Help create a vision for a beautiful park

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Shenendehowa school district voters have an opportunity Dec. 5 to take another giant leap forward in securing and expanding a precious commodity: open space and greenery. A majority “yes” vote at Shen’s Gowana Middle School on that day will approve a negotiated agreement under which the school district will sell 34 acres of open land to the town of Clifton Park for eventual development into a park.This opportunity was made possible by a months-long regional effort and April referendum to reverse a Shenendehowa school board vote to sell the land for commercial development. Since that vote, school board and town officials have been holding meetings to determine the next steps. This effort led to an agreement for the town to purchase the land for $1.1 million. As part of that agreement, voters in the district get to have their say on final approval.I hope voters throughout the district understand the value of retaining this land to create a park for everyone in the region to enjoy for decades to come — preventing it from becoming part of the wave of commercial and residential development sweeping the community. Open space and parks improve the overall attractiveness and value of our community as a place to live and/or work. Let’s not let this opportunity pass.On Dec. 5, cast a “yes” vote that places our town among those Capital Region communities whose leaders, businesses and residents have had the vision to create beautiful parks, such as The Crossings in Colonie and Congress Park in Saratoga Springs.Mark MarchandClifton ParkMore from The Daily Gazette:Controversial solar project goes before Clifton Park Planning BoardFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…last_img read more

Times have changed since Founders’ days

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionSadly, I can’t offer a solution to gun violence in America’s schools. But I’m getting tired of listening to the NRA speaking about our “Founding Fathers” as if they were gods. They argue that we must leave the Second Amendment alone because the “Founding Fathers” created it. Interesting.Based on that philosophy, we need to repeal women’s right to vote because those founders didn’t think they should have suffrage. Come to think of it, we need to change our census and start counting African-Americans as three-fifths of a person just like the “Founding Fathers” wanted it. I’m surprised there was no amendment guaranteeing us the right for Americans to own automobiles. Oh, they weren’t invented yet.Times sure have changed in the last 250 years. Maybe our thinking should, too. Thomas ReiterDelansonMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady County warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Schenectady restaurant, Rotterdam barFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsLocal movie theater operators react to green lightEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, July 24

first_imgMore 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: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCouncil goes too far in liquor store roleIn an unprecedented move, the Schenectady City Council has drafted a letter to the State Liquor Authority, urging the Authority to deny a liquor license to the couple proposing a liquor store at 844 Albany Street.They have promised to do the same for a liquor store proposed at 837 Eastern Ave.In both of these cases, the property’s zoning allows a liquor store, and both applicants have applied for approval from the Planning Commission and received it, having committed to perform every piece of property improvement and maintenance put before them.While it’s true that many people from a church neighboring 844 Albany St. have voiced strong objection, the right way to address their concerns is to change the zoning regulations, not blatantly undermine a business owner’s right to have a legal business.We say that we want to support small business, but apparently the City Council gets to decide who gets support and who doesn’t. This should be considered a restraint of trade and open the city to a lawsuit. Richard FerroSchenectadyThe writer is a member of the Schenectady Planning Commission. Replace Trump and his dangerous actsWhen will we all as American citizens stand up and stop this man who holds the highest office from further dividing and inflaming hatred in this country? C’mon people, we are better than he is. Some political strategists believe he’s purposely saying these racist remarks to fire up his base. So, if that is true, and it may be, will we finally come out and blame him when there’s another church, mosque or synagogue shooting? I will. Or, find a black man hanged in a tree? I will. To make these statements for political reasons by a president is unheard of and, in my opinion, is extremely dangerous. This president, and I hesitate when I say that, wants nothing more than to rule this country as a dictator. He’d love to get rid of any news media that is not favorable to him, just as Putin, Kim Jung Un and the rest of them do. He says whatever he wants, he lies, and calls people names. When did a president ever do that daily? Never. He’s dangerous to this country, people. He’s got to go. Let’s make that crystal clear in November 2020 and bring in someone, anyone, (male or female) that will represent this country with respect, dignity and diplomacy and most of all not lie to us every single day. Stop calling the news ”fake” when he doesn’t like the reporting. Thank you to the framers of the Constitution for freedom of the press and God bless this great country that was built by many people from many countries. Mary BakerPerthSchenectady dog park is appreciatedWith great appreciation, I wish to recognize the Schenectady Dog Park at Central Park. It’s a joyful place for our dog, Tessie, and the many friends she has made there. She particularly loves wading in the little pool on a hot day. Just saying the word “park” at home brings her to the door with a leap. Once there, our young border collie/shepherd romps and plays with abandon, getting the exercise and socialization she needs to be happy and healthy. Thank you to the city of Schenectady and the Parks Department.Russ FritzSchenectadyPro-lifers hypocrites on women’s rightsThere was another excellent letter from Mary Jane Valachovic on July 15 (“U.S. helped destroy democracy in Iran”), someone who obviously subscribes to genuine history, not to conservative revisionist history.Speaking of conservatives, conservative Christian crusaders have declared holy war on abortion. You conservatives trumpet your love of liberty and freedom, but would compel a woman impregnated by a rapist to go to term. What about her freedom? Can you say hypocrisy?Right-to-lifers, you march to protest the killing of innocent human life in the womb. I marched to protest the killing of innocent human life in Vietnam and Iraq. Did you?Here’s an idea. Anyone who would force a woman to give birth should be forced to adopt a child. Catholic priests, for obvious reasons, would be exempt. Fair enough?Paul SatorGloversvillelast_img read more

Save Our Sheds

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Landlords stand trial

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The flying planners

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Nation building

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In a heart beat

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Blue collar boom? College grads, baby boomers big winners in Trump’s economy

first_imgNet worth combines the value of assets like real estate and stocks and subtracts liabilities like mortgage loans and credit card balances.Because America’s bottom 50 percent are starting from such a small base, given the enormous disparities in wealth in the United States, even large moves in their fortunes do little to dent the overall distribution. In dollar terms as of the end of September 2019, that latest data available from the Fed, the combined net worth of the poorest half of families was $1.67 trillion out of total US household wealth of $107 trillion.Here is what the Fed’s Distributional Financial Accounts have to say:Historically, 17 percent growth in household wealth over 11 three-month “quarters,” or nearly three years, is pretty standard. There have been 110 such periods since the Fed’s data series begins in mid-1989, and the most recent ranks 55th, squarely in the middle.On a quarterly basis, compound growth in household wealth since 1989 has averaged 1.39 percent. Under Trump it is slightly less, at 1.34%.The bottom half of households saw their net worth rise by 54 percent under Trump, from $1.08 trillion to $1.67 trillion. That’s compared to an 18 percent rise for the top 1 percent, who control roughly a third of the total household wealth in America, or around $34.5 trillion.Even after those gains, that works out to average net worth of around $26,000 for the bottom half of households versus around $27 million for the ones at the top.Much of that increase among the bottom half was due to increases in real estate, not stocks, after a resurgence in home ownership rates that began in 2016.Wages for lower-skilled jobs have of late been rising faster than those for higher-skilled occupations. But it takes time for income to be saved and translate into wealth. Since Trump took office, households headed by a college graduate captured 75 percent of the net worth gains, or around $11.88 trillion.They represent about a third of all households, according to the Fed survey on which the data series is based.Overall, households headed by a high school graduate, a group on the front lines of Trump’s pledge to restore blue collar fortunes, lost $0.4 trillion in net worth during his time in office. Those households represent about a fourth of the total.A baby boomer boomGenerationally, households with a head born from 1946 to 1964 did not get fooled again, as the 1971 rock anthem pledged. The title of Trump’s speech was “The Great American Comeback.” It could just as easily have been “OK Boomer, What About the Rest of Us?”Baby boomers under Trump, himself a member of that generation, captured around $10 trillion of recent wealth gains, or about two-thirds of the total.The Fed survey’s demographic estimates are as of 2016, and the population would have changed slightly since then. In 2016 about 36 percent of household heads (in the case of mixed-sex couples the Fed considers the man to be the head, in same-sex couples it is the oldest of the two) were headed by a member of the baby boom.Wealth accumulates with time, and older people would tend to have a larger base to start with. But for millennials, those born between 1981 and 1996, the last three years of booming markets have meant an extra half trillion dollars only, spread across about 20.6 percent of households. GenX’ers, born between 1965 and 1980, got about 21 percent of the gains, and made up roughly 26 percent of households. The pre-baby boom “Silent Generation” got 16 percent of the gains, roughly in line with that group’s share of households.Analyzed by race, the data told a familiar story of inequality. About 84 percent of recent wealth gains accrued to the 64 percent of households that self-identified to the Fed as white.About 4.6 percent of wealth gains went to the 14.5 percent of households that identified as black, and 3.8 percent to the 10.1 percent of households that identified as Hispanic.Topics : US President Donald Trump rolled out an eye-catching statistic in his State of the Union address Tuesday: the wealth held by the poorest half of American households increased three times as fast as the wealth held by the “1 percent” since he became president.That’s true, according to Federal Reserve data.On average, Americans have seen a 17 percent jump in household wealth since Trump’s election, while wealth at the bottom half has increased 54 percent. “This is a blue collar boom,” Trump also said Tuesday. That’s less apparent. The biggest winners on a dollar basis were a familiar group – whites, college graduates, and people born during the “baby boom” between 1946 and 1964.Since December 2016, President Barack Obama’s last full month in office, average household wealth has increased US$15.8 trillion, but the vast majority went to groups that have tended to accumulate wealth in the past.Even with a 54 percent increase in their household wealth under Trump, the poorest half of American households, around 64 million families, still have just 1.6 percent of household “net worth.”Half of Americalast_img read more

Japan to begin moving some off quarantined cruise ship

first_imgJapanese authorities were preparing Friday to move some older passengers who test negative for new coronavirus off a quarantined cruise ship and into government-designated lodging.The move comes a day after the number of infections diagnosed on the Diamond Princess rose to 218, with fears growing for the health of some of the several hundred people on the ship aged 80 or over.Health Minister Katsunobu Kato told reporters that the first passengers who want to leave the ship would be taken off later Friday, though details of how many will come off and where they will go remain unclear. Ten of those hospitalised are now in serious condition, Kato said on Friday.Excluding the cases on the ship, and an infected quarantine officer, Japanese authorities have so far diagnosed 33 people with the newly named COVID-19, including a man in Chiba, east of Tokyo.The newly diagnosed cases include a woman in her 80s whose positive test result emerged after she died in hospital.The woman was reportedly the mother-in-law of a taxi driver in Tokyo who has also been diagnosed with the virus. Doctor, patient infected A doctor in Wakayama prefecture and a patient who was treated in the hospital where the doctor worked have also been diagnosed.Officials in the region said they were still not sure if the doctor had infected the patient.”It is difficult to trace the route of the infection”, governor Yoshinobu Nisaka told reporters.He said officials were asking people in the area “to report suspicious cases of pneumonia so that we can immediately conduct tests”.The hospital has been closed to visitors and medical staff are now being tested for the virus, Nisaka added.Despite the new infections, government officials sought to play down concerns about the spread of the virus in Japan.”There is not enough epidemiological evidence to suggest that the epidemic is spreading inside Japan,” government spokesman Yoshihide Suga told reporters.”We will keep collecting epidemiological information including on the routes of infection.”The Diamond Princess has been quarantined off Japan since early February after it emerged a former passenger who got off the boat in Hong Kong had tested positive for the virus. The quarantine is due to end on February 19 and those on the ship have been mostly confined to their cabins and asked to wear masks and keep their distance from other passengers during brief outings on open deck.Crew on board have expressed concern that their conditions — including shared cabins, bathrooms and workspaces — put them at greater risk of contracting the virus.Topics : Senior health ministry official Gaku Hashimoto boarded the ship Friday morning to announce that all passengers “who are considered to be high risk in general health” would now be tested for the virus.”Those who test positive will be transferred to the hospital. Those who test negative will — at the request of the individual — disembark and be transferred to accommodation provided by the government,” he said in a statement in English read out by the ship’s captain in a public broadcast.”We are aware that many people are worried and concerned about the situation. However, to improve the situation as much as possible, the government is making its best efforts,” the statement said.There were more than 3,700 people on the ship when it arrived off the Japanese coast last week, but those diagnosed with the virus have been taken off the boat, along with some people suffering other health conditions requiring medical attention.last_img read more

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