Letters to the Editor for Thursday, August 8

first_imgBe ready to farm the old-fashioned wayThe Ogallala aquifer in the Great Plains area of the United States, which is used for irrigation for a large percentage of America’s crops, is expected to dry up within the next century.Many blame excessive meat consumption on this problem, and it’s not expected to end any time soon.It’s claimed we’re running out of sand and gravel. China has used up a huge amount of sand in the past decade.Farmers are struggling today and have been for decades now. But if either of these causes a major crisis (along with the many other problems), you’re going to have to farm by hand again. It’s part of our past and will be part of our future. For any human who cares about our future, I’d say learn about farming by hand. You can start tomorrow.Colin YunickCharltonMetroplex zombie deal raises red flagsThe Gazette’s “Your Niskayuna” of Aug. 2-8 reports, “Niskayuna could get help from Metroplex to deal with “zombie’ houses.” The accompanying story makes it clear Metroplex wants the Town Board to vote on Aug. 27 to allow Metroplex to conduct business anywhere in the town, which it cannot do now.But nowhere is Ray Gillen, chair of Metroplex, cited as saying Metroplex funds would be committed to addressing zombie houses in the town, only that it could provide such funding.The new authority Metroplex is seeking to operate anywhere in the town of Niskayuna is authority it already has in the city of Schenectady, where its direct funding for the removal of zombie houses can only be described as modest. Is Niskayuna being offered a pig in a poke?Elmer F. BertschNiskayunaNonprofits provide invaluable servicesRecently the state comptroller released a report on the role and value of nonprofit organizations in New York.Comptroller Tom DiNapoli stated nonprofit organizations, large and small, provide a multitude of essential services on behalf of the state, county and other governmental entities, including health care, social welfare, care for the disabled, education and more.Nonprofits provide over 1.4 million jobs and comprised nearly 18 percent of private employment in the state as of 2017. Wages for these workers totaled just over $78 billion. From 2007 through 2017, non-profits added more than 175,000 jobs in New York, a gain of 14 percent. Today, over 400 Northern Rivers Family of Services staff work in Schenectady County providing educational, early head start, family services, counseling, foster care and mental health services to over 4000 families, children and youth. We depend on trained staff to support our clients.We will continue to serve our communities and their residents and look forward to being a vital part of the safety net for families, adults and children.William GettmanAlbanyThe writer is CEO of Northern Rivers Family of Services.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. 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 motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionTurn in guns to build the wallAll the God-fearing, gun-toting folks attending vigils for slain victims of gun violence, instead of burning candles, floating balloons, tying ribbons and offering thoughts and prayers after the fact, bring your guns and deposit them in recycling bins. The guns can be melted down and formed into fencing being erected at our southern border. The tremendous, tallest, biggest, most beautiful southern border wall is being constructed as we speak. Just saying.Chris MooreGreenville, S.C.The writer is a former resident of Glenville. Root out causes of hate and violenceWe must find the causes of hate and violence. My heart is heavy for those who lost their lives in recent shootings. Our society needs to teach the golden rule “Do onto others as you would have them do unto you.” When respect for life and property was taught through the Ten Commandments, we didn’t have this violence.A society cannot allow a newborn infant to be left to die and then say a life taken by other means is wrong. What is driving these young men to be so filled with hate and rage? Violent video games and radical ideas online are factors that must be addressed along with mental illness.Arlene Shako Schoharielast_img read more

Notebook Grinning like a well-fed cat

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Niche market

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Roberts frees Bourne End of market reins

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Bristol & West pins hope on H&B auction

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G’Day London

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UK sets out “battle plan” to try to contain spread of coronavirus

first_img“This is a national challenge … I think we’ll get through it in very good shape,” Johnson said at a news conference alongside England’s Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty and the government’s Chief Scientific Adviser Patrick Vallance.The government said its strategy was aimed at delaying the peak of the outbreak until the summer when the weather is warmer and the health service is under less seasonal pressure. This would also allow more time for the development of vaccines.Possible options include discouraging unnecessary travel as part of what it called a “social distancing” strategy, delaying non-urgent health care, and drafting in health professionals who have retired.If staff shortages impact emergency services such as the police force, they will focus on responding to serious crimes and maintaining public order. Johnson said the army was also ready to step in and provide back up to the police if needed. If the outbreak worsens or is severe and prolonged, the government said it would move from seeking to contain and delay the outbreak to mitigating its impact.The government will launch a major public information campaign later this week, run from a “war room” in the Cabinet Office, setting out steps people can take to limit the spread of the virus, such as washing their hands regularly.Johnson’s office said it would also publish legislation in the coming weeks which would give the government necessary powers to prepare for and tackle the outbreak.Whitty said he thought it was unlikely Britain would be in the situation of locking down individual cities, but all options would be kept available.Finance minister Rishi Sunak has asked officials to draw up “further measures to support the public health response, businesses and the economy as needed” and will give an update when he presents his first budget to parliament on March 11.Bank of England Governor Mark Carney said policymakers around the world were working on a “powerful and timely” response to the economic hit from coronavirus.”It is reasonable to expect a response that reflects a combination of fiscal measures and central bank initiatives,” he said.Topics : Britain unveiled its “battle plan” to tackle the spread of coronavirus on Tuesday, warning that as many as a fifth of employees could be off work at the peak of the outbreak.The United Kingdom has so far had 39 confirmed cases of the virus, and Prime Minister Boris Johnson said it was “highly likely” the country would see a growing number of cases.The government’s plan includes possible school closures, home working and cancelling large-scale gatherings to delay the peak of the outbreak. Businesses could be given extra time to pay their taxes if they are facing short-term cash flow issues.last_img read more

Thousands held on cruise ship off California over coronavirus fears

first_imgThe ship’s return from its current voyage was being delayed to allow “ample timing” for testing of “a number of passengers and crew members that have developed symptoms,” Newsom told a press conference.”So we’re holding that ship, which (has) thousands of passengers as well, off the coast, and we’ll be conducting those tests,” he added.Eleven passengers and 10 crew members were potentially infected with the virus, Newsom said.Around 62 passengers who remained on board from the earlier Mexico voyage were restricted to their rooms for testing, the Princess Cruises company said in a statement to AFP. It was not specified if they were among those displaying symptoms.”In an abundance of caution, these guests and other potential close crew contacts have been asked to remain in their staterooms until screened by our onboard medical team,” it said.The ship held about 2,500 passengers, plus crew, said Newsom. According to the company’s website, the vessel is manned by 1,150 crew.The Grand Princess belongs to Princess Cruises, the same company which operated the coronavirus-stricken ship held off Japan last month on which more than 700 people on board tested positive.At least six people who were hospitalized after being taken off the Diamond Princess have died.Topics : Thousands were stranded on a cruise ship off the California coast Wednesday over fears of the new coronavirus after passengers and crew members on board developed symptoms.Officials delayed the return of the Grand Princess to San Francisco on Wednesday night from Hawaii in order to carry out testing on board for those potentially infected.A 71-year-old man who had been aboard the same vessel during its previous voyage to Mexico died after contracting the COVID-19 illness, becoming the first fatal case in California, the operator Princess Cruises and California Governor Gavin Newsom said.last_img read more

Retired surgeon suspected of abusing up to 349 children stands trial in France

first_imgBecause the victims were minors at the time, the Saintes court ruled on Friday that proceedings would be closed to the public, radio franceinfo said.Le Scouarnec was arrested in 2017 when the young girl living next door told her mother that he had exposed himself and molested her.Investigators said a search of Le Scouarnec’s home yielded images of child abuse as well as notebooks where the surgeon detailed acts of sexual violence against children from 1989 to 2017.Le Scouarnec has told investigators that he had “already acted out” with children. He has however denied any full sexual penetration and said his diaries included an element of fantasy.He faces up to 20 years in prison if convicted.Topics : A retired surgeon suspected of raping or sexually abusing as many as 349 children over nearly three decades went on trial behind closed doors in France on Friday in what could be the country’s biggest-ever pedophilia scandal.The trial in the western town of Saintes is the first of hundreds of legal complaints against defendant Joel Le Scouarnec to come to court. It is due to run until March 17.Le Scouarnec, 69, is charged in this opening case with raping and sexually abusing four children between 1989 and 2017. The alleged victims included two of his nieces, a patient and his neighbor’s then six-year-old daughter.last_img read more

Arizona man dies after taking chloroquine for coronavirus

first_imgAn Arizona man has died and his wife is in critical condition after they ingested chloroquine phosphate – an aquarium cleaning product similar to drugs that have been named by President Trump as potential treatments for coronavirus infection.The couple, in their 60s, experienced immediate distress after swallowing the drug, an additive used at aquariums to clean fish tanks, according to Banner Health Hospital in Phoenix.Chloroquine phosphate shares the same active ingredient as malaria drugs that President Trump has touted as possibly effective against COVID-19, the potentially life-threatening disease caused by the coronavirus. On Saturday, Trump tweeted about the combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, saying it had “a real chance to be one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”The nation’s top infectious disease expert, Anthony Fauci, played down that claim, saying the therapy must be tested to assure its safety and efficacy.”Chloroquine, a malaria medication, should not be ingested to treat or prevent this virus,” Banner Health said in a statement on Monday.The new coronavirus, which causes the highly contagious COVID-19 respiratory illness, emerged in December in Wuhan, China and has spread throughout the world. There are currently no vaccines or treatments approved for the disease, but researchers are studying existing treatments and working on experimental ones. At the moment, most patients can only receive supportive care.“Given the uncertainty around COVID-19, we understand that people are trying to find new ways to prevent or treat this virus, but self-medicating is not the way to do so,” said Dr. Daniel Brooks, Banner Poison and Drug Information Center medical director.Brooks urged the medical community to not prescribe chloroquine medication to any non-hospitalized patients.“The last thing that we want right now is to inundate our emergency departments with patients who believe they found a vague and risky solution that could potentially jeopardize their health.”center_img Topics :last_img read more