Focus on message calling for equality

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion No man who asked for and received five draft deferments should question the patriotic values of any other person. We know how that person truly feels about defending America. When his name was called, he headed for the hills. I’m talking about Chicken Stuff Trump. I served three years in the U.S. Army and don’t regret those three years, nor do I expect a pat on the back. I was glad to do it then and am glad that I did it now.The pledge to the flag ends with, “liberty and justice for all.” Not just rich people, not just white people, not just men, but all. I believe that America is the greatest societal concept in history. But we haven’t perfected that concept.Any person who feels that they are not included in “all” is being disrespected by the greater populace that ignores his pleas, and he shouldn’t be faulted for pointing out his exclusion. If, and when, that discussion is held, it shouldn’t be led by someone who didn’t answer when his country called and kept not answering four more times.Some have questioned the platform of protest. I’m reminded of the old sales adage, “He who has a thing to sell and goes and whispers in a well, will not make as many dollars as he who climbs a tree and hollers.” The NFL is a damn big tree. The problem is that the message wasn’t well received, so it was twisted by someone who has excelled at getting out of doing the right thing.I don’t pretend to know how to resolve nor lessen prejudice. But pretending it doesn’t exist will not get us closer to perfecting our country.Frank ElflandCharltonMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsPolice: Schenectady woman tried to take car in Clifton Park hours after arrest, release in prior the…last_img read more

Grateful for care at St. Mary’s hospital

first_imgMy family wants to publicly thank St. Mary’s Hospital of Amsterdam and the people who work there for their care and concern for my mother, who was recently admitted to this facility. We’re so grateful to them.The care and attention she received from every single person we came in contact with was extraordinary. Kindness, concern and comfort were exhibited by the hospital employees, nursing staff in ICU, fourth floor and second floor, as well as housekeeping and dietary staff. The specialists from cardiology, gastroenterology and nephrology added to the circle of care. They made knowledgeable recommendations and decisions, while keeping the family well informed about my mother’s condition.Amsterdam is very fortunate to have such a dedicated team right here in our community.VIRGINIA WALDYNSKIAmsterdamMore 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?Three seniors who started as seventh-graders providing veteran experience for Amsterdam golf Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinionlast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Friday, April 19

first_imgThe plant is currently discharging excessive nitrates onto our sand beds in the effluent that finds its way to the lake. Nitrates area prime source of algae blooms that degrade the water and create problems for users.Our residents drink the water from Lake George as well as many of your readers who come here often to swim, boat, fish or just plain enjoy “the Queen of America Lakes.”Our plant must be sized to accommodate the millions that visit annually and will cost over $22M resulting in an annual debt of $427,000 for our taxpayers.We have been seeking a partnership with the state to fund our plant. Thus far we have received $7.5 million in grants and need another $6 million to $7 million to make it affordable for our small tax base.The state owns the lake. We are the hosts that generate millions in tax dollars to the state coffers from our visitors. A new treatment plant will insure Lake George will be a pristine, popular destination for the next century.Please call your representative and ask the governor to include additional funding in the 2019-20 budget. Thank you!Robert BlaisLake GeorgeThe writer is the mayor of Lake George.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18 Lake George needs new treatment plantThe village of Lake George (pop. 990) is under an Order of Consent from state Department of Environmental Conservation to replace our 85-year-old Wastewater Treatment Plant. Curb diseases by getting vaccinatedI would like to express my opinion about the measles outbreak in Rockland County concerning Ultra-Orthodox Jews (Chassidim).They should definitely get their children vaccinated to prevent the spread of disease. If they don’t get vaccinations, they have a good chance of getting measles, rubella, flu, etc. Even though the rabbis say they shouldn’t get the vaccinations,  they should disregard the rabbis, as they don’t know everything.Without vaccinations, diseases can spread from one person to another.Steven GoldbergSchenectadycenter_img Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn Niskayuna, pray for dry, warm winterThe front-page story of the April 8 Daily Gazette reports the 2019-2020 school year calendar of the Niskayuna School District does not have snow days built into it.If nothing is done, it’s expected that closings due to snow will cause one or more days of spring recess to be lost to students (and their families) as make-up days in school year 2019-20.To avoid this, the people of Niskayuna need to start fervently praying believing now, in the Name of Jesus, for a supernaturally low-ice, low-snow, and warm Winter 2019-20.If you yourself don’t believe in this praying about the weather stuff (Even most Christians don’t.), then please find people who do (They are called Jesus believers and are easy to find.) and ask them to pray. And it certainly wouldn’t hurt for other school districts around here to do likewise.And don’t worry. That this sort of praying does work has been proven by the several nice winters Jesus has given us recently in answer to people praying for mild winters.Thank you in advance. Please stay safe, happy, and warm this next winter; by praying, and continuing to pray, now.Joel NelsonSchenectadylast_img read more

A fresh view of regeneration

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Cost of city flats expected to jump

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Run of the Mill

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Diamond heights

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China stocks crash on virus fears after long market break

first_imgChinese stocks crashed on Monday with some major shares quickly falling by the maximum daily limit as the country’s investors got their first chance in more than a week to react to the spiralling coronavirus outbreak.The benchmark Shanghai Composite Index dived 8.73 percent, or 259.83 points, to open at 2,716.70.The Shenzhen Composite Index, which tracks stocks on China’s second exchange, sank 8.99 percent, or 158.02 points, to 1,598.80. The scale of the plunge was remarkable even by the standards of China’s notoriously volatile share markets, indicating deep concern over the viral outbreak’s economic impact.The yuan also weakened by nearly 1.5 percent to around 7.00 to the dollar.But in Hong Kong, the benchmark Hang Seng Index edged up 0.17 percent, or 43.59 points, to 26,356.22 in the first few minutes.Markets in the world’s second-biggest economy had closed on January 24 for the annual Lunar New Year holiday, but since then the viral epidemic that started in Wuhan has spread around the world. Global concern has dragged down stocks and major corporate names have frozen or scaled back their Chinese operations, threatening the global supply chain as so many of the world’s products are manufactured in China. ‘Large’ economic impact China’s central bank said Sunday it would pump 1.2 trillion yuan ($173 billion) into the economy on Monday to help limit market losses.”Investors will release their emotions at first and then make further decisions based on the epidemic situation and the potential stimulus measures rolled out by the government,” Zhang Qi, an analyst with Haitong Securities, said before the open.”Whether the spread of the epidemic is effectively contained, and how much of a toll it takes on the economy are stressful for investors.”Travel and tourism shares plummeted after China curbed domestic travel to slow the virus and a growing list of foreign countries and airlines halted or reduced travel links with China.China International Travel Service quickly fell by the maximum 10 percent allowed, to 73.80 yuan.Individual Chinese stocks are limited to a 10 percent daily move in either direction to limit volatility, after which trading in those shares is suspended.Foxconn Industrial Internet, an arm of Taiwanese tech giant Foxconn, also fell by the daily limit to 18.00 yuan.Foxconn had said last week it is keeping its Chinese factories closed until mid-February, potentially affecting global supply chains for tech companies that rely on it for everything from Apple’s iPhones to flat-screen TVs and laptops.Markets had been scheduled to re-open on Friday after the week-long Lunar New Year holiday, but that was extended by the government to buy time in the fight against the virus.China Southern Airlines fell 2.99 percent to 4.22 yuan, and China Eastern Airlines lost 2.51 percent to 3.49 yuan.Consumer bellwether Kweichou Moutai, the world’s largest distiller and whose fiery liquor is a favoured Lunar New Year gift, fell 4.26 percent to 1,007.99 yuan.The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) said its market intervention was aimed at maintaining “reasonable and abundant liquidity” in the banking system, as well as a stable currency market, during the epidemic.China’s economy is expected to take a clear hit from the crisis, which has brought industrial regions grinding to a halt.”The near-term impact on Chinese GDP growth is likely to be large,” Oxford Economics said in a research note.”Considering the affected areas account for just over 50 percent of total Chinese output, we think this could lead China’s annual GDP growth to slow to just four percent in Q1,” it added — down from a previous forecast of six percent growth.Topics :last_img read more

Exit of Indonesia’s tech whiz kid is a warning to startups

first_imgYet some of his backers had doubts Zaky was the right person to lead Bukalapak given its current complexity, people familiar with the matter said. That may surprise industry observers for whom Zaky’s name had become synonymous with Indonesian e-commerce. He acquired something akin to folk hero status because, unlike many fellow founders, the self-effacing executive from a Java village made it big without Ivy League degrees or billions from the likes of SoftBank Group Corp.Read also: Bukalapak co-founder Achmad Zaky steps down as CEOHis departure in January sent a signal to Southeast Asia’s largest startups, which unlike Silicon Valley remains largely founder-driven. From Grab’s Anthony Tan and Tan Hooi Ling to Tokopedia’s William Tanuwijaya, they rode a funding boom fueled by a mobile explosion to create some of the world’s largest tech startups. But they also burned enormous amounts of cash in pursuit of growth. Now that economic uncertainty is squeezing funding and WeWork’s epitomized the perils of placing expansion above profitability, the time has come for corporate mavens to take the reins, some argue.“It’s the coming-of-age” of Southeast Asia’s tech scene, said Paul Santos, managing partner at Singapore’s Wavemaker Partners. “It’s the end of an era of unbridled ambition and hopefully the beginning of a period of sustainable growth.” Unlike Uber’s Travis Kalanick, Adam Neumann of WeWork or CBS’s Leslie Moonves (who denied allegations of impropriety), Zaky leaves Bukalapak with his reputation largely intact. He will remain an adviser to Bukalapak while chairing his own foundation to support startups.Born in central Java in 1986 to school teachers, Zaky got his first PC (an Intel 486) from his uncle at the age of 10 — the only one in his village. By the time he got to high school, he was competing in national competitions, and eventually enrolled in the prestigious Bandung Institute of Technology. There, he met Nugroho Herucahyono, with whom he started Bukalapak in his dorm room. College friend Fajrin Rasyid left Boston Consulting Group to join them in 2011.By the end of the first year, they’d run out of money and considered throwing in the towel. Then a chance meeting with Japanese venture capitalist Takeshi Ebihara revived the startup (Zaky tagged along with a friend to a meeting.) To his surprise, Ebihara offered to invest in Bukalapak. He also provided early guidance to the founding team.One of the lessons was the importance of control. Zaky was cautious about raising too much money to avoid dilution. While Tokopedia and Grab raised billions, Bukalapak raised less than $500 million from investors including PT Elang Mahkota Teknologi, better known as Emtek, Singaporean sovereign fund GIC Pte and Jack Ma’s Ant Financial.“I want to make sure I have a large stake, like Mark Zuckerberg,” Zaky said in an interview in 2016 at Bukalapak’s offices in Jakarta, decorated with replicas of bird cages to convey the Asian bazaar aesthetic and slogans like “Get Sh*t Done.”Zaky’s and Nadiem’s exits now presage a trend. “‘It’s not about you’,” Nadiem wrote in his farewell email.Read also: Farewell, Gojek: Nadiem’s letter to staff shows high hopes for future of Indonesia, Gojek Achmad Zaky spoke with unusual candor after taking the stage in Jakarta that October afternoon. People stopped chattering and lowered their phones when he began recounting the decade he spent building one of Indonesia’s most successful startups. What none of the hundreds in the cavernous hall knew then: it was his last big public act as chief executive of Bukalapak.com.Unbeknownst to the crowd, the 33-year-old self-taught computer whiz was on his way out. After a series of failed experiments and missteps — including an abortive attempt to go toe-to-toe with Alibaba-backed rivals — Zaky had lost his board’s confidence that he could lead a vastly expanded company into its next phase of growth. Just months away from ceding the reins of the $2.5 billion e-commerce outfit he built from the ground up, he spent much of the speech reflecting on his decade-long stewardship.“I’m not smarter than you. My success rate is maybe 10 percent,” he told the now-silent audience. “Back then, I was an engineer focusing on the product,” he added. As the company grew, “I was thinking I have to be a leader.” Zaky is only the second founder-CEO to leave a Southeast Asian unicorn, following Gojek’s Nadiem Makarim, who became Indonesia’s education minister. While the former’s departure seemed sudden, it was the culmination of a gradual separation, the people said, asking not to be identified discussing internal matters.Some of Zaky’s decisions rankled investors. Bukalapak — which means “open a stall” — succeeded by becoming the go-to bazaar for shoppers seeking bargains. But a few years ago, in his zeal to bring more mom-and-pop stores into the network, Zaky pushed too hard for ever-lower prices, disrupting market pricing and upsetting some consumer brands, they said.Later, as Bukalapak expanded, Zaky grew ambitious and tried to take on rivals like SoftBank-backed Tokopedia and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.’s Lazada by flogging pricier goods. Bukalapak backtracked when it realized it was getting too far away from its roots. Then in 2019, he incensed followers of popular Indonesian President Joko Widodo after tweeting that the government was spending too little on R&D and suggested a new leader might beef up the budget: #UninstallBukalapak becoming a trending topic on Twitter.Discussions about a changing of the guard began long before that. Zaky had talked with his board about wanting to pursue his passion of helping young entrepreneurs. But that coincided with increasing pressure for the startup to turn a profit, one reason why it announced 10 percent job cuts. Directors felt that, while Zaky had been instrumental in Bukalapak’s early days, the company had outgrown him and proposed bringing on an experienced executive. In December, the board appointed a successor in Rachmat Kaimuddin, a former director of finance and planning at PT Bank Bukopin that Zaky himself and a co-founder recommended.“As startup capital raising and profitability come under pressure, we should expect to see more CEO exits. Not just for under-performance, but for other reasons that were ignored under hyper-growth,” said Suresh Shankar, founder and CEO of Singapore-based Crayon Data. “Travis-like (behavioral), Adam-like (financial engineering) or Moonves (CBS, alleged sexual misbehavior) exits will become more common. Sometimes one of these causes or the other will be used as the excuse, to make company under-performance seem more palatable.”Read also: No more ‘burning money’: Calls grow for more rational tech valuation as VCs eye Indonesian start-ups In his own parting memo, Zaky counted professionalizing his company among his achievements. He recounted an incident in its early days when the website went down for days and no one was bothered. By mid-2019, when the company had 2 million mom-and-pop store partners and agents and more than 70 million active users, Bukalapak had executives to run finance, strategy and operations.“I remember our early years when our management style was still ‘dormitory’ style,” he wrote. “Over time, our management has become more modern.”Topics :last_img read more

Durant among Brooklyn Nets players diagnosed with COVID-19

first_imgThe last team to play the Nets was the Western Conference-leading Los Angeles Lakers, who were stunned 104-102 by Brooklyn on March 10.”All players and members of the Nets travel party are being asked to remain isolated, closely monitor their health and maintain constant communication with team medical staff,” the Nets said.The four cases more than double the known number of cases of COVID-19 among NBA players.Utah Jazz defensive standout Rudy Gobert was the first NBA player to test positive — his illness triggering the NBA’s current closure.Teammate Donovan Mitchell and Christian Wood of the Detroit Pistons have also tested positive for the virus.Woods was tested after reporting flu-like symptoms to the Pistons medical staff.Mitchell was tested after Gobert’s positive test, but had not experienced symptoms.”I don’t have any symptoms,” Mitchell said in an interview broadcast by ABC television on Monday. “I could walk down the street [and] if it wasn’t public knowledge that I was sick, you wouldn’t know it. I think that’s the scariest part about this virus.”You may seem fine, be fine. And you never know who you may be talking to, who they’re going home to.” Kevin Durant is reportedly among four Brooklyn Nets players who have tested positive for the new coronavirus and are in isolation.The injured Durant, who has yet to play for the Nets since signing for the club last year, confirmed to The Athletic website he had tested positive for the virus.”Everyone be careful, take care of yourself and quarantine. We’re going to get through this,” Durant was quoted as saying. News that the two-time NBA Finals MVP was among those who had contracted the virus came soon after the Nets confirmed four players had tested positive for COVID-19.”Four Brooklyn Nets players have tested positive for the COVID-19 virus,” the team said in a statement. “Of the four, one player is exhibiting symptoms while three are asymptomatic.”All four players are presently isolated and under the care of team physicians.”The Nets said they were notifying known contacts of the players including those from teams who played against the Nets shortly before the NBA shut down its season indefinitely on March 12.center_img Topics :last_img read more