More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusMotorcyclist injured in Thursday afternoon Schenectady crashSchenectady department heads: Budget cutbacks would further stress already-stretched departmentsSchenectady, Saratoga casinos say reopening has gone well; revenue down 30%Schenectady NAACP calls for school layoff freeze, reinstatement of positions The recent third annual Feigenbaum Forum at Union College was a special event featuring conversations between famed columnist Thomas Friedman of The New York Times and John Kelly III, Union alumni, class of 1976, vice president of IBM.Friedman is world traveled and the best-selling author of “The World is Flat,” and “Thank You For Being Late.”Kelly and his team at IBM developed “Watson” (artificial intelligence) that won over two former “Joe Penny” champions. Both speakers inspired a packed audience at Union’s Memorial Chapel as they traded thoughts on innovation and creativity in our new era of technology.The forum is made possible through a gift from brothers Armand Feigenbaum (Union, class of 1943) and Donald Feigenbaum (Union, class of 1946). Armand was my Kappa Nu fraternity brother and we all recognized his genius, which later resulted in his becoming head of quality control at General Electric. Later, with his brother, Donald, he founded General Systems Co. in Pittsfield, which designs engineering systems for corporations and governments worldwide. The Union forum in the Feigenbaum name had in 2015 as inaugural speaker Howard Gardner, internationally know psychologist who developed the theory of multiple intelligences. Artist and designer Maya Lin spoke in 2016.The forum is just one of Union’s many contributions to the Schenectady environment. Union isn’t only one of the country’s best-known places for liberal arts, but now has entered into the new world of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math).With all the newly constructed buildings to accommodate this change, Union’s President Stephen Ainlay can be proud of his championing the positive transition, as he retires next year after a well-deserved 12 years of accomplishments.Ted VinickSchenectady[Union Class of 1943] Categories: Letters to the Editor, Opinion read more
Thirty-seven years ago, when I represented the city of Schenectady in all of its labor matters, I was shocked to discover that no one had ever “costed out” the price of labor. The range ran from about 27 percent over base salary for blue collar workers to about 87 percent for police and fire, with benefits, including health insurance, sick leave, workers’ compensation, retirement pay and other state or federal mandated expenses. So when the City Council and the mayor consider the city budget, they must consider whether overtime actually decreases that percentage, as opposed to new hires, along with the other services the municipality must provide.It takes about two years for a new police officer to be fully capable on the street — six months of school, then ride-alongs and on-the-job training. That, of course, doesn’t speak to deployment: the need for detectives and the overtime generated when there’s a particularly heinous crime or the urgent need for boots on the street during special events and protests.We all want the protective services, police, fire, paramedics, correctional officers and others. Are people willing to pay for full staffing? (The chief says 14; my estimate is 20 or 25 more officers.) Would everyone pay an extra $100 per year in taxes if it meant prompter response times? And how does that impact any tax cap or other services that municipalities must provide? And what about the added expense of more police cars or fire equipment?Bruce S. TrachtenbergNiskayunaMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Niskayuna girls’ cross country wins over Bethlehem Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionOnce again, The Gazette headlines police overtime, sensationalizing the incomes of a few, without delving into the cost-benefit analysis and germane factors, and only touching lightly upon under staffing. read more
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Read also: Meikarta plans to sell 25% more apartments this yearMeikarta spokesman Danang Kemayan Jati denied the Bekasi administration’s finding, saying in a statement that the company only employed 86 Chinese citizens “who worked as either supervisors or key specialists.”Prosperous Justice Party (PKS) politician and Bekasi Legislative Council (DPRD) member Budiyanto raised the issue when he told journalists on Tuesday that thousands of Chinese citizens were working illegally on the Meikarta project.He told kompas.com that the estimate was based on information from locals and a “trusted source”, who claimed around 200 Chinese citizens were working on Meikarta’s 15 under-construction towers.The law forbids companies in Indonesia from employing foreigners as blue-collar workers.President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo is slated to sign into law a landmark omnibus bill on job creation this year. Topics : The Bekasi administration is looking into allegations of Chinese citizens working illegally at Lippo Group’s Meikarta township project in the West Java regency, after a politician’s comment raised concerns over the issue.Bekasi Workforce Agency head Suhup said his side had conducted health checks on 83 out of 267 documented Chinese workers amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. The checks were carried out when the agency “got word that the workers not only worked as supervisors but also as blue-collar workers,” he went on to say.“Not all foreign workers on the Meikarta project are undocumented,” Suhuf told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday. “However, we are looking into the allegations.” read more
Handshakes and kisses are out. Hand sanitizer and air kisses are in. And coughing is a major no-no.Welcome to the SuperReturn International private equity conference in Berlin, where nervous attendees spooked by the rapidly spreading coronavirus are covering up any fears with gallows humor rather than face masks.The world’s largest private equity and venture capital event, boasting over 3,000 attendees, turned into a slightly muted affair as many Italian and east Asian investors stayed at home. A few big name guests didn’t turn up, while some withdrew attendees overnight. And others, including some CD&R employees, just dropped out at the last minute. “This year people are not shouting from the roof top — it’s a more measured mood in comparison with recent years and the coronavirus is weighing on the atmosphere,” said Richard Hope, head of EMEA at Hamilton Lane.The organizers, however, said there had been no significant impact on attendance. And to be sure, two of the biggest names in the industry, Apollo Global Management’s Leon Black and Carlyle Group Inc.’s co-founder David Rubenstein did show up.But the potential impact of the disease was never far from attendees’ thoughts.After a decade-long tear of blockbuster returns and trillions in new capital from institutional investors, there are now concerns that the China-originated virus will upend global growth — dealing damage to some of the thousands of firms now owned by the likes of Blackstone Group Inc. and KKR & Co. Some firms are more vulnerable than others. Portfolio companies dependent on China, reliant on foot-traffic in retail stores, or in the travel industry will be among those impacted badly, Christophe De Vusser, partner at Bain & Co. said in an interview at the conference.Kewsong Lee, co-chief executive officer at Carlyle, told attendees the short-term economic impact of coronavirus would be greater than people think. He added that in the long run, the global economy would see steady growth.“You can’t have 40% to 50% of the world’s second largest economy be sequestered in the way it has been and not have an impact,” he said, a reference to quarantine measures in parts of China that have seen factories closed and whole city populations confined to their homes. Topics : read more
Pep Guardiola’s 82-year-old mother has died after contracting coronavirus, Manchester City announced on Monday.”The Manchester City family are devastated to report the death today of Pep’s mother Dolors Sala Carrio in Manresa, Barcelona, after contracting coronavirus,” the Premier League club said in a statement.”Everyone associated with the club sends their most heartfelt sympathy at this most distressing time to Pep, his family and all their friends.” Guardiola, 49, last month donated one million euros ($1 million) to buy medical supplies for the fight against the coronavirus pandemic in his native Spain.He also issued a video as part of the club’s Cityzens At Home initiative urging fans to stay at home.Spain declared Monday a fourth consecutive drop in the number of coronavirus-related deaths, with 637 over the past 24 hours, the lowest number in nearly two weeks.Fatalities, which were sharply down on the record 950 on Thursday, brought the total deaths in the country to 13,055, second only to Italy.Topics : read more
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