Guest Column: Investment in canal continues to pay off

first_imgIt’ll make stops in the Capital Region from June 21-28. I’ve seen the GlassBarge in action and it’s an experience not to be missed.The Erie Canal has been a showcase of the Electric City for nearly two centuries. But it has never been content with just its legacy, as Mohawk Harbor can attest.  That’s important, given the temptation to take the Erie Canal for granted, given its longevity.But it, of course, serves a very different purpose now than back when mules were still pulling barges. As it nears its third century of operations, the Erie Canal’s identity in the region can evolve again still.And the local arts scene is poised to ensure that change will only be for the better.Brian U. Stratton is the director of the New York State Canal Corporation and a former mayor of Schenectady. More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists I’m confident the same will be said for the soon-to-open amphitheater at the $480 million Rivers Casino and Mohawk Harbor development. Talk about water music! Simply put, the arts can be an essential economic driver in the region and can also promote community engagement and sustainability. Those are topics that will be explored May 9 at a forum at Schenectady County Community College, itself no stranger to excellence in the arts.Getting people out to hear music also means they can experience what else the city has on offer.Last December, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced a $503,251 investment in Schenectady with a Local Waterfront Revitalization Program grant to design a new dockage system at Mohawk Harbor to accommodate major canal tourism, and to construct a new multi-use pedestrian trail that will link to the Erie Canalway Trail and the Governor’s Empire State Trail system.When completed in 2020, it will be a 750-mile network of multi-use trails stretching from New York City to the Canadian border and from Albany to Buffalo.Visitors and residents alike can already use the Erie Canalway Trail to explore the arts-canals connection, including an especially notable visit by the Corning Museum of Glass.It will tour its GlassBarge, a mobile glass-blowing studio to mark the 150th anniversary of when the company that became Corning Glass moved its operations — lock, stock and oven s— in 1868 from Brooklyn to its current home in the Finger Lakes by way of mule, barge and the Erie Canal.center_img Categories: Editorial, OpinionFor the Daily GazetteWhen more than 5,000 people gathered along the banks of the Mohawk River and Erie Canal at the Mabee Farm Historic Site in Rotterdam Junction last July to hear the Albany Symphony Orchestra, they got more than just a concert.The performance was part of the orchestra’s Water Music Tour to celebrate the Erie Canal bicentennial. The crowd was treated to a memorable evening, including new music composed specifically for that concert.But few may have realized they were part of the indelible connection the canal has to a vibrant arts and cultural scene in Schenectady as well as the Capital Region and Mohawk Valley.It is a longstanding connection that continues to grow today.Admittedly, I’m hardly a disinterested observer. As a former mayor of Schenectady, I can’t help but be excited about what’s happening downtown and along the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.Proctors always seems to be upping its own ante. Taking in a show there has always been a special experience for me.last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, April 10

first_imgSt. Clare’s retirees need help on pensionSo where does restitution of funding for St. Clare’s Hospital pensions stand? We have reached a stalemate. We were counting on the state of New York and the Albany Catholic Diocese to help us and were given some hope. But as of this moment, we have no funding.I can tell you the struggle is real, and the hardship is real for us. We are all certainly feeling the pinch financially and emotionally. We’ve sadly lost some pensioners along the way, and time is not on our side right now.I respectfully ask the state of New York and the Albany Catholic Diocese to please find it in your hearts to help us with funding. We have tirelessly voiced our frustrations to every possible source and have received an enormous amount of support from our community, legislators and local media, for which we are extremely grateful.  Funding of our promised pension is well deserved. We, the St. Clare’s Hospital retirees, faithfully and dutifully committed ourselves in serving the underserved and indigent community of Schenectady County. Ironically, we are now that community. We would like to live the last chapter of our lives with some dignity. Is that too much to ask?Patricia PangburnSchenectadyThe writer is a St. Clare’s Hospital pensioner. I write today as a resident of Saratoga, parent of a student, district alumna, and member of a dedicated law enforcement family. On May 21, I’ll be voting for Natalya Lakhtakia, Heather Reynolds and John Brueggemann for school board because they are the only candidates with well-rounded platforms making the positive case to elect them.If you haven’t been following the antics of their opponents (Saratoga Parents for “Safer” Schools or SPSS) on social media, then you might not have seen the stunning rhetoric they are infecting our community with. Allow me to summarize.It’s conspiratorial thinking. From the SPSS perspective, everything is hidden or secretive. When your go-to argument is that there is secret conspiracy against you, I humbly submit that you have stepped beyond the bounds of civil discourse.It’s bullying. SPSS consistently attacks opponents in highly personal terms. They have labeled their opponents as “anti-safety.” Can you imagine a more brazen or laughable attempt at slander? No one in this race (or any race) is “anti-safety.” This is the kind of absurd hyperbole that people hate.It’s partisan. SPSS loves to throw around the derisive label “political,” yet they seem to have no shame in adopting the tried and true tactics of name calling, scare tactics, push polling, party-line discipline, and big money. Some of the SPSS candidates, to their credit, have recently attempted to distance themselves from the partisan excess of their backers, but in my opinion, the die is cast.Brooke McConnellSaratoga SpringsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: 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? I’m confused. I think. Maybe.We will be replacing plastic one-use bags with possibly paper bags that were replaced by one-use plastic bags because we were cutting down too many trees and the landfill thing. Plastic bags have been found to be a hazard to the environment. We realize this because they don’t biodegrade.We are now going to be “threatened” by a user tax because the markets and most likely everybody else we buy from like Target, Walmart, Stewart’s, etc., who use these bags, will also do this.We are trainable, people. I bought re-usable grocery bags from the markets, in the dollar store, etc. I just have to remember them when I leave the house. Buy reusable bags and start using them. I think we can educate ourselves not to have to pay a ‘ransom’ for a bag when we buy something. Let’s start now and eliminate the element of surprise by taking the bags with us. It’s not going to work if we don’t think green.Holly RussoGlenville Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionStart using reusable bags to avoid new taxcenter_img Support positive Spa school board slate Union president not judge on free speechIt’s impossible to be certain, but it sounds like the president of Union College is taking it upon himself to be an arbiter of appropriate speech when in a recent op-ed he said, “I oppose free speech on college campuses.” The list of folks who have tried unsuccessfully to control speech is long, notorious and burdened with the yoke of failure. Perhaps Mr. Harris has within himself the elusive combination of talents and capabilities to make it work. But considering he had the testicular fortitude and lack of common sense to commit such words to paper, there are doubts at hand.John P. SummersNiskayuna last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Jan. 18

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Poll question on Iran action was inaccurateThe Jan. 8 poll (“Do you support the U.S. attack on Iran?”) was very misleading and poorly worded.The United States did not attack Iran. It killed/assassinated a top world terrorist that was responsible for killing and maiming Americans. Qasem Solimani was evil and hated the free world. Please be more accurate when wording a poll question.David GillAmsterdamGet screened early to help prevent cancerThe Cancer Services Program (CSP) of the Greater Capital Region has great news to share with your readers. Feb. 4 is Cancer Prevention Day and the CSP wants you to know that regular cancer screening can prevent certain cancers or find cancer early when it’s easiest to treat.The CSP provides breast, cervical and colon cancer screening to eligible, uninsured New Yorkers.This program is supported by the state of New York because cancer screening works; it saves lives.These cancer screenings are covered by most insurance plans, so nearly every person has access to these preventive services.Cervical and colon cancer screening can find abnormal cells that can be removed before they turn into cancer. While breast cancer can’t be prevented, a mammogram can find breast cancer early.Early detection of cancer means treatment may be easier and more likely to be cured.Here are some basics about cancer screening:• All men and women ages 50 and older should be screened regularly for colon cancer. There are several ways to be screened, including a stool test that can be done in the privacy of your own home.• Women age 50 and older should get screened for breast cancer. A mammogram is the best way to find breast cancer early.• Women ages 21-65-years-old should get screened for cervical cancer.Uninsured residents of Albany, Columbia, Greene, Rensselaer and Saratoga counties can call the CSP at 518-525-8680 to learn if they qualify for free cancer screening. Schenectady County residents may call 1-866-442-2262.Tammy LopezAlbanyThe writer is program coordinator at Cancer Services Program of the Greater Capital Region.Join together against wars and for peaceAnother year, another possible endless war.Absolutely no good can come from war with Iran. It’ll be an economic blow to working class citizens as money for medical, educational, infrastructural and environmental needs will be diverted to the military. And of course, countless soldiers and civilians will needlessly die in a war against a nation that doesn’t pose a threat towards us — or at least any more than we provoke them to be through sanctions, pulling out of the nuclear deal or assassinating one of their top military leaders (frequently labeled a terrorist for things that pretty much every modern U.S. president is guilty of).In fact, as our government tries to convince you that this is all about freedom and democracy, it’s worth noting that Iran once had a democracy that was overthrown in a CIA coup (backed by the United States and United Kingdom) in 1953 to keep Iran from nationalizing its oil. A monarchical rule took its place until it was overthrown by the Islamic Revolution in 1979.Other than to satisfy the Military Industrial Complex’s lust for war profits, there’s no good justification for this potential war with Iran or any of our endless wars. For the sake of those who will suffer if the drums of war beat, I call on our leaders to listen to the warnings of history and wage war no more, and to work for peace through non-violent and non-oppressive means.I invite you to join me in that call.Matt OillSchenectady Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionMove Liberty, leave other statues aloneI agree wholeheartedly with Dick Curtis’ point in his Jan. 8 letter (“Create a statue park in Schenectady”) that our Statue of Liberty replica is badly located.But I disagree with his proposal to move the new Tubman and Seward statue from the Main Library’s plaza and the Steinmetz and Edison statue from Erie Boulevard.The Tubman and Seward work was placed by the joint effort of a community-based committee and the library itself. The plaza sees a great deal of foot traffic, and it also offers benches for pausing to reflect.The county furnished fine landscaping for the statue, which is now seen frequently and truly graces the site that is an important urban focal point of books and learning.As for the Steinmetz and Edison, that statue was placed in a most suitable spot along Erie Boulevard, the main visual approach axis to GE, as well as the site of the Erie Canal and thus where Schenectady’s unique place in the history of American technology is better symbolized than elsewhere in the city.Planning is even under way for a George Westinghouse statue across Erie near the family machine shop’s site.A statue park such as Mr. Curtis suggests would unfortunately isolate these memorials and detract from the advantages of their present sites.Only the Statue of Liberty needs to be moved, hopefully to a place of honor where we can pause and think about the rights of all and the incalculable debt this country owes to its immigrants.David GerhanSchenectadyTrump helped U.S. with tariffs on Chinacenter_img God bless President Trump for standing up against China with his tariffs. He is doing more good for our country than any other president. The Democrats can’t take any credit for that. China is agreeing to buy more exports from us.God bless Elise Stefanik for standing up for the president in Congress. She did a great job. She let them know that she supports our president. I suppose that Hillary didn’t pose any threats to our national security. President Trump has done more for our country without your help. Has anyone noticed how the tariffs are working? China is importing more goods thanks to the president. Are the Democrats crazy because the president got rid of one of the most notorious killers in the world?James MaxfieldScotiaWe need to persevere in fight against hateOn a music CD dedicated to Pete Seeger, singer/songwriter John McCutheon performs “God Bless the Grass” by Melvina Reynolds.It’s a nice song about how persistent grass grows even when covered by cement.We know about grass growing, how it fights to be seen, pushing against large obstacles.The song is not about grass, of course, but about truth.We all know some truths; love is stronger than hate, people should be accepted for who they are, and have opportunities to live a good life free from hate.No more hate.That was one theme of the vigil at Temple Gates — the holy place packed to overflowing by people who say “No” to hate visited on our Jewish friends, whether we know them or not.People from various groups and faiths together saying, “No” to hate.But that means saying, “Yes” to others who are different from you. It means saying, “Yes” to one or two ideas that can be strongly supported, not all the ideas or past hurts.We must be the blessed grass pushing against the cement of hate.Grass has one goal: to live. Our goal should be to overpower hate, that goodness will follow.Janice WalzScotiaThoroughly enjoyed GPL’s Cabaret NightI just attended Guilderland Public Library’s second Cabaret Night extravaganza (Teresa Broadwell with her quintet of musicians) and wanted to sing praise for such novel community programs being regularly offered in our midst.Intimate jazz, table-clothed seating with fresh flowers, wine, cheese, fresh fruit and ambrosia-like pastries were all provided with no cover charge.An exceptionally wonderful evening was had by all.To the creative and congenial folks at GPL, way to go. Thank you.John E. HargravesSchenectadyGrateful for support for St. Clare’s retireesThis is a new year, 2020. Hopefully it will be a year to remember, that we will see some closure on the St. Clare’s retirees pension collapse.I would like to reflect on the year 2019 when all you were at your best. That is when the pension collapse was in full swing. This is when our political leaders fought the hardest for our helpless caregivers.Sen. Jim Tedisco and Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara fought earnestly to recover lost money for the pensions. Mark Mahoney, editorial page editor at The Daily Gazette, wrote some of the greatest editorials; this is a man with great compassion. The Schenectady County Legislature, which has pledged its overwhelming support for the helpless retirees, also gave its support again in the year 2020.Then there is my “hero” Patrick Garrett, assignment editor at CBS6, who out of the kindness of his heart put one of the best Christmas interviews on CBS6 TV on Christmas Day. I mention these people who did these things in 2019 because if the St. Clare’s retirees did not have this great support, where would they be?“We the people” are spreading the word for all to hear and that we will not let them down because they have won our hearts. I want to thank all of you for going the extra mile or saying a kind word about the St. Clare’s retirees. Anything you do to help is greatly appreciated.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamlast_img read more

Passing the Initiative test

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Bedford

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Green for danger

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Ward jumps off sinking Cisco ship for Deutsche

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From fish to fashion

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Government sends omnibus bill on job creation to House

first_imgThe government has submitted a letter to the House of Representatives to officially start the deliberation of an omnibus bill on job creation, after failing to do so several times.Coordinating Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto said the letter was submitted on Wednesday, along with the draft law and academic analysis. The bill would amend more than 1,000 articles in 79 prevailing laws, including the Labor Law.“We will release information on the bill to the public by involving government officials and lawmakers,” Airlangga told reporters at the House complex in Jakarta. “This is to let everyone know about the substance of the bill on creating more jobs amid global uncertainty and the coronavirus crisis.” Airlangga had been scheduled to submit the letter and the bill to the House on Tuesday, several lawmakers said, but had failed to do so. That was not the first time the government failed to meet its own deadline for submitting the bill, as it previously expected to do so in December.Read also: Hourly employment scheme must be accompanied by insurance, clear rules: StakeholdersThe government expects deliberations on the bill to start soon as it has been included in the 2020 National Legislation Program (Prolegnas). President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said that he wants the deliberations to be concluded within 100 working days.The Prolegnas lists four omnibus bills, including bills on job creation and on taxation. Read also: Government forms team with businesspeople, labor groups to discuss omnibus billFinance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Manpower Minister Ida Fauziyah, Law and Human Rights Minister Yasonna Laoly and Agrarian and Spatial Minister Sofyan Djalil were among the government’s entourage met by House speaker Puan Maharani.Airlangga added that the bill contained 174 articles in 15 chapters.The government expects the bill to cut red tape and attract more investment to push the country’s sluggish economic growth. Indonesia’s economy grew by 5.02 percent last year, the lowest rate since 2015, as investment and exports cooled.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Megawati tells senior politicians not to ‘force’ their children to join 2024 race

first_imgIndonesian Democratic Party of Struggle (PDI-P) chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri has said politicians should not “force” their children to join the 2024 general election, calling the practice “annoying”.In a speech in front of the PDI-P’s nominees for the upcoming regional elections, she said senior politicians should not force themselves to run for office and that it was time for political regeneration.“Yes, we are old and fading away. It is the youth who have to advance and should be encouraged,” Megawati said on Wednesday as quoted in a statement released by the PDI-P. She added, however, that this regeneration did not mean that the politicians’ children should be the ones to run in their place. If their children did not have the necessary skills, she said, they should not be forced.“It’s annoying me. It’s as if we don’t have enough people. [You should treat] the party’s members as your own kids, too, you know,” she said. “If not their children, [politicians force] their wives or nephews and nieces [to run].”Megawati’s daughter, Puan Maharani, is the current speaker of the House of Representatives, after previously holding the position of a coordinating minister during President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo’s first term.Megawati said, however, that Puan has reached political heights not because she had been asked or forced by her mother but because of Puan’s own hard work. “There were people who said Puan becoming the House speaker was because of me helping her. How was that possible? It was because her voice was loud and nobody could ignore it,” Megawati said.Megawati added that if the PDI-P wanted to develop as a party, it should not become just a group of families.“This is the last time I will give opportunities to that person’s child or this person’s wife. In 2024, I hope that it’s all young people that run.”Read also: Elections in 2020 likely to once again be marred by ‘political dynasties’A number of political bluebloods are set to take part in the 2020 regional elections, including Jokowi’s eldest son, Gibran Rakabuming Raka, who is looking to run in the Surakarta mayoral election in Central Java, and Jokowi’s son-in-law, Bobby Nasution, who has thrown his hat into the Medan mayoral race in North Sumatra.Vice President Ma’ruf Amin’s daughter, Siti Nur Azizah, is also set to run for South Tangerang mayor in Banten, while Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung’s son, Hanindhito Himawan Pramana, recently announced his readiness to run in the Kediri regency election in East Java.Meanwhile, Democratic Party deputy chairman and the eldest son of former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono, is widely considered to be among potential 2024 presidential candidates.When asked about whether he would run in 2024, Agus said he did not want to think about “what-ifs.”“I just want to continue to prepare myself to carry out any duties that Insyaallah [God willing] will be given to me,” he said recently as quoted by Antara. Topics :last_img read more