Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Jan. 26

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionProhibition disaster continues with potRegarding the Jan. 19 opinion column, “Is marijuana the next Prohibition battle?” I’m surprised it took so long for two college professors to question the federal government’s hypocrisy.For 83 years now, powerful politicians have refused to end our costly, unjustifiable war against female cannabis flowers.  In discussing alcohol Prohibition’s repeal in 1933, Donald Boudreaux and Adam Pritchard made their own “important omission,” that of the major role played afterward by one mean federal bureaucrat  named Harry Anslinger.In 1937, Anslinger cemented his reputation as a purveyor of nonsense regarding female cannabis flowers at a committee hearing in the U.S. Congress. Citing biased newspaper articles as evidence, he testified that “marijuana is the most violence-causing drug in the history of mankind.”Basically, the same Puritanical fervor that resulted in a constitutional ban of alcoholic products later emboldened Anslinger, the first federal drug czar, to arbitrarily impose anti-“marihuana” spending on the states. (That’s been the legal spelling all these decades.)Today, with more than 30 of 50 states openly defying the federal ban, it is now Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) who exercises the power to do nothing but prolong that total waste of our tax dollars.Anslinger must be delighted in his grave by the public policy disaster that he instituted.Lawrence GoodwinMiltonPolice need access  to records for safetyI rarely agree with your left leaning editorial page, but I enjoyed a vacation from that position on January 15. Your stance on the “Green Light” law is entirely correct.Good decisions require the best, accurate information one can gather before making such decisions.Denying the latest, accurate information to law enforcement personnel in any potentially dangerous situation is a disgrace. The first and primary function of government at federal, state and local levels is protection of the citizenry. The “Green Light” law throws that principle in the trash.“Green Light,” bail reform…what’s next? Voters, wake up.New York state is one of the  50 United States of America, a constitutional federal republic, and cannot and should not expect to enjoy the benefits of the republic of which it is part while rejecting the responsibilities.As you well know, the assault on your position has already begun. Stand firm.Greg SheyonGlenvilleCivics education vital to future citizenshipThe Jan. 13 Gazette (“Earning the ‘gold standard’”) reported on a recent proposal to the state Board of Regents that would give high school graduates the opportunity to earn a “seal of civic readiness” on their diploma, allowing students to demonstrate their knowledge of social studies and civic participation.Just 24% of eighth-graders who took the National Assessment of Educational Progress civics exam in 2018 were deemed proficient in civics.Preparing and encouraging students to participate in their government and their community are important components of our responsibility to educate our children.Research has proven that students’ community service and experience outside the classroom are critical to their learning and preparation for college, career and life.Teenagers engaged in civics make greater scholastic progress during high school and acquire higher levels of education than their otherwise similar peers.The likelihood of college graduation is 22% higher for students who participated in high school community service to fulfill class requirements.As the Regents consider updating graduation requirements, I urge them to ensure that civic readiness and engagement are included.At Passport for Good, we measure the positive impact of student engagement outside the classroom in participation-in-government classes, honor societies and community service activities in schools across the state. We see firsthand the positive impact such engagement has on students, their schools and communities.New York should adopt measures to ensure students and their parents understand that such engagement is an important part of long-term success and the development of good citizens.Gayle FarmanBethlehemThe writer is founder of Passport for Good.More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: No chickens in city without strong regsEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusHIGH NOTES: PPEs, fighting hunger, backpacks and supplies for kidsEDITORIAL: Take a role in police reformslast_img read more

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Niche market

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A look inside the London plan

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M&G founder’s charity puts £36m in Grosvenor fund

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A facelift for Croydon’s serviced office market

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Motorola picks Thames Valley for European HQ

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Indonesian official barred from entering PNG by coronavirus measures

first_img“We are following measures to ensure that his entry [into PNG] is facilitated,”According to PNG newspaper The National, Lebelauw was disappointed that he was not allowed to enter under his diplomatic immunity.He said thermal coronavirus detection scanners were available at the border but were not used.“There are no reported cases yet in Indonesia and I clearly am not coming from Wuhan,” he told The National. The Indonesian consul in Vainamo, Papua New Guinea (PNG), Abraham Lebelauw is stranded in Jayapura after he was barred entry at the land border because of measures being taken against the Wuhan coronavirus. Papua New Guinea’s Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Patric Pruaitch told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday that the consul was denied entry at the Wutung border post, which has been temporarily closed to prevent the spread of the virus. He said officials are in talks with the Indonesian ambassador to allow Lebelauw to return to the consulate in Vainamo, a PNG town 40 kilometers from the border, to continue his work. He said that border authorities in Indonesia were not properly advised before the border was closed.“As a neighboring country with a good relationship with Papua New Guinea, it is wise to talk, discuss and work together to solve the problem, as we already did when combating a polio outbreak some time ago.“I hope that when we talk about borders, we can sit and talk together first, since any decision that we make will have implications for many people and sectors, especially when it comes to borders between PNG and Indonesia.”PNG citizens were reportedly stranded on the Indonesian side of the border after it was closed last week.A number of PNG nationals in Wuhan – the epicenter of the coronavirus – left China with other evacuees on an Air New Zealand flight, which landed in Auckland today. Included on the flight were 17 citizens of Timor Leste and a number of other Pacific nation citizens.All the evacuees are to be placed in quarantine in Auckland for the next 14 days.– The writer is an intern under the ACICIS programTopics :last_img read more

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West Java to build waste treatment sites to turn plastic into raw materials, fuels

first_img“If everything goes well, the project in Sarimukti and Galuga will begin this year. We are finishing the detailed engineering design [for both projects] this month,” Ridwan said after a meeting with Plastic Energy in Bandung on Wednesday.There will be two plants in each location. One plant, which will take nine months to build, will separate plastic waste from other waste. Meanwhile, the other plant will include a petrochemical processor that will take around two years to construct.At the treatment facilities, domestic waste collected from households will be separated based on material, as materials like paper, cardboard, glass and aluminum cannot be processed into hydrocarbons.Plastic Energy CEO Carlos Monreal said his company allocated at least 50 million euros (US$55 million) for the construction of waste treatment facilities in each location. Read also: British company to invest $200m in West Java waste-to-fuel plants“In Europe, we recycle 5 to 6 million tons of plastic in a year. We are aiming for 10 million tons by 2025,” Carlos said. He added the company would ensure the plants in Indonesia follow exact protocols as well as the health and safety standards implemented by their European counterparts.The company uses patented Thermal Anaerobic Conversion technology to convert end-of-life plastics, turning plastic waste into a new feedstock to create clean recycled plastics or alternative low-carbon fuels.“We raise the plastic’s temperature to convert it into a fluid of melted plastic. After that, we take it into our reactor, where we raise the temperature once again to turn it into gas. We condense and distill the gas into a different liquid which depends on its function,” Carlos said.One ton of end-of-life plastic waste can be processed into 816 liters of chemical feedstock (TACOIL), to be used for the production of virgin oil.Plastic Energy has been building such facilities in Spain for three years. The company signed an agreement last year with Saudi Arabia-based chemical manufacturing company SABIC to provide feedstock for the production of certified circular polymers in the Netherlands.West Java’s Ridwan said the waste treatment facilities would be part of an upcoming final waste treatment and processing site (TPPAS) project in Legok Nangka, Bandung. The project has yet to commence.“The handling of Greater Bandung’s waste, in theory, requires a waste-to-energy process in Legok Nangka, as well as in Sarimukti,” Ridwan said.Read also: Regions lag behind in waste management planningThe TPPAS Legok Nangka government project is deemed as a solution for waste in Greater Bandung, which dumps its trash at a 20-hectare landfill in Sarimukti. The project is scheduled to be ready by 2022.To prevent any delays in TPPAS Legok Nangka construction, the administration decided to expand the Sarimukti landfill by preparing an additional 20 to 30 ha of land.West Java Environment Agency head Bambang Riyanto said the administration had proposed the expansion plan to state-owned forestry firm Perum Perhutani and was obliged to pay compensation of Rp 4.5 billion ($329,000) for the additional land.Separately, Bogor Mayor Bima Arya said the new waste treatment site would help the operation of the 38-ha Galuga landfill, which receives waste from Bogor and its surrounding areas.“Five-hundred tons of waste is dumped every day in Bogor, 80 tons of which are plastic waste. This will be processed later by Plastic Energy in Galuga, while the non-plastic waste will go to Nambo. We will prepare the system,” Arya said, referring to a landfill in Lulut Nambo, Bogor regency.The Nambo landfill is an ongoing waste-processing facility project covering 55 ha of land. It is projected to manage 1,600 to 1,800 tons of waste per day coming from Bogor municipality, Bogor regency, South Tangerang and Depok.The project was expected to finish in November or December this year, Ridwan said. (syk) The West Java administration will construct waste treatment sites that process plastic waste into diesel fuels and raw plastic materials that it hopes will be used by 2023.The project is a collaboration between the provincial administration and United Kingdom-based plastic processing company Plastic Energy. The company has helped initiate feasibility studies that the administration is currently running.Governor Ridwan Kamil said the facilities would be built in five locations, including Bekasi, Tasikmalaya and Cirebon. The other two would be at landfills in Sarimukti, West Bandung, and Galuga, Bogor.center_img Topics :last_img read more

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Counting to start in Ireland’s ‘three-way tie’ election

first_imgThe Greens were next on 7.9 percent and Labor on 4.6 percent.However, Ireland uses a single transferable vote system to elect multiple deputies from each of the 39 constituencies, making it hard to extrapolate a likely seat forecast from the first preference votes exit poll.Count centers will begin sorting ballot papers from the estimated 3.3 million eligible voters at 0900 GMT.Some 159 seats are up for grabs in the Dail, the Republic of Ireland’s lower house of parliament, but filling them may not be quick due to the multiple rounds of counting required. Vote-counting begins on Sunday following Ireland’s general election which exit polls called as a three-way tie, meaning every ballot will count in the battle to form the next government.Prime Minister Leo Varadkar’s incumbent Fine Gael party, center-right rivals Fianna Fail and left-wingers Sinn Fein, on a dramatic surge in support, all received 22 percent of first preference votes, according to an Ipsos MRBI exit poll issued as the polls closed on Saturday.The survey of around 5,000 voters — which has an estimated margin of error of 1.3 percent — put Fine Gael on 22.4 percent, Sinn Fein on 22.3 percent and Fianna Fail on 22.2 percent. Topics :center_img Eunan O’Halpin of Trinity College Dublin university said it would take “perhaps two-and-a-half days for the full picture to be known” in terms of seats.Coalition posturing The shape of the government could take much longer to come into focus and may hinge on inter-party negotiations once the seat spread becomes clear.Following Ireland’s 2016 election it took 70 days before a new minority coalition government was formed under Fine Gael.During this year’s election campaign, Fine Gael and Fianna Fail both ruled out working with Sinn Fein, citing the party’s historic links to the Irish Republican Party paramilitary group.During “The Troubles” — 30 years of bloodshed when 3,500 were killed by bombs and bullets — the party acted as the political wing of the IRA in its battle to unite the British territory of Northern Ireland with the Republic of Ireland.Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin also said he would not back centre-right rivals Fine Gael in a “grand coalition”.But his party has propped up the Fine Gael minority government through a confidence and supply arrangement since the last election — suggesting common ground could be found again.And analysts have said statements ruling out coalitions could be pre-election posturing, and party stances may change as the parliamentary arithmetic becomes clear.”We’ve never seen a general election result like it. Basically a statistical tie between what are now the three big parties,” said Pat Leahy, political editor of The Irish Times newspaper.He told RTE television that forming a government could prove “a very difficult exercise” unless parties compromised on their pre-election stances.PM’s future in the balance Varadkar became Ireland’s prime minister in June 2017 after an internal Fine Gael leadership contest. The party had been in power since 2011 under his predecessor Enda Kenny.Saturday was Varadkar’s first time facing voters at the polls as the PM, or taoiseach.Just 41 years old, he is Ireland’s first mixed-race and openly gay premier who has come to represent a more socially progressive nation after years of dominance by the Roman Catholic Church.He plumped for an early election after successfully helping to broker a deal cushioning Britain’s EU exit on January 31 by avoiding a hard border with Northern Ireland.Varadkar’s campaign was focused on Brexit — but did not seem to land with voters concerned with issues of healthcare, housing and homelessness.”The government handled the Brexit as good as could be done, but that’s over. There’s a phrase ‘eaten bread is quickly forgotten’,” O’Halpin told AFP.Irish voters tend to vote on local issues, he added.last_img read more

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China virus death toll nears 1,500 but new cases fall

first_imgMore than 64,600 people have now been infected in the country.Health officials in Hubei said they started to count clinically diagnosed cases to ensure that patients get treated as early as possible instead of having to wait for laboratory tests to confirm they have the COVID-19 disease.But the change raised concerns that the crisis may be more serious than Chinese authorities have reported.Topics : The death toll from China’s coronavirus epidemic rose to 1,483 on Friday but the number of new infections in hard-hit Hubei province fell after a change in case definitions caused a massive increase the previous day.The central province’s health commission reported 116 more deaths and 4,823 new cases, the majority involving “clinically diagnosed” patients.The province, the epicentre of the outbreak, had 242 more deaths and over 14,800 new cases on Thursday.last_img read more

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