Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Oct. 24

first_imgCyclists are entitled to share in freedomIn Brian Pelletier’s Oct. 19 letter (“Cyclists don’t belong on roads with cars”) concerning those who ride bicycles on roads, the writer enumerated the many requirements and restrictions facing citizens who want to travel by auto on “public roads,” including license, registration, taxes, tolls and insurance. It’s a valid point. One wonders what a pioneer explorer like Daniel Boone would have thought upon learning that the modern American faces such obstacles to simply making their way about this great nation.One might also then reasonably expect the writer to admire and maybe even wish to join those fellow Americans who still resist the yoke and lash, and get about on bicycles, requiring naught but the strength of their own two legs.But sadly his sentiments are instead the resentment the un-free sometimes feel for the free, longing not so much for their own liberation but for equal bondage on all others. He urges that bicycles be banned from the public roadways, forcing their riders to surrender their independence and accept the wheeled prison cell that is the modern automobile, with all the state-mandated intrusions and burdens that entails. What a sad statement on the regard liberty-loving Americans may expect from some fellow citizens today.John MurphyNiskayunaWhat good have Dems done for us?Talk about turncoats. Democrats are tearing each other apart trying to outdo each other.Folks, Sen. Bernie Sanders is a Socialist, not a Democrat. Get it? Why is he allowed to run on the  Democratic ticket? Hmm. In doing so, he first ran against Hillary Clinton and  Socialist  Democrats. Nancy Pelosi, about the worst Speaker we’ve ever had, period, lets so-called Democrats push socialist views even more. Everything t President Trump has done since his first day in office, they hate and condemn. The economy is doing very well, especially for those who like working and investing.  President Trump’s decision on Syria and Turkey is spot on. How many more years are we supposed to be in Middle East? We’re at $8 trillion and counting, thanks to Bush and Obama.  Plus, the president shined spotlight on deep state Clintons and Obama.They should have been charged with crimes against America and put in prison. What people are afraid of I do not know. As Democrats/socialists say, no one is above the law. That goes for all races, creeds, etc. Lying politicians like Adam Schiff, AOC, Biden, and on, and on, Trump is and has been right about them, and the swamp. What have the Democrats truly done for nation, but tax and spend? True Socialists, that they are.Al MarvellScotiaWe can’t afford four more years of TrumpWhen will “Trumpsters” admit that “Mr.” Trump is selling away the United States, one piece at a time. He is constantly going against the Constitution and obstructs Congress. Before being shamed to dropping the idea, he planned to host the 2020 G7 meeting at his resort in Miami.First of all, this would be against the Constitution. Secondly, he probably doesn’t own most of the properties with his name on them.Russian billionaires and Russian and Chinese banks probably hold the mortgages, making Trump beholden to Putin, China and North Korea. The Turkish government paid him $10 million to have his name on its twin towers in Istanbul. Trump continues to refuse to have his financials investigated, because we would find out he is not as rich as he claims and who he really owes.Trump has got to go. We cannot afford to lose any more of our treasured allies, and especially our troops.Lou BachScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18Foss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionVoters should think what’s best for townFor the past two years, I have witnessed the Democratic Niskayuna Town Board thwart every suggestion put forth by our Republican supervisor. That supervisor was elected in a deeply “blue” town because of overwhelming dissatisfaction with the prior Democratic supervisor, who was seen by many as petty, vindictive and out of control.All of the Democratic candidates I heard at Tuesday’s forum presented by the League of Women Voters purported to be an independent voice of the people of the town. Yet, every one of them aligned themselves with one another, linking their views together as a bloc.That bloc has fought transparency by withholding the ministerial task of approving meeting minutes, violated environmental review laws around the outrageously over-budget Wastewater Treatment Facility, and, despite what several of the candidates argued, has failed to protect parkland, specifically Mohawk River State Park over which the town has a stewardship agreement with the state.For these reasons, even though I am deeply disheartened by Republican politics on the national level, this Democrat will not vote blue locally. I strongly encourage voters in the town of Niskayuna to educate yourselves, decide what you think is best for your town, and vote.Jeffrey MeyersNiskayunaBreak up mayor’s bloc and back RiggiSchenectady residents have no choice in 2019’s mayoral election, in a city where so many resent the antics and arrogance of Mayor Gary McCarthy. The best thing to do for the cause of open, trustworthy, responsive city government is to break up the four-person council clique, that passively enacts the mayor’s agenda, without discussion of alternatives, needed information, tough questions, or public debate.Two of McCarthy’s virtually-sure votes are running, Ed Kosiur and John Polimeni. Professor Polimeni’s record is so filled with unfinished and D-minus ideas, we should take away his seat. Polimeni has, e.g.: ignored the plain words of the union contract to seek sick leave reimbursement for the police chief; ignored enforceability to push for a local ban on plastic straws; ignored factual errors and the approved plan, to sign a petition to send Lady Liberty to Steinmetz Park. And, he ignored universal calls for more details, to push his sidewalk assessment resolution in time for the election, which resulted in costs on Ardsley Road 84 percent higher than his estimates.Elect candidates likely to serve the people, not the mayor. Vote for independent Vince Riggi and perhaps withhold some votes. (Write in Riggi for mayor, too).David GiacaloneSchenectadyOfficials must do good by the peopleAll elected officials owe a dedication to the well-being of their people. In order to address the well-being of the people, you must hear the will of the people.Our concerns are simple and common sense. We demand a more just distribution of economic resources. Raise the tax burden on wealthier Americans and distribute that back to the people in the form of guaranteed healthcare and university education.We demand an end to senseless wars. These wars extract wealth from working class people around the globe and proliferate violence.People are dying and suffering, please tell me how these wars benefit America.We demand an end to corrupt invasions into public affairs. The epitome of injustice is the wealthy enforcing laws on the working class, which has no ability to enforce back onto the wealthy. That is the state of the American justice system, and we are fed up with brazen unfairness.We need our elected officials to lead a society-level charge in addressing the disastrous effects of climate change. Global temperatures are rising. So are sea levels. Once-diverse ecosystems have seen a tragic 50% loss of life worldwide in my lifetime. Life on Earth is shriveling and humanity will have to band together to face what lies ahead. We need you to begin this process, for the future of our families, for the good of our children, for the good of life.Use your position of power to do something good for the environment we all share.Galen HeinsAlbanylast_img read more

Offices

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Retail Space race south of the Thames

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Rotch avoids tax hike by swift BP House deal

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FP expands its property net

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Top Birmingham agents plan new niche firm

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Royal ascent

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‘We must make the best of it’: Jokowi upbeat on Indonesia cohosting World Cup basketball

first_imgHe went on to say that he instructed his administration to prepare for regulations regarding preparations and in running the quadrennial event.”We also need to immediately set up an organizing committee to put in place comprehensive preparations for the event, from planning to budgeting and organizing pre-events, including safety, security and health measures,” said Jokowi, adding that having proper venues with decent supporting facilities was key to cohosting the championship.The President said the event would boost tourism.Read also: Indonesia focuses on building squad for 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has encouraged the nation to savor every opportunity that comes along with the country being a cohost of the 2023 FIBA World Cup basketball championship.”Indonesia, along with Japan and the Philippines, has earned the right to cohost the 2023 FIBA World Cup.”The world has placed its trust in us, and we must make the best of it,” Jokowi told a Cabinet meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta on Tuesday, according to a statement. In terms of sporting achievement, Jokowi hopes the Indonesian squad can display its best, up to the level of having the ability to play alongside the world’s best teams.”I’d like for us to see a strong national team,” he added.In response, Youth and Sports Minister Zainudin Amali said the ministry would help the Indonesian Basketball Association (Perbasi) in forming the national team”We are preparing [in terms of deciding] our plan and target [for the cup],” he said.Indonesia is open to a possible option of naturalizing players to level up its squad.However, Perbasi said that it would prioritize local players.”Up until now, we are focusing on local players,” said Perbasi chief Danny Kosasih. Indonesia-Japan-Philippines outclassed other bidders such as Argentina, Uruguay, Russia and Turkey in 2017 to win the 2023 hosting rights. (gis/nkn)Topics :last_img read more

Swiss report first coronavirus death

first_imgSwiss health authorities said on Wednesday that so far mostly young people had contracted the disease in Switzerland, but were likely to pass it on to older people who are more at risk.The Swiss government has banned events and gatherings of more than 1,000 people and advised people to keep their distance, avoid shaking hands and refrain from the traditional Swiss triple-kiss greeting.Companies like UBS and Nestle have imposed travel bans, while fragrance maker Givaudan on Wednesday opted to shutter a site near Zurich because an employee contracted the disease.Topics : A 74-year-old woman in western Switzerland has died after contracting the new coronavirus, the country’s first death from the rapidly spreading disease outbreak, regional police said on Thursday.The woman had been hospitalized at Lausanne’s University Hospital in the canton of Vaud since Tuesday, police said. She was a high-risk patient suffering from chronic disease, authorities added.In Switzerland, 58 infections have been confirmed so far. The country has frequent exchanges with neighbor Italy, where around 3,100 people have been diagnosed with the disease and 107 died, as well as France and Germany, where coronavirus cases have also been reported.last_img read more

COVID-19 exposes flaws in Indonesia’s health insurance program

first_imgWith the regulation barring the use of JKN funds to treat COVID-19 patients, Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy has instructed BPJS Kesehatan to verify claims of medical bills from hospitals that treat COVID-19 patients and coordinate with the Health Ministry to process the payment of the bills, according to a March 27 letter to BPJS Kesehatan, a copy of which has been obtained by The Jakarta Post.Muhadjir also instructed BPJS Kesehatan to ensure that COVID-19 patients can get access to medical services, given that many hospitals have secured arrangements with BPJS to treat the insurance scheme’s participants, which could further drain valuable resources required for treating infected patients.BPJS Kesehatan spokesperson M. Iqbal Anas Maruf said BPJS Kesehatan stood ready to implement Muhadjir’s instruction to ensure hospitals could continue treating COVID-19 patients.“We’ll obey the Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister’s decision,” Iqbal told the Post over the phone on Monday. He also said BPJS had allowed hospitals that have existing cooperation agreements with them to direct resources toward treating COVID-19 patients. The COVID-19 outbreak has exposed major flaws in Indonesia’s creaking national health insurance program, which has not been able to properly provide services in these desperate times.With an infectious disease spreading fast across the archipelago, the government has been forced to devise a workaround to ensure that the Health Care and Social Security Agency (BPJS Kesehatan), which administers the government’s National Health Insurance (JKN) program, can reassure the public of its role in the pandemic despite coming up against legal barriers.Article 52 of Government Regulation (PP) No. 82/2018 on health insurance stipulates that healthcare services are excluded from BPJS Kesehatan’s premium benefits at a time of emergency and extraordinary circumstances (KLB). The spokesman also pointed to a decree issued by Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto on Feb. 4 requiring that all costs incurred in treating COVID-19 patients would be paid for by the ministry, regional administrations and any other sources allowed by law, which would ensure that the financial burden of treating the respiratory disease would not be borne by patients.BPJS Watch advocacy coordinator Timboel Siregar said the provision was included in the government regulation as a result of a preexisting regulation, namely Law No. 24/2007 on disaster mitigation, which requires the government, using its allocated state budget, to guarantee the rights of disaster-stricken citizens. A pandemic is listed as such a disaster.He said further that BPJS Kesehatan’s hands were tied because of provisions in Law No. 40/2004 on the national healthcare system, which stipulates that the agency can only provide insurance benefits to paying members.As of March 31, BPJS Kesehatan insured some 222.38 million Indonesians, or 85 percent of the 260 million population.Technicalities aside, the government must provide assurances to the public that they will not have to bear the cost of medical bills to treat COVID-19, Timboel said.“We are merely asking BPJS Kesehatan or the government to take responsibility for [COVID-19 patients] who are also participants in [the national insurance scheme],” said Timboel, noting that BPJS participants who were treated as suspected COVID-19 cases but were not yet confirmed cases may find themselves in a gray area when it came to footing the bills.Indonesian Hospital Association (PERSI) secretary general Lia Gardenia Partakusuma said that hospitals were currently prioritizing the treatment of COVID-19 patients, but the association had yet to receive any reports about hospitals processing claims for infected patients’ medical bills.She did, however, note that BPJS Kesehatan could help hospitals by footing the bill for insured patients.“PERSI had received messages from hospitals asking [BPJS] to pay for medical services administered before the COVID-19 outbreak, because they are currently bearing many unexpected expenses,” Lia said.On World Health Day, which fell on Tuesday this year, the absence of Indonesia’s national insurer from the pandemic response presented another challenge to Indonesia’s struggling healthcare system, as the government scrambled to curb the spread of the contagious COVID-19 disease. As of Tuesday, there were 2,738 confirmed infections and 221 deaths, according to an official tally.BPJS Kesehatan has had to contend with bleeding finances since its inception in 2014. This took a turn for the worse after the Supreme Court overturned a premium hike for its nonwage recipients (PBPU) scheme.The PBPU scheme requires workers to independently pay out their monthly fees to the agency, as opposed to the automatic deduction arrangement between workers and employers or direct subsidies from the government.The court ruling meant that Presidential Regulation (Perpres) No. 75/2019, which President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo signed last year and which had come into effect in January this year, will need to be revised.Under the presidential regulation, the government doubled premiums for first-class services to Rp 160,000 (US$9.69) per month per person, while more than doubling the monthly premium for second-class services from Rp 51,000 to Rp 110,000 per person.The premium for third-class services increased by 64 percent from Rp 25,000 to Rp 42,000 per month per person.The Perpres was issued as part of the government’s efforts to address the persistent financial woes suffered by the agency, which was caused by, among other factors, underpriced premiums, according to a Development Finance Comptroller (BPKP) study last year.Iqbal of the BPJS said the insurer was ready to abide by the Supreme Court ruling, adding that the government was in the process of drafting a new regulation to make it legal. He also gave an assurance that the agency would return overpaid fees by deducting them from the next payment period.The government recently unveiled a Rp 405.1 trillion stimulus package to tackle the COVID-19 outbreak and its immediate effects on the country’s economy.Of that amount, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani said Rp 75 trillion had been earmarked for healthcare spending, including additional capital injections to assist BPJS Kesehatan’s finances following the Supreme Court ruling.“We hope BPJS Kesehatan will be able to pay all the outstanding bills to the hospitals,” she said recently.Topics :last_img read more