Letters to the Editor for Wednesday, March 20

first_imgGet facts on 2006’s Secure Fence ActPaul Moran’s March 14 letter urges readers to recall who voted for the “Secure Fence Act of 2006.” If other readers are as unfamiliar with this act as was I, I’d urge them to look it up on Wikipedia. It’s hard to conclude it was worth the cost then or would be now. Elmer BertschNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesCuomo calls for clarity on administering vaccineEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionLetter on supervisor comments inaccurateNiskayuna Town Councilman John DellaRatta’s March 10 letter misquoted statements of mine relating to the possible rezone of the O.D. Heck parcel.He stated that I characterized the parcel as a “large swatch of land” in an interview with The Gazette. In fact, I referred to the parcel as the “swath of land adjacent to Mohawk Commons.” He further asserted that I favored the property “to be rezoned as ‘light industrial’.” In fact, I said, “Finding the most appropriate re-zone for that — whether it’s going to be light industrial, commercial, residential —and making sure we are adhering to our comprehensive plan, as well.”Councilman DellaRatta then made mention of a subsequent interview on my brother’s television show. While I’m glad he tuned in, I am forced to correct the record. Councilman DellaRatta insinuated that my comments indicated that I favored a “light industrial” rezone for the O.D. Heck parcel. My interview answer regarding the possible rezone was as follows: “We’ve been talking about possibly re-zoning that and that’s actually come up for discussion recently. And right now it’s zoned R-2 Residential. We may or may not rezone that to Neighborhood Mixed Use, which would allow for both commercial and residential properties.”I suggest that Councilman DellaRatta spend less time inventing or twisting quotes of mine and more time working together helping to solve problems facing the town.That, after all, is what the people of Niskayuna elected us both to do.Yasmine SyedNiskayunaThe writer is the town supervisor of Niskayuna.last_img read more

Panic-buying in Tokyo as residents asked to hunker down for weekend

first_imgQueues formed at supermarkets and stores in Tokyo on Friday as residents in the Japanese capital prepared for a weekend at home after the city’s governor called on them to stay at home to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.After Governor Yuriko Koike’s plea on Wednesday to refrain from non-essential, non-urgent outings through April 12, and especially this weekend, residents were stocking up on everything from instant noodles and rice to toiletries and fresh produce, despite public-service warnings against hoarding.In one residential neighborhood, more than a dozen people lined up for toilet paper at a local drug store. One of them, an elderly woman, leaned on her walker as she held a 10,000-yen (about US$92) note in her hand. Topics : Tokyo has seen a surge in coronavirus cases this week, reporting a record 47 cases on Thursday for a total of 259. While that’s not much for a city of nearly 14 million, experts have warned of a high risk of an “overshoot” – or explosive rise – given that more than half of the newest cases could not be traced.Coronavirus infections have climbed to more than 1,400 nationwide with 47 deaths, excluding those from a cruise ship that was quarantined last month. Globally, infections are nearly at half a million people and deaths at more than 22,000.Prime Minister Shinzo Abe is expected to order his cabinet to compile an economic package with spending worth $135 billion or more, government officials and lawmakers say, joining global policymakers in rolling out fiscal stimulus to avert a downturn from the spreading pandemic.Tokyo has not declared an emergency or a full-blown lockdown, and its streets were not as deserted as many European cities, where the coronavirus pandemic has forced residents to stay indoors by law.center_img But during rush hour around 8 a.m., some subway lines in central Tokyo where commuters normally stand elbow-to-elbow were visibly less crowded, some even with empty seats.A truck driver delivering toilet paper and tissues to drug stores around Tokyo said he’d been working 12 to 13-hour shifts every day for the past month – compared with five-day weeks of 9-10 hours before the hoarding began.”It’s been tough,” he told Reuters, declining to give his name. “This job involves a lot of lifting, so I don’t know how long my body can last at this pace.”Others worried about losing work as economic activity grinds down.”They say we have to stay in but I’ll probably end up going out since otherwise I won’t make any money,” said taxi driver Takahiko Nihei.”If I stay at home I’ll just worry about things: money, the virus, making a living. But if I get out and around, I can forget this for a while.” last_img read more

Mikel Arteta reveals details of chat with Granit Xhaka amid Arsenal exit rumours

first_img Metro Sport ReporterThursday 26 Dec 2019 9:41 amShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link1.1kShares Comment Xhaka cupped his ear to the booing fans after he was substituted (Picture: Reuters)‘But I have been amazed by how this relationship is starting to come back a little bit and I think the fans have been very, very positive about him, and him as well.‘Obviously it is difficult to change completely the scenario from where he was to a magnificent one. But I think we are moving in the right direction with him.’MORE: Mikel Arteta urges Arsenal to raid Juventus in January for Adrien RabiotMORE: Arsenal officially announce Mikel Arteta’s coaching teamMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Mikel Arteta reveals details of chat with Granit Xhaka amid Arsenal exit rumours Arteta is gearing up to make his managerial bow against Bournemouth (Picture: Getty)‘I told him how much I like him, what I expect from him and how important he is for the team,’ revealed Arteta ahead of facing Bournemouth on Boxing Day.AdvertisementAdvertisementADVERTISEMENT‘I am here to help him, I want him to feel that we are right behind him. Not just myself but the whole club. If we can get the fans on his side I think it will be helpful for the team, which is where it matters.’Arteta was tasked with looking at midfield transfer targets when he first joined Man City in 2016 and Xhaka was one of the players he was interested in, with the Spaniard a long-time admirer.‘He was one of the players on my list. This is how much I liked him,’ Arteta continued.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal‘I was happy when Arsenal signed him because I thought he was going to be a terrific player.‘He has done some really good things and now he has got stuck in a very difficult situation that was growing and growing and growing and one day it exploded.center_img The Swiss star was stripped of the captaincy after clashing with fans (Picture: Getty)New Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta insists Granit Xhaka has a future under him and is a big fan of the Swiss midfielder, even revealing that he wanted Manchester City to sign him.Xhaka was stripped of the Arsenal captaincy after clashing with fans earlier this season and subsequently left out of the team by Unai Emery, though he was brought back into the fold by interim boss Freddie Ljungberg.He has started four of the Gunners’ last five Premier League matches and, despite being linked with a January return to Germany, Arteta says he will be counting on Xhaka. Advertisement Advertisementlast_img read more

Big Four bank rivalry forced property lending squeeze: RBA

first_imgThe systemic importance of the Big Four banks meant they needed to have “a proportionately greater supervisory focus” according to an RBA assistant governor.BIG Four bank rivalry and their refusal to back down on interest-only loans forced the crackdown on property lending, according a high ranking RBA official.RBA assistant governor (financial system) Michele Bullock told Friday’s Economic and Social Outlook Conference that large banks pose particular risks that required strong prudential regulation and proactive supervision.“The actions taken on housing lending in Australia over the past few years are an example of how active supervision can address risks that might arise in an environment of heightened competition,” she said.“Over the past few years, the regulators had observed very strong growth in lending to investors for housing. Furthermore, a large share of that lending was interest only for the first five to 10 years of the loan – that is, the loans were not being amortised for a very long time.More from newsMould, age, not enough to stop 17 bidders fighting for this home3 hours agoBuyers ‘crazy’ not to take govt freebies, says 28-yr-old investor3 hours agoA surge in interest only investor loans was the first warning sign for regulators. Pictures: Jack Tran / The Courier Mail“And this behaviour was being fuelled by competition between the banks. Individual banks were reluctant to pull back because if they did so, the business would go to their competitors.”Ms Bullock said that “raised concerns about financial stability implications if this behaviour continued”.The 10 per cent ‘speed limit’ on growth in investor housing credit, tighter lending standards, work on responsible lending and a limit on the share of interest-only loans in general were all results of the bank build-up.“The concerns that prompted action were not about competition on interest rates or customer service standards. Rather, the concern was that competition was manifesting itself in an erosion of lending standards.“Not only were the banks taking on more risk, but households were carrying a higher level of debt that they would have to service, which could be particularly concerning in the event of a shock. In other words, it was a financial stability issue not only because of its potential impact on banks’ balance sheets, but also because it was increasing the vulnerability of the household sector.”Ms Bullock said the systemic importance of the Big Four banks meant they needed to have “a proportionately greater supervisory focus”.The cash rate target was retained at 1.5 per cent this month, with the next RBA monetary policy meeting set for just over a week’s time on July 1.last_img read more

Asset managers seek to close 31% gender pay gap

first_imgChris Cummings, chief executive of the IA, said: “The publication of gender pay gap figures is opening up important conversations in boardrooms around Britain about how we recruit, promote and retain a diverse talent pool. The bottom line is clear: firms with a diverse management team and pipeline make better decisions.” State Street’s ‘Fearless Girl’ statue was moved last month from Wall Street in New York to Paternoster Square in London, close to the London Stock ExchangeThe IA’s ‘Closing the Gap’ report describes 15 projects being implemented by the industry to address the gender pay gap and diversify the sector. These are based around three core themes: attraction and recruitment, retention, and advancement.Some plans introduced by IA members included offering support early on in womens’ careers, such as female recruitment days and gender-focused insight days. Asset managers have also introduced requirements for gender-balanced short and long lists when recruiting for a role, and name-blind CVs.“The sobering gender pay gap figures – as opposed to unequal pay which is illegal – published for the first time last year were never going to be fixed overnight, and it will take time for the solutions that our industry [is] pursuing to bear fruit,” said Cummings.“But it is only by investing in long-term solutions that we can hardwire diversity into the foundations of our industry and help it become more diverse, inclusive and more successful, at every level.”The report suggested that companies should implement strategies to increase balance in pay and employment between genders, such as gender representation for new candidates and monitoring the number of applications received by gender each year.The IA said that two thirds of members surveyed conducted equal pay audits and monitored gender related metrics, but the level of detail of these varied widely from firm to firm.How asset managers are shaping up on gender pay gapsData reported by some of the UK’s largest asset managers (or their parent companies) shows positive progress on addressing the gender pay gap since the first reports last year.Median gender pay gap (%)Chart Maker* Goldman Sachs UK Limited, a separate legal entity, had a median salary gap of 19.5% in 2018, down from 20.2% a year earlier. ** 2017 data based on pre-merger Aberdeen Asset Management. Standard Life Investments reported the same figure.Median gender bonus gap (%)Chart Maker* Goldman Sachs UK Limited, a separate legal entity, had a median bonus gap of 35.8% in 2018, up from 30.5% a year earlier. ** 2017 data based on pre-merger Aberdeen Asset Management. Standard Life Investments reported a gap of 53%.The Pension Protection Fund – the UK’s lifeboat fund for defined benefit pension schemes – reported its gender pay gap in February. The median measure for salaries fell from 20.4% in 2017 to 17.2% in 2018. However, the median bonus gap increased year on year, from 24.1% to 30.6%.Katherine Easter, chief people officer at the PPF, said the organisation was “still a long way from where we want to be”.“This year’s results tell us that we must continue working hard to increase the pipeline of talented women in our organisation,” Easter added.“Our gender pay gap is largely driven by the number of men in our investment team relative to women and the way specialist skills in that area are rewarded. The other main reason for the gap is that we don’t have enough women in senior roles.“We’ve made progress on our target to have 40% female senior leaders by 2021. We’re focusing on growing our own pipeline of talent to achieve this.”Additional reporting by Nick Reeve UK asset managers have reported a median pay gap between men and women of 31%, according to a report published today.The Investment Association (IA), which represents the UK’s £7.7trn (€9trn) asset management sector, published the data ahead of the deadline for UK companies to report on the pay gap between men and women at their organisations.The IA said a significant contributing factor to this gap was the lack of women in senior positions.Its member survey found that only 11% of respondents reported having a female chief executive or chair of a supervisory board, while women made up 38% of total employees working in asset management.last_img read more

Multimillion-dollar offer halts Gold Coast property’s auction

first_img Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 1:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -1:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD576p576p360p360p216p216pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenWhy location is everything in real estate01:59 The Paradise Point residence at 18a Ephraim Island Pde sold before it went under the hammer.A local buyer laid all their cards on the table in a last-ditch attempt to stop a waterfront property from going under the hammer.They were so determined to have the Paradise Point house that they made a $6.75 million offer less than an hour before its scheduled auction.The move proved beneficial with the seller agreeing to accept the offer before any other interested house hunters had a chance to make a bid.Amir Prestige Property Agents principal Amir Mian said the deal was sealed quickly. MORE NEWS: Gold Coast suburb’s huge price jump A local buyer made an offer of $6.75 million about half an hour before the auction.“The buyer did a deal with the seller maybe half-hour before the auction,” he said.The three-storey home has 40m of water frontage with north east Broadwater views.It is on a 965sq m double block with the residence on one side and land with gardens on the other.There are four bedrooms throughout, each with ensuites and either park or water views, while an internal lift, gas fireplace, pool and basement with space to park five cars are among its highlights.Mr Mian said a couple of prospective buyers were interested in the Ephraim Island residence, but they wanted either the house or the land individually. It has spectacular water views.He said its exclusivity, security and wide water position attracted buyers.“It’s a really beautiful spot,” he said.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day agoAmir Prestige Property Agents’ Alister Billingsley, who marketed the property, said it attracted plenty of attention throughout its short campaign.“Throughout our campaign we attracted a variety of interested local, interstate and international buyers,” he said.“It was a great privilege to represent this property to the market for the seller and to get it sold in 36 days through our prestige auction.”The property was due to go under the hammer at Amir Prestige Property Agents’ summer auction event. Of the 19 properties on their program, 10 have so far sold with many more under negotiation.It was one of several agencies to host auction events in the past month, which is traditionally the busiest time for auctions on the Gold Coast.center_img MORE NEWS: Charming hinterland home a rare findlast_img read more

Is free pornography destroying our brains?

first_img3News 5 October 2015Schoolkids today are watching porn like never before. It’s free, it’s instant and it’s having a devastating effect.3D has spoken to porn users and porn addicts, as well as a sex educator and a top international scientist who say this new type of porn can actually alter our brains.The vast majority of teenage boys are into it, as well as a surprising number of girls. If it were cocaine and children we were talking about, we’d be shouting about it from the rooftops. But porn is embarrassing and no one wants to talk about it.Research suggests the average age New Zealand children are exposed to internet porn is 10. Looking at pornography can become a daily habit for users, and what they see on the screen is what they want in the bedroom.For 19-year-old Adam [not his real name] the past few years have been a wipe-out.“I was just completely unmotivated for anything, depressed, barely could find a reason to get up in the morning,” he says.“I basically didn’t care what I was doing in school at the time. I didn’t care if I was failing or succeeding. The teachers were worried, but they eventually, I think, kind of gave up on me.”Adam started watching internet porn when he was 12.http://www.3news.co.nz/tvshows/3d/is-free-pornography-destroying-our-brains-2015100515#axzz3nk6Rj5vnlast_img read more

‘Confiscating unlit cigarettes is theft’

first_imgAs law enforcers, policemen should notbe ignorant of laws, he stressed. A policeman can be sued for theft ifhe seizes a person’s unlighted cigarettes, said Duron. It would be tantamount to theft, saidCouncilor Romel Duron. “The taking of another person’spersonal property without the consent of the owner is plain and simple theft,”said Duron. “Or the police must first secure asearch warrant from the court. Kon walacourt order, indi mo gid mabuksan ang compartment,”he added./PN ILOILO City – Policemen have beenwarned against confiscating people’s unlighted cigarettes. According to Duron, a lawyer, merepossession of cigarettes is not a violation of the city’s antismoking ordinancethat prohibits smoking in public places and conveyances.center_img “The law recognizes only the ‘plainview doctrine’. Opening of trunks should be voluntary on the part of the carowner. If he agrees, ti buksan mo. Pero kon indi, you will be violating ila rights regarding searches,” Duronexplained. As to the request of the ICPO that thecity council pass an ordinance allowing policemen to open the trunks of privatevehicles at checkpoints, Duron said such has legal implications. Cigarettes are not even consideredcontrabands, he added. “Angginabawal smoking. Once masindihan kag mag-emit nasang smoke, that is a violation. Konwala masindihan, there is no violation yet,” said Duron. The Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO)announced it would be strictly enforcing the antismoking ordinance during theDinagyang Festival, the highlight of which is the crowd-drawing ati tribes competition on Sunday, Jan.26. It plans to confiscate even unlighted cigarettes.last_img read more

Palace: ECQ in Panay Island for re-checking’

first_imgMANILA – The four provinces in Panay Islandwill continue to be under an enhanced community quarantine (ECQ) until May 15,according to Malacañang, but this is up for re-checking for possibledowngrading to general community quarantine (GCQ). The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19)quarantine status of Iloilo, Antique, Aklan, and Capiz will be finalized by theend of this month, said Presidential Spokesperson Harry Roque. President Rodrigo Duterte also extended theECQ until May 15 in Metro Manila, Batangas, Laguna, Cavite, Rizal, QuezonProvince, Mindoro Island, Albay, Catanduanes, Bulacan, Bataan, Nueva Ecija, andPampanga. * Iloilo province – 19 The Inter-Agency Task Force for the Management ofEmerging Infectious Diseases (IATF-EID) earlier categorized Iloiloand Antique under red, while Aklan and Capiz under orange. The Luzon-wide ECQ was supposed to end onApril 12 but was extended until April 30. Roque added that the categorization used weregreen (low-risk or low or no cases), orange (moderate or finished outbreak) andred (high-risk, accelerated infections). * Antique – nine * Guimaras – zero Enhanced community quarantine requires stricthome quarantine in all households, suspension of transportation, regulation offood and essential health services, and heightened presence of uniformedpersonnel enforcing quarantine protocols. “Angdatos na ginamit para sa Iloilo and Antique (for the IATF-EIDrecommendation) ay mula two days ago pa, pero mas maganda ang mga numero nagaling sa local government unit,” he added. * Aklan – six “SaVisayas, ang ginagawa natin ay byisland. Kami ay magdedesisyon base sadata, at kung maganda na ang data, pwedeng i-adjust into GCQ,” said Chua. “Posibleng paglapit ng April 30, baka gumanda ang sitwasyon doon.” “The designation of their being high-risk (forthe spread of COVID-19) is for rechecking,” Roque said in a virtual pressconference on Friday. “The assessment could change before April 30.” Aside from the provinces in Panay Island,other places where the quarantine status is up for re-checking are Pangasinan,Benguet, Tarlac and Zambales in Luzon, Cebu in Visayas, Davao del Norte, Davaode Oro (formerly Compostela Valley) and Davao City in Mindanao. “Maydalawang basehan para malaman ang status ng probinsya: una, ang bilis ng pagdoble ngmga kaso at ‘yung critical care utilization rate o kung sapat ba ang hospital equipment at ICU facilities,” Chua said. * Capiz – five * Negros Occ. – four * Iloilo City – seven Provinces that were not mentioned in the ECQwill be placed under GCQ, or the “new normal,” according to President Duterteduring the address to the nation on Friday morning. * Bacolod City – eight The ECQ was initially enforced in the wholeisland of Luzon to arrest the spread of COVID-19 in the country. Acting National Economic and DevelopmentAuthority secretary Karl Chua said the IATF-EID recommendation on Panay Islandwas based on the latest data of confirmed COVID-19 cases from the Department ofHealth (DOH). Data from DOH Region 6 showed the followingbreakdown of Region 6’s COVID-19 cases as of April 24: General community quarantine, meanwhile,limits people’s movements to accessing basic necessities and work and directsuniformed personnel and quarantine personnel to be present at border points./PNlast_img read more

Gustin cashes in at Marshalltown

first_imgBy Jeremy Fox MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa (July 18) – Richie Gustin got $1,000 richer Friday night at Marshalltown Speedway.Gustin topped Friday’s IMCA Xtreme Motor Sports Modified main event, becoming one of the first candidates on the ballot for the 2015 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational. Eric Elliott and then Adam Larson led early. Luke Wanninger and Gustin chased down when the frontunners experienced lap traffic. Gustin used lapped cars to grabb the lead on lap 17 and led the final eight laps. Larson, Wanninger, Ronn Lauritzen and Hunter Marriott rounded out the top five. Michael Jaennette was the IMCA Sunoco Stock Car winner and Jared Van Deest ruled the Karl Chevrolet Northern SportMods. Eric Stanton topped the IMCA Sunoco Hobby Stock main event.last_img read more