Casino has proven supporters wrong

first_imgA few years ago, city officials marketed the casino proposal as the solution to the city’s financial problems. They have now declared unashamed that the budget deficit is attributed to the less-than-expected casino dollars the city received.We’ve already seen an increase in water and sewer charges, new fees to use city parks and fees for police calls. Residents complained of an increase in auto insurance rates because of the roundabout incidents near the casino. Proctors hasn’t benefited much from its proclaimed fair game agreement with the casino. There were also reports of muggings at the casino parking lot, and addiction numbers have increased along with drug-related incidents. We’ve all watched recorded fights inside the casino One went viral on the internet and another involved 30 people, with five arrested, after Schenectady police called the surrounding police departments for support.I say we are blessed to have great politicians that fought so hard to bring the casino to Schenectady promising it will save our city from financial ruins and reduce poverty and crime numbers. Wouldn’t you agree?Mohamed HafezSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCasino has proven supporters wrongAfter its first year of operation, the Schenectady casino came nowhere near its own financial projections and it asked the state for help because it failed to attract the millions of tourists it has projected. The city managed to finish $1.68 million in deficit and property owners are waiting indefinitely for the 18 percent property tax reduction pledged by our casino cheer-leading-mayor. last_img read more

Scottish court rules that tenant can escape lease

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Barclay brothers to inject £50m into Moorfield fund

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Shopping centres: Lakeside shakedown

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66,000 ha waits for development

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25% rent rise threat at Trafford Centre

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BAA moves Jurenko up

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Mexico confirms first three cases of coronavirus, linked to Italy

first_imgSenior health ministry official Hugo Lopez-Gatell told a separate news conference that one of the men, a 35-year-old in the capital, “has a mild, mild illness” with symptoms “similar to that of a cold”.”He is a young individual and so he is at very low risk,” he said.The patient and five members of his family have been isolated at the National Institute of Respiratory Diseases, Lopez-Gatell added.The second case, a 41-year-old man who returned from Bergamo in Italy, is in isolation at a hotel in Sinaloa after being tested by regional authorities, officials said. Topics : Mexico’s health ministry said the country has confirmed three cases of the coronavirus, becoming the second Latin American nation reached by the global outbreak.The three men — two in Mexico City and one in the northern state of Sinaloa — are all believed to have visited northern Italy, the epicenter of the virus in Europe.”Probably all three were infected from the same source. All three are imported cases,” Jose Luis Alomia, general director of epidemiology at the Ministry of Health, said at a press conference Friday.center_img A 59-year-old man in Mexico City who also visited northern Italy is the third case but authorities did not say whether he had been hospitalized.Italy has recorded 650 cases of the coronavirus and 17 deaths across cities in the north.In Mexico, two more, suspected cases are under analysis in the central state of Guanajuato and one in northwestern Durango.”It is not a national or health emergency,” Lopez-Gatell said, urging Mexicans to remain calm and not panic-buy protective items such as masks.Mexico is the second Latin American nation to confirm coronavirus infections after Brazil said it had a case on Wednesday. More than 50 countries have now reported cases worldwide.The virus has infected more than 85,000 people and over 2,900 have died — mostly in China where the epidemic started.last_img read more

Indonesia to test more people for COVID-19

first_imgThe Health Ministry has said it will now assign its regional labs to test people suspected of carrying the novel coronavirus amid concerns that it has not been proactive enough in detecting infected people to prevent its spread.The ministry, which is spearheading the battle against the lethal virus, previously insisted that only its Jakarta-based Health Research and Development Agency (Balitbangkes) be authorized to conduct throat swab tests and announce the result.The policy change was made after President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo announced on Monday that two Indonesians, known as Case 1 and Case 2, had been diagnosed with the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). The patients, a mother and her daughter, are believed to have contracted the virus after the latter interacted with a Japanese COVID-19 patient who visited Jakarta last month.“With the first confirmed cases, we need to be able to respond faster. The tests will no longer be done in Balitbangkes only,” said the Health Ministry’s disease control and prevention directorate general secretary, Achmad Yurianto, who has been appointed as the spokesman for the handling of the virus outbreak.Read also: COVID-19: ‘People don’t need to stockpile everyday items’, Jokowi says amid panic buying spreeEnvironmental, health and technology centers (BTKL) in 10 cities — Batam, Medan, Palembang, Makassar, Manado, Ambon, Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Banjarmasin — have been chosen to conduct the tests. The labs will only conduct a polymerase chain reaction (PCR) test, which is used to determine whether someone has contracted Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), the virus that causes COVID-19, Achmad said. Only Balitbangkes, he added, had the capability to conduct a gene sequencing analysys to identify the virus infecting a suspected patient if they were declared negative for coronavirus.“We will send supervisors to these centers. Now a specimen from Ambon no longer needs to be sent to Jakarta,” Achmad said.Officials will now test not only those showing COVID-19 symptoms and having recently traveled to countries affected by the virus outbreak such as China, South Korea and Iran but also those having had contact with coronavirus-positive people even though they show no symptoms.Many parties, including scientists and foreign governments, have cited the lack of tests as the primary reason Indonesia, one of the top tourist destinations for people in Wuhan, the Chinese city from which the animal virus first infected humans, could have been underreporting cases.The government has only tested samples of 155 suspected patients across the country, two of which have come back positive. For comparison, as of March 2, South Korea, which has the most COVID-19 patients outside China, has performed 109,591 tests.While it has decided to change its testing policy, the government has refused to establish a special independent committee to handle the health crisis, as demanded by a number of health experts.“There is no need for a new organization. Too much structure is confusing,” Achmad said.Doubts linger over whether the Health Ministry alone is capable of handling the crisis, or is proactive enough to detect patients, which is crucial to prevent the virus from spreading.Critics have questioned whether the ministry had been proactive in tracing people who have had contact with foreign nationals who tested positive for coronavirus and are known to have traveled to Indonesia.Health Minister Terawan Agus Putranto initially claimed that the government had proactively traced Case 1, a 31-year-old woman, after being notified by Malaysia that a Japanese COVID-19 patient had visited Indonesia. He then clarified that it was the woman herself who came to the hospital to have herself checked after being informed by her friend about the Japanese woman.Achmad has dismissed such concerns, saying the government was now tracing 50 people of different nationalities who went to a restaurant where Case 1 met with the Japanese patient. “We’ve got three names. It’s not easy because the patient did not have a close relation to these people.”On Tuesday, President Jokowi called on the Indonesian people to remain calm and respect the COVID-19 patients’ privacy following his announcement of the first two confirmed cases of the disease.“The fact is that most of the patients — including those in China, Japan, Italy and Iran — have been able to recover from the disease. So we don’t have to fret but we should remain vigilant,” he said, adding that hospitals treating the patients should avoid disclosing their private information.Bayu Krisnamurthi, who headed the National Committee for Avian Flu Control and Pandemic Preparedness (Komnas Flu Burung), said the country must work together to contain the virus.“We are no longer preventing the novel coronavirus from entering the country. We should now focus on containing its spread. There must be a special authority to handle this,” Bayu told The Jakarta Post on Monday.The special committee will have the authority to coordinate between related institutions. “The core issue is national health, but that’s not the only one. It involves many things: transportation, industries, scientific institutions, regional administrations and more. We need to have an authority that is specifically assigned to this, working full time to handle this because coronavirus is not a usual thing,” he said. (aly)Editor’s note:The article has been updated to clarify Achmad Yurianto’s statement on the authority of Balitbangkes.center_img Topics :last_img read more

COVID-19: Civil society groups call on govt to clear up confusion over social distancing

first_imgThe Civil Society Coalition, which consists of several civil society groups such as the Commission for Missing Persons and Victims of Violence (Kontras), Lokataru, the Foundation of the Indonesian Legal Aid Institute (YLBHI) and Amnesty International Indonesia, wrote in a statement that social distancing was not regulated under the legal system.“Today, social distancing is a mere suggestion to individuals and not adhered to by companies and other workplaces, making the recommendation ineffective,” the group said in a statement on Tuesday.The large number of Transjakarta and MRT passengers on Monday was an example of how the call for social distancing was largely left unheeded, with many residents using public transportation to commute to work. Many companies have required their employees to work from the office.Read also: IYSF scientist praises social distancing policy, urges govt to cancel ‘mudik’ The coalition said the main message of social distancing was that, “by taking care of ourselves, we protect the health of others”. It said the involvement of the public required effective and crisis-sensitive leadership.The group also attributed the public’s response to poor coordination between the government and local administrators.“There is poor communication between the President and the Jakarta governor. In a time of crisis when the people’s safety is at stake, leaders must halt any kind of individual or political competition and focus more on handling the crisis together,” the coalition said, stating that humanity should win over political interests.Moreover, the social distancing recommendation has not been accompanied by an increase of hospital services. Though the government announced that several hospitals were prepared to deal with a spike in patients, the current situation suggests otherwise.“A number of reports have revealed how the services of hospitals in Jakarta are poor for residents who intend to get check-ups. This shows that hospitals are not ready to handle patients, especially the common people,” the statement said. (aly) Topics :center_img A coalition of civil society organizations has called on the government to better explain its social distancing recommendation to clear up confusion among the public over how to handle the coronavirus disease (COVID-19).In his televised speech on the COVID-19 outbreak on Sunday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo highlighted the importance of social distancing to slow the spread of the virus.However, the recommendation has done little to change behavior at certain workplaces that have continued to run as normal.last_img read more