option for mentally capable, terminally ill adults.He sees this as a compassionate option for the sickest of the sick.Of note is a research article published in the New England Journal of Medicine, which concluded that there are no substantial cost savings for choosing medical aid in dying over other end-of-life treatments.Further, there is not a shred evidence that societies move from voluntary aid in dying to state-mandated euthanasia.The safeguards of these laws remain unchanged since Oregon passed the nation’s first one 25 years ago: only mentally capable, terminally ill adults, who can self-ingest the medication are eligible.I urge Gov. Cuomo and our legislators to pass this law in 2020.David Pratt, MD, MPHRexfordMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

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Compete, co-operate and succeed

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Manchester Residential: Supersonic sales

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In vino veritas: Bali governor issues new decree to promote traditional liquor

first_imgBali Governor Wayan Koster has issued a gubernatorial decree regulating the province’s traditional liquors in a bid to preserve and promote the drinks in the region.Wayan said that the decree on traditional Balinese fermented and distilled drinks, ratified on Jan 29, would promote local liquors such as arak, tuak – both distilled from coconut palm flowers – and brem, a traditional rice wine, as part of the region’s many unique cultural traits.“I also hope that with this regulation, traditional Balinese fermented drinks can be part of our new economic power based on local people and local wisdom,” he said on Wednesday, as quoted by Antara news agency. Koster said the new regulation would require Balinese traditional liquor producers to hold licenses and pass food safety tests from the Indonesian Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) to ensure that they met quality and hygiene standards.“This way, our traditional drinks can be served in hotels, sold at airports and served during dinner receptions at the governor’s official residence,” he said.He also encouraged the provincial research and innovation agency to safeguard farmers’ intellectual rights over the products. He added that he had also suggested to the Customs and Excise Office that the drinks receive tax incentives and even be excluded from export fees to support the industry’s development.Koster added that the new regulation could act as a “way out” from the government’s negative investment list that bars foreign investment in alcoholic drink manufacturing as it would regulate the promotion, branding and funding for the liquors’ production. Besides promoting and preserving the local drinks, the regulation also details the administrative sanctions for producers and sellers who violate its provisions.“We prohibit selling to underage children,” Koster said, adding that the administration also banned liquor sales among street vendors, on camping sites, around worship sites, schools, government offices and hospitals. (ris)Topics :last_img read more

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Bulog seeks approval to import 200,000 tons of sugar ahead of Ramadan

first_imgThe State Logistics Agency (Bulog) is seeking the government’s approval to import 200,000 tons of sugar to stabilize prices during this year’s Ramadan, which will begin in late April.The agency’s director for operations and public services, Tri Wahyudi, said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the sugar price, which had exceeded the government’s current price ceiling, was expected to further increase during the fasting month when food consumption is far higher than on normal days.Imports, he said, were needed in order to increase the supply in the market because the sugarcane in the country could only be harvested after Idul Fitri, a celebration that comes after a full month of fasting. “The sugarcane can be harvested after Idul Fitri. So we propose an import of 200,000 tons. It is sugar for consumption, not raw sugar for industries,” Tri was quoted by Kompas as saying.Tri acknowledged that the agency had received requests from various parties to import sugar because they feared the price increase would continue if Bulog did not increase the supply in the market.”We have submitted our proposal to import sugar to the coordinating economic minister. We need to import to stabilize the price,” he added.At present the sugar price has reached Rp 4,000 per kilogram, exceeding the government’s price ceiling of Rp 12,500 per kilogram.In 2018, Bulog did not import sugar because it had around 400,000 tons of sugar stocks ahead of Ramadan. (hen) Topics :last_img read more

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Jakarta puts brakes on E-prix over COVID-19 fears

first_img  Pop music festival   Postponed   Kim Jae-joong Asia Tour   Rescheduled to Jan. 15-17, 2021   Hammersonic 2020March 27-28 Note Category   March 28 “The health and safety of our residents are our main priority, so we decided to postpone the Formula E race in June,” Anies said on Wednesday at a daily briefing about developments related to COVID-19 in the capital.”The risks are too high if we let in many tourists from countries with confirmed coronavirus cases. We do not want to pursue economic benefits at the expense of the residents’ safety.”The governor announced in September that Jakarta would host the 2020 Formula E race — which according to Bank Indonesia — was expected to help boost the capital’s economy by 0.02 percent — in a bid to spur tourism.Prior to Anies’ announcement, city councillors had been calling on the administration to cancel the race for fear it would incur losses, as several countries had already issued travel warnings for their citizens.   Rock concert Events   Sports Indonesia reported on Wednesday its 34th COVID-19 case, a 42-year-old man in an imported case, the Health Ministry’s Disease Control and Prevention director general, Achmad Yurianto said.A 53-year-old foreigner, also known as Case 25, reportedly died on Wednesday morning.As of Wednesday evening, 34 confirmed COVID-19 cases have been reported in the archipelago. Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan announces the postponement of the 2020 Jakarta E-Prix to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) at the City Hall on Wednesday, March 11, 2020. (JP/Dzulfiqar Fathur Rahman)”We have to reduce the interaction between those who have been exposed to the disease and the general public. We are aware that there are [34] positive cases in Indonesia,” Anies said. “We have to be serious, but we must not panic.”According to the World Health Organization, 113,702 COVID-19 cases have been confirmed worldwide, with the death rate rising to 3.4 percent.The Jakarta administration is currently monitoring 70 people suspected of having the virus and supervising 97 more being treated at hospitals, Jakarta Health Agency head Widyastuti told the press briefing.She added that 331 people had been declared virus-free from previous monitoring and 100 discharged from the hospital.In addition to postponing the Jakarta E-Prix, the city administration is planning to suspend its weekly Car Free Day for the next two weeks.An ad-hoc working committee, called the permit review team, will also be formed to evaluate the permits of Jakarta-based events and decide whether they can proceed with conditions, be postponed or canceled.The Jakarta E-Prix Organizing Committee is also postponing the construction of a 2.6-kilometer racetrack around Monas, called the Monas Circuit, according to the committee’s director of communications and sustainability, Felicia Idama.The committee revealed the racetrack’s design in mid-February, saying it would have 11 bends and allow drivers to speed up to 220 kilometers per hour.”We are discussing the technicalities, so we cannot decide [on a new date for the race] just yet,” Felicia told The Jakarta Post via text message on Wednesday.Construction on the Monas circuit, designed by German racetrack designer Tilke Engineers & Architects and initially set to be built by city-owned developer PT Jakarta Propertindo (Jakpro), was expected reach completion in April before undergoing tests before the race.The 47-minute race was going to involve 24 drivers from 13 countries in 12 teams.Jakpro had requested a Rp 767 billion (US$53.45 million) capital injection from the city budget, of which Rp 344 million would be used for asphalting and erecting barriers and fences, said Jakpro president director Dwi Wahyu Daryoto.The remaining Rp 423 million was to be used for a bank guarantee.”After discussing [the matter] with FEO and other stakeholders, we decided to postpone the Jakarta E-Prix from the initial schedule of June 6,” Dwi said in a statement released on Wednesday.”This is a preventive measure against COVID-19, prioritizing the health of Indonesians, especially in the capital.” (dfr)List of canceled events in Jakarta due to COVID-19   Postponed   Metal music festival     Postponed   6IXSENSE World Tour  April 11   Head in the Cloud  March 7   Formula E electric motorsports   championship  June 6   Postponed   March 7   K-Pop concert The Jakarta administration has postponed the Jakarta E-Prix, the capital’s first-ever Formula E race initially set to take place on June 6, as part of its efforts to further prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19).The race, which would have been held at the National Monument (Monas), is postponed indefinitely.Meanwhile, the city administration is in talks with the Formula E Organizers (FEO) and the International Automobile Federation (FIA) about monitoring the COVID-19 outbreak, not only in Indonesia but also around the world, according to Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan.   Foals Live in Jakarta  March 10   K-Pop concert Source: various sources   Postponed   Postponed   Khalid Free Spirit World Tour  Music concert Topics :last_img read more

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Athletes, teams pledge donations to impacted workers

first_imgWhat started as an idea by Mark Cuban on Wednesday and became a gesture by Kevin Love a day later is now a full-blown movement as the world heads into its first weekend since the coronavirus outbreak was classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organization.Shortly after the NBA announced on Wednesday that its season was being put on hold because of the coronavirus, Cuban, the Dallas Mavericks owner, said he would work on getting arena employees paid while they wait for the games to return and they go back to work.A day later, Love, the Cleveland Cavaliers forward, announced he was donating $100,000 to help the organization’s arena staff and support staff. In his announcement he added, “I hope that during this time of crisis, others will join me in supporting our communities.” –The Golden State Warriors announced that their owners, players and coaches are donating $1 million to a disaster-relief fund that will aid the more than 1,000 part-time Chase Center workers. Warriors guard Stephen Curry said in a statement released by the team, “As players, we wanted to do something, along with our ownership and coaches, to help ease the pain during this time.”–The Mavericks issued a statement saying the organization is making arrangements with American Airlines Arena and other corporate partners “to ensure that scheduled event staff will receive payment for the six home games that were to take place during the 30-day NBA hiatus.” The impacted staff will include security, police, parking attendants, housekeeping, in-arena entertainers and guest services staff, according to the release.–Milwaukee Bucks star and reigning NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo pledged to donate $100,000 to Fiserv Forum staff. Shortly after, Bucks senior vice president Alex Lasry tweeted that “we follow our leader” and announced the team will match Antetokounmpo’s donation.–New Orleans Pelicans rookie Zion Williamson pledged to pay the salaries of all Smoothie King Center employees for the next month. “My mother has always set an example for me about being respectful for others and being grateful for what we have, and so today I am pledging to cover the salaries for all of those Smoothie King Center workers for the next 30 days,” he said in an Instagram post.–The Phoenix Suns and Talking Stick Resort Arena announced on Friday plans to “ensure that all part-time staff and hourly workers, including employees that work in guest service relations, concessions, ticketing, security, parking and events services will receive financial compensation for the six remaining scheduled Suns home games and concerts and shows that have been canceled in March.”–In the NHL, Florida Panthers goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky donated $100,000 to part-time workers at BB&T Center in Sunrise, Fla. — a donation matched by teammates as a group and added to by team ownership.–Pittsburgh Penguins players have started a fund to pay “full and part-time arena/service employees who would otherwise lose income on regular season games due to the pause in the NHL season.”–Other NHL franchises that as of Friday night have pledged to pay arena workers at least through the end of the month, if not longer, include the Anaheim Ducks, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Suns, Philadelphia Flyers, San Jose Sharks, Tampa Bay Lightning, Toronto Maple Leafs and Washington Wizards. The hours since have seen plenty of stepping up.–Also Thursday, the Cavaliers joined Love and pledged to compensate all Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse hourly and event staff employees “as if every game and every event is still taking place.”–On Friday, the Pistons’ Blake Griffin said he is donating $100,000 to help pay the salaries of workers at Little Caesars Arena in Detroit. Griffin tweeted to Love, “Just following suit.”–Ilitch Companies, which owns among other things the Detroit Tigers, the Red Wings and Little Caesars Arena, announced the establishment of a $1 million fund to cover one month’s wages “for our part-time staff for games, concerts, and events that they would have otherwise worked were it not for the recent cancellations and postponements caused by the coronavirus crisis.”center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Forget ‘mudik’ this year, govt tells people as Idul Fitri moves closer

first_imgConcerned about spreading COVID-19 from the capital to villages across the country, the Transportation Ministry will not provide any travel assistance this year for people seeking to visit their hometowns for Idul Fitri.Every year, millions of Indonesians from big cities make the annual trip known as mudik (exodus) to get together with their extended families and friends across the country to celebrate the holidays. This year, Idul Fitri is expected to fall on May 24 and 25.The ministry’s Land Transportation Director General Budi Setyadi said free mudik travel offered either by government institutions or the private sector would not be allowed this year.  “Considering the current situation of the massive spread of COVID-19, I think this is the right decision, although it is hard. Thus, I hope people understand and obey what the government has decided,” said Budi Setyadi.Budi has also called on people not to travel home for Idul Fitri this year to minimize the spread of COVID-19 across the country.“I urge all people not to return to their hometowns until conditions [improve]. Mudik involves massive mobility and gives the virus a chance to spread even more widely. People traveling to their hometown will potentially expand the contagion area,” said Budi.“We will push this campaign intensively,” he said. Topics :center_img Read also: Jakarta declares emergency, doubts persist over distancing ruleBefore the free transport program was canceled, the Transportation Ministry alone had planned to provide 1,317 buses to carry 59,265 passengers from Greater Jakarta to 37 destinations across Indonesia in the free mudik program.The ministry had also planned to prepare 111 trucks to transport 4,995 motorcycles for free in a bid to reduce the risk of people making long journeys on motorcycles.“Now, we will shift our focus to working hand-in-hand between with regional governments to contain COVID-19,” he said.Previously, the ministry’s expert staffer Adita Irawaty said the Transportation Ministry was considering limiting or even banning mudik travel this year.“We are avoiding mass public gatherings. Unfortunately, the mudik tradition will cause such gatherings to happen in several places across the country, so we are now reviewing whether the mudik will be conducted as usual or not, we may even ban or limit it,” said Adita during a video conference with journalists on Friday. (evi)last_img read more

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Indonesia ranks 57th in Inclusive Internet Index, among the lowest in the world

first_imgProgress on creating widely accessible and affordable internet access in Indonesia is slow, with a recent study placing Indonesia 57th among 100 countries on the Inclusive Internet Index, indicating there is still a huge amount of work to be done when it comes to building a fully functioning digital economy.The study, titled The Inclusive Internet Index, produced annually by The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) and commissioned by Facebook this year, placed Indonesia in the lower half globally and fourth among other lower-middle-income countries when it comes to its internet inclusiveness.The index measures four aspects: availability, affordability, relevance and the readiness of people in using the internet. Out of 100 points, Indonesia scored 66.4 in 2020, a disappointing increase from the 65.4 the country scored in 2017, as reported by a similar study commissioned by Internet.org. To put it into perspective, Indonesia was placed 35 out of 75 countries on the index in 2017, just one spot above India, which scored 64.4 that year. However, in the span of three years, India managed to improve by 7.3 points to rank 46 out of 100 countries in 2020. It is a far cry from Indonesia’s one point improvement between 2017 and 2020.Read also: Indonesia taxes tech companies through new regulation“The results of this year’s index and survey demonstrate that even as internet access increases globally, the pace of growth is slowing, particularly in lower-income countries where expansion is needed most,” the 2020 report says.In describing Indonesia, the study wrote on its site, theinclusiveinternet.eiu.com that: “This populous Southeast Asian country experiences considerable difficulties in supporting internet inclusion in every area of the index except for trust and safety.” Wahyudi Djafar, a researcher and deputy director of the Institute for Policy Research and Advocacy (ELSAM), told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that many factors contributed to Indonesia’s sluggish growth.Inequality in telecommunications infrastructure between regions — with network expansion programs still heavily focused in Indonesia’s more populated areas — is still a major issue. Unequal access to mobile devices and a lack of sufficient public policy to guide the growth of a digital nation were some others that Wahyudi pointed out.“Intervention from the government to ensure the right of access for every citizen is still non-existent,” Wahyudi said, adding that local providers were the ones dictating the price of data in the market based on their calculation and the competition between providers.Using the Hirschman-Herfindahl index, an index that measures the concentration of markets, the EIU reports that Indonesia’s broadband operators’ market share is at 6,570, which indicates a highly concentrated market. That means that the broadband industry, which provides digital subscriber line (DSL), fiber optics, cables and satellites, is near-monopolistic. It contributes to why, in terms of its fixed-line monthly broadband cost, Indonesia is ranked 74th out of 100 countries, according to data provided on the EIU site.Read also: Executive Column: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella shares vision, tech potentialThe country does better in terms of its mobile phone cost for its prepaid tariff. The price of 1 GB of prepaid mobile data in Indonesia is around 1 percent of monthly gross national income (GNI) per capita, already within the range of affordable internet as described by the United Nations Broadband Commission for Sustainable Development, wherein 1 GB of mobile broadband data is priced at 2 percent or less of average monthly income.Wahyudi also noted that a policy founded on the idea of internet access as a fundamental right was still not present in the country, hence policy implementations in the country still lagged behind others who had built their digital agenda based on that idea.Sweden, for example, which has ingrained the notion that internet access is an enabler of exercising human rights, tops the 2020 Inclusive Internet Index as it has implemented progressive internet inclusion policies over the years, among them being promoting competition between Internet Service Providers (ISPs), as described in a journal on internet regulation.Moving into a digital society is already within the Indonesian government’s agenda. On the 2020-2024 National Medium-Term Development Plan (RPJMN), the government highlighted the importance of mainstreaming the agenda of digital transformation to help achieve national development targets.The digital transformation project, listed as one of the country’s major projects according to the RPJMN, will receive an estimated Rp 50 trillion. The funds will be sourced from the state budget (APBN), regional budget (APBD), government-to-business cooperation (KPBU), state-owned enterprises and private entities.   Read also: Jokowi promises Microsoft simple regulation for data center investmentDespite the concerted effort, the government should be reminded that “there is more to inclusion than internet availability,” as the EIU report suggests, hinting at other important issues that needed to be addressed to create an inclusive digital society, including the issue of access gap between genders. “Although narrowing, the gender gap in access remains stubbornly wide,” the 2020 EIU report says, with men being on average 12.9 percent more likely than women to have internet access across the indexed countries.Topics :last_img read more

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