Author: admin

  • Gambling addicts need a better deal

    first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionI’m writing in hopes of raising awareness to the issue of problem gambling, especially as it relates to judicial system processing.A “poster child” determined to succeed in recovery, faithfully doing everything possible to ensure a positive long-term outcome, two days shy of one year gamble-free anniversary. A state prison sentence depriving this individual continued treatment for problem gambling not offered behind bars.This speaks volumes for an overwhelming need to address and promote education on gambling disorder, a DSM-5 diagnosis. In brief, it involves an imbalance of dopamine receptors/reward system of the brainOne doesn’t just stop addictive gambling behavior. It takes a lot of soul searching, hard work, determination, individual therapy and group support. Most importantly, it takes a desire to replace the gambling high with other meaningful activities. Addiction promotes destruction of family ties, physical, emotional, and financial devastation, even thoughts and acts of suicide. Wake up, folks. Addiction spares no race or socio-economic background. Talk about it all you want, but let’s not sweep yet another addiction under the rug. Our nation’s opioid crisis has been ignored for decadesAdvocate for yourself and your loved ones. Call the Center for Problem Gambling, Warren Street, Albany.Unethical big business and individuals alike have caused irreparable damage by glamorizing behavior that often leads to addiction.Let us begin to restore a sense of humanity within our fallen society. It starts with a kind word of concern and encouragement to those in need.M.A.YarboroughRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborEDITORIAL: 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

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  • Pilgrim pipeline a disaster in waiting

    first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Storage of oil tankers in the Adirondacks is being fought. Global’s heating facility has been rejected by the state Court of Appeals. Now for the main event: Pilgrim Pipeline Holdings’ application for a 150-mile tar sand crude oil pipeline. It will follow the right-of-way on the state Thruway from Albany south.The process has taken years at a rate of speed resembling a sloth. But that’s good. Scores of oil-industry lawyers are waiting to pounce on a misguided rush to judgment. Dot all the “i’s,” and cross the “t’s.”The state Department of Environmental Conservation must protect the Catskill and Delaware aqueducts. They supply water to metropolitan New York. The pipeline will be buried on top of them. Pilgrim’s right to free trade must be weighed against the possible effects a spill would have on the city. Millions could be put at risk. The aqueduct would have to be replaced, and the economy would be hit hard.A cracked weld, an earthquake, human error regulating pressure in the line — all could cause a disaster. No matter how remote the possibility, these risks outweigh Pilgrim’s right for profits. Reject the permit. Like the destructive impact of a meteor, it only takes once.George HebertCohoesMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Cuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccinelast_img read more

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  • Letters to the Editor for Friday, March 8

    first_imgProgressives show disdain for humanityThe progressive Democrats won the majority of the Congress, and instead of passing laws re: education, healthcare etc. as promised, they are busily calling congressional hearings in order to set up an impeachment of President Trump.Even worse, they are now showing their true inhumane nature by hitting a new low, even for them, by voting down ‘The Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act.’The act would have required that “any health care practitioner present at the time of a birth exercise the same degree of professional skill, care, and diligence to preserve the life and health of the child as a reasonably diligent and conscientious health care practitioner would render to any other child born alive at the same gestational age.”All prominent Democratic 2020 presidential hopefuls in the Senate voted against the measure, including Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.The Democratic senators one after another took the floor and smeared the bill as an attack on ‘women’s health care.’ This quote from our illustrious Sen. Charles Schumer shows clearly the obfuscation of truth that the Democrats do so well:“The bill is solely meant to intimidate doctors and restrict patients’ access to care and has nothing, nothing, nothing to do with protecting children.”If they refuse to save ‘born alive’ babies, you’d better believe you or your parents could be next. Don’t say this is an exaggeration after this heinous act.In any civilized society, they will be forever known as ‘’baby killers.”Dr. Arthur SalvatoreMaltaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: 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?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionGOP has changed since civil rights daysThis is response to Mr. Colyer’s  March 4 letter. Maybe the reason the African-American community is voting Democrat is because the Republican Party is not the party of your youth.The current president doesn’t seem to express the values of the Republican Party you speak of.Rose WertmanNiskayuna Rotterdam ethics law is now weakerYes, the fox is now guarding the chicken coop since the Rotterdam Town Board on Feb. 27 adopted a proposed new ethics code. The Town Board is replacing the current one with a weaker version.The new one is a generic ethics code put out by the state Comptroller’s Office. Keep in mind that the new ethics code will take away the controls that were put in place in 2003 and 2007. These changes were adopted because of unethical actions by town employees and elected officials in prior years.The focus of these changes was to keep the Ethics Board independent and impartial from Town Board influence.Sections 31-18 and 31-19 were put in place to set term limits and the number of members at five. Members could serve only two consecutive terms and the number was limited from each political party.The new Ethics Code eliminates these provisions and makes the members serve at the pleasure of the Town Board, with no term limits.It was changed to a three-member board with one being a municipal employee, who works for the town.The Town Board has Home Rule Authority to make its ethics code stronger. Why would any reasonable person adopt a weak generic ethics code?The town of Rotterdam had a weak ethics code prior to 2000 and the taxpayers paid for it.Yes, the fox will be guarding the chicken coop under the new ethics code.Bob GodlewskiSchenectadylast_img read more

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  • Retail Chester draws the punters

    first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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  • Niche market

    first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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  • Jokowi aims to strengthen local iron and steel industry to curb imports

    first_imgJokowi, a former businessman, further asked the energy minister to immediately regulate gas prices for industries at US$6 per million British thermal units (mmbtu).”I asked for better calculations regarding the impact of steel imports on the quality and price competition with domestic steel,” the President told his ministers. “Lastly, utilize the non-tariff policy such as the SNI [national standard implementation] to protect the domestic steel industry.”Industry Minister Agus Gumiwang Kartasasmita explained later after the meeting that the country actually imported materials that could not be produced or could not be fulfilled by local industries.“Please don’t always see imports as a negative thing, as they can bring added value to the industry itself,” he said, adding that the government would continue to protect the national steel industry. (awa) Imports of iron and steel amounted to US$10.39 billion last year, slightly up 1.42 percent year-on-year (yoy), Statistics Indonesia data show. Despite recording relatively small growth, iron and steel products are the only Indonesian import commodities that saw an expansion during the period, which otherwise saw an overall contraction of 6.3 percent yoy in non-oil and gas imports.Jokowi then revealed plans to boost raw material availability to support the local steel and iron industry.”First, we need to improve the ecosystem of raw materials in the steel and iron industry, starting with their availability, as well as with price stability and gas prices,” Jokowi said. “We also need to prioritize the supply of raw materials from the national mining industry.”He also called for a review of several regulations related to scrap metal while paying attention to environmental sustainability. President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has instructed his Cabinet members to increase the availability of raw materials for the steel and iron industry to support infrastructure development while slashing imports.He expressed his concern during a limited Cabinet meeting on Wednesday, saying that steel and iron, as the third-largest import products in the country, contributed the most to the trade deficit.”We cannot allow this to keep on happening. We need to push for the steel and iron industry to become competitive and optimize its production,” Jokowi said at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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  • Italy police recycle oxygen canisters from virus victims

    first_imgThe cylinders were immediately taken for refilling, before being delivered to the homes of 250 sick people, the Bergamo force said in a statement.Police footage showed officers in sanitary masks unloading refilled white canisters from the back of a police van into a parking lot, before being transferred into police cars for delivery.Their efforts followed widespread cries for help from those fighting to survive the deadly respiratory disease at home, the police said.More than 6,000 Italians have died from the virus since it claimed its first victim in the country a month ago.Bergamo has so many dead that mortuaries are unable to hold them all and army trucks have had to deliver supplies of freshly-made wooden coffins. Topics : Police in the Italian city of Bergamo have brought much-needed help to people suffering from the coronavirus by redistributing oxygen cylinders used by people who did not survive the virus.Bergamo, in the northern Lombardy region, is now Italy’s worst-affected province, with over 6,000 infections. With hospitals overflowing, many sufferers are kept at home, but desperately need oxygen.Police said they between Sunday and Monday they had recovered “more than 250 empty oxygen cylinders from the homes of people who died in recent days, or from pharmacies”.last_img read more

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  • Running out of beds and gear, Tokyo medical staff say Japan’s ‘state of emergency’ already

    first_imgAs Japan faces a fresh wave of coronavirus infections and the government prepares for a state of emergency, medical staff say a shortage of beds and a rise in cases linked to hospitals are pushing Tokyo’s medical system to the brink of collapse.The crisis has already arrived at Eiju General Hospital, a pink, 10-storey building in central Tokyo, which has reported 140 cases of COVID-19 in the past two weeks. Of those, at least 44 are doctors, nurses and other medical staff.On a recent weekday, the glass doors of Eiju General were plastered with posters saying the hospital was closed until further notice. Topics : Even as other countries have locked down borders and ramped up testing, Japan appeared to have side-stepped the kind of mass infections seen elsewhere – an effect some experts say was mostly due to a lack of testing. In the early stages of the epidemic, Japan was also weighing whether to postpone the Summer Olympics, a decision that eventually came in late March.Since mid-January, Japan has tested 39,446 people, while the United Kingdom has tested 173,784 and South Korea has conducted 443,273 tests, according to data from Oxford University.Authorities have tried to test and track in a way that avoided overwhelming Japan’s hospitals, said Hitoshi Oshitani, an infectious disease specialist on the government panel shaping the country’s coronavirus policy.Despite that, the total number of positive cases nationwide nearly doubled in the last seven days to 3,654. Tokyo is now the largest hub for COVID-19 in Japan, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases.With cases surging, officials said, some who tested positive have had to briefly wait at home or in outpatient sections of hospitals until beds became available. Koike said on Sunday that to ease the burden on medical staff, Tokyo would transfer people with mild symptoms into hotels and other accommodations starting Tuesday.Hiroshi Nishiura, a Hokkaido University professor and member of a panel advising the government on its coronavirus response, said Eiju General, like many Tokyo hospitals, has no infectious disease department. That meant coronavirus patients were initially treated alongside everyone else, allowing the virus to spread.”We have not been able to clearly contain the contagion from the first wave,” Nishiura said, referring to Eiju General. A spokesman from the hospital declined to comment on Monday.On Friday, another hospital in Tokyo said three nurses and one doctor had been infected while treating patients. The next day, Tokyo saw its daily coronavirus cases top 100 for the first time, and on Sunday 143 people tested positive.A representative for the Tokyo government said Monday that “the medical system remains secure,” adding that Tokyo was continuing to urge residents to avoid all unnecessary outings.Scramble for beds Contagion is an enormous risk in dense Tokyo, a city of nearly 14 million people. Japan also has one of world’s oldest populations, with nearly a third of the country – 36 million people – older than 65.According to Japan’s health ministry, there are some 1.5 million hospital beds nationwide, but beds in negative-pressure rooms reserved for infectious diseases excluding tuberculosis have dwindled to just 1,882, with only 145 in Tokyo.Though people with COVID-19 do not all need such rooms, they still must be kept apart from other patients.In recent days, Tokyo officials have been scrambling to secure 4,000 beds for coronavirus patients, asking hospitals to free up space in ordinary wards and even offering financial incentives, said one city official with direct knowledge of the planning. He declined to be named as he was not authorized to speak to media.”There isn’t that much capacity [of hospital beds] left in Tokyo, so a [medical collapse] is no longer unforeseeable,” said Satoshi Kamayachi, an executive board member of the Japan Medical Association, which has pushed Japan to call for a state of emergency. “The number of patients is clearly rising, so the situation is becoming more urgent.”Japan’s response Even after Japan drew fire for how it handled patients on the cruise ship Diamond Princess, it did little to step up testing and preparations, some critics say.Tokyo assemblyman Akihiro Suzuki wrote to Koike on Jan. 31, asking her to set up a medical and consultation system for coronavirus cases.”The response was slow and even now it’s [too] slow,” he said. Suzuki has submitted 10 requests since then asking for a range of measures, from procuring more ventilators to clarifying Tokyo’s policy on treating critical patients.A representative for the Tokyo metropolitan government said the city had been preparing “specific medical measures” since March 23 for a possible increase in cases, including securing more beds.A half-dozen nurses working at clinics and mid-sized Tokyo hospitals said that they had been told to reuse masks and were concerned about having enough staff to deal with a surge. Several doctors said they had been told not to discuss the capacity of their hospitals with the media.Nurses told Reuters they were not sure whether their hospitals had enough advanced personal protective equipment like N95 masks and plastic gowns.”The other day I saw a news report that a nurse wearing a trash bag as protective gear died in New York and I wondered if that’ll be me in the future,” one nurse in her 30s told Reuters. Like many other medical workers, she declined to be named because she is not allowed to speak to the media.Kasumi Matsuda, who works for the Japan Federation of Medical Workers’ Unions and was a nurse for 13 years, said many of its 170,000 members had also reported a lack of protective gear.”I think the system is already beginning to fall apart,” she said.As the number of cases rises in Tokyo, the Japan Medical Association and Tokyo governor Koike have asked the central government to quickly declare a state of emergency to reduce the rate of infections.Such a declaration empowers governors to close public facilities and “name and shame” companies that refuse official requests. But it cannot force companies to comply.Media reports on Monday indicated that Prime Minister Shinzo Abe was preparing to declare a state of emergency this week after days of saying such a decision would be premature.On Friday, a non-profit organization that offers developmental aid abroad, said it would build a makeshift hospital with 1,200 beds by the end of April in a bayside shopping district of Tokyo.The beds will be set up under tents in a parking lot of a museum of maritime science, a building shaped like a docked ship.center_img More than 60 patients with the virus are still being treated inside. One person who was transferred to another hospital infected others, according to health officials in Tokyo’s Taito ward.Japan has only a small fraction of the number of cases reported by its neighbors China and South Korea. Yet scenarios similar to that at Eiju General are playing out across Tokyo, as a dozen doctors and nurses in the city told Reuters there is a shortage of gear and staff even as infections surge.”We could empty out an entire ward and use it just for corona patients, but that means those patients [with other illnesses] will have to go elsewhere,” said a doctor specializing in infectious diseases at a major hospital in the greater Tokyo area. “If we can’t do that, it will lead to the virus spreading all through the hospital and lead to a collapse of our medical system.”Official data tell a similar story. Tokyo’s government said that as of Sunday, 951 people with COVID-19 were hospitalized; in a live YouTube address Sunday night, Tokyo governor Yuriko Koike said there were about 1,000 beds allocated for coronavirus patients in the city.last_img read more

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  • Anak Krakatau not alone as three more Indonesian volcanoes erupt

    first_imgThree more volcanoes—Mount Kerinci in West Sumatra, Mount Semeru in East Java and Mount Merapi in Central Java—showed elevated activity on Friday, on the same day that Anak Krakatau erupted.The activity at the four mountains was unrelated to one another, as each volcano had a different magma chamber, according to the Volcanology and Geological Hazard Mitigation Center (PVMBG).Volcanic and tectonic activity is the norm in Indonesia, which is located on the Pacific Ring of Fire, an area where many volcanoes and earthquakes are formed. “Volcanic eruptions in Indonesia are a common thing as they happen every day,” PVMBG head Kasbani said on Saturday, adding that the eruptions did not happen simultaneously.Anak Krakatau, a volcano that emerged from the remains of the biggest volcano blast recorded by the Krakatau volcano in 1883, erupted twice on Friday evening, spewing out a 500-meter-high column of ash during the second eruption, which lasted more than 38 minutes.Mount Kerinci in Jambi, West Sumatra last erupted in March 2019, sending ash 600 m into the sky. On Friday, the Energy and Mineral Resources (ESDM) Ministry reported tremors and quakes at Mount Kerinci.Mount Semeru, the tallest peak of Java Island, which is located in Lumajang, East Java, erupted on Friday with 42 explosion quakes and a 400-meter-high column of ash blowing north.Mount Merapi, located between Yogyakarta and Central Java, erupted on March 29 with a 1,500-m-high ash column. Friday’s data show that the volcano is still experiencing quakes.The PVMBG declared the waspada (caution) alert status for all four mountains on Saturday, the second-highest level.Topics :last_img read more

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  • Elevated risk: Jakarta public facility workers maintain routine with extra caution

    first_imgConcerned about the highly infectious coronavirus, Firmansyah Putra washes his orange uniform and takes a bath as soon as he arrives home from work.The 25-year old, who lives in Tanjung Priok, North Jakarta, then washes his hands and uses hand sanitizer before holding his 3-months-old son.A new father, Firman tries to apply a high standard of personal hygiene during the COVID-19 pandemic. “Now the PPSU works five hours a day and there are no more roll calls nor morning briefings at the Sunter Agung subdistrict office [which is also the headquarters of his PPSU team],” he said.Firman said his superior, through WhatsApp’s group chats, often reminded the PPSU workers to maintain a physical distance as well as to wear masks and gloves during work hours.“And now, we are only allowed to gather in groups of no more than four people during breaks. Everyone must sit down [or stand] at least 1 meter from their peers,” he added.The COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the way people perform their duties, with many companies and institutions eliminating some tasks their workers normally do.Read also: COVID-19: Vacant roads, little activity mark first day of PSBB implementation in JakartaMany deem the orange troops “heroes” for ensuring the clean face of the capital.Apart from cleaning, the PPSU workers often perform jobs in residential areas, such as cleaning up mud or removing fallen trees.During the COVID-19 pandemic, Firman said, many subdistrict heads in Jakarta prohibited the orange troops from entering residential areas in an effort to prevent the workers from contracting the virus.“If the community unit [RW] head asked us, we would reject the request. They [RW management] need to handle their [cleanliness] issue using their own resources,” Firman said.According to Firman, the number of such requests has fallen a lot since the Jakarta administration called on the public to stay at home.North Jakarta Mayor Sigit Wijatmoko recently issued a circular stipulating that PPSU workers who are more than 50 years old, pregnant, breastfeeding mothers, suffer from hypertension, heart disease, lung disease or other underlying health problems should stay at home.In North Jakarta, all the orange troops working in the field and outdoors are given masks and hand sanitizer.Despite the reduced workload and shorter working hours, Firman said, the workers were paid their full salary.In addition to 2,000 orange troops in 267 subdistricts across the capital, Jakarta also employs contract workers for tasks under the Jakarta Water Resources Agency, Park and Forestry Agency and Bina Marga Road Agency.Jakarta Water Resources Agency head Juaini Yusuf, who heads around 7,000 contract workers known as the “blue troops”, said he had issued a similar circular aimed to protect the agency’s workers from the coronavirus.“The circulation is based on instructions issued by the World Health Organization [WHO] and the Jakarta Health Agency, as well as a Jakarta gubernatorial instruction on handling COVID-19,” he said, adding that handwashing and the use of face masks were mandatory for the blue troops, particularly those cleaning gutters.Read also: COVID-19: More regions request PSBB status as Indonesia sees big jump in infections, deathsAs frontline workers dealing with garbage, workers of the Jakarta Environment Agency must strictly follow health protocol during the pandemic, the agency’s spokesperson, Yogi Ikhwan, said.“All workers must wear complete personal protective equipment based on their work risk, practice physical distancing with a minimum of 1 m between workers and wash their hands before and after performing duties,” he said.The instruction applies to more than 13,000 workers under the Environment Agency – most of whom are assigned to collecting garbage, drive garbage trucks, clean rivers and reservoirs — and workers at the Bantar Gebang landfill in Bekasi, West Java.The Jakarta Bina Marga Road Agency has also issued a circular on COVID-19 prevention in ongoing projects, such as road repairs and overpass construction, stipulating that all projects must have a COVID-19 prevention task force and provide health facilities for workers.Topics : “My wife also reminds me to wash my hands and apply hand sanitizer often, as we now have a baby,” he told The Jakarta Post.“Given the news reports that people infected by the virus could be asymptomatic, it is better to take all necessary precautions,” he added.Firman works for the Jakarta Public Facility Maintenance Agency (PPSU), widely known as the “orange troops” in reference to the color of the uniforms. Unable to work from home during the outbreak, they are at an elevated risk of contracting the virus.On regular days, he works eight hours, mainly to sweep major streets in Sunter Agung, Tanjung Priok. However, for the past 10 days, Firman has been working shorter hours, in line with a policy his office introduced to protect its workers from coronavirus infections.last_img read more

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