Puerto Rico’s residents deserve better

first_imgPost reporters detailed an island plunged into darkness, with roads impassable, communications knocked out and the economy at a standstill.The New York Times detailed the impacts on health care, with hospitals running low on medicine, seriously ill patients going without proper treatment and an increasing risk of people getting sick – and dying – from contaminated water.The Guardian reported on food shortages, with federal emergency workers unable to meet the demand for providing meals.“We feel completely abandoned here,” the mayor of Yabucoatold Post reporters. Maria was the strongest storm to hit Puerto Rico in nearly a century.There is no minimizing its catastrophic effects, nor the logistical challenges of getting help to an island already suffering from poor infrastructure and long-standing financial problems.But none of that excuses the federal government’s sluggish response and poor planning. Categories: Editorial, OpinionThe following editorial appeared in The Washington Post:It has been three weeks since Hurricane Maria made devastating landfall in Puerto Rico.Three weeks — and 84 percent of the population is still without power.Only 63 percent has access to clean water, and just 60 percent of wastewater treatment plants are working.Food supplies are spotty, the health-care system is in crisis and people are dying.The death toll has risen to 45. If the Americans enduring these conditions lived in Connecticut or Montana or Arkansas, would we be counseling patience?Would we be blithely accepting predictions of another month — or more — to get power restored?No.There would be unending media coverage, people would be furious — and the president of the United States certainly wouldn’t be threatening to abandon federal relief efforts.The state of affairs would simply be seen as unacceptable, which it is.The 3.4 million American citizens who live in Puerto Rico are owed a far better response from their government than they have gotten these past three weeks.Conditions on the island remain grim and, in some instances, have been exacerbated by the delay in getting help.center_img Why, for example, as the Times reported, were only 82 patients sent to the hospital ship USNS Comfort over six days when there were so many more sick people in peril?Yet, almost incredibly, President Donald Trump on Thursday blasted out a trio of tweets seemingly trying to shame the U.S. territory for its current problems and putting its residents on notice that the federal government might pull out.So much for his promise to “be there every day” until the people of Puerto Rico are “safe and sound and secure.”It is time to stop treating the people of Puerto Rico like second-class citizens.Congress should give Puerto Rico the resources it needs.It also should exercise its oversight over the administration to demand answers on why, three weeks after disaster struck, so many Americans are still living in misery with so little hope for the future.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristslast_img read more

Questionable savings from charter change

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Mr. Altamari’s confidence in the savings he claims will accrue from a change to a city manager form depends heavily on the elimination of the four existing commissioners and the five full-time deputies.This assumption is especially stunning, since for all the interviewing, they like to say they did, the commission never talked to the deputies to find out what they do. Curiously, they haven’t actually eliminated these positions in the charter, but provided that the deputies will “serve at the pleasure of the City Manager.” (Section 8.09.)Mr. Altamari displays no understanding of how civil service and public employee unions figure into the elimination and reconfiguration of work responsibilities. City Hall isn’t the corporate world, where jobs are eliminated and employees assigned new responsibilities at the discretion of the boss.He and the Charter Commission and their supporters may find they are in for sticker shock when the true value of the work the deputies do is assigned to a new and more expensive civil service positions by the new city manager.Jane WeiheSaratoga Springscenter_img Re Oct. 15 letter, “Kelly supports better Spa City government”: Jeff Altamari, the architect of the Saratoga Springs Charter Commission’s misleading financial analysis of the proposed charter, may know Wall Street, but he doesn’t know Main Street.last_img read more

Critics of Sinclair should read the text

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Re April 26 letter, “Why the fuss over Sinclair statement?”: Thank you, Jim Rogers, for a sane view of the Sinclair statement. All the fuss makes no sense because the statement should be espoused by all responsible news outlets. Just because it was made by a person with different political views doesn’t make it untrue. People send junk from Facebook and other social media without researching the facts and claim it to be true.  Like Jim, I believe most of those who are critical of Sinclair haven’t even read the statement, but merely pick out some item from their favorite critic and blow it out of proportion. This is a perfect example of people who don’t do much research and will believe anything. Find a specific item you don’t agree with and have a discussion.So until you take the time to read the Sinclair statement, perhaps it might be better to say nothing.Gerard F. HavasyClifton ParkMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGame 7: Shenendehowa grad and Braves rookie Ian Anderson gets start with World Series spot on the li…High-risk COVID exposure reported in Clifton ParkEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Big White gamehunter

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What’s the treasury’s game?

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Delancey to ditch surveying firms

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Park life

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City comes to life with surprise Lloyds requirement

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Syria regime helicopter downed as Ankara threatens Damascus

first_imgRegime forces later shelled areas near a Turkish observation post in the same village, said the Observatory and an AFP correspondent who saw plumes of smoke rising following a large fiery blast.The Observatory said the attack killed at least three people but it was unclear if they were Syrian rebels or Turkish troops. – ‘They will pay’ -Turkey, which has troops deployed in several locations in northern Syria, continues to support rebel groups battling the Assad regime or acting as proxies against Kurdish forces.Along with regime ally Russia, it is the key foreign broker in northern Syria, but a 2018 deal aimed at averting a major offensive has failed to take hold.On Tuesday, Erdogan said Turkish troops would continue to respond to Syrian regime attacks.”The more they attack… our soldiers, they will pay a very, very heavy price,” he told a televised ceremony in Ankara. Erdogan said he would reveal his next steps on Wednesday. The Syrian army hit back in a later statement saying it was “ready to respond to the aggressions of the occupying Turkish army”, accusing Ankara of targeting its positions with rockets. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Washington would work with Turkey on its response to Monday’s attack. “The ongoing assaults by the Assad regime and Russia must stop,” Pompeo said on Twitter.He said he had sent US special envoy for Syria James Jeffrey to Turkey “to coordinate steps to respond to this destabilising attack”.Earlier Tuesday, Syria regime forces retook full control of the key M5 highway from jihadists and allied rebels in the northwest for the first time since 2012, the Observatory said.That highway links the capital Damascus to the second city of Aleppo through Homs and Hama, and has been a key target for the government as it seeks to rekindle a moribund economy.Its recapture also helps secure Aleppo, the country’s former industrial hub, which still comes under sporadic rocket fire from holdout rebel groups.In Idlib city on Tuesday, Syrian air force strikes killed at least 12 civilians, the Observatory said.Half of those killed were minors, according to the monitor. Unprecedented exodus Turkey, which already hosts more than three million refugees, fears a massive fresh influx from Syria and has kept its border closed to the newly displaced people in Idlib.The exodus, which has seen endless convoys of families with their mattresses stacked on trucks criss-cross the war-torn province, is the biggest of the nine-year-old conflict, the UN said on Tuesday.”In just 10 weeks, since 1 December, some 690,000 people have been displaced from their homes in Idlib and surrounding areas,” a spokesman for the Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs said.”This is, from our initial analysis, the largest number of people displaced in a single period since the Syrian crisis began almost nine years ago,” David Swanson said.The Idlib region is a dead-end for hundreds of thousands of people who were forced to flee or were evacuated from formerly rebel-held territory elsewhere in Syria.Some have moved four times or more since the start of the war but there is nowhere for them to go after Idlib, with the Turkish border to the north and government forces in the other three directions.”Existing camps and settlements of internally displaced persons are overcrowded, and shelter in existing houses is getting scarce,” the UN refugee agency said Tuesday.Topics : Tensions escalated Tuesday between Syria’s regime and rebel-backer Turkey as a Syrian military helicopter was shot down and Ankara warned of a “heavy price” for any attacks on its forces.The new flare-up, a day after regime shelling killed five Turkish troops, came as government forces battling rebels in northwestern Syria took full control of a key highway linking the country’s four largest cities.The advance marked another step in President Bashar al-Assad’s campaign to retake Syria’s last rebel-held pocket, where nearly 700,000 civilians have fled violence since December in the largest exodus since the start of the war. Shortly after the M5 motorway was recaptured, a rocket attack downed a Syrian regime helicopter in Idlib province, killing both pilots, an AFP correspondent and a war monitor said.Syrian state news agency SANA confirmed the downing of the aircraft and the killing of its crew, saying it was caused by a rocket fired from a part of Idlib where Turkey-backed rebels operate.The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the helicopter was hit by a rocket fired by Turkish forces, though Ankara did not claim responsibility.An AFP correspondent saw the bodies of the two pilots and the mangled remains of the helicopter at the site of the crash near the village of Qaminas, southeast of Idlib city.last_img read more

Kobe Bryant among eight 2020 finalists for Basketball Hall of Fame

first_imgTopics : Enshrinement will take place at ceremonies in Springfield from August 28-30.Other first-time finalists include 15-time NBA All-Star and three-time NBA Finals Most Valuable Player Tim Duncan, 15-time NBA All-Star and nine-time NBA All-Defensive First Team selection Kevin Garnett and 10-time Women’s NBA All-Star and four-time Olympic champion Tamika Catchings.Prior finalists with another chance include US college coaches Kim Mulkey, Barbara Stevens, Eddie Sutton and two-time NBA champion coach Rudy Tomjanovich.Bryant’s tragic death at age 41, along with his daughter Gianna and seven others, has had an impact on the Hall of Fame selections. Five-time NBA champion Kobe Bryant, the Los Angeles Lakers legend killed last month in a helicopter crash, was among eight finalists named Friday for 2020 induction to the Basketball Hall of Fame.Bryant, an 18-time NBA All-Star in his first year of eligibility, is considered a certainty to join the ranks of the sport’s immortals by being enshrined at the honor shrine in Springfield, Massachusetts.The announcement of Hall of Fame inductees will be April 4 in Atlanta at the US college “Final Four” with 18 of 24 votes from the Honors Committee needed to join the select list.center_img “We knew this class had the potential of being one of the most historic of all time,” said Hall of Fame chairman Jerry Colangelo.”The untimely passing of Kobe Bryant has left us in a state of reflective mourning and we’re proud to honor his legacy while also recognizing seven other individuals who have meant so much to our game.”We congratulate our finalists and those who have supported them on their journeys and we look forward to revealing the Class of 2020 at the Final Four in Atlanta.”While an international committee selection will also be enshrined this year, other direct election categories involving pioneers and contributors have been suspended for 2020.last_img read more