Don’t turn over VHA to private interests

first_imgIn late March, the Trump administration fired Veterans Health Administration [VHA] Secretary David Shulkin. Trump attempted to replace Mr. Shulkin with Ronny Jackson, who withdrew his nomination on April 26 amidst allegations of drunkenness.  Dr. Shulkin had resisted efforts by wealthy corporate interests to accelerate privatizing the VHA, now more than 25 percent privatized, and, thus came under intense attacks from the privatizers, many of whom insist the public sector can do nothing correctly and the private sector everything well. Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion One goal of the privatizers, who include the billionaire Koch brothers, is to destroy VHA labor unions. Another is to leave VHA workers, one-third of whom are veterans, with no rights. And, of course, the Kochs and their allies want to add to their stupendous wealth and power by profiteering from veterans’ health care.Federal workers and their rights are under intense attacks from Trump, many Republicans, some Democrats and the privatizers. The VHA has problems for sure, but with bipartisan and public support, these problems can be greatly reduced.  The VHA needs stable, competent leadership committed to keeping the VHA a public entity. It also needs greater staffing and higher salaries to attract and retain qualified workers to help reduce the wait time for veterans to get care.  Do we want to throw the veterans into the private health care system, where health insurance companies deny care to so many of us? Do we want VA facilities in our region to close?Tom EllisAlbanyMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Giant rainbow flag unfurled in front of Taiwan autocrat’s memorial hall

first_imgAn international crowd of more than 200 people waving rainbow flags and masks, some singing and dancing, marched up to the Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall, where a small group briefly displayed the flag in front of the building, which houses a giant statue of Taiwan’s late leader.After scattered shouts of “Fuck you, Chiang Kai-shek”, the crowd marched back down the steps, accompanied by a handful of police, blowing whistles to stop people lingering.Chiang, who died in 1975, was lauded in life as an anti-communist hero, especially in the United States, but many Taiwanese revile him as a despot who imprisoned and killed opponents during a reign of terror.Darien Chen, who represented Taiwan at Mr. Gay World 2013 and organized Sunday’s event, said they were holding high the banner for the rest of the world, with hundreds of events cancelled in the traditional Pride month.”With the rest of the world under the peak of the epidemic, only Taiwan can do this,” Chen told Reuters. “Of course we won’t give in, and we must continue with this flame of hope and stand up for the world, to hold the only parade in the world in this Pride month.”Taipei holds its main Pride parade in late October when the weather is cooler.  Topics : Hundreds of people thronged a central square in Taiwan’s capital Taipei for a Pride event on Sunday, unfurling a giant rainbow flag in front of the main memorial hall for late autocratic leader Chiang Kai-shek before being ushered away by police.Proudly democratic Taiwan is a bastion of liberal values in a part of the world where in many countries homosexuality remains illegal or taboo. Taiwan legalized same sex marriage last year, the first in Asia.The “Taiwan Pride Parade for the World” billed itself as a show of solidarity with countries unable to hold LGBTQ celebrations due to restrictions on public events to stop the spread of the new coronavirus. The pandemic is under control in Taiwan.last_img read more

Gobernador Wolf: El Congreso debe Extender el Beneficio Federal de Desempleo de $600 para Ayudar a los Residentes de Pennsylvania

first_img Economy,  Español,  National Issues,  Press Release Después de unirse al senador de los Estados Unidos Bob Casey a principios de esta semana para pedir una extensión al beneficio federal de desempleo de $600, el Gobernador Tom Wolf nuevamente urge al Congreso a actuar rápidamente y continuar con esta línea de vida para los residentes de Pennsylvania sin trabajo.“COVID-19 ha provocado una situación sin precedentes en la que los trabajadores de Pennsylvania, algunos de los cuales han estado empleados constantemente desde que eran adolescentes, perdieron sus trabajos o no pueden encontrar trabajo”, dijo el Gobernador Wolf. “Este programa federal de desempleo está ayudando a miles de familias de Pennsylvania a pagar sus cuentas y poner comida en la mesa. Estas son personas que trabajan duro y quieren un trabajo, por lo que una pérdida abrupta de este apoyo financiero será devastadora para ellos y dañará nuestra economía”.“El Congreso debe actuar rápidamente y continuar con el beneficio adicional de $600. Los residentes de Pennsylvania merecen todo el apoyo posible durante esta crisis, y necesitan este beneficio en este momento. Por eso estoy implorando a los republicanos del Congreso que hagan lo correcto y aprueben una extensión de este programa crítico”.El programa FPUC, financiado en su totalidad por la Ley CARES, finalizó el 25 de julio. La Cámara de Representantes de EE. UU. ya votó para continuar con el beneficio, pero el Senado aún no ha aprobado su extensión.“”Más de $15 mil millones en fondos de FPUC se han puesto directamente en los bolsillos de más de 2 millones de residentes de Pennsylvania desde que este programa se implementó a mediados de abril”, dijo el Secretario de L&I, Jerry Oleksiak. “Por cada semana que el Congreso retrasa y no extiende este programa, los residentes de Pennsylvania pierden $1 mil millones en apoyo. Ese es dinero que no podemos permitirnos perder”.El Departamento de Trabajo e Industria (L&I) administra el programa regular de compensación por desempleo del estado y los nuevos programas federales de desempleo de la Ley CARES, incluido el FPUC.View this information in English. SHARE Email Facebook Twitter Gobernador Wolf: El Congreso debe Extender el Beneficio Federal de Desempleo de $600 para Ayudar a los Residentes de Pennsylvaniacenter_img August 07, 2020last_img read more

Yukon Engineering Excellence Award for Morrison Hershfield

first_imgMorrison Hershfield recently received the 2017 Yukon Engineering Excellence Award recognizing the Mayo River Flood Control Project for Excellence in Engineering.The Mayo River Flood Control Project has significantly contributed to protecting the Village of Mayo against adverse effects related to winter flooding on the River, according to the Morrison’s announcement.It has provided future recreational opportunities near the lower Mayo River, allowing access to this natural area for residents.Given the complexity of the issue and high degree of uncertainty, Morrison Hershfield identified a series of measures that could be implemented incrementally. These measures included:Develop and implement a winter operation protocol;Increase hydraulic capacity of Mayo River;Provide bank stabilization;Permanently establish diversion channels.The Yukon Engineering Excellence Award is presented to projects that are sustainable, considerate of the environment, serve the community and demonstrate how engineering can enhance quality of life for communities.The project demonstrates applied research, design, innovation, construction and project management approach that represents a truly “unique Yukon and Northern solution” to a difficult challenge for the government of Yukon.[mappress mapid=”24230″]last_img read more

Cape Sharp’s monitoring systems switched on

first_imgThe Cape Sharp tidal turbine has started showing signs of life following some month and a half of being disengaged after the liquidation of OpenHydro. However, this is only in terms of environmental monitoring, while the turbine is still disconnected from the electricity grid.According to Emera, a shareholder which is in the process of withdrawing from the Cape Sharp Tidal partnership, all environmental monitoring devices required for regulatory compliance are now working and transferring data to shore.The company – which invested $12 million in OpenHydro – emphasised that, even though it is withdrawing from the joint venture, it will continue to work closely with the Cape Sharp Tidal team, OpenHydro Technology Canada, Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment and Department of Energy and Mines and Fisheries and Oceans Canada to ensure environmental monitoring and operational control of the turbine.The 2MW OpenHydro tidal energy turbine was installed on the seabed of the Bay of Fundy in Canada in the last week of July 2018.After it was disconnected from the grid, the turbine’s environmental equipment also stopped operating, although the turbine was still spinning, according to earlier reports. Nevertheless, the turbine was being monitored weekly with a backup plan launched at the beginning of August for the periods when the weekly monitoring could not take place.The devices now running and providing remote monitoring include three hydrophones, one sonar and three Acoustic Doppler Current Profilers (ADCPs). In addition, a video camera pointing at the rotor is also operational, while verification of the data is underway, according to Emera.On Cape Sharp Tidal’s request, FORCE has deployed a FAST platform and data is also being collected by the hydrophones it carries.Furthermore, an acoustic recorder (AMAR) was deployed at the end of June before placement of the turbine. This remains at the berth and will provide data that can compare sound effects prior to the turbine placement and after it is commissioned, Emera said in a statement.last_img read more

Computer time is modern parents’ bribe and threat

first_imgBBC News 22 January 2015The Childwise survey, which has been tracking family life in the UK since the 1990s, shows a surge in the number of tablet computers used by children.But it suggests that parents use time on tablet computers as a way of rewarding or punishing their children.The study shows young people spend more time online than watching television.This latest report from Childwise, the 21st annual survey, shows children’s lives suffused with technology, using tablet computers, laptops, videogames and smartphones.Tablets ‘modern treat’  The study, based on a representative sample of more than 2,000 children across the UK, aged 5 to 16, shows that two of the most popular destinations are YouTube and the online game Minecraft.The use of tablet computers is overtaking laptops among young children, says the survey – and it suggests they have become important bargaining chips in family negotiations“Parents like tablets because they are controllable – a tablet can be given or taken away to reflect good or bad behaviour, in a way that is not possible with a conventional television set or computer,” says the research.“Apps can be purchased as rewards, and, with the growing use of tablets in primary schools, there are strong perceived educational advantages.”Research director Simon Leggett says tablet computers are particularly likely to be seen as the young person’s personal possession, making the arguments about restrictions even more fraught.Access to the internet is now so integrated into young people’s lives, he says, that they see access as a fundamental right rather than a privilege.This will strike a chord with many families, suggests Cathy Ranson, editor of the Netmums parenting website.“Banning screen time is the modern version of “grounding” kids,” she said.She said a study of Netmums users had found many parents using limits on computers as a punishment or reward, replacing “traditional treats”.But she warned that too much emphasis on access to screen time could prioritise computers “to the exclusion of real family life”.http://www.bbc.com/news/education-30901541last_img read more

Bertrand joy at permanent switch

first_img The left-back has impressed since joining Saints last summer and was thrilled to complete a permanent move on Monday’s closing day of the winter transfer window. He told saintsfc.co.uk: “I wanted to sign and commit somewhere instead of carrying on doing loans. When I had the chance to sign here, it was the perfect match. Ryan Bertrand has described his move to Southampton as the “perfect match” after making his St Mary’s switch from Chelsea permanent. “I have really enjoyed my time here in the first half of the season and I’m delighted to make it permanent. “Whether I’m on loan or permanent, I will give 100 per cent, no problem, but moving here gives me added incentive as well. “Finally I can say this is my club and I’m proud to do that. The work starts here and I’m really looking forward to it.” Bertrand hopes to be successful individually and with Saints. “I want to keep progressing as a footballer,” he added. “Hopefully we can progress as a team and go on to achieve some really great things. It’s no fluke where we are in the league at the minute. “We’re playing to the best of our ability and striving to become better players. If we all maintain our hard work we can only go forward as a club.” Bertrand won the 2012 Champions League with Chelsea and earned England recognition, but found first-team opportunities limited. The 25-year-old added: “I have very fond memories of Chelsea. I have a lot of people to thank at the club having been there since the age of 15. The fans were fantastic with me there from day one. “We had a fantastic relationship so from that aspect it was hard, but to finally get to a team that I can say is mine and my own is a really big positive for me on a personal level. “There’s not one reason in particular why this was the club for me. The stability of the club and from what the owners are thinking right down to youth level is clear, honest and transparent. “It’s very important that the club shares the same ambition as the players. They are forward thinking, so are we as players, together that makes us a really strong unit. “Everyone is pulling in the right direction and I wanted to be part of that.” Press Associationlast_img read more

Chelsea winger Hudson-Odoi making great progress: Frank Lampard

first_imgLONDON: Chelsea winger Callum Hudson-Odoi, who became the first Premier League player to test positive for the coronavirus, is making ‘great progress’ in his recovery, manager Frank Lampard said.The 19-year-old’s positive test last week had prompted the London club to partially close their Cobham training center, with the first-team squad and coaching staff asked for self-isolate as a precaution.“I’m happy to say that in Callum’s case, he has made great progress and almost feels his usual self, which is obviously the news we all want to hear,” Lampard told the club’s website.“I’m aware that not everyone can or will recover from this virus, so I urge the football and sporting community to continue to act responsibly and look out for the health of others.”Chelsea said their training facility had been reopened for those who did not have recent close contact with Hudson-Odoi.The league has been suspended until April 4 because of the outbreak that has virtually shut down world sport.Globally, the flu-like virus has infected over 190,000 people and killed more than 7,500.“We still don’t know when competitive football will restart, but it isn’t worth worrying about that too much at the moment,” Lampard added.“We all miss football but right now it’s about acting responsibly and in the best interests of society.” (Agencies)Also Read: Arsenal’s Mikel Arteta, Callum of Chelsea test positiveAlso Watch: KMSS leader Akhil Gogoi granted bail as NIA fails to submit charge-sheetlast_img read more

Barcelona Players ‘Willing to Delay Pay’ to Help Re-sign Neymar

first_imgPique said players told the club they would accept delays to pay to help the club meet Financial Fair Play rules.“We were ready to adjust our contracts,” Pique told Spanish radio station Cadena Ser.“We weren’t going to contribute money, but we were going to make things easier by allowing some payments to be made in the second or third year instead of the first.”Barcelona spent more than £200m in the summer, including deals for midfielder Frenkie de Jong from Ajax and Antoine Griezmann from Atletico Madrid.Financial Fair Play rules, which prevent clubs from spending beyond their means, were understood to be one of the issues Barcelona would have had to have overcome to sign forward Neymar.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram Barcelona’s players offered to accept delays to their pay if it would help the club re-sign forward Neymar in the summer, defender Gerard Pique announced Thursday.Barcelona did “everything possible” to sign the Brazil international but a move did not materialise.Neymar left Barcelona for Paris St-Germain for a world record fee of 222m euros (£200m) in 2017.last_img read more

Warriors’ Kevin Durant sees something special in Lakers’ Brandon Ingram

first_imgThe issue has hovered over Brandon Ingram like a pesky defender. It’s been more discussed than his intriguing jump shot and positional versatility.So when Ingram trained with the U.S. Select team in Las Vegas this summer, it hardly seemed surprising he elicited countless inquiries about his rail-thin physique. Reporters were not the only ones who brought it up, though.Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant also broached the subject. This time, Ingram was eager to address his 6-foot-9, 190-pound frame with his childhood idol, namely because of the unique perspective he provided.“He was telling me to be patient and not rush everything,” the Lakers’ No. 2 draft pick said. “When guys like him tell me that, I believe in him. He’s putting on weight and is doing great in this league.” Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Error The Lakers (2-3) play host to the Warriors (3-1) on Friday at Staples Center with Durant as the headliner for multiple reasons. He wouldn’t even take a meeting with the Lakers to let them make a free-agent sales pitch in July, then left Oklahoma City to sign with Golden State. Durant went into Thursday’s game against the Thunder averaging 28.5 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals per game.Well before Durant established his credentials in a 10-year NBA career that includes a league MVP (2014) and seven All-Star appearances (2010-2016), the Warriors forward faced scrutiny about his strength as a thinly framed No. 2 pick out of Texas.He entered his NBA rookie season with the then-Seattle Sonics in 2007 listed at 6-9 and 215 pounds. The Seattle Times cited a confidential pre-draft document that revealed Durant could not bench press 185 pounds. The Portland Trail Blazers drafted Ohio State center Greg Oden ahead of Durant partly because of Oden’s superior strength.Since then, Durant has bulked up to 240 pounds and downplayed his previous weaknesses in the weight room. And while Durant has grown into one of the league’s most dominant scorers and versatile players, Oden played only three NBA seasons because of multiple knee surgeries.That explains why Durant “never really believed in” the concern surrounding his thin frame. Durant dismissed the same criticism of Ingram, adding that he “could see why he’s picked No. 2.”center_img “The narrative comes from the outside. If that came from GMs, he wouldn’t have been picked No. 2. So he must have been doing something right,” Durant said. “A lot of players might be stronger than him, but they don’t have the other things. He’s a sponge. He wants to get better and he wants to learn. Those are much more important than lifting 185 pounds.”Ingram nodded his head as Durant’s words were relayed back to him, adding that the feedback “means a lot coming from a guy that I have looked up to” for the past decade.Ingram rooted for the Sonics after admiring the skills Durant showed in college, with his outside shooting, post presence and positional versatility. Ingram has a copy of Durant’s rookie card and jokingly said he will buy Durant’s jersey “maybe when I retire.”For now, Ingram remains intent on fulfilling a different childhood dream.“I try to compare my game and pattern it after him. But at the end of the day, I want to be Brandon Ingram,” he said. “When I grew up, I always wanted to be just like him. But I think the comparison is beyond my years. The comparison is more when he came into the league.”The Lakers share that sentiment.“I don’t think any comparison to any player of Kevin Durant’s talent to a young kid is fair,” Lakers coach Luke Walton said. “Brandon has the opportunity to become that type of special player. But to compare him right now at the age of 19 is a little unfair.”Nonetheless, the way Walton assembled his coaching staff could help Ingram’s quest to model his game after Durant. Walton hired Brian Keefe as one of his assistants after Keefe spent time as an assistant with the New York Knicks (2013-15) and with the Thunder (2009-2013). Keefe originally was the franchise’s player development coach in Seattle and Oklahoma City (2007-09), giving him unique insight on Durant’s growth.“The idea that he was with a young team in Oklahoma City and was part of that buildup was definitely something on his side,” Walton said of Keefe. “But the reason we brought him here was because every reference I called said nothing but great things about him.”Still, Keefe’s insight about Durant is one of the reasons Ingram has enjoyed working with him. The Lakers declined to make Keefe available for comment, but Ingram credited Keefe for helping with his footwork and balance. Keefe also put together a daily workout for Ingram that mirrored Durant’s regimen.“That’s ironic,” Ingram said of the connection. “Coming in, I didn’t know he worked with (Durant). It’s helped me a lot with his teaching and the routine that he has given me to work on every day.”That instruction also shaped Durant’s development.“It seems like everything has come full circle. Brian’s teaching Brandon the same stuff he taught me when I came into the league,” Durant said. “Brandon has what every great player has, that want to get better and that want to go out there and compete.”Ingram had the same thought process when he matched up against Durant in two preseason games last month. As Ingram acknowledged, “when you’re going against one of your idols, you want to get a piece of him.”It did not take long, though, for Durant to get a piece of Ingram. In one game, Durant stuffed Ingram’s shot as he attacked the basket, but Ingram stayed aggressive looking for his shot and defending Durant.Afterward, Durant provided more feedback on how Ingram can affect the game by scoring in different ways and using his versatility. Durant walked away with increased optimism about Ingram’s trajectory.“I’ve seen the skills. I’ve seen the length, the effort and the competitiveness. He looks like a quiet, reserved and nonchalant kid. But when he steps in between the lines, he just wants to play,” Durant said. “I have nothing but good things to say and nothing but support for him. I’ll be here no matter what, trying to encourage him and helping him out through the process.”It sounds like he’s already helped. Ingram echoes Durant’s perspective on the weight issue.“I don’t think weight matters at all,” Ingram said. “Of course, you need to get stronger. But it’s all about will, talent and skill level. The work you put in on the basketball floor will help me build over time.”Ingram can look at Durant for validation. Durant can look at Ingram and imagine the same thing happening again.last_img read more