Letters to the Editor for Thursday, Dec. 12

first_imgMore 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. LessardSchenectadylast_img read more

Fly in, fly out property inspection leads to record breaking sale

first_imgThe pool was built above ground to take advantage of the views of the bay.The buyers came across a listing of the home through the Sotheby’s International website in Hong Kong shortly after Queensland Sotheby’s took over the listing.“They flew out, placed an offer and flew back,” said agent for the sale Joseph Lordi. The couple had lived in Wynnum before relocating to Hong Kong, and even remembered the home from when it was being constructed. PRESTIGE HOME SELLS IN TWO DAYS Each of the four bedrooms have views of the water.While previous agents had focused on the local market, Mr Lordi said they marketed it around Australia and the world.“If the location is right or if there is a unique selling point such as the views it can appeal to interstate and international buyers,” he said. The home was on the market for close to a year before it sold.“Selling is a very harrowing experience, especially when you have three contracts fall over,” Mrs Buck said. She believed the current financial climate, including lending restrictions and the royal commission in to the banking sector had made it difficult to sell the property. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus18 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market18 hours ago“In some cases people were asking for three valuations on the property, which is just unheard of,” she said. They built the home ten years ago with a unique design so that the each of the four bedrooms would have a view of the water. LAURA GEITZ FINDS HER DREAM HOME center_img LUXURY LIVING: Expats flew all the way from Hong Kong just to inspect this property.A LUXURY Wynnum waterfront home was snapped up by an expat couple that flew down from Hong Kong just for the inspection.The distinctive four bedroom home with expansive curved windows and bayside views at 193 Wynnum Esplanade was purchased by the expatriate couple, just after they flew down to Brisbane for the inspection, for $1.655 million.The sale set a new price record for the waterfront street and was also the highest sale price for any home in Wynnum in 2018. It was a big relief for vendors Rosanne and Greg Buck that had been trying to sell the home for 11 months. FUNNIEST OPEN HOME INSPECTIONS last_img read more

Needless Foolishness

first_imgBY 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:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more

Toronto FC, LA Galaxy and the five biggest disappointments of the MLS season

first_imgStar athletes rarely get to go out on their own terms. We’ve seen many all-time greats forced out of their respective sports and we’ve seen boatloads of legends hold on to one last shred of glory by continuing on at a much lower level than the one that made them famous. Yet there was something even more disappointing about the way in which Clint Dempsey called it a career, as one of the USA’s most important stars was quietly whisked away with an unceremonious exit. The writing was on the wall for some time, starting with the mysterious heart issue that impacted Dempsey during the Sounders’ 2016 MLS Cup run. Dempsey continued to shine during his call-ups with the U.S. national team but, after the USMNT’s shock World Cup letdown, the 2018 season just didn’t seem right. Having started just nine games with one goal scored, Dempsey walked away on August 29 after playing just 70 minutes in the prior two months. There was no fanfare, no send-off, no testimonial. Just a retirement and an eventual ceremony that in no way captured just how important Dempsey was to both the Sounders organization and American soccer as a whole. Dempsey may or may not be the best American player of all-time, but it’s impossible to deny that he is among the most tenacious, hard-working and unyielding players to grace American soccer. For many, he was an inspiration, an innovator, a legend. He deserved a better send-off, even if he will be remembered for much more than the way he exited the game.San Diego project falters following public vote ULISES RUIZ https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/d2/47/clint-dempsey-seattle-sounders-2018_avfs5wb5o85o126x4pfbfrncy.jpg?t=-2121401777&w=500&quality=80 Zlatan Ibrahimovic fashions himself as a God, but higher powers weren’t enough to save what ended as a calamitous LA Galaxy season. From the moment the Swedish star stepped on the field, there was a buzz around the Galaxy that had been missing for some time. His debut against LAFC was scintillating, historic, entertaining and, most important of all, victorious. The club appeared to be on the right path with a number of big offseason additions joining Ibrahimovic in leading the rebuild. It didn’t quite go as planned. The defense proved to be one of the worst in the league as high-prices options like Michael Cianni and Rolf Feltscher failed to pan out. The two have since left the club, alongside Ashley Cole, who was the lone bright spot on the backline. Ibrahimovic, meanwhile, scored 22 goals in just 27 games, ridiculous numbers even for a player of his pedigree. It wasn’t enough. The Galaxy collapsed on the final day of the season, squandering a two-goal lead in a loss to the Houston Dynamo. The Galaxy completely wasted Ibrahimovic’s heroics, and head coach Sigi Schmid and VP of Soccer Operations Pete Vagenas paid the price. Will they get another chance with the Swede, as AC Milan rumors swirl, or will one of the top attractions in MLS history see his time in the league go down as a missed opportunity? Dempsey’s quiet exit not one fit for a legend Just one game remains in the MLS season as Atlanta United is set to take on the Portland Timbers in the MLS Cup final. Both sides have been among the league’s best for a majority of the season, one which provided several broken records and numerous high points. Stars like Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Wayne Rooney came into the league and thrived. Josef Martinez shattered the goalscoring record. Atlanta and the New York Red Bulls dueled all year with both eclipsing the previous record for points in a season. Los Angeles FC dazzled in the club’s expansion season while FC Cincinatti, Inter Miami and the unnamed Nashville side are waiting in the wings. Yet it wasn’t all to plan this year in MLS as Goal takes a look at the top five biggest disappointments of the 2018 season.Toronto FC finally wears down A championship hangover is natural, but no one expected the nosedive experienced by Toronto FC in 2018. In many ways, it’s understandable. The reigning MLS Cup champions, widely viewed as one of the league’s best ever teams, went all-in on the Concacaf Champions League in a bid to become the first MLS side to win the continental competition. They fell short, losing to a pragmatic Chivas side in the final while tanking their opening MLS matches along the way due to the heavy rotation. Once that was over, many expected TFC to turn it around with the focus on MLS, but they never did. The magic switch never flipped on and, when all was said and done, TFC finished ninth, 14 points out of a playoff spot  There were reasons for that. Injuries piled up, especially in defense, leading to the conceding of 64 goals, good for second-worst in the conference. Offseason signings Ager Aketxe and Gregory van der Wiel didn’t take the club to a new level. Jozy Altidore played just 13 games, often leaving Sebastian Giovinco to do more heavy-lifting than he probably should have. It would be a good bet to pick TFC to be back amongst the contenders in 2019. The team is too talented and too ambitious to settle for a two-year letdown. But the idea of seeing a historically-good Toronto FC compete with historically-good sides like the New York Red Bulls and Atlanta United is a tantalizing one, and one that didn’t come to fruition as TFC finally wore down after two seasons towards the top of the MLS mountain.Zlatan not enough to prevent Galaxy collapse Vaughn Ridley https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/a6/65/jozy-altidore-toronto-fc-mls-2018_zjpzn8legjtk1pq0773ssyuoz.jpg?t=-2120432329&w=500&quality=80 Getty Images https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/a6/37/zlatan-ibrahimovic-galaxy-mls_1sleelakf6ezk1esklsl8lpwpn.jpg?t=-1126303610&w=500&quality=80 https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/8a/15/san-diego-mls-landon-donovan-expansion_mkgr3d3t71k51lwx3qz7vsvrb.png?t=-1395781610&w=500&quality=80 San Diego has everything needed to be a top MLS market. There’s the local talent. There’s the soccer culture and history. There’s the weather and desirability. There’s an ownership group spearheaded by a familiar face in Landon Donovan. There are even ready-made local rivalries on both sides of the border. The city has it all. Except a stadium. Hopes of bringing an MLS franchise to San Diego are all but dead after the proposal to build a stadium fell short in a November vote. The city would have been all but guaranteed of a spot in the next round of expansion if the vote had gone well but, without a stadium, there seems little chance of bringing MLS to the city. “If it was as simple as, ‘Do we want an MLS team and do we want to do something like that for the city?’ I think that’d be an easy answer for everyone,” Donovan told Goal after the vote. “But unfortunately, these things are more complicated than that and I don’t know if they want to go through that again.” An MLS franchise in the southern California city would have been intriguing to say the least. Known as a youth hotbed, a San Diego franchise would have looked to go toe-to-toe with not just MLS rivals like the LA Galaxy, San Jose Earthquakes, and LAFC, but also Mexican sides like Club Tijuana that lie just across the border. The battle at both the youth and senior level would have brought quite a competition, one which we likely won’t see going forward. MLS expansion remains a hot topic all over the country and, while San Diego’s loss may be a market like Sacramento’s gain, the lack of public support for the stadium proposal left many frustrated all through the U.S. soccer landscape.Draft class proves one of weakest in recent memory The ever-increasing presence of homegrown players has changed the MLS SuperDraft forever, and we’ve known that for quite a while. The draft isn’t the same as it used to be. It’s rarely about grabbing a club’s next star. Instead, it’s about finding the diamonds in the rough that slipped through the cracks. This year, though, it appears there were even fewer diamonds than expected. Of this January’s first 10 picks, only four (Chris Mueller, Brandon Bye, Mo Adams and Mason Toye) appeared in at least 15 matches. Only one, Mueller, was in the Rookie of the Year conversation, and he eventually lost to Real Salt Lake homegrown Corey Baird, who took home the honors by a wide margin.  Jayne Kamin-Oncea https://images.daznservices.com/di/library/GOAL/d6/f/joao-moutinho-rolf-feltscher-lafc-la-galaxy-mls-2018_fc0h3zdufnoe1lz2qbmmb9yge.jpg?t=-2120676777&w=500&quality=80 It was a rough year for drafted rookies, even with later picks like Alex Roldan and Ken Krolicki helping to boost the class. Roldan proved the only legitimate contributor to a playoff-contending team as most rookies struggled to make a real difference at the MLS level. That’s not a permanent indictment on any involved. Players like Joao Moutinho, Tomas Hilliard-Arce and Francis Atuahene clearly weren’t drafted with the here and now in mind. It may take a few years for many of these guys to figure out their game, and that’s fine. There’s a reason clubs have USL teams and affiliates, and it’s certainly okay for players to have an adjustment period. But, as of now, it’s hard to see a Julian Gressel or a Jack Harrison or a Cyle Larin in this class as it appears there’s no real breakout star in the group just yet.last_img read more