Kill the opium crop before it matures

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionIn Afghanistan, we know exactly where the opium fields are located. We watch when they are planted and receive progress reports as to how much of a crop they will receive.We then monitor the harvesting and know exactly the routes that are taken to the world market.Doesn’t it seem stupid to let this occur rather than doing something about it?Has it ever occurred to anyone to spray insecticide on the entire crop while it is growing to wipe it out?Jerry BubniakNorthvilleMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusBroadalbin-Perth’s Tomlinson seizing the day by competing in cross country and golf this fallEDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

Back bill to punish rogue prosecutors

first_imgProsecutors can act with impunity because they incur no penalties for misconduct in their official duties. New York has commissions to discipline wayward judges and lawyers, but nothing exists to rein in rogue prosecutors.However, bills poised to pass the Legislature this year — Senate bill 2412-D and Assembly bill 5285-C — would establish an independent Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct to impose discipline on prosecutors who break the rules. Sadly, no prosecutor has endorsed the legislation.Ask your legislators and friends to support these bills.We are each only an arrest away from experiencing prosecutorial abuse.Frank DoneganSchenectadyMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Schenectady’s Lucas Rodriguez forging his own path in dance, theater, musicSchenectady man dies following Cutler Street dirt bike crashSchenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crash Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion New York’s prosecutors are the loose cannons of our legal system. Some prosecutors regularly use false confessions and coerce guilty pleas; they hide evidence favorable to the defendant and improperly influence witnesses’ testimony; they lie to juries in order to win convictions at any cost.Consequently, innocent people often spend years in jail for crimes they didn’t commit. New York is second only to Texas in the number of wrongful convictions every year.last_img read more

EDITORIAL: Urge feds to support tick bill

first_imgCategories: Editorial, OpinionKay Hagan didn’t get out in public much in recent months.In June, the former U.S. senator from North Carolina helped dedicate a new air traffic control tower at a local airport.Crippled and confined to a wheelchair, she smiled and acknowledged well wishers at the event. Her ability to speak was limited, slow and labored, although her husband Chip said she could comprehend what people were saying.On Oct. 28, the 66-year-old lawmaker died, two years after contracting a brain inflammation from the Powassan virus, a rare but increasingly prevalent disease caused by the bite of an infected tick.In her honor, her colleagues in the U.S. Senate have named a new bill after her that’s aimed at fighting tick-related illnesses, including Lyme disease.In 2017, the number of tick-borne diseases reported to U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) rose 22%, to 59,349. The actual number of cases was likely much closer to 300,000 to 400,000, officials say, due to underreporting. Here in New York, the state saw a 16% increase in tick-related illnesses from 2017 to 2018.As such illnesses have increased in recent years, it’s clear the state and federal governments need to devote more attention and resources to identifying them, treating them and preventing them.The Kay Hagan Tick Act (S1657) and its companion bill in the House of Representatives, the TICK (Ticks: Identify, Control, and Knockout) Act (HR3073), are designed to provide federal assistance to address the escalating burden.Among the bill’s provisions are the creation of an office of oversight and coordination at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to develop a national strategy for the expansion of research, improved testing and affordable treatment.For taxpayers, the bill comes at a relatively small price, given that Lyme disease alone now costs Americans an estimated $75 billion per year, according to  lymedisease.org.The bill would provide $10 million a year for the next five years to create regional centers for excellence. These centers would coordinate efforts among academia and public health agencies for surveillance, prevention and outbreak response, as well as provide training and other services to help pubic officials deal with the outbreak.The bill also would authorize $20 million per year for the next five years through the CDC for grants to help states and communities promote awareness, early detection and treatment.Local Reps. Antonio Delgado and Elise Stefanik are two of the House bill’s cosponsors. Sens. Charles Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand have yet to sign on.Lyme disease and other tick-borne illnesses are now a national problem.It’s time for the national government to lead the fight against them.Contact Schumer, Gillibrand and other members of Congress to ensure they support and promote this vital legislation.More 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: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homeslast_img read more

Leslau to shake up ‘feudal’ industry

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Niche work if you can get it

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No let up in MBO cull

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Niche market

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Matrix raises sights with £350m fund

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The chosen few

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No longer an outsider

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