Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionCurrent healthcare is not sustainableHealthcare costs in the United States have been increasing at an alarming rate. Last year, these costs reached over $3.6 trillion, exceeding the GDP of all but four countries. Per capita healthcare costs in the United States are about twice that of any other developed country.A number of studies have identified the major factors driving our very high healthcare costs as noted below.The No. 1 factor is the very high administrative costs of running our healthcare system. About one-quarter of healthcare cost in the United States is associated with administration, which is far higher than in any other developed country.Another major driver is the cost of drugs. In most countries, the government negotiates drug prices with the drug makers. Congress has denied Medicare the right to use its power to negotiate drug prices.The practice of defensive medicine also contributes to high costs. Doctors are afraid they will get sued, so they order multiple tests even when they are certain of the diagnosis.Wages and staffing also drive up costs in healthcare. Specialists command high reimbursements, and the over-utilization of specialists through the current process of referral decision-making drives health costs even higher.In spite of our expenditures, the World Health Organization ranked the United States 37th in healthcare systems, and The Commonwealth Fund placed the United States last among the top 11 industrialized countries in overall healthcare.We must urge our leaders to improve healthcare and reduce costs. We cannot sustain the current situation.Don SteinerSchenectadyTonko works hard to protect environmentI’m writing to address the Dec. 27 letter from Alfred Riccio about Paul Tonko being too far left to represent our district. Specifically, the complaint was about Mr. Tonko caring too much about the environment and that he’s siding with “radical leftist socialists.”Using such labels fails to adequately explain a person’s underlying thoughts on an issue. Mr. Tonko, fortunately, has had quite a bit of experience addressing issues related to the environment.Does this writer not care about the environment? I certainly do, and I would hope that every responsible citizen in Mr. Tonko’s district, whether or not he or she has children and grandchildren, will support and praise those who take action on protecting our tenuous environment.I’m very thankful that Mr. Tonko is well qualified to represent our district regarding the environment. He serves on the Energy and Commerce Committee, which happens to be one of the oldest standing committees in the House, created in 1795.Mr. Tonko was elected by his peers to chair the subcommittee on Environment and Climate Change. He graduated from Clarkson University with a degree in mechanical and industrial engineering. I appreciate anyone with the credentials, experience and, most importantly, the commitment that Mr. Tonko has to represent my desire for environmental sustainability. I truly don’t understand why anyone would question the need for environmental action at this point in time. I wish Mr. Tonko my support and best wishes for his success with working on the critical environmental issues of today.Bill ShapiroSchenectadyThank you to Scotia officer for shovelingThis thank you is for the officer who stopped his patrol car, got out, took the shovel out of my hands and proceeded to open the entrance to my driveway. I didn’t get his name, but Scotia should be very proud of your officers.Elena IsabellaScotia Join in the fight to bring end to hatredIn light of the multiple anti-Semitic attacks over the past 10 days, members of the Schenectady Clergy Against Hate again write to assert our solidarity with our Jewish sisters and brothers.We believe that the visible example of unity among our members stands as a witness of the world we wish to achieve: one where differences in faith and belief are celebrated.Our anger and our lament challenge hatred with transformative love. Our coalition strives to model what change and transformation look like in our own settings and traditions.We encourage others to join us to push back against forces of evil and hatred in our own midst.Speak out against anti-Semitism. Challenge Islamaphobia and racist tropes. Push back against anti-immigrant and xenophobic ideology. Advocate for the disabled, the marginalized, the LGBTQ community and those facing socioeconomic injustice.Let the change begin with us right here, right now. The Schenectady Clergy Against Hate Coalition is grieved that yet another letter, another service of interfaith unity, another demonstration is necessary. Still, we will continue to show up in support of all who face hatred and bigotry as our faiths compel us. We invite all to a service of solidarity this Sunday evening, Jan. 5, at 7 p.m. at Congregation Gates of Heaven. Join us in this sacred work to create a world where all are welcomed, affirmed, and celebrated.Rev. Kathy Gorman-CoombsScotiaGet the facts about Thruway toll planIn response to Assemblyman Santabarbara’s Dec. 28 letter (“Oppose new toll/tax on upstate drivers “), we’d like to make sure everyone is aware of the facts surrounding the Thruway’s Toll Adjustment Proposal.The proposal is fair and modest and puts New York drivers first.Under this proposal, drivers with a New York E-ZPass would see no toll increase.Thruway tolls have not increased since 2010 and the highway is fully operated and maintained by tolls, not taxpayer dollars. In the last 10 years, we have reinvested more than $6.6 billion into Thruway infrastructure. Our goal is simple – keep tolls as low as possible for our customers.This proposal ensures that New York E-ZPass customers would have their tolls frozen at current levels. For Thruway users who don’t yet have an E-ZPass, you have time to sign up, as this proposal would not go into effect until Jan. 1, 2021. E-ZPass offers payment plans for everyone, regardless of how often you travel the Thruway. Customers can also conveniently get E-ZPass at more than 900 locations across the state, including more than two dozen locations in the assemblyman’s district.Even with this Toll Adjustment Proposal, Thruway toll rates will remain some of the lowest per-mile costs anywhere when compared to other major toll roads in the Northeast.We will be holding public hearings over the next year, and we look forward to working with the assemblyman and others to encourage people to sign up for E-ZPass and keep their tolls frozen at current levels.Matthew J. DriscollAlbanyThe writer is the Thruway Authority executive director.Thanks for column honoring nonprofitsA big thank you to Sara Foss for highlighting the work of nonprofits in her year-end column, “Celebrate Those Who Help the Electric City.”Reading about the various enterprises that provide serious resources and encouragement to those that could use a helping hand was enlightening; offering inspiration to take a step toward personal involvement in our city — that it be a more comfortable and inclusive place for all of us. Carole deForestDuanesburgMore from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motorists
Liverpool striker Luis Suarez has dismissed speculation linking him with a move away from Anfield this summer.The 27-year-old Uruguay international signed a new four-and-a-half year contract in December and denied that a clause allows him to join Real Madrid or Barcelona this summer.”There is no clause that suggests a priority for a specific team,” he said.”My head now is focused on the World Cup. My agent tells me what’s there. It’s more speculation than reality.”Suarez broke down after Liverpool were held to a 3-3 draw at Crystal Palace Suarez, who joined Liverpool from Ajax for £22m in 2011, wanted to leave the club last summer, with Arsenal making an offer of£40m plus £1 in the belief it would trigger a clause in his contract which they thought existed for any Champions League club.Suarez stayed and had a superb season after missing the first six matches of the campaign to complete his ban for bitingChelsea’s Branislav Ivanovic.Liverpool challenged for their first league title since 1990, before eventually finishing second, two points behind champions Manchester City.Suarez scored 31 times in 33 league games and was named the Barclays Player of the Season, the Professional Footballers’ Association Player of the Year and Football Writers’ Association Player of the Year.Liverpool were top of the table just three weeks ago but lost to Chelsea before squandering a 3-0 lead in the final 11 minutes of their next match at Crystal Palace to be held to a 3-3 draw. Suarez buried his face in his shirt after that draw at Selhurst Park and said: “I was so angry on the inside. A week before we had real hopes of winning the league and after the Palace game, we knew that it had gone.”We had lost the chance. I felt frustration and rage at the fact that the opportunity had been lost.”I covered my face because I was so hurt and frustrated. I preferred people not to see me.”
“Developing our work in this area is a priority for the Premier League.”Sterling and several of his England team-mates endured racist chanting during a Euro 2020 qualifier in Montenegro in March.He was also allegedly abused by Chelsea fans in December and, speaking at the event, he said strong punishments are needed in order for the campaign to have a real impact.“Teams getting (points) deductions, teams getting kicked out. This is when people start taking it seriously,” he said.“If I go to a football game and I support Manchester United, for example, I don’t want to be the person that lets my team down by saying silly remarks in a stadium.“If you know your team is going to get deducted nine points and not win the league, you are not going to say these racist remarks even though you shouldn’t have it in your head.”Share on: WhatsApp FILE PHOTO: Raheem SterlingLondon, United Kingdom | AFP | The Premier League has welcomed Raheem Sterling’s offer to help in the fight against racism after the Manchester City star called on the sport’s authorities to do more to tackle the problem.Sterling told the Wall Street Journal’s Future of Everything Festival in New York this week that football’s current attempts to stamp out racism are not effective enough.The 24-year-old wants the introduction of stronger punishments when incidents occur, suggesting clubs whose fans are guilty of racism should be hit with points deductions.Sterling, who has emerged as a key voice in the campaign against racism, is keen to speak to the Football Association and Premier League to discuss his ideas.Premier League chiefs have responded by confirming they are ready to talk to the England winger and any other players with thoughts on the issue.“The Premier League and our clubs agree that while good work has been undertaken, more needs to be done to promote inclusion and diversity across football and to ensure BAME fans and players are supported,” a Premier League statement said on Thursday.“Raheem took part in our No Room for Racism campaign and we would welcome the opportunity to talk to him, and other players, about discrimination in football.
30 May 2012 Powakaddy continues support of England Golf PowaKaddy, the number one name in electric trolleys, confirmed today that it has extended its successful partnership with England Golf as the ‘Official Trolley Supplier’ to the nations brightest young golfing stars. The new multi-year agreement saw the Main England Squad presented with a new fleet of electric trolleys ahead of the 2012 season, at a recent training session at the National Golf Centre at Woodhall Spa. Each player in the squad was equipped with PowaKaddy’s flagship PK SPORT model, featuring a whole host of innovative design features and performance boosting technologies to ensure they have the very best equipment as they take to the course. PowaKaddy has also customised the trolleys with all-white frames embossed with the striking, new England Golf logo to specifically match the national team colours. The agreement showcases PowaKaddy’s commitment to golf at all levels and Sales and Marketing Director, Simon Homer is looking forward to the next two years of the partnership, “We have enjoyed a mutually beneficial association with England Golf over the last few years. We are keen to support England Golf in a variety of ways, most notably assisting in the development of the stars of tomorrow, so naturally this was a relationship that we wanted to continue and strengthen.” Over the last 2 years beneficiaries of the PowaKaddy agreement have included many young players who have made the leap into professional golf, including the nation’s number one emerging star Tom Lewis. Homer added, “As the most recognised electric trolley brand in the game we enjoy a very strong following amongst young amateur golfers, all looking to reap the health, fitness and performance benefits of our award-winning products. Technology plays a key part in the game at the highest level and I believe our top-of-the-range PK SPORT model will give all the players an added edge to keep them one step ahead of the competition.” Newly appointed England Golf Director of Coaching and victorious 2011 Walker Cup Captain, Nigel Edwards commented, “Our job is to ensure that all of our team members are provided with the necessary tools to help them improve and fitness plays a key part in this, so I am delighted that they will have access to the obvious health and fitness benefits that using a PowaKaddy provides both in practice and in competitive play.” “Golfers need to conserve as much energy as possible during the round as well as avoid injuries that may occur from carrying. The England and England Boys squad members often play 36-holes of competitive golf a day throughout the season so we want them to be at their best physically at all times.” The agreement covers far more than product supply for the England squad players. PowaKaddy will once again be pro-actively involved in England Golf amateur events, most notably as title sponsors of England Golf’s English Champion Club event. In addition, PowaKaddy will be participating in England Golf’s Membership Benefits scheme offering prizes throughout the year to members of the scheme. The award-winning PK SPORT trolley that the players will be using is a state-of-the-art electric trolley that combines strong and lightweight materials with a powerful yet whisper quiet 200 watt motor, for the ultimate in performance and reliability. A host of practical features come together to make the it the market leading brand’s most complete design and the only choice for the UK’s finest amateur players. For further information visit www.PowaKaddy.com