Convention may give aid to private schools

first_imgIn 1967, the last time a Constitutional Convention was held, the issue of money to parochial schools was at the forefront of the debate; the proposed constitution was voted down overwhelmingly because the majority of citizens didn’t wish to subsidize religious education. Catholic Church hierarchy were unhappy. Decades later, their attitude is unchanged. Now, we have even more religious groups anxious to dip into the public trough to finance their schools. These schools already have transportation and textbooks paid for by local school districts.Public schools welcome all students. Private and religious schools may, by law, choose who will attend. In many instances, religion permeates any and all class subjects. You will also hear a phony argument of “double taxation.” Parents educating their children privately and paying tuition choose to do so.The very first words of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution are: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” It extends to the states by the 14th Amendment. Aid to religious schools would most certainly constitute religious establishment.Turn your ballot over and vote no to a Constitutional Convention on Nov. 7.Cynthia SwansonNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesPuccioni’s two goals help Niskayuna boys’ soccer top Shaker, remain perfectEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the census Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Kudos to George Herbert [Sept. 14 letter], John Robitzek [Sept. 28 letter], and Judy Richards [Oct. 2 letter] for pointing out the dangerous pitfalls of a state Constitutional Convention. Ethics reform is a teaser; the Legislature is mostly lawyers, and any ethics “reform” will have loopholes big enough to drive a tank through. Special thanks to Ms. Richards for reminding us that voters must turn the ballot over in order to vote “no.”Another issue that has not been addressed is the threatened elimination of Article XI, Section 3 of the state constitution, which states that no public money will be used directly or indirectly for private or religious schools.last_img read more

2017: The Unexpected (and inspiring) Year of the Woman

first_imgFrom the office windows and balconies of those in power, it looked as though a tide was swallowing cities whole.It was an amazing, powerful moment full of hope.But there was no unifying message, no concrete demand, no specific goal or 10-point action plan.Now we see: There didn’t have to be.The women’s march ignited an energy that roiled and swelled through the rest of the year.By the end of 2017, a seismic change in American culture began toppling dozens of sexual predators in the #MeToo movement.A surge of female candidates ran for office and won a stunning number of elections, from city mayors to the nation’s statehouses. Categories: Editorial, OpinionIt didn’t feel like this on Jan. 1, did it?But 360-something days later, 2017 has turned out to be the Unexpected Year of the Woman.A shocker, yes. Because remember, 2016 was supposed to be the official, glass-shattering Year of the Woman. Hillary Clinton made history as the first female major-party candidate for president.Air Force Gen. Lori Robinson became the first woman to head a U.S. combatant command.Kathryn Smith was hired as the first female NFL coach. American women did the job at the Olympics, clanking home with the majority of the country’s medals.Harriet Tubman was picked to replace Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill.Three women of color – a record number – were elected to the Senate.And at long last a woman, Samantha Bee, joined the dude-dominated lineup of late-night shows.Then came the backlash.Even though the majority of American voters elected a woman to the White House, the electoral college – a convoluted institution created by men – gave the presidency to a man with 2.8 million fewer votes.And that man, Donald Trump, made a hobby of objectifying women, insulting women and openly bragging about grabbing women. And it felt as though 2017 might be the year that the massive boulder women have been pushing uphill for centuries rolled back down.But no.It turned out to be the exact opposite, and, in a way, far more powerful than any of the milestones of 2016.The year began with what was believed to be the largest march the country has ever seen.On Jan. 21, the day after the inauguration, women and the men who support them filled the streets, plazas and squares of Washington and cities across the country, as well as across the world.It was a breathtaking mass of humanity.On the ground in the nation’s capital, it felt as though no square foot of land was empty.center_img It was 51 percent of the population demanding long-overdue change in the way we are treated.In one year, our nation went from a place where 46 percent of American voters didn’t mind having a commander in chief who brags about grabbing women’s genitals to a place where a celebrity chef who allegedly gropes his female employees isn’t considered fit to be in the kitchen.We are officially traveling at warp speed, my friends.The Unexpected Year of the Woman was breathtaking, and the momentum can’t be stopped.Watch out, 2018.Petula Dvorak is a columnist with The Washington Post’s local team who writes about homeless shelters politics and social issues.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes “Women claimed big victories” with the Nov. 7 elections “in a night that marked many firsts and could signal the start of a sea change for women in politics,” wrote Governing magazine, a publication not known for breathless declarations on culture and feminism.“The sheer volume of success for women candidates was a surprise to many, mainly because they were running against incumbents who historically win re-election 90 percent of the time.But not this year. Incumbents in Georgia, New Jersey and Virginia all lost their seats to women.”The milestones women achieved last year were significant, for sure. But for the most part, they were seals of approval bestowed upon women by the patriarchy.Women made progress because men at male-led institutions scooted their chairs over a bit – just a bit – and let a few women join their circle of power.But what happened in 2017? That was organic and driven by women.It was a massive shift in our culture.last_img read more

Longing for days of a united America

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAmerica is a divided nation. We often seem desperate to find a way we can all unite in a common purpose, put aside our petty squabbles and work together to create the future we all want. If only those in Washington cared more about the country than about their party. Then we could find our way out of gridlock and back to the good old days when we were all on the same team. We all know that that’s not going to happen, so all we can do is hope for the best.If you try to think of a time when our country was truly unified, it was the time right after the attacks of 9-11. What brought us together was the moment of crisis and the external threat. That truly was a time that all Americans worked as a united team. We really showed all our support for our great country.Nowadays, the vast majority of the time in Washington, both parties sincerely believe in what is good for their party is what’s good for the country. When they disagree, it’s often because they have incompatible values. Because both parties have become more consistent about what they believe, it’s making it harder for our government to perform basic functions.The unfortunate answer is that all you can do is try to do the best for our country as possible, even if it won’t make for cross-party unity. Because we are living in a very challenging time, it looks like we all just have to deal with it.Walter “Neal” BrazellRotterdamMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: 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 motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesRotterdam convenience store operator feels results of having Stewart’s as new neighborlast_img read more

Financial reform bill an attack on security

first_imgAt the urging of Wall Street lobbyists, Congress passed a bill, S.2155, that loosens many financial reform rules established for banks after their recklessness tanked our economy a decade ago. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion Among its many provisions, the bill removes enhanced supervision of companies with between $50 billion and $250 billion in assets. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office said this will increase the chance of a taxpayer-funded bank bailout.The bill makes it easier for mortgage companies to sell dangerous adjustable-rate mortgages without properly verifying a borrower’s ability to repay. It also makes appraisal fraud and discrimination against black and Latino borrowers more likely.The president has already signed the bill into law.However, constituents of Rep. Paul Tonko can be proud of him for doing the right thing by voting against this bill and for being part of a bulwark against additional attacks on Americans’ personal financial security.Ellie PepperSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Motorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsTroopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stoplast_img read more

Amec’s ambition

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Belfast

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St Modwen reports a triumphant six months

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Imperial strikes back

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Great Portland returns £100m to shareholders for ‘right balance’

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Local baker turns Palu ‘choker’ crocodile into 60 cm bread

first_imgA wild crocodile in the Palu River of Central Sulawesi, its neck trapped for several years in a motorcycle tire, has been in the media spotlight in recent weeks, particularly after an Australian wildlife expert joined a local rescue team in an attempt to free it of the “choker”.Despite failing, the mission received wide coverage across the nation’s media to become the talk of the country, and gave at least one entrepreneurial baker an idea.Read also: ‘See you soon, mate’: Australian presenter Matt Wright returns home despite failing to rescue Palu crocodileAbraham, the 58-year-old owner of Master Bakery in Palu, decided to take the local reptilian “icon” as an opportunity for testing his creativity and boosting his business – by making bread shaped like the crocodile, complete with a tire around its neck.“At first, I made two 60-centimeter breads that resembled the crocodile. I left one [on display] in the store and took the other to a warkop [coffee stall] where I usually hang out to share it with my friends,” Abraham told kompas.com on Thursday.He said he had not realized that the crocodile bread had gone viral until the orders started coming in – to the point that he was overwhelmed by the high demand.“I did not expect this to go viral. My staff and I have been working overtime to make these crocodile breads,” Abraham said, adding that the breads were offered in various sizes and ranged from Rp 7,000 (50 US cents) to Rp 80,000 per piece.Crocodile-shaped bread has long been popular fare among Jakarta’s indigenous Betawi culture. Two pieces of sweetened bread shaped like a crocodile (sans tire) are a must at every traditional Betawi wedding, as the reptile symbolizes loyalty and long life.Meanwhile, the “Palu crocodile” breads at Master Bakery have received good reviews from culinary enthusiasts.Abraham said that he had come up with the idea of making crocodile-shaped bread in October 2012, and that he had simply not acted on it until the recent rescue attempt brought widespread attention to the crocodile and its plight.He added that he planned to make one life-sized bread that accurately resembled the 4-meter crocodile – or at least as closely as he could make it, including the texture and color of its skin.Jemmy, a Master Bakery customer, applauded Abraham’s creative innovation and said he was excited about trying the bread.“I’m curious about the bread that looks like the crocodile with the tire necklace. It went viral, and I want to buy one for my child, who I think will absolutely love it,” said the 30-year-old. (syk)Topics :last_img read more