Figures on English speakers were off

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionThe Feb. 21 letter from John Blanchard, “Immigrants should adopt U.S. culture,” contained some surprising assertions. Mr. Blanchard stated that “44.6 percent of Californians age 5 and older don’t speak English at home” and provided similar data for a number of other states. I therefore decided to check the original source data.The data I used is from “Language Use in the United States: 2011”, published August 2013 by the U.S. Census Bureau. What I found was that Mr. Blanchard’s assertions were far from correct.This Census Bureau document shows that 43.8 percent of Californians spoke a language other than English at home; but this means they speak English plus at least one other language. It doesn’t mean they don’t speak English. The same document shows that only 8.4 percent of Californians don’t speak English at all. That’s quite a difference from 44.6 percent.For the other states listed in Mr. Blanchard’s letter, I found the following data for non-English language speakers:  8.9 percent instead of 35.6 percent for Texas; 4.6 percent instead of 34.5 percent for New Mexico; 6.4 percent instead of 31.7 percent for New Jersey, and 6.9 percent instead of 31 percent for New York. The national average is 7.0 percent instead of the 21.6 percent claimed by Mr. Blanchard.Finally, I want to add that not speaking English shouldn’t be considered an assault on our culture. Many of our parents, grandparents or great grandparents may not have spoken English when they first arrived in the United States, and perhaps for many years after. In spite of that, we have thrived on the ideas and energy that has infused our society by people from many countries and cultures.Victor RobertsBurnt HillsMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, August 5

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: 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?EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAmerica is gobbling up natural resourcesAccording to Laura Paddison, online, we Americans live in a dream world where the consumption of natural resources is a known that is sustainable. On July 29, we reached a critical divide called the Earth Overshoot Day(EOD), where the consumption of natural resources surpasses the rate at which they are replenished.For the past century, we have seen the EOD steadily occur earlier and earlier. For the entire world, now is the time when we consume 1.75 times the resources that are replaced. In other words, we would need 1.75 earths to replace the natural resources the world consumes.At the apex of the consumption pyramid is the United States. We consume five times the amount of natural resources than are replaced. To show just how naive the fossil fuel industry operates, we consume far faster the fossil fuels that are replaced, even though we know that their consumption drives climate change.As long as natural gas is cheap, we will burn it, knowing that consumption, in the short term, will allow America to squander our natural resources.Does anyone think that America can go from consuming vast amounts of natural resources to one where we avoid the EOD entirely within the next 10 years — the only time frame that avoids the worst aspects of climate change?Richard MoodyMiddleburghThere is relief from nursing home fee In response to a recent opinion about a tax on nursing home costs, maybe this will be a small relief.We recently went through this issue when my mother was residing in a nursing home. I think everyone agrees the cost for these facilities is way out of control. We probably also agree that our politicians do little to fix the problem. However, our experience with this issue sheds a little different light.The tax in question is called a “Nursing Home Assessment Fee,” which is approximately 6.8 % of the monthly charges.This fee is charged as long as the bill is paid with private funds. We were able to find out that 6.0 percent of this fee is completely refundable. Whoever is considered the payer of the monthly charges must file their New York state income tax and utilize the “Other deductions” section of the form and supply necessary documents as outlined in the tax form instructions.After doing this, the state caused several delays due to what they called improper documentation, which was totally bogus. We reached out to our state senator, Jim Tedisco, for assistance, and his efforts proved to do the trick. After waiting for nearly a year, we received a refund covering all but 0.8 % of this fee. We realize that this refund is a small consolation, but the wait was worth it. And if it weren’t for the action of Sen. Tedisco we probably would still be waiting.Ron MartinoBallston Lake Con man Trump is ruining democracyThe dismantling of our democracy has approached a crisis stage. Donald Trump has ruthlessly and shamelessly trampled on democratic norms, violated the dictates of our Constitution and placed himself above the law. How and why did America get duped by this corrupt, extremely flawed, amoral, unfit con man? I think the answer is deeply ingrained in cultural change.Core American values of honesty, family, service to others and integrity have surrendered to fantasies of wealth, false realities, fame and illusions. Selfies have replaced family photos. “Viral” videos on YouTube are prized above real achievement. And, perhaps most impactfully, advertising executives have designed and created glossy, alluring television commercials showcasing beautiful women, fast cars, obscene wealth and youthful vigor. All you need do is to buy their product. The “American Dream” is no longer owning a home, but rather winning the lottery, buying a mansion, including a bevy of luxury cars and beautiful women. Fantasy has replaced reality. Wealth, fame and celebrity are worshiped. America loves being conned.The romance of the con, combined with widespread indifference and lack of respect for the Constitution — the absolute bedrock of our democracy — has proven to be a toxic mix. A narcissistic demagogue, completely unqualified, with no regard for democratic values, the Constitution, or for the welfare of America, dupes America with false promises, lies and bluster. Enter Donald Trump, master con man.This ruthless, soulless, corrupt demagogue who achieved fame on a reality TV show has conned America. He’s destroying our democracy. He must be removed.Vince DacquistoNiskayunaVote out the racists and their supportersTrump’s words and policies have made it clear to all that he is a racist. And what does the coward Mitch McConnell do each time Trump spews his racial hatred? He tucks his head deep into his shell so he can avoid saying what he knows is true in his heart. Republican followers pitched right in at the last Trump “Make America White Again” rally with their despicable chant of “Send her back.” Where are the morally righteous Evangelical Christians when children are being separated from their parents at the border and locked up in filthy conditions? Their silence is required, as they have sold their soul to the devil for the price of conservative federal judges. Whether you believe that Trump is a racist or not, you can’t deny that he is sending a carefully crafted message. He is sending that message to the KKK, Arian Brotherhood, White Supremacist and those of like beliefs. That message is, “Vote for me and I’ve got your backs.” I don’t know what to do to change the minds of hateful racists. I do understand that we must vote them and those who enable them out of office so that they no longer have the power to transform their racism into policy. Robert KaransyBurnt HillsMueller no different than he was beforeWhile watching Robert Mueller’s testimony before two committees, I was not at all surprised by his creative memory lapses or his refusal to answer questions. What did surprise me is that network pundits would attempt to tell us that this isn’t the guy they knew six years ago, that he was a different guy back then. Really?In 2013, Robert Mueller was director while the FBI was doing an investigation into IRS targeting of conservative groups. When he was questioned by Congressman Jim Jorden (readers can watch it on YouTube), his performance was no different. He didn’t know who was in charge of the investigation, how many agents or how many plaintiffs had been contacted. He basically took the Fifth —because he knew there was no investigation.Cory CostanzoSchenectadylast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Saturday, Aug. 17

first_imgWatching President Trump “condemn” white supremacy and hatred following a weekend of shootings was among the saddest events I have witnessed in a long time. President Trump struggled to read, hesitantly, without passion, as if unconnected to the message that someone else had obviously written for him.Sadder were the words he agreed to read, words that deflected the causes behind recent shootings to everything but the dehumanizing, divisive, hatred-provoking character of his own spoken and body language and that which he calls out from others. As sad is the solid support he gets from the Republicans in the House and Senate.I will find some small reason to believe Mr. Trump’s sincerity in condemning white supremacy and hatred when he condemns both during his rallies with the equivalent emotional fervor, spontaneity and passionate energy with which he pompously incites his base, speaks through the one-way protection of Twitter, and, on Fox News, thrashes against all who disagree.Bob LongNiskayunaDon’t put shootings off on the mentally illAt the age of 23, I was a trained federal agent. I carried a .357 Magnum and other accoutrements. I was also an undiagnosed manic depressive. I suffered wild manic episodes and then grievous depression. Yet somehow, I managed to kill no one. Not even myself.The notion that mental illness is at the root of killing sprees is flat-out wrong. What is at the root of these sprees is triple-pronged: 1. Testosterone 2. Anger 3. Delusion.People like to say shooters, by the very act of a mass killing, are crazy. But it’s not the kind of crazy you find on the DSM. So it calls into question what exactly is a mental illness? Manic depression is a disorder of mood, which is physical. Personality disorders abound, but is this actually an illness? What do we mean when we say mental? Are we referring to the brain, which is a physical organ? Wouldn’t it be more logical to call mental illness brain disorders?It’s high time we had a discussion about mental illness, but we cannot lay responsibility for slaughters on those who just happen to have a diagnosis.Erin GiangiacomoBallston LakeObama a far better American than TrumpNo one should be surprised at Donald Trump’s racism. It has been a lifelong sentiment, as it was with his father, who was arrested several years ago for refusing to rent to blacks. His political aspirations began with him accusing Barak Obama of being foreign-born. Even after Obama provided proof of his citizenship, it wasn’t enough for a dunderhead like Trump.In my opinion, Barak Obama was and is a far better example of a desirable and honorable American in every way than Trump has ever been or will be. He’s not a liar, a braggart or an adulterer, and he doesn’t pal around with sexist predators.The president remarked recently, “I don’t have a racist bone in my body.”  More accurately, he should have said, “I don’t have an honest bone in my body.”Jane ReisengerSchenectadyMake sure homes are visitable for disabled The Americans with Disabilities Act promised individuals with disabilities equal access in their communities. Yet many Americans still do not have full access to restaurants, community parks and other public venues due to inaccessible bathrooms, narrow doorways and streets without curb cuts. If you are the friend or family member of a person with a disability, or a physical or sensory impairment, you too are limited if you cannot access a public place together.Community members can support equal access by speaking to local business owners and representatives about the importance of accessibility.  An easy, proactive approach is to become an “Identifier for Access” by using the three basic requirements that are used under the growing visitability trend.  Visitability is a term used when referencing a home that is built or revised to meet three basic requirements for universal access.  They are: one zero-step entryway, 32-inch doorways and one bathroom on the main floor with enough space to maneuver a wheelchair.Although the term is intended for thoughtful, sustainable housing, it can also be a simple method to remember when visiting public establishments, as these three elements align with the ADA public accommodation requirements.For information on accessibility, please contact LIFE at RCIL in Amsterdam at 518-842-3561 or visit www.rcil.com.  Andria BergerAmsterdamThe writer is a statewide systems advocate for LIFE at RCIL. Few reasons to buy Trump’s sincerity  Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionWhere are the free television channels?I’m writing this on behalf of all the people in the Capital District who have previously received free over-the-air TV channels. What’s going on? We were originally told to rescan our TVs on Aug. 3 because several of our local stations were changing frequencies. Well that date has come and gone, I have rescanned my TV several times, and still no signals.Furthermore, the stations that were left are now disappearing one by one and now I’m left with only one station that keeps breaking up. And this, after having as many as 25 clear channels in the past. I repeat, what’s going on? Is this a conspiracy by the cable networks to drum up business? Also, how come there has been no media coverage of this?Robert DufekClifton ParkGOP, NRA collude against gun controlThe time for an amendment to the Second Amendment has been long past due. I have rifles and handguns with a concealed weapon permit. This being said, I haven’t hunted in over 40 years and I don’t intend to start again. I spend time at a pistol range shooting at targets and enjoy time with friends who also shoot.Assault weapons are for our military and police and have only one reason for their existence — killing. Those who have served were issued these weapons to fight an enemy if we were at war.The NRA has a hold on the Republican Party as it donates to their election campaigns. It’s an organization whose time has come and passed.I learned to handle a rifle as a young man and was taught by an NRA instructor at the armory in Schenectady.Today’s NRA is nothing more than a piggy bank for those who take its money. The Second Amendment doesn’t give everyone the right to purchase or own an assault weapon. It clearly states that a “militia” has the right to carry weapons.Our president talks out of both sides of his mouth and has done nothing to protect the citizens he is supposed to serve. Our Senate is controlled by our president’s party and they have fallen in step with him.Those who vote Republican are in league, and the many deaths caused by assault weapons doesn’t seem to faze them. I say enough is enough and God helps us.Gary Philip GuidoRotterdamcenter_img Need better paving, lighting for concerts On August 4, Music Haven (in Central Park), celebrated its 30th anniversary. The music was outstanding as always, and the large crowd had a fabulous time.When the festivities ended, most of us had to walk back to our cars parked in the various lots scattered around the park. The walkways were poorly lit or not lighted at all. The parking lots near the dog park or greenhouses are unpaved, with uneven surfaces and no lighting. Many of the attendees are seniors and people with mobility issues. This is a potentially dangerous issue and something the city of Schenectady should address. The Music Haven is a wonderful treasure and offers top-quality entertainment that brings our community together. It would be a shame that more people do not avail themselves of this opportunity due to these concerns.Can the city provide better lighting and signs for these parking lots, at least during the Music Haven events? Jean TaylorAlplausLeft is not objective when judging TrumpWho actually has the more severe rhetoric? Objectively, it’s not Trump. Here are some words used to describe Trump gleaned from the Aug. 5 Letters to the Editor: Ruthless, shameless, trampled on Democratic norms, violated the Constitution, above the law, corrupt, extremely flawed, amoral, unfit, con man, narcissistic demagogue, completely unqualified, no regard for values or welfare of America, false promises, lies, bluster, soulless, racist, supporter of the KKK, Arian Brotherhood and white supremacists, hateful. Wow.Not one single example of what Trump has actually done to deserve any of these descriptors. Just the insane leftist frothing-at-the-mouth whining spewed from the liberal media.And the sheep believe them without any actual analysis of the facts. Trump may speak bluntly, but just read the terms used to describe him. I wonder how these people loved Obama. He was just so amazing.  He nearly broke our country at home and abroad. But wow, he could read a teleprompter.I can’t wait to hear the heads explode when Trump gets re-elected, which he absolutely will because we are not all vitriol-ranting liberals, and most of us can see the amazing progress Trump has made for our country.Bill DenisonBurnt HillsCongress needs to have term limitsHow are the U.S. president, a fetus and fall semester different from Congress? Answer, the first three have term limits and Congress does not. What has the lack of term limits brought us?Lots of things for Congress, not so much for us. To wit, a pension plan that any teacher, firefighter or police officer would love. A medical plan that would be the envy of the world. I wonder if the VA would have the problems it has if the Congress had to get its medical care there. An exemption from many laws that bind the rest of us.The four leaders of the two houses have a total of 103 years in Congress. Way too much.Incumbency is a formidable advantage to overcome. In 2018, 84 percent of Senate incumbents and 91 percent of House incumbents were re-elected. Term limits would obviate this situation.If we are ever going to get rid of the dysfunctional cabal in Washington, drain the swamp and accomplish things for our country, term limits for Congress is a great start.Jefferson said “… the total abandonment of the principle of rotation in the offices of President and Senator will end in abuse.” How true.William F. MalecGalwayMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Monday, Sep. 16

first_imgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionViolence by Israel is not equal measureIn his July 15 letter “Much being said about Israel is false,” Don Steiner wrote correctly that both Israelis and Palestinians have been cited by widely respected organizations for human rights violations.I hope Mr. Steiner is not implying any moral equivalency.    Palestinian violence, even at its worst, has been a fraction of Israel’s.When have Palestinians killed 2,000 people, including 500 children, as Israel did in Gaza five summers ago?  Unlike Israel, Palestinians have no army, tanks, armored vehicles, warplanes, navy or nuclear weapons. Palestinians do not arrest (kidnap), brutalize and imprison hundreds of Israeli children each year.Nor do Palestinians wage vigorous campaigns in the United States to criminalize and silence criticism of their policies and agenda.While many desire peace, Israeli leaders have chosen might-makes-right violence as their preferred method of dispossessing and managing Palestinians while confiscating and colonizing their lands.Other recent letter writers have asserted incorrectly that the non-violent, growing and global Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) campaign is anti-Jewish.Many Jews endorse BDS and many Palestinians believe the economic and cultural BDS is the best way to motivate Israel to fully comply with international law.  Tom EllisAlbanyPlace achievement over diversificationThe following is text from The Gazette editorial “Increase teacher diversity” published on Sept. 4.“Much of our children’s…educations. Comes from being taught by those like them …but they won’t get those experiences and inspiration if most, if not all, of their teachers are white.”Therefore white teachers should not educate black students and black teachers should not educate white students.Why is that the case? Is skin color the sole determinant of learning?If so, then set aside all prerequisites for teaching positions and hire whomever graduates from teacher colleges as long as their skin color matches their students’.Furthermore, within each school assign all classes strictly according to race.No racial mixing can occur lest learning be negatively affected. Strict racial segregation must be the rule.The editors laud Schenectady schools for “admirably” diversifying their faculty and demonstrating to the deficient Suburban Council schools, that diversification is achievable.These are 2019 test results for Schenectady schools on statewide math and English language tests. Sixteen percent were proficient in math and 24 percent in English.So while The Gazette salutes the diversification of these school,  it appears they value diversification over academic achievement.But then again, The Gazette never claimed that diversification would lead to improved educational outcomes, only to certain important experiences.Richard A. EvansBurnt Hillslast_img read more

Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Nov. 14

first_imgEllis must change credentialing formOver the last 12 years, I have privately urged Ellis Hospital to change its credentialing procedures. I hope that by my publicly airing my concerns, they will be taken more seriously. Ellis Hospital requires all physicians who have privileges to complete a detailed medical questionnaire.We are required to list the doctors we have seen, the reason for the appointments and any medications prescribed. We also must answer questions about various symptoms, including our reproductive and mental health. I do not even work at Ellis Hospital. I must complete this form to access patient labs from the Ellis electronic record. Ellis requires me to disclose my entire medical history to review patient labs.While privacy issues are concerning, I am more troubled by the impact these questions have on fellow physicians. I have been unable to convince colleagues to seek treatment for depression because they do not want to disclose that treatment on the Ellis Hospital form. Suicide rates in physicians are much higher than in the general population. I worry about those who need treatment but are not receiving it.Several months ago, I was told the form would be changed. It has not been changed. This week, two physician administrators called me and reminded me that change takes time – that they want to make changes but must first filter through many committees. Twelve years is too long to wait, when changing this form may save a doctor’s life.Catherine Smitas, MDSchenectadyOpine on abortion, not breast feedingDear Diane Sanders Hombach, regarding your Oct. 30 letter (“Writer has no right to discuss abortion“) to Mr. Wendell Neugebauer, I believe he has every right to his opinion on abortion.Just because a man can’t deliver a baby doesn’t mean he doesn’t have feelings for an unborn child.If he were commenting on whether a woman should breast feed or not, now that’s another matter. Note to Wendell – If you think you were spanked over your comments on abortion, don’t even voice your opinion on breast feeding.Lorraine VanDerWerkenSchenectadyExactly what crimes did Trump commit?I just read Ms. Cartwright’s Nov. 9 letter (“No good Democrat is supportive of Trump”). As is common practice among the opposition, they spray around phrases that President Trump ‘broke laws’, defied the Constitution, etc.But, as is also common practice, not once do they ever list these illusory occasions. Let me try to help: Did he prohibit ‘due process’ during the Kavanaugh hearings?  No, no. That was the Democrats. Did he bribe a foreign government to fire an elected official? No. Did he direct states and cities to ignore federal immigration laws to let criminal aliens out on the streets? No, no, those were Democratic controlled entities. Did he sign bills allowing the abortion of fetuses up to the time of birth? Oops, sorry, there is nothing in the Constitution on that; it comes from a higher law. Ever hear of Thou Shalt Not Kill? Alas, those bills were signed by Democratic governors, not President Trump. He is pro-life and that is not a crime.I will wait for you, or anyone, to come up with some crime that is provable. How did Mueller make out? But if you and others who believe as you think there is nothing wrong with the items I’ve listed, then your title is accurate: There are no good Democrats.Jeffrey FalaceSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusGov. 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 motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionRiggi had become ineffective on councilIn response to Tricia Margas’ Nov. 11 letter (“How could voters not re-elect Vince Riggi?”), for my family it was very easy to not vote for Riggi.In June, my wife Barbara called Vince Riggi at home at least three times about problems we were having with Schenectady code enforcement. My wife was a former Riggi supporter and had been former president and vice president of the Mont Pleasant Neighborhood Association, plus she had graduated high school with Mr. Riggi.Three phone calls on separate days and guess what? No answer back and no support of Vince Riggi.Vince blended in too much with the other members of the City Council. The elections show Vince had lost over 500 supporters between 2015 and November 2019. He had become ineffective.Jack Fitch, Sr.Schenectadylast_img read more

Making a good recovery

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BAA McArthurGlen in £200m stake-sale plan

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Radio waves goodbye

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Industrial: London falling

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Trump confirms killing of AQAP chief in Yemen

first_imgPresident Donald Trump confirmed Thursday that the US had killed the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula — days after the jihadist group claimed responsibility for a mass shooting at a US naval base.The US “conducted a counterterrorism operation in Yemen that successfully eliminated Qassim al-Rimi, a founder and the leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula (AQAP),” Trump said in a White House statement.AQAP claimed responsibility on Sunday for a December 6 shooting at US Naval Air Station Pensacola in Florida, in which a Saudi Air Force officer killed three American sailors. Washington considers AQAP to be the worldwide jihadist network’s most dangerous branch.The Sunni extremist group has thrived in the chaos of years of civil war between Yemen’s  Saudi-backed government and Shiite rebels who control the capital.”Under Rimi, AQAP committed unconscionable violence against civilians in Yemen and sought to conduct and inspire numerous attacks against the United States and our forces,” Trump said.”His death further degrades AQAP and the global al-Qaeda movement, and it brings us closer to eliminating the threats these groups pose to our national security.” Trump did not give any details about the circumstances or the timing of the operation.In the Pensacola attack, eight people were wounded, including two responding sheriff’s deputies, before police shot dead the assailant.The FBI formally identified the attacker as Mohammed Alshamrani, 21, a second lieutenant in the Royal Saudi Air Force who was training in the US.The SITE monitoring group said he had posted a short manifesto on Twitter prior to the attack that read: “I’m against evil, and America as a whole has turned into a nation of evil.” “I hate you because every day you (are) supporting, funding and committing crimes not only against Muslims but also humanity.”The Twitter account that posted the manifesto also condemned US support for Israel and included a quote from Al-Qaeda’s deceased leader Osama bin Laden.Saudi Arabia’s King Salman was quick to denounce the shooting as a “heinous crime” and said the gunman “does not represent the Saudi people.” Around 850 Saudis are among the 5,000 foreign military personnel being trained in the United States.Topics :last_img read more