Glenville needs new roundabout

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn response to concerns about increased traffic in Glenville due to the development of Schenectady’s Mohawk Harbor site, I believe that the best solution is to construct a five-leg roundabout at Thomas Corners, where Route 50 intersects with Freeman’s Bridge, Airport and Worden roads.Many town residents avoid the busy intersection by taking a less direct route along Swaggertown Road and Dutch Meadows Lane to reach Freeman’s Bridge.A roundabout would enable motorists to easily access Thomas Corners from Route 50 or Worden Road without having to sit at a red light for several minutes. Yielding traffic at the roundabout would also create small breaks in the exiting northbound traffic on Route 50, which could alleviate the frequent backups on the road that result from long lines of traffic sitting at the light.The current traffic flow on Route 50 often fails to reach 35 mph within the posted 40 mph speed limit, to the frustration of motorists.Additionally, the removal of traffic lights at three intersections would save operating costs once a roundabout is constructed.Improving the driving experience of residents and visitors is essential to the overall improvement of the busy corridor.David NosekGlenvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: 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 censuslast_img read more

Bullet-proof vests won’t be offensive

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionAs, I assume are most mentally stable individuals, I, too, am horrified by the continual violence inflicted on our nation’s schools, as was most recently exhibited in Parkland, Fla. Many solutions for these events have been offered, none of which have been enacted.For a plethora of reasons, we are no closer to finding a cure for this carnage today. There are myriad factions and special interests that find these potential solutions unacceptable or unworkable.One idea I haven’t heard suggested, and one that seems to address the objections directed at the others, has yet to be offered.Much as we mandate inoculations against various contagious diseases before permitting students to enroll in school, why not mandate the wearing of bulletproof vests for all students?While not 100 percent effective, at least their vital organs would be protected. Surely the NRA wouldn’t object, as no one’s Second Amendment rights would be violated.  As with current inoculations, the cost would be borne by the students’ parents, thus putting no increased financial burdens on our already-strained educational system.Depending on the dress codes of various school districts, the appearance of vests could be regimented or a provision to permit individual stylistic adornments allowed. Additionally, there could be a mandate requiring all vests be manufactured in America, thus not adversely effecting our trade deficit and helping further lower the unemployment rate.I offer this potential solution without incentives, financial or otherwise, nor do I seek any endorsements, political or personal.I only seek to enhance safety in our school systems while offending the fewest entities possible.Carl YanochScotiaMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady teens accused of Scotia auto theft, chase; Ended in Clifton Park crash, Saratoga Sheriff…EDITORIAL: 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 motoristslast_img read more

The perfect mix

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Blast from the past

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‘We don’t have anything’: Timor Leste pleads for help to quarantine citizens in Bali

first_imgHe said he was confident that Indonesia was better equipped to handle coronavirus cases than Timor Leste.Read also: Our good neighbor, Timor Leste“This is a global issue, not something that [only affects] Timor Leste and Indonesia. I believe Indonesia is more capable [of handling coronavirus cases] than us and will therefore help us resolve this issue,” Gusmao added.The Bali provincial administration confirmed that Timor Leste had asked for Indonesian permits and assistance to quarantine 17 of its citizens on the island. The request was made through the Indonesian Embassy in Dili.However, a meeting held by the administration on Monday decided to reject Timor Leste’s request to put its citizens into quarantine on the island.“The relevant parties in the province did not agree to grant the request; therefore, it’s difficult for us to accept it,” Bali Deputy Governor Tjokorda Oka Artha Ardana Sukawati said on Monday, as quoted by decision was made based on considerations and input from several tourism stakeholders in Bali. (rfa)Topics : Timor Leste Planning and Strategic Investment Minister Xanana Gusmao confirmed that the country had requested assistance from Indonesia to put 17 of its citizens who are soon to be repatriated from China because of the coronavirus outbreak into quarantine in Bali, despite a prior refusal by the island’s administration.The Timor Leste government made the request since the country lacked the proper infrastructure and equipment to handle coronavirus cases, Gusmao said after a meeting with Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Mahfud MD in Jakarta on Tuesday.“We don’t have the proper facilities. We don’t have anything, which is why we requested assistance just like any other country. It’s not like we’re asking for exclusive treatment,” said the former Timor Leste president as quoted by read more

PREMIUMKomodo to become international airport by June as Singapore’s Changi, Cardig prep facelift

first_imgLOG INDon’t have an account? Register here Forgot Password ? Log in with your social account Linkedin Topics : Google Komodo-Airport labuan-bajo Changi-airport Cardig-Aero-Services international-airport East-Nusa-Tenggara tourism travel super-priority-destinations transportation-ministry Budi-Karya-Sumadi Wishnutama Facebook Komodo Airport in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, the main entryway to one of Indonesia’s tourism hotspots, will become an international airport in June, earlier than the government’s initial plan for 2021.“We agreed to make it [an international airport] faster. Hopefully, the investors can be serious in developing the airport,” said Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi on Friday on the sidelines of the signing of an agreement between Komodo Airport’s developers.PT Cinta Airport Flores (CAF), a business consortium 80 percent owned by publicly listed local aviation services company Cardig Aero Services and 20 percent owned by Singapore’s Changi Airports International, will be responsible for the development of Komodo Airport.The Cardig-Changi business consortium has allocated Rp 1.2 trillion (US$88 million) to develop Komodo Airport. B…last_img read more

Oil rockets nearly 20% as investors hail coronavirus stimulus spending – for now

first_imgOil prices surged as much as nearly 20 percent on Thursday, bouncing back from days of heavy losses in a relief rally that may yet be short-lived, analysts warned, but which was stoked by economic stimulus efforts to ward off a global coronavirus recession.Brent crude was up US$2.10, or 8 percent, at $26.98 a barrel by 0028 GMT after tumbling 13 percent on Wednesday in a third day of relentless selling. US oil gained $3.44, or 17 percent, to $23.81 a barrel after slumping nearly 25 percent in the previous session.“After a 24 percent crash, oil prices are firming up on some selling exhaustion and as US and European leaders unleash … aid and stimulus,” said Edward Moya, senior market analyst at OANDA in New York. Topics : In the latest move by a central bank to try to halt the spiraling economic and financial crisis sparked by the coronavirus epidemic, the European Central Bank kicked off a 750 billion euro ($820 billion) emergency bond purchase scheme after an unscheduled meeting on Wednesday.Still, the spread of coronavirus showing no sign of abating. Countries on every continent have resorted to drastic lockdowns, steps to try to tame a virus that has now infected more than 200,000 people worldwide, killing more than 8,000, with a major global recession in prospect.OANDA’s Moya cautioned that the selling could start again in oil markets.“A bottom for oil is not in place, but we could finally see some stabilisation if financial markets can maintain a somewhat constructive tone with all the stimulus that is about to hit,” he said.last_img read more

Jokowi relaxes loan settlements to help small businesses cope with COVID-19 effects

first_img“Therefore, to the motorcycle taxi drivers and taxi drivers who currently have vehicle and car loans or fishermen who have boat loans, do not worry; interest payments and installments will be put on hold for a year.”The new relaxation could help MSMEs survive the pandemic, which has dealt a hard blow to Indonesia’s economy.MSME Association (Akumindo) chairman Ikhsan Ingratubun estimated earlier this month that MSME sales revenue had dropped 30 to 35 percent across Indonesia from February until March 9. He predicted that the sector would continue to feel the impact of COVID-19 for the next three months.”There need to be concrete actions from the government so that the economy can recover as fast as possible.” The Financial Services Authority (OJK) will extend loan payment deadlines for micro, small and medium enterprises (MSMEs) for up to one year to help them cope with the economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.Speaking at the State Palace in Central Jakarta on Tuesday, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo said the new relaxation would apply to business loans worth up to Rp 10 billion (US$619,118), both from banks and non-bank institutions. He added that creditors were prohibited from demanding loan installments, especially through debt collection services, and also called on the police not to enforce such collections. The government has already deployed two stimulus packages worth Rp 22.9 trillion and Rp 10.3 trillion, which include individual and corporate tax breaks and the relaxation of loan disbursements and restructuring requirements.However, economists have called on the government and businesses to roll out additional stimuli aimed at providing social safety nets, as several communities and workers are expected to feel the pinch of the outbreak.Among other experts, a group of researchers at the SMERU Research Institute said the government would need to provide incentives for micro and small businesses, in addition to having integrated data to effectively target the underprivileged.They added that the government must ensure the availability of goods on the supply side, including raw materials, to protect micro and small businesses from the impacts of the disease.”Financing access must be expanded and the burden of paying loans must be reduced for micro and small businesses by extending their payment deadlines until the situation improves,” the researchers said in a statement made available to The Jakarta Post.”The government must also expand fiscal incentives for micro and small businesses that operate in sectors such as transportation, services and trade.”Topics :last_img read more

Mask and hand sanitizer shortage caused by increased demand, not stockpiling, police say

first_imgThe National Police concluded that the mask and hand sanitizer shortage across much of the country is due to a spike in demand caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, rather than mass stockpiling or hoarding.“At the moment, we have found that the skyrocketing demand for masks and hand sanitizer has caused both goods to be unavailable in the market,” National Police spokesperson Sr. Comr. Asep Adi Saputra said in a statement on Wednesday.Asep said the conclusion was based on police inspections of minimarkets, pharmacies and traditional markets over the past several weeks. “But we will continue to explore and investigate the possibility [of mass hoarding], with the police’s food security task force being the leader of the investigation,” he added.Earlier this month, the police had named 30 suspects across Indonesia for allegedly hoarding masks and hand sanitizer in order to sell them for higher prices as people have been hunting for both items in an effort to protect themselves from the virus. The police also confiscated 822 boxes of masks and 138 boxes of hand sanitizer.The suspects were charged under Article 107 of the 2014 Trade Law, which stipulates that producers or traders who stockpile goods and contribute to scarcity in the market, thus artificially increasing prices, face a maximum penalty of five years’ imprisonment and a fine of up to Rp 50 billion (US$3.57 million) upon conviction. (glh)Topics :last_img read more

Indonesian courts to go virtual during COVID-19

first_imgAs the COVID-19 epidemic in Indonesia shows no signs of easing, two of the country’s highest courts, the Supreme Court (MA) and the Constitutional Court (MK), have switched to virtual trials to keep the judicial system running.The Supreme Court has determined in an unprecedented decision that all lower courts are to use the Zoom videoconferencing platform to conduct their trials fully online starting April 13. The court issued a joint agreement with the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) and the Law and Human Rights Ministry late last month on conducting criminal trials by video conference.On March 23, weeks before the switch comes into force, the court suspended most trials across the nation due to the COVID-19 epidemic. However, it still allowed the lower courts to conduct selected trials offline with restricted attendance at hearings and temperature scans for all attendees before they were permitted entry. Under the new policy on virtual trials, the judges and prosecutors are to be physically present in the courtroom, while the defendants will be seated in a dedicated room at their detention facilities for a hearing. The prosecution will then use a video link to question the defendants.“We need to carry on with the judicial process during the outbreak, so we have now decided not to postpone any trials and instead move them online,” Supreme Court spokesperson Abdullah said on Saturday.Read also: Work from home: Security risks lurk in virtual meetingsAccording to Abdullah, all 382 lower courts in the country had started switching to online trials to days before the policy was issued. The courts had prevailed in holding virtual trials, despite a variety of technical glitches ranging from poor video and audio quality to unstable internet connections that interrupted the examination of witnesses and defendants. Abdullah could not provide the exact number of virtual trials that had been held to date, but said that around 25,000 criminal cases had been tried online between March 23 and April 17.He added that the Supreme Court would upgrade its technology and install proper equipment.However, the court had no plans to livestream the trials for public view, Abdullah said, including trials that were usually open to the public. The statement has fueled criticisms on the  transparency of the court, which is notorious for opposing external oversight. In its defense, the court said it wanted to protect the identities of all justices, prosecutors and witnesses, regardless of the nature of the court case.“At the criminal courts, we also handle drug-related crimes, terrorism and graft cases that often involve criminal organizations. If the defendants are members of such groups, their associates could harm witnesses, judges and prosecutors if their identities are disclosed,” Abdullah said.Meanwhile, civil cases tried at state administrative, civil and religious courts that fall under the Supreme Court’s jurisdiction – including at the lower and appellate levels – had been moved to the e-litigation system on Jan. 1. In this system, the litigation documents are submitted electronically for the trial judges to examine.Read also: Legal processes go online despite graft concernsUnlike the Supreme Court and all courts under its jurisdiction, the Constitutional Court has been using videoconferencing facilities for witnesses, forensic witnesses and petitioners to deliver statements and  testimonies remotely, years before the pandemic emerged. It also livestreams all hearings on its website.The Constitutional Court has suspended all hearings until April 21 to comply with the government’s COVID-19 mitigation efforts. Following the end of this suspension period, the court intends to apply a more inclusive videoconferencing method that would allow petitioners to present their cases remotely in judicial review hearings.The court is now preparing a set of guidelines on conducting virtual trials for its nine justices.“We have yet to decide whether the justices should adhere to the social distancing policy in the courtroom, or whether they may work from home but are obliged to wear their robes,” said Constitutional Court spokesman Fajar Laksono.Julius Ibrani from the Indonesian Legal Aid and Human Rights Association (PBHI) said that all courts, in particular the Supreme Court, needed to maintain transparency since virtual trials tended to restrict public access to court proceedings. He said that the decision not to livestream the trials was an apparent attempt to restrict transparency. Julius also urged the Supreme Court to standardize the videoconferencing technology at the lower courts to maintain the quality of the hearings to aid judges in issuing fair rulings.He said that he had found that some online trials at lower courts focused the cameras on the defendants’ faces, which did not offer a birds’ eye view of the defendants’ surroundings at the detention centers. This made it difficult for judges and prosecutors to determine whether or not the defendants were being intimidated, manipulated or otherwise interfered with while giving their statements during a hearing.“In such settings [at detention centers], we never know whether they are under pressure or not. False statements are likely to affect the rulings,” Julius said.Meanwhile, the Indonesian Anticorruption Community (MAKI) has filed a petition with the Constitutional Court to challenge the controversial regulation that gave lawmakers impunity in taking extraordinary measures to protect the economy from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic.MAKI coordinator Boyamin Saiman said that his experience in a 2013 challenge of a provision in the Criminal Code Procedures (KUHAP), during which a fellow petitioner presented their arguments via video link, had convinced him that the court’s rulings would be unaffected by holding virtual trials.The Constitutional Court has so far received seven petitions over the temporary lockdown.Topics :last_img read more