Letters to the Editor for Sunday, Jan. 20

first_imgCategories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionState should return park land to TrumpRecently, The Daily Gazette published an editorial entitled “Leave Trump’s Name on Park,“ urging members of the Legislature not to waste their time attempting to strip Donald Trump’s name from a downstate park. Trump donated the property to the state of New York in exchange for a $100 million tax write-off in 2006. Trump’s attorney stipulated in a letter to the Department of Parks that the park be named for Trump, and that his name be displayed at the park’s entrances.  People went to the polls in 2016 to elect a new president. The people appeared to choose Clinton. It was reported that she won the popular vote by approximately 3 million votes. Then came the Electoral College and the “districts” where a candidate can claim all the votes if their candidate only won by two. Therefore, depending on the population of the districts (determined by the party leading in any given state), a loser can become a winner.As a result, we have a president (dictator?) who lies, cheats, cares nothing about laws unless they benefit him, and who is willing to damage the lives of thousands of government employees by shutting down portions of the government to have his own way and to declare “he owns the shutdown.”All because he can’t have his beautiful wall.I’m reminded of a small child having a temper tantrum, throwing toys, stomping on them and crying because he can’t have his own way.In addition to the damage this president has caused our country already (I’m thinking of the environment) with his “my way or the highway” attitude, he’s managing to alienate many of our allies, while defending others who generally are considered the enemy. National emergency? I truly believe that Trump IS the national emergency.Pat BruschettiCanajoharie Toddler-like Trump is a national emergency  However, the actual deed conveying the land to the state did not include any such conditions.Trump’s response to the issue was, “If they want, they can give me the land back.”My suggestion is that the state should do that. Return the land. No more park. No more signs. Sadly, I believe that it may be too late for the state to require Trump to amend his income taxes for 2006. However, the property would be returned to the tax rolls and, since it’s in an affluent, high-tax area (it straddles Westchester and Putnam counties), even if the entire park were to remain undeveloped, the taxes on $100 million of real estate would substantially benefit the surrounding towns.The state loses the expense of maintaining the park. Trump gets his land back. And a large swath of currently unused property will generate a significant amount of local revenue. Everybody wins.How can the self-proclaimed greatest deal maker not love it?Paul DeierleinSchenectadycenter_img Democrats’ power play is just beginning The new House of Representatives has now been under the Democrat, liberal, progressive Pelosi regime for almost three weeks. They are giddy with power.Let’s see what has happened in just the first couple of days.Many Democrats, including Nadler (D-NY), Cummings (D-MD), Schiff (D-CA) and others, had previously signaled their intention to prioritize their new power to investigate Trump rather than legislate for their constituency and the country. Sherman (D-CA) and Green (D-TX) have already introduced articles of impeachment of Trump. Cohen (D-TN) has introduced legislation to eliminate the Electoral College.In legislation designed only for show, the Democrats voted to re-open the government. But, of course, with no funding for the border wall automatically sealing its fate. In a very short session, the House managed to carve out time to change various rules regarding religious headwear, sexual orientation and gender identity. Finally Pelosi (Speaker, D-CA) moved quickly to create special committees on climate change and Medicare-for-all, both of which have forever been on the liberal wish list.Newly elected representatives have also made their mark. The shiny new toy that is Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) has likened herself to Lincoln and FDR, yet she has proven to be both ideologically and economically illiterate. Representative Tlaib (D-MI), at an ultra-liberal MoveOn.org sponsored gathering proclaimed “ we’re going to impeach the m-f.”Prepare yourselves. This is only the beginning.John MyersRotterdam JunctionMore from The Daily Gazette:Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s press conference for Sunday, Oct. 18EDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsEDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homesEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusFoss: Should main downtown branch of the Schenectady County Public Library reopen?last_img read more

SoftBank leads $265 million investments in two US-based start-ups

first_imgSoftBank on Monday led a new funding round of US$165 million in California-based Karius and invested $100 million in New York-headquartered AI company Behavox, as the technology giant builds a portfolio under its second Vision Fund.The two deals come at a time of intense investor scrutiny into SoftBank’s investments.The Japanese company earlier this month reported a second straight quarter of losses at its first Vision Fund, pushing Chief Executive Officer Masayoshi Son to scale back his second fund. Karius, which markets a test that can quickly detect hard-to-diagnose infections through a simple taking of blood, said the funding would expand its commercial outreach and clinical research.Although relatively small by the standards of Softbank, the funding marks the latest in a list of healthcare investments that include drugmaker Roivant Sciences and Vir Biotechnology Inc, an infectious-disease focused drug developer.Karius’ test, which is already being used in more than 100 US hospitals, turns liquid biopsy technology previously used chiefly to measure the progress of cancers to the detection of over 1,000 pathogens, including bacteria and fungi.The funding round values the company at over $700 million, according to a filing made by the company to the state of Delaware, a copy of which was seen by Reuters. Karius said it was not disclosing valuation details at this time. Dr. Bill Muller at Lurie Children’s Hospital in Chicago said his hospital typically uses the test on patients who are at the most risk of infections that are difficult to diagnose using conventional methods. He estimates that his hospital typically averages five-10 orders of the test per month.The company said the list price for the test was $2,000 for hospitals.“Softbank’s healthcare team is very experienced and we actually learnt a lot through the diligence process through their questions,” Karius CEO Mickey Kertesz told Reuters.“I anticipate they (Softbank’s healthcare team) will add a lot of value beyond the financial resources we have secured.”Separately, Behavox said SoftBank first became a user of its platform before making the investment.Behavox’s platform uses AI (artificial intelligence) to analyze internal company data such as employee emails and behavior to flag compliance issues. Its clients include banks and private-equity firms.Behavox said CEO Erkin Adylov and other key employees would remain the biggest shareholders in the company.center_img Topics :last_img read more

Arsenal release brief statement confirming Laurent Koscielny departure

first_imgArsenal release brief statement confirming Laurent Koscielny departure Metro Sport ReporterTuesday 6 Aug 2019 2:59 pmShare this article via facebookShare this article via twitterShare this article via messengerShare this with Share this article via emailShare this article via flipboardCopy link391Shares Comment Laurent Koscielny went on strike to force through a move from Arsenal (Picture: Getty)Arsenal have released a brief statement confirming club captain Laurent Koscielny is set to join Bordeaux.‘The centre back has made 353 appearances for us since signing from Lorient in 2010. He was part of our Emirates FA Cup-winning squads in 2014, 2015 and 2017,’ the statement read.‘Laurent, who started his career in the French second division at Guingamp in 2004, has played 51 matches for France and was entering the final year of his current contract with us.‘We decided to sanction his move to Bordeaux once we agreed acceptable transfer terms.ADVERTISEMENTMore: FootballRio Ferdinand urges Ole Gunnar Solskjaer to drop Manchester United starChelsea defender Fikayo Tomori reveals why he made U-turn over transfer deadline day moveMikel Arteta rates Thomas Partey’s chances of making his Arsenal debut vs Man City Advertisement Laurent Koscielny refused to take part in Arsenal’s pre-seaosn tour of America (Picture: Getty)‘We thank Laurent for his contribution to the club and wish him all the best for the future. The transfer is subject to the completion of regulatory processes.’AdvertisementAdvertisementThe 33-year-old had been desperate to return to Fracne having reportedly been unhappy at how his workload had been handled following his return from a serious Achilles injury, while he was also said to be concerned at the direction in which the club was headed.Arsenal were unwilling, however, to let Koscielny leave without receiving a fee and it is believed they will now earn €5m from Bordeaux.Koscielny refused to travel with the rest of the first team squad for the recent pre-season tour of America and was subsequently forced to train with the youth team.Unai Emery offered the experienced defender and olive branch and was prepared to welcome him back into the first team fold, but the offer was rejected with the player determined to return to his homeland.More: Arsenal FCArsenal flop Denis Suarez delivers verdict on Thomas Partey and Lucas Torreira movesThomas Partey debut? Ian Wright picks his Arsenal starting XI vs Manchester CityArsene Wenger explains why Mikel Arteta is ‘lucky’ to be managing Arsenal Advertisementlast_img read more

One step forward, two steps back

first_imgThe Amtrak funding battle resumes this month, when Congress returns from its annual summer holiday. On July 30, a conference committee drawn from the House of Representatives and Senate completed work on a tax package which included US$2·3bn in capital funding for Amtrak over the next two years. However, an authorisation bill passed by committees from both houses to actually give Amtrak the money failed to win approval in either the House or Senate.The bill would give Amtrak more decision-making autonomy in route restructuring and hiring contractors to perform work currently performed in-house. This has created a major impasse over the current provision granting up to six years’ pay to staff made redundant as the result of a route closure; Congress wants the rule abolished, but President Clinton is concerned about losing support from the unions. ’For Amtrak, it’s reform or die’, predicted Bud Shuster, Chairman of the House Transportation Committee.’Unfortunately, Amtrak does not have the luxury of time’, said Amtrak President & CEO Thomas M Downs. He says Amtrak needs the US$2·3bn investment if it is to end taxpayer subsidies in 2002, as mandated by Congress and the administration. An agreement must also be reached on next year’s annual subsidy. The House has passed a budget of US$793m, up US$30m from 1997, with US$250m for the Northeast Corridor upgrading project. But while the proposed capital budget is increased, the US$283m allocation for operating expenses is the lowest in 20 years and US$61m less than the figure requested by government. Congressman Martin Sabo said the operating budget ’is so low that it brings into question whether Amtrak will survive the year’.H Amtrak announcd on July 26 that the thrice-weekly Chicago – San Antonio Texas Eagle will continue indefinitely beyond September 30, when US$5·6m of loan funding from Texas expires (RG 7.97 p449). Future operation has been secured by growth in express parcels traffic to augment passenger revenue. olast_img read more

Asset management roundup: RWC buys European equity manager

first_imgRWC runs roughly $11.2bn in UK, US global, and emerging markets equity strategies, as well as convertible bonds. It also invests in a small number of Japanese companies through a joint venture with Tokyo-based Nissay Asset Management.  Dan Mannix, RWC’s CEO, said: “We believe that there remains a real demand for exceptional investment teams who are providing something different for investors and we see the competitive environment improving as barriers to entry rise and larger organisation increasingly put the squeeze on their investment teams.”Fidelity backs LGPS cost codeFidelity International is the latest asset management group to sign up to the local government pension scheme’s (LGPS) cost disclosure code.Managers including Investec, Baillie Gifford, Legal & General Investment Management, and Capital International have also signed up to the code, which provides a template for asset managers to break down their fees and disclose aspects such as transaction costs.The disclosure template has already shed new light on the level of costs and charges being paid by UK’s public pension funds since its introduction in May. The LGPS Advisory Board has estimated that total costs revealed by the disclosure code could hit £1bn (€1.1bn).Heather Fleming, head of institutional distribution for UK and Ireland at Fidelity, said: “Providing the necessary tools to easily allow our clients to make informed investment decisions has always been a priority for us. We welcome this initiative and recognise the importance in working together as an industry to provide a unified and transparent approach to the reporting of investment costs.”H20 to buy commodity-focused managerH2O Asset Management, a global macro multi-strategy investment manager, is to acquire Arctic Blue Capital, a systematic commodity-focused manager, from Stable Asset Management. According to a statement, the Arctic Blue strategy was launched in 2008 at Canada’s Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, which manages public pension plans in Québec. After deployment at CIBC and Millennium Capital Partners, it was seeded as a standalone firm by Stable Asset Management in 2014.The deal is a response to “increasing client demand for investment strategies suited to a changing inflationary environment”, according to the statement.H2O currently manages $14.6bn on behalf of clients and will provide infrastructure and operational support as part of the deal, while Arctic Blue will add its flagship fund, the Arctic Blue Original Strategy, and its equity-focused Atlanterra Strategy, to the H2O distribution platform.Arctic Blue will continue to be led by CIO and founder Jean-Jacques Duhot. Cyril Beriot, Head of Managed Accounts at H2O, said: “This deal is timely given current market conditions. We expect the global economy to enter a reflationary phase over the short-to-medium term and our clients will now benefit from a suite of high-quality strategies across all asset classes that are perfectly suited to this new environment.”The transaction is currently pending FCA approval. UK-based boutique RWC Partners has acquired European equity specialist Pensato Capital.Pensato’s seven-person investment team – which runs roughly $280m ($246m) – will all join RWC as part of the deal. Pensato’s funds include long-only and long/short European equity funds.The company was founded by former Fidelity International fund manager Graham Clapp in 2008.Clapp said it was “critical” that the Pensato team was able to spend time analysing companies. He added that “by joining with RWC we have the opportunity to work within a broader organisation that offers the resources and diversification that will help us to develop our strategies and focus purely on generating performance for our investors”.last_img read more

Commission could settle ‘leak’ row

first_img A Cardiff spokesman said on Thursday night: ” A formal complaint has been submitted, concerning what we consider to be a serious breach of Premier League rules “We have asked for an investigation into the matter, which is now in the hands of Premier League officials who will report their findings in due course. “At this time it would be inappropriate to discuss any specifics while the investigation is ongoing. “The club has every faith in the process and will welcome the views of the Premier League.” Cardiff will not comment further while the Premier League probe is under way, including at Friday morning’s pre-match press conference that is set to be fronted by manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer. Cardiff, currently 19th in the league and three points from safety with only four games left, host Stoke on Saturday. Premier League bosses will decide whether the complaint should be taken forward – it is understood there remains uncertainty about whether any regulation would have been breached even if the allegation was proven. If the complaint is taken forward, it could be dealt with by either the Premier League’s board or more likely an independent commission. Press Association It is understood that a n independent commission may be asked to rule on Cardiff’s protest. The BBC have reported that Cardiff argued in their complaint to Premier League chiefs that the 3-0 result on April 5 in Palace’s favour should not be allowed to stand. Cardiff’s letter centres on the circumstances surrounding the alleged leaking of their team. Palace sporting director Iain Moody worked for Cardiff until earlier this season before taking up a post at Selhurst Park in November. It has been reported that Cardiff believe Moody might have used his contacts at the Welsh club, or close to Cardiff, to find out which players would start against Palace. Moody, though, has rejected the allegations as “incredibly, extraordinarily untrue” and Palace have also denied the claims. According to the BBC, the letter from Cardiff’s club lawyers runs to five pages and claims the club have proof that Solskjaer’s starting line-up was leaked. Cardiff say they have “every faith in the process” after lodging an official complaint with the Premier League over claims their team was leaked to Crystal Palace before a league game between the clubs earlier this month. last_img read more

Ireland off to solid start against Namibia

first_img The hosts opted to bat first in the four-dayer at Windhoek, reaching stumps at 250 for nine on the back of 78 from JP Kotze. The Irish shared the wickets around with six bowlers among the wickets and two scalps apiece for Tim Murtagh, John Mooney and George Dockrell. Ireland turned in a disciplined bowling performance on day one of their Intercontinental Cup clash against Namibia. Press Associationlast_img read more

University leaders welcome new students at Convocation

first_imgIncoming students and their families gathered in McCarthy Quad on Thursday to hear from University leadership and to be officially inducted into USC at the annual New Student Convocation. Speakers touched on the multiple scandals USC has faced in the past months, but focused on the new direction in which the University plans to move.“Sun shines on this profound and exciting moment, but a shadow falls on it too,” said Varun Soni, the dean of religious life at USC.Soni opened the ceremony by welcoming the new students to the Trojan Family while not shying away from the fact that the campus has been facing challenging events. Dr. Wanda Austin was recently appointed as interim president by the USC Board of Trustees after C.L. Max Nikias stepped down following a slew of scandals.“The University community that you are now joining has been struggling to process events on campus that have shaken us to our core,” Soni said. “As a University community, we also begin a new journey – a long, shared journey of hope, healing and justice.”In her speech, Austin echoed sentiments expressed in a letter sent to the student body on Wednesday. Austin said the University has faced an “especially challenging time” over the past year. “It is because of you and those that come after you,” Austin said, “that our University’s leadership is committed to bringing about change that will make our light shine brighter in both purpose and action.”Austin noted that she was not expecting to become interim president, saying she thought she would be enjoying the celebration of convocation sitting among her fellow Trustees. Undergraduate Student Government President, Debbie Lee, addressed the new students by sharing three lessons she has learned in her time at USC. One of those lessons was that USC is the “perfect place to fail.”“The reality is I’m not perfect, we are all not perfect and this school is not perfect,” Lee said. “When we put all of these factors together, we are all bound to fail at some point in our lives.”Lee noted that USC has a “spectrum” of resources available to students to help them through their college life. “You are taught and led by some of the most compassionate and inspirational professors, staff and administrators,” Lee said.last_img read more

John Leguizamo discusses Latinx representation, comedy

first_img“You can’t be an artist and want to please. I think you have to do your work and take the consequences,” Leguizamo said. CPD partnered with the Center Theatre Group to host the event in an effort to teach the USC community about the role of art in storytelling and how entertainment can be an educational tool. Leguizamo’s comedy show, which has been on Broadway and was a taped Netflix special, seeks to engage and educate audiences about the history of great Latinx contributions to the world. This type of shocking “cultural apartheid,” as Leguizamo put it, resulted in a gap in the American public’s knowledge concerning Latinx history, that Leguizamo strives to fill with his show. While researching the project, Leguizamo discovered that Latinx people were influential in all of American history, yet the stories of these heroes were not told in history classes.  “In ‘Latin History For Morons’ the ‘morons’ [are] all of us. We [Latin people] ourselves don’t know our contributions to America, let alone the world,” Leguizamo said. “The purpose of the show is to give Latinx people self-respect and to ask other people — non-Latin — to respect us [too].” Many audience members were curious about how Leguizamo was able to synthesize Latin American history and about whether he views himself as a cultural ambassador for Latinx people. Leguizamo said he thinks of himself less as a role model and more as a figure that his community can relate to.  “[Latin Americans] are the only ethnic group to have fought in every single war America has ever had,” Leguizamo said. “The second oldest ethnic group in America, after Native Americans.” “Latin kids had never seen a Latin person on stage,” he said. “I don’t go into it thinking I’m representing my people, but I do go into it thinking I’m talking to my people. I’m a mirror…so [Latinx people] can see themselves, to see that we have value … and [are] culturally relevant.” However, not everyone is as open-minded when watching the show. Leguizamo acknowledges that he cannot please everyone.  Taccone added that the show had to balance humor with respect and that no actor can make everyone happy.  John Leguizamo created “Latin History for Morons” in an effort to educate and empower all audiences. (Krystal Gallegos | Daily Trojan) Actor John Leguizamo discussed the creative process for his one-man comedy play, “Latin History for Morons,” with award-winning director Tony Taccone at the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism Wednesday. Nearly 60 people attended the Center on Public Diplomacy event, titled “Latin History for Morons: Theatre and Public Diplomacy.”  “There are also comic edges, [like] at what point … [is a joke] too offensive … you try to find what the balance is,” Taccone said. “One of the great things about John is that he is equally skilled as a comic actor as he is as a dramatic actor.”  Leguizamo emphasized how the purpose of the show is to pay respect to the Latinx community.  He was inspired to create the show after learning that his 12-year-old son was getting bullied and racially profiled at school. He said that educating the public about Latinx history is empowering.  In his show, Leguizamo presents Latinx history with as much informational depth as he can, while striving to make it comedic in an attempt to keep the audience properly engaged with the historical material. His inspiration for this format was his own educational experience in school. Lenora Quinonez, a graduate student studying public diplomacy, found the event enlightening and appreciates Leguizamo’s goal to represent Latin history in a respectful and meaningful way.  Ashley Baird, a graduate student studying communication management, said she attended the event to learn more about Latinx culture.  “My husband is a Mexican immigrant … so I want to learn more about Latin culture,” Baird said.“My family has always been open-minded to other cultures, so I’m interested to learn more.”   “My favorite teachers and professors were always the most outrageous and the funniest,” Leguizamo said. “Tony and I took it to an exaggerated place as I want to reach young Latinx people.” “I don’t really know that much about Latin history,” she said, “but I’m more interested now.” last_img read more

Retooled men’s basketball team holds first practice

first_imgτ The USC men’s basketball team took to the court for its first practice of the semester Friday at the Galen Center, featuring an overhauled roster that is a far cry from last season’s. USC coach Kevin O’Neill welcomed back just a handful of familiar faces for the Trojans, who added five transfers and three freshmen to a squad that finished a school worst 6-26 in 2011-12.Sure thing · USC coach Kevin O’Neill says senior guard Jio Fontan is the only player locked into a starting role right now. Fontan is returning from a torn ACL he sustained in last year’s preseason exhibition trip to Brazil. – Daily Trojan file photo“It’s a 360,” senior guard Jio Fontan said. “We’ve got so many guys compared to last year when we were searching for guys. We started two or three walk-ons at one time. This year, we’ve got 10 or 11 guys that can start on other teams. It’s a big difference and it gives us a lot of room to make changes, play different styles.”The added depth means some tough decisions for O’Neill. The only starter set in stone is Fontan, who will likely assume the role of the go-to veteran for a team that only has one month to mesh together.“Jio is going to lead this team,” O’Neill said. “He’s our best leader. The point guard on any basketball team needs to basically be the leader, unless you’re the leading scorer by a bunch.”One of the few returning players, junior center Dewayne Dedmon, hopes to assist the newer members as they assimilate into their surroundings.“I’ve already been around the block so I definitely feel a little bit more experienced than some of the new guys coming in,” Dedmon said, “so I can help them teach the plays and help them get used to KO’s offensive and defensive strategies.”Dedmon is joined in the paint by two other seven-foot seniors: center James Blasczyk and junior center Omar Oraby. Oraby, a recent transfer from Rice, is a particularly interesting case: Standing at nearly 7-foot-3, he would make the Trojans taller and help improve rebounding.Despite the additions of Oraby and others, it wasn’t exactly an ideal offseason for USC. The Trojans were dealt a blow in early September when junior guard and last year’s leading scorer Maurice Jones was ruled academically ineligible. He later decided to transfer rather than sit out a season.“Mo leaving was tough on a personal level and a basketball level,” Fontan said. “That was my closest friend here, so I still speak to him every day, but we’ve got to move on as a team.”To pick up the scoring load Jones leaves behind, USC will turn to former junior college guard J.T. Terrell, who played at Wake Forest two years ago as a freshman. Senior Renaldo Woolridge, a 6-foot-9 athletic forward who shot 37 percent on 3-pointers last season, transferred from Tennessee.“I like all the new guys,” Fontan said. “J.T. [Terrell] is going to be really big-time. He has unbelievable one-on-one ability, I think he’s just starting to get accustomed to playing in a different style of basketball and having more weapons around him. Renaldo [Woolridge] was a great pickup for us, a guy who can shoot it. [Senior forward and UCI transfer] Eric Wise is an unbelievable player. Obviously Omar [Oraby] at 7-foot-3 has been able to do a lot of things that I don’t think we were expecting, especially this soon.”As the new group of Trojans gears up for the regular-season opener on Nov. 9 against Coppin State, O’Neill will emphasize five basic principles.“We’re trying to instill what our identity is, which is going to be great defense, rebounding the ball, low turnovers, great shots, and sharing the ball,” O’Neill said. “We have to establish a DNA of those five things.”Fontan agrees with O’Neill’s goals for the team.“We want to keep it as physical as possible up until the game times come,” Fontan said. “We just get that mentality to come out there and be more aggressive than other teams. We beat up on ourselves enough to where when the game starts we’ll be ready to beat up on somebody else.” For now, Oraby must wait to see if the NCAA will approve a hardship waiver which would allow him to play immediately instead of sitting out a season.Regardless, that hasn’t stopped Dedmon from considering the possibilities for his own game with two other centers on board.“It makes my job a lot easier to have two other seven-footers that are taller than me,” Dedmon said. “They can guard the bigger man.”Though Oraby offers size, O’Neill mentioned that improving conditioning and learning the system are key areas of focus for the center, who averaged 6 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks for Rice last season.“We’re big — we’re an NBA-size team,” O’Neill added. “We pass the eye test. It’s just now getting everyone on the same page, playing the same way and doing the right thing.”last_img read more