Month: October 2020

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Oct. 14

first_imgLiberal bias comes from Times, PostI’m pretty old. A member of the Silent Generation. I’ve always lived in this area and The Gazette has always been my source for print news.I remember seeing national and world news articles attributed to the AP or UPI (Associated Press and United Press International). My recollection is that these articles followed the age-old journalism guideline that the story answers the questions who, what, when, where, why and how. What I might call the Joe Friday method, “just the facts, ma’am.”Mike Eplite’s Oct. 4 letter (“Paper has shifted too far to the left”) bemoans The Gazette’s current left=leaning bias.He asks, “Where did the days go of down-the-middle reporting?” The answer, Mr. Eplite, is that The Gazette’s primary source of national and world news is no longer UPI or the AP, but it is now The New York Times Service, followed by The Washington Post. My totally non-scientific “research” regarding the political bias of these four news services finds The Times the furthest to the left, WaPo slightly to the right of The Times and both the AP and UPI ranked neutral.  QED, Mr. Eplite.George NigrinyScotiaWoerner, Fahy failed on new abortion lawPatricia Fahy and Carrie Woerner co-sponsored the Reproductive Health Act, which legalizes abortion through birth and denies medical care to newborns who survive abortion.Many women and mothers find this extremely offensive.In the third trimester of my pregnancy, I communicated with my daughter in utero. I would tap my stomach three times and she would kick back twice. She responded this way consistently.My daughter has always been extremely perceptive and very in-tune to me. She exhibited these traits before birth.Science and human experience show us that babies in utero can distinguish voices and benefit from having their mothers sing to them and read to them.All mothers relate stories of feeling their babies hiccup, feeling their babies stretch, and feeling them jump in surprise when startled.Because of the Reproductive Health Act and its “health” exception for the mother, it’s legal to take a healthy, fully-formed, highly intelligent pre-born baby and end her life with lethal injection. These babies know they’re being attacked. They will struggle for their lives.Fahy and Woerner bear responsibility for bringing this living nightmare to New York. They celebrate the murder of innocent pre-born and just-born babies in the name of women’s rights.As a woman and a mother, I proudly say that Fahy and Woerner do not speak for me. They do not represent me, my female friends and family or my children.Jennifer RichardsBurnt HillsO’Conor has earned Wilton council seatBoth of us had long tenures as Wilton’s town supervisor.We achieved much during our years of service, but you seldom achieve success alone.We were fortunate to have Ray O’Conor serve as a councilman and our deputy supervisor.Ray’s involvement with many projects was critical to their success. He chaired our Master Plan Committee, was the principal author of Wilton’s Open Space Plan, served on the board of the Wilton Wildlife Preserve and was liaison to our Recreation Department.To enhance public safety, Ray accepted the challenge to bring a State Police station to Wilton.He also served as liaison to the Wilton Emergency Squad.Ray was chairman of the Wilton Water & Sewer Authority and drafted the Wilton Ethics and Financial Disclosure Law.When the Wilton Developmental Center closed, he led the reutilization task force. It’s now the headquarters of the D.A. Collins Cos. There’s even more to tell about his involvement with community not-for-profit organizations, but we think you get the point. We strongly encourage residents of Wilton to vote for Ray O’Conor for councilman.Art JohnsonWiltonThe writer is the Wilton town supervisor.Roy McDonaldWiltonThe writer is a former state senator and retired Wilton town supervisor.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen? Kelly is an asset to Spa City as mayorWe are writing to endorse Meg Kelly for mayor of Saratoga Springs. She’s a wonderful asset to the area and acts to benefit a wide range of constituents.Whether you are a businessperson, an environmentalist or an advocate for the homeless she takes actions to benefit your concerns.The Geyser Road Trail project is scheduled for groundbreaking.New funding totaling more than $3 million has been added to the budget for sidewalk repair, the Geyser Road Trail project and smaller projects. In addition more than $3 million in grants is being managed for clean transportation, open space, etc. Sustainable initiatives are underway, such as recycling, EV chargers etc. Mayor Kelly and the city of Saratoga have partnered with Saratoga County to find solutions for “Code Blue” and other homelessness options.One of Meg’s strengths is her desire and ability to work with all segments of the constituency in an intelligent and respectful manner. Civil discourse on the council is now the norm. We both feel that many of the things Mayor Kelly has done, or that she is working on, impact not only the citizens of Saratoga Springs but its neighboring communities and Saratoga County at large.Gail CapobiancoJohn-Michael CaldaroBallston Spa Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionHow did garbage issue go so wrong?From the moment I started my investigation into the Montgomery County garbage issue, I made one thing clear to County Executive Matt Ossenfort: Amsterdam taxpayers should not be forced to pay for a contract violation that he was responsible for, and Mayor Michael Villa agreed with me.So what happened since then?All of my requests for information on this matter have been completely ignored and Montgomery County went ahead and passed a budget that hits Amsterdam even harder with an 8.7 percent tax hike.Now Amsterdam residents will not only be paying $67,000 more to the county in garbage fees for this debacle, but they will also pay them $534,000 more in taxes.In fact, in the approved county budget, taxes are going up more in Amsterdam than in any other part of Montgomery County.I’ve asked our state comptroller to help look into this further and I would hope the county executive will be more cooperative in providing information about how this all went wrong.Angelo SantabarbaraSchenectadyThe writer represents the 111th Assembly District in the state Legislature.Scotia residents also Glenville residentsAs a resident of the village of Scotia for 50 years, I would like to respond to W. Thomas Bird’s Oct. 6 letter “Control of Glenville should stay in town” complaining about village of Scotia residents voting and running for election in the town of Glenville. The village of Scotia is in the town of Glenville, which makes us residents of the town. Maybe I can make this a little bit clearer; the village of Scotia is in the town of Glenville, which is in the county of Schenectady, in the state of New York in the United States of America, which affords us the privilege of paying taxes on all these levels.The residents of the village of Scotia pay town of Glenville taxes and are residents of the town of Glenville, therefore, affording us these rights.Mr. Bird is welcome to attain property and pay taxes in the village, which would give him the opportunity to vote in village elections. In addition to my long tenure as a resident, I have a long family history of Scotia residents and retired after 26 years working for the town of Glenville. The thing I will never understand is the snarkiness towards the village of Scotia. Mr. Bird has proved that long-time attitudes still exist. How unfortunate. Mr. Bird, Village of Scotia residents are town of Glenville residents and we are entitled to vote and run for office in our town.Donna J. MoranScotialast_img read more

Sunny in Cannes – for some

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Home is where the heart of small business is

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Shortlist of three for Quayside

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Since our last visit

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The market in minutes

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Brighton’s high point

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Govt commits to full BPJS Kesehatan coverage for COVID-19 patients

first_imgThe government has announced that it is providing full medical coverage for COVID-19 patients through the national health insurance provider, the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan).Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy said the decision was made because of BPJS Kesehatan’s coverage capacity. “All costs for hospital treatments for COVID-19 patients will be handled by BPJS Kesehatan, because it has extensive experience in verifying claims from hospitals,” Muhadjir said in a statement on Monday as reported by kompas.com.Read also: COVID-19: Inadequate medical supplies take toll on lives of Indonesian medical workersMuhadjir said that this would also allow the government to accelerate payments to hospitals that were treating COVID-19 patients. He added that he had asked the BPJS Kesehatan president director, Fachmi Idris, to implement the measure in coordination with his office, the Health Ministry, the Finance Ministry, and the National Disaster Mitigation Agency (BNPB).”The funds used [to cover] COVID-19 treatments does not come from either BPJS Kesehatan or the social security fund [DJS]. It is a dedicated fund [for COVID-19 prevention and control],” he stressed, and that BPJS Kesehatan would distribute the funds immediately.Read also: Indonesia’s latest COVID-19 figures”BPJS Kesehatan is ready to support the [COVID-19] payment policy,” Fachmi said separately, and that BPJS Kesehatan would verify all claims from hospitals treating COVID-19 patients in an “accountable” manner before distributing the funds.Earlier, the government designated 132 referral hospitals across the country for treating COVID-19 patients. (nal)Topics :last_img read more

Hydroxychloroquine ineffective at preventing COVID-19: Trial

first_imgTaking hydroxychloroquine shortly after being exposed to COVID-19 does not help prevent infection in a statistically meaningful way, scientists reported Wednesday following a clinical trial.The medicine has been touted by US President Donald Trump, who has said he used it as a prophylaxis against the novel coronavirus.But an experiment involving 821 people across the United States and Canada showed it did not work significantly better than a placebo for this purpose. The researchers then looked at how many patients went on to develop COVID-19 over the next two weeks, which was confirmed either by a laboratory test or by clinical signs.They found that 49 of the 414 given the medicine got the disease caused by the coronavirus, compared to 58 of the 407 on the placebo.This translates to 11.83 percent on the drug were infected, versus 14.25 percent on the placebo. The absolute difference of about 2.4 percentage points in favor of the medicine was not considered statistically significant given the sample size, meaning it could have occurred because of chance.Side effects were more common with hydroxychloroquine than with the placebo — 40.1 percent versus 16.8 percent — but no serious adverse reactions were reported.”This randomized trial did not demonstrate a significant benefit of hydroxychloroquine as postexposure prophylaxis for COVID-19,” wrote the authors.The results of the study were eagerly awaited because it was a randomized controlled trial (RCT), a carefully designed experiment that is considered the gold standard for investigating clinical outcomes. Several previous studies on the drug that have made headlines were “observational,” meaning they looked back at what had already happened. As such, more variables are left to chance and it is generally harder to draw firm conclusions. Nevertheless, Martin Landray, a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Oxford, said more research was needed to know for sure whether hydroxychloroquine might have a moderately positive effect.”The study is too small to be definitive,” said Landray, who was not involved in the trial.The results “makes it very unlikely that there is a large effect [e.g. a halving in the risk of infection) but cannot rule out a more modest difference (e.g. a reduction of one-quarter or one-third] which would still be very valuable,” he added. Topics :center_img The study was led by a team at the University of Minnesota, and their paper was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.Researchers enrolled adults who had come into contact with someone who had a confirmed case of COVID-19 for more than 10 minutes at a distance of six feet (about two meters) or less.The majority of them — 719 — were deemed to have had “high-risk” exposure because they wore neither a face mask nor an eye shield at the time, while the rest were “moderate-risk” because they covered their face but did not have goggles.All participants were randomly assigned to receive either hydroxychloroquine — which is certified for use against malaria, rheumatoid arthritis and lupus — or a placebo, within four days.last_img read more

Raising speech fears, Zoom briefly shuts account over Tiananmen

first_imgThe shutdown was first reported by news site Axios.Zhou Fengsuo, a co-founder of the group who was number one on Beijing’s most-wanted list after the Tiananmen crackdown, told AFP that the Zoom account was reactivated on Wednesday.Zoom acknowledged that it had shut down and restored the account after the attention.”Just like any global company, we must comply with applicable laws in the jurisdictions where we operate,” a Zoom spokesperson said. Long dilemma for US tech Zoom reported Tuesday that its earnings had soared in the quarter ending April 30 as both companies and friends, cooped up inside due to COVID-19 lockdowns, embrace the platform to meet virtually.Its rapid growth has not been without previous problems, with the company forced to confront a rash of racists and other unwelcome gatecrashers who hack into Zoom sessions.Beijing has developed a sophisticated “Great Firewall” that aims to keep out news that is damaging to the leadership.Authorities go to extraordinary lengths each year to ban commemorations of the Tiananmen crackdown, in which the military killed hundreds of unarmed protesters — by some estimates, more than 1,000 — who had packed the capital to seek reform.PEN America, the literary group that defends free speech, denounced Zoom’s move.”We wouldn’t tolerate it if a phone company cut off service for someone expressing their views in a conference call; we shouldn’t tolerate it in the digital space either,” said the group’s CEO, Suzanne Nossel.”Zoom portends to be the platform of choice for companies, school systems and a wide range of organizations that need a virtual way to communicate, especially amid global lockdown. But it can’t serve that role and act as the long arm of the Chinese government,” she said.With its alluring market, China has long been problematic for US tech giants that generally boast of allowing unfettered free speech at home.Apple in 2017 acknowledged that it bowed to Chinese law by removing apps for VPNs, or virtual private networks, that let its users evade local controls. A decade earlier, Yahoo faced intense criticism and conceded wrongdoing after helping Chinese officials identify pro-democracy advocates who posted on online message boards. Topics : Zoom said Wednesday that it had temporarily closed a US account of activists who met to mark the anniversary of China’s crackdown in Tiananmen Square, raising alarm over free speech on the fast-growing video-meeting service.US-based rights campaigners turned to Zoom, which has become a way of life for many people during the coronavirus lockdown, to connect more than 250 people to remember Beijing’s crushing of the pro-democracy uprising on June 4, 1989.The group Humanitarian China said it had brought in numerous participants from inside China, which has tried to erase memories of the bloodshed — and that its paid Zoom account was shut down without explanation one week later. “When a meeting is held across different countries, the participants within those countries are required to comply with their respective local laws.”We aim to limit the actions we take to those necessary to comply with local law and continuously review and improve our process on these matters.”The activists voiced outrage, charging that the company may have been under direct pressure from China’s communist leaders.”If so, Zoom is complicit in erasing the memories of the Tiananmen Massacre in collaboration with an authoritarian government,” Humanitarian China said in a statement.It called Zoom an “essential” resource in reaching audiences inside China, which rigorously enforces censorship.last_img read more