More from The Daily Gazette:EDITORIAL: Beware of voter intimidationEDITORIAL: 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?EDITORIAL: Find a way to get family members into nursing homes Categories: Letters to the Editor, OpinionDo we really need a review of flushing standards?The review of toilet flushing regulations demanded by President Trump because, 1) they were an Obama-era regulation and thus inherently flawed, and 2) that “people” are flushing their toilets “10 to 15 times as opposed to once,” is not based on reality. I’d like to know this: Have any official, credible and unbiased studies, or even a single such study, been submitted to support such bizarre, fictional claims?Even in the 60s and 70s, depending on the quality of toilet engineering, manufacture and local water supply, reasonable people flushed more than once occasionally. When I first heard about the Obama administration’s proposed toilet waterflow regulations, I was skeptical whether they could be achieved without necessitating multiple flushes more often.The amount of water used by toilets and urinals in this country is truly mind-boggling. Water is life.Our species is truly insane to needlessly continue to “flush it down the toilet.” However, modern engineering, in my personal experience, has met the challenge.The last toilet I installed in my basement uses a fraction of the water used by my previous toilet and cost around $50. We will face increasing water shortages and higher water costs in the future unless we conserve it. For the sake of our survival, we should not abandon real achievements based on the behavior of some politician’s “imaginary friends.” Sensibly, my new basement toilet has two buttons, appropriately and sensitively labeled, the use of which I will leave to the reader’s imagination.Bruce PettitJohnstownSmart Cities preserve valuesUpper Union Street in Schenectady has what we consider a well-preserved mixed use/mixed occupancy community, with pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly sidewalks and streets. However, McDonald’s is proposing a project that includes the demolition of an existing long-term clothing store building, replacing it with additional parking and an additional drive-thru for its Dean and Union street location.This project is kitty-corner from a Dunkin’ Donuts drive-thru that has currently added to traffic congestion and standing vehicles on Dean and Union Street sidewalks, creating two hazardous pedestrian/bicycle obstacles. In addition, Bruegger’s bagels allows 4-car parking access across the street from what will potentially be the third curb opening for the proposed McDonald’s double-drive-thru project, which in our opinion tips the scale for this project in terms of pedestrian and traffic safety.Our understanding of Smart City growth is a plan that seeks to conserve historic streetscape buildings, preserve community customs and values, and not separate housing, business, recreation, education, industry and government. If Schenectady is seriously considering a plan to pursue a smarter, safer and more sustainable city, as was demonstrated at the Smart City open house, smart growth cities do not demolish buildings, replace them with parking lots and alter the streetscape to accommodate automobiles.This project will be presented at the City Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday, Dec. 18, at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall, Room 110. Now is your time to voice your concerns.Gary J. Lessard, P.E.Donna M. LessardSchenectady
The Los Angeles Community Impact hosted its Spring Showcase, the culmination of the organization’s semester-long consulting projects on Wednesday.Shauna Nep, director of community and innovation at the Goldhirsh Foundation, discussed what she called the five points along the “circuitous path of innovation”: necessity, hustle, storytelling, unusual suspects and the reflective incubation period. She used examples from both the Goldhirsh Foundation and from her own life for the discussion.The Los Angeles Community Impact is completely student-run and based out of the Marshall School of Business. The group provides pro bono consulting to nonprofits and small businesses in Los Angeles.Anna Silk, a junior majoring in public policy, planning and development, is the current president of LACI and oversees all of the projects throughout the semester. She explained that the mission of the organization is to have a long-term positive influence on the Los Angeles community.“We try to help our clients identify what their biggest challenges are and how we can help during the semester to create recommendations that are going to be really long-lasting and impactful,” Silk said.The Spring Showcase consisted of student speeches, a keynote address and three project presentations. The projects presented were Soldiers’ Project, Beat the Streets Los Angeles and Med SRG.Ling Zeng, a sophomore majoring in business administration, was the team leader of Beat the Streets Los Angeles, one of the projects presented. She and her teammates focused their project on developing a metrics system to better track the organization’s progress and communicate that progress to community stakeholders.“We sat down together with the client and talked about the goals that they wanted to reach and some key challenges they were facing, which led us to developing our project scope. We conducted research throughout the semester — both primary and secondary research, such as talking with similar, sports-based organizations and their participants. After conducting that research we synthesized all of the information and came up with recommendations that we thought best met their goals,” Zeng said.Marc Pakravan, a freshman majoring in business administration and member of LACI, worked with Community Family Health Council this semester. He described Showcase as being a night when LACI can share exactly what they do with the rest of the USC and Los Angeles community.“Showcase is our signature end of the year event where a few LACI teams showcase exactly what they’ve been working on all semester. It’s an all-encompassing night about social innovation, problem-solving and teamwork,” he said.LACI has worked with four of the same organizations as Goldhirsh, including the Downtown Women’s Center and Green Dot Public Schools.“It’s exciting that [these organizations] are clients that LACI has worked with in the past and helped support and also someone that the Goldhirsh Foundation and Tara have doled out money to because they think that they’re going places,” Silk said.As the culmination of LACI projects, Showcase is a time when teams can meet with their clients to deliver their final recommendations, called “deliverables.” These final deliverables are composed of all of the research done throughout the semester, recommendations and action steps for implementation, giving the clients something to reference in the future.The event was open to USC students, faculty, LACI clients and community members. Silk emphasized that Showcase is an opportunity for students to learn more about the organization.“Sometimes, people are interested in joining LACI but are not sure really what a project would look like or what their experience would look like, and they don’t always understand the breadth of types of students who find that LACI is a good place for their personal and academic growth. Showcase is a good place to find that out, as well as do some networking with some really cool people in the Los Angeles community,” she said.
BY TAYO BALOGUNLet me start by apologizing for being off this page for quite a while. As a writer you sometimes get fatigued. You get a blockage you can’t dislodge no matter how hard you try. Then you wonder why things never change despite the proliferation of intellectuals gutting every single space in the country. And you ask yourself why a country blessed with several Ronaldos, Messis, Ahmed Musas would not be able to raise a credible awe-inspiring football team. You get annoyed at the cyclic repetition of stupidity. Take for instance; we have always been praying that we have a long tenured Sport Minister. When the prayer was answered we were forced to accept one we don’t want to keep for more than one day! Worse still we have one who appears set to destroy the little gains we have made in Sports. Then the ‘Siddon Look’ syndrome sets in and you become certain you are better off keeping quiet.But I assure you this situation, like everything in life, never would last. Particularly if you are condemned to watching puke-inducing incidents all around you. Everyday, I knew as a senior citizen of this once great country I can not afford to keep quiet when the least I should do is talk. By resuming this column, I intend to keep talking and keep drawing attention to the good, the not so good in our sports terrain… I have always wondered about what drives us. I mean do we really have a national mean to predict how the average Nigerian would react given a particular situation? From observations I have come to a conclusion that Truth for us is relative and subsequently we do not see justice or the lack of it from a universal prism. And that is the root cause of our problems as a nation. Let me illustrate with the FIFA ban we just narrowly, by a mere sixty minutes, escaped from. Since football became big business in our country we have always had one problem or the other.Anthony Kodjo Williams and Sani Lulu Abdullahi were impeached. Segun Odegbami who played for and captained the national team was adjudged not qualified to run for the office of Chairman/ President of the NFA/NFF. Don’t want to include the injustice meted on Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima. All through this one man was playing god and serving as a master puppeteer. And FIFA was illegally used to keep everyone in check. Things came to a head about six years ago when it became unmistakably clear that you cannot take football matters to our local court.Some few years before then, President Goodluck Jonathan had incurred the wrath of the world football governing body when he pulled Nigeria out of all football competitions citing corruption and incompetence as reasons. The truth is that we have always seen election into the NFF as ‘a be all and end all’ affair. Most who have aspired for office have been driven more by what the office does for them than what they can do to better our football. So as is the case at the national level winning election into the NFF is mainly ‘a do or die’ affair.Unless we find a means to restructure our football federation we cannot grow. Disruptive litigation will always come up, threats of a ban would always be invoked and in all these our football would suffer.So where do we go from here? First, bring back a functional National Sport Commission that would be manned by professionals in the field of sport. Secondly, pass the NFF act currently before the National Assembly. Government should subsequently gradually withdraw from funding football at all levels.In the meantime, can someone please ask our Comrade Sport Minister, Solomon Dalung, to kindly step aside? In recent memory, he is the longest serving minister yet he has caused the most harm to sport in our country. Under him, we have regressed. Under him, nearly all the sports federations are in disarray. Our major sports like athletics, basketball and football are undergoing internecine ‘wars’ reportedly fueled by the minister. Conventional wisdom indicates he is the backbone behind one of the warring factions in the now resolved (?) leadership tussle in the NFF. If he can help our sports, can he be eased off, please?Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegram