Republicans not in tune with our values

first_imgThe GOP added a last-minute perk to the $1.5 trillion tax reform bill which provides a multi-million-dollar windfall to real estate developers like President Trump, Trump family members, and others in his wealth class.These folks will be able to take advantage of a 20 percent “pass-through” deduction in their income taxes. One economist estimated that this provision will cost the rest of us over $400 billion over the next 10 years. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion In the meanwhile, Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch explained there is “no money” to extend the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which officially expired Oct. 1. CHIP is a low-cost insurance program for 9 million children of low-income families who don’t qualify for Medicaid. The annual cost of CHIP, which was originally passed with strong bipartisan support, is reported to be $14.1 billion.Lest we forget, there remains approximately one-third of the residents of Puerto Rico without power and, for some, no repairs in sight for the foreseeable future. But the story is old news and off the front page. Out of sight, out of mind.If this is getting you down, remember you can always watch President Trump savor his only legislative win in his first year as he soaks up the sun and tees it up at Mar-a-Lago for the next few weeks.What happened to the values I thought we all shared?Robert K. CorlissSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcySchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Breaking and tying record not the same

first_imgHaving been an observer of the “Gazette Almanac” for some time and keep the records going back to the 1800s, I know nothing of the weather other than what I read and observe.For some time now, the “Weather Almanac” has been listing temperatures as new records, when in fact, the record for that temperature on that day took place years ago in some instances, decades ago. For example, the “Gazette Almanac” listed May 2, 2018, as the record of 88 degrees. In fact, 88 degrees was the record high set in 2001 for May 2.As a jock in school, I was taught that a record was a record until broken, not tied. I realize that you publish what is given you, but perhaps your opinion might change this going forward. I’m sure you could agree that historical fact is lost in not doing so.Let your readers decide.L.J. KingDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationLocal movie theater operators react to green lightFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Schenectady County warns of possible COVID-19 exposure at Schenectady restaurant, Rotterdam barEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

GUEST COLUMN: Participation in census is critical for area

first_imgFederally funded programs such as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, Home Energy Assistance Grants, the School Lunch and Breakfast Program, and the Child Care and Development Block Grant all play a critical role in combating poverty in our community. As the designated Community Action Agency for Schenectady County, Schenectady Community Action Program (SCAP), assists thousands of low-income families and residents each year overcome barriers to housing, employment and education.SCAP, like most community-based agencies that provide human services, relies on money distributed from the federal government to operate much needed programs.These include but are not limited to, Supportive Housing Programs, which provide rent subsidies and supportive services; the Community Development Block Grant, which helps with eviction prevention and rapid rehousing; Head Start, which provides comprehensive early childhood services for children ages birth to 5.These programs provide life-changing opportunities for low-income residents and deserve adequate funding. Community Action Agencies were established with the mission of improving local communities by helping the most vulnerable people, and ensuring all residents, regardless of age, are supported and have a voice in shaping their community.All Community Action Agencies in the Capital Region will be actively involved in complete count committees to ensure the count of all persons in low response neighborhoods, public housing communities, shelters and transitional housing, colleges and universities, nursing homes, and people experiencing homelessness.  Categories: Editorial, OpinionIn the spring of 2020, the constitutionally-mandated decennial census will be conducted to count the population of people living in the United States.This crucial count includes all people regardless of citizenship status.However, the census is much more than a population count. The data compiled from the census has important and far-reaching implications for local communities across the country.Census data is used for redistricting purposes, redrawing boundaries of congressional and state legislative districts to account for population shifts. The data also helps determine representation in government by accurately determining the number of congressional seats each state has in the U.S. House of Representatives.Most importantly, however, census data provides the basis for the distribution of over $800 billion in federal funding to state and local municipalities, which is used to support vital programs for housing, education, infrastructure and employment at the local level. For these reasons, it is crucial that the census is conducted fairly, and that a full, complete and accurate count is achieved. A complete count is particularly important for the Schenectady community, which historically has faced an undercount.Data from the 2010 Census reveals that most of Schenectady is considered hard to count with a majority of census tracts in the area having a 73% or less return rate and low-income neighborhoods having the lowest response rates.An undercount of this proportion has significant consequences on the amount of federal funding our community receives, which in turn has a substantial impact on funding for programs that help families experiencing poverty and homelessness.At present, the city of Schenectady has a documented poverty of rate of 21%, and Schenectady County as a whole has a poverty rate of 12.5%.center_img For the first time, census participants will have the option to respond online, by phone or by mail.It is important to note that census information is protected by federal law and the Census Bureau is required to keep all information confidential.This means that the information provided as part of the census is never shared with immigration enforcement agencies or law enforcement agencies.Participation in the census is the civic responsibility of every resident and provides opportunity for everyone to help support our local community.There is much at stake and everyone should be counted, because everyone counts. Debra Schimpf is CEO of Schenectady Community Action Program.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, Oct. 11

first_imgMadigan is the best qualified for financeI’m a life-long Republican who will vote to re-elect Saratoga Springs Commissioner of Finance Michele Madigan.She’s been doing a great job keeping our taxes flat for eight years. Her opponent has no financial experience, which should frighten us all. Luckily for me, I can vote to elect Madigan on the Independence line.Mike O’BrienSaratoga SpringsMake appointment for mammographyNational Mammography Day is celebrated on Oct. 18. On this day, and throughout the month, women are encouraged to make a mammography appointment.This day serves as a reminder to all women that the best defense is early detection. A mammogram can often detect a problem before there is any outward physical sign.According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), in 2019, an estimated 271,270 new cases of breast cancer (men and women combined) are expected to be diagnosed in the United States. The estimated new cases of female breast cancer in New York is 17,490. About 2,670 new cases of breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in men in 2019.The good news is that deaths from breast cancer are decreasing and women are living longer after diagnosis.According to the ACS and several cancer organizations, it is recommended that all women 40 years of age and older receive yearly screening mammograms. Men can get breast cancer, too, and should be mindful of family history and/or symptoms.Reduced-cost or free mammograms are available throughout the United States. If you do not have health insurance, the Cancer Services Program offers free breast, cervical and colorectal cancer screenings to women age 40-64 and men age 50-64. Please contact the program at 518-841-3726 to see if you are eligible for these services. Remember to take the time to encourage the women in your life to get their mammogram. Their life is worth it.Wendy LucasAmsterdam Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionNo reason for bars to be open at 4 a.m.There is a proposal before Albany lawmakers to close the bars earlier at 2 a.m. instead of 4 a.m. I believe this is a very good idea.Currently, more violent alcohol-related instances occur with bars being open until 4 a.m.; for example fights, stabbings, muggings, shootings, auto accidents.For people who work late and enjoy socializing after their evening shifts, 2 a.m. allows plenty of time to meet with friends. There are no advantages to the local community to have bars open until 4 a.m.Mitch WalshNorth GreenbushParaprofessionals earn their wagesI am writing in response to the Sept. 25 article about the Schenectady paraprofessionals seeking a living wage. I am deeply repulsed by the words of school Superintendent Larry Spring. He stated they have “limited responsibilities” or “fewer daily responsibilities” than teachers. While yes, I will agree a teacher does work far beyond the hours of the school day, it is the paraprofessional who picks up where the teacher stops. Who watches the children before and after the bell rings? Not a teacher. Shall I even bring up the substitute-teacher  shortage in the area? No substitute? Who covers those classes? You guessed it, a paraprofessional. Because they aren’t teaching, they deserve less? Wait, aren’t the paraprofessionals helping re-enforce the lessons? What about the paraprofessionals who sit at the entrance scanning identification of those looking to enter. They keep those who should not have contact with the staff or children from the building. That is a limited responsibility? My sister is said paraprofessional. She has been yelled at, threatened, had to be alert to sex offenders and upheld orders of protection for both students and staff. I challenge you, Mr. Spring, to look her in the face and tell her she only has “limited responsibilities.”The paraprofessionals in Schenectady are being taken advantage of. They are the backbone of the schools. Mr. Spring, you do not deserve the loyalty they give your district. But they don’t do it for you. They do it for the children. I stand in solidarity. You deserve more.Ashley BakerSchenectadyPresident ignores GM strike in tweetsRegarding the General Motors strike: Isn’t it a little ironic that our president tweets that there is no truth in climate change, about a need for border walls, about a need for tariffs to improve the U.S. economy, about illegal immigration and about our exceptional relationship with North Korea, but no mention of what is currently taking place with GM?And don’t to forget to mention removing unions from the federal government.Joseph RownySaratoga Springs Trump’s message similar to Hitler’sI was interested in the comment of Hitler’s warning of the big lie. His intention was to make Germany great again.Calvin MooreArgyleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. 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: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censuslast_img read more

Bristol offices

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Taking the long-term view in Nottingham

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Planning: Good news on the housebuilding front

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Industrial Speculation is what you need

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The green light

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Goldman Sachs reviews options for City block

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