Officer served people of Glenville with careOn March 27, the Glenville Police Department said goodbye and happy retirement to one of its own. After 20 years of service, Officer Tracy Nethaway called out of service for the last time.Officer Nethaway was hired in April 1999 as the town’s first female police officer. She always went above and beyond her normal police duties. She would help residents who were down on their luck, took care of the elderly in the community and was instrumental in educating women and seniors with fraudulent scams and how to defend themselves against predators.I am proud and honored to have worked with such a caring, compassionate officer for the past 10 years and to call her my friend. She will be missed by myself, her co-workers and the residents of the town of Glenville. I wish her all the best in retirement; it is well deserved!Anne Marie PeltierBallston Lake Experts say slots are the most addictive form of casino gambling, producing addicts in a year, not three years, like other casino games. Because slots players are more likely to be local and members of vulnerable groups (the elderly and poor), our community needs to be especially concerned. The consequences of problem gambling reach the entire community, not just gamblers, their families, friends and employers. Experience shows we cannot count on the casino or government to focus on prevention education rather than treating problem gambling, given their incentives to maximize casino revenue. Studies say that 40 percent to 60 percent of slots revenue comes from problem gamblers. A Canadian study found that casual players comprised 75 percent of players, but contributed only 4 percent of net gambling revenue. Therefore, our private sector — health care providers, civic, social, religious, educational and neighborhood groups — must work to cultivate a healthy attitude toward casino gambling, to place it into the low-risk category of casual entertainment and recreation. Happily, an easy-to-find and use treasure trove of materials already exists that encourages safe gambling practices and discourages risky gambling behavior.At http://tinyurl.com/SlotsProblem, you can find samples, data, links and recommendations. Meanwhile, set a budget and time limit; play for fun, not riches.David GiacaloneSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsGov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidation Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCompany officials must pay for deathsPurdue Pharma and the Sackler family have agreed to pay $270 million to the state of Oklahoma because of the over-aggressive marketing of Purdue’s drug, OxyContin.The settlement supports the idea that the marketing by Purdue contributed to the large number of opioid overdose deaths in Oklahoma. Hundreds of other similar lawsuits are making their way through the courts.So what are the penalties other than fines for a corporation’s actions causing hundreds of deaths? I contend we can use the 2010 Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission as guidance for what penalties a corporation should suffer when it contributes harm to people. In Citizens United, the court upheld the notion of corporate “personhood.” The court argued that corporations are entitled to constitutional protections such as those provided by the First and Fourteenth amendments. If a corporation is a person, then Purdue Pharma and the Sackler family should suffer the same penalties as any other person. Purdue Pharma knowingly put a dangerous product on the market that led to hundreds of overdose deaths. The corporation’s directors and chief officers should go to prison for the same amount of time that a person would go to jail for committing a similar crime.Larry LewisGlenville Be careful when gambling on slotsWith the end of Problem Gambling Awareness Month, we should recognize that Schenectady has a slots gambling problem. Since Rivers casino’s first anniversary in February 2017, its entire growth in gaming revenue has come from slots play, with table game revenue down. Special-needs cuts will hurt the childrenAs the parent of a special needs child, I’m filled with anger and disgust at the cuts being proposed to our educational system and to Secretary Betsy DeVos’ justifications for making such cuts. The proposal is a thin-veiled tax break for the wealthy and will harm special-needs children. My son, Nicholas, is a loving 8-year old developmentally-delayed child.We’re fortunate to live in a blue state that afforded good health insurance and had an amazing pediatrician who got Nicholas into early development programs when he was 2 years of age. We’re thankful that Nicholas could attend a school specializing in educating children living with developmental disabilities, and he continues to participate in specialized therapies to help him progress physically and teach him tasks we take for granted, such as tying our shoes or zippering a coat.Last week Secretary DeVos outlined a plan that would cut $51 million from programs designed to help my child and others like him.She wants to give $60 million to charter schools, a clear conflict of interest given her family’s investments in charter schools, and she proposes the creation of 100 percent tax credit for contributions so state-sanctioned scholarship donors could get back their entire donation through federal taxes, meaning the taxpayers pay for them. When voters speak, officials must listenThe United Kingdom’s 2014 referendum to exit the European Union was a plausible outcome, despite then-Prime Minister David Cameron’s “stronger together” campaign and Bank of England Governor Mark Carney’s warning of the ensuing economic turmoil. Poorly implemented austerity measures in Italy and Greece, the uneven distribution of migrants from a war-torn Middle East and Northern Africa, and subsequent terrorist attacks burdened wealthier European countries. European courts, often espousing socialist ideology and at times Middle Eastern-style authoritarianism, threatened basic freedoms while onerous regulations undermined economic interests. Newly appointed Prime Minister Theresa May’s vision for a sovereign U.K. was soon compromised by the allure of socialism pitched by Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn during her call for snap elections, which toppled the Tories’ governing majority. Though able to form a majority governing coalition with Northern Ireland’s Democratic Unionist Party, her leverage in gaining major concessions from the EU had eviscerated as Labour’s strategy was to reject every proposal in an attempt to force a second referendum. Supposedly, voters were uninformed and Parliamentarians unprepared, even though Ms. May’s latest proposal would have avoided a hard border with Ireland and given the U.K. the jurisdiction to leave Europe’s Customs Union. Parliament’s refusal to honor Brexit was enabled largely by Millennials’ embrace of socialism and their misunderstanding that governments can’t spend more than their economies produce, as Venezuelans know all too well. It also more broadly depicts Albany politics, where every so often a school or library budget is rejected and Albany residents are expected to vote correctly the second time. Stephen DansereauAlbany This proposal will harm millions of American children who have special needs and aren’t fortunate to have the resources they need to lead full and productive lives to the best of their abilities.Edward SmithSchenectady
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Jacksonville District has announced award of the first Jacksonville Harbor Deepening contract to the Dutra Group of San Rafael, Calif.The Corps awarded the contract late yesterday in the amount of $22,826,400.Contract “A” is the first of multiple construction contracts that will deepen the existing Federal navigation channel, from its current authorized depth of 40 feet to 47 feet.“This award is a key milestone for an important project that improves port infrastructure so vital to our economy,” said Col. Jason A. Kirk, commander of the Corps’ Jacksonville District. “Award of this project helps ensure the nation’s infrastructure stays strong, bolsters global competitiveness and creates jobs,” he said.Today, the largest ships calling on Jacksonville’s port must arrive and depart lightly loaded, making them shallow draft enough to navigate the current 40-foot channel depth. This means that cargo volumes that should move through Jacksonville as the most cost effective route to market are diverted to other ports with the capacity to handle deeper draft ships.“A deeper and wider navigation channel will allow vessels to move cargo more efficiently and cost effectively,” Project Manager Jason Harrah said. “Our dedicated technical team of engineers and scientists from the Corps, other federal and state agencies, and professional engineering firms have been hard at work during the past year, including collecting baseline environmental data and surveys, and we’re ready to start construction with this contract award,” he said.Contract A includes dredging about three-million cubic yards of material from the entrance channel (Bar Cut-3) to slightly west of the Mayport Ferry (Cut-7). This work does not involve blasting.According to the Corps, the contractor will transport the excavated material and place it in the Jacksonville Ocean Dredged Material Disposal Site located about six miles southeast of the entrance channel jetties.In addition to dredging, the work involves turbidity/sedimentation monitoring (pre- and during construction environmental monitoring for direct and indirect effects associated with construction activities), endangered species and marine life observers.Construction is expected to start in December and the estimated construction duration is roughly two years.In accordance with the executed project partnership agreement, the total cost of the authorized project is $704.5 million; the federal share is $337.8 million and the non-federal share is $366.7 million.
The executives of the Flying Ace Cycling Club (FACC) are lamenting that they are now required to pay the Police a sum of money to run off cycle road races.FACC Coach Randolph Roberts has expressed disappointment over a decision by the Guyana Police Force B Division which will now see his Club paying for the services offered by the Police there whenever it stages its cycling meets.According to Roberts, he was required to pay the Police a total of $15,000 to stage a road race recently. Roberts, who continues to work voluntarily to develop the sport of cycling, exclaimed that this was the first time he has ever paid the Force for its services rendered on race day.“I worked with all the Commanders in this Division and I have never had such a situation. I had a discussion with the Commander and I told him that we are not holding a gate to collect any money, so that we could get money to pay back the Police. I go out there and deal with the business community so that we could get these youngsters off the street and involved in something that is worthwhile for their lives. I cannot afford to pay the Police $15,000 whenever I have a race,” Roberts said, adding that the first prize for many races did not reach the $15,000 level.Sponsor of the said race, Franco Crawford is in disagreement with the charge of $15,000 to run off a non-profitable cycle race.“I am surprised that the Police Force which is meant to protect, is now charging $15,000 just to host a bike event. I think that is not good because when they start doing this and we don’t have enough money to give to the cyclists to encourage them and for them to purchases chains and tyres for their training and for their racing and then we have to pay the Police then we may not be able to sponsor any event or to have any event if we had to pay the Police.”In an invited comment, Divisional Commander Assistant Commissioner Lyndon Alves said it was a policy of the Force to be paid for its services. The Commander added that he apologised that it was not done nor told to the Cycling Club in the past, but it was a requirement that the Club pays.